Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

John and Brooke are really precious together. I know that I have said this a million times over and over again, but it never gets old watching my husband be such an attentive and caring daddy to our little girl. As she grows older, their bond becomes even more apparent, which causes me to be eager for the years ahead. It's amazing to me because John has this influence on her that nobody else has... Not even me. Brooke very rarely gives John a hard time or is disobedient towards him (though trust me, there are moments) and she obviously respects him an awful lot.

John's happy to have a tea party with Brooke or to play with dolls, but he and Brooke also wrestle and play all sorts of crazy things together. I love watching them play because he does things with her that I would never dream of doing! No matter what the two of them are up to, however, they always end the day with snuggle time and then John puts her down to bed. I love when John gets home from work because he totally takes the lead with Brooke and I get a bit of a break!

Each night before Brooke goes to bed she and John read a special book called, I'd Be Your Princess.

For those of you out there with little princesses, I totally recommend this book. It's all about a little girl being her daddy's princess, but it also talks about having noble character and inner beauty. The pictures are gorgeous and Brooke LOVES it so much. In fact, sometimes I think that we read that book a million times a day! She would much rather her daddy read it to her but while he's at work, she'll settle for me!

I had such a great daddy growing up... He was affectionate, generous, attentive, goofy, yet firm when I needed him to be, and I always knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he loved me. He still plays a major role in my life and his influence on me is apparent. I love seeing this same pattern being repeated in my own household because I know that girls who have good relationships with their fathers are shown to have higher self-esteem (among many other things). I don't know how single moms do it!

I'm thankful for my little family and I am SO excited to see John with the next princess, as well as any other babies that are in our future. Life is so, so wonderful, especially when you take a few minutes to look at how amazing things really are.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

True Confessions of Motherhood

I have some thoughts that I would like to get out of me so bare with me. I feel it necessary to preface this entire post with this... I love being a stay-at-home-mom and I enjoy caring for my daughter. In fact, I love my baby so much that even if I HATED being home, I would still stay chose to "only" be a homemaker because I feel like it is absolutely vital to her upbringing.

With all that being said, I have been silently struggling lately. I struggle with filling my time and with not knowing what to do with myself while John's at work. For most of Brooke's life I have tried to stay out of the house as much as possible... Meeting my mom for lunch, going shopping with my sister, running errands, etc.. Those things are harmless, in my eyes, but when they are done in excess they are extremely exhausting for both Brooke and me. I keep telling myself that I need to be home more and I always, always say that I'll work on that, but taking the next step and actually doing that has been really hard for me. I love staying home and reading books, playing with blocks, and pushing baby dolls around in strollers, but can I really do that for 50 hours a week? I'm not sure...

My mom stayed home with my two siblings and me, which makes her a great resource for me in this area. I spilled my heart to her today and she said that I need to take being a stay-at-home-mom one day at a time. I can't look at it like I have 50 hours a week or X number of years at home... I have to look at today and today only. She also said that I just need to build a life for myself at home and be completely happy with it. She suggested that I find a hobby around the house or that I do more baking. Lastly, she told me to keep a couple of days a week as my "out days." For instance, I cook dinner for our church on Wednesday nights so she suggested that I go shopping for that one day and to make an outing to look forward to each week. Her advice really meant a lot to me and I think that I'll start really work on being in the house A LOT more.

Perhaps my frustrations lie in the fact that it's freezing here so there is virtually nothing to do? Something tells me that when I can spend my days at the park, in our pool, or walking the neighborhood that I'll start to feel a lot better about things and that the days will fly. I'm sure hoping that's the case, anyways!

I would also say that many of these feelings are probably related to Adrienne's coming arrival, as well. I am thrilled about her being a part of our family, but I also have to wonder how this already-messed-up routine will do when we welcome her into our lives. I know in my heart of hearts that it will all work out okay and as soon as she's born I won't be able to imagine life without her in it. However, I think that the anticipation and questioning are all normal when life is about to change drastically.

So, if you're reading this and you know me in real life, I ask that you don't allow this to taint your view of me as a mother. I'm kind of in a transitional, emotional phase of my life right now (hence the growing belly!), but it does not take from the joy I have in raising my daughter or being a mother. I just felt like I needed to be opened and honest, without skirting around what was really on my mind!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I NEED Spring!

Right now I'm going stir crazy in this house. I usually feel this way in March and April when I know that Spring is fast approaching, but today is only February 20Th. I'm in trouble! The last couple of weeks have provided some Spring-like temperatures in the upper 50's and there has also been lots of sunshine, which is rare for upstate New York. However, it snowed about 4 inches or so on Wednesday night, leaving the ground snow-covered once again. I almost wish the nice weather had never come because now I'm just angry that it left so soon.

I want to go outside for long walks. I want to take Brooke to the park. I want to sleep with my windows wide open. I want to turn off this expensive heat. I want to hear birds chirping, especially when I wake up in the morning. I want to wear short sleeves. I want to see our perennial flowers come back to life. I want to put Brooke in all of her beautiful sun dresses and Capri pants. I want to be able to get in my car without having to warm it up. I want to replace the sound of snow blowers running with the sound of lawns being mowed. I want crisp, clean rain showers and thunderstorms. I want to go to the ice cream store. I want to grill all manner of food on the grill without freezing my butt off. I want to set up our patio furniture once again. I want all of these things so badly but I feel like Spring is light years away. AHHHH!

Every year I tell myself that I'm going to make "peace" with winter and just enjoy my life, regardless of weather, but I'm here to say that this crappy New York weather is NOT for me. I don't know many people who were made for these depressing, long winters of being couped up in the house.

So, everyone do me a favor and "think Spring." Maybe we can all think it into fruition together?? Somehow I doubt that but it's worth a shot!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Closure, At Last

I had my 25-week doctor visit today and I got some of my biggest fears about my C-Section completely RESOLVED!!! I feel like a new woman and like a tremendous weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Here's what I'm so excited about:

1. I had an adverse reaction to the staples that they used on my incision with my last C-Section. My skin is so sensitive as it is and the staples caused the incision to be weepy and bloody. It was also REALLY painful to move at all until they were out. I asked my doctor about what they could do differently this time and as it turns out, my doctor doesn't even use staples anymore!!!!!!! Yay! So I don't have to worry about this anymore, which was a huge concern that I had. Instead he'll be using stitches that dissolve and glue. Much better!

2. This one is the biggest deal in the world to me... Adrienne will NOT leave the operating room until she leaves with me to go into the recovery room. YAY!!! I could have cried when I realized that this was a possibility. Brooke was taken away from me because she had swallowed maconium, but also because I had been in labor for so, so long they wanted to check her for any signs of distress. The doctor said that in planned C-Sections babies don't generally leave their mommies unless something goes drastically wrong. Even if the baby swallows maconium this time, they should be able to do everything right in the operating room. Knowing that Adrienne won't be in the next room screaming without me even seeing her and that my whole family won't get to enjoy her while I'm on the operating table is amazing news to me. It's going to be SO different this time!

3. The doctor said that the baby is definitely still breach. As I have previously said, I kind of hope that she stays breach so that I will know for sure that I could NOT have delivered naturally. He said there's a decent chance she'll move but I jokingly told him to appease me and tell and tell me she's breach even if she's not. Lol! It sounds weird but I seriously hope she stays put. We'll see in the weeks ahead.

I have to admit, for the first time, I am EXCITED about this birth. I have always wanted the baby but the delivery has been such a dark cloud over me that I have failed to enjoy the process. Now that my facts are in order and I'm prepared, I am really not dreading this repeat C-Section as much as I have in the past. I knew I would come around one day and today is the day! Thank you, God!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brooke's Two-Year Check-Up

Brookie had her big two-year doctor appointment today and everything went very well! She weighs in at 24 pounds and 14 ounces and she is 34 inches long. She got so big! The doctor said that her weight is very, very healthy, though it is towards the lower end of the acceptable weight for her height. So, as of right now she is tall and skinny. He was extremely impressed by her verbal skills and he said that her development far exceeded his expectations.... Which is just what every mother likes to hear:-)

Brooke had to have the standard two-year-old blood work done today plus one shot that she wasn't caught up on:-( The shot didn't bother me but I had REALLY been dreading the blood work because it just brings back all of the memories from when we thought Brooke was so sick. They only needed the blood to test for lead poisoning so I asked the doctor if they could just do a finger prick. He agreed that Brooke had had a lot of blood work and that it would be nice to cut her some slack. When I got down to the lab, however, they informed me that they DON'T do finger pricks because it takes three minutes of squeezing the finger to get enough blood for lead testing. I was crushed. Anyways, thankfully Patty (John's mom) went with me so I wouldn't have to be strong on my own and between the two of us and the two phlebotomists, it really wasn't that bad. Brooke did GREAT and only cried for a second because her arm was being held. Immediately after she was done, she was completely happy and all she wanted to was play in the Elmo chair that they had. I got all worked up over virtually nothing, as usual.

In other news, we ordered Brooke's big girl furniture yesterday. YAY! It will be here in 20-30 days because they had to special order it for us. All we have to do is paint and get organized now. I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!

Alrighty, I'm off to get some rest while the princess rests. I'm expecting a good nap out of her after the shot. We'll see...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brookie!

To my dearest Brookie,

I cannot believe that you are turning two today! It seems like just yesterday that we met for the first time and here you are turning into a little girl before my eyes. Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from growing up so quickly but at the same time, I'm eager and excited for you to grow because with each new stage of your life, I find something new about you to cherish.

Now that you are getting so big, I'm starting to see your personality shine through more and more each day. I have well discovered your likes and dislikes, how you react in new situations, what scares you, what excites you... Among many other things. Sometimes I think that you are exactly like your daddy... reserved, thoughtful, persistent... But then sometimes, I see little pieces of my personality in you. You are so special and God has made you uniquely Brooke! There's nobody just like you. I honestly cannot wait for the years ahead of us because I know that as you grow into God has intended for you to become then I will only find a million more things to admire about you.

I spend most of my days either staring at you in amazement or laughing hysterically at your silly ways. We have so much fun during our times together and I don't think two minutes go by that I don't feel blessed and honored to be your mommy! Thank you for always brightening my days. You will never know how much joy you give me!

In a few months, baby, things are going to change a whole lot. We are going to welcome Adrienne into our family and at first it might be a big adjustment for you (and mommy, too!), but I promise you that my heart will always be big enough for you, no matter how many brothers or sisters God gives you. You will always be my princess and my love for you will never, ever change... It will just continue to grow even more and more!

I hope you know today, on your second birthday, how much I adore you and how much you mean to our family. Daddy and I could not have a picked a more special little girl to live in our home!

I love you with all of my heart!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Brookie's Party

As I mentioned yesterday, we had Brooke's party with our family tonight. Everything turned out perfectly and it was an overall nice time! All I really had to do was make pulled pork (which is really easy), clean, clean, clean, and decorate because my parents brought the ice cream and all of the drinks, John's mom brought the macaroni and cheese, and John's aunt made the cake. Thank you God for family!

Brooke got tons of nice things... She got basically everything she will need for her big girl bed- her comforter set (YAY!!!!), two pillows, a mattress pad, and the side rail to stop her from falling out. She also got a cute outfit for the Spring from Gymboree (my favorite place!), two dollies, LOTS of pennies to put in her bank (which is her favorite past time these days), a couple of other toys, and the most amazing Radio Flyer trike ever. On top of that, John's aunt and uncle are in the process of building her a bookshelf for her toy room, but it wasn't quite finished today. She has so many people that love her and that go out of their way to make her feel special!

I was broken hearted because I had charged our camera batteries all day and for some odd reason they didn't charge much at all... Leaving me camera-less:-( Luckily, John has this fancy phone with a really good camera on it so he was able to take some good pictures. It's still not the same though. Oh well... I can't dwell on that because I'll get too sad if I do!

It's been a LONG day getting ready for this party so I'm going to go cuddle up next to my man and get some rest!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wake-Up Call

This morning Brooke woke up early again (around 7) to be a "snuggle buggle." I suppose there are worse things! Anyways, we got all warm and cozy and drifted off to sleep until a little before 9. I woke up to her kissing my lips repeatedly and saying, "I love you mommy. Get up!" It was precious! I was awake because I have my mommy alarm that wakes me any time she gets up, but I was pretending to be out of it still. I kept moving my face and every time that I did Brooke would pull it back towards her so she could kiss me some more. Finally I opened my eyes real wide and said, "Good morning, Brookie!" She was VERY excited and said, "Come on, mommy, make me pancakes. Get dressed!" It was hilarious and absolutely adorable:-)

Tomorrow we're having Brooke's party for all of our family! Her birthday isn't actually until Sunday but Sundays are so crazy with my dad being a pastor and all, so we're celebrating with all of our extended relatives early. We were going to do it Saturday, but that wouldn't work because 1) it's my sister-in-law's birthday and 2) it's Valentine's day... Not a good combination! Tomorrow night there will probably be about 25 people at our house and we're having pulled pork, homemade macaroni and cheese (because it's B's favorite!), and some sort of vegetable. John's aunt made Brooke a Curious George cake (which was requested by the birthday girl) and I made her the ceremonial petite fours that I made for her last year. It's a tradition that I'm determined to keep up with through the years! It should be a nice little party for my girl! After church on Sunday we're all going to go for pizza (another one of Brooke's favorite foods) together. My parents and siblings, along with John's parents and siblings all go to our church so it will be easy to all get together.

When John gets home from work we're going to run out and get all of the things we'll need for the party tomorrow. I know that I will feel MUCH better when things are actually bought. I'm such a procrastinator and party-planning is not my forte!

Alrighty, off to get supper ready...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It Won't Be Like This for Long

I heard this song on the radio today and like any good song, it made me cry! It's really a great reminder of how quickly our kid's grow up. It touched me so much so I thought I would share it. Enjoy!

It Won't Be Like This For Long:

He didnt have to wake up
He'd been up all nite
Lay'n there in bed listen'n
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It gonna be OK

It wont be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laugh'n
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It wont be like this for long

Four years later bout four thirty
She's crawling in there bed
And when he drops her off at preschool
She's clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says what can I do
She says now dont you worry
This will only last a week or two

It wont be like this for long
One day soon we'll drop her off
And she wont even know your gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It wont be like this for long

One day soon she'll be a teenager
And at times you'll think she hates him
Then he'll walk her down the isle
And he'll raise her vale
But right now she up and cry'n
And the truth is that he dont mind
As he kisses her good night
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
Till her eyes are finally closed
And just watch'n her it breaks his heart
Cause he already knows
It wont be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
He's try'n to hold on
It wont be like this for long
It wont be like this for long

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snuggle Buggle

John and Brooke have the most precious tradition every night after she gets out of her bath... Brooke runs over to the couch and requests that daddy be a "snuggle buggle." What time means in layman's terms is that they lay under the blankets on the couch until bedtime. It's by far my favorite time of the day because the two of them spend that time laughing hysterically and then resting on the couch. It's precious to watch! They're also so wrapped up in each other that I get to watch Jeopardy. Fun times!

The whole "snuggle buggle" bit is adorable, don't get me wrong, but last night when John told Brooke it was bedtime she freaked out and said, "I stay HERE and snuggle with daddy." Lol! After a minute or two Brooke happily trudged up the stairs with her daddy so they could read her bedtime story. It was also not quite so cute this morning at 6:30 when John was getting ready for work... Brooke woke up VERY early asking to "snuggle buggle" with mommy. I love my girl and I love to snuggle but this morning she was very adamant about how we were to snuggle and what ways I could and could not hold her. We woke up for the day at 8:30 but those two hours were the most restless hours of sleep that I've ever had. I hope that tomorrow morning she sleeps much later in her crib!

John and Brooke have many, many little traditions that they share together... Certain stories, Sunday morning pancakes, special songs, and on and on and on I could go. I sometimes wonder how another little girl will fit in with that mix. Will Adrienne and daddy have their very own traditions or will she just join in on the fun that John and Brooke are already having? I'm not worried about this aspect, but sometimes I wonder how much or how little this baby's arrival will change how things run around here. It should definitely be fun to see!

Okay, I'm off to do some work around the house while the princess sleeps. What else is new??

Monday, February 9, 2009

Three Day Weekend!

I have been absent from my blog over the past couple of days because John took a much-needed three day weekend! We have been really busy but truly enjoying spending time together as a family. The days pass so quickly when he's off, unfortunately.

Remember how I was just frantic over all of the preparations for Adrienne? Well, on Friday night John surprised me and took me to pick out the bedding I have been wanting for the nursery!!!!!!! So now baby girl has brand new bedding and she doesn't have to take Brooke's "sloppy seconds." Lol! I'm SO EXCITED to get Brookie into her big girl room now and am eager to start working on both rooms. It sounds silly, but just that little boost of encouragement that I got from the bedding being purchased has me so motivated to get moving on these projects!

Another thing that has me very excited right now is my new hair straightener! I have been wanting a CHI straightener for ages now because they are salon quality so they work so much better than the cheapies. Sam's Club had them for $100, which is cheap for a CHI, but I never thought that I would actually spend that much money on myself. Long story short, John wanted to do something nice for me and let me splurge a little so he took me and bought it for me!!! Let me just say, my hair has never been more shiny, soft, or manageable than it has been since buying the CHI. I have straight hair as it is, but this just smooths it out completely and it can fix the worst of hair days in just seconds. So long to my old hair straightener! Oh, and more important than a hair straightener, I have the most thoughtful and considerate husband that any woman could ask for:-) He's SO good to me!

Brooke has been really, really precious and well behaved over the last couple of days. We've had virtually NO problems (knock on wood) and it's just been a lot of fun playing with her. She has been completely glued to John's hip, though, so I'm kind of anxious about what she'll do when he's gone tomorrow. That girl is a daddy's girl through and through.

Alrighty, I'm going to get ready for The Bachelor. This week's episode looks phenomenal! I can't wait!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Oh My Goodness... I'm Having a BABY.

I have known for 23 weeks now that I have a little baby on the way, but over the last couple of days it has really hit me. I'm excited and thrilled to welcome this addition, but with that also comes fears... Fears of delivery, fears of whether or not she'll have reflux, whether she'll sleep great like Brooke or not, how Brooke will adjust, how I'LL adjust, how my marriage will adjust, etc, etc, etc.... It's such a wonderful thing to be looking forward to but it's also just a tad bit scary. I think a huge part of my sudden realization that Adrienne will really be here (in 15 weeks and 4 days, to be exact) is that I'm not sleeping well and I sometimes lay awake feeling her kick and thinking about her. It will be a big life change but an amazing one:-)

It has also occurred to me that I have work to do! I looked through Brooke's 0-3 month clothes and found only 2 or 3 outfits that will be suitable for Adrienne. Brooke was a February baby so all of her 0-3 month outfits, especially her newborn outfits, were 95% winter clothes. She turned 3 months in May of that year (which is when her sister will be born) so all of our summer clothes are 3-6 months. YIKES! That was a sad realization that I made. Sure, there are a couple of sweet little dresses that Brooke wore in the spring but there are definitely NOT enough clothes to keep another little princess adequately clothed. I guess it's time to do some shopping! What a shame:-)

I'm also freaking out because even though we have little girl bedding for Brooke's crib, 1) the sheets are ripping in the corners from excessive use, 2) the bumper is coming apart, and 3) the quilt has throw-up stains from Brooke's sickness that I can't get out (despite MUCH effort). I was going to just work with this bedding and try to salvage it but I found a beautiful set at Target on clearance for $75 and I think that I have John talked into the idea. We're going to see it tonight. Wish me luck! I just want Adrienne's room to be perfect and deserving of her.

I also have to get Brooke's big girl room ready to go so she can adjust to it before the baby is born. That means getting the furniture here instead of just talking about it, painting her room, organizing things, etc... HOLY COW! I could get stressed out if I thought about all of this for too long.

I realize that when Adrienne's born all of this hard work and planning will pay off, but right now I'm slightly overwhelmed. Thankfully I still have a little over 3 months to get my butt in gear to prepare for her arrival!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Bug that WON'T Go Away

Wow, it's been a long recovery from this nasty stomach bug we've all had. John and I haven't thrown up since Monday (and Brooke since Sunday) but we've all felt off. It's horrible! We've had that queasy feeling in our stomachs, major exhaustion, and small appetites. At this very moment I'm still not even 100 percent. What gives???

I know that these thoughts are irrational, but when I'm sick I always seem to have a lapse in confidence as a mother. I think to myself... "I'm a horrible mom. I'm so sick that I can't care for my baby." Or right now, I'm thinking to myself, "How the heck am I EVER going to take care of two girls????" I'm totally fine when my baby is sick and I thrive on caring for her, but when I'm sick, it really bothers me! Right now there is a fairly messy house and some unfolded laundry and I'm completely overwhelmed. I wish that I was the kind of person that could just let these types of things slide and not let them get to me.

The more and more I think about being sick and depending on others to help me, I'm reminded of my impending C-Section. I have just had a silly stomach bug and I'm falling apart over the condition of my house. How the heck will I do it when I'm in the hospital for 4 days and then come home to a long recovery????? I'm learning that asking for help is sometimes okay but right now I'm really fearful of how I'll manage during the first couple of weeks following Adrienne's birth. Just typical Jillian fears, I realize... God is bigger though!

Wow, I could be doing so much right now around the house but I thought that taking a few minutes to catch up on my blog would be therapeutic! Off to clean...

Monday, February 2, 2009


This is going to be short and sweet because I feel like crap, but I thought I would take a minute to update my blog. John and I went out of town on Friday night and we had an amazing time. When we got back, however, the fun started... Brooke was up ALL night Saturday night throwing up. I caught the lovely bug Sunday night into today and John just started throwing up a couple of hours ago. Needless to say, I'm ready for my family to be back to normal again! Sometimes it feels like we'll ALWAYS be sick but I know that's the bug talking here.

I'm off to get some rest now...