Friday, July 31, 2009

TGIF!

Tonight Max said "PLEASE can I hang out with Jack tonight? I promise I'll be home by curfew!"

Sorry buddy, you still need some adult supervision. God only knows the trouble that you and Jack could get into in this town!

Max and Jack were a little embarrassed that they had to be seen on a Friday night with their folks, but Mom, Dad, and Sus had a great time over some frozen yogurt....while the boys just chilled...
Who knew that the frozen yogurt place was where all the cool kids hang? We met 11 week old Zack (who had to be driven there by HIS parents too), and all 3 boys almost threw punches over the cute little 4 month old girl who's chaperon wouldn't leave her side! It was a baby party!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Then Comes The Baby in The Baby Carriage!

MAX IS 2 MONTHS OLD TODAY! Just like last month (take a look at the 6/29 post), we took a picture of Max in his brown chair so that we can see how much he's grown! (Can you tell we love this outfit from Nana and Jeanette? He's been wearing it alot recently for photo ops!)
Max has changed so much! He can hold his head up now for quite a while, and then it bobbles or falls down a bit when he gets tired. He loves to kick his arms and legs, and babbles and talks to us all the time. He has learned to blow raspberries, and even makes the "motorboat" sound. His smile is just adorable, and it's getting bigger and bigger every day! He has also started to use his arms to "hold us" even more, and getting those little hugs just makes us melt. His facial expressions are hysterical, and he seems to be responding to our voices and our faces so much more now. His little personality just keeps growing and growing....
And so does his body! Yesterday he weighed in at 10 lbs 13 oz!!
In honor of his 2 month birthday, Max decided to take real naps today! He had an hour and a half morning nap (in my arms, of course....but I couldn't complain!) Then after his afternoon bottle I put him in his seat so that I could pack up the diaper bag and we could go run some errands. I turned around, and this is what I found:
He had fallen asleep completely on his own! Just like a big 2 month old boy! Afternoon naps!!!! Without being driven around in the car, or wheeled around in the stroller! YES!!! Who knows if it will ever happen again, but for now....we'll take it!

Here's one more picture of our little big shot, wearing an adorable outfit from Pop-Pop and Pauline!
Happy 2 months little guy! We can't wait to see what next month will bring!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...

Two years ago today, Sean and I were married in a gorgeous ceremony at the Carneros Inn in Napa. We were so blessed to have our friends and family with us, and we had so much fun at the party of a lifetime.

Take a trip down memory lane with us (but be sure to read the directions below first!).....

http://www.lumitone.com/bay-area-videographer-special-events-weddings.php

1. Towards the bottom of your screen you'll see "Same Day Edits". Click on it.
2. At the end of the list on the left hand side you'll see our names. Except it says "Kim and Shawn". Well, it might not for long, because Kerrin reads this blog and I'm sure she'll have Alex change it to "Sean" shortly ;) Either way, that's us. Click on us, and you'll see why I don't need any more words.....Lumitone's beautiful video says what words simply can't.

Sean and I are blessed beyond belief. Blessed to have each other, blessed to have the support of such wonderful families and friends, and blessed to have our beautiful little guy Max. Thank you all so much for walking this wonderful road with us!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Baking Madness!

Cousins Alec and Shelby helped us to get ready to celebrate Max's two month birthday by baking LOTS of cupcakes! First they helped Uncle Sean to mix, measure, and pour the batter. Then they helped Aunt Kim to frost and decorate them with sprinkles....I mean, jimmies. I hear that's what they call them in Jersey!
Don't worry Max, your cousins will eat your celebratory cupcake for you!





Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gratuitous Kid Pics

Why? Because he's adorable!

Max loves his new outfit from Aunt Jeanette, Nana, and his cousins....so he wanted to show it off to all of you!














The 'Rents

Sorry peeps....I can't play today. I have to hang out with my folks...


New Jersey Comes to California!

Look who came to visit us, and to meet Max for the very first time!

Cousin Shelby learned how to hold Max very gently. Nana was great at rocking her newest grandson to sleep....
Cousin Alec hung out with Max on the playmat...
Shelby showed Max some of the new toys that Baubee sent.... She was a great helper when Uncle Sean needed a hand feeding Max...


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Alec and his Uncle Sean had an awesome "Boy's Day" at the A's game! They took BART in to Oakland, enjoyed some hotdogs at the park, and watched the A's win by a landslide!





With a little help from our friends, Sean was able to surprise Alec with his name in lights! Thanks Sus and Matt!


Maybe next year Max will join them!





Like Father, Like Son

How handsome are my boys in their matching orange shirts? Max is a little upset that Mommy is taking another picture, but what he means to say is "Caleb, I'm wearing the tractor shirt that you gave me....don't worry, I'll be there soon to play in your backyard!" A few more pictures of Max in some dapper duds.....









Friday, July 24, 2009

8 Weeks!

Max is 8 weeks old today, and he just keeps growing and growing!
At the doctor's office last week we found out that he was 10 pounds 4 ounces and 22 inches long!

We've officially retired most of his "newborn size" clothes....they were so small that his pants looked like shorts, and he couldn't stretch his legs out in his pj's with "feet" in them. The 0-3 size clothes have now moved from the closet to the dresser drawers...with so many awesome gifts from our family and friends, it's like Max has a brand new wardrobe every time he outgrows something!
Our little guy has the cutest personality, and it's amazing to watch it emerge a little more every day. He makes the greatest noises as he's testing out his language skills....cooing, grunting, squeaking. He can follow us with his eyes when we walk around him. He is sooo active...kicking his legs, arching his back, waving his arms. He doesn't like "tummy time" on the play mat so much, but loves to lie on one of us and push up on his arms and lift his head. His neck is so strong! It's gotten harder to burp him now because he likes to push up and lift his head to look around. When he starts to fall asleep he lies there and wiggles for a bit, talking to himself the whole time. He's also started to anticipate things, and quiets down when we put a bib on him, because he knows that a bottle is coming. He's also starting to reach for us, and when we hold him, he holds us back!
Max has the greatest smiles, and they come at the funniest times. For some reason, he had a great laugh over his mommy changing his diaper on the back seat of the Hummer today....I appreciated his good humor, because it was an especially challenging task for me! (For those of you who haven't heard, my 5'3" self is driving a bright red RENTAL Hummer due to a huge fiasco last week that involved our new neighbor backing out of her garage way too fast as I was driving by.....)
As for Max's sleep, well, it's still hit and miss. He's on 3 hour cycles at night, and you could literally set your watch by this kid. I had to laugh when I realized that the pictures I wanted to post today were all of him SLEEPING though. He's just trying to fool you!
Max loves to snuggle....
Ahhhh...relaxing after a long day at the office.....Daddy and Max fell asleep together last night. Max didn't even wake up when Daddy's hand (with the pacifier) fell out of his mouth...
We have many more pictures to share with you, and more stories to tell. Max's Nana, Aunt Jeanette, and cousins Shelby and Alec are visiting us, and we will be posting pictures from their trip soon!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Napping With Jack

Jack and Susie came to visit yesterday, and the boys made the most of their playdate by taking a snooze together.... When they woke up we tried to get some pictures. Jack seemed to be saying "Hey buddy! Over here! It's not so bad!"But Max would have none of it....


Then the mommies tried to pose the babies, really just to entertain themselves....

But with two babies who can't hold their heads up yet, it's a little tough!

We had a really nice afternoon catching up with great friends, and the boys finally acknowledged (sort of!) that the other exists! I see a great friendship brewing.....




Thursday, July 16, 2009

First Smile!



There's nothing better than watching Max's funny expressions every day, and seeing how his personality just grows by leaps and bounds! This morning we saw his very first smile, and we were lucky enough to capture some happiness for all of you to share too....

Max must've really liked his "Rockstar" shirt from Kerry and Caleb, because it made him smile all day long! Thanks Ingalls family!

Here's a video of Max's latest trick (the best part is at the very end).


video


Pre-smile.....showing off his cool shirt.... What's that?
Almost there!

How I Really Feel

This is Max's blog, but it has also been a diary of my pregnancy, and now, of my life as a Mom. Sometimes you'll arrive on this site and see adorable pictures of Max splashing in the bath tub. Sometimes you'll read some rants and raves about life as a 30-something first-time Mom. This journey is (most of the time) thrilling and delightful, and (every so often) frustratingly insane.
This is one of those posts.

I am not able to breastfeed our son the way that I had hoped to. And I never thought that it would upset me so much. Nursing is supposed to be natural. It's supposed to be instinctive. It's supposed to work. I mean really, that's why god made boobs, right? He sure didn't make them to bring shitloads of money to the porn industry....I mean, that wasn't his intent.

I knew the lies about nursing before I even tried. I knew that it hurt like hell at first. I knew that it actually wasn't instinctive or easy. I knew that I would need things that I had never heard of before, like nipple cream and nursing bras and pads that protected my clothing if my boobs sprung a leak. I'm a shopper, people. I didn't mind. I dutifully went out and found some pink tank tops with cute little clips that opened up the front of the tank so that Max could nurse. I made sure that I had a Boppy AND a My Brest Friend so that I didn't get a back-ache while I nursed. Sean and I went to our $40 Breast Feeding class and learned "The Football Hold" and "The Crossover Hold". I proselytized to anyone who would listen about how nursing promotes attachment, wrote it in my birth plan that I wanted him brought to me as soon as possible to start nursing, and scoffed at my hairdresser when she said that she was CHOOSING not to nurse.

And then my body didn't work the way that it was supposed to. Things started to go wrong and those things toppled over one after another like dominoes. We went to two different lactation consultants, sometimes as often as every 2 or 3 days. We rented a hospital grade pump. Bought all of the accessories, and learned everything about storing and using expressed milk.

I pumped as often as I could. I nursed as often as I could. And I prayed and wished and hoped as often as I could that all of this would work.

I supplemented Max with bottles of formula. Every time I pumped I got some milk. Enough to give him a bottle or two of breastmilk each day, in addition to his formula. For the first month of his life.

Every time I went to the lactation consultant she said that it COULD get better. That I should take Fenugreek pills. I did. That I should use warm compresses. I did. That I should do a triple-feed (nurse, formula bottle, pump). I did. That I should use a supplemental nursing system tube that attached to my boob and gave him formula while I was nursing him. The formula tube squirted everywhere and it took four hands to hook the damn thing up, but I did. That I should KEEP. TRYING.

I DID.

And then finally, after four weeks, Sean and I sat down and took an honest look at where we were. The point of pumping was to at some point be able to nurse exclusively. I was nowhere near that. If I wasn't producing at this point, then I probably wouldn't ever. I had missed the window of opportunity because of a comedy of errors that occurred in the hospital. I had tried and tried and tried. I was not a quitter. But at this point, we weren't serving Max by being exhausted from the nurse/bottle/pump process. I was spending hours hooked up to a machine, when that was time that I could have been spending with him.

So I slowly stopped. And I cried huge tears over it. I felt like a failure. I was mad at the lactation consultants. I was mad at the hospital. I was mad at my doctor and mad at my c-section. I was mad at my body.

One afternoon I went and turned in my breast pump at the place that I had rented it from. I half expected them to ask me if it had worked. But there was no ceremony. No judgmental looks. As I fed Max his bottle that night I whispered in his ear that I had done the best I could. That I would have done anything, forever, if I thought that it would have worked. It was one of my first full-blown mommy guilt experiences.
Now, a few weeks later, I still look longingly at the mommies who can pull out a boob and feed their baby wherever they are. I curse at the bottles when the formula clumps and I can't shake them enough. I get a pang of sadness when I get out of a warm shower and see a tiny white drop of milk coming out that somehow stuck around. I think "what if" and "maybe" and start to feel sad all over again.

BUT, when I am feeding a bottle to my beautiful son, and he is looking straight into my eyes with those big blue eyes of his, and his gaze is locked with mine, I know that however I am feeding him, it doesn't matter. When he grabs my finger with his little hand as I'm holding the bottle. When I burp him on my shoulder and he nuzzles into my neck and his little lips move like a baby bird's. It doesn't matter how I feed him. He is my boy, and I am his mom, and I whisper in his ear that I will always love him, and always take care of him, and that I will always feed him.



Now everyone knows that I am not a drinker, by any means. So I honestly am not fazed by the fact that I haven't been able to drink. In fact, I missed it about as much as I would have missed a sharp sliver in my finger. But when looking to find the positives in the breastfeeding debacle, I thought I'd toast to having tried my best. So here I am, having my first drink in 10 plus months. Oh...and it was during dinner with Jason and Rick, so I am also modeling my new shades for them.


And the bottle picture up top? That was taken by my dear friend Tori, who has an amazing eye for photography, and took some beautiful shots of Max just being himself.