Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Can I get a little help peas?

We're all sick. All 3 of us. We've become a pitiful a-choo-ing, kleenex using, medicine taking, sleep loving, pajama bumming family. You know when you were a kid and you got sick and all you wanted was for your mom to take care of you? Well, I guess that now I'm the mom. As hard as it can be to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of a sick baby when I feel bad too, it is honestly wonderful to be broken of selfishness and be filled with abundant love for your child. Yes, I wish we could all sleep all night long, but if I have to get up out of my bed, at least it is to rock and care for a beautiful baby who looks to me to take care of her.

Of course, there are moments when I'm exhausted. Like around 10 pm last night. I just wanted to get a quick snack and go to bed. I reached into the freezer for a treat, but unexpectedly knocked over a bag of not-so-well sealed frozen peas.....

Ugh. This picture doesn't do the huge mess justice. It was one of those moments where you can choose to cry because you are sick and tired and hungry and just want to go to bed. Or you can laugh about the fact that there are 500 frozen peas rolling around your kitchen floor. I decided to laugh and grab the broom. And the camera. I figure there are much worse messes you could end up cleaning up when your family is sick. A few hundred peas don't seem so bad when you put it into perspective.

We have had lots of friends offer to help if we needed anything. We appreciate your offers so much! Thank you sooooo much to everyone who has prayed for Eva and our family. And thanks to my mom who still loves me so much that she came out and helped out on Saturday. I guess she loves me as much as I love Eva. And I've already made a Walmart trip so we have plenty of food and kleenex and medicine so we're good for a few days. Plus I have a helpful husband who has done his fair share of baby cuddling. What else has our family been doing while we're all home sick?

Giving our baby a beard of bubbles. Every night we're steaming up the bathroom and giving her an bubble bath with special soap that helps with congestion. This is the highlight of Eva's day. She loves the steamy bathroom because it helps her to breathe and she loves the bubbles. The other night she was playing in the bubbles and rubbed some on her face so Ryan helped her to make a complete beard.

Look at Eva holding her own bottle! When she's coughing a lot and can't breathe it's much easier for her to take a bottle than to nurse and last night she held it all by herself! Proud mama.

I know this seems like a lot of pictures for a whole week of nothing, but I wanted to capture the sweet moments, like her watching me make oatmeal this morning, so that when I look back at the first time she was sick I can remember what made my heart smile. And now, I'm ready for all of us to be healthy :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sick Baby

You can't tell by looking at this picture, but our little girl is sick. I got lucky and caught the one smile I've seen today on camera with the help of her daddy - they say laughter is the best medicine. She started coughing late yesterday afternoon but we figured it was just the weather. It was much worse when she woke up this morning. Worse as in our sweet baby sounded like she had the smoker's cough of an 80 year old woman. She didn't want to play, she just wanted to be held. She also had the saddest continual cry. It made me think about how I feel when I'm sick in bed with the flu. I called the pediatrician who said to bring her on in. Eva tested positive for RSV.

I know that all kids get sick but it's so sad when it's your baby and it's the first time. I know she will get better. I guess all I can do is make her comfortable and give her a big dose of love. So for the next couple of days we are staying home so that we don't infect other babies since RSV is super contagious.

On a side note, Eva is 20 weeks old today! 20 weeks ago I was in labor.... 20 weeks before that was the exact day we found out she was a girl... 20 weeks before that was the first day of my pregnancy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Date Night? Yes, please.

Saturday night I got a chance to go out on the town with my handsome hunk. Before going out I had to find something to wear. You know, an outfit that wouldn't make me look like an ex-2nd grade teacher or pastor's wife or stay at home mom. Not an easy task. I didn't want to wear anything inappropriate, just a fun going out ensemble. I managed to put together something that would make me look almost as good as Ryan.

We were super appreciative of Ryan's parents who came out to babysit Eva. Since I'm with her all day, every day I get mixed emotions about leaving her. On the one hand I'm ready for a grown up break, on the other hand it breaks my heart to leave her. I know she will be happy and well taken care of but it's still hard. One thing that made it easier is that she is finally taking a bottle again after a 2 month bottle strike. We figured out that she wants it to be very warm or it's not happening.

Back to the night out... Marianne is famous for picking new interesting places to go eat on her birthday. I'm sure one day we'll all fly to Italy to celebrate it! (Just give us a few years to save up, Mares) We went to this Italian Market/Deli/Restaurant in Flower Mound. They sell fresh meat, cheese and vegetables there so we hoped the food would be good. It was. I got pizza made with delicious fresh mozzarella. Out waiter was a real Italian chef who enjoyed socializing with us. If I had to leave my baby, I'm glad it was for such a fun night. Happy Birthday, Marianne!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

11 Randoms


I was tagged in this post from Kati, and I finally have a few moments to sit and write a little bit about myself. From the picture above, you now know one fun thing about me.... I've been snorkeling! I sometimes get mixed up and say I've been scuba diving, so if you ever hear me say that, feel free to correct me. On to the questions....

1. What is your favorite thing to search for on Pinterest?
Apparently Pinterest is quite popular. So popular that I have been placed on the waiting list to get an account. Either that or they don't think I'm cool enough. I hope to use it to look up recipes, home decor, craft and baby ideas. IF I get off the list :)
2. Have you ever been outside the country you currently live in? Where?
I've been to Canada twice - once to Toronto for my Uncle's wedding when I was 10 years old and then once to Vancouver for vacation 2 summers ago. I spent a day in London on my way to a one month mission trip in Kenya.
3. If you could speak a second language fluently, what would it be?
Spanish. When I was teaching I definitely could have used that skill.
4. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
DOG! I love my Boston Terrier, Cosby. If we had a house I'd consider getting another dog to be his friend. I am highly allergic to cats. If I had a cat I'd probably die.
5. What type of house is your favorite? (Colonial, Ranch, Tudor, etc.)
Haha, this question made me think of picking a house card in the game of Life. But I'd have to say my favorite house would be the one my grandparents used to live in. I would want a house with lots of open space so that I could host family gatherings and other parties.
6. What is your dream car?
One that doesn't have a cracked bumper??? I really don't care much about cars. I guess I'd like to have a black Honda CRV, or something similar, so that we could fit all of our stuff inside when we visit family. What can I say, I dream big.
7. If you were vacationing 10 hours away would you drive or fly? (and not because of money)
Fly. I love jet setting.
8. Would you relive high school if you could? What would you do differently?
Nope. I had tons of fun in high school but I love my life now so much more. If I had to go back I would be nicer to people and not just hang out with people that were like me.
9. If your significant other had an accent, what would it be?
Country. Oh wait, he already has a country accent. I hope Eva talks like Ryan :)
10. Would you rather not shower for a week or not brush your teeth for a week? (EWW!)
I would want to shower. I hate the feeling of not showering. I didn't get a shower the day I went into labor so by 8:00 AM the next morning I was bugging the nurse to let me get up and shower.
11. Would you rather have all girls or all boys?
All girls - since I already have a girl I could reuse clothes and other baby gear. Plus I honestly LOVE the idea of a house full of girls. I've told Ryan though that if one day we have a boy I will definitely still love him.

And now, 11 random things about me:
1. I dated my husband because he is so funny. I married him because of his character and his good looks didn't hurt... but if he wasn't funny I wouldn't have even considered him. Laughter is the way to my heart.
2. Without Jesus I would have a bad temper and be extremely bossy. It's amazing how the Holy Spirit can change you.
3. I wish I could be on Dancing with the Stars. If I ever got an opportunity to do it I would. Maybe they'll make a stay at home moms edition.
4. I frequently brush my teeth and my hair in the middle of the night after I've taken care of Eva. Something about being up and awake for more than 10 minutes makes me want to be fresh even when I'm exhausted.
5. I really want to be a better photographer. I own a good camera. I just don't want to read the instruction manual to figure out how to use it better. I'm not sure why.
6. I love watching the same movies over and over again. Knowing what will happen and why things happen eliminates the need for me to ask Ryan 50 questions when the movie is over. Plus I already know if I'm going to like it.
7. I LOVE yellow sticky notes. I have no strong emotion towards other colored sticky notes.
8. I've always wanted to go to a murder mystery dinner or weekend getaway. I actually know of one that is happening soon, but we can't afford it. Maybe next time.
9. I hate to sweat. It smells, its sticky, and then you have to use time to shower and freshen up again. I wish sweat could be eliminated from exercise.
10. I want to write a children's book series one day. Being a teacher helped me discover my love of writing.
11. My goals in life are to be a contagious Christian, an encouraging wife, and a loving mom (in that order). These are my most wonderful priorities and where I find purpose. If I do those 3 things well, I'll be completely content at the end of my life.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roll on over, roll on over BABY!

Eva, loving this warm January weather!

My heart is beaming with pride. After hundreds of minutes of unhappy tummy time over the past 4 months, Eva just rolled over from her tummy to her back! When we are doing tummy time sometimes I try to distract her by showing her how to roll back and forth - this time she did it all on her own! We were honestly so surprised that we were just sitting there going, "Is she actually going to do this?" the first time it happened. I know this may seem like a small thing, but for new parents it's a big accomplishment. I am posting a short video clip for her grandparents to see. Good job, Eva!!!!

video

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Secret Agent Mom

We've been working really hard to get Eva to sleep better. I know I've written about sleep more than a few times, but when you have a baby sleep is a big deal. She is getting better at sleeping through the night and her naps are way better than they used to. Our biggest issue right now is that she will sometimes wake up at the 45 minute mark where babies switch sleep cycles. Adults go through this too, but we just snuggle up with our pillow or turn over and fall back asleep. Babies don't know how to do this, so we must teach them.

We've tried going in and comforting her right away. That wakes her up too much and doesn't work. We've tried letting her fuss for a bit. That leads to big tears and doesn't work. We've tried letting her wake up. That leads to an irritable baby who doesn't want to play, eat, or cuddle because she still exhausted - doesn't work. All of this experimentation led me to my secret agent status this morning.

She went down for a nap at 9:30 AM. Exactly 45 minutes later I hear her making noise. I end up opening her bedroom door and although she is awake and crying, her eyes are shut so she doesn't see me. I dash to the other side of the crib. I am a sneaky mama as I carefully put her pacifier back into her mouth. She starts to turn towards me so I quickly crouch over the day bed in her room, all while staying in the most awkward don't move an inch or she might see me position. She doesn't see me. When she moves a little bit in the opposite direction I slope down to the floor. I can see her through her mesh crib bumper but I'm pretty sure she doesn't realize I'm there. She begins to drift off to sleep (I can tell by her body language). I sit there for a few minutes like a spy that could be caught at any minute. I start to crawl out of the room just as Cosby enters. Talking at an almost inaudible level I tell Cosby to get out of the room as I crawl behind him. Yes. This is honestly what I resorted to. I felt crazy, but it worked and she is now sleeping well. I consider that Secret Agent Mom success.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Her Dad is Cooler than Your Dad

Eva's favorite time of the day is definitely when her daddy is home and ready to play. I guess she gets bored with me all day long because when she sees him her face lights up!

She smiles at him and talks so much! I can just picture her little 5 year old voice one day saying, " And then DAD...you know what DAD?... Umm, DAD???" asking him a million questions and telling him about everything. I'm thankful that Ryan is a wonderful father and has a good bond with Eva.

Clearly a daddy's girl :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Confessions of a New Mama

If you promise not to tell anyone, I will make a confession. I am not a perfect mom. There are days when I have no idea what I 'm doing. Getting her to take a bottle. Pacifiers. Nap time. Tummy time. Bed time. These are some of the areas in which I am definitely not an expert. I am, however, a well read non-expert. When I have a question about something I will read lots of information about it. And what have I discovered? That there is A LOT of conflicting advice out there. Let your baby cry. Don't let your baby cry. Feed them solids at 4 months. Feed them solids at 7 months. Pacifiers are good. Pacifiers are evil. Rock them. Don't rock them. It is enough to make a new mama crazy! Lucky for me, instead of going crazy, I share all of the information with Ryan and then ask him, "So what should we do?" Turns out, he doesn't know either. Bummer.

At one doctor's appointment I asked our pediatrician his advice about something. As I was ending my question I commented, "I know it's not a big deal. She'll probably be fine either way." He replied with a smile, "Oh no. She'll probably be ruined for life either way. " :) Some days I call my mom and ask her for advice. She usually tells me that either she can't remember what she did or that she did it wrong but that I ended up just fine. She's right - I know how to take a nap, go to sleep at night, eat food, and walk. She must have known something.

People always joke that babies don't come with instruction manuals. It's true. Instead of an instruction manual I am forced to rely on intuition, a mother's love, and lots of prayer. I pray each day that the Lord would help me to make the right choices for Eva. The Bible has much to say about a parent's role in training their child. It also teaches us about the faithful and forever love of God. I am thankful for God's great love for me and thankful that He loves my little girl even more than I do. I trust that He will lead my heart and my mind when I seek His wisdom. If I didn't believe that I'd probably cry more and laugh less. Praise God for His daily guidance! ..... And thanks for keeping my confession just between us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Wonder Bug

I broke my own rule. The rule that I set back before I became a parent. The rule I encouraged the grandparents to follow (and they did). Not only did I break my own rule yesterday, I confess that I've broken it a few times. The rule: Do not buy your baby a toy bigger than a shoebox. It sounds like a silly rule, but when you live in a small apartment, it is very necessary. I've always known how fun it is for parents and grandparents to buy an abundance of bigger and better toys and am trying so hard to simplify for Eva's sake, as well as our own. I desire for our home to be a place that makes our child and others feel welcome without overwhelming them with baby things.

The only baby items I wanted to break this rule with were the swing and highchair. Those were the "big items" I registered for. Since then we have acquired a floor gym, a Bumbo, and now... the Wonder Bug exersaucer. These are all great inventions for babies but they take up so.much.space.

We decided last night to get Eva an exersaucer after much discussion and following her 4 month check up appointment. Her head is somewhat flat in the back and angles up front to back. This is a common result of the new initiative to have babies sleep on their backs. I think a little misshapen head is worth it if it at all prevents SIDS but it comes with its own consequences. More and more babies are having to wear helmets to reshape their heads and correct flatness. We're really hoping that Eva does not need this expensive accessory. Right now her doctor was not too concerned and just said that the more time she can spend off her back the better. So we decided to increase tummy time and use an exersaucer for some of the time instead of her swing or floor gym.

Ironically, when I picked out the swing on our registry I looked for something in an understated design that wouldn't scream BABY when you looked at it. I know that makes me boring, I don't care. The exersaucer, with its bright colors and big googly buy eyes is the exact opposite. BABY BABY BABY!!!! But she likes the toys and colors and we got it at Once Upon a Child (a children's resale shop) for about 75% off the retail price. A baby changes everything - what are you gonna do???

She has played in it for about 20 minutes today and enjoys it. I've been showing her what the toys can do. Interestingly, she tends to use her left hand on all of the toys. She has good neck/head strength and can hold herself upright, but... her little legs don't reach the bottom. I was hoping that she could push up and put weight on her legs like she does on my lap. I guess she'll have to grow into it a bit.

Signed,
A. Rulebreaker

Monday, January 9, 2012

4 Months Old

Dear Eva Kate,

You are 4 months old! This past month has been full of smiles and laughter. I keep telling you not to grow up so fast, but I guess there is no stopping you. One amazing thing that I've noticed about you this month is that when we say your name you turn and look at us! Yeah! (Except for when I'm trying to take pictures). Also when we say, "Where is Mama? Where is Daddy?" you will look around for us and smile when you see us.

During playtime you have learned a fun trick. Here you are in your Bumbo with some soft blocks on the tray in front of you.....

And you knocked them all off! Daddy taught you to do this trick and you will do it over and over again, as long as we keep putting the blocks up on the tray. You've also learned to play Peek-A-Boo with me and you always smile when you see me peek out from behind my hands.

Today we took you to the doctor for your 4 month check up. You weighed 13 pounds, 3 ounces and are 23 3/4" long. That puts you around the 35 percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height. More proof that you are always growing :)

You like to stand and put weight on your feet now. Sometimes when you are sitting in my lap you push up and sit down over and over again. You are so strong!

Your most favorite toy right now is your dog, Lola the Jittery Poodle. She has a rattle inside and you like to shake her and eat her feet when you are playing on your mat.

Other fun facts about you at 4 months:
* You get a bath every other night and like to splash in the tub.
* You still cry so much when we do tummy time :( But you really need to practice now to build strength and get ready for crawling.
* At night you usually sleep from 10:30 PM - 8:00 AM. Most mornings you cry a little around 6:00 AM but go right back to sleep when I give you your pacifier.
* You take a good morning and early afternoon nap and then usually doze off once or twice in the late afternoon/ early evening time.
* Your 3 month clothes fit just right. You can still wear some 0 - 3 month outfits and almost fit a few 3 -6 month outfits.
* You nurse 5 to 6 times a day now. We decided to wait a while before starting you on solid foods because you just don't seem that hungry yet. I think you'll let us know when you're ready.
* You talk sooooo much but don't have any real words to say yet.
* Your hair is growing. One day we can put in some little hair clips.

You are my favorite baby. Daddy and I love you to the moon and back!

love, Mama

P.S. It was exactly one year ago today that we found out that I was pregnant! This past year has been so full of joy for us! I love you even more now than I did that first morning when I found out you were on the way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bright, bright, bright SUNSHINEY day!

What a beautiful day! But before I go on about that, let me give you a little back story.... Eva is usually a pretty good napper. Even during the Christmas back and forth hustle she stayed somewhat consistent with her naps. However, she occasionally slips into a pattern where she refuses to sleep. Yesterday was that kind of a day. When I could finally get her down for a nap it would last a whole 25 minutes. Yep, all day long that was as long as she was going to sleep at once. I think she's hit that stage where she is so interested in her surroundings that a nap just doesn't sound as much fun. Her mama strongly disagrees. Naps are wonderful! They let her get healthy rest, she is less fussy, I can shower and get things taken care of around the house, the list of positive reasons for a nap could go on and on. Plus when she doesn't nap well during the day, she absolutely doesn't give us any kind of a break in the evening. She becomes a very sad baby and nothing makes her happy. If only I could convince her. Maybe I'm being selfish but it's also for her own good.

Thankfully she was back to her happy, restful self today. I usually try to get her to sleep for at least an hour in the morning and she slept for two full hours! Bonus points for Eva. Plus she looks so super cute when she sleeps. (You know your baby has napped for a long time when you're willing to sneak in to take a picture because you are okay if she wakes up from the camera click).

After a great nap and lunch time, we decided to spend some Mama/Eva time outside enjoying the delightful 70 degree weather. That is why we live in Texas, Eva. So that we can play outside in short sleeves in January. We dragged a blanket, the Bumbo, some books and of course the camera outside to enjoy the sunshine.

She was very alert and interested in being outside. We talked about leaves and grass and how the sun makes our skin feel warm. We dreamed about going to the pool in May. We listened to the birds and read a book about animal sounds. It was one of those moments that makes me LOVE being a stay at home mom.

Cosby joined our play time, too! I'm pretty sure that he was giving Eva advice on how to be an excellent sleeper, or at least I hope so :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, Old Friends

I love seeing old friends over the holidays. A few days ago I got to meet up with my best friend Erica and our other good friend Sarah. We were all in a bible study together several years ago. Sarah moved to Miami with her husband about a year ago so it was so good to see her and baby, Adaya. Adaya is 13 months and has grown up so much since I saw her at my baby shower back in June. She is a precious girl and kept pointing at Eva and saying, "Baby!" I loved hearing her talk.

Eva mostly wanted to stand up on my lap while we talked over coffee. My little girl is getting so strong!

Silly Adaya! She sure loves her mama and wanted to play, too!

Erica was actually the one snapping these great pics. Eva must really love Miss Erica to give her such cute smile.

Time to go home... hope to see Sarah and Adaya again sometime this year! Erica, we will definitely see you :)

Yesterday we saw more friends. We went to Denton to visit my friend Katie Lyche who was in town from New York City. Katie and I were in the hospitality ministry together at Denton Bible Church back in college. She recently graduated from culinary school and wants to pursue being a chef in NYC. We met up at our friend Rebecca's house and chatted for over an hour. I didn't want to leave...I love seeing Katie when she visits over the holidays. Eva looks so serious in this picture, but she loved Katie, too!

And we ended our visits by watching the Cowboys' game at Marianne and Regan's house. Marianne's whole family was there and got to hold Eva. I also got to visit with Marianne's sister and sister in-law. Love that whole Fida family! 2012 is off to a fun start for us!