Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grayson's Baby Dedication

Ben and I dedicated Grayson at church today. It was such a wonderful experience and it just makes me remember what a blessed life we (all) have. As you know, things have been tough with Grayson's eating and sleeping issues lately, and it is so easy to get caught up in all the negative parts of life and lose focus of the big picture: our loving God is in control. My sweet sister-in-law, Holly, gave me a gift that included the following bible verse which is a beautiful reminder that even though waiting is tough, the Lord IS working his good in our lives:

Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Another verse that has been the theme of our day and which Ben and I are declaring to do is:

Train a child in the way in which he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverb 22:6

Pics soon to follow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weight Loss

Nope, not me. Grayson. Sadly, over the past 3 months Grayson has been fussing more and more when we try to make him eat or sleep. He has been on a mild antacid, Zantac, since he turned 6 weeks old. At first that seemed to solve his eating issues, but then they got worse again. Because his initial weight gain was good, it has been hard to diagnose a problem and at first we thought maybe his lack of daytime sleeping was the culprit. However, over the last 2 months Gray has gained almost no weight. I have talked with our pediatrician, countless lactation consultants, and scoured the internet for a solution. Thankfully, a couple of our friends recommended a pediatric GI doctor to us.

We had Grayson's first appointment today and are hopeful that we'll find a solution to his misery (and ours) soon. The doctor prescribed a much stronger antacid, Prevacid, to see whether or not the issue is related to reflux. If, in one week, we have not noticed a dramatic difference we are moving on to Plan B. It just feels good to be seeing a specialist and to have quick, reliable, measurable ways to intercede on Grayson's behalf.

The new medicine will probably take 4-5 days to kick in. Until then, we're continuing to pray for wisdom and patience. I'm sure hoping to write a follow-up post next week with positive news. Be praying!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gray at 3 Months

One of my goals this first year of Grayson's life is to have pictures taken at regular intervals so that we can track his growth (and keep the grandparents happy). Here are the pictures that we had taken at about 3 1/2 months. It's incredible how much he's changed and grown!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stupid Oxytocin

Disclaimer: Prepare yourselves for another blog about Grayson's sleep; it is our all-consuming issue these days! If blogs are a true indication about a person's life, just be happy that yours MUST be more exciting than mine. While Ben is off traipsing around Denver at the Great American Beer Festival, I am sitting here blogging, yet again, about sleep...

After coming home from a quick trip to Lubbock last weekend, Gray and I (more or less) started over on sleep training. We are still doing better than when we started this oh-so-fun endeavor over 3 weeks ago, but not by leaps and bounds. Until Thursday...

Thursday morning, I laid Gray down for his morning nap as usual. And, as usual, I sat with the monitor close by after he'd gone to sleep just waiting for him to wake right back up in 15 or so minutes. So, I curled up on the couch with a book, just waiting to be interrupted, resigned to the fact that it wasn't worth starting any other project. Before I knew it, I had finished my book and Gray was still asleep: 30 minutes without waking up and no book to read. What was I to do?

Shower! I got out of the shower and Gray was still asleep (We're going on an hour at this point - I take long showers). I checked and double-checked the monitor every 20 seconds or so while putting on my make-up and doing my hair (and now we're at an hour and a half - I take a long time to get ready in general).

At this point it's going on close to 2 hours that Gray has been napping. I've finished a book, gotten ready, and picked up the house. So, here's where the oxytocin part of the story comes in. My beautiful, anti-napping son is coming to the end of his longest nap to date and I am in a near panicked state, because I am imagining all sorts of terrible SIDS scenarios even though I have checked the video monitor a trillion times in the past hour. I was so nervous that I had to call Ben and have him talk me out of going in to Gray's room to wake him up. Stupid Oxytocin, why not just let me enjoy 2 hours of productivity?!

Needless to say, Gray woke up happy and refreshed, I calmed down and everything is back to a non-napping state. Oh joy!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Outdated Info As Always

For the life of me, I just can't keep current with blogging. Oh well, I guess by now those of you who still read this don't expect anything less. So, without further ado: Outdated Info As Always.

Grayson has been keeping us on our toes lately (as you may have noticed by the lack of pictures and my frantic Facebook statuses). At about 2 1/2 months Grayson fully awakened from his sweet, newborn sleepiness and decided he no longer liked to be put to sleep for naps and bedtime. In fact, he has decided that he thoroughly HATES it. So, for the last 2 months, we have had quite the time of getting our dear Gray Boy to go to sleep. At first we naively thought that if we just swaddled him a little tighter, shushed a little longer, and rocked a little harder, that he'd give in. NOPE!

So after multiple trips to the pediatrician, dozens of conferences with lactation specialists, and 5 different sleep manuals, I reluctantly tried letting Gray "cry-it-out". Oh, if he'd only "fuss" or "protest" as people say. Nope! He screams loudly and for long periods of time. This has been going on for what seems like forever, but in reality has been about 2 weeks (and really only during the day for 1/2 week).

And then today...

Ahhh! He napped. After CIO for 25 minutes, he slept for 1 1/2 hours. Then, he only fought sleep for 10 minutes at his next 2 naps and slept a total of 2 more hours. Hallelujah. Now the question is: Will this be the new norm or just the eye of the storm? We'll just keep praying.

(One final note for those of you who think I've been hasty or cruel in letting my 4 1/2 month old cry for long periods of time, here is the list of what we tried before or in combination with "Crying-It-Out": swaddling, 1/2 swaddling, unswaddling, making the room cooler, making the room warmer, music, nursing, bottle feeding, pacifier, rocking, walking, patting, shushing, a stuffed animal, a blanket, car rides, stroller rides, the swing, letting him stay up until he crashes while playing, blackout shades, progressive waiting methods, burping, changing his diaper, and probably more things I can't think of right now.)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Say Cheese!

Ironic that the phrase meant to elicit smiles is doing quite the opposite to Grayson. We just got results in from the pediatrician that Gray has a "milk protein allergy". Poor boy! And poor Momma. No more cheese for me. Or milk. Or yogurt. Or butter. Oh, the horror! Gray is scheduled for his 4 month appointment on the 19th of this month, at which time some follow-up testing will determine whether or not eliminating frank dairies from my diet is sufficient or if I will need to eliminate ALL foods with milk in them. Let's hope that's not the case, because the list is quite intense:

Dairy Ingredients and Hidden Dairy:
Artificial butter flavor, Butter, Butter fat, Buttermilk, Butter oil, Casein, Caseinates (ammonia, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium), Cheese, Cottage cheese, Cream, Curds, Custard, Ghee, Goat’s milk, Half & half, Hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein), Kefir, Koumiss, Lactalbumin, Lactalbumin phosphate, Lactoglobulin, Lactose, Lactulose, Milk (condensed, derivative, powder, dry, evaporated, low fat, malted, non fat, protein, skim, solids, whole), Milkfat, Nougat, Paneer, Pudding, Rennet casein, Sour cream, Sour cream solids, Sour milk solids, Whey (in any form including delactosed, demineralized, protein concentrate, sweet), Yogurt

Ingredients that MAY contain milk protein:
Chocolate, Flavorings (natural or artificial), High protein flour, Hot Dogs, Luncheon Meat, Margarine, Simplesse, Sausage, Starter Distillate. Avoid "deli" meats, because the slicers frequently are used to cut both meat and cheese products. Also, some deli meats contain dairy products. Kosher labeling: A product label marked Parve or Pareve is certified dairy-free. A product with a circled “U” on the label (with NO other symbols or letters) is Parve. A "D" or "DE" on a product label next to a circled "K" or circled "U" may indicate the presence of milk protein. —

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today's Top Ten Favorites

In no particular order, here are the things that made today spectacular (other than Ben & Grayson of course):

1. Swaddlers to help Grayson sleep more soundly. Say a little prayer of thanks... 2 hour long naps were taken IN HIS CRIB - not in my arms!
2. Our rocker/glider - what a lifesaver when you have a boy who fights sleep like Gray!
2. Words with Friends. Look me up: ShelbyLeighJones
3. Nook! I am currently reading Eat, Pray, Love. I am forced to read it now that it's going to be a movie with Julia Roberts.
4. Beth - for coming by to take care of Gray while I shower....
5. A hot shower, clean hair, and make-up.
6. Gray rolling over on his playmat. (Video coming soon!)
7. A chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing.
8. A good rainstorm in the early evening.
9. A clean house.

And last but DEFINITELY not least

10. Heading to bed at 9 pm while Ben takes care of Gray. Goodnight Moon!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Our Nights (& Days) Look Like These Days (Part 2)

These days our nights are going better (and then a little worse and then a little better again). Grayson has started "sleeping through the night", which means that we usually put him down between 11-11:30 p.m. and then (most nights) he doesn't wake up again until 5:00 a.m. or later. Since he's been reliably sleeping through the night, we are (finally) transitioning him to his crib in his room. Until now we'd relied on the nature sounds and vibration on his Pack 'N Play in our room.

During the day, Grayson still much prefers to be held when at all possible. He likes to snooze on our shoulders most of the day or he's content in his car seat if we're on the go. I've been trying to set up a napping/eating schedule, but Gray doesn't seem to be quite ready for that yet. Every time I think we're really getting somewhere, things get thrown out the window and we start all over again. Today has been a prime example of that. Little by little Gray is growing up!

Grayson turned two months last week and is weighing in at about 12 pounds. His reflux(?) got better and then worse again and now seems to be doing slightly better again. Due to this last reoccurrence we're not totally convinced that it's reflux that is causing the problems during his feedings. Since we aren't sure what else to contribute it to, we're just sticking with what we're doing for now. Despite a few set backs now and then, Gray is continuing to grow like a weed.

Here are a couple of pics to compare Gray from his 1 month to his 2 month birthday.

One Month:

Two Months:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Last Saturday Ben and I took Grayson swimming for the first time. Aunt Holly and Uncle Mark found Gray Boy an adorable swimming outfit and invited us over to their pool to swim. Gray did great! He stayed in his floaty in the pool for about 20 minutes and seemed to love every minute of it. We waited to go swimming until about 8:30 p.m. which proved to be the perfect time: the sun was almost down and it was the perfect temperature. We can't wait to take him to the pool again soon!

Ben's First Father's Day

This past weekend Ben, Grayson and I celebrated Ben's first Father's Day. Ben has a great day that started, first and foremost by getting to sleep in a little later than he's used to these days. Grayson was sweet enough to "sign" Ben's card with an ink printing of his hand. After relaxing at home for the morning, the three of us headed to (gulp) Poncho's Mexican Buffet. There's not a lot that can be said for the food, but at least they still have the cool little flag for service. Here are a few pics.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where does the time go?

The last 8 weeks since Gray has been here have flown by in a flash! SO let's try to figure out where the time went:

In May, Wes, Penny, and Liv came to meet Gray. Sadly, Gray slept through their entire visit! However, since then, Gray has started to wake up more and more and can't wait to get to play with Liv again in July.

Also, I went back to work for 3 days to clean up my room and say good-bye to my students before summer. Going back to work those 3 days was pretty chaotic, but luckily Ben and Gigi stayed with Gray so I didn't have to worry about him too much.

For Dad's birthday at the beginning of June, Ben, Gray, and I went on our first road trip to Houston to visit Poppi and Mama Jo. While we were there Grayson also got to meet his cousins Kylan and Jayton and Gentry Bass. Gray Boy did great traveling and seemed to enjoy his first overnight trip! We're looking forward to more trips in the near future.

Since returning home from Houston, we switched pediatricians and are very happy with the change so far! It seems that Gray may have reflux issues, but he's eating extra to make up for it. At his 2 month appointment, Gray weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces and measured 23 1/2 inches long. That puts him in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for length. So, besides battling a little heartburn, he seems to be healthy and happy these days.

Just this past Saturday, Greg, Janie and Lucky met us for dinner in Grapevine, during which Lucky and Gray decided that Gray needs a fish shirt to match his cousin. :)

And last but not least, Ben and I made the decision that I will be staying home full-time this fall. I had been going back and forth on whether or not to stay home ever since Gray was born, but all the reasons that kept me going back have melted away one by one. I will be a little sad to say good-bye to my friends and students at school, but I am so looking forward to being home with Gray too.

Whew, what a whirlwind of a month!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Our Nights Look Like These Days

The last 4 weeks with Grayson have been beyond wonderful, but nights with a newborn aren't the most enjoyable part of the process!

Here's what tonight looks like so far:

I began feeding Gray at 8:30 pm while pretending to watch the beginning of Lost. We finished the 40 minute program after pausing it more than a 1/2 dozen times to regain the interest of Sir Grayson who finished eating at nearly 9:30 pm.

Then Ben and I laid the boy down and picked him up 3 times before he actually went to sleep.

He then "woke us up" (I hadn't actually gone to sleep yet) at 10:30 pm. Ben picked him up and rocked him for 10 minutes and put him in the swing for 5 minutes before returning him to his pack n' play with the vibrator and nature sounds turned on.

He then grunted intermittently while sleeping until 1:00 am. Ben picked him up and changed him, went back to bed and then I fed him until almost 1:45. Now I have swaddled him, rocked him, sang to him, and now have him in the swing with his playlist playing through the speakers while I type (for my own sanity and to keep myself awake).

It's now 2:05 am and Gray Boy is asleep and I am about to attempt to put him back in his pack n' play and try to get some sleep before he wakes up next.

Gray (and then I in turn) went back to sleep around 2:30 and slept until 5:00, at which time he began the grunting wake-up process which continued until he and I both officially got-up at 5:30. By the time he finishes eating this time, it'll be time for Ben to wake up for work. :(

Believe it or not, this has been a VERY good night so far. Any night where we can sleep "soundly" from 10:45 until 1:00 and again from 2:30 until 5ish is a GREAT night!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nursery Pics

Now that Grayson is here and we'd all rather see up-to-date pics of the little guy, I am finally posting pics of his nursery for anyone who hasn't had the chance to visit.

A few disclaimers:
* The TV is for me... not Gray. It will be removed once he's old enough to notice that it is there.
* The green on the walls is more of an avocado green than the somewhat neon green that you see in the pictures - bad lighting.
* I'll try to add more interesting posts as I begin learning to balance life with a newborn... for now, I am trying to hold Gray with one arm while typing with the other. What can I say? He just sleeps better while being held. (But to be perfectly honest, I don't mind that 99% of the time.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

3 Weeks In

It's been 3 weeks since Grayson made his debut and I am finally getting around to posting an update. Oh well!

Labor & Delivery: For those of you who haven't heard the story... Yes, I was is labor for 17 hours. This was due mainly to the fact that Grayson had "cord compression" which meant that any intense contractions caused his heartbeat to drop alarmingly. One thing we discovered was that the compression/dropping was less significant when I was positioned on my right hand side, so there I stayed for most of the time - many, many hours! Because of this compression, we weren't able to be very agressive with labor inducing drugs and had to keep backing down to keep Gray Boy safe. So, we took things slow, I laid on my right side, and we prayed for our sweet little boy to make it safely into the world, which he did at 12:47 a.m. the following morning, Tuesday, April 20, 2010. I was such a worried mess during the whole ordeal and was beyond relieved and thankful that the NICU team that was on hand in the room was not needed and that Gray was happy and healthy upon entry into this world.

Home from the Hospital: I can't even begin to describe how scared I was to bring Grayson home from the hospital. I doubt I slept more than a couple of hours the first night we brought him home; I found it necessary to check on him in his crib every hour (or less) to make sure he was sleeping safe and sound. As the nights went on, I began getting adventurous and started sleeping with the light off! :) Thankfully, my mom and Ben's mom were able to stay with us the first nearly two weeks to help soothe my nerves and help with the long night duties. Besides the amazing help around the house and child-raising experience the moms provided, Ben and I were blessed with the amazing gift of meals from friends. I cannot even begin to describe what a blessing this has been the last 3 weeks! We have had more than enough food that we haven't had to cook once since Gray was born, which has been essential since we haven't had a minute to spare.

The Here & The Now: Things are getting more and more normal as the days go on. Ben, Gray, and I've gotten used to our new lives together and are becoming adjusted to life without routine. (But we can't wait for Gray to be old enough to start introducing one!)According to Gray's and my follow up appointments over the past week, we are both doing fabulously! Gray's gaining weight and I am growing somewhat less sleep deprived and stronger as the days go on.

Thank You's: While we are moving forward, I am still behind in many areas, one being expressing my sincerest thanks for the unimaginable love and support we've received! Thank you to all of our friends and family for the prayers, gifts, meals, visits, and general support and love. We have been blessed beyond belief and want you all to know your efforts have not gone unnoticed. THANK YOU! We love you all!

More to come!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pregnancy Picture: 9 Months

I always thought I would be totally in to getting tons of pregnancy pictures taken, but the opposite has been true. I guess it seems a lot more glamorous to look at other women pregnant than to see myself getting so huge - whether due to baby or to "eating for two." Regardless, I have taken a few pics in the past few months and thought I'd share one of me from couple of days ago. I'll also make sure and take some pictures/video of Grayson's room to post in the near future.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pre-Summer, Pre-Baby Reading: Prophecy of the Sisters

I officially started maternity leave on Wednesday with the intention of forcing Grayson into this world via induction on Thursday. Well... it's Friday... and Grayson is intent on hanging in for a while longer. So, to keep myself from going insane, I stopped by the bookstore and picked up a few titles that seemed interesting.

With nothing but time on my hands, I started and finished Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. It is a young adult novel about two sisters who find themselves on opposite sides of the ancient fight between good and evil. This supernatural fiction would be a good fit for fans of Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy.

Book's Pros: The story is fascinating and reads like an adult novel with the exception of the 16 year old main characters, twin sisters Lia and Alice. The author finds a new way to twist an old story. The setting, late 1800's, adds a good eerie twist. Would be an especially good read on a rainy, winter day. Adult's who liked the movie Stigmata, would likely enjoy this book.

Book's Cons: The fact that the story revolves around a battle between good and evil will make some conservative readers uncomfortable. Warning: If a non-Christian perspective on the supernatural makes you squeamish, steer clear. (Think Harry Potter for a slightly older audience if you haven't read Bray's books as a reference.)

I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed Prophecy of the Sisters and can't wait for book 2 of the trilogy, Guardian of the Gate, to be released on August 1, 2010.