Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas in Chattanooga

Wow, I haven't posted anything in over a week!  I don't know where this past week has gone.  I can't believe its almost Friday already.  We have been in 3 different states in the past week, whew!

We headed up to Chattanooga last Thursday to spend some time with Chris' family and celebrate Christmas with them.   It was a fun full house!  Catrina, JP, and Caylee have been staying with Chris' parents for a few months while they look for a house.  So needless to say Mamo was thrilled to have "all her kids" under one roof.  We celebrated Papo's birthday with some finger lickin' fried chicken Thursday evening and Friday evening we celebrated Christmas.  

Head Bump

Look at my fun socks from Mama Gigi

I'm all ready for Christmas

Look at all my new toys.  Mamo and Papo Claus are spoiling me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Losing my Marbles

I don't know what it is- probably a combination of the holidays, traveling so much, and the baby, but really I think I'm starting to lose it!  I feel like I'm running around in circles and not getting anything done.  Why does everything with a baby take four times as long as I think it should?  And why can I not think straight to get things done?  Let me give you some of my brightest moments from the past several weeks:
I have managed to attend a birthday party without a gift (who does this?!?).  I lost a Starbucks gift card for a gift card exchange dinner with friends from work (I went without and didn't participate because of course it was right before I left that I couldn't find it. And for the record I had only bought it a few hours earlier and it still has not turned up.  I think it must have went to the dry cleaners with the dress I dropped off there.  I hope my little Asian friend likes coffee.  She is very sweet, maybe she thought it was Christmas gift for her.)  I was pretty proud of myself because I did purchase and bring a present to the wedding shower we attended (applause please), but I totally forgot a card or even a marker to write our names on the package.  Whoops.  I have left the house multiple times with no diaper bag or bottle for the baby- they have resulted in a couple premature trips back home.  (Luckily I have not left the baby anywhere yet)  Oh and work.  I have worked full time hours this past week.  Whose genius idea was that?  Saturday night at work after pumping I was cleaning the pump parts in the microwave of the beverage area on the unit when I got distracted.  Yeah.  Luckily it was my charge nurse (who was going to heat up her "lunch" a couple hours later) who found it and figured they were mine.  Awesome.  At least a patient's husband didn't find them.  And if he did, he apparently just left them there.  Then Sunday morning when I got home I realized I left part of my pump at work.  Yes, it was on the floor in room 312.  Luckily it was still empty- but not for lack of patients.  I swear every pregnant woman in the metro Atlanta area has decided that they need to have their baby and be home before Christmas.  I digress.

So... its Christmas which among many things means its time to send out Christmas cards.  Well as many pictures as I have of Phoebe we really did not have a family picture suitable for a Christmas card and it was too last minute for me to think of anything else creative.  I almost did not send out Christmas cards, but thankfully one of Chris' students, Taylor, (a photography major) had offered to take some pictures for us.  We took her up on the offer, and she really did a great job!  I don't love our actual Christmas cards (the picture is great!) but if we wanted to get the cards out before Christmas our options were limited.  This is what happens when you decide to send out Christmas cards the weekend before Christmas...

Check out some of the pictures Taylor shot-

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Which is a good thing since its less than a week away!  We finally got our Christmas decorations up last weekend.  Between being in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, Phoebe and I traveling to DE, Chris being in Dallas for a week, and then traveling to Chattanooga for a weekend, we really had not been home together long enough to get the tree up and the decorations out of the attic.

We always had a real Christmas tree growing up.  Picking out the perfect Christmas tree was an event.  We would always go in November to the Christmas tree farm to tag our tree.  We would look through rows and rows of trees to find the perfect one.  We would tag it and then GO BACK to the tree farm in December to cut it down and bring it home.  Then after college I always bought a real tree, so I was a bit of a snob about having a real tree.  But when Chris and I got married our landlord had left an artificial tree in the basement and told us we could use it.  That first year we were married it was very busy around Christmas and we were out of town a lot (sort of like this year) so we opted for the artificial tree because we wouldn't have to worry about it dying without water while we were out of town.  And you know what, I LOVED it!  Really, I don't like most artificial trees, but this is a great one!  Its big and full/fat (one of my favorite traits about a Christmas tree).  And of course the pre-lit options is pretty sweet as well.  I must admit, I'm a convert.  We're planning on soliciting our landlord to take this tree with us when we move!

When Chris and I got married, well really before we were married, we started collecting nativity sets.  We both love them and thought it would be a fun way to remember different trips or special occasions.  

Chris gave me this one for Christmas a week before he proposed

 We bought this one in CO our first Christmas together.  It is one of our favorites.  Its made out of nails and baby Jesus is a small crown.

When we first were married some friends gave us the Holy Family of this Fontanini set and we have collected more pieces over the past three years.

 We bought this one in Kenya last summer.  It's made from Ebony wood.

 This one also came from Kenya- made from banana leaves.  We were laughing at this one the other day because there is no Mary and Joseph!  I'm not sure if we lost them or we just didn't notice this last year or when we bought it...  Surely we lost them.

Chris got this one is Israel- made from Olive Wood.

This one is fun because the candle light shines through.

Don't make fun of my stockings....  I was saying earlier this year that I wanted to find nice matching stockings for us all, but obviously didn't happen.  Our first Christmas (that was so busy) I found cheap old stockings from a college project and glitter paint, so I made us stockings to get through that first year. ...apparently I haven't bought new ones yet.  I had that third one in a box from something so it went up as Phoebe's- she won't know the difference.  Hopefully next year I'll have some more attractive stockings.

Christmas Cards

Oh and the cowboy tree.  I hate the cowboy tree.  Really.  But Chris loves the cowboy tree.  So what goes up in our house every year?  The cowboy tree.  It is Christmas cowboys with Christmas cacti, and because it is behind the sink I see it whenever I am washing dishes...

And of course the poinsettia.  Love poinsettias.  We get at least one every year and most years I manage to kill them before Christmas...

Last night we even wrapped some presents!  We are feeling pretty accomplished right now.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

4 Months

Well, almost four and a half months now.  We still aren't sure who she looks like.  The past few weeks most people have been telling us she looks more like her daddy- although she definitely has a Leck chin. This past month 3-4 has probably been my favorite so far because she's getting to be more interactive and starting to play with things a little bit.  She has started gnawing on everything she can get in the general vicinity of her mouth and drooling a lot.  And she blows raspberries ALL the time!  I love it!

We really think she is going to be left-handed.  She has always been more active reaching and batting with her left hand, and now she primarily grabs and holds things with her left hand.

19 Week Stats from the doctor yesterday:
11lbs 6oz 10th percentile (She was in the 25th percentile at 2 months)
23.5in 25th percentile (She was in the 50th percentile at 2 months)

I was a little bummed that she's still so small.  I was hoping she would be 12 lbs and maintain her weight in the 25th percentile to stay on that curve.  But no.  The doctor says she's healthy and strong and doing everything she should be doing- she's just petite.  We just started putting her in some 6 months clothes a few days ago, but she still fits into most of her 3 month clothes just fine.

Phoebe still sleeps great at night going to bed at 8:30pm and waking up around 8am (between 7:30 and 8:30).  Her naps still are not regular, but I think that is more my fault than anything.  When I have stayed home with her during the day she will take a morning nap and an afternoon nap anywhere between an hour and two hours and then 2 short cat naps.  But the majority of time she's out with me during all or part of a nap time.  We still swaddle her at night to sleep.  How long are you supposed to do this?  She sleeps so well in the swaddle I'm afraid to stop...

I am still pumping to feed her as much as I can.  The beginning of her third month I was keeping up pretty good, but now that she's taking more and I'm not waking up in the middle of the night to pump anymore, I just can't keep up.  Because I could not get her to eat more I had decided to try to increase the protein in my diet to see if I could increase the quality of my milk for her.  So for the past month I've been eating a high(er) protein diet and drinking protein shakes...  I honestly can't tell if it has made a difference or not.

She eats a good five ounces at each feeding, which is every 3 hours (5 times per day).  She won't go much longer than 3 1/2 hours without eating during the day.  I wish I could make her eat more to gain weight, but I can't.  My original plan was to wait till six months to introduce solid foods. Yesterday, the doctor said that she really doesn't need solids until six months; however, if I wanted to start giving her solids now that would be fine- my choice.  So I think we are going to start with the rice cereal in a few days and go from there.  I figure the more calories the better...

Cloth.  Nothing new and exciting here except I only have to wash every other day now because she fits into all the diapers now.  And someone had asked me about how much it costs me to do the extra laundry.  Its hard to say for sure, but looking at trends in our water bill over the last year compared to the last 3 months, I would say we spend about $7-10 more a month on our water bill with the extra washes.  Now part of that is just the extra laundry I'm doing with baby clothes too, but its a rough estimate.  And I honestly have no idea how to figure out how much more its costing with the dryer.

Well I had really thought that she would have rolled over by now.  Several weeks ago she was so close! But then she stopped trying.  The doctor said not to worry she would probably roll over in the next month.  Although I will say that a couple days ago Chris left her on the guest bed on her back while he ran into her changing room (the closet) to get something and when he came back out she was on her belly...  Not sure how she did that, but its the only time and no one saw her so that must have been some sort of miracle.


4 months

Monday, December 12, 2011

My First Sewing Project!!

Ok, I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of myself.  Yes, of myself.  I completed my first sewing project!  I think I mentioned before how I've had a sewing machine since last Christmas and have been wanting to learn to sew for awhile, but just never "found the time" or (let's be honest) made the time to actually do it.  A couple months ago I gave myself a deadline and decided to go for it.  I signed myself up for a beginner sewing class and found a project to complete.

The sewing class was 100% necessary.  Those of you who sew will get a kick out of this.  I took the machine out a couple times and started to read the instructions to try to teach myself.  I spent hours, I mean HOURS, trying to understand the instructions just to thread the sewing machine and wind the bobbin.  Then after probably a combined total of five hours on two different occasions, I got out some scrap fabric to try to make a stitch.  Well I sat there and tried and tried and got so frustrated because I couldn't figure out why my needle was going up and down but not ever making a stitch!  Silly me didn't realize I actually had to do something with that bobbin I made...  Yes, I was trying to sew a stitch with a single top thread and it did not work out very well for me.  Needless to saw a beginner sewing class at JoAnn's was well worth the $17.50.  I should have just gone there from the beginning and saved myself a lot of time and frustration.

As a baby gift, Leah had given me some adorable homemade burp cloths!  We love them!  They are very thick and soft.  Since they are thick and absorbent, they supposedly work great for spit-up as well because it does not soak through the burp cloth onto your clothes.  Thankfully, we never got to test that one out.  Leah promised they were easy to make and somewhere along the line I had thought they would make a good first first project.  So when a good friend from DE was having a baby shower, I set set a deadline and went for it.  And she wasn't lying, they were pretty easy (once I figured out how to use the sewing machine).

Check out the final result:
(Sorry I had forgotten to take any pictures until it was almost too late so these are a few desperate last minute shots that didn't turn out great...)

Here's a link to the tutorial if you'd like to give them a whirl.

I feel very accomplished and am excited to take on project #2.  A big THANK YOU to Leah and her friend Sara (who first made the burp cloths and introduced Leah to the pattern) for helping me complete my first sewing project!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RUF Christmas Party

Every year we have a RUF tacky Christmas sweater party.  This year the students did a great job getting into costume.  Phoebe joined in too with a velour collared onesie and large red bow.  We found her outfit at a used children's clothing store.

Look at the presents on my bottom :)

Family picture with our wonderful intern, Aubra.
We love her

Last year we had a boys vs. girls gingerbread house contest.  Unfortunately the boy's house was in pieces, so they had a disadvantage from the beginning.  This year they faired much better, and won!  They thought their prize should be exclusive "holding" rights on Phoebe.  The girls didn't like that deal very much...

Girls' house.  I'm not sure if that is Santa trying to get down the chimney??

Boys' house

Oh to be back in college again...

It was a fun way to wrap up the semester. Now the students are finishing finals and we're on winter break for a month!  There are some pretty big perks to the college schedule :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


A couple weeks ago we flew to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving.  It was Phoebe's first plane ride and she did great!  We got upgraded to first class (woo-who) so now Phoebe probably thinks her parents are high rollers...but she's wrong.  I will say the extra leg room, exceptionally quick drink service, and complimentary alcohol were all nice perks.

For this trip we took her stroller and car seat through security and gate checked them.  It worked alright, but it was a bit of a hassle getting everything through the security sensor.  Next time when I'm flying by myself I will probably curb check the car seat and carry her through the airport in the Bjorn because I couldn't manuver everything through security with only 2 hands.

Sleeping in first class.  Now that's the life

I was a little nervous about how she would handle the time change and different enviroment, but she did great!  I probably didn't sleep as well with her in the same room next to my bed, but she slept just fine. We borrowed a pack and play and play mat from my cousins' in Oklahoma, which was a HUGE help!

Thanksgiving day was a fun family reunion.  After running the Turkey Trot we all met at the Biltmore Hotel for Thanksgiving lunch.  There were 25 of us I believe.  I wish we had gotten a family picture, but it didn't happen.  It was fun to see aunts, uncles, and cousins and to introduce Phoebe to everyone.

Phoebe and cousin Liz hanging out in the lobby of our hotel after Thanksgiving lunch

Phoebe and Mason playing together

Phoebe and Aunt Marsha
Yes, she is wearing John Deere boots.  Love them!

Speaking of John Deere, what would a trip to Oklahoma be without some time on the farm.  We didn't stay on the farm this year so we didn't spend as much time out there as we have in the past, but we went out there a couple days.

First we saw Uncle Richard and Aunt Gays' pet donkey, Clementine.  Yes, you read that correctly- pet donkey.  Bet you don't have one of those.  They actually have a second pet donkey AND a pet long-horn that stays in their backyard.

Clementine holds her own against the cattle and makes sure they don't take any of her food

Feeding the cattle

Next we visited Uncle Danny who was out harvesting cotton.

We stayed next to the baseball stadium in OKC.  Apparently in the off-season they build a snow slide in the stadium.  So they were out there with a snow machine making snow for this slide.  By the time we left on the Monday after Thanksgiving they had it up and running and we could watch people sledding down from the hotel parking garage.  Hilarious.

We had a great time in Oklahoma visiting family and Phoebe is now an expert traveler :)