Monday, October 31, 2011

Grand Finale

Remember I told you I had a bad week last week?  Well, shortly after I wrote that post I proceeded to spill 6 oz. of breast milk ALL OVER my school computer.  I don't know if I was more angry about absolutely ruining my computer, OR about the loss of liquid gold.  Anyway, the screen went completely black and wouldn't turn on the rest of the weekend.  World - 15, Me - 0.

Then, the weather turned to mush and we missed Dapalooza IV (our friends AmanDA and DAvey's annual outdoor extravaganza) because we couldn't chance snow with a baby and my bad cold.  This is one of my favorite events of the fall, so I was really sad to skip it this year... Especially later in the day when it turned out to be absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside.  Go figure.

And, the GRAND FINALE to a horrible week... Clemson LOST Saturday night to Georgia Tech.  UGG. We were 8-0 and #5 in the nation going into this game (I even had Jeff wearing Clemson garb and rooting for a National title this year).  Apparently, the last time they were 8 -0 was in 2000 and they lost their 9th game to GT. Stink.  Anyway, it was for no lack of spirit on our end... Here we are at my parent's "tailgating" before the game:
 Thank goodness Clemson's color is orange so Sam could be festive for Halloween and the Tigers.

 Apparently Poppy didn't get the memo about wearing orange... He also bad-mouthed Clemson all night.  He might get kicked out of the family.

And, during the game... As you can see, even Sam was very stressed out about it.

Luckily, as weeks tend to do, it ended... And it's hard to be a Debbie Downer when you have a sweet little pumpkin at home celebrating his first Halloween tonight.  :)  My house is clean, laundry is (almost) caught up, pumpkin goodies are baked, Jeff's in town, the sun is shining, and we've got a lot of happy on the agenda...

Pictures tonight!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

P.S. And my computer magically started working again when I got to work this morning!  Thanks God, glad to know you don't have it in for me this week too! ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Things I Miss about Being Pregnant

1. Not having to look "not pregnant."

All my cute turtlenecks from last winter that I purposely bought too big, now beautifully accentuate my muffin top & c-section pooch.  Wonderful.

2. Maternity jeans.

Let's be honest, I'm wearing my first pair of non-maternity pants since Sam today (it only took me 16 weeks), and I'm miserable.  Whoever invented the button & zipper should be punished severely.

3. Having an excuse to eat whatever I want.

Good thing I still use breastfeeding for this one.  It might be just the motivation I need to breastfeed until Sam is five.  (JUST kidding.)


Um................

That's about all.


Happy Friday ya'll!  It's been one of those weeks... The kind where your husband is travelling, you have a sinus infection, your computer crashes, your face breaks out, and your previously "good sleeper" starts waking up three times a night....

But we made it.  More soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

3 Months

Well, I'm only TEN days late on this.  No big deal... That's only HUGE in baby time.  Oh well, I'm a working mom these days.  (I fully intend to use that excuse for as long as possible... Maybe the next 18 years.)

So, before he grows another inch or gains another pound...

Sam is 3 months old!

I LOVE three months.  I mean, seriously, LOVE.  All the people that tell you that 12 weeks is a milestone and everything "gets so much better" after that - they are incredibly annoying and sound like liars when you are in the throes of colic and crying - but they are SO right.

This month has been marked by smiles, and coos, and kicks, and giggles. This is the month where Jeff and I said to each other, "oh... this is why people have more than one baby."   We LOVE it.  (Have I said that?)


Size - As of today, Sam is about 14 pounds, 2 ounces - that's just according to our home scale, because we don't have another doctor's appointment until next month. I feel like he is such a big boy, but he is still pretty "average" in terms of size.  Three month clothes fit the best, but he also wears some 0-3 month or 3-6 month depending on the outfit.  I think he has short legs like his mama (poor boy), because he needs size Newborn pants.  Mom and Dad have both outgrown their pants, so at least one of us is still in a small size. ;)

Here are some comparison photos:

Development - Sam continues to be really strong.  He can hold his head up on his own almost all the time now - although he still gets a bit bobbly/tired in the Bumbo.  He really likes to push off of his feet and "stand."  Jeff is convinced he'll be walking by six months. :)  He is a pro at tummy time and rolling over - although he still only rolls from tummy to back.  He has been grabbing at things for a while; but, just this week, he's started to really be able to grab and hold onto his toys. 

Personality - He really is so sweet and easy these days... He can entertain himself on his play mat or in his swing for a while, and rarely cries unless he is hungry or cold.   When we talk to him/play with him, he makes all kinds of sweet facial expressions and smiles ALL the time.  He also makes all kinds of fun noises and "talks" lots. He adapts well to new people, places, and situations.  Ironically, I've been kind-of enjoying the fact that he isn't scheduled right now; but, I can tell that's changing... Soon, we'll have to stay home and put baby to bed early, etc. 

In his wedding outfit.  Is that not the most precious face you've ever seen?

Eating - Since starting at the babysitter's, Sam has extended his time between feedings to four hours pretty consistently.  He eats his first meal around 5:30AM from me, and then I send two bottles with about six ounces in each to her house.  He eats "dinner" some time beween 5:30 and 6:30PM, and gets a bedtime bottle three-four hours later.  He is still exclusively breastfed, but he prefers a bottle over the boob.  I'm a pumping machine.  Enough said.

Sleeping - I am SO happy to report that Sam has been sleeping from about 10PM - 5:30/6AM consistently since about nine weeks (most mornings, he goes back to bed for an hour or two with Jeff or in his swing while I'm getting ready for work).  I really don't think his good sleep has much to do with anything we've "done," so I feel very lucky and grateful.  I honestly don't know what I would do if I was working and Sam wasn't sleeping.  He is still sleeping in the basinet in our bedroom, but we are planning to transition him into his crib some time in the next few weeks.  I don't know why that move seems like such a big deal for me, but it does.

Sam's sleep during the day is still kind-of disorganized.  He sleeps in his carseat mostly at the babysitter's, but she's working on getting him to fall asleep in the pack n play.  She says that she just puts him down when he starts to get sleepy, and he doesn't cry too much.  At least when he's with us, he is still a catnapper for the most part. I'm very anxious for him to be on a regular nap schedule and just "lay down and fall asleep," but we are taking baby steps getting there.

Firsts - Vacation, night away from mommy and daddy, wedding, etc.  Lots more to come in month four little guy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Busy Weekend

It is a super busy (but fun) weekend for us.  Jeff's brother is getting married today.  After a great rehearsal dinner last night, we are gearing up for another evening of celebrating Daniel and Jayme,  I'll be back soon with (hopefully) lots of pictures, but until then, I thought I'd leave you with this cute face from last night:


I remember thinking about this wedding and how crazy it would be to have a three-month old.  Now it's here.  I love it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oktoberfest 2011

We started this tradition FIVE years ago when were newly married and it has become one of our favorite fall events.  To be honest, we almost didn't do it this year - what, with a baby and all - but it is important to both of us that we maintain friendships and things that are important to us - like hospitality - even with Sam.  So... Chapman Oktoberfest FIVE went on. (See past years here and here.)


We had a slightly smaller crowd than usual; but, we figured out that we still had at least 35 different kinds of beer there for tasting.  As usual, we asked our guests to bring a six-pack of the most original beer they could find, sample what they wanted, and then place their vote for the BEST and WORST.  This year, Seth (you may recognize him) won with Stegmeier Pumpkin Ale and Kathryn won worst with Mad Bishop. This is her THIRD year in a row being the "loser."  She's quite proud of the title.


Sam attended about the first hour of the party, then he spent the night with his Gigi (did I ever announce that that's the name my mom decided on?) and Bear.  I admit that Jeff and I were both a little hesitant (more for our own sake, we knew he'd be in good hands); but it seemed like as good a time as any to give him his first overnight without the 'rents.  He did AWESOME and was probably glad to escape our crowded house.  Mom and Dad survived too and even slept uninterrupted until 9AM.

Overall, the party was a success; BUT, Jeff and I agreed that it had a different feel this year.  We're older - all of us.  And, if we're really being honest, our relationships are different than they were five years ago, or even one.  I can't really explain it, because it isn't an obvious change really, but it is there.  In some ways it felt like were "catching up" with people that we used to know everything about.  Does that make sense?

That change is hard for me sometimes; but, when we talked about it; we realized that there really is no other choice. We are in a new season now.  I'm SO thankful for the seasons that have come before it - the ones where we were out with friends every.single.night etc. - but they couldn't have stayed the same.  If they did, we wouldn't have Sam.  We wouldn't know the joy of lazy Friday nights at home eating chili and watching movies.  We couldn't sustain both lifestyles forever. 

None of this is to say we don't value our friends - I'm a HUGE advocate for not giving them up just because your life changes - but I think there is something to be said for accepting change as it comes.  I've tried, and it's too hard to fight it.  I'm grateful that our community of friends and family have really loved us where we are and gone on this journey WITH us over the past years.  It's neat to have friends that know you in many different stages - but again, change is always hard.

What do you think about this?  How have you all balanced having a baby with having friends in different seasons of life?

Anyway, I'm getting a bit too deep for a post on a beer party. You get the idea.

Until #6...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Catching Up

Guys, I'm sorry.  I promise I'm not abandoning this little blog.  I'm still here... Just busy.  And tired.

I've gotten myself into that place where it is hard to just "start up" again.  I feel like I have a lot to catch you up on, and I'm not really sure where to begin...  It's overwhelming, so I just don't do it.  That's my style these days. (You should see my house.)

We'll start with a picture then.  That seems like as good a place as any.

Before our annual Oktoberfest party this past Saturday night.  More on that later.
Ok now, let's bulletize.  Shall we?

- I have been back at work for almost two weeks.  So far, it is going well.  It still feels good to be back and most days I am happy to get up and out.  I miss teaching A LOT, but I think I'm going to be happy with my new position for this season of my life. My office is a dark closet with  no windows - seriously.  It's kind-of depressing.  But, I have done a pretty cute job of decorating it if I do say so myself.  My days are spent doing a lot of organizing and looking at data.  I like the former a lot and not the latter. I'm administering my first big test today.  Other than details like this,  I probably won't talk much about my job here because standardized testing is TOP SECRET.

- Jeff's job is going really well too.  (I don't talk about it much either because he is private - unlike his big mouth wife.)  He travels a lot - usually one or two (sometimes more) nights a week - which is hard but worth it, because he genuinely likes his job and that's super important to us.  I have a whole new appreciation for single moms though - especially working single moms (and I'd imagine most are).  When Jeff is out of town I'm like a one-armed paper hanger (what are those anyway?) and that's with an awesome support system of friends and family.

- Sam is THREE months old.  I LOVE three months.  I'll do a whole post on him later this week.  (Promise.)  I really do think 12 weeks is a miracle marker.  He has adjusted SO well to our new routine and is the happiest little guy.  I am pretty much obsessed with him.

- I weigh three pounds less than I did before I got pregnant.  I've been feeling pretty good about myself until yesterday when a cafeteria lady asked me when I was "going to finally have that baby."  Hmm... I've done a lot of positive self-talk, and I think I'm going to survive this. *I haven't done the first bit of exercise or watching what I eat.  Some days I am motivated to start the next day because I still have a long way to go to where I want to be; but most days I'm pretty content eating icecream and allowing pumping to be my only form of exercise. ;)

- Clemson is KILLING IT in football this year.  I don't really watch the games (just being honest), but I'm always so proud when I see the final score.  As you know, however, I DID attend the VT vs. Clemson game a few weeks ago, and I was SO glad I did.  Here we are with our friends Meg and Tim (from Boone, NC via Clemson) tailgating before the game...
Yes, I have a head coming out of my head, and Jeff couldn't stop eating for two seconds to take a picture.
I'm happy to report that Sam will be a Tiger upon high school graduation 2029. 

- I LOVE fall.  It is, by far, my favorite season.  A lot of people say that, but I really mean it.  I sweat too much to enjoy summer. I regret to say that I haven't spent as much time as I'd like to outside, but it has already been a full and fun October.  So far, we've been to the football game, had a wedding shower for my soon-to-be sister in law (post coming), been to a vineyard wedding, and hosted Oktoberfest (post coming).  Plus, we still have Jeff's brother's wedding this weekend, DaPalooza IV the next, and then, of course, Halloween.  Just wait till you see my little man in his costume!

- Life is good; BUT, I do not have it all together.  Finding this balance as a new working mom has been more challenging than I was prepared for (seems to be the theme of my life these days).  This week has started off on a much better note - I even made dinner last night - but last week I felt like a total train wreck. I have the Erin Condren Life Planner and a Home Organization Binder - but those things don't actually put away laundry or wash out bottles, not to mention that most days I'm too busy to even look at them.  Anyway, I'm learning that sometimes "good enough" is, actually, good enough.  Maybe I'll process that and write more later.

Ok.  Enough.  I won't be gone so long again.  Thanks for going easy on a girl.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

First Day Back

A new job. A new baby. What a difference a year makes! (First Day of School 2010.)

First Day of "School" 2011: (although I guess, technically, on the first day of school I was at home in my pjs with a five week old)


Yesterday, I joined the ranks of the millions of working moms out there... Armed with SIX bags (one entirely devoted to my boobs - no lie) and strong coffee, I was out the door at 7:45AM to take Sam to the babysitter and be at work by 8. Eight hours, a (semi) organized office, lots of welcomes, and only one minor pumping incident (sorry Kathryn, I'll get your shirt dry cleaned) later - we both survived. And, honestly, it was a good day.

A lot of people asked me how I felt about going back to work. How do you answer that really? It was/is bittersweet. On the one hand, I have LOVED being home with Sam - especially these last four weeks or so. I feel like I'm finally "getting the hang of things" and Sam is at such a fun stage full of smiles and coos. OF COURSE I am sad to leave him. I'm already realizing how fast these baby days go, and I hate the idea of missing even one moment of them.

BUT, I also really like my job. Being back there, I immediately remembered why I like it so much - there is an energy about being in a school that just really can't be beat. All day yesterday (and today), I had people (colleagues and students) stopping by my new little office to say hello, see pictures of my boy, and catch up. I felt, strangely, at home there too.

I don't know many moms my age that are also working right now. That has been hard for me. Yes, sometimes I feel guilty or question if I'm making the best decision for Sam. Sometimes I cry thinking about someone else possibly seeing his first steps or knowing his favorite games before me. Sometimes I long to be in play-groups and mom Bible studies (why are those always during the work day?) But, I think going back to work would be a totally different story if it wasn't about my heart too. It really is more than just a job to me. I think God called me to be a wife, and a mother, AND a teacher (or, in this case, a testing coordinator). I don't think God made a mistake when he put those three things in my heart; and I truly believe that each one makes me better at the others.

Maybe having the best of both worlds is possible - at least on good days. Sam is happy. I am happy and oh so grateful. Life is good.

*Continued prayers for this transition are so appreciated. I know I still have a long way to go and LOTS to learn - like how to not have a pig sty for a house, for starters. And THANK YOU to those real life friends who have been so wonderful with calls, texts, emails, and meals... You have been such a blessing!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A House (and Baby) Divided

Wedding Gift from my parents circa 2007
It's a big day in the Chapman household... Our rival schools are playing each other at 6PM.  There's a lot at stake here - like bragging rights for at least a year and Sam's future college plans.  

As you can see, we have taken our division to a whole new level this year...



We're off to see our Tigers play...


May the best team (ahem, CLEMSON) win! :)


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