Friday, February 29, 2008

We've Been Insanely Busy!

My sister had a procedure done at the hospital yesterday so John and I had the wonderful pleasure of looking after little Nathan. We had an absolute blast taking care of him! Ali and Luke dropped him off at 10 and shortly after that we left. John and I had an insurance meeting at 11 so we took both kids with us. Let me tell you, that was crazy. We tried to keep them both happy, still, and content while talking about important insurance decisions. It was insane but we managed it pretty well I think.

Our day got much more excitingafter the visit to the insurance company though.. We took the babies to Wendy's and got them some lunch. Everyone gave us so much attention and acted like Brooke and Nathan were twins. We got so many questions about them and so many people were telling us to enjoy them. It was kind of funny! I'd claim Nathan as mine in a heartbeat so it was fun:-) After lunch was the really fun part... We took the kiddos to Chuckie Cheese! They had such a blast and by the time we left, John and I were exhausted. We divided and conquered because the 2 kids both went in totally opposite directions, of course. It was great fun! Both kids walked around like they owned the place. I am proud to report that we only left with one goose bump on Brooke's head and no other boo boos. Hooray for us!

I was really shocked because then we took Nathan to our house and he took almost a 2 hour nap in Brooke's crib. Yay Nathan! He was so angelic in Brooke's pink princess themed bedroom. Lol! While he napped Brooke played LOUDLY downstairs so I was pleasantly surprised that he slept as well as he did. While he was sleeping I made my homemade lasagna to bring over to Ali and Luke. That took up much of Nathan nap time because I made the sauce from scratch and I also ambitiously decided to do all other manner of chores in the kitchen while I was at it.

Shortly after Nathan woke up I realized that Brooke had a poop explosion that required a bath. Of course there was no telling Nathan that he couldn't join Brooke in the tub so I stuck both babies in at the same time. I figured that Alison and Luke would appreciate the night off from giving him a bath anyways. Let me just say, those 2 had the best time EVER in the tub. The splashed so much water that I was soaked by the time they were done. They were laughing so hard and playing so nicely together. It was the most fun part of the whole day for me to watch them together. They're really buddies!

Alison got home around 5 so we brought the lasagna over and shared a quick bite with them. John and I then left and dropped Brooke off at John's parent's house so we could go see Definitely, Maybe. Let me just say, it was the WORST movie ever. Don't waste your time or money on it, folks. It was HORRIBLE. I thought it would never end!

I really loved having the 2 kids yesterday. Nathan just fit right in with our family and our routine. I honestly didn't think that having him around was too much of a challenge. The biggest difference was having to remember more STUFF... More shoes, more diapers, more snacks, more sippy cups, more coats, etc. John and I also thought strapping them both in car seats was a big pain too. Nathan was so sweet yesterday and I we LOVED sharing John's day off with him.

In other news, we are now officially HOMELESS. We sold our house this afternoon to Josh and Vicki. It's kind of crazy to think that we don't own this home anymore. It hasn't quite registered in my brain yet. Anyways, we're supposed to close on our house on Tuesday at 11, pending the walk-through of the house on Monday. Hopefully everything is in order because I'm not in the mood to mess with it again. That would be AWFUL! On Wednesday we leave for San Diego, so this week is going to be INSANELY busy.

I'm excited about the house and vacation but I just wish that I had my schedule more free to be there for my sister. I wish that I could drop everything in the universe and take care of her better. I know that she wants me to have a good time though so I'll try not to feel too bad.

Well, John's gotta go back to work tonight:-( So that means it's time to go make his lunch. Fun times!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When Life Doesn't Make Sense...

The events of this day have been extremely saddening and heartbreaking. They have taken my family by complete surprise and they just don't make sense at all. My sister, Alison, suffered a miscarriage. Without making a spectical out of her and devulging the private matters of her life, I would just like to take a minute to get some of my many thoughts out.

It's really hard for me because I have had a miscarriage before. I know the pain (both physical and emotional) that is involved and how awful it is to "get back into the swing of things." I just wanted to move on with my life but I couldn't forget about the precious life that was once forming inside of me. Knowing that that's how my sister is feeling is the worst part. I never wanted her to have to endure that and I wish that I could take it for her. I wish that she could have been spared of the pain that miscarriages bring.

That whole miscarriage ordeal in my life never made sense to me... Until today. When I heard about my sister I realized that God could actually USE that horrible event in my life to minister to her. While I don't have all of the answers and there are no words that will completely "fix" my sister, it felt so good to give her a hug and truly be able to emphasize with her.

I just don't understand why God does things like this. I'm not angry, I'm not losing my faith, and I'm not doubting God's plan or sovreignty. I just honestly want to know what His purpose is in creating such a precious life only to take it so early. While there are so many things that we won't know on this side of eternity, I still really want answers.

I was feeling extremely down and struggling with some really intense emotions. Then at church tonight we sang the song, Because He Lives. This is what the chorus says:

Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future!
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

That song really spoke to me at that time because I was reminded that Jesus dying on the cross and then rising again gives us VICTORY! Though we may be uncertain about life's difficulties and question the things we face, we can be reassured that He's living! He conquered death and surely He can conquer anything and everything that faces us in this life. He knows our pain, our need for healing, and our sadness. He holds our lives, our futures, our family, that precious baby... EVERYTHING... in the palm of His hands. I have to lean on that or I have no other hope.

The next days and weeks will be difficult for my sister and our family. Please keep her in prayer and she heals from this.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

8 Days Until VACATION!!

I just realized this morning that a week from tomorrow I will be basking in the beautiful San Diego sun! It's currently 73 degrees and sunny there. I'll take it ANY day compared to our snow storm that we're having now. We're going to have such a blast!! I promise to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it.

HOWEVER, with any good trip comes MEGA amounts of packing. I don't even know where to begin. When we planned this vacation we were expecting to have been moved into our new house at this point. Now that everything is so up in the air I just know that getting our bags packed is going to be that much more chaotic. As for Brooke's clothes, I'm not really sure what to pack. The temperature hovers in the lower 60's to the upper 70's. Yikes! This means I have to pack for hot and mild conditions. To further my hate of packing, Brooke also doesn't fit in any of her new Spring or Summer clothes for this coming year. This means I'm going to have to sift through her box of summer clothes from last year and figure out what she'll wear. I guess it's a small price to pay for a glorious San Diego vacation.

Here's the question of the day (and nobody laugh)... Does the "No white after Labor Day" rule apply in sunny places like San Diego? I just don't know! I usually hold onto that fashion rule tightly and I don't want to look stupid wearing white down there! Lol

John and I need to go shopping because we need new short sleeve shirts. I have enough but I kind of wanted a few new things and John's short sleeve Polo's are starting to look a bit ratty, if you ask me. The man never spends money on himself so that means that I'll have to go out and shop for him behind his back. The things we do for love!

I think I'm going to pack only enough diapers and snacks for the plane ride there and then just go shopping for baby stuff when we arrive. I don't want to take up valuable luggage space for silly diapers!

The plane ride makes me SO nervous. Ugh, I hate to fly as it is. I DESPISE it but with a one year old, I know that it's going to be miserable. We flew to Florida when she was 6 and a half months old and that was a short flight but it was still awful. She just wanted to get down and crawl. Now that she's walking and into everything, I can't imagine how the flight to California will be. It should be VERY interesting. We have 2 layovers and I'm thinking that while they'll be a pain in the neck and lengthen our trip, that they will be our saving grace. We can at least let Brooke walk around and get her wiggles out.

Another MAJOR concern that I have is the time difference. They are 3 hours behind us there and I'm not sure how that's going to mess with Brooke's sleeping patterns. We aren't getting there until 8 P.M (local time) on Wednesday night. Seeing as how that's 11 P.M our time, I'm hoping that by the time we get situated into our hotel room, Brooke will be completely exhausted which will make her sleep well. I can only hope for the best. Traveling with a baby is quite the challenge!

While we're there we are going to visit Sea World, Balboa Park, the famous San Diego Zoo, the aquarium, and lots of other little places. We plan on taking a few days to kick back and just go to the beach and drive around the ritzy neighborhoods. We're also looking forward to some awesome Mexican food and fresh seafood. Man, it sounds like we'll be busy, busy!

I'm already dreading coming back because I know that when we do I need to start working on Brooke's sleep. I'm determined that I'll wait until we get home to teach her to sleep through the night in her crib because going on vacation will just screw her up anyways.

Well, that's all I have to say today and Brooke's awake from her nap. I better go get her before she freaks out even more!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Things That Go Ouch In the Night

Yes, the thing going "Ouch" in the night last night was ME. Brooke woke up around 2:30 to nurse and because I was so tired from the awful night before, I just brought her in with me in hopes of us both resting well. She latched on and we both fell peacefully asleep. About 5 or 10 minutes later, I woke up to EXCRUCIATING pain, which was Brooke biting on my nipple with her 9 teeth. I flicked her cheek and she just bit down harder, I yelled at her and again, she continued to bite. Finally after smacking her hand, she let go. I discovered that I was bleeding and have teeth indentation in my breast. That wasn't even the worst part... I was awake for the next hour because I was in that much pain. It hurt so bad that I thought I needed to throw up. I can't even describe how terrible it hurt last night. It's still throbbing to this very moment. I can't even nurse her on that side because it's in so much pain.

I went to nurse Brooke again this morning on the other side and she did the same thing, except I caught her early enough so she couldn't draw blood this time. I seriously don't know how to get through to her. I'm so frustrated!

John suggested that maybe this was the end of our nursing relationship... That maybe she's just fooling around and frustrated by nursing, so she bites. Of course when he said that I cried hysterically. I had always envisioned myself weaning Brooke gently, lovingly, and in HER timing. While I don't want to nurse her forever, the thought of even thinking of weaning her really hit a sore spot. Nursing her has almost consumed my life over the last year. Ya know? It's something that she and I have shared and enjoyed together. To me, there's nothing more amazing than when she's nursing and she looks up at me and coos or giggles. That melts my heart like nothing else on this planet. I also don't have a huge urge to wean now because she's not so dependent on me to nurse that I can't leave her if necessary. It's only a couple of feedings a day that we're still holding on to and I don't think it's a big deal.

For now, I'm going to continue with the "don't ask, don't refuse" philosophy. This means that she can nurse if she wants to, but I'm not going to routinely offer her the opportunities to nurse. Her drinking whole milk has tamed down our nursing relationship a lot. Before the milk she seriously was nursing CONSTANTLY and now that it's minimal I can see why extended nursing is so doable.

As I said before, nursing is so emotional, special, and wonderful. I think that I'm more attached to it than Brooke is! Lol! What it all boils down to, however, is that I want to do the best thing possible for her. If continuing to nurse is what's best, then by all means, I'll keep going! But, on the sad side, if she's ready to wean and that's what's best for her, we'll work on that. I don't care what people say or think or if anyone thinks that extended nursing is wrong or abnormal. I repeat.. I WILL DO WHAT'S BEST FOR MY DAUGHTER.

Off to do some housework while my precious little biter sleeps soundly. Nap times are so relaxing around here!

Real quick before I go, here's a cute picture I wanted to share with you all. This was taken at Target a few days ago. We were trying Easter hats on her. The look on her face is priceless!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Bathing Suit That Does EVERYTHING!

John and I went to Gymboree yesterday to buy Brooke's bathing suit. I've had my eye on it because it's so stinking cute (refer to the picture below) but I was waiting for it to go on sale. Sure enough, it was originally $23 but I got it for $14!!! Yay for me! I had to snag this picture off of EBay because Gymboree doesn't carry it online anymore. It's not the greatest picture but I have to show you what it looks like:

Isn't it precious? The back of it goes down in a little and there's a big white bow above the butt. It's so cute! I can't wait to take Brooke to San Diego so I can put it on her. That swimsuit is enough to excite me about this trip! Lol!

Yes, the bathing suit is adorable and all BUT it has 2 really awesome features that really impress me. 1St of all, it's made of special material that blocks the UV rays. Isn't that crazy? Who would have expected a swimsuit to be that smart? And also, underneath the skirt part of the suit, it's a diaper cover. They say that I can just put a regular diaper on her and it will protect it, but I'm going to be sticking with the swim diapers just to be safe. That, to me, is why Gymboree is worth the extra money. There stuff is so nicely made and adorable too!

On other news, last night as HORRIFIC with Miss Brooke. She woke up at 2. Sarah was spending the night with me and she heard Brooke before I did (which is still a mystery to me). Sarah stood by her crib for like 10-15 minutes trying to get her to go back to sleep and she refused. So finally I went in and got her and brought her into our bed to nurse. She didn't want to nurse or sleep or anything... She wanted to PLAY. Unbelievable! This went on for like a half an hour so I put her in her crib to cry. She started to scream and then grunt REALLY loud and I went in to realize that she had pooped. I had no choice but to take her to out to change her. This further convinced her that it was play time. I wanted to scream. I seriously had to practice so much restraint at this point. Finally, at around 4:15, Brooke went to sleep. We had to get up at 7 for church and she was miserable when I woke her up. I'm hoping that tonight is a different story. I've never been so frustrated in my whole life!

Well, I have to get ready to walk out the door. We're going to John's uncle's birthday party tonight. His grandma's making homemade mac and cheese and that sounds heavenly right about now. I can't wait!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What Do I Feed This Kid????

Ugh, I'm so frustrated! Brooke will not eat much of anything anymore. We started her on whole milk a little bit before her first birthday and that really helped us wean her from nursing 10 million times a day. She's still nursing but not near as much, which I suppose is a good thing. She LOVES milk too! I think that is great because I know so many breastfed babies that hate cow's milk. I realize that since she's 1 that her main source of nutrition needs to shift to food now but it's just so hard for us! I think I've tried giving her everything under the sun to eat and she refuses most of it. Here's what we've tried:

~Annie's Organic Spaghetti-O's (she'll take one little bite and then spit the rest out)

~Fruit- She won't eat applesauce, baby food fruit, or fresh fruit. She loves bananas, which is good, but she won't eat fresh oranges, mandarin oranges, or any other fruits that we've tried. She does like freeze dried fruit but there's not nearly as much nutrition in that as there is real fruit.

~Meats- She spits out any and ALL meat that we try to give her, except for chicken. I buy the grilled chicken salad toppers from Hillshire Farms and I bring them out for little snacks or to supplement her meals. Luckily she'll take those in moderation. I've also tried lunch meats and such and she just spits those out.

~And of course she loves all things that have no nutritional substance and/or are not good for her... french fries, Gold Fish, Cheerios's, Chex, mashed potatoes, rice, and bread. I guess she's a carb girl.

~YoBaby Yogurt- She used to love it but now she's kind of winding down on that. I still offer it to her but I don't want to over-do it because then she'll just get TOO sick of it and refuse to eat it all together.

~Cheese- She's hit or miss with it. It has to be at room temperature and she likes it shredded, not diced. Geeze!

~Beans- She only likes her beans mashed, not whole. I tried giving her black beans on her tray once and she gagged on them until I mashed them up. She used to devour refried beans but now she's not quite as in to them as she used to be.

~Veggies- Luckily for me she likes green beans (she likes them better cold, not warm). She used to love tomatoes and now she refuses to eat those too.

~Pasta- She just spits it out, unless I'm REALLY lucky. This means no lasagna, no mac and cheese, not spaghetti, no NOTHING. She doesn't like the texture or something.

~Eggs- Shortly after her first birthday, we let her try eggs and she LOVES them!!! However, seeing as how they're packed with cholesterol, I can't feel good about giving her too many eggs. I really try to limit her.

So, with all of that being said, what on Earth do I feed this kid? As you can see, she really doesn't like anything at all. I keep trying and trying to introduce these foods to her over and over again but I just can't seem to find anything that she'll eat more than 1 or 2 bites of. I do give her a sippy cup with her milk in it (and like I said, we do nurse still) and I'm wondering if I cut back on her milk intake if she'll start to realize that she needs to eat more. What do I do? I've never had a baby in this stage of life before so I'm kind of clueless. Obviously she's doing fine because she's gaining weight and thriving but I still would feel much better about things if she would eat.

In other news, Brookie slept 8.5 hours in her crib last night! I'm so happy!!!!! She hasn't done this since she was like 9 months old. She went through that awful stage and I'm hoping that she's getting back on track. She's also napping soundly now. Naps have been going really great lately!

Well, I'm going to go be productive now. We're going out to dinner with some friends tonight and when Brooke wakes up we're going to Gymboree to buy her a new swimsuit for San Diego. I'm so excited!!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Love My Little Family!

Today was such a nice day! It turned out to be a snowy day so we didn't really do too much but that is what made the day so wonderful. We woke up this morning and went to get my haircut (just a trim, nothing too dramatic) and some things from Target. That was our one big outing of the day so we decided to browse through the toys and stuff. We only ended up buying soda and bread though. How's that for restraint?

When we came home I made us a quick lunch and then we all took a nice long nap. It was so relaxing!! We then played with Brooke's toys for the longest time. She was so sweet today and we all had a huge blast together. It was perfect! At one point John bundled Brooke up and took her out in the snow. They were only out for a few minutes but I guess she loved it and was mesmerized by it. We've never really taken her out in it so that probably would explain her fascination with it.

Once the roads cleared up we decided to go look at a furniture store that we've been meaning to check out. We didn't find anything that we loved more than the other dining room table that we already picked out though. It was still nice to get out of the house, nonetheless.

On the way home from the store we called one of our favorite places and ordered cheese steaks. We picked them up and then we came home and devoured them. So good! Brooke didn't think too highly of them though so we fixed her something special. She's turned in to quite the picky little eater. Ugh...

After dinner John and I just enjoyed Brooke for the longest time. We played games, danced, read stories, and laughed VERY hard. We just now ended up putting the girl to bed because she was so happy and so much fun that we didn't even want to get rid of her. Lol! I'm telling you, I don't think that she's even fussed once today.

Oh yes, how could I forget?????? Brookie signs "more" now! I'm shocked by this because I've never really been consistent with sign language so I'm not quite sure why she picked it up so quickly. She was doing it a few weeks ago but I thought it was just a coincidence. Sure enough, though, she does it when we say "more" or when she's eating and wants more of something. Unbelievable! She is such a little sponge. Since she picked up on that so easily I think I'm going to work on some more signs with her now. Incredible!

We were supposed to close on the sale of our house today and of course that didn't work out. Even though we've been planning on this date for the last month or so, for some reason there was no lawyer available for the closing. Ridiculous, I know. Oh well, I guess it will happen soon enough.

Now that Miss Brooke is sleeping I think I'm going to go jump in the shower. Then John and I are going to have a movie night. I'm so excited! There's nothing better than curling up right beside him and enjoying a good movie. I love my life:-) My little family makes it so wonderful!


Thursday, February 21, 2008


Brooke went for her one year visit today! She weighs exactly 20 pounds and she is 29.5 inches long. She’s in the 30Th percentile for weight (and she used to be in the 90Th) and she’s in the 75Th percentile for height, which is right on pace for her. I don’t really get caught up in all of that but it’s still kind of fun to see where she measures up. Oh yes, and she has a big head… According to the percentiles, that is.

Everything else looked good! Our doctor was impressed by her vocabulary and physical abilities so that was good. He asked if she could say 2 words and if she could cruise and I was proud to be able to say that she exceeded those expectations! Overall it was a good visit until the end… They gave her 4 shots, which we were expecting. She screamed horribly and then she settled right back down, which made it not so bad.

Before we left, though, Brooke’s doctor told us that she needed to go down to the lab for blood work. He said that he wanted to screen her for lead poisoning and anemia (which is standard) so it’s not like we had any way around it. My heart literally sank when he told me because I have such awful, awful memories of her getting blood drawn as a tiny baby. Honestly, every time I remember back to that point in our lives (when we thought she was really sick) I get tears in my eyes and it’s a very emotional thing for me to remember. So, we took her to the oh-so-familiar blood lab and it felt so eerie to be back there again. Finally they took her in and they couldn’t find a vein so they had to call in their supervisor to find one. Once the supervisor finally found the vein, Brooke moved her arm so they had to dig around a little to put the needle back in the vein. She was screaming and of course I was bawling. We sighed a big sigh of relief after it was over and done. She’s rebounded from her traumatic day just fine though and she’s sleeping soundly now. Poor little girl!

In other news, there’s not really much else to say about the house. The lady swears up and down that she’ll have it cleaned out, but we’ll see about that. Her lawyer called my lawyer today saying that we’re going to close on the 6Th of March, after telling us that we would close next week so I’m really ticked about that. I told my lawyer that that is NOT acceptable, not only because we’re supposed to be in San Diego then, but also because that’s not what was promised to us. Oh, and get this.. She wants to take her light fixtures with her now. NO WAY! They are very nice light fixtures and the contract says absolutely nothing about her taking them. I refuse to give them to her because that’s not what we bargained for. This dumb lady thinks that she makes all of the rules. Hasn’t she held us up enough? Heaven help the woman if she doesn’t pay to have that stove fixed too. I’m not settling for anything when it comes to this house. She’s going to pay for everything she ruined.

Well, we have a birthday party to go to tonight so I’m going to go get our stuff together. We’re leaving when Brooke wakes up from her nap so I better get my game together!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Answers At Last!

So, it looks like the aloof owner of the home decided to show up. What do you know? It only took her attorney a month to get a hold of her! I guess they're going to start the paper work and we'll hopefully close sometime before the end of the month. She told my lawyer that she's not done cleaning and everything will be okay. Right, I'll believe it when I see it with my own 2 eyes! We'll do another walk-through some time next week and hope for the best.

I'm at a rough spot right now... After seeing the house in shambles and feeling so uncertain about it, it's really hard for me to even WANT the house. A lot is running through my mind. Ya know? I was at such total peace with not buying the house that I didn't even plan on living there at all. I thought of the adventures we'd face as we looked for a new home and I was fine with that. Perhaps once the house is all cleaned up and it turns into everything that I once saw it as then I'll feel much better. Let's hope because as this very moment I'm not feeling it AT ALL.

This morning was rough because I probably spent an hour talking the whole ordeal over with first the realtor and then the lawyer. We were pretty much prepared to lose the house and we were banking on that so when this whole thing took a sudden turn it was a little bit odd at first. I know that God is a work and His will will be done so I have to take comfort in that. It's just been an unsettling chain of events!

Well, I guess I should go make productive use out of Brooke's nap. We've been so out of sorts these last couple days so my house is a little bit of a mess. Off to clean I go...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Undate On The Filthy House

I feel like I have been on the phone ALL day with the realtor, the bank, the insurance company, the lawyers, and many of our family members discussing this horrible ordeal. It would be good if all of this led to answers somehow but we are still set as far back as we were yesterday. Fabulous, huh?

I was the most concerned about what the lawyer had to say because obviously he is the only one who can legally advise us in this matter. He wrote the lady and her attorney a letter saying that we won't buy the house unless it's cleared out and we are given $2500 for the ruined carpets and stove. The lawyer said that we can say that all we want but if the lady is nowhere to be found then we have no hope, no legal action, no NOTHING. Just great. The letter was sent at 1 this afternoon and we haven't heard anything from her party. Hopefully tomorrow should answer some of our questions better.

So, as of now we're still selling our house to Josh on Friday. He's been extremely gracious and understanding in this and I'm really proud of how great he's been. I know that if I bought a house I would want to start moving in it, painting it, showing it off, etc.. So I think that he's really sacrificing a lot for us. We'll be paying him rent for as long as we stay here but we really can't stay here long because he's getting married at the end of May. There's not too much time to mess around.

Here's the plan:

~If we end up getting the house (which I'm thinking isn't very likely) then the whole process will probably just be delayed a few weeks. We'll give her time to clean it up and then we'll move in.

~If we don't get the house we'll live here until we find an apartment. We'll need to find a house (obviously) but as of now there's not a lot out there. So, I guess our house hunt will start completely over again. WONDERFUL.

I know that God will provide for our needs. He's promised us that and I don't have any doubt in my mind that He'll take care of us. It's just a little bit (okay, A LOT) unsettling to feel "homeless" and so out of sorts. It's awful because all of our clothes were packed up and we have lots of other stuff in boxes. We're living amongst a mess of things scattered throughout our house. My only sanity was knowing that we were moving this weekend and we would get everything all organized shortly after that. I guess I'll have to tolerate the confusion for a few more weeks, days, or months...

I'm kind of at the point now where I honestly don't even want that stupid house. I want it because we NEED a home but with all of the garbage in it I'm worried about the possibility of insects, rodents, or other pests inhabiting it. Based on how filthy it was, I don't see that as being out of the realm of possibility. Honestly, I don't.

I'm really proud of myself because this isn't keeping me up at night, I'm not in tears, I'm not even really all that worried. This is so not like me and I'm proud that God is in the driver's seat here! I'm not so great at giving things COMPLETELY over to Him, I'll admit. I know the promises in His word and I have to take them to heart and value their truths during this time of uncertainty.

So, that's the update. Like I said, hopefully tomorrow will turn up some more answers. Lord knows we need them!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

(And NO, I'm not talking about the movie!) Oh my, today's events have taken a horrible toll on our moving process. As you read this, keep in mind that we're supposed to move this Friday. Ready for this?? We went to do a walk through of the house we're buying and we walked in to see it totally TRASHED. When I say trashed I don't mean dirty, messy, or even unorganized, I mean totally and completely unlivable.

Let me explain... The kitchen had moldy food smothered all over the counter tops, the sink was overflowing with filthy dishes, the fridge was full of stinky, past date food, on the counter sat a bowl full of cereal and curdled milk, AND to top it off, the brand new stove was RUINED. I don't know how you ruin a stove in the span of a month but the whole top of it was completely charred and burned. Nice, huh?

So, as we continued to walk through the house we noticed that NONE of their stuff was gone besides the window treatments and their living room couches. Their Christmas tree was still up, there were plastic beads scattered liberally all throughout the house, and my favorite part... Almost ALL of the tan carpets were ruined from all of the crap being traipsed through the house. Some of the carpets had crayon markings all over them too. As if the afore mentioned things weren't horrible enough, they had clothes, dirty underwear, opened mail, dog food, coins, and food ALL OVER THE HOUSE. As I walked up the stairs there were Q-Tips on each step like someone had just thrown them all over the house. As I toured the master bedroom there was a USED pregnancy test in the middle of the floor, as well as an old sink. Yes, you read that correctly.. A SINK in the bedroom.

In addition to the house being anything BUT aesthetically pleasing, it smelled putrid. The nauseating smells of dog pee, moldy food, and filth crept in my nose and left me feeling sick.

As we ventured into the garage we discovered that it too was so packed with garbage that we could barely even walk in it. At every single turn of the house there was yet another thing to alarm us.

Our realtor was completely shocked and embarrassed. When we made an offer on this house it was immaculate and we never, in a million years, expected to see it in such disarray. My parents were also there because we wanted to show off our new house to them. Show off??? HA! Luckily for me they were the optimists in this situation and kept reassuring us that it would all work out.

Funny, I haven't even told you all the worst part. Brace yourselves... The owner of the house is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Her lawyer and her realtor cannot get a hold of her. She won’t answer any phone calls whatsoever. So, even if we do end up deciding that we still want this filthy house, they aren't even sure if she'll show up to sign the papers, which will obviously leave us HOMELESS.

We don't know what to do because John's brother is still closing on this house on Friday, most likely. Though our contract says that the sale of our house is contingent on the purchase of another one, we could NEVER put him in a bind like that! Family is more important than the legal arrangements, in my opinion. He's getting married in 3 months and he needs to have a place to live! So, this is where this leaves John and me... 1, we could make concessions, meaning that we'll tell the lady that we want an "X" amount of money to repair the stove, clean the house, and fix the carpets. That would be owed to us at closing. HOWEVER, I guess she has no money so they tend to think that we'll be out of luck there. Our 2Nd option is that we can walk away and have nowhere to live. My parents and my sister have each offered us a place to stay until we figure things out. If we chose that we'll probably look for an apartment, unless the perfect house (AGAIN) shows up quickly.

So, we're frustrated, exhausted, and VERY disappointed. If you're thinking of us, please pray that God's will will be done because right now it's no looking to great.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Not-So-Sappy Account of Brooke's Party

I wanted to get on here yesterday and write all of the fun little details of Brooke's party down (so I don't forget them) but we were so busy! John played basketball in the morning with a guy from church so Brookie and I went shopping with my mom and sister. Brooke then took her nap and I filled that time baking cake for today. After that we ran some errands and then our night of fun began. We went and saw Fool's Gold with Ali and Luke and it was so good! My parents watched both babies for those few hours and they had a whole lot of fun. So, needless to say, my day was too busy for the computer yesterday.

Anyways, Brooke's party was a major success! The food turned out wonderfully (thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law)! She made pulled pork that was to DIE FOR. It literally melted in your mouth! My parents made roasted potatoes that were also very good and we ended up having a big salad instead of a veggie tray. John's aunt made Brooke's cake, which was a big pink heart and it was so cute. It fit our theme perfectly! AND... The petite fours not only looked perfect, but EVERYONE LOVED THEM!!!!! Even Brookie enjoyed them and that really surprised me.

Almost all of our family showed up to show their support and love for Brooke. The child got present after present after present. She is so spoiled! She got 3 Little People sets.. The barn, the race track, and the house. She also got a talking parrot that repeats everything you say. It's hilarious! I actually think that John and I might steal it from her. Lol! On top of all of that, she got a bunch of gorgeous spring clothes, a rocking chair, a hooded towel (made especially for her by Chelsea, a girl from church) money, gift cards, a wagon, a new CD player and several stuffed animals. Seeing as how we're moving on Friday, we didn't want to situate all of this new stuff so it's kind of ALL hanging out in our living room. It's a total wreck!

John and I bought the book, Princess Baby for her and we had everyone sign it. So many people wrote things in it that made me cry. It was so very special and I will treasure that book for years. If you've never read it you should definitely take a look at it (especially if you have a baby girl). It's so cute!

I had many emotional moments with Brooke on her birthday. It seems like every time I looked at her the water works would come on STRONG. I kept remembering being in labor and how special it was when we finally welcomed her into the world. When 10:35 PM hit (the exact moment of her birth) I bawled like a baby. After that I was fine though and I've been fine ever since. I just can't believe she's one though. WHERE DID THE TIME GO???

This time last year was NOT fun. Though I was loving my new baby and enjoying being her mommy, the C-Section recovery was the absolute pits. My refusal to take pain medications led me to a rough spell. I end up being drugged up on Morphine and I was this emotional, hysterical basket case. When they told me that I needed the drugs I cried and said, "I can't take medicine because you'll give my baby formula." I literally wept over it too. Obviously they wouldn't have given her formula but I was so wacked out at that point. Lol! I was so insane and those postpartum hormones didn't help much. I've said it a million times, I would rather be pregnant and give birth all over again before recovering from giving birth. That's the worst part of having a baby... But, it's much more than worth it though. This time last year I also remember being so unsure of myself about breastfeeding, mothering, diapering, changing and bathing Brooke, etc.. I have learned so much since then and that's why I don't think baby #2 will be nearly as much as a challenge.

Well, John goes back to work tonight:-( I guess all good things must come to an end, huh?? I'm off to go make his lunch.

***Thanks to all of you who have been commenting on my blog. It really makes me smile when you do:-)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy 1St Birthday, Brooke!

To My Dearest Daughter, Brooke

When you were first born, I looked at your precious little cone head and listened to you scream uncontrollably. Somehow it all seemed like a dream that you were really here and no longer resting safely in my belly. The longest half hour of my life passed when you were taken from me to be cleaned up. As I laid on the operating room table, I felt desperate to hold you, but finally, the nursed placed you in my arms. Together you and I struggled with your first nursing session, and before I knew it, you were eating contently and quietly. I knew right then and there that I was your mommy and that you were my baby. That defining moment was when the precious reality of you sank in. Now it seems unfathomable that you were ever not a part of our lives.

The first time we met

3 short days later, Daddy and I were able to take you home from the hospital. You seemed so tiny and fragile as I dressed you in your coming home outfit. At last we were in the car, headed to home to start our new life as a family of 3! You were so quiet the whole way home that Daddy and I even pulled over to make sure you were still breathing. Luckily for us, you were okay, just very sleepy!

In your coming home outfit

I'll never forget your first night home... You were sleeping in between Daddy and me so soundly. Both he and I were staring and you and admiring your beauty. I looked at Daddy and said, "Do you know what I'm thinking?" And he replied, "We're pretty lucky, aren't we?" Neither one of us could get over how amazingly blessed we were to have you. To this very moment I am still humbled at the thought of God giving you to US.

Your first night home

I can remember every milestone that you have conquered. The first time you rolled over I cried tears of joy and excitement for you. I called every single family member you have and bragged about your achievements. It's been that way with every little new development in your life... Your first smile, your first tooth, the first time you crawled, your first swim, the first day I put a big bow on top of your head, your first steps, your first words, the first time you ate rice cereal. The novelty of watching you grow and learn will never, ever get old. I love being the one who is accountable for remembering all of these adventures you stumble across and to be able to keep the story of your life.

One of our first attempts at rice cereal

You warmed up to the cereal quickly...

Some of your first smiles that we captured

There are times when I just stare at you in amazement. Sometimes people will ask me what's on my mind or what I'm thinking, but I tell them "nothing." What they don't know is that I'm dreaming for you. I look at you in wonder and I love to imagine what you'll be like as you grow, who you will become, and what interests you will have. Whoever you become and no matter how big you will one day grow, you will always be my little 8 pound, 4 ounce baby girl who I gave birth to. Part of me will never be able to look at you without seeing your "baby face."

Baby Face

When you were only 3 weeks old the doctors thought you might have leukemia. I remember it like yesterday...It was an unusually warm day in March when we got the sobering news. Daddy and I decided to take you to the park for a walk. I remember mourning over the horrifying possibility of losing you. As we walked around the park, I looked at Daddy and asked if we would ever see your first birthday. Well Princess, I am proud to say that today you are a healthy, thriving, walking, talking, silly little one year old. There is not a thing in the world wrong with you and I am so thankful to God for that. It is crazy to think that there was a time when I really thought that you wouldn't have been here for today.

My healthy, happy ONE YEAR OLD!

I'll admit that you are a lot of work and sometimes I get very sleepy while caring for you, but I wouldn't trade you or the work that is involved in being your mommy for anything in the universe. I love being the one to wipe your nose, change your diaper, kiss your boo boos, nurse you, bathe you, play with you and LOVE you. I have dreamed of being your mama my whole life and it's an honor to be the one to be responsible for you.

Your first year seems like it was the blink of an eye. I hardly remember what our life was like when you were a newborn. Now that you are entering your toddler years, I am excited to see what new adventures you and I will experience together. We are going to have so much fun!

Happy 1St Birthday Brookie! I couldn't be more proud of you if I tried. You are my world, you are my purpose, you are why I get up in the morning, you are my everything. Never, ever forget how much I love you and how much I want to be the best mom possible for you.

With all my love,


Brooke and Mommy before the big party

Brookie and Daddy at the party

Brooke and Mommy

Our Little Family

Brooke enjoying her birthday petite fours

Brooke and Nathan unwrapping presents

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I don't really like Valentine's Day much because I think that any good marriage should have such a holiday every day of the year! John does buy me cards, flowers, and gifts throughout the year to remind me of how special I am to him. More importantly, we are constantly trying to express our love for one another, so a holiday all about love kind of seems silly. Nonetheless, we still decided to go out to a nice dinner tonight. Because we have Brooke, going out baby-free is a treat, so we take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

We made reservations at a really nice local restaurant. It's very expensive so we don't go there often. It was kind of disappointing tonight because our steaks were almost RAW and our server was nowhere to be found so we kind of choked it down. Bummer! She was such a slow server that we were there for almost 2 and half hours. Isn't that crazy? I'm all about a slow-pace, relaxing dinner experience, but that's a LONG dinner! Ali and Luke made reservations at the same restaurant and just so happened to reserve the same time as we did so we all ended up deciding to go together. It was really fun! I don't remember the last time the 4 of us did something without our kids. This was something way over due!

We left Brooke with Jared (my brother) and his wife Amanda. In Brooke's whole year of life, this is the first time they've watched her. I feel kind of bad about that! We just have so many family members and we always give her 2 sets of grandparents the first dibs on watching her so that's why this was their first time. They did so great with her! They took her to dinner and to Target to pick out her birthday present. They were going to give her a bath but she fell asleep before they could. When I picked her up it was obvious that they had had a great time and that she was VERY well taken care of and loved. I am really touched that they would give up their Valentine's Day for our little girl. How sweet of them!

I can't help but remembering my Valentine's Day last year. There was a really bad snow storm and John had to go to work. That's when he was working 3 PM to 11 PM. Being only one day away from my due date, he dropped me off at my parents, in case I needed anything. I went into early labor (contractions starting every 10 minutes) and then when we got home my water broke. Off to hospital we went and then the next day I met my precious baby Brooke. I can't believe that it's already a year later and tomorrow will be her first birthday. Wow, how time flies.

Today is my DAWG's birthday!!!! Happy 21St Birthday Sarah! I love you lots and I am so thankful for you:-) Thanks for being such a great friend and sister.

Well, I'm off to go love on my husband and maybe have a little bit of a cry over Brooke's big birthday tomorrow. Lol! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Things Are Looking Up!

I am so encouraged! Last night Brooke was in bed by 7. Crazy! I know that it's super early but she was grumpy and she kept laying her head on the ground and saying, "night, night." Hey, I wasn't going to argue with her! I didn't really WANT her going to bed that early because I thought it would mess our whole night up, but last night turned out to be one of the most restful nights we've had in a long time! Here's how it went down:

~From 7- 10:20 she slept soundly, without making a peep.
~At 10:20 she woke up screaming so I decided that I would nurse one more time. (I know she probably didn't NEED it, but I figured that since she went down early maybe she was really hungry).
~She slept in her crip until 2!! Yes, I know it's sad that I'm actually bragging about that.
~Though I nursed her at her 2, she insisted on playing. She was so hyper and I was about to lose my mind and scream. I kept trying to coax her into going back to sleep but then I realized that I should just put her in her crib. After putting her in her crib, she didn't even whimper! She went right down and slept in there until 6:45 this morning!!!!!!!!!!
~She then came back to bed with me and slept soundly until 8 this morning.

Now, I know that that might not sound like a great night to some people, but I'm very pleased with it! She used to sleep through the night in her crib and I'm realizing that those days are gone (and have been for a few months now) and I'm trying to get her back to where she used to be. I do see her starting to extend the number of hours she spends in her crib and I couldn't be more thrilled with that! She really is learning, I believe. For the past few months and weeks she has been wanting to nurse ALL night and use me as a pacifier, but last night she only nursed 2or 3 times. I believe that if I'm diligent with putting her back in her crib then those wakings to nurse will no longer be worth it to her. I also realize that some of those feedings could have been avoided if I had actually let her cry for a few minutes. I really need to work on that!

Right now Brooke's napping for me. She went down without a fuss! She did wake up about an hour into it but she put herself back to sleep. Go Brookie! Her nap time is so refreshing to me. I can't even believe that I went almost a year with a baby who never napped because this is so, so, SO nice.

We just had a really nasty snow storm yesterday, topped off with rain this morning and more snow now. John was going to shovel our huge driveway when he woke up, but I decided I would use Brooke's naptime to do that today. I just got done and I feel so great! Shoveling is such good exercise! He's going to be so proud of me:-)

Alrighty, there's church tonight so I guess I better go get ready for that. I have all of Brooke's stuff to bring with us and some work to do around the house before we leave so I better get cracking. The work never seems to end!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Brooke's Birthday Bonanza!!!

Wow, only 3 days until my precious baby turns one. Remember a few months ago how I had all of these lofty goals for her party?? Well, it seems that while I still have great plans, I haven't completed much at all. Here's what I've accomplished so far:

~ The petite fours are done! They may not be the most beautiful things ever, but they were made with lots of love:-)

~The birthday cake is taken care of. John's Aunt Lynn is making a heart shaped cake and I'm sure it will be beautiful. She always does a great job!

~Invitations are out and I have a (semi-accurate) head count of how many people to expect.

~The menu is planned. We're having homemade macaroni and cheese (made by me, of course) and pulled pork sandwiches. Patty already bought the meat (and of course she stubbornly wouldn't let me give her money) and barbeque sauce for the sandwiches and she's going to make it for us. LOVE YOU PATTY!

~I've picked out the party decorations.. I'm going with a heart theme. I'm going to wake up fairly early on the morning of Brooke's birthday and run out and get them. I figure that because it's the day after Valentine's day that all things pink, red, and with hearts on them will be on clearance. I don't think that's too big of a risk to wait. Do you guys?

Here's my to do list:

~ Figure out some sort of favor. I'm not sure if I'll do anything big. They have these cute little plastic heart cups so I might go out on the day of the party and buy lots of fun candy and fill the cups. I'm not sure though. The cookie idea didn't work out because we've been so busy. I'm a dreamer, not a doer, unfortunately. Lol!

~ Get the drinks. I'm going to have various sodas as well as a big punch bowl filled with my homemade strawberry lemonade and heart ice cubes. I can also make the lemonade into a spritzer by adding Sprite but I'm not sure if I'll do that or not. I haven't decided. Or I could spike it was some Vodka?? Hmm.... Maybe not the best choice for a kid's birthday party? HA!

~Purchase all of the groceries needed for the party. I'm going to make a veggie tray but I want it to all be fresh so I'm going to wait until the morning of the party. Man, I'm going to be so busy! I'm thinking I'll have olives, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes with ranch dressing. I don't think I'll mess with peppers because they just smell. I also have to pick up the rolls for the sandwiches and all of the ingredients for the mac and cheese.

~And like I said earlier, I have to pick up all manner of party decorations, balloons, etc..

~Find Brooke the PERFECT gift. John and I were going to buy her a little rocking chair but Josh (my brother-in-law) graciously purchased it for her. I'm really happy that he loves her enough to do something like that for her, BUT now I don't know what to do for her. She's going to get so many toys so I really don't think I want to get her any. That leaves me with NOTHING:-(

~Purchase a book for everyone to sign. When I had my baby shower everyone signed a book and I love reading back on the things people wrote. It's so special to me so I thought the idea of doing for her 1St birthday would be perfect. ( I also kind of mooched that idea from Nathan's first birthday party too. Oops!)

So, I'm wicked stressed all of a sudden. I'm a procrastinator and I work great under pressure (in fact, I SHINE when under pressure). I just want everything to be perfect and I want all of our family to enjoy themselves. I am so thankful for all of the family members who have offered me their time and help too. Where would I be without my family?????? John and I are going out for Valentine's Day the night before so it's not like we can get much accomplished then either. In addition to that, John has to work the morning of her birthday, so he'll probably sleep most of the morning, which will mean I have to traipse Brooke around to all of the stores. She won't appreciate that too terribly much.

I'm really looking forward to the party! I guess I just have to keep reminding myself that this party is more for John and me than it is for Brooke. She could care less if we didn't have a party for her so if everything's not 100 percent perfect then nobody will care but ME!

I still can't believe my little girl is going to be one. WOW... I just can't seem to soak all of that in!

Monday, February 11, 2008

All Things GROSS!

Last night I suctioned out Brookie's nose and all the sudden all of this blood came pouring out of it. I felt awful! I don't think that I hurt her or anything (because she wasn't bothered), but I think I just irriated her dry nasal passage or something. I felt so bad! She woke up this morning with bloody snot caked all over her face and her nose has continued to bleed on and off throughout the day. How sad!

On top of waking up this morning to Brooke's nasty nose secretions, I also woke up to a very wet bed. In my glazed over, exhausted, morning state of mind, I couldn't figure out what it was. Then, as I reached my hand around Brooke, I realize that it was coming from her bottom. I was the happiest woman on Earth when I realized that it was pee pee and not the other, but it was still pretty gross. I felt absoutely horrible that she was laying in her own urine. This has NEVER happened in her entire life. My mom watched her while I went to my Bible study last night and she changed her into her PJ's and diaper. I'm wondering if it was some diaper malfunction? My mom's had 3 kids and she obviously knows how to change a diaper, so I'm not really sure what the issue was. Anyways, our day started off very early with a nice, warm bath for the princess. Luckily she was thrilled by that!

The rest of the day seemed relatively normal. There was nothing else gross that happened (except for the continual runny nose, which is nothing)... Until tonight after dinner. Oh my goodness! Brooke had a really big messy diaper so I took her upstairs on the floor of her room to change her. We have a changing table but she doesn't freak out as much if I change her on the floor. So, I opened up her diaper to clean her up and she put BOTH of her hands in the mess and proceeded to smear it all over her body AND the carpet. I tried to stop her but it was pretty much too late at that point. John was downstairs so he couldn't really hear my plea for help so I decided to just wipe her down and run her a bath. I didn't even put a diaper on her or anything because I figured it would only be a few seconds before she was in the tub. STUPID MOVE! While I was in the bathroom running Brooke's bath water, I heard her in our bedroom (next door to the bathroom). I went to go see her and she was squatting in the floor of our closet peeing AND playing in it as it came out. At that point I was about to lose my mind! What a gross series of events!

Moving on to less disgusting things... All is well with the church on Friday! I guess the homeschool group doesn't stay at the church past 5 and Brooke's party is at 5:30. My dad is going to tell them that they need to make sure they're out before then. Thanks, Pops! See? I was annoyed for nothing.

Ugh, I'm so sad:-( John has to leave for work in about 20 minutes. He upstairs getting ready right now. His days off were filled with so much love, snuggling, and laughs that the thought of him leaving me makes me feel lonely already. I wish I could sleep next to him EVERY night. It's just the best feeling in the world to know that he's right next to me to protect me from anything. Oh well, I guess we have to do what it takes to pay the bills. I tell myself this all the time! So, I'm going to finish making his lunch and spend a few minutes with him before he leaves.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Napping Heaven!

I know that I've been talking about napping a lot lately, but it's something that we have been feverishly working on in our house. After all of our hard work and patience, Brooke now takes a 1.5-2 hour nap every afternoon AND she goes down awake!!!!! This afternoon John and I actually napped together during Brooke's nap and it was true heaven. Yesterday during her nap we also got to spend some time together. This is the life! In Brooke's year of life, she has never taken regular, consistent naps in her crib so this feels so liberating. Now that she's napping, I'm more rested and energetic for her when she is awake, the days don't drag so long, AND my house is more tidy. In addition, I've also been cooking and baking a lot more. Watch out diets! Lol! I'm so proud of my little princess for learning how to nap:-)

Nighttimes are still not going so hot. Brooke has been waking up quite frequently, but I can't blame her because she still has the cold and the 3 teeth are still working their ways through her gums. I'm making extra allowances because I don't think that a hurting, sick baby should be left to cry in their crib. Hopefully she'll be better in a few days and all will be well in Dreamland again!

Brookie's birthday is this Friday! Crazy, huh? Yes, I'm still crying on and off about how old she. I looked at her baby book a few nights ago and the tears really came on strong. I'm such a drama queen, I know! We're having a family party on Friday night. With family alone we have like 50 people coming. We have a rather large extended family and we didn't want to have a party with 100 people so we just left it at family. Anyways, we're having it at the church and it's been planned that way forever BUT I looked at my church bulletin and the homeschool group is meeting at our church later in the afternoon that day. They're not even affiliated with our church so I'm really slightly annoyed that they're going to be there even though my dad said we could use the facility. HELLO??? I'm a dedicated member, and have been since I was 12, so I think that it's only fair that they pick another date or levae before the party starts. The party's at 5:30 but I'm going to need to set up and cook and all that good stuff. We'll be in the fellowship hall and they'll be in the sanctuary, but in order for them to use the bathroom or anything they're going to need to come through the fellowhip hall. NOT COOL! So, my dad said he'll try to work it out so they're not in the middle of her party. I'm so worried about all of
this:-( I want everything perfect!

Well, I'm going to go enjoy John because he's OFF! I love him:-) It's MOVIE TIME!!!!

*****It's been over a week now and SPELL CHECK STILL DOESN'T WORK!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

No More "Equations"

I'm sick of this society that seems to live by the following equation:

2-3 years of dating+ 1 year of engagement+ 4 years of college+ 3-5 years of marriage before having children+ 3 kids+ 2 cats+ 1 dog= Happily ever after! That means that my life is a mess! Lol!

We all went out to breakfast this morning and in the course of conversation this topic happened to come up. I'm not mad at anyone or anything, but every time it comes up I sometimes feel "inferior" for not going to college, for having a baby so quickly, etc..

I'm so sick of people saying to my brother and his wife (who aren't having kids right away and want to wait several more years) that "That's the best decision," Or "Good for you guys. You'll be happy you waited." Here's the thing, I'm happy for my brother and his wife for waiting to have a baby because they are not ready. My brother's wife is fulfilling her dream to become a teacher first. GOOD FOR HER!!! I don't look down on them and I'm proud of them for chosing the choices that they feel like God is calling them to wait. HOWEVER, just because it's good for them doesn't mean that John and I should have waited to have Brooke. Sometimes I feel like people look down on me because of how quickly we had her and maybe it's in my head, but I feel people tend to think that I'm not as good of a mom because of it or that John and I have a really "rocky" marriage. Let me just say, my marrige to John has it ups and downs, but you will never find 2 people more committed, more in love, or as happy as we are. As for Brooke, I would never, ever have done things differently than the we did them if I had the chance to.

Looking back to when I was first pregnant with Brooke, there were people in my church and in my life that were not even happy for me. Can you believe that? Someone had the audacity to tell me that it was sad for me and John to not have much time together before a child. SAD????????????? Brooke has enriched our lives so much and the thought of anyone saying that her addition to our life is SAD just breaks my heart. It's not like she was conceived out of wedlock and that John and I are living some awful, horrendous life. She was created in God's image and in HIS timing and He's allowed us to provide for her needs. Poor pitiful us, huh?

I also get really ticked when people look down on me for not going to college. A man in our church was so blantantly rude to me about it that he literally made me cry. He said a whole series of inappropriate comments about it and it really hurt me at the time and I felt like such a low life. It's funny because I can even remember as far back to grade school telling people that I wanted to a be a wife and a mommy. Even in high school my teachers encouraged me to go to college and then fulfill that, but I never dreamed of anything else in the universe but being a homemaker. Good for me, I'm living my dream! If I was doing anything else I honestly would not be reaching the goals I've set for myself. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

People at my work, which was Red Lobster at the time, and others in my life also thought that it was ridiculous that we got married when I was 20 and John was 23. I had been dating John since I was in high school and we were in love and commtitted. He provided (and still does) for my needs and we were both ready for marriage, yet somehow more people than you can believe insisted that we weren't ready for such a big step. I had people at my work literally tell me that it would end in divorce. Give me a break! Nobody close to me (like family) objected to us getting married so young but I hated feeling looked down upon by so many.

I don't know why I let people bother me so much. Really, why the heck do I give so much credence to the rude comments of idiotic people? I'm sick of explaining myself, feeling inadequate because of my choices, and letting people steal my joy. I wish I could be more like John, who honestly doesn't give a rat's flip what dumb people say. I'm happy, I'm serving the Lord as best as I know how, and I'm living my dreams. With all that being said, I have a great life. Who cares if anyone else in the universe accepts that? All I know is that I've defied the "equation" and I'm living happily ever after:-)

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Sleepless Night... BUT There's Hope!

Last night was pretty awful. Brooke woke up at 11 (after going down at 7:45) and I went in her room to calm her down. She was SO congested that she could hardly breathe so I picked her up in hopes of suctioning her nose out. Without John there to hold her down, this was pretty tricky. I ended up holding her head between my legs and pushing her hands down with my elbows in order to get the job done. Of course one time of suctioning wasn't sufficient so I had to repeat this awful process AGAIN. Brooke absoutely hates having this done and she screams hysterically so this just woke her up even more than she already was. After she was all cleaned up and she could breathe more clearly, I tried to feed her. She was still having a hard time breathing through her nose but she managed to fall asleep. I didn't put her in her bed because I figured that we would both get the optimal night's sleep if she just stayed with me (seeing as how she's cutting 3 teeth AND congested). WRONG! She was up several times throughout the night, just wanting to be loved and comforted. She was overall VERY restless. To make matters worse, she was up at 7:15 this morning. I'm exhausted beyond belief right now!

I was feeling really discouraged over Brooke's sleep this morning. Honestly, it seems like every freaking time we make progress something else comes up to ruin it, like colds and teeth! I've been reading through Luke in the Bible and it's such a great reminder that God worked amazing miracles while He was on Earth (and He still does today). As I read through His ministries and reflected on how great He really is, I told God that if He can walk on water, feed the 5,000, heal the Leper, and SO much more, then surely, truly He can help my baby sleep. I think that sometimes I feel like Brooke's sleeping struggles are somehow too small for God. Though I know that nothing in my life is insignificant to Him, I tend to leave Him out of relatively small issues like this. Since I gave this over to Him, I feel very relieved. HE CARES ABOUT MY BABY'S SLEEPING PROBLEMS!! Brooke is ultimately HIS child anyways! So, I'm just praying that God will give me the wisdom, patience, and guidance to get through this sleepless time.

Ironically enough, I just went to put Brookie down for her nap and guess what... She went right down for me! She didn't fuss or whimper or fight with me. She closed her precious little eyes and she was out in a matter of seconds. GOOD GIRL! So far she's been sleeping for only a half an hour so I'm hoping for at least another good hour of relaxation for myself. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! See, God is so good. Just when I thought I was going to lose my sanity He totally came through.

My aunt (my mom's sister) is in from California so we're going over to my parents house for a big dinner tonight. I'm excited for her to meet Brooke and John. She's never met my little family and I'm so proud of them so I love to show them off! My aunt is basically my mom's mother so it always means a lot to my mom when she gets to see her. Their mom died of brain cancer when my mom was 8 or 9 and then my grandpa was such an alcoholic that he didn't adequately provide for them. He ended up giving my mom and her sisters up to an awful foster mother who never fed, clothed them properly. So, long story short my aunt, being the oldest sister, raised her sisters. Though I don't really know my aunt that well and she can tend to have a strong personality, I do respect her immensely for her role in my mom's life.

Okie dokie, I'm off to relax for a bit before Brooke wakes up. Me and relax in the SAME SENTENCE??? Incredible!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Move Over, Priceline!!

John and I were feeling kind of frustrated about our hotel search. We were starting to wonder if we had really made the right decision in going because the hotels were just ridiculously expensive. We figured that we would just have to bite the bullet and book a full price one. My wonderful husband decided to look on today and there was a special... A 3 star hotel in San Diego for $59 a night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We snatched that deal right up. We had to first agree to pay that amount of money and give them our credit card information and then they told us what hotel we got. We ended up getting a Holiday Inn. It looks really, really nice! It's the Sea World Holiday Inn, so it's only a mile away from it and it offers reduced tickets to get in the park. You can't beat that! It's right near the Mission Bay, miles from the ocean, and a few blocks away from the San Diego Zoo. How awesome is that? Though Holiday Inn wouldn't have been our first pick, we were nonetheless thankful.

So, in Brooke news, she has another new tooth coming in. This is number 9 and it's one of her canine teeth on the top. She was pretty miserable today and she slept like CRAP last night so I was wondering what was up with her. She also screamed during nap time and then only slept for about 20 minutes. I picked her up after her short little snooze and she literally screamed for a half an hour straight:-( That's when I looked in her mouth and saw her inflamed gums. I felt so awful and helpless. I gave her teething tablets and Motrin and that seemed to cheer her up significantly. My poor little princess!

Brooke has the most (how do I say this nicely??) ANNOYING new habit. It's pretty stinking cute but it keeps me working extra hard... She is obsessed with closing doors. All day long that's all she wants to do. I'm not really sure why she's so interested in doors so suddenly but it's really a pain in the neck for me because she keeps shutting herself into places. When she shuts herself in a room, she likes to stand DIRECTLY behind the door (so I can't open it) and scream until I figure out a way to come get her. She keeps me laughing so much! I'm also worried that she's going to smash her fingers so that's keeping me on high alert also.

As I said a few weeks ago, Brooke knows how to say tickle and she goes up to people and tickles them, expecting a reaction. Now she goes around tickling everything... Her cup, her shoe, the couch, her doll, etc... and she expects them to laugh when she does. HAHA! She doesn't understand quite yet that inadamant objects don't laugh when tickled. Aww, she's so precious:-)

Well, I'm exhausted from Brooke's constant wakings last night and lack of naps today. I think I'm going to go lay on the couch and DIE! I sure hope that this mama gets some zzzz's tonight.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Making Progress!

I am happy to report that Brooke went down for her nap for me today with NO problem!! I was very anxious about this and it turned out to be nothing! I'll admit that I copped out and nursed her to get her down but the fact that she actually allowed me to put her down is a HUGE deal. I really hope that she stays sleeping for a good while. She went to sleep at 7 last night and didn't wake up for the day until 9:15 this morning so I'm not really sure how much rest she'll need this afternoon. We shall see!

Last night also showed marked improvement as well! Like I said, she went down at 7. She didn't wake up until 12 to eat. Though that's not perfect, it was nice to see her stay in her crib that long like she used to do. She used to stay in there straight through until 4 or 5 but we'll work our way back up eventually. I'm kicking myself though because I put her back in her crib at midnight but when she woke up at 2:30 I staggered into her room and surrendered to her by bringing her to bed with me. BAD MOMMY! I know I was non-coherent and all, but I really wish I would have let her cry for a few minutes because I'm sure that she would have gone back down. I frustrate myself so much!

Our San Diego hotel search is not going well at all. We started offering $50 a day for a 3 and 4 star hotel and they've been denying our offers:-( My dad has gradually been upping the offers and now he's up to $85. With taxes and fees that almost $100 a night. Yikes! STILL nobody has accepted that offer. John and I aren't too concerned though. If we wait a few days then they'll likely take a lower offer. You never know on Priceline. We figure that even if we do spend $100 a night that's not too bad. Our airfare was free so that gives us some extra money. You only live once, right??? We're realizing that San Diego is a very, very expensive place to go. The sales tax rate is high, almost all of the local activities charge admission to get in to (The zoo is $30 a person, Sea World is $60 a person, the aquarium is $7 a person, etc...), and from what we've read, there are many upscale restaurants and shopping malls. I'm not too worried about any of this though. Sure, we'll splurge and go to some nice places, but I'm just as happy to go to the beach, drive around the fancy San Diego neighborhoods, walk around the parks, etc... Just being away with my little family will be amazing. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Well, we have church tonight, which means I have to leave our house in the not-too-distant future to help get everything set up for dinner. I better get everything in order to go so I'm ready when Brookie wakes up. I'm out! (And in case you're wondering, NO, spell check still doesn't work.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


At John's parent's house, Brooke learned to say "get." Patty was telling their dog to get down and Brooke started to repeat after her and say "get dog." Now Brooke walks around the house saying "get" to things that she wants. She also tells us to "get" if we tell her not to do something, as if she's trying to tell us to get away. She's too clever for her own good! Lol!

So Brooke went down for her nap today with no fuss whatsover! Her nap yesterday only ended up being an hour long but today she slept for an hour and a half. Hopefully tomorrow's will be even longer than that! I'm nervous that she won't do well tomorrow because John will be sleeping and unable to help me. Wish me luck!

Last night we also decided to let Brooke cry through some of her night wakings. She woke up at 1:30 so John went in there to tell her to go to sleep and she was out in a matter of minutes!!! She woke up again at 4 but that really isn't THAT bad, considering how she has been sleeping. Again, I'm worried that tonight will be another story because John has to work but I'm hoping for the best. Maybe us putting our foot down last night will make something click in that little brain of hers and she'll sleep well tonight. A girl can dream, right??

I made homemade lasagna with homemade sauce tonight. Oh my goodness... It was so delicious! I felt like I spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen because the sauce took a good while to cook up and then I had to make the lasagna, but it was so worth it! I also made individual cheesecakes. I made half of them with oreos for crust and the other half of them had vanilla cookies for crust. They were really good too! I accomplished all of this during Brooke's nap and it was very relaxing to be able to cook without a baby needing my attention.

It's come to my attention that many more people read my blog than I thought. I just don't understand why people can't leave me a friendly comment from time-to-time. My blog is for my thoughts and memories and obviously I don't mind people reading it or else it wouldn't be available online for the whole world to see. With that being said, those of you (and you know who you are) who read this, please come out of the woodworks and leave me a comment every once in a while. I don't bite!

Well, it's 7:30 and my girl is already out for the night so I think that I'm going to go take a nice hot shower and then get ready for American Idol and One Three Hill! Tuesdays are a good night for TV. Then it's time to send John off to work:-( It would be much nicer if we were independently wealthy and he could spend every night with me! Lol!


Monday, February 4, 2008

San Diego, HERE WE COME!

So our tickets to San Diego are booked! I am so excited I could scream! We're leaving on the 5Th of March at 4:20 P.M. Because California is 3 hours behind us that means that we'll get there at 8 P.M local time (or 11 P.M our time). This will work out great because John has to work that night before we leave so he'll be able to get plenty of rest in before our plane takes off. We'll then stay for 6 nights and leave early, early (6:20 A.M) on the 11Th to come home. I'm dreading flying with Brooke and the fact that we have 2 lay-overs each way (One in Detroit, another in Minneapolis) doesn't really help our cause much. However, when we get there and have the time of our lives, the flight we'll be worth it.

The next couple of days we are going to be searching for cheap hotels on Priceline. My dad stays at 4 star hotels all over the country and he very, very rarely pays more than $50 a night for them. So, he's helping us find the perfect hotel. He says that because San Diego has tons of hotels we should be able to find a really nice one for around $50 a night. I absoultely cannot wait to see what hotel we end up getting. I'l share as soon as I know! My dad is also going to Priceline our rental car. He usually gets those for around $15 a day.

So, Stacy, we took your suggestion and we're going to work on Brooke's sleep issues starting with naps. She has not been napping AT ALL. Maybe she'll take a little 20 minute cat nap here and there (and that's while she's in my arms) but I can rarely get her to stay in her crib for any lengthy amount of time. Anyways, John is off today and he put her in her crib for a nap. The girl didn't so much as whimper for him. I'm completely shocked! He has this magic touch with her! Tomorrow he is off so he'll be here to come to my rescue again...However, on Tuesday night he goes back to work so Wednesday might be a little rough. I am determined to stick with it though!

I was a bit anxious about teaching Brooke how to take naps now, of all times, because we're moving on the 22Nd of this month and then San Diego will follow a few weeks after that. Those are HUGE things for a little baby (heck for ME they're huge too) and I kind of wanted to wait until after we got back from San Diego so nothing would interfere with our progress. However, John and I decided that she needs to learn to sleep and the longer we entertain her staying up all day, the harder it will be to break this horrible, horrible habit. So, the fun begins now. If moving and going on vacation ruins everything (which I'm sure it most likely will) then we will pick up where we left off and hope for the best.

Well, Brooke's napping and my house is spotless so I think I'm going to go pack up a few things. I'm going to put away stuff like DVD's, pictures and books that we don't need right now. Sounds like a relaxing afternoon! Lol

*SPELL CHECK STILL DOESN'T WORK:-( I looked on Blogger's "help" area and they said that they're aware that it doesn't work and they're in the process of fixing it. I'm so annoyed!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Night Weaning

How, oh how, do you night wean a baby???????? Here's my problem, Brooke goes down to bed totally awake and puts herself to sleep. This is absoultely NO problem for us. It's a skill that she has learned and that she does really well with. HOWEVER, every single morning she seems to end up in our bed. The problem is that I don't even know how she gets there so it's not like I can really even fix it.

Her nighttime routine, as of now, is that she goes down around 7:30 (sometimes even earlier) and she religiously wakes up around 11 or 11:30 wanting to eat. Now, I know that she probably doesn't NEED to eat, but I always feed her because 1, I'm hoping to "fuel" her up for a good night's rest (which definitely is NOT working) and 2, it's easier. John's not home to help me let her cry-it-out so it's hard for me to be consistent. I find this particular feeding hard to eliminate because I feel like it's not out of the realm of possibility for her to be hungry. However, I know that a baby her age doesn't require a nighttime feeding.

I would be fine if Brooke only woke up at 11 for that feeding, but now she's waking up again.. At lately it's been no later than 2 O'Clock. Isn't that ridiculous? And THAT is a good night. There have been some nights recently where she has woken up around 12:30 or 1. I've tried feeding her and putting her back down at this time of the night but 100 percent of the time she'll end back up in her bed.

I have a couple of thoughts on this. First of all, I'm wondering if I go get her in the middle of the night even if she's NOT crying. Maybe part of me is worrying about her and I just instintually go to get her. Just a thought. Or, maybe she screams and because I've just picked her and brought her into our room for the last year, I'm immune to it. I JUST DON'T KNOW! I've thought about locking my bedroom door because I figured I would have to make a much more conscience effort to get out of my room that way. I just don't have the answers to this.

There are also mornings where I wake up and find Brooke "grazing" at the breast. It's like she's been sitting there for hours using me as a pacifier. I would put a stop to that... I really would, but I'm not even awake to recognize that she's doing it.

The only way I can think of fixing this is having John take a few extra nights off and for us to fight tooth and nail for Brooke to remain in her crib. That's much easier said than done so I don't know what to do.

All I know is that Brooke is eating through the night MORE SO than she ever, ever did as a newborn and more than she did even a few months ago. At this rate.. I'm pretty sure that she'll be nursing until she goes off to college. LOL! Does anyone know how I can fix this??????

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Like A Man Without A Country

I'm starting to feel like I don't have a "country." :-( We're supposed to move at the end of this month and I'm trying to get all of our stuff packed away. Though I haven't started to really pack stuff up yet, I've been going through all of our things and throwing away useless crap. I'm thrilled that we're moving into a bigger house but right now I feel so torn between what my home is NOW and what my home will be at the end of this month. Pretty soon this will not be my place of rest, relaxation, and comfort. That's kind of sad, if you ask me!

This house holds a lot of sentimental value to me. I can remember coming home from my honeymoon to this house. I'll never forget that amazing feeling of freedom and maturity that I felt that night as I slept in my new house. I can't really explain that feeling but it felt so amazing and surreal. Every night in the beginning seemed like a slumber party to me! I think it's hard just because this was our very first house and I'll never, ever forget the wonderful memories that we've made within these walls... These very SMALL walls, shall I say!

For some reason, I'm the most sad about leaving Brooke's room behind. Both of her grandpas put many hours into making her nursery a beautiful place of rest for her. It's really a precious little room and I hate to think of leaving it behind. I know that we can recreate her nursery and that she'll have a nice room at the new house, but it still makes me sad when I think about it!

Also, there are the memories of going into labor in this house, bringing Brooke home from the hospital to this house, and spending those first few weeks after her birth in this house. For hours on end we would sit in our living room and nurse, nurse, nurse, it seemed. That little living room has been a place where many precious things have happened... The first time Brooke rolled over, where she took her first steps, where she learned to crawl, etc... Every time I remember all of those great little things in her life, I'll remember THIS house.

Like I've said before, John's brother is buying our house. I'm really happy for him because it's a great little property and I know that he and his fiance will make lasting memories here too. However, part of me is struggling with the fact that they'll be living here because I'll be aware of the changes they make. While they're entitled to change any little thing they want, seeing those changes will almost make me feel a bit nostalgic. I think that the first time I see Brooke's room without her princess border on the wall, I might feel a little bit sad. Again, her room has this special meaning to me. I'm so sappy! I hope that I'm not coming across like I'll be mad or offended at them for changing things... Because that's only natural! I'm just saying that it might be a little bit emotional when I think about how we used to live here.

All in all, I am SO excited about our new house. I keep telling myself that we're going to bring future babies home to that house and we're going to have so much more room to have family and friends over. I can't wait to see what fun memories we'll make there throughout the years. I'm sure that I'll feel better after we get settled, but in the mean time, when I'm between the 2 houses, I think that I just might be feeling a tad be sad. It will all work out. I'm sure of it!

Okay, I'm going to go pack John's lunch and send him out the door. Again, freaking Blogger won't let me spell check so please excuse any errors that you may find. I don't understand what the problem is with these people! What do you want for a free blogging service though????!?!?!??!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Shut In With The Drama Queen

*Stupid Blogger won't let me spell check my posts. So, if you find a spelling mistake in today or yesterday's entry, that's why. I proofread them but it's easy to skip over mistakes when you're in a hurry!

I woke up this morning to lots and lots of ice. Our area got hit hard with a wintery mix of ice, slush, freezy rain, and snow. John warned me that the roads were bad so he suggested that I stayed in. Of course Brooke woke up early today. We were out of bed at 7:30 and the rest of the day was spent doing absolutely NOTHING but playing with toys and reading books. It was a slower pace than we're accostomed to but I enjoyed the down time with Brooke.

Much to my suprise, Brooke took a nap in her crib from 9:30-11:15 this morning. That was defintely my sanity in the day! When she woke up I made us a nice lunch and we enjoyed our mother/daughter time together. I thought it was kind of sweet that it was just the 2 of us. Brookie ate like a little piggy too. Go Brooke!

After a bit Brooke got REALLY grumpy and she started to act up a bit. She has another tooth coming in on the bottom (this is #8) so I'm sure that that contributes to some of it. However, I will NOT make excuses for her being defiant. Today all she wanted to do was go up and down the stairs. She knows that she's not allowed to do that but she still continued to try. She would get on the bottom step, turn around and look at me defiantly and then start to scream when I walked towards her. Even at the ripe age of 1 she knows when she's doing something that she's not supposed to be doing. So, Brooke had her hand slapped MANY times this afternoon and many tears were shed. I feel that discipline starts young and I refuse to let her walk all over me. I am the boss! It's much easier to give in to her but by backing down she'll learn nothing. She truly is a drama queen and it kind of cracks me up sometimes. I can imagine what she'll be like when she's a hormonal teenager. I have it coming to me!

Brooke also knows that she's not supposed to touch wall outlets. She walks around waving and saying "bye bye" to the outlets. LOL! She does this everywhere we go too. It cracks me up! I taught her this by slapping her hand every time she would try to go near or play with an outlet and she's finally caught on. I love how teachable and moldable she is. Babies are so smart... More smart than most people give them credit for.

Tonight we were fortunate enough to get out to grab some dinner. I had a nice day with my girl but I was ready to be out of the house for a bit. The wintery weather turned to rain so we met my family out for some pizza. Just what the doctor ordered!

Wow, my house has Brooke's toys EVERYWHERE and I'm honestly feeling a bit exhausted. I'm going to go relax and enjoy my wonderful husband for a bit.