The Cardinal Rule

In this post I talked about how I got Shepherd to sleep through the night.
I forgot to add the most important thing to remember.

If you are super lucky and your baby sleeps through the night, do not ever talk about it.
Certainly Never blog about it!

Because if you do, you will jinx yourself and your baby will suddenly decide he is ready to play every morning at 3am.

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How I Got Shepherd to Sleep Through the Night

I've had a lot of people ask me how I get Shepherd to sleep through the night so I thought I would blog about it.  Honestly, I don't know what my secret is to getting Shepherd to sleep through the night! He has been doing it since about 4-5 weeks if I remember correctly! I did read Baby Wise and I think that book has loosely guided my thinking and how I handle his schedule.
I wanted him on a schedule so this is what I did. For the first few weeks, I let him do whatever he wanted, I fed on demand and let him nap whenever he wanted, I didn't try to direct anything. During this time I wrote down everything, the times he ate and how long he nursed especially. (I am exclusively breastfeeding)

After a few weeks of letting him show me what he naturally wanted to do, I could see a pattern. I knew that I wanted him to nurse at 6am no matter what, so I started waking up at 6am and nursing him, even if he wasn't awake I would get him up, nurse him, then put him straight back to sleep. So he was eating at 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 10pm.   When he was on this schedule, I would notice that if he didn't eat right at 10pm, his whole night was off and he would either wake up earlier than 6, or wake up in the middle of the night hungry.  It didn't make any sense because you would think if he ate a little later than 10pm he would just want to sleep later in the morning, but that wasn't the case!  So now matter what I made him eat at 10pm.  If he acted hungry earlier I of course did not starve him, I would nurse him and then nurse him again at 10pm even if he wasn't acting hungry.
I've noticed that he will kind of show me when he can sleep longer. So when he was about 9-11 weeks old, he would start getting hungry earlier than 10pm, so I would nurse him at 9 and then he would be down for the night. Around 13 weeks I started nursing at 8:30 and he is down for the night after that, still sleeping until 6am. Now he is 15 weeks and I am nursing him at 8pm then down for the night. 
Baby Wise tells you that the most important thing is to keep his first and last meal time the same everyday, if the ones in the middle are a little off their usual times, its not a huge deal. So I always nurse him at 6am no matter what (because I have to be at work at 7:30 so that gives me enough time!). And I always nurse him at 8pm, until he shows me he wants to sleep longer then I will probably start nursing at 7:30pm and gradually pushing it back. I can tell he is ready for that if he starts continually getting hungry earlier at night, or last weekend I slept through my alarm and he didn't wake up until 7am, instead of 6am, so I knew he would be able to sleep longer! 
Right now his eating schedule is 6am, 10am, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm.  I wanted to share my times because that is so hard for me to figure out for some reason.  My best friend's sister told me her times and I copied ;)

Another note, during the day he is at his babysitter's house and he gets 2 bottles of pumped breast milk and they are each 5 oz.

Hope this helps any sleep deprived mommies out there!!
If you have any questions make sure to leave them in the comments and I will answer in another blog :)

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Power of a Praying Parent

I'm currently reading:

My mom gave me this book.  As a Christian, I cannot stress enough how POWERFUL prayer is.  I have seen it.  I am BEYOND grateful that I have praying parents.  My entire life I've had them praying for me.  Before I knew Joey, they prayed for my future husband.  I feel the effects of those prayers daily.  I would venture to say that the #1 thing I appreciate about my family is their prayers.  

This is a recent text between me and my Grandma:
"Put on your praying pants"
"Been wearing them for days."
haha! She makes me laugh.

And one with my sister:
(I cut off the rest of our text about something else, lest you think we are both psycho ;)

I love knowing they are praying for me.  There is so much peace in that.  
I think prayer can easily turn into a laundry list of things you want.  I have to remind myself that prayer should be a conversation.  I need to give myself time to listen.  

A couple of things I do/don't do with prayer.
1. I never limit God and I never give up.  There are a few things I can promise you I will be praying for until the day they happen or the day I die.  I don't ever want to say oh, well He won't answer that prayer, or that is too big.  I have two prayers in particular that I have been praying for over a decade.
2.  If something I've been praying for happens, wow what a good day! I know it is God at work.
3. I try to always start my prayers in thanks.
4.  I write down my prayers.  I have books and books full of written prayers.  When I'm writing it down, I keep focused and it also helps me see things more clearly.  Plus, I like looking back and seeing how God has answered prayers.  I used to go back and put check marks, haha!  (Of course I say little prayers throughout the day, but I still usually write in my prayer journal almost nightly.)
5. I try to go into detail.  I wouldn't call my mom to talk about stuff and just skip over the details.  I think God wants to hear it.  Even though He is all-knowing, I think He wants that intimacy of hearing the names, dates, places, etc.  

I've of course always prayed for Shepherd, but this book showed me that I should really get deep in the details of what I want for him.  I pray a lot for his future wife, because I'm so thankful my parents prayed for Joey.  I know that had an effect on him before he even met me.
I pray that wherever she is right now, she has good parents.  Maybe she isn't here yet, maybe she hasn't been thought of, and if not, I pray for her parents.  I pray they have a good, strong marriage.  I pray that her daddy tells her she's pretty everyday and gives her confidence in his love for her, so she doesn't go out looking for it in the wrong places.  I pray her mom shows her what a good marriage looks like, so in the future she has someone to ask her questions.

Like I said, I write down my prayers.  I had this idea for Shepherd.  I might get a prayer journal just for my prayers for him.  I was thinking I could put it out and when he gets older he can read it whenever he wants.  I think this would be good for a lot of reasons.  One, of course it would be a tangible reminder of how much I care about him.  Two, I think, especially when he is older, if he has read the specific prayers I have for him, it would hold him accountable in a lot of different ways.

If anyone has any prayer requests they would like me to pray for, feel free to email me :)

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House Tour: Back Deck

At the beginning of Summer we spruced up our deck. 
Joey has quite the green thumb and is also a bit of a plant hoarder.  I have to keep him away from the Clearance section at Lowes, or he will go on a tropical plant buying binge.

What do you think?
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3 months with my favorite boy!

Time for my Milestone update on Shepherd:

I might do a post on Shepherd sleeping through the night, I've had a lot of comments about it.  Not that I do anything special, he really is just an angel!

Shepherd really likes when we sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider, especially when the spider "goes up the spout again."  But then again, he also likes listening to Jay-Z.  What can I say, he will probably win a Grammy one of these days.

He has started doing the cutest little belly laugh.  Only at Joey, I guess I'm not that funny!  He laughs when Joey makes funny noises.

He started wearing size 1 diapers and size 0-3 clothing.  Not that that has stopped me from forcing him to wear my favorite newborn outfit:
Has it really been 3 months??

Shepherd isn't sure what to make of Chauncey.  I can't imagine how big he must seem to Shepherd!

He hates tummy time.  It usually last about 45 seconds and then he starts screaming.  I've tried getting down with him, tried mirrors and toys.  He just isn't interested!

This sweet baby loves to stretch.  It is so sweet, he will stretch for minutes at a time.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past month:

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Satin Joy...guest blog!

Happy Monday!
(We aren't too sure about the camera yet!)

Head on over to Satin Joy, and check out my guest blog.
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I have been seriously slacking on the blogging.  Lots of exciting life changes happening that I promise to share soon!

I found this post I wrote right after Shepherd was born and forgot to share.  A tiny story from our hospital stay.  Forgive me because I was probably still on perkaset (spelling?) when I wrote this.  Haha!

Overall, my stay at the hospital was wonderful.  I actually wrote 5 of my nurses Thank You cards because I appreciated them so much.  
But let me share this story.
My husband never gets mad about anything.  Its actually really annoying ;)  If something is off, I'm always the one who is upset, he just goes with the flow, "not a big deal, let it go, its not worth it."

Well at the hospital his Papa Bear mentality came out and he took care of business!
It was probably around 8pm and the nurses shifts changed at 7pm, so we had a new nurse, Jennifer.  I had never got my pain medication and was hurting, so I called the nurses station and asked for my nurse to bring it.  Well, an hour later no one had come and I had thought of a few other questions for my nurse.  I can't even remember now what they were.  I called the nurse's station again and just asked for my nurse to come to my room.  I know it was actually my nurse who answered the call because I later found out she was the only one working.  When I asked for Jennifer to come to my room, she asked me why.  Really?  I said "I just have a couple questions for her."  And she responded really rudely, "OK???" Hard to explain in writing, but trust me it was rude!
When she made her way to our room finally, she came in and her stance was soooo rude, like "I'm in a hurry what do you want?"  I was on so much medication and she got me all flustered because she was being so rude, I was trying to get out my question and she kept acting like "hurry up."  I asked her if she had got the message that I needed my pain medication, and she went into this rant about how she is the only person working, someone called in, blah blah blah, I need to be patient...
I was had been an hour!

(I apologize that this story really does not make as much sense as if I was telling it in person!)

Anyway, just trust me she was TERRIBLE.  She left the room and I immediately burst into tears.  I was sitting on the edge of the bed crying, thinking, "why is Joey not coming over here to comfort me?"
I turned around (slowly...I could barely move...C-sections are no fun!) and Joey wasn't in the room.  As soon as Jennifer left he followed her out in the hallway and told her we did not appreciate her attitude, he did not care that she was the only person on staff, and that she owed me an apology!

She came back in the room and said she was sorry, she didn't mean to upset me and continues on this rant about how she is the only person working.  I said "I do not care about your staffing issues, we are paying a lot of money to be here.  I have no idea about anything, I'm trusting my nurses to answer questions and take care of me."  Her whole attitude was still so rude and defensive.  I was thinking about how the nurse's shifts were 12 hours and I didn't want to have an awkward situation for that long, so I just said I didn't want to get off on the wrong foot.

Well she left again and I cried some more and Joey was sooo mad!  We called my mom to come over to the hospital and when she got there Joey left again and went right out to the nurses station and told Jennifer that we could not see her anymore, we needed a new nurse.

I was very proud of him and thankful that he took such good care of me :)
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