I immediately regret this decision

Boys and girls, today you shall hear a story about poor decisions that eventually turned into a good laugh, but at the time were completely traumatizing. But before that plot unfolds let's look at my handsome son sporting a mohawk from an envious daddy. :)




Okay, moving on.

Truman and I flew to Missouri last weekend because my dad had a total hip replacement surgery and I wanted to be there as the one healthcare person in the family (more later). I knew that flying alone with a one year old could potentially cause me to lose my frickin mind but I had to chance it. Nate could not join us because of that pesky 'work/school' stuff. The flight to Missouri was a cake walk because we got upgraded to the very front row---something about extra masks on the other side of the plane so our original seats just would not do? Truman could spread out into his own empty seat next to me and he was a total doll that time around. See?


But the return flight home? Horrid. I'm still exhausted from that little 47 minute trip and vow that I will not fly alone with Truman if I can feasibly avoid it. We boarded the plane and instantly knew that it was a packed flight without the luxury of front row wiggle room this time---I guess I picked the 'right' side for this one, so no seat change for us. As soon as we plopped down Truman turned into a whirling dervish and as his energy level multiplied mine divided. We had a very nice college girl next to us who was understanding of my little heartbreaker's need to touch her sweater, then hair, then nose. Of course, the couple behind us was not spared by his charm as he peeked over the top of my seat multiple times to point and reach and smile like it was his job. 'He's not shy at all, is he?' the woman asked. 'Um, no. Apparently not,' I replied while Truman began to shout 'DA-DA' at the top of his lungs, gesturing to each and every male occupant on the flight. Great. Now my son has about 50 baby daddies according to him, and although everyone just melted over the cuteness of Truman I knew I was in for the long haul.

As soon as we took off I smelled It. 'It' being the most horribly rancid poop of the century wafting out of my entertaining boy's diaper. Perfect timing, of course. I tried to ignore it but the stench was making me a paranoid mama, wondering if all Truman's new found buddies would cast him aside for being the stinky, white-trash kid who poops his pants and sits in it for too long. I glanced around nervously to see if anyone was plugging their nose yet and decided that a trip to the plane bathroom was simply unavoidable. I couldn't stand it any longer so I grabbed a diaper and some wipes and bumper car'd our way back to the 'bathroom'. I swear to you I got the evil eye from the passenger next to the room as if to say, 'You aren't really going to try THAT, are you?' Oh yes. I was.

We stepped into the stall and I'm pretty sure the walls started closing in on us both. Or maybe that was just because it was the tiniest bathroom known to mankind and my arms were practically pinned to my side. I was a determined woman at this point and decided just to peek into the diaper-of-despair to assess the damage before I committed to the ordeal. I put the toilet lid down and took a seat, laying my slippery one year old on my lap as if he was a newborn (ha!). As soon as I pulled the diaper to the side I knew I had to remove the abomination from his skin or else I would certainly be guilty of child neglect. That thing was simply taking over his backside and it must.go.now.

And so, I took a deep breath and began the removal process. As soon as I got the battered diaper off Truman decided enough was enough and simply could not remain on my lap any longer---and I really don't blame him since his head was hanging off my knees and his neck was bent backwards rushing the blood to his little brain. I tried to hurry and wipe his caked crack but failed and had to surrender to his need to stand up on my lap. I'm guessing this is about the time that the poop particles rubbed against my shirt sleeve but I cannot remember the details because all I could think about was how I should not have done this at all.

'I immediately regret this decision' was seriously something I said out loud. Then I started to sweat and almost started crying as I pictured my crap-covered son returning to his seat without any diaper or pants on his little body because his mom just couldn't handle the pressure in the miniature bathroom on the plane. As I stared into Truman's adorable but poopy butt crack I knew I had to buck up and get the job done. I started to wipe as much out of the crack as I could and returned him to my lap, promising him one million dollars if he'd just sit still for mama one more time.

I unraveled toilet paper and generously offered him limitless amounts for entertainment. I started singing some deranged song hoping to calm the little poop monster. And finally once I had him semi-wiped down I allowed him to return to standing on my lap and applied a new diaper as best I could. Putting on a clean diaper while a baby is standing up on your lap, and your arms cannot move more than 2 inches to the side without banging into airplane walls is pretty much the crown jewel of motherhood if you ask me. I have walked through fire and survived and therefore I can embrace my title of 'mommy' from here on out.

After I snapped together his onesie and wrangled his pants back on, I doused my hands in sanitizer and walked through that teeny folding door with my head held high. Sure, we were in there for about 20 minutes, I looked like a tornado struck my face, and now I smelled like poop since it was smeared on my shirt but whatever. At least my baby didn't have a poopy butt and could return to his friends without the 'dirty kid' persona.

I intercepted him from licking every single surface on the plane (ooh, look! a germ-infested arm rest! Must eat now!) in order to prevent an outbreak of rabies in our home and can only hope that he didn't ingest a major debilitating disease despite my efforts. At the end of the flight I stopped swiping his hands with sani-wipes every minute and admitted defeat. There's only so much energy one mom can carry, you know?

When we finally landed I praised God for letting us survive. I informed Nate of our little bathroom escapade and explained that if he smelled a rancid stench, it must be my shirt. Then I promptly showered as soon as we entered our home and tried to scrub away the poo and the plane and sweat on my brow.

Flying alone with a one year old is no freaking joke. And never, ever attempt to change a dirty diaper in a plane bathroom. Lesson learned.

So the trip itself was a success: dad did fabulous in surgery and also in therapy at the hospital. I had to snap at least one pic of him with his PT---a kindred soul of mine and of course we traded PT stories like old chums by the end of dad's stay.

I helped him get settled in at home and he was a 'fair' patient of mine. A little non-compliant at times, always pushing the rules, but at least he was feeling good enough to give me trouble!

He is recovering even better than I expected and I'm sure he will continue to feel better and better with time. I know it's going to be hard for him to stay off the golf course until the doc clears him in about 4-6 weeks but I hope he follows orders----or his PT daughter will be back down there to kick his rear in gear! I'm sure mom can handle him from this point on, though. She was happy I was there to help ease them into the recovery process and I'm so glad we could make the trip, too.

Memaw and Pepaw came to visit a bit and T got even more spoiled with his great-grandparents there.

He was obsessed with my parents' TV, DVD player, and cable box. And with his knee socks. :)

Probably my new favorite picture ever. Note the dimple and the teeth. Cannot.stand.it!

New favorite hobby = the touchdown sign! :)

Peace, dudes.

Loves his grandma.

And is also very dramatic with his facial expressions.
So that is that. A great trip despite the eventful flight home. You have to learn as you go, I suppose!

Anyone else ever changed a baby in a plane bathroom? If so, you are my hero.

Side note: I am starting a new job tomorrow so wish me luck! Same stuff but a different company and I'm a little nervous for some reason. It will probably just be three days per week although I stayed on with my previous employer for my half day on Thursdays, too. Ideally if I could drop that half day and just do three days in a week I think I'd be completely satisfied with my career/mommy balance in life so we'll see how this works out. Either way, it's nice to have options in this economy and I really do enjoy my career part of life. End of side note. Carry on.

Twelve Months

This is the post I've been imagining since beginning my monthly photo project. Isn't it so pretty all completed like this?


February was a month of many changes, although I think I've said that for about three months straight at this point. We had both lows and highs this month, with the lowest point being when Truman had his first really bad sickness. He had been congested for about a month and the doc kept saying it was just a long-lasting cold, so we dealt with it---until he woke up one morning with a fever of 102 and insane crankiness. I took him in and they thought they heard a very slight rattle in his lung, so they wanted to do a chest xray to rule out pneumonia. Let me tell you that the process of giving an 11 month old a chest xray is pure torture and I still get chills thinking about how much Truman hated it and I want to cry remembering how hard that was for both of us. I will not go into the gory details but it was bad, very bad. The xray results weren't 100% clear but the radiologist thought there was the beginnings of a small pneumonia (!) so we got antibiotics in case it was bacterial and headed home to recuperate from such an awful appointment. My babe didn't start feeling better until 48 hours after the meds but thankfully he made a full recovery and even got rid of the pesky congestion that probably caused the pneumonia in the first place. Truman was out of daycare for a whole week and I was home with him for four days in a row, with a little tag-team action from Nate and my mother-in-law with a shift in my hours so that I could be home with baby boy most of the day while still seeing my patients in the evenings. If we learned anything at all from this horrible week it was that having a sick baby (like, really sick---not just the same old cold that he gets about once a month) is an absolute nightmare. I cannot imagine having more than one child being sick at any given time, either. Also, it's amazing how quickly priorities fall into alignment with a sick kid---I did not care about anything else in the world except for making Truman feel better. It was stressful and tiring and scary but thankfully T is totally back to his normal self now.

(the sick week---jammies all day long, and red/watery eyes). :(
That was the low, but the good news is there were many highs besides that! The obvious one was his fantastic birthday party complete with a visit from my mom and Memaw. Also, Truman went from just learning to pull up and just learning to crawl on all fours at the end of January to a talented motor skilled baby by the end of February. He pulls up quickly, without losing his balance, on basically anything now. He will crawl on all fours with crazy coordination, as if he and Henry are running a race against each other. He also mastered furniture walking and can move from couch to couch to ottoman to highchair to pretty much anything at all. He'll also take a hand off the furniture, bend over and pick toys off the floor without falling over. So one month he can barely pull to stand and the next he is all over the place like a big boy. It's crazy to see him standing up in his crib when we go get him in the mornings and I love that we can trust his balance enough to let him stand up and 'walk' around the furniture without us being right there to catch him. I still don't think he'll be walking all alone for a few months but we'll see---he seems to move fast once he masters a skill.

One 'first' that he had this month was going to the local zoo! We got a seasonal pass for Christmas and on the first semi-warm day (we are talking temps in the 40's which felt like a heat wave, trust me) we decided to scope it out. Truman loved the big animals and was a total trooper with the cool air. I can't wait to go again this spring when it's warm enough to lose the winter coats!


His one year stats are as follows: 23 pounds, 7 oz (61st percentile); 31 inches (85th percentile); and head circumference of 47 cm (70th percentile). So we still have a healthy and mostly tall baby boy. It boggles my mind to think that he has gained 16 pounds since birth which means he tripled his birth weight and grew 10 inches in length! Isn't that insane to think about? He's in 18 or 24 month clothes still and I noticed the 18 month footed jammies are getting rather snug. He's eating well for the most part but he's still pretty moody with foods. Sometimes Henry gets 90% of the meal and sometimes he gets none. We are onto all organic whole milk in bottles at this point as my breastmilk freezer stash officially ran out two days before his birthday (sob). He still nurses each morning and maybe another time during the day but I don't even feel let downs anymore and I doubt he's getting anything at all. I figure if he still wants to nurse for a few minutes just for comfort then that is okay by me, too. I can be his appetizer before a fatty 6 ounce bottle no prob. All I know is that losing the pump and not mixing bottles with breastmilk and cow's milk is pretty much the best thing ever. So.Much.Easier!!



Truman is still going through a bit of separation anxiety and according to our Pediatrician we should hold on for dear life until about 15 months. Great! Truman cries every single day I drop him off at daycare, even though I'm as fast as can be getting the heck out of there. Some days it only lasts 10 seconds and some days it lasts 10 minutes or more, as per Lori. I can't let myself dwell on his tears when I leave or my heart will seriously break into a million pieces, then I'll quit my job, and we'll have to live on the streets in return. So instead of that scenario I try to be tough and push it out of my mind knowing he will be just fine once he calms down. But the bad thing is that it's not just crying at drop offs because now he's gotten to be really clingy with Lori and wants to be held all the time---which is not feasible in an environment with other children present. Luckily he's gotten a little better in the past week but he still prefers for Lori (or me, if I'm home with him) to be within a 5 foot radius or else he'll just crawl over to lessen the distance himself. I hope and pray this phase moves quickly and thankfully some days he is absolutely fine playing alone, but those days when he is really needy are pretty rough.

But if I'm trying to look at the bright side, I have to say that even though he needs to be close to me or Lori, he actually does really well in social settings. He doesn't mind strangers at all and even at the party with about 15 other people there, he wasn't freaked out in the slightest. In fact he really likes people and is quite the social butterfly, even doing well in the church nursery with a bunch of strangers without his mama in sight. So who knows---maybe he just has both good and bad days with separation anxiety.

With an increasingly mobile baby comes more boo-boos, I guess. He took a face plant into his toy box one day while walking around the furniture and his poor chin shed a layer of skin. I hate seeing him get hurt but I know there are many more ouchies to come with my rough and tough boy----but I do not like that part of the game, FYI.

He still has 6 teeth---two on bottom and four on top. I think he'll sprout a few more bottom teeth this month, though. And it's so weird to see him with big old teeth like that! So old!


One of the biggest changes we've seen in T-man this month has to be his communication abilities. I really think this kid gets what we are saying most of the time and he can imitate our sounds with frightening accuracy. He'll shake his head NO vigorously whenever I ask him to do something that doesn't suit him which is funny but not really, you know? He can definitely say Da Da and Ma Ma with intention and I think we are working on 'Doggie' for a third real word. He finally started to sign to us and his favorite is 'more'----as in, he'll sign 'more' at all hours of the day: in the bathtub, at dinner, during a diaper change. I think he equates 'more' with food and the boy is always hungry, I guess! 'All done' is almost there and I'm working on 'I love you' next. He can do the 'touchdown' gesture on command (cutest thing ever), points at any and everything, and is really into slapping his head as if to say 'Doh!' I just love watching the wheels of his brain turn as he tries to figure out what I'm saying and he has his own babble-language to express his needs.

This kid is certainly getting a personality on him and already has an awesome sense of humor. He loves to chase Henry and one day we even caught him sharing an animal cracker with the dog, like a good brother. It was the classic 'I take a lick then you take a lick' back and forth that you see on TV, right on our kitchen floor. He thinks it's hilarious if we play keep away from him, ripping toys back away from his grasp, and he loves to play peekaboo, too. Mostly, his favorite activity is still looking at his own pictures and videos on the computer. It's almost an obsession, really. Have we created a monster, or what?
I think that is it for month twelve. Bring on lucky #13!

The First Birthday Party!

Now for the party itself...

We picked a 3:00 start time to allow for napping babies and I still had to wake Truman up for the festivities! I wanted to snap some family pictures before everyone arrived and T obliged, of course.

My new favorite family shot, mostly because of Truman's awesome smile.

My mom and Memaw flew in on Thursday evening and helped quite a bit with the preparations for Saturday. My mom used to run a small crafting business and her best seller was always her 'I let my grandkids walk all over me' sweat shirt, complete with footprints and puff paint. My brother and I were her footprints until she made a rubber mold of ours to use on multiple shirts. She also had another best seller with hand prints that said, 'My grandkids can't keep their hands off me.' So now that she has a grandkid of her own she decided to bring back her old craft of choice, going vintage with the hand and foot prints. Pretty cute, huh?

I wanted to get a shot of T with all his grandmas---this one comes close, with Lois in the picture. But great-grandma H was off to the side in her preferred chair so we are one grandma short. Still, don't you love the waves?

Ah, there she is! Great-Grandma H came down from Madison for the party. So basically, Truman is one lucky dude with two great-grandmas and two regular grandmas who love him. :)

I feel like I have very few pictures of Truman with Nate's side of the family, probably because we see them so much so it's harder to remember to snap pictures. But that just isn't right and I decided we need to be better about getting that side of the fam in some photos. Here is a classic one when Great-Grandma asked Truman to sit on her lap and he flat out shook his head NO in response.

Me and my big one year old boy. He's only happy because he's holding Missouri Grandma's camera.

Still loves those open-mouthed kisses!

Truman in his chair---a gift from MO Grandma. I helped her pick the color of course, and we got it from Land of Nod. I love the Pottery Barn Kids version, too, but they only had cute colors for girls if you ask me.

Very excited for the festivities to begin, obviously.

Then the guests of honor started to arrive! We had five other kids besides Truman come to the party and it was like one giant play date, complete chaos at times but SO much fun to watch all the babies interact. This is the one and only Charlotte, who was born on the very same day as Truman just hours before him. So basically, they are like twins or betrothed or something and I just love little Charlie.

Isabella is 13 months old and was quite the social butterfly! I think she loved Truman's toys more than any other baby there and she obviously loved her water bottle, too. :)

Mister Eli, is Andrea's big nine monther. Don't you just love that grin? His daddy is a firefighter and hence the adorable sweater vest. Eli was the youngest at the party and he totally held his own with the older kiddos!

And good old Henry--Truman's daycare buddy who is 16 months old and a total ham. He is so much fun to watch because he's all over the place and it's quite entertaining to observe his parents chase after him! Erin and Dave make toddler-hood look easy although I'm told it's pretty exhausting. :)
Ryan was the other kiddo who came but somehow he managed to dodge my camera all day, the little bugger! He was the oldest at about 20 months and was right with Henry, all over the place.

A glimpse of the giant play date. :)

Pals Henry and Truman working on 'sharing', just like they do at daycare.

In my head I had a 'to-do' list during the party, including: eat food, watch video, open gifts, sing to Truman and eat cupcakes. I was worried that the time would slip away from us before we could do any of those things and then babies would have to leave before we got anything done---luckily we stayed on task and got them all accomplished!

The video: when I announced we were going to show a video my beloved mother-in-law asked, 'Of what?! The birth?!' Ha, not quite....but it's funny to me that this photo of the video sort of does look like he was just born. It's actually his first bath but whatever. :)

Erin and Henry checking out the video.

Lois realizing this video is not actually of Truman being born, thank goodness.

Charlotte could care less about the stupid video. She has a chair and a scarf and is totally pimping.

Next! Opening gifts. Truman was getting a little fussy at this point so I had to hurry but I know T loved it. Mostly he loved chewing on the cards, but whatever.

Seriously, we are so lucky to have such great friends and family. It reminded me of my baby showers----when I just felt overwhelmed with everyone's generosity. I can't help but think of children less fortunate, without this ridiculous amount of toys, and feel honored that we are so blessed. I promise to teach Truman to be grateful for his blessings and not a greedy, spoiled brat---because I want him to know that he's a very lucky boy to have so many nice things. End of tangent on parenting...

Yep, definitely wearing out.

Andrea snapped pics for me, using my camera, and I just love this one.

And then finally, time for the cupcake! I wanted to save the tee shirt if possible so we stripped T down shirtless. We all sang to him and I guarded the flame before blowing out the candle for Truman.

And then? Truman was the most cautious, tentative baby with this treasured cupcake----it took him FOREVER to actually eat the darn thing. Silly boy:)


But once he got the hang of it, he was all about that sugar. Probably my favorite pic right here---showing how happy our baby was on his big day.

Definite sugar high.

I am still glad we did the red velvet cupcake but boy, the first dirty diaper post party was absolutely frightening! Enough said. :)

Happy Birthday, Truman!!

An edited video to show the highlights of the 'cake smashing'.

We had to grab the classic shot of us three ladies with our boys---Truman still shirtless and looking rather portly.

And then, I remembered one more thing I wanted to do at the party: attempt a hat photo-op! I knew it would probably be a disaster but I figured even one or two decent pics would be worth it. Truman was still too messy to wear his shirt, even after we tried to wipe him off. And so he remained topless---which makes these pictures even more hilarious.


The birthday babies were NOT happy! Please note the clasped hands on the side of this picture---I'm pretty sure that is Charlotte's dad, as if to say, 'Sorry, Charlie. You are on your own for this one.'

Truman trying to crawl away from the horrendous hat that attacked him----and Eli's face in this picture makes me laugh every time. He is genuinely concerned with his buddy Truman here. Isabella and Henry could care less.

And that is a watered-down version of the party! It was so hard to edit pictures down from 450 but I managed. The party itself was SO much fun, I was a little sad when it was over---that post-party let down feeling is so lame. But I loved how everything turned out, it was hilarious to watch all the kids play together, and chatting with their parents and our families was exactly what we needed to celebrate making it the first year.

Next year we'll try the hats again and hope for better results:)
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