Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

Holy cow have things been busy lately! It feels like I haven't had a moment of downtime in over a week.. I haven't logged onto the computer or touched my pictures until today so it feels like things are starting to calm down!

We had a really nice Christmas spent with my family. Of course we missed Mike's family a lot but we couldn't travel with Reese to Chicago this year as we planned since she's only a month old.

Christmas Eve was at our house & boy was it hectic! I was running around like a madwoman all day long & the festivities ended late so we were all wiped out. But it was great spending the day with family & the kids could not wait to open their presents! Maddy was literally counting down the hours until it was time!

Christmas morning the four of us opened our presents & enjoyed delicious homemade cinnamon rolls by Paula Deen. Click here for the recipe. We made them the night before & popped them into the oven in the morning when we were ready to eat.

Reese slept in on Christmas morning but she was very excited to open the present that her big brother picked for her!

After presents & breakfast we all piled into the car & headed to Mike & Melanie's house for Christmas dinner. Getting out of the house was super hectic since I'm still breastfeeding & we had to plan it around Reese's schedule. We left the house looking like a bomb had gone off so I was quite frazzled!

But on Monday I was an organizing fool & ended up pitching a ton of things so that we have plenty of room for all of the kids' new toys. It was a wonderful Christmas but I still cannot believe it's already over & that today is the last day of 2011!

2011 started out terribly after I lost both of my grandmas in the very first month. We also lost Mike's amazing Aunt Elaine so it's been a rather rough year. Thank God for Reese who is such an absolute blessing. Here's to hoping that 2012 is a wonderful, new year! Happy New Year, everyone!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

It's the Holiday Season...

Good gracious, it's only 4 days until Christmas Eve!! Ahhhh!!! I'm trying to wrap things up & get my act together because time is seriously running out! I've been trying to explain to Reese that it isn't exactly convenient for me to be holding her the bulk of the day, but she doesn't seem to care! The nerve of some babies... I tell ya.

We're hosting Christmas Eve as we normally do & we're doing our usual spread of appetizers instead of an actual meal. We'll do presents between my family & save Christmas morning to open presents between the four of us. Every Christmas I try to come up with something to make for breakfast & this year I think I'm going to do homemade cinnamon rolls. I saw a recipe on the Pioneer Woman's Christmas special that I may try. Click here to check it out.

Reese was a little fussy this weekend & we think it may have something to do with her stubborn diaper rash. The doctor wrote a prescription for Nystatin even though she didn't think it was a yeast infection. Her philosophy was that it couldn't hurt to try. So we started applying it on Sunday & her rash seems to be improving, thank goodness. She's been less fussy since yesterday, so maybe it had to do with discomfort associated with the rash. I feel so bad for her & it's been very stressful since we're doing everything we can & nothing has helped. So, we're crossing our fingers & toes that this clears it up.

I was very happy to spend the day with friends on Sunday since I've been feeling pretty isolated lately with staying inside most days with Reese. Initially Kelly text saying they might not be able to come over as planned because Leah was coughing & she didn't want to bring germs into the house. When I got her text, I was so disappointed that I started crying! Oh the joy of postpartum hormones! Luckily Leah started feeling better & they came after all. Samantha is 5 weeks old today & Reese turned 5 weeks yesterday. They're going to be the best of friends!

We made Jeff Mauro's Chicago Italian beef recipe for Sunday's football meal. It was seriously to die for! Granted, I'm biased since I'm from Chicago & I'm the one who made it, but it really was delish! Click here for the recipe... it was super easy to throw together.

I'm going to try my best to get more presents wrapped today, but that will depend on how well Reese cooperates. My mom is here again this week, thank goodness, because Reese prefers to sleep while being held. As much as I adore snuggling with my munchkin, it's so hard to shower or brush my teeth, let alone get stuff done around the house! But it'll all get done some way or another.. it always does! And if it doesn't? Christmas will still go on & it won't be the end of the world. Maybe my New Year's resolution for 2012 should be to let some things go. Ha! Who am I kidding? Why make a resolution I likely cannot keep?! ;o)

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sick & Tired, Tired & Sick

I went my entire pregnancy without getting sick & since having Reese I've been sick twice in the past two weeks!! It started with a throat thing that then moved to my chest. Then two days ago I started feeling sick yet again & now I'm dealing with a head cold... what gives?! Apparently having a baby has wiped my immune system! It would have been easier being sick while pregnant vs. handling a newborn all day & night. Luckily my hubby helps me out with a lot of the night shifts. Especially because during the past few nights Reese has gotten up at around 2:30 & then again at 5:30am. Then we're up with Cam at 7am. Though it's expected with a newborn, it isn't always easy... especially when you're sick!

Okay, stop the violins from playing... my complaining is done. For the moment anyway! In other news, my mother-in-law sent us monthly onesies for Reese! I love them! My friend Lauren also gave us monthly stickers to put on onesies which you'll see in my last post, so it'll be nice to have a couple of options.

Anyway, hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! One weekend from now, it's Christmas!! Are you ready? I have lots & lots to do so this sickness better be kicked to the curb sooner rather than later! Time to get my butt in gear!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Month!

Reese is officially one month old today & I honestly cannot believe it! In one way it feels like she's been in our lives forever & in another, I feel like we just brought her home from the hospital.

I'm absolutely loving my time with her & savoring every second I have before it's time to go back to work full-time next month. Having all day to experience her many changes has been something I am so thankful for. Reese has just started smiling as of a few days ago & it is utterly adorable. It melts my heart into a puddle of goo!

She cracks me up with all of her expressions & noises...

Look at that face in the picture above.. it looks like she's thinking, "Who the heck are you & what the heck do you want?! Idiot."

But she is as sweet as can be & such an awesome baby! So, Reese, here's what's happening with you right now at one month old:

  • You're eating about every 3-4 hours during the day.
  • You drink your last meal between 9 & 11 at night & sleep until about 4am & then you go back to sleep until about 7:30am which we think is pretty great.
  • You're still wearing newborn diapers & clothes although very soon you'll be moving up to 0-3 months.
  • You just started smiling this week & it mostly happens in the morning when you're bright-eyed & bushy tailed.
  • Unfortunately you have a diaper rash that started about 2 weeks ago. We're doing everything we can to get rid of it, but it just doesn't want to budge! The doctor looked at it today at your one month appointment so we're just going to keep doing what we're doing but we'll switch to a wet washcloth instead of wipes.
  • You fight sleep sometimes & make the most hilarious noises when you get pissed off. Although you're mad, we're cracking up.. sorry, kid!
  • Thank goodness for the pacifier because it keeps you content when you're sleepy & fighting it.
  • You're a very laid back girl & pretty much only cry when you're hungry.
  • You're a complete snuggle bug & just loved to be held & talked to.
  • Your big brother loves you to bits & always wants to love on you. Lately Cameron has been coughing so we're trying to keep him from touching you too much which has not been easy!

Here are your stats from your one-month check-up:

Height: 22 inches (83%)
Weight: 8#, 11oz (35%)
Head Circumference: 14.75" (62%)

Click here to check in on her 2 week appointment to see how's she's grown! Thankfully my mom came with me to her appointment today since the extra set of hands are so nice to have & I was nervous for her Hep B shot. Luckily my gal was such a tough cookie & barely even cried! What a girl.. we are so blessed!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Be Grateful

This Christmas I've been thinking a lot about wanting to raise our kids to understand what we're truly celebrating on Christmas. Of course I still want Cameron & Reese to be excited for presents on Christmas morning like all kids are, but I also want them to see the bigger picture. As I write this, Cam is watching Mickey Saves Christmas where Santa is stranded on Mistletoe Mountain. Mrs. Claus comes rushing for Mickey's help, telling him that if Santa can't be rescued, Christmas will be cancelled. That just sounded so funny to me because it's basically telling kids that if the presents aren't delivered, Christmas isn't happening. Then on the Dora Christmas special, Swiper (who, by the way, I cannot stand & I think is a complete A-hole) is placed on the Naughty List for Swiping. The message to him is that if he doesn't swipe on Christmas, he'll be put back on the Nice List. So, basically the message is that if you're good on Christmas, you can get presents even if you're a jerk the rest of the year.

I didn't grow up in a very religious household. I was baptized & went to communion class at our Lutheran church but we really only went to church a few times a year. We never prayed in our house or discussed God. Mike was raised Catholic & though we got married in his church, I knew I didn't want to raise our children Catholic. After Cameron was born, we decided that it was time to join a church & raise Cam to understand God & religion. Seeing Cameron just made me feel so much closer to God since having a child is truly a miracle. So now we belong to Church of the Suncoast. It's so great to be part of a church where we've gotten close to a lot of people. I've even been part of a book club with a handful of women from the church & I really feel that made me a much stronger person as well. It's helped me to put a lot of things into perspective & to worry a lot less. I have a looooonnng way to go still, but I'm getting there! Baby steps...

Anyway, this Christmas I want to start the path of teaching my children more about God & to shift some of the excitement from just presents alone. My favorite part of Christmas is spending time with my family & being thankful for all that we have. I want Cameron & Reese to be generous & grateful for the things they have & want to give to those who don't. This year I'd like to have Cameron pick toys to give to kids who aren't otherwise able to have anything to open on Christmas morning. I want him to realize that he has so much while so many do not. I've seen so many spoiled, bratty & ungrateful kids so I want to try my best to raise Cam & Reese differently. I'm in no way a perfect parent but I'm trying my best!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Busy, Busy!

Wow, having a newborn & a three-year old has made getting ready for Christmas quite interesting! I cannot believe that Christmas is only two weeks away & I'm feeling very unprepared! I'm trying to shop online any chance I get but a few of my presents have been pretty time consuming so it's going slower than I'd like! The good news is I got my Christmas cards out yesterday & finished the few presents that were taking so much time.

Luckily Mike has been off the past couple of days & my mom was here before that. Reese is still a complete doll, but newborns keep you hopping regardless! When she's tired, she prefers to be held, so I'm learning to do a lot one-handed! Sometimes she fights sleep in the morning & at night so that can take some time, getting her to finally submit to sleep!

You'll notice in the picture above that Cam was playing with Mike's gear for the Chicago Bears podcast he & his friend Jonesy have been doing. Click here to check it out... it's very entertaining, especially if you're a football fan!

Overall, things are still going very well around here. I'm pretty tired some mornings & have found myself to be more hormonal & short-tempered lately. I snapped at Mike yesterday when he didn't get up with Cameron & I felt horrible afterward. I've started to realize just how easy having one kid actually was. At the time we only had one, I felt that Cam kept me so busy, but now managing one child at a time seems so easy. One big difference between one vs. two kids is that the mornings when Reese is sleeping in until nearly 9 like today, I'm still getting up at 7 with Cam. But, I wouldn't change things for a second! I just need to work through these hormones & try to be more patient even when I'm exhausted. Not always easy though!

Reese loves, loves, loves to be talked to & listens intently... She mimics facial expressions when we open our mouths at her or stick out our tongues.

Cam is still such a loving big brother & such a helper! He truly loves his baby sister.

Tomorrow I'll be taking Cam to Busch Gardens to meet my family for my dad & brother's birthdays. Mike is staying home with Reese since we don't want to risk getting her sick. I got a manual breast pump to take along so I can be a mobile Bessie the Cow! Pumping has helped me stock up a lot of breast milk! Normally I use the Medela Pump in Style which is great but it's large, not at all discreet & needs to be plugged in. I stopped by Target yesterday & chose the Medela Harmony because it already goes with the parts I currently have & it had good reviews. I tried it out yesterday & pumped about four ounces in ten minutes. It took longer because you can only pump one side at a time. I'm hoping to breastfeed as long as I can & so far so good! But I'm looking forward to some much needed one-on-one time with my favorite son in the world!!

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Monday, December 5, 2011

3 Weeks Old

Reese is three weeks old already! Time is flying by for sure! We had a really nice weekend together as a family but it flew by too quickly as it always does. Reese is awake a lot more of the day but she's still such a laid back little gal. With her increased alertness things definitely are getting busier though. It seems I'm always partially doing everything & going back a million times before something gets completely done. In fact, as I type this, my makeup is still not fully applied even though I first started putting it on hours ago!

It would be helpful if I wasn't such a psycho about getting things done & constantly scrutinizing my house & seeing things that need to be cleaned or organized. I have SUCH a hard time just relaxing. I am letting some things slide so I have more time to focus on Reese & truly enjoy her at this amazingly sweet age. Her newborn clothes are already starting to get snug so I know she's growing way too quickly!

Yesterday I got my kiddos dressed in their Bears gear & they looked so cute snuggling together on the floor. Cam is an amazing big brother & absolutely loves his sister. When he first wakes up & she's still sleeping, he always asks where she is. It seems we're constantly washing his hands or putting on sanitizer since he always wants to touch her & kiss her. We're trying our best to keep her healthy but it's not easy when Cam touches EVERYTHING & also goes to daycare. And wouldn't you know, I'm now sick too! I was healthy my entire pregnancy & now I get a cold... what the heck?!

Reese was wearing Cam's Bears onesie & below you'll see a picture of my baby boy wearing it three years ago at about the same age.

I'm so incredibly blessed to have two beautiful kids!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby Legs

I've always adored it when babies wear those cute leggings paired with a onesie. Now that I have a baby girl, I couldn't wait for her to sport them! Lauren sent me a link to the Baby Legs website since they're running a sale for 3-packs starting as low as $10.

I ended up getting 9 pairs for $34 which is a really good deal! 3 of the 9 are newborn size which is what Reese is wearing today.

As cute as they look on, they'll be convenient for diaper changes too.

I could just eat this little gal up, she's so cute!

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Like a Weed...

My mom & I took Reese for her 2 week weigh-in yesterday since she'd lost 7% of her body weight at her 3 day check-up. We all took guesses as to what she would weigh this time around & Mike & I were guessing 7#, 2oz since she'd gone down to 6#, 9oz at her 3 day check. I thought my mom was being a little unrealistic when she guessed 7#, 7oz so I was shocked when the scale registered 7#, 9oz!! My little gal gained a full pound in 2 short weeks! And she's grown an inch & a half since birth! All that eating & sleeping is helping Reese to grow like a weed!

I'm so glad today is Friday... looking forward to Mike being home & spending the weekend as a family. This week has absolutely flown by though! My time home with Reese seems to be going way too fast so I'm savoring it before I have to go back to work full-time in 6 short weeks. Boo. My mom has been an amazing help & I am beyond thankful to have her here so I can focus more of my attention on Reese vs. the day-to-day chores. I've barely done laundry in two weeks... I better not get to used to this though since I'm being so spoiled right now! I'll be in for a big wake-up call when I'm back on my own!!

My mom even watched both kids last night so we could go out on a date. We NEVER got to go out when Cam was a baby (and we're rarely able to go out in general since we have no actual babysitters nearby) so this was an absolute treat! We had Italian food & then got some margaritas after dinner. I think it's so important for a couple to try to stay connected even when things are so hectic with kids. Easier said than done sometimes, but when you have the opportunity to do a date night, do it! It can be hard for me to leave the kids or I can feel like I don't want to put someone out by babysitting, but it's so worth it!

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