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Friday, September 28, 2012

Your Daddy

*Disclaimer: this post is full of sap, so if you're feeling the least bit nauseated you may want to stop now.  :-)

Dear Lilly,

I just wanted to take a few minutes to make sure you know that you have the best Daddy in the whole wide world.  I know I don't show or tell him enough, but I am so thankful for him and all that he does for the two (three counting Layla!) of us. 

On Wednesday, Mommy had a rough morning.  It wasn't much different than any other morning, it was just one of those mornings where nothing went right.  I was rushing around (as usual) trying to get ready, pump, make sure I had my pump and all of my parts for the day, make sure your stuff was ready for the day so Daddy didn't have to deal with it, etc.  I had an early meeting so it was important that I be on time.  I was literally running out the door (right on time for once) when I realized that the outfit I had on had some left over spit up on it.  Don't worry, I wasn't mad at you - just annoyed with myself for forgetting to send it to the cleaners.  I changed and left about 10 minutes later than I needed to.  Due to unforeseen traffic issues and not knowing where to go/park, I ended up being too late for my meeting and having to skip it.  Like I said, not a huge deal, but I was so stressed by the whole mess that when Daddy called to ask me a question about an hour later I burst into tears.  The past two weeks have been the busiest weeks I've had since I returned to work, and I have been feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day and running on fumes even more than ever.  I pulled it together and went about my day, and then this happened:

Your sweet, thoughtful Daddy sent me the most beautiful flowers to brighten my day - and brighten my day they did (after I cried some more, of course!). 

It made me think about the fact that I don't tell him often enough how much I appreciate him.  You light up his world, little girl, and there's nothing I love more than seeing the utter joy on your face when he walks in a room, or hearing you giggle at the silly songs he makes up for you, or listening to him read you your bed time stories (even though he makes up alternate endings!).  Sometimes, watching the two of you, I don't know how my heart doesn't explode with love for you both.

Your Daddy loves us so much, Lilly.  He is so hands-on with you and involved in every aspect of your life (he even helps Mommy make your baby food!).  He is so patient with you and I know you will learn so much from him, because he's the smartest person I know.  He is my biggest champion - he's so supportive of me and everything I want to accomplish, and I know he will be supportive of your dreams as well, no matter what they are.  Some day, when you grow up and fall in love and choose a life partner, if whoever you choose is even half the person your Daddy is, you'll be the luckiest girl in the world. 

Always remember, sweet girl, that your Daddy adores you.  He is so excited to watch you grow, and can't wait until the day when he can teach you all about football and cars (humor him, ok?).  When you're a little older, and you're mad at him for embarrassing you and trying to scare all of the boys away, just remember that in his eyes, you'll always be his little girl. 



Monday, September 24, 2012

8 Months Old

The craziness of me being able to blog two days in a row is not lost on me.  I was looking back at my posting history and laughing the other day.  When I was pregnant I was posting 20-25 times in a month (I posted almost every week day and on some weekends).  In January, when I was on bed rest, I posted the most ever in one month - 29 times!  While I was on maternity leave I was still averaging 18-20 posts/month, and ever since I've been back to work it's been twelve or less (mostly less) times per month.  It is a constant struggle for me to balance wanting to document everything for Lilly and getting everything done that I need to do as well.  Of course I want her to be able to look back some day and read a thoroughly documented "baby book," but by the time I get home from work, take care of her and get her fed, bathed and in bed, I still typically have a ton of work ahead of me: washing bottles and pump parts, packing her things for the next day, packing my things for the next day, not to mention laundry, dinner, taking care of Layla and any other chores that are hanging around here.  Anyway, I digress...I am trying to be on time with the monthly updates at a minimum, which is why I am blogging instead of doing the one million and one things I need to be doing tonight!  You're welcome, Lilly.  :-)  Without further ado, here are our 8 month (!!!) stats (How is it possible that I have an 8-month old?!  She will be 1 before we know it.  Tear!):

Weight/Length:  Let's be honest.  Clearly this field will be left blank.  But please know that Lilly is still chunky and I want to just chew on those little thunder thighs and cheeks!

Sleep: No changes here.  Over the weekend when we were away, Lilly fought me on naps (would only sleep for about 30 minutes for both of her naps and also woke up both nights, what the heck!), so I was worried that she was already trying to drop one nap and I was panicking because I am not ready.  I have determined that it was either due to a lot of stimulation, teething, or both because she's been back to her regularly scheduled programming since we got home.  She goes down at night between 7:30 - 8:00 pm and typically sleeps until 7:30 or 8:00 am (sometimes earlier but usually she's not up before 7, and if she is I normally nurse her and put her back down).  She takes two naps during the day which are normally 2 or 2.5 hours long each - the time of said naps depends on when she woke up, etc. but they typically fall somewhere between 10-11am and 2-3pm. 
Feeding:  For the very first time, I can no longer say that we are "primarily" nursing.  We are still nursing for sure, but this month we graduated to three solid meals/day - breakfast, lunch and dinner - so as a result, Lilly is not nursing quite as much.  Her "good" nursing (read: longer than 5 minutes) normally occurs first thing in the morning and at the last feeding before bed.  She is also no longer really on a strict every-three-hour eating schedule.  Here is a sample of an eating schedule these days:

8:30am: Nurse
9:00 or 9:30 am Breakfast:  3 cubes of fruit, each mixed with oatmeal, and 2 T. yogurt
12:30pm: Nurse (for maybe 5 minutes if I'm lucky)
1:00pm Lunch: 3 cubes of veggies (at least one green!) and 1 fruit cube.  Veggies are mixed with cereal, fruit is mixed with oatmeal.
5:00pm: Nurse (again, maybe 5 minutes)
5:30 or 6:00pm Dinner: 2-3 cubes of veggies (at least one green), meat, 1 cube fruit.  I also sometimes throw in a grain here, like whole wheat pasta.  Again, cereal/oatmeal are mixed with each fruit/veggie cube.
7:30pm: Nurse

I have to sneak in the rice cereal and oatmeal where I can because Lilly HATES the stuff, and she won't eat whatever she's supposed to be eating if she can taste it.  Diva!  I read somewhere that at this age she should be getting 3-9 T. (Does that range seem random/like it spans a lot of distance to anyone else?) of that stuff per day, so through trial and error of what she can taste and what she can't, I came up with a mixture of 1.5 teaspoons of cereal/oatmeal per cube of fruit/veggie so that she's getting somewhere between 3-4T. total per day.

We introduced quite a few new things this month.  I've been more adventurous with mixing things (papaya banana, blueberry apple, banana apple pear, apricot pear, etc.) and there is not much that Lilly doesn't like (although green stuff still isn't her favorite, except for peas, which she's now decided she loves, I think because they're sweet).  I've also been more adventurous in letting her try things we're eating as long as it's not too spicy/salty/etc.  She had puffs for the first time this month, which she of course loves but doesn't get very often.  She LOVES Little Duck dried fruits and gets lots of practice feeding them to herself.  She is also a fan of whole milk yogurt, which surprised me because she normally doesn't like cold things.  I can also get her to drink water sometimes now, but she prefers it to be really cold.  Again, diva!

Firsts This Month:  I can't remember all of them, but I know there were a few.  First bike ride was one of them.  First time Mommy and Daddy (together) left her with someone 
else for the weekend.  That's all I can think of - my mind is going blank!

Developments: The last week of month 7 was a busy one.  Lilly started crawling last Tuesday.  On Wednesday, she took her first assisted "steps" - Carney was helping her stand up and she started walking towards me, which she's never done before.  I am so glad I was there to see it, I would have been disappointed to miss it, even though it's not really walking yet.  Then on Thursday, she pushed herself up to a sitting position for the first time with no assistance!  She's also been pulling herself up some, but not a ton yet.  I feel sure she'll get there before we know it.  She is working on perfecting her crawling, but it is mostly still a mixture of an army crawl/spider crawl and a lot of rolling.  It's hilarious!  Lilly is very vocal and continues to mimick sounds that we make.  I would swear to you that she said "Layla" the other day (she was looking right at the dog and said "lala" - Carney heard it, too!).  I'm still not sure she knows what things mean, although she has started saying "mama" a lot more often.  Her hand-eye coordination has also improved tremendously - she is getting really good at picking food up off of her high chair and putting it in her mouth (what can I say, she's motivated by food I guess!).

Likes: Still not many changes here.  Being outside.  Eating.  Swimming (unless it's at the Y)  Layla.  Bath time.  Snuggling.  Giggling.  Talking/cooing.  Reading books.  Nap time/sleeping in general.  Sucking her thumb (especially when sleepy).  Music - she LOVES to sing songs, the sillier the better (Daddy's specialty).  Laughing.  Rolling around and scooting.  Crawling (especially towards things she shouldn't be getting into).  Being naked.  Being silly with Daddy.  Jumperoo and door jumper.  Grocery shopping.  Visiting the aquarium.  Walks/stroller rides.  Bike rides.  Sampling anything and everything Mommy and Daddy are eating.

Dislikes: Broccoli and green beans (we are OK with peas these days).  Not being able to get to things she wants.  Sitting in the high chair but not eating (aforementioned dry fruit and/or puffs come in handy here!).  Getting lotioned up before bed.  Additionally, putting on PJs or changing clothes.

What I'm Thankful For:  A few weekends at home for once!  We have lots of fun plans in store and a list of things to do around the house.  It will be so nice to be able to relax and not have to be on the go!

What I'm Looking Forward To:  We have some upcoming trips for weddings to NY and Vegas that I'm pretty excited about.  I'm also excited about the changing season and all of the "firsts" that it will bring for L: pumpkin patch, apple orchard, state fair, and maybe even a football game if we're feeling crazy?!  Not to mention Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...time is surely flying!

Next Pediatrician Appointment: October 26 for her 9-month check-up.

How Mommy's Doing:  Good, but busy!  It is a constant struggle to feel like I have enough hours in the day and to balance everything I have going on, but I wouldn't change a thing.  I have decided to train for a 5k in an effort to lose some of these lbs, so fingers crossed I don't die in the process!
Here's your dose of monthly Lilly pics.  I will note that it was much harder to get L to cooperate this month, especially now that she's mobile.  I have a feeling our days of "please sit in this chair and pose for Mommy for five minutes" are numbered!  I took a really cute series of photos with her "Lillian" combination puzzle/stool from the Weibles, but I'm too tired/lazy to wait on them to upload so I'll save those for another day (tomorrow perhaps?  three for three?  gasp!).  Enjoy!

Something was LOL-worthy?!

Dan called this one her "Elvis" face

Approximately 30 seconds into picture taking she decided she was over it...

...and tried to crawl straight out of the chair.

Lord help us!
Happy 8 months, sweet baby girl.  Mommy loves you SO much.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Beach Weekend!

I had some events at UNCW at the end of this past week for work, so Dan and I decided to pack up Layla and Lilly and head to the beach to make a weekend out of it and spend some time with his parents.  We had a very busy and fun-filled weekend, and I of course took way too many a lot of pictures as usual.

On Friday after I was done with work for the day, we took Lilly on her first bike ride:

The child LOVED riding on the bike.  She squealed, giggled, talked and giggled some more for the duration of the bike ride.  It was beyond cute and we got quite a few honks driving down the road.  We've been looking at bikes and a seat for her for several weeks, so I'm glad we were able to test it out and ensure that she likes it before purchasing.  I wish I'd taken an action shot, but it was hard to get a good picture since she and Dan were moving!  We rode to the tiki bar for an afternoon snack and cocktail:

L was loving being outside and we all enjoyed the gorgeous weather.  She was hamming it up at the tiki bar and met quite a few drunks new friends in the process.  After all of that activity, she was pretty beat on Friday night.

On Saturday morning, we went to the NC Aquarium.  Dan took her once before when I was out of town for the weekend, but I was excited to see what she did.  There are TONS of activities there for children - I can't wait to take her back as she gets older and can do more/last a little longer between naps.  Lilly had such a good time, and was intrigued by all of the fish.  Dan even helped her play in the "touch tanks" and touch some fish (ew):

Daddy helping L pose on the giant crab

Lilly loved watching the fish but couldn't understand why they didn't want to stay and talk to her.  She squawked and squealed at them when they swam away!
Where are you going,  Mr. Fishy? 

Family portrait in the bubble

Chasing fish with Grandma Susie!

Heeeeere, fishy fishy!  If you had hair I would pull it just like I do to my sister, Layla.  And I would probably try to put you in my mouth, just like I do everything else!

Hey!  Gimme!
After a short nap, we went for a walk on the beach.  The weather was absolutely perfect, although the water was a little chilly.  L was loving being outside, as usual, and was so enamored with all of the activity on the beach.

Sporting the hat Grandma Susie and Papa gave her.  She looks like such a big girl in this picture!  Could it be the thighs?  :-)

Walking with Grandma Susie and Papa

It was pretty hot, so we stripped Lilly down for the walk home and she and Daddy had some fun:

Goofing off with Daddy

We got one more walk in this morning before we left, except this time it was on the boardwalk to eat ten some Britt's donuts.  If you are ever visiting CB you HAVE to make a stop at Britt's.  To say that L enjoyed her two bites would be an understatement:

Sugar high from just two tiny bites!
I had another work event this evening and Dan had to attend a visitation, so we headed back in time for L's afternoon nap (although I would have loved to spend the day on the beach!).  Since Dan and I were both gone, L had some fun tonight watching football with Aunt Meagan and Uncle Bo (and Fender!):

We had such a fun weekend!  The weather was perfect and we enjoyed spending time with family.  Now it's back to Pinteresting before I head to bed...I am determined to get my house decorated before it's time to move again some day.  :-)  I absolutely can't believe my baby girl will be 8 months old tomorrow.  Time is moving way too fast.  Stay tuned for the 8-month stats!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Aannnddd we're crawling...

Howdy, friends.  I am reporting to you live tonight from the Baum abode with a bit of breaking news: we are mobile.

Lilly has been rolling and scooting for about a month now, and has been pushing her upper body and lower body up separately as well.  For the past three weeks, she's been mastering the skill of pushing up onto all fours and rocking back and forth.  She even looked like she was going to get those legs going and crawl few times, but typically she would just get annoyed and plop down onto her stomach to roll/scoot/some combination of both to wherever it was she needed to go.  Until tonight.

Please excuse the video.  I am by no means an iMovie expert, but I tried.  This video was originally really long, so I tried to cut out big chunks of nothing which is why the transitions aren't perfect.  And, in case you're curious: no, we do not just have random mattresses laying around Lilly's room - I was in the process of changing her sheets when something told me to get my phone/camera.  I'm so happy I did, because it enabled me to capture this "first" on video as a result!

A little background: the spider that Lilly is after is Layla's toy.  Layla has quickly learned what is hers to play with and what off-limits to her (L's toys) unless we forget to pick Lilly's toys up before we leave the house in which case we come home and the toys are never where we left them (Layla thinks she's sneaky!).  Lilly, however, is not going to be quite as easy.  Surely it's just that she's too young to understand me when I say, "Lilly, that is not your toy, that is Layla's" and not because she's hard-headed/stubborn like her daddy, yes?  A little of both, I assume.  Anyway, my Mom bought Layla this green spider a while back and lately Lilly has taken an interest in it.  And by interest I mean she is kind of obsessed with the thing - if it is anywhere in her sight, she tries her darnedest to get to it.  And I have to be playing close attention so that I can rush over to grab it before she puts it straight into her mouth.  Blech.  Tonight, L was after it again, but since I was trying to make her bed, I decided to see what she'd do - and the result was crawling!  It is actually kind of a mix between a spider crawl and an army crawl at this point, and it's quite hysterical to watch.  Of course about the time I ran out of storage space on my iPhone and the video shut off automatically was when the crawling got really good, but at least I got the first little bit.  Anyway, without further ado, I present to you the adventures of Lilly and the spider (FYI the crawling is closer to the end in case you want to skip the build up).

Update: for some reason the video can't be played on the iPhone.  I think it has something to do with the copyright on the song or something?  Anyway, I also posted it to vimeo.

Luckily we didn't have much to child proof, but something tells me I'm going to miss the days when I could leave the room for 30 seconds and return to find Lilly in the same spot where I left her...


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fun With Mommy

Dan was out of town for a few days this week, so Lilly and Mommy have had to fend for ourselves.  I always appreciate him even more when he's not here, because he does so much to help out around here (don't tell him I said that, wink!).  Between working and caring for myself, Lilly and Layla, by the time she goes to bed at 7:30pm I am exhausted!  Here was my day:

6:30a - Woke up.  Jumped in the shower and started to get myself ready for the day.  I pumped, unloaded the dishwasher from when I ran it before bed the night before, started a load of Lilly's laundry, and ate breakfast all while getting ready.  Multi-tasking at its finest, I say.
7:40a - Took the baby monitor with me outside to play with Layla for a few minutes.  Can't take her on a walk if the babe isn't awake!
7:55a - Woke L up so I could love on her for a few minutes before Carney arrived.  I know what you're thinking, why would you wake a sleeping baby?  On the days she stays with Carney, I try to make sure she's up by 8 so that she is on a more consistent routine since they have to go pick Callie up from preschool midday.  Plus I wanted a snuggle before I had to leave for work.  :-)
8:00a - Carney (nanny) arrives.  I asked her to come 30 minutes early today because I had an 8:30 meeting (typically Dan is in charge of drop off).  Carney will feed L a bottle and her breakfast (solids).  I gave L a few last minute kisses, told her how much I'd miss her, and headed out the door.  Fast forward to...
5:30p - Picked L up from the neighbor's house (they head over there for the afternoon after they pick Callie up each day).
5:45p - Nursed L (super quick nursing session, as she's more into solids these days)
6:00p - Fed L her solids.
6:30p - Let Lilly play in the kitchen floor while I loaded the dishwasher with all of the day's dishes (Lilly's bottles, my bottles and pump parts, any dishes that were used during the day, etc.).  Put away the dishes that were in the drying rack because they never seem to try fully in the dishwasher (does that annoy anyone else?).  I also changed the laundry and transferred the milk I pumped at work into bags for freezing.
6:45p - Lilly and I took Layla on a walk.
7:10p - Bath time for Lilly!
7:25p - Read Lilly two books, nursed her again, said our prayers and put her to bed.
7:45p - Started more laundry, cleaned up after Lilly's play time from earlier and made two batches of baby food.
8:30p - Dan arrived home with dinner.  No more making baby food, because the Bears are playing football tonight.  Set the dishwasher on a 3-hour delay so as not to disturb Dan during aforementioned football game (it is LOUD).  Laundry can be finished tomorrow because Mama's TIRED.

Oy, just re-capping the day exhausts me!  Anyway, Dan got home this evening shortly after L went to bed.  He was super bummed that he missed her before bed time, but I took some pictures of our evening so he wouldn't feel quite as left out.

Swinging on the front porch with Mommy for a few minutes before bath time.  Lilly loves to be outside and LOVES to swing.

Happy girl enjoying the gorgeous weather!

Still happy and loving some bath time.  I still remember when she had to lay down in the bath tub in the sink.  Now we've graduated to sitting up and a big(ger) girl tub.  When did she get so big?!

Playing her new favorite game aka "I am going to wiggle around splashing and making a HUGE mess and try my darnedest to flip over and/or pull/stand up while in the bath tub."

Drying off/trying to air out some diaper rash a little :(

How come neither of them look amused?  Layla has started hanging around Lilly and me more during our evening routine, especially if Dan's not home.  She often comes into the nursery when it's bed time and sits right by the glider, and occasionally even gives L some bedtime sugar.  So sweet!

Since L won't take a paci, I hide it in a drawer and give it to her to distract her when I'm trying to change her diaper or get her dressed (otherwise she is busy trying to roll off the changing table or pull herself up to look around).  Works like a charm most of the time!

My two girls.  LOVE.
With that, I am going to bed!  If you get the chance, hop over to Steph's blog to see the awesome pictures that she took of swim lessons.  I'm not sure these two could possibly be any cuter!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Mommy & Daddy's First Weekend Away

Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not sure we'll be able to leave Lilly ever again.  I don't think she gets enough attention from her caretakers while we're away.  You can judge for yourself after looking at the photos.  :-)

We all drove to Charlotte last Wednesday night after work so that Dan and I could catch the earliest possible flight to SNA in California on Thursday morning for Sheila's wedding weekend.  I was so sad to leave Lilly, but so excited about our first weekend away - and of course I knew we were leaving her in great hands.  The weekend away did not disappoint!  I'm still a little jet lagged and it's WAY past my bed time, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves about all of the fun that was had by Mommy and Daddy (apologies in advance, I somehow did not remember to take my camera so the quality is poor on quite a few of these because they're from my iPhone):

The next series of photos shows what happens when Dan gets hold of a camera...

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Crowder - we were so honored and blessed to have been able to celebrate with you on your special day.  We love you both!

Lilly and Layla had loads of fun at Grandmommy & Pawpaw's house.  Lilly got to feed and talk to the chickens every morning with Pawpaw, rode in the golf cart, rode on the tractor (we still aren't sure how she managed this as Pawpaw never lets girls on the tractor), helped Aunt Syd study, updated Facebook with Grandmommy, visited with Miss Jane and played at the pool with Aunt Katy and Uncle Josh among other things.  She also had lots of visitors, including Grandma Susie and Papa a few times!  Thankfully, my family was good about sending photo updates via text and Facebook - they knew how much I was missing my girl, even though Dan and I were having a great weekend away!

Aunt Nae Nae and Aunt Katy, I am too young for beer!

Aunt Syd dressed me up like Grandmommy.

This is why we don't let Aunt Katy change diapers...

Thankfully, L did NOT start crawling while I was away...I would have fired myself if I missed it!  She is SO close, I just knew it was going to happen when I wasn't here, but secretly I'm glad it didn't.  :-)  I was so excited all day Sunday, even though we had a long travel day...I couldn't wait to see this sweet face and I could not get home fast enough!

In addition to trying to catch up on lost sleep from the weekend on top of jet lag, we were running low on baby food so we decided to make several batches each night this week.  Tonight we made sweet potatoes, butternut squash, sweet zucchini and carrots, apples with prunes, blueberry and apple, cauliflower (a new one!) and mango.  

We have quite a few more new things to make (excited for her to new try foods with more texture!) on the agenda as the week progresses, but no more tonight because I'm beat!  

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Stay tuned for a post on pumping and transporting breast milk while traveling sometime this week (I can hear you squealing with excitement!)!


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