The Geer Family
So the promising football season we are supposed to have has been clouded by the recent NCAA and academic investigations that are currently underway.  Regardless, we are diehard fans and are determined to support the team as much as we can.  This past Saturday was Meet the Heels and we go every year with Daniel, Rebecca and Austin.  This year we got to bring Chris and Chase too!  TJ & Austin had a great time as always and I enjoyed taking Chris on his first trip to Kenan Stadium.  He took some photos with the guys and took a very special one with Dwight Jones.  It was so special that he spit up all over him right as I snapped the camera!  We had talked with Dwight once before at Bojangles and I reminded him that he would now never forget our family since our infant had graced him with the remnants of my breast milk (I didn't say it like that of course!).  The players seemed to have high spirits and the crowd was better than we anticipated.  We leave this Friday for Atlanta to watch the Heels kick off the season against LSU in the Georgia Dome!
As Ed checked the message boards yesterday this was the first thing he saw....this kid gets to do everything and meet everyone, I swear!
So one week of work has come and gone and has proven to be very tiring but very exciting.  I think we have developed a schedule that will work for us and it consists of me getting up at 5am (yikes!) to feed the little guy.  I get him up even if he is still asleep.  Why one earth would I do that, you ask?  Well for the rest of the day to work, he has to eat that that time.  He usually doesn't even open his eyes and he eats for about 15-20 minutes before I put him back in his bed.  Then I take about 45 minutes to get myself ready and the car loaded.  Then I go back and get him out of his crib and transition him right to the carseat in his pajamas!  We make the 1 hour drive to grandmas in Chapel Hill and I drop him off.  Then I continue on about 25 more minutes to RTP for work and arrive at about 8:30.  He eats again at 9am, 1pm and 5pm while I pump at work at the exact same times.  This allows us to stay on that schedule (and me producing) throughout the weekend.  I pick him up around 6 and we head back to Greensboro, usually arriving at about 7pm.  I have about an hour to play with him and then we get ready for bed.  I put his pj's on, swaddle him and feed him one last time and he goes right to bed in his crib.  Then I get to work cleaning bottles and preparing to do it all over again.  Every night last week, I was asleep before 10pm.

Monday was obviously the hardest being the first time that I had left him.  I had tried to prepare myself as best I could, emotionally and it really helped that I was returing to work at a place I had been before.  I didn't have the typical nerves of starting a new job.  I knew how to get there, knew were the parking deck was, knew where the building was, knew where the department was located and knew 75% of the employees already.  So that was a relief that my only concern was dropping off Chris.  I did good and then when I handed him over to Grandma, he poked his bottom lip out (that rascal!).  He didn't cry but he had this look on his face like he knew that the days of us spending 24 hours together were over.  When he did that, the tears fell like waterfalls!  But I get myself together and headed out...after 1 day, he was accustomed to grandma & grandpas and is thoroughly enjoying his time there.  I believe they are really enjoying it too!
Chris is 4 months old today!  I can't believe that it has gone by so fast and that at this exact hour 4 months ago I was in my 3rd hour of pushing, trying so desperately to get the little guy out!  He is growing by leaps and bounds every day and is changing so quickly.  Here is a summary:

SLEEPING: He is still sleeping for about 7 hours straight right now, feeding and then sleeping for about 5 more hours.  He has had the occasional night where he is up every 4 hours to eat at regular time but for the most part he is almost making it through the night.  Because we have been on a "whatever we want to do" schedule, Chris goes to bed about 10pm so the first time he wakes up is at about 5am.  As of tomorrow, Chris will have to get up at 5am for me to get ready to go to work.  Once we get on a regular schedule I am thinking that he will be ready to go to bed much earlier than 10pm since he will be up and out of the house so early!

EATING: We are still nursing!  It is going very well.  As of tomorrow, Chris will be nursing once in the morning and once at night.  The other 3 feedings will be by bottle, hence I will be pumping 3 times a day at work.  I have pumped enough to have the first 3 bottles prepared for tomorrow.  We'll see how that goes.  I will have to find a place at work that will allow me 15 minutes of privacy to get it done!  Chris held his own bottle yesterday for the first time.  I'm not sure that he knew he was doing it but Ed put his hands on the bottle and he held it himself for the entire feeding.  I tried it again today but no luck.  We also attempted to feed him peaches and I am so upset that I didn't have the video camera on when we did that.  It was hilarious!!!  I was sure that he was going to love them but it was just the opposite.  We put just a touch of the peaches on the spoon and he refused to swallow them.  He didn't cry but he held his mouth open and his tongue out and he had this look on his face like "you guys must be crazy if you think I am eating this!"  We were laughing so hard.  So we shelved it for the night and tried it again today.  He would not swallow again but he got upset so he ended up swallowing it while he was crying...(after he spit some of it out on Ed's face, lol!)  We'll wait a few days and then try again...

PERSONALITY: The little guy LOVES to smile!  He will smile at almost anyone at anytime.  He has started to laugh a lot and mimics our faces.  He also really enjoys looking at himself in the mirror.  Everytime he looks at himself he starts smiling and laughing so hard!  I love it.  He is happiest in the morning when we get him out of his crib.

I am anxious about my first day of work tomorrow.  Mostly about leaving Chris for the first time.  I am sure I will shed some tears and will be counting the hours until I can leave to go pick him up but we will both be fine!  Here's to the next chapter of our lives...
Chris had his 4 month well visit today.  He will be 4 months old this coming Sunday.  I can't believe it!!  He weighed 13lbs 7.5oz, and is 24.5 inches long.  Dr. Davis said he looks good and is growing well.  Everything checked out great.  We can now begin to put some cereal in his milk and introduce some solids to him.  My little guy is growing so fast, right before my eyes!

We took him to Celebration Station this past weekend for the first time so TJ could play some video games.  The place was crawling with kids and teenagers playing games, riding bumper boats and go karts.  He had a great time people watching.  He was so interested in what everyone was doing.  So interested that he wore himself out and fell asleep with all of that loud noise!
One other note: I got a job!!!  A temporary one anyway.  I am going back to work for GlaxoSmithKline in a contractors position with  my old department that I worked for from 2001-2004.  I hope to be in this position for around 12-18 months.  I am so excited to get myself back in the workforce and finally bring home some money!  The only downside is that obviously it is in RTP so I will have a heck of a commute (plus a 5am alarm to get me there in time)!  But a job is a job and I am beyond willing to make the drive.  Chris will come with me everyday and I will drop him off in Chapel Hill at Ed's parents.  We are so fortunate to have them be able to help us so we can save on childcare costs (upwards of $1200/month for infants)!!!  I am a little nervous about getting myself back in to the routine of working, pumping while at work and having to give up all of the precious time I have had with Chris.  BUT, I am not the first momma to ever go back to work so we will be just fine!
A glance into a typical morning with Chris... love it!
This is from our trip to the beach the other weekend...
I just had to post this picture.  It was taken in the mid 80's when we still lived in Hampton, VA.  Laura and I walked to the mailbox daily to check the mail and a photographer for the newspaper happened to capture this shot.  It ran in the Daily Press one day with the caption, "She's Not Heavy, She's My Sister."  I remember when it ran in the paper and I have seen copies of it but it has been so long.  My mom's high school classmate found it and posted it to facebook... (Check out the attire! lol)
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the day that we said our "I Do's."  We celebrated the entire weekend and it began with Ed surprising me by taking off of work early on Friday and surprising me at the house with roses!  I was so shocked to see him and my first thought was that he decided to come home for lunch.  But when he told me he took the rest of the day off to spend it with me I was so happy!  Don't get me wrong, I love spending the days with Chris but having Ed there with us was so special!
We went to dinner Friday night with the kids.  TJ took off for the beach with his mom for the weekend on Saturday morning so we wanted to make sure that we got to celebrate with him since he was such a big part of the special day.  He still refers to it as "Our Wedding" when he talks about it.  Saturday we headed to Clayton for a family reunion with  my dad's side.  It was great to see everyone, especially since the last time we were all together was at our wedding.  Chris got to meet his great grandmother and his other cousins.  He also got to met his cousin Jaycie who is only 6 days younger than him!
Sunday morning we woke up exhausted from getting home from Clayton so late the night before.  I have been hitting the gym a lot lately and I just felt like my body weighed 500lbs so I asked Ed if we could play hooky from church.  He reluctantly agreed.  So to make up for it, I made him breakfast in bed.  Nothing extravagant because we didn't have too much food but we had cinnamon rolls and egg & cheese omlets.
After breakfast, Chris took a nap so we watched a movie.  Then my parents came over so we could head out for a night alone!  It was our first night to ourselves since Chris was born.  We went to eat at The Cutting Board in Burlington (it was great!) and then we went to see Inception.  The movie was good but super long!  When we got home, Nana & Grandpa Bob had fed the baby and put him down.  We watched our wedding DVD for the first time and I cried.  We had been saving it for this day.  Then we sampled a slice of the top layer of our wedding cake we had been freezing.  I must say, it wasn't bad at all!  I think just the thought that it had been in the freezer for a year grossed Ed out.  But he was a good sport and tried it.
This past year has flown by.  We have faced so much adversity & so many challenges with me losing my job & a new baby and so many other things but we have survived and are better for it.  We are so grateful for our families and friends and most of all for each other.  The day we got married was one of the best days of our lives and we look forward to all of the years to come.
Being able to nurse Chris has been really important to me since before he was born.  Ed and I attended 2 different breastfeeding classes while I was pregnant to try and prepare ourselves for the challenges that lie ahead.  We wanted to make sure we felt comfortable with the entire process and were aware of the difficulties that could take place.  Overall, we have been fortunate enough to have no challenges and breastfeeding has been wonderful. 

I was reading the latest issue of American Baby when I came across an interesting tidbit:

"A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh found that moms who nursed each of their kids for at least 3 months had a smaller waistline than those who didn't (2.6 inches on average) 19 years later!  'The belly is the least healthy place to store fat.  Excess fat in the midsection puts women at a higher risk for diabetes and heart diesase.'  No worries if you didn't breastfeed your first child.  Doing so the second time around can still make a difference."

For all of my girlfriends: breastfeeding can be a challenging but rewarding experience.  Don't be quick to give up on it.  There are so many benefits for both you and baby!!!

One other fact I found for anyone that is lucky enough to see my baby's cute little butt anytime soon:

"Blue birthmarks, called Mongolian Spots, are most common in darker-skinned babies.  They often appear as bruiselike spots on the backside of the body but are rarely permanent.  They fade as your baby gets a little older."
We headed down to the beach this weekend and had a great time with my mom and sister.  We arrived Friday night and went to bed not long after.  TJ was up with Nana early Saturday morning and after breakfast we headed out to the water.  Ed kayaked for the first time and is now thinking that he should train for the Olympics!!  Ed and I kayaked down to the cove and were able to just get away for a little bit by ourselves.  It was calm and quiet and we just cruised down the canal.  When we got back, I put TJ in my kayak and rode him around for a little bit.  He really enjoyed riding on the water!  We swam and rode bikes all while Nana and Auntie passed Chris around.  Then we kayaked some more up to the point.  There is an outdoor shower on the side of the house and I caught TJ feeling free as can be outdoors (if you know what I mean....).  We had a spaghetti dinner on the deck as the sun went down.  Man, I love the beach.