Monday, June 30, 2008

Brooke's Night On The Town

This morning Patty asked me if they could have Brooke tonight. Of course I agreed because I would never begrudge grandparents their grand baby:-) So they picked her up at around 4:30 and they went to Chuck E. Cheese, where they all had a blast, and then out for ice cream. Apparently my princess ate an ENTIRE ice cream cone by herself. I smile every time I think about how much she must have enjoyed it! Grandma and Grandpa then pushed her on the swings for a few minutes and brought her back to us.

While they were away Patty called me to let me know how they were doing and Brookie got on the phone to tell me all about her night. I loved listening to her babble on the other end of the phone and I just wanted to reach out and hug her. Ah, that melted my heart!

I was really looking forward to having the night off tonight because I've been fighting a nasty UTI and have just been feeling exhausted. Over the weekend I had a fever and I just couldn't shake that worn out feeling, despite the rest I tried to get. So anyways, I thought that tonight would help me to recuperate from all of that. John and I ran to Wal Mart to get diapers and wipes, but when we got home, it was so eerie and strange not having Brooke around. I so didn't rest... I think I sat around and twiddled my thumbs all night! It was so odd to be able to sit and watch TV with John or to work on our puzzle with no interruptions. I really enjoyed John but I so badly missed Brooke being there to make us laugh or to play with. She sure is a joy! I can't even imagine life without her.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Drama Queen

My Brooke has turned into the biggest drama queen lately. She's always been a bit dramatic or a "Hollywood Actress" (as her daddy would call her) but lately she's just been over the top.

Her latest game is using Chipper (don't get me started on him) to get some attention. She sits there and basically tortures him by pulling his hair, pinching his nose, putting her hands in his mouth and the second she sees somebody watching she throws herself onto the ground and screams like she's hurt or scared. John and I seriously love watching her with him when she thinks we're not watching because this is a hilarious game that she plays.

Brooke is also very bossy. She goes to her little table in her playroom and sits in a chair, then points to her other chair, points to me and says "Sit. Color." As soon as I sit down she hands me a crayon and repeatedly tells me to color. If I even stop for one second she cries. If ever I don't sit and color with this little princess she gets VERY upset. Drama, drama, drama

She's so hilarious too! She's been playing silly little games with me lately. For instance, in the bathtub she'll say "OUT!!" and the second I go to pick her up she'll yell "NO!" and plop her little bottom right back down. She plays this game repeatedly during her whole entire bath time and she gets very offended if I don't play along.

Brooke has learned how to do something that has made my life a lot more difficult... Climb on the couch and my bed unassisted. IT'S HORRIBLE! Lol! I always take her in my room with me to make the bed and today she kept crawling back up every time I told her to get down. To make the bed it seriously took me 10 minutes and when I was done the comforter looked all wrinkly. I had to make it again. She's crazy!

While I love Brooke's age and am so crazy about my little toddler, this age definitely brings out so many more challenges than I ever imagined. I'm learning how willful and defiant she can be and I really want to nip problems in the bud as soon as I can, and not wait until she's a screwed up teenager. I just want to do things right so she grows up to love and serve God and not ruin her life. Needless to say, I've been seeking wisdom from our parents, the Bible, and other moms to handle her tantrums appropriately. And the fun is just beginning! Lol!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Last Few Days...

I've just been too busy to even think about getting on the computer! John had Thursday night and Friday night off so we've been SUPER busy. Here's what's been occupying us...

*On Friday we took a trip to an Amish farmer's market. I brought home the BEST tomatoes I've ever tasted in my life (they were homegrown) and also some incredible zucchini. I fried it up for John and he was in heaven.

*Thanks to the Amish, I'm now obsessed with homemade bread. After tasting their bread, I decided that the store bought stuff just doesn't cutting it anymore. I spent my afternoon today making homemade bread and man is it amazing. I'm so proud of myself! I think that I'm going to make it weekly and keep it in the house because 1, it's so much better for you and 2, it's fun to make!

*John and I are hooked on puzzles again. This is the first puzzle we've had in this house and it's been amazing because we have so much space to lay our puzzle out. We went out and bought a really nice card table to do our puzzle on and it sits perfectly in our family room. I think John and I initially fell in love over puzzles (maybe an exaggeration) so working on one together has really rekindled some sparks and brought out a lot of hilarious memories. When I have puzzles in the house I have little time for anything else so I'm working on not being too addicted. Lol

*Today we did yard work, went swimming, cooked strip steaks on the grill (YUMMY!), and then went for ice cream. It was just the three of us all day and it was perfect. I love my little family so much.

So, that's what's been keeping me so stinking busy... It's fun busy though so I'm definitely NOT complaining. The hubby goes back to work tonight and I think I might cry:-( If only the bills paid themselves...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What It's Like To Be Me...

Ya know, I really drive myself nuts. Let me explain... Over the last couple of weeks I've managed to lose my debit card (AGAIN... Except it's remained missing this time) and my license. Now I drive without a license, which is a ticketable offense (thank heavens my husband is a cop) and have to use John's debit card for any and all purchases. Can you say PAIN IN THE BUTT???? I am constantly misplacing things and my life is a wreck when it comes to stuff like this. I feel so frazzled most of the time and I know that it's totally my fault for not taking the time to think or be organized.

I'm also completely carefree and clueless, to the point of making careless mistakes. Ugh, I'm SUCH an airhead. Here are a few other things that have happened to me over the recent weeks that will show you just exactly what I'm talking about...

~I backed into the telephone poll at the end of my driveway... TWICE. There's definitely marks on my car to show it. Oops.
~I pulled my car over a median in a parking lot because I thought my car was in reverse. To get me out required a tow truck and a lot of help from my father-in-law. It wasn't pretty.
~I lost my medical insurance card.
~I had John's debit card (our only remaining card) eaten by an ATM machine because I left the bank without taking it out.
~While visiting my mom's work, I walked in on one of her superiors while he was in the potty. That was just a TAD bit awkward.
~I lost my keys (but found them after a day).
~I lost all of my receipts for my church credit card that I'm supposed to give to the church treasurer to reconcile the church's bank statement.

And... Today, the unthinkable "Jillian incident" occurred. I frequently text message my mother-in-law and John who both have very similar phone numbers. Tonight John stayed home from church because he was in court all day and he needed to sleep this. We missed each other so were text messaging back and forth while I was just getting ready to leave church. I sent him a "married people" response (or so I thought) that was totally appropriate for his eyes, BUT it was not soon that I realized that I had actually sent it to his MOTHER and not him. My only salvation is that she was still in prayer meeting (awful I know). I quickly ran to meet her as she was coming out of the church and I asked to see her phone. She just didn't understand what I wanted out of her phone so I told her that I needed to erase something. My face was beat red at this point. She thought that I had sent a mean text message about her to someone and I didn't want her to see it. I just couldn't persuade her otherwise so finally I said, "I sent a message to your son and trust me, you don't want to read it." She instantly understood. My heart was pounding and I don't think that I have ever been so embarrassed in my life. I called John and I told him what I did and he said, "That's wonderful honey. Good job!" Lol! The moral of the story is that I will recheck, recheck, and recheck who I am sending my further text messages to. This type of thing ONLY HAPPENS TO JILLIAN.

I don't get myself. Things like this happen frequently with me. I'm a disaster, I swear! It's beyond me how I run a household, cook dinner for my family, dress my baby, bathe my baby, and have REAL LIFE responsibilities when I can't think straight for much of the day.

I think I've narrowed it down to why I'm like this...

1. I have the attention span of a toddler so thinking about things and concentrating on things is just something I can't stand doing.
2. I'm so hyper and fast-paced that I always have something on my mind to distract me.

I can remember being like this during my school days too. My teachers weren't too crazy about me and I'm pretty sure it's because I NEVER listened, read directions, or participated. I was too busy over in left field. You think I would have learned by now. Wouldn't you?

Anyways, I guess I'll work harder on pulling myself together. I'm tired of being scatterbrain!!! Lol

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My New Best Friend

I have found a most handy and wonderful new friend.... THE CROCK POT!!!!! I'm seriously addicted. It's so much fun because not only is it easy, but it's exciting! I put my food in it in the morning, run out for a few errands, and when I come home... BAM, dinner's ready. I'm in love!

Yesterday I made my homemade spaghetti meat sauce except for I put it in the trusty crock pot instead of doing on the stove. Let me tell you, it was heavenly. It was a big hit and I even had enough left over to freeze. My whole house smelled like and Italian restaurant too!

I had a busy day today and I knew I wasn't going to be home much to get something together for dinner. So before I left I put chicken breast, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a cup of milk, and a country gravy packet in the crock pot. I just made that recipe up so I didn't really know how it would turn out so I didn't have high expectations. Anyways, it was PHENOMENAL!!!!!!!!!!! John and Brooke loved it and it was so stinking easy. All I had to do was make a vegetable and mashed potatoes and dinner was served. Piece of cake!

My adventures with the crock pot are just beginning. I'm going to look around for a good book to give me some ideas. How fun is that? I'm thinking I'm going to try my homemade macaroni and cheese in there next. Doesn't that sound good?

Alright, I'm off to relax with my man. YAY!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Good Dilemma To Have

Brooke has turned into an AMAZING little napper!! She used to rarely take naps and on the rare occasion that she did, it would only be for like an hour or so. Now she's consistently taking 2.5 to 3 hour naps every day. I hardly know what to do with myself! It's so odd because one day it's like a switch flipped and she turned into a kid who napped. Everyday around 12 to 12:30 she'll say "sleepy" or "night night" so I turn her music on, put her in her crib, and she doesn't make another peep for several hours.

As wonderful as all of these naps are, it's actually causing me problems. She always used to sleep until at least 8 and that was an early morning. Now she is ready to go at 7 A.M. YIKES!! I'm not used to this. I used to be able to bring her in our room and nurse her and she would immediately fall back asleep but now she'll nurse for like 2 seconds and then want to get right back up for the day.

I haven't decided which is worse... The early mornings or the afternoons with not reprieve? I just don't know! Today during Brooke' nap I...

1. Cleaned out our laundry by bringing all of the stuff in it out into our new shed. I also vacuumed in there and wiped down the counters.
2. Did some things to get dinner ready
3. Vacuumed
4. Mopped
5. Dusted
6. Laundry
7. Cleaned the bathrooms
8. Organized the linen closet
9. Pulled weeds outside

I couldn't have done even half those things with a baby in tow so I guess that these longs naps are worth it, even if it costs me the luxury of sleeping in. I should probably work on going to bed earlier to help me cope but I've ALWAYS been such a night owl so it will be hard. This adjustment is wearing me out!

Okay, off to get some rest. Morning is coming.. And soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wouldn't It Be Nice If We Were... Younger?

John and I started dating in the middle of my senior year of high school. He's three years older than me so he was going through college and all of that. I think that that summer after I graduated was the best summer of my life because he and I were just falling so crazily in love with one another. After only a few months of dating we knew we would spend the rest of our lives together and that first summer that we spent as a couple was just so amazing. It was carefree, exciting, adventurous, and it seemed like nothing in the universe mattered to us but one another at the time.

I'm a big fan of the Beach Boys and that summer John bought me their CD. One of my favorite songs, Wouldn't It Be Nice If We Were Older? was on there and I think I listened to it a million times that summer. I had always loved that song but it took on new meaning because it said just exactly what I was thinking and feeling at the time.

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

The happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was never ending
Oh Wouldn't it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true (run, run, run)
Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do
We could be married (we could be married)
And then we'd be happy (then we'd be happy)

Wouldn't it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Oh, wouldn't it be nice

I know it sounds corny, but I heard that song today and it just took me back to that time in our relationship. You know... That time when there were no bills to pay, no really serious obligations or responsibilities on our plate, no police work, and no real worries to think about. I remember just dreaming of what it would be like to be John's wife and I couldn't imagine just how wonderful and amazing it would be when we were finally married. Ah, I miss those days of anticipation, innocence, stolen kisses, sneaking in late, and adventure. Those were some pretty incredible days.

That song hit me because this week is going to be a long one for John and me. On top of working tonight through Wednesday night, John will also have to work Tuesday at 7 P.M. (to testify in court for one of his cases) and then Wednesday morning at 11 for another case. The case is going to the grand jury so he'll probably be there a good while, which means he'll need to sleep for much of Wednesday evening. It's good money but STILL... The poor man has to have a life and SLEEP. I can handle all of those additional hours, but what I can't handle is not being able to sleep next to him. I waited my whole life for that and saved that for my husband and now that I'm married I don't even get to fall asleep next to him. My favorite song lied to me!!
:-( Lol

I am so happy and extremely content with where I am in life right now. As I remember that summer and how it felt to fall in love with John, I am reminded that things right now are a million times more amazing than they were at that point. Our love has withstood so many more tests and challenges than we could have ever dreamed, which has strengthen our relationship so much. Life is wonderful and I'm fulfilled but sometimes it's easy to think wouldn't it be nice if we were younger?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Life Is Short

Ugh, I have so many deep and troublesome things on my mind tonight. A couple of events have made dwell on the shortness of life and how quickly our loved ones can be taken from us.

The first issue concerns our dear friends from New Jersey. They were an older couple so they were like grandparents to me when we lived there. The man was a deacon at my dad's church and we spent a lot of time together. Since moving to New York, we have kept in pretty good touch with them. Anyways, they called my parents in hysterics this afternoon because their 40 year old son, who was an electrician, was electrocuted at work today. He left behind a wife and two high school aged kids. It just doesn't seem natural to me. His parents, who are in their 70's now, have to bury their son and I just can't think of anything more awful than that. Thankfully he was a believer in Christ so we can have that reassurance, but still... Why do these things happen?

It's so weird because I always tell myself that if John wasn't a cop I wouldn't worry about him going to work, but really, regardless of what he does, he'll NEVER be safe. If it's God's time to take you, He'll take you. There's nothing you can do. I keep thinking about that man's family and how horrible they must be feeling right now at this very moment. I grieve deeply, especially, for his poor wife. How do you pick up the broken pieces for your family and kids when something like this happens so suddenly? I bet when they were in their 20's, like John and me, they dreamed of growing old together, and they never dreamed that they would be separated at 40. I don't even want to THINK about losing John like that.

Tonight is John's night off but he has to work some overtime from 11 P.M. to 3 A.M. We took a little nap before he went in and I woke up panicked because I had a dream that something had happened to him. This whole situation has really made me want to hold even more tightly to him than I already do (and any of my other loved ones) but I know that ultimately it's not in my hands. I just have to have faith in God, because only He has the PERFECT plan, not me. I really have to remind myself of that or else I would go crazy from all of the "what if's."

Another thing that has my mind going crazy is regarding Brooke. Last night around 3 A.M. I woke up with an eerie feeling. John was snuggling right next to me and I was SO comfortable, but I made myself get up to check on Brooke, regardless. I know that what I'm about to say sounds neurotic, but I'm telling you, she was not breathing. I know that sometimes during sleep our bodies are so rested that we shut almost completely down, and maybe that's what this was all about, but to this very moment, I know that her chest was not moving up and down. I walked in and looked for that (which is what I always do) and I didn't see it so I put my hand on her and she still didn't move. At that point I was FREAKING out and shaking. Then I shook her and still got no response. Finally she coughed and she rolled over and went back to sleep. I have no clue what exactly happened or if I'm imagining all of this, but I promise, this is what happened as clearly as I can remember. This whole incident kept me awake for much of the night last night and it's turned me into a wreck today.

I keep telling myself that Brooke is really God's child and that I need to trust in Him to watch over her and take care of her. I am convinced that that is the only way that I'll be able to endure the uncertainties and fears of motherhood.

So, yeah, I'm feeling really overwhelmed by these feelings of fear right now. I know that I need to pray about these situations instead of worrying about them but it's just so hard. I am so thankful that I serve and wonderful, merciful, and compassionate Savior who's got it all under control because I just don't.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Date Night!!

I am so excited I could SCREAM!!!!! John's taking me out for dinner and a movie tonight. I think we're going to go to Outback and then to see some stupid movie that's playing... I don't care about the movie though, as long as we get to be together. There were like 3 movies we wanted to see and NONE of them are playing anymore. Oh well:-( We'll still have fun!

I feel like this week was really rough. It's not that John and I were fighting or unhappy, but he's been keeping extrememly busy with work and we've been out of the house almost every night this week doing things so it's been hard to sit down and enjoy each other as much as we should. It will be so wonderful to catch up and not have anything to worry about but each other.

Okay, I'm off to get dressed. I've still got to look beautiful for my Prince Charming:-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Airing My Dirty Laundry

(And I'm talking literally, not figuratively!)

Does anyone else ever feel like ALL they do is laundry? Lately I've been realizing that I'm a laundry fiend. I can't even think of the last day that I did less than 2 loads. The problem is me, though, because if I have even the slightest amount of dirty clothes or towels I do not feel at rest until they are clean. It's like this obsession of mine that drives me crazy... And it's also not very energy, water, or detergent efficient either.

I blame my mom for this one... Lol! Growing up, I would put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and then when I came home from school (or wherever) my clothes would be cleaned, folded, and put away. It's like we NEVER had dirty laundry... EVER. So yes, my dear mommy has made me neurotic about dirty clothes. There are worse things though:-)

Another issue I have with laundry is that if I let it sit too long it gets all nasty smelling. We have to use non-scented detergent because of my eczema so it's not like there's any perfumes or anything to disguise or mask the smells. All I had to do was see the consequences of letting a basket of dirty clothes sit for more than a couple of hours and I was hooked onto this laundry obsession.

Ya know what else is sick? I kind of ENJOY it sometimes. Shameful, I know. Not only do I feel so happy and satisfied when it's all completed, but I actually like the whole process of washing it and then putting it away nicely. I have issues.

I can also be such a freak about my house being clean that I go crazy. I'm really, really working on not being so overbearing about messes that John and Brooke can't enjoy their house (and I've come a LONG way) but I have so much farther to go. I have the feeling that when baby #2 decides to come that my idea of having a spotless house and no dirty laundry just might fall through the cracks. I just want a day where vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, mopping, laundry, scrubbing, washing, and tidying up doesn't control my day and stress me out but it's ME that brings this on myself. Like I said, having Brooke around has lightened me up a whole lot, but I still compulsively clean ALL DAY LONG. What ever happened to relaxing?

I know this is a boring post but hey, what can I say? Being a stay-at-home-mom and all makes this sort of really prevalent in my life. I get a lot of pride out of my home and how well I (try) to take care of it. I guess it's good that I'm on this end of extreme and not the other. Right?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MEGA Bargains!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday was all about bargains and I can't believe that I didn't brag about them. So, on this gloomy, rainy day (which I love!) I'll take a few minutes to tell you all about my wonderful finds.

First of all, Brookie needed some new summer clothes (Capri's and shorts) because 95%of the stuff that I bought for her is 3 times too big. She's just a little peanut, after all! She can wear ALL of her clothes from last year (which are mostly 3-6 months and 6-9 months). The majority of last year's clothes are Carter's (my favorite!), which always runs big on Brooke anyways. However, I just wanted her to have some new clothes to throw into the mix. I went to Macy's to look at the sales racks because they've had this Greendog stuff that I've had my eye on. I always, always wait for a sale before I purchase anything, even if that means going back every couple of days to check the sales. As soon as I walked to the children's section I saw a glorious sign... "75% off!" I quickly ran over and discovered that ALL of my precious Greendog collection was what they were clearing out! So, I got Brooke 6 pairs of Capri's (each for $2.99!), 3 shirts, a hooded sweatshirt, and a little dress with leggings for.... $34!!!!!!!!!!!! If I had bought everything at original price I would have spent $179! You just can't beat that! The stuff is absolutely adorable and I love Greendog. The make wicked nice stuff. I'm going to go back and get a few more things that I had talked myself out of getting. I got Brooke 12 month clothes and they're still very big (I have to roll them at the waist) so I'm pretty sure she'll even be able to wear them next year.

Our other big bargain of the day was furniture!! Remember the big, empty room in my house that I posted pictures of the other day? Well we had had it with it. It was such an awful waste of space! John and I were going to go buy some new furniture for it and be done with it. However, in the newspaper I saw that someone was selling their sofa, love seat, and coffee table for $400, which is total steal (our last sofa set was $1,600). I'm not usually one for used stuff because I'm kind of a fanatic about having things really clean but we decided to take a look at it anyways. As it turns out, the guy bought the set (which is really nice!) 4 months ago and then his company decided to transfer him out of the country so he has to sell everything. We took it, no questions asked! John's dad is picking it up for us tonight and I'll have pictures soon!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE a bargain???? Lol!

I'm off to church...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mornings At Our House

This is a hilarious story that I wanted to share yesterday but I forgot. Yesterday morning Brooke woke up asking for "brayfest," so I took her downstairs (after she nursed for a few minutes, upon her demand, of course). This is the wonderful conversation that we had..

Me: What are you going to have to eat this morning?
B: Cookies
Me: No, honey, not for breakfast. Let's find something else.
B: SIT! (As she points to the counter that is near the snacks) She then opens up the cabinet where the snacks are and pulls out marshmallows. She says "please!"
Me: No, baby. Not for breakfast.
B: PLEASE!!!!!!!!! (Tears are streaming down her face now)
Me: Brooke, you may NOT have cookies or marshmallows for breakast. How about an egg?? Yummy! You love eggs!
B: "Shmellow"
Me: No! (I take her of off the counter and set her on the ground)
B: (Arches her back, screams, and throws herself on the floor)

The final verdict as to what Miss Brooke had for breakfast... Nothing. She refused my offer of an egg, peanut butter (her favorite), yogurt, and fruit. And she's only 16-months old!! Fun times ahead... Lol

Monday, June 16, 2008

Living A Little

John's uncle from out of town was up visiting tonight so he and his wife and 2 kids (a 4-year-old girl and a 9-month-old boy) came over for some pizza, along with John and Patty. It was so much fun having them because Brooke loved playing with the little girl (which is her second cousin I think???) and it was really cool to see them interact.

We walked down the road to get some ice cream and the girls rode in Brooke's wagon together. They both got a huge kick out of it. Sadly, though, the ice cream store was closed:-( Because we had promised the kids ice cream we went to the Family Dollar and they each got a treat there. I got Brooke an ENORMOUS Popsicle (because there was nothing smaller) and I was just going to hold it for her and feed it to her slowly. I decided (with MUCH persuasion from John's aunt and mom) that I would just give it to her to hold so she could enjoy it to the fullest. I'll admit that I'm neurotic about stuff like that... I don't like messes or dirty things to come near my daughter and I avoid them at all costs. I change her clothes a million times a day if I have to do that in order to keep her looking squeaky clean. However, this time, I let her just have at her Popsicle and it was the most precious thing ever. She clung to it and ate EVERY LAST BIT. She was dripping with it and her face was covered, but seeing the delight on my baby girl's face was absolutely adorable. She was so proud of herself! I would have taken a picture but I wanted to get it off of her as quickly as possible. I guess I haven't fully given up my hate for all things messy but I'm getting there. This was a big step! Lol

Brooke didn't even nurse once yesterday and I was really very sad. It was a hard thing for me to come to grips with. She woke up this morning asking to nurse though so I'm not sure that we're completely done. We'll see as the days progress. This is so much more difficult on my emotions than I ever thought it would be.

John goes back to work tonight:-( I'm so bummed out that I seriously could cry. I hate when he leaves me but I truly appreciate his sacrifice that he makes to pay the bills. If only he worked normal hours! Okay, I'm off to go pack his lunch...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Dear John,

Exactly 16 months ago from today you were "inducted" into the world of fatherhood. When I was pregnant with Brooke, I never had a doubt in my mind that you would love her, but the moment she was born, I instantly knew that you would be the best daddy you could possibly be to her. Between the pain, the numbness, and all of my emotions, I still managed to fall more in love with you that night because of the way you so gently and tenderly loved, sang to, and rocked our little girl. Life as we had known it completely changed that day.

The first couple of months with Brooke in our home required some adjustments... You were working crazy hours, I was wallowing over my C-Section "failure," and Brooke was so sick. However, you never wavered or let the pressures of our home life drag you down. You pressed on with courage, faithfulness, and devotion and you were truly the rock that our family needed. Looking back on it, I truly don't know how you remained so strong in the midst of it all.

As life with our little girl has continued, you have been a vital part of her growth and development. You're always present for the fun stuff like walks, going to the park, snacks, and bath time. You're always the first to sing a silly song, to wrestle with Brooke, and to be goofy. Although these things are important, what really touches me the most is how you're there when things aren't fun. I've never had to take Brooke for blood work, shots, or doctor visits without you by my side. I've never stayed up all night with a sick baby on my own because you always insist on helping me. You always make sure that you pray with Brooke, discipline Brooke, and help me in cleaning up her messes. I am so blessed because we have always been a team in raising Brooke and you have always sacrificed so much to help me in the ways that you do.

Each day I think of how lucky I am to have you. There are times when I am frazzled and exhausted as a mommy, but you are my constant motivator, encourager, and best friend that gets me out of my "slump." One simple hug or kiss or an "I love you" melts my heart and lets me know that everything will be okay.

Seeing you as a father to our baby girl has deepened my admiration for you. What you have with her is so special and I am so excited to watch your relationship with her evolve in the coming years. I can't wait to fill our house with babies because I know that you will be the most amazing father to whatever child God chooses to bless us with.

Thanks for all you do. There's not other person on the face of the planet that I would chose to be my partner in this life. Happy Father's Day to a truly amazing daddy!

With all my love,


Saturday, June 14, 2008

I've Been Replaced

I know that my lost post was all about weaning but I still have more to say on the matter so bare with me!

For several weeks now I've noticed that every time Brooke gets hurt, flustered, or put into a new situation she asks for "juice" over and over again. For instance, I took her into the pool yesterday and she was really nervous to be in there for some reason and she kept demanding juice. I took her out (assuming she was thirsty) and she took a little sip of her cup of milk and then threw it on the floor. It hit me right then and there that this is what she has replaced nursing with. For some reason it's her escape or comfort when she doesn't know what else to do. All of this time I thought that I had one heck of a thirsty child.

I really feel kind of sad that she want "juice" now for comfort instead of her mommy. Here's my question... Does she think that I'm not available for her anymore? Or does she just chose to find that comfort elsewhere because she's getting bigger? I know that I can't nurse her forever and that it's normal for her to "move on" but this is really stirring up my mommy emotions. She'll be 16-months-old tomorrow and I'm so proud that I've gotten her this far, but it's still so hard for me to fathom that she's almost down nursing. I can't seem to get that through my head for some reason. This little girl has turned me into an emotional basket case!

Anyways, John's off tonight and tomorrow night so I'm going to go enjoy him now. Movie time! I love that man:-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Lot Less Nursing

I have faithfully stood by my idea of letting Brooke self-wean, assuming that one day she would "magically" not demand to nurse as much. There were times when I thought she would nurse until she was 12 but I kept reminding myself that when she was ready that she would let me know. I never wanted to pry her "security blanket" away from her and rock her world... I wanted it to be peaceful and natural.

Over the last couple of days, Brooke has completely cut out all of our nursing sessions, with the exceptions of the morning feeding. She even went without the morning feeding one day which didn't even seem normal to me. In a way her progress is cool because she's growing up and becoming more independent. However, it's also really, really sad for the same exact reasons.

I used to hear women say that their babies would ask for a hug instead of the breast and I never really knew what that meant until these recent days. Brooke now comes up to me and says "Up, please" and she is content to love me, hug me, and maybe even sit with me for a few minutes. Chipper (Dumb dog!!) knocked Brookie over today and she sat there screaming and it kind of sent a bittersweet dagger into my heart when she didn't ask to nurse in the midst of her fear. All she wanted was for me to hold her and reassure, through means other than the breast (juice, kisses, hugs, tickles). It was at that moment that I realized that we're hanging on to the intimate mother-daughter nursing relationship by a thread. We have very few moments of treasured nursing time a day and I can't even believe that we're at this point. Just yesterday I gave birth to her, it seems.

I will happily hold onto the morning session for as long as my girl wants to. It's not doing any harm and I love that that's the way we welcome the new day. I'm sure that the day where she refuses it is fastly approaching but for now, I'll enjoy every minute of it. We're trying to have baby #2 now and who knows what this morning session is doing to my cycles, but really, I just don't care. Brooke's needs trump my strong desire to have another baby, hands down.

So, with that being said, I'm going to go check on my big, independent, precious little girl and say a prayer of thanks for her. I can't not believe how very much I love her. It amazes me every day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Come On In, Welcome Home!

I'm giving you a tour of our new house today. I'm so proud of all of our decorative touches so I'm excited to show them off! Enjoy:-)


Some pictures of the family room:

The Bathrooms:

Brooke's Play Room:

The Big, EMPTY Living Room. I have big plans for this but these things takes time. For now, it's ugly. Dreams...

The Kitchen:

The perfect spot to display my dishes!!!

The Dining Room:

Upstairs: (I don't have Brooke's room though because I couldn't get a picture before she went to bed.)

The Office: (Where all my blogging magic happens! Lol)

Our Room:

Spare Room:


The back deck: (You can kinda see where the pool is)

Before we took the awful bushes out:

AFTER!!!! These are all perennial flowers so they will come back every year for us to enjoy. I can't wait for them all to bloom in the coming months. We have Orange Roses, Lillies (that will be bright pinks and oranges), Ladybells (that will be purple), Foxgloves, and Lindux. John built the retaining wall for them all by himself. I'm really proud of how it turned out!

Flowers Galore!!


Gernaiumns (Next to my Day Lillies)-

Dahlias and Impatients (I have some orange Dahlias in there that are just budding but you can't see it)-

Impatients, Hostas, Petunias-

I have all kinds of other pretty things surrounding my house like Phlox, Bleeding Hearts, Crysanthimums, Star Gazer Lillies, Forget-Me-Nots, Lillies of the Valley, Sweet Alyssums, more Roses, and even a Pear tree! I would be here all day if I showed them all to you, but this is just a glimpse.

So, this is home! I hope you like it as much as we do!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Story Of Chipper

On Sunday I was approached by a girl at church who's mom was giving away puppies. I have never, EVER desired to have a dog but John has been asking me if we could get one for ages. With John's love of dogs in the back of my mind I considered taking the girl up on her offer, just because it would make him SO happy. However, I found out that the puppies were a mix of Pit Bull/Rottweiler and I thought that breed of dogs would be WAY too aggressive with a small baby in the house.

The story would have come to an end if I didn't come home and tell my husband about what I almost did. WHY WAS I SUCH AN IDIOT????????????????? He got really excited about began searching the papers. I told him that I really didn't think it was a good idea because of how very much I hate dogs but he adamantly insisted that he wanted one.

Yesterday we drove out to this Amish farm that was selling puppies. There we met Chipper. He was in the cage with his brothers (the two remaining puppies that hadn't found homes yet) and while they were rambunctious and crazy, he was sitting in the shade, patiently waiting for his turn to be given attention. Brooke was staring at the dogs in amazement and cracking up so she was instantly hooked. As soon as the Amish people let the dogs out of the cage Chipper came and sat at John's feet. I sat there talking to the Amish lady about her house, farm, fields, and way of life (which was VERY cool because I'm so intrigued with the Amish people). That was the only thing that made the trip worth while in my eyes.. NOT Chipper. We ended up deciding that we needed to talk the decision over and that we would give them a call later. We then left and went on our merry way. Chipper tried to follow us out to the car, which really tugged at John's heartstrings.

We stopped for lunch, not far from the Amish people's house, and John begged and pleaded with me to get that stupid dog. I said that I didn't want a dog because they are just an unnecessary, SMELLY hassle. He kind of put me on a guilt trip by saying that it was wrong of me to let him see the puppies if he couldn't get one. In a moment of weakness and stupidity, I told him he could get the dumb dog.

So, that's how this whole outlandish dog thing came about. Brooke's obsessed with him and she calls him "Chippa." The dogs is doing really well with potty training (we've only had one accident) and he didn't wake us up early or anything this morning. While I really don't like him (because I'm just NOT a dog person), it is reassuring to know that he'll be here in the middle of the night when I'm home all alone. That's the one perk of having this smelly creature that I'm dwelling on. I have to or I'll go insane.

I really think that having this dog is like having a baby. He has to be watched, given attention, and fed. I feel like we've extended so much energy into this little fur ball and the thought of having him for the next 10+ years kind of kills me. Oh my...

In fairness to Chipper, I will say that he's very pretty. Pictures will come soon!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Glutton For Punishment

This is going to be VERY short because it's late and I'm tired.

I, Jillian, the biggest dog-hater in the history of the universe, am now the not-so-proud owner of a 10-week-old chocolate lab named Chipper (after my husband's favorite baseball player). I was weak and gave in to John and Brooke and I'm still dumbfounded. Lol! More details tomorrow....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hotter Than Heck

Holy Toledo! The song, "It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes" is speaking to me very literally right about now. I think I just might! Lol! It's 94 degrees here. Seriously, I've never been so hot in my entire life... And I've lived in Texas where it stays in the upper 90's for the entire summer. The wonderful thing about Texas though is that everywhere you go there's central air conditioning and it's not as humid there. In grand 'ol upstate New York, central AC is a rare commodity and it's more humid here than you can imagine.

Our last little house had central air and it was only 900 square feet so it stayed nice and cold in there for minimal cost. This big house, however, does NOT have air conditioning. We have units in our rooms and that helps us sleep in peace, but our downstairs is an inferno. Luckily, my father-in-law and an electrician that we know from church are installing our AC unit downstairs right now so relief is on the way. At this point I don't care if costs me everything to have, all I want is to be cool!

I'm super bummed because we were supposed to have our pool opened up by the end of the day but the pump that keeps the water filtered and cleaned is BROKEN:-( My father-in-law is going to try to see if it's salvageable but if not we have to spend $300 on a new one. It's ALWAYS something with us. Why can't things just work out perfectly???????? I so wanted to go swimming tonight.

So, I guess that's all for now. I'm too hot to compose productive thoughts. I think my brain is FRIED, just like the rest of my body.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

To Brooke

Dear Brooke,

Exactly two years ago from today I found out that you were growing inside of me. I could have screamed because I was so overwhelmed with joy and extreme love for you. I think that that day was one of the happiest days of my life!

From that day on until you were born, I thought endlessly about little booties, receiving blankets, burp cloths (never knowing just HOW much I would need them after you arrived!), precious little baby clothes, diapers, and baby shampoo. All of those little novelties of having you seemed like so much fun to me! I would go in the room that eventually became your nursery and dream up what it would look like when daddy and I finished making it perfect for you. If you were a boy, daddy was going to put police cars in it. I'm happy you were a girl though:-)

As I look back on that day, I laugh at my naivety. I knew that you would be a lot of work, but I guess I never really knew just how MUCH work. I knew that there would be long nights, early mornings, sickness, and grumpiness, but the joy of being pregnant with you clouded my ability to really think about all of the sacrifice you would require. I knew that I wanted to be a great mom... the best mom ever, but I didn't know exactly what that meant.

Today, I am WELL aware of all of the work that you entail. Last night you were up, tossing and turning, between 11 and 2. I think your ear was hurting you and you kept whimpering. I just wanted to cry right along with you because you were pretty pitiful. I thought back to when you were in my belly and how warm, cozy, unharmed, and comfortable you must have been. I wanted so badly to be able to restore that "perfect place" for you again. I held you tightly and sang to you and prayed for you. I hope that my arms are the place where you feel the safest.

So, baby girl, I have decided that no matter how sick or grumpy you are that you are still the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. Two years ago from today, our journey as mother and daughter was at it's inception, and now, we've covered a lot of ground together. You have taught me so much and I have loved nothing more than being your mama.

June 5Th will always be a special day of remembrance for me because it's a day that changed my world forever! I'm so happy that that baby that was in my belly was YOU and that you were made just the way that God wanted you. There's nobody like you, Brookie Girl!

I love you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

She's "Broke!"

Brooke woke up last night at around 12:30 with a 104 degree fever. She was screaming hysterically until around 2. John and I almost took her to the hospital because she was shaking so bad and it really freaked us out. Luckily she settled down with some of her daddy's magical singing and slept until about 5:30.

She woke up this morning with a 104 degree fever again:-( So, we scheduled a doctor's appointment. The appointment was a drag because her doctor (who is WONDERFUL with her) was out of town. Brookie had to see this Chinese lady who could barely speak any English and kept calling her "Broke," despite me correcting her. Lol! Anyways, the doctor took one look in Brooke's ear and said, "Oh my Gosh!" It kind of freaked me out because I couldn't imagine what was in there... Perhaps an elephant or something? She said that her ear was pussing and bulging and that it was severely infected. Poor Broke!!! I feel so sad knowing that my baby girl is in that much pain. She's on antibiotic now and I'm really hoping that tomorrow she shows marked improvement. It's been a VERY long day and I'm completely wiped out.

All day today I've been asking Brooke if she's broke. She laughs hysterically and says "Broke, broke!" Despite Brooke's horrible mood, it's nice that silly Chinese doctor supplied us with some comedic relief!

I've been having such a hard time getting Brooke to eat or drink anything. I've tried all manner of juices, Popsicles, yogurt, bananas, milk, and water and she has little to no interest. I really fear that she'll get dehydrated because she doesn't even want to nurse. Usually nursing is a fix-all and today she has no desire to breastfeed. That's just a little bit sad, if you ask me.

John had to leave for work tonight at 6:30 and really, I thought I was going to die when he left. Patty graciously came over here to spend some time with me and to help me, which was a lifesaver, but it's only 7:30 now and I don't have the slightest clue what I'll do for the rest of the night. It's very, very lonely in this big old house without my husband's company:-( I hate it but John's just trying to make money for us and be the wonderful provider that he is.

Well, I guess I'll go try to catch up on my housework, despite my exhaustion. Life still has to go on, right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beaten Up By Motherhood

Today has been a VERY rough day. Brooke woke up much earlier than usual with a low grade temperature, a runny nose and a cough. She's been miserable all day long and at some points she has been inconsolable. From 11-12 she screamed hysterically and nothing I did would make her stop. NOTHING. She didn't even want to nurse or anything. I almost got in the car and drove her to the doctor because I thought something horrible was going on with her. It didn't come to that because I ended up putting her to sleep. Her nap only lasted for about half a hour but that was at least a little bit of a break for me.

The fussing, clinging, screaming, and grumpiness continued for the whole entire day. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't nurse, and she would hardly drink anything. John was really no help because she only wanted ME. She wouldn't go to him at all and she freaked out every time I put her down. I had a nasty headache for much of the day and I'll admit that her being so extra needy didn't help that too much.

At around 7:30 tonight Brooke was begging to go to bed and she kept saying that she was sleepy. I put her in her crib and she completely flipped out on me. This process went on over and over again so I just ended up getting her out. She came downstairs and laid with me and she kept taking her head and smashing it into my mouth. This happened twice and it REALLY hurt but I thought that it was an accident. She did it 3more times in a row so now I have a cut in my lip from my teeth. At that point I had had it. I was at my wits end from the long, exhausting, frustrating day that we had had and I broke down. John picked Brooke up and put her in bed and of course she went right down for him.

I love my baby more than anything in the universe. Her pain is my pain and it breaks my heart when she's not feeling well. Even after a day like this, there is nothing more wonderful than being her mommy. However, at times like this I wonder what the heck I'm doing. I feel so inadequate, so run-down, so lost. I try so hard (harder than you can imagine) to best mom that I can possibly be and when I end my day crying in frustration and mental exhaustion I feel bad. Being a mom is my calling and if I can't do that right then what CAN I do?

I hope and pray that tomorrow is another day. I think that she just has a touch of a cold because John just got over one. John goes back to work tomorrow night and he's going in 4 hours early, which will be at 7. He's doing the same thing on Thursday and I seriously don't know what I'll do if Brooke is as miserable on those nights as she was today. One step at a time, right?

Okay, it's time to relax now. I'm going to go enjoy my husband while I can! Enough baby talk for one night!

Monday, June 2, 2008


I was reading in my baby magazine today that Brooke should have a vocabulary of 5-15 words. I found this laughable because she says so very many words now. Out of curiosity, I'm going to try to remember the words and/or phrases she knows and count them. Let's see...

All done
Aunt Sarah
Bless You
Booper (belly button)
Butter (She really means peanut butter)
Bye bye
Cool Dudes (What John told her to call sun glasses. She says "dude dudes.)
D (Our Last name)
Hi's (This means phone... Lol)
Ice Cream
Jeremy (A baby at church)
Madison (her middle name)
Muscles (Definitely a word her daddy taught her!)
Night night
Out Side
Paxton (A little girl in the church nursery. It sounds like she's saying "lotion.")
Pee Pee
Peek A Boo
Poo poo
Quack Quack
Read It
Thank You
Ugh oh!
Woof Woof (As in a dog)
Yes sir (From "I'm in the Lord's Army)

And the grand total is.... 118 words!! I didn't realize that she knew that many until I sat down to count. Holy cow! She's a little chatter box, my girl!

John's off tonight and tomorrow night. Josh and Vicki watched Brooke (and did a GREAT job with her) while John and I went for dinner and a movie tonight because John's working A LOT of overtime this week starting Wednesday. It's gonna be rough so we're just soaking up the next couple of days. I'm off to go do that!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Daddy's Girl

Brooke is a total daddy's girl. The night she was born she was LIVID and inconsolable (the doctor thinks that she must have had headache from being stuck for so long) until John took her and sang to her and rocked her. They were instant buddies from that moment on and it's so precious to be an observer of the two of them together.

It's so funny because John has always been a "manly" man but with Brooke (and me too!) he tolerates and aids her girly causes. He brushes her hair, puts pretend blush on her (a silly tradition that she and I started!) and he's always telling her how beautiful she is. He's so cute because he understands that Brooke needs lots of bows, shoes, pretty outfits, tights, and accessories and he even delights in shopping for those types of things with me. Whenever there's a holiday or a special occasion, he is the first person to mention that she needs a new dress for the affair! How sweet is that? He plays along so nicely:-)

John also loves to buy Brooke toys. When we wanted to get Brooke her first doll he was the one who took her to the store and looked tirelessly for the perfect baby doll and he got so much joy out of doing it. Out of all of the things that Brooke has in her large collection of toys, her favorite thing is still her book, Daddy's Girl, that she and her daddy try to read every day. She brings it to him and says, "Read it!" It's such a precious tradition they have!

John's not just fun and games though... He's a Godly leader and disciplinarian to Brooke. He is diligent to pray with Brooke and he's constantly telling her that Jesus loves her. It's evident that he's trying so hard to instill morals and values into our daughter, even though she's so young. He also is great at disciplining Brooke when she throws one of her famous tantrums. He does it with such love and he always seems to have the magic touch when it comes to getting her to listen.

What really sparked my thoughts to write this post was what happened in our house tonight... Brookie got a new table and chair set for her playroom (which was a belated birthday gift from her great aunt and uncle). When John woke up he went to the cupboard and got some pretzels and juice, set Brooke in one chair and himself in the other and together they had her first "tea party," as he called it. He now wants to go buy her her first tea set so they can have real tea parties. Lol!

As I watched the two of them together, I felt so blessed, so lucky, so satisfied. To me, watching the man I love more than anything or anyone in the universe as an amazing daddy to our little girl is simply priceless. I have loved John so deeply for so long, but seeing him as the incredible father that he is causes me to fall head-over-heals in love with him over and over again every day. He's amazing!

(This isn't a great picture but this is the one and only picture I got of Brooke's first tea party.)

I hope the two of them will always be this close. I hope their silly songs, hours of laughter, snuggles, kisses and hugs never come to an end... Even when she gets old enough to realize that he's not so cool anymore. I'm still a daddy's girl through and through and I want them to be like that forever. Something tells me that they will be:-)