Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections and expectations

2009. What a year. It was a big year for me. You know how some years go by and at the end you really can't think of anything major that happened and it kind of just fades into the background with several other years just like it? Well, 2009 was far from that kind of a year for me. It was by far the best year second only to 2008 when I got married. Why? Well, most of you probably have already guessed that it's because I had my beautiful baby girl Brooklyn Alivia. She arrived all big and chubby at 6:16pm, Wednesday, July 15th. I get so nostalgic thinking of the day she arrived and the following days in the hospital as we were still living off the high of having just given birth to our first baby. We are still thrilled to be parents but that high has worn off a bit. Now we have a subdued excitement that has been dulled just a bit by the lack of sleep and extra silliness we go through to keep our little girl smiling. Adults will stand on their heads to get a baby to laugh - and that's what we do, which expends a LOT of energy. :) I wouldn't change anything, nor would I take back any sleep I lost getting up to feed her and console her. She is worth every bit of extra work we do for her and it's not really "work" when you're totally head over heels for the little bundle you are taking care of.

That was one big thing that happened this year - and probably the biggest if I'm completely honest.

Several other exciting things happened though:

- we rang in the new years with a nice trip to Orlando, FL with the cheerleaders (who I was a sponsor for last year) for 5 days. We got to stay in the Animal Kingdom resort which is nicer than any place I have ever stayed. It was a blast. Waylon got to go with me and experience his first trip to Florida and anything Disney. He enjoyed it too. Brooklyn even got to go although she was just the size of a lime back then. My belly was just beginning to pooch and I had begun to feel the flutters of life I was carrying. I didn't get to ride very many rides but I still had a good time. Waylon and I did have one bad day where we argued for a bit and then didn't speak to each other for a while afterwards. That part wasn't fun!

- We also got to move into one of my dad's rent houses which was a huge upgrade from our apartment. We did some major remodeling in it since the previous renter trashed it but it looks great now! We love living here. We were able to begin painting and remodeling the week I got out of school for the summer and were moved in a little over a week later. I was able to spend my last few miserable weeks of pregnancy in a nice, comfy house where I didn't have to go up a flight of stairs every time I got home. It felt like heaven!

- 2009 was not only a big year for myself in being a new mom, but several of my friends became first time moms as well, including one of my cousins, and 3 other cousins had their 2nd or 3rd babies. It was a big year!

Renay (one of my best friends from Rodgers Baptist Church) had her first: Claire Jordyn
Karen (a good friend from Grand Prairie) had her first: Blakely
Robyn (Karen's sister) had her first: Adalyn
Stefanie McNeely (one of my best friends who lived in Brazil too) had her first boy: Caleb Ethan
Debra Waldo (a friend of my sister's from way back when we lived here and is now a friend of mine) had her second baby, a girl, the day before Brooklyn was born: Katelyn
Chris Meyer and his wife Bere (he's a missionary/friend from Texas City) had their first daughter: Gabrielle

Now for my cousins who had babies:

Grace had her third, a boy - Tyler
Lydia (Grace's sister) had her second, a boy - Cooper
Andrea, had her third, a boy - Lucas
Phoebe (Andrea's sister) had her first - Eva (a name I love and even considered but we have a cousin on Waylon's side who have a daughter names Ava and I felt that was too close...kind of like I love the name Adalyn but it was too close to my niece's name Madelyn)

Phew! That's a lot of babies!!! It was exciting for me having all these new mommas in my life because it got me more excited for having my baby and we all were able to share in our baby experiences and growth. I still have several friends who will be having babies in 2010 which I think is a pretty cool year to have a baby. My sister, Melissa, has been trying to conceive and we really are praying she can conceive this year and have her 3rd child. I would love for her to have a baby close to Brooklyn's age. More than anything though, I want her to be happy and have all the babies she wants to have.

Now we prepare ourselves for the upcoming year: 2010. We look forward to seeing all the ways God is going to bless us and our friends, family and church. Our church has plans to move locations. We have really done well in our current location but feel it is time to move to another area. We already have a place scoped out that we will hopefully be able to get.

Waylon will hopefully be finishing his degree at this time of year in 2010. He only has 6 classes left. After that, a huge weight will be lifted from us. I'm so proud of him for working so hard to finish the degree and work at the same time. I pray God prepares him for the career he wants Waylon to have and that Waylon can find a job shortly after graduating. I also pray that the economy is better by then and that jobs are more readily available.

Brooklyn will turn a year old in 2010 which is a big milestone. I can't believe I am almost in the year she will turn a year. She's growing so fast. Which reminds me, she has started to sit up on her own! We are so excited! She likes to sit on her blanket and play with her toys. I can tell she gets restless when she can't do anything. It's boring for her to just sit in our laps now unless we have toys and are moving constantly. Now that she can sit up, this will be a big help with keeping her entertained. She also keeps entertained for 10-15 minutes at a time in her exersaucer and jumper.

We have a Ross family reunion in June which we all look forward too. It will be fun seeing all the new 2009 babies play together.

Waylon and I are hoping to get to take a family vacation to Destin Florida with my parents. They go every summer and Waylon has never been to the beautiful beaches. I would love to go just spend time on the beach and watch Brooklyn play in the sand and water for the first time. For us to be able to do that, we will have to have the money saved up.

I will leave you with a picture of Brooklyn doing her newest trick!


Sittin' Pretty!



Happy New Year!!

Please be safe and responsible in your celebrations!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cloth Diapering post - pictures included


I've finally had time to make this post showing all I've experienced with cloth diapering. The first thing I did was a TON of research. I looked into pre-folds (PF), all-in-ones (AIO), one sizes (OS), and fitteds with a cover and fitted AIO's. As I mentioned in a previous post, I ended up starting out with a kit of Econobums. They are an economical cloth diapering option that is simple and easy to use. Econobum combines prefolds with a water-proof diaper cover that adjusts in size to fit 7-35 pounds. This would be the average new born up to potty training age. I have included photos of of the Econobum system to show how it works. No pins are needed as the cover snaps and fits snug and keeps the cloth prefold in place.

1. Their Logo on the cover



2. The prefolds are the bottom, tan diapers that have the Econobum tag on them. They are unbleached which is why they are this color. The kit came with 12 of these. I'll adress the white ones on top in a few minutes.


3. The water proof outer cover. 3 came in the kit. The nice thing about these is that the inside is slick plastic so if she pees I can just wipe them down and re-use them. Sometimes she doesn't even soak all the way through the cloth diaper. I wash these only after several uses or if there were to ever get any poop on them. Notice all the snaps on the top, front section. Those are to adjust the size as she grows. It only comes in white which is only a small disadvantage. Right now I'm more concerned with the price fitting my budget than having cute colorful diapers. Right now being the operative two words...


4. This is what it looks like together - prefold folded in thirds and then laid flat into the cover. Then just put baby on it and snap it up! Easy breezy!


The next few photos are of things I've made myself. I've made a total of 2 fitted diapers which are basically a cloth diaper that fits like a disposable diaper. It needs a water-proof cover because it will soak through. I've made one with a soaking pad sew into the middle and then I made a pocket diaper that I can insert a soaker pad to add for more absorbancy. I've also made several soaker pads from Gerber Birdseye cloth diapers that I folded into fourths and hemmed the edges so they would stay together. I made large ones and small ones.

1. This is the first diaper I sewed with my mom. I already posted pictures of these on my Facebook. This one has velcro to keep it fastened and I sewed the soaker pad inside. I made this out of 2 flannel receiving blankets that were too small for Brooklyn, even as a new born.


2. This is the second fitted diaper I made. This one I made at my grandma Ross' house. I used an old red t-shirt, a flannel blanket and one birdseye cloth diaper for the 4 layers. This one took a little longer because I did all the sewing on the diaper itself. My grandma showed me how to use the machine. I messed up a lot! This one is a pocket diaper that you can insert the soaker pads (as many as you think you need). It does not have velcro so I would need pins or a snappi if I wanted to use it without a water-proof cover (which I won't be doing). I show the diaper and how to insert the soaker pad




^^^^ The pocket

^^^ Putting the soaker pad in. You could also put a prefold diaper in there as well.


^^^^^
What it looks like all closed up -- you can tell the the outer flaps were where the sleeves once were!

In the diaper cover (how she will wear it) -- see how it fits perfectly?? :)

3. These are the soaker pads that we made out of the Gerber birdseye cloth diapers. The way they come, they are very thin cloth diapers that aren't super sturdy. But they're great for making soaker pads like this or using as burp cloths too. I used them to make soaker pads and I think they came out very well.

I made long ones (top) and short ones (bottom) because they were too long if I didn't cut off the smaller portion. I figured the smaller ones can be added as a booster for extra absorbancy in the middle of the diaper at night or even during the day.

4. The Econobum diaper cover with my soaker pads in it


She has worn this combination several times already. I put one long soaker and one small soaker in the cover and then snap her up as tight as possible. I've not had a single leak and she can go around 2-3 hours in one of these (which I thought was pretty good!). I haven't let her go longer then that just because I worry about leaking and don't want that to happen.

This is a very cheap, easy to do cloth diapering method and I'm really proud of myself for sticking with it and doing this. I haven't had to by any fabric yet to make any of this. I have only had to buy the elastic, string, velcro and some good scissors to cut fabric. I still have plenty of flannel receiving blankets to use and TONS of old t-shirts we won't be wearing. I'm looking forward to making lots more of my own diapers and eventually being good enough to make some cute ones.

I'm currently waiting for my Sun Baby AIO diapers to come in that I ordered from eBay. They are very well priced and have gotten good enough reviews from the mom's who have used them. You can argue the price - 10 for $60 - that's a steal for AIO diapers. I can't wait to get them. They are coming from China though so it's taking a while. I am expecting to get them this week sometime.

Tomorrow I will be going back to my grandma's house to sew a new pattern I got from another mom on baby center. I'm looking forward to it. It looks a lot like a popular brand of fitted AIO's that I love but can't afford so I'm hoping to be able to do this pattern some justice! I will definitely post pictures when I finish some. I also want to post a video sometime of me sewing one so you can see me in action. I'm sure some of my family members are really wondering just what that looks like...lol

Well, I hope you all enjoyed seeing the fruits of my labor and how different cloth diapering has come since the "olden days" of when I was cloth diapered. I hope to be able to cloth diaper all my kids and save lots of money since I plan on having 4. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fun with colors

Someone slap me. She is too cute to be real. Seriously. I just can't get over this much cuteness in one place! This is one of the last things Brooklyn did at our Christmas celebration on Tuesday with Waylon's cousins. We call them "The Miller Clan" and we always have a great time with them. They are all like brothers and sisters to Waylon and his aunt and uncle are second parents to Waylon as well. 


What a cute smile!!

At first she was a little confused as to what she was supposed to do.

We had a great time and are looking forward to spending Christmas Day with my Grandma and Grandpa Ross and then Sunday we will have the Woolbright Christmas. We also had an amazing Christmas outreach at our church called "A Day in Bethlehem". We had a petting zoo, lots of crafts, free family photos and lots of visitors! It was great! Our church members really did an awesome job coming together to make this happen. Thank you members of GracePointe Baptist church! We may be few but we are mighty with God's hand!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

5 month birthday!


Our little princess turned 5 months today. I can't believe it. I know all mothers say this, but I'll say it again - they grow so fast! Here are a few new things she is doing now:

- she can sit up with just a little bit of assistance and soon will be sitting up all on her own.

- she can hold her bottle when she drinks it. Sometimes we have to put it back in her mouth because she'll squeeze too tight and pop it out of her mouth. But she does really good holding it in place!

- She laughs on a regular basis now and we can't get enough of her giggles!

- She now notices when she's in her bouncer or exersaucer if we walk away and will cry to be picked up. Before it seemed like she didn't really notice and when she cried it was more that she was just unhappy. Now it's very clear that she wants to be held. She gives me the saddest look as if to ask "Why are you leaving me here and not holding me??" I, of course, can never resist and end up picking her up and cuddling her. 

- When I put my face up close to hers, she will put both hands up and grab my fast and try to pull me in closer to her like she wants to kiss me but then she just wallers her face on mine.

- She has discovered her feet and loves to hold them and pull them and play with them. It's the cutest thing.

- She holds and plays with her toys now on a regular basis and can entertain herself for quite a while.

- She sticks her tongue out and thinks it's really funny.

And now for some pictures...

Having a good time on her exersaucer
She likes the way her mittens taste!

Look at those eyes!!


She likes to hold her arms out like that.

What a cutie!
It looks like she was about to clap here...but she wasn't.

Remember when I said she can hold her own bottle??? See...I wasn't lying...

I will be making a post soon about my cloth diapering endeavor. There have been some new developments and experiments. I'm very excited about it. 

I also have to write about a book I am currently reading called "The House That Cleans Itself", which, in my opinion, is amazing.

Lastly, I cannot end this post without mentioning a HUGE blessing we received this week. I believe it was Friday evening that I called my dad and told him we were going to need to start looking for a new dishwasher because the one we have is super old, doesn't have the heating/drying component working and now the soap dispenser doesn't open in the wash cycle so the soap doesn't end up coming out. It's all very frustrating. Dishes are sopping wet and not clean at the end of each wash! Yuck! So...fast forward to Sunday when I am having a Mary Kay party at my good friend and co-worker Sabrina's house when low and behold she mentions that they are about to post their dishwasher on Craig's list to sell for $80. It came with their fancy new house and is a brand new, black and stainless steel Frigidaire. It was making a high pitched sound at one point in the cycle and they called to get it fixed and instead of fixing it, the guy just brought a new one and didn't want the older one. So...when I heard her mention this and that she was selling it for $80 I told her we would buy it! Then her husband threw out a better offer of $50 since we are such amazing friends (lol) and then Sabrina sweetened the deal even more by saying she would be willing to just pick out $50 of MK stuff in exchange for the dishwasher. Now THAT is a deal you can't refuse!! Godfather, eat your heart out! So, Josh kindly loads up the dishwasher in the PT Cruiser (the seats all fold down so it fit perfectly even with a stroller, car seat and big tub of MK product!) and off I went with a beautiful new (slightly squeaky) dishwasher. My dad and Waylon are installing it tonight. They are at Home Depot right now buying a little piece they need to finish installing and then I will be in dish washing heaven! Cannot wait!! It's amazing how God works things out so perfectly like this. Sabrina and Josh were able to bless us with a real need and God saw that it came to pass. Thank you Lord and thank you Sabrina and Josh! 

I think this is about all I can post right now. There is a lot going on around me and I'm getting quite antsy about my dishwasher. Of course, I will have pictures of it for you to see because I know you are as excited about a new stainless steel dishwasher as I am!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A new endeavor

This week we are getting down to the last package of diapers that were given to us before Brooklyn was born. We were greatly blessed with lots and lots of diapers to the point where, in the 4 1/2 months that Brooklyn has been alive, we have yet to buy a single package of diapers! Yes, you read that correctly! We have not bought any diapers sine our Brooklyn was born. It has been a huge blessing to us and for any first time moms or moms who will be getting baby showers for their second child, I would highly recommend a wipes and diapers shower. It was the best thing. That being said, we have reached the end of our stash of diapers and will have to start buying them ourselves when this current pack of diapers ends. As I realized this, I decided to look into cloth diapering. I did tons of research! It became an obsession! Ask Waylon. We would be talking about one thing and then I would change the subject to cloth diapering and he would not realize I had changed topics and think I was talking about our previous conversation. He got confused quite a few times, poor guy.

I never imagined in a million years that cloth diapering would be so involved and have SO MANY options! It was quite overwhelming at the beginning. It didn't take me too long to find the kind I was interested in and then from there I was able to eliminate some brands and types of cloth diapers. I can see how if I do end up getting into this and actually stick to it (that remains to be seen!), I will have to really put a tight limit on how many diapers I can buy and not lose complete control buying all these cute cloth diapers and diaper covers! It's crazy how much cute stuff is out there. 

So through all my research, I've found a few brands that I would love to try out. Bum Genius is by far the most popular one I've seen. They seem very high quality and have great reviews. They are also on the higher end of the price range so it will be a while before I buy one. I will have to really show complete commitment to cloth diapering to allow myself to buy one of those more expensive ones. Thirsties is another brand that seemed popular and have good reviews, as well as Fuzzibunz. There are two brands that are new that came out by the same makers of Bum Genius. They are cloth diapers for people on a budget, like me! Econobum and Flip are the two I ended up narrowing my focus on. I read so many reviews and looked at so many women's pictures of their children in these cloth diapers on diaperswapper.com - you would think I was OCD about this or something. I really wanted to know what "real" people thought of using these diapers and whether they were total crap or totally worth the price. I ended up buying a starter kit box of the Econobum. It's the most basic cloth diapering system I found -- and by FAR the cheapest. My box came with 3 white diaper covers and 12 unbleached, prefolds. They are very simple to use. Fold up the prefold and place it in the cover and then snap the cover onto baby. The cover is adjustable and should fit Brooklyn up to potty training. It is adjustable with snaps. I tried one tonight and only left it on for about an hour b/c it was almost time for Brooklyn to go to bed. I didn't want to leave it on her all night since I don't know yet how well these diapers work on her yet. Putting the diaper on was easy enough. I fumbled a bit but it's my first time and Brooklyn was being very fussy and kicking her legs. (I found out later why she was so fussy --- BIG POOP!) It was quite a bit bulkier than her disposable diapers BUT not as bulky as I imagined it would be. I'm sure I'll get better at folding them too so they won't be as bulky. I also bought the special laundry soap to wash the diapers in. It's called Charlie's Soap and is supposedly an all natural, eco-friendly, nothing-but-soap, soap. I didn't know this before, but, you can't wash cloth diapers in regular detergent because all the softeners and other stuff in there puts a coating on fabric which, in diapers, decreases their absorbency. So, this Charlie's Soap has nothing but soap (no scent even, just clean smell) and won't leave any residue. The guy I bought this from said that he now uses it for all his family's laundry because it just makes the clothes softer. I'll have to see if this is true. 

By the way, the website for my cloth diaper "dealer" is www.froggyslcothdiapers.com - he is local, in Arlington and does free delivery to anywhere in the DFW metroplex. If you are interested in cloth diapering, you should go check out what he has. 

Anyway, back to my story. I think what I'm going to start with since I don't have enough diapes to use cloth full-time is only using them on the weekends (Saturday & Sunday). That way, I have all week to wash them and get them ready for use on the weekend and it will get me in the groove of things and let me see if this is something I could handle full-time. I would love the money savings of doing it full-time, BUT, it will still save us money if we only do it on the weekends. Every cloth diaper we use means one less disposable is being used. If, by Christmas time, I'm loving the cloth diapering, I will probably buy one more box of the Econobum so I have a good little starting stash. Then I'll go from there.

Now, let me end this with saying that, there is a chance I will find that I HATE this. If that is the case, I will be honest on here and I won't make any excuses and I will sell my cloth diapers. I'm hoping this isn't the case. One thing I know for sure is that I'm not going to just give up and quick right off the bat when something doesn't work immediately or even if I struggle through the whole weekend trying to figure this out. I'm going to give it a good, honest, long run. I gave up so quickly on breast feeding and I look back on it now and feel a tinge of guilt. I don't feel guilty in the sense that I feel like my daughter isn't getting good nutrition. I fully believe that she is as healthy as can be on this formula and obviously if formula was bad for babies, they wouldn't sell it and we would all have issues because of it. Anyway, the guilt I feel is that I didn't try to stick it out longer and see if it would get better. I quit when it was at it's worse and about to get better. Now, we have spent a pretty penny on formula and I look back and wonder if I had stuck it out, would we not be so tight on money? I don't know. What I am certain of though is that I would not have been able to continue breast feeding at full capacity once I went back to work. I don't have a break till 2 in the afternoon and would not be able to wait till then to pump everyday. That just wouldn't work! So that's my biggest consolation is that I probably still wouldn't be breast feeding today even if I hadn't quit so soon.

So now I try something new that could potentially save us quite a bit of money and save the environment. We'll see if I can handle it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's the little things in life...


This post is dedicated to all the things I use in my everyday life, whether they be little or big, that just make my day go better. Some of them are actual necessities that the over-all majority of people would agree are things they also need to get through the day (i.e. phone, car, purse (for women) and wallet for guys). But then there are our personal "must haves" that we like and even sometimes feel that we need in order to get through our day. I got to thinking about this not too long ago when I inadvertently forgot my phone at my parents house and then another day when I left my lunch bag that keeps food cold/hot at work and forgot to bring it home with me so I ended up having to take my lunch in a Target bag. Don't you hate it when that happens?? I do.  I get down right indignant when I realize I've forgotten an important piece of "anything" that I'm used to having and using in my day-to-day routine. Here are a few things that if I were to find myself without them, would put me in a tizzy!


My cell phone. This has got to be #1 on my list of things I get totally irate when I discover I have left it somewhere and don't have it with me. It's not a nice fancy phone, which used to be what I always had - the latest and greatest. In fact, I didn't spend a dime on this phone. It was given to us. I don't have internet on it but I can call, text and take/send pictures which is really all I need right now. It is sad that I feel the need to have this communication device on me at all times when I know people survived without it for centuries. BUT, my excuse now is that I have a baby and I need to be able to be contacted at any time when she is not in my care AND I need to be able to contact whoever is taking care of her at any time when I feel the need to. 


Now the next thing on my list of things I must have/use during the day is my wonderful, cute little Macbook. I love it! I bought it at the beginning of this year when there was a sale on them. They normally run for $1000 and I got it for $800 (after a $200 mail-in rebate). She works like a charm and she's so cute and portable and the perfect size. I love the keys and love the color. If they had it in hot pink, I probably would have gotten it in that color, but alas...I love white electronics too. The things I do everyday on my computer are: check my blog (of course) and read all the blogs I subscribe to, go on Baby Center and see all the new posts from the groups I'm a part of (July 2009 Birth Club, Cloth Diaper Sewing 101, Cloth Diapering, Formula Feeding Moms and Working Moms...phew! That's a lot of groups!), get on Facebook and check my bank account. I also look at pictures of my adorable daughter, as you can see in the picture! By the way, that was total coincidence, that she was the picture on my screen when I took the picture...ahem...cough, cough...


My purse is the next thing I can't really do without throughout my day to day activities. This is the purse I got for my birthday from my parents. I picked it out. I love it! It holds a lot and has dividers for separating things. I have one side for my planner and other papers and then one side for my wallet and makeup bag and other things I use a lot. If you're wondering what is right behind it in black and white, that's Brooklyn's sling that I got at Target. I didn't think I would use it at first because she seemed to big for it, but I found one of the ways you can hold the baby in it, works for her and she likes it so I've started using it in conjunction with the one my good friend made for me.


Last, but most definitely not least, is something I've been striving to make a part of my daily life without fail. It's a different type of communicating device: God communicating to us. It's my Bible. This particular one is one that I have taken with me several places. I recently brought it back from work where it had been resting in my desk there for the few times I've been able to pull it out and read it during my conference period for a few minutes. I found a paperback Bible of mine that I've decided to keep at work instead and brought this one home to keep in my devotional spot (which is in the recliner by the front window). This is a NKJV, which I love. It still has the authenticity of the KJV but simplifies the old English language so that it is easier to understand. NKJV is actually my favorite translation. Second to that is the ESV which stands for English Standard Version. When I've compared these two in the past, I've found them very similar with the ESV having a more modern language, obviously. 

p.s. Excuse the dust in the picture with my Bible. I would love to say that I dust regularly and that right after taking this picture I got my duster out and got it all clean...BUT, no, I didn't. All that dust is still right where it is in the picture. I might dust this week. It's my least favorite house chore along with cleaning toilets. I don't know why dusting is such a dreaded chore either, it's probably one of the easiest tasks as far as amount of energy needed to get it done. Who knows...

So there you have it. Just a few of my "must haves" to get through the day. What are yours?

Friday, November 27, 2009

My "I'm Thankful" post

So every "true" blogger has to have a Thanksgiving post where we say what we are thankful for. I realize that it's the day after Thanksgiving, but oh well...

So here goes:

First of all, I'd like to preface this by saying there are so many things I am thankful for and obviously won't be putting them all on here. I'm going to focus on things that I've been blessed with in the past year. You can probably guess where this is going!

I'm first and foremost thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ. Without Him, my life would be a meaningless void with no hope. He gives me the hope I need to get through each day and He gives me grace and mercy when I deserve them the least. He is my rock and anchor and He is the leader of our family. He has blessed both Waylon and I beyond measure. Thank you Jesus for saving our souls.

Obviously I'm thankful for my beautiful, healthy, chubby, delicious, giggly, loud, bubbly baby girl. She is the life of the party wherever we go. She gives both Waylon and I so much joy every day. Even on the days when she is in a not so bubbly mood, I still can't imagine life without her. I'm amazed at how one little human can bring so much emotion out of a grown adult! God is amazing in how He created this amazing love between a parent and his/her child. Waylon and I love Brooklyn so much and these past 4 months with her have been amazing.

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband. He works very hard right now with school and work. He is working for our future. His goal is to get his degree by December of next year (2010) and then soon thereafter get a job making enough to support us so that I can stay at home or at least only have to work part time. That's my dream. Whether God has this in His plan, we don't know. But this is what we are hoping for. Waylon is a very loving, patient, forgiving and gentle person. God definitely knew what he was doing when He put us together. Waylon is patient when I'm not, humble when I'm proud, loving when I'm hateful, forgiving when I'm holding a grudge and basically the opposite of all my negative character flaws. We really balance each other out well. He is also a wonderful father and I love, love, love watching him play with Brooklyn and bring her to laughing out loud. She loves him and thinks he's so funny.

I'm thankful for my parents and brother and sister. They have been such a safe haven for me all my life. Not that I needed a safe haven from any dangers or anything like that. But I can always count on them to calm me when I'm stressed and put me at ease when I feel otherwise. Now that I'm married and don't live with my parents anymore, I find myself looking forward to going over there quite frequently and just sitting and visiting with them and letting them spend time with Brooklyn. I enjoy watching them love on her. They just go gaga over her and it is fun for me to watch. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such wonderful, Godly parents! I couldn't have asked for better parents. Thanks Melissa and Bryan for being the best siblings ever! I love you both so much!

I'm also thankful for my church family at GracePointe Baptist Church. We are a small church right now but every single one of our members are involved and loving and hard working. We are very close and always have a great time at all our events. I always feel like I'm with my extended family when I'm at church. And in reality, I am with my extended spiritual family. Thank you co-members of GracePointe! You are a blessing to my family!

Lastly, and definitely not leastly (is that even a word??), I am thankful for my job. Even though sometimes it might not sound like I am and I may even seem un-grateful for it on many days. I'm actually very thankful for having such a stable job with good pay to support my family and make it possible for my husband to go to school full time. As far as time off goes, you can't get better than being a teacher. I find that the more I teach, the more I realize that the time off is THE perk of being a teacher. The rest is very hard work and high demanding in the patience department! But I am thankful for being employed and that after this year, I no longer have to sign a contract each year. It will be my 3rd year with the district and now I will have a continual contract. This means that we are set job wise as long as we need a steady income. In this economic time, you can't ask for more! Thank you Lord for my wonderful job!

So there you have it. I really am blessed and thankful for it!

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! Now, on to Christmas - my favorite holiday of the year!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

LOL!

We are literally laughing out loud around here these days. At least this little lady is:

video

Brooklyn is doing new things every day now. She has been laughing and grabbing and arching her back (trying to roll over) and overall being an adorable little girl. She is eating rice cereal and sweet potatoes. Today I will introduce bananas to her. She is doing very well with eating from a spoon compared to how she did the first time. I recently went to a seminar with a friend from church, by Dr. Greene. He spoke about feeding your baby and getting your baby to like a variety of foods so that later, during the phase where they don't want to try anything new, they are already used to a variety and won't be picky eaters.  It was a very interesting seminar and he gave away his book "Feeding Your Baby Green" which talks all about healthy choices for food and how to make your own baby food at home. I really enjoyed the seminar and am very excited about getting started making my own food. Yes, I am going to try this. I figure since I didn't breast feed, I can do this at least and kind of make up for it, right? Not that I feel like I did anything wrong. I'm just saying, I didn't put the extra effort forward to breast feed so I can put the extra effort forward to make her baby food here at home. Plus, it will be cheaper, which is always a bonus for us. Now the food she has tried so far has been store bought because I was just antsy to see how she did with the food and didn't have time to make her food. But this week, while I'm off for Thanksgiving, I'm going to the grocery store and am going to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables and make some batches of baby food and freeze them so we will be all stocked up for the next couple of months. 

Here are a couple of pictures of her eating sweet potatoes day before yesterday:




We have actually been able to stay pretty clean while eating. I just give her pretty small bites. I don't see the point in filling up her spoon if she's just going to spit it all back out. Plus, I don't like cleaning up messes.  My mom was giving me a hard time about not putting enough on the spoon. Oh well...

She also is a little small still for her high chair but we roll up a blanket and wedge it in next to her and she is able to sit up straight. She likes her high chair. I think she feels more involved since she's so high up and at our level. What a cutie!!
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This past Friday my hubby subbed at my school for a math teacher. This meant we got to ride to work together and have lunch together and go pick up the babe together. I like the days he subs at my school because it just feels better when we leave for the day and get to ride in the same car. After work, we picked up miss B and headed over to our good friends, Jared and Stefanie, to see their new little bouncing baby boy Caleb. He's such a little doll! He is half the size of Brooklyn and when I held him, it felt like I wasn't holding more than a pillow! He was so squishy and newborn-y - is that even a word?! You know what I mean. Brooklyn looked like a behemoth next to little Caleb. Poor thing, I don't think she will ever be dainty and delicate. Ever. But that's ok. We still think she's the prettiest little girl in town. Ahem....I was supposed to be talking about Caleb, right? Here are some pictures of our visit with them. 

You may noticed my tresses are a little darker than they used to be. This is because my husband colored my hair a dark chocolate color. My mom doesn't like it of course, she likes me as a blonde. But I like it, as does my hubby and all my students commented on how much they liked it, which surprised me.

Anyhoo...here's the pictures of Caleb:       

Here I am with Mr. Caleb. Isn't he so little??? He was enjoying a good hand-sucking in this picture.

In this one you can't tell very well but Brooklyn was staring at Caleb very intently and even reached out at one point to try to touch him. She seems very interested in babies. I think she likes seeing someone else her size!



It was a really fun visit and it's great having a close friend to share new motherhood with. I actually have several friends who have had babies this year and are sharing new mommyhood with me! It's been great having so many new mom's who can share their new experiences with me and help me when I have questions. We have swapped maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby supplies and stories. It's been great! 

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This week I hope to get all my Christmas decorations out and set up our tree. I'm still not positive where our tree will go because our living room is pretty full with furniture. I have an idea though and will show pictures once it is us. We will need to buy new ornaments because last year we went with strictly blue and silver and I wasn't wild about it. I want a much more colorful tree this year. I love Christmas time and I really want to start some family traditions with our new family and keep them up through the years to come with all of our kids. I want our kids to grow up celebrating Christmas for what it really means and not just for the gifts and Santa. In fact, I doubt we will even teach them santa. I mean, we probably will mention him, but will teach them from the beginning that he isn't real. What's the point in making them believe in something that you will later have to tell them is fake anyway? I don't see the point.

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I know I probably should be posting all the things I'm Thankful for, however, I'm going to have a post all of it's own for that. For now, I'll just say that I'm very thankful that Waylon was able to get the evening off from work so he can be at our church Thanksgiving meal with Brooklyn and I. 

Speaking of which....I have to go cook my stuffing and cherry apple crisp for this evening now. 

Gobble, gobble!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is going to be a pretty random post, so just prepare yourself to hear a lot of different stuff.

Ok....we'll start with the baby stuff:

Brooklyn turned 4 months on Sunday and had her 4 month appointment today. She is doing great! Growing like a weed! She weighed in at 15lbs 10ozs and is 25 3/4 inches long. She is in the 90th percentile for height and weight! I have a big girl! She's doing lots of cute new things. For one, she has finally mastered her laugh! It's adorable! Tonight I kept kissing her neck and she would laugh out loud every time. I loved it, I couldn't stop kissing her. She is also grabbing at things a lot now. If she sees something, she goes for it. She also looks at her hands a lot, which is really cute. She continues to love watching TV and is sitting assisted very well. When I lay her on her belly, she does really well pushing her chest up. She has also started trying to hold her bottle when she is taking it. It's so cute! She always has at least one hand on it and sometimes both. This little girl has a super strong grip too! Wow. She is just amazing!

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Lately, my life has been in a bit of disarray. It's as if the harder I try to live more simply and more organized, the worse it gets. I pay a big batch of bills, only to get another stack in the mail the next day that I can't pay. I wash a load of dishes and in an hour, the sink is full again with dishes we found laying around the house. I get all my laundry sorted and washed but then don't have the energy to fold and put it all away so it clutters up my room and eventually I'm just pulling out what I need to wear from the basket each day and hoping that "Wrinkle Release" will get enough of the wrinkles out for me to be able to wear it to work. It just feels like a never ending battle and that life is beating me to a pulp sometimes. Then I see how much I DO have and how much I AM blessed and feel bad for complaining, only to get re-frustrated when I start thinking of everything that has gone wrong lately. Some days it's just hard to be thankful and the bad attitude and negative mindset take over. I hate these times in my life when I get that way. And what's worse is when you're in that mindset, you don't want to go to the Lord and ask for help to get out of it. You want to just sit in your muddy little hole and complain and live in a pity party. That's where I'm at right now. My little muddy pity party. 

My dad preached a great sermon on Sunday about jealousy. The kind of jealousy where you are so envious of what someone else has that you resent them for having it.  You aren't happy for their blessing, you are ticked at them and want them to not have and for you to have it instead. I have felt the beginnings of this kind of jealousy lately -- not yet full blown yet -- towards stay at home moms. I envy their ability to wake up and not have to leave their child every day to go off to work and take care of everyone else's kids. Now, like I said, I'm not to the point where I'm resentful of them for being blessed in this way. Right now, it just rests at being jealous. Wishing I was in their shoes. Wanting that so badly for myself. But as my dad pointed out Sunday, God has different paths and different blessings for all our lives. He blesses us all in different ways. Right now, staying at home is not how he is blessing our family. He is blessing us by providing me with a very stable, well-paying job that can support our family. He has blessed us with a beautiful daughter that I can't imagine living without. He has blessed us with a decent-paying, flexible job for Waylon that works with his school schedule. He has blessed us with the perfect house to live in to fit our needs. He has blessed us with each other (Waylon & I). He has blessed us with great family and awesome support. My parents have been here for us so much through my pregnancy and now with the baby. He has blessed us indeed. 

But the grass is always greener. We aren't satisfied with our own blessings. We want someone else's blessing. And this is where the bitter root of jealousy springs up in our hearts and takes over. I do not want to be that bitter, jealous person who misses out on enjoying their own life because they were too busy envying someone else's life. No. That's not what I will choose to do. Because it is a choice. No matter what anyone tells you. You choose to live in envy. I chose the life I'm living right now. I have to remind myself of this when I start feeling sorry for myself. I chose to get married before Waylon graduated college, knowing that this meant I would be the main financial supporter while he finished his degree. Then we decided to start trying to conceive. Again, I did this knowing that, at that point in time, Waylon was still a good two years away from getting his degree and that I would have to work at least another school year after the baby was born, if not more. I knew all of this. I chose this life. And then I complained about it. God must be looking down at me and just shaking his head at me. 

So why am I typing all this and making it so public?? Good question! My sister recently posted about being more authentic. You can read this on her blog at www.simplymelsblog.com/life-words/. It's a great post about what her life words are - what words she wants her life to be described with - and how she wants to be more authentic. I would like to strive to be more authentic myself. I have not chosen my life words yet, but I'm pretty positive that authentic would be one I would definitely have in there. Thanks sis! I'm putting my heart out on my sleeve right now. I'm letting my flaw (that's right, just one!) be known! I want to be a good mother to my daughter and future other kids. I want them to grow up seeing that their mother is honest and open and striving to do the right thing but able to admit when she's not. If you know me well at all, you know that admitting when I'm wrong is NOT one of my strengths. It's something I need a lot of work on. Just ask my husband. He'll tell you. I'm not the perfect person I would like everyone to think I am. ahem...

So there are definitely some things I'm going to be working on in my own heart. This Thanksgiving, I'm going to strive to put the "greener grass" out of my mind and focus on my own green grass that someone else might be looking at and wishing they had. 

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We continue on our quest for getting on a budget. We put ourselves on it last month and made the envelopes and everything, but somewhere we miscalculated and ended up in the negatives. Yikes! So now we are patiently, yes, very patiently, awaiting Friday - payday - to get out of the negatives. This hasn't happened in a very long time and it's frustrating when it does, especially when it was the one month we have made a budget and almost stuck to it all month! That's a huge accomplishment for us! Thankfully, Waylon has gotten some subbing work at my school district which will basically cancel out the over drafting. We will sit down and re-do the budget and tweak what needs tweaking and try again this month. While going into the negatives is never a good thing, I know that creating a budget and living by it is a skill and a process that will take a few months to really get down. It's a whole lifestyle change which we haven't gotten down yet...obviously. 

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Last week, on Tuesday, November 10th, one of my best friends, Stefanie McNeely gave birth to her first son, Caleb Ethan McNeely. He weighed 7 lbs 4 ozs and came by c-section after she was induced and never dilated past a 3 after 12 hours. He was a perfectly cute little man and I got to hold him and cuddle him Thursday night. After having my little chunk, Caleb felt like nothing in my arms! I saw what it felt like to hold a normal sized newborn! He's a handsome little guy and we can't wait to have play dates with him and Brooklyn. We were hoping for an arranged marriage, however, it looks like she might be quite a bit bigger than him. Of course, he can grow and be taller than her but she doesn't seem like she will ever be dainty or small so it's going to take a pretty big guy to handle her... We shall see! Congratulations Stefanie and Jared!! Caleb Ethan is perfect!

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Lastly, I have agreed to be a part of our schools teacher pageant that the TAFE group hosts every year. It's a time for teachers to get on stage and "perform" a talent. It's meant to be humorous and just for fun. We also have to dress up and answer a question - just like at real pageants. I was going to be a part of it last year but then found out I was pregnant and was sick all the time and just couldn't see myself being able to put in the time for it. Plus, I was doing cheer leading and we had a game to be at the night of the pageant. This year, there's nothing holding me back. I'm gong to do something with the piano. I haven't completely decided yet but Waylon has a good idea and my brother gave me a good idea. Whatever I choose to do, I'll make sure to have someone from my family video tape it and you will get to watch it on here. It's January 7th...so I have quite some time to prepare it! I'm not nervous yet, but I will be I'm sure. 


So there is my post of random thoughts. It's long and picture-less but I do most of my picture posting on Facebook because blogger just isn't very user-friendly for posting pictures. It takes such a long time to do it and then getting it all centered and typing captions just becomes a big pain in the rear...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

One year ago today

On Saturday, November 8th, 2008 at 8:30am (lots of eights, I know), I peed on a stick and got the best news I've gotten in my life. I was informed that I was going to be a mother. It was a wonderful, exciting, surreal morning. I was 4 days late but thought it was just me stressing over whether or not I was pregnant because the weekend before, I took a pregnancy test and it came out negative. I was positive that I was NOT pregnant and that it was just all the anxiety causing me to be late. But after waking from two different dreams of me getting a positive pregnancy test, I finally got up and went to the bathroom to take the second one to give myself some peace of mind and move forward. Little did I know that I would be moving forward but it would be towards motherhood. I couldn't have been more happy. You can read my post where I announced my pregnancy Here

I had been in the throes of baby fever for quite some time by then. Even though we were merely 3 month newlyweds, we were already ready to start adding to our family. Now, here I sit, a year later to the day, with a beautiful, almost 4 month old, daughter that I can't imagine life without anymore. She is sweet and chubby and delightful and a ray of sunshine in what would be a very dreary world without her in it. I'm so thrilled to be a mother and cannot wait to see my beautiful daughter grow (slowly of course!) into a Godly woman. I don't know what God has planned ahead for her life or our life as a family but I know that it is great things. He has blessed us greatly and I know He will continue to do so. Everyone who comes into contact with my little angel just falls in love with her dimpled smile. It's hard not to. It just makes your heart melt. I love her to pieces and so does her daddy. Her daddy can make her laugh faster than anyone. She just lights up for him immediately. He loves to play with her and talk to her and he's just awesome at being daddy. I love him. We are a happy little family. Not perfect and not everything we should be, but we are happy. We now as parents strive towards a lifestyle that will be conducive to raising healthy, well-balanced kids who love the Lord and love others and live with His light shining in them. I want 4 kids - that's 3 more of these little gems! The struggles and challenges of parenthood have not yet wilted my desire for 4 kids, if not made that desire stronger. I love the idea of having a big family and can't wait to have holiday gatherings with all of them in one house. The thought of that makes me giddy. One day at a time though. Let's get through Brooklyn's first year before jumping into that boat. For now we will enjoy our family of three and be completely happy with it.

November 8th will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm thrilled to say that I am not pregnant again, as of today. I took a pregnancy test. Call it paranoia. I felt nauseated and got scared. Thankfully only one line showed up. Collective PHEW!



Saturday, October 31, 2009

The every changing time...and a fear confessed.



So We are now at 3 1/2 months of life. Little, or should I say BIG, Brooklyn is growing at a fast pace. She is changing into this "older" baby and losing her newborn-ness. She is trying to sit up now, which always causes lots of grunts and groans. She loves to kick her legs a lot and swing her arms around. She has started following objects as they move around a room. She will fixate on someone and watch them and actually "see" them and purposely watch them. She has begun what we call "getting her feelings hurt" where something will apparently bother her and she begins this puckering of her lower lip and proceeds to then cry big ole' tears which is just heartbreaking to watch. My little girl is growing up. It's amazing to watch how much they can change in just one week. 

This is the little princess at 3 1/2 months old having fun with daddy


She loves her bumbo seat! And she can sit up well in it!

Mommy and daughter! I love my little girl!



Our awesome new baby sling made by wonderful family friend Gale McNeely

And now for a very unflattering, yet funny, picture of mommy sleeping with Brooklyn (Waylon thought it would be SOOOOOO funny to take this picture!)

I, of course, do NOT ever remember sleeping like this! lol

As you can see in the last picture, I've taken to co-sleeping. I never in a million years thought I would, yet, I do it and I love it and I'm so having a hard time transitioning to her sleeping in her crib in her own room. One of these reasons is my paralyzing fear of SIDS. I know it's something that if God intends for that to happen, we wouldn't be able to stop it, HOWEVER, I still feel like I need to be right there by her and if I'm there, it won't. I did recently read a great article about how a county in New Zealand has eradicated any occurrences if SIDS since 1994 just by wrapping the baby mattresses in this safe plastic wrap. Apparently, the chemicals put in mattresses to make them fire retardant is toxic and poisonous in babies and paralyzes their central nervous system which is why there never seems to be a struggle in SIDS babies. I'm not going to get into every detail of what the article says but if you're interested in it, let me know and I'll give you the link (I don't have it right now but could find it if I needed to). Needless to say, that with my fear of SIDS, I ordered one of the mattress covers ($32 is not a lot of money for some peace of mind and if it ends up being true, then it's totally worth every penny). I should be getting it this week. Once I get it, I will be putting it on Brooklyn's mattress and then, MAYBE, I'll be ready to have her start sleeping in her own room. Waylon is very hopeful for this. He would like our bed back for just us. I do miss having the bed to ourselves completely, however, I love having her in bed with me too so it's kind of a double edged sword. I'll let you all know how that works out!

Life is starting to take some semblance of a routine and shape. I still feel like there is too much going on in our lives and that we need to cut more out. That's hard to do when you have a baby, you both work and one of you goes to school full-time. Our envelope system budget is working very well. It's definitely showing us areas where we were WAY over spending and how much money was being wasted on eating out. That has helped immensely. We have eaten cheaper and eating at home way more often. I'm making my own coffee instead of buying it at McDonald's. I'm making breakfast as well and currently we are eating mac'n cheese for dinner a lot. Ramen noodles are also a popular food item here right now. I know these aren't the healthiest of meals, but we are really trying to eat cheaper right now and it works for us. We have to do what works right now.

On the same line of thinking, my sister Melissa just posted a great blog about living simply.

You can read it here

She has some great insight on the concepts and meaning behind living simply and not just simply living. There's a big difference! I hope to apply these concepts to my life. Thanks sis for the great blog!

There is more I want to write about but I'm actually going to type up the blog and make sure that all my thoughts are in order. I would like to post about some more serious topics. I have a few already in mind that I obviously want to have my thoughts organized before writing it. 

Right now I need to get back to doing some house work before I go to bed. 
My friend Stefanie McNeely will be having her little baby boy Caleb a week from Tuesday on November 10th! We are all very excited about his arrival!! Brooklyn can't wait to meet her new little boyfriend!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another big milestone

Well, those of you who are friends with me on Facebook might already have read my status from tonight. Brooklyn is sleeping in her own room from tonight on. At least that's "the plan". We'll see how mommy does. I know this is definitely harder on me than it is on her. She will probably sleep better now. At least that's what I hope. The last few nights have been very difficult. She's been waking up several times a night and having very fitful sleeping. I don't know what the deal is. The only thing I could think is that she's sleeping in the same room as Waylon and I and any time we move in the bed, it makes noise and she's pretty sensitive to noise. I think she just needs to be in a nice dark, quiet room of her own. Tonight will be a test run. I just know I'm going to freak out if I wake up in several hours and see that she hasn't woken up yet. I'm still a little worried about SIDS although I've taken EVERY precaution to avoid it. A mother will be a mother and will worry. There's not a whole lot I can do but continue to give her up to the Lord because he is in control and no amount of worrying on my part is going to help. So pray for me as I take this step forward in letting Brooklyn grow up by sleeping in her own big girl crib that uncle Bryan bought her. I'm excited to be using it at least! And now that she'll be sleeping in her room, we'll get more use out of her nursery and all the time I spent decorating it. I remember sitting in there thinking about what it was going to be like when she was finally here and we were using that room and now, here we are, 3 1/2 months into it! It's been a wonderful journey so far and I'm looking forward to enjoying every moment of it along the way.

I'm proud to say that Waylon and I have implemented a budget and a system to keep from over spending! It took so much of the stress about my worries in this area. We sat down and wrote down what our income would be for the month and then took out all the bills we pay every month. Then we budgeted amounts for gas, groceries, eating out, and entertainment. These amounts I withdrew from the ATM and put into envelopes labeled for each category. Waylon and I each have our own envelope for eating out for the entire month. Our goal is to only eat out on Sundays when we go with our family after church so we allowed each of us $50 for the month. This also goes towards my McDonald's ice coffee addiction so I won't be able to get them as often as I would like. Then again, I know how to make them so I should just start making them at home. Every three days or so I grab a $20 from the gas envelope and put that much gas into my car and just keep it from going under 1/4 of a tank. We allowed ourselves $30 for the whole month on entertainment. This would include going to the movies or renting a movie. We don't really do a whole lot more. We had a little left over and from that we will pay small amounts on the medical bills from having Brooklyn which aren't a fixed amount every month and also use this towards savings and any "shopping" we need to do that doesn't fall under one of the other categories. I really want to get into the habit of saving money so that we have the funds to go on nice vacations over the summer. I would rather have 1 really good week of vacation each year than be able to take several lame ones. Our goal for next summer is to save enough to pay for our family reunion in June and then a trip to Destin, FL in late July, early August with my parents. The hotel they stay in is right on the beach and is nice but not too expensive. It's a Holiday Inn. I stayed there once when we went in November (not a great month for the beach but you can't beat the off-season hotel price!). It was fun and I'm looking forward to going back when we can enjoy the sun. 

Now that we've got the financial situation going down a good path, I want to get the house cleaning going in the same direction. I think what I'm going to do is just make a schedule out where each day of the week has it's 2 or 3 chores that we do on that day every week. That way it's always getting done and it's never overwhelming where we have to clean the whole house all at once. That never happens! No matter how much time I give myself to clean the entire house, it just doesn't get done. ugh

Tonight when we were grocery shopping, we got the medium flow nipples for Brooklyn's bottles. I know this is just so exciting to read about but I'm excited about it! lol. I feel like it's really going to help Brooklyn's feedings to go quicker and for her to be able to take full feedings before she falls asleep. This is especially a problem in the middle of the night. She will start taking her bottle and after an ounce she's already falling back to sleep and ends up not taking the whole bottle. Then, an hour later, she's ready to take another ounce. It's frustrating, that's for sure. Especially when you're freaking out about the fact that you have to get up early and you're up for the 3rd time with your baby who only wants to drink tiny amounts at a time. 

As I type this blog, I keep nodding off to sleep. I'm a very tired momma and believe I will hit the sack before it gets any later.

Toodles

Friday, October 9, 2009

Motherhood and surprises

Motherhood has taken me into her strong grip and will not let go. I must say, it is a very challenging, beautiful lifestyle. It's finally starting to sink in that little miss Brooklyn is MINE and she is a long lasting responsibility. It's such a foreign idea for someone my age who has never had a long lasting responsibility like this and is experiencing it for the first time. Does this make sense? It's such a huge milestone in my life and it's hard to believe it has happened. It's hard to believe I've already gone through my entire first pregnancy which I thought would never end. Now here I am with an almost 3 month old beautiful baby girl!  She keeps things hoppin' around here, that's for sure! I'm learning a lot about myself through motherhood:

- I worry less about some areas that I thought I would worry MORE about and I worry MORE about some areas I thought I would worry LESS about. Weird.
- I'm not good at housekeeping with an extra person. I barely got my own laundry done in the past, now I have another little diva to keep dressed and clean. It's a never-ending pile of laundry that doesn't get done very often! lol
- My time is more precious to me than anything right now.  I'm finding that more than money or socializing or anything else, my personal family time has become more important to me than I ever could have imagined.
- Leaving a tiny little part of myself at home, in bed is PAINFUL!!! 
- I never thought I would say it, but here it is: I miss being pregnant! I get all nostalgic of my pregnancy and feeling her move and just all the excitement of meeting her and seeing her for the first time. I miss that. Not that I'm not super happy that she is here and it's so much more fun than being pregnant. But I still miss it and look forward to my next pregnancy which will probably be sometime next year if things go as planned. I want to get off the pill next summer and try to get pregnant then and have a spring baby in 2011. Of course, God probably has other plans for us, BUT, that's what we're going with right now. :)
- I enjoy making a fool of myself just to see my precious little girl smile. It's priceless.

There are many other things I could list here but my mind is all jumbled and I'm being distracted by said little girl smiling and cooing at her daddy in her bouncer.

We need some prayer right now for our financial situation. The issue is not that we don't have enough money, although we could use a little extra income a month to make ends meet. Our main problem is appropriation of the funds we do have and paying bills first before we spend it on anything else. We really need to buckle down and live off a budget and not break it every time. It's very frustrating to get tow 2 weeks from my next pay check and not have enough money to pay the water and electric bill, let alone, buy groceries and gas. Ugh. It's so stressful. We are going to be cutting out ALL eating out for the next 2 weeks and then once I get paid again, I want us to be almost that strict for the next month and see how much of a difference it makes in our getting bills paid. I did recently purchase "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey at Half Priced Books. So far it has been very good and inspiring and telling me a lot of stuff I needed to hear. Having another mouth to feed makes the reality of being a good steward of our money THAT much more important. So pray for us as we make big changes in our finances. God has blessed us with much and we are very grateful. We need to learn to take better care of what He has given us. 

One last thing that I just have to brag about is something amazing my husband did for me this week. On Monday I came home to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers on my table, along with a big bowl of chocolates and a beautiful hand written letter from Waylon. Also, the kitchen and living room had been cleaned. He was a busy man that day! I sat and read the letter and cried. It felt so amazing coming home to such a sweet gesture and reading beautiful words from my husband. He is a wonderful husband and father and I am so blessed to get to spend the rest of my life with him. Thank you Waylon! I love you babe!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's been a while

I realize I haven't done a very good job at keeping up with my blog lately. Now that I'm working again I find myself being much more selective with the little amount of free time I have in the evenings. Most days I go straight from work to my parent's house to pick Brooklyn up and then I'm usually there for a few minutes visiting with my parents and hearing about Brooklyn's day. Then I come home and either fix dinner or eat the dinner Waylon has fixed. (He's been doing a lot of cooking lately! It's awesome! Thank you sweety!) After that, it's normally either time to feed Brooklyn or change her. She'll nap off and on but usually stays awake for a good 2-3 hours. She also will usually have a good, long cry for about 20-30 minutes. That part isn't fun. Last night she did this 3 different times! Did I think I was going to go crazy?? YES!!! She had her first meltdown then I finally got her calmed down and asleep. She slept for probably a half hour and then woke up with the most heart-breaking cry, like she really had her feelings hurt or was super sad. That went on for another half hour before she finally fell asleep AGAIN...only to wake up another half hour later doing the same thing. All during this time I was trying to organize bills, eat dinner and place a Mary Kay order and I had a bad headache...which didn't go away since there was a screaming child in my ear. 

My, how my daughter has developed her scream! I hope she can put them to go use later on in life and be a good singer! lol

Brooklyn turned 11 weeks this past Wednesday. It's amazing to think that I've already had her around for that long. She is such a joy to have around. I have to remind myself how thankful I am of her when she's having her meltdowns though...those are trying times of motherhood!

We had her 2 month check up last week which I never ended up posting about. Her stats were 13.2 lbs and 24 in long! She's a growing girl! She got all her shots and did very well with them. Thankfully they do a combined shot so she only got 3 needles and one oral vaccination. She did cry pretty hard during the shots but calmed down very quickly afterwards and then slept for the rest of the night and all of the next day. I guess those shots just wore her plum out!

We are in the process of treating her scalp for her cradle cap...or cradle "crap" as I like to call it. She has also developed what appears to be eczema. She has a few red, very dry, flaky spots. One on her cheek, one over each eyebrow, and a couple on different spots of her head. It's very different from the cradle cap so I don't think that's what it is. I called my pediatrician and left a message about it but haven't heard back from them. I'm going to try some Eucerine lotion on it (suggested by my aunt) and see if that works. Hopefully it will.

Brooklyn is still on 4oz every 3 hours or so. She has taken to "snacking" a lot lately though which can be frustrating. She can't seem to stay awake for a whole bottle lately! That bottle is like a drug for her. As soon as you put it in her mouth, her eyes close and she gets all sleepy, even if she was just screaming and crying for it! It's actually pretty funny to watch how she does this, BUT, then she ends up waking up a lot sooner and wanting more bottle and then falls asleep again. So round and round we go with this. She actually takes her bottles better during the night.

Her sleeping habit has taken a turn for the worse these past few nights. She was doing really well only waking up once in the night at 4:30 am and sometimes sleeping all the way through till 6 or 7am. The past few nights she has woken up almost every 3 hours. On most nights Waylon will get up with her since I have to go to work early everyday and he only gets up two mornings a week to go to school at 9:30. Even though he's the one getting up with her, it's still hard for me because I still wake up and will be awake for most of the time he is feeding her and burping her. It's really hard to sleep with that going on in your bed. lol

In other news...

I'm getting back into the swing of things at work. Everything there is starting to feel very natural and it's all coming back to me. For the most part I have good classes. There are two classes that are more difficult than others because the kids like to talk so much. One class it's really just the talking because they are a pretty small class compared to my others. However, the other one, it's more a problem of just having so many students in that period. I have 27 students in that class and in the other 5 only 18-21 students. Those extra 6 students do make a big difference. Over all though, I have to say that the students themselves seem very nice and overall well behaved and I think we're going to have a good year. Tomorrow we have a half day with the kids and then the rest of the day we have teacher training and get out at 3 so I'm pretty excited about that. I'm showing a movie in my class. In Spanish of course! The kids just love watching my Spanish movies...hahahahaha (evil laugh)...NOT! I just remind them that if they want to complain about watching Spanish movies, then we won't watch them and we'll do extra work. That usually puts a stop to the complaining.

I will have pictures on my next post I promise. Right now I need to eat dinner and then go pick my baby up and make it back for The Office, Community and Parks and Recreation. I'm recording Grey's and will watch it later this evening or tomorrow.

Life is busy and stressful but I'm very blessed!