Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tummy Time Takes Over

The boppy seems to be working and her head strength is growing leaps and bounds. Take a look at the set-up we have created for her.
She lays on the boppy facing the playmat thing. The toys are all hanging right in front of her and then I have the mirror facing her. See look at that head up!

And here is a video that Chris took of her really trying to keep her head up. If you turn the volume up on your computer you can here her calm little noises.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

M Stands for...


This is our magical mobile.I don't know what it is about these weird animals and little balls but sometimes when NOTHING else will calm her down I can turn this thing on and hold her in front of it or lay her in bed and she will stop fussing and become completely captivated. It is made by a company called TinyLove and this was a hand-me-down from my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Jeff (THANK YOU!!). Tonight it was a life saver.


We have the biggest, meanest, most aggressive mosquitoes up here. Chris and I thought at first that they were just bad in our yard because we live on very slow moving water but nope they are everywhere. Sam has actually already been bitten on her forehead. They are driving me nuts. Even in the middle of the day they are out and hungry. Polly our dog even got bitten on her nose and when Chris swatted the bug away it squished and blood came out! GROSS. Have you ever heard of a dog getting bitten?

I thought an update on me was in order. I am headed back to work on Monday. Although my job with the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education is not my dream job it is the perfect job for me right now. My bosses, the Board of Directors, are really amazing people that I love working for and have been so great working with me on how to make this job work with my new life. I get to work just 12 hours in the office and then 8 hours of flexible time that can be from home, in the evenings or bringing Sam into the office. I have also learned so many new skills with this job; like how to use Quickbooks, how to write and update newsletters, and I have gotten much more comfortable with Microsoft Access. Those may not sound like the most interesting or exciting skills but if I ever want to run my own environmental education center, be a director or program manager those skills will certainly be useful. Mostly I am just excited to get out of the house for a reason other than the grocery store, a trip to Target or a walk. I can't wait to be working on the newsletter, membership outings and conferences again. I am looking forward to all the member emails, phone calls and mailings. It will be nice to have something that is just mine again and has nothing to do with being a wife or a mom. That may sound selfish and horrible but I think keeping me happy and sane is really important to me being able to be a good wife and mom. Besides its only 12 hours a week; I think Sam will survive.

...okay this one doesn't start with an M....tummy time!
I know Sam is suppose to have tummy time to work on her ability to hold her head up but when I lay her on a blanket on the floor on her tummy she screams. My sister said I should just let her fuss, that she needed that tummy time. I was trying to think of other ways that I could help her work on her neck strength so today I laid her on the boppy on her stomach. I have no idea if this thing is suppose to be used this way, but she actually enjoyed it. We played and read while she laid there lifting her head and kicking her legs...until she fell asleep. I thought it was so cute how she just completely collapsed, so I had to take pictures.

Don't worry I didn't leave her like that for too long!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Love the Long Weekend

I love long weekends.

We were able to travel for an overnight visit to see Chris's cousin Amanda graduate from high school, get yard work and house work done, have our very first real babysitter and go to a great outdoor party. What a great weekend.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the weekend with family.

This is Sam's Great Grandpa and her second cousin Dominic.

Meet cousin Siri and baby Eva. She is exactly one month older than Sam. Eva is such a sweet little girl and very beautiful. She is MUCH stronger than Sam but is the same size if not quite a bit smaller than Sam. While we were with the family Sam was referred to often as "the big girl" or some other name that involved her size. I know that it shouldn't but for some reason that bothers me. I know she has quickly become a large baby, but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing or an unhealthy thing. I am anxious for Sam's next doctor's visit so she can be weighed, measured and have a doctor tell me that she is healthy and normal.
You all know Chris and Sam; meet Uncle Craig, Chris's brother. This was his first time to meet Samantha. Can you see the family resemblance? I don't know if it is just the long, crazy, dark hair or what but I definitely see Craig in Sam.
And I thought this was a great picture of Chris, to bad Sam was not cooperating.
After our visit with family we rushed home to get the house ready and ourselves ready for a party that we were going to and the babysitter that we had coming over. Our nanny came over about 3:00pm and stayed till around 8:30pm. She said that Sam was the calmest baby she has ever had! I was so relieved that everything went well. Our nanny is a little older than me and has four kids of her own. We were going to have her 16 daughter babysit for us but she had to cancel at the last minute so her mom agreed to do it. I am kind of glad that her mom did it this time because I was hoping to get some advice from other moms before I have our first "kid" babysitter. How do you politely discuss with babysitters your expectations of them? As a babysitter myself growing up I know how nice it is for parents to come home to dishes being done and toys being put away. I plan on paying pretty well, but for that money I expect to not have to clean up messes when I get home. Is there a polite way to express those expectations without having the babysitter think you are mean or crazy? Is it better to only deal with those things if dishes or meses are not dealt with rather than discussing it from the beginning? Moms out there any advice?

Here is Samantha today wearing what I have been told is called a "bubble" outfit. I think she looks pretty cute. And this is what a smile looks like right now!! I tried everything to turn these pictures around the right way but blogger is not letting them go the other way; sorry.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Uneventful Week

Here we are at 6:30am this morning and this is pretty much what we have looked like every morning this week until around 10:00am when I finally get motivated to get up and get moving. So I know my daughter needs a haircut but I am so afraid to screw it up and make my two month old have her first bad haircut that I can't do anything about the long side burns, bangs that are almost in her eyes and rat tail/mullet that she has in the back. Instead I have decided to embrace her long hair! Bring on the bows.
I have been trying to capture her smile on camera but she moves so much that the pictures are super fuzzy or I miss the smile completely. Here is an attempt to catch her on video BUT you are required to turn OFF the sound on your computer because I sound ridiculous trying to get her to react to me and smile.

The big news of the week is that we have a nanny for Samantha. Starting June 2nd I will be going back to my job with the Wisconsin Environmental Education Association. It is just part time, 12 hours a week in the office and 8 hours from home. But I get to work on the member newsletter, conferences, member outings and lots of other fun and interesting stuff. It will be good for me to stay active in my field, have adults to talk to and interact with, and get a break from the house for just a little while each week. The nanny is actually the daughter of our next door neighbors. She has four children of her own, the youngest is 8, and runs a daycare out of her house during the school year. The kids that are in her daycare are teachers kids so she doesn't have them during the summer and is willing to come to our house to watch Sam. I think it is going to work out great.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Life is taking off

For an 8 week old things are changing fast!

Samantha has recently grown much stronger and is getting very good at holding her head up. I can hold her against my chest while I walk around and she can hold herself up without assistance from me. I still have to be cautious cause every once in a while she will get tired and her head will flop down against my chest but it seems like each day that happens less and less.

Little Sam has also started to really react to Chris and I when we talk to her and play with her. We have gotten pretty cute almost-smiles, funny frowns and even tears as we "get her nose", pinch her cheeks, poke her in the belly and talk to her. Here is our first attempt to capture her reactions on camera. Her hair looks funny cause she had just gotten out of the shower!

This weekend Sam also slept in her crib NOT in the bouncy seat! We went back to swaddling and she slept great, only waking up once during the night and then was up for the day at 5:30. It was an early morning, but with only one wake up I WILL TAKE IT! Hopefully this will continue as we try to get her sleeping in the crib like a normal baby. We figure traveling in the next couple of weeks will be easier with a pack-n-play and not a bouncy seat.

Saturday morning we had another great growth experience for this family; we had a babysitter! Our next door neighbor has a 16 year old granddaughter that has taken the babysitter certification course and loves kids. So I gave her a call and had her come over Saturday morning to meet Sam and for us to meet her. Alex stayed for about 2 hours while Chris and I did a ton of yard work and outdoor projects. Sam slept the whole time and Alex did great with her. I was very nervous but really enjoyed being outside with Chris working in the yard and not having to worry about Sam. I think I am ready for a night out without Samantha; probably a short night out.

The other project that I worked on this weekend was Sam's closet. I think I have mentioned hand-me-downs before...just a few times. Well, when we came home from St. Louis this last time we had three giant bags of amazing clothes for Sam from my sister and the Marshalls (a family that Jodie nannied for a while back that has to twin girls). I went through and organized all the clothes and organized her closet today. Take a look!
You can't really tell from the picture but each box is filled with clothes organized in sixth month intervals, all the way up to 3T. I think she has more clothes right now than I do. This closet does not include all the sleepers, onsies, and pants that we have in her dresser! Not to mention the 21 pairs of shoes that Samantha owns. I truly believe that every little girl somehow needs to have older girl cousins cause it is just so much fun to have this big of a wardrobe for my daughter but without hand-me-downs this would be impossible!

Okay, I think that is all the updates that I have. Hopefully I will be able to capture some of the amazing changes in Sam on camera sometime soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Settling Back In

Unloading the car, cleaning out the car, unpacking, laundry and a lot of other tasks led to all three of us being tired. We crashed on the couches for a restful night.

I love that Samantha looks like she is giving Chris a big hug. But we returned to Stevens Point where spring had finally come! Our flowers are blooming, the grass is green and leaves are budding.
But with flowers come WEEDS!
So Sam and I headed outside today, between loads of laundry and got some weeding done. Don't you love the hat?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What a Great Trip!

We are home after a wonderful trip to St. Louis and Bloomington to visit both families.

Chris took a major actuarial exam last Thursday and we decided that to celebrate having a break from studying for a while and getting through yet another exam (we won't know if he passed for another few months but just having it over this time is something to celebrate) we needed to head out of town. So it was a great trip and I am too exhausted to recap all the details so here are the highlights!

1. Sam did great for the 8 hour drive down to St. Louis.
2. Bailey and Parker holding their cousin for the first time; SO CUTE!
3. Oberwies Chocolate shakes (if you are from St. Louis, or anywhere that has Oberwies, you MUST try one!)
4. A profitable yard sale (I made $4 as a tip from my family for helping them to sell all of their crap!)
5. Uncle Chris's first surprise party EVER. He was showered in blue for Grayson.
6. MY FIRST MOTHER'S DAY! I was given the most beautiful aquamarine (Sam's birth stone) stud earrings. THANK YOU CHRIS.
7. Sam was again great in the car on the way to Bloomington.
8. Mother's Day dinner at Destihl in Bloomington (if you are in the are the Strawberry Blond Ale is a must try).
9. Baby shopping with Kathy.
10. Seeing Sam hold on to her pacifier and wave it around for the first time and having her grandparents be there to see it too.
11. Kathy letting Chris and I sleep in this morning by taking Sam.
12. Sam doing great in the car again on our way home.

Okay, I think that is the best of the six day trip. We were so busy in St. Louis with all the activities and chasing after the most active two toddlers I have seen that we never got the camera out of the bag. But we did take a few photos in Bloomington, so enjoy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A day (or 20 minutes) in the backyard

It was so beautiful out this afternoon I had to take Samantha outside. She seemed content, at least for a little while, to lay on the blanket and enjoy the noises and the breeze. So I took the opportunity to play around with the camera.

Can you see the duck?

Doesn't her big toe look abnormally large in this picture?

My attempt at a picture of the two of us. She is almost smiling.
And this was at the end of our time in the backyard when Sam was beginning to decide she had had enough!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

a happy/sad story

Do you remember sitting outside in the spring/summer heat with a little table, some cups, a pitcher of lemonade and a sign that said "Lemonade $0.15". I loved having a lemonade stand even though we grew up on the corner of a one way street that got NO traffic and another not so busy street. We would even try to find random junk around our rooms to put out in combination with the lemonade as a little mini sale. I never remember making all that much money but I do remember having a lot of fun with friends getting everything set up and spending the afternoon in excited anticipation every time a car would drive down the street.
Well, I cannot remember the last time I saw kids having a lemonade stand. I sort of thought it was a thing of the past. That parents didn't want their kids out on the street corner talking to strangers and that kids had no need to make a couple bucks in an afternoon anymore, cause what kind of video game would that buy them anyway.
Apparently in Stevens Point, Wisconsin the lemonade stand lives! With the 64 degree, perfectly sunny weather that we had today Samantha and I went for a long walk in our neighborhood and happened upon a lemonade stand. Two young boys with a table, cups, two pitchers and a large sign that read "Lemonade $0.50"; apparently the price has gone up. I just so happened to have 55 cents in the stroller so I went over to the young boys and asked what I could get for my 55 cents. One of the boys proceeded to say "Well, no one is buying the lemonade or kool-aid for 50 cents so we will knock the price down to 25 cents. Would you like a glass?" Not a very good salesmen! I told him I would love a small cup of lemonade and he could take both quarters so they could each have one (I was feeling generous!). In the process of pouring my glass he lost the lid to his pitcher and the whole thing spilled. The other boy yelled "Oh man, now we have to make more! MOM!" and then "And it has ruined our sign. Now people can't read what we are selling" I just thought that was so cute. So I took my cup, said thank you and went on my way.
The sad part.
As I was walking away I put the cup in the stroller, not having taken a sip, and thought to myself I will go a block or so, turn the corner and then dump it out. There was no part of me that had any intention of actually drinking the lemonade. I was thinking, "I don't know where this cup has been, or the condition of the kitchen where that pitcher was kept. Clearly its not safe to drink this lemonade". So that is just what I did, I poured the whole thing out. Is this really what the world has come to or as a new mom have I just become crazy? Do other people drink the lemonade being sold on the side of the street by random young kids? Is that what adults have always done with the lemonade that they bought from me? Is it normal to be that worried about germs and what MIGHT have been on that cup or in that pitcher? As I dumped out the lemonade the joy that I felt by seeing that lemonade stand and by giving those boys my 50 cents was suddenly turned to a bit of sadness for the crazy, paranoid adult that I have become.

Just because no post is complete without a picture of Sam here you go!

A feeding that I can show you!
Our Guard Dog.

Friday, May 2, 2008

little baby in big sweatshirt

Tell me that is not the cutest thing ever! I MEAN REALLY! It just makes me smile cause with all that hair, the jeans and sweatshirt she looks like such a little kid. Yes I know she is wearing the same jeans as yesterday but they are the only 3 month jeans that I have and I have not been able to find any more that are just plain little girl jeans in my small town.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Sam is sick.
Don't worry it is nothing major. She doesn't have a fever and is still eating good but her nose is full of greenish-yellowish gunk. Her breathing seems labored because she is breathing through all that gunk. I think this is probably the hardest thing I have had to do up to this point in my life is watch my child be uncomfortable and not be able to do anything to help her. I know how bad a stuffy nose sucks even for me with Kleenex, medicine and the ability to sniffle and blow so I just can't even imagine the kind of discomfort that she must be in. I try to help her with that bulb-syringe thing but I am not good at it and it only seems to help for about 30 seconds. I just hate seeing her like this.
I cannot even imagine the pain and anguish that some of my friends and family have gone through while watching their children go through major things like surgeries, illnesses and being born premature. The amount of strength in those parents is beyond my comprehension and I pray that I never have to be that strong.

On a lighter note...
My friend Darcy and I have been going for walks each day (when weather allows). I finally found a hat (thank you Aunt Jodie) in our baby stuff to help keep the sun off of Samantha's face. How cute does she look?