Friday, January 31, 2014

Food for Thought

Girls, I'm tired. Damn tired really. 

It's Thursday and I've been playing Mommy and Daddy since Sunday morning at 5AM. It's just me running this show and so far everyone has survived and the house is still standing. This week has been pretty good all in all. But when I sat down to write a post for today, I had nothing. And I mean nothing. In hopes of finding something to inspire me, I visited Facebook. Within 20 minutes, I cam across multiple articles that hit so close to home. I started to write a post about one in particular and decided instead to share a few links I connected to most. 

Can I tell you how many time James comes home and I'm beyond over my day? I know I take it out on him and let's face it, he is an innocent victim who happens to walk into a path of stray bullets. Not only do I take things out on him that he has no control over, but 5 out 7 days a week, I am in yoga pants, my hair in a ridiculous messy bun and I don't have a stitch of makeup on when he walks through the door. And regardless of my foul attitude and hot mess look, dude loves me. Loves me more than I deserve, for sure. 

How many times have you judged another Mom? I'm guilty of it, no doubt and if you say you don't or haven't, you are lying. It's in our nature to judge our peers one way or another. Why do we tear each other apart? We have enough on our plates, enough to live up to, the least we can do is unite and support each other. Let's not get so caught up in what so and so is doing that we forget that they have their own daily battles they are fighting. After reading this article, I made a vow to myself and to all the other Moms I spend my days with to love more and judge less.

I know married couples with children who haven't been a date in 3-5 years. They find it too difficult to find the time or a sitter or they could be doing this or that instead. Trust me when I say I know how hard it is to find time to go on a date. James is currently out of town and this is the 2nd full week this month he has been gone. We don't have family here to help with C so we depend on friends to watch him from time to time. Also, I'm a control freak (right Breann?) and worry about him when I'm away. But can I tell you, the time I have my husband to myself, the nights I get dolled up and we get to eat dinner sans child and spend time talking without interruption, are the most cherish moments of my marriage thus far.

After reading these articles, along with so many others, I was hit with this thought that I really need to refocus my time and energy. Sometimes it takes someone else's words to really hit home. I need to spend more quality time with my husband, disconnecting and giving him all my attention.. I need to let him love me - the good, the bad and the ugly. And boy, do I need to show him how much he means to Connor and I. Lastly, I need to rally around my fellow Mom friends and provide them with the same support and love that I would want others to give me. 

Here is some food for thought. Did any of these articles hit a chord with you? Are there areas of your life you should be focusing more of your energy? 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

15 Months - 1.30.14

Today we celebrate you, little guy! And what a little guy you are. At your 15 month checkup, we learned you really are small for your age. That's okay, you are just perfect the way you are. This month has been a bit of a rough one for you as you've been sick with allergies and today we discovered you have a slight sinus infection. Poor kid, you just can't win. Sick or not, you are always full of personality and have a big voice to go with it. You make your presence known, that's for sure. You sing and talk all day long. You have been very attached to me this month and we have been working on getting some distance between the two of us so hopefully you will grow out of this stage (and soon). The next month is going to be a big one for you and I hope that you take the change well. We plan to take your pacifier from you in February and we are going to cut your hair for the first time when Mammaw comes to visit. This time next month, you are going to look more like a little man and less like our baby boy. Daddy and I want to start documenting the funny things you say and do so that we don't forget along the way. This month, when Daddy asked you if you needed your diaper changed, you walked over to the cabinet and pulled out a diaper and the wipes. We were so impressed. I taught you how to sing "Five Little Monkeys" with hand motions and nothing is cuter than you "singing" with Momma. You have grown so much this month and it's been so fun to watch it happen.
We love you Connor Frankenstein!
Momma and Daddy Papa

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sticker Shock

Lately, I've been obsessed with HGTV. By obsessed, I mean I have it on any time I'm in charge of the picking the channel and I make mental notes of things that we must have/do/plan for/expect/demand when we purchase our first home here in Texas. Not only will it be the first home we buy in Texas, it will be the first home we buy as a family and the first time I'm become a homeowner. Can you imagine how fun that will be? When we start the process, be prepared to hear all about it.

But back to my point and the purpose of my post today. Thanks to the many hours spent watching homeowners in search of their perfect pad, I've created a wish list of what I will be looking for when house shopping.
  • 1 or 1 1/2 level home
  • 4 bedroom with 1 to use as a office 
  • Open kitchen with ample counter space and double oven
  • Upgraded kitchen appliances 
  • Fireplace  
  • Nice size backyard with mature trees
  • Park and pool within the development/community 
That's a pretty basic list, right? What did you insist on having when you were looking for your next home? I'm sure I'm missing something is a MUST HAVE. Now, thanks to HGTV's Love It or List It and House Hunters, I have seen beautiful homes and I am ready to become a home owner. Or so I thought. Just for fun, I starting looking to see what is for sale in Round Rock (that's where I'd like to stay if possible) and I nearly choked! Homes meeting the majority of my wish list are being sold for $300,000 to $450,000. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the table. 

To some, that's what they are used to, it's totally normal. I just can't imagine owning a home with a ticket price of $300,000 plus. While I want to have our dream home to raise our family in, I want it to be a home that fits us regardless of the asking price. It's times like this that I am so blessed to have such a smart, savvy business man for a husband because I know he will make finding the perfect place easier. When you bought your first home, did you have price tag shock? Is it possible to overlook the asking price so that you can fall in the love with the perfect place? So until we are ready to buy and can commit to having a  hefty mortgage, I'll just continue to watch HGTV and live vicariously through others.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Learning through the Struggle - Kristy's Story

Last year, I asked for ya'll to pray for my littlest cousin Jesup as she was going into surgery to repair a cleft pallet. Since the surgery, Jesup has been flourishing. She is getting so strong and growing like crazy! In December, she celebrated her first birthday. Even though I'm miles and miles away, I love getting updates from my Aunt Kristy on the progress Jesup is making. Through our weekly text chats, Kristy brought up the idea of starting her own blog. As someone who loves blogging and the sense of community blogging provides, I told her to do so! She decided to write a introduction of who she is and what life has been like raising Miss Jesup. She wants to share that intro with you. I hope you enjoy Kristy's story. It's one that has completely made me look at my aunt in a new light. Hands down, Kristy is one of the strongest women I know. 

Hello! Just thought I’d share a bit of my life story with everybody. I’m hoping it will create a new outlet for me and create some new friends along the way. I’m a stay at home mom and like all of us, need some me time and I thought blogging would give me a piece of me time. My kids are 18, 15, and 1. And yes I do think I’m crazy for starting all over again. It was quite a surprise to my husband and I. We were under the impression we couldn’t have any more children. So much for science! In all seriousness though, Jesup has been a wonderful addition to our family. She has literally turned our world upside down. In the best of ways.

I met my husband when I was 12. Seems kind of silly now to look back at me telling my mom that I loved him. Years later, I understand why she laughed. But I did really love him. I knew in some strange way that he needed me. Because he seemed so sad. At 16 we got pregnant on purpose. So we could be together (don’t ever do that). Then my mom let me move in with him (just like we planned). No one knew until later that our precious baby girl Lacey was a planned pregnancy. She is now 19 and is starting college this winter. Being young parents is hard; I have no idea how I’ve survived. But maybe I’ll tell you more about that later. We had our son Jarrett at 20. Just babies ourselves really. Had no idea what we were doing. He’s in 8th grade now. He’s at the age when everything is so dramatic. It kills me. Girls and video games are his thing right now. I try to enjoy this time because as I’ve learned through the years these moments don’t last forever. And one day I will wish he was in his room again playing a video game. Time and struggles have changed me. I’m a different mom today than I was when Lacey was born. Maybe that’s why God gave me Jesup. Maybe now I have the patience and wisdom I needed to deal with all the special needs she was born with.  

She had a cleft pallet (that the hospital missed) and we brought her home not knowing about it. She also had jaundice so I thought that she wasn’t eating because of it. After day five of her just screaming and not eating the amount of milk she should eat my husband called his sister (Stephanie's Mom) who was a neonatal nurse. She came over, picked Jesup up and found her cleft pallet in 2 seconds. By this time Jesup was getting lethargic (I thought was due to jaundice) so I had been trying to bath her to keep her awake to eat. Tammy (his sister) said we should take her to the hospital right away. She was very worried and said for me to keep her awake on the way to the hospital. Looking back now I’m positive if I had let her go to sleep that night she wouldn’t have woke back up. Around her mouth was turning blue and she just couldn’t stay awake anymore. Tammy saved her life.  I still haven’t thanked her for that but I really need to. 

Once we got all that figured out we have noticed some development delays along the way. She can’t get to a sitting position on her own and still hasn’t rolled over. She’s one year old and sad to say she’s just not a very happy baby. She had her cleft pallet repaired at 10 months. That was the week I finally broke down. I sat in my bathtub and cried for 2 hours. I just thought, “How am I going to do this? I don’t know how to care for this baby. I don’t know what she wants. I can’t soothe her (she had cried for 7 days solid) I know something is wrong with her.” All the blood tests for Down syndrome had came back negative. I called her doctor and told them what she was doing. She wasn’t in pain. She just whined. Like she was bored and irritated. She wasn’t acting any different except it was just intensified. She had never been real content. Usually only satisfied for 10 or 20 minutes, then we would move her to a different spot in the house until she got bored with that. Thank God for Lacey's help. She’s been my life saver.

Well after her surgery she would only be content for 2 minutes. Then she was whining again. Turned out I just needed a break. I took my husband’s advice and went to work with him for a couple days. He works on a cattle farm. The break was just what I needed. Soon Jesup was doing a little better. Enough that I could handle it anyway. She has good days and bad days. We still don’t have any answers to her delays and we don’t know what the future holds for her. We are just learning to adapt to her needs. I love every minute of every day that I spend with her.

We recently went to church after not attending in a while. I have gotten out of the habit of going because our lives have seemed so chaotic. We have only been going once every two or three weeks.  When the singing started yesterday she looked at me like, “what’s going on Momma?” I gave her a smile of reassurance that everything was okay and I opened a songbook and started singing with them.  I saw her watching me out of the corner of my eye. She would look at me and then look at the singers. Then back to me again. She reached out for me to pick her up so I did. I sat her in my lap and she reached for the songbook and put it in her lap. Then she held it just like I was. She was really enjoying herself. It’s the little moments like this that I enjoy so much. I can’t express the joy she brings to my heart as her Momma. I’m so blessed that God gave her to me. I am certain that being a parent when your older is so much more fun. I didn’t take the time to enjoy Lacey or Jarrett. I was too young to realize how precious each moment really is. 

 Romans 12:12 - Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Kristy's parenting experience is much more different than mine, much more challenging to say the least. Connor's worst days include a couple of fits, a too short nap and his refusal to try veggies. When Kristy shared this letter with me and offered it up to my readers, I was touched. I know that as a mother myself, I love getting positive advice or words of praise from fellow parents. I'm hoping each of you that read this will have a bit of advice or a kind word or two to share with Kristy.


Monday, January 27, 2014

A Little Dash of Quircky

Every one of us have little things that make us slightly strange to others, maybe even a bit Rainman-ish. I'm no different. There are some things that I have to do or have done a certain way or I'll sit and obsess over how "it's wrong" until I have the chance to make it right and remedy the problem. I'm OCD and have no issue admitting such.

When listening to the radio or watching TV, the volume always has to be set on a increment of 5. Always. If it's not, it's nearly impossible for me to enjoy the song or show. It must be fixed for me to listen or watch.

I hate when lights are left on when you aren't in the room using them. If there is anyone who is guilty of doing this on a daily basis it's my husband. It drives me insane. Currently, there is not a single light on in the house and I'm completely okay with that. If there were, you can bet your last dollar that I'd get up and turn it off. 

I don't like there to be water in the kitchen sink. Let me explain. When I'm finished rinsing the dishes and loading them in the dishwasher, I dry the sink out with a hand towel. I can't handle a wet sink. The same goes for counters of any kind.

When sleeping, I have to be able to see a clock and know the time instantly. I know I have a cell phone but that doesn't cut it. If I wake up in the middle of the night, the first thing I do is look at the clock and if I can't see the red numbers glaring at me, I either permanently move so I can or I change the placement of the clock so I can see the time no matter what. 

My towels have to be folded a certain way so that they fit on the shelf in the best space saving way possible. James doesn't get this and that's okay. Whenever he folds towels, I usually go behind him to fix them the right way. I should just be happy he did the laundry but I can't be (sorry Coxy). I have to have them folded my way or I start to tick. 

When texting, I use correct spelling and punctuation and if I misspell something, I fix it with and indicate that I caught the mistake with an asterisk. Just because you are texting doesn't mean you should talk/write like this: C U soon. B there n 5. Seeing a sentence like that pop up on my screen makes me cringe.

Going to the grocery store requires me to create two lists but I only take one with me. I first write out what we need and then rewrite the list grouping the items together by their location in the store.

If you have a paper calendar in your home or on your desk at work, please for the love of all things Holy, make sure it's displaying the correct date. I can't handle visiting with you on January 27th and seeing your desk calendar displaying the date as January 5th. Maybe you shouldn't have a desk calender if you can't keep up with it. 

Does this list make me sound like a whack job? Probably. But that's okay because I'm a whack job who is always in order. You don't have to tell me I'm a bit off or even extremely weird or OCD. I know I am. I'm sure there are things that you have to have done just the right way although I'm sure they are done the wrong way. I kid. Sort of!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happies & Crappies

You know how each week is filled with it's awesome moments with a side of craptastic moments? Well Stephanie over at The Vintage Modern Wife and Amber at Brunch with Amber has the best linkup to share such moments and I'm couldn't be more excited to join them!

The 411 on Happies and Crappies link up:
1. Happies and Crappies link up is posted EVERY Friday at Midnight CST. Happies and Crappies link up was created so you could write about the happies (good) and crappies (bad) from your week!
2. Please put the H&C button on your post for the link up.
3. Please follow your hosts. It’s not  mandatory, but they appreciate the love.
4. If you tweet about your post, tag Stephanie and Amber as well as use the hashtag #HappiesandCrappies

- Connor is slowly but surely getting better. He is about 80% and I'm thrilled our little guy is feeling better. His cough is nearly gone which has allowed him to sleep more soundly at night and during naps. If we could just get rid of the nasty snotty nose, we'd be all good.

- A girlfriend of mine has joined the YMCA and we've planned out the days we can go together. Not only is it fun having someone to workout with, but having someone EXPECTING you to work out with them makes it impossible to back out. Maybe this is the extra push I need to get myself in the gym.

- Due to the cold weather and ice/snow mix that came through Austin last night, James is working from home today. While I wish he could just have a snow day, it's wonderful having him home with us. Connor loves spending days with his Papa Bear.

- Because of said cold weather, my workout/Bible study was cancelled this morning.

- While I've done well with some of my goals for the month, there are some I haven't even thought about let alone tackled. Maybe that's something I can aim for this weekend.

- The Mister is going out of town to OHIO next week and C and I aren't going with him. Airfare is just too expensive and let's face it, -20 isn't exactly welcomed weather.

- Revenge is on hiatus until March. Why? For the love of all things Holy, why!?

 Have a great weekend! 
Be sure to visit on Monday where I share some of the strangeness that is me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My 2014 Reading List

I've mentioned time and time again how much I love to read. Reading has been part of who I am for as long as I can remember. Most of what I read is fiction but I've decided to start reading some non-fiction pieces to add a little variety. Some days I can spend a good hour reading while others I am lucky to get a full 15 minutes. 

I am currently hosting one local book club with some friends and we just finished Me Before You and will be reading The Fault in Our Stars next. I'm also a joining Michelle for a virtual book club. As members of each club, I will read 24 books this year which is what I set as my year goal at the beginning of the month. However, I'm fairly confident that I'm going to read more than what's read in my book clubs. I've recently joined Litfuse Publicity Group and BookSneeze. Both sites will provide me with a free book for my honest review (which I will share with ya'll). Because I have so many opportunities to read this year, I've upped my goal to 30 books.

A few friends and fellow bloggers have asked what books I plan on reading and I thought I'd share it with you all in hopes to give you some ideas of books to pick up this year. 

Photo Source

 Me Before You
The Fault in Our Stars
Gone Girl
Water For Elephants
The Book Thief
What Alice Forgot
The Happiness Project
To Know You
The Thirteenth Tale
The One I Left Behind
The Husband's Secret
Shine Shine Shine
Kisses from Katie
Descending Son
Big Little Lies
(updated as of 8/20)

The novels listed (17 total) are the just the ones I will have (hopefully) read through June. I'm still gathering options for July-December for our book club. I want something fun and light for July, maybe something similar to Bossypants. In December, I want to read something similar to Paper Angels. Do you have any suggestions for our group? Any one book that you think is a must read?

Feel free to visit my Goodreads account to see what books I have sitting on my bookshelf to read this year. Also, join in and set a goal for yourself to read as much as possible this year! I promise you won't regret it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So What! Wednesday

Happy So What! Wednesday!
Here is what I'm saying So What! to this week along with Shannon and the crew:
... it takes both James and I to clean Connor's snotty nose. Not only does the chore completely piss Connor off but he is such a strong little guy. Doing it solo is impossible so we have to team up on him. Even with help, we can never get it all so we end up giving C a bath to rid him of his snotty face (eyebrows, hair and cheeks).

... I have 4 Old Navy Super Cashes and wanted to order online through Ebates to earn 7% but ON's website will only let you use 1 per transition. You win this round Old Navy online. Off to the store I go...

... James is going to Ohio next week for business and I'm not one bit sorry I'm not going with him. Ya'll can keep your snow and frigid temperatures. I'm out.

... Plans to workout with a friend at the YMCA fell through thanks to Connor not feeling well. I guess I'm just meant to be the chubby girl.

... Speaking of working out, after my Bible Study/Workout session at church on Friday, I could barely walk on Saturday. Sitting down to use the restroom was physically painful.

... I watched Teen Mom 2 last night.

... I can't tell you the last time I cleaned the upstairs in our house. It's a good thing no one but the 3 of us ever go up there. I would die of embarrassment if someone saw the mess. 

... Connor took 3, 10 minute naps on Tuesday and was the world's crankiest child as a result.

... I don't know how to relax yet never seem to do everything that needs to be done.

... I won Globetrotter tickets through a Facebook giveaway and can't wait to take Connor on Friday. Who knew the Globetrotters still existed?

... I lack self control when there are Girl Scout cookies in the house. 

What are you saying So What! to this week?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sick Baby Must Haves

First off - THANK YOU - for your positive comments and prayers for our little guy. 
He is suffering from severe allergies but we have a plan in place so I'm hoping by week's end, we are doing much better if not 100% healthy (again.. finally!). 

If there is anything I would say I'm a pro at, it's taking care of a sick baby. Fortunately, Connor has only had the typical colds, viruses and allergies and nothing more life threatening. Before the age of one, it's difficult to taken some of the typical seasonal ailments since little ones under 12 months aren't able to take many over the counter medicines but there are six items that I've learned to use and have one hand that make dealing with a sick baby a little less miserable. 


1 - Hyland's Baby Tiny Cold Tablets: Like all Hyland's products, this cold tablets are homeopathic. You simply dissolve two tablets on tongue every 15 minutes for 4 doses, then hourly until your baby's runny nose and congestion is relieved. 

2 - Vick's Humidifier: this particular humidifier helps relieve dry air by providing moisture for up to 18 hours. I use this any time Connor is in his crib napping.

3 - Zarbee's Natural Cough Syrup: this honey and ivy leaf blend provides comfort for when your little one has a wet cough.

4 - Infants' Advil: when Connor is teething or is in pain from sinus pressure, a small dose of Advil helps relieve his pain and allows him to get a more sounder, deeper sleep.

5 - NoseFrida: instead of going inside the nose like the bulb, it forms a seal with the outside of the baby’s nostril. As uncomfortable as I was with this at first, I will say this is the only suction that works to clear Connor's nose.

6 - Johnson & Johnson Face and Hand Wipes: these alcohol free wipes gently remove dirt and germs from your little ones hands and face, leaving behind a clean scent.

Of course, we always have a thermometer and tissues near by. I add Vaseline to C's chapped nose daily to help it heal and reduce the chance of dry nose and cheeks. Even with all these items, it seems like we could always use something else to ease his discomfort. What are your go to items to use when taking care of a little one?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This

Parenting is tough. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying and it would be to their benefit if you smacked some sense into them. Every day is a new challenge. You learn something new about yourself, you child(ren) and your spouse daily thanks to the ups and down of being a parent. It's an experience that is tough to put into perfect words. It's something you need to experience yourself to truly understand the magnitude of how your life is going to change. 

While there are days that I wonder what made me think I was capable of being a stay at home Mom, I know that with every bump in the road, we are shaping our son to be a wonderful man. Someone who loves others and God. You will be respectful and treat his peers as he wishes to be treated. Some days I can't believe we have been parents for 14 months. How have we survived this long? I mean really?!

Today is a day that I'm questioning my ability to make it as a parent and be the best parent Connor deserves. He is sick yet again. What is this? Allergy attack number 7. Last night was so hard on the poor guy and sleep was impossible to come by. When there is nothing you can do to help your child feel better, it breaks your heart in two. Their whines and cries cut straight to your core and it's so hard to keep your cool. I mean, as his parent, shouldn't I be able to make him better? If I was able to take on every single one of his illness in the last 14 months, I would have. Without hesitation. But since I can't, I'll be giving out hugs and snuggles, singing songs and wiping his poor red nose.

So today will be spent taking care of our sneezing, coughing, snotty handsome guy. We are running on little sleep but thanks to our amazing family doctor, Connor will get seen today even though it's a holiday and the office is actually closed. God Bless Dr. S. I'm hoping to find the perfect solution to Connor's outdoor allergies. Maybe if we lived far from the famous Cedar Fever, we would have the upper hand. For those of you back home in Ohio, Cedar Fever is worse than the cold that comes your way in February. Serious. 

Please send good vibes and prayers of health our way. We need them, as well as coffee, in large quantities. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Blogger Spotlight: Meet Jenny


Hello! My name is Jenny and I blog over at Growing Up Jacobson. I mostly write about my 20-month-old daughter Callie but I also write about running, my efforts to lose weight, my attempts at being an amateur photographer, our family and all of life little adventures! On occasion I share a recipe or meal prep trick and I’ve shared some of my parenting rants! I am so excited to be guest posting this month as a part of Stephanie's new “Saturday Blogger Spotlight” Series. I've really enjoyed reading Stephanie's blog and getting to know her and her beautiful family!

On your blog, you detail your constant focus on losing weight. What was the turning point for you? When did you decide to make the effort to focus on you and your health?
My health and weight has been a focus for me since graduating college in 2001. Now my motivation is different. I want to be healthy for my daughter. I want to role model to her healthy eating, exercise and body image. I want her to know good foods but also to know it’s ok to enjoy food. I want her to know you don’t have to be perfect at food or exercise to be healthy. I also want to keep up with her. I am physically exhausted after a day of chasing her around and I want to have the energy and strength to enjoy the chase! I realized all of this right around her first birthday. I recommitted to this journey in June and since then I’ve lost 15 lbs. While that is very slow for most people that’s an average of 2lbs a month. For me that’s about as fast as I could loose weight when I was 21 and we all know our metabolisms slow down so it’s a huge success for me! I also truly love running. I’m not competitive, I’m not into long distances but I love to run. Even at my fittest the fastest pace I ever ran was a 10-minute mile so I’m definitely the tortoise not the hare! However I love every minute of the run! I love the challenge, I love how I hate it while I’m going up a hill, I love how my pace quickens as I turn around to head back home (I always run out and back paths) and I love the runner’s high that stays with me all day long after a run! I know that loosing weight will allow me to enjoy running more. While I can run now at my slow 15-minute mile pace it’s hard on my body and I’m more prone to injury at this weight – things I’d like to avoid. I also know that healthy eating and exercise are directly connected for not only my weight loose but also my mental well-being.

As a mother to a sweet little girl, what do you think the your greatest parenting moment has been so fair? 
Your biggest parenting fail?
I think this is a great question but a hard question. As parents, particularly moms, we are so hard on ourselves. For me my greatest parenting moment isn’t a moment but it’s eleven and a half months long. That’s how long I breastfed Callie. To this day I’m not really sure why it was so important to me to breastfeed. Neither my husband nor myself were breastfed and we didn’t really know many parent friends who had either. However it was important to me to try everything I could to be able to breastfeed Callie and my husband supported this. If it didn’t work we knew we could feed her formula and there’s nothing wrong with that. Breastfeeding was hard at first but not the usual hard. I had a complicated delivery, which delayed my milk coming in (even with round the clock pumping), Callie was in the NICU for a week and was on oxygen at home for three more weeks and we had latch issues. She had some formula in the hospital because of my supply delay. I sought out help and we overcame those early issues and managed to breastfeed until almost a year. When we weaned it was time for both of us and was short and easy. Breastfeeding was super hard and a lot of work but I’m glad I did it. I didn’t really get that motherly bonding from breastfeeding that so many moms do. My daughter hardly ever fell asleep at the breast and I wasn’t comfortable using breastfeeding to soothe on a regular basis. For me it was about feeding my daughter the best way I knew how and that was important. I didn’t love every minute of it but I am proudest as a mom that I was able to breastfeed my daughter her first year.

I think my biggest failure was in the early days not knowing how to advocate for Callie. It started even in the hospital. She was moved from the well baby nursery to the NICU without us being woken over night. The NICU nurses were very pushy with feeding schedules regardless of my own recovery and we had lots of issues about breastfeeding/bottles/formula. Once we were home I didn't think it was normal that she was spitting up so much after every feeding or that she was so unhappy all the time. You hear from doctors and other moms that babies cry, babies spit up, etc. I never felt like I got what we really needed from Callie's doctor and always felt rushed or my questions brushed off but I had no comparison (we have since switched doctors). It turned out Callie had reflux but we didn’t start treating her until she was two months old. I knew something wasn’t right before that but I didn’t know how to bring that up. I also knew it wasn’t right that she was so unhappy all the time and hardly napped during the day but I didn’t know what to do. It took me until Callie was about four months old to figure out how to advocate for her. I’m sure many people wouldn’t describe this as failure but I feel like I failed to recognize my daughter was sick. That’s a failure no matte how you spin it.

If you were stranded on an island alone, what 3 personal items would you wish to have with you?
First I’d like to have my laptop with me (let’s pretend there’s a magical power outlet on this island). I have all of my memories electronically on my computer. Starting with our wedding photos, our travels, Callie’s photos and all of her memories I’ve documented. Second one of my Michigan State t-shirts. I don’t have a particular favorite but having something of Michigan State with me would be important as it was and is such a huge part of my life. I met my husband there, we got married in the alumni chapel and we both worked there after college. When I think of home I think of MSU. Finally I’d want to have the first piece of jewelry John bought me after we got married. It’s a very simple platinum necklace with a heart pendant that has a diamond in the middle. I’ve had it for over ten years now. Whenever I get a little dressed up it’s my go to necklace. I love it not only because it was the first “adult” gift but also because it’s so perfectly me. It’s simple, goes with everything, can be dressed up or dressed down. I’m not particularly feminine and I like things very simple. I love that John got that about me so early in our marriage.

What part of blogging is your favorite? What do you dislike that most?
I love connecting with other moms. I’ve found many great ideas for toys and activities for Callie through blogging. I also got the photography bug from blogging and I not only love capturing photos of my little ladybug but photos in general. I feel like I’ve grown as a person through blogging and it’s helped me to redefine me as a mom. Dislike would be a strong word but I struggle with figuring out where I want to go with the blog. How big do I want to grow it, do I want to sponsor blogs, do I want to offer sponsorship, what type of link ups should I participate in, etc. Mostly I want to make sure my content reflects who I am and that I don’t just post things to simply post or because I know it’s something that will be popular.

As mentioned before, you are very focus on your fitness and health. If you were given a day to eat whatever you want without worrying about calories, what you would have for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
I love this question! As much as I focus on trying to be healthy and fit doing so is something that is a constant struggle for me. I like food. I like sweets mostly. Eating well is and I think always will be hard for me. If I had a day to eat anything it would look like this:
Breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes, sausage links, Starbucks peppermint mocha with the whip cream (still skim milk because whole doesn’t taste right to me)
Lunch: Cheeseburger well done with sharp cheddar cheese, sweet potato fries and a local wheat beer on the side
Afternoon Snack: Chocolate chip cookie or brownie (ideally homemade but if not from a local not a chain bakery) and either a hot chocolate or a tea latte
Dinner: Chicken Parmesan, breadsticks (or bread with olive oil for dipping), pasta on the side and some yummy chocolate dessert. Oh and a side of lots of sweet wine like Riesling and/or Ice wine!

Using the first letter of your first name, J, describe yourself in 5 words
Jannock, Juggler, Jazzy, Judger and Jungle

Jannock: This is the favorite that I came up with! It means outspoken, outgoing and honest. That word sums me up in a nutshell! I have always been very honest, not completely blunt, but very straightforward.

Juggler: I feel like juggle my weeks when my hubby is gone and then weekends when he’s home I have two different mom modes and the Juggler really speaks to me now.

Jazzy: I like to have fun, be goofy and just enjoy life and I think jazzy speaks to how I try to do that. It doesn’t always happen that way but it’s a goal. This word makes think of my dance parties at 6am with my daughter in the living room and just makes me laugh!

Judger: I’m a hardcore ESTJ on Myers-Briggs. I try to manage it but I own it. I judge myself, others etc, Good thing I’ve learned how to do it in my head and not out loud. I’m not mean spirited. I just have strong opinions on how “I” think things should be.

Jungle: My house is a jungle. I have two cats that think they’re dogs, a crazy hyper 85lb four-year-old Weimaraner dog and a HYPER 20-month-old daughter. It’s a wonder I haven’t broken a leg getting around every day! I love it (well most of the time) but man the Jacobson house? It’s totally a Jungle! Haha!

Thanks so much Stephanie for letting me take over your blog today! I hope the Wife Mommy Me followers enjoyed hearing my story! Thanks for stopping by!

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