Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Girl!

Today started out like this-
A BIG morning smile (as usual!)

Followed by immediately rolling over, grabbing the closest thing (a pillow in this case) and CHEWING on it- pretty sure she's teething!

Two "big girl" things happened today for my Annabelle. We moved her crib into her bedroom and she tasted her first solid food!

Phew! Talk about a lot of emotions for Mommy! I know a lot of people do both of these things a little sooner than we are... But that doesn't make it easier. I have greatly enjoyed the sleeping/feeding arrangements we have had for the last 6 months of her perfect little life.

First off- let's talk food! I have enjoyed so much being able to breastfeed Annabelle. It is a very comforting feeling knowing that all that her little body needed to survive came right from me. What an amazing thing! I originally said I wanted to "make it" six months with the breastfeeding. In the beginning, I honestly thought that would be a huge challenge. For anyone who doesn't know- breastfeeding is ridiculously hard at first. I never would have imagined how something that is talked about as so "natural" would be so dang hard! It was frustrating and disappointing and just plain painful! Snd there were many times that I thought I would have to give up. But as we got the hang of it- I became so in love with it. The bonding is indescribable. And even now, 6 months later, I still enjoy every single time she nurses. It's so nice to have an excuse a few times a day to just sit, quietly and stare at her. A couple weeks ago we had to introduce a little bit of formula. I am not able to pump ad much as I need to while at work and my "freezer stash" just wasn't keeping up with what she needed during the day. So we have been mixing formula with breastmilk fir her bottles for daycare. At first I was bummed about it, really bummed. I felt bad that I couldn't give her what she needed. But right from the first bottle of formula- she took it without hesitation- and that made me feel so much better. It wasn't a fight at all. She's a trooper, my girl, she goes with the flow.
I am not in any way trying to say that I think formula is bad. The change was just hard simply because it was a change, a disruption from the perfect "system" we had going. I think at first my biggest disappointment was that we didn't make exclusively breastfeeding to the six month mark I had set in my mind. But I'm realizing now that it doesn't really matter. Having some formula mixed into a few bottles during the day is OK! she's growing, she's healthy, she's happy, and we still get the cuddling/bonding nursing time whenever were together. That's all that matters.

In other food news- Annabelle had her first taste if solids today! We started her with some baby rice cereal.

I'm not really sure how she felt about it. A lot of it ended up on her bib-probably more than she actually ate! kept making faces if disgust but then she would also keep leaning in toward the spoon. I think she was more interested in chewing on the spoon (I'm pretty sure she's teething). Either way, it was a good first attempt. I think I'm going to try giving her some pureed sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving! I'll let you know how that goes!

Here's a video clip Grandpa took! (if I can figure out how to get a video on here- never done it before!)

Now- as for the sleeping arrangements!
Tonight is the very first night that Belle will not be sleeping right next to Mommy and Daddy's bed. That's right we moved her crib into her own bedroom! I think I'm going to have a harder time with it than she will! I am going to miss having her right next to me! I know a lot of people do this sooner- but having her on our room and sometimes on our bed, has really been great for us. I always felt I slept better when I could just roll over and peek at her. Plus when she would wake up hungry in the middle of the night I could easily reach over to pull her into bed, and nurse her in bed as we both fell back asleep. We don't co-sleep all the time- she has always gone to bed in her own bed- but in the middle of the night, it sometimes allows all of us to get the most sleep, plus I love cuddling her! But lately we have felt it's time to move her crib- we wake each other up with every move, she wakes us up with every whine, roll and grunt :) So we did it- her crib is now in her big girl room! She went to bed at 8pm and had been sleeping pretty well- it's now 11:30 pm and she's in my arms on the couch, nursing. I def think she's teething- she's been super clingy all day, lots of drooling and lots of chewing (on everything!) so between her being in her own room and the teething- tonight could be a long night! I'm probably going to be up all night- waiting for her to wake up just so I can go in to her room, scoop her up and bring her to my bed to snuggle!

Now that her crib is in her room, I LOVE her room! When a woman is pregnant- she dreams of and puts lots of work into the nursery for her baby. I never got the chance to really make my dream nursery come to life until now. When I was pregnant/she was born- we lived in a one bedroom apt, plus we knew we were moving to FL so I didn't have the chance to do her nursery then. Since the move things for her nursery have slowly been coming together. And now, besides a few things (like a rug) it us done. Since I finished the room earlier today I have constantly been going in to look at it. It makes me feel so good! I know Belle is 6 months old, but sometimes it's still so hard to believe she's real, that she's actually here, she's ours and she's here to stay. I don't know, it's like I feel that her having her own room kind of makes it more real in a way. Like it's her permanent place in our home, in our life. And I love it.

A few pics to show the progression of her room!

One thing that is going to make this night ( and all future nights) easier? Technology! I might sound extremely pathetic, but I am in love without new baby monitor! We just bought it on Sunday- it's amazing! This is not your Grandmothers baby monitor, folks, it's a video monitor! Haha! I used one of these when I was a Nanny a few years ago and thought it was cool, but never could have fully appreciated how awesome it is until now. As a Mommy I always worry about my baby girl- being able to see and hear her from wherever I am in the house us truly comforting and absolutely amazing! Even when her room is completely dark, we can see her! Haha- I know I'm sounding very crazy right now, but I love this thing.

She's sleeping in here...

But I can see and hear her from any other room- she's basically right at my finger tips!

Or! I can hook up the monitor to the TV of were sitting in the livingroom, listening to music, blogging, etc, and watch her on the big screen. I can see her gorgeous face and watch her chubby belly rise and fall with every beautiful breath- something every parent knows is very comforting! Plus if were watching tv, we can watch her picture-in-picture! We got the Samsung SmartVIEW- and I am in love!

I will let you all know how out first "night apart" goes!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve! My sister-in-law, Camille is arriving for the week, and I am getting a very quick visit from a good friend, Tenny, and her mom. They are flying in to Tampa to visit her grandmother for Thanksgiving and I am highjacking Tenny for the night! So, awesome sister-in-law plus amazing friend (plus a little "piece of home") makes tomorrow an awesome day! I am going to try to post tomorrow- bur if I can't- I hope you all have a very, very-


I hope it's an adventure you'll remember and cherish forever! <3

Saturday, November 19, 2011

6 Months Old!!!!

My dearest Annabelle,

You are six months old today! I know that Moms say this sort of thing all the time- but I really can't believe how fast these six months have gone! You have brought so much joy into our lives, more than we ever could have imagined! Part of me is a little sad that you are not my tiny little newborn anymore, but I also LOVE watching you grow and change! Every new thing you do makes me so proud! At six months old you are SO much fun! I can't believe how much personality has come out of you in the past few months! You are really becoming your own little person, and it is such a joy to watch. 

About two months ago you one day decided you no longer wanted a binkie, just spit it out and that was that! Your thumb- the right one- has become your new favorite thing! It is so adorable! You have been smiling and giggling so much lately and I love seeing you so happy! You do this "secret" smile where you will watch someone and you will be quietly smiling at them, a huge smile, but as soon as they look at you, you stop and turn away! It has been so funny watching you do that! When something makes you really happy, and you get too excited, you shake your head and bury your face into my neck, but then you quickly pick your head back up, start smiling, and then bury your head in my neck again! It melts my heart!
It has been amazing watching you start to take notice of certain things, like toys and your pets. You have started to reach out to Whinnie when she walks by you, running your fingers through her fur and trying to grab onto her tail! You smile a lot at Finnigan and watch him when he's walking around you. It is so amazing to watch you reach out and actually grab your own toys! I don't know why something so simple makes me so proud, but it does!

Those are just a few examples of the amazing, adorable, heart-melting things you have been doing lately. It has been indescribably wonderful to watch you grow and change from tiny, sleepy newborn, to a smiling, giggling, loving 6 MONTH OLD baby! 

In honor of your half-birthday, we did two fun little photo shoots today! You are so fun to photograph- it's like you know how much Mommy loves taking your pictures, you definitely "ham" it up for the camera with your gorgeous smiles and your piercing eyes! You are so much fun!

 (have I mentioned my love for these lashes of yours?!?!)

You are absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. I love seeing you become you. I still can't believe you are mine.

Guess what you did for the first time today (on your half birthday, how cool is that!)?
You rolled over for the first time! Well as far as we know anyway! And Mommy got proof! I laid you down this morning for your nap. Usually for your nap I lay you down in Mommy and Daddy's bed, and I lay with you. But that did not work today. You were very fussy, and I knew you were tired so I laid you down in your crib. You fussed and talked for about 10 minutes. When things went silent I went in to check on you- and to my surprise you were not in the same position I had laid you down in! You had moved your whole body so that your head was at the opposite end, and you flipped over! From your back to your tummy! I was so shocked! We have been "working" on getting you to flip over, and it hadn't yet happened. If I'm being honest, I was starting to worry about it a little, even though everything I have read says NOT to compare/worry about milestones, every baby meets them in their own time, I couldn't help wondering why you hadn't done it yet, especially since so many babies I knew were rolling over already. And sure enough- there you go- doing things on your own time. When I saw you like this I was confused at first, I actually wondered for a second "did I put her down like that?!" then I realized what happened and I felt so proud! Before you made me a Mommy, I used to think it was silly that parents would get so excited about these milestones. Although I thought it was sweet, I would secretly think "uhh yeah, all babies have to go through that" but now, now I get it. I get it, but I will never be able  to explain it. I am so proud of you. My big, 6 month old girl.

We had a very nice lunch with Grandma and Grandpa! You are a very blessed little baby- and I think you know it!

And another little photo shoot to celebrate this beautiful day in your life!

                                        (ummm...hey, Baby Gap, need a new model?)

You have been drooling so much these past few months- we have been waiting for a tooth to pop up-but nothing yet- in the meantime, it is super adorable (although we go through a ton of bibs!)

Oh, your giggles- I don't think anything warms my heart quite like these do. You are such a joy- I wish I could find a way to truly express that to you.

You don't know it yet, but you have a best friend. And even though you live about 1,500 miles away from her, her Momma and I will make sure that the two of you always know that! It's a special little story that you and Sunshine share. Your Mommy's didn't really even know each other before you were born! We met a few times in the childbirth classes that we took at the hospital, but our friendship really started the day you and Sunshine were born! You are only about 3 hours apart, and were born in rooms right next to each other! The two nights that we stayed at the hospital, you and Sunshine slept right next to each other in the nursery. That made me SO happy. Because I felt pretty bad about you spending your first night in this world in a nursery and not snuggled up inside me anymore! But I felt so much better knowing that you had a little friend with you (not to mention the wonderful nurses)! When I came to get you in the morning- the two of you looked SO adorable laying in your little bassinets right next to each other. I so wish that we had a picture of the two of you, but like I said, Sunshine's Mommy and I didn't know each other then (so that would have been a very weird request!) After we all went home, Sunshine's Mommy and I got together with our beautiful new babies only a few short times before you, Daddy, and I moved to Florida when you were only 2 months old. But in those few short get-togethers, we formed a wonderful friendship. It's kind of hard to explain, but I think it has something to do with the power of that wonderful thing called labor and delivery, and becoming a Mommy at (almost) the same time! I think it's a connection you and Sunny will share even though you are far apart now.
(oh by the way, Sunny's Mommy is FROM Tampa! Don't you think they should move back here?!? Yeah, me too!)

   (yummy baby feet)

Thank you so much my sweet, sweet girl, for making every day of my life a complete dream come true. Your Daddy and I are so blessed to be able to call you ours. I don't know what we did to deserve you, but I do know that I will thank God for you every single day for the rest of your beautiful life. I cannot believe that you are 6 months old already, the time is flying by! I am going to make sure that I soak up and appreciate every little moment. You make me so excited for our future together. We are going to make some wonderful memories, my girl.

Thank you for being mine. 

I love you with all of my heart. and more. 

 Happy half Birthday, my gorgeous little one.


Mommy <3