Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 19: Baby's First Christmas

Week 19: 12/23/12 - 12/29/12

It's THE most wonderful time of the year.

And this year's Christmas was absolutely perfect.

Lots of relaxing.
Picture taking.
Spending time with family.
Entertaining lots of out-of-town guests.

And mama got two pretty awesome gifts.
A new Canon Rebel T4i.
And a Baby Chunkin.

Traditions, old and new, were celebrated.
Beginning with Christmas Eve at the Greens.
Shrimp cocktail, cheese spreads, and goodies.
Mom allowed one gift to be opened: Christmas Eve jammies for mom, dad, and Beans.
Followed by a special bedtime story: T'was the Night Before Christmas.

I woke up on Christmas morning elated.
Even more excited than when I was a kid.
Couldn't wait to run into Chunkin's room and wake her up.
The magic of Christmas experienced through the eyes of our daughter.
We cuddled with the pups.
Opened stockings and gifts.
Baked while the little Beans napped.
Then our most favorite loved ones came over for Christmas brunch.

And best friends came from all over to celebrate Little Miss Beans.

And Uncle Brad and Auntie Abi came to town.
Always a fabulous time.
Never arriving empty-handed.
Especially at Christmastime.
This year, was a very special handmade, knitted outfit.

Seriously? I want one.

We spent the rest of our time off enjoying Miss Beans.
While she spent her time enjoying her new toys.
And thumb.
And new blankie.

We had ourselves a merry little Christmas indeed.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Week 18: Feeling Reflective

Week 18: 12/16/12 - 12/22/12

This past week reminded there are many seasons in our lives. 

This month just so happened to be one of my tough seasons. 

It was draining physically and emotionally. 
Mostly physically, which in turn made me an emotional mess. 
Not to mention, trying to figure out the whole working-mom thing.
And doing it without any sleep. 

But just when I thought I truly could take no more, 
my "tough season" decided to add a little more. 

A clogged duct. 
Four month shots. 

A recipe for a bad week. 

Lyla's reflux symptoms returned.
I sort of forgot what it was like to have an upset baby. 
We are lucky to have a baby who rarely fusses.
Hardly ever cries. 
Let alone screams.

But this week, she screamed. 
And screamed.
And somewhere along the way, she developed real tears. 
And those tears made their appearance every day this week. 

We went through every burp cloth, outfit, and bib we own.
And Sweet Beans writhed and arched her back in pain.
Saddest thing I've seen in a long time. 
We actually spent one night switching off holding her with her belly on our shoulder while she screamed. 
For two hours straight.
She eventually cried herself to sleep. 
In my arms.
And I must admit, I was secretly happy that Ly wanted and needed lots of extra snuggles.
Hasn't slept in my arms since she was a newborn. 

We haven't seen her like this since she was 6 weeks old. 
When reflux was originally diagnosed. 

And then Friday we got four month shots. 
On the bright side, they were way better than 2 month shots. 
But still shots nonetheless. 

But the kicker of the week?
I got a seriously clogged milk duct. 
So bad that I was up all night trying to de-clog.
I tried everything from a hot bath, heating pad, pumping 3 times in the middle of the night, hand-expressing, massaging. 
Nothing worked. 
And it was clogged for 3 full days. 
Man it was painful. 
But it finally worked it's way free. 

Things can only go up from here though. 
I've got a week and a half home with my baby.
And she's slowly been feeling better every day.
And it's Christmas for Pete's sake.

I'm just hoping this new dosage of meds kick in. 
I want my happy baby back. 
I can't handle those crocodile tears.

Here's to hoping for a better season in the coming new year!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Four Months

Four Months Old

13.6 lbs. and 25 inches long

I'm going to make these monthly posts a bit more detailed as my weekly posts have gotten a bit more...un-detailed.
*That's what happens when mommies go back to work.*

But this month has been my most favorite yet.
It is absolutely amazing how much you've changed.
You are seriously your own little person now.
With a *big* personality.
And an even *bigger* smile.

You're our sweet Baby Ly.
Lyla Beans.
Miss Beans.
Little Miss.
Puddin' Pop.

You've reached so many milestones this month.

Social Skills. I don't know whether you smile or talk more. You are such a happy baby, and it makes my heart burst. You are no longer just making coos, but you've added all kinds of silly noises to your repertoire. Grunts. Squeals. Oohs. Aahhs. And when we talk to you, you talk back. We have the most wonderful little conversations. It's so cute to see you studying our mouths when we talk. You're a little sponge learning the basics of language. Amazing.

Core Strength. This is where you have made the most strides. You are no longer the scrawny little bean who needed support at all times. In fact, if your little legs could hold all your chunkin-ness, you'd get right up and sprint all over the house. You kick your legs all day long, and you use your entire body to scan the room when someone is holding you.

You sat in your Bumbo for the first time this month and love it. And you get downright giddy in your "Happy Seat" at Gi-Gis. This is one of those little exersaucer things where you can push down on your legs and play with all kinds of toys. When we put you on your tummy, you support yourself on your arms - no problem. However, you seem to have forgotten how to roll over. You went from rolling over all the time at two months never. I think you forgot how. **Update on this. Your doctor told us you are probably having troubles being on your tummy/rolling because of your reflux...which is a whole other story in itself.

Motor Skills. You love to reach out and bat, swipe, and grab things. You really like things that are the perfect size to put in your mouth. It always startles me when you grab my hand and start gnawing on it. You don't seem to like any kind of cloth material in your mouth - you make this hideous grimace face. It's hilarious. And you LOVE playing on your activity mat. You reach out and grab the little animals with one hand, and just study them for hours.

Sleep. Yep. I'm counting this as a milestone. This was the month you started (and stopped) sleeping through the night. You started off making it all the way from 7:30 p.m. to about 4-5:00 a.m. This lasted for a couple of weeks. Then one night, you finally just slept until I woke you at 6:30 a.m. I couldn't believe it. You slept through the night for an entire week.
Then I got sick. And my anti-biotics messed you all up. And you were back to spotty sleeping. And waking throughout the night. However. We started putting you down earlier (about 6:30 p.m.), and you've been sleeping through the night again. We're going on two weeks sleeping 12 hours everynight. Woo-hoo!! *Fingers Crossed*...

You are not a fan of:

Reflux. You've been doing so well the past 2 months. In fact, I thought you had outgrown it. I even tried to wean you off your medicine. Terrible idea. It has been bad this last week. So heartbreaking.
The car seat. You just hate being confined. I think you may be a control freak like mom...
Being woken up. This whole sleeping-through-the-night-business has you loving sleep. To the point where you really, really do not enjoy being woken up. At least from your naps. *You do love being woken up in the mornings. You are ALL giggles and smiles first thing in the morning*
Missing out on fun. You want to socialize and be where all the fun is at all times. You get so upset when we stop playing.

Your Loves:

Your thumb. This is currently your biggest love of all. You've got that thing in your mouth all the time. I have to admit, it's pretty darn cute.
Getting clothes on. Not sure when this happened exactly. But you think getting your clothes on is absolutely the most hilarious thing ever. Seriously. You crack up.
Being tickled. You really love your tummy and feet being tickled. You light up and burst out in giggles.
Being sung to. Your current favorite is Jingle Bells. You.are.obsessed. You also like the ABC's and Jesus Loves Me.
Crinkle Bug and Teething Rings. The Crinkle Bug is a little toy that hangs from your carseat. You grab it, crinkle it, and start chewing on it. You think it's the most interesting thing you've ever laid your mouth on. You also love your little teething rings. Or anything that you can put in your mouth...
Bumbo/Happy Seat/Activity Mat. You just like to sit up. And play. Period.
Airplane. The moment Daddy makes you fly as an airplane, you are just giddy. Adorable.

Amazing month. Best age yet. Can't wait to see how you continue to grow.

Love you, Sweet Beans.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 17: Going Solo

Week 17: 12/09/12 - 12/15/12

Oh my goodness, have I gained a ton of respect for single moms out there. 

I can't imagine. 

I was solo for the week.
Gabe was out of town for work.

Boy.oh.boy. What a week.
I was sick.
Lyla stopped sleeping. 
I got an average of 3-4 hours of sleep every night. 
I had three early morning meetings before school.
And the daily tasks continued to pile.

Thank the good Lord for my amazing Mother-in-Law. 
Couldn't have done it without her. 
She came and got Lyla every morning and even did some laundry for me.
She's a saint.

But things sure are easier when Gabe is here. 

Like the night Lyla woke up from a dead sleep. 
Hadn't heard those lungs in weeks. 

She had peed all over herself.
And she was freezing.
What a fiasco getting her changed in the middle of the night.
She was not happy. 

Neither was I. 

But those little things don't seem so stressful when Gabe is here. 

But by Wednesday, we had our little routine down.
I was feeling better.
And she started sleeping through the night again.

She just had to get my anti-biotics out of her little system. 

In fact, we're on night number 4 of sleeping through the night again.


It's amazing how different I feel when I get a good night's sleep. 

And now Daddy is back.

So life is good again. 

He's a big ol' sweetheart.

I think I hear him packing my lunch now...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mom's gotta do what Mom's gotta do

I'm sure yesterday wasn't the last time I reach the point of desperation.

The point where I'm so frantic.
So panicked.

Where I have to think on my toes.
Problem solve.

Do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Even if it's ridiculous.

Yesterday, I reached that point.

My mind was in a thousand different places this week.

I was just getting over being terribly sick.
And Gabe was out of town for the week.
And I have an *almost* 4 month old.
Who decided to stop sleeping.
And I'm a workin' mama.

Too much to remember.
Plain and simple.

So yesterday.
I get to school.
I'm in a fabulous mood.
Because Lyla had slept through the night for two solid nights.
And it was Friday.

So 9:30 rolls around.
My plan time.
This time is crucial for a teacher.
Especially one who is a breastfeeding/pumping mom.

I have my pumping down to a science.
I know exactly how long it takes.
To drop off my kids.
Lock the door.
Get my parts set up.
Get a little work done.
Clean up.
Make sure I haven't left any evidence on my desk.
Pick up my kids.

Well yesterday, I was feeling confident.
I had a meeting with my teammates at the beginning of plan time.
Giving myself exactly enough time to pump before picking up my kids.

I got back to my classroom.
And realized I forgot all my pump parts.


I frantically ran to my teammates and asked them what I should do.
They assured me they could cover for me while I ran home.

But I live at least 15 minutes away *on a good day*.
That's 30 minutes of drive time alone.
Plus a 20-minute pumping session.
Plus 10 minutes of getting set up/cleaned up/getting "dressed".

How was I going to do this?

So I sprinted to my car.
Remembered two friends gave me a car-charger at a shower.
*Thank you Lora and Ali*.

Got home.
Left my car running.
Ran inside.
Got my parts.
Busted open the car charger.
Got back in my car.
Assembled the parts.
Slipped on the "pumping bra".

And then, my friends,
I pumped the entire way back to school.
In the car.
While driving.
While breaking *15 kinds of laws*.
Pulled into the school parking lot.
Cleaned up.
Sprinted back to my classroom.

29 minutes.

I felt like SuperMom, I tell ya.
Or SuperTeacher.
Or both.

All I have to say is Lyla better not ever go through an "I hate my mom because I'm too cool" phase.
Because clearly, I have no shame in doing things that are incredibly embarrassing.
And I will use that weapon, when necessary.

The things we do for our kiddos.

I mean, look at this kid.
She's gotta eat.

After all, she's our Chunkin.