Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Change of Pace

Starting tonight our family has to adapt to John's totally new work schedule. Didn't it seem like we just adjusted to his last schedule? He will be working the graveyard shift, which goes from 11 P.M. until 7 in the morning. We've done this shift before and it actually works very well for our family when we finally get used to it.

The first month is usually pretty rough for all of us. John's circadian rhythm obviously gets all out of wack and it causes him to not sleep well during the days. This gives him headaches and he feels lousy much of the time he's awake. Though it's not his fault, I end up feeling very lonely and frustrated in the midst of all of this. For instance, he's now napping in preparation for his long night tonight. I WANT him to rest and do what's best for him, but in the proccess, I miss this time that we would normally be spending together. Brookie's sleeping now and this would regularly be our one-on-one time.

Another reason this whole thing makes me feel so sad inside is because I love being able to fall alseep lying next to my husband. I waited my whole life to get married and enjoy that with my husband. I also love the safety and protection having him next to me provides. It's so nice knowing that I have my own personal cop in my bed that will prevent anything bad from happening to me. When he's not here, any little noise that I hear in the night frightens me and causes my heart to start to race.

In addition, John working during the night also makes me more concerned for his safety. For some reason I just fear him being hurt or killed while I'm sleeping. I know that most of the people who are out driving at night are either drunk or coo-coo and I don't like that he has to be handling them in the dark and when there aren't a lot of other people around. Having my husband as a cop has brought on a lot of fear inside of me. Every time I hear of a police officer shooting my heart just sinks. I am so in love with John and I honestly don't think I could handle losing him.

I know that I have to give these feelings to God. It's not optional... It's 100 percent neccssary for my sanity, well-being, and rest. God will look over John and if he choses to take his life for some reason then he could take it no matter what his profession is.

I suppose that I should also think of all of the positive things about John's job such as the fact that we have a great benefits package and retirement plan, and most importantly, John's living his dream. Also, I'm so incredibly thankful that my husband works so hard and that he has afforded me the luxury to stay at home with Brooke. I know that I'm blessed to have a hard working man who does whatever it takes to provide for us. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective in order to maintain a positive attitude.

Oh the woes of a cop's wife. This all just sounded so glamarous in the beginning. Lol! I've decided that I love my husband but the fact that he's a cop isn't what it's cracked up to be in the movies! I'm just hoping that he stays on this shift for a good while so we don't have to adjust to another shift again soon. One day when he's not a rookie anymore he'll be able to pick a better shift. Yay for that day!!

OK, we'll I'm off to go pack the deputy's lunch... or midnight snack. I figure it's the least I can do for a man that works so hard for me!

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Ring Tragedy

I am so disappointed because I went to the jewelry store to get my engagement ring and wedding band polished and one of my diamonds on the ring setting is chipped. John purchased a warranty when he bought my ring which would have ordinarily covered the damage I did. HOWEVER (isn't there always a "however" with me??), the warranty plan states that you have to have your ring inspected by a jeweler every 6 months in order for any damage to be paid for. Now, all of you that know me know that I did not get the ring inspected regularly. Therefore, you guessed it, we have to pay for the broken diamond. Bummer! Needless to say, John wasn't too impressed with me because it could have all been FREE had I been responsible with it in the first place. The worst part to me is that my rings now have to be sent away for 2 whole weeks. Now I look like an unwed mother. No fun:-(

My little girl is just growing up TOO quick for me. She has blossomed within this last week even. She's learning to do new things every day and she's become so strong. Let me update you on my girl:

~ She now waves upon request unless she just doesn't feel like it (Hmmm.. I wonder where she gets that from???).

~ She can clap her hands. She claps them anytime we clap ours and any time she gets excited. TOO cute!

~ Not only can she pull herself up on anything imaginable, but she can now walk while holding onto things. She goes from one end of the couch to the other and it's so weird to see this tiny person do that. Do I have an early walker on my hands?? YIKES!

~ She now crawls on her knees more than her belly.

~ She now has a nap schedule. She wakes up around 8 and then has a morning bath and a snack. Then she goes down for and hour and a half to 2 hours. Then at 2 she goes back down for another hour and a half. This has taken some huge effort on my part but we finally did it!

~ She goes to bed completely by herself. I nurse her and put her down awake and off to dreamland she goes.

~ She can crawl up the stairs. This one scares me. I can never take my eyes off of her for even a second anymore.

~ She talks up a storm (like her mama). She says "dada," "mama," "oohh," and many other precious little "words."

Ok, well I'm off to watch a movie with my man. He had today off and he has tomorrow of also. I love our movie nights!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Lesson in Faith

The wife of a pastor of one of our sister churches just found out that she has cancer today. She has tree children and my heart just goes out to all of her family.

This woman is probably one of the sweetest people I've ever met in my whole life. If you speak with her for any period of time it is evident that she loves the Lord. She fills the room with warmth simply by looking at her because she constantly has a smile on her face. She is always one of the first people to offer word of encouragement to anyone who she speaks with. I think so highly of her because her life is such a reflection of how Christian's should really love one another. She played the piano at my wedding. She has also sent me letters of encouragement in the mail and helped me with some things on the piano.

If you watched her at church last night you would have never known that this whole cancer thing was on her mind. She was friendly, happy, and optimistic about everything. She complimented me for cooking the church dinner and asked me how Brooke was doing. What had me most impressed, however, is how she sat in the worship service praising and worshipping God. She looked so untainted by this seemingly catastrophic event in her life.

As I looked at this woman and I reflected on my own life I honestly felt guilty. When I thought Brooke had leukemia, I was a total basket case. I couldn't stop crying and I was pretty miserable. I didn't allow God's peace and warmth surround me and comfort me at that time in my life. I pushed Him away and refused His ministry to me. I questioned why MY baby had to have problem. I didn't accept the fact that God is sovreign and in total, complete, absolute control of the events of my life and my family.

This woman, on the total opposite side of the spectrum as me, has told people that she wants to use this as a testimony for God. Here she is, probably more frightened than she ever has been, and she's already thinking how she can glorify our Lord in the midst of her valley. Wow, I am so encouraged. I want faith like that.

I want faith that doesn't depend on the circumstances around me. I want faith that doesn't waver whenever I don't get me way. I want faith that's stronger than cancer, than sickness, than my own insecurities, than the balance of my bank statement. I want faith that knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that God really will provide for all of my needs. I want faith that knows that God is 100 percent aquainted with what I'm feeling and that He will work ALL things together for good. Lord, give ME that kind of faith. If we don't have faith that God will take care of us, we really don't have much, do we?

What an extraordinary lesson for us all. I am so, so far from where I need to be and I am so thankful that God has already used this woman in my life to remind me of that.

Everyone please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


When we got back from Florida, I was really discouraged because I thought that Brooke would never go to sleep at a normal hour again. On vacation she wouldn't get to sleep until sometimes 11. When we got home, it was depressing to realize that all of the progress we made with sleep, prior to our trip, was reversed.

After consideration and realizing just how important Brooke going to sleep at decent time was, John and I decided that we would stick with the whole cry-it-out method we had been doing. Again, NO I didn't just let my baby scream for hours. We stood by her side and reassured her. We just didn't pick her up.

Once we finally got back on track, Brooke was going to bed at a normal hour but she would still scream for sometimes up to 20 minutes after we put her down. I began to wonder if she would every understand well enough to not cry at nighttime. However, tonight I put her in her crib and all she did was look around and talk to herself. After about 10 minutes of this, she put herself to sleep without any crying whatsoever! I am so, so, so happy! With no major trips planned in the near future, I think that we can really keep this up.

I guess that I'm so happy about all of this because I actually stuck to something. I tend to be very hot and cold with things... Meaning that I have wonderful, lofty intentions but I rarely stick to my plans like I should. This was something that I felt strongly about and because I actually didn't waver, I had success. I honestly feel like Brooke will benefit greatly from all of this!

I went to Sam's Club with my dad today and I found some amazing deals on baby clothes. I LOVE a bargain! I got Brooke two adorable Carter's outfits for next summer for $2.50 a piece when they were originally $18 a piece. I can't fathom paying full price for things when I can get things for dirt cheap like that. They had racks full of these clothes so I'm thinking that I should go back and get more. Even John was impressed! You other mommy's out there NEED to go to Sam's Club. This time next year you'll be so happy you did!

On another note, I have been applying Brooke's thrush medication 3 times a day religiously. However, it now looks WORSE. It's growing rapidly and it's very close to going down her throat. I'm concerned that if it gets that bad then we won't be able to treat it as easily. I called the doctor last Friday and they said that it takes 10 days to get rid of it so hang in there. However, it's now been 10 days and I just don't get why it won't go away. As of yet I haven't gotten it. Knock on wood! I'm hoping it stays that way!

Well, now that my Brookie's sleeping and I have nothing to do, I'm going to go relax with my husband!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Brooke, The Beggar!

Today was a really good day! My sister's out of town and I usually hang out with her and Nathan a lot so I was wondering I would be bored senseless. I figured I would just go to see my mom for lunch at work, but unfortunately all week long she has some training where she has to go about an hour away each day. I was really wondering what I would do with myself and low and behold, my wonderful mother-in-law text messaged me and asked me if I wanted to go grocery shopping with her. We both had a bunch of shopping to do and let me tell ya, going together made for a very fun time. Afterwards she took me out for Chinese food. How nice of her! It was so awesome to spend some time together with just us. It was also so great to be able to talk to her about some things I had on my mind.

As my title says, Brooke has turned into such a beggar for food lately. We can't eat anything without her spazzing about it! I was sitting on the couch eating grapes tonight and she pulled herself up and screamed until I shared. Last night she put her hands and face in John's cereal bowl and made a huge mess. I'll admit that it's a bit frustrating to have to constantly pull her little hands out of my food, but it is rather cute to watch her.

Brooke has such a huge interest in foods (I guess it's the Jew in her??). It's so hilarious because we put our fork in her mouth she thinks she's eating what we have and she gets all happy. She just wants a taste of everything and it's really hard to differentiate between what's safe and healthy for her and what's not. Baby food doesn't seem to interest her that much, but we're pressing on with that. I can't go straight from breast milk only to table foods.

I went out today and bought her some Puffs. They dissolve in her mouth quite nicely so I don't have to worry about her choking. I break them into much smaller pieces for her and she loves them. I've also been giving her tiny pieces of raisins, grapes and bananas. I'm trying to make healthy choices for her!

Well, speaking of Brooke, she's screaming now. I'm going to go feed her and put her down for the night.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another Exciting Day at the Pumpkin Farm!

We just love to go the pumpkin farm. There are so many cool things to do and see there and it's a great way to get out as a family and enjoy being together. The only disappointing thing about today was that it was HOT. It's not quite the same unless there's that Autumn nip in the air. Oh well, it was still very special!

John's parents came with us today. They were a huge help with Brooke and they enjoyed seeing her reactions to the animals, pumpkins and people. Brooke's grandpa insisted on picking out and buying her a pumpkin so he and Brooke stood near the pumpkins for what seemed like forever. They just had to find the perfect one! Eventually he picked her out a little pumpkin with a curly hair and rosy cheeks drawn on it. Most importantly, the pumpkin had a big, pretty bow. He was very proud! John and I then went and picked ourselves out a pumpkin each. We're going to put our pumpkin "family" on our front steps. How exciting!

I also got my yearly stock of mini pumpkins, gourdes, and decorative corn stalks to put on my table in the entry way. Now that I'm so into taking pictures and posting them on here, I should take a picture of my pretty fall decorations. I just LOVE this time of year and I intend on taking full advantage of the beautiful things that available right now.

Brookie also went on her first hay ride today (also grandpa's idea). She was so cute looking out the wagon at all of the things we were driving by. It was so much fun!

I was very disappointed because when we got to the pumpkin farm we discovered that our camera had NO batteries:-( So sad! We managed to get a few shots from our cell phones. I hope you enjoy them!

Brooke with her grandpa. I don't think grandpa knew we were taking his picture!

Brookie on the hay ride

Oh yes... I also have 2 random things to say that I've been meaning to put in here, but just keep forgetting.

1. Brooke knows how to wave now! She's also very close to clapping her hands.

2. My dad went to Macy's all by himself and picked out 2 of the most beautiful dresses for Brooke. He was so, so proud! Yes, both of her grandpa's are very much in love with their grandbaby.

OK, that's all for now. I'm off to watch a movie with John!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Re-Cap of Vacation

*To see more pictures of my girl, you can go to www.picturetrail/yankeecrazy! I just uploaded more!

Because I suddenly overnight became more "compter savvy," here are some pictures from my amazing vacation. I'm NOT photogenic so it's amazing that I'm posting pictures of myself. In addition, I have beach hair in most of the pictures too. Please excuse me! Anyways,I hope you enjoy them! And yes, I posted these pictures ALL BY MYSELF!

Starting our vacation off at Phillipi Creek

Outside of Phillipi Creek

This is a Pier at a restaurant that goes out into the Gulf of Mexico
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Brooke and Daddy walking through St. Armand's Square. See the goofy look on her face?

Brooke in the sand for the first time
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Here we are napping on the beach

Hanging out at the house we stayed at

The last night of vacation. The poor girl was exhausted!
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Breastfeeding in Public

First an foremost, I would like to just say that I put this picture on here ALL BY MYSELF! I had NO help and I'm very proud! This is a picture of Brooke pulling up in her crib. Isn't she precious? :-)

Breastfeeding in public used to be this simple thing. Brooke and I would sit quietly on a bench (or any seat we could find), I'd slip on my nursing cover and then she would nurse until her heart's content. Sure, Brooke took a long time to eat, but she was so tiny and still that it was a piece of cake.

NOW... nursing in public is this big production. Brooke will get grumpy and crabby like she wants to eats but then when I try to feed her, she is fussy because I have to cover her up. It's hilarious because at random times she will pull my nursing cover and expose EVERYTHING beneath it. If I try to tuck her back under she will also protest that! I then am left having to juggling fixing my nursing bra, keeping my baby from falling on the ground and trying not to indecently expose myself, all at the same time. It's just so crazy for Brooke to eat in public anymore! Honestly though, my princess needs to eats and I will feed her regardless of how challenging it can often be.

Another thing that's been on my mind about breastfeeding in pubic is the attention I get. People will say things to me about what I'm doing almost every time I feed Brooke when we're out. It's not that the comments are mean... They're things like, "When a baby's gotta eat, a baby's gotta eat." I've also heard, "Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing." Today at Wegman's this older lady gave me this whole speech on how some woman at her church had to breastfeed her baby during the service. I was just staring at her trying to act interested. Why did she feel the need to tell me that??????? I am a friendly person and I love meeting new people, but why is breastfeeding such a big deal? Yes, I'm nourishing my child. If I was feeding my baby manufactured formula in a bottle would anyone comment on that? I'm afraid not!

I also feel that because so many people don't breastfeed there's such a curiosity about it. I rarely see mothers breastfeed while I'm out and about. I am not knocking formula feeding all together, because everyone must do what they feel is best for their baby, but I really feel like so many people don't give breastfeeding the effort and commitment that is necessary in order to be successful at it. I've had mothers say to me, in regards to my breastfeeding, "Oh, my kid wouldn't latch on." "I don't have enough milk." "My baby didn't really every "get" it." Do they think that Brooke just breastfed perfectly from the second she was born? NO! It took dedication and hard work.

The American Board of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Why not follow that? People so religiously follow all sorts of other recommendations for their children but for some reason many of them have neglected this.

Wow, I went off on a total tangent about breastfeeding. Sorry, I was just thinking about much it means to me and I only get sad when I see people formula feeding because I know what they are missing out on. Enough of my ranting and raving (for now, anyways!). I'm going to bed!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm A Chronic Over-Cooker!

Brookie's been napping since 4 (it's now 5:30) and John won't be home until 6 so I thought I would take this time to get dinner taken care of. I'm sitting here flabbergasted over the amount of food I just managed to make for only 2 people. Let's see... we have 5 apple stuffed pork chops (with extra apple stuffing on the side), a heaping pot of mashed potatoes, broccoli, and a sweet apple glaze to go over the pork chops. Everyone in my family has plans tonight so I can't even invite anyone to eat all of this food. This really stinks because the majority of it will go to waste. Why do I do this???? Ha!

I just got done cleaning out the refrigerator too. I threw away Mexican stuffed shells, manicotti, pork stir fry, chili, and ribs. Hmmm Jillian, could it be that you make WAY too much food every single night for dinner? I told John the other day that when we have a couple of kids sitting around the dinner table with us I will have no need to increase the amount of food I make because I go crazy overboard now. I would like for just one night to know what it feels like to not throw a ton of food away. We are horrible at eating leftovers too, which really does NOT help my cause here.

Think of all of the people in Africa who are starving just because I throw away meal after meal after meal every night. Perhaps I should be a bit more mindful of unfortunate people like that and not waste all of our food.

OK, John's home.... It's time to eat all of the piles of food that I just made.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Brooke has Thrush:-(

A few days ago I noticed that Brooke had some white spots in her mouth. I had a cold sore and I wondered if maybe she had one too. The last couple of days I have been looking in her mouth and the white spots have been spreading. I called the on-call pediatrian this weekend (who didn't happen to be Brooke's regular doctor) and he said that this could wait until the weekend was over as long as Brooke didn't act grumpy and her mouth wasn't bleeding.

I called first thing this morning to make the appointment. Luckily we got her in to be seen at 10:30. The doctor took one look in her mouth and immediately agreed that it was thrush. She also has a yeast infection in her diaper area. My poor baby! Now the fun part begins.. We have to apply this nasty ointment to ALL the white spots in Brooke's mouth (and there are lots of them) 4 times daily for the next 10 days. The doctor said that a lot of babies don't like it because the taste is very strong. I'm dreading this! We also have to put a special cream on her bottom just as often. As long as Brooke gets better, I don't care what we have to do. I just hope that this thrush goes away and stays away.

As for me, Brooke's pediatrician said that I could put Brooke's ointment on my nipples to kill any yeast that could be hanging out there. He said that if I get cracked nipples and am in obvious pain then I'll need to go to my doctor to be put on medicine. Right now I'm just hoping that the problem won't come to that.

So that's what's new and exciting with us. I wish I had more interesting news to report but I just don't! Lol

Saturday, September 15, 2007

7 Months Old Today!

I'm playing my monthly game of reliving the wonderful day of Brooke's birth. What a special, magical, amazing day that was for me. As painful as my med-free labor was, I couldn't even describe that pain to anyone because it truly was a distant memory once I held my beautiful baby in my arms. When I think of Brooke's birth, I am honestly almost always brought to tears as I think of how wonderfully my life has changed from that moment on.

While I was in a store in Florida I read this quote: "Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were here even an hour, I would have died for you. This is the miracle of love." I stood in the store with tears in my eyes because those words are so true. I would die for Brooke in a heartbeat. I would give up anything in this universe for her to be happy, successful, healthy and safe. I love her so deeply and so unconditionally that it sometimes shocks me. How can you love someone who gives you so little in return? Think about... She needs me to do everything for her but she can do virtually nothing for me. Somehow being a mom has captivated me and it makes me want to give and give and give of myself for my little princess. The exhaustion, the spit up, the fussy moments, the lack of adult interaction... Somehow, these things don't matter to me anymore. They are simply things that are dull in comparison to the smiles and coos Brooke gives me.

As I look down and my little girl, who is nursing right now, I feel a bit sad that she has already grown so independent. She's not content to lay in my arms for hours anymore. She wants to be crawling or rolling or exploring whatever else she's discoverd. In 7 short months she has become a unique individual with a distinct personality and a beautiful smile. As bittersweet as growing up is, I think that it's easier to embrace it and grow with it instead of trying to hold on to the times that are already past. With that being said, I look forward to the next exciting phases that are quickly approaching.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pulling Up

Today I was in the kitchen putting some dishes in the dishwasher so I had the dishwasher door open. Brooke wandered her way into the kitchen and as always, she was very interested in the dishwasher. She started to play with it and examine it. The next thing I knew, I looked over and she was pulling herself up to a standing position!!!!! She fell down and hit her head on the floor but she was so determined to try standing up again that she didn't even spend any time crying. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my little girl standing there on her own. She's just getting too independent for her mama! I guess I better lower her crib mattress before she masters standing up in her crib.

Tonight I put Brooke in her crib and she moaned for less than 10 minutes and then drifted right off to sleep. I was impressed because I put her in COMPLETELY awake. In fact, she was actually a little hyper so I was thinking it would be a long night. Thankfully I was wrong! She rested on her belly with her head on the mattress and she whimpered for only a few minutes. Before we knew it she was out. Thank goodness! I hope that we get back on track with her sleeping schedules and routines.

My mom, sister and I went shopping on my mom's lunch break today. Holy cow... Boscov's is having probably the best sale that I have ever seen in my life (and I LOVE a great deal). My mom bought both Nathan and Brooke a few outfits for the warm weather next year. Nathan got 3 pairs of shorts and 2 shirts and Brooke got a dress, a skirt, a pair of shorts and shirt all for (drum roll, please) $14.31. We added up the totals of the original prices and if we had bought everything full price we would have spent $176. Can you believe that? They were all Osh Kosh and Carter's too. They're great brands and the clothes are all ADORABLE. Each item came to $1.59 a piece when they were all originally over $20 a piece. You can't afford NOT to get these things! I think I'm going to go scour the racks and look for more things. I cannot pass up a great deal.

Well I'm going to go get ready for bed. John and I are going to try to get into a new show at 10 tonight. It's called Missing Without Trace. Anyone watch it? Hopefully we like it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Bedtime Struggles

Before we left for Florida, Brookie's sleeping issues were mostly resolved and everything seemed as perfect as it could possibly be. She was getting ample sleep at night, John and I were given many hours of alone time, and most importantly, Brooke was a happier and well rested baby. In Florida none of our sleeping habits or tactics were applicable and once we got there, I knew that all of our progress was reversed. Alison suggested that we waited until we got back to tackle our battles but I was so eager to dig in that I worked on these things before vacation. WHY DIDN'T I LISTEN TO HER????? Things are worse than ever now.

Last night I gave Brooke her bath and then nursed her to sleep right around 8. I put her in her crib and she was completely out. She woke up because I made a loud noise by pulling the shower curtain shut (my fault for having to have everything perfect). Prior to our trip to Florida she would have just cried for a minute and put herself back to sleep. I guessed that maybe she would revert back to her old ways and do the same thing. WRONG! After I went in and reassured her, rubbed her back, and played her music for her, she continued to scream. I went into my room to fold some laundry and I heard her screaming hysterically. I ran to her room (because the cry seemed alarming) to something I didn't expect. Brooke had pulled her crib bumper down and she had her little arms tangled around the slats in her crib. Yes, my little baby has made a new discovery. I know she was hurt because her arms had little red marks on them. I picked her up and loved her because I think it's cruel to let a hurting baby cry.

After picking Brooke up my goal was to love her and nurse her and then put her back down. Well, she bit me 3 times in a row and then continued to scream out in pain. It was awful. At that point it was 9:30 and John was just walking in the door from court. It was awhile before Brooke calmed down and then she was all hyper. She didn't wind up going to sleep until 10:30. It was so frustrating to see her that upset. I felt very helpless.

I tied the bumper very tight today and I'm hoping that she won't be able to get hurt again. However, it just scares me to know that she could get hurt and be that upset right within her crib.

I'm not sure what to do about Brooke's sleep issues anymore. I only want what's best for her. I could leave her to cry in her room, risking her getting hurt again, but have a properly rested baby the next day. OR, I could have a happy, non-screaming baby and nighttime who's a grump the next day. Which is better? Ugh.. I just don't know anymore!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Animals are Scary!

Today John and I took Brooke to the pumpkin farm. All of their stuff wasn't out just yet so we're going to take her back in a few weeks. Nonetheless, it was still fun to look around and look at the pumpkins and the animals.

Brooke was enarmored by the pumpkins, maybe because they're so bright and pretty. However, we took her into the barn and she heard a pig oink for the first time and she lost it. She started screaming furiously! John picked her up and after a few minutes she decided to calm down. As we continued to look we also learned that she's afraid of roosters, goats, cows, and horses. My poor little girl must have been so scared! She also cries every time she sees my in-law's and my parent's dogs. She must just be her mama's baby because not only do I strongly dislike animals but some of them scare me also.

Other than our exciting trip to the pumpkin farm, we had a very relaxing day together. We went for a nice ride and then we just hung out around the house. I made homemade manicotti for dinner. John's now getting ready to go to court tonight. It's kind of sad because we have been together nonstop for the last week. I will surely miss him!

Ok, laundry calls. I have to go fold MORE clothes.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Horrible Ending to an Amazing Trip

Yesterday at 6 A.M. we began our long journey home. It was very sad because we had been having such a wonderful, relaxing vacation. All good things must come to an end sometime, I suppose, but still, realizing that you have to get back into the swing of things is never too much fun.

Anyways, our first flight left Tampa at 8. We got to Detroit at 10:30 for a three hour lay over. We made the best of that time and we all went to Chili's for a nice lunch. Finally, at 1:30 we all got on the flight to Elmira, which was SUPPOSED to arrive at 2:30.

At about 2:50 we were still on the plane. There was some insanely intense turbulence that was knocking us all around the cabin. The flight attendant even got knocked to the ground while he was trying to walk around. Even though I've flown many times, I was still horrified. A few minutes into the shaky ride, the pilot came on the intercom system and told us that because there were such intense storms over Elmira, we had to go to Orange County, NY (which is about three hours from Elmira). We landed at the airport at 3 and the whole flight crew told us that we would just refuel the plane and try to make another attempt at getting back into Elmira.

After sitting on the plane for a half an hour, the captain came out into the cabin and talked to us. She told us that the airport wouldn't respond to their request for gas. They couldn't find anyone to fulfill their needs. At an airport??? Give me a break! At 4, she came back out and said that Elmira wasn't a possibility because of the weather so we had to go to Allentown, PA. So again, we sat there and sat there some more.

A few minutes later, the pilot came out and said that the plans changed yet again. We could either ride back to Detroit and try to catch another flight into an airport closer to our homes or we could ride a van to Elmira. My dad thought that the idea of going to Detroit sounded better because we would get home quicker but he got out his laptop and looked at the flights. They were all booked! The pilot had no way of knowing that, but still, why offer us that if it's not a possibility? We also knew that we couldn't take the van because we had Brooke and we would need to stop along the way to feed her and let her get out of her seat periodically.

Finally at 5, after two whole hours of sitting on a cramped plane, we were able to get off and stretch our legs. We all decided to get a rental car and just drive back home because none of the airline's options were a possibility for us. What a long, frustrating ordeal.

In the midst of this whole process, we did meet some nice people. Most of the people around us were extremely patient and nice. We had nothing to do but talk so we all kind of got to know each other. There was an older couple next to us that LOVED Brooke. When we got off of the plane and were waiting for our luggage they came over to me and handed me 2 dollars. They said, "You're great parents and you have a beautiful baby. Put these dollars in her piggy bank." How incredibly sweet of them!!

When we were getting off the plane the pilot asked to hold Brooke. She gave her little plastic wings and a certificate of flying. The pilot was so sweet to her! I am going to put the wings, certificate, and the 2 dollars in Brookie's baby book so we always remember this awful flight!

Well now that I'm home, I have to go grocery shopping and finish up some laundry. Luckily John doesn't work until Wednesday so we have a few days to unwind together.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Loving the Florida Life

Here we are in beautiful Florida!! Let me just say that it's more amazing that I could have hoped for. It seems like at the turn of every corner there's another new sight to impress me. We have been so, so busy but we're trying to enjoy every second of it.

The day we got here we came back to the house to get situated. When we saw the house we're staying in we were shocked at how nice it was and we couldn't wait to start having fun. The house is in this country club neighborhood with a club house that has an enormous pool, a nature walk trail and a gym. The first thing we did when we got here was go for a long swim. It was so refreshing to cool down from the 95 degree heat! Brookie LOVES the water so she really had a blast. After we got cleaned up, my parent's took us to this cute little seafood restaurant called Phillipi Creek. I had fresh grouper and it was delicious! We had such a fun time and we certainly were stuffed when we left. Once dinner was over we went to a beach called Seista Key. There we walked on the Gulf of Mexico and we put Brooke's feet in the ocean for the first time. She was so precious as she explored the sand. I have pictures of all of these things but of course I don't know how to put them on here.

Yesterday we went to the outlet malls. We got Brooke 2 pairs of PJ's for the Fall, 3 pairs of pants and 4 shirts. I was hoping to be able to find more clothes to stock up her wardrobe, but I found a lot less than anticipated. She has very few clothes for the Fall which really bugs me! After our shopping fun we of course came back and went swimming. We cooked dinner out on the grill. When we were done eating my parents watched Brooke for a few minutes while John and I went for a bike ride around the neighborhood. I hadn't been on a bike since I was a kid so it took me awhile to remember what I was doing! It was great fun once we got going. After dinner we attempted to go back to the ocean for a walk but we got rained out with nasty storms. That was definitely a let down, but we made the best of it by going for ice cream. Food fixes everything:-) In the midst of the storm I managed to drop our camera in a huge puddle of water, which obviously ruined it. My parents graciously went out a bought us a new one today.

Today we spent the day at Nikomis Beach. We took Brooke in the water and she was so silly because she kept trying to lick the salt water off of herself. She's so precious! She and I got out of the water earlier than everyone and she ate underneath the umbrella. We then both took a nap to the sound of the ocean. It was the most restful part of my trip thus far! Tonight we went to a place called Saint Aramands Circle and we looked in these little shops. After we looked around we went for a nice ride and looked at all of the beautiful homes in that area.

I am really frazzled about Brooke's sleeping issues because it seems like all of the work we made at home has been totally reversed. I put her on a matress on the floor the first night we got here. My plan was to let her cry for a moment, but the next thing I knew, there was my baby crawling down the hall. It was hilarious yet frustrating. The whole crying thing doesn't work unless you can confine your baby. The last few nights she has refused to go to bed and she has been up until at least 10 and sometimes as late as 11. What am I going to do? She also hasn't been napping so she's been a bit miserable at times. There's too many things to distract her in this new environment. Oh the frustrations!

Well, I'm going to go get some rest. We have a fun-filled day planned for tomorrow. We're going shopping and then to the beach. For dinner John and I are going on a date to this place called Sharky's, which overlooks the water! I'm so looking forward to it.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mission Accomplished!

I am elated to report that Brookie went to bed last night WITHOUT CRYING! I put her in her crib around 8:30 and she looked around for a few minutes and then fell quickly asleep. We didn't hear another peep from her for the rest of the night. It looks like we've made some progress. Man, it feels great!

There is a mystery in our house, though. I never recall waking up to get Brooke out of her crib in the middle of the night, yet somehow I wake up every morning to her lying next to me. My nursing bra is always unhooked so I know that nursed her, but still, how did she get there? John honest to goodness told me that he hasn't been getting her either. I believe him because obviously he wouldn't know how to get her to nurse. Lol! I have two theories on this mystery. 1, maybe it's so late into the night that I'm in a such a deep sleep that I don't even realize that I'm getting up. Or 2, maybe I sleep walk and just go get her for no apparent reason? I have no idea, but this is really bugging me because I want to know what time she's waking up in the middle of the night so I can see if she is sleeping for longer stretches in her crib. I don't really know what to do! Maybe I'll just video tape it. Now that would be funny!

I said yesterday that I had to take Brooke's poop to the lab, but she has no poop to bring. She hasn't gone since Thursday so I know that it should be coming any time. The lab closes at 3 today because of the holiday, so unless she poops by 2:30 I won't be able to take it in. Poop Brookie, poop! I've never wanted a dirty diaper this bad in my life. Alison offered to take it in for me tomorrow if she goes tonight, but I really feel bad having her cart my baby's feces to the hospital. What are sisters for, right? I would so do it for Nathan:-) I suppose that I could wait until I get back from vacation to take care of this. Who knows how it will all work out!

My dad will have his laptop in Florida so I might be able to take a few minutes to blog about my day everyday. If I don't get on here, it will probably be because I'm basking in the hot Florida sun, eating fresh seafood, or shopping til I drop. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!! *Oh, by the way, Alissa, I'll be in Athens, Florida which is near Sarasota. We're flying into Tampa though. Is that near your school?

Ok, I'm off to finish the laundry, vacuuming, and mopping. Hopefully I'll be going to lab here soon, but if not, I suppose it will give me more time to work around the house.

I hope everyone has a great week. I will miss reading your blogs!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Peas for the Sweet Pea

Brooke moved on from green beans to peas this afternoon. Because she wasn't too incredibly crazy over the green beans, I was almost sure that she wouldn't like the peas. I started her with a small bite full and she kept opening her mouth for more! I pretty much give her as much as she wants (because doesn't over-eat and I nurse her right before giving her solids) and I ended up giving her almost the whole entire container. I was completely shocked! I'm so happy that she likes her peas. It's precious to watch her eat them because she kicks her feet and smiles every time I give her more. What a silly girl!

Last night, as far as sleeping goes, was a great night. Brooke fussed for less than 10 minutes! She didn't really even scream at all. I was so happy that things went well for us. The night before really had me worried. Alison gave us this little star thing that plays either lullabies, classic music, or nature sounds and it projects stars and moons on the ceiling. I think that the music had a big role in our success last night. Brookie has always loved music so I think that helped soothe her.

I did a totally un-Jillianish thing today. I packed for our trip with one day to spare! I am a HUGE procrastinator. For instance, I am so bad that when I was in school they would give us projects that we were supposed to work on for a whole semester and I would do them the night before they were due. Anyways, back to the packing, Brooke's stuff is 100 percent ready to go and John and I just have to throw in our last minute things like cell phone chargers, tooth brushes, toiletries, etc.. I am SO excited!

Tomorrow I have a crazy day ahead of me. I have to do a deep clean of our house because our realtor's doing some showing's while we we're away and then she's having an open house. I can't just leave our house in mediocre condition. It has to be ship shape! I also have to run some errands. The main thing I need to do is take a sample of Brooke's poop the the lab. How fun is that??? Lol! I don't mind doing it but it's just another thing to add to my list. I also have to make my Jello Pretzel salad for a picnic we're going to tomorrow night. Everybody loves that stuff that I make but I HATE making it. Maybe I'll mess it up so nobody asks me to make it again? HAHA! Lastly, after to the picnic we have to rush home and get some rest because we have to get up at 3:30 the next morning to catch our plane. I hate getting up that early but it's definitely for a good cause!

Well I was delaying Brooke's bath time but she just threw up everywhere so bath time it is. I hope every one's having a great weekend:-)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Worst Night Ever

Last night was absolutely HORRIFIC:-( We have been doing this whole sleeping thing and it's been going better than we could have ever expected. I wondered why people thought it was so hard because Brooke was so compliant and didn't really scream for long periods of time. I don't know why, but the whole process took a total turn for the worse last night.

We got home from Hudson's birthday party around 8 last night. Brooke took about a 10 minute cat nap on the way home. We had been putting her to bed between 8 and 8:30 but since she was energized from her nap, I thought I would let her crawl for a little bit. She started rubbing her eyes and being a tad bit fussy so gave her a really good feeding and then I put her down at exactly 8:47. Almost immediately after going in her crib she started to scream. It wasn't a hungry or a hurt scream, but like in previous nights, it was an annoyed, angry whine.

I completed my routine of laundry, cleaning, and a shower while John took care of Brooke. I thought for certain that she would be asleep by the time I was done with all of my work. However, the crying continued and continued. It was about 9:25 when I broke down completely.

I was text messaging my mother-in-law and my mom throughout the process, because they have both gone through this with their kids and are familiar with what to expect. Finally at 9:30 I called my mom, just weeping. She told me some really important things that were extremely encouraging. First of all, she emphasized that it's my baby and nobody can tell me what to do, but in her opinion, it would be cruel to take Brooke out of the crib because it would confuse the heck out of her. Brooke wouldn't understand why she had to cry all of that time. Second, she told me that this is the decision I made and that I need to be consistent and strong because I'm the mom here. John also felt the same way that my mom did. He seemed to think that we would be undoing all of the work we had done if we gave in this far into the game.

It was 9:47, exactly an hour later, when the crying finally stopped. It was truly awful for me to listen to. I am so upset about how last night went and I am really hoping that tonight isn't as bad.

Isn't this life though? The second you think you have everything figured out things go the total opposite way that you expect them to. How discouraging! I know that I will be thankful, in the long run, that I persevered through this so I am going to keep it up.