My new ride!


It's a Venza, Toyota's new crossover. I really love it. It has SO much room. We can actually have Stratton in his carseat in the back and Jarrod can still sit in the seat in front of the carseat,. . .so not happening in the pathfinder. The only person that could sit there would be me and it was tight for me, too.  The only thing I will have a hard time getting used to is the smooth ride (not used to that in the Pathfinder) and being lower than I was in an SUV. What will be easy getting used to will be less trips to the gas station. I will hopefully be getting about 23 mpgs in town as opposed to 13 in the pathfinder! I know I am crazy for getting black, but it's SO pretty. . . .what can I say? It really is all about the "look" for me!  Gotta love those 20's!!


Ten weeks old!

This weekend went by too fast! I worked late Friday night, so we didn't do anything fun. My mom was in town so she watched Stratton for a little while so Jarrod and I could run some errands and grab a bite to eat. Saturday Jarrod's mom and dad and sis came to visit. Jarrod and his dad went to the ASU game while us girls (and one boy) did a little shopping and hung out at the house. Margie and Jennifer are doing their part to spoil Stratton, they brought him some new clothes and then we went to Patty Cakes and Margie bought him some more cute outfits. Then we all went out to eat Saturday night after the game. Sunday was pretty relaxed, we went to church and then after eating lunch at Lazzari's we came home and I took a nap while Jarrod mowed the lawn. And our waiter at Lazzari asked us "about how old is your baby, around 5 months??", we just looked a each other and laughed. Our "little baby" is sure getting big! After church last night we went out to eat with some friends at Chilis and for the first time Stratton didn't  behave very well in the restaurant, he threw a major fit. But after a little coaxing he finally fell asleep in Jarrod's arms, so Jarrod had to eat with his left hand since he was afraid if he moved him we would have another outrage!

Here are some pictures from this weekend.  . .

[Ready to go shopping!]

[Aunt Jen is crazy!]

[He loves being naked!]


[in his new plane outfit]



[oh, yeah. . I know I'm cute!]



[Time for bed, I'm so sleepy!]


Happy Boy!


We are seeing a lot of smiles lately, and a few times I think I am hearing what is soon to be a laugh. . .we'll see.

So, as most of you know I am not a "baby-talking" kind of person, however it's amazing the things you will do and say to get your baby to crack a smile. . . even just a little one! 

Why is it that he is a ball of smiles until I turn the camera on??


[thanks for the cool pj's Nan! We love Zutano!]


[I think this picture is funny!]

Stratton slept through the night 2 nights in a row this week! On Tuesday and Wednesday night, and we were shocked! Boy could I get used to that. . .but of course last night he woke up right on schedule at 3am. Jarrod has had to work late almost every night this week and I have learned that it isn't easy doing it without him at night. Whew! I gave him a bath by myself for the first time and it wasn't too bad, but it's definitely easier with two hands! Poor Jarrod I don't think he even got to see Stratton on Tuesday. I had him bathed and put down way before Jarrod got home (at 10:30) and he wasn't about to wake him up! There isn't much else going on with us. Just work and taking care of Stratton. Jarrod asked me the other day if it was just him or did it seem like the time between when we get home from work and the time we go to bed seemed like it was shorter now days. . .uh, yeah!  We don't have the luxury of doing things on our schedule anymore!  We started a new evening schedule and have been putting Stratton down around 9pm, after feeding him (usually around 8pm) we do the whole "night routine" of a bath, lotion, jammies, read a book and then we swaddle him and put him in his crib while he is still awake. I hope that having a routine will be a contributor to him sleeping through the night more! 


Future of Cullum Seeds. . .


Haha! We're grooming Stratton to take over Cullum Seeds in about 30 years. Gotta start 'em early!! I think he looks really at home behind the boss' desk?! I was working late the other night and Jarrod & Stratton were with me (Jarrod doesn't like me being in the office by myself at night) and I thought this would be a funny picture.


Just a Swingin'. . .


Stratton really enjoys his swing, he naps in it quite a bit.


7 hours of sleep!

Last night we fed Stratton around 8:45. Then we gave him a bath and put him to bed. He did cry for a little while, so it was probably about 10:00 before he actually went to sleep. He slept until 5:15 this morning. And Jarrod had to wake him up so he could start getting him ready! I am sure this won't be an every night occurrence but it would really be nice!! This will only make the 3rd time that he has slept more than 5 hours straight, so hopefully it will gradually start happening more and more!


Poor Taki?!

You may be wondering about Taki and how she is adapting to the new addition. . .well , she has lost her place as an only child and has been taking it really well. At first she didn't even act like she knew Stratton existed,(I think she was just happy to have us home!) but in the past few weeks she has gradually gained a little more interest in him. If we put him in the floor she will sniff at him but that's about it. She sits close to him and stares at him a lot. She has the best vantage point to do this from  from her spot on the back of the couch. She'll give us these looks when he's throwing a fit,  I'm sure she is thinking "why won't you people shut him up!!". She has been spending a lot more time outside, too. Not sure if that has something to do with the noise level change in the house or not?! But don't feel too sorry for her. She isn't being neglected by any means. She still gets plenty of tlc from us and is still sleeping at the end of our bed every night.


[everybody wants to sit in daddy's lap!]


[Taki really does look sad in this picture]


9 weeks

We have been at home with Stratton for 8 weeks now, or roughly 56 days! I guesstimate that in the past 2 months we have made about 400 bottles and gone through around 380 diapers!  The past week was  a big week for us. . .my first week back at work and yesterday was Stratton's 2 month birthday! I am amazed at how much Stratton is growing! It seems like in the the past two weeks he has had a major growth spurt! We measured him last night at he is almost 26 inches long! We should really get some scales, I wouldn't be surprised if Stratton weighed 12 lbs by now, he has really started to "fill out" some of his clothes!

Here are some pictures from the past week!



[Wednesday night after church]


[Friday, first visit to the hair salon. . he slept the whole time!]


[Saturday, first night in footie pj's]


Stratton's first week with Kayce and Cooper

Kayce took this picture of the boys on Tuesday. Stratton looks almost as big as Cooper, but then again Cooper only weighs 20 lbs and I bet Stratton is at least 11 or 12, now! Things are going well. The mornings are a little hectic, but it's something I will get used to. Stratton has been good for Kayce this week, or so she says. I was worried that she might be run ragged keeping up with Cooper and watching a baby at the same time. But she told me the only time she has her hands full is around lunch when they both want to eat at the same time, but other than that it hasn't been that bad. Whew! I am relived!  So for now, Kayce will keep Stratton on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I will not be working on Monday's for the time being and since Jarrod is off on Fridays he can stay home with him. I think things have worked  out great, which is such a blessing! I was really worried about what we would do with him when I went back to work. It's so great that we can leave him with family and I think it will be good for Stratton to be around his cousin Cooper.



Back to real-life

Well today was my first day back at work. I was more than ready to get back to my job. I really missed working and mainly the people I work with! I have said that Stratton is WAY more demanding than Kelly (my boss) is!! A screaming baby is not quite as understanding when you are busy and can't get to what they want at the moment. There is no rationalizing with a baby! I was nervous about how the morning would go. . . feeding, changing, getting everything loaded in the car, racing across town to drop Stratton off and then making it to work by 8am, but it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Jarrod got up with him at 5am and fed him, changed him and put him in a clean onesie. So he was good to go when I got ready to leave. And thankfully after Jarrod feed him he went back to sleep and didn't make a peep until right before I got ready to leave, which was around 7:15. I was out the door by 7:25 and I got to Kayce's at 7:45! I knew traffic was going to be bad, but I had no idea how long it would really take. I was on the road for almost 45 minutes this morning. That's longer than my drive to Waldenburg when I worked at that office! I am going to have to try a few different routes and see which one is going to be the fastest. Work was ok, I feel a little lost since they have moved into the new office while I was gone and there have been many changes in my absence. I guess it will just take a while to get back into the groove. I left work about ten till five and picked Stratton up. Aunt Judy was at Kayce's so I visited with them for just a minute. It was 5:30 and Stratton was supposed to eat at 5:30, so I thought I'd better hurry home and try to avoid a breakdown in the car. Kayce said he was good today. I didn't have time to get the minute by minute playback but as long as she isn't standing in the driveway with his bags packed when I show up to get him, I'll take that as  good thing and just assume he wasn't too much of a terror. We got home just before six and Jarrod fed him a bottle as soon as I could get it fixed. Right now it is 8:25pm and so far he hasn't been asleep for more than 10 minutes since we got home! I hope this means he is going to sleep good! The night time formula seems to be working. Last night he ate at 11:30 (it took him a full hour to eat, though. . I was getting at least 3 oz down him one way or the other, even if it took all night! ) and then he didn't wake up again till a little before 5am, so we got maybe 4 1/2 hours of sleep.  I would prefer a good 6 hours between the night feeding and the morning, but 4 is better than 2, I know I shouldn't complain!

By the time I got home tonight I was wore out. Seriously, I could have gone to bed at 6pm.  I don't know how we are going to do this everyday. I assume I'll get used to it eventually. Jarrod reminded me that today is just day one and it will get easier everyday. . . let's hope. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who cooked us supper and is now feeding Stratton so I can have a few minutes to myself. I checked my email & blogs, I baked some chocolate chip biscuits. . .baking and cooking always helps me unwind. . . and now I am headed to my long awaited bubble bath and hopefully a good night's sleep. . . or at least a few good hours!


8 weeks old, already?!

It's hard to believe that 8 weeks ago we were just welcoming baby Stratton into the world!! He has grown so much over the last 8 weeks! We had to move the straps to the car seat up a notch since he has gotten so much longer! And we have finally (finally!) graduated from the "newborn" size and he is now wearing 0-3 month clothes. We don't own scales but I am pretty sure he is over 10 lbs now, probably closer to 11. I am almost afraid we might skip right over 0-3 size and go straight to the 3-6. His torso is so long that 0-3 onesies are almost too short! The pants are still really big in the waist, but I don't for see that problem getting any better, maybe I need to be looking for a baby belt?!


[see how long and skinny he is!]

We are trying to feed him 5 ounces again. His eating has been really sporadic lately. Sometimes he would suck a 4 oz bottle down in mere minutes and seem like he was still hungry. Then other times we would be forcing him to at least get a good 3 oz.?? So we are going to try to up the amount again and see how it goes. We also have starting feeding him a special "nightime" formula. It's Enfamil Rest Ease. It's supposed to digest slower and make them feel full longer which will hopefully translate into longer sleeping for mom and dad, too! I think it's working ok, I mean I am happy with a good 6 hours. . . he's just not going to sleep 10 hours yet. I read that it takes preemies longer to sleep through the night, too.


[chillin' on his belly]

In general he is a great baby. Not a lot of fussing and carrying on, and we have learned some tricks when he has random fussiness . . . like he likes to lay on his belly, or sometimes we swaddle him up like we do at night and put him in his crib and he's fine. He loves taking a bath, especially in the big tub where he can be neck deep and really flop around. He moves his legs like a little frog in he water. I think he will be a good swimmer just like mom and dad! We have been hearing some different cries and sounds coming from him lately, too. I think he has figured out that it's HIM who is making that noise and he like to hear himself! We are patiently (not really) waiting for him to start smiling at us.  I just know he'll do it for the first time with Kayce and Cooper. . .probably at Cooper, who can be pretty funny to me too!


[Stratton's first visit to Gigi's office]

Friday Jarrod and I had dentist appointments in Wynne at my mom's office, so we took Stratton. His first visit to the Dentist went well. Dr Weatherford took a look in his mouth, and while there are no teeth yet, he still got a good report! He got to meet the girls in the office (minus Jana and Laura) and after Jarrod and I got our teeth cleaned we went out to lunch with mom.  We left from there and went to Searcy where we stopped by Ultimate Outdoors (for those of you who don't know Jarrod worked there for a couple of years in college. The owners are so nice and Jarrod goes by the store almost every time he's in Searcy). It was the first of many trips to the store, I'm sure, for Stratton and his daddy! We got to introduce him to everyone at the store and they were excited to meet him. We had dinner with Terry and Margie and Jennifer and Daniel at Who Dats. Then after visiting with them at their house for a little while, Jarrod and I left Stratton to stay the night with Nan and Pa for the first time! They kept him till Sunday afternoon, so we had a great relaxing weekend with not one but TWO nights of uninterrupted sleep!!


[ready to go to Who Dats in his Rock n' Roll outfit]

Tonight we went to church, and Stratton did get a little fussy towards the end. Then we went to Firehouse and ate with some friends from church. Stratton got to wear the polo romper that Bubba, Derek and Steven got him. It looked so cute on him. I hope it stays warm so he can wear it a couple more times!





What's been going on ~Week 7

Monday was not a very good day. Stratton fussed and cried all day long. Nothing made him happy! I was so frustrated. I don't know what I would do if we had a child that was like that all the time! It would drive me crazy!! Luckily that didn't last but a day. The rest of the week has been so much better. Wednesday afternoon Stratton and I ventured out to Old Navy. I had a coupon that was about to expire so we went and bought a few new things for the little man. He has lots of play and sleep clothes, but not many nicer church clothes. I ordered a few things from the Dillards web site last week. Our Dillards doesn't carry Ralph Lauren baby clothes anymore, so I have to order it online now! I got him the cutest outfit to wear on his first Sunday church service. And I also got him a pair of Sperry Top-Siders, they are TOO cute!! Jarrod is mad that I wouldn't let him get some for himself last year, but I bought them for Stratton! ha! They are much cuter (and cheaper) for babies!! I am having a hard time with the pants. He is so long and skinny that most 0-3 month sizes are just a little short, but they are about 2 inches too big in the waist!! Why do all baby clothes seem like they are made for short, fat babies!!

Wednesday night we decided to take Stratton to church. The doctor recommended that we keep in out of crowds for 8 weeks and since Sunday will be his 8 week birthday, we decided what's a few days really going to matter? He was so good, actually he slept through the whole thing! And surprisingly we weren't mobbed like I was anticipating! I think since it was Wednesday night and there weren't as many people there made a difference, and he was in his carrier and that made him less accessible, because lots of people looked but not many touched. Which is a relief!!


[here he is in the outfit he wore to church, thanks Matt & Carla!]


[going to church is tiring!]


[Stratton and Jarrod relaxing in their favorite chair]

He still hasn't been sleeping any better. He's waking up every 3-4 hrs. We thought maybe we should increase the amount we are feeding him, from 4 oz to 5 oz, and see if that helps him sleep longer. And it didn't work, if anything he slept less!! In spite of that, today was another good day. When Jarrod got home we went to the mall. Our intention was to go to JCPenny's so Jarrod could get some work jeans, and we ended up closing the mall down! We walked all down the mall and ate at Shorty Smalls. We feed Stratton while we were at Shorty Smalls and I changed him. . .his first time to get changed in a public restroom. And he didn't scream like he does when we change him at home? After he ate he stayed awake the whole time we were shopping. He just looked around all wide-eyed and alert. I think he likes shopping! That's my boy!!. . .We got him the cutest camo pants at Children's Place and then had to stop in at Gap and get a t-shirt to wear with it!  Jarrod made the comment that he paid more for the t-shirt for Stratton than he would pay for himself a t-shirt!   

Tomorrow we are going to Wynne to get our teeth cleaned and taking Stratton to visit Gigi's office for the first time. {Sorry we'll miss you, Laura!} Then we are meeting Jarrod's parents at Who Dat's tomorrow night for dinner and leaving Stratton with them for the night. They are bringing him back on Saturday, so we will have some time to catch up on our sleep Friday night and get to sleep in on Saturday! I hope we can go look for a rug on Saturday. I think we are just going to have a piece of carpet cut and bound, since the size we need is so large and such a funny size.

We don't have anything planned for Monday. I hope we get to stay home and relax since it's my last day of maternity leave. I am going back to work on Tuesday! My cousin Kayce has so kindly agreed to keep Stratton on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until the church gets their daycare built, which will be 5-6 months. I am really happy she agreed to keep him. I was so worried that we might have to leave him with a stranger. It makes going back to work so much easier when I know he will be well taken care of. And it will be good for Stratton to spend time with his cousin Cooper, too!