raising hale

12 pounds & 7 ounces
21 3/4 inches long
16 pounds & 1 ounce
23 1/4 inches long

james has grown so much in two months. it is truly amazing. i will continue to document, in this format, for his first year. let me tell you, the first photo shoot was not pretty. 1 month old james did not like the bench, bear or onsie. while he looks adorable in the snap above, trust me i took several to find one where he wasn't crying, screaming or falling over. looking back, the photos are pretty humorous. note: they are only funny bc you won't hear the screams or cries. i'll post a few bloopers to get you through this friday afternoon.



falling over:
no, he did not hit the floor or fall off the bench.

the two month photo session was much easier. i made the onsie, got the bench set up, plopped him down and he just sat there. he would slouch over a bit and i would reposition him but the second time was nothing (NOTHING!) like the first go round. he was his usual little stud muffin self.


i'm too sexy for this blog.


mission im-bumb-able

james has decided he likes to sit straight up. therefore we thought the bumbo chair would be a perfect investment. he already has more seating options than ben and i combined so why not add one more. we decided to use our lunch break to go purchase the new throne for our little prince. well, the stars were not aligned with three failed attempts: 1.) toys r us only had 4 pink bumbo chairs. our son was not about to hang out in a pink throne. 2.) baby depot doesn't even sell bumbos. and 3.) we braced ourselves for the baby mecca and germ factory, babies r us. we pull into the parking lot and it was eeirily empty. we knew something wasn't right. it was closed! the recent storm activity had knocked out the power. urg. defeated we ate a quick bite and returned to work.
later that even ben's mother called. he told her about the bumbo mission and how his son NEEDS one convincing her to go to target and see if they have one to purchase. bingo! they have two. both purple. my husband decides that purple can be manly and we NEED it so she should get it. finally the bumbo arrives. it's ours and ben can't wait to open it. (he loves opening packages as i've noted before) he dives into the box pulls it out and is speechless. this dark purple, can be manly bumbo is actually a lilac, light purple, one step away from pink chair. immediately he decides we can use it for a night but it will be going back for a blue or green one as soon as they are in stock. period.
james is a little too small but he is getting used to it and seems to enjoy it. since we didn't want him to feel like a little girl, we had to make his chair more manly. spray paint? no. bumper stickers or sports logos?? no.

halloween decorations! skull and crossbones.


to give more neck support we have rigged a pillow behind his head and placed him with a great view of the tv.

we still plan one trading in the lilac, girl chair for a more manly throne. i'm thinking we should keep the manly tradition alive and transfer the skull as well. i think james will really like his chair when he has more head control. until then, let's hope his thighs don't get too big so he'll fit. if he does, he might try to rig that one as well. i wouldn't put it past us. bumbo macgyver style.


my milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.

only 1 boy actually. james - as if you didn't know.
anyway, my new venture in life is to feed the baby. yep, i'm a nursing mother. i've had the most peculiar conversations about breast feeding versus feeding formula bottles. as i respect all opinions, for myself i wanted to try nursing and if HAD too, resort to formula. i made this decision before having to "milk" while at the office. that will be a blog in itself so i'll get back on track. when i was at the salon, a lady asked me what i was feeding my "healthy" baby. i hadn't been asked by a total stranger so i was a bit taken back. most strangers don't care what i'm feeding my kid as long as he's not crying. right? i find myself to be a mature individual but sometimes i just don't know how to reply. i mean, i don't say the word "breast" to strangers often. i mean, before having a baby i never said the word breast. ever. now it is in daily conversation. so i gracefully put my had up to my chest and reply "milk". she looked at me and looked back at my baby and said, "you must be making milkshakes"!

sweet cheeks.

wait until i post a full body shot. his stomach laps over his pants like an old fella and if he could walk, his thighs might ignite.

things that make you go hmm...

- when it rains people forget how to drive.

- how my mom can live without call waiting and caller id.

- the taco bueno menu. i've been a thousand times but still look at it like i might deviate from my usual order.

- how my dog can find the only puddle in the yard and proceed to roll in it.

- why hairstylists with bad hair have clients. that is self advertisement people.

- what babies think about all day long.

- how i've managed to keep all james' socks but can't seem to keep my own around.

- why some days i can take 20 minutes to get ready when others is a solid hour. same results too.

- when google doesn't have the answer. i mean, am i the only person who has ever googled it?!

there are so many more "hmm" moments but i'll stop with these. they may start to get whiny if i continue. maybe one day i'll have the answers but probably not. i'll keep you posted if i do.


time flies.

today is james' two month birthday.  or is that his 1/6 birthday?  anyway, i figure for his first year of life he can have monthly birthdays.  let's face it, we're not spoiling him rotten on just this one day.  the king is spoiled everyday.  needless to say, he hated the shots.  i mean, screamed and cried.  he wouldn't even eat afterwards!  my kid always eats.  eating is his thing.  afterall he is the average weight of a six month old baby.  james is off the charts at 16 pounds and 1 ounce. what healthy little chunk stud muffin.
in honor of his birthday momma is going to britney tonight and he will have boys night with pops.  i will post two months pictures soon.



famous last words...

okay, i'm sure some of you want to know the story. the labor and deliver story. the it's not like on tv story....

at 38 weeks and 5 days i had my final doctor's appointment. why haven't i had this baby? the million dollar question. the baby was dropped i had started the birthing process and we were ready to go....but james wasn't. for fear of delivering a 9+ pound baby we decided to induce 1 week early. phew! it will be so quick. you're young and healthy. the baby is in position. famous last words. my delivery was not like on A Baby Story. thank you TLC for not really telling what birth can be like because no one would want to have babies if you did.

here we go:

39 weeks and on my way out the door to go have a baby. yep, i am naive and ready.

we arrive at St. John's and the labor and delivery rooms are full. yes, full but they have one to clean for me. therefore, we go and eat (my last meal for 24 hours) across the street at P.F. Chang's and hope the maids can clean my room and that no one in labor can snatch it from me within the next hour.
we return and the room still isn't clean so we wait. annoyed and nervous we wait again in this semi-private waiting room. but hey the alternative is to check into the triage room and wait. the triage room has no privacy. holds 4 people with sheets for walls. thank you but we'll wait.
okay, get checked in. get the bracelets. get the backless gown. get the iv. start meds to make me dilate.

i was supposed to sleep peacefully through the night and be ready for my quick delivery at 7 am the following morning. wrong. the medicine produced too much uterine activity so it had to be switched to pitocin. yes, the one that induces labor but at such a small dose it would just give me slightly uncomfortable contractions all. night. long. awesome. i'm uncomfortable and exhausted and i haven't even had the baby yet. all night i kept thinking i wish i were in my own bed.

7 am nurse turns up the drip. lets have this baby!

about 10 my doctor comes in to break my water. whoa. bizarre feeling but by this point i'm almost certain that everyone in the l&d wing has seen and/or touch my growing flower. i hadn't seen it in months so i'm hoping everything is a-okay. anyway, things start to finally happen. bam! MAC truck!! contractions quickly begin before i can get my epidural. oh no. i don't want to feel this pain. i'm supposed to be drugged for this and i'm not! long story short - i had to wait for an hour, the loooongest hour of my life, before i could get the epi. pain. 90 seconds. oh my more pain. 90 seconds. oh my goodness pain!!! then the high dollar angel arrives with my numbing drugs. thank you baby jesus. i'm dilated to a 6 after that hour. an 8 after the next hour and a 9 shortly after. about 4:30 we're going to start pushing.
armed with my sister to my left, the "know it all" nurse to my right and ben by my head we start the final stages of labor.
deep breath in.
push. push. push.
60 seconds.
deep breath in.
push. push. push.
60 seconds.
1 hour down. no baby.
need oxygen mask.
deep breath in.
push. push. push.
60 seconds.
deep breath in.
push. push. push.
1 hour 40 minutes down. still no baby.
demand vacuum.
60 seconds.
deep breath in.
push. push. push.
1 hour 45+ minutes down. still no effing baby.
60 seconds.
deep breath in.
push. push. push.
FINALLY! the heaven's parted and james' head "popped out".
james' shoulders were stuck. baby is not getting oxygen.
huge woman clips my sister, pushes her out of the way to stand on top of me and push my stomach to force baby james out.
PAIN. tears. clueless to what is really happening. during the next minute people are filing into my room ready to get the baby completely out and breathing. after 60 seconds, he is free.
6:23 pm - james arrives.

i cannot see him but he has his own personal medical staff to assist his "traumatic entrance" into life. after examination, james was a little blue but perfect. no shoulder issues. no nerve problems. nada. perfect but to be on the cautious side he was taken to the special care unit for further observation. he received oxygen until 3 o'clock in the morning.

8 pounds 9 ounces & 19 3/4 inches long.  and perfect!

the following morning he was off the oxygen and get could finally hold him. i woke up early and excited ready to go down to see my baby. they said we could go at 8 but i was ready at 7:45.

first family photo.

over the next 48 hours, the nursing staff and doctors were wonderful to me and my baby. they woke us up all hours of the night to check our vitals, bring pain meds and get baby james to breastfeed. whirlwind. thank you to the nice staff at SJMC.

both james and i were released to go home at the recommended time by my insurance.

sweet baby james. i love him more everyday. it was all worth it. he was worth it.

All Hale to Baby James!

photos and birth announcement done by my friend and photographer Andrea Murphy.
For those of you who don't have babies, apparently you are supposed to get photos for birth announcements within the first 2 weeks of life. OMG! Those weeks were a blur. Complete "I don't know what I'm doing, sleep deprived, can he possibly use any more diapers?!?!!" blur. Thankfully I contacted Andrea with about 4 days to the deadline and could get little James' picture taken 1 day shy of his 2 week birthday. Phew! Yes, welcome to snail mail. Get married, have a kid and mail your friends refrigerator art. That is the new me and the world I've entered into since July. Look forward to Christmas cards too my dear friends.

maternity leave...

For those (few) followers that still check this site, I am going to continue to blog. I apologize for the agonizing delay between my last post. Apparently my blog maternity left too. While on maternity leave from work (and computer addiction), I found the internet to be the last thing on my mind. Here's the deal, since I'm about 8 weeks overdue, I'll be posting some blogs in "Pulp Fiction" order to play catch up. Thank you.