Ramblings of a Redhead

Motherhood, Ministry, Marriage, and Messes along the way

Easy Breezy Summertime

It’s summer!!!

While summertime in New Orleans brings a whole lotta heat and humidity, we’ve been enjoying our relaxed family time. I so look forward to Jared being out of class, it makes me kinda really wish he was through with school forever, then we could maybe (probably not) have a “normal” life. I mean, what the heck is that?!?! 

T and I have been thoroughly enjoying the pool. I used to hate going to the pool, because of the shared water, and feeling so self-conscious in a swim suit. But, these days, I just don’t really care. I’m in the process of losing all this baby weight (more on that later), and everyone is looking at my cute kid anyway instead of me, so oh well! We have fun, and Turner sleeps well, like a baby afterward. I call that a win-win. 

After Turner goes to bed, Jared and I watch Burn Notice, or read comics, or play scrabble. LOVE this time together, during the semester I often feel very disconnected from him because his huge load of school work. I end of feeling like a single parent sometimes because he’ll have to go to the library just to get things done, so sweet T and I hang out without him. Enough complaining, this is the season we’re in and one day it’ll be over. 

This easy summer will soon be over, Jared has to jump on reading for his seminar and colloquium in the fall. He only has like 24 books to read, no biggie, right? I’m thinking this PhD thing is gonna be a breeze, right? 

I digress.

My family (minus Clint) has been visiting this week. We took Turner to the beach for the first time! We went to Long Beach Mississippi, and had a good time. MS beaches are NOTHING like the Carolina beaches I know and love (I’d love to be at Folly Beach or Pawley’s Island right about now) but there was sand and water, so an okay substitute. T loved the sand, and surprisingly did not try to eat it. He wasn’t a big fan of the waves, didn’t like the water coming at him. He had a good time crawling around in the sand, sitting in his very own beach chair, and munching on some watermelon. BONUS: Last night he slept straight through from 8:45pm-8am.

Photo-wise this was about the best I could do. I couldn’t tell what I was taking the sun was so bright!

Leave a comment »

A Daddy-Day Tribute

Sunday will be Jared’s first Father’s Day. I wanted to write a little something to express my thanks to him, so here it goes.

Turner was the first newborn Jared has ever held. I contend that he must have held our nephews when they were tiny, but he says otherwise. Maybe Aimee remembers?

First of all, let me say fatherhood did not start off easy for Jared. Turner was born on August 18th. Jared’s semester began the 22nd. Not only did he have to go back to classes just days after the babe was born, but he was working a job at the time that dealt with online classes and registration. I won’t go into detail to tell you exactly what he had to do for fear of putting you to sleep, but let’s just say the first few days of each semester were the busiest and most stressful days for him and he had to be there. They really didn’t have anyone to cover him at the time. (Lucky for me, I had family in time to help out)

So, bless him – he had to go from class to stressful work and back home (not to mention he still had to counsel his clients!) to a hormonal wife trying to learn to breastfeed, and a screaming baby. He also got virtually no sleep. While I could take a nap during the day while T did, Jared did not have that luxury. Yet, he helped me out the best he could! Do I need to stress, this pregnancy was not planned – the timing of Turner’s birth could not have been worse. (Not to mention, I hope to never go through the hot New Orleans summer hugely pregnant ever again).

In addition to that, Turner was not Jared’s friend at first. If Jared tried to comfort him, or help me out in the night T was not having it! This was mostly in the evening/nighttime hours. Turner was okay with him during the day while he was happy but for comfort, or sleepy time I was the only one he wanted. This frustrated Jared because he’d do the exact same thing I would, and get the opposite response (a.k.a. screaming, crying etc.)

But, we got through that little bump in the road and now the boys are chums once again. Turner LOVES to play with his Daddy! He laughs at him, tries to steal his classes, throws his soccer ball back and forth, and is generally interested in anything Jared is doing (especially if it involves food). Jared is great with him, and I can see them throwing baseball, and running around the yard together in the years to come.

J has also been very patient with me as a mom. I’ve found myself overwhelmed at times, and I’m not a student and only work part time. He works very hard to provide for us, and for that I’m so thankful. I’m proud to call him my husband and the father of my sweet son.

Happy Father’s Day to my sweet Jared Alan. Turner is blessed to call you “Dada.”

Image

Leave a comment »

T’s Dr. Seuss Room: A Tour

Reading – the smell of the pages, the way they feel between your fingers as you turn the page, the curiosity you feel when encountering new words, and the “just can’t put it down” feeling, those things are heaven.

I hope to instill within my children a love for reading. As a child I loved Dr. Seuss; I loved the way he rhymed words and even made up his own. The illustrations are beautiful and fun, and overall the messages he conveys are great! I STILL love Dr. Seuss. For a long time I’ve known I wanted to give my first kid a Dr. Seuss room, and have been saving things along the way.

Here is what we were able to manage on our extremely low budget, and small space (please excuse the crappy phone pics, my “real” camera is in need of some AA’s:

Image

This hangs on T’s door. I made it with a gift bag, some ribbon and a sharpie. The quote is from Horton Hears a Who. I love it because we’re pro-life: especially after experiencing pregnancy first-hand, and I think Dr. Seuss was a little bit too : )

Image

The view looking into his room, Cat in the Hat is his friend.

ImageImage

These are fabulous book ends I’ve had for years. I love love love them.

Image

A tiny portion of Turner’s library, my old collection.

Image

T’s crib and wall above. He has super-cute colorful bedding but I may still be too paranoid to let him sleep with much more than a small blanket (if that) besides, he kicks it off anyway.

Image

His changing table, and cute balloons hanging above. He likes to stare at them when he’s not trying to escape the torture of being changed.

Image

This was a project! We have a huge garage shelf in his room that stores all of the junk we can’t fit into the closets (luggage, Christmas stuff, etc). I wanted to cover it up, because it’s rather unsightly, we tried several things that didn’t work, so this was the solution. I think it turned out pretty cute, complete with Cat in the Hat’s bowtie : )

That’s it! I love his room, and there are some details not pictured: Colorful rugs, and storage bins and some other small fun things. Maybe one day I’ll post part II

Leave a comment »

Whole Milk

**WARNING** This posts contains subject matter that may be disturbing to some readers, namely breastfeeding and all that comes along with it. Dad, feel free to return to ESPN.com.

We started the gradual process of weaning today. We gave Turner his first little sippy cup of whole milk, and he LOVED it. He drank the whole thing, like that’s all he’s had every day of his life. Success! I was nervous that this would be a painful process. We’re not out of the woods yet, but knowing that he actually likes milk made me feel better. Hopefully, the next two months will go smoothly.

Now, let’s rewind almost 10 months.

I always knew I wanted to nurse my kids if possible, and though I didn’t think it’d be easy, I didn’t know how painfully difficult it would be. And this is why…

Lies the Nursing Nazis tell you in the hospital when you’re weepy and vulnerable.

Lie #1 It shouldn’t hurt… at all. That is a pile of poo. Newsflash – those are sensitive parts, and umm they’ve got to get used to experiencing such demanding service. They’re going to be so sore it hurts to move, that’s a fact.

Lie #2 You must hold your child this certain way, at this particular angle. Yeah, maybe if I had six arms I could get a screaming baby into that position and still navigate everything else into place.

Lie #3 If your kid is crying after a nursing session, he must’ve not gotten enough and you’re starving him to death. Do I need to explain this? There’s about 1001 reasons why a baby might be crying, and if you’re feeding him on demand and he’s getting good “pulls” in, and you’re hearing him swallow, chances are he just might be a little cranky, or have a dirty diaper, or want to be held, or have gas…etc.

Lie #4 Don’t you dare use a pacifier, that’s the most dangerous confusing thing you can do. Turner loves his paci, and has never experienced “nipple confusion.”

Lie #5 You have no idea what you’re talking about, you couldn’t have been engorged and be in excruciating pain. Well, guess what? My mom, an RN was here to witness the whole thing and she begs to differ so TAKE THAT you mean mean lady!

Okay, so some of that was slight exaggeration; needless to say, I didn’t have the best experience with my lactation consultant in the hospital.

I almost gave up it was so difficult. Boys are hungry little fellas and those first endless weeks, Turner was screaming to be fed every two hours or less. I felt like I was just a giant boob, all I did was nurse. And it hurt, and was exhausting, and depleting. I needed help, and more people than I cared became privy to the “free show” in efforts to assist. Then, when I went to work (part-time) when Turner was 5 weeks old, I had to pump and boy howdy talk about uncomfortable.

Jared came home from work one day to find me sobbing in our bedroom about how miserable I was, and that I wanted to throw in the towel.

But, he encouraged me to stick with it, so I did. And, it has turned into a beautiful experience. I’m so glad that I didn’t give up because I know I’ve given Turner the absolute best nutrition, and it has allowed me to bond with him in an indescribable way. While I can’t say I’m sad about giving up the pump, and not having to find privacy if we’re out in public, I am a little misty about it all being over.

My baby is growing up too quickly.

Leave a comment »