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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I wish I’d known then… I know now

My lovely friends Laura, Beach Bum & Baby, and Lauren are all due any day now to give birth to their much anticipated baby boys. I’m so incredibly happy and excited for my friends, but I must admit their impending new arrivals make me very wistful for the days when Coops was an itty bitty snuggly baby. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about those first few weeks after his birth, and there is so much I know now that I wish I had known then.

You’re bombarded with advice before you give birth. “Sleep now, because you won’t sleep later” and “Enjoy your free time now, because you won’t have any time after he/she is born” are things I heard from almost every person I came into contact with. I’d listen to their advice, smile politely, and then walk away thinking “Whatever. My baby is special/amazing/perfect in every way and life will be wonderful after he arrives.”

Whatever.

Life is wonderful…. but it is also incredibly hard and exhausting. Every minute of lost sleep is totally worth it, but there are some things I wish I had realized beforehand that would have made my transition into mommyhood much easier.

#1 Your body will not bounce right back after birth. When my cousin gave birth, she was up shopping and entertaining the day she came home from the hospital. I used her as my guide for what to expect after labor & delivery, and it wasn’t until I asked her “how the heck did you DO that?” did she admit that she paid for her activity later. Her c-section healing was harder than it needed to be because she tried to do so much right out of the gate.

I experienced some severe tearing with Cooper, and my healing took weeks. Because of his health problems, we had two weeks of daily visits to the doctor. I wasn’t able to just sit and rest. It was weeks before I could sit upright comfortable, and it was about 5 weeks before I really was able to move around and resume my normal activity level.

Not to mention pregnancy comes with a host of aches and pains, and those don’t miraculously disappear the minute you have the baby. Heartburn still occurs several times a week for me. My back still aches some days. Let’s not even mention my saggy tummy and boobs.

Bottom line: give yourself time to heal and get back to normal. Don’t push yourself. You’ll get back into those pre-pregnancy jeans soon enough, and your house can be deep cleaned when you feel up to it.

#2 You will be tired. You can get by on much less sleep than you think you can. Realistically, I knew I would be tired. I didn’t really comprehend how tired, though. I was fine for the first three weeks. Jason was on paternity leave, and my mom was here to help me for the first week. It wasn’t until he went back to work that I really began to feel the lack of sleep.

Babies are sleep a lot… but they wake up a lot to eat, too. Cooper was up every 3 hours for about 30-40 minutes to eat. That meant I was up 3-4 times a night. Fun times! But as tired as I was, I cherished those late night feedings. Tired, snuggly babies? Those moments are priceless.

Everyone says this, but sleep when the baby sleeps. Seriously! I never did, but I wish I had. Those late night feedings would have been so much easier had I had a few cat naps throughout the day.

#3 There will be rough moments. If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know that Cooper wasn’t not the easiest infant. He cried… all the time. For hours on end. I was a stressed out, frazzled mommy. There were times when I would hold him and cry right along with him because I didn’t know how to make it better.

It’s hard to see your baby cry and not know what to do to help them. What I’ve learned, though, is that babies cry sometimes. Sometimes there is nothing we can do to make it better. When you’ve reached the end of your rope, call a friend or family member and ask for help. Hand the baby to your spouse and go do something for yourself for awhile. I never wanted to reach out because I thought it would mean I was failing… but every single person who has had a child understands how you feel and is more than happy to help you if you only ask.

#4 Do what you have to do to survive. The first few weeks of your baby’s life are all about the little one. You’re on his or her schedule, not the other way around. Some days it was all I could do to take a shower. At one point I went 11 days without stepping foot outside my house. I think I wore the same pair of sweat pants for 80% of my maternity leave.

Who cares? I made it through, and so will you. No one cares if your house isn’t perfect. It doesn’t matter if you have to eat sandwiches or take out for a few weeks.

If someone offers to help you, LET THEM! Let your church set up meal delivery for the week after you get home. Let your mom do your laundry. The husband can clean your house. Spend your time with the baby and worry about the other stuff later.

#5 Time flies by. I feel like I blinked and 6 months passed. Cherish the time with your little one. Sit for hours and hold him or her. Cuddle all your can. Before you know it, this time will have passed. Take lots of pictures and make lots of memories that you can cherish later.

Moms, what have you realized? What do you wish you had known before you gave birth?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Giveaway – Fancy Cuts

GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Congrats to LG!

Happy Monday, everyone! I’ve got a super cute giveaway for all the moms and moms-to-be out there.

If you’re anything like me, you have tons of white onesies for your little one. They are so convenient – perfect for playtime and bedtime, and easy to bleach when they get inevitable stains. With the abundance of white onesies in Cooper’s drawer, I began to search for some ideas to spruce those plain onesies up.

In my search, I stumbled across Fancy Cut’s etsy shop. Fancy Cuts features appliqués for a variety of projects – perfect for plain t-shirts and onesies! How cute are these?

Set of four pastel bunnies, $5.50

Big bro, $6.50

Elephant, $2.95

I was sent three appliqués to try out. The application couldn’t be easier. The fabric is backed with either heavy duty (for iron on only) or light weight (for sewing) bonding. I opted for the heavy duty bonding since I don’t know how to sew. Simply peel off the paper backing and iron on to the fabric of your choice.

*This is where I should warn you of the importance of peeling off the paper backing. I forgot this not once but TWO times and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it wasn’t adhering to my fabric. Duh.*

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Fancy Cuts is giving away a $10 gift certificate. To enter, simple tell me which appliqué you would choose and what you would apply it to. I’ll announce the winner this Friday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Likes to Shop

*This page is a work in progress.*

Interested in advertising on My Chihuahua Bites? Would you like me to feature your products or sponsor a giveaway? Contact me at mychihuahuabitesblog{at}gmail{dot}com.

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JC’s Favorite Blogs

*This page is a work in progress*

My blog was designed by The Design Girl. I highly recommend her for all your design needs!

Lovely Friends

Mommy Bloggers

Yummy Recipes

Decor Divas

Craft Mavens

Fashionistas

Tweeties

  • @thedesigngirl
  • @BeachBumandBaby
  • @grizas
  • @mindymilner
  • @preppybumpkin
  • @sealaura
  • @PaigeCoop
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  • @The_Pink_Owl
  • @MrsHarvardAce
  • @allthelilstuff
  • @jenjentrixie
  • @mommy2charli
  • @RebeccaJane80
  • @mrskellystamps

I participate in the following websites and/or linkie parties:

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tip-junkie_I-was-featured The Tip Junkie

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Tuesdays at the Table

All the small stuff Tues at the Table Red Gingham_edited-1Click on the picture to participate

I’ve got the perfect summer recipe for you! When I first heard of the concept of grilled salads, I thought it sounded crazy. Grilled lettuce? Say what?! Y’all, it is surprisingly good.

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Grilled Vegetable Salad

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 squash
  • One bag of romaine hearts
  • One onion
  • One carton cherry tomatoes
  • One carton feta cheese

Half the squash, zucchini, and onion. Brush with olive oil and grill until soft. Leave the core of the romaine heart intact, and cut each heart in half. Brush with olive oil and grill for 1-2 minutes each side – just until the lettuce starts to wilt. Cut up the squash, zucchini, onion, and lettuce and combine. Add one carton of cherry tomatoes and as much feta cheese as you like. I made a dressing of white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil, but you can use whatever you like.

My husband gobbled 3 bowls of this stuff, so you know it is good! Try it and let me know what you think.

What’s cooking, ladies?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Famous Chihuahuas

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George was the first chihuahua to enter our lives. Before we got married, Jason and I had talked about getting a dog that would keep me company while he was out to sea for months on end. He left for deployment sooner than we expected, and we weren’t able to find a dog before he left. While I was visiting my parents, I went to the mall and wandered into the pet store. There was a tiny chihuahua, staring at me with his big pitiful eyes. The employee, sensing an easy mark, invited me to hold him. I was hooked. 15 minutes later, he was mine.

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I had no idea what to name him. I woke up in the middle of the night and inspiration struck – George! (I should have gone back to bed and tried again later.) George weighed in at an itty bitty 5 pounds for about 5 months, and (in what seemed like) overnight he gained about 8 pounds. Apparently the pet store was less than truthful - George was not a pureblood chihuahua. We are 90% sure that he has some Jack Russell in him.

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George is quite the character. Of the two chihuahuas, he is the affectionate one. Despite his size, he will find a way to wiggle into any lap that will hold him. He loves to be held, but he also loves his alone time. If he isn’t in our laps, he is most likely lying on our bed, asleep. George loves to play and jump. He is a fierce protector. He barks endlessly at all intruders, but he is the first to give in and make friends once he realizes our guests are not there to hurt us.

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We got JC in April 2004. JC is a purebred chihuahua, and he rules the roost. When we brought JC home, he wanted nothing to do with George. We eventually started crating them together, and through that they developed a tolerance for one another. When we’re around, they like to pretend that they don’t like one another. However, whenever they think no one is looking, I catch them giving kisses and cuddling up against one another.

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JC is the alpha dog. He climbs all over George – I see him using George as a stepping stone or sleeping on top of him all the time. JC loves to cuddle, but only if we’re actively giving him attention. He will sit for hours if he’s getting belly rubs, but the minute we stop he’s off to bigger and better things. He does not like it when George takes our attention.

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JC does not like strangers. Period. He loves Jason and me, and he likes my parents, but anyone else is no bueno. It takes him a very long time to warm up to people, and most of the time we have to leave him alone with that person for him to form an attachment.

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I view my pets as family members. As challenging and exasperating as they are sometimes, they are here for life. I love my boys. They have been the one constant in my life since I’ve gotten married. Through deployments, moves, changes in job, pregnancy, you name it – they’ve been there when others have not. They keep me sane and provide me with endless hours of entertainment.

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I have fun times dressing up my dogs in costumes. They aren’t crazy about it, but I’m convinced they tolerate because they love me. Of course, they get their revenge by shedding all over every nice piece of clothing I own, hogging the covers, and passing horrendous gas just when I’m about to fall asleep. Fun times.

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Did I mention that JC talks? He does. Here’s the proof.


My Boys

Meet Jason

Picture 159 Loves his fruity beverages

Allow me to introduce you to my husband, Jason. Jason is a submariner in the US Navy. He joined the Navy in 2002, and served as a nuclear electrician on the USS Nebraska for 5 years. He is currently stationed in Charleston, SC and is working as an instructor to sailors who plan to serve in the nuclear field.

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Jason is the most easy-going person you will ever meet. He has never met a stranger and will talk your ear off about every subject under the sun. He loves science, astronomy, history, computer gaming, fishing, and football. He is a great sous-chef in Andrea’s kitchen, but he is master of the grill. No one scoops up doggie poop better. On a serious note, Jason is the best father Cooper could ever hope to have.

Our Story

A&JCharlestonApt.Summer 2003

Jason and I met in December 2002. We were both living in Charleston, South Carolina at the time – me for graduate school and him for his Navy schooling. One night I was bored, so I logged into a local Yahoo chat room. He was there as well, and we chatted for a bit. He added me to messenger, and we continued to talk through the next couple of weeks. I viewed him as a friend and nothing more. Our talks never veered into romantic territory.

A&JSummer 2005

At the same time, I was trying my hand at online dating, with disastrous results. After a particularly horrid date, I logged on and told him about my experience. I vowed to never again date someone I had “met” online. He responded “Really? I was going to ask you out.” I gave him my number, and we talked for hours that night. We made plans to meet the next day for coffee.

DSC00324July 26, 2007

We had great conversations over coffee, and before we left that night, he asked me out for the following Wednesday. I can remember going home and telling my girlfriend “he isn’t Mr. Right, but maybe he’s Mr. Right Now.” Our first date was on December 8, 2002.

DSC01723April 2009 – Jason trying to do the sorority girl pose, and me trying to get away from him

We had a bit of a rocky start. We went out on a few dates and then I went home for a few weeks for the Christmas break. We dated for another few weeks before I came down with mono and had to move back home for a month to recuperate. I came back to Charleston in February 2003, and something just clicked between us – from that point on we were inseparable. Jason proposed on March 26, 2003 and we married on July 26, 2003.

And Baby Makes Three…

Disney 604 December 2009

In April of 2009, Jason and I started to talk about having a baby. In fact, if you are a long time reader of my blog, you’ll remember when I asked for advice on whether or not it was the right time to have a baby. We started trying in April, and we found out I was pregnant on May 26, 2009. It was a complete surprise – we never expected to get pregnant so quickly.

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Cooper Brayden was born on January 14, 2010. He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 17 inches long. Cooper is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I give thanks to God every day for blessing me with this son. Every day is an adventure, and my life is full of smiles and laughter now that there is a baby in the house. I’m so incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful husband and son!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ABC’s of me

I’m pretty sure I have used this exact title before. Forgive my lack of creativity. It’s possible I’ve done this MeMe before as well. Mommy brain is REAL and has stolen any capacity I have to remember what I did 5 minutes ago, much less months ago. I lost my calendar this week and had a full on meltdown because I literally cannot remember a thing unless I write it down.

Also, the 5 months post? Yep, he’s one week away from being 6 months. Mommy of the Year, y’all, Mommy of the Year.

Let’s get this party started, shall we?

A- My AIR CONDITIONER is set on: Before I had Cooper, we kept the AC on 78 degrees. Now we set it on 78 during the day and 76 at night. This isn’t because I’m cold natured or because it isn’t hot as blazes here, but because I’m cheap. My electric bill runs $200 even on 78 degrees, so I’m afraid to see the total if I cranked it down to 72 like I wish I could.

B- My BEDROOM theme is: I don’t really have a theme, although I guess you could say it is beachy. 

C- The CAR in the driveway is: I drive a Kia Sportage and Jason drives a Mitsubishi Gallant.

D- My DESK looks: terrible. It has a desktop, printer, laptop, and tons of random papers scattered all over the place.

E- The EXACT time I wake up daily is: 6:45ish during the week and whenever Cooper wakes up on the weekends.

F- The FIRST thing I wash in the shower is: my hair.

G- My GARAGE is filled with: everything but our cars. There is tons of stuff to go to Goodwill, storage totes, empty boxes, and stuff that won’t fit/doesn’t go into the house. It is a hot mess.

H- My HOUSE is: a poor decision I made. Jason and I got orders to come to South Carolina, and bought our house only by pictures we received through email. Our layout is terrible – there is tons of wasted space because we have 25 foot ceilings in our living room.

I- If you peeked INSIDE my bedroom you'd see: laundry, suitcases from my trip home a few weekends ago, and an unmade bed.

J- My favorite JUICE is: I’m not a big juice drinker, but I do love orange juice or pineapple juice with vodka.

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K- The best part of my KITCHEN is: the size! My kitchen is huge.

L- The LAST person who visited my home was: my parents, my brother and SIL, my niece and nephew, and my SIL’s father. They were here for the 4th of July.

M- The last piece of MAIL for me was: mommy cards from VistaPrint!

N- My NEIGHBORS think I'm: stuck up? I don’t socialize much. I’m good friends with the neighbor to my left, but in general I just nod politely or wave when I’m outside.

O- If you OPENED my fridge you'd see: leftover from this weekend: chicken salad, pimento cheese, chicken, hot dogs, etc.

P- My last house PARTY was: I’ve never had a party at this house.

Q- A QUICK meal I like to fix is: I love Suddenly Salad ranch and bacon with a can of tuna mixed in. So yummy!

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R- My favorite ROOM of the house is: Cooper’s nursery!

S- The SHAMPOO brand I use is: I switch out pretty frequently, but right now I’m using Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner.

T- My largest TELEVISION is: I have no idea! 32, maybe?

U- UNDER my bed you will find: bags of clothes.

V- The last time I VACUUMED was: this weekend. Shameful.

W- Looking out my WINDOW I see: our cars and the neighbor’s house

X- I wish I had X-TRA: money. I would do good with it, universe! I promise!

Y- My YARD is: a little bit of a wreck. I let the flower beds go when I first had Cooper and they desperately need to be weeded.

Z- ZZZZZZZ My bedtime is: midnight most nights.

Let me know if you participate so I can come and see your answers!

5 Months Old

Dear Cooper,

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On June 14th, 2010 you turned 5 months old. You are such a little man! Your dad and I can’t believe how much you grow each and every day. We are so excited about all the ways you are learning and developing each day.

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You weigh about 16 pounds this month. You’ve gained two pounds! You drink 8 ounce bottles every 4 hours. You’ve tried a bunch of different baby foods, although you don’t eat baby food every single day. You like apples, pears, bananas, carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes. You do not like prunes or rice cereal. You love it when I slice up a bit of banana and put it in your mesh feeder to eat. You cry for more when you’re done!

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You have mastered the art of rolling over. You love tummy time now! You still love your play mat, but you aren’t crazy about the exersaucer. You still love to watch Baby Einstein videos, and sometimes you watch Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the mornings while I get ready for work.

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You chew on everything and anything you can get your hands on. You love to play with your feet, and your hands are always in your mouth. If you could manage it, you would have your hand and foot in your mouth at the same time!

We stopped swaddling you this month. You were fussing when I tried to wrap you up and busting out of the swaddle during the night, so we decided you were ready to sleep without it. As soon as we stopped swaddling you, you started sleeping on your stomach.

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You had your first trip to the beach this month! We spent a couple of days at Edisto with our family and friends. You had a great time and got lots of attention.

Your daddy and I love to sing “Toes” to you, and that weekend you got to live it!

Picture 273Toes in the water….

Picture 264Bottom in the sand….

Picture 249Not a worry in the world, a Similac in your hand….

Picture 318Life is good today, life is good today.

We love you so much, Cooper bear. I can’t imagine what our lives would be like without you.

Love,

Mommy

Thursday, July 1, 2010



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