The Taynors

The Taynors

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gender Neutral

When I was pregnant, we decided not to find out the sex of the baby.  I know I am very out numbered in this decision!  People would seriously look at my like I committed a crime when I told them that we were waiting til the birth to find out.  The idea of keeping it a surprise made people crazy, they just didn't understand why we would do that.  I heard all of the same things... How are you going to decorate the nursery, you aren't going to be able to buy any clothes, I'm to much of a control freak I just need to know, and I want to start building a relationship with the baby as soon as I can.  Here is my reasoning to all of those questions/comments.

Decorating the nursery-  This is the silliest reason for finding out the sex of the baby.  You can absolutely create a beautiful gender neutral nursery!  And it doesn't have to be corny, green and yellow the  way everyone thinks.  Don't get me wrong... Ryan's room is green and yellow.  But I think we found a tasteful, sweet way to decorate.  There are plenty of options...gray, yellow, tans, brown, white, black, primary colors, green, etc.  With the help of the Internet for ideas, it is not hard to decorate a neutral room.  And then after the baby is born you can add some personal touches to make it just right for your new baby.  For those of you who really want a super girly room or blue boy room, you can still have that when they get a little bit older.  It won't be long before that baby is growing into a toddler and is going to need a big kid room.  That's the perfect time to decorate for the specific gender!

Clothes-  Having clothes for the baby was never an issue for us, this is what we did.  Before the baby was born, I bought 2 baby girl outfits and 2 baby boys outfits.  I brought them both to the hospital so we were prepared for whatever sex we had (A Boy!! Yay!!).  Besides that we had a few neutral sleepers and blankets and onesies ready to go for the first week.  That was all we had before he was born.  Within 1 week of Ryan's birth, his closet was FULL with clothes.  Every single person that visited brought boy clothes.  Even people I never met before (co-workers of my father for example) sent cute little outfits for Ryan.  We were given enough clothes that I did not have to shop at all until just recently.  It was great... we got everything we really needed at the shower, and then got all of his clothes after the announcement was made. 

For the planners and control freaks-  Hello!  I am the biggest control freak there is!  For those who know Mike and I, you know that we are both obsessively organized, plan every little thing in our lives, and have to be in control at all times.  So yes, not finding out the sex of the baby was out of our comfort zone.  But here's the thing... does it really matter?  Does anything change if its a girl versus a boy?  We were still prepared.  The house was ready, our finances were in order, the hospital bags were packed, we took all the classes.  We were just as ready for this baby as anyone else would be.  I didn't want to be in control of this.  I trusted in God and let him be in control of this baby.  I didn't over plan getting pregnant and I didn't want a machine telling me what my baby was going to be.  I knew we had a boy when they put him on my chest.

Lastly, the guessing game can be fun.  I enjoyed hearing everyone's theories on why they were sure the baby was a girl (or boy).  It was fun having a pool guessing the sex and birth date.  I spent many days imagining my life with the new baby... sometimes I pictured a girl and sometimes a boy.  I'll admit it now, I kind of wanted a girl.  My friends all had baby girls and I always pictured myself having a baby girl.  But to tell you the truth, when Ryan was born it didn't matter at all!!  He was breathing and healthy and in my arms, the gender was the least of my worries.  I will never forget that moment when the doctor announced  "You have a Ryan!"  That day when I held him in my arms, I was sooo glad that I didn't already have an image of this baby in my head.  I hadn't created my own identity for him based on his gender and I was just happy to meet him.  Its so hard to put words to this feeling, but I will definitely do it again.

If you are a mom to be and trying to decide if you will find out the gender, I highly recommend waiting!  It may be hard at times during the pregnancy, but it is totally worth it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter to a Future Me

Dear Future Shannon,

I am writing this letter to help you through some of the struggles of having a newborn baby at home.  You are about to have a second baby and I want to give you some advice to make things a little bit easier.  By now you have probably forgotten the specific details of when Ryan was a newborn, so here are some tips from the past you.

~Don 't rush the baby out.  As it gets later and later in the pregnancy, you are going to be very anxious for the birth of the baby.  But its important not to rush things along.  Remember that the baby will be healthier and happier the longer they are inside.  Be patient and let your body do its job. 

~Everyone says it, and you know its true, but make sure you cherish every single second of the first few weeks.  The time goes by soooo fast and it all becomes a blur.  My advice would be to stop whatever you are doing every once in a while and take a moment to soak in whatever is going on around you.  Just take in the sights and sounds that surround you and breath in the perfect new baby smell.  Give an extra hug and kiss to that precious little baby because it will never be that small again!

~Don't sweat the small stuff.  I know, I know... another cliche, but seriously, don't do it!  Don't worry about the laundry, or the kitchen floor, or cooking dinner, or clearing the clutter.  Who cares about all of that.  Don't spend your time trying to be super mom, spend your time holding your baby.  Again, it goes by to fast to waste time worrying about your house.

~Let people help.  Whether its chores or shopping or coming over so you can take a nap... don't be afraid to ask and accept help.

~If you have another very fussy, colicky baby, I promise eventually the crying will stop (or happen less frequently at least).  You are not doing anything wrong and there is know way to "fix" the problem.  Just try to comfort the baby in any way you can and trust the fact that it will get better. 

~ Don't worry about all the little details (exactly what time should he eat, how long should he nurse, he just ate an hour ago he can't be hungry again, he has been sleeping for 3 hours should I wake him up, how many ounces is he getting, when should I start solids, am I holding him too much, why doesn't he like his swing, etc etc).  For the first three months of life, just go with it.  All babies are different and all babies need different things.  So do what you think is best, trust your instincts, and don't over analyze every decision you need to make.  You will not totally screw up your child by nursing him too often or holding him to long. 

~I know you love to be on a good schedule, but don't force it.  Babies need to find their own schedule that works for them.  So go ahead and guide things in the direction you want them to go, but don't stress out if its not going as planned.  Eventually the baby will fall into a schedule that works for them and you will be able to adapt.  Ryan found a good routine around 6 months. 

~I promise you will sleep again one day! Maybe not the same way you slept before having kids, but it will get better.  Eventually babies sleep for longer stretches.  So even if the baby is 4 months old and still waking up every 2 hours, have faith that it will get better! 

~Go to sleep when the baby sleeps.  This will be hard during the day, especially because this time around you have another kid to worry about.  But if they kids go to bed around 7-8pm, you should be in bed by 8:15.  Its so tempting to stay awake, spend time with Mike, watching TV, or whatever it is you want to get caught up on.  But just go to sleep.  You will need the rest big time!

~Cuddle with the baby as much as possible.  With Ryan, I was always trying to get him to lay down to sleep and he only wanted to sleep in my arms.  Now he finally sleeps all on his own and I miss having him sleep in my arms.  Enjoy the cuddling, sleepy moments now because they don't last long. 

~Its okay to sneak away from the crowd to spend some quiet time with the baby.  Use nursing as an excuse if you have to and get away from the noise and the people.  It will save your sanity!

~Nurse as long as you can.  Don't set a specific end date or any expectations.  Its easy to get frustrated if its not going well or set specific time limits... but just do whatever works for your body and try to nurse that baby as long as possible.  Bottle feeding is no fun!

~Last but not least, don't forget about time for you and Mike.  You need some couple time and some alone time to help get through the difficult transitions.  You and Mike are a team and you need to keep him a priority. 

Just breathe, relax, and enjoy that baby!
Love, Shannon (November 2011)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Upcoming posts...

Ahhhhh I have so much that I want to blog about!!  Thoughts and ideas are constantly running through my head and I just need to write it all down so that I feel better.  BUT I have an awful cold and am always feeling tired and just can't get the motivation to sit down and type.  So instead here is a list of things that I will eventually blog about :)

Postpartum depression/anxiety
Update on my work situation
Making decisions about teaching
A letter to myself for when baby #2 comes around

Check back, I will one day actually write these posts instead of just thinking about them!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Travel Plans

Those who know me, know that I love to travel.  I don't really spend a lot of money on clothes, shoes, going out, etc. but I am always saving up to go on vacations.  For the past several years, pre-pregnancy that is, I would always have a vacation on the horizon.  When I would come home from one vacation, I would start the count down until whatever the next adventure was.  For obvious reasons, my traveling has come to a hault.  But I am starting to get the itch to get back to planning.  I officially have the travel bug.  I love to research cool places, search for the best deals, and plan all the details of the trip.  I know that traveling will be different now that I have a baby, but since he is a little bit older I am ready to get back out there.  I already have lots of plans made for the next year or so.  I'm really looking forward to these vacations before starting all over again with baby #2.

1.  February 2012- Mike, Ryan and I are all going to Palm Harbor, Florida to visit my in-laws.  They have a home right out side of Tampa and near Clearwater Beach so it will be a nice get away from the cold NJ winter.  This will be the first time we take Ryan on an should be an interesting experience!

2.  July 2012- Mike and I are going to Key West for Nick and Heather's wedding.  I am really looking forward to this trip because it will be our first couples vacation since Ryan was born.  Hopefully we will go for 4-5 days so that we can be there for the wedding and do some vacationing.  I have never been to Key West so I am super excited. 

3.  August 2012- Mike, Ryan and I are joining a big group of our friends and renting a house in the Outer Banks for a week.  We are going with the Barkers, Arzonicos, and Eberhardts.  That means there will be 8 adults and 5 kids under 2 1/2 years old.  We can go to the beach, hang by the pool, go into town, and just have a nice relaxing week.  I hope these kind of vacations become an annual thing. 

4.  November 2012- Girls trip!!  The girls and I are going to go on a vacation to celebrate out 30th birthdays!  We have tried many times to plan a girls vacation and it either doesn't happen or only a few of us are able to I'm really excited about getting the whole group of us together.  We have had many discussions about where we should go (a wine tasting resort, spa, beach location) but recently we have been thinking that the best bet might be VEGAS.  Honestly, Las Vegas has a little bit of everything we are looking for.  We can do relaxing spa days, we could shop, we could lay by the pool, we can go out for nice dinners and wine, and for those wanting a little bit more night life... well Vegas is the place to be.  I really really really hope this trip actually happens because we are all new moms and we deserve to do something to celebrate our friendship!

5.  February 2013- Last but not least, we might go to Disney World.  This trip will have a double purpose.  The main reason we are thinking about going at this time is because it is the Disney Princess half marathon.  Several of my girls friends have all agreed that we will train together and make it our goal to run in this race.  So far I have never run more than 3 I have a lot of work to do.  In addition to the race, it will be Ryan's first trip to Disney.  He will be just about 2 years old by then and I think thats a great time to take him on his first trip.  So we are inviting anyone who is interested in coming with us.  Pretty much, we will be there and anyone can join us. 

Hopefully all of these vacations and training for a half marathon will help me keep away the baby bug.  I am no where near being ready to have baby #2 and I want some me time for a little while.  I also would like to be living in a different house by time we get pregnant again.  So setting all of these fun goals will distract me from wanted to get pregnant before we are ready!  I am looking forward to all of this traveling with my son, husband, and friends.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

8 Months

Its been another awesome month.  Ryan is at such a fun stage.  He can play and smile and laugh and interact with us.  Every day he does something new and I love to just watch him explore.  Just like every month so far, this past month we did plenty of things for the first time.  We took Ryan to NYC for the 9-11 memorial so he went on a train for the first time.  We went apple and pumpkin picking, Mike and I ran a 5k with him, and we had his first Halloween.  Jackie's mother made him an amazing Lion costume and we went trick or treating with the Barkers and Arzonicos. 

Here are some things he has been doing during his 7th month:

* He got his first 2 teeth!  My mom found them in the middle of October (7 1/2 months old)
* He is sleeping much better!  Most nights are from 7pm-7am and he takes 2-3 naps a day.  I really appreciate these good sleep patterns after the first 4 months of craziness.
* He loves to sing songs.  His current favorites are The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, If Your Happy and You Know It, and Old McDonald.
* He is a champion at pee-a-boo :)
*He can go from laying down to sitting up on his own.
*He can pull himself up to standing!  I was not ready for this just yet!
* He is ALMOST crawling.  He tries so hard.  He can scoot, and roll, and rock back and forth, but he just can't get the actual crawling action.  I feel bad because he wants to do it so badly and he gets frustrated that its not working.  Hopefully he will be moving any day now.  Then life will never be the same!
*He started using a sippy cup with water
*He now has 4 bottles a day and eats 3 meals a day.  He is on a pretty good schedule.
*He loves to sit in the middle of the floor with all his toys and play by himself.
*Cranky man still comes out almost every night from 5-7pm.
*Mike and I are more in love the ever before!

Here is the cuteness from the month:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making Baby Food Success!

I don't have any fancy gadgets, not the baby bullet or a special baby food steamer, but I wanted to start making some of my own baby food.  I was given the book Baby Love at my shower and I love it!! It has lots of different baby food options for all different ages AND  the author makes it super easy to understand. I know that logically I can not make 100% of Ryan's food myself, but I figure that some home made baby food is better than none.  My reasoning for wanting to spend the time to do this is because 1) Its healthier for him, there are no added preservatives or sugars and 2) Its much cheaper than buying all of the jars. 

My birthday way Monday and Ryan was up with my in laws so I decided that making baby food would be  a fun way to celebrate my birthday (haha I know I'm weird, relaxing in front of the TV is what I should have done).  I got all my ingredients together and off I went.  I hit several road blocks along the way.  The sweet potatoes I was roasting dried out and my blender burnt out in the middle of one of the recipes.  I decided things were not in my favor that day, but I wasn't giving up.  I threw the sweet potatoes in the garbage (I'll attempt that recipe at another time) and bought a new blender and I had much more success the next time around. 

So far I have made pears, peas, a banana/apple/pear combo, and a peas/edamame/apples combo.  They are all frozen into little 1 tablespoon servings and in a container in my freezer.  The recipes made about 30 servings of each so I have a pretty good amount for just getting started.  My goal is to make a few new foods each week and that way I'm always replenishing  my supply and trying new recipes.

Now lets just pray that Ryan actually likes these home made purees!