Wednesday, November 21, 2012

International travel with an infant (aka flying 12 hours with Max screaming)

Ok so I thought I should tell the story of our trip across the globe:)

It's 9pm the night before the flight and Jeffrey and I are busy getting everything taken care of. Although, I had been packing and making lists of everything Max could possibly need for a week now, it still seemed like I was forgetting something. Never the less, we were doing last minute laundry, dishes and taking out the trash. So much for never leaving a dirty house because we never got around to mopping the floor (which is really dirty from all the English rain) or bathrooms or even vacuuming. So returning to the messy house may be a bit depressing, but I'll worry about that later...We finally get to bed around 10 and of course Max wakes up 45 minutes later for a feeding. He woke up once more after that, but was sound asleep when our alarm went off at 3am to get ready to go. Which gave me maybe 2-3 hours of sleep in total. Ok, so the car to take us to the airport is here, and Jeffrey loads of the car. I go and wake up Max (which is very sad, because I have never woken him up on purpose before haha) and change him and feed him. Everything is ready to go, so I strapped Max into his car seat and we are out the door by 3:45am. The ride to the London airport wasn't terrible. Max cried and fussed for about 20 minutes before falling asleep in the car. He slept for 1 1/2 hours before waking up when we arrived at the airport. Everything was good and chill as we checked our bags and went through security. Max just hung out in his stroller.
When Jeffrey and I went to get breakfast, is when Max starting getting really fussy. He needed to eat, so I took him into this nursing/baby changing room that they have in the London airport. I have to give dibs to the English for this one because this room is a mothers best friend! It had a padded changing table, with disposable sheets you could pull out, plus a sink and a big comfy chair for nursing! It was nice feeding Max in there as I didn't have to worry about the dang nursing cover (which is so annoying to nurse with). After that I got him to go to sleep in a quiet part of the airport. It was maybe 7am at this point. So we go off to find our gate and the airport is getting louder and louder as the day gets started and more people begin to arrive. Loudness isn't great for a sleeping baby and Max woke up right before we boarded the plane. We did, however, get to bring Max's baby car seat on board for free since there was an open seat next to us on the flight. So we got to board first since we have an infant and we get settled in our seats just fine. There were 2 other babies on the flight as well and in our general location too. They were older, maybe 8 months, but Max was the cutest:) Anyway, it was nice to know we weren't the only ones. So right when we have to be seated for taxi and take off, Max starts screaming. There wasn't anything we could really do at this point, so we just had to live with it. He finally fell asleep shortly after we reached our flying altitude and actually slept for nearly 2 hours! At this point Jeffrey and I were feeling good, and positive that maybe this flight wouldn't be so bad after all... Well, once he woke up, he ate and was cute for everyone around him, doing smiles for everyone to admire. Then came the start of it all. Crying and screaming started as Max was getting tired again and he doesn't really know how to calm himself down at all. So, I take him up and carry him to the back of the plane and try to get him to calm down/sleep. It took a while, maybe 45 minutes, and some unwanted advice from a flight attendant about correct ways to hold a baby until he finally fell asleep. Thinking I was in the clear, I went back to my seat, ready to settle in to watch an episode of Law and Order: SUV. He only slept for about 30 minutes when he woke up suddenly crying (he does this quite often anyway, most of the time I am able to get him back to sleep). Well, the screaming started and wouldn't stop, I tried feeding him, which he ate a little, and changing him, but really he just screamed. I spent the majority of the rest of the flight.. give or take 5 hours with Max pretty much screaming at the back of the plane. He managed to fall asleep in his carrier ( as I swung it back and forth) for about 20 minutes, but other than that, pretty much screaming. Jeffrey took a few turns at holding him, but nothing worked. Good thing about a plane is that it is pretty loud so only the back rows could hear him, but it was terrible. I felt like the worst mother in the world. Whenever people would come back to use the planes restroom I would get that sympathetic look. A few people stayed and chatted with me for a while about Max. An older lady even came over to me and asked if I wanted her to hold Max so I could have a break. I probably shouldn't have let a stranger hold my screaming child, but after hours of trying to comfort him, I let her. I stood right there with them, and she was so nice and friendly. It was nice to get a small break:) SO that is the extent of the flight, me standing in the back of the plane for hours while Max screamed, I swallowed back tears more than once.... I could tell the flight attendants were getting super annoyed, but I didn't even care anymore. But actually for the most part, the passengers seemed to feel more sorry for me than annoyed. For that I was pleasantly surprised. When we finally were about to make our descent and had to be seated, I tried to nurse Max so his ears would equalize, but that was a no go since he wasn't that hungry. So Jeff pretty much held a pacifier in his mouth for 15 minutes while we landed. I would like to note that Max will not suck on a pacifier no matter how much we wish he did. He likes to gnaw on it, but constantly spits it out. So right when we land, Max decides to spit up all over my crotch, and into the seat, making it look as if i severely wet my pants...Max had also spit up on Jeff's shirt at least 3 times during the flight as well.
 So if we weren't stressed enough, then we have to go through customs when we land in Atlanta. Thankfully the lines were pretty short and Max was actually being ok once we got him in the stroller. ...but, when we went back through security, we had to take Max out of the stroller, and then the screaming began again.... We tried to get some food, but I only got to eat half a sandwich as max was crying and people were staring so I took him to the side. Anyway, we had a several hour layover, but Jeffrey, who was taking a different flight, had a shorter one. He got Max and I to our gate and we sat for a while. Again, for the 10th time that day I tried to get Max to sleep, I finally did in a quiet nook in the airport, but when I took Max out to go sit with Jeffrey an airport car drove by with a super loud siren and yes, woke him up. At this point I am on the verge of tears, as I tried not to get irrationally mad at the airport car, when duh we are in an airport, but I couldn't help it. The worst part came when Jeffrey had to leave to go catch his flight.. Not only was I stressed from the terrible flight, but I was going to have to take another flight alone with Max and not see my husband for a month! It all hit me and at that point I couldn't hold in the tears any longer. As much as I wanted not to look like the crazy lady crying in an airport, I totally was. I tried to pull it together at Jeffrey waited until the absolutely last minute to leave. It was super hard on him to leave us, but neither of us really had a choice. I know he hated leaving me in my state and just wanted so bad to make it all better, but there was nothing he could do at that point.He had to catch his flight and I was going to have to do the rest on my own.
So Jeffrey was gone, and I'm with Max at the airport for another 2 hours before we board. Determined not spend those two hours with max screaming, I take Max to the quietest part of the airport I could find and turn on the sound machine app on my phone. I turned it all the way up in hopes it would drown out some airport sounds for Max. I got plenty of insane looks from people as they passed by and heard the loud sound of waves rolling, but I really could care less what anyone thought at that point. I know a lot of people were annoyed, but whatever, I was annoyed with them for talking so loud and keeping my baby awake so whatever:) max did fall asleep for about 15 minutes, in which I finally got to sit down and take a drink of water, but he was startled awake. Again, i could not find a way to settle him down. I was so stressed out, my face and eyes were red from crying, my hair was already greasy, I had dried spit up all over me. I looked terrible to say the least. At one point I was rolling Max in his stroller back and forth trying not to cry again, because he would not stop screaming and everyone was staring! I kept thinking, only a few more hours and I'll be in Texas... it was the only thing that got me through...
So after that few hours (which seemed endless!) we boarded the plane. Max would again, not stop screaming. But I do have to say that there were a bunch of very nice and helpful people on this flight. A lady helped me carry the stroller and carrier to be checked and the man sitting next to me, carried me bags and stowed them. They both chatted with me during take off, while Max was still screaming, and after when I FINALLY got Max to sleep! I swaddled him up and he was out once we got in the air! Thank God he stayed asleep for the entire 2 hour flight! I honestly do not know what I would have done if he hadn't. Since Max stayed asleep even when we landed (poor baby was so exhausted) the man next to me, carried my bags and helped me all the way until we got to baggage claim where my mom and dad were waiting. I have never been so happy to see them, and I have to say they were pretty happy to see me as well. My Dad got my bags and Max did wake up, but it ended up being ok because I had to feed him before we got in the car to head to New Braunfels. Max was awake, but fortunately not screaming in the car ride home. By the time we made it the house. Max and I had been traveling for nearly a full 24 hours and I hadn't slept at all, and Max maybe slept 5 hours total... We were both so tired. At home Max got a bath and nursed and went right to sleep. When he woke up for a feeding 3 hours later, he was impossible to get back to sleep, and I just handed him over to my parents, who were nice enough to stay up with him and get him to sleep so I could get some rest...
It was an insane day and I am dreading the return flight we have to make next month...But we made it and even though it totally sucked, I am glad we are here and able to see friends and family that I have missed so much!
On a positive note, my Mom and I have found a way for Max to be able to nap on his own (not in my arms) most of the time! But that's a blog for next time:) Max and I hope to see everyone while we are down and we have a lot of free time so feel free to give me a call or just come on by the house:)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mom Hair

So I have come to discover where the term "Mom Hair" stems from. I have long thick hair, that I always considered to be one of my assets, but in the last few weeks I has become a huge pain. Basically there is no time to curl or style my hair everyday and even the days that there is enough time for hair styling in a classic " down do" it's not long before it gets destroyed. Long hair with a baby is a total mess because it is either getting in the way of nursing, getting spit up on, or getting pulled and yanked out by baby. Whatever the case, I quickly discovered that having my hair up and back is the way to go. After many days of messy pony tails, and some deliberation if I should cut my hair short, I came to a conclusion. I don't think I could pull off short hair, and I think I would miss my long hair way too much! I kind if consider it my one beauty. After seeing a pin on pintrest about easy hair up dos I got inspired to try an easy hair up-do every day for a week. Although I consider myself only moderately talented when it comes to doing my own hair, most of these take less than 5 minutes to do and a few take about 10 minutes. I think all of them are doable for anyone and require only a little practice and supplies:) A lot of them have french braids in them, which is a great thing to know how to do:)
Day 1: French braid to the side with side twist bun. Used 2 hair ties and 2 spiraled pins.
Day 2: Loose twist bun with head band. Used 2 spiral pins and 2 hair ties.
Day 3: Front side french braid pulled back into a messy bun. Used a hair tie and 2 bobby pins.
Day 4: Two french braids. Pretty basic here, I used 2 hair ties.
Day 4: Side front twisted back to regular ponytail. I used 1 hair tie and 1 bobby pin. For this one I had to spend a minute or 2 quickly running a straightner through my hair to get out the natural wave.
Day 6: Regular pony tail with flower attached. I spent a few minutes quickly curling the bottom of my hair, and used just one hair tie.
Day 7: French Braid down the back with loose twisted bun. I used only one hair tie and 2 spiral pins.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'll try anything once...twice if it works!

over my shoulder
So I feel that lately all my blogs have been about the same things... struggles with raising a baby, and well, what can I say, that is pretty much all I do these days...

So here goes another one.
Pack and Play Bassinet
I am sitting here on the floor of Max's nursery listening to the soft ocean waves that flow through the speakers of his sound machine. I have to say it is a sound that I hear all night and lots of the day. I have tried some of the other sound options, and Max does like the "white noise" sound bite as well, but it kinda freaks me out when I am up in the middle of the night...I can always hear little background noises, like a ghost ya waves are the best and peaceful. I am sitting in here writing my blog because I am too nervous to leave haha. I just know that if I try leave and go do something, he will wake up and start crying. Better to be here, so maybe I can sshh him back to sleep if I get there quick enough.
On my chest holding on:)
...............It didn't help, he woke up after only 15 minutes:).............3 hours later and now I'm writing, while standing and Max is asleep in the sling.  Its 5pm and if he doesn't get this nap, then it means a super early bed time and super early wake up time in the morning for me. So I'm not going to risk sitting down and waking him:)
Now that I'm typing I can't really remember what I was going to write about...I guess I just wanted to write...

the couch
In the baby carrier
 I feel like I have tried literally everything a person can when it comes to babies sleeping. Every day I search for something else I can try to get Max to sleep...I tried swaddling, not swaddling, keeping him upright, having him nap on an incline, having him nap on his stomach, soothing noises (example the sound machine from above) complete silence, super loud backgrounds, taking him for a walk in the stroller, taking a ride in the car/ car seat, the baby swing, just putting him in his crib, rocking him, walking him, the baby sling, the baby moby wrap, and most recently, putting a warm rice bag next to him once laying him down so he thinks its me and stays asleep. I am not writing this to ask for suggestions on how to get a baby to nap, because honestly I am sure I have tried it already:) Some of these things have worked a few times...some more than others, but nothing has worked consistently. Every day I wonder if he will sleep, some days he sleeps, sometimes he sleeps and is fussy, sometimes he doesn't sleep and is fussy, and sometimes he doesn't sleep and isn't fussy at all...
Boppy Pillow
Everyday if something new works, I get my hopes up and wonder if it will be that miraculous moment when I find the thing that "works like a charm!" Every day I am disappointed when what worked yesterday doesn't work today. Then I find myself back at the drawing board, desperately searching online for tips, or advice or some miracle product that Max will love. I understand why people pay so much for baby sleep things. There is an unlimited supply of "product" that promise a good sleep for baby. I have fallen pray to some of them...

Nap Nanny
Blanket Swaddled in my Arms
  I have to say that I am beyond thankful that Max will sleep at night for 2-5 hours at a time. If there is anything that doing research online has taught me it is that some people have the problem and the baby won't sleep being set down at any time, night or day. So things could always be worse.Yet every night when I place a sound asleep Max in his crib, I feel anxious and worried that tonight will be the night he decides not to sleep in his crib and resort to his napping methods. As frustrated as I get, I try and remember that things will get better. I constantly hear words of encouragement from my friends and family, reassuring me that this is a phase. And I believe them, I'm not being bitter when I say that encouragement can only go so far, for example I remember when I was in Mom, Jeffrey, the doctors and all the nurses kept being so encouraging and positive. Near the end, the doctor kept saying, "ok, this is it, one more push and he'll be out!"...she must have said that at least 20 times and I have to say it was encouraging the first few times, but the 10th time she said it, I was very frustrated to say the least...I remember being so annoyed...I didn't want to get my hopes up every push, only to be greatly disappointed. I remember thinking, why can't she just be strait with me and tell me the truth! I asked my Mom later that week, why the doctor would say that? Why not just tell me, "ok, you're going to have push for 45 more minutes."? My Mom said, "Well you might not have kept going if they told you the truth" I feel like that is what is happening now. Like the baby has to ultimately come out, Max will eventually get through his sleeping problems. But also like giving birth, no one knows how long and painful it is going to be. All I can do is keep pushing and listening to every one's encouraging words and try not to get annoyed:)
Swaddle Me Swaddler in my arms
Although I suffer with frustration on a daily basis,  every morning I see my little Max and his smiles (he is always in a  good mood after he sleeps:) I can't help but honestly think that he is the cutest baby in the world. And thank goodness he is because that comes in handy when every once in a while he even looks cute when hes crying:) That helps me get through the crying the fussing, and the not sleeping,(plus looking back at these pictures reminds me  that he actually does sleep sometimes :)

All the pictures are various places and ways Max has slept over the almost 3 months of his life:)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to become a person again

So about 10 months ago I found out I was was kind of a surprise and kind of not. Ever since then I began to change, both physically and emotionally. Even though the physical changes didn't become apparent until months later, my thoughts and feelings were switched into "baby mode" and I was considering baby names, baby room decor and how I could be a good parent....all things that only briefly crossed my mind before. Once there's the weight gain, every day discomfort, and physical limitations that being pregnant brings, I began to feel less an less like the person I had been for the past 26 years...In the last few months of pregnancy there is the finish line to look forward too. That ultimate goal of getting the baby ou tand feeling normal again, not like a huge unatractive incubator:) I couldnt wait to go back to normal and be myself again. So then labor arrives, and there is the grossnness and bodily discomfort that follows that for days and weeks. I thought, ok by 6 weeks post-pardum I should feel good. I knew I wouldn't be back to my old size but still feeling good. Wrong again, as my body was still... umm..mending itself. Then there was the sleep deprivation that was starting to really wear on me, making the bags under my eyes even more apparent. I felt I was getting grosser every day as things like shaving my legs or putting on makeup just didn't seem to be relevant. I would occasionally look in the mirror and then look away, I looked too awful to think about; plus I had so many other things to worry about. By 8 or 9 weeks all the baby books say your baby should be sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night consistently, well Max never read the baby books, so that wasn't happening. At this time I feel like the random outside person expects new moms to get it together. I feel as if the first 2 months of your baby's life, the general public kind of gives you a pass. Almost like they understand if you go to the store covered in spit up or never change out of your pajamas all day. After all, you just had a baby.But once that 2 month mark hits, people expect you to have it together. You're not the "new" exhausted mom any more, so your pass disappears. Generally, at this point, you should have this whole parenting thing down. Well, this wasn't happening for me. I felt more confused than ever as I am still trying to figure out Max's unique rhythm. I realised I was one if those moms that I would previously have looked down on. I rarely ever left the house because it was just so nerve racking to not know if Max would be screaming or not. Every day was and is a constant battle to get Max to sleep, and I just didn't have the courage to fight that battle in public. It's so much easier to rock a screaming baby in the comfort of your own home and warm slippers. I started to wonder what was even the point of going out. I mean say church, for example, would take soooo much effort to get ready in the morning and make my way to church only to spend most of the sermon in the cry room and then leave as quickly as possible after. Once home, the whole shirah of going seemed crazy, why even put myself through that?Then this thought made me sad because anyone who knows me, knows I love to be involved and do things. I was and never will be a homebody. I was longing to get out, make friends, and explore this new country I am living in, but the sheer thought was just so exhausting. I was getting into a sad, sleep deprived, spit up covered rut. I've had many conversations with my sister Leigh about this very topic. It helps me to know that someone else is going through the same lose of identity from baby syndrome. I often compare myself to other women I know who had babies around the same time a me. Sometimes I get jealous because they appear to " have it all together"-or at least that's what they portray on the outside- and I am still struggling with every day tasks. That's when I realised that I have a choice on how I view everything. I am never going to be the person I was before Max came along, and although I am only a few pounds away from my pre- pregnancy weigh, my belly stretch marks will never completely fade. I will never ( or not for a very long time) be able to sleep 10 hours a day or spend an entire day baking and decorating a cake. But there are so many things I can do now that I could never do before Max came along, like enjoy the smell of a clean baby after he takes his nightly bath . Or watch his eye lids flutter so cutely when I'm rocking him to sleep. Or feel the sense of parental pride when Max does something new like reach for a toy or make a little laughing noise, or lift himself up during tummy time. So I have come to the conclusion that I need to find a way to mix the old me and the new me and simply accept that I am a different person. So here is my list of things I have come up with to make me feel human again (and not like a dead mommy)

1. Do one thing I like every single day. This can be anything like baking a batch of cookies, reading a chapter of a book, writing this blog, calling a friend or family, or even taking a walk to the craft store and looking around. Just one small thing a day reminds me of me.
2. Conquer at least one daily chore. Dishes and kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, whatever it is, doing a chore helps me feel accomplished and it may be silly but it helps me think I can still be a good wife too.
3. Go out and be social at least twice a week. This may still sound like a small amount, but it requires the full hair and makeup getting ready so ya. It could be church, meeting a friend for lunch or going to Bury for some shopping. Whatever it is, getting out of the house:)
4. Change out of my pajamas, brush my teeth and wash my face every day. Some of you may be thinking... Ew there were days you didn't brush your teeth? And sadly yes, there was. Sometimes things just are forgotten with a screaming baby. The pajama change doesn't need to be right away or even into cute clothes, yoga pants and a t-shirt are acceptable some days, just as long as it wasn't what I slept in haha.
5. Take a picture of Max every day, doesn't have to be uploaded anywhere, I just like to look back at the pics and see how much he has grown. Again, makes me feel like I am doing something right!
6. Embrace the lack of sleep I get. Instead of getting frustrated and cranky with only 3-4 hours of sleep a night, just come to terms with it. If its what I expect, it makes it so much easier to handle and I don't get as upset. ( have to give dibs to Leigh for making me realise this one)
7. Take time to kiss, hug and tell me husband that I love him, even if feel exhausted.

I think if I will continue to follow my new found rules, I will in turn become a new person again!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our small victories...

Since my last couple blogs have mostly been about my frustrations and hardships being a parent, I thought I should write one about the small things that Max and I have accomplished lately. ( Especially since it has just us 2 at home). 1. Max no longer screams bloody murder at bath time. There is still the occasional crying, but we've had a couple of days where he actually seemed to like it:). 2. Just now ( I'm writing this on my iphone as I finish up a 4am feeding) he had a 4 hour stretch of sleep! That has never happened before and was well appreciated by us both:). 3. He had a nap in his crib and woke up peacefully, I found him just chilling in his crib looking around, instead of screaming:). 4. He will now allow for me to put him down without screaming at times. He will play in his bouncer or chill on his nap nanny without crying for 15-20 minutes at a time. Very much a change for him:). 5. The colic has seemed less and less as I almost force him to take naps every day. He's getting slightly better at getting drowsy and drifting off to sleep (even if it is in wierd places: positions) instead of just screaming when he's tired. 6. His nursing is pretty easy now, and he gets down to business quickly instead of spending 30 minutes plus per feeding, he is full and done in 15! I I know these things may seem very small to some people and parents, but for me and Max they are huge victories:) I am now a firm believer that every single baby is different. Some are easy and some need a little xtra time and help to figure out the world. I honestly believe that some parents are blessed with a content baby, which make them feel like awesome parents. And Other parents are blessed with needy babies, who -at times- make them feel like they are the worst parents in the world. I love my little Max so much and would not trade him for anything! Sometimes he makes me so happy and proud that I just want to cry:) I would be lying if I didn't say it has been really tough, and I am sure it will continue to be at times, but at this moment as he sleeps on my chest, I can't help but think how far we have come, and how blessed I really am!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My so called schedule

So I have a new respecct for single parents. This past week my daily schedule has gotten a little more routine, which I am greatful for, I know things will probably change but so far this is what a day in the life of Max and I looks like.
Wake up is between 6 and 7am. I usually feed him in bed and then get up to change him and head downstairs to get start the coffee and get some breakfast. Max is usually the most happy in the mornings and I can get some good smiles out of him. We play a little, and he sits in his nap nanny while I eat some breakfast. We play a little more, I drink coffee and by 8 or 8:30 he is getting fussy and ready for a morning nap. I usually have to take him to the laundry room, to hear the dryer, and rock him some before he is down. He will sleep about on hour in his nap nanny downstairs. I take this opportuntiy to get dressed, wash my face and brush my teeth. If I have extra time, I will play around on the computer (like right now) or get some things done, like start a load of his laundry, do the dishes, or take the trash out. Once awake, I feed him again, get him dressed for the day and we play again usually in his bouncer, sometimes he'll sit there for 15 mins or so by himself, allowing me to get some more small chores done. I get some lunch for myself, and by 11:30ish he is ready for another nap. This one is harder to get him down for, so I put him in the sling and walk around the house until he falls asleep. Once he is out, I curl up on the recliner with him. Since I can't take hime out of the sling (he will wake up) I take this opportunity to take a nap with him. He sleeps on me in the sling, usually for about 2-3 hours. It is pretty amazing, and this is my longest stretch of sleep at a time (night or day) so I relish this nap time! Around 3ish, he is up. I feed him, play and if the weather is nice we setlle in for a walk around 5. He'll fall asleep in the stroller but wakes up as soon as I get back. If the weather is bad, he takes a short nap only if I am holding him. Once awake, feed again then I try to get some dinner for myself around 6:30. At this time I usually put Max in his swing, which he cries, until I'm done eating and pick him up. Around 7 pm, well play, then bath time and he starts to nod off. I do one more feeding and the spend the next half hour trying to get his tired self to sleep. I usually get him in his crib around 8:30pm. At this point I rush around getting the coffee ready for the morning, doing the dishes and taking a quick shower. I try to be in bed by 9:30. If I am lucky, Max will sleep until midnight, but 11 is more likely. Once he's up, I'll change him, feed him and rock him back to sleep. The whole process usually takes about an hour or more. I have discovered that I have to wait until he is 100% asleep to put him down, or he will wake up, start crying and I will have to start the whole proccess all over again. I know this isn't a great habit to get into, and once he is old enough to self-soothe I will try something else, but at this point, we both just need sleep. So 1am ish he asleep in bed and he sleeps anywhere from 1.5-3 hours from there. Once he's up for the second feeding of the night is where the trouble starts. around 3:30 am ish i'll feed him again, and it's hard to get a good feeding because he drifts off, but then will wake up in a few minutes because he's hungry. Anyway, once fed and asleep again, around 4:30am. I put him down in his crib. I know this won't last because for some reason he will not stay asleep in his crib after the second feeding. I keep putting him down in it, in hopes that he will eventually sleep, but so far no go. He will wake up after 15-30 minutes. I go and get him and bring him into bed with me. I'll cradle him to sleep again and me and him lay down in bed. I'm not a huge fan of having him sleep with me because it's uncomfortable for me and I rarely get any sleep because he makes so many grunts, and moves do much when he sleeps. But again, at this point at least he is asleep and not screaming. He sleeps like this until wake up time around 6-6:30. So that's been my days here lately. . Every once in a while we get out to go somewhere, but I'm really scared I'm gonna mess up our afternoon nap time as I seriously count on that sleep to get me through. Especially since I only get about 4 hours of sleep every night. Max's awake times are sometimes happy and sometimes not. It's so crazy too find time to do something regularly like work our or cook something, because I am never quite sure what Max will do or be like that day. Every day things are now so challenging. Haha yesterday I went pee when Max was asleep on me in the sling! It was a little awkward, but I didn't know what else to do:) I couldn't wake him up and I couldn't hold it either! The majority of my day is spent trying to get Max to sleep, but I feel like he is at least sleeping more now than he did a few weeks ago. I'm starting to think he may have acid reflux as he spits up A LOT! I didn't think it was before because he's gaining weight and has tons of wet and poopy diapers, but spits upat least an ounce every feeding and often will wake up crying, and then just spit up every where. Other times when he spits up it doesn't seem to bother him, but lately it is just so much! I'm gonna ask the doc about it when we go in for his 2 month appointment. Oh, I have started offering him formula for one feeding each day. I am ready to not be breastfeeding anymore. Maybe it's selfish on my part, but I want to get him used to formula so I can have breaks when I need it. Once jeff is home I would love to be able to sleep for a few hours and not worry about Max getting fed. I can tell Max doesn't like the formula and will only take it sometimes. Lately he realises that if he won't take the formula, I'm going to cave and breastfeed him. Obviously I won't let him starve. He's pretty smart there, but I have a very picky eater on my hands, so I'm just gonna try a different formula brand and see from there. I am trying not to wish time away and cherish this time when he's tiny, but I just can't wait until he is old enough to be entertained and actually do something haha. Sometimes I look at him and am just so amazed at how awesomely cute he is! I still can't believe he used to be in my belly!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Past Six Weeks!

Wow, what a crazy past month and a half it has been! They have definitely been the most challenging weeks of my entire life! I am going to try and sum up everything that has gone on, the good and the bad:).
        My mom was able to stay with us for nearly 3 weeks after Max was born, that was a huge help considering I could use all the help I could get! The first few weeks I did a lot of sleeping whenever, tried to get the hand of breastfeeding, and pretty much sat on the couch. Nothing would have gotten done around the house if it wasn't for my mom! Breastfeeding is hard and Max is just now starting to get the hang of it, it is for sure a process that both momma and baby have to learn about. It is actually a very time consuming process that I have wanted to give up on more than once. I am sticking with it as of now and taking things day by day:)
 Hum what else? Max still has very unpredictable sleeping times, but has yet to sleep more than 3 hours at a time ( those few time he did sleep 3 hours was of course during the day ) --PS I am publishing this blog this morning when I wrote it last night, and Max actually slept 3.5 hours at one time! It was awesome!--nights are pretty rough as I rarely get more than 4 hours a night (broken up into hour segments). But I am thankful Max had started taking some naps during the day....
 Max was diagnosed with slight colic so basically he screams more than the average newborn and is pretty much inconsolable at times. Again, it has been rough but I can confidently say things are getting better there as well. He loves the sound of the dryer, do needless to say we spend A LOT of time in the laundry room. I am beginning to sort of understand what he wants a little bit better, so again. Helpful;)
  Humm... It's so hard to remember the past weeks as its all kinda blurring together. About 2 weeks ago Max got a finger nail infection and he had to get the nail drained of pus, it was so sad! Since we had to keep his nail clean and medicated he had to constantly wear a hand mitten (which he always tried to get off). That's all better now though:) Tomorrow Jeff leaves for a few week TDY, Carol is still here but I am going to be so sad to see him go! I know it could be much worse (could be deploying) but 3 weeks is a long time with a newborn. Carol ( Jeffs mom) will be here for another week, so that gives me a bunch of help:) but I could use prayers for the 10 days or so when it's just me and Max:) I am a little nervous about it.
  Everything else is going good, started using clothe diapers when Max got to be about 7lbs and with the use of some homemade fleece inserts they are working pretty well. Oh, I am working on being able to come home to Texas for Thanksgiving because Jeff will be gone for a month during that time. It is a little complicated to figure out because we have to get Max a passport, which is in the works, a government passport and a visa...all before he turn 6 months old. Hopefully we will be able to get it all figured out soon:)
Lets see...We have begun to take daily walks, as that also seems to be a calming effect for Max, plus gets me some exercise:) Oh, we moved Max into his nursery at 5 weeks old and I have to say that I like it better. At first I was a little concerned about him not being right next to me in his bassinet, but it honestly helps me sleep better because I don't wake up to all his little snorts and grunts while he sleeps. The monitor works great:)
I am still working on trying to meet people, and today I am meeting with a possible baby sitter. I think I am just going to need someone to turn to if I need a few hours to myself:)
We still haven't got out and about too much as it is still very hard to predict Max's mood, but we are planning a trip somewhere in February and can't wait to get out and finally see Europe!
 I have learned that no matter how many baby books you read, raising a kid is all about trial and error. I have learned that what works best for me may not be what the baby book says will work, but that's ok. Every baby is so different and every one's situation is so different that I will never again judge someones parenting style. We all just do what we can;) The last 6 weeks have been good and bad days, laughter and tears and joy and frustration.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Being a Mother

Being a mother is full of ups and downs I have come to notice. Even though I have only had the Mom experience for only over 3 weeks, I can tell ya about so many things I have felt and experienced in that short time, the good and the bad:)

Breastfeeding: So it appears for me that breastfeeding is wayy harder than I thought. It always seemed like the most natural thing in the world and to be perfectly honest I never knew why people didnt do it. I mean its free, and better for you baby and helps you burn extra calories... so where is the down side? That was my thought process before trying it. After trying it, and continuing to do it, I completely understand why people do not do it.
I am taking it week by week at this point. It's easier now than it was at the beggining, but it's just so tiring. Being the only one that can feed the baby, and constantly worrying about if your boobs are gonna leak, or the get really hard and full and painful I might add. Not to mention, Max doesnt always like to eat from them and still prefers the bottle most of the time. Going back to the tiring part, It takes at least 30 minutes just for him to eat, then there is the burping and the trying to get him to go back to sleep. In the middle of the night, this is over an hour process and he only sleeps for about an yes very tiring. Plus, I am worrying about what I am eating and if it is making him gassy. I don't know which foods upset him, but I know something must becuase somedays he is extremely more fussy than others. As I said, all very frustrating. One day at a time, and I am determined to keep going at least a little longer becuase I just bought some new cute nursing bras and am hoping they weren't a waste of money:) So, thats whats going on with that. I have a support group here for breastfeeding that are very helpful, so I haven't lost hope yet:) To make matters more confusing, Max isn't sleeping very much (maybe 7 hours total in 24 hours) and have been doing some research that suggests formula babies sleep better. ( because they aren't effected from the daily changes in a mothers breast milk) I am limiting myself to 1 or 2 caffeinated beverages a day, because I honestly can't get through a day without them with an average of 3-4 hours of sleep each night. Sigh, everything is so confusing, I want what's best for my son but is it worth all the pain, stress, tears, and frustration? I'm not sure at this point. I don't want to feel like a failure if I decide to quit because I know so women have done it. And that's what we are made to do; it's just annoying!

So besides all the struggles and things I have had to learn and go through, I can't help but love my little son so much! And I can honestly say he is the cutest baby ever!

Friday, August 10, 2012

All about Maximus

What I've learned about my son...
Its been a little over a week since I have had the privilege of having my little son Maximus and it's amazing how much he has taught me and I now know about him:)

1. He hates having his diaper changed, and taking a bath.
2. He makes the cutest faces and smiles after he finishes eating and is about to fall asleep.
3. He gets super squirmy if he needs to burp.
4. He likes to look around and is super curious, has really good eye and head movement.
5. He does not like to be swaddled anymore, because he likes to have his hands free.
6. He likes being in the car seat.
7. He constantly pees all over everything, we can barely keep enough clothes and blankets clean.
8. He was stubborn about breastfeeding at first, but now has gotten the hang of it (thanks to some ever amazing nipple shields)!
9. He will take a bottle too, so that makes it nice for me when I want to sleep and someone else can feed him:)
10. His hair is turning from brown to blond.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Arrival of Baby Max...the birth story

How it happened, the birth of my son Max.
 I went to the doctor on Monday July 30th for my usual weekly appointment. It was at 10 in the morning. At the appointment, my blood pressure was really high and concerned my doctors. I have had sort of high blood pressure through out the pregnancy. But this time it was extremely elevated! The doctors decided to do a fetal stress test of the baby and some lab work to make sure everything was ok. Baby heart rate tested ok, but the amniotic fluid seemed to be a little low. The amniotic fluid level, my blood pressure and the fact that my blood platelet count seemed to have dropped recently, suggested to the doctor that I should deliver sooner rather than later. Being nearly 39 weeks, the doctors thought the best things was to get baby out just to be safe rather than sorry. We scheduled the induction for 2pm that same day.
I called Jeff and he came up to the hospital, we we were able to go home for a few hours before coming back to the hospital at 2pm. Once there, the labor and delivery ward was packed so they told us to go back home and they would call us once they could get us in. So we went home, called family members, tried to get some things in place at the house, took a shower and waited for the call. Jeff took a shower while I tried to busy myself by taking a walk around the neighborhood. The call came and we headed into the hospital around 7pm.  When we got there, we checked in and got settled into the room. To start the induction the doctor inserted follie balloons. They are balloons that help you dilate and once you do, the balloons fall out. I know it sounds gross and weird and it totally was haha. After they did that, the contractions started coming. Boy they were strong and super painful. I was expecting them to start slowly and grow in strength, but no luck as the balloons make you dilate, i was also having bad cramping constantly on top of the contractions! The pain was bad and they were able to give me some meds for the pain. The medicine kicked in, after about 2 hours of pain. Around 11pm I was feeling better, and only feeling the contractions, and not the cramping. Sometime in the middle of the night, maybe 2am-ish, the balloons fell out and I immediately started feeling better. The contractions stopped and I was able to sleep through the night, well at least a few hours until the started the pitocin (drug to induce labor) at 5am.
Contractions started again, slow and not so painful at all. Around 11am contractions still weren't terrible, but I thought it was a good time to get my epidural and I was dilated to a 5. Still in good spirits and my Mom got to the hospital around 12. After a little visit she and Jeffrey went to over to the BX to get some lunch. During the time they were gone, the doc came and checked me and  I was dilated to a 9 and would be pushing soon. I called Jeffrey and said they shouldn't take too much time being gone. Once they got back, it was 30 mins and I was ready to start pushing. Since I had the epidural, the beginning pushes weren't bad at all and I though "hey this is going to be easy". After a while, things started to get more intense, as Max started to get closer, the pain got terrible. I am not sure if the epidural had worn off or what, put I definitely felt everything! This was by far the worst part of labor! My mom, a nurse, the doc and Jeffrey were all there encourage me. Jeffrey was so compassionate the entire time. I pushed intensely for about 1 1.2 hours. I really thought I couldn't do it at the end, and everyone  kept telling me to go on, it was pretty rough and I cried at one point, it was pretty over whelming and painful. Finally, Max arrived into the world at 4:21pm and it was so crazy. I remember him being out and everyone kinda cheering. They put him on my belly, I thought I would cry, but all i could think was " the pain is gone and omg there is a baby here" it was so sareal! Jeffrey cut the cord and they took Max to the other part of the room to clean him up. There was so much going on at this point. Jeffrey was smiling and hugging me, telling what a great job I did. The nurses were cleaning and checking on Max, my Mom, was over with Max taking pictures, the doctor was still checking me out and delivering the placenta. It was such a crazy experience!
After a while, Jeffrey went over to take some pics of Max, the doc finished with me (no tearing btw, in case anyone wanted to know) and then they gave Max back to me. He was so cute, I couldn't believe it! Me and Jeffrey just kinda stared at him for a while:) We took turns holding him. He was perfect!
After a while, the room was cleaned up, and I was directed to go "clean up" in the bathroom. Because I had the epidural I wants allowed to take a shower until later that night, so I felt pretty gross. Can't remember too much about the rest of that day. I tried to nurse Max a few times, but didn't have much luck. At some point that night, Jeffrey took my mom to our house to sleep and then he came back to the hospital to spend the night with me. We didn't sleep hardly at all, as nurses came in every hour to check me and Max's vitals. And for some reason they didnt come in to give him his bath until midnight. The next day was pretty much just trying to feed Max and getting to know him. Because of Hospital policy we had to stay one more night. This night was hectic and the nurse took Max for a few hours so Jeffrey and I could sleep a little. That was nice. Still having trouble nursing as the little guy wouldn't suck. He latched just fine, but for some reason doesn't suck...
Yesterday morning we were all set to go home and get discharged when there was as problem with our car seat (which we rented from the hospital for our British car) the straps wouldn't properly fit Max because he was so little so they wouldn't let us leave. They wouldn't even let us walk him home. So we had a stressful hour or so when we tried to call the multiple thrift stores/afrc and other locations on base if they had a UK spec car seat we could borrow for a week until our car came in. It was all very frustrating, but finally Jeffrey located one at the thrift shop at Mildenhall. So he left to go pick it up while me and Max waited at the hospital still. I kinda worked out because I ran into a lactation consultant and she got me a free electric breast pump, and actually Jeffrey ended up getting the car seat for free too. We finally got home yesterday evening!
Last night was a little different. My mom and Jeffrey made me go to sleep at 6 because truth me told I had maybe slept 3 hours total in the past 2 days. But to be honest I really didnt feel all that tired. Any way, I slept for a few hours, got up to feed Max and then was ordered back to bed by Jeffrey and Mom. I was kinda hard to sleep since there was so much I wanted to do! Managed to get a few hours in and at 3am Jeffrey handed over Max to me to feed and for him to sleep. The rest of the morning, I fed Max, slept a little while he did and thats pretty much it. I actually feel really good and not tired at all. Once I am awake it's not so bad at all. Today Max had an appointment with Pediatrics. He gained some weight since his discharge and was all in all really good!
Everything is going well here, well except breast feeding is a little more difficult than I thought, as Max still won't suck. I have just been pumping and giving him bottles, so hopefully in the next few days he will get the hang of it. Anyway, thats it for now, I am sure there will be more updates soon.- Btw this is the slightly cleaner and less in detail birth story ( I though all the disgusting facts might be too much for the general blog public) If you would like to know more details though you can ask me:)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The realities of pregnancy...for me

So when I started this blog I really wanted it to be real, and truly describe whats going on in my life. I didn't want it to be the cover up version that so many people tell. So I have decided to describe my pregnancy and besides being the miracle of life, what it is really about:)

Now I know that every woman's pregnancy experience is different, but mine started out pretty easy I must say. When I found out I was pregnant, I wasn't quite sure what to think, but to be honest nothing about me felt any different. Thankfully, I didn't really have any "morning sickness" or any other symptoms for that matter. I didn't "feel" pregnant as some women say they do, to be honest I felt exactly the same. I think it was that fact that made it kind of hard for me to believe I was actually growing a human inside of me! I wore all the same clothes for about 4-5 months and didn't start "showing" until maybe 20ish weeks. When I say "showing" I mean had a little belly that was obvious to me and other people who knew I was pregnant, to anyone else, I probably just looked bloated and a little chunk. After 20ish weeks I started not fitting into some of my clothes and jeans mostly, but pretty much still felt the same. Besides gaining some weight, again not too much of any change with anything effecting my daily life. At 25ish weeks, I felt as if my belly was noticeable to the outside observer, but still small enough to be a bump and fit under clothes in a kinda cute way. At this point I developed a sort of sleeping problem and found it very difficult to sleep. Not necessarily because I was so uncomfortable, but I just couldn't sleep. This lasted for a while and had been my most annoying pregnancy symptom up until this point.
Starting at about week 30 is when when the pregnancy itself started to actually be really apparent to me. Gradually things started to change with my body and I couldn't do the normal every day things I had been doing all throughout my pregnancy. Virtually no pre-pregnancy clothes were fitting, I started seeing HUGE weight gain. It's one thing to know you are going to gain weight, but when you see it on the scale and the number the doctor writes down, it is a whole other thing. Around week 35 is when it seemed like the mother load hit. Just as I thought I would get through pregnancy with no major problems, it was like attack of the symptoms! Feet  started to swell where I can't hardly wear any of my shoes, walking became oddly uncomfortable. Weird aches and pains became a normal part of the day, I discovered stretch marks that got bigger by the day, and other weird/gross things happened to my body that I never could happen (a little too gross to actually write in a blog:). I also began feeling very unattractive and it seems like nothing or wore or did to me hair made me look any cuter. Also everything I do is just so much more complicated. For instance, doing the dishes makes my back hurt because i can't stand close to the sink because my belly gets in the way so I have to try and slouch over. Also just moving from side to side in bed is a major chore and requires a lot of effort. Bending down to get anything, or simply to shave my legs is almost impossible.I sometimes look at the pictures of of my friends on facebook who post belly pics when they are 23 weeks along and they are all still cute and it just makes me think "just wait another 10 weeks and you'll see"!

As I am here in my last 2 weeks of pregnancy (maybe less, not more for sure because my doc and I have decided not to let me go past week 40!) I am thankful it is coming to an end. I am ready to get this part over with and start the part where I have a baby. People keep telling me that the first couple weeks after labor practically suck. I mean yes you have a brand new baby that is so exciting, but I have heard from nearly everyone that has a kid how exhausting, overwhelming, and simply insane the first few weeks after delivery can be. I have heard about the post-pardon pain, the bleeding, the zero sleep and so on, so I have to say I am ready to get that started and over with as well. I am ready to begin the next chapter, so come on baby!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Some of our house

Hey all, everyone has been bugging me to send pics of the house so here some are. It is just the downstairs because the upstairs is still not completely put together:)

Dinning Room
Living Room
We welcome you from Texas and Montana!

Living/dining Combo

The back side of our house (oh and me at almost 37 weeks preggo:)

Some other info and updates is that we finally did get a new crib since the old one is no longer alive. We are getting it delivered on Tuesday along with a new book shelf that was also critically damaged in the move. After the crib is up, I will gladly post pics of the Baby's room:) Speaking of Baby, I have officially packed my hospital bag and the bag for lil' Max. Since I went to the doctor last week, she told me I may go earlier than my due date due to the fact that I was already dilated. So, we'll see:) Oh, also Jeffrey and I tried to attach the car seat today in his little car ( Our new Ford Edge is still on a ship somewhere in the ocean) I heard something about it before, but we proved that American car seats will NOT fit in a British car...So we have a couple options. Either we buy a whole new car seat for Jeff's car, or we just wait and hope our car arrives here before Max does:) I think we are going with the latter and if for some reason Max gets here before the car, then we will buckle down and buy another car seat I guess. Or, there is always the option of simply walking (of course I would drive and Jeff could walk Max:) home from the hospital. The hospital where I will deliver is less than a mile from our house which has come in very handy:) We'll play it by ear.

Everything else is still going good, We should get our Internet finally set up in our house this weekend, and Labor Rehearsal is this week too! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quick Update

Sorry for being a little out-of-the-loop the past few days. I just wanted to post this blog to let everyone know how we are doing and not to worry if we don't respond to messages/emails:)

So we got into our house on Friday, and got our household goods delivered on Wednesday, the 4th of July. We didn't get a chance to do anything cool for the holiday since we were unpacking all day, but thats ok as I am just happy to have our stuff. Of course everything did not arrive from across the seas in perfect condition. Our crip and desk were pretty much completly smashed and un-useable. So I am not sure how long it will take TMO to get us a quote and some money for a new crib...but we'll see:)
Since then we have just been unpacking. We don't have internet at our house and won't for 2 whole weeks! We are at the club on base using wi-fi right now. So also the 3g phone connection at our house and around base it super bad, so if sorry if we haven't been able to reply to texts or emails very well. I will try and stay in touch the best I can when I can get internet.
 I am feeling good and excited to finally be able to set up the baby room:) I found my first couple stretch marks on my belly the other day, it was a little sad. I was hoping I could be one of those women who go through pregnancy without them, but no such luck:( My next doc appointment is a week from today and Jeffrey and I have a labor rehearsal class coming up too! Alot to do and prepare for, but all is good and we are figuring it out here!

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Thought I would write a blog although not too much has been going on here. Mostly ALOT of sitting around and waiting....waiting I feel like I've become an expert!

As some of you know, we were supposed to get into our house this past Thursday, but on late Wednesday afternoon, the housing office decided to call Jeff and let him know we wouldn't be able to get into the house after all. As it always seems to happen, Jeff was in training all last week and wasn't able to have his phone on him, so he got the message around 4...with most offices on base closing by 4:30, we had a little bit of stress! I was able to call the housing office and get a sort of answer as to what was going on. Apparently, the former family in the house had failed their house inspection so everything was pushed back... Why the housing office could not have told us this sooner, I have no idea. Anyway, since we were supposed to get our house, we were scheduled to check out of TLF (Temporary Lodging Facility) on Thursday, and this being heavy PCS season, they were all booked up in the lodging and we couldn't stay in our room. After some negotiating, we managed to get a small hotel type room across base for the next few days. Of course since Jeff still had his week of training, the room move was all up to me:) Jeff loaded up all the heavy bags in the car the night before so I wouldn't have to worry about that, but bright and early I was up to haul all our luggage and aqured groceries and things from one side of base to another. (Now I know this task doesn't seem all that difficult, but something about being preggo makes a girl feel so helpless I swear!) Anyway, of course the new room is on the second floor ( I asked about ground floor, but they were all booked up:( ) So there I am in the parking lot of the new room and I pull all our big and heavy bags out of the car and onto the pavement. As I stood there wondering how in the world I was going to get these very heavy bags inside and up the stairs, 3 airmen happened to be walking by and offered to help! (Again with the being pregnant and looking helpless bit I guess) Thank God they were there honestly, because I really think there is no way I could have gotten that stuff upstairs in my state:) So after a few more trips back and forth between rooms, I managed the switch! So, the new move in date for our house is now July 2, which is Monday. I am beyond excited to be in a house again, we are getting cable set up that day, a new TV delivered, some rental furniture delivered, and some newly bought furniture delivered as well! It's gonna be a big day, so we better not get pushed back another day!
As far as household goods go, we got an email saying our stuff had arrived in country, but was going through customs and they would let us know when they could deliver. Not sure what that means, or when we will get our stuff, but heres hoping next week or the week after. Living out of a suitcase for over 6 weeks is starting to get a little monotonous. I'm ready for my own stuff!

With not a lot going on, Jeff and I have been trying to do stuff. We had our trip to Warwick Castle last weekend and that was fun, although the walking was not so fun for my feet. We have tried some of the local pubs around the place too, but mostly just hung out. We have seen several movies on base this past week, well what can I say the base theater is walking distance away and super cheap too! With Jeff gone for training last week, I managed to get through 3 seasons of Desperate Housewives (a show I have always wanted to watch, but never did, it's kind of ridculous though) and finished the 6th Harry Potter! I've also managed to get in some extra sleep with naps and sleeping in. I'm so happy I can finally sleep again! I mean I still wake up at least 2 times a night to pee, but at least I can mostly fall back to sleep. I think I am making up for my weeks of sleepless nights a while ago. It has been a lazy weekend so far, with Jeff and I taking walks around base and simply hanging out. Tomorrow we have a BBQ with his flight to go to, so that will be nice and then hopefully on Monday we will finally have a house! I'll post pics of the inside of the place as soon as I can!

So more waiting as we wait for Max to get here...almost 35 weeks and feeling fine. I can't believe he is gonna be here so soon! in 2 weeks I will be considered "full term" and could go into labor! I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore, as the last months of pregnancy are not very comfortable, but I am getting more excited to meet this little baby that has been growing inside of me for so long! I have been trying to figure out a birth plan of sorts, but I have heard labor isn't the type of thing you can even plan at I'm having a difficult time deciding what to include in this so called "plan".  Oh, also, I have been trying to figure out a way to let everyone know when I do go into labor since our phones aren't the most reliable and neither is our internest situation. (and I checked the WIFI in the hospital where I will be giving birth is really bad!) So basically Jeff and I are thinking that we will just be able to call parents and thats it:( Hopefully they will be able to notify other family members too. Otherwise, just keep an eye on facebook status for a baby update:)

Anyway, thats all for now, if any of you have tried texting me in the past few days, I may not have gotton it becasue our internet in this new room is really bad and starting Monday, we won't have internet in our house for about a week and communication might be a little iffy after this weekend:) But we let you about any updates:)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

33 weeks

     Here are a few pictures from this week. The above picture is my 33 week belly pic, sorry the bathrom is so messy. I ended up getting another ultrasound here at this base today. The image below is kind of  hard to see because Max is so big now. But it is a picture of the side of his face with his hand up by his eye. They said he weighs approximatly 4lbs and 8oz right now. He is for sure a boy too:)

Looking forward to getting our house next week and being able to move in:) 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


After the depressing emotional mess that was my last blog, I am feeling better and ready to blog in a more positive note:)

Pregnancy/ Baby Update:
I have recently been suffering from heart burn (which is so wierd feeling since I had never had it before). It comes upon me every night, but I keep my handy tums on the bed stand, so its not terrible yet.

Also, I must express my worsening frustration in trying to find somthing to wear that is not yoga pants and t-shirts. It seems maternity pants just don't work for me as I can't seem to find any that remontly fit. Either they are so huge and slide off all day where I am constantly pulling them up or they are so tight around my butt that there is no way I can wear them for an extended amount of time. I would love to just stick to dresses and shorts (I have actually found one pair of maternity jean shorts that fit and I love) but it is actually quite chilly and rainy here and have not been able to wear shorts for an entire day without freezing my legs off. Also those huge bands of stretchy material at the top of maternity pants just makes my belly itch like crazy! So since I have a very limited wardrobe right now any way (still living out of a suitcase) I find myself wearing the exact same things every week...and they aren't cute things. Although I don't really like being the frumpy pregnant lady who only wears sweats- and I told myself I never would be- I am finding as I'm getting larger and larger that is they only thing I can wear comfortably. The same things go for shoes, I only packed about 6 pairs of shoes, 3 of which are tennis shoes and 2 are flip flops...Although I haven't yet had any problems with my feet swelling, but I am so ready for the day where I can wear my cute shoes comfortably again!

I finally have gotton an appointment with an OB next week, on Monday. So that was a huge hassle and a huge relief. I also got signed up with several baby classes they offer here at the base hospital so that was also positive.

Max has been kicking insanly, I have to say sometimes it is down right painful and when he kicks me in the bladder, somtimes I don't know how I manage not to pee my pants right then and there! (Sorry if that was tmi)

I also find it more and more uncomfortbale to sleep because I can't seem to get comfortable and the pillows here in the hotel are not helping in the slightest. (I think Jeffrey and I have become somewhat of pillow snobs anyway) I just couldnt handle the crap pillows here and we went out and bought some amazing, amazing pillows that were well worth the money! The last 2 nights sleeping with them has been so much better! I don't care what anyone says, get your self a good expensive pillow and it will save your life! (Especially if you're pregnant, but Jeffrey doesn't mind it either)

What I have been doing lately:
We have managed to get a few things done around here despite the fact that we won't be able to move into our house until June 28. Still no word on when we will recieve our household goods, but fingers crossed it will be in July sometime. We can get rental furniture for our house for the time before our stuff gets there. We bought some new furniture here too ( a futon and a recliner (( I am dying to use the recliner now!))). We also took and got our British drivers licenseses. I barely passed the test, but what can I say it's been years since I actually had to take a test of any kind:)

-Oh, I got myself a library card and was able to check-out some movies and TV series I wanted to catch up on anyhow. (I had forgotton about the good old fashioned library!) I also have several knitting projects to work on as well, so keeping occupyed much better now:)

Tomorrow is Jeffrey's birthday and we plan to do dinner and movie in Bury, since it's also a down day, he gets to sleep in, which is nice for him:) Saturday we are going to the Queen's Birthday parade downtown and London and next weekend we signed up to do a trip down to Warwick Castle. So we are getting out and about after all:)

I will try to post some more pictures soon. I'm sure we will have some from our weekend excursions, but I not looking my best so posting pictures of myself is a little scary these days:)

Sad recent events that happened to one of my dear friends, has reminded me just how precious life is and that I shouldn't let the small things bother. It is the important things in life that matter, and some things just worrying about them will not help anybody. Plus my "problems" could be so much worse and and I thank God every day for everything that He has given me!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Simply Whelmed...

Over the past few days I have felt completely stressed and busy yet also extremely bored and under stimulated. I have been both overwhelmed and underwhelmed, and I can't decide which is worse.

Recently I have been so frustrated I just want to scream and cry. Maybe my pregnancy emotions are again to blame for them, if so, I have to say that they (pregnancy hormones) are not making this move any easier. Besides the whole issue with trying to get a doctor on base, which is a separate issue in itself, nothing seems to be getting completely done. It seems as if we finally figure out something, another problem or issue arises.

Which brings me to baby stuff. I feel so unprepared, but there is nothing I can do to become more prepared for when he arrives. I feel like there is so much I already don't know about being a parent that not being able to set up his nursery or pack my hospital bag is making me feel even worse. A lot of my friends I see on facebook who are pregnant have the room all set up and are constantly talking about how excited they are for their little bundle of joy to arrive...they sound so prepared and all it does is make me feel less ready to become a mom. I know they told us when we got our stuff packed up that is was possible we wouldn't get any of our furniture until a week before Max is due, but at the time it still seemed like such a long time away that it didn't seem to hit me. As weeks go by, I am starting to get really anxious about not having anything ready! I hate just sitting here waiting and doing nothing to help myself realize that in a matter of weeks I will have a baby! Wow, there are so many problems, issues, and questions I have about having a baby that I had simply put out of my mind before, but it seems like it's all I can think about lately and it's driving me crazy!

Then there is the part about trying to do Britishy things and enjoy England when I don't have anything figured out. I feel lame sitting here in the room all day, but what am I supposed to do? I don't have a car, I guess I could use Jeff's car but A. I have no idea where I am going half the time and B. What would I do all by myself? People keep asking me if I am enjoying England and if it feel so different being a different country and if I have got to see cool things....All I have been trying to do is set up my life here, and its way more stressful than I thought. Plus it's weird enough having to get used to not having the normal small things you get used to in the States. Simple things like Netflix to watch any of your favorite shows when your bored, being able to call and or text any of your friends or family because they are all in the same time zone, or even being able to drive to a local Walmart or Target to shop around for your everyday items... Even as I type this stuff it sounds terribly petty, and I know it is...

I am trying to stay positive and tomorrow I am going to Spouses Club event, so maybe I will be able to meet a few people there, plus it gives me something to do.

I know I shouldn't complain, because it truly is awesome that we are here, in England getting to do all this. I know in a few months, once I make friends and get settled with Max, that everything will be much better. But after having such great friends and support system back in Montana, I really forgot how hard moving far away really is.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Sunday, June 3-
At 7am (about midnight in the states), we arrive in London! After the plane landed we, of course, were hustled into the long line for customs. We didn't have to wait too long and came out of the line with our checked bags waiting for us. Jeffrey's sponsor over here (aka the guys who's job Jeff is taking over) was supposed to be there to pick us up at the airport. This presented a little bit of a problem because neither of us had any idea what this guy looked like haha. Anyway, Jeff ended up calling the guy from a payphone (which is weird enough that they still have those) and he was running late, so we had some time to linger around the London airport. We got some money changed over to pounds, and just tried not to fall asleep while people watching.
Once Jeff's sponsor got there, his name is Rick, we loaded all our luggage into his truck and began the 2 hour rainy drive from the airport to RAF Mildenhall. I tried to pay attention to where we were going and the road laws and signs, but I couldn't help nodding off several times. It didn't help that Jeff and Rick were discussing work and what all his job entails...( any military spouse out there knows how interesting work talk can be ((sarcasm)).
We finally get to the base around 10:30am and check into our temporary lodging, which is nice and kind of like a mini apartment. We pretty much just dropped our stuff, took showers and fell into bed. We both slept until 6pm that night. The only reason we woke up is because Rick and his wife wanted to take us out for dinner that night. Around 7:15pm we met up with them they took us to a fun Indian restaurant in the nearby town of Norfolk. The town was really cute and there was live music in the streets. It was rainy and cold, but the Brits were still out there with umbrellas having a good old time! I had had Indian food in Australia before, but it was the first time for Jeffrey. We both really liked it and think it may be one of our favs now!
Once back in the room, we immediately went back to sleep, after family Skype date of course:)

Monday, June 4-
Sleep didn't last long though as we both woke up at around 3am... We watched a few episodes of our new fav HBO show Game of Thrones, which we now have on dvd, ate some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (its the only food we had) and tried to go back to sleep around 6am. Jeff's alarm went off around 9:30am because he had to start doing some in-processing. I, on the other hand, got to sleep in until about 11:30:) Since I had no cell phone or anyway to get a hold of Jeff I had no idea when he was coming back for the day or how long he'd be gone (it really is so weird not having cell phones these days). I tried to busy myself around the place cleaning up and attempting laundry. Once he got back, we headed out to the bank to set up a British pounds account. (Apparently you have to have a separate account for England because they do the routing different and you have to pay your local bills like cell phones, rent and things like through British pounds). Anyway, that took forever to set up and I almost fell asleep right there. Jeff had some briefings to attend after that so I was on my own to explore. I walked around base and got some groceries at the commissary, checked out the on base car dealership and did some shopping at the BX. Again, not having a phone, I left a note for Jeff at the room to let him know where I was, it was kinda fun writing a note, teehee felt so old school:) Anyway, once he got home we started the car buying process for our new Ford Edge. We also managed to get our new cell phones set up and interestingly enough, they don't charge for any new phones here, only the plans. So needless to say, we both got brand new free iphones:) The rest of the night consisted of setting up the new phones and chatting with people back home. Which brings me to now, I could absolutely not sleep tonight! I tried reading, (I'm on the 5th Harry Potter btw) but managed to stay up until the Spurs game came on...the Spurs are kinda sucking...I hope they pull it through!
So that is all that has happened so far...sorry for some of the pointless details, but hey. Tomorrow hopefully we will go talk to housing, finish buying the car and get me a doctor:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Days in the States...

It's only 3 days until Jeffrey and I leave the US and head out to the great country of England! Loads has happened to prepare for leaving in the last couple days/weeks....

First off, we finally finished cleaning our house, after what seemed like forever of cleaning. I really didn't realize how dirty my house was until everything was gone and I was forced to scrub the entire thing! Our housing inspection is tomorrow at 10am and both Jeffrey and I are kinda nervous. This will be our first base housing inspection and since we moved into a brand new house, we have heard it will be brutal! I guess anything we will just see if we end up paying for anything major to be fixed. We will most likely have to pay for the lawn since we were supposed to have the grass grown and green, but being that it snowed 2 days doesn't look great...I am hoping all our hard work in the effort to save money and clean the house ourselves will actually pay off.

I am officially not the President of the Malmstrom Spouses Club any longer and let me tell you that it feels great! Although, my year as Pres was fun and definitely interesting, I am glad it is over. I will probably join a spouses club over in England, but never again will I be in charge of one! I forgot how much drama girls can be:)

Oh- for those of you interested, I finally did get my visa. It came in on Friday and thank goodness too!

Since yesterday was Memorial Day, we had a get together with a bunch of our friends. Its weird to think that that was the last time I will see a majority of them...I can't even really seem to grasp it yet. Everyone has been so awesome in letting Jeffrey and I borrow/use  mattresses, sheets, tables, pans, cell phones, washer and dryers and so much more. I can't believe how amazing everyone has been. Thank-you so much to all the Great Falls friends out there! The last 2 weeks would have been miserable if it had not been for all our y'all's generosity!

Wow, what else? Only 10 weeks until little Baby Beene arrives! BTW we have decided we are going to call him Maximus and call him Max for short:) We haven't figured out a middle name yet, but a lot of people have been asking about a name, so there it is! I am feeling him move so much recently! He's getting really strong too! I am a little worried about the long flights as the doctor told me I have to walk around every hours for good blood flow...could be annoying when I'm trying to sleep haha. Hope it goes by fast!

People keep asking us (Jeffrey and myself) if we are excited or sad to be going to England, and honestly we are just ready to be there already! All the prep work is a little over whelming! I can't wait until I have a home again with my own things all set up! (although the movers say our stuff won't arrive over seas until Aug 1!) It finally feels like everything we can do here is done, and now were just waiting to get there and get more stuff done...we are just playing the waiting game now. There are a lot of questions and things we don't yet know about like in England but I am sure we will figure it out in England and will let everyone know:) Oh, after Thursday neither one of us will have working phones, so the best way to contact us is email or facebook. Yes, we will update stuff to let everyone know when we get there safe and have a house and all that:)

Next time I blog I will be in England! Eeeeek!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mama said there'd be days like this...

With only a few days left until my 26th birthday I got to thinking about all my past birthdays and what I was doing and how my life was during that time. The first thought to come to mind was the year I was 17.

I remember it so vividly:) My best friend and I were laying out to get a tan at the pool at my parents house. All we could talk about was how we wanted to lose weight and how we should work out more. We asked my mom to take a picture of us so we could see ourselves and have motivation for loosing weight. I'll never forget what my Mom said as she was taking the picture. She said "Girls, some day you are going to look back on this picture and be amazed at how good you looked and wish you looked like you do now" We just rolled our eyes and thought that there is no way we would ever think that! Haha, it's funny to say but my Mom was so right! It's sad to say that I have never been in better shape or weighed less since that time and thinking about it made me smile because I have never weighed more in my life than I do right now. It's funny how time changes things 9 years later. I realize that I am pregnant now and sort-of have an excuse for not being in great shape, but gaining weight kind of on purpose is so weird when you have tried your whole life not too gain weight.

Basically, I feel huge right now and know I'm only going to get bigger as I head into the last couple months of pregnancy, but there is nothing I can do about it now so might as well be happy with what I look like now and enjoy the baby growing inside me as much as possible! I realize that by the time I turn 27 I will be a mother and have a baby boy, so I have a lot to look forward too!

Baby Beene Update:
Officially in my 3rd trimester and for sure feeling it! Besides feeling large, which I already mentioned, baby is moving around like crazy and I can actually see my belly moving from time to time, which is a little creepy haha.
The only symptom I seem to be having is trouble sleeping. I seem to wake up every few hours and now I have the problem of not being able to get comfortable! I recently got a pre-natal pillow which seems to be helping, but sheesh, sleep just isn't something I have been getting a lot of. But I guess it's just preparing me for when baby actually gets here:)
People have been asking me about cravings, and so far, from my experience, I don't think they are real. The only things I have been eating a lot of is apples and lemonade, but I liked both of those things before I was pregnant, so I remain un-convinced thus far about the cravings theory.

Yesterday I finally filed for my visa and after we mailed it in, they said it could take  4-6 weeks to come in. Lets hope it gets here in under 3 weeks because that's when our flight leaves and that could create a problem:)
Movers are coming next week so for the past couple days I have been busy going through drawers and closets deciding what we want to keep, what we want to sell, what we want to put in storage, and what we want to throw away. Jeffrey and I are trying to keep the "less is more" strategy in mind. We really don't want to accumulate a bunch of junk we don't need, and moving is a great way to purge!