Monday, August 31, 2015

Sweet P: 6 Months Old

15 lbs., 14.5 oz.

25.25 in.

  • We were surprised she wasn't even 16 lbs. at her last appointment. Our arms could have sworn that our healthy girl had grown much more than that! She is right on track and wearing size 6 months clothing (a few 9 month pieces too).
  • She sits up completely unassisted and is much more independent in playing. But still hates when we're out of view.
  • She rolls and scoots a lot. Look away for ten seconds, and she's on the other side of her play area. She is getting closer and closer to crawling (although we're not expecting it too soon). She pushes up onto her hands and knees, and then lifts her tummy. Core muscles! (Insert flexed arm emoji here.) It is so fascinating to watch her learn how to control and maneuver her body.

  • She now has two bottom teeth that make her grin that much more irresistible! On August 15, she took two full naps in her crib in one day (a first!), but then we had the most hellish night. She was scream-crying until 3:00 AM, we slept for about two hours, and then she was back to being inconsolable. The culprit? Her first tooth. Fortunately, that terrible night has been the worst of her teething. No fever, no heavy drooling. Just some fussiness. (Insert praise hands emoji here.)
  • She holds her own bottle now. #boss 
  • She begins every night in her crib and then moves to our bedroom during the night/early morning. Yeah, yeah. I know. You probably want to tell me that we're making her a "bad" sleeper and that we'll totally pay the price when we have to sleep train her later. We're doing what works for us. Like much of parenting, we'll figure out what "our way" is as we go.

  • We are easing into baby led weaning right now, but right before she turned six months old, we did let her try a blueberry since I was going to be out of town on the actual day. Her expressions had us rolling with laughter, and we caught all of it on video.
  • She reaches for everything which can be both a nightmare (grabbing food off my plate) or adorable (touching my face and leaning in to kiss). 
  • She "scream talks" which is wildly unpleasant for everyone in the house except for her. We may have a future Broadway beltress in the making.
  • We started number and word activities with her, because every parent thinks his/her child is a genius in the making, right? We won't know for a long while whether or not it's working, but it can't hurt to try.

  • I was away from her for the first time for four days (!!!!), and we all survived. S was sure to videotape my return home, and you guys. Her reaction to me made me heart explode into a million pieces and then sprinkle down like glitter in a snow globe. GOD, I LOVE THAT GIRL.
  • Weekend IHOP family dates are totally our jam these days. Casual, baby-friendly, New York cheesecake pancakes. Boom.
  • Our song is Echosmith's "Bright." If I start singing it, she's totally with me. Forever and always, one of my favorite Baby Presley moments will be when she looks up at me when I sing "You make me sing ooooooh, la la laaaa, You make a girl go oooooooh, I'm in love, love."
  • The easiest way to make her smile is to chant "Goomba," her nickname.

We love you, Presley Noel!
Say it with me: Goomba! Goomba! Goomba! Goomba!

Past updates:  
1 Month, 2 Months, 3 Months, 4 Months, 5 Months

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sleep is a Many Splendored Thing

** The nice people at Merino Kids sent us a sleep sack to use in exchange for a product review. The opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

When Presley was two, three and four months old, I naively started to believe that we knew her sleep routine and that we had a great sleeper on our hands... and then she kindly jolted me back to reality.

Usually, she would be up once or twice during the night, but I had her back to sleep within 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, she slept for 7-hour stretches. Those nights, I celebrated quietly to myself while biting my bottom lip and pumping my fist in the air. (Not really... or did I?) It was fun while it lasted, but I eventually learned that I was not destined to be one of those cool moms who would get to plaster her child's bedhead all over Instagram with proclamations of parenting a child who sleeps from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM followed by ten "praise hands" emojis. It just wasn't meant to be.

Figuring out baby sleeping patterns and routines can be tricky. There is a lot of information on the internet which is helpful and overwhelming at the same time. Friends and family share their experience, but it doesn't always work, because all babies are different. We have tried slumber music which grabs her attention initially but doesn't lull her to sleep.

S knows her nap schedule really well since he is with her all day. I've tried to establish a bedtime routine so that she knows what to expect and understands that it is time to sleep. Now that she is teething, she may or may not be cranky in the evening, so we roll with whatever mood she is in that night. We focus on keeping her comfortable which means holding her just the way she likes, nursing her, and dressing her so that she is cozy but won't overheat.

Keeping her from getting too warm is something that we've been conscious of since she was born. Being a February baby, she was born when it was still very cold outside. It snowed and rained a lot the week she was born, so naturally, I was really focused on keeping her warm. Well, it turns out that when it comes to body temperature, she takes after her daddy, not her perpetually cold mommy! This summer has been hotter than usual in Memphis, so we limit the amount of clothing she wears. While I have friends in cooler climates dressing their babies is cute ensembles, I'm like, "Yeah, a diaper and short-sleeved cotton onesie will be just fine... or maybe just a diaper?" Ha!

We sleep with a fan on at night, because we like the feeling of air circulating in the room. Since Presley can't sleep with a blanket yet, it's the one time of day that she actually wears clothes (long-sleeved shirt, socks, and leg warmers or pants). She has a habit of using her shirt as a teething toy, so her belly ends up exposed. I looked at sleep sacks online for a very long time, but to be honest, I didn't want to fork over the cash for a good quality one. What if she didn't like it? What if it made her too warm?

Merino Kids, a company which I had already heard and read so much about, sent Presley a sleep sack, and hello! I get the whole organic cotton sleep sack thing now. It's true that you get what you pay for. It's a wearable blanket that she can wear for at least another year. She doesn't get tangled up in it, she doesn't overheat, and it is soft yet durable. We haven't had to do middle-of-the-night diaper changes for a few months now, but if we still did, it would be a breeze since the sleep sack unzips from the bottom. It's easy to get her in and out. And! And! It is designed so that it can be used while a baby is secured in a car seat. Why didn't I think of that? So smart.

Keeping her comfortable means better sleep for her which means better sleep for Mommy and Daddy. Yes, please!

Merino Kids has sleepwear like THIS, THIS, and THIS in addition to sleep bags. If only there was a sleep bag with magic sleep dust that makes babies sleep through the night. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they come out with that soon. ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


We went on our first date. (You can read about it HERE.) It was a five-hour dinner at Peohe's in Coronado, California, and it just so happened to be ten days before I moved across the country. I'm all about great timing, folks. ;) I wore jeans, a cream crocheted top, and brown open-toe heels that I still own and love. He wore a black button-down shirt with khaki pants and black shoes, his "uniform" that always looked so sharp. It was an amazing night that left my heart pounding as I drove home and sheepishly giddy when I told my dad that I had been out to dinner with "that guy from work."

It was the Friday night at the end of a loooooong week at work. Every day felt jam-packed, and my mind was buzzing on each commute home. Even though our meal out as a family was usually on Saturdays, we packed up and went to our usual spot, IHOP, where cheap food hits the spot and is always quiet enough that Presley doesn't feel overstimulated and start crying. (Unlike O'Charley's on free pie Wednesday. Lesson learned.) We ate omelettes, split two stacks of pancakes (New York cheesecake and raspberry white chocolate chip), and drank water. We played peek-a-boo with Presley and talked about how much she had changed recently.

In between those dinners, we dated long distance for two years, worked at the same theme park, moved in together, bought a home, got married, sold a home, moved out of state, changed jobs, laughed a lot, and had a baby.

Nothing about this photo is clear, colorful or well-crafted, but it depicts a moment that I thought was really cool. (I'm a sucker for time lapse and jaunts down memory lane.) So much had happened since our first dinner together on 8/14/2006, and there we were, nine years later having dinner... with our daughter. The setting was far less romantic and the fare much more breakfast-y, but it meant so much. We built so much together in those nine years, and the love at the table was 100 times sweeter than the New York cheesecake pancakes (which is saying a lot).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oy Vey

Books are for eating, of course.

Just as her book says, mama is going to be down at the beach this week.

It is 6:00 AM central time, and I am boarding a flight to Maui.


Oh, yeah. There's one thing wrong with this picture.

I'm flying alone.
Meaning... S and Presley are at home.
Meaning... I'm going to be away from Press for the first time ever, and it's for four days and four nights!
Side note: Godspeed to S for flying solo as her first two teeth are erupting.

Pass the Kleenex now.

On the up side, my mom is meeting me in Maui, so it will be glorious to spend some mother/daughter time with her sprinkled in with the wedding I'm in. I have three posts that were going to go up this week, but I don't like the idea of that when I'll be without my laptop. Heaven forbid there be a grammatical error that I cannot fix immediately. ;) Even though the blog will be silent until I get back, hop on over to my Instagram to holla at ya girl in her kick-ass one-piece swimsuit (because #babyweight)!

So, off I go! Wish me luck. If you see news reports of a Maui-bound flight making an emergency landing, it's probably because some crazy lady was disturbing the peace with her uncontrollable crying.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meeting People Where They Are

Hashtag word vomit.
Hashtag no holds barred.
Hashtag hunker down. 

There seems to be a common theme in my life lately of meeting people where they are.

I know most people think of fake smiles, rule books, and people being fired when they think of HR, but that's so not what my job is about. Yes, there are still standards to follow, but "new school" HR is about developing people, recognition, and meeting people where they're at. I spend a lot of time coaching others on acknowledging progress and understanding that people come from different backgrounds and experiences. It's really easy to hastily judge someone for making a choice other than the one you would have made or to get frustrated with someone who "should have known" because it was "common sense." You'd be surprised how much more a person is willing to learn and work harder if you applaud improvement instead of pointing out everything that's wrong. Meet people where they are.

The past few weeks threw a few curve balls. Boone was hospitalized, and we're still trying to figure out his ailment. Our credit card information was stolen and used. We had to change our arrangements for Maui which dashed our plans of vacation time together. I dropped my MBA class, because I knew after one week that there was no way I could juggle everything and do it well. I tried not to feel too guilty, but honestly, I felt like a failure for admitting that I thought I'd struggle to balance school and work. I had to swallow my pride and accept that I was doing the best that I could.

After our Maui plans changed, we both felt more and more frustrated and spent a lot of nights talking it out quietly. Nothing makes you feel more like an adult that making the "smart" decisions and canceling plans when you actually want to kick and scream and find a way to make money and health grow on trees. I am one month into a quasi-new position at work, and I am so determined to kill it, guys. Seriously, I want to be so badass with these special projects and land the job I'm trying to prepare for. But the work on top of the curve balls on top of the things I never seem to complete (errands, calling friends back, baby books, blogging, etc.) on top of lack of sleep was like a rolling pin, and I was the dough. Being rolled so thin had me frustrated that I couldn't do everything I wanted to do in a day and worried that I was too distracted to be the mom my kid deserved at the end of the work day.

One night I ran an errand after Presley was asleep to buy T-shirts for S and mascara for me. I was down to my last ounce of energy, but I was determined to check the errand off my to-do list. When I got home, I asked, "Do you want me to remove the tags and put the shirts in the washing machine?" S looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No, don't do that. I can do it tomorrow. Take care of yourself." Generally, we manage ourselves just fine and trust that the other makes smart, rational decisions most of the time, so for him to say that out loud made me stop and listen. That moment required him to meet me where I was (and call me out when I was drilling myself into the ground).

Not that I'd ever want to be compared to a baby, but I have to think of it this way: Every one of Presley's milestones is celebrated, because she is growing and accomplishing new things. Holding a bottle and sitting up? Kid genius! It would be preposterous to expect her to solve calculus equations, because that's not where she is yet. So why am I getting down on myself for not being ten steps ahead of where I am? I'll get there. I'm doing a pretty good job so far.

Emotionally, I am in a quieter place today, remembering Matt and continuing to make peace with unsolved mysteries of life. I think a little piece of me will always be the me at age 16 who learned what it meant to be truly heartbroken but eventually capable of strength. Memories like these sort of taunt the soul. Today will be fine -- probably better than fine!

But that's where I am today, and today, that's good enough.