Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last post of 2010, unless I can upload more pictures before NYE!

Okay so I know it has been a really long time since my last post, but what can I say... we've been really busy. Since Halloween, we've had a LOT going on with the holidays and time has just flown by without even a passing wave. Lily is now 8 months old! We've had her first Thanksgiving, and as of last week, her first Christmas. So catching up...
My little Princess

First was Thanksgiving, Lily had her first taste of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Apparently she also had her first taste of chocolate pie (thanks Pawpaw), but I was not aware of that. Needless to say, she enjoyed it all very much. We started off the day going to my Dad's (Pawpaw's) house for a lunch. While we were there, Lily decided to get REALLY tired (probably from all of the new foods that she had tried) and took about an hour nap in Pawpaw's lap. I just know that made that old man MELT. I know what power I used to have on him as a little girl, and Lily is 100x worse. She also entertained us by choosing to chew on her sock when she thought no one was looking (picture below).

 Crazy little girl! After their house, we drove out to my mom's house for a dinner. By this time though, she was extremely fussy because she was really tired and had been riding in the car for a lot of the day.
She was still able to chow down a bit on some more Thanksgiving treats though.
loving cousins

That weekend we drove down to Houston to visit Mark's side of the family. We really love going down there because we want to spend as much time since we don't see them as often as we wish. I know for a fact Lily feels the same way too as evidenced by her infatuation with her cousins. We had fun and even got some early Christmas gifts while we were there (okay...Lily did.) Ha ha.




That brings us to December! Christmas shopping, lots of holiday decorations, colder weather, seasonal music...ahh... I love it! Especially Starbucks' Caramel Apple Spice Latte. :) Shopping with and for Lily for Christmas was both exciting and stressful. Exciting because it is her first Christmas and stressful, because it is her FIRST Christmas. Being me, I wanted to find the perfect first Christmas present(s) so naturally that caused a little bit of agony for my family. However, I did manage to find what I was looking for... Not counting her toys that she got, I found a little girl's "first" hand mirror, jewelry box, and necklace holder. All of which are ordained in this light pink silk, with sparkly embroidery, sequins and tassels. The necklace holder is in the shape of a ballerina body (complete with outfit) and matches the mirror and jewelry box. So, I know she won't use it now, or even know what it is, but these are the types of things that I want her to have right now... and grow up with. When I was really young, my mother gave me a piggy bank that she made herself, and a few pieces of jewelry that I had when I was a baby. I look back on some of the other items that I have and really hope that one day Lily will feel the same way about things I give to her. Anyway... on to more Christmas festivities.
In my Christmas Dress

Is this for me?!

I liked Santa. We matched!


For the actual day, we traveled to Houston and this was the first time since Mark and I have been together that we were in Houston on the ACTUAL DAY. We got there on Christmas Eve and attended church service at his sister Pam's church. We listened to Tomas read a scripture during their children's performance and that was so special. After the service, we all went back to their house to have some yummy stew (which was great because it was a freezing monsoon outside) and just enjoy each other's company. LOVED IT! Lily learned also that she can kiss Tomas without mistletoe being present. :) Tomas was such a good sport about it too! The next morning we went over to Mark's mom's and had brunch with the family and proceeded to open a ton of presents. Lily got a lot of things, but I think her favorites right now are a toss up between her cool blocks and her piano. Mainly because she can chew on the blocks and the piano makes a lot of noise. LOL. We spent the rest of the day just talking and relaxing, letting Grandma Sammie and Lily soak each other up. We still have one more Christmas to go though... that will be on New Year's Day out at my mom's. Really looking forward to that as well!!!**More pictures will be coming as soon as I can upload them!

So, for some big milestones from Miss Lilypop.
1. She loves to talk and says "momma", "dada", "baba" and "wabawab". Not sure what the last one is for but she repeats it so I'm sure we will figure it out sooner or later.
2. She is now on to snacks (cereal pops and yogurt pieces).
3. She is pulling up a lot on everything. She hasn't quite mastered crawling yet, but according to her daycare teachers..."She doesn't have to." LOL, Apparently she is carried wherever she wants to go.
And for my favorite:
4. SHE GIVES HUGS AND KISSES WHEN ASKED. OH this melts my heart!

So, here are some pictures from the last two months, I hope you enjoy and I promise I will try to write sooner again.

Much love.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from our 6 month old!

So, I know it has been a long time since my last post, but there has been a lot going on. Work is going well for both Mark and I, and we don't have much to complain about. Since my last post, we have been out of town to a wedding, had family come visit, and lots of celebrations. Lily has even reached a few new milestones!

A few weeks ago, we went to Mark's high school friend's wedding and this was Lily's first. Let me just say, the dress my mom found for her to wear was something that belonged on a porcelain doll. Not only did she look beautiful, but she knows exactly when to turn on the charm and enchant people. The photographer had a lot of fun taking pictures of her...and she wasn't in the wedding, Mark was. (He looked pretty handsome too). The trip was a success with Lily sleep to and from College Station.

The next weekend we had Mark's cousins come into town and we had a wonderful dinner. Again, lots of pictures were snapped of Lily. It is so great to visit with all of them and we really miss getting to hang out. I so wish we lived closer... here are some pictures from that visit.

We also had Mark's mom come into town and that was a blast! We were able to spend some quality time with her and she with Lily. She was even able to give her a bath! I am sure that is something Grandma's love to do. It is really important to me that Lily knows all of our family and how much they love her. Aunt Rachel came over too and we had a dress up party with all of Lily's Halloween costumes. (Yes, there are more than one.)

And this week as been so much fun with Halloween festivities and dressing her up. Tuesday night was Lily's Halloween Carnival at her school. She is a trooper too... nothing scared her. She started to get really tired though so we knew she wouldn't last longer than about 8:00. We did manage to get some great pictures taken. Then on Saturday night, we all three went to celebrate Leigh's 30th birthday/halloween party. Dressed in her money bag and Mark and I as robbers, she was just as charismatic and sweet as always. We ended up taking her over to my mom who was at a party thrown by my step-sister Nikki. She was one tired little girl so it was a little harder to get her to be as smiley as she normally is. We stayed there for about an hour and then had to go.

And lastly, Lily has reached a few more milestones!! She is now 6 months old!!!First up, she is now rolling over in both directions (she was before, but we couldn't get it on camera), she is now eating food twice a day and still nursing, she has learned to jump up and down in her exersaucer and the biggest one... SHE SAID MOMMA!! And I got to hear it! I left the room to grab a diaper (we were at my mom's) and we all hear her say it. I raced back into the room and just grinned. It was so special. She is measuring 17 pounds 13 ounces and has her 6 month check up on Tuesday!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

:(

This past month has been riddled with many unfortunate circumstances. From what now seem like trivial things such as the loss of an air conditioning unit and sunglasses to things that can tear a family apart like the loss of a family pet, loss of an unborn baby, and loss of a two year old child. It really puts life into perspective and sometimes it takes going through something unpleasant to be reminded of what God has given us. 

Tonight, we had to put down our wonderful dog Graycee. For those that don't know the story, Mark had bought Graycee while in a previous relationship and after about a year of Mark and I being together, we were blessed with a little chihuahua given to us "Moses" style. I'm not sure what was going through his ex's mind at the time she blindly dropped off Graycee, but whatever it was, I am glad she did. I loved her, and still do. But as things have it, she was old and her little heart just gave out. We were able to say our goodbyes and pet her before she passed. Coming home was hard though. 

However, my pain is nothing compared to the pain that a friend of mine has felt. She was 7 months pregnant and lost her unborn son. Tragically, she still had to birth the baby. I have read her blog, and I can't fathom her heartbreak. And more recently, a sorority sister of mine that was a few years behind me, lost her two year old son to a horrible accident. I can't put myself in her shoes because it hurts too bad. 

Being a mother has opened my eyes and my heart to so much that I have a new respect for people that have to endure some of life's most difficult hardships. I pray every day that God keeps my family safe and I more importantly, I thank Him everyday for every precious moment I have with them. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to daycare I go...

Yes, I am "that" mom. This is her lunch box. 




I know it has been a while since my last post, but that is what happens when you become a working mom. Since I last wrote, I have gone back to work to a completely different job/position, Lily has gone to day care, and she has hit a few more milestones. I haven't been as diligent at taking pictures as I once was but by the time I get home and get settled, both Lily and I are extremely tired from our days. Oh to be in daycare again though!

First of all, I absolutely LOVE Lily's daycare. The staff is great, the facilities are clean, and it is just over all a wonderful place. Mark drops her off in the mornings since I have to be at work by 7:00 (one adjustment has been my hours). But then that means I get to pick her up! I love walking in and seeing her in the exersaucer or being held by one of her teachers. They totally adore her and she is the most popular baby in the whole school. I love that she is so happy and doesn't fear going... actually, I had a ping of jealousy last week when she held on to her teacher instead of reaching for me like she has been. At first my feelings were hurt a little (even though she came to me immediately afterward), but then I realized that it means she trusts and likes them. That is what every mother should want for her baby. My mom tells a story about me getting into trouble (it only happened once, ha ha) and I told her that I wanted "my Joan" who was my babysitter at the time. It was a little bittersweet to hear that, but in the end it was a good thing. If a mom has to work, she must know beyond a shadow of a doubt that her child is being well looked after. It kills me that I have to work, but that is life... at least my brain is staying sharp. It is too hard to get a job out there right now so I count my blessings that I have one.

Her ballerina diaper bag
Which brings me to my next story. I started in a new job doing something completely different from what I was doing. How many people get a chance to change careers in their life and not lose everything they have worked hard for? My old company closed (as I told in my last post) and I was offered a job working with Goldman Sachs doing due diligence and all kinds of other stuff for the traders in NY. So far, it isn't difficult, except it gets a little intense during a trade. They have been really understanding with my schedule and my nursing/pumping. Thank goodness there is a "lactation" room, that makes it so easy. I get to take a few breaks during the day and relax in there while pumping for Lily's next day meals. Speaking of which,

Pretty even with a cold
SHE STARTED EATING FOOD! Not just cereal but actual food. So far her favorites are sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, apples, and pears. She loathes peas... but they are the most fun to feed her because it becomes a game to us. Mark is really good about getting it in her mouth but Lily is better about spitting it out. She is also starting to sit up on her own. She likes to sit up on the couch but we really see it when getting her out of her car seat. She almost helps me get her out by sitting up and reaching for me. She isn't rolling over yet but I am biding my time with that. At her last doctor appointment, she was 15 pounds, 10 ounces. (Because she is eating food now too). And she has started teething per the doctor. She is drooling everywhere and got her first ear infection. This was caused by her cold that she caught at daycare... that Mark and I also caught. Oh the joys of being a parent! :)





Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Hello God, it's Erin... again."

Wow, what a week to say the least! Since the last time I wrote, Lily was put in the hospital, Mark and I caught the super virus that put Lily in the hospital, I lost my job, was offered a new one, and Lily had a milestone! Whew...

In the hospital
So, first up to bat, yes... Lily was admitted into the hospital after a very scary bout with vomiting and diarrhea. On Saturday night (August 14th) we were sleeping on the couch after falling asleep to a movie and Lily woke both herself and me up with a fountain of vomit. I first thought she had gotten choked on something or coughed in her sleep so we didn't think anything of it. After washing her off and getting ready for bed, I proceeded to feed her, but it lasted only a few moments when she threw up again. This time I was a little concerned because it was definitely different than any spit up she has had before. While on the phone to the doctor she threw up for a third time and started dry heaving. The nurse on call told me to try and feed her a little more and she if she will hold it down. Not wanting to be "that" mom, I said okay, but before I could tell Mark what we are doing, she started with the dry heaving again. Instinctually, I told Mark to get her dressed while I packed the diaper bag because we were going to the ER. Something in my mind screamed at me that this could be bad because she is so little. Dehydration is not something to mess with and reoccurring projectile vomiting in a 3 1/2 month old is not normal. So we went to the ER where they did every horrible test on her that a mom can imagine. All I did was cry though the whole night, but they were trying to rule out things like Meningitis and other horrible sounding diseases. She had to have a spinal tap as well which was unbelievably painful for her and for us. The doctors hooked her up to an IV to give her fluids and to administer her antibiotics because she was dehydrated and she couldn't fight the virus. After a long night in the ER, they checked us into a room so they could monitor her progress and wait for the results of all the tests. Needless to say, it wasn't like our recent hotel stays.... but the staff at Medical City of Plano was more than helpful and we were released on Monday. We had prayed and had lots of people praying for Lily's healing and God was swift to respond. :)  However, He was going to hear a lot more from me since the week was just starting.

Mark and I got sick. Really sick. So sick that Mark was confined to the couch in the fetal position while I  was quarantined in the bedroom. Lily continued to get better and wanted to play more so she had her bouncer, bumbo, swing and all of her toys in the bedroom while I laid there just praying for it to pass soon. We made it through only by God's help (and Ken dropping off Powerade on the porch). Whatever super bug grounded both Mark and me, I can't imagine what would have happened to Lily if we had waited any longer before taking her to the hospital.

And last, but not least... while all of this is going on, I get a phone call from my boss and CFO of my company telling me that we are closing and giving me options to either take one of 2 new jobs or take a VERY nice severance package which would allow me to spend another 6 months home. So, needless to say, the severance package was the most appealing and sounded so blissful to a mom who is supposed to go back to work in another week and leave her baby at day care. To a lot of people it would have been a no brainer. I have had numerous recruiters approach me about potential jobs as an underwriter and frankly it would be easy to find a job right now so taking another 6 months off would be great. But without going into too much detail I decided not to take it. I don't want to be a career underwriter and desperately wanted to find a job learning a new skill set while making a decent amount of money. I know, every one who hates their job and wants to do something else is agreeing with me. But, after a LOT of praying and crying, stressing and talking, I took the job that best suited my family's needs and not only my own... since I will have to work anyway (being a stay at home mom is not an option right now). I asked God for a sign and He gave me one. At the time, it wasn't what I expected or wanted, but I have faith that I made the right decision and God won't lead me astray. I just know I am going to miss all of my friends and it has been a great three years working with them.

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF! Lily has had two milestones reached this week. Well, the first was actually a few weeks ago but really formed this week. She loves loves loves to hear herself laugh and coo. And trust me, she is ALL little girl. Her voice is so sweet and delicate and reaches high pitches that I can no longer reach. Here is a video of her squealing.

video
She wants to start crawling a lot as well. Pardon these videos all having her naked with a diaper, our air conditioning in on its last life so we take it easy on it. Plus, she likes to be naked. :) Her last milestone though was Rice Cereal. Oh boy, that was a treat. She slept for a few hours after a nice bottle of that and a hard playtime in her excersaucer. Anyway, here are some more pictures and another video of her. I hope you enjoy!
video



Happy in my bunny towel
Yummy tasting bunny towel










Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First night away and first trip to Houston




So after the last post, we celebrated Mark's birthday by having to get our air conditioning fixed. Good times were had by all, but we ended up staying in a hotel for two nights that weekend. The second night though, Lily spent the night at Grandma Peggy's house. It wasn't as bad as I expected, I think the anticipation was worse that the actual experience. I have to admit that I did shed a tear or two as Mark and I were leaving, but I knew that she would be in great hands. Lily did extremely well... except when it came to feeding time. Being that she has been breastfed and doesn't have much bottle knowledge, it was a little trying for Grandma to get her to take her bottle. Without success, Lily finally was fed by using a syringe. Not exactly conventional, but it did the trick. So, that next Monday, Mommy and Lily went on a tour of a few baby stores to find the "perfect" bottle. After trying out a few, we ended up going with the bottle that had the same nipple as her pacifier. Mission completed! Lily is now becoming a pro at eating from the bottle as well as still being breast fed. This made our next weekend in the hotel a lot easier! Here are some of Lily's 3 month pictures.
Happy girl laughing!
Winking at the camera

I am three months old today!
Big Grin!



Grandma and Lily
This past weekend we went to Houston and visited Mark's side of the family. It was a lot of fun and Lily did really well. She loved being held by her Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and even her cousins. I was able to put her down in her travel bed (she goes to sleep really easily, thank goodness!) but her nap was short lived when she woke up by initiating that side of the family to one of her "blow outs"(and I don't mean a hair style). Grandma Sammie worked some magic though and was able to keep her white bloomers WHITE! I need to learn that trick soon. Ha ha! Her two cousins are completely in love with her too. Cy, the younger one, begs to hold her and loves that her hair color is becoming similar to his. Tomas is the older of the cousins and I love how he adores her as well. I have a feeling that both boys are going to enjoy teaching her all kinds of new things!
Tomas, Lily, and Cy
Aunt Pam and Lily
Aunt Didi and Lily
Uncle Ben and Lily
Uncle Steve and Lily

Chris with Kylie and Mark with Lily
We also had lunch with Lily's BFF Kylie. Her daddy Chris, is one of Mark's oldest childhood friends and wouldn't fate have it that they would both end up with daughters that are the same age. In fact, Missy's (Kylie's mommy) and my due date were only a day apart. Kylie ended up coming a few weeks early but they were still born in April and have the same birthstone....diamonds. Oh dear!

Okay, so now for some of her miles stones for the first week in August. Well, she is laughing a whole lot more and is developing an "Ernie" sort of laugh. (Sesame Street reference). She is pulling herself up if you hold on to her hands and LOVES to stand. I am not sure how normal this is for a three month old but if it makes her happy, then great! We are about to put her into a bouncer/walker once we find one that we like and she continues to like her tummy time. At this rate, she might just skip crawling all together, but we will see. We are still waiting to hear "mama" or "dada" but I'll settle for sounds like "Agoo" and "hia" for now. Any cute noise she makes is music to my ears!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3 months and counting...


Hi Everyone!
Wow, I can't believe that Lily is going to be three months old tomorrow! Time flies I know, and it makes me a little sad, but I also like getting to see all of the new things she is learning and watching her grow. She is so funny and such a happy baby that we really feel blessed. Lately she has been smiling all the time and even becoming a playful. She will make the sound of a cry and then when you look at her, she smiles. Her laughter is something I have yet to capture on video but I am definitely trying. All you have to do is smile at her and she beams back which I enjoy so much. Her eyes have started to change color so Mark and I think we were right about them being hazel, and her red hair is starting to get a little lighter and longer. So many changes in such a short amount of time...part of me wants to freeze time, but the other part of me can't wait to see what she will grow into. Here are some of her most recent pictures...
Riding in the car and playing with my toys
Big Grin!

How can you resist these eyes?


This past week we visited a bunch of friends and even both sets of Great-Grandmothers. We got to visit her BFF Sophie for a brunch, most of which the kiddos slept through and the mommies talked. We had dinner on Friday night with mom's side of the family to celebrate Mark's, Aunt Emily's, and Grandpa Ken's birthdays and it was a great adventure! We all took turns walking around with Lily so she could entertain the other dining patrons and Tyler was playful and funny as he normally is.
Great-Grandma Gail
Great-Grandma Laverne
My friend Kristi with a sleeping Sophie

Tyler has Aunt Emmy and Uncle Jordan by the ears! He was funny at dinner!

Last week was a lot of fun and tomorrow is Mark's 30th Birthday. Lily is going to stay with Grandma Peggy ("Gwamma") for the whole night on Saturday so we can have a nice night out on the town. It will be interesting to see if I can make it through the whole night without crying...ha ha. I know she will be fine, but a mother can't help but to worry. From what I can tell, that doesn't ever go away, but it does get a little easier to tolerate. I am taking Mark to a place in Dallas we found called Chocolate Secrets...it is a wine and gourmet chocolate tasting bar. There is a really good jazz band playing and so I think it will be a great time. Stay tuned for fun pictures of that!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Can't have milk? Okay, I'll buy clothes.



Lily is now 11 weeks old and has more clothes than most adults. While I would like to say that we were given them all, the truth is that I have given in to my inner shopaholic and can't seem to resist cute clothes, bows, shoes, etc. for HER! The trouble with this is that she out grows the clothes within a month! She is on the upper side of the weight/height percentage for children her age, which has made it easier to venture into the cuter items that begin at 3 months old. Don't get me wrong, newborn clothes are adorable too, but at 3 months the stores start carrying more of a variety. Now, I am still a smart/thrifty shopper so I spend most of my time at places like Target and Kid to Kid, but they still add up. Unfortunately, websites like Baby Steals and Etsy have also stolen part of my paychecks, but not as often.

The funny part is that my addiction seems to be contagious as Mark doesn't have an issue with my infant item hoarding. In fact, on more than one occasion, he has enabled and even encouraged it. For instance, being that he is more of a "cool" dad, he likes to find items that have girly/blinged out skulls or rocker stuff. She had her first pair of converse allstars before she was even born and can't wear them for a long time...but they have skulls with pink bows. He also has a thing for onesies that have the accessories already printed on. But, for those of you who know Mark, you have most likely seen his tux shirt, Santa suit shirt, and skull "shirt and tie" shirt. Today we went to one of our weekend ritual places, Babies R Us, and walked out with two hot pink/black little dresses with matching leggings. However, I didn't know we had TWO until we got to the register and noticed the big grin on my husband's face. Really?! Lily already has him wrapped. LOL.

Anyway, as the title of the blog reads, "Can't have milk?" that brings me to my next subject. I have pretty much had to give up most dairy items (however I still sneak cheese sometimes) due to it causing Lily discomfort after breast feeding. It must make her little stomach really bubbly or something. I used to give her Mylicon on a nightly basis, however it started to become a hit or miss with it. I would rather for-go the milk than keep giving her medicine. But...let me tell you, I CRAVE it sometimes. I didn't crave alcohol like a lot of women do during their pregnancies and I will have an occasional beer now, but milk is like my forbidden fruit. What in the world? I didn't even like milk that much before I got pregnant and had Lily. I know that it is probably my body telling me to get more calcium (which is why I started back on my prenatal vitamins), but gees! You hear of women not continuing to breast feed for a myriad of reasons, but have you ever heard of someone stopping because they missed some type of food/drink too much? As soon as I stop breast feeding (whenever that is), I think I'll say, forget the liquor, give me a brownie with a large ice cold milk chaser!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sleep...Nap...why am I still tired?



I would say 5 out of 7 nights Lily is a great sleeper. She will mainly only wake up around 2-3 o'clock in the middle of the night, we will do a night feeding and she will normally fall back asleep while we are laying there. Then she will start to get restless about 6 o'clock or so, and then we are up for the day. When she takes her naps, normally I will try to get one in there with her but I know going back to work will end my daytime naps. Ha ha, but I guess I better get them in while I can.

So, I know every family is different and you have to do what is best for your situation, but I am a big fan/advocate of co-sleeping. Not in a co-sleeper, but in the bed with us. Being that we have a king size bed, this really isn't uncomfortable, even with Lily's sleeping positions. She sleeps with her arms straight out to the side of her and likes to take up as much room as she can. I know that when it comes time to put her in her crib, we might have issues... but that will be a while, at least while I am breast feeding. After talking with a lot of moms, reading a few articles, and getting the encouragement from my pediatrician, we decided it was best for our family. I love being able to open my eyes, see her there and know she is sleeping soundly while being within an arm's reach. But...maybe this is adding to my sleepiness too?

The one piece of advice that I wish I hadn't taken, was to get as much sleep prior to having Lily as I could. I would sleep for 10 hours a night, and over 12 hours on the weekends...so of course I was accustomed to this when she came! My advice for new moms is to start weening yourself to no more than 6-7 hours per night, a few weeks before you have the baby. (Not sure if that will work though!)

I look forward to the nights that will come when she sleeps through the night (when she is good and ready), however I know I will miss the times that she wakes me up by wanting to be fed, played with, or just cuddled. So for now, I will just enjoy being tired!