Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Photo Challenge

So, my niece Kianna posted this on her Instagram and I really liked the idea. I knew I wouldn't be able to post each day, so I decided to turn it into a blog post. For the most part I did take each picture (or find each picture) daily, but of course some days I didn't get to it.

Day 1: selfie
Well, how could I take this pic w/o Macy?
Day 2: fav song
"Amen" by Chris August and "I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles
Day 3: lockscreen
My blue-eyed baby

Day 4: MCM (Man Crush Monday)
My Hubby, not thrilled to be photographed
Day 5: bestfriends
Kristal and Alex at my wedding : ) Still my besties!
Day 6: fav movie
Shag, a great 80s movie most people haven't heard of!
Day 7: pet

Day 8: fav shoes
Old and ugly, but they are my favorite
Day 9: birthday eyes
I switched so I could do birthday on my birthday
Day 10: mirror picture
Good thing I don't have to do these pics on my own
Day 11: something I want
I really wanted some ice cream cake!

Day 12: baby picture
Not the best picture, but the pic I could find
Day 13: WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday)
My niece Lanie
Day 14: throwback
Mike and I out on the strip, I had come from a "white trash" date party
This was early on in the dating game for us
Day 15: B&W selfie
Why not take a selfie when I had just woke up and still looked a hot mess?
Day 16: quote
Scripture makes for great quotes
Day 17: sky
Beautiful day!
Day 18: fav Disney character
Belle <3
Day 19: meaning of your name
Light...makes sense my goal is to "be the sunshine" (which is really hard for me and that is why it is my goal)!
Day 20: lips/lip balm
Yeah I'm fancy, I use intense moisture lip balm
Day 21: siblings
An old picture, but it works
Day 22: ootd
"outfit of the day" I had to google this one : )
We were matching, orange tops and black sweatpants (it was a Friday of course)
Day 23: lyrics
One of my ultimate fav songs
Day 24: perfume
I've been wearing "princess" for years and I still love it!
Day 25: birthday
Celebrating ice cream cake! I got what I wanted ; )
Day 26: old picture
Pigtails, a homemade sweatshirt, and my Punky Brewster high-tops
Day 27: fav color
Orange, of course!
Day 28: family
My sisters, niece, nephew, and Mace piled on the couch at Thanksgiving
Day 29: nature
A picture I took in Seattle a few years ago, I didn't really go out on this day because I wasn't feeling good so I found one I had already taken
Day 30: funny picture
Macy watching football, she had her head cocked all the way around to see the game
Well, I had fun with this! Like I said, I didn't stick to doing it daily, but I did better than I had thought I would. I found one for December that I'm going to do as well. Until next time...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Well it's been 3 months...

My intentions are great. I even have some "unpublished" posts in the last 3 months, but as far as keeping up with my blog...yeah not so much. I can't even keep up with the dishes or the laundry or whatever task used to be easy (like showering, haha). I do have a calendar that I write something down for Macy each day, I've done pretty good, but that is an easy one-liner.

At Bible School (that is what we call Bible Study to get our giggles) we talked about what would be our book title for our life, my sister said, or if you had a blog what would it be called? Well I have that answer. "Living to be Me." When I picked that title I wanted something clever and unforgettable, but I'm not that whitty or fantastic, I'm just me. I am not like everyone else. So, the title became "Living to be Me." What does that mean? That I am simply doing me. Not you, or so and so, or Ms. Perfect, but me. I have a hard time with that because I struggle with comparison on an hourly basis, but I'm doing my best.

Did you know that when you become a mom everyone gives you advice, everyone has an answer for your baby? Because clearly all kids are the same. Moms are the same. And to make this world work every family needs to operate the same. Wait. Yeah, not so much.

My baby cries, she eats, and she sleeps. Not like your baby or the ideal baby. It took me about 3 months to realize I love Macy because she isn't like everyone else, the same reason I love Mike and that I generally like myself. She also does so much more! She giggles, she pays attention to everything, she likes to play games, she likes riding in the shopping cart, she has a "poop face," she has chunky thighs, she loves baths and getting her hair done every morning , I could go on and on

I was texting a friend today about if my infant should watch tv. I plan to leave her in front of the tv all day, while I sit back, relax, drink wine, and browse Pinterest. Hah! Yeah that is what a stay at home mom does, didn't you know? Anyway I Macy loves to be engaged, her lil hangy down toys work for about 10 minutes or her bouncey chair for another 10. Yep, they are great! So, in order to help her with tummy time, (did you know Macy is 5 months and not rolling over? I fail as a mom is what society tells me and Macy is way behind...yeah yeah, leave me alone society, she'll roll when she is good and ready) I thought 15 minutes of a show that is music and colors would be good. I don't know if it is right, but hey like I told my friend...she is already screwed, she has had immunizations and she isn't breast fed! Did you know she sleeps in our bed sometimes? I hold her while she naps and I even let her pick when or where to nap sometiems. She takes a passie, that I keep attached to her (because frankly I'm too lazy to pick it up every time it drops). What else are we doing wrong?

Today I have the philosophy that society kinda sucks (could you tell?). I just want every mom to know just do the best you can do. I need that reminder on a minute to minute basis. Figure out what is best for your family, trust in the Lord, pray always, and enjoy it! That is my advice to me in a few minutes when I've given up on it all.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day. I plan to come back soon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Macy's Mom

Yesterday I got the privilege of meeting Jack. Jack just made his debut on Tuesday and is already a stud! While I was at the hospital meeting Jack I got to see his Grandparents meet him for the first time. This is the first time that Shari and Mike are grandparents, they were so sweet. Thanks Dunham’s (and Webb’s) for letting me share in your joy! Shari said to Bryan, “I don’t think I can call you Bryan anymore, you are Jack’s dad now.”
Macy and Jack

For the first time I really thought about it, I’m Macy’s mom. How cool, I get to be Macy’s mom the rest of my life! I’m honored to carry such a title. Someone’s “mom” is a pretty awesome role, BUT guess what? I get to be Macy’s mom. Macy already has an amazing personality; she is feisty, sassy, sweet, strong, and bashful. I love every quality she possesses.

One of my favorite things about my sweet 2 month old is that she is shy in public, but “own’s it” in the privacy of her own home (much like both of her parents). Those of you that know Macy…she likes to play opossum. She already pretends to be asleep so others won’t try to hold her or talk to her. When she is at home though, especially if it is just the three of us, she has such an outgoing personality. Macy is the center of attention, not only because she is a cute little baby, but because she makes sure you know she is there. It makes me laugh because I can already see what kind of young woman she is going to be. Another favorite thing about her personality, she kinda yells when she talks. Most babies are cooing and finding their voice around 2 months. Making sweet little gaga’s and goo’s. Macy does that, but if you don’t talk back, she kinda starts to yell at you. If you don’t know her you think she is getting upset or that she’ll start crying soon, nope wrong. She just kinda already has that "listen to me" attitude.

Today I’m feeling so blessed to be Macy’s mom. I love that I’m able to be with her all day and get to know her and see her change!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Man of my Dreams

There is something about seeing the man you love, love your child. Wow, I can't even explain how sexy it is to see my husband love our daughter! We've been so blessed that Mike is off each summer and that Macy was born at the beginning of June, only God can do that kind of planning. Mike is a natural, he does great with Macy and even better putting up with me and my hormonal craziness. He is super supportive and so patient, he is everything I struggle with (another thing only God can orchestrate).

First chance to hold and love on her.

Macy / Mike


Lots of love!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cleaning Calendar

Since we've moved and really started to get settled in I've been struggling with how to become better at cleaning/keeping a tidy house. Now, with a newborn this task is even more difficult. We have a lot of stuff that just lays around. I wouldn't say our house is dirty, just cluttered. Don't get me wrong we have some dust, dishes don't always get washed right away, and I could get the floors cleaner, but I don't really think we are dirty. Today I've worked on a "Cleaning Calendar." Putting this together is a task that used to take me 30 minutes and now takes me about 12 hours, another thing that I'm getting used to!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bottles, bottles, bottles, oh my!

I didn't really register for bottles because I was going to be a breastfeeding stay at home mom. I didn't see the need. Ugh. Things don't always go as planned. We got a couple different bottles as gifts that we plan to use when Macy is older, but had to buy some for her at this young age.

1st thing I wanted in a bottle: Slow release. Macy is a gulper just like her Mommy, she could suck a regular bottle down within minutes. Needless to say that was not good on her tummy. Many bottles have different nipples that you buy for different stages, the flow is less for newborns as opposed to a baby at 6 months. I wanted something that was as close to breastfeeding as I could get, so the longer it took her to eat the better.

2nd thing I was looking for: Design. As I said in my post about formula design is huge to me. The fewer pieces the better. Also, I want the bottle to have features that could compare to a real boob. That might be nuts for some people, but for me (someone who wanted more than anything to breastfeed) I want my baby to get as close as we could to the real thing. Another factor in design: number of pieces. It could be based on dishes or putting together a bottle at 3 am, but I really prefer those bottles that are simple. 

My favorite bottle is the slowest release and has the nipple that most reflects the real thing and has the fewest pieces. Como Tomo wins my approval and my recommendation! And it comes in pink <insert winky face>.

Tommee Tippee, Avent, and Como Tomo 
I also added in a pic of our tub we got from the hospital, 
I keep it next to the sink, rinse out the used bottles, 
and then wash them when we have acquired more. 

Another factor in our life...bottle washing and night feeding. Whew, it makes me tired just typing about it. We've found two things we really like when it comes to washing. The drying racks. We first bough the grass, it worked well, but we outgrew it quickly. Second we got the stand. Oh man it makes a world of a difference. I definitely recommend it!
Night feedings; Macy is taking a bottle about midnight, 3am, and 6am. That means I have to be prepared for at least 3 bottles over night. Most of the time I stay up until the midnight feeding so that doesn't very often factor in to the overnight bottles. I also usually get up after the 6am feeding, but sometimes I don't and then need the 8am bottle to be in the overnight category. Ok, so I get 3 bottles with 2 oz of water preped along with the formula dispenser. I also get a different brand of bottle with 4 oz and then a small container with formula for that bottle. This helps me in my sleepiness to be able to correctly make the bottles. It is really important to me to use the Avent and Como Tomo bottles overnight because they don't have those extra pieces that I have to worry about. I also keep a bin on the second shelf of my night stand to put the used bottles in after I'm done with them. I know this all might seem crazy, but to me it is life changing! Being prepared helps me sleep better when I get to sleep.

Finding the right Formula

My formula review...

We've tried a few different types of formula Advanced, Sensitive Stomach, and Soy-Based. We've also tried a few brands, Parent's Choice, Similac, and Enfamil. 

Here are my pros and cons:

Parent's Choice Similac Enfamil
Pros: Price Used from the beginning Free Samples
Design Did well on her tummy Smell
  Suggested by others
Cons: Smell Price Price
Off Brand/doesn't have as many studies and/or reviews Design
As far as the type goes, I've not seen a lot of consistent differences. They all sometimes work and sometimes don't. One con to the sensitive stomach formula is the first ingredient is corn syrup, no matter the brand anything that is for sensitivity replaces the lactose with corn syrup. Personally, I'd rather not have the corn syrup if possible. 

I'm a sucker for design, no matter the product, if the design is to my liking I am a happy customer. You'll notice in the pictures the scoop is stored differently in the different formulas. The blue container is Parent's Choice and the scoop slides in a little notch above the powder. It doesn't have to fit into the lid with the handle on the left (I'm right handed). With the scoop on the lid I have problems getting it to fit so I end up just tossing it into the powder. That brings me to another issue...if there is no where to put the scoop or it is easier to just toss it into the powder...I have to touch the powder. Ew. I don't like the texture or the smell of the powder in the first place so having to touch it every time is gross to me. 

Lastly, the price. We don't make a lot of money and we'd like to save when we can. There is a pretty big difference in name brand vs. off brand. Go Parent's Choice! Lol. They have the very same ingredients. 

My last option is to try a whole food store and check their price and ingredients to see if we can afford to use a formula that possibly has more natural ingredients. Unfortunately, nothing about formula is "natural." Breast milk is the best option hands down BUT that isn't an option I have so I have to do the best I can


Hospital Check List

While I was pregnant I found many hospital check lists. They were all great and I was thankful to have them. I put together what I most needed not because I think it will inspire hundreds of new moms, but I want to be able to remember what I needed most if I ever get the blessed chance to be a pregnant mom again. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Feeling proud

Today I get to brag on myself. I wouldn't normally devote a post to talking about myself, but I think I owe it to my hard work to do so.

When I found out I was diabetic in October I weighed 209 lbs. An average number for me for the last few years. At my heaviest I weighed 230 lbs, that was about 3 years ago when I was in a really bad place. I had miscarried and was not coping well, I was depressed and I didn't care enough about myself to take interest in my best interest. When the doctor told me I was diabetic she said lose weight and you may never have to use insulin. So, I got to work and right away I lost 7 lbs. I started a pill called Metformin that works similarly to insulin. A month later I found out I was pregnant and the weight loss was not a priority anymore. Now, I needed to maintain. I also had to start insulin because Metformin could be harmful to my baby. Over the next 28 weeks I had to watch everything that I did, how much insulin I took, what I ate, how active I was, etc. I am proud to say that the day I got induced I weighed 234 lbs. I would love to say that number is lower, but considering where I started 25 lbs is a great gain during a pregnancy. Today my baby girl is 12 days old and I weigh 208 lbs. It took me 12 days to lose all of my "baby weight." I didn't work hard to lose that weight, but man oh man I worked hard during my pregnancy to not gain it! I'd like to say after a few more weeks of rest I'll go at losing more weight full steam ahead, but I know myself and know I need to take it one day at a time. My goal: maintain. My hope: lose weight and show Macy how being healthy is our lifestyle.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Macy Abigail

 To continue the belly pics...

A week ago I went to my weekly appointment at the OB to do my biophysical. To my surprise my little girl did not pass her test and the doctor sent us to the hospital to be monitored. After a few hours of keeping track of her heartbeat the doctor said she was looking great, but he was ready to go ahead and induce. After about 11 hours we had our little angel.
Baby Girl was born at 12:18am on June 6, 2013. She was 6 lbs 14 oz and 19 inches long. She had lots of curly brown hair and beautiful!
That following morning around 9am Mike and I decided to place middle names with our options for first names. Cadence Elizabeth and Macy Abigail. Elizabeth is my middle name and MAJ are Mike's initials.
We put them on our board and for fun let people vote, we had Lanie write them and then Grandma and her Aunts wrote them too. Mike and I tried the names when we would talk to her and by the next morning we were sure that our little girl was Macy Abigail.

Holding our Little Lady

Meeting her Cousins
On Friday afternoon we headed home with our wonderful Macy. She did great on the ride and she looked adorable! Daddy picked out her jacket, Aunt Jenny and Grandma Connie put her name on her dress, and I got to fix her hair all curly and put a giant flower on her head!

So Blessed!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who will she look like?

Today as I was cleaning (really more of putting away things from the move) I found some pictures. I tried to find one of each of us at about the same age in about the same pose. I'm a little older in my pic than he is, but they're pretty close.

Looking at them this is my guess...big brown eyes and chubby cheeks for our little girl! The time is getting closer, we are a month away from our due date. I can't wait to meet our precious little one! 

Things with getting our house ready before she comes are a little rocky, but when I'm stressed with it all I have to remember what we are preparing for, not just the two of us anymore!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Belly Pics

I haven't obviously showed until later in my pregnancy, so I didn't really do belly pics. I decided I'd start doing weekly pics at 31 weeks, because I finally felt like there was something to show! Baby girl is doing great and growing just like she should. I do biophysicals weekly. That is a fancy way of saying they do a sono to check on her organ functions each week. Because I'm "high risk" they want to keep tabs on us. I can't complain, I get to see my little darling every week! Last time we learned that she has a lot of curly hair. Mike and I couldn't stop smiling when we heard that news. It was unexpected, I am used to the she weighs this and her kidneys look great, but to see her lil curlies on the sono, fun! Don't get me wrong, I love knowing she is growing into a healthy little girl more than anything! Next week we'll get an update on how much she weighs and how tall she is : )

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Glimpses of heaven until we get there

From the pages of Beth Moore's study on the book of Esther...

"Beloved, when a moment like this comes, we need to take it. We often speak of happiness as a less noble term than joyfulness because the former is circumstantial and the latter less conditional. I won't argue with that, but when God intervenes in our circumstances and we get a chance not only to know we're blessed but feel blessed, nothing is more appropriate than seizing the happy moment. "A time of happiness" can come like a shot of B-12 to the soul to boost your system when darkness spreads once again like a virus.

One of the hardest challenges about taking advantage of a God-given time of happiness is the guilt of knowing that it coincides with someone else's sadness. No, we don't flaunt our light in someone else's darkness, but surely we can find a way to dip ourselves in the bubble bath of a second's bliss when it comes. Even if all we do is lean our heads back in the sunshine of our soul's Sabbath and take a minute to feel the glad emotion, it is meant by God to be medicine for our weary souls. Times of happiness are glimpses of heaven until we get there. Homesickness doesn't always feel sick. Sometimes it's a quick flash of happy that makes us long to find and keep it."

Today this made my heart cry and smile. No matter which side you're on, the hurt or the happy, it is not easy. When you are hurting it is so painful to see other's happy. When you are happy you do feel guilt because you know how that hurt feels. I've been on the hurt side a lot.

But right now, I am so happy, so blessed. I feel like each minute of the day I get a reminder of how great our God is and of the gift He has given me. God does intervene in our circumstances. He has blessed Mike and I, both labeled infertile by doctors, with the greatest blessing we could ever ask for, our baby girl. I couldn't have ever imagined how much I could love another human being...and she isn't even here yet!

God is good! I am so thankful for this glimpse of heaven until I get there.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Behind the secret.

I typed this awhile back and never published...I have this weird block that people don't want to read my crap, but then I remember I don't write this for others. I write to capture this time in my life for me. So here it is...

Well, since November I've been keeping a secret. The most exciting secret of my life! We just announced we are pregnant. So, now I am sharing the process.

On November 12th we had a counseling session, 6 months before this we had been required by Youthville to do 6 months of counseling before we could start our Home Study to be able to adopt or do foster care.
On November 14th I woke up and decided that before I contacted Youthville about our next steps that I would take a pregnancy test. When you are trying to have a baby, especially when you've been diagnosed "infertile," pregnancy tests become a hard process and a letdown. In May of 2010 we took a pregnancy test and it was positive! A few weeks later we lost our baby and were going through grief we had never experienced. Since May of 2010 I can tell you I took way too many pregnancy tests that were negative. Ok, back to November 14, 2012. I woke up expecting to see a negative test. Although I always expected negative...I always hoped for positive. After a few minutes I looked at the little plastic test and what did I see? TWO LINES. Not just one. TWO. At this point I was completely shocked and immediately terrified. I called Mike and told him our news...he couldn't believe what I was saying. I then called the doctor. They got me in that afternoon. When you've miscarried you don't wait awhile to go to the doctor, you go right away to get blood work done. I went and guess what? I was pregnant and the baby was doing ok. We found out we were 9 weeks pregnant. When I miscarried before I only made it to 7 weeks, so already I was given hope. 

On Friday we were schedule to have a sonogram. We got to see our little Gummy Bear! Not only did we hear the heartbeat we saw this precious gift and we even saw it move around. Mike and I were shocked. We had no idea how to react to this news for which we had been hoping. 

We shared the news with our Moms and I called or talked to my sisters. Everyone was shocked and brought to tears. For the last year we had been planning our adoption. For the last year we had quite the struggle of how to go about is very expensive. We had gone though classes, counseling, major budgeting brainstorming, and so much time spent in prayer. 

We had another appointment to see our OB. We got to hear the heartbeat, it was a blessing to hear our baby was still doing well!

On Christmas Eve at my Dad's side we announced it to our family. Christmas Eve is a big deal at the Baum house. Santa comes every year to pass out presents. You have to go up and sit on his lap, get your picture taken, and then you get to see what he brought you. This year Santa brought me a book and Mike a gift card. Santa called Mike and I back up, he pulled out the last gift, a baby doll and a pack of diapers. Santa told the family that we were expecting! Most people were confused. Everyone knows we'd been trying to adopt, so most people asked if we had finally heard some news. It was such a unrealistic evening!

On New Years Eve we had a party in OKC that doubled as a going away party for Betty and Trevor. At the party we played a game where we wrote down a New Years Resolution, then Megan read them aloud and we had to guess which one belonged to each person. I wrote "to be the best mom I could be in June 2013." It was a great way to announce to my closest sorority sisters that we had an addition coming. 

For the next month we gradually told some of our closest friends. We got to hear the heartbeat again and everyday we felt more joy of what was happening in our life. God had given us a gift that we can't express how grateful we are to have.

Starting to show...20 weeks!

On Friday, February 1st we had our sonogram to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. 
So, in preparation for our announcement we got a couple things prepared. 
We planned a lunch with my mom, grandma, and sisters. 
For the lunch I made cupcakes, I had to get them done beforehand so I prepared blue and pink filled. 

To announce to the world and social media we did a photo shoot. 
We found outfits to represent a boy and a girl and then returned the one we didn't need. 

Next we had our appointment and found out we are having a girl! Yay! 
I prepared the shoes in a box and cupcakes for our reveal lunch with my
 Grandma, Mom, Sisters, and Niece and Nephew. 
My mom opened the shoes...

And the rest had the cupcakes...

After lunch we went to my sister's studio for our photo shoot. I may be biased, but I think my sister is an amazing photographer. We are so blessed to have her to do awesome things like this for us!

Looking forward to the road ahead!