Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bluebonnet Baby

I love living in Central Texas for a lot of reasons, but spring is one of my faves (let's forget about allergies for the moment). Wildflowers are in full bloom and the Texas bluebonnets are taking over along all the highways, in random fields and even in some folks' yards! So, just like every other Mama out there, I had to get some photos of Quinn with the bluebonnets. What good Texas Mama wouldn't, right?!

We went out twice today to see if we could A) catch Q in a good mood and B) try different lighting. Option B worked the best, but I have included photos from both "shoots". :)  Quinn was cracking us up! It took forever to get her to even look up at us because she was mesmerized by the flowers. She just kept staring at them and trying to grab them. Such a sweet Texas girl! Oh, on a sidenote, we made sure to get one lonely little Indan Blanket (the red and yellow flower) in some of the shots in honor of Quinn's heritage. Yes, I know the names of most all the wildflowers because of a project I did in 9th grade...thanks Mrs. Nieland!


Ohhhh, what are these?!

Easter is just around the corner!

It is WAY too bright out here you guys.

These bluebonnets are hilarious!

Must eat bluebonnets.

I will pose once...this is it, so you better get your picture now!

Ohhh, so pretty.

Wait. There's a big bunny who will put things in this basket?

I can't wait for Easter!

Are we done yet?

Ahhh, Mama should have showered and gotten dressed today. Oh well!

 Here's my Daddy! I love him and I am his mini-me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

This is How I Jam

Yup, I have become that mom that jams out to kid's music in the car. Luckily, we found the most amazing artist and I have to share her music with all of you Mamas and Daddies out there.

Music is such a huge part of my life. I grew up singing and playing the piano. I sang the national anthem at all my volleyball games throughout high school (I carried a pitch pipe in my volleyball dorky is that?!) and had singing gigs all the time. I majored in music, sang in a gospel choir at Baylor (BRH) and even directed it when I was in graduate school. I taught voice and piano when I first moved to Austin and sang in the Austin Civic Chorus for a while, but then life happened. I got a great job, got really involved in church and became a wife and mom.

I miss singing and since I've had Quinn I have rediscovered my love for it. I don't necessarily put on a show for Quinn, but I sing to her every day. A lot. Like I make up songs. A lot. "Putting on your dress, la, la, la, la." She probably thinks I'm crazy! :) Anyway...

Elizabeth Mitchell is the artist's name. You can read all about her here. She has been singing children's music since 1998 and right now I think she has four albums. I love her music so much. It's not cheesy and the songs are so sweet. My favorite album is Sunny Day and my favorite songs from that album are "Mr. Rabbit" and "Keep on the Sunny Side." BUT, I also love the album You Are My Sunshine and the songs "So Glad I'm Here" and "Ladybug Picnic."

One of the best things about the albums is that her kids sing with her sometimes. It's so dang cute! On her album You Are My Sunshine, there is a song called "Car, Car" and I sing it to Quinn when we put her in the car seat. She always smiles so big (but of course once we are in the car, it's all downhill). Anyway, in the middle of the song, a little girl says "a frog in the car?!" in the cutest voice you will ever hear!!

I hope all you Mamas and Daddies out there get a chance to download at least one of these albums and share them with your little one. Quinn loves them, and I find myself singing the songs in my head all day long. I CAN'T WAIT to hear Quinn sing along with me!

Here she is singing "Little Liza Jane". This one is great because Mama and Daddy can harmonize! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Four Months and Growing Like Crazy

Oh Quinn,

You are growing up so fast! When you were a newborn (like the first month or so) I honestly wanted you to grow up just a little bit so we could get past the sleepless nights and crying all the time. I was ready for you to be a smiley happy baby and here we are! You can stop growing are at such a fun age! You aren't mobile yet, so I can just sit on the floor with you and talk, play and laugh. SO FUN! Here are some fun new things in your little 4-month old life.

Mama's a Shopaholic
Oh dear. I can't stop buying cute things for you! Daddy let me go to the outlets in Round Rock and spend a little money, but it's really silly. You can't wear things for very long before you outgrow them, but I just can't resist the urge to buy cute stuff. Girls are so fun! I can't wait for you to have hair so I can make and buy lots of fun ribbons and bows. Right now, I just buy headbands which has gotten out of control too.

A few impulse purchases.

We had our first NW Austin Momma's play date. It was super fun and we made a Valentine for Daddy and all your grandparents. You got to meet Harper, whose Daddy works with Mama at Volusion. I can't wait to have lots more playdates! We also got to have a dinner date with the Watsons so you could play with your "cousin", Declan. We had fun and we can't wait to see you and Declan running around together one day. I have a feeling you might be the boss. :) Finally, you got to meet Sarah! She came all the way from London to meet you! (Well, she came for work, but we will pretend it was just for you.) You gave her a serious lawyer face but you had fun while she held you and told you all about her world travels with David. One day they will move back to Austin and we can see them more often!

Your new friend, Harper.

 Uncle Brad, Aunt Jen and Declan...oddly enough you look like you could be Jen's baby!

 Smiley Sarah and serious Quinn.

Bottle Time
You are taking a bottle like a champ now! I was really worried about this since this month Mama went back to work and you went to daycare (school) full time. But, I started giving you a bottle once a day and then Daddy gave you the bottle at night so you finally got used to it. You take about 5-6oz. in the bottle and then of course we breastfeed the rest of the time. You like the Playtex Vent Air bottles which we found after trying EVERY other bottle out there. Hey, we now have a nice bottle collection we can loan if anyone needs to try a different type. 

I was afraid you wouldn't take a bottle from me, but you do!

Quinn Goes to Sunday School
You got to go to Sunday School for the first time this month. Mama was so nervous because a lot of babies are getting RSV right now, but you did so great. We only left you in there for about an hour, but we have been leaving you longer the last few Sundays and you love it. The teachers in there love you to death and it's fun that some of Mama's old coworkers at church get to play with you. Mrs. Connie and Mrs. Susan love seeing you on Sunday mornings. I can't wait for you to learn all kinds of Bible stories and songs about Jesus!

I love your cheeky grin for your first day in Sunday School. 

You even let us eat lunch after church!

You Rolled Over
You make us laugh all the time but rolling over has been really funny! You hate being on your tummy so you pretty much immediately try to find a way off of it. Rolling from your tummy to your back is your new favorite thing. You can go both ways and you are always so proud of yourself when you do it. You made us laugh so hard when you first figured it out because you looked like you were trying to fly like Superman or do some sort of yoga pose. You put your arms straight back and lifted up your tummy and legs. So funny! But, you finally got it!

Super Q!

Rolling over like a big girl!

Quinn Goes to School
Well, Mama started back to work this month and you have done so well at school. You are temporarily at Tutor Time, right up the road from our house and then you start at Primrose on March 26. All the teachers love you and you like going to school. You won't sleep in your crib at school, so you take long naps in a swing. I guess I would rather you sleep in a swing than not sleep at all. Hopefully, you will start sleeping in the crib at school soon. 

Spoiled Girl
We have definitely spoiled you! You still love to be held and you want to be up high with the grownups so you don't miss anything. Sometimes we can put you in the bouncer while we eat, but a lot of times we end up holding you or just putting you in the Bumbo on the table with us. Hey, that's okay! You won't be little for very long so I have to cherish the time I can hold you (and pray my back can take it)! 

 Having coffee and cereal with Daddy.

You don't want to miss out on the action while Mama gets dressed.

 Daddy holding you because you didn't want to be in the bouncer.

Holding you while you sleep will never, ever, ever get old.

A Few Other Things
Here are a few other things about this month that are fun!
-You are still the spit-up Queen and now we have added drool to the mix. We keep a bib on you at all times. 
-You still sleep really well at night (about 11 hours) and if you wake up in the middle of the night, you put yourself back to sleep really well.
-You love being outside. If you are freaking out and fussy, I can walk outside with you and you will chill out. You love looking at the trees in the back yard.
-I wrote a whole blog about it, but you traveled SO WELL for Uncle Justin and Aunt Abby's wedding. I was so proud of you!!
-You are still laughing a lot at Mama and Daddy. Your favorite is when we gasp like we are surprised. It cracks you up every time! 
-Unfortunately, you still are not a fan of the car seat. I think you hate being strapped down. You like the little toys we hang on the car seat handle, but you get bored with them pretty quickly and then you either sleep or cry. I hope you start liking it soon or road trips this summer might be pretty rough.
-You still grab for things and you want to put EVERYTHING in your mouth. You do this sort of "dive with your mouth" thing and act like you are going to take a bite out of everything in site including Mama's cheek or shoulder. Daddy tends to wear the "badge of honor" on his shoulder a lot...a big drool or spit-up spot.

Your Stats
-You weigh 14lb 8oz
-You are 25.75 inches long
-You are wearing 3-6 month or 6 month clothes
-You have a long skinny torso and chubby arms, legs and of course cheeks!

Happy 4-month birthday sweet girl! Mama and Daddy fall more and more in love with you every day! 



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fun with Photo Booth

I am either really mean or I have a great sense of humor. I think this is hilarious! Photo Booth is a fun app on the Mac that let's you take crazy pics that make you look distorted. I had fun with Quinn a while back and laughed until I cried.

As if her cheeks didn't already look chubby!

If we lived on Mars, I suppose this is what we would look like. 

"The better to see you with my dear." 

Such as unfortunate looking pair.

Quinn looks like one of those obese babies from the Maury Povich show, and I look like a cone head who is balding on top.

Two babies! AHHH...I don't know how moms w/ multiples do it!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Working Mom's Edition of The Glad Game

Well I have officially made it back to work for a full week and two days with Quinn in daycare (I call it school). I'm not gonna lie, this was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The decision to go back was hard, but the reality of being away from her all day hit me like a ton of bricks! I told Jeremy that it reminds me of when he and I dated long distance. It rips my heart out every time I have to leave her, but I just know I have to take full advantage of the time I have with her at home. Weekends are sacred to me now, so don't be surprised if I am selfish with Q on the weekends! :)

I am fine now, but those first four or five days were really hard and I couldn't seem to act like myself. I was really sad and I couldn't focus very well at work. Plus, I was a total Debbie Downer at home because I dreaded getting up the next day to take her to school. I think now that I am busy at work and I see she does great at school, I am feeling a lot better. I have a wall of Quinn photos at work and I tend to look at videos of her sporadically or while I am pumping (thank goodness for the "Mother's Room" where I had a few meltdowns early on.)

My wall of family.

We have some children's cds that we love and keep in the car. (I tend to keep them in even when Q isn't in the car because I kind of love the artist...more on that in a later post.) Anyway, one of the cds has the song "Keep on the Sunny Side" and I have been trying to do that more and more now that I am a working mom. I need to count my blessings! I have a friend going back to work as a nurse working the night shift...see it could be worse! When I was preggo I played the Glad Game for being preggo during a heat wave. Well, here we go again...

The Working Mom's Edition of the Glad Game!
  • I'm glad we can save significantly for Quinn's college and wedding fund every month.
  • I'm glad Quinn is ok being away from Mama for a while, and socializing with other kids and adults. Hopefully she won't be one of those clingy toddlers! 
  • I'm glad I get to have interaction with creative, intelligent, amazing adults at work all day and exercise my brain.
  • I'm glad we have a daycare (school) that we love with awesome curriculum and Christian principles. The kids say a blessing every day before snack sweet is that! 
  • I'm glad I have a job that is FUN! 
  • I'm glad I have a job that is super flexible and a manager/team that is so sweet and supportive.
  • I'm glad we have extra money to travel, save and spoil Quinn!
  • I'm glad I have a husband who helps out at home to make this transition as easy as he can for us.
  • I'm glad to know I am sacrificing my time with Quinn and working for her well-being. As Jeremy put it, we are making a "down payment on her future."
  • I'm glad I get some freedom at lunch to shop, eat out with friends and coworkers, work out and do other adult things. This gives me more time at home with Quinn later!
  • Finally, I'm glad I have SO MANY other working mom friends that I can turn to for support, advice or just to talk about how blessed we are in our situations. 
I think there are positives and negatives to both sides : stay at home mom and working mom. I am going to try to look at only the positives of my side and continue to show Quinn how much I love her every single day!

Any other working moms out there have anything to add to the list?

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Cup (and My Freezer) Runneth Over

I am so blessed to be able to breastfeed Quinn. It was very hard at first and honestly I almost gave up several times. Quinn lost a pound at the hospital because my milk didn’t come in very fast, and we were just trying to get the hang of breastfeeding. We had to end up supplementing her feedings with milk that I would pump after I fed her. Just thinking back to that time kind of makes me nauseous, so I will get on w/ the happy part of the story.

Now, God has blessed us beyond what we asked for. All I wanted was to be able to feed Quinn and provide the nutrition she needed. I was not against formula, but I wanted to try breastfeeding first. God answered my prayer and then some. I have a freezer FULL of breast milk labeled with dates as far back as mid-December. Luckily, we have a fridge/freezer in the garage because it wouldn't fit in my normal freezer. I still pump four times a day, so we have a ton of extra milk. I thought of some things we could do with the milk, one if which was feed it to Ella and make her dreams come true, but I thought I should be a little more responsible than that. :)

So much milk!

I am excited to say I will be donating to the Mother's Milk Bank! Their mission: "The Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription, primarily to premature and ill infants."

How cool is that? From their site: “Mother's milk is a powerful prescription, especially for infants who are preterm or sick. It's our job to collect, process, and dispense the donor milk that helps these medically fragile babies survive and thrive.”  

They take my milk and pasteurize it to distribute to hospitals around the country.  Premature and really sick babies will get the milk since it will be full of the valuable nutrients they need to get better and grow. 
They want me to make an initial donation of 100oz and then commit to donate for a couple more months. I can totally do that, and it makes my heart happy that I will be doing it for a baby who needs it and for a mother who can’t produce her own. I remember the helpless feeling of waiting for my milk to come in, and I would  have been overjoyed for Quinn to receive milk from another mama who was able to produce nutrition for her. 

So, even though my cup of life runneth over, pretty soon my freezer won't be! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Winter Wedding

Jeremy, Quinn and I had the honor of spending five days in Park City, Utah celebrating the marriage of my brother, Justin, and his new wife, Abby! We had a great time and Quinn was AMAZING on her first big trip! I will try to keep this short, but there is so much to share and, of course, you know this Mama took a million pics...enjoy!

A Fun Day in the Airport
Wait, this subject might be a great kid's book idea and I could totally write it. I hereby copyright this idea so no one can steal it. Does that count? Anyway, long story short, our flight from Austin to Denver was delayed three hours and so they re-routed us through Vegas so we would make it to Salt Lake City that night. We spent four hours in the Austin airport and then another three and a half in the Vegas airport, and Quinn didn't get fussy or cry at all. I was in awe of our amazing baby and felt very blessed the whole time that we have such a happy, curious girl! She just looked around and took it all in on this 13-hour travel day. On a side note, when you travel with a baby there is no way to avoid the massive amount of crap you have to take. We had to check three bags, the car seat and the pack and play. Luckily, Quinn loves the Moby wrap so I had two free hands to carry stuff.

 Lots of stuff.

Flying at the airport...haha...get it?

The delays were obviously not affecting Quinn...laughing it up!

Perfectly content while we take off for Utah!

One of my favorite things!

Q throwing some quarters in the slots during our layover in Vegas.

Happy Fourth Anniversary to Us!
Thursday was our four year anniversary so Jeremy and I left Quinn with my mom (Nannie Mae) to have a nice quiet dinner on our own. We went to an incredible restaurant called The Mariposa in Deer Valley and had a great time. We reminisced on the last four years, and talked about how blessed we are in so many ways. What a fun way to spend a fourth anniversary! Maybe one day Abby and Justin and Jeremy and I can take an anniversary trip together.

 One of the few pics we have by ourselves lately. :)

I think the wine, altitude and long day of travel got to me. I look exhausted in this pic!
(On a side note, I am wearing my "Push Present"...Kendra Scott necklace and earrings.)

Just One of the Girls
Friday started out with an amazing bridesmaid brunch at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley. The food was delish and we had a great time hanging out with all the other girls in the wedding and our family. Quinn ate a bottle right when we got there, and then Mimi walked her around and she passed out. Sweet girl! After she woke up, we had plenty of time for photo opps with the gorgeous mountains as our backdrop. After our photo shoot, we all went down to the spa for our pedicures and Quinn was a superstar. She just hung out and watched and then fell asleep on Auntie Em's shoulder while Mama got pampered. The only bad part of the morning was her outfit. I put her in a fleece onesie pantsuit thing thinking, "hey it's like 20 degrees outside." Well, I should have thought about that...we weren't spending the morning outside. We were inside where it was approximately 78 degrees with all the cozy fireplaces and whatnot. Poor baby was so hot! Oh well...she looked cute and she was a trooper.

Warm and cozy in her fleece.

 Mama and Quinn in the beautiful mountains.

Hanging out w/ her new Aunt Abby!

Cousin Tobi, Great Aunt Kerri and Mimi loved seeing Q.

Sleeping while Mimi chats it up with the other girls.

The groom's side of the family with Abby.

Passed out w/ Auntie Em while Mama got a pedi.

 The guys went snow mobiling while we brunched. Jeremy, Justin and my step dad, Dennis.

Rehearsal Dinner
I'm so proud to say we left Quinn with a babysitter during the rehearsal dinner! This trip was a great chance for me to let go a little bit. We left her with my mom's best friend, Suzie, and she did awesome. It helps that Suzie is totally a baby whisperer! She fed Q a bottle, played with her and had her in bed when we got home at about 9:30 p.m. Seriously!? Anyway, the dinner was SO fun! It was at the High West Distillery and Saloon in Park City and it was perfect for a huge group from Texas. There was a cowboy duo singing old country songs, the drinks were so unique (whiskey lemonade was incredible) and the decor in the place was awesome. There was a whole wall covered in mason jars sitting on top of lights so they were lit up...really cool! My mom and dad both gave speeches and made everyone cry, and then several others got up to say kind words and offer advice. Abby and Justin have a lot of love surrounding them and rooting them on as they begin this chapter of their lives.

 Posing in front of the mason jar wall with the happy couple.

Jeremy with my Great Uncle Tim, toasting with some whiskey lemonade.

My Dad giving his speech using my Mom's reading glasses.

The Big Day
SNOW! It snowed like crazy all day and it could not have been more beautiful! Abby invited all the bridesmaid's to her family's house to get their hair and makeup done and just hang out. I got my hair done and chatted for a bit and then went back to our house to feed Q and get dressed. At 3:00 p.m., Jeremy and I headed to the St. Regis to start the photo extravaganza. The St. Regis is up on top of a mountain so you have to take a gondola (funicular) to get up there. The view was awesome and the setting at the St. Regis was perfect for wedding photos. Abby and Justin had a "reveal" moment earlier that day and the photographer and videographer captured it. I thought this was a great idea for them since they were both so nervous and Abby was losing it at every little thing. Seeing each other helped them relax and enjoy the whole process. Anyway, I can't wait to see the photos! The photographer was AMAZING but a little crazy. She had us all outside at one point and then even took the groomsmen out on a ski slope! They were all popcicles when they came back inside!

 The funicular up to the St. Regis.


The groom with his two sisters.

Mama with her pretty girl!

Family of three.

After photos we all headed to the Empire Canyon Lodge for the wedding. I had a chance to feed Q right before the ceremony started and my Aunt Kerri, Uncle Mike and Tobi were so sweet to keep Q during the ceremony. Apparently Mike sang some Elvis and Q was perfectly content. She also stared out the window at the beautiful snow and the horses and sleigh that were waiting outside. The ceremony was beautiful! Abby and Justin did a great job (they didn't lose it too much). Emily and I sang "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story, which was also the song at Abby's grandparent's wedding. I thought that was really cool!

Pretty girl ready for the big event!

The reception was super fun! The food was so good and the setting was awesome. There were fireplaces everywhere, sleigh rides for guests who wanted to brave the 20 degree weather (I opted to stay warm and cozy) and a great band. I loved Abby's cake...very unique. Abby loves cheese so instead of a boring wedding cake, she chose to have a cake made of cheese! Not a cheesecake, but literally a cake built from different cheeses. So fun!

 Abby's "cheese cake".

One of Daddy's dates fell asleep!

 My Mom w/ two of her besties, Suzie and Ann. (They accidentally matched.)

Jeremy and Nikki (Suzie's daughter).

Yummy cheese melting by the fire.

Chatting with Auntie Em and Nannie Mae at the reception.

 Finally hitched after 14 years! (14 right?)

 Abby and Justin waiting to come down to be presented as Mr. and Mrs. Jorgensen.

Jeremy and I stayed until about 10:00 p.m. so we could hear the best man/MOH speeches and then see all the first dances. Quinn started turning into a pumpkin so we headed out to get her home. She was a hit at the wedding! Everyone loved her precious little pink tuille dress and cardigan. (Kudos to Jeremy for picking that out all by himself!)

Headed Home
Quinn had a hard time sleeping after the wedding. I think her schedule was just so thrown off and her poor little nose was so stuffy from the dry weather. (Luckily, we found a humidifier in the closet of our house, so we used that the last day.) We got kind of a late start Sunday, but we made it to the airport on time with the help of Auntie Em. Quinn did great in the Moby wrap again and slept the entire first flight to Phoenix.

Tired Daddy and tired baby.

By the time we got to Phoenix, it was way past Q's feeding time and we had a bit of a meltdown. All I can say is thank goodness for the family bathroom. She was so worked up that she wouldn't take a bottle, so I had to feed her in the family bathroom and she was fine. We finished and literally ran to the gate and boarded the plane. This leg of the trip was not as smooth. Q cried and we were totally "those people" on the plane for a while. Luckily she slept for a bit, but there was a little more crying than normal. I think the stuffy nose/ears were not great paired with the air pressure. Poor baby! We were all so glad to be off the plane when the flight was over! Q has a way of giving us comic relief when we need it. When we were waiting in baggage claim, she spit-up and then pooped all over me. Nice timing...blow out. Oh, and somehow she squirted it on the floor too. EW GROSS! We all laughed and I was glad to have Q's back-up outfit ready to go.

 Ready to head home!

 Caught Q mid-yawn...poor tired girl!

 Quinn found the information card "in the seat back pocket" quite interesting.

I got resourceful w/ my breast milk bags...snack for the plane!

We Did It! 
It's funny to think we did it...we traveled with a three month old! We survived! :) I shouldn't be that dramatic, but I was a little anxious before we left. Quinn was incredible. On the day we left Austin, an older man came up to us after our four hour wait and said "That's the best baby in the world right there!" AHHH...such a proud Mama moment and I totally agree with him. We are lucky parents!

Congrats to Justin and Abby! What a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple and Jeremy and I were honored to be a part. We love you!