8. Whole. Months

Can you believe it's been that long since my little bean was born? I certainly can't!!!

Oh, my sweet Little Bean... How big you're getting! Sitting up on your own, trying to crawl, pulling up on the sides of the rocking chair, rolling all over the place, jumping in your exersaucer and jumper... I just can't believe it! You're saying "dada", "mama", "na na na", and a few other sounds too. You say "dada" the most often and sometimes it sounds like "daddy!" It melts your daddy's heart, too. :) You only say "mama" when you're upset, and you just started that within the last two weeks! I almost cried the first time. What can I say? You've been saying "dada" for so long it seemed as if you didn't want to say "mama!" Most of the time, you're a smiling, giggling, sweet girl and we love you to pieces!! We love you even when you're cranky, of course, but a happy girl is so much more fun to play with! :) Watching you grow and change is fun, but a bit bittersweet. Sometimes I miss the cuddly little baby you once were! You're too busy for too many cuddles these days. That's ok, though. You give pretty good kisses when you feel like it, and I love them! Just do me a favor? Stop growing so quickly, okay?! Slow down, relax, and take it easy. No rush on that growing up stuff. ;-)

She found the sticker!!

Ah, even though my baby is getting bigger, she's still living up to her nickname. We took her in for a checkup 3 weeks ago and she weighs a whopping 12 pounds, 6 ounces. I really just have to laugh. She's completely healthy, but so tiny! She's 26.5 inches long, so she's not exactly tiny that way! She eats well enough...but she's just a bean! :)

Such a happy girl. :)

She's officially in size 3 diapers now! Woo! {I think...} And she's still mostly in 3 month clothes. I honestly don't know how this is happening... They are pretty snug. I think I might be stretching them at this point. But all the 3-6 month onesies she has just seem to swallow her! Ah, they just don't make clothes for skinny babies... As is evidenced by her 3 month pants that are more like capris than pants and 6 month pants that are the correct length, but fall right off her toosh! One day, baby girl, you'll have clothes that fit properly. Well...maybe.

I know  you can't tell, but she's screaming here.
It's the peaches. They make her crazy!

Sleep? Well, that's pretty fantastic. Sleeping through the night is nothing these days. Bedtime is 7:30 and she gets up around 7/7:30. Easy peasy! Daytime sleep has been a little tricky lately, with her waking up at the 1.5 hr mark some days. But I'm thinking she's getting ready to drop nap #3, which is why her other naps are being messed up. I'm just not ready to drop that last one! I know it'll be nice once we're done with it, but it makes me nervous! LOL

This is her excited face. I love it!

Eating is also going pretty well! She only nurses 4 times a day now, and sometimes she even refuses one or two of those. No idea what's going on with that... Possibly reflux, possibly a phase. Who knows? I'm trying to power through, but it's tough! When she does nurse, though, she's a rockstar. A very wiggly rockstar. =P Outside of breastfeeding, the little miss loves solid food!! Well, okay, pureed food. Peaches are pretty much her favorite thing ever, and they make her crazy! They must have more sugar than some other fruits, because nothing else so far does this!

Ah, so pretty.

She's trying so hard to crawl... She gets up on all fours, rocks and then falls back to her tummy. She does this more in her crib than anywhere else. I'm guessing she feels safer in there? Who knows. She's still loving the exersaucer and her jumper. Her new favorite toy is a little teether that one of her friends gave her. They had a play date and she hardly let the thing go! His mommy was nice enough to say she could keep it. :) She loves watching Jasper. When I need to calm her down, all I have to do is call for him to come near us and she completely calms down. It's crazy! But totally helpful. Who knew he'd come in handy for that?! Haha!

It's so crazy to me that she's been here 8 months. I can't believe it's been that long. Although, sometimes it feels like she's been here forever. And I guess that's probably a good thing. :)

Happy 8 months, baby girl. Mommy and Daddy love you sooooo very much! 


Why BabyWise?

It seems like everywhere I look these days someone, somewhere is harping about the "dangers" of the BabyWise book/method. How awful it is. How terrible BabyWise parents are... And I am honestly still baffled by this.

Until I got pregnant, I had no idea how many people were so against BabyWise. It seems to me now, though, that the people who are most against it know very little about it. Isn't that the way it always goes? It's easy to judge a book you've never read, simply by reading what others have said/written about it. It's easy to judge someone when you don't understand the things they do. Call them stupid, ignorant, careless, reckless, whatever. It's easier when you don't understand something. Because when you understand...you have fewer reasons to condemn, tear down, and ridicule. In case you think I'm kidding here, there's even a BabyWise-bashing FB group. I'm pretty sure I've seen a blog/website entirely devoted to this, too. 

By writing this, I'm not hoping that everyone will convert to the ways of BabyWise. My hopes in this are to bring a different kind of awareness to people... To educate so that maybe there will be less judgement on moms and parents like me who choose to live this way. 

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

BabyWise is pretty much everything counter-culture these days. BabyWise says that your child isn't the center of the universe, so don't teach them that they are early on. {I'm very seriously paraphrasing here.} BabyWise focuses on the whole family, not just the new little person in the family, although they too are important and have a lot more needs.

BabyWise tells parents {moms, specifically} to avoid feeding on-demand. Uh oh. Someone call the AAP!! This is not in an effort to "starve" the baby or make them hungry for later. It's to make sure they get a full feeding every time they eat. No "snacking." 

BabyWise tells parents not to co-sleep. Cue ridiculous statements from some AP parents. 

BabyWise tells parents to focus on a routine. And everyone will interpret routine to mean schedule. SMH.

BabyWise helps parents to help their infants to sleep through the night at an early age. Again, someone call the AAP and cue more ridiculous statements from some AP parents about the "dangers" of sleeping through the night "too early."

So, the real question here is why anyone would choose to use the BabyWise principles. For me? It came down to 2 reasons:

1. Routine, routine, routine.
2. Sleep

Not gonna lie, the idea of not living in a state of sleep depravation for a whole year was (and is) appealing. But that's not the main reason anyone should choose to implement BabyWise. 

Mostly, I wanted to have a routine once Charlotte arrived. The idea of not knowing when she would need to eat or sleep seriously worried me. How would I know? What would I do? Every mom knows those first few weeks are full of all of those questions. I'm pretty sure I said, "I just don't know what to do" every 10 minutes for the first 2 months of Charlotte's life. Heck, I'm still saying it and probably will be until she's my age!

When it comes right down to it, the following is BabyWise in one little nutshell:

Eat. Wake. Sleep.

Baby wakes up from nap or nighttime sleep. You feed the baby. If it's daytime, you have a little bit of playtime (the amount depends on the age of the baby). Then when Baby gets tired - wait for it - you put baby down for a nap!!! *gasp* It's really not rocket science here, folks.

When it comes to feeding the baby, BabyWise strongly suggests you avoid on-demand feeding. The authors (and I) determine on-demand feeding to mean that you feed the baby whenever they cry. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't need to eat every time I'm upset. Nor do I need to eat every hour or hour and a half. Even a baby with a teeny tiny little tummy doesn't need to eat that often. Contrary to on-demand feeding, BabyWise supports Parent-Directed Feeding. Translation: you evaluate the time from baby's last feeding, look for hunger cues, and use your God-given intuition. If it's been 2+ hours since Baby's last feeding, Baby is rooting, etc., and you feel like feeding is the answer, by all means, feed that baby! If it's been an hour, Baby woke up fussy in the middle of nap time, and isn't showing signs of hunger...it could be something else. 

I believe that it's very possible that moms who feed on-demand are missing other cues from their baby. {This is totally, 100% my opinion and didn't come from BabyWise.} Charlotte fusses when she needs a diaper change. She fusses when she's tired. She fusses when she's bored. If I were to take all that fussing to mean she's hungry, I'd probably be feeding her every 30 minutes!!! Now, obviously, since we didn't start that way she won't do that now. But if I had started that way, she probably would. Fussing would equal food. And food would equal comfort. I won't deny that there are times when nursing used for comfort is totally needed. It hasn't worked for us in the past, but I don't want her to rely on nursing as a form of comfort, either. Every now and then is fine. It's just not a habit I wanted to create.

And this brings us to the next controversial issue... Self-soothing and sleep training. BabyWise does, in fact, promote CIO (cry it out). However, it does NOT promote leaving your baby in a crib to cry non-stop for hours at a time. {I still roll my eyes and shake my head every time I hear/see someone insinuate that.} They do suggest that you leave the baby for 10-15 minutes and then go in and comfort them. I've done this with Charlotte a gazillion times! Never once have I left her to cry for an hour or more. I couldn't stand it! And I don't know any mom {BabyWise lover or not} who could. If she needs me, she needs me. The whole idea is to help them learn that it's okay for them to sleep in their own bed. It's okay for them to be away from Mommy and Daddy. They will learn that they can go to sleep without relying on someone to help them. They will learn that Mommy or Daddy are always nearby if something happens. 

Eventually this leads to sleeping through the night. I can't tell you why or how it happens. It just does. Through doing the Eat/Wake/Sleep routine, making sure they get a full feeding, helping them to self-soothe...it just happens! 

I'll never forget the first time Charlotte went from 10pm to 5am without waking once. I almost had a heart attack! And then, once I realized she was just fine, I breathed a sigh of relief. Relief that she was okay. Relief that I had actually gotten rest! I can't remember exactly, but I think she was about 8 weeks old when that happened. Gradually she started sleeping longer, and she even dropped that 10pm feeding. 

Now? It's awesome. She goes to bed at 7:30 and we get up about 7:30. She takes naps at pretty much the same time every day, too. And I don't force her into it, either. I never have. It's just the natural flow of our routine. Up at 7:30, nap at 9/:30, up at 11, nap at 1, up at 3, nap at 5, up at 7, bedtime 7:30. Now tell me, what could be easier than that - knowing what your day will be like when you get up?

Charlotte is perfectly healthy. Yes, she is a small baby, but that has more to do with genetics than parenting styles. She plays, yells, giggles, tries to crawl and pull up, jumps like a crazy girl in her jumper and exersaucer, and watches the dog's every step. She rarely fights naps. She smiles when we put her in her crib. She loves bath time. She loves bedtime. She nurses and takes solids like a champ. 

You show me a BabyWise mama and I'll show you a happy, healthy, well-rested baby.

It's not dangerous. It's not cruel. BabyWise babies get fed, they get played with, and they get sleep. Just like all other babies. We BabyWise mamas just do things a little differently. 

The. End.


Wednesday Walkabout - Take 14!

Welcome to the another week of Wednesday Walkabout! Thank you so much for hanging out with us, linking up, and reading new blogs.  =)

A little info about the Walkabout:

This is a weekly linky party with myself and 3 other co-hosts. The idea? Just put your URL in the linky (it can be a specific post or your "homepage"- whichever you prefer), visit a few other blogs, and possibly make some new friends. Easy peasy, right?!

Oh, and you only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts. =) 

There are just a few quick rules we've set for the linky party...

1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how you follow!

Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife (That's me!)
Chantal - Scattered Seashells 
Jane - Taingamala 
Jamie - Handling With Grace

This week's Mystery Host is.... Jen from The Adventures of Our Army Life!  Woohoo!

2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.

3. Grab the button from my sidebar and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do.) The more, the merrier.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy blog-hopping!


BLESSED Army Wife and Mama

Hello, all! Today I've decided to link up with From Mrs. To Mama for Women Connect '12. It's been a while since I've done this kind of get-to-know-you link up, so I thought I'd go for it! :)

So, hi. I'm Sarah and this is my slice of the internet! Who am I? Christian. Army wife. Mama. Redhead. Silly. Chocolate lover. Klutzy. A tad absent-minded. {Seriously. I put my phone in the desk drawer last week and it was lost for hours.} Head-over-heels in love with my husband and baby girl.

This is the place where I talk about me - my life as an Army wife and a SAHM. We are currently living in Hawaii, but soon we will PCS (move, for you non-military folks) to Georgia! We are beyond excited! Hawaii's been nice {for the most part} but we miss the mainland, the South, family and friends! {And not needing to buy plane tickets to visit family!} I'll be honest... I talk about my baby girl a lot. And breastfeeding. And babywearing. And BabyWise. The Army comes up quite a bit, as they pretty much control our lives. I talk about God, because He's the one who's really in control and He's blessed me far more than I deserve. I talk about food, TV shows, sewing, Pinterest, and, um...a lot of other things.

A little background...

In June 2008, I married my sweet hubby, Joe. We had both just graduated from college, where we met, and were excited to start our new life together in NC.

This is us on our honeymoon. Can you say baby faces?!

Less than a year later, life {and the economy} threw us a curve ball and Joe enlisted in the Army. Being separated for the first time with little contact through basic training was difficult. {I should've recognized that it we basic training for me too - husband gone, short, infrequent phone calls...} Then we got through 2 months of AIT before I moved down to GA to be with him. And then the Army threw us a curve ball. Also known as orders. To Hawaii.

Taken just a few days after we arrived in Hawaii.

Just when we thought things were settling down, Joe got deployment orders. We had a mere 2 months of "normal" before he deployed to Iraq in June 2010. It was a painful, painful time for me. We'd been apart for the better part of a year and now he was being shipped off to the desert...for another year

Also...not the best time for picture-taking.

I really have no idea how I made it through that year. Actually...I do. The number 1 reason is God. His provision, His guidance, His love, and His kindness. It was hard, but He was with me through it all. He provided me with a volunteer position at the museum on post. He provided me with some great milspouse friends {namely Mrs. C, Chantal, Annie, and Miranda}. He provided me with a best friend who, though she couldn't understand what I was going through, was always there for me. He provided me with a great church. And somehow I made it through to the sweetest, sweetest part:

Something I struggled with a lot during Joe's deployment was baby fever. I don't really know what else to call it. =P I wasn't suffering from infertility or anything like that, but my heart craved a baby. The thought of having a baby consumed my thoughts, my heart, and my soul on some days. There were times when I logged on FB and cried because of pregnancy or birth announcements. I was eager to be the one sharing that news. But as all God's children know....His timing is always perfect.

Less than 2 months after Joe came home from Iraq, we found out I was pregnant.

August 5, 2012.

Despite the sickness, aches, pains and stretch marks that come with pregnancy, I loved every minute of it. Feeling my sweet little baby move around, kick, punch and hiccup was the best thing in the world. The "morning" sickness was the worst thing in the world. Am I right?! =)

It's hard to believe that almost 8 months ago we welcomed our sweet Charlotte into the world...

Now, this crazy little bean is trying to crawl and pull up! She's sitting on her own, eating solids, tossing her toys all over the place, saying "dada" and "mama." Oh, it's so hard to believe!!!

Where's my tiny 5.5 pound baby? Who is this crazy, squealing, giggling, semi-crawling baby?! Does anyone else feel that way about their babies? ;-) Just kidding. I know it's not just me! 

So now that you know a little bit about me, feel free to introduce yourself!!! Leave a comment (be sure your reply-to email is set!), send me an email, follow me on Twitter....you name it!

Thanks for stopping by!



Attitude of Gratitude: Day 21

Honestly, I have tons to be thankful for. The more I do these posts the more I truly realize that. I mean, most people know that they have things to be thankful for. But I think it's good to list them every now and then, don't you?

Today - and every day, really - I'm thankful for my sweet little bean

I was so busy doing things around the house today... Since I'm breastfeeding, I kind of have to stop and take a break when she wakes up and wants to nurse. Our little nursing sessions are sweet and fun when she's not fussy because of her reflux. Anyway. After one of her feedings today, she was just sitting on my lap, playing, smacking me with her sweet little hands, laughing and yelling up a storm. And it just made me stop and think how thankful I am for her. She really does bring so much joy and love into my life. Sure, she can be loud. She can be whiny and irritating and a gazillion other things. Even then she brings me joy. I don't know how, but I do know that I love it. And I love her. And it's crazy that she's almost 8 months old. Cuh-razy.

I mean...weren't we just bringing her home from the hospital?

Or putting her in her crib for the first time?

How on earth is my sweet little baby bean this big?!

*sigh* Time flies. 

And as usual...I kinda wish she was awake so I could kiss her face! :)

What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday Walkabout - Take 13!

Welcome to the another week of Wednesday Walkabout! Thank you so much for hanging out with us, linking up, and reading new blogs.  =)

A little info about the Walkabout:

This is a weekly linky party with myself and 3 other co-hosts. The idea? Just put your URL in the linky (it can be a specific post or your "homepage"- whichever you prefer), visit a few other blogs, and possibly make some new friends. Easy peasy, right?!

Oh, and you only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts. =) 

This week's Mystery Host is.... Amanda from Somewhere Over the Camo!

There are just a few quick rules we've set for the linky party...

1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how you follow!

Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife (That's me!)
Chantal - Scattered Seashells 
Jane - Taingamala 

2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.

3. Grab the button from my sidebar and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do.) The more, the merrier.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy blog-hopping!

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 20

Have I got a good one for you today... We had a few things to do today and, not only did we get an early start to the day, it was also pretty rough.

In light of what happened this morning (don't worry, I'll get to it in a minute), I'm thankful that God watches over and protects us.

We were going about our morning routine as usual today. Well, we had one minor exception - Joe was home. It's rare for a weekday, but today was "ORG Day," also known as "Mandatory Fun That's Not So Fun Day." He was getting ready for that and we were just doing our thing. {I didn't go - too much to prep for!} Right as I was taking Charlotte to her room for a diaper change, Joe left. 

So there I am, changing her diaper, when I realize the trash can is pretty much overflowing. I leaned down like I've done a gazillion times to fuss with the trash and get it ready to go out. That's when I hear her moving around on the changing table. Whatevs. She's always moving these days. Then I heard something fall. Also not unusual as I've always got clothes, bibs or burp cloths lying up there. I look over to see what had fallen and that's when my heart stops...

I see my sweet baby girl on the floor. 

She fell.

From several feet up.

She landed on all fours.

Please, God. Oh, please, God let her be okay.

She started crying within seconds and I scooped her up off the floor. She was completely naked because we were mid diaper and clothes changing. All I cared about at that moment was that she was okay - but was she okay? I grabbed my phone and called Joe to come home... I was so, so scared. I just knew we were in for a trip to the ER. By the time he got back, she was mostly calm. He wasn't even out of our neighborhood when I called him. 

She's been fine ever since. No bumps or bruises. A little whiny and clingy, but I can live with that. Frankly, after her fall I'd rather her be attached to me all day anyway.

I'm still in awe that she landed on all fours, facing her crib. I know she rolled over onto her side on the changing table. She's done it before with me supervising. I honestly have no idea how she could've possibly landed that way... Unless someone guided her to that specific position so she wouldn't be hurt. Joe and I believe very firmly that it was God who made her land like she did. And I am so incredibly thankful for that.

I've been pretty much in shock all day. The image of her lying on the floor on all fours has been flashing through my mind all day. I don't think I've ever been so scared in all my life as I was in that moment. 

Thank You, thank You, God.


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 19

Are you getting tired of these yet? I think you probably are. I promise I've got a "real" post rattling around in my brain. It just hasn't made it to my fingers yet. Soon! :)

Today I'm thankful for modern medicine

Charlotte has been doing some funky things lately. Well, okay, really just one weird thing. She hasn't been nursing well. This is not a good thing. I knew something was up, but I really just couldn't put my finger on the issue. Sometimes she nurses perfectly. Latch, enjoy yummy milk, pull back, burp, swap sides, repeat. Other times, though? She latches for a minute, pulls back and fusses. Still other times, she won't even latch. Then I noticed she was spitting up. Since she was running low on her Zantac and I'd been trying to stretch out doses to last until Joe or I could get to the pharmacy, I figured that might be the problem. Turns out that's not the problem. It's the stupid reflux again. I put in a call to her doctor and we're going to add in a medication. I'm not real thrilled about this, but I know my poor baby needs something to help her sweet little tummy. And she definitely needs to be able to get all the milk she needs! I'm so thankful that we can get something to help her. My poor little lovey.

I'm also thankful that I'm able to get the medicine I need. I'm still having difficulties with my asthma, which is not fun. I'm trying to be better about using my daily inhaler. {Even though I really hate using inhaled steroids.} Since I had to use my "rescue" inhaler again last week, it made me all the more thankful that I live in the time that I do. These things weren't always available and it's a blessing to be able to have things that not everyone in this world does.

So, how about you? What are you thankful for today? 


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 18

Hope y'all had a great weekend! They certainly don't last long enough do they? Joe had a 4 day weekend for Veteran's Day and it was awesome! So glad we've gone another one coming up this week! I feel like we can really connect and do more when we get an extra 2 days. How about you?! :)

Today I'm thankful for...Thanksgiving. Is that cheesy? Maybe so. 

Buuuuut, I'm excited about Thanksgiving! I'm cooking again this year, and a couple of our friends are coming over. We're keeping it low-key this time around and I am totally okay with that. I'm just happy that we get to see our closest couple-friends (and their little one!) and share some good food. It's gonna be a busy week for me, what with the cleaning, cooking, and taking care of Charlotte, but it'll be worth it. :)

What are your plans for Turkey Day? Big? Small? Nothing at all? ;-)


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 17

Yay for being on track again!! :)

Even though today was a pretty stressful day (especially for a Saturday), something awesome happened. 

It was rainy and oh-so cool today. So cool, in fact, that it required a long sleeve shirt, yoga pants, soup for dinner and cuddling under a blanket on the couch.

Yes. It was magnificent! Sure, living in the land of 80ish degree weather year round is nice. You even get spoiled on it. But. When it's 80 degrees in November....it kind of just makes you sad. It's supposed to be cool, jeans-wearing weather! Not the usual shorts, tank top and flip flops. Today's rain and chilly weather was just what I needed to get "in the spirit" for Thanksgiving next week. 

And yes, I realize that the words "chilly" and "cool" are not normally associated with 70 degree weather. But when you've lived in Hawaii this long...it is, in fact, chilly.

So today, I'm thankful for cool weather and a good excuse to break out my neglected long sleeve shirts. :)

What are you thankful for?


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 15 & 16

Oops. Missed a day again. I was doing so well, too! Oh well... Here goes! :)

Day 15

I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to breastfeed my little lovey, as I sometimes call her. :) I know I've done a gazillion posts about breastfeeding and how much I love it, but it's the truth. I'm thankful that I'm able to do it. I'm thankful that God made my body to do this amazing thing! Growing her in my belly was amazing too, but the fact that I can continue to provide nourishment is...well, awesome. I love the bond, the sweet snuggles, the gummy smiles, the giggles, and the opportunity to just relax when it's nursing time. Ah, this makes me wanna snuggle her right now even though she's sound asleep in her crib!!!

Day 16

I'm thankful for the wisdom in/of BabyWise. I know, I know. It's another thing I've gushed about a lot here. But, really.... It's awesome. Case in point:

At 4:45am on Friday, the smoke detector just outside Charlotte's bedroom started chirping. Not just once or twice, either. Oh, no. It was once every 5-10 seconds. Chirp.....chirp.....chirp.....chirp. At first I hoped it would stop. Not much logic enters my mind at that hour...obviously. Joe was about to get up anyway, so I went ahead and woke him. He got out of bed and tried to make it stop. Then it beeped really loudly. That permeating, high-pitched beep only smoke detectors make. My mommy brain kicked in and I was terrified Charlotte was going to wake up freaking out over the loud noises. Joe finally dismantles the thing and I go back to bed while he's getting ready for the day. 

5:00am. I hear some rustling around over the monitor. Once again I'm terrified she wants to be awake. {Again with the lack of logic that early in the morning...} I heard a little bit of chatter, but she never made a huge fuss. Why? Because we do BabyWise. :) She has learned that it's ok for her to be in her bed without us there. She has learned that she needs to stay in bed until we come to get her, especially in the morning. {Now obviously if she's getting upset, I do go rescue her. Otherwise, she stays put.} She wasn't always this way. It took time to teach her that it's ok for her to hang out in bed until Mommy or Daddy comes in.

And after the short 5am chatter....she slept until almost 8am. Almost. *Insert choir of angels here, please.* There are many other reasons I'm thankful for BabyWise, but today? It's because she didn't freak out when something woke her and she went back to sleep for 3 hours, allowing Mommy to get some extra rest. 

BabyWise, people. Read it. Learn it. Love it. 

{Or not. But you're missing out!}

What are you thankful for today?

P.S. Totally didn't mean for this to be a completely baby-centered post! I guess that's what happens when you're a mom. :)


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 14

So...obviously I've missed a few days. There was that whole 4 day weekend thing we haven't gotten in a while and I spent most of it hanging out with my hubby and doing lazy things. Ok, I didn't do much of anything. I barely even cooked. Sue me. ;-)

I thought about going back and doing all the days I missed, but... Quite frankly, I don't have the energy for it. I know, I know. It doesn't take all that much energy to come up with some things I'm thankful for. Except...it kinda does. Not because I don't have a lot to be thankful for, but because I have so many things to be thankful for! 

Also....I'm exhausted. Teething was in full-force today. I had a whiny, crying, sweet baby girl who was in pain and I could do nothing for her. I even plopped her in the stroller and speed-walked to the shopette to get meds to help her. (Didn't help my energy level.) And then I proceeded to do things around the house. By the time Joe got home, I was wiped. Anyway. All this to say that I'm too tired to do much of anything. 

But today? Today I'm thankful for my "mom friends." Some of these are friends I've already listed - the bestie, to be specific - and others are friends close by who can sympathize. Because on hard days like today, sometimes you just need someone to listen and say, "Yep. I've been there. It's tough, but it's a phase and those don't last too long. Both of you will get through this."

So here's to my mom friends - both real life and online! Thanks for lending an ear....or eye....when the occasion calls for it.

What are you most thankful for today?


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 9

Oh, today was a good day! I may have mentioned before that my sweet friend, Mrs. C, was about to have her baby. Well, the little miss arrived Wednesday night and I got to see her today! {Mrs. C got a pic, but I didn't because 1) I forgot my camera and 2) I was too busy snuggling anyway. :)}

So what am I thankful for today? Lots of things.

We'll start with the good friend I have in Mrs. C. I already posted that the other day, but I feel thankful for it again today. I'm so happy for her and her little family!

Hearing a little snippet of her birth story, I'm thankful for Charlotte's easy birth.

Mrs. C was also induced, but she had a much more difficult time. Hearing her story made me a gazillion times more thankful that I had basically no problems giving birth to Charlotte. She had a minor bout of jaundice while we were in the hospital, but that was it. I didn't tear. I was dilated 2cm and 50% effaced when I walked in the door. I only got pitocin at the very end of labor. My total labor time was about 12 hrs. Charlotte was 5 lbs {read: pretty tiny and therefore easier to birth}. Despite her weight, she was perfectly healthy {except for the aforementioned jaundice}. We had it good

I know all birth experiences are different {and all that really matters at the end is a healthy mama and baby}, but knowing that other women have had much more difficult births makes me all the more thankful that Charlotte's was easy and wonderful.

See? Look how awesome I look just a little while after birth! =P
Don't let the pic fool you...I was exhausted.

What are you thankful for today?


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 8

Hmmmm. Day 8. What's made life so good today?

Not much, really. And by that I mean it didn't take much to make today a good day. :) But since I have to be thankful for something today... I'm going with Skype.

Why? Well, let's see....

It allowed me to talk to my bestie twice today. And for around 30 minutes each time. It'd been a while since we had a decent Skype "date," so it was nice!! I think subconsciously we prefer Skyping with each other to talking on the phone. It's definitely a nicer way to chat. Plus, it helps to see someone's face - even if it is through the computer - when you're thousands of miles away!

It also allowed me to chat with my hubby tonight! He's not deployed or gone to training or anything, but he's working a CQ shift which means I won't see him until tomorrow. He's had CQ  a lot since he became an NCO. Definitely one of the downsides of the promotion. Anywho, I got to talk to him and Charlotte got to see him before bedtime tonight. I call that a win!

Now if only my SIL would get a webcam and use it.... ;-)

So thanks, technology, for Skype. {And for working...most of the time.}

What are you thankful for today?


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 7

Already one week in! I'm starting to think I should do this for more than just this month. Maybe 2? Through the holidays? It'll be busy, but I think it'd be a nice thing to keep up. Plus having a daily thing is helping me blog. Although I'll admit there are times I even struggle with that!

Today I'm thankful for the family that I married into. I chose the guy without really knowing his family. Fortunately for me, they're totally awesome. I'm also thankful that living in NC after we got married provided me with an opportunity to get to know all of them pretty well. 

It never ceases to amaze me how well I seem to "fit" with his family. And that is a huge blessing. Knowing that I can rely on them for advice, prayer, friendship, and so many other things is amazing. I'm thankful that we have a great relationship and that I feel comfortable enough to be able to spend weeks at a time with them and not go crazy. Well...not totally crazy, anyway. ;-) We're a crazy bunch when we all get together, and we have crazy fun. 

I guess this is just proof that I married the right guy... If living with him on a daily basis wasn't enough. ;-)

What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday Walkabout - Take 11!

Welcome to the another week of Wednesday Walkabout! Thank you so much for hanging out with us, linking up, and reading new blogs. It feels crazy that we've been doing this for ten whole weeks now. But crazy awesome! =)

A little info about the Walkabout:

This is a weekly linky party with myself and 3 other co-hosts. The idea? Just put your URL in the linky (it can be a specific post or your "homepage"- whichever you prefer), visit a few other blogs, and possibly make some new friends. Easy peasy, right?!

Oh, and you only have to link up with ONE of the co-hosts. =) 

This week's Mystery Host is.... Kim from She is Fierce!

There are just a few quick rules we've set for the linky party...

1. Please follow at least ONE hostess, and let us know you're a new follower and how you follow!

Sarah - G.I. Joe's Wife (That's me!)
Chantal - Scattered Seashells 
Jane - Taingamala 

2. Try to visit 3-4 blogs that interest you. Take some time and let them know where you came from.

3. Grab the button from my sidebar and spread the word! (Not required, but just cool if you do.) The more, the merrier.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy blog-hopping!

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 6

Oy vey. Today was one heck of a day!

Charlotte fought her first nap of the day, which is usually one of her best naps. One of the reasons I'm in love with BabyWise is because the whole routine things usually helps with the napping. Most BabyWise babies (at least ones that I know) go down for naps super easy - no fight at all. Anyway, I had a fight on my hands this morning.

Then she was whiny throughout the day. Lord help me... This whining is killing me! I know it's a phase, but glory be! She's driving me bananas.

On top of everything else (and the election...I let it get to me far more than I should have), Charlotte wouldn't nurse this evening. =( Complete, 100% refusal of mama. She wouldn't even take milk from a bottle or sippy cup! She took her evening solids just fine, but no milk. Do I have to tell you that it totally broke my heart? Seriously. I was in tears up until a few minutes before writing this. She's been refusing one side a lot lately, but usually I just assume she wasn't really hungry. Now? Ugh. I don't know. Obviously, I was totally ready for bedtime tonight. Which brings me to what I'm thankful for...


Yeah, that's right. I said it. On days like today, I'm thankful for bedtime. Even if she's fussy, she still goes down for the night pretty well. {Hope I'm not jinxing myself here...} Add it to the list of things I love about BabyWise. You AP/crunchy mamas may enjoy the snuggles of co-sleeping and all that jazz, but me? I love it when she goes down for the night and I get a break!

Here's to finding some good in every day - especially the not-so-good ones.

So what are you thankful for today?

Psst! Just curious... How many of you thought I'd say I'm thankful for the right to vote/something election related? Show of hands! Er...comments! 


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 5


That's what I'm thankful for today. It may sound cliché, but I'm very thankful for the few amazing friends I have. In particular, I'm thankful for these people God has put in my life:

Melissa & I at Christmas last year.

First and foremost, the bestie. She's my sounding board, my personal shopper (seriously important when you live thousands of miles away!), my advice-giver, crafty inspiration and about a million other things. I don't know what I'd do without her! Actually, I do. I'd go crazy. =P She's the only person other than Joe that I trust with absolutely everything. I'd even ship my daughter to her for a couple of days if that were an option. Well...maybe... ;-)

Anna & I at the beach...summer 2011.
{Anna, we need an updated photo!!!}

She may be my SIL, but she's also one of my closest friends. We don't talk on the phone all that much, but we do FB! We think a lot alike (which is probably why she's also become friends with Melissa) and have a great time when we're actually in the same zip code. =P This also makes me so thankful I married Joe...because I got a great friend/sister out of the deal too! I'd probably leave Charlotte with her too. And actually....Anna, you may be babysitting at Christmas! =D

Mrs. C & I just a few weeks after we moved to HI in 2010.

Last - but definitely not least - is my closest island friend, Mrs. C. She was the very first friend I made here in Hawaii and has stuck with me ever since! She's about to meet her baby - hopefully sometime tonight or tomorrow - and I am so excited for her and her hubby! It's been quite the journey we've been on for the last 2.5 years. We met through blogging... Our first week on the island, they picked us up, took us out to dinner and then let us hang out at their house for a weekend! That picture was taken just outside of the hotel Joe and I stayed in before we moved into our house. Yep, they came to hang out with us at our hotel room! During the first month(ish) of Joe's deployment, we unpacked the rest of my house, organized and hung up pictures. We locked ourselves out of my house. We went shopping a lot. We went to church together. She spent tons of time at my house, keeping me company. She took pictures of us when Joe came home on R&R... We've chatted many hours away while our husbands played video games, card games, or talked about computers and zombies non-stop. She was one of the first people to find out I was pregnant...and that Charlotte was a girl. When we found out they were expecting just a few weeks before Charlotte arrived, we were thrilled! Now they're about to meet their own little miracle... They'll be PCSing to the mainland around Christmastime, and we'll be following soon after. She's my first (and possibly best!) Army wife friend. We'll both be on the East Coast for our next duty station. I hope we can keep our best intentions and meet up. I don't know how I'll make it through the next 4 years of Army life without her nearby!

I have a whole lot more friends (especially if you include all my bloggie friends!), but these are the few constants in my life. I am so thankful to have each of them. They're all quick to offer a kind, encouraging word...and even a word of truth when I need it the most. I wish I could hug all 3 of them right now!!

What are you thankful for today?


31 Days of Breastfeeding: Out of the House

Did you think I'd forgotten about this series?! I haven't! I was planning on doing this post on Halloween, but I just never got to it. Whoops. But here I am today, back with an exciting post on everyone's favorite topic...

Breastfeeding in Public

First, let me say that if you're one of those people who gets their panties in a wad about someone whipping out a boob in public and feeding their baby, you might just wanna check out now. So, on to the post.

All of us breastfeeding mamas know it's not always possible to feed our little ones a bottle in public {mine currently won't take one}. Nor is it always possible to feed them and then leave the house. Sometimes, a baby's gotta eat when we're out and about. And there's really not much we can do about that. It may not be the best situation, but you deal with it. The question for most breastfeeding newbies is: How do I breastfeed in public without showing all my goods?!

1. Use a nursing cover!

They're not the best things in the world, but with a little finagling they do work! Slip it over your head, grab your kiddo (or vice versa), lift/pull down your shirt, unhook the bra and feed your baby! Simple as that.

Ok. Well, unless your kiddo is a few days/weeks old and you're still learning how to breastfeed. Personally, I was a complete wreck trying to use the nursing cover the first several times I had to feed Charlotte when we were out. It wasn't pretty!

2. Use a baby carrier!

Believe it or not, you can breastfeed while wearing the baby. I personally have not done this, but I've seen many pics - and a few tutorials! - of women wearing their babies while nursing. Ergo, Moby, slings... 

Source: youtube.com via Sarah on Pinterest

You can check out my Pinterest board for another video on nursing in the Ergo. :)

3. Find a comfy, secluded location.

If you're out shopping, you can always take a break in a fitting room! I know a few people who do that and I gotta say that's a fantastic idea! I've never done it, oddly enough. Charlotte is usually happy while we're out shopping. And if not, I usually feed her in the car. Except for a couple times, I've fed her in the car without ever seeing people near us! And I didn't need to use a cover or anything. Just me and her chillin' out in the car.

I'm just gonna say this one time.... Please don't EVER let someone convince or force you into feeding your sweet baby in a bathroom! Public restrooms are just about the grossest place ever... Unless they have a specific nursing area in the bathroom,  don't do it!

4. Wear breastfeeding-friendly shirts and tank tops.

These days, I'm a little on the obsessed side about my nursing shirts and tank tops. I always want more of them! Especially since I know we'll be flying next month and missy will be needing to nurse during our travels. And, as you can see above, I'm not one for hiding out in the bathroom. Blech

My favorite nursing shirts are from Motherhood. I try to find them on sale when I can, but they're always expensive. *sigh* But I love the ones that you can just pull down. So much easier than lifting! Plus, there's nothing for your little one to grab and yank while s/he's feeding. {Please tell me someone else's baby does that!}

I actually sleep in tank tops like this:

Source: r.ebay.com via Sarah on Pinterest

I have never worn one of these out in public. I'm sorta particular in the whole wearing a bra in public thing. =P Haha! Even though Charlotte doesn't eat during the night, I still wear them to bed. It makes pumping at night and breastfeeding first thing in the morning super easy!

I have one of these nifty little things from Undercover Mama on my Christmas list (it'll probably end up being a Christmas gift to myself, though):

I love that it just hooks on to your bra and then voila! a nursing tank top! And you're not flashing anyone when you raise your shirt! Trust me when I say that even while using a cover sometimes someone sees a little skin. 

There you have it. A little how-to for nursing in public. It's not always easy or comfortable, but that's all part of the job, right?! 

And remember, no matter how many looks you get or how many times your kiddo kicks the nursing cover...

What are your tips for nursing in public?