Party! Party!


[He can wink ; ]


Friday night at Isabella's 8th birthday party


[since it was "her day", she got to hold him as much as she wanted]


[Isabella and Alexandra with Stratton]


[Isabella was such a good helper feeding Stratton]


Saturday night at Nanny's party


[Isabella and Alexandra making Jarrod their prisoner]


[Stratton eating Gigi's fingers]


[My Aunt Judy and Cooper sitting with Gigi and Stratton]


[Look what they did to my poor baby. . .]


Stratton's 6 weeks old and we're staying busy!


Friday night we went to the Redbirds game in Memphis with some friends. We had a really good time. It was my first time to visit AutoZone Park and I was really surprised how nice it was! I also indulged in my first BBQ nachos (with jalapenos) and had to have a funnel cake before we left. Yum! And unfortunely the Redbirds lost, but it was still a lot of fun, and it was nice to get out and do something different.


[Alicia, Carla & Amy]

Jarrod's mom stayed with Stratton while we went to the game and decided to stay the night, too! She let us sleep Friday night while she got up with him. It was so nice. Saturday we ran some errands and rented a movie. My friends Amber and Andrea came over later Saturday night to meet Stratton. We had a great time visiting and I couldn't believe how good Stratton was while they were here! Then that night after his 10pm feeding he slept till 4am!! Wow! We were shocked. . .and in a good way!


[Stratton at 6 weeks! He's ready to go see Gigi & Pops]

Sunday we went to Hickory Ridge and had lunch with my family and left Stratton to spend the night with Gigi and Pops. So, Sunday night since we were "childless" we got to go to church together and then out to eat with some friends. Then we went home and went to bed! Gotta love another night of uninterrupted sleep!

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment, my 6 week follow-up, which went really well. She gave me the all clear, so I can go back to work and back to everything else, too. . .even vacuuming. Boo. I have been having some leg numbness and pain (that started when I was pregnant and hasn't gone away) and she decided to send me to a neurologist to have it checked out. I spent the rest of my day running a zillion errands and shopping for birthday presents. My Mom and Dad said Stratton was really good for them, but what could he do wrong, right?? They brought him back to Jonesboro last night and we ate supper with them. Today I went to the neurologist (they got me in really fast, huh?) and they ran some tests. Have you ever had a "Nerve Study" done on you?? Yeah. . .not a fun thing! They hook you up to a computer and then shock the fire out of you! I don't know what they are measuring, but I was normal. They told me that if it didn't go away on it's own in a month or two to come back for further testing. Stratton stayed with Kayce and got to "play" with Cooper while I was at the doctor. Kayce said Cooper tried to give Stratton his toys to play with, isn't that sweet!


[Kayce took this one of the boys]

We don't have anything else planned for this week. I am planning on enjoying my last two weeks at home with Stratton. I am going back to work on Sept. 8th. I am ready to get back to work and back to a routine, but I am anxious to see how it's going to work with a baby in the mix! We do have another busy weekend ahead. Isabella's 8th b-day party is Friday night and then my Nanny's 74th b-day party is Saturday night. Sunday Stratton will be 7 weeks old, which means only one more week and we are bustin' him outta here!!


[See, he can throw a pretty good fit when he wants to!]


Unexpected blessings

Today was my "due date". It's weird to think that today is the day Stratton was expected to be here, and yet today he is five and a half weeks old. I always had a feeling he would be early, but I was thinking more around August 12th. . not July 12th.  There isn't a lot that has happened with his birth that was "expected" though.

So, I guess it just has me thinking about the things that happened and how I really feel about it. I think most women have some sort of mental picture of how their pregnancy and child birth will go, I honestly didn't. I am such a worrier and was really afraid that I would be overwhelmed with worry during my pregnancy. So, I went into this pregnancy with the attitude of taking it one day at a time and just rolling with the punches. You can never know for sure what is going to happen next, there are so many complications that can occur, so why get wrapped up in "expectations". I starting praying everyday (even before I got pregnant) that God would give me peace and let me "let go" so he could be in control,  and he really did. I guess that is why I wasn't really surprised when things turned out the way they did.

I remember the day I went to the doctor and she told me I might be having contractions and they hooked me up to all those monitors for the first time. Mom was with me that day and she looked really worried, but I honestly wasn't. I could have never anticipated the events that followed that day, but throughout it all I don't think I was ever really surprised at the circumstances or worried that things wouldn't turn out just fine. Was it a struggle? Well, sure everyday was hard. It put a lot of stress on me physically and emotionally.  I think I cried (and prayed) more in that month than I have in my whole life combined! But thanks to our family and friends we were constantly reminded of the love they had for us and knowing that they were praying for us, well that somehow that made it all easier. It wasn't an accident that when Stratton was delivered he was so big and was more like a full term baby rather than a preemie. And it's not a coincidence that we both overcame complications and are now perfectly healthy. Prayers were answered. I have no doubt that the Lord was working in our lives.

Now, I look back and sometimes can't believe all we went through in that long month and yet we made it and are actually blessed because of it. I have always believed that you appreciate things more when you have to endeavor through hardships to get them. I don't think that could be any more true in my life right now. I count my blessings everyday. I truly appreciate the healthy baby boy that the Lord has blessed us with, and I appreciate more than ever the circle of friends and family that Jarrod and I have, we are so very lucky. I want to make sure you know, those of you that were praying for us, you made a difference in our lives and we thank you. I appreciate my best friend and husband. Talk about commitment. Jarrod was so supportive and loving through it all. There was a lot asked of him and he never once complained. Without his love and understanding (and help to the bathroom!)I don't know what I would have done. And mostly, I appreciate my heavenly Father, who loved us enough to listen to our prayers and answer them, to Him we are most grateful.

Week 5 with Stratton

We had such a great weekend. The baby shower in Searcy on Saturday was really nice. We received  a lot of gifts!! Stratton got a rocking cow (not a horse a cow. . . it's so cute), a swing, a bathtub (yay!) and lots of clothes and toys and other good stuff!! Stratton got to meet lots of family Saturday afternoon at Terry and Margie's house. We stayed the night at my mom and dad's and my mom got up with him so we could sleep. . .ahhh so nice! Sunday we took Stratton to church at Hickory Ridge. We just got there late and left early to avoid a crowd of people that I am sure would want to see him and might want to touch on him. Then we went to my grandma and grandpa's house for lunch and celebrated my Aunt Kay's birthday. Stratton got to meet more family. Before we headed back to Jonesboro Sunday night we took Stratton by to visit Nanny and Papa, and they were glad to see him again. Nanny like us to put him in the bed with her and I guess he likes it too because he went right to sleep.

We haven't done much so far this week. Stratton has been really fussy and not eating as well. I have managed to clean a little and I rearranged the living room furniture (and I got in trouble for that, too). Mostly we've just been hanging out.

Stratton loves to lay on his tummy.


I rearranged the living room (can you tell I am starting to feel like myself again) to accommodate the new rocker recliner we got back in June. It's going to take some getting used to, and I think I need a new larger rug. . . what do you think??


Jarrod is such a good Daddy,he's not a bit afraid of those stinky diapers!


We have to wrap him up in a swaddling blanket so he will sleep.


Tomorrow night we are going to a Redbird's baseball game in Memphis with some friends. I am excited to get out and do something fun! Other than that we don't have anything planned for the weekend. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday and hopefully will get the "all clear".


He's a growing boy!

We had to take some paperwork by Stratton's doctor's office today and while we were there we asked them to weigh him. . .guess what he weighed?? He has gained almost 2 pounds in 2 weeks, he is now a whopping 9 pounds and 7 ounces!! I knew those newborn diapers were getting awfully tight on him! ha! And to think he isn't even supposed to be here for at least another week! I don't know if babies gain more weight outside the womb or not, but I am glad I didn't have to deliver him at this point! I bet he'll weigh 10 lbs by next week! Whew!!

And for the last 3 nights he has gotten us up twice at night! After being put down around 9:00 pm he has only woken up at around 1:00 and then again around 5:00. Not bad!! I really hated that 3:00 am feeding! . . . Now to just cut out the 1 am feeding. . . .

It's going to be a busy weekend! Tomorrow I have a baby shower in Searcy and since Stratton can't go to the shower, I bet we will stick around so some of Jarrod's family can come by and see him later Saturday evening. Then Sunday we are celebrating my Aunt Kay's birthday at lunch, so we will probably just stay Saturday night at my mom and dad's house (and let them get up with him all night~ ha!) so we don't have to make another unnecessary trip. It will be Stratton's first trip to Searcy (not counting the stop we made on the way home from the hospital), first night at Gigi and Pop's and first family birthday party.

I am not posting any pictures today. . .mainly because it looks like Stratton got in a cat fight. He has scratched his poor face to pieces! I have refrained from covering his hands up so far because he likes to suck on his thumb and fingers and it seems to make him mad, but I may have to rethink that since he is being so rough on his face. He also has some spots of baby acne on his chin and cheeks, and all I have been able to find out by researching online is that there isn't much we can do besides wash his face frequently. I know it's from the milk dribbles, but you can't very well stop that from happening! Any other suggestions?


First time in the stroller and shopping

So, I conquered the stroller today! I put the thing together and took Stratton out in it! I am so proud of myself! It did take awhile to assemble, but I did it. . . and yes I had to use the instruction manual! Then after lunch Stratton and I ventured out to Hobby Lobby, which I thought wouldn't be busy. . .silly me, I forgot it's the week before school. I know we were advised to keep him in out of crowds for a few more weeks, but I really don't feel like taking him to a place like Hobby Lobby (which is normally not a popular place at 2 pm) is dangerous. I mean most people are wrapped up in their own world and could care less that I have a baby, let alone want to touch him, which is where I would have to jump in and say something!! I only had one lady even act like she noticed and she just looked down and smiled as she walked by. It was pretty busy today, and since they are expanding into the next building everything was a mess and nothing was where it was supposed to be! I hate when stores move stuff!  Oh well, at least we got out and home in one piece and without any breakdowns. In fact Stratton slept through the entire thing, from the time we left to the time we got home he barely made a peep! I found that the hardest part was pushing the stroller and trying to open doors. Hobby Lobby doesn't have automatic door which presents a little hiccup, but we managed to get in and out without too much of a spectacle! I didn't find what I was looking for so the trip was pretty much a bust, except for the experience I gained from taking him out by myself! [sorry no pictures, it was hard enough to do without having to photograph the expedition!]

Here is Stratton in the Zutano outfit (minus the pants) I bought at Patty Cakes last week. He may not be able to wear it very much longer, it's getting a little tight. I also bought him a sleeper that has farm stuff on it and he has already out grown it! I love this brand. The shirts and onesies are so easy to get on with all the kimono style that snaps!





Stratton is 4 weeks old!

It really seems like yesterday we were bringing him home! The past three weeks have gone by very quickly. . . that could be due to the zombie-like state I am in from lack of sleep! Stratton is now taking 4 ounces of formula at almost every feeding. He is still eating every three hours, except at night when he will sometimes go a little longer, he actually let us sleep for a full three hours last night! (that's almost 4 1/2 hours between feedings!).

I never realized how much time a baby requires. I assumed that I could just sleep when he sleeps and get by. . .haha! Live and learn! During the day our schedule is like so: Stratton is fussy and and does the "hungry whine and face", then it takes a hour to change his diaper, fix his bottle, give him the bottle and burp a few times. Then I try to keep him awake for 45 minutes to an hour before putting him down for a nap which usually only lasts about an hour. Then we do it all over again!! At night we skip the waketime/playtime and go right back to bed after eating. He does really well, almost like clockwork! However, that doesn't leave me with a lot of time to take a nap myself. And that hour that I might get when he is napping is spent doing laundry (I had no idea how much laundry babies go through!) dishes or picking and cleaning up. And if I'm lucky I might get to take a shower or eat a quick bite! (This should also tell you why I haven't been able to call some of you for a chat in the past few weeks!) I keep getting asked how I have lost all my baby weight, and it's not that hard when you aren't getting adequate sleep and don't have time to eat!! Ha! I shouldn't complain. He's a great baby. He doesn't cry unless it's time to eat and sometimes when he has a wet diaper.  I mean we've had a few rough days, but for the most part he's happy and content.  I am really lucky!

Pictures from tonight . . .

9:00 pm: Dinner time 


9:45 pm: Bath time


10:15 pm: Ahhh. . . he's full and clean and in his jammies, it's time for bed! 


10:30 pm: Sweet dreams. . .


. . . is he dreaming or is it gas?? haha!



A Long day

I had a doctor appointment this morning at 10 am. Mom was already off work today and Jarrod had to work, so she took me. I got a good report. It looks like my infection has cleared up, and unless it comes back between now and then I won't have to go back for another 2 weeks. Hopefully if all goes well next time she will give me the all clear, and I will be able to go back to my normal activities! I will be happy to go back to doing everyday things that I haven't been able to do for 2 months. . . .unfortunately, I think that involves vacuuming, too?

Mom and I ran a couple of errands and went by my office (our new office is so great! I will have to post pics about that later!) so I could get some files off my computer and got to visit for a little while. It was so good to see the girls at work, I am really getting ready to get back to work. I miss being around people and having conversations with adults during the day!!  Stratton got to meet them for the first time, too. He almost peed on the wall in the conference room and spit up on one of the girls while we were there! Ha! Little stinker!

Tonight my mom and dad babysat so Jarrod and I could run some errands and take the last of the baby gifts we needed to return to the store. It's such a relief to have all that stuff returned! I took the majority of the stuff back on Thursday while Margie watched Stratton. After having lunch with some girlfriends, my friend Amy chaffered me around all day, she was so great to do that!!  We had lots of fun and I was glad to get in on some girl talk! And the shopping didn't hurt either! I bought some new clothes that weren't a maternity size and that felt really nice,too!!

We tried to take a few pictures before we left tonight since we haven't gotten one of the three of us yet, but as usual Stratton wasn't cooperating!



Jarrod had to work today (and tomorrow, too). After a hard day working out in the heat he was worn out. And as for our little guy, well he is asleep 98% of the time anyway and I guess he doesn't need an excuse!!



Stratton's 1st bath

We gave Stratton his first "real" bath the last night and it was pretty funny. He didn't like it at first and kicked and screamed, but once he got used to it and after peeing in the water he decided it wasn't so bad. Just so you know we aren't totally redneck. . . we had to give him his bath in the kitchen sink because we don't have a baby tub yet. I registered for one and someone has bought it off my registry, I just haven't gotten it yet and so I didn't want to go buy another one.  We don't intend to continue to bathe our child in the sink for long! ha!

Jarrod held him and I soaped him up and rinsed him off.  .who knew a little thing like that would take two people and four hands!!


I think he would have liked to take a nap in the tub!


He didn't like being taken out and dried off at all!



Pistol Pete meets Wild Bill

My Papa (my Mom's dad) gave all of us grandkid's rhyming nicknames when we were born [ex. Scooter, Tooter, Pooter, Cooter, Rooter . . ect. . . ].  These "nicknames" were what he called us for most of our childhood. Well, except for me. Somehow my nickname stuck.  My nickname was Scooter, and to this day he still calls me "Scoot". I don't know why I am the only one that is still being called by their nickname?? Anyway, when my cousin Kayce had her son, Cooper, my Papa started calling him Pistol Pete, who knows where he gets these names, I don't know what Pete has to do with "Cooper". So, when I found out I was having a boy, Papa started calling him Wild Bill (which at least makes some sense, William. . .Bill?). I guess the great grandchildren's nicknames are going to be cowboy themed, instead of rhyming?! I am really not sure if these nicknames will stick like mine (hopefully, not!) but so far both of these boys are already living up to their names. Kayce, Aunt Judy and Cooper came for a visit today. That Cooper is a busy little guy! He wasn't interested in Stratton, at all. He was more interested in Taki and her toys, which he carried around the entire time. . .that and the watering can that was beside the back door. We attempted several times to get a picture of the two of them but to no avail! Stratton was a sleepy head and barely opened his eyes in the time they were there. Oh, well! There will be lots of time for pictures later! I am sure these boys are going to get into all kinds of trouble in the future together!


Here is a picture of Stratton sucking his thumb. . . he still hasn't decided which he likes better. Sometimes he wants a pacifier and sometimes he sucks his thumb?


Tomorrow Stratton's Nan (Jarrod's mom) is coming to baby sit while I get to meet some friends for lunch and shopping! I am so looking forward to getting out of the house for an afternoon!


Valley View shower





Sunday I was honored at a baby shower at out church, and I got so much great stuff! My favorite was a diaper bag made by my friend Amy. Stratton stayed at home with Jarrod, Jarrod's dad and my dad (all the women were at the shower) and then Jarrod's parents and sister stayed with him so Jarrod and I could go to church together (for the first time in about 2 months!) we also got to go out to eat with a group of our friends from church afterwards. It was a fun day, but I was worn smooth out. This week we are looking forward to a visit from Stratton's cousin Cooper on Wednesday and I am hopefully going to get a girl's day out Thursday with some friends, and then I have a doctor's appointment on Friday that I am not looking forward to at all!