Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho It's Off to Work I Go...

...I've officially been back at work for three weeks and for the most part, things are going well. We've had a couple trying nights with breastfeeding but AR and I are both just getting settled into our routine. I had a total mommy meltdown on Wednesday night and beat myself up all day Thursday. And I swear my daughter will never sleep through the night. I like to think of it that she misses me during the day so she wants to get up and see me at night. :-) I'm trying a few different things to see if we can work on it but I'm not holding my breath.

AR and I have been two very lucky ladies the past few weeks because Nana has stayed with us. AR gets to have fun with her during the day and Nana cooks us yummy dinners (and desserts!) not to mention cleaning house, doing laundry, etc...I also love having Nana here because it's another mind to bounce ideas off of plus we both love watching "Big Brother" (which Matt hates). Plus I get pictures throughout the day at work of my sweet baby along with emails that AR dictates to Nana.

This picture was of Nana playing dress up with AR and wearing a bracelet she got as a baptism gift.
A friend of ours (mom of twins) dropped off two bags of clothes for AR. Last Saturday when I worked, the two of them sorted through all the clothes. AR had Nana send me this note with this picture, "Nana said Saturday is fun day......what's so fun about sorting clothes? I just want to run naked!"
This picture was from today. Can you believe my baby is holding her own bottle? She needs some help every now and then but just look at her!
Here she is playing Peekaboo with Nana or blending in with the box and rug.
I'm going to miss getting those pictures and emails at work next week. :-( Not to mention Nana has really helped her developmentally. I wish I could keep up with the weekly posts but, unfortunately, since I'm not with her as much, I don't have as many funny stories nor do I have as much time to post. I will be doing monthly updates (hopefully on time!), until next Friday, when she'll be 16 weeks!?!, I will let you know my sweet baby girl is becoming such a big girl right before my eyes!

Monday, August 20, 2012

AR's Baptism...

...this past Saturday, my sweet AR was baptized. Matt's uncle took some good photos for us. When he dropped them off today, he made this great collage of the photos for us. All of the families came to help us celebrate and the aunts helped us with the reception which turned out really nice.

Picture of the stained glass in the church before service started

Where the Holy Water was held
These are the table decorations my mom made and we gave away at the end of the reception
Table decor
The G-Fam
AR getting the Holy Water poured on her
My sweet, happy baptized girl who did a great job and didn't even make a beep during the ceremony. The dress was made by Matt's grandma for him to wear when he was baptized. His sister and brother also wore the dress. AR must've been a little chubbier than them because we couldn't close the top button!
AR with her sponsors AKA Godparents, my sister and Matt's dad
It was a very nice ceremony and reception...a bit stressful for me but my baby girl did awesome! I try to pray with her every night and always ask God to help her lead her life for Him. I feel like now's the time to thank everyone for all of the prayers for us and AR, even before she was AR. Our family is forever grateful for all the support. AR, always remember Jesus loves you and will be with you!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Returning to Work...

...well, I made it the first full (almost) week of work! Tuesday, the first day back, was really hard. I was off and on weepy while getting ready in the morning but didn't really start crying. That is until I got in the car and then I sobbed the whole way to work. Once I got there and started catching up with people and doing work, I didn't cry. I ended up pumping 15 ounces in two pumpings! On Wednesday, I barely pumped 12. Maybe because I was so emotional leaving her on Tuesday is why I got so much work?

On Tuesday when I got home, I found Nana and AR sitting in the backyard. Once I changed clothes and got to them, AR was all smiles and gave me some good lovin' and hugs. On Wednesday, I pulled in the driveway and saw them sitting on the front porch. I got a big grin on my face and went straight to her. My little slober dober got my shirt soaking but it was worth it for all the good lovin' I got from her.

I'd left three 4 oz bottles on both days. On Tuesday, my mom ended up splitting up the bottles because she'd get so hungry. On Wednesday, she gave her a whole extra bottle and drank a total of 15 ounces!?! Plus when I got home she had 2 really good nursing sessions. Guess she's hitting that 12 week growth spurt!

When I got home on Tuesday, AR had dictated a letter to Nana. Here's bits and pieces of what it consisted of: "Dear Mommy, I was so surprised when I woke up and only Nana was here, but she explained to me that you had to go to some place called work...Nana got a package out of the freezer. She showed me how hard you've been working and making milk for me. Thank you, Mommy! She even showed me milk in the fridge upstairs and put one of the bottles on the counter so I could drink it later. By this time, I was sooo tired...Nana laid me in my bed and I fell asleep and dreamed about you...At 7:45am, I helped Nana empty the dishwasher. We counted 6 forks, 2 spoons, 1 knife...Noon and I'm so sleepy, 30 minutes ahead of schedule and Nana is mean. I'm upset with Nana! Send Nana home!!! 4:00-When's my mommy coming home? Where's my daddy?" Isn't that a sweet note from AR? On Wednesday, I didn't get another letter but I did get a sweet email from my girl.

On Thursday, Nana and AR sent me LOTS of pictures! Here's AR in the laundry basket helping Nana fold clothes.
AR helping Nana with ribbon, looks like she made a mess! They were also trying on the baby hat that my mom made her to wear in the hospital. Obviously, it was a bit big when she was born because it fits great now!

Here she is with her family book.

AR also sent me beautiful flowers on Tuesday. The card said, "Mommy, I hope you have a good day. Love, Autumn" Her Papa helped pick them out!

Then Friday night, I got off work at 1ish and made it home in time to nurse her at 2 inside of having to give her another bottle. She took both sides no problem but then at 5 and bedtime, she only took one side. At bedtime, she was freaking out! I had to give her the paci to calm her down and then snuck the boob in and she nursed then. I was so upset that she was rejecting the boob! I got up with her more Friday night because she'd nurse one side and fall asleep. I normally change her diaper then to wake her up and eat the other side. I didn't last night though because I didn't want to upset her.

So this morning, I was super tired! She only nursed one side but at least she didn't fight me. Then we took a nice long nap on the couch together, man-I miss that! Then at 8 she nursed for a long time on BOTH sides. I have a call in to the LC at Mo Bap so we'll see what they suggest. I'm hoping this is just a transition period and she'll get into the groove of taking both. It was seriously breaking my heart to see her so upset and not wanting to nurse; I cried twice this morning. Guess this is what I get for having such an easy time nursing in the beginning!

OH and side note: I took the dogs to the vet on Thursday. OMG! It was a 3 ring circus doing that by myself. Luckily, a vet tech helped me with them going out to the car. Anyways, Shad's ears have yeast in them so he got meds AND he weighed 112 pounds. His ears are always yucky, it comes with labs. I'd been cleaning them out with a cotton ball but I guess I didn't go as deep as the vet so I didn't think they were that bad. So my tweet on Saturday about feeling like a bad momma was in reference to Shad's ears/weight and the nursing dilemma.

So there you have it, the first week back to work. I survived, AR survived but we both are still getting used to the change. Wish us luck!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Miss AR is 13 Weeks!!!

...Can you believe Miss AR is 13 weeks? I headed back to work this week (another post tomorrow) and so far things are going well. Tuesday was a rough day for AR, myself and Nana but I think it was just a transition day for all of us. Every day when I come home, I get BIG smiles from my baby girl.
*Friday you had two different babysitters and did great for both of them. Both times when I got home and you saw me, you gave me the biggest smile which melted my heart!

*Saturday I took you for a walk and put you facing out in your Moby Wrap. You thought that was hilarious and gave me some more big belly laughs which you reserve for things you find REALLY funny. On the walk, I was pointing things out to you, "White truck, green grass, red stop sign S-T-O-P" Halfway through our walk, I realized your eyes were shut! Here you are before we left for the walk:

*Sunday we took you to church service for the first time and you were such a good girl! We knew you'd want to eat in the middle of church so when you started to fuss, I took you to the "cry room" and fed you. Other than that you didn't fuss at all and only slept through communion. You were so alert and looking around taking everything in. The "cry room" is great. It has a speaker in there so you can hear the whole church service and three big windows so you can see in the sanctuary. There's two really comfy gliders, a changing table, Diaper Genie, bassinett, sink, etc...It was really nice!

*Monday was my last day of my maternity leave. You were super fussy all day and I asked if you were trying to make it easier on mommy to go back to work. I realized after lunch that you hadn't pooped since you woke up. Once Nana got here, you pooped 3x in a row and felt much better! Guess you were just holding it in.

*Tuesday I went back to work and mommy cried the whole way there. :-( But we both survived! Nana and you were both wore out. You passed out while nursing and Nana was in bed and passed out by 8:30. I'd left all 4 oz bottles for you to drink and you sucked them all down. On Wednesday, Nana gave you an extra bottle so you drank 15 ounces plus two big nursing sessions that evening! I guess we're hitting the 12 weekish growth spurt, huh?

*You are LOVING Sophie the Giraffe! You will chew on her face, neck, legs, whatever you can get in your mouth. Nana and I have both checked and it doesn't seem like you have any teeth coming through but you are one drooling, slober machine!

*We got more big belly laughs from you on Thursday. We'd act like we were throwing something for Shadow and he'd go after it. You were crackin' up! You did the same thing with your Aunt Sha Sha and her doggie Champ. Guess doggies jumping and running are funny to you!

Here's a pic of you and mommy after I changed when I got home from my first day of work

Happy 13 weeks Sweet AR! Mommy loves you more than you know! OXXO (not the store)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to the Grind...

...yes, today is officially the last day of my maternity leave. I'll be surprised if the laptop still works after writing this post because I'm crying like a baby. In some ways, I'm ready to go back but deep down I worry about it and I really don't want to leave her. I'm sure once I get back into the swing of things, it'll be fine but leaving her that first day, week, month is going to be hard.

Honestly, I haven't had a single social engagement other than short visits here or there with friends since AR's been born and a wedding reception last Friday. Until she was 10 weeks, I could probably count on both hands the number of times I'd gotten out of the house and those were mainly to run errands. Once she got her shots though, we were on the go! But I was always careful to plan things around when she'd eat so we were never gone too long. It'll be nice to get back to work to see my co-workers and interact with people. It'll even be nice to apply my brain! Hopefully going back to work will help my mommy brain ; I swear I tell the same story to the same person at least 3x.

I am also ready to really "start" life with a baby meaning getting back into the groove of "real life" i.e. grocery shopping, social engagements, etc...Right now, Matt and I arrange it so one of us stays home with her or one of our moms watch her. I know once we're both working, it'll be a lot harder to do that.

I'm also a totally worrier. If you've been reading my blog for awhile and haven't picked up on that then I'm worried about you. Now with having my MIL and the babysitter watching her, I'll have 2 more minds to pick about what they think or to reassure me that I'm just freaking out.

All that said, I don't want to leave her! I was very lucky to be able to take the full 12 weeks off. I was able to watch her grow and establish a great breastfeeding relationship. In the past few weeks, she's really started hitting some big milestones in rolling over, reaching for things, talking, smiling and I don't want to miss a single thing. I've told the sitter and my MIL that if she does something monumental while they're watching her, I don't want to know about. That way when she does it for me then in my mind it'll be the first time she did it!

I'm also so sad that I'm only going to get a few hours a day with her. It's going to be hard for me to go from spending 24 hours a day with her to about an hour in the morning and then a couple hours at night. While I said I'm ready to start doing more things socially, I feel like when I'm off on the weekends that I'm not going to want to do anything but spend time with her. Luckily, I work this coming Sunday so I'll get a day off with her next week.

Now my biggest fear about returning to work is breastfeeding and I cannot state how much this concerns me. As I stated above, it's going really good. My supply is doing great, AR latches on awesome and I have 500+ ounces frozen. But I also haven't really had too much to stress out about. I'm afraid that work and her taking more bottles will effect my milk supply.

I really want to try to BF for a year. I never thought I'd feel so strongly about it. My original goal was to make it the 12 weeks I was home. The biggest reasons for me is 1. knowing all the good things she's getting from me. 2. I love seeing her smile up at me in the morning, I know that'll be a great start to my day. 3. it's free! Plus I think I'm going to be in shock once I have to start washing more than one bottle a day.

My goal is to just stay positive about it, reach out for help if needed and nurse her as often as I can. I'm hoping to still be able to nurse her 4/7 feedings (but hopefully we'll drop that middle of the night one-ha!). My plan is to only give her bottles when I'm away from her so on the weekends, it'll probably be all nursing. On the nights I have to work, I plan on taking her in to the babysitter's late so we'll still get 3 nursing sessions in before I have to drop her off. Hopefully I'm worrying for nothing.

It's crazy to think about where we came from. This time last year, I was gearing up for our second round of IVF. I had three totsicles waiting for me and now I have this beautiful, amazing daughter. Some days it's still so foreign to me that I'm really a mommy. I love every moment I have with her even when she's crying in the middle of the night or shooting milk out her nose on me, I wouldn't trade a single dirty diaper for anything else. It makes me sad to know that I won't ever have an extended time like this with her again but I'm looking forward to all the memories and milestones we're going to experience together.

Baby girl, I hope you know that your momma loves you more than you'll ever know and there isn't anything in this world I wouldn't do for you. OXXO (not the store)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where It All Began...

...last Tuesday, I took AR back to WU where it all started. As I got off at the exit, I remembered how many times I'd taken that exit and been a ball of Dr. K called to tell me the embryos had thawed nicely, on my way to get my blood drawn for pregnancy tests, on my way to have my egg retrieval, on my way to hear IVF would be the only way we'd ever have a baby and this time, I was still nervous but for a different reason. I was worried about what if I walked into a waiting room full of women wanting a baby more than anything in the world. I was so scared I was going to upset someone because I'd been in there place and I know that seeing a baby at your infertility clinic is the last thing you want to see. Luckily, Dr. O had told me to come during a time when they usually didn't see any patients so there was no problem.

Everyone in the office was so happy to see her. I was bummed Dr. K wasn't there (she's the one who did my retrieval and transfer that I got pregnant) but I did get to see Dr. Val and her nurse Mary. Everyone wanted to hold her and they were all very happy for me. I thanked them all numerously and told them thanks for putting up with me because it was all worth it. Dr. Val, who is sometimes not the most personable, even said, "This made my day. This is what it's all for."

Dr. Val and AR
My favorite fellow, Dr. O and AR. He was great with her, probably helps that he has a daughter a month older than AR. I could tell he's a really good dad.

They made my dream come true so the least I could do was make their day. It was great to see everyone but it was nice to be there on different terms than normal. Prayers and baby dust to all the patients still on their journey!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three Months...

...Time sure has flown by! I can't believe my baby girl is three months old!?! Here are comparison shots of each month...

The only real difference I notice in each is that she's chunkier each month! Here are her photos from yesterday. Definitely think that white onesie will be retiring soon as it was a bit snug.

How come the first 12 weeks of pregnancy go so slow but the first 12 weeks after pregnancy go so fast? Love you Sweet AR!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Miss AR is 12 Weeks!!!

...oh baby girl, you're 12 weeks old today and this was my last full week home with you! It's been an amazing 12 weeks and I can't wait to watch you grow more and more.

*Saturday night you proved that you could sleep through anything. At 8:30, the doorbell rang by some campaigners. Momma was NOT happy but you didn't wake up. At 9:30, Daddy gave you your dreamfeed. Then at 10:30, Daddy woke me up saying that we needed to go downstairs because a storm was rolling through with winds of 50-60 mph! We didn't want to risk anything with you so all three of us trucked downstairs. You slept in your pack-n-play bassinet while Daddy and I slept on the floor. You woke up at midnight, I fed you then we went back upstairs because the storm passed through. Silly Daddy though stayed asleep downstairs for a couple more hours! Good job little girl!

*Sunday we took you to church. Well, not a service but a baptism class that Daddy and I needed to attend. You were the only baby there, well one other baby was there in her momma's belly, and you did such a good job! You were all smiles when we arrived. When the pastor started the class, you got a little fussy but within a few minutes, you got situated on my chest and took in everything around you. You eventually fell asleep against me. I hope you don't sleep in classes when you get older!

*Monday night around 9, you sneezed yourself awake. I went in your room to check and saw you wide eyed staring at me and coughing a little. I picked you up to try to let you burp any gunk out. Daddy walked in and started talking to you. As I was telling him not to talk to you so you wouldn't fully wake up, you gave him the biggest grin. It melted his heart and he said, "OH! Look how happy she is to see me!" When I laid you back down, you were just grinning at both of us and then as we started to slowly back away, you gave that big pouty look. I couldn't help but laugh at that. Daddy came in a few minutes later to give you the dream feed and you were still wide awake. I looked in a few minutes later to check on you guys. You were done with the bottle and Daddy was just rocking you. I think he was trying to get in some extra snuggles since he didn't get to see you before bed.

*Tuesday I took you to vote with me. Everyone thought you were so cute and the little old ladies made sure I got a sticker to put in your baby book. Don't worry, it's in there!

*Tuesday Daddy was putting you to bed and you spit up...on yourself and him and the rug and the footstool! Daddy needs to learn to contain to one space rather than move around like crazy-silly boy! Also, you were wearing your blue Grandma onesie because Grandma Star was watching you Wednesday but we had to change you. This is the second time we've had you in that onesie for her and she hasn't seen it yet.

*I made a "Family Photobook" for you since I'm going back to work next week. It has all of your immediate family with a picture of you and their name typed on it. I don't want you to forget any of us!

*You have been really into twirling your hair. It makes me nervous because I flashback to when you first found your hair and gave it a big yank which resulted in lots of tears. Luckily, you haven't done that again so twirl away!

*Your naps have gotten shorter during the day and I don't even know what's up with your nighttime sleeping schedule. We put you down at 7pm and give you a dreamfeed at 9:30. This week, you're started getting restless around 9pm so when we give you the dreamfeed you kind of wake up. Daddy and I are discussing what to do with it...get rid of it, give you more milk, we're not sure yet. Then you wake up at midnight and I feed you. Then you've been getting up at 2ish but you're never fully awake just fussing. This week I've been able to give you your pacifier and you go back to bed. Wednesday night though, you went to sleep for an hour, got up again so I gave you the paci and rocked you and then fed you and you went right to sleep. You never really seem to be in a deep sleep during your naps and sometimes later at night so again, I'm not sure what's going on there. Should be interesting for me when I go back to work next week...

On to cute baby photos and there's a LOT this week!

My sweet baby
She does such a good job holding up her head and for a long time too.

You and Daddy ready for church on Sunday; you both looked so pretty! 
Cool shades, huh?
AR thinks her new ball is to stick her tongue through the holes
 Wore her shades on our walk the other morning and didn't even try to pull them off

Happy 12 Weeks Baby Girl! Momma loves you more than you know. OXXO (not the store)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Need Your Blog Address!!! you can tell, I redecorated the blog a little bit. Not sure if I'm loving it or not but it was in need of a change so this will work for now. When I changed it, it deleted my blog list-wah!!! Please leave a comment with your blog address so I can add you to my list. I guess this is one way to do some cleaning up on this thing!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Don't Forget to Vote!!! is election day and it was AR's first time at the polls! In total mom brain fashion, I took Matt's voter registration card instead of mine. So I had to take AR and the carseat BACK out to the car and get my driver's license and back in. I should have arms of steel soon.

As you can tell, AR was worn out after voting...
When we got home, I took her out of the carseat to take this picture. As you can tell, she was so tired that she could barely keep her eyes open. Like how I also put her in stars to be patriotic ;-)

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and vote!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Miss AR is 11 Weeks!!!

...Whew! What a busy week it's been! Once you got your shots, you and mommy were go go go! Daddy went to the fair so we headed to Cape with the doggies to hang out with Nana.

*While at Nana's, you got lots of vitamin D. You loved sitting on the front porch watching everything around you. Luckily, it cooled off although you did spend a lot of your time being a naked baby in just your diaper.

*On Sunday, we went to Papa Butch's and I heard your first real laugh! I thought you had been laughing before but this was a real deep belly laugh. I've been trying to get you to do it again but I don't have the touch like Papa.

*Over the weekend, I realized you have cradle cap which I lovingly refer to as cradle crap. Luckily, Nana was there to help me wash your hair and scratch your head. I shouldn't be surprised because I get dandruff too so I guess you inherited that from me. After a couple days, it's gone so maybe I just didn't get the soap out good enough?

*You got to meet LOTS of people this week...all of Papa's co-workers, Miss Kristal, her son Isaac and her mom Mama Fish. You were such a good girl for all of them!

*Saturday, Nana and I took you to Target and the Party Store. I put you in your Moby Wrap facing out so you could see everything. You were soaking it all in and did awesome! You got a little fussy as we were checking out. Then we headed to Hobby Lobby and I put you back in the wrap but this time facing me. You fell right asleep so Nana and I got a lot accomplished for your baptism! I don't know why because I already knew this but I'm so amazed at what a good girl you are during the errands and the lunch dates we've had.

*I think you might be a lefty. You use that hand a lot!

*Thursday you rolled from your belly to your back! Nana and I had just been reading what you "should" be doing and that was one of the things. I decided you needed more tummy time so we put you down and then BAM! you rolled right over.

*Your sleep, little were doing so good waking just once a night even when we were at Nana's then you got home and now you're up at midnight and 2am. I have conceded that you won't be sleeping through the night anytime soon but if we could go back to just once a night, mommy would greatly appreciate it.

*You stayed at Ms. Pam, the babysitter's for the a couple hours on Tuesday. Considering the only time you'd been to her house and met her, you were asleep, I think you did pretty good. You didn't want to nap there though but you took a bottle. I'm sure you'll get used to it once you start going regularly.

*I am still loving when you nurse and you just stare up at me and smile. It melts my heart every time!

Now on to cute baby pics!

Big smile at Nana's!
She's not all smiles all the time though. Have you ever seen a lip this pouty before?
Don't ask me why but I like this pic. I think it's because your face is like, "Hey there..."

Happy 11 Weeks Baby! Mommy loves you more than you'll ever know. OXXO (not the store)