Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So, almost 10 months into this motherhood thing, you would think it would have become old hat by now.... that I wouldn't still get an amazing thrill everytime I go to get Mack when he wakes up and he has that beaming smile for me. But, no, my heart still jumps with joy and every day I thank God over and over for our amazing little boy and the love we have for each other. I still don't mind those rare nights he wakes up and I have to go to him, because part of me enjoys getting to see him :-).

I can't believe God blessed us with a baby boy who is so perfect, so happy and just so fun - and beautiful! Do all babies smile every time you look at them? His disposition is just so wonderful. I am trying to treasure this time - it is so magical. I always find myself saying, oh I can't wait until this... And it's true, I anticipate all these things and this life that we get to live with him - but I don't want to focus on the future so that I don't fully appreciate, taste, smell, enjoy the present with him.

I just love, love, love to hold him close and breath him in. It is so wonderful. He does the cutest thing now....he puts his forehead to mine and just kind nuzzles our heads together - it is so endearing. He has such winning ways - and we can't even take any credit for it, that's just how he was born :-).

Oh, Mack, I love you so much and pray for wisdom and guidance to raise you such that you will live up to your full potential. You are such a special spirit. I know God intends amazing things for you and your life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sykes Christmas Card 2010

Most Wonderful Time Christmas Card
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Breaking News - or teeth!

Newsflash: Mack's 2nd tooth just broke through - wow! Amazing how baby books are right about everything - they do indeed come in twos :-).

Mack's First Tooth

So, Monday I felt Mack's gums while he was gnawing on my fingers as he likes to do and......... I felt a tooth that had broken through! I don't know why I think this is something to celebrate, but I do - yay!

It is his bottom tooth on the left. I can't see it, but I can definitely feel it. It is actually pretty hard to get a good look with a baby as they don't really just open up and say "ahhhhhh".

I feel a bit bad, because this weekend I actually left Mack with Andy quite a bit - Saturday night I went with some girlfriends to this awesome consignment sale and Sunday I had to go to church for volunteer training for the nursery. Well, Mack wasn't in the best of moods and I guess now we know why. Poor Andy said that he was screaming his head off. I might have a harder time getting Andy to keep Mack - oops!

Anyways, I love to see Mack getting bigger and getting teeth ...... but, it also makes me sad that he is growing up so quickly. I can't believe he is already 6 months old. I sure do love our stinker!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Sykes visit the Nation's Capital for the 4th

Can you tell I am catching up on blogging? So earlier this year (I think before we even had Mack) some of my college friends came up with the idea of getting together. I was pretty pumped about it because I had proposed something like that years ago as I had seen other friends of mine do it with their college friends and it had really helped them to keep in touch. But as with every friend group, there were several hold-outs and those finally got their gums in gear as most of us are married - and really, after weddings , what reasons do you have to get together with old friends unless you make a reason?

So, we all agreed to get together in DC over the 4th of July. Two of the group live in the D.C. area and another lives in NYC and three of us are in Texas (although one of the Texans couldn't make it anyways due to work).

So this was Mack's first airplane trip (see picture)! He did so well. He was really a pretty great baby and whenever he would get fussy, I would just feed him :-). Of course, I also realized another negative no one ever tells you about parenthood - say 'goodbye' to pleasure reading on a plane for the next 4 or 5 years :-). Small price to pay for such joy, eh?

In any case, it was so much fun to see everyone and to see the D.C. area over our nation's birthday. We spent the first day on the National Mall. We went to the spy museum which we have been wanting to do for quite a while and it was really good (top pic). It is private so it cost money, but it was worth it. We also visited the Air and Space museum which was great (and free!). We spent the actual 4th in Annapolis which was great. We saw the Navy band play, there was a parade, great fireworks and just a really cute town.

All in all, Mack's first airplane trip was very much a success. And it sounds like we are going to do something like this with my college friends a bit more frequently and so we are pretty doggone excited :-). I really love my college friends and love seeing them and catching up!

Yay for Addison

It's funny how having a child gets you more involved in the neighborhood. Before Mack, Andy and I worked and slept - with some hanging out sprinkled in there somewhere. We are both such workaholics, it just felt like we didn't have much time left over for other activities (although we did pretty consistently run or work out). But as a result we didn't do much as far as neighborhood activity.

But having a kid has made me realize how much is offered. We already knew our neighborhood Athletic Club was awesome. Basically any Addison resident gets a lifetime membership for a one time $10 payment as long as you live in Addison. And it is nice - not junky like most neighborhood/apartment things. Great equipment, really well maintained, friendly staff who know your name - really really great.

But it gets better! They have a nursery where you can bring your 3 month to 8 year old while you work out. It is great. It is a small nursery with one woman so it feels more neighborly than institution. They only take 2 infants under 12 months at a time so you do have to make a reservation, but it is SO great. You get 2 hours - 2 hours! - to work out sans baby. It's also fun b/c you run into the other moms who are there working out and dropping off their baby. Through that I have discovered there is an Addison mom's group, but I haven't been able to make the play date yet b/c they are on Friday and I always seem to have some rental business or we are going out of town or something else happening on Friday :-).

We also have discovered all these neighborhood events/offerings we never realized existed before. Like every Thursday night in the summer there is hot dog night at the pool. For $2, you get a meal (including hot dog, chips and strawberries - but just 5 as we discovered when Andy loaded his plate up with like 20 :-)) and get to hang out by the pool. It is really pretty fun as the pool is pretty hopping with families bustling around. Like with most kid stuff, Mack is too young to really enjoy it, but we do :-).
I don't really know how we were so unaware of all this stuff - it's like our heads are finally lifted out of the sand :-).

Time for momma to get some ZzzzZzzzz's

I don't know if I am pushing my luck by posting this, but Mack has slept from 8 to 8 for 5 days in a row now! Yes, that is 12 hours a night.

Did you know that when people talk about a baby sleeping through the night, that technically only means they sleep 6 or more hours in a row? I don't know about you, but that is not sleeping through the night for me. So sure, Mack did start doing that around 7 or 8 weeks. And I'm not complaining - after 3 or fewer hour stretches being the longest amount of sleep I had had before then - 6 hours was feeling pretty great. And supposedly there are moms and babies out there for whom even that doesn't happen (although all the moms I talked to seemed to have babies sleeping through the night at 4 weeks). But honestly, it just made me greedier for more sleep :-). I'm such an ingrate ;-).

Mack is such a joy when people ask me about him, I am quick to respond that he is an easy baby. But I think I just had low expectations and so all my expectations have been surpassed :-). Don't you find that is the trick to happiness? To not expect much and then everything comes out so much better than you imagined? Because as I think about his sleeping, he really hasn't been that easy. I think just because he wasn't up all night screaming, I was thinking I have it pretty good!

Mack hasn't been the most consistent sleeper. When I put him down for bed at 10, he would sleep until 4 - which is good. But eventually you like to get some couple time alone and try for the earlier - say 7:30 or 8:00 pm - bedtime. So then he was waking up at like 1 or 2 am- which for me was only 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Then I would feed, he would wake at 6, feed again, sleep and wake sometime b/t 7:30 and 8:30. Sure he would start to skip the 1 am feeding for a couple of nights, but then all of a sudden he would start waking up again - and there was still the 5/6 am feeding - blech!

In any case, I am praying that this is the new norm and I might start to get a caught up on the sleep debt I have racked up over the last 5 months.

That's another thing I learned about sleep. Without it, I am an idiot. Literally when I talk, I think one thing and say another. I probably don't make sense to anyone. I don't remember anything. I make the stupidest mistakes. I bang my head into everything. I feel like I am a zombie when out with other people and none of my dazzling personality is left ;-). I ramble on in blog posts without correcting run-on sentences... You get the picture.

But it is also amazing how your body adjusts to little sleep and you can still operate without it. I still feel really tired, so lets hope that's just because my body has had the taste of sleep and wants more... and not because I have something like cancer.

I also have to brag on Andy that over the past 5 months he would always get up with Mack on Saturdays and let me sleep after I fed him. Those Saturday mornings really kept me going, honey! I love you :-). (Of course, I would wake up to see Mack wide awake but still swaddled in his swing. Or after I explained to Andy you should unswaddle the baby after he was awake, I would find Mack in the swing about to fall out b/c he wasn't buckled in, but you know, daddies have a learning curve too :-).) And I have to confess that despite my lack of sleep, I still never napped - that whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" never really worked for me - I am just not a napper and can only sleep at night. And I also never went to bed at 8 with the baby which would have seemed to be the logical thing to do. I think you crave (I apologize in advance b/c I really hate this expression) "me" time where you can read a book, watch a show or do whatever you feel like doing sans baby... So some of the lack of sleep was/is self induced. Poor Mack can't take all the blame!

5 months already?

So our big boy is 5 months old now - how did that happen? Time really does fly :-). At 4 months it felt like Mack came into his own. He started showing so much personality, showing preferences, and just all around became so much fun. Sure he was cute, cuddly and fun before. But at 4 months his personality just started shining through. At 3 months he stopped being such a blob, but I really think I entered baby nirvana with month 4.

This is a picture of us at the grocery store. Mack was in a great mood and playing with his feet and throwing his hands up in delight when he would catch the smile of another shopper. He LOVES people. He looks at everyone hoping to catch their eye and get a smile. He loves to smile and look away all bashful. He's a ham :-).

He is such a fun baby I can't stand it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mack's Birth Story

In case you haven't heard, we welcomed a new addition to our family on February 18th, 2010. His name is Mack Warren Sykes and he joined us at 8:58 am weighing 8 lbs, 2 oz and measuring 20 inches long.

We had gone to bed on Tuesday, Feb 16th, but I couldn't really sleep, so I stayed up and finished a book I had been reading. Around 3 am, I started having mild contractions that were pretty consistent at 7 minutes apart around 1 minute in length. Around 5 am, I told Andy that I thought we were going to have the baby that day which by this time was Wednesday. We called the grandma's and let them know and Andy called into work letting them know we thought we were going to have the baby.

The rule you are told by the hospital is to not come into the hospital until you are having contractions 5 minutes apart for 1 minute in length for at least one hour. So I was timing contractions waiting for them to get a bit closer. That said, as soon as we called anyone telling them we thought we were about to have the baby, my contractions started going all over the place - from every 7 minutes to every 15-20 minutes.

I was a bit disappointed and didn't know what to think of it. The contractions really hurt, so I didn't think it was false labor, but it definitely wasn't progressing like we had read and been taught in our birthing classes. Andy suggested we go for a walk around the pond by our house so we did. So we would walk and every 15 minutes or so, I would need to stop for a bit when I had a contraction. And it didn't really seem to be helping move things along.

I called my sister and she said that she had random contractions for a long time before actually going into labor - which really bummed me out. I was not into having contractions for days before going into labor. And a friend from MBA school told me that she had labor like what I was going through for 3 days before she actually had her daughter! At this point, I was freaking out. I mean, I felt like I was finally about to be done with this pregnancy thing and was going to meet Mack and then - Suprise! - I was going to have several days of painful contractions before the real party was going to start. Uggh. I was very upset. And felt tricked - no one had told me this was a possibility.

I also had a hair appointment that day for haircut and highlights. I was trying to get everything out of the way before the baby arrived. So I figured, that was the one positive of my contractions not being consistent and getting closer together - I could still make my appointment! So I went to the hairdresser, and told her I just wanted the cut since I was worried that something might happen (like my water breaking) if I did something that would take as long as highlights. I told the hair dresser that I was having contractions and asked her if she was okay with giving me a haircut even so. She was, but now I think she was probably a little nervous as my haircut is actually pretty awful - bummer. Oh well!

In any case, Andy was so sweet. I told him he could go to work since it didn't look like I was going to be going to the hospital anytime soon, but he stayed with me all day and just helped me as I had contractions. I continued to have contractions, but not close or consistent enough to warrant going into the hospital - but I have to say, they hurt, badly!

So that night, nothing different happened - contractions kept coming every 15-20 minutes. So we tried to go to bed. Andy fell right to sleep, but I hurt so I lay there awake. I would move around when I had contractions trying the different positions they taught us in birthing class. When I started having a contraction around 11:30, it was a really big one, and so I got on my hands and knees in bed... And, all of a sudden I felt a gush of water - my water had broken. I was so happy b/c it meant the end was near - I could imagine nothing worse than not knowing whether you would be in this sporadic labor for days on end.

We called my Dr's office and they told us to hurry and get into the hopsital when we told them I had been having contractions all day. So we did. I took a shower to wash off and so did Andy, but contractions were really coming quickly then and without the amniotic sac to cushion them, they were killing me.

So we drove to the hospital and checked in right after midnight. Contractions were out of control and I could not function at all when one would come. Our nurse directed us to a room and when we got there, there was no bed. So she was like - okay, let's go to this other room which was all the way down the hall. I was like - ohmigosh, there is no way I can make it to the end of that hall and at that same time, a major contraction came and I started crying.

Finally we got to the room and they checked me and I was 5 cm dilated which made me feel great b/c I was like - yay, I am progressing and he is almost here. I was in a lot of pain so I asked for an epidural right away. I had a great nurse who made it happen quickly. She was like - well all your paperwork has to be progressed first and you have to be in the system, but let me see what I can do to make sure that happens. Since we were there during the night, apparently it takes a while to get your paperwork into the system. She made it happen, though, and I was able to get an epidural what seemed really quickly. After I had the epidural, I was euphoric - to have been in pain for all that time and finally have it go away was heavenly. I was estactic. I could still feel the contractions, but not the pain associated with them.

They checked me again and I was 6 cm in less than an hour so I was very happy.

At that point, they had me lay on my side, though, and with the epidural the contractions really slowed down. I think they were trying to make them slow down so the doctor wouldn't have to come in the middle of the night. I actually kinda drifted in and out of sleep for an hour or two.

Andy, throughout all of this, had a stomach flu and was in the bathroom pretty much every 10 minutes. Poor, Andy. So he was passed out on the couch when he wasn't in the bathroom. I sat there awake in the dark for pretty much the night. The nurses kept coming in and checking in on me - they were measuring my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. I kept an eye on it and could tell the contractions had leveled off.

The nurse came back in and said, let's try a different position to get these contractions going again and I told them I was okay with sitting up since in that position the contractions seemed to really progress. So, they sat me up and they got going again. I started dilating more - and I was happy.

Around 8 am, the doctor actually came in and checked me and they could tell that I was basically ready to have the baby. I was feeling a lot and so the nurse had them put more in the epidural and I am glad they did. I think it would have been pretty painful if they hadn't.

So, it came to the point where they told me to push and so I did. That went on for a while and the Dr. kept asking me - how big did your doctor say this baby was going to be - I kept telling her 8.25 lbs and she seemed to think he was really big. Apparently, even though Mack was heads down, he wasn't the ideal position to come out and the broadest part of his head was having to come through. I was really stressed at this point, because the doctor kept seeming nervous that his head was going to be too big for him to come out and I know that they are pretty quick to opt for Cesarean whenever they think there is a problem. Because of that, I put everything I had into pushing. There was no way I was going to have gone through this labor to end up with a C-section in the end!

While I was pushing, they could see Mack moving his head back and forth trying to get through - isn't that funny? He does that now, when I put shirts on him, and it makes me think of him being born every time!

Because he wasn't coming out, they had me switch to another position on my side to push to try and get him to turn the right way. That did the trick. It didn't take long and Mack made his appearance.

He was so beautiful right away. I was really surprised - the doctor even said so. It was amazing and so wonderful to see our beautiful and healthy baby boy. He did great on the Apgar tests - had beautiful color and did a good job of crying. It took them a while to clean him up - I got a bit impatient, but didn't say anything - but I couldn't see him well from the bed and I wanted to see our little boy!

Finally, they gave him to me and he was SO beautiful. He fed so great right away - it's amazing how they know how to do that instinctively.

We really had such amazing labor and delivery nurses who made the experience so much easier and enjoyable. I am actually in awe of them and the job they do. I can't imagine the experience without them there. Andy was really great the entire time - especially considering how badly he felt.

Honestly, I am in awe of the miracle of birth and the blessings the Lord has bestowed on us with giving us Mack. He is so perfect and beautiful. We feel so grateful!