Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: January-June in Review...'s the first half of 2012 in review:


I went to FL to visit my mom. We did a "little" baby clothes shopping...

And also visited a beach!


We officially started the nursery...

Ta-da! Finished product!
I met Danny from the Biggest Loser.
Crib put together!

Only 11 (actually 12) weeks to go until we find out Baby G is a girl!
29 weeks labeled
First baby shower

Maternity photos at my mom's
Finally moving stuff into th nursery; funny how much it's changed but not at all.
At almost 38 weeks pregnant, I was a bridesmaid in my good friend's wedding.

AR arrived!!!!!!
It's amazing how much she's changed from this little baby...
First day of camp! Mommy and baby sporting our camp shirts!

Enjoyed every single moment I had with her during my maternity leave.
Took her first swim with Daddy!

That's the first half, no promises when I'll get July-December up but I'm sure you all know it'll be filled with AR! Hope you all have a great time ringing in the new year; we'll be heading to bed and I think it might be the first time I haven't stayed up to watch the ball drop. Happy New Year's!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Christmas Present... loving husband got me a DSLR for Christmas!!! Woohoo!!! We got a free class with the purchase of the camera so for now, I'm fumbling my way along and then both of us are going to the class towards the end of January. I already have a sitter lined up so consider it a date-lol! I've just been using Picasa to edit but the camera came with a photo editing CD that I haven't opened yet. I have a feeling my FB friends are going to be annoyed because I'll be posting even MORE pics now.
Question to all you out there, where is a good online storage to use? I have a Wags account where I print out my pics every month, I use Flickr for the blog but I want some place that I can store the photos and then use them on another computer. I know I'm going to be taking a ton of pictures and don't want to be sending multiple emails to family...any ideas???
Here are some pics I've taken so far. This is just 4 of the 44 I've already. I've actually taken way more than 44 but I've just paired it back down to that.
Here's AR staring out the window. It's the next best thing for her since we aren't going outside as much due to the nip in the air. I swear the cold does not bother her. She'll stand and pat the window for a long time and her hands will be freezing but she doesn't seem to care.
A little editing...
The Shad Dog...must remind myself that this new camera picks up everything-including all that dust on the tv and shelves!
Love this!
Em Dog!!!
Matt doesn't like the editing o this one but I do!
Matt snapped this one this morning when she was done having her pics taken.
I wish I'd had this while I was on maternity leave but then again, I imagine I would have probably had like a million pictures! I'm super pumped because now I can do my own photoshoots with her. Matt even got me a tripod so I could do family pics of us. I'm also up for trading photo shoots with any of your bloggers that need/want family pics taken! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Sleep Lady...

...I'm finally sitting down to tell you about my visit with the Sleep Lady. Here goes...

The Tuesday before Christmas, I visited with the Sleep Lady about how my little AR will.not.sleep. After a TWO HOUR appointment and reviewing my 15 page sleep log I'd kept, the conclusion was this: AR is VERY smart and very confused. We were doing CIO at night but then we'd rock her for naps so she was totally confused as in, "Okay, mom, you help me sometimes but other times you don't-make up your mind!" She's also very smart because she knows if she cries long enough, she'll get her way and one of us will pick her up and love on her. Let me tell you that talking about sleep after not having any the night before is EXHAUSTING! I left there with a plan but still felt defeated...and tired.

She gave me 2 steps to follow. The first step was to teach AR how to fall asleep on her own and to space out her naps. At first, spacing out her naps was AWFUL! She would be so crabby for the last 15 minutes so we typically would spend that time in the basement with the dogs because, boy oh boy, do her doggies make her happy! She still gets a little crabby when it's close to going down but I must say that laying her down for naps and bed is so much better. I'm talking 5-10 minutes of little fussing which is a huge improvement from 30 minutes of hysterical screams. We still haven't gotten them to be long naps yet so she sometimes wakes up still crabby but the lady said that it could take 2-3 weeks before they get to be lengthy naps. Only twice have we had meltdowns at nap and then it was less than 5 minutes and that was because it was the holidays and we weren't home.

The second step is to deal with night wakings. We haven't started the second step because we really didn't need to. She STTN three nights in a row. Our Christmas gift was an 11 hour stretch of sleep from her and she probably would have slept longer except I got paranoid because I hadn't heard her. Then last night, she was up from 9:15-11:15, slept with me until 2:50, cried unconsolable for an hour then Matt got her to bed around 4. I think it was a bellyache because she hadn't had a bowel movement the day before and kept passing gas. We'll see how the next couple nights go and then probably start step 2 next week. Side note: Last night, before bed time, Matt was on the floor with her while she was crawling around and playing. She was right by his face when she let it rip! It was hilarious!

I'm worried though because I've been with her since Saturday (minus today, she's at the sitter's so I could get some errands run and things done around the house) and I don't know how my MIL and sitter will do with her. The first day we tried it, my MIL had her and she cried for 45 minutes to take a nap. I gave her all the paperwork to read and she read it as lay her down at 7 when it really said no earlier than 7 but lay down when tired. Oy! It's definitely a vast improvement but we still have a long way to go.

I love my sweet AR and I just want her to be rested and happy. It breaks my heart to hear her crying last night even when I'm holding her and rocking her. I never thought I'd send up poop prayers but I do a lot these days!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

7 Month Pics!!! are AR's 7 month shots, only a week late-oops! Good news though, I got a DSLR camera for Christmas so hopefully the shots will soon be better. I'm going tomorrow to get the camera set-up then signing up for a class and hopefully will then be ready to go-woohoo!!! Thank you Mattie!!!

"Get my good side, Mom!"


She always scrunches up her legs in the basket pics!


She looks a little scared, like she's holding on for a wild ride!


I remember when she was about the same size as the bear!


Happy 7 Months, sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Greatest Gift of All...

...I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We were very blessed this year...great weather to travel in, fun times with our families, amazing food, a good night of sleep (baby girl slept 11 hours STRAIGHT!) and lots of presents.

As I put AR to bed tonight, I got a little teary eyed and overwhelmed. It took us 2 years, one failed IVF and I am so very grateful to say that no gift will ever top this:

Silly Elves

My sweet AR, you are my world and I love you so much. Your daddy and I (and a WHOLE lot of friends and family) prayed for you before we even knew you. I had no idea when I was praying for you how much I'd love you, how amazing you would be and how you would complete me. I thank God every day for you!

Silly Elves

Baby girl, you are the greatest gift of all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Miss AR is 7 Months!!!

...omg, no words that my baby is SEVEN months old!!!

*You had your first case of diaper rash the night you turned 6 months. Probably because you pooped 5x in one day. I lathered your bottom up with Destin and by morning most of it was gone. Whew!

*I have a quilt laid out in the living room with your toys on it. You are so close to crawling and can scoot everywhere which you mainly scoot OFF the quilt which has resulted in you 1. having rug burn on your knees & 2. finding the bottom shelf and getting into things. I've slowly started moving things higher and higher...

*You handled Daylight Savings Time pretty well. I kept you up almost an hour past your bedtime, you still woke up at all sorts of hours of the night (which is normally) but you didn't fully wake up until 5am. Good job girl!

*The day you turned 25 weeks, you started crawling! Very slowly but you're moving forward and getting around. You also kind of try to pull yourself up and it looks like it would hurt your back because you put your hands on something and then hang there.

*One week later (26 weeks) and you're a crawling machine! You're also pulling yourself up to your knees and sometimes your feet...girl, you'd better slow down or is this your way of helping mommy lose her baby weight? Here's a pic of you after pulling yourself to your knees.

*I took you swimming at 25 weeks (your 4th time) and I dunked you. When we surfaced, you looked at me with big eyes and a WTH was classic and you didn't even cry. You got splashed in the face 2 more times on accident (waves by bigger kids) and it didn't phase you at all.

*At 26 weeks, I called the doctor's office about your's awful! I don't know if you're playing me, have gas or what your deal is but some nights, I don't even get in bed myself before you're full on awake, head up and screaming. The nurse told me I needed to call the sleep clinic. Please help your Momma out and give me a hint.

*Apparently you're ready to help with laundry and to pick out your own clothes. Daddy and I were sitting on the floor with you and watched you crawl to your laundry basket, tip it over and pull this dress out. Do I have a diva on my hands?
 *One morning I was sitting on the couch pumping and had you in the bouncer lik I normally do. You were bored so you decided to turn/roll over in your bouncer, get up on all 4 and REALLY bounce. You thought you were pretty hot stuff! Luckily, I'd dressed you in a shirt and pants so I could hold on to your shirt until Daddy got you. Update: The bouncer is packed away!
 *H, Sha, you and me went to paint pottery one weekend. They were pretty busy and crowded so I had to hold you the whole time. Of course, you didn't mind although it made it very hard to paint. H had the idea to do a snowman scene and write, "Autumn's Over" so I did and it turned out very cute but whew-Mommy was tired!
*I gave you a bottle for the first time ever. I think you were a little confused because you were staring at me the whole time and when I pulled it away to see how much was left, you tried to start nursing. I had to give you the bottle because you took a super long nap at Grandma's and didn't have your lunch until 1 (normally at 11) and I hadn't fed you or pumped since 8am so decided to pump. Your internal clock must have told you at 2 it was time to eat even though you'd just ate an hour before so when I tried to nurse you, it wasn't coming fast enough so the bottle it was. Later, Grandma told me you'd only had 4 ounces so no wonder you were hungry!

Can I just say that I'm SO glad we don't do bottles on the weekends when we're home together? It wears me out washing 4 bottles every night during the week so I'm glad that we don't have to bother doing that on the weekends.

*Momma's girl...that's a bit of an understatement! If you know I'm in the house then you want me and no one else. It's nice to feel that loved but baby girl, sometimes Momma's gotta pee!


*You celebrated your first Thanksgiving. You and mommy did a Turkey Trot. Hopefully it's a tradition we'll continue over the years. Then we went to Great Grandma G's and you were such a happy girl. However, you did NOT want to nap and you told us how tired you were when we got home. Mommy even put you to bed early!

*They say this is the age of separation anxiety and boy, is that the truth. You grin at your daddy all the time and the other night you crawled to him in the kitchen. The second he picked you up though, you were breaking your neck looking around for me.

*After your 6 month check-up, I decided to take away your pacifier because I feel like that's the main reason you wake up at night. Once I go in and put it back in your mouth, you're happy as can be and back asleep. The first night wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The second night was awful as in up 3-4x and crying for 45-an hour. I was hopeless after that night and dreading night #3. However, you shocked Mommy! On the third night and most nights after, you wake up 2-3x but more just fussing and for only about 5-10 minutes and you put yourself back to sleep-it's way better than it was before! Although we've had another night of being wide-awake for an hour-two at a time. After a few good nights, I feel like your sleep keeps getting worst and worst and worst. The past couple nights are a little better though, you wake up before I even get in bed but then you sleep until 5 so that's nice. Today is the sleep doctor day!

*I've also stopped introducing foods. For now, we're sticking with what we know you like and doesn't upset your belly. However I did give you plums which I think upset your tummy but it definitely got your bowels moving!

*We met a new doctor. You seemed less than impressed because you just chewed on your toy the whole time. Mommy was pleased though, got lots of info such as you needed to come back in a month for your second flu shot...something your original doctor forgot to tell us.

*You nap very well for everyone but Mommy. :-( I can tell your tired signs and I'll lay you down, I'll even lay down with you in bed but you just cry and cry and cry. I'll rock you, I'll let you be, I'll sing to's exhausting for both of us! I've asked your grandmas that watch you, the babysitter and they say you don't do that for them. Guess I'm just the lucky one. ;-) Hopefully the Sleep Doc will give us answers today.

*Did I mention that you pull up on EVERYTHING? It's like when you learned to roll over, once you realized you could do it, you couldn't stop. This is just a half pull but you full on stand:


*Last Friday, you REALLY found your voice. You've babbled before but now it's like you realized, hey, that's coming out of me! Ever since I picked you up for the sitter's on Friday, you just talk talk talk and LOUD! I was on the phone with your aunt and I had to call her back because you were talking so loudly that I couldn't even hear her!

Every day I thank God for you. You are such a good, happy girl who loves grinning at people, patting us all in the face and being on the go go go. You are my miracle and it's amazing how much you change every day.




Baby girl, I love you more than you'll ever know! OXXO (and not the store!)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fear and Faith...

...I don't know about all of you but I can't get the incident in Connecticut out of my mind. I'll be driving down the street or rocking AR or unloading groceries and my eyes fill with tears and my heart aches for the families that lost loved ones. I can't even imagine what those families are going through or how they'll ever recover.

It makes me scared for my sweet AR, for my family, for our world. I remember back in '99 when the word about the shooting in Colorado occurred and that was a rarity but now every time you turn on the news, there's a mass shooting at a school, on a college campus, at the mall, at the movies. Are we safe anywhere??? It makes me want to keep my AR home and shelter her from everything but what kind of life is that?

Sure, you can live in a bubble and be a hermit but at some point, you have to have faith. Faith that there are good people in the world, faith that when you leave your house that you family will come home safely and most of all, faith in God. I believe that God has a plan for each of us and He'll protect my family and me and if it's our time to go then it's our time.

I won't live my life in fear but I will live it in faith of God that He will protect this sweet baby and all of our loved ones.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mad About You...

...If you haven't heard, my baby doesn't sleep. I dread bedtime because I never know if she'll give it up easy or fight me. If I'll be up all night or maybe get a couple hours of a row. Every night is a crapshoot. What amazes me is that no matter how rough a night it is or how little sleep we've all gotten, my sweet AR always wakes up with a smile, a pat on my cheek and my heart melts.

I feel like we've tried everything: rocking, patting, sshhing, co-sleeping, gentle CIO, CIO, teething gel, Infant Advil, gas name it and we've tried it. I've made an appointment with the Sleep Lady. It was supposed to be today, I've been waiting 3 weeks to go, on Sunday I started a countdown...4 nights until answers, 3 nights until answers. Then on Tuesday, they called and oops! they'd double booked. I was so upset that I almost cried. I really feel helpless and hopeless that nothing will work and this didn't help. So we rescheduled for this coming Tuesday so hopefully there's sleep in our future. I've been keeping a sleep log for almost 3 weeks and I've even videotaped her fussing and crying at night for the Sleep Lady to see herself. I'll let you know how it goes.

The whole time we've been having sleep issues and Matt brought up CIO, in the back of my mind I keep thinking of an episode of "Mad About You." This is what I feel like our house is like at night. However, I must say that they are very positive and supportive during all of this. If you've ever been awake every hour on the hour, walking back and forth between rooms then you know that this is no way you are that kind to anyone around.

I love my sweet AR and I'd give up every night of sleep for her but I'm really looking forward to sleep in my future.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AR's Christmas Stocking...

...Nana finished AR's Christmas stocking and I love it:


It's made from the fabric we used to decorat the tables at her baptism. It's the same style/kind as the stockings my Grandma made all of us (Matt even has one!). The hankie is one of hers so she's still a part of AR's. AR loves it too!


Merry Christmas! What did you do for your little one's stocking?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa, Ms. Claus, Reindeer-whew!!!

...whew! What a day!!! This morning, I had to work at Pizza with Santa. I took AR with me and Papa and Daddy to watch her. We got there about an hour early and she was very patient while we waited. Then she loved watching all the people and the kids play the games and do crafts. Eventually though, baby girl passed...out! Here are some pics from the day...

She was such a good girl waiting.

AR and Ms. Claus

Santa waiting to come visit

Hmm...who is that guy?

Passed out on Papa

Daddy got interviewed

Truth to: "He sees you when you're sleeping..."

Then we stopped at the fruit stand on the way home to see a reindeer

Family photo

AR and her daddy with the reindeer

Now sweet AR has been asleep for an hour and girl was worn out!