5.28.2010

bathtime and thunderstorms

Random things:

Bathtime is normally pretty fun anymore. She is splashing her feet around now, and likes the feel of the water.


Definitely an improvement over the screamy-ness of the first month or so.


Even getting out has been much better... which was the screamy-ness of the second month or so. I'm sure it being warmer helps.

She just discovered her feet the other day too, much to Trav's delight. It is pretty cute wantching her grab her toes.


These are all from last night... last night when we got our first big thunderstorm, in what apears to be a series of thunderstorms that we're going to be getting over the next week. Its that time of year, when the heat starts, and brings the big storms with it. Obviously I'm just fine with that, since she seems to have no trouble sleeping through storms, and I LOVE them.


On another note I completely forgot to show off how our new sink turned out. So, I'll do that now. Here is the before:


And here is the after:


Much improved!!
Its nicer, deeper, and the faucet stuff is taller too. So much easier to clean our big pots and pans. It really makes the whole kitchen look that much better.


Anyway, its Friday now and I'm so glad. I need a weekend... three days this time(!) all with my baby, and my hubby. Trav and I need some not super schedule restricted time together. This week we've been stressing with each other. Plus, I just want to relax and not have to worry about working and pumping. I'm looking to three days with my two favorite people.

And just to leave you with something super cute... Gwen in her Horton onesie:


Have a great weekend!

5.24.2010

opps!

I didn't mean to disappear for almost a week, but time just got away from me. But I'm sitting here now, with my organic tomato soup with some goat cheese melted in, slices of mango, and a big Nalgene bottle full of herbal tea... and I thought I would write as I ate.

So, observations from this past week:


Pumping sort of sucks. Its annoying and if I weren't so dedicated to Gwen having breast milk exclusively until 6ish months, and if I didn't love breastfeeding so much, I would have quit already. Honestly, its not horrible... and I think it would even be "okay" if I got myself a hands free pumping bra like this (which I'll probably do soon) and could type like normal. But having to always keep track of time, the annoyance of getting myself set up, holding the bottle in place, and keeping the nursing cover perfectly placed... well, its just a pain. Not to mention, there is always the awkwardness if someone calls or walks into my office when I'm pumping. I'm covered, but the sound is sort of, er, distinct. I don't care if people are around when I do it, I mean, I breastfeed in public! But I feel awkward worrying about others feeling awkward. And this is all occurring between three and four times a day (I try to do it four times at work, three at minimum since some days I'm just too busy to reach four, but four is ideal). The last two days of last week, I only got three in since it was so dang busy, but I think I'm getting four in today.

[As an aside, if anyone else is pumping, I got the Pumpin' Pals Hands-Free Strap and their Super Shields. I LOVE the shields, and recommend them to all! But the strap doesn't work for me with the single pump. I feel like if I had a double, it would work nicely, but its off kilter with only the single. So, if anyone pumps and would like the Strap, drop me a line... I'd be willing to send it to you for the cost of shipping since I'm out the cash anyway.]

As for output, that's been going pretty well. I normally get between 9 - 15oz a day... which may not seem like a whole lot, but the most she's ever taken in one day at daycare was 15oz, and her average is around 12-13ish. (They say a infant her age takes about 25oz total in a day, and I feed her twice in the morning before she leaves, and at least twice in the evening.) So I normally get right around what I need for her, for the next day. If I'm a little low, then they can just grab a bag from the freezer stash. And I often pump between 3.5 - 5oz in the morning, AFTER I do a full feeding with her, sometimes even a little over 5oz... especially if she sleeps completely through the night and I'm all engorged. So I can either send that in with her if I had a low day the day before, or freeze it to keep the freeze stash up.

Anyway, I am going to keep pushing through, and I think as I get adjusted it will go easier... but just had to report the frustrations!

Mondays also suck. I think Mondays are always going to be a little harder for me. I mean they always were anyway, but now I've just had two days with my beautiful baby and have to leave her again. I get a little teary watching her and Trav drive away. But overall, its been going fine being back.

Apartment fires are crazy! Friday night I got a call from Ro, asking if her and GG could spend the night at our place. Turns out, the building behind theirs in their apartment complex was on fire. Flames licking the roof, on fire. So everyone in both buildings had been evacuated. Also, she hoped I could come get them since one of the fire hoses had been unrolled right behind their vehicles, blocking them in!! So I shot over there to grab the two of them (Pat was sticking around to see how things unfolded and make sure that everything was kosher with their place... it was, no damage to their building at all.). It made for a long tiring night, but I was happy to help them out. I know if the rolls were reversed that Ro would have done the same for me. Plus I hated to think about how she felt, having to drag GG out of the house after she was already asleep, and just stand in a parking lot with her for hours.

I'm dying to meet my nephew! He's such a cutie, and I'm so excited that Gwen has a cousin so close in age. I'm close with a few of my cousins, and I hope that she can have that kind of relationship with Wyatt.

A few pictures that make me happy and melty:

I'm so happy for them.

My husband is in his 30s!! :-) We had a great weekend celebrating Trav's birthday. He had an awesome time at the game last Monday, and after our little BBQ get together on Saturday, he thanked me for making his birthday really special. Saturday was a lot of fun. It rained a little, but we still had plenty of outdoor time. Plus two of the three couples that attended brought kids. It was actually really neat to have a house full of children!

Gwen adores Willy. We stopped there on our way home from lunch at the Cheesecake Factory with Ro & Pat on Sunday. She couldn't get enough of him, smiles galore! I think its the accent. I'm so glad, and we're definitely hoping she'll keep her affection for her Pappy. He's a neat guy.

Everyone heard about the Infant Tylenol and Infant Motrin recall, right?! If not, go here to read the details: Recall Press Release. Also, Target will give you a refund on any of the recalled items, even opened ones, no receipt needed. We did that Sunday too, which is why I thought of it.


Well, I need to go pump one last time for today... so I'm going to run. I'll try not to make it a week before I come back again this time!!

5.18.2010

I'm proud to introduce my brand new nephew, Wyatt Cameron!!

We just got the news earlier today and are waiting for details... but I'm so excited for Trav's brother, Andy and his wife, Megan! Megan and I have been talking throughout her pregnancy, and I know she is so happy that he's here (especially since her due date was last Thursday!). We can't wait to meet him.

What else is new? We had a great weekend. Saturday was lazy...

There were some naps. And some relaxing together.

Which was good because Sunday, Gwen turned 3 months, and we had her pictures taken for the occasion.

Well, I took that one... but we had our photographer (same one who did the newborn shots) take some better ones! We did them at Ridley Creek State Park, where Ro & I walk, though in a different section. The ones she showed me on her camera looked awesome, so I can't wait to see them all.

Yesterday I had off of work, since Gwen & I both had doctor appointments (her in the morning for two vaccinations, me in the afternoon for my IUD post-insertion check), and since Trav was heading straight from work to the baseball game (Phillies vs. Pirates, Diamond Club seats for him and three guy friends, my birthday gift to him). We both did fine at our appointments, and Trav had an awesome time at the game. I also stopped by to see Willy and he couldn't get over how big Gwen is now. She was loving him too... smiling at him a ton. Oh! And the guy who did our sink stopped by in the morning to make one last adjustment. I'll have to take some pictures to show you they great finished product. All in all, it was a crazy day, but a good one.

Now I'm back to work, for my four-day week. And I have to boast about my boobs for a second... last week I was getting an average of 3oz each pumping session (for 3 sessions, if I did four, the last two I normally got a little less). Today I've pumped twice so far, and got 8.5oz so far! Yay boobs!! Lol. I can't help it, I'm proud of them.  ;-)

And on that note...

5.16.2010

3 months


e.e. cummings - i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)



Dear Gwenivere,

This month dawns just as mama had to return to work. It was weird for me to think about not being with you all the time, about someone else feeding you, rocking you, comforting you. It made my heart ache a little, worrying that they wouldn't be able to comfort you... that you would just want your mama and that I wouldn't be there. I always want to be there for you.

I think that is my biggest fear in general, that you will get scared and cry for me, and I'm not there. The idea/thought of that just breaks my heart, because all I want in this world now is for you to be healthy, happy, and loved. (At least I have the loved part covered!!)

However, those worries were for not... you did great! Took your bottles, slept in your crib, and were a sweet girl for your teachers. Of course, that gave mama new worries... that you wouldn't need her anymore, that you would prefer your teachers. Silly, of course, but I guess that's how it is as a mom, you never stop worrying about something. I guess it just seems so unnatural to be away from you so much... so weird and off that as a nation we make it the norm for people to be away from their kids more then they get to be with them. Out of the 14-15 hours a day that you are awake (minus naps), someone else now gets to take care of you for almost 9 of those... and another is spent in the car. That leaves way too little time for me to kiss, hug, snuggle, hold, and stare at you!

Because of that, I so cherish my nights with you now, and all I want to do is cuddle and hug you. I talk to you and make funny faces at you, and basically get all I can in before you get tired and grumbly. And luckily, you are still a cuddly one who obliges me.

You have been sleeping great at night. You've actually slept through the night (in your crib) multiple times now, and normally only wake once anyway. I'm loving this... the extra sleep is so great. But there are times I miss waking up next to you in the morning... so I'm enjoying every last day of it. Not that I'll complain when you decide to sleep through the night every night.  ;-)

I think the key, was that you've really found your fist, and have learned to use it to self sooth. Man do you love your fist, and you shove it into your mouth at every opportunity!! So now you might wake briefly at night, but if the sleepiness outweighs the hunger, then I'll just hear you mumble a bit to yourself, then the fist goes in the mouth and you are out again! But if the hungry outweighs the sleepy, watch out... you have definitely perfected the cry that says "Feed Me NOW. (And, of course, by Now, you mean 5 minutes ago.) I am hungry, woman!"

In any case, your routine is going much better this month. We added two books, Goodnight Moon and the Going to Bed Book, which you really seem to enjoy. And I love reading them to you. So now it goes bath (every other night), change diaper and into PJs, read those two books, then you eat and I sing the Dixie Chicks song Lullaby to you. You are definitely asleep after you eat, so I hold you for a few minutes, then set you in your crib. You are staying in your crib after that a lot more now, but if you wake briefly when I put you down, then you almost always stay in your crib after another brief nursing session... until your first real wake (anywhere from 2-4 on a typical night).

(Of course, there are still occasionally those nights when you are just having a rough go of it and need to be held for hours... or even wake 3 times. They are a bit rough of mama, but we all have off nights, so lets not focus on them!)

Speaking of nursing, I'm really loving that still. Going back to work has added a new dimension, since now Mama has to pump multiple times a day too... but I'm just getting used to it as part of our new routine, so its not too big a deal. But it does make me love our morning and evening nursing sessions even more. And weekends with you are awesome, not having to worry about pulling out the pump, its magic. Mama is going to do this for as long as she can... because she wants you to be able to nurse (and take pumped milk) exclusively until 6-months if possible, then continue with the addition of food until at least a year. Longer if you are willing and it's still working.

As for your daddy and you... well at the beginning of the month I was still showering in the evenings, and sometimes you would give him such a hard time and cry the whole time. He's not a fan of that, but now that I get to shower in the mornings again, its been getting better. You are getting used to our morning routine (I feed you, then get teeth brushed and in the shower, daddy changes you at some point in there, you guys hang out, then when I'm dried off, you come with me to get dressed while daddy showers, I get you dressed and feed you, then you and daddy head out, and I finish getting ready/play with the dog until I need to leave). Its been working well, and I think it will help you to know what is in store. And you are normally a pretty happy baby in the mornings anyway, so its a good time for you and your daddy to hang out. Especially since once I get home at night I don't want to let you go!

The smiles have continued in abundance this month, and you will laugh on occasion too. You haven't learned to control this one yet, but the cutest little gaffaw will just explode out of you at random moments when something tickles you in a way you can't contain. I love it so much and can't wait until I can actually cause it on a regular basis.

This month marked my first Mother's Day as a Mom... and to the little pea who made me one, I have to say Thank You. Thank You so much sweet Gwenivere, for making my world a brighter, richer place, with so much love that I find myself choked up at random times, I'm just so overwhelmed by it all. Thank you for being you... gentle, and beautiful. I can't wait to watch you grow, to meet the you that you will become, and to do my best to always let you know just how adored you are. 

I love you so much sweet Gwen.

Love forever,
Mama

5.12.2010

I brought this:

And these were given to me by two coworkers (not pictured... the cookie cake!):

So my desk looks like this:

Not a bad way to come back to work.

Things haven't been too bad. I teared up this morning watching Trav and Gwen drive away, and I cried when he called to ask how I was, and I miss my girl, of course... but I've managed to stay busy so the day has gone by pretty quickly. Of course, I have about an hour left, and I bet you anything its going to drag.

Pumping has been okay. I've done it three times, got a full bottle the first two, and half a bottle the third (my timing was off since I had to work around a conference call, but I'm going to do it again soon and hope to get at least the rest of that bottle if not more). That definitely leaves her pulling from the stash too much, so I'm going to just keep working to get more each time... and I'll probably try to pump more tonight. I've also been pumping some in the morning between feeding her. So we'll see. Cross your fingers for me.

~~~~~~~

Okay, I'm home now... never got to publish this, but I'll finish it off now.
In the end I did get 3 - 3 oz bottles and one with just under 2 oz. So about an ounce less then what she drank at daycare today. Not bad for my first day.

Gwen did great at daycare again, and I was greeted with a smile when I got home. It was the best feeling in the world. I think we might just be able to do this!! 

So after day one...

Pros to being back to work:
  • I get to shower in the morning, every morning! (I started showering at night because of morning sickness about 9-10 months ago, and continued it when Gwen arrived since it was just easier... but now I get to shower in the a.m. again and it feels great!)
  • I get to talk to/catch up with my great coworkers again. 
  • My evenings with the babe are just that much sweeter, and we are both just so happy to see each other. 

Cons:
  • Lord in heaven, I miss you Gwenie! 
  • 6 a.m. 
  • Work. Lol. 

Like I said, I think we can do this.

5.11.2010

Just a quick update on yesterday, before I run around to get a million things done in my last few baby-free hours before I start work tomorrow. So I definitely enjoyed the hours yesterday, and I got a lot done during them. Grocery shopping, putting away clothes, pumping, blogging (lol), etc. Keeping busy kept my mind off of things, so I didn't stress about Gwen too much. But when it was time to head out to get her, well frankly, I have never driven somewhere so determinedly... so desperately. I had a pit in my stomach and just wanted to be. there. already. to get my baby.

Well I was greeted with a great result, Gwen did awesome! She drank her bottles for them, slept in her crib, and was a pleasant, smiley girl!! I was so happy and relieved to hear that... it make the idea of going back to work just a bit easier. Hopefully, she does just as well today.

As for the pumping, I got what I needed for her today (minus about an ounce) during the time she was gone, got that last ounce in the evening, and then, since she slept through the night last night, I was able to pump another bottle this morning. I'm happy for that bottle... I don't think she'll drink it while she's there today, so it should be there for her tomorrow, which is good because I definitely won't be able to pump a full day's worth in half a day, and they'll have to get some from her freezer stash. But this way, hopefully they'll only have to get one bottle, or maybe not even that if she sleeps through the night and I can pump in the morning again.

Well, I have to run... tons to get done today. Laundry, more clothes sorting, pumping, and more straightening up. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow to let you know how my first day back is going.  ::gulp::

5.10.2010

big happenings

This week is full of Big. Things.
Today for example, my baby headed to daycare. I'll admit it... I teared up when I watch Trav's car pull away with her in the back. I just cannot believe that my little girl is 12 weeks old tomorrow, and that we aren't going to be together all day, everyday anymore. Its weird.

I'm already counting down until I go pick her up at lunchtime!! 
I think my biggest fear is that she gets scared and cries for her mama, and I'm not there. The idea/thought of that just breaks my heart (and I'm tearing up again!). I hope that when I get there today, I hear only good news about her first day. That will make me feel a lot better for Wednesday and my return to work.

But lets talk about something else.. like this weekend:

The drive up to my parents went fine... and Gwen was happy to see her Nonnie, Papa, and Uncle Ethan... who cut his hair!!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to head to my Gram's, before all heading to the graveyard for the short service committing his ashes to the ground.

It was lovely. Short, sweet, touching. I think my Pop would have appreciated it. There will be a memorial in a month, when my Gram is a bit more up for it.

After that we headed back to my Gram's apartment, and the the complexes community center. We had a simple, but good lunch there... and all took the opportunity to catch up.

Despite the sad circumstances, it was really nice to see everyone.
And Gram loved meeting her Great Granddaughter!

Above, four generations of ladies. Three generations of moms!
Below, following the bloodline, my Gram, her son (my dad), me, and my daughter.

After that we headed back to my parent's place, then Gwen and I took off for home.

Sunday was my first mother's day!

Trav had already given me a photobook of pictures of all of us, for me to take to work. And when I came downstairs there was a card and flower waiting for me as well. We headed to breakfast at i.hop, and otherwise just had a lazy, relaxing day at home.

Now I'm just working to get stuff done to get ready for work. Cleaning up some, finding work clothes that fit, and getting in lots of snuggles with the pup. She's in for a rough surprise come Wednesday too!! She's gotten quite used to having me around during the day.

Well, off I go now... plenty to do in not a lot of hours... (plus our handyman just arrived to do our sink!)
Wish me luck.

5.07.2010

updates

First, the guy came and did our ceiling fan! Yay! I didn't realize until just now, that I don't have any good before pictures... but you can get the general idea from these:


And here is the after:
Yay! I love it!
Hopefully he'll be coming by early next week to do the sink (before my return to work), but we'll see about schedules.


Gwen was fussy two evenings ago, and I had been trying to sooth her to sleep for hours. I thought I finally got her down, and headed to the bathroom to get ready for bed. Well, she woke up. Without me asking, Trav scooped her up and walked the hall with her for a bit to sooth her again... major brownie points for him!  :-) 


Yesterday was our date with Deb and the boys... it was great. I'm sorry that we just started doing this last week, and I'm sorry I go back next week, because I would have love to make this a weekly thing. Both days I ended up not leaving until after 5, because we are having so much fun chatting. It was a gorgeous day too, so we headed outside:

I love this pic because I can't get over the size difference between Gwen and Stephen (the boys are 6 months):

Deb has the twin feeding thing down pat:

The beautiful view looking up:

And all the outdoor fun made Gwen and Dom tired:

It was a great day!
And to top it off, Gwen slept 845pm - 640am! Amazing.


So, today will be a busy day... first Gwen and I are running to her daycare to drop off the big box of diapers and wipes that you see in the above picture; as well as some crib sheets, changes of clothes, etc. Then we're going to meet Trav for lunch. After that we're heading up to my parent's to spend the night there, before driving up for my Grandpa's service on Saturday morning. It will save us some time in the morning, and keep Gwen from having to be in the car quite so much in one day.

Trav isn't coming because unfortunately his Great Aunt Mary, Willy's sister, passed on Tuesday; her service is Saturday as well, so he'll be heading to that. He was very torn, but I understood that he really wanted to be there for Willy. Obviously he wants to be there for me too, but I will be surrounded by my family, and told him to go to Mary's.


That's all I've got for you right now, but to end on a nicer note... three pics of my baby sleeping, just because I think its the cutest thing!  :-)

Have a great weekend.