Long Night :(

I am typing this from my phone, so I apologize for any spelling or grammer errors.

Elah slept in her bassinet between feedings until 1am last night... after her 1am feeding she refused to sleep. She was wide awake from 1am-4:45am... she wouldn't even sleep on my chest. She eventually slept after that, and she is currently asleep on my chest... needless to say, I am exhausted... :(


Sassy Sunday

Justin, Elah, and I went to Asheville last Tuesday to run some errands, and once we had finished we decided to head to the mall for lunch and a little shopping. As we were walking by the Picture People one of the girls working there asked us if we wanted a free picture... I knew it was a way to get our business, but I couldn't resist! Look how beautiful and ADORABLE my daughter is....

She's so cute... I'm a little biased ofcourse... but really. PURE cuteness!

Like I posted before, Elah turned a month old on Friday... and we weighed her today... 9lbs! She's starting to fit a little better into a majority of her cloth diapers... but they still leak a little because of her scrawny little legs. However, they are slowly getting chubbier :)

Today, we decided that we couldn't resist the beautiful weather outside and went for a really, really long walk. I put Elah in the moby, we packed Justin's backpack with diapers, wipes, and a few other essentials and headed out. We walked to the lake, around the lake, up the road to Nanny's, and then across town to mom's house. We probably walked over 3 miles today, and it felt AMAZING. I'm so looking forward to Spring, and NO MORE SNOW, so we can walk more often and I can really start losing more weight! I'm down to 218 now!

Elah is now in her 0-3 month clothing (I teared up a bit at that discovery)... she is just too long for her newborn stuff now! When we first brought her home until about 2 weeks ago she was still too small to swaddle in her swaddle blanket that we have. So tonight I decided to try doing it again, well guess what!?!?! She is finally tall enough to swaddle! AND she is sleeping in her bassinet, AND I'm in MY bed beside my hubby... YAY! We will see how tonight goes, and hopefully she'll give mommy a break and sleep in her bassinet ALL night (between feedings and diaper changse ofcourse)!

Wow! That was crazy and sporatic... but that's a pretty good update I think ;-)


One Month Old... AH!

It is January 28th, and it is currently 7:30pm... and a month ago today I was getting an epidural after hours of awful back labor... and little did I know that in less than 2 hours Elah would finally be here in my arms!

That's right... Elah is a month old today, and I really just can't believe it. She's growing so much, she's over 8lbs, and she fits into some of her 0-3 month clothing now. Bye bye newborn clothing... hello big girl clothing. That makes me incredibly sad.

I'm sorry I don't post as often as I used to, but this girl of mine takes up a lot of my time and I'm LOVING it. :)


Who I Am and What I Want to Be

**Disclaimer** Sorry this post is SO long, I've been working on it for a few days... if you read this and blog here is the challenge. WHO ARE YOU? Write a blog about who you are, and then add 50 facts about yourself... you never know what you might learn about You!

I have changed drastically in the past few years... DRASTICALLY. I chose to grow up a little faster than my peers and accept more responsibilities. I moved out young, got married young, and at 22 I became a mother! So I'll say it again... I have changed drastically. The biggest changes have developed since Elah was born, and I am incredibly proud of the woman I am becoming... so who am I?

First, and foremost, I am a follower and disciple of Christ. I hope to live my life walking in His footsteps, spreading His word, and raising my children in a home that lives and breathes Christ. I am by no means perfect, and I stumble every day in my walk with Christ. I forget to read my bible everyday, I forget to thank God for all of His blessings. However... I am forgiven.

I am a mother, a new one in fact, who is learning exactly what it means to love unconditionally. I've become a fierce mama bear who defends my choices in raising my daughter, who isn't afraid to say NO anymore, and I am confidant in the choices that Justin and I are making pertaining to Elah and our future children. I choose to cover my daughter's cute little tushie in cloth, I choose to only breastfeed my daughter even if it means less sleep and less time to myself. I wear my daughter more often than not in my MobyWrap, and she sleeps on my chest every night... and despite the fact that I don't get as much sleep this way, I'm really ok with that. I plan on making Elah's baby food, and raising her on organic foods... and even though I'm going to school to be a teacher and even though my mom works as an assistant teacher for a public school, I am 99.9% sure we will be homeschooling my daughter.

I am a wife, a homemaker, a friend, a lover, and a partner for life to an amazing man. I may not always keep the house clean, or keep up with the laundry like I should... but he loves me anyways! I get grouchy, I'm impatient, and I drive him bonkers sometimes... and still... he loves me.

I never get tired of gaining knowledge... even if the classes I am taking at the moment do not pertain to my major. I look forward to taking what I've learned and using it to educate my own children and other homeschooled children in the future. I'm hoping to use my degree to tutor homeschooled students, help them with testing, and perhaps teach homeschool groups in the future.

I've described myself as a musician longer than I've described myself as any of the above (with the exception of disciple). I write music, sing music, play music, live music, breathe music... I just love music. I play music to worship, I sing music to relax, I write music to vent... it's everything!

That's who I am. I am a different person than who I used to be. I am PROUD of the person I'm becoming.

50 Facts About Me

1. I constantly have a song in my head... there is not a moment that goes by that I'm not singing or humming a tune... whether that's outloud or silently!
2. I'm working on making my home and family "green".
3. My daughter has a cloth booty... except at the moment. She is not yet chunky enough for the majority of our stash!
4. I use a Diva Cup... ok maybe a little TMI, but seriously... ditch the tampons and pads and try it. You'll never go back!
5. I enjoy paying bills... I don't enjoy seeing the money go away, but something about writing out checks, and knowing that all those bills are gone until next month is rewarding.
6. I'm slightly OCD. But only about certain things... like my closet, Elah's room, and my school work/supplies.
7. I married a hardcore, serious, KISS freak. He's not as obsessed as he used to be, but he will always be my KISS freak :)
8. Nothing smells better than my daughter after her nighttime bath... love that sweet baby smell!
9. I have 2 families... my biological family and my Flint family... life wouldn't be the same without either family!
10. I exclusively breastfeed my daughter.
11. I am addicted to WAY to many tv shows... Grey's Anatomy, Bones, Secret Life of the American Teenager to name a few... and I'm not embarrassed by any of them. Pure entertainment and drama!
12. I love photographs, I love displaying them in my home... seriously... I have SO many pictures in our living room!
13. I love going hiking, I haven't been in quite a while, but I look forward to start doing it again when it's warm enough to take Elah!
14. I love clothes. I love buying clothes... I have too many clothes...
15. I've had my hair so long that it reached my tailbone... and hair so short it was only an inch long...
16. I love wearing my daughter in our MobyWrap... so warm and cozy, and she's always close to my heart!
17. Being a mommy is my favorite thing in the world... I was born to do this!
18. I love to color... but you can only use Crayola crayons!
19. My favorite thing to do with Justin (and eventually with Elah and our other future children) during the holidays is gathering every holiday movie we have in the house, making finger foods, and cuddling up on the couch for a movie marathon.
20. I hate shoes. I'd rather go barefoot or wear flip flops any day, BUT, I have a ton of shoes. LOL!
21. I like doing diaper laundry... I like sorting the inserts, stuffing the pockets, and putting the diapers away... perhaps that's the OCD in me?
22. I love the beach, but I hate the sand. I don't like the way it gets EVERYWHERE.
23. I got to meet my great-great-grandmother Matilda when I was a kid... she lived to 102!
24. I don't wear makeup, I don't think I need it. My husband loves me the way I am, and I could care less if anyone else things I'm attractive or not... so why not just appreciate my face the way God made it?
25. I want a minivan... yes. A minivan. Plenty of room for the 4 kids I'm planning on having!
26. I know how to crochet, with and without a loom, but I have no patience when it comes to crocheting... so I stick to hats.
27. I've given up on my daughter sleeping in her bassinet... she can sleep on my chest as long as she wants. I know she won't be sleeping on my chest when she's 10... and she won't be this little forever. So I'm enjoying the extra snuggles while I can!
28. I hate snow. I hate the cold, the wet, and that it means I'm stuck in the house until it melts and the roads are safe. Ugh.
29. My husband and I danced to "Forever" by KISS.... and as we walked back down the aisle together "Rock n Roll All Night" played. Told you I married a KISS freak!
30. I broke my leg "snowboarding" in my yard in 6th grade... my lame attempt of snowboarding involved a sled and our dog, Rags. Bad idea!
31. I hate throwing things away, but I force myself to do it... especially after watching Hoarders. I would never be that bad, but it scared the pee outta me!
32. I had to learn how to be flexible when I gave birth to my daughter... I learned that not everything goes as planned! My natural birth turned into me having terrible back pain and getting an epidural. I'm really ok with my decision!
33. I have never had a normal animal. Every dog, cat, gerbil, guinea pig, etc. that I have owned since childhood has been wierd. Ask my mom...
34. I never thought I would be in a traditional family. I always thought I'd have to work and send my children to daycare... I am thankful and incredibly blessed to be able to stay home with my daughter!
35. I would love to live at the beach, however, I have a huge fear of hurricanes and tornadoes... so I won't be leaving the mountains anytime soon!
36. Some of my closest friends are scattered across the country... and I've never met them face to face. They are my "supportive sisters" who have been by my side since J and I started TTC in 2007... thank you Babycenter for bringing us together!
37. In high school I burnt noodles... meaning I couldn't cook worth a flip. Thanks to my husband I can now cook pretty well!
38. I have an obsession with books. I love books. I read the same books over and over again, and never get tired of it. My kids will have a library of books by the time they graduate college and get married.
39. I love owls.
40. My baby shower was in October... the thank you cards are still sitting on my bookshelf... procrastinate much?
41. In high school I wore flood pants, capris with chains and zippers, black tshirts (and only black tshirts), wore ties as belts and put blue gel in my short spiky hair. What was I thinking?
42. I want 4 kids, but I'm really hoping and praying that future pregnancies are easier than my first... 32 weeks of "morning" sickness was NOT fun.
43. I hate feet. No, I despise feet. Feet are gross.
44. I did not inherit my mom's craftiness... I am too much of a perfectionist, so quilting and sewing are really hard for me to do... I'm too obsessed with getting everything straight and perfect!
45. I love coffee and coca cola... and since I'm breastfeeding I'm not drinking them anymore unless they're decaf. ::Sigh::
46. I hate doing dishes, so I got a dishwasher. His name is Justin.
47. I've been in a marching band, symphonic band, jazz band, youth praise band, worship team, and a blues band.
48. I have a giant stuffed bear that I named Wilbur... I got him for Christmas in 1st grade and I stiill have him!
49. I can't snap my fingers.
50. It took me 3 days to complete this list!


Elah 2 Mommy 0

Ok. So Justin is back at work, today was his 2nd day back, and Elah KNOWS something is up. She must miss daddy rocking her to sleep after her middle of the night feeding, because she is bound and determined NOT to sleep. She will NOT sleep in her bassinet. She did great in it the entire time Justin was on vacation, now she refuses to sleep! So we are back in the recliner, but I'm hoping to transition back to the bassinet after I catch up on my sleep! I only got 2-3 hours yesterday, last night I got a bit more because I went to the recliner earlier in the night. Let's pray Elah is just being ornery for a few nights!

Currently, Elah is asleep in the mobywrap... the only way I could get her to sleep yesterday, and apparently the only way she will sleep today. Goodness!

My munchkin is up to 7.7lbs as of yesterday, according to the Wii Fit. She is growing like a weed! I know I mentioned that yesterday, but I wanted to add that when I weighed her, I also weighed myself... and I'm down 4 more pounds! With that said, I'm not as worried about seeing the number go down, I'm more looking forward to seeing my clothing size go down! I can't wait to go shopping w/Janelle to get new clothes! EEK! (I love buying clothes... Justin HATES it, lol!)

Anyways... with the exception of some sleepless nights, we are doing really well. I've found that between Elah, school, and keeping up with the laundry and housework that I don't have as much time to spend with friends... especially the Flints! I got to visit with them this week, and it was WONDERFUL. I MISS them! I practically lived at their house all of last year, so it's strange not seeing them almost everyday! We will be booking our cabin SOON for our May vacation with the Flints, and I can't wait! I'm not looking forward to Elah being almost 5 months old at that time, or the boys being a year and a half... the older twins being 7, or Joseph turning TEN... ugh. But the vacation is going to be a blast!


Cloth Booty!

At birth Elah weighed 5lbs 13oz, at her 1st check up she went down to 5lbs 11oz, and at her 2 week checkup she was at 6lbs 12oz. We weighed her on the Wii Fit today and she's up to 7lbs 7oz! She's growing so fast! So we decided to try one of our one size diapers on her today, and they are still a bit big, but they fit MUCH better than they did when we first brought her home! Another pound or two, and a little more chunk in her thighs, and they will be PERFECT!

Here is Elah in a Bamboo Minky Kawaii Diaper...


And so it begins...

Justin's been off for over a week, he took some vacation time so that he could spend time with Elah and me. And now... he is sleeping and will be getting up at 4:30am to go to work. I feel like tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives, as strange as that sounds... we got into this great routine at night where I would get up to nurse her every 2-4 hours (recently it's been every 4), and after the middle of the night feeding Justin would take her and rock her to sleep so I could a bit more shut eye to make it through the rest of the night. Now... I'm on my own! I just can't ask Justin to wake up and help me when he has to get up SO early to work a full 8 hour day. He has his job, and I have mine... so here we go. Tonight is the beginning of the rest of our lives, and I have to find a new routine.

I'm also learning to say NO. I've had a hard time with that... but, with all the people wanting to come see Elah I have to say no. If I have told you no, or if I do so in the future, please don't take it the wrong way. You have to understand that we can't allow EVERYONE to come over and hold our daughter all the time. We have to worry about illnesses, we have to worry about Elah being handled too much and upsetting her (and yes this has happened), and frankly... I need rest, I can't play hostess and mommy right now! Justin has had to tell his parents no a few times, I had to tell my mom no today... and it sucks doing that. And I'm sorry (sorry mom!). We know that everyone loves Elah, everyone wants to meet Elah and love on her... but I just can't grant everyone's wishes. Saying no is HARD. Really, really hard.


3 Weeks Old

AHHH!!!! I feel like I just wrote Elah's 2 week post! She is THREE WEEKS OLD. Which means in 7 days she will be a month old! AHHH! I though James & Jonathans first year went by fast... this is worse!

My munchkin is currently sleeping on her daddy's chest, comfortable as can be! And luckily her daddy is in a better mood than this morning... he doesn't handle sleepless nights as well as mommy does LOL. Love you babe!

There's not a whole lot going on this week really. Today I'm taking Elah to the primary school, where my mom (Nene) works, to let her friend Venita hold my baby girl. She's met her, but I wouldn't let mom take her out because I knew she would pitch a fit when we put her back in the carseat (we had a checkup that day). After that we are on a hunt for some more newborn sized WARM sleepers. The regular cotton ones aren't cutting it for nighttime... it always seems to be a little cold and drafty in our apartment at night. So those warm fuzzy sleepers are the best! Other than that... I'm hoping to sneak over to the Flint house one day this week (hinthintcoughcoughjanelle LOL) to visit and get away from my DEAR WONDERFUL grumpy husband... again, love you babe!

I'm also starting to think about a few things we need to get when Janelle and I finally take our shopping trip that we've been planning for MONTHS. I definately have to go buy me some new clothing. I had to wear maternity jeans today :(, my hips are far to wide for my regular jeans. Ugh. I'm losing weight, but my hips just aren't going back to normal. So I'm going to have to try on some different styled jeans or something. I also need some more nursing friendly tops. I haven't gone out in public all that much, or really attempted to breastfeed Elah in a REAL public place... so I've been wearing my nursing tanks and button up shirts. I also wore a low cut sweater from Old Navy that I bought when I was pregnant. I thought that it would fit me after having Elah, it's not maternity, but now it SWALLOWS me! It would be ok over a regular tshirt, but over just my nursing tank it just hangs on me. So yea... new jeans, new nursing tops, and I need new panties... LOL sorry! TMI. Mine are all too big as well, LOL.  I also would like to visit a store that carries various types of cloth diapers so I can get some more smaller diapers for Elah. We have plenty of one size diapers that she'll fit in when she puts on some more chunky cuteness and grows some.. until then, we need to find some to add to our stash!

School is going well, I'm staying ahead! I'm a little nervous about my biology course that starts next week... I'm doing so well with my 2 classes now, so we'll see how it goes!


Monday Memories

I definitely don't blog as much as I did before Elah was born, and I'm a little sad about that because I feel like I'm missing out on documenting so many things that I would want to remember down the road. However... the time I would be spending writing on this blog has been spent on other things... Elah being the number one priority of those many things! She's eating every 2-3 hours, which is special mommy/daughter time since we are EBF... we are starting cloth diapers during the day. Sadly I don't have a big enough tiny diaper stash to get through day and night, so currently she wears ALL her diapers during the day and I wash them before we go to bed so I can hang them to dry over night. We spend lots of time cuddling... my favorite part about being a mommy at the moment. And all the extra minutes in between, and the few hours of naps during the day are spent on homework, laundry, and cleaning. I love it all, with the exception of a little homework, LOL!

Elah is changing every day, it's incredibly exciting and depressing all at the same time! Her face is getting slightly chubbier, and she has a tiny little double chin... and her little legs, LOL... I call them preemie thunder thighs. They are so tiny, but she's finally getting some fat on them! I'm so excited to see her grow and hit all these major milestones, but I'm sad to see the newborn stage slowly creeping away. I'm so blessed that Justin is working hard so that I can stay home full time with our daughter, I don't know what I would do if I had to miss out on all the changes that I'm already seeing in Elah daily!

I'm hoping to get started on my Project 365 again, however I may do it on the actualy 365 website this time. I'll post more about that tomorrow! Until then... I'm going to go cuddle with my munchkin, get some sleep and wake up in about 2 or 3 hours to feed her, change her, and start the process all over again :) Night!


Successful Saturday

First of all... we took Snickers to my inlaws house. They are going to keep her until further notice, and I know she is 100% happy there... before Elah came along, Snickers was Jerry's (my father in law) girl. She ADORES him... so yea, very happy with that! But get this... Snickers leaves and now Mudgett is an ANGEL. He is being so good! So we're going to give him a chance, and see how he does as a single dog in our household. He will get to see Snickers when we visit Nana and Papa Grey... so all is well in doggy world.

Last two nights with Elah sleeping in the bassinet have gone fairly well. I don't get as much sleep as I did with her sleeping on my chest in the recliner, however, I sleep deeper with her in her own bed, so I feel more rested! Success!

I also tried one of Elah's cloth diapers on her today... and they are still kind of big, and she's still wearing it... so I don't know if it will leak with the bulkiness just yet. I will update on that soon however! Here are a few pics:


Tough Situation

When Justin and I had been dating for about 4 months he got me a puppy... the cutest, sweetest, tiniest little thing. She fit in the palm of my hand, she was so well behaved, and such a cute little booger. We named her Snickers.

Fast forward 4, almost 5 years laters. Snickers, my well behaved, loving little dog has turned into a jealous, peeing everywhere monster. Ok... that's a little harsh. She's not a monster, but she is definately jealous, and she's definately peeing everywhere. I wasn't worried about Snickers when we brought Elah home, I was worried that Mudgett would freak out and go bonkers (well... more bonkers then he already is). Boy was I wrong. Seriously... Snickers will look right at you, squat, and pee. EVERY FREAKING DAY. But wait, it gets better. Today, as I sat down to put my shoes on so we could take Elah to see J's nanny... she squats beside and PEES ON ME. Yea, really. She peed on ME. I'm done. Really. Done. I love this dog, she was my first baby, she moved from place to place with us... she was there when we lived in Tennessee, she was there when we got married... she's been through it all. And I'm done. I can't do it anymore!

Mudgett isn't as bad, but with him being so hyper he is just so hard to deal with right now. I love that little stinker, but I'm done.

I don't want to see them go, I will probably cry a flood of tears to see them go... but Elah is my priority now. I'm tired of the peeing everywhere, I'm tired of stepping on soggy gross rawhide bones, I'm tired of hair EVERYWHERE... I'm just tired. I want to bring my daughter home to a clean house without dog hair, dog barking, dog pee, dog food, dog anything. I'm DONE.


2 Week Checkup

Today was Elah's checkup... well technically yesterday was, but apparently I have mommy brain. Yea... laugh it up Janelle! We showed up and I was informed that it was in fact yesterday, but luckily they had an opening just 15 minutes after the appointment I thought was today. ::Sigh::

Anyways, Elah is doing fantastic! She now weights 6lbs 12oz and is 20 inches long! My little piggy proved that she is in fact a pig... sorry Elah, but it's true! We also asked about introducing a pacifier, she is constantly wanting to be on my breast or have a pinky in her mouth to comfort her. I was hoping to not have to give her one at all, in all honesty I am not looking forward to keeping up with a paci, AND I was worried about her having nipple confusion and not wanting to latch correctly. She's been doing super with breastfeeding and I didn't want to hinder that in ANY way. So we asked her pediatrician and she said to try it, and that if she shows any sign of not latching correctly to just stop using it. I can handle that! So far, she seems to be doing really well with it. We did have to go buy a different type because the ones we have from our baby showers were a little big for her tiny little mouth!

Now here is the big announcement.... somehow, someway... Elah is asleep in her bassinet! Elah and I decided to go into my bedroom to watch J play Wii Fit. She started getting fussy so I layed her down on the bed and started getting ready to breastfeed her... and she fell asleep before I could even pull my nursing tank down. I didn't do a thing and she was sleeping! So I told J to stop playing the Wii for a minute and VERY VERY carefully handed her to him and he put her in the bassinet. She didn't wake up. It was AWESOME.

So tonight we are going to attempt to sleep in our own bed, and she is going to sleep in her bassinet... and I'm really really hoping she'll do ok with it and we'll get some sleep! Prayers appreciated!


2 Weeks Old....

Yes... really. My baby is 2 weeks old today! UGH! She's already growing to fast, it's bad enough that the Flint boys are TODDLERS now... now I have to cry over them AND Elah growing to fast!

Elah's 2 week checkup is tomorrow... hopefully we can make it out to Asheville tomorrow! We weighed Elah on the Wii Fit the other day and she's gained almost a full pound since her first checkup! She eats like a champ, and I swear she's going through a growth spurt... she eats ALL the time. Luckily last night she decided to give mommy a break and not get up EVERY 2 hours. I fed her around 9pm, again at midnight, and then again at 4am and 7am. So we got a few extra hours sleep in there!

Elah is official now... we got her social security card in the mail, her insurance card.... and now we just need to get an official copy of her birth certificate. It still amazes me that she's even here and not beating me up from inside my belly! I can't even explain to you how good of a baby she is. She has her cranky moments ofcourse, but she's so down to earth and really only gets mad if she has a dirty diaper or if she's hungry. She was a LOT cranky today however... but that was Nene's fault, not mine! LOL Nene took us to the grocery store and ofcourse insisted on carrying her instead of leaving her sleeping in her car seat.... so when we went to put her BACK in the car seat she SCREAMED. She definately enjoys being held! She was up from 10am-almost 2pm... and as soon as she finished eating and put her head on my chest... she was OUT. She was SO tired!

As for me... I am happy to report that my start to the new year is going really well! I have a goal to lose weight this year. I'm hoping to get down to a size 12 again by my 24th birthday (March 2012)... might not sound small to a lot of you skinny mini's out there... but that's healthy for me. I like my curves, and that's a good size that I'm comfortable with, AND that's the size I was before J & I started dating in high school! I'm down almost 25 pounds from my prepregnancy weight, so I'm in a few pairs of my prepregnancy jeans already. Those are size 18, my hips are still a good deal wider however, so the rest of my jeans (size 16) that fit comfortably prior to being preggo are a bit tight still. I'm excited about this new journey... mom is trying to lose weight, Janelle is trying to lose weight, and J wants to get healthier as well. So I know I have lots of support.... and knowing that my beautiful little girl will be watching me is inspiration enough!


Cleaning Spree

Thank goodness for Nene & Papaw... they came over today and loved on Elah so I could nap... except I didn't nap. LOL! I ended up taking a shower, doing laundry, and doing some cleaning. And we NEEDED to get some cleaning done! School starts back on Monday, I only have 2 classes that actually start on Monday, but with a new baby in our lives it will be interesting to see how I handle school, housework, and Elah!

We do have a bit of a dilemma in our household however. Snickers. Snickers is jealous. She's not mean to Elah or anything like that, she actually likes to watch her and sniff her... but she is definately annoyed with how much attention the baby gets compared to her. I've tried my best to show her love and affection when Elah isn't in my arms and JUSTIN needs to do a bit better with that and be a bit more patient with the dogs. Do you hear me honey?!?!?! She is peeing on everything. She NEVER does that. We've had a few incidents where she'd pee on the carpet when she'd get mad or if (shame on us) we took to long to take her outside... but what she is doing now is just being downright ornery. She peed on the couch last night, and that wasn't the first time she's done that. She KNOWS better. And you know she's doing it on purpose because she looks RIGHT AT YOU when she's doing it. UGH! We've tried rewarding her for good behavior, setting aside special playtime with her and Mudgett... I don't know what else to do. I can't just drop what I'm doing to play with her all the time, especially when Justin isn't home and I'm the only person to care for Elah. Hopefully over time Snickers will stop being ornery and realize she's not being replaced!

Other than that, there's not much going on. Elah's umbilical cord stump fell off yesterday... it was gross. She still has a bit of cord left inside her belly button, but it's not completely dried out yet, so we're still waiting for that. She isn't sleeping much at night, which makes for a pretty sleepy mommy... but like I told my mom, it doesn't make much of a difference when she sleeps because I'm home with her all the time and can sneak in naps when she sleeps. However, switching my sleep schedule around is a little tough!

Tomorrow we hope to venture out to the Flint's house for lunch if the weather isn't too bad... Elah has met her godmother (obviously considering Janelle was in the L&D room lol) and all 5 of the monsters... but she hasn't met her godfather yet! So hopefully we'll get to go over there and hang out for a little while.

Like I said, classes start Monday, so I'll have 2 classes to work on starting next week. Then Wednesday is Elah's 2 week checkup, I have my 2 week checkup with Dolly (the midwife), and at some point I have to go out to AB Tech to see my academic advisor. Elah's not even 2 weeks old yet and we haven't slowed down! Justin is off for vacation starting on Wednesday, and I believe he has 9 full days off... that will be wonderful! Hopefully we won't drive eachother completely crazy ;-)


1 Week Old

One week ago today... literally just minutes ago... I gave birth to my beautiful little girl! It's already going by so fast that I'm almost afraid to breathe. We've been going 24/7 since we got home from the hospital, and honestly I'm not happy about that! It's been one thing after another, and being a new mom who is EBF (exclusively breastfeeding) and having to attempt that in public, it's just a little stressful. Luckily the few times we've gone out, with a few exceptions, my mom has been with me and that helped a lot.

Today, Justin wanted to take Elah to meet his Mamaw, which was totally ok... she can't get around very well, and I know how much she wanted to meet her great granddaughter. However... this small trip turned into going to the grandparents house, and having her other great grandmother, and cousin, and great aunt over. I was expecting to go see Justin's Mamaw and then come home to relax. Apparently that wasn't his intentions. It was really hard for me to do just the trip to his Mamaws... my daughter will never have that chance to meet my grandparents like she has with J's. There were many times today that I just wanted to break down into tears and just cry my heart out. And to add more people wanting to hold Elah when all I wanted to do was go home and hold her and cry... it was just not a good day. Justin's family is really tight knit and they are always getting together for holidays, dinners at Nanny's and etc. I'm really just not used to that. My family (as in dad's family) gets together one time a year for Christmas, my mom's family live over 8 hours away. I'm just not used to having so many people wanting to meet my daughter and see her all the time. I'm having trouble wanting to share her... my heart hurts tonight.

It's not fair that my grandparents can't be here to see this beautiful little girl, to hold her and love on her. My heart aches to see my Granny hold her and give her those wet sloppy kisses that I miss so much. To see my Papaw hold her and tickle her cheeks with his white beard. It's really not fair.

Today wasn't all bad today though... I was so glad to see my friend and her little monsters walk through the door today. I've missed them so much, I'm used to seeing them so much more during the week... and really.... I just missed them. Elah is so blessed to have 5 kids to grow up with and have 2 amazing people to be her godparents. I'm so ready for our vacation in May... I think we're all going to need that break.


Just the Two of Us...

Last night was mine and Elah's first night alone... daddy was asleep and resting for work today and Nene was at home sleeping and resting for school. I wasn't scared or nervous about taking care of Elah... I mean after taking care of James and Jonathan when they were itty bitty makes taking care of my daughter feel like a breeze, but I was a little worried about getting sleep to make it through today. Our biggest issue right now is that Elah absolutely hates sleeping on her back, she hates her bassinet, she's not quite big enough for the bouncy seat we have... but she LOVES to be held ofcourse. So basically, my chest is her bed. She sleeps amazingly when she's held. Up to 3 hours at a time sometimes, so I'm sucking it up and letting her sleep because it means that I actually get some good sleep too. I've been sleeping on the couch with her because one, it allows Justin a full nights sleep without being woken up by our crying baby, two, it's easier to prop myself up on the arm of the couch then it is against the wall behind our bed (we don't have a headboard), and three, everything I need is right where I need it. However, our couch is not that comfortable, and my back is definately paying for it. My father in law has this huge cushy armchair that I just love... and then they have another blue armchair... so we asked if we could borrow the second chair in hopes that I might sleep more comfortably with Elah on my chest. Well, Poppa Grey is allowing us to borrow his beloved giant cushy armchair for about a month until we can afford to buy a huge chair of our own. Thank you Poppa Grey!

Anyways, last night went pretty well. Elah was up about every 2-3 hours, I changed her diaper, fed her, and went back to sleep each time until J got up for work. After that I stayed up for a couple of hours and then took a cat nap later that morning. I must say that I feel very well rested for having gotten up so many times last night. I don't feel like I'm going to crash the way I did after coming home from the hospital! The rest of the morning was pretty much routine like our night was, then we went with Nene and Papaw to have Elah's bilirubin levels tested again, and we should find out those levels tomorrow morning sometime. We took our first mini outing to get breastpads... LOL. I breastfed in 'public' for the first time... kind of. I was in the car, but it was difficult with a blanket... I really need to invest in a cover! Now we're home, J got some quality daddy/daughter time while I took a HOT shower to ease my back pain, and now Elah is asleep on my chest as I type this blog.

A lot of people told me not to wish Elah was here before my due date, to just let her grow and enjoy my time without a child... that there would be nights when I would want her back in my belly... that there would be days I would desperately want a break. No offense to any of those people, but they were so totally wrong. Despite the lack of a full uninterrupted nights sleep, no time for myself, and being cooped up in the house, I wouldn't trade this for anything. Years of TTC, months of negative test after test, and dreaming of holding a son or daughter in my arms... nothing can compare to the joy and love I feel with my Elah in my arms. Her cries are a miracle, her sleepy smiles are a miracle, even her poopy diapers are a miracle. I am blessed. I cry because I'm unbelievably happy and rejoicing in the life I am living now. I was made for this.


EBF, CD, BW Momma

Since before I got pregnant I knew I wanted to be a EBF, CD, BW momma.... what the heck is that? I'm sure your asking LOL! EBF is exclusively breastfeeding, CD is cloth diapering, BW is baby wearing... so far the breastfeeding is going really well. Elah is a wonderful eater, she latches really well, she eats to her hearts content and then she is peaceful and a little cuddlebug until its time to eat again! CD has not started yet... she's not quite big enough for even the smallest of my stash, but hopefully soon we can dive into the world of cloth diapering! Today I tried out my moby... and Elah LOVES it! Yay! She loves to be held, she sleeps better, and honestly how can I not just enjoy holding her after so many months of wishing her into my arms? :) Sometime in the next few weeks we'll try out my Ergo... :-D

I think what I'm most excited about when it comes to this Moby Wrap is that when school starts back NEXT WEEK (all online classes ofcourse) I can just put her in the wrap and get to work. It will make my life a bit easier! I'm wearing Elah as I type this actually.. and both my hands are free to work with! :)


Life as a New Mommy

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a safe and blessed New Year's Eve! Bare with me tonight, I haven't had time to do a lot of posting so I'm going to write everything I've been thinking about posting now!

Elah and I were discharged Thursday night... thank goodness! I didn't think we'd ever get out of there, and let me tell you... I was READY to come home! I was worried that Elah would cry all the way home because when we first got her into her carseat she cried and cried... but once our car started moving she was out. She slept the entire way home. The plan was for mom and dad to get us settled in and then go home... however after trying to take care of Elah on my own while Justin went to bed so he could work the next morning, I ended up calling my mom to stay with us for one night. I had moved around and done a lot more that day, so I was incredibly sore.

That night went pretty well, mom and I took turns holding Elah and changing her. I would feed her and hold her while mom slept, then she would wake up and cuddle with Miss Elah while I napped. It was a long night, but we managed. Friday morning we (mom and myself) took Elah to an outpatient lab to have her bilirubin levels retested. When she was tested at the hospital her levels were at 9, so they wanted to check her out in case they rose. Well, they did. She tested and ended up being at a level 14. We stopped at the Flints house on the way home, I was planning on feeding and changing Elah while we were there but she was completely content being passed around between JoyAnn, Jesse, & Janelle.

Friday evening we had yet another visit from our landlord... ugh. Not even going to go there. She really has no business managing or owning an apartment building. I was pretty upset and aggravated (moreso because my hormones are going crazy) about that, and then we got the call about Elah's bilirubin levels going up and finding out we'd have to use a biliblanket they'd have delivered to the apartment. So... yea. I asked mom and dad to come over to help us, and to help calm my nerves.

Let me just say this... I hate bilirubin blankets. Elah isn't a big fan either. We've had to come up with a sort of routine to keep her comfortable while she has to wear that contraption. Mom held her for a while in the blanket while they were here, and after they went home Justin and I spent the entire night in the living room with our daughter. I would feed her with the blanket off, pass her off to Justin to cuddle for a minute while I used the restroom, snacked, or whatever... then he'd hand her back to me, help me get her wrapped up in the blanket, lay on the couch and she would sleep on my chest while I rested. We managed to get about 6-8 hours of sleep altogether in 2 hour intervals.

This morning Justin and I took Elah to her first checkup, we were excited to find out that she hadn't lost any weight since they weighed her at the hospital Thursday (5lbs 11oz). They had us take her to the hospital outpatient lab to have her bilirubin levels checked again and then we came home to await my brother's homecoming from his trip to Florida. J and dad took down all our Christmas decor... I was so glad, I love Christmas but I was ready to move on to the new year! Justin also finally sold his truck! It's been nothing but trouble for the last 2 years, and so he sold it to a guy who is going to fix it up for his son. I'm glad someone with the knowledge and means to fix it was able to purchase it and that it's going to a kid for his first car... I know how exciting it is to get that first car!

That's pretty much how our lives have gone the last few days. I'm so happy to have my daughter home, and I'm so happy that she's settling in so well. The dogs already adore her, they are very protective, and still pretty curious about what she is. Justin is adjusting very well to fatherhood, he's still very nervous about picking her up and hurting her... but he's getting there. He makes my heart melt :)

Over the last few days, as my body has transformed from carrying my beautiful child to being the caregiver of my child... I've found that I actually love the way I look and how I'm changing to care for her. I was expecting to be self conscious of my stomach and stretch marks, to be overwhelmed by breastfeeding and the change in my breasts... but I'm not. I am nowhere near the weight or shape I hope to be in the future, but after having this huge, hard baby belly protruding from my abdomen for 9 months, I have come to appreciate the shape my stomach is in now. I'm actually smaller then I was prior to being pregnant (stomach wise), and I'm finding myself appreciating the stretch marks because they are a constant reminder of all those months I felt Elah kicking and rolling and hiccuping in my womb. My breasts are sore and are bigger then they have EVER been, which is one thing I admit to not appreciating... because I was not happy with how big they were before... but they are a life source for my daughter. They provide the nutrients and food that she needs to grow. I've also found that my pregnancy hair, that was constantly greasy and gross has become thicker and softer than ever before. So I'll say it again. I love my post pregnancy body. I appreciate my post pregnancy body. I feel comfortable in my skin!

I'm sure I'll think of many more things to write about, but they may be few and far between in the coming weeks. Project 365 is going to be put on the back burner for a while. I have plenty of pictures to post, but I'm wanting to keep written blogs updated more than the picture blogs for the time being.