Friday, April 27, 2012

'Mommy And Me' Mornings

Mornings are one of my favorite times to spend with Amelia. I love picking her up out of her crib and having her cries stop instantly; I love seeing her stretch out of her swaddle, arched back and arms lifted high; I love our sweet cuddle time and kisses on her chubby cheeks; I absolutely love seeing my big girl in her nightgown with her little feet peeking out of the bottom. We spend our mornings being lazy and lounging around in our pajamas, until it gets a little closer for us to get ready for daycare, which is usually about an hour or so.

Amelia is so bright-eyed in the morning and she loves sitting in her chair so this is a great time for me to take some pictures of her, get ready, eat breakfast and get her bags packed for school. She's really doing good at entertaining herself, especially when she is sitting up and able to look around.
After the morning 'to-do list' is completed, then we spend some time talking and playing. Usually during this time Amelia is starting to get hungry. I don't like to send her to school hungry so I like to feed her right before we leave. Since I don't see her throughout the day, I love being able to nurse her before taking her to school. Nursing is something that I didn't think I would enjoy, but it's such a special bonding moment...I love it!


After she eats, she gets ready for her big day. Once she is dressed for school, we usually have a fashion show, which results in a crazy amount of pictures being taken. She sits up on the couch like a big girl and I think she has finally figured out that if she smiles at me then I'll get the camera out of her face much faster than if she watches TV and doesn't look at me!

As crazy and hectic as some mornings can get, I love having girl time with my sweet little lady. She makes each day start off pretty amazing!

Anniversary Celebration, Taco Bell Style!

Jason is in the OR all this month and his schedule has been pretty unpredictable. Somedays his schedule says he'll be off at 5:00pm and he doesn't walk in the door until 8:00pm.
Last night, we planned on going to dinner to celebrate our anniversary but at 4:45pm, I got a phone call. Usually when Jason calls me it means he's off work and heading home but last night that wasn't the case. He had an unexpected case and wouldn't be home as early as we had hoped.
I grabbed Amelia from daycare and planned on an evening without Jason. Well, as we were pulling into the driveway, Jason called. Someone was able to come in and switch him out...awesome news! I love when Jason is home in the evenings to hang out with us and spend time with Amelia. Since we didn't go to dinner, he walked in the door with dinner, Taco Bell. Most people would have been upset with Taco Bell for an anniversary dinner but it was perfect! We made sure to unwrap the tacos, light some candles and drink out of fancy glasses. Gotta make the best out of the situation, right?!
The funniest part about the Taco Bell for dinner is they got our order wrong. They added lettuce, tomato and onions to everything, which wasn't correct, he didn't get the drink and they shorted us a taco. He decided to call Taco Bell and complain. He starts out by saying, "I just came through there and our order is wrong." The manager says she is sorry and he says, "Well, it's our anniversary dinner and our food isn't how we ordered it and we are missing some things." The manager apologized again and proceeded to give us a credit for a whole new meal for the next time we visit Taco Bell. I'm not sure she wanted to give us a credit but when someone gets their food order wrong on their ANNIVERSARY, she gave in.
I'm sure the manager was thinking Taco Bell for dinner?!  Wow, what an anniversary. Haha!
Gotta love our life...some stories I couldn't make up if I tried! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4 Year Anniversary

Four years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. I didn't think it was possible to love him any deeper or stronger than the day that I said 'I Do' but with each passing year, I surprise myself.
Our wedding day was one of the best days of my life...we were so young, so carefree and so in love. We didn't care where the wind blowed us, as long as we were together, then we would make it work.
The past four years, God has had us all over the world and now that I'm taking the time to stop and look back on all of the experiences, I'm amazed! We've gone through some major things that have made us stronger as a couple!
We've been so blessed in the past years, and are continuously being blessed that I'm not sure it can get much better!

Four years ago we were living on the island of St. Maarten
  •  We got married during a break between semesters 2 and 3 of Jason's medical school and we rushed back to the island for the start of third semester only three days later. We were so fortunate to be able to spend our first married year on a tropical island, away from family and fully reliant on each other. We grew so much as a couple and as individuals during this journey and we wouldn't change that experience for anything.
Three years ago we were living on the island of St. Maarten but packing to move back stateside
  • We were anxiously and nervously packing up everything we owned into four suitcases for our move back to Missouri. Jason was nearing the end of medical school and we were heading on to the next chapter, clinicals. We knew we wouldn't be able to stay in Missouri for clinicals so we knew we would have to rely on each other to get us through. We found out we were moving to California...our bags didn't even get unpacked before we made the drive across the country to our new home.
Two years ago we were living in Bakersfield, California
  • Clinicals gave us a pretty good image of how the next few years were going to look. Long hours, annoying beeps from the pager at all hours of the day and unexpected issues. We learned how to balance work, exams and our marriage through clinicals. As busy as our lives were, we always managed to find ways to make each other feel special and loved. We knew this chapter was just a phase and we would soon be finished with medical school and on to the next chapter.
One year ago we were living in England
  • Even though our 6 weeks in England was for Jason's last rotation in clinicals and the last six weeks of medical school, we made sure to live in the moment and enjoy!  School came first but when he wasn't in lecture or in the hospital, we were out and soaking up as much of England as we possibly could. We spent our anniversary month exploring different cities throughout England, Scotland and Wales. This was such an amazing time for us!  Once again we had to fully rely on each other!
Today we are living in Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • We moved to Pennsylvania for residency, started a new chapter in our lives and finally startedfeeling like we reached adulthood. This year is a super special anniversary because it's the first anniversary that we are parents. Seeing Jason kiss and love on Amelia makes my heart swell with love...I have a pretty amazing husband and Amelia has an awesome daddy. We are balancing out our hectic and crazy lives so that we can focus on making our marriage better each day, in addition to being parents. We want to be a great example for Amelia and our future children of what we hope they experience when they get older, find love and get married.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ragamuffin Girl

What happened to all of our nice, 80 degree weather?!  Yesterday it decided to get cold...like 37 degrees cold!  Not only was yesterday cold but it was my first day back in the office and it was Amelia's first day at the sitters. I had Amelia all bundled up in a warm, long-sleeved outfit when I dropped her off but she decided she didn't like her warm outfit and decided to get a leaky diaper, which resulted in an outfit change. Well when I packed and dropped off her extra clothes, the weather was beautiful and in the 80s. I had packed some cute shorts, some extra onesies and some little bloomers....no warm clothes were in the bag.
When Amelia got picked up yesterday by her daddy, she looked like a little ragamuffin. The poor girl had on a sleeveless summer outfit with a onesie under it that didn't match. No pants, no socks and no long sleeves. I should have taken a picture but I was too embarrassed. Why didn't I pack her something else? Something more versatile? Something more warm?
I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor when he walked into the house with her. She looked so pitiful and so underdressed. Poor girl. I'm sure her babysitter was thinking, "First time mom...totally unprepared...poor kid".
I immediately wanted to change her into something warmer, something that matched and something that looked adorable on my girl. Jason talked me out of it because bath time was right around the corner and he didn't want me to dirty another outfit. Well instead of changing her, I went and packed her bag for today. Plenty of options were added to her bag...socks, pants, shorts and onesies in multiple colors.
I'm new at the mom business and I forget things, I actually forget a lot of things, and this made me realize that I'm still learning.
I made sure to explain to Ms. B this morning why Amelia didn't have warm options in her bag and how I would try and do better. She didn't act like it was a big deal but I wanted her to know that I was a good mom, that Amelia has some adorable outfits hanging in her closet and that I would try and do better at packing her clothes for school.

Even though Amelia looked like a ragamuffin yesterday, her daddy said she was the cutest little ragamuffin he had ever seen. I guess she doesn't need an adorable outfit, or even a matching outfit at that, for her to steal her daddy's heart.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monthly Milestones--Month 2

Amelia,
Today is your 2 month birthday...yay! Today is also the first day that you've gone to daycare..boo! I feel like I'm loving you more and more each day. It's crazy how much we love you!  You're showered in kisses all the time from your daddy and me and sometimes even your brothers!

You're still such a big eater...those thighs get a little chunkier with each passing day. You're eating 4 ounces every 3-4 hours. Usually mommy feeds you on the 'boo boos' and then you get the bottle. It's still hard for mommy to figure out how much you've had to eat when you don't eat out of a bottle so I like to offer the bottle to you. Now that I'm back at work, you won't get the 'boo boos' during the day but I'll be sure to keep that precious bonding time part of our bedtime routine.

You're in size 1 diapers--Huggies to be exact. We used up all your Pampers and then switched and you've had less blowouts with the Huggies. I think the stretchy band on the backside of the diaper really helps keep it all in. Mommy even tried to get cheap last week and buy Target diapers...after a handful of diapers, I realized why Huggies are so expensive. The Target diapers didn't absorb at all and every diaper change turned into a huge mess!

Right now you are wearing size 0-3months clothes but some of the one piece, long pajamas are getting too short in the arms and in the legs. You've gotten to wear a few 3 month outfits because the weather took a turn for the cold again and you didn't have too many 0-3 month warm outfits so we had to improvise. You still hate getting dressed for bedtime and for daycare. I try to get you dressed as fast as I can because I know how annoyed you get.

You are such a good sleeper!  You've gotten into a pretty good schedule and I hope that it only continues getting better. Right now, you are in bed by 7 or 8pm and you get up for a 2am feeding and then you are up for the day at 6am. Some nights are better than others but this has been your schedule for the past week or two. This past Saturday you slept until 3:45am and I was a nervous wreck. I woke up freaking out because you didn't wake for your normal 2am feeding. I couldn't rest, even though I was exhausted, so I stared at the monitor until you woke up. Nap time is getting better too!  You take a morning nap and an evening nap that are pretty good and then you have a few catnaps in between. I'm hoping that you are a good sleeper at daycare with all the other kids.

You've been such a trooper when mommy and daddy drag you to restaurants, take you to church, go on weekend picnics, walk through the Hershey factory and just get out of the house for some fresh air. You love rides in the car and you love evening stroller rides. You used to fall asleep during our evening walks but now you fight to stay awake and look at the scenery for the first little bit.

At your two month check up your stats were the following: weight 11.5 pounds (56%), height 22.6 inches (72%), 39.1 centimenters (47%).

You're growing into such a beautiful little lady. Our lives have been so amazing and so full of joy since you made your arrival.

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Time Has Come

Tomorrow is my first day back to work and I'm filled with a mixture of emotions. I'm very excited to get back into a routine and to have some adult interaction throughout the day. I love having a schedule and knowing what I need to get done for the day. Since having Amelia, there are many days where I don't shower, brush my teeth or change out of pajamas until she takes a nap. Some days I feel like I'm that person that had a baby and let myself go.
The other part of me is going to miss my little girl. I love hearing her wake up each morning, seeing her stretch out of her swaddle, hearing her baby talk when she sits in her bouncy chair, throw her arms in the arm and make the cutest face when she gets excited and seeing her smile when I talk to her. She continues to grow so big with each day and it's amazing. I am completely in love and knowing that we will only have a few hours before bed to hang out makes my heart hurt.
Today, I packed her bag for the sitter. I had to do it in stages because if I tried to do too much I felt like I was packing her up and sending her off to college, which brought on a flood of emotions.

I know Amelia will LOVE her babysitter and that is a calming feeling for me.
The time has come for us to get back to our 'normal' before we had Amelia. I'm sure it will be a big adjustment but we are ready!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2 Month Photo Shoot

Here are some of the pictures from Amelia's two month photo shoot... Can she get any cuter?! Oh my goodness, I'm so in love with my little lady! It was difficult for Amelia to look at the camera, she wanted to look at the big flash umbrellas that the photographer was using.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dead, Brown Grass

The other night after our walk I noticed our yard had some dried, dead grass. I didn't realize it was our yard until we got really close and I think I made the comment about the yard really ruining the front of the house. Little did I know that the yard was ours. We have been looking at weed eaters and we haven't found one that we like so Jason said we could put off purchasing one for now because he would handle it. Well I guess he thought that killing the grass around all the areas was the solution. Oh my goodness...it's so ugly. This weekend we will be swapping out the grass killer for a new weed eater so the grass can grow back. Gotta love him for trying to make the situation work but it's time to have green grass around our house...no more dead stripes!

Monday, April 16, 2012

2 Month Doctor Visit

Today was Amelia's two month checkup. It's so crazy that the time has already come for her to go back to the doctor! Amelia couldn't have been a better girl at her appointment. She just looked around the room at all the new sights. We met with the doctor, discussed some sleeping/swaddling questions I had and talked about our healthy and beautiful girl. She couldn't believe Amelia had already rolled over so she put her on her tummy to see if she would roll. It didn't take thirty seconds and Amelia had rolled over to her back. Such a big girl!! The doctor was pretty impressed with our strong girl.
Her stats were the following: weight-11.5 pounds (56%), height-22.6 inches (72%), 39.1 centimeters (47%).After we went over the 2 month check list, it was time for the dreaded shots. Amelia had to get three shots (two in one leg and one in the other) and one medicine by mouth. I was hoping there would be two nurses so I could step out of the room but unfortunately there was only one and I had to hold Amelia. Talk about a brutal beat down...it was horrible. We both cried a few tears. I felt so helpless and guilty! Once the nurse finished, I nursed Amelia to calm her down. Studies have shown that a baby that nurses afterwards has less pain and swelling, so I definitely wanted her to nurse to help her feel less pain!
Once we got home, we played and cuddled all afternoon. Look at those band-aids on her boo boos. She got a little bit of medicine to help with the pain and to prevent a fever but she has been a trooper. Our little lady doesn't go back until her 4 month check-up in June...something we are both happy about!

To Swaddle Or Not To Swaddle

Yesterday we decided to unswaddle Amelia during nap time. She will be starting daycare soon (Monday to be exact) and she needs to be able to nap without her swaddle. Another reason we decided to unswaddle is because she is almost able to roll over. I don't want her to roll over in her swaddle and not be able to use her hands.
With that said...today was rough. Her first nap resulted in her crying for a lot longer than she slept but eventually she gave in for a 30 minute nap. Her second nap of the day she cried for less but only got another 30 minutes asleep before she startled herself awake. Her third nap was about 20 minutes and then she woke up starving. This was totally my fault because I didn't realize how long it had been since she ate last before putting her in her crib.
I know all the books say it takes about 3-4 days before it becomes routine and normal for her so I'm trying to stay positive and continue forward in creating a daughter that sleeps like a champ during nap time without her swaddle.
Once we figure out nap time then we will try unswaddling at bedtime, or that is the plan.
Today we tried to keep her unswaddled at nap time and it went horrible. She screamed for 40 minutes and I finally gave in, swaddled her and layed her back down. She didn't even fuse...she went right to sleep and slept for about 2 1/2 hours.
I've been dragging lately so to have her sleep so long was an answered prayer...I got an hour nap in and felt like a brand new person.
Right now, we think that we will keep swaddling her during her naps and at bedtime but we will let her try and self soothe. One thing at a time!
Amelia loves her swaddle and she isn't ready to be without it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Enjoying The Moments

Today as I was swaddling Amelia for her afternoon nap, I couldn't help but hold on to her for an extra few minutes and shower her with a few hundred kisses. Call me crazy but I didn't care if I disturbed her with all the kisses or the sweet words I was whispering to her, I wanted her to know that she is a very special little girl.
She didn't react to my words or my kisses, instead her breathing deepened and she became more and more relaxed in my arms. I put her down in her crib, watched her settle down in a deep sleep and I couldn't stop smiling. She's so amazing!
There are days where I get discouraged and exhausted with the Mom title but when she smiles at me or starts cooing at her brothers, I melt. She has me under a spell...no seriously....there are nights where she is up WAY TOO much and I should be dragging. Instead of dragging, I jump out of bed, excited to love on her. I love knowing that just my touch can calm her, soothe her and comfort her. Some nights I do drag my feet into her room to grab her but when I see her, I can't help but perk up just a little.
Maybe I'm getting sentimental (aka hormonal) because I know I have a week and a half until I'll be back at work and I'll miss those afternoon naps and our daily routines. I'm definitely ready to get back to work, ready to get back in a routine, ready to have adult interaction but the closer it gets the more I find myself enjoying the little moments a little more.
I'm definitely going to try and enjoy the moments, even the crying moments, a little more. My baby girl is growing up WAY too fast and I know that I'm going to miss those moments.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Precious Moments

Does it get much sweeter than this? A daddy napping with his little girl--both so relaxed and content.My heart is so full of love for these two...words can't express how happy my little family makes me!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Fun!

Happy Easter!
Easter was Amelia's first holiday and we wanted her first holiday to be super special.
We heard that Bass Pro Shops was giving a free picture with the Easter bunny and we couldn't resist. We dressed Amelia in the cutest little dress and sweater and headed to the mall to see Mr. Bunny. I guess we weren't the only ones that wanted to get a free picture because the line was wrapped all around the store. The wait time was about 30-40 minutes...craziness! I didn't think we should wait but Jason was set on getting a picture of Amelia with the Easter bunny. The setup wasn't the best and the bunny didn't look the greatest but when Amelia was added to the picture, it couldn't have been cuter.After the pictures, we went home and dyed eggs. We had so much fun dying eggs with Amelia, even though she could have cared less. HA! Our eggs turned out so vibrant...so pretty!Saturday evening we dressed in our church clothes and headed to church. We've been searching for a church home since we moved here and it's been a real struggle. We heard about Hershey Free from a co-worker and we decided to give it a try for Easter. Jason was on call and couldn't be too far away from the hospital so it was the perfect time to try out a new, close church. Well, I'm so glad that Jason was on call and we decided to try out the church because we've definitely found our church home. We loved it! Amelia slept through the singing and woke up when the preaching started. She did so good...next time we'll feel more comfortable with the church and she will go to the nursery so we can fully focus on the service.
Sunday morning we woke up to Easter goodies from the bunny man. Amelia got a new book, a rattle and a few other goodies. Amelia had to pose with her Easter basket...doesn't get more precious than my sweet little girl in her pajamas sitting with her first Easter basket. Our first Easter as a family couldn't have been better. Jason was on call but didn't get paged once the whole weekend. We spent the weekend just enjoying the weather and our time together...walks down by the creek, grilling out on the back porch and early morning dance sessions. We're definitely getting more used to our family of 3 and we're having so much fun!
Our first Easter with Amelia was more than we could have asked for. God has truly blessed our family! I can't wait to see what future holidays have in store for our family!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Great Escape Artist

Here is Amelia this morning when she woke up. Some how she managed to wiggle both hands out of her swaddle. She loves her hands up by her face! In every ultrasound picture we have of her, she has her hands up by her face. She is truly our little escape artist!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bazzle's Little Buddy

Bazzle has been Amelia's little buddy over the past few days. If I'm holding her, feeding her, if she is in her crib or laying on the ground, Bazzle isn't too far away! When we brought Amelia home, Muzzy wanted to be around her more and Bazzle was more distant but now Bazzle wants to be her little buddy. I was able to take a few pictures of him loving on her...nothing cuter than seeing a brother loving on his sister.

The Miracle Blanket

Amelia loves to be swaddled when she sleeps. During her daytime naps, we've tried to put her to sleep without her swaddle but she can't seem to relax her arms and she always startles herself awake after a few minutes of being put down.
When we first started swaddling her we were unsure if it was something she would like. Getting wrapped so tight with her hands down by her side didn't look that comfortable. We quickly learned that she loved her swaddle and if we didn't wrap her tight enough, she became the 'Great Escape Artist'. Once her hands get out of her swaddle, she is wide awake and nap time is over! We've learned different techniques to make getting her hands out a little more difficult. Some mornings I'll go in to grab her and notice little fingers sticking out of the top of her swaddle...I have no idea how she wiggles out of the swaddle!
We use the Miracle Blanket as our main swaddle and we LOVE it. It truly is a miracle for getting Amelia to sleep. There isn't too much sweeter than a sleeping baby! Goodness, I'm so in love with our Amelia Jean!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Relaxing With Mommy

Yesterday, we loaded up early in the morning to run some errands so we could spend the rest of the day relaxing at home. Amelia loves car rides and shopping with mommy, which is such a relief because I like to get out and be active. We went to Target, the Post Office and then the bank. She did so good! I'm still nervous with getting her out in cooler, windy temperatures but I just made sure to keep her bundled.
The outside weather looked so pretty but it was so cold...what happened to the summer temperatures from a few weeks ago?!
The boys didn't care what the temperature was as long as the sun was shining through the back door. They loved being lazy and laying in the sun. I'm not sure they moved all day..HA!While the boys relaxed in the sun, Amelia and mommy took a nap. Usually I lay her down during her naps but the number of naps we have together is limited (I go back to work in two weeks) so I just enjoyed the moment and held her. One of the best naps I've had in a long time...I love cuddling with my little cutie!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Priorities

Before Amelia was born we didn't give too much thought to restaurants or stores that provided changing tables in their restrooms or that offered a kid-friendly environment. We didn't plan dinner around bedtime, we just ate when we were hungry. Short trips to the grocery store to pick up that gallon of milk that was forgotten was no big deal. Playing games on our cellphones was a great way to unplug in the evenings and the list could go on and on.
Well, the past six weeks has changed our way of thinking. Now most, if not all, of our thoughts revolve around Amelia and what's best for her and ultimately, us.
We went to a few places last week that didn't have changing tables in their restrooms and I was pretty upset that I had to lay Amelia down beside the sinks to change her diaper. Before having Amelia, I never even gave the pull down stations in the handicapped stalls a second thought and now that's the first thing I think of when we go out. My, oh my, how our priorities have changed.
The grocery list gets checked three and four times in the store to make sure that nothing gets forgotten. Trips to the store aren't as easy as they once were so we try really hard not to forget anything. Our cellphones are still important but because they have a super convenient camera on them. We document a lot of our day on our phones...it's crazy how my phone went from 30 pictures, before Amelia, to over 500 now that she is finally here. We've try to put our phones down, unless we are taking pictures or I'm pumping, because we want to make family time a priority. Jason's work schedule isn't predictable so when our little family is together, we try to make the most of our time.
Priorities...they change with the different situations we go through and I'm so thankful for the change in our priorities. Amelia has been such a huge blessing to our family and we love that the family is changing for the better because of her!!

**

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Baby Weight

I gained more than I should have during my pregnancy. You could say I had the " I'm pregnant and I'm hungry and for once I can eat and not feel guilty, so I'm giving in to any and all of my cravings. Well now that I'm almost six weeks out, I've decided that thinking wasn't the best.
I haven't been dieting at all during the past weeks but I am breastfeeding and it is really helping me to lose some baby weight. I am currently 13 pounds away from where I started out before I got pregnant but still 30 pounds from my goal weight. I'm really going to strive for the best weight for me, a healthy weight for me.
Once my doctor releases me then I'll feel more comfortable pushing myself during workouts and getting the remainder of this weight off. I love that it's spring and summer is right around the corner--fresh markets and swimsuit season! Fresh markets make eating healthy a little easier and a lot yummier and swimsuit season is the extra push that I need. This mama doesn't even want to think about getting in a bathing suit in front of others right now!

Regardless of the amount of weight I'm able to lose in the upcoming months, I just want to incorporate a healthy lifestyle for Jason, Amelia and myself. If our family can get healthy together, then that's going to make it easier to keep up with the healthier and active lifestyle.