Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Christmas time

Did you know that if you are a terrible procrastinator, and wait until the last minute to decorate for Christmas, then you can get a real 7-8 foot tree for 10 bucks.  Well that was my first lesson on Christmas.  We waited till the very very last minute, but there was a Christmas tree in the house in time for Christmas.  I must say that for my first Christmas tree it turned out pretty good.  What do you think?  I know, I know... there is nothing at the top... I just didn't have any more time before Christmas... But for a Jewish girl's first tree....

Christmas lesson number 2.... If you are Jewish and put up a Christmas tree, then you can leave your tree up as long as you want... or until it is turning grey and dead in which case you have to take it down before it bursts into flames.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


So... this is my first REAL Christmas.  I have celebrated Christmas with friends, and with my husband, but this year is different.  It is the first year that Christmas really means something to me.  Barrett has made our family more than a couple, thus making it our "first family Christmas!"  Exactly how has this year been different than any other year though... up until this point.... NOTHING IS DIFFERENT.  I so wished for it to be more of a wonderful explosion of Christmas like my best friend Lindsay... I mean she lives for Christmas time.. it is her favorite time of year, and her house magically transforms into a winter wonderland at Thanksgiving, it is like stepping into a magical happy place where everything is ...well... Christmassy.  But this Jewish girl's house still lacks the bright shiny lights that mean Christmas is coming.  Everything this year has been so busy, it seems like everytime we might get a chance to go get our Christmas tree... something happens... and well until that happens... the house is not Christmas ready.  So here we are a week until Christmas and still no magic.  So I have decorated the blog.  If nothing in my life is really ready for our first family Christmas.... at least my blog will be pretty... so ....


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Look at what I can do!

It seems like Barrett changes so much everyday.  He is now sitting up almost all the way by himself.  As long as he has a toy to balance with (like this cute little baseball toy from uncle Josh).

Monday, December 13, 2010

I will decide for myself

Before Barrett was born... there were lots of things for me to decide... formula or nursing, daycare or homecare, will it be nanna or honey, sleep in his room or ours... paci or thumb.  Most of these things Gavin and I decided but there was one decision that we were not able to make for Barrett.  After careful consideration we decided that we would give Barrett a pacifier before he could start sucking his thumb.  We decided that it was easier to get rid of a pacifier, then to try to stop him from sucking his thumb.  Well, it has become slightly evident that Barrett has made up his mind.  He does like his pacifier sometimes, but for the most part this is what he decided..........

He chose his whole hand.... So much for making plans...... 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reflections on Being Thankful

One year ago today, I was frantically cleaning my house getting ready to have my entire family over for Thanksgiving.  I had been planning this day for weeks, everything down to the centerpieces and strategically placed scented candles to the exact way the table needed to be set.  You see, it was on Thanksgiving last year that me and Gavin announced that we were having a baby.  I was so excited about sharing this secret I could hardly stand it.  This was the perfect time and place, and I couldn't be more ... well.... thankful.  The moment was perfect.  The reactions from my family were even better.  It was one of the happiest memories in my life, and now this holiday has a whole new meaning in my life.

I know that it is sort of cheesy to blog about being thankful on Thanksgiving, but I feel like I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn't at least briefly touch on this topic.  I mean isn't that the greater purpose of this holiday to begin with.  I am thankful for everything I have in my life, I just want to take a minute to point out a couple of things that I am especially thankful for this year.

Barrett is my biggest reason to be thankful this year.  Everyone says children change your life, but there is no way to put into words a way to describe the feeling.  I have also realized that having a happy healthy baby, with no scary situations to get through is a true blessing, and something that I will forever be thankful for.  This baby has changed my whole view of the world, and has brought out sides of myself I didn't even know I had.  I look forward to every moment I get to spend with him, and I try to cherish every single moment.

I am also thankful for my mother.  She is living with me, Gavin, and Barrett for now.  I know the situation is not permanent, but I am grateful that I have this time with her, and I wish she could stay forever.  She is an amazing woman, and I still have so much to learn from her.  She not only takes care of my sweet baby during the day when I am at work, but she also helps my husband at his store.  I get to let Barrett sleep as much as he wants to in the morning, and don't have to rush to feed him, and  change him, and get him to daycare.  I also don't have to drive to a daycare on my way home.  I come home from work and I have her help as I race to get Barrett fed and bathed and ready for bed.  Having her here with me allows me to make the most of the moments that I do get with Barrett everyday.  She is also there to dispense any and all advice that I could ever need, and with Barrett being my first attempt at parenthood, I am constantly faced with new situations, and questions to go with them.  There is nothing better than having her here by my side as I take this new path in life, and for that I am truly thankful.

Also, I am thankful for my family (I am taking the liberty of extending the definition of this word to include the Bond family).  My husband ventured into the world of retail entrepreneurship at a time in my life where I don't have the ability to be involved as I would like to be.  I have been busy being pregnant, and then totally consumed with my sweet baby.  A wine store/ bar is not exactly an appropriate place for a baby, and certainly the time to enjoy drinking out with friends has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.  But as I am home taking care of the baby, my whole family has stepped up in my absence.  From the grand opening where my sister's husband and in laws were helping things go smoothly, to my father helping with the food for all the weekly wine tastings.  They have all been there for us with anything we need.  Rachel was working a full time job, and then still coming straight to the store on Friday evenings to help, and Natalie even catered the grand opening.  I am so thankful that they have been there for us, the help and support that they have provided has definitely help to make the store successful. 

Of course I am thankful for my friends, my husband, my house, my job, my pets, and all the other wonderful blessings that I have in my life too!  I am truly blessed with a wonderful life, and for that I am thankful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is a place of business

As I mentioned previously Barrett comes with me to work about once a week.  It is wonderful to have him there, and it definitely makes the day seem to pass much faster than when he is not there.  Unfortunately it takes a TON of stuff to keep him happy in a small 12 x 12 room for 9 hours.  Let me just give you the tour....

As you walk into my office this will be the first thing that you see.  It is two chairs pushed together to make a temporary crib (this is because there was too much other baby stuff with me to fit my stroller into my small 2 door car).  Barrett actually sleeps pretty well in there... see for yourself.....

 Next as you look right past my desk you will see the excersaucer.  Barrett will play in this once he is up from his nap.  This is also where I put down his blanket so that he can do his tummy time during the day.

Next up...My desk.  As you can see Barrett gets to hang out right next to me literally.  This is my favorite spot for him because it is where he is the happiest the longest.  Sometimes he will nap in this too.  Notice that the toys are scattered all around this area as well. 

One of the most important places in my office is the changing station.  I have cleared off the top of one of my filing cabinets and this is where I change all his diapers.  Barrett is learning that when he wiggles around and kicks his legs it makes a really loud banging sound, and he likes this game. 

While I am at work I have to have a place to store the car seat so it is out of the way.  I have found that this little corner is the perfect size.

There are a couple of things that are not pictured.  These things are, my diaper bag, and his bumbo seat.  Both of these are stored underneath my desk until they are needed.  If the bumbo seat is out it takes the place of the bouncy seat, which is then moved into the "crib" to keep it out of the way.  I must also let you know that for the most part, customers/ clients do not come into our office very often, so it is not something that most people see.  So, needless to say that my office has been completely transformed.  It is something that I am sure that my boss (also my dad) is probably a little um... well what is the word... probably annoyed by.  It is a good thing that Barrett is so stinking cute, and all he has to do is smile that cute grandson smile, and my boss forgets that my office has been turned into a nursery.  I hope that you have enjoyed the tour.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Barret Goes to Work with Daddy

Today was the first day that Barrett went to work with Gavin.  Barrett comes with me around once a week.  I love those days.  It is so much fun to get to spend the whole day with him.  On the other hand it is so hard to get anything done.  So in the hopes that I might get something accomplished today, I asked Gavin to take him until lunchtime, and I would come pick him up around lunchtime.  So, around 12:00 I show up to eat lunch with my sweet husband and baby.  Gavin says that he is getting pretty fussy, so I am picturing lunch not going so well.  In fact it is noon, and Gavin has informed me that he did not put Barrett down to nap all day!  BUT he did have a wonderful unproductive morning at work playing with his little helper! (At this point I am picturing not only a rough lunch, but also, a very unproductive afternoon for me!)  We get Barrett settled into his bumbo seat with a toy and attempt to start eating.  At this point the plumber comes in and Gavin has to get up to handle some business.  As the three of us were talking, I turned to check on Barrett and this is what I saw:

Barrett fell asleep sitting up playing with his toy!  I think this might have been one of Barrett's cutest moments ever!  I know it wasn't nice to laugh, but still... it was hilarious.  You see, Barrett doesn't like to sleep during the day at all on a good day, but today that baby was so tired he fell asleep sitting up!  Just for the record, Barrett took a small nap, and then stayed up for the rest of the afternoon.  Needless to say it was a good thing I had the morning to be productive at work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Barrett's first night in the crib

One of the first questions that everyone seems to ask someone with a new baby is "Are you getting any sleep?"  They say it with a look of honest sympathy, because most people answer that question with "None!"  I have learned to be very modest about my reply to that question.  See the thing is Barrett has been sleeping through the night since he was six weeks.  When I say sleeping through the night, I don't mean 5-6 hours at a time... we're talking 10-11, and sometimes even 12 hours at time.  I know I am lucky, and blessed, and I should be thankful.  Barrett's schedule is that he wants to be in bed for the night BY 8:00 pm!  Now that it is getting darker earlier, he is trying to go to sleep earlier, like between 6:30 and 7pm.  I know better than to tell most other new parents this as well.  Most of them say that even though there child is more than twice Barrett's age they are still waking up in the middle of the night, and they look at me like I am bragging or being boastful.  I have actually had one sleep deprived parent get frustrated at me during our discussion, and not want to talk anymore.  After a couple of conversations I have learned to just say "he is a good sleeper, and I am lucky" and leave it at that. 

This is where my Jessica logic comes into play.  I have a very big case of mommy guilt.  You know, the "I should be spending more time with the baby, I should never let him cry"... and other utterly senseless thoughts that creep into my mind.  When this sleeping through the night thing first started, it actually made me sad.  You see, I am a night owl.  Being up at night is ok with me, and I miss spending that wonderful cuddle time with my sweet angel.  Now I have even bigger feelings of regret because he is going to sleep so early.  It seems like I barely have time to put my stuff down once I get home from work.  It is like I have to speed through feeding and bathing him or else he is falling asleep in his bathtub.  It makes me sad.  I wish he wanted to stay up later and play, but sadly he doesn't. 

So this leads me to the point... Barrett slept in his crib in his own room for the first time last night.  Even though he has been sleeping through the night for months, he has still been sleeping in our room, close enough for me to not even have to get out of bed to pick him up in the morning.  Key word here is morning, there was no need for him to be an arm's length away from me if he wasn't waking up in the middle of the night.  It had been becoming more obvious that it was time to move him into his own room, but I couldn't accept that I couldn't keep him by me anymore.  So with a little (ok.. a lot) of prodding from my mom and husband, I did it.  I put him down in his own crib, all the way across the house from my room.  And how did he do.... perfect... he slept until his normal time in the morning without one protestful cry, or for that matter, without even a whimper.  How did I do... well I made up for his lack of tears with my own, but I did make it through the night.  Somehow this little baby has brought out a very maladjusted mushball side of myself that I never knew existed.  At least when I got done crying to my husband I was able to laugh at myself.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

James comes to visit

Gavin's brother James, and his girlfriend Katie came to stay with us this weekend.  We were so excited that they got to come and meet Barrett for the first time.  It was late Friday night when they got in because they hung out with Gavin at the wine tasting.  After a very late night, watching football and hanging out at the house on Saturday sounded like a good idea to everyone.  James and Katie only got to stay until Sunday morning, but we hope they can come back soon.  Here are some pictures of our lazy day at the house.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Three Months Old

Barrett is three months old.  He changes so much every single day.  It is hard to believe that it has already been three months!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I will begin this post saying that although the date says that it is in September of 2010, it is actually May of 2011 when I am sitting down to write this.  I know that this seems like a long time to wait before writing this, but part of the purpose of this blog is to document our lives.  While this memory might seem a little less new than it should, it is still much fresher on my mind than it will be in 20 years when I look back at this. Okay now on to the story.....

Gavin has always been a swimmer.  Many of his happiest memories as a child involve him in the water.  It was such a huge part of his childhood that it was one of the things that he looked forward to sharing with his baby (he has been thinking about this since before there was even a baby, let alone knowing we were having a son).  As soon as Barrett was born Gavin began counting the days untill he could take Barrett swimming.  Our only conditions were that Barrett had to be holding his head up on his own, and that it couldn't be while the sun was out so that meant later in the evening, (babies can't wear sunscreen until they are six months old), and it had to be when we had time.  Finally the perfect day arrived, mostly accidentally.  It was  Sunday, and we had some free time (really not free time, but time we decided not to be doing anything particularly productive) so we set out  on our trip to my Dad's house to let Barrett get his first taste of the pool.  Now since this was not planned, we hadn't even bought swim diapers, a bathing suit, really anything outdoor related, so just a baby in a regular diaper would have to work.  Barrett loved the water!  We kinda figured it was in his blood, but it still made his dad proud to see how comfortable he was in the water.  He had a moment at first where he looked like he didn't know what was going on.  Then as Gavin held him in the water, you could see him relax into his Dad's arms.  There was one point that he did get a little water in his mouth, inciting slight panic in the overprotective mother in me.  Overall I would say the experience was a success.  Next summer Daddy will have him swimming laps!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The day daddy has been waiting for!

This day has been a long time coming.  Gavin has been excited about having a son to watch football with since we found out we were having a boy.  Gavin is a BIG Alabama fan, so it is very important that if he can't be at the game he has the next best way to enjoy the game.  This means that we drive to my dad's house and watch the football games on his movie screen, which makes the football players larger than life size (not kidding).  So today was the first Alabama game, and it was crucial that we spend the first football Saturday with the baby at my dad's.  After packing up half of everything in our house, we make the trek over to my dad's.  Keep in mind that Gavin planned to be there ALL DAY... not just for the Alabama game.  That really required a TON of stuff.  (This was Barrett's first all day trip too!)  Turns out that the big screen with lots of colorful moving objects makes Barrett turn into a zombie.  (Just like Daddy!!)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Greer!

Today Greer was born.  It was one of the scariest days in my life.  (I am writing this months later, so I know that Greer is happy and healthy and at home)  Lindsay is one of my best friends, and I had been so excited for this day.  It was wonderful to have my best friend be pregnant with me.  I could call and complain and vent, and she agreed... and she was going through the same things.  It was great.  After I had Barrett, it was just a waiting game for me for Greer to get here so we could go through the new mom thing together.  Unfortunately, things did not go the smoothly for Lindsay.  You see, Greer ended up in Children's Hospital NICU because he swallowed meconium before he was born.  I got the call from Jill that Greer had been born, and was in critical condition.  Greer needed to make it through the next 36 hours to be in the clear.  This all happened the day before Lindsay's birthday to make matters worse.  I was scared to death for the three days, and I thought about Greer, and prayed about it nonstop.  I was so scared for Lindsay and Jeremy.  They were all so strong though, and I think their strength gave Greer the strength to fight.  Greer made it through the three days, and was in the NICU for over a month.  I know this was one of the hardest times for Lindsay and her whole family.  I am so happy to say that Greer is home and healthy and happy.  He is a beautiful baby, and it is a wonderful miracle.  God works in mysterious ways, and I believe that there is a lesson in all hard and trying times.  Greer's story was a struggle for me to understand, but the lesson itself was quite clear.  Do not take Barrett for granted... EVER.  From this moment all my sleepless nights have more meaning, along with every dirty diaper, every crying spell... Every single tough moment is one to be thankful for.  I will forever take this lesson with me.  Thank you to the entire Haswell family for this lesson, and Happy Birthday Greer!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gavin watches Barrett for the first time

Today was Gavin's first time to watch Barrett all by himself.  I thought that me and my mom would only be gone for an hour, and figured Barrett would not be hungry until I got back.  Unfortunately I guessed wrong.  Good thing there was a bottle handy.  After the news that Barrett was inconsolable (it figures... he is a boy... and just like his daddy he is fussy when hungry), Daddy figured a bottle was the best solution, and called me to let me know that he would be giving Barrett his first bottle... RIGHT NOW!  I got home to see Barrett take the last couple sips of his first bottle.  

I just love this picture... Barrett looks like a little tree frog to me!

Look how sweet that baby looks after his bottle.  He just loves sleeping with his daddy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Going Home

Today Barrett gets to come home!  I have been looking forward to this day for the past nine months, and it has finally arrived.  But because Barrett was a little early (and I am a little bit of a procrastinator) I didn't have my bag packed.  So that means that my camera was at home, and not with me like I had planned.  After all the pain medicine, and sleep deprivation at the hospital it never occurred to me to ask someone to bring it to me either.  This means that the only pictures I have of him leaving the hospital were taken on my cell phone.

He looks so little in his car seat.  I have a hard time believing he was ever that small.   

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Barrett has Arrived

Barrett's first picture
July 10, 2011

Barrett was born.  He arrived in our arms at 5:14am.  He was 8 pounds and 9 ounces and 21.5 inches tall. He came on the absolute worst day that he could have come.  I had been praying that he would come soon.  I was tired of being so big I could barely walk.  I was tired of people asking me if I was going to have twins, and I was just plain tired!  BUT I didn't mean for him to come on the 10th.  In my head any day BUT THAT DAY would have been perfect.  But I guess Barrett had different plans.

My husband, Gavin, had planned his store's big grand opening event for July 10th.  It was about 2 weeks before my due date which was slightly stress inducing, but definitely manageable.  It was early enough to be safe.  It should have been fine. I had a Dr.'s appointment on the morning Friday July 9th with my 15 year old sister Marissa as my help for the day.  I was getting an ultrasound to see exactly how big Barrett was.  The Dr. was worried about his size because my husband had been a big baby (11.5 lbs!!).  Well, it wasn't that the baby was so big, it was just there was a lot of room for him to move around.  Well, that mean I had to take a stress test.  So off I went to labor and delivery.  They hook me up to the monitors to see how Barrett is handling everything, and just in case he is nice and happy.... they are going to buzz my belly with a zapper and see how he reacts to it.  Next thing I know my back is starting to hurt.  I mention it to the nurse who says "OH.... you are having contractions!"  She must have seen the panicked look on my face, and then added "but don't worry, they are not labor inducing contractions"  Her advice to me was to go home, eat lunch and relax. So we left the hospital, ran a couple or errands, then finally made it back to my house around 4:00 in the afternoon.  My sisters Natalie and  Rachel, her husband JR, and Marissa were all at my house helping me get the house ready for Barrett.  No one would let me do anything so I was just laying on the couch.  For some reason resting was not helping my back ache.  Next thing I know it is around 9:00 and I stand up to go get something to drink, and the worst thing happens.... my water broke!

I call Gavin and my mom who are at the store, as my sisters are trying to help me get stuff together to get to the hospital.  Gavin gets home and sometime later I arrive at the hospital.  Now everything from this moment until Barrett was in my arms is a complete blur.  I remember PAIN, then the epidural, and then Barrett.  Then they moved me into the room I would be staying in, and everyone in my family left to go help my husband with the Grand opening.  No one in my family got sleep that night.  I felt bad for everyone that day, but I am so happy that they were all there.  My dad and brother left the beach at 11:00 at night and arrived just in time to join my sisters in the waiting room to await the news that Barrett had finally arrived.  Two of my sisters slept in the most uncomfortable chairs in the waiting room, while the other one was up all night getting the food ready for the grand opening, and  my mother and husband were in the room with me all night keeping me calm and happy.

Barrett was perfect, he was everything I had hoped and wished for.  The moment I had been waiting for for 9 months had arrived, and I was overjoyed.  I know that even though nothing went as planned that day, that I am so very blessed to have everything go as smooth as it did.  It was one of the happiest days of my life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

So it Begins

It seems like every mommy out there now has a blog.  So here is mine.  Honestly this is something that I have been thinking about since I was in the very early stages of my pregnancy.  I thought it would be nice to look back at, and see how things changed.  Well I am a little late for that.  Really, now I am just hoping that this helps me document my life better.  I am sentimental ... but really it is all just in my head... I have never really been good at documenting anything in my life.  When I was in college two of my very best friends scrapbooked, and I thought I could get into it too.  Well I did, I kept it up for about a year, and I haven't touched it since.  Now it seems that I am always behind a computer, so this might end up working better for me.  We'll see how it goes.

So here it is... the almost beginning of my newest path in life.  Barrett is an adventure for me, and this will help me stop and savor the moments.  I hope this will also help my friends and family keep up with what is going on. Now this is where everyone can follow me, Gavin, and Barrett on our new journey.