Last week started with John Luke going to a photo shoot for a local ministry called the ‘Diaper Ministry’.  Their mission is to provide diapers for children in need, and resources for the parents who can’t afford them.  Sort of like a diaper bank.  They held a photo contest for the next face of the ministry.  The ad read “Diaper Call!  Calling all diapers!! The Diaper Ministry is looking for their next face…maybe bottom.”

For your child to be eligible, you were to bring a bag of diapers and/or donation.  A local photographer was to snap a few photos, then give you free digital downloads that you could have printed.  If your child was chosen, you signed a release for your child’s photo to be used on all print ads and/or digital media the company uses for marketing purposes.  The age range included newborns to a year old.

John Luke was a cute little shutterbug. However, he didn’t win the photo contest.  He’s still the cutest baby in my eyes (ever was and ever will be)!  But, let me tell you- there was some stiff competition.  And!  I only saw the two babies being photographed ahead of us; and the baby that went directly after John Luke.  I have not received the digital downloads yet; but I can’t wait to see them.  If I get copyright permission, I will post the pics here.

The week ended with John Luke going to the pediatrician.  He’s been pulling at his ears constantly, and has been unusually fussy.  He’s typically a very happy baby; unless over tired, or over hungry (aren’t we all)!  He started shaking his head from side to side.  I couldn’t tell if his teething pain was starting to increase, or if he was developing an inner ear problem.  He’s also been waking up around 5 AM fussy; his usual wake up/feeding time is 6:30 AM.

His pediatrician said his ears were clear.  Pulling on them was a secondary aspect of the teething.  That the muscles of the jaw are connected to the ear.  The pain teething causes in the jaw can transfer to the ear canal.  Babies will pull on their ears to try to eliminate the pain.  We have been giving John Luke children’s Tylenol; but Dr. Adams recommended Advil.  He said it lasted 6-8 hours, whereas, the Tylenol last up to four hrs.  He is sleeping again until 6:30 AM.

We wanted to rule out an inner ear infection, before taking John Luke to the pool.  With a clean bill of health, and a new life jacket, he went swimming this weekend for the first time.

He may not have one the diaper contest; but he’d have my vote on the cutest baby in a life vest ANYDAY!!




I was on the road again this weekend.  I went to my mom’s house to see my step-sister Dari and her husband Rob.  They were home from Birmingham, and I wanted them to meet John Luke.  Six months is such a fun age.  She couldn’t wait to get her hands on him!

Josh had to take some online continuing education courses to renew his Nurse Anesthetists license.  He also had to work on Sunday, his first Father’s Day, blah!  I wanted to get away for the weekend, so Josh could concentrate on his studies without distractions.

Dari and Rob nicknamed John Luke “Mr. Smiley”.  They commented they’d never seen such a happy baby.  We are incredibly blessed John Luke has such a good temperament.  Although, as Josh would say, I don’t give him a reason to fuss about anything.  Just being pro-active is what I say!  That’s why his other nickname is “The Boss”.

Dari and Rob married two years ago.  They just finished building their first house, and are hoping to start a family of their own in the next year.  They had fun playing with John Luke, although, I couldn’t talk them into taking the night shift.  I tried to convince them it would be good practice. 🙂

I had a very restless night.  A pack-n-play is one thing I’ll never again leave home without!  At least until John Luke is older.  To avoid having to load and unload the pack-n-play, I thought he could co-sleep with me.

I decided we’d sleep on the fold out couch rather than sleeping in the guest bedroom.  The bed sits lower.  He wouldn’t have as far to fall if he rolled off the bed (even with the many pillows surrounding him).  Also, the bed was wider.  There was more room in case I turned over.

I had been lying there with one eye opened practically every move he made unable to sleep.  I was nervous about the mattress, nervous he might roll off, everything nervous.  The sheet was not fitted.  I noticed every time he or I moved, the sheet kept getting loose and moving partially over his face.  So, off with the sheet!  Luckily, I was able to remove the sheet (like a Houdini) without waking him up.

But then!  I noticed he kept moving his head from side to side.  Upon closer inspection, it looked like his face was sinking into the mattress just slightly.  I looked even closer.  He had a nostril free, his mouth was uncovered, and I could hear him breathing-but, it seemed as if his breathing was getting heavier.  I couldn’t tell if he was just getting hot, lying directly on the sheet less mattress, or was having trouble breathing.  I kept feeling his back for palpitations.

I would roll him on his back, only for him to roll back on his stomach.  John Luke folded his arms under his face.  Then put his head down, back up, and back down again almost in frustration.  That was enough for me.  Deciding I couldn’t sleep like a Cyclops:  And! I wouldn’t be able to sleep without knowing he could breathe comfortably, I scooped him up, and we went to guest bedroom.

The mattress, although smaller and higher off the ground, was firmer.  I put him on his back, and within minutes, he had rolled onto his stomach, with his face to the side, flat against the mattress.  His face did not sink in, as it had in the other bed.  Deciding this mattress was as firm as his crib mattress, I placed pillows around him and we both slept like a baby.  Until 6:30 am.

All in all, it was a great weekend.  We said goodbye to Dari and Rob and then headed home to meet Josh at a local Mexican restaurant for a Father’s Day dinner after he got off work.



This week was all about family.  My mom came for a visit from Sunday to Thursday. Then, on Friday morning we left for Alabama to visit with Josh’s family for the weekend.

We had a good visit with my mom.  She loves to cook and prepared all of the meals while staying with us.  One evening she cooked a shrimp boil.  She put red potatoes, onions, corn on the cobb, and jumbo shrimp in a large pot with crab boil; then served it with a side of homemade cocktail sauce.  It was so delicious, and reminded me of when she would make this dish for me and my brother when we were kids.

We also had a good visit with Josh’s family.  We arrived around 6pm Friday evening. Josh’s mom had also prepared a delicious dinner for us.  We got to visit and catch up around the dinner table.  Saturday morning, we went to see Josh’s great Aunt: Aunt Carol.  John Luke’s great great Aunt.  She is 92 years old and is in extended care at the nursing home.  She still continues to amaze me.  Aunt Carol was so alert and spry, she commented several times on John Luke’s smile, and what a big boy he is to be 6 months old.

That afternoon Josh’s brother, his wife and their four kids, came over for a cookout.  We grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, and Josh’s dad made us homemade peach ice-cream.   Sunday was Josh’s birthday, so we celebrated early, and Josh’s mom made his favorite.  A sour cream poundcake.

They have a longstanding gag gift that gets passed to a different family member every couple of years (either at birthdays or on Christmas), and Josh got it this year.  It is a Jimmy’s Heating and Cooling Jacket.  There is a story behind re-gifting the jacket which is a family joke.

The kids marched with musical instruments: a drum, cymbals, and a tambourine.  They also sang the Star Spangled Banner, My Country Tis of Thee, and sited the Pledge of Allegiance; led by Josh’s mom who is a retired music teacher.  They also made up a song, and put on a show for us called “About Beach”.

It was a good visit, I just wish we all lived closer, and could see each other more often.  We plan to go back in August for a five day visit, with more extended family.  It’ll be here before you now it, but I already can’t wait.



During my six years of infertility, I had packed on about twenty-five pounds.  Much of the weight gain was from emotional eating, craving something I didn’t have.  That something was a child.  That something was a family to call my own.  I’d love to chalk it up to being on infertility drugs for so many years.  Some of that is true.  But, if I am honest with myself, much of the weight gain was due to poor choices. 


Yes, the emotional roller coaster of infertility (and the hormonal effects of the drugs) did contribute to the weight gain, but let’s keep it real.  I craved comfort foods.  And, comfort I would find.  Temporarily.  I think I was under a false sense of security, too, because I walked everyday.  “I’ll just walk this one off.”  I would tell myself.


It happens slowly.  Weight gain.  A pound here, a pound there.  You don’t notice as much, when you put it on a little at a time.  There was a void in my life that could not be filled.  Sometimes sweets and good cooking were substitutes for those lonely places.  Loneliness from times, such as being at a cookout where everyone would have their little ones, and me and Josh would be the only childless couple there. 


I actually lost weight during pregnancy.  Having gestational diabetes forced me to be conscientious about my diet, for the health of the baby.  I limited sweets and carbs, and incorporated more protein and fiber into each meal.  Also, I didn’t have much of an an appetite while pregnant.  I felt so full from the baby pushing on my belly, I would eat smaller meals.  To keep my bloodsugar from dropping, I’d eat a protein bar, nuts, or wheat crackers as in-between meal snacks.


My friend commented, I was the only girl she knew that looked like they had just done a P90X video, after having a baby.  (I love that friend , I think I will keep her)!  I was ALMOST as skinny after giving birth, as I had been in college.  But since the birth, I have started to put some of the weight back on slowly.  A little at a time.  So, I have to be careful to keep it off, this time for good. 


Now that I have John Luke, the void is gone.   And so is the diabties.  I still walk almost everyday, but I am adding in zumba classes and strength training with weights.  Josh and I have been cooking healthier meals for dinner, eating earlier, and cutting our portions. 


I have many new reasons to keep the weight off.  The best motivation is this precious little boy that I want to be able to keep up with.  I will be 52 when he is 10.  (Not that I am complaining, just sayin…:) 


I want to play ball with him, and run around, and play chase with him.  I have so much to live for, so many reasons to stay healthy, and so much joy!