Saturday, October 31, 2009

Monkey Around

Here is a video we took of Gracie in her Monkey Suit! We wanted to get her to smile for a picture but she was protesting. I think maybe we needed to potty :-)

She was a good girl for us when we went to Alison's Halloween Party! She enjoyed watching all of the children that she thought were dressed very animals, super heros, sailors, ect.

Tonight we are going to Trick or Treat with Sydney Claire. She is a beautiful lamb.

On a side note...and I hope this doesn't jinx us...Gracie is sleeping through the night again! 6 nights in a row of 7 hours or more. YAY! The trick is putting her in bed awake. Sometimes she gets really angry with us and we go pick her up, sing some songs, and put her back down. I was surprised that I had the resolve to let her cry a little. She seems so much happier during the day because she is well-rested! What a difference it makes for her day as well as mine!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

War Tide! Roll Eagle! I'm confused....

Auburn gave me the best years of my life to date and for that I am grateful. There is no other town like Auburn. I appreciate better shoopping in TTown but I miss my AU restaurants...Amsterdam Cafe, Niffer's and Laredo's mostly.
With that being said, I can already tell that my best years will be here in Northport. We are profiting nicely off Alabama football....which makes us cheer VERY loudly for the #1 rated team. Imagine....we are the only FSU in the town with the #1 ranked college football team. That sells a bunch of chicken biscuits!
We got season tickets to the basketball and baseball games. I am so thrilled that Gracie can grow up enjoying the atmosphere surrounding a college town....just so long as that doesn't include any fraternity houses! We have already made good friends (not that I have managed my time well enough to be a good friend!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Secret to being a great parent....

The secret to being a great parent, is being a great spouse! I hope that I have lived up to this #1 rule of parenting over the past few months. I know that at first, Blake and I were not big fans of one another. I had WAY too much on my plate so he took a back seat. He had so much on his plate that he really needed a little TLC from me. It was an ugly cycle with both of us needing so much, but neither of us having anything left to give.
We are FINALLY ourselves again! Our store is sustaining without us being there 24/7 which is more than I hoped for at this point! What a great team we have there. Gracie is falling into a bit of a routine. We still have a little of the "all thumbs, no instincts" feelings from time to time.
The best way for me to really serve Gracie as a parent, is for her to witness how completely and absolutely in love with her father I am. It is important for her to see us have meaningful conversations, kiss one another, and serve one another with our actions.
  • UNITED FRONT- Blake and I have started having a united front as parents already. If we decide to let her cry it out, we both stand behind the decision. Making decisions together is something we are practicing now. We are very different individuals and we grew up in different homes, so many times our backgrounds conflict. There is give and take.
  • PRAY TOGETHER- I think it is important for Gracie to see her parents hold hands and pray together. I would love to start a bedtime ritual where we say our night night prayers as a family. Right now I read her a book titled Goodnight Prayer while I feed her.
  • MANAGING FINANCES- Blake and I NEVER argue about money. We really never have, even when things were super super tight. I am a born saver though so I think that helps. We agree on big purchases, and sometimes even small ones.
  • PLAY TOGETHER- Gracie needs to know that mommy and daddy have fun, and we need to cut loose sometimes. This may be going to watch a football game somewhere, getting on the boat, going for a walk, or taking a trip. We will be a family that plays together!
  • POSITIVE COMMUNICATION- Our conversations need to be uplifting and positive. It is easy to take your spouse for granted, but we should treat eachother with the good manners we would show others. I refuse to live in a negative home with a Debbie Downer. Leave that stinking thinking at the door! It isn't good for children.

When I was about 5 months pregnant I started to get really really nervous about how a baby would change our relationship. I remember laying in bed and praying to God that we would be as happy as we were at that moment. It is strange to think about how protective I became when I thought of a "stranger" coming into the home and rocking the boat. I was so afraid that the added stress would affect our amazing friendship. It definately threatened to. But watching Blake grow into an amazing father has given me a love for him that I didn't know was possible. I was certain that I loved him as much as one person could love another.

Disclaimer- Gracie was planned and prayed for and I was so thrilled every step of the pregnancy. She is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and my single greatest accomplishment.

CIO Bootcamp

This is a link to the blog "Chronicles of a Babywise mom." I have enjoyed reading it. I am still not totally convicted to try it out but this link is to the post "Cry it Out Bootcamp." My observations from Gracie so far are as follows:
  • If she cries it out, she sleeps through the night. 9-10 hours. My concern is that it is because she has exhausted herself. Or it might be that she knows she is in bed to sleep and does just that.
  • If she falls asleep in my arms and I put her down, she wakes at 2am. It doesn't seem to matter what time I put her to bed.
  • She sleeps better at night with PJs that have footies. Don;t ask me why, but this seems to be true.
  • She absolutely does not want to take an evening nap but is tired enough to need one. I believe it could be because she wants to hang out with me and Blake.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sit down, You're rocking the boat

We took a boat ride today! What awesome weather to enjoy after a short work day! The sky was completely clear, the air wasn't cool, or hot, or humid. IT was just PERFECT. Blake wanted to take Hayden, Brooke's son, fishing with him. Hayden is the most adorable thing and remembers everyone. He was so excited to come. Jason, Ashley and Sydney came along too! I think Sydney just enjoyed being with a cute boy. We have to watch out.

I remembered Hayden asking me several weeks ago if he could come over and see Gracie's nursery one day, and sure enough, the first thing he asked his mommy when he walked in was could he see the nursery. What a smart little 4 year old. Sydney was so interested in him and would rub his face and he was so sweet to both of them. He told Sydney that if she fell into the water, he would jump in and save her.

We didn't catch any fish, but we enjoyed being around each other. Gracie was well past naptime but couldn't sleep with all that activity. I was very glad that she didn't get cranky until we were on the way home. She would normally sleep really well on the boat.

Blake let Hayden and Sydney drive the boat. That was a trip. Hayden did not want to go to fast because he was afraid someone would fall out! Sydney on the other hand, jerked the wheel around and we almost got swamped! She got a little jealous of Uncle Blake letting Hayden sit in his lap.

When we were leaving, Hayden asked if he could come stay at our house. Then he said, "Can I sleep in Gracie's bed?" And Blake got all fatherly from the other side of the boat and hollared, "What did you just say son?" We all died laughing! It was too funny watching these kids who were all about 2 years apart. It;s amazing how much they grow in 2 years!
Gracie Sleep Update-
Last night she cried for 45 minutes and then slept from 9:15pm to 6:45am. That;s crazy!! Tonight we did our routine again and she fell asleep nursing. YAY! No crying!! I tried to burp her for about 10 minutes and got nothing! I am a little worried she will wake soon screaming! She absolutely will not burp if she is asleep.
I am trying to learn when the exact right moment is to swaddle her and put her down for naps. We seem to have about a 3 minute window that is between wide awake and getting cranky. I am just going to really study her and try to understand these sleep cues. We are trying to eliminate sleeping in the swing, which is one of the only ways Becky can get her to sleep. Even when I have her during the day, she just takes naps on my chest while I watch TV or read. Napping in her crib is very irritating to her! A Princess prefers to be catered to. I have decided to not cry it out during naptime just yet. I hate to think she is spending so much of her day crying!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blake's hidden talent

I thought I would blog for a moment on what a sweet husband and father Blake is. He likes to try to get Gracie to sleep...bless him! He knows it stresses me out! So tonight I really felt like she needed a good nap and he was laying on the couch with her on his chest singing to her. I say singing....but he has a special singing voice just for Gracie and she LOVES it! It is way too loud for me and I can't imagine it being peaceful or helpful going to sleep. But Gracie quiets down. Tonight he did a free-style reggae song. Let me see if I remember some of the words.
"Let's go afishin in the river. Let's go a fishin in the sea. Let's go afishing in the lakes. Who want to go a fishin with me?"
Then he sang a song asking Gracie to please go to sleep on her daddy. Some of it was sweet. Some of it was silly.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Self soothing>?

My miserable Friday night included me rocking, bouncing, swinging, walking, and nursing Gracie from 9:00 p.m. until midnight to get her to sleep. That's right...she will fight me to the death. I'll admit, she has an endurance that many a man would envy. I was beat. My body was sore from the combined bounce/sway/walk/pat her on the back manuever that seemed to pacify her. My throat was sore from the countless verses of "Hush little baby." And she was still going strong. Her lungs are great, meanwhile, I was puffing away on my inhaler. I'm telling you, this kid is made of some tough stuff. I think I have met my match.
How can someone so little invoke such fear in me? Anyways, after that little nightmare, I decided we needed a change. I am now trying the self-soothe method. This has been miserable for all of us, but I am hoping it will allow her to get better naps and better nighttime sleep.
Like I said earlier in this blog, she was sleeping through the night like a champ! Our real trouble was getting her to sleep. So last night we decided to put her on a routine and help her cry it out!
This is a controversial issue apparently, but I can only do what I think is best for Gracie.
We gave her a bath, read her a book, fed her, and then swaddled her and put her in her crib awake. The idea is to let her self-soothe and check on her every 10 mins.It took her an hour and 20 mins to finally go to sleep. I had decided that if she was still crying at an hour and a half I would just rock her to sleep again! This was the longest hour and 20 mins of my life! I really thought I was the worst mother ever during this process, however, my friend Summer had great success and we facebook messaged each other the whole time. She said it took her daughter 3 days and then she never cried when put down to sleep after that. That is my hope!
I just put Gracie down for a nap (her first nap was at church today) and it only took her about 15 minutes to fall asleep this time. YAY!!! She is used to being held all the time and is seriously protesting. I worry too much that she won't feel loved if I don't give her all of my attention but I feel certain that she knows she is a loved baby. When I got her up this morning, she was smiling and cooing. My what short memories babies have!
By the way, she slept 9 hours last night.

Friday, October 16, 2009

So long Robin Williams...hello fussy baby!

Last Christmas I got Blake tickets to see Robin Williams live at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The show was set for March, but Robin Williams had a heart valve replacement the week of the show. It was postponed to tonight! We were pretty excited about this show because Blake and I need a good laugh right now! Not to mention some alone time. Well, Blake has gone alone.

Gracie had been doing a great job sleeping 9-10 hours a night for the past 2-3 weeks until Tuesday night. The past 3 nights, she has woken up screaming at 11:00pm, 2am and 5 am. This is very unusual behavior, especially because her cry turns into a scream like she is in severe pain! Last night it got so bad that I thought she must have a tooth coming in, an ear infection or something.

The Dr. couldn't work me in until 3:45pm and we really needed to leave by 2pm for the show. Ashley and Jason were going to watch Gracie but had to take her with them to Birmingham to meet her parents at 4. Ashley graciously said she would postpone leaving until after the doctor. I think Becky had plans to leave at 4pm, but Ashley didn't want Sydney going to the doctor and catching anything. I knew I wouldn't have fun if I was worried the whole time. So I sent Blake on alone and I stayed behind. I think it was the right decision, but she isn't sick!

The doctor thinks it is something I ate this week...probably my homemade chili. I didn;t make it spicy, but it has beans and onions. I ate it Tuesday and THursday and Blake's spicy burgers on Wednesday. I'll admit that my stomach has been uneasy for days too.

So I have ultimately created my own hell.

We have so much going on at the store, and so much work to be done that I absolutely can not seem to finish it all by 5pm everyday. I am afraid that I am dropping the ball on things. I am running the minute I walk into work and leaving in a hurry before I am able to complete everything. I know that things will get easier, but for now I am doing all that I can. If only I could get out the door by 9 everyday....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 Months old!

I stayed home with Gracie today! What a blessing. We had a blast. She has got the cutest little personality. She tries so hard to talk to me and is starting to make a wet raspy noise. I felt so lucky to get to just enjoy her all day! We played with her octopus on her play mat alot because she loves his smile. Tummy time was attempted 3 times but always ended in tears. We walked, and coo-ed, and I gave her a full body massage. We took pictures with her cow too. She is a little over 3 months now...about 3.5. If we could just get her to fall asleep easier we would be in business. She just fights it with all her might. I have a feeling I was the same way. We don't want to miss anything. Her daddy thinks he heard her laugh today. She sure is getting close to it. Right now the most I get is a squeal.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gracie Milestones:

  • Has slept through the night 9 out of the last 10 nights! The longest run was 10 hours! Last night she slept 9 hours, but I failed as a mother. I woke up at 7am and looked at our video monitor to see if she was stirring....and it was dead! There is no way to hear her in our room without a monitor. I was mortified. This is only her 2nd night to sleep in her room for that exact reason...fear I won't know when she needs me! She was still in the same spot in the crib so I don't think she woke up and needed me...I hope!
  • Holds herself up on her elbows when on her tummy...and is tolerant of tummy time now!
  • Plays forever on her play gym and loves to grasp the octopus and coo at it.
  • Tries to laugh but it comes out as an audible gasp.
  • Went to her first bike race and had a blast! She loved being outside with all that activity. She did, however, make a stinky that reached between her sholder blades during the race. It took a pack of wipes, 3 diapers, and a towel to clean up! Boy was she happy after!
  • Went to Hooter's to watch the Auburn game last night....we figured it is a safe place to wear orange here. She loved all the attention! And the abundence of milk options I guess.
  • Bath time is no longer a chore! She loves it best when daddy bathes her.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Beach!

Gracie enjoyed her first beach trip! This is a picture of her putting her feet in the sand for the first time. I have a feeling she will be like her mama when it comes to hanging on the sand please! I prefer to hang out on a towel or in a chair. She even got some lovely naps.

On our way down to Gulf Shores, we typed our condo on "Fort Morgan Road" into our GPS. Having never gone to the beach from Tuscaloosa, we didn't bat an eyelash at going through Mississippi to Mobile. We blindly followed the GPS until the next direction was "Board the Ferry." The WHAT?!?!?! Thank goodness the ferry was still open when we arrived! We had to wait an hour, but we got some yummy icecream and sat by the bay.

You might wonder, how did Blake and Ashley enjoy the vacation? Well, Blake spent the entire time with my dad fishing! One night...they didn't get in until after 4am! Here is the fish they caught that night. Blake caught 2 sharks, blue fish, spanish mackrel, red fish, and 2 sting rays over the course of a week. These were caught from the pier.

Jason, Ashley and Sydney came Wednesday night, and we saw Sydney enjoy the beach and sand for the first time. She was nuts about it! I have never seen a child bolt towards the ocean, fall in and get up sputtering and laughing like she did! I love her attitude!