Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

No, my paci is NOT upside down!

This is the way I like it. Will someone please tell my parents to stop trying to make me fix it?He does this ALL of the time. It looks uncomfortable to me, but I guess he likes it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sound Asleep At Church

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

6 months

Andrew turned 6 months old on Tuesday! He is becoming such a big boy with a precious personality. He is now 28 inches long (90th percentile) and 17 pounds, 4 ounces (or 17.25 pounds) which is the 50th percentile. Our pediatrician says that she thinks he will be a tall, lean man. Here is his 6th month picture and his 1st month picture for comparison.
This was the first time that Andrew was aware of Donald Duck beside him. It was difficult to get a good picture because he wanted to hug/play with /eat Donald! Here are the bloopers from this month.

I have been so excited about Andrew turning 6 months because it meant that he finally got to eat! Despite pressure from several people, Joey and I both felt that it was in Andrew's best interest to hold off food until 6 months. We read about it a lot and discussed it with our pediatrician. Here is his very first bite of rice cereal.
On the second bite, he started trying to help me. He really wanted me to let him feed himself, but I did not want him to jam the spoon into his gums.
Give that to me, Mom!
He has a highchair, but he is not quite able to sit up yet. We used his bouncey seat, but hopefully we will pull out the highchair soon. His dad did this to him:
Andrew is really developing his own personality. He loves when you get really close to his face and say "hey." That almost always cracks him up. He likes to grab noses and my hair. He is mesmerized with his brother, Ralph and watches his every move. He likes to sleep on his side now, and is becoming a better sleeper at night. He is an absolute joy for us. He continues to be what I consider an "easy baby." We are able to take him anywhere. When we sit down at a restaurant, I can see people's faces change---Aww, great. We have a baby next to us. I want to lean over and tell them that he is not going to fuss or cry, but I never do. Joey and Andrew are still big buddies. Andrew will turn his neck in every direction to find Joey when he speaks. They look more and more alike everyday, too.
Like his daddy, Andrew is quite the stud muffin!

Unfortunately, Andrew has battled sickness the last month. We have had ear infections and a lot of congestion. He is currently on an antibiotic and has to do two (10 minute) breathing treatments a day. Here he is doing his treatment with Joey.
Most babies wear a mask for the treatments, but Andrew seems to prefer the mouthpiece.
He seems to be getting better. He went to school on Friday and we were able to go to church this morning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How did I forget this?

Here is Andrew's Valentine's Day card that he made for Joey and me at school.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day (and snow pictures, too)

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Before I tell you about our day, here are some pictures from last week that I never posted.

We had a real snow in Tuscaloosa. This was the first good snow that we have had since moving into our new house last year. Here is our snowy house.

I wanted a picture of Andrew in the snow, but I could tell that he was not happy. I snapped this one quickly and put him in the warm car.
Here is my school with snow. We are getting a new addition to our school (starting this month) and this entire building will be torn down.

My kids were so excited about the snow (and so sad that they were in school) that we went out to play.
Here I am with one of my favorite people in the world--the other 3rd grade teacher at my school. Yes, I said other-as in, we only have TWO classes per grade. Our school is so tiny, and I love it!
My sweet class:
For Valentine's Day, I made my class breakfast.
My desk at work:
Some of my favorite cards:

This one was my favorite. It didn't hurt that it was attached to a dozen beautiful red roses.
Andrew's daycare called me at about 1:00 on Valentine's Day. He had a 102.4 fever. I left school and took him to the pediatrician. He has been sleeping most of the afternoon. Here is my little Valentine on his playmat.

This will probably never happen again!

If you know me well, then you probably also know how much I dislike all things "western." However, a 5 month old in cowboy boots is pretty cute!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guess what...

My sister is pregnant! Baby Rathmell (#2) is due on September 16, 2011. She went to the doctor yesterday, and everything looked great. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's not always perfect!

I was talking to a friend tonight about the blogs that we read. I told her that there were a few blogs that I stopped reading because they always left me feeling inadequate as a mother. I love to read blogs from other moms with children who are in the same age group as Andrew. I like to see what others are doing, get ideas about products that others are using, and let's face compare. Everyone tells mothers not to do this, but we all do. However, some blogs always seem so perfect. The mother is always put together with make up on. The baby does everything perfectly--meets every milestone right on time, sleeps every night, never gets sick, etc. The pictures always show an immaculate house and the parents are going on countless date nights, giving time to charities, throwing elaborate get the point. As I read these blogs, I think--how is she doing that? Then, I look at my blog and realize that I choose those same types of pictures and stories to post on my blog. I avoid blogging about situations where I am struggling because I don't want to be viewed as a "bad mom." Maybe if moms were really honest about things, it would help us to all see that it is hard to be a new mom. I think many of us never speak the truth because we don't want to be viewed as complainers. I know that I try to stay positive because I am just so thankful to have a healthy baby. He is a joy in my life and makes me so incredibly happy. Like many moms, I prayed for Andrew and consider him to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. I know many friends who are also praying for that blessing and have been doing so for years, so I don't want to be insensitive to them and complain about being tired. They would give anything to have a baby to make them tired. Even with all of that being said, motherhood is hard. We hide it from others, but does that really help others or just make them feel inadequate? So, here is my honest post!

1. I am exhausted all of the time. There have been nights where I have literally ran into the wall as I walk from my bedroom to the nursery. Since birth, Andrew has slept through the night only once. He gets up SEVERAL times a night. Sometimes, I try to remember what it feels like to be rested, and I cannot.

2. Parenthood strengthens your marriage and puts new strains on it at the same time. You realize that you and your spouse may agree on some things, but have totally different opinions on others. For example, I do not like for Andrew to cry (hence the whole "he has never slept through the night thing"--because I have spoiled him rotten) but Joey wants to let him cry it out. We both feel strongly about our positions. So, as a new parent you have to decide which way to go. With most things in marriage, compromise works. Sometimes with parenting, compromise is not so easy because decisions are often more black and white:
Working mom/Stay at home mom
Cry it Out/No tears
Yes, I realize that you can do combinations of the above (ex: work part time) but most of the time combinations are not an option. You naively think they are when you are pregnant--I'll just breastfeed during the day and let him give the baby a bottle at night--and then realize that it doesn't work that way---Oh, wait-my my milk supply dramatically decreases if I don't nurse during the night.

3. I always feel like others are doing a better job that I am. I have not blogged anything about breastfeeding because it has honestly been too painful for me to even talk about. Even as I type this, I feel a lump forming in my throat and my eyes are getting watery. I wanted so badly for Andrew to be exclusively fed breastmilk (along with food, of course) for the first year. I was successful for the first three months, but not without a price--my sanity. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. No one tells you that. For me, I felt trapped in my own house, held hostage by the clock (Is it time to pump?) and unable to ever truly take a break. My supply was low, and he was hungry. I didn't want to supplement, and I didn't want him to be hungry. I was pumping several times throughout the night to try to increase my supply. While I loved Andrew desperately, I was miserable. I wanted to quit everyday, and I would tell myself to just keep going. How selfish would that be to quit breastfeeding to make my life easier when I knew that it was the best for him? That was the question that always came to my mind. I talked to several people, prayed about it, discussed it with my pediatrician, and finally decided to quit. It was freedom...and also tremendous guilt. I cried for days. I joined online support groups for mothers who felt guilty about quitting breastfeeding. I still have enormous guilt about it, but I also wanted to enjoy the first year of motherhood with Andrew. I wanted to be able to go out and do things with him and not always be watching the clock to see if I needed to pump. I am going to try again with my next baby, but I am not going to put the pressure on myself the next time. I am going to do the best that I can and not beat myself up about it.

4. I feel fat and like my body will never be the same again. My hips are so wide now. I don't even get on the scale because it is too depressing. Most days, I can barely breathe in my pants.

Alright new mothers--feel better? You are not alone! The funny thing is that a tiny little human being has done all of this to me, yet I love him more than anything in the entire world. When I think of how much I love Andrew, my heart literally aches. Struggling as a new mom does not mean that you do not love your child or that you are not doing a good job--It just means you are human!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Da-Da is HOME!

Joey went on a well deserved five day vacation to Utah. He goes with his buddies each year on a "man trip." Some years they will go hiking. Some years they go skiing. We had discussed stopping the man trips once we started having children, but I felt strongly that he should continue them. I don't think I know anyone else who works as hard as Joey. I am glad that he got to relax and enjoy time with his buddies. We sure did miss him at home, though. Here are some pictures from his trip: Joey:
Jeremy and Andy:
The guys on the trip with Joey were Andy McCartney, Jonathan Grammar, Jeremy Colburn, and Brian Brock.
They rented a six bedroom house for the week. Joey said that is was very nice and even had a pool table and a ping pong table. Here is a picture of the view from the house and a few from inside as well.

It was so lonely at home without Joey. I am so dependent on him. Thankfully, my mom came to stay with Andrew and me for the weekend. That helped to pass the time, and she watched Andrew while I took a few naps. Andrew made a sign for his dad with his handprints. We hung this in the garage so that Joey would see it when he got home.
Joey brought both of us presents from Utah. I got a shirt, and Andrew got this cute onesie.
In other news, Andrew is now on the move! We pulled out his walker tonight when Joey got home. He thinks it is his jumperoo, so he tries to make it bounce. Once he figured out that it would move, he did start to walk backwards in it. We will keep practicing with him on going forward.