Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year in Review


My family makes my world go 'round.



Wow. What a year 2011 has been. Definitely a year of change - a new baby, a big move, and a new house. I have learned so much in the past year - I tolerate certain things more and tolerate other things less. Here are a few things I've learned this year that are becoming daily reminders:

The post-partum hormones don't go away. My heart has gone completely soft these days. I remember sitting on the couch when Isaiah was 5 days old struggling with his first pediatrician's office to get an appointment, then having to sit on the phone with insurance to figure something else out. I was tired, emotional, and irritated and just started crying. I said to my mom, "When do these hormones go away?" Her response: "Never." And they don't. The littlest things make me cry. I cry tears of joy, sadness, and frustration depending on the day and sometimes all emotions at once. So now I've learned to judge the over emotional/feel too deeply people of the world less, especially since I am one of them.

Time flies. Last January was the longest month of my life. I couldn't wait to have Isaiah and be done with pregnancy. Then I had him and blinked and the following 11 months are gone. I have found myself saying things like, "I can't wait until he can roll over...sleep through the night...crawl...walk...(fill in the blank)." I have found now those moments pass all too quickly. I saw a quote the other day that said, "when children are at your feet the days pass slowly but the years pass quickly." That is so incredibly true! As excited as I am to see what Isaiah will accomplish next, I also feel I can wait for the next milestone. Because at the end of almost every day before I close my eyes, I say to Darren, "Can you believe it? Where has the time gone?"

I am a super hero. I am by no means trying to toot my own horn and I don't care who disagrees with me, but I can accomplish more than I ever thought possible. There are days when I feel as strong as superman, as invincible as Wolverine, and as smart as Batman. There are days when I feel I must have 10 arms or two bodies to complete the daily duties I do and still have a happy baby by nightfall. Even on days when I get absolutely nothing done (and I mean NOTHING) and I don't know how I'm going to get through another day, Isaiah still looks at me, reaches for me, and snuggles with me and lets me know in his own way that I am still his super hero. And because of that, I have never felt a stronger purpose in my life.

Take parenting advice with a grain of salt. I love talking babies and parenting with everyone but sometimes I have to remind myself to not take advice so personally (from doctors, friends, family, strangers...anybody!) and not to give advice so definitively. Every baby is different and every parent is different as well. Sometimes it's easy to judge others for the way they parent or the way their kids behave when really, I need to remember that what happens at what age isn't a "by the book" topic and what's normal to me might be abnormal to someone else. What's right for me isn't always right or the comfortable choice for someone else and vice versa. I think it's great to learn and share with one another but certain topics and/or advice shouldn't be taken too personal. After all, no parent wants to feel like they're doing something wrong and we're all trying to do what's best for our babies, right?

Our God is an awesome God. End of story.

As 2011 comes to a close, I can truly say this has been one of the most incredible years of my life. I love my family more than words can express and I am so excited to see what the future has in store for the Moss family. As we begin the new year my resolution is to judge less, and love more (and READ more! Is anyone else having trouble finishing a book since they've had a baby???). Now that I'm a parent I feel like I can get through anything - the good, the bad, the ugly, the dirty - I have to. If not for myself, then for my family. So 2012...bring it!

CHEERS, everyone! And happy New YEAR!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Isaiah's First Christmas!


No way!



Santa came!








This was the best Christmas I've ever had. After spending the last three Christmas's in San Diego it was great to spend this one in Washington with all our families but most of all, with our little guy. I thoroughly loved creating this memory with him.

We did Christmas with Darren's mom early in the week and it was low key and warmed Isaiah up to opening presents - I think he loved playing with the dog and wrapping paper most. Then Christmas Eve was spent with my family. We went to Capital Christian Center's Christmas Eve production at the Performing Arts Center. It was A.MAZ.ING. Besides the fact that we were on the fourth balcony and terrified, the music was great and the message was fabulous. I get chills every time I hear the story of the birth of Christ. This year brought tears to my eyes. Knowing how much I unconditionally love Isaiah reminds me of how incredible it is that God loves us even more. So much that he sent HIS son to live and die for US. Words cannot explain how great God is. In the pastor's message he said all God wants is a relationship from us. That's it. An open honest relationship. Because it's better to have a relationship with forgiveness than a relationship with answers. I love that.

After the service we went to my parent's to open gifts and EAT, EAT, EAT! Again, amazing. My brother made smoked sausage and ham and my dad made prime rib. I about died it was so good. Once we started opening presents it was chaotic, crazy, and wonderful. With all the grand kids there it was hard to distinguish who got who what and where things were buried under all that paper, boxes and bows. And again, amazing. The excitement of Christmas with the Scott family definitely tuckered Isaiah out. He seriously did not move from one position all night.

Christmas morning was a little more mellow than the night before but equally wonderful. Santa laid out his gifts nicely but instead of taring into them, he decided to eat a leftover Santa cookie. Aaah, memories. Isaiah loves all his gifts and Grady helped open most of them. That night Darren's dad and sister came over for dinner. We had a crock pot ham and I swear I'm never baking one again - it was soooo delicious. After everyone left we capped off the night with a glass of wine and we all never slept so good.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Here are pictures from Christmas with Grandma Chris:






Here are some from Christmas Eve (I hardly took any, it was a little crazy!):






And, a few from Christmas night:


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

10 Months!!


Oh my goodness!!!!

My sweet boy is 10 months OLD! He absolutely amazes me every single moment. Isaiah is getting and acting so old it's hard to even consider him a baby anymore. He's busier than ever crawling, climbing furniture and stairs, cruising, and he can now stand on his own. We got him a few walking push toys that he's starting to figure out how to use. I'm in no hurry though - he'll walk on his own time. :)

He likes playing a little more rowdy too - be tossed in the air, wrestling with Grady, running around the house while on my shoulders. I DEFINITELY get a good work out in each day! He's eats pretty much anything and everything we eat and likes to feed Grady while in his high chair. His meals seem to be smaller (surprisingly) but I think it's just because he's more interested in getting back to his day of play.

He's starting to dislike his car seat and the only time I can get him to relax or sleep is if I play "Dear John" by Taylor Swift. It's random but it works. He naps once in the afternoon after having a bottle and sort of nurses in the morning and then again at night.

He wakes up about every 3 hours every night. I think it's because of teething (those top two are finally looking close). He's in his crib half the night and in our bed the other half. We're trying REALLY hard to get him in his crib but I'm so tired. When he doesn't want to be in there he goes ballistic - stands up, starts jumping and screaming. I refuse to leave him like that so I usually just keep laying him down and stay in there and sing to him and rub his back until he gets really close to dosing off then I leave.

Some people have advised to just let him cry and he'll "figure it out." I believe that works for some babies but it's not right for Isaiah. He's very sensitive and requires a lot of nurturing at bed time. Please pray that we get this worked out! I love my little man and there's a part of me that wants him in our bed (I have a little separation anxiety too) but the other part of me really wants to stretch out and sleeeeeep. :)

Other than that, Isaiah is my sweet little angel, full of life, energy and curiosity. I can hardly believe he'll be one in TWO MONTHS!

video
In this video he's "walking" with his toy. He's figuring out how to do it and LOVES the freedom!

A Very Special Christmas


I have always loved the holidays...Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas spirit, and most of all celebrating the birth of Christ. I am even more excited this season to start some traditions with our little one. One thing I decided to do is give every child a copy of Twas the Night Before Christmas. I always loved this book and remember my mom reading it to us every Christmas Eve. I hope to carry on this tradition and also buy a copy for each child we have so they can keep it forever and one day read it to their children. On the inside I wrote a personal note to Isaiah along with the bible verse John 3:16 because I always want him to understand the true Spirit of Christmas and the reason we celebrate such a special holiday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Occupation: Mommy

Recently I had a friend ask me if I was looking at getting back into writing. My initial response was no, but I'd love to. I'd love to one day write a book, I'd love to write for a magazine again, I'd love to wake up every morning, throw on some slacks and rush to the office. But for now, what I love doing is under the roof of my home.

I love waking up with tired eyes and cuddling in bed and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse until someone's too bored to cuddle anymore. I love my dress code for work is sweats, uneaten food, and messy hair. I love that most days I pray for a shower and if any household chore gets completed that's an accomplishment. I love making sure my son is well fed, clean, dresssed cute, and most of all, happy. I love making this house a home and counting down the minutes until my husband gets home from work. I love watching Isaiah crawl to the door with his little bum waddling as he goes to greet his daddy. I love that my life is very full and I couldn't ask for more.

I've always dreamed of one day having a successful career and that dream still exists. But for now, my occupation is mom and I have an even bigger dream for that to be a success.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hungry Toes!

video

I've been trying to get good videos of Isaiah doing all the "things" he does. When Isaiah eats he wiggles his toes. Probably because it's so GOOD! ;) In this video he's also doing his "shake it" after I say "mmm mmm mmm" he usually does it. I love this little guy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Isaiah's First Snow





Two days in a row this last week we woke up to WHITE roof tops, yards, and trees. Snow sure is beautiful! After layering up, I took Isaiah outside to play in it to see his reaction. He was kind of in awe and just smiled at me, Grady, and the snow and sat there sweeping his mitten-covered hands in it. It's so fun experiencing these little parts of life with him.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Did Anyone Else Know This???

This is absolute genius! It makes perfect sense and yet, I had NO idea. Onesies can be pulled UP over the head or DOWN over the shoulders and bum. Obviously this is to prevent getting messes all over or having to do a special roll maneuver to undress the baby after explosive poos. I came across this post on Babycenter and had a slight AH-HA! moment while laying bed last night listening to the snow fall. (aaahhhh, peaceful).

Here's the blog if you're interested: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/11162011-am-i-really-the-only-one-who-didnt-know/.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

9 Months!


And this was as good as I could get! Picture taking (especially a picture that requires laying down) is getting more and more difficult with my little mover.

I can't believe he is 9 months old! The expression "time flies" continues to mean more and more to me each day. This last month was a BIG CHANGE! Not only did we move into our humble abode, Isaiah started CRUISING (walking along furniture) and CRAWLING! And he is quite the comedian I must say. His crawling is hysterical - he crawls on one knee and one foot. Whatever gets the job done, right?

Now he can really play with our dog, Grady, and they are quickly becoming the best of friends. They play together, "fetch" together (Isaiah crawls after Grady's toys), and Grady even cries when Isaiah cries. Most days I have a moment of, "Grady, I'm going to take you to the pound!" but then again, I can't do that to Isaiah. And before I know it, he can be responsible for the feeding and letting the dog out. :)

Isaiah weighs 24 lbs. 5 oz. (97th percentile) and is 29.25 in. long (85th percentile). His appointment with Dr. Delgado went perfect and he only had to get one vaccine (phew!). He doesn't go back in for a check up until he's 1 year - how CRAZY is that?!

He only naps once each day. Usually around 11 or 12 but sometimes later. He basically sleeps 8 PM - 8 AM but he's been waking up several times...A LOT. It's tiring but I just keep telling myself this will not last forever!

With crawling and cruising there are definitely more uh-oh's, owies, and boo-boo's. But I LOVE this stage so far! He has the freedom to do what he wants and go where he wants and we're just along for the ride and having a blast!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


Our little monkey! And Darren and I dressed up as bananas!


Halloween is so much more fun with a kid! Even if he's too young to trick-or-treat. :) Darren and I haven't dressed up for Halloween in so long. Mostly because I never cared for the "wear as little clothes as possible and call it a costume" holiday that seems to be taking over October 31st and Darren was usually working. This year we got to spend Halloween with my family at my parent's church. It was great! Harvest Hatchback is an event my mom's in charge of and everyone decorates the back of their car and kids get to trick-or-treat car to car then go inside and enjoy bounce houses, apple cider, and hot dogs. It was fun, safe, warm, and so perfect for families with small kids.

My dad the whoopie cushion and my mom as Mrs. Potato Head. :)

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gotta Be the Good Life!


I don't know how anyone can look at this face and not smile. Isaiah brings so much joy to our lives - he's always full of laughter, giggles, dances (shake it! shake it!), silly faces, and smiles. He's our little breath of fresh air. Isn't this what life's all about?

Check out those muscles too! He's quite the looker. ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mastitis Round 5

No, I'm not kidding. I got mastitis yet again. Tuesday I woke up feeling really achy and feverish (temperature got up to 100). It became clear to me by the afternoon my right hoo-hoo was infected...again. Either I felt like I was trying to ignore what was going on with my body or I'm so used to getting mastitis that I didn't treat it like a big deal. When Darren got home I had him watch Isaiah so I could take a hot bath and try and work it out myself. He really wanted me to see a doctor so first thing on Wednesday I made an appointment for that afternoon.

Now by that time I was feeling much better: no fever, no aches, just a little tender and the giant red spot had simmered down to a soft pink and it felt more like a sore muscle than anything else. I still decided to go to the doctor because, HELLO! This is the fifth time I've gotten this. I deserve a metal or something.

My new family doctor is Dr. Lee and I really like her. She's much younger than a lot of other doctors so some may fault her for lack of experience but the way I see it, I want my doctor to be young and fresh and talk to me like a friend they're genuinely concerned about (instead of lecturing their child by using scare tactics, etc.). We had a great talk about what was going on. She couldn't believe what I've been through and she doesn't think the nipple shield is entirely responsible if at all but also admits she isn't an expert on breastfeeding. She said she knows plenty of women that use it and don't get mastitis. Luckily I didn't start crying while talking to her because I very well could have. Breastfeeding and I have a love/hate relationship and I can get very emotional about it.

When I was telling her the long tale of mastitis this past year, I said I guess it's my fault for not getting him to latch without the shield sooner because now he laughs when I try to. She stopped me right there and said, "Absolutely not! You are doing a great job. You have a healthy, adorable 8 month old boy. Do not blame yourself." THANK YOU!!! I think anyone that sticks out breastfeeding their child deserves some appreciation, especially if they've dealt with any major complication oh like, getting mastitis five times. It is WORK! It is worth it but it's not easy.

At the end of the appointment, we decided to not do antibiotics again. I didn't feel they were necessary and Dr. Lee doesn't think they always are for mastitis. She thinks it's more important to massage and flush it out naturally. She is going to meet with the breastfeeding nurse and lactation specialist to see what my options are. She was pretty baffled by my case.

It may just be a situation where I take one for the team and battle the infections for a few more months. We shall see...

On a side note, Isaiah is such a ladies man. He bashfully smiled at every nurse and lady in the waiting room. He also does this thing where he blinks dramatically (almost like a wink but with both eyes) and he did that to everyone too. I love him! He makes everything worth it!

UPDATE: I received a call from a nurse from my office. They consulted with lactation specialist in Seattle. She said I have options: 1) pump after nursing one or two times each day to make sure I'm getting drained (yes, nipple shields may not empty me out), or 2) Consult with lactation specialist to get Isaiah to latch without the shield, which could take 4 weeks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Home is Where We Are



As Darren, Isaiah, and I settle into our new home sweet home, I have reflected on a conversation we had about two years ago. I remember so clearly sitting on the couch in our two bedroom apartment in San Diego, talking about how we were growing tired of the San Diego lifestyle. As we went on and on complaining about the things we didn't like about San Diego and wondered when and if we'd ever make it back to Washington, we finally agreed to be happy no matter where we are. We promised to never be unhappy with each other because we're unhappy where we live. And so we never have.

Sure I was so READY to get out of San Diego and it was my biggest hope to move to Washington, but I've always been SO happy with my life with Darren even in our small apartment and being in limbo at my parent's house. Now that we are settling into our own house with our (maybe one day) growing family of three, I have never felt so incredibly blessed. But I've also realized home isn't a place on a map. Home is where we are. Wherever life leads us. Because we don't always know what's next - even if we PLAN to stay here forever. Doesn't God tend to laugh at our plans anyway?

So cheers to loving life, the road we're on, and the people I call home.

Friday, October 14, 2011

8 Months!


Crazy little boy! Keeping mama and daddy busy and getting into EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mastitis Round 4

Yep, I have mastitis again. Wah!!! The only reason it upsets me is because we all just got over colds and Isaiah just got over fifths disease. Can't we catch a break? I've got things to do! At this point, I'm a champ when it come to mastitis. A fever and infection isn't going to stop me from shopping for our new house...no sir-eeee! :)

I've learned recently that nipple shields don't always properly drain milk ducts. And when not properly drained, can cause clogs which can lead to mastitis (I feel like that's such a dirty word now). That in combination with Isaiah weaning off his afternoon feeding, I haven't been getting fully drained and developed a huge clog on the right side. I'm over the fever/aches but still have the clog/infection. Luckily I have leftover antibiotics to help me fight it off too.

Regardless of what the shield may have caused, I'm still so thankful for it. Next time I will try to avoid using it but if necessary I will use it despite the risk. I'll do anything to be sure my babies get the best nourishment from me.

I feel like the breastfeeding devil is after me but I refuse to quit! Afterall, I don't know what Isaiah would do without his nurse. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fifths Disease!


Isaiah's smiley little self...as you can see his cheeks are pretty red. Fifths Disease is also known as "slapped cheek"


His poor little leg! It looked worse in person.


Other leg...


This is the arm it started on. This makes me want to cry!


One thing I absolutely HATE is seeing my baby get sick! I want to protect him with everything I have - take all his hurt, scratches, and boo-boo's but yesterday was a reminder that I can't protect him from everything.

It started yesterday when we were at the fair. We went early so it wasn't very warm yet. In fact it was drizzling at my mom and dad's house. So I dressed Isaiah in a cute little jogging suit. After walking through the barn with all the goats it was getting pretty warm so I took Isaiah's jacket off and he had a small red patch on his elbow (about the size of a quarter). My first reaction was that the hay from the barn somehow got in his stroller and he has hayfever like me. Then I thought that was a little ridiculous (he didn't touch the hay or get of his stroller). I cleaned it off and kept walking around and as we were doing that it seemed to be getting a little worse so I was getting nervous. We decided to pack up and go home.

We cranked the AC in the car (not only because we were hot but we were attributing the rash to the heat). By the time we were home it was almost completely gone. So we thought it was over.

Then it started to show a little bit more on the other arm just before dinner. Hhhmmmm...then after dinner Isaiah was bouncing in his jumper and standing at the coffee table. It was a good hour of playing hard and he worked up a good sweat. Darren gave him some water and stood next to a fan to cool him down but he seemed to be sweating more and more - no fever.

So I nursed him and checked him out head to toe. The rash spread on both his legs and arms and seemed to be starting on his back and his cheeks were bright red but still no fever. We went online and did a little googling on WebMD and came across fifths disease which seemed to fit perfectly. We started to worry and called the on-call nurse. She almost immediately knew it was fifths disease.

Fifths disesase is very common with babies and children. It is a viral infection that simply has to run its course. The rash usually lasts about 10 days and can get inflammed when hot (ah-ha!). Isaiah mostly likely got it from Darren, Isaiah, or me touching something that someone else with it touched (I'm thinking his Doctor's office). It's most contagious the week before the rash appears and can be accompanied by a fever but luckily he hasn't gotten one. Some people get it and show no symptoms at all. The rash is also clearing up quite a bit this morning, still no fever, and he's still a happy boy.

Isaiah feels fine except when he gets hot and the rash doesn't seem to itch or bother him...just me and Darren! Aaahhh, parenting. The worry never ends!

I guess we'll just ride this one out...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Isaiah's Check Up

First off, we love our new pediatrician, Dr. Delgado. He is so great! I really felt like he enjoys what he does and I could tell he loves children. He really took the time to answer ALL of my teeny tiny questions and concerns thoroughly and was very sweet and loving toward Isaiah. Being that he is checking up on someone so very precious to us, I was so thankful he made me feel like I was an important part of his day. Hands down, great doctor!!!

Isaiah is 23 lbs. 4 oz. and 28.5 inches long. He's in the 96th percentile for weight and 88th percentile for height - definitely a big and healthy boy! Dr. Delgado said his motor skills and social skills are excellent and he thinks he'll be crawling in no time. He pulls up on his knees from a sitting position and last night he pulled himself up into a standing position! I can't believe how quickly he is growing up!

Dr. Delgado loves how I'm introducing solid foods and thinks it's great he's already self-feeding. He did recommend starting meat for the iron content. Since he only nurses 4 times each day he may not be getting enough from me. We also started a fluoride supplement for those little teeth he has.

He thinks Isaiah's probably waking up in the middle of the night now because we're staying with my family. The "stress" from the move, living with more people, Darren starting a new job, and buying a house, etc. is probably just causing him to wake up and want his mama. He said to not worry about it until we get settled in our new house and that right now Isaiah just might need a little more comfort from mom and dad so don't worry about him getting into our bed. I love that! And I think he's totally right on.

Just a few more weeks, little man, and we'll finally be settled in our home sweet home!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Family Photo Shoot!

Finally we had one done! It turned out great - I keep wondering why it took me so long. Check it out!