Samuel: Nine Months

As of last week Thursday, my little sweetheart is now 3/4 of the way to a year and the sweetness is ever increasing

He had his first Thanksgiving

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First time seeing Disney on Ice

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This will be his first Christmas

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This was his first introduction to Santa

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It was his first time seeing snow

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He has four adorable pearly whites, and I’ve only been bitten once so far (yikes)

He’s getting tougher and tougher to watch since he is constantly on the move and putting everything in sight, into his mouth. Like the cat food, cords, attempts at the cat litter, the glittery ornament balls… you get it. Constantly

He’s obsessed with clicking his tongue, and he can do it really loud. I don’t even know how to do what he does!

He is 21 lbs. of goodness, landing him in the 75th percentile, and height/head are 95th. My arms are getting stronger people. He’s a tank

He’s still very sweet, with such a relaxed temperament. It’s funny, almost everyone comments on it, particularly strangers in the store

Speaking of strangers, he doesn’t hate them, but he doesn’t love them either. He normally just stares at them and references my reaction. At least for now

His favorite toy is anything but a toy. Actually, to be most specific, it’s an ugly brown door stop that he loves to pick up, chew on, bang on the floor, and dump into his diaper basket. If it is ever missing, (which it almost always is), I know exactly where to find it

He has two nighttime feedings still, around 1am and 5am, but he wakes up for good around 8-9am, so I’m not complaining there.

He loves when dad gets home to play, and will crawl very quickly to him. It’s very sweet. In fact, if you encourage him to come to you, and say “come here” he will do it (so long as nothing distracts him… like a door stop, haha!)

Last month he learned to say mama, and although I know it isn’t a ‘meaningful’ word to him yet but rather him learning his consonants, it still makes me feel like a million bucks, because soon enough it will have meaning to us both

He’s pretty much my favorite

Sam’s Birth Story

I know, I know. I said I wasn’t going to share Sam’s birth story over my blog… but can’t a girl have a change of heart? I can’t help it. I thoroughly miss my newborn and felt like reminiscing on one of the greatest moments in my life. It is kind of uneventful and may be TMI, so read at your own discretion:

3.19.2014

Dear Journal,

I am a mother and it is the most wonderful thing. I gave birth to Samuel Calvin Burris on 03.04.2014 at 5:50p.m. He was 7 lbs. 17 oz. and almost 21 inches long.

By 37 weeks I was 3 cm dilated, but showing no signs of active labor.

At week 38, I was 4 cm dilated but again, no signs of active labor. I had my weekly appointment on Friday, February 28th but didn’t feel any progress. After my appointment I continued to bleed because of the cervical exam and felt cramping but no strong, regular contractions.

The bleeding persisted through the weekend and into Monday and by this time I was 39 weeks. I had irregular cramping and experienced that famous ‘burst of energy’ women talk about right before labor. I have to say, I really didn’t believe it until I experienced it. It was like the energy from my pre-pregnancy days, so I knew what it was because of how foreign it felt.

Kase and I had a feeling it might be our last day before Sam arrived, so we ran errands at Target and Petco, because of course, everything had to be perfect (I laugh to myself now). We went to Baskin & Robbins to celebrate our possible last night together and ended off our night at the gym. I was stair stepping and speed walking like a mad woman, taking advantage of the energy, because it felt so good.

Later that night (or I guess I should say morning), I woke up around 3 a.m. with pretty regular cramping, but didn’t think much of it and went back to bed. After continuously waking up, I decided to time my ‘cramping’ because it finally dawned on me that all this ‘cramping’ was me experiencing contractions. At this point the contractions were 5 minutes apart and felt more uncomfortable than painful so I went back to bed.

Awake for good at about 6 a.m. with continued contractions, I took a bath, and texted my mom, telling her just an FYI that my contractions were regular, lasting about a minute and getting stronger as time went on.

I still had not decided to go to the hospital. I didn’t want to be sent home, and I was not ready to be a patient. I figured I would rather be in the comfort of my own home and go to the hospital when I really needed to.

My mother called me and texted me saying”…you’re in labor, you need to go to the hospital.” I guess I should have gone without having to wait for my mom to tell me haha.

So, I finally woke up Kasen and told him I was “pretty sure” we were having the baby that day and that we needed to start getting ready to get out the door. Our bags were already packed since week 37, so that made things easier.

The house was spotless, vacuumed, laundry done, nails painted, make-up on, everything was perfect. Now we just needed to have this baby.

We left our place and took the backroads to avoid traffic and got to the hospital around 8:30 a.m. I already had an appointment with my doctor at 2 p.m. that day so it was quite convenient. I was also happy that my water didn’t break anywhere crazy and that I didn’t have to check myself into the ER in the middle of the night!

I met with a nurse, and she did a pre-screen interview to ensure I was actually in labor before admitting me. She asked  me about timing my contractions, dilation, bloody show, etc.

I was admitted at 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced.

I cried.

Even though I knew I was in labor, it seemed almost unreal, and I half expected them to send me home. I was terrified and excited.

Kasen texted our family on both sides, telling them I had been admitted, but that we would only have parents at the hospital until Sam was born. My parents headed over, and Kasen’s were just flying in that day.

I sat in a big hydro-jet tub in a very large,  new birthing suite with great big windows and a beautiful view. Spoiled doesn’t even begin to describe it. I admired the view. Dark gray skies, rainy, and lots of evergreen trees. It was gorgeous.

After about an hour, I was dilated to 6.5 cm, my water still hadn’t broke, so my doctor did it for me, and immediately after I was dilated to 7 cm.

The discomfort started turning into pain, and I had to be a lot more conscious about my breathing. About 15 minutes later, I received my epidural and that was heavenly. It worked from my ribs down. I could feel pressure, but I couldn’t feel temperature or pain. I fell asleep very soon after the epidural, and I honestly think it was because I didn’t feel my big belly pulling on my back muscles while laying down. My mom and Kasen slept too.

I plateaued at 7 cm for about an hour or so, then continued to progress slowly.

Kasen’s parents landed in Seattle around 2 p.m., rented a car and got their bags. As they were on the way, I was finally dilated to 10 cm. When they arrived to the hospital, we chatted for about 20-25 minutes and then it was time to push.

It was shortly after 5pm that we began pushing. It was my nurse, my husband and my doctor. It was incredibly peaceful, my doctor had me laughing between pushes (which of course helped Sam descend further), and after 30-45 minutes, Sam was born. Nothing like Hollywood makes it seem.

It all happened so fast. The next thing I knew, I was holding Sam on my chest, Kasen and I looked at each other and just cried and cried. We couldn’t believe he was finally here and that he was ours.

I continued to do skin-to-skin with Sam while Kasen cut the cord.

Kasen and I had time together with just us and Sam before we invited our parents in. It was one of the sweetest things of my life seeing my husband, and how he couldn’t hold back tears as he held our brand new baby.

As visitors started coming in, I quickly began to feel extremely tired, hungry, and nauseous with a really bad headache. My post-delivery meal of choice, Jimmy John’s. Oh yeah. Food never tasted so good. Or maybe it was just because I was so sick of the gross hospital soup and pudding.

After everyone left the hospital, we finally got to bed around 1 a.m. with constant check-ups from my nurses, and left the next day. I rested so much better at home.

From pregnancy to labor and delivery, things could not have been more perfect. Especially his timing! And even now, he has an incredibly pleasant, sweet temperament.

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I must say, I’m a little terrified for whenever we have our next baby because we have been so fortunate as first time parents.

2014 Gratitude List

Another year coming quickly to an end, a year of hard things as well as happiness. Different challenges, and different joys, I sit here writing my list with my mind and heart full as ever.

Here are things I’m grateful for, both big and small:

My little Sam, the smooth pregnancy, perfect delivery, and all the things he teaches us about love and life every day.

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My wonderful husband, the father to my little one. He understands me and loves me. Every year with him gets sweeter and sweeter. He’s pretty great.

My mom and the friendship we have cultivated as I have grown older and become a mother

Friendships that have grown and strengthened this past year

Our home, and everything that makes it warm, safe and “me”

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My strong, healthy body that is capable of amazing things

The happy feelings from candle light

Laying in a bed with fresh, clean sheets

A whistling tea kettle

My sleeping baby

Freshly vacuumed floors

The resilience of the human spirit

And as always, a loving Heavenly Father that I know, hears and answers the desires of my heart

What are you grateful for this year?

Samuel: Eight Months + Halloween

Not a whole lot going on this past month, so here are the highlights:

Sam cut his two bottom teeth last month and they are pretty stinkin’ adorable

His sleep schedule is the same. Going going down around 7:30p.m. every night, but still waking up for feedings. Again, most nights I don’t mind. Still paranoid about SIDs, so nighttime feedings bring a little comfort. It’s all about finding the silver lining people

He is doing fan-freakin-tastic with eating solids. There was a phase where he did good, then he didn’t, and now he’s a rockstar. He really digs my morning smoothie (blueberries, banana, avocado, kale, celery) and his new favorite is our homemade butternut squash soup. Mine too actually. It’s like veggie-candy, it’s not even right. Anyway, he’s had quite the variety of solids. Our only problem was Sam gorging himself to the point of vomiting. But we’re pretty much/almost past that. Hallelujah!

He feeds himself and us crackers. We ask him, “Can I have a bite?” And then he’ll feed us and laugh. It’s probably one of my favorite things right now

He loves gnawing on slices of apple or chunks of banana and loves drinking water. It’s kind of awesome to have more options than breastfeeding. Especially if we are on the go, I can pull out his little treats and feed him

He’s very chatty and expressive

Still laughs a ton

He’s still not crawling yet, but he rolls. Everywhere. All the time. Under the dresser. Under the crib. Under the bed. Under the chair. It’s funny, and he likes it. But not so much when he gets stuck

He loves practicing walking with mom and dad and screams with delight when we do it with him

He’s wearing 9-12 month clothes

He is just as sweet as ever

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And this was our low-key Halloween at my parent’s house:

I love this photo

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Kasen loves this one

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He says it’s less dramatic

Either way, Sam hated the costume like a lot of babies do. But it had to be done. It was a leftover costume that didn’t fit my niece when she was a baby, so the hand-me-down was a win

Sadly, Kase and I didn’t dress up this year. It was the first time in a longgggg time (like, I really don’t remember the last time) that I didn’t dress up. Such a bummer. But we had stuff to take care of when Kase got off work and it just wasn’t going to happen

After our errands, we were in my parents area and decided to stop by  unannounced, watch Hocus Pocus and help my mom pass out candy because I knew she would be tired after work. Besides, seeing cute kids in costumes is always fun

That’s about it around here! The sun is out for yet another beautiful fall day in the PNW and as soon as Sam wakes up from his nap, we are walking to the park. Have a great weekend friends!

Andddddd…. We’re Back!

I had to write a little post of excitement to let all my follower friends know that the blog is back to normal! Last year, I upgraded to a self-hosting website (I won’t name bash as badly as I want to) and it was quite possibly one of my worst ideas. Ever. I hated it. Yes, hate. It messed with subscriptions, statistics, you name it. It. Was. Awful. For me at least.

But here we are a year later. So, if you haven’t received updates via email for the last year (which you probably haven’t), feel free to skim through my posts and spy on what we’ve been up to. Food. Travels. Moving. Baby. You know… the usual.

Oh my. It’s good to be back.

Now, let’s pick up where we left off shall we? As if a year wasn’t long enough…

Love,

Me

One For The Books

Today was definitely one for the books. I finally have my feet up.

I’m sitting here with my hair wet, wrapped up in a towel, feeling so drained mentally, physically and emotionally. I spent today doing the obvious mom duties, of course trying to take care of myself in between. It started with Sam pooping in the bath tub this morning, and ended with him vomiting all over himself and me just before bedtime. My hair dripping. Literally. Not spit up. Vomit.

I feel exhausted. Oddly enough I got 7 straight hours of sleep last night (that’s a record)! But, I can’t decide if it would have been better if I never tasted the sweetness of that uninterrupted sleep, because I know that probably ain’t gonna happen again anytime soon!

My mind won’t rest. Maybe that’s why I’m blogging right now.

I recall the day. Sam crying as I try to work out in the morning. Every time. Then I’m prepping for a soup I need to bring to a church activity tomorrow, in addition to making two dozen delicious chocolate cupcakes. Of course, they had to be homemade, because I’m a cupcake snob like that. I fight the temptation to sink my teeth into just one of those suckers, because one never hurt anybody! But I said I’d make two dozen, and two dozen minus one is not two dozen. But they look so good… Oh well. They look better when they’re not on my hips.

Amidst the “to-do’s” I try to keep the house clean. No, not clean. Perfect. Everything in just the right place and not a smidgen off. I’m not exaggerating. It’s kind of awful. And then I realize I’m a little crazy because I’m running in circles just to clean what will become messy all over again when Sam wakes up and needs to eat or play.

The perfectionist in me has really started to get annoying. I’m working on it people.

Sam naps. My mind still won’t rest. My only down time is his down time.

I try and remember all the things I need to do because, of course, I forgot to write it down. Whoops.

The grocery list. I can’t even pull one together. It’s like writing an essay with writer’s block. Forget it. I’ll do it later. So I move onto our Halloween costumes… what will we be? Or what about Sam’s first birthday party? Agh, I gotta start planning. I get on Pinterest to figure it out. I get sidetracked because the mindlessness of it all feels so good. Sam wakes up. Welp. Guess I’ll figure it out tomorrow.

Seven months into this mom gig and I’m still figuring it out. Figuring out the balance, if such a thing even exists. Figuring out that it’s okay to have things be a little messy, that it’s okay to let Sam cry a little while I finish things up. I’m figuring out that it’s okay if he isn’t on a rigid schedule or hitting milestones when books say he is supposed to, and that it’s okay if I don’t get cute until noon. It really is all okay!

Deep breaths. Woosah.

This week (for whatever reason) this keeps repeating in my head… “I make plans and God laughs.” I feel like this is so true for me. At least that’s how I picture it. It’s kind of comical really. I certainly didn’t think this is where I would be at this time in my life, but I sure am thankful.

Another testament to me that God’s plans are greater than my own… His ways higher than mine. Always.

Sam’s Updated Nursery

We started preparing for Sam’s nursery before he was born, and for whatever reason, I thought it was a good idea to buy brown furniture. I think brown can look very beautiful and is very gender neutral, and I guess I didn’t want the typical white..? I don’t know. But after a few months I got so sick of looking at it and how small it made Sam’s room look.

Enter white paint.

I painted his dresser, mirror, shelf, bookshelf and crib. Oh, and got a glider for free and reupholstered and painted that sucker too. So here are some before & after photos

Before

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After

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Besides the obvious of the white paint, we put Sam’s newborn photos in his picture frames (which will soon be swapped out with our family photos) and we have a storage bench on the right side of the room that holds his blankets (or whatever we want it to hold)

Before

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After

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Here, there is the new glider, a new lamp I bought shortly after Sam was born, a new changing pad cover (because I think you should always have at least two of everything with babies), dresser knobs, the shelf rearranged and curtains swapped out with ones we had in our living room

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Up-close of the dresser knobs

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Up-close of the glider

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And of course, the best accessory to this nursery. My little fatty boy playing with his toy box (upcycled and stained wine box)

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Everything is just a little more simple and clean. The white really opens things up, which is great when you live in a basement unit with almost no natural light. The idea was to have a white and gray nursery with pops of color. Again, gender neutral, but a lot less dreary and crowded! It makes my heart sing!