It has been 1 year…

…since I started this blog.

A year ago, when I was setting everything up, I only bought 1 year of hosting, even though I would have gotten a deal if I purchased more than one year. I didn’t know if I was going to really do this, or if anyone was even going to be interested in reading it, so I figured I would just do one year, then see what happens.  It took me by surprise when I got the renewal email, I can’t believe I’ve kept it up this long!  This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I didn’t know what the focus of the blog would be since I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in the lives of Justin and Michelle.  But when I got pregnant…I knew that would capture the audience of friends and family!  I am so glad I finally did start this, ironically enough the author of one of the blogs I like to follow just came up on the 4th anniversary of her blog.  She did a great job talking about doing your “thing”, read it here.

I do have a few favorite blogs that I follow about photography, DIY, baking, motherhood and just life in general (check them out, they are listed on the right side of the page).  They are funny, sad, inspirational, informative and thought provoking.  Some of the authors of these blogs really have a talent for writing and captivate their readers, I mean some are published authors.  I am not a writer, but I try to make it interesting so you keep coming back for something.

This blog serves so many different purposes. At first it was a way for us to share our story. I spent so much time reading stories of other people who were struggling just as we were and it was comforting knowing that I was not alone.  I hope that our story will provide some hope for someone else. Then it became a fun way for me to share my pregnancy journey with family.  Also, if you know me well or have been reading along, you know I love to take pictures and take lots of them.  So this is a great way for me to do something with the pictures I take.  Now it keeps our family and friends up to date in what is going on in our (or rather Jacob’s) lives (life).  And it is a great way for me to document Jacob’s milestones, growth, achievements and of course his cute little face. I do have a baby book that I am working on, but you can’t really tell stories in a baby book and they also can’t hold the thousands of pictures I take.  I know there will come a time when Jacob will roll his eyes at this and say “really mom…” (at least that is what I would have done when I was a teenager), but I hope someday when he is an adult and has a family of his own he will appreciate it.

Sure it is a lot of work…Some posts involve a lot of emotion and thoughts which require time (which I have little of now these days) to organize those thoughts and figure out the best way to convey them in a written form.  I’m sure if I was a man it would be a much simpler task, I mean really, it is not easy trying to organize the millions of thoughts that go through a woman’s mind into a blog post.  Some posts are simply just to document and share pictures, these have been the majority lately.  One thing that has really encouraged me to keep up with this are the messages I get from all of you.  The fact that I know there is someone out there reading this and they actually care makes me want to stay up a little later at night to write a post.  I love all the texts, phone calls and emails you all have sent my way, thank you!  I would really love it if you have thoughts or comments to leave a comment on on the blog, some of you have and I do read them all, I promise!  It would be great to have all your comments here so they can get documented along with everything else.

Thank you for checking in and thank you for all the encouragement to keep this going, I did renew it for another year!

And I couldn’t do a post without a picture (of Jacob of course) 🙂

Here’s our 24 week old

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Father’s Day Weekend

Last weekend was action packed!  Saturday we drove up to Oceanside to go to the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum with my Aunt & Uncle.  It was a gorgeous day and we saw lots of old tractors, cars, engines, and other random antique things.  The all around favorite part was the blacksmith barn, where blacksmiths were working with machines or an old fashioned hammer and anvil to create various things. It was really interesting to watch.

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Jacob with his great Aunt & Uncle!
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Then we went to the Rancho Guajome Adobe house.  Where a lady took us on a very thorough tour of the house and surrounding grounds, giving us an idea of what life was like in the 1800’s.  Visiting these kinds of places is always fascinating to me.  One thing that I love about visiting places like this and the old castles and palaces in Europe is imagining the people living there, sleeping in the beds, making meals in the kitchen, walking through the gardens, making history in their offices or reading books in the libraries.  I love the preserved clothing, kitchen supplies, old pianos and trees that are over a hundred years old.  It makes you feel thankful for the things that we have now, but also makes you think about things that you really don’t need. Our lives these days are crowded with material things that we all want or “need”.  Visiting these historical places reminds me that sometimes the simplicity of having conversations with people, playing the piano and singing or dancing along, reading books and kids running around outside using their imagination to play is so much better than TV, iPads, internet and video games.  But there are some things I am incredibly thankful for, like running water!  And electricity, although the occasional blackout is kind of fun once in a while.  Anyway…it was a fun day.

Sunday was Father’s Day! We started the morning at church, then drove downtown to the Petco Park to watch the Padres beat the Diamondbacks.  Jacob had fun hanging out with his daddy and even wore a shirt telling the world that “It’s dad’s first Father’s Day!”

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When the “Padre girls” were sling-shooting balls into the crowd, Justin caught one for Jacob.

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Why watch the baseball game when you can watch Jacob for entertainment

Fathers Day 1Hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day!

Continuous shooting

I know I promised I wouldn’t make a habit of this…but I just can’t help it!  My camera is on a continuous shooting mode, so as long as I am holding down the button, it keeps taking pictures.  I love that option!  It is great for catching those fleeting smiles, expressions and movements that you otherwise would have missed.  The only problem is I end up with LOTS of pictures of the same thing, so it takes time for me to go through, compare and narrow them down to one.  Sometimes it’s pretty simple to do, most of the time I keep several different versions of the same scene because there are too many good ones that it is impossible to narrow it down.  It reminds me of the old fashioned way of making “moving pictures” where there is a stack of drawings and each page has the tiniest change in movement, so when you quickly flip through the images come to life.  I am often laughing at the scenes I capture with my continuous shooting.  Last Sunday when we were doing his weekly pictures, he continued his love affair with the giraffe…instead of pulling on his arm, he struck up a conversation with him.  So without further adieu here is our 23 week old!

Huh, you want me to do what???

IMG_9748edOh yeah, that smiling thing…no problem, you got it!

IMG_9749edNow that we have that out of the way, let’s talk to my buddy here…

IMG_9752edReally, you think the little guy is sad that I am growing so fast??

IMG_9753edSilly elephant, doesn’t he know that is what little boys do?

IMG_9758edWhat’s that giraffe?

IMG_9759edAwww, I know I will eventually pass you up too, but the 3 of us will always be best friends

IMG_9757edThings that were pretty remarkable about this past week was the fact that he started taking the bottle again, and he has slept through the night every night!  This is one happy momma here!

The strike has ended

He took the bottle, he TOOK the bottle, HE TOOK the bottle!!!

I had pretty much given up on the whole bottle thing.  It was getting frustrating every time I would offer the bottle he would just play with it and roll it around in his mouth, then I would end up having to throw the precious breast milk that I worked so hard to  produce down the drain.  Doing that every day for several weeks was discouraging. I think the most frustrating part was that I knew he could take the bottle since he had been doing it for 2 months before he went on strike, he just didn’t want to.  We moved on to rice cereal and started trying the sippy cup.  He loves the cereal and the sippy cup was pretty messy, but at least I knew he had something in his tummy while I was at work and wasn’t starving.

I was doing the math and had pretty much accepted the fact that I would not be able to leave him for any extended period of time or overnight until he was a year old.  Not that I am ready to leave him overnight yet, but it was the idea that it was possible. Or the idea of being able to have a glass of wine or two while out to dinner and not having to worry about enough time going by before I can feed him, or the idea of being able to have a night out with some friends and Justin can feed him a bottle before bed.  There are lots of great ideas out there. The feeling that I would not be able to get any kind of break for a really long time was kind of daunting.  I do love my boy SO much, but it is nice to have a bit of a break once in a while.

We would still attempt the bottle here and there but I honestly had moved on and really didn’t think it would happen.  Then a friend of mine who went through the same thing with her little girl encouraged me to try the Lansinoh mOmma bottles, they were the ones that did the trick for her daughter.  We had already tried 6 different kinds of bottles/nipples with no luck so I really didn’t think it was the type of bottle that was the issue, I thought he just didn’t want to do it.  So I kind of put it off.  The next time I talked to her, she mentioned it again…A few days later I had to go to Babies R Us for something else and decided to pick up one of those bottles while I was there.  If nothing else, it would be a nice addition to my collection of bottles of all different sizes, shapes and nipples.  The next day I tried it, he did what he usually does and played around with it for a while, but he did latch on, but never took any pulls.  After a while, I stopped fed him his cereal and moved on with the day.  Two feedings later, I decided to try it again.  I reclined his highchair put on some music and got ready to kick back while he played around with the nipple for a while, gave him the bottle and about 30 seconds in he latched on and started taking some pulls.  I FROZE.  I didn’t dare move my hand or my body for that matter, I didn’t want anything to distract him from his very important job of sucking down that milk.  He kept sucking and sucking and was taking it all in, every muscle in my body was tense and my eyes welled up in tears, he is really, finally doing this!! When he finished, I jumped up and down, clapped my hands and was cheering for joy, he was looking at me like I was nutso! I immediately texted Justin, my mom and girlfriends to share the good news (top priority)!  I was SO excited, I could hardly stand it. I had to keep myself from updating my Facebook status to “HE FINALLY TOOK THE BOTTLE!!!” (yes all caps are necessary), because I know most people on Facebook could care less, that is what this blog is for.

After I put him to bed that night, I started thinking and hoping that this wasn’t just a one time fluke kind of thing and the real test would be the next day while I was at work.  Jacob didn’t let me down, he took the bottle from Justin at both feedings like a champ!  I’ve done one feeding a day since then with a bottle and he is doing great!  I still feel a little reluctant to be celebrating since it hasn’t even been a full week and I am afraid he will “relapse” but this is a big accomplishment after 5 long weeks of trying, I can’t help shouting this news from the rooftops.  This weekend we will be out and about a lot, so we will be trying a bottle feeding in public and will see how he does.  This truly is an answer to prayer and thank you to all of you who were praying for this and encouraging me to keep trying.  A HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders knowing that he will now get a full feeding if I am not around.  Justin and I had a pact that if we could get Jacob back on the bottle then we would plan family trip to Paso Robles.  So that is our next order of business, I am ready for a fun break!

photo 1Getting ready to enjoy some cereal!
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Party planning

Last week was a busy week for me, on Saturday I co-hosted a baby shower for a good friend of mine who is expecting a little girl in August.  So there was lots of shopping, cooking, decorating and crafting. I love planning parties, before our group of friends started having kids and tripled in numbers, Justin and I used to host parties all the time at our house.  Justin comes by it naturally since his parents are pros at the party throwing business.  He was even voted “life of the party” in high school (hmmm is that a good thing or bad thing??)  I love the planning, decorating and preparing part of it.  I’ve had several people tell me I should have gone into the event planing business, but I enjoy doing it and didn’t want to turn it into work.  In this age of Pinterest, party planning has reached a whole different level!  Pinterest is such a great way to get ideas and a lot of it is DIY, as long as you are armed with a glue gun, scissors, and a Michael’s Craft store nearby you can do some pretty creative things.  I have not had a chance to plan a party since I discovered Pinterest, so this was fun!  But it is also hard work when you have a 5 month old!  There were many late night dates with my glue gun and lots of help from my awesome husband, and it was all worth it.  We were able to shower her little girl with all kinds of cute girly things and I can’t wait to meet her in August!

IMG_9686In Jacob news…Saturday morning we were all on the floor while Jacob was doing tummy time and he rolled over onto his back!  He has not done it again yet, but I have a feeling this is the beginning of a new phase, we will keep you posted!  Here’s our 22 week old who is starting to wrestle around with the giraffe.

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Daddy Daycare

Every woman is different when it comes to being a stay at home mom vs staying in the workplace.  I know that most women are not able to work from home with the type of career they have, or for financial reasons they cannot stop working, or some women need that connection and identity outside of being a stay at home mom.  Many people have strong opinions why it should be one way or another, I am not here to say that one way is better than the other or even the way it should be.  Every woman is different, I am just sharing my personal experience.

My parents had their own business and my mom worked out of our home.  Growing up, my mom was always there if I needed her.  If I forgot something she could bring it to me, if I was not feeling well she was able to stay home with me, on days when we had pep rallies and other school activities, my mom was able to come and cheer me on.  Justin was raised the same way.  And I want to do the same for my kids.  When I got pregnant we knew that I would not be able to quit working altogether, but, it was also not worth putting Jacob in daycare since it is ridiculously expensive and my paycheck would just be thrown into the cost of daycare.  Besides, I didn’t want to do that anyway, I wanted to be home with my child.

Fortunately, I work for some amazing people and have the kind of job that allows me to work from home and go into the office one day a week.  It is a challenge to get work done at home with a baby.  Especially one that only takes 30 minute naps!  But somehow, I’ve been able to get it done.  The things that require more than 15 minutes of my time get done at night after he goes to bed.

So what does Jacob do on the one day a week I go into the office?  He hangs out with Daddy! We are also fortunate that Justin has the kind of job that he is able to be home with Jacob one day a week.  I love this set up because I get the best of both worlds. I can be at home with my son, but also keep my own identity in the workplace AND Justin gets some quality time with Jacob.   What’s even better is because Justin has this time with him, he knows what it is like to be home with him all day.  He knows I don’t sit around the couch watching soap operas and eating bon bons, he knows that Jacob needs to be entertained, he knows how to do the routine and knows that he only naps for 30 minutes and that 30 minutes is not really enough time to do much else than go to the bathroom, eat something and maybe answer an email here and there.  He knows how exhausting it is, he knows how you always have to stay one step ahead of him, and he knows how much stuff you have to take anytime you go anywhere with him.  Because he knows how much work it is, he tells me all the time that he appreciates me and everything I do.  I feel so blessed to have a husband who loves me and understands.

The first day Justin watched Jacob, this is what I saw when I walked into our bedroom after putting Jacob to bed.

photo 1 (2)Pure exhaustion.  Even the dog was tired!

Now that we’re in more of a “routine” and we are used functioning in our new lifestyle, it is easier.  While it is still exhausting, Jacob is getting more and more fun every day with being able to interact with him more and see him squeal in delight at something or get a serious look on his face when he is trying to figure something out.  Justin is enjoying this time even more.  I even convinced him to try wearing Jacob in a carrier.  The two carriers I have are wonderful,  but he can only be worn facing in towards me, sometimes he doesn’t like that because he wants to see what is going on.  So a friend of mine gave me her Baby Bjorn, Justin put it on and Jacob LOVED it!  We took the dog for a walk and Jacob was giggling and squealing at everything he saw (mostly the dog, he loves to watch the dog).  I think Daddy Daycare has approached a new level since the Bjorn has been discovered!

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And no, Justin does not drink beer all day while watching Jacob, this photo was taken in the evening after I got home 🙂

5 Months

After I took Jacob’s weekly picture and downloaded them to my computer I realized that this should have been his 5 month photo…so I took another one with his 5 month sticker.  But I loved the first one I took and had to share it with you, so again, I give you two pictures. I promise I won’t make a habit of this! Here’s the first one I took.
IMG_9565edAnd here is the one with his 5 month sticker.
IMG_9587edHe thinks his daddy is hysterical!  🙂

We saw Jacob’s pediatrician a few days ago to follow up on a rash he has had for a while now. The doctor says it is just mild eczema and suggested a lotion to put on him.  We also talked about the fact that he will not take a bottle anymore…so he said we could start feeding him rice cereal, that way Justin can feed him while I am at work.  So that was our project on Saturday morning, we got the highchair set up and fed him his first taste of rice cereal
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and he loved it!

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We also weighed him at the doctors office and he is now 16 lbs 4 oz, he gained a pound in 3 weeks!