Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Latest Happenings

Just some updates on my baby girl.

She just started making this silly cheesy grin.  Who knows where it came from, but my goodness it’s cute!

She’s now bathing in the bath tub.  She loves to kick and splash in the water.  A couple of weeks ago she got a super bad rash all over so we’re giving her nightly baths now, and she loves it!

She loves different textures.  She puts her little hands on everything and just feels the different materials.

She’s officially in size 2 diapers!

She prefers rolling over on her left arm, but now goes both ways.

She has a little giggle, and is making lots of new sounds and pitches.

As much as I hate not being part of her day 100% of the time, I’m happy she gets daddy/daughter alone time with her dad while I’m at work.  (I think Chris and Helena really enjoy it too.)

Baby girl is definitely eating more.  And because of this she is now pooping more too!  She used to only poop about once a week…now it’s almost daily!

She's pushing herself up on her arms more when she is on her tummy.

She does really good at the gym daycare, and am so happy I can drop her off, know that she is well cared for, and get a workout in.

She is changing daily, and sometimes I just want to freeze time.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Oh Happy Day

Yesterday was Chris' birthday!  We had a great time celebrating him, and I'm so incredibly happy he was born!
Earlier in the month when my mom was here I planned a special early birthday surprise.  Last year before we found out we were expecting and before Chris lost his job, we had planned date nights throughout the whole year.  And one of those date night were to attend a cooking class.  Well after the job was lost, and the expecting human was on its way, we never got to a lot of our date nights.  So I took the opportunity of my mom being in town and Chris' upcoming birthday to plan this special night out.
We went to Stir Cooking School.  It was a lot of fun!  On the menu?  All things Hatch Green Chile!  It was delicious.  Plus I actually wanted to learn how to cook with hatch green chile.  Considering I'm from New Mexico, this is a food that I had never previously cooked with.  Horrible, right?!  ...I've always been more of a red chile gal myself, though.  Anyways.  We peeled and chopped the chiles, and made:
hatch chile cornbread
hatch chile chicken enchiladas
yukon gold bacon and hatch chile gratin
shrimp and hatch chile quesadillas
plus we had fresh salsa and chips to snack on.
It was a super fun night, and the place itself was a lot of fun.  I hope one day we can go back!  
who doesn't love a heart shaped potato?
His actual birthday was pretty low key.  I had checked the mail the day before, and there were a handful of cards for him.  So I put those out with his gifts before he got up.  So they were waiting for him first thing.
Helena and I sang him Happy Birthday and he opened up his gifts.

Helena helped of course!

That afternoon we went on a nice long walk, then we tried a new sushi place for dinner, Zen Bistro and Sushi.  We really liked it.  Good food, strong drinks, and great service!  We're learning that with the right preparations we can pretty much bring Helena anywhere, which makes it rather easy for us to go out.  Most of the times she's such an easy going little girl, and she let us enjoy Chris' birthday dinner out.

Yesterday extended the celebration.  Late morning Helena had her pictures being taking down in the DTC (Denver Tech Center - way down south compared to where we live), so the morning was occupied with outfit changes and smiling (for the most part).  Afterwards I made reservations at Lola for lunch/brunch.  Chis had taken me here when I was 38 weeks pregnant, and it was fantastic, and since we would be driving through downtown on our way back home, I decided we should go again.  This go round wasn't as great, but Helena was a trouper as she slept during most of the meal.
We arrived back home for a couple of hours, and for Helena to take a more significant nap, just to take her out again.  This time to Boulder.  My Aunt Deanna was in town visiting her daughter, my cousin Cheryl, who lives in Fort Collins.  We had dinner at Zolo Grill, and had a great time visiting with my family.
Overall I think Chris had a good birthday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

August Goal

just a cute picture of today: happy first full day of Autumn!
I had a goal for the month of August.  Besides having extra cuddle and love time with my daughter, the main reason I took 16 weeks of maternity leave is to get Helena on a schedule for my return to work.  Of course the “normal” maternity leave time is 12 weeks (bless those mom’s who return after 8 or even 6 weeks!), I felt very fortunate when my boss and employer agreed to give me an extended 4 weeks of a “leave of absence” to extent my leave to total of 16 weeks. 
From the very beginning I knew that going from 3 months to 4 months I would be able to implement more of a schedule.  Wake up at “X” time, feed, nap etc…  Not so fast.  Here we are nearing the end of September and Helena is on her own schedule.  Which is fine.  We definitely take cues from Helena, but there are times when I wish her schedule was a little bit more determined.  If that even makes sense?  Friday and Saturday for example were total crazy days.  It’s difficult when I know she is sleepy and tired, but she won’t take a nap.  On Friday she was up all day, to finally take a nap at 6:30pm…and she slept for 3 hours!  Needless to say she didn’t go to bed until almost midnight!  Similar to Saturday, she just wouldn’t take a nap.  Granted she did take a short cat nap in the car, or she’ll “sleep” while she's feeding on the boob, but unless I can be productive I don’t classify it has a nap!  J 
I will say that most days she does have a predictable schedule.  Morning nap/afternoon nap.  It’s the days when we are out and about that interrupt her schedule the most.  So how are we suppose to live life?  In addition to this, how do we transition her from napping in her swing to napping in her crib?  She’s goes out perfectly fine in her crib when it is her bedtime.  But she won’t have anything to do with it for her naptime. 
I guess I just feel bad for not being successful at putting her on a schedule during those last 4 weeks of maternity leave.  I of course, loved the extra time with my daughter, but I definitely failed at what I set out to do.
Yesterday and today she was a rock star.  She definitely adhered to her "schedule" and took her naps at the appropriate times...she even slept in her crib during naptime today! (proud mommy moment even though I wasn't home to witness this great accomplishment.)  But it's must more difficult when we want to be out and about.
Any tips on how to get her on a little bit more stricter schedule?  Or getting her to sleep in her crib?  I would truly appreciate your ideas!

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,

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


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.