Thursday, July 28, 2011


For the sixth year in a row, my besties from college and I met up for our annual Girls' Weekend. Like last year, this time we went to New Smyrna Beach, which was super convenient for me. Nathan tagged along and was the first boy to crash our trip! Allison, unfortunately, couldn't make it this year but we took advantage of technology and Skyped with her each night.

We ate our meals in to keep things casual. Nikki prepared a delicious cold shrimp pasta for the first night. Stefanie did a whole low country boil the second night (which I did not get to partake in because it coincided directly with bedtime for the bubs - bummer!). Meg whipped up a yummy lasagna for the last night.

It was a bit of a challenge to get suited up and bring the baby all the way down to the beach. We attempted it each day but didn't get to stay out for very long. It was disgustingly hot and the poor thing didn't want to nurse down there so I had to schlep back and forth to the condo to feed him.

Despite the work, his insane cuteness in his beach garb made up for it!

We missed Allison not only for her beautiful smile and delightful company, but also for her photo-documenting skills. I don't have a lot of shots from the weekend!

To be honest, I had a bit of a pity party for myself the first day because it was so tough to have Nathan there and be off schedule and deal with the complications of heat and sand and sunscreen. I selfishly wished I could have left him home so I could have fully enjoyed my girls' company, the adult beverages and get a good tan. Such ridiculous things!

But that is why I love my besties so much - they helped me talk through my troubles and gave me so much comfort and support. Not to mention a nice break with the extra helping hands! I cannot begin to put into words how much these girls mean to me and how thankful I am to have them in my life. And, ultimately, I am glad I braved a weekend at the beach with Nathan on my own because each experience only helps me gain more confidence as a new mom.

I look forward to many more GW to come (but maybe sans baby next time)!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Snug as a Bug

We've learned the trick to getting Nathan to nap... He likes to be wrapped up tight in the blanket his Great Grammy knitted!

Despite it being summer and a bajillion degrees, he seems to enjoy getting all toasty and sweaty. Hey, if it helps the kiddo sleep, I'm all for it!

I swear, he's in there somewhere!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Darby & Kathy's Wedding

We had the pleasure of attending the wedding of our good friends, Darby and Kathy - sans baby! Ryan's mom, Nathan's Lolly, was kind enough to babysit so we could be away for a few hours. It was a fun night of celebrating these two lovebirds and it was really nice to have time with Ryan without Nathan (as much as we missed him!).
The ceremony was held in Winter Park. The couple impressed us all by writing their own vows! The couldn't have looked happier, it was very sweet.

The reception was held at Leu Gardens. There was a cocktail hour before they opened the doors to the ballroom and then we were all invited to our seats for the main event.

I love this man so much and I was so thankful to have a "date night" where we could dance and reconnect a bit.We are so lucky to have such a close circle of friends and the opportunity to share in these special times with them!

It was a great night and we're so happy for the bride and groom. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Miller!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Bottle

I'm honestly torn about breastfeeding. I love the connection and bonding experience it gives me with Nathan and I know it's what is best for him in terms of nurishment. It's free and always available.
But there are times that I would like a little more freedom and the occasional ability to have more than just a couple hours to myself between feedings.
Knowing we were going to leave Nathan with Ryan's mom for a few hours so we could attend our friends' wedding, I started pumping so we could do a trial run with the bottle. I was a nervous wreck and nagged Ryan about how he should do it and how important the method was so that Nathan would be okay with it.
I don't know what I was worried about...
Does this look like a boy who has any trouble taking a bottle?

"Mom, what's the big deal?"

I'd say he was pretty satisfied!

Smiley Boy

Is a smiling, talking baby not the best thing in the world?! This boy just makes my heart swell and puts a huge grin on my face!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two Month Well Visit

Nathan visited Dr. Alber on Monday for his two-month well visit. I had a laundry list of questions since it had been so long since his last appointment. Everything checked out great although poor little guy was miserable the whole time.
He checked in at 11 pounds even (36 percentile). And he was 22 1/2 inches long - three whole inches since he was born! (also 36 percentile)

His head measured 15 3/4 inches (46 percentile).

After all the measuring, it was time for the dreaded shots. The first was oral, so it was no problem. He actually seemed to like it. The other three were needles in his upper thighs. I'm pretty used to hearing Nathan cry at this point (that may sound like I'm an awful mom - but seriously, the little monkey is just loud!) but it broke my heart to see him react to the injections. His face turned bright red and his eyes welled up. He cried and cried and I felt awful!

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping and then, another outburst of crying later, we ran out for Tylenol to help relieve some of the pain (and the slight fever). He was a trooper, though! It'll be interesting to see how much he changes by his next appointment at 4 months!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

4th of July

Happy Fourth of July!

The fourth happens to be Ryan's birthday. This year, we spent the holiday weekend in Atlanta with my family - I was still up there to be with my mom and Ryan drove all the way back up to be with us.

The birthday boy spent the day hanging out with his little buddy, waiting for the crummy weather to pass so the guys could all play tennis.

Once the day was over, we got ready for an evening at my parents' club. Mom bought Nathan and Carter matching Janie and Jack outfits for the occasion. They looked so cute! I am sure this is the first of many times they will be dressed alike.

The club served a yummy bbq buffet, with pulled pork, fried chicken and all sorts of delicious sides. We nabbed a prime table right in front of a huge window in the ballroom, which ended up being perfect for watching the fireworks because it rained throughout the night.

Once the show was over it was time to head back home in the rain. Despite the bad weather, we has a great time celebrating with family!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Months

Nathan, you are two months old today!

The past few weeks have brought a lot of change and you've grown so much! Not only physically, outgrowing your tiny newborn clothes, but developmentally, reaching all sorts of milestones.

The biggest and best one by far is that you are now "socially" smiling and each time your tiny mouth breaks into a grin it melts my heart. You are happiest just after eating and first thing in the morning, which has been an adjustment for your mom, who is not a morning person. You talk up a storm and I love having a conversation with you of "aahs" and "oohs".

The month brought a lot of travel for us. First, to Jekyll Island for a weekend wedding. Then, to Vero Beach to celebrate your dad's first Father's Day with Aunt Barb, Uncle Phil, GiGi and Grandaddy. Finally, we spent 10 days together in Atlanta helping to nurse your Hattie back to health after an unexpected surgery to remove another cancer mass. You were a trooper on each car trip and did a great job, sleeping most of the way.
You are becoming more and more alert, and I can't help but wonder what those inquisitive eyes are taking in. You make the most adorable faces as you are studying the world around you!
We are becoming more settled into a routine, trying to get out of the house at least once a day in between feedings and naps. You still eat about every 3 hours, but sometimes it stretches a lot longer and we're hoping those longer periods start happening over night!
We've met new friends with babies your age through another new mom that I work with. We've gotten together for breakfast twice now and I hope it turns into great friendships for us both.

You have started to like playing more but still get a little overwhelmed if too much is going on. While you're interested in your activity mat, you prefer to stare out the window or just look at your mom and dad. After too long, though, you make it clear that you need a nap and as much as you fight it, I try my best to get you to sleep. I can see naps may become more and more challenging as you get older. I think you just want so badly to keep soaking it all in!
It amazes me how much you've changed already in the past month and I can't imagine how much you'll continue to grow by next month. It's exciting to watch! My heart continues to grow each day that I spend with you and I feel so blessed to be your mama.

I love you so much, Little Monkey!

Two Month Stats:
Weight - approx. 11 pounds (we'll know for sure at your checkup on Monday)
Diapers - size 1
Clothes - 0-3 months, but already some things are too short for your long body!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shocking News

Right before we left for Vero, just days after my family had visited, I got a call that my mom was in the hospital. She had gone in to have something checked out and was admitted after they found another cancerous mass, this time near her colon.

Another one?!?!

She had just gotten a clean scan in April and was doing so well. I had just seen her in Orlando and she seemed fine. How could this be happening again???

I was a nervous wreck the whole weekend we were away, waiting to hear news of what was going on and how she was fairing. By the time we got home, we knew the course of action was emergency surgery.

I wanted desperately to be there, to hold her hand, give her (and my dad) a hug, and provide whatever morale support I could. This is the fourth time in as many years that she's been through this and I've only been able to make it for the very first surgery. It broke my heart each time to be so far away and feel so helpless and this time was no different. Blame it on the hormones, but each time I even thought about my family gathered in the hospital I started crying.

Ryan and I decided the best thing to do was to wait for her to be in recovery before making the trip. Nathan still hadn't had his shots and it was took risky to bring him to the hospital.

We packed up the car and took another roadtrip, just in time for my mom to be released from the hospital and sent home to recover. Nathan and I got to spend 10 days up there, keeping Mom and Dad company and trying to provide distraction. Ryan drove back and forth in order to work during the week. Poor guy!

We may have been there to help my mom recover but I think it was actually more therapeutic for me to be able to spend downtime with my family and have extra hands to help with Nathan. Each time I'm "home" it replenishes a hole in my heart that empties the longer I am away.

You'd never know it from the photo below, but this was just days post-surgery for Mom. Her strength and determination each time she's been through this blows my mind. She is the rock of our family and has proven time and time again that cancer can't get her down. I pray this is the last time we'll ever have to go through this and she will have clean scans from here on out.

I love you so much, Mom, and am in awe at your perseverance! You are amazing!! xoxo