The boys

My boys survived their week together like it was nothing. In fact, they made it all look too easy and are definitely best buds more than they ever were before. Nate somehow discovered a gold mine with Truman, called 'The Baby Can Put Himself to Sleep'. I know. I'm so jealous of this talent! He literally puts him down in the cosleeper (that we've now moved into the living room), wraps him up in his 'sleep blanket' (Nate has now designated a special blanket in which to sleep?) and walks away. Truman apparently just slips into a slumber without rocking, jiggling, being a dark room, and without Mommy holding her breath as she puts him down. Who knew you could just lay him down and be done with it? Genius!!

I've had to retire a good portion of his wardrobe, yet again. All of the 3 month and most of the 3-6 month outfits are obscenely tight on baby boy and thus, his 6 month and 6-9 month outfits are in heavy rotation now. It's seriously SO much fun to dress him up in new clothes, you guys. And this size period boasts some pretty adorable stuff. Observe:

BOLD STATEMENT ALERT! Henry is totally pissed, in case you were wondering. And those pudgy legs? Too much!!


Rocking out in the Bumbo with Daddy. He's hard core.

And this is the scene that I left every morning this week. I'd get up at 5:15 and shower, get dressed, and eat my breakfast. Then at 6:15 I'd get Truman out of our bed, nurse him and cuddle the crap out of him, and then I'd change his diaper and get him dressed for the day. I'd lay him back in bed with Daddy Nate and give my final kisses before leaving at 7 am. On Friday I couldn't help myself with the camera because seriously---are they not the cutest?


Truman LOVES the morning time more than anything. He's in such a great mood that he'll just smile and giggle and be generally adorable as if to say, 'Dude, that sleeping stuff is the bomb.' Oh, and in case you were wondering----his nighttime sleeping habits have returned to the amazing 5-6 hour stretches. He'll sleep in his crib until he first wakes up at about 2-3 am then I'll pull him into bed to nurse and sleep some more. I've decided that nursing him while sitting up in the rocking chair in the middle of the night is not my idea of fun. It forces me to wake all the way up, then nurse, then pray that when I lay him back into the crib he won't wake up. Instead, nursing in bed sidelying is WAY better and promotes much more sleep for us all. At least he's sleeping in his crib for the first part of the night anyway, right? Maybe someday the middle of the night feeding will stretch out until the morning when I have to get up anyway.

Also, as a side note: talking about sleeping habits, pumping, bottles, and dirty diapers NEVER gets old for a new mom. No doubt.

Finally, here is a pic that Nate snapped on Friday. Truman had just taken a bottle and was totally milk drunk here. Note the mangled looking legs and the glazed eyes:) And of COURSE Nate picked that bib for the day, right?

I love my boys so much. I'm kind of sad for them that their week together is done. But hey, a three day weekend with all of us isn't so bad and then we are on to our typical routine next week. I hope Grandpa is ready for Truman's jelly! :)

Coming up for air...

Don't worry, I'm still here. In fact, I'm alive and well although completely exhausted from my new life as a working mom. This is no joke, yo. Seriously. But I think Wednesdays will be my new favorite weekday since I can take a time out and remember to breathe on these days off. I thanked Nate profusely this morning for giving his blessing towards my four day work week now. Love it. Even though the other four days are insanely long, it's still worth it to be home one day!






So Friday was much better than I anticipated. What they say is true: it's never as bad as you make it out to be in your head and returning to work is not, in fact, sinking me into a deep dark depression. In fact, my first day back was pretty awesome. All of my co-workers (who are the bomb, by the way) had a sign on my desk that read 'Welcome back, Julia!' with a stunning bouquet of flowers. Hearing, 'You look so good for just having a baby!' all day long is the equivalent to 'You are the hottest person alive' to a new mom. Remember that for the future ladies, that simple phrase will make a mommy's day for sure. Nurses and doctors and all kinds of staff at the hospital seemed genuinely happy to see me again and obliged me showing off my little brag book of pictures I carry in my lab coat. Of course, they all fell madly in love with Truman and let me gush about him most of the day. My patients were adorable and my brain was happy to exercise the Physical Therapist portion of itself again. Pumping was a breeze and taking three breaks in my day made the day go even faster. So far I'm able to pump quite a bit more than Truman eats while I'm gone which does a lot for my confidence as a breastfeeding working mom. I called home during every break and although Truman was screaming in the background two of those times, Nate had it under control. All it took was him deciding to throw our routine out the window (eat, play, sleep, what?) and realizing that Truman will only take a bottle if it's piping hot, not lukewarm to make the day a success. Truman did not starve, he accepted the bottle, and Nate didn't lose his mind. All good things, right?






I could not get home fast enough and was gone for a total of 11 hours that day and also on Monday. Seeing my baby boy after a REALLY long day at work is indescribable. Seeing him in the arms of his daddy as they both grin ear to ear is even better. And of course, as soon as I sit down and start to nurse Truman in the evenings the exhaustion hits me like none other. Tired doesn't begin to describe it, people. But maybe that's because Mister T has decided that his nice 5-6 hour stretches at night are stupid. He much prefers a little 2-3 hour number on his momma. It all started last Wednesday night and is slowly returning back to a 4 hour stretch but boy, oh boy. This has been fun. It's like he could sense the stress in my life combined with a hellified growth spurt and all of a sudden Mommy ain't sleeping for crap. Working on my feet all day for nearly 10 hours after getting 4 hours of broken sleep is a recipe for disaster, right? And although I'm tired it's actually tolerable somehow. It's amazing what your body can take when you are making googly eyes at your adorable baby boy. :)


So my boys are surviving with out me, no problem. It's been SO nice to have Nate at home with T on these days and I love that he enjoys being mister mom. Not every daddy could do it but Nate is passing the 'primary caregiver' test with flying colors. I love that man. Have I mentioned that lately? Our three year anniversary is tomorrow and we are going to dinner tonight. Three whole years being married and almost eight being together. And as corny and cliche as it sounds, every year gets a little bit better. Gag me now, I know.



The other piece of awesome news around here is that Nate's clinicals, which start next week, will be four ten hour days for the first rotation. He will not be working on Mondays which means for the next 12 weeks he will get to watch Truman every Monday while I'm at work! Then my father-in-law Tony has officially taken Tuesdays and Thursdays off to watch the T-man. I have Wednesdays, obviously, which means T will be in daycare only on Fridays this whole summer. I was shaking and almost crying when the daycare director told me that having him just one day a week over the summer would be fine since it's only temporary, and she promised me that they'd help me through the transition of my babe being a daycare baby. I mean seriously, what an awesome daycare place, right? I know I'm beyond lucky, blessed, and you better believe I'm grateful for this surprise set up over the summer. While Truman is still so little we can ease him into daycare and then this fall he'll likely be there at least two days a week. Still incredible, right? My mindset is much healthier when it comes to leaving him now just knowing that our family will get the privilege of watching T-man every single day of the week but one. Wow. Just wow. His first day at daycare will be Friday June 4. And I'm really not even dreading it (yet!) :)



So yeah. All is well around our household. I'm adjusting to my new role as a working mom despite very little sleep. Truman and Nate are living it up and Henry is the same old puppy dog---just happy to have anyone around during the day. Oh and Truman is changing more and more each day. I swear he looks different each night I get home and I am loving those big blue-ish eyes more than ever. He is such a big boy now, isn't he?



It's all good, especially when you have a fist to chew on, right T? :)

hence the title of this blog

Another transition in life. Here we go...

My dearest baby boy Truman,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the best three months of my life. My maternity leave spent with you has been nothing short of amazing and I would not trade a second of it for anything. It's been exciting and frightening, energizing and exhausting, magical, dream-like, and has brought me more contentment than I knew was possible. I've worried, cried, worried some more, and then cried a little bit more about our special time together ending. One thing you've already taught me in your 11 weeks of life is that when I worry about you, it's usually unfounded. Remember how I fretted over you in the beginning of my pregnancy, wondering if you'd make it? Or how I was scared to death of being induced two weeks early, fearing you wouldn't be healthy? Silly mommy, right? I know you will be a big boy for daddy and grandpa and the daycare workers. Please please please take the bottles they offer you, baby. And try not to cry too much:)




Truman, you are too little now to understand but I love you with every ounce of my being. I love you more than I know how to express and would do just about anything to extend our work-free days together. But as you will soon find out, life isn't always fair and we don't always get what we want. I'm learning that lesson once again at twenty-nine years of age and I'll be there for you as you learn it, too. I truly believe that God has a plan for us, Truman, and right now I'm supposed to go back to work for our family. Please know that when I'm gone I will still think of your fat little cheeks and smile, I'll yearn to sniff your head and squeeze your tummy, and above all I will continue to love you when I'm away. And then when I get to see you again in the evenings and on my days off be prepared for some major cuddle sessions, mister man.





And so now we are both entering a new phase of our lives complete with lots of changes from our 'norm.' We can do this, buddy.

Love, Mommy

Eleven weeks

Mister T is growing up too fast, you guys. Anyone have advice on how to slow down time a little bit? Or maybe freeze it completely? My last weekly post before I return to work on Friday. Ugh. I have a feeling my blogging time will be taking the back burner for awhile, as if my posts weren't already infrequent enough. Time to juggle being a full-time mommy and Physical Therapist....this should be interesting!

(I have a few 'before' and 'after' shots for you, complete with different hats. He's grown so much since those early weeks and sometimes it takes hats and clothes to make me really see it. Truman has enough hats to last a lifetime and it's sort of symbolic for me to post these as I'm preparing to wear another hat in my life. Get it?)

Truman has had an unpredictable week when it comes to his sleeping habits. I think it all started when our company left and T was all out of sorts and out of his typical routine. For about three nights in a row we totally lost the battle with naps and falling asleep at night. He would only nap for about 10 minutes, twice a day---which is WAY off from his typical pattern. Truman basically kicked our butts big time and one night after trying to put him down for over 2 hours I just carried him into our room, plopped him in our bed, whipped out my boob and let him nurse in sidelying on and off all night. It worked and we slept so I consider that a small victory! But we were doing SO well with him sleeping in the nursery and making it for 5-6 hours in a row that I didn't want to throw in the towel just yet. It took us a few more nights with Truman needing extra time to go down at night, extra soothing if he woke up after laying there for 5 minutes, extra holding my breath as I put him into the crib....but it seems like we are back to our old routine. Plus, he's napping throughout the day again. When he boycotts naps I now know that the night will be hell and thus I am ALL about encouraging little cat naps as soon as he shows signs of tiredness. Yes, the dreaded 'overtired' cycle is vicious and I hope we can avoid that experience for a long time.


My favorite time of day is now when I go and get him at about 6 am from his crib and pull him into bed with us to nurse and play a bit. He is in such a great mood and will just smile and kick around and be so freaking cute that it hurts. Of course I can't stop kissing his fatty cheeks and squeezing his tummy in moments like these and Nate is fairly obnoxious with Truman in the mornings, too. We can't help it! Little dude is too much sometimes. His cradle cap and clogged tear duct seem to be subsiding a bit and I think he's even growing a bit of hair back on the top of his head. I mentioned last time that he is totally obsessed with staring at himself in mirrors and I think the vanity has just increased a few notches this week. When he lays in his activity gym and looks up into the mirror I'm sure he just thinks there is a really cute baby friend staring back at him from the ceiling which is pretty much the most adorable thing ever. Yep, Truman is still a happy content baby most of the time and he's getting more and more interactive each day.




As for the work situation: I haven't talked much about it here but I will now be working four days a week, nine hours each day (7:30 until 5:00). I will have every Wednesday off which is pretty fabulous when I think about working only two days in a row then having a day off. I will still work quite a few weekend dates, specifically seven of them in the next four months, and when I do that I should get another day off during the week to make up for the weekend. I'm pretty excited about my new schedule but I know the nine (or actually, nine and half but we have an unpaid 30 minute lunch at my job) hour days will be really long, especially considering my 30 minute commute each way. But here's the most awesome part about this new phase in our lives: my father-in-law, Tony, decided that he wants to watch Truman two days each week. He still works full time and this option totally came out of the blue, but he was pretty adamant about it all of a sudden saying that he doesn't want Truman to be in daycare when he's this little. In fact, Tony first announced this idea saying that he was just going to completely retire from his job and watch Truman all four days each week. Woah buddy! As amazing as that offer really is for us, I worry that it will be too much for him to handle. After all, caring for a newborn all week is pretty intense and Tony is always on the go, doing random projects and disappearing for hours at a time--I'm not sure he knows how much a baby would ground him at home. So we decided that two days in daycare, two days with grandpa, and then one day with mommy during the week would be the perfect compromise.




It's not totally finalized with Tony's work just yet, so I'm praying it really does work out this way, but he wants to make this happen so I'm sure it will be just fine somehow. Not only will we save boat loads of money avoiding daycare for four days a week but now Truman gets some quality grandpa time which makes me so happy. Did I mention that my in-laws live downstairs from us? So on the days Tony watches Truman all I have to do is hand him the monitor and tell him to get Truman when he wakes up. No packing the diaper bag or tons of bottles---he can just hang out at home! We are blessed, I know. It's amazing how everything works out.


Not only that but Nate is officially done with this semester on Wednesday and doesn't start his clinicals until June 1. That means that this Friday and also all next week, Truman gets to hang out with daddy and I can focus on returning to work without stressing about daycare right away. I think this will help ease me back into work and will make my first day back pretty anti-climatic since I don't have to drop him off with strangers just yet. :) We'll get to test out how many bottles he'll need while Nate is at home with access to my freezer stash if needed which makes me breathe a little easier over that whole situation. I think Nate is excited and just a wee bit nervous about being the main caregiver for a week and I'm sure there will be many hilarious stories to share:)


When I think about going back to work my biggest source of anxiety is figuring out our morning schedule and attempting to continue breastfeeding as a working mom. How am I going to get myself ready in the mornings, feed Truman, get him ready and get out the door in time without losing my mind? And we've done so well with nursing while I'm home and I'm proud of being able to exclusively breastfeed for 11 weeks thus far, but I'm nervous that going back to work will be a huge hurdle in our breastfeeding journey. I've read a lot about pumping at work and my boss is open to me taking breaks during the day to do so, but the logistics of it totally freak me out. Where do I store the milk? Do I make the bottles immediately or at home? What if I can't pump one-for-one what Truman eats each day? Do I have to clean my pump parts every time? And dude, hauling around my giant pump plus a possible cooler plus my lunch plus a diaper bag plus my purse? Overwhelming! I know I'll figure out what works for me but it's still scary how much everything will change around here. Change is hard.

I'm not going to speak too much on the subject right now but know this: I would do almost anything to stay at home with Truman indefinitely. While pregnant, I wasn't sure if I'd love being at home or if I'd yearn to get back into my job with adult interactions and mental stimulation. Turns out I'm head over heels in love with my mommy job and although I went to school for many years to get my Masters and have school loans to prove it, there is nothing more satisfying to me than caring for my baby boy. However, I have a responsibility to my entire family as the sole breadwinner in our household right now. You see, I was the one with the baby fever last summer. I knew that if we had a baby before Nate was finished with school that I would have no choice but to go back to work. After all, if I didn't work we would have NO income and no health insurance which would be incredibly irresponsible on my part. My dream would be to stay home with Truman (and pop out about 3 more kiddos, too) and I firmly believe that stay at home moms are incredibly blessed to have that option. But I signed up for this situation when I wanted kids sooner rather than later. This is our life right now, this is our situation and when Nate decided to go back to school for a career he will love I promised to support him for the good of our whole family. I just tell myself that Truman is going to be surrounded by love while I'm away--from his grandpa and also from great daycare providers. Our evenings, weekends, and Wednesdays are going to be *that* much more special when we are together and I fully intend to make up for my lost cuddle times by smothering the poor boy:)

One year from right now, Nate will be graduating PT school (eeeek!) and perhaps we will have other options for our family at that time (ie Nate can work full time and maybe I can stay at home. Fair trade, right? Tag, you're it!). But until then I really need to focus on sucking it up, putting on my big girl panties, and just dealing with the fact that I cannot be home with him 24/7 anymore. Sulking and crying and being frustrated/sad about it doesn't change anything (but sometimes it does feel good to get it all out of my system before I move on with the day). Without a doubt, being a working mom will be the hardest thing I've ever done and I will need all of your prayers and good vibes to get through each day. I know I'm not alone in this new role and I know Truman will be just fine. But it doesn't mean leaving him will be any easier for me since I have a strong desire to stay at home. Just typing all this out makes me want to go snuggle Truman right now, so I think I will while I can.

Eleven weeks: cuter than ever and prepping for some major changes around here. Sigh.

Ten Weeks (belated, I know!)

It's been a long time since I updated, right? Spending the week with family leaves little time for internetting and I do apologize, but we had oh-so-much fun. Where to even begin?


Well, let's start with LAST Monday's 2 month MD appointment. Remember how I was all worried about the shots and curious about his weight gain? Good things first: big baby boy jumped from the 50th percentiles for both height and weight at one month into the 87th percentile range at two months. DANG! But we already knew he was a porker from his pictures, right? He weighed 13 pounds 7 ounces and is now 24.5 inches long (87th and 85th percentiles respectively). I'm so happy to know that my milk is still treating baby boy well and it looks like he's going to be a chunky baby just like his daddy used to be. The chunk is too much to bear lately, by the way.

(this outfit has officially been retired now. WAY too small for buddha belly!)



Then the yucky part: the shots! He got 3 shots and one mist vaccination with a total of 6 different vaccines in them. He only cried for about 10 seconds with the shots mostly because he was SO tired and due for a nap that I think he was sort of out of it already. In fact, he sucked his pacifier with avengence after the shots and got over it quickly. He took his much needed nap and when he woke up he was NOT happy. Like, crying non-stop. Even nursing didn't help ( a first for baby boy) and I could just tell he was in pain and totally ticked off. Luckily I had purchased some generic brand infant Tylenol (no worries about the recall, I even asked the pharmacist) and we decided he did in fact need the meds to get more comfortable. I could only handle about 15 minutes of his pathetic cries before I gave him the Tylenol---which worked like a charm. It made him sort of drunk and happy again and then he passed out for a nice long nap. I seriously could not bear to hear him cry like that and see him in pain. Once again, I give major kudos to any mom out there with an inconsolable baby. That is no joke, dude. So anyway, after his nap he didn't sleep the best that night and awoke every 2-3 hours instead of his nice long 5-6 hour stretches. But the next morning he was as good as new like nothing had happened. Our first round of shots was definitely harder on me than him but it totally sucked overall. I hear that the 4 month shots aren't nearly as's to hoping!



Then last Wednesday my Mom and Memaw arrived and literally from the moment we got them at the airport, they were drooling over Truman like crazy fools:) They piled into the back seat to sit with him and just stared the whole way home. It was Memaw's first time meeting her FIRST great-grandchild and my Mom's third time to see her first grandson. To have those ladies with me on my first Mother's Day was amazing, words can't even express how blessed I am to have such strong role models in my life for motherhood. We spent the whole week with our heads in the clouds just enjoying being together, staring at Truman, and laughing at ourselves for being so obsessed with baby T. Memaw is officially one of the best cooks in the entire world and she loves to spoil us rotten with her food. I am not joking when I say that she made elaborate breakfasts, lunches, and dinners she was here. I think Nate wonders why I didn't get my Memaw's cooking genes because everything she placed in front of us (three times a day!) was fabulous. Mom and Memaw watched Truman multiple times for me while I took a nice run, or ran an errand, or just enjoyed an extra-long shower knowing that baby boy was in good hands. We explored Milwaukee a bit, since Memaw hasn't even been to Wisconsin before (!), drank great coffee, took a walk or two, went grocery shopping about three times in a week, took hundreds of pictures, and ate and ate and ate. Oh, and on Monday I decided to get VERY brave and took Truman to his first movie in the theater. We all went to see Babies and absolutely loved it! I was nervous that Truman would fuss during the whole thing but he was a doll, sleeping then nursing (a dark movie theater is the perfect place to whip out the boob without anyone noticing!), then sleeping in my arms while I smiled at the babies on the screen. It was only an hour and 20 minutes long and considering the topic of the script I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try him out in a theater and it was seriously a lot of fun. Highly recommend seeing that movie, too, if you are a fool for babies like me:)






On Mothers Day I went with Lois, Mom, and Memaw to a nearby church that I've wanted to try out for awhile now. Nate and Tony stayed behind to babysit Truman (and Nate had to study for finals which are this week---he's done with classes next week, baby!). It was an awesome service and I really liked the church itself, especially the little children's choir that sang about blessing all of the mothers in the world, which of course made me cry. At the end of the service, the pastor wanted to honor the oldest mother in the congregation and the mom to the youngest baby as well. Guess who had the youngest kid out there? Yep, the random girl who has never gone to that church before, NOR did she have the actual baby with her that day. I explained myself to the pastor after church and he was very friendly but of course I had to stand up in front of the masses like a big doofus and accept my 'award' of roses graciously, face beet red:) I guess we'll have to go back now to prove that I didn't just show up for the roses. Seriously. So typical.

(Memaw wanted a four generations hand shot. I love this one!)

(please note the disgustingly cute outfit he wore for Mothers Day. Also, note the love these ladies have for Truman)




On Tuesday of this week, I had to take my visitors back to the airport and was feeling extra sad this time around. I had a pity party for myself with a sob-fest on the way home from the airport because I just love my Mom and Memaw so much and it's obviously very difficult to live so far away from them while raising my son. I'm not really sure when I'll see them again either, although Mom, Dad and my brother Michael will be up here again in August. The sadness of them leaving plus the fact that I can't help but think about my maternity leave ending made for a pretty heavy pity party that day. I really can't even talk about going back to work, leaving Truman, and ending this magical phase of my time home with him without getting teary and so I won't go into it here. I'm planning on enjoying the heck out of every second for the next week and a half before I go back to the real world on Friday. And that's all I will say about that...

(that's how I feel too, buddy!)

(but he gets over it fast)

Onto more things 'Truman' and happy: baby boy is all about sucking his right hand but he gets really frustrated when A. he can't quite coordinate the suckage, and B. he figures out his hand does not produce milk. It's so cute to watch but I think I need to limit his hand time so he doesn't get so angry at his appendage:) He is seriously obsessed with staring at himself in mirrors now, but who can really blame him for his vanity? The really fun part is that this week he's sporting a nice case of cradle cap (aka-the driest, flakiest skin EVER) on his head, forehead, and eyebrows. Not only that, but his dreaded clogged dear duct returned as well. As if it's not bad enough that he sheds skin flakes all over the place but he also has a goobery eye---which basically means that his self-proclaimed 'Picker' of a mom is going crazy trying to fix these maladies. So far slathering lotion on his head works temporarily and Q-tipping the heck out of his eye boogers is my new favorite pass time. :) The pediatrician wasn't worried about either of these things last week at our appointment but I'm hoping they go away soon!

(matching bib/bandanas made by Mom!)

He's still a noisy little bugger and has a few new sounds he likes to use as he sees fit. He's still sleeping really well in his crib for the most part, except for the occasional random night when he's up more often or when he's overtired from boycotting naps during the day. Yep, he's a party animal for sure and doesn't obey his mama's requests for some shut eye all of the time:) But at least he's still smiling up a storm and looking extra handsome, yet pathetic, with his flaky head and goobery eye combined with his gummy grin. It's too much to handle sometimes, I swear.


So all is well with our household right now. I'm soaking in every moment to the best of my ability, Nate is studying his butt off while trying to calm his frazzled wife about the end of her leave, and Truman is just being is cute little self. Life.Is.Good. And don't let me forget it:)

(head control, what?)



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