Friday, August 31, 2007

Brooke's 6-Month Checkup

Today I took Brooke to the doctor for her checkup. She weighed in at 17 pounds, 9 ounces and she measured just shy of 28 inches. Crazy, huh? She's in the 80 percentile for weight and in the 97Th of height. I just can't believe how big she is! Oddly enough, they said that her weight gain has slowed down a little bit, according the growth curve chart that they have. Everything else checked out great. The doctor does, however, want to rescreen her poop for blood because the reflux is still an issue. He said that if there's blood in her poop than that will be an indicator that there could be some irritation to her esophagus. Our pediatrician is SO thorough, which is great.

I have some more encouraging things to report about our whole sleeping challenge. Last night Brooke fell asleep in a little over 10 minutes!!!! I followed the prior night's routine of having her bath time followed by rocking and nursing her and singing to her. I then put her in her crib wide awake and she didn't really even scream all that much. She screamed for maybe two minutes and then the rest of the time she was just fussing to keep herself awake. I hopped in the shower and by the time I was out, she was asleep. When I turned the water off and didn't hear her crying I just assumed that John was in there with her calming her down, but to my total shock she was completely passed out.

In addition to Brooke going to sleep by herself, she also is in a deeper sleep using this method. When I was spending hours in her room with her each night, she would usually wake up 30 minutes to an hour after I would put her down. Brooke slept until 1:30 last night before waking up, which is just under 6 hours! I can't believe how quickly she has caught onto all of this!

A final improvement I've seen with Brooke's sleeping is in her nap times. I used to NEVER be able to put her in her crib for nap times. She would only sleep in my arms. I am now able to put her down and even if she wakes up in the transition from my arms to her bed, she will be ok and go right back to sleep. When we get back from vacation I am going to work hard on helping her to nap longer. Like I said, I'm trying to do this one step at a time.

I am so amazed that this whole process hasn't been agonizing on us all. I haven't lost my quiet moments with Brooke that are spent prior to her sleeping and most importantly, I haven't lost her trust. I am so glad that we've buckled down on this and tried to fix her sleeping issues!

Well I'm off to Hudson's birthday party. Happy 1St Birthday Buddy:-)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Success in Sleeping!

I am on cloud nine right now! Last night I was VERY nervous about how the whole sleeping ordeal would pan out, but let me tell ya, it couldn't have gone any better, in my opinion. This is how the night went-

~ From 7:30-7:30 we had bath time and story time.
~ We rocked, sang, and nursed until 8:10, which is the most precious time of day to me.
~ Brooke was sound asleep so I put her in her crib.
(Everything listed above is the typical night for us. The rest of our night is what's difference)
~ Brooke woke at 8:45 wanting play. Usually we would give her a second to let her go back to sleep, but then determine that she wasn't tired so we would play with her (I know, stupid parenting move). However, last night we turned her back over onto her tummy and left the room.
~ She played for about 10 minutes until she got MAD and wanted out of her room. That's when the screaming started. I couldn't handle it so I went into the basement and did some laundry. John took care of it all. He patted her back every two minutes.
~ At exactly 9:06, we had a sleeping baby and that was the last we heard from her until 1 o'clock! She woke up in her bed a few times but she somehow managed to put herself back to sleep.
~ At 1 I nursed her (It had been 5 hours) and put her back into bed with me (Putting her back into her crib is the next step after this), where she slept through until 8:50 this morning.

Last night was SO hard because I hate the sound of Brooke crying like that. Those 10-15 minutes were torture for me. I was looking through her baby pictures just sobbing. However, I was prepared to have her scream for an hour, but the whole process was done in under 20 minutes, so I really can't complain! I think that that's awesome! I really feel like we got somewhere and because it went so well I am determined to keep it up.

I was worried that Brooke would "lose my trust" or be "mad" at me for doing that to her, but this morning she was all smiles and I realized that she won't hate me for this. This is just a form of discipline that I'm trying to instill in her to HELP her, not to harm her.

I'm going to focus on getting her go down by herself at night, then focus on her night wakings, and lastly, I will try to work on nap times. I really feel like that's the best way to do this whole process. One step at a time!

I will also admit that those 5 hours she was sleeping were so weird for John and me. We are so used to have a wide awake baby during that time period. We were able to watch a movie, do our devotions, and talk.. Baby free, for a change. As much as I love Brookie, it was refreshing!

Well I'm off to take my parent's to the airport. I like them so much that I'm not sure I'll really let them get on the plane and leave me! Ha! We'll meet up with them in Florida in LESS THAN A WEEK!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Re-Thinking Sleep

John and I have been really, really stessed with Brooke's sleeping issues lately. For the past two nights I have tried rocking, nursing, and singing her to sleep for at least an hour, only to have her wake up wanting to play. I could see using that long, annoying method if she actually stayed sleeping, but it seems like this whole system is accomplishing absolutely NOTHING. Seriously, in my opinion, my baby's sleeping issues shouldn't be causing tears, frustration, and anxiety.

I am not for the "Ferber Method," where you let your baby cry and scream for hours until they fall asleep. I think that that cruel and so completely unnatural. However, after talking to a few other moms (Tristyn and Lisa), I really feel like I have come to happy medium between what I'm currently doing and the "Ferber Method." Both of these ladies suggest that I put Brooke in her crib and let her cry for small intervals. Every couple of minutes I am to go in and rub her on the back and reassure her of my presence. Each night I am supposed to gradually allow her to cry for longer extended periods of time (such as every 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and so on). Both Tristyn and Lisa have reported that their babies are able to self soothe and put themselves back to sleep upon waking. In addition, they both said that it's VERY hard and sad to listen to a crying baby without going to their rescue, but the results are remarkable.

I really am not looking forward to this whole process because I love Brooke more then life itself and the thought of her being sad PAINS me. Lisa gave me great advice though and I told me to think of the long-term picture. Do I really want to have sleep problems with an older kid? I really need to nip this problem in the bud right now.

I have been studying online about this whole sleep issue. I have truly done my research and I really feel like this is the best thing for us. I just want to focus on being consistent with this. I'm extremely nervous and apprehensive. Wish me luck. I'm sure as heck that I'll need it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Exploring New Territory!

Ever since Brooke has been on the prowl she's been very apprehensive of going into the kitchen. I think that it scares her because we have wood floors in there, which are cold and hard, as opposed to the plush carpet she's accustomed to playing on. Anyways, yesterday she came into the kitchen to explore a box of water bottles I had on the floor. That captivated her for about 10 minutes. Today she came all the way to the dishwasher, which was a huge feat for her. She even ventured back in the kitchen later on tonight. She somehow found her way under a chair and she seemed to be intrigued by that as well. How exciting the world must be to her! In a baby's eyes, there are so many new things to figure out.

Brooke gagged on her green beans yesterday. I'm not really sure why because she tolerated them prior to that. I had always mixed her veggies with some rice cereal because the cereal is enriched with iron and it's supposed to help the reflux. Well, today I tried them without the cereal and she ate almost half a container. Yay! I was very impressed.

Well, speaking of Brooke, she's screaming in the other room now. I don't know what her deal has been today. She's been extremely grumpy and fussy. I looked for signs of more teeth but I couldn't find any. Hopefully tomorrow will be a less tiring day for me! We go to the doctor on Friday so it's good to know that if she doesn't perk up then we already have an appointment to check her out.

One week from today we will be in FLORIDA!!!!!! We're so, so excited! We're going to relax and have such a wonderful time.

John's days off are tomorrow and Thursday. I'm going to go watch a movie with him now. It should be fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Baby Beauty Secrets

***Before I type anything more, I would just like to say that Brooke just deleted my whole entry so I'm typing the same thing completely over again. Man, she just loves keyboards!***

As I have mentioned before, Brooke has really spikey hair. Ever since she came out of the womb I have been patting it down and trying to make it sit flat. Nothing has proved successful though! I've tried wetting it down and then brushing it, but unfortunately that just makes it frizzy. Though she's gorgeous, spike hair and all, I would love for her hair to sit down every once in a while. Anyways, last night I was putting some Johnson and Johnson's tear free leave-in-conditioner in my hair (Which is great for detangling, by the way), so I decided to spritz some in Brooke's hair just for the heck of it. When she woke up this morning, not only was her hair shiny, but MUCH to my surprise...IT WASN'T SPIKEY! At last we have found a solution to her crazy hair:-)

In other exciting news (Well exciting to us, that is), Brookie had her first green beans today! She didn't love them like she loved the squash, sweet potatoes and carrots, but she didn't gag on them. With the other veggies she would open her mouth for more, but these green beans were an uphill battle. John had just gotten home when I tried feeding them to her so I'm thinking that that was a contributing factor to her distraction. The poor girl just wanted her daddy and I was shoving green crap down her throat! HA!

Well I am going to go enjoy my husband for a bit. I think we're going to pop a movie in and relax together. It's been a busy couple of days.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Total Daddy's Girl

Whenever I watch John with Brooke it just amazes me how much he adores her. He's always been a sensitive, compassionate guy, but I never in a million years would have imagined that he would have been as crazy over Brooke as he is. It's so cute to watch because the feelings are totally mutual. Brooke laughs and smiles the most for her daddy. She loves me and she and I have great fun together, but the second John comes in from work, Brooke lights up completely. He's definitely the "fun parent" while I'm the one who's running around trying to meet her needs.

John comes up with most hilarious songs for Brooke. He sings her "The Brookie Woogie," where they dance. Then he sings her another song called "I'm Brooke.. I Have Acid Reflux," which has me in stitches every time he sings it. The funny thing is that he remembers the words to these outlandish songs. Then there's my favorite song.. "May I Have This Dance?" Since Brooke came home from the hospital John has sang that to her every night while he tries to settle her down for bedtime. It truly makes me fall in love with him even more every time I hear him sing that to her!

John also likes to brush Brooke's hair. It's so precious to see my manly, sports-loving, gun-carrying, paintball-playing husband sitting there with a bright pink brush. He always repeats over and over again to her, "We're making Brooke beautiful!" How sweet is that?

I could go on and on about how amazing of a dad John is. I really could! He reads her a special book every night, he "wrestles" with her on the ground, he loves to pick out her clothes with me, and he's there for every doctor appointment, every meal, and any other important time. However, out of all of the things, I have a sure favorite. Every night after I put Brooke in her crib, John goes in her room and prays over her and then he makes sure she's safe and sound and plenty warm before he leaves the room.

Man, if these two are so smitten over each other now, I can only imagine how she'll have him wrapped around her little finger when she's older. It should be a blast to watch! I just hope I'm not the rigid disciplinarian. I'm so thankful that Brooke will have a daddy that adores her just like I had growing up and that I still have.

Friday, August 24, 2007

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands!

Our nighttime bed routine consists of singing a melody of songs. I sing "My Girl," "Jesus Loves Me (except we say Jesus loves Brooke),"Cheer Up Sleepy Jean," "He is Able," "I Cast All My Cares Upon You," "Welcome to the Family," and finally "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Anyways, the last song is my favorite because we go through all Brooke's family members. We sing about Baby Brooke, Cousin Nathan, Aunts and Uncles, Grandmas and Grandpas, and Mama and Daddy. Last night, as I sat there rocking my beautiful little girl to sleep, I looked down at her as I sang those words and it hit me. God really DOES have all of us in His hands! Those words are not just words to a lullaby.. They're true!

Isn't it so humbling and amazing to know that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords cares about our needs, our fears and our families just as much as he cares about anyone in the universe? It is so incredible to me to think about how special we are to Him, even though we often feel like just a tiny, sometimes insignificant, speck in this enormous world.

I always put Brooke in her crib apprehensively because I worry about SIDS and about her being in her bed by herself. However, how can I sing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and not trust and allow God to take over and watch Brooke through the night? I want my children to SEE my faith in me first hand and not just to HEAR about it. I suppose that this is the first step toward that goal of giving my children to God.

All in all, I'm sure glad that God has a plan for my life and for Brooke's life, too. I don't know how people do it by themselves without the help of God. It's so scary to raise kids in a world where kids get shot a school, do drugs, and engage in all types of other horrific behaviours. Isn't it good to know that we're in His hands?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Back!

Well friends, I am extremely excited to announce that I am now blogging on my brand-new flat-screened Dell computer. Yes, it's true! I do not have a computer that messes up anymore. The world is at my finger tips now...and I don't even have to wait for it. My computer is lighting fast! How very exciting!

You would think that I would have all kinds of exciting things to report, but really, life's been pretty slow around here lately. We haven't done anything overly interesting lately. The most exciting thing in our household is Brookie eating solids. We started with squash, then moved to carrots, and now we're on sweet potatoes. She has loved every one of them! I mix it with her cereal, which means I don't have to pump for her cereal anymore. Her one solid feeding a day is a nightly ritual of our family and we really enjoying watching her goofy faces as she explores new tastes. Green veggies are next and I'm NOT excited. They look and smell so gross to me so I almost feel cruel feeding them to her!

There's really no word on our house yet. The one showing went well but the couple is still looking at other houses so they didn't put an offer on ours. We have another showing tonight. Hopefully all goes well with that! The house that we are potentially buying is being looked at twice today. That definitely makes me nervous because if someone else puts an offer in on it, there goes our deal. Like I have said before, God knows best and His will will be done!

Well, John's off today and he's itching to get his hands on our new computer. I think I'll share now:-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Computer is Broken:-(

I broke my computer. It was bound to happen because the thing is a stone-age, dinosaur computer (as my dad likes to say). Anyways, I'm at my parent's house sneaking in a moment for blogging. I have sure missed it! It's my therapy. Luckily we have a new computer coming and it should be here in about a week. HORRAY! No more annoying computer. I wish I broken the old one a long time ago. :-)

I was so sad because I wasn't able to blog about Brooke's 6-month birthday on Wednesday. Every month I always look forward to writing about her and the milestones she is making. Anyhow, she is doing GREAT! She is still devouring her squash. Next on our list is carrots. I just love watching her precious little face as she explores new foods. As for her mobility, she can now crawl on her knees pretty well from time to time. She will fall and take a nose dive into the carpet and she hates that. It's so hilarious to watch though! Other than those couple of things, I have nothing else new to report.

Now the big news... We put an offer on a house! We weren't neccesarily planning on moving but we found a beautiful place that we can raise our family in. It's close to all of our family and to John's work and most importantly, we'll have room to grow into! They accepted the offer we gave them, however, the whole deal is contingent on the sale of our house. We have people looking at it right now, which is why I'm not at home. Our realtor thinks that we will be able to sell it pretty soon because it's a really cute little house. I'm very nervous, just because this is a HUGE step for us. I'm also a little bit sad because it was our first house together and I will always remember coming home to it from our honeymoon, bringing Brooke home from the hospital there, and so many other amazing memories. I know that we will build awesome memories in our new house though, so it's not all that sad when I consider that. Who knows? The deal could all fall apart if our house doesn't sell by October 1St. We shall see! God's will will be done and I am prepared to accept any outcome.

Well Brooke's crying because of my parent's dog. I better go fix her:-) I hope everyone else is doing well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Squash Is Good!

Tonight we gave Brooke squash for the first time! I started her with a half of one of those Gerber plastic containers. I didn't think she would eat more than a bite or two, but she devoured it. I was really impressed! She didn't make any awful faces or gag like she did when we tried to feed her bananas. The squash was a big hit so yay for us! :-)

My parents went out today and bought us a convertible carseat for Brooke. A big girl carseat... I just can't believe it! I felt bad that my parents did that for us but they insisted. Anyways, they got us the Evenflo Triumph Deluxe, which is a very nice seat, if I do say so myself. It's a nice fabric and it seems to look very plush and comfortable. We didn't get around to installing it tonight because John had court but we'll get it the car sooner or later. I'm not sure if it will go in John's car or mine. Decisions, decisions! I am dreading the transition because I know that this means that Brooke will no longer get naps while we're out and that if she falls asleep somewhere we won't have a place to put her while she rests. I'm afraid that this won't be fun because we're now going to have really work on a napping routine and not be out of the house as much. Brooke NEEDS sleep and I absolutely refuse to deprive her of it.

About being out of the house a lot... I LOVE my life of going to see my mom for lunch and going to mall, Target, Babies R Us, or Wal Mart to kill time. I love going to my sister's house also. However, lately I just feel like I need to be spending more time at the home playing with Brooke and alowing her more free time, and of course, a solid nap time. I'm thinking that because Brooke is my first baby I have been trying to make her adjust to MY lifestyle, when in reality, I should be making adjustments to accomodate her lifestyle. I'm thiking that I need to slow down the pace a little bit. I'm thinking that I'm going to get some new cookbooks and try some things during our time at home.

Well my husband's on his way hom now. Hooray! I can't wait to have some adult company...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Napping Frustrations

It's been a really busy couple of days. John had Saturday and Sunday off so it's been go, go, go. The last 2 nights we've gone over to Alison's house so Luke and John could play Super Mario World. They're addicted. They finally beat it and I can't say that I'm heartbroken! Lol! It's a lot of fun being over there because Al and I give the kids their bath together and the guys seem to enjoy being together as well.

Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can make Brooke nap better? She's an awesome night sleeper and we've made tremendous headway on cutting out the co-sleeping and for her to be able self-soothe. I can't complain about nighttime one single bit. However, during the day, I cannot get this kid to nap. She really won't even nap all that well when I hold her, so I'm not concerned about getting her to nap in her crib.. I'm concerned about getting her to nap period. Maybe it's my fault because we're out and about so much? Maybe she's just getting way too many power naps in the car, which make her feel energized. I don't know what it is, but I do know that I need to make some sort of adjustment to help her out this area. She'll be 6 months old on Wednesday, which in my opinion, is old enough to establish a more solid routine. This mommy thing is hard work!

Brooke is so close to crawling now. She gets on her knees and rocks and then she crawls very briefly before putting her knees down to do her inchworm crawl. She's almost there and I can't believe my eyes every time I look at my mobile baby.

Well John's working tonight from 5-8, so I'm flying solo. He won't be home until 3:30 this afternoon and then he has to leave at 4:20, so I I won't be seeing much of him at all today. I'm so thankful to have such a hard working husband that supports us! I think I would rather be broke and have him here more! Ha! In my dreams, maybe.

I'm off to do some laundry and all of that fun wifey stuff. The work never ends!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Sissy!

Today is my big sister's 24Th birthday! Happy Birthday Alison! That seems so old to me. This is the same girl that I "baptized" in the bathtub? Oh the memories:-) It's so hard to realize that she's a grown woman with a baby of her own because to me she's still that goofy little girl who I spent my childhood years with. Man, we shared some amazing laughs, discoveries, joyful times, sad times, and changes together. It seems like she was there for every single important step in my life, whether it was my first day at a new school, my wedding day, the birth of my baby, etc...

I am honestly getting choked up when I think about how special my sister really is to me. The saying "Sisters by chance, Friends by choice" is something that we quote to one another from time to time. I feel so extremely blessed that I was not only privelged enough to be born into the same family as she was, but that we have chosen to be friends... Best friends. Growing up it was often hard for me to find friendships aside from her because she's all I've ever needed in a girl friend. Other girls at school or wherever just took time away from the time I wanted to spend with my sister. Who needed other friends when I had her for shopping, movies, sleepovers, card games, advice, support and much, much more? To this day, I really have to push myself to branch out from her, where it's safe and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'll find acceptance and support. I hope to give Brooke a little sister one day so that she can share all of things with her that I have shared with Alison.

Another special thing about having a sister is that she knows me better than I know myself. Heaven forbid anything should happen to me, she would be able to tell Brooke most everything there is to know about me. She would remember that I refused to quote Bible verses to my dad when I was little and that he would spank me for being spiteful. She would remember the time I purposely ran over a cone on the highway just to shock her. She would remember that I buy my pants 2 sizes too big and that I think my butt's enormous. She would remember my favorite color, song, meal, drink, movie, and most importantly, my beliefs, ambitions, values, and convictions. THAT is a sister. Who else can do that?

I am so fortunate to be able to have my sister as support as a stay-at-home-mom. She and Nathan are always around to keep Brooke and me company during the days. I don't know how I would get through the days without her. Sure I manage fine on my own, but having Alison around not only affirms to me that I'm a good mom but it helps pass the time. We always throw around ideas for what we're cooking for dinner or tips for raising our babies. It's like having my own personal little moms group right at my fingertips every day!

In essence, it's nice to have my practical, organized, mature, sensible, creative, maticulous, intelligent, and generous sister to keep me in line. Anybody who knows us know that she's everything I'm not! Thanks goodness because I'd be lost without her!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

She's Into Everything!

Brooke's little inchworm crawl has improved immensely over the last couple of days. Now she goes wherever she wants and she manages to get there very quickly. She's also starting to get up on her knees to do a real crawl, but she's not quite there yet. This has all taken my by complete surprise because I didn't think babies moved around like this at this age. I need to get my butt in gear and baby-proof my house. So far a few of John's police papers have been the only victims of her new found stage of exploration. However, I know that many more things will be next if I don't get a move on it!

I believe we are going through the 6-month growth spurt now. ALL Brooke has done today is eat! She also woke up 3 times last night to eat. So not like her! I almost feel like we are in the beginning days because we seem to be nursing as much as we did then.

Man.. I feel like we have come up on so much new territory with Brooke these last couple of weeks. The teeth, the "crawling," and all of her new talking have all happened in the same time span. Next week she's turns 6-months and that will open up the new worry of solid feeding. HOW DID SHE GET THIS BIG??

Through it all, I still think that being a mommy is the best job ever. I just love being here for every second of this little girl's life. Isn't it amazing to watch them bloom? I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I Had a Bad Day...

Doesn't it always seem like just when you can't take it anymore something else happens? I will be honest.. Today was definitely one of those days.

My day began by going to Sam's Club with Alison and Nathan to get all of the stuff for church. Not only was it absolutely packed and chaotic there, but both of the babies were incontinent to sit in the carts. So, while picking up the supplies, we navigated our two large carts through the many crowds of people while holding our babies. Of course when we went to pay, the line took forever to move and Brooke and Nathan weren't having it. Sam's didn't have everything we needed, so off we went to Wal Mart..

Wal Mart... I think that it has to be the closest thing to hell on earth. The masses of people (and most of them shady) combined with the screaming children, long lines, and filth are just the tip of the iceberg on how repulsing that store is. Unfortunately they do offer the lowest prices. Anyways, after going there for ages and using my church credit card to pay for everything tax exempt, they told me that I had to pay the tax unless I had some special card. That's news to me!They sent us to the service counter to take care of the issue, causing us to have to reload the cart back up. Mind you, we purchased 2 highchairs for the church, on top of several small things. After lugging 2 carts, 2 babies, and all of our junk through the nasty store, we waited in a 10 minute line. Finally, we were done. However, as we were almost out of the door, the man came tracking us down to see our receipt to ensure that we really paid for the highchairs. Since when do they actually care about that stuff at Wal Mart? That's all I want to know.

After our rough morning, Ali and I were both fried. We went up to the church to make dinner and it had to have been 90 degrees in there, at least. That's not exactly my preferred temperature for cooking. Brooke had sweat dripping from her. Poor baby! We cooked the meal, served the meal, and then helped clean up the meal, while juggling our children.

Once I thought I was in the clear, I found out that John had a flat tire. It's our new car and this is the first problem we've had with it. It figures that the one day we have an issue would be TODAY, on top of everything else. John's dad came over to help us and we found a 6 inch long piece of scrap metal in the tire. Our car has expensive tires too. What are you gonna do, though?

Anyways, though it was a long, long, LONG day, I'm thankful that I have a wonderful life, despite it all. So many people who are dying of hunger or losing a loved one to cancer would most likely look at me and want to trade in a heartbeat. Thank goodness that tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Neighbor for Tooth #1!

Well, Brooke how has 2 teeth! When I discovered it today I was shocked. I am so relieved because she hasn't been the least bit fussy or anything with this tooth. The first one was sheer torture for us all. I honestly wouldn't have even suspected at all because she is as happy as she can possibly be.

John had to work tonight from 5-8 so Brooke and I spent the evening over at my parent's house. She was so much fun! She giggled, talked, and laughed the whole entire night. The only time she cried was when she got hungry. She's such a princess when we go there.. and to John's parent's house, for that matter. It's nice that so many people love her and want to be a part of her life.

Brooke and I now play peek-a-boo. She absolutely LOVES it! It's just so exciting now that she can play along and laugh at me. I tell you, her laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.

Well, Brookie's far too interested in the keyboard to eat, so I better go and encourage her to finish her feeding.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Brooke in a Nutshell

Well, I just typed about my busy weekend and low and behold, my silly baby somehow deleted it. She's just enamored by the keyboard, which makes blogging with her on my lap next to impossible anymore. It was so much easier when she would just nurse the whole time! Lol!

Because I don't think that I'm up to totally retyping the same thing over, I'll just give an update on Brooke.

-She has had a total verbal explosion over the last couple of weeks. She babbles constantly! Now she says actual syallables and fragments of words. She says "ma ma ma" over and over again. She can also say "ba." These seem to come out more when she's excited or when she's mad.

-She's almost sitting completely up by herself. She needs a little assistance from time-to-time, but we're almost there!

-She rolls EVERYWHERE and gets mad when she rolls into things.

-She now scoots herself forward like an inch worm. It's not a crawl and it's not an army crawl. It's something though... Lol!

-She is now going down consistently at 9:30. We've been putting her in her crib and she'll sleep there until about 12. She comes back into bed with me and wakes at around 7 to eat and then goes immediately back down until 9:30 or so. We're slowly transitioning from co-sleeping. One step at a time.

-She took getting her first tooth pretty hard and was completely miserable for days. Now that it's cut, she's back to happy Brooke:-)

-Her favorite place in the world seems to be on her daddy's shoulders.

Well, I could go on and on about how quickly she's growing, but I just don't have the time! Hell's Kitchen's finale is on tonight. I must go get ready!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

My Girl

Here's a new picture of my sweet baby. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2007

"I've Got Two Tickets to Paradise!"

As the song goes.. Yes, I do indeed have two tickets to paradise. Well, Florida I mean, and I doubt that some would even consider that paradise. Anyways, after procrastinating for a couple of months now, John and I buckled down and booked our flight to Tampa. We are SO excited! This is our first big vacation since our honeymoon. We're going the 4Th of September to the 9Th. It's close enough to be wicked excited about but it's far enough away to build up some anticipation. I hear that there are some awesome outlet malls where we're going so I hope to find lots of good deals for Brooke. I'm also excited to go the beach and eat some seafood! The house we're staying is apparently very close to the ocean. I CAN'T WAIT!

Funny story about that dumb song I previously mentioned. One night when I was working at Red Lobster (maybe 2 years ago?) our digital music player repeated that annoying song over and over and over again ALL night long. They couldn't fix it. I was about to scream after about the 5Th time. It's was one of those long, crazy nights too, of course. "Two Tickets to Paradise" was awful enough of a song by itself and that horrid night of hearing it to insanity makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Speaking of Red Lobster, John, Brooke and I went there tonight. John was dying for some crab legs. I don't necessarily love going there because people that I used to work with come sit at our table and talk to us for much of the time. While I enjoy seeing them, it's not really like going out for a family dinner. It's like going to dinner with all of them. People kept asking me when I was coming back. It felt SO good to tell them that I wasn't returning. I do miss being a waitress, though. It was work that I found enjoyable and it was something that I was actually good at. The money was phenomenal too. I could easily go back for a few nights a week and make some awesome money, but Brooke is too important for me to leave her. I value our time together way too much to want to even think about leaving her.

Well, we now have Super Nintendo and Mario 1, 2, and 3 plus The Lost Levels. My baby's sleeping so I'm going to go satisfy my addiction. John and I look like such kids playing that game but it's just so much fun to resist.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

And the Fun Begins...

As I have been saying lately, Brooke has been extremely fussy. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with her and today I was at my wits end. I was intending on calling the doctor tomorrow to see if they could get her in just to look her over. Well, tonight I made a very important discovery... Brookie got her first tooth! The top of the tooth just barely cut through her gums so I'm hoping that the worst is over. I am so thankful that we now know what her problem is and that we don't have to guess anymore. Though I'm not excited about teething and breastfeeding a baby with teeth, I am SO relieved that we have an answer. Thank you God!

Tonight we, along with my parents, Luke, Alison, Nathan, Jared and Amanda, went to a minor league baseball game. Brooke was fussy so my parents took her from me and walked around with her, which put her to sleep. It was nice to be able to sit back and relax with my husand and my siblings.

Ok, well my teething baby is sreaming so I'm going to go try to calm her. Let's hope this doesn't keep up this awful..

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Love John:-)

Tonight I was at church getting ready for dinner. It was about 10 millions degrees in there and I was REALLY busy. I was kind of stressed that everything wouldn't get done because I was looking after both Brooke and Nathan, on top of trying to accomplish all of my other tasks. I was sweating and frantic and in walked my husband. At the risk of soundy sappy or "lovey-dovey, " seeing him was honestly enough to perk me up. After hugging me and kissing me he took Brooke, which was amazing, and then told me to go look in the car.

I broke free from the chaos that was happening inside and went out to the car. In there was the most beautiful bright orange daises. To accompany them was the most thoughtful card. No, it's not our anniversary or any other special occasion. It was simply a card to let me know that my hard work as a housewife and mother does not go unnoticed and that I am loved. It made my world.

Before Brooke was born, I would often wonder how she would change our marriage when she arrived. When I was pregnant, people would try to explain the impact a child makes on a marriage, but until you experience it yourself, I don't think that one can really understand just how enormous of an impact it truly is. Though the first few weeks and months proceeding Brooke's birth were a gigantic adjustment, ultimately we have become stronger as a couple. We have learned to juggle her together and how to share the responsibilities in raising her. We have also somehow managed how to keep one another first. It's easy to become so wrapped up in your child that your forget about your partner's needs. However, once you realize that it is imperative to place your marriage as THE top priority it becomes easier to be the team of wonderful parents that your baby demands. Watching John be a daddy to our baby is one of the greatest joys I have ever known.

Well, now that I just grossed you all out with my obsessing over John, I will get going! Lol! I hope all of you are doing well:-)