Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hannah's 1st Birthday Party

I am so behind in posting and the only thing I can blame is life. Things are always crazy around here, but with a toddling 1 year old, it's just get crazier by the minute.

I took Hannah for her 1 year check up and she was 22 pounds 2 ounces (75%) and 30 inches tall (90%).  She is growing and developing right on target and took her 2 vaccines like a champ. :-)  I also spoke with the peditrician about my desire to not give Hannah cow's milk (I'll have to write a separate post about that) and she was surprisingly supportive.  I am still nursing her 2 times per day (morning and night), but when I stop that we will reevaluate ways to get enough calcium and vitamin D into our little peanut. 

Now on to the fun stuff.  We celebrated Hannah's first birthday on March 12th with some of our family and closest friends.  It was a beautiful day and Hannah had a great time.  She LOVED her smash cake, but was thankfully (and surprisingly) very neat with it.  That certainly made this neat mommy happy. ;-)

Unfortunately I did not take many pictures on the day of her party, as I was a little busy with hosting.  But thankfully my wonderful sister-in-law, Lauren and photgrapher friend, Lindsay got some great shots!

Hannah's Smash Cake


 Cupcakes (made by my sis-in-law, Lauren)

 The Birthday Girl


 Carrot and Cucumber Flower

 Red Pepper Flower

 Not particularly happy at this moment...

 Party Favors

Showing off the hand-colored water bottle labels

 Here comes the cake!!

 A little shy about everyone singing to her

This is as messy as it got....

Happy Birthday little peanut!  We love you!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

ONE Year!!


I will never forget the day you were born.  After 2 years of trying to conceive, 9 months of morning sickness and various aches and pains, and 8 hours of the most intense pain I have ever experienced, came the most joyous moment of my life.  They placed you on my chest, all covered in slime, and you barely made a peep.  No crying, just contentment.  I held you for the next 30 minutes and breathed in your brand new baby smell.  We had been through a lot together and this was the moment we had both been waiting for.  Your long nails scratched my skin, your little tongue licked your lips and your squinty eyes examined your new surroundings. 

I love the little girl you are growing into and look forward to the next year of watching you grow.  It is such a priviledge to be your mother.  It brings great joy to my heart to see your face light up when I enter the room, to recieve one of your wide-mouthed kisses, watch you clap your hands and wave bye-bye for no apparent reason, hear you say "Doh Dee Doh Dee Doh" and "Dada" for the majority of the day, and watch you throw your hands in the air when we say, "SO BIG!".  I love the way you smell right after a bath - so fresh and clean!  I love the way you hug your teddy bears, squeezing them tightly and shaking side to side.  I love your open-mouthed smile and how giggly you get right before bedtime.  But my favorite thing you do is when you randomly crawl over to me and lay your head on me for a cuddle.  I just can't get enough of that!

Here's what you are up to at ONE YEAR!!!!
  • You are at least 22 pounds and over 31 inches tall.  I will do the actual measurements later today and update.
  • You have just started standing and taking your first few steps.  It really came out of nowhere!  You can stand on your own for several seconds at a time and have taken as many as 5 steps in a row.  You get so excited when you start walking!  Adorable!
  • You can sign the word "milk" and do it all the time (even if you aren't hungry).  Sometimes it means "milk", but other times it means "all done", "duck", or "hi"  :-)
  • You say "Dada" all day long, but a few weeks ago you started saying "Mama", which brings such joy to my heart!!  You also bark every time you see a dog!  Adorable.  You don't say many words, but you sure do understand a bunch!
  • You love to dance and it's just precious!  You can also do the motions to "Two Little Eyes" (point to your eyes and ears, open and close your hands, and stomp your feet).  You are so smart!
  • You love to climb on your "Hannah" chair and you can get in and out all by yourself.
  • You still wear size 4 diapers and are wearing all 12 month clothes and some 18 month pajamas (although they are too long still).  You are wearing size 4 shoes too (although you only have 1 pair).
  • You still only have your two bottom teeth.  And I really don't see any others coming in.
  • You are great at helping Mommy get you dressed - at least when you will actually sit still long enough to do that.  You stick your little arms right through the holes and then take off again! ;-)
  • You started eating a few new foods this month - french toast, pancakes, waffles, nectarines, strawberries, and cheese.  Unfortunately we had to stop apples again because they really don't agree with your bowels. :-(  Hopefully you will be able to eat apples one day because you really love them!
  • Your schedule these days looks like this:
    • 7am - Wake, Nurse, Diaper Change
    • 7:30am - Solids (usually cereal and fruit, but sometimes you have french toast, pancakes or waffles and fruit)
    • 8am - Playtime
    • 9:15 or 9:30am - Nap (most of the time you only sleep 30 minutes, but a few times this month you slept a full hour!)
    • 10:15 or 10:30am - Playtime
    • 11:30am - Solids (usually a meat, veggie and fruit)
    • 12pm - Playtime
    • 1:30pm - Nap (most of time this nap is only 30 minutes as well, but a few times this month you slept for a full hour.  And a couple times you actually slept for 2 hours!  WOW!)
    • 2:30pm - Playtime
    • 3pm - Snack (breastmilk in a sippy cup and a veggie or cheese)
    • 3:30pm - Outside time (this is usually a long walk in the stroller), followed by more playtime!
    • 5:30pm - Solids (usually a few veggies and a fruit)
    • 6pm - Daddy time
    • 7pm - Bedtime routine (pjs, diaper, nurse, brush teeth, story, prayers, song, in bed)
Tomorrow we will be celebrating your birthday with a some family and friends.  Mommy has been planning your birthday for a few months now and I can't wait to celebrate this milestone in your life.  We have so much to celebrate - your first year of life, mommy and daddy keeping you alive for a whole year, successfully nursing for a full year, and mommy not going completely nuts during the past year! :-)  You can thank Daddy for the last one.  Without him, Mommy would have lost it!  You are one lucky girl to have such a wonderful Daddy!  It melts my heart to see how much he loves you and how much you love him!

A year ago today we had no idea what being parents really meant.  No one could have prepared us for the year ahead.  I spent over a year reading every parenting book I could get my hands on, writing down detailed notes and planning out your schedule as best I could.  I thought I was prepared, but I had so much to learn!  The Lord spent the first year of your life teaching me just how much I needed Him.  I thought I had it all under control, but when you didn't fit into the mold I had planned out, everything fell apart.  I have had to learn over and over that I am not in control and that the Lord is.  Letting go of my tight grip has been painful at times, but also very freeing.  I won't lie and say that the past year has been joyous at every hasn't.  It's been a tough year.  It's been a year filled with growth for everyone.  But it's been the best year of my life!

Happy Birthday little peanut!  No matter how big you get, you will always be our little girl!  We love you unconditionally (believe me, you have tested that this year) and are so thankful that the Lord blessed us with you!   

Friday, March 4, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Hannah turns one on March 11 and I am shocked.  I have been told, time and time again, how fast time flies with a baby and I have to say, it's true.  Somehow time just speeds by and you are left wondering where the last year went.  Yet in the day-to-day, time sometimes seems to stand still.  Funny, isn't it.

With Hannah's birthday quickly approaching, I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on the past year and all that has happened.  Something about birthdays that just make you reflect....especially first birthdays!  A year ago I was a nervous wreck, 9+ months pregnant and ready to pop.  I so wish I could have seen into the future and told myself some things.  If I could have, here's what I would have said....

Dear Sabrina,

You are about to jump on the craziest roller coaster ride of your life!  It is absolutely amazing and incredibly scary and insanely fun and excruciatingly hard - all wrapped into one.  But take a minute to just relax and enjoy these last few days of baby-free life.  You will have enough time to worry about all things baby in the year to come. 

You will feel completely overwhelmed for the first 6 months or so of Hannah's life.  Your hormones will cause you to be crazy for a little while and that's okay.  You will cry for no reason at all and that's completely normal.  The first two weeks with a newborn will be the hardest weeks of your life, but it will get better!  The nights will be the hardest, but Brian will be right there for you, every step of the way.  He will wake up with you for the 2am feeding and lay on the floor in Hannah's room while you nurse her.  He will fall asleep there, but he's there and that's all you will need.  You will feel distant from Hannah in the beginning - like she is a stranger.  That will make you sad and you will feel guilty about it, but after just a short time you will fall madly in love with her and never look back.  You will forever be grateful for a sweet friend that told you it is completely normal to feel that way and that you aren't a bad mother for it.

Being a stay-at-home mom will be the toughest job you've ever had.  It will be different every day, but painfully the same.  But it will be your favorite job yet!  You will try to keep the house in order, but you will fail.  You won't cook dinner every night and the house will be in shambles some days, but that's okay.  It's only because you will be too busy crawling around on the floor with your precious baby to even notice. 

I know you are worried about the labor and doing it drug-free, but you will do it and everything will be okay.  Yes, it will hurt and you won't be prepared for the intense pain.  You will say, "I can't do this" several times, but you can!  It will only last 8 hours and Hannah will be perfectly healthy and BEAUTIFUL!  You will be taken away by her unexpected.  Your recovery will be scary and you will shed a lot of tears, but things will go back to normal and you will survive.

Breastfeeding will be painful in the beginning and there will be times where you just want to give up, but don't!  Nursing will be one of the best things you do in the next year.  It will become very natural and believe it or not you won't want to wean her at 1 year....and you probably won't! :-)

Hannah will not be a good sleeper!  This will drive you crazy and make you pull your hair out.  You will spend hour after hour reading about ways to get her to sleep.  You will try everything and nothing will work.  You will change her schedule when she is 6 or 7 months old and that will be the best thing ever.  No, she still won't sleep well, but things will get better.  Why don't you just go ahead and start out with the Babywise schedule from day one and things will most likely be a lot smoother for everyone!  Hannah will cry for what seems like hours when you put her down at night, but eventually (around 10 months) she will sleep through the night consistently and you will feel like a new woman!  The Lord will teach you so much over the next year about how not in control you are.  It will be a painful learning experience, but such an important one.  I hate to tell you, but even when Hannah turns one, she still won't be a good napper and you are just going to have to deal with that.  Some days she will sleep great and others she won't sleep at all....oh well. 

You will worry that Brian will stop loving you as much as he did before Hannah came along.  I know you are scared about having to share him with someone else, but don't be.  He will be the most amazing father and will love you even more than he does now.  Your heart will burst when you see him hold her.  He will love her unconditionally from the moment he lays eyes on her and that will melt your heart.  He will change every single dirty diaper while you are in the hospital, but don't be fooled.  You will have your fair share to change the moment you get home. :-)  Oh, and Hannah will look just like her daddy!  You won't get any credit for her amazing looks...she is his twin.  But you will LOVE that about her.  Her eyes will be crystal blue, just like Daddy's and her facial expressions will be his.  But every once in a while you will see yourself in her and those moments will be priceless. 

Give her a pacifier...just do it!  Don't be so stubborn for the first 3 months and refuse to let her have one.  It's silly.  There are much bigger things to worry about.  She will not go off to kindergarten with a pacifier in her mouth.  I don't know how you will break her of the habit, but who cares.  You can cross that bridge during her second year of life.

Hold that little newborn every chance you get.  She will grow up way too fast and you will wish you could cuddle with her again.  She will only be cuddly for about 2 weeks of her life and then she will want nothing to do with being close to you, so get it while you can!  You will not ruin her if you hold her the entire first week
of her life.  Do it!  You will wish you had.

You will spend the next year memorizing which steps creak and how to close a door without making any noise.  You will learn to flush the toilets when Hannah is awake and you will accomplish nothing during nap time out of fear of doing something that might wake her up.  Whoever came up with the saying, "sleep like a baby" must not have had one.

You will make some amazing friends over the next year.  They will keep you sane and help you in more ways than you can imagine.  They will make you feel like you aren't crazy and not alone.  They will be there to listen to you complain about how hard being a mom is and they will completely understand! 

Everything you think you know about being a mom will prove to be false!  Nothing will happen the way you planned and that will be hard. 

You will fall deeply in love this year.  You will better understand your heavenly father's love for you as you learn to love unconditionally and without reservation.  There is nothing you wouldn't do for that little peanut.  She will fill you with such great joy and will help you understand what is truly important in life.