Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Georgia is Six Months Old!

Georgia-you are SIX months old! Halfway to one. You can stop growing up so fast anytime now. Here is what the past month has looked like for you: 
  • You are probably around 16 pounds and 26 inches long. We go for your 6 month well baby check next Tuesday. This will be your last doses of shots until your 1 year check. Mommy is definitely not mad about that!
  • You are wearing mostly 6 month clothing and size 2 diapers. You can still wear some 3-6 month onesies. I have noticed your feet have really started growing because the heel of all of your cute "shoe socks" are covering your arch instead of your heel now ha!
  • Eyes=dark blue. A friend told me her baby's eyes did not turn brown until she was one year old so who knows what will happen!

  • Your hair remains dark, long and slightly wavy. If it dries on its own it kinks up into cute curls! Your bangs are in your eyes pretty bad. There's no way we are making it to 1 year before having a haircut!
  • If your belly is full, you sleep through the night no problem. I always put you down on your back but by morning you are usually on your belly and in a totally different part of the crib from where we laid you.
  • You continue to take 5-6 6 oz breastmilk bottles per day and 1-2 servings of oatmeal cereal at night with a spoon. You enjoy your oatmeal cereal more so than the rice cereal but you have to be in the mood for it or you become more interested in trying to get your hand in the bowl and playing in it. Such a mess! Occasionally we will give you some fruit in the teething feeder which you LOVE.
    Today we celebrated your 6 month birthday by letting you try baby food for the first time. That was an experience! I will devote a post to that, I'll just say both of our nights ended in the bathtub...
  • You love to go and do. I think you get bored when we just chill at home sometimes. I see a social butterfly in the making.
  • You are CONSTANTLY moving! Even when you are taking your bottle you are wiggling. You are like a worm in hot ashes! Your grandma says your daddy was just like this. I am glad you are baby #1 so we still have energy to keep up ha!
  • You still take your paci some but when you are done with it you will pull it out of your mouth and chew on it or just hold it. Miss Independent!

  • You can bring yourself up on all fours using your elbows so I suspect you will be crawling in no time.
  • You went on your first overnight trip this month and you were a rockstar traveler! Mommy and daddy were so thrilled because we love to travel and we want you to see the world with us.
  • As of last night you are sitting up on your own! Mommy and Georgia were playing in the floor with blocks at Gram's house and I just slowly moved away from you and you kept sitting there like it was no big deal. You are awesome babycakes!
  • You love your jeep walker, "exploring" on your changing table, strolling, and when people come to visit you. Life is really fun right now!

    I look forward to waking up everyday and being your mommy! We are crazy in love with you! It has been a half of a year of pure joy.

Look at you grow! Happy 1/2 birthday baby girl!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Prom Pretties

I love prom!

What is there not to love? Pretty girls, gorgeous gowns, handsome gentleman, and lots of FUN. I went to 4 proms-sophomore, junior, and senior year of high school and then my freshman year of college since Marcus was still in high school (I robbed the cradle!). I thought about digging out my old prom portraits for #tbt but I never got around to it. Maybe next year.

I felt so sorry for the prom-goers because it was a rainy, soggy mess. The tradition in our town is everyone who wants to see the prommers will go to the school and watch them walk in from the student parking lot. Well that was not happening this year. It was coming a flood at the exact time for the prom to start.

So instead Rachel, Georgia, and myself went through the front entrance of the school and took a few quick pictures inside! Doesn't Payt look like the Belle of the Ball? You would never believe she had to face all of nature's elements to get there ha! She looked flawless. I am sad this is our last "girl" prom escapade for a long time. I have done Payt's makeup since I can remember. We have had a good run capped off with Payton being voted Prom Queen! We are so proud of her!

Payton, Georgia, and Elijah
Elijah looked very handsome! And I should note the dress Georgia is wearing is one that I made her. You think she will let me make her dress for Prom 2030?!?!?

A better picture of the dress (with a stubborn baby). It was just a onesie that I converted into a dress. I found the tutorial for free! And it was simple. I love it a lot.

My sewing machine has been getting a good workout recently. I am trying to get GGH ready for her next move up in size and for the beach!

And tomorrow our big girl turns 1/2 year old! I cannot believe it. They really do not stay little long. But she's growing and healthy and thriving-so much about her six months of life to celebrate and be thankful for! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ballpark Fun & A Hairy Situation

We love going and watching our little cousins play baseball/softball and I have been anxious to get Georgia to a game. So Tuesday night Rachel and I took her to her first high school softball game! My cousin Payton is playing her last season of high school softball. She is also attending her senior prom this weekend and graduating in 4 weeks. Say it isn't so! She was the last girl on my side of the family until Georgia came along so she is like a little sister to us.

Georgia Grace wasn't real into the game, she was more into sleeping and eating. In her defense our team won pretty easily so there wasn't a whole lot of action. It is still pretty cold for evening games but I am so glad we went! At least we got another wear out of our custom onesie and blue/white striped pants and we got to support the BC Bears! Hopefully we can attend a few more before she hangs up her cleats :(

Two beauties, one being sleepy beauty ha!

In other unrelated news...It is no secret my child has a headful of hair. Long, growing hair that is creeping down into her eyes. I get asked frequently, "When are you going to cut her hair?". I really have no idea. The general rule is to wait until he/she is a year old but there is no way we are making it until October! My mom had to get my hair cut before my first birthday so it's a gene thing.

I will say it's a lot of fun "stylin'" this hair these days ha!

Just look at how long it is!

God knew my love for bows and blessed me with these long locks!

The craziest, most beautiful head of hair this mommy has ever seen. :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Breastfeeding Adventure

I wanted to do a post devoted to our experience with breastfeeding for the purpose of
a.) remembering how in the heck I did it!
and b.) to share my story so that I might help any breastfeeding moms that read my blog.

I want to say right now, up front to any men (aka Marcus and my dad ha!) that read my blog that this is probably a post you will want to skip. I will resume my normal Georgia updates/pictures tomorrow :)

I also want to say that I am breastfeeding and I am very thankful that I can but it is not for everyone. And I understand some women physically cannot. This is not a self-righteous post and I am no expert (as you will realize after you read this), I am just sharing my experiences and what worked for us! Housekeeping aside, now we can proceed.

When we found out that I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. Or at least attempt. I have been exposed to many breastfeeding successes and failures within my profession so I went in open-minded but determined.

I set a goal to breastfeed Georgia through her first year of life in order to provide her with only breastmilk as her main nutrition until we can transition to cows milk at her first birthday. I know the benefits of breastfeeding like the back of my hand. Being a dietitian I earn a living encouraging mothers "breast is best". Practice what you preach, right? I definitely felt the pressure expectation to perform when the time came.

At my hospital we practice kangaroo care which is just a technique where baby and mommy (and daddy can have a turn too) are skin-to-skin during the first hour after birth. During that time baby typically has their first "meal". Georgia Grace was a champ! She latched on beautifully and ate for the desired amount of time (15-20 minutes each breast). As soon as Georgia was born she pooped all over me and her so we had a hungry (and dirty) girl on our hands ha! 

Throughout our 2-day stay in the hospital we were picture perfect at nursing. Her bilirubin levels were excellent, her weight loss was within normal limits, and she was already sleeping 3 hours at a time indicating she was eating a sufficient amount to keep her belly full.

It wasn't until the first night we were home from the hospital that we hit our MAJOR road block. I went to nurse her before "bedtime" and she was not interested. At. All. I knew she was hungry because it was time for her to eat again but she wanted no part of the breast. We concluded that she probably developed nipple confusion when we introduced the paci the night before. I was already home from the hospital and it was night time so I knew my options were limited as far as speaking to or visiting a lactation consultant.

One of my breastfeeding mommy friends gave me the BEST piece of advice that I have received to date related to having a baby. She recommended to start pumping the day that your milk comes in to build up your supply. Pumping signals your body to produce more milk due to the more frequent stimulation that you are receiving beyond what baby requires. I had started doing that just that night so I had an ounce or two on hand. After multiple attempts at nursing to no avail, I made the decision to give her breastmilk from a bottle.

She took to the bottle immediately. It took her 2-3 bottles before she really got the hang of it but it wasn't from lack of effort. At first she would almost get strangled on the flow of the milk so we had to be careful when we fed her but she caught on quickly.

I was so relieved that she was eating again but we still had a big issue on our hand. My daughter would drink the milk but I really had no milk to give her. My milk had just came in that night so I had no stores built up. I had a can of formula that I was given from the hospital "just in case" but I really didn't want to introduce that in fear that she might would show a preference and start refusing my milk all together. Talk about a very stressful night.

So I had another BF'ing friend that had a baby 7 weeks older than Georgia. She was also pumping and freezing any excess that she had (and she is still BFing today, Abbott is 7 months old-yay!). I was desperate so I woke Marcus up at 3 am and asked him to drive to Sara's house to pick up some milk for me. He didn't ask any questions, he could tell from the desperate plea in my voice to just go. He compared the situation to how he felt like a drug deal would go down LOL!

 I know some people think that I am crazy but I am ok with that. Breastmilk is a "universal food". People get pretty judgmental and up in arms when they hear about "sharing milk" but it really is not a big deal. Do I recommend taking milk from someone off the street? No. But do I think it's ok to use milk from another mommy that you know and know they live a healthy and safe lifestyle? Absolutely (We joke that Abbott and Georgia have a forever bond since they shared breastmilk ha!). "Liquid gold" is one of the best gifts that you can give your child and if that means driving to the country in the middle of the night to fetch a few frozen bags to get you through, I say go for it! [Ok, rant over. Just had to get that off my chest. :)]

I started pumping every 3 hours to build up my supply and within 2 days I was making enough that I was starting to make extra-yay! I reattempted to nurse Georgia but every attempt was unsuccessful. I will admit that it still saddens me that I was not able to physically nurse her longer. I wish I could have experienced more of the bond that nursing provides and I know in the first few weeks it would have made my life a lot easier if I could have just nursed instead of doing both. I will add that my mom and mother-in-law alternated staying with us every night for the first full week and they were a HUGE help. Huge. I don't know if we could have done it without them. I am so thankful for this gift of their time and mommy lessons.

I will say that I did find some personal benefits from exclusively pumping. I am a numbers person and I like things black and white (Type A to a fault). Knowing exactly how many ounces she was getting per day gave me peace of mind. It also allowed Marcus (and others) to start helping out with feedings earlier than we expected. My original plan was to exclusively nurse until about 4 weeks and then start introducing the breastmilk bottle for preparation for when I went back to work at 10 weeks. I know some moms have a hard time going back to work because baby prefers mom over the bottle. That definitely wasn't our case.

That brings us to today. Georgia will be 6 months old in 5 days and she has still only received breastmilk (besides her cereal). And I am estimating that I have 3 months of milk frozen. Yup, I am a jersey milk cow, or so others have given me that name ha! I credit my ginormous supply to the early and frequent pumping that I established early on and oatmeal. I had read that old-fashioned oatmeal will boost your milk production and I could tell a difference in my supply for sure. I eat oatmeal every morning now. Today, I only have to pump 4 (sometimes just 3 if our day is crazy busy) times a day- once before I leave for work, twice at work, and once at night. I yield about 35-40 ounces per day. Georgia is drinking approximately 30 ounces per day so my excess is not what it once was but I'm ok with that considering I am not having to pump every 3 hours anymore (hallelujah.). I still use Kelly Mom as a resource-it is full of information backed up by credible sources.

My goal is to still get her through her first year of life on just breastmilk and transition her to cows milk at that point. I am hoping that by July I can retire the good ol' breast pump to storage and not have to look at it for a while! The pump has been good to me but we need a break from each other ha! I am so thankful for the modern conveniences that made breastfeeding possible for me because without them I would have probably been a breastfeeding failure story.

So that is my breastfeeding experience with Georgia. Very untraditional but equally rewarding and successful. I think everyone has their own unique experience with the end goal being a healthy, thriving baby! I can confidently say we have achieved that so far and hopefully we can continue that. I never thought 6 months ago when we were so stressed about our breastfeeding situation that I would be writing this post but I am so happy that I am able to! I will cherish this gift I am giving my daughter forever.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our Weekend

To celebrate Shannon and Mark's 30th Wedding Anniversary, we all went out to eat at a fish place called Shady Cliff. The fish was excellent. I think we all probably ate too much but that's ok.

We took a few pictures to remember the special occasion. If you can't tell it was a little chilly on the lake. I didn't even want to risk taking the blanket off of Georgia for our photo shoot.

The two lovebirds

Sunday night I started on some sewing projects that I was needing to do. I always have a list going of sewing ideas. This little baby doll insisted on helping her mommy. She got the biggest kick out of sitting on the dining room table and just watching me. She ironically received two Minnie Mouse dolls this weekend, a plush one from cousin Delaney and Gran Stan got her a teething Minnie toy. I think she kind of resembles Minnie with her hair pulled back and those dimples :). Oh, those dimples. Love them times a million.

Basically my weekend consisted of getting the house back in order from the train wreck we caused when we got home from our trip. It amazes me how fast my house can go from spotless to not a spot to do anything ha! I guess that's to be expected in a 900 square foot home with 2 adults and a baby (anddddddd lots of clothes and dog toys and sewing material). I know someday we will look back and wonder how we ever survived :).

Saturday, April 20, 2013


We returned home yesterday from a fun trip to Cincinnati. And I realized I lied in my earlier post-we went to Cinci in 2010 for a Reds game-oops! Playing my mommy brain card for that one.

Let me just say that Georgia was the absolute BEST baby the WHOLE trip. We ran into a snag Thursday morning as there was a 3 hour window of time before Marcus could check in the room (I was at my conference). Daddy and daughter made the most of their time and did some shopping and ate at Cracker Barrel. He is such a hands-on daddy. I am beyond blessed.

Thursday night we had dinner at the Riverview 360 Restaurant that was at the top of our hotel. It offers spectacular views of Cincinnati and Covington, the "southern side of Cincinnati". Georgia Grace had a big time looking at all the sights!

How big does she look sitting in that highchair?!? Too big in my opinion. And she has realized what we are doing when we are eating and I think she is super jealous ha! You can see the lights on at the Great American Ballpark to the right. We had intentions of catching the Reds game but it was windy and we'd had a big day so we opted out. Just an excuse to visit again!

Later that night we took a trolley ride through the city just for fun. Georgia made some friends on the ride. She is a major ham.

If you're wondering how Owen did while we were gone I think this picture explains it. He stayed at Rolling Oaks Farm with Uncle Jake and Aunt Shanna and had the time of his life. He loves the country. She sent a picture of him curled up in the bed with them. S-P-O-I-L-E-D.

Friday after my conference concluded we went to Newport On The Levee for lunch and to go to the famous Newport Aquarium. I was afraid we were going to be wasting our money since she is so young but she loved it!

Of course she had to wear her lobster romper. And unfortunately the temperature dropped back to zero (not really but it felt like it) so we had to wear a cardigan (patting myself on the back for remembering to pack one) and socks instead of our strappy white sandals. Really spring?

Warning: lots of pictures, if you're bored you might just want to skip this part :).
We watched a scuba diving show with sharks! It was pretty neat.

Marcus' favorite part-the sea turtles

Georgia watching the shark show. She kind of has an uneasy look on her face. I probably did too ha!

A Georgia, mommy, and shark selfie! My head is sort of hiding Spike the shark but oh well. We would put Georgia up to the glass and when a fish swam by she would get excited and start kicking her feet like she was swimming with them! 

It's a stare-off.

My favorite part-the otters. They were so fun and playful!

In love with this picture. Daddy and baby in the Crocodile Jungle! 

The penguins were just so precious I had to get a picture. We've all seen pictures of penguins but these were the cutest :)

And she's out. She fell asleep during the very last exhibit so we timed it just right!

After we left the aquarium and before heading home, we met up with our good friends John and Mary Beth. Are they not the cutest couple alive? Really though.

 John and Marcus became friends during their WKU days and Mary Beth and I met through them. Georgia really does love them despite her face in this picture ha! It was a long day and she was past over it. And I think Georgia and John called each other to plan their outfits :)

Silly girl practicing her talent for Miss America as Mary Beth called it :)

[See, told you she was done]
It was SO great to see them while we were visiting the area. We sure wish they lived closer, hopefully someday they will! What a wonderful reunion!

It was a good conference, we have an easy-to-travel-with baby, we saw some neat sights, AND got to see precious friends. This trip was good for the soul!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trip Plans & Ramblings

It's Wednesday, but it feels like a Friday to me because today is my last work day for the week-yippee! I will be attending the Kentucky Food & Nutrition Conference & Exhibition in Cincinnati. And the best part is Marcus and GGH are going with me!

I would be lying if I said I didn't have some anxiety about our trip. This will be our first time away from home since she was born 6 months ago. When I think about packing for an almost 6 month old for an overnight trip I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders to make sure I remember EVERYTHING we could possibly need. I can just see us now 3 1/2 hours away from home and realizing we forgot her paci, the stroller, my breast pump!

Actually though if I realized I forgot my breast pump at home I would probably shout hallelujah ha! I am kind of in a pumping slump right now. But I'm still chugging along. I know I don't talk about my breastfeeding much but I plan to talk about it more because I am such an advocate for it and hopefully my experience can help another breastfeeding mommy out there. But that's another day and another post. More to come on this!

I have already made our packing list and started laying things out. The weather looks a little unpredictable in the city so that means a myriad of outfits because you have to be prepared for all the elements.

And just for fun-the last time we were in Cincinnati I ran my half marathon! I was 20 at the time but in the picture I don't look a day over 15. I ran that baby in 1:42. This was definitely one of my proudest running moments.

This will definitely not be on the agenda for this trip! I have yet to lace up the Asics since giving birth (breastfeeding and running just do not mix for me; trust me, I tried). Maybe someday I will pick it back up but it's just not a goal for me right now.

But brisk walks strolling my baby girl-now that I am up for! Ok so lots of things going on in this picture. For starters, we have chronic hair-in-our-eyes syndrome. It really is a constant battle. We have started using this headband some to keep the hair back and it will work for a while until she gets too wild and wiggles out of it. I think it is just darling on her! And shows off her eyes and eyebrows. I get so many compliments on how distinctive and arched her eyebrows are. And she already knows how to use them to melt mommy and daddy's heart in a second. She is so expressive. And lastly, the legs. Look at those thunder thighs! She is not heavy by any means but she's on the shorter side so everything is condensed. We are going to be rocking some roly poly legs in our teeny 'kini this summer. Bring on the sun and sand ;)

And just a few notes--Happy Tax Day to my dad (definitely a celebrated holiday in my family!) and Happy 30th Anniversary (Tuesday) to my in-laws! We gifted them with tickets to go see Duck Dynasty when they come to Kentucky-they were happy happy happy about it! What a blessing their marriage is to us, wishing you 30 more Grandpa and Grandma!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Painting, Partying, & Pitching

Saturday afternoon we went to a very neat event that was happening in our small town. The Butler County Arts Guild sponsored a lady to come draw and paint a mural that depicted specific scenes unique to our area. I was excited when I heard about it and knew it was a memory I wanted to remember with Georgia Grace.

Georgia Grace was even able to help paint the mural! They were great about letting anyone who wanted to help pick up a paintbrush and join the fun.

The finished mural! The courthouse, catfish, Rochester Dam, school mascot, tractors, and historic churches are just some of the things included in the design. I am proud of our town for allowing the citizens to partake in something we can all enjoy for many years to come.

Later that day we went to a birthday party for our AKK friends Erica and Kypton! The theme was Princesses and Pirates which was perfect for twins. Alicia did a wonderful job with all the decorations and details! My friend Juleah who lives in Pittsburgh was in town and got to see Georgia-she threatened to not give her back when I let her hold her ha! It was great getting to see her and catch up on life.

The cutest bunch of princesses and pirates in all the land! Georgia was actually not happy during this event and Erica and Reece were consoling her-so sweet!

We snapped a picture with the birthday girl princess Erica and Raeleigh Jane as we were leaving. These two are both AKK's that love Georgia very much. I am so glad she has sweet little friends like these two to grow up with!
Saturday night we went to the Hot Rods game where my brother threw out the first pitch! His fraternity raised money for the Kelley Autism Program and they asked the president to be the honorary pitcher. Georgia Grace loves Uncle Cody if you can't tell!

It was a fun game-the Hot Rods won! Georgia Grace did great which I am so thankful for because we are hopefully taking her to a Reds game next week!

I'm thankful for our weekends full of memories.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Welcome To The Outdoors, Georgia!

Georgia is an October baby which I love except that we have not been able to let her experience the outdoors. She was born at the peak of the fall season which led to a cold winter and now she is 5 1/2 months old as we enter sunshine weather. My mom took her strolling at the Hidden Valley Golf Resort (locals: we have given it a new name ha!) one afternoon while we had bible study and she said she just stared at the trees like  "I've never seen anything like that before" HA!

She has really enjoyed being outside the past few days. And wearing less clothes. The less clothes the better in her book. That's kind of a scary thought!

I've loved finally getting to dress her in cute clothes without wearing tights or legwarmers or cardigans with the outfit. I have quite a few 6 month summery outfits so I was glad when the weather changed so we don't miss the opportunity to wear them. I think she looks a lot like my sister here. She loves making silly faces with aunt Paigey :)

I had to share another sweet video of our GGH. Tuesday night we were having a hard time waking her up to feed her oatmeal cereal and I grabbed my phone and caught our girl being her normal happy self!

And a big Happy 70th Birthday to Grandmomma (yesterday)!! We are all going to LBL later in the month to celebrate mine and her birthday and Mark and Shannon's 30th wedding anniversary! We hope you had a great day gram, we are so thankful for you!

This weekend is shaping up to be a good one. The Masters (one of daddy's favorite events), a mural painting, and a birthday party are on the schedule. Happy Thursday, friends!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Sunday I turned 26 years old. I've decided this is a good age to hang out at for a while, I'm content to stay in the mid-twenties category. :)

This month I've realized I will be planning my 10 year class reunion in 2 summers, turned 26, opened my 401k, and was asked to join a book club. Hello adulthood!

Friday night we went to Red Lobster just the three of us to celebrate with a birthday dinner. Georgia Grace stole the show once again. She draws a crowd everywhere we go. But who could resist her cuteness?!?

Saturday my mom, Stan, mamaw, and sister came over for supper and to watch the Final Four. They brought dinner and birthday cake of course! Mom only had a 20 pack of candles. Poor thing can't come to terms with having adult age children ha!

Sunday night we celebrated at my dad's house and tonight we celebrated (combine with grandmommas-she will be 70 on Wednesday!!) with Marcus' family. Shew that's a lot of celebrating! Doesn't Georgia look like Miss Sassy in this picture? Ha!

Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful gifts and well wishes! My best gift is having a blowing-out-the-candles helper this year :). She makes everything more fun! Marcus also splurged on a new dress for me that I would have never bought for myself so that was a nice unexpected treat. Thanks babe!

And I must say congrats to Card Nation! My husband will despise me for saying that but I can't help but be happy for them. I have several friends who are Louisville fans (including several colleagues who will be gloating first thing in my office tomorrow morning!) so I am happy they get to experience winning a national title. And whose heart doesn't go out to Kevin Ware? Gee whiz. It's a good time to be a basketball fan in the good ol' bluegrass state! L Yeah! Nope, that's too far. :)