Videos galore

There are about 5 more on my Flickr page but I restrained myself and only posted a few here. So many videos, so little time.

Eating rice cereal is hard work, guys.

Pure genius, reading a book at 5.5 months old.

Limp legs = doorway jumper fail

Screaming is all the rage these days.

Flying solo, sans baby

Before my flight to St. Louis I was totally frazzled about leaving Truman for my first night away, and also worried about pumping and bringing breast milk back home with me. I definitely learned a lot for my first flight as a breastfeeding mom and maybe this post can help some others out there. My next flight will be WITH Truman, so that will be a completely different ballgame I'm sure.

I spent an obscene amount of time researching (who, me?) TSA's guidelines for traveling with breast milk before I left. Friends and commenters spoke of the unthinkable happening when going through security with milk, but without a baby: having to dump out all of your precious liquid gold. The horror! I decided that if I was going through all of the trouble to pump while I was supposed to be partying at a bachelorette party then I was going to bring my beloved cargo home with me no matter what. I knew at the very least I could check my milk in a bag but didn't really want to deal with a checked bag (or paying for it) so I was hoping I could just carry it on.

So when I found this page on TSA's website, I was intrigued. Apparently they've recently changed their policy on breast milk because I know a few of my friends had to put the milk in 3 ounce portions, and it all had to fit in one quart size bag. But now, as the website clearly states, you do not need to divide the milk into 3 ounce portions at all. As long as it's a 'reasonable amount', you can just announce that you have the milk before you go through security and they will test it to check for hidden explosives or something, and you can be on your way. I was still very skeptical of getting a security guard that didn't know the new rule so I went above and beyond my call of breastfeeding duty and printed out the page from the TSA site. I had it ready to go if they questioned me and even considered highlighting important points, but decided that was a little bit much even for me:)

So here is what I packed for my 24 hour trip:
-my breastpump bag, which acted as my 'personal carry on' and my purse. I just put my wallet, phone, and chapstick (ie the essentials) in one of the zippered pockets and ditched a purse all together. I did pack a small clutch for our night out on the town, though, since I figured the breast pump bag might knock me down a few points on the badass spectrum of partying moms.

-my pump, it's charger, the insulated cooler, hands-free pumping bra, and four bottles (two of the small 5 ounce containers, plus two of my big 9 ounce containers). I also packed 3 milk storage baggies just in case, thinking those would store nice and flat if I needed extra room.

-my nursing cover to use while in STL and if needed in an airport bathroom, in case of a flight delay. This is when my pump with internal battery comes in handy---no need to find an outlet!

- extra ziplock bags to make ice packs for the trip home. For the way down, since all of my bottles were empty, I didn't have to worry about it yet.

-then my other 'carry on' was an actual smaller suitcase with my clothes and stuff. I managed to pack just the right amount of stuff this time somehow which was amazing.

So I nursed Truman before the boys dropped me off at the airport, and then once I landed in STL and got settled in it had been about 4 hours since I last nursed. I went ahead and pumped for the first time and put the big bottles inside my cooler and then inside my friend's fridge. I pumped two more times before we left for dinner that night and decided to keep all of my paraphernalia at home while we were out and about. Good move on my part, so much easier than trying to sneak a pumping session in an empty limo outside a bar.

By the time we got home that night it had been about 7 hours since I last pumped and I was pretty full and uncomfortable. Although I wasn't drunk I had about 6 drinks throughout the course of the night and figured it was better to be safe than sorry. So I had to pump and dump 7 ounces for the first time in my breastfeeding career and it was heartbreaking to watch it drop through the drain. Oh well. The price you pay to have a few brews, I guess.

The next morning I pumped when I woke up from my glorious 6 consecutive hours of sleep and got ready for the airport again. I had 25 ounces total to take home, so I put 20 of it in my bigger bottles (yes, they supposedly only hold 9 ounces each but you can squeeze in a few extra ounces into the top of the bottle no prob) and the remaining 5 in one of my smaller bottles. Then I put all three of those containers in my insulated cooler and made two ice bags from ziplocks to pack around the bottles. I put my cooler in my pump bag but this time I put the pump itself into my actual suitcase carry on, just to cut down on bulk.

When I stepped up to the security line, I told the dude checking my license and ticket that I had breast milk with me and then I held my breath, hoping this would not be an ordeal since I obviously had no baby with me. He said, 'Okay, that's fine, just tell them when you get to the xray machine.'

So I did just that--as I took off my shoes, and pulled out my quart bag full of toiletries, I told the guy at the conveyor belt that I had breastmilk with me and pulled out my cooler from my bag. He was very nice and thanked me for alerting him and then called a lady over for a 'liquid test'. She pulled my stuff aside and asked me to come over to her, too. I got a little nervous and almost busted out my printed page from TSA's site but resisted the urge. She pulled out the three milk containers full of milk and asked me to unscrew the tops. So I did, and then she whipped out these little paper strips and held them over the top of my bottles for a 'vapor test'. Then she took those strips and held them to another machine and said, 'Okay, that's it.' No big deal, apparently, since I wasn't packing a bomb inside my boob juice. She didn't say anything about my homemade ice packs, either, even though I was worried they'd put my liquid content over the allotted amount. Apparently not and I was home free with 25 ounces of milk to take home to baby boy.

Which, by the way, Truman ate about 3o ounces while I was gone so if you count my 7 ounces of dumped milk I was able to successfully match his intake even with longer stretches between pumping sessions. When I returned to work on Monday my output was still the same as always, so my supply didn't drop from one night away from baby boy and spaced-out pumping times.

And that is how I made it through security with breast milk, sans baby. I hope some of you out there have the same type of positive experience and no longer have to dump or check milk if you are without your baby. When in doubt just print the page from TSA's site for added comfort and be prepared to educate the guards as needed--nicely, of course. :)

Finally, a pictures of the milk drinker in all his glory:

minimal captions, maximum pictures

Mostly because I'm too lazy/tired/behind to worry about a lot of text and story telling in this post. Last weekend my whole family came to town and we had a ball. Want to see?

Before that, we tried a bath in the kitchen sink. ADORABLENESS.




Mom and Truman and I went to church on Sunday while the boys golfed. Church had free cream puffs from the WI state fair. They are the bomb and worth living in Wisconsin winters. Seriously.



Truman wore OshKosh overalls to church. I die over them.




Mom bought Truman a new book and they had a few moments together on the couch. He seriously turns the pages for her. Video to come...someday.




Truman still has fat legs. Love.

My little brother (uncle Mike!) was fascinated with Truman. He emailed me after the trip to say 'now I see why Truman is all the rage'. Awww...

Truman has a bald spot that is completely badass, if you ask me.

He and his daddy are warming my soul with times like these.

Me and my little bro. Note: Michael is extremely tall (6'5"). I got a hair cut and love it so short. And Truman looks like a plastic doll here and I laugh every time I see this pic.

My whole fam with mister man. Again, what is with Truman's face? And again, we are a very tall family. Nobody under 5'10" allowed here besides fatty McGee and we gave him a pass for the first few years of his life. :)

Did I mention that he has overalls and he's the cutest thing ever? Let's review that idea...

That is all for now. Carry on.

Where to begin?

So much going on in my life right now. Dare I say it's a Life in Transition? :)

1. I have officially turned in my resignation at my current job and have accepted a new job in home health. This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make and one that I have been agonizing over for some time now. I am going to miss the heck out of my co-workers and miss the comfort zone that I have at my current job, since I've been there for three years now. But it's funny how priorities change when you become a mom.

My long hours at work and the fact that I'm working almost every other weekend has gotten to be too much for me and I constantly feel like I'm struggling to keep my head above water. It's no secret that I'd stay home with Truman every single day in a heartbeat and never look back if that were an option in our lives right now, but it's not, and so I have to figure out a way to balance my working life with my mommy life. Right now it feels off balance, with extra weight being on the career and not enough on the Truman-time--he is where I want to be, bottom line. So allow me to introduce home health PT....

I will be working 30 hours a week to qualify for the good health benefits (but once Nate graduates in May I'm hoping his job {eek! did you hear that? two salaries?!?!} will be the one that holds our benefits and I can drop down to about 20-24 hours a week max and forget the benefits part of the deal. I work 36 hours a week (four days, 9.5 hours each including lunch) right now, so the extra 6 I'll have at home is fab. I'll work 3 full 8 hour days and then one half day each week, making my OWN schedule with my own patients and adjusting each day as I please. Yes, home health does in fact mean that I will be driving to patients' homes and treating them there---which of course can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. I myself find all that responsibility pretty exciting. Oh and NO WEEKENDS except on a very rare occasion and even then it would be only one or two patients to see all day. A.Maz.Ing.

So my last day at my current job is Labor Day, because I just didn't have the heart to leave my department high and dry on a holiday. Then I will take 8 glorious days off before I start my new job on Wednesday September 15, and we have purchased plane tickets for all three of us to go see my parents in Jeff City. Um, hello? We are flying with a 6 month old baby sooner than I thought would happen and I haven't even had the energy to freak out about that just yet. I cannot wait to show Truman his grandparents' house for a few days. It's going to be amazing, for real.

I guess that is all I will say about that, since I very rarely talk about my job, but let it be known that I will have some MAJOR changes coming up next month and although the fear of the unknown is weighing on me, the bottom line is I'll get to be home more often. Wish me luck!

2. Along with that transition comes another very positive one that literally just landed in my lap. I'm a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason and it always works out the way it's supposed to, and this is no different. Right when I was looking at my options for new jobs I found out that my friend Erin's babysitter had an opening at her very exclusive in-home daycare. Talk about perfect timing because our current daycare is only for hospital employees, so I knew if I left my job we'd have to find new daycare too. Not an easy task when most places in our area have ridiculously long wait lists.

So anyway, my friend Erin takes her Henry to a small in-home daycare run by a grandma who's been doing it for 31 years out of her house. It's just minutes away from our home (score one--now Nate and my in-laws can even help out with pick ups), it's intimate and exclusive (score two--what I've always wanted for Truman at this age), and it's even less expensive than what we pay right now (score three--didn't think that was possible!). I feel extremely blessed that we even have this opportunity because Lori never has openings because she only takes a few kids at a time and only accepts new families if they are referred to her by a current family. Basically, her list was about 30 families long and she came to us as her first choice because Truman is the right age for her other babies right now and it's just meant to be:)

Truman and I met with Lori last week and we just loved her. She is totally down to earth and knows babies like nobody I've ever met. Her grandson is one of the kids she watches and he's 2 weeks older than Truman and it will be so much fun to watch them play together. I really hope Truman can stay at Lori's for as long as we need daycare and I can just see that she will be a major part of his childhood. Although I'm very pro-daycare centers for the strict state regulations and added socialization with many children, I am so excited to put Truman in an in-home setting now. Having only one 'teacher' that truly knows Truman, instead of multiple caregivers that change shifts mid-day and have up to 12 babies in the room, is key. I'm excited for this new journey for all of us!

3. Enough of that boring adult stuff and onto the fun stuff. I survived the trip to St. Louis for Keri's bachelorette party and so did the boys! I was gone a total of 24 hours and honestly, it wasn't heartbreaking to be away from Truman like I feared. I mean, don't get me wrong---I could not get home fast enough and then spent all Sunday cuddling the poor boy to death. But I really did enjoy myself and had fun with the girls, too.

Truman did just fine with Nate as mister mom. :) He went down with a bottle at 7:45 just like he would do if I were home nursing him to sleep, woke at 1 am and took a bottle, then fell back asleep without difficulties (!) until 4 am, when he took a little more of a bottle then slept until 6 am when he was ready to rip for the day. I'm so happy he took bottles at night instead of needing to nurse for Nate's sake. That could have been much worse. :) I've said it before and I'll say it again: my child never ceases to amaze me and any time I get nervous about an event he always always handles it like a champ.

I also made it home with 25 ounces of milk (after pumping and dumping 7 ounces after the bars...sob) and going through security was no big deal at all. Whew! I plan to write a post about it someday to help other breastfeeding/traveling moms out there. Someday, my friends. Someday.

Wanna see some G-rated pics of the party itself?

Jack the dog was the only male allowed.

A very Keri flower

yummy food

sparkle in plastic

Keri's real sparkle


The crew before dinner

Classic pose

Keri's favorite fountains in St. Louis, in front of the Art Museum. Ignore the cranes, please.

Me and the lovely bride. I must be trying to squat down to her height or something, hence the odd leg arrangement.

So much fun!

4. My brother in law, Jon, bought Nate and I tickets to see Keane last night. He is the ultra-hip music-crazed guy in our life who tries to open our minds to non-mainstream music. Many years ago he introduced me to Keane and I just love them, even though many people haven't heard of them at all. So when he bought us tickets we were pumped and the band did NOT disappoint. Thank goodness the concert was on a Tuesday night so I could sleep in a bit on Wednesday (my day off) because I'm too old to be up that late. But I forgot how much I love concerts and wish we went to more of them. My ears are still ringing from the incredible volume and I literally felt the bass waves hitting my arm hair and making it tremble last night, since we were in the sixth row like big pimps. So worth it, though. Loved it.

5. Let's talk poop now, okay? I thought Truman's poop would change from the sweet-smelling, harmless 'breastfed' poo when we began 'real solid' foods like actual veggies and fruits. I had no idea that a little bit-o-rice cereal would do the trick. Holy crap, my son has smelly poops now. It was no joke today and smelled like an actual human/adult variety and was totally not expected. Then I got really sad that his poops were no longer the same for some reason. Only I would be sad that his poop changed but it really did hit me that he's growing up before my very eyes. And now I must spray away this foul poo stuff before I wash his dipes which totally changes the game, yet again. Lesson learned: rice cereal will make your baby have an adult GI system.

6. He is now obsessed with putting his toes in his mouth even though he couldn't quite get it last week. It's stinking adorable. Still loving his high-pitched squeals and partial rolls, too, and today he napped on his side almost face down with his arm around his seahorse. I couldn't handle the cuteness, for real. Oh and speaking of the culprit rice cereal---he totally digs it now. I mean, he's actually opening his mouth and swallowing 90% of the stuff now and I can see that when we eat dinner he's totally like, 'Dudes--where is MY dinner on a spoon? Gimme now!' And so we do. And I just can't fathom that I have a baby who eats solid food but he does and he is in love with it. Video to come...

7. My whole family, including my little brother who hasn't had the pleasure of meeting his only nephew yet!, is coming in town Friday! Cannot wait for some family time. They will die when they see how much Truman has changed even from the Fourth of July when mom and dad were here last. Can't get over it.

That's it for now, folks. Transitions galore and a little poop talk on the side. Always a good combo.

Five Months

Oh, Truman.

Where do I even begin with this monthly update? So much going on in our lives right now and every single day you change before our very eyes. Back when you were a newborn I wanted to freeze time and never leave the comfort of my itty-bitty bundle of joy, even though you were basically just a little newbie blob oblivious to the world. But they are right when they say things just keep getting better, because I am in love with this stage of your life right now. So. Much. Fun.


You are in awe of the world around you and have made it your life's mission to soak in every single detail to the best of your ability. Did you know that the trees have leaves and they are moving in the wind?! Do you hear that car go by? Woah, the dog is walking around this place and it's absolutely fascinating, apparently. I thought you were 'alert' before this month but boy oh boy, you are totally tuned into every little stimulus that we take for granted as adults. Four month wakeful period, indeed.


You've just recently found your feet and prefer to air out your fat bootie during all diaper changes by lifting those chunky legs up in the air, and grabbing your yummy little toes with your hands. Seriously, it's difficult to get your diaper fastened correctly because you are so obsessed with holding your feet and airing your butt. Can't say that I blame you on that one...who would want to wear a wet diaper full of pee and poo ?

(it's getting harder and harder to take these distracted that the seahorse had to come out to play)


This month you acquired your voice, mister man, and boy is it entertaining to hear your famous renditions such as 'The High-Pitched Shriek' and 'Half-way Yodel' and 'Cackling Like a Duck'. I love when you sort of scare yourself by your own voice. Tis my fave.


When you are tired you definitely prefer to be in mommy or daddy's arms instead of someone else's. I mean it's flattering and all but I don't want you to start getting actual separation anxiety or anything. You are such a little social butterfly who smiles at anyone who makes eye contact with you, and allows just about anyone to hold and cuddle you without a whimper, that I don't want you to start getting stranger danger. But then again, when you are tired the whole world crumbles beneath us all until you fall asleep. And boy oh boy that's been a fun one...


You see, back when you were about 2 or 3 months you were really getting the hang of that sleeping thing. You even slept through the night on occasion, or at the very least you would make it from 8:30 until about 3 or 4 in the morning. Well then mommy went back to work, that old hag, and I'm not sure your sleeping habits have ever recovered from that adjustment. You went from making it until 3 am, to 2 am, to 1 am, and then this past month you could only sleep until about midnight. And of course, no matter what time you get up for the first time you will always wake about every 2 hours there after until the day starts.


I tried a few things when I realized that your sleep stretches were getting shorter and shorter. For a few nights you allowed me to come into your room when you started to squawk and just give you the pacifier (your arch enemy during the day!) and turn on your seahorse. You would fall back asleep without nursing or being held for a few more hours and it was fabulous. But then that went out the window. So then I tried to nurse you in the actual nursery, instead of taking you straight to our room for the rest of the night to co-sleep. That went over like a ton of bricks because although you would eat and fall asleep in my arms, your eyes would snap open the minute I moved to lay you back in the crib. Not to mention that mommy gets very little sleep anyway on a work night and so sitting up and remaining awake in a chair while nursing is totally awful for me. I'd still like for you to stay in your crib the whole night without coming to our bed but I'm crossing my fingers that you'll just start sleeping through the night instead of me having to place you back into your crib after a nursing session. What? Stop laughing. It's possible, Truman, I swear!


You had a pretty nasty cold this month and it messed with everyone's sleep more than I care to remember. You are now sleeping on your crib mattress that is propped up with a pillow underneath it. It's pretty hilarious to see you on an incline, snoozing away like it's no big deal.

I hope and pray that you don't get any more colds for a really long time (or ever, that would be fab) because mommy almost went insane from no-sleep and a sick baby. Not cool. And I still say teething is partially to blame even if you don't have red/swollen gums yet. It is just my intuition I guess and I hope you pop a tooth soon so this teething stuff doesn't drag on forever (lost cause, huh?)


Your Grandpa Tony had his last Tuesday and Thursday watching you and I know it just killed him to hand you back to me at the end of your last day together. He was obviously pretty sad about having to go back to work but it really is for the best. Your Grandma Lois has stepped up to watch you for three Tuesdays and so it's daycare on Thursdays and Fridays for awhile. But then daddy gets you for three whole weeks and I know you will just have a blast with him. He loves you so much, Truman. Watching your daddy with you is one of the best gifts a mommy could imagine.


Since you are lucky enough to have not one, not two, but THREE Physical Therapists in your life (mommy, daddy, and grandpa!) we are all over your developmental milestones. Grandpa has you sitting and rolling on an exercise ball almost daily. Daddy digs tummy time and prop sitting. And mommy prefers to help you stand up and bear weight through your legs. Still, you aren't a fan of rolling just yet and are perfectly content to move side to side instead. Fine by me. I'm in no hurry to have a mobile baby just yet.

(his 'side roll' specialty)

But one thing you have totally mastered is reaching for objects and putting them in your mouth. Dude, you own that skill. Sophie gets worked by your chubby hands and gummy jaws often. Your seahorse is often put into a headlock by you and then you promptly try to suck his face off. Not to mention that in the mornings, when you are in bed with us, you will reach over and grab our noses or daddy's chest hair just to give us a little wake up call. I love when you reach up for me while we nurse and I give you my hand so you can hold on for dear life---it's the best. You can grab all sorts of toys and promptly taste them for assessment, but really your hands are your ultimate chew toy. Watching TV with daddy or surfing the net on the computer are both mesmerizing in Truman-land. And when in doubt, we can always take you outside to check out the scenery if we want to calm you down. A ride in the stroller (sometimes without a carseat now!) or the car always spell N-A-P for you and we would be lost without those tools for parenting.


The biggest thing in your little world is that we decided to try rice cereal with you, right on your five month birthday. I've noticed that you started to grab for our food and you can't take your eyes off anything that mommy and daddy eat, so combine that with your worsening sleep habits and I figure it's worth a shot, right? Well, the first time was pretty funny and a complete mess. I think you got about four bites down your throat and the rest down your bib. The faces you made when you got to taste something other than just breast milk were classic. Each night since then we've tried feeding you some more while you sit up like a big boy at the dinner table. And each night you get a little better, opening your mouth as the spoon comes your way and even getting in actual swallows, too. We won't push it on you and if you aren't ready, we'll just try again in a few more weeks. But I have to admit that for all of the resistance I gave about rice cereal, it's really fun to watch your eyes take in this new experience.

(note how he likes to hold mommy's hand in these:) )




So at five months you are still the happiest little bugger around and you are smiling more often than not these days. Still giggling and looking and soaking up the world, while reaching and holding and gnawing on anything you can find. You'll sit up for a few seconds before toppling over, can stand with help, but you don't like to roll over much just yet. And Truman, you still have our hearts wrapped around your little fingers in case you didn't notice. Daddy and I just love to watch you sleep and there's been more than one time when your dad comes out of your room at night and just says, 'He's so freaking cute. I could just watch him sleep all night long.' Melt my heart right now.


I've had a few of those special moments recently, just like when I had them on maternity leave, when the whole world fades away around us and I am intensely aware that these are the days I will miss as I age. One night after we put you down and then you woke right back up I was pretty tired and cranky and your dad said he'd go soothe you back to sleep. A little bit later I walked in your nursery to find your dad rocking you in the chair, listening to 'Gotta Have You' by The Weepies, and singing the words to his son. You were just staring up at your dad in awe and you looked so happy, so content with life, and your daddy looked like the most caring husband I could have ever been so blessed to find. We had a little moment together as family while he rocked you there, and even brother Henry came in and sat at our feet while we enjoyed that special moment in time. Sheer happiness and contentment washes over me regularly but in that very second of my life, I realized that all is right with the world and we have been incredibly blessed to have you as our baby. Thank you, Truman, for opening our eyes to the special moments in life.


We love you, buddy. Keep on being your awesome little self and we'll do our best to meet your needs along the way.
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