Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving in Georgia

I had every intention of blogging during our trip to Georgia, but things just got busy and I didn't.  So, I'll just recap the trip and throw in a few pictures.

Saturday Evening/Sunday
I had been so nervous for this road trip for weeks. I really had no idea how Annelise would do traveling that far in the car. We decided to leave when Drew got home from work and drive overnight. I hoped that she would sleep all night, making every one's travels much easier.

When Drew got home from work, we packed up the car and headed out. We got on the road right before 8 PM. About five minutes down the road, Annelise was sound asleep. Drew started off driving and I napped off and on. We made it to Metropolis before we needed gas. And boy, did we need gas. I'm pretty sure our car was running on fumes at that point.

Annelise woke up while we were getting gas, so I feed her a bottle, she played in her car seat for about half an hour, then fell back to sleep again.

Drew made it to just past Nashville, about 4 AM before he got tired and needed to switch. That means that I drove through the mountains. That's a little scary doing that for the first time at night and while tired.

We made it to Jess and Eric's house shortly after 8 AM, which means we got down there in just over 11 hours. Not too shabby!! And, Annelise slept practically the whole time!

We spent the majority of the day hanging out around the house and visiting. We went to dinner at Uncle Maddio's. It's a pizza restaurant that has a bunch of specialty pizzas. Drew had a steak and blue cheese pizza, and I had a turkey panini. After dinner, we went grocery shopping for the week.

Eric had to work, and Jess had a dentist appointment and some other things to take care of, so Drew and I made plans to go visit with some friends of ours.  Ryan and Rachel used to live near us, but moved down to Georgia a couple of years ago to be near her family.  We went over to their house for lunch and to visit.  Jackson, their son, is seriously adorable!  He loved Annelise and kept wanting to bring her toys.  He really wanted to hold her too.  So sweet!
Rachel sells Scentsy, which I really didn't know much about, so she started showing us some stuff and giving us her little sales pitch.  During this time, Annelise started to get fussy and I thought she was just tired and ready for a nap.  So, I tried to snuggle and rock her in the hopes of putting her to sleep.  I was sitting on their couch and Annelise threw up all over me.  I mean, she really threw up.  My child has never puked like that.  It was all over her, me, their couch, their floor.  I felt awful!  And I looked and smelled pretty awful too.  I always have an extra outfit packed for Annelise, but Rachel had to give me some clothes to change into.  I was so embarrassed.  She acted fine afterwards and didn't seem off at all after that.  Weird!

After we visited with them for a while, we went back to Jess and Eric's and ordered chinese food for dinner.

Eric had to work at home and Jess and I went and did some shopping.  They have a consignment shop near them, Once Upon A Child, that has a TON of clothes, especially girl clothes.  I've been waiting to get Annelise's 12 month sized wardrobe until we went down there because I knew that I could get a ton of clothes for very little.  Jess and I had a ball picking out clothes for her.  I managed to get 29 items and paid a little over $150.  I seriously love everything we got for her, and some of the stuff still had the original tags on it.

Drew, Jen, and Emma arrived that night from North Carolina and we visited for a little bit before all heading to bed.  Emma has gotten so big!  It's crazy how much these kids grow in between times seeing them.

Jess asked me to take some family photos for them for their Christmas cards, so we all went to Stone Mountain.  We went to a couple of different spots to take pictures, then went inside to take advantage of some of the stuff that is offered there.  By the time we went into the attraction part of it, it was starting to get dark.  They did a lighted parade, which was neat to see.  We took the train around the mountain, but since it was dark you couldn't see it anything, which made it pretty lame.  We stopped at a place called Spiced Right that my friend Whitney recommended.  Unfortunately, by the time we got there, they were out of ribs, brisket, and some sides.  It's hard to judge a BBQ place that is out of some of the main staples of BBQ.  What we had was pretty good though.

Ahhhhh, Thanksgiving.  We decided to eat more towards lunch because then all the kids could participate.  That was all fine and dandy except that my child would not take a morning nap and then was cranky all morning.  I finally got her to sleep, and then the food was ready.  I was so bummed that Annelise missed out eating her first Thanksgiving meal.  I seriously had to fight back tears.  I know that she won't remember it, but I want the memories and pictures for me and to show her when she gets older.

After she woke up, I put her in her special Thanksgiving outfit and took a bunch of pictures.
The onesie basically says it all.  I am so thankful for my precious little girl.  God has blessed us so much with the gift of her.

Jess wanted to get one of Wes's Christmas presents that was a Black Friday special at Walmart.  So, Jess, Jen, and I went to Walmart around 7 to get ready for the sale that started at 8.  I've never been Black Friday shopping.  Before Drew and I got married, I worked in retail and always had to work that morning, and last year I was pregnant and tired.  I was amazed at how psychotic people get about it!  Jess got the present she was looking for and we were home in record time.  Drew and Drew went to Dick's at midnight to get some ammo to go shooting the next day.  And my Drew got a new pair of tennis shoes.

The guys woke up bright and early and went shooting.  Earlier in the week, Jess made a cute fleece blanket for Wes for a Christmas present and I really wanted to make one for Annelise too.  So, Jess and I left all the kids with Jen and went to JoAnn's to get the fleece.  We found some super cute patterns, stood in the fabric cut line forever, and then came home.  I made one blanket that night and it came out really cute.

Drew, Jen, and Emma went to visit some of her family for the day.  I made the other blanket while they were gone.  We all didn't really do much and just hung and visited.

Drew, Jen, and Emma left late morning to go visit some more family and head home.  Drew and I took our time getting packed up and ready to leave.  Eric and Jess bought a new dishwasher, and after a huge fiasco of getting it delivered, it finally arrived and Drew helped Eric install it.  We got on the road around 3 PM to go visit a friend of mine in Knoxville.  I'll save that visit for another post.

The drive back home was pretty uneventful, and we were so happy to back home.  Traveling with a baby is hard work and I think that we were all glad to be able to get back into our routine.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oh Mr. Sandman

While I was pregnant, I'm pretty sure that I prayed everyday that I would get a good sleeper.  I mean, I really, really prayed that my baby would sleep and wouldn't fight me about it.  My prayers weren't exactly answered the way that I would have liked them to be, but Annelise isn't too terrible and she's getting better.  Sometimes.

When we first brought Annelise home, she slept next to our bed in her Rock N Play.  She loved it, she slept well, and us parents were pretty happy.  When she turned four months, I knew that it was time to start working on transitioning to her room and to her crib.  And this is where I blame every single one of my parent friends for not knocking some sense into me.  Why didn't anybody tell me what a bitch transitioning to the crib is?  Huh???  Why didn't anybody tell me that I should work hard on having her sleep in her crib from day one?  Huh???  I mean, I'm not saying that I would have listened, and that she would have been in her crib full time from the start, but a little warning might have been nice y'all!

But, Drew and I trudged on.  We managed to get her sleeping in her room in her Rock N Play.  That was actually pretty easy.  Then, I worked on transitioning to her crib for naps.  That was a challenge, but we (read - I) did it.  Then, came nights in her crib.  O.M.G!  That has been a battle.  She still doesn't sleep all night every night, but we're getting better.  We had to trial and error a bunch of different things to figure out what would work.  We eventually landed on swaddling and a sound machine as the magic combination.

Now, we're working on breaking her of the swaddle, and putting herself back to sleep.  Now that she's starting to become more mobile, and her hands are out of the swaddle, she's starting to sleep in some of the cutest positions.  I seriously have been waiting for this time!  I love when babies sleep in cute ways. I mean, really love it!
Here you can just barely see the bottom half of her.  I'm pretty sure her head must have been right up against the rails.  Not sure how that is comfortable, but she slept like that.
As soon as I lay her in her crib, she turns on her side, and then later, she'll roll onto her belly.  I'd also like to point out that my child thinks she's pretty slick.  In the 7 1/2 months that she has been alive, she has never once rolled from her back to her belly.  I know that that is a pretty tough task because she has to use a lot of effort and momentum to swing herself over, and I never really pushed it too hard.  The first time she rolled from back to belly, was in her crib.  Drew watched it on the monitor.  She also did it a bunch of times afterwards, but only ever in her crib.  Silly girl would never do it while I was watching her.  She finally did last night for me.  She'll push up on her knees in her crib too.  If she crawls for the first time in her crib and I have to watch it over the monitor, I might just be a little bitter about that.  Girl just needs to crawl for me!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today was probably the last warm day until next year.  It got into the mid-60s, and I couldn't let today go by without taking Annelise outside one more time.  I packed her up in the stroller, put Maya on her leash, and we set off to the park.

Annelise got to swing on a swing for the first time today, and she had a great time!  She was all smiles and was giggling like crazy.
It was pretty windy while we were there, and she tried to catch the wind with her tongue.  So cute!
I can't wait until spring is here again.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seven Months

Dear Annelise,

We have had so much fun this month!  You are blossoming into this smart, funny, affectionate, adorable little girl.  I get so excited to wake up every day with you because I never know what new thing you're going to do.

Currently, I'm waiting for you to crawl.  You have been pushing up on your knees for a whole month, and I was so sure that you'd be crawling by now.  Nope, not yet!  I can tell that you want to; I see your little brain thinking about and trying to figure it out when you've pushed up on your knees.  You get so frustrated because you want to move, but can't yet.  You are rolling from your belly to your back a lot more, but still not rolling from your back to your belly.  Once you are on your back, you do a little "baby crunch" and wait for me to pull you up.  You get so mad if I don't pull you up fast enough.  I know that you will be so much happier when you figure out how to make these movements on your own.

You have really started to enjoy sitting on the floor on your blanket and playing with your toys.  I used to pull out three or four toys, which I rotated around, and let you play with those, but one day, I pulled those out and then left your toy bin on the floor with you.  I played with you for a while, but then went in the kitchen for a minute.  When I came back, you had dumped your toy bin over and were digging around in it.  So, ever since then I've just put your toy bin on the floor and dumped it on its side for you.  You really like being able to dig through it and pick out the toys that you want to play with.
Well, a monthly letter can't go by without me talking about your sleep.  Little lady, I really do think that you're out to kill me some nights.  Thankfully, you are now sleeping in your crib all the time.  However, you refuse to sleep through the night.  I know that you can because you used to do it.  So, why won't you sleep through the night anymore?  What happened to my sweet baby who slept all night?  Naps are still going well.  Occasionally there will be a small hiccup, but you usually get right back on track.  Daddy and I are working so hard on getting you to sleep well at night.  We've started putting you to bed at 7 PM and we've noticed a small difference in the earlier bedtime.  As of right now, Dad is in charge of bedtime.  He changes you, puts your jammies on, and then sits in your chair with you and lets you drink your bottle.  Once you are finished with your bottle, he swaddles you up and rocks you to sleep.  We've decided that he is going to try to put you back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night.  I think that seeing me gets you more worked up and harder to put back to sleep.  On the nights that Dad came in, you fell asleep easier and faster.  So far it's been going better.  We just need to teach you how to put yourself to sleep.  I know that you can, but we need to teach you to do it consistently.

The most exciting thing that has happened this month is that you've started eating solids.  You have had pickle, lemon, avocado, cucumber, zucchini, banana, raspberries, chicken, mashed potatoes, green apple, pancakes, peaches, plums, green beans, carrots, and pork.  The only things that you didn't really like were avocado and raspberries.  I think that the avocado was too mushy and the raspberries were too citrus-y for you.  Other than that, you LOVE being able to eat.  If I sit down to eat something, you always want some.  You act like a little bird opening your mouth wide for me to put something in it.  If I'm eating a sandwich, I'll pull off little pieces of my bread and give it to you.  I've started giving you puffs and you do the bird mouth with those.  You even make an "mmmm" sound!  So cute!  Daddy gets very anxious when you eat with us.  Sometimes you bite off more than you can handle and you gag on it.  Dad freaks out!  He gets so worried that you're going to choke.  I've had to explain to him that gagging is normal and that you're ok.  It's cute how he worries so much.  We both love you so much and don't want anything to happen to you.

I love how excited you get when Dad comes home from work.  When you see him, you start smiling and scrunching your nose and kicking your legs.  You love him so much.  I know that it's only a matter of time before you are glued to his side when he comes home.
You have become attached to your pacifier.  You can go without it, but you do like having it.  I miss being able to hear you chatter as often, so I try to pull it out if I can.  You go to sleep with it, but spit it out during your time sleeping.  You have gotten very good with playing with it in your hands, chewing on it, and putting it back in your mouth.

You love it when I toss you in the air.  Lately, I've even added a spin to it and you love that even more. Dad will balance you on his hand in the air and you get the biggest smile on your face.  We've started singing the "Hokey Pokey" song to you as we dress you or put you in your sleep sack.  You grin when we shake your body to it.  You also "dance" by rocking your upper body from side to side.  When we notice you doing that, we sing, "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah"  You smile at that too!

The biggest sound that you make is still some variation of "mom".  You'll say "ma", "mom", "mama".  Sometimes you'll say "na" or "da".  It's still just a lot of shrieks and deep "monster sounds" as I call them.

You are wearing 6-9 months clothes and a size 3 diaper.  Occasionally, I'll put you in a 12 month outfit.  You'll be transitioning to those soon.  My guess is that you weigh slightly more than 17 pounds.

I love you so much!  You are so much fun to be with, and everyday is a new adventure.  There have been challenges, but everything is worth it for you.  I give everything to you so that I can see your beautiful smile.  Nothing makes me happier than when you grin at me!

Love you always,