Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And the Screaming Continues...

These last couple of days have been rough, to say the least. Brooke has been completey miserable, grumpy, and inconsolable. She hasn't been running a fever or anything but something is bothering her for sure.

Yesterday she had periods of CONSTANT screaming throughout the day and last night, to put the icing on the cake, she screamed straight from 9-11. When she has these fits, she stiffens up and arches her back. NOTHING will make her happy. This causes me to wonder if she's in some sort of pain. She also hasn't been sleeping very well at night, which is not like her at all. She has been up at least 3 to 4 times a night for the last several nights. This morning she woke up and screamed for a good hour and a half. Finally I gave her Tylenol to see if anything was hurting her and she took a nice long nap and woke up happy. After that short period of happiness and a few giggles and smiles here and there, she's pretty miserable.

I know that there's been a sore throat bug going around, so I'm wondering if that could be a contributing factor to this. I'm just not sure what has my precious little girl so upset!

Anyways, I'm SO thankful that John has had these last couple of days off to help me with Brooke. He's awesome with her and he's been very reassuring and helpful during my times of utter exhaustion and frustration. He goes back to work tomorrow and I'm hoping that Brookie wakes up happy and that she's back to her happy-go-lucky, easy-to-please self.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Erasing" My House

I must confess that VBS last week kind of took a toll on my house. Sure, my house was tidy and the laundry was done, but my floors hadn't been mopped or vaccumed in a week and my bathtub hadn't been scrubbed down either. I really wanted to do a nice deep clean of my house to get us into the new week with a spotless place to rest.

I put Brooke down for a nap after church today and she slept for almost 2 hours. It was the perfect opportunity for me to get caught up. I got out my "Magic Eraser" and I cleaned every imaginable surface with it. That thing is AMAZING! I knew that it was a fabulous product, but when I started cleaning my doors with it and my window sills, I got REALLY excited. I also had the chance to scrub down the refrigerator, which was exceptionally rewarding, if I do say so myself. My microwave also got the works done, too. I feel SO happy now that everything is looking and smelling pretty. I don't know about you, but I get my kicks out of that!

I am so happy because John has the next 2 days off:-) I can't wait to relax with him and just enjoy a nice, slow couple of days with him. VBS has also wiped out my food supply because I've been too busy to grocery shop, so we'll need to throw a big shopping trip in there somewhere. Ugh... I despise grocery shopping. It's my nemmesis, for sure.

Well, my baby's bathed and my house is spick and span, so I think I'm going to go relax and get ready to watch a movie with John.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'm Sick:-(

Ugh.. I think I know why Brooke was so fussy the last couple of days. There's this nasty stomach bug going around that my mom just got rid of and unfortunately gave to me. It's one of those bugs that competely exhausts you wipes out all of your energy. Of course there's the awful stomach pain and a horrible headache that goes a long with it, as well.

When I woke up sick this morning I thought that I would just conduct business as usual and pretend like I felt fine. However, it was completely impossible. I took one look at Brooke and I got really anxious about how I would be her mommy and take care of myself at the same time. I called John at work just sobbing... In my sick exhausted state. Thank God for my mom and my sister that so graciously picked Brooke up and took her from 11 until about 1. They had to coax me into taking her because I don't like being away from her. I will admit that I couldn't have done it without their help and support. I am SO blessed.

I still feel wiped out and the stomach pain is still lingering. I'm hoping tomorrow I will be back to usual. My mom's bug took a couple of days to leave her system so I'm really dreading that possiblity.

Well, I'm going to go lay on the couch with my husband and DIE! Being sick is the worst.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bawling Beauty

I do not know what's wrong with my little girl! She is usually so happy and content to do just about anything. She is also extremely laid back and usually VERY calm. However, last night she started to scream uncontrollably at church. I took her home early thinking that she was just hot and sick of constantly being there. When we got home, she screamed for another hour before settling down.

This morning I woke up to her laughing and giggling so I just assumed that yesterday was an off day. I was unfortunately WRONG. She screamed from 11:30 until about 2:20. In that time period she stopped crying for small intervals and she took one 20 minute nap. She finally fell asleep on the way home from running some errands and thankfully she is still sleeping now. When she was screaming, I tried EVERYTHING to get her to stop. I tried nursing her and she refused. I tried singing all of our songs to her and bouncing her up and down. Nothing would settle her down. The only thing that eventually calmed her was the car ride home.

I don't know what could possibly be wrong with her. We were just at the doctor last week and he said that her ears looked good and that he doesn't see any teeth coming in. So I'm pretty much able to rule those out as the culprit. The only thing that I can think of is that a little boy in our church has been sick as well as my sister's nephew, who was at Nathan's birthday party a couple of days ago. Those little boys had fevers though and Brooke doesn't. My mom had an upset stomach yesterday, followed by a nasty headache, so I'm also questioning if that's what could be bothering Brooke. If she wakes up extremely upset like she was before I'm going to try some Tylenol to potentially rule out her being in pain. The guessing games of a mother! I tell ya...

Tonight is the last night of VBS. Thankfully we're just having pizza so I don't have to get to the church too terribly early. I do have a lot of cleaning up to do in the kitchen though.. like mopping the floors and cleaning out the refrigerator. If Brooke wakes up as upset as she was earlier, I might have to call and say that I can't make it. I do NOT want to put the church before her needs. As important as the church is, Brooke's well-being is more important than serving pizza.

So I'm a bit stressed now. I have such a long night ahead of me with church and all. I'm going to go try to get a few minutes of relaxation in. Wouldn't you know it.. There goes Brooke SCREAMING. Gotta run!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Doodle Bug is ONE!

Yesterday was my nephew Nathan's first birthday. I have to confess that I was a bit taken back by the fact that he is already a year old. Yes, I will admit that I cried. I didn't cry sad tears, but I cried tears of joy, love, and happiness over how much I love that little boy. I also can't help but to think back on how amazing it was the first time I held him. He was so tiny and perfect and I was overwhelmed with so much love for him. To this day, I feel those same feelings for him, but much more intense.

Nathan is almost 7 months older than Brooke so I really feel like I "cut my teeth" on learning to take care of babies through taking care of him. For those first 7 months of his life, I was my sister's right hand man. I lugged all of her stuff around for her, I would put Nathan down for his naps while she did some work, and most importantly, I really devoloped a special relationship with him. I was there for so many momentous milestones in his little life.

Ever since Brooke has been born, my priorities have obviously changed. He's still SO important to me and I love him like my own, but I don't have as much time to spend one on one with him. I spend lots of time with him, but now it's shared with Brooke. We do have stolen alone moments together and I love and cherish them because they seem so rare. Nathan is so special to me and he will always haves a very, very important place in my life and mostly in my heart. I truly look forward to the many fun times ahead as he grows.

In other birthday news.. Today is my daddy's birthday. Happy Birthday Pops! I love you. You're my buddy:-)

VBS is still going strong. Last night I made homemade macaroni and cheese. Tonight we're having hot dogs. Yucky! The kids like them though and they're easy, so it's all good.

I'm off to play with my precious little girl, who is rolling around the room. Lol!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

VBS Craziness

I don't have too much to say right now that isn't related to VBS. It's been a long couple of days so far, but who ever said that serving God would always be easy?

Last night we had about 30 kids and tonight we had over 40. Most of these kids are from the scary part of town, so they come hungry, dirty, and some of them, rude. It's so sad because it's not their faults really that they don't have manners or know how to act. Thankfully though, we haven't had any horrible incidents as of yet.

As for my end of the deal.. the food, we've been doing pretty well there, also. Yesterday I made homemade chilli and nachos with cheese sauce. Tonight we just played it simple and had ham and cheese sandwiches. I don't how I would be able to pull this off if I didn't have all of our relatives to help me with Brooke. It's so funny because she seems to go from person to person to person.

Well, that's about all I have time for. I need to bathe my smelly baby and RELAX. I'm sure exhausted.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Long, Hot Week Begins

So tonight was the Vacation Bible School kickoff party at church. Our church has been doing VBS since forever, it seems. We always do it in July, when it seems to be the hottest week of the year. I have been in charge of doing the food every year since I was 12. This year, when I was asked to do it, I agreed. I refuse to be one of those people that does nothing just because I have a baby. Anyways, it should be a crazy, hot week and very hecktic with Brooke to juggle, but I think it will be fine. I have lots of help and lots of family at the church, so they should all come in handy. John's teaching the 5th and 6th grade class so he'll be busy for most of the night. Needless to say, it will be a long, exhausting week.

Tomorrow I have to go to Sam's and get all of the million supplies the church will be needing for the long week ahead. I love doing the church's shopping because I LOVE going to Sam's Club. I'm not sure why, but I just like it there. I get a nice big soda and look around at all of the fun stuff. Man, the things a stay-at-home-mom will do for entertainment! LoL! I also like to do the church's shopping because I just put it on my church credit card. Basically I get to shop and spend money that's not even mine. Fun times!

Anyways, Brooke is hungry and her daddy can't help her there so I'm going to go rescue John.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Movie Night

Last night John and I met up with Andy and Tristyn and the movies. A new movie came out that we had all been dying to see, so we decided to leave Brooke with John's parents and go.

For some reason I was really nervous about leaving Brooke last night. I honestly just missed her and wanted to be with her. You wouldn't think that I could possibly miss somebody who I spend virutally every waking moment with, but yes, it's possible! I left her grandparents with her cereal feeding, 2.5 ounces of freshly pumped milk, and 4 2 ounce bags of frozen milk. I wasn't sure if she would get hungry and want a bottle and because we exclusively breastfeed, I had no clue how many ounces a feeding would. We left her at 6:15 with a full belly. They fed her her cereal at 8. That held her over until about 9:30, when they put her to sleep with her bottle. Luckily she only took the 2.5 ounce bottle, so my frozen supply is still in tact! I was so relieved that she drank from the bottle with no problem. I tried an Avert bottle once and she refused, but she doesn't seem to have any problems with the Soothie.

About the movie... It was the theater's grand opening so we each got a FREE 32 ounce drink and a small popcorn. You can't beat that! It cost us 20 stinking bucks to get in, though. I think that's insane! We saw "Chuck and Larry," the new Kevin James/ Adam Sandler movie. Kevin James is my favorite. I'm obssessed with his show, "King of Queens." The man is hilarious! Anyways, the movie was really funny. Some parts were a bit too much for me, but overall, it was enjoyable.

John just left for work:-( He has to work from 3 this afternoon until 11 tonight. Then he has to be back in by 7 tomorrow morning. It will be a long night for me. Thankfully, John's sister, Sarah, is coming over after a bit for a girl's night.

I hope everyone's enjoying their weekend!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

False Alarm Doctor Visit

As I have been saying, Brooke hasn't been going to the bathroom regularly. She was a little extra fussy last night and I had to wonder if she was uncomfortable from being constipated. I called the doctor's office to see if I should give her another glycerin suppository. Wouldn't you know that they wanted to SEE her and they couldn't just answer my question. I knew that there wasn't anything majorly wrong with her, but they said that with her history of blood in her stool that it's better safe than sorry.

So, like any good mom would do, I followed doctor's orders and brought her in. It was John's day off so luckily he could go with me. As it turns out, she is totally fine. He said that babies who are breastfed tend to absord the majority of the milk's nutrients in their systems. He also said that many breastfed babies go through periods like this and that he's even seen babies go 12 days without having any problems as a result of not going. He said that her belly's not hard and it doesn't feel like any extra waste is hanging out in there. All that being said, my mind was definitely put at ease!

While we were there, we also talked about teething. He looked in her mouth and said that it didn't look like there was anything going on in there. I wonder when she'll get her first tooth. I'm in NO hurry for her to have teeth, for sure!

Finally he looked in her ears. Everything checked out well! I suppose that the extra bouts of fussiness are just caused by the fact that Brooke's a baby and she can cry whenever she feels like it! :-)

Other than Brooke's doctor visit, we have had a pretty slow, relaxing day. John goes back to work tomorrow so we've just been hanging out and he's been resting up.

I'm off to give the princess a bath. Thanks again SO MUCH ladies for the nice comments!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Off Again, On Again

Brooke has always been a distracted eater. Even when she was tiny she would eat for a few minutes and then look up at me and suddenly not be interested in eating all together. If I could get her to nurse well, she would fall asleep within minutes.

Even now, she will latch on and off multiple times in one feeding so it will take her sometimes a good half hour to 45 minutes to get the job done. It's also a struggle because I will try to nurse her and because she doesn't get her fill, she will often want to eat just minutes later. I feel like our day is filled with many, many series of small feedings.

I look at Alison nurse Nathan and their experience seems to be so much different. It seems like he always "gets to the point" while he nurses. I know babies get more efficient in nursing as time goes on, but Brooke is 5 months old now. You would think the problem would improve itself! I know Nathan and Brooke are individuals and that's wonderful. However, I do think that our nursing relationship is lacking in this area.

I feel like I have been working so hard to try to resolve this issue with little to no improvement. I have tried turning off anything and everything that stimulates her in hopes that she would be more encouraged to focus on nursing. Wrong! At first I thought that this whole issue was a result of me offering her food too often. I questioned if maybe it wasn't a matter of her not being legitimately hungry. However, even when I nurse her when she's extremely hungry, she still doesn't focus.

It's just such an odd situation. She is growing so big, therefore she's obviously WELL nourished. That's great that I don't have to worry about that. On the other hand, I'm wondering if we'll ever get to the point that feeding Brooke isn't quite as difficult.

I guess that if I look at the bright side that I'm lucky that she would rather play and talk to me than eat! :-) She must think I'm pretty special or something.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Day Filled with Random Fun Things

I had such a nice today! I woke up around 7:30 because I was going to run an errand with my dad. He didn't end up being ready until about 9:30, but it ended up working out great. I put Brooke back to sleep and I got a bunch of work done around the house. If felt absolutely wonderful to have that alone time to get things done!

Alison and Nathan came over at around 8:30. I made them french toast and I cut up some fresh cherries for Nathan bug. It was so much fun having them over. When John was working nights and slept all day we had the habit of always going over to Ali's. It's nice to be able to return the favor!

After we got Brooke up we went to our intern pastor's apartment with my dad. He got married last Saturday so the people in our church bought them groceries. We went and dropped them off so when he and his wife get back from their honeymoon they'll have a surprise. Of course, I, reminiscant Jillian, was thinking about how it felt to come into our home after we had gotten married. There's something special about that first day and night in your home as a married couple. It's almost feels like life is just starting.

Anyways, after the babies napped and ate, we went to my parent's pool with Amanda. She was a great help with the babies. Alison and I put her to work, for sure!

John and I made these awesome grilled pork chops for dinner. Then we went to see Andy, Tristyn and Hudson. We all went for a walk and to the ice cream store. It was a lot of fun!

John has the next two days off. I can't wait! I love being able to spend time with him.

Miss Brooke is a bit fussy so I'm going to go try to figure out what's bothering her. I think we have a sleepy little girl on our hands!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Experimenting with Prunes

As I have previously said, Brooke LOVES her cereal. She's been really enjoying it and she absolutely devours it. She's been eating it for a month now and she hadn't been having problems with it backing her system up or anything until Saturday. She hadn't pooped for three days and she had been straining. When I went to change her diaper, I found that her bottom (sorry if this is too much information) had a small cut and it was bleeding every so slightly. When I put the pieces together, I figured that the cut was just from all of the straining. I called the doctor and they told me to give her a glycerin suppository to help her go. We fixed the problem, however, that whole incident has baffled me about the whole cereal feeding now.

I didn't want to stop Brooke's one solid feeding a day because she really had made so much progress in learning how to eat. I also didn't want to continue to give her something that would hurt her belly. I knew that oatmeal was lighter on the belly, but when I took Brooke off of the rice cereal to try oatmeal a few weeks ago, the reflux got worse again. Weird! Basically, I wanted Brooke to have the benefits of the cereal without the constipation it brings. A bunch of friends suggested that I try giving Brooke prunes to help keep her regular. I tried the prunes by themselves yesterday and she HATED them. She made the most funny faces (I got it on camera!) and literally gagged on them. Lol! Today I tried mixing the prunes with cereal and breast milk and she ate every bite I offered her. I was shocked! I'm thinking that if I give her prunes every couple of days then that should help things move more smoothly in her system. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Well I am off to do bath time and story time before Hell's Kitchen comes on. I get so excited every Monday night for that show. I'm sure suckered in!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

5 Months Old!

I absolutely cannot believe that my little girl is a whole 5 months old! That sounds so big to me. It is absolutely amazing that this rolling, giggling, talking little creature is the same baby that I carried for 9 months. Today I find myself thinking a lot about my birth experience and how excited I am to be able to do it all over again eventually.

These last 5 months have been filled with some pretty big challenges, but as I look at Brooke, who is so healthy and happy, I feel so blessed that we have overcome all of those obsticles. It is remarkable how God has provided John and me with the strength and endurance through the tough times. Even moreso, I am thankful that God has allowed Brooke to grow big and strong. I was just remembering all of the things that we have been through and it affirms my faith and trust in God everytime I look at my precious baby.

The following is a list of things that we have been able to conquer...

1. As soon as my milk came in, Brooke began to spew.
2. When she was 2 weeks old, they had to do an ultrasound on her to make sure her insides were all working properly. She screamed the whole time:-(
3. When she was 3 weeks old, they found blood in her stool. They told me that it was something I was eating so I had to eliminate dairy, eggs, soy, and beef from my diet.
4. When Brooke was 4 weeks old, they told me that I had to stop breast feeding because there was still blood in her stool and I was "harming her more than helping her." I was SO upset.
5. Once the whole bloody stool issue resolved itself, (we never really found out what was causing it for sure) she was having some other problems so they ran a series of bloodwork. They found a large amount of irregular white blood cells in her blood and that her sedimentation rate abnormal.. Both key indicators of leukemia.
6. After 4 series of bloodwork and many weeks of waiting for results, Brooke was ultimately given a clean bill of health. We still don't really know why her blood work was abnormal, but she's totally fine now.
7. Reflux has always been an issue, but hey, who cares? Our baby is healthy and there's nothing majorly wrong with her.

As I reflect on these difficult circumstances that seemed so big at the time, I regret allowing them to cause me to lose sleep and to become so sick to my stomach that I couldn't eat. Honestly, God really worked through Brooke's health issues to prove to me that He is bigger and stronger than any problem that we can possibly encounter.

I suppose that my dad's sermon today on God's sovreignty really spoke to me. God doesn't have to heal us or fix our problems, and sometimes it's not His will to make everything perfect again. I'm just SO thankful that in God's big plan that he chose for all of these issues to be something we could grow through.

In essence, I am filled with so much love for Brooke. I am so thankful that I, out of all of the capable people in the world, have the wonderful blessing of being her mommy!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Roll 'Em Up

My nephew, Nathan, loves to play Patty Cake. We're always playing it with him in the car when he's angry. He claps along and gets all excited and it's just the cutest thing ever!

However, we have recently discovered that Brooke does NOT like the "roll 'em up" part. Ironically enough, that seems to be Nathan's favorite part thought! HA! Every time we say that, Brooke turns her bottom lip under and screams. At first I thought that it was just coincidental, but I kept saying it to her (I know, I'm cruel) and she broke down every time. It was really pitiful! I just said it to her a few minutes ago to see if she would freak out and I honestly created a huge bout of crying and screaming. She was so upset that I ended up nursing her and putting her to sleep.

Even though it makes Brooke sad, I have to admit that it's a bit funny to see her little lip quiver. I can't figure out why it bothers her so much! My poor little princess. I'm going to stop torturing her and stop saying it. It's only fair to her!

Two couples I know of are getting married today. I keep thinking about them and remembering how amazing my wedding was. I remember my mom waking me up saying, "Come on baby! It's your wedding day." I'll never forget how excited I was to get my hair done and to get all dressed. The best part, by far, was to say my vows in front of so many people and to ultimately be married to the man of my dreams. I don't mean to be sappy, but that's just me for you! Lol! I have such fond memories of my wedding day that I hear songs that we had at our wedding or at our reception and I cry sometimes. I'm a nut case, I confess! Man, what I wouldn't give to be going on my honeymoon tomorrow. That was definitely the icing on the cake!

Well, John's at work now. It's been a dull kind of day. Saturdays are very long when John works. All my housework and laundry is done and Brooke's sleeping, so I'm just hanging out and staring at the clock. It's 3:30, which is when John usually gets home, but he had a BUNCH of stuff happen at work today, which means more paper work, which means he'll be late. Never a good thing for me!

Luckily tonight will be eventful. We're going over to Luke and Alison's for dinner. Al and I are going to then give the babies their bath together, which is something we really enjoy doing.

I hope every one's enjoying their weekend!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Family Shopping Trip

Today was John's day off so we went to the outlet malls. It was such a blast! The malls are about 45 minutes to an hour from John's parents house so we stopped by their house to feed Brooke and off we went. Once she fell asleep in the car, it was smooth sailing. The ride up to the malls is a BEAUTIFUL country drive. There really aren't any good radio stations so John and I just talked and laughed the whole time. It was awesome!

I saw countless deals on clothes for both Brooke and Nathan today, however, they were all summer clothes that neither kid would get much wear out of. Children's Place, Osh Kosh, and Carters all had amazing deals, yet I opted not to get anything because I'm sick of putting clothes away with tags on them. I have to draw the line somewhere! Both babies really need Fall clothes and there wasn't really much to offer in that area.

After all of that shopping, all I made was two purchases. I bought Brooke a beautiful dress from Gymboree for the Fall. It was originally 24 bucks and I got it for 10! It's dark jean with lady bugs on it and then it has an adorable red ruffle with little white polka dots. I can't wait for the fall so she can wear it! The only other thing I bought was a pair of jeans for me from the Gap. They were originally 40 dollars and I got them for 12! I was so proud! I have the habit of buying my clothes too big because I think I'm fat, but John made me get the size I needed. They're 2 sizes smaller than I like to buy and they actually fit great. I don't have to pull them up every 2 seconds!!

On the way home, John took me out in the country and we looked at all of the Amish people. I'm just fascinated by them for some odd reason! Brooke slept the whole way home because she was well fed before we left the outlets. Once again, John and I really enjoyed the ride together. It almost seemed like it was just the 2 of us.

After going home, we ended up meeting John's parents for dinner at Chili's. We had a very nice time and it was a great ending to such a perfect day!

In other news, Brooke slept in her crib last night from 11-2:30. I was SO happy! I put her to sleep in my arms around 10. John and I were watching a movie so I held onto her for awhile. It was such a breath of fresh air to have her stay sleeping when I put her down. I definitely needed that!

Thanks again for your sweet, encouraging comments on our sleep issues. I am so fortunate to have so many people to ask my "mom" questions to!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm Fried!

Thank you girls for your encouragement about our sleeping issues. It's honestly very nice to know that I'm not alone and that your babies struggle in the same areas.

Last night was absolutely horiffic. We got home from church at 7:30 and Brooke either fussed or screamed until about 11:30. She wouldn't eat, she didn't want to be put down, and she really didn't even seem too interested in playing. It was sheer misery. Finally at 11:30 she fell asleep. Silly me decided to put her in her crib. Sure enough, 5 minutes later, she was awake in there and NOT happy. After the long night we had, I just brought her back into our bed and put her back to sleep. From about 11:45 to 12:30, I sat awake feeling so bad about the problems we're having with sleep. I feel like it's ME who caused this by not creating a routine for Brooke. I feel like this whole thing in almost a reflection on the mistakes that I've made in this area. It's draining!

As if our night wasn't bad enough, Brooke, who sleeps through the night for 8-10 hours usually, woke up about 3-4 times. I'm wondering if it could be that she's teething or that she just doesn't feel well? She woke up this morning VERY grumpy and she has continued to be a grump all day, also. She won't nap anywhere but in my arms today either. Hopefully the sleeping issues are somehow linked to some other problem and therefore it will go away when the problem goes away. Wishful thinking, probably.

I almost think that if Brooke sleeps so well next to me then why do I want to change it? I know that while that seems like a rational train of thought, that it is also very good for her to learn to sleep on her own. Afterall, I don't want a toddler in my bed one day.

I sound so depressing in this blog today, don't I? I'm sorry! It's just hot and it's been a really long day with a fussy baby. I'm a HAPPY mommy who LOVES her job and her family. Just some days require major venting!

Thanks again for all of your help girls!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An Odd Kind of Day

Today was a very weird day for us! First of all, I woke up and called John at work and he said that he would be coming home at 11. He has so many vacation days, personal days, and comp time that hasn't been touched so he figured he would take a half-day today. There were a bunch of other deputies on so his sergeant didn't care if he took half of the day off.

It was nice having John home unexpectedly! I made him some lunch and then he played with Brooke for a little bit while I worked around the house. He was a huge help!

Around 1 o'clock, John wanted to take small nap. While he slept, I worked on putting Brooke to sleep. Much to my complete shock I put her in her crib and she slept there for an hour and a half! I was proud of myself! When I first put her down, she woke completely up and started screaming. I just kept pushing her head back down and rubbing her head, and after only a few minutes, she fell right asleep. I felt so accomplished! I had no idea how to spend that hour and half because I'm so used to her not napping away from me. It was very nice and enjoyable to have that free time.

When Brooke finally woke up, we took her swimming at the pool in my parent's neighborhood. My dad went with us and of course he and Brooke had a blast together as they splashed around in the water.

John had to be at court at 7:30, so right now it's just Brooke and me. I feel so bad because he really didn't feel like going, but it's not like he had a choice. I'm extremely bored and miss John so much. Hopefully it won't be too late of a night for him.

I think I'm going to got try to find a good movie on TV or something. Let's hope I find some source of entertainment!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sleeping Struggles

These last few weeks, I'm not going to lie, have been rough. I have shed tears over the whole sleep issue because I'm SO frustrated. Brooke will sleep through the night for 8-10 hours if she is in our bed with us. She's always been a great little sleeper. However, in her crib is a different story. As of recently, she won't even nap in her crib, let alone spend the night in it.

I honestly sit in Brooke's room with her for sometimes up to an hour and nurse her, sing to her, and rock her. When I go to put her down, she automatically wakes up. If I try to calm her or soothe her by rubbing her back, she looks up at me and smiles with delight, thinking that it's time to play. I have tried putting her on her belly, which helps her sleep for maybe 10 minutes. I've tried playing her Womb Bear, which recreates the sounds that are made in the womb. I've tried putting familiar things in her crib that smell like me. Still.. all of these tactics have not helped us get anywhere.

I don't know that I necessarily feel that Brooke is old enough for the whole "cry-it-out" method. I haven't done enough research on it to gather a completely unbiased opinion. I can't imagine the thought of my kid screaming for me and me not rushing to fix the problem. I have heard amazing results from it though.

I am just SO lossed. Co-sleeping is great and we loved it in the beginning and we still love it now. However, I think that's important for us to start trying to acclimate Brooke to her crib and sleeping on her own. I honestly want what's best for her.

If anybody has learned anything along the way that has helped, please feel free to share it with me. I am so baffled right about now...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday? A day of REST?

My day started at 7 this morning.. which is about 3 hours earlier than we usually get up. I had to wake Brooke up to get her to church on time, and she was NOT happy with me for doing so. She was so tired that I thought she would nap well today, however, she only took about a 30 minute nap at church. We had a bridal shower after the normal service today, so we didn't get home until about 2. She fell asleep in the car on the ride home and took about another half hour nap. Just as I thought I could relax, she woke up, not wanting to eat or sleep, but to play. I still can't believe she didn't take a 2 hour afternoon nap like usual. Babies keep you guessing, for sure!

Anyways, we had to be back at church at 5 for a church council meeting. My sister-in-law (John's sister) Sarah came to church and watched Brooke for me so I could go to my meeting. She managed to put her to sleep for an hour. GO SARAH!! She's great with her and I'm so lucky that I had a little break tonight.

After church, we went to my parent's house and used their neighborhood pool. The water was AMAZING. It was so warm without being too warm. My sister wasn't feeling well, so my mom, Sarah, John, and I brought Nathan to the pool with us and we all shared in the responsibilities of taking care of the little guy. He was SO cute in the pool. I love him like my own, so spending time alone with him is always special to me. We had a great time, but he and Brooke both were a little sleepy so they just kind of took it in today and didn't say much.

When we got back to my parent's house, I sat in their tub with my suit on and I gave both babies a bath. I held Brooke while playing with Nathan. Luckily Sarah helped me do most of Nathan's washing.

Once our bath time adventure was concluded, we all ate pizza and relaxed together for a bit. Our crazy, non-restful day definitely turned into a wonderful, fun night. I'm so fortunate to have so many people to share my life with! :-)

I think I'm going to go call it a night now. My laundry's all done and my house is spotless, so I'm one happy girl right about now.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Date #2.. Not So Successful

Today was one of John's day off. We really had a wonderful day together! First we went to go see a house that was for sale. We didn't like it at all, but it was still fun to look. After we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Wendy's, we went strawberry picking and got a HUGE container of fresh berries for only $1.05! They were the sweetest, most juicy strawberries I have ever had.

Tonight John and I thought we would be brave and go to the movie theater. We haven't been in ages because the seats at the movies used to kill my back when I was pregnant and we haven't gone since Brooke was born. My parents so graciously offered to watch her for us. Last week was such a success, so I thought that today wouldn't be any different. My dad was so funny because I called him and asked him how Brooke was and one time he said that she was hunting and another time he said that they built a pool while I was away and she was swimming in it by herself. I just love that silly man!

Anyways, my mom eventually text messaged me and said that Brooke was very unhappy. Luckily the movie ended only minutes after that. However, I felt like such an AWFUL mother leaving Brooke, only to be so upset and hungry towards the end. My parents swear that she had a great time and didn't cry until the very end, but still, I hate to see my princess sad... Especially when it's something that I could have prevented.

I'm off to get some rest with my husband:-)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Rolling All Over

A few days ago, Brooke mastered the art of rolling from her back to her belly. She was so proud of herself, however, she couldn't seem to remember how to roll back over onto her back. Yesterday she wouldn't do it for any of our family either. Again, people probably think that I'm lying! However, this morning I had her on the bed while I was getting ready, and she rolled from one side of it to the other. She just thought that that was the most wonderful thing ever. It's so exciting to watch her grow and develop. I must admit though that it was nice being able to put her in one place and know that she wouldn't roll off of a surface or into anything. My parenting job just got a tad bit more complicated!!

In other Brooke news, she is now talking SO much. She's very vocal (who knows where she gets it from??!?!?) and she has the most precious little laugh that I think I have ever heard. She has a wonderful, laid-back temperament. She has really blossomed a lot in these recent weeks.

I am SO excited because today is John's last day of his work week. He has Friday and Saturday off and I cannot wait to be able to share that with him. He's my buddy!

Well, I'm off to make something called Friendship Bread. My sister got me into it and I don't want the dough to go to waste. If anybody reading this wants a starter batch, let me know. I have three to give away!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rain + July 4Th = NOT Fun

My day started at a very, very wet parade. John worked today but because it's his family's tradition to go to the town's parade, I decided that I would go even though he couldn't. I have always heard the phrase "You're raining on my parade." However, that saying took on true meaning today as I sat in a parade that was getting heavily rained on. It was such torrential rain that it seeped through my nursing smock and Brooke's blanket. I ended up taking Brooke into the car because I was sick of getting soaked and I didn't want her to get wet too. The worst part was that there was no way out of the town due to the parade, so I had to sit in my car alone with a fussing baby for a good 30 minutes. Not a fun way to start the day!

The rain continued to be a nuisance at my parent's picnic today. My parents invited the whole church over and of course the rain caused everyone to have to be crammed into their house. There were 43 of us and while I love my church family, I don't love being in such close quarters with all of them! It was crazy!

After we spent some time at my parents, we went to John's aunt and uncle's house. Once again, the picnic was rained out, so we just sat inside and talked and played card games. It was lots of fun because it wasn't too crowded.

As much as I LOVE rain, I must admit that today would have been much more fun if the rain had not decided to show up. Oh well.. We made the best out of it!

My stomach is upset now so I'm going to go lay down. Maybe too much picnic food for me today?

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday:-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dear Reflux, Who Invited You Back?

Yes, I am annoyed to report that the reflux has decided to show up again. It is just as bad and messy as it ever was. I'm back to having a throw-up-smelling baby and soaked burp rags. My hair, my clothes, and my comforter have all suffered from this as well. It's not an occassional spit up episode either. It's constant spitting up that is ALSO mixed with large volumes or throwing up in between.

I don't get this! Now I don't know if the 2 week break we had from reflux just coincidentally happened to be when we started feeding Brooke her rice cereal. This is so frustrating to me! I also have noticed that now that the reflux has returned, Brooke is again refusing to nurse at times. She stiffens up and arches her back when I try to feed her. I'm wondering if the relux really hurts her throat or if she's just expecting to throw up when she eats so it's making her nervous. Just when I thought we were in the clear, all of these questions arise! I suppose that that's life, though.

I packed up all of Brooke's newborn and 0-3 month outfits and sleepers yesterday. It was so sad to sift through all of her tiny clothes because I have such precious memories of my new baby wearing them. It is so odd to think that the next time I look through them will be if and when I have another little girl. I was feeling really nostalgic about all of that and then a few hours later my sister-in-law sent my husband a bunch of pictures of Brooke that were taken right after she was born. I started to cry as I thought about how big she has gotten so quickly. I think I say this so often, but I want to slow down and enjoy every single moment that I can with Brooke. Her life is flying by so rapidly.

Well, speaking of Brooke, she just woke up from her nap. I'm going to go play with her and love on her as much as I possibly can:-) Then it's time to make dinner.. Ugh!

Monday, July 2, 2007

I've Been Too Busy to Blog!

I have not been feeling well lately. The summer allergies have made my throat so swollen that it's hard to swallow and my asthma is ridiculously annoying, as well. I haven't slept well in about 4 nights now, so it's been VERY exhausting. We've been very busy also, so the 2 combined have not made much time for blogging.

Last night John and I took Brooke the fireworks. He and I have gone to these specific fireworks every year that we've been together. I have such fond memories of us going. Last year when I was pregnant I said, "Can you believe that this time next year we'll have an almost 5 month old?" It was nice to bring Brooke with us. It was a bit chilly, but we bundled her up in her adorable pink Osk Kosh basball T-shirt, her jeans, and her jean jacket. We also had lots of blankets for her. At first I was nervous that she would scream due to the noise, but she really enjoyed the whole night and they didn't seem to faze her. It's funny because I don't remember watching the fireworks.. I remember wathing the look in my little girl's eyes. That seemed to be much more interesting to me!

Well, John started his new day shift today. Today will be a long day for him because he has court and some extra over-time tonight. He won't be home until after 8 and he left at 6:20 this morning. Poor guy. I feel so bad for him. I am extremely thankful for a man that works so hard to support us!

I am off to run some errands now. Who knows where we'll end up! The exciting adventures of a stay-at-home mom!