Thursday, August 30, 2012

Growth Spurt

The first thing that had a recent growth spurt was our backyard grass! Because it's been raining so much lately, Justin's kept putting off mowing it until today, it could wait no longer! And it had even gotten bad enough that he wrangled our brother-in-law Brandon to come help. It was probably 8-10 inches tall.... Carrie could have played hide and seek out there!!

The more expected growth-spurter is our gorgeous little Brigette! She's usually been a great sleeper at night, but the last couple days, she's woken up every three hours on the clock through the night! It is NOT very cool! I'm tired!! During the day she's been eating every two hours! And not just snacking, she's doing full feedings every time! It's a good thing she's cute!!
Did you notice her shirt says "party at my crib 1am-6am"?..... So appropriate this week ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sleep Is Awesome

What a difference a good night's sleep will make.... Brigette woke up twice again last night, the same as the night before, but I wasn't nearly as stressed out. My quality of sleep was monumentally better (whether or not that had anything to do with Brigette being back in our room, I don't know).... Either way, because I slept so much better, my day today has been exponentially better!

Yesterday, I had said I was having a schlumpy day, but I didn't fully say how I felt. It was a scary reality for me, but I really felt like yesterday was a horrible postpartum depression-ish kind of day. Now, I don't think I actually have it, but I for sure have some serious mood swings. Lately I've been having an awful, horrible, no good, very bad day, about once a week. I'm tired beyond belief, I'm cranky, everything Carrie does drives me nuts, Brigette is needy, I feel fat and unmotivated, and I get absolutely nothing accomplished around the house..... It sucks.

Another thing that sucks though is I don't think people really know I have these kind of days. And honestly, I think we all have them occasionally, and nobody else ever knows. How horrible is that?... I know on my bad days, I'm mostly cooped up in the house all day slumming it on the couch, or if I do see people or go out, I fake a good day. I cover it up. And then I whine at night to poor Justin (because everything is horribly worse late at night)....

I need to find a balance soon though. All my day by day mood swings are no good for me or my family. I hate to say it but I know a big part of it is my physical activity and my planning. When I sleep in, laze around, and am not productive, I feel like sludge. When I get up and going, get dressed and ready, and keep up with the house, I feel awesome :)

For example, this morning, I got up with an alarm, got myself ready, got Carrie and Brigette ready, and headed out to take Carrie and her little friend Grace to preschool. Straight from preschool I headed to go grocery shopping; With a list that coordinated with my preplanned two week menu and the local sale prices to ad match. I got home and unloaded the groceries just in time to go pick the girls up from preschool. We've eaten lunch and I've tidied up a bit around the house and I feel so amazing. I feel super accomplished.

I've also recently been trying to start eating smarter and working out a little. My self-confidence in my physical appearance certainly plays into my mood... It's just the way it is. I know I could certainly be worse-off, but I also know I'm not eating as healthy as I could and I'm not in as good of shape as I could be.

Last week I also created a weekly schedule for our family. I do really well with lists, structure, and basically knowing what to expect. I found a website that had an example of weekly chores to be done to keep up around the house, broken down day by day. I used it as a guide to create my own chore system that works around our various events (preschool, teaching piano, scouts, etc.) So far I haven't been all that great at it, but I'm hoping it'll catch on and I'll feel more on top of my duties around the house.

And as I've learned, a clean home makes for a happy mommy, and a happy mommy makes for a happy home. Our home is so much more peaceful and open to the blessings of the Spirit when there is order. Hallelujah that both Justin and I came from homes where we were taught how to clean.

Speaking of a clean home, I better get going on catching up from my yuck day yesterday!

Monday, August 27, 2012

In A Super Schlumpy Mood

First of all, I know I probably shouldn't be taking pictures during Sacrament Meeting, but this was too cute. I couldn't resist..... I was very discreet and as soon as I snapped this, I put my phone away. ;) Because Brigette is such a good nurser, neither Justin nor Carrie gets to feed her very often. They both enjoyed this moment :)

Last night was the first time we tried Brigette in her own room for the night. She looked so cute and tiny in her crib.

I was nervous because I took the monitor from Carrie's room so I could hear Brigette, but then I was worried about both of them! I couldn't SEE Brigette and couldn't HEAR Carrie. I was a mess going to bed. I should have taken that as a sign...

Brigette did ok for the first long stretch, but when she woke up to eat at 2:30, she wouldn't go back to sleep..... I was up on and off with her until 4:30... Uggghhhhh....

Today is NOT a good day.....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Big Sis, Lil Sis

 These girls are so stinking cute together! Carrie just loves Brigette to pieces.... It's awesome! Every single morning, without fail, the first thing Carrie wants to do is see Brigette and give her cuddly hugs and kisses. Yesterday, she told me, "I think Brigette wants to snuggle with me in my bed". Brigette didn't seem as sure about it as Carrie was, but despite what her "eh" face suggests, she tolerated the snuggles very well. ;)

And then this morning we tried out our big sis-lil sis bows for the first time! I know it's hard to see in the picture, but the white ribbons in the middle of the bows say "big sister", and "little sister" as appropriate :)

I'm so glad this morning has turned out so well too. Considering the night Carrie had last night.... Allow me to elaborate.

Carrie rarely wakes up in the night. RARELY.... It was a little more often when she was newly potty trained and she'd wake up to go to the bathroom, but anymore, when we put her to bed, she's out for the next 11 hours. So last night when she woke up around midnight crying, I wondered what could be wrong. I went to check on her and she sobbed out that she wanted me to lay by her. When she kept crying, I asked her what was wrong.

She blubbered, "I just really miss daddy..." I thought, well that's a quick easy fix.... So I asked, "Do you want me to go get him?" She answered, "No, I just want you to read me a story". When I asked which one and she answered "Princess", I tried to climb out of her bed to the bookshelf to find which one she meant.

That did not go over well.... She started crying again and grabbed me, "No! Not a book! Just the one you tell me!" Oh! Got it! So I told her our version of "The Princess and The Frog" that I'd made up a few days ago. Basically it's Princess Rebecca, Princess Carrie, and Princess Brigette who's castle is visited by a frog who claims to be "Prince Justin", but we have to kiss him so he can turn from a frog back into a handsome prince. Carrie loves it :)

A few minutes after the story, she told me, "Mommy, I want you to go now." And that was it. Or so I thought.... A few hours later, she woke up crying again. Fortunately, that time, I got her to go back to sleep with only a drink of water. Whew! Luckily, I've gotten used to getting up at night again lately....

Friday, August 24, 2012


Justin got picked up for JUCO this year! Woohoo!!!

In case that doesn't make sense to you, let me explain. He will get to referee basketball in a Junior College conference this season! His conference includes all the community colleges in the Phoenix metro area and a few other ones semi-nearby. He'll start at "entry level", women's ball, but it's still college, so we're stoked!

His goal was to be doing college ball by the time he was 30, so he beat that by a whole year (and a smidge)! I'm so incredibly proud of him and his dedication and determination to move up in the referee world! I have WAY more respect for refs since marrying him. They work HARD, and get no respect!

He'll continue to do some high school varsity ball too, but hopefully soon, college will take over his reffing schedule! GOOD JOB JUSTIN!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dentist Rookie

Carrie had her first trip to the dentist yesterday! And let me tell you, they give first-timers the royal treatment! She got to watch Bugs Bunny!!

 Lounging in the huge comfy chair

 Completely zoned into Yosemite Sam during her cleaning

Being super brave for her exam!

She even did so well with her cleaning that they decided to attempt a few x-rays (which they normally don't do in kids this young). She did fabulous! When she was all done, she got to pick a kaleidoscope prize from the treasure chest! With a happy report of zero cavities, and new pink kitty cat toothbrush in hand, she left there pretty proud!

Today at preschool, she had another first; Her first show and tell! She took her swimming lessons trophy. Since she'd never done it before, she didn't really get it and wasn't nearly as excited as me, but when she got home and told me all about it, she was psyched to do it again next week! Our little girl is growing up so fast! I love seeing her and all her firsts!

Monday, August 20, 2012

One Month!

Brigette is one month old today! How crazy is that?! Here she is in all her one-month-old glory!

She weighed in at a whopping 8lbs, 1oz and measured 20 1/2 inches long! She's certainly making up for being our smallest birth-weight baby for sure!

It's interesting that she's gaining weight so well because the last week or so, she's started to be super spitty... Like baby-bulemia level of spittiness. I feel so bad for her! After every feeding, we can count on probably half of it coming back up. And our poor girl squirming and crying in pain... The acid reflux monster couldn't let her be the only unaffected member of the family. :(

Luckily, at her checkup today, she got a prescription for some Zantac! Woohoo! I hope it helps, and quick!

Some fun things to remember about our little one-monther:

-She only wakes up once at night to eat. Her first long sleeping stretch is usually about 6 hours and her second is about 5 hours. It makes for a happy mommy!

-Her eyes are still pretty dark and gray, but every day we're starting to be able to see more and more blue in them :)

-She loves to hear Carrie sing to her. And she very nicely tolerates all of Carrie's sometimes overzealous snuggles ;)

-She's still a fantastic nurser, woohoo! Makes feeding time so convenient!

-She's FAST becoming a binky girl! She loves it, and so do we!

-She goes back and forth between preferring sleeping swaddled up tight and being left loose to sprawl in her crib.

-She's still sleeping in mommy and daddy's room, but mostly just because mommy is too nervous to make the switch to her own room.... Sometime soon....

We're so thrilled to have this little beauty queen in our family and can't believe it's been a whole month already!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Could She Get Any Funnier?!

Last night as Justin was changing Brigette's diaper, Carrie looked down and noticed her belly button. Apparently she didn't pay attention that her umbilical cord had fallen off (a couple weeks ago) because she suddenly said, "What? Brigette has a belly button?!" Justin answered, "Yup, just like you!"

Carrie was very quick to respond with, "Ppssshhh! It's not just like mine! Brigette's belly button is a shape like an oval, mine (lifts her own shirt to take a look) is a shape like a circle. They are NOT the same!"

Then today it got even better. After I picked her up from preschool (which went off without a hitch, whew!) I told her we would eat lunch and then do her "homework". She has a few optional activities she can do to earn prizes at school. After mac 'n' cheese leftovers, we sat down at her little table to start her homework. She was fine for a couple minutes coloring a page, but then she got "tired" and "needed help"....

I told her if she finished the page she was working on, she could watch a movie. That made her a little more willing, but only a few seconds later, she was asking for me to do it for her again. I told her, "It's your homework, you have to do it, not me"

Quick-witted as always, she replied with a smile on her face, "Well you took me to preschool, so it's your homework!"

It was SO hard to not bust out laughing.... :) After all, it's only her second day of preschool. We have a looong time to get used to homework. ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

What a Weekend!

We started off this weekend with a bang! By going to my cousin's wedding in Mesa on Friday. But not just any wedding, the Mega Wedding.... You might have seen it on the news recently, local and national (Good Morning America & CNN) My cousin's fiance was one of 5 siblings to get married that day! They all got engaged within a few months of each other, so they decided to make it one big party! I left Brigette with a friend so I could go to the sealing and after dropping her off, I realized this was the first time I'd ever left her with a babysitter! It was a little weird!

Anyways, three sisters, two brothers, and their fiances all took turns getting married in the Mesa Temple and had one giant reception together that night. It was a blast! Here's Carrie dancing with Grandpa.

And dancing with her cousin Crystal

We didn't get home until after 10 and boy were we tired! After sleeping in, Carrie helped with Brigette's morning bottle (pumped milk I had thawed for the babysitting spell the day earlier so it had to be used quickly)

 All cuddled up after a morning bath. So snuggly :)

Saturday afternoon we went back into Mesa to swim, have a BBQ (that ended up being indoors because of a dust storm), and for Justin to go to a Lifevantage meeting with my dad. Because that was going to go late, we decided to just stay the night and hang out playing games with two cousins and a cousin-in-law. On Sunday morning we were going to head home in time for Justin and Carrie to go to church. We weren't planning on Saturday night being so rough though. Brigette did NOT sleep well.

We had all started to get colds and I think she wasn't feeling all that well either. She was just grumbly and fussy all night. Technically we slept, but it was definitely not restful. So we lazed around and basically slept all day at my parents and mooched dinner before we headed home. Justin got the worst of the colds around here because his came with a hacking cough too. So today he stayed home from work. And thank goodness, because we all needed a day of rest! Hence, our house is a disaster.... I'm not looking forward to cleaning it all up.

Brigette's been just as grumbly and fussy today as she was Saturday night. And it's so frustrating not to know how to fix it! She's started being spitty after feedings too.No fun. This afternoon I think I may have figured out a way to help her be calm enough for long enough to actually take a nap... Tummy Time... :) It was a glorious couple of hours. A couple of hours that I meant to use to clean up and fold laundry that's been sitting in clean piles since Thursday. But nope, she looked so peaceful and comfy, I decided to join her and crash for a half-nap on the floor too.

Carrie couldn't be left out of all the tummy time fun though. She got her own blanket, spread it next to Brigette's and "took a nap". For about 30 seconds ;)

Per Carrie's suggestion, we had macaroni and cheese for dinner... And even that was a lot of hard work to make. Here's hoping we sleep well tonight and get some energy back for tomorrow!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Day of School! First Day of School!!

It feels like the beginning of Finding Nemo around here! We're all bouncing off the walls in excitement for the first day of school! Here's some fun things to remember about Carrie on her first day :)

Last night, in anticipation of Preschool starting today, we did Carrie's first cut 'n' paste project. It was a very long tedious thing to do, but we survived, and ended up with a masterpiece. Carrie wrote her name all by herself (with a few prompts from me on letter formation).

Of course, we did the project in her new preschool corner. Her teacher said we should have a place at home with school supplies where she can do her "homework" and practice the things she learns at school. So I hit up the school supply section at the store and got her glue, preschool scissors (spring-loaded so she learns how to open and close them), pencils, a pouch to hold her crayons, and a basket to put it all in. I also got a cork board to hang pictures etc. 

For breakfast this morning we had waffles and scrambled eggs.... And cookie dough... ;) Why not?

 Then we got dressed, did her hair, and it was picture time! Isn't she so dang cute?! I love it!

Mommy and her big girl!

Carrie saying goodbye to Brigette

Welcome to Shining Stars Preschool! (A friend in the ward runs her preschool out of her home)

We pulled up the same time as two of Carrie's best friends, Cody & Sienna. I accidentally snapped the picture before we told them to smile ;)

Greeting Miss Heidi

Putting her backpack in the bucket, with her eyes already on the toys

It's playtime! (For the first few minutes at least, while everyone is still arriving!)

Carrie was very excited and not nervous at all. I'm so proud. I know she'll have a blast! I really wanted to hang out all during class just to watch because I know she'll do great and have so much fun learning!

I think preschool will be good for all of us. You know, get us in a routine. For example, this morning we were all dressed and had our hair done by 8:45, and I'm already on my third load of laundry so far. Speaking of, I really need to start a cleaning schedule around here. So I can plan on certain chores on certain days, not just wait and wait until they desperately need to be done. I'll miss having Carrie around, but it's only 2 1/2 hours, 2 days a week and I'm very excited to have a little Mommy and Brigette alone time :)

Here's to the next 20-something years of our lives as parents of school aged kids!

***Post-Preschool Day One Follow-up***
When I walked in the door to pick her up, the first words out of her mouth were, "I don't want to go home!!" with a big pouty sulk. This quickly escalated into full-on tears and even a little physical rebellion. Her teacher ended up carrying Brigette's carseat out to the van so I could wrangle Carrie. Oei Vey! I hope she continues to love it so much! Well, maybe a little less would be okay too ;)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Always, Forever, and No Matter What

As Carrie and I were sitting at the kitchen table just now eating quesadillas and chocolate milk, I looked at her, smiled, and said, "Did you know I love you very much? And you're very special to me?"

She responded with, "Yes, mommy. Except when I don't listen and obey. Then you don't love me."

This made me so sad to hear her say! Of course, I quickly rebutted with, "No, I ALWAYS love you. Even when you don't listen and obey. Sometimes I get frustrated, but I ALWAYS love you. No matter what"

She was so excited to hear that! She asked, "Really?!", with a huge smile on her face! It was a little sad to think of her not fully understanding that, but it's now a top priority of mine to make sure she knows and feels that I will ALWAYS love her. No matter what!

How could anyone NOT love these sweet little angels?! 

 (both of them fell asleep on the ride home from walmart yesterday)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We Pulled an All-Nighter!

Well last night was a very long night. An ALL-NIGHTER.... But not in the way that you're thinking... We actually SLEPT all night!! It was awesome, even though it hadn't been all that bad before now! Brigette ate at 10:30 last night, and I didn't hear a peep out of her until 5:45 this morning!

I don't know if we wore her out yesterday or what, but I hope it continues! It was great! Yesterday we had Carrie's preschool open house first thing. She's VERY excited to be starting preschool this week! Then Brigette and I headed up into town for my friend from high school's baby shower. Carrie got to play at a friend's house while Justin helped my sister and brother-in-law unload their moving truck into their new house! (They moved just a couple miles away from us and are in our ward now!)

Last night was also co-op night, so we got to have a date night. We had some discount movie tickets from Justin's work and we went to see The Dark Knight Rises. It. Was. Awesome...

It was also SUPER loud though! We took Brigette with us, and almost immediately, I was afraid all the crazy loudness was going to wake her up! She's actually very good about sleeping through noise, but even I wanted the volume to be turned down. So I spent most of the movie with one of her ears pressed against me and my other hand laid on top of her exposed ear. Fortunately it worked. She flinched a couple times, but it wasn't too bad at all.

I was also super ambitious and actually nursed her in the theater. It was very tricky trying to fiddle with the nursing cover and an extra blanket, just to make sure we stayed all covered up. I probably won't be trying that again... Next time, I'm pumping and bringing a bottle. Luckily though, she didn't ever really cry. Right after she ate, she started to whine a bit so I rushed toward the door with her so nobody would be disturbed. Of course, the second I stood up, she was fine, so I stood by the door for a couple minutes and went back to my seat. Didn't miss a thing :)

This morning I decided I had a bit of cabin fever and wanted to go to church with my family. Brigette and I came home after sacrament meeting, but I'm sooo glad I went today. Of course, it's Fast Sunday, and lately Carrie's been wanting to bear her testimony. A couple months ago, she tried, but completely froze up at the microphone. So when she asked today, I spent at least 5 minutes in the pew with her asking, "What are you going to say?", and "You have to talk really loud into the microphone ok?"... etc. I'm sure she got sick of it quickly because I double and triple checked that she was going to actually do it and not freeze up.

I worried for nothing. She was FABULOUS! I didn't have to prompt her at all! Here's how it went. "I'd like to bear my testimony. I know the Church is true. I'm thankful for my cousin Isac and my Brigette. I'm thankful for the food. I'm thankful for that we could come to church and be good. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

It was a beautiful thing. I hope her testimony continues to grow and though it's been on the back burner on my FHE to-do list, it will definitely be coming to the front. "Practice bearing our testimonies".... 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Growth Spurt!!

Today was Brigette's two week well-check. The doctor told us it's about this time that babies should be back up to their birth weight, which for Brigette, would be 6lbs even. Apparently, she had a monster growth spurt though because she weighed in at 6lbs 9oz!! And measured 20 1/2 inches long! In 10 days, she gained a whole pound and grew an inch and a half!! Wow!

I knew she was growing, but I didn't expect that! Here she is all stretched out on daddy's lap.

We finally got her third bilirubin screening results back and her number was 12.3 (down from 14.0). Because it was dropping and her eating habits and weight gain are so good, the doctor said we don't have to poke her anymore, woohoo!! He also said that because of her weight gain and awesome eating and sleeping habits, she doesn't need to come back for a one month well-check. She's already doing the things he'd be checking for at that appointment. During the day she eats every 2 1/2-3 hours and at night she goes about every 4 1/2-5. That makes for a very happy mommy :) Especially since she's still being a fantastic nurser!

And now for a fun, random moment about Carrie. Even though it's still stinkin' hot around here, Carrie loves to go play in the backyard. Last night she was out playing before bedtime and Justin peeked out the window to see her doing this... Making a sand angel.... Looks like someone's going to need a bath!

Apparently grass angels are fun too ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Finding Our Groove

I'm starting to get used to two kids at home. A little.... We're getting into a rhythm and we're doing pretty well, I'd say! We've stayed showered, bathed, gotten dressed and done our hair every day, eaten decently, and kept up around the house for the most part. I'm actually very proud of myself at the state of cleanliness my house is in. :)

On Monday, we had a out-on-the-town kind of day. In the morning we had to go to the lab for Brigette's PKU heel poke, and a third bilirubin screening. Yes, third... This little gal is riding the line of jaundiced vs. not jaundiced. At her newborn appointment on the 24th, the doctor thought she looked a little yellow so he had her get checked just in case. Her number was 13.5. (They'd really like it to be under 10) So on the 27th, he had us do it again to make sure her numbers were going down. Her number was 14.0.... He called it "holding steady". Hence, Monday was a third check. Carrie was very nervous about seeing her baby sister get poked. She turned and hid her face in the wall during the poke so she wouldn't have to watch.

Then we trekked to Walmart, which I was very nervous about. I used to give lectures to new parents as a postpartum nurse about not taking your baby out to public places so young... But we still need groceries right?... : / I kept her carseat covered the whole time, tried to be as quick as I could, and used hand sanitizer several times. And we survived.

Apparently enough so to justify a family night trip to Yogurt Jungle that night, per Carrie's request.

Carrie's been a SUPER helper around here lately. She loves being a big sister and is very concerned for Brigette's well-being. She asks to hold her allll the time. It usually only lasts about 10 seconds, but still, while she's holding her she's cooing, holding Brigette's hand, and saying how beautiful she is. Adorable.

She's also very good about putting on "hanitizer" before she touches Brigette. Sometimes she gets overly concerned if Brigette makes a squeak, or grumbly noise and shouts to me, "Mommy, Brigette needs you! Tell her, 'It's ok sweetie, mommy's coming...' "

Other times she's very independent and will put out a hand to stop me from coming to help and will say, "Don't worry mom, I got it!" She then proceeds to give a binky, softly shush, or sing a lala-lullaby to her.

Yesterday morning she told me "Brigette has crazy hair, I'll fix it". Princess brush to the rescue ;)

Now, among all this cuteness and sisterly love, Carrie's also had a bit of a mood problem since Brigette came home (as can be expected). She gets very grumpy if we have to tell her "no" to anything, or even "in just a minute". She crosses her arms, puts on a big grumpy pout, and sulks away.... It's not fun to deal with. We're trying to be patient and re-direct her moodiness, and hope that it passes soon. Luckily, her baby blues aren't in any way directed toward Brigette. I'm glad she doesn't seem to resent her sister's arrival!

Onto a quick tidbit about me. I think watching so much olympics has been good healthy motivation for me. I'm itching to start working out and get my muscles pumping again. Because blueberries were on sale this week, I bought a package. And for some reason, having blueberries around always makes me want to eat healthier. So yesterday I did something I never thought I'd do... I made homemade granola. It. Is. So. Good.... Oats, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.... baked to a crispy, crumbly goodness. I seriously ate a bowl of it with yogurt and blueberries for dessert last night. Here's hoping, for my health and getting-back-into-shape self, this trend of healthiness continues!