11 Weeks... Wow, 11 Weeks!!!

Well, my little Emma is going to be 11 weeks tomorrow. 11 weeks. Feels like a lot longer. Lol.
I’ve noticed that Emma is becoming more alert. Obviously this happens, but it’s still fun to notice it.
-          She still loves her mobile – her eyes absolutely light up from it! She wiggles her arms around, pounds her feet on the mattress and makes an oooooooh face like she’s so fascinated with it! (Picture at bottom).
-          She watched tv a lot. Not with me at all, but Gene and my parents seem to like to get her to watch so they can read the paper or in Gene’s case play on his phone. To be honest, I don’t think she’s watching, I think she just looks every now-and-then to see the colors and movement. But, I think they can get a good ten minutes of quiet.
-          Playmat time is still a dinner time favorite. I will sit on the floor next to the mat and eat my dinner while I interact with her. Gene and I have never been able to sit down and eat dinner normally since she’s been home, but this playmat things works out well bc I miss her so much and this way I can play with her while I eat something.
-          She’s discovered splashing. She loves to splash (with her legs) in the tubby. She also likes to put her feet against the tub and push herself back in the net thing that holds her up. She has such strong little legs and her pushing herself back so hard tends to pull the plug out of the tub -  before we had tubby time in the Mommy and Daddy tub Emma would flood her room doing this. Lol.
-          She looks at Mommy and Daddy now too. She won’t look at whoever is holding her, but if you are standing away from her (or leaving for work) she just stares away. I love this! I want to be wanted so bad, and this is just step one. We now know what Mommy looks like!
-          Some friends of mine (Alyssa and Megan) do this exercise where they hold baby’s hands, and pull them up to their feet. So, I decided to try this too. I laid Emma on the floor on her back, held her hands, pulled her (a little sideways) into a sitting position, and then helped to lift her to a standing position (Emma really stands on her own for the most part). She loves it! Her face lights up! I haven’t gotten a smile out of it yet, but I’m going to keep doing it nightly until I do. And each night I basically do it over and over until she gets bored with it.
-          Oh! I’ve played a couple videos of well-known Sesame Street songs on my iPhone for Emma. I did once on her playmat and once while she was eating. She seemed to enjoy it, although Gene and I might have enjoyed it more. Gene now sings “C is for Cookie” to Em all the time now.  J
-          I cannot quit buying her clothes! Last night I got online to buy her Halloween costume, and I ended up buying her more clothes. Lol. We are going to be broke bc I just can’t stop.
-          We seem to be in the works to get a new house in St. Charles. This was so important to us bc we wanted Emma to either go to Orchard Farm or Brussels (St. Mary’s?) elementary. Did I mention that the house is directly across the street from my parents? Lol, just call me Debra. Lol.
-          We might also get a new car soon. No, not brand new, but Gene’s car (that he just had to get) is too small for all of us. When we all are in there my knees are hitting the dashboard. And the stroller won’t fit inside, and if it’s raining can’t be in the mini-bed. Idk, I don’t think we can afford to keep trading in cars like he always does, but I suppose we can’t do with this one much longer.
-          Yes, everything is still broken in my house. It’s amazing we haven’t gone to stay with the rents yet. Lol. Some night I feel like we are cavemen with all this hand-washing dishes and such. Too bad I don’t have a creek to wash my clothes in. Haha.
So, the doctor said that by 12 weeks Emma might be over all of her tantrums. I just keep saying to myself that it’s getting closer. I think I’m going to be pretty bummed out if 12 weeks gets here and there’s nothing different. But, I have noticed that she stays quiet just a little longer than before. Yes, she still cries all the time. If I had to guess, I’d say she only goes about 40 – 50 minutes (in a good stretch) without crying. But, it used to be like 20 minutes. Yes, it was that bad, every day. It’s always either hungry, bored, or she wants to be held on the shoulder to look out. We used to always think it was tummy problems, or I should say Gene used to always think it was tummy problems, but my girl burps and toots like no other baby! It took this long, but we now know some ways to calm her down, but if she gets going enough, it can take quite a bit of coaxing to calm her down (had to run to the bathroom when out to breakfast with Alyssa and Autumn over the weekend to calm her down). Isn’t it the worst when the baby makes a big stink at a restaurant?!?! I always feel so bad for the people around us.
Well, I’m out of time now. Hopefully I will have some great updates at her 12 weeks!!!


Big Rocks

If you’ve ever taken the Franklin Covey “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Manager” training, you might know all about big rocks. In the video they demonstrate how you fill your day (or jar) with many tasks (or rocks) – each of those rocks sized in accordance with their importance, with the largest rock being the most important. Long story short, if you fill your jar with too many little rocks you won’t get to add in the big rocks. At work, we use the term “Big Rock” a lot. I’ve unfortunately transferred this term from being a work term, to an anytime term. I just found it to be catchy.


Work Big Rocks:

-          I find myself in a slump at work since my return. I’d like to go into detail, but unfortunately since this is a public blog I will not. I will simply say that since my return from leave I think my day-to-day duties have lost their luster. I no longer take pride in my work, I long for more exciting projects and I daydream about leaving to go home to the baby… I just don’t long for the professional life like I used to. On that note, my review is tomorrow and I wonder if I will give my resignation on a whim if I don’t get some changes in place.

-          Gene got transferred within Schnucks. He won this big award and got recognized by the Schnucks’ themselves, and then he got offered a new position. This all happened the first week after we had Emma. We thought we hit the jackpot – a great baby girl AND all of this wonderful news for Gene!?! They had given him some time to think it over and talk to me about it all. He took a week off for his “bonding time” (which is a man’s maternity leave), and when he went back they had given him his transfer papers (without even letting him decide yes or no – FYI, he decided no). He started his new spot on September 5th officially. Now, when he first started working there 12 years ago he had this position. Well, it was a lower position, but the same warehouse. It is 30-32 degrees inside. Gene hates the cold. That’s why he transferred out of there way back when. So, each and every day he works he comes home absolutely miserable. I feel so awful for him. To see a man look that low everyday is hard on the heart. So, we are going to try to find him a new job. There’s no more sucking it up. I can’t look at him like this anymore.

It’s going to take a lot of prayers for him to get something good, for decent money, with all the perks that Schnucks has.


Home Big Rocks:

-          Our dishwasher has broken. Well, it broke like a month ago. Oy, I’ve been doing dishes by hand for a month now! Gene can’t figure out how to fix it, so we decided to call someone to fix it. We purchased it from Best Buy, but the Geek Squad wants $100 just to come out and look at it. Gene said “hell no” to that, and that’s about as far as we’ve gotten. I did call Samsung to see about who to call to repair it, and they gave me some guy who works out of his house. With the babe now I can’t bring myself to trust just anyone. I called Keeven Appliance in Florissant, but the three times I dialed them there was no answer and no voicemail or machine to leave a message. I’ve almost resorted to just buying a new one… although ours is just over a year old. They don’t make things like they used to, do they?

-          On Sunday our Washing Machine went out. We had left the house after starting a cycle, got home and it was still full of water. Turns out the little clicker thing that the lid hits, that tells the washer the lid is down and to start again, is all that is broken. But, it’s no easy fix because it’s super hard to get to. In an effort to fix it Gene has rigged some plastic foam piece to the top of the machine with duct tape. It has worked for two loads so far, but he did make it a point to say that it could work for 5 minutes, or 5 years.

-          Our garbage disposal has been out for about a year or two now. Little did I know that the design of a garbage disposal makes for bacteria and stinky water to get trapped in there if we can’t run it. I dumped some stinky stuff in there like a month ago (I want to say it was something with garlic or vinegar) and Gene lectured me about it because it still smells. My response was “at least I didn’t throw food down there.” Ugh. He says when we get someone to fix the dishwasher they can put in a new garbage disposal too.

-          Our upstairs shower/tub is unusable right now. Is unusable a real word? Anyway, like 6 months ago I decided to re-tile the shower because there was mold growing behind the walls. So, my Mom and I decided to rip out and re-tile (with glass tiles) the entire thing ourselves! Mind you, neither of us have any experience with it. If my water shut-off wasn’t stripped at the time we would have replaced the tub too! We watched some videos on YouTube, and got to work. It should have been done in 2 days, but we didn’t finish it for 4 weeks. That was fine, it isn’t our only shower, but in the 4 weeks it sat unused, something corroded… and then stripped when we used it again. So, needless to say, our basement closet got all wet because there is a leak behind the will we just tiled. Want to hear more great news? We have to tear out parts of the wall to fix the problem, put all new fixtures in so it’s up to code, and then re-tile the parts that need it. Oh, and the tile we used isn’t made anymore as we bought it on clearance. OH! And I only have a very little supply of replacement tiles. Who knows how much that will all cost when it’s said and done. But, it needs to be done soon!

-          Why you may ask? Well, while the upstairs shower is broken we’ve been using the downstairs shower. We thought it was all fine and dandy, until we realized that when they built the shower (before we moved in) they kind of half-assed it and now there’s mold growing behind the shower walls down there. Mold is nothing to mess with people! So now we have to get the upstairs shower fixed quick, so that we can tear out the shower downstairs altogether and put a new one in.

-          This is probably our smallest big rock right now, but it’s a big rock nonetheless. We need a ceiling fan/light fixture put in the living room. Our house is set up to where when you walk in the front door and flip the switch, it turns on whatever you have plugged into the corner outlet on the opposite wall. It has been fine for all this time, but the lack of circulation has done a number on our allergies and sinuses, not to mention that the lighting right now is awful and we have two floor lamps on all the time! This is mainly for Emma. She sneezes a lot. We’ve bought two air purifiers, and it seems to help a tad, but not enough. Spring and fall are the worst too because the A/C and Furnace isn’t really on so the air just sits there and gets stagnant. I used the furnace fan for a few days, but that has to just add to our electric bill. We just need a ceiling fan put in to help out everyone.

They have the expression “When it rains, it pours.” And, as most people know it’s very spot on. My entire pregnancy was great, good things happened; I spent the last 5 months of it wondering what was going to fall apart because the ball had to drop sometime. Emma came out perfect, so then I started to get even more anxious. Then, all of this. I am still very grateful and blessed that it has nothing to do with any of our health, but geez!!!

Let’s hope that things start to look up soon.




2 Months a Mommy!!!

Well, my baby girl is two months old. Two months and five days to be exact. Feels like a lot longer to me, but I’m fine with that b/c I see her so little anymore that I love when one hour feels like two. J Since my last blog was forever ago, I’ve got A LOT!!!
-          I’ve noticed that her curiosity is increasing. She checks things out more, including the dog and the television. When she’s at her grandparents’ house Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they let her watch Bubble Guppies and SpongeBob on TV. I’m not fond of either really, as they aren’t educational by any means so I plan to buy them the Baby Einstein DVDs per the suggestion of Liz on Twitter. I’ve mentioned to them my opinion on those shows, but in their defense those are the only cartoons on during the day really – Emma only like animated shows so far. *I did find a religious channel for them that show cartoons during the day so let’s hope they start showing those instead.
At first I wasn’t too keen on them just plopping her down to watch TV, but it seems like they do interact with her while she’s watching. Since she’s seated in her bouncer my mom will bounce her and hold her hand and such. J I love that they love her so much! Oh, my Mom has also started getting Okie to dance in front of Emma and while Emma doesn’t really react from it, she will just stare in curiosity. Lol, it’s so cute!
-          I can get Emma to smile some now. If I make noises and give her a little touch on the nose she blinks her eyes, then opens them really big and gives a smile. No laugh yet, but every now and then I get a squeal or coo out of her. It’s the best when she first wakes up in the morning. I think that’s why I’m so into doing the morning routine with her now. J Well, that and I love to see her stretch when I let her out of her swaddle. It’s so stinking cute!

-          She’s still very into her play mat and mobile. Her mobile is the best! If I need 20 minutes to eat, use the bathroom, wash some bottles, or whatever it may be, I can lay her in her crib, turn the mobile on, and she’s content! She just watches those bugs and frog go around and around! I am so thrilled that my Mom suggested that I get one for her as she loves it. But, it doesn’t work for sleeping or putting her to sleep. It’s almost as if she HAS to watch… like they will go away if she doesn’t. Lol. She will let us know when she’s bored with it too. Lol.

The play mat doesn’t really do anything on its own so most of the times we need to be right there with her giving it a nudge to make noise and move around. But, we can lay her with her feet in front of the lion and she will kick it, and when she does it makes the mat jiggle enough to make noise. She’s getting better at grabbing the rings on it too, but she’s not so hot with letting them go. She will scream pretty loud when it’s “stuck” in her hand. But, the mat still comes in handy for eating lunch or dinner as we can sit next to it and bounce it with our feet while we eat.

-          Tummy time still sucks. She hates it! We lay her on her belly in her play mat so that it’s colorful and patterned (not to mention soft and clean), but all she does is scream and kick her legs. Gene thinks she’s trying to crawl b/c she can scoot herself on her belly across the mat by using her feet – her arms don’t seem to work like that yet so they just stay at her side mostly. She also buries her face in the mat and I flip out thinking she’s going to suffocate or hurt her nose or something so I can only stand about 2 minutes of tummy time. Plus, she seems to breakout in a heat rash from screaming so I tend to keep her from doing that to avoid red bumps that last for hours.

-          Being at work, away from her, is hard business! On the days my parents have her I constantly text my Mom to try to get pictures from her. I try to leave Gene alone when he has her as I don’t want him to think that I don’t think he can handle watching her alone. Although, I do question his parenting sometimes. Lol. Not that he’s bad at all, just that I think he likes to do the cry-it-out sessions so he can get in his computer time. That’s not my “cup of tea” – to let her cry it out I mean – but as long as she is safe and healthy when I get home I suppose he can do what he wants.

-          I still haven’t had her pictures done. My friend Laurie has offered to do them free of charge actually, which is so unbelievably nice of her! I think I’ve decided to go ahead with the family pictures so that I can get prints made for our Christmas cards. We have to do it soon though b/c the outfit I bought is 0-3 months and it’s getting tight! Is it bad to send a picture that was taken three months prior in the Christmas cards?

-          I’m anxious for this month to be over. The last quarter of the year is by far the best when it comes to the holidays, and this year I really have a reason to be excited for them! I think I’ve decided that most of our Christmas money will go towards Emma (of course) and my parents. Gene and I have each other, so we don’t really need to give each other gifts. Sorry, if that sounded corny. Lol. I think I’m more in love with him than ever before – maybe it has to do with the beautiful daughter he gave me! I don’t know if he wants me to tell this, but every now and then, when he’s with Emma, out of nowhere he’ll tell me “Thank You.” I’ll ask him for what, and he’ll say “For her.” J …. I love him!

-          I kept saying that once I quit nursing I’d go out with my friends more. You know, get back into the swing of things. Have a little fun. But, here are my problems with that. I can’t see myself doing anything during the week because I go 10 hours most days without seeing Emma, and I only get 2 – 2.5 hours of time with her once home. Time is precious on weekdays! Saturday seems to be the best day for me to go out. However, my friends don’t seem to go out until late, and I need to be home and in bed by 11pm at the VERY latest. Even when Gene has “Emma duty” I can’t seem to sleep if he’s up with her. I have no idea if it’s because he isn’t there, or because I know she’s awake. But either way, I can’t crawl in at 2am and then wake up at 3:30am with them. Plus, I’m sure I will be falling asleep at the bar by 9pm. I don’t know, it’s just so hard and I haven’t been able to find the right mix yet.

-          I feel like I’m not doing enough with Emma. We do play mat time, we do tummy time (very little), we’ve done tv time, gone for walks, mobile time, and times where we just bounce around the house together. What else is there? I’m running out of things to do and she gets bored easily! I almost feel like I’m making her bored with life! I think I might try to do some spoon practice soon, and maybe do baths every night to take up some time (she spits up a lot anyway so it wouldn’t hurt!). I don’t think she’d be interested in story time yet.
Oh, that’s another thing. I don’t think Gene understands that Emma doesn’t want to just sit around watching TV and doing nothing like him and I like to do. He’s constantly trying to get her to sit or lay still in his lap or arms so that he can watch whatever the baseball channel 204 is called. I can almost bet that right now he’s at home saying “Sssh, Emma. I can’t hear. McCutchen had how many RBIs last week?” My poor baby girl is going to be full of useless baseball knowledge by the time she can start rambling off stats! Her first word might just be “safe!” or “out!” Lol.
-          I’m having a really hard time getting a good routine going for the following:
o    On Mondays and Tuesdays I get coffee from QT in the mornings on the way to work. The other weekdays I can’t get QT b/c I can’t just leave Emma in the car and there’s nothing between my parents’ house and work. So, on those days I get Starbucks through the drive-thru. I need to save money so I need to drop Starbucks. Ugh. Just the thought of having to make my own coffee at home makes me cringe. That means I need to find counter space for my coffee pot, load it and clean it nightly, and remember creamer at the grocery store each time I go. Blah. I wonder where I put my thermos. Uuuuugggghhhh.
o    Gene and I haven’t been to the gym since January! He refuses to go alone. I enjoy going alone, but I feel bad going without him plus it’s longer to be away from Emma. I also don’t want to burden my parents with watching her so that we can go. Oh, and I’m not ready for the Club Fitness staff to watch her just yet. I thought about finding a sitter to pay to watch her for like an hour 2 nights a week at minimum, but I don’t know anybody! I desperately want to start going to the gym again, but I just don’t see it happening.
What I want SOON:
-          To get Emma a Sophie the Giraffe.  I saw this in a magazine when I was only about three months pregnant and intended to get one before Emma was even here, but I never did. And now all the Twitter gals have them and their babies love them!
-          I’m going to look into Mommy-and-Me classes. I think I need to get some ideas of things to do with Emma, and I think it would be fun to get together regularly with other Mommies.
-          I’d like to get some kids educational music for the car. I keep thinking about Gene driving Emma around listening to the Point. Ugh. My kid does not need to be listening to a lot of that stuff. I play the Oldies now in the car. I figured it’s probably the best thing she could listen to on the radio – with the exception of the gospel station.
-          My Twitter gal friend Alyssa (Lol, I still call her Aly to Gene and my Mom even though she doesn’t go by that) made her own baby food. She even wrote a whole blog about it. So, I think I’m going to follow in her footsteps and make some too. I’ve talked my Mom into helping, and since my Dad has apple and pear trees we are going to start with those. I’m looking forward to this a lot – mainly because I think my Dad would take huge pride in growing his granddaughter’s food. J
-          We need to go to the cemetery in Brussels to introduce Emma to Gene’s parents. I’m dreading this in a way because I know it’s going to be really hard for Gene, but I think they would really appreciate it. Plus, we need to take some flowers over there to put in their new headstone.
Ant Thoughts?:
-          I worry about how hot Emma is. Is her swaddle making her hot? Her feet always feel cold, but sweaty at the same time. Her temp is fine, but she gets clammy.
-          Should I start her on cereal soon? She’s a big baby, and I think she’d do good at taking it, but I don’t know if it’s the right time. I heard they don’t even digest it well until they are six months old.
-          Emma has started grabbing at her face all the time. I have no idea why she does this! Is it normal for babies to do that when they start discovering their hands?
-          When does active sleep go away??? It has gotten to the point where even in another room I cannot sleep through it. She’s so loud, and it’s more frequent.
-          I probably shouldn’t have, but at the birthday party this past weekend I let Emma taste ice cream. Lol. I dipped my pinkie fingertip into the chocolate and put a bit on her bottom lip. She stuck her tongue out and those eyebrows furrowed like “what is that?” Lol. It was too cute!
-          I love her sneezes and coughs. It sounds funny to say, but they are so cute and make her seem more people-like. I know it’s weird, but I always say “she’s like a little person!” I’m so amazed at how life works that I’m always in awe that she is our own little human baby. Lol.
-          Emma coos more now. I never really knew what a coo was, but I think I figured it out because I think she does it.
-          Emma also “talks” a ton! She does it a lot after she gets home from my parents’ house. I think she likes to tell us about her day.
-          It seems like each week we have to adjust her car seat straps! And, it’s getting harder and harder to carry her in the car seat. She’s growing so fast!
2 Month Doctor Visit (Gene took her since I went back to work):
-          Emma is up to 13 lbs., 13 oz. and 23 ½ inches long. 95th percentile! The doctor says her numbers are good!
-          Emma’s dandruff is not cradle cap. It was suggested that we use adult dandruff shampoo. She gets this from Mommy – I’ve always had a dandruff problem (I don’t brush my hair enough and I let it air-dry, which neither help).
-          Her little “Ear Tick,” which is a teeny-tiny hole on the outside of her ear, is normal for babies. We just have to watch to make sure it doesn’t get bigger.
-          The formula we have Emma on is Enfamil Newborn, which doctor says is fine for now. The plan is to switch her to Similac Advance at 3 months until she’s 6 months, then maybe Enfamil Gentlease if she can digest it a bit better. We didn’t ask details but I think she has a problem with the partially broken down formulas.
-          Emma got 4 shots, and a “drink shot.” She cried for a couple minutes, but we had no problems with fussiness the rest of the day. She didn’t eat as much the next day, and the next day’s bedtime she slept for 8.5 hours straight after a few long naps that day.
All in all I’m getting better at this Mommy thing. It really does get better. J What doesn’t get better is missing her, but I’m hoping that I can realize that she’s not going anywhere, and Mommies needs to have some fun alone time too. We are getting there, but for goodness sake I only had her two months ago!
I can’t wait to see what’s in store next!