Friday, November 30, 2007

So Much to Say About Nothing!

I haven't blogged in a few days (a rarity for me!) so I thought I would take a few minutes to catch you all up to speed.

*Annie: We had such an amazing time last night!! Sarah couldn't go at the last minute which made me sad, but luckily my mom bailed me out and was able to fill her shoes. Though I missed Sarah, I'll admit that it was nice to get out with just my mom and my sister. We three ladies haven't ventured out on our own in AGES! It was very special:-) I was thrilled because I came home and Brooke was sleeping soundly and she didn't even wake up to eat until hours after I got there. She didn't nurse for almost 7 hours in a row. Wow! John said she was a blast when she was awake and then she went to sleep with not fuss. What a relief!

*The House Hunt Continues: We've been looking at houses and there's A LOT of crap out there right now. It seems like every house we go isn't even a possibility. However, we found a gorgeous house today that we really love. It has an all new kitchen with really nice new appliances, oak cabinets, and a ceramic tile floor. It has a 3-seasons room, a dining room, family room, and living room... BUT there are 2 major let-downs. 1, it's not an ideal location. It's a remote little town that's quaint but it's a bit more removed from everything than we would have liked. It's only 10 minutes from either of our parents but we're not sure if it would be hard living there after living here, where we're only a stone's throw from all of the stores and restaurants. 2, the bedrooms are small. There's a HUGE master bedroom, but there are only 2 other bedrooms and they're tiny. We don't want our kids to be crowded. However, this house has SO much other space.

*Brooke: She is blossoming more and more by the second. It's crazy how quickly my little baby is growing up!

~She just learned a new word, "cheese." John taught her to say that when we hold the camera up to her and with some prodding, we get the cutest little voice in the universe yelling, "cheese!"

~She can also dance on demand. She has the most adorable little dance and if we say, "Dance, Brookie," she gets so excited and shakes her little body.

~She's so close to walking... She's stands unassisted for extended periods of time and cruises all over the house, but she has yet to take her first steps. I am NOT rushing it! Once she starts walking my life will never be the same again!!

~She is devouring solid foods now! She and her 4 teeth are learning how to chew things. She'll tolerate baby foods, but unless its a flavor that she really loves (like apple-cherry, peas, blueberry-banana-granola, or sweet potatoes) she'll only have a few bites. We do a lot of yogurt and soft foods, like rice, potatoes, noodles, and fruit. It's so fun watching her learn about new foods. I love it!

~I've mastered the art of putting pig tails in her hair! They are more work than her usual bow, but they're too cute. I've decided that she won't wear them very often though because if she does they won't be special. Besides, I only have 3 different colors of bows for pigtails... For her regular bow I have endless colors. I pretty much have a bow for every outfit. Hey, if I'm gonna have a girl, I mine as well dress her up!

~She has almost completely recovered from her yeast infection and her cold! She still has a nasty cough that is sometimes waking her up at night, but other than that, I have my happy, silly baby back. Yay for me! It is such a blast.

* My birthday is on Sunday so John took a personal day from work, which gives him tomorrow and Sunday off! We're going to get our Christmas tree on my birthday. I can't wait!

Well, like I said, John's off tonight. That means that it's time for a movie! We're watching Crimson Tide. He swears I'll like it. Let's hope!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow... It's Only A Day Away!!

Tomorrow's my big outing to go see Annie with Alison and Sarah!!! I'm so excited to get out and do something for ME for a change, but I have to tell you, I'm so nervous about leaving Miss Brooke for that long.

I'm meeting up with the girls at 6:15, which means I have to leave Brookie a little bit after 6. The show then starts at 7 and with the intermission and everything I don't see it being over much before 10. By the time we get out to the car and drive home (which is about 20 minutes from the theater), I'm not going to be home until after 10. Yikes.. That's almost 4 hours. I've never been away from my girl for that long:-(

I know that John will take AMAZING care of Brooke and that they'll have a blast, but I'm apprehensive because she does NOT take a bottle. My mother-in-law gave her breast milk out of a straw last time she watched her and she did great with that, so I'm just going to have to bank on Brooke doing that again! The main problem I have is that I only have 4 ounces of breast milk left in the freezer. That's enough for maybe one feeding??? (I don't know much about ounces and stuff) My milk supply has been dwindling so I haven't been able to get much milk using my pump. I'm used to pumping and getting 5 ounces in 15 minutes and the other night I didn't even get a half an ounce. Not cool, considering I NEED milk for her. I'm going to try to pump in a minute, so hopefully that will be successful.

Brooke usually goes down around 8 so I figure that I'll feed her at 5:30, before I leave. Then if I leave her baby food dinner for her so she can eat that around 6:30- 7, to hopefully prevent her from being wicked hungry. Then John can give her a bath and then give her the breast milk right before bedtime. Do you notice that I'm trying to micro-manage this? Man, I drive myself nuts. I'm SO glad that she goes down on her own, or else I would be super, SUPER concerned. She doesn't usually wake up until after midnight so I'm hoping that she won't need anything else after she's down for the night. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

This is what I'm MOST concerned about... John has to be at work at 11, so he has to leave our house at 10:30. In case I don't get home until after 10:30, John's brother is going to come over to sit with Brooke until I arrive. I'm so worried that she'll wake up and not have her mommy and daddy and be totally freaked out. Josh is great and all, but Brookie might feel scared because she's obviously not as comfortable with him as she is with us. Ugh, hopefully I get home early enough!

OK, well I'm really, really going to try to enjoy myself. I'm being nuts about this, right? People leave their babies all the time and this is totally normal! RIGHT??? Wish me luck!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Wish

There's another beautiful country song out there that I absolutely love. It's called My Wish, by Rascal Flats. The guys who wrote this song wrote this for his baby girl and it talks about the dreams he has for her life. Read the lyrics. They so perfectly say so many things that I want to say!

"My Wish"

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

Isn't that a beautiful song? It's obviously much better when it's being sung, but the words are nice enough to be read all by themselves.

Every night when I put Brooke to bed I pray over her crib and I ask God to prepare her future husband, teachers, bosses, and friendships. I also ask that He would protect her from the many things out there that want to hurt her. I always stare at her and think of all of the wonderful things that are in her future if she follows God's will. I have so many dreams for her and I just can't wait to watch her be able to accomplish what God put her on this planet to do.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Wish that I could Keep Nathan!!

We had an awesome night tonight! My sister and her husband had a meeting to go to so John and I offered to watch Nathan. We had a total blast together and it just made me even more excited to have another baby.

As I was getting dinner ready, John played with both Brooke and Nathan. They read stories and played with Brookie's toys. It was actually easier having Nathan there because he and Brooke play so well together (most of the time!!) that it kept both babies engaged and happy. Neither baby was fussy or anything while they played... Except for when they fought over the books! Haha:-) They can NEVER seem to share those silly books.

We then had a quick dinner and because both babies ate well we had a special treat afterwards... POPSICLES!!!!! We stripped both babies down to only diapers and gave them a few bites of Popsicle. Brooke is crazy about them so we figured that Nathan would be too. It was hilarious because he took a HUGE bite out of a Popsicle and it was so cold that he was making this really funny face. He spit it out into a napkin and then picked it back up with his mouth when he was ready to suck on it again. I wish I had it on video! It was great fun.

While I did the dishes and got us all cleaned up, John played with the babies again. When I was done in the kitchen we then headed upstairs for bath time. Bath time was great! John was doing some things downstairs and I told him to be on standby because I didn't think I could handle both kids in the tub by myself. Wrong! They were absolute angels. They played so nicely together and they really enjoyed themselves. I was soaked from all of the splashing! It was so weird to wash Brooke and then have to wash Nathan.. It just kind of hit me that it is really DOUBLE the work. Man, it's just so much fun that it doesn't seem like work.

After bath time, John and I got the babies in their jammies. I chose to dress Nathan because he doesn't run away from me while I'm changing him! Lol! I left John with Brooke, who's a tough cookie when it comes to that stuff. From that point on we played, laughed, read stories, and sang. It was the perfect night!

I've come to the conclusion that having another baby around makes things not only more exciting and more entertaining, but it makes it EASIER. I know it sounds weird, but when you have another one around they seem to occupy each other and you have more opportunities to sit back and watch them. I was sad to see Nathan go tonight because I loved having him join our family activities so very much. I wonder if Alison wouldn't notice if I took him?? Lol

I'm super excited now to have another baby. Obviously we're still waiting, but I absolutely cannot wait until my house is filled with the laughter of another baby. There are so many fun days in my future. Being a mom (and an aunt to the most beautiful baby boy ever) is just the greatest!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Always Something:-(

As I said the other day, Brooke has another cold. Unfortunately that same cold has now been passed on to me, leaving us where we were a few weeks ago.. Miserable and sick. Yesterday was the worst of it but today we both have the lingering cough and runny nose. I'm so annoyed that we keep getting colds!

Brooke also has a really, really awful diaper rash. I've been trying so hard to get rid of it and it's only gotten worse. It's now traveling down towards her thighs and it looks so uncomfortable for her. I feel so sad that she has to have this nasty rash. I think that it's thrush again because last time she had thrush she got a rash like this, though it wasn't nearly this bad. I also saw a few white spots in her mouth. So, it looks like we're back to the doctor on Monday to try to get her fixed yet again.

I also think that Brooke has another tooth coming in. It's hard to tell because she won't ever let me in her mouth. It's also on her top gums, which makes it even harder to be able to look. The one area is very swollen and I think that I feel an ever so slight part of a tooth. She's also gnawing on things and putting her fingers on that one spot in her mouth. Teeth are so annoying. They mess everything up!

All of these things have really done a number on our sleeping progress. For starters, she has been nursing to sleep. When she's well, she always goes down awake. I've just been wanting to snuggle with her and comfort her because I know she feels like garbage. She is also waking up A LOT. I think that it's cruel to let a sick baby with an itchy bottom, runny nose, cough, and sore gums sit in her crib to cry. Therefore I've been picking her up and giving in to her a whole lot more. I just hope that this doesn't totally undo everything that we taught her.

Brooke has even been waking up in the middle of the night and STAYING awake for hours at a time.. Something that she has NEVER done. The other night her cough woke her up at 1. It was such a bad cough that she was wide awake, causing her to want to play. It took me an hour to get her to calm down and go back to sleep. She has also been waking screaming at other times, in obvious discomfort. I know that she's sick so I'm trying to be patient, but this is SO difficult. I'm walking around like a zombie and I'm so not used to that!

Brooke also doesn't take naps. It's ridiculous. I know that she's exhausted and I've come to determine that the only way I'll be able to get her to nap is to let her cry-it-out. However, like I said before, I absolutely will not let my sick baby cry-it-out. So, it looks like we'll have to postpone trying to get Brooke to nap until she's better.

As I said a couple of days ago, John bought me tickets to go see Annie with Alison and Sarah next Thursday night. How the heck am I supposed to leave her if she won't go down without nursing??? I'm so anxious about this all. I don't even know what to do. I feel like I've been Brooke's personal pacifier lately, but is that because she's sick or is that because I've spoiled her? I just don't know. I really haven't given her much of an opportunity to go down awake lately. Hopefully she'll be all better by then and it won't even be an issue.

I want my healthy, happy, sleeping baby back. I love the sick baby just as much and I'm honored to be able to care for her, even in difficult circumstances, but my heart breaks for her when she isn't herself. Hopefully things improve.. And SOON!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Mistaken Meaning of Christmas

Picture this... All year long you make sure that you celebrate the birthdays of your close friends and family. You make a point not to forget these special dates ind your loved ones' lives and you anually plan elaborate parties, make their favorite meals, and lavish them with cards and presents. Now, finally, it's your birthday. You come home expecting to find all those that are near and dear to your heart, but instead you find nobody. Where are they? They're all too busy preparing your birthday events that they've totally forgotten about YOU.

I stopped to think today. I wonder if Jesus feels that way sometimes... Like we've forgotten His birthday. We are too consumed with shopping, baking, decorating, present- wrapping, tree-trimming, gift-giving, family get-togethers, and sending out Christmas cards that it's SO easy to not even reflect on the birth of the saviour of the world. He shows us His life CONSTANTLY, yet we can't take time out of elaborate Christmas festivites to honor Him as the guest of honor.

I started to think about all of this today when I ventured out into the Black Friday mayhem. I wanted to go to Target to look at a few sale items and I honestly could not MOVE in the store. Every single aisle was congested with floods of people and people were running into one another. Cross words were being exchanged among strangers as they were ramming into each other. It was so packed in that stupid store that there were no more carts available. That whole scene was ridiculous.
As Alison and I took our babies out to the car, we were completely frazzled.

I'm sick of cheap prices on DVD's or toys or clothing (or whatever else it might be) carrying so much weight in the holiday season. Obviously I have people to buy for and I love getting a great deal on things, but it's not worth it to me to save a few bucks if I have to get trampled on to do it. Society as a whole has commercialized this precious holiday and it no longer seems to be about anything but materialistic junk. I'm the worst offender here. It's way too easy to give our holiday shopping and our own personal wish list precedence over the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

If it was John's birthday (or the birthday of another family member), I would drop everything to ensure that his day was as special as it could possibly be. I would never forget to acknowledge him. In fact, I would fall all over myself to tell him how special he is to me. This brings me to the final question... Am I putting forth equal (or superior) efforts to honor Jesus' birthday? I'm ashamed to say that I'm not.

I want this Christmas season to be different. I'm not going to sweat the small stuff and stress over what gifts to buy for people. Instead, I'm going to channel all of my energy into remembering the great GIFT that was ever given to all of mankind. This is so much easier said that done but I'll remember the initial question that sparked this whole post... How would I feel if everyone I love forgot MY birthday?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Today was a great day for us. We spent the morning at my parents house. The guys went to Starbucks while my mom, sister, the babies, and I went to McDonald's for breakfast. We then just hung out around the house and watched the parade and cooked... And chased Brooke and Nathan, too, of course! At about 2, John and I went over to John's aunt's house, where we shared a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with his side of the family. All in all, it was a great day that was spent with all (well, most) of the people that I love.

Let me just note that Brooke looked absolutely precious in her new Thanksgiving outfit that John bought for her. I didn't take any picture because we were so busy, but she looked very festive! We were proud to show her off to everyone.

I sure do have a lot to thankful for! My heart is so full of thankfulness and joy as I reflect on all of life's many rich and wonderful blessing. God has been so good to us!

I'm thankful for:

~Jesus dying on the cross to not only save me from eternity in hell, but to give me a meaningful life NOW. It's so awesome that He loves me and that He gave me His word to lean on.

~My amazing husband! He is my best friend and I honestly couldn't ask for a better partner in life than him. He has his priorities in check and he takes amazing care of Brooke and me. I look up to him and his great attitude so much. He's an awesome example for me in so many areas.

~My beautiful daughter. Every time I look at her I am reminded of how blessed I am to be her mother. God could have chosen anyone in the universe to raise her and somehow He chose ME. Her vibrant smile and quirky personality make life so much more fun than it ever used to be!

~My parents. They give and give so freely of their time and money to show us that they love us. I honestly don't think there's anything that they wouldn't do for me. Their friendship and love is priceless.

~John's parents. They have welcomed me into their family and loved me as if I were their own daughter. They, like my own parents, would do anything for us. I'm so thankful that I'm so close with them, unlike so many other people are at odds with their in-laws.

~My nephew, Nathan. I love that little boy so much. I would claim him as my own baby if my sister would let me:-) He honestly melts my heart every time I look at him.

~My sister, Alison. She knows me better than I know myself and she is a great help and encouragement to me. I can call her at midnight and ask her a baby question. She's ALWAYS there for me. I can always count on her to make me smile too! She shares all of my memories and laughs from my childhood.

~My DAWG (John's sister, Sarah). She's my buddy and we always laugh for hours when we're together. She's so helpful and I admire her willing spirit. I always wanted a little sister and I finally got one when she came into my life!

~All my other siblings: My big brother, Jared and his wife Amanda, My brother-in-law, Luke, and for John's brother, Josh. They all love and support us!

~To live in the great country of America where I can worship God freely and not fear be imprisoned for my religious beliefs.

~A roof over my head.

~Cars to drive.

~Food on the table.

~Clothes and shoes to wear.

~My gifts and abilities that God has given me.

I'm sure that I could sit behind this computer for hours on end and write about all of things that I'm thankful for, but time won't allow that! Life is so amazing and I just wanted to stop for a minute and count my blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

She's Sick AGAIN:-(

My poor little baby has yet another cold. This is so frustrating! She was just getting rid of the last one and her cough was finally on it's way out of town. Unfortunately it seems like we're now back to where we started from.

Last night she woke up at around 12:30 with a really, really stuffy nose and from that point on she was awake many times throughout the night. I had to suction her nose and nurse her in an upright position. Lucky for me, though, the last cold gave me some knowledge of how to handle her stuffiness better. I guess I can be thankful for that. She woke up this morning with an extremely running nose and it's been dripping ever since. Of course she's very grumpy and she's having a hard time sleeping too. This is no fun for any of us... Especially Miss Brooke. Luckily (knock on wood!) I'm not sick this time.

She was so pitiful and grumpy today that I felt completely helpless. Man, my heart breaks when my baby is sick. I can't describe it. Anyways, I don't usually rock her to sleep, but I just sat in her room and rocked her, prayed over her, and nursed her. Though I don't want her to depend on me to rock and/or nurse her to sleep, I thought it was important to love on her a little extra tonight. I sure hope that she stays sleeping for awhile. I have some baking to do for tomorrow.

Well, off to make Jello Pretzel Salad and Coconut Custard Pies. The fun begins...

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Rough Patch

These last few days and weeks have been the most challenging times of Brooke's life thus far. I just don't understand what's going on with her. She's gone from a content, happy baby to a clingy and grumpy baby. To be honest, I'm feeling kind of exhausted and overwhelmed because I don't know what to do to make her happy anymore! Even John was at a loss today. She's not screaming and miserable like she's sick... She's just generally fussy anymore. We've looked and we don't see any teeth coming in and she just went to the doctor so we're pretty sure her ears are OK too.

Another thing that is different with her is her sleep patterns. She used to go down around 8 and sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning. Now she's goes down and she'll wake up sometimes 2 or 3 times before even midnight! Even if I surrender and pick her up and nurse her, only a few hours later she is awake again. She has NEVER been a baby to wake up in the middle of the night and suddenly, she's wanting to eat at random times throughout the night.

Another thing regarding sleep that we're struggling with is naps... She won't take them. The longest nap I can get her to take is a 30 minute nap. I know that this isn't enough. I'm thinking that letting her cry-it-out for naps is going to be the only thing that fixes this problem.

I think a big part of this whole issue is her age and where she's at right now. I know that she's trying to walk and she is constantly wanting to explore things. She has discovered how to do so much in these past few weeks and it does NOT satisfy her to play with her toys. We are so not used to this! She has always been so easy to care for and now she's EVERYWHERE. We try to tell her no and teach her that certain things are off limits, but even at 9 months old, Brooke's has a cow when we say no. It looks like the temper tantrums have begun... Lol!

She's hasn't gone through the separation anxiety yet. She's very clingy and she doesn't want to put down at all, but she doesn't freak out if I leave the room. Knock on wood! That's another thing.. She has NEVER liked to be held. Even when she was brand new she loved to play on her activity mat or her bouncy seat. Now, she'll sit on my lap and hold tightly to my shirt just to avoid being put down. I love holding her but this presents a problem when I have to, heaven forbid, go to the bathroom or eat or do work around the house.

Brooke went to bed wicked early tonight.. Around 6:45. We haven't heard a peep from her so hopefully she'll stay sleeping and catch up on all of this rest she's been missing out on. It's funny because though right now is an exhausting stage for us, I STILL can't wait to have another one:-) Motherhood is so addicting...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Day With the Girls!

John had an awesome opportunity to go to Buffalo with his dad to see the Bills play! He's HUGE fan of the Bills and he just couldn't pass this chance up. He kept saying he wasn't going to go because he didn't want to leave us but I encouraged him to go and do something nice for himself. We've never once been away from each other since we've been married... Except for when one of us goes to work or whatever. So, needles to say, I was happy to see him do something he loves so much.

He worked all last night and then slept at his parents house until 11 this morning(because Buffalo's in that direction) and then he and his dad caught a bus that took them to the stadium, which is almost 4 hours away. They then got there and had a tailgate party outside the bus. The game didn't even start until 8:30 so by the time it's over and they come home, he's not going to be home until 5 or 6 this morning. And... Of course he has to work tomorrow night. What a whirlwind of a trip! I feel so sad because his team is getting their butts kicked. Poor John! Can't they at least play well for HIM?? Lol!

So my mother-in-law and sister-in-law had a wonderful girls day out with Brooke and me after church. We shopped like crazy and then we came back to the house for some Chinese and a movie. It was very relaxing and it was nice to be able to have some quality girl time while the guys were away.

Poor Brooke had had ENOUGH by the time we got home tonight! All she wanted to do was play and crawl up the stairs. She was sick of not being able to get down while we were out. I don't think that she would have tolerated one more store!

The girls just left so I'm going to go do some housework and then get some rest.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Saintly Husband

My husband cracks me up. He's just such a good, honest guy... To the point of almost annoying me sometimes. Lol! I just have to share a hilarious story about my day shopping with him today. I'm still laughing about what he did!

So, we were looking for comforters because I really want a new one. My birthday's a few weeks away so he and I have been searching for the perfect one for him to get for me. We were in Macy's and my eyes affixed on this beautiful, amazingly soft, elegant comforter set that was priced at $269. There was then a sign next to it that said, "On sale for $169." We really didn't think that that was a bad price because comforters aren't cheap. Then I spotted a little red sticker on the bedding that said $79. Of course I got very excited because who doesn't want to save $200????? I brought it up to the lady to ask about the discrepancy between the 2 prices and she said that the $79 was a mistake but because someone messed it up she would have to honor that price. This is the funny part... John said, "Oh no, ma'am. We're willing to pay the actual price. People make mistakes and there's no reason that we shouldn't pay the correct price for it." Meanwhile, I'm pinching him and trying to get him to shut up. HA!

After we walked away he ended up telling me that he didn't want to get me the comforter today anyways because he wanted to go and find me the perfect birthday present himself. How sweet! He's just so thoughtful! However, I'm still kicking myself.. AND HIM.. every time I think about how amazingly cheap I could have gotten a new bed set. I think it's probably best for me to forget about it because I still can't believe that we missed out. I LOVE a bargain.

Speaking of bargain, I got Brooke $25 worth of clothes at Macy's for $5.80. Does it get any better than that?? I'm thinking NO!

Another exciting thing... Annie, the musical, is coming to a theater near us!!!! It's an off-Broadway performance so I know it will be amazing. I love Annie. I know all the songs by heart, of course. John bought me a ticket for my birthday and we also bought my sister and my sister-in-law, Sarah, a ticket for Christmas. So not only do I get to go see something that I love, but I also get to treat my 2 favorite girls AND get out with them for the evening. I can't wait! I'm nervous about leaving Brooke. The show's at 7:30 and she goes down anywhere from 7-8, so she should be sleeping for most of the time anyways, but still. Sarah already said that she wouldn't let me worry. She'd keep my mind off of it.

Okie dokie, Brooke's out so I'm going to go relax with my silly husband before he heads into work later on tonight.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My BIG, 9-Month-Old Girl

Happy 9-month birthday to Miss Brooke!! I absolutely cannot believe that she's only 3months shy of being 1. It's so unbelievable how fast these months have flown by. What a great ride it's been so far. It is so weird to me how 9 months of pregnancy drags and drags, but when you have a 9-month-old you have no idea where the time went. Yes, Brooke keeps me moving and plenty busy and I think that's what makes the days pass.

I have enjoyed being her mom more than I could ever put into words or express. There are so many priceless gifts that motherhood comes with. Being a mom is a conglomeration of the little smiles your child gives you, the fun, silly times and even the hard times. All of these things together make being a mom a true learning experience and such a joy.

I've decided that out of 9 whole months of Brooke's life, my most favorite thing has to be nursing her. I love bath time, kisses and hugs, playing with her toys, etc... But nothing melts my heart more than when she's looks up at me in the middle of eating and smiles or coos. Every single time she eats I get to sit down with her, relax, and realize how very lucky I am that I am the only person in the universe that she wants right then and there.

I am so amazed at how God took a tiny speck that started in my belly and grew her into this vibrant little baby girl who is my world. God is good and I praise Him for the amazing gift He gave me when He gave me Brooke. She is such a wonderful blessing!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Loved Her First

A few months after I found out that I was pregnant with Brooke, this new country song, "I Loved Her First," by Heartland came out. I'm not a country music fan by any means, but because John is, I find myself listening to it often. Anyways, this song made me cry because it reminded me so much of my relationship with my father. At that point I didn't know that Brooke was a girl and I told John that if our baby was a girl I could never listen to that song again without crying. What do you know... We heard this song on the way back from our ultrasound that told us the wonderful news that Brooke was a girl! I heard it today and it amazes me how true the words are. Check it out!

"Look at the two of you dancing that way
Lost in the moment and each others face
So much in love your alone in this place
Like there's nobody else in the world
I was enough for her not long ago
I was her number one
She told me so
And she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl
Time changes everything
Life must go on
And I'm not gonna stand in your way

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it still hard to give her away
I loved her first

How could that beautiful women with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairy tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights
And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But its still hard to give her away
I loved her first

From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I'm going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
I loved her first"

Though I know this song by heart, I just read through the lyrics again and yes, I'm crying. It's amazing how deeply John and I love Brooke. It's so saddening, yet exciting, for me to think of her future. Before I know it she'll be grown and I think that this song constantly reminds me of that. I hope you enjoyed the words as much as I do!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Sad Realization

Alison and I went to Wendy's for lunch the other day. It just so happened to be lunch time for the kids the high school directly across the street. So before we knew it, the place was infiltrated with tons and tons of crazy teenagers.

These kids were awful... They were swearing, throwing chairs and food at one another, and this one couple was making out hard core. Apart from all of the other things that were going on, just the average conversations were shocking, to say the least. These kids were talking and joking about sex, parties, skipping class, alcohol, etc... I didn't hear one thing that didn't shock me. At one point on the of the kids knocked Nathan while walking by him and they had no remorse or care for anyone else in the universe but themselves.

I just sat there looking at these kids and then looking at Brooke and Nathan. I think it hit me that raising Brooke and sending her out into the world is going to be harder than I ever thought possible. I know that before I know it she will have to go into a society of scary people and fight to make her place in the world. People won't always be nice to her... They may not think she's pretty, they might pick on her clothes or her hair and they'll be mean if she's too smart or not smart enough. And you know what the worst part is? I will have to tell her that living the Christian life means persecution. Thinking about all of this has really caused me to pray more thoroughly about Brooke's future than I had been. Yes, I've been praying, but now I'm specifically praying for Brooke's future teachers and friendships as she grows.

What's the answer? I'm here to say that I've been to Christian high school and I was accepted LESS there than at public school. I have never been treated so rudely or judged as much as I was by the people of a Christian school. On the other side, in public high school I got into trouble and I know that I didn't let my light shine like I should have. I believe that if we take all our Christian kids out of schools and home school or send them to Christian schools then we have taken our Godly influences out of the schools. As much as I hate it, I think that my daughter is going to have to be a difference one day, when I would much rather cage her up and protect her from the world's harm. At this point, with all of the fear inside of me, I think it would be easier to home school or to cough up the money for private education.

This parenting thing is hard work. I thought of having this precious little baby and I never thought of her future and how scary it would all be for me. I'm just thankful that I have God in my life and that Brooke is HIS and not mine. What a reassurance!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yearning For Another One, Part 2

John's aunt had a baby boy around 6 weeks ago. I had seen pictures of him and heard stories about him, but I never realized how precious he was until today when I met him for the first time. He was absolutely perfect. How special!

They don't live around here so I was just sure everyone would want to be passing Mr. Liam around, but much to my surprise I got to hold him twice for extended periods of time. Everyone was really gracious and "shared" him with me. He's only 11 pounds (which to me seems so tiny) and all he wants to do is sleep, cuddle, and be held. I had totally forgotten what that felt like because all Brooke wants to do is go, go, go and be put down.

I also got to change Liam's diaper and put him in his PJ's. It was so easy dressing him compared to chasing Brooke all over the house for a diaper change. Lol! You would think that I wouldn't want to "help" with a baby, but it felt so good! I haven't really had too much exposure to babies that are younger than Brooke since she's been born and it felt awesome to have some confidence in myself while handling a new baby. Yes, Miss Brooke has taught me a ton!

The whole time I was holding Liam I kept feeling bad for Brooke. Mind you, she was off playing and happy. It's weird though, I felt like I was being a bad mom or neglecting her by enjoying another baby. Liam's wonderful and amazing and all that, but nobody in the universe could ever replace my Brookie. I'm sure she knows that. Right? Holy cow, I better deal with these feelings now or else baby number 2 will really cause me issues!

Brooke didn't want too much to do with the baby. She was captivated by everything else that was going on around her. She did pat the baby's head at one point but other than that, she could have cared less he was there. My sister-in-law did get a really cute picture of me holding both Liam and Brooke. I should steal it from her and post it on here.

On a totally unrelated note, we're now NOT moving. It's a really long story but to make it short, we couldn't close on the house we were going to buy until mid-January so the guy that was selling it decided he would just move back into it. Trust me, it's more complicated than that, but the details don't really matter too much at this point. Our house is essentially sold to John's brother so we need to start looking for a house. There's not a whole lot out there right now so wish us luck. The fun begins!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yearning For Another One...

I was at the mall today and everywhere I looked I saw pregnant women. Darn it, they were so stinking cute and I just wanted to steal their big, fat bellies away from them. Why didn't I enjoy being pregnant as much as I should have?

I've just been very reminiscent about my pregnancy lately because I keep thinking "this time last year I was..." I was remembering attending holiday functions as a big pregnant woman and not really having to be too concerned about my over-consumption of all of the goodies. I also loved dressing up in my cute maternity clothes and going to Christmas parties. I also find myself thinking about how this time last year I was about 3 months away from giving birth to Brooke and I just couldn't wait. How amazing and surreal that felt!

I failed to mention the other day that I scheduled Brooke's ONE YEAR doctor appointment. The receptionist said, "It went fast, didn't it?" I just stood there thinking about how her life and been really, the blink of an eye, a vapor. I don't remember all the wonderful details of what it was like to be pregnant or to have a newborn in my arms. All I have is this seemingly distant memory of those times in my life. I have been thinking that if these last 9 months of Brookie's short little life have flown like this, then what will the rest of her life be like? It's going to go by so fast and that breaks my heart!

John and I aren't trying to have a baby now and we won't be for a while, but every time I remember how much I enjoyed pregnancy, labor, and how amazing being a mom is, it makes me want to be pregnant NOW. Whenever I have thoughts like this going through my mind is when I just so happen to see a million pregnant ladies in one day. That does NOT help my overly-sentimental mind cope with the fact that right now is not a good time for us to have a baby!!

Here's what I decided though, the longer I hold off getting pregnant, the longer I have with Brooke ALONE. These days now are precious and before I know it, I'll have 3 or 4 (if John allows it!) kids swarming around me and I'll wish that I had cherished each and every solitary moment for what it was.

So, here's to slowing down and embracing every millisecond of Brooke's fastly moving life!

"Seize the day, seize whatever you can
'Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
Seize the day, pray for grace from God's hand
Then nothing will stand in your way
Seize the day." - Carolyn Arends

Thursday, November 8, 2007

9-Month Check-Up

We went for Brooke's doctor visit today. I love my pediatrician so much so I really look forward to taking her in. Is that sad?? Lol! Don't worry, John goes with me, so I promise that there's not secret rendezvous between Brooke's pediatrician and me. Besides, he's older. I just love him because he is genuinely nice and so good with her. He's the best there is!

Anyways, back to Brooke and off of the doctor, she is now 18 pounds, 10 ounces and just shy of 28 inches long. She was always in the top percentiles for weight and height but now she sits perfectly in the middle at the 50Th category for both categories. I thought she would be over 20 pounds but much to my suprise she's not. At 6 months she was 17 pounds, 3 ounces, so she's really slowed down A LOT. This is good or else she'd be enormous by now.

The doctor also listened to Brooke's lungs and checked her ears. He said that her cold definitely sounds yucky but there's nothing to help move it out any quicker. I'm just glad that we know her ears aren't bothering her or anything else. So, a clean bill of health for Miss Brooke!

John has tomorrow off so I'm going to go relax with him. Before I get off, here is a picture of my beautiful girl sitting in a cardboard box. She's a goof! We spend all this money on toys for her and this is what she wants to play with:-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sick of Being Sick:-(

Brooke's doing pretty well now! She's sounding a lot better, sleeping great, and acting generally happy. She does have that nasty cough and runny nose still but I'll take it compared to how she was a few days ago!

As for me, I'm still really having a hard time. I have asthma so any time I get any type of cold it just messes up my lungs so bad. I went to the doctor today because I was so dizzy and out of it and they said that there wasn't enough oxygen in my blood. They also said that my heart was beating MUCH too fast and I had to confess that I had been overdosing on my inhalers. Sad, I know. I'm suppossed to take 2 puffs of an inhaler every 4 hours and I've been taking 2 puffs at least every half hour. I'm sorry, but it beats not being able to breathe. So, anyways, they gave me a breathing treatment and they put me on steriods to try to clear up my lungs. The steroids are great but they make me hungry, sick to my stomach, and very emotional. I always hate taking them. I got back from the doctor's only to not be able to breathe yet AGAIN, so I went back in for another treatment.

I wish that I could sit here and say that I was better but I'm still gasping for breath. I don't understand this. Usually steroids alone kick in within hours, but to have steroids AND 2 breathing treatements and still not be able to breathe is crazy to me. I sure hope that I can sleep tonight because this is really getting old. I'm sick and tired of this and I can't put up with being a subpar mom. My baby and husband NEED me. This is ridiculous...

Ok, well I'm off to rest and try to feel better. Please be praying for me. I'm frustrated...

Monday, November 5, 2007

How Do Single Moms Do It?

I just want to applaud my wonderful husband. Brooke and I are still sick and I'll admit both of us have been whiny, grumpy, and exhausted. I would totally understand if John just wanted to get out of the house or hang out with a friend, but no, he's been absolutely incredible and he hasn't left our side the entire time.

Not only has he made sure that I don't have to do any cooking (he yells at me if I try), but he's done grocery shopping, laundry, and any other housework that needs to be done, as well. He's been sifting through all of my cookbooks trying to learn how to make us things to eat. How precious! The man does NOT cook. Lol! I don't expect anything less from him because he's always been helpful, but still, every time he steps up to the plate like this, I grow to love him more.

Last night he went to the store and he picked up some things we needed around the house. I asked for tissues and specifically said that I did NOT want a 99 cent box of tissues, but the most expensive, soft tissues they had. He came home with not 1, but 3 boxes of Puffs with lotion. I just thought that was so cute! He also got stuff to make us a really nice dinner... Strip steaks (Which he took the prices off because he didn't want me to think they were too expensive. Lol!), and a nice salad with mushrooms (my favorite!). His thoughtfulness overwhelms me. I love him so much!

I had a little bit of a melt down tonight. My asthma's acting up and my lungs hurt so bad when I breathe. I'm just so sick of being sick and not being able to pull my weight around our house. I got up and I tried to clean the bathtub (of all things) and he held me in his arms and demanded that I rest. Of course I started to cry and express to him how helpless I felt. I also cried because he made a peanut butter and fluff sandwich. I'm such an idiot.. I said, "But I'm supposed to make you things to eat." I know that the exhaustion is speaking for me though so I don't feel to cooky just yet.

Well, I feel like garbage, so at my husband's demand, I'm going to go try to rest. He goes back to work tonight so wish me luck. Hopefully little miss sleeps well. She slept great last night so I'm hopeful!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mother/Daughter Cold

Brooke has the world's most nasty cold! On Saturday she started to have a runny nose and a really bad cough. Last night at around 10 of her congestion started to really bother her. I heard her crying and normally I would have let her cry for a minute and go back to sleep, but her nose was so clogged that I had to pick her up and clean it out. After 2 rounds of using the nasal aspirator and applying saline drops, Brooke's nose was still completely stuffed. I tried to feed her and put her back to sleep but she couldn't eat and breathe at the same time so all she did was SCREAM. Finally at 12:30 I put her to sleep. I thought this the extent of our problems until morning....

WRONG! Only 15 minutes later, Brooke woke up... And it didn't stop there. It took her until 1:30 to go back to sleep. Next she woke up at 2 only to stay awake until 3. After that she woke up at 3:30, 4, 5:30, and 7. She would scream continually and nothing John or I did would make her stop. Finally we realized that she was running a fever and we gave her some medicine to break it. I also discovered that if I nursed her sitting up then she would breathe just enough to be able to eat a little bit. I don't think that I've ever had such a frustrating night in my entire life. I felt so bad for my poor little princess!

To make matters worse, I woke up with a cold this morning. Yes, Brookie and I share EVERYTHING. I feel like total crap and I'm so exhausted from last night's events that it's so hard to handle it all. I can't just go to sleep and leave Brooke with John because she won't nurse in one big block because of her nose. All day today she's been taking little sips here and there, whenever she can fit them in. She and I have been completely miserable all day long. Not my idea of a fun day! I also missed church which I rarely ever do. I felt bad leaving the church without a pianist but Brooke comes first.

Thankfully my sister loaned us her vaporizer and now Brooke is in her crib sleeping peacefully. I went in to check on her and she sounds great. I'm SO thankful! My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came over to check up on us tonight. It was nice to have the extra hands tonight because both John and I were pretty spent from the night before. My mother-in-law put Brookie to bed for us and she's still sleeping soundly. Man, I sure hope that this lasts for a while. If tonight doesn't go smoothly I think I just might scream!

Well, I would love to say that I'm going to go relax, but I just can't leave a mess. John's been great and he's taken care of our meals and some of the housework, but I'm such a perfectionist about my house. I can't start our week off in disarray. I drive myself crazy! Off I go to clean up...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

So, It Looks Like We're Moving!

After all of the hassle of having our house on and off the market, John and I had decided that we would just wait for a bit and then re continue our search for a bigger house. We were disappointed at the time because we really fell in love with the house we placed an offer on, but we figured that God knew better than us and we would just let it go.

A few weeks ago my brother-in-law, Josh, (John's brother) decided that he was really serious about buying our house. He's getting married next year and he needs somewhere to start off. So, he's been going through all of the ropes of being financed for a home and it now looks like it will all be working out for everyone. It is actually working out as good as it possibly can for us because now we don't have to pay a realtor commission, which would have been 6% of what we're selling our house for. See, God really knows best!

It's so weird because as soon as Josh became serious about wanting to buy our house, the house we had been trying to buy was taken off the market. John and I were so frustrated because there was nothing else out there that really caught our eye. So, John did a brave thing and called the man who took his home off of the market. I guess the guy said that he was sick of trying to sell it and that he was going to move back into it. About 20 minutes after John got off of the phone with this man, the man called him back and asked if we were really serious about buying it. Long story short, we go to sign papers tomorrow and it looks like we'll be moving by the end of the month. WOW...

Our house now has 900 square feet and this house has 2,500 square feet. It also has a den - which we're going to use for a play room/office, a formal dining room, a huge kitchen and living room, 2 bathrooms, and 3 enormous bedrooms. It's a two story home and it has a rap around porch. It has so much potential to be our home for the next 20+ years.

Even though this new house that we're getting has so many great features, I can't seem to stop feeling sad about leaving my little, cozy home that I have now. I have the most amazing memories here. I'll never forget coming home from our honeymoon and opening up all of our wedding gifts on our living room floor of THIS house. Our first night here was amazing too because for the first time I felt like I was actually an adult living in my own home. I also have amazing memories of our first holidays together, my water breaking in our bedroom of THIS house, and bringing Brookie home from the hospital in THIS house. We've spent countless hours and dollars into personalizing THIS house. The room that will make me the most sad to leave is Brooke's room. I'll never forget going to pick out the things to decorate her room and make it a beautiful place for her. Above all, I come here and I know that this is my home and that I can relax and feel safe. However, now that we're moving, I just feel so uprooted and anxious over how I'll adjust to living somewhere different.

I know that I will make amazing memories in our new house and that I'll bring the rest of my babies home to that house. I just don't think that I'll ever have the same "affections" for any other house as I will have for my first house. I suppose it's normal to feel this way. I know that I'm being emotional about this all but before I know it I'll be adjusted and loving my new house.

OK, enough of my moping. Lol! I have so much to be thankful for. I'm off to watch Spider Man 3 with John. If that doesn't cheer me up, nothing will:-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Camera Shy!

I am totally addicted to taking Brooke's picture. Yesterday I was taking millions of pictures of her in her lady bug costume and by the end of the day she was obviously annoyed by it. Honestly, she refused to smile or have anything to do with me when I had the camera in my hand.

The thing that cracks me up the most is that every time she sees the camera now she squints her eyes because she's anticipating the flash to go off. This just keeps me cracking up. I tried to take her picture a couple of times today and all I got was squinty eyes. Wait until you see the goofy pictures. They're too funny not to show you...

And now, here is the only non-squinty picture that I managed to capture...

Isn't she a goof? Man, I love that girl:-)