Monday, June 26, 2017

Shutting It Down

This is officially the last post for Stephanews. 

I wrote in my last post about a new blog that I started here so it's time to shut this one down. If you followed me here, consider coming with me. 

Finally, to quote Fall Out Boy, thnks fr th mmrs. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

First, Fifth, Twenty-eighth

This weekend is pretty jam-packed.

Friday is our fifth anniversary. This year saw us through a career change, a call to consider, nine months of pregnancy, childbirth, surgery on our child's head, multiple follow-up doctor visits, and learning how to be parents. It was a crazy year but it has been my favorite year of marriage yet.

Saturday is my 28th birthday. We are getting together with great friends for one of the last times before they move. *cue tears*

Sunday we are celebrating Justin's first Father's day. I was blessed with two wonderful grandpas, an amazing dad and father-in-law, and this year I get to celebrate my husband being a great father to our son.
The day we got engaged six years ago, our wedding five years ago, and all dressed up for a wedding two weeks ago. 

In light of another year of life, I started a new blog. I've been wanting to for a while now. I started this blog years ago when I was in Florida; things have changed, I have changed, and it's time to start fresh. So here it is!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Sometimes I am up, showered, and dressed before the baby even makes a peep. And sometimes I drag myself to his room and beg him to give me just ten more minutes.

Sometimes I am so productive that I feel like I could conquer the world with a baby in one arm and a laundry basket on my hip. Sometimes I feel like it's a major success if one of us makes it through the day in the same clothes we started the day in. Bonus points if the clothes I started the day in are not the same clothes that I slept in the night before. 

Sometimes the thought of picking up that freaking pacifier that he dropped for the millionth time makes me want to pull my hair out. But sometimes he smiles at me from behind the pacifier and I feel like my heart is going to explode.

Sometimes I have eggs and toast for breakfast and sip on coffee while he sleeps. Sometimes I down a can of mountain dew and a handful of potato chips in between diaper changes, laps around the dining room, and other soothing techniques.

Sometimes I get housework done while Jackson watches from his seat, smiling and cooing. Sometimes I bounce a screaming baby in my arms while trying to stop the asshole cat from whatever idiocy he has gotten himself into.

Sometimes I talk with calmness and confidence about Jackson's surgery and helmet therapy, but sometimes I sit by myself and cry because I want to kiss my son's head and hold him without the straps on his helmet scratching my arms. Sometimes even though I know he is getting the help he needs and won't have any memory of this, I wish for a page in my planner with no doctor's appointments.

Sometimes I am determined to put him in his crib awake and letting him learn to sleep on his own. Sometimes I rock, and sing, and snuggle because I know that too soon he will be big and those moments will be gone.

Sometimes it feels silly to read a book to my two month old baby when he seems as though he couldn't care any less, but sometimes I keep reading long after he has fallen asleep because I need to know what happened to Penguin on his big adventure.

Sometimes super exciting things happen and I think "I can't wait to write a super exciting blog post about that!" and then sometimes I can't think of anything interesting and we end up with posts like this.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Listening to: You guys. My husband directs the musical every year at his high school. Sometime in early spring he picks the musical for fall, and once it's decided it's played non stop around our house. This year it's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I've never seen this musical. I don't know the words to the songs. But I am humming them allthedamntime. I just got Hello Dolly out of my head.

Watching: Grey's Anatomy, again. I needed something different, but also that I didn't need to spend too much brain power on. If I miss some or even most of an episode, it's not hard to catch back up; outrageous emergency, twisted love triangle, tragic death. Can we please have a moment of silence for Denny Duquette?! After 8 years is this still considered a spoiler? Sorry.

Strawberry rhubarb yogurt. Did you know this existed? I love rhubarb. Even though I'm not much of a yogurt eater, I had to try this. It's. So. Good.

Drinking: Caffeine. Specifically in the form of Coca-Cola. It's bad. I also had my first post-baby alcoholic beverage--a very small, very weak Jameson and ginger ale. Hello, friends, it's good to have you back.

Reading: I wish I was reading a book. I have a few books sitting on my nightstand that I really want to read but I am positive that if I sat down to read a book my eyes would close before I finished the first paragraph.

Working on: My reyna shawl that I started like two years ago. I've ripped it out and restarted it twice, but it's knitting up really quickly. I've had lots of good car knitting time between trips to the children's hospital and trips to Justin's parents' house.

Waiting for: Yarn that I ordered from KnitPicks, and organ music I ordered for a wedding I am playing for. AND, we got some newborn/family pictures taken this past weekend and I can't wait to see them!

Loving: The fact that Jackson has been a napping rock star so far this week (knock on all the wood). Monday while he was sleeping I put away all the clothes that have been sitting in baskets for far too long. I have never been so excited about laundry.

Not loving: I packed up a box of clothes that already don't fit Jackson anymore. What?! Pass the tissues, please.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


In a previous post I mentioned some concerns that the pediatrician alerted us to about the shape of Jackson's head. Last week we met with neuro and craniofacial surgeons to learn more.

The doctors confirmed that he has something called Craniosynostosis, which is where one or more of the joints between a baby's skull bones close before they are supposed to, resulting in a misshapen appearance because the brain is still growing. Jackson has this in two places.

We were given two different surgery options and a very short time frame to decide. The surgery we opted for is not traditional, but is minimally invasive and poses a smaller risk than the other more major surgery. It will however require long-term follow up care; they will be removing a piece of bone and for several months he will be wearing a helmet to help guide his skull so that it continues to grow properly. This week we have a CT scan and meeting with doctor, and surgery is next week.

If praying is something you do, please remember us. Happy thoughts and positive vibes are also appreciated.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

One Month

Jackson is officially a month old. My days are filled with diapers, feedings, and not sleeping. It's exhausting, wonderful, and he is such a blessing.

Car rides
Fan sound when he's going to sleep
Being swaddled...once he's wrapped up
Being sung to
Walks in the stroller
Getting his hair combed after a bath

Having his diaper/clothes changed
The process of getting swaddled
Getting his picture taken (sorry, kid)

Big events:  
Since we've been home from the hospital he has been sleeping in the rock and play in our room. Between having to wake him up for feedings at night and me not being able to bend down and lift him after surgery, it was easier to have him right there. This week though he has taken a couple of naps in his crib. He looks so tiny in it! 

After much frustration, pain, and tears I've decided to switch from breastfeeding to formula. It was a hard decision for me but ultimately what I think is best for us. He has only had a couple of formula bottles so far but it seems to be going well.

Our neurosurgeon appointment is this week. A long car ride, another strange new place, and an's going to be quite a day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The First Weeks and Stuff

Everyone says "Sleep when the baby sleeps"....seriously, everyone. You know what no one says? "Cry when the baby cries".  Maybe it was my less-than-stellar birth experience, or a surge of hormonal changes, or extreme exhaustion, but every single time Jackson cried in the first few days at home I felt like the worst person in the world and wanted to cry myself. Lots of times I did. 

You know what's hard? Breastfeeding. So many people make it sound like its the most natural thing in the world and like it will come so easily. We started struggling in the hospital but then there were nurses round the clock coming in to see how it was going; including one determined nurse who busted in at about 2:00 in the morning and wouldn't rest until she had a plan for us that involved a shield, a strict schedule, immediate pumping and syringe feeding after letting him nurse for a while. It didn't get better at home. He started to gain weight back, but is not back to his birthweight yet at two and a half weeks which is like a punch in the gut. 

I went to a breastfeeding support group this week. When we walked in, there were women with their babies (all older than Jackson by quite a bit) sitting in a circle on the floor with their shoes off. As is my luck, my kid started crying as soon as the group started. I took him out of the room and tried feeding him. Because even though it was a nursing support group, I am not yet comfortable whipping my boob out in a room full of people. Two women and the LC came out to check on us and encourage us to come back inside. I guess anything is better than sitting on the couch and crying into the boppy wondering if the baby who keeps falling asleep at your chest is getting enough to eat. 

When Jackson was born, the pediatrician noticed and pointed out to us that there was a ridge on the top of his head. He said that it was caused by two plates in his skull that were closing prematurely. This week I stood behind a glass window and watched as some ladies held my screaming infant son down for head x-rays. After that I had to call and make an appointment for him, my two-week old baby boy, with a neurosurgeon where we will discuss options like a helmet or maybe surgery. 

Justin is back at work full time now. Monday was our first day home alone and it was a 14 hour day. The concept of time is pretty much nonexistent to me right now. All I know is "how long since the last feeding?" My days vary from needing to wake him up to eat and being locked to the couch because he wants to eat all the time. If I'm energetic enough to shower at 5:30 am before Justin leaves, I toss one pair of milk-soaked pajamas onto the floor to exchange them for a clean pair that are destined to the same fate. 

Time to make a decision; the baby is finally napping. Looking at the clock, it's only an hour until he needs to eat again and despite how much I wish I didn't have to, I have been advised not to let him go more than three hours without feeding and will need to wake him up. Do I finish my breakfast (a half eaten turkey sandwich that I made over an hour ago, and a coke)? Or watch the episode of Nashville that I've been watching for three days because between diapers and crying that can only be soothed by walking laps around the dining room singing, I have no idea what's happening? I think this time I will take everyone's advice, set an alarm just in case, and sleep while the baby is sleeping.