All the Sun For You

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


Password Protected Posts

Now that we have a new baby, I’m trying to protect him better than I did his big brother. I was naïve about protecting identities the first time around, but this time, I’m trying to be better.

There will be certain posts that include photos and videos I will want to password protect. If you’d like the PW, please don’t hesitate to email me!


There Will be Spreadsheets!

I gained 18 pounds when I was pregnant with Matthew. He came out weighing 8.6 pounds – almost half of that weight gain.

I gained 35 pounds with Bryson’s pregnancy.

35 pounds.

Almost double what I gained with Matthew. He came out almost 9.5 pounds – a far cry from half of my weight gain. Yes, I started out 25 pounds less than when I got pregnant with Matthew, but that doesn’t justify that gain. I did nothing different, I ate the same way – but I gained twice as much weight.

Go figure!

I’m not down about it – I’m not even frustrated.  Most of the weight fell off within the first two weeks of having Bryson, but I’m left with 8 pesky pounds that want to stick around.  When Bryson was 4 weeks old, I only had 6 pounds left to lose, but the trips to DQ and our newfound love of Magnum ice cream bars brought 2 pounds back.  I don’t mind those two pounds – because I love the ice cream that put them there – but it’s time to get serious and get back in shape.

Here I am 11 days after Bryson was born – with 8 pounds still to go:

11 days post partum - and 8 pounds to go

11 days postpartum – and 8 pounds to go

Here I am today, still 8 pounds to go, but I think I look a bit better.  HA!  (In all fairness, those are two different bathrooms so maybe that’s why I look better today than I did then!  Come to think of it though, I’m sure it’s because my uterus wasn’t fully shrunk back to normal in the first photo.  HA!)

36 days postpartum - and 8 pounds still to go!

36 days postpartum – and 8 pounds still to go!

So what’s my plan?

I have one (surprised?)!

B and I talked about me signing up for an expensive 10 week class (it’s the same class we met at over 7 years ago) that is known for making you shed pregnancy weight, but Bryson is so sporadic at night that neither of us is comfortable with me heading out each morning for a 5:30 AM class.  We had talked about dropping our Y membership, but we have now decided that I will try their classes for several weeks to see if that works for me, and to see how the schedule works.  The Y is WAY more flexible with class scheduling, so this is a much safer bet for me and will keep me more on track if I miss a planned class (I’ll just make it up later in the day).  They have free (included) childcare, so the boys will be dropped there on my way to class and I’m sure they’ll have a great time.  🙂

I have planned out 3 days a week of strength classes and 3 days a week of cardio classes.  I am going to stay off the treadmills for now – I need instructed classes to get my ass in shape.  There are several days that I could do a couple of classes back-to-back, which is what I like to do!  B will go some of the evenings with us, so that will be fun.  This is how we met, and working out together has always been something we enjoy doing – not to mention the camaraderie that we get from it!

So – that’s the plan.  I will do an official weigh-in, body mass calculations, body measurements, and maybe even a timed one mile run next Monday.

I start Tuesday (my 6-week postpartum checkup is Monday)!

There will be spreadsheets!




The Monday Snapshot – Happy Boy!

It’s our first day on our own without B – FOR REAL. He went back to work at 7:00 AM, leaving me with two very needy boys. Matthew was a wreck this morning, missing his dad beyond comprehension. Bryson needed a nap but couldn’t sleep. It took me 1.5 hours to shower and do my hair. It was not good. When my neighbor texted me asking if we wanted to come down and play, I was so happy and relieved! E and I have play dates with our kids multiple days a week, and we’ve missed that with B being home on Infant Care Leave.

I was so excited to “get back to normal.”

And “back to normal” we were… or as “back to normal” as we could be.  Matthew was so happy to  be back with his best buddies, and I was happy to have some female interaction.  Even E’s vomiting infant didn’t phase me – I just loved having my normal company back!  When we left, we headed to Mc.D’s for my lunch (I’m bad, I know) and then home for Matthew’s lunch before his nap. He’s been taking shorter naps recently – frighteningly short for this house (1.5 hours) – but he did a full 2 hours today (before you roll your eyes at me, keep in mind he only sleeps 9 hours at night time).

While Matthew napped, Bryson did this… And it lasted long enough for me to turn on my phone and take several pictures!



After feeling relatively confident about my ability to juggle two children at the same time, someone/something out there felt I needed a reality check.

I had one of those days that almost brings you to your knees.

The day started out rough the night before it even started.  Bryson refused – REFUSED – to sleep in his crib.  We think that the Indian food I’d had for dinner (at this awesome organic farm restaurant, I might add!) caused his stomach to be unhappy.  He has a generally unhappy stomach as it is, so adding Indian food to the mix was probably not a good idea.  Anyway, he wouldn’t sleep in his crib – or in the pack and play – so our bed it was.  He settled immediately – making me wonder if it was the Indian food at all.  Anyway, he was up a few times nursing – and I think he may have nursed all night.  I don’t even know.  I just know that I only half-slept.

While nursing Bryson around 5:10 in the morning, Matthew woke up and would only have me – no way was he going to accept Daddy.  I gave Bryson to B (Bryson was just soothing himself, he wasn’t eating) and I ran in to snuggle with my boy.  He was outside of his room, in the hallway, when I said, “go back to your bed, Buddy,” and he turned right back around, returned to his room, and climbed into his bed.  He always does this for me, which is super awesome – B does not get the same response.  HA!  This part of the day was not awful, because I LOVE sleeping with Matthew in the morning for many reasons, but one of those reasons being that I’m monitor-free and know that all the kids have a parent tending to them, meaning that I can RELAX for once!

Matthew and I slept until 7:30.  SEVEN THIRTY!  It was glorious.

I had a speech therapy evaluation appointment for Matthew at 9:30, but needed to be there at 9:00.  Downtown.  And we had to pick up B’s car from my dentist’s office (we forgot to get it the day before after he’d picked me up there in my car) and take it to the dealership for detailing.  And I had to take B back home so that he could do some things while I was at the speech appointment.  B asked if I wanted him to come with us, but I said I could handle it.  HA!  I actually got B back home in time for me to get to the appointment by 9:00, so that made me happy.

But I went the wrong way (even though the clinic told me how to get there) and didn’t realize my mistake until 9:00 AM.  No biggie, I plugged it into the navigation system and headed in the right direction.  We arrived at 9:05!  That’s a success!

I decided against the stroller (for no reason – just decided) and took the boys into the clinic.  I apologized for my lateness as we entered and the gal said, “Honey, you’re way early.  Your appointment is not until 10:30.”  I am always late – ALWAYS – yet I got to this appointment, with both boys in tow, 1.5 hours early but wasn’t prepared.  Matthew ran around like a crazy toddler (go figure!) as I struggled with the paperwork.  Bryson woke up and wanted me.  A nice nurse came over and held Bryson for me as I finished paperwork and chased Matthew.  I managed a text message to B telling him that I’d arrived 1.5 hours early.

I finally got the paperwork done and turned it in, and the receptionist told me to take the boys out and have a good time until we needed to be back at 10:30.  It took some work to load the boys up again, but we did it.  B had texted me back and offered to come down.  I took him up on it in a flash!

We met at a park and B took Matthew while I nursed Bryson on a park bench (I nurse in all sorts of places – it doesn’t phase me).  Of course things took longer than I’d wanted and we were pushing it to get back to the clinic on time.  Of course I snapped at B when he said he wanted to change Matthew there in the parking lot and I insisted it wait until we get back to the clinic (B won).  Of course I got all screwed up on my way back to the clinic and ended up on the other side of the river from where I needed to be.  But we got there at 10:31, with the stroller this time, and we were called back immediately.

The appointment went fine (the therapist said that insurance will deny us because Matthew is in the normal range for his age, but on the low-end, which is what I figured) and we left.  I couldn’t find my phone after I’d loaded both boys up in the car, so I had to unload them to go back in to the clinic to look for it.  It wasn’t there.  Turns out it was in the carseat with Bryson (don’t even ask).

Loaded up again, we headed home.  Holy Hell, what a morning!

I was so frazzled that I stopped at Wendy’s for a burger, knowing I’d need to feed both boys when we got home.

I loved that burger!

Lunch went OK – Matthew devoured his “DOG” but wouldn’t eat anything else, despite my attempts at making it tempting with BBQ sauce.  B came in and gave Matthew something else to fill him up which I was fine with – I needed a content boy for nap time.


Nap time was a DISASTER.  Matthew would not settle down and screamed as I put him in the crib.  He continued to scream for 30 minutes, with everything in his arms as he leaned over the crib rail.  As he screamed, Bryson screamed.  And I hate saying this, but I went in and yelled at Matthew to “just settle down and go to bed!”  And I slammed the door.  He cried even more.  GAH.  I was a terrible mother in that moment.  I’ve never screamed at him aside from when he bit me once on the stomach.

I still feel awful about it.

I went out to the garage to tell B about it and I just sobbed.  I said that going in to get him would teach him that if he screams long enough, that I’ll relent.  But I felt so bad for yelling at him, that I didn’t really care what it taught him.  I also blame myself for this dependency that he has on me – it is all my fault.  So why punish him for it when I’ve done nothing to change it?  So in I went.  I plucked him out of the crib and held him tight (he held me so tight too), crying and apologizing for yelling at him and slamming the door.

He forgave me and fell asleep on my shoulder.  It was wonderful.  He went down just fine after that.

He slept 2.5 hours before I woke him up.

We all got some rest but then it was time for us all to be up and at ’em again!  B decided that we should go out for dinner – and of course I agreed.  We searched for a nice place with a patio (it was a BEAUTIFUL night) but ended up indoors at a Mexican place downtown.  I love the place, but B does not – so I was a little nervous about it.  RA.GBR.AI is going on right now in our city (it’s a bike ride across the entire state – and it attracts thousands and thousands of bikers, including Lance Armstrong every once in a while) and every place was busy.  But the busyness was fun and exhilarating, and more importantly, it kept Matthew busy.  But the waitress lost our order and never got it in to the kitchen (she didn’t tell us this until we asked 45 minutes into dinner where the appetizers were), we never got drink refills, and it took over an hour to get our food.  We boxed it up on the spot and headed home with a cranky toddler and a fussy baby who was starving at that point.

We stopped for a coffee so I could nurse Bryson but they were closed, so I nursed him on a park bench at another park.  This was actually a GREAT part of the day.  B took Matthew to the fountain to play and he got soaked and had the BEST time!  He came home in just a diaper and wrapped in blankets in his car seat.  That’s toddler heaven, if you ask me!

We didn’t push bed time hard enough and finally put Matthew to bed at 8:45.  I went in at 9:05 to sing to him and I woke up in there after 10:00.  It is so HARD not falling asleep with him in that blacked-out room at the end of an exhausting day.

Bryson slept in the pack and play (because the monitor in the nursery broke earlier in the day) for 3 hours before nursing at 2:00, then stayed in bed with us because I couldn’t get him to nurse on both sides and he was gassy.  He slept pretty well, which means I slept well(ish).

Matthew didn’t wake up and ask for me, even though I sort of hoped he would.  He slept until 7:00:00 (truly) on his own – and that NEVER happens.  Maybe me sleeping with him in the morningshas helped him realize that more sleep is better.  Who knows.  But it was nice to wake up that way!

And today is better so far.

But let’s face it – anything is better than the disaster we experienced yesterday!


The Monday Snapshot – Illegal But I’m Doing It!

Babies aren’t supposed to sleep on their tummies, but when they’re over-stimulated and there’s nothing you can do to calm them down, besides putting them on their tummies, then it’s happening! I think this was from two days ago – which was by far the hardest day we’ve had (we had a terror of a child at our house wreaking serious havoc on both boys).

Yes – he’s on his tummy, in the swing. He was so happy!


This is my contribution to the Monday Snapshot over at PAIL Bloggers.


Parenting Two

It’s been about 3 weeks since I got home from the hospital with Bryson.  I wasn’t sure what I’d be walking into, but I had high hopes that Matthew’s actions towards, and love of, other babies up to this point would trickle into our own home and we’d be all set.

This has been true for the most part  😉

Until last week, there had been nothing but love and kisses tossed on Bryson by his big brother.  I just got Matthew up from his nap and his first concern after asking where our visitors went (we had two of our favorite people here when he went down for his nap) was his little brother.  He caught a quick glimpse of Bryson on our bed and wanted to be seated right beside him, climbed up to kiss him, and is now sitting next to him in the with his hand on Bryson’s foot.  He loves his brother.

One day last week… not so much.  There was hitting.  And kicking.  And trying to pry Bryson out of my arms.  Today, he tried taking his favorite friend’s arms off of Bryson so that she could play with him instead.  Besides those two instances, we’ve had nothing but love and happiness – and help – from Matthew.  He asks to hold Bryson every day and showers him with lots of love.  I’m thrilled with this!

Bryson is not as “easy” a baby as Matthew was – or we’re just forgetting what it was like with a newborn.  I, for one, believe that we are programmed to forget the hard times so that we’ll have more babies.  I do remember some tough times with Matthew, but not as many as we’ve had with Bryson.  Bryson is also in a different environment than Matthew was, so I expect him to be unsettled.  Matthew had nothing but quiet (when he needed it and when he didn’t), both of his parents’ attention, and everything he needed exactly when he needed it.  Bryson has nothing but noise, “just give me a minute’s” from both B and me, and divided attention.  So – when you think about it that way, it’s no wonder that Bryson is a little bit of a “tough nut.”  When Matthew is sleeping, Bryson rests very easily.  When Matthew is up, Bryson is unsettled and nothing seems to soothe him.

Everyone knows about the sleep situation.  I made the same mistake with Bryson that I made with Matthew, and ever since correcting that, we’re all sleeping better.  Well, everyone but Matthew is sleeping better.  Matthew wakes up some time between 4:00 and 6:00 crying for me, and I have to go lay with him to calm him down.  I think he hears what’s going on outside his room because every time he wakes up, it’s when Bryson is up or has just gone back down.  This is surprisingly OK with me because I get to get in bed with Matthew, without a monitor and with B on Bryson duty, and I get REAL sleep.  I am so much more well rested now that Matthew is waking up in the early morning and wanting me.  HA!  Bryson still is not as settled at night as we’d like, but he’s getting a solid 2.5-3 hours when we initially put him down (which means I’m getting that too) and then wakes up a lot after his first waking, but I think I’m getting up 2-3 times a night, which is normal for a newborn.  I expect this to only get better.

Naps are going OK.  Right now, both boys are asleep and I’m thrilled.  Bryson does GREAT in the mornings once he’s up for the day and is very happy to just sit around and watch you do things.  After lunch, he gets fed and then plays in his little gym and today, I got some true smiles from him (and got them on camera!).  He naps after he “plays” and right now, he’s asleep in the pack and play (holy hell!) beside me, and seems rather peaceful.  Each day gets better in this regard, with the exception of yesterday.  But yesterday, we were all over the place with noise, distractions, visitors, etc – so I’m giving us all a free pass  😉

I was super proud of myself today.  B had an appointment just as I was getting ready to put Matthew down for his 2-3 hour nap.  B usually watches Bryson while I nap Matthew, but he had to take off and was a bit worried.  I said, “hey, next week, I’m on my own, so just go and let us figure it out.”  I put Bryson in the swing awake and headed into the nursery with Matthew (he still naps in the crib).  Matthew fell asleep during book time after a delay tactic or two (water, then George) and has been asleep for 2.5 hours (he’s got to be getting up soon).  I left his room to find Bryson in the swing, lightly dozing, who then greeted me with a true smile and we headed off to fold laundry, etc.  He was content, he was happy, all on his own.  I put one boy down while the other was awake and happy!  It was wonderful!  It gave me hope!

Parenting two is not hard when everyone is getting rest.  Parenting two is hard when no one is sleeping.  We started out with plenty of rest, then no rest, and are now back to plenty of rest.  The ease in parenting two has followed along that sleep pattern: easy, then hard, then easy again.

I feel like we’ve got this pretty figured out now.  Sure, it could change tomorrow, but as long as I have plenty of rest behind me, I can roll with the punches.  Yesterday was hard.  The day before that was even harder (we had a very hyper, naughty kid at our house who taught Matthew some bad things, and kept Bryson over-stimulated for hours).  Today has been ridiculously easy so far(and that includes taking Bryson to the dentist with me who then told me I need a root canal on Friday).  Evenings are by far Bryson’s worst time (as is the case for all newborns) so we’ll see what tonight has in store for us, but I’m thrilled with how things are coming together.

B is thrilled too!  Well, most of the time  😉  He has had several hours each day to work on a garage project and has built some really nice storage shelves for us, and is planning more for the basement.  He has another week until he goes back to work, but we’re both happy that’s he’s had time to do some fun things that he enjoys too.  He’s also been going to physical therapy for his shoulder and I’m hoping that that will finally feel better for him.  It’s been great for him to have this time to organize things the way he wants them, take care of his shoulder, and spend time with his boys (and me, of course!).  We’ll miss him when he goes back to work, but we’ve learned that we’ll be OK.  We also know he’ll work from home when he can (which is often)!

So that’s how it is parenting two.  Matthew will be in shock next week when B’s back at work, but he’s good at entertaining himself and when it is just me and the boys, he actually behaves better than when he’s with his dad.

Don’t tell B that  😉


Fool me Once

Oh how quickly you forget certain aspects of parenting, even the lessons learned from stories you still currently tell.

An example of this?

When Matthew was 4-5 weeks old, he was not sleeping well and hated the pack and play. One night, we ran out of diapers in our room so I took him into the nursery to get more. I put him in his crib, crying of course, and within a few seconds, he was asleep. I stood there watching him for a minute before returning to our room, minus the baby, and declaring to B that Matthew had officially moved out of our room – all on his own.

Did I learn from that?

Hell no.

Fast forward to now. Bryson has hated the pack and play for a couple of weeks now. He’s not sleeping, and I’m not sleeping. I haven’t recognized myself in days, and picked an awful fight with B for no reason, other than what we assume is a severe lack of sleep (B forgave me). No one has been happy.

So yesterday, with a very fussy baby in my arms, I said, “I’ve had it, I need to sleep. I’m trying the nursery and crib tonight.”

And this happened:

Apparently, I learned nothing the first time around! At least, I didn’t remember what I’d learned the first time around. I triumphantly told B today that if we have a third baby, that he will be in our room the first two nights, and then he graduates to the nursery.

And I mean it!

(By no means was last night perfect, but I got sleep in 2 hour chunks which is more than I’ve gotten in weeks!)