Thursday, January 31, 2008


Two weeks from tomorrow my precious baby will be one. Can you believe that? A whole year has gone by and sadly, I don't even remember half of it. Sure I remember the good times, the monumental achievements that Brooke has made, and the rough times... But the memories of the day to day activities and little sentiments of having a tiny baby are stored somewhere far in the back of my brain right now. The other night I started to remember that time in Brooke's life and I literally wept for good an hour.

For some reason I can't shake this sad feeling when I think of Brooke's first birthday. Yes, I'm elated because life has been wonderful and I have a beautiful, crazy, smiling, hilarious princess to enjoy, but part of me just wants to hold onto her a little tighter and stop her from growing any more! It's hard to believe that she's just not that tiny, still, quiet baby any more. She's evolved into this independent little person and she doesn't need me quite as much as she used to.

I keep playing the game of what I was doing this time last year... I was 38 weeks pregnant and about to come unglued because I just wanted to meet Brooke. It's funny because last night I was putting body butter on my hands, which is the same stuff I used to put on my pregnant belly. That smell of that lotion alone reminded me so much of being pregnant and how different my life was at that point. Looking back on it, I was so naive at that point. I knew Brooke would change my life forever, but I guess I didn't realize how she would captivate my heart so, so much like she has.

Sometimes I wish that I could relive the day of Brooke's birth. The C-Section ruined my picture of the "perfect birth," but the events of her birth seem so magical and I will always look on that day with the fondest of memories. I'll never forget how they whisked Brooke away from me while I was still in the operating room getting stitched up from that stupid C-Section. It took about 20 minutes for the doctors to stitch me back together and then the nurse insisted on giving me a sponge bath. I still hadn't held my baby and I could hear her screaming in the other room. All I wanted to do was hold her! I said to the nurse, "PLEASE, my baby needs me. I don't want a sponge bath. PLEASE!" She adamantly insisted that I had to have one. So, after much arguing and resistance to the dumb sponge bath, I finally got to hold my baby for the first time. I instantly fell in love with Brooke. We had tons of people, between family and the nurses, trying to tell me how to nurse her, but once I got Brooke latched on, she and I were in our own little world. Nothing else mattered in the universe. I can't even describe that feeling.

I'm proud of how much I've learned over the last year. At first I was timid and I doubted myself when making decisions about Brooke's care, but now I'm learning to trust my motherly-instinct. I'm not saying that I still don't ask lots of questions and that I'm not neurotic (because I so am! Lol), but I just feel so much more at ease about being a mother. I'm thankful for Brooke's patience as she taught me the ropes on being a mama!

I've said this before, but I'm so humbled and amazed that God allowed ME, of all people, to Brooke's mom. Being her mother is one of life's richest blessings and I feel like the luckiest women in the whole world. Life is so good:-)

So, with that being said, I really should focus on Brooke's bright, exciting life ahead of her instead of holding on to her newborn days, which are forever gone. I'm so excited to raise Brooke and be there for her every step of the way. Being a mom is the best thing ever!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Dictionary According To Brooke

Brooke is learning so many new words! It's so excited to hear what comes out of her mouth. I love it! It seems like she says something different every day. Here's an update on her words:

~Juice- But she really means anything she can drink.

~Ball- She's just now starting to understand that there are more balls than just the ones at home so if we're out and she sees a ball she gets REALLY happy.

~Thank You- This is pronounced "da coo." She consistently says it during diaper changes but she requires some prodding to say it at other times.

~Please- Except for when she says it sounds more like "pee." Too cute!

~As for animals, she can say duck and dog. She pronounces them pretty perfectly too.

~Cheese- She says this when we take her picture.

~Shoe: She is enamored by shoes! She loves playing with them for some odd reason. She also thinks that socks are shoes too. Lol

~Tick, tick- Which is her version of "tickle, tickle." She so funny because she'll come up and tickle my leg and say "tick, tick, tick." And it really does tickle too!

~Dolly- Yes, she's still fascinated with her baby doll!

~Rocking- She says this "ah kee." It's so sweet.. She'll sit in the middle of the living room and rock her body back and forth, as she repeats "rocking" over and over again. She also thinks that ALL chairs rock.. Not just rocking chairs.

~These are self explanatory- Mama, Dada, Bye Bye and Hi.

She is also starting to understand more of what we say to her. For instance, if she goes to climb the stairs and we say "down" she gets down. Communicating with her gets easier and easier by the day!

Oh yes, she can also shake her head "no" and identify her nose. She's so sweet and I love watching her develope these new skills.

Well, it's off to church to cook dinner for tonight. Gotta run!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Our Little Getaway

We just got back from Syracuse a few hours ago. We had such a nice time together! John had to work Sunday night so he was VERY, VERY sleepy for most of the day onMonday. At first I was super bummed out by that but he ended up taking a nap and perking up just in time for dinner. He also surprised me by staying up late with me!

We got the the hotel and it was absolutely beautiful and immaculate. It was a Double Tree Hotel, which is a division of Hilton Hotels. Our room was so nice and the bed was so comfortable! John rested for about an hour and a half so Brookie and went for a long walk around the hotel to scope it all out. When John woke up we all got ready and went to enjoy the heated indoor pool. It was heavenly! Brooke squealed with delight for the whole half and hour we were swimming. She was so cute because she loved it so much! It felt great to be swimming in the middle of the winter. Just what the doctor ordered! It was really nice because nobody else was there either so we had the whole place to ourselves.

After we swam John took another good nap so Brooke and I entertained ourselves by going to the gift shop. After a while Brooke took a nap so I used that time to get all beautified for our dinner out.

Once everyone was all dressed up (I even put Brooke in a nice dress) we headed out to Delmonico's!!!! We had the most amazing meal! We had an antipasto salad for an appetizer and John and I ordered the same entrees... Sliced sirloin with a reduced red wine sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and mushrooms. It was so delicious! Brooke enjoyed everything too and she was so happy! Everyone in the restaurant doted over her so I'm sure that helped also. Lol! For dessert we had amaretto cheesecake with homemade raspberry sauce and whipped cream, which was the most amazing cheesecakes I've ever put in my mouth. Needless to say, we were stuffed when we left! The best part of the meal was when we went to pay the bill. The server notified us that my parents had called the restaurant and given them their credit card number so we could have a special anniversary dinner on them. We were so shocked and of course extremely grateful. That was such a nice treat and very thoughtful of them! I guess my dad called the restaurant and said that we would be coming in with a baby with "a big bow on her head." HA! He's cute:-)

After we got back to the hotel, Brooke required some coaxing to fall asleep, but once she did John and I were able to relax and spend some time together. It was so nice being able to have those hours alone to enjoy each other!

Today we went shopping and went out for lunch. We got home around 3:30 and have just been hanging out ever since. I got us all unpacked and I finished all of the laundry. Yay for me!

Well, American Idol is on and then One Tree Hill so I'm off to enjoy them with my husband. Sayonara!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

TRULY A Day Of Rest!

I don't remember the last Sunday that I was able to have "a day of rest." When Brooke was born my tradition for napping on Sundays was thrown completely out the window! We could still nap on Sundays when she was a newborn but I was almost always interrupted from very restful sleep by having to nurse her or clean up her spit up. It comes with the territory though and I'll take it:-)

Anyways, John and Patty (my in-laws) asked if they could have Brooke for the afternoon today. I'm always, always leery about being away from her just because I'm so crazy about her. However, I know that they love her and that they treat her like I queen so I said yes. We all went out to lunch after church so I didn't even have to leave her until 1:30. After lunch I went home and for the first time in a year, I curled up next to my husband and slept the afternoon away! It was so amazing being able to relax with him COMPLETELY UNINTERRUPTED!! It took me almost an hour to fall asleep and I woke up several times in the middle of our nap thinking that I heard Brooke crying. I did manage to get some decent sleep though! We woke up around 3:45 and I did a total clean sweep of my house and I finished all of our laundry. Then we headed out the door to be at church by 5. I was so happy to see Brooke and sadly enough she could have cared less to see me. Lol! I was relieved to hear that she had had a great day with no fussing or anything. That's my girl!

It's so weird because 2 years ago from today was my rehearsal dinner for my wedding and 1 year ago from today was my baby shower. Nothing too monumental happened today like in the years past but I've had fun remembering those times. It's crazy how time flies!

John and I are leaving for our little getaway fairly early tomorrow so I most likely won't be able to get on here to post something sentimental and sappy about my anniversary. So, I guess I'll do it now. Lol! I just want to say how much I love my husband and how special I feel every day that I get to be married to him. Seriously, to this day, I am honored and proud every time he introduces me as his wife or someone calls me "Mrs D." Marriage is tough business and while it's romantic to think that love is all you need to succeed, unfortunately it's not true. It's honestly a constant JOB and effort and I am so blessed to have a man of God as my husband who works just as hard (or harder) than I do to keep our marriage as wonderful as it can be. These last 2 years have filled with lots of wonderful things but there have also been low points to go right along with it. We've learned through the bad times and we have grown so much through them also. John has brought me the most joy that I've ever had and I feel so excited every time I think about the years to come. I wouldn't want to be in this life with anyone else than John, my best friend. I fall more in love with him every day. God has been so good to us!

Okay, I'm off to pack for our trip. I'll be back on in a few days!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


My mom and I made the majority of the petite fours for Brooke's birthday today! Once I got the art of dipping them they started to look really cute, but the first couple were dreadful looking. Though they may not be too beautiful, I am proud that I made them for my daughter. Something about the novelty of them just makes me so happy:-) I would post pictures but you all might laugh at how ugly, or "whimsical" looking they are. Lol!

Only 2 days until mine and John's 2Nd wedding anniversary! Yay! I can't even remember what my life was like before we were married. Life is just wonderful right now that it's hard to believe I ever lived any other way. John got us a really nice hotel for Monday night in Syracuse. We're going to go to Delmonico's for dinner, which is a great, romantic Italian steak house. I'm not sure how romantic it will be with an almost one-year-old in tow but it will still be special! We're also going to enjoy the big mall they have there. I'm really excited!

It's crazy when I think about how fast my life with John has moved. It's insane! It seems like it's been one thing after another.

*September 2001- We met when John's family started attending our church
*January 2004- We started "seeing" one another
*March 25, 2004 - We became an official couple
*March 25, 2005- We got engaged
*August 2005- We bought our first home. (And no, we didn't live together until after the wedding. John lived their alone for a few months)
*January 28, 2006- We were married!!!!!
*February 15, 2007- We welcomed our baby girl into the world.

And... In true John and Jillian fashion, we're purchasing a new home within the next month. So, there's our big milestone for 2008. Hopefully a new baby will be our 2009:-) Anyways, life has been moving so rapidly but I couldn't ask for a better life with my husband and daughter!

In other not-so-wonderful news, Brooke has developed a HORRIBLE new habit. She now wakes up around midnight and screams. Because she goes to bed around 7, I usually nurse her. I then put her back in her crib and she's never, ever in her life had a problem with that... Until NOW. Even if she falls asleep while nursing she wakes up and screams the second I put her down. I've been letting her cry-it-out because I know she's just being ridiculous, but it's so hard. I called John at work last night feeling hopeless because Brooke had been crying for what seemed like forever. It was 1 in the morning at this point and I knew that if I picked her up then she would have won and gotten what she wanted. That's what kept me from caving. The next thing I know, John was here (he was patrolling around here) to help me for a few minutes. Almost immediately after John told Brooke to go to bed she fell asleep. For some reason she'll listen to him so much better when it comes to sleep. I like to joke that I had to call the cops to get Brooke to sleep! Lol! So anyways, I'm hoping that tonight isn't a repeat of the last few nights. I TRULY need my rest.

In vacation news... We decided against Hawaii because it's a 16 hour flight. Neither of us think that sounds fun with Brooke. We decided that we're going to go to San Diego instead. We're so excited!!! We're going to go from the 11Th-17Th of March and I guess that's the peak of when everything blooms there. YAY!!!!!! We're going to have the time of our lives. March can't come quickly enough now!

Alrighty, I'm off to make John's lunch and spend a few minutes with him before he heads out the door. So long!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Love A Bargain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to report my successful, wonderful, amazing, productive day of shopping. I went to Old Navy because Alison told me that they were having a great baby sale and holy cow, she definitely was NOT kidding! I got Brooke 15 things for the Spring and Summer and a few shirts that she can wear now. It all totalled up to $216 originally but after they took another 50% off the clearance price I paid only $50 for all that stuff. Can you believe it?? I am so excited. I always stock up when I see bargains because baby clothes are so expensive when they aren't on sale. Yay for me!

After I first got to Old Navy I saw the most beautiful, elegant dress for Brooke. It's pink and black and it has really nice fabric. It was originally $25 and it was marked down to $5 so I knew she had to have it. Anyways, Sarah and I both decided that it would be perfect for Brooke's birthday dress. I was still planning on buying her the $80 Gymboree outfit that her grandmas gave me money for but Sarah I both decided that that was frivolous when we could get that beautiful dress for only $5. So, I called both grandmas and told them and they each insisted that I spent the rest of the money on either her birthday party or on the other clothes I bought today. Aren't they awesome? I really feel like I was a better steward of that money to no blow it on that one outfit.

So, John and I had been tossing around the idea of taking a really nice vacation this March or April. We pretty much decided that we would put those plans on hold because we're moving in February and there's a lot of expenses involved in that. However, Patty's (John's mom) cousin flies for business and he gets over a million frequent flyer miles per year. Patty mentioned to him that we were thinking of going somewhere and he said that he wanted to give us the miles to go for FREE. Isn't that crazy? So, we were going to go to Key West. We went there on part of our honeymoon and fell in love with it. It's like the most amazing place on Earth. No lie! However, his frequent flyer miles won't let us fly into there because it's a small airport with restrictions. He said that he could fly us into Hawaii and John and looked on Priceline and there are tons of hotels that we can bid on there!! So, we're trying to pick some dates to go and we really think we might go to Hawaii! We figure that this will be last time for a long time that we'll have the money and time to go. Once we have more kids it will probably become cost prohibitive to go. So, if it all works out I'll be basking in the sun sometime SOON!!!! :-)

Okay, Brooke's napping so I'm going to go be productive. Before that though, I think I'll admire her new clothes one more time:-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bottomless Pit

I don't have too much time to blog tonight because my DAWG is coming over for a movie night!!!!!! Yay! I would pick Sarah any day over my silly blog. She called me today and asked if she could come over and of course I said that she could. I love that girl and we always have countless hours of laughter and fun when we're together. She's almost here and I'm so excited!

Brooke has been eating up a storm. It's insane! She went from eating nothing to EVERYTHING. For lunch today she had almost an entire chicken strip and maybe 10 big mouth fulls of macaroni and cheese. For her snack she had a pretty decent portion of yogurt and some Chex cereal. Then for dinner she had a hand full of black beans, 4 green beans, an entire container of apple blueberry baby food, a bunch of shredded chicken, and John's crust from his pizza. Can you believe that??? I'm having so much fun feeding her because she loves everything now. I better knock on wood though because she can be very fickle and change her mind. I guess it's a girl's prerogative though! Lol

John and I had such a great day today! I love that guy so much. I think I say that all the time but I don't think I could ever really express how special he is. He is such a good catch! Over the last few days I have paraded him through Babies R Us, the party supply store, 2 furniture stores, The Christmas Tree Shop, and Sam's Club. I don't think he really loves any of these stores but he goes to these places for ME because he loves me and wants to make me happy. That's one heck of a guy, if I can just brag for a minute! Tonight he has to go back to work which really bums me out but thankfully Sarah being here will make it MUCH less lonely.

Alrighty, I better stop writing because I still have to proofread this, make John's lunch, and clean up a bit before Sarah gets here. Bye bye!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Found The Solution!

I think that I found a wonderful solution to our nursing difficulties!! I've been brainstorming and I came up with "scheduling" in an afternoon snack. I know it sounds simple but I really hadn't considered Brooke's incessant nursing as an issue of hunger... I truly thought it was all for comfort. So, anyways, now at around 1-2 (depending on when Brooke wakes up from her nap) I put her in her highchair and give her the opportunity to snack away. This girl can eat, too! For the last 2 days, snack time has consisted of an entire container of yogurt, a whole cup or juice or water, a hand full of Chex cereal, and some type of fruit. Crazy!

In the past I would try to catch Brooke when she was playing and feed her some crackers or little things throughout the day. She was always too busy to care. However, now that I am intentionally putting her in her highchair she is forced to slow down and focus on eating. I feel so happy because this is a major breakthrough for us!

Oddly enough, now that I am not nursing Brooke a million times during the afternoon, she is eating all manner of baby foods and table foods. She has this renewed interest in eating!! Phew! For a while there I thought she would nurse until she was 4! Lol! She ate lunch today (which she used to refuse), that huge snack, an entire container of baby food and some table food for dinner. Go Brookie!

It's funny because my new way of doing things takes a lot more time. It's so easy just to latch her on my breast and not have to hassle with bibs, highchairs, cups, spoons, and bowls. The truth is that my most treasured moments of the day are when she nurses. That seems like the only time during our crazy schedule that Brooke and I get to sit with one another and relax. Though that works for me and it would be easy to keep it that way, I really feel like this is what's best for my girl.

After church tonight John and I went to see the movie, Cloverfield. John loved it, but in my opinion, don't waste your time on it. It was awful and it had the worst ending in the history of all movies ever written. Trust me on this one! Anyways, Sarah came over and sat here with Brooke while she slept. I felt kind of guilt leaving her but she was asleep the entire time we were gone so it's not like I missed any important moments of her life. Even if she was awake, Aunt Sarah is completely capable of caring for her and giving her enough love.

We picked out our dining room table for our new house! I'm so excited. It's really gorgeous. It's made by Ashley, which is a reputable brand, so we feel confidant that it will last us for many, many years to come. It's a little bit more pricey but we decided to pay for quality. My favorite part about it is that it has a leaf in it so it can be perfect for our small family but it can expand to fit many people (around 10 or so) if we have a dinner party. I can't wait to have all of our family over! When we get settled we're going to have both sets of our parents over for a nice dinner. That's something we've been wanting to do but we haven't been able to in this house because our table is too small. Anyways, here's a picture. It doesn't do it justice!

Well, the night is still young! We got home at 9:15 so there's plenty of time left to relax with John. We taped all of our favorite shows so I think we're going to curl up on the couch with one another and enjoy them. Sounds like a fun time to me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Human Pacifier

Let me start this post off with a disclaimer: I love breastfeeding. It's rewarding, it's a great time for bonding, it's so incredibly good for Brooke, and I wouldn't have it any other way. HOWEVER, Brooke is a huge comfort nurser and lately it's been frustrating me. I'm not really sure how to correct this problem and it's continuing to get worse and worse.

Whenever Brooke gets hurt, frustrated, mad, or sleepy she insists on nursing. If I don't feel that she should be hungry I try to distract her with a cup of water, snacks, or toys. She outright refuses to accept anything else from me but the breast. I know that she's doing this for comfort and comfort only because 1, if I'm not home or I leave her with her grandparents, she never even seems to miss nursing. Even if we're out and about she never, ever nurses. It's when we're in the comfort of our own home that she insists on nursing. 2Nd, if she wakes in her sleep and I tell her to go back to bed she screams because she wants me to nurse her. On the other hand, if John goes upstairs to settle her down, she's out in seconds. Lastly, I know that Brooke is nursing for comfort because she'll take little sips to calm herself down and then act totally disinterested. Ya know? It's not like she's gulping out of hunger.

Brooke has always been prone to nurse for comfort and while she was sick I allowed her to nurse all she wanted to soothe her. I really think that I did myself a disservice because she thinks that that is the norm now. When she was tiny it didn't bother me as much because I thought that small babies needed that. Now that she's a year old, I'm very concerned that she won't EVER grow out of her dependency on the breast for comfort. I'm trying to teach her that it's for eating and not a pacifier but it's so much easier to cave in and let her nurse a million times a day.

She also is now refusing any and all solid foods. EVERY SINGLE THING I give her she spits out. While I'm hoping to let her self-wean, I do want to encourage her to fill her diet with other things than breast milk. I know that breast milk is great stuff and it's so healthy for her, but she's going to need some additional nutrients in her diet.

This is really hard for me because nursing also carries a sentimental value for me too. It's hard for me to refuse Brooke of it because I love breastfeeding and I think that it's so special that we share this bond with one another. The one thing in the world that calms my daughter down and reassures her is the one thing that I'm trying to teach her not to depend on as much. Am I a bad, selfish mom for feeling this way? I'm starting to wonder if I'M the problem and not her.

I am running out of ideas on this! I feel like if I don't fix this problem then she'll be breastfeeding forever. While I know that's not true, this situation does seem a tad bit hopeless to me. I want to do what's best for her and I don't think think that her having the breast as a crutch is doing her any good. Has anyone been her before? How do I fix this????????

Monday, January 21, 2008

On The Mend!

I am excited to report that Brooke is now fever free and on the road to recovery. She slept great last night and she woke up this morning a new baby. For the most part she's back to her happy, smiling self, but she still has her fussy moments. What do you want for an 11-month-old anyways? Lol! I'm still concerned that she's not wetting diapers but I'm guessing that her system just needs to recover.

It seems like Brooke being sick has consumed our whole entire life. I honestly have nothing else remotely interesting to report. My last few days have been spent around the house watching cooking shows and holding my sick baby. Today was so refreshing because we went out to breakfast this morning and then to Target afterwards. It felt WONDERFUL to be out and about. It's good to be back into the swing of things!

Brooke has this new infatuation with ME. While it's flattering that she loves me so much, it's really frustrating to have her scream every time I leave the room. Speaking of which, right now she's screaming because I'm taking 10 minutes to myself to blog. Needless to say, this will be a short post due to the very, very unhappy baby. Lol

Okay, I'm going to go calm my screaming princess down, give her back, take a shower and then get ready to watch American Gladiator with John! I can't wait!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Poor Little Princess:-(

Brookie is still sick and she's pitiful! I truly ache all over for her and have a pit in my stomach because there's nothing I can do to help her. I'm frustrated at my helplessness in this situation.

Yesterday she was running a 103-104 degree fever on and off all day. She was pretty much taking a does of Motrin every 6 hours. I really hate giving her so much medicine but I couldn't let her have a high fever like that without giving her something to bring it down. She's also been very fussy and she only wants to nurse and sleep. It kind of reminds me of her infant days and I'll admit that's been nice have someone to snuggle with me again. I forgot what that was like!

She's had the bad diarrhea and now that she's on antibiotic it's even worse. I feel awful because she has a really diaper rash due to all of it and I keep trying to fix that for her. She's not peeing though. Last night I changed her diaper at 10 and when she woke up at 4 with a fever this morning, it was still completely dry. She then went back to sleep until 10 and her diaper had absolutely NO pee in it. I was very concerned that she wasn't peeing but she still has tears and my doctor said that if she has tears and she's nursing she should be okay. I'm definitely keeping a close eye on that.

I missed church today which is something I rarely do. I am DYING to get out of the house but I couldn't infect everyone else at church (Especially Jeremy, another baby in the church nursery) just for my selfish desire. Besides, Brooke really needs to be home resting anyways. I'm the church pianist and I always feel bad when I'm not there to play, but Brooke's needs are absolutely a million times more important than that.

She seems to be doing pretty well this afternoon. Her fever isn't as high and it's controlled completely with Motrin. She has her fussy moments, but in comparison, she's doing well. She now has cold-like symptoms so I'm thinking that that's what will hit us next. Darn it all! Just when I think that things are looking up THIS happens!

My sister-in-law, Sarah, is coming over to watch Brooke for a little bit tonight so John and I can go to church. We're involved in a parenting study that we love and John promised me that I could get out to go to that. I've been kind of stir crazy! Sarah is amazing with Brooke so I think that she'll be totally fine. It won't even be 2 hours that we'll be gone and Sarah is one of the most capable people I know when it comes to babies. We're only 10 minutes down the road from the church too, so it's not like I won't be there if my baby girl needs me.

I am so amazed at my husband. He has been the best friend, support, and help to me during Brooke's sickness. He's been doing the housework that I haven't been able to get done due to Brooke's clinginess. More importantly, though, he's been encouraging me so much and keeping me great company in the midst of being trapped in the house. I haven't been out since Thursday night! YIKES!

Brooke's taking a nap in her crib right now. This is the first time in days that I've been able to get her to nap without being in my arms. So, I think I'm going to try to go make better use of my time and get some work done.

Hopefully Brooke will be all better tomorrow. Please pray for us! Thank you :-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Teething, And Fevers, And Strep Throat.. Oh my!

Last night my parents watched Brooke so John and I could go see a movie. We saw Juno, which was great! Anyways, we went to pick Brooke up and she had been sleeping. I picked her up to feed her and she was BURNING hot and shaking because she had such a high fever. I think her shakes were because she felt so cold but it really, really freaked me out. My mom said that she had been completely happy and silly the whole entire night so it had me really confused. I gave her medicine and when we got her home her fever was down to a little over 100.

She slept surprisingly well last night, though I didn't sleep much because I was constantly checking on her. At 6 this morning she was burning up again so I gave her Tylenol and she slept until almost 10:30 this morning. She woke up with another high fever and all she wanted to do was snuggle, nurse, and be still until after 12 o'clock.

Yesterday my nephew, Nathan was running a 103 degree fever so my sister took him to the doctor. The doctor said that it was most likely a virus going around and the fever would subside over the next few days. Alison and I use the same pediatrician so I assumed that it would be pointless to take Brooke in to be seen because the doctor would just repeat to me the same thing that he told her. When Nathan started running an almost 105 degree temperature this afternoon Ali took him back in and they discovered that he had strep throat. Poor little guy! The doctor said that he would just write Brookie a perspiration for the antibiotic that he gave Nathan because she had the same exact symptoms and they play together all the time. That was nice of him to save me trip to the doctor! So, both babies are now on the medication and hopefully tomorrow will be a new day for everyone!

I feel bad because I think that Brooke gave the strep throat to Nathan and not the other way around. She had the diarrhea way before he did and the doctor said that it is common to have that before strep throat symptoms start to show. She's still having running diapers and the medicine apparently causes diarrhea too so it seems
like we'll putting up with that for several more days to come. Poor kiddo!

To top this whole mess off... Brooke has another tooth coming in! I tell ya, when it rains it pours. It's her 3Rd tooth on the bottom, giving her a grand total of 7 teeth. She must feel awful with everything going on. She had some fussy times this afternoon but really, she hasn't been as fussy as one would suspect... And I'm definitely NOT complaining about that!

Today was John's day off and we had a bunch of errands to run but we decided that Brooke needed to be kept at home all day so she could rest up. While it was a long day, I was happy to be at home taking care of my baby girl that I love so, so much. John's company made the day pass quickly too.

Well, John's gotta go back to work tonight so I'm going to go make his lunch and rest with him for a while. I wish he didn't have to leave:-(

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm One Proud Aunt!

I just want to take few minutes and brag about my little nephew, Nathan. I'm so completely head-over-heals crazy about that precious little guy. He's almost 18 months old and he is this insane ball of energy that always, always puts the biggest smile on my face. I know that I've said it before, but I couldn't love him more if he was my own son. He has a very special place in my heart.

Every Wednesday I get to watch Nathan and Brooke together in the church nursery for an hour or so. Alison has to prepare the music for Sunday mornings on Wednesdays, which always leaves me with the kiddos. I love it! It's such a blast and every week I become so excited about having another baby because interacting with 2 kids at once is so great.

So, here's the cutest story ever about my little Nathan bug... He loves to rock in the rocking chairs in the church nursery. However, today he only wanted to rock in the chair if Brooke was in it with him. He would climb up in the chair and say, "Brooke, Brooke." He would continue to point to Brooke and repeat her name over and over again until I put her in the chair right beside him. When I put Brooke next to him he would put his little arms around her, so as to protect her (or it seemed that way), and then rock the chair back and forth. Of course Brooke wanted NOTHING to do with that so would fuss until I picked her up. It was kind of funny because Nathan would fuss if Brooke wasn't in the rocking chair and Brooke would fuss if she WAS in the chair. Either way I just couldn't win! I ended up sitting in the rocking chair for a good while holding both of my precious little babies. They were both really clinging onto me so I relished in the rare moment of them both wanting to be quiet and still. Amazing...

I wish that my sister would start blogging again to document all of Nathan's silly ways. ALI, YOU NEED TO START BLOGGING AGAIN!!! Lol! I know that she's busy and blogging isn't one of her top priorities, but man, she could have countless stories of funny Nathan moments to write about. He's such a hilarious baby! His latest thing is saying, "Please Papa." For some reason he puts the "papa" after "please" no matter who he's talking to. All day long you're constantly hearing "Please Papa" over and over and over and over again. One day (and soon, I'm afraid) he's going to realize that "papa" doesn't follow "please" ALL the time and when he does, I'm going to be sad.

Nathan is so sweet with Brooke and he's really learning how to love her and share with her more. The 2 kids fights over a lot of things and they hate to share, but now, Nathan will walk up to Brooke out of the blue and kiss her or hug her. I love to think that he will always have her back. It kind of made me sad at first that Brookie wouldn't have a big brother because I grew up with one. However, I really think that Nathan will play that type of role in her life. I really hope the 2 kids stay close as they grow up. I never had cousins to enjoy and that's something that I think would be really special for my Brooke to have.

Needless to say, being an auntie is one of the best things ever. I'll happily take any more nieces and nephews that anyone wants to give me:-)

John's off tonight and tomorrow night so I'm going to go enjoy him. I'm looking forward to spending the next couple of days with him. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow at 10:15 but other than that we have nothing else in the universe planned. So, it looks like we'll have a laid back next few days! Thank goodness for that!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

11 Months Old!

I, the mother of a now 11-month-old, sit behind this computer tonight feeling COMPLETELY wiped out. Brooke has had a stomach bug so she was up all last night with diarrhea and she's been fussy and miserable today with MANY yucky diapers. She has had so much diarrhea that it has made her little bottom completely raw. I feel so sad for her!

Though she's sick and it's really no fun, I am reminded of how much of a privilege it is to be her mommy. These past 11 months have been filled with so much joy and happiness and the fact that I'm the one she wants and needs when she's sick is really just the icing on the cake. When I don't feel well or when I'm sad I still want my mom, believe it or not. When my mom hugs me or affirms me it feels SO good and I feel so much warmth. I like to think that when I hug Brooke that it feels as good to her as my mom's hug still feels to me.

I truly can't believe that next month I will be celebrating my baby's 1St birthday. Unbelievable! Where did the time go? I find myself thinking a lot about this time last year. I was 36 weeks pregnant and HUGE, still working at Red Lobster, going to birthing classes every Tuesday (up until the week I delivered because I'm a procrastinator), putting the finishing touches on the nursery, and eagerly awaiting the wonderful moment when I would get to meet my Brooke for the first time. It's so crazy to think how my life is nothing like that now. Now that Brooke is here, life is much more hectic but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the universe. Watching her blossom and being able to love on her constantly is the greatest blessing ever.

I am so thankful that God chose for Brooke to live in OUR home. He could have given her to a much more capable, God-honoring mother than myself, yet somehow she has been entrusted into my care. That is so humbling to me. So many people try for years and years to have a baby, but God gave Brooke to us and every time I look at her I reminded of just how lucky John and I are to have her.

Well, I'm off to try to get some rest before my little princess wakes up. Hopefully she sleeps well and her belly is all better tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

No Rest For The Weary

So, Brooke's sleep struggles continue. NO FUN! Her latest thing (as of Saturday night) is waking up about an hour and a half after she goes down and wanting to play. Saturday night she woke up at 10 and was awake until 1:30. I let her cry in her crib for the first hour of that time and the rest of it was spent trying to coax her into wearing down. Last night she was awake from 9 until 10:30, again wanting to play. I made sure she was completely full and then I put her in her crib. That made her furious because she was so hyper. I stood my ground, though, and she eventually put herself to sleep. Tonight she woke up after 2 hours except she wanted to eat and then go back to bed. Phew... I am so thankful that she didn't want to play like she did the last couple of nights.

And yes, of course the night wakings are still going on. Not only is she waking up frequently, but to top this whole sleeping ordeal off, she's waking up wicked early. I know that she's not getting enough rest because she's miserable and grumpy. Before this awful stage of sleep for us she was getting anywhere from 12-14 hours of good sleep during the night. Now many of those hours are cut off from her waking up early and from her waking up often throughout the night. What's with this baby????

So, I'm done worrying about sleep. I guess that it is what it is. I'm exhausted and I'm frustrated but I'm not really sure what else I can do. I'm trying to give this to God and though it seems so small to me in the scheme of things, it's HUGE to me right now. Luckily for me, God cares and there is nothing too insignificant in my life for Him to not care about. Pretty amazing, huh?

My DAWG (John's sister who is one of my best friends ever) came over and spent the night with me last night. We had such an awesome time together. We always do. We laughed for hours and ate LOTS of Fun Dip. We woke up with blue fingers this morning. Lol! Somehow I feel like I'm a teenager again when I'm with her and it's such a nice feeling. We have been friends since she was 14 and I was 15 so we have lots of crazy memories with one another. She's a huge blessing to me.

So, I went to Gymboree today to pick up Brooke's birthday outfit only to discover that there was only 1 skirt left. The skirt was a 2T and I was so disappointed that they were out of it, but after examining the skirt, I realized that it wasn't very practical and that it might be kind of itchy for her to wear. I looked everywhere else in the mall to find NOTHING worthy of Brooke so I came home and looked on the Janie and Jack website (which is an upscale version of Gymboree). What do you think about this dress?? I love it! I think that this could be THE dress!

These are the coordinating tights. I'm almost thinking that they're overkill. The dress is so elegant and these tights seem more FUN than elegant. Fun's good, but not mixed with a dressy dress. What do you think?

I started Brooke's petite fours tonight also. I made strawberry cake and used heart shaped cookie cutters to make them into little cakes. In the coming days I'm going to dip them in white chocolate and decorate them with all kinds of pretty candies and icings. So, birthday plans are in full gear. YAY!!

Okay, I'm off to try to get some rest before my princess wakes me up. John's leaving now so I better kiss him too!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

We're ALL Talk

Ugh, I'm so mad at John and me. We were determined to work on Brooke's nighttime wakings over his days off and we totally gave in. Our bed was far too comfortable to coax Brookie into sleeping in her crib so we made absolutely NO progress. Sadly, we didn't even attempt to. We're pitiful.. I know! The biggest problem is that we have always brought her back into bed with us when she wakes up so we do it subconsciously in our sleep. Some mornings we wake up with her next to us and we don't even know how she got there. I'm not really sure how we can fix that.

I'm really going to try to be patient with my princess in this area. Sleeping through the night is a discipline and it's not something that I have really taught her to do well ON HER OWN. Like I said, when we co-sleep, she doesn't even wake. We've spoiled her with our presence at night. Then again, though, she goes through periods will she will sleep through the night in her crib too, so I'm not really sure what all this is about.

John and I definitely want to have another baby in the relatively near future so that is a HUGE motivator to get Brooke's sleep back on track. I know that that baby isn't even conceived yet so we have time, but the thought of waking up with TWO children in the middle of the night freaks me out. I cannot be doing that! So I guess I'll remind myself of that in the middle of the night when all I want to do is sleep!

We had a really nice day today! John took us to the outlet malls because Brooke needed new shoes and the Stride Rite Outlet has nice baby shoes at pretty decent prices. We went in search of brown dress shoes for Brooke because she had none, only to discover that her current black shoes were a size too small. The shoes were like 30 bucks a piece and we really didn't want to pay that but we didn't see much of an option. The baby has to have shoes! However, we ran over to the Osk Kosh Outlet and they had their $35 brown shoes on clearance for $8!!!!!! So, we bought the cheap brown shoes there and then went back to Stride Rite for the more expensive black shoes. We saw some cute Nike sneakers but Brooke's Nike's still fit her so we refrained. Next time!

Aren't kids expensive? Man! The sad thing is that most of the things she needs aren't what cost us so much.... It's the things I WANT her to have. Lol! I want her to have the nicest clothes and shoes and I love when she has A LOT of clothes to rotate through. I was proud of myself today, though, because I saw deal after deal after deal on baby clothes but I didn't buy any clothes for her. Brooke has so many clothes (for this season alone) that she honestly doesn't have to wear the same outfit twice in a 3 or 4 week period. Yikes! Someone likes to shop a little too much! In all fairness to me, though, she has so many family members that shower her with love and gifts, so it's not entirely my fault! I am wicked excited because she needs new spring clothes so that will be a fun shopping trip when it warms up a bit.

We entered Brooke in the baby contest that the Regis and Kelly Show is putting on. It looks like a pretty cool contest! The grand prize is $125,000 towards a college education, an all expense paid trip to NYC to be on the show, and your baby gets to be on the cover of some magazine. There's also 10 different lower placings that have all sorts of prizes to go with them. Though we know our baby is beautiful, we doubt she'll win anything. Really, I'm sure MANY people put their baby in the contest and there has got to be an enormous pool of gorgeous babies to pick from. Then again, what baby could be more gorgeous than mine?? :-) Lol!

Well, John goes back to work tonight:-( It's time to go make his lunch and spend some time with him before he goes in.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thank You, Grandmas!!

This is a Jillian first... Posting 2 times in one day! You're probably wondering what could be so exciting that I had to post twice in one day. Right?? You just can't stand the suspense anymore so I'll tell you. We picked out the perfect birthday dress today!!!!!!!!! I fell in love with it but it is from Gymboree so the whole outfit is around $80. John and I really didn't feel like spending that much on Brooke's birthday dress so we both kind of shrugged it off. However, when both of her grandmas heard about the perfect dress, they got together and decided that they would each pay half and buy their grand baby her special dress. Aren't my moms awesome??? I love them both so very much:-) The fact that they love Brooke so much melts my heart.

Here's some pictures of the outfit. I love it because it's kind of a cross between the princess theme and heart theme I had wanted for her birthday. It's MORE than perfect.

Isn't it precious? I must tell you, though, that the pictures don't do it justice. It's much pretty in the store. The skirt is kind of like a tutu but it's not too gaudy. That's the princess part of the outfit and then the hearts on the sweater and shirt will tie all of my heart decorations together beautifully! I can't wait dress her in this fabulous outfit!

One more quick thing and then I'm off... Brooke was miserable today and it was obvious that she was completely exhausted. She refused to go to sleep and we knew that she would just continue to be grumpy until she did. So, John put her in her crib and let her cry. He went in every couple of minutes and reassured her and calmed her down. She ended up crying for half an hour on and off but when she did fall asleep, she slept for 2 hours without stirring once! For almost 11 months now I have struggled with a baby who won't nap anywhere but in my arms or in the car(except for on the rare occasion) and John and I decided that we NEED to nail down nap times. Not only did Brooke benefit IMMENSELY from what we did, but I was so rejuvenated myself. That 2 hours helped us all out. I'm thinking that if we're persistent with this for the next few days she'll be a napping champ before we know it. When we let her cry-it-out to go down at bedtime it only took 3 nights for her to learn so I'm holding on to that hope. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Well, John's off so I'm going to go get ready to enjoy a movie with him. It's one of our favorite past times. We're cracking down on Brookie's sleep tonight so please say a little prayer for us.

*Stacy, thanks so much for your nice and encouraging comment. It's wonderful to know that you have gone through this and that Marissa has improved. There is hope for us! Yes, Brooke walks and I definitely think that her new developments and interests are playing a huge role in the lack of sleeping. She did the same thing when she was learning to pull up. I totally agree with you about my next baby. John and I also decided that we will work our bedtime routine differently for baby #2 because we have made so many mistakes with Brooke in this area. Live and learn, right? Thanks again. Your comments really mean a lot to me:-)

Baffled By Brooke

Hello everyone! I am no longer the depressing, exhausted, grumpy person that I was last night. Sure enough, I woke up this morning in a much happier mood. I knew I would snap out of it. I always do!

I am so utterly frustrated and confused by Brooke's sleeping patterns. Last night she went down and 8. She woke up at 12 to eat so I gave in and nursed her. I put her back in her crib only for her to wake up at 3 and 5. At 5 I was too exhausted to care where she slept so I brought her into bed with me. I know that was bad but I had had it at that point. I don't understand why she's waking up so much. Before bed time I give her an entire container of yogurt that has cereal and fruit mixed in it. I then nurse her for an entire feeding. There is NO reason why she should be waking up hungry in the middle of the night.

In addition to being completely full before she goes to bed, I also make sure Brooke's plenty warm and that she has her music on. She listens to the same music every night and it really soothes her when she's falling asleep. What I'm saying is that I set her up completely to be successful in her sleep and suddenly she's waking up more than she ever has.

When we co-slept Brooke NEVER woke up in the middle of the night to nurse. She would sleep for 10 hours straight at least. Now that she's in her crib (and has been for almost 5 months) I think that she wakes up and doesn't understand why nobody is there. I totally set myself up for failure in that area and I'm truly paying for it now.

I can continue to make excuses for her night wakings for as long as I want. I'm wonderful at blaming her issues on teething, a cold, or some other ailment that she could possibly have. I guess the longer I do that the longer I'll be waking up with my baby all throughout the night. Ya know?

John has the next 2 nights off and he says that he'll do whatever it takes to help me to teach her that she can't nurse every 2 hours throughout the night. He says that he'll go in and take care of her so I can get some rest. She responds much better to him when he tells her to go to sleep. With me I think she thinks that I'll nurse her.. And she's right because I do.

I love my girl and I'm not trying to starve her or be unsympathetic by any means. I'm just trying to teach her to sleep without using my breast as a crutch. It's much easier to plop her in my bed and let her nurse all night as she chooses but at almost 11 months old I don't think that that is a habit we should continue to entertain.

This is just so hard! I don't understand why sleeping is such an issue lately. I'm going to continue to be patient and before we know it, hopefully we'll have this figured out. Wish me luck! If anyone has any insight on this PLEASE FILL ME IN!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Feeling Sad Over Nothing

I wish I could sit behind this computer and ramble on and on about how wonderful today was and how great things are going in my life. The truth is that I have an amazing life and there are so many good things that I could mention about my day. However, I am overcome with emotions and sadness for no apparent reason. I really don't know what's up with me at the moment.

On the way home from church I just started thinking about some things and ever since then I have felt like a hormonal, basket-case teenager. What's my problem? Holy cow!I wish I could just snap the heck out of this. I'm not angry at anyone or anything, yet somehow I feel like I could just weep for hours if someone asked me how I was.

Some days I feel so unlovable, so not beautiful and so annoying. In my head I know that none of these things are true, but when I'm feeling crappy I let my mind go to these types of places and it really destroys me. These are not healthy thoughts so I know that I really need to put them to rest!

For some reason I've been overly exhausted lately. I'm always wiped out and when I actually DO get the chance to sleep I can't sleep. This is so not like me. I'm usually a ball of energy and I never have issues falling asleep. This hasn't been the case for several weeks now. I think that being perpetually sleepy is catching up with me right now and I'm guessing that that's why I'm feeling so sad.

I am just venting here. Nothing is wrong with me and tomorrow morning all of these thoughts will vanish. Sometimes, every once in a while, I get in these funks and I have to snap myself out of them. I live a very blessed and fulfilled life and I instead of wallowing in self-pity, I should really be counting my blessings and enjoying the present! After all, tomorrow is not promised.

Wow, I sound so depressing. Because this is my journal though, I can't be expected to always be upbeat and positive. Right?? After this post, I assure you that I won't be so pessimistic anymore.

So, on that note I better go make John's lunch and wake up him so he can get ready for work. That sounds like a great way to cheer myself up. BLAH!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Preview of Spring!!!!

I woke up this morning to a beautiful, Spring-like day. I think the temperatures topped out just under 70. Can you believe it??? This is NEW YORK, for crying out loud. Warm days in the winter just don't happen that often. Needless to say, it was such a treat!

When John woke up we took Brooke to the park. We seriously had such a blast together! First we walked around the big loop at the park, with a stop at the swings for Brooke. She absolutely loved them!!! Then we went back to the car and got Brooke's walker and we let her push it around. She thought that was the coolest thing in the world until she realized that it was more fun to walk without it! So she took off and walked around the park until she found a pile of dirt, rocks, and leaves. She stopped in her tracks and then tried to sit down in that mess of things and I quickly attempted to grab her. John told me not to pick her up because every baby needs to get dirty sometimes. So, with much apprehension on both mommy and Brooke's part, Brookie played with the rocks and leaves. I cringed every time her shoes or pants got dirt on them, but luckily it all washed up okay! I just hate getting dirty! Here's a picture of her on the swings:

Brooke said a new word today!! She said, "banana." I was feeding her a banana as a snack and she looked at it and said, "nana." She kept saying it every time I gave her a bite so John and I were pretty confident that she really knew what she was saying.

It's funny because yesterday I was noting that Brooke wouldn't eat anything.. Well today she had a ton of refried beans and tomatoes for lunch, half a banana for a snack, an ENTIRE thing of pineapple/pear baby food and some rice for dinner, and then an entire container of YoBaby right before bed. I was shocked! Hopefully this means that we'll be able to get back on track with her eating now.

So, we have some MAJOR issues in dreamland. Here's the deal... Brooke had been sleeping like a champ in her crib. I think I even said that in my blog a few days ago. She was going to bed around 7:30 and waking at 4 in her crib. She was consistently doing this so I knew that I should really start working on putting her back in her crib when she woke up in the early morning. I was resolved to do that last night. I was totally planning on being exhausted all day today because of it too. Well, last night she went down at 7:30 and woke up at 9, 10, and 11. At 11 I nursed her and tried to put her down. She would fall completely asleep and then wake up and scream every single time I put her in her crib. Because she doesn't typically wake up I figured something was bothering her so I soothed her. I went through the motions of putting her back down SIX times to no avail. I eventually just gave up and put her in bed with me. I was so frazzled at that point that I didn't care.

I woke up this morning feeling slightly annoyed at my defeat but I figured that Brooke was just having an off night last night. I really didn't think that tonight would be an issue. WRONG! I put her down at 7 and she woke up at 8:30. I fed her because she fell asleep before nursing. Then at 9:15 she woke up screaming. John and I decided that she was totally happy all day so there most likely wasn't anything wrong with her. We also knew that she was full so there we saw no good reason to give in to her. She ended up crying until 10. John went in her room every 10 or so minutes and loved her, rubbed her back, sang to her and eventually she fell asleep on her own. I'm guessing that she'll be up again soon and if she does wake up, I don't know what to do. John's now gone for work and it's so hard to let her cry when I'm on my own.

If this non-sleeping continues I really don't know what I'll do. This is SO not like Brooke and it makes me wonder if there's any underlying reason for all of this. Hopefully tonight won't be too horrific!

Okay, I'm going to go try to fold some laundry and then HOPEFULLY enjoy a restful night of sleep. HA!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Picky Eater

I don't understand my daughter lately! She has turned into this SUPER picky eater and she spits almost everything out of her mouth. Sure, she loves crackers and Chex cereal, but when it comes to things that are GOOD for her, she won't participate in eating them. I'm so confused because she used to love just about anything!

She used to love baby food veggies... Even the nasty ones like green beans and garden vegetables. Now she GAGS when we give them to her. Interesting. Baby foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, and fruits she doesn't gag on, but she just acts totally disinterested and pushes me away. If I persist and I try to feed her more, she spazzes on me.

When Brooke started to act annoyed by baby foods I just figured that we would move her alone to small amounts of table foods. Much to my frustration, she doesn't want anything to do with table foods either. This is so strange because she used to freak out on us any time we didn't share with her. If we're having rice or potatoes she might want a few bites of it but she'll even spit that out after eating a tiny bit. She used to love meats and now she just spits them out too.

Brooke used to love cheese so I would always load her up on little pieces of cheddar cheese throughout the day to keep her satisfied. Now she hates cheese! She won't have ricotta cheese when I cook Italian food either, which used to be on of her favorites.

Thankfully we've found 2 foods that she has never refused and they are refried beans and YoBaby Yogurt. Thank goodness for those foods because there seems to be very few other things on this planet that my daughter will eat!

I know that babies go through these stages and I also know that Brooke doesn't technically need the nutrients from table food at this young age, however, it is frustrating! I feel like we went from 3 solid meals a day and now I'm lucky to get just 1 in her. I'm just glad that I'm still nursing her because if not I would be frantic and so concerned that she wasn't getting enough to eat.

My parents asked if Brooke could come over for dinner tonight, which I thought was wicked cute. Nobody really ever asks for her so it kind of surprised me, but of course I said yes. They ARE her grandparents! They also invited Nathan. The babies were only over there for a few hours and I guess they had so much fun and neither of them even so much as whimpered while we were away. They played games, read books, rocked in the rocking chair, had dinner, and then they took a bath together. It was nice to pick her up and not have to worry about bath time when we got home. John and I just ran some errands during our free time and it was so strange being without our princess. It's amazing how much quicker you can run errands without a baby!

Well, I'm off to go finish making John's lunch. He's into salads now so I've been having fun dicing up veggies, cheese, lunch meats, and eggs to go in them. I've even been making him my homemade Italian dressing to go with his salads too and he loves them! I love being a wife:-)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rocking, Rocking!

My nephew, Nathan, is obsessed with rocking in the rocking chair. In the church nursery and at my mom's house, we have always sang him a song (originated by my mom, of course) about rocking. He walks around singing his precious little version of the rocking song and he's on pitch every time! What a talented baby, if I can brag for a moment:-)

Anyways, my Brookie has finally caught on to this! Not only does she get her kicks out of rocking, but she can also say "rocking." She was rocking her infant carrier back and forth the other day and I could have sworn she was saying "rocking," but I thought that I was hearing things. Now I KNOW that it's not in my head because every time she sees a rocking chair or her seat she says "rocking." A bunch of our family has heard Brooke say it too and she's so proud every time we acknowledge that she can say a new word.

I love, love, love this stage of Brooke's life. She is becoming so verbal and learning new words virtually every day. She is so intricately made and it amazes me how much God loves her to make her with so many capabilities. Even at 10 and a half months old she can do so very much. How awesome is God for making human beings so intelligent? So much has to happen for us to exist and I don't get how you could look at a baby (or any human, for that matter) and question God's existence. "Thank you GOD for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"

I just sent John out the door about 20 minutes ago to go back to work tonight:-( Ugh, I hate the night shift because every night he leaves I get so sad. I know it sounds stupid because we have a great life and he's doing what it takes to provide for us, but the nights that he's home I sleep so soundly because I know that I'm safe. His strong arms fix everything and comfort me so much. It is what it is though, I guess. His first night back at work each week is the hardest so I think that's why I'm feeling especially lonely right now.

I can't get John out of my head since he left. He's my buddy. He really is. He cracked me up today so here's a brief, funny John story: I'm the most uncoordinated person I know and I went to throw one of Brooke's balls to him and ended up missing by a landslide. You know what he said to me?? "Honey, you couldn't throw a ball in the ocean." HAHAHAHAHA! What's really sad is that that's most likely true. Lol! I'm still laughing about that one. My husband makes me smile:-)

Did anybody watch American Gladiators? John and I did tonight and it reminds me so much of being a kid. I'm so into that show right now. It's not even funny! I swear I'll dream about it tonight. It's officially on my list of favorite shows. The heck with my dreams of a cooking show.. I'm moving onto being a gladiator. Lol!

Speaking of shows... I have a complaint about Deal Or No Deal. Why the heck do they have to take a completely non-sexual, family-friendly show and destroy it with scantily dressed women????????????? Though the show's content isn't bad in itself, I think it sucks big time that they have to throw in sexual undertones by having women parading around in next to nothing. I have lingerie less revealing then some of their outfits. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!! I hate how our society has to perverse everything somehow. I'm so annoyed. Perhaps this is another thing for me to boycott?? Yeah right, until the next time I'm bored. Ha!

Okay, I've just rambled on about all types of nothing. So, I guess I'll stop while I'm ahead and go lay in my cold, empty bed. Ta ta!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"Thank You"

Every single time I change Brooke's diapers I sing her a song. It just says, "Thank you God for nice dry diapers. Thank you God!" Whenever she eats something or has clothes put on we sing another similar song that thanks God for whatever it may be.

People sometimes poke fun at my incessant singing or even get annoyed at its frequency, but the other day Brooke looked up at me while I was changing her diaper and said, "Thank you!" Patty (my mother-in-law) happened to be right next to me and she and I both questioned whether Brooke really said it or not. Only seconds later, though, she said it again! Now she says it just about every time her diaper gets changed and at several other times throughout the day. It just sounds so beautiful and precious to me every time I hear it. I feel so proud that my singing has really rubbed off on her... Even just a little bit. Needless to say, I'll continue to sing my heart out!

My dad has said from the pulpit many times that an attitude is "caught not taught." I'm honestly trying to show Brooke to live her life giving constant thanks and credit to God for every little thing she has. I hope that my continual songs of thanks to God will show her, even at this young age, to have the right attitude about things.

In other news, I've been on a cooking rampage this week. I've managed to make all kinds of fun things. I love cooking and I'm so excited for my new kitchen in my new house. The appliances are much nicer and I'll have so much more room to spread out! YAY!!!! This week I made a braciole, which is an Italian stuffed flank steak that is cooked in a white wine and marinara sauce. That was to die for! Everyone should try it. I also invented a new variation of pork chops... I dipped them in ranch dressing and then bread crumbs and then I pan fried them in olive oil. They seriously melted in your mouth, if I do say so myself! Then today I made homemade banana muffins with a cream cheese filling and homemade lasagna with a homemade sauce. The homemade sauce made the lasagna incredible and everyone loved it. I'm telling you, I want my own cooking show. Lol! I get so much satisfaction and joy out of cooking for people.

Andy, Tristyn, and Hudson came over tonight and we really enjoyed ourselves. We haven't seen them in a while so it was nice to catch up. Hudson is about 7 months older than Brooke but they still managed to have a whole lot of fun together! They even took a bath with one another. I saw Hudson sneak a few kisses from Brooke in but I let it slide.. This time, anyways! :-)

Well, John's off tonight so I'm going to go enjoy a movie or something with him. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Lots To Report...

Man, it seems like there's just so many things going on with my little family and me. The biggest news is that the lady accepted our offer on the house and it looks like we're MOVING! After all of the ups and downs and frustrations, God has provided the perfect house for us. I'm ecstatic! I'm not sure when we're closing yet but when I found out I'll let you know.

John and I prayed that God would give us a house that we could use to serve Him and this house has so much space for entertaining. I have always used my gifts in hospitality to serve God, so this is an answer to that prayer! I am so excited to be able to have people over and to be able throw parties. I love being a hostess! It's got a great family room/toy room that I can just see my kids having sleepovers in. I want to be the house that everyone wants to come to. Hopefully that's how it will work out one day! The house also has a 3 seasons room/sun room and we're trying to think of some creative uses for that.

This house, as great as it is, has one major down point... The 2 extra bedrooms are pretty small. I can only fit one kid in each room and we want to have 3 or 4 kids. The master bedroom is very big, so we're thinking that when the time comes we can knock down some walls and make it work somehow. Though this was a deterrent to me, John reminded me that we only have one baby now and baby #2 isn't conceived yet, so we have several years before we need to even think about that. The previous owners had 3 kids and they fit just fine. Who knows though? God might be calling us to move somewhere else by then. You just never know!

I am also excited because the house is in a little village and I could walk the kids to school if I wanted to! It's on a quaint little road on a nice, quiet street and I can envision walks, bike rides, and rides in the wagon. I'm so excited for the warm weather now (especially after our cool 7 degree day today).

It's so funny because our house now is only 900 square feet and this house is 1,700 square feet, not including the 3 seasons room. It's going to look so bare in that house with our small furniture collection. We only have living room furniture, a beautiful bedroom set, Brookie's bedroom set, an entertainment center, and an entry way table. We also have a kitchen table but we want to buy a nice, elegant table for the formal dining room. Our computer desk now is too big so we're going to buy a smaller desk for the computer so we can put it in the family room without it being too gaudy. We still need coffee tables and family room furniture but Rome wasn't built in a day!

John promised me that when we got a bigger house we would start talking about having another baby. By the time we move in Brooke will be over a year and I had always envisioned us trying for #2 when she was that old, but part of me wants to wait. I want another baby more than anything in the universe because being a mommy is just the most amazing thing ever. However, the more I space my babies out the more time I have to savor my childbearing years. I know it sounds corny, but the thought of being done having my babies and not being pregnant ever again makes me so sad. I feel like spacing them out will help me hold onto these precious years a little bit longer. I'm just going to pray that God will show us HIS perfect time and that we would accept whatever His answer is. After all, He's got it all figured out:-)

I am feeling a little bit sad to leave this house because it's HOME to me. I know that in no time the new house will be our home, but the transition is a bit emotional for me. I'm not too fond of change:-(

I wasn't going to say much about anything else today, but I have to make a few quick comments on Brooke. She is blossoming like crazy and I'm amazed at her! Here's what's up:

~She now walks everywhere. She rarely crawls anymore. Less than a month ago she took her first step and I'm shocked that she's fine tuned her walking so rapidly!

~She now is actually taking a regular afternoon nap!! I never thought this would happen, but it has. She'll even nap in her crib and not in my arms!

~She has added "thank you," "ball," and "juice" to her vocabulary. I have a cute story about "thank you," but we'll save that for another time.

~She is now the queen of self-soothing. She goes to bed around 7 or 8 and sleeps straight through until 4 or 5 in the morning. She'll cry on and off throughout the night, but she never requires my help or attention to go back down. She just developed this.. I never had to do "cry-it-out" for any of her nighttime wakings. Go Brookie! The next step is putting her back in her crib when she wakes up in the early morning. I just need to stop being so lazy and DO IT...

~She only nurses 3-5 times during the day and once in the early morning:-( Sometimes it's even less than that. It's kind of sad and kind of happy to see her wean herself of feedings. I don't have to wear nursing pads anymore and it's so liberating! I could probably even get by without wearing a nursing bra. That would just be too adventurous though! Lol

~She's developed 2 annoying habits:
1. If I leave her bow in her hair while we're in the car she'll rip her bow and rubber band completely out of her head. Ouch! I've learned to avoid this by taking her bow out each time she gets in the car. Without a bow to interest her she leaves the rubber band alone.
2. She now knows how to take off her diaper. Fun times for me, huh?

So that's the deal with us. It's late so I'm going to go try to get some rest. Goodnight everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It Looks Like We're Planning A Birthday Party!

Brooke's 1St birthday is only a month and a half away. I just can't believe it. Honestly, if I think about it too much I get very, very sad. It's bittersweet because she's getting so big and she's so much fun now, but I can't help wanting to hold on to her baby days. Every time I remember her birth and how much she's changed my life, I get a little bit teary eyed. This little girl is everything to me and it's emotional for her first year of life to be almost over with. Wow...

So, instead of being sad I'm going to CELEBRATE!!! That's right! I, Jillian, the procrastinator, who doesn't plan anything in advance, am going to start planning Brookie's party! Between my family and John's family we have over 30 people so I'm thinking that we'll throw a family bash. I'm not 100 percent decided but I think I am going to do a heart themed birthday party. There are so many adorable things that you can do with hearts and because her birthday is the day after Valentine's Day there will be lots of hearts available to me! John still wants to do a princess theme but I don't think she'll appreciate it that as much as she would if she was older. We'll see...

The most special thing (for me, that is) that I want to do for Brooke's party is make her petite fours. I know it sounds silly, but when I was a little girl, I loved petite fours and they made me feel so special when I had them. I thought that I would start a tradition of making them and giving them to her every year on her birthday. Though I know that she won't really appreciate it for many years to come, I just thought it was something special that I could create a tradition out of. I'm not a good baker and I'm artistic by no means, but I am determined to figure these petite fours out. I'm going to be practicing from now until her birthday to make them just perfect. I do know that they will be dipped in white chocolate and shaped like hearts. I want them to be dainty for her!

As for this party's menu, I don't know what I'll make. My mom suggested a spiral honey ham and I would love that, but I don't know if it's dainty enough for the birthday party of a princess. This menu has really got me thinking a lot. When I can't sleep at night I try to envision the most fantastic meal possible. I guess I have time to nail out the final details.

For the drink I'm going to make my homemade strawberry lemonade mixed with Sprite. I'm going to put it in a big punch bowl with heart shaped ice cubes. It will not only taste amazing, but it will be pink and pretty!! I'm so excited about this part of the party.

For the favors I thought it would be fun to make heart-shaped sugar cookies. My sister so graciously offered to decorate them for me because she just has a niche for that type of thing. We thought that I could attach a tag to them that says, "A Cookie from Brookie." How fun would that be?!?!?!?!?!?

As we all know, I am a dreamer.. NOT a doer. So, I need to translate some of this energy into accomplishing the most adorable 1St birthday party for my princess imaginable. It's gonna be so much fun!

Anyways, I'm off to make John's lunch for work. Have a good day everyone! If you have any party suggestions please share them with me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome, 2008!

It's so hard to believe that a completely new year is upon us. How awesome is it to have a fresh start?? There's no reason why this can't be a wonderful, profitable, fulfilling year. I intend to live it to the fullest and spend more time smiling than frowning and more time enjoying life than being stressed out.

In honor of the new year, I am now on a diet. It's not a strict diet where I can't enjoy anything, but it's just a diet of making smarter, more healthy food selections. John and I eat out an awful lot and we're going to try to avoid the constant trip through the Wendy's drive-through. We're also going to try to cut out our late-night snacking.

When I was 12 I lost 40 pounds by simply snacking less and filling my meals with high protein, low calorie choices. I didn't eliminate everything delicious, but instead I ate everything in moderation. Another thing that I tend do is make excuses for myself to eat bad things. I'll say, "I'm a nursing mother. I need the extra calories." LOL! I think my sister taught me that lovely excuse:-) While it's true to some extent, I do NOT need to fill my extra calories with crapola!

I also want to get back in to doing my aerobics. When Brooke was about 2 months old I started to hip-hop aerobics and I absolutely LOVED it. I had it taped on my DVR and a husband who shall remain nameless deleted it. I haven't been able to find anything that I enjoy as much so I've used that as a cop out to not work out. So, the quest for the perfect aerobics has begun. John promised me that he would entertain Brooke while I do my aerobics too so that means that it will be some ME time that I can look forward to every day! More so than anything though, I'm just sick of feeling bad about myself. I have had a really bad body image ever since Brooke was born. Let's face it, things just are NOT the same after you've carried a baby for 9 months. I'm hoping that exercising will restore some of negative perceptions of my body.

I rang in the new year last night by mopping my floors and organizing Brookie's toys. I'm thinking that this will foreshadow my year to come! Lol! Mommy and wife duties are the best though so I can't complain.

I went to bed around 12:30 last night only to toss and turn until 4. My legs were aching so bad. They were on fire and I called John crying because I was in such much pain and so frustrated. When the pain finally subsided and I fell asleep, Miss Brooke woke up. Figures, huh? Needless to say, I'm really exhausted today. John gave me the luxury of taking a nap, but I'm still wiped out even after some rest. My bed is sounding pretty nice right about now!

We placed an offer on that house yesterday and we still haven't heard if she accepted our offer. Our realtor seems to think she will so let's keep our fingers crossed! Here's a few pictures of it so you can see why I love it...

Here's the kitchen:

Another shot of the kitchen:

Part of the living room:

More of the living room with a view of the entry way:

The dining room:

Cute, huh? Anyways, I'm off to get John out to work and then to bed I go! Once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all:-)