Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

Although my family was out of town, me and Lang still very much enjoyed our Christmas Day together. More importantly, it's Langston's first Christmas! He was up at 7am, and we headed to the living room to see what Santa brought us. Now, I realize that Langston is way too young to understand the concept of Christmas, but that didn't stop this mama from spreading her holiday cheer! Lang mostly enjoyed crawling over and on top of the presents, which couldn't have been more adorable. He sat in my lap, while I did the tough job of ripping the paper off. He loved the toys he got, not satisfied until I ripped them out of their boxes so he could have full access to them.

After we got dressed and had breakfast, my cousin Angie came over and we baked some cookies and had cinnamon hot chocolate. We stopped by her sisters house, and then headed to my aunts. It was a lovely day of good food, and amazing family, but boy were we tired by the end of the day. We headed home and went straight to bed!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday as much as we did!

Little Dapper Langston

Little Man turns 7 months tomorrow, so as always I had the lovely Catherine Taylor capture it. I should be putting up my Christmas post, but I'm so thrilled with these photos that I had to share!

Langston's outfit: Janie + Jack

Friday, December 14, 2012

No moment taken for granted

In the aftermath of the Connecticut tragedy, it's only natural that we cherish what we have even more. It makes me want to hold my baby boy tighter, and not let him out into this terrible world. My heart is heavy for every single parent and loved one that was affected by the actions of a very selfish person. No one ever deserves to lose their life, but more than anything, a child's life never deserves to be cut so short. As a mother, it just breaks my heart. I feel crushed. And once again, just so incredibly thankful for each and every day that I have to hold Langston.

I also have such a beautiful niece. She was my first love, and I don't think that will ever change. She's not only pretty, but also intelligent, hilarious, and full of such light that you can't help but fall in love with her. I love every single bit and piece of her. I pray she never encounters such tragedies in her life.

To help those affected, please browse the links below:

Shopping season! What we're loving right now.

Tis the season to splurge a little, right? This isn't quite a gift giving guide, just a few things that me and Lang are loving right now, and maybe a wish list item ;)

For the Babe:

Skip Hop Owl: I scooped up this cutie after a good friend recommended it. It has great colors, patterns, and fabulous sensory tools. Lang absolutely loves it.

Boon Squirt Spoon: Most organic baby food now comes in these interesting pouches. It drives me crazy when I see people feeding them to their baby straight out of the tube. How will your baby learn to eat from a spoon? This is a great travel item when pulling out a bowl isn't exactly convenient. And Boon makes amazing products in general.

I got a great deal on a personalized Chronicle book off of Zulily. I opted for the "Speedster" book, which incorporates your child into the story. Name, birthday, color, and even people in your life. It's one of my favorite go-to's for bedtime stories

This simple little ball is one of Langston's favorite toys. His favorite game is throw the ball, watch mom pick it up and give it back to me, then throw it again. Love it.

For Lang, this cup doubles as a great starter sippy cup, and as a teether. The thick rubber spout is perfect for chomping on, and guzzling down water.

For the Mama:

I love these. These should be a staple in all teething mamas wardrobes. They make a ton of colors, so they'll match everything, and are even cute enough to wear with or without The Babe :)

Great product from 2 Red Hens. At first it appears to be just an ordinary drawstring tote, but it folds out into a circular playmat, that doubles as toy storage. Genius. I have the red Owl pattern, and love it!

I was the mom that swore I would never use a video monitor. Why would I need that? In actuality, it's amazing. I can do chores around the house, and peek in on my little man without disturbing him. The picture and sound quality is great, and includes several other worthy features. Worth every penny.

If you're a busy working mama, like me - you don't have a ton of time to get your face in decent order. Therefore, sometimes you need a splash of color, and fast. Lipstick is a great way to do that, and the Mac brand just so happens to be my favorite. Great colors, great quality. Make sure to primer your lips beforehand for a smooth finish :)

Sigh, this is my wishlist item! I am a devoted Apple user. An iPad would let me snap pictures of Lang, blog on the go, and take my reading obsession to an even higher level. Every mama needs one...but that's just my opinion of course ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Busy mama. Growing baby.

It has been quite the week. Busy, busy, working mama! 
If only there were more hours in the day! Who do I submit that comment card to?

Anyways, my Lang is now 6 months, and just growing like a little weed. I've spent the last week just soaking it all in, enjoying every minute I can with him. Everyone told me time would fly, but I just never realized how fast that really meant. In another blink, he'll be one. *sobs*

Lang is all about eating, which is nothing new. He's loving all of the new foods he's been introduced to, even the veggies! We're still not crawling, but we're so close!! He's not even mobile yet, and somehow he's into everything. I can only imagine the fun that will begin once he figures out just what he's doing!

I recently got my hands on some Chewbead necklaces (pictures coming soon), and Lang loves them. He's mostly obsessed with the green one, and even when he's not gnawing on it, he likes to just hold them in his little hands. So cute. All in all, Lang is my growing big boy. 
I am one. happy. mama.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Little Man turns 6 months

I'm really speechless when I think about the fact that my Little Bear is now 6 months old. He's hitting milestones left and right, and it's just amazing. He's up on his hands and knees rocking, and scooting backwards. To think that he'll be crawling any day now is mind-blowing! So of course, I had to bring my best friend, Catie Taylor, in to do some snapshots of Langston's half-birthday.

Turns out, Langston really wasn't feeling it that day so we didn't get as many pictures as we would have liked, but we got a few. Therefore, I'm a happy mama.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

About to pop? Grab these!

The countdown to baby is the best and worst couple of weeks. The fact that you could go into labor at any moment, leaves you so anxious! With Langston being my first baby, I went off of fellow mama blogger posts about what to pack and bring to the hospital. Of course now looking back I can easily say what was a waste of space, and what was good as gold. Not even necessarily what was useful while in the hospital, but the first few weeks as well!
Belly Band
If you have a C section, this should be the number one staple in your hospital bag (no pun intended). With all of those belly muscles that were cut, it was hard to stand up straight. Once I put the belly band on, I was up straight, and walking up and down the stairs with no problem. Life. Saver.
I don't care if you think you'll look like an old lady, you will be thanking me for this. There was no way I could wear anything comfortably that had a waistband, so I invested in some night shirts and fell in love. Nothing sitting on my incision, easy to nurse in, and just plain comfy. Do it.

Ameda Hydrogel Pads
 If you plan to breastfeed, you're going to need these. Wear these in your bra in between nursing and feel the relief! Wear them until they start to get cloudy in color, then toss them out and put in a new pair. (Medela also makes a version of these, but they are extremely sticky and I found out the hard way that those are not the ones you want on your sore nipples).
I found my iPhone to be an amazing tool during, and after my pregnancy. I used the BabyBump app while I was pregnant to track how far along I was, and it also had a forum so I could keep in touch with other women due the same month I was. Once baby came, I could easily snap and send pictures to family with one hand, and read books on my Kindle app during those overnight hours when nothing was on TV (and especially in the hospital, since you won't be sleeping).
Moby Baby Wrap
I already had an Ergo, but that's not exactly infant friendly (even with the insert), so I decided to give the Moby a shot. I was also really big into bonding, and figured this was just one more way to bring us closer. Newborn Lang loved it. It keeps baby super snug and close to you, while still letting you get things done around the house. I wish I could have used mine longer, but Langston hit 20 pounds pretty quickly and it just didn't fit so well anymore. If you have a friend willing to let you borrow one - do it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happily ever after. Take 2

Girl meets boy. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl and boy get married.
Girl and boy have a baby. Girl and boy live happily ever after.

That is what's expected. It's the traditional way, they say!
Well, my life didn't particularly go that way, and you know what?
 That's just fine.

I had a baby before I got married, and girl and boy certainly didn't live happily ever after. Not together, at least.

Not that I'm encouraging anyone to do it this way, but it's what happened to me and I'm going to make the absolute best of it. I don't consider myself damned just because I didn't have a wedding band on before I had a baby. I know plenty of people who are currently "together for the kids" and I couldn't be happier that I'm not one of them. If it's not working, get out. Although I believe in the traditional way of parenting, I don't believe in being unhappy. And if that means being a single mother, so be it.

Which I am, and I don't hate it. I'm completely happy. My custody situation still lingers overhead, but I can't let that deter my focus from Langston. I hope people know that your life isn't over just because you got a divorce, or had a baby out of wedlock. It's just the beginning of your second chance, which you should be thankful to have.

You have to look at the bright side of the situation, and think: I can watch what I want on TV. I don't have to shave my legs today. I don't have to share my bed. Those may seem like goofy things, but it's the little things that will make you feel better. Of course the huge bright side of your entire relationship, whether it went down in flames or not, is the fact that you got an absolutely beautiful, and brilliant baby out of it. And that is worth more than anything in this world.

At the end of the day, sometimes where you thought you'd end up, just isn't where you should have ever wanted to be in the first place.
Also, Langston's 6 month pictures will be up tomorrow! *Squeals!*

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giving thanks

It's hard to believe, with how fast time flies, that Langston will be 6 months at the end of November. Everyday he's learning and growing, and changing right before my eyes. It's so wonderful, and so frightening! My baby will be grown before I know it. And since it's the month for giving thanks, I think this is a good time to count my blessings.
I am thankful that I was able to have a baby.
I am thankful that I was given such an amazing child.
I am thankful for the family and friends that I have around me.
I am thankful for old friends getting back in touch.
I am thankful to have a job, that lets me provide for my son.
I am thankful for my fellow mama's, who give constant advice and support.
I am thankful for the everyday struggles that keep me grounded.
I am thankful for my parents, who have raised me to be a strong and independent woman.
Most of all, I am thankful for Langston. Without him, I never would have known the true meaning of life, and love. I have found that life truly starts with your children, and I plan to spend the rest of my time focused on family.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Did you really just say that?

4 things I wish people would stop saying to me. And my snarky remarks that follow.
1. Oh, you're a single mother? I guess you aren't into "traditional" parenting...
Yes, when I got pregnant my ultimate goal was to wind up a single mom, battling it out in court for custody. Asshole.
2. Where's your child?
With his father for the weekend. And even so, do I never deserve to take a trip to the store alone because I'm a single mother?
3. Well that's pretty cool that you get child support, right?
Uh no. Well, not yet at least. And I don't want it, nor have I ever asked for it. I work my ass off, and I can, and do support my son on my own. Imagine that?!
4. You look exhausted.
Actually, I'm not. But thanks for telling me that I look like crap.
People may honestly be saying these things to me with the best of intentions, but please just stop. The fact is, I'm a single mother who is really quite traditional, I don't go out to the bar while someone else watches my baby, I don't need anyone elses money, and I'm not tired!

Also, LANGSTON'S FIRST HALLOWEEN! Of course he was clueless to what it was, and we obviously didn't take him trick or treating. But how festive does he look in his glow-in-the-dark skeleton playsuit, and halloween bib?! His bottom two teeth have also broken through the gum. So exciting!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hey! What about me?

Most gals dream of having a baby girl so they can fully deck them out in cute tights, and fabulous headbands and bows, and I get that. I understand the excitement. I can never pass up on a sassy outfit for my niece, Dannyn. But I always wanted a boy, and lets face it, the poor boys get the short hand of the stick in the fashion department. Our section of the store is half the size of the girls, and just the general appearance of them is lacking!

Since Lang is growing like a weed, I'm always on the hunt for new clothes for him. I've found over the past 5 months, that boys can look just as good as the gals. It's all about where to look, and how to put it together.
For basics, our go-to favorite is the all white long-sleeve onesies from Carters. They go with everything, so they're a definite staple in Langston's wardrobe. I usually stick to Carters when it comes to PJ's, and comfy clothes. But for outfits I love Old Navy, H&M kids, Baby Boden, and countless others. I also find great deals on Zulily for all things organic. They're so soft, and comfy, but can be extremely overpriced, so sign up for Zulily to get great deals on clothes, toys, and other essential mama gear.
Lang doesn't have a set "style" because I pretty much like him in everything. If it's cute, and seems comfortable, I'm usually all about it. The important thing is to not spend hoards of money on baby clothes that they'll outgrow in a week. Jeans and sweaters I always buy larger, because the sleeves and legs can be cuffed up. And chances are, big boy will probably fit perfectly into them a week later. Search for deals, and buy out of season so you get a great price. Just be sure to get the correct size for what you're child will be wearing during that time. Langston was born in May, and someone gave us a Northface winter coat that was 0-3 months. I was so bummed that he'd never get to wear it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

man vs. boy

After retweeting "My nonexistent balls are bigger than most men's" my mom told me I should watch what I post on Twitter and Facebook because I may intimidate men, and they won't want to ever date me.


I'll make this easy to all of the men in the world. If I intimidate you, I don't want to date you. I'm a single mama who works full time, and I don't have time for any man who is intimidated by me. I don't have a lot of time to give, so you better be secure in who you are, and what our relationship is. You will always be taking the back seat to Langston, so if that bothers you, we'll never be together. If your mom does your laundry, you better not come near me. I can't deal with anyone who doesn't respect my privacy. You go snooping through my things? See you later. I don't want to snuggle all night. When it's time to sleep, please move to your side of the bed. I won't drop all of my friends for you, because I need a life outside of a relationship. If you don't like my family, I can pretty much guarantee you that we won't work out.

Also, if you aren't a man, we'll never work out. I don't have time to waste on a boy. I'm in the beginning stages of a long and rough journey of child custody, so if you can't handle the stress that comes along with it, we just won't work out. I work hard, and so should you. Some girls like the guys who won't get dirty, and have to call a handyman to fix things around the house. I'm not that girl. I'd like a man, please. Is that so much to ask for?
It may sound like I'm being extremely picky, but I don't see it that way. I have a history of being burned, and I'm not looking to waste another minute of my time on someone that doesn't deserve it. We're not just talking about me anymore, now there's Langston. I can't bring just anyone around my son. I don't have time to casually date. I'm looking for someone to be with, in all aspects of long term. If you aren't looking for that, that's fine. I harbor no hard feelings for someone who isn't looking for the same thing I am, it just means that we aren't on the same page.

Got it? Good.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A few of Mama and Lang's favorite things

When registering for your baby shower, you may feel compelled to scan every little thing you come across. This is completely unneccessary. In reality you really only need a few great products you can trust.

1. Halo Sleep Sacks: I've used these since Lang was an infant. They go over baby's pajamas and act as a blanket. These are even more useful now that Lang is flopping around all over the place while he sleeps. If I didn't use these, he'd wake up with no blanket on. It also prevents the blanket from covering his face which also helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
2. Ergo Baby Organic Carrier: Lang wasn't crazy about this when he was an infant, but now that he's a bit older he's loving it more everyday. And I love it that I can keep him close, and still get things accomplished.
3. BabyGanics: I love this product as a whole. I have the collection of toy and fabric cleaners, but I mostly use the hand sanitizer and the bottle and dish cleaner. No harsh smell, and I feel safe using it knowing it's all natural!
4. Earths Best Organic Chamomile Sleepytime Lotion: We used to use the Johnson & Johnson bedtime lotion until I came across this. Smells a thousand times better, and once again this is a brand I feel good about using.
5. Sophie the Giraffe: We have a couple different Sophie teethers, including the one pictured. Lang loves that she squeaks, and he's particularly fond of chewing on her face. Great teethers that seem to hold up very well through the slobber and gnawing.
6. Crane Drop Humidifier: We use this every night! I can put Lang to bed with a stuffy nose, turn it on high, and he'll wake up all clear. I'm sure any brand would work fine, but I love this one!
7. Britax B-Agile Stroller: This is probably my favorite product. I was extremely picky when it came to deciding on a stroller, and couldn't be happier with this one. Folds up and out in a cinch, all with one hand! **Not on the list but I definitely recommend getting the "Mommy Hook."
8. Robeez: My mom was the one who told me about Robeez, and also was the one to buy Langston his first pair. He has some pretty fat feet that wouldn't fit into normal shoes, and these fit him perfectly. Great for babies with wide, chubby feet!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

"We'd have no problem getting along, if you weren't you"

Hmm, thank you? So, where do I draw the line after receiving the title of this post as a text? I'd say I probably should have drawn it months ago, but sometimes I just have too much faith in people.

When do I stop trying to co-parent and just accept the fact that we'll never get along? I'm a firm believer that even if two people aren't together, it's still possible to raise a child as a unit. BUT in order to do this, both parents must keep the child's best interest in mind.

This doesn't happen when one parent believes in stability, consistency and routines, and the other based their beliefs on "he's half mine, so I deserve him half of the time." Um, what? Wrong (in my own opinion, of course). He may be half yours, but that doesn't mean his time should be split equally down the middle. A child should be in the same bed every night, should be put to sleep the same way every day, should have a nighttime routine, and should generally just BE in the same place every day. If you don't believe that, then you obviously don't have his best interest in mind. And if I'm continuing to be honest, I believe that a child's place is with his/her mother.
I'm not afraid to put any of this out there for others to read. Single mothers shouldn't have to feel bullied. We're already bullied and looked down upon by society, and I'm not going to let Langston's father do the same. I'm the definition of a proud single mama, and if I have to go to court, I will. You can drag me through the mud, but you won't break the bond that comes along with being his mother. I put the work in to develop and deserve that bond. You don't get the privilege of that just because you're his father.
I am a mother, and I will not back down to threats. My number one priority is Langston, and I will go to the ends of the earth for him. My belief is that a man should be stepping back to let a child be with his mother, not threaten and try to frighten her into giving half of her time up. Call me old fashioned, I don't care. This is my opinion. This is my life. And that is my baby.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Catching up!

It's been quite a bit since my last post. I can't believe how busy I've been, between work, baby Lang, and all of the odds and ends in between, I'm just now catching up on here.

Langston had his 4 month appointment, where he got a total of 4 shots. On the bright side, he's 20 pounds, and 27 inches long and developing "great" they said (always comforting to hear). He's above the 95th percentile for his height and weight, and to prove how big my Little Man is, my friend Sara came over with her daughter (who is only two weeks younger than Lang) and here it is:


Langston rolls over like a pro now, only from belly to back though. He hasn't quite mastered the other way around yet. He's drooling up a storm, and teething like a little (precious) monster. He loves Sophie the Giraffe and chews on her face practically all day. He sits up in his Snug with no problem, and really seems to love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He's finding his toes, and along with everything else lately, I'll expect to see them in his mouth any day now. He laughs out loud when we read "Baby, Beluga" every night before bed, and most of the time he sleeps through the night. With all of these milestones, I'm still trying to figure out when he stopped being an infant, and became a baby?!


In other news, I've begun my new project (and no, I haven't completed the others haha). At Lang's shower, I was given a million and one receiving blankets. Which, as much as I appreciated every single one of them, I really have no use for them now. So what was I to do? QUILT, of course! So I took the teetering tower of baby blankets, and starting cutting.

So this is where I'm at currently. Hoping to get it finished in the next week or so! I think I'll add more rows on, because I want it to be more rectangular than square. I wanted it to be something Lang could grow into. Nothing is better than a homemade lovie from Mama.

Love you Lang.