Goodbye November

That went by fast, no? I love it when that happens. Especially when December is my all time FAVORITE month of the year. Not for the weather, mind you, but because of all of the holiday traditions. Speaking of which, I did something against my moral standings...this year we put up our Christmas tree on like the 27th (of November). I'm very anti-Christmas until December 1st, but this year I was just way too excited. I think because it's Jillian's first Christmas...not like she'll have ANY idea of what's going on, but I'm still giddy thinking about the little goodies in her stocking. 

November was good though. Thanksgiving break was everything I needed and more. I loved getting to stay home for 5 days straight! It made me feel a little more sane and put together. 

Thanksgiving wasn't so bad either. It was fairly low key this year (not complaining). James' brothers and mom came over to our house and we stuffed ourselves silly. I tried my hand at a pumpkin cheesecake..

To say it was a success would be an understatement (Paula Dean is a-ma-zing).

We also decided to do a little Black Friday shopping. Not crazy 4am kind of shopping, we're not those kind of people...we decided to peruse the mall around 2pm for a bit. It was pretty busy, but all the shopping nuts were already home. Jillian LOVED it. She loved looking at all of the people and was a happy camper the entire time.

So on to the next. There are THREE WEEKS until Christmas break (but who's counting?). We fly out to Florida on the 22nd. And I could not be more excited!!!



Why yes. That IS a crib load of laundry. (Clean laundry). From now on, a "load" of laundry in this house will refer to one crib load of laundry. Would you believe probably half of those are Jillian's? The stuff multiplies like rabbits.

We wanted to transition her into her crib (from her bassinet) over Thanksgiving break...but seeing as the crib is otherwise occupied....yeah....


Dear Jillian (4 months)

Dear Jillian,

Stop it. Stop it right now! I demand you stay small and cute and cuddly forever, so stop growing so FAST! Seriously though kid, you're like a weed. An adorable weed that smells good (most of the time, that is). You're getting so tall! Your 4 month appointment isn't for another week and a half, so I'm not sure how tall, but I can tell you're tall. You don't outgrow your clothes because of chubbiness, but because of length! If you end up being like 6 feet tall and can't ever wear high heels because you don't want to be taller than most of the boys around you, blame your dad's side of the family.

You are starting to do some of the CUTEST things. I know I say that like every month, but it's true! Lately you've started sucking on your bottom lip when you're hungry, or purse your lips. You also like to blow spit bubbles and you drool a LOT. Probably unnaturally a lot. 

A lot of the time you "coo" with your mouth closed, so it sounds like you're humming. Sometimes out of nowhere you let out a giant shriek of excitement, and it startles you (and all of us really). 

You LAUGH! Not just giggle...but LAUGH! Your tickle spots are right under your neck rolls and your thighs. Recently, you just started laughing without even being tickled. My favorite thing to do is to start laughing at you, then you start laughing, then I'm laughing because you're laughing, and it just goes on. Sometimes instead of laughing when we make a ridiculous face or noise at you, you smile from ear to ear. Literally. Your entire mouth is wide open. It's heart-melting.

You also are WAY into your toys now. You consciously grab and bat at them. When you do grab them, they go straight to your awaiting mouth. But then when your rubbery little gums get around whatever is in your hand, you make a face like you're eating the most disgusting thing you've ever tasted (which is ironic, considering the way your formula smells and how you gulp that stuff down). 

Lately you do this funny thing where you have a stare down with your hands. You'll usually have one hand in your mouth, and the other one held out in front of your face, with your fingers spread. It's like you've never seen anything so intriguing. 

You also grab your binky when it's in your mouth and usually rip it out, and try to put it back in (unsuccessfully of course). So you often end up sucking ferociously on a combination of the plastic part of the binky and your fingers. One day your coordination will catch up.

You roll over! (from tummy to back). Good thing you've learned too, because you HATE being on your tummy most of the time, so as soon as I put you on your belly, you plop right over to your back. I can tell you want to roll the other way too though, because when you're on your back you can roll as far as to your side. It's coming, I'm sure. I also can't put you on your tummy up on your Boppy anymore, because you just launch yourself right over the front of it. 

You're starting to learn to hold your own bottle! Most of the time you have to have your hands somewhere on it, or all over your face. If we put them in the right spot for you though, you can hold it for about 5 or 6 seconds! 

You still wake up once in the night to eat. I almost don't mind though, I like the extra time with you. I feel like I don't get enough. I guess you can keep growing as long as you keep doing adorable things. I'm already dreading the day when you think I'm the most uncool, unfair, and old-fashioned person in the world. I'll probably call my mom to ask for advice and she'll probably just laugh and tell me how I did the same thing when I was your age. 

I just hope you'll grow up to be wise. That you'll understand how much you're loved (even when I tell you that you can't go out with that boy, or your dad tells you you're not leaving the house in that outfit). That you'll aspire to do things, and to be things. That you'll be a good friend and a righteous example. That you'll believe in yourself and believe that you are worth something, everything. And that you'll believe me when I say, "I understand where you're coming from- I was young once too!"

For now I'll just revel in the fact that you think I'm the funniest, best person ever. 

You're sure growin' on me kid.


"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."


A non-weekend weekend

Things I expected this weekend: to spend lots of time with Jillian, that some parts of Breaking Dawn would be horribly cheesy, that the laundry would get washed, but none of it get folded. Things I didn't expect this weekend: lack of sleep, snow, and one (almost two) trips to the ER with James.

Friday night I went to see Breaking Dawn with the Wardell clan, some of their friends, and Kristen. The movie started at 9:30, but they got in line at like 7:30!! The line went aaaallll the way down the hallway...crazy...The movie wasn't too bad. I kind of liked it actually (guilty). Really graphic on some parts (like seriously, did you HAVE to show her like breaking her back? Gross.) After we got out of the movie, we walked out of the theater to SNOW. Tons and TONS of it. I had to drive like 40 mph on the interstate on the way home, so I didn't get back until midnight. Then I got up at 2am to feed Jillian. Then got back up at 5am with James who was going on day 3 of a migraine (nnnoo fun). 

I've never gotten a migraine, but I definitely don't ever want one. Seeings James' reaction to them is enough for me. He gets a bad one every few months, but they're usually gone within a day. During the day Saturday he slept a lot/was in a pain a lot, so I got to hang out with Jillian, video chat with my mom, make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, clean the house a little- it was way nice to just be able to chill.

Finally Saturday night, James had had enough. He was like literally screaming in pain. I called my Dad to see if it was worth going into the hospital for...he said definitely. After calling like a billion people who didn't answer their phones to come watch Jillian while we went, fortunately Paul (James' cousin) came over and put her to sleep so we could go to the ER.

We got in right away, which was nice. They started an IV on James and gave him the "migraine protocol cocktail of medicines". One of the meds was Benadryl...weird, no? Then he got a CT scan to check for scary things (brain tumors and what not). The results came back all clear, so that was good. They gave us the name and number of a Neurologist to make an appointment with. He finished up his meds, got super loopy and tired, and they let us go home. So in total we were only there for about 3 hours. 

When we got home, we both went straight to sleep. Only to be awakened around 6am with yet another wave of migraines coming on. I called my Dad again and he said to take him back (in his opinion, they should've given him a spinal tap the first time we were there and sent him home with a prescription, but they didn't do either). We packed up Jillian to drop her off at Kristen's house (aka the very best babysitter and friend EVER). But when we were a few minutes away, his pain totally went away. So we decided not to go back to the ER. We still dropped Jillian off so we could go back home and get some much needed Zzz's. Then I picked her back up around noon.

Things I'm thankful for: 

Health Insurance
People who will help you at a moment's notice (thanks Kristen and Paul!)
A healthy, happy baby
A non-tumor stricken husband

And Monday is already tomorrow? I am SO ready for Thanksgiving break.


The night from h-e-double hockey sticks

Remember when you would say that as a kid? Haha. Lame-o. Anyway, last night truly was. Yesterday was the first day of SEP's (parent-teacher conferences...not sure what SEP even stands for actually..), so I was at school until 6:30 doing those. When I picked up Jillian she was already dressed in her PJ's ready for bed. I took her home, fed her, and she cuddled up on James' chest until she zonked out for the night. 

She woke up around 3 am to eat, as per usual, so I groggily made her bottle and fed her in the rocking chair. She usually goes right back to sleep after she eats, so in total I'm only awake for about 30 minutes at that ungodly hour in the morning. This morning was no different, she was well on her way back to sleep when she was done eating. 

The rest is completely my fault (blergh..hate when that happens). 

She had a very squishy diaper. One that if it didn't get changed, she'd wake up in a puddle of pee (much like the night before). Well. Changing her diaper wakes her up like A LOT. (Who came blame her? A cold, wet wipe up my bum would definitely wake me up too). As soon as I changed her she was all smiles and ready to play. AT 3 AM. 

The next two hours consisted of me trying to rock her back to sleep (unsuccessfully mind you). She'd fight the sleep and want to play, and then get bored and fuss at me for not paying any attention to her. At 5am I finally put her back in her bassinet, fully intending to leave her there regardless of her reaction. Fortunately, she fell asleep about 10 minutes later. And at 6am, my alarm clock started going off to wake up for another full day of SEP's (until 7 tonight). 

So the moral of the story is: in the grand scheme of things, when it's sleep that's on the line, sometimes it's just better to wake up in a puddle of pee.


Piercings/mama drama/dump cake

First of all...it took me a good minute and a half to know how to spell "pierce." Not because I'm an idiot (well, probably not), but I had to recite that dumb little saying "i before e except after c"...I even googled it to make sure. Yikes...

Ahem. Lately I've been thinking about Jillian's lobes. Earlobes that is. Do I get them pierced? Do I not? Blergh. It's a constant moral debate in my mind. I think they look adorable...however, it breaks my heart to think of her hanging out being all happy one minute, then screaming in pain because a needle just went through her ear, because I wanted her to look adorable! That makes no sense. Maybe I just made up my mind. Girl has had quite enough pain in her short little life already, no need to make it worse on purpose. 

Well. That was a relatively easy decision. 

In other news, I am NOT looking forward to this week. Why? Parent-teacher conferences. Although it does explain a LOT about a kid once you meet their parents...hopefully Jillian's teacher, or any of my kid's teachers for that matter, will never meet me and think, "Ohhhh....THAT's why she acts like that." Because that most definitely has happened to me. Not to mention, they last until 8pm. Mind you, I get to school at 8 am. That's a 12 hour day folks. =gross. (That's the main reason for my complaining).

But once this week is over, only a two day week next week and then a 3 day break for Thanksgiving! Sssooooo ready for a break. Before I got pregnant (and throughout my pregnancy) I always thought going back to work would be easy after having a baby. After all, I loved my job. It didn't even feel like "work." When people would ask me if I was staying home after she was born I would say no and explain why, and that it was okay because I'd be okay with it, teaching was wonderful, etc. etc. 

Well. Something changed. I HATE when this happens. Mostly because I hate proving myself wrong. I'm reminded I still have a lot of learning to do as a person. Don't get me wrong though, after all her drama the first two months I was SO ready to go back to school, that it was actually a welcomed break. But now? Now that she smiles the biggest gummy grin as soon as she sees me in the morning...and her coos are more like hums...and she studies her hands like they're the coolest thing she's ever seen...and blows spit bubbles...and grabs her toys and chews on them...and she ROLLS OVER (new as of today!)...yeah...it's hard. 

Weekends are my saving grace. I feel like I get to be her MOM. The rest of the week I feel like her nighttime babysitter. I completely get it now why working moms would tell me they cried every day on their way to work after dropping off their babies. I get it. And I don't think you can until you've been there, because clearly I didn't.

I didn't use to envy stay-at-home moms...now I'm insanely jealous. 

(Hopefully next year I'll be able to teach e-school (online) which will drastically increase the time I get to spend at home...I'll keep you posted.)

And because I eat my feelings, I made this amazing dessert today...so perfect for fall. (I don't really eat my feelings by the way-I think...I just needed a transition).

Pumpkin dump cake. It's like pumpkin pie meets pecan pie meets a souffle. Fantastic. Make it. Love it. Then go work out, cause you'll need it.


It happened...

So I was going about my nightly routine, nothing out of the ordinary...it was about 7:00 and James was putting Jillian down for the night. I was upstairs putting leftover dinner in Tupperware containers, wiping down the counters, taking various things back downstairs and some things back upstairs, rotating the last load of laundry, etc. There was a cookbook opened up on the counter opened up to a stained recipe for banana bread that I was eagerly awaiting to make once everything else was done. And then it hit me...

I have become my mother.

I remember growing up and watching my mom do this very same thing. Going from room to room, moving endless piles to various places, cleaning the kitchen, (because "I just can't go to bed with a dirty kitchen") and going through the upcoming week's schedule with us. And all of us would usually be sitting at the bar in the kitchen eating something, or on the couch watching a movie, or on the computer. It never occurred to me then, "Hey, she looks pretty busy zooming from place to place, why don't you go see what she needs help with?"

It didn't occur to me until I was doing the exact same thing, complaining about it in my mind. I wonder if she had those thoughts as we left bits of cereal flakes on her freshly wiped surfaces? I've never heard my mom complain about ANYTHING.

So maybe I haven't become her yet...but it's a noble work in progress.


And on a COMPLETELY unrelated note due to my compulsive need for everyone to see how adorable my child is.. Jillian was looking supa' fly for church today :-)