Mom Guilt

I feel like I am always feeling guilty for what I'm doing/not doing with Audrey.  I get newsletters in my inbox from BabyCenter informing me of milestones Audrey should be hitting based on her age.  Usually she's met about 20% of them.  Of course, they always throw in the obligatory "every baby is different" disclaimer at the end, but it never helps me from feeling like she's behind somehow.  I've had to learn to get over it.  Audrey's smart, mobile, and if she's not doing what BabyCenter says she should, she eventually will.  I have yet to meet a grown adult who couldn't walk because their mother didn't spend enough time engaging them to develop their motor skills.  So, eat it, BabyCenter.

My newest form of mom guilt is coming from the nursing realm of motherhood.  A week from Saturday, I will have a 9-month-old baby.  Time is just whizzing by.  As she gets older, she gets more interested in grown-up food.  This morning, Tony fed her some YoBaby yogurt for breakfast and she "pounded it" (his words).  When he brought her to me before he left for work (thanks for the extra 40 minutes of sleep, babe!) I prepared myself to nurse her, as per our usual routine.  Audrey wasn't the slightest bit interested.  Okay, I'll give her an hour since she recently pounded her yogurt.  9 a.m. rolls around and I realize she hasn't nursed since 3 a.m.  She's getting grumpy, so I try to nurse her.  She eats a bit and then gets distracted by the remote.  Despite removing all forms of distraction, she still refuses to nurse.  She rubs her eyes, and I put her down for her nap.

I started realizing that yesterday Audrey only nursed 4 times.  She usually goes 6-8.  She's been eating lots of solid foods lately and even when she does nurse she's always wanting more, so we'll give her some formula or some "grown-up food."  I researched weaning online to see if maybe she was showing signs of being ready.  I felt so guilty that Audrey wasn't interested in nursing today after reading articles and forums online!  I had always planned to begin weaning at a year, which is only three months away, but now I feel like a bad mom because I don't want to nurse Audrey until she's two!  I have my own personal reasons for wanting to stop at a year and I hate that so many mothers online try to make you feel like crap if you don't nurse as long as they plan to.

In the end, I know that I am doing the best I can for Audrey, and that I would never do anything that would put her health and well-being in jeopardy.  I clear everything I do with her pediatrician and she's been growing well, always well above the 80th percentile for her age in nearly every category.  I'm so lucky to have mom friends who are realistic and supportive and would never give me the side eye for weaning Audrey at a year, or for occasionally giving her a bottle of formula when she seems unsatisfied.  There's already enough to feel stressed about with a baby, so I'm done reading forums about weaning.  If Audrey is done nursing, she's done, and we'll do it her way.  Forcing her to continue would be stressful for both of us.  We'll just play it by ear and see what happens!  Luckily she has an appointment in two weeks so I can talk to her doctor about it.

For all you guilt-laden moms out there: you rock.  You rock so hard.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


Audrey Does Vegas

Last weekend my parents flew into Las Vegas and we met them down there for the weekend, which means we took a family road trip!  It was a little different this time around.  Last time we went Audrey was 3 months old and she slept most of the drive.  This time she was screeching and singing the entire drive, and one of us had to sit in the back with her to keep her occupied on our 4-hour drive.  It was fun, and Audrey liked having company in the back seat.

We started our journey Thursday night after Tony got home from work.  First things first, a dinner stop.

Audrey carefully studied the menu at the little diner we stopped at.  She loved that place!  I can't remember what she ate, but I'm sure it was something from my plate.

We got into St. George late (around 11) and pretty much went straight to bed.  We had a busy day ahead of us and had to make the drive to Vegas in the morning to meet my parents.  I was a little worried about taking Audrey to Las Vegas, but during the day on a week day it was actually quite enjoyable!  Not too many of the crazy people were out and it was warm there!  It was sunny and oh, so nice.  Audrey loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa Grey and immediately gave them big hugs.

Looking at the gardens in the Bellagio with Grandma

We stopped by the M&M World Store (I always forget how long it takes to get to that stinking store) and Audrey completely flipped her lid.  She seemed pretty interested when we first walked in, and then Tony showed her some stuffed M&Ms characters and she started squealing with excitement.  She kept squealing and "flapping her arms" every time she saw a new M&M guy.  It was hilarious!  We had to buy her a toy since she was overjoyed with them, and when Tony was standing in line with her everyone around was cracking up because she just kept kicking her legs, waving her arms, and squealing like a nut.  Tony and I both agree that it is our favorite Audrey memory to date.

Audrey with her new friend

Waiting for the fountain show to start at the Bellagio

Dancing to the music

Hold on tight, Grandpa!  She's a dancing fool!
We spent the rest of our weekend in St. George enjoying the warmer weather and being with my family.  Audrey got to spend some good time with her grandparents and we even got to go the movies on a date!  I was so glad that my parents liked Vegas and southern Utah.  My mom said she is addicted to Vegas, and my dad said she was going to make him move there, haha!  As long as we stay on the Bellagio side of the streeth, right mom and dad? ;)

Can't wait until we get to see them again!!

Makeshift Photoshoot

In an attempt to save some money, I did some research on how to try to take professional-looking pictures myself and tried it out.  I think I did a fairly decent job seeing as how I only had a point-and-shoot and a couple pieces of fabric for backdrops. :)

The fabric is kind of wrinkly and I couldn't get many smiles, but I did my best and they'll do! :)