Thursday, May 31, 2012

American University of the Caribbean

Sometimes everyday life can bog us down...residency, long hours and an exhausted husband can make for a cranky wife. I sometimes forget how far we've come and that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter with each passing day.
Today I was looking back on how far we come....my, oh my, have we come a long way!

I'm sure most of you know that my husband attended medical school on the island of St. Maarten.  The American University of the Caribbean  gave my husband a chance when no one else would and we will forever be grateful to this little school on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean.

I can still remember him getting that acceptace letter...the excitement that we felt was amazing but we were also nervous to tell our family that we were moving halfway across the world for school. Neither one of us had moved too far away from home so we were excited, while scared at the same time, to start a new journey. Our family didn't want us to go so far but knew that we needed to go so Jason could fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor.

We loaded up our suitcases, our boys and said goodbye to our family. We headed to the island of St. Maarten, the place we called home for the next few years. Our first few days there we we accepted with open arms by AUC, the staff and the current students. We both felt so much better after orientation and an introduction to the program that he was about to begin. Without all the new student activities, I'm not sure we would have survived our first semester on the island.

As his support system, I knew that he was where he was suppose to be. The professors were practioners, retired or current, and/or specialists in their subjects. Little did he know but he was about to get some of the best training he could get. A lot of effort had to be put in from his end but if he stuck with it, then he would succeed. It was so nice knowing that he was being trained by some very smart men and women.

Years later when Jason successfully passed the STEP 1, STEP 2 and STEP 3 boards, he knew that those long, boring lectures, countless hours of studying and study sessions with older classmen paid off.
Today, Jason is about to begin his second year of residency in anesthesiology at his first choice hospital in Pennsylvania. It is so crazy that he didn't even think he had a chance of getting into medical school and now he's doing exactly what he wanted to do!

We are very grateful and thankful that someone stuck out their neck for a country boy with a low MCAT (medical school entrance exam) score because they saw potential.

Thank you to the American University of the Caribbean for allowing my husband to reach his goal of becoming a well-rounded and educated doctor!

We can't wait to take Amelia back there to show her where her daddy's journey all began....I wouldn't mind working on my tan a little either!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Missouri Visitors

Late Wednesday evening, Mom, Ana and Katie all arrived on a plane from Missouri. I'm getting so used to seeing family every couple of months so I was counting down the days till I could hug on my family. I had to work a bit when they were here so they just cuddled Amelia and then when I was off work, we went exploring. The first day, we went to Hershey Chocolate World. Ana and Katie wanted to make a chocolate bar to take back home so we got in our protective gear and made some yummy bars!

As many times as I've been to Chocolate World, the free ride/tour and the smell of chocolate never gets old. Amelia even woke up during the tour and watched most of it. I can tell she's going to be a chocolate lover, like her mommy! 
On Saturday we decided to make the drive to Gettysburg. Since it was a holiday weekend, all the 'touristy' things were busy so we went as far away from those things as possible. Here are a few pictures of our trip.



 Amelia loves her Grandma so much...she was all grins when Grandma was talking to her on one of our walks.


Amelia was so good on the trip. Most of the time we drove around the battlefields, parked and then explored the area a little more. She loved getting out of her carseat and being outside.
Sunday morning we headed out to Amish country. Little did we know that the whole town would shut down but we were able to catch a few buggies on the road and a few Amish families walking home from church. We stopped at an Amish style restaurant and had some of the best fried chicken and apple butter!!

We had a few big days of exploring but we made sure to have some downtime with just us. We took walks, made breakfast/dinner together, told stories and laughed so much that our cheeks were hurting by the end of the day. It was so good to see everyone!  Amelia loved having a house full of girls to love on her.
Countdown has already started till we will see each other again...July!





Monthly Milestones--Month 3


Amelia,
Happy 3 Month Birthday, Big Girl! 
Where does the time go? You've really started to get a personality and it is so much fun watching you explore and become more aware of your surroundings.

You LOVE to eat...mama's milk makes you so happy!  Right now you're eating like such a big girl. You are still eating 4 ounce bottles throughout the day but we've increased your lunchtime bottle and your nighttime bottle to 6 ounces. You seem to be much more content with a little more milk in your belly. At night you get a tablespoon of rice in your bottle to help hold you over while you sleep. At first I couldn't really see any benefit to this extra bit of food but now I can tell that when you wake up, you are starving like before. This month has been rough on mommy's boo boos because of the increase in your bottles. I try so hard to pump out enough milk for you but sometimes it isn't enough. I've been having to add formula to some bottles and you don't seem to mind at all. Personally, I hate this but I know that I'm doing the best that I can do for you. The good thing is that you don't mind at all as long as you get your food when you're hungry.

You are still in Huggies diapers size 1. They work pretty good on you and we aren't having as many blowouts as we used to.  During your diaper changes, you are starting to get frustrated with mommy. You want to be up and looking around so when mommy lays you down, your legs start kicking and you will even whine a little bit. This had made mommy a super fast diaper changer!

You can still wear a few 0-3 month outfits but you are more comfortable in 3 month outfits. Your head is so big that sometimes the 0-3 month outfits fit but getting them over your noggin is so difficult that we don't even try anymore. I love dressing you up in cute little summer clothes...dresses with bloomers are my favorite on you right now. Your chubby legs are so precious that anything to show them off is what I want to dress you in!

You are still a great sleeper, which I really appreciate!!  You're usual schedule is bedtime around 7/7:30pm, up around 4am and then up for the day around 6:30/7am. Mommy keeps all the lights off and makes your feeding short and sweet so you are back in bed about 30 minutes after you get up at 4. A few times you've slept 7:30pm to 6:30am and we did the happy dance when we woke up!!

Mommy tried to make a list of the things that you were doing this month....
  • Crying real tears
  • Blowing spit bubbles (accidentally but all the time)
  • Following mommy, daddy and brothers around the room
  • Took first family trip to the zoo
  • Became addicted to TV, especially Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Help mommy and daddy cook by sitting in your high chair and following us all around the kitchen.
  • Spoiling mommy by sleep 11+ hours for a few weeks.
  • Sucking on your first two fingers-you aren't a pacifier baby
  • Scooting yourself around in the crib. You are always moved to the opposite end of the bed when mommy goes to pick you up in the morning. How does this happen in your swaddle?!
  • Coughing fake coughs to get attention.
  • Belly laughing at daddy and the TV.

Sweet Amelia Jean, you need to stop growing up so fast. The past three months have been the best and Mommy and Daddy can't seem to give you enough kisses and hugs! 
We love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Mommy and Daddy



3 Month Photo Shoot

Danielle did a great job of taking Amelia's 3 month pictures!  I just got them back and I'm in love with them. I love looking back and seeing how her personality is really coming to life since her first pictures. Enjoy!!








Monday, May 21, 2012

Inside Her Head

Often there are times when I take a picture of Amelia and I think, "I wonder what she is thinking?" I took a few pictures of Amelia in the pool yesterday and I thought it would be fun to add some dialogue to them.
"Mom, I'm just going to lick this ruffle thing by my face before I start chewing on it. Promise, Mom!  Just one taste."
"Try not to look guilty....I didn't just pee in the pool. Nope. Nada. Not me"
"Enough of the pictures. I'll give you the stink eye until you lower that camera and then I'll give you the biggest, gummiest grin ever."
  "Is this a good angle? Mom, be sure to get my good side. Try not to focus in too much on my leg rolls."
 "Yeah, I'm the princess of the pool. If the boys from school could see me now! Hat...check. Glasses....check. Cute suit....check. Attitude for the camera....check."




Worker Bees And Bathing Beauty

This weekend we spent together as our family of three. Jason, after 12 days of working 14 hour days, finally got some time off. I've been in a serious need of a haircut so I made an appointment for early Saturday morning. It was perfect because Amelia got some Daddy time and I got some Me time. I went in to the appointment ready for a change, which was good because a change is what I got. About 4-5 inches were cut off and my straight locks were made curly. The new style is going to take some time to get used to...right now I'm not loving it.

When I got back from my hair appointment, Jason was all pumped up to do some outside work. For those of you who don't know, Jason's main stress reliever is working outside, washing cars and being active in nature. After working so many hours the past few weeks, he was in some serious need of a little stress relief. He had made a 'to-do' list for the weekend. He wanted to mow, mulch around the house, powerwash the deck, stain the deck and powerwash the house and our storage shed.
 My mom comes on Wednesday so he wanted everything to be perfect for when she comes. It was a beautiful day so we just took our time and started marking things off our list. Amelia even helped us do some yard work...she loved being outside!
By the time the sun was setting, we were putting on the last coat of stain and grilling our dinner. We had such a long, busy day. All three of us were definitely excited to take a bath, put on our pajamas and crawl into bed.
Sunday morning, Amelia and I woke up before daddy so we made him breakfast. Amelia is at such a fun age because she is so content as long as she is sitting up and in the middle of the action.
Since we worked like a bunch of crazy people on Saturday, we just relaxed on Sunday. Breakfast, a morning walk, church, an afternoon walk and a swim in the pool was pretty much how we spent our Sunday, with the exception of some diaper changes, feedings and pumpings thrown in the equation.



We had such a relaxing day and it felt awesome. I needed a weekend like this! A weekend with my little family. It's been so long since we've all been together and enjoying each others company. It's weekends like this that help me get through the times when we aren't together.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tomorrow

What do you mean I'm going to be 12 weeks tomorrow?!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! 
Jason had to work all weekend so he made sure that my Mother's Day present was out in the open when I woke up. I  had a pretty azalea bush on the table. Isn't it funny how needs and wants change when you become an adult, have your own house and family? Who would have thought I would have asked for a plant for Mother's Day?! Jason said that we could make it part of our nightly routine to go and water the plant as a family and watch it grow. We needed another one for our yard...I'm so excited to go out and plant it.
Aunt Diane came down late Friday night to spend the weekend with us so we didn't have to spend our first Mother's Day alone. I hate that Jason is working so many hours but it was nice to have some company!
She hadn't seen Amelia since she was born so it was good to have her back visiting. The weather this weekend was awesome so I was determined to get out and enjoy the sun. What better way to enjoy the sun then to paint your toenails, throw on a swimsuit and jump in the pool?
I painted her toenails while she slept in Aunt Diane's arms. Her nails are so tiny that it was a struggle to keep the paint off of her skin.
I dressed her in her suit, her sandals and completed her pool outfit with her sunglasses. My cool girl was all excited and ready for the pool. I filled the pool up with the hose and added hot water so it wasn't too cold for her, threw in some of her rubber duckies and got the camera ready!
She didn't know what to think at first because the water wasn't as warm as her baths but after a little bit she started kicking and splashing around.

We couldn't help but miss daddy during our pool fun...things aren't the same when our family isn't together! In case you couldn't figure it out, I'm the rockstar duck!
After our pool time, we spent the rest of the day relaxing. Air conditioning, the movie Ice Age playing in the background, some mommy/baby time and a nap is just what we needed! We finished off the day with dinner and a nice warm bath!

My first Mother's Day didn't go quite like I would have expected but I didn't let anything stop me from enjoying my day with my little lady. She has brought so much joy to my life since the second she was born...I'm so glad that God let me be her mommy! 
**On a side note**
Look at what Amelia made me at school for Mother's Day...priceless!



Friday, May 11, 2012

Crazy OCD Mama

Sleep. Something that's very important and cherished in our household. Amelia is on a pretty good bedtime routine and she's starting to sleep really well at night and this has turned me into a crazy OCD mama. She's usually fussy right before bed because we don't let her nap or eat after 5:00pm. We want her to be good and tired for bed!
**She's now started working her hands out of the bottom of her swaddle. Crazy girl!

Once 7:00pm rolls around, we are in full blown bedtime mode. Bath, lotion, diaper, pajamas, bottle, burp, swaddle and then bed. She's usually in bed in between 7:30-8pm and she's out like a light (most nights).

This is where the crazy OCD mama comes out.  I don't like to mess with this schedule at all. Even changing it up by 10-15 minutes makes my stomach churn and my anxiety level rise. I know that I should relax and just go with the flow but even the thought of a rough night of sleep makes me do everything in my power to keep her on her schedule. It all goes back to sleep. I like sleep!

Usually I'm pretty laid back and relaxed when it comes to her nap schedule and her eating schedule throughout the day BUT her bedtime is something that I am not as relaxed with.
I need to get better with this...I hate feeling like I'm tied down to our house right after work because I don't want to throw her off.  This is something that I'm going to be working on, especially with summer right around the corner. I want to make sure that we enjoy those summer nights: walks, evenings at the park, late night ice cream runs.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pictures, Pictures And More Pictures

Just a ton few pictures from last week. Amelia is changing so much, so fast that I love capturing it on camera. She's definitely getting a little personality and it's so much fun to see it come out in pictures. Enjoy!