Friday, September 12, 2014

Four Months




turning 4 months means getting new toys!  she's isn't quiet tall enough, but she loves it!

waiting for the doctor

vaccines = fussy and tired baby = extra cuddle time with Mom!
Helena turned four months old on Wednesday!  We brought out a new toy to celebrate!  I feel beyond blessed to have this little bundle in my life.  She is such a joy and I fall more in love with her everyday.

Height: 24 5/8 90%
Weight: 11 pounds 12 ounces 25%
Head: 15 3/4 50%

She's a beautiful growing baby girl!  When my in-laws were in town over Labor Day, Mary mentioned that we weren't feeding Helena enough.  In my gut I couldn't help to agree.  By no means are we starving her, and she's always content, I just think we can give her more.  The main issue with this is my supply.  I just don't have enough to give.  So we've upped the formula, and now that I'm back to work we've started using the frozen milk we have.  Plus since I'm no longer pumping for the purpose to freeze them, we have more milk in general since we aren't freezing it.  The system is still too new, but so far so good.  Her pediatrician also recommend that we put in an additional feeding.  With the increase in milk and one more feeding, I hope baby girl can start to gain a little bit more weight!

Her big happenings over the past month were rolling over.  The pediatrician gave us the official ok for her sleeping on her tummy, just as long as we put her down on her back (which we always do). 
She found her toes!  I haven't snapped a picture of it yet, but she's just so cute with her playing with her feet and a toe in her mouth!
When we bottle feed her she tries to hold up the bottle.
She wants to sit up so bad.  When we lay her on her back she'll hold up her head and try and try...someday soon, I'm sure it'll happen.
She loves to talk.  Our conversations are so much fun.
She's still in size 3 month clothes, but size 6 month pajamas because of the length.  Some size 3 months are definitely getting tight, it just depends on the brand.  She's still in size 1 diaper, but I'm thinking once we're done with the size 1's that we have, we'll try a size 2.   
As for me, I've got this horrible milk blister on my left boob.  It's super painful, and it just sucks.  Especially since my left side is my "high supplier" and makes more than my right.  This caused my first ever clogged duct last week while I was at work - of course!  It was so sensitive.  Thankfully it wasn't major and I worked it out that night.

Baby girl had another round of vaccines today.  She definitely handled it better this time 'round (I wish I could say the same about myself!), and she was super talkative this afternoon after a short morning nap.  But then she was super fussy.  I think she was just uber tired.  We plan to have a super low key weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

I have a little bit of catch up to do.
Over Labor Day my in-laws came to visit.  It was a great trip, and I'm so thankful they've made the drive so many times this summer to see us and Helena.  They had invited us to Kearney for Labor Day weekend, but with having to do all of the driving myself, just to be there for a day (we would have left early Saturday morning, and come back Monday morning)and then the anxiety of my return to work the next day (Tuesday), I knew it would be too much.  So it truly meant a lot to me that they came to visit us for the unofficial last weekend of summer. 
One of the many perks of getting older: new toys!  Helena in her Bumpo.
 I brought out the Bumpo a few weeks ago.  Helena loves to hang out with us in the kitchen while we cook!

Over Labor Day weekend we did lots of shopping.  Mary wanted to go to IKEA so we drove down south and took a tour of the store!  Chris and I found a dining room table on clearance, and bought it!  My hope is that we have an actual dining room by this time next year.  ...we do have a dining room, we're just currently using it as an office.  After IKEA we went across the street to Park Meadows mall and did some more shopping.  On Sunday we ventured to Golden, and walked around downtown.  We saw lots of people inter-tubing down the river and jumping into the cold water.  It looked like a blast!



I like this picture because you can truly see the contrast in our hair colors.  Helena's definitely lighter with some red in it!

Mary, me holding Helena, Chris, and Marty

Grandma and Granddaughter

Proud grandparents
 After they left Monday morning, we picked up my mom from the park 'n ride, as she flew in that afternoon.  She was here up until yesterday to help with my transition back to work.  Bless her!  I love my mom so much, and I truly appreciate her!  Monday (Labor Day) afternoon was the perfect time to go to the pool one last time.  So we headed out into the sun!
Chris dipped Helena's toes into the water, and while he did that she fell right to sleep.  So she napped on Daddy!

Thank goodness we got the 0-3 month swimsuit...I had contemplated getting the 3-6.
While my mom was here we even squeezed in a date night (more on that later in the month!). 
It was such a great weekend, and a great way to spend the last weekend of summer together as a family.  I truly cherish all of the moment we have together.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Letter to my Daughter

Facetime at work!

Dear Helena,

You are no longer our little poppy seed.  But rather a beautiful little almost 4 month old baby girl!  This week last year was the week I found out I was expecting you.  And now this week we have another big transition, as I started work again.  My oh my what a year it has been!  You’ve grown and flourished just as you should, and just as I prayed for.  You are beautiful, happy, and healthy!  I can remember this time last year like it was yesterday.  I can give you details of conversations and things that I did this week last year like they happened yesterday.  Your dad thinks it’s crazy how I remember these details and dates, and how I talk about them a year later like they are significant.  But to me they are significant.  Nothing over the past year has been insignificant.  Now that you are here I want you to know what I want for you.
I love you, to the moon and back.  Never ever doubt that. 
You can do and be anything you want to be.  Your dad and I will do anything and everything we can to set you out on the journey that you decide.
Pray.  There will be times you will doubt Gods presence in your life, but know that He is always there, and is always listening.
Be strong and confident.  Be sure in who you are, and don’t make apologies for it.    
Be kind.  Small gestures go a long way.
Observe the golden rule.  Treat others how you want to be treated.
Trust your gut.  If someone or something seems bad, it is probably bad.
Respect people.  Look at people in the eyes when they talk to you.  Pay attention.
Make a good first impression.  Be on time and when you shake someone’s hand really shake their hand.  Let your grip be felt.
Be compassionate.  Don't pretend to know other people's struggles, because you don't.
Get an education.  I hope and pray that you want to go to college...your college fund is already set up!  You'll never be too old to learn something new.
Love.  Your love is special, only give it to those people who deserve it.
Look and be observant.  Admire what is around you.  Each day is different, treat it as a gift.
Stay curious.  Ask questions. 
Relax.  Things will work out as they should.

I want only good things for you!  I know there will be struggles, but I also know we'll get through them and learn from them.  We're going to have an absolute blast with you!  You are already so much fun!  I'm sure as you get older (which means I'll be getting older too) I'll want to add to this list, but I feel this is a good foundation for what I want your life to be. 

My love for you is stronger each and every single day!  You have brought so much joy and shine into my life.  Thank you for making me a Mom and choosing me to help guide you through your life.

I love you,
Mom

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Randomness




I have so much consuming my head right now, that I feel like I might explode.  I've thought about trying to organize my thoughts and recent events and creating different blog posts to reflect those thoughts and events, but I just don't have that type of energy right now, and have decided to just spill it all into one big and messy blog post.  So here goes.

If  I Only Knew Then
I just read this post back from August 2011, and here I am August 2014 with a 3 month old.  I read back to that time and how good my life was, and now my life is great.  I'm a wife and a mom.  I never would have guessed it.  I've heard of people writing letters to themselves with the purpose of "If I only knew then".  I think I would tell myself, that everything has purpose.  That everything you do now will reflect in something later.  That hard work does pay off. That I will find "the one".  You will get married, you will feel that type of love.  You will feel the feeling of caring a baby inside of you.  You will give birth, you will be a mom.  I would tell myself that all of those things you questioned will happen.  I would tell myself to trust in God more.  He really does know what He is doing.  He sees the greater picture when you are only looking at a corner of the portrait.  Trust is hard, but praying isn't wasted.  He is listening, and your prayers will be answers.

Rolling Over
Helena is rolling over.  She went tummy to back right at around 3 months, then a couple of weeks ago while my parents were visiting rolled from back to tummy.  Then a few days ago she went from back to tummy to back.  It's super cute.  And as of last Sunday she now likes to sleep on her tummy.  This makes me very nervous.  The first night I didn't get much sleep because I kept checking on her, and rolling her back onto her back....just to have her go right back onto her tummy.  So the next night we just had her sleep in her little play pin next to me in our bedroom.  I know she's ok, it's just worrisome as a first time parent.  I even told Chris that I'm already looking forward to the less worrisome feeling that comes with a second baby.  She favors her left side, and always rolls to the left.  The past couple of nights she hasn't made it onto her back, but rather her side.  She moves so much she ends up doing a 180* in her crib.  Her other milestones are playing with her feet!  She's so cute, now that she has found her feet.  She also lifts her head up when we're playing on the floor.  This milestone is specifically great for when we are changing/dressing her.  She loves to "stand" and "dance" and kick it out on the floor!  She loves to be sung and read to.
As for me, I'm in the "losing all of my hair" post pregnancy phase, and I hate it.  Hair is literally everywhere!

Family Visiting
We've had lots of family visiting.  My parents were here the weekend before Labor Day and Chris' parents were here for Labor Day weekend, and now my mom is here through the 10th as I transition to go back to work.  While Chris' family was here we did lots of shopping.  We went to IKEA and Park Meadows Mall, then on Sunday we went to Golden and walked around.  Helena was great the whole time, and she definitely loves her grandparents!
I started this blog post last Thursday and had hoped to write about my anxiety of returning to work, before I returned to work, but that obviously didn't happen.
Returning to work is a necessary evil.  I know it is for the best, and because I'm returning to work we'll be able to do fun things as a family.  I absolutely hate the idea of not being part of my daughter's day 100% of the time.  Up to this point she's been with me 99% of the time.  I've taken her to the daycare at the gym a couple of times, just to get the mental feeling of someone else that I don't know caring for my child an hour out of the day.  Thankfully I have an awesome schedule set up so that way I can be home with Helena some days and for that I feel super blessed.  We still don't have childcare set up.  I pray often, and I know it'll work out.
I have this irrational fear that my daughter will forget about me.  I know that is completely insane, but I want her to remember me.  I know that she will, and I know I'm her only mother, and that I've been the primary one there for her the past 16 weeks.  These are just my super crazy thoughts.
Today was my first day back...sorta.  I started getting organized over the weekend for all of the things I needed to take to work.  Primarily my breast pump and a picture of Helena to have at my desk.  I packed everything up this morning, ready to go.  I got to the car and realized that out of habit I put on my flip flops.  I had put out my shoes the night before, but wore the shoes I've worn all summer.  As I come back into the house to change shoes, Chris is up to tell me goodbye.  As I kiss him I realize that I didn't brush my teeth!  So I was about to leave for work in flip flops and without brushing my teeth!  So I quickly brushed my teeth, and out the door I went.  I spent the bus ride down looking at pictures of my daughter, while Chris FaceTimed be so I could see Helena happily awake in her crib.  She's the happiest in the mornings, and not being there was heart-wrenching.  A few people stopped by my desk and I held back tears, as I missed my daughter.  Then at 9am I got all of my stuff ready to go pump.  I got in the lactation room set everything up, and just as I was about to screw on the bottle to the pump I realized I forgot the membranes....these little white pieces that create the suction.  I had forgotten the smallest piece!, and was unable to pump.  I knew I wouldn't be able to go all day without pumping so I just left work early.  I got through all of my email, and will follow up tomorrow.  Right when I got home I put the missing piece on, so tomorrow I'm all set to go.
Putting her down for bed last night, was so hard.  Knowing  I wouldn't be there in the morning.  I held her extra tight.
I feel so grateful that I was able to take 16 weeks, that we had this amazing and life changing summer together.  Summer 2014 was the summer I became a Mom and it was a great summer at that!
Here's to a new season.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Family Fanatics!

 My parents were in town over the weekend, and Helena was a star! 
We took her to her first Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field.  I had requested Club Level seats for the air conditioned lobby inside, and we definitely utilized the facility.  Our seats were in the sun for the first few innings, so inside we went.  We found an area with big soft chairs and a TV playing the game.  We played on the floor and got fed!

 Once the sun went down the temperature dropped so Helena got all bundled up!  We had a great time.

Proud grandparents!

Daddy's little girl

Leaving the stadium

August 2013 - @ a Rockies game, and pregnant, but we didn't know it yet!
It was the last weekend of August last year when my parents visited and took us to a Rockies game.  There I am pregnant, and didn't even know it!  It's so amazing to see what can happen in a year!
Chris and I really love going to a ball game, or any live sporting event, and having Helena participate was pure joy!  I hope that one day we can take her to a Denver Bronco game!

Monday, August 18, 2014

No More Swaddle

Happy baby!  8/18/14

No longer sleeping in a swaddle, but rather Pajamas!  She's a big girl!

 

In addition to all of her firsts, I want to also try and document her lasts. 

Helena wore her swaddle for the last time Saturday night.
It happened very suddenly, and I'm thankful she went down with it.
Almost two weeks ago baby girl rolled from her tummy to back.  It was super exciting, and she's done it about 4 or 5 times now.  If anything it startles her.  But now, she shows no interest in rolling over.  We've increased the amount of tummy time, and she definitely moves, but doesn't roll over.
Then a few nights ago, she somehow managed to roll from her back to her tummy in her swaddle.  Which really freaked me out, and made me think that maybe it was time to retire the swaddle.  I did some research, and I was nervous about the transition, and the fact that there really wasn't any transition.  In my mind the swaddle is her que that it is bedtime.  But I was too nervous to try and transition her out of it with numerous nights of one arm in, then both arms out etc... So last night we put her in some PJ's and down she went.  It was actually pretty simple.  Even better I didn't put her down asleep, but rather sleepy.  And she calmly put herself to sleep after about 10 - 15 minutes of laying in her crib awake.  She still managed to roll onto her side in the crib, which still makes me nervous, but I just don't know what to do?  
She has shown no interest in trying to roll from her back to her tummy when I play with her on the floor, my only guess is that the mattress in the crib is too soft?  Do I go out and get a new mattress?
She slept great last night without the swaddle and woke up as the super happy baby that I love so much!
It's been amazing seeing her do all of her firsts in addition to her lasts.  The "lasts" always seem to come too quick.    

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 months



Helena is 3 months!  Unfortunately I don't have any stats, but she is definitely getting bigger.

One of the more noticeable things I think is her head.  Baby girl is getting a big head!
Other changes:
I think her hair is getting a little lighter.  I'm completely indecisive about her eyes.  Chris thinks they'll be brown, and they most likely will be.  I'm holding out hope for something other than brown.
She's so much fun in the mornings.  She'll lay and entertain herself in her crib for a good 30 minutes in the morning, just laughing and cooing at herself.  She's pure joy and all smiles when I walk into her room and say "Good morning Helena".  She gives the most heartwarming smile and is so happy!
However the happiness is short lived, as she has this new habit of screaming bloody murder when she gets put down for a diaper change.  Who knows what it is, but after a minute or so of screaming she calms down and becomes content again.
She loves being read to.  I try and lay down with her in the living room and read a couple of times a day.
She loves the game Peek A Boo.  I'll cover her face with a blanket and ask "Where is Helena?" and jerk the blanket back and say "Peek A Boo!" and she gets the biggest smile on her beautiful face!  It is so much fun.
She's finding her voice.  She definitely "coos" and it is the softest little noise.  She also likes to make raspberries.  However, her new "talking" time is while she is eating.  Who knows how in the world she does it, but she makes loud vociferous noises while she is nursing.  Considering this is something I do to get her quiet (specifically in church), this new habit will interfere with that.
She really loves getting out and about.  If we haven't left the house all day, she knows that around 6pm is when we leave for a afternoon walk.
Her smile is beautiful.  She smiles with her eyes, and I can't get enough of it!