today minus 364 days

today is my birthday, and honestly I don’t care too much this year. I spent my day holed up in the basement working on my doctorate project proposal, which is a lame, but somehow fitting, 29th birthday. mostly I just want to get into the next decade and turn 30 already. because I feel 30. I have a hubby, and a house, and a beautiful baby.

Jackson’s the only thing that’s making my birthday nostalgic and special. my first birthday as a mommy. but it’s making me think of last year.

all day long I’ve thought of last year.

last year I turned 28. jesse and I had been trying to conceive for 11 months. trying with a capital T. failing with a capital F.(I know, I know, 11 months… whoopity do, but when it’s you in that sink hole, it sucks) On my birthday I was hurting so much for the baby we couldn’t seem to make. And one of my best friends from high school gave birth the night before my birthday to a perfect little boy. I was overjoyed for her. I really, really was. But I was so heartbroken for me. That’s how I remember my 28th birthday, heartbroken.

my birthday has always been around thanksgiving, I love the idea of pumpkin pie as a substitute for birthday cake and that my birthday lands at a time to remember how blessed I truly am.  I love that this year I get thankful for a new life. My heart is healed.

so thankful

so thankful

growin’ boy

as a breastfeeding mommy, I worry sometimes if Jackson is getting an adequate amount of milk with each feeding. I think that’s a common worry. I know when I pump, I get about 5-6 oz per breast, so when he has the patience to eat until a boobie is empty, he should be getting a decent amount. Hopefully. He pees plenty, poops semi-regularly (ooooh doggie does he get pissy if he needs to poop and it’s been a few days). AND, I may kick myself for saying this, but it seems the spitting-up of entire feedings has slowed down somewhat. He’s gaining weight, that’s all I can ask for. OH, and we’ve done some 5 and 6 hour stretches of sleep this week. A-MAZ-ING!

His brain is what seems to be doing the most growing lately. He rolled from tummy to back twice this week. He’s suddenly much more interested in the world around him, crabbing at me unless he’s held looking out. He seems to be grabbing at things more purposefully. It’s so fun and amazing to watch, both as a proud mommy and a nurse that understands childhood development a little bit.  I just love knowing he’s growing new neurons every day!

SO, here are a few recent pics of our cute little man:











joining the bandwagon

I got NINE hour of sleep last night, albeit segmented, but still. AHH! I feel so much more motivated today!

the stuff we’ve come to appreciate after Jackson’s birth:

(sorry becky, caren, felicia, summer and belle… i’m a copy kitty)

For Jackson:


the natursutten paci

natursutten pacifiers

everyone comments on his “huge” pacifier. it’s a natursutten paci, and he loves it – the big nob on the end makes it easy for him to keep it in his mouth. I agree, it’s not pretty to look at and takes over his face, but I’ve tried to switch him to something else, and he won’t.

the booginhead pacigrip

we have one of these on almost every paci, and it is so convenient to hook it to his clothes. the only time I don’t like to use it is when he’s sleeping on his back, as I worry he’ll choke himself somehow, even though that would be pretty far fetched.

booginhead paci holder

booginhead paci holder

the tommee tippee bibs

they have extra “dribble catcher” fabric. we use bibs about 90% of the time. these are soft, match everything, and keep some of the spit up away from his little neck. we also love the ones from gerber and carters.

tommee tippee bib

tommee tippee bib

the aden & anais burpy bibs

these are awesome for the diaper bag because they double as burp cloths and bibs. I like them for bibs when I’m traveling across the state with Jackson because they are big, like a cape, and protect him, his clothes and the car seat. plus they’re soft and absorbent.

burpy bibs

burpy bibs

baby kisses baby socks

baby kisses socks

baby kisses socks

these are the only socks I found that would stay on Jackson’s little feet when we brought him home. And while these are plain, they also come in all sort of fun colors and patterns.

grapeseed oil 

grape seed oil

grape seed oil

I used this through my pregnancy and loved it. Now I use it on Jackson’s scalp for his cradle cap. Works like a charm.

gripe water

mommy's bliss gripe water

mommy’s bliss gripe water

this stuff is great at settling an upset tummy, and for a spitty guy like Jackson, we love it, and so does he. When he definitely has an upset tum-tum, a dropper full of this settles him right down.

Infantino Twist & Fold Gym

infantino twist and fold gym

infantino twist and fold gym


This thing is obviously the toy of the year – it seems like everyone has the exact same one, and it’s easy to see why. Jackson loves to lay under it and stare at the toys or himself (for about 10 minutes tops, then he’s bored again). It comes with a little bolster that is great for tummy time. AND out cat loves it too.

The Turtlemeter

turtle thermometer

turtle thermometer

This bathtime thermometer floats in the water, is easy to read, is inexpensive, and is pretty cute. We use it for every bath, and upon someone else’s suggestion, I used it in the tub when I was pregnant to make sure my bath water wasn’t too hot.

Lamaze Baby Toys

lamaze toys

lamaze toys

These toys are bright, cute, and eye-catching for baby. Plus they all have a clippy-thingy so they can be hooked to his playmat or the car seat.

Sooth & Glow Seahorse

sooth & glow sea horse

sooth & glow sea horse

We take this thing on every over night trip. We’ve used it almost every night since Jackson was born. He loves this thing, it gives off a soft glow, and the music is tolerable.  The other night it died. I got up in the middle of the night to find a tiny screwdriver to remove the tiny screws to change the batteries. It is that important to us.

The VTech Sooth & Surprise

v tech sooth and surprise

v tech sooth and surprise

THIS THING IS THE BEST RIGHT NOW. Jackson is in love with this thing, it sits by his changing table and he loves the music, lights, and moving stuff in it. My bestie gave this to us after her girls used it and loved it. It is priceless to us right now. The best part? It automatically turns on when it hears the baby cry. Smart toy.


our favorite books

our favorite books


Jackson loves to read and stare at books. I especially love the Eric Carle books, the Nancy Tillman books (they make me cry), and the bright Pantone Color book. We have most in book form and downloaded on the kindle so I don’t have to carry them in the diaper bag and risk losing them. I love books and hope to pass that love on to my children.


for breastfeeding:

the arden dairy fairy bra

MUST HAVE for a pumping mother. I wear them on days when I need to pump away from home.  They are awesome, all-in-one, nursing bras that enable me to eat my lunch and pump Jackson’s at the same time!

arden dairy fairy bra

arden dairy fairy bra

and for at home I love the leading lady bras… soft, comfy, and mine have soft cups in them to hide breast pads.

leading lady bra

leading lady bra

a friend gave me a nursing tank as a baby gift, it was a Gilligan O’Malley nursing tank. LOVE. It has thicker, soft straps, washes well, and is long enough to cover everything. I ordered 3 more from Target.

gilligan o'malley tanks

gilligan o’malley tanks

and my favorite breast pads are by far the bamboobies. they are soft, absorbent, and non-leaky.  I really like the over-night ones. and BONUS, if you write a review for them, they send you a free set. FREE!!



for everything else breastfeeding… I have a Medela double pump, but beyond that, I like the Lanisoh stuff better – the gel pads, the disposable nursing pads, the breastmilk storage bags… oh, and we use lifefactory glass bottles. they rock.

of course, I wasn’t paid to endorse any of these products, they are just the ones we like 🙂

the ever-present “what the hell am i doing?”

jackson tummytime
I’ve been up since 4:30 this morning. It’s like Jackson knew it’s Saturday and that I would be home all day with him… and he was going to make the most of it.  Jesse left before the crack of dawn to go deer hunting and I started my day.  And when Jackson took a nap I wagered my options. Do I A) also go to sleep? or B) get as much shit done as possible before he wakes up?

B it was.

And now, 15 hours later, I am dragging ass. Jesse got his deer. And I did get some laundry done, made lunch, and completed a paper for school.  But more importantly, Jackson wanted my attention.  He wanted to be held 95% of the day. I hate having to choose…

Yes, I hate having dirty laundry and dishes sitting around. But I could deal with that. However, I can’t not get school stuff done.  I cannot put that on the backburner like I want to SOOOOOO badly. Twice today I had to cry about it.

writing a paper with a baby on your chest. not easy.

writing a paper with a baby on your chest. not easy.

He is so perfect. And fun. And needy right now.  He watches me. He knows when I am close to him and paying attention to him, or when I am just shaking the toys on the top of the playmat thingy to distract him while I type with the other hand. It breaks my heart that he knows when I am being a half-assed mom, because, I know it, too. I am being a half-assed mom. This sucks.

anyway, tomorrow Jesse promised to have a father-son day, so in theory I can get some school stuff done. in reality, i’ll just continue to feel guilty, resent school even more, and crawl upstairs to steal away my baby and snuggle him.

snuggle time with daddy

what the hell am I doing??

spinning guilty circles, that’s what.

daddy's deer. here's to many years of McMillan men killin' stuff...

daddy’s deer. here’s to many years of McMillan men killin’ stuff…


2 months

11/11/13… 2 months.


Jackson has changed so much in the last 4 weeks. He smiles at us, and chats with us. He loves music, in fact he loves it so much that he gets mad when I take him off of the changing table where he has music and a mobile to stare at. Seriously – if he’s inconsolable, put him on the changing table and suddenly, all better. He still likes his paci, but spends much more time without it now. And, he is the happiest boy in the mornings, all smiles and coos and kicking feet.

chillin' on the changing table

chillin’ on the changing table

My biggest dilemma is his continued spitting up. I chatted with his nurse practitioner, and I still feel since he’s a happy puker, not in pain, the meds won’t help anything. His esophagus just needs to mature. She agrees. It’s very frustrating to get puked on so often. To change his clothes 1,000 times a day. To cover his cute clothes with bibs. To carry bath towels in the car and have them all over the house, because he pukes so much at once when he’s burped that unless you have a towel for a shield, you get soaked. In fact I sleep with a towel in the bed for night time feedings. The towel goes between my head and my hubby’s head. Romantic.

I know it could be worse, I understand that. Yes, he fusses when there are burbs stuck, but his cry isn’t shrill. And yes, he pukes a lot, but he’s gaining weight and staying on his growth curve. So, he’ll grow out of it. Eventually. Luckily breastmilk doesn’t stain 🙂

after our 2 month shots, took 'em like a champ... mommy, not so much. I've given plenty of infants shots, but it's much more traumatic when it's YOUR baby.

after our 2 month shots, took ’em like a champ… mommy, not so much. I’ve given plenty of infants shots, but it’s much more traumatic when it’s YOUR baby.

a great weekend

I have to make this pretty short and sweet, as we are past the 4 hour mark and little JackMack could wake up at any moment to eat, but I have to share how refreshing my weekend was.

I ignored my schoolwork this weekend.

My childhood best friend came to visit. The kinda of best friend I’ve known since I was 4. The kind that I can go weeks, sometimes months, without talking to, but fall straight into a great convo anyway. The kind that balances my silliness and impulsiveness.  I just love her!

She was brave and brought her 3 kinds on a nearly 1,000 mile round trip, and we had so much fun. We chatted while the kids played with my cat and dog. We played tourist in the Black Hills of South Dakota. And, of course, she got to love on Jackson, who she hadn’t met until this weekend. Her little girls loved him too. Hey, even her nearly 8 (EIGHT, where did that time go??!!) year old boy loved pushing the stroller around with Jackson. It was a great weekend. Yes, I’ll surely pay for ignoring my school work this weekend, but hey, sometimes you just have to take a break for fun! Sadly, and as usual, we forgot to take a pic of just me and her!

meeting little Jackson

meeting little Jackson


she was in love!


looking for lizards at Reptile Gardens


it became a game of find the snake/frog/creepy spider in every case


Jackson just cruised in the stroller


um, gross.


ok, I guess we did get one picture of the two of us in the silly mirror!


this giant turtle was there when I visited as a little kid. they live over 100 years!


sad to see them go 😦


jackson’s nursery

Jesse finally put together the bookshelf in Jackson’s nursery, so I feel like it’s pretty much complete. It’s bright, colorful, and fun. I don’t have a great camera, and I took these in the evening, so there’s no natural light to steal, but you’ll get the jist.


my favorite giraffe in his room.





I had these made with jpg files I created, which is hilarious, because I am NOT a graphic designer of any sort of the word. but I was proud of how they turned out.

I love books, I hope Jackson does, too. I also love giraffes, but I have a feeling he may not share that sentiment.

I love books, I hope Jackson does, too. I also love giraffes, but I have a feeling he may not share that sentiment.

bad pic, but this is the glider I recovered, and the dresser I painted.

bad pic, but this is the glider I recovered, and the dresser I painted.



Jackson and Daddy watching me work my photography skills. haha

Jackson and Daddy watching me work my photography skills. haha

I’m proud of this room mostly because it’s full of personal touches from me. I made the mobile and the crib rail bumpers, the crib skirt and the toy box liner, designed the pics on the wall, recovered the chair, repainted the dresser, painted the room… all for my little man.

oh, I forgot my friend took these when she did JackMack’s newborn photos… much better pictures 🙂












My husband wasn’t so into the giraffe theme, but I figured there would be many, many halloweens of being a duck hunter or superman or a monster. I had to pinky swear to my hubby that he could pick the costume next year 🙂

Halloween is such a fun holiday. To me, all holidays based on food and fun and NOT gifts are awesome (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day!!)

We started out the morning with monster feet…


And ended the day with pumpkin feet…


Happy Halloween!