Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Life After Baby

The other day I was trying to remember what I did with all of my time before we had Anna, and I had no idea! It's amazing that such a little person can drastically change our lives so much, but it's so amazing. Before she was born, I was 'wife', 'friend', 'teacher'...but now I'm all of those roles plus, my favorite, mom.
I used to run. I used to read. I used to go out with other teachers after work. Do I miss those things sometimes? Of course, but I know that the day will come when Anna's able to play independently, away from me and not needing constant attention, and I'll look back and miss these days of snuggling, rocking to sleep and baby-wearing. So right now I'll gladly trade in the running gear for sweat pants and burp rags; trade the sappy adult love stories for Dr. Seuss and children's books; and trade girls night out for an early morning snuggle with my little baby. Unfortunately these days are numbered and I plan to cherish them. This is our life now, as a cute little family of three, and I couldn't have asked for anything more perfect.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Four Months Old

Four months old now, wow! Time is flying by! Daddy and I agree that you've definitely lost your newborn look in the last month or so, which is fine with me, because I just think you're adorable as ever. I'm pretty sure you get cuter every day, but I might be a little biased. You're now 12lbs and 24" long.

At the beginning of this past month you really found your voice. There was about a week when you would talk non-stop and it was so cute. Then just as suddenly as you figured it out, you stopped. And every once in a while you'll have good (usually loud) conversations with us, but they're not as frequent as in the beginning of the month.

It's probably hard to talk as much as you were because your fingers are always in your mouth! This month you've mastered bringing your hands to your mouth. You slobber all over your hands (and shirts, and everything), chew on your fingers, and I'm pretty sure sometimes you play with your tongue.

This month you really started purposefully grabbing at things and then, of course, bringing them to your mouth. I just love to sit and watch you work hard at grabbing and eating your toys. You have intense concentration and it keeps you content for quite a while.

We've been able to introduce you to some more of your bigger toys, too, including your Beetle walker and jumpy thing that hangs on the door. You don't like to be on your back all the time (which is fine with me because I'm still paranoid that you'll get a flat head even though the doctor said you're fine), or even laying propped on your Boppy. You love to be sitting or standing up. When you're reclined, you frequently try to pull yourself up to a sitting position. Thankfully, with better head control, you're getting better at sitting assisted and in your walker or seat.

You are much stronger during tummy time, too. You're able to lift your shoulders and a bit of your chest off the ground to look around for a few minutes. You love to look at us, toys, or those big furry animals with the really cool tails that move all around (you're becoming more aware of the cats & love to watch them & their tails). But once you're head gets too heavy, you hate being on your tummy, and you have no desire to roll over. Daddy and I have been rolling you from back to front and front to back, just so you'll get used to the feeling when you're finally able to do it yourself. I know I should probably stop encouraging it because I'm going to want you to go back to being stationary once you're rolling all over the place, but I'm so excited to see you start moving around and exploring more.

This month, we also celebrated your first Thanksgiving. We spent the day of Thanksgiving at home, just with our little family which was wonderful and relaxing. We spent the weekend before at Grandma's with all of your cousins and family which is always a good time.

At the end of this month, you had your first overnights away from mommy....well, more like I was away from you. I went to a conference for work where I learned some pretty cool things to use in my classroom, but I was away from you for two nights. Thankfully you have the best Daddy in the world who took care of you, and I doubt you even knew I was gone. You had your four month doctor appointment and even slept your first night in your crib while I was gone. Of course, the next two nights in your crib (when I came home) you woke up at 1:00am, so I put you back in your Rock and Play and we'll try again over the next weekend.

You're growing so big and you're getting so smart. Although I miss you being so tiny, I absolutely love watching your grow, learn and explore. Each stage is better than the last which makes me so excited to see what you'll accomplish next. :-) Love you so much, little pumpkin!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Three Months Old


To my little pumpkin,
You're now a quarter of a year old, growing so big right before our eyes, and its the absolute best thing in the world! You are one of the happiest babies I know. You're constantly smiling and talking and looking around at anything and everything you can see.

You love to look at toys and books, but what you love the most is smiling and talking to people (including your own reflection). You have such a big, wide-open mouth smile and its just adorable that people can't help but smile back.

This month we borrowed a mobile from Aunt Elise and you love it! It spins and plays music, and you get SO excited when you watch it. Your legs start kicking, your arms go flying and you start smiling and screeching with excitement.

You're starting to tolerate your tummy time a tiny bit more and we've noticed that your neck muscles are getting so strong. You're able to support your head much better when being held upright and you're able to lift your head up higher when you're on your belly. Your legs are very strong as well. You enjoy being held in a standing position on our laps and you frequently kick us (or Ozzie because he's always close by you) when you're propped up on our legs. And you also have a good, strong grip when you're able to get something in your hands...when they're not in your mouth.

Speaking of that, you've been chewing on your hands/fists and drooling like crazy this month! I had no idea that a two month old baby would drool so much, but apparently your salvitory glands are maturing causing you to drool - so much so that you need to wear a bib pretty much all the time otherwise your shirts would be soaked.

At the beginning of this month, I moved your Rock & Play into your room for you to sleep at night. For the first week, you'd go down between 9-10 and wake up around 3am to eat, then go back to sleep until 5:30 when it was time to get up and get ready for Grandma's. But after that first week, you now sleep from 10pm to 5-5:30am each night and its been wonderful!

I've been propping you on your side this month, over night,
because I'm paranoid about you developing a flat head.
It's actually helped and you seem to enjoy it.
This month we celebrated your first, and very cold, Halloween. You wore a cute, glow-in-the-dark skeleton onsie to Grandma's during the day, and then we dressed you up in your owl costume, from Uncle Chris, in the evening. We stopped by to see Nana and Papa and the headed to Kirk and Lisa's to spend the evening with Grandma, Uncle Kyle, Aunt Elise, Cole, Liam, Jake, Max and Jen. We stayed inside and cuddled while the boys froze outside trick-or-treating.

You've been with Grandma Dorothy for a whole month now and you've only cried for her once! She said it came out of no where, and by the time she got up to check on you, you were already calming down...we're thinking it must have been a gas bubble or something. Either way, you do such a wonderful job when you're over there. She said that you love to watch the kids run around and are always so relaxed. Its so great knowing that you're so comfortable when you have to be away from Mommy and Daddy while we work during the day. Grandma is the best - she takes such good care of you. :)

Love you so much! ~Mommy

Here are some more cute pictures from the month:
Happy shopper


First escalator ride at Scheels

First Halloween

So cute with Daddy

Go Huskies

Hanging with Grandpa

Just riding Ozzie

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Day in the Life of a CF Mommy

After rereading my previous post, I realized that I trailed off and didn't go in depth of what its like day-to-day as a CF mommy. So here's a peek into a typical work day for me:

5:00am - Wake up & take a shower

5:20 - Make and pack lunch, set up pumping parts for later....only if Anna isn't awake

5:30 - Get Anna changed, dressed and fed

6:00 - Pump while watching Anna while Tim gets ready

6:30 - Say 'bye' to my baby then do my treatments

7:10 - Clean nebs and pump parts, eat breakfast, pack lunch, pack pump and empty bottles, brush teeth, get dressed

7:45 - Go to work

8:00 - Pump at work

8:25 - Get last minute things ready for class, set out breakfast for students

8:40 - Students come in & the day begins :)

11:00 - Assistant watches the class for recess so I can pump (and neb Cayston if its an "on'' month)

11:30 - Class bathroom break & get ready for lunch

12:00 - Lunch

12:30 - Teach

1:00 - Plan time (most days) = pump time

1:30: Teach

3:30 - Kids are gone, time to plan and prep for the next days/week

4:30/5:00 - Go home - clean pump parts, bottles, do dishes, etc. OR try to get treatments done by 5:30.

5:30 - Anna & Tim come home! Nurse Anna :)

6:00 - Treatments if they didn't get done earlier, or cuddle/play with my baby! :)

Anna plays with her toys on the floor next to me while I'm doing my Vest

7:30 - Nurse then cuddle and play...and probably fall asleep on the couch; don't forget the bath if it's bath night

9:30 - Nurse, put Anna to bed and crash in my bed for the night

Then do it all again the next day!

I absolutely love the life of a mommy! Adding CF on top of mommy-ing, nursing and teaching can be a lot some days, but I'm learning to manage my time pretty well. And being the social, busy people we are, we usually are going somewhere or seeing someone one day of the weekend, so I really look forward to days off work and lazy weekends with my precious little one. Can't wait for summer break!

The BEST part of my day :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Life of a CF Mommy

Just nebbing Cayston while baby-wearing (Anna ~ one month)
My entire life I've dreamt of being a mommy, and I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to live out that dream each and every day! It really never crossed my mind that I couldn't/wouldn't be a mother because of my CF, and I'm very glad my disease hasn't held me back. With that said, it can sometimes be challenging working full time, taking care of an infant and taking care of myself...but I remind myself that this is normal & many people do it everyday. :) My biggest key to success is time management- thankfully that has always been one of my strong points.

Nursing while at clinic :-) ~9/25/14
The first week or two, after Anna was born, was probably the most difficult with keeping up with my treatments. Luckily my lung function was stable at the end of my pregnancy, so I felt really good lung-wise after delivery. I'll admit, though, I probably only did a handful of my treatments in those first two weeks because I just wanted to spend time snuggling my brand new baby. But one day, Tim finally called me out on it and I've only missed one treatment since.

CF mams & their babies :-)
For the last few years, my main motivation to getting/keeping myself healthy was to get pregnant. Now that Anna is finally here, I can't throw my health away! My motivation just has to adjust - I want and need to be the healthiest version of myself, for as long as I possibly can,  for my family. Treatments are not optional. I hope that I can show Anna that even though her Mommy has CF, I don't let it define who I am as a person or the way I live my life.

Our most recent picture together ~ 10/8/14

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Two Months Old


Dear Anna/Pumpkin/Peanut,
I know I'll probably say this every month, but I can't believe how quickly time is flying and how fast you're growing! This month (more so this last week) has been emotional for me because it was my last month home with you before going back to work. I tried to get in extra snuggles and naps before getting back into reality.

You have changed so much in just a short amount of time, it's fascinating! You are such a happy little girl, always smiling your huge smiles at everyone who talks to you...and now you've even started talking back, which I cannot get enough of! Around six-seven weeks you really started cooing and talking, and it is the absolute cutest sound ever!

You've slowly started outgrowing all of your newborn clothes and are making your way into 3 month outfits. This month we've even had a couple of comments about how big you are from people seeing you for the first time. *One person even called you chubby!...but she could only see your face because you were all wrapped up.* You're now 9lbs, 7oz and 22 1/2 inches long! At the beginning of the month you had some pretty bad baby acne, but we made sure to give you a bath every other day and wash your face on the other days which has really helped a lot. You've also started enjoying your baths much more (I now give you most of your baths), but you still hate getting lotion. I think its just that you hate being cold.

Your first trip to Jonamac
You are still nursing every two-three hours during the day and your nights vary. I'm hoping we'll fall into more of a routine/schedule with me going back to work and you going to Grandma's. This month you have been fighting us more on falling asleep, and one night cried for almost two hours because you were so tired but just wouldn't give in. Most nights you really need your pacifier to calm yourself and get to sleep, but you're still having a hard time keeping it in your mouth and then get very frustrated when it falls out, so I used to stay awake putting it back in your mouth several times before you finally fell asleep, but that could go on forever, so I thought of a new plan.

First family selfie :)
At eight weeks old, I started putting you in your room to sleep overnight, but still in your rock and play. I want you to be able to get yourself to sleep, and selfishly, I don't want to be up all night putting that silly paci back in over and over. After you eat, I've been putting you down sleepy, giving you your paci, turning on your music and walking away. I only go back in every five minutes or so if you're crying, and I'll soothe you, without picking you up, for a minute or two. I usually only have to go back in once or twice before you finally fall asleep. You typically sleep about a six-hour stretch, wake up to eat (then I pump), and then you go back down for another two hours or so until it's time to get up to get ready for Grandma's. It's been working out well and it makes me happy that you're being a big girl and sleeping in your own room.

Your first Great Strides walk - it was about 42 degrees, cloudy & windy, but we survived! :)
Speaking of Grandma's, you're doing great! We did two "trial runs" while I was still on maternity leave, when I went into work and you went to Grandma's so we could get the routine/schedule figured out. You do an excellent job in the car, usually sleeping, but sometimes just awake and looking around. I miss you so much while I'm at work, but I know that Grandma is taking very good care of you, and I get lots of smiles when you come home. :)

You and Danner at the Werner family reunion
This has been a busy month for our little family: We've gone camping; you came with me to your first CF appointment and met Dr. Dowell; we went to Jonamac with Linda, Roger, Aunt Elise, Cole and Liam; you met some of our DeKalb friends; we went to your first Great Strides walk; to a family reunion; and started going to Grandma's while Mommy and Daddy are at work. You're such a good little traveler already, usually just sleeping the whole time. Two hours is about your max in the car seat, which is fine because we stop and get you out to feed and change you around that time anyway. I absolutely LOVE being your mommy and am looking forward to watching you grow and learn!

Love, Mommy

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Camping with a Baby

On the same weekend every year, Tim's family rents out a cute little church camp for all of us to get together. It's in a tiny little town where Tim's great-grandma Danner lived, and we always go over Homecoming weekend so we can attend the parade (the home town school's band had eight members, plus the two holding their banner) and enjoy the little carnival with the kids. It's always a super fun time with the family with lots of laughs and memories made over the weekend.

Anna loved the parade ;)
While I was pregnant, family would ask if we would be going camping this year because we'd have a newborn. Tim was always quick to answer 'yes', where I was a bit more hesitant because I wasn't sure 'how I'd be feeling'. Well, since Anna has been a super cooperative and laid back baby, after her being home a week or two, there was no doubt in either of our minds that we'd definitely be going camping.

Anna chatting with Aunt Linda -- she got lots of cuddles from
the family all weekend.
So Friday morning Tim loaded up the car while I fed Anna and got us ready. First we had her one month doctor appointment --she now weighs 7lbs 15oz!-- and then we hit the road. Thanks to being on maternity leave, and Tim having a wonderful boss, this was the first time we were able to get their Friday afternoon instead of late Friday night. It was so fun, even with a baby! Anna did excellent! She was her normal, calm self all weekend and even slept almost through the night both Friday and Saturday night - camping is exhausting, even when you're five weeks old! Of course she made up for it Sunday night by waking every two hours, but that's ok...she was back into her groove by Tuesday. 

Snug as a bug in a rug
Despite it being quite chilly (thank goodness for cabins & heaters), it was so great to see everyone and we had so much fun! I'm glad to start this wonderful tradition with Anna. Tim has so many great memories from camping as he grew up, and I'm very excited that Anna will be able to have those, too.

Family photo, September 13, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One Month Old


Dear Anna (aka: pumpkin, peanut, baby, baby girl, sweetie, big girl, etc),
I cannot believe you are already one month old! This has been the fastest month of our lives, and the absolute best one! Daddy and I feel like you were just born, but at the same time, like you've been with us forever. Parenting has come so natural to both of us and we couldn't be happier. So many people told us, before you were born, how crazy our life was going to be once you arrived, but "crazy" is definitely not a word I would use to describe the last month. I'd use words like: amazing, fulfilling, calm...it just feels right. You are the perfect fit to our little family.


Over the last couple of weeks, you've found you voice...and by that, I mean your cry. Thankfully you still don't cry very often, but you've let out some hardy screams a few times...especially when you're getting lotion on after a bath and when you've absolutely had enough tummy time. :) It's been fascinating watching you grow and become more alert each day. You definitely recognize Mommy and Daddy's voices and give us the most beautiful gummy grins when we talk to you. You're now able to focus on people and objects and track them with your head and eyes. You've started watching your toys that hang above you on your play mat, and you love to stare at the pictures in books when I read to you.

You're growing so big and strong! You've taken to breastfeeding like a champ and I often call you a 'little piggy' as you're quickly gulping like we're starving you... I promise, I feed you every two hours! Your first three weeks, you were an excellent sleeper which is why I think your Dad and I haven't felt 'crazy' because we've been able to get decent sleep, too. Typically you nursed between 9-10pm and sleep until 2-2:30 when you grunt away in your Rock and Play until I lift you out. Then after you're changed and fed, you usually slept until 5:30-6, where you'd wake again just by grunting and squirming. Once that feeding is done, sometimes you'll stay awake, but sometimes you'll go right back to sleep which is when I'm able to do treatments, shower and eat before you need to eat again in two hours.
At three weeks old, we gave you your second bottle (first was during your first week and it was a disaster) and you did so well! We've been trying to give you a bottle every couple days, just so you'll get used to it for when you go to Grandma's.

Then at about 3.5 weeks, you decided to switch up your eating and sleeping routine...I'm guessing you were going through a growth spurt. You started nursing for longer (20 minutes) and waking more often during the night. You started getting a little fussy in the evenings and fighting sleep. Now, right at 4 weeks, you're back to nursing for 10-15 minutes, but you're still getting up every two-three hours during the night, and it takes a bit more cuddles and rocking (and a pacifier) before you'll finally give in to sleep.

8.30.14 - Aunt Elise holding Alayna and Nana holding you
Daddy and I also survived your first projectile vomit episode, Friday night (4 weeks). You finished eating and were sleeping propped up in the crook of my arm for a while, when out of no where (no warning, no sound) you projectiled everywhere! All over you, me and the couch. I just sat there frozen, stunned - I had no idea what to do! Then you let out a second round! Finally, I looked at your Dad and said, "Can you help me?!" We were both just sitting there waiting for the other to do something. So Daddy grabbed you and cleaned you up while I went to change my clothes. Of course you had no idea what happened and went straight back to sleep when Daddy was changing you!
I was very concerned. I got out the thermometer and we took your temperature, but of course it was normal. I had no idea why you just threw up everywhere, so I asked a few of my fellow CF mommy friends who all reassured me it was normal for babies to do that once in a while and gave me a couple pointers. A little while later you woke up starving and ate really well. I was worried about putting you down and probably burped you a little too much over the next couple feedings, but you kept everything down aside from a couple little normal spits. Thankfully you haven't done that since, and now you're back to eating for only 10-15mins. My guess is that you over-ate because we were used to doing 20min feedings the days prior. Now if we can only go back to sleeping longer at night...

Archie and Ozzie are starting to get used to you, too. To my surprise, over the last week, Ozzie has really become interested in you. Whenever you fuss or cry if we're not holding you, Ozzie will run over to you and just stare. I think he's going to become quite protective of you. Archie still isn't completely comfortable with you and usually keeps his distance, but every once in a while he'll come sniff you while we're holding you.