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>> Monday, January 31, 2011

If someone would have handed me a crystal ball after the first time I nursed Jackson and said I'd still be nursing 20 months later, I would have laughed in their face. To be honest, I talked bad about people that nursed for too long. And by my definition, I reached too long a long time ago.

I mean sure, I was going to nurse or at least give it a try.  I had to give it a try. I was promised that it would help me loose the baby weight, and that was enough for me! Did I mention that I'm lazy and just the thought of working out exhausts me?!?

With that said, nursing did not start off easy.  Jackson and I got off to a rough start. His latch sucked, literally. My nipples cracked and it was down right painful. Every Lactation Consultant I talked to kept saying it shouldn't hurt if I was doing it right.

Well, how do you do it right?!? I'm still not sure that's something someone can tell you.  And I can't tell you the times that I just showed up at the LC office in panic. Nursing hurt, and it hurt bad.  Numerous nights I would cringe when it was time to nurse, again. The pain would shoot down through my toes.

However, my crazy hormones made me feel like I had something to prove. No pain, no gain, right?!? There was no way I was going to let my body fail me.  I may not have been able to get pregnant the good ol' fashion way, but dammit, I was going to breastfeed!

And with some positive reinforcement, some helpful advice, and by the grace of God, we got it.  Jackson learned to open his mouth and latch that beautiful latch you see in the books.  We found the position that worked best for us.  And we fell in love with our time together.

I was never an "on-demand" nurser, which I actually think helped us.  I always knew I was going back to work and would have to stick to a schedule.  My only regret is that I didn't start Jackson on a set schedule earlier.  For us, schedule is key! When Jackson ate, he ate.  He was hungry and it was time.

As Jackson got older we spaced out our feeding times.  From every two hours, to three, to four...etc.  When Jackson seemed to be ready to drop a session, we'd gradually drop it.  He would always nurse for shorter periods of time when he got ready to drop that feeding.  I'd just help him along, which helped me too.  For example, when it was time to drop the middle of the night feeding I knew because he'd play more then he'd nurse.  So, I'd nurse for shorter periods of time until we got down to just a few minutes on each side.  After a few nights of this, he'd sleep through the feeding and so would I, without engorgement!!! 

Somewhere over the last 6 months Jackson was down to only nursing in the morning and before bed.  When he was a little over 1.5 years old, I decided that the morning needed to be dropped.  I waited until after he recovered from his surgery, and gradually nursed for shorter and shorter periods of time.  Looking back, I wish I would have dropped this feeding a long time ago.  I became dependent on it to start my day and was waking him up.  Now, he's sleeping until 8:30, straight through the night!

Weaning Jackson completely gave me huge anxiety.  My pediatrician is a huge breastfeeding advocate and kept me going for a long time.  Breastfeeding never cramped my life or our lifestyle.  I believe that Jackson needed all the immunities I could give him.  And our bath, boob, bed routine just worked for us.

But, all good things must come to an end, at some point.  And that point was the birth of my sister's baby.  As much as I wanted to go and help her, I knew that I would have to leave Jackson at home.  Any of you with toddlers know that you're little help with them in tow!

Purchasing my plane ticket was the point of no return.  I had a little over one week to savor my last breastfeeding times with Jackson.  And just like the times before, I nursed for shorter and shorter times.  We started around 7 minutes on each side, 5, 3, and ended at 2 minutes.  Taking him off my breast at 3 and 2 minutes was hard.  He cried for a minute, but I used his blanket to comfort him.

Our last time was special and sweet and easier than I imagined it to be.  I certainly soaked up every second of it and let him nurse as long as he wanted.

Poor Mr. had the lucky duty of putting him to bed for the first time without nursing when I was in St. Louis.  To both of our surprise, he didn't shed one tear.

Last night was the first night I was back home for bedtime, and it was okay.  Instead of nursing, we read a new book.  Jackson went down just fine and my breasts only got a little sore.

So my friends, that's how I did it.  20 months of breast feeding.  No formula.  No milk.  No engorgement.  No leaking.  No pain.

Now, if I could just get Jackson to drink cow's milk, we'd be good:)



Closed for business

>> Thursday, January 27, 2011

Well ladies, it's official, this momma's milk making factory is closed for business. I have been gradually weaning Jackson since Christmas, but last night was the last time.  I'm in St. Louis for the next three nights, so this really is it:( We probably could have gone on nursing forever, but I was in fear that we'd end up like that couple from the Grown-ups, still nursing at 48-months:)

Nursing was just easy, once we figured it all out, and worked so well for us.  I'll always treasure that special bond and time with Jackson.  I thought that I would cry and be emotional about the last time, but I just tried not to think about and soaked it all in.

I'll write more about my weaning process soon.  Until then, here's to almost 20 months of nursing my sweet boy!




Do you shellac?

>> Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This may be old news to some of you, but I just have to share - Have y'all heard of Shellac nail polish?!?

I think Stephanie first told me about the polish, since she lives in a big city, she knows about this kind of stuff. My sister also told me, but her nail salon hadn't gotten the polish in yet when we were there over Christmas. Well I finally found a couple of nail salons here that are using this new polish!

I bit my nails as a young girl, but then one day I wanted to have "pretty nails" like my mom and grandma. They encouraged me to stop biting them, and poof, I had beautiful nails. My "nail ladies" have even mistaken them for being acrylic. But, I've never had fake nails a day in my life, unless you count press on nails for playing dress-up:)

However, over the past two weeks my beautiful nails have one-by-one gone to hell.  Every time I turned around they were breaking off.  And not just a little break, they were breaking so low that I was tearing my nail beds. It sucked!

So in pain and panic, I decided to give this Shellac business a try. It's guaranteed for two weeks, and can last up to three. It seemed like a no brainier to me. Did I mention that it only costs a few dollars more then my regular french manicure?!?

Saturday morning I went to the salon and said I wanted Shellac polish. The girls went into the back, like it was some secret, and brought out the polish colors I had to pick from.  The process took a little longer than my normal manicure, but when I was done my nails were totally dry. You just have to bake your hands with a UV light for two minutes!

I had my nails done Saturday and so far I've had no chips, breaks, or smuggdes. I've given Jackson three baths. I decorated my front door for Mardi Gras. And I've started packing for St. Louis. All of these things would have caused my normal polish to wear by now!

As of today, I'm thinking the $13 was well worth the price.  I may be singing a different tune when I'm soaking my hands in pure acetone to get it off though:) I'll let you know!



Jackson love

>> Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jackson may grow up to read this blog and wonder if his baby cousin Amelia has taken over our family blog, so I thought I'd calm his fears. Amelia will have a special place in my heart, but nothing in comparison to my little man:)

Jackson, you make my life sweeter and my heart love deeper. You've taught me to be patient, or at least to have more patience. I live to hear your sweet laugh and watch you grow. Your daddy makes my heart melt when I see the two of you together. I know that you two will have an amazing bond over sports, and hunting, and your eagerness to learn. It never fails, whenever you see a football or a game on TV - you run for the ball or clap and cheer at the TV. To say this makes your daddy a happy man is a bit of an understatement!

I hope that you always stay this sweet and love life as much as you do today. I love you to the moon and back sweet boy!



She's Here!!!

>> Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Amelia Maechler Short was born last night via c-section at 5:16PM. Her time of birth also happens to be my sister's birth date. How cool is that?!?

Maechler was my Grandma's maiden name, so Megan only thought it was fitting to use it as Amelia's middle.

Birth stats - 5lbs. 14oz., 18.5" long, and has a head full of black hair.

She seems to favor her daddy's looks and has the same "crinkle" on her ears. The new parents are so in love with their daughter, as am I:) I cannot wait to get up to St. Louis next week to take care of them all at home!

Hearing Amelia's cry over the phone literally melted my heart. It was almost as special as hearing Jackson's first sweet cry. Who know that the birth of your sister's baby could be so emotional?!? I mean with a face as precious as this, how could it not be!

Newborn Amelia

Jackson checking out his new cousin for the first time!

Sweet kisses for Amelia

He already loves her too:)

All clean and snuggled up with her momma

Finally seeing my niece, and falling head over heels in love with her!

Amelia looking so much like her daddy this morning



Dear Amelia,

>> Monday, January 17, 2011

To my dearest niece, Amelia:

Tomorrow we will be they day we celebrate the birth of YOU! A day that we've all been looking forward to for the past nine months. And because your momma needed some extra advice on how to make you, I've been especially been anxious to meet you:) I'm not sure what it is about you and your cousin, but you must be super anxious to meet us too.  We weren't expecting you for a few more week, so I feel a little unprepared for your arrival!

Your momma on the other hand, is more than ready.  You haven't exactly made her life easy these last nine months, which I'm sure you'll hear all about for the rest of your life:)  Megan, your momma, is my little sister.  You will soon find out just how lucky you are that she's yours.  She is one of the most caring, creative, and loving people I know.  Oh sure, we've had our moments, and I'll tell you all about them when you're older.  But, she is going to be the best momma!

Megan has been known to take some extreme measures to protect the ones she loves. So be gentle on her.  She has no earthly idea how much you are going to change her life, but it is going to be amazing.  I only know this because I'm already a momma, and well because I just know stuff;)

You see the moment that your teeny tiny little body is held above the operation curtain and you let out your first little cry - your parents are going to be over the moon in love with you.  They only think they know what love is, but they have no idea the emotions they will feel when they meet you.  You'll see it in their eyes, and you'll know.  You'll know that you have entered a world that is full of love just for you!

Your daddy is going to hold you tight and protect you from everything in his power.  I made sure he had some practice with your cousin, Jackson:)  Don't be afraid sweet girl, your daddy has changed the poopiest of poppy diapers, so he's no rookie.  Your daddy is like a brother to me, and I've watch him grow up to be such a wonderful man.  You will want to marry a boy just like him some day.  He may not let you out of the house until your 18, but when he does, you'll know just what to look for! 

I cannot believe the day has come for you to live on the outside of your momma's tummy.  When I got the call this morning I sat at my desk and cried tears of joy, and I haven't been able to stop them all day.  As soon as I can make my way to St. Louis I'm going to spoil you with kisses and cuddles.  I may not be there for your birth, but I'll be there soon after to take extra special care of you and your momma.

I hope that you'll always know who I am and the unconditional love I have for you!

“Only an Aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, 
and share love like a friend.”
~ Spanish Proverb

My beautiful sister, check out her maternity pics here!



RSV & Pneumonia

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My poor baby is sick, really sick.

Jackson got progressively worse all of last week.  By Saturday night he was terrible, and still running fever since last Tuesday evening. Jackson's little teething/cold from Friday had turned into something fierce. He was gagging and gasping for air. His cough quickly turned into a bark, and the wheezing about gave me a panic attack.

On Sunday the breathing treatments were not helping - at all.  I took Jackson to an urgent care and the doctor said that Jackson had RSV and/or Mycoplasma pneumonia. He didn't even run tests of him because he was so "text book". We left the urgent care and headed to our trusty pharmacy for more prescriptions.

More antibiotics, more oral steroids, more breathing treatments.

Sunday and Monday night were rough. Watching your child struggle to breath is so hard. I just want to crawl inside of his body and breath for him. When we woke up Tuesday morning, I went straight to our pediatrician's office. I just didn't see any improvement in Jackson and holding him down for 15 minutes, every 4 hours for a breathing treatment was wearing me down.

Our pediatrician was in shock when he saw us. He could not believe that Jackson's little cold turned into this - He confirmed that Jackson definitely has pneumonia and tested positive for RVS.

Jackson got a big shot of stronger antibiotics in his thigh. Then a stronger steroid breathing treatment...which scared all of the babies in the waiting room. Poor boy had just had enough, not to mention he also had an allergic reaction to the shot in his thigh. So, now we're doing a inhaler instead of the breathing machine, and this makes Momma happy!

After Jackson's pretty traumatic doctors appointment, we dropped off more prescriptions to be filled and then headed to the hospital to have some lab work done. We're all concerned as to why Jackson keeps getting so sick. Jackson was not happy when they had to draw his blood, but luckily the lab was next door to the gift shop so I got Jackson a lot of balloons:)

Today was a better day. The antibiotics seem to be doing their job and Jackson is breathing much easier! We got his blood test results back this afternoon, which just confirmed his diagnosis and didn't find anything wrong or alarming. Thank you, God!

I've been working from home all week, and trying to keep Jackson quiet. The more active he is, the more he wheezes. Surprisingly, I have been able to get a lot of work done. I'm hardly sleeping so I can listen for Jackson's breathing, so I have a lot of time to work!

I can't help but wonder if Jackson's having all of these respiratory issues because he was born 4 weeks early. I hate that my body wasn't able to cook him as long as he needed to be. And although he looked perfectly healthy and was almost 8 pounds, maybe his lungs needed more time.

I'm seriously considering putting Jackson in a bubble, for the next 18 years!



19 months...

>> Sunday, January 9, 2011

At 19 months, here's what Jackson is up to:

weighs 30lbs.
is about 33" tall, still a little on the short side
seems to be sick, more than well
has a mouth full of teeth
loves to play with a ball or a balloon or anything in my make-up/hair drawer
eats bananas like there's no tomorrow
uses a fork, and well
loves to be chased and play hide and seek
pushes his trucks and furniture all over the house
kisses, sweet sweet kisses, all the time
puckers up his lips to give kisses when you tell him "no"
still isn't the best sleeper, and well I'm accepting that
talks a lot, just not English yet...
he definitely verbally communicates, we're just not sure what he's saying
I don't have a "word list", see above
he loves elmo, dinosaurs and cars
still takes a good afternoon nap to recharge
throws a ball
puts his hands up in reply to "how big is Jackson?!?"
refuses to drink milk, organic, silk, soy, skim, 2% - we've tried it all
only nurses before bed...which is about to end very soon



First week back to work & the sitter's

>> Saturday, January 8, 2011

I don't know about the rest of you, but this past week was hard. After almost two straight weeks without bedtimes, alarm clocks, and 24/7 emails it was back to reality.  During my time off I did some "unplugging" and soaked up my time with my boys. I feel like Jackson has grown up so fast and I'm missing it. Every time I turn around he's changing!

Speaking of change, the new year meant back to work for Momma and new arrangements for Jackson. Amidst our crazy unsuccessful search for a new nanny our neighbor offered up her services to us. Like I've said before, she has three children of her own and has started watching a couple others as well. So, the situation was perfect! Jackson loves her and her kids, they are all sweet blond babies as well:) Anyway, I was really happy that Jackson would be able to interact with kids his own age. He is such a social little boy!

I packed a box full of food, toys, diapers and wipes to take with Jackson so that we wouldn't have to bring that sort of stuff everything.  Monday came early, and I was running around like a crazy woman.  Mr. ended up walking Jackson over to the sitters so that I wouldn't be too late for work.  He said that Jackson never looked back and was ready to play.  When I got home that evening, Jackson was so not ready to come home.  I know that he missed me, but it made my heart so happy to know that he was having fun!

Tuesday was a little crazy, which was all my fault.  Jackson had his follow-up appointment with his ENT and I totally forgot to set my alarm.  I woke up at 7:45, brushed my teeth, put on some sweats and we ran out the door.  Jackson's appointment was at 8:15! After his appointment we dropped him off and I ran through a quick shower before heading to work...I'm sure my co-workers appreciated that:)

Wednesday and Thursday went pretty well.  Jackson is cutting all four of his eye teeth which has given his little bottom the worst case of diaper rash I've ever seen.  He has also caught a little cold, so my poor boy was a mess by Friday.  I got him in to see his pediatrician Friday morning, oh how I thought these days were going to be in our past! He gave him some medicine for his butt, the diaper rash has turned into a yeast infection?!? He's also on medicine to dry up his nose and breathing treatments as needed...Jackson just can't catch a break.  I'm tried, really really tired.

Did I mention that I weaned Jackson down to just nursing before bed over the holidays?!? My sick boy just woke up from his nap...more on that later.  Happy Saturday loves:)



Wordless Wednesday: Cousins

>> Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My sister-in-law took this picture on Christmas Eve...I think Jackson was thinking that he and his cousin scored big time with Santa at Nana & Papaws! And boy, did they ever! I can't wait to break out the fun jump:)



Three men & a toddler: Playing in the snow

>> Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Growing up in St. Louis meant that I had my fair share of waking up to a white Christmas and snow days. And I had more than my fair share during my college days in Des Moines, Iowa. My boys on the other hand, have not. So while I certainly don't miss the slush and mess of the snow, watching my boys enjoy it's beauty and fun just warms my heart.

When we were in St. Louis for Thanksgiving, the weather teased us with about 30 minutes of heavy flurries. Jackson was unsure of the cold, white, fluffy stuff falling from the sky and certainly did not like the cold.

But, this trip Momma came prepared with fleece lined coats, hats and mittens. I did learn however that just because you pack them doesn't mean that your Mr. can find them when the time comes:) St. Louis was covered with snow on Christmas, just in time for us to enjoy it this trip!

Mr. was so excited to go out and buy Jackson his first sled. Actually, it was Mr.'s first sled too! It's hard to believe that my husband had never experienced the thrill of scoping out the best hill, building the perfect ramp, and sledding the snow-day away. Luckily, my brother-in-law was able to change all that!

So, during the week we were in St. Louis Jackson spent many afternoons with "the guys" {Mr., my brother-in-law, my dad, and my step-dad} sledding and playing in the snow.  No matter how young or old - boys will be boys!

Pop & Daddy "making it snow"

Hey this is pretty cool stuff!

What's this?!?

Hey Daddy, my hands sure are cold?!?

Look, snow!

uh oh, I can't feel my fingers!!! Where are my mittens???

Not so sure about this...

Let's try some more...

Back out and ready for a sleigh ride!



Our Five Christmases...

>> Monday, January 3, 2011

Hello fabulous bloggers, oh how I've missed you so! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Somehow the last two weeks have completely flown by and I'm in disbelief that it's 2011.

As always, I have lots to blog about, so I'm just going to jump right back in where I last left off.

The Sunday before Christmas we celebrated our first of five Christmases with my Mom, Loli & Pop. It was a really nice day, and my Mom cooked a fabulous beef tenderloin. It was amazing, but not nearly as amazing as our present this year...we were each handed an envelop with our travel itinerary and jeep rental for our week long vacation in St. John. The whole crew of us will be staying here and I cannot wait! My parents always take us on a summer family vacation, but this time they've outdone themselves:) On top of the travel plans, Jackson had lots of packages to open.  He's one lucky lil man:)

A puppy mat for naps in the beach house!
The week leading up to Christmas I spent a home with Jackson after his surgery.  We didn't get too much done beside snuggling and watching lots of his shows.  He definitely needed a little extra TLC and Motrin every 4 hours that week.  Jackson slept great that week, but was pretty cranky during the day.  I was glad to be able to stay home with him, and nurse him back to health! It was hard to get into the Christmas spirit, the holiday came so quick and I just couldn't get my act together!

On Christmas Eve we went to church with Loli & Pop and then headed over to Mr.'s mom's house for our second Christmas.  We spend every Christmas Eve at her house, which works well for us.  She puts on a big spread and we normally stay too late eating and drinking too much! Jackson had loads of fun playing with Nana & Papaw and his cousin too.  Nana had too many packages to keep track of and spoiled us all way too much! We're so enjoying our new coffee pot and I can't wait to have a new house to fill with lots of things from Pottery Barn:)

Christmas morning Jackson woke up and was ready to play with all his new toys! Loli, Pop, Uncle Cameron, and Uncle Griffen all came over to watch Jackson unwrap his presents from Santa.  Let's just say Momma did most of the unwrapping and has sent Santa a memo that Jackson would prefer to have the toys set out on Christmas morning as opposed to beautifully wrapped under the tree;)

Speaking of the packages under the tree, Mr. totally spoiled his bride again this year.  Remember this wishlist?!? Well let's just say that my wrist looks very nice with this, that complements this bag on my shoulder with this and this in it! Mr. must have agreed with Santa on which list I was on this year:)

Are you still with me??? Only two Christmases left, I'm trying to keep this short!

After Jackson's long Christmas nap, we headed over to Mr.'s dad's house for our fourth Christmas.  Jackson had lots of cousins to play with over there and had so much fun.  He really loves being around people and gives out lots of sweet sugars.  It's a wonder that Jackson isn't sick as a dog with all the kisses he gave out!   Mimmy & Beh had a nice envelop for Momma and Mr. and some big boy stuff for Action Jackson.   Jackson is going to love coloring on his new table and chairs, instead of Momma's hardwood floors!

I'm getting bits and pieces together in preparation and inspiration for Jackson's big boy room.  I'm so anxious to put it all together, but I'll keep him in a crib for as long as possible.

We normally celebrate Christmas at my mom's with my sister on Christmas day, but she was too pregnant to travel this year.  So after we visited with the Wilson's, we came home to pack the car and head to St. Louis the next morning...

I know, I must be nuts, but it's just not the holidays without all of your family! We woke up on the 26th and drove 12 hours to have our fifth and final Christmas with my sister and my dad.  Loli & Pop were up their too, so my sister had a full house once again.  My dad was more than generous with an envelop for each of us, and Aumee (AUnt MEgan) and Uncle Chris got Jackson this precious big boy chair!

We were extra lucky to have a white Christmas in St. Louis and Jackson loved the snow this trip.  The week deserves a post of it's own, so please come back y'all:)

Happy New Year!

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