Friday, August 28, 2009

Enjoying Charleston

A week into my trips home my baby has adjusted to the time change ie. I am getting good sleep, I have recovered from the traveling itself, I am usually over any sickness I have obtained from having ZERO SC immunities (1st, how sad my SC immunity is gone and 2nd---if a virus is within 100 ft. of me I usually will get it so maybe it's not SC after all), and I begin to think how I will ever bring myself to get on a plane and leave my family and the motherland again. Oh, how we do miss Ryan A TON as well as our friends and family in Pland, but my southern blood is thick so the leaving is not fun.

That's why I will focus on the fun times the next week and pray that we keep getting skymiles and opportunities to get free flights... and most importantly that my husband continues to validate and encourage me to visit my family!! He fully understands that moving wasn't exactly home girls idea--yes, it was a mutual decision and we did indeed feel God's leading for sure, but it doesn't make the distance any easier (excuse the run-on). His ability to support me in this area speaks volumes of selfless love to me. Isn't marriage a beautiful thing when we can key into those major blessing areas for the other person? Of course, speaking in balance here.

But, if it kills me I will be sure that through skype, phone calls and visits THIS child will know all his grandparents whether we live on the east or west coast!

This weekend I am getting a special treat. My parent's church is apart of the Beth Moore simulcast and I am getting to go!! We have a babysitter for Saturday, but this evening Papa Jack watching Titus. Driving there this evening I calculated the time I would be away from Titus and quickly realized that it was the longest I had ever left him... and it was WITH MY DAD!! I then proceeded to remind myself of the very one who had changed many of my own diapers and found comfort! Thankfully, everything went wonderfully! Hooray!

I am looking forward to fully embracing the next week with hopefully a day at the beach and some fun times with 5 nieces and nephews (Eliza, you keep baking a little while longer)! I think a little bird told me we'll be seeing them again at Christmas this year (the bird goes by Ryan).

---Mom, don't worry you have written proof we will visit again after the bi-annual virus!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the sc

I was sitting in the Seattle airport ready to board the plane to Atlanta on Thursday when the attendant before you get on the plane made an announcement that they were looking for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for flights. I thought to myself, I should just "check it out" and if it doesn't work, then whatever. 2 seconds later I was at the ticket counter trying to weigh the pros and cons of not flying. The thought of, "hello you have a baby and you are traveling alone" seemed to vanish when I the lady told me they would give me 3 free round trip tickets anywhere their airline flies and they would put me up for the night and take care of my food. Free flights are wonderful when your family lives on the other side of the US! Titus didn't sleep that great in the hotel, BUT he did awesome on the planes and now we are here and have some free flights coming to us! Woo hoo! Let me just say I got some crazy looks when I jumped up with my baby to volunteer. I'm not sure if it was because they were so excited they wouldn't have to fly with a baby across the country or they were thinking, "what a poor pitiful nut she is."

Yay for being back home for a visit! It sure is nice! Although Charleston is very hot and humid this time of year, it's the summer I've known since I was 3 and I love it!! I will really enjoy the beach this week! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Hair

***hair looks darker in these pictures..

48 hours ago I was "growing my hair out." Sometimes I'm a little impulsive with hair. I get in a rut, throw caution to the wind and jump. Not sure if I'm enjoying the ride down on the other side of this impulsive decision, but it is what it is...such is life. On the good side, I think it will be a good change for fall, and perhaps it will help me to style my hair. It sure is nice not to blow dry my hair for 25 minutes! The even better side is that my husband loves it (or so he says) so I can learn to like it. It's just hair right?

So... here it is.

And yes, there is brown in there. The lady said low lights are a good look for fall, and I believed her.

P.S. I don't wear glasses everyday, just giving my eyes a break from contacts

off we go

My little posse and I will be making the great trek coast to coast tomorrow. I am packing some toys and will buying some Starbucks to get me through the 14 1/2 hour journey airport to airport. Some things are just worth it. I have found that while traveling alone with Titus keeping things extremely simple is the way to go. Umbrella stroller, front carrier, backpack for Titus and a small hanging purse for me is the way to go for us. Oh, and I will be wearing a zip up jacket for "easy access." I've found that people are (usually) very kind to people traveling with infants. They are extremely nice until the poor child starts screaming. It happened once on our very last flight going to Charleston last time and then you start getting these major stares. Oh sweet friends, please say a little prayer for us! And even when he does start to cry, immediately I could go down the isles and pick out the parents, grandparents, nannies, and specifically moms in 30 seconds or less. Their facial expression says it all. It's like an, "oh you poor thing/I've so been there/it's going to be ok/don't worry about it look. The secret society of moms is a beautiful thing in moments like these.

Last time we went to South Carolina Titus seriously found his appetite. Crazy, but doesn't everyone when they go to the south? I sure do! If you don't, it's probably because you don't know the right things to be eating. Maybe I will buy him some sweet potatoes from Target in the form of baby food so he doesn't feel left out. I think he would like it more if we added some butter, cinnamon and sugar, don't you? (don't worry, I won't give the add ins).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I heart nap time!!!

I love nap time. I feel like it allows me to really give myself to Titus during the other hours of the day because I know a break is coming. I have tried not to give Titus many sleep props, but some have just happened out of necessity. A paci, mobile music (we use a detached bassinet mobile just for the music), and swaddle blanket seemingly work like magic most nights. Who's gonna mess with magic?! I seriously know the order of the songs on that crazy mobile, but for the life of me I can't seem to keep u with my keys and cell phone!

I'm ok with the little props, however a new one is developing and I just can't get my head around it. Titus loves to hold fabric when he's trying to go to sleep. I had him in a infant swaddle blanket and I thought he was asleep, however I went in to check on him and he was completely out of it (his good one is in the dryer) and completely content laying in his crib holding the tag. When holds his puppy or burp cloth I have to stand there next to him (the first thing he does is put it on his face), so I have tried to get him to try other things. I think it worked today (see little ring...thanks Aunt Kim).

So much for sleep props eh!? I'm ok with the ring too! ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Caved...

For the first few months in the NW I resisted the Trader Joe's phenomenon. I was just certain that it would be like every other organic grocery store....way overpriced. Of course I would love to eat and feed my family all organic food, but let's just say if you could choose between eating organic or not eating at all, what would you pick?! Ok, ok, maybe we're not destitute here, but I knew the grocery budget and didn't think it was an option.

Or so I thought. While there are many many things I hit good ole Winco for (cheapest grocery store in town), I have found a yummy deals at TJ's that is just as cheap if not cheaper! To all you Southerners.. there is now TJ's in Charlotte and the Atlanta area! I recently started Weight Watchers. My other methods of weight loss just weren't cutting it so back to good and faithful point counting. With that said I have been looking more at my food choices and what will be the healthiest, most filling, and quickest. Here are my favorite things to buy!

Edamame- I thought they looked gross too, but they are like the healthy version of boiled peanuts!! They are soy beans in the pods. They are DELICIOUS and a great late snack for only a couple points on Weight Watchers (I'm counting points these days) and a great source of fiber.

Seriously, this is really good orange chicken for half the calories and fat. It's like an instant dinner in a bag for only $4.99. You can have a whole cup for 190 calories!

Who doesn't love a homemade pizza crust ready to go and for under $2?

I always grab granola and cereal bars... my fav part is that they are $1.69 and $1.99!! Ryan's favorite are "this blueberry.. walk into a bar." Get it? I didn't either at first.

My other tops are the Reduced Fat Ranch and Cilantro dressings, herb salad mix, hummus, peanut butter, fresh pasta, and dried mango.

What's your fav "healthy food" snack or meal... doesn't just have to be a TJ product.. any suggestions help!?

Monday, August 10, 2009

My 5 month old

First rice cereal experience!

Yesterday I packed up all of Titus' 0-3 months clothes. I feel a little pit in my stomach as I folded each little sweet outfit. Each little outfit has such sweet memories attached to it; I don't see how I will ever part with it! I'm sure it's all just a little more raw with my first. Maybe by my 3rd or 4th I'll be in "throwing the baby out with the bath water mode." As I packed those clothes away, I could only wish that I will get to have another baby boy to put in them.

When I see other babies I find myself craving his little newborn body, yet his laughter and sweet smiles bless my heart each day in a new way. I'm kicking myself for not taking more videos when he was really little... first week of life. Between the lack of sleep and horrendous migraines it was all I could do just to enjoy him. And I did. So so so much. I still do.

Titus is continuing to grow and thrive. One of my favorite things is to catch him looking at me out of the corner of my eye and then when we make eye contact he smiles and laughs. I also love listening to him on his monitor talking to himself. Those sweet sounds help to keep my life simple and contented. Perhaps my favorite thing during this stage is going into his room and watching him show his excitement to see me. He kicks his feet and moves his arms in anticipation for me to pick him up. Does life get any better than this? Doubtful.

In case you didn't catch from the whole monitor thing.. Titus is in his own crib in his own room! Woo hoo! Although I miss him in his bassinet for multiple reasons, I think he is starting to sleep longer in his crib.... or maybe I'm just hopeful.

So here's a recap on Titus at 5 months


-sleeps in his own crib
-rolls over to his stomach and back
-loves little things to hold and chew
-still loves his paci
-does not take formula very well
-is still nursing
-is starting this week to have rice cereal in the morning and evening
-weighs 16 lbs. ( I was so so so concerned at 2 months that he would never double his birth weight by 6 months, but thankfully he has!)
-is settling into taking a long morning and afternoon nap with a couple cat naps in the mix
-still nurses 6-7 times a day. We are still on a 3 hour schedule most of the time
-is wearing 6 months in his clothes
-still has light brown hair and blue eyes
-has officially met all his aunts, uncles, and first cousins
- loves watching T.V. It's way too funny seeing someone so little get so tuned it. Kinda scary!
-has started wanting to put weight on his legs

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A me date

I had a date with myself this afternoon. It was great. Ryan told me yesterday he had surprise for me. Knowing a surprise is coming for 2.1 seconds is enough for me and thankfully he gets that. He proceeded to tell me that Saturday afternoon he was going to watch Titus and he scheduled for me to go to the Paul Mitchell Beauty school for a mani/pedi.

I grabbed Starbucks on the way down and once I arrived I asked if I could just do a pedicure. Manicures just don't last long enough for me to justify paying for one. The nice lady said that would be fine, but there was a bit of a wait so she asked me if I wanted to do a steam hair treatment first. It sounded neat and when I heard they wash your hair 2x I was sold.

The steam treatment was ultra relaxing!! They wash your hair, put you under a steamer that blows hot and cold steam and then they wash your hair again, massage your scalp and style your hair all for $10! $10 people. It was sooo worth it and my hair feels super soft now. The gals that did my hair were super sweet and I enjoyed talking to them.

An hour and a half later the chairs were filled again for the pedicure so they offered to do a free manicure while I waited. Since I'm still nursing I didn't have the time to do an hour long pedicure too so the girl gave me a free one the next time I come in. She totally hooked me up.

I had such a great time out and came home refreshed and renewed on being a wife and mom. I love the pampering deals you can get at the high-end beauty schools here. Not every week, but it sure is nice to have a "me" afternoon every once in a while! So friends, family.. if and when you come to visit.. my treat!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A good time was had by all

This past week was spent in Gleneden Beach, OR at the Epp Family Reunion. 22 people filled a sweet front row beach house. I had an amazing time and really enjoyed myself throughout our days. We played at the beach, checked out neat tide pools, saw a beautiful lighthouse, ate yummy food, and enjoyed one anothers company. My husband's brother in PA and his family were able to come and I got to meet for the first time their 3 kids. They (along with all) of my nieces and nephews were barrels of fun. I am so so grateful for the family I married into. They are beyond what I ever expected, but always wished for in in-laws!!

It was such a treat to spend a week together away from the world. I have to admit that this evening there is a sadness in our house. Ryan hit it on the head when he said we have the post-vacation blues. Back to the real world, rat race, and busyness of life. It leaves me wishing and longing for our eternal home in heaven where each day in spent at one big family reunion where worries don't exist and families don't have to look forward to the next time we're together.

As much as we're bummed that it's back to the real world this evening I also am rejoicing by the fact that we were able to go and have the time we did. My first reunion was definitely one to write home about! :)