Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to the Grind

Today SUCKS!  Sorry if I'm so blunt, but after spending an amazing 6 weeks and 2 days home with my little girl, I was devastated I had to return to work today.  I was so overwhelmed with the thought of it I couldn't even sleep last night, and it wasn't the newborn's fault this time!  I am a teacher, so I realize I need to be thankful I have the summer with my kids, but it doesn't make the first day away from her any easier.  I thought it might be an easier transition the second time around, with my son I was a basket case, but the tears were flowing this morning.  I had to treat it like ripping off a band aid and I booked out of the house this morning so as to not dwell on all the specificities.  I am thankful, however, that one of my good friends was nice enough to volunteer to keep her today.  It made it easier knowing someone I trust is with her today.  Now if only my boobs would stop throbbing.  Going over 3 hours without feeding has been torture.  I just pray I don't leak in front of my HS students!  That would be bad...but hey...I did go into labor in front of them before...so how bad is a little milk stain right?!  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I am a Runner...sort of

Anyone that knows me knows I love to run. My TB icon is even a runner girl, and my labor buddy and I even bonded over our love for running.  I can't explain it...it's freeing, makes me feel powerful and alive, and is when I feel like I'm concentrating on myself for a second.  I am one of those crazy people that gets that "runners high" that people speak of.  I get it not once, but often, when I run.  I just love the open road. 

I have been chained to the treadmill for about 10 months now, as I was forbidden from running very much while struggling to get pregnant as well.  I have slowly gotten back to running on our new treadmill, but I have been hesitant to tear it up outside while I was still recovering physically.  Well, this weekend I "ripped off the bandaid" and took my first 3 outside runs.  It was so liberating.  For the first few minutes I felt alive, and felt a bit like myself for the first time in months. After those first few perfect minutes lapsed, that's where the "sort of" part came in.  I began to be aware of the jigging belly, swinging thighs and butt, and bouncing nursing boobs.  I also began to realize how incredibly slowly I was moving, and how out-of-shape I felt.  The beautiful moment of my first run quickly passed as I became increasingly self-conscious about my new shape and all the unwanted and abnormal jiggling. 

However, despite the unwanted bouncing body parts, I took a big step this weekend, and it felt amazing!!!  I'm back on the horse baby...I'm a runner again...and I don't have some doctor telling me to cut back, slow down or stop.  I'm off and running baby!  Next step...signing up for a race.  Bring it! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bryn is 5 weeks

Wow, these last 5 weeks have flown by!   I can't believe I only have 1 more week left of maternity leave before I have to tie up school for the year.  Bryn is no longer a newborn, she's a baby, with a personality, habits, likes/dislikes and interactions.  It's incredible!!! Not to mention, I just started planning Tyler's 4th birthday party!  yikes!  I can't believe my baby is turning four!  He's such a great little boy, but I can't believe how fast he went from 5 weeks himself to going on four.  I am very much looking forward to his baseball-themed birthday party, though.  :)  I get such a kick out of themed parties!  I like to do it up right!  I think I was a party planner in another life.  So here's what's going on with our girl Brynleigh (with a little survey I put together):

Age:  5 weeks

Size (diapers, onesies, etc.):  still in mostly newborn stuff, but starting to be able to wear her 0-3 stuff without looking completely ridiculous.  She can wear newborn AND size 1 pampers swaddlers (although the size 1's are huge!)

Sleeping:  She's SUCH A LOUD SLEEPER!  Mike and I decided we have to take a video of her, so she can see how she used to sleep.  It's hilarious.  She snorts and grunts all night long.  She normally makes it about 3 hours, sometimes 4, but never more than 4 hours.  We average about 3 hour chunks of time.  Unfortunately, she's not falling asleep for the night until about midnight or 1'am. 

Eating:  We're still being very successful breastfeeding.  She eats every 2.5 hours, on average.  I think she's eating about 2.5-3oz now, based on pumping.  I've also frozen 265oz of breastmilk for when I go back to work in August.  I freeze about 5-10oz per day, so I don't get too stressed about it. 

Milestones:  This week she smiled a few times and yesterday (05.18.11) she cooed.  That was an exciting sound to hear :)  Bryn is also laying with her legs straight out more often, as opposed to having them folded up tightly like she used to all the time.  She's holding her head up more and more, although she's still our little bobble-head.

Memorable outings:  She's really a "take-along" baby, being the second child, but we did take her to Kings Island for the first time last Friday.  I also had a full day with both kids yesterday, so that was a big milestone.  This morning she went to get two u/s, one on her hips (as they found a click in her right hip) and one on her spine (as she has a sacral dimple above her bum).  All looked normal, per the tech, but we are awaiting "official" results from our pedi. 

Favorite toys/activities:  She's not interested in much yet, but I'm in-love with our vibrating bouncer, and so is she!  Thank the lord for that thing!  Bryn also isn't too fond of the swing.  She also loves the Ergo, and so does mommy!  Bryn is a mommy's girl, often only being calmed down when I hold her.  If she hears my voice, or knows I'm in the room, she wants me and no one else.  I have to say it melts my heart, but when I need a minute to shower or workout and all I can hear is her crying, it's difficult. 

Nicknames:  Mike calls her "baby doll" and I call her "baby girl", "mama", "sweet pea" or "angel pie".  Tyler always uses her full name, saying "hi Brynleigh Anne" (it's so cute!). 

Funny moments:  We cheer when she poops, since it's not happening all that often, and I actually get disappointed when I miss seeing a poopy diaper.  We also have crowned her Princess Puke, because she spits up all the time (a complete departure from her big brother).  I always wondered what those tiny little bibs everyone buys you are for...now I know!  We often go through 3-4 outfits per day.  Needless to say, I'm doing lots and lots of laundry!

Looking forward to:  I'm so excited to bring her home to Chicago this weekend!  My Dad hasn't seen her since she was less than a week old, and my mom hasn't seen her since she was just about 1.5 weeks.  I am also going to introduce her to some of my best friends. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Family Friday

So some blogs I follow do a "Wordless Wednesday" every week.  I decided I'd try something different and do a "Family Friday".  They will be pix of us doing some family bonding, as we do quite often, especially when it gets warm.  So here's my inaugural "Family Friday". 

Our impromptu trip to Kings Island...and one random pix of our pretty darling :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Brynleigh is 1 month old :)

I can't believe we've gotten here, our baby girl is 1 month old!!  I have been really reflecting back this week on what it took to get here.  I think what triggered my reflection was a call from our RE congratulating us and a few TV shows I've been watching lately that have highlighted infertility.  I also finally threw out the sharps container I kept all these months from our injections.  I don't quite know what made me keep it all this time, maybe fear that we'd lose our baby and I'd need it for more injections?!  It felt really good to close that chapter, though.  I definitely have a new found relationship with God these days, because when I look at my children and my family as a whole, I can't believe how blessed we are.  Good things truly do happen to good people, even if they take a bit longer than normal :).  We definitely got our perfect little girl meant just for us.

So speaking of our perfect little angel, here are her 1 month stats:
Height:  22", 80th percentile
Weight: 8lbs 4oz, 20th percentile 
Eyes: navy blue
Hair:  blond
Sleep:  3-4 hour stints at night

I'll post more information on her habits/behaviors, likes/dislikes, etc when I get a second.  Right now, little girl is demanding my attention. Just to tide you over, here are a few pix of Brynleigh Anne.

A visit from Aunt T & Uncle Brian
Our little sweetheart
 Taking a stroller ride
Spending time outside with big brother Ty

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Favorite Things ~ Month 1 Edition

Bryn will be 1 month tomorrow!  I still can't believe how fast it's gone, and that I'm going back to work in 2.5 weeks (waaaaaa!).  It makes me nauseous to think of leaving her.  Although I'm tired, and tend to have some cranky moments, I truly believe I'm rolling with all the exhaustion, changes and struggles well.  I'm definitely able to enjoy maternity leave more the second-time around, as I am aware how fast it goes and how it will soon be gone for good.  :( There are a few items that have made my life easier in the first month of Bryn's life.  Here's my list (especially for you mommies-to-be who are looking for items to add to your registries!)

My Favorite Items ~ Month 1 Edition (in no particular order):

1.  itzbeen timer

Although I have to admit that when I heard of this baby item on the boards I thought, really?? can't you just use a pen and paper...but...I love it!  I did use a pen/paper to record Bryn's feeding and diapers the first week, but after that, this little gadget has been a lifesaver!  I mostly use the top two buttons and the bottom slider to keep track of when I changed and fed last, and what side. When you're sleep deprived, you forget these things, especially what side you fed on if you breastfeed.  I love this timer, and carry it with me everywhere.  It even clips onto your pants, or whatever you're wearing (you don't look very cool but who cares right?!).  It also has a handy-dandy back light AND a nightlight that I use to see if Brynleigh is asleep or awake in her cradle at night.  Highly recommended, people!  Well worth the 24 bucks I spent on it! 

2.  Cloud b Sleep Sheep on the go

I like this smaller version because it's portable (has Velcro attachment), has 4 soothing sounds (Bryn, Mike and I prefer the rain setting), volume control and you can literally attach it to anything (good for a screaming baby in the car, stroller, etc) 

3.  Upholstered rocker from Target - Lullaby Gilder Rocker in striped sage

I use it 2-3 times per night for feedings and love love love it!  It was so affordable too, gotta love target!

4.  FP Ocean Wonders Aquarium Bouncer

I know there are many out there that have more bells and whistles, moving parts, sounds and other fun features...but we love this simple tool. It helps us get a minute to eat dinner as a family, take a potty break or try to get in a workout DVD in.  The first night home, she actually slept in it overnight, as it was the only thing that soothed her.  Love it!

5.  Classic Ergo with infant insert

I knew I'd love this baby item...and I do!!!  Bryn and I visit friends using this (so not too many hands touch her) and we go for walks or take Ty to the park using the Ergo.  I even took her to the outlet mall in it.  I love it!  I can't wait till we don't need the insert though, as I feel bad for her because it seems hot.  My favorite part about the Ergo is actually the head cover! 

6. aden + anais burpy bib

This simple tool rocks.  It's a burp cloth that has a C shape, so it fits perfectly on your shoulder, it's really soft (as it's organic) and it also becomes a bib by snapping closed (which is key when you can't get your baby to burp and you have to put him/her in the carrier or a stroller).  I only have 2 of these, but I wish all my burp cloths were this brand!  Love love them! 

7. Ameda store & pour bags!

These bags are so easy to fill (as they expand on the bottom and stand upright) plus they are easy to pour when being defrosted.  I also discovered that they can be attached to my Ameda pump (with an attachment that I always wondered what it was for) so you can pump DIRECTLY INTO THE BAGS!  It's genius!  Just one more reason why I love love my Ameda breastpump! :)

8.  Pottery Barn Kids reversible Chamois Stroller blanket

We got this as a gift, and it was personalized, and I am about to order another one.  They are so soft, just light enough to cover baby in April, but heavy enough to keep the wind off of her when we go out.  I adore it!  I have the pink version, but I'm going to get the purple as well.  The other great thing about it is that it's really big, so I think it will last her a long time. 
Chamois Stroller Blanket

9. First Years Gumdrop pacifiers

They're just like the soothies but they have the cut-out for the nose, which I really like!  I'm a big fan of these pacifiers (or as we call them...binkies!)  We can also attach them to a binky-holder (which we keep attached to her carrier).  I'm loving them!
The First Years BPA Free GumDrop Newborn Pacifier 2pk - Pink & Purple - The First Years  - Babies"R"Us

10.  Udder cover

I know there are many versions of this item, and believe it or not I got mine for free, but I really think it's a great tool.  I was one of those first-time moms that thought I could just use a blanket to NIP (that's nurse in public for you non-bumpies) but man this simple tool makes it so much easier.  The best part about a hooter-hider/udder cover is that it has a wire around the top, which allows you to see into your baby while he/she is nursing and it goes around your head, much like an apron.  The design really frees up your hands to get baby latched on and comfortable.  I'm glad I got one this time!  The picture below is even the same pattern I got.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Brynleigh is 3 weeks old

Wow, I'm shocked how fast 3 weeks have gone with our little princess!  I can't believe we're rounding 1 month old, and that I'm halfway through my maternity leave ::sniff::  I will tell you that I am still the happiest Mommy alive, despite being sleep-deprived, overwhelmed with two kids, frustrated at my body for not bouncing back fast enough, and worried my little girl has acid reflux or colic. 

I took Bryn to school today to show her off.  She was a big hit.  I wore her so as to decrease the number of students that wanted to touch or hold her, and I took her out only when my friends wanted to hold her or see her.  I also visited my long-term sub and some of my students, what a mistake that was.  I had finally gotten past worrying about how my sub was doing or if my students were learning the material, and all my worries came right back when I heard and saw what I did.  ugh!  I do miss my students, I really do, but I love love love being home with our little girl.  It's a tough position to be in.  I love my job, but I love love love being a Mommy.

Bryn is a very calm baby.  She rarely wails, she has this small little whimper cry when she needs something.  She is incredibly mobile, can sleep through anything and seems to handle her big brother's sometimes rough ways with ease.  Bryn still hates her arms swaddled, so although I am still swaddling her body, I leave her arms out so she can sleep with them over her head or curled in around her face.  She has begun to take the pacifier more (we call it a binky) and is a pro at nursing!  She does click her tongue often while feeding, which both hurts and worries me that she's getting too much air and that's contributing to her gassiness. 

Our biggest hurdles to date are 1. keeping her awake before bedtime and then convincing her to go to bed before midnight and 2. combating her gassiness and inability to have consistent bowel movements.  We didn't have this second problem with our son.  Ty had consistent yellow,seedy breast milk poops and rarely spit up.  Bryn is the opposite.  She's tooting, burping, spitting up, whimpering and pushing and fighting to get out any poop at all.  We're averaging 1-2 bowel movements per day, which can't be enough.  Sometimes we pray for just 1 per day so she's calm, happy and relaxed.  She's also an incredibly loud sleeper, making it hard for us to sleep at times.  I will say that she's a speedy eater, usually done eating in 10-15 minutes, which is way quicker than my son.  I have also become really good at pumping one side as she eats from the other, so that decreases the time we're up at night.  So far she averages about 3 hours or so between feedings, sometimes making it only 2.5 and sometimes going as long as 4.  She doesn't cry, however, when she wakes, just stirs and makes her hunger known to just me, as I am sleeping right next to her cradle.  Bryn is still a little peanut, and I'm eager to see how much she weighs at her 1 month appt next week. 

It's been a whirlwind 3 weeks, but I'm still floating on a cloud.  I can't believe we made two healthy, incredible kids.  I am so blessed to be their Mommy.  After all our struggles for this pregnancy, I am so grateful God blessed us with Brynleigh.  She and Tyler are the light of our lives.  I'm so in love with her and just savoring every moment I have at home just her and I.  It's been such a special time :)

Here are my favorite pix from this week (trust me this is just a sprinkle of the millions I took of her!)

She had her first and second bath this week!  It went as expected, some screaming and lots of shaking.  But she survived, and I felt like an old pro :)

 Her sleep face...what an angel :)

 Asleep on the boppy

 Had to take a pix of all her gorgeous blond hair!!!
 My loves!
 How cute is this?
 Love love love these long feet of hers
 And my postpartum body at 3 weeks.  I still have a ways to go...but I'm working on it.  I started P90X on Monday, and am loving my new Livestrong Treadmill!  Just need my hips to cooperate and shrink back in, and maybe I'd be happier.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

She's Here ~ April 14, 2011

Brynleigh Anne arrived at 5:42pm on Thursday, April 14th, 12 days early.  I had schedule an induction for Friday, April 22nd, but her due date wasn't until the 26th.  She decided she was done baking, and gave mommy quite a surprise on one of her last days at work.  Details of the labor & delivery are in my pregnancy blog, but here's the short story:

My water broke at work in my 2nd block class around 9am, yes while I was working...fun.  Luckily, I was sitting down, so the kids didn't notice.  After I got my class covered, I called my dr, Mike and my mom to let them know.  I got the rest of my classes covered, and drove myself home, hoping I didn't start contracting too much on the way.  Mike and I collect our things, and we headed down to Good Sam hospital, my contractions were already 2 minutes apart...and painful!!!  The hospital beds were all full, so we had to wait in the waiting room for about a half hour before being admitted.  After I was finally in the hospital bed, we had to wait about 2 hours before I could get the epidural, since I needed to have the entire bag of IV medication in me beforehand, and because it was incredibly busy in L&D.  I got the epidural around 12:30pm, and was checked every 2 hours until about 5pm when I progressed incredibly quickly.  Luckily, both my parents had made it down from Chicago just in the nick of time.  Unfortunately, my in-laws missed the birth, as we all thought they had mre time to get down to the hospital with big brother Tyler.  The nurses and my midwife rushed around to get the room ready just after 5pm, and Brynleigh arrived within 10 minutes of the entire delivery process starting.  It was a very quick entry into the world, to say the least! :) Here were here stats when she came into the world:
Weight:  6lbs 15.6oz
Height: 20 3/4"
Eyes: navy blue
Apgars: 9's across the board
Hair: yes, lots of blond hair just like her brother (although I think Ty still holds the record!)
no conehead or signs of a natural delivery
long fingers and toes

Getting her stats taken & getting cleaned up

 Our warm & clean princess

The Countdown Begins ~ April 2011

It's only a matter of weeks now till baby girl arrives.  It's a very exciting and nerve-wracking time.  I have been incredibly blessed to be showered with lots of love (or "sprinkled" I guess, since it's child #2) from all the people in various parts of my life.  My work friends threw me a fabulous brunch, my neighborhood friends threw me an impromptu book club baby shower and the pix below are of the surprise "sprinkle" given to me by my hubby's side of the family (+ my mom!).  It's been an overwhelming but very special time!  I truly feel like Cincy is home now, after almost 6 long years.  I feel like I have a really special group of friends, both at work and in my neigborhood, that I can count on the dote on and love my new addition.  It's been wonderful!  We're also finishing up all our household projects, prepping old baby stuff and playing the waiting game.  I'm nearly prepared for my long-term sub, and we're just so pumped to meet our little girl!

All the details of the showers, preparations, etc are in my pregnancy blog (see link at right).

My Scherman family surprise "sprinkle"

 My awesome helper...soon-to-be big brother Tyler

 The Scherman clan
 We also got together with our friends the Borskys' & Frantz' for pizza before the baby arrived.  Here's Ty practicing his big brother duties with little Griffin Borsky
 And me @ 9 months pg!  yikes!