My photo
I (Jen) and my husband (Stephen) have a very charmed life. Our son (David) is such a blessing to us! We love spending time with our friends and family and each other!


Mommy Favorites #19 - #22

First of all, I have to say again how much I truly enjoy breastfeeding -- David has pretty much weened himself and it makes me kind of sad. However, I must admit it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be at first. Number one, uh, cracked and painful nipples. Eeesh. I don’t even want to dwell on that one for long… Then, the whole latching thing took us a good solid six to eight weeks to get into a good system. Because that was such an ordeal it took me a while before I felt comfortable nursing in public (even with a nursing cover), so I felt like I was cut off from the rest of the world… I felt like I had to plan a detailed strategy around nursing if I ever wanted to leave the house.
Another problem I had was that David liked to snooze after a few minutes, so I spent most of the HOUR it took trying to keep him awake long enough to get a full meal and get that oh-so-important hind milk. AND THEN it felt like I was ALWAYS nursing. With it taking so long per feeding, there wasn’t much time in between and I felt rather chained to my sweet little sucker.

I know most women are all gungho about breastfeeding (as am I), because of this I felt a lot of guilt about giving my baby formula – ever. As with many other mommy-things I’ve found that the best thing for me is to let it go. I don’t need to feel guilty, I am breast feeding my baby 99% of the time, and I felt like I needed to have a bottle of formula so that I could take a shopping trip and not feel panicked about when/where I was going to nurse. Just letting go like that and releasing myself from the pressure and the guilt made nursing even more enjoyable for me. So, for the few times my child does get a bottle, here are my Mommy Favorites:

19. Nuk Bottles
Well, we originally registered for and got the Avent bottles… ug. I so should have read the reviews on because I soon found out that they leaked after a while (which is what 9 out of 10 of the reviews said) and it didn’t matter how tightly or loosely (we experimented with both) I screwed them on. I was really disappointed because the Avent bottles were more expensive. Tried the Nuk ones (MUCH better price too!) and they worked great. AND I noticed David stopped spitting up altogether once we switched bottles. (he didn’t throw up much when he was little and I was almost exclusively breastfeeding, but when he was around six months old we gave him juice/water out of the bottle and he started spitting up. I know these bottles might not help with every kid, but they did for mine!)
We do still use and like the Avent pacifiers. I like that they’re clear. And I know it's weird, but I think it's soooo cute to watch Davy suck-suck-suck his pacie, I'm sure it's just because I'm obsessed with him in general....
One down side: with the Avent bottles the cap over the nipple kept the milk from getting everywhere. With Nuk you have those little disks, which are find until you’re trying to get a bottle ready for baby to drink in the car or in church and you have to unscrew it, take that out and hope you don’t spill anything.

20. Formula Container
If you’re gonna do the formula thing, this is great because it has three little compartments (I think you can put up to three scoops in each). It’s much better than carrying the whole formula container around. So easy to make a bottle in the car because it’s already measured, you just open the little lid over one compartment and dump it in – no mess!

21. Bottle Drying Rack
I had registered for the dishwashing kit/thing for bottles and then I realized I don’t need that many bottles since I don’t use them that often. BUT I use them often enough to not want them tied up in dishwasher. It’s pretty easy just to wash them out by hand. I had them on a towel drying, but this rack works a lot better…

also saw this neat one in Target the other day:

22. Pacifier clips and wipes
I know all the books say not to give a baby a pacifier too soon because of “nipple confusion” (I dunno about that though, David seemed to understand pretty quickly where food came from and where it didn’t.) After the first night of sleeplessness we caved and gave him one. Soooo much better. He slept better and so did we. And babies love to suck, so why not?! Anyways, I love the pacifier clips and wipes for when we’re out of the house (when we’re home I don’t worry about it falling on the ground, I keep my floors super clean.) You can also use the wipes for baby toys/spoons/etc. There are tons of cute pacie clips out there, my friend Jessi has an Etsy shop, if I can find it I’ll post the link here. I especially love the clips for the car, when he spit it out it didn’t fall so I couldn’t get it, I’d just reach back and pop it back in.
So there you have my two cents.


Top 5 (FIVE)

5 (FIVE) – wonderful years I’ve been married to the Love-Of-My-Life. Stephen whisked me away to the beach for a long weekend. We dropped David off with Stephen’s parents on Friday afternoon and then went on our way. YES, this was the first time I’ve left him overnight. I got my cries out the night before and then I was good to go. YES, I talked about him a lot (sorry Stephen) and thought about him even more. MOSTLY I thought about how much fun it will be to take him to the beach next month. We had a great babyless time. Lazing on the beach, eating great food (crab legs are a great way to eat melted butter) read, slept, went to see a movie, et cetera.

4 (FOUR) – number of teeth my baby will have very SOON. They’ve already started cutting through his gums. Oooh, this will make his love bites hurt even more. *sigh* I can’t complain too much though, I totally understand where he’s coming from – I am a biter myself. Anyways… once those two suckers are fully in he’ll be even better at Corn-On-The-Cob.

3 (THREE) – books on my nightstand that I am reading. I am a multitasker par excellence.
Parenting: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp – Pretty good. Parenting is heavy stuff. I need all the help I can get!
History: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett by Buddy Levy – Davy has always been a crush of mine. I’d like to read his autobiography next.
Fun: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks – I am a girly-girl and what girly-girl doesn’t love her some Nicholas Sparks?!

2 (TWO) – grandparents that watched our son while we vacationed it up. Nanna and Poppa had a great time spoiling David and he was a very happy spoilee. He seemed to really love his time with them, I’m so thankful to have such great in-laws that are so good to my baby! I’m glad he did so well. I DO think he missed me though – this morning he was very snuggly and cuddly (don’t mind that at all!) and after he nursed at 7:30 he then wanted hugs and kisses followed by a nice long nap with mommy. *sigh* a girl could get used to this.

1 (ONE) – more month until my sweet little boy is ONE year old! Ahhhh, where has the time gone??? Last night at church we were having a celebration for the ending of our small-group meetings until the fall… one of the guys from our group got up and said some really sweet things…about how neat it was seeing David grow up in our group – then he related it to how God must feel as he watches us grow and change and delight in Him. I feel the same way. Motherhood has given me even more insight into the depths and dimensions of our Father’s love.

238,571 (TWO-HUNDRED-THIRTY-EIGHT-THOUSAND-FIVE-HUNDRED-SEVENTY-ONE) – times I have kissed my baby since seeing him again. (yes, I had a little Davy-withdraw)


Baby Signs, I Think He's Got It!


David has learned to clap his hands, wave, give someone five and to sign “MORE”!!! His mommy is rather excited about this progress. He will even do these things when we only say the words (not clap/wave/etc ourselves.) For a little while I don’t know that he knew what “more” meant, he just saw it has part of his hand-trick-repertoire. Last night he was having a lot of fun with spaghetti for the first time and I saw a little light bulb go off… he started to fuss, stopped and signed “more!”

and THAT is why we are doing baby signs in the first place – try and nip the whining in the fussy little bud! ;) I know it won’t solve all problems or whining. But it’s a start, and also fun. AND, he is a super cute signer.


Mommy Favorites #16-#18

“There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” Winston Churchill

Here here!!!!

Gotta keep those babies fed! I’m so glad I stuck with breast feeding because it’s been a really wonderful experience for both of us. Here are three Mommy Favorites which helped me out a lot.

16. Nursing cover
A.) I got my first nursing cover at Wal-Mart, it looked very similar to this. It’s ok. I wish it was longer and I wish it had a way to see my baby better! It certainly worked well enough though, I’m so glad I got one. It made breast feeding in public a lot more comfortable for me and I didn’t feel so tired down and shut off from the world.

B.) The Hooter Hider
I’d like to get this brand for my second baby! My friend let me borrow hers once and I liked it a lot better. I mainly want one that's long enough/covers well, is easy to adjust, easy to see the baby and doesn't get too hot. There seem like there are a lot like these out there though. Anyone have a preference to a particular brand? Etsy has lot of cute ones!

17. Dimmer switch
Stephen installed these in our bed room and the nursery. I LOVE THEM! We don’t have a night light in David’s room at all, but if I do need to check on him I can turn the lights on low without waking him. I also like to turn down the lights as part of our wind down bedtime routine when I cuddle him for a minute before bed. But I really appreciated it the most David was a newborn and nighttimes included many feedings and diaper changes. I could have the lights on low so they wouldn’t wake Stephen up, but I had as much light as I needed. Added plus, David finds the remote a really great toy – I have snagged a few extra minutes of sleep in the AM while he plays with it.

18. Nursing Pads
A.) Johnson & Johnson’s
my favorite. Cheaper than the Medela ones… I also tried Gerber ultra thin nursing pads but didn’t care for them, they were flat and you had to shape them so they ended up feeling lumpy and itchy (so did the Medela ones.) I also thought the J&J ones had the best absorption (ug. I leaked a lot, especially in the beginning)
B.) I liked my washable nursing pads (I forget what brand I got) but I pretty much only wore them at night because they didn’t absorb as well and didn’t wick away the moisture.

Question – Lilypadz – anyone tried them? They look really neat. I was worried that they might cause Mastitis, but the FAQ page claims that it doesn’t… what do yall think?

THIS was on that show "What Would You Do?" I must admit it got me riled up a bit...I might not whip it out just anywhere, but that's my thing... I think a woman should be able to discretely feed her baby when ever/where ever. Thoughts?


Mommy Favorites #14-#15

More favorites that have made my mommyhood easier and breezier:

14. Swing!!!!
We did not register for a swing. My thought: there is already too much baby stuff junking up our house, swings are huge and a luxury. Ooooh pre-baby-me, if I could only go back and tell her how much she will come to love the baby swing! In the beginning I was asking all the mommies I knew what they did to get their babies to sleep! And with pity in their eyes for the bags under mine – soooo many moms said their babies loved the swing. Thankfully, we have a generous sister-in-law (thanks Jamie!) who let us borrow theirs. Who cares if it is pink with butterflies – David loved it!

He got his first cold when he as two months old and pretty much slept on my chest the first few nights, waking himself (and mommy) up with his coughing and struggling breath (so pitiful!) He wasn’t sleeping, he was miserable, I was miserable. Out of desperation I put him in the swing and……HE SLEPT THROUGH THE ENTIRE NIGHT. And the angels sang a hallelujah chorus!!! (ok, so sleeping through the night at two months old is pretty good……..but let me tell you – THOSE WERE THE LONGEST TWO MONTHS OF MY LIFE.) I called my dad to see if that was ok, a baby sleeping in a swing all night, and he said yeah that was fine. Thankgoodness for the plug in swing! (no wind up, no midnight run to Wal-Mart for D batteries.) Once he got used to sleeping through the night we then did the transition to the crib. All I know is, I am a better mother, wife and Christian when I get good sleep! And David is a happier, healthier baby for getting good rest himself.

15. Baby wearing
I’m all about some one-handed mommy action! But I also really love being able to use both hands sometimes. (ie. Shopping, cleaning, etc) I love the idea of baby wearing! Closest thing to being preggo again, having my little one nice and close to me!

A.) Sling One
We only used our first sling twice. I felt like it swung away from my body too much and I was nervous about bumping David’s head. Stephen used it once and David got Waaaaaaay too hot and that was the last time we used it. Good thing too, it ended up being recalled due to suffocation danger.

B.) Sling Two
I got this sling at Target. I liked it. It kept David nice and sung and comfortable. I even used it when I went to the library to use the internet and he just slept peacefully. I think I might like the sling with a ring that you can tighten, but this worked well for us. I also tried to use it to help me hold him on my hip. It worked ok (maybe I didn’t use it right) but it sort of put a lot of stress on my shoulder and I wasn’t completely able to use both hands, just didn’t put as much stress on one arm (he’s getting heavy!)

C.) Baby Bjorn
We borrowed a Baby Bjorn and this has to be one of my favorite items! I could wear him facing in or out (he always preferred facing out, he would be sooooo good and happy when we’d go shopping, just looking around and smiling at everyone.) He’s too big for it now. I’d like to look into getting a backpack so we can go hiking!

Question – Moby wrap?
I’ve seen a lot of pictures of the Moby wrap, it looks really comfortable… but it also looks a little complicated and a lot of fabric. For those of you who have tried it – is it pretty easy to put on and get the baby in? (in a parking lot, when it’s raining??) Is it super hot and bulky with all that fabric? Is the Moby brand the best in this type of wrap? I’d love to know what yall think!

ALSO…as David gets heavier… I’m starting to think about getting a backpack so we can go hiking, etc. Anyone know of a good one to recommend?


Mommy Favorite #13

This is one of my faaaaaavorite mommy songs. Every time I hear it I tear up. *sniff* And I KNOW this is cheesey, but I get even sappier when I think about Davy getting married one day, and me handing him over to his wife and letting her be the one to love him the most. *sigh* I have the lyrics to this song written in his baby book… next to THIS picture…
You're my life's one Miracle,
Everything I've done that's good
And you break my heart with tenderness,
And I confess it's true
I never knew a love like this till you....

You're the reason I was born
Now I finally know for sure
And I'm overwhelmed with happiness
So blessed to hold you close
The one that I love most
With all the future has so much for you in store
Who could ever love you more?

The nearest thing to heaven,
You're my angel from above
Only God creates such perfect love

When you smile at me, I cry
And to save your life I'll die
With a romance that is pure heart,
You are my dearest part
Whatever it requires,
I live for your desires
Forget my own, your needs will come before
Who could ever love you more?
Well there is nothing you could ever do,
To make me stop, loving you
And every breath I take,
Is always for your sake
You sleep inside my dreams and know for sure
Who could ever love you more?


Home, sweet sweet Home


Car packed – plenty of food/toys/etc for a baby, check!

Cute, blue eyed baby, check!

Off to Nashville we go!
Spilled puffs all over the back seat (Me, not BooBoo. Go figure)

Found out nephew/cousin Andrew was born! Sad we won’t be there to hold him all fresh, but I guess he’ll still be pretty new when we get to see him in a week and a half. (still, poo, because I reeeally wanted to hold him when he was so brand spankin new.)

Took several naps with Blanky and Bean.

Was mostly happy.
But had a few slightly fussy moments.

Mommy brought current favorite toy: big orange balloon. Which made us cheer right up. Also… new toys especially for our trip from Aunt Rachie (Thanks RaeRae!)

Bekah’s actual birthday!
Went to Lipscomb to visit Bekah, gave her 21 presents

Then went out to eat with her and my friend Lauren

Visited with Aunt Judy

Partied with Bekah and her friends

For her 21st birthday

AND got to see Aunt Jessi

(fewer pictures than I’d like, but we spent a lot of quality time with family and I forgot to take some good shots!)
Had lunch with Stephen’s Aunt Bev’s kids and their kids! (on his dad’s side)
Oh, also…. LOTS of rain

Had dinner with all of Janie’s family
LOTS more rain… flooding and tornado watches.
Thankfully, most of the family was able to get to and from the dinner.
We got home safe and sound Monday night.
David didn’t do as well as on the way there (he was a perfect ANGEL) but still did pretty good considering it’s an 8.5-9 hr drive and we only stopped once.
Glad to be back. Thinking about those people who lost so much in the flooding in Tennessee.