Thursday, March 31, 2016

Swaddle, Baby, Swaddle, Baby...Until You Don't

Yesterday we had one of those days that when you wake up and your feet hit the ground, you are fierce and ready for what the day has in store. That is until the day unleashes mad fury on you.

H has always been a good sleeper. Literally his nighttime routine is change into his PJs, wash his face, nurse, read a book, get swaddled. Then he lays there just blinking at us as we walk off, and we don't hear him again until the next morning. My sister and I were in Waco a few weekends ago sharing a room, and when I put H in his pack 'n play for bed that night I told her to check him out. He was just laying there staring at her with his big eyes. She walked off and as she went past me said in a matter of fact tone, "I hate you."

I've known I've been living in this fairy tale world that all other new moms do not believe, so we've tried to enjoy it. And we have. We've enjoyed it so much we never thought about the next step. What happens when he starts rolling over?

Well, in case you never thought about that step, I'll let you in on a secret. You can't swaddle when they roll over! No one told me this. I learned this yesterday morning when I put H down for a nap and heard him giggling a few minutes later. I went in to check on him, and he was sideways in his crib with a rather loose swaddle blanket. (And don't you dare judge me that I have a blanket in his crib.)

the moment when the swaddle becomes the nightmare
I stood there and observed the situation and thought, "Okay, big lady, it's time for you to go without some sleep. Today. Today we lose the swaddle."

When I get my head on something, I go full force. As I began googling ways to stop the swaddle, I knew I only had one choice: cold turkey.

The day was one for the record books. My 4 month old napped for a whopping 1 hour. And that 1 hour was induced by the stroller ride back from my hair appointment (my cosmetologist lives just down the street, so we walk to her studio in her backyard). So really he never took a single nap in his crib. I tried. Oh, I tried. But every time he ended up playing or hitting himself in the head.

I was talking to my friend Meredith and telling her of the day's events. She felt so bad for me she cooked dinner and brought it to us. She kept saying, "You can do it! And remind me in a few months that I said all this to you."

Bedtime came around, and we went through our routine. Except we didn't swaddle. It felt so weird to just put him in his crib. It was also a bit sad, because I had never prepared for his first big boy move like this. So we put him down, and I kissed his little cheeks and walked out.

The first 10 minutes were a breeze. He didn't make a sound. Then suddenly the sound of pure agony came from his nursery. Cash and I were in the middle of a Bible study on Hebrews, and that distraction was probably the only thing that got me through the next 15 minutes. H cried. And cried. And cried. For 15 minutes. Then he stopped. I was so scared when he stopped crying that I went in and checked to make sure he was breathing. And there was my little angel fast asleep on his tummy (not how he started!) and dreaming sweet dreams.

Throughout the night I heard him rustling a few times but nothing I needed to get up and check on him for. At 7:45 this morning Cash and I went in to check on him, and he was just starting to stir. Cash got him up to give him a kiss before he left for work, and H acted like it was the most normal night of his life.

So here we are 24 hours after this all started, and we have survived (so far). Thinking about the turn of events made me realize perhaps I was more attached to the swaddle blanket than H was. Maybe I'm more attached to him as a little baby and am scared the bigger he gets. Maybe I've been faking this whole "I know what I'm doing" thing and really I just google stuff like "do only bad moms let a baby cry it out."

The only thing I do know for certain is a Baby Shusher is a parent's sleep in a box and some of my own tears along the way are bound to happen. Yesterday was hard without the swaddle. Today might be hard watching a little boy emerge where my little baby just was 2 days ago. They say it goes fast, but surely they didn't mean this fast.

his play-mat has become a taco shell
you know, just hangin' out
taking in a softball game

Keep wandering...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Life of an Arkie in West Texas

I'm so glad Kelly has decided to do this link-up. I love getting to know others through the stories they share on their blogs. The friends I have made in this way have helped me see the world from a different place and a different perspective. In fact I met my husband through Show Us Your Singles, and my life has changed dramatically since that January day in 2011!

My name is Avery, and I currently live in Midland, Texas, with my husband Cash and our 4 month old son Baby H. Before I moved here I was beyond blessed to be born and raised for 26 solid years in the great state of Arkansas. To this day I bleed Razorback red (WPS!) and am a proud UCA Bear (Da Bears!). I turn the dirty 30 this year, and Cash has promised to take me on a "tour of Arkansas" to celebrate. It is no doubt he loves me to his very core, because he is Texas through and through; but he lets me be an Arkie in a Texas world, and he loves me all the same.

these are the moments you miss: hanging out in the national forest playing on rocks
Growing up my parents had a small farm that they still operate to this day, so I love to chat with them and get my dose of country life by living vicariously through them via Skype. (Isn't technology amazing?!) I keep a Facebook page (Jethro Farms) and most recently an Instagram account (@jethrofarms) for them. I can't promise a weekly post, but I can promise some neat sightings of cows, peacocks, or various hunting seasons. To bring the country to me, I'm starting a new venture with backyard chickens in the near future. This will be something in a town of 120,000+!

Jethro Farms

Jethro Farms

After college I taught middle school for 4 years. I loved it and the people I worked with an incredible amount. But as I mentioned I met my husband in 2011, and I moved to his hometown once we were married in 2012. We had an amazing courtship, one I never dreamed of for myself as a little girl on the farm. I was lucky to blog through that time of our lives, and it's fun to reminisce on the adventures.
dating my boo thing and visiting some rigs

When I moved to Texas, I started working for a local bank that allowed me an awesome opportunity to help develop a Training Department. I would not trade those experiences for the world! Many of my closest friends in Midland are former co-workers, and I know God led me to that during that season of my life for the friendships that I was fortunate enough to make.

Currently I stay home with Baby H. This is a whole new ballgame for me! I try to dig into my inner-self, and I think down deep I could be real earthy and green. I like to think of myself as a bit of a hippy who has no hippy roots or abilities. I just like to think about it. So I do share on my blog about being a first-time mom, the woes of public breastfeeding, and what the heck I do with myself since I stay home now (mostly warm up my coffee 13 times a day so I can finish 1 cup). This is all new territory for me!

Cash and Baby H ready for a day on the golf course

hanging out with my little bird; as you can see
I am a bit Texas now with H's Cowboys paci

some days...this is how you feel
The hubs is a geologist for an oil & gas company. We also live in the hometown of George W. Bush. In fact Mrs. G.W. Bush grew up about 1 block from our home. While I think this is simply neat trivia, I guess it could give you an insight into some of our core beliefs.

the family came to visit, so this stop was a must

Some of my very favorite things to do are watching Razorback football (and all sports and teams, but mostly the Hogs), travel throughout Texas and Arkansas to see some local flavors (we used to travel a bit farther, but you, and volunteer in our church & community. I also live for the days that my Southern Living and hometown newspaper arrive at my doorstep. My heart is entrenched in the South, and I am currently loving down-home recipes like buttermilk biscuits and simple home decor like galvanized buckets. I perhaps also like a tad bit of gossip, but I am working on that. (Don't judge me.)

In the summer we spend a lot of time with my in-laws at baseball games and having cookouts in their backyard. We look for any reason to celebrate, and some of my favorites are the Kentucky Derby, 4th of July, and good weather. We also celebrate bad weather. I mean, in Midland, Texas, we really will celebrate anything except these plunging oil prices.

celebrating Claytie's 80th birthday with my friend Barb at one of the infamous Ranch Parties

2012 election party

crawfish boil at the in-laws'
Over this next year I plan to devote my "other than the baby" energy to Women's Ministry, those backyard chickens, and writing a historical fiction book based loosely on my bootlegging ancestors. And I do hope there is some Monday night Bachelor viewing in there as well.

That's me. I do hope I get to know you and can't wait to read your stories. This life is crazy, but these things don't just happen, you know?

Keep wandering...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

When in Waco

Little H has been all over Texas (and some of Arkansas) in his short life. This weekend was no different as my mother-in-law and I met up with my mom, sister, and "Hub mom" in Waco. We had decided to attend the Beth Moore Living Proof Live event and of course double down on our time in Wacoland while shopping at all the Fixer Upper hot spots!

The conference lasted Friday night and Saturday morning. We have always enjoyed learning from Beth Moore, but at the LPL events my favorite thing is usually Travis Cottrell and his beautiful music. I was raised on some good ol' gospel music, and I don't get as much of it in the Anglican church as I did in the Baptist church of my youth so it was a real treat to have praise & worship like I used to know.

That Beth can jump. And move. And get you filled up with the Gospel.

Beth doing her thing!

My 3 moms ready for LPL!
my sissy & me
After the conference (maybe even a tiny few minutes before it was over), we headed over to Magnolia Market. I had heard it would have a long line to get in, and I was afraid all 7,000 women from the conference would be in a rush to get over there.

comin' at ya, MM!
The line was long, but honestly it moved so fast that we could barely even snap pictures while waiting. They had some really neat stuff, but I ended up just getting a canister and 2 t-shirts. My very own Santa had given me a Magnolia Market gift card for Christmas, so I wanted to use it on something special. But if I wanted anything big I probably would order it online so I wouldn't have to carry through the busy store. Just me though.

Sis & me at MM

the silos

the ladies ready to shop!

my MIL & I at MM

something new is happening at the silos!
One really cool thing they have done is set up a food truck area in the back. My MIL and I ate Milo's. Shut the front door. It was soooo good! We both got a buttermilk biscuit with sweet tea fried chicken (that's a real thing!), an egg, bacon, and spicy honey mustard. So that buttermilk biscuit recipe I posted last week? Yeah, it's going to be used again real soon.

behind MM at the food truck area

food trucks at MM

Aunt Sis and Baby H-y

Down the street was another store called the Foundery or something like that. It was really cool too and not near as crowded. I actually bought more there than I did at MM.

Then we headed to Harp Design Co. What's really cool is that their renovated house is next door to the shop, so we got to see it from the outside. I always loved that episode of Fixer Upper, but the house was even more gorgeous in person.

Mom, me, Sis, and H at Harp
Cash found us this awesome rental house in Aquilla right outside of Waco on VRBO. It was on a gorgeous farm, and we had free range to just relax and do whatever. Saturday night we went back to the house and ate sandwiches and dips while chatting about life back home in the A-R. Probably my favorite part of the trip. Hands down. I love those 4 women, and it was so relaxing to just hang out and eat a sandwich. For crying out loud, ladies, we need to get together and just eat sandwiches sometimes. Am I right?!

campfire chats
coffee around the campfire out on the ranch
I've always felt like I don't have a group. You know what I mean? I have lots of friends, but I don't have this group that just does stuff together. I've never done a girls' weekend with friends or had a bunco group or whatever. I think most women (I can't be the only one) crave gal pals. And really I don't like being gone from my hubby very much, so I probably am okay with no big girls' trips or things too far from the house. But I've been kind of down on myself for not really finding my place. This weekend I sat there and thought how silly I've been. I do have that; it's just not a group totally my age all in one place. And that's great because they are my people!

I have my mom and sister. They're my rocks. I have the Hub...a group of my parents' closest friends. I have my in-laws who live just a few blocks away, and my MIL has more friends than I can count. And each one of these people invite me into their lives. They let me do me. And they love me unconditionally. My heart is overflowing this week thinking of my blessings.

My mother-in-law and I were headed back to MTown enjoying good conversation (really, perhaps the greatest gift my husband has shared with me is a friendship with his mom) when we passed this truck...

this little piggy went to the market...
What can I say? Even when I am heading home, a little piece of Arkansas travels with me. Woo Pig!

I hope you all have a chance to go to Waco and see all the cool stuff. And even more than that, I hope you all have a friendship (or 2 or a whole group) that makes you know how special you are too.

Keep wandering...