Friday, June 29, 2007

Mommy and Daddy time

Tonight was mine and John's first night out together since Brooke was born. It's crazy to think that we haven't been alone for almost 5 months. I was really worried and concerned about leaving Brooke. I left 3 notepad pages full of instructions and information for my in-law's. However, the night I had been so afraid of turned into a wonderful night with my husband.

John took me to a really nice restaurant called Number 5. The restaurant was so fancy that it gave me a chance to wear a pretty dress and my wedding pearls which is always fun! We both had the filet mignon, twice baked potatoes, and a really awesome spinach salad with bacon, eggs, and cheese. Then for the dessert, we split a piece of homemade New York style cheesecake. At the end of our meal, they gave us warm cloths to wash our hands up with. Most importantly though, it was so nice to be able talk and laugh together withtout juggling Brooke in between.

I fed Brooke before I left, which was around 6:30, and then I left her oatmeal for her so she wouldn't get hungry. She does NOT drink from a bottle, so I was hoping my in-laws didn't need to tap into my frozen supply. They fed her her cereal around 7:45, then gave her bath, and when I got home at 9, she was sleeping soundly in my mother-in-law's arms. When I got home, we put Brooke in her crib, and now 45 minutes later, I have a bathed and sleeping baby. All that worry and anxiety for nothing!

My father-in-law did something very special and helpful for us also. When we came home, he had cleaned out our basement for us. We had our old washing machine down there as well as an old fridge and toilet. He put those in his truck to take them to the dump and he also cleaned up any trash we had lying around. It looks so nice down there and now I won't be quite as scared when I do my laundry. I cannot believe how hard he worked just to help us out. SO amazing!

Well, my princess is sleeping so I'm thinking I'm going to go relax a bit myself! I hope everyone is doing well:-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grumpy Girls

I must admit that not only is Brooke horribly grumpy right now, but I am too. We have just had a long, exhausting day. It is all magnified by the fact that I couldn't fall asleep last night to save my life. I was up until 3, WIDE awake. I then had to get us up at 7:30 because I had comitted to cleaning a house with my mother-in-law. Brooke usually doesn't get up until 10 and I usually get much more than 4 and half hours of sleep. That probably is not a great combination!

Anyways, despite our sluggishness, I was able to try out oatmeal with Brooke today. She absolutely devoured it. It's insane how crazy she was about it! She loves her one solid a feeding a day and it has become a very special part of daily routine.

Tomorrow John is taking me out on a date. This is the first time that I have ever left Brooke, so I'm a nervous, to say the very least. Granted, my in-laws are watching her, and I know that they will do great, but I'm just so concerned that she'll have a meltdown or something. I don't want waste this precious time with John worrying, so I'm really going to work on just trying to relax tomorrow night.

OK, I'm am off to go take a nice shower and then completely conk out. I'm pretty sure that I'll fall asleep before my head hits the pillow!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Brooke, the BIG Girl

Today I went to my mom's work to see her for lunch. At her work was her boss' daughter, who has a one month old baby girl. This was the first time since Brooke was born that I had been around a newer baby than her. I got to hold the little baby and I could not believe how big my Brooke seemed. I said to the baby's mom that I didn't ever think Brooke was that small. However, Sarah (her baby) was over 10 pounds. Isn't that crazy how when your baby is 10 pounds it seems so big? Now that Brooke is 15 pounds, 10 pounds just seems tiny. I must say that as I held Sarah, who is still a lethargic, quiet little baby, I wished for a moment that I remembered more about Brooke's days as a tiny infant. Though it did cause me to feel a little bit sad as I reminisced, one look at my beautiful, smiling princess made me LOVE the fact that she's older now. This whole experience today makes me just want to slow down and treasure each moment with Brooke more than I already do.

For all of you breastfeeding mommies out there... What do you do when your baby bites you? Brooke has no teeth yet, so she's just biting me with her gums. Holy cow though, it is AWFUL. She bites so hard and refuses to let go. I've tried sternly telling her to stop and she just looks up at me and smiles. I don't want her to become afraid of eating because I yell at her, but I do want to fix this before she gets teeth. Any input would be great:-)

I am off to go watch the Yankees now. They've been having such an awful season which is extremely frustrating. Hopefully they don't disappoint me tonight!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Swimming With Grandpa

Today was definitely a scorcher. I'm not sure exactly how hot it was, but it was HOT. John didn't have to work today, so we ended up taking Brooke to the pool in my parent's neighborhood. The water was 78 degrees. Oh my goodness, it felt SO amazing, I hate going in the pool and freeze the whole time. Anyways, we were the only people there, so it was very quiet and relaxing.

It was so funny because John and I had Brooke in the water and we were being really gentle, making sure her face didn't get wet, and putting her in gradually. Then my dad showed up and things changed big time. He put her whole body in and splashed her and he got some water in her face. At first I was kind of nervous about that, but Brooke just looked kind of stunned for a minute and then proceeded to laugh. It was SO much fun!! I can always count on my dad to shock me. He's so great with her, but sometimes I do get a little nervous because I'm a worrying mother!

John has to go back to work tonight which is always a little bit sad for me. I LOVE having him home, so the first night he goes back is the hardest. I am so excited though because these next 4 days are the last ones he has on this shift for a while. We can hardly wait!

Hell's Kitchen's on tonight! I am so excited:-) That show always cracks me up. I wonder if Gordon Ramsey is really that much of a tyrant or if it's for good ratings? My guess is that he really is like that. A little bit of Hollywood of editing can sure change a whole lot.

I'm off to go be with my husband for a little bit longer before he goes to work. I love that guy!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

We have been having a wonderful few days! It's so rare that John gets a weekend off, so when he does, we really, really enjoy ourselves. I actually feel like a normal family that goes to church and relaxes together over the weekend. Crazy! I often wonder how it will work out when our kids are older. Sporting events and other activities with the kids will be difficult. However, I have many years until I have to even think about that, so I'm not going to give it a second thought now!

Our last couple of days have been comprised of movies, Super Mario Brothers, and many silly moments with Brooke. She has been so vibrant and alert lately.She talks so much and squeals when she gets excited. I know I say this over and over again, but man, I just cannot believe how special she is to us and how very, very much we love her.

Tonight we went to Lowes to price some things for our home. As I have said before, we want to sell our house, so we have a list of things we are now working on fixing. We have three major things on our list. First of all, we want to stain our deck. I'm thinking that it's not going to be fun because it's a very large deck. However, it needs to be done and it will look so much more appealing to people. Next, we want to replace our bathtub and the wall surrounding it. John's dad is handy man who has done this before, so he has agreed to help us with that. Last, but not least, we want to seal our driveway. It was newly paved when we moved in, but they never sealed it. Weird! Other than those things, our house has new carpets, ceramic tile in the bathroom, new floors in the kitchen, fresh paint on most of the walls, and the exterior is really cute. It was perfect for us when we didn't have Brooke, but now we are just growing out of it so quickly. We are praying that God will give us His direction and show us what house to be and when to buy it. It's a HUGE decision that we obviously want to make the right way.

Well, I just put the princess to sleep, so now I am off to play my husband in Super Mario Brothers... Yet again! My only question is why he always gets to be Mario and I have to be dumb Luigi? Lol! Oh well.. Life goes on, I suppose:-)

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Cereal Update

The cereal feeding is going absolutely great! I didn't know that Brooke would enjoy it as much as she does. I thought that we would have to shove it down her throat. However, she has totally taken to it. She giggles, smiles, and opens her mouth for more when we feed her. It is absolutely adorable! Even though she loves it, I am not doing more than one feeding per day and I am not going to try any more solids until she is at least 6 months. Her couple of tablespoons of cereal a day is my limit!

The best part of the cereal feedings is that John is loving every second of it. I always save it for him to feed to her because he just thinks it's the greatest thing ever. Lol! I must say that he does a fantastic job with her and the two of them really bond during the process. I just hope his enthusiasm for helping me feed her doesn't wear off soon!

I haven't wanted to say this because I thought that people would think it was in my head.. BUT, the reflux is honestly MUCH better. John noticed it, my sister-in-law noticed it, and my mom even commented that Brooke didn't smell like throw up anymore. We had one incidence of throw up today. ONE! That's amazing for us. That was the only problem we've had all week. Maybe she is just coincidentally growing out of it and the cereal is unnecessarily getting the credit? Who knows! All I know is that she's loving her food and that she's not throwing up, so I am one happy mama! :-)

We had a great night with just the three of us tonight. We first grilled steaks on our grill. Then we went to get ice cream. When we came home, we once again played Super Mario Brothers. John is SO much better at it than me. I kept dying and holding us up. Oh well! Brooke was sleeping so we had quality time together while we played that stupid game. How addicting!

Tonight it John's last night before he has the next two nights off. He gets the whole weekend off. It's crazy! It's not something we're used to, but it's definitely welcomed!

OK, I'm off to pack John's lunch and do so MORE laundry.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thank God For Family

On days like today, I am extra thankful for my family. John woke up at 4 this afternoon from working last night only to be called into work again. I had just put dinner in the oven when he got the call. John and I don't do leftovers and I had all of this food, so I ended up packaging it up and taking it to my mom and dad's for dinner. Ironically enough they were trying to figure out what they would eat. I was so happy to be a help to them:-)

I got to thinking how lucky I am to have so much family so close. I could have gone to my in-law's house or one of my sibling's houses if I hadn't have gone to my parent's. Anybody would have welcomed me with love and open arms. What a blessing!

It's so hard when John works a lot because I HATE to be alone. I thought it would change after I had Brooke, but it hasn't. Being alone depresses and frustrates me. I love having somebody to talk and to spend time with. No, solitude is just not for me. However, John has to work all night tonight on top of his extra 8 hours he pulled this evening. He might not even get to come home on time tomorrow. It appears as though ALONE is what I'll be for a while so I might as well get used to it.

My parents were so cute tonight. My mom got a beautiful new Tommy Hilfiger comforter set for her room, so they were all excited. After I helped my mom put it on her bed, we all went for a walk. We spent the rest of the night just hanging out, talking, and playing with Brooke. While my mom worked out on her elliptical, my dad helped me give Brooke her bath. He was so cute with her and he was HUGE help. My parents are just great friends to me and I hope and pray that 20 years from now, Brooke will feel the same way about John and me.

Well, I should go upstairs and get the princess in bed. I hope everyone is doing well and not feeling quite as lonely as I am right about now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Worn Out by Wednesdays

Another Wednesday has come and gone, leaving Brooke and me totally fried. Wednesdays are just so crazy with church. Luckily, though, our day started out very fun! Sarah and I took Brooke to the mall. She was such a great baby the whole time. She slept for a good part of the trip, and when she woke up, she was so happy and smiley. I got Brooke 100 dollars worth of Osk Kosh clothes for 38 bucks. You CANNOT beat that! True to my mom's famous saying, "It doesn't matter what you spend, it matters what you save!"

Then we met up with my brother's wife, Amanda at Sam's club, where we got all of the supplies that the church needed, as well as everything we needed to make dinner for the whole church. My parents stopped in on my mom's lunch break and they bought us all pizza for lunch, which was very sweet of them! Looking back on it, that was the most relaxing part of the day.

Finally we got up to the church and Sarah, Amanda and I all juggled Brooke while we made spaghetti and meat sauce and salad for dinner. It was very hot up there, but all of us girls had a nice time together. We laughed a lot and Brooke was SO cooperative, so she didn't slow us down from getting dinner ready.

We always have neighborhood kids come for dinners on Wednesday nights, but today it seemed like there was a million of them. It was the last day of school for them, so they were bouncing off of the walls. It's just so hard to handle serving dinner, taking care of the kids, taking care of MY kid, and then cleaning up the mess. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing it and it's definitely my area of service, but it does become exhausting. The summer months are always difficult because of the heat. However, it's something that I do for the Lord and whenever I become frustrated I remember that it is Him who I am serving, and suddenly I things are put into the proper perspective.

John's schedule for the next three months just came out. We are VERY excited because now he's working the morning shift. YAY! He'll work from 7 A.M. to 3 in the afternoon. A real schedule for the first time in ages!! I cannot wait. He still works 4 days on, 2 days off, so we'll still have the random days off every week. I am trying not to get too excited about this schedule or too used to it, because it seems like it's always changing. The woes of a cop's wife, I suppose!

Well I think that I'm going to take my precious girl upstairs and snuggle up. I'm thinking of watching a movie tonight after John goes to work. That's sounding pretty good right about now!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Day with the Family

Today was one of John's day off. We had a great time with just the three of us! We are looking to buy a new home here pretty soon, so we love to look up houses and then try to go and find them. Today we went to drive past a house and found ourselves on a beautiful country drive. Then we went to lunch at this little pizza restaurant we came across. We love to be spontaneous and drive wherever the road takes us. It's amazing the things you discover!!

When we got home, John and I played Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo. I was feeding Brooke while I played, so we all packed into our little game room and spent some more time together. When Brooke finished eating, she got VERY grumpy, so that ended our run at trying to rescue the princess in Mario Brothers. I guess she'll have to wait another day! Haha!

Brooke continued to be fussy throughout the rest of the day up until now (It's about 7:30). I can't figure out what's bugging her. John and I both spent a bunch of time trying to make her happy. When I made dinner, John fed her her cereal and when we were done, she continued to fuss. Both John and I are a bit worn out from the constant fussing. It is NOT stereotypical of Brooke, so neither of us really are used to it. She was at the doctor yesterday, so I'm assuming she's not sick. Maybe the shots are still leaving some lingering side affects? Who the heck knows!

I just got done cleaning up dinner dishes and making 30 brownie cupcakes for church tomorrow night. It's been go, go, go, go all day long! Now John's sister, Sarah, who is a great friend of mine, is coming to spend the night with me. John has to go back to work tonight so she, Brooke, and I are having a girl's night with a chick flick and everything:-) I'm very excited!

Well, Sarah just got here. I'm going to be a hostess now! I hope everyone's doing well.

Monday, June 18, 2007

4 Month Checkup

Today was Brooke's big 4 month checkup. We always enjoy taking her because we love our doctor and we love to hear how much she weighs and how long she is. We always do it on John's day off so he can be a part of things. Anyways, for starters she is 26 inches long, which is in the top percentile for height. She now weighs 15 pounds, 5 ounces. I thought that sounded enormous, but she's right on target with her weight. Big girl!

Then the shots came:-( Last time she had them, it was horriffic. However, she only cried for a few minutes and then I nursed her and she was totally fine. She's completely happy and acting like her normal, smiley self now, too. Last time she was miserable. I'm hoping she continues to do this well for the rest of the day.

As you all know, we struggle with reflux. None of the medications have really been any help so the doctor suggested rice cereal. I told him that I wanted to wait until she was at least 6 months old. He said that in normal cases he advocates waiting until 6 months, but he's seen a lot of reflux cases improve with one rice cereal feeding a day.

I thought about the rice cereal for a bit. I decided that the only reason I had been adverse to feeding it to her was because I wanted to be her sole source of nutrition for as long as possible. Me, me, me! With some encouragement from the doctor and John, I realized that if this could help my precious baby keep her food down, then I would at least try it.

We went to Target after the appointment and got pink and purple bowls and some pretty little spoons, along with some rice cereal. I came home and nursed her. I then mixed less than a tablespoon of cereal with a much higher ratio of breastmilk. I was expecting her to spit it out and hate it. To my complete surprise, she absolutely LOVED it. At first she tried to suck the spoon, but after a few bites, she got the idea. She liked it so much that she even cried when I stopped feeding her. She ate every last bite there was. I was so happy that she enjoyed it. It was so much fun for John, who fed her. I will only give her a small amount of cereal a day or every other day until she is at least 6 months old. This alone was a big step for us!

In other news, for the first time ever, Brooke slept in her crib at night. It was really sad at first because I have had her nestled up against me during the night hours since she was born. It was very scary for me to have her in her crib, but finally, I just stood over her crib and told God that she was His daughther, and I am giving Him my faith and trusting Him to watch over her while she sleeps. After that, I went to my bed and actually slept. God's peace came over me and I realized that her life and safety is His responsiblility. She slept in her crib from 10:30-3. I didn't think that that was too bad for her first night on her own. Hopefully when she gets used to it she will sleep through the night like she does in our bed.

Needless to say, this has been a hecktic, yet exciting, couple of days. Our little girl is growing so fast. It's such a pleasure to be there for every moment:-)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

As a little girl, my daddy was my hero. He was totally rapped around my finger and I thought he was the most important, special guy ever. I even had earrings that said "Daddy's Girl." That's a little dorky, I admit, but come on! I was young.

It's funny because now that I'm grown and I'm less naive, one would think that I would be able to see that my dad is really, when it comes down to it, just an ordinary man. However, to this very moment, I look at my dad with the same childlike feelings. If my dad says something, I believe it. A trained meteorologist could say it's supposed to rain, but if my dad looks at the radar and says that it's not going to rain, I believe HIM over the weather man. That is just one small example, to say the least. I call my dad when I have questions about things around the house, when I need to know where to find the cheapest gas prices or where the sales on groceries are. Mostly, though, I call my dad when I need reassurance because if my daddy says it's going to be ok, I believe him. I look to him when I need wisdom, prayer, friendship, and support. He is so special to me.

Today as I was watching Brooke and John together, I was overtaken by joy. I know that because John is such an amazing daddy, that hopefully he and Brooke will be the best of buddies even as she continues to grow. I know that she won't always think he's so cool, but I hope that she will always be able to crawl into her daddy's lap and know that she's safe, loved, protected, and accepted for who she is.

My daddy left my husband some big shoes to fill in the area of being a father. I am so proud of John for stepping up and being the wonderful father for Brooke that I was able to love as I was growing up, and even moreso today.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Attempting an Earlier Bedtime

When Brooke was very, very little, John was working from 3 in the afternoon until 11 at night. Most of the time he would get held up so he wouldn't be home until 12 or sometimes much later. I'm not sure how it happened, but we just kept Brooke on that weird schedule. She would doze off during the evenings and the beginning of the night, but she didn't fall completely asleep or go down for the night until around 12:30 or 1. She would then sleep until 10 or 11 the next morning.

Now John goes in at 11 at night. Because of that weird schedule, she goes to sleep around 11:30 so we can all spend time together before John goes to work. Again, she dozes off in the evenings and takes little naps, but 11:30 has been the normal time where she's wiped out. I didn't really see this as a problem because she sleeps until 7 in the mornings and then goes immediately back down until 9 or 10. Therefore I figured she was getting ample sleep.

I have been thinking though, that I should have Brooke's sleeping schedule the same no matter what John's schedule is. In July, schedules for the next 6 months will come out and for all we know, his shift could have been changed again. I can't giving her inconsistancy in her life. Babies, in my opinion, need to have somewhat of a regular schedule. I don't want to be neurotic about it, but there's definitely room for improvement. I feel like such a bad, selfish mother for allowing my differing schedules to conflict with what's best for Brooke.

Lately Brooke hasn't been cluster feeding right before bedtime like she used to in the previous months, so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try to fix a few things. Last night at about 9:20, I took her to her room and rocked, nursed, and sang to her for about 30 minutes. I then put her in her crib. She slept soundly in there for a whole 30 minutes. She woke up hungry... She has always had a hard time staying awake during her feedings, so she doesn't get enough to eat. Anyways, I then brought her into my bed and nursed her for a few more minutes. At 10:30, she was completely out for the night. I thought that that was a good thing! I had her down a whole hour earlier!

If I keep up with this will it get easier? Does anybody have any advice or insight on this matter? I just want to do what's best for my girl! I'm sure you all have been there and gone through these same issues. PLEASE GIVE ME TIPS AND POINTERS!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

4 Months and Counting

Today marks yet another month of Brooke's life. I honestly can't believe that she's already 4 months old. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without her in it. These last few months have changed me so very much. I am learning to be more selfless, to slow down more, to enjoy the small things, and most importantly, to love more deeply and more sacrificially. Yes, being a mommy makes quite the impact on the way you live your life.

I am so nostalgic today as I think about the wonderful moment that Brooke was born. All day long I have been looking at the clock and saying, "This time exactly a month ago, I was ...." I'm sure that at 10:35 tonight, I'll start crying or something. I'm just that way. Lol! Brooke's birth is the most miraculous, amazing thing that has ever happened to me, so that memory alone just causes me to feel so joyful and overwhelmingly blessed.

I cannot believe that that sleepy, quiet little baby I gave birth to has turned into this talking, giggling, smiling little creature. I know I'm partial, but she's just as special as they come. She's such a content, easy-going, perfect baby.

While I am so excited for Brooke to grow into a little girl and then into a young woman, I just want to slow down and savor every precious moment with her.

Forgive the sappiness. I just needed to have a "mom moment!"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bored Senseless

What a boring day this has been! My sister and I had a fun morning just running a few errands and then seeing our mom for lunch. However, I got home at 2:30 and it's been downhill from there.

John has some extra training going on at work this week, so today he had to be at work at 7 A.M and he got home around 1:30. Now he has to be in at work at 11 P.M. tonight. Needless to say, he's very sleepy. I'm trying to be sensitive to his exhaustion, but I am just bored out of my mind. He slept from when I got home this afternoon until I woke him up for dinner at 5:30. While he slept I made barbeque ribs, broccoli and cheese, twice baked potatoes, and fresh strawberries for dinner. I also did more laundry, mopping, dusting, etc.. All this while managing Brooke and keeping her happy, fed, and occupied.

When he woke up, I thought it would be different, but he fell back asleep, so I played with Brooke, cleaned up the mess from dinner, gave Brooke a bath, and read her stories. Now that she's finally eating, I actually have some time to sit and relax for a change.

Days like this just make me so lonely and they just drag and drag. Thank goodness that these days are few and far between.

One quick funny story and then I'm off... Today in the mail I got a letter saying that I had received a top honor of being on the National Dean's List, which is honor only bestowed on approximately one percent of all students. The funny part is that I failed miserably at college and only successfully completed three of my classes. Hmmm.., That makes sense! I laughed hysterically. I'm glad they think so highly of me:-) LOL

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One Step Closer to Vacation

John and I have this fun tradition of saving all of our change and spare one dollar bills and putting it into big, huge cup. We paid for $900 of our honeymoon using this method. In December, we had accumulated about $300 in less than a year. I am happy to report, that since last December, we now have about $150 worth of change alone in the cup. If you add up all of our bills and other spare money, we have $207.64 total.

While $207.64 doesn't sound like a whole ton of money, it's nice to be able to take that money with us on our vacations for meals, shopping, etc... We have money in our savings account, but in my opinion, this is more gratifying and must more exciting to watch our money grow. We just love counting it and seeing the many coins start to overflow.

Our vacation plans for this year include going to Florida. My brother's wife's parents have a beach house there. My parents are using it for 10 days, so John and I are going for maybe five days. We are SO excited. It's not until the end of August, but that will just give us more time to grow our cup:-) Brooke will be almost 7 months when we go and I think that that will be such a fun age to be able to take her to the beach and to sightsee around Florida. She will be more interactive and alert!

Well, I'm off to spend some quality time with my husband. Brookie's sleeping, so I want to relax with him for a bit. I hope everyone's doing well!! :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Splish Splash

Today was one of John's days off and it just so happened to be sunny, warm, and beautiful out. We decided to take Brooke to John's parents pool. I was a little bit nervous about putting her in the water at first, but she had such a great time, I'm SO glad we did it!

First of all, I must note how absolutely gorgeous Brooke looked in her red polka dot swim suit and the matching hat to go with it (Thank you Aunt Alison for the adorable swimming attire).

After we got Brooke all ready, John took her into the pool. He first put her feet in and she was really enjoying it. She liked it so much that we ended up gradually putting her legs in and we got her wet all the way up past her waist. She didn't really kick or act too excited, but instead she just sat back and took the whole experience in. She and John were so precious together!

I am so excited for the many days we have left of summer. I plan on taking Brooke to enjoy the pool as much as possible. I'm so happy that she likes the water!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Meeting Milestones

An exciting thing happened today! I would like a drum roll please. BROOKE ROLLED OVER!! She was so proud and of course, as you can imagine, I was overwhelmed with pride myself. I was so happy to see her accomplish that, but it was a little bittersweet at the same time. While it's exciting for her to meet her developmental miletones, it's also sad to see her become bigger and bigger and less dependent on me. It's hard to put that into words so hopefully that made a little bit of sense.

I called John when he was on his way home from some police training today to tell him of our baby girl's feat. He came home so excited to see her roll over, but she hasn't done it again. I'm so sad that he hasn't seen it yet. I keep promising him that I'm not making this up.

In other cute Brooke news, she now has a new coo that she does. It a very deep sounding "ooo" that she repeats over and over. She is constantly talking and wiggling. Overall, she is one of the most content and happy babies I have ever met. I adore her and love her more than I could ever put into words.

Well, I'm going to get ready for Hell's Kitchen. YES!! I'm so excited! I hope all is well with everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Relaxing Lunch Gone Bad

We went to my parent's house today for our typical Sunday afternoon lunch. We were celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday, so we were all enjoying nice conversation and a delicious ice cream cake. In the recliner, John and Brooke were so sweetly cuddled up together and dozing off. It was perfect!!

However, the next thing I knew, I heard Brooke poop, but I thought I would wait a minute to make sure she was done. She then proceeded to fuss, so my sister, wanting to help us out, went to take her from John. As she picked her up, Alison said, "Why are you all wet??" I looked over at my husband, whose pants were covered in poop, and then over at Brooke, whose whole body and clothes were also covered in poop, and immediately thought, "NOT GOOD!"

In the background, my goofy brother is saying, "OK, I'm eating my dessert here and I can't have this." So he took his precious cake and left the scene. He doesn't do bodily functions well. It was so funny because his wife, Amanda, was nudging him to shut up the whole time!

John was still planted in the recliner. He was sitting completely still, so as to avoid a bigger mess. The look on his face was, of course, priceless.

I don't think my brother-in-law looked up from his laptop he was working on. He has a 10 month old, so really, what would faze him?

My mom was running around getting towels to put Brooke on while my sister held Brooke away from her like she was holding.. well, a baby covered in poop.

In the background, my dad is saying, "Let's give that baby a bath in the sink!" He left to run the water.

Meanwhile, Nathan, is running around, as happy and as unfazed as he could possibly be.

My sister was so sweet because she had poop all over her, and she didn't complain once. She started to undress Brooke the Alison way.. Strategically, orderly, and organized. I must say, her method got Brooke's onesie off without getting any poop in her hair. Thanks Aunt Alison!!

After taking the heavily soiled clothes off of Brooke, my mom, sister, my sister-in-
law, and I all crammed into the bathroom and gave the screaming princess a bath. It was a pitiful sight.

It was hilarious to me to see every single member of my family react to such a relatively small thing in such drastically different ways.

I am pretty sure that it's safe to say, "Life will never be boring again."

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Completely Exhausted

Last night, I could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned until 1 o'clock and finally slept. Before I knew it, Brooke, the baby who never wakes up until 9:30 or 10, woke me up at about 7 just giggling and kicking away. I had to be up at 7:45 anyways to go to breakfast with my mom and sister, but still, those extra 45 minutes would have been amazing. I tried to get her to eat, and she absolutely refused, so we just hung out until we had to get up.

After battling endless lines and many rude people at Wal Mart, I decided that Brooke and I deserved to go home and take a nice, long nap. Brooke, the baby who always naps and sleeps like a gem, decided that she would rather play instead of nap. Silly me, instead of relaxing while she was happy, I cleaned out my fridge, mopped, did laundry, wiped down the counters in the kitchen, and organized some papers we had lying around.

My cleaning came to a screaching hault when Brooke started screaming. She hadn't eaten much all day, so I tried to feed her, and again, she didn't have too much interest in eating. So intead of eating, we played fun games and had deep conversations together. She just laughing and cooed. It was great to see her so happy! It always makes everything else in the world seem so minute and insignificant. Finally she was hungry, so I fed her and then held her on my chest while she took her nap. If I was smart I would have taken my nap then, but Roger Clemens was pitching for the Yankees, so I couldn't sleep. I was much too captivated by the game!

When John woke up, we went to the Franklin Graham Festival. Let me just say, I'm so glad that the festival came to this area to witness to people and try to make a difference for eternity. That's amazing. HOWEVER.. I do not, I repeat, DO NOT, recommend taking a small baby to TEEN night where loud music is inevitable and where tons and tons of people are surrounding you and carelessly knocking into you. Brooke got a little bit fussy until her daddy took her and put her to sleep. I tried feeding her there on numerous occassions, but she refused... I'm assuming because she was MUCH too distracted to eat. We ended up leaving early to miss the traffic out of the area and we just now got home.

I can hardly keep my eyes open and I have a headache. I just put the princess to sleep, so I think I'm going to go join her. I might just fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Me? A Vegetarian? HAHA!

As you all know, I was a vegetarian for almost 11 years. The thought of meat was repulsive and not even remotely appealing to me for all of that time. Last year when I became pregnant with Brooke, I started craving chicken. I was secretly eating chicken behind my family's back because they all used to pick on me for not eating meat. Finally, after continually watching the delicious chicken bypass me at family dinners, I confessed because I couldn't stand it anymore. Lol! Of course my older brother and my dad had a field day with that one and poked LOTS of fun at me!

Anyways, then I got hooked on ham, pork chops, ribs, hamburgers, and most of all STEAK! Now, I'm this meat eating maniac and I crack up at the thought of not eating it for almost 11 years straight. Weird, huh?

It's hilarious because when I was in high school, the guys would all pick on me for my vegetarianism. They started to put pictures of dead chickens and slaughtered cows in my locker just to get a rise out of me. Trust me, at the time, I did NOT think they were funny. Ironically enough, when I was secretly eating meat behind every one's back, I went to the drive-through at a local restaurant and ordered chicken. When I got to the window to pick up my delectable food, one of the same guys who put nasty pictures in my locker at high school was the one who served me my chicken. I passed it off as "my husband's chicken." I am SO weird!

Tonight John took me to the Texas Roadhouse...Which is what made me remember back to the days that I was a vegetarian and I would go to a steak house for a salad. No wonder why people picked on me! Anyways, We had such a nice time. It was just the three of us which is so rare, it seems. That nice big juicy, bloody steak was amazing, but the company was even better!

We're just relaxing now and enjoying some family time. I love my little family so much. We have wonderful times together!

I hope every body's enjoying their weekend:-)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Picnic at the Park

Today John and I let Brooke in on one of our romantic spots. Ever since John and I have been a couple, we have gone to the falls in Ithaca at least once a summer. First we pack a nice picnic (peanut butter and fluff is our traditional main course) and we sit right on the lake and eat. Then we feed the ducks. Except for today, the ducks came to us first and they would NOT leave us alone. VERY annoying! Ha! It was so nice to be there with our baby and to have her share our tradition with us! The only difference with a baby is that we didn't have time to sit on the picnic blanket at make googily eyes at each other.. Instead we made googily eyes at her! :-)

Then we walked the trail that leads up to the falls. It was very warm today, but the shade and the breeze from the water made it just perfect. John took Brooke out of her stroller and she stared at the falls. Of course it made me VERY nervous because I didn't want her to accidentally fall into the water, but then I realized that John would never let anything bad happen to her.

After we got home and we had dinner, we then all met up with my Alison, Luke, and Nathan for some yummy Italian Ice. I tried the Passion Fruit Italian Ice and it was tasty!

Overall, it was a wonderful day. We have really, really enjoyed John's days off, so him going back into work tonight is going to be extra hard:-( Oh well.. That's the joy of being a grown up, I guess!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

No More Neat Freak!

I must confess that I am a bit of a neat freak. I am one of those people that just cannot stand to have an unmade bed, a dirty floor, dirty laundry, dishes in the sink, things out of place, etc.. I just like "a place for everything and everything in its place." It gets so bad that I get almost grumpy or edgy when my house isn't perfect. I have been letting it get to me so bad lately. I does NOT help to have tons of baby gear throughout my house either.

Both my mom and my mother-in-law have both told me that one day when my kids are grown, I will have wished that I had just enjoyed them and that I had not gotten too frustrated by messes or by all of their stuff throughout the house. One of them even told me that they missed the chaotic mess!

With all of that being said, I am really going to work on enjoying Brooke more and not worrying about my house being immaculate at every second of every day. I don't want to raise my kids to think that they can't enjoy their house or be comfortable in it because they'll make me mad if they make a mess. That's no way for anyone to be made to feel!

This is the new Jillian! I still want to be tidy, but I do not want to get angry, anxious, or mean when things aren't in ship shape. That's the goal! I really hope I can make the trasfomation:-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Exactly a year ago from today, I fell in love.

This day last year was the wonderful day that I found out I was pregnant with Brooke. I remember it just like it was yesterday! I woke up to get ready for work (at Red Lobster) and I decided to take a pregnancy test. I remember looking at the positive test and jumping up and down with excitement. I was absolutely elated and I was so happy that I cried. John was at work, of course, so I was alone. I didn't want to tell anyone such fantastic news over the phone, so I went to work and kept my secret. After going through a miscarriage two months prior, I was very scared of losing the baby. I tried not to let that fear take over my joy, but it was very hard.

John was at work at the police academy that day, where I couldn't call him or see him. He had just started a long, grueling series of torture called Defensive Tactics (DT). Since it was his first day of DT, we didn't really know what to expect. I thought that he would come home and just be a little tired or in pain from all of the working out. So, I made this special dinner and I wrapped the pregnancy test up in a box and wrote him a long letter. When he walked in the door covered in his own vomit, I suddenly knew that DT was a bit harder than we had anticipated. Haha! My dinner didn't get eaten. He just ran upstairs and all he wanted to do was get cleaned up and relax. It wasn't quite the ideal way that I had planned on telling him our amazing news, but I proceeded to give him the box with the pregnancy test in it. He opened it up and though he was very happy, he was too sick to show an incredible amount of emotion.

I recall all of the questions I had that day. Would it be a girl or a boy? Who would he or she look like? When would my due date be? Will this be a healthy pregnancy? When will I feel the baby move? When do I get to wear maternity clothes? When will I look pregnant? I remember looking at myself in the mirror and just wishing my belly would instantly appear!:-)

Now as I sit here nursing my baby, I am mindful of how perfect God's plan was to bless my empty arms with the most gorgeous, healthy little princess I could have ever imagined. This time last year, my journey to motherhood was just beginning, and now that I am a mommy, I feel like the most blessed and most fortunate person in the whole universe.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Nice to meet you, feet! My name is Brooke.

Brooke has discovered her feet within the last few days. She is just absolutely in love with them too! She grabs them and holds them in amazement. Changing her diaper is suddenly a bigger task because she likes to try to get to her feet during the process. It so amusing to watch her as she enjoys her latest discovery. It cracks me up how something so simple could be so new and wonderful to Brooke. I LOVE having a baby:-)

In other Brooke news, her reflux is back to being really, really bad again. We go through spurts of really great days, ok days, bad days, and horrible days. Today, in the reflux world, has been absolutely horrific. We came home from my in-law's house with throw up all over Brooke and me. My jeans were covered in throw up as well as Brooke's clothes, carseat, burp cloths, and the back of her neck. The first thing I did was give her a bath. I HATE reflux. I hope my next babies don't get this! The specialist doctor told me to give her a tablespoon of rice cereal after ever feeding because it will help her keep things down, but I feel very strongly about waiting for her to be six months old until I introduce solids. Is a tablespoon a feeding really enough to make a difference? Any thoughts on this?

Well, I'm going to go fold some laundry and get ready for Hell's Kitchen to come on. I am SO excited! It's my favorite show!:-)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My Rantings on Breastfeeding

I've had this issue on my mind, but I decided to save it for an uneventful day (such as today) so I could call adequate attention to the matter!

So, somebody the other day told me that she never breastfed because it "didn't appeal to her." I have heard many excuses (or don't get me wrong, in some cases, legitimate reasonings) for not breastfeeding, such as "The baby wouldn't latch," or "I had an inadequate supply," or my favorite, "It was just too hard." Honestly, though, the lady that told me that it didn't appeal to her just baffled me COMPLETELY. What about providing the most natural, healthy, non-manufactured, and the most easily digested form of nutrition for your precious baby is not appealing? That is so far out there beyond my realm of thinking that I can't even fathom anyone thinking that. Why in the world would you not want to share the intimacy of having your baby nestled up against your chest, so dependent on YOU and solely you? Again, that boggles my mind how anyone could not want that. There are vast amounts of benefits to breastfeeding, and yes, it's hard in the first few days of your baby's life, but the rewards are priceless. To be honest, I don't love wearing a nursing bra and I don't love that it's so, so hard to leave her for even a little bit, but those are small sacrifices.

Besides, why would you think that formula feeding would be easier? I don't have to measure, warm up, and then wash out a bottle. If my baby gets hungry in the middle of the night, I don't have to go downstairs to get her a bottle. I don't have to waste senseless amounts of money on food for my baby, because God gave me the best food possible for her for FREE.

I know that I am very lucky because I get to stay home with my baby, therefore, breastfeeding is so much more doable for us. However, I have so much respect for those moms that go to work and pump during their lunch hour because they feel that strongly about breastfeeding and what it means for their baby.

There have been times when I have wanted to throw in the towel. I was not able to eat beef, soy, dairy, eggs, or nuts for three weeks because they thought Brooke had an allergy to something in my milk. For those three weeks I was starving, but I am so glad that I didn't allow any amount of complications to try to take the wonderful moments of breastfeeding away form us. I can't imagine it any other way!

Anyways, just thought I would write my thoughts and opinions down. I see so many mothers now a days just throwing in the towel or not even willing to give it a whirl and it frustrates me. As for me, I breastfeed and I plan on doing so for a quite a while, and I'm proud of that!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Happy Half Birthday To Me!

In our family, the girls have a goofy tradition of celebrating half birthday. To make a long story short, we started half birthdays in mockery of a little girl whose birthday was on Christmas. On her half birthday, she would say that that's when she celebrated her birthday, but on Christmas (her real birthday), she would make a big deal if she didn't have a birthday present. Anyways, thanks to a greedy little girl, we now have this wonderful tradition that's evolved into getting nice presents. To celebrate the fact that I am 21 and half, my mom and sister got me a gorgeous new swimsuit. It's PERFECT. It's modest and it doesn't expose all of my "mom body," but it's still cute and young looking. I LOVE it and I actually feel good about myself when I wear it.. which is very rare for me.

Today Brooke and I went to a baby shower for the wife of one of John's high school friends. As she opened up her gifts and got so excited over all of the precious baby gear, it made my remember my baby showers and how antsy I was getting as I was awaiting Brooke's arrival. This girl is not due until mid-August so she still has a little ways to go. She looked SO cute with her big belly and it brought back all of those memories I had of being pregnant. I can't wait for it to be my turn to have another baby. How amazing is it that God chose women to carry new lives into the world? It is the biggest privilege ever, if you ask me.

I got pulled over on the way home from the shower. Oops! I was going 60 in a 45, which I know is bad... especially with Brooke in the car. John was in the seat next to me half asleep and he saw the cop and said, "He's gonna get you. I know he will." So, sure enough, John was right. I wasn't afraid of getting a ticket because they wouldn't write me one because of John, but it was still embarrassing. Luckily, John knew the man personally and it wasn't a big deal. I suppose that I will slow my rear end down in the future!

There's a huge thunderstorm going on right now. I absolutely love storms! I find nothing more relaxing and soothing. Is it safe to be on the computer during a storm? Hmmm.. I guess if I get zapped then we'll know it's not. HAHA!

I hope every one's having a great weekend:-)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Eat Please!

As you may remember, I was going to take Brooke to the doctor today. However, she slept through the night last night and woke up completely happy this morning. My "motherly instinct" decided that we didn't need to go to the doctor.

Around 11:30, I tried to feed Brooke, but she wouldn't eat. I figured she just wasn't hungry. I then tried to feed her at 2:30 and she STILL wouldn't eat. At this point, she had only had 1 wet diaper all day, so I was getting a bit frustrated. At 5, it was the same thing. She just outright REFUSED to eat. I know my baby and she'll eat when she wants to, so that didn't bother me quite as much as her lack of wet diapers. Finally, at about 7:30 all she wanted to do was eat. I'm not sure what the heck was going through her tiny little head today! Thank goodness she's eating now and all is well in our world. She wasn't even fussy today, so that was also good.

Well, John has to work tonight:-( I'm off to pack his lunch or midnight snack.. whatever it is, and spend some time with him. I hope everyone is doing great:-)