All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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First Real Mother’s Day

Today feels like Mother’s Day to me because Matthew has napped TWICE in his crib, for over an hour each time!  He’s napping now!  YAY!  Now – this does not mean he goes down for naps easily.  Oh no.  I nurse him to a drowsy state, lay him down, pat his back, sigh as he starts to howl, and then… this morning… I decided to walk out.  I decided today that this baby needs to learn to fall asleep without nursing, because in 1.5 months (sniff, sniff), he won’t be nursing anymore.  I don’t want him to have to adjust to too many changes at once, so I just decided on a whim today that I’m done holding him for his naps.

I was spending 2-3 hours a day in the glider in the nursery – and that just wasn’t good for anyone.  The house was always a mess because I had no time alone to clean it up, I was becoming resentful of having no time (not even 30 minutes) to myself, and Matthew was not sleeping soundly in my arms – he would wake up several times.  He used to transfer to his crib so easily – it was ridiculous how easy it was and it was working.  But he got a cold two weeks ago and he’s only been napping in my arms since.

So anyway – I walked out today and he howled and screamed – this was true “crying it out,” but I refused to give in.  I texted my dear friend about it and she reassured me that I was doing the right thing.  After 35 minutes (holy hell!), I went in, laid him down, rubbed his back and nose, and watched him drift to sleep.  I did the same thing for his afternoon nap but after only 10 minutes of howling – and he’s been asleep for an hour and 25 minutes so far.  He’s even woken up twice in this nap and put himself back to sleep without any visits from me.

Finally – some time to myself!  I’ve caught up on laundry, dishes, etc.  And now I’m reading all of my friends’ blogs on a real computer and not just my phone – while eating home-made spiced nuts made by my wonderful husband.  How fantastic this feels!

So Mother’s Day.  Holy smokes – B went ALL out this year!  Last year was a let-down because I didn’t even get a card, despite being almost 8 months pregnant.  I was not a happy mother-to-be.  But this year?  Oh you guys! I didn’t get a Mother’s Day – I got a Mother’s Weekend!

On Saturday around 2:30, I was working on Matthew’s birthday banner when my friend, Denise, came over with her daughter.  This surprised me because she was scheduled to come over at 5:00 to take photos of Matthew for his birthday invitations.  It took me a minute to figure out what was going on, but B had booked pedicures for the three of us girls for Mother’s Day!  How nice (I really needed one!)!  As we were walking out, he put cash in my pocket and said to stop at the frozen yogurt place afterwards and then handed me a gift bag saying to open it with the girls when we got there.

So we’re waiting for our pedicures and I opened the bag, and there was a gift for each of us.  B had picked out a special book for each of us and they were all very fitting to our unique personalities and our current life situations.  How nice is that?  We loved our pedicures and then went for frozen yogurt as advised to do (this is not a paleo/primal snack) before heading home.  B was making a huge dinner for the three of us!  We took Matthew out for his photo shoot while he finished up our dinner.  It was the best dinner I’ve had in a long time!

On Sunday, the fun had not stopped.  I woke up to find a card on the pillow next to me.  It was from Jackson, our boy cat who sleeps up by my face every night.  An hour later, out on the kitchen table, there was another card – this time it was from Janie, our youngest kitty (she thinks the table’s her special sitting place).  A while later, there was a card on the vanity from Lily, my precious cat who’s pulled me through some rough times.  I brush her every single day up on the vanity, so that’s why her card was there.  I went to get dressed and there was a new dress hanging in the closet from my hubby.  And finally, at one point when I went into Matthew’s room, there was a card waiting for me in the rocker – the card from my sweet boy!

B gave me his card on Monday morning.  So I truly had a full weekend of love and appreciation!  B and I write long notes in our cards to each other – and this weekend was no exception.  He wrote me a heart-felt note from each of the three cats, Matthew, and himself.  That’s a lot of sentiment to write for one holiday!

It was a wonderful day – and weekend!  The only regret is that we did not get one single picture of Matthew and me together.  Oh well – we have some from the day before!  Because I don’t have Mother’s Day photos to share, I’ll share some fun random ones from the last few days!

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What I’ve Been Up To

This is what I’ve been up to.  OMG – this thing took forever to figure out (I’m a perfectionist) but once I had it figured out, it was a snap to do!  This will go above the table during the birthday party, and then up in his room afterwards.

On a side-note, my little sister found my blog.  No biggie – I’d mentioned it to her but hadn’t sent the address.  She found it via her Etsy store – apparently someone clicked the link to her store from my blog.  She hadn’t seen the referring link (my blog) before, so clicked it to check it out.  So hello to you, Lewis, in case you’re still reading!!!

Back to my little project – I am doing this same type of thing for my friend’s baby shower.  Now that I know what I’m doing, I’m going to get started!  I am estimating that each one of these little dandies takes about 3 hours of time, start to finish.  This one took much longer, but because I was figuring it out along the way.

Next up for the big birthday?  Cake topper and animals for the forest scene on the cake.

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And another side-note… but really this deserves much more than a side-note (but it’s not my news to share, so I’ll keep it a blurb here).  I still want to post about my first Mother’s Day because B went all out!  However, my day was devastated with the news of the passing of Ainsley Knepper.  If you don’t know her story, please honor her memory by clicking over to her mom’s blog and offering a bit of love and support.  Jen is the very first blogger I ever READ, let alone followed.  I’ve been following her for over 3 years now.  I don’t know her IRL, but I sure have known and loved her story.  I do not love this part of her story – it is rather heartbreaking  😦


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It Happened

Matthew poo-ed in the tub tonight. I about died. All I knew to do was scream for B. I have bath toys to wash tomorrow… On Mother’s Day. Ha!!!!!!

To all of you who think your kid may be the ONE kid who will never do this. Um… Good luck with that! A dream was shattered tonight, Ladies! Ha! Ha! Ha!


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New Milestone!

It’s been a long time since I posted more than once in a day – but I have a milestone to record!

Matthew has been walking a lot this week just holding one of our hands.  He used to insist on holding both hands, but this all changed this past week.  I think he’s realized he can move faster if he holds just one hand.  At baby gym yesterday, he would stand unsupported on the mats for at least 5 seconds, over and over again (he does the same thing in the tub, surprisingly).  Everyone at baby gym insisted he’d be walking early.  I insisted that he’s way too cautious for that.

He made me eat my words today!

We were at my friend’s daughter’s soccer practice and Matthew was hanging onto my pant leg with one hand – and then he suddenly let go and took off.  He only took two steps – but he did it again and again!  I was told by the other mothers that this counts as his first steps (I still won’t say he’s walking, because he isn’t).  I cannot believe it.  Where did my cautious little boy go?

He won’t do it now that we’re home.  It took a puppy and a bunch of girls on a soccer field who he desperately wanted to play with to entice him to try.  We’ll take him to a busy park tomorrow (one with a dog park!) to see if he’ll do it for Daddy!  (B missed it – he’s out of town for the night for a much deserved beer-making class!)

Of course he did this just 3 hours after I bought him a little push toy so he can walk around the house without being limited to only places he can get to by cruising the furniture.  😉


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Fool Me Twice

Sleep – it’s the topic that dominated my blog for a couple of weeks and now?  Now we don’t really even think about it.  I nurse Matthew to sleep at bedtime and before each nap and then I put him down.  Instead of worry about when he’ll wake up again, I move onto other things, fun things, MY things.

Sure, I always wonder when he’ll wake up, because he’s still not a 10-12 hour sleeper.  But I don’t let it consume me like I used to.  I used to sit up until midnight or 1:00 AM just KNOWING that he’d be up again soon (so why bother going to sleep?).  I’m now going to bed around 11:00, and it’s wonderful!

We still have our struggles.  Matthew used to get up any time between 6 and 7 (and that was perfect!), but now after a pretty rotten cold, he is getting up in the 5:00 hour and this morning, he was up at 4:20 (GASP!).  I didn’t even try to get him to go back to sleep today – I just picked him up and brought him to our bed.  Problem solved!  I have hope and confidence that tomorrow will be back to normal – or close to it.  In the old days, I’d be stressing about this ONE morning possibly wrecking everything.  HA!

Naps are way better than they were.  I’ve worked in story time before each nap and that seems to help.  When he pushes the book away, I know he’s ready to settle in so that’s what we do.  I’m transferring him to the crib after just 10-20 minutes now (if it’s up to 20 minutes, it’s because I’m reading blogs on my phone and am comfy with my baby) and he’ll usually sleep for at least another hour.

I just cannot believe that we went from the disaster we were living to this very predictable sleeping and napping schedule.  We get two solid naps in each day and they’re usually 1-2 hours in length each.  Matthew is also waking up from his naps so well.  He woke up today and I didn’t even know it.  I turned on the video monitor just to check on him because it had been almost 2 hours and there he was, sitting up in his crib, playing with his Boo and babbling to himself.  No crying.  No freak-out.  He woke up happy and entertained himself.  Now – if we could only get him to wake up in the mornings this way!

We are the furthest thing from being the poster children for the Ferber method or sleep training in general, but I’m pleased with what we’ve accomplished.  I know that the crux of our problem was age and stage.  We waited too long to start helping him sleep, and Matthew was able to stand up in the crib (but couldn’t get down) and protest for as long as his legs would hold him (and that was proven to be more than 70 minutes one night).  Given the whole standing up issue – we should have helped him sleep earlier, or put it off until he could get himself back down.  Oh, the lessons we learn!

The next baby will be introduced to sleep training starting at 4 months.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice?  No – it isn’t going to happen!

The Many Ways That Matthew Gets His Sleep:

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One More Time

I was inspired by Allison to visit my grandpa today.  I love my grandpa – he’s very special to me and is my final living grandparent.  No matter what family drama was going on at the time during my childhood (and there was always at least one going on at all times), my grandma and grandpa were always very good to me.  My grandma passed away this past winter and that was hard on me – very, very hard.  I think of her at least once a day – and always when I see something that’s purple.  She loved purple!  I spoke at my grandma’s funeral on behalf of the family and cried through the whole thing.  I was a wreck.  When I got done, I told my family that there is no way that I can do the same for my grandpa, because it would be even harder to get through.  But – when the time comes – I’m sure I’ll speak again on behalf of the family because I’ll want to send him off with warm, spoken words all about him and his influence on my life.

Grandpa is doing well – too well, or so he says.  He told me today that he’s doing too well and that he just wants to go be with my grandma.  I get that.  It breaks my heart a little because I will miss him terribly when he does go to be with her, but it also warms my heart.  Theirs was a love affair like no other – and I’m sure he just aches for her.

Grandpa loves babies and little kids.  Nothing makes him happier than seeing and talking to a baby.  He can be in the worst of health or moods, but the entrance of a baby turns his entire day around. I didn’t tell him that I was coming today.  B had a work meeting in Omaha (right across the river from my home town) so I tagged along.  I called my parents on my way back and they were tied up with doctor appointments, but visiting them was not my priority.  When I got to my folks’ house, I called my grandpa over and over again to let him know I was on my way to see him, but he never answered.  So – I loaded Matthew up in the car and just headed up there.

We found Grandpa in the dining hall – all by himself.  The sight of him alone hurt my heart.  He gets up late so he eats breakfast around 11:00, after everyone else is long gone.  He couldn’t see who was approaching him, but he saw a baby and lit up like a Christmas tree.  When he finally realized that we were there to see HIM, and that it was his favorite grandchild (truly – I know that I am – it’s no secret!) – he teared up.  My heart hurt again.

We had a wonderful visit – a truly wonderful visit!  We watched Matthew crawl and cruise around the open area and laughed as he found new things to explore.  Grandpa told me again how he met my grandma and how they dated while he was in law school.  I felt bad because I had to interrupt the conversation a couple times to tell Matthew to be safe, but he understood.  Grandpa would stop whatever he was saying, and say, “oh, Honey – oh, Honey.  He is just the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen!  Aren’t you so happy?”  Yes, Grandpa, I am!

We went back to his “apartment” to visit because it was now time for the other folks to use the dining hall for lunch.  Matthew was ALL about climbing in Grandpa’s lap.  Had my dad been there, he would have said that it wasn’t a good idea to let Grandpa hold him without help, but I was comfortable with it and I stayed close.  Matthew and Grandpa had a nice chat, and I had a wonderful time watching them.  There was so much laughter and noise – and I know that it made my grandpa’s week (it made mine as well!).

As we left, Matthew waved “bye bye” and I got to tell Grandpa one more time that I love him.  I never know if it’s the last time – so I say it many, many times before I leave.  Grandpa likes to say, “God bless,” as you walk out the door.  I’m not the most religious gal, but for Grandpa, I always say it back to him.

Memories were made today – and pictures were taken.  Thank God for camera phones!

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My Drivel

Someone is having a birthday at this very moment in our house – my DH!  I am sitting right next to him (he’s doing some prep work for work tomorrow) and just looked at the clock and realized that it’s officially his birthday right now!  We aren’t doing anything too crazy for his birthday due to this paleo/primal lifestyle we’re living.  I’m not even allowed to make him a cake!  He would rather cook here at home than eat out so that’s what we’ll do.  We are going to get a smoker for his birthday present – goes well with this new lifestyle we’re living.

Speaking of the lifestyle, it is going great!  I continue to shed weight.  I’ve lost 8 pounds in 3 weeks.  Not bad!  We have found that eating the way we do, that we rarely feel hungry and never feel too full.  I mean – NEVER.  I have not felt bloated in over three weeks now.  That is remarkable to me!  I was constantly bloated prior to this change.  For the record, I have cheated a couple of times, but that’s because I had good reasons.  No it’s not.  I did not have good reasons!  HA!  I went to Wend-y’s once with the intention to get the grilled chicken sandwich and not eat the bun.  It was too slippery that way, so I ate the bun.  I then proceeded to D-Q for a blizzard since I’d already ruined the day.  See how I think?!  HA!  It was the best damned blizzard I’ve ever had!  I did notice a slight decrease in my milk supply when we went to this lifestyle, so I do eat dairy (cheese, sour cream) a couple of times a week as I’ve found that that helps.  Don’t ask me why – there is no legitimate reason.  I did not use the milk supply excuse for the blizzard.  I used the, “Matthew is sleeping in the back seat and he really needs his sleep and I need to keep the car moving so I’ll go to D-Q for an unnecessary blizzard,” excuse.

Big things happened over the weekend!

WE BOOKED A TRIP!  I am a homebody – I don’t have to travel.  I like to travel, but I want it planned out for me and you’ll rarely hear me say, “let’s take a huge trip to such-and-such a place.”  Unless it’s Lake Tahoe or Utah (which are both at the top of my list), you’re just not going to hear me say that.  I think it’s because trips were always so stressful when we were kids – my parents just did not make it easy to get to places.  Once there, we had a ball – but getting there put both of my parents on edge and now I’m like that too.  It’s really too bad.  Anyway – so where are we going?  B works for a big company based out in the Seattle area and he goes out every July for annual technical briefing.  We are going to go the week before his briefing and travel around the Seattle, Redmond, San Juan Islands area.  I am so excited!  We booked a really neat hotel in Willows and we did it without even thinking – just called them up, asked what the corporate rate is for B’s company, and booked it!  I now need to buy plane tickets.  I am not at all stressed about this trip.

Matthew put on his swim trunks for the first time and played in my friend’s sprinkler.  He loved it!  She also filled a storage tub up with water for him to make a tiny little “Matthew pool” and he thought that was just too much fun!  I have TONS of photos but not on my computer.  I’ll try to post them for”Almost Wordless Wednesday.”  There were four little girls there between 7 and 11 who could not get enough of him, so he put on quite the show for them!  He continues to be a very social, happy baby.  We are so lucky!

We saw both B’s and my parents this past weekend.  That was nice!  The visit from my parents was planned, but our visit to B’s parents was not planned and I think that makes it fun!  We were driving up their direction and decided to see if they wanted to get together.  We did go to the Farmer’s Market before seeing his folks but that was sort of a bust.  The only food available to eat was pastries and sandwiches, and the produce was not that great – it’s just not the right time for fresh produce in Iowa yet.  So – we walked around and got some vitamin D before heading over to my IL’s house for lunch.  Matthew played with a super fun train set while we were there and we now think we need to get him one for his birthday  😉

My younger sister asked me to join her Etsy business this past weekend!  SO EXCITED!  I, of course, asked B his thoughts first but was so thrilled when he was on board!  We are working out the kinks and I’m going to pitch her/our product to a local store here.  We’ve also come up with lots of other ideas and directions for the business – so we’re in full-on creative mode right now.  We are renaming her store and are trying to think of catchy names.  This little business won’t be a major income, but it could provide the monthly college fund savings we’ve committed to and that would be nice!    More to come on this.  I’m joining her slowly so that we make a smooth transition.  I’ve already found a local partner to help pitch the product(s) to her own clients and I’m really excited about (and grateful for) that!

Matthew’s banner is coming along so well, you guys!  I am so pleased with it!  I connected it together tonight and hung extra, decorative ribbons on it as well.  I took a photo but B is in it and even though I’m not anonymous here, we try to keep him anonymous.  HA!  The banner is stored away now until show-time.  I did not attach the letters/animals yet for storage reasons.  I will put it fully together a couple of days before Matthew’s birthday and I’ll post photos then.  I am now moving onto his other party items which include the cake topper/decorations (I changed gears on the cake), cupcake toppers, the mobile/chandelier (the base is made and it worked out great after a few trials and errors!), centerpiece animals (hard to explain), party hats (I will buy the plain hats and simply stick on a couple of things), felt animal weights for the balloons, and possibly a tag for the party favors.  Which brings me to a question:  party favors or not?  I hate them – but thought of a cute idea.  I do think it’s stupid though to have to do party favors.  What do you guys think?  I’ve already gotten one vote and she’s in my corner (don’t do them).  The only reason I may do them is if I have time to make the custom tags for them.

What else?  Oh – this.  I’ve read a TON of wonderful blogs over the weekend.  I think Friday was a very profound day for so many bloggers!  I read so many meaningful things and it made me question my own “fluffy” blogging.  I wondered, “why does anyone read my drivel when there’s all of this good, thought-provoking stuff out there?”  That thought lasted just a split second, but I thought it nonetheless.  I still need to read a particular “non bucket list” but have been wanting to save some good down-time for it.  I read the intro and have already decided that I’m going to do one too (as challenged by the author) but that I really want to put some thought into it.

We go to “the cabin” in less than two weeks now!  No – it’s not our cabin, but it’s a nice one that we rented a month ago and we’re going to treat it like “our cabin” and try to get there a few times a year.  I cannot wait!

(side note – I just spell-checked this post and it appears that I like to use, “a couple of times,” quite often, lending itself well to my description of my posts as drivel!)


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I Do Love My Crafts (and the Parties that Go With Them!)

B has been out of town for three nights, which means I’ve had time each night to work on Matthew’s birthday banner!  What a load of work this thing is!  I’m still not done, but it’s really close now.  All the detail work is done and I just need to string it together (not sure how I’m going to do that just yet) and then glue the letters on.  I probably won’t do those things until just before his birthday because storing it fully constructed would likely ruin it.  When I set out to do this, I didn’t think it would take too terribly long.  I forgot that I’m a perfectionist when it comes to crafts and parties.   I have re-done many of the letters because they weren’t perfect.  Some still aren’t – but I’m going to let them go!

Next up?  I’ve decided to make a mobile for my friend’s baby shower with all of the advice cards that people fill out.  I am very pleased to say that I came up with this idea on my own!  I am not an original crafter – oh no!  I’m a WONDERFUL copier of great craft ideas, but this one came to me with no prompting from Etsy or Pinterest.  I AM SHOCKED BY THIS.  I’ve gone to lots of showers (even my own) where people write very heart-felt notes and advice on some cutesy form or die-cut, and then you never look at them again.  I loved what people wrote to me, but they’re now sitting in a box in Matthew’s cupboard.  So what I’m going to do is make die-cuts of bees and honey combs (her theme is bees) and have people write advice on those.  I will then take them all and make a mobile out of them.

I’ve never made a mobile in my life.  I did scour Etsy and Pinterest for instructions or examples and found several – so I bought my supplies today.  I am going to make a practice mobile to see if I’m even any good at it – I’d hate to ruin her advice cards on an ugly mobile.  S0… I will make one that matches Matthew’s birthday theme and hang it above the table where we set up the food.  Then – it will go into his bedroom after the party.

I don’t know where this crafting desire came from all of a sudden.  I’ve always loved, loved, LOVED making invitations (can’t wait to make the shower invitations for my friend!!!) but beyond that, I usually start projects and never finish them.  I’ve got to finish these projects – I don’t have a choice.

After the mobile – I will practice his birthday cake!  The friend whose shower I’m hosting is a FABULOUS cake decorator – especially with fondant – so she is going to help me.  She even reminded me last night that we have to do that soon – like within a couple weeks.  I will post photos.

Here is the banner so far… it is different from what I posted last night because each card now has ribbon around the edges (in case you were wondering!).