12/31/12

New Year, New Firsts, New Info

So here it is, New Year’s Eve 2012. Can you believe tomorrow will mark the start of 2013!?!? A big deal considering the Mayan calendar has ended completely (well, the original one anyway). Yes, I did have a fear that it meant something… I know, I’m silly. I took off work just in case. Hahaha.
So, as I look back at the last year, the only thing I see, of course, is Emma. No, I still cannot believe I had her. I.Had.A.Baby. Crazy! Best thing that I ever did.
Anyway, this post isn’t really about the year in a recap – mainly because if it was it would consist of a big blank spot for January 1 through July 11, and then it would begin on July 12th starting with this:

My sweet baby girl.
I must go on… this post is for Emma’s recent firsts.
 I’m not nostalgic. I’m bad about remembering to fill in the blanks of Emma’s baby book. Heck, I even forget her little book of shots and stuff when we go to her doctor’s office. I need to get better at all of that. I’m going to blame it on the fact that I spend all of my time loving her that I just don’t have the time for anything else. J
So, here goes:
-          Emma’s first Christmas consisted of playing for over an hour with all of her new toys. She got a baby basketball hoop that teaches numbers 1-5, a push cart (or pull wagon for later years) that does all kinds of fun stuff, a little tv remote control that makes tons of noises, a frog that you pull on a string, one of those things at the doctor’s office that you push a wooden bauble down a metal loopy thing (omg, really?!?), a hammer peg set… okay, due to my headache and lack of sleep last night I can’t remember the rest. After play time we went and opened gifts at my Parents’ house, where Emma got more toys, then a trip to my Aunt’s house for family Christmas time, and then it was back home to play some more. Needless to say that Emma was wore out and slept all night (unlike last night, to throw that out there).
 -          Going backwards, Christmas Eve, Emma met Santa (who was a dear friend Tony Lococo) and his elves. As most of you already know, we don’t “do” Santa. It was the annual Lococo Christmas Party and all of the kiddos were gathering around Santa, and my Mom felt the need to include Emma. She even sat on his lap and tugged at his beard. Seeing her enjoy this time made me devise a plan of action for Santa that I think might allow her to enjoy the merriment without hindering the reason for the season. I plan on explaining to her that Santa is a fictional character from the get-go. He is a key figure in the Christmas season for media and economic purposes (like Valentine’s Day). He is fun, and we can take part in the fun, as long as we understand that he is not real and Jesus is. When it gets closer I can iron out more details and actually have a specific plan, but for now, that’s the gist. Getting her to not tell all the other kids will be the hardest part I think.

-          Christmas night Emma sat on her own. Not the leaning-forward-pushing-out-vomit sitting up like she had done before, but the sitting-straight-up-playing-with-toys kind of sitting up. It was so magical! It lasted for about 5 minutes, and then she fell to her side (I caught her of course). She sits all the time now, but with Momma’s legs to the side of her in case she goes either way. Only one time did she topple forward onto her face… my bad. She has always been so independent that it doesn’t surprise me that she insists on sitting on her own. She’s even walked across the room while holding onto our fingers before, but it was very wobbly so I don’t count it as the real thing.
-          Emma got her first cold this month. The first day was December 17th. I asked Gene if he wanted to take her in to see the doctor on the 18th and he said that she seemed better so we didn’t. Well, the night of the 18th was a rough one! She couldn’t breathe. I ended up sleeping on the couch with her so that she could be reclined to breathe. I called the doctor the next morning and they said that there was no reason to bring her in if it was just a cold (which I knew that much), and their suggestion was this: Nose sucker for snot, q-tips to get boogies, humidifier NEXT to bed at night and saline drops/spray (fyi- we use a holistic doctor… meaning no meds unless absolutely necessary, so no Vicks). Well, Emma didn’t seem to like any of it except the humidifier, which I don’t even think it helped. On day 9 of her cold I called again and they said the same thing. They said that if she went past 14 days that we need to bring her in. Well low and behold day 14 was her last! She still sneezes and coughs off and on, but stuffy and runny nose is gone! Oh, did I mention that I caught her cold too? I was able to shake mine at 11 days. My first cold in YEARS! And let me tell you, catching a cold from a baby is the worst cold to catch! They seem to last forever.
-          Emma will have her first tooth at any moment! On Christmas morning we woke to a little tooth corner sticking through Em’s gums. By the next day it was gone because her gums swelled up from her teeth pushing through, but there’s now a nasty looking spot where it’s going to push through any second. I tried to take a picture, but in the photo it just looks like normal gums. Weird. She seems to be handling it all pretty well too! She gnaws on everything right now, and drools a lot! Occasionally she will bite down and it will hurt a bit so she makes a face like she ate a bug or something. Lol. And the stuff that she likes to chew on is nothing that was made for chewing on. Lol. So much for teething rings and keys. Maybe those come into play later.
-          Emma’s first party was a Christmas party on the 22nd with quite a few people on my Dad’s side of the family. We met at Helen Fitzgerald’s in South County for dinner and then did a “rob your neighbor” type game and had fun afterwards. Emma got passed around like crazy. She slept good that night. J
-          Emma’s first cake icing was on Christmas morning. As usual we did the birthday cake for Jesus. Well my Dad, being the nutcase he is, says we all have to eat some since it’s Jesus’ cake and it therefore is a blessing to eat it. Then he says Emma has to have some. I was not for that at all! I gave in though and gave her the teeniest, tiniest bit of icing. She probably couldn’t even taste it. But, it pleased my Dad. *He just goes nuts with things. He didn’t want her to sit on Santa’s lap because then she wouldn’t be a blessed baby. Ugh. I get annoyed with all of that crap. I better not get started though. I’m sure that Emma will love Jesus (and God of course) just as much as her Momma does. I hope she confides in them growing up just as I did, and still do.
-          Lastly, Emma’s first boo-boo came on December 30th. She was playing in her jumperoo. She had some close calls before with it, but we raised it up a bit so she wasn’t able to lean over as far anymore. Well, I had put her in there and she started playing away. I went and made hot chocolate, sat down to take my first sip, and then a horrible scream started. I ran over right away knowing what happened and picked her up but I couldn’t see where she was hurt. I tried to check her eyes but she was just crying and crying. I held her and kissed her and kept looking her over, but nothing, and she wouldn’t calm down. After what felt like an hour (probably one minute in reality) the scream went to just a cry and her face wasn’t so red anymore. Once the flush started to fade I saw this spot right next to her left eye. It was quickly swelling. I gave that spot tons of kisses and grabbed her frozen teething keys to put ice on it. After about 5 whole minutes I got her to take the binky. Then she laid in my arms for almost ten minutes breathing heavy and staring into the distance. She was traumatized! I cried. My poor baby girl got hurt. Her Daddy came home and I told him what happened. He gave her some kisses and then took her to eat dinner in the kitchen (I was scarred a bit from the whole thing I think). She sat in her chair and babbled on and on and on to him. I think she was telling him what happened. It wasn’t like her normal talk either… it was like traumatized talk. The knot next to her eye was still there this morning. L I hope that is the worst injury she will ever have because even something so small is heart-breaking.
I’m sure I’m missing lots of firsts. Like her first glitter in the eye, rolling back to belly, and first boogie sucked, lol.
So, this January 12th makes a 6 month old Emma. She will have her next check-up and round of shots on the 14th. Yes, we are doing shots. Having a holistic doctor does not mean that they don’t care about vaccinations.
I can’t remember if I’ve discussed vaccinations on here before. Gene and I don’t have serious conversations much. We give our opinions on things and then argue our side if they don’t match. We never have an educated debate about anything. It works for us as we think alike. When it came to vaccinations we both agreed to get Emma her shots.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the whole shots thing terrifies me. Gene has never raised any concerns with it, but this whole autism thing creeps me out… not autism itself, but how a shot could be the culprit. I’ve read tons of articles that argue both sides, and honestly, they both seem correct! I mean, there is science proving both! Go figure. Then I read something from Benjamin Franklin…
In 1736, I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox…I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it, my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.

So, from that moment on I decided that if I didn’t get her vaccinated, and something did happen, I would never forgive myself. So, I’m choosing the path that was recommended to me by her doctor. I find him to be a very wise man, and he works side-by-side with my pediatrician who I saw from birth to 18. I am putting my trust in them.

Dr. Murphy did explain to me that while there is no smallpox right now, it doesn’t mean it will not return. Fewer and fewer people get vaccinated each year. Once the amount vaccinated gets lower than 80% we are at a higher risk of putting a disease out there in full force.
On that note though, Gene and I don’t get flu shots and might not ever allow Emma to get them. I guess it’s contradicting, huh? We have mixed emotions about flu shots. We might change our tunes though once we get the flu. L

Have you seen the movie Contagion? If you haven’t, add it to your rental list!

Okay, that’s all I have for now. Until another day. J

Jenni











12/17/12

Five Whole Months

(This post was started on the 12th but wasn’t finished until now.)
Five months ago today I was handed an itty bitty baby girl. The most gorgeous sight my eyes had ever seen. I held her tight and stared at her for what seemed like hours and then once everyone left the room (I barely noticed they were there) I began to nurse her. In the successful attempt at nursing (but failed attempt at producing milk), in that 20 minute time, I fell in love. I was able to give my little girl what she needed (at least I thought I was). She was relieved to have me to help her along.
Each month that goes by, I replay the entire experience through my head. Each time I cry. Why God chose me to have such a wonderful blessing I have no idea. I probably don’t deserve such a gift, but I thank him every day, that he picked me.
While that day feels like a year ago, it was just 5 months. I’ve only been a Mom for 5 months! I’ve learned Emma’s cries and whines. I know when she’s tired, or hungry, or hurt. I analyze her dirty diapers. I can sense when she’s going to give me a hard time, or when to keep her focused on something other than being put into the car seat. In 5 months, I’ve learned all of that and then some. I didn’t realize that before I typed this, and now I’m amazed. Haha.
We still have bumps in the road every now and then. She will cry for no reason at all and we just have to let her. If it’s not that she’s tired, hungry or dirty, and she’s showing no signs of teething aches, or upset tummy, then what is it? Your guess is as good as mine. When that happens we bounce her around the room and try to get her mind off of whatever is bothering her. After her first 3 months of nothing but screams (every 30 minutes!), we’ve got this part down. Another thing that calms her down when the reason for crying is unknown, is sitting in front of the front door. We put her in her bumbo seat and let her stare outside. One day she was content for almost an hour.
Shopping is a joy for her. We will go to Schnucks or Target and she loves to look around. We are trying to take her out of her car seat more because she gets annoyed with sitting in it for so long. So Gene will hold her while roaming the store, or Gene will “wear” her in the little carrier thing on his chest. I like this option better because Gene would have to fall in order for her to fall. When he’s just carrying her I always worry that he will trip and drop her. *FYI, women really do fawn over a man with a baby (especially a baby girl). Gene isn’t allowed to go out too much with her, without me. J
She still hates to roll. Since her first official roll, she’s gone belly to back 3 times and back to belly once. I worry that she’s having development issues, but since it has been done I’m praying that it’s simply the fact that she doesn’t want to.
Her sleeping is the same (for the most part). We start bedtime at 7:30 on bath nights and 8 on the others (bath is every other night). She gets her bottle, with an extra ounce in it, at 8pm. Half way through her eyes close, she finishes her bottle, I pat her lips dry, she turns her head to the left and off to Dreamland she goes. After about 10 minutes, when she’s in a deeper sleep I pick her up off my lap (we don’t hold her, she just lays across my lap with her head on the couch arm), I lay her in bed, roll her to her belly and after she gets situated she’s back asleep. She sleeps with a thick blanket. I know she’s not supposed to have a blanket, but she wont stay asleep without it.
When we first stopped the swaddle, she slept in her pjs. I think they are called “Sleep n’ Plays.” They were all fleece at the time so I thought that was good enough. She’d wake up like every 2 hours. I was miserable. After three nights I called my Mom and asked her how she got Em to sleep without be swaddled, with only one wake-up. She said on her belly with a blanket. That’s it. Well I explained to her that blankets are a big no-no. She said that was ridiculous. After just one more sleepless night I gave in. I had bought this thick blanket before she was born that I had intended more for decoration but it’s the exact same width as her crib so I thought I’d try it. Sure enough, she slept through the night and then some; 8:30pm until almost 7am. I had to wake her up to get her going to my parents’ house. I’m still doing the blanket and we have minimal wake-ups. I put it up to her underarms when she’s first put in bed, and when I get up in the morning she has moved to the top of the crib but the blanket didn’t move an inch. I love it! Until the blanket starts making its way up towards her face I am going to stick with it. J I’m telling you, our Moms know it all!
Her hand-eye coordination is getting much better. She can grab her bottle and get it in her mouth (although most of the time it ends up in her nose). Everything she can get her hands on ends up in her mouth. She tries to grab her spoon, but I don’t let her, and she’s tried to get scissors and things that would potentially be dangerous to her that I didn’t realize had to be stashed in a hiding spot yet.
She also can hold onto toys longer. Meaning that when she throws her arms around while holding her toy car, she doesn’t lose it, and instead smacks herself in the head with it. Poor baby. It’s a delayed reaction too. Smack. Blank stare. Realization of how it hurts. Pouty lip. Screams. She had a red mark on her forehead for much of Sunday. Then Sunday night the cloud on her jumperoo flung back and smacked her in the face, next to her eye. Her Daddy was there to pick her up as soon as it happened and comfort her before the screams started in.
Speaking of Daddy, he’s getting to be so good with her. He still can’t realize that when he’s alone with her, every second of the day needs to be “for her.” So what happens is that when she’s playing, he’s playing. When she’s done playing, he’s not. So she is forced to cry for longer than it would ever happen with me. I know it doesn’t hurt her to cry, but she’s my baby and I hate it when she does. I lecture him constantly on how he can’t do that, but I know it still happens. It’s in one ear and out the other. However, I can already see that Daddy/Daughter bond. I’m not sure if it’s because of the fact that out of everyone close to her she sees me the least, or if it’s just because he’s “Daddy.” Yes, it hurts my feelings. But, his were hurt for so long that I’m okay with my feelings getting hurt every once in a while. She still loves me. J I still think her Grandma is her favorite (just like Okie).
Speaking of Okie, Emma pets her now. It’s so cute. She’s super gentle (for now) and doesn’t pull hair. She pulls my hair, but that’s beside the point. Okie though cannot stop from licking Emma. Em will try to pet but Okie will lick her hands, which we don’t want. So it’s a constant battle. If we let Okie lick her hand though, Em will laugh and laugh and laugh. Super cute.
It’s sad to think that my baby girl is growing up. I keep saying that I want her to crawl, and walk and talk, but now I think I just want her to do that at the size and age she is now. Haha.
I still cannot believe I have her. I say that to Gene every day. I’m sure he’s annoyed with me saying that all the time, but it’s so true. I’m in awe. I never thought I’d have a child, let alone an awesome one. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us. J
Jenni









I wasn’t going to post a single thing about the Newtown shootings. I have a hard time getting the entire incident out of my mind so I wasn’t going to encourage my thoughts by putting them in a blog. However, I have to.
Where I go from here is simply my thoughts. Do not get mad at me for putting my thoughts into words into a blog because it is MY blog with MY thoughts.
I’m not going to say anything bad about Adam Lanza. He was sick in a way that most of us cannot fathom. I’m not going to say anything bad about his mother. She knew that he was sick but encouraged him to find new ways to control his sickness (like any parent would do), and she tried to curb her sadness of her family problems with things that made her happy; like target practice.
I can almost guarantee you that Adam’s mother did not know that he would do something like this. Just like while he may have said hurtful and damaging remarks to her, she probably did not think he would shoot her in the head (may she rest in peace).
Where he got his bulletproof vest I have no idea (didn’t even know normal people could buy them actually), where he got the idea to take out his anger on babies I don’t know either. Yes, those children were babies. They were still the tiny newborn babies just born 6 or 7 years ago in their parents’ eyes.
As soon as I heard, I was devastated, depressed, sick to my stomach… everything but mad. I take that back. I was kind of mad that God let it happen (not at God, but that it was allowed to happen). But, as soon as the thought went in, and I repeated it numerous times, it went away just as quickly as it had come.
Life is a series of tests. Hard, awful, strenuous, faith-shaking tests. My heart breaks for those parents. I wonder if I were in their shoes, would I lose my faith? Literally. I hope and pray to God that I will never be tested like that. If I were one of those teachers, would I have dismissed my life to be a hero for those children? Another test I hope to not encounter. And as I’m typing this I hope that my questions do not put me into a forced test somehow. Yes, I think that way.
God loves us. To him, dying is not bad. It may hurt us to lose a loved one, but to him it is just the beginning passage to heaven (or the other direction I suppose). I think that what hurts us the most is to never see the person, or people, that you love again (well, until it is our time).
Even though I do believe that Adam will not make it into Heaven for his actions and his suicide (if it really was as such), I hope that he found the peace that he needed. I’m doubtful that he has, of course, but I still hope for it because he must have been seriously hurting to do such an awful, unforgivable act.
I pray for those children. I’m sure that in Heaven there is no sadness, so they will not weep for their parents whose whole lives were crushed. I’m actually pretty sure they don’t need praying for because they are in a much better place than we are, but I will pray for them anyway.
I pray for Adam’s mother who I’m sure, if she weren’t content in Heaven would be heavy-hearted at what she allowed her son to do (although I don’t think it is her fault at all).
And because they have the worst of it all, I pray most for those parents. I can’t even get this out because I don’t want to break down again. But, if you are a new Mom or Dad, or a veteran one, I’m sure you know the thoughts I have.
And because I can, I am going to add a prayer tonight. That all parents out there will never have to go through the heartache that the Newtown parents are going through.
As for a solution, I don’t have one. What I would like to see is more officers at the schools. Possibly a locked gun cabinet with extremely limited access by only those who have gone through psych evaluation. I understand that adding guns is not a real solution, but until we can remove guns (nearly impossible), I don’t see harm with the “right” people having access to defend our children. But, I’m no politician or lawmaker, I cannot foresee the future, I am probably too naïve to even voice an opinion. But, like it said, it’s MY thoughts and MY blog. I hope I did not discourage you from reading future posts.

11/30/12

Thankful

So, here it is, the end of November. Most people use this month to list everything they are thankful for, usually one day at a time. I am not one of those people. Never have been really. However, I would like to throw it all out there now.
** I will be listing out certain people, so please so not take offense if you are not listed; it does not mean that I do not care for you deeply… I am simply just putting out there certain things that stand out to me.
-          I am thankful most for family. My husband Gene is better to me than I could ever hope for or even deserve. My daughter Emma, who is the whole purpose for living (I truly feel that I was put here to bring her into the world). My parents who were, and still are, the best parents. Gene’s parents who were taken from us too soon. I hate that they didn’t get to meet Emma. Okie, my dog, who brought Gene and I closer than we could have imagined surprisingly. My 200+ Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. … it’s always a joy to see them (especially the regulars on poker night).
-          I am thankful for mine and Gene’s jobs. I know that we haven’t been happy with them lately, but life would be much harder without both incomes coming in.
-          A roof over our heads, cars to get us back and forth to where ever we need to go, food in the fridge, tv to watch… all of the things out there that we do need, don’t need but want, and even the stuff we don’t want or need but somehow still have.
-          My friends Holli and Jessica. I can usually count on one of them to be there when needed. Maybe not both at once, but someone will always be there to support me if I need them.
-          Gene’s friend Ben. I’ve grown to call him my friend as well. We aren’t as close as him and Gene of course, but it’s nice to know that if I ever need a guy friend to help, he would be there.
-          Brenda H. She keeps me sane at work. We don’t work in the same department, but we still make the time to chit-chat or help each other out as needed. She’s one of those co-workers that you wish will be at whatever job you have now and the one you’ll have ten years from now.
-          The “Twitter” girls. I have become closer with Megan, Alyssa and Angie, but all of them are great. I use their advice and experiences as a daily tool for coping with first-time-mommy-issues. To be honest, if I didn’t find them before I had Emma, I… I don’t even know what would have happened. It’s like I can’t get through a day without them tweeting. Yes girls, it’s hell when you’re MIA for a day.
-          My health. No, I am not the healthiest. I’ve had 6 surgeries, lots of scares, too many infections to count, and so much more, but I’m still here and I hope to be for a VERY long time.
-          Emma. I know that I already mentioned her, but she is the bane of my existence. I don’t know how I’ve gotten through life before her. Since the day that she was born, every breath has been taken for her, every penny made is for her, every move I make is for her.
This year my life has changed drastically. Not just because I had a baby, but my eyes have been opened. It doesn’t matter what color my hair is, what clothes I wear, the material things I own. What matters is my husband, my daughter, my parents, my dog, my friends, my family. People. People are what matter most. I only live once (on earth, anyway). You only live once. When I am on my death bed (which I hope is 80 years from now) I will not be thinking about tv shows I’ve missed, or the parties I could have went to, or the things I could have bought. I will be thinking about my husband, my children, and the rest of the people who have made an impact on my life.

11/21/12

I've Got Tears In My Beer

I kept hearing from numerous sources that working full-time with a child at home (or sitters) would get easier as time goes. With the exception of my first day back to work, I’m here to tell you that that particular claim is false.
September 6, 2012 was my first day back. I cried getting Emma ready to go to her Grandparents’ house, I cried driving there, I cried sitting there with her for nearly 30 minutes, I cried all the way to work, and I sat in the parking lot and cried for another 20 minutes before going in. I also had hardly any sleep that night because my mind was wandering the whole night thinking about going back. So, needless to say my first day back to work was devastating.

After that first day, it was easier, and easier, and even easier to get up, get everyone ready and head in. However, I am here to say that with each passing day (even though I may not cry for hours on end) the fact that I leave my daughter for almost ten hours a day tugs at my heart something heavy. I do cry occasionally on my way in, I might tear up looking at pictures of her on a break, and I regret my decision to work every time I get a picture via text. What am I going to do though? I need money. For her.
Did I mention that out of my family (hubs and parents), I see her the least? So. Not. Fair.
Since we’re talking about crying... I’ve been telling you how I cry leaving her, well I also cry when I’m with her. I cry over how adorable she is, I cry from joy when she laughs or seems so happy, I cry if she is so upset that she screams for a long time. Everyone always said that when you’re pregnant you cry all the time. Actually, I hardly did. But as soon as she was out I became a crying sap. I cry at radio commercials, thoughts, conversations, confrontations, ruined dinners, missed dates, large laundry piles, etc. There’s no stopping it.
One of the many pictures texted to me while at work.

I guess I really have no actual direction I am going with this post. :-\ I just really wanted to throw out there that no, it does not get easier to leave your daughter to go to work. Not for me.
Jenni

11/13/12

Emma's 4 Month Check-Up

Well, my baby girl is officially 4 months old (17 weeks, 4 days). I want to say that time flies, but it doesn’t… it crawls along slowly with each day feeling like three. Lol.
Emma’s 4 month check-up was yesterday (her official 4 month birthday). I took off the entire day, and it was a wonderful day for all of us. Well, until Em got her shots anyway… poor baby.
Here is how her check-up went.
-          Nurses measured and weighed Emma first thing. She’s 18lbs. 2oz. (98%), 26.5” (99%) and HC 41.2cm (75%).
-          Dr. Murphy is who we saw, and he loves Emma’s numbers. He says “she’s a tank” and that if she gets sick she should handle it well because of it. I feel much better knowing that she’s perfectly proportioned (height + weight).
-          We talked a lot about food. He was shocked to hear that Em only eats 5oz at a time. He thought she’d be around 7 or 8. He asked if she sleeps through the night, which she does, so he said that we shouldn’t change it if it’s working for her. But, he did suggest starting solids (rice cereal – no oats or barley) and veggies.
-          He thinks we comfort her too much. She started getting vocal in the office (not crying though, just fussing) and we started shushing her and playing with her right away. He said that when this happens at home to set her down with a toy and walk away. That what we are doing now will only teach her that she can get loud to get what she wants.
-          He asked a lot of developmental questions. All was good except the fact that she quit rolling. He said that she basically said “wow, I can do that, but I don’t really need to, so I wont.” So, his suggestion was for us to lay her on the floor, either on belly or back, and put her favorite toys farther away from her on the sides so she’d have to roll to get to them.
-          He got into a lot of detail about vaccinations and why they are good. I love how he explains every little thing in detail because let’s face it, I want to know and I can talk this baby stuff all day long. Her 2 month shots are all “real” shots (he said that better), and her 4 month and 6 month shots are all booster shots. It’s basically the “good stuff” that keeps the “real” shots activated in her system. Babies seem to have an immune system that doesn’t hold vaccinations well so the booster shots keep it going. However, 15% of babies will not keep it even with the boosters. So, 15% of those who are vaccinated could really not be immune to the disease. That scared me, especially when I asked if there was any way to tell and he replied “no.” But, he did say that as long as all parents get their kids vaccinated it would never be a problem. But, then he followed up by saying that since the parents have an option, it will never be the case, and if 10% of parents choose not to vaccinate, and 15% of the vaccinated ones aren’t really immune, then we have enough to start the disease back up (like whooping cough right now). He was much better at explaining that – I hope it made sense.
-          He asked if Gene and I have been vaccinated, and if we got our flu shots this year. We NEVER get flu shots. I don’t like to feel sick (even if it’s just mimicking the flu symptoms), so we just never get them. The doc didn’t like this. He told us that we need to get our shots (as well as anyone who watches her) because the flu kills 20,000+ people a year and 90% of those are under 2yo and over 56yo. I really don’t like the thought of getting that shot. L
-          The last thing he told us is to check out the book “Baby and Childcare” by Dr. Spock.
-     Then Emma got her shots. Well, the first one was a drink. She was fine with that as it tastes sweet (so I'm told). Then she got her first one in the thigh. She was fine at first. Then after the bandaid was put on and the nurse was getting ready to do the second one her bottom lip jetted out and you could see the look of distress on her face. She was genuinely upset. I couldn't help but laugh though because that bottom lip sticking out is so darn cute! After the fourth shot I gobbled her up and held her so tight. After about 20 seconds she was done crying and back to smiles. Side note - those spots bled a lot afterwards!
Here is what we’ve done since:
-          We tried cereal last night. We figured once we had the green light we’d try right away. I thought it would be fun. Instead, it was difficult. Em is not interested in the least. We had the bottle sitting right next to us (because we were using the formula to thin it as needed) and she just kept pushing the food out of her mouth and staring at her bottle. We’d give her the bottle to drink for a bit thinking she was too hungry for patience, and then we’d try the cereal again and no such luck. After 40 minutes we completely gave up and said we’d try again tonight. I’ve decided that if it doesn’t work tonight we will wait until next week and try again. If she’s not interested, then I see no need to start it.
-          I tried the whole “lay her down and let her roll to toys” thing. Well, all I can say is that it didn’t work and caused a ruckus. After 10 minutes of her crying (no real tears) I finally picked her up. After she calmed down I decided to try again on her belly, and that made it even worse. She tired herself out from screaming, and the 30 seconds of tummy time made her face sopping wet from real tears. I don’t think I’m doing it right.
Last night was the first night in a long time that Em had us up multiple times. Twice from what we call “bad dreams” (12:30am and 1:30am). Something makes her upset and she starts crying hard in her sleep or half asleep. I jump up quickly and rush in there to give her Bink and she falls right back to sleep in seconds (even drops Bink right away because she’s passed out). The other 2 times (3am and 5am) she ate a few ounces and fell asleep again. I’m hoping that this sleep pattern was simply because of the eventful day we had (shots, doctor, shopping, cereal, etc.).
All-in-all Emma’s 4 month birthday was a good one, and she has grown to become such a precious little girl. I couldn’t be more in love.

Jenni

11/8/12

Happenings

Man, it feels like forever since I’ve blogged. I guess it has been a long time.
A lot has come and gone. Pumpkin picking, Halloween, Election Day, etc. Because I’m awful about remembering things or keeping track, I’m going to try to remember as much as possible.
-          I’ve noticed that every day Gene has to watch Emma she just happens to be really fussy. I decided that something must be wrong, so I left work early one day and took Emma to the doctor. Turns out, she’s just fine and Gene is just shaky at handling her all by himself. Even the doctor said it (in a nicer, round-about way). I want to say that this happened on October 23rd.  We’re working on this.
-          When we went to the doctor, we saw Dr. Miele. She had this to say:
o   Emma was 17lbs, 13oz. We need to gradually work her up to eating her meals farther apart. Meaning we shouldn’t be doing 4oz. every 2 hours, but we should work our way up to, say 6oz. every 4 hours. I forgot about this after the first week, so she’s still getting 4oz but every 2.5 hours. Tomorrow, we are bumping up to 5oz. every 3 hours. *Doc did say that she’s not overweight because of how much she weighed when born, but I would like to see her a little less roll-y.
o    We need to buy a CD of white noise for Emma. Not like Sleep Sheep noise, but a CD of a vacuum running. We found that if she’s hysterical, we can vacuum for like 5 minutes and she’s fine for 45 or so. Also, if she starts to flip out while playing we can give her the “crinkle book” or the toy car that makes a loud clicking noise when you spin it. She likes quiet for bedtime, but loud noise during the day.
o   Switching her formula is fine as long as it’s not each week. So, I have been buying both Enfamil Infant and Similac Advanced. We will use the Enfamil for a couple/few weeks, and then switch to Similac, and then eventually back again. I do this because I have been buying whatever formula I get coupons or checks for. That stuff is expensive and unfortunately you can only get so many deals.
o   Emma has teeth coming in. She doesn’t use teething toys (she refuses actually), but she drools a lot and she chews on her hands all day long. DR. Miele took a look and she did see those little teeth right under the gums, but so far they haven’t come through yet. I think this plays a part in Emma’s “out-of-nowhere crying.” I think she’s either biting down on her hand and it hurts her tooth, or she’s biting her tongue by mistake when she’s chewing on her hands.
-          We go back to the doctor on November 12th (Monday) for Emma’s 4 month visit. She gets more shots, and I am so anxious to see her numbers. I think she has gained some length, and I am so curious to see how much. I know it’s silly to get excited, but I am. I even took the whole day off.
-     October 21st we got a reall belly laugh out of Emma. That sound was music to my ears. Now I try each and every day to get the same laugh... it's that great.
-          We took Emma to her first Pumpkin Patch. My Mom found this one on her way to work, but the name slips my mind. It was off of Salt River Road in St. Peters. They provided wagons to use for pulling your pumpkins in, but we used one to put Emma (in her car seat) in it to pull her to and from the field. She absolutely loved that part! It was like off-roading. She bumped and bounced the whole time we were there. Even though she rode the entire time she was wore out from all of the excitement and slept great that night. Lol. We ended up with a pumpkin for Gene and I, one for Emma, and one for Okie (even though she didn’t get to go with us). I definitely think this needs to be a Brink Family tradition.



-          On October 25th my Mom’s work (Fort Zumwalt North High School) had a Halloween Safety Night, which was basically Trick-or-Treating from room to room. They had moved the time to be earlier in the night, so we had to bust butt to get there, but we got there 20 minutes before it was over to surprise my Mom and show Emma off in her costume to everyone she knew. She was so glad we went, and she loved being able to show us what she does each night. Emma also loved that night because she likes to watch people, and the place was packed with hundreds of kids all dressed up in costumes. Em’s eyes were wide the entire time!

-          Halloween night we handed out candy at my parents’ house. My Mom had to work, so it was me, Gene, Dad, Emma, Okie and Holli came over to hang out with Em for a while. We put Emma in her ducky costume and showed her off a little, but mainly it was just us getting a kick out of seeing her in it. The costume had padding so she looked twice as chubby. Lol. I think Emma had fun because she wore herself out and couldn’t help but pass out sitting in my lap on the floor (not like her). Okie had a great time though!






-          This past weekend was Holli’s 30th birthday party weekend. It was fun, but we had to leave Em all night at my parents’ house. It was so hard. To avoid getting into lengthy detail here, we were late, made the birthday girl late, dinner took forever but was really tasty, went to Johnny’s where the employees wear underwear, had an awesome shot there, went to Hammerstone’s, it was boring to me, went to Molly’s, it was too smokey, then we (Gene and I with his 2 friends) got thrown out and went home. I couldn’t sleep in (even with DST) so I cleaned the house. At about 9:00am I had to wake Gene up so that we could go get Emma because I just couldn’t stand to be away from her any longer. Mom said she only woke up one time at 2:30am, and slept the rest of the time until 6:30am or so. It was a good night.
-          This coming Saturday is Gene’s 15 year class reunion. I’m not sure about leaving Emma all night, but it’s at a winery so I know we will be drinking. Man, I hate leaving her!
-          Yesterday was Election Day. I’m glad it’s over because I hope the country can get back to normal day-to-day life. But, last night was exciting. Gene and I took Emma to go vote and it was thrilling. I explained where we were going and what we were doing, and then I told her that in 4 years she will go with us again (obviously lots before then too, but none as exciting as a presidential vote). Gene and I have always gone to vote together, and I hope we continue that for the rest of our lives. I find it to be a great American right, and the fact that Gene and I, as husband and wife both take it seriously, and choose to vote our own way, I think it’s a wonderful experience. I’m not as hush-hush, but Gene takes it so serious that he doesn’t even tell me who he voted for. I told Emma who I voted for. I also plan to one day explain to Emma the importance of voting, and why she should vote for herself and not listen to anyone else’s opinions. I want her to create her own views. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll just say that it will continue to be an event in our household.
-          On October 21st Emma started rolling over from her belly to her back. She actually did it a few times that week. However, since then, she is back to hating tummy time and she quit rolling. This frustrates me to no end. I have no idea why. I think I might put too much thought and bank into development charts. I mean, each baby is different, and I should let Emma do things in her own time, but it just frustrates me. There’s a few things like that. For instance, Emma wont look me in the eyes when I’m holding her unless I’m holding her farther away from me and making noise. That’s on the chart… that she’s supposed to look people in the eyes. Also, she’s supposed to smile at herself in the mirror, but all she does is stare (not smile). She will look at me in the mirror and smile, but not herself. Also, I don’t think she grabs and holds onto things like she should be. I know, I know, I put too much thought into it all and I should let her be. It’s hard to though. I want to make sure she’s learning and growing as she should be. I plan to ask the doctor about it all on Monday.
-          Em’s sleeping is still going great, knock on wood. Only a few REAL wake-ups a week. Lots of screaming in her sleep, which wakes me up, but Dr. Murphy (Emma’s other doc) warned us about that because I used to have night terrors. Normally Emma will sleep through or go right back to sleep after one of her screams, or she will adjust herself and go back to sleep. Like I said, there’s only a few times a week Gene or I have to get up with her. However, with that all said, some friends have been commenting on the “4 month wakeful.” I think that’s what they called it. It’s basically that at 4 months babies get this burst of playful energy in the middle of the night and would rather play than sleep. I’m hoping Em gets her sleep habits from me and would rather sleep than play when it comes to the middle of the night. I’m worried.
Well, I could just keep typing away, but I’m going to try to blog on Monday after Emma’s doctor appointment so I think I will cut this off now and save some for later.
I love my Emma. I miss her every day that I am away from her. I kiss her and hug her constantly and it doesn’t even seem like enough. To this day, I still cannot believe how happy she makes me, and how much I love my new life with her.
Hands down, the best thing I ever did was have her.


Jenni

10/30/12

President Who?

Even as a child I was always excited by the thought of getting to vote. I’m not sure why really, because I didn’t fully understand what voting was really about at that age. I knew it was getting to put my opinion into action, in a way, or getting to throw out there my two cents on an issue in a yes or no fashion. However, today, I am dreading next Tuesday.
I am what you would consider “Middle Class.” My husband and I work for a smaller salary each year, but we DO work. We own two houses and two cars. We pay taxes. We consider ourselves to live paycheck to paycheck (although we manage to have a savings account). We pay for our healthcare, our groceries, our clothing.
While I do like President Obama, if stays in office the Middle Class is at risk of being pushed one way or the other; more than likely to Lower Class. I feel like he views America as Rich or Poor… I’m neither.
While I like half of the “Obamacare” initiative, the other half will increase EVERYONE’S health insurance premiums and deplete the payments to doctors from the insurance plans. Who did you think would be paying for all of the medical bills of those who have pre-existing conditions? Them? No.
While I like Mrs. Obama’s “Healthy Children” acts (still part of “Obamacare”), I think it’s ridiculous to act as Big Brother and tell parents that if they send their kid to school with the wrong foods in their lunch the food will be thrown away and they will be given the school lunch (I can list multiple reasons this is bad).  I’m sure red beans and rice for those Hispanic kids do not meet the standards, or curry for those Indian children. 
The other issue is that I’m not too sure about Romney. I mean, he promises things that he probably won’t or can’t keep. He doesn’t seem to project a good presidential vibe. He makes so many attacks on Obama (only half of them are even accurate).
In an ideal world, there would be two Presidents; one Democrat and one Republican. They would each make their cases on an issue and an unbiased party would vote for what is best for our nation. I would feel much more comfortable if this is the case I think.
You may be reading this and think I am naïve. I am. I don’t watch debates really, I don’t have time to read the newspaper this year, and I’m blocked from all websites mostly at work so I can’t catch up there either. I don’t feel that I can talk to people about it because I find that people are strictly and passionately either Democrat or Republican. I don’t consider myself either (although I’m told by a lot that I should be Republican since I’m Middle Class).
Oh, did you know that some people think that politics and religion go hand-in-hand? I’ve heard that Obama thinks he is the Anti-Christ. Man, I’ve heard so much about this.
I want to vote, but I don’t want to make the wrong choice. What if I vote Obama and he adds more to the “Obamacare” crap, or worse? What if I vote Romney and he tries to change too much, too quickly and it all backfires? I just. Don’t. Know.

10/17/12

Emma = Happy, Work = Crappy

It is truly amazing how happy Emma makes me.
Every day for the last two weeks have been awful at work. I keep telling myself that it will get better (whether it’s at work itself or by finding a new career path), but each day continues to be worse than the last. I sit at work and daydream about ways that I might make things better, but daydreaming gets me nowhere. And while I tell myself that I will look for new opportunities when I get home, it never actually happens. Why? Because of Emma.
                As soon as I open my front door all the worries in the world are long gone. There is my baby girl, waiting to greet her Mama with a big smile and sparkling eyes. Normally the first thing I do is gobble her up from whatever she is doing and hold her, squeeze her, kiss her cheek and tell her that I love her over and over.  While it may only be 9 hours away from her while I’m at work, it feels like days.
                As I type this I get all teary. Never, in my entire life (up until a few months ago), did I ever think I’d want to do nothing but stay at home with my daughter. I always said that if I had kids I’d still work full-time because a career is important to me. Well, a career is still important to me, but my current career has taken a path that I’m not enjoying going down and because of it, all I can think about is being a stay-at-home Mom. Or even just a part-time worker. While the thought of not having an actual career kills me, the thought of being with Emma almost all the time fills my heart with such happiness.
                So, since things aren’t so hot, I pray all the time. I ask for signs. I ask for strength. I ask for help to determine what direction I should take. It’s been over a week and nothing yet, but I’m hopeful. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful daughter (not to mention a super-cute dog and a fantastic husband), so good things can happen! Maybe you could pray for me too. J
                Until things get better I will keep going with the flow, and just do whatever it takes to get me home to see Emma again.