Category Archives: Alexander Adventures

A Letter From The Tot

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IMG_2593Well folks, today is my 10 month birthday. Can you believe I’ve been around for 10 months? Do you even remember what your life was like before I was here? Probably not. Anyways, I know my mom usually writes these updates but having your mom write your monthly updates is for babies, and I’m practically a full grown boy at this point, so I’ve hijacked her blog to tell you what life is like as the Crown Prince of the Alexander household.

First things first, I’m the realest. I don’t know what that means but the teen says it all the time so I’m guessing it’s cool. I’ve got three teeth and the fuzz on my head has gotten thick enough to be considered hair. Very fine hair, but hair nonetheless. I’m about 18lbs and a little under 29 inches long. And my head is huge. I need it to be huge so I can store all my thoughts. Thoughts about that baby that randomly pops up on the wall and does exactly what I do. I also like to think thoughts about how funny my dad is. If he had boobs that dispensed milk he would be cooler than mom. Speaking of mom, I’m trying to figure out how to get her to stop wiping my face after every meal. And then there is the most pressing thought of all, one that consumes my giant head at all hours of the day “how can I get my hands on all the electrical appliances?”

I’ve gotten a lot more mobile this past month. I still don’t crawl in the traditional sense, but I have figure out how to get from point A to point B with rolling, butt scooting and this complicated inchworm maneuver that involves a lot of laying down and sitting back up. A lot of my friends are doing this thing where they use their feet to get around. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I like to use my feet to help me hold things, like my bottle, books and the baby wipe dispenser.

Mom just peaked over my shoulder and told me to tell you guys that I only wake up once during the night and that I take regular naps in my bed now. I think sleep has got to be one of the most boring stupid things to write about, but apparently mom talks to you guys about it quite often. I’m sorry about that. I’ll try to get her to come up with some more interesting material.

Hey have you guys heard of Dr Seuss? That guy is a freakin genius. He gets me. When I read “The Shape of Me and Other Stuff” I’m suddenly so aware of the shapes all around me and I just feel so alive! And, omg, “Mr Brown Can Moo” is so inspiring. If Mr. Brown, a mere mortal, can learn to make all those animal sounds, surely I can learn to drink from a sippy cup.

We have a four legged creature in the house named “dumb.” At least that’s what mom calls her. She’s so funny. I love to pull her fur and her ears. She told me she’d let me do it as long as I drop food for her from my high chair. And not just the vegetables, I have to be sure to give her the good stuff like avocado, banana, blueberries and cheese.

Momma and daddy always tell me that I’m very social. I think that has something to do with how much I like to talk and interact with people. I’m quite the charmer. The other day the whole family went out and momma and uncle Austin got a free cinnamon roll. The waitress said she gave it to them because I was so cute. A few days later I was swinging at the park and struck up a conversation with the toddler next to me. At first she tried talking to me with those silly words that adults always use, but when she realized that I didn’t understand she went back to her native language of coos, screams, grunts and random consonant sounds.  She was a lovely girl and just one of many nice random people I meet on a daily basis.

Well I better wrap this up. Thanks for reading this and for staying up to date on my life these past 10 months. My mom will be back tomorrow sharing who knows what. But hey, if you like an article that she writes, would you do her a solid and share it on your Facebook or Twitter? She’s really trying to make this blog thing happen. Personally, I wish she would focus on other things, like finding a way to change my diaper without forcing me to lay still for 5 seconds. But this blogging thing seems to make her happy, so if you wouldn’t mind sharing an article or two that would be swell. Happy mommies make happy babies. Talk to you later!

-The Tot

Young House Crap

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Have you ever read the blog Young House Love? It’s written by this husband and wife who started fixing up their home and blogging about it. Their blog got super popular, they wrote a book, its a like a whole thing. When Mr and I started working on our condo I had visions of our life being just like Young House Love. DIY is like crack to Mr, so he would organize all these projects and I would happily help him out, all while taking photos and blogging witty comments. Then we would become famous and our awesome blog would pay off our condo, so then we could rent it out and buy a bigger house and perform bigger DIY projects and everything would be magical and awesome.

Ya, that’s not happening.

As it turns out, I’m HORRIBLE with DIY projects. I mean, I’ve always known they weren’t my forte, but good grief do I suck. Part of the problem is that I have a blind minds eye. You know how some people can just look at a space and picture everything that should go there. I cannot. I see nothing with my minds eye, ever. This infuriates Mr to no end because it always doubles his workload. He can’t just say “hey what do you think of this?” He has to find a picture or draw it out, otherwise I just stare at him blankly and then ask if my post baby butt can still pull off these jeans. Or worse, I pretend like I know what he is talking about, agree to it, and then immediately hate it once it’s done.

Another issue is my tendency to create more work for Mr. For example, the other day I was hanging shelves in the bathroom but I put the anchors in the wrong place.We had to take them out and replace them, leaving two gaping holes in the wall that we will have to fill and paint over. I feel like that one greek god sentenced to eternally roll a giant rock up a hill. The projects are never ending.

Here are the holes I was telling you about. I would also like to point out that as soon as I got up to take this picture, my son started crying.

Here are the holes I was telling you about. I would also like to point out that as soon as I got up to take this picture, my son started crying.

Then there is the perpetual indecisiveness. I’m not usually an indecisive person but for some reason, making any sort of decision about our humble home takes me forever. It took 3 months to decide on a living room paint color. That’s more thought than I put into deciding what college to go to. And Mr is no help. He is one of those people that researches the death out of things. I think we’ve come to a decision on something and then he watches another YouTube video and gives me an entirely new option that wasn’t even on the table early. “But this might be better,” he says. Honestly, I don’t care. Even if our original decision is going to kill us all, we are sticking to it because I will loose what little mind I have left if you force to make yet another decision. JUST DO WHAT I SAY, MAN!

Of course what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t blame some of this on the kid, right? As I sit here blogging, he is happily playing with his toys. But if I were to get up and, heaven forbid, try organizing my room or the kitchen, he would start to pitch a fit. Apparently toys are only meant to be played with when mommy is within a two foot radius. Otherwise they become garbage. Plus, he just creates a lot of extra work. I have to feed him a million times a day, grocery shop to get the food to feed him a million times a day, work a full time job to pay for the food that feeds him a million times a day, change his diapers, read him stories, fight with him about naps, and wash his adorable little clothes. And after all that I’m supposed to muster up the energy to repaper the kitchen cupboards? No Thank You.

So, our life is nothing like Young House Love. It’s more like Young House Fall Asleep On The Couch When I should Be Washing The Windows. And yet, I honestly couldn’t be happier. We are homeowners! That’s incredible! And even though its been a slow process, we’ve actually made a lot of progress on the condo and we love everything we’ve done so far. More importantly, I get to build a home and life with my two favorite people.

And to show you that I’m not just full of cynicism and do have very positive feelings about the house, I will share photos of my favorite room in the house- the bathroom!

Hobby Lobby for the win!

I love these decorations. Hobby Lobby for the win!

grey and yellow bathroom

It took us FOREVER to find a vanity that we liked, that wasn’t huge and that fit the weird piping in the bathroom. It was worth the wait, we love it. And no, that white patch on the wall isn’t some sort of artistic statement. Mr had to patch the wall and we haven’t painted over it yet. Might as well wait till we do the holes

I don't know if you've ever searched for a grey and yellow shower curtain, but let me tell you, they are not easy to come by. I would have preferred a little more yellow but couldn't find one that I loved. I do like this one a lot, it looks nice and it will work until that magical day that I find the curtain of my dreams

I don’t know if you’ve ever searched for a grey and yellow shower curtain, but let me tell you, they are not easy to come by. I would have preferred a little more yellow but couldn’t find one that I loved. I do like this one a lot, it looks nice and it will work until that magical day that I find the curtain of my dreams

Catching up with the Xander House

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I cannot believe how long it has been since I have blogged. I had planned on being this awesome, witty mom blogger who wrote 2-3 blogs a week, networked with other mom bloggers and got paid to advertise products on my sidebar. Now look at me. Its been months since my last post and I don’t even have a custom URL yet. Where did I go wrong?

Well let me tell you.

First of all, this working mom gig is so much harder than I thought it would be. I’m lucky enough to be able to bring AJ to work with me three days a week. This is fantastic for mother/baby bonding. Not so fantastic for work productivity. But somewhere inbetween the daily struggle that is nap time, diaper changes, nursing every 2-3 hours and rotating him to various play things every 20 minutes, I’ve managed to find time to blog for work, maintain our Facebook page, manage the building of another web site (I thought those days were behind me but I just can’t get away from it), complete numerous copy writing projects AND make sure my favorite 11 year old gets her homework done, kindly tell her when her when she needs to wear a bra with certain tops, and coach her on how to deal with her first boyfriend. Yay me!

Just as I was figuring all that out, the Mr and I decided to buy a condo. Because really, life just isn’t exciting enough with two full time jobs, an infant and the daily struggle to keep your marriage sane. So why not throw a condo in there. Not just any condo, but a condo that needs a lot of work. All new floors, new counters in the kitchen, a completely revamped bathroom and paint in every room. And that’s just the stuff that has to get done before we move in. There’s a whole list of things we’ll need to be upgrading over the next two years. It’s insane to buy a fixer upper at this point in our lives, but Joe’s dad blessed us with an offer we absolutely could not refuse. So here we are, in the middle of an escrow that keeps getting pushed back, working on every single spare minute and hoping that we get everything done in time to host our annual Easter celebration in our new place!

Plus, would you believe that even in the midst of all this craziness laundry keeps piling up? And my and the Mr’s stomachs still demand three square meals a day? And that damn bathroom keeps getting dirty. And don’t even get me started on the dog. Luckily we’ve got my parents to help out with a lot of these things, but the fact is that life doesn’t stop just because we are raising a baby and fixing up a condo.

So why haven’t I been blogging? Because I can barely find time to sleep, much less type out a coherent thought. But I took Facebook off my phone, which will free up an embarrassing amount of time, so lets see if I can’t get back into the swing of this blogging thing. Because honestly, mama wants a new washer and dryer and could really use some side bar advertisers to help pay for it 😉

Just An Extra Hour of Bodily Fluids

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It’s 6 am. I’ve been up since 2:30 am. This is my story.

Yesterday was the end of daylight savings, which for parents is pretty much the worst day of the year. Not only does it mess with your kids sleeping schedule, but it adds an extra hour to the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, I love spending time with him and I love every second of every 24 hours of every day with him. But 24 hours is enough. I don’t need 25. Because for me, it wasn’t an extra hour of sleep, it was an extra hour of spit up, poop and very demanding yells to be  held. Mama don’t need that.

Okay so daylight savings was rough. And to top it all off my usually fantastic sleeper of a baby has been regressing in his sleep patterns and that night was one of the worst. So I woke up with him at 6 and started counting down the hours till naptime. We went to church, picked up lunch, and by 1:30 it was time for us to hit the hay.

My glorious hour and a half nap came to an abrupt end when the dog decided that the nursery floor was the perfect place for her to throw up. Seriously!?! As if I don’t have enough bodily fluids to deal with, now I have to deal with this? Again I repeat, momma don’t need that. The baby was still asleep so I dozed for a few more minutes. When I got up with him I couldn’t find the barf, so I’m assuming the dog ate it, which is so gross but at least I don’t have to touch it so whatever. That dog is honestly at the bottom of my priority list and is the most annoying aspect of my life right now. But that’s a story for another day.

Not 10 minutes later I’m changing AJ’s diaper and he pees all over his face and then poops all over the changing table. Its at this point I start looking for this kid’s parents because I am done. Then I remember that I am the parent, and the other parent is at work, which means I’ve just got to buckle down and deal. So then we start the long stretch until bedtime, which involved copious amounts of spit up. Not projectile spit up, thank goodness, but the kind of spit up that just dribbles onto everything including the purple pants I was going to wear to work tomorrow and don’t have time to wash between now and then. Oh ya, did I mention that maternity leave is over? So this Sunday Funday is occurring before reality check Monday. Awesome.

So the baby goes down at 9:30 which is perfect I’m ready for bed myself so after talking with the hubs for a bit I settle in for what should be a 4-5 sleep stretch. NOPE! That blessed baby wakes up at 12:30. So we move to the nursery futon so that for the rest of the night he can sleep beside me and eat with minimal amounts of effort on my part because I really need some sleep at this point. Things are going quite nicely until 2:30. Now to truly understand the horror of this next part of the story, you need to know two things. First, the wall that the futon is against has the bathroom on the other side. You can hear everything that goes on there. Second, you need to understand that I abhor vomit. I would rather have any other temporary illness other than vomiting. And I HATE it when others throw up. Having said that, what sound do you think I woke up to at 2:30? Nursing brain (aka my sister) was THROWING UP! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? OF course I wasn’t made at her, poor thing can’t help contracting whatever weird illnesses the hospital gives her, but I was definitely angry at the events of the day. Dog vomit, baby vomit and now this? Stupid.

So I move baby and myself back into me and Joe’s room, because there is no way in hell I’m going to risk hearing dear sister expel more demons. But I know, even then, that my chances of sleep are slim to none. The baby has another three hour stretch, during which i dose off but don’t really sleep because I’m to afraid of waking up to the awful sound of vomit. At 6 he was super fussy and wouldn’t go back in the bassinet, so we ventured back to the nursery where I’m currently sitting with headphones cranked up because, seriously, I can’t handle the vomit. In fact, I’m so paranoid that even though I’ve had to pee since midnight, I refuse to use the bathroom. I’ll wait until 7 when my parents wake up and I can use there’s.

So there you have it folks. I’ll need a crap ton of chocolate and tea to get through this day. And I’ll be praying that this sickness of nursing brain’s is only a 24 hour bug, or else Joe and I are getting a hotel tonight. Now, if only I could find a night sitter….

10 Tips for Birthing a Giant

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Those of you who know me know that having a huge baby was always a fear of mine. My husband was 12 lbs when he was born and I would regularly tell people that we were adopting so that I didn’t have to birth his giant spawn. When I actually did get pregnant, his siblings assured me that all their babies were normal size, so mine probably would be too. It was a nice thought, but it was wrong. My perfect, wonderful, amazing giant of a son was born 1 oz shy of 10 lbs and was a whopping 22 inches in length. Granted, its not as big as 12 lbs, but I’m smaller than his mom so I think proportion wise it evens out. Anyways, I wanted to share the story of birthing my giant and instead of doing it in a boring long narrative (which STFU Parents has informed me is not cool) I’ll simply share with you a few tips I learned during the birthing process. I don’t get graphic, but I do mention the V-word a couple times so if that makes you uncomfortable, you should probably skip this post (I’m talking to you, dad.)

Tip #1- Don’t ask how big the baby is. Knowing that will just freak you out. If the baby’s size is a concern, the doctor will tell you. If you’re still concerned, simply ask if the baby’s size is measuring healthy. Under no circumstances should you ask for a specific size estimate at any time, not even during labor.  About halfway through my pushing process the midwife pushed on my stomach and realized that my son’s feet were much higher than normal, indicating that he was, in fact, a giant. My sweet husband saw her face and said “It’s a big baby, isn’t it?” She answered with a look that said “We’re gonna need a bigger vagina.” Thankfully, though, I was unaware of all of this until after the fact. Had I known, I probably would have just given up and demanded a c section. When it comes to baby’s size, ignorance is bliss.

Tip # 2- Eat. They don’t let you eat in the hospital until after the baby is born, so before you go in eat, eat some more, and then eat one more time. Giant baby’s don’t just slip out of your lady hole. They are a long time coming and you need your fuel. Of course if you’re like me you’ll barf it all up within the first 9 hours of labor, but I’m pretty sure some nutrients still get to you.

Tip #3- Get in the tub. If I had to birth my giant over again I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get to the hospital and would have spent at least another hour in my tub at home. I was having contractions 4 minutes apart for two hours before I went in, but I still would have waited longer. When I got to the hospital they were worried about my blood pressure so they made me stay in the bed. I would have much rather been at home in my bathtub, which was the greatest natural pain reliever.

Tip #4- Get a good partner. Birthing a giant is definitely not something to do alone. Get a good birthing partner, or in my case, a birthing team. Joe was awesome. He was super encouraging, always telling me how awesome I was, and the whole day he asked what he could do to help me (and sometimes he didn’t have to ask he just knew what to do.) He was always calm and positive. He was my rock in every sense of the word. My mom and my sister in law where also awesome. Towards the end they had to physically lift my shoulders off the bed for every contraction.  And of course, all my nurses and my midwife were absolutely the best.

Tip #5- Ask for more meds. If you decide to go without drugs, more power to you. But if you ask for the drugs, don’t be afraid to ask for more. When my epidural started wearing off I thought I was just going to have to tough it out the rest of the time. But my sweet angel of a nurse came in, saw that I was a wreck, and immediately called the anesthesiologist to up my dosage. Since I was only 7 cm at the time, the extra meds helped me get some more sleep before the big show.

Tip #6- Find a focus point. Again, this goes back to the point that birthing a giant takes freaking forever. I wouldn’t have gotten through three hours of pushing if I didn’t have something to focus on. I had brought visuals just like our lamaze instructor recommended, but what ended up being my focus point was AJ’s health. They were concerned about his heart rate as it was elevated during the entire pushing process, and I used that as my motivation to keep going. Every time I wanted to give up I just told myself  “you have to keep going. You have to get him out so his heart rate will go down.”

Tip #7- Yell. In your labor or lamaze class, they are going to tell you to be as calm as possible. They are going to tell you that yelling will only deplete your oxygen and make things worse. This is probably true, but there will definitely be times in the birthing process when yelling will be worth the wasted oxygen. For example, if your very smart and capable midwife somehow forgets to use numbing cream before she cuts your lady bits. That’s a true story folks and that was definitely a yelling moment.

Tip #8- Speaking of oxygen…get the oxygen mask. Have you ever been doing an intense workout and realized you weren’t breathing? That was me the entire three hours of pushing. Luckily sometime during hour 2 the nurses gave me an oxygen mask and it was a lifesaver. It not only reminded me to breath but it helped me relax in between contractions, since I wasn’t one of those lucky people who fall asleep in between contractions.

Tip #9- LImit the visitors, increase the icepacks. After you birth your giant, you’ll be exhausted and in indescribable amounts of pain for days. Seriously, sitting, standing, lying down….it all sucks. Don’t torture yourself by entertaining guests. Those moms you see with a room full of family, hair all combed and their makeup done? Trust me, they just sneezed out a 6 pounder. Your lady bits, on the other hand, just went through freaking Vietnam so don’t push yourself post partum. Don’t be afraid to tell people to postpone their visits. Don’t be afraid to ask for more ice packs. And be sure you take home a ton of ice packs, numbing spray, pads and whatever else the nurses offer you. You’re gonna need it.

Tip #10-  If at all possible, avoid having a giant. While genetics would have prevented me from having a tiny baby, I’m pretty sure he would have just been a normal 8 lbs if I hadn’t gorged myself on watermelon the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my son and would go through that whole process all over again for him. He’s healthy, happy, a good sleeper…I really couldn’t ask for a better baby. But if we are crazy enough to ever forget the condoms again, you can bet your booty I’ll be restricting the sugar intake towards the end because birthing a 2nd giant would be just plain insanity.

 

Where Is My Nesting Hormone?

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Here’s the thing. I was under the impression that pregnancy came with a magical nesting hormone that motivated all women to start cleaning, organizing, decorating and even cooking. Seeing as I’ve never been one to enjoy any of those activities, I was really looking forward to the biological change that would suddenly transform me from a passive Pinterest user into one that actually did the projects she pinned.

And yet here I am at 30 weeks and I’ve got nothing. Over the long Memorial Day weekend I tried to muster up some nesting feelings and went into the babies room to start organizing. BORING! I lasted an hour. Yes, I did get some necessary cleaning and organizing done, but it felt the same way cleaning and organizing felt before I was pregnant. It felt like a chore. A chore I was happy to do because I knew it would prepare for the baby, but a chore nonetheless. There was nothing magical about it.

Meanwhile, Mr Alexander is in nesting overdrive. That man has knitted three hats and four stuffed animals for his son, painted the baby’s room by himself and he just finished making a pallet headboard for our bed. Next on his list is refinishing some shelves and creating some art for the babies room. And now that he has a Pinterest account, the good Lord only knows what other types of projects are going to pop up around the house within the next 10 weeks.

The real kicker in this whole scenario is that while I didn’t get the nesting hormone, I definitely got all the other crappy hormones that come with pregnancy. My lack of a nesting hormone (combined with the fact that I ruined the homemade granola I tried to make) triggered my emotional hormone last night and I was fighting back tears as I verbalized my frustrations to my husband. While hubs listened dutifully, he wasn’t really in the comforting mood and so I was forced to “self soothe.” (Yes, he actually uses that term with me when I’m upset over things he considers trivial…”B, you’re gonna have to self soothe with this one”). And the conclusion I came to was this: I don’t have to be a nesting mom. I’ve got other good mom traits. I can help with homework. I can give advice on friends. I can teach Aaron how not to be annoying on Instagram. I can cheer at sports tournaments and encourage him in musical endeavors. And I can take him a gazillion field trips. Seriously, I cannot wait until he is old enough to go places like the zoo and Discovery Science Center, and do activities like fish, camp and play with sidewalk chalk. Hopefully we will keep him so busy he won’t even notice that his room is lame. Unless of course this nesting hormone of daddy’s sticks around. In which case he’ll have an awesome room and awesome experiences. Which will pretty much make us awesome parents.

All that to say, if any of you mommas are feeling insecure about a certain aspect of motherhood, just take a moment to self soothe and think about all the good mom traits you have. Write them out, stick them on your mirror, dashboard, coffee pot or any place where you will see the list often and then daily remind yourself of your strengths. As for your weaknesses, either work on them or be content with letting your partner shine in those areas 🙂

P.S. I hope that the whole self soothing thing doesn’t make my husband come off as disinterested or uncaring. This is not true at all as he is one of the most caring people I know. But he knows me well enough by now to know when I’m genuinely upset and when I’m just temporarily upset. And he knows I usually work out the temporary upsets better on my own, hence the whole “self soothing” thing. It works for us 🙂

Things that are making me unreasonably angry

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I wish I could blame it on pregnancy hormones, but let’s be honest- I’ve always been easily irritated. I try to disguise it has humor, but I know some of you are on to me. And while I should be using anger to do something meaningful like stopping human trafficking, I am instead going to write a blog post about all the little things in life that shouldn’t effect me but are, in fact, really pissing me off.

Teenage love- Seeing a young couple make out, hold hands or stare into each other’s eyes makes me physically ill. I want to say to all the girls “He doesn’t love you, he just wants your cooter!” And I want to tell all the boys “Spend this time developing skills so one day you can be a good husband to someone who is not a hussy!”

The smell of fish- Even in the best of circumstances it’s not a good smell, but right now it’s revolting. If we are hanging out and you start eating fish I will walk away. No explanation, no excuses, just me leaving you to wallow in your fishy stench.

The grown woman sitting next me who isn’t wearing a bra.- Seriously ma’am, we are right next to a Wal Mart where you can get one for 10 bucks. Please bundle up the ladies.

Meme debates- There are many topics in life that deserve to be intelligently debated amongst a group of people who respect one another and are passionate about such subject. There are NO subjects that should be debated by posting memes. Here’s a news flash, people: a meme is never going to change my mind on homosexual marriage, abortion, gun control or exercise. On a good day a meme will make me chuckle. On a bad day it will cause me to unfriend you. On a really bad day, I may actually hunt you down and punch your face. So meme this: YOUR MEMES MEAN NOTHING!

Thanks for listening, folks. I promise the next post will be more positive, or at the very least more meaningful 🙂