Tuesday, August 28, 2012

of course i CAN, but i don't HAVE to

I guess it's a good thing that I've learned it early on, and I just hope that I remember it moving forward but let me just put one thing out there...I DON'T have to be a supermom.  If I've learned anything in my short 8 1/2 months as a momma, I've learned that if someone offers help-accept it. 

As Hubby was planning to be out of town this past weekend, I waffled back and forth about whether I would stay at home and travel back & forth to work just as I would if Hubby were home...or, if I would take advantage of the willing, open hands at my parents' home and spend a few days with them.  I honestly didn't make my actual decision until Thursday night as I raced around my house like a mad woman throwing baby clothes and baby food and expressed milk and my own clothing and everything else we might possibly need for a few days in a few bags.  Needless to say I had already broken a sweat before I ever even got to Zumba! 

While I knew that I COULD stay at home by myself, travel back & forth to work, entertain Elyse during the evenings, get up with her overnight, nurse her 4 times a day and feed her 2 meals with solids, get ready each morning while catering to Elyse's needs, etc., etc., etc.  The truth is that I didn't HAVE to. 

As Hubby pulled away from our house on Wednesday night, I quickly called my mom to discuss my possible plans for the next few days.  And if I'm still being completely honest, I was quickly tearing up as I was more than a little overwhelmed about undertaking 4+ days with just me, an 8 1/2 month old, and a 95 lb yellow lab. 

As I talked with my own awesome mom, she reminded me of something so very important.  If I made the decision to spend a few days with them to have some help it didn't make me a bad mom.  It didn't make me any less of a mom if I accepted a little bit, or even a lot, of help from people who love Elyse almost as much as I do.

Elyse will never love me any more for trying to be supermom.  Elyse loves me because I'm her momma, and oh how my heart fills with joy as she is starting to smile her big, toothy grin everytime she sees me enter the room. 

I've decided that there are so many things that I certainly CAN do as a momma & would if that were my only option, but at the same time there are certain things I don't HAVE to do because I am so blessed to have such amazing love and support around me.   And there is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting that help every single time it's offered. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Rewind-Single Momma

This past weekend was another first for Elyse...the first time her daddy was gone overnight, 4 nights to be exact.  Hubby headed out Wednesday evening after he put Elyse down.  It was time for his annual golf trip, which meant Elyse & I were at home by ourselves.  I knew I COULD be the sole-caregiver for 96 hours, but I also knew that I didn't HAVE to. 
Since I work for my parents, 5 minutes from their house, I chose to pack Elyse & I up and we spent our days & nights hanging out with Papa & Gigi.  They of course loved every minute of it...well except for the meltdown before dinner on Thursday night and the middle of the night wakings.  Yes...we still wake up in the night most nights.  Yes...she's 8 1/2 months old.  No...I haven't figured out how to fix things.  No...I don't think CIO (cry it out) will work based on our own experience.  But more on that in another post. 
We took a work-related road trip on Thursday afternoon to inspect a property, which resulted in only about 30 minutes of afternoon nap.  She preferred to fuss & cry all the way home for our hour long drive.  Yeah...note to self, on our upcoming trip to Florida if Elyse is sleeping DO NOT STOP THE CAR!!! 
Also, please disregard the horrible picture quality...Hubby had our good small camera in Wisconsin. 
Happy girl after my short nap...this toothy grinned girl didn't last much longer!
Friday I worked all day while Elyse was at home with my momma.  We had another first for Elyse on Friday evening...her first official football game.  My cousin is now a freshman at my high school alma mater so since we were in town we decided to go to the game for a few minutes...few being approximately 25 minutes before bedtime was necessary!   
Momma & Elyse at her first Comets football game!
Saturday morning I also had to work until noon & it was a rainy, cloudy day.  After work we just hung out at the house and Elyse & I took a bit of a nap before my brother & sister-in-law came over for a nice visit.  Elyse was a big show-off, crawling & talking & waving her hands like a silly little girl!  She is changing so fast! 
Notice how you can't actually see her hands...yeah, she was waving them like a mad woman!  ha! 

& there's that crinkly nose smile again...oh how I love this girl! 
We ended up going to a local BBQ place for dinner & then home for a quick walk before it was time for Elyse to head to bed.  Oh how Elyse loves her Uncle Nick & Aunt Millie! 
Aunt Millie & Elyse
Yesterday I packed all of our stuff up and headed to church.  We came home and played for a bit before we both crashed for naps...I was just trying to quickly pass the time before Hubby showed up around 3:30.  We were definitely both SO glad to see him!

We finished off the evening with an informal small group gathering before we get started back up for the semester and also to have a quick golf tournament recap.  I can't believe it's already time for our small groups to start back up...where has the summer gone?!? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1st Annual Drive Out Hunger

For the most part, our weekend was centered around a service project our small group decided to take on earlier this year.  During one of our studies, we were challenged to find a way to serve others in and around our community.  Never a group to do things on a small scale, we decided to host a golf tournament to benefit the local backpack program.  Tiger Totes is greatly under-funded and honestly awareness isn't even really that high.  So...with Hubby as our leader, we organized an event to raise funds for this important cause. 

With all the contacts & manpower that a group of 12 adults can provide, we managed to organize an event with 98 golfers, 25 individual business sponsors, & a corporate sponsor.  I never dreamed that we would have such an incredible tournament with our inaugural year.  We couldn't have asked for better weather and so many of the individuals involved complimented us on how smoothly the event turned out. 

Maybe the most important thing is that after all expenses are paid our little old small group, dubbed Give Back Republic, will be writing a check to the Tiger Totes program for just a little under $6000!!!  Yeah, we raised almost $6000 in the first year of our event...God is AWESOME! 
Our fancy signs which were donated by a local business!
The golfers all lined up and ready to go!

& they're off!  Somehow we managed to have 98 golfers complete their round in a little over 4 1/2 hours...which is UNHEARD OF!

My Grandpa even joined in on the fun...Can you believe he'll be 81 in December?!?

Our fearless leaders!  Keith & Nick made everything run so smoothly!

Our agency's hole sponsor sign!  Loved these!

We had a game during the round that included the rolling of the dice!
I am so super proud of my Hubby for working so hard and organizing such a great event.  We had the full support of our entire small group & if it wasn't for a sick kiddo, every single one of us would have been in attendance.  Missed you Bethany!  Everyone worked so hard & so well together & we're already brainstorming how we can make next year's event even better!  I'm so honored to call these people my friends! 
Our entire group!  Love these people!
Elyse spent the night Friday with my mom & dad since we had an early morning on Saturday.  This meant Hubby & I even got an impromptu date night on Friday night complete with dinner at a local Italian restaurant (without worrying about how fast we ate or how much noise Elyse was making) and frozen custard for dessert!  Yum! 

We went & picked Elyse up on Saturday afternoon, where we were greeted with lots of toothy grins! Not gonna lie, I definitely missed her!   She had a blast with Papa & Gigi and it was finally cool enough to enjoy her swing again! 
Soon she's going to be saying...Higher Daddy, Higher!
Sunday we went to church and then spent the rest of the afternoon at home.  Hubby worked in the yard while I napped & played with Elyse.  Pretty much my definition of a perfect afternoon!  ha! 
Love this picture of Elyse looking at her daddy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Teeth Marks for Elyse! Pinterest Success!

I have to take just a moment to brag on my own momma aka Gigi.  She made all the crib bedding for Elyse, the quilt for her room, and she completed most of the fabric covered canvases and embroidery hoops...but she still had one more project. 
I found this project on Pinterest from here before Elyse was even born and just knew it was something we needed to have.   
 Elyse's crib was purchased with the idea that it would be converted into a full-size bed eventually...but a full-size bed covered in teeth marks just doesn't quite have the same effect as a bite-free one.  I'd looked at the options for rail guards sold in the stores and they were just plain old ugly.  They had the plastic ones or the khaki cloth ones...but I certainly didn't want to take away from her nursery.  Add to that the fact that the top of Elyse's crib rails are extremely wide & most of those options wouldn't have worked anyway. 
 So my crafty, fabulous momma took the same fabrics she used for the rest of the bedding & created this beautiful cloth rail guard that covers all 3 sides of the crib where Elyse could stand up.  I'm so thrilled with how it turned out and it adds even more color to Elyse's room! 
Elyse, sorry to take away such a fun chew toy...but you can blame your Gigi for this one!  ha!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Elyse Love ~ 8 Months

Yeah, so you know how last month I said we had officially entered the "i have better things to do with my time than have a photo shoot" phase...yeah, we're still there.  She's way more interested in the pattern on the chair, the stuffed animals in the floor, the books on the table, the bow on her head...yeah, anything except for the big black camera in front of momma's face!  ha! 
Weight/Height: No official size stats from this month either...she's still growing like a weed and still has her adorable little thigh rolls and chubby cheeks!  Hubby tried to weigh her the other day, but it seemed really off from what we were guessing.  Ehh...it doesn't really matter, as long as she's growing that's all we care about!   
Clothes: We've moved into mainly all 6-9 month clothing at this point and anything new that we look at for the fall we're trying to buy one size bigger.  Some clothing comes in size 6-12 months which seems ridiculous and those things are all too wide for her but fit in the length.  We've moved her into 12 month onesies for sleeping just because it gives her more room to kick her legs and move around.  It makes me sad to know that she's already outgrown some of her cutest outfits, but it's also so exciting to watch her grow. She's still wearing size 3 diapers and this should probably be the case for quite awhile longer.   
Food: Nothing has really changed in the food department this month.  She is still nursing/taking a bottle 4 times a day and having solids at lunch & dinner with the rest of us.  She LOVES to eat solid food and I've actually started cutting her off some so she'll still eat plenty of milk.  In some combination she is eating sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans (still not her favorite but she tolerates them), avocado, peas, yellow squash, oatmeal, bananas, pears, apples, peaches, & nectarines.  Bananas are probably her favorite fruit and she seems to love all her veggies except for green beans.  I've been giving her little bites of bread or mashed potatoes when we eat them at dinner as well.  My hope is that when we see the pediatrician for her 9 month appointment that we will be given the go-ahead to feed her almost anything and then we'll move into meats, yogurt, and other fruits/veggies. 
Sleep: Sleep has greatly improved over the past month.  While every night isn't perfect (which isn't what I would expect from any human being), she's doing much better at sleeping through the night or only waking once.  She now offically has 6 teeth, yeah 5 came in all in one weekend, and during that time sleep was definitely rough...but we all came out alive on the other side & she's been doing much better.  We live in a fairly small house & I can easily hear her cry from her nursery when I'm asleep in bed...so, we made the decision a few weeks ago to turn off the monitor during the night.  Call us bad parents if you want, but it's been working great so far & I know that I'm getting much more sleep since I can't hear her every little noise. 
Activity:  We've definitely got a mover on our hands!  While she still hasn't completely mastered the traditional crawling movements, she does this adorable little inch worm movement and can get wherever she wants/needs to be in no time flat!  Just last night she took 3-4 "steps" forward while moving both her hands & feet together...momma better work on getting the house a little more baby-proofed!  My good friend also sold us her walker & Elyse LOVES her walker!  She can follow me or her daddy around the house so easily & is actually pretty good at steering herself through door ways.  In the beginning she pretty much only moved backwards, but now that she's figured things out she's moving like crazy!  And another reason why I need to get on that babyproofing!  ha! 
Personality: I LOVE HER PERSONALITY!!  It is starting to shine through so much and I love it!  She will jabber back & forth with us and just seems to love life.  As a typical first-born, I think she's going to be pretty independent because for the most part she doesn't seem to midn to sit in the floor and play by herself...as long as someone is within sight.  She giggles and laughs and sometimes it even seems like she's mocking us!  ha! 
~Her Fisher Price Poppity Pop Dino
~Small hand-held toys that she can bang on the floor or together or put in her mouth
~Puppies...of all shapes & sizes! 
~Momma & Daddy...her face has started to light up when we pick her up from work and it melts my heart! 
~Susan Boynton Books...especially Moo, Baa, La La La...she starts giggling and waving her arms before I even finish the first page. 
~Pictures...I put up a new picture collage in our dining room and she loves to stare at all the pictures, which are mainly of her! 
~Mesh Feeder...She loves ice cubes in that thing! 
~We have a pretty happy girl on our hands...she really only seems to get fussy if she's tired, hungry, or fighting those stinkin' teeth! 
8 Month Milestones:
~First Day with Mamaw & Pappy as Babysitters:  July 20
~5 More Teeth:  Weekend of August 4-5..She now has 4 on top and 2 on bottom!
~Crawling:  An all month process!
~1st trip to Branson Landing:  August 11

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend Rewind~It Doesn't Get Much Better!

Do you ever have those weekends when you don't have anything very specific planned, but you get to the end of it and you can't do anything but smile about how wonderful the weekend was?  Yeah...we had one of those this weekend. 

With my parents out of town, Elyse spent Friday with her Mamaw & Pappy who also happened to be babysitting our two nephews.  So...Elyse got to spend the day with several of her favorite people! 
Elyse & Jackson...these two absolutely LOVE each other! 
Pappy & Elyse
Jackson, Baby Elyse, & the infamous Lucy! 
We went to pick up Elyse after work on Friday and stayed for dinner with Hubby's parents.  We had a quick dinner & then headed out so we could get Elyse to bed.  We're hoping to eventually get to the point where we can "put her to bed" in a crib at the grandparents' houses and then move her home so we can stay and visit a little bit longer.  But for now...this is just the place we're at in our life!  

Hubby & I were in charge of manning the office on Saturday morning from 8:30-12:00 so Elyse got to work right alongside us!  I'm so thankful that she naps well in different places...so down she went for her nap about 9:30 in the pack-n-play.  Work was pretty slow so having her around was no biggie. 
Working with daddy!
too cute for words!
After work we had lunch with my grandparents and then headed home for a few minutes.  We left Elyse asleep in her carseat, changed clothes & then headed to Branson for a quick little family outing.  It was a great idea in theory...but visiting outlet malls the weekend before most school starts is a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad IDEA!!!  It was craziness!  We checked out the few stores we thought we NEEDED to visit and then headed away from that crazy place! 

Branson Landing was thankfully MUCH less packed!  Momma went on a little back-to-school shopping spree for herself at Francesca's and picked up several new things!  And then it was time for dinner at Cantina Laredo aka our favorite place to eat!  We had queso, shared fajitas, and finished things off with hot apple pie...all while Elyse was fairly well-behaved while being entertained by a flour tortilla!  ha! 
My precious baby girl...oh how I love her!
We went for a quick walk by the fountains and then headed home.  Elyse was pooped and slept the whole way home!  After a quick bath she was down for the count...
MELT MY HEART!! I love these two more than words can describe!
Yesterday we had church service, followed by nursery duty (with 5 kiddos under the age of 2)!  YIKES!!!  We grabbed a quick lunch of sandwiches at Mr. Goodcents and then headed home for family nap time!  ha!  Hubby had a meeting back at church at 4 so Elyse & I had some quality playtime. 
Yes, she looks completely ornery & up to no-good!  But I LOVE that little crinkly-nosed smile! 
This weekend just reminded me how blessed I am and how much I am loving life right now.  My family means the absolute world to me and I get a little overwhelmed when I think about how happy they make me each & every day! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm Dreaming of White Sand Beaches

Exactly one month from this morning we'll wake up here...

We have planned our first official family vacation as a family of 3 and we'll be spending a week on the white sand beaches of Destin, Florida.  When I was 16 months old my parents took me to the beach for the first time and I've never looked back...I'm a beach girl for life.  I truly hope that Elyse loves the sand & sun as much as I do. 
I know we'll make lots of memories and I can't wait to get away for awhile with my precious family.  This momma is ready for a little break & I think the white sands, warm water, & yummy seafood are just what I need! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

R.I.P. Twisty Baby

We had a casualty at our house last night.  A much needed rainfall came by way of a pretty severe thunderstorm.  And while I was wanting to run outside and play in the rain like a little girl, I was not nearly as ecstatic when I looked out out back window and saw this...
 yeah, that's not a funny looking shrub.  That's one of the trees in our backyard.  A decorative twisty baby locust tree that Nick & I absolutely loved. 
 It seems that the high winds were just more than this little tree could take...and it snapped off about 2 feet from the ground. 
And honestly, it's kind of depressing.  Sure there are lots of worse  things than losing a tree in your backyard...I mean my parents just watched everything to the North of their house go up in flames, and they've also experienced two severe tornadoes in the past 10 years.  So obviously there are worse things when it comes to storm damage. 
But there's just something about it that makes me so sad.  We work so hard to keep our house looking nice & creating a space that we can truly call our home...and then in one quick wind gust, part of our "home" is gone.   
The tree can obviously be replaced and trust me...it will. But maybe this time with a strong maple tree that can withstand the strong, gusty winds without any shelter nearby. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weekend Rewind~a little heat relief!

What started out as a ridiculously hot weekend, ended up with a drastic reduction in temperatures all the way into the low 90s!  ha!  But hey, when you're talking about temps over 105, the low 90s certainly seems cool! 

Friday evening we invited Hubby's parents over for dinner at our house.  They picked up steaks, twice-baked potatoes, asparagus, and some french bread and Hubby fired up the grill.  We had a delicious meal and they were able to spend some quality time with Elyse.  My MIL also made a yummy strawberry dessert that was so ridiculously simple, but I cannot for the life of me remember the recipe...trust me, it was delicious! 
After dinner, my MIL aka Mamaw gave Elyse a bath and did a little Chinese water torture.  Ok, not really...but our baby girl LOVES the water and doesn't mind having it in her face.  We also try to encourage this so she's not scared of water in her face in the future...this all sometimes results in a little squirt to the face just for fun! 
Beware of the rubber ducky!
I promise she actually loved this! 
Saturday morning I came to work so Hubby could spend some quality time with Elyse.  He had a golf tournament on Saturday & Sunday afternoon which meant he didn't get to see much of our baby girl all weekend.  After work Elyse & I headed out to a gender reveal party for one of our very good friends.  Shauna & Ryan went all out with a complete March Madness-style bracket to reveal the name & gender of their baby.  The result:  A baby boy...Asher James, due in December! 

I completely failed at taking any pictures because let's be honest...rangling an 8 month old who wants nothing more than to be down on the ground can be quite the challenge.

It was ridiculously hot on Saturday so after the party we came home and while Elyse napped so did momma...and then after her 3:00 feeding, Elyse napped some more.  Poor baby girl is getting all 4 top teeth in at once!  yikes!  All I can say is at least we're getting it all over at once!
We definitely consider it crawling...she has an adorable little scoot & pull!
Sunday we were able to go to church and lunch as a family and then Hubby headed to the golf course while Elyse & I headed to my parents house for some pool time & dinner.  Elyse loved the water as usual & I was able to actually enjoy  being outside without feeling like I was going to die of heat stroke!  It's amazing what 10-15 degrees will do!  
She loves those little rubber turtles! 

My parents are dog-sitting for my brother & his wife...so even Josie & Romo got to get in on some pool action!
We stayed for a fabulous dinner and got home just in time for Hubby to tell Elyse good night.  It was a good weekend, but also one when I was again reminded how thankful I am for a husband who is such a hands on dad!  The teething process can be exhausting when it's just me & one fussy little girl!
Gigi & Elyse