Monday, January 31, 2011

Charlotte Today!!!

My big TV debut can be seen on the internet! I still haven't watched. I can't! I'm too scared!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mommy's TV Debut!!!

Um, so something big is happening tomorrow! I am going to be on my favorite local morning show in a segment featuring Superbowl appetizers! There are several people involved--it's going to be a contest and I'm bringing Baked Cheese. I am so nervous and excited. I can't decide what to wear (what else is new?). I can't believe this is happening. AAAHHHHHHH! Wish me luck, I'll need it!

Click here for the recipe!

New 'Do

Before--Playing while we waited!

Driving the airplane chair!

Getting the actual cut...

Haircuts are fun!

After (they give you animal crackers--yay!)

Branner had his first haircut on Friday (1/29), and he did great! I was a little sad to see his locks shortened, but he NEEDED it. He was starting to look unkempt, and that just wasn't working for me. I wonder how long we'll have before it's time for another trim...his hair grows SO fast!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Room Wall Hangings--Part 1

I found these on etsy, and I think they will go perfectly with my new duvet! The seller is customizing for my color scheme as we speak! Yay, finally making some headway on Project Guest Room--Makeover Edition!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Bedding Ordered? Check!

Remember all my weekend plans? Well, I ordered new bedding for my guest room this weekend. I can't wait for it to get here so the makeover can commence!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Warrior

Ahhhhh. Branner is snuggled up in his bed (almost) sleeping, the animals are napping, and I am enjoying a sparkling water contemplating just what exactly it is I am going to do this weekend while Barry is away. Hmmmmm. A few ideas:

  • Clean out my fridge/freezer. This is long overdue and will require a glass of wine (or two). This sucks because it will require me taking out trash, which I HATE.
  • Clean out and reorganize my pantry. See above.
  • Upload Branner's birthday pictures. Post them on Facebook and here. Make a photo album of them.
  • Order new bedding for my guest room. The last set I ordered ended up being brown and not white and gray, which is what it looked like in the pictures. SO ANNOYING. But, I have found something else...
  • Look into printing a book of this blog's 2010 entries.
  • Write a blog or two for Modern Parent. Have you liked them on Facebook yet???
  • Find a new book to read.
  • Reward myself for all my hard work with a little online shopping. I'm really good at rewarding myself. Maybe I should start there...

Fun Friday!

What better way to follow up Temper Tantrum Thursday than with Fun Friday?! We have had a much better (and easier for mommy) day today. It only took me about 10 minutes to get Branner dressed this morning and we were out the door without any mishaps. Branner willingly allowed me to buckle him into his carseat and off we went to music time with Mr. Nigel. Shana and Carter met us there; we sang, we danced, we got lost in the sea of (what seemed like) millions of kids and mommies. After a quick lunch and much needed trip to Harris Teeter, we got home right at naptime. Whew!

Now, onto the rest of the weekend. It's just Branner and I until Sunday afternoon since Barry is in Charleston for a bachelor party. Flying solo with a baby is hard work, which is why there is no one I respect more than single mothers! Here's to hoping for the next two days to be easy!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Temper Tantrum Thursday

All I can say is, "Whoa!" Today has been interesting to say the least!

It started out normal, Branner woke up at his regular time, had some milk, a cereal bar and we played. We sent Barry off to work and played some more. After looking over the Y fitness class schedule, I decided I wanted to go to yoga at 11:20. I put Branner in his crib for some "quiet time." I got dressed and ready and got B out of his crib. I then proceeded to chase him for 45 minutes trying to change his diaper and get him dressed for the day while he intermittently cried. I thought I was getting my workout at the Y, not at home! Once he was finally ready to go, we went out to the car. He WOULD NOT let me put him in his carseat. He kept screaming and kicking and bucking me. So, after three attempts, I gave up. I put him in his crib, and he immediately fell asleep. For two hours. I've been entertaining him since 1. I need to get ready for date night (Thank God that's tonight, I need a break and a drink). Round 2 of "quiet time" coming up.

He has never been so unhappy/upset/unsettled. I'm blaming it on teething and praying tomorrow's a better day. Fingers crossed!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Preschool Visit

This morning, we took a tour of our church's preschool. I have known for a long time that I wanted Branner to go to preschool in the fall. In fact, I wanted to start him last fall, but there was no interest in a crib class. The tour went well, and the school is everything I had hoped for, wanted and more! They offer several special programs, including Spanish starting at age 2. They have an amazing curriculum and came very highly recommended. It doesn't hurt that we love our church and it's less than five minutes away! I am so excited for Branner's first day of school in September. He is, too! He cried when we left the one-year-old room. He wanted to stay and play with all of the children!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Branner's Birthday Party

We held Branner's first birthday party actually ON his first birthday, January 15th (one of the perks of having your baby on a Friday), at my parent's house in Asheboro. The theme: cars. Branner really, really loves the Cozy Coupe he got for Christmas, so it was a good choice. The party started at 4--after nap time. It was really just a drop-in for hors d'oeuvres and of course, CAKE!

My mom, my dad, Barry and I spend most of the day preparing, cleaning and cooking to get ready for the big celebration! We (well, my dad and Barry) even had to salt the driveway because it was still icy from a winter storm earlier in the week. I had sent out about 25 invitations and invited at least 50 people. Guess what? The vast majority of them showed up! Not that I was surprised, seeing as we have the best friends and family anyone could ever ask for! The party was a whirlwind. We posed for a few family pics,

chased Branner around while he played, played and played (with the blinds and toilet paper in the guest bathroom) and visited with his guests, had some yummy treats, watched Branner destroy his cake and opened a mountain of gifts! Branner LOVED his cake and enjoyed opening the first few gifts. Then, the decorative acorns on Gigi's coffee table caught his eye, and he really needed to see what they were all about. We had an absolutely wonderful time celebrating the first anniversary of the best day of our life!
Happy First Birthday, Branner! We love you more than words candescribe and you bring more us more joy, happiness and laughter than we could EVER have imagined!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1 Year Old!

My, my the difference a year makes! This time last year, I had a brand-spankin'-new baby (that I worked really, REALLY hard to bring into this world--see this post for details) and was recovering from a c-section. I was on top of the world, but not feeling my personal best at the same time. Hands down, the day of Branner's birth was the greatest day of both Barry's and my life so far! This year, I got to celebrate in my skinny jeans and high heels without being swollen and pumped full of fluid, and I felt like a million bucks compared to the day Branner was born!

A year ago, Branner was a tiny creature that was being breast-fed and needed and depended on us (mainly me) for everything. This year, we have a toddler who is walking, talking, playing and feeding himself. It is so amazing how much babies grow and change in the first year. We are having a huge celebration this afternoon for Branner with food, cake, tons of presents and lots of friends.

Here's what Branner is up to these days:

Likes: Walking--he has improved so much in the past two weeks, he is much more steady on his feet and has gone from a few steps here and there to walking across rooms, talking (Mama, Dada, Baba (for Bailey), cat--can you tell he LOVES animals?, playing with his Little People farm (he loves me making all of the farm animal noises and tries to imitate them--the horse's neigh is his favorite right now), playing and "driving" his Cozy Coupe, reading, books, baths, laughing, lunches and play dates with his friends, the ladies at the Y who take care of him in Childwatch, women and girls of all ages (he is such a flirt), pulling toilet paper off the roll, taking things out of cabinets and drawers, chewing on anything and everything in sight, visiting with Gigi, Big Papa, his Mimi and his aunts, uncles and cousins, waving to everyone and wearing big boy shoes!

Dislikes: Not being able to eat cat and dog food, not being able to play in their water, not being able to stick his finger in sockets, not being able to play on my computer and phone.

Foods: Whole milk--no more formula!!, fruits, veggies, turkey dogs, chicken, fish sticks, pasta, cereal bars, pancakes, waffles, the list goes on and on...we're working on getting him back to being a "good eater"!

Clothing size: 12 months and 12-18 months.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Branner's Birth

In honor of Branner's first birthday, I will finally post the story of how he made his much-anticipated debut into the world. This is not for the weak at heart or for those of you reading this who have not yet experienced childbirth! Seriously, you have been warned.

My contractions started around 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 14th. With my due date (finally!!) approaching, my mom had been staying with us for a couple of days. We had been to my doctor that morning and to the grocery store, and she was making Barry and I dinner. We started timing my contractions via some website I have since forgotten. Once they got 5 minutes apart, we called my doctor's office and were given the green light to proceed to the hospital. We left our house around 8:30 or so and made the 15 minute drive to Presbyterian.

My mom and Barry got me up to the 8th Floor--Labor and Delivery--and we went through the process of getting checked in. I was in triage for a while, not really progressing. They told me to go walk around for an hour, so we went out to the lobby to hang with my mom and my dad and brother, Blake, who had both arrived while I was being poked and prodded in triage. We went back to triage at midnight. We finally got a room about 1 am. I was glad to finally be in THE ROOM, the one where I would give birth. This was one step closer to us meeting our baby boy, and we were so excited! I was given a mild pain medication to help ease the contractions a little and hopefully allow me to get a little sleep. Well, that didn't happen. Barry slept. My mom dozed off. I was wide-freakin'-awake. All night. The one time I really needed to rest up and save my energy. My girlfriend, Tracy, who had just had a baby 6 weeks prior and knew I was in labor texted me while she was feeding at 4, and we talked for a little while. Everything was fine--I wasn't really in pain. I watched some TV, tried to rest.

Early the next morning, around 7, my nurse came in and checked me (not much happening) and put me on Pictocin to speed up my labor. I was over 3 inches dialated, but had decided to wait until 5 to get my epidural. BIGGEST. MISTAKE. EVER. But, we'll get back to that. So, I'm on Pictocin, hanging out, having still not too bad contractions. Sometime around 10 or so, my doctor came in and broke my water. Yay! We were getting a move on. Surely, Branner was going to be on his way soon since my water was broken and it looked like things were progressing.

HOLY HELL! HOLY HELL! THE PAIN! After my water was broken, what had been just a nagging, not-so-bad, very tolerable pain became THE WORST PAIN I'D EVER FELT IN MY LIFE. I cannot even begin to describe the intensity of my contractions once my water was broken. I literally could not talk. I just laid in my hospital bed and cried and tried to breathe through it like my prenatal yoga instructor had taught me. She had 3 kids naturally, so I could make a few minutes until I got my epidural just using my yoga breathing, right? Biggest crock ever. I did make it, but I also came to the conclusion that my yoga instructor was a whack job/masochist. I think this went on for 30-45 minutes before the anesthesiologist came to my rescue. Oh, but when he did, I wanted to kiss him. Instantaneous relief!! I told him he was a Godsend, and at the very least, someone should name a street after him (I really did, you can ask Barry and my mom). Ahhhh. Couldn't even feel the contractions anymore. It was great.

Now, it was about lunchtime, and also time to start pushing! I was actually excited/terrified! But hell, I couldn't feel anything, so time to get this show on the road! The nurse would tell me when to push, and I would. I pushed and pushed and pushed with all my might. Nothing happened. Upon further pushing/checking, it was determined that Branner was "sunny-side-up," or facing upwards instead of down. I was told it would take me a little longer, but I could push him out. No need to worry at this point. Pushed and pushed and pushed some more. Finally, after 2 1/2 hours of the most grueling physical activity I had never done (and going on literally no sleep since 5 am, January 14), there was a conference. Barry talked to the nurse and doctor. He came back over to me and said they might want to look at other options. WHAT??!!! Excuse me, but NO. I wasn't having a c-section. No way. I was going to do this. I HAD to do this. The doctor hadn't confirmed anything at this point with me, so I wasn't completely devastated yet. Then, the bomb was officially dropped by my doctor. All that hard work I had done for 2 1/2 hours? You see, it hadn't done a thing. Not a damn thing. So, I could either proceed with a c-section or keep trying to push and still, more than likely end up having one, anyway. I was devastated. I broke down into tears. I cried and cried to Barry and my mom, but in the end, I knew what I had to do. I had nothing else to give. I had no more energy.

Back came the anesthesiologist. I was given more drugs. Barry suited up, hairnet and all. I was wheeled into an operating room and the procedure began. I really didn't feel anything but a little bit of pressure, and at 3:12 pm, I heard my sweet baby boy's cries for the first time. I cried tears of joy. Then, the kicker. They took Branner over to be cleaned off and weighed and measured. 9 lbs, 12 oz and 23 inches long. Wait! What? Hello, I'm 5'4 and I'm small! That couldn't be right. But, it was! My doctor said there is no way I could have pushed him out, anyway, even if I had tried. He was simply too big for me to birth the natural way. So, him being "sunny-side-up" and all my hard work resulting in no progress were really blessings in disguise.

I was stitched back up. Barry wheeled Branner out to meet our family and friends who were at the hospital. I went into recovery and finally got to hold my precious baby for the first time! All's well that ends well (with an epidural and pain meds)!!!

To this day, I am still disappointed that I was unable to birth Branner the way I had envisioned. I am still trying to move past it and mourn the birth I had planned that didn't pan out. It has been hard on me. I still cry when I think about it. But, I have to get over it. Branner got here safe and sound and at the end of the day, that is all that really matters. Obviously, this is the way it was meant to be according to God's plan, and I constantly remind myself of that. But, I will always wonder what it would have been like to have had things go my way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Everyone Loves a Snuggie!!!

Barry bought me a Snuggie as part of my Christmas, and Bailey and Chloe can't get enough of it. There haven't been any cat/dog fights yet, but my money's on Chloe if one breaks out!

Pancakes, Quesadillas and Turkey Dogs

First turkey dog!

Branner has decided he does NOT want Barry or I to feed him anymore. He is taking the fact that he is turning one very seriously. So, we are now ordering off kid's menus and trying to figure out what he'll eat at home. He has become, we'll say picky, lately. I think it has more to do with him teething and less to do with him not liking foods. He used to like EVERYTHING. A few recent successes: pancakes (he ate 3!!! when Barry took him out to breakfast on Sunday), cheese quesadillas, mashed potatoes (he gets that from his mommy), turkey dogs (I gave him one for the first time yesterday), chicken, cereal bars and bread of any type. I sense a carboholic in the making!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

Modern Parent

Ok, you guys. This time, it's for real! The website I will be blogging for, Modern Parent, will be up and running very soon--by the end of this month. Please click the link below and like them on Facebook. This is going to be an amazing resource for parents and lots of talented people will be blogging for them. I'd really, really, really appreciate your support!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big Boy Carseat

It's the end of an era...the rear-facing carseat era, that is. Yesterday, we bought Branner's "big boy" carseat to replace his "baby" carseat that he was thisclose to outgrowing due to his height. We went with the Britax Boulevard 70 CS, and we love it! It has great reviews all around and is super-duper safe. They are also based in Charlotte, so we were a little partial. B seems so much happier already. Probably because his knees aren't up to his chin...just kidding...kind of.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pasta Primavera

We let Branner feed himself pasta for the first time tonight! Good thing the white shirt he was wearing was almost too small, because that ended up in the trash after his self-feeding extravaganza. Holy tomato sauce!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Birthday Invitaions

Man, I love! I ordered Branner's birthday invitations from them and they got here the very next day. I couldn't believe it! I paid a little extra for expedited shipping, but I thought it would take a couple of days at least. Moms, I highly recommend this site for all of your stationary needs. Cute, cute, cute!!!!