Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Tatertot Tuesday #46: Cranky Pants

These pictures were taken this morning right after she slapped the bowl of oatmeal I was feeding her out of my hand. It is going to be a long day.


Saturday, July 28, 2007
On my Birthday...
8 things my 23 years old self would tell my 13 year old self if I had the chance.

1. You are NOT fat. You're not even close to being fat, so stop worrying about your weight. You will be fat one day, and you will hate it and wish that you would have enjoyed wearing cute clothes when you had the chance.

2. Don't worry about not making the cheerleading squad next year. You will get pulled in for the JV squad during the middle of the season because one girl got kicked off for bad behavior. Then, much later, you will be the co-captain of your college cheereleading squad. You will have one of the best times of your life.

3. Those bangs you're sportin'? Are not cute. At all. Grow them out for christ sakes!

4. That boy in your eighth grade gym class? Yeah, the one with the blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. No, not that one, the other one. The one that gives you butterflies in your stomach and makes your heart flutter. Yeah, he's a little nerdy sometimes, but guess what? You fall in love with him. He's going to break your heart one time, and you're going to go through quite a few rough patches, but he's going to be your husband one day. And the father of your child(ren). And he's going to make you happier than you could ever imagine. But whatever you do, don't kiss him in the hallway outside the band room because Mr. V will walk out and catch you and give you in school suspension for the next day. But it will be worth it, so just go for it.

5. Don't worry about your best friend moving away. You will stay in touch and she will even be in your wedding. Stop being so dramatic over the whole situation.

6. You're going to move away from home and go to college. Well, I use the words "Go to College" very loosely considering you spend most of your time not going to college. You will make a lot of mistakes and grow up so much over those 3 years. You will make life-long friends, and a couple of life-long enemies too, but it will all be worth it. Your relationship with Aaron will be tested to the max, and you will realize that he is definitely the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Oh yeah, you may want to re-think that big party you throw the night before your Biology final. Not really a good idea.

7. You're going to be a mom a little sooner than you think you will. But don't worry, it will be fine. It will actually be the best thing that has ever happened to you.

8. Slow down and enjoy being a kid, please! You are going to be grown before you know it and wishing that you were a kid again. Being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Tatertot Tuesday #45: Wow, Look at her GO!
I am in disbelief that she is doing this. She just took her first un-sure, wobbly step on July 1st, and look at her now. My little girl is growing up way too fast *wipes a tear*.


Sunday, July 22, 2007
Ants in my Pants
You know it's going to be a great day when you get out of the shower, get dressed, and realize that you have ants in your pants. Literally, ants. In my pants. And roaming around my closet. Awesome!


Friday, July 20, 2007
Mission Sleep Through The Night: Night Two
*sigh* Last night was not great. I put her to bed at 7:45pm, and she was up at 8:20pm. It took Aaron and I right at an hour to get her back to sleep. When I first went in her room, I layed her back down and tried patting her back, but she was NOT having that. So I picked her up and rocked her without offering to nurse. I got her to the relaxed state and layed her down, and she started fussing so I stayed there with her and patted her back, rubbed her head, etc. This went on for about 30 minutes until I couldn't lean over the crib anymore, and as soon as I walked away she started screaming. So Aaron went in and did the same thing (except he didn't pick her up at all), and she fell asleep after about 15 minutes, but only slept for about 3 minutes. Then I went back in and she was so worked up, so I picked her up and nursed her for less than five minutes, and put her in her crib and patted her back for only a couple of minutes, then she was asleep. That was at 9:25pm, and she slept until 12:15pm.

Then, I remember looking at the clock when she woke up, but I have no recollectuion of actually going and getting her and bringing her to my room. That happens all the time. So I think what I'm going to have to do is set an alarm for a few minutes before she usually gets up so I will be up and ready when she wakes up. Then I will try to get her to sleep in her crib. We will see.

My ultimate goal is getting her weaned completely at night. I would like to have her fully weaned by October, November at the latest, but I can't start weaning during the day until she is weaned at night. I have a feeling this is not going to be an easy process...

Thank y'all for helping me out and encouraging me during this time. It really is hard, especially when I know that I've created this situation. I have found myself constantly questioning and anlayzing my parenting lately, and I'm starting to drive myself a little crazy. I was so focused on breastfeeding in the beginning with Aeralyn, even though it did not come easy for me. She was a very fussy/colicky baby, and the one and only way to get her to calm down was to nurse her. So I did that, for hours and hours on end, day and night. I was obsessed with the fact that I didn't know whether or not she was getting enough, and if she was crying, my first thought was that she might be hungry. Even if she had just nursed 20 minutes earlier, I thought maybe she didn't get enough because I had no way of knowing. It was exhausting and frustrating, but she eventually grew out of the stage where she wanted to be attatched to my breast every second of the day. But, I still kept up with the "on-demand" feeding. I never fed her on a schedule. I never looked at a clock to see what time and for how long she was nursing. And I always nursed her to sleep. So this is how all this got started. It was all me. And I get alot of criticism from people over this situation too. I constantly hear about how Aeralyn is so spoiled, or how they can't believe I don't have her on a routine. Or, "She's not sleeping through the night YET?!", or "Are you STILL breastfeeding? When are you planning on stopping that?" as if it is the worst thing in the world. So, thank you all for not criticizing me here because all I am is a first time mom with no clue what to do. I'm just trying to be a good mom. And poor Aeralyn gets to be the guinea pig.

I'm going to respond to your comments in this post because I hate actually responding in the comments since I never know if anyone checks back to see.

Jessica: Thanks for posting Dylan's schedule. It actually looks fairly similar to Aeralyn's day, excet that she doesn't take a nap that is anywhere close to that long. I think that has alot to do with why she's not sleeping at night too, so I'm working on that. I wish that I would have started putting Aeralyn to bed awake at a really young age. I wish I would have thought to do that because, honestly? That never even crossed my mind. But now, it's impossible to even let her try to cry it out because she doesn't just lay there and cry anymore. As soon as you step away from her, she is standing up at the side of the crib and trying to climb out, all the while screaming her head off. So I just don't see her going to sleep that way, you know? And I have mentioned it to her pediatrician, but I keep my mouth shut now when he asks me if she is sleeping through the night because I didn't like his advice. He told me, get ready for this now....to give her Benadryl to help her sleep through the night. Yeah. And the only reason I haven't changed pediatricians is because I LOVE everything else about him, and Aeralyn absolutely adores him, so I think I'll just live with that. And the other pediatrician in the practice is an AP (attatchment parenting) mom to the EXTREME. I consider myself AP, but not in the ways that she is. She told me not to worry about her not sleeping through the night until she was atleast 2 years old, and by the way, aren't you planning on breastfeeding her until she's in preschool? And no, I'm not exaggerating. So, unfortunately I have no good advice on the pediatrician end.
I am going to do a combination of what you did with Dylan and what the book said to do. I'm not going to pick her up unless she is majorly freaking out. I'm hoping this doesn't take too long. Thanks again for your help and encouragement.

Erica: Good to hear from you! I've missed your blogs lately. Thanks for your comment. Night nursing is definitely a habit for Aeralyn. I know she's not really hungry, she just wants the comfort of it. I have tried giving her formula before bed with a little bit of cereal in it (several months ago), but it didn't help at all. That is how I found out that the night nursing was for comfort and not hunger because I knew she was full from that bottle. She is trained to wake up and nurse. I'm like a human pacifier. And consequently, she absolutely will not take a pacifier. I try to give her one on a daily basis. Or nightly that is. Also, the last time I tried to give her a bottle, she would not take it. I had waited too long since the last time I had given her one, so she would not have it. And when I leave her for a few hours with my in-laws, she would rather just wait for me to come home than take a bottle. She will eat solid food and drink water or juice from a sippy while I'm gone, but she won't take a bottle. I've actually thought about giving her water or formula in a sippy cup when she wakes up instead of nursing her. I wonder if maybe she would realize that she's not going to get to nurse, so she'll stop waking up. What do you think? Thanks again for your comment and thoughts!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
The Day is Falling Apart
Well, so much for the schedule! We were doing great until around 10:00am, Aeralyn fell off my bed and landed right on her head. I know, what was she doing on the bed? I know! I feel awful. I was less than 6 inches away from her when she fell, but I just couldn't catch her in time. It was like it happened so fast, but in slow motion too. I called the pediatician and they said to monitor her and to keep her up for the next 30 minutes. She only cried for about 5 minutes after it happened, and then she acted fine. She doesn't even have a knot on her head (yet) and it's only a little red. I'm so glad she missed the corner of my cedar chest because then we would have had a much bigger problem on our hands. The pediatrician called back about 45 minutes later to check on her and said it would be fine to put her down for a nap. That is what she is doing now, so I guess the schedule isn't completely thrown off. Never a dull moment.

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Mission Sleep Through the Night: Night One
Well, last night didn't go so smoothly. I knew that it wouldn't though, so no big suprise there. We started our new bedtime routine at about 7:15pm. I gave her a bath, rubbed her down with lotion, put on jammies, read 4 books, turned on her Baby Einstein: Mozart CD ad started the rocking/nursing process. One of the key concepts of the book is to comfort baby until very relaxed and almost asleep, and then lay her in the crib and stay there with her until she falls asleep. If she starts to cry, pick her up and start all over again. Well, she was not tired at all when I tried all this. She was laughing and babbling and trying to wiggle out of my lap. So I decided to let her play for a little bit until I saw her tired signs.

I started getting her to sleep again about 8:45pm, and I had her in bed by 9:00pm. She went down on the first try, but she usually does this anyway. Her normal routine is to go to bed for 45 mins to and hour, and then she's up and refuses to get back in her bed, so I take her to bed with me. But, let me clarify that co-sleeping is not the problem here for me. If she would sleep through the night, she could sleep in my bed all night for all I care. But she doesn't, and I think she wakes up even more because she is in my bed and has easy access to the milk. So that is why I'm trying to get her to sleep in her own bed.

10:00pm rolled around and I heard her start to stir in her bedroom. The book says to go to her before she fully wakes up so it will be easier to get her back to sleep. I did that, and to make a long story short, after an hour and a half of picking her up, rocking her until she was almost asleep, putting her down and her screaming her head off, I lost my patience and took her to bed with me. I seriously went through the picking up/putting down routine about 12 times. I still went through with the plan for the rest of the night though, which is not letting her nurse until she is completely asleep, but only until she is relaxed enough to fall asleep on her own. It worked really well. She was up at 3:30am and 6:00am, and then slept until 8:00am. That is an improvement already considering the hell that we went through on Sunday night. Sunday night she went to bed at 8:30pm, up at 9:30pm, up at 12:00am, up at 2:00am, up from 3:00am until 6:30am, up at 7:30am, up for the day at 9:00am. Oh yes, that was loads and loads of fun. There was one point where I took her to her crib and I went back to my bed and just cried for about 20 minutes. All the while she was screaming bloody murder. It was hell.

Today we are starting with our daytime routine as well, so tonight will be the real test to see if she responds any differently. The book suggests that you try to plan your days around your baby's sleep schedule for a while until she gets the hang of it, and then it won't be such a big deal if the schedule gets a little thrown off later. That is going to be the hard part because every day is so unpredictable, but I'm going to try as hard as I can to keep things consistent.

Does anyone have any suggestions? What do your routines look like, or do you even have one? HELP!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Today, Aeralyn and I took a little trip. To the mall that is. All by ourselves. And everyone in the land applauded because this was the very first trip to the mall that we made together all by ourselves. And it only took ten short months! Oh sure, I've been to the mall in the past ten months, and so has Aeralyn. We've both also been there at the same time as one another, but with reinforcements known as either Gammie or Daddy.

But, today called for something a little different considering that Gammie had surgery on Monday and isn't quite up for mall shopping. And daddy has this annoying habit of working on the weekdays, so we had to go alone. Surprisingly, everything went perfect. No major catastrophes, and I actually got what I went for without spending 10 trillion extra dollars on cute clothes, etc. Astonishing.

We took that trip this morning because I was on a mission. A mission to finally get some sleep, that is. And what could I possibly buy at the mall to help me get some sleep? A lovely book called The way to get your spoiled rotten child who wakes up every two hours at night to sleep through the night without screaming her head off The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.

I've been doing some research, and I've found alot of great reviews on this book. And I'm desperate. I was so excited about getting this book that I had to keep it in the trunk on the way home to keep myself from reading it while I was driving. You're welcome.

I know some of you are really surprised that my ten month old child is not even close to sleeping through the night. Then again, some of you may be reading this and saying "Thank GOD I'm not the only one." Aeralyn has never slept through the night. Not one time in her little ten month life. Consequently, this means that I haven't slept through the night in even longer than that considering I didn't sleep hardly at all through the entire last trimester of my pregnancy. I've tried to remedy this situation. Oh, have I tried! But nothing has helped yet. I've tried the "cry it out" method, and that did not work for us. At. All. And I will never try it again. If it's worked for you, I am so happy, but it is definitely not for me. That is why the title of this book really drew me in. So far, I am excited about everything I've read, except for the part where she says I need to be on a schedule.


I'm not a schedule person. I never do anything at the same time every day, so that means Aeralyn doesn't either. And now I totally see that that may be her problem. So I'm going to give it all a try. I'm going to start tonight with her suggestions and I will see how it goes. She recommends keeping a log of Aeralyn's night wakings, so I may post them here with the risk of boring you all completely to death. But atleast I'll have them saved so I can look back at them.

Wish me luck!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Tatertot Tuesday #44: Blueberries!
These pictures are from a few weeks ago, but trust me you wouldn't want to see any recent pictures. Aeralyn has had a serious case of the crankies. I'm pretty sure she's teething, so pray that this is over with soon. What's that you say? It's only the beginning? Thanks for that reassurance.


Friday, July 13, 2007
Search Strings Revealed
July 1st was my one year blogiversary. I've been saving up the funniest search strings throughout the year just for this event. So sit back and relax while I take you through the crazy things that people have actually typed in to Google that led them to this website, and my answers to their questions.

1. "How to get husband to unload the dishwasher": I suggest promise him a special prize later on wink wink ,or you could try a different approach. Such as collapsing into a ball of tears, hiccupping through sobs about how you just can't do it ALL! Or threaten his life. Whatever works for you.

2. "Will OB induce early because you cry?": Nope, I tried that one.

3. "Tatertot casserole": sorry, wrong tatertot.

4. "Show me video of nipples over 1.5 inches long": Um, no. And why would you want to see that? Never mind, don't tell me.

5. "I keep getting bigger and bigger": I know the feeling...

6. "T.R. Knight gay in the bathtub": Yes, I believe he is gay in the bathtub, and also in the kitchen, and the front yard. Pretty much everywhere I would assume.

7. "Mad at clumsy wife": Aaron? Is that you?

8. "Pink mold in fridge": I know! Pretty!

9. "We were so happy and perfect then I got pregnant": the shock will wear off, I promise.

10. "Spanking bare hairbrushes teenagers mothers": Uh, what?!

11. "Stinks McGee": Also known as Lola-Belle

That's all of the funny ones I have for now. But wait! There's more! If you can guess the number one search string that has led people to this website over the past year, I will give you, yes YOU, 10 million dollars! Well, not really, but I'll announce you as the winner or something sweet like that. So, get to guessing and leave your answers in the comments. I'll give you a hint: It's not Pieces of Me.


A small update.
I've had so much that I've wanted to post about and tell you guys, but I just haven't had the time to post. Well, it's not that I haven't had the time, I just haven't made the time. I've been enjoying my summer. How about you?

Okay, since I know all of you have been sitting on pins and needles wondering what is going on with my heel, I'll go ahead and tell you. Nothing. Nothing at all is going on with it because I'm too chicken to go and get the x-ray that the podiatrist ordered. You see, when it comes to things that I don't want to deal with, I use the practice of avoidance. I pretend like there is no problem at all and just go about my merry way. Picture me with my fingers in my ears, eyes closed yelling "LALALALALALALALA!" I'm avoiding the problem, and just so you know, this tactic is not really working out for me. Wednesday night, I closed the back door on my heel, again. Yes, on the same heel. And this time? It hurt so bad that I said a bad word in front of my father-in-law. And I came thisclose to laying on the floor and crying like a little baby. Yes, I'm going to get the x-ray.....eventually. And I'll let you all know what happens when I do.

Moving on.

Do y'all know Beverly? If you don't, I want to encourage you to go read her blog. I dare you to read it and not be inspired by the story of her amazing son, Steven. Beverly is having a fundraiser soon to help find a cure for Von Hipple-Lindau, the disease that Steven has. Von Hipple-Lindau is also the disease that my mother had, so this is very near and dear to my heart. Please go and read her blog and see if there is any way you can help find a cure for this disease.

And that's all I have time for since Aeralyn just decided to wake up from one of her infamous 15 minute naps.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Tatertot Tuesday #43: Yum!
I'm having video problems again, of course. And this time it's a really good video too. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have it up and running, but until then you can enjoy these pictures of Aeralyn eating her first piece of home grown sweet corn.


Friday, July 06, 2007
I'm alive
Am tired. And a little burnt. I have so much catching up to do with you all that I don't even know where to start. Today is the first time I've gotten on the computer since Tuesday, and I think that deserves some applause. We've been having a blast and enjoying Aaron's time off since we've barely seen him in over two weeks. I hope all my American readers had a happy 4th, and the rest of you had a happy Wednesday. I'll be back soon with some updates.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Tatertot Tuesday #42: Aeralyn tells you how it is.
The place: Gammie and Papa's kitchen
The Cast: Lola-Belle as Beggar of Food, Gammie as Stunt Assistant, and of course, Aeralyn as Cutest Baby Ever

Click and Enjoy


Monday, July 02, 2007
Month Ten
Dear Aeralyn,

Yesterday you turned ten months old. Your tenth month has been such a fun and exciting one. I can't believe that in just two more months we will be celebrating your first birthday. You are growing up so very fast.

Your major accomplishment this month has been learning to stand yourself up in the middle of the floor without the help of anyone or anything. You did it for the first time on Father's Day, and you haven't stopped since. I have been told that this is a little backwards and that most children learn to walk before they learn to stand themselves up. I guess you decided that this was the way for you instead, and that is fine with me. You can stand on your own for a very long time, you can kneel and squat, and then stand yourself back up again. And, yesterday afternoon, you took your very first wobbly step. You were just as suprised as I was, and you almost immediately fell down on your bottom as if to say, "I'm not quite ready for that". I'm not quite ready yet either, so take your time.

Another skill you have learned this month is pointing. It is so hard to resist when you point to something that you want. More often than not though, you will point to something you can't have. I'm sorry, but no matter how adorable you look when you are pointing, you may not have the butcher knife. I know you don't understand why now, but trust me, you will thank me for not giving it to you later.

You talk non-stop from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. It is all mostly jibber-jabber, but still incredibly cute. You will repeat a few words very inconsistently, like: mama, dada, baby, book, uh-oh, and dog. I know you are going to be a little chatterbox once you learn to talk, and I can't wait!

I can't wait to see what this eleventh month is going to bring.

I love you, punkin',