Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Neighbors are Corn Husks.

Gianna, Zoey and I have finally moved in with Hubs in Corn Country on the 18th.  (For those of you who do not know you can catch up on what I am talking about here & here .) I have been living here for a little over 10 days and finally have our place situated the way we like it.  Hubs moved into this place the week prior to us and had all the furniture and kitchen stuff in order by the time we got here. (I have such an awesome man.) There was still tons of stuff that needed to be done as always the case when you move into a new place so I have kept pretty busy these past ten days.   I am going to give you a quick evaluation of our new digs cuz I knew you are all dying to know.

The Pro's of Corn Country:

  • I really really love the set up of our new place.  It's a bit larger than the home we own in Hometown and is much larger than anything we have ever rented.  This place has a very open floor plan and could have easily been a three bedroom unit.  We have a family room, a dining area, two bedrooms, laundry room, large kitchen, 1.5 bathrooms, and a large play area/craft station/guest area.  
This area right here is ALL MINE!
  • The amount of storage in this place is amazing.  Both bedrooms have not one, not two but THREE closets.  My clothes and shoes die of happiness.  This does not include the cupboards in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and the built in patio storage unit outside. For once we are not storing things under our beds and couch.  
  • We have a gated outside patio area.  I can go outside with Zo and Gianna and have everyone contained to one area with plenty of space for us all.  
  • We live in a nice area/neighbor hood.  We are a few miles from the downtown area and in a really safe part of town.  From the looks of it all of our neighbors are senior citizens so it's really quite and clean.
The Con's to Corn Country:
  • We have a laundry room that has no washer or dryer so Hubs and I had to purchase one.  This was an expense that we were not planning on but with the amount of laundry we have there was no way I could go to the laundry mat every time I need to wash clothes.  It was a must.
  • We had to purchase a microwave because this place did not have one either.  Not too big of a deal but yet again another expense that we were not planning on.
  • There is no bath tub or laundry tub in this unit.  This posed a problem for bathing Gianna.  Hubs bought a handheld shower head and the duck tub so I can bath her, but Gianna is WAY to big for the duck tub. We are making due until we can figure something better out but as or right now its all we have.  Its like washing Gianna in a puddle.  
Duck tub + Gianna = giant fail. 
  • Our place smells like cigarettes.  The past tenants must have smoked.  It's slowly going away or I'm just getting used to it.  It's the worst in Gianna's room.  Gross. 
  • This town is really really small.  There is not much to do and not a whole lot of nothing going on.  I walked around the down town area on Saturday and it's really cute but like most of America it's hurting.  Many of the businesses are closing up or have already gone under.  It's really sad to see these beautiful historic buildings empty like that.  I have to shop at Walmart for my everyday needs, which is a crime in itself.  
  • I cannot find good produce.  I have gone to one farmers market in town, Walmart, and the only other grocery store and everything looks like it's going bad and is super expensive.  I do not know how you can be surrounded by farms and not be selling fresh fruit and vegetables at a reasonable price.  Next time I need fruits and veggies am going to drive out of town to the local farms to get my produce. Hopefully I will have better results outside of this little town.
  • It's so far away from everything.  It's an hour car drive to the two largest cities.  Eight hours + to home town.  So anytime we have errands major errands to make we have to make a day of it.  I have a lot going for the rest of this calendar year in Hometown which will require me to travel a lot back and forth btw Corn Country and Hometown.  I am so not looking forward to it.  Traveling back and forth multiple times with a little one is going to be very tough on all of us.  
Neutral Ground to Corn Country
  • This place is like Mother Nature's own personal green house.  Its hot, so dang hot, and humid.  The sun will be shining one minute and then the next minute out of nowhere a thunder storm will roll though and then just like that.... poof.  Its gone.  It has rained here everyday since I have lived here but it usually only lasts for 20 mins tops.  Then the sun comes out and dries everything up like it as if the rain never came.  I can see why there are farms everywhere in this area.
Regardless of the Pro or Cons its good to be back living with Hubs.  I get my kiss goodbye in the morning before he leaves for work every morning while I am still sleeping.  When he gets home from work Gianna squeals with such delight that it melts my heart.  She then tries to crawl to him as quickly as possible but many times it results to her getting semi upset cuz she just can't get to him fast enough to her liking.  Hubs will then scoop her up in his arms and kisses her all over.  The smile on my loved ones faces when they embrace fills me up with so much love and happiness.  We then finish off the night with dinner with Hubs and snuggles on the couch.  Perfect.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

When it comes to bottle time Gianna usually will snuggle up in my arms, just look at me and lay there like a ton of bricks while I do all the work.  I will attempt to put her hands on the bottle to try to get her to hold on to it which usually results to her batting my hands away and letting out a little screech.  My baby girl is stubborn and its almost like she is saying "Momma, don't even try it.  This is YOUR job."  

I decided to try something a bit different yesterday to see what would happen.
We have a full bottle folks.  THAT SHE IS HOLDING ALL ON HER OWN!!

Look. Do you see what I see? First time ever and all on her own. I am such a proud momma.  Way to go, G! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

9 mths

9 months.  Gianna is now 9 months old.  I have a furniture cruising, waving, clapping, crawling, always smiling, into everything nine month old.  I love it.  I absolutely 100% love it.  Everyday she is discovering something new and her personality is emerging more and more.  She is happy, curious, funny and easygoing.  She craves peoples attention no matter where she is at.  She is impartial to who she seeks her attention from. Family, friends or strangers she loves them all and tries to dazzle them with her biggest smile possible.  Unless these people's hearts are made out of stone with a smile like this it usually works like a charm.
I have 8 teeth, yo!
She is ever so curious now.  She wants to touch everything, bang whatever she has in her hands against whatever object is near her.  She picks EVERYTHING up and inspects it then it goes right into her mouth.  She now opens the cupboards and pulls everything out.  I then put it all back in and not even two seconds late she is back at it.  I fold laundry and put them into piles she comes right up and tears it all down and puts it into another pile.  Her pile.  She is SO QUICK!  She is a speed crawler.  She is reigning princess of this house.  It's all hers and because of that my house always looks like a tornado has gone through it.  

When I say she is easygoing I really mean easygoing.  This kid is an amazing traveler.  The things we have put her through due to being in between moves and homes is not normal for a baby. Heck it's not normal for an adult!  She has spent countless hours in a car back and forth from where ever we are currently living for long or short visits to Hometown without a fuss.  She has gone from sleeping in her crib to a pack n' play, to gradmas crib, to a different pack n' play then back in her crib with no problem.  She is resilient.  She has lived in three homes in 9 mths. (Hill Country, Hometown, & now Corn Country) I do long for the days when our life will be less hectic and a bit more stable, but I am so thankful that thus far Gianna has handled everything with stride and has kept her happy smiling composure.  

If I could eat her up I would.  At nine months she weighs about 24 lbs (100th percentile) and is 29.5 ins long (100th percentile.)  She is all rolls.  I love love love her pudgy little fingers and wrists.  I could nom on her massive leg rolls and kiss her smiling baby cheeks all day long.  We laugh at her big belly that hangs over her pants.  We have our very own Pillsbury dough girl.  

So happy nine months, Pretty Girl.  You bring so much happiness and laughter to your Momma and Daddy's lives.  I never knew that my heart could fill up and then overflow with so much love for another human being until I met you.  We love you today, we loved you yesterday, and we will love you forever always.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Semi Wordless Wednesday: Bridal Poses

Here is Momma's bridal pose.

Gianna practicing her bridal pose.  

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dancing, Shots and Kissy faces.

One of my longest childhood friends is getting married the end of this month.  I have known her since we were five and, HOLY CRAP, thats well over 20 years!!  We played Barbies together, then got in trouble on the elementary school playground together, had ballet/tap/jazz classes together,  and danced on our high school dance team together.  We have seen each other grow from little girls to women.   I do not see her as often as I would love too but when we do reconnect it is just where we left off at. She is the type of friend who you grab her hand when that amazing song is playing and just dance.

This weekend it was her bachelorette party and we all went out and celebrated my oldest friends "last" night as a single lady. 
Yes, I am proudly rocking a romper. 

So I did what any good friend would do to the bride on her bachlorette party.  I made sure my friend had a blow job, because I am kind and thoughtful that way. 

That a girl!
She had an amazing time and I too had a great time out with some of my longest time friends.  It was a perfect send off for the bride and a great way to say good bye, for now, to my friends.  (Moving to Corn Country this weekend!!  EEEK! More on that later.)

Cheers to the bride!!  I cannot wait until the end of the month to be there for her special big day!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've Hung Up the Towel

One week ago I decided I was done breast feeding.  The fact that I made it 6 months exclusively breast feeding (minus a handful of times Gianna was given formula and a tiny bit mixed in with her cereal) astounds me.  My plan was to only breast feed for two months and then see where it went from there.  By week 3 I was counting down the days, mins, seconds until that 2 mth mark.

Normally I am not a competitive person but my sister and sister-in-laws made it to the 2 mth mark so I HAD to too.  God forbid my sister-in-laws do something for so long and I fail when I attempt it.   In my post baby mind I HAD to match them and if possible BEAT them at breast feeding.... even if it was only for one day.  It was my first task as a new mother, and dang it I COULD NOT FAIL at it.  If I did then what other tasks as a mother am I going to fail at?! (Totally stupid, irrational, and just plain dumb. But this does give you some insight as how mentally messed up I was shortly after having Gianna.) Even as I woke up every three hours with blood shot teary eyes, painful boobs the size of melons,  and with nipples that looked like they were attached to a car and run through the gravel I insisted on breast feeding.  On top of it all I had it in my head that I needed this massive breast milk freezer stash.  I had had had to have it. Gianna NEEDED IT, so in between feedings I would pump and pump. Hating myself and hating the pump to the point that I wanted to chuck it out the window.  So a typical feeding session that would have been a half hour + long became an hour + long.  Milk would be gushing all over the place.  I would wake up completely soaked through in breast milk regardless of the boobie pads in my night time bra. I was engorged and in pain 24/7.

I wanted to give Gianna formula.  I so wanted to just say to hell with it all, give her formula, and be done with it.  I believe formula is not the devil and knew it was always an option, but I didn't do it.  The pressure I put on myself to successfully breast feed and the pressure I thought those around me were giving me was much larger than what I so desperately wanted.  (Not that there was any real pressure from those around me but again I was not normal in the head.)  So I pushed through it and just kept counting the weeks, days, hours, mins until that two month mark.  I was miserable.  I did not enjoy breast feeding.  Which in turn, I now believe, made me not enjoy my daughter.

Then two months hit and like God parting the clouds and letting the light shine down it miraculously got better.  Things.just.clicked. Things clicked with Gianna and things clicked with me.  I set the pump aside and said to hell with my stash I didn't need one.  I was obviously producing enough milk because Gianna was growing like a weed and milk was, HELLO!, gushing everywhere.  I am SAHM that never goes out without Gianna due to not having a babysitter and I didn't have many friends in the area (the shitty part of a gypsy life).  What the heck did I need this stash for?  My nipples started healing.  It no longer hurt.  Then the best part....I actually started to enjoy it.  It was getting, GASP!, easy.  So I told myself I would give it another month.

Then I gave it another month more. And then another.  I was hooked.  I loved it.

Around this time even if I wanted to give Gianna a bottle she wouldn't take it and I was always there with her so she never really needed it.  Plop out my boob and voilĂ , dinner done. No bottles, no mess, no cost.  Easy peasy just the way I like it.  I enjoyed the quite time that she and I shared when I fed her.  I loved when she would put her hand on my chest and rub it back and forth.  It was one of the only times I ever got snuggles.  It gave me pride to know that her growth and health was largely in part due to what my body created for her.

Then around 6 and a half mths I decided that I needed to do "Boot Camp" with Gianna.  She had to learn to take a bottle.  The thought of bringing out the pump made me want to gouge my eyes out and she was already taking formula with her cereal so I decided to give her one bottle of formula a day.  Just like that, she took to it.  From there I started to slooooooowly wean her.  Every few weeks I would drop another session and then another until I only had one session left, her am session.  My favorite session.  I figured I would do that for as long a Gianna would allow me to and for as long as my supply lasted.

My body surprised me because it kept on going.  I was still producing enough milk in that one feeding where I was able to feed Gianna for quite a bit longer than I anticipated.  I would bring her into bed with me and we would snuggle while she ate.  I loved that we were still sharing that moment... then she started biting me.  I  would tell her no and she would continue to do it.  Feeding after feeding it got progressively worse.  Finally last Saturday after a night of no rest and a breast feeding session that was causing me pain I told Hubs to make a bottle.  I was done.  I think my boobs were done.

I am proud of myself.  For me breast feeding with the single most difficult thing I have ever choose to do and I did it far longer than I ever thought I could.  I am not asking for applause or a pat on the back by anyone, but I am proud that I set myself a goal and not only made it but surpassed it.

These are the things I should've and will do differently next time:

  • Take a breast feeding course.- DER, why didn't I do that???  Common sense, C must not have any.
  • Consult and make best friends with a lactation consultant.
  • Use the pump sparingly. 
  • Not buy nursing bras with underwire.  What was I thinking?!
  • Buy nursing pads by the case load.
  • Lanolin Lanolin Lanolin.  I am going to bath my boobs in the stuff.   
  • Would have bought these Nuk Warm or Cool Breast Relief Packs from the start.
  • Would have become BBF's with this from the get too: Medela Soft Shells for Sore Nipples.
  •  Enjoy breast feeding!  Time with your little one goes too by too quickly and at the time I did not realize it.  Sadly, I found myself wishing away days due to pain and lack of sleep.  I will try harder to live in the moment.  

(Disclaimer:  I am of the stance that a well fed baby regardless of where the food comes from is a happy baby.  Happy baby equals happy momma.  Happy momma equals happy baby.  In no way am I trying to promote one over the other.  Your choice on how you feed your child is a personal decision and not one that I feel I can judge.) 

Monday, July 5, 2010

First Trip to the Zoo

On Friday I met up with my mother-in-law, my two sister-in-laws, my cousin-in-law (is that even a word?)  and all their boys for Gianna's first trip to the zoo.
Gianna and her cousins.
I have no recollection of ever going to our city zoo so I was super excited to see it myself and to see Gianna's reaction to all the animals.  We decided the best plan of action to tackle the large park was to take the train from the front of the zoo all the way to the back.   We would work our way up the zoo instead of down it and then have to turn around and go back up.  It was hot out. Not unbearably hot, but pretty darn close.  I was not too sure how Gianna would handle sitting in her stroller all day in that heat.  Going on that train was the best idea ever. We were able to see all the animals in record time, fight the crowds, and leave the park before we melted.

Gianna and Grammy on her first train ride.

The first stop was the safari animals.  My favorite to look at.  I would point at all the different animals to Gianna but she could have cared less.  She was too busy people watching.  I think it could have been that many of them were too far away for her to see or it could be that she is a Nosey Norah.  I am thinking its the latter of the two.  

I was all "Gianna,  look!!! It's Sophie".  She did not buy it.

Hungry hippo?  More like lazy Hippo.  He did not even move an inch.

Gianna's favorite exhibit was probably the polar bears.  This exhibit is awesome.  You walk round this large hill like area with pockets of water filled with seals and otters.  You then go into the hill to see this:

I pulled Gianna up to the glass windows and she just contently watched the seals and polar bears swim around.

You then walk through an underwater see through tunnel to get out of the exhibit meanwhile the polar bears and seals are swimming above and next to you. Totally awesome and Gianna loved it.

Gianna in the underwater tunnel.
Do you see the bear poking his head out to say hello?
When we took a potty break we decided to let the little ones roam around for a bit in the shade.  Gianna played in the dirt, tried to eat the dirt, and got adorably dirty.

Gianna and her cousin James.

James, Landon, Gianna and Devin.

Grammy and her grandchildren.

Overall it was a great experience.  Gianna was a amazing and was the perfect little angel, even with the heat.  You know you had a good time when you leave the zoo like this.

And this.
There is something about pudgy baby toes with a dash of dirt that turns my heart into goo.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Conversation Between Father and Daughter

This is the adorable conversation I heard betweend Hubs and Gianna over the intercome this morning as I was making breakfast while he was changing her diaper. 

H: "Okay Gianna, I am going to change your diaper.  I think I am going to have to strap you in like Momma does because you move around too much.  You are tooo wriggly".

G: "Dadadadadadada".

Then I hear the diaper changing process begin.

H:  "Gianna when you turn 15, or maybe 18, I am going to get one of these strap things and buckel you into bed at night so you can't sneak out of the house".

G:  Squeels and laughs "Dadadadadada".

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July filled with family, good food, sunshine, and fireworks. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Remind Me to Shut My Pie Hole

Remember when I was all "Gianna always sleeps through the night.  I am so lucky. Yada yada yada"?  Well, I knew I shouldn't have even mentioned it, not even so much as whispered it, because as soon as I did BAM!  She starts waking up on me.  Couple that with the fact that I already have a hard enough time sleeping when Hubs is not in town I have turned into a walking zombie.  I am thinking it's her teeth but I am not too sure.  To save my sanity, cuz ya'll know I need my sleep, I have bringing her into bed with me when she wakes up early in the am.  Wouldn'tcha know?  As soon as she lays in bed with me she snuggles up to me and she is out like a light.  ::Sigh::  I am probably starting a bad habit.

This morning when she woke up I decided I was going to be tough momma and not let her in my bed.  I went in and consoled her to the point where she was willing to lay back down.  When I finally got her to that drowsy but not totally asleep stage I snuck out of the room very MacGyver like.  I slipped into my bed and after a half hour I finally started to fall back asleep.  Yup, you guessed it.  As soon as I started to drift off to sleep she starts up again.  I then thought to heck with this being a tough momma crap, grabbed her from her crib, and brought her into bed with me.  We both peacefully slept for another hour and a half.

When Hubs comes home this weekend we are going to tackle this waking up business.  Does he know that he is going to be an integral part in getting Gianna to stay asleep?  No, not yet.  But he will catch on real quickly. ;)