Top 12 of 2012

We're gearing up to ring in the new year - 2013!  I can't even believe it!  Each year seems to go faster and faster (which I have a mathematical explanation for), but 2013?!  I seriously feel like 2003 was just a few years ago.  But instead, it was a whole ten - nearly 1/3 of my life!

Instead of doing my annual yearly recap month by month (because let's be honest, I can't even stay up-to-date with blogging, let alone write about each of the twelve months of the year), I thought I'd do a Top 12 of 2012 list.

So, without further ado, here are the Sides' 12 Best Moments of 2012.

1) Brantley's Birth - This one takes the cake.  The single, most amazing day of, not only 2012, but our entire lives.

2) 35-Week Ultrasound - This was the day in June we found out everything was going to be a-okay with Brantley and his brain.  Gives me goosebumps to even write about.

3) Gender Reveal - I'll admit, I was shocked, and slightly disappointed, when we opened that box full of blue balloons, but now I can't imagine anything but a sweet, little mama's boy.

4) Going Home from Hospital - After two looooong weeks in the NICU, Brantley was finally released from the hospital. I wasn't even sure what to do with all our time at home!

5) My Masters Graduation - Though my program went in the blink of an eye, I'm so, so glad to be done with my masters degree and never, ever have to worry about homework again.  Not to mention, the nice, little pay raise I'll get in August. :)

6) Trip to Greenville - We braved it with a 6-week old and drove 14 hours to Greenville, South Carolina for my cousin Brad's wedding.  It was a nice, little getaway and our first family vacation with little B-Man.

7) Spring Break Trip San Diego - We headed to San Diego for a mini babymoon and to see my high school bff and her hubby.  It's always nice to get away mid-March, especially to a new city we've never been!

8) Lazy Summer Days - Whether we were lounging by the pool or going for late-night walks (trying to induce labor), those early summer days consisted of some good memories in anticiaption of Brantley's arrival.

9) My Extended Summer Break/Maternity Leave - No work for 21 weeks.  Nuf said.

10) Celebrating in the joy and excitement with our family, friends, and neighbor's and their newborn babies: Kinley, Kellen, Wyatt, Jackson, Will, Evan, Payton, Preston, Brock, Madison, Ayson, Tripp, Dane, Avan, Ruby...I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, but it's quite the list!

11) KU in the NCAA Championship Game - This is probably closer to the top of the hubs' list.  After all, he remembers things in life based on moments in KU basketball. 

12) Brantley's First KU Game - What a fun day we had taking Brantley to his first sporting event at just nine weeks old!  It was the first of what I hope to many, many family sports outings.

What an amazing year it's been!  Of course, we also enjoyed the little everyday moments spent with our family, friends, and little K-Dog.  We are so blessed and can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!  Happy New Year everyone!

A Growing Boy

I know we're only a week away from B-Man's 6-month update, but I have to blog about these things before I forget!  Big B is growing faster.than.ever.

Perhaps the most life-changing {for us} - he's crawling!  Someone recently told me (or maybe I saw it on Pinterest?), your life with baby doesn't really change until they become mobile.  Oh, isn't that the truth!  When he was a newborn, he slept all the time.  Even when he was awake, often we could lie him in his sleeper and he was content looking around.  There was lots of time to get stuff done.  Well now, we can't leave him for long.  He'll get into something he shouldn't, or bump his head on the coffee table, or something to that effect.  This kid is mobile, I tell ya!

Here's the email I got at work {from Daddy} on Friday, December 21:
Little man crawled a bit today! It’s amazing! He made like 2 or 3 movements and then stopped. I kept coaxing him by putting a toy out of his reach. He used his knees and everything!  

So sweet! ;) 

He quickly and easily gets where he wants to go, that's for sure!  Here was in the kitchen earlier today.  (See below.  Sidenote: I promise our kid wears pants when it's 20 degrees in the dead of winter.  I'm not sure why they're off here.  Daddy?)

Hard floors?  I don't mind!
Crawling is the official go-ahead to baby proof a house, I think. 

Step 1: outlet covers. 


Not only is he crawling, but he also sprouted a tooth!  Same day.  Friday, December 21 is when we first noticed it.  He has an amber necklace that's supposed to ease the pain (amber is a natural anti-inflammatory and some people swear by these necklaces), but honestly, he hasn't seemed bothered by the tooth whatsoever.  And sometimes the necklace makes him look like a girl. 

He has developed a better relationship with Sophie the Giraffe though.  He was never too interested in Sophie until he realized she makes for a great teether!

Don't make fun.  Mommy makes me wear it.

He also started reaching for people to hold him.  Seems like such a little thing, but man, all these little things together prove we no longer have a newborn!  He first reached for Grandma Sides during Christmas.  Papa Sides was holding him.  I guess we know how he feels about his Grandpa! :)

And finally, maybe the most significant change in Big Boy's life - he started eating solids.  Like actual people food - fruits and veggies - pureed, of course.  We've been doing rice cereal since Thanksgiving-ish (maybe that's considered a solid, too??) and it was going alright.  He didn't hate it, but was never too interested and seemed more content with bottles.  But after his first bite of avocado two nights ago, he couldn't get enough!!  We started with one tablespoonful (plus added formula to thin it down) and he scarfed it down.  Last night, we tried two tablespoonfuls.  Same thing.  This kid loves it!!  Since you're supposed to follow the 4 or 5-day rule (same thing for 4 to 5 days incase of an allergic reaction), we're stuck on avocado for a few more days, then on to sweet potatoes!  Then onto, who knows what!  Green beans, carrots, squash??

(Don't you love our high chair?  It's got numbers on it, just for this math-teacher mom!)

Like many super moms and friends of mine, I'm planning to make my own baby food.  It's cheaper.  It's healthier.  And it's kind of fun!  I have a food processor / chopper / pureeer (is that a word?) that worked awesome for the avocado and sweet potato.  Of course, the avocado didn't need steamed or boiled, like most things will.  Buy Buy Baby has cute, little ice cube-like trays (with lids!) to conveniently store and freeze the pureed food.  And it seems most things can be frozen for up to 3 months. 

I started reading a book, Super Baby Food, during maternity leave that has many great tips and suggestions.  There are also numerous blogs out there (links found on Pinterest - check out my 'Baby' board) with advice and suggestions, but if you're an experienced baby-food-makin'-mom, please feel free to pass along any words of wisdom!

Until next time!


A Christmas {NOT} to Remember

When you think about your baby's first Christmas, you think excitement and fun and magic in the air.  A very special time that you never want to forget.  That's what I thought anyway.

Until I woke up at 6am on Christmas morning and had to run to the bathroom to throw up.  And then continued to throw up all morning long.  And otherwise, never set foot out of the bed and/or bedroom at the in-law's.

That's right, I missed the entire Christmas day.  Felt like absolute hell and wanted to do nothing but sleep so to not feel anything.

So...I didn't get to join in on the holiday festivities.

Didn't get to smile and laugh with my little family on B's first Christmas.

Didn't get to eat all the yummy food and goodies.

Didn't get to see Brantley in his adorable Christmas day outfit.  (Which he didn't even wear.  That's what happens when Dad's in charge.  And I couldn't care less, to be honest.)

Didn't get to open my presents.  Or watch Brantley open his.

Didn't get to take an obsessive amount of photos like the mamarazzi I am.

Didn't get to make the memories I had hoped.

Ugh.  It. was. miserable.

Everyone {apparently} kept saying, 24 hours and you'll be back to normal.  Well, on December 26, I got up and tried my darnedest to feel well.  But it was apparent that wasn't happening.  I had zero appetite, zero energy, and still, all I wanted to do was lie down.

We made the miserable 2 1/2 hour drive back to Kansas City (from Wichita).  I tried to sleep but it's difficult when I can't lay back my seat due to a carseat in the way.  But I agreed with the hubs that if we we're lying around sick, we might as well be in our own home.

Well, that was a mistake.  Because the following day, I woke up still feeling miserable and so did Craig!  You know how hard it is to take care of a baby when you feel that way?  Pretty darn hard.  I thought to myself many times, "How in the world do single moms do it?"  I felt so sorry for Brantley.  He was playing on his own as much as he could, but has a pretty small attention span.  Neither of us wanted to feed him, hold him, or pretty much have any responsibility with him.

To make matters worse, he had been sick since the 23rd (coughing, runny rose, not eating well, more fussy than normal) and we knew we needed to take him to the pediatrician.  We mustered up the energy to go...I'm not sure I ever looked so horrible in public in my life.  And again, couldn't have cared less.  We both made the car ride to the pediatrician's office, but Craig stayed in the car because he was feeling so terribly. 

We saw a nurse practitioner at our walk-in clinic.  Brantley's oxygen level was a little low and his wheezing was a bit concerning.  The APRN suspected RSV, but the test came back negative.  He was diagnosed with bronchiolitis and an ear infection (second in three weeks) and was prescribed an antibiotic and nebulizer breathing treatment.  He took his first breathing treatment at the clinic, at which point I had to call Craig and tell him I needed help inside.  Brantley hated it (and still does), to say the least, and it took two to hold him down and keep the mask on.  Poor guy.

Of course, the clinic had to bill our insurance for the nebulizer machine and teach us how to use it.  Which took time.  All the while, Craig and I wanted to do nothing but lay down and/or leave.

We left the pediatrician's office and Craig drove straight to Urgent Care.  After a 3+ hour wait, he was diagnosed with bronchitis and put on three different meds, as well.

I was still feeling like crap, so Craig's mom offered to come to Kansas City to help take care of Brantley.  Ohmygoodness, that was amazing.  She made soup, let us go to bed early, and took care of Brantley's morning feeding.  (But of course, he slept in later than ever, literally!)  It was a tremendous help and finally, by Friday morning, three days later, I felt as if I could function normally.  Still very congested, but able to get up, move around, clean, and take care of Brantley.  All the normal daily tasks.

Craig is improving slowly, though last night at bedtime, he had a fever.  Brantley's cough seems to be lessening, but fights the three daily nebulizer treatments to no end.

So say it's been a good few days for the Sides clan would be a overstatment.  Of course, I'm appreciative of celebrating the entire holiday season, but not gonna lie, extremely bummed to have missed out on B's first actual Christmas.

I did join in on Christmas Eve festivities with the in-laws, though was beginning to feel quite sick.

Here are some pictures to remember Brantley's first Christmas {Eve}.  Not nearly as many as if I was well, but better some than nothing!

And a few more pictures from the weekend before Christmas.  (Me practicing manual mode on my camera. :) )

Photo Dump

The Sides clan has been sick.  Like really sick.  More on that to come.

Here's my weekly photo dump.  Late.  Again.

Top: Sick babies like to cuddle | Cute boy's Xmas Eve / Xmas outfits
Middle: Meeting Miss Ruby Lynn | Crawling at just 5 1/2 months! | I swear she's not crying
Bottom: Check out these cool blocks my Grandma made | Pureeing some avocado for Big Boy | He LOVED it!

Brantley Carter: 5 Months Old!

Well, I'm only 2+ weeks late with this!  But better late than never I guess!

(Btw some of this was written a day after his 5-month birthday, some of it last week, the rest just now.  So it's kind of a hodge podge, but I'm writing everything like it was written 2 weeks ago.)

You are becoming more mobile by the day!  I swear, you're going to start crawling any day now.  You get up on your hands and toes like you're ready to go.  Right now, you gets where you want to go by rolling.  You are a master roller, kid!  And a quick one at that.  You roll back and forth and back and forth like crazy.  Lately, you've been rolling towards the Christmas tree so you can play with the wrapped presents.  Sneaky little boy.  I'm not kidding when I say you can roll from one side of a room to the other in a minute's time.  Can't leave you alone anymore, that's for sure!

Your five month birthday coincided with your first sick trip to the doctor.  We received a text from Miss Stephanie around 3:30 that read, "Hey guys just a heads up.  I don't think Brantley is feeling well.  He's been extremely fussy and coughing all afternoon."  Luckily, your pediatrician has walk-in hours and is open until 5:00, so I picked you up and we went straight to the clinic.  Daddy met us there.  Your coughing/congestion/wheezing was just a head cold, but you were diagnosed with your first ear infection.  On antibiotics you went, for 10 days, which is turn caused a bagillion poopy dipes each day and a bright red, irritated booty.  Poor guy. :(

Other recent developments: you grab at your bottles and direct the nipple to your mouth.  Funniest. thing. ever.  Kid, you sure do like to eat.  You also recognize your name and turns your head to look whenever you hear it.  You also started stomach sleeping sometime between 4 months and now.  As a result, no more swaddles, but a sleepsack instead.  Since you can roll like crazy, you also move all over your crib.  You love sleeping in the corner for some reason and as a result of rolling off the Angelcare pad, the SIDS alarm has sounded a few times. 

Sadly, I'm not sure we've heard you laugh once in the last month.  You are a serious babe.  I've tried all kinds of things to get you to laugh, but nothing.  Nada.  I'll hope for some giggles within the next month!

Size - 16 pounds 8 ounces with clothes and a diaper

Words - Baby talk.

Food - At the 5-month mark, you were eating six ounces six times per day, every 3-ish hours.  Since then, we've increased each feeding to seven ounces per bottle and tried to cut the sixth feeding.  I say try because Miss Stephanie almost always feeds you three bottles while you're with her, even though you could probably get by on two.  Oh well.  Nothing wrong with a growing boy.  We still feed you right before bed, but space out your daytime feedings every 3.5 hours, when possible.  We also started rice cereal between month 4 and 5.  Once per day, usually in the evening.  You don't hate it, but you definitely like the efficiency of your bottles better.

Sleep - Still sleeping through the night.  In addition, you take a few naps per day.  Daycare says typically a 10am and 2pm nap, and sometimes one in the evening.  You love your sleep, just like your mama!

Bedtime/Waketime - Bedtime is anywhere between 8 and 9, proceeding your final bottle.  You normally fall right asleep without any sort of fuss or cry.  We.are.lucky.

Hair - More blond than anything.  It may be starting to grow just a tad.

Eyes - Still blue!

Teeth - I'm adding this category this month.  None yet, but I'm thinking soon!

Likes - Rolling, lights, his jumper, being held, human interaction, Mommy, Daddy, bottles, being patted, your jumper.

Dislikes - Being left alone, being hungry, being tired.

Wardrobe - You're wearing mostly 3-6 month clothing, but some 6-9 and some 6-12 month stuff fits.

Diapers - Size 2

Mommy's Fave - Your eyes.  Your forehead dimple.  Just all of his little facial features and expressions you make.  It's fun to watch you observe the world around you.

Christmas Cards 2012

One of my favorite things about the holidays - Christmas cards!  Here are ours!  No big news like last year, but I love them nonetheless. 

Photo Dump

Happy Christmas weekend everyone!  Big news in our house - Brantley's officially a big boy!  His first tooth is pushing through and he crawled for the first time yesterday!  Only for Daddy though.  I haven't seen it so I can't verify.  It's no surprise though...he' s been on the verge for weeks now.  And you'd probably know that had I posted his 5-month update.  Oops!

We're headed to Wichita in a few short hours so my blogging hiatus will continue.  I promise to get back at it soon.

Merry Christmas everyone!  Enjoy your holiday and family time! 

Top: Handsome man | DIY Christmas wreath | Checking out his first snow
Middle: And the stockings were hung | Bass Pro Wonderland | This kid loves presents!
Bottom: Beginning to look a lot like Christmas! | Do you see yours?? | Mommy's happy about her snow day!


Snow Day

It's been nearly two years since our last one.  The Blizzard of Oz, if I remember correctly.  But these two wonderful words are what I woke up to this morning: no school.  A definite perk of being a teacher!

Funny, I don't mind waking up at 5:16 when this is the case.  Any other day I would be POed because it means my alarm will go off in a mere four minutes.  But not this morning!  Oh, happy snow day.  Of course, I was too excited to go back to sleep.  I may have fallen asleep for 15 more minutes before getting up at 6 to feed the B-Man. 

I had high hopes of catching up on blogging on my snow day.  I'm so far behind it's not even funny.  Christmas with my fam, graduation, B's 5-month post (yes, 5 months as in two full weeks ago), among others.  But it's almost 2:00 and none of that has happened.  Instead, I'm still in my pajamas and glasses, hanging with the babe, and enjoying lots of snuggle time.  And I'm perfectly fine with that. 

I may get around to blogging.  Or I may not.  Until then, stay warm and happy snow day!


Friday Photo Dump

Hey whadda ya know, it's Friday and I'm posting my Friday Photo Dump!  Go me!  It's been a pretty big, buzy, hectic week.  Three reasons.

1) I've given tests in each of my six classes = lots of grading.  And preparing my finals, of course (giving luckily, not taking).  The busy before the calm (i.e. next week - I get to sit back, relax, and watch students struggle though the final).

2) The hubs was out of town for work for the first time since Brantley's arrival.  (Well, other than the time he took B with him.)  So that meant I had to drop off Brantley at daycare before work = I had to get up super early to get him fed, changed, and to work by 7:30 - 25 minutes the opposite direction from daycare!

3) It was the final week for my FINAL masters class!!!  Final week = final paper and project.  But it's done!  And I'm done!  With homework.  For life!  And tomorrow I'm graduating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Feels so, so good.

Because of that, my fam is coming to town.  We're also celebrating Christmas since we won't be in Iowa this year.  So, I'm going to make this short and sweet because I still need to grocery shop, clean, finish up a few DIY projects, and wrap another present or two. 

Happy weekend!

P.S. I did not forget about my baby's 5-month birthday post.  I've been that busy.  It's coming.  Soon.

Top: Mmmm sangria for Xmas party | Sticking my tongue out is my new thing | DONE! | Playing under the tree
Middle: Am I in trouble?? | What's up, Mom? | Cute little Christmas hat
Bottom: Kinnick dug out all four toys from his toybox #sillydog | Pretty drive to work | Only 5 months and already trying to snoop | Success 

Photo Dump

So I'm a little behind.  What's new?  I really need to post about my now 5-month old!!  I have the pictures.  Just need the words.  Maybe tomorrow.

Tonight I have not one, but two, Christmas activities.  One, my friend, Lauren's, annual cookie decorating night, and two, my work Christmas party.  Sangria is made, a good time to be had.

Happy weekend!

Top: 66 December | Christmas cards ready to go!
Middle: Chicken Mediterranean pizza | Crown Center tree | Sleepy baby
Bottom: The wreath - I don't care who makes fun of me, it's cool! | First Christmas present | Waiting for Santa


My Favorite Things: Baby Edition #2

More baby favorites to share!

1. Munchkin Travel Bottle Warmer - So maybe this isn't a necessity, but it sure is nice for traveling!  We bought it for our trip to SC, but use it all the time now.  It's a bottle warmer that plugs into the cigarette lighter.  The downfall is that it takes 15 minutes to warm a bottle, so planning ahead is definitely a must, but it's better than having to stop somewhere for warm water.

Side note: Though bottle warmers are great, here's a tip I wish someone would have shared with us.  Give your baby room temperature formula from the get-go.  DON'T WARM BOTTLES!  Then your baby won't refuse cool milk when in a pinch.  Lesson learned for Baby #2.

2. Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Video Monitor (similar) - I didn't intially want a video monitor.  I didn't think it was necessary and, because of the price, I thought a sound monitor was would suffice.  However, I'm so glad I let the hubs talk me into one.  It's so nice to be able to check on Brantley from the comfort of my own bed.  We've had no issues with this brand, other than once when the video wouldn't work.  However, we let the battery run dead and recharged it and it was fine.  This particular monitor is nice because you can control the camera from the touch-screen monitor.  So if your baby moves a lot in his sleep, you can move the camera to see him.  And, when another baby comes along, you can get a second camera and set it up to flash back and forth between the two cameras.  Love this thing!!

3. Munchkin Formula Dispenser - An absolute must for formula-feeding mama!  I have the Munchkin brand which allows for three batches of formula.  Makes feeding on the go much more convenient!

4. C.R. Gibson Baby Memory Calendar - This calendar lets you document your baby's first year as it happens.  You fill in the months and days yourself, so it starts on your baby's first day of life and ends on his first birthday.  Also included are stickers to record Baby's milestones.  This is a quick and easy alternative to a baby book, or like me, you can start here and transfer to a baby book later!

5. JuJu-Be Paci Pod - We have one of these attached to our diaper bag and another on our car seat.  Guarantees you always have a pacifier on hand.  Except for those times when you somehow forget to put all of them back...

6.  Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket - Once you stop swaddling your baby (when they begin to  roll), you can switch from Sleepsack swaddlers to Sleepsack wearable blankets.  Same as the swaddlers I talked about in my last Favorite Things post, but without the swaddle flaps.

7. Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor - Perhaps a video monitor and movement monitor are a bit much, but this thing is supposed to help prevent SIDS.  It detects a baby's breathing and will sound an alarm if it subsides.  Knowing that made me feel waaaay better about moving Brantley to his crib at such a young age.  It also comforted me when Brantley started stomach sleeping and I was freaked out he was going to sufficate himself in the mattress.  I highly, highly recommend this thing, but beware, you will probably have a few false alarms, aka scariest moments of your life thus far.

8. J.J. Cole Bundle Me - Perfect for cold-weather climates, this thing straps into your baby's carseat and keeps him nice and snug in the cool weather.  There is also a cover to pull over Baby in leui of blankets.

9. adin + anais Burpy Bibs - Not only a burp cloth, but also a bib!!  We use regular bibs for feeding, but this thing is pretty good at keeping clean clothes clean and dry clothes dry for the extra-drooly baby.  It's like a shawl and wraps around Baby's entire shoulder region.  They're very absorbant and cute, too!

And in my opinion, there are a few things you can pass on, as well. Save the money and instead spend it on formulas and diapers.

Pack & Play - We used the basinette part for the first six weeks of Brantley's life.  And ever since, it's been packed away in our basement.  Not exactly the pack Graco is talking about. :)  Maybe we'll use it someday??  But for the time being, we just don't have a need for it.  Update 3 years later: Yes yes yes to a Pack & Play!!!

High Chair - High chairs are expensive and take up lots of space.  We bought one before Brantley was born, but returned it because we decided we could do without.  Instead, we opted for this Fisher Price Space Saver chair.  It has all the perks of a regular high chair, but straps to one of your regular kitchen chairs.  It also converts to a booster seat for toddlers.  We love this thing so far!

And that's all for my second edition! :)