Our Boys

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm "Becoming Baby Wise"

Let's talk about being a first time mom. When I had Owen, it was like there were two different people inside of me. On the one hand, I was convinced that being a mom couldn't be more natural. Women have been doing it for a few years now and shouldn't everything just work. This was my view on breastfeeding, sleeping, basically everything involved in raising a baby. I never thought it would be easy just natural. On the other hand, I was scared to death that I was going to mess up. Surely at some point I would do something wrong that would scar Owen for life. I mean, seriously, I had NO idea what I was doing, so I just did what came naturally and for the most part, it worked. Breastfeeding was something that just worked for us. Owen latched immediately and even the lactation consultant at the hospital had no suggestions as he was doing very well. At times he's a lazy eater and sometimes a distracted eater, but always an eater. I have no horror stories of problems with my breasts, Owen refusing to eat, not gaining weight...it really just worked like it was supposed to. For the most part, everything else worked just fine too. He is a happy little boy. He smiles so often now and laughs on occasion. He has started to coo and you can tell he is responding to us being around.

The one thing that didn't come so natural was sleep. Now, I have to say, that I can't complain. I know there are moms out there that are up every hour and get no night time sleep. That has never (knock on every piece of wood within reach) been the case. Our problem was more that I never knew when Owen would sleep and for how long. His "schedule" basically went like this - I would nurse him, he would be awake for a little while, then he would get fussy so I would nurse him to sleep, then gingerly place him in his crib while creeping out, praying that he would stay asleep. Then I played the waiting game because I never knew if he would sleep for 30 minutes or 3 hours. I started to get very frustrated because I could't get anything done. Any time I thought I had time to do something, he would immediately wake up. If I thought he wouldn't sleep long, I would wait for him to get up and I would end up waiting for hours. I really couldn't take it any more.

At the July 4th parade, I ran into a neighbor with a little one a week older than Owen. She mentioned that she had "done Baby wise" with both of her kids and loved it. I knew  had heard brief mentions of "Baby Wise" but had never paid attention because like I said, shouldn't a baby sleeping just come naturally? Well, I did some research on the internet and checked the book out of the library. At first I was skeptical to say the least. I hated the thought of letting Owen cry and I just didn't think such a strict schedule fit our lifestyle. I like to go, go, go and didn't want to be tied down. Please hold the laughter. I do know that I have a baby :-) Anyway, I started by changing nothing, but writing down exactly what time we did everything each day and I found that he already had the start of a pattern. I then put him on a 3 hour feeding schedule that looks like this  -

7:00 am Owen gets up to start his day I sometimes have to wake him up. He eats and we play on his activity gym.
8:00/15 - Owen goes down for a nap.
10:00 Time to eat again. I sometimes have to wake him from this nap. We read some books, go outside if it's not too hot, play with the puppies and do some chores around the house.
11:30 Down for another nap.
1:00 Time to eat - he usually wakes up on his own. We read and go for a walk in the stroller.
2:30 Nap time.
4:00 Time to eat. 50/50 on whether I wake him or he gets up on his own.
5:00 He starts to get cranky and doesn't like to go down for a nap, but he is back in his crib by 5:30.
6:10 I wake him up to go pick up dad at the train station. He is usually fussy when we get home and dad makes every attempt to make him laugh while I finish dinner.
7:00 Time to eat. He is usually satisfied for a little while.
8:00 Start getting read for bed. We were putting him down at 8:30 but decided it's a bit late and are starting to put him to bed now at 8 or 8:15.
10:00 Dream feed...I initially wasn't sure how I felt about this, but after trying it and not, have decided it works for us.
3:00-5:00 Owen gets up to eat. He doesn't yet have a set time, but I hope that he will soon. Last night he got up at 4:50-woohoo!

So for now this seems to be working. Obviously these times are approximate, but what I love is that I now recognize exactly when he is tired. I can put him in his crib and might yell once or twice but goes right to sleep. I feel like I am being a better mom to him because I am giving him what he actually needs and not what I think he needs. The other nice thing about the Feed/ Wake/ Sleep schedule is that he is not eating right before lying down. He has a slight case of reflux and I think that is why he was previously waking up only a short time into his nap. (He is also sleeping better now that he naps on his tummy. I do not need reminded that "Back is Best", I know this, but Owen doesn't) Now, because he is up and awake for a while after eating, he is having less trouble and works through it while awake instead of asleep.

I am certainly no expert and am constantly second guessing myself, mainly on the waking him up form naps part. But, things are going so much better. I can accomplish more during the day, can plan our time out of the house, and Owen is SERIOUSLY a happier baby!

I linked up with Kelly at Kelly's Korner for her Show Us Your Life Series. Today's Topic: Best Parenting Advice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another Attempt at Being Organized: A Household Notebook

So I've had this idea stewing around upstairs to create some sort of notebook to stay a little more organized and on track while I am home and to make things a little easier when I go back to work. I started looking around the internet for inspiration and it seems that my idea was definitely not original. Blue Eyed Bride posted just today that she has completed her Home Organization Binder. Impressive. She provided several resources at the bottom of her post, one of which I found extremely helpful  - Organized Home's Printable Pages for Your Household Notebook.

To start, I needed to figure out exactly what I wanted my notebook to do for me and in what areas of our life. In other words - what can I just not get organized.

Recipes. I am a hot mess when it comes to recipes. You might even call me a recipe hoarder. I love them. I crave them. I get them everywhere. But then what? They end up on the coffee table, on the dining room table, in my purse, mixed in with my coupons, in a "recipe catch all" binder.

Menu Planning. I have tried printing a template. I tried making my own. I did really well leading up to Baby Boy's arrival. Then it all fell apart. I guess a baby sort of does that to you. So, to get back on track, I need a central location to write what we will be having for dinner and a place to track things we need so I'm not running to the store 4 times a week (even though an evening alone at Target is becoming quite a treat).

Chores. Oh boy! Another hot mess! I actually enjoy cleaning. When I have the time, supplies, organization and desire. I hate the scramble to clean something quickly and would rather take me time and do it right. That's probably why several chores don't get done as often as they should. Again, I need a system. Fly Lady? Same problem as menu planning.

To Do List. I am the queen of lists. I make lists of lists. The problem is that I lose the lists or simply don't follow the lists. I actually put things on my list that I have already done so that i can cross them off and feel like I have done more than I actually have. I need to have a weekly planner in the category so I can map out how I will get errands run, phone calls made, etc. This also needs to include a long term list of things that need done. For example, things I need Brett to do; I could simple look at my list and tell him what I need done as opposed to saying I don't know.

Things to Look Up. One of my biggest time wasters is the internet. I will see one thing (be it online, on TV, the radio, out, etc.) and go to look tup. An hour later I have looked at 17 things since that initial one. I need a place to write down websites, products, etc. that when I am relaxing I can look those things up as oppose to dropping everything and doing it "right now". i don't know that this list would completely eliminate this because that's just the "drop everything" kind of person I am.

So this is where I want to start. I figure that if I can start small and this seems to be working I could add to it things like a car maintenance section. Update on this project to come...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Brain Dump

I love brain dumps...whether they are via blog, email, text, whatever, we all need them. So here's my mid week dump (I have the same mentality as a 10 year old because I giggled as I typed "dump").

1. It's hot. I hate it. I know. I shouldn't complain because we are what seems like days away from breaking out the parkas in the good ole Midwest. I don't know why we live here. It's too hot, too cold, too rainy, too windy. Always too something. The hot is much more tolerable here.

2. I want one of these. This one is at Target and is actually made of glass, not cheap plastic. I don't know where I would store it as our house seems to be shrinking.

3. I also want one of these L. L. Bean tote bags. They're so cute and would be perfect for schlepping (my new favorite word) our stuff around. Owen has a lot of stuff + I have a lot of stuff = we need a fun tote bag for all our stuff. I have no clue what color to order, nor do I know what size or whether I should get it with our without a zipper. I do know I want to have "Team Clancy" embroidered on it and I don't know that it will fit.
4. My birthday is coming up. I am dreading it a little bit. It's a big one. Fortunately, I get to spend my actual birthday at the University of Dayton with the whole fam. Scotty moves in that weekend and Ben will be home and is coming along for the ride. So we are road tripping it to Dayton to see everyone and "help" move in.

5. Love. This. Smile. He is smiling up a storm and it makes me laugh every single time.

6. I also love this face. It's his poopin' face.

7. Did I mention it's hot and I don't even want to go outside.

8. Owen woke up 3 times last night. It sucked! The 3rd time was the worst because he wasn't hungry or need a change. His reflux was bothering him and he spent about 15 minutes burping and doing the hard swallow like it was burning. I hate that for him.

9. From where I am sitting, I can see a huge cob web in the corner and i don't feel like getting up to get rid of it.

10. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Products are my new fav. I have the Lavender hand soap and Lemon Verbena All Purpose cleaning concentrate. Even Scotty commented on the scent when he was here.

11. I want to make my own cleaning wipes, I just need a container big enough to hold a roll of paper towels. Any suggestions? I found one idea - to cute the roll of paper towels in half with an electric knife. Good thought. No electric knife here.

12. My lil man just woke up. Brain dump ends here :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

The French market in Wheaton is just full of delicious, ripe summer produce. This weekend, I bought a zucchini. Not just any zucchini but the kind that people grow in their gardens at home and let grow, and grow  - you know the big ones! To start off with, I made some Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins. Yum! 

Here's the start of the process: 

and here's the end:

These muffins are delicious, especially warm right out of the oven! 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used half all purpose flour and half whole wheat)

3/4 cup sugar (I used half white and half brown sugars)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil (can substitute half or all with applesauce, but I didn't; call me crazy!)
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (these are a no, no in our house but go ahead if you like)


In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. 

  • If you wanted these extra chocolatey, throw in 2 T. of cocoa powder and you would have Chocolate chocolate chip zucchini muffins. 
  • I made a double recipe and got 16 regular size muffins and 6 Texas size muffins. 
  • When I grate my zucchini, I leave the skin off. Isn't that where all the good stuff is?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our 2 month old boy!

Mister Owen -
How on Earth are you 2 months old? In some sense, it seems as though it was just yesterday I was lying in a hospital bed, scared out of my mind and in more pain that I could ever imagine being in. In another sense, that night was light years ago. Our world has been turned upside down, but for the better, and I can't imagine our family without you. You just fit.

You're like you Daddy already in so many ways; your face looks so thoughtful as you ponder your growing world. You are calm and take things in stride. You are so flexible and don't mind the (many) times I hoist you out of your crib still asleep so that we can go somewhere (I know, I know, never wake a sleeping baby). You are like me in many ways too. You are silly and you don't hesitate to show how you feel - happy, sad, mad. You still look so much like me, many people comment on that, but when you make certain faces, I see more of your Dad in you.

At the beginning of this month you had just started to smile and "coo" every once in a while. Now, your "smiley" times are almost predictable and the other night you cooed so much, Daddy and I knew you were talking to us, so we cooed right back. We were laughing hysterically and so were you. Each morning, we play together on your activity gym. You love the lights and the music. You also like when the puppies lay with you and you kick the heck out of Tucker when he lays at your feet. You still don't know how to feel about Lucy licking your face, especially when you have remnants of milk on it. You are starting to fall asleep on your own, although there are times that a lot of crying takes place before hand, but you also are waking up happier, sometimes just talking instead of crying to let me know you are awake.

Highlights this month 

A visit from Aunt Cari (June 8-June 14)

Hanging with uncle Scotty and Grandpap in Naperville while Gammy and Mom shopped.
Aweek long visit from Gammy and Grandpap (June 25-July 1)

A play date at Cosley Zoo with 5 other mom's and babies
Your first dinner at a restaurant. You were so good we went out the very next weekend.
You still LOVE your baths!
Also, you celebrated Daddy's 1st Father's Dayyour Baptism,  had a 2 week visit by Uncle Scotty (June 25 - July 11), your first Fourth of July celebration complete with fireworks and a parade,  and your 2 month check up. Wow! What a month it has been.

2 Month Stats
Height - 24 1/8 in.
Weight - 12 lbs 5 oz.
Head Circumference  - 16 in.

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July Celebration

One of the fun things about having a baby is experiencing all of his "1sts". This 4th of July was no different. I was so excited to dress Owen in his red white and blue outfits, watch fireworks, and attend the Wheaton parade. On Sunday morning, Scotty and I ran to Old Navy to pick up some new t-shirts for the boys. Brett and Owen got matching Captain America t-shirts and Scotty also got a Captain America T, just a different one because they were out of his size.

We spent the day at Cantigny, having a picnic, bike riding, walking through their gardens, playing Frisbee and listening to music. It was a perfectly relaxing day.

After coming home and regrouping, we walked to enjoy the fireworks. Owen slept the entire walk there but as soon as they started, he was mesmerized; he wasn't bothered by the noise at all. He even cried when we got home, he was so sad they were over.

On Monday the 4th, we woke up early and walked to stake out a good view of the parade route. It was hot, but we weren't going to miss our first chance for Owen to see a parade. He slept the entire time!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th and that blessings were said for our freedom and for all all those serving in our military.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Uncle Love

Owen is a lucky kid! He has two uncles, my brothers, that think he is pretty cool. Uncle Scotty has spent the last week with us and is here for another week. Aside from making Uncle Scotty realize that babies are a lot of work, Owen has been able to spend lots of quality time with him. 

Uncle Ben is at basic training, so Owen is sending his love to him in Georgia!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

God Bless Owen!

Sunday was a very special day for Owen - he was baptized! He was very fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends on a perfect summer day while he was welcome into the church.

During th actual baptism, he was so content. he only cried at the very end, probably because the water was so cold. 
Brett and I feel blessed to have Natalie and Mark in our life. We know that Owen is equally blessed tot have them as his Godparents. They are sure to be a special part in Owen's life!
Owen was given a special white cloth made by the ladies of the church. He looked adorable in Brett's baptism outfit. He also wore a special pin with a medal on it that was worn by both my mom and myself at our own baptisms.  

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

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