Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Parks & Noah

Parks and his bff Noah had a lovely play date this morning. These two extremely good looking babies had a wonderful time together. Parks loved watching his 14 pound friend do all kinds of sweet yoga positions, including downward dog (yes, for real). Parks tried to copy Noah, but toppled over because it turns out 19 pounds is a lot harder to move than 14. Enjoy!

when babies attack

"What'd I do??"

this playdate is over
parks was hogging the toys
not your best work, boys
Noah, check out my skillz!

Oh, to be young again...

Now before you erupt into laughter because I am only 23 years old and posting about being young again....hear me out.

I have recently become very aware that I have entered into an entirely new phase of adulthood. Living here at my parent's house I've gotten to spend time with my baby sister who is heading off to Belmont in the fall for her first year of college! I cannot believe it, the littlest Rigell is all grown up! But seeing her and her friends has reminded me of such a sweet time in my life. A time when your biggest concern is what outfit to wear to the big concert that night. Property tax: what's that? Mortgage payment: Nope. Health/car/life insurance: Huh? Capital Gains Tax: What in the world? The list goes on and on...

Such is life for a teenager, blissfully fancy free. For me, that youthful ignorance of the real world slowly faded away. First, I went to college and I started paying bills and I had a budget every month that I managed. Then, I got married and we managed our finances and the words property tax, health insurance, IRA etc. entered my vocabulary. Then, we had a baby and the words life insurance, will, and college tuition (gulp!) entered my vocabulary. About a year ago I remember feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders with all these "adult" responsibilities. I realized that everything had changed and I was now fully an adult, there was no turning back.

I think it is fun to look back on my teenage years and remember what a carefree time that was in my life. But I wouldn't trade where I am now for anything. I think that as you get older, the responsibility does increase. So does the potential for stress, hardship, disappointment and loss. But along with those things I think your capacity for joy, love and appreciation also increase. There is a depth of life that you get with age that I wouldn't trade for my carefree teen years. I know this may sound silly at my age. But let's face it, the average 23 year old has not been married for 2 years, bought, renovated and sold a home, had a job and had a baby. I'm certainly way behind most people, but I've experienced a good dose of "adult life" I would say.

Does anyone else feel like they have crossed over into adulthood? What's your favorite thing about being an adult? What do you miss about being younger? It can be scary and exciting all at once.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

baby's first swim

He loved the water! We had so much fun splashing around. Enjoy these pics of my water baby!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Peek Into Our Day...(and a babywise plug)

I get asked fairly often what I do during the day. Not in a mean way or anything, but people just like to know how Parks and I spend our day. I thought I would give you a peek into a typical day for me with a six month old. Here goes!

7:00 AM: Parks wakes up. We go downstairs. Mommy drinks coffee. Parks gets fed yummy rice cereal mixed with fruit. Then he nurses.

7:30 AM: Breakfast is done. Parks plays with his toys, reads books, jumps in the jumperoo and spends quality time with Mommy. I'm usually totally devoted to Parks during this time, I don't do housework or anything else, we just play.

9:00 AM: Parks gets sleepy, it's naptime! I lay him down for a nap and then I look forward to 1.5 to 2 hours of free time! This is when I will do laundry, clean our room/bathroom, take a shower and get ready for the day.

11:00 AM: Parks wakes up. Time to eat again! This time it's lunch with a yummy pureed vegetable such as green beans, butternut squash, sweet peas or avocado. Then he nurses again.

11:30 AM: Lunch is done, during this waketime, we either go on an outing or we stay home and play or go for a stroll. Our normal outings include: a trip to visit friends, a trip to Target, sometimes a lunch with Daddy, or a trip to the grocery store.

1:30ish PM: Parks is tired again. Time for the afternoon nap! I put Parks down and have about an hour and a half to do whatever I want. This usually turns into blogging, surfing the internet for who knows what, emailing, phone calls.

3:00 PM: Parks wakes up. Time for another meal! He eats another veggie and nurses again.

3:30 PM: Playtime or another errand.

5:00ish PM: Daddy comes home! This is his favorite time of the day. Daddy gets big smiles and giggles from Parks.

6:00 PM: Mommy and Daddy have dinner, Parks plays with toys in his highchair.

7:00ish PM: Bathtime! Parks loves bathtime and splashing in the water. Jackson and I do this together every night, it is a fun little family ritual.

7:10 PM: Get in jammies.

7:30 PM: Nurse again.

7:45ish PM: Night night! See you tomorrow!

8:00 PM: Hang out with Jax! :)

I love the predictability of our schedule now. Granted, it is always in flux a little bit as he needs less sleep during the day, but each day has the same rhythm. It is awesome to know that I have two chunks of time each day to get things done. I credit our routine totally to Babywise. Babywise has gotten a bad rap for being harsh and not listening to the needs of your baby. This could not be further from the truth. The whole Babywise philosophy is that the parent knows best, not the child. Just like when a two year old wants to eat candy every two hours, as a parent you know that is not the best for them so you say no. If it were up to them, they would form terrible habits. As parents, it is our job to direct their habits. Babywise recommends the same loving, parental intervention in the lives of newborns and infants. They don't come out of the womb knowing to sleep at night, you have to help them. They don't realize that they need to nap during the day, you have to help them establish these healthy patterns.

I implemented it from day one and it has definitely paid off. Parks was sleeping through the night at around 6 or 7 weeks with a predictable nap schedule by about 3 months. We have had a couple set-backs here and there but that is normal and we go with the flow when that happens. I don't find it rigid at all, in fact, Babywise says over and over that the routine is to serve you not shackle you, if you need to make adjustments to the schedule for your baby, do it! I think babies thrive on routine and predictability with their eating and sleep times. I'm not a rigid person anyways so I always balance Babywise with my maternal instincts which is exactly what the book says to do. For example, Parks needed to eat more frequently than Babywise said was the normal for his age. He was on a 2.5 hour schedule for a LONG time. Then we gradually moved to a 3 hour routine and then 3.5 and then about a month ago, to a 4 hour routine. This was not the classic "Babywise" schedule for his age, but I saw that his needs were different so I made the routine fit his needs (which is what the book says to do!). I'm not saying Babywise is for everyone, but I do think it has received unnecessary criticism and I like to give credit where credit is due. I know everybody has their own philosophy but I just wanted to share mine and how well it has worked for me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

For Hillery

This post is dedicated to my friend Hillery! She is an amazing fashionista and friend who is currently living it up in NYC. A couple months ago she sent me this adorable onesie that is perfect for our future Wahoo. Parks sends his love, Auntie Hillery! xoxo

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How old is she?

I went to Hallmark today because a certain holiday is coming up :) As I was checking out the lady who was working there says, "Oh what a cute baby, how old is she?" It kind of caught me off guard because no one has ever thought Parks was a girl. I responded, "Six months." I figured it wasn't worth embarrassing her by saying "He's a boy." Seriously, who could think Parks is a girl?

P.S. Ummm ok as I type I am watching this nasty show about people swimming in a pool filled with beer and they are dipping their mugs in the beer and drinking it! Ewww.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

date night

Jax and I enjoyed a lovely date night tonight. We don't get out very often with a little one so when we do we like to make the most of it. Our date started with a counseling session that we got paid for. Yes, we got paid to go to counseling, it was sweet! My sister, Lindsey, just got her masters in counseling and some of her colleagues needed to do "community counseling" where they basically practice their skillz on a couple. If you go to three sessions, you get paid $100. So we signed up and it was actually really fun. Tonight was out last night and I must say, I think everyone could benefit from some counseling now and then.

So after our counseling sesh we had a yummy dinner at:

Then split a dessert at:

This was a total throwback for me as it was the only place me and my bff Bryceleigh used to go in highschool when we had nothing else to do.

Then we finished off the night at a club...oops I mean:

We're parents...remember! :)

We had a super fun time and really enjoyed getting out just the two of us....but of course, we missed our little man and couldn't wait to get back to him. Thanks to Bertha G for watching him!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6 month milestones and blurb

Parks is now sitting up (yay for more independence) and as of June 6th, 2009 I officially felt/saw those precious little white ridges of a first tooth! It is slowly but surely popping up more every day. Sometimes I feel like I need to be keeping a diligent baby book and writing all this down, but then I realized that this blog kind of is my baby book. This is where I put pictures, write about accomplishments and milestones, etc. So imagine my delight when I found out that there is a company that turns blogs into real hardcover books! Yes, BLURB can "slurp" all the posts from your blog and publish them into a nice book so you can have your memories forever! Is that not the coolest thing you have ever heard? I think I will make a book for each year I have been blogging. So instead of doing a baby book for each baby, I will just treat this blog as my baby book and write things I want to remember here! Pretty cool I think.

I'll post pictures of Parks' new sitting accomplishments soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

monday night ER visit

Jackson and I have had a hard time lately finding time to spend together. He has had a crazy busy work schedule and he also moved our furniture out of our house in Charlottesville this past weekend with a buddy. He has been exhausted and our quality time has been close to nil. Sunday night, after a day of moving furniture and driving a Penske truck, Jackson asked me to look at a bug bite he had on his leg. It looked normal, like a spider bite or something. Bigger than a mosquito bite, but not inflamed or scary looking. Then Monday night after he finally got home from work and unloading the moving truck, he asked me to look at his leg again. This time, I gasped when I saw it. His upper thigh was so swollen, it looked like a baked potato was in his leg. The bite was on his back leg and the swelling wrapped around his entire leg to the front. It was so startling!

Now, I was scared, but I've also been accused of being a "medical alarmist" so I tried to be calm and I said what any 21st century wife would say, "Let me go google some stuff". So I proceeded to google poisonous spider bites. I was really thinking he got bit by a brown recluse or a black widow or something. After making my amateur diagnosis I was on the fence between waiting until the morning or going to the ER, which was our only choice at 9:00 at night. We went downstairs and told my mom what was going on and she said "You need to go to the hospital, it could be the flesh eating type of bite!" The words "fleshing eating" got Jackson's attention really quick and he agreed we needed to go.

Well good thing we went! After taking one look at this bite, the doctor said, "It's a good thing you came in, this is infected." Yikes! So poor Jax is on antibiotics and we will be keeping a close eye on the leg to make sure it doesn't get worse.

But, the moral of the story is, if you have a profusely swollen leg, go to the ER...AND...if your marriage is strapped for quality time, a visit to the ER should give you about 4 hours to sit and talk :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Welcome Baby John!

I am so delighted to announce the arrival of my friend Jaime's new baby....John Hawken Campbell! He was born this morning. He is a precious little boy and sweet Gracie is such a beautiful, proud big sister. I just love this family and am so excited to celebrate with them, albeit from 160 miles away :(

Welcome Baby John, you are loved!

helen keller

So I first heard the 3oh!3 song "Don't Trust Me" on the radio and I liked it. Then it got to the Helen Keller part and I was just like "Whaaaaat?! Did they really just say that?". It was one of those things that you are shocked you heard but you still kind of chuckled because it is comical. I thought, "I must blog about this, I'm sure people either think it's funny or they hate it." Sure enough, most of you thought it was inappropriate and so do I on some level. But I'll be honest, I did laugh a little bit :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thank you, Merck!

Any alternative vaccination schedule people out there?  If so, rejoice! Merck has planned to release the separate M, M and R vaccines again in spring 2011.  Merck is the only manufacturer of the MMR and had discontinued making the separate M, M and R vaccines forcing parents to either get the full MMR at once, or not vaccinate at all.  Now, we have the option of getting them separately again.  Yay! I am very excited about this.  Thanks Merck!

Go HERE to learn more.

Look what I can do...

Monday, June 1, 2009

the two letter word

This past week a new word entered my mommy vocabulary.  I uttered that two letter word that I will probably say countless times from here on out..."no".  Until now, my most commonly used phrases have been: "Good Job Parks!" "Whatcha doing buddy?!" "Good Boy!" and "How's my baby?!"

It was a funny moment.  Parks was sitting in his bumbo on the kitchen counter (yes, I was standing right there, it was safe) and he started reaching for the paper towels.  He was able to grab them and pull them off the paper towel stand and was beginning to create a mess.  I said, "No no Parks".  I thought to myself, "Here we go...we are entering 'training territory'.  I am no longer only responsible for cuddles and feedings.  I will be responsible for training his actions, shaping his heart, and disciplining him.  Lord, help!" 

It was a simple moment, nothing serious...just a six month old reaching for paper towels.  But it was a defining moment nonetheless.  I realized that even at this early tender age, I am beginning to lay the framework for future discipline and training.  Parks needs to learn early on that I am in charge.  Understand that I am not talking about spanking or punishing a six month old baby, hardly!  But I am talking about those little teaching moments where you start to say "no" and the baby learns that there are boundaries and they are not the decision makers, mom and dad are.  

I really like the idea of preparing for what is ahead.  When I was pregnant I was devouring Babywise, The Baby Whisperer and other baby books that were recommended to me.  Now that I'm mothering an infant I'm reading about potty-training and godly discipline for toddlers.  I know that you can't have everything perfectly nailed down from reading a book, but I want to do the best job I can at parenting.  I don't want to just fly by the seat of my pants and hope it works, I want to do it well.  After all, you only get one chance.

So now that the "no" word is officially in regular rotation in my vocabulary I thought I would ask what parenting books you have read that you liked or have heard good things about.  On my list to read now are:

Grace Based Parenting: Tim Kimmel
Shepherding A Child's Heart: Tedd Tripp
Dare to Discipline: James Dobson 

Any thoughts on godly parenting resources or books?