Monthly Archives: February 2012

Back to Work

Back to Work

Well, I’ve officially been back to work for one full week.  While I can honestly say it was good to get back to work, this past week has been utterly exhausting.  There’s very little downtime in my days anymore.  I get up at 5, make a bottle, take it upstairs to Matt who is changing Parker’s diaper, snuggle with my little man for a few minutes, and then hop in the shower while Matt feeds him and puts him back to bed.  I leave the house about an hour later and then leave pretty much as soon as I can.  Once I get home, I get to hang out with PJM and Jillie until Matt gets home and then its time to make supper, clean up, bathe Parker, and put him to bed.  I usually collapse into bed about 10:30, only to start all over again just a few hours later.  It’s hard to be needed so much during the day.  I meet the needs of 170 students from 7:00 AM -2:30 PM and then come home to the demands of being a wife and mother.  As hard as it is and as tired as I am, I love my life, I love my job, and above all, I love my family!

Leaving for work last Monday was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I kept finding other things to do before I went upstairs to kiss my baby boy bye for the day, but eventually, I had to just do it.  I had picked up the living room & kitchen, made my lunch, put my stuff in the car, dug out pictures to put on my desk, etc…just trying to put off the inevitable.  When I finally trekked up the stairs, I found him bundled up and snuggled next to my mom on couch just as sweet as ever and I hugged her goodbye since she was leaving that afternoon before I would be home and then kissed my little angel goodbye for the day.  The tears were just a flowin’ as I walked back down the stairs and got in my car.  It was a hard day, but it was so wonderful to get home and get sweet little smiles from that bald headed cutie!

My classroom and my desk were a wreck when I got back on Monday, but thankfully I planned everything and went back on an in-service day, so I was able to clean up and reorganize everything before the kids came on Tuesday.  They seemed happy to have me back and from what I can tell, my sub was pretty much horrible.  My kids learned very little in the last 3 months and from what they’ve told me, he let them watch alot of YouTube videos.  Awesome…just awesome.  I’m glad they had 3 months of relaxation because now we’ve got twice as much work to do before the state rolls out the new standardized  End of Course exams in May.  Oh boy…

Coming home from work is definitely the highlight of my day.  I love the look on Parker’s face when he realizes that he hasn’t seen me all day and I’m finally there again…it’s just priceless!

Baby Clothes

Baby Clothes

***WARNING – Rant from a picky mother below***

I’m a very picky person about pretty much everything. I’ve realized in the last several months that I’m also excessively picky about baby stuff, especially clothes.  Cute boy clothes are so hard to find.  Just because he’s a boy doesn’t mean that every single thing he wears has to be sports related.  Ugh…It’s not that you can’t find cute stuff, but you have to look much harder than you do for cute girl clothes and the cute boy stuff is so much more expensive!  WHY?  Anyway…I feel so sorry for them and for their moms.  I’ve decided I’m going to be purchasing most of Parker’s clothes at TJ Maxx & Marshall’s where I get the expensive clothes for way lower prices than other stores.  TJ Maxx has the best selection of Ralph Lauren for babies and it’s dirt cheap!

I hate, absolutely loathe, ‘separates’ for babies.  I can’t stand putting pants on my little guy.  I will not put it on my child if it’s not a one piece outfit.  I just have this thing about them not wearing separates until they’re mobile.  I know, you can always do a onesie with pants and that will prevent the shirt from riding up, but like I said, I don’t like pants on babies…at least not on my baby…not yet.  I’m just not ok with making him look like a “little man”…he’s a baby and I want him to look like one as long as I can.  What happened to that “classic baby look”?  You know, the jon-jon’s (one piece outfits for boys) with the big buttons on the shoulders and monogram on the chest, or that adorable smocked apparel, and babies in those precious white shoes?  I should have had children many years ago, I guess!

I’m also annoyed with all the outfits that have to say something about mommy, daddy, or grandma.  We all know that our baby loves us, why do their clothes have to announce it?  Every once in awhile its cute, especially if its small & doesn’t take over the whole outfit… but the clothing manufacturers have gone a little overboard.  And don’t even get me started on ‘character’ clothing.  I’m ok with old fashioned Winnie the Pooh for some reason, but the rest of it really bothers me.  I know eventually we’ll have shoes or a tshirt or backpack with spiderman or mickey mouse & I’ll come to grips with it then, but not until he’s old enough to actually request something like that.

I know, I’m picky…I warned you.


***End of Rant***




The Manges household is just full of changes as of late.

Change #1
This particular change really started about 4 weeks ago when we started Parker on formula.  We started him on Similac Advance because the taste and smell is reportedly extremely close to that of breast milk.  He was on a mixture of breast milk and the Similac for about 2 weeks when he started having major upset tummy problems immediately after eating and lasting for a couple of hours.  This all happened when he and I were in Abilene visiting my parents…of course!  After a quick call to the Dr., we switched him to Similac Sensitive which has smaller proteins for sensitive tummies and things seemed to improve.  Everything seemed ok until Tuesday night.  A call to the Dr. on Wednesday morning landed us an appointment for later that morning and by the time we left, my sweet little man had been diagnosed with a severe milk allergy.  We left with a case of prescription formula, which I now affectionately refer to as “liquid gold” because it’s so darn expensive.  We’re working with our insurance company to see what (if anything) they’re willing to pay and should have an answer soon.  I was a little skeptical of the doctor’s diagnosis when we left, but after coming home and doing some research on milk allergies and the symptoms, my doubts began to disappear.  Then after feeding him the “liquid gold”, I’ve already started to notice a difference and all doubt has been erased from my mind.  Hopefully he outgrows this allergy in the coming months, but only time will tell.

I might have to get a 2nd job to pay for this stuff!

Change #2
Tuesday night we also decided it was time to move our little man to his crib upstairs.  I’m not going to lie…I’ve been dreading this transition.  I knew it was going to cause him to regress a little in terms of sleep patterns and I’ll be honest, I really liked having him in our room, close by in case something happened.  But, he had outgrown the sleeping arrangements we had made for him in our room, so it was time.  Tuesday night was the longest night of my life (at least in while).  I slept on the couch in the game room upstairs so I was near him and I think I got up 4 or 5 times.  He didn’t sleep very soundly at all and I heard every little thing on the monitor.  Last night was better…MUCH better.  I only got up twice last night, once to put his pacifier back in his mouth and then again to feed him.  I’m hoping we continue to improve as each night passes and hopefully now that we’ve figured out his allergy issue, maybe he’ll sleep more soundly since his tummy doesn’t hurt and he can breathe better.  I’ll probably camp out upstairs for a few more nights though ;).

He woke up so happy!

Change #3
I’ve been completely dreading this next change.  After 12 glorious weeks at home with my sweet angel, I have to return to work on Monday.  I’m trying my best not to think about it excessively, only enough to make sure I get lunch stuff at the grocery store and have picked up my clothes from the cleaners.  I’m ok with going back to work.  I like the routine it gives me.  I’m not ready to leave my little man though.  I’m going to miss him terribly during the day.  I’m so thankful that Jillie will be here with him…at least I don’t have to worry about leaving him in some strange daycare with strange people.  I just keep reminding myself that the spring semester always goes by very quickly and in 14 short weeks I’ll be back home with him on summer vacation!

And just because it’s adorable, here’s my sweet little man sound asleep on his daddy’s chest last night.

I mean, seriously…how cute is this?

1st Road Trip

1st Road Trip

Last Sunday, my mom was heading back home to Abilene after being in town for my cousin’s bridal shower.  Since I still had a couple of weeks off of work, Jillie, Parker, and I decided to go back to Abilene with her for a few days.  My dad and brother hadn’t seen Parker since Christmas, so it was exciting for them to get to spend some time with him.  I was a little nervous about the drive, but our little guy did really great!  We stopped about an hour shy of the halfway point to change and feed him and then got back on the road.  Unfortunately, we didn’t time things very well and by the time he was hungry again, we were literally in the middle of nowhere where there is not even so much as a gas station to pull over at, so we had to keep driving.  He pretty much fussed the whole last hour or so of the trip, so Jillie climbed in the backseat with him and kept shoving his pacifier in his mouth & promising him that we were almost there.  Poor guy…haha.  Little did he know we were just saying that to him!  We finally made it to the house and got the little man fed and got everything unloaded out of the car.

Unfortunately, my mom couldn’t take off the whole week, so Parker and I spent Monday with Chief (my dad).  We went up to his office to show him off to his secretary and officers that were on duty and then had lunch with my brother.  Since we’ve started PJM on formula, we’ve had a few tummy problems, so Monday was a bit of a rough day for both him and I.  After finally putting everything together, I realized that the formula was most likely the culprit and decided to switch him to one for sensitive tummies, which seems to be helping.  The rest of our trip went off without a hitch!  After we picked up Kappy (my mom) from school and Jillie from the Trammel’s house, we headed home for the afternoon.

it was cold, so we had to keep the little guy bundled up…he wasn’t totally thrilled about this.

My mom took off work on Tuesday and we enjoyed a very low key day.  We went out to lunch as a family at Hickory St. Cafe and had a good time with lots of laughs, as usual!  Wednesday was another day of hanging out with Chief and Christo.  We had lunch again and then Parker got to meet some of our family friends (Chris Riley-from Beaumont and also the Trammel girls-who Jillie used to nanny for).  Wednesday evening, one of my parents’ photographer friends came over and took some pictures of Parker and me and then that night we all stayed up late (including Parker!) and watched The Help before heading to bed so we could leave the next morning.  Parker slept all night Wednesday night which was wonderful since I had to drive home on Thursday morning.  We said our tearful goodbyes to Kappy as she left for school that morning and then Chief saw us  off before going in to the office a few hours late ;=).

The trip home was great!  We timed everything almost perfectly.  We stopped in Temple, which is halfway just about the time PJM woke up hungry.  We all got something to eat and got out of the car for a while and then hit the road again for the last 3 hours.  Other than our stop in Temple and a few minutes after that, the little man slept the whole way home!  He’s a great road trip baby!

We had a great visit to Abilene, but we were really glad to be back home!  It was nice to see Matt and for him to see Parker after 4 long days.  We’ve already got our next trip planned for this summer and we can’t wait to go back!

PJM’s first bath in the sink!

BIG stretches one morning after sleeping all swaddled up like a burrito!