Tuesday, March 30, 2010

take a deep breath...

...and remember God has a plan. I need to learn to let go more and take things as they come. I need to learn that I am not the one in control and that as horrible and stressful things are at times, they always get better and there was always a purpose to my struggle.

Take yesterday, for instance. After nearly melting down at the thought of leaving my babies in three weeks, I received a phone call that cemented Reagan going to a wonderful place during my brief time back at work. She'll be in a home with only one other kiddo and with an amazing mom who I know will take wonderful care of her. Luke will get to go back to his usual daycare full time where he has an absolute blast.

And today I got a package in the mail from my students and teammates. Some of the kids had written letters and sent cards saying that they missed me. And you know what? I miss them too. Not as much as I'll miss my own two precious ones when I have to go back to work, but I do miss them.

So, I guess God has a plan and it's my job to follow and trust it.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I am sitting here, fighting a panic attack at the thought of having to return to teach for the last six weeks of school. I know in my head that its only six weeks, but those seem like they could be the longest six weeks of my life. I feel like I'm the one that should be caring for my precious girl each day, not someone else. What if I miss something? What if I can't pump enough milk to keep her going? What if I can't find enough time in my day to pump? What if she won't take formula if that happens? How am I going to make it through the day when she still won't let me sleep more than four to five hours a night? How am I going to effectively teach 31 third graders each day and still have enough in me to devote time to my two kiddos?

I'm at a loss and my heart hurts just thinking about it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

two months

Time seems to be flying by at warp speed these days. Reagan is already two months old and is constantly doing new things and reaching developmental milestones.

She started smiling this month and is trying to tell us stories when she's awake. She has such a distinct personality already; she's definitely the princess who knows what she wants and stop at nothing to get things her way!

On her two month birthday, Reagan started to really hold her head up. She probably should have been doing this sooner, but when she was sick she couldn't do tummy time because it was difficult for her to breathe and since she's been better, Luke hasn't made tummy time easy either. He's tried to step on her a few times, so we're working on squeezing in more time while teaching Luke that sister isn't a rug. ;)

At Reagan's two month check-up she weighed in at 11 lbs. 7 oz. and measured 24 1/4 in. long. She is one tall girl! She still eats like a champ and she's progressively getting better in the sleep department. Selfishly I wish that she would sleep through the night already, but it hasn't happened yet. Fingers crossed it happens soon so I can get a solid night's sleep!

Reagan is already such a joy to have around and we can't wait to see what the next month has in store!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

randoms unite!

Instead of doing a lot of little, random posts, I'm going to condense our past few weeks into one larger post.

1. We love a good group tummy time around these parts. Luke feels like he's included, Reagan has someone to look at, and most importantly, I'm there to protect Reagan from Luke's "love." Kid doesn't understand his own strength sometimes.

2. Luke has become seriously obsessed with berries of all kinds lately. Strawberries, cranberries (in Craisin form), blackberries, you name it, he gets very excited about it. He asks for them at every meal time, snack time, and times in between. Its funny to watch him eat them, too. He stuffs as many as he can in his mouth at one time. It almost looks like he's worried we might take them away, so to combat that possibility, he inhales them. The berries also stay behind on his teeth sometimes which make him look like he might be missing a front tooth.

3. I still make Luke take pictures with me. He actually asks to take pictures too, although his way of asking is him saying cheese in a question-type voice.

4. Both of my kids love their "D" as Luke calls it. We even hear Luke cry for D in the middle of the night sometimes when he shoves it between the wall and his bed and he can't reach it anymore. It's sad, but I laugh when I hear it. The D fairy will be making an appearance at our home very soon (sometime around Luke's 2nd birthday) to take his D away. Fingers crossed he doesn't freak out too much!

5. Since we have stopped giving Reagan wipe-down baths and transitioned her into the tub, she has become much better during bath time. She is way more peaceful and almost looks like she might enjoy herself. Yay!

6. Andrea came over a week or so ago to visit with us before Keith got home. While she was here I had to get Luke up from his nap. Usually Luke gets super excited to see Andi, but this time was very different. I think he might have woken up on the wrong side of his bed, but he was not happy to see her. He actually hid behind his cup for almost an hour so that she couldn't see him. As soon as it was time for her to leave, he got upset because she was going. Make up your mind kiddo.

7. Luke, Reagan, and I ventured out to meet some friends and family for lunch at Joe's Farm Grill a few Fridays back. Although it was beautiful outside and it was so nice to be around adults again, the whole trip was way more stressful than I'm ready for right now. Luke wanted to play with the other kids, but wouldn't stay with them and would just run away. Reagan spazzed out right as our food was ready so I got to eat with one hand, standing up, and rocking her. Luke was confined to the stroller at this point and refused to eat a good majority of what I brought for him but proceeded to beg food from everyone else. Thank you so much to Kate and Kyle for sharing with him! I had intended on taking more pictures, but my kids prevented that from happening. I did get one shot before the mayhem of Reagan and her cousin, Logan. Isn't he adorable?!?

8. Reagan woke up! After six-plus weeks of fighting her to keep her eyes open or to not look super-angry at us, the time has finally come for her to cooperate! She is much more alert and is smiling all the time now, although I still can't catch one for the camera. She is trying to talk and tell stories at us after each feeding, including the middle of the night ones. We're working on keeping story time to the daytime. Hopefully she catches on soon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

related much?

Can you tell there is a family resemblance? Even if they might not look a ton like me, there is no disputing they came from the same two people!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


As I finished nursing Reagan this morning in the serene gray-blue light of our room, she gazed up at me and the moment that I'd been waiting for and giving to everyone else first occurred. She looked up at me with her big beautiful eyes and smiled. A full, open mouth, generous smile. There was no fan or blinds in sight, just my girl smiling at me.That single moment erased all of the worrying about her health, the hours spent dealing with her never-ending tummy issues, the sleepless nights, the vomiting and spit up, and all of the other unenviable aspects of a newborn. In that moment, it was just us, taking it in, being mother and daughter. I smile now as I think of how lucky I am that she's my daughter.

Friday, March 5, 2010

bless you

Well it happened. Keith and I were able to see Reagan's first smile that was actually directed at us, or actually at Keith. He was holding her tonight and after she let out a sneeze, he said, "God bless you." Apparently she really enjoys hearing bless you because she smiled the first time he said and for the few times after as well, long enough for me to run over and catch a peek.

Once again, although I was really hoping I would get a smile before Keith (he got Luke's first words!), I'm totally okay that he got this one too. Poor guy is at work all day and loves to come home to us. Since Luke is only up for a few hours after his arrival, Keith plays with Luke and then gets to spend time with Reagan after Luke goes to bed. During these past few weeks, as soon as 7pm rolls around, Reagan starts to get super fussy and isn't the most pleasant girl to be around until midnight when she passes out. Because I've felt so overwhelmed lately, Keith has tried to take Reagan during these times to give me a minute to myself.

Keith looked at me last night, clearly upset, and told me he just wanted to see her peaceful. He wanted to enjoy the little time he was able to spend with her, not feel useless and angry that she was so fussy. I love that the words "bless you" were the ones that finally got her to smile and I really do love that Keith was able to see it first. The glow on his face was worth not being the one that smile was directed at. I feel just as lucky that I was able to see the smile on Keith's face. Just as priceless.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

rub a dub, first time in the tub

Reagan's first bath at home was the typical newborn bath situation. Because of the belly button/umbilical cord thing, they can't be placed in a bathtub, so you have to give them a good wipe down instead. After feeling traumatized after Luke's first bath at home from his piercing cries of horror, I wanted to take a more gentle approach with Reagan to *hopefully* have a better experience this time around. With Luke, we undressed him all at once and went to town quickly and efficiently cleaning all of his parts. I read somewhere when I was pregnant this time that babies don't like being completely naked in the beginning. That must've been why Luke hated his first bath.

I thought we'd undress Reagan piece by piece and bathe her as we went so that it wasn't such a shock to be naked and then be soaked with water. It didn't matter. Reagan still hated her first bath as much as Luke did. I'm chalking it up to a newborn right-of-passage. You can't be a successful baby if you didn't despise your parents after your first at-home cleansing.


One of the perks to being at home is that I have more time to bake and cook. Or I guess I should say that I feel more compelled to bake and cook although it doesn't always work out with two kids to take care of. I love to check the shows on Food Network to see what's being made so I might get inspiration to try something new. Cook books are fabulous and all, but if it doesn't have a picture with it, I usually won't attempt to make it. I have this thing about needing to see what the final product is meant to look like. Maybe its the crazy, anal, teacher-type person in me that needs specific parameters and an example of an end product. Who knows.

Recently, I've found that I a.) crave sweets, and b.) Luke absolutely loves to help with anything in the kitchen. I saw this recipe on Down Home with the Neely's and immediately wanted to try it. If you've never watched the Neely's, I highly recommend it. They are the cutest couple and make some good food (even though it is SO not good for you!).

So Luke and I (with Keith's help) started in on making a cookies and cream cake. It combines Oreos and chocolate cake; what could be better? Turns out its a fairly intensive recipe for a novice baker like myself. Luke was helpful while measuring ingredients.

Luke was also especially helpful when smashing the cookies. Boom buddy!

Even though the recipe was 5 million steps long with a bajillion ingredients, I thought we were doing really well. By the time the cake when in the oven to bake, I was feeling fairly confident about all the elbow grease we had put into this cake. And a two layer cake at that! Maybe we were trying to get too fancy...

Once the cake had baked, I let it cool the alloted amount of time and began to assemble our creation. This is where it all went horribly wrong. The cake used for the top layer broke apart as I was trying to add it to the bottom layer. I assumed I could use the frosting to hold it together which only made it slide apart worse. The cake looked like a disaster, but after putting in so much time and effort, I couldn't let it go to waste. It all tastes the same once its in your mouth, right? So much for wanting to see a picture of what its supposed to look like at the end. It just made me feel that much worse about my final product.

All in all, this cake is super rich and I could have easily halved the recipe to make a single layer cake that wasn't so filling. Also, the cake ends up looking and tasting and staying together a ton better once refrigerated overnight. Will I make this cake again? Probably. But I will definitely make the adjustments I learned through actually creating this on my own. 

Oh, and Neely's-you make things look too easy. Next time, try to make things look a little more realistic on TV. Thanks.

Monday, March 1, 2010

one month

It's hard to believe that Reagan is already a month old. It seems like it took forever for her to get here and the time is flying by...well, almost. Time does not seem to fly by when we're up at 2am for a feeding.
2 days old
1 month old
Reagan has taken to breastfeeding like a champ. When she was first born, we were worried that I wouldn't produce enough milk like when Luke was born, so we supplemented with formula for the first three days until we met with the pediatrician. She hadn't lost very much weight, so I wanted to try to do it all on my own. It's worked so well so far, so as of right now, her sole form of nutrition is me. I'm pretty proud of the team we've become.

She is growing so much already. Reagan still looks like a newborn, but she is definitely filling out and filling in all the extra skin babies have when they are born. Her neck is officially lost somewhere underneath her chin and she has the cutest rolls on her legs. Its crazy to me that even with all the hair Reagan had at birth, its longer already. Her bald-ish spot on top is filling in and the mullet is becoming even longer in back. I could seriously make some mini ponytails back there already.

Reagan's tummy has issues, I'm not going to lie. Poor girl has the loudest and greatest amount of gas that I have ever seen or heard from a child. Maybe even from an adult. The only problem with this is that for the majority of the time, she can't get it out on her own which makes her mad. Very very mad. Keith and I have become very good and helping squish out gas and poo from her little body. We've tried gas drops and all-natural colic tablets. We've found that the tablets work better for her, but as she gets older, she seems to need them less. Either her belly is getting better or she's learning to take it like a champ.

Tummy time has been an interesting time. Being sick for a week and a half meant almost not tummy time because every time she was flat, she could barely breathe. Now that she's well again, Luke loves to get down near her. Its really a cute thing to watch, but sometime Luke can get a little over zealous. I've feared for Reagan's safety on more than one occasion. I try to protect her as much as I can, but a nearly two year old can be a very sneaky and quick creature.

Reagan can sleep almost anywhere and can sleep through almost anything. I don't worry typically about how loud Luke is (even though we are working on the concept of inside voices), even when she's taking her naps by us in the family room. She was taking naps naps like champ in her crib and bassinet, but since she's been sick, she's slept primarily in her bouncy seat with the occasional nap in her car seat. Being propped up has helped her sleep immensely, which has improved my sleep too. Reagan still wakes up once in the middle of the night for a feeding and wakes up fairly early to start the day.

She is a princess who has a definite flair for the dramatic. She loves to throw her hand over her face while she's eating. She seems to seriously dislike when someone tries to talk to her in a baby type voice. It seems she prefers our regular voices better. She loves to smile at the blinds or the ceiling fans, but is still holding out on her dad and I for that first smile. Even at a month, the girl has opinions and lets them be heard, whether its a need for a change of diaper or a desire to be held or a need for a change of scenery.

I can't wait to see what the up coming months have in store!

the plague

When Reagan was about a week and a half old, a nasty sickness popped up at our house. Truth be told, some of it had been there since October, but we didn't know it at the time. It started with Luke having the beginning of what seemed like a cold. His nose started to run, he was coughing, wheezing, and it sounded like he had some junk in his chest. He's had the same exact thing a few times over the past few months and we had let it run its course before, but I wanted to make check to see what it was for sure this time because I didn't want Reagan to catch it.

So I call the doctor's office, casually explain his symptoms, and try not to panic when they tell me I have to get him the doctor right away. Apparently the wheezing and junk in his chest were really not good signs. My first outing with two kiddos by myself was hurriedly to the doctor. (On a side note, I was pretty proud of myself for managing it in a time crunch. I didn't forget anything or anyone!) They were able to get us in fairly quickly and as it turns out, Luke was really struggling to breathe due to a pretty rough case of bronchitis in addition to the cold he had. They started him on a breathing treatment to help bring his oxygen levels up and I had to physically restrain him the entire time. Poor guy was so scared and didn't understand what was happening. The nurse tried to help me feel better about the situation because screaming can actually get the medicine where it needs to go more easily. Nice try lady, but I still felt horrible.
Luke's breathing treatments at home. He did really well if I put on his favorite cartoons and he was allowed to wear the oven mitt. I apparently missed the fact previously that it had some kind of magical super power. Lesson learned.

When Luke is sick, he snuggly and crazy. He didn't mind taking a picture or two with his mom and when he had time to play, he wanted his "ho ho's" on. Ever since Christmas when he figured out who Santa was, Luke has referred to beanies and mittens as "ho ho's" because he thinks he looks like Santa. I'm glad that Luke never had a fever because this would not have helped his cause at all.

A few days after Luke became sick, Reagan started coming down with some of the same symptoms. She was  congested, had a runny nose, and unlike Luke, she was super crabby. I don't blame the poor girl; two weeks old and sick already. Not the best start to life! As soon as I called the doctor about her condition, she had to be immediately seen as well. There isn't anything that you can really do for a cold so we were told to make her as comfortable as possible. By the time we went in for Reagan's two week well check and Luke's recheck appointment, Reagan still wasn't any better and Luke had developed his first ear infection-in both ears.
Reagan's typical confused face while she was sick. "Why can't I breathe Mom?"

As the week went on, Reagan began projectile vomiting if she ate more than 10 minutes and we had to take her to Phoenix Children's Hospital Urgent Care to have her deep suctioned because she became so congested that she could hardly breathe.

By the time the sickness was removed from our home, Reagan had had her first visit to Urgent Care, we made the trip to the doctor's office four times in a week and a half, we became proud owners of a nebulizer, we learned Luke has an aversion to antibiotics being administered through a syringe into his mouth, and I became much more adept at handling projectile vomiting. We survived, we're healthy, and that's all that matters.