Last night, Emma was feeding G and I finally got a picture of him doing this:

He usually does this when he gets really hungry. After he tries to eat his hands because he is so ravenously hungry. Life is so hard for this baby. ;)

Yesterday was... lots of crying, lots of eating and a little bit of gas made most of yesterday pretty frustrating. He ate so much before 2pm that I actually called the pediatrician to see if there is anything I can do to keep him full. They are concerned about the amount he's getting (seriously, he eats a LOT) so I am pumping, measuring and recording every ounce of breast milk or formula that I am giving him and burping him extra long and hard to make sure it's not just gas. He did pretty well for the rest of the afternoon/evening and then got pretty fussy again at 4am. Paul got up to help me and we were up until he had to get ready and leave for school. Gray is just so hungry at certain times during the day that almost nothing will satisfy him. Sometimes it takes a 4 oz bottle of breastmilk (that is a LOT for a newborn not even three weeks old) and then 30 minutes later a couple of ounces of formula on top of that. Hopefully his appetite will either calm down or we can get it worked out soon.

In happier news, Gray had his first "real" outing last night (meaning it was not to the pediatrician or the hospital). My parents came to keep me company for a little while and we took G out with us to Panera for dinner. We gave him a bottle about 30 minutes before we left and when we got there we pretty much holed up in a corner where no one else was sitting. He slept the entire time! My parents really wanted me to get out of the house with him so I would feel a little more sane and even though I was SO tired from yesterday's frustrations, it did feel really great to get out for an hour. Maybe we will get a little more "adventurous" in the near future and I will introduce him to the Starbucks drive-thru. :)

Here is G chillin at Panera:

I really need a shower and a nap but how sweet is this?

Before I know it, he will be too big and too cool for cuddling with me.


i can't wait...

... until I see this face and it isn't related to gas.  :)


my mom is awesome. and i love chai.

One day last week when my mom came over to keep me company and help with Grayson she also brought a bunch of snacks, cleaning supplies and little things to keep us full, clean and happy. She put everything away in the cabinets for me while I fed G so I didn't really take a look at what she brought. A few days ago I was a little hungry/exhausted, so I opened the cabinet to get a snack bar and I saw this:


If you know me, I don't even have to explain.
[I LOVE chai lattes!]

My mom is awesome. I think she knew I would need a little of that this week. :) She has got to be one of the most thoughtful people ever. I'm not sure she has EVER forgotten a birthday, anniversary or special day in any of her friends' lives. She can seriously name the birthday/anniversary of almost anyone we know off the top of her head! She always sends cards or calls. She ALWAYS sent me care packages and cards "just because" while I was away at college. Always calls, especially now, to make sure I'm feeling okay. And while now she is always keeping G Baby in mind and making sure he/we have everything we need, she even remembered my love for chai. :)

A quick picture with me after we checked into the hospital the night I went into labor (just don't mind me looking like a crazy haha):

My favorite picture of my mom ever, holding Grayson for the first time:

Thanks, mom! "Chai" love you! (Yea, I'm all cheese.)


my dad

(two weeks old post below)

My dad is definitely one of the sweetest people I know. I love him. Paul loves him. My friends love him. (Brittany thinks he's the cutest/sweetest man and when she told him that at the hospital he just said, "I know I'm cute!" Haha!) He's sweet, considerate and enjoys hard work as much as he does relaxing afterwards. It's hard for me to imagine him as/doing anything but working hard and enjoying the simple things.

And he's a pretty great Grandpa. He calls every day to ask how we're treating his grandson. :)

Well... I very vaguely remember that my dad told me once or twice about the pet monkey, Mary Ann (I think that's right), he and his friends had in Vietnam. I always assumed he was kind of joking or there was more to the story, so I was a little surprised when his good friend and "Georgia boy," Wendell, emailed him a few pictures. He wanted us to have them so Grayson could see his Grandpa and "Uncle Grandpa" (Wendell) during their more youthful days. My dad forwarded the email to my account and I just had to smile when this is what I saw:

Wendell and my dad. Look at my dad! He looks almost the same!

And the proof that there really was a Mary Ann! So funny. (I've heard those monkeys are MEAN, though. I haven't asked Mary Ann.)

two weeks old

Our Grayson is two weeks old today!

From Baby Grayson

So weird to think how it all started here:

This week was filled with a lot of challenging days/nights for me. Mostly Thursday and Friday. Paul was basically gone for 48 hours straight between his 16 hour work shift Thursday and then staying late at school on Friday night. So I was mostly on my own with G Baby. My mom came and held, fed and watched Grayson on Thursday while I ran out to Target to do a few things and started on some laundry. And Emma came to keep me company during Grey's because I was SO tired and a little stressed out even by Thursday night because Grayson hasn't been sleeping as well at night. Once we finally get him down the first time he is usually okay but sometimes it takes an hour and a half or two hours to go through feeding, changing, soothing, probably feeding again and so on before he will fall asleep. Luckily, once he's down he's usually down for at least two hours, if not three (and on Friday night he was even out for four at one time!). On Friday those "baby blues" really started to creep up on me again because I was just so worn out and couldn't get a nap in. And even this morning I had a little emotional break because I am just feeling tired and sick, but Paul was there and let me cry it out on him haha. For selfish reasons, I really hope this two week mark means that we will be getting out of the house soon for some short "outings," especially while the weather is a little warmer.

But all of that said... I would still do it again for this little boy. Even when I am about to go crazy because I can't remember if I just fed him or changed his diaper or wait, did he just wake up from his nap? Or when I wonder if I've even eaten that day. He is worth it and I know that sometime soon (or at least eventually) we will have a more stable routine and after some time passes I will miss this cute and cuddly stage of baby land.

He's so cute he even pinches his own cheeks...
(Friday night, after my parents came to visit with the Thompsons. 12 days old.)
From Baby Grayson

I don't know if I ever posted about this but at my last appointment before I went into labor, the girl doing the ultrasound printed out this picture for me because she could see his huge cheeks even on the ultrasound haha! (It's pretty hard to tell on this one but you can see his big cheek in the top center of the photo.) What a chunky monkey :)

(If you've been waiting on that post about my sweet dad that I talked about last week... stay tuned, I've scheduled it to post later on tonight.)


daddy daycare and a new mom's day out

Paul really wanted me to get out of the house today so I could just be in the fresh air and so he could spend some time with Gray. (I've been going out of my mind in this house for the past few days!) I showered, pumped, put him in a clean diaper, let Paul pick out his clothes (see below) and this is how they were set up when I left:

From Baby Grayson

From Baby Grayson

Very appropriate for a day with his dad, don't you think? :)

Before I left, I finally caught one of his little smiles on the camera:

So... since my husband was sweet enough to watch Gray and kick me out of the house, I ended up doing a few errands, did a little shopping since I'm going to have to slowly build up a new work wardrobe, took my car to the 3-minute wash and (finally) got pictures developed from the Gauntt family baby shower (they turned out pretty dark but I posted the best one below). I was going to do a couple more "Amanda-like" things (like creep at Borders for a while, maybe get a pedicure if I could get over paying for it right now, etc.) but I thought we were going to have visitors so I just came back after two hours and doing what I needed to. I missed Paul and Grayson when I was gone but it was really nice to even have a couple of hours alone.

My outing today made me realize what a Clark Howard I'm becoming when it comes to my clothes. Here is my wardrobe problem: I was pregnant when I started work so almost all of my work clothes are maternity. Obviously, I am going to need more work-appropriate clothes. But since my body has changed, I also need some every day/weekend clothes that fit. (This is really weird but my rear is actually smaller than it was pre-baby. No more ghetto booty. I missed it for about five seconds and then I got over it.) So anyway... my goal is to buy mostly, if not only, clothes that I can wear in both "work land" and home/family life. I didn't imagine it being difficult to shop for clothes but it was actually really hard! And I was even looking on the clearance racks! I finally decided on a shirt (only $8!) that fits my "either/or" goal, a gray cardigan (also easy on the wallet and suits the goal) with a little ruffle-age going on - just enough to make it cute and more fun than a normal cardigan but not frou-frou, and a pair of good wide leg jeans (we wear jeans and spirit wear on Fridays at work). So... if you happen to be out shopping for clothes somewhere and see some great deals that would also fit my work-life/everyday life goal and you happen to remember this post and think of me... pass it on!

Back to a baby land topic... here is the best picture that came out from the Gauntt family shower back in November :)
From misc.

Grayson will be two weeks old tomorrow, can you believe it?


what do you do with it?

Last night, Grayson's little umbilical stump fell off. Just wondering... what do you do with it?? I put it in an really small ziplock but I don't know... do people save them for the baby book? Does saving it seem creepy to you?

And, just for cuteness (minus me and my crazyness hair), look at my little coffee bean wrapped up in the baby k'tan:

This is how I'm getting things done today (vacuuming, laundry, etc.). And hopefully getting Gray baby to learn that this is daytime and nighttime is for sleeping :)


not havin' it

This little baby is 11 days old and I STILL do not have a picture of me with him outside of the delivery room. Everybody else holds him and loves on him while I take the pictures, haha! I started to get a little sad about it tonight after my mom left so, remembering that my computer has Photobooth, I attempted a self-photo. But he was just not havin' it. Here's our best attempt (after trying to get him to "say hiii!" about 3 times before this one, I just gave up and started laughing):

I think it's time to get someone else to take the pictures.


Today, I am starting to test the "babywearing" waters.  I've been reading some from the Sears' The Baby Book.  So far, I really love this book!  I haven't read very much past what I have questions about, but it is VERY informative and presented in a style that I appreciate.  I'm not a super fan of everything about "attachment parenting" but babywearing is one of their ideas that I am on board with.  Or that I at least want to try.  I got a sling carrier when I was with Brittany a few days ago but it was a little too snug so Paul and I exchanged it yesterday for the bigger one and it's great!  (Paul's mom came over to snuggle with G Baby and she watched him while we got out to do some errands.  Even though we were just getting some things done, it was SO nice to be out of the house and with Paul instead of by myself.)  Gray really loves to be held right now (I'm pretty sure all babies do) and while he is not fussy at all if I don't hold him, I want to be able to do that and share time with him while I get things done at the same time.


mom brain

I should probably just go ahead and make Mom Brain a series on this blog because I can already feel it happening.  (I used to get distracted doing things around the house but this is a whole new level of distraction and forgetfulness.) Last night, I was trying to find G's socks (he kicked one off on the changing table and the other I don't know where).  I found one, got distracted doing I can't remember what and then continued my search... only to realize that I had already lost the first sock I found.  Tonight I was putting something away in the food cabinet and look what I found:

From little hebert family

It's pretty funny and I laughed but all I can say is... seriously?!  

worth its own post

:D  <-- That is the smile of a new mom (me) who just put on her pre-pregnancy jeans!!!  No more nasty maternity denim, hallelujah!  I really expected it to take much longer than 10 days but, hey, no complaints here.  It's amazing how just fitting into a pair of jeans can really make you feel like yourself again.  :)  

Now, if I can just get into my "skinny" jeans haha... (that really will take longer than 10 days, I'm sure).  

my loves

Paul worked his 16 hour shift on Monday and was at school yesterday (paramedic school) until 4pm.  So, we didn't get to see our favorite "DH" (stands for "Dear Husband" as I have learned in the online community haha.  I like it so I will probably stick with it just to warn you) and Daddy until about 5:30.  I've said it before but one of my favorite things about Grayson being here is watching Paul love on him.  I think Grayson is officially part of Paul's "winding down" routine (with the XBox).  I offered to put him to bed so Paul could relax but he wanted to get in his daddy-G time first!  Look at our little coffee bean!  

I would blog about a million more things right now but a shower sounds better  :)


i know i should be napping but...

... I can't stop thinking about Aretha Franklin's hat!  Haha only kidding... sort of.  ;)  

The inauguration ceremony is beginning and I don't want to miss it even though a nap really does sound better.  Something tells me Grayson could care less.

From Baby Grayson

My dad came this morning and helped me take Grayson to the pediatrician for his weight check.  (The Dr. wanted to make sure he was gaining about an ounce a day until he reached his birth weight again.)  Grayson now weighs 9lbs 8oz!  This is a good weight gain (just over an ounce a day) so we don't have to go back until his one month appointment in February.  Now, I KNOW how lucky we are with G Baby.  He is not colicky (or at least he hasn't developed it yet if he's going to be), he really only cries when he is hungry and he is one of the healthiest-looking babies around.  Breastfeeding has not been too difficult, just exhausting on my part.  But he also takes well to the bottle and formula if we give it to him (which is rare).  But one family in the waiting room really made me realize again how lucky we are.  Their baby was a month premature and so colicky that at one point he was crying for 20 hours a day!  Yes, 20!  I cannot even imagine.  I am counting my blessings and just hoping that Grayson continues to be this good for us!  

I also know that my parents are awesome and have done a countless number of things for us over the past several months.  But seriously... my parents are the bomb!  Last week my mom came over and did laundry and put things away until she was just too tired to do any more.  All so I could relax and try to focus on Grayson.  She brought a few more things for him, more clothes in the 3-6 months size just in case he keeps growing like a weed and she even brought some things for me (it is very easy to forget about yourself).  My dad came, too, and helped a ton.  And today my dad came again to help me with taking G to the pediatrician's office (I'm not supposed to really lift that carrier just yet if I can help it) and my mom sent a care package for me with something I really wanted (I didn't tell her though so I'm not really sure how she knew) -- a momAgenda!  I know this is boring to most of you but I love it!  It's perfect!  Maybe even deserving of its own blog post in the future haha.  And it's even a pretty bronzy-brown color.  

When my dad and I got back from the pediatrician, he even went to the store and stocked us up on some groceries -- LOTS of fruit, raw veggies, yogurt, juice, bread, lunch meat, meat for dinner (yum), even a bottle of Diet Coke haha!  I am trying to keep my calories up enough so that I'm not losing weight quite so rapidly (never thought I'd hear myself say that).  I know a few of you are curious about the post-prego body -- I have lost 9 pounds in the last week since we have been home, leaving only 7 pounds left to go until my pre-pregnancy weight.  Though it is not distributed quite like it used to be (I still have a pooch going on but it is much smaller than I expected it to be), this has been great for my emotional state haha.  Obviously, I'm not sad to see the pounds go, but I want to maintain my energy and milk supply so I probably need to step up my calorie intake a little bit.  

It took me the whole ceremony to finish this post because my focus keeps drifting (that happened to me before but even more now since Gray has arrived).  So, somewhere between Aretha's hat and my new momAgenda we got a new Mr. President!

For my visual readers, here are my favorites from yesterday:

Clean and happy G baby (though not so happy during the process)
From Baby Grayson

Thinking about pooping on the papsan
From Baby Grayson

Cuddling with Carolyn (she came yesterday to help for a little while)
From Baby Grayson


sanity on the changing table

Grayson does NOT like being changed.  Really, he is fine until the second that cold wipe hits his bottom.  And I mean he really starts to lose his mind crying if it is taking even a second too long to change the diaper, use diaper rash cream and put a little petroleum jelly on his sensitive area (which we don't need to do anymore, thank goodness).  It is already cold outside and even with the heat on inside there is no denying the cold after your skin gets wet.

Well... Brittany came to Athens to see us and Grayson yesterday and helped me out by driving me to Target so I could get a few things.  At the top of my list?  This.  

Before G Baby, I thought wipe warmers were just a tad on the over-the-top-things-I-don't-need side of the spectrum.  But I confess that now I have seen the light.  Started using it last night and G is successfully NOT crying for most of his diaper change (and if he just finished eating... even better).  Plus, I think the warmth feels pretty good on the little diaper rash he's still got goin' and it sure is a heck of a lot faster and more convenient than waiting on the faucet water to heat up and then adjust the heat to warm up a washcloth.  Totally worth it if we will both be holding onto our sanity now.  :)  To my pregos... I would seriously recommend putting this on the registry.  And a bottle warmer (another one of those things I thought I didn't need because "Oh I can run it under the faucet" ... I don't know what I was thinking.  Oh wait, I was thinking.  I just didn't have a ferociously hungry baby in my hands.  Another big plus to the bottle warmer: it doubles as a sterilizer for pacifiers and bottle nipples.  Pretty sweet.)

I guess it's the little things.

And just because it's cute:

From misc.


a week ago...

... we were visiting our brand new G Baby! (He spent a day and a half in the NICU for a low grade fever and respiratory distress -- basically, his breathing was a little faster and more irregular than it should have been. The fever was pretty much gone by the time they got him down to the NICU.) Really... I can't believe it has already been a week but I also can't believe it hasn't been longer than that.

On Saturday, I started feeling some contractions around noon but I really thought they were still Braxton Hicks. At about 2pm I noticed that they were actually becoming regular and increasing in length -- about 9-10 minutes apart at this point. I bummed around the house for a little while because I was feeling a little weird and I started timing them again at about 4pm and found they were about 7 minutes apart and lasting about 30-40 seconds each. They really weren't hurting too badly and I wasn't sure if they would keep going or maybe just stop so I met up with Becca for dinner at Willy's. Contractions kept coming. We came back to the house and watched Elf (so funny). Contractions were still going and getting closer together -- about 6 minutes apart for a while. Paul came home from work early and took a shower and played a little XBOX while we waited for them to get close enough to go to the hospital. Finally, they were at about 5 1/2 minutes apart so we left (since we had to drive from Athens to Gwinnett, where my OB-GYN practice delivers). On the way there, my contractions started getting CRAZY -- a few were actually crying-can't-talk-trying-to-breathe kind of painful and were about 3 minutes apart. Checked in (which didn't really take too long since I was pre-registered -- to all you pregos, do not delay pre-registering, you will be so thankful you did by the time you get to the hospital!). Got some fluids going and then the contractions slowed down a good bit (they said that happens a lot). At about midnight the nurses were trying to talk me into the epidural but I opted for IV pain medication first so I wouldn't be laid up in the bed all night and possibly all of the next day if things didn't get going a little faster anytime soon.

At about 5am I said Y-E-S! to the epidural and at about 6 or 6:30am they started the Pitocin to really kick things into gear. (Epidural = best decision ever. I really did not feel a bit of pain until the last couple of hours and even then it was mostly due to the crazy amount of pressure.) In about three hours I went from 5 cm to 9.5 cm! And that's when things started to get intense (or you could say painful). Took a while to get that last bit of cervix dilated but finally started pushing at about 10am. Pushed for 30 minutes and was already exhausted. Had a small emotional break at that point but Paul and my AWESOME nurse, Alecia (seriously, she was great!), gave me a pep talk and we kept going. Pushed. Pushed some more. And pushed for what seems like forever more (really only about 2 hours total but at the time I thought it would never end). Finally, my doctor came in and maybe not even five minutes later, Grayson was born! I'll be honest... those last five minutes were the worst five minutes of my life if we're talking pain. Pushing sucked. But those last five minutes really stunk. I haven't forgotten but it's not really all clear either. What I do remember clearly is the incredible feeling of relief when it was over. Obviously, the reward was bigger than all of the pain and build-up to that moment. I'd say it was worth every minute :) I mean... how can you resist this face?

From misc.

We are so lucky!

a perfect mix

Of course, since Grayson was born, everyone wants to know who he looks more like. He is only a week old (wow!) so we know he will continue to change all the time but it is still fun to speculate. My parents kept my newborn picture from the hospital and I took it with me when I moved into my new house.

Here are a couple of pictures of Grayson at the hospital on the day we went home:
From misc.

From misc.

And this is my newborn picture:
From misc.

What do you think?

We don't have a picture handy of Paul as a newborn, but here is a picture of each of us as a baby (obviously a little older than Grayson). Right now I think G is a perfect mix of us both:

From misc.

From misc.

Grayson is ONE WEEK OLD today! So you know you can probably expect that blog I promised and definitely some pictures.


what day is it?

Paul and Grayson are snuggling (sleeping) upstairs so I'm taking a minute to get all of my thoughts together before I forget...

First, if you have called, emailed, messaged, texted, commented on baby pictures, etc... I promise you haven't been forgotten or lost in the shuffle. We appreciate every bit of congratulations and support that we have received from you. Right now, it is seriously helping me get through the days and challenging nights. To be completely honest, I've definitely been feeling a little bit of those "baby blues." Not too much and it doesn't last long but it is nice to be able to think of all of your sweet comments and well-wishes when it hits. And I know my good friends are wondering what it's been like so far since I haven't been able to really talk much (or at all), so here I go...

I have been trying to think of a way to describe what it's like to go through this entire process from pregnancy to labor & deliver and then postpartum and once you get home for that first night... but it really is impossible. Needless to say, Paul is going through a huge transition, too, but I can't even describe my rollercoaster of emotions in a way that he can understand yet. And let me tell you, THAT is frustrating because he knows me better than anyone and is always able to read me and the fact that this is something new he can't read yet and that I can't make him experience himself is just... SO frustrating! I really hate hearing "advice" or comments like I'm about say, but it is really an experience all its own -- not something you can relate like happiness, sadness, etc. It's like one crazy huge, consuming emotion that I'll never be able to pinpoint and that I'm pretty sure will never go away. Kind of like trying to describe love but even a million times more difficult than that.

And the taking-care-of-a-newborn experience as a whole is just overwhelming and exhausting but also pumped full of joy and that big crazy love emotion I can't describe. A lighter way of describing it is just, "What day is it, again?" It's amazing how the days have really flown by since we've been home but also strange how they are all just like one big long day. One of my co-workers told me that at some point in the first two weeks I would probably wonder whether I was coming or going, had I just changed a diaper or did I go to the bathroom, whether or not I had eaten that day, etc... and he is right! I'm getting the hang of it a little more everyday and I'm finally catching up on some sleep (or at least as "caught up" as I can be) and figuring out a rhythm that works for Grayson but it is hard! I hoped I would have that maternal instinct and just "know" what to do or even just be able to go with the flow and make it work as it happens but it is so much harder than that. I spent 9 months with this little guy inside of me and I am getting to know him just as if he stepped in without any warning at all. Again, a frustrating process but one that has also been pretty fun and definitely worth it.

Mostly, I just love this baby boy so much and I know that I just can't let anything happen to him. He is so precious, has the sweetest chubby cheeks, the softest skin, the cutest little button nose (maybe the only thing on him that's little since he is such a "big" boy!), and just irresistible. The nights have been a bit difficult (though last night this started getting much better now that we are hopefully finding some sort of rhythm), but he's more joy and fun than my heart can even handle sometimes! When Paul and I get a chance to just lay with him and check him out we just have to say, "He is so cute!" Or comment on his chubby cheeks and thighs.

I seriously CAN'T wrap my mind around the fact that he will be one week old tomorrow. I am already crying thinking about it. A week ago I was in early labor and still thought he would never come. Now, it's already hard to remember or imagine what our life together would be like without him! Crazy!

I know I have some currently prego friends and family members who read this and have really been wanting to know about the labor part. So, without being graphic or over-the-top I might attempt a summary of that later on tonight since it has been a week but it is still fresh on my mind. :)

Yesterday, since Paul had to work, my mom came over and brought us and Grayson some things we needed and cleaned, did laundry, picked things up, heated up lunch for me, got me something to drink if I was thirsty, watched Grayson so I could shower, held him... she was seriously a saint and a half for me yesterday. And my dad came later in the afternoon after he had just gotten off of a flight in downtown Atlanta to help, too. He held him, fed him, burped him... they just helped me with anything and everything! I didn't realize there was so much that could be done, I guess (I have been in a haze where everything just blurs together). And Grayson had his first all-out crying fit and they helped me with the process of elimination on that, too. It was nice to have help especially because I started having a lot of pain again yesterday and even walking up and down the stairs is hard right now.

Now that all of that is out of my system and into the blogosphere (that's all I can muster and all I think anyone will have time or energy to read)... here is some cuteness to sustain my more visual readers:

I think this was our second day/night home? (I can't keep track)
From Baby Grayson

Emma getting to hold him for the first time
From Baby Grayson

His face gets smushed when we try to burp him like this (leaning forward)
From Baby Grayson

This is one of my dad's favorites (speaking of my dad... I have another blog on that haha)
From Baby Grayson

It's exhausting being so cute
From Baby Grayson

He puts his hands up to his face a LOT (hence the mittens to keep him from scratching)
From Baby Grayson

Paul swaddled him up like a chunky burrito
From Baby Grayson

After his first bath at home:
From Baby Grayson


a few of my favorite moments

This is what I found when I got out of the shower this morning:
From Baby Grayson
I think my favorite thing about Grayson being here so far is watching Paul love on him.  G is quite the snuggler.  He loves to cuddle!

Maybe my favorite picture of Grayson so far:
From Baby Grayson
My other favorite moments since Grayson arrived have been watching my parents get to hold him for the first time.  Since he was in the NICU for the first day and a half, they didn't get to hold him until yesterday morning (three days old).  Doesn't get much sweeter:
From Baby Grayson

From Baby Grayson