Tuesday, April 24, 2012

6 Months - A Month Late!

I'm so behind - Grad school is kicking my butt! This is going to be a quick photo update :) At his 6 months doctor's appointment, Blake was 19 pounds even. I think all of his rolling around is making him a lean little guy. Enjoy!

He is pushing up soooo well!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To do the 'Do

This post is probably more important than anything I've ever put on here ... Well, maybe not :)

I'm bored with my hair. Again.

I know, I should be happy with it, since I know it damages you hair to continuously make drastic color changes - but I cannot help myself.


Let's take a tour of my hair through the years together ...

Highschool I hit up all kinds of colors, dark red, just some highlights, and my personal favorite (ha!) ...
Prom 2002 (all over color, not highlights)

This was 2004-ish, I think I stayed pretty much blonde or this color for my first few years out of college. (Three generations in this picture, pretty awesome, huh?)

2007 With my dear friend, Amanda :)

Spring 2008 for David's homecoming from Iraq, he prefers brunettes - so I decided to go "back to my roots" which turned out MUCH darker than I expected!

2008 with a few caramel highlights

2008, trying to lighten my color up even more before the wedding :)

Engagement pictures, Fall 2008 (Most natural-looking hair color - and favorite because it looks like it "fits" me the best)

May 2009 with my paternal grandmother, I think it shows a pretty good display of a few more highlights

Summer 2011, pardon my huge NAKED belly - but this shows my hair in all it's glory. Something about me ADORES the contrasting colors because it's different, but not like green streaks in your face trying to make a statement - ya feel me?


So, now ... I'm thinking that it's waaay too blonde on top. And my roots looks like trailer trash 3 weeks after I get it done, which is a little crazy and too much maintenance for me. However, when it's blonde my gray hairs blend in a lot better than when it's brown!

This is what I WISH I could do, but I have about 70 pounds to lose first ...
Minus the bangs if it's this short

Or this, but in brown with some highlights ...

However, this is realistically what I'm looking at now ...
Maybe touching my shoulders, though - in brown of course

Not a fan of her, but this captures the bang and length

Love these bangs!

So, am I crazy for considering side swept bangs - I know they can be a pain? What's the verdict on your favorite color for me?

Don't forget to comment below!

<3 Brooke

Thursday, February 16, 2012

5 Months

To all 3 of my readers out there, sorry it's been so long since I've blogged! Every moment of my free time after work has been spent squeezing on my little guy, studying, and doing homework.

Blake has been blowing our minds here lately with all of his milestones and growing like a weed. He wants to sit up - but, anytime we sit him up, he topples right on over after a few seconds. "They" say that heavier babies have a harder time supporting themselves sitting/rolling/walking since they have more weight? I don't know?

Blake is giggling, sticking out that cute little tongue, sucking on his fingers and lower lip, pushing up really well on his tummy, and standing up with support.

His typical schedule is after he sleeps 10+ hours, he eats around 8, followed by some baby food; take a 45 minute nap sometime in the morning; eat around noon; take a 45 minute nap; eat around 4 or 5, followed by some baby food; take a 45 minute nap; and eat one last time right before bedtime around 8 or 9. When I'm at work and we can see how many ounces he's drinking - it's about 28-32 ounces a day, and 8-10 ounces of that is formula now. We started supplementing around 4 months because my little piglet was soo hungry! I wish he would take longer naps during the day, but I've been told once he's crawling that it will wear him out and make him more tired. I cannot complain though - he sleeps SOO well at night, I can handle the short naps :)

So far, he has tried rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, avocado, sweet peas, carrots, and now bananas as of yesterday. He gagged on the sweet peas at first, but he can tolerate them now :) And it appears that the bananas are his favorite food thus far. I am looking forward to making him some apples and pears in the next couple weeks. I have made all of his baby food, mostly for cost purposes - but also, because I know exactly what he is getting in his food (no preservatives, food coloring, etc.).

We just had Blake's 5 month visit to the pediatrician today for a couple more shots (HiB and Prevnar) and he weighs 18 pounds and 14 ounces (over 2 1/2 pounds since last month - geesh)!

I will stop blabbing (sorry I like to use this blog as my little reference for his milestones also - and don't want to miss anything!)

Here are some 5 month pictures :)

(Somebody already has a mole on their right foot. Guess he got that from his mama - you can connect the dots all over me, ha ha!)

Have a blessed week :)

And remember, if it's important to you - MAKE TIME FOR IT! 3 years ago today, I lost a good friend who was supposed to be a bridesmaid in my wedding (she literally "dropped dead" at a Bible study and they still aren't certain what exactly caused her death). Treat each day like it's your last :) Love you all!


Monday, January 30, 2012

4 Month Pictures

Sorry it's taken so long to post these! Enjoy :)

Still hating tummy time

Hope each of you have a great week :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

4 Months

Blake had his 4 month check up last week and he weighed in at 16 pounds 7 ounces and was 26 1/4 inches long. He also got his second round of Tdap and Rotovirus vaccinations, and his first Polio vaccination. The pediatrician gave us the go ahead to start rice cereal if we wanted to. Here is one of the first times he ate rice cereal ...

Eating is overrated apparently :)

He still loves to stand up at every chance, and really has a pair of lungs to share with the world when he's hungry, when his tummy hurts, or gums hurt. Sleeping 8-11 hours at night, and two or three 1-2 hour naps during the day. Lots of smiling, cooing, and kicking those legs!

Stay tuned for his 4 month pictures ... I'm in Birmingham (with Blake) for Nurse Practitioner school orientation and forgot my nice camera at home :)

Hope you are having a great week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Hope everyone had an AMAZING Christmas and New Years :) We will never forget Blake's first Christmas and our first Christmas in our house!

I really don't like making resolutions (since I am usually disappointed), but I do like to make a "to do" list for myself at the beginning of each year.

I was looking back through my blog and had remembered last year how I wrote down a few goals for the year ... See here

Here are the goals I had at the beginning of last year ...
"-Graduating with my BSN in April!
-Renting or buying a house next summer in the Alpharetta or East Cobb area
-Getting accepted into a Nurse Practitioner Program somewhere in Georgia or Alabama
-And a few other unspoken prayer requests!"

Well, I/we accomplished each one of the listed goals! I don't think that has ever happened :) I got my BSN in April, we bought a house 2 miles away from Alpharetta, I got into Samford's FNP program and start next week, and that unspoken prayer request was to get pregnant (I didn't even know I was already pregnant at the time I wrote my list)! Thank you LORD for being so gracious :)

So now it's time to hold myself accountable and make a public list for 2012!

Here it goes ...
-To become consistent with making time to thank God (daily quiet times and tithing)
-To be debt free by the end of the year - and KEEP it that way (with exception to the mortgage, student loan, and car loan since I'm still in school). David and I really need to become MUCH smarter with our money (and stop going out to eat and buying stuff online)...
-Lose 65 40 pounds (I really should lose more - but, gotta start somewhere)
-To maintain a B average or better in grad school

I really could keep going, but I need to keep it to a minimum to prevent disappointment :)

What are your plans for 2012?

Monday, December 19, 2011

3 Months

Our little guy turned 3 months on December 8th (I know, I'm a little late - just now found the cord to our camera!).

At his 3 month shot visit, he was 15 pounds 13 ounces (only a pound increase from last month). He got his HiB and Prevnar vaccines at his visit. He seemed to be a tad more cranky on the days following the vaccinations - or it could be that coincidentally, he started teething at the same time. Who knows!?

He is standing up at every chance he can get, smiling big with those adorable gums, biting down like crazy on any finger or toy that enters his mouth, and drooling too!

Still sleeping 8+ hours every night, and exclusively breastfed every 4 hours during the day!

Onto the pictures of our little "squibby" :)

Sweet Baby Foot

If I don't post again before the New Year - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks - Part 3

15 – My job, I’m so thankful that get paid to do what I love – help people!
16 – My car, it may not be the SUV I miss and dream of – but my accord has never given me any huge issues in the last 2.5 years that I’ve had it!
17 – David’s job, although M-F 3p-1:45a is not an ideal schedule, we only have to find someone to watch Blake 3 days a week from 2-8, which is pretty awesome and affordable!
18 – Chocolate, I eat way too much of it, but YUM!
19 – David is such a great dad, he has soo much fun with Blake all day when I’m at work – and when I call to check in, I love to hear Blake cooing in the background!
20 – Online grad school! I cannot get over how cool it is that I will be able to reach my goal to become a family nurse practitioner online – Dec 2013 I will have FNP behind my name!
21 – Elliptical machines, if we didn’t have one – I would probably say that I haven’t worked out one bit since Blake has been born!
22 – Having all of our family within 30 miles
23 – That Walmart is open so late!
24 – Carbohydrates, and not feeling guilty eating them (since I’m not pregnant – I’m not a gestational diabetic anymore, yay!)
25 – I know I’ve said my husband a few times now, but today I’m thankful that he runs errands for me and does so many things on his days off for me while I’m working – makes my life soo much easier!!!
26 – Sleeping in, and not having to set an alarm!!!
27 – Christmas decorations – lights are up outside, and the tree is almost done!

Monday, November 14, 2011

2 Months Old!

Wow, seriously - if you don't have a child then you have no concept of how fast time can fly by. I never thought life could move this quickly! Seeing Blake's sweet face every day and watching him grow is so much fun!!! I remembered reading on a friend's facebook status a couple weeks ago that she jumps out of bed every morning (like it's Christmas) to see her newborn son - I couldn't agree more, especially since he is smiling and cooing back at David and I now. Being a mom is, by far, the best thing on the planet.

Today, Blake weighed 14 pounds and 13 ounces (98%) at his 2 month checkup, and was 25 inches long (95%). He got his rotavirus oral vaccine, Tdap vaccine, and second Hepatits B vaccine today. Poor little thing really hated being stuck, but he calmed him down in less than a minute; and with the Tylenol today - he's been fine ;)

We go back in a month for the pneumococcal and HiB vaccines (I'm doing a non-traditional vaccination schedule, after reading Dr. Sears' book "The Vaccine Book" - not eliminating any vaccines, just spreading them out).

Blake is still rolling from front to back, and now he has been standing up and only holding onto our fingers. Such a strong little man :) He usually only lasts a couple minutes on his feet, but it's so cute to see him stumble to hold himself up!

Onto the pictures of our little guy (the part people really want to see!)

Giving Thanks - Part 2

Nov 7 - Such a helpful mom that will drop everything for me to help me out. She is such a blessing to me! Don't know what I would do without her :)
Nov 8 - We were able to conceive little Blake without any difficulties. I know far too many people recently who either cannot get pregnant, have had miscarriages, or have sick babies - ugh, breaks my heart!
Nov 9 - Being able to type this blog with Blake sitting in my lap calmly. I know this won’t last forever, but it sure it nice to be able to get everything done that I need to without little hands on the keyboard!
Nov 10 - Friends, quality ones. I love having a few people in my life that would drop anything for me. I would do pretty much anything for others, so it’s finally nice to have it reciprocated for once :) {Special shout out to my good friend, Liz - my lunch date today!}
Nov 11 - Being alive on 11-11-11, how stinking cool is a date like that? Won’t happen again for another 100 years!
Nov 12 - Since yesterday (Veteran's Day) was filled with being thankful for the cool date of 11-11-11, today I’m thankful for my veteran. Not just because he’s my husband (that would be too easy) – but, he truly is the most humble man I know. He hates it when people ask for veterans to stand up (I have to force him to do it). He did not serve this country for any recognition at all, and that’s pretty awesome in my book. So, thank you for your service, sweetheart!
Nov 13 - We found an awesome church up here. Since we moved back to the Atlanta area, David and I had struggled with finding a service that met our needs after attending the phenomenal Church of the Highlands in Birmingham (seriously, after one Sunday there – you will know what I mean!). We really enjoy the newlyweds small group and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, but it’s 35 minutes away now and we really didn’t crave the worship services like we used to in Birmingham. David’s best friend, Patrick, invited us to Mountain Lake Church in Cumming where the lead pastor actually knows Chris Hodges (lead pastor of Church of the Highlands) and he pretty much runs the church exactly the same! What a relief it is to finally have a church we cannot wait to attend! The only thing that would make it perfect, would be bringing our JFBC small group up to Cumming!!!
Nov 14 - Pediatricians who work with parents. I opted to do a non-traditional vaccination schedule after reading “The Vaccine Book” by Robert Sears, M.D. – I’m still giving Blake all his vaccinations, but not letting him get more than two shots at once, so his little body and nervous system can process things better.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giving Thanks - Part 1

November is the month of one of the yummiest holidays, Thanksgiving. But, there is so much to be thankful for that I cannot fit it into one day!

Nov 1 - This one is easy - but not to be forgotten - GOD! I'm so unworthy to be forgiven and saved!
Nov 2 - Health, of everyone in my family. It's so important not to take for granted when we are healthy and feeling well!!!
Nov 3 - Blake, my precious 8 week old son (as of today!) - so healthy, happy, eating and sleeping great. I could go on FOREVER about him! SO blessed :)
Nov 4 - My c-section incision isn't coming apart like I thought, just a big blood blister! Thankful for doctor's offices that can fit me in last minute :)
Nov 5 - Having NOTHING on the calendar all day long so I can enjoy our little family for once!
Nov 6 - My loving husband who does a great job helping me around the house and yard. We re-planted the bushes that Molly destroyed this afternoon and we were a great team :)

Green Chili Enchiladas

I cannot believe I have not shared the most DIVINE recipe with you since my time as a blogger! Take a look at these mouth-watering babies ...

David's mom introduced me to this recipe from her cookbook that has tons of great recipes that you can throw in your freezer for use later :)

1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion (frozen chopped onions work great)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 packet taco seasoning of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
6-8 flour tortillas (if you use the smallest ones, you will need 8-12)
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 cups for inside tortillas, 1 cup to top with)
1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 4-ounce can diced, green chilies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 13 X 9 X 2 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Brown ground beef/turkey, and saute onions (if I'm using turkey I like to cook it with at least a cup of water to keep it moist, I drain it after the meat and onions are done cooking). Combine with taco seasoning, chili powder, salt and pepper. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of meat into a tortilla, sprinkle enough cheese to cover, and roll like you are making an enchilada. Place seam side down into baking dish.

When tortillas are completed, combine soup, sour cream, and green chilies to make a sauce; pour over tortillas. If you are cooking now, place in oven for 20-25 minutes - the last 10 minutes sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top.

Makes 6-8 servings.

[If you are freezing, cover dish with foil, and freeze with remaining bag of cheese taped to it. To prepare for serving after freezing, thaw completely prior to cooking.]



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Things they never tell you about c-sections and your recovery, but SHOULD!

Everyone's experiences with delivering babies are so varied, but I wanted to share mine with you in hopes to prepare some of my fellow cohorts that are expecting ...
(All the men and ladies not wanting to hear about personal girly stuff best be clicking exit on the screen now)

I am so thrilled I had a scheduled c-section, truly. My husband and I were there together - well rested and prepared, we were able to plan with our families and friends so people could be there right after he was born, Blake's head was perfect and round, mommy didn't have her girly parts ripped apart from birthing a huge head (yay!), and the list could go on!

A few things that were not so great about having a c-section was:
-Being on bedrest, not being able to eat real food, and having a foley catheter in for 12 hours (that was facility protocol where I delivered) after delivery
-Watching Blake gag on all the mucous in his throat for the first 24-ish hours (super common for c-section babies that didn't have the opportunity to squeeze all that junk out of their lungs on their way out)
-Gas pains! I woke up in tears around 3 am with excruciating right shoulder pain. Apparently, with abdominal surgeries, air can get trapped in your body and the most common place - due to the anatomy of your heart and how it pumps blood - is your right shoulder. I truly believe that was God's way to make sure I knew how to empathize with my post-surgical patients with gas pain. I've never had a worse pain in my LIFE!
-Pain pills. They made me feel so nauseated and loopy - I took 2 percocet 4 hours before they took out my epidural, then another 2 when they took it out and those were the last ones I had! I never took another pain pill besides tylenol or motrin during my entire recovery process. I had the doctor write a script for tramadol to take at home (comparable to an extra strength motrin/ibuprofen), but I never took it - still have the entire bottle in my medicine cabinet!
-Soreness. This was probably mostly since I refused to be doped up on the pain pills, but my lower abdomen (where your uterus is) was so much more sore than I thought it would be. Yes, I know I had major surgery - but even taking a light walk around my neighborhood was really painful at 3-4 weeks. It's starting to get better, but I just am impatient and want to be back to normal!


Some questions I got about having an elective planned c-section have been ...

Did you not wanna try for a vaginal delivery? Of course I would have preferred to have the ideal type of delivery for mom and baby (vaginal). However - I put all my trust in my doctor with 30+ years experience (and has been my doctor for a mere 12+ years). He strongly advised with the ultrasound estimated measurement of 9 lb. 11 oz. the week before his delivery that a scheduled c-section would be his first choice with the baby measuring so big because of my gestational diabetes (his head was 99% in the ultrasound measurement also, and he was convinced with induction that he wouldn't make it through safely - broken collar bone, etc.). Although he was only 9 lb. 4 oz. (less than 5% off of the estimated weight) the following week when he was born, his head was 15 inches around (the average baby is around 13 inches) and I would NOT want that coming out of there!

Do you regret not waiting and letting yourself go into labor naturally? Don't you sorta feel like you took that power away from God? When my husband and I were deciding on whether to do the scheduled section or not, I truly thought I was playing "God" by picking what day and time slot he was going to be born. I asked my mom and a few other close friends their opinions, and I came to the consensus that God gave doctors the knowledge to keep us safe and healthy, and we were making the right decision. So in other words, no I don't regret it at all. First time babies are up to a week late sometimes. He was born at 39 weeks and over 9 pounds, I could not have imagined how much he would have weighed or how much bigger his head would have been if I waiting another couple weeks!

Let's not forget that our mortgage depends on my paychecks. Therefore, taking leave before he was born was NOT an option unless my health depended on it - and I was SOO uncomfortable the last month of pregnancy that I could not have managed any longer at my sometimes highly physical job (medical-surgical nurse with up to 6 patients who can hardly do anything for themselves)!

I understand that women used to not be able to have the luxury to plan a c-section, but they also didn't have the luxury to have an estimated weight/size before they came. Don't they say ignorance is bliss? If a woman only knew she had a baby to deliver, and not that he was 98-99% bigger than most babies and estimated to be about 10 pounds - the process wouldn't be as scary for her!


All in all, I'm soo happy with our decision to get a c-section because it was clinically necessary for both Blake and me. However, I don't recommend it for everyone. If you have an average sized baby cooking in there, I say you totally need to NOT be induced (a very large percent of inductions cause undue stress to the baby end in c-sections, so WAIT!), and have a vaginal delivery if at all possible - because it's the best thing for you and the baby! But if somehow you have to get a c-section, don't sweat it. It's really a great option, too :) Best of luck either way!


Hope you all had a great weekend - here's an adorable picture from yesterday - Blake's first trip to a pumpkin patch :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Month

What an amazing month it has been at home with Blake :) I've recovered rather well from my c-section and mastitis (I'll save those for a future post).

I cannot imagine what my life was like before he was here and I would never go back! I feel so blessed when I get to look at Blake's sweet face every day. I absolutely LOVE being a mother to such a precious, adorable baby. He loves to sleep as much as I do and he already went almost 7 hours between feedings the other night! On average I'm getting 9-10 hours of sleep every night (yes, I know this is a lot - but I love my sleep!), which is no change from before I was pregnant. I'm actually getting more sleep than my last trimester because I'm not getting up every hour to go to the bathroom :)

Here are a few of my favorite things about him ...
*Blake holds his head up very well, but flops it back down when he gets tired
*He snorts and fake coughs when he's ready to eat - such a cute little noise, never heard anything like it
*He usually falls asleep in the bath, or just sits there contently while he becomes a human sprinkler, ha ha
*He's eating every 3-4 hours during the day and every 4+ hours at night
*He is the noisiest eater I've ever heard, but the sounds of enjoyment are so precious!
*Practically, the only time that he cries is when he's hungry
*It seems that every time we go somewhere, it takes him hours to wake up (which makes traveling a breeze!).

We are beyond blessed to have such a good, healthy baby. Honestly, I was petrified of how difficult this first month was going to be with limited sleep and a whiny baby, but Blake has made it so easy :) I know I'll be eating my words as he gets older and more awake, sitting, crawling, etc. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying this calm time!

We went to the doctor yesterday for his one month well-baby check up:
Weight: 11 lb. 14 oz. (he's gaining a pound a week on average since birth)
Length: 22 3/4 in.
Head: 15 1/2 in.

Here are his one month pictures!

Staring at the light, what he does best nowadays

I'm over sitting up, and I'm hungry!


Hope everyone has a great week :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

2 Weeks

As my little one is napping, I figured I would update the blog. Everyone keeps telling me how much this time is going to fly by and I don't want to forget any moment :)

Blake had his 2 week check up this morning, and he is now weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces (almost an entire pound heavier than his birth weight!). His umbilical cord fell off yesterday (well, it was dangling by a half a thread and I might have helped it off a little - whoops!) and the pediatrician cauterized it this morning since it was still pretty yucky/wet looking.

We still haven't used any formula, but we do the vitamin D drops his doctor recommended a few times a week (I'm supposed to give it to him daily, but I can't stand the look on his sweet face when he tastes that nasty stuff!). Once I run out of the free bottle she gave me, I don't know if I will continue to use it ... Apparently vitamin D doesn't pass in breast milk, but I'm not convinced that it's necessary to dose him daily if he's out in the sun.

He's sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time at night, he gets up and eats and goes right back to bed in his crib. During the day, he likes to eat anywhere from every 2-4 hours depending on how tired he is. David is a huge help to me, day and night time - which is a blessing. He really is such an awesome dad. I'm finally to the point where I'm not that sore - so I can handle most of the night calls myself so he can sleep before work.

Blake is in 0-3 month clothes, poor kid is wearing a newborn outfit today and the pants look like shorts on him - poor buddy!

Well, let's not bore everyone with my random blabbing ... Onto my favorite mobile photos since he's been born!

Blake's first picture all cleaned up in recovery with mama :) 9.8.11

Coming Home 9.11.11

Bathtime 9.12.11

First Fauxhawk @ 2 Weeks 9.22.11
P.S. The light makes his hair look like it's red, but it's definitely brown!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We are traveling to Augusta to watch my "little" brother get his white coat for medical school :) Praying Blake behaves in the 160+ mile car trip!

Love, Brooke