Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weekind Rewind & Leap Day

So my weekend rewind is definitely a little behind. Our schedules have been a bit off this week since we've been having Elyse at the office with us...but we're making the most of it & I'm certainly enjoying the extra few days with our little peanut.

I love my hands in my mouth!

Our weekend was incredibly low-key...chili & a Redbox movie on Friday night. A lazy relaxing pajama Saturday morning. A no-plan Saturday afternoon. Pizza & a movie at home on Saturday night. Church & a Qdoba lunch on Sunday morning. A no-plan Sunday afternoon. Small Group Sunday doesn't get much better than that if you're looking for some time to rest & relax.

Sleepy girl, ready for a nap!

Since Elyse's arrival, we've definitely learned to enjoy our time at home more and to make the most of having no plans. Now I'm mainly just looking forward to consistent warm weather from Spring & Summer so we can enjoy our free time outside instead of stuck in the house. The weather has been so mild this winter, but definitely not mild enough to play outside with a new baby!

Hi mom!

As I posted on Monday, Elyse spent Monday & Tuesday at work with Hubby & I and her Papa. She did so well and thankfully we were able to maintain most of her normal eat, wake, sleep routine that she has each day. In a huge praise report, my grandma was discharged from the hospital today & I finally feel like we have a diagnosis that we can work with to get her better! I'm sure that Gigi will be more than excited to go back to her normal job of babysitting on Monday, Tuesday, & Friday!

Dad, if I could stick my tongue out at you I would...I WILL NOT ROLL OVER AGAIN UNTIL I'M READY!!!

And finally, since it's a once in 4 years kind of thing I would hate not to mention that it's Leap Day. I celebrated by having pizza & salad for lunch and then starting back up with 30 Day Shred...oh I I still have some Elyse weight to drop but more importantly I really just want to work on getting back in shape. My legs currently feel like Jello, but I know the end result will be worth it! Nick has high hopes for a 5k in May...I'm not sure about that, but I need to definitely be closer to the possibility than I am right now!

Look Mom! I can sit-up like a big girl!

Happy Leap Day Everyone!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Working in a family business from a small office, there may be several days that are dubbed..."take your daughter to work day." Today my mom needs to be with my grandma as she was admitted into the hospital on Saturday. She seems to be doing better today, but for now my mom is at the hospital & Elyse is here at work with Nick & I.

Thankfully we have plenty of room and with her consistent schedule we're all still able to get plenty of work done even with her in her arms or behind our desks in her bouncer or in the pack and play fast asleep. I'm so thankful for the work situation that Nick & I's truly a blessing from God. And let's be honest, I'll never complain about seeing my baby girl just a few more moments during the day!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday Mommy Randoms

Just our new normal going on around the Layman's house this week...plenty of things to write about but sometimes there's just not enough time in the day to play with Elyse & blog--and what would you choose?!?

So a list of random thoughts from Momma Layman is all I've got for today...

~We've finally settled into some sort of normalcy here in the Layman household. I go to work Monday, Tuesday & Friday and I stay home with Elyse on Wednesday & Thursday. She eats basically every day at 7:30am, 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, 10:00pm, and then sometime between 4am & 5am. The middle of the night feeding seriously doesn't bother me because we're both only awake for about 30 minutes and then it's back to sleep for Mommy & Daughter.

Fresh out of the bath and ready for her pjs!

~I have been fighting a bit of a stomach bug since Tuesday. I honestly don't feel bad except for some nausea and getting sick in the middle of the night on Tuesday...I'm just really hoping that Elyse doesn't come down with it.

~With a new cookbook from Christmas and all the fabulous Pinterest recipes, I've made it a goal to try a new recipe most every week. Tonight I made Chicken Cordon Bleu from the Our Best Bites Cookbook. I didn't actually eat it because I was feeling ucky, but Hubby said it was delicious.

~It's been an absolutely gorgeous day here. Elyse & I went to Springfield with my mom to run some errands and she was an absolute gem...of course she is such a happy baby so it wasn't really a surprise that she was so good!

~Nick & I had planned to take a family vacation to Gulf Shores sometime in May but due to some scheduling issues, we've decided to push back the week long vacation to September. Our 5th wedding anniversary is on May 19th and I was pretty bummed about not going anywhere. So...what do we do instead?!? We plan a trip for just the two of Chicago. We'll be gone less than 48 hours and my parents have already agreed to keep Elyse. I know she'll be just fine & we will have a fabulous time in the Windy City...but that doesn't keep the "bad-mommy" whispers from sneaking through!

~And probably the most exciting thing for the week...which is pretty dang exciting to this momma...Elyse rolled over from her belly to her back on Tuesday night! She did it about 6 times, and it was absolutely adorable...but she WILL NOT do it again. We do have video to prove it which we're very thankful for, but we so badly want her to do it again! I guess she'll do it on her own time! I can't believe she's rolling over already!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Rewind~A Long Family Weekend

We've had a fabulous family weekend and we still have the rest of today to go! Hubby hasn't had President's Day off from work in quite some time due to his tax accountant job.....but with switching jobs, Elyse & I get to enjoy the day off with our favorite guy!

Friday night we had a casual night at home with a fabulous dinner. Filets on the grill, twice baked potatoes, and broiled asparagus! YUMMM!!! Oh and chopped strawberries served over ice cream for dessert! We had planned to grill on Valentine's Day, but the weather was a little iffy, so we postponed until Friday was the perfect end to the week!

Elyse was hilarious when she met her cousin on Friday afternoon, she was all smiles & giggles!

Hanging out with Daddy

Saturday Hubby & I manned our office from 8:30-12:00 while my parents watched Elyse. She sleeps most of the morning anyway so it wasn't a huge deal for us to be away. After work we spent a little bit of time at home before heading out for some errands and a Missouri State Bears basketball game. The game result was less than appealing, but we had a great time anyway. The games are so fun with Elyse & she's such a happy girl!

All beaded up for the game!

After the game, Hubby & I headed to one of our favorite pizza places Arris' for dinner. We hadn't eaten there since before Elyse was born and it was so delicious! We came home and spent the rest of the evening just lounging around before heading to bed.

Yesterday was a pretty lazy day, we went to church, grabbed a quick sandwich for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging around the house. Hubby volunteered for Elyse duty while I took a nice nap and then we headed out to small group for the evening. I know I've said it a thousand times, but these people are truly like family & I can't imagine my life without them!

Having some good quality Tummy Time!

Dad even joined in on the fun!

Today is another day at home, I've already made our weekly trip to Walmart & then we've just got some random things to do around the house. I think we've got breakfast for dinner on the menu for tonight...waffles, bacon & eggs...yum!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Elyse Love ~ 2 Months

Weight: We find out officially tomorrow, but based on Nick's scale experiment we're guessing right at 10 pounds! She's definitely growing like a weed and starting to get a few little rolls on her thighs and arms! We've also got some chubby little cheeks which are absolutely adorable! She's been wearing size 1 diapers for the past several weeks, and she'll be in those for quite some time. The newborn diapers just weren't cutting it anymore!
Clothes: Elyse has outgrown ALL of her newborn clothes. I haven't brought myself to box them up yet, but she's definitely not newborn sized anymore. Most all of her 0-3 month stuff fits great. Our little girl is SO long that she needs the 0-3 month stuff for the length more than anything. We've got a closet full of 0-3 month clothes, so I'm hoping she stays in these for at least the next month if not longer!

Food: Elyse is still eating great! On the days when I have to work I'm able to nurse her basically every other feeding and the other times she has a bottle from either my mom or Nick. She's taking the bottle really well which definitely makes this working momma happy! She always seems like she gets plenty to eat and is a happy little girl after meals...these are my favorite times with her because she's so alert & just happy!

Sleep: Elyse had her first night of sleeping all the way through about 10 days ago. During her 8th week, she slept through the night 4 of 7 nights but I'm not naive enough to think that's going to last forever. She hasn't slept through at all this week which is honestly fine by me. While I would love a full night's sleep, momma is a little uncomfortable when I don't nurse her for 8-9 hours! She's still napping really well, taking a short nap in the early morning and then 2 longer naps in the late morning and afternoon. She also always takes a bit of a nap during dinner time for Hubby & I which makes it nice for us to enjoy dinner together. Right now she really wants to be up when we're up so she normally just takes catnaps or dozes off with us before her last bottle before being put to bed for the night. She's a great sleeper and I know it's only a matter of time before she starts sleeping through more consistently!

Activity: She loves to lay down on her back and look up at the ceiling, but we're also giving her plenty of tummy time. She got a new activity pat & pad from Mamaw & Pappy which helps her to elevate her head during tummy time, this makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. In fact she's been on her tummy for almost 20 minutes just now completely content and just hanging out in the floor with momma. She also loves to stand on our laps & be thrown into the air. We've got a strong little girl who's definitely got some growing muscles!

Personality: Oh the smiles! She has these incredibly gummy grins that she is starting to give us several times during the day & it just warms my heart! She is definitely starting to develop a little personality and it's so incredible to watch her grow & change each day. She's also starting to communicate with us through more sounds than just her cries. She will coo & grunt & you just know she's talking to us...especially when she's ready to eat! I love those sounds so much sometimes I just like to annoy her a little bit so she will keep talking to me!

*her pacifier~she's definitely most partial to the Nuk pacifiers so we now have 5 in our possession, she'll still take the others, but Nuk's are definitley her favorite!

*music~Gigi bought a collection of children's songs and anytime we're playing the floor I love to have that playing in the background. They remind me so much of VBS and Sunday School when I was a little girl. Sometimes we sing and I move her arms & legs, but other times we just listen to all the songs about God & his love for us.

*attention~Elyse doesn't always have to be held, but she would definitely prefer to be where all the people are! Several times during the day I will lay her on her activity mat or put her in her Mamaroo while I work around the house...she doesn't seem to mind being by herself for a few minutes as long as she can see/hear me!

*bath time~ This has become time for Elyse & daddy to spend together and she loves it! She just hangs out in her little whale tub while he gets her all nice and clean. I'm definitely looking forward to bath times in the future when she can actually play in the water!


*I honestly can't think of anything specific that she absolutely dislikes. She has gotten much better at the clothing changes & the diaper changes. While she might still cry during these times, she's not inconsolable and as soon as we're finished she's a happy happy girl! I'm so thankful for this happy girl!

Two Month Milestones:

*First Manicure: 1/29/2012

*First Dinner Date out with Mommy & Daddy: 2/3/2012 to Houlihan's
*First Night to Sleep through the Night: 2/5/2012

*First Day at the Babysitters: 2/6/2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Rewind~An Early Valentine's

We had a pretty wonderful weekend with plenty of time to get refreshed after my first week back at work. I almost think that working 3 days made me more tired than taking care of Elyse full time! ha!

Friday Hubby & I were both at work so the evening was incredibly low-key. We had leftover enchiladas for dinner, I made a quick trip to Walmart while Elyse napped and we finished off the night with a Redbox movie...I Don't Know How She Does It with Sarah Jessica Parker. A cute movie that was definitely applicable to our lives right now! We also were able to use Facetime and let Hubby's parents watch Elyse open her Valentine's day fun for them to be able to see her even though they are 12 hours away. Can't wait for them to move back to Missouri!

Elyse's Valentine's Day boxes from Mamaw & Pappy

Facetiming with the Grandparents!

Momma & her Houndstooth baby

Saturday morning we had some family snuggle/nap time in bed and literally didn't get up until close to 10:00am...with an 8 week old this was quite the accomplishment! We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon lounging around the house. Saturday night Hubby & I left Elyse with my parents & we went off to enjoy an early Valentine's Day dinner. We headed to Springfield to run a few errands and make a few returns before going to Branson for dinner at Level 2 Steakhouse. We had a fabulous relaxing meal together with just the 2 of us. Unfortunately I failed to take any photos of us...guess that goes to show how our priorities have changed! ha!

We made it home just in time for Elyse's last feeding of the night and in time to put her to bed. She slept through the night again...which just as a note, does NOT always mean that Momma sleeps through the night. She was quite restless between 3-4 am, but finally settled back down and we all enjoyed the good night's sleep!

After church on Sunday we came home & while I would have loved to just veg all afternoon, we were in charge of dinner for Small Group so I whipped a few things thanks to Pinterest and then worked around the house a bit. I also managed to get in a quick photo shoot with our baby girl! Elyse & her Valentine's Day monkey from Hallmark

Elyse & Daddy

Our best attempt at a family photo...someone is getting a wee bit tired!

We also had some play-time in the floor with her new playmat from Mamaw & Pappy. She loves it! and tummy time is much more enjoyable for everyone since her head is elevated off the floor!

Just hanging out...

Momma are we done with pictures yet?!?

Raspberries on my stomach & some lovin' from daddy!

We finished off the weekend with small group & then we all came home & crashed. I was exhausted and headed to bed as soon as we fed Elyse for the last time. She didn't sleep completely through the night, but I did manage to have solid sleep from 10:00-4:30, which I'll take!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Few of Elyse's Favorite Things

So I do promise that eventually I will get back to writing some posts that are not solely baby related, but let's be honest. This is the season of life I'm in and it's also the season of life that a ton of my favorite blog friends & real life friends are really no apologies for writing about all things baby-related!

Elyse is 8 weeks old this week! yikes! She is growing so fast! In the past 8 weeks we have definitely discovered some things that are working wonderfully & others that she doesn't really care about...babies are certainly all completely different & you never know what will work for one baby over another, but here are just a few of Elyse's favorite things and also a few of my momma must-haves!

The Halo Sleep Sacks--seriously these things are like magic! Elyse loves to be swaddled! We originally swaddled her arms up at her chin with her elbows bent because that's how it seemed she was in the womb; however once she got a bit older she would get her arms out and then startle herself awake while she was dreaming. Once we started swaddling her arms down she slept so much more soundly and for much longer periods of time! We have 4 of these that are on constant rotation!

With a December baby & the fact that Hubby & I like to get out of the house, we knew we needed something to keep Elyse cozy in her carseat. I found this JJ Cole Urban Bundle Me at one of our local specialty stores, but it's also available at Babies R Us. This is such a wonderful thing. It's stretched onto the carseat & zips at the bottom. The top part just kind of flops over making it easy to leave on when she's in the car. We just flop back the top part and she can still see out! Kind of hard to explain, but a fabulous purchase!

We started putting Elyse in her crib in her own room less than 2 weeks after we came home. No one was sleeping very soundly including Elyse! One night after her last feeding and when she was practically asleep I swaddled her up, placed her in her crib, and turned on her Sleep Sheep. We all slept much better that night and we've never looked back. We start the "whales" on her sheep every night before she goes to bed and I use it most days for her nap as well. This sheep isn't necessarily magic, but I would definitely recommend some sort of noise maker.

I had always hoped to be able to breastfeed and I knew that inevitably I would have to feed Elyse either while in the car or somewhere that wasn't in the comfort of my own home. And of course that happened only a few days after coming home when we were at one of my family Christmas celebrations. I wouldn't consider myself a crazy modest person, but I also wasn't about to just breastfeed Elyse out in the open. I decided to buy a stylish nursing cover/apron and it was the perfect solution. It's definitely made those otherwise very awkward feeding times much more comfortable for everyone!

When deciding on a swing/bouncy seat for Elyse, we had originally planned on getting the Fisher Price Snugabunny series. However, Hubby found the Mamaroo at our local baby store & fell in love. With our fairly small living room the Mamaroo took up so much less space & we decided that it could serve both purposes....a swing & a bouncy seat in one. For Elyse it has worked just fine and she enjoys being in the Mamaroo when I'm fixing dinner or folding laundry. My mom does have the Fisher Price bouncy seat & Elyse seems to love that too, of course every baby is different & has their own preference.

This probably goes without saying, but every mom should have a Boppy or something similar. My mom made a Boppy cover from a pattern she found at a local fabric store & we used the fabric from Elyse's nursery to make it a little more fun! The Boppy is great for nursing, but also wonderful for when your arms are just tired or when you need to sit your baby down for a bit and want them to be able to sit up just slightly on their own.

During our hospital stay, Elyse seemed to have these mid-afternoon breakdowns and we knew it wasn't because she was hungry or dirty...she was just unhappy. Hubby & I had decided that we hoped to keep Elyse from being a thumb-sucker so we made the decision to try and give her a pacifier to soothe her. She took to it right away and it instantly seemed to calm her. I realize that some moms are completely against a pacifier & are concerned with nipple confusion; however, I didn't ever experience any confusion problems & the pacifier seems to make her happy when nothing else will. A happy baby definitely makes for a happy a pacifier it is! We eventually switched from the hospital issued Soothies to a Nuk just because she can keep it in her mouth easier.

I'm sure there will be other things that become favorites as time passes, but for now these are the things that are must-haves for our family!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Rewind~Birthday Celebration!

All I can say is that my first birthday weekend as a momma was absolutely fantastic!

Friday night we headed out with Elyse & some friends for dinner at Houlihan's. She was perfect during dinner of course we might be a little partial...probably thanks to her little nap she took beforehand...

Taking a peek at momma...or sleeping with one eye open & one eye closed!

Saturday (my actual birthday) Hubby, Elyse & I lounged around the house for the entire day. We still woke up early so I could feed Elyse & of course open LOTS of presents, but we seriously spent most of the day watching tv & relaxing.

My birthday box from the mother-in-law...complete with 29 "lit" candles!

My baby girl and my stack of gifts from Hubby...practically a brand new wardrobe from Banana Republic! And almost every single thing fit perfectly!

Saturday evening we went out to dinner with my parents & had a great meal. I was seriously SO ridiculously stuffed after crab wonton appetizers, caesar salad, sushi, pan seared sea bass, and chocolate souffle for dessert! Yummmm!!!

Elyse took a quick cat nap before heading out to dinner...check out those crossed ankles! She's a lady already!
Our precious family of 3!

Sunday we headed to church and then went on down to my parents' house to help with the Super Bowl/Birthday party preparations.
Elyse lounging around in Papa's arms! I'm loving her in the green...I may have to stock up on that color!
Elyse & her piano activity station...she's still a little small to enjoy all the features, but she'll be loving it so soon!

Passed out in the Boppy...but still cheering on her team the Dallas Cowboys, even if they didn't make it to the Superbowl!

Mini-cupcakes...chocolate, strawberry, white & red velvet cake! Mmmm...

The birthday girl...with funfetti blondies!

Making a wish...for a year that just comes close to as good as 28 was!

And time for another mani/pedi from Aunt Millie & Uncle Nick! The polish is definitely growing on me!

I'm back at work this morning...I dropped our baby girl off this morning & managed to only break down twice. She's in great hands, and it wouldn't work any other way! I am so unbelieveably thankful that Gigi is able & willing to watch our baby girl 3 days a week!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

29 Years Old

Today is my 29th birthday! I'm normally a crazy person when it comes to my birthday, and while I'm certainly excited about all the presents & food & celebration that will come along this weekend...a precious little girl has captured my attention this year.

I can't even imagine how my 29th year could top my 28th year. With finding out we were expecting much sooner than we had imagined, to our Babymoon in Hawaii, to preparing for our baby girl and finally welcoming her into this 28th year was pretty incredible.

I'm so excited to see what 29 will my life, in Hubby's life, and in Elyse's life. It's sure to be a wonderful year full of lots of love, laughter, & joy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

just when you think... have it all figured out and you've settled into some sort of normalcy, everything changes again.

Today is a cloudy, rainy, windy Friday which I guess is more than appropriate because today is a bittersweet day for me. It's the perfect day to cuddle up with my baby girl and do nothing but enjoy her & all her precious little features. The perfect day to sit on the couch and hold her while she stares up at me with those big blue eyes and the perfect day to get down in the floor and play with her as she kicks her tiny legs and tries so desperately to communicate with me. The perfect day to try and catch just a little snooze as she takes what is supposed to be her LONG afternoon nap, but sometimes I think she wakes up early just because she wants to cuddle with momma.

Today is what I would call my last official day of maternity leave. Now before I convince you to feel TOO sorry for me, remember that I do work FOR my parents and work WITH my husband and my MOM will be the one watching Elyse and I am ONLY working 3 days a week. And let's not forget that even on the days I work, I'll be seeing Elyse every day over lunch. However, these last almost 8 weeks have absolutely flown by and I honestly can't believe how much she's changed and just how much I absolutely LOVE this little girl that God brought into our lives. I have just managed to start figuring out Elyse's complex, changing every day schedule; only to have to start back to work a few days a week.

If someone had asked me a few years ago if I saw myself as a full-time stay at home mom, my standard, typical answer was probably not. I just couldn't really imagine myself staying at home all day every day with our children. And then if someone asked me 9 months ago if I was going to stay at home full time my standard response was...I don't know, we'll figure it out. Working with family certainly offers a lot of flexibility that I wouldn't have otherwise, so it wasn't a decision that we had to make immediately. And today, if someone asked me today if I would ever be a full-time stay at home mom my response will still be...I don't know, we're going to figure it out. Right now our plans are for me to work 3 days a week and be home with Elyse the other 2; however, I'm not naive enough to think that those plans might have to change yet again. Nick & I will be making those decisions based on what's best for Elyse, and our current set-up certainly isn't set in stone.

While I'm going to miss being around the house & catering to Elyse's every need, there are certainly things I'm looking forward to as I prepare to go back to work. I'm looking forward to being back in a job that I really did enjoy. I'm looking forward to accomplishing something on Mondays, Tuesdays, & Fridays that is completely different from what I will be accomplishing the other four days of the week. I'm looking forward to some adult conversation that doesn't necessarily involve dirty diapers, breastfeeding, or sleep schedule (of course in a small office I'm sure there'll still be plenty of that). I'm looking forward to having a reason to get dressed up and wear more than just sweats & t-shirts. And I'm looking forward to being with Nick more, working beside him, and continuing to navigate our new roles as parents & co-workers.

The discussion of working mom vs. stay-at-home mom will always exist and I honestly can't say which is better...because it's not about which is better overall, but which is the best decision for our family. Right now I feel like I'm about to experience the best of both worlds. Because while I'm looking forward to all those things about job, I know that each week I'll be aching for Wednesday & Thursday when I get to spend two whole days at home with our baby girl...cuddling and singing and going for walks and doing whatever else we want.

I'll be longing for those two Mom Days each week when we can just be mother & daughter hanging out in our jammies.