Monday, April 29, 2013

Thirteen Months

So I decided to keep these updates going past the 1 year mark.  I mean, why not?  It's not like Mason and I have much else going on ... I kid I kid.

Call me crazy but I consider these monthly posts to be a good update for family and friends who want to see how my little monster is doing.

Where to begin ... well the past month has been quite the transformation from "baby" status to "toddler" status.  We stopped breast feeding entirely and Mason spent his first 24 hours without mom.  I think I was more torn up about the separation than Mason was.
He's walking more and more ... but I can't say he's a walker yet.  And while we're on the subject ... if one more person tries to tell me that "it's ok that he's not walking yet" I'll punch them in the face.  Seriously.  I don't need someone to tell me condescendingly their opinion on my son's walking status.  I KNOW it's ok that he's not officially walking yet dummy.  So leave me alone and try to parent your own child.  Clearly there's a story behind this and the blog is not the place to get into it.
We graduated from the stitched or pinned on ties and went with a big boy clip on tie.  That's right folks, for the next year he'll be wearing this smashing blue tie with green sailboats.  Only the best for my son.
His personality shines through more and more each day.  Lucky for me his personality is full of goofiness and laughter.  I love that I see a little bit of me in him everyday. 
Honey and Mason are still best friends ... they have quite the understanding during meals.  Mason throws food on the floor and Honey cleans it up.  Unfortunately for Honey, Mason has been throwing less food on the floor and eating almost all of it.  
 See?  He's a walker ... but not in the zombie sense, don't worry.
 I could stare into those eyes all day ...
Since entering toddlerhood the kid has definitely gained a lot more confidence.  He's clearly a daredevil which is exciting and worrisome all at the same time.

 I die.  Look at that face.
 Who does he look like more?  My money is on MOMMY!

  • 5 teeth ... 2 more poking through on the top
  • recently completed a 5k, well rode in the stroller during a 5k
  • takes 1 nap a day, for right around 1 hour 15 minutes
  • likes: bath time, the swing and playing at the park, "reading" the same book over and over and over again with mom, attending gym class once a week with his pal Carson, going to daycare at the gym with mom
  • dislikes: not a fan of diaper changes or wardrobe changes, any sort of pause during eating, being put down for a 2nd nap, wearing socks and shoes

CPCC Charlotte Skyline 5k - recap

This past Saturday Mason, Ryan, and I ran the CPCC Charlotte Skyline 5k.  Ryan and I ran this race back in 2011 and really liked the course.
CPCC Charlotte Skyline Run
I signed up for the baby jogger division so I could race with Mason.  I was actually really looking forward to racing with him until I came down with a terrible cold on Friday.  I tried to super over-medicate myself in hopes of getting better by Saturday morning.

After going to bed with a fever on Friday night I was slightly disappointed when I woke up Saturday with another fever (I am 100% sure I broke the first fever at some point Friday night since I went to bed with chills and woke up 1.5 hours later covered in sweat).  I am super stubborn and didn't want to miss out on running this race, and I even promised Ryan I would walk the course.

Of course walking was not an option.  I tried to race conservatively and completed the 5k in 26:39 minutes.  The course had a slow uphill in the beginning and ended with a fast downhill (which was much appreciated) during the last 0.5 mile. 

Mason was a super champ and behaved the entire time while riding around in the BOB stroller.

I didn't take any pictures before, during, or after the race.  I was trying hard to just hold it together until we got home.  I spent the rest of the weekend in bed or thinking about going back to bed.  

Fortunately I am feeling a lot better today.  I'm already looking at the Run for Your Life Grand Prix Series for my next race with Mason.  
 
I think the whole family is going to sign up for the Run! Ballantyne 5k on 5/18.  Looking forward to racing fever-free :D

Friday, April 26, 2013

Over medicating myself

It had been almost 2 years since I've taken any over the counter cold medicine. Between being pregnant and breast feeding, I didn't really want to put those drugs into my system with Mason depending so heavily on me.




I really don't want to be sick. I really don't want a 99.3 fever, loud cough, runny nose before a race. I really wanted to "race" tomorrow during the 5k and not just run.

At this point it's pretty crazy that I'm still planning on running tomorrow at 8am. Please let the running gods hear my plea and let me feel well enough to run 3.1 miles tomorrow.

In preparation I've already gotten ready for bed and look forward to sweating out my fever : /


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm a big fan of ...

Napping babies and tasty snacks.



For my post run snack I combined some of Mason's full fat plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey, some granola, and a handful of blueberries and blackberries.

This was day 2 of treadmill running since the weather in Charlotte has been subpar for my tiny running companion.




Yesterday I struggled through my YMCA 5k. My legs felt heavy and taking 3 days off from running was definitely evident.




Today I managed to run just a bit faster. Hopefully we can run outside tomorrow and then run either indoors or outdoors on Thursday.

Probably take a day off on Friday in preparation of the CPCC skyline 5k on Saturday morning. I'll be racing with Mason in the stroller and I'm looking forward to seeing how we fare together.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is that a Mickey in your bag?

I'm tired. I partied a little too much last night. I laughed to the point of stomach pains. I broke 2 wine glasses at a wine bar. And I definitely went to bed much later than usual.

I had a blast visiting my beautiful friend Katie in Orlando and am sad to be leaving so soon. After 24 hours in the sunshine state I am back at the airport waiting for my flight.




I couldn't leave Mickey's hometown without a little something for my favorite monster at home. Hope he likes Mr. Mouse as much as I do.

I'm definitely running on little to no sleep but have found that taking shots of espresso from multiple Starbucks gives me a quick boost.



I also grabbed a yogurt parfait to give my system something to eat.

Time to board. Fingers crossed I somehow manage to run when I get back to Charlotte.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A first and a last

I woke up at 4:15 this morning to get ready for the airport. That's a lie ... I actually woke up at 12:50, 2:00, 3:30 ... I couldn't sleep for fear I would oversleep and miss my flight to Orlando.

And as I wait at the gate for my flight to Atlanta and then Orlando, I wonder if Mason is still curled up in a tight ball sleeping in his crib. Or if my tip toeing around the house was too loud for him. Naw I'm sure he's sleeping and I'm sure this weekend with daddy will be great.

This is the FIRST time I've left Mason for more than a few hours. I think I'm going to miss him more than he'll miss me.

We had our LAST breast feeding session on Wednesday night in preparation of me being away. As I fed him I wondered if he knew that this would be the last time. If he knew that he was a big boy now and didn't need mama like that anymore. If he knew that I finally was gaining my body back (nonexistent boobs and all).



He was so peaceful that night drifting to sleep.

Since then he's been put to bed by Ryan on Thursday and by me last night. I give him a sippy cup of whole milk and brushed his teeth. I read him two books and hugged him tight. And then I kissed him goodnight and placed him in his crib.

He didn't fall asleep right away; he cried and then played with Elmo and his blankie. Then I looked at the monitor and he was asleep. And just like that my fears of needing him to breast feed before bed disappeared. And I knew I had a toddler.


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Friday, April 12, 2013

It's kind of like Cheers

After 2 weeks of not going to the daycare at the YMCA I was pleasantly surprised when the caretakers knew Mason's name and made him feel at home. It was like we were walking into Cheers and Norm was sitting at the bar drinking a beer. Just like that except at 9am at the gym with no alcohol and babies everywhere.




Mile 1 9:25
Mile 2 17:45 (8:20 minute/mile)
Mile 3 26:00 (8:15 minute/mile)
Mile 4 34:30 (8:30 minute/mile)

Total 4.05 miles in 35 minutes

When I went to check Mason out of daycare I walked in as they were finishing up the "hokie pokie".



I'm assuming Mason had a good time during my 40 minutes of mommy freedom.



Once home it was time to bring back the green monster.



Mine had light coconut milk, 1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, handful of spinach, splash of vanilla, some agave sweetener, and some vanilla protein powder.



Mason had his first smoothie with 1/2 banana, plain whole milk yogurt, splash of whole milk, and a small handful of spinach

And finally my motivation for running earlier ... Dinner at Kickstand



Pimiento cheese and bacon burger on an English muffin with a side of sweet potato tots. AMAZING. Seriously they should call it the Jess. I will order it every time from now on.



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my iPhone

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pushing the limits

Mason is the boss of this household. He just is. He determines when we eat, when we go out to run errands, pretty much every aspect of our day. And I don't fault him; not one bit. He's only one year old and his needs trump mine. Big time.

So today I don't know what I was thinking pushing him beyond his limits. He had a full day of Target, playing at home, taking a walk around our neighborhood, and playing at his best friend Carson's house. What did I expect would happen when I took him out to a restaurant and lingered past his bed time?

Granted, people (mostly experienced parents and also those who are childless) will roll their eyes and think "be adaptable and stop letting your child run your life."

I tried people I really did. My friends at dinner, Danielle and Liz, even helped with holding and entertaining Mason but to no avail. When he was done he was done. There was nothing anyone could do to comfort him ... He wanted to go home and go to bed. At this point it was past his bedtime, something Ryan and I have strived to keep constant.

We've noticed that it doesn't matter how late you try to keep Mason up; he still wakes up at the same time. So in my opinion there is no reason to keep him up later than normal.

We were finally able to get our check and pay for dinner and rushed home. After bath time and some jammies it was time for sleep.



Poor guy was exhausted. Mental note ... Plan earlier dinners out with friends or make sure the server actually makes an attempt to get you in and out in a timely manner.


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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fran's Filling Station

Whoa. How did Ryan and I manage to miss eating at Fran's Filling Station? So glad we stopped by after sampling wines at The Wine Shop yesterday.

We started off with the jalapeno bacon wrapped sweet potato tater tots with Tabasco honey glaze — $7.25

I ordered the night special... Burger on a pretzel roll with cheddar cheese, bacon, maple aioli, fried onion strings, and a fried egg. Served with Parmesan truffle French fries. - $15.95




The price was a little steep for a burger. But I'll tell you what ... It was delicious. I cut that sucker in half and saved the rest and most of the fries for today's lunch.

The burger patty was so juicy that the bottom bun was barely held up. I'm glad they chose a hearty pretzel roll rather than an ordinary burger bun.

The toppings were a little messy.  I probably would've enjoyed it better sans onion strings.  The bacon was cooked perfectly and the maple aioli gave just the right amount of sweetness.  

The Parmesan truffle fries were a bit greasy/oily but that didn't stop Mason from eating a hand full himself.  

We'll definitely head back to Fran's for another meal in the future ... it is a little disappointing that their normal menu burgers don't come with a side and cost between $8.50-9.50.  Once you add a basket of fries the total gets close to that $15 mark.  The large portion sizes help justify that hefty price tag.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

coming to terms with the end

I realize that breastfeeding isn't a highly popular topic of blog conversation, but I haven't really mentioned it much in the past year and kind of want to get it off my chest ... haha.

So if you want to know my feelings on the subject, read on ... and if not I totally understand.  
While standing in the shower less than an hour ago, I glanced down at my chest and noticed a bite mark my lovely son had left only hours before.  We were sitting in his bedroom, playing, and he lunged forward and bit me THROUGH my shirt.  It hurt, I yelped, and shook my head no at him.  He didn't really get that he did anything wrong ... we have just recently started the weaning process and he still gets breastfed before bed.

Its those moments that I realize how ready I am for the whole breastfeeding process to be over and done with.  

But just minutes before I took my shower I was feeding Mason before bed and was literally reveling at how much I adore my son.  There is no closer connection between mother and son than breastfeeding.  I started getting sentimental at the fact that these private moments with my baby toddler are fleeting.

Looking back at the first few days of Mason's life I realize how hard it was to start breastfeeding him.  My milk supply didn't come in for days, Mason was losing weight after just a couple of days of being born, and when the milk finally did come in my nipples were bloody, chapped, and sore from overuse.

And then a couple of weeks went by and Mason and I got the hang of it.  And then a couple of months went by and I realized that I was chained to my baby.  I couldn't be gone for more than a few hours for fear of my boobs becoming too full of milk.  Or I had to constantly pump to allow for brief outings.  Not to mention the fact that I couldn't (shouldn't) take medication and couldn't (shouldn't) drink alcohol and caffeine.  Let's not kid ourselves people ... I definitely had my share of wine and beer and coffee while breastfeeding and didn't notice any repercussions in Mason.  I tried to be smart about it and drank tons of water and only had 1 cup of coffee in the morning and 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks after I fed Mason.  

It felt good to be needed ... I was Mason's only source of food for such a long time.  And then I loved introducing solids to him at 4 months because it gave me a chance to take a break from all of the responsibility.  

My favorite part of breastfeeding?  The constant weight loss ... the amount of calories used during breastfeeding was enough for me to continue my cupcake, cookie, ice cream, and any dessert obsession.  I'll have to put those cravings to rest once I finally stop feeding him ...

and on that note when is the final day?  I'm not sure.  We went down from 2 feedings to 1 on Tuesday.  I need to give my body a chance to realize that it can slow down/stop milk production.  I'm thinking by this weekend I'll try to stop feeding him before bed.  That should be tough ... it's been his bedtime routine since he had a bedtime routine.  The doctor said it best when he said "He'll get over it."  I may or may not have some sappy "goodbye to breastfeeding" post.  But if I don't, just know that I had a positive experience breastfeeding for 1+ years ... it was super beneficial to Mason's health and to our relationship.  But I'm ready to have my body back!

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Block & Grinder

It seems like forever, but I'm finally back with a cheeseburger review {high five}

On a random family lunch outing, Ryan, Mason, and I stopped by Block & Grinder.  Although relatively new, the restaurant and servers seemed to have most of the kinks worked out.  

from their site: Block & Grinder is an unique retail and restaurant concept specializing in premium beef as well as all-natural, organic meats and wild game. The goal is to go “back to basics” and create a menu structured around appreciating every fresh ingredient.

Ryan and I played it safe and ordered burgers.  I went with "The B&G", a standard burger with NY cheddar cheese.  Ryan order the "Bacon Cheese" which had NY cheddar cheese and house cured maple bacon.  Both burgers came with pommes frites (french fries) as the side. 


I ordered my burger cooked medium so I could share with Mason.  The burger did not have any additional ingredients on it ... no lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard.  On the side I received some ketchup, along with some roasted garlic aioli that I requested for my fries.  

A good burger definitely does not need any embellishments and this burger fell into that category.  The taste of the meat was incredible ... so flavorful and juicy.  I'm not sure what kind of bread they use for their buns but it held up well against the burger's juiciness.  

The fries were just all right ... not seasoned enough and basically bland.  I'm glad I had that roasted garlic aioli to dip my fries into.  

At $9 you are paying for the high quality meat and not for any toppings so keep that in mind when ordering.  

The only hiccup that arose was when we were checking out ... our server closed the wrong check and ran our credit card for a much higher amount than what should've been charged.  They were quick to fix the problem so assuming Ryan's debit card isn't charged twice we should be ok.  Otherwise I definitely plan on returning for another burger in the future!

Welcome to Sesame Street!

I'm not entirely sure if Mason likes Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street gang; he might feel indifferent towards them like so many other things.  But that didn't stop me from choosing Sesame Street as the theme for Mason's big first birthday celebration.
 My mom and I spent countless hours working on arts and crafts in preparation for his party. 
I tried to keep everything in the red, yellow, blue (primary) color scheme.  I found those fun foam letters at Hobby Lobby for around $1 each and hope to use them again in his future playroom.
I made sure the kids had some snacks too, ranging from "baby" goldfish, to Cheerios, to Sesame Street inspired yogurt smoothie pouches (which are currently Mason's favorite thing in the world).  Plates, napkins, and plasticware were all red and blue.
I found fun Sesame Street reusable/removable wall decals on Amazon.com and decorated the living and sitting rooms with them.
We loved our cake from Publix ... they even included a small round "smash" cake for the birthday boy at no additional charge.  It was definitely worth the 15 mile drive out to South Carolina for it.
Red, yellow, blue pendants decorated Mason's high chair, along with a Sesame Street balloon.

I made "monster" goodie bags for the kids who attended.  It was a little difficult finding age appropriate things for those around 1 year old but I think I did ok.
We had a huge spread of food ranging from deviled eggs, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken salad, pimiento cheese, a veggie tray, fruit salad, cheese and cured meats, chips and salsa.  Oh and mini meatballs (those were my favorite) which featured a unique combination of jellied cranberry sauce and Heinz cocktail sauce (don't question it).

Per Ryan's great idea, we moved the cake portion to our deck.  Mason made quite the mess and cake was EVERYWHERE.  It was totally worth it and I loved every minute of Mason's short 2 hour party. 

Twelve months

I've made it 1 year with these Mason updates ... wonder how many more I'll write?

Last Friday Mason turned the big ONE.  I honestly can't believe it myself.  He's so much like a toddler now, and less and less like a baby.  I actually heard a newborn crying the other day and cringed; how did I manage to raise Mason this past year and successfully pass those newborn hurdles?



We had an exciting weekend (birthday party) and I will post a few pictures in another entry.
There aren't that many new updates since the 11 month posting.

  • only 4 teeth ... but 2 have been poking through

  • no more walking since those steps back in February (although I have caught him on his video monitor walking while in his crib)

  • as of Friday we were down to 2 breastfeeding sessions a day (yesterday we dropped the morning feeding so down to the night time feeding)

  • totally loves eating our food and is a big fan of goldfish crackers

  • has started drinking organic whole milk out of a sippy cup

  • words of choice are still mama, dada, dog, and ball
  •  hates wearing socks and shoes.  already lost 1 shoe while leaving Target. 




Since the 11 month update we have totally faced a huge increase in separation anxiety, 99% pertaining to mommy leaving the room.  It's kind of unnerving but I know it's something he'll grow out of ... right?

He had a terrible one year doctor appointment in which they took some blood and gave him three different vaccines. Ouch. The nurse kept referring to his appointment as the 18 month check up because of how big he is. Um no ma'am, he's only 12 months old.
- 31 inches tall
- 24 pounds
Mason loves loves loves splashing around during bath time.  As you can see we are still using the infant tub inside the bathtub but he's definitely outgrown it. 

Hopefully we'll have some more exciting news about walking and talking in the next update!