Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Family Vehicle

October 17, 2009: They say that a woman becomes a mom when she gets pregnant and a man becomes a dad when the baby is born. Well, that statement manifested itself in Michael when Brecken was born and he felt the strong urge to buy a bigger, safer, family vehicle. Before Brecken was born, we owned a 97 Acura Integra, 98 Honda Civic, and 97 Mazda B2300 truck. All three were paid for so we initially shyed away from a new vehicle because we didn't want a car payment. We had talked about using the cars for a few months and then maybe getting a bigger car at some point.

Well, that timeline was pushed up a lot once Brecken was born. We came home from the hospital in the Civic and Michael took all back roads because he didn't want to get on the interstate in such a small car with our new baby boy. Within a couple days, Michael had researched vehicles and decided he wanted a Honda Pilot. We do not usually make big decisions rashly or even quickly so it took me a couple days to get my mind wrapped around the idea of selling the Acura and the Mazda and buying a new (to us) Honda Pilot. I'd never owned a vehicle that was less than 10 years old! I really had to stretch my thinking and remind myself that it would be okay (and probably really nice!) to own a bigger, newer vehicle with perks like leather seats, GPS, seating for 8, and a rear back-up camera.

So less than two weeks after Michael was born, we brought home our brand new (to us) 2006 Honda Pilot EX and we love it! I have to say, it sure is wonderful to have all the extra space, especially once we start traveling with Brecken and both dogs. We can just lay down the third row and there's plenty of room for the dogs and our luggage - perfect! I can't imagine trying to fit all of us, the dogs, and all our stuff in the Civic - miserable.

Hanging Out With Daddy

October 15, 2009: We have been so blessed for Michael to have the opportunity to take FMLA leave and be off through the end of the year. Michael is going to pick up a few shifts, but the plan is for him to be home most of the first few months of Brecken's life. Brecken loves to cuddle with his Daddy.

Michael even taught him how to kick back and chill - and he's only 10 days old!

Family Walks

Michael and I love to be outdoors, so of course we want to encourage that same love for the outdoors in Brecken. While we haven't taken him camping yet (only because it's winter!), we do try to take him on walks around the neighborhood a lot. When it wasn't 18 degrees outside, we went every day. Now, Michael takes the girls every day, but we don't always get out with Brecken if it's below freezing. This picture is from one of our first family walks - when Brecken was less than a week old and still small enough to lay down in the sling.

Brecken's First Bath

October 12, 2009: One not so great thing about being born in the fall is taking sponge baths when it's cold outside. Brecken's first bath at home was done on the kitchen counter and he was less than happy about being stripped down and lathered up. It took three of us (Me, Michael, and Mom) to complete the task, but we got him all cleaned up, smelling fresh, and like a Baby Bee!

Stardust Drive-In Theater

October 23, 2009: We took Brecken to his first movie at the drive-in theater when he was two and a half weeks old. It was a good way for us to get out of the house without exposing him to lots of people. We saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Where the Wild Things Are. Unfortunately, I was so tired, that I fell asleep during part of the second movie and I'm fairly sure Michael fell asleep during part of the first movie! Brecken, of course, slept through most of both movies!

We love the drive-in because it's fun, cheap, casual, and outdoors! All qualities that are very much our style. We always go to the Stardust in Watertown, though I hear there is one in Dickson, also. I wish they were just a little bit closer, though. It takes at least 45 minutes to get there, so it ends up being a very late night if we stay for both movies. We were both fighting to stay awake on the way home...I couldn't keep my eyes open for long, but thankfully Michael (and God) got us home safely even though he was exhausted, too.

I'm sure we will make a couple more trips out to the Stardust this summer and as Brecken gets older. It's great for kids and I don't have to worry about him disturbing other people (which is what happened when we tried to go see The Blind Side in theaters...bad idea...I stood by the back door the whole movie and missed the last 30 minutes because B had gas and was fussy...poor guy). We'll see you again in 2010, Stardust Drive-In!

Thursday Night Panera Girls

October 22, 2009: I grew up in small churches where the entire congregation was only double the size of our Sunday morning class at our current church, Harpeth Hills. God has blessed me and Michael with wonderful Christian friends from that class. Almost every Thursday night, a bunch of the young moms from church get together at the Panera in Brentwood. It’s technically a book group but sometimes we don’t ever get around to talking about the book! It is always a good time though and I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful women. When Brecken was two weeks old, I was ready to get out and about so we ventured out to Panera on Thursday night. It was the first time Brecken and I went out without Michael and it was a success! We had a wonderful night and Brecken slept most of the time…no surprise there!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


One thing that really took me by surprise about motherhood is worrying. I've never been much of a worrier. I'm pretty good at going with the flow of life. I know God has a plan for my life and that plan is ultimately for my benefit, not to harm me. Therefore, I try not to worry about things I have no control over.

So when my friends told me I'd do things like check to be sure Brecken is breathing in the middle of the night, I didn't believe them. I thought, "Not me. I won't do those things." I was wrong. I remember the day we came home from the hospital, we took a walk around the neighborhood. Brecken was so small, just over 6lbs., that I just carried him in my arms. Besides, I wanted to hold him constantly. I very clearly remember being about halfway down the road and all the sudden having this horrible thought and mental picture - What if I dropped him?! The image in my head was horrendous and probably much more graphic than it should have been, but I was shocked as soon as I had this thought. I wasn't supposed to think those things! I was going to be the calm, chill, laid back mom who didn't worry. Ha!

Really, as Brecken's gotten a little older, those crazy thoughts have definitely diminished and I feel like I probably am the laid back mom I envisioned, but that doesn't mean I didn't reach over in the middle of the night more than once to ensure he was still breathing. Or pull into a gas station fearful that he was suffocating from his blanket getting pulled over his face when the baby mirror behind the carseat fell off (neither he nor the blanket had moved an inch). Or think that his loud eating and breathing had to mean there was fluid in his lungs. Or then think that because he was sleeping quietly that something was wrong.

Or call the pediatrician's office after hours when he had a 99.9 degree temp (I honestly thought they said call if it was 100, not 100.4 like it really is) that was probably just a result of him getting mad about us changing his diaper and clothes. This was less than a day after we took him to our church's Trunk or Treat and I remember Michael and I were both convinced that we'd taken him out to soon and exposed him to the flu or something. I'm fairly sure that for a few minutes, we both thought we were the worst parents in the world. Of course, it was nothing and we've not had to call the pediatrician again since.

I hear that even though the things we worry about change over the years, it's just the nature of a mother to worry about her children in some form or fashion. I think I'll be able to keep the unhealthy, unrealistic worries under control, but I'm sure there will always be an element of worry that comes with loving a child unconditionally.

Brecken – Reflections on the First Three Weeks

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three weeks since Brecken was born. What’s even stranger to think about is that my due date was this past Monday, October 26th. Life is so different, it’s hard to imagine that I could quite possibly still be pregnant right now. I wouldn’t want it any other way though. Brecken came when he was ready and when God wanted him to come…which means it was perfect timing, even if it wasn’t what we were planning for.

Dad had to go back home a couple days after Brecken was born, but Mom stayed with us for two weeks helping with everything from laundry to cooking to rocking and loving on our little boy. Then Dad came back about a week later and helped Michael complete some projects around the house. Michael’s parents came to meet Brecken that first weekend after he was born. My sister, LeeAnn, Aunt Lindy, and cousin Ashton also came that weekend along with my niece, Salem, who is almost exactly 4 months older than Brecken.

Brecken already has many nicknames. Brecken Bear is our favorite. I’m not sure how I came up with it, but it’s stuck and is appropriate because he has a bear shaped rug in his room. The second most common name is Baby B as coined by my former college roommate, Emily. We also call him Little Man, Handsome Fellow, Brecken Boy (sounds very superhero-ish to me), Baby Boy, Cuddle Bug and many other sweet things that are only appropriate for boys when they are very little. 

Brecken sticks his tongue out a lot. Awake or asleep, it's usually peeping through. Evidently, he gets that from me. I used to stick my tongue out all the time when I was little.

Baby B loves to be held which is perfectly fine with me as long as I’m not home alone and trying to get dressed to go somewhere! He’s the perfect little cuddle bug. It’s the sweetest thing in the world to have my baby boy cuddled up on my chest. Brecken likes to lay on his tummy on my chest. He puts his hands up under his head like he’s lounging on the beach. It’s the cutest thing ever.

In the hospital, they encouraged skin-to-skin contact between myself and Brecken to encourage bonding. It’s one of my favorite things ever now. I know Baby B will soon outgrow wanting to cuddle on my chest so I’m trying to not take these sweet times for granted. A few days ago, Brecken fell asleep on Michael’s chest for the first time. It only took a few moments for Michael to say, “I understand now why it’s so hard for you to get up when he falls asleep like this.” There is nothing so priceless as my sweet smelling, soft skinned, beautiful newborn son falling asleep with us.

I’m a proponent of baby wearing. I have a sling, a wrap, and a front pack carrier that allow me to carry Brecken and still have my hands free. We’ve been taking walks around the neighborhood almost daily. He'll fuss while I'm getting him situated, but he usually falls asleep within the first couple minutes. These walks have been great for all of us. It's good for me to get outside and get some exercise and hopefully, it will teach Brecken to love and appreciate the outdoors like Michael and I do. The other big benefit is that our dogs, Sadie and Keely, get a little extra attention and exercise as well. We don't want them to resent Brecken or view him as a threat to them. Sadie and Keely were our original babies and we definitely want to keep them around for our kiddos to play with and love on, too.

Basically, we just love to be close to and cuddle with our baby boy. These times are short and sweet so we are trying to savor them as much as possible.


The house is a mess and there is laundry to be done, but I've realized that if I don't make blogging (and thus, recording memories) a priority above little things I can cross of my list (like unloading the dishwasher) for a momentary burst of pride (who doesn't like to cross things off a to-do list??), then I will NEVER get caught up on my blog. (How about that run-on?)

For a goal oriented person like myself, the to-do list is never ending. Honestly, my to-do list is actually a notepad that sometimes is several pages long because I won't tear off a sheet until everything on that page is crossed off. It's kind of my own personal self-discipline. I want to tear off and throw away the top page, but won't allow myself to do so until everything on that page is crossed off. Crazy, I know.

This means that sometimes (okay, maybe a lot of times), I do things just so I can cross them off my list. Unfortunately, this also means that I tend to procrastinate the bigger projects because I know I can do many small things (which equals many small victories) in that same amount of time. I guess I like the instant gratification that comes from tasks like putting away a load of laundry - it's clean, neat, and no longer cluttering my bedroom floor.

However, tonight I'm sitting in the living room by the fire watching my 3 month old baby boy coo and bat at toys in his toy gym on the floor. One of which is some funny looking creature that plays music every time he hits it. And he is intentionally hitting it! I don't think he's picked up on the cause/effect relationship yet, but he is avidly watching that toy and consistently touching it. Watching Brecken do these things made me realize how fast he is growing and changing and that if I don't start recording these things now, I never will.

I don't have to get bogged down with writing the most beautiful post with the best pictures. Short and sweet is just as effective. Though I'm obviously not very good at short and sweet, it seems like that might be my only option if I really want to chronicle our family adventures and every day happenings.

I can't tell you how many times I've sat in bed nursing Brecken writing a blog post in my head about something he did that day or something I was feeling or thinking about. Unfortunately, those blog posts never actually made it out of my head. My goal for 2010 is to just sit down and do it! Don't stress over the dirty dishes or messy bedroom. Next month I won't remember how many things I crossed off my list today. But I will remember that today, Brecken started to actually play with toys. I know I'm already a couple weeks late getting started on this 2010 goal, but better late than never, right?

So I am going to go back and get some posts up that I've written but not published yet. It might take a bit to get caught up, but I'm making it a priority.