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.


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.


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.




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.