Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Recap

Christmas was...
getting loved on by aunts and uncles,a radio flyer wagon,

a happy baby,
meeting cousins for the very fist time,matching jammies,
silly hats
snowboarding in the street
Not pictured is clearance sale shopping, a date night, sleep deprived parents because a baby who shall remain nameless decided sleeping at grandme and grandpa's house was silly and near constant shoveling due to the ridiculous amount of snow. I noticed this morning that Spokane made the national news because of all the snow they have received.
We are back now and trying to get back into a routine. Jackson got his first cold, which has meant laying low the last couple of days. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be turning into anything more than a little head cold and he's on the mend.
Happy Happy New Year! We have a babysitter for the very first time and are headed out for a seven course meal with friends. Aaron is a little nervous the food is going to be 'too fancy.' But, I think it's going to be a blast!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


And like the flip of a switch, my child started sleeping seven hours at night and has been an absolute dream baby the last two days. Friday night he fell asleep in my arms at 8pm and I had a small revelation that the poor kid probably isn't getting enough sleep. Aaron and I worked really hard on Saturday to make sure he was taking plenty of naps and amazingly he has barely fussed in the last two days. I love these little windows of clarity God gives us.

My blog is named after my favorite book, Traveling Mercies by Ann Lamott. The book is about the author's journey to becoming a Christian and all the people who walked along side her. Those quiet moments where God speaks to us, whether it's about helping our kid to take more naps or way bigger things like making a life change or forgiving someone who has hurt us are traveling mercies. It can also be a kind word from a friend, a warm drink that takes the chill away or a small kindness from a stranger, but it's those moments where you feel God's presence in big and small ways.
I feel l ike I experienced a bit of traveling mercies this weekend...everything from my husbnds ecouragement, to seven straight hours of sleep last night to kind words from dear friends on this little blog.
The snow is falling outside, my baby is sleeping and my oven just beeped letting me know it's done pre-heating so I'm off to make my next batch of cookies. I am surrounded in traveling mercies.
I am blessed.

Friday, December 19, 2008


It's 10am and I am still in my bathrobe. Tumbleweeds of dog hair are swirling at my feet, the Christmas tree needs watering, the laundry changed out and I have freelance work to tackle. My coffee has been reheated at least three times this morning and every time I pass by a mirror, I notice how badly I need to pluck my eyebrows.

Sometimes being a mother is really hard. It's hard to balance taking care of someone else with the rest of life's responsibilities. Don't get me wrong, it's the best thing I've ever done and I wouldn't trade a single second, but just seems out of balance.

*** it's 1:48pm and I still haven't finished this post. The baby is finally napping. Why are 8 week olds such little tyrants? Jack refuses to nap in his crib. He will sleep there all night long, but try and put him down during the day and he completely freaks out. He is now swaddled and sleeping in his swing.

I think I might attempt a shower.

On the horizon are big decisions about working. I have an offer on the table for a part-time position but it means finding some kind of childcare for the baby. I've looked at a few places but haven't found anything I feel comfortable with. On days like today, I'm itching to spend a few hours away from the house, doing something for myself.

I think the truth is, I'm nervous. Nervous to add another responsibility to an already full plate. So, we will see what the new year brings. Hopefully a better attitude on my part and a baby who is a little more willing to sleep!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our Little Cowboy

Aaron dressed Jackson this morning...can you tell?
Please notice he is wearing John Deere cowboy boots!
And because Jack always looks so serious, I thought I would post a picture of his silly side. It's funny, ten minutes ago I was ready to pull my hair out because he was being so fussy, then I look at these pictures and it all melts away. I would endure 100 more hours of fussing for 10 seconds of that smile.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Six Week Update

This is a bit of a narcissistic post, so feel free to scroll down to the cute pictures of my son, and skip this one all together.

Back in October I had the opportunity to write a post about my thoughts on fitness and health post partum for a new web site called Bodies in Motivation. My post was published this week (scroll down, it's the second post) and it got me thinking about my goals and it made be do a bit of a gut-check (did you catch the alliteration?).

Yesterday was exactly six weeks post-partum. On some accounts I have done very well. My most favorite pair of jeans became wearable this week and the scale says I have about ten pounds still to lose, from the 35 I was facing on the day of delivery. But it's more than just the number on the scale, to me it's a good time to check in on how I'm doing as a woman, a wife and a friend.

Let's do a bit of a at 40 weeks:

And today...

It really is amazing the body's ability to heal and transform. Just as it blew me away to watch my body grow and deliver a child, I have been almost equally amazed as it has transformed yet again into another version of myself.

I think as women we need to embrace our bodies and be proud of their capabilities. We have the tremendous gift to create and nourish children that no amount of squishy tummies or jiggly thighs should take away from that awesome accomplishment.

Not to say I don't almost daily give into what the world says I should look like. I have shed a few tears over my silver stretch marks and looked discouragingly into my closet at all the clothes that still don't fit. But, I have to remind myself that it's health that's important not a number on the scale.

I'm documenting my transformation...the physical and the emotional. Because I am committed to health -- physically, emotionally and spiritually for myself and my family. I don't think I can mother effectively nor be the woman I know God wants me to be if I don't take seriously all the pieces that make up my life. I know that the healthier I am, the happier and healthier my family will be.

This is sort of a disjointed post, but I am realizing each day that to be an effective mother, one who is calm and joyful and energetic, I have to pay attention to myself as well.

Anyway...just scroll down the my little elf...

A Little Elf

We have a little elf living at our house. He is watching to see if his parents have been naughty or looks like more naughty than nice!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Cost of full price airline ticket bought on Thanksgiving morning because of airline/credit card mixup -- $1,060

Cost of Jackson's future therapy after Mommy loses it after said ticket was purchased -- too much to put a number to.

Cost of multiple trips to Starbucks to refuel because 5-week-old baby decides sleep is for the weak -- $12

Cost of frantic trip to Target to stock up on travel size everything -- $32

Jackson meeting his uncles for the first time, spending time with family, my son getting loved on by his grandparents -- PRICELESS

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One Month

In many ways, time is flying by faster than I can keep track of. The days and nights blur together filled with nursing, changing diapers, trying to empty the dishwasher every once in a while and find a little time to hug and kiss on my husband.

I feel a little melancholy when I think that a month has already gone by with my boy. Where did the time go? On one hand I am eager for him to grow up, get to the next stage...and then all of a sudden I am hit with a pang of sadness that it's all going to fast. He's growing and changing so much every day and there isn't enough hours in the day to soak it all in.

Don't get me wrong, there are moments (okay hours) that I want to pull my hair out. There have been ugly moments when I am so frustrated with his crying, the endless hours on the couch nursing, and feeling all around inept at this job I have in front of me, that I have said and done some things I'm not proud of.

And then I take a deep breath, and in the blink of an eye, my son is cooing and smiling at me. He willingly hangs out in his bouncy seat while I take a long shower or he falls asleep on my chest and I am overwhelmed at my love for him.

As usual my words fall short. But, this is such an incredible gift and I have never felt so vulnerable in my life. Never before have minutes and hours been so important. Because, every time I look up, they have passed by and I don't want to miss a thing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The First of Many Posts About Christmas

Saturday started off as usual...just hanging out. But since our family will be traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, Christmas is coming early to our house.
So we got all bundled up and headed for the mountains!
To find the perfect Christmas tree! And thankfully we had spotted this beauty over the summer and actually remembered where to find it!
Unfortunately, Aaron's behind got a little chilly in the process.
Can you tell Aaron is excited for Christmas?

Jackson wasn't all that impressed with the snow or the cutting down of his first ever Christmas tree. He decided to catch a few zzz's instead.

Can you tell how big the tree is? I think we are going to have to cut off a few feet!
Remington's expression sums it up best -- pure bliss.
It's amazing what a little fresh snow, cold mountain air and good company will do for the soul. Tis the season!
(I guess I should mention that the tree isn't actually coming in the house until after Thanksgiving...Aaron put his foot down.)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Jackson ditched his 5:30am wake up call this morning which meant I only had to get up once last night to feed him!!!! (excuse the overuse of exclamation points, but I'm a little excited). The baby slept from 10pm to 3:30am and then slept again until 6:45am...nothing says love like a sleeping baby.

I'm sure tonight he will wake up every two hours to eat, but last night was awesome, and I feel like you have to celebrate every little milestone. Yesterday marked four weeks with our boy and in some ways I can't believe I've been a mother that long and in other ways I feel like I've been doing this forever...not just four weeks.

Jackson is starting to wear 0-3 month or 3 month clothes and I sadly packed up a few of his newborn clothes this week. His favorite activities continue to be nursing, sleeping. pooping, sitting in his bouncy seat and baths. He has also decided he likes to go for walks in the bob stroller and lay on his baby play mat.

I'm forced to start really thinking about when my maternity leave ends and what I am going to do. I can't imagine leaving Jackson for 8 plus hours a day, but I feel weird about giving up my career all together. In my perfect world I would just do freelance work and that might be an option but it would have to be consistent which isn't really the definition of freelance. My other option is to negotiate to go back to my current job part time or fin a part-time job elsewhere. Unfortunately, public relations and marketing jobs don't really exist in part-time status that often.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out because at this point I can't even predict.

Here are a few pictures of Jackson's favorite things...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Road Trip

A couple of bullet points because the baby is squawking and I haven't had my allocated 1/2 cup of coffee yet this morning:
  • First full week of stay-at-home mommying under my belt and overall it was awesome. We had one pretty hard day last week but other than that, it's been a lot of fun. I just need to figure out when I can clean my house, because that needs to happen at some point.
  • We took Jackson to Spokane over the weekend and had our first overnight! He was a dream in the car and it was super fun to introduce him to our family.
  • I nursed the baby in an Arby's parking lot in Moses Lake, nothing says being a mom like whipping out your boob in a fast food parking lot.
  • I can button a few pairs of my jeans, but I have a long ways to go. I'm looking forward to two weeks from now when I have the clearance to work out, but it's another thing to add to my day when the days already fly by.
  • Jackson loves his bath! In an attempt to start building a routine, we give him a bath every night. It seems to calm him if he's fussy and sort of help him wind down to go to sleep.
  • We've had a few nights of five hour sleep stretches but we went a bit backwards last night..oh well.

More to come I'm sure...when my brain works a little better.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Independence Day

Today was my first full day on my own with Jackson and I am proud to say we had a great day. Jackson slept in today after nursing every two hours from 2am to 6am, so I was super happy to snuggle my boy and sleep until 9am.

We ran out for a cup of coffee, nursed and snuggled some more, went for a walk, Daddy came home for lunch which meant a leisurely shower and combed hair for me and then we has some lunch ourselves, a bit more nursing and a long visit with one of my girlfriends. Jackson actually slept in his car seat for another hour when we got home so Aaron and I were able to have dinner together. Now, Daddy is burping the baby and I snuck upstairs for a little blogging time. (I actually need to be doing some freelance work...but I'll get to that...)

I am recognizing more and more that if I keep my boy full, he does significantly less crying. Sometimes he wants to eat every hour or hour and a half and other times he gives me a three or hour hour break, but if I don't feed him when he makes his hunger known, then watch out.

I was nervous that today would stretch out endlessly, but we had a really good day. It always helps my attitude when the sun is shining, and today was one of those perfect fall days. I am making the transition into 'mother' in fits and starts. I stumble and fall, get frustrated and then have a shining moment where he is happy and content and my heart feels like it could burst with pride and love.

As usual, my words fall short in expressing the state of my heart and mind.

Today was a good day.

I'm looking forward to so many more good days...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's Worth It...But It's Not Easy

Motherhood is awesome. I love my boy more than I thought possible. I went to the gym today and even though I was only gone for about an hour...I missed him. But, I'm won't lie, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. I knew the first few weeks would be hard, but until you are living them, you can't describe what it's like. And for me, its not that the work is necessarily so hard or that I'm not bonding with my baby or even that he is super challenging; it's more letting go of pre-conceived notions. My kid crys and sometimes I can't solve the problem or sometimes I'm really bored or sometimes right as the baby has finally fallen asleep he has a blow out and we have to start all over again. I didn't know to expect some of this stuff...
I wasn't expecting all the crying. Jackson has a flair for the dramatic and while he's not 'colicy,' he is not afraid to let his opinions be known. I also didn't expect that he would hate to sleep on his back or alone. The boy is not keen on sleeping in his bassinet or crib. He hates being on his back and naps and bedtimes are an exercise in patience because we have to soothe him multiple times before he finally goes to sleep for a few hours. For a while I was really letting myself getting jealous of my friends with more laid back babies. But, I'm trying to remind myself that its a little early to assign a personality to him and every day things change and get a little easier.
I also feel pretty tired. We are up at least twice each night and sometimes one of those times stretches to an hour or hour and a half. I try and manage a good deal of it on my own because Aaron has to go to work, but I always have to ask for his help (which he is amazing, always leaping out of bed to get the baby) in shushing and rocking the baby back to sleep.

Even though there have been some tough moments and sometimes I want to scream at 4:00am when I realize I've been awake dealing with a cranky baby since 2:30am, I can't believe how much I love my son in just a few short weeks.
And that is what's so hard, I don't have the words to describe how much I love him. He is incredible and I am so in awe. Everything I write about him sounds contrived or overly simple. But, I feel like my life has more meaning, is rich with love and often I am overwhelmed with emotion for him and my husband.

A few things Jackson does like: nursing...nursing...nursing...sleeping on someones chest...his dad and his bouncy seat. Jackson does not like sleeping on his back, baths, getting his butt wiped, sleeping in three or four hour blocks, his swing, waking up and realizing he is in his car seat and binkys. Although, I think we are slowly wearing him down on the binky because my boobs need a break.
How I spend a good portion of every day. Please excuse the double chin.

My happy boy hanging out in his bouncy seat. Mama likes it when he sits in his chair.Proof that the kid knows how to scream. This was mid diaper change yesterday.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birth is Spiritual

Birth is spiritual...mental...emotional...and obviously physical.

It's the most incredible thing I've ever done.

I've never felt more powerful, as if my body could do anything.

I feel a queen.

When I woke up last Wednesday, I was excited but still silently questioning the induction, wondering if I could honestly say I knew it was the best choice for baby. Throughout the morning I noticed that I was having more and more contractions, finally paying enough attention to notice they were consistently between 10-15 minutes apart.

I went to breakfast with my girlfriend Libby and then headed to my friend Trisha's house to pass the time until Aaron could come home and hang out with me. I mentioned my contractions to Trish (who is a labor and delivery nurse and my 'douala') and we agreed that the contractions would hopefully dilate my cervix a little bit, making the induction that much easier.

Aaron came home a little early and we ran a few errands. I silently watched the clock, secretly getting a little excited that maybe...just maybe my body knew what to do. At about 4pm I laid down to take a power nap and 20 minutes later I sat straight up with a contraction that required walking around. We decided to go for a walk to see if we could get things to intensify, and that is exactly what happened. Over the next four hours the contractions went from 10-12 minutes apart to 4 to 6 minutes apart.

What is sort of funny about the whole situation is that I still didn't think I was in labor. I thought at the most it was pre-labor. The contractions were certainly painful but bearable but I had an expectation that it would instantly be awful, so I just didn't take it all that seriously.

We arrived at the hospital at 8pm on the dot, got checked in and were taken to our room. When the nurse came in I mentioned I thought maybe labor had started on some level. We laughed at how this kid probably takes more after me than we thought, procrastinating until the very last second. The nurse decided to check me and not only was I in active labor, but I was at a 5 and 80 percent effaced! I was elated and nearly started crying because I was so excited! No induction necessary!

Trisha had shown up by that point and the three of us high-fived and got serious about getting my labor to progress. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but we honestly had fun. I don't know if it was because I had such awesome support or if I was just giddy over the fact that labor had started on it's own, but I was in the best mood despite the pain.

We hung out in the room on the birthing ball for a couple of hours, walked the halls and finally got in the jacuzzi tub. (I got in the tub, the two of them took turns holding my hand and cracking jokes). Around 1am, I was 7 centimeters dilated and the contractions had ramped up. They were harder to breathe through and they were starting to come on top of each other. Jackson was posterior, which is why I had such intense back labor. Aaron and Trisha took turns putting pressure on my hips which helped ease the pain somewhat.

I decided I was ready for the epidural. A half an hour later the anesthesiologist had come and gone and I was feeling much much better. Unfortunately, it didn't really take on my right side and a few hours later, I could really feel the contractions again and they had to come and re-bolster the medicine.

From there, they let me 'labor down' for several hours. Basically, once they broke my water at 10 centimeters, Jackson didn't like the contractions very much. His heart rate would dip during each contraction and we had a few scary moments on and off. At about 7:30am, we got serious about pushing. I've never worked so hard in my life. I thought I would be terrified, but instead I felt powerful and strong. Thirty minutes later, Jackson arrived. Unfortunately there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, so instead of being put directly on my chest, he went to a nicu nurse to be assessed and have his lungs cleared. It took him a minute to cry which was probably the scariest and longest minute I've lived through yet, but he was fine and moments later he was being laid on my chest.

I look at my child and feel in complete awe of God's goodness and faithfulness. I love this child with an intensity I didn't know possible and after just five days I know my life has changed forever because of his presence.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birth Story Coming Soon...Until Then More Pictures

Beautiful Beautiful Boy
Sleeping Peacefully
My Favorite Picture Yet...Daddy and Son

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Worth The Wait

Jackson Eugene McCoy
October 23, 2008 at 8:00am
9 pounds 2 ounces and 21 inches

Monday, October 20, 2008

One Day Closer baby yet, but my induction date has been moved up to Wednesday night. I'll check into the hospital around 8pm and I will have a medication administered to my cervix. From there, we wait and see how much or if I will continue to dilate. For some women, it's enough to put them in labor, for others the doctor will break their water or give them pitocin.

I met with the doctor who will deliver Jackson today and I adored him. He was kind, encouraging and I felt like he really listened to me. Aaron had a million questions of his own and he patiently answered all those as well.

Unfortunately, I remain a tight 1 centimeter. No change in three weeks now. As much as it was initially disappointing to face the reality of being induced, I have rounded the corner and I'm honestly almost giddy about it. I have faced the reality that my body is going to take it's sweet time to go into labor and enough is enough. If it needs a little push in the right direction, I'm willing to do it. Also, it's sort of feeds my need to plan!

Tomorrow I'm going to clean up my house, organize some of my maternity clothes, do laundry and finish packing my hospital bag. On Wednesday Aaron is going to come home after lunch and keep me company which will help pass the time.

Yea for baby week! I can't believe in a few short days this is all going to be over and I'm going to be a mom. I am so excited.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Waiting Hopefully...part two

In an effort to induce labor I have tried the following:

  • walking
  • jumping
  • massage with pressure points
  • evening primrose oil
  • raspberry leaf tea
  • spicy food
  • lovin'
  • praying (pleading is probably more accurate)
  • begging...the baby, God, my body and Aaron to just do something already!

But, it has been in vain, because here I am one day past my due date and no baby in sight. I think one of the reasons this waiting game is so challenging is because my body is certainly "preparing" for labor, it's just not actually going into labor. I was reading the pre-labor symptoms in one of my baby books last night and basically I have every sign except consistent contractions that continue to ramp up. Oh well.

This is such an exercise in patience...

I had a small epiphany this afternoon, that this is just one more thing in my life that I can't control. I can't control when this baby is going to arrive, all I can do is wait patiently and have a good attitude while I wait. So much harder to do than say; I won't lie.
Here is one last frightening picture of myself, 40 full weeks. I can't believe that belly, there had better be a giant baby in there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One More Day...or Maybe Seven

I'm not going to lie...I'm having a hard time being patient. I want my baby.

I visited with my girlfriend today who had her baby two weeks early! My induction day was her due date. This little thing is so cute and tiny (6 pounds 2 ounces) and I kept thinking...oh my baby is bigger than this baby and still on the inside of my body.

Today I made chicken and rice casserole, a pot roast with all the fixings, berry sweet bread (in my new bread pan!) and pumpkin muffins with a cream cheese center.

I also swept all my floors, vacuumed anything with carpet, dusted the house, washed our bed sheets, bought my husband new shoes, worked on a bit of freelance work and went for a walk. If this isn't nesting...I don't what is.

And yet...I don't have baby. So, I'll keep waiting, and praying and trying really hard to be patient. I'm not very good at this waiting game.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How I'm Spending Maternity Leave

I had a pretty rough day of sleeping in, catching up on emails, having lunch with a girlfriend and making muffins. I made apple bran muffins and they are tasty but a bit crumbly. The top is slightly overcooked while the insides are a bit too soft. I'll have to remake them again and tweak a few things. I'm in a baking mood, but I keep reminding myself that my days of free for all pastry eating are numbered...

Aaron and I indulged in some chai tea tonight. This has got to be one of the most unflattering photos of me, but for the good of the blog I decided it should be documented. Also...check out the girth. This is probably the last photo you will see of me until I am un-pregnant and had a few weeks to lose the gallon of water weight I'm carrying around along with baby Jackson.
This is the one legitimate activity I participated in today. Lots and lots of laundry. I am caught up and all I need to do is put away one last load.

Our family is taking bets on when this baby will arrive and most of their predictions are for this weekend. Let's hope they are right! Friday is getting closer and closer!