Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baby Bean in 3-D!

Dear Baby Bean-

What a great day we had!  I have been so excited for this day to come because we got to see you in 3-D and you are, of course, perfect :)  I'm getting ahead of myself...let me tell you about our day.

Tenley and I were excited for today because Finn came over to play for a few hours while Becky had to get things done.  We had such fun with him playing and eating lunch.  He was here from about 9:30-12:45 and the time went so fast.  We played the elephant/butterfly catching game, tossed around some balloons, and ate chicken nuggets for lunch.  Your sister had a lot of fun with him and I was sure she would pass out for her nap as soon as she left but she refused and decided not to nap today. It's too bad because the rest of the day was super exciting and she was not very well rested.  She didn't do too bad, though.

Grandma Carol and Grandpa Jeff came to pick us up at 3:30 to go meet Daddy at The Belly Factory for your 3-D ultrasound.  The ultrasound technician was so nice and she says you have long eyelashes, very little hair, and weigh around 3 pounds right now.  This means that you have gained about 8 ounces in the past two weeks (if all these estimations are correct) which makes Mommy feel good.  3 pounds is pretty solid if you should decide to come early (but you better not!).  After the ultrasound, Daddy left to go to the Cubs game so Tenley and I rode home again with Grandma and Grandpa.  As we were driving home, Grandma spied a Creamery and we decided to stop for some dinner.  We ate hot dogs and ice cream and it was AWESOME. :)  Your sister fell asleep on the way home which means she is VERY grumpy right now, so we are just trying to make it through until it's time to go to bed.  Overall, it was a great day and I was so happy to see your little face!  Here are some pictures from your big photo shoot:

And, of course, we couldn't go without posting pictures of our first ice cream of the season!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The End of Our Journey

So it's been a million years since I last posted and I'm not going to lie- it will probably be a million years before I post again. If you're wondering how I'm doing with my P90X journey, I'll let you know- I'm not. I did it religiously up until my brother's wedding in South Carolina (which was AWESOME) and then the summer was so busy and full of travel that I just couldn't keep up with it. I will say that it 100% worked for me the way I needed it to and I fully intend to use it again in the future. When I feel like it.

 I felt like I needed to write this post to document a milestone in my life as a mother to Tenley. This past weekend was the end of our nursing journey together. I have been nursing Tenley since the day she was born. Although it was a bit difficult at first, I didn't have near the trouble that I had feared and it became a pretty easy relationship between her and I. Aside from the fact that she ate every two hours for the first 3 months and took 40 minutes to do so, the rest of the time has been pretty effortless. I can only hope that future children (God willing) take to it as easily as Tenley did and, in turn, my body takes to it as easily as it did this time around.

 I had been thinking for a few months (at least 4) that I should start to try and wean Tenley. No part of me really wanted to stop nursing- it wasn't inconvenient in any way, I wasn't having to do it anywhere away from home or any time except for when she first woke up and before bed, and it was such a special time to spend with her when she is at her cuddliest. On the other hand, I didn't feel like she was getting a whole lot when she was nursing and worried about the amount of milk she was actually drinking. She wasn't taking to whole milk (or any milk) very well, so in my mind it meant that she wasn't really getting much milk overall. When we went to her 15 month appointment, the doctor told me that if I am still nursing twice a day then I shouldn't be giving her any other milk because it will use up her calories and she won't be hungry to eat meals. We went with that for awhile, but in the beginning of October things changed a bit.

 During late September we were in the kitchen and I opened the fridge to get some water. Tenley came over and kept frantically reaching for the middle shelf. I asked her what she wanted and after going through several items, I deduced that she was reaching for the milk. We weren't even keeping whole milk in the house because she wasn't drinking it fast enough (or at all) to warrant the purchase, so I gave her a bit of our skim milk and she sucked it right down. For the next few days, she did the same thing. What I did notice, though, is that her appetite was suppressed because she was drinking the milk (score one for Dr. Stroman!), so on a weekend trip to my mom's, I just decided to cut out the morning feeding. She didn't protest at all. It's like that feeding never existed and she drank her milk out of a sippy and has done so in the mornings ever since.

 The before bed feeding was one that I wasn't willing to give up so easily. She still readily took it and would even pop her pacifier out of her mouth when she saw me reaching for her Boppy. At least, up until last week. I noticed that when I went to get her into position to nurse before bed, she didn't take her pacifier out. I wondered if this was a sign that she was ready to be done but didn't really want to believe it. Then, on Friday night, John and I decided to go to a movie and John's mom watched Tenley. She gave her a sippy of milk before bed and she went right down. I decided to do the same the next night and she took it without any protest, hence (a bit) abruptly ending our nursing-before-bed tradition.

I know it's all a part of her growing up, but it made me a bit sad. I even teared up a little as she was drinking that milk the first night, but had to tell myself that it was a GOOD thing because she is growing and knows what she needs. Now, we are getting into a nice morning and evening routine which still includes snuggle time, just not any boob action. I don't let her watch TV during the day (not because I have any problem with it, more because we try to play and get work done) but I have started settling down with her before bed, giving her a sippy of milk, and watching one episode of Little Einsteins. She loves this and, when I tell her it's time to do this, she takes my hand and leads me to the bedroom. She knows that this means it's time to get cozy for bed. In the mornings, we snuggle, drink milk, and watch a bit of Sesame Street or Doc McStuffins. This again is a time for us to snuggle, wake up, and get some milk. I am coming to love these times just as much as our old routine and, a week out, am actually kind of happy to have my body totally to myself again for a bit.

 So that's my story. My baby girl is growing up in so many ways and this is just one of them. She talks more every day, even calling Rudy "Ru Ru" which is pretty much the cutest thing ever. I look forward to more milestones that we will go through together, even if they make me a little sad at first. I am proud of myself for nursing her for 18 months and realize it is only because my body and my baby cooperated with me and that I'm lucky that it happened that way. If it doesn't work for future children I may be disappointed at first, but know that formula feeding can be just as special as long as we make it that way. I'm just thankful that I had this time and experience with Tenley and will look back on this time of my life fondly forever.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lean Days 12 and 13: It's the Weekend!

Here's all I have to say about working out on Day 12: It didn't happen. I kind of have a feeling that Fridays and Sundays are going to be rest days instead of just Sundays. Whatever- I'm ok with it. Yesterday was a great day- we got to spend a big chunk of it with Betty and baby Clark and then we went to Jeff and Julie's to celebrate Laney and Carol's birthdays. We didn't get home until almost 10:00, so Tenley went to sleep fairly quickly. All in all, a good day. Today is Day 13 and my workout is done. I did Kenpo X and, I'm not gonna lie- I only did 30 of the 45 minutes of actual working out. Once I got to the block sequence I had had enough. Plus John took Tenley to the mall to find a new shirt (for him, not her) which means that I have time in the house to myself. That doesn't happen often. So I decided to cut my workout short and I am in the midst of doing Tenley's laundry and packing for a quick overnight trip. We get to go spend the night with Carrie and her nephew Charlie while John hits up a bachelor party downtown. It should be another great day and I just need to find the motivation to get my stuff done so we can hit the road! 77 days to go

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lean Day 11: Quick Cardio

Today was a pretty good, extremely low-key day. Tenley woke up around 7 and miraculously went back to sleep after she nursed so we got to sleep in a bit today. Once she got up we ate breakfast and I managed to get the rest of the silverware rolled for my sister-in-law's bridal shower which is happening next Saturday. After that and some play time it was time for Tenley's nap and lunch. This is kind of how every day goes and I feel like we really don't "start" our day until lunch is over around 1 or 1:30. Today we chose to be outside ALL afternoon. We played in the sandbox and with toys on a blanket. It was great. Once John came home, he took Tenley so I could work out quick and then get ready to go to my nephew's baseball game. Today's workout was Yoga which meant that I did Cardio. It was fine- nothing to comment about. I think at this point I am just trying really hard to do something every day or as close to 5/6 days a week that I can. I am still hovering right around the weight I was at on Day 90 which is fine with me. I wouldn't mind losing just a couple of more pounds before the summer, but overall I am OK with where I am at as long as I can just stay there. I have noticed that I am kind of sore this week, so I'm not sure what that is all about. The soreness in my legs is from running last night and it will take a while to go away- working out or not. Once my workout was done I packed a dinner for Tenley and we set off for Community Park. It was a beautiful night for a walk (and a baseball game) and we arrived at the park right around 6. I fed Tenley dinner (a really random dinner that included a peanut butter/jelly sandwich, peas that I had warmed up from the freezer, lil' crunchies, a cereal bar, and a mango packet of baby food) and we played with Clara while Casey played baseball. It was really nice and Tenley had a blast. On the way home, I stopped in to Subway to pick up some dinner and we arrived home around 7:30 or so. John was nice enough to watch Tenley so I could eat in peace and then we watched Grey's Anatomy together which I can't even get in to because it was one of the most disappointing yet kind of gripping season finales yet. I guess I am used to finales leaving you hanging, just not this much. And that is all I have to say about that. Tomorrow we are hoping to go see Betty and Clark and then we will go to Julie's house to have cake for Laney and Carol's birthdays. We are really looking forward to a fun (but busy) day and also hope to get a little sun/water table time in during the afternoon. 79 days to go...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lean Day 10: Slight Change of Plans

Today has been another pretty excellent day. It has also seemed like a long day for some reason, but not in a bad way. Since it was going to be a little cooler today, I decided that it would be a good day to go to the mall and get some birthday gifts that are needed for later in the week. I usually try to run these errands in the morning, but since Tenley has been napping more often than not before lunch, I decided to just take things as they came. It seemed to be a wise decision because things went pretty well. Tenley woke up about an hour earlier than usual today so she was a bit crabby all morning. She went down for a nap at around 10:30, but slept until after 12:30 which is rare. We at lunch and headed out the door to Orland Park. When we got to Orland, I tried to do the things that really needed to be done right off the bat. Usually when I go to the mall, I tear around like a mad woman because I want to get everything done before Tenley decides that she has had enough. Today we took our time and, instead of getting flustered when she started getting antsy, I just changed things up. The first time we changed her diaper. The next time we spent time in the play area. The last time we got frozen yogurt and watched the carousel. Overall, we were able to be there for a couple of hours and I got everything done without any tantrums...an accomplishment. I still would not try to take her shopping with me when I really need to get things done for me (i.e.- try on clothes) but that is just for now. :) When we got home, John had decided to run to the grocery store and brought home Jimmy Johns. I was supposed to do the Shoulders and Arms workout today but it is 59 minutes long and it was already 6:00. I fed Tenley dinner and decided to go on John's run. It was such a perfect night for a run even though we had to bundle Tenley up a little. It was nice to run again- I haven't done it in so long but I found that it came pretty easy which means that the P90X must have done a little in the stamina department as well. We went for about 3 miles but did it in a run/walk by streets. Who knows how much of a workout it really was but I know it got my heart rate up more than the Shoulders and Arms workout would have. We have no plans for tomorrow but I have a feeling most of the afternoon will be spent outside with the water toys since it is supposed to be hot. My nephew has a baseball game at 5:30, so we may walk down to watch that for a bit. Otherwise, tomorrow is Yoga which means tomorrow is really Cardio. :) 80 days and counting...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lean Days 7, 8, and 9: Good at Working Out, Bad at Posting

I can't believe I have forgotten to post for the past few days. They have been kind of busy, at least during the times I usually try and post. Day 7 was Sunday and it was a rest day which was good because it was Mother's Day. We had a nice day that included brunch with the Terry family, a nice day at home, and Coldstone Creamery in the evening. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I could have seen my mom and grandma but we are trying to alternate holidays and I was at home for Mother's Day last year. Day 8 was spent cleaning our filthy house and then we had a great visit with Finn and Becky. Finn and Tenley were able to play out in our backyard with the water table and sandbox which was awesome. It was such a beautiful day and I was happy that we were able to spend part of it with two of our favorite people. John came home shortly after they left and he eventually took Tenley on a run with him so that I could work out. Yesterday's workout was Core Synergistics and I did everything but the "bonus round" because I wanted to be able to shower and eat before John came back with Tenley. Overall I consider it a success. Day 9 (today) has been wonderful. Tenley and I got up and did our usual morning routine before getting ready and having lunch at WWMS with Kathy, Julie, and Barb. It was great to catch up with them and I wanted to see Kathy at school one more time before she retires. While I was there I learned that my resignation was accepted by the school board last night, so I am officially a stay at home mom and couldn't be happier! Once we were done with lunch, Ten and I headed over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up a gift for my future sister-in-law's shower and then came home to spend around 3 hours in the back yard. I LOVE it back there. We kept on hanging out after John came home and he again (eventually) took Tenley on a run so that I could do the Cardio X workout. I did it in its entirety and managed to shower before they came home. I then fed Tenley a hodgepodge of a dinner (because she is kind of refusing to eat a lot of any one thing at the moment), gave her a bath to get the sunscreen and watermelon juice off of her (she is finally swallowing the watermelon!), and now we are ready for bed. Hopefully tomorrow will produce another good workout. It is the Shoulders and Arms workout that I enjoy but it is SO LONG. So we will see what happens. Tenley and I will be heading to the mall tomorrow afternoon to get some birthday gifts, so everything will have to center around that little outing. 81 days to go...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lean Days 5 and 6: Some Good, Some Bad

Since I am writing this post on Saturday and neglected to post yesterday, I am sure you have assumed that I did not work out yesterday. You assumed right. Yesterday was such a beautiful, fantastic day and working out just didn't fit into that picture for me. But let me back up and let you know a little bit about Thursday night. So as stated in my last post, John and I were gearing up to go to The Cubby Bear and see George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. We left home around 8:00 and made it inside The Cubby Bear by 9 or so. It was a pretty thin crowd at first and I wasn't sure what to expect. Initially, there was a little bit of this and a little bit of that- lots of flannel, some tie-dye, a few hipsters, and some kind of weird-ish old people. As the night went on, I decided that I was a little out of place in my cute sequined shorts, salmon top, and heels. But that was OK- mama doesn't get to dress up very much. John kept trying to prepare me for what I would see as we waited (another hour!) for the band to come on. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was- they were only a band, right? It turns out that nothing in the world could prepare me for the strangeness that I would witness in the next 2 hours. Holy. Cow. First of all, when the whole band is on the stage there are about 25 people up there. NOT exaggerating. The fist layer of people (at the back of the stage) included a bass player, a (white) keyboard player with a shirt that read "I Love Mary Jane" (which at first I thought was in homage to his girlfriend but later figured out it had another meaning, another keyboard player whom I realized later had a lit joint hanging out of his mouth the ENTIRE show, and a guy who had a double guitar and a stocking hat with a spelunking light around his head. The next layer of people included a guitar player that looked like Lil' Wayne, a saxophone player that looked like he just rolled out of bed, a trumpet player with a camouflage shirt, a backup singing guy in a suit from the 70s, another backup singer in a really smooth looking modern suit, a girl backup singer in a psychedelic striped dress with her bra hanging out and a huge afro. Then, to top it off, there was George Clinton's son in a denim tuxedo whose shirt kept coming more and more unbuttoned as the night went on, a girl who appeared to be on crack in a "sexy" nurse's uniform and wore roller skates part of the time, a ripped guy in fuzzy white pants and no shirt with a fake nose and a cheesy fake gun, and at one point a guy in white face paint and Mickey Mouse gloves. And then there was George himself in a suit that was too small, a tie that was too short, and suspenders. At one point, the guy who was keeping the band supplied with water came out and rapped and George's granddaughter came out and rapped a NASTY song about weed and female private parts. And those are only the people I can remember. I think I could have gone up there and no one would have even noticed! It was quite a night. The music is DEFINITELY not my thing but John was in 7th heaven and thought it was the greatest show on the planet. It could have something to do with the contact high I'm sure we contracted from the white 20-somethings to our right who came to the show in a limo (??), but then again John is a true fan. He told me last night that they were going to be in Traverse City and the first thing I thought was "Dear Lord not when we are going to be there. Please. Because this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me." Thankfully he's going to be in TC in mid-May, NOT late July. After that eventful night, we slept in a little on Friday and then I spent all day with Tenley. John had the day off so he did lots of work in the yard and Tenley and I went to the park, played with her water table, and napped. By the time the evening rolled around, we decided to have a fire pit and make S'mores and I decided that workout was NOT in the cards. What a great day :) Today was a little bit better on the working out front. We got up, had breakfast, and then John took Ten and I did Kenpo. After that we got ready and took Tenley to see Sesame Street Live which was incredibly cute and she sat through the whole thing pretty riveted. It was a success :) I see a lot of Sesame Street in our future, more because John seems to be becoming obsessed with it. Once we left the show, we went to Babies R Us to get Tenley some new shoes and then came home. John just took off to go to a Sox game and Ten and I are here for the evening. I am ready to go to bed and it's only 5:30. Instead, we are going to run to Target to get some last minute Mother's Day cards and then take it easy together. :) 84 days to go...