Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Brother Cannon

Big Brother Cannon -

I don't think either of us realized what an adjustment, a beautiful adjustment, adding your little brother to the family would be for you and me. Every so often you'll cry to be held, but I just can't because I'm taking care of Cason, and then I cry too because I can't be there for you in all the ways I was before January 6, 2012. 

It seems like you've grown up overnight into my little helper. You are the first to ear Canon's little coos (or screams) when he wakes up from his naps. You point and run down the hall to the bedroom, looking over your shoulder to make sure I'm following close behind. Daddy showed you how to pull your stool up to the end of the pack n' play and you diligently hand me a wipe every time we change Cason's diaper. Sometimes you'll even suggest on your own, by signing "diaper," that we check Cason's diaper. You LOVE patting Cason on the back when I burp him and ask to hold him multiple times a day - EVEN when he's crying! I'm waiting to see how long that one lasts.

I LOVE how you LOVE your brother. You cannot go to bed without giving him a kiss goodnight. When Cason is having a little tummy time on the floor, you get down on your belly face to face with him to see what he's doing. You want to include him in what your doing, from reading your Elmo book, to making sure we put his carrier in the car, to "talking" to Dada on the iPhone . . .

Can we just note the mess in our bedroom: the vacuum, the toys, the unmade bed, and the towel? Life with a newborn at its finest and my feeble attempt to choose my children over housework.

And finally, a little Moby-wrap love. This is how Cason spends a good chunk of his day and I love it.

Our Family This Month (January 2012)

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This might be the most exciting monthly update (albeit a little late) yet! Cason Reed Stiller was born on at 4:14 am at the Allen Birthing Center on Friday, January 6, 2012 after four short (but hard) hours of labor. And yes, the full birth story is coming . . . eventually. Writing my birth stories is a very cathartic way to reminisce and savor the joy of welcoming my child into the world. Little bits by little bits I jot down scenes as they spring to mind. I think it's a little part of my postpartum recovery to relive those moments when I became a mother (even for a second time).

So, the first week of the month was spent waiting. Waiting for Cason to arrive and trying to survive being 39 weeks pregnant while chasing a toddler. Survive we did.

The second week of the month, Danny was off of work, Cannon spent oodles of time with his Nana, Papa and Glammy, and Cason and I just cuddled in bed.

The third and fourth week of the month we repeated the cuddling, Cannon learned that he LOVES to "drive" Glammy's car, and our outings pretty much consisted of short little trips to the park to avoid cabin fever. We were well cared for by our mothers who had new meals coming every other night. I'm not sure I would have survived those first few weeks without their help with cooking and watching Cannon. I might have survived, but I would have been hungry that's for sure.

We are adjusting to life with two children and are thoroughly smitten with our boys, even when they wake up in the middle of the night (multiple times).

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January 2012 Reading List

Okay, I'm back on the reading bandwagon. I haven't been able to read while nursing nearly as much as I did with Cannon. Cason chokes and gags on my oversupply of milk quite frequently, but hopefully things will even out and I'll plow through the stack of library books in my little nursing nook.

1.  The Wonderweeks by Hetty Van de Rijt

I rarely give a book one star (out of five). This book got one star. I was sorely disappointed in this read. I found it repetitive, uninformative, and very shallow. I was expecting to learn about growth spurts, developmental changes, how my child reacts to developmental stages and coping techniques. Every "wonder week" basically had the same information repeated in each chapter. At most the author informed me that my child would be fussy before/during each development growth spurt and that the best method of coping was to keep my child close and cuddle. I didn't finish reading this book. I tried, but at 450+ pages this was alot of the same stuff. There are much, much better books on development out there.

2.  The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears
At first I was very overwhelmed reading this book (the author even states at the very beginning that he's going to make things more confusing for parents), but also loved that for a book on vaccinations and medicine, this was very, very readable. At the end Dr. Sears gives a great wrap up and conclusion and offers some advice for parents in various situations (not wanting to vaccinate at all, wanting to vaccinate but concerned about the chemicals, etc.). It also helped that my doctor was open to discussing this book and even affirmed that it was a reliable read on vaccinations. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to know more about vaccinations, regardless of your stance on the to-vaccinate or to-not-vaccinate debate.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Looking for some FREE CARDS?!

Looking for a way to score some free Valentine's Day cards, or in my case, birth announcements? There are a few deals floating around there on the web you might want to check out!

Minted is offer a FREE $25 when you sign up through a referral link.  And, if you get friends to sign up you can earn more free credit. So, click through to that link and place an order! You can also use the promo code BEMINE35 to get free shipping. I think Minted has some of the cutest card designs out there.

Paper Coterie is also offering a FREE $30 (cannot be used towards shipping) when you use the promo code FREETHIRTY. I purchased the cutest little Christmas cards for my photography clients this year from Paper Coterie and can testify to their superb quality and unique designs.

I'm not sure when these deals end - so don't wait too long to take advantage of them!

I originally saw both of these deals on Money Saving Mom and My Dallas Mommy which are GREAT blogs to follow for steals and deals and tips on being frugal.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Park Days with Glammy

Cannon, you probably won't remember these days except for hearing stories and seeing pictures. But if you could remember you'd probably wish for a new sibling every Christmas. 

Cason's arrival has been that almost every day Glammy has come and whisked you away to a little piece of toddler heaven: the park. You feed the ducks, swing, ride the bouncy green frog, go down the slide and DRIVE GLAMMY'S car. 

One day she came to pick you up and returned an hour later with you beaming from ear to ear. I asked how the park was and Glammy replied that ya'll had never left the driveway. You'd simply sat in the front of her car playing with the steering wheel, dancing to the radio and figuring out the windshield wipes. She let me know I may never be able to get you in your carseat again. :-)

What fun you have being the center of attention one last time before Cason's old enough to keep up with you and fight you for the spotlight!

Cason - Week 3

We're trying to decide if Cason is uncomfortably gassy (or even has reflux) or if he's just irritated at being drowned in my oversupply of milk. He's often cranky during and right after nursing.

Cason took his first bottle this week and downed 3 oz like a little champ.

Cason weighs 8lbs 14 oz (55%) is 22 inches long (80%) and has a head circumference of 14.5 inches (40%) at his two week appointment.

Four days after his two week check up, Cason weighs in at the birthing center at 9 lbs 2 oz. We're obviously not having a milk intake problem.

Cason passed his hearing test at our three week appointment at the Allen Birthing Center.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another sleeping baby picture . . .

. . . because I have a problem . . .

. . .  a fear really . . .

. . . that these days are slipping away and I will forget . . .

. . . forget the scent of a freshly washed newborn . . .

. . . forget the soft coos of a sleeping infant . . .

. . . forget the feeling of holding love in my arms . . .

. . . so I take another picture . . .

. . . and post it on my blog . . .

. . . hoping that helps me remember these days.

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It's Hard Work Waking Up

The following photos are in the order in which they occurred. I simply snapped away while Cannon lay on the bed. And, they are only color corrected. I want to remember my babies just as they are . . . even the little baby acne.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cason's First Bottle

This was Cason's 19th day of life outside the womb. Cannon got his first bottle when he was 20 days old.

A Little Water Play

Again, I've tried entertaining Cannon with a treasure box and today it was WATER! Some days I'm desperate for anything that will hold his attention for more than a minute. Although, I've been informed that children's attention span for any one activity is about as long as their age (Cannon's 1 1/2 years old, so he'll play with a toy for approximately 90 seconds . . . SIGH . . .).

The water was all fine and dandy until Cannon accidentally flung it all over the floor. He didn't care about the mess until it soaked through his pants and then he was quite disturbed at the sensation and couldn't play until we took them off.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh Happy Glammy Day

What do you get when Glammy's in town (other than everything?!)? 

The childhood rite of passage: your very own and first Happy Meal!

Cannon knew exactly what to do with that box of chicken nuggets. That red box with golden arch handles brings back many childhood memories of special outings with a parent and spinning myself nausea on the playground equipment. Oh the simple fried joys of being a child.

I also wanted to make note that Cannon's getting more and more imaginative, and usually it's Blue Bunny that's along for the ride. I found Cannon and Blue Bunny sitting on a bench (aka: Mr. Monkey) having a nice little post-nap conversation. How cue that Cannon sits Blue Bunny up like a little friend to talk to him.

Guess who just walked into the room? DADDY!!!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cason's First Bath

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At two weeks old Cason is still in that fabulous "sleep all the time only wake to eat" phase. He nods off while I burp him and will then sleep anywhere. I keep in him the bouncer most days because I can put him on the table or counter out of Cannon's reach and curious little fingers.

Those little lips. Those big cheeks. AH! I love them all.

While you might not be able to tell from these pictures Cason LOVES the bath. It probably helps that I know what I doing this time around. Poor Cannon would scream the entire bath time when he was this little. I blame myself. I was so nervous I would put about 1/2" of water in the sink and then let him shiver his little hiney off. With Cason, I fill the tub full and let him float in the warmth. It must be like a wonderful baby spa day being submerged up to your chin and listening to the water fall from the faucet.

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