Tuesday, May 19, 2015

One Year Stats

A classic Helena face



We have a happy and healthy baby on our hands! 
18 pounds 14 ounces (36th percentile)
30 inches (80th percentile)
44.6 cm head circumference (41st percentile)
5 teeth (we had no clue that 5th tooth was in there! {top left})

It seems to me that since turning one Helena has taken a huge leap in what she picks up on and her personality.  I look at her now and she’s no longer a baby.  It’s a true miracle to see her grow but also puts a huge need of baby fever!  I’m somewhat depressed right now with things going on in my family and the fact that this time last year I wasn’t at work, I was on maternity leave spending the days caring for my newborn.  Having last summer off was so wonderful, I just wish I could have this summer off too.  Simply put: I yearn to be home.  Leaving for work is so hard.  I’ve thought a lot about how I can put it into words.  Helena is such a huge part of who I am.  She came from me, she is one of my main priorities in life, my love for her grows daily.  And to leave that part of me (such a huge part) behind daily to go to work is hard.  It’s like I’m leaving a part of me behind.  A big part.  I’m sad because she’s not near me and because someone else is part of her day, and that someone isn’t me.  It should be me.  It’s hard to breath when your heart isn’t with you.  And to me my daughter is my heart.  Hopefully those words can do some justice to what I’m feeling when I’m not taking care of my daughter while I’m at work. 
In addition to missing her I’m pretty sure we have a genius child on our hands.  I know every parent thinks their child is smart, but Helena is learning so much!  She can point to her socks/feet, and belly. She just recently started giving kisses (I seriously fell in love all over again)!  We got balloons for her birthday and a couple are still floating around the house and we’ll ask her to go get her balloon, and she’ll go get it!  Keep in mind, that prior to her birthday she had never played with a balloon before.  The other night I went to check in on her bath time and asked her if she brushed her teeth, and she immediately found her toothbrush and started brushing her teeth.  We’ll ask if she wants to sing the “A, B, C’s” and she’ll start with the “Aaa” sound.  And sorta sing along while we sing.  When her food is too hot at meal time I’ll blow on it, and she started mimicking blowing and it’s super cute.  She’ll make a “click click” noise with her tongue in her mouth and “kiss” noise with her lips.  She’s also tried to make a “fish face”.   She’ll drop her sippy cup/spoon/food onto the floor and say “uh oh”.  When she sneezes and we say “bless you” she’ll say “thank you”.  Or when we sneeze she’ll say “bless you”. 
She has started cow’s milk and the transition is going great.  She still gets some formula at night, and we’re really only giving it to her because we have it left to use.  We’ve also changed her nighttime routine and eliminated the bottle except for the formula she gets at night. 
I’m hoping she’ll start picking up signs soon.  I think she knows “all done” and “milk”.  We’re working on “food/eat” and “more”. 
She’s taking more and more steps daily.  She can’t stand up by herself (only when pulling herself up on something) but I think she’ll be there soon.  It’ll be crazy once her preferred method is walking over crawling. 
She’s still a super loud eater and a good eater in general.  It crazy the noises she makes.  And she’s still a great sleeper.  She’s comfortably in size 12 clothes and still in size 3 diapers.  She’s grown attached to “Mr. Owl” which is super cute and she’s officially in a convertible car seat.  
Each day is such a blessing and her laugh is still one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

a first birthday



He's such a great grandpa

the spread, can you see the owl veggie tray?





Lilly with mom Erin (Lilly was born end of April), Helena and I, and Grayson with mom Andrea (Grayson was born on 5/5)

a trio of one year olds

i love that i photo-bombed this picture!

Happy Birthday time!




LOVE her outfit!



nice family photo
I can’t believe my baby girl is one.  I also can’t believe that I haven’t cried because my baby girl is one.  Granted I’ve gotten teary eyed, and singing “happy birthday” was tough, but I pictured having an all out melt down that my baby is no longer a “baby”.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen, but as of right now I’ve stayed rather drama free in regards to my daughter turning one. 
to THIS!  she's over it!
Her birthday weekend was a lot of fun and a lot of work.  My parents were in town (more on that, hopefully), and they definitely helped.  It is so nice to have extra eyes and hands to help watch Helena!  It’s so amazing how one little person requires so much attention!
Chris and I did all we could with the prep work and thankfully all the little details turned out how I envisioned.  The one big crappy part was the rainy cold weather.  I had hoped to bring the party outdoors, but mother nature had another agenda.  Her theme was a continuation of Halloween, as we went with an “Owl” theme.  It was super cute.  My mother-in-law made an amazing onsie outfit that I will treasure for years and years! 
I made an Owl veggie tray, fruit kabobs, and queso dip.  I printed out a Happy Birthday Helena banner, and got balloons for all the kiddos.  It was a great time.  Sounds simple, but it was a lot of work. 
The cake smash was exactly that, a SMASH!  We put her down in only a diaper on the plastic mat her highchair is on.  At first she was super skeptical.  She would touch the icing and jerk her hand back like it pinched her!  Everyone laughed, and the loud noise and all the attention scared her, so Chris picked her up and put her in his lap.  Once she finally broke off a piece of the cake she was much more comfortable, and ended up with the frosting everywhere, plus I think she actually ate some.  It was a lot of fun, and a great memory. 
After cake we opened presents and got so many fun toys! 
All in all she did really well considering we woke her up from her nap for the party.  Once everyone left she had a little meltdown, but that was to be expected. 
Her actual birthday was Mother’s Day too.  We got up and went to church, then to brunch.  The big milestone of late of course has been walking.  I know everyone says once she walks “it’s over”, and as true as I know that, lately it has been the anticipation of it happening, because I could tell it was going to happen soon.  And well she took her first independent step on her birthday! It was an amazing site.  To see her body move!  And how amazing it is to see this accomplishment happen on her birthday.  To think of her being born exactly one year prior, to be this itty bitty newborn, to a walking baby in exactly one year!  Time is truly an amazing thing.
Now she’s getting better and better, and can take about 4 or 5 steps, and I know it won’t be long before she is literally off and running!
This year has been amazing.  I absolutely love being a mom to Helena.  She is such a happy and healthy baby, and that alone makes me feel so blessed.  But in addition to being happy and healthy, she’s such a good baby.  She’s started “singing” the ABC’s, and recently found the function of a door, and now swings the doors, which is extremely nerve-racking since I don’t want her to smash her fingers.  Mother’s Day was spent celebrating my daughter, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mother Daughter trip!

on the plane!
The Wednesday after Easter Helena and I left on our very first Mother – Daughter trip!  We flew into Tampa to hang out with one of my besties Tina and her family!  Florida used to be a yearly trip for me but with life, marriage, and now a baby time has definitely gotten away.  The last time I was in Florida was September 2010!  This trip was long overdue and I’m so happy we were able to go!  
Preparing to fly with a little one is so nerve-racking!  The few nights leading up to the trip Helena was up in the middle of the night, and twice the night before we left!  Previous trips (Nebraska for Thanksgiving and New Mexico for Christmas) as taught me that she doesn’t sleep good in a different environment, so knowing she hadn’t really slept all that great prior to leaving I was a little distraught.  The possibility of canceling the whole trip was even entertained.  But I went on with it.  We left for the airport around 5:15am and am so thankful Helena has her dad’s “wake up happy” gene.  We got to the gate in time to crawl around a bit, then went into the bathroom before boarding.  I had lots of fears, but one big one was her pooping and having to change a horrible poopy diaper on the plane.  Especially since the previous couple of days she was pooping 4/5 times a day!  I thought for sure she would poop on the plane.  But thankfully the flight was poop free!  The flight wasn’t full, so nobody in the middle seat, and the flight itself was non-eventful.  Being up so early I knew she would sleep, I gave her a bottle on the way up, and she slept for a good hour!  She was up the second hour, but I could tell she was still crabby, so I just sang to her and snuggled her and she went back to sleep for the third hour!  It truly was best case scenario!

love a sleeping baby - especially on an airplane!

ready to get off!

The drive from Tampa to Lakeland is about 45 minutes, so I thought for sure Helena would be fussy going from a carrier, to being held on a plane for 3 hours, back to carrier, then to a car seat, but somehow she was totally fine! 
I thankfully found a company to rent some baby gear from (car seat, high chair, and stroller) so we were ready to roll once I got our luggage!  Since Helena wasn’t fussy we stopped in Tampa and had a super delicious lunch then we made our way to Lakeland.  During the drive Helena took another nap!  It truly was the best traveling experience. 
I got to see Tina’s teenage boys Max and Jake and they immediately fell in love with Helena.  The first night we stayed in and got take out.  Thankfully Tina kept her pack ‘n play from when her babies were babies, so that’s where Helena slept.  I had shipped some essentials that included a fitted crib sheet.  I was super anxious the first night since Helena and I were sleeping in the same room, and since she was up the 3 previous nights, so I didn’t get much sleep because I was waiting for her to wake up.  But she slept all night!  I was incredibly surprised. 

after our 3 mile walk around a lake!
playing at the Children's Museum
 Our first full day was a lot of fun.  I felt great knowing Helena was back on schedule after getting a full nights sleep (much needed) and was doing her normal twice a day pooping schedule.  That morning we ventured out for a nice long walk around a lake, then a yummy lunch in downtown Lakeland.  After lunch we went to a little Children's Museum for Helena to crawl around.
Later that afternoon Helena took a little dip in the pool with Jake.  The water was cold, but surprisingly she didn't mind the cold water!  She smiled and played!
she loved the water!

taking a dip with Jake
She loves Tina!

Overall I enjoyed my time with Tina.  Who knows when the last we had a good quality conversation, so just reconnecting was something I really appreciated.  After all the kids went to bed, we stayed up late and chatted.
Super late that night Tina's husband Jason got home from a business trip.
Our second night we both slept great, and we both slept all night!  I was thrilled that Helena was back to sleeping through the night!
Friday morning we went to breakfast and played at an outdoor park, it was a lot of fun!  Once we got home we played some more.  When Helena went down for the night, Max, Jake, and their friends were are entertainment while they played basketball in the driveway.  We had a late dinner with yummy drinks and called it a night.

yummy drinks for the adults!

a fun Friday night!
 Our last night was rough.  Helena got sick.  Who knows what time it was, but I heard her wake up and cough followed by that horrible puking sound.  I jumped up and out of bed and turned on the light to see my daughter had thrown up!  The smell was horrible.  I honestly didn't know what to do.  Helena had never done anything like this before.  I cleaned her up as best as I could (she had throw up in her hair too!) and was super thankful that Tina had left a sheet in our room.  So I switched out her sheet, and I think out of habit and the fact that I was still half asleep, I did what I would normally do when she wakes up in the middle of the night, I made her a bottle.  She surprisingly took it and easily feel back asleep.  I didn't really fall back asleep, and it was before long when she woke up again and threw up all of the milk she just drank.  So we did everything again: I cleaned her up, and put down a blanket.  She was more awake by now, so I just laid her next to me in my bed until she feel asleep, and I moved her to the pack 'n play.  I can't remember what time it was, but I vaguely remember thinking I was up with her from about 2am - 5am.
I didn't sleep too good after 5am, as I was nervous and anxious about the long day ahead of us.  Helena woke up around 7 and smelled horrific of throw up.  So we took a bath.  I did a bad job and cleaning her up because when we were done she still smelled.
She thankfully was a happy baby but had no interest in food.  So we just played.  We had plans of going to the beach before heading to the airport, but I didn't think the beach was a good idea.  She kept scratching at her ear and since we were due to fly later that day I decided a trip to urgent care was in order.
love this family!

Max and Jake!  I used to babysit them when they were babies!

fun with Max!
 I didn't like the doctor at urgent care at all.  He didn't really help.  He suggested some pedialyte.  So we went to Target and I got some pedialyte and children's Tylenol.  From there we went to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and then to the airport. 
I gotta say traveling with a baby by yourself makes for a quick trip through security. 
In the Southwest terminal at the Tampa airport they have a little crawling area so we played in that area until it was time to board.  Just as we were getting ready to board I wanted to give Helena some Tylenol, and I of course, left it in Tina's car.  But thankfully we managed.  I was nervous for the flight, that she would throw up again while I was carrying her or on the full flight.  But again, thankfully she was a rockstar.  She was more cuddly than normal, which told me she wasn't feeling good, and she did slept a lot.  Even better was the man sitting next to us in the middle seat, was super nice.
Once we landed and saw Chris I was exhausted.  For the second time ever, I asked Chris to take over baby duty and keep the monitor on his side of the bed.  Helena got sick again that night, and we took her to our urgent care the next day.  The doctor basically said it was a stomach bug, to do the BRAT diet, and keep an eye on her.
Overall the trip was a great one, and now Helena is back to being her happy baby self and is sleeping through the night! 
I don't know if I would travel alone by myself, but I'm happy I took Helena to Florida and that this will be a memory I can share with her when she is older!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a long time ago

Their bond is so special
 I have so much to catch up on!  So let’s go back to last month when my mother-in-law and grandma-in-law were in town.  I love it when family comes to visit.  For me it is like a sigh of relief, because I know they will help out and care for Helena.  Having the extra help and love is huge and I appreciate it so much. 
Mary and Grandma got to town on a Sunday and left on a Thursday. 
She loves her Grandma Sweat!
 It was a great week!  Mary is making Helena a super cute outfit for her up and coming first birthday, so we went fabric shopping for that!  I was able to cook while Helena was taken care of, and see the joy she creates with her grandma and great-grandma! 
Giving Great-Grandma kisses!

for the LOVE!
 That Thursday night Chris woke up with some horrible stomach pain around 11pm, and when he told me it wasn’t like a normal stomach ache I immediately said “that’s not normal, that is your appendix”.  He brushed off my diagnosis and was up the rest of the night violently throwing up and groaning on the floor.  Finally at 2am he told me to take him to urgent care.  Once we were at urgent care and Helena was happily awake and Chris was hooked up on some drugs and getting blood work, we went back home around 3am.  Thankfully Helena took a bottle and went right back to sleep.  Around 5am I heard from Chris and wasn’t surprised when he told me they were transporting him to the hospital to get his appendix removed!  So Friday morning he was in surgery.  I spoke to the doctor and she informed me that a normal healthy person can get their appendix removed and can usually go home the next day.  But Chris had missed his morning dose of pills for his epilepsy so she wanted to keep him over night.  Thankfully everything was ok and Chris was discharged Saturday morning.  That afternoon we took Helena to meet the Easter bunny and play at the crawling area at the mall. 
playing after meeting the Easter bunny


It’s definitely always something!  

The following weekend was Easter weekend, when my parents were in town.  We had a great visit and had fun celebrating Helena’s first Easter.  On Saturday we went to a super fun music class, where we were the only ones that showed up!  It was a lot of fun dancing around and singing with Helena!  Plus she even got to “play” the guitar.  After we went to a super fancy dinner at Guard and Grace to celebrate my dad’s birthday (it was 4/7).  I was a little nervous taking Helena to such a nice place, but she did SO good!  We were able to enjoy our dinner and the wait staff feel in love with her, and even brought her fresh fruit to eat!  Near the end we did a lot of “peek a boo” with the napkins, but she was a trooper! 



dancing!



Happy Easter!

LOVE my dads smile in this picture!!!
Easter Sunday we went to a church then a horrible and over priced brunch in Boulder. 
Overall we’ve been super busy! 

Up next: Florida!

Monday, April 13, 2015

11 months


Rockin' the one sock.

We've had an extremely busy month with lots of visitors and firsts, but first things first.  We got to document Helena's 11 month birthday.
Helena was at the Urgent Care yesterday so we got her weight: 18 pounds 5 ounces!

Here are some highlights as of late that I want to remember:     
  • Smells like fresh cut wood after a full day of playing (specifically when she’s been outside)
  • Says “Uh OH” “woof” “meow” “baa”
  • Loves to dance.
  • Claps when you say “good job”
  • Waves “bye bye”
  • Her laugh is the most joyous sound in the world.
  •  Always wakes up super happy.  
  • Loves chicken and seafood.
  • Starting to use a sippy cup for water, and can get water from a straw.
  • She figured out how to open the kitchen cabinets.  Our kitchen is now baby proofed.
  • She’ll stand accidentally.  Once she realizes she is standing she’ll squat herself down.
She’s officially in size 12 month clothing.  Packing away and putting up her 9 clothes was really hard on me.  Harder than the other transitions.  The year as gone by crazy fast and to think of my daughter as a toddler and no longer a baby is crazy because she’ll always be my baby.