Monday, January 28, 2013

February 2013 Photo Challenge...

...I've always seen all these other bloggers do photo challenges and I think they are so cool. I always wanted to participate but just never did. Now that I have AR and a new fancy camera, I figured this would give me practice to do one. I'm inviting all you, parents or not parents, fancy camera or phone camera, to join me. I will admit that probably most of mine will be of AR. I plan on doing a week's worth at a time. I got the list from here.


So whose joining me??? I know that Jenni is...anyone else?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

8 Month Photo Shoot!!!

...these photo shoots are much easier when Daddy helps us! Here's Mommy and AR before the shoot:
Absolutely LOVE this headband!
Switching baskets and baby girl is grinning at her da da. 
Hope this basket makes it to her first birthday!
She is so big!
Staring at mommy the whole time!
Comparison pics!

1-8 bear

1-8 basket

Friday, January 25, 2013

Our Trip to Nana's House...

...whew, what a week it's been at Nana's! We have been busy, busy girls. Here's a recap of our week:
Friday, January 18
AR's first plane ride=success! By the time we got to Nana's, it was bedtime.
Saturday, January 19
First stop-Beall's! Beall's is this huge shopping place that always has great discount. We got AR a ton of 24 month clothes (because we have enough of everything before that) for less than $20, I found mom a cute dress for her conference that hides all the bad curves (I want to borrow it!) and I got a new non-mom swimsuit. Here's AR in the shopping cart, the didn't have seats. This lasted about 30 seconds until she was pulling up then Nana and I took turns holding her.
Next stop, Manatee Festival! This was a bust to say the least. We rode a bus to a spring where all the manatees were. We saw one. The others were further out and there were lots of kayaks and snorkelers which I think kept them from getting closer to shore. Here's AR with one! He broke the cardinal rule of characters-never take your head off in front of kids. 
One vendor was a group of local artists. They'd made this manatee out of foam. AR really was digging it. FYI-this is the first time I've taken her to something like this since she's started "exploring." Let's just say that I went through probably half my pack of baby wipes. 
When we got back to Nana's, after a way late nap, we went swimming. AR, as always loved it and made friends with the girl in the back and her brother. 
Sunday, January 20
My mom and I have decided we're sick of our huge a$$e$ so this week we're trying to eat healthier and be more active. So after our delicious veggie omelet that Nana made, we went on a LONG walk with AR and her dog. My mom rode her bike and AR laughed at her the entire ride/walk.

When we got back home, AR was hot so I stripped her down and we played on the floor. She was giggling and smiling like crazy. Of course, I wasn't trying to get a pic of her 2 new teeth but I got this great shot on accident!
In the afternoon, Nana played golf. She picked us up at the house on hole 5 (it's in their backyard). AR LOVED watching everyone swing their clubs and she was a big fan of the golf cart as well.
Monday, January 21
This was a pretty low key day. We attempted more shopping but someone, ahem AR, was not having it so we spent the day hanging out around the house. While AR and Nana went swimming, I went on a bike ride. It was such gorgeous weather and I forgot how much I enjoy biking since it'd been over a year since I'd gone. After swimming, Nana and AR walked to the clubhouse and I rode my bike so she could meet some of Nana's friends. What is the deal with everyone touching her??? We were baby wiping off hands and face the whole ride home. Oh and we did a cute Valentine's Day photo shoot so stay tuned next month for the pics.
Tuesday, January 22
Ahhh...I got a facial and it was ah-ma-zing! Another walk for Nana and AR while Mommy rode the bike. Then we went to the local wing place for lunch. You are totally disliking you carseat down here, not sure what's up with that. I swear your appetite has doubled, if not tripled, while we're down here. You are eating so much!!! Here's a pic of you chowing down on some puffs becase Mommy didn't have enough lunch thawed out for you yet. Nana made you delicious baby food: apples, sweet potatoes, zucchini and spinach plus your yogurt freezes. She made the yogurt dots a little big so they aren't quite bite sizable but you still gobble them down.
You are loving all over Jodie and she's tolerating it very well. You even pull up on her and she just sits there like your Shadow dog does at home.
Wednesday, January 23
Whew! Tuesday was a LONG night. Despite prunes, water and poop prayers this little girl didn't have a good bowel movement on Tuesday which made for a LONG night. Her and I were up from 11:45-2am, I tried giving her all the meds I brought (gas drops, teething tablets, Infant Advil), rocking her, standing and swaying and finally at 2am, I decided to nurse her and she passed out in bed with me. We slept until about 4am, started crying again so I nursed her and we slept until 5:45am. Then she was a happy girl once we woke up.

After we took a nap, we headed to the local Wal-Mart for their grand opening. We met a Pepsi bottle with hands. This was mindblowing for AR!
Then we bought AR her first pair of shoes for this summer! She was kicking her foot back and forth so I'm not sure if she didn't like them or enjoyed the other shoe hitting the cart.
When we left, the local animal group had Barney the Owl out. You called his name and he'd turn around and look at you.
Oh and AR peed on Nana's quilt. :-)
Thursday, January 24
Happy birthday Lauren! My mom's friend came to visit with us. AR did NOT want to miss anything. Another pretty low key day as Nana took in all the AR time she could get and I packed. We made one more shopping trip and Nana made an AWESOME dinner!!! This is the "corral" Nana turned her familyroom into. AR has been such a sweetheart this week! 

Friday, January 25
Headed home! We had a great time; we're not looking forward to the artic temperatures we'll be welcomed home to when we get off the plane.
Thanks for having us Nana!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Response from Southwest... is the email I got regarding our experience with Southwest. At least it was an apology and not automated although their only "solution" is to fly it them again to give them another chance. IT was also sent from a no-reply email address so I can't email them back. Thoughts???

Dear A,
Without a doubt, we acknowledge how vital Customer feedback is to our operation, and your comments and concerns about your January 18 travel experience with your daughter have been heard and taken to heart. Travel is complicated enough, especially with kids, and we know that a little help is always appreciated.
As a courtesy to our Customers, our Automated Outbound Messaging (AOM) system is intended to proactively deliver customized automated messages to Southwest Customers when there has been a change (or we anticipate a potential disruption) to their flight. AOMs are typically delivered via telephone call, text message, or e-mail to the phone number or e-mail address indicated as the preferred method of contact during the booking process. We sincerely regret if you did not receive the AOM until your flight landed.
Additionally, although we were disheartened to learn of your disappointment in the service you received from our Customer Service Agents (CSAs) as well as the Flight Attendants onboard Flight #, please know that complaints concerning a lack of sympathy, patience, or kindness from our Employees, particularly toward families, are quite rare. Many of them are parents themselves and are predisposed to respond compassionately to children, even under the most trying circumstances. It is clear that you are disappointed with the service you received from our CSAs as well as the Flight Crew and we are very sorry that this experience was not indicative of the considerate service we strive to provide. We appreciate your providing us with the details of this experience, and your concerns in this regard have been included in our monthly report, which is distributed to our Senior Leaders.
Again, we truly regret having disappointed you. We wish that we could erase such an unpleasant memory; unfortunately, we cannot, but we can encourage you to let us create a new one by traveling with us again soon. Your family's patronage is very important to us.

Amy, Southwest Airlines

Sunday, January 20, 2013

AR's First Flight!!!

...last Friday, AR and I left on a jet plane to go see Nana at her winter home in Florida. It was AR's first flight and to say I was nervous was a bit of an understatement. I was mainly worried that her ears would pop and stressed about how in the world I was going to entertain an 8 month old for a 2 hour flight (let's not mention the 2 hours at the airport before but at least I could walk around). Turns out, I stressed for girl did GREAT!

We flew Southwest and to say I was less than impressed with their customer service was a bit of an understatement. It started when I checked in with her, the stroller, diaper bag, purse, pump, suitcase and carseat. I had it all worked out so I could carry everything. I got checked in, no problem, took the carseat off the stroller, got it wrapped in plastic and then the agent gives me BACK the suitcase AND carseat and says walk over there (about 50 yards) and check your bags there. Seriously? So with no help and bumping a few things along the way, I finally made it there.

Then the line for security took almost 20 minutes. I was hoping to nurse her in the airport and save the bottle for the plane but due to the long line and sparing everyone hungry baby screams, I gave her the bottle. Once we got through security, no problem (so grateful for the stroller so I didn't have to juggle her, putting shoes back on and getting everything else).

Then we waited...and waited...and waited. We walked from one end of the terminal to the other. Luckily, we found a wing that no flights were going out of so we hung out there. It was great because mommy was able to dance around and act a fool. We found a family bathroom that hadn't been used so I wasn't as creeped out by germies. Then we took a bunch of pictures and text them to our family during that time.
Of course our flight was late and we were WAY past naptime so she was starting to get cranky as we waited in line to board. We were about 35-40 to board and I picked the window seat in the very last row. I sat her down and tried to get settled. This was probably the hardest part with a mobile baby because she did NOT want to sit still, therefore, making it impossible to get her toy bag out of the diaper bag, purse in the diaper bag, pump stored overhead and, of course, it would be crazy for the flight attendant to offer any help, right? Here's a pic of her pulling up on the armrest and not looking at me to commerate her first flight.

Luckily, we had the NICEST couple sit next to us. It wasn't really their choice, it was the only 2 seats together left on the plane. They smiled and waved to her, talked to her and helped to entertain. Then the plane took off, I whipped out the boob and the girl conked out. I tried to move her once we leveled out in the air but she'd start to cry so I feel like she was on the boob the whole flight (in reality it was maybe 30 minutes). The guy sitting next to me was so nice because AR was kicking him but he kept saying not to worry about it. Then he got my drink for me and let me share his tray table. I seriously couldn't have asked for better people to sit next to.

She slept majority of the trip. She woke up the last 30 or so minutes. Luckily, crazy mommy was mainly enough entertainment but the people beside us entertained her too as well as a book and toy to chew on. I was so excited that we'd made it with no tears! The time of our flight was perfect because it was an hour past nap time but there was enough at the airport and boarding to keep her curious from napping early.

When we landed, I got in no hurry to get off the plane. We watched our luggage come out and I was so excited to see the carseat had made it! As everyone exited, I once again began the battle of getting my bag out from under my seat, getting the pump down and holding on to my wiggly baby. The flight attendant FINALLY acknowledged us after I asked him to hand me my pump. One lady that was unloading luggage on the crowd popped in the plane and said she saw AR smiling at her from the plane and she had to come see her.

As I ever so carefully made my way down the aisle thinking skinny skinny skinny. We got to the front of the plane and I asked if we could get a picture with the pilot. He came out of the cockpit and asked if we wanted to go in. I said, "Sure! I'm not going to accidentally roll us into the airport, am I?" He promised me I wouldn't so he snapped our pic and then we got one of him and AR. He was great and next to the awesome couple that sat beside us, he was the best part of the flight.


After we got our picture, we turned to go and were stuck because they were boarding a girl traveling by herself with her father. They didn't take the 2 steps back to let us off so we had to squeeze into tiny space, pick up our bags and squeeze out. We finally got off the plane into the walkway and once again, I had to regroup since we had the stroller and I had a brief moment of panic when I couldn't find my Note. FYI-it was in the stroller but I couldn't find it in my hurried, panicked state. As I'm trying to find it and start movig forward, the gate agent looks down the walkway and asks if I'm coming or going. I say going and she tells me, are you ready for this? hurry up. Seriously? I find the Note and go as fast as I can to get the heck out of there. Oh and did I mention that my nursing bra wasn't hooked back so I this entire time I have the girls out. Once I get into the airport, I see that they were waiting on me to start boarding for the next flight.
I had recently attended a conference about companies that give customer service above and beyond and Southwest was one of the companies covered. So maybe my hopes were just too high going into the flight but I was very disappointed by the customer service all around (except for the nice pilot). They didn't even offer her that just a thing of the past? I sent Southwest an email so we'll see what they have to say.
Bottom line though, baby girl did a-ma-zing!!! I couldn't have asked her to be better. I definitely will consolidate on the trip home so I don't have as much to carry but hey, I didn't know the first time around! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Miss AR is 8 Months!!!

...the past 8 months have gone by so fast! It's exciting how much you're changing and learning but stay little awhile longer please!

*You celebrated your first Christmas! You slept through most of your first celebration with the Hfields:

But once you woke up, you really enjoyed playing with the paper. Mommy got a fan for Christmas and you loved beating on the box. Future drummer, maybe???


*Mommy went to the Sleep Lady. Basically I was told I needed to teach you to fall asleep on your own and space out your naps before we started anything else. It was rough the first couple days but pretty quickly you started falling asleep for your naps while only fussing for a few minutes. Stretchin out naps was VERY tough, but I just had to keep you up, redirect you (A LOT) and lots of walking. It eventually got easier to keep you up from nap to nap. However, when you woke up from the naps, uh...crabby isn't even the word to describe it, you were a BEAR!!! Updated a few weeks later and things are much better. When you sleep at night, it seems like you only wake and are up for long periods of time when your belly or teeth hurt.

*Mommy got a new, fancy pants camera for Christmas. I was off the whole week after Christmas so that Saturday, I annoyed you all day long taking your picture. By the end of the day, you were soooo over it:


*You are pulling up and standing like such a big girl! You practically crawl up me all the time. We're still working on getting down after you stand up but we're getting there. If I'm close to you, you'll reach out for me and take my hand then get down on your own. You're doing much better going up and down, up and down.

One day when I picked you, you were standing holding on to the sitter's entertainment stand. Instead of getting down, you walked along the stand until you got to me. It's like you forget you how to get down. You are such a silly girl sometimes!

*Around 32 weeks, I FINALLY saw two little bits of white under your gums on the bottom front of your mouth. They are slowly poking through! As of today, they are about halfway out.

*We had a PAT meeting and you scored off the charts for your gross motor skills. You were on target for communication which the lady said was normal since you were ahead in the other area. However, Daddy and I have non-stop been saying "ma-ma" and "da-da." It seems like you mouth "da-da" but the actually words don't come out.

*We have low windows and you love to pull up on them and stare outside, it's so adorable and then you pat on the window.


*I went through all the boxes of clothes we have and I think we're set on clothes until you're 2! In fact, I could probably dress another baby or two at the same time as you.

*You have figured out how to open your room so when you when I close the door so Mommy can put away clothes and you can play, if you get bored then you just open the door and take off. You can open cabinets which means everything I stashed away out of your sight now needs another new home. You did close the door on your fingers once but a little TLC and you forgot all about it in a couple minutes.

*This may be TMI but it's hilarious. When you hear Daddy turn the fan on in the bathroom, you take off like a mad woman to get there because you know you can play with your bath toys. Sorry Daddy, no more quiet bathroom time for you!

*Mommy and Daddy both got new chairs for Christmas. You love playing with the handle on Daddy's chair and you pull up on Mommy's chair all.the.time! Don't worry, we both got a protection plan as mine already has spit-up and milk on it. 


*Your hair is getting long and at times you're rockin' a mullet.

*You love all kids especially older ones. I think you're really missing the older girl at the sitter's, you used to play hide-n-seek and follow the leader with her. The other baby at the sitter's is 3 weeks younger than you and he's sitting up but not crawling. The other day when I dropped you off, you crawled over to him and started pulling up on him! Guess we need to teach you to be gentle with other babies, huh?
*You found a cowbell and love to shake, shake, shake it!
*Look at those baby blues...LOVE!
So there you have it, baby girl, you're 8 months old! Bringing you home from the hospital seems so far away, I can't believe we'll be celebrating your first birthday in just a few months!!! Baby girl, I love you more than you'll ever know! OXXO (not the store)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy 2013!!!

...Happy New Year!!!

2012 is going to be a hard year to top since it was the year I met my sweet AR!
I hope 2013 is amazing for everyone! My baby girl will turn one this year while I turn the dirty thirty!