Nine months later ...

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned how I would like to be in much better shape 40 weeks after delivery. Coupling that with an upcoming work trip for the hubby, I have really been busting my booty.

Once Cooper was born, it didn't take any time at all for me to shed the baby weight. Honestly, it was a little too easy - Within one week, I was back at my pre-preggo weight, and by 1.5 weeks, I was wearing my regular {low-rise} jeans again.

That made me a little too confident ... and with breastfeeding, I was full of excuses for being a chubby wubby pig. But a few weeks ago, I decided it was time for all that to change.

In addition to trying to cut back and eat healthier {lots of oatmeal, and no more second breakfasts for this girl!} I've been doing some working out. Primarily running three nights a week.

We began running in the evenings two weeks ago and I couldn't even go a quarter of a mile. But I've been pushing myself hard and, last night, made it up to 1.75 miles without stopping. Hubs and I are hoping to do a 5K later in September, so I'm not only running to get in shape {running seriously helps zap the fat on this mama} but also to train. I'm ecstatic to be over halfway there in terms of being able to run the entire distance!

Anyhow ... Right now, I weigh about four pounds less than I did when I got pregnant. However, I can tell that I am gaining lots of muscle and tone, and things are definitely changing! While I'm not where I want to be, I'd say I'm about where I was 18 months ago, and definitely working to get things flatter, tighter, etc.

So, here I am this morning:

Definitely not great and nowhere near where I hoped I would be. However, putting things into perspective and remembering I wasn't exactly a model before I conceived helps out, too. I've definitely figured out that whatever else I lose I am going to have to earn - I was extremely fortunate to lose the "baby weight" as quickly as I did, and to be back in all of my regular clothes around 4 months pp - the tough ones being pants that hit right at the middle of my belly.

Once I get in the groove of running, I would love to add some exercises on my "off" days from running. Obviously this has to be something decently quick that I can do in my basement ... suggestions?


40 weeks, 1 day

When Cooper was born, he was 40 weeks, 1 day gestationally. I thought the day would never come.

Now, he is 40 weeks, 1 day outside of the womb. Where has time gone? My sweet, helpless little angel is now a sweet yet mischevious boy on the move.




Cooper:: Nine months!

In true Mother of the Year fashion, I'm posting this a day late. Just keepin' it real.

Three quarters of a year. Wow. How is that even possible?

Baby boy, you are definitely on the move now. If there is somewhere you want to be or something you want, you can most definitely get to it! This obviously causes a little frustration for mama and dada as we aren't used to it yet, but we're learning how to keep things out of your grubby little paws.

You crawl all over the place now, and we often will get down on the floor and crawl with you, or cheer you on. Walking is in your very near future, I believe, since you cruise around quite a bit, around the coffee table, or pushing things like bar stools. Ms. Robin says she's always worried you are going to end up bruised, because sometimes you try to stand on your own and end up falling. All in good time, my little man.

You continue to babble, and last weekend, you finally figured out how to say "mama." I'm not sure if you've connected the fact yet that I am your mama, but it still melts my heart.

You weigh around 20 lbs. and I'm not sure how tall you are - we don't go to the doctor for another week and a half. You wear a Size 3 diaper and a mix of 6-9 and 9-12 month clothes.

We installed your new car seats earlier this month - it was getting way too hard for mama to lug you around in the big seat!

Cooper, you LOVE to eat. If you are fussy, we can give you the sippy cup and some puffs and you become content. You are eating three meals and a couple of snacks every day - usually oatmeal or yogurt mixed with bananas for breakfast, veggies for lunch, and turkey, chicken, or spaghetti for supper. You will eat anything, but definitely have your favorites. I'm still breastfeeding you, and you nurse first thing in the morning, take a 6 ounce bottle around 11 a.m., 4 ounces with your lunch around 1 p.m., and another 4 ounces around 4:30 p.m., then nurse before bed.

You like to crawl around underneath the table {especially after meals at Ms. Robin's!} to see if you can find any crumbs. I like to call you Scrappy :) 

You continue to be an amazing sleeper, going to bed between 8 & 9 and waking around 7 every day. On the weekends, we try to keep you up late and you sleep in a little later as well :) In the mornings, I often walk into your room and you are just standing in the crib, waiting.

We've been taking you out in the jogging stroller some evenings, and you seem to really like riding around with your Max dog. Sometimes, you fall asleep because it's so exhausting to watch Mommy & Daddy work out!

You really love animals, and I can already tell what a sweet heart you are going to be. You reach out to pet Coco, Jax or Doc whenever they are nearby. You giggle at your Jax horse :) You really like going to the farm, and riding on the big machinery with your PaPa.

Teething has hit you hard again the past couple weeks. One of your eye teeth just popped through, with the other one looking like it's ready to break the gums any day now.

You are such a sweet little boy and a wonderful gift from God. You've captured my heart in a way I never thought was possible. It's so weird, but I can't fathom your Grandma and PaPa loving me the way I love you, but I know it's true now. I love you to the moon and back!

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Mother of the Year

Mother of the Year ... that's a phrase I use pretty often these days. And it's as sarcastic as it can be.

Take, for instance, the day a few weeks ago that my mom was over and Coop fell over and hit his head. He's done it before and this one wasn't near as hard as it's been, so after I glanced over and saw it was nothing, went on my way.

{We have a 'rule' in our house that we don't make a big deal out of falls, bumps, etc. In face, we usually cheer for him - don't want to raise a crybaby who just reacts.}

Anyhow, here's the conversation that followed:

Mom: "Michelle, he hit his head!"
Me: "Yeah. He's done it before, he's OK."
Mom: "But he hit it really hard. He's crying."
Me: "Well, if he's crying it means he's breathing."
{For the record, I did go over to give him some love, just not immediately.}

Mother of the Year right there...

Sorry if that makes you cringe. But seriously, he was fine - like I said, he'd done it before and it's just not something we obsess over. Yes, I am his mother and the source of comfort. But in being his mother, I also have that mother's intuition to know when something is wrong.

What I'm running into now are more of the internal struggles. I'm really hoping it's normal and that all my mommy friends aren't lying to me when they say it is.

Take, for instance, a few weeks ago. Cooper had been teething and I was home with him through the fussiness for a full day and a half. I'd planned to use my Friday to go shopping, but when that didn't pan out, I decided to just make a quick trip to Cape on Saturday and leave the boys at home.

Notsomuch. Hubby insisted that he and Coop accompany me. I tried to fight it, but couldn't convince them to stay at home.

Mother of the Year ...

Sunday, I was working hard trying to organize things in Cooper's room. If I told him to leave something alone once, I told him 10 times. Yes, I realize he is too small to really understand these things, but still. At the same time, hubby was outside working, I felt overwhelmed, and the twelth time that Cooper got into the diapers on the shelf, I totally raised my voice. "Cooper, will you please stop!" I said with mounting frustration.

Sweet angel baby, he looked at me and laughed. And I cried.

Mother of the Year ...

Apparently I was so loud when I raised my voice that hubby, who was actually downstairs, heard me. That night, I lost it. I told him I need a break - just one whole day to myself, not having to worry about work or family.

He replied that we're going to Branson on a work trip for him in a few weeks, so I'll get a break. "But Hubby, I need a full day without you OR Cooper. I want to go to the spa and turn off my phone."

Mother AND Wife of the Year ...

Honestly? I love those boys. So much my heart aches - cliche, but true. But a woman just needs a break every now and again! I told hubby to think of it this way - most every day of the week, he makes it home around 4:30 p.m. That gives him almost a solid hour of "me" time to kick up his feet or do whatever suits his fancy before I make it home. I am insanely jealous of that time.

I'm jealous that he gets to sleep in on the weekends while I am the one to get up. I'm jealous that he has the energy to stay up and watch TV, whereas I am falling asleep on the couch around 9 p.m., then waking up at 10 to pump and go to bed.

Please tell me this is normal. And while I may not be in the running for Mother of the Year, I shouldn't expect a visit from social services soon, right?

Dear God .... Thank you for all of the blessings you have given me. I am so, so fortunate that I have a wonderful, handsome hubby and sweet, angel baby to complain about. Clearly, I don't deserve this wonderful life with which you have blessed me. So, please give me the patience and understanding I need to live this life to the fullest!

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weekend happenings ~ tuesday brain dump

How on earth is the weekend already over? My one saving grace is knowing that I don't have to work the next two Mondays ... next week we will be in Little Rock for a family surgery, and the next is Labor Day .

.... Come to think of it, I won't be working Tuesday either of the next two weeks either :)

We had another super productive weekend. We've really devoted a lot of time to the outside of our house over the past month or so and I hope it shows. I would definitely showcase before & after photos, but I didn't take any befores ... so just the after will have to suffice. Once I take them :)

This weekend, we devoted most of the outside time to our back porch. Hubby cleaned it off, we moved some landscaping blocks, and we also pressure washed! It looks SO great. A few weekends ago, we moved our dog pen, which took about four feet of it, so it's much more spacious now, too.

Super Cooper was a crab pretty much all weekend. Seriously. We got his pictures made and he wasn't his normal cheerful self. Well, this morning he woke up in a great mood and I joked that maybe a tooth came in. Sure enough, he has a new one up top! So now two tooth Coop has three! Pretty soon his sweet gummy smile will be replaced with a big toothy grin and I'm just not sure if I can handle it!

On Saturday we took a run/walk. We are quite the production - I push the stroller and hubby jogs with Coco. I managed to run just over 1/4 of a mile without stopping. Not great, but you have to start somewhere! To motivate myself even more, I splurged on new running shoes when we went to Cape later in the day.

We've been eating oatmeal mixed with milk, applesauce and cinnamon for breakfast in the mornings, and it has been yummy in my tummy.

I haven't done a menu in a few weeks, so I thought I would go ahead and share it:

Sunday: Lasagna, garlic bread, salad
Monday: Lemon pepper chicken, buttery parsley potatoes, salad
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday!!!
Wednesday: Grilled chicken salad
Thursday: Pizza casserole, green beans (doubling so I can puree and freeze for C)
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Pizza casserole leftovers

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Friday's letters


Dear local doughnut shop: Thank you for having chocolate chip doughnuts on Friday and Saturdays. They truly are the best.

Dear Target: Why must you have a great sale on dresses the day I resolve to start saving money?

Dear weather: Why is there no happy medium? We've gone from blazing hot to fall-like temperatures in the matter of a week!

Dear husband: Thank you for helping out with the grocery shopping. You have no idea how much your help means. Also, thank you for surprising me with a lunch date today. It was lovely :)

Dear Big Brother: You are starting to become pretty predictable. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who doesn't know who won HOH since the comp extended past the live show, but it wasn't a surprise at all who ended up winning.

Dear back: I know that I lug around a 20 pound kid and have been toting around a lot of books during checkout this week, but it's not cool to be aching like you are.

Dear Cooper: Thank you for reclaiming your angel baby status last night and this morning. I really don't like having a whiny pants kid.

Dear Life Planner: I'm really going to make an effort to begin using you again. Because I can't justify the expense of buying you again if I'm not using you ...

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Life lately

  • First off, thank you guys so much for all the sweet, encouraging comments about my breastfeeding post. You all are amazing, and that is one of the things I love most about the blogging world.
  • This week has been a struggle, but after some conversations, I'm really going to try to stick it out. My babysitter (who BF until 18 months - amazing!) mentioned that sometimes kids have a problem with the transition from breastmilk to formula, and I really hate to do that to him for just two or three months and THEN transition to whole milk. So I've got a brand-new resolve to stick it out, and even had oatmeal for breakfast to "prove" it.
  • Last night, hubby and I took Cooper and Coco for a walk. I actually jogged three electric pole lengths, which is about a quarter mile. Ugh. Not only did my allergies majorly act up {mind you we were along crop fields where they sprayed yesterday}, I realized just how jiggly my booty is and that I am majorly out of shape. I'm hoping we'll start heading out every other day and I'll have some results soon!
  • Yesterday, Mister turned 38 weeks old. That sure is close to 52! Anyhow, I've told myself since he was born that I should give myself until he is 40 weeks, 1 day to really beat myself up over any body image issues. With only two weeks to go, I am definitely putting forth an effort.
  • My dad started harvesting corn this week, and Cooper is very excited to get to ride in the combine with his PaPa this weekend!
  • At least I hope he is, becuase Mister has been a grouch this week! I'm not sure what it is, but he's all over the place in terms on his napping/eating schedule ... and that doesn't even touch on the fact that he screams his little head off whenever we lie him down to change his diaper. We have a theory that he just gets pissed he doesn't have anything to play with during a diaper change, so hopefully handing him a small toy will help. I've got a feeling those top teeth are working to break through, so I'm hoping all this passes really soon.
  • Yesterday morning, he had me so frazzled I forgot to put on earrings. Minor, I know, but I feel like wearing earrings really makes me look polished and, of course, I had a lunch meeting.
  • I am really loving this season of Big Brother :) It's definitely my summer TV show.
  • The rodeo was in town last week, and that definitely pushed me over the edge when it comes to being exhuasted. I told hubby I need a day to just rest & relax.
  • We saw The Band Perry and Easton Corbin at rodeo ... both great performances!
  • With it being hot, crowded, loud and smoky, we decided to not take Super Cooper out to the rodeo. That being said, we did take him out for slack one night. He loved the animals!
  • It's book checkout/final registration week at the school where I work ... so things have been absolutely crazy these past few days! None of those tasks are my job, technically, but since I am highly involved in marketing/customer satisfaction, I do think it's my job to help people get through as quickly as possible, so I've checked out a few hundred books these last few days.
  • All these pictures and posts I'm seeing of kids' first day of school are making me kinda choked up. That day is going to sneak up on us all too soon, I am afraid.

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There are so many posts I could write about the things I am struggling with right now. Gosh, I thought going back to an 8-5 work schedule would be the trick, but it's not. Sure, I enjoy the extra hour I get at home in the evening, but it's still not enough.

But I'm rambling. What I'm really struggling with right now is breastfeeding. I know that none of you can give me an answer about what's right for me & my family, but I really just need a place to vent. And something to look back on over the next few months, when I guarantee that I'll have these same feelings and emotions several times.

I've never made it a secret that I didn't intend to breastfeed at all, let alone more than six weeks, and definitely not eight months. But it's worked ... rather well. Whenever my supply has dipped, I've always been able to boost it back up. I've not once had to supplement with formula, and I love having less bottles to wash, saving money, and the "ease" of nursing.

I can't put my finger on the exact reason, but I'm just really not feeling it any more. Honestly? I'm sick of pumping. I abhor hearing the whine of the pump. I'm sick of being the first one out of bed. I hate having to be careful of what I eat & drink. I hate stressing over my supply and ensuring that he has plenty to eat. Most of all, I am not loving that my little man is beginning to use his teeth while nursing, and is just so squirmy.

Our nursing times used to be so sweet. We would sit in the glider and he would just stare in my eyes and it was one of my favorite times of the day. No matter what, no one could take that time away from me & my boy.

At this point, I'm just not sure what to do. I've considered exclusively pumping, but that would be a pain in the rear, take up more time in the morning/evening, and be more dishes, so it's probably a definite no.

I can give myself an attitude adjustment and tell myself to keep trucking on. I've made it over 8 months, so I'm 2/3 of the way there. It's working, so why quit now? Plus, unless there are any unforeseeable circumstances, my freezer stash will probably last for two to three weeks of "daytime" feedings, so come November, there's a good chance I can ditch the pump and just begin nursing morning & evening.

And of course, I can just throw in the towel right now. There is some "mommy guilt" associated with that. Plus the hit our bank account will take. But gosh, the freedom I feel it would give me would probably be priceless. No more wearing "nursing/pumping appropriate" clothing. No more having to find the right place to pump. No more taking the time out of my day for the pumping and all the feedings when we are at home. And no more having to swat away Cooper every morning while I pump because he is enthralled with the cords.

I've been working on this post for a few days. It's been ... a struggle ... to say the least. And now, I think I've decided to just pull on my big girl panties and continue as long as is possible. It's working, it's free, and it really is what's best for my little Cooper.

I can't guarantee that, come Nov. 23, I'll still be nursing. But, I also can't guarantee that I won't continue with one or two nursing sessions beyond his first birthday. I can say that those times when I'm nursing and our eyes lock, however, make it all worth it.

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This & That

I feel like blogging has totally taken a back seat lately, hence another post of bullets :)
  • We are back to working normal hours, and I am thrilled. I'm getting an extra 20 or so minutes of sleep every morning, getting to work about 10 minutes early, and also have the time to eat breakfast before running out the door. It's definitely a transition getting back to working five days a week, but totally worth it.
  • We had a really full weekend. In addition to finally getting our shed moved to its permanent location, my dad came down to move some dirt and help us pull trees so we could move/straighten our driveway. Then yesterday, I spent $600 on rock for the driveway. It definitely adds to the curb appeal of our house, though :)
  • Photos to come soon.
  • Since we worked so hard on Saturday, we decided to go on a little family date that night. I know I'm biased, but I think I have the two most handsome men in the world, especially the little one :)

  • Mister LOVES tractors. When my dad pulled in on Saturday, he started squealing. So, this is how he spent a lot of the weekend, watching the work outside.

  • My mom also came down with my dad on Saturday, and we made several batches of salsa. My method isn't hard at all though ... I'm not much on the chunky salsa and not a big onion fan, so I totally love the Mrs. Wages salsa seasoning packets. Also, cooking, peeling and dicing tomatoes is more work than it's worth, so I buy the large, gallon cans of crushed tomatoes from Sam's Club. We did four batches, which gave us about 26 jars, so I "paid" around $1 per jar ... can't beat that!
  • The rodeo is in town next week. Ahhhhh ... where has the summer gone?
  • We went to a local western store to order some boots for C almost a month ago and when I called to check today she said they "must not have come in." Which, to me, reads "I forgot to order them." So tonight we'll be searching online for some cutie booties!!!
  • I mean seriously ... how is it already August? Before you know it, Christmas will be here!
  • This is the first month in a long time I don't have any evenings scheduled with work meetings, and I am very excited about that.
  • I've been trying to come up with a theme for Cooper's first birthday party. With his birthday being the day after Thanksgiving and my calling him a little turkey, I'm wondering if I can spin off on that in some way? We have plenty of upcoming years to do baseball, western and all that, but I probably can't get away with calling him a turkey forever :(
  • I'm thinking he will definitely be a little heartbreaker and have way too many girlfriends. One little girl at day care kisses him (on the cheek or forehead) EVERY morning and before he leaves for the day. She's about 4, and it's so cute.
  • This is the first weekend in awhile we don't have any plans, and I am crazy excited about that.