Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 5 Posts of 2010

Looking back on the past year, I am amazed at how much has changed.  2010 was filled with so many big changes and memories!  Our little peanut was born and changed our lives completely!  This year was really the first year of this blog - I technically started it in 2009, but only had 13 posts that year....so it barely counts. ;-) 

I thought it would be fun to look back at the top 5 posts of 2010, based on http://www.statcounter.com/

#5 - Our Little Peanut is Growing Up
#4 - New York, New York
#3 - Crying It Out
#2 - Milestone: Umbilical Cord Fell Off!
#1 - Happy Thanksgiving

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New York, New York

We survived...barely.  We made the big trip to NYC with Hannah last week and it was quite an adventure.  We flew out on Tuesday afternoon and came home on Sunday.  Hannah seemed to have a lot of fun (LOTS of smiles!) but I came home exhausted.  I need a vacation from my vacation! 

For the first 3 nights we stayed in a hotel in the city (The Hilton Manhattan East, which I highly recommend!)  The 3 of us were in one room (a small room!) and Hannah did not sleep well.  She woke several times each night (several nights it was every hour).  I couldn't let her cry it out because we were in a hotel with people all around us, and I swear she knew it!  So the only thing that would calm her down and put her back to sleep was to feed her.  UGH!  After spending weeks weaning her off the night feedings at home, we were back to square one.  There was even one night where I fed her 4 times...FOUR!  Needless to say, I was tired!  And don't even get me started on the napping situation.  We were lucky if she would even take one nap per day.  But despite the lack of sleep, she was surprisingly happy and loved the big city!  It was very cold and she wasn't a fan of getting all bundled up before heading out, but once we were moving, she loved it.  We were amazed at how much we didn't do while in the city.  We knew we wouldn't be able to do all the things we normally do, but we had no idea just how hard it would be to do anything.  Literally all we saw while we were there was Toys R Us, FAO, and Times Square....that's it!  We didn't see the window displays at Macy's or even the big tree at Rockefeller!  Awful, I know, but there really wasn't any time with Hannah.  By the time we got her ready to go out into the cold, took the train down to Rockefeller (the subway is definitely NOT baby friendly) and started heading toward all the sights, it was time to feed her and then head back to the hotel for a nap.  Yikes. 

For the last 2 nights of our trip we stayed in White Plains in a two bedroom suite with Brian's dad.  It was so much better!  Hannah still slept horribly, but at least we didn't have to hide out in the bathroom while she fell asleep.  We actually had a living room to watch tv in and didn't have to go to bed at 9pm.  However, I will say that one of the highlights of the trip was eating dessert in the hallway of the NYC hotel and playing cards while Hannah slept.  On the last day of vacation Hannah got to meet her Great Grandma Vaccaro, which was definitely the best part of the trip.  It was so wonderful to see Brian's family and made all the sleepless nights worth it.  But by this point in the trip you could tell that the lack of sleep was catching up with Hannah and she wasn't quite as happy as she normally is. 

We were all thrilled to head home on Sunday and sleep in our own beds!  Funny that when we arrived in Atlanta there were snow flurries, while that morning in NY they were having a warm front.  Go figure.

Traveling always makes me appreciate being home even more. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hannah: 9 Months

My Peanut,

9 months old...really?  You have been outside my belly for the same amount of time that you were inside my belly!  (Well technically I guess that's not true, since pregnancy is actually 10 months, but you get what I'm saying.) You are changing so much every day and I can hardly keep up.  It is hard to believe that you are the same baby that I held on my chest the moment you were born - covered in slime, but perfectly content to just lay there with me.  I wish I had known then that you would only let me cuddle you like that for a VERY short time.  After those 30 minutes of snuggling you were ready to conquer the world!  Oh how I miss that chubby little peanut.  But oh how I adore the pre-toddler you are becoming!

Here's what you are up to at 9 months old:
  • You weigh 19 lbs. 15.5 oz. (75%) and are 29" tall (90%!!)  You are gonna be one tall girl!
  • You wear mostly all 12 month clothes (9-12 months) and some 18 months (12-18 months).  But surprisingly you can still wear some 6 month stuff (3-6 months) and a lot of your 9 month clothes (6-9 months).  The sizing labels are so misleading sometimes.  We just put you in whatever fits! ;-)
  • You are wearing a size 4 diaper and size 3 or 4 shoes.
  • You have started to give kisses, but only Eskimo ones and usually only for daddy.  He says "Hannah, give daddy a kiss" and you lean forward with your mouth wide open and rub your nose on his.  It is precious!
  • You are still attached to your pacifier at night and for all naps!  Some day you will give it up. ;-)
  • You are pulling yourself up onto everything and even starting to cruise a little from one piece of furniture to the next.  You have mastered standing up and sitting back down and now I hardly worry about you falling or bumping your head at all.  I'm glad you learned that skill quickly!
  • You aren't waving or clapping yet, but you are so close.  You love when I clap your hands for you and sometimes if I wave you will hold your arm out and flap it a little, but nothing consistent.
  • You love to knock down block towers!  As soon as I start to build one, you abruptly knock it over and smile your huge smile in amazement! 
  • You make all kinds of sounds now - "Uhh Uhh Uhh", "Da Da Da", "Ba Ba Ba" and occasionally an "M", but mostly just a lot of random noises.
  • You have one tooth now, with one more on the way.  You got your bottom left tooth a few weeks ago and the bottom right one should be popping through any day now.  Thankfully you haven't started biting yet!!
  • You are still eating all kinds of foods and have recently started eating more finger foods.  Your favorite right now is whole peas.  It is so fun to watch you pick them up with your tiny fingers and put them in your mouth.  You are becoming a pro!  You are also still LOVING the puffs and would eat them all day long if I let you.  They were our saving grace during our trip to NYC this past week!  We had a break through with homemade green beans and peas a few weeks ago too...you are finally eating them without a fight!  YEAH!  But now that you are are getting so good with your fingers, I think I will just give you pieces of green beans and whole peas now instead.
  • You are still nursing wonderfully and still 4 times per day - 8am, 12pm, 4pm, and 7:30 pm.  I aim for 4-5 minutes per side and lately you have been doing great with that.  You still eat solids 3 times per day - 8am, 12pm, and 4pm and are slowly increasing the amount you eat at each meal.
  • Your sleep is still very erratic and this past week while we were in NYC it got completely out of control.  With you sleeping in the same room as us and in the pack n' play instead of your bed, you were just completely out of sorts.  You were up at least 3-4 times every night (some nights it was every hour!) and ate 2-4 times in the night.  INSANE!  But last night you were back in your own bed and did a little better (only woke 3 times and only had to feed you 1 time).  Hopefully things will get back on track now that we are home.
  • You take 2-3 naps per day, but lately it is more often just 2.  Each nap is 40 minutes - 1 hour and you usually go down perfectly for them.  Two 40 minute naps is not the ideal, but I take what I can get with you!
  • You HATE having your diaper changed and being on your back.  The moment I lay you down your goal becomes to flip back over and get as far away from me as possible!  It has become quite the wrestling match to get a clean diaper on you.
  • You have had a mysterious "rash" on your bottom and thighs for the past month or so.  We finally went to the doctor today and confirmed my "self-diagnosis" of eczema.  I hate that you have that, but hopefully if we keep you lotioned up it will clear up in no time.
  • You still have crazy hair that sticks up like you just stuck your finger in a light socket....I LOVE it! 
  • You now take a bath in the big tub and LOVE it.  You still slide around a bit, so I have to keep a hand on you at all times, but you just love to splash in the water!
  • This month was filled with more firsts - first time riding in your big girl convertible car seat, first time meeting Santa, started standing up in your crib, first time eating cheerios, first tooth, first Thanksgiving, first time eating chopped up green beans, peaches and whole peas, first time eating broccoli and mango, first trip to NYC, first ride in a taxi, and met Great-Grandma Vaccaro for the first time. 
  • You can climb up the stairs with limited assistance, but you haven't figured out how to get back down without a lot of help.
  • You started "sharing" your pacifier and toys with us in the last week.  It is adorable!  You hold out your pacifier and when we take it you smile your HUGE smile and then a few moments later you reach out to get it back.  You like to do that game over and over!
  • You love playing with people's noses and mouths and you LOVE when daddy pretends to bite your fingers.  Such a silly daddy!
  • You are still the most social baby and smile at everyone!  You are incredibly happy as long as you are out and about and not going to sleep!  You have the most adorable smile and dimples.  We must get told how cute you are at least 10 times every day.  I am realizing just how important it is going to be to have another baby soon so you don't become a complete brat! ;-)  But mommy isn't in any rush!  I want to enjoy your babyhood before we bring another one into the family.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

A trip to the beach to watch the sunset

Playing ;-)

With Uncle Brent and Aunt Lauren

4 Generations!


We had a wonderful trip to FL for Thanksgiving. We left on Sunday night at 5pm and arrived at 11:30pm.  It was definitely a good idea to drive at night because Hannah ended up sleeping the majority of the trip.  She did such a good job on the way down and was in a fabulous mood the entire week!  She smiled the majority of the time and slept very well while we were there.  She hit a few exciting milestones during the week as well.  She started pulling herself up in her crib and she got her first tooth!  She handled the new tooth like a champ! :-)

It was great to spend time with my parents (MeMaw and PaPaw) and Hannah got to meet her Uncle Brent and Aunt Lauren for the first time.  It was so good to see all of them and made us realize just how much we wish we lived near our family. 

We came home yesterday and drove during the daytime, which was definitely not as easy as the night.  Hannah took two short naps during the drive, but was definitely ready to get out of the car during the last hour or two.  I ended up driving for the second half of the trip and Brian sat in the back with Hannah, to give me a break from the entertaining.  When we got home Hannah was in quite a mood - she obviously missed all the attention she had been getting.  She slept horribly last night and so far today has cried through both of her naps.  She is definitely paying us back for the car ride yesterday.  Maybe she's getting another tooth and this time isn't taking it so well?  Not sure what the problem is, but she is miserable. :-(

We have so much to be thankful for this year - a healthy baby, wonderful family and friends, a secure job for Brian that he loves, the provision Brian's job provides that allows me to stay home with Hannah, our health, our home, and most importantly our Savior who loves us unconditionally!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hannah: 8 Months



Sweet Hannah,

Another month has gone by and you are 8 months old.  Hard to believe that you are closer to your 1 year birthday than to the day you were born.  You aren't listening to me when I whisper in your ear, "Slow down!"  Don't you know you are supposed to always listen to your mommy!  But these days you don't slow down for much.  You are all over the place!  Into everything!  You started crawling a few days after you turned 7 months old and haven't slowed down since.  You are starting to pull yourself up on things now too.  But you haven't quite mastered that yet, which I'm happy about.  I am in no rush for you to grow up.  If you decide that you want to stay my little peanut forever, I'm okay with that! 

Here's what you are up to these days (besides crawling):
  • I haven't weighed you yet, but at your last doctor's appointment (October 20), you weighed 18 lb. 14 oz., which was less that what you were when I weighed you at home on October 11.  I am pretty sure you are at least 20 pounds by now though.
  • You still have no teeth and no real signs of any coming in....I am loving that.  No teeth = no biting while nursing! ;-)
  • You talk all the time - "dadadadada" is your favorite thing to say.  Everytime you say it I just assume you are asking for your daddy, so we then spend a few minutes talking about daddy.  I think you two will be best friends one day! :)  I think you said "hi" the other day too.  At storytime one of the other mom's said "hi" to you and you looked right at her and said, "HI"!!  It was probably just a coincidence, but it was cute either way.
  • You adore our dog, Bubbles.  You can't get enough of her and would chase her around the kitchen all day if I let you.
  • Your obsessed with cell phones and tv remotes...apparently a favorite of all babies.  I don't know what it is about these things, but the second you see one you stop everything to try to get it.  And shoes...you are obsessed with those too!  It's been really hard trying to teach you that those are "no" items.  We are going to have our hands full when it comes to discipline with you!
  • You eat all kinds of foods these days - prunes, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, raspberries, carrots, green beans, sweet potato, squash, peas, chicken, oatmeal cereal, whole wheat cereal, rice cakes, puffs, wagon wheels, teething biscuits, and greek yogurt.  You are generally not picky about what you eat, except when I try to feed you homemade green beans or peas.  You HATE those!!  It's definitely a texture thing though because you love the jarred variety.  If I try to feed you the homemade ones you start crying and gagging....it's pathetic. 
  • You are still nursing like a champ.  You nurse 4 times per day still (8am, 12pm, 4pm, and 7:30pm) and average about 4 minutes per side.  You also eat solids 3x's per day (8am, 12pm, 4pm).  You definitely aren't very interested in eating these days though.  You have better things to do with your time. ;-)
  • I could watch you play all day.  You are so fascinated by the littlest things.  You love the tags on toys and the shadows the sun makes when it shines in the playroom window.  You love the writing on my Gator sweatshirt and the specks of dirt on the floor.  Who needs toys when you have those things! :) 
  • This month was filled with firsts - first time at the park, first time in a bucket swing, first time at a pumpkin patch, and first time drinking from a straw.
  • You are wearing 9 month (6-9) and 12 month (9-12) clothes and size 3 diapers, although you now wear a size 4 diaper at night.  You are also wearing size 2 shoes.
  • You sleep with your pacifier for every nap and at night.  This was definitely a habit we didn't want you to have, but after exhausting every other measure, we decided it was okay.  You sleep much better with it and so do we! ;-)
  • You love to turn off the light in the playroom.  Every time we walk out, I ask you to turn off the light and your little finger reaches out to the light switch and pushes it down.  Your face lights up with excitment.  Precious!
  • The last 3 nights you have slept through the night again!  Amazing!  Just when I thought I was going to go insane from waking 1-2 times every night, you started sleeping 10-12 hours again....thank you!
We love you so much and cherish every day with you.  The Lord truly blessed us 8 months ago!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Independent Playtime

Independent playtime is a concept I took from the 'Babywise' series and have used with Hannah since she was only a couple months old.  Just saying 'Babywise' probably has some of you wanting to close my blog, never to return.  But keep reading and I think you will find that this is a very helpful tool for any parent.

Independent playtime is a set time, each day that Hannah plays on her own.  Right now her independent playtime takes place in the pack n' play and I usually try to do it right after breakfast, before her morning nap.  Before she goes into the pack n' play, I set out several toys and tell her to choose one to take with her.  After about a minute or so, I pick her up along with the toy she is currently playing with and place her in the pack n' play.  I always have at least 3 other toys in the pack n' play that I rotate every so often, along with a musical toy and a mirror.  Every time I put her in, I turn on the musical toy, hand her another toy to play with, set the egg timer, and leave the room.  I make sure to stay out of her line of sight, as this is a time for her to play on her own.  Right now she stays in there for 17 minutes at a time.  However, when we first started, it was only 5 minutes.  I do not go into the room until the timer goes off, even if she is crying!  However, after almost 6 months of doing independent playtime Hannah has truly learned to enjoy this time and rarely fusses at all.  After the timer goes off, I go into the room with a big smile and say, "Wow Hannah, you did such a good job!  I am so proud of you for playing all by yourself."  I say that even if all she did was cry the entire time.  This shows her that there is nothing to be sad about and that the timer is what brought mommy back, not her crying.  Before I taker her out of the pack n' play we always clean up her toys (we just stack them in the corner). 

There are many benefits to independent playtime:
  • It teaches your child to enjoy their own company, creating independence
  • It teaches your child to focus on a limited number of things at a time (mental focusing), therefore increasing their attention span
  • It encourages creativity in your child
  • It teaches your child orderliness by limiting the number of toys and cleaning up when they are done
So, how do you get independent playtime started with your child(ren)?
  1. Start with a short amount of time - 5 minutes is a good starting point
  2. Place your child in a pack n' play or even on a blanket (if they aren't mobile yet) with several toys in reach
  3. Set a timer in the room (so they can hear it when it goes off) for the designated time
  4. Don't come back until the timer goes off (but stay within ear shot)
  5. Even if your child cries the whole time, praise him/her for "playing" all alone!
  6. Clean up the toys together (even if your child is too young to help, let them watch you)
  7. If your child did not cry at all, increase your next independent playtime by 1 minute.  If your child did cry, keep the time the same.  Continue to increase by 1 minute everyday that he/she doesn't cry until you reach your goal (30 minutes is a great goal)  You increase the time when your child doesn't cry, but you never decrease the time when he/she does cry.  You just continue doing the same amount of time until he/she does not cry.  It may take a while, but you will get to your goal eventually.  Hannah will be 8 months old in a few days and we are just now at 18 minutes, so you can see how long it might take.
I hope that you will implement this 'Babywise' principle into your child's life as I really do think it is a vitally important skill.  If you have any questions about independent playtime, please ask! 

Happy playing! ;-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mommy Idols

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"  - A question that is asked of children throughout their lives.  My answer was always the same, "A mommy!"  There was never any doubt as to what my life's purpose was.  I have always known that I would be a mother and that has always been my ultimate goal.  Little did I know what a challenge it would be to get to that point and then what a challenge it would be once I was there.  
We tried for two years to conceive and it was a painful road.  We did all the fertility testing and everything came back "normal" - unexplained infertility they told us.  We waited and prayed that the Lord would bless us with a baby.  This was my first of many lessons in patience and trust.  I was forced to lay it all in the Lord's hands and trust Him.  We tried everything (naturally) that we could to become parents and it just wasn't happening.  I was forced to give up my trying and let the Lord do what He wished. 

After finding out we were PREGNANT I knew right away that I was having a girl.  I don't know why, but I just knew.  I had always wanted a boy first (again, I don't really know why, I just did).  But the day of our gender ultrasound I was not surprised at all to find out we were having a girl.  However, I was disappointed.  We had tried so long for this - why couldn't I at least have the boy that I had always wanted?  The Lord taught me to trust Him more.  He had a plan and a little girl was part of that plan.  Again, I was forced to trust His plan, not my own. 

Throughout my pregnancy I knew I wanted to have a natural (un-medicated) delivery.  I did a lot of research about the possible side effects of an epidural and other drugs used during labor.  I didn't like the idea of using medication, so I prepared as best I could for a natural labor.  We prayed for Hannah to come a few days early or at least on her due date so that I wouldn't need to be induced.  Her due date came and went.  Come on Lord, can't I at least have this baby the way I have planned and prepared?  Once again, my heart was tested.  Do you trust me Sabrina?  Do you truly believe that I have the perfect plan for you and Hannah?  There was nothing I could do to make Hannah come according to my plan.  Again, I was forced to trust that the Lord was in complete control.

While preparing for the arrival of our sweet little baby, I read every book available about caring for a newborn.  I spent hours (thousands of hours) making lists, taking notes and planning out what to do and when.  I had a plan and a back-up plan for my plan!  I knew what I was doing.  Well......AGAIN, I was forced to give up MY plan and realize that the Lord was in control, not me.  My baby didn't follow any of my plans.  She didn't do anything by the book and all those hours were wasted.  Lord, why couldn't I at least get something I wanted?  She doesn't sleep like the books say she should, she doesn't eat like she should, we have tried to let her cry it out for 4 months straight and it's still not working!  Why Lord?  What are you trying to teach me?  And again, the Lord was showing me that my plan is not His plan - He is in control, not me!

I could go on and on giving illustrations of what my plans were for Hannah and how they crumbled (didn't want her to use a pacifier and now she is addicted, wanted her to follow the Dr. Denmark schedule but she wouldn't, etc.)  Motherhood has always been my ultimate goal and hope for my life.  I had placed motherhood on such a pedestal my entire life.  Now that I had reached that goal and it had become my reality, things just weren't what I had expected.  Motherhood was my idol and when it started crumbling around me, I began to see my desperate need for Jesus.  I couldn't live up to my own expectations any longer.  I was failing as a mother, in my eyes.  So now what?

It has taken several years to realize what an idol I have made of motherhood.  I never saw it as a bad thing (and it's not, in and of itself).  But I had placed such value on being a "good" mom and having the "perfect" family.  I wanted everyone to think that I had it all together.  I wanted other moms to say, "Wow, Sabrina is such a great mom."  How selfish and ugly that desire was and is.  It's not about me.  What good does it profit me to hear the praises of others?  And to appear to have it all together.  It may feel good for a moment, but it has no eternal value.

Have I conquered this idol?  Absolutely not!  It is a struggle I deal with on a daily basis.  And the Lord will continue to shatter my "plans" in order to teach me that He is enough and that He is in control.  While the road has been painful at times and extremely frustrating, I can truly say how grateful I am for each trial - they have brought me to the end of myself and into a deeper relationship with the Lord.  I am so thankful that I don't have to live up to my standards as a mom, but that I can rest it all on His shoulders and trust that He will guide me down the right path.  What freedom there is in that! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Better!

Hannah is finally back to her old self, although she does have some snot still, but I think that is just a part of life with a baby.  After going to the doctor last week and being diagnosed with croup, I started her on prednisone (an oral steroid).  Things went down hill fast!  Hannah was completely out of sorts, wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, didn't want to be held, didn't want to play....she just wanted to fuss.  I felt so bad for her because I had no idea what was wrong or how to help her.  It was very frustrating for both of us and I felt like a horrible mom!  How could I not know how to help my own baby?  After two days of constant fussing, I finally started searching online for answers.  I stumbled upon some parent comments on prednisone and its side effects.  Oh my goodness - it makes kids CRAZY!  I had no idea.  I briefly read over the side effects on the medicine label before giving Hannah her first dose, but nothing stood out.  I gave her the medication for the two days, as prescribed, and thought nothing of it.  It sure would have been nice if the doctor would have warned me that it was going to turn my happy baby into a nightmare child!  UGH!  I was beyond frustrated with the doctor and wanted to call them up and yell at them for making my child miserable and for making me think I was an awful mom.  After spending almost an hour researching this oral steroid, I was frustrated but also relieved to know what was causing my child to be so off.  We just had to wait for the medicine to get out of her system.  Thankfully it only took a couple more days before she was back to her smiling self.  I was sure to make a note of her reaction to this drug so we can avoid these side effects in the future.  The other frustrating part is that I am not even sure if she actually had croup.  She did have some wheezing when she breathed in deeply, but she never developed the croup cough (or any cough).  I could kick myself for giving her a medication when she really didn't need it.  Live and learn!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Croup

Hannah is sick.  Yuck!  She started with a runny nose on Sunday and it has progressed into an all out snot-fest!  I have never seen so much snot.  Her poor little nose is so red and dry from all the wiping (which really isn't a lot since she won't let me near her face).  Yesterday she woke up crying and when she would breath in it sounded like a seal barking.  I knew that wasn't good, so we headed to the doctor to have her checked out.  Of course she didn't make the barking/wheezing sound while we were there, but the doctor listened to my description and diagnosed her with croup.  She is now taking a steroid medicaton - prednisone - and is also getting a round of medicated eye drops for her goopy eye.  Poor thing.  Thankfully she is looking and sounding a lot better today and I haven't heard that telltale croup cough since yesterday morning, so maybe she never really had it....who knows?!  Just praying that she is on the mend and will back to normal soon!  But I will say that she has really handled this sickness like a champ!  Despite all the congestion, she is still her happy self and crawling all over the place!  I will post a new video of her crawling soon.  She is really a pro now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We Have a Crawler!

Hannah officially started crawling this afternoon!  She has been so close for a few weeks now, but today she finally did it!  She's still learning, but she is already getting into everything.  Oh boy!  This is the first video we have of her crawling...more to come.  Don't mind our crazy voices and over-excitement.

video


Monday, October 11, 2010

Hannah: 7 Months

 

Dear Hannah,

You are seven months old today.  You are no longer a tiny little baby who I can cradle in my arms.  You are a playful, active, bundle of energy.  You love to move and are trying so hard to crawl these days!  You want nothing more than to dart accross the room and to chase the dog around the house. 

Here's what you are up to these days:
  • You weigh 19 pounds 2 oz and are 27 inches long
  • You are still toothless...which I am happy about.  I don't look forward to teeth - biting while nursing is a bit of a fear for me
  • You finally started saying consonant sounds - gagaga, googoogoo - and I swear I heard you say mama the other morning, but you won't repeat it, of course.
  • You are getting really good with your hands.  You just got a new toy - a bubblegum machine - and you are so good at pushing the lever and grabbing the balls that come out.  I am amazed at how grown up you are!
  • You love to suck on your toes.  I wondered for months if you even knew you had toes, but then one day recently, you really discovered them.  You had known about them for a few months, but you hadn't realized how fun they were until now.  You prefer your left foot over your right....must be extra tasty. ;-)
  • You still love people!  Strangers are no problem for you....you love everyone!
  • You have tasted all kinds of new foods - chicken, beef, potatoes, pastina (tiny pasta), chicken broth, peaches, peas, plums, green beans, and prunes.  You have also chewed on a few pieces of bread and love it!  There really isn't a food you don't like.  But we do still have to watch carefully for constipation, as that is still a problem for you.
  • Your schedule is still the same - nursing 4 times per day (8am, 12pm, 4pm, 7:30pm) and eating solids after the first 3 nursings.
  • You still wear size 3 diapers and are wearing 9 month (6-9 months) clothing, although you can still fit into some 6 month (3-6 months) stuff too.
  • Your sleeping is getting better, although still not perfect.  However, this month I finally let go!  I finally realized that it is okay if you don't sleep exactly when I want you to.  I have stopped obsessing, which has been such a weight off my shoulders.  You will sleep when you need to!  Your schedule is still the same as it was at 6 months.
  • You have started to get up onto your knees and rock.  You are getting really close to crawling, but not yet.  I really think it will be any day now!
As I say every month, I can't believe how big you are getting.  In the grand scheme of life, I realize you are still so small, so I try to enjoy you just as you are every single day!  I squeeze your chubby little thighs and smell your sweet baby hair and kiss your soft, pudgy cheeks every day.  I just can't get enough of you!

I love you little peanut!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Infertility

For those that know me, you know that we struggled with infertility for 2 years before becoming pregnant with our little peanut.  Those two years were some of the hardest we have ever gone through and the pain of infertility is not easily forgotten.  I know many couples that have struggled in the same way and some have a much harder road then we ever did.  My heart aches for those that are still trying.  I feel so overwhelmingly blessed to now have our little peanut, but I remember very well the pain of wanting and waiting!  Just because we are no longer dealing with infertility, doesn't mean that I can't relate to or understand the pain of those still struggling.  I find myself complaining about my present circumstances (life with a baby is tough too) but then I see something like the following video and am quickly reminded of how hard the infertility battle is! 

For anyone that has dealt with or is dealing with infertility...get the tissues ready for this one....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqfGqOx2iDQ

God has a perfect plan!  He really does!  And I know how hard it is to see that in the midst of the struggle.  But I am living proof that God's plan truly is the best!  He hears your prayers and sees your tears.  He will provide!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Every 2 Weeks

I have decided that parenthood's ups and downs happen in two week cycles.  For two weeks things will go great and then it's like a switch flips and then for the next two weeks you are pulling your hair out.  Then things go back to being great.  This may not prove true for everyone, but it does for us.  Some of you are blessed with an "angel" baby and things have been relatively great since the beginning while others have a bit of a challenge on their hands.  It is so easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated when baby doesn't sleep or eat well, but if I continue to remind myself that this is just a phase and things will get better, it makes it easier to deal with.

For example,  when we switched Hannah's schedule to more of a 'Babywise' approach, things were great right away!  She started sleeping 10-12 hours through the night and napping 3 times per day for at least an hour each time.  I kept a very detailed log of our entire day so I could see the patterns and what worked and what didn't.  For about 2 weeks, things were going GREAT!  I spoke the praises of 'Babywise' and told everyone I knew that 'Babywise' was exactly what we needed.  Well, then things changed.  I didn't change anything with our schedule or routine, yet she stopped sleeping through the night and her naps became almost non-existent!  UGH!  What happened to our 'Babywise' cure all??  I had several break-downs and tried to figure out what was happening.  What was I do differently?  Was she sick?  What she teething?  What she going through a growth spurt?  Nothing I did seemed to solve the sleep problems.  So we are just dealing with it.  I continue to stick to the routine (as much as possible) and hope that things will click again.  I assume that by next week, she will be back to "normal" and things will be great again.  But in the meantime, we push on.  Today has been especially tough.  Hannah woke up two hours early, ate, and thankfully went right back to sleep for 2 more hours.  But then the rest of the day was completely off!  She didn't take her morning nap at all (after letting her cry it out for an hour, I gave up).  Then she only took a 30 minute afternoon nap (again, I let her cry it out for an hour when she woke up early...no luck).  Now she is down for her final nap of the day and thankfully has been sleeping for the last 20 minutes, but I'm sure it won't be long before I hear her crying again.  Oh the joys of parenthood! haha

So, what's my advice for those days and nights that are just completely crazy?  Keep trying!  Just chalk it up to a bad day (or week, or month) and move on.  Yes, you will be frustrated.  And yes, you will shed some tears.  But things will get better (eventually) and when they do, you will be that much more thankful.  Times like this remind me so much of our struggle with infertility!  While we tried to conceive for 2 years, deep down inside I knew it would eventually happen, but the waiting sure did stink!  I pleaded to the Lord and cried out to Him for strength.  It was the hardest thing I had ever gone through.  But the Lord was faithful!  He heard my cries and He blessed us with our sweet little peanut.  The same was true with my horrible morning sickness during pregnancy and my extremely painful labor.  And it's still true today!  God is always faithful!  He will always bring you out of the darkness and show you His mercy!  But sometimes we have to endure the tough times to get there.  And when we do, the good times are that much sweeter!

So press on.  Don't get completely obsessed with the "little" things that go wrong every day.  Focus on the good times and the many blessings in your life.  And know that God will be faithful and will bring you brighter days!

That's my sermon for the day! ;-)  I needed to hear that more than anyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

6 Months



Little Peanut,

Today is your half birthday!  Are you kidding me?  How can you possibly be 6 months old already?  Your 6th month has been filled with ups and downs....mostly ups!  You are full of life and such a happy girl!  You are getting so mobile and want nothing more than to be able to move.  You lay on your tummy and kick your hands and feet in hopes of being able to propel yourself across the room....soon my little peanut, soon!  Your personality is starting to shine through and you are a ham! ;-)  You LOVE being around people (such a social butterfly) and love attention!  You have even started smiling every time the camera is pointed in your face (which is a lot!)...future model?  We are so in love with you and can't even remember life before you...who wants to?!
  • You weigh 18 lbs. 5 oz. and are 26.5 inches tall!  SO big!!
  • Still no teeth or really any signs of teeth...but you do drool like crazy and put everything in your mouth! 
  • You love to ride in the front of the shopping cart, sitting up like a big girl.
  • You sat in a highchair at a restaurant for the first time the other night.  You loved it! 
  • You still love bath time and now sit up in the tub instead of laying down.  You love being able to play with your toys, but mostly you just love the water.
  • You haven't said very many consonant sounds yet, but you do like to "talk".  Lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" and high-pitched screams (thankfully they are very soft though).
  • Everything you see, you pick up and put in your mouth...everything! 
  • You are ticklish under your arms and giggle all the time now.  Sometimes I can just look at you and you crack up! :-)
  • You sit up all by yourself and never fall over....well, unless you get really curious and try to turn all the way around to see something behind you ;-)
  • You roll all over the place now and can spin yourself around in any direction you wish.  But you also still love to "fly" on your tummy (arms and legs up in the air, kicking away).
  • You know your name and turn towards us when we call you
  • You love everyone!  So far, you have no signs of separation anxiety and are more than willing to share your beautiful smile with everyone you see.
  • You are nursing 4 times per day (8am, 12pm, 4pm, 7:30pm) and eating solids 3 times per day (8am, 12pm, 4pm).  You were eating all kinds of foods, but then had a horrible case of constipation, so we stopped all solids for a few days.  Then we started again, but very slowly.  All you are eating now is pears, carrots, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes.  But so far, you love everything we give you!  You are now even faster at nursing (only 5 minutes per side!)
  • We have been working on highchair manners a lot this month.  I am teaching you a few words in sign language ("please", "all done", "more" and "thank you") and teaching you how to keep your hands on the tray while I feed you.  So far you have done GREAT with that and we have avoided messes at meal time, so far.
  • You are wearing size 3 diapers now.
  • You wear 6 month (3-6 months) clothes now and some 9 month (6-9 months) clothes fit you too.  I have finally packed away all your 3 month stuff!
  • Your sleeping is getting so much better (although you still have your bad days - and nights).  Most of the time you are sleeping through the night (10-12 hours) and napping 3 times per day.  Bedtime is still a struggle most nights, but there are those occasional nights where you fall right to sleep without a peep (like tonight!)  Your schedule right now looks like this:
    • 8am - Wake, eat (nurse and solids), play
    • 9 or 10am - Nap
    • 10 or 11am - Wake, play
    • 12pm - Eat (nurse and solids), play
    • 1pm - Nap
    • 3pm - Wake, play
    • 4pm - Eat, play
    • 5pm - Nap
    • 6pm - Wake, family dinner time, play
    • 7pm - Bedtime routine (bath, pjs, nurse, bible, prayers)
    • 8pm - In bed
 
Today also marks 6 months of nursing for us.  From the beginning it was always my goal to try to nurse you for at least 6 months.  And here we are, going strong!  I have no plans on stopping anytime soon. 

It's amazing how fast time flies...it's already been half a year!  Before we know it you will be walking and talking!  Oh my!  There are so many things that I don't want to forget about how you are at this exact moment.  You are just so precious!  I don't want to forget the sound of your sweet giggle, the noises you make while nursing, how you get so talkative right before bedtime, and how every time I go in to get you out of bed, you have the biggest smile on your face!

We love you so much little peanut!  More than you'll ever know!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Poor, Stopped Up Peanut

Get ready from a TMI post about baby bowel movements....

Sweet Hannah is severely constipated!  She hasn't had a "normal" bowel movement in almost a week.  Yesterday it got really bad!  Each time she would try to poo, she screamed in pain!  It was heart-breaking to see me little peanut in so much pain.  I cried each time she did.  I did things I never thought I would do....stuck a suppository in her booty, scraped poo out with my fingers in hopes of assisting her, used a thermometer with petroleum jelly on the tip to try to stimulate the poo reflex....UGH!  It was a very emotional day for Hannah and for me. 

I am not exactly sure what caused the constipation, but I have a feeling it was the bananas I introduced into her diet a few days ago.  In an effort to get her back on track in the poo department, we have stopped all solids for the time being and are back to nursing only.  I suspect that she is hungry, as she has cried for each nap today (which isn't normal lately), but I have seen some improvement overall.  She has had 3 bowel movements today, with the latest one being almost back to normal and only slightly uncomfortable for Hannah.  YEAH!!  Hopefully she will be back to normal real soon and then we can go back to re-introducing solids....very slowly!  I am going to essentially start from scratch with the solids and stick to one food for several days before introducing another.  That way I can very closely monitor how her digestive system handles each food.  I think we will start with avocado (again).  She seemed to like that when she ate it a few weeks ago and I have read that it is easily digestible....exactly what we need right now!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Family


I have the best family ever!  This is a picture of my cousins (on my dad's side).  They are like sisters and I love them so much!  Unfortunately this picture is from April 2009 and the last time I saw most of them was Sept. 2009...too long!! :-(

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Schedule

After LOTS of thinking, planning and praying, we have a new schedule for Hannah.  The last 2 months have been exhausting and filled with many tears (for Hannah and me).  I just couldn't decide what to do in order to "fix" her sleep problems.  We tried all different things and nothing worked.  Finally, after much hesitation on my part, we decided it was time to give Babywise a try.  I have read the first book in the series (and am working on the second right now) and really love the idea of BW, but I was so hesitant to start it.  The main reason was because of how much trial and error it takes in the beginning to determine baby's "optimal waketime".  I just didn't think I could figure that out on my own.  I am VERY type-A and like things to be laid out for me, in black and white.  With BW I have to do a lot of discerning on my part and that makes me a bit anxious.  But after consulting a Babywise website that I LOVE (http://www.babywisemom.com/), I found a general schedule that I could start with and tweak as needed.  So on Friday morning, we jumped right in!  Here is what our new "ideal" schedule looks like....

8am - Wake Hannah (if she isn't already awake), nurse, feed solids, change diaper, independent playtime (right now she is in her pack n' play with toys for 12 minutes...more on that in another post)
9am - Short story, song, and put down for a nap (1-2 hours, depending on what we are doing that day)
10 or 11am - Wake Hannah, playtime and/or errands
12pm - Nurse, Feed solids, playtime
1pm - Story, Song, Put down for a nap (2 hours, hopefully!)
3pm - Wake Hannah, playtime
4pm - Nurse, Feed Solids, Playtime (I try to do independent playtime again, but not always)
5pm - Story, Song, Put down for a short nap (1 hour at the most)
6pm - Wake Hannah, playtime
7:30pm - Bedtime routine (bath, pjs, nurse, bible story, prayers, bed)
8pm - In bed (this is where the crying begins....she HATES going to bed!)

Things are definitely not perfect and we are still working out the kinks, but I do think that this schedule will work well for Hannah.  I am happy that her first two feedings line up with breakfast and lunch and eventually will work on moving her 3rd feeding back a bit to make it line up with dinner time.  Then, eventually we will drop that last nursing and be down to just 3 meals a day.  For naps, she is taking 3 for now, but will soon drop that third cat nap and just do a morning nap and an afternoon nap.  Then at 1 year we will move to just one nap (an afternoon one). 

Today is 4 of this new schedule, so I am not judging anything yet...but there is silence in my house right now and that means a sleeping baby! ;-)  There is a light at the end of this tunnel!!

Thanks so much for all the advice and encouragement the last few days.  It was greatly appreciated!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Need Help!!

Okay everyone, I need some suggestions!  As you know (if you have been reading this blog for any length of time), Hannah is definitely not consistent with her schedule and/or sleeping.  However, I am determined to keep trying and being the type-A person that I am, I must have a plan!  ;-)  Right now I am nursing Hannah 5 times in a 24 hour period (well, at least 5 scheduled times...anything else is just extra).  I also feed her solids at 3 of those feedings.  My goal is to drop one of her nursing sessions and be down to 4 feedings with 3 of them having solids in addition to the nursing.  I also would like to try to align her feeding schedule more with a "breakfast", "lunch", and "dinner" time.  I am also trying to figure out how her nap(s) will work into the schedule.  So this is where I need help!  Please look at our current schedule and offer any suggestions you have!!! 

  • Somewhere between 4-6am: Hannah wakes up crying...I try giving her the paci if it is before 5am because I really don't won't to feed her that early, but sometimes that doesn't work, so I end up feeding her.  My goal would be to drop this early morning feeding, if possible, but I don't know how to do that if she is the one waking up this early and won't go back to sleep.  After this feeding I put her right back down and she goes back to sleep.
  • Somewhere between 8-10am: Hannah wakes up crying...I try to give her the paci again if it is before 8:30am, but if that won't work I get her up, but don't usually feed her til closer to 10am.  This nursing session is not usually a very good one.  She doesn't seem very interested.  My guess is that she isn't very hungry since she got such a good feeding a few hours earlier.  Ideally I would combine these two feedings somehow and have her first feeding be somewhere between 8-9am ("Breakfast").  I also feed her solids after this nursing.  After this feeding we run errands, have playgroup, and don't have a schedule nap, although she does cat nap sometimes.  But I really need this time to be able to get out of the house and not have to be home for a nap, that is why I have always down the afternoon nap.
  • Usually about 1:30pm: I feed Hannah again.  This nursing session is also not very good (she is generally not nursing well anymore except in the early morning....she is so easily distracted and is fussy while nursing...I am a little worried that my supply is dropping)  I feed her solids after this nursing as well.  Then I put her right down for her afternoon nap (I hope for 3 hours, but lately it has only been a 2 hour nap).  She usually goes down pretty well for this nap.
  • Somewhere between 3-5pm: Hannah wakes up from her nap (My goal has been for her nap to be from 2-5pm, but things are changing around here!).  I try to put off her next feeding to closer to 5pm no matter when she wakes up from the nap.  I nurse her and give her solids at 5pm.
  • 7:30pm: Bedtime routine (bath, pjs, nursing, storytime, prayers)  I nurse her again (even though she just ate a couple hours ago) and she sometimes eats well, but most of the time does not.  But she is again very fussy while nursing, as if she is hungry but can't get anything out.  This is a very challenging time of day for me because it can get pretty stressful.  I have given her formula on occasion at this feeding and she usually will gulp it down, which then makes me worry about my supply again! :-(  However, she is 17lbs right now, so I really don't think she is lacking in the food department!
  • 8pm: In bed...this is where the fun begins.  Sometimes (most of the time) she goes down okay, but then after 30-40 minutes she is awake again, crying.  We try to let her cry for 10 minutes before going in the room, in hopes that she will fall back to sleep, but that usually doesn't happen.  So we end up going in after 10 minutes and giving her the paci, which usually (though no always) puts her back to sleep.  Then the schedule starts all over again....
HELP!  Suggestions are VERY welcome!!

Thanks so much!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

5 Months Old

My sweet little girl,

You are 5 months old today and what a 5 months its been!  So much has changed in the last 5 months.  Just today I saw a newborn baby while walking around Babies R Us (buying you a 5 month birthday toy) and I couldn't believe how big you were compared to that little newborn!  I won't be able to call you my little peanut for much longer (although I'm sure I will!). 

This month was filled with firsts!  You are such a little person now, with quite a personality.  You are VERY active and rarely sit still.  Trying to change your diaper or get you dressed is quite the task these days.  You are constantly wanting to roll over and scoot around.  I'm sure crawling is not far off....oh boy!  You have a very lively personality and you are definitely the "life of the party".  You love having everyone's attention and are so happy when someone is holding you or playing with you.  But being alone is another story.  You are a social butterfly! :-)

Here's what you're up to these days:
  • We weighed and measured you at home today and you weigh 17 pounds and are 26 inches tall!!
  • You can roll over both ways, but you are mostly working on back to front right now (thankfully you haven't been rolling in your crib much lately)
  • You can sit up all by yourself for several minutes now...you rarely need me to catch you, but I still sit right next to you just in case!
  • You LOVE to stand up while holding onto the couch.  We just tried that for the first time a couple days ago and you thought it was SOOOO fun!!  :-)
  • You can scoot all around while lying on your back (and also your stomach, but you only do that in your crib...like the time I know I put you down facing one way and the next morning you were completely turned around).
  • You love to "fly" on your tummy (you put your arms and legs up and just kick away)  I think you get frustrated though because you aren't actually going anywhere....soon enough my love!
  • Your sleeping is still a bit off.  The last couple days have been better, but still not great.  You still have trouble after we put you to bed at 8pm.  You often wake up 30-45 minutes later, crying.  It has been hard to get you back to sleep at that point.  I used to feed you again, but have now decided that you really aren't hungry (you just ate at 7:30pm) so we have resorted to letting your cry it out for 10 minutes at a time....NOT fun!!!  I definitely shed a lot of tears myself. :-(
  • Waking you up from a nap or in the morning is one of my favorite moments with you.  You are all smiles!!  I LOVE that you are waking up happy now....precious!
  • You are eating several different things these days - applesauce (which you seem to like), peaches (still not sure about those), oatmeal cereal (you seem to like it), rice cereal (yum!), and today you tried avocado for the first time (you seemed to like that too!)  You are also getting really good at drinking water from a sippy cup.  I also let you practice taking sips from a 'real' cup and you do pretty well!
  • Nursing is still going well, but you are getting REALLY quick (5-7 minutes per side) and you are very easily distracted when you eat.  
  • You love bath time and you have so much fun kicking your feet and splashing water everywhere!
  • You are so good with your hands!  You can transfer a toy from one hand to the other with no trouble and you reach for toys that you want and grab things so easily.  The other day at the grocery store, I gave you a green bean and you held onto it for a long time!  I finally had to take it away from you when you decided it would be fun to try to eat the green bean whole.  You also love to grab things you aren't supposed to...mommy's food, earrings, hair, dirty diapers....
  • You love our doggie, Bubbles!  You love when she walks by and you try to reach out and grab her.  She's not a huge fan, but I think she will really start loving you when you are a little older and start feeding her scraps from the dinner table. :-)
  • You LOVE getting undressed!  You smile and giggle and think it is just the most fun you have ever had! ;-)
  • You are wearing size 3 diapers now!  Although you can still fit into size 2's, but they are getting snug!
  • You are wearing almost all 3-6 month clothes (6 months in most stores).  But there are still a few 0-3 (3 month) things you can wear and that I squeeze you into! 
  • You put everything in your mouth and love to blow raspberries!  Mommy loves when you do that....just not when you're eating! ;-)
  • We still aren't sure if you are teething or not...lots of drool, chewing on your fingers and sucking on your bottom lip...but no redness of inflammed gums, so maybe not??  But if your sleep is this crazy before teething, I don't even want to think about what it's going to be like when those suckers start popping up!  UGH!
  • You love to be carried on my hip.  You are such a big girl now and definitely don't like being held like a "baby"
  • You schedule these days looks like this:
    • 5 or 6am (I am hoping this gets later soon!) - You wake me up, I nurse you and change you and put you right back to bed
    • 9 or 10am - You wake me up, I feed you (nursing and solids) and change you and then we play!
    • 1:30pm - Feed you (nursing and solids), change you and then put you down for a nap (2-4 or 5pm)
    • 5pm - Feed you (nursing and solids), change you and then we play some more!
    • 7pm - Bedtime routine (bath every other night, pjs, diaper change, nurse, bible story, prayers) and you are in bed by 8pm
    • The rest of the night is "unscheduled" and sometimes chaotic.  I try not to feed you again (although sometimes that's all that works) and we let you do some crying on and off until you fall asleep.  But there have been two nights in the last week or so that you actually slept through the night!!!  PROGRESS! :-)

It is such a joy to watch you grow and I am so thankful that I get to stay home with you everyday and witness all these changes.  Your Daddy and I love you more than words can say!  

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy 6th Anniversary!


Today is our 6th wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe that it's been 6 years since our wedding day!  6 years ago today, I walked down the aisle and made the best decision of my life.  I married my best friend!  I didn't know what love was until I met Brian and I didn't know someone could love me so unconditionally.  He loved me for me!  I knew he was going to be my husband from the very beginning....he was perfect!  As the saying goes, "Opposites attract", but I think we prove that wrong.  We are so very similar it's scary.  Yes, we have our differences, but overall our personalities are very much alike.  We are both indecisive, fairly laid back and like things a certain way.  As a result of being so similar, we rarely (if ever) argue or fight.  And if we do, it only lasts for a couple minutes before we both forget all about it.  I honestly can't tell you about any significant arguments we have had because there haven't been any.  We truly compliment each other perfectly.

Brian,

You are the most amazing husband, father, and friend.  You are the hardest working man I know and I am so thankful to be able to call you mine.  You are smart, funny, amazingly attractive, hardworking, an incredible provider, supportive, selfless, understanding, my rock, an awesome daddy, and so much more.  Hannah and I are very lucky to have you in our lives!  I will never forget the day I walked down the aisle and saw your face.  You were so overwhelmed with love and emotion that you couldn't stand still.  Tears flowed down your cheeks and I knew that I was the luckiest girl in the world.  You were mine!  I could hardly believe it.  How did I deserve such an amazing man?  The last 6 years have flown by and you have continued to amaze me.  You have been my rock and support through our trial with infertility and then through a rough pregnancy and an even rougher labor and delivery.  Then when Hannah was born, you sobbed.  I saw the love you had for her and my love for you grew more.  I knew you would be the most amazing father, and you haven't proven me wrong.  You changed every single diaper in the hospital and were amazing during the first few weeks of Hannah's life.  I don't know what I would have done without you.  You are my best friend and I love you more than words can say.  Thank you for being who you are and for loving me for who I am. 

I love you baby!


**The pictures above are not from our wedding day, but are from a 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot we did 4 years later (in 2008) with our amazing photographer friends, James and Lindsay Christerson at http://www.adfotos.net/**

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Daddy and His Daughter

I love how much Brian loves his little girl!  It melts my heart to see them together.  I thought I would put together a few of my favorite photos of the two of them.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Picnic


This picture is from March 2009...before I was even pregnant with Hannah.  We had a picnic at a local park.  Weren't we just so cute! :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vote for Hannah!

Please take just one minute to vote for Hannah in the Gerber Photo Contest.

http://www.gerber.com/photo/?entryid=68761&/#/detail/

You can vote once per day, per computer until August 31st.

Hannah says "Thank you!"

Rite Aid Diaper Deal

I thought I would share with you a great deal on diapers going on at Rite Aid this week.  If you aren't familiar with Rite Aid, let me tell you a little bit about their two rewards programs.  They have a new program called +Up Rewards.  This is a card you get at the store and you scan it each time you shop there (just like CVS or Kroger).  The card gives you "money" for your next shopping trip, on certain items. These are coupons that print at the bottom of your receipt that you can use on your next purchase (just like CVS Extra Care Bucks).  Rite Aid also has another reward program called Single Check Rebates.  This is something you do online.  After each shopping trip, you go to their website (https://riteaid.rebateplus.com)  and enter your receipt information and then at the end of the month you have to go back to the site and request your check for that month. (You can only request your check one time per month, so make sure you have entered all your receipts for that month!)  This online rebate takes a little more "work", but is essentially free money.  I get a check in the mail every month from Rite Aid for at least $5, but sometimes up to $20 (depending on that month's deals).  This is a regular check that you can deposit or cash at your bank.

So, here is the diaper deal going on at Rite Aid this week...

Buy 1 pack of Pampers Diapers at $8.99
- You will get back $2 of +Up Reward "money" for your next shopping trip at Rite Aid
- When you enter your receipt online, you will earn $2 more that you can have sent to you at the end of the month
- If you got the Sunday Paper this past weekend (August 1st), there was also a $1.50 coupon for Pampers in the P&G Coupon flyer that you can use
- Also in the same coupon flyer was a coupon for a free pack of Pampers wipes when you buy a pack of Pampers diapers that you can use
- So, you can get a pack of Pampers diapers and a box of Pampers wipes for $3.49!!  That's a great deal!!!

Even if you don't have the two coupons from the Sunday paper, it's still a good deal!

If you have any questions, let me know!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Solids & Sippy Cups


Hannah has started eating rice cereal on a more regular basis.  We started her at 3 months, but then stopped after a week or so because she started not sleeping well.  We thought the cereal might be causing her troubles.  Then at 4 months, we started again.  She was definitely ready!  So far she has had rice cereal, baby food apples, all natural applesauce, and peaches.  It is fun to let her try new things, but for now it is mainly just for practice.  She is definitely still getting all her nutrients from breast milk.  She only eats a couple tablespoons each day (if that), but we are trying to increase that slowly. 

We also gave her a sippy cup of water for the first time.  She wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but after a few days she is starting to get the hang of things.  I only put a small amount of water in her sippy cup each day (1-2 oz total) and only give it to her after she eats (nursing and rice cereal).  It's not that she needs the fluids, it's just for the practice.   Most of the water ends up running down her chin and around her neck.  But at least it's just water, so it's not to messy!

 

While it's fun to watch Hannah try new things, I am definitely a little sad to see my little peanut grow up.  Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Let it Snow

Obviously this is not a recent picture, since it is July and we live in the south, but I thought it was worthy of sharing.  Living in Atlanta means that we don't get very much snow, but when we do, it is fun!  This picture was taken in March 2009.  We had a TON of snow that day (for the south!) and the same thing happened again in 2010.  A little snow would feel good right about now. :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Library Storytime


Hannah went to her first Library story time at the local public library on July 12.  We decided to go last minute, so we were both not exactly "ready".  I hadn't showered yet for the day and Hannah was still in the onesie that she wore to sleep in the night before.  (I'm not lying when I say we decided to go at the very last minute).  I didn't even have any makeup on.  Yikes!  Hannah really liked the class, but the best part was meeting new friends!  We met two other babies and their moms and are now in their playgroup!  I am so glad that we decided to stop by that day (despite our dirtiness!). 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Siesta Key

I realized I never wrote about our trip to FL.  We spent a full week (July 3-10) in a condo on Siesta Key.  It was so relaxing and beautiful!  We decided to fly, to avoid the 10 hour car trip with a 4 month old and I am so glad we did.  The flight was relatively uneventful, although Hannah did have a minor meltdown on the flight over.  But as soon as the engines came on, she was passed out.


Hannah got to meet her great-grandparents (Brian's mom's parents) and they loved her and she loved them!



Hannah was not a huge beach fan, but it was really hot, so I don't blame her!  She is just too little still.  I have a feeling that she will love it once she can sit up and play in the sand!


The fourth of July took on a whole new meaning...instead of really being able to enjoy the fireworks (we had the most amazing view from the balcony of our condo!) I was worried about Hannah waking up.  But thankfully the condo came equipped with a very loud box fan, which we put on full blast to block out the noise!


Overall, it was a great trip and we really enjoyed spending time with Brian's family!  Here are a few more pics from our trip....