It's the thought that counts..right?

Here's what happens when you have a 3 month old and try to plan Halloween activities:

1. You plan on going to the church Halloween "trunk or treat" party, but it starts at 6 and your baby likes to go to bed at 7. So you dress in her costume anyway, but she decides to fall asleep and you know if you take her she'll inevitably wake up and be cranky. So you decide not to go and let her sleep in her costume for a couple hours.

2. You plan to carve pumpkins on Saturday, and your baby lasts the first 5 minutes and then wants to go to sleep, so you and your husband end up taking turns carving the pumpkin and bouncing the baby to sleep.

3. On Halloween you decide you should at least put her in her costume to snap a quick picture, after all it IS her first Halloween...but she starts acting tired MUCH earlier than usual and you know it's not worth fighting for.

4. At least you figure you can pass out candy to trick-or-treaters and maybe watch a Halloween movie with your hubby, but then he falls asleep on the couch at like 8, leaving you to blog and watch Casper the Friendly Ghost on the Family Channel, with a bowl of left over Halloween candy dangerously close.

Haha. Oh well. We did manage to get some pictures.

I personally LOVE Halloween. As a teacher it's friggin' exhausting...but it's still fun. Lately I've even been getting "freaked out" a little more than normal. I think it all started with a spooky dream I had that felt ridiculously real.

(So in my dream I was recording something Jillian was doing, but I was in the shot with her, so the camera was like on the table or something pointed towards us. Later I wanted to show my mom what Jillian was doing on the video, so I showed her and while showing her, a floating black ghost/grim reaper type thing was floating behind me STARING at me in the video! I didn't see it until I was watching the play back with my mom. JEEPERS CREEPERS!)

Then that reminded me (for some reason) of this thing Ryan, my older brother, wrote on the back of his door when we moved into our house in Lake Butler after it was just built...

"12 to 1 is the time of the dead..."

I think he got it from a movie or something? For weeks if I woke up during that hour I would lay there and be freaked out of my MIND. Thanks Ryan. Thanks for that. That dream reminded me of that, and I got equally as freaked out the other night when I had to wake up and feed Jillian in the wee hours of the morning.

I'm a mega scaredy-cat, basically.

Happy Halloween. :-)


I'm a fence-sitter

Sooo every few weeks I go through these predictable phases. It goes something like this:

-Parenting is LOVERLY! Butterflies, rainbows, SMILES!
-I feel like I'm doing something wrong (instant internal conflict because nothing really spurs this thought besides my own angel/devil shoulder scenario).
-Read 1243901834 parenting books/websites.
-Give up.

I feel like there are three sides to the story in the parenting game. 1) The people who say, "let your baby cry it out. They need to learn how to self-soothe anyway, and you don't want them to grow up and be a needy, clingy brat because you coddled them." 2) The people who say, "run to your babies every whim! Let them sleep with you to build a stronger bond." 3) Then there's the stuff you actually do that mostly works, but doesn't really fit into either of those categories.

I can't decide if I side more with people one or people two. Buuuuttt from everything I've read, apparently you have to be consistent with one or the other so your kid knows what to expect. Which I get. But here's my dilemma:

It takes Jillian between 1hr-1.5 hours to finally go down for the night, because she wakes up like every 10 minutes and wants to be rocked back to sleep. That bugs. Well, only if she's crying when it happens, and only if I was in the middle of doing something. So times like that, I just want her to learn how to fall back asleep on her own.

Then there are the times like early Saturday morning, when I'm too tired to get up with her at 7am, so I just let her lay in bed with us for a couple hours so I can at least pretend like I'm sleeping in. Also, it's kind of nice to have the cuddle time since I work all week.

So I feel like I'm sitting on the fence. I can't commit to a direction of parenting either way. So that leads me to re-read all my parenting books...

(Yes, these do keep permanent residence on my night stand. And no, the last book is not a parenting book, it's a novel...but notice it's placement..I'm on like chapter 3).

And then feel like I'm not doing ANYTHING right. And I get confused...because so many people say so many different things. Why is parenting so subjective? GAH. I just need a straight answer. Much like when you ask your best friend if the dress you're wearing makes you look fat, and the answer is almost always most probably yes (it's a best friend's job to be brutally honest). Unless you're not actually fat at all, but I'm still dealing with post baby poundage, so that's where I'm at folks.

A very real possibility I see happening is that I just wing it until she's 18. Then when my next kid comes along (long before she's 18, mind you) maybe I'll have a little more intuition. Or at least experience.

...Or not. But maybe there will be some more books out by then.


Legend of Zelda boots

I was recently asked by my adorable sister about what to buy this fall to be all trendy. I have the perfect answer (I spend way too much time on Pinterest gathering ideas for way too many things). I gave it to her. Then I looked in my closet, and thought, "Where are all the cute clothes I thought I had?" Ohhhhhh. I know. Two sizes back, from my pre-prego days.

Although, and wouldn't you like to know, I can fit into my first pair of jeans! ...well...almost...I can zip/button them, but I still have a little somethin' somethin' hanging over the top. Solution? Don't button them...no one will know... I found this out after I ransacked my closet and tried on literally every pair of jeans I own (I realized I have way too many pairs of jeans). These were the magical pair. I'll leave out the fact that they're somewhat of a stretchy jean material...hey, jeans are jeans.

SO, when this kangaroo style pooch of mine turns into a more acceptable level of post-baby flab, I plan on buying some new clothes. A lot of them, actually. James has been mentally prepped on the damage that might occur to our bank account.

I grew a child, then birthed it. I deserve it.

Here's what I'm thinking: sweaters, belts, boots, scarves.

I also like stripes, if you couldn't tell...I'm sure Stacy and Clinton would give that a big NO-GO given my current enlarged mid-section...but then again if somebody submits me to What Not to Wear and I get a $5,000 shopping spree...I won't complain.

James calls these boots "Legend of Zelda boots". Last year I thought they were hideous, and we frequently made fun of the people who wore them. This year I might actually buy a pair. What can I say...I am a product of the success of advertisement and peer pressure.


Dear Jillian (3 months!)

Dear Jillian,

Didn't I just write your 2 month post? I'm pretty sure that was like, last week. Craziness...you are GROWING! Your little body doesn't slump anymore when you're picked up, you're getting stalky enough to hold your shape! You're still definitely not as chunky as some other kids your age, but you're gettin' there. You make up for it with your multiple chins.

But I look at some of your newborn clothes and think, no WAY you were THAT tiny!! You were.
You seem to be learning a lot. I'm pretty sure you're going to be a genius, because you're so interested in everything around you. You get bored easily, so I have to switch up what you're looking at/playing with frequently.

You also make these adorable coo sounds! And you GIGGLE!! Kristen put a video of you giggling up on her blog.. http://kyleandkristenhaskell.blogspot.com/2011/10/jillian.html You're pretty lucky to have such a great babysitter!!

Your favorite toy: hanging butterflies on your bouncy seat
Favorite song: Itsy Bitsy Spider
Favorite position: On Daddy's chest, laying across Mom with your head buried in my elbow/arm
Tickle spot: Under your chin
Favorite way to go to sleep: being bounced or in your stroller on a walk

I'm pretty sure you'll be able to sit up on your own fairly soon. It's just a matter of balance. You can hold your head up well enough to sit up in your Bumbo seat, and anytime you're laying down propped up you try soo hard to pull up with your tummy muscles! Today you were laying propped up on your tummy on your Boppy pillow, and you were kicking your legs so hard you pushed yourself right over your pillow and face planted! You didn't like that much...but you definitely have some strong leg muscles! You can even stand! (with assistance of course).

Right now you're going through your 12 week growth spurt, so just like the books say, you're not napping super well, and you're only snacking during the day, but chugging 6 oz at night. Hopefully that won't last too much longer. :-) Your reflux stuff is going really well! (Yay!) We have your medicine schedule down pat, and you've been doing super well on this formula (Alimentum). So last night we decided to switch back one closer to regular formula, just a sensitive kind. We'll see how it goes!

You have lots of shoes. It's okay..you're a girl. Apparently I bought/received way too many 0-3 month size shoes. So even if we're not going anywhere, I feel like you have to wear an outfit and shoes every day. You also have a ridiculous number of hair bows. I'm pretty sure you're set until you're at least 3 years old...but I have a compulsive need to always look at them any time we're in the store, so I'm sure your collection will just continue to grow.

All in all, you are stinkin' CUTE and you have the sweetest little personality! Thank you for finally acting like a little human being!! (Even though you still have your diva moments...) We couldn't be more in love with you!



3 years and counting

(My squinty eye problem is getting out of control.)

Happy Anniversary!

I can't believe I've been married for 3 years...I further more can't believe I graduated college 2 years ago, am well into my career, and have a CHILD.

When did I grow up?

It's been a good 3 years though. A LOT has changed since we first got married. Everyone says the first year or so of marriage is the hardest, but it wasn't. Sometimes I think it's so funny looking back to when we were dating, and we'd stay up all hours of the night just to "talk" or go on a walk or something. Now, three years later, going to bed at 9:30 is a lot more desirable. Not necessarily more desirable than "talking," don't get me wrong, I love a good chat. I mean it's a lot more desirable than like 3am, which is when I'd usually crawl into bed in my college years.

Allow me to illustrate. It's 8:00 and James is asleep on the couch with Jillian snoozing on his chest, and I'm on the other couch with the TV on for background noise, blogging. :-) And the rest of the night will probably go as such: Jillian will wake up one more time before she's out for the night and be so restless and wiggly one of us will have to vigorously bounce her until she conks out again, I'll get a bubble bath, go to bed around 10:00, and James and his nocturnal like ways will probably stay up until about 1 am. The only time I'm gettin' up at 3am for ANYTHING these days is if my house is on fire, or Jillian is demanding to be fed (frequently the latter).

I asked James what he thought our greatest accomplishment was after being married for three years, and he said Jillian. I'd agree. I'm still baffled by the fact that we created a HUMAN BEING. Not only that, but we figured out all her little issues. A LOT of little issues in not a very long period of time, relatively speaking.

Twizzler bouquet.

Real bouquet.

So how did we celebrate?


My mom watched Jillian overnight and we went out to Cheesecake Factory (delish) and stayed at a hotel in Salt Lake. I even got to take Nyquil, which made sleeping in that much better. I did actually have a cold...I'm not just like a Nyquil junkie...anymore...ahem.......

Although I did wake up slightly groggy and try working out in my head who would go downstairs and get us breakfast and who would stay in the room and watch Jillian...I forgot she wasn't there.

Then we got a couples massage. Excellent.

("Hold 3 fingers up for 3 years!")..Yes, I'm that cheesy.

Overall, life has changed a LOT. For the better. Definitely for the better. I wonder where we'll be in the next 3 years? Hopefully I'll be a retired teacher ;-) or at least doing online teaching, Jillian will be THREE (wwhhaa???) and we'll probably have another kid, if not then one on the way. WOWZAS. Cheers to us.


Nannying by Nana

Hooray for Nana's who come to visit and take care of the baby so you can SLEEP! Good timing too, because I came down with a cold and had the PRIVILEGE of taking Nyquil for the first time in MONTHS. I've rarely been so excited to take cold medicine. It was the best sleep I ever got with a cold, medicine. ;-)

Jillian's pretty happy she's here too.

Oh, and it's almost HALLOWEEN. Even though James HATES Halloween, I LOVE it. It's one of my favorite times of the school year as far as cute school projects go. Any ideas on what she should be? Besides adorable? :-p


Life lately...

is GREAT. Right mix of meds for baby=baby who eats and functions normally=one happy mama. She is so HAPPY all the time- I love it!!! Her "fussy" times don't really last too long, and she goes to sleep fairly easily now (except when it's time to go to bed for reals at night..that still takes her about an hour and a game of "as soon as you put me down my eyes will pop back open!"). We'll get there.

I feel victorious. I think we've arrived at the whole "I promise it gets better!" state. Over the past couple of days I've found myself already thinking about baby #2. Mostly because I feel so empowered that we've gone through so many things, but have come out on top. Not to say that my thoughts about baby #2 will be put into action any time soon, but the idea now seems less scary.

Here's a recap of the last couple of months:

*2 weeks old- first symptoms of reflux- vomit. projectile, paint the wall, vomit.
*3 1/2 weeks- switch to sensitive brand formula, hoping it's due to a food allergy begin 7.5 mg of Prevacid a day to relieve heart burn symptoms
*5 weeks- formula fail. switch to different brand of sensitive formula

*6 weeks- switch to liquid Alimentum (hypoallergenic formula), still hoping symptoms are
due to food allergy
*7 weeks- switch to powder form Alimentum

*8 weeks- hospitalized for 3 days due to dehydration
begin Neocate formula (amino acid based nutrition, $$$) increase Prevacid dose to 12 mg/day
*10 weeks- upper GI x-rays confirm reflux
begin 2 mg/day dose of Erythromycin to increase intestinal motility (aka prevent barfing)
*To date (11.5 weeks): back on powder Alimentum still on 12 mg of Prevacid/day in two doses via dissolving pill still on 2 mg of Erythromycin/day spread over 4 doses via liquid in syringe. No barfing. Very little reflux. :-)

WHEW. Like I said. I feel victorious. I haven't cried in over a week.

All of this has me thinking about my own mom and how awesome she is. I have a WHOLE NEW perspective on motherhood. Some days ya hate it, some days ya love it. I guess that's like most things. It's quite possibly the single most time-consuming, frustrating, self-less, baffling thing...

but somebody's gotta do it. ;-)


Happier times ahead

IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!! (3 months early, but still) I'll TAKE IT!

Jillian's medicine is working FABULOUSLY. NO barfing, NO reflux, all in all, one HAPPY BABY. She really is like a totally different kid. We're in the process of going back through the formulas in reverse this time (from most expensive/best for babies with food allergies to least expensive/regular formula) to see if she can tolerate those again (meaning she doesn't and never did have a food allergy if she can make it back to regular formula, if she can't, then she also has a food allergy in addition to reflux).

All of this equals one happy ME. It's so relieving to finally see the silver lining. I know we're not completely out of the woods yet, and she's bound to have episodes or bad days, but at least she'll have plenty of good days to balance out the bad!

Shout out to our AMAZING pediatrician Dr. Kendall. I seriously would recommend her to anybody...I feel like she cares about Jillian as much as I do, which has been my saving grace in all of this with her.

All smiles here folks. All smiles.

(She LOVES her baths now):