Monday, October 22, 2012

Life happens

Its been on my heart a lot lately to start blogging again - strictly for myself. I blogged for myself in the beginning, then I blogged about being pregnant, then about Brooke. And, then life happened and I ran out of time to sit down and write. Wait - that's a lie. I ran out of time after I did all the other things that I wanted to do.

Earlier this year I made a "Growing Brooke" book from my blog. It's something I'm really proud of and I spent a lot of time on it, but it will probably get shoved in drawer or closet and no one will look at it. But, I did it for Brooke. And, partially for me. We aren't sure what the future of our family looks like - whether we will or will not have another baby - but I wanted to make sure that that's a time that I never ever ever forget.

During Brooke's first year, I tried my best to keep milestones and monthly posts/pictures up to date. I've got those most of those posts drafted but they never got through the 'final editing' phase to make it to be published. But, at least I have the big stuff there...because we all know without it, I would have forgotten all those small important things.

And, at the beginning of this year, I committed myself to taking a picture of Brooke every day - project 365.  I've really surprised myself and done a pretty good job of keeping up with that. I wonder how long it will take me to actually translate all those pictures into a book?

I guess, now I'm to the point where I'm finally accepting just how fast life is happening. And I want to soak in every single minute of every single day. I feel silly saying this and I don't want to sound boastful - but my life is just so incredibly amazing. I get all emotional just thinking about it. I think it's just from the overwhelming amount of love I have.

Life is happening and I feel like I'm missing out on documenting these sweet times with my family. I've found myself being 100% in the moment and thinking, "I need to blog about this. I don't want to forget THIS moment." And then life happens. We get home, dinners are done, Brooke is bathed and put to bed, and I do selfish things like read other blogs, tweet with 'strangers' and stalk people from my past on facebook. Its stupid and I hate that I've missed all these days.

Here's to acknowledging what I want to do - and hoping that I stick with it.

"We are as lucky as we can have such a wonderful family!"

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Year Ago

It was one year ago. It was a Friday night and I couldn't sleep. I woke up Mike and told him I was going downstairs to lay on the couch. That's where I was the most comfortable and I could watch tv without keeping Mike awake too. I slept off and on but had some cramps that kept me tossing and turning.

Saturday morning sunlight filled the house and Mike came downstairs. He asked how I was feeling and if I had slept. "I feel ok. I've been having some cramps - I think they might be contractions, but I'm not sure. It feels kind of like a charlie horse." How was I supposed to know what contractions felt like? I'd never had them before. I had expressed my concern to my midwife, doctor and lots of my friends - they all replied with the same response "You'll know." Well, since I wasn't sure, I just kind of brushed it off as being part of the uncomfortable part of the end of pregnancy.

Mike started timing my charlie horses and they ended up being pretty consistent. We decided to call the midwife and ask her what she thought. We had the midwife, Jennifer, on speaker phone when one hit. And that's when she said "Yeah, you definitely sound like you're in labor. And given that you are past your due date, I'd say that this is more than likely NOT false labor. Why don't you go ahead and head to the hospital and I'll meet you there." Believe it or not, I actually asked if it were ok if I took a shower. She agreed and said to give her a call back when we were on our way.

I took my shower and then went tee-tee for the 360th time that morning. As I was sitting on the toilet, my water broke. Mike stuck his head around the door - "What was THAT?!?!" "Uh...I think my water just broke!" At that point I was so thankful it had broken while I was in the bathroom - I had some serious anxiety about cleaning up a mess. Now, my anxiety was on the fact that we were definitely going to become parents very very soon.

We finished getting ready and snapped one last picture before we headed out the door. Once we were in the car, I made a few phone calls and shared the news that I was in labor and we were headed to the hospital. Once we made it to the hospital, we were checked in and put in a room. At this point I was 100% sure that this was labor. I wasn't able to speak or walk during a contraction.

We got in our hospital room and I changed into the gown, climbed up on the bed and tried to relax. Jennifer came in the room and checked me. I was 7 cm. Everything was going perfectly in line with the birth plan I wanted.

Well, after 20 hours of unmedicated labor, flipping positions, pushing and then a c-section - our beautiful baby girl was born at 11:57 pm. It was that very exact minute, 11:57 on April 16th 2011 that our lives changed forever. I was a Mom and Mike was a Dad.

Brooke was born and she was perfect. She had beautiful blue eyes, beautiful blondish-brown hair. She was the most perfect 6 lbs 15 ozs I'd ever seen. Becoming a parent is the most life changing event and I am so so thankful that God chose us to be Brooke's parents. What a wonderful gift he gave us!

And here we year later. We were warned that the first year would go by so fast, and I tried my very best to slow it down. But - it went by FAST! Blink your eye and she grew an inch, fast. It's exciting and yet sad all at the same time.

It's been a whole year and Brooke is completely different now. I spent quite a bit of time just watching her today (eating cheese eggs at Waffle House, playing at Toys-R-Us, swinging at the park and demolishing a big cupcake) and I'm just fascinated with her. She is independent and soaking up life like a sponge. Our house has toys scattered throughout the living room floor. There are crumbs from Ritz Crackers and goldfish everywhere. My car is messy and cluttered with baby toys, books and a really big stroller. I have puffs in the bottom of my purse. Our perspective on life is different and our priorities are different. Even my clothes fit different. Everything is just, different. Wonderful different. Beautiful different. Good different.

Tonight as I put my baby girl to bed, I hugged her a little tighter. Because, tomorrow we will start a whole new year - and I can't help but wonder how things will be different. I just hope she has the best second year. And I hope she knows how much she is loved.

Happy First Birthday, Brooke!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Seven Months, Brooke!

Brooke, you are SEVEN months! I can't believe it. I just can't!

What are you up to this month?

  • You weighed 14.35 lbs at your 7 month visit! I am SO happy to see you gaining some weight. Your little legs are definitely getting plump! 
  • You still wear a size 2 diaper and your eating habits are pretty much the same (nursing every 3-4 hours and you get 6 ozs if you have a bottle).
  • You have really gotten the whole eating solids thing down. You are a very neat eater, no messes, which makes Momma happy. You've had oatmeal, bananas, avocado, peaches, sweet potatoes, squash, pears, and rice cereal with apples. You did NOT like bananas - you gagged and refused to swallow and I had to scrape the food out of your mouth...but with a little persistence you have learned that you do in fact like bananas. 
  • This month you got your first cold with a cough. It was the most pitiful little cough and it just broke our hearts. You would cough during the night and it would wake you up and I would rush to you...well, that started bad habits. Now, you wake around 2am for a 'snack' but then go right back to sleep and it seems as though you hear when Daddy's feet hit the floor at 5am, because you wake up AGAIN. We usually get up and start our day around 8 though.
  • You are wearing 3-6 months and a few 6 month outfits. You can still wear your size 3 month pajamas...but I think its because we've just stretched them out. 
  • You are very close to crawling! If a toy is just out of your reach you will roll, twist and spin to get to it. You are such a determined little girl.
  • You got an exersaucer this month and it is has changed our life. You will play for a very long time by yourself in it, but once you've had enough - you will YELL to get our attention and make it very clear you are ready to get out.
  • You L-O-V-E books. It makes me so happy that you like to sit in our lap and read books. You get very excited when we turn the pages.
  • You also love to be outside. You love when the wind blows and you take a big breath in like it took your breath away. You also love to watch the leaves fall from the trees.
  • We have been working on waving and giving kisses. Some times you will wave without our help and you've started leaning in with an open mouth to give us 'sugar'.
  • You learned Pat-a-Cake at school and you really enjoy doing the hand motions when we sing it. You also love to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I'm just thankful you aren't critical of my singing.
Brooke, you are loved so very much. I wish I had a penny for every time I kiss your sweet head...your college would already be paid for!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Six Months, Brooke!

I can hardly believe we are already to Brooke's half birthday! This month has been so much fun! You have really kicked your little personality into over drive and its so neat to watch you take the world in.

What are you up to this month?

  • You are still a very petite little thing. At your six month well check up you weighted 12 lbs 11 ozs (2%) and were 24 inches long (2%).
  • You are wearing a size 2 diaper.
  • You wear size 3 month and 3-6 month clothes...but there are still a few 0-3 month clothes that you can squeeze into.
  • You started solids a little over a week ago and you seem to enjoy the rice cereal. We will move to oatmeal very soon. You were developmentally ready to start eating. You don't even spit the food gobble it right up. I think you are going to be a great eater.
  • You are still nursing 4-5 times a day or every 3-4 hours. Right now since we just started solids you get rice cereal once a day, usually either in the morning or at lunch. We'll add in another meal pretty soon. When you take a bottle you get 6 ounces.
  • You are still a GREAT sleeper. Your bedtime is somewhere between 7:30 and 8 and you will normally sleep until 7-7:30 the next morning. Every once in a while you wake up around 6 but you typically go right back to sleep once you have a little morning 'snack'. You also take 2 naps. Although some days you revolt and take only 1 nap.

  • You have taken rolling to a new level. You will barrel roll across the room and changing your diaper has become a work out.
  • Still no teeth but surely they aren't too far away. You chew on everything. I call you my Billy Goat because you will 'eat' just about anything. Socks. Shirts. Dresses. Paci. Toys. Blankets. My clothes. My hair. The sofa. Everything is a slobbery mess around these parts now days.
  • You are so close to pulling yourself up to a sitting position. You can do it all by yourself if you have the Boppy or pillow behind you. You also have started 'lunging' forward while sitting up. A few times you have face planted but I think its a great start in you learning how to crawl. You also love to bounce and rock while sitting.
  • You sat in a highchair at a restaurant for the first time this month. You had a really great time trying to pull everything off the table. I don't think I've ever eaten so fast in my life.
  • You are into everything! You are constantly reaching for my phone, the remote to the tv or pretty much anything you're NOT supposed to have. You are quite a determined little girl to get whatever you want.
  • You smile alot but this month you started doing a new thing...scowling. You can be so happy and smiling and then you turn very serious. You usually dish out flirty smiles but here recently you just scowl. Its funny to me because I know you're a happy baby.
  • You love to play peek-a-boo and you always laugh when something pops out and it surprises you. 
  • You are such a happy baby! It seems that you get compliments almost everywhere we go.
Brooke, you are perfect in every way and I feel so blessed that God picked me to be your Momma. Some days I am overwhelmed with all this LOVE! 

Monday, October 24, 2011


The other day while I was picking up some of Brooke's toys while she was playing on the floor, I accidentally dropped one and said "Whoops!" Well, sweet girl thought it was the funniest thing in the world and laughed her head off for several minutes. I love her little laugh but I REALLY love her belly laughs. They are music to my ears!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Five Months, Brooke!

Brooke is FIVE months old! Time is flying by at warp speed. It will be her half birthday before we know it! And then Momma will cry big fat ugly tears because our little girl is growing up so fast.

What are you up to this month?

  • You didn't have a well check up this month so I don't know how much you weigh. Although I would guess about 12 lbs.
  • You are in a size 1 diaper but I think you'll be out of them in about another week. 
  • You are wearing size 0-3 months and size 3 month clothes.
  • You are still nursing every 3-4 hours. 
  • When you take a bottle its usually 5 or 5.5 ounces of breast milk.
  • You are sleeping 10-12 hours at night and we try to get you to take 2 naps a day (you fight your afternoon nap). You LOVE your bed. When you're tired you won't fight sleep if you're in your bed. As soon as we lay you down you will roll on your side with your back to us. 
  • You love to look at yourself in the mirror.
  • You will take a paci but you don't seem to be too dependent on it. You have taught yourself how to put the paci back in your mouth now...which we like! However, you don't always do it on your own because you know we will come in and put it back in your mouth. And you have also learned how to THROW the paci. When you are mad you quickly take it out of you mouth and toss it to the ground. And there has been a few times I find it in the middle of you room from when you throw it out of your bed. You're a sassy little thing!
  • You are SITTING UP! You are such a big girl.
  • You LOVE your Daddy. You give the biggest smiles of the day when Daddy gets home from work.
  • You are reaching for everything. You seem to think that if its within your reach, its fair game. Your favorite things to reach for are our phones, the tv remote, cups, plates and food if we're eating something.
  • You love love love to swing at the park. You love the feeling of the wind and you love to watch the leaves fall and the trees sway.
Five months has been so much fun and I can't wait to see what six months is like. We love you so much, Brooke!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

I stumbled across the sweetest set of 'rules for Dads of daughters'. It made me cry and I wanted to document them on here for quick reference (or really for Mike's quick reference). :) There were so many of these rules that reminded me of my days spent with my Dad when I was a little girl.

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

The article/rules were written by Michael Mitchell and the link to the original site is: