Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Rewind~Perfection

What a fabulous weekend we had!  Friday night we shipped Elyse off to Papa & Gigi's house and we headed out for a date night. 

Can I get an Amen for free babysitters who come quite close to loving your baby more than you do?!? 

We had a romantic dinner at Steak & Shake before Nick treated me to a viewing of the Hunger Games.  I have read all the books and I certainly wasn't disappointed in the movie...I just can't believe that we have to wait so long for the next one!  This was the first movie we had been to since the Saturday before Elyse arrived...I think the buttery movie popcorn was calling my name.  ha! 
Dressed up for a night out with Papa & Gigi
Saturday we spent the morning just laying around the house and enjoying some quality family time.  After Elyse's late morning meal we loaded up and went to our favorite greenhouse/nursery.  Hilltop Gardens is so beautiful...we just love it!  We spend too much money but got enough plants for 9 planters, a few plants for the front bed, 4 new rose bushes for the south-side of our house, & an elephant ear...I think we may be done buying plants for the year-but no promises!  ha! 
look at all those roses!
Planting annuals each year can be a lot of work...but so rewarding with the beautiful color!
Elyse was passed out in her stroller by the time we were finished-perfect timing for an extended naptime for our baby girl!
 After our trip to the nursery Nick & I both got busy working in the yard---he hopped on the mower and I started working in the dirt trying to get all my plants put together in their pots!  We had originally planned on only filling about 5 pots...but ended up with enough plants for 8!  Glad I kept all those planters from the past few years!
Only 2 of our 8 pots...more photos once the blooms arrive!

My beautiful present for Administrative Assitant's Day!  Gotta love working for my dad!
We ended off our Saturday with pizza take-out & a movie at home.  And Elyse even gave us a present by sleeping through the night from 9 pm -6:30 am!  Yippee!  There's hope after all!  ha! 

Sunday we headed off to church and then spent another afternoon at home.  We both worked outside for a bit while Elyse took her nap & then we had some fabulous play time before heading off to small group. 
All ready for church with Daddy!

Pacifier...check!  Sophie the giraffe...check!  Teething toy on my head from daddy...Check! 
We've been spending more time at home on the weekends since becoming a family of 3 and I'm loving it!  The quality time we're having as a family is completely priceless and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fun Day Randoms

I always have such good intentions of blogging more often, but most of the time those intentions are just that...good intentions and nothing ever gets done.  Since I'm using my blog as Elyse's baby book for now, here's a few randoms from this week...

Elyse Updates:
  • Due to various circumstances at work, I ended up working yesterday & have today off!  Which means a 3-day weekend for me...and you certainly won't find me complaining about that.  Elyse and I have no plans today other than playing around the house & possibly going for a walk; however, it's super windy and there's a chance of rain so the walk may get postponed.  
  • Elyse found her ears on Wednesday.  We went down to spend the day with my mom and she would just sit & hold her ear or play with it while she was laying in the floor.  If she was unhappy otherwise then I would have thought she might have had an ear infection, but our baby girl was happy as usual so I'm thinking it was just another exciting discovery for her!
  • This was from last week, but after Elyse's 4-month shots she had her first official fever.  It was only got up to about 100.4, but our poor happy baby was just not herself.  She was just dying to be cuddled and hang out in our arms, which we definitely won't complain about.  Thankfully after a couple of doses of Tylenol she was back to herself. 
  • Last week after her shots Elyse wasn't eating very well and I mainly just contributed it to the shots, but after several days of fighting her to eat and frustratign nighttime sleep we decided to make the biggest change we've made since Elyse was  born.  We moved her to a 4 hour schedule...Eat, Awake time for 2 hours, and a 2 hour nap...repeat.  So far she's been doing wonderfully with it and has even been sleeping more soundly through the night!  Now if I can just figure out how to keep her fully entertained for 2 hours! 
  • Remember how in her 4 month photo shoot I couldn't capture a smile on camera?  Well...there's also been a change in that this week! 
Exhibit A...

Exhibit B...

Exhibit C...

& Exhibit D!
We've certainly got a smiley, happy baby on our hands!

Momma Updates: 
  • I've been going to 1-2 Zumba classes a week for about the last month and I am loving it!  Depending on the night, I have a couple of friends who I Zumba with and it's so much fun.  I'm a terrible dancer, but I'm actually starting to get some of the routines down which makes me feel like I'm getting more out of the work-out.  Anything where I can have a good time and sweat for an hour sounds good to me! 
  •  Nick & I are heading out for a date night tonight which may or may not include dinner...but will most certainly include a viewing of the Hunger Games.  Nick hasn't read the books, but I've convinced him he'll enjoy the story anyway!  That's seriously one of the most important things for us right now...taking time for just the two of us when we try our best to focus the conversation on things other than just Elyse.  It brings us both back into a sense of normalcy. 
  • We have plans to head to a local nursery tomorrow to get some plants so we can fill our pots with lots of springy, summery color!  I'l definitely be sharing photos once we get everything in place!

Have a super weekend...I can hear thunder rolling in as I type this, I'm thinking the afternoon walk may be replaced with an afternoon nap! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A More Spring-Like Weekend Rewind

Well we finally had what I would consider an April weekend filled with rain showers, cloudy skies, and temps in the 60s.  Much different temps from what we've had the past several weekends! 

Friday Elyse went to work with her daddy & I since my babysitter aka Gigi aka my mom is out of town on vacation.  She was super good all day...what can I say she's an incredible baby! 
All lady-bugged up for work!

Even though she was good, having her at the office all day & playing the joint roll of momma, employee, and wife all at the same time was exhausting!  We decided to treat ourselves for survivign the day with dinner out at Chili's.  We also ran a few errands and finished off the evening with some yummy frozen custard! 

On Saturday it was back to work for the Layman family so the three of us headed back into the office until lunchtime.  Nick spent the afternoon working in the yard while I played inside with Elyse & took a nice little nap!  I also managed to snap these picture of our rose bush & clematis!  With the abnormally warm spring, everything is blooming like crazy! 

 Roses galore!
 Clematis covering our fence!  The colors are so vibrant!

Saturday night we headed down to visit Nick's sister, brother-in-law & nephews.  They just love Baby Elyse & she was in a great mood for most of the evening even with the lack of her evening nap!  We had a casual dinner and just spent the evening catching up.  It's so sad that we only live 45 minutes apart but yet it can be months between is just way too busy sometimes! 
 Our precious nephews, Hunter & Jackson!  Love those smiles!
 Hunter even read Elyse a story...8 Little Monkey's Jumping on the Bed!
 And how about a Hunter you think these boys love their uncle Nick?!?

Today has been a laid back day at home. We are tweaking Elyse's schedule a bit and so far so good.  Of course we're less than 48 hours into it, but I'll take what I can get at this point!  It was a cloudy windy day so after lunch and some play time, we all 3 laid down for a nice Sunday afternoon nap.  Before we knew it, it was time for Elyse to eat dinner and time to head to small group!  Another great weekend with my fabulous family of three!  
The loves of my life!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Elyse Love ~ 4 Months

We headed to the pediatrician this morning for Elyse's 4 month well-baby visit. She's doing marvelously and developing just as she should!

Weight/Height: As of today's appointment, she weighs 12 lbs 15 oz which is in the 25-50% and she is 25 inches tall which is in the 75%!  We still have our skinny minny on our hands, but she's definitely starting to fill out in her legs & arms.  The rolls are starting to appear at her wrist and on her thighs.  It's absolutely adorable!

Clothes: After a few blowouts, we moved her into size 2 diapers a few days ago.  The diapers seemed big, but actually fit her quite well...just goes to show how small the size 1's really were!  She is still wearing some 0-3 month things, but the shirts are becoming much tighter & the pants are looking more like capris than true pants!  Anything new that we buy will definitely be 3-6 month.  I've actually started removing some of the newborn & 0-3 month winter stuff from her closet as there's just no way that she'll be wearing it again.  I'm loving all the spring & summer playclothes that are in the stores..I think I may have to go shopping soon for some more fun stuff!  

Food: Elyse is still eating like a champ but has definitely slowed down a little from her 3 month crazy eating spell!  She is still feeding 6-7 times a day (depending on if she wakes in the night) and is taking probably between 5 & 5.5 oz at each feeding.  She's still being nursed the majority of the time, but on the days I work she takes a bottle at 10, 4, & 7.  She does great with this and I'm so glad for the freedom we have with her being willing to eat from a bottle. 
Sleep: This is still a work-in-progress, but honestly it doesn't bother me all that much.  She has started waking sometime between 2:30-3:30 am, and normally I feed her and she goes right back to sleep.  Last night Nick just gave her the pacifier at 3:30 and she went right back to sleep and didn't wake again until 6.  It's going to be trial and error of figuring out if she's really hungry when she wakes or if she's just lonely.  Hopefully we'll get this figure out soon but she's such a good baby otherwise that if this is the only thing we have to deal with then I can handle it.  We're also still swaddling her completely at night so I know that her sleep habits will be thrown for a loop once we start trying to wean her from the swaddling. 

Activity: She just loves to be around people and be the center of attention.  She is perfectly content with laying in the floor, sitting in her iSnug chair, having some tummy time, or playing in her activity center at Gigi's.  I love that she enjoys all of these things because when she gets tired of one we can just move on to the next.  She is starting to grip toys in her hands and is pulling on her mat when she has tummy time.  She also kicks her feet really hard on the floor at times which makes me think that she'll be rolling over consistently from back to tummy very soon!  She kind of decided recently that she didn't want to roll over at all anymore, but sooner or later we're going to have a mobile, active girl on our hands! 
Personality: This month we went from full-face smiles to full-body smiles!  Sometimes I swear she could light up an entire room with her smile...although she doesn't seem to want to show it off for the camera!  ughhh! She is talking more and more every day & even likes to babble all the way home from Papa & Gigi's house after my working days.  She absolutely LOVES her daddy & I swear that he can get her to smile & laugh more than anyone!  It's so stinkin' adorable and just makes me fall in love with both of them more & more!
~People she loves:  She is definitely starting to recognize familiar faces and my heart just melts when she gives me a big ole grin in the mornings when I go in to get her from her crib or when I see her after work!  Those moments are priceless. 
~Lamaze toys:  These are seriously the best toys ever.  We have an inch worm, an elephant, and a dragon all here at our house & she also has a horse at Papa & Gigi's.  They have all sorts of different things to keep her entertained and they are small enough that she can hold on to them with her little hands. 
~Hands to Mouth:  The thing I predicted in her 3rd month certainly happened..she gagged herself by having her hands to far down in her mouth!  But she still loves to put as many fingers as possible in there at one time and the drool flows freely down her face! 
~Movement & Music:  We definitely try not to put her in front of the tv too much, but she absolutely loves to watch it!  The Easter Bunny brought her a Praise Baby DVD and she loves that so I'm thinking those will be on replay at our house!  
~We seriously have such a good baby.  She doesn't really have any dislikes that any normal person wouldn't have.  She doesn't like being woken up from a sound sleep, she doesn't like it when she's been in one position for too long, and she gets fussy when she's tired or hungry...otherwise her disposition is that of a perfectly happy baby.  Love this girl! 
4 Month Milestones:
*Rolling over from back to front: Around 4/4, but she's only done it a couple of times
*First STL Cardinals game:  4/2 when STL came to Springfield for an exhibition game

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rainy Weekend Rewind

The majority of the weekend was just rainy & relaxing for our family of 3.  Friday night we had a fancy family dinner at Chic-fil-A and then headed to a local consignment sale where I was hoping to get some nice stuff for Elyse.  I honestly couldn't have been more disappointed. I've never been a huge garage sale shopper, but I was hoping to find some nice quality play clothes for Elyse and everything was just super worn out!  Ughh...I'm not going to pay 75% of the original price for something used & worn, when I can pay 100% and get something brand new and clean! 

Hopefully better luck next time! 

 Worn out from a day of playing with Gigi and a date night out with Momma & Daddy!

Saturday morning I stayed home and played with Elyse while Nick went to work until noon.  We had a laid back afternoon that included naps for all of us!  We also ended up randomly heading down to my parents' house for dinner and a nice walk around their property.  Sometimes I feel like we practically live with my parents since we work together and we also normally spend some time together on the weekends, but I'm just so grateful that Elyse is going to have both sets of grandparents so nearby!  And I certainly won't complain about the free babysitter! 

 Gigi & her Papa before going on a walk!

Sunday's have become pretty routine for, lunch, a few household chores, some laying around, and then small group!  This week we were in charge of dinner for Small Group and we decided to take breakfast on the go.  Nick took charge on making the pancakes and we had close to 50 before we were all done!  I just took some fruit and a few eggs and called it good...let me just say that breakfast for dinner was a big hit! 
 Hubby:  The Pancake Chef!

Elyse is 18 weeks old today!  Where does the time go?!?  (4 month post coming later this week after her doctor's appointment!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who Am I?

Before I even write another word, let me just state the obvious.  Being a mom is HARD.  It's the most difficult, yet most rewarding job I've ever had.  It's long nights & early morning feedings.  It's life on a 3 hour rotation instead of doing what I want when I want to do it.  It's coming to the end of the day and trying to figure out just what in the heck I accomplished in the last 12 hours.  It's becoming a servant to the smallest person imaginable and having some sense of hope knowing that she can't fire you for doing a bad job. 

Up until now, most all of my posts about motherhood have been all about how amazing it is and how wonderful our daughter is...and both of those things are still VERY VERY true.  Being a mom is amazing & the love I have for my daughter is something no one could have ever explained to me. 

However...the other thing that no one could have ever told me was how conflicted I would feel almost daily when I try to balance all the other roles in my life.  Because the day I became a mother, I didn't lose all of those other titles.  Mother simply just got stacked on top. 

I'm a mom.  I'm a wife.  I'm a daughter.  I'm an employee.  I'm a friend.  I'm a coworker.  I'm a Christian. I'm a housecleaner and a chef.  I'm a SAHM (stay-at-home mom).  I'm a working mom.  I'm a daughter who's an employee of her fathers'.  I'm a wife who's a coworker with her husband. 

Yeah. That's a lot of roles.  At any given time I'm required to be all of the above, and yet figure out exactly how to do all of them to the best of my ability.  Don't get me wrong, I love my life and my life is pretty stinkin' great.  But trying to figure out which hat to stack on next can be exhausting.  And it can be so hard and so humbling. 

Stumbling through this new life, I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other & take one day at a time.  I'm also working really hard to find time to do a few things for myself.  Which is why as soon as I hit publish on this post, I'm shutting my computer, turning off the tv and going to try and catch a quick nap before the end of the current 3 hour segment.  It's also why tonight I'm going with a good friend to Zumba where I'll look like a fool while I miss so many of the moves...but I will sweat for an hour and for an hour I won't have time to think about any of my roles because if I do I'll end up falling on my face. 

Figuring out my true identity might be even more difficult than becoming a mom.  Keeping a bit of myself has become crucial.  With all the chaos & busyness of spending my days selling insurance, singing "The Little Green Frog", kissing my husband, picking up Sophie the Giraffe for the umpteenth time, talking with my mom on the phone, and folding just another burp rag to be put away, having a few simple moments to myself is certainly the only way to keep my sanity. 

Who am I? 

I'm still the same woman I was almost 4 months ago.  The woman who needs some time for herself and some time to get away from it all.  The woman who married a man who seriously makes her better and forces her to laugh even when that's the last thing she wants to do.  The woman who puts her whole self into a friendship because having close girlfriends is one of the greatest blessings in life.  And after four months, that woman is even better than she was.  She's better because of the little girl who's sleeping in the next room and has taught her so much about being selfless and being humble and loving unconditionally even if I do have a stack of 10 hats on my head. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hippity Hoppity Easter 2012

I honestly don't know that we could have asked for a better 1st Easter Weekend for our family!  Our office was closed on Good Friday afternoon and I was able to spend the afternoon hanging out with Elyse while Nick did some yardwork.  Friday evening we went out to dinner with a large group of friends for a Surprise Birthday party for a very dear friend.  She casually mentioned to her husband that she couldn't remember the last time she had an actualy "party" for her birthday so he took that as his cue.  We all met up at a local hibachi steakhouse & had a wonderful time fellowshipping!  My parents kept Elyse & we were able to have a nice date night out!  Of course I failed to take even a single photo!

Saturday was a fairly busy day with Easter preparations.  Nick played golf in the morning while Elyse & I hung out at the house.  I made this yummy Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake and it was a big hit on Sunday afternoon.  It was a little bit of a rainy Saturday so we laid around the house and I think we all took a little bit of a nap at some point!  After naps, it was time for dinner & we had a fabulous meal of steak, asparagus, baked potatoes, and grilled bread...delicious! 

And then it was time for Elyse's first Easter tradition...Dying Easter Eggs!  Of course she didn't really participate this year, but I can't wait until next year when she's able to be a little more involved!

Daddy & Elyse dying eggs!

Daddy stealing some sugar!

and Daddy mimicking our precious baby girl who likes to stick her entire hand in her mouth!!

Momma, Elyse & our finished eggs! 

Easter Sunday morning Hubby & I got ready for church while Elyse extended her sleep in our bed for awhile. 

I think she's already ready for pictures...check out that pose!

 All ready for church in her Easter dress!

Before heading to church we opened 2 of Elyse's Easter baskets...

Easter Basket #1 from Mamaw & Pappy:  Some fun bunny books, a cute Polo outfit, a swimming suit & cover-up, some bath toys, & another cute play toy.

Easter Basket #2 from Mommy & Daddy:  A fun Musical dino toy, a cute Zutano romper, purple sparkly fingernail polish, Praise Baby DVD, The Beginner's Bible (her first Bible), & an embroidered wipes case. 

Momma, Elyse, & her new toy...Daddy volunteered to be the one to pick up the balls!  ha!

We headed off to church where we had a wonderful service about how absolutely nothing is impossible with God and then had a quick little Easter Egg hunt for the kiddos in between services.  Obviously Elyse isn't old enough to actually pick up the eggs, but Nick was insistent that we at least have a photo-op at her first egg hunt! 

Elyse's one Easter egg, which we donated to another child who actually understood the process. 

Our first Easter as a family of 3!

Elyse & Brooks in their first engagement photo!  ha! 

After church we quickly stopped by our house before heading down to my parents' house for the annual family Easter gathering.  Elyse was still awake and in fairly good humor so we snapped a few more photos before putting her down for a quick nap. 

Oh how God has blessed me!  The loves of my life!

Playing airplane with Daddy!

We had an incredible lunch with family, where way too much brisket, cornflake potatoes, and strawberry desserts (yes, plural) were consumed.  Afterwards we headed outside for another tradition, the egg toss!  We had some pretty serious casualties this year with several people ending up with a LOT of egg on them, and even a little bit of blood from the egg shell cutting their hands!  Normally the egg toss isn't quite so violent!  ha! 

Lined up & ready to toss...

 Obviously Hubby & I did not win!

We finished out the afternoon watching golf on tv & spending time with my brother & SIL who brough Elyse yet one more Easter basket!

Easter Basket #3:  An adorable finger puppet book & bunny from Pottery Barn Kids

 And finally Easter Basket #4 from Gigi & Papa:  Some fun Naartijie kids clothing, a Lamaze dinosaur toy, and a fun egg book!  Mommy & Daddy also got Easter baskets that included way too much candy and a new pair of shoes!  Toms for me, and Sperry Top-Siders for Hubby! 

I think we were all worn out after the busy but fabulous day!