Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It's a tradition for us to go over to John's grandma's house and pass out candy on Halloween. It's something that she really enjoys and I love that we can spend the time with her! Of course this year was a lot more exciting than years in the past because we had our little ladybug to entertain us all. Brooke was absolutely adorable and she liked to look at the little kids who were trick-or-treating. Luckily, I have some pictures for your viewing pleasure. They aren't really pictures where she's smiling for the camera because she was too enamored by everything around her to pose. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy!

Here's Brooke and John together. Though this isn't a great picture of Brooke because she's not smiling, I thought you would be able to see her costume in some good lighting. Isn't it pretty?

This is Brooke enjoying her pumpkin who we affectionately call "Sweet Pea." She honestly stood there for like half an hour playing with that silly pumpkin:-)

What's Halloween without candy???

More shots of Brookie and her pumpkin...

All in all, Brooke enjoyed her first Halloween. I'm glad that we dressed her up and that we were able to make a nice little family memory.

As a quick, quick side note, I made cornbread tonight to go with the soup John's grandma made. Usually I make it with sugar because I only like it when it's sweet, but today I decided to make it with applesauce instead. Not to brag or anything, but it was the best cornbread I've ever tasted. It literally melted in my mouth because it was so moist! It got rave reviews and I was proud! You ladies should really try it sometime.

Ok, I'm out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Midnight Snacker

Again, I sit behind this computer completely baffled by Brooke's sleeping patterns. Ever since we allowed her to cry-it-out she has been going down by herself at around 7:30-8. That is an area that is totally perfect for us right now. She goes down like a champ and at a great time! The area of confusion is now regarding her waking up in the middle of the night, which is something she has never been known to do. You see, she had been sleeping until about 4 or 5 in her crib without waking up. I thought that was pretty awesome considering that we co-slept 100 percent of the time prior to putting her in her crib. However, for the last few weeks she has developed this nasty habit of waking up almost exactly around midnight every single night.

I don't really know how to handle this because I don't know if this is a legitimate feeding she's requesting or if she's just wanting to be comforted. I feel very apprehensive about letting her cry in the middle of the night because I would hate to misread her and send her to bed hungry. I do know that these last few nights she's been waking she has been nursing for seconds and then falling quickly back to sleep. This tends to indicate that she wasn't all that hungry to begin with.

When we co-slept, Brooke slept for 8-10 hours every single night without waking up. I know that we trained her for those 6 months that she could rely on lying next to us to feel safe, secure, and comfortable. I realize that John and I totally set us up to fail by being too lazy about putting her in her cradle. Anyways, I'm thinking that because she was so used to our presence for that big chunk of her life that now she's really scared if she happens to wake up in the middle of the night without us. I'm thinking that allowing her to cry is the only way to teach her to sleep in her bed.

There are so many things that I'll do differently with my next babies in order to set them up to be successful at sleeping on their own. As much as I loved co-sleeping and enjoyed the peace of mind that it provided for me, I know that it has created a rough transition for Brooke. Co-sleeping started the night we came home from the hospital... Definitely because my stupid C-section made it too difficult to reach for Brooke in the middle of the night. Seeing as how I have to have stupid C-sections with my next kids, I'm really hoping that I don't allow myself to develop these bad habits for them also. Live and learn!! Motherhood is a process, not an instantaneous transformation into someone who knows all the answers.

I'm hoping that tonight Brooke decides not to wake up at midnight so I don't even have to worry about this anymore. I'm guessing that that's just wishful thinking though. Wish me luck tonight!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Christmas Shopping has Begun!

John had today off so we decided to get an early jump on Christmas shopping. I always start celebrating Christmas exceptionally early. I've already watched Christmas movies and I listen to Christmas music like crazy. I've even made Christmas cookies and I wear my Christmas socks all the time too. I haven't ever started my shopping early though. I'm the queen of procrastination! This year I thought I would try to start early and hopefully all of the chaos will be finished soon.

So, anyways, we got my parents present marked off of our list. We wanted to get Nathan taken care of but we didn't see any toys worthy of him! It's so hard because I want to get people functional things but also things that require great thought. I truly want all my gifts to be given from the heart! I'll confess, we have so many people on our list to buy for that it's often hard to be thoughtful when you wait until the last minute and cram it all in.

John and I have December birthdays.. Mine's on the 2Nd and his is the 9Th. This makes December even MORE crazy and even more expensive. It's also very challenging because I never know how I should divide his presents between his birthday and Christmas.

We already decided that we're not going to go nuts this year over Brooke's Christmas presents. It all boils down to the fact that she could care less whether we give her a box to play with or tons of toys. Lol! I want her to have a special Christmas but I also don't think that spending hundreds of dollars on her is necessary. She has so many family members that she will probably make out like a bandit on Christmas regardless of what John and I buy for her.

You know, it's so hard to stay focused on God during the Christmas season when there are so many demands that go along with the holiday. I always worry about finances and how much money we're blowing on things. I always stress over what I get people, who I have to buy for, how I will fit shopping in with everything else I have going on, and juggling holiday traffic and crowds. I have to remind myself that Jesus is the ONLY reason for this amazing time of year.

This year I'm thinking a lot about how Mary must have felt when Jesus was born. I really hadn't given too much thought to her before and I believe that being a mother has made me want to put myself in her shoes. I love to picture her as she held baby Jesus for the first time. She delivered the perfect, holy Savior of the world... The long awaited king that was born to set us free. I delivered a fallible human and every month I get all choked up in awe of her birth. I need to feel that enthusiasm and amazement at a much deeper level when I'm remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. After all, He died to deliver me from my sins. I definitely need that to be my focus this season...Not money and gifts.

So, with all of that said, this Christmas I hope to keep in perspective why we are celebrating. Without Jesus, we might as well not even get a tree or presents and we shouldn't even bother putting up pretty lights. It's easier said than done to not get caught up in the materialism of Christmas, but I will sure try my hardest not to!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Best Things in Life are FREE!

Brooke and I spent our Saturday afternoon cooped up in the house. We had absolutely nothing to do and it was a rainy, dreary day. While it was kind of disappointing to not be able to do much all day, I really enjoyed every single second with my princess. I love our one-on-one time that we have SO much of. It's priceless.

For hours I sat on the floor in our living room or kitchen (wherever Brooke decided she wanted to be at the moment). I honestly stared at her for most of the time. I love the way her eyes illuminate every time she sees something that excites her. As a mother, I don't know that there's anything better than experiencing all of Brooke's new developments and interests with her. I love to try to figure out what she's thinking as she wears her many faces of being perplexed, happy, frustrated, confused, excited, etc...

The favorite parts of my day involved sitting underneath the kitchen table while Brooke played with the kitchen chairs, banging on a metal bowl with spoons (a wonderful toy that my sister taught me to concoct), and watching Brooke stand up all by herself for extensive periods of time. I don't think I could have enjoyed my day more if I had been doing adult activites! My little girl is great company and a fantastic source of entertainment.

I love our alone time, but it's so nice when I hear John waking up and coming down the stairs to join in on our fun. I know that he's an equal partner in our parenting and that he'll add some energy and excitement to what we're already doing. I'm so blessed to have him as Brooke's dad. He's amazing with her.. and I'm not just saying that!

So, when I was bored this morning and wondering how the heck I would spend my day, I had to remind myself that really, you don't need to do anything or go anywhere or spend any money to have a wonderful time. What really matters is WHO you spend your time with. My family is my everything and I cherish our boring, slow afternoons together. Nothing puts a smile on my face like John and Brooke do! It's such a great reminder that the best things in life are truly free.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words!

Today's been a slow but relaxing day. Brookie and I spent most of the afternoon playing with her toys. She was too cute for me to resist taking pictures. Enjoy them!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Got My Old Brookie Back!

This time yesterday I was feeling very frustrated over Brooke's sleeping issues and the fact that she had no desire to nurse. I honestly thought that I would have to wean her much earlier than anticipated and that made me sad.

Last night, however, things took an amazing turn for the better! Brooke went down at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 3 in the morning. We're not quite back to her sleeping til 4-5, but we'll take it! Even though 3 is early, she still slept 7.5 hours in her crib without so much as a whimper. She then went back to sleep until 9 the next morning, when she woke up extremely, extremely HUNGRY! Yay... She WANTED to nurse. She cried to nurse. We enjoyed nursing again!!!!! I was so relieved. She didn't even bite me near as much today. Thank goodness for that!

All throughout the day today Brooke has been starving. We've been nursing an awful lot and that makes me so very happy. It was nice to feel like she still depended on me for something. I'm wondering if over the last couple of days she's had a little tummy bug that's been causing her to not eat or sleep well. I don't know... But I do know that she's back to herself and I'll take it!

Brooke's been standing completely unassisted lately. Though she's been doing that for about 2-3 weeks, now she's so much more fluent at it and she can stand for extended periods of time. What impresses me the most is that she can go to a squatting position and then pull herself completely back up to standing all on her own. WOW! She can't go from sitting to standing without pulling up on something just yet. I'm guessing it won't be long though. She's so precious when she stands there by herself. She usually likes to clap her hands when she's standing and it just melts my heart to watch her. It's crazy to see this tiny little 8-month-old standing in the middle of the room. Craziness. This kid is too much!

How soon after cruising and standing did your baby's walk, ladies? I'm honestly thinking that the walking is in our very immediate future. YIKES! I'm not quite prepared to have a walking baby. She's into everything as it is and she hasn't quite figured out how to use those legs just yet. Hopefully she'll be merciful on her mama and wait a few months. My husband and I both walked between 9 and 10 months (or something like that) so if she's anything like us (which I hope she's not) we'll be in for trouble soon.

Ya know, I'm really enjoying Brooke's age right now. She's so independent and determined. I love watching her play and experience the things around her for the first time. It's just such a rewarding, amazing, phenomenal thing to be her mommy. Oh my goodness, it's just the best.

Well, John's off to work and the baby's been out for ages now. It's time for ME to relax. I think I'm going to go watch some T.V. and wait for John to call me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Latest Business Venture

I had all of these Similac rebate checks hanging around. After Brooke was born I received a bunch of them and I threw them away, not knowing that I could sell them or give them away to someone. Even after throwing some away I still had 50 dollars worth of them! I also had 2 free containers of Similac sitting on top of my fridge collecting dust. I've never used formula, nor do I plan on using it, so I decided to sell all of these Similac things on Ebay.

John's brother's really into Ebay so he showed me the ropes and taught me how to put my coupons up for an auction. Last Wednesday we put them online to be a part of a one week auction. We started the bid at only 99 cents and all week I got discouraged thinking that I would make too much. People were looking at my coupons and asking question about them, but nobody mas bidding. My brother-in-law told me that people usually bid within the last hours of the auctions because there's not much point in bidding early into it.

We came home at around 7:30 tonight, just 2 hours before the auction was supposed to close, and my coupons were selling for $33. I was happy with that because afterall, I got those stupid checks for FREE. I would have been totally satisfied with that. However, within the last 5 or so minutes, these 2 people had a bidding war and the final price that the winning bidder has to pay me is 44 bucks!!!! Can you believe it? I made 44 dollars sitting behind a computer doing absolutely nothing. This Ebay stuff is fantastic!

Now that I know how simple Ebay can be, I'm scowering our house looking for things to sell. John has years and year and years worth of Sports Illustrated Magazines and he wants to get rid of them so I think I'll try to put a dent in those. It's amazing the crap that people will spend money on. I'm really excited because this is a way I can fill my time after Brooke goes to bed and John goes to work. How perfect for a stay-at-home-mom??? I'm going to put all of my earnings in my Christmas cup and use it to buy all of John's presents...That way he doesn't have to actually pay for his own presents. How very exciting!

Well, I'm off to go look at all of the crap around my house and see what I can get rid of... :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sleep Regression?

Has anyone heard of sleep regression in 8/9-month-olds? I have been doing some research because Brooke hasn't been sleeping great these last few nights, which is contrary to what she's done the rest of her life. My sister said that Nathan went through it and she let me to a website that had some information on the matter.

The website (I think it's Moxie's Blog??) said that around 8-9 months, babies are having a growth spurt which causes them to obviously be more hungry. Also at this time, many babies are teething and/or learning so many new things that there body is just reacting to the change by changing their sleeping patterns. The website said that whenever babies are learning to crawl (or in our case cruise, stand up unassisted, walk) their minds are just so full that whenever they wake up it's all they can wrap their tiny little brains around. They continually want to improve their new found skill, which makes going back to sleep a difficult task for them. It makes sense to me. It really does!

I can't complain too, too much about Brooke's sleep in these recent nights because it hasn't been as awful as some other women have reported. She used to go to bed at 8 and wake up around 4 to eat. I thought that was fantastic. The last week or so she's been waking up a 12 to eat, and she's not looking for comfort here, she's HUNGRY. I then put her back in her crib and she's up at sometimes at 1 or 2. This is the baby who's slept through the night since she came home from the hospital. I'm seriously walking around like a zombie because I'm not used to having to deal with this!

Brooke's also waking up around 7. I'm used to her easily sleep past 9. I'm OK with her waking up early as long as she's going to sleep around 8 or so. I'll adjust to her early risings soon enough.. It's not like I have a choice!

Because Brooke's been biting me so much and I've had to scold her, I do think that she's on somewhat of a "nursing strike." She hasn't been all that into nursing these last few days.. So much so that it scares. She's been hardly ever crying to nurse. She might nurse if I offer it to her, but even then she'll arch her back and pull away. It's like I have to fight with her to eat. The first day she did this I didn't offer her a lot of baby foods because I wanted her to NEED the nurtrients from my milk to fill her belly. However, the other day when she only had 2 wet diapers all day, I gave her extra baby food and she had an entire container of peas and an entire thing of Yo Baby. Normally she gets one solid feeding a day and even then I'm shocked if she eats a half of a container of a fruit or vegetable. I don't get her sometimes! Anyways, I say all that to say that I'm thinking that because Brooke isn't nursing like she should in the day, nighttime is the only time that she can "fit it in."

I'm truly hoping that in the next few days Brooke will start to revert back to her ways of sleeping (and nursing) like a champ. That would be absolutely wonderful!! Wish me luck!

If anyone has any thoughts on this, please let me know. It's a little bit frustrating!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where's Brookie??

Brooke does the most adorable thing now. She plays peek-a-boo by hiding under just about anything! A few weeks ago she started this game by pulling up her shirt and covering her face with it. Some of her shirts are even stretched out because she does it incessantly. Lol! I love it!

She used to only play this little game of hers whenever we asked, "Where's Brookie?" But now she'll put her hands over her face and she won't bring them down until someone acknowledges that she's "missing." It is just too precious. Whenever she peeks out from what's covering her face, like the shower curtain (if she's in the bath), a toy she's holding onto, a couch pillow, etc... she lets out the biggest cackle. It's like she's so excited that she just can't contain herself.

Tonight John hid under a blanket and played peek-a-boo with her. She was shocked every single time he came out from under the blanket. So of course, for the rest of the night Brookie wanted to play under it also. For the last hours before she went to sleep we've been playing her adorable little game to monotony.

I just can't believe that Brooke's old enough to be able to play peek-a-boo with me. I say this just about every time I'm blogging, but I don't know what happened to my newborn. These 8+ months have been a blink of an eye.

Well, John's off until Tuesday night. So you know what that means... MOVIE NIGHT!! He picked us up a good Christmas movie so I'm going to go enjoy it and get into the Christmas spirit (it's never too early.. I've been playing Christmas music for weeks now)!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Little Ladybug

The deputy who did John's field training at work threw a Halloween party tonight. Everyone in the department was invited so we decided to go. We aren't Halloween people and we don't really LOVE hanging out with work people, but we figure that we won't ever make a difference for God unless we spend time with unsaved people. Also, we really have a lot of respect for the man who put on the party. He was very kind to John when he was learning the ropes of becoming a cop. We like to give back some of that support to him.

The parties this man throws are kid-friendly. He has 2 kids of his own so it's not a big drinking bash like most of the other cop functions we attend. Most of the people don't go to events like these where they know that the main event isn't getting hammered. I think that's pretty sad that you have to have a ton of booze to have fun. Anyways, only two of John's co-workers came and I felt wicked bad for the man who threw the party. Oh well, we still managed to make it a fun time!

We couldn't go to a Halloween party and not dress Brookie up! We decided about a month ago that we would attend this party so John had adamantely been saying that he wanted to dress Brooke as a ladybug. We searched far and wide for THE perfect ladybug costume. We saw a couple that weren't very dainty and we saw a couple that looked cheap. The other day we managed the find the most adorable ladybug costume you've ever seen. It's a little dress with these enormous wings sticking out of the back. Of course I accessorized her with a big black bow, black tights, and shiny black shoes. She was the hit of the party tonight. Nobody could believe how beautiful she was!

I was really sad that our camera was broken because I wasn't able to capture the cuteness. The other day when we were trying her costume on I got a cell phone picture that I'll post for you. She didn't have any of her cute accessories on in this picture and it's kind of fuzzy, but you'll be able to get the main idea of the costume. Fortunately we're dressing her up again on Halloween when we pass out candy so I will make sure I get lots of cute pictures.

Growing up, Halloween was totally OFF limits because my parents didn't agree with it. I have no convictions about dressing up my princess as a ladybug and showing her off. I will admit that it's weird to do something that you know you weren't brought up to do, but I'm the parent now and I have to make my own decision.

Well tomorrow's an early morning at church so off to bed I go!

Friday, October 19, 2007

An Almost Catastropic Day in the Kitchen

I don't know about anyone else, but I do the majority of my housework with a baby holding onto my leg. It seems like everywhere I am is where Brooke wants to be. She's not satisfied unless she's right in the middle of whatever I have going on.

Tonight as I was making dinner, it was the same thing as usual... Brooke was right under my feet. I was cooking on the stove and she was between my legs looking at her reflection in the oven. I was trying to hurry up because dinner was running late and we were starving. I went to reach for something on the counter and I accidentally knocked the scorching hot pan of meat off of the burner. I came literally inches away from dropping the entire pan and its contents all over Brooke. We were having cheese steaks (Friday night dinners are usually something crappy like that) and I hadn't yet drained all of the nasty grease out of them yet. So not only would Brooke have been scalded by the pan and meat, but the grease would have most likely covered her tiny little body.

I know that nothing actually happened but I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was a VERY close call. If I hadn't have caught the pan we would be in the ER right now with some pretty severe burn wounds on Brooke. I'm still shaking as I think about it because it scared the living daylights out of me. I'm so thankful to God that He protected Brooke and that He didn't allow the pan to fall.

Times like these are times when I feel inadequate to be a mom. Here I am the woman who is supposed to make sure that Brooke doesn't get hurt, and I was very close to being the person who inflicted harm upon her. Man, I just can't stop picturing Brookie getting hurt like she almost did tonight. My heart just breaks for almost doing that to her.

Needless to say, next time I will be MUCH more careful. I will slow down... Even if it means dinner will be a few minutes late.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Breastfeeding Shouldn't Hurt this Bad!

When Brooke was little, she would lay so still and quiet in my arms and nurse until her heart's content. It was a relaxing time for both of us and it MADE me sit there and reflect on how special she was. In those early days of her life I was learning how to balance everything and it was nice to have her constantly reminding me that I needed to slow down. Now, things are just so different. I love breastfeeding and I definitely want to continue at least until Brooke's 1st birthday, but I gotta tell ya, these new teeth of hers are really discouraging me. It seems like they've changed everything.

Lately every feeding as turned into a big ordeal. Brooke bites me constantly while she eats. I'm not talking once or twice here or there... I'm estimating sometimes more than five times in one feeding. I don't know what to do. I've tried scolding her, flicking her cheek, and putting my breast away. I've read up on this and I've asked other breastfeeding moms and nothing seems to be helping this problem. I'm frustrated because it obviously hurts like crazy, but more so because Brooke isn't enjoying nursing. It seems like her feedings end in tears because I "reprimand" her for biting me, and not because she's full and ready to be done.

I don't want to be one of those moms that just gives up breastfeeding for selfish reasons. When we finish nursing I want it to be because Brookie's 100 percent ready to be weaned. I would endure this pain if I thought Brooke was eating enough, but today she nursed only 3 times. She had nothing else to eat today either. I've offered her many, many opportunities to nurse and she has refused most of her chances. Do you think that she's refusing to nurse because I've taught her that she'll get yelled at It's probably my fault:-(

Honestly, I feel so sad right now. I want to go back to breastfeeding being a wonderful thing that my daughter and I share. I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I can take the constant, lingering pain that she leaves from her biting, but I can't take a baby who won't nurse out of fear.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Loving the Simple Life

My mother-in-law just bought me some really nice muffin pans. I used to make muffins in cupcake pans, but now that I have these huge muffin pans, they come out looking like their from a real bakery or something. She also got me muffin mixes to go along with my new fancy shmansy pans. I would like to learn how to make some homemade muffins eventually, but because I don't bake, a mix is good for now! She always fills hers with cream cheese and powdered sugar so I did the same thing. I made 6 blueberry muffins and 6 chocolate chocolate chip. They're in the oven now and boy do they smell good! I can't wait to sample them!

I finished my puzzle last night!!!! Does it mean that you're a total loser if you finish a 1000 piece puzzle in 4 days?? Lol! I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a little addicted to puzzles. I'm so sad that it's finished and I am finding myself bored after Brookie goes to bed now.

As I was typing this blog entry I was thinking about how much simple things make me happy. Honestly, I don't need a lot of things in my life to excite me. I have my baby, my wonderful husband, an amazing extended family, and all of my needs are being met. Having all of these great things in my life makes things like muffin pans and finishing a puzzle just added bonuses. I truly hope that I am always satisfied and pleasured by the small things in life. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the things that we DON'T have that we miss out on the things we DO have. Make sense??

OK, well John has tomorrow off so now it's movie time. I'm going to go pop my muffins out of the oven, get a nice warm blanket, and curl up next to my man and watch our movie. Life is amazing!

Monday, October 15, 2007

8 Months Have Flown By!

Today my precious little girl is 8 months old! Where did the time go? I'm honestly teary eyed to think about how quickly the time has flown. It's so weird though because even though the time has gone quickly, it's hard for me to remember Brooke as that helpless little newborn. As much as I tried to cherish the early days with her, I wish I had relished in them much more than I did.

I never knew how much motherhood would change me. I never would have never guessed how my list of things that frighten me, excite me, and matter to me would change like it has. The world's a different place now. I was never quite as afraid of the injustices of the world until I realized that I had a child to bring up in this cruel place. I was never excited about someone saying "duck," or someone taking a good nap. Things that once mattered, like my hair looking perfect, my house being immaculate at all moments of the day, or that I got plenty of time for MYSELF, simply don't carry the same significance as they did before Brooke. My whole way of thinking and the way I go about my life has changed so dramatically.

Sometimes I think about the days before Brooke. I would sleep in late, go to work at my silly little Red Lobster job, come home and relax the rest of the night with my husband. My Red Lobster money was my "fun" money so I shopped a lot and ate lunch out more days of the week than not. John and I also used to live at the movie theater. If there was a good movie we were most likely out watching it. Looking back on it, the months leading up to Brooke's birth were so easy and fun. I really had no worries or huge responsibilities that would prevent me from doing my own thing. As easy as those days were, I wouldn't trade having my baby girl for anything. Her very existence has transformed my life, but most importantly, my heart.

I am so sappy, I know. Every month I have these intense feelings that are related to the fact that I mull over the events of Brooke's birth and her life. I say it all the time, but I'm just shocked at how much I love her. I want to do the best possible job at being her mommy because I only have one chance!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Growing Pains

Now that Brooke is more and more skilled at getting around the house she is getting hurt constantly. I can't stand it! It seems like every 5 minutes she's falling, hitting her head, or tripping over something. I understand that her getting hurt is inevitable but still, it wish that I could prevent her from ever feeling any pain.

One of Brooke's favorite pasttimes is hanging out underneath the kitchen table. I can't keep out from under it because she loves going under there. Anyways, she always stands up and hits her head on parts of the table. She's so determined though that she cries off the pain and then goes back to her exciting adventures under our table.

Brooke got her first goose egg yesterday:-( She opened a cabinet that she was holding onto and she lost her balance, which caused her to smack her head on the corner of the pantry. She screamed her head off, of course. That hurt cry that she cries just sends chills up my body. I hate hearing it!

I know that I can't prevent anything bad from ever happening to Brooke but it's sure fun to try!! I guess that I better let her be baby and stop worrying so much about every little bruise or scratch she gets!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brooke's First Word

I am pleased and excited to announce that Brooke has officially learned her first word!!! The word is "duck." I was slow to say that she actually knew a word because she says "mama" and "dada" all the time, and she has no clue what those words mean. They're just little things that come out when she babbles. However, "duck" is just different. She has a rubber police duck that she is in love with and whenever I give it to her she says "duck, duck, duck." She also bathes in a BIG duck tub that quacks and every morning when I run her bath she stands at the tub and says "duck" over and over again. She can also identify a duck in a book! What a smart little girl I have!

I can't believe that I have a baby old enough to say her first word. Isn't that crazy? I still think of her as that tiny newborn who was so lethargic and quiet but now I have this vibrant baby with a personality. She's so full of life and excitement that I can't help but be filled with joy every time I look at her. What a gift from God!

Well, as much as I love to blog, my puzzle is calling my name. I've been staying up wicked late every night working on it. I'm telling you, it's my fetish. I can't take my mind off of it! Lol! Off to go satisfy my puzzle craving...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gloomy Day, Eeyore!

Today has been rainy, gloomy, and chilly out since we woke up. Anyone who knows me knows that this is my absolute most favorite weather. I LOVE a rainy day! Waking up to the sound of the rain is so comforting to me. These days are perfect for cooking, watching a good movie, and lighting all my candles (so I did all 3 of them today). I prefer this to sunshine and warm weather any day of the year.

Luckily it was John's day off so he and I got a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle to fill our afternoon with. I could do puzzles all day every day because I find them so fun and relaxing. When I was pregnant with Brooke I would go through a 1000 piece puzzle at least once a week. When I got so fat that I couldn't lay on my belly to do them I stopped doing them. So, anyways, he and I have made some progress on our puzzle today and I'm sure that it will be consuming much of my time until it's done.

With the exception of running an errand this morning, we have been just hanging around the house today so I took some cute pictures of Brooke. I hope you enjoy them!

Brooke in her new raincoat

Brooke took this bowl out of the dishwasher so John put it on her head!

Playing with the vacuum!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Yet Another Tooth...

Tooth number 4 showed up yesterday! This is the only time that Brooke's gums have actually looked swollen to me. Her first 3 teeth didn't come with inflamed gums or anything and this time it looks so painful for her. My poor baby! I've been doing everything imaginable to help her feel better and she's holding up pretty well. She's so miserable during the day but at night, she goes down without a fuss and sleeps long stretches in her crib. I'm so glad that that hasn't been ruined by these teeth coming in.

I am so ticked off that the Yankees LOST yesterday. I was furious because that's my team and they played like crap and like they didn't even want to win. It's ridiculous that we have the highest pay role of any of the baseball teams and we have the seemingly best players that are available but we still cannot win a championship. Darn it all! I was very disappointed to see them eliminated from the playoffs so early. I guess it goes to show that you can't BUY a World Series victory.

John has the next 2 nights off so it should be a very nice, relaxing couple of days ahead. I love having him home with me!

OK, time to go make dinner. No fun! Before I get off, let me post some pictures for you. My parents took Brooke and Nathan on a walk and to the park yesterday. It looks like they had a great time!

Brookie on the slide

She's enjoying Nathan's wagon!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Testing New Waters

I know I've said this before, but Brooke is seriously into everything imaginable. The last few days she seems to have really upped the anty. Now instead of staring at the cupboards and appliances curiously, she can open them too. YIKES!

One of Brooke's favorite things to do is get into the dishwasher. Whenever I put it down to load or unload it she immediately stops whatever she's doing and comes rushing over to play with it. Whenever I pull the bottom rack out she pulls out all of the silverware and then proceeds to try to reach for the plates. If I don't pull the bottom rack out, she will literally climb on the door of the dishwasher and try to do whatever it takes to reach for the item she has her little eye on. If I pull her away she freaks out. Something about that dishwasher is so entertaining to her! Lol! This new discovery of hers sure makes doing the dishes a much more time consuming event for me.

Brooke has also been mastering climbing up the stairs. Our house is AWFUL for a baby who likes stairs because we have tons of steps. When you walk into our mudroom, we have 3 steps leading to the kitchen. The kitchen goes right into our living room where there's 2 steps that take you up on a landing. The landing either takes you down to our office or upstairs. When you get upstairs there are MORE stairs. There's a tiny little hallway and Brooke's room and the bathroom are on one level and then our bedroom is up 2 more steps. I don't mind it for me because it gives the house a unique little flare, but when you have a baby it gets so complicated! There is virtually nowhere in our house where I can put Brooke without having to watch her every second. She climbs up the stairs quickly and she can climb a whole staircase if you let her. Therefore I spend most of my day sitting behind a baby on the stair case. Lol! I don't want to put gates up because our house is small enough as it is and I'm thinking that it would just box us in more. We'll see!

Brooke is also into the refrigerator and cupboards. You mama's of mobile babies know exactly what I'm talking about. You're all probably laughing at me too because I bet you can picture exactly what I'm going through.

Man, motherhood is awesome! I just love it. All these new things that Brooke is doing make me so happy and they keep me so entertained. What a great life:-)

Friday, October 5, 2007

2 Steps Forward, 10 Steps Back

I am so frustrated and frazzled right now. Brooke has now reverted back to her ways of not napping. I don't know what to do! I'm really annoyed about this because I worked tirelessly for a week to create a schedule for her and now, suddenly she's defied it all. Just when I thought that we had gotten somewhere, little Miss Brooke went and threw a curve ball and switched it ALL up. Isn't that motherhood though?

She has been so cranky and grouchy over these last few days and I contribute about 95 percent of it to her not napping. I know she's exhausted because she rubs her eyes constantly and she is acting completely delirious at times. I also know that she's teething but she really hasn't been acting bothered by that except for that one day that I mentioned in a previous post.

She won't even nap in my arms anymore. She'll nurse and instead of falling asleep she'll sit there and try to wiggle her way out my arms. I don't understand why she would rather get down and be exhausted than get some rest. To add to my frustration, if she does happen to fall asleep, when I go to put her in her crib she wakes up immediately after I do so.

She's also been waking up EXTREMELY early in the mornings. She used to always sleep until at least 9 or 9:30 no matter when she went to bed. Now she's waking me up at 7 O'clock and ready to go. The other morning she woke up at 7 and refused to go back to sleep for even a nap until 1. She was so fussy and miserable that I was really struggling. She didn't want to put down or eat, all she wanted to do was fuss. Finally I took her in the car and went for a ride. She fell asleep which is great, but she cannot be dependent on a car ride to make her take a nap. My brain's just so fried about this!

I did read that when a baby is discovering new things he or she is very fussy and difficult because they constantly want to be exploring their new found world. Perhaps that's it? Brooke is standing up on every imaginable surface and cruising everywhere. Maybe her curiosity is just so great that she can't take her mind off of it to take a nap? I don't know. Maybe there is some valid truth to what I read.

I can't even put her in her crib and let her fuss or cry for a few minutes because now John sleeps all day. Her room is right next to our bedroom and I don't want John to miss out on sleep. Which is worse.. A grumpy baby or a grumpy husband?? Lol! He keeps telling me over and over again that I don't have to walk on eggshells while he's sleeping, but still, I want to give him the proper respect!

All I know is that Brooke NEEDS naps. She's miserable without them and I also depend on those times to do laundry and prepare dinner. She is such an active baby and she's into everything imaginable so I also need her naps to unwind and actually sit down for a minute. I just want to do what best for Brooke and I guess that's why I'm going crazy over this! I sure hope that I figure something out soon because I really don't want Brookie to be so sleepy and grouchy anymore!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Welcome, Tooth #3!

I discovered a new tooth in Brooke's mouth yesterday! She had a pretty fussy day yesterday and her hands were constantly in her mouth. Those things made me suspicious and low and behold, she now has one tooth on the top. The tooth is pretty far down so it had to have been there for awhile without me knowing it. So, all in all, Brooke's third tooth has made it's entrance much easier than the first 2. Luckily this hasn't had an impact on her sleeping habits at all. Yay for that! It's so gross because now she grinds her teeth. Yes... It's makes me sick everytime I hear her doing it. Hopefully she'll stop it soon because I don't want her teeth to get ruined by her making a habit out of it.

It was one of John's days off today so we went to the oulet malls. I found the deal of the century at The Children's Place outlet. I got 5 dollar tights for 19 cents a piece. Yes, you read that correctly, believe it or not. 19 cents cannot be beaten! The sign said that they were $1.99 so I only grabbed three pairs, but when they rang up at 19 cents, I got more. I got Brooke two of each basic color they had, which was black, cream, and white. They didn't have any other sizes besides 6-12 months or I definitely would have stocked up much more than I did. I've said it over and over again, but man, I LOVE a good deal!

Nothing else is really new with us. I feel like we've been so busy lately. We're out almost every night of the week becayse there is always somewhere to go or something to be done. We're all working on getting adjusted to John's new shift too, which is going better than expected.

Well, my girl is kind of fussy right now. I'm going to go try and figure her out! I hope all of you ladies are doing well!

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Sleepy Little Family

John and Brooke have both been sleeping since around 8. It's now 9:30. John's waking up at 10 to go to work and Brooke's out for the night. I have to confess that I'm lonely. This dark, quiet house is not a good way to replace the nights that were once filled with laughter and alone time for John and me. It WILL get better. I just keep telling myself that. Pretty soon John's body will be all adjusted and he won't need this nighttime nap. It didn't help that John had to get up at 1 this afternoon to be at court by 2:30, which only allowed him to get 5 hours of sleep during the day.

We had our intern pastor, Peter, and his wife, Holly, over for dinner tonight. We had a really nice time! I made garlic lemon marinated turkey breasts, mashed potatoes with gravy, and veggies. For dessert I made a coffee cake filled with a cream cheese mixture. I HATE to bake but I can't have company and not make them dessert. Isn't that a crime?? Lol! Anyways, I found the new recipe in my new cookbook that my ma-in-law got me. It wasn't hard at all to make and it turned out amazing. I was so proud because everyone loved it. Peter and Holly even took some home with them! I just love to be a hostess and entertain people because it makes me so happy inside:-)

I called Brooke's doctor today to see if I should continue the Nystatin for her thrush. We were supposed to use it for 10 days but it's been 3 weeks now and her mouth has shown no improvement. They put her on Diflucan and they said that the thrush should now go away quickly. Why didn't they do that in the first place??

Brooke tried Yo-Baby yogurt today. I thought it was made my Yoplait but it's made by Stonyville, which is a company that makes all organic, natural foods. Anyways, she LOVED it. She at more than half of the 4 ounce carton of it and I was completely shocked! I'm going to start giving it to her for breakfast. I got her the yogurt that has raspberries, pears, and cereal all pureed in it. It's also made with whole milk and it has no added sugars. I'm so happy that she likes something that is so good for her!

Well, it's almost 10. Time to go wake my sleepy husband up and send him out the door.