Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jillian is Eight Months Old

My sweet Jillian, I can't believe you are eight months old already! What an amazing month this has been for you. I can finally say with confidence that you are sleeping through the night!!!! Woohoo! This, I couldn't be happier about and I personally think that you are happier too. You now will sleep around 10 hours a night. You are also now sitting up although I think you prefer to still play on your back or even on your tummy. I try prop you up constantly with the boppy pillow and a few minutes later you have slid down and have rolled over a few times to go grab another toy.

You are still not a fan of napping but I have found a way to out smart you! If you think I am putting you down for a nap, you will just lay there and fuss and cry until I finally come get you. However, if I put you at the base of your crib by your pink crib toy, you will lay there and play and eventually just roll over and fall asleep. I am learning that I always need to be one step ahead of you!!!

Your personality is really starting to develop and you are certainly turning into a very outgoing and social baby. I remember the days when you would nap all day at daycare. I used to think your care givers had such an easy time watching you. You would nap for 2-3 hours at a time! Well, those days are over with! It is a good day if they can get even one solid nap out of you. You are just such a social butterfly and refuse to miss out on anything! You love hanging out with the other babies whether it's sitting side by side in your jumperoo's or playing on the floor with them. I am so glad that you are making friends already and learning valuable social skills that you will need when you finally go to school. Although I have a feeling that I am going to be receiving a few phone calls from your teacher telling me that you are too busy talking to your friends and not listening in class!!!!

We have also learned that you do well on long road trips! We have taken two, twelve hour, road trips this Summer and you have been a great baby during both of them. We are even thinking of visiting Washington DC this fall and I know you will do well. It's only a six hour drive to Washington DC, this will be a piece of cake for a seasoned road tripper like yourself! Not only are you a good baby in the car, but you are such a good baby in general. You are never fussy unless you are in the need of a good nap or something to eat. However, I have noticed that you are starting to get upset if you can't get what you want!!! Especially when it comes to Mommy's jewelry. How you would love to put all of my necklaces in your mouth if you had your way! However, Mommy doesn't want you to swallow them and I am always prying them out of those little hands of yours. A little fit always seems to ensue afterwards and I can see that this may be the start of some fun times ahead!

You have also finally cut your first tooth! Daddy noticed a little crease on your bottom middle gum the day after your eight month birthday and that little tooth has been popping out more and more each day. I think the process all started a few days before we spotted the tooth. Your nose started running and I was concerned that you were coming down with a Summer cold. However, you weren't coughing or showing any other cold symptoms. Sure enough, that tooth came out a few days later. Your nose hasn't stopped running so I am wondering if the other tooth next to it is also on it's way.

Mommy is still nursing and still unsure of when to stop. For now, I am trying not to stress out about it. It certainly can come in handy during nights where you don't want to go to sleep!!!! To this day, you are always guaranteed to pass out during a nursing session. You are also still eating Stage I foods and I even tried making home made Avocado for you. The Avocado did not go over very well with you but I was so proud of myself that I actually made you some home made food! I would to one day try other foods. So far, your favorite food is Pears and you absolutely love to drink Pear juice out of your sippy cup. Mommy is so proud of you and how well you seem to drink out of a sippy cup.

Jillian, you are still in Carter's size six month clothing and I am surprised that you haven't grown out of them yet. I have started putting you in a few 6-9 month Summer clothes just because you have so many and I hate for them to go to waste. They are a little big on you but I am glad you are able to wear both size clothing now. Your clothing options are now endless, like they weren't already!!! You are still in a size 3 diaper and I am finally trying Target diapers for the first time. After buying our first package this weekend, they seem to work well. No issues or leaks so far and we get to save a few pennies at the same time!!! You still only weigh 17 pounds so it seems that you weight gain has trailed off for now, this certainly explains why you are not growing out of those six month clothes!!! I also think you haven't gained too much weight this past month since you are so active lately!

Your favorite toy this month has to be your Fisher Price blocks. Now that you are able to sit up (boppy supported) you will sit for hours playing with your blocks. You love to put one in each hand and clank them together. You love sitting on the couch next to your Daddy playing for hours with your blocks. You still love your jumperoo and get the biggest smile on your face as you bounce away. Because you love jumping so much, anytime your feet touch a solid surface or when you are just standing on Mommy's lap, you immediately start bouncing. It's so cute to see you bouncing away on my lap. Mommy has to keep a pretty tight grip on you or your are going to bounce right on to the floor!!! Your swing has been officially put away this month. It was such a sad occasion but we just didn't see a need for it anymore and certainly did not trust you sitting in there, I don't even think I would trust that harness to hold you in either. You are just too active. I have a feeling that your activity mat is going to be the next toy to become retired as well. You still love it, however, you always seem to roll away from it after playing in it after awhile. Especially now that you are sitting up, I suspect you will tire from playing on your back and really learn to love playing from a sitting position.

You still love to scream and babble and have also started to respond to me when I start to make the same noises that you are. It's like were having our own little conversation. I haven't quite figured out what we are talking about yet but it certainly sounds important!!!

Thank you for another great month sweetie. My love for you grows more and more every day. I am so thankful to God for choosing me to be your Mommy, what a precious gift you are.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baby Onesie Giveaway

One of the many reasons I love blogging so much is because I meet so many amazing and generous readers. I have had the pleasure lately in getting to know Elizabeth, mom to 17 month old Robert, and owner of the Etsy Shop JCOMPANY. Elizabeth creates South Carolina symbol onesies and I absolutely had to get one for Jillian!!! Elizabeth created a beautiful pink South Carolina symbol onesie for Jillian and I would also love for one of my readers to win one of Elizabeth's adorable onesies too!

Elizabeth has graciously offered my readers a South Carolina symbol onesie (Size 6-9 month) for the little one in your life!!!!

Here's how you can win:

Leave me a comment and tell me about the beautiful baby that you would love to have wear this adorable onesie.

You can earn additional entries by doing the following:
1. Go to Elizabeth's Etsy Shop,and leave me a comment to let me know what other products you would love to have for the little one in your life.

2. For a second entry, leave a separate comment letting me know you have become a follower of our blog or that you are already following our blog.

3. For a third entry, become a follower of Elizabeth's JCOMPANY BLOG.

4. For a fourth entry, follow me on Twitter - Click on the Twitter icon on the right hand side of my blog. Leave me a comment letting me know that you are now following me on Twitter.

5. For a fifth entry, leave a separate comment letting me know you blogged about the giveaway. Please make sure to leave the link to your blog post or the entry will not be accepted.

6. For a sixth entry, Grab My Blog Button and post it to your blog!!! Please leave me a comment so I can find your button.

7. For a seventh entry, Click on the Top Mommy Blogs Button on the left hand side of my blog and leave me a comment that you voted.

For each entry, leave a separate comment - & don't forget to leave your email address! This Giveaway ends Friday, September 5 at 10pmEST. A winner will be drawn by Random.org and posted on Saturday, September 6th (open to US Residents Only).

Good luck!!

As always, thank you for your continued support. And a BIG thank you to Elizabeth from JCompany for sponsoring this great giveaway!!! Please check our her adorable shop!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bouncing Baby Buggy

As promised from my A Day in the Life of a Working Mommy, I finally captured a few pictures of Jillian riding in the Baby Buggy at daycare. I love watching her smile and laugh with the other babies as they ride around in it. It makes my day a little bit easier knowing she is having fun and in good hands!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jillian's 8 Month Video

On Jillian's monthly birthday's, I always take her picture and a record a little video. I felt this monthly video deserved a post of it's own. She is just so precious, I love how it captured her sweet personality. And I am sure every mom can relate to how it ended!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Life of a Working Mommy

Thank you for all of your kind words and comments from my last 'A Day
in the Life' Post over at The Domestic Wannabe. I really wanted to follow up with a post about how life is from me on a work day. I wanted to be honest and real in these posts so you can get a glimpse to what life is like for working moms and stay at home moms. At least from my perspective. You can really see from both days that there are positives and negatives to both situations. I know that for me, working a part time schedule is a decision that I can live with and know that I am doing everything that I can for my family.

5:15am My clock radio alarm goes off and I instantly hit snooze. I think I purposely set my alarm knowing full well that I will be hitting snooze at least once or twice every morning. Before I roll over for a quick 10 minute nap, I check the baby monitor to make sure Jillian looks OK. I realize at that moment that she slept through the night again and I didn't even get up in the middle of the night to check on her. I am finding that now that she has been sleeping through the night more and more lately, my body is starting to get up less and less on it's own. I feel that we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of our sleeping woes.

5:45am After pushing snooze a few more times, I make myself get out of bed. I then try to asses how much time I have to get myself and the baby ready in order to get to work on time.

5:50am I wander around the upstairs of our house for a few minutes just to try to wake myself up. The sun is starting to come up and it looks like it is going to be another beautiful day here in Cleveland. I check on Jillian who is sound asleep in her crib.

6am Since I should have gotten out of bed by at least 5:30, I determine that it's a pony tail day and that I didn't leave myself enough time to properly blow dry and style my hair. My hair is in desperate need of a cut again anyway, and with this humidity, it's probably best in a pony tail anyway. I hop in the shower realizing that I need to shave which gives me even less time to get myself ready. Yep, definitely a ponytail day.

6:20am I get out of the shower, towel off, and throw on my robe. I brush my teeth, wipe off any excess eye make up that is still lingering under my eyes, and slather on some moisturizer. Jeff walks into the bathroom to start his morning routine. We both congratulate each on another night that Jillian has not woken up to eat.

I head downstairs to pump and get Jillians bottles ready for day care. My pump is still sitting next to our large chair in our great room where I pumped last night before bed. After pumping for 15 minutes, I remove the bottles filled with breast milk and the pumps funnels from my pump. I place the funnels in the sink and place the bottles of fresh milk in the fridge. I pull out four bottles from our cupboard. Three bottles for formula and one bottle for breast milk. All of our bottles our labeled with our name and with indicators which tell the ladies at daycare if it's breast milk or formula. See the little F's on the labels in the picture below? That indicates formula. I prefer that they feed Jillian the breast milk bottles first. They also use the breast milk in one of the bottles to mix with rice cereal for Jillian's lunch.

7am Jeff walks downstairs and finds me in our pantry grabbing Jillian's lunch and bottle holder. He is carrying Jillian and she gives me a big smile. She looks adorable still wrapped up in her sleep sack. I give her a bunch of morning kisses and begin to get her breakfast ready. We normally feed Jillian a bottle in the morning but lately she doesn't seem all that interested in it. She has only been taking 2 ounces of milk which was starting to concern me. I made the decision the day before that we would try her on solids for breakfast now too to see what happened. For the past month, she has been eating solids for only lunch and dinner.
I open the fridge and pull out the breast milk I just pumped. I pour out an ounce and a half into a container and stick it in the bottle warmer. I also put dried oatmeal into a bowl and opened up a container of Gerber Stage I pears. Jeff feeds Jillian and I head back upstairs to finish getting ready.

7:15am I blow dry my hair and throw it into a short pony tail. I spray my hair, put on my make up and finish getting dressed. Jeff brings Jillian upstairs to say goodbye. It's his turn to take Jillian to daycare this morning, I will be picking her up tonight after work.

I follow Jeff and Jillian down the stairs to say good bye. Jeff puts on his shoes and I strap Jillian into her car seat. I give Jillian a ton of kisses and tell her to have fun at school. I give Jeff Jillian's bag of bottles, a bag of diapers, and some extra clothes for her. We keep extra clothes and diapers at daycare and they use them as needed. Since Jillian had a blow out last week, I had to send Jeff with some extra clothes for her in anticipation of future blow outs! I give Jeff a kiss goodbye and they walk out the door. I grab a few Nutrigrain bars from our pantry for breakfast and gather up my bags. I carry four, count them, four bags to work each day. My baby bag which is also my purse, my work laptop bag, my pump, and my gym bag. I swear I look like I am going on vacation instead of work each morning. I wish I would have taken a picture of that, all of my bags are a sight to see!

7:46am I put all of my "luggage" into my SUV and leave for work. I say a silent prayer that traffic cooperates that morning and I get there around 8am.

7:55am I drive down I -271 while praising God that traffic is manageable.

8:05am I pull into the parking lot at work and thankfully still find a parking spot.

8:15am I am logged on to my computer and ready to start my day. I talk with my co-worker, Rene', who sits in the cube next to me. She is also a part time employee and is a Mommy of three boys. I think my life is crazy! Bless her heart, she is a wonderful Mom and I have learned a lot just sitting next to her and talking about our kids. Rene' and I decided to walk downstairs to our cafeteria to crab some coffee.

8:30am I am back at my desk and ready to respond to my emails, return a voice mails, and review the work of the accountant who is currently reporting to me. One of my job responsibilities is to manage, mentor, and develop the younger accountants in our group. I am stocked up on caffeine and ready to start my day!

11am I realize that it's 11am and I have forgotten to pump! I wrap up the latest report I am working on, grab my pump, and head to the lactation room in our building. I am the only one currently using the lactation room. When I came back to work, their were four of us, now it's just me! I have to admit that I am proud of myself to continue to do it while my other co-workers have already stopped after only a few months. Honestly, pumping at work is very time consuming and it's so hard to fit into your day. You can't exactly excuse yourself from a two hour meeting with the excuse that your breasts are about to explode!!!!

12pm I am meeting Jeff and my sister for lunch today at the Panera across the street from our office. Today is my sister's birthday and we are getting together to celebrate! One perk in working for such a large company is that both my sister and husband work there too!!!! It is certainly a treat and honestly one of the reasons that I decided to go back to work was because I recognize what a great situation I have with both of them there too. It's certainly a bonus in my day to spend time with two people very important to me!

1pm Back to work, I have so much work to do since it's technically my "Friday". I have several monthly reports I need to get to our manager and answer a few questions for our Controller before I am able to leave for the day. I can no longer work late anymore. Before I had Jillian, working late hours was the norm for me. Now that her daycare closes by 6pm every night. I absolutely have to be out the door by 5:30pm each night to pick her up.

4pm Time to pump again!!!!! Back to the lactation room. This time is actually a welcomed break, my brain is about to fry from crunching monthly expense numbers. It also gives me a few minutes to check twitter and respond to a few personal emails from my phone.

5:30pm Time to head out the door to pick up Jillian! Jeff is golfing after work today so I am the only one able to pick her up. I grab three of my four bags. I leave my gym bag since I never made it to the gym today since I already had lunch plans. One less bag for me to bring to work next week! I run to the lactation room to grab my milk out of the small refrigerator and head out the door.

5:55pm With only five minutes to spare, I pick up Jillian from daycare. I love picking up Jillian from daycare. I usually get the best smiles and "smooches" from her. I love when she realizes that I am there. She gets so excited and starts bouncing up and down. Today I find her sitting the baby buggy. It's a very tall stroller that fits four babies. It's adorable, Jillian is sitting with her buddy Riley and the twins, Cara and Lyndsie. God I wish I had taken a picture of that! I really need to do that, y'all have to see how cute this is.

6:00pm I pull out of the parking lot of Jillian's daycare and she has already passed out in the backseat. Once downside to daycare with Jillian is that I am afraid we have a MAJOR social butterfly on our hands. She plays all day and refuses to nap. Her naps are very short at daycare, if they can get an hour out of her at a time, it's a good day. This is where my day gets pretty ugly.

6:15pm I arrive home and take a sleeping Jillian into the house. I go back out into the garage and retrieve my laptop, baby bag, Jillians bottle bag, my pump, and the bag of milk that I had pumped while at work. I put everything away and make myself something to eat. Since Jeff is golfing tonight, I am on my own for dinner. I warm up some leftover tacos from the night before.

7:00pm I debating on waking up Jillian, she is SO tired but if she naps anymore, she will never get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I decide to wake her up and feed her dinner. I place in her high chair and she immediately starts fussing and crying from both hunger and exhaustion. She eats her dinner but fusses and cries during most of it. I feel bad that she is so tired and hope that nothing else is bothering her.

7:30pm I place a cranky Jillian on her activity mat and go upstairs to change out of my work clothes and put on a t-shirt and shorts.

8:00pm Jillian is still unbelievable cranky so I decide to nurse her, hoping she will fall asleep for the night. She is so fussy, I feel terrible. It is so unlike her, this baby really needs to sleep! She normally gets a bottle of formula before bed but I really think she needs to relax and unwind from her day by sitting with me and nursing. At least this is what my instincts are telling me!

8:30pm Success! She has fallen asleep and I take her up to her crib. I realize that she isn't wearing her sleep sack and decide just to put her down in her onesie. I don't want to risk waking her up and decide that she can go to bed one night without her sleep sack. I place her in her crib and she rolls over, sound asleep.

9pm I am downstairs trying to relax for a few minutes and I hear Jillian crying on the monitor. Ugh! I can't believe she is up again. I go upstairs to check on her. I pick her up because she is crying so hard. I try to calm her down by singing to her and rocking her. Nothing seems to be working so I sit down on the glider in her room and try to put her head on my shoulder. That seems to work for a few minutes until she starts fussing and crying again. This poor child is beyond over tired and because of her short nap on the way home from daycare, she can't seem to fall asleep. I hate to do this, but I decide to nurse her again. If anything, it's definitely a sure way to try to get her to sleep.

Jillian is still nursing and I can hear Jeff come home. Jillian has just fallen asleep and I am waiting a few minutes for her to fall into a deep sleep before placing her back into her crib. Jeff comes up stairs to find me with her. He gives me a sympathetic smile because I am sure he can see from the look on my face that it has been a long, rough night!!!

9:40pm I place Jillian in her crib and she is finally asleep for the night. I walk into our bedroom where Jeff is brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed. I give him a kiss and tell him about my crazy night with Jillian. We love that Jillian has so much fun at daycare but she is just so exhausted and overtired by the time she gets home!!! We are thankful that she only goes twice a week! I can't imagine what our little social butterfly would be like going five days a week!

10:00pm I go downstairs to pump out whatever milk I have left and to wash Jillian's bottles from daycare.

10:30pm Jeff and I are finally in bed. Thank God I am off tomorrow!!!!

Note: Jillian slept 10 1/2 hours that night, her best night ever. Even though it was a huge struggle getting her to bed, she was so exhausted from daycare, she certainly made up her sleep that night!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Day in My Life with Jillian

Needless to say, I was a bit flattered and very excited when Ashley, over at The Domestic Wannabe, asked me to participate in her weekly "A Day in the Life" series. Each week Ashley is featuring a new Mom and asking them to document a day in their life at home with their baby. As I was thinking about what I wanted to write and which day of the week I wanted to document, I had an idea! I would document one of my days during the week that I am a stay at home mom to Jillian and then follow up with a post later this week documenting a day in my life as a working Mom. As a part time corporate accountant, I experience both worlds. As you will see, both days have their ups and downs, as well as their challenges and rewards. Please head on over to Ashley's blog today to read all about A Day in My Life as a stay at home mom and then be sure to check back later this week to hear what it's like on my days as a working mom.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Buddy

Jillian has certainly been Mommy's little buddy lately and I think it is also the start of separation anxiety. At first I thought it was just a fluke, however, a few of her reactions to situations lately have made me realize that is exactly what is happening. She is starting to reach for me lately which I love. Any time I see those cute little arms reaching out at me, I can't resist giving her a big hug and kiss in return.

The first signs of separation anxiety from Mommy seem to be happening during her bedtime routine. Twice now Jeff has been on bedtime duty and I can hear her crying from her bedroom. I felt badly hearing her cry so much, so of course I went into her bed room to see what was going on. She immediately starts reaching for me and then stops crying once she is in my arms. As happy as I was that she was actually showing her first signs of wanting Mommy, I felt horrible that it was at the expense of Jeff's feelings. I know he felt badly about it so I couldn't exactly enjoy the moment.

The second situation occurred while I was picking Jillian up from daycare. I walked into the infant room and saw her bouncing away in a jumperoo. She immediately spotted me and started smiling and bouncing even harder. Debra, one of Jillian's care givers, walked over to pull her out of the jumperoo and Jillian started crying hysterically. She had wanted me to pick her up and obviously didn't realize that Debra was trying to pick her up so she could hand her to me. Once she did hand her over to me, she clings to my shoulders and starts burying her head in my chest. She completely took me off guard but it made my heart just absolutely melt after a long day at the office.

Over the past few weeks, Jillian has also turned into my little cuddle bug. Jillian used to love to lay on our chest as a newborn, however, after a month, she wouldn't do it anymore. When we would try to lay her head on our chest, she would protest by moving her head back and forth from side to side and kept purposely picking it up. So needless to say, I am extremely excited my little cuddle bug has returned and now enjoys laying on my chest once again. Her new favorite position when she is tired is to lay her head on my shoulder. She has fallen asleep like that a few times this past week and it is adorable. It also makes it easier for me to cuddle with her in her glider and then easily place her in her crib once she is asleep.

I love all of these new moments with my little girl, every little stage she goes through, I find myself saying, I don't want you to change, I love you the way you are!!!! And then she goes and tries something new and I fall in love all over again. I just love being Jillian's Mommy, I am one lucky girl.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The SUV vs MiniVan Debate

Jillian and I were leaving the pool yesterday afternoon and I had to laugh at the stereotypical contents of the parking lot. As you can see, an endless row of SUV's and MiniVans lay before us. As I pushed our stroller through the parking lot to our shiny and black Saturn Vue, it got me thinking about the SUV/MiniVan debate that I always have with Jeff. I am an SUV girl, Jeff likes the MiniVan. But what makes one better than the other? Taking into consideration the space needed for an infant seat (possibly two in the future), two parents, any other possible passengers, plus the ever-present stroller and massive diaper bag. Which vehicle do you think is best? SUV or minivan? Do you choose image over functionality? Are you afraid that if you buy a MiniVan the Mom jeans are next?

The reality of the matter is that a vehicle with third row seating is certainly in our future. A small SUV works for us now but I am starting to think about our future when Jillian is older and hopefully we will have one or two more babies to drive around. We will also have to consider driving around her friends, neighbors, cousins, and other family members. Packing for two road trips this Summer also made us realize how much space a family truly needs and it was only three of us!!!! We used every last square inch of the back cargo area and the two empty seats next to Jillian's car seat.

Even though I am drawn to the SUV side of the arguement, these commercials lately for the Toyota Sienna MiniVan are so cute and quite convincing!

If you drive one or the other, what feature won you over on this great debate? Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear what you think!!!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Chicken and Cheese Turnovers

I came across this recipe on Wanna Be Balanced Mom's website and thought it looked absolutely delicious! It was right up my ally. I absolutely love any dinner that calls for chicken, veggies and cheese all wrapped up into a baked pie crust. I absolutely had to try it. I had all of the ingredients in the house so it was easy to whip up. I did end up swapping out the corn for broccoli because I just love broccoli and cheese anything. Having a recipe that doesn't require an extra trip to the grocery store is also a bonus! I ended up using Velveeta since I had that in the fridge, however, any type of shredded cheese will do.

Chicken and Cheese Turnovers

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 11-ounce can corn, drained or small bag of frozen broccoli
1 10.75-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 15-ounce package refrigerated Pillsbury pie dough
1 large egg , beaten
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

[1] Place the chicken breasts on a small, rimmed baking sheet or pie pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool and cut into small cubes. You can also use a cooked rotisserie chicken or canned chicken if that makes life easier for you! I chose to cut up the raw chicken breasts into cubes and cooked them in a pan on the stove top. Saute until no longer pink on the inside.

[2] In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, your veggie of choice, soup and cheese. Unfold the pie crusts, according to package instructions.

[3] On a lightly floured surface, roll each pie crust into a 13 inch circle and cut into quarters.

[4]Spoon about ½ cup of the chicken mixture along one straight side of each quarter, about 1/2 inch from the edge.

[5] Brush the edges with egg and fold other straight side of the quarter over the filling.

[6] Seal the edges with a fork. Prick turnover several times with a fork. Brush egg over top of crusts and sprinkle with poppy seeds. I didn't have any poppy seeds so I went without.

[7] Place each pocket on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pockets are golden brown. Serve immediately.

As you can see below, mine did not turn out as pretty as the picture above but you get the idea!!!

Another great feature about this meal is that you can freeze it and save it for another time. To do so, just wrap each pocket with plastic wrap and place them all inside a large ziptop freezer bag. Seal the bag and affix the cooking label. Lay flat in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy them:

[1] Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

[2] Unwrap each frozen pocket and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pockets are golden brown. Serve immediately.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Jillian is Seven Months Old!

My sweet girl, you are seven months old!!! How is this even possible? I think that it is official that you are no longer a helpless little infant. You are growing so fast that I blink and we are already on to the next month. I feel that every where we go and every one we talk to, always tells me what a good baby you are. And they are so right! You are one of the happiest babies I know. You are always smiling, and kicking those chubby little legs of yours.

You are also such a social and outgoing baby. You love to reach out with both hands and grab the face of who ever is holding you. When you do this to me, my heart just melts. You are also starting to cry for me and reach out for me to pick you up, even when Daddy is holding you. You have certainly been my little buddy lately and I am wondering if this is the beginning of separation anxiety.

Out of the blue this month, you just started clapping. I was changing your diaper and you just started putting your hands together. My heart just melted. You really do pay attention and pick up on everything that we are showing you.

I always take a monthly video along with your monthly photo shoot. I had to share this one because you started clapping in the beginning of it. I am so glad I captured it! Please know that your Mommy and Nana were just acting goofy in this video because we love you so much!!!

Miss Jillian, you are still not sleeping through the night, however, I am hopeful that we are on the brink of the promise land. Your night time schedule is like clock work now. I can always count on you to give me a "boobie call" around 3am. You go to bed around 8am, wake up at 3am to nurse, and then you go right back asleep again until 7am. You did happen to sleep through the night for FOUR glorious days a few weeks ago, but are now back to getting up at 3am again each night. We will get there, I am positive!!!!

Mommy is still nursing you and I have long surpassed my six month goal. I don't think either of us is ready to stop just yet. I love our time together and am starting to treat each feeding like it's our last one. I am at a point where I am used to getting up in the middle of the night to nurse you but know that we need to break you of this habit. You are no longer hungry in the morning for breakfast and I know it is because I am still nursing you at night. I am not ready to take drastic action with any form of sleep training and I don't have the heart to let you cry more than a few minutes. I have been hoping that this would sort of just work itself out.

Jillian, you are still in Carter's size six month clothing and they are just now starting to become a little snug on you. You also are officially wearing a size 3 diaper. I got on the scale with you last week and there was a 17 pound difference between my weight and yours. You are also now regularly drinking from a sippy cup. Mommy needs to hold it for you. You love drinking your water out of it! You will try holding it yourself, but the sippy cup usually ends up on the floor the moment Mommy looks away. Ever since we started giving you Stage I foods, you seemed to have some poopy diaper issues. Daily water out of your sippy cup at dinner seems to have fixed that problem!

Your vocabulary is certainly expanding lately into lots of crazy raspberry noises and piercing squeals. You will be playing in your activity mat and out of nowhere you start squealing in a very high pitch. It's so loud, I am sure the neighbors can hear you. In the morning, I no longer wake up to you crying. Instead, you love to babble and talk to yourself. It's quite entertaining, Mommy and Daddy will lay in bed listening to you. We try not to laugh too loud because if you here us, the babbling quickly turns into fussing to come and get you.

Your favorite toy this month has easily been your jumperoo. You jump now with such strength and energy, I swear one of these days you are going to bounce out of it and hit the ceiling. You can be absolutely crazy in it. I think the ability to move around so much gives such you a feeling of self confidence and freedom. I just opened up your Fisher Price pink purse and blocks in preparation of playtime while sitting up. I know we are on the verge of this milestone and I want to be ready. I have been propping you up on the boppy and against me so you can gain some strength and stability in your back. You love sitting up against Mommy and will play for hours like that if I let you.

I thank God every day for choosing me to be your Mommy. Every month gets easier and sweeter than the next. I am always telling Daddy that I want you to stay just how you are right now, and then a few weeks later, I love the next stage even more. Thank you for being my little girl.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Hello from Arkansas!

Happy Sunday morning, I am blogging to you live from Arkansas this morning! We are having a fun filled weekend with my family, and more importantly, finally met my twin nieces!!!

The twelve hour drive was not that bad. We decided to break up the trip into two days. We left after work on Thursday and drove four hours from Cleveland to Cincinnati. Jillian thankfully slept like a champ in the hotel room and we were able to leave at 8am the next morning feeling refreshed and motivated to take on the final eight hours. We decided to stop off in Nashville and have lunch at Sonic. It was our first Sonic experience and I was positively giddy!! I have heard so much about Sonic, however, Cleveland finally just opened it's first one this year and it is on the complete opposite side of town from us. So what better place then to experience Sonic than in Nashville!

Our waitress got a big kick out of us since we openly admitted to being Sonic virgins:

Me enjoying my Sonic Diet Coke:

Jillian was a real trooper during the very long and hot twelve hour drive!!! She slept the majority of the trip, however, she started to get a little fussy towards the end. She just wasn't having it anymore. So Mommy sat in the back seat with her to keep her company.

With all of our trips to the Carolinas, one would think that we are accustomed to the Southern heat. Oh my word, nothing compares to the heat that we are experiencing here in Arkansas! It was 102 degrees yesterday at 6pm!

Jillian is loving hanging out with her cousins.

And so are we!!!!