Hey Everyone! I'm guest posting for my sweet friend Laura today, so if you're interested in reading about the perfect summer wardrobe staple, as well as my new obsession with Polyvore, go check it out!
Deacon is 3 months old. I'm a little late with the update, and my camera battery died as I was taking pictures on his three monthday.
Deacon is such a very happy baby! He weighs 14 pounds now and is wearing 6 month outfits. He loves to "talk" and will smile and coo at anyone who gives him attention. We love him so much and he is such a blessing!
Since I became a mom I've noticed somewhat of a "pissing contest" that is occurring amongst moms of all walks of life. Judgement and hurtful words fly from both sides.
What I'm talking about is the divide between working moms and stay-at-home moms. Having been on both sides, I can't help but voice my opinion. Honestly, it's so frustrating to me when I see or hear other moms participating in this debate, because here's the truth.
Sure, stay-at-home moms GET to spend every second of every day with their children, but look at it from the opposite point-of-view and realize that stay-at-home moms HAVE to spend every second of every day with their children. HARD.
Working moms HAVE to leave their children and it is so hard to trust someone else with your child, but from the other side, working moms GET to leave their children for the day and have the privilege of, oh you know, PEEING ALONE.
I could go on and on with examples, but the point of my post is this- Being a working mom is hard. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. Being a MOM is hard. Period.
So why are we making it even harder for each other by bringing each other down and throwing judgement and general disregard for feelings around? I say moms need to join together and SUPPORT our fellow moms.
How do we do this? The most important thing, I think, begins with the words we say. We all know that we should use words to build up and not tear down, but how often do we practice it? Making snide comments about how if you were a stay-at-home mom your house would be cleaner or making remarks about how working moms are so lucky to have a second income and how it must be nice to not shop at Goodwill are not helpful or productive for anyone. We all need to throw judgement aside and think before we speak.
Next, instead of judging moms that have to or even (gasp!) choose to work, why don't we stay-at-home moms find ways to support them? Offer to drive their kids to swim lessons, take them a Sonic drink in the middle of the afternoon when you know the work day has to be dragging, give them the verbal encouragement by dropping a note on their desk at work while they're at lunch. These little things can mean so, so much.
Likewise, working moms can support stay-at-home moms as well. If you know your stay-at-home friend never gets a minute to herself, why don't you invite her to brunch alone on a weekend and pre-approve it with her husband so she doesn't have to give a thought to finding a babysitter, or drop her a note of encouragement or a phone call during nap time so that she can just chat and not worry about being everything to everyone for just a few minutes.
I guess the entire point of my post is love. Love everyone you come in contact with. Everyone is fighting a battle, and we live in a hard, harsh world. Give love and get love. Now I sound like a real hippie.
When Manning was born, my grandpa was terribly disappointed that we were naming him after a football player. My grandpa has always loved baseball, and he thought Ty (as in Ty Cobb, his favorite player ever) would make a much better name than Manning. Well, maybe he was right, based on Manning's new favorite thing to do...
So, maybe his form needs some work, but he's just a beginner!
Making some progress...
Maybe with a little help from Dada...
Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
Or...maybe I'll just run around outside with my ball!
In case you haven't noticed, I take a LOT of pictures of my kids. I love my dSLR and the pictures I get SOOC (straight out of camera) are amazing in my opinion, which is great since I can't afford to buy PhotoShop (yet!). It should come as no surprise then, that when Deacon received a play camera for Easter, Manning was more excited than Deacon and has deemed it his favorite toy since that day.
His camera is a little bit more fun than mine! It plays music and teaches him new words. Actually, playing with it is how he learned to say, "Cheese!"
But, a busy little guy can only "take pictures" of himself for so long before he's looking for more inspiration.
Deacon had his well-baby check four days after after he turned two months old, and I don't think I ever posted his updated stats!
We have another big baby on our hands! I need to look back, but I actually think Deacon is bigger than Manning at this point. He's already wearing 3-6 or 6 month clothes. His 0-3 month & 3 month onesies won't even snap. I tried to squeeze him into them as long as possible, but he's too big!
Weight: 12 lb 12 oz---75th%
Head Circumference: 16 1/8"---75th%
Height: 24"--- 90th%
So, we have a tall boy on our hands! Manning has always been big all around for his age, but I'm thinking Deacon might be especially tall. He definitely doesn't look like a tiny newborn any more. He's very active and eats a LOT! He drinks a 7 oz. bottle every 3-4 hours during the day (normally 3) and sleeps about 7 hours straight most nights before needing one bottle and sleeping another 4ish hours.
Oh yeah, he's a big time smiler too! We just love our sweet Deacon boy!
Sometime in April I was watching Oprah and tweeting with my friend Laura. The episode went through the process that animals go through during slaughter and it also featured some speakers that wrote about vegetarian and vegan diets. The Oprah staffers even tried to be vegan for a week. Laura and I started chatting about how we'd like to try being vegetarians for a month, just as a kind of personal challenge. I have a very weak willpower when it comes to dieting/exercise/anything un-fun, so I thought it would be good for me to try something like this. We decided to have No Meat May! The rules are pretty basic, don't eat any meat. We did decide that occasional fish/seafood would be okay because some vegetarians still eat fish for the nutrients I suppose. I didn't really do a lot of preparation aside from reading on a few websites about healthy ways to go without meat. I was slightly concerned about the health aspect because I'm slightly anemic and I know meat is a source of Iron.
Here's what I've done so far. First of all, I am starting to take a daily multi-vitamin. This is something my Dr has recommended for years because of the anemia, but I haven't really been great about it, even when pregnant I couldn't seem to regularly take my pre-natal vitamins. I'm now on a prescription medication that I have to take at the same time everyday, so I'm just adding the vitamin in at that time.
Sunday was May 1st, and I hadn't even gone grocery shopping yet. Nathan had drill all day, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do about lunch, so I started digging through my cabinets. I had some diced tomatoes, corn and black beans that I heated up and ate on tortillas with taco sauce. Very delicious and satisfying. That evening I did go grocery shopping, so I ate some veggie potstickers and a veggie egg roll I picked up at Hy-Vee. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the potstickers were! I will definitely continue buying them even if I go back to eating meat. Monday I ate the rest of the black bean/tomato/corn mixture and I scrambled some eggs to add to the tortillas. Manning enjoyed these as well. Monday night my mom made a really good bow tie pasta recipe from Taste of Home. It normally has a 1/2 lb of ground beef, but she just omitted that. I also had steamed broccoli with cheese, cottage cheese and a salad. Tuesday for lunch I ate the leftovers and last night our best friends invited us over for dinner. Nathan told her about our No Meat May, so she made spinach manicotti for us. It was awesome.
So far I've learned a few things. First of all, the no meat thing has been MUCH easier than I expected. I'm eating meals that leave me feeling completely satisfied and I'm pleased about that. Secondly, by omitting meat I am eating healthier. Basically, I have to. By virtue of not eating meat I'm eating more vegetables and fruits without really trying. The days that I ate the bean/veggie mix on tortillas is a great example. On days when Nathan's gone I've always been more likely to eat unhealthy things, like a frozen pizza or frozen chicken nuggets etc. I know that everyday it will get more difficult to plan for not eating meat. It's so easy to run through a drive-thru and grab a burger when I'm in a hurry, but that's not really an option now. I haven't had fast food in four days, which is a big accomplishment for me. I don't want to bore you to death with details, but I do want to report occasionally on this to maybe inspire someone else to try it for a month, as well as hold myself accountable. Also, I'll try to share some of the better food ideas I come up with!
Here's the Bow Tie Pasta recipe I mentioned earlier. Like I said, we just left off the ground beef.
Yesterday I had my graduation for my MBA. I technically have a few class meetings left, but I wanted to walk with my "class" so I went ahead and walked in Spring. Anyway, it feels great to have finally accomplished this goal. When I started the program I had no kids. Through the seven trimesters it's taken (thanks to one bad grade at the beginning of the program) I've changed jobs twice as well as been pregnant and had a baby twice. I like to keep myself in a constant state of exhaustion/stress. ha!
For those who might not know, when you get a Master's degree, you are "hooded" at the graduation ceremony. The color of velvet on the hood represents what degree you earned. For Business, it's "drab" aka poopy brown. :)
Nate sat far in the back, but I tried to crop the photos so you can see me, which might have made them slightly fuzzy.
Here I'm getting hooded.
Receiving my "diploma" aka silly faux-leather diploma case that is always still empty. When the President shook my hand he said, "Getting that Master's is good." I know he probably runs out of ideas of what to tell people, but seriously? Over $15,000 for the degree and that's the wise advice I receive. haha!
The ones I do it all for!
(I feel like this picture needs a disclaimer. That's definitely Nathan's fake aka ridiculous smile, I'm not normally that dimply/chinny apparently my excitement was exploding out of my face or something, Manning is all red because he'd thrown a fit about two minutes prior and Deacon was apparently bored with the whole spectacle, and has to wear sleepers everyday because all his 3-6 month clothes are for summer, since it's MAY, but it's still cold and I'm cheap, so sleepers for now.)
Dad, me & Mom
This shows how easy it is to get a picture of my three boys. haha! Nathan's mom and I are the only one's who know what we're doing. Nate fell asleep and I think Manning & Deacon were having an intense conversation.
Lastly, my sweet cousin Clara came with my parents to see me graduate. Isn't she precious? I used to babysit her when she was an infant and I just love her and her sisters, Hannah & Emma, SO much.