Sunday, July 18, 2010

Birthday Girl

We celebrated Brooklyn's birthday yesterday. I can't believe I now have a one year old baby. The party was great. Many sweet people came and showed their love to Brooklyn. These are only a few in attendence.

And she got a ton of loot. Her pretty party dress made her the belle of the ball.

The cake, food and decorations were top notch.

She played SO WELL with the other little kids. I'm very proud of her.

Sadly, there are no cake smashing pictures. Brooklyn was tired and irritable at the moment we brought out the cake and all she did was cry when she saw it. Poor baby was in sensory overload. That's okay though. There will be other birthdays and other cakes to smash. I've learned to never hang your hat on certain expectations. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. If you go into with that mentality, you won't be terribly disappointed when things don't go as planned. Roll with it, baby!

I'm so thankful to all of our guests. I'm especially thankful to my husband, my parents & my in-laws for all their hard work. They cooked, cleaned, shopped, baked, set up, cleaned up and did basically everything needed to make a party run smoothly.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today at 4:10pm you turn 1 year old.

Right now:

~ You love cheese. Daddy cannot get a string cheese stick for himself without you hearing the wrapper and going mass critical. He HAS to share some with you.

~ You started walking short distances a couple of weeks ago - about 5 feet between daddy & me. And you are so happy with yourself. The last step is you throwing yourself at me with a huge smile.

~ You are 29" tall and weigh around 20lbs. We stood you up against the wall and marked your height.

~ You can fully wreck the living room in 37 seconds. And I have pictures to prove it.

~ You are starting to try and climb up the bookshelf. That is a big no-no.

~ You still love people. You didn't go through the stranger anxiety phase. That's our social little butterfly. (Just like your mommy.)

~ You love to push things around the house: Your walker toy, an upside-down bucket or small trash can, patio chairs. Not satisfied to sit and be a lump, you seem happiest when you have something to do. (Just like your daddy.)

~ You love all other little kids...especially the older ones that you can scurry around after. And they really seem to enjoy entertaining you. I love to watch you play.

~ You don't get what 'no' means. We have to tell you over and over NOT to touch certain things. And then you still touch. We'll have to figure this one!

~ You still eat anything we put in front of you. Thank you God!

~ You are starting to resist going to bed. One night you cried and wimpered for about 10 minutes before you settled down to sleep. I'll never understand why babies hate to go to bed. I LOVE to sleep and wish I could do it more often.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Looking back...

So let me take a minute to reflect on things John and I were doing this exact time last year.

Saturday 7/11/09: I was having fun at a dear friend's baby shower. My feet were super puff-a-lumps and it was hard to stand on them for long periods, but my friends were super accommodating and found a rocking chair for me. Everyone kept asking me if I had pre-eclampsia and to my knowledge I did not. Never had my doctor or nurse expressed concern about the massive foot swell I endured. Oh well. If they weren't worried, neither was I.

Sunday 7/12/09: John and I had a discussion about when to pack our hospital bag. Bean wasn't due for 5 more weeks, so surely there was no need to rush. We'll do it next weekend. I remember thinking "I hope I'm ready for this in 5 weeks." My thoughts on labor and delivery were becoming increasingly skeptical.

Monday 7/13/09: Doctor's appointment. Nothing major, just the normal pregnant lady check up. Doc thought my blood pressure was a tad high...enough that he thought I needed to do a 24hr urine test. No problem, doc. I'll just pop back in on Wednesday before work and you can give me an all-clear. Okay? See ya.

Later I had a massage at my chiropractor's office. The massuese is trained in pre-natal massage. H.E.A.V.E.N.

Tuesday 7/14/09: Nursing class at the hospital. Lots of interesting information on breastfeeding. Learned new ways to hold the baby for optimum latch potential: football hold, cross-over hold, reverse-under-the-arm-downward-facing-double-dog-half-gainer hold. (Not really. I made that one up.)

Wednesday 7/15/09: I go to the hospital for my follow up appointment. The nurse takes my blood pressure. She comes back later and asks me to put on a hospital gown and straps a belt around my belly. I guess my doc ordered a non-stress test. At this point I'm still not too concerned. I've never been pregnant before so I assume this is all normal pregnant lady stuff. So I call work and tell them I might be later than I thought - boy this follow up appointment is really taking forever. And man I'm hungry. I haven't eaten breakfast. I think I'll grab a smoothie on the way to work once these hospital shenanigans are over with. Then someone comes in and does an ultrasound on my belly. Baby looks good. Then someone else comes in with the results of my 24 hour urine test. And this is where the rubbish hits the oscillating device. If anyone needs a refresher about the rest of the story, check here.

Anyway, the day ended with a beautiful, healthy and resilient little baby being delivered at 4:10pm. 5 weeks earlier than anyone ever had the slightest inkling that she would arrive. And all without any hospital bag ever being packed.

I have to say it was the biggest surprise of my entire life. Was I ready? Heck no. I didn't think I was ready for a baby that day or would even be ready given 5 more weeks. But I adapted. Brooklyn adapted. And John didn't have time to do anything but adapt. And he did it so well.

I continually thank God for the happy ending to this story.

Monday, July 12, 2010

There's a party a brewin'

Holy schnikeys! I can't believe Brooklyn turns 1 year old this Thursday. Honestly, I haven't really thought much of her birthday party because of the funeral this past weekend and all the prep that went into that. But now it's like I have to kick it into over drive because time is ticking!!

I have plans for some simple decorations that hopefully won't be one of those "should only take 5 minutes but ends up taking 5 days" type projects. My in-laws are kindly gathering/preparing the food. And so all we have left are paper products and her gift to purchase. I really wanted a simple party with just cake & ice-cream. We'll see how it turns out. I feel like I'm in a cloud. I can't even remember who all we invited. Can I still blame this on mommy-brain?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day, 2010

My firecracker baby, patriotic sweetie and I went to a friend's house

for some food

some fireworks

and fun with friends.

It was a rainy afternoon but the boys improvised.

And Brooklyn got to wear her festive skirt.

Thank you, sweet baby

For being such a good sleeper. I know many parents who don't get to enjoy putting their kid to bed at 8:00 every night without a fight and then have that same child sleep until 7:30 the next morning. We are blessed. And we know it. We don't take one single moment of it for granted.

For being such a good eater. Whatever we put in front of you gets eaten. Yes, some of it ends up on the floor or in your shirt. And in your hair. And in your diaper. Which is fun to find later when we give you a bath. I was afraid I had ruined your palate by waiting so long to give you solid foods. I'm SO pleased that you are willing.

For being so entertaining. I love watching you sleep and how you continue to suck even when the binky falls out of your mouth. I love watching you play in the tub and how you try so hard to drink out of the faucet. I love watching you figure things out. How daddy makes you laugh, how sometimes you just want mommy to hug you, how you are so friendly to everyone you meet. And how you just have to see every bit of what is going on around you.

I love you so much, baby girl.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to Painlessly Stop Breastfeeding

I dreaded the thought of stopping breastfeeding. I was worried that quitting cold turkey would be a painful process as my body learned to shut down the factory. So I tried my own 'ramping down' method. The process took a couple of months, but to not have to suffer one minute of engorgement made it totally worth the time.

To keep the milk going during the work day I'd pump every 3 hours. Then when Brooklyn was about 8 months old, I started spacing out the time to every 4 hours. I did this for about a month. Then 5 hours. And so on. Eventually, I pumped only twice a day - before bed and in the morning before work.

I did this for a week or two. Then I took a risk and pumped only 1 time a day to see what would happen. No engorgement. No pain. Yay! After a week or two of this, I only pumped once every couple of days. And then one day I just didn't pump ever again.

So when Brooklyn was about 11 1/2 months old, the factory closed for good. Honestly, I was happy to get my freedom back. I didn't mind the sacrifice at the time but now I'm thrilled to not be a slave to the breastpump.

I feel it is important to mention this part. Babies aren't supposed to have whole cow milk until they are 1 year old. My process eliminated my milk two weeks shy of her 1st birthday. So we used formula to fill the void. And to make sure she would accept formula, we gave her a bottle of it while I was still able to make my own milk. I didn't want to quit breastfeeding to find out that she wouldn't tolerate formula and then all of us be stuck without any options. Granted, she was eating solid foods by this time, but having a bottle of milk before bed time and to hold her over between meals was super convenient.

So there you go. Happy weaning!