Friday, June 24, 2011

four months old!

Dear G,
You turned four months old this week!! I seriously can't believe how fast this is all going. I'm sure in [what feels like] 2 days I'll be watching you walk across a stage, shaking principals' hands and receiving a diploma. People say it goes by fast, and I'm now one of those people. As I was putting you down for a nap a few minutes ago I thought to myself how soon you'll be eating food, going on the potty, dating boys, keeping me up at night in worry...I'm not ready for that. I'm not even ready for you to start crawling.
As a four month old:
  • You weighed in at 13 lbs 4.5 oz, 50%
  • You were 26.3 inches tall, 98%
  • You can roll to your front and back!
  • You have laughed like a big girl on several occasions and it's soooo cute. I can't get enough they aren't just little giggles--they are real laughs!
  • You are getting very, very good at holding things and are becoming an expert grabber...even at things laid out in front of you--you go get them.
  • You are getting up to eat once a night. This is not very cool because you had been sleeping through the night!
  • You go to bed around 7 and fall asleep around 7:30. You eat somewhere between 3:45-4:30, and sleep until 6:30...if I'm lucky!
  • You take 3 naps a day, that last about an hour.
  • You love being propped up and have very recently started pulling yourself forward. Your abs are getting super strong!
  • You still love splashing in the bath and going for walks. You still love books.
  • Your new favorite toy is a little pink ball received in your goodie bag from the birthday party we attended last weekend.
  • You are putting anything into your mouth- even my chin if I get too close!
  • There are still no teeth cutting through, despite the occasional bout of teething.
  • You do not like shots.
  • You are fascinated by wind and trees. Being outside is a favorite.
  • I'm positive you are seeing all different colors now and are showing a preference for pink and orange.
  • You are currently preferring your left hand. We'll see how that pans out.

We love you very much!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

#1 Dad

the mug G got daddy for Father's Day
Dear G,

Father's day was yesterday, and as is your dramatic style...we had to stay home from church for the first time since you were born because you were inconsolable in the morning. It was so bad; we tried EVERYTHING known to man to make you feel better / stop screaming and finally we gave you half a dose of baby Tylenol. Last resort. I was walking around on egg shells yesterday trying to avoid doing anything that might re-agitate you after you had calmed down. Your dad and I truly thought you were cutting a tooth...but still no tooth. Grammy said maybe your shots (first ones ever last Thursday) were getting to you. We didn't think that made sense because it was now Sunday, but I'm now inclined to believe agree with her because you just now had another miserable bout of inconsolable crying. It seemed worse than yesterday, but that's probably just because your daddy wasn't here. It's very nice having him around to tag-team with. I hate seeing you cry, and it's even worse when I've never seen or heard you cry so hard...I was on the verge of tears myself. Stupid shots.
Thankfully your daddy is awesome and is such a great help with you. He has been an amazing husband to me for the past two and a half years, but I'll really focus on the daddy things here.
trying to distract you out of crying, naked tummy time
From the day we found out you were growing inside me, daddy has been nothing but supportive and compassionate. He was a little nervous in the beginning and that's understandable! He had a new job and we were in a new place...and now a new baby! Thankfully that new job came with great health insurance so that we could find the best care for you and me. Daddy came to the first ultrasound, even though there wasn't much to see. It was 2 weeks after finding out about you, and I scheduled it around his lunch break. It was July 15th. You were so tiny--all we really saw was a grain of rice until the sonographer zoomed in. There, on the black and white screen we saw your teeny, tiny, beating heart. Bump, bump, bump, bump. It was around 160 beats per minute. You were healthy and growing. Justin became a father and I a mother in that very instant. We left the office excited, scared, and most of all in awe of the gift God was entrusting us with.
Daddy with your 20 wk sonogram pictures
The next few months I saw the kind of father your daddy was going to be to you. He brought me crackers and water in bed when I was nauseous. He told me I was beautiful when I felt fat (still does). He went on walks with me, and talked about all the things we hoped for our little bear. He said countless rosaries for our health. He came to almost all of our pre-natal appointments. He went to the library and picked out a daddy-to-be book. He read the whole thing. He also did, in my opinion, one of the most selfless thing a man of his age could do. He said yes to doing the Bradley birth method! When I told him all about it, and how I didn't want you entering the world medicated...he was on board. He went with me to class every Tuesday night from 7 to 10, from the end of August until the middle of November. That's why it was selfless. Something like 50 hours of birth class, all because I told him it's what I wanted for us and you...he is glad we did though. We learned lots about pregnancy/labor/birth and successfully gave birth to you the Bradley way in February.
We didnt find out what sex you were until you were born. When everyone asked what we thought you were...he knew you were a girl. I did too (I didn't care what sex you were whatsoever.) and that's why we scrutinized over girl names wwaaaayy more than boy names. You have him to thank for not being named: Georgia, Guilianna, Lucy, or Hadleigh...but you may still end up with a sister of one of those names though ;-)
Your daddy wanted a boy--He knows you will still go fishing with him...he just wanted a boy because he didn't want to deal with her (you) dating and being around boys like him when he was younger.
So, daddy was very supportive of us while you were still in my belly. And when it came time for you to arrive, he was calm and attentive. He counted and timed contractions with me. He pushed in on my back where you were pushing out on my back, trying to make me feel better. He got me water and was my shoulder/body to lean on when I got weak.
You arrived and your daddy was right there to announce, "it's a girl!!!" We were so happy you were finally here! Daddy stayed in the hospital with us and was very active from the start. I think I changed like 2 diapers in the hospital. He snuggled you lots and brought me snacks and water.
Father's Day reading!
Your daddy has always been supportive of me breastfeeding you...so much so that I often say, "we breastfeed," when in all reality, I'm the one doing it.
Something that makes you really, really lucky is that daddy started baby work outs with you pretty quickly. This is what I attribute your strength too.
While some may say that dads don't really get involved with babies until the babies can interact with them...I disagree.
Your daddy was counting with you, showing you his fingers, "one, two, three, four, five," and making you aware of your own fingers at age 4 days old. He reads you stories, and sings little songs to you.
We started tummy time early on and he always gently encouraged you to lift your head...now you never put it down. He also was the one who propped you up first and should get a lot of the credit for your stability. Although you aren't sitting unassisted yet, you're very strong!
Yesterday we witnessed you rolling from back to tummy for the first time ever. I was so excited, but your daddy was over excited! Last night he apologized (not necessary) for pushing you so hard. He's very gentle though, not overbearing or anything. He leads by example, modeling rolling and crawling in front of you on the floor. He just sent me a text message asking if you've rolled over today yet. He is currently trying to teach you to crawl.
He just wants you to be the best, reaching your full potential. I think that makes him a great father, and the love he shows you makes him the best daddy I know.

Ps. things that make him a great husband and therefore a great father by default for keeping momma happy :)
  • He is a provider; working 55ish hour weeks
  • One of my favorites: cleans the shower
  • Takes the trash and recycling, does the occasional load of laundry or washing of dishes.
  • Mr. Fix-it for all things mechanical, electrical, and home-related.
  • He's pretty good at communicating, and tries to say hi at least once during the day.
  • He.is.very.patient. Always.
  • Listens to me complain, nag, whine and still loves me & doesn't get mad--because he says he knows I don't mean any harm (true)
  • Puts up with my hormonal outbursts & tries to offer other perspectives
  • Doesn't mind getting dirty and is our official spider / bug terminator
  • Takes you from me if I got spit up on me (or worse), and need to clean up
  • Gets me water while I feed you, and sometimes I don't even say please!
  • He encouraged me to stay home with you
  • Takes us to church. 
  • Doesn't play video games (holla!) so therefore we are even luckier because he's not distracted
  • He believes and acts like things that matter aren't things. This is so important because he knows a lot of people driving new trucks or owning nice homes...but he has us and especially you...and that's all that matters.
Daddy & G Father's Day 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bradley Reunion

Dear G,
Last night was super fun! We went to our Bradley (birthing) class reunion. One of the couples families from our class hosted the get together at their house. There were seven babies, you are the youngest...just like your mom and dad! It was set for a 6 pm start time, and I wanted to get there right at 6 because I didn't know how early we would have to leave due to your crabbiness when bed time gets too late. Of course, we were going into the city and hit bad traffic. We arrived a bit after 6 and two other families were there. We met all the babies, chatted, played, took some pictures, and ate some food. I made broccoli cheddar dip to share; all of the dishes were delicious!

H, I, R, V, K, O, G  |  Girl, Boy, Boy, Girl, Boy, Boy, Girl

When we lined up all the babies for a picture, I realized that even though you are much smaller than many of them now, these are the babies that will be in your same high school year. It seems crazy now, because some of them look like small toddlers and make me realize just how little you still are, but in a few years you'll all be indistinguishable as far as ages go. I wish that we would live here forever so that you could grow up knowing them all. Their parents are great people too. I think it'd be so fun to get together every year for a reunion...but such is our current life situation. Speaking of moving...you dad still can't give us a clear idea as to where or when we will be moving. I'm not good at uncertainties, so it is kind of driving me nuts. I'd like to put roots down, but his job is good and he likes it, so we will do what is best for all of us. Right now, that's staying here.

Another reflection from last night is how involved all the daddies are. I guess that makes sense because it was a Bradley reunion, which is, after all, husband coached childbirth. So if the daddies wanted to be really involved in the pregnancy and birth of their babies, it makes complete sense that they would be really involved dads. I just hadn't given it much thought...but seeing them all last night, with their babies, made me so happy. That is how it is supposed to be. Families are supposed to be a good mommy, an involved daddy, and their babies. Yes, situations arise where that isn't possible, and those are families too...but the ideal situation, to me, is what we saw last night. I hope that later in your life, dear daughter, you find a man who is as good of a husband and daddy as yours is--as good as all those poppas were last night. They aren't scared to change a diaper, they play with their babies, they hold them so the mommas can eat or socialize, they understand their babies needs, they can console them...and be a disciplinarian as necessary. It's not fair for the mommas to be the only bad cop ;-)

Anyways, I'm glad we brought you into this world together and I'm glad the babies from last night got similar welcomings. Thanks to Summer Hill for teaching our class! Thanks to all the families for a great experience!

God Bless all the babies!!!
Oct, Nov, Dec, Dec, Dec, Jan, Feb
In closing, I thought it would be fun to do a little Bradley Fall 2010 personality awards (like in high school):
  • Most Likely to Succeed: V, of course I'm sure all the babies will do great things but little miss V seems to have a lot of ambition already. She braved the rough-housing by the boys last night, a sure sign of a winner!
  • Best All-Around: O. Such a little go getter who was pretty much always smiling last night!
  • Most Likely to be Famous: R, with parents like his and his handsome little face, it won't be long before this boy is on the television!
  • Hardest Worker: H, for everything she's accomplished so far and will accomplish in the future, she works so hard to beat the expectations!
  • Best Smile: K, seriously, the boy is a heartbreaker already! Gorgeous!
  • Sweetest Personality: G, my baby girl is just a lover all around!
  • Class Clown: I, for his crazy antics last night, including a high pitched yell and rolling onto R! He also gave my baby girl a kiss on the cheek! He's clearly a jokester if he thinks her daddy will let any boy near here like that. HAHA!
ps. In dramatic fashion, as is your style, you had to have a wardrobe change. I was changing your diaper and you decided to go again! It got all over your diaper cover, onsie, my hand, and the changing pad... good thing I packed another cute onsie for the pictures. Your dad handled most of it after my hand got dirty, so that's sweet of him :-) With Father's Day coming up, I have been reflecting on all that he does for us...and the answer is a lot! I'll write more about him for father's day.

    Monday, June 13, 2011


    Dear G,
    We've not had a 'just us' week at home in 3 weeks! I hope that this has led to you being more social and flexible. You're definitely social; the jury is still out on the latter. Your Great Aunt  and Great Uncle came to visit the first week of June. You got some fancy Steeler clothes and bibs :-) It was really nice to just hang out with you and them. I was also able to run some errands sans baby, which is nice for you and me because I got them done faster and you got to play! They stayed in a hotel but they were here most of the time, so you got to snuggle up to Aunt J lots, and you found Uncle's face amusing. During their visit you started really using your hands a lot more. They've become you're favorite play things.
    They left on Monday, then on Tuesday one of my good friends came to visit us! You smiled at her a lot, and loved it when she held you on her lap.
    Then we had 2 days to ourselves!

    On Friday, Grammy and my sister came for a visit after being at MU for a few days. They stayed in our living room. You, in my opinion, remembered them! Grammy brought you a new electronic book that makes cool sounds and reads to you. They brought you some clothes. You are so spoiled!

    I was able to go work out while Grammy babysat you, then on Saturday my sister, Grammy, and I went shopping and you finally got some much over due alone time with Daddy. He's been working a lot and the two of you needed to reconnect. You've also been getting some daddy play time in the morning. I love watching you two play. You definitely know who he is :-)

    In the past few weeks you have:
    • Gone through another bout of teething that still produced no teeth.
    • Regulated sleep more, got off track, got back on track and are currently on a 3 night streak of sleep ~7:15 pm to ~6 am
    • You've been taking 4 naps, usually only fighting the last one.
    • You've been squirming more than ever. One morning we even found you 180 degrees from how we put you to sleep!
    • Yesterday you began really lifting your legs under your butt in a crawling motion; your arms and upper body are what need strengthening before you'll really be mobile.
    • You have also been wanting to stand up when held on someone's lap.
    • You enjoy sitting up, but can't pull your self into a sitting position yet.
    • You have become like a little adult, with so many mannerisms and expressions, it cracks me up!
    • Splashing your legs in the bath is probably your new favorite thing!

    Recently this has been our routine:
    • Wake up, eat, play, often eat again
    • Nap, mommy picks up and I tend to nap here too!
    • Wake up, play on the floor & listen to pandora lullaby station while mom does a computer related chore, when I'm done, we'll dance some :)
    • Eat and nap (many people would advise against eating before nap, but it helps you nap longer and works out best...so we do it!), I do a housekeeping chore here
    • Wake up, usually go for a walk but if the weather is bad, we just play and read stories
    • Eat and nap, I usually eat my lunch here
    • Wake up, practice talking, rolling, scooting, sitting, holding things (varies day to day)
    • Eat and nap, I do something fun here like do the wii or work on a craft
    • Wake up, play, bath (every other day), maybe swing, usually daddy comes home! (sometimes it's later)
    • Bedtime! :)

    You are such a precious little girl and some days I can't believe how lucky I am! Lately when I see a little toddler with her mommy, I get very excited for when you hold my hand and walk along with me. I imagine you'll have blond little pig tails and a cherub little face with a cute but bold voice. You'll have the most adorable everything and while I am not wishing any of this time away...I know that everyday with you is a blessing and I look forward to what the future brings.

    Thursday, June 09, 2011

    father's day card!

    I Love Daddy Father's Day 5x7 folded card
    Create personalized greeting cards and invitations at Shutterfly.
    View the entire collection of cards.
    cute huh?? I <3 using shutterfly!

    Wednesday, June 01, 2011

    First big trip!

    Dear G
    Last week we spent some time at Grammy & Papaw's house. I think you had a lot of fun! I'm sure you were a little confused because it was a totally different environment and situation compared to that of our home, but it's good to visit family. I know your aunt was really glad we came, too!

    You behaved very well on the plane-nursing or sleeping the whole way. It was a little awkward nursing you nect to a 60 year old man from Birmingham whose son is a baptist preacher... Thank God for hooter hiders. A woman on our way off the plane commented how well behaved you were-she didn't even know a baby was on the plane!
    We were picked up by papaw and your aunt. We ate at Crackerbarrel, where you looked around and soaked in the sights while I ate delicious fried apples and chicken n dumplings (not as good as my homemade ones though!). Then we picked up your p&p from great-grandpa's and visited a bit.  You did great in the car until the last hour...you were a wreck and it was sad to see you so upset. Your papaw and aunt got an earful!
    When your dad joined us on Friday night, we were both happier! He completes us. He was so glad to see you, he shined his phone light on you as we were sneaking to bed past sleeping you because he hadn't seen you in 4.5 days and wanted to see his baby girl. It was a really sweet moment.
    I was pretty anxious about your sleeping habits at grammy's and rightly so. They were pretty ridiculous. Your naps were all messed up and night sleep  suffered a lot. Everyone said to relax because you'd get back on track at home (yet to be seen)...but that was hard because I know how much happier you are when well rested. Eventually I eased up some. You slept in my old room with me (in your p&p), so I'm sure that didn't help either of us.
    I helped Grammy with her basement that got water damage during the flood. We all played with you. We went to Tio's. I took your aunt to lunch and marble slab. We visited Mrs. Shelley. You got many new clothes and some new toys. Grammy gave you two baths in the sink!!
    You love that a lot! She did too...she really loves having you in her life. You responded pretty well to wearing huggies pure & natural...which treated your bottom almost as good as cloth diapers.
    We went to the wedding with out you, but took you to the reception--which means we had to leave early. We missed the cake and dancing--I am bummed about that--but such is the life of a committed momma.
    Grammy watched you by herself once and with your aunt another time, and I'm sure you bonded. Papaw watched you for 10 minutes by himself in between the time we left for the wedding and the time Grammy&aunt got home. I was a little worried about that, but he adores you and you just smile and coo back at his silly face.

    You took a (pumped) bottle from your aunt & did so very smoothly. It was sweet to see her expression as she fed her little niece. You also took one from Grammy. Everyone got their fare share of diaper changing and snuggle time.

    We went to 9 am mass and you didn't really do so great...people said you weren't that bad, but they haven't seen you at noon mass here--you're typically a great baby in church!
    You met your great nana and pawpaw, great aunt, and cousin...of course they loved you and enjoyed spending time with you. I'm happy to spread around the G love :)
    The extended family came to your aunt's graduation party and I dressed you in a collared red onsie and an osh kosh jean dress...which you promptly spit up on, but it was cute while it lasted!
    It was the biggest party you've been too so far, and you behaved as well as could be expected. That many people didn't overwhelm you...just being tired got you crabby though. Your great aunt and uncle took care of you for a good amount of time; they love you so much! I'm pretty sure they'd take you for a whole week if I let them! I stayed with them many times when I was younger, so I'm sure they have an affinity for my little girl :)

    We drove through the night hoping you'd sleep and we could get home in good time. I'd consider it a success even though you didn't sleep right away (you were content the first hour) and cried for about 30 minutes and fussed another 30.  I had to put a thick blanket over your car seat to block the passing lights. You get so distracted/stimulated...it's hard for you to sleep anywhere. You are very alert and observant; so it's both a blessing and a curse.
    All day Monday your dad and I relaxed with you. It was nice to just be our little family again, and yesterday I wanted to just snuggle you the whole day. I missed having you to myself :)
    Two last notes:
    after the wedding we attended
    Monday night you slept from seven to seven! I'm sure it was because you were so tired from our trip...but if that becomes habit, I'd be very excited!
    On the drive back your dad said this: "You know, I really love being a dad. It's really fun."
    We're so lucky to have him in our lives...but I did point out that it will get harder by the time you're 14.
    I dare you to prove me wrong! ;-)