A little behind, seeing that James is almost 8 months old now. Where does the time go? August and September were busy with parties, a new school and vacation. Our little baby is growing into a little boy right before our eyes. His personality shines and he is still the happiest, smiliest baby I've ever seen. Getting James to laugh is pretty easy - he's very ticklish and loves it when anyone makes a funny face or noise.

FAVORITES: bath time, "standing up" while holding your hands, the exersaucer, playing the drums, playing the piano, being tickled, swinging, favorite stuffed animal is still puppy, razbaby teether [love!]

DISLIKES: After a week-long vacation, we had a minor adjustment period where he disliked being the center of attention [insert rolling eye emoji].

SLEEP: Still a good napper at home [~1 hour in the morning and 1.5-2 in the afternoon] and getting better at school, usually an awesome sleeper at night [7pm - 6:30am in the crib], but had 1 night after returning from vacation where we did a little drive around the neighborhood at 1am to calm a teething baby

SCHOOL: We made the switch to James's new school and definitely like the convenience of the location. I've been able to stroll him to and from school since it's only about a 10 minute walk. His class size is bigger [10-11 babies], but he's adjusted SO well!

VISITS AND PARTIES: We visited Danville and Greensboro and attended his first football party. We also had our first family vacation to Isle of Palm, SC [pictures below!]

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 6:45am wake up 7oz bottle, 8:30am breakfast solids, 10am 7oz bottle, 11am nap, 12pm lunch solids, 1pm bottle, 1:30pm nap, 4pm bottle, 6:30 bath, 6:45pm bottle, 7pm bedtime

7 MONTH MILESTONES: army crawling, "standing" assisted, new solid foods [pears, zucchini, carrots] , saying "mama" but only when he's wining

7 MONTH STATS: [at 6.5 month appointment] 17lbs 9oz, 26.75", size 3 diapers, 9-12 month clothes

Now...for the beach photo dump. Andrew gave me a fancy new camera as an early birthday present, and I've had so much fun learning the ins and outs of amateur photography. It's so hard not to want to capture every move this squishy baby makes, but looking back through these pictures, I feel I should say that my parents and brother were also with us on vacation. Note to self: take pictures of the adults too. 



From day 1 he's been "Sweet Baby James" and he continues to be the sweetest, happiest baby I've ever seen. I've been documenting James's milestones and stats month by month, but this is the first time I'm blogging it. I know I'll love going back through these later on and reminiscing about this sweet, squishy little man.

FAVORITES: puppy, gator, oball, talking to "that other baby" in the mirror or camera, being tickled, bath time [splashing!], swinging in the back yard, watching and playing with his cousins, "petting" the kitties 

DISLIKES: getting dressed after bath time

SLEEP: great napper at home [~1 hour in the morning and 1.5-2 in the afternoon] and getting better at school, awesome sleeper at night [always has been!] 7pm - 6:45am in the crib 

SCHOOL: loves Mrs. Crystal and Ms. Ashley, but getting ready to move in a couple weeks to a more convenient, better rated school. Andrew and I have mixed emotions, but we know he'll do great and that it's the right move for our family. 

VISITS AND PARTIES: Thomas's 1st birthday, Hudson's pool party, visited Danville to see all the cousins

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 6:45 wake up and nurse, 10am 7oz bottle, 11am nap, 1pm bottle, 1:30pm nap, 4pm bottle, 6:30 bath, 6:45pm bottle, 7pm bedtime

6 MONTH MILESTONES: sitting up, rolling over [back to belly], solid foods [avocado, apples, green beans, sweet potato, butternut squash, oatmeal] , saying "dadadada" and "heeeyyy", but probably not intentionally to/at Andrew or anyone in particular. 

6 MONTH STATS: size 2 diapers, 6-9 month clothes

Sweet baby James, you are such a blessing to our family and have made your daddy and I so happy and SO proud. The best parts of our days are seeing you for the first time in the morning, always smiling and talking in your crib and then picking you up at school at the end of the day, laughing and so happy! You love your kitty brother and sister and love "talking" to them when they're around and "petting" them when they dare to get close enough. You're learning and growing so much every day, and your shining, positive personality shows in everything you do. The past six months have flown by, and it breaks my heart to know that the next six will go by even faster. I wish I could bottle up your little laugh and smell and take it with me every time I'm without you. We love you so much, James. 



Some of the most valuable information I was given before having James was to try to take care of myself too. "Find a time during the day that works best for the both of you, and get clean, dressed and maybe even put on a little makeup." It's definitely easier said than done. I swore that I wouldn't be one of those baby-obsessed moms, but I honestly had NO clue how much I'd love this creature that just came out of my body. We had plenty of help when he was born, but staring at a sleeping baby sounded so much more appealing to me than showering. Despite my extreme baby-watching, non-showering tendencies, here are a few ways I was able to feel like myself again after giving birth.

1. Change out of pajamas.

I wasn't squeezing back into my pre-pregnancy jeans the day after delivery, but it made me feel much better to change clothes in the morning. Even if it was only leggings, a nursing tank and a cozy cardigan. The newborn nights are long, getting up every few hours, but changing into an outfit other than pjs signaled to my sleep-deprived body that it was a new day with a new, clean slate.

2. Shower every day (and maybe even shave your legs!!)

I'm a nighttime shower girl. Even now, I shower at night so I can snooze until the very last minute in the mornings. Washing off the day felt so so good, and a warm shower seemed to restore my sense of normal life. Shaving my legs also made me feel like I "had it together" a bit and helped with #3...

3. Get ready! 

Maybe not every single day, but about 4 times a week, even if I wasn't leaving the house, I'd at least put on a little BB cream, mascara and blush. After laying it all out there during delivery [literally], it was important for me to feel "pretty" again and a little makeup and a curling iron did just that. Throw in a few selfies with a baby, and you're golden!

4. Get together with the girls.

I mentioned before that we had help when James was born. Andrew had a month of paternity leave and both of our moms each came to stay for a week when we first came home. Less than a week after his birth, my mom and Andrew ushered me right out the door to supper club. Having a few sips of wine and a night's worth of girl talk made me feel SO good! I nursed James at 6, went to dinner, and was home by 9 for his next feeding (and an early bedtime!) This move also required me to complete items 1-4 above!

5. Cry a little. 

Childbirth does a number on your hormones, and I was totally not immune. Although I didn't experience the extreme emotions that come with PPD, I did have some baby blues in the first few weeks and sometimes crying a little [or a lot] was the best way for me to cope. Realizing what was happening [hormones/baby blues] and that it's ok and normal to cry made me feel better about shedding some tears when I felt sad, happy or simply scared out of my mind.

These are just a few tips that helped me along the way. In no way, are these tactics to help cope with or overcome postpartum depression. If you are a new mom and you ever have thoughts of hurting yourself or your family, please seek the help of medical professional. There is never a reason to be embarrassed to ask for help - your new baby needs and deserves their mama to feel healthy and her best!



Saturday, February 6, 2016

the night before the big event - 38 weeks pregnant

6:45 am: I woke up much earlier than usual, unable to sleep due to the typical pregnancy aches and pains, but other than that, it was like any other Saturday.

8:30 am: Andrew joined me, and we talked about what we’d like to do that day. We already had plans to go to dinner at Cowfish that night to celebrate John’s birthday, but aside from that, the day was ours.

9:00 am: I dropped Andrew off at the gym and I headed to the vet for a checkup with Bangs. He'd been in and out of the vets office due to some urinary issues, so we figured we'd get him a clean bill of health before the baby arrived!

10:30 am: I brought Bangs home and decided to treat myself to a manicure at Polished. The technician there was so awesome, and when she asked my due date, I jokingly said "oh today! hahaha"...not so funny. I totally thought I was in the safe zone, seeing as my due date wasn't for another 12 days.

12:00 pm: Picked up Andrew at the gym, and we decided on Moe’s for lunch before we headed to South Carolina to get fireworks for my father-in-law’s birthday present.

12:30 pm: After getting our order at Moe’s, we sat down, and I immediately felt like I had wet my pants. I told Andrew I’d be right back and made a b-line to the bathroom. As I reached the doorknob, I put the pieces together and turned right around to inform him what was going on and that we needed to leave....NOW! It was followed by an “Are you serious!?” and I rushed out the door to the Jeep. Andrew did his best to clean up the table of half-eaten food and met me at the car frantic and excited. As we drove home, I called the hospital answering service to get our instructions as the water continued to pool up in the back passenger floor mat. Thank goodness for leather seats.

1:00 pm: When we got home, Andrew threw together some additional toiletries and grabbed our overnight bags for the hospital as I took a quick shower to wash off.

1:30 pm: We arrived at the hospital, were able to skip triage and were admitted straight to our delivery room where James would be born. I was administered an IV, and we met our wonderful delivery nurse, Kim. At this point, I was only 1 fingertip dilated.

2:30 pm: My brother and his girlfriend stopped in to visit. We chatted about James’s arrival and they left once things started to get a little more intense. Plus, I knew I wanted a little more time with Andrew before it was no longer "just us two".

3:15 pm: Nurse Kim administered my Pitocin to get things moving along. I had been having some smaller contractions, but they needed to be longer and stronger before the epidural could be given.

4:00 pm: Mom and Dad arrived and the contractions picked up more. They helped soothe my aches and calm my nerves, but I just kept thinking "they're going to get worse!" Nurse Kim gave me some pain medication to take the edge off, and we met Dr. Jones for the first time. She was the on-call OBGYN, who we loved! Up until this point, I had only seen Dr. Wilson, but she was on vacation (in NAPA/the Super Bowl!!) this weekend.

5:00 pm: Mike & Avery, my in-laws, arrived and the contractions were getting very intense. This was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt - even Andrew said he'd never seen someone in more physical pain. I was 5cm dilated and getting more nervous.

6:00 pm: Dr. Jones checked and informed me that I was now 7cm dilated and could have my epidural!! Hallelujia! Contractions at this point were very very intense and extremely painful. I only remember 4 or 5 of these intense contractions, but I’m sure there were more. Dr. K, our anesthesiologist arrived and administered my epidural. I was instructed to sit on the side of the bed and lean over without moving an inch. He administered a shot in my back which felt like a pinch, compared to the pain I previously felt. Even though contractions were coming in the midst of the shot, relief was in sight and that was enough to hold still. The first shot, went to the left a little too much, so another shot was required. At this point, the pain from the epidural was so minimal, I didn’t mind one bit. The second shot took perfectly, and I was able to lay back in bed and welcomed the “fuzziness” in my legs that Dr. K described; the pain from my contractions melted away. Despite the epidural, I was still able to move my legs and feel the urge to push that’s required to deliver the baby. The only way I knew a contraction was coming was a slight pinching feeling in my left butt cheek - so random.

6:45 pm: I started pushing. We pushed in increments of 3’s. I would start with a cleansing breath, then one big breath. As nurse Kim counted to 10, I would push. The first push was always the hardest – by 3 I was losing momentum. Andrew was an excellent coach and helped hold my leg and encouraged me all along the way. At this point, it was Dr. Jones, Nurse Kim, Andrew and me in the delivery room. I remember it being much calmer than it is in the movies. It was perfect. We continued to push since I was making progress (albeit small). At the 1-hour mark, I was feeling frustrated and needed a little pick me up. Andrew put on Biggie’s Pandora station and we danced and pushed to everything from BeyoncĂ© and Jay-Z to Return of the Mack. At one point, OPP came on and we all waved our hands in the air. It was definitely a priceless moment I’ll never forget. You can't even make this up.

8:45 pm: Dr. Jones made the call to bring in the full team to prepare for James’s arrival. Two (maybe more) nurses came in and we started our big, productive pushes to get James out.

9:15 pm: After 3 or 4 BIG pushes with the full team and Mrs. Tammy (James’s nurse), he arrived. James was immediately placed on my chest, all white and gooey from delivery. He held on to my bra strap (I remember frantically trying to count his little fingers) and Andrew and I looked lovingly at our new baby boy. We spent time, just the 3 of us doing lots of skin to skin and some initial breastfeeding while Dr. Jones stitched me up. I had a 2nd-degree tear from delivery but didn't feel a thing. James latched like a champ and was a perfect baby from the start. We submitted our dinner orders, and John ran out to get us food. My request -- Subway (8 months is WAY too long to go without a cold turkey sandwich).


10:15 pm: Our families were allowed back to the delivery room where everyone oohed and ahhed over James. They took turns holding him, and he received his first bath from Nurse Tammy. She took his measurements and performed his heel prick test, along with checking his other vitals. She let us know what we already knew – he was perfect.

12:00 am: Everyone said their goodnights, and we got ready to move into our recovery room. I was able to get up from the bed and walk assisted to the bathroom.

1:30 am: We arrived in our recovery room and settled in for the night.

James Ryland Wyatt
February 6, 2016, 9:15pm
6lbs 12oz, 19.5”

On Sunday, after a sleepless night, we spent the day meeting with nurses, lactation consultants and visiting with family again. Mike & Avery came by around 10, and Mom and Dad came with John around lunch. Christina visited and brought beer (!!!) and a sweet gift for James - adorable baby moccasins! That afternoon, we relaxed around the room, held and snuggled James, and got ready to watch the Super Bowl that night. The Carolina Panthers were playing the Denver Broncos and all of Charlotte was watching. I slept through the first half, snuggled with Andrew on his cot, while James slept in his hospital bassinet. Andrew slept through the second half. Unfortunately, the Panthers lost, so we didn’t miss much. That night, we sent James to the nursery so we could get a few hours of rest. The nurse would bring him in at 2 and 5 am to eat, but it was definitely worthwhile to feel rested and refreshed again.

Monday, we prepared to head home. James was circumcised that morning and Dr. Squires, our wonderful pediatrician, informed us that not only did he do amazing during his procedure, he only lost 2% of his body weight during our stay at the hospital. I cried - and I would continue to cry anytime anyone asked about our experience that weekend. "It was just SO perfect", I'd say. He was discharged at 6lbs 9oz. Before we left, we hopped next door to visit our friends Kristin, Tim and new baby Hudson, who was born the night before!!

In the week following James’s birth, my mom stayed with us to help get acclimated to life at home. Our first night at home, we had a bit of a scare when James spit up a bit of red-tinged spit up. After a call with the 24/7 pediatrician’s nurse’s line, we were instructed, as a precaution, to take him to the emergency room at 5am. After a full check by the doctor, we were simply told to keep an eye on things, that it was likely fluid ingested during delivery. We never had another incident. The first week, James was your typical sleepy baby. When he wasn’t eating, he slept like a rock and gave us the perfect first week at home. Friends, Alex, Lisa and Kate, were our first visitors at home. Wednesday was James's first checkup at the pediatrician. James was looking great and had even maintained his discharge weight. By Thursday, I was feeling more like myself and even made it to supper club for a night out with the girls. We had settled into a schedule and James was eating at 3, 6, 9 and 12 – eight times a day and pooping and peeing like a champ. My dad came to visit Friday (2/12) night to celebrate my brother, John’s birthday (a day late) and left with mom on Saturday (2/13). We celebrated Valentine’s Day the next morning, now the 3 of us, with coffee, bagels and girl scout cookies! Mike and Avery arrived that afternoon and spent time loving on James. Mrs. Avery stayed with us through the week and helped out around the house and snuggled sweet baby James on demand. On Wednesday (2/17), we saw Dr. Squires again for another routine checkup. James had gained 9oz in the past week, up to 7lbs 2oz – eating like a little piglet! Again, everything was perfect!

In the midst of his second week on Earth, James is more alert during the day and naps much less than he did during week 1. He sleeps in our room in the Rock 'n Play and has even had a few naps in his crib. We’re testing out the crib when we can but haven’t had the courage to move him there for a night's sleep. No one tells you how noisy a newborn baby sleeps - seriously. He’s continuing to eat great, and Dr. Squires even gave us the thumbs up to begin letting him sleep as long as he wants at night. 

We're so blessed with this sweet baby boy and just can't believe we're fortunate enough to be his parents. 

James, we love you so so much already and can't wait for the adventures that are ahead of us. You exceed everything we ever hoped for, baby boy.



i'm on a roll! we were super productive last night. the whole house is cleaner than it's been since we moved into it in 2012, and it's all for my in-laws. haha mostly true! andrew's parents are coming to town this weekend to help install a dishwasher in the kitchen [hallelujah] and if time permits, some additional projects to be completed around the house. we're losing 2 cabinets and 2 drawers in our already tiny kitchen which means we had a ton of items that needed new homes. i was totally shocked at how much excess we had accumulated in that tiny space and purged SO much unused/expired food, containers and even small appliances! we seriously have more space now than before i started cleaning. the best part - once that "nesting" bug bites, the kitchen will already be crossed off my list!!

2 7  W E E K S

  • how far along? 27 weeks
  • baby size: an acorn squash
  • total weight gain/loss? i was brave and weighed earlier this week and was shocked to see i was 16 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. i didn't chance it by weighing in again.
  • maternity clothes? yes, but not ALL maternity. i bought this super cute top [looks better on me, IMO] from anthro today that i plan on sporting at thanksgiving!
  • stretch marks? none! fingers crossed that they stay away!
  • sleep? pretty bad. my hips have been hurting lots this week, and i'm about ready to throw in the towel and try a pregnancy pillow
  • best moment this week? getting our gorgeous pictures back from the shultzes, ordering our christmas cards, and receiving an invitation for my first baby shower
  • miss anything? cookie dough. andrew bought a huge roll last weekend and it's been taunting me from the fridge.
  • movement? lots - he's most active at night once i get still and settled!
  • food cravings? sweets! having that dough in the fridge means a couple of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies every night! too bad the cursed glucose test is monday. ah! 
  • anything making you queasy or sick? no, but my morning coffee does seem to make my heartburn worse *tear*
  • have you started to show yet? nah. 
  • gender: BOY!
  • labor signs: getting larger. this is a sign that labor is to come - without a doubt. 
  • belly button in or out? out! eek! depending on how much i eat. it was definitely peeking out during our pictures on sunday. i'm seriously considering photoshopping it.
  • nursery: making more progress this week! if there's time, andrew and his dad will work on sealing up the random doorway that leads from the kitchen to the nursery. can't wait to see how much our home changes after this weekend!
  • symptoms: heartburn, hip pain and a little round ligament pain
  • mood: a little emotional, not going to lie. i've cried [or been on the edge] more times this week than i have my whole pregnancy. maybe it's the holidays?
  • workouts: one body pump class on tuesday and my huge kitchen cleaning session last night [that totally counts!]
  • looking forward to: andrew's parents' visit and THANKSGIVING! oh my gosh, the FOOD! and i guess, [hopefully] passing my glucose test on monday so i have free reign on the food on thursday!
my weekly pic [looking super sleepy from a long night of backaches]. so funny, i compared this to my 20 week picture in the same shirt and look quiiiite a bit larger.

and a few ones from our shoot with the shultzes this past weekend. only minorly obsessed...