Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Christmas Eve dinner
 We had a great Christmas Eve!  We stayed in town to attend Christmas Eve service at our church.  We had a nice dinner out, and look forward to celebrating Santa's visit in the morning before we fly to Albuquerque for the weekend!
The tree has been up all month, but she just noticed to tree and presents yesterday!


I was lazy and didn’t include a Christmas letter in my Christmas cards this year.  I immediately regretted it.  So if a letter was to be written this is what it would have said:

Dear Family and Friends,
We hope the year 2014 has be joyous!  Our year was once again life changing as we became a family of 3!
The Sweat’s have had an extremely blessed year! 
The biggest blessing occurred on May 10th when Helena Grace was born!  She came into the world at 7 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches long!  She’s a super happy baby and is currently crawling all over the place.  We had a great summer!  April took an extended maternity leave and didn’t go back to work until after Labor Day.  The summer was spent with trips to the pool, baby and me yoga, and story time, along with lots of family visitors. 
Chris has been busy with work at Hospital Housekeeping Services and as of December works 1st shift, which he loves!  He enjoys being home in the evenings and quality family time.  He has also started to manage his own Transport department again, and is happy about the new challenge.  Chris had a week long hospital visit in October in hopes to trace his seizure activity.  We pray daily that he’ll go back to being seizure free.  Chris is an amazing and very hands on dad!  He changed all of Helena’s diapers for the first couple of weeks and loves playing with his daughter! 
April enjoyed having the whole summer off to be mom to Helena.  In October she celebrated 11 years at CenturyLink and still supports the Channel Alliance sales group.  She’s amazed at how quickly Helena is growing and loves to make her daughter laugh.  She continues to blog at and loves to go back and read about Helena and life pre-baby!  In addition to everything else, April also started her own business with Younique!  A direct sales make-up company.  She enjoys the flexibility and the additional income is has created for her family.
Helena is pure joy and she is loved so much!  Each month seems to surpass the next with new milestones and adventures!  Right now she is full of giggles and talking!  We think she has “da da” and “ma ma” achieved!  She enjoys bath time and is a great sleeper!  We are so thankful for our beautiful little daughter! 
In January we joined a small group with our Broomfield United Methodist church family, called “First Fridays”.  It’s full of young families and we’ve created some wonderful friendships. 
We had a blessed Thanksgiving with Chris’ family in Kearney, NE and will be celebrating Christmas with April’s family in Albuquerque, NM.   
Our year has been huge and we look forward to what 2015 will bring!
We wish all of our family and friends many blessings and cheers this glorious season!

All our Best,
Chris, April, and Helena

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Meeting

Of course she's on the Nice list!!!
 We went to Flatirons Mall the first weekend of the month to go meet Santa.  I thankfully made an online reservation, and got a great deal on some prints.  However, Helena wasn't impressed.  She stayed "serious baby" the whole time.  No interaction, nothing.  She wasn't sad or cranky, she just wasn't happy.  But we had a good time, and enjoyed the experience as Helena met St. Nick for the first time.

Hi I'm Helena and this is my serious face.
 Then last weekend my gym had Santa AND two reindeer!  Helena was much more aware this go 'round and actually noticed the man in the big red suit!  They shared a moment and bonded, and even better smiled!

I think they like each other

Lifelong friends

Friday, December 12, 2014

7 months

Baby girl had a super eventful month.  But first things first.  We went to the doctor today to get another vaccine, since she had her flu shot last month, and had her weighted: 15 pounds 7 ounces!  Almost a full pound heavier than last month! She's a growing baby girl.

We had such a great month!  With her first road trip, and first Thanksgiving, we also celebrated her crawling!  She's been on the move since Tuesday December 2nd!  People warned us "It's over once they are mobile."  Man oh man, they weren't kidding!  She's all over the place, and she is fast!  We thankfully (thanks to my husband!) have a baby gate up, and plugs in all the outlets.  Next will be the kitchen.  And what are we suppose to do with the cat food?, ...yup she's found that!  She has fun "cat hunting".  Denali knows to get out of the way, Otis however just stays there and Helena will grab his tail.  It's pretty funny.  In addition to the crawling last week she sprouted her first tooth.  I thought I saw something coming, but couldn't yet feel it.  Chris thought I was crazy, and then the next day, what do you know?  I felt a tooth!  Right now it's her bottom left.  I don't see the other bottom tooth, yet.  She is such a good eater!  She eats really well, and just chews her food and swallows right up.  There's always an adjustment when we introduce a new flavor, but after a few bites she's all over it!  Most days she's gets two helpings of solids, some days it is three.  Just depends.  Oh and she met Santa last weekend too.  We went to the mall, put her in her Christmas dress, and she was just serious baby with Santa.  No smiles, nothing.  Just serious baby face.  We're going to my gym tomorrow where we'll meet Santa again, along with a couple of reindeer, and hopefully get a smile.  She plays really good.  If I lay out a bunch of toys she'll just play and entertain herself.  It's really nice.  Overall, just a super happy baby.  Our Christmas tree is up, and she loves the lights, and I like to think she's is anticipating the presents on Christmas morning.  Another big first that happened at the beginning of December, is she's now going to an in home day care on Monday's and Tuesday's.  The first day was super difficult on me.  She usually sleeps until 8/8:30am, and on those two days I have to get her up a little before 7am.  Thankfully did does really good, and she just falls asleep at the day care around 9am.  I'm taking a super long Christmas break and my last day working for the year is Tuesday 12/16, and we have lots of fun things planned! 
It's been a super fun month, and I'm looking forward to what's next!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

First Thanksgiving

Ugh!  I'm so far behind.  Time to play catch up.  
We had a great Thanksgiving. Helena did great for her first road trip.  Chris had a follow up doctor's appointment with his neurologist on Wednesday afternoon (more on that later), so we got a late start on the road.  We filled up the gas tank and headed out around 5pm.  Helena hadn't taken an afternoon nap so she feel asleep right away.  She slept until about 7:30pm while we were coming upon the Colorado/Nebraska boarder.  There was some snowing, a car accident, and ice trucks that all slowed us down.  For whatever reason the two vehicles ahead of us wouldn't pass the de-icing trucks.  Eventually a ambulance came along so we got behind it and were able to pass the truck.  Chris crawled to the back sit and fed Helena, and she thankfully feel back asleep.  
Once we arrived in Kearney (a little before midnight {keep in mind they are central time}) Helena was awoken by the dogs and a different atmosphere.  I was really worried about the car ride effecting her schedule, what I hadn't thought of was how the different environment would effect her.  We set up her pack 'n play and tried to get her to bed.  She wanted nothing of it.  The first couple nights were rough.  She was up a lot, and really didn't like sleeping in the pack 'n play.  She's used to being able to move around and her pack 'n play is smaller than her crib.  Thankfully the last two nights were much easier.  
We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner and just enjoyed hanging out with family.  I know I say this each time we go to Kearney, but it's so nice just visiting.  We didn't watch any TV, we just visited.  Played games.  Enjoyed each others company.  
Great-Grandma had so much fun with Helena.  She got to feed her a couple of times which she was so thankful for, as Helena is the first great grand baby she's been able to feed!  My in-laws got her a high chair, which was so nice!  So Helena had a place at the table.  
Chris and Alice put up Christmas lights on the house.  We went for a walk (their cat Simba walks with them, this cat is amazing!).  We visited with friends.  We took family photos.  
I always enjoy my time in Kearney because it is so easy.  I can truly relax.  Good home cooked food!  It's just a good time.  
Grandma and granddaughter

Great grandma and Helena

Grandpa and Helena

Hanging Christmas decorations

just a beautiful picture of my beautiful daughter

Taking the dogs and cat out for a walk

Auntie Alice

Great grandma feeding Helena (isn't grandma so beautiful!)

such a model!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's coming to an End

My set up at work: the "mothers" room.

Only I can do that.
My breastfeeding days are coming to an end.  I knew it would happen and I knew I would have conflicted feelings.
As time oh so quickly goes by I want to try and remember all of it with my special little girl, and I feel like breastfeeding has been such a struggle and a milestone all at the same time.
Let's start with the pumping.  Oh the pumping.  Pumping was not part of the plan.  I got a pump for the sole purpose of going back to work.  I can still remember the lactation consultant bringing in the pump and instructing me on how to put all of the pieces together.  She said "You can't put it together wrong."  Which makes medela pretty smart.  I remember her telling me that Helena had a good latch, but she was quick to point out her tongue was tied (as was mine, but I didn't get mine clipped until I was 16).  We got her tongue clipped (which she thankfully slept through the whole thing) and I started pumping when baby girl wasn't gaining enough weight.  We supplemented with breast-milk in the hospital, and I pumped and pumped.  I remember getting a tiny bit of colostrum, and my mother accidentally threw it out.  I cried.  They advised that we should get a hospital grade breastpump to rent for the house.  My vision of having my newborn lay next me, and being able to pick her up in the middle of the night to lay with me and eat was slowly dwindling. That's the one memory I really wanted that never happened. 
Our first trip out of the house without Helena was to go get a pump a couple days after we got home.  I remember pumping and see the milk actually spray out.  I had called my friend Dena for advice, and I said to her "It's spraying out!  What does that mean?!"  She advised me, my milk had come in!!! 
Helena immediately got used to the instant gratification of the bottle and really wanted nothing to do with me.  We tried the breastfeeding group at the Mamahood when she was 5 days old, along with the group at St Anthony North, where (after a couple of weeks or so?, who knows I don't remember) she finally latched on with a nipple shield.  I continued to pump and she stayed latched to the nipple shield until she was 10 weeks old.  I still remember the first time she latched without it, by total accident on the 4th of July.  I cried because I finally felt the bond I was yearning for.  With the nipple shield gone, I finally got a glimpse of what I wanted my breastfeeding days to be like.  I've really enjoyed being able to feed her in public, to know that all she really needs is me.  Feeding her, along with pumping at work gives me a weird feeling of empowerment.  That I'm doing what's best to care of my daughter.  But oh, pumping at work.  And pumping period, just isn't fun.  On days I'm at work I pump twice, and I always pump at home, once at night before I go to bed,  and again in the morning.  Loading the pump to work back and forth, it's just a pain.  I definitely won't miss pumping. 
With all of these struggles I had decided six months was enough.  My pre-baby self said I would breastfeed for 1 year.  But then we decided to fly for Christmas, and a friend told me that nursing her would give her comfort on the plane, and to feed her during take-off and landing, to help with the pressurization of her ears.  So now that's the plan.  I'll nurse Helena through the end of the year.  Which means I have a little bit more than a month left.  As I think about it now, actually typing it out, I'm about to cry like a baby.  I know I'm going to miss it.  I'm going to miss the closeness and comfort it brings to both of us.  I obviously, won't miss the pumping.  I also won't miss those times (usually after a nap) when she's too distracted to eat and wants to play, and moves her head while trying to take my nipple with her.  Ouch!  My favorite time to fed her are the times she's tired.  She just lays there and cuddles.  We both get to enjoy it.  I also wonder that once I'm doing breastfeeding how in the world I'll clip her fingernails?!
I've read some information on how to stop breastfeeding, and honestly I'm not too concerned because my supply has always been low.  I think the whole process will be pretty easy.  I'll just fed her less and pump less.  I hope to be completely done by my birthday which is January 19.  I'm looking forward to truly sleeping in.  Right now I have to get up and pump after about 7 - 8 hours of sleep because I'm so engorged.  Being able to sleep a whole night without having to pump! 
Oh but I'll miss my baby girl falling asleep eating.  The past two nights we have had some really good feedings, and I just want to bottle them up and treasure them forever. 
I feel proud knowing that with all of the struggles, for the first 7 and half months of her life she primarily got me.  My batch of frozen milk that I saved up for when I returned to work on Labor Day was finished on Monday.  Almost a 3 month supply, not bad.  I honestly don't think I would change anything.  I of course, wish my supply had come in sooner, and that I had more to give, and that I wasn't attached to my breast-pump as often as I have been.  But all of that was so worth giving my daughter me and feeling that closeness for as long as we have.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Six Months

We celebrated Helena’s half birthday on Monday!  I can’t believe it.  We’ve had an extremely eventful month!  I hope to document it all.
We went to the doctor today in this single digit weather.  She got another round of vaccines including her flu shot.  To recover we’ll be staying in where it is nice and warm, and most importantly above freezing.
She weighed in at 14 pounds 10 ounces and 26 inches long.  I was hoping she would have doubled her birth weight, but even better is that she’s back on track with her original growth chart after her dip from her four month weigh-in.

She’s officially sitting up.  She was able to sit up for a few  seconds around her five month birthday, but throughout the past month she’s getting better and better.  I can confidently leave her on the floor now.
We’ve started her on solids.  As of right now she’s had banana, carrot, and sweet potato.  She knows exactly that food is coming her way, and opens right up, but once the food is her mouth she acts like she has no idea what’s going on.  For the most part she pushes it out, but she is slowly getting the chewing reflex down and eventually does swallow some food.  Yesterday was a huge accomplishment as more food got in her mouth than on her bib!
No teeth yet.  The doctor didn’t notice any coming in, so that means we’re still at least 3 weeks out.  She’s definitely drooling more and most things go into her mouth.
I hate to jinx myself, but she’s a pretty easy baby.  We can take her out pretty much anywhere and just hangs out.  Even the week that Chris was in the hospital she just played on the floor.  She didn’t nap very well, but that was to be expected. 
She loves to grab at things and shake them vigorously.
She’s amazing at  going in reverse.  Once she’s on her tummy she moves all around but can push herself backwards super fast.
She laughs and it is pure joy.  She loves it when I hold her baby style and bring her up to me and kiss her swaying her back and forth!  Also playing “bouncy” on my knees.  That is a sure thing to get a giggle!
We need to retire her swing.  She’s been in the swing once over the past month.  I think it’s time to put it away.
Her vocabulary is growing.  I love our conversations.
She’s still in size 6 – 9 month clothing and size 2 diapers.
We definitely have a routine.  She’s usually up by 8:30am and gets a 8 ounce bottle of breast milk for breakfast.  After some play time she’ll feed on me if I’m home, or have a 5 oz bottle of BM {next week my frozen milk will be all gone}.  Nap time starts anytime between 11am – 12noon.  Once she wakes up we feed again.  Have play time, then we’ll snack on some food, then I’ll feed her again (or bottle feed).  Her afternoon nap happens anytime between 2pm – 3pm.  Once she’s up we do all of that again on repeat (except for the food, she gets that once a day).  Her bedtime routine starts anytime between 7:30pm – 8pm.  We take a bath which always includes singing and signing the ABCs, numbers, and the itsy bitsy spider, then our prayers.  Her nighttime meal is always about 7 oz of formula, and she’s usually down for the night by 9pm at the latest.  She’s still sleeping through the night.  I can’t remember the last time she was up in the middle of the night.  It was before I went back to work, because I know that since I’ve been back at work I haven’t had to get up.  If she does get fussy in the middle of the night she’ll move around a little and always puts herself back to sleep.
I feel so blessed to call her mine and that I’ve been trusted to take care of her. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Pretty awesome if you ask me!

C'mon you know you want to!  Who doesn't LOVE some free make-up!?

I’m finally taking the time to tell you all about this new thing that I’m doing.  I’m not as ready or prepared as I would like, but I have to kick start it at some point.  I’m already a month in, so it might as well be now
At the end of September I signed up under my High School/Facebook friend Bre to a presenter for Younique.  
What is Younique you ask?  It's amazing make-up and so much more!  I'm just learning how fantastic this stuff is and I'm pumped up to experience all of it!
Back in June while I was in the awe of a newborn, that included many late nights and early mornings.  Helena definitely got my attention, but this time was also spent randomly looking at Facebook.  My friend Bre would post about Younique, loving her job, and getting paid to play with make-up.  Her postings definitely caught my eye.  In the past, I had been interested in some sort of direct sales thing to try and bring in a little bit more cash flow for my family, but hadn’t found any that truly spoke to me. 
Until Younique.
Over the summer I didn’t really do anything about my interest in this company I had never heard of, as I was enjoying my newborn daughter.  But then in September I decided to take the leap and join.  As previously stated October got away from me, but now I feel ready to tackle this additional role.  I’m excited to learn and grow with this company, and of course the extra cash won’t hurt either. 
I’m part of an awesome team and have lots of support! 
I’ve played with the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes, which is beyond wicked awesome!  Along with tons of eye shadow!  It’s a thrill to be part of a fairly new company that’s growing, and I’m excited to be part of it.

By the end of the week I’ll be throwing my Launch Party via Facebook.  If we’re friends you’ll be invited.  I ask you to reply “YES” and join the fun.  Even if you have no intention to buy anything or check out my website, please join, as your replying “YES” just gets my name out there to all of your other friends, and at this point in time that’s all I’m seeking.  Secondly, I’ll “suggest” my Younique page to you, also to just get myself out there in this new role.  Please “join” and “like”!  Just doing those two simple things will support me greatly!  In advance, I thank you!
If you do decide to purchase, or want to throw your own party, even better!  If you have any questions please let me know!

Here’s to a new venture and being successful!
No make-up

Regular mascara: I use Clinque

3D Fiber Lash!  Ohhh la la!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Helena and I had a super fun Halloween.  Helena was the cutest little owl you ever did see!  I can't remember where I got the idea for an owl.  I originally wanted her to be a turtle, because Chris called her turtle way back when she was only a few days old, and it kinda stuck with me.  But all of the turtle costumes I found were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed.  Somehow I randomly thought owl, and then when I saw this uber cute costume and its big eyes, I thought it was perfect.  Plus she'll be able to use the hat through the upcoming winter months, so its multifunctional.
We had a great day.  She played and took a nice long nap, and then this afternoon we went down to The Mamahood, where they were having a Halloween celebration.  This place is just great.  I wish there was a place like this near where I live.  Helena has had this habit over the past week or so where she only poops while on car rides, a stink move if you ask me!  So once we got there I changed her diaper and we got in line for the professional photographer they had for the event.  After Helena got her picture taken we played on the floor with some toys and met some new friends, including another little owl whose name is Vaughn.
Then tonight we handed out candy to all the kiddos.  Overall it was a great day!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Four month pictures

Helena had her photos taken at the end of September, as part of our baby plan package through BrynMaRae Photography.  We had a great time, and Bryn captured Helena's personality beautifully!  The first one is my favorite!  Helena looks great in blue!