Friday, December 30, 2016

The Christmas Where Everyone Got Sick

Well, this was surely a Christmas for the books.

On December 19th, Thompson came down with a stomach virus.  He handled it like a champ, but the next day it hit me, and then the following morning it hit T like a Mack truck.  The staggered effect was actually quite fortunate, because when I was at my worst T could take care of the baby, and when he was laid up in the bed, I could take care of everyone.   Determined to get better by Christmas, we laid low for the next few days, even skipping out on a Christmas party we'd really been looking forward to.

By the 23rd, we were all feeling back to normal, so we headed down to see my in-laws for a few days.  Unfortunately we had to cut our trip short, because my niece came down with RSV.  She was so dehydrated she wound up in the hospital on the night of the 23rd.  When we woke up on the 24th, we fled their house quickly, scared that Thompson might contract it.  Little did we know, it wasn't my niece that would be spreading Christmas sickies, it was poor little Thompson.  Or more affectionally known as Typhoid Tompie for the rest of the Christmas holiday.

As luck would have it, Christmas Day was the only day that everyone felt fine.  T and I were fully recuperated,  Thompson was his normal jolly self, and no on else had contracted the stomach bug yet.  I'm really glad we took advantage of that time to snap a few family pictures before all hell broke loose.

We spent the day with my mom, dad, and sister Sarah in my parent's new house at Lake Wateree.  We've had a house at the lake for years, but they recently sold our lake house as well as the house I grew up in, and built a new house on the lake where they plan to retire.  I was afraid it would be weird to celebrate Christmas at the new house, this was the first Christmas in my entire life where I wasn't in my childhood home.   But their new house is beautiful, and built to accommodate our entire family, including all the grandchildren.  It's the perfect place for this new season of our lives.

Mom and Dad moved in just a little over a week before Christmas, so it was a mad scramble to get the house in shape for Christmas.  We had a small tabletop tree, very limited decorations, and a garage full of moving boxes waiting to be unpacked.  Definitely still a work in progress, but it'll get there soon.  We had beds to sleep in, a fully functional kitchen, and a table to eat Christmas dinner on.  So that was all that mattered.

Gift-wise, we went pretty simple this year for the baby.  For his first Christmas, I wanted to get things that we'd have for years to come.  Things that we could always look at and remember that we bought them on his first Christmas.  I made an Amazon wishlist for family of some smaller items that we'll be needing soon.  The list had sippy cups, new leather mocs, a silicone placemat, blocks, bath toys, etc.   T and I bought a  Little Tikes swing for our front yard, a piggy bank, and at T's request a dino ball popper.

Thompson's Christmas outfit was extra special this year.  He wore the same outfit that T wore on his first Christmas, exactly 30 years before.  My mother-in-law gave it to us at Thanksgiving, and remarkably, it looks brand new.  He looked absolutely precious in it with his white knee socks and shoes. Those chunky baby thighs of his really made the outfit.  

By the morning of the 26th my sister was the next victim, then came my mom, then my aunt, and then my cousin.  We were dropping like flies.  I never knew a cute little baby could be capable of spreading such a nasty bug.  Thankfully it was a 24 hour bug, so as soon as it found it's next victim, a previous sick person started to feel better.  Of the eleven of us that got together at Christmas, eight of us had the bug, and that number could still be rising.  I felt so bad about bringing this virus with us, when we left for the holidays we had no idea that any of us could still be contagious.  The silver lining to it all was that none of us put on the pounds we typically do over the holidays, so I guess that counts for something!   Now let's just hope I'm invited back to future family gatherings...

Hope y'all had a very merry Christmas full of great food and family time, and free of stomach bugs!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Holiday Home

Our den has been a work in progress for the last eight months.   About four weeks before I was due with Thompson, I had all the nesting feelings, and decided that I wanted to do a complete overhaul of the room. My goal was to have it finished before the baby got here.  HA.  Needless to say that did not happen.

I started trying to tackle the room on my own, but soon realized I was in over my head.  I reached out to a local interior designer and friend, Jenny Kramer, and she immediately got to work helping me.  One of the things I like most about Jenny is that she's budget conscious.  She's all about using what you've got, finding fun pieces at antique stores and consignment shops, and mixing and matching high quality items with things found at inexpensive home decor shops.

Here's what the room looked like before, I sure don't miss that burgundy accent wall.   I hated that wall from the day we moved in, but we had so many other rooms to tackle before even thinking about this one.   We ended up just dumping all of our den furniture from our old house in this room and trying to make it work.  And clearly, it didn't.

Painting the room and fireplace definitely  made the biggest difference in the space, and I love the addition of the tobacco basket above the mantel.  It really gives the room the rustic look that I was going for, and warms up the space.   We did a little rearranging for the Christmas tree this year, but the bookshelf usually lives to the right of the fireplace, instead of to the left.   This was one of Jenny's suggestions, and it made a huge difference.  Moving it to the wall with the higher ceiling helped balance out the room.

Another suggestion of Jenny's that I would have never thought about was to have chairs flanking the TV.   Before we did this, the TV and the vintage radio it sits above were the only things on that wall, and it just looked empty.  She suggested adding two chairs, and I just happened to have two victorian chairs in our attic.  The chairs had been passed down in T's family, and had definitely seen better days, but I had a friend paint them, and then sent them off to the upholsterer to get them recovered. (We used Best Upholstering in Greenville, and they did an amazing job.) I also had my girlfriend Elizabeth of Wheaton Whaley Designs make matching pillows for our couch.   The arrows above each chair came from Hobby Lobby. 

We decided to go simple on the curtains, and picked up a pair of IKEA Rivta curtains in white.  Jenny found a grey grosgrain trim that matched our couch perfectly, and my mom and I sewed the trim to the curtains to give them more of a custom look.   Jenny also found acrylic rods and hardware for our curtain rods.  These were dirt cheap, like less than $35.  The drapery clips came from Amazon here.

We're probably going to have to move this bar cart elsewhere once Thompson is more mobile, this thing and all it's glass adornments just screams baby hazard, but I sure do love it.   T and I found this on Craigslist several years ago, and it's still one of my favorite pieces.   Jenny bought a few new pieces like the acrylic wine holder and hammered gold tumbler from Target, and also found that fabulous vintage ice bucket. 

I am so pleased with how the room turned out, and the best part is it didn't break my wallet.  Jenny's rates are incredibly reasonable, and because she was able to use so many things that I already had we really didn't have to spend that much.  If you live in the Upstate, I would highly recommend using her for any project you've got!  You can check out her website here

And now on to the next project, our master bath.  Y'all this room is so bad.  It's fallen dead last on our priority list because T and I are the only ones that use it, but its just downright embarrassing.  We started taking down the wallpaper, removed one vanity light so that we could use it in our guest bath, and then we just stopped.  So in 2017 this bathroom WILL get redone.  And I'm putting it on my blog to keep me honest.  And yes, I'm wearing Christmas pajamas in this photo.  No shame. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Thompson is SIX Months!

How in the world has it been half a year?  I spent the first four months of Thompson's life so ready for him to get bigger and stronger, and now I just want to pump the brakes.   I feel like each week brings about something new with this baby, and it's exciting but sad at the same time.  Each day he gets closer and closer to toddler-dom and less like a baby.

We had his 6 month appointment, and the little guy hit a growth spurt.  He grew three inches in two months, raising him from the 39th percentile for height to the 93rd.   He's 28 inches tall, and weighs 18 lbs which puts him in the 58th percentile for weight.  He's still in size three diapers, and wearing six and nine month clothing.

I mentioned at the end of his five month update that we started solids a few days shy of his five month birthday, so all this month we've had fun introducing more and more foods.  The first few weeks I made everything from scratch in my Baby Brezza, and then things got crazy with jewelry orders and preparing for holiday shows.  Enter: pouches.  Pouch purees have become part of Thompson's daily routine, and they make everything so simple.   We're still following the Moms On Call Schedule for sleeping, but I've tweaked it a bit for mealtimes.  MOC recommends eating baby food three times a day- breakfast, lunch, and dinner- but we just do baby food at lunch time and early evening for dinner.

At the five month mark, Thompson's dairy allergy started to get better and better.  I started introducing dairy back into my diet (hallelujah) right around the same time we introduced solids.  I started eating dairy in very small amounts, and he had no side effects.  As of now, I'm back to my cheese eating, milk drinking self, and even had my first bowl of ice cream in months.  Praise be.

He's continuing to sleep like a champ.  He takes three naps a day, and then sleeps from 7-7 each night.  He's still infatuated with his Jumperoo and likes sitting in his highchair with toys in front of him.  A couple of weeks ago, Thompson stayed with my Mother In Law Wednesday-Sunday while I worked at JLC Holiday Market in Columbia.  This was the longest that I've been away from him ever, and I missed him like crazy.  Thankfully she came and visited us on Saturday afternoon so I could see him for a bit.  I feel like he changed so much just by being gone for those four days.  When we got home I noticed that he was sitting up so well without any support, which was not the case the previous week.  So crazy how things can change in just a matter of days! He's not crawling yet, but each day I feel like he's getting closer and closer.  He wants to be on the move, he just can't figure out how to get his knees underneath him yet.

We went to Hilton Head with T's family this year for Thanksgiving.  Thompson and our niece Caroline had matching Christmas PJ's so we took some photos on the golf course behind our condo.  Poor Thompson took a tumble during one of the photos.  He was just fine, didn't even cry, but the photo we captured of his face plant was priceless.  I have a feeling this photo will follow him for a while, it's just too good.

One of the biggest changes for both Thompson and me is that I've started to supplement one bottle a day with formula.  Exclusively pumping has been a challenge, and I'm so incredibly proud of myself that I made it to six months giving Thompson only breast milk.  I don't know what it was, but the day after his six month birthday I woke up feeling like I was ready to change things up a little bit.  A switch flipped, and I felt totally at peace and guilt-free about introducing formula into his diet.  I've mentioned my thoughts on formula feeding vs. breast feeding in previous posts, but I would be lying if I said I never felt guilt about wanting to throw in the towel.  For some reason, that guilt just went away once he reached six months. I talked about it with the pediatrician at his six month appointment, and she was incredibly supportive.  I left that appointment, and picked up the first container of formula on the way home.   I'm still pumping 3 times a day, which gives me 75% of the milk I need, and them I'm supplementing the other 25%.

The final highlight of this sixth month was Thompson's first hair cut.  I feel so ridiculous talking about getting our six month old a hair cut, but the poor boy needed it.  He was born with a head FULL of hair, and then lost it on the sides at around three months.   He was left with this little tuft of hair on top which is precious, but it just needed some taming.  I'm so glad we got this done in time for the Holidays, it looks SO much better.

You can see other monthly updates here:

See previous month updates for Thompson below. 

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