First Celebrity Crush

Day 10 of the 31 day blogging challenge is my first celebrity crush.

When I was a wee little girl (like 4/5ish), I was obsessed with the country singer Garth Brooks. He kind of fell off the face of the earth, and is coincidentally making a come back about the time I was pretty pregnant, with a song called “Mom”. Pregnancy hormones did not handle it well!

Warning, if you haven’t heard it (or even if you have) and you’re a mom, you will probably cry!

Garth Brooks Performs ‘Mom’: http://youtu.be/ExhZA6NEB9Y

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Piercings and Tattoos

Day 9 of the 31 day blogging challenge is piercings and tattoos.

My piercings are fairly boring these days. I just have two holes in each ear but I never wear anything in my second holes. I used to have my nose and lip pierced and a dermal anchor in my face. Here’s a picture of my lip piercing and dermal anchor.

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I have 6 tattoos but I’m getting two of them laser removed. I’ll explain which ones below.

– Tribal on my spine… most girls have a “tramp stamp” on their lower back. I wanted mine to be different, so it’s vertical up my spine. This is my largest one and was my very first one.

– An ambigram on my wrist that says “Beautiful” one way and “Disaster” the other way.

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– A cross on the top of my right foot with a “C” on one side and a “J” on the other side for two of my close friends that died, Coty and John.

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– Three red and black nautical stars on the side of my left foot. My mom has the exact same tattoo and my brother has the three stars on his ribs. We got them right before my brother left for the army. Nautical stars are symbolic of “finding your way home safe”.

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– A zombie on my ribs… yeah, lol. This is one that is getting removed. I’ve had it lasered twice and I’m telling you I could be a waking poster child for thinking tattoos through before you get them. Laser removal hurts worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, including c section recovery. So the story behind the zombie is that once upon a time I wanted a half sleeve, and this cool zombie I found in a tattoo magazine was going to be the first part of it. Well I chickened out at the last minute and told them to do it on my ribs. Good thing, because it turned out horrible. The color was bad, the artwork was bad, the whole thing just looked like crap. I hated it the second I looked in the mirror. Terrible feeling.

– a “J” and a crown on my middle finger. There wasn’t any reason for this tattoo other than to prove I was tough enough for a finger tattoo. Like I said, I have 6 and the most painful one was my finger. So I got it and I feel like its kinda trashy looking sometimes so I’m getting it removed also. Just kind of an afterthought while I’m there getting my ribs done.

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I’m going to finish getting those two removed, but I do want one more. I want mine and Nolan’s wedding date and Whitlee’s birthdate in roman numerals either on my other ribs or my forearm. I’m not quite sure yet!

Old Photo

Day 8 of the 31 day blogging challenge is an old photo of me and the story behind it.

I used to have an insane amount of old photos on my phone but Samsung has this crappy feature where you can accidentally delete an entire album pretty easily. A few months back, I accidentally deleted an album that had nearly 1000 photos in it. I was so upset!
So I don’t have any really old photos but this is one of my favorite pictures of Nolan and I from 2010. We were on a July 4th four wheeler ride in Jacksonville, TX.

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We had a great time that weekend. It wasn’t a huge event weekend so the park wasn’t packed and we did lots of riding. It wasn’t anything majorly significant, just simple happiness. 🙂

Sleeping in Her Crib

Typical blog disclaimer – I’m not a doctor or an expert by any means, this is simply what worked for our baby and our family. I researched all of our options and made sure we did everything in the safest way possible. And as usual, this is long. You should talk to me in person – I’m a talker!

When Whitlee came home from the NICU, they told us she’d be on a schedule and used to sleeping in a bassinet. Well I don’t know what we did to mess that up but it went out the window the first night.

We started out with her sleeping in the Rock and Play next to our bed. The first few nights were pretty rough and she wouldn’t sleep in it at all. She’d sleep on me, and that was it. Then we tried the bassinet attachment to our pack and play. No dice. I stayed at it, letting her nap throughout the day in the Rock and Play and she eventually got a little better about it. The problem there was sometimes when we’d lay her down in the R&P during the day or at night, she’d wake up almost immediately, no matter how sound asleep she was seconds before in our arms. It was exhausting.

Then I figured out a trick. I started prewarming the R&P with a heating pad, letting her fall completely asleep while holding her, then we’d careeefully lay her down in the already warm R&P. (just for clarification, I’d remove the heating pad before I put her back in it.) Score! Then our problem lied in the whole letting her fall completely asleep thing. When she’d wake up in the middle of the night to eat, we’d change her diaper, feed her, reswaddle her, and then pat her butt a little until she fell asleep. But sometimes this took an hour and a half to two hours. Then for some reason, she’d rarely make it more than an hour in the R&P before she’d wake up again, even if it wasn’t time for her to eat again. So I did what I swore I wouldn’t do. I started letting her go as long as she could in the R&P, then I’d bring her to bed with me. That’s when she proved she’s quite capable of going even up to 5 hours between feedings at night. But even though I was doing everything I could to ensure a safe co-sleeping environment, I was still terrified of something happening so my sleep wasn’t very restful at. freakin. all. And I didn’t want the ultimate task of moving her out of our bed when she’s like 5 or something. So I started researching…wait for it – sleep training. *gasp!*

Our thinking was that she has proven she’s comfortable going 3-5 hours between feedings at night, so we needed to find some way to get her to sleep as much as possible in those stretches. I basically was aiming for feeding her and putting her back to sleep in the shortest amount of time possible, giving her and us the most amount of sleep at a time. The majority of what I read about sleep training was teaching them to fall asleep on their own without the aid of a crutch – things like being held to sleep, pacifiers, special blankets, etc.. Whitlee doesn’t love a pacifier, and she doesn’t have any special blankets yet, so our main obstacle was her need to be held to sleep.

Because of the odd layout of our house, her crib is super close to our room so we wouldn’t be moving her too far away, but I felt like she and us both would sleep better if she got used to her crib. Plus she’s a super noisy sleeper and moving her to her crib would be far enough to hear her little noises as a comfort that she’s breathing and okay, but far enough not to keep me awake with every little noise. I took everything I read with a grain of salt and devised a loose plan to start getting her to sleep in her crib. Armed with our sleep essentials – Sleep Sheep sound machine, SwaddleMe velcro swaddlers, basic heating pad, and our Samsung video monitor – we held our breath and gave it a shot.

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sleep sheep | swaddleme swaddlers | basic heating pad | Samsung video monitor

We started on a Friday so that we’d have the weekend to dedicate to it just in case she flat out refused the crib, it wouldn’t be too detrimental to our sleep. Our plan was to get her happy – bath, clean clothes, clean diaper, full belly, swaddled – and then get her drowsy, but not fully asleep, then lay her down in a prewarmed crib. We’d give her 5 minutes to fuss or cry and settle herself, then we’d go in and help her with what they call a shush-pat, where you pat them lightly and “sshh, sshh, sshh” them, hopefully without picking them up. Of course, if she was just completely distraught I would have picked her up.

Night One
We gave her a bath, put on clean clothes, a new diaper, and swaddled her. Then Nolan fed her a bottle and snuggled with her a little while I cooked supper. Then we laid her down in her warm-ish crib, turned on the Sleep Sheep to the rain setting, and hoped for the best. I actually think it was harder on me than her. I stood outside her door for a while, even though we could clearly see her on the video monitor. She fussed and cried, then she’d stop, then she’d fuss and cry, then stop. I went in at 5 minutes and shush-patted her and she calmed down. As soon as I left, she started it up again. It took two rounds of shush-pat visits for her to calm down and she fell asleep. Not too shabby.

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When she woke up to eat the next time, we kept the lights low and did everything quietly. We didn’t talk much, just quietly changed her diaper, fed her, reswaddled her and let her get drowsy again. Then we went for round two. This time it took 4 times of going in to shush-pat her and calm her down. At this point I was getting a little nervous. I kept telling myself to stick to it and I hoped I wasn’t hurting her feelings. #emotionalwreck

The next time she woke up, we did the same routine. This time, she went right back to sleep all on her own! We laid her down, she fussed a little but never cried and then she was out!

The next day, I put her in her crib for all of her naps and she did great! (I do let her sleep unswaddled and on her belly occasionally during the day, but only when I can watch her 100%. It does make for some super cute pictures. She curls her feet under her like that every time.)

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I won’t continue with nightly updates, because after the first night that was basically it. It just seemed to click for her. We do baths every other night and try to treat her feeding at around 7/8 PM as her bedtime. We try to stick to the same routine every time. She still wakes up every 3-4 hours to eat, with the occasional stretch to 5 hours (it’s happened once or twice), but now when we wake up to feed her, it’s fairly quick and she’s back down in her crib usually within 30 minutes at the most. We’re normally “up for the day” around 7/8 AM, then she naps a few times during the day. I do still let her sleep on me occasionally to get in plenty of snuggles. We’ve had a few nights where she was a little fussier than normal, like one time she was awake during the day for over 6 hours and I think she was WAY overstimulated, therefore resulting in a bad night’s sleep, and then after her 2 month shots, but for the most part she’s amazed us with the ability to self soothe and fall asleep. I’m equal parts sad and proud that she seems so grown up to have done this so early. I feel like it’s great for her and will be especially helpful when I go back to work. We’ll be leaving her swaddled in the velcro swaddlers until she’s rolling over, then we’ll swap to a sleep sack of some sort. I’ve been thinking of weening the swaddlers early, because I’m nervous that she may learn to roll all the sudden, and then we’re stuck going cold turkey on the swaddle. The swaddle plus the pre-warmed crib seem to be the two things that calm her the most. If you’re having trouble keeping your baby asleep when changing from sleeping on you to a different sleep surface, I recommend pre warming it with a heating pad on medium heat. I always touch the surface with my hand before I lay her down and make sure it didn’t get too hot by chance.

So it’s not a hardcore sleep training scenario, but I do feel like we’ve laid some really great groundwork for healthy sleep habits. And it definitly doesn’t hurt that I’m getting a little more sleep with it! Next stop – sleeping through the night! 🙂

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Whitlee | 2 Months

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Our sweet girl was 2 months old this past Sunday! I’ll probably say this every time, but I can not believe how fast it’s going by. I try to soak it up, especially since I go back to work in March. She changes so much every day, though. We are thoroughly enjoying this little girl!

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Stats:
We went to her 2 month appointment on Monday and she was 8 lbs, 15 oz! So almost 9 freakin pounds of baby chub. I love it! And she was 21 inches long. So I mentioned before I don’t think they put preemies on the growth chart until much later because they start out so small, but Whitlee is now on the charts! Her pediatrician was thrilled and said she’s catching up quickly. She’s only in the 5th percentile right now, but she said that’s amazing for a 2 month old born 6 weeks early. I was a proud momma!

Eating:
Whitlee is eating like crazy! She eats 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours. Occasionally she fights us a little on the bottles, but it’s usually because she needs to burp. If she doesn’t get a burp several times during a feeding, it’s like she can’t possibly hold any more milk and she basically spits it all back out. Not like spit up, but she just lets the milk in her mouth run out. She is extremely impatient waiting on a bottle to warm up, so I tried to give it to her cold one time and she wasn’t having that business at all. It totally jacked with her suck, swallow, breathe capabilities. It was crazy! Warmed it up, and she was right back to normal. She’s still getting breast milk for all of her bottles, and we’re fortifying them all to 22 calories with Similac Neosure. When we run out of breast milk, we’ll be switching to Enfamil Gentlease, but we’ll still be mixing it to be 22 calories. They’re having us continue that until 9 months. It’s working though, girlfriend is growing like a weed!

Sleep:
So I typed a massive blog post about Whitlee’s sleeping arrangements and my lovely WordPress app deleted that sucker about the time I was going to post it. So I’m trying to retype it, but my thoughts are a little scattered since I had notes typed as it was happening, then built the real post from the notes. Long story short though, as I mentioned a few posts back, she is now sleeping in her crib at night and for all of her naps. She also goes to sleep mostly on her own once we lay her down. I still hold her until she’s asleep about half of the time because I like my snuggle time, but she’s definitely capable of doing it on her own. She’s growing up too fast! But the up side was that after a night time feeding (she still wakes up twice a night usually to eat), we can put her back in her crib whether she is asleep or not and she is usually back to sleep in less than 3 minutes. Next step is to sleep through the night. I’m not really holding my breath on that one though.

Milestones:
We are getting real smiles these days! Like smiles that I don’t think are just gas. Sometimes she wakes up from a nap in such a good mood, and I’ll ask her, “Did you have a good nap, baby girl??” and she just smiles at me. A few nights ago, Nolan was tickling her belly and she was smiling her little head off. She is a daddy’s girl for sure!

She’s got some serious head control now too. Our pediatrician was shocked and said she didn’t expect that at all. She likes to lay on our chests and put her arms under her and raise up to look at us. She’ll do that for long periods of time.

She also puts weight on her chubby little legs! When she’s on our chests, she’ll push off our laps and if we put our hands under her feet, she’ll keep pushing until she “climbs” up our chest. It’s the craziest thing. She’s so strong!

She found her hands a few days ago. Nolan had her laying back against his legs and all the sudden she started waving her hands to her face really slow, and like went cross eyed looking at them. It was pretty funny! She actually likes to suck on her hand more than a pacifier most of the time too.

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She got her 2 month shots Monday and I cried a little right along with her. They let me hold her while they did it and I (thankfully) have never heard her cry like that. It was awful. But I’m glad we’ve never heard that cry because I take that to mean we haven’t ever hurt her like that. I popped a bottle in her mouth right after they were done and it helped her calm down. She ran a little warmer temperature than normal the rest of the day and slept like crazy (both of which the pediatrician said was expected) so I gave her some Tylenol late yesterday evening and we had quite a rough night last night, but she seems to closer to normal today. We took a long walk in the stroller (Texas was experiencing abnormal highs for January while there was a blizzard up north) and she was awake the whole time, just soaking it all up. I think it cheered her up. 🙂

Likes: 

Bath time

Riding in her stroller

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the Boba Wrap (seriously best $40 I ever spent!)

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Being talked to, especially by Mommy and Daddy

Playing on Mommy and Daddy’s bed (No, we don’t have multicolor chevron bedding, that was my hospital pillow case and I kinda like it so I kept using it even though it doesn’t match at all.)

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Holding my finger while she eats her bottle – melts my heart!

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“Hugging” me while she sleeps on me. She started wrapping her arm around my neck and snuggling her face in the other side… I love it!

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And apparently, daddy’s warm t-shirts fresh out of the laundry. Last night I needed to fold laundry so I put her in the Rock and Play by me and she started crying. So I laid one of Nolan’s warm t-shirts on her and she went silent. Made some funny faces, but she was content.

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Dislikes:

Waiting on a bottle

Cold Bottles

Being put in or taken out of the car seat (she’s fine once she’s in or out)

When the car stops moving

Changing clothes – she fights us every time!

We still can’t believe how fast she’s growing but it makes us proud because she started out so small. It’s so much fun playing with her and watching her personality develop even more. I’m not wishing her life away, but each new month is more fun and exciting than the last! And I love to kiss her fat little cheeks!!

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Look how much she’s grown in one month! ❤

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10 Favorite Foods

Day 7 of the 31 day blogging challenge is my 10 favorite foods!

1. Sushi – my favorite is something called a Firecracker Roll. It’s raw spicy salmon with fried jalopenos, topped with masago.

2. Mexican Food – all of it!

3. Cream Cheese, on anything

4. Ranch Dressing, on anything

5. Chick Fil A Chicken Salad

6. Jalopeno Poppers – jalopenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and grilled on the bbq pit

7. Baked Potatoes – loaded!

8. Ribeyes – although I still haven’t quite recovered from a slight aversion to them while pregnant.

9. Coconut Shrimp

10. Caeser Salad

Personality Traits I’m Proud Of

Day 6 of the 31 day blogging challenge is 3 personality traits I’m proud of.

1. I’m smart. Not to sound arrogant, but I honestly believe I’m smarter than your average person. I pick things up extremely fast and my wheels are always turning. Nolan is forever telling me to stop thinking so much.

2. I’m a great secret keeper and I’m very loyal. Once I have a loyalty to someone, I have their back through thick and thin.

3. I’m insanely organized. I meal plan every week, my closet is color coordinated, and my office desk is always meticulous.