December 30, 2011

Monica's Top 5 Posts of 2011

I created this blog in May 2011. I was thrilled about being pregnant and could not wait any longer to share my feelings and excitement with who ever would listen. Here are my most read posts of the year. I look forward to bettering my blog and writing more of my experiences with family and motherhood as the year starts anew. Thanks for reading! I appreciate my followers and commenters always.


10 Things I Love About Being A Mommy
Baby smiles...milestones... and more!

10 Things I Love About Pregnancy
Fetal movements... Hearing heartbeat... and more!

10 Things I Hate About Pregnancy
Emotions... Nausea... Yeah :/

What Do Baby Kicks Feel Like?
Those flutters... Butterflies in your tummy?

Anyone Thinking About Getting Pregnant? [Here's my experiences so far.]
Shiny hair... Excess gas... Vomiting... The list goes on.

Doctor Says I Have A Mom Brain

Today I was at my doctor's complaining about how my body, mind (and soul?) has changed dramatically from my pregnancy.

I can't organize anything in my head anymore... I used to be able to remember very long to-do lists in my head filled with many details on how to fulfill each task. Now I can hardly remember to put on deodorant in the morning. I guess those things are no longer important anymore???? I can't explain it. It's so hard for me to understand because I used to complain all the time about how I thought A.D.D was fake. [I DON'T HAVE A.D.D... :/]

I can't even remember to take my birth control pills each day and when I forget, I have no recollection of forgetting...That is bad because we do not need a terrifying miracle right now [second bundle of joy]. Soon... but let's wait until after our honeymoon... or at least until our daughter is one year old!

My mind simply does not work the way it used to and it REALLY bothers me. I feel so bombarded with the necessary baby to-do things that it's hard to accomplish anything else. Don't ask me how our wedding plans are going... [They will get done before the special day. That's all I have to say about that.] I feel like I have no control over my life anymore.

My doctor says I have a mom brain right now but it will get better. I hope she's right because I hate being disorganized. I'm a multi-tasking, high-achieving, self-motivated person and since my pregnancy, I can't do all the things I used to because my brain shut itself off. Is this my body's way of telling me to focus only upon my baby right now? Will I ever get my brain back? I mean come on... I'm only 23 years old.

Does anyone else have this feeling or am I the only one?


Update: Miss A is 9 months now. Wedding plans folded together perfectly despite procrastination thrills and the loss of my organization skills. (Here are the pictures to prove it!) And though you'd think I'd have found my brain after rolling through another four months of life, it still remains missing. If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of the brain behind Mommy & Love, please contact me via email.  :CASH REWARD:

UPDATE: 9/13/2012
My brain may have been found. Read Finding My Pre-Motherhood Brain

December 27, 2011

What is the Hardest Baby Stage?

Every time I think I'm at the hardest baby stage, it seems to get worse. Babies are HARD WORK! Like really, I thought I was prepared for this! Right now Miss A is at this stage...


She's been at this stage for a good three weeks now. I thought that finding ways to entertain her was difficult. Well that part still is difficult.. but now when she has toys she likes to play with, she flips over onto her belly and screams because she can't reach them.

Aren't babies supposed to roll from belly to back by now? She is 5.5 months old.  Hmmm... [I will not judge my baby's development based off development chart averages... every baby is unique!!]

Anyways, she has mastered lifting her head high on her belly! So all that I have to say is "WORK THOSE MUSCLES BABY GIRL! YOU CAN DO IT!" Rolling (from belly), Sitting, and Crawling will come soon enough!

What other difficult baby stages do I have to look forward to...????? [Every single one! HA. Just kidding :/ ] Good thing she's so fricken cute! Otherwise, I don't know how I'd ever find the patience.

My mom took this picture while I was at work! :D

December 24, 2011

Miss A & The Christmas Tree

This is my baby girl's FIRST Christmas!!! 
I hope she will have lots of fun. <3

Our Christmas Decorations! [Apartment Tour]

First time ever putting up a Christmas tree. [Fake.. until we have a house!]
Yeah, we should dust off the TV before family comes!

Bill's First Christmas Ornament :) (precious!!)

Can you see me in the bulb? I'm holding the camera!

December 22, 2011

Our Baby Has Extra Sensitive Skin: Eczema

We have a diagnosis! And it's not what I wanted to hear... Little Miss A has bad skin. :( She has eczema and her doctor says she doesn't know if it will go away or not since her daddy has a family history of it.

Eczema is a type of skin inflammation that causes dry, red, itchy, scaly skin. My baby has it on her face, forehead, scalp, neck, behind her ears, arms, hands, belly, back, and a little bit on her legs and bottom. It's so sad. It's basically everywhere on her body. I was really hoping it was only a simple rash that would go away with an ointment. But nope. Her forehead and eyes bother her the most. She rubs her eyes like crazy and lets out such a sad, bothered cry. It's a new cry I haven't heard before that came with her eczema. It makes me really sad and I try my best to hold her hands back so she doesn't scratch her skin and irritate it more.

In order to make her skin feel and look better, we now have to change all of her detergents, soaps, and lotions. They must be unscented and dye free from now on. This really is no fun for her. I'm a girl... I love perfume and good smelling shampoos and soaps! Her dad says he is able to wear cologne on his clothes but the instant it touches his skin, it gets irritated.

I learned a big lesson this week.

DON'T REGISTER FOR ALL LAVENDER SCENTED BABY PRODUCTS. You never know what kind of skin your baby will have... My family has never had a history of skin problems so I just naively assumed our daughter's skin would be fine. I have about 10 different kinds of lavender scented baby soaps, lotions, and baby oil! I can't use any of it now. She's been okay with them for five months but now that the weather finally reached freezing temperatures, her eczema broke out. Bill says that the cold weather dries out his skin (like normal skin) but really makes his eczema worse. So no more scents for her... for now!

Bill is confident that there is a solution and I hope he's right. We just have to use all the unscented, sensitive skin products and apply lotion on her frequently. He says if you take care of your skin it will be fine. He also says he doesn't take care of his skin so his is not fine. I have no reference point so I'm a little nervous. The doctor says that if it gets worse, she will prescribe a low dose of hydro-cortisone ointment. We have to make small life changes so her skin won't get so irritated, but in part we already changed things because of Bill's skin. Luckily, this is not a huge health problem and only an inconvenience. With good parenting and support, her skin will be just fine. We were worried she might be allergic to our cats, which would be a tragedy! [I need cats in my life, along with my man & baby!!]

Also, there is the possibility that she will outgrow her eczema. WHO KNOWS! I hope that will be the case for her.

December 21, 2011

I'm FREAKING busy!


Countdown til Christmas-- 4 days (but we have a party we're hosting Christmas Eve)
Countdown til our Wedding-- 45 days

Here's my TO DO list... [It's freakin' scary!!]
  1. Finish Christmas Shopping
  2. Thoroughly Clean Apartment
    1. Vacuum
    2. Kitchen- counters/dishes/refrigerator
    3. Clean tile floors
    4. Bathroom
    5. Put away ALL laundry that's in piles all over the bedroom floors! EEk!
    6. Cat litter
    7. Sort through big stack of papers on counter..
  3. Edit Wedding Registries [Target's website is ridiculously slow during the holidays]
  4. Find Wedding Cake
  5. Find last few addresses for invites [Yes, WAY PAST DUE]
  6. Buy Decorations for Wedding Reception
  7. Renew Passport [Doing that in one hour... or whenever I'm free to leave my bedroom. Bill is wrapping my presents and is taking forever! Hopefully that means I got a million presents! :)]
  8. Buy Wedding Bands- We bought Bill's yesterday...
  9. Apply for Marriage License- after the holidays
  10. Figure out what we are doing for our HONEYMOON!
  11. Buy Veil & Accessories for Wedding Day
  12. Figure out Hair/Makeup/Nails for Wedding Day

I have so much more to add to this list but since Bill is done wrapping my presents, I have no more time to think about what I'm supposed to be doing! I actually have to go do it now!!! Sorry if I bored anyone with this... but this is the reality of planning a wedding & taking care of baby & celebrating the holidays all at once. Luckily my mom took Miss A for the night so I can get some stuff done!

Life is good.

December 19, 2011

Baby Loves Bubbles

I don't know about you, but the only real way to calm my fussy baby [who is already fed with a clean diaper] is to give her a nice, warm bubble bath. She absolutely loves to kick and splash the water everywhere. If you are stressed out due to all of the fussiness, let your baby play longer in the bath. I tried that today and it was almost relaxing for me as well! She did not fuss or cry or yell or scream or throw a temper tantrum or... you get it. She played with the bubbles, her rubber duck, animal squirt toys, and sucked her soapy hands while kicking water all over! It makes her smile though so it doesn't matter the mess she makes. We had to move her from the sink to the bath tub finally so we could keep some of the water from getting all over the floor. 

After her bath, she gets her regular body massage. [spoiled/mommy's dream] I massage baby lotion all over her arms, legs, belly, and back. If she lets me I gently message her face too. She really enjoys it and it puts her in a good/relaxed mood until she's ready for her nap. Depending on my mood and her level of fussiness, I give her a bath before bed or in the mid afternoon before a nap.

Here are some pictures from bath time at three months old. [She's five months now but I haven't had a chance to get batteries for my camera... Actually I just keep forgetting. It's lame.]

December 13, 2011

Baby Flip Flopped Her Sleeping Schedule!

Last night Miss A's bedtime was at 10:30pm. She didn't have any unusually long naps throughout the day, just her two to three normal naps. Normally when she goes to bed after 9:30pm, she will stay asleep until 7:00am, if not longer. I was looking forward to a nice night of sleep too because the two nights before, she woke me up for a bottle at 5:30am before barely going back to sleep before I had to get up for work. So I laid down in bed last night around midnight, after doing the majority of our wedding invitations. I had a good night and felt like I accomplished a lot and deserved a good night's rest!

Oh how I was wrong!

I don't know what happened... or WHY THIS HAPPENED...? But Miss A woke up at 2:30am.

For good.

I tried bringing her into my bed to sleep but she just fidgeted. I woke up about 50 times all the way until my alarm clock went off at 7:30am. She wasn't just being fussy though. She was laughing, kicking, babbling, moving, thrusting her arms back and forth, shaking her head back and forth. Finally around 4:30am, I tried moving her back to her crib to "play". FAIL. She cried within 10 minutes. I brought her back in my bed and was seriously feeling like I would die of sleep deprivation. She drifted off for 20 minutes here and there, but it didn't feel like it. I was up several times every hour. I was so angry. But then she would just laugh at me... I have no clue where she found all that energy!

My job requires that I have adequate sleep because I am analyzing and discussing questions. There is no way to fully concentrate on three hours of sleep. I tried today. THREE BIG MUGS OF COFFEE. ONE LARGE MOUNTAIN DEW. :/ I could have went to sleep after drinking all that caffeine. While I performed "alright", my level of accuracy/focus dropped by at least 50% from normal. :/ Blah! I don't really know how mothers can go back to work after only six weeks of maternity leave. At six weeks, Miss A was not sleeping through the night yet. I was still waking up every 1-3 hours through the night to nurse her. I can't imagine having to work under such circumstances. Anyways, I'm EXPECTING tonight to be better! I can't survive another day of no sleep!

On a better note, someone called me a princess today at work. 

Well.. not really but someone said that I looked like Kate Middleton. No one has ever told me that before but hey, it boosted my confidence for about 5 minutes... [as I dreamed of life as a princess]. It was a temporarily nice feeling.

                                  I guess it's the hair!

December 11, 2011

How Do You Keep Your Sanity & Patience?

For some reason the last few days have been a living hell. It doesn't really help that I am recovering from Bronchitis but I seriously might go insane. I can no longer tolerate a fussy baby. I can no longer tolerate a crying baby. I can't tolerate even entertaining my baby. She is taking over my life 200% and I feel like I am suffocating and that there is no escape. She is a beautiful, happy, loving, smiling, perfect baby BUT right now my mommy switch has been involuntarily shut off! What do I do? I can't wait to go to work tomorrow because my head is literally steaming. Everything is making me angry. It's not simple agitation, it's full blown i-want-to-bang-my-head-on-the-floor psychotic anger! I can't handle shaking a rattle and singing today. She has been put to bed at eight o'clock the past two nights [which is about two hours early] because I can't take baby crabbiness anymore.

It doesn't help that Bill has been off on his sleep schedule the past few days either. He is still working third shifts and we had a Christmas party to attend today. I feel like he is either working, exhausted/non-functioning, or sleeping. Today he was so tired he accidentally answered his phone when his work called and was forced to go in early tonight. He's slept a total of six hours in the past 48 hours or longer. He's sleeping now but he will only get a total of five hours. My stress is coming from his job because I don't know how to calm the fussy baby. [IS SHE TEETHING???] My job is not only to take care of the baby, but to make sure she doesn't scream at all and wake Bill up. She has woken him up many times already. He actually got out of bed twice to see what was wrong. I don't know what's wrong! All I know is that I need a break before my mind breaks.

Sorry for venting, but I just realized that I have only been posting positive things about motherhood. [Or at least it feels like I've only been writing about sunshine and rainbows.] In order to be honest and real in my writing, sometimes I need to write about the downside of having a baby. Today I've reached my limit. And not surprisingly... Miss A has woken up already and is pouting/grunting/IDK in her crib! I pray she falls asleep..



Silence again. Thank god.

Anyways, does anyone else get frustrated with their babies? I don't mean to be a mean, heartless mother. I love my baby and do not regret having her. I would not want to live without her because she has changed me in so many unexplainable ways that I couldn't go back to life without children!

If anyone is willing to admit frustrations, what do you do to regain strength again? How do I turn that mommy-switch back on to sunshine, lollipops, and mega-mind strength? lol. Seriously, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

December 10, 2011

7 Survival Tips for Life with a Newborn

1. Drink coffee. If you are breastfeeding [like I was] and your baby is sleeping well [15-20 hours per day], DRINK COFFEE. I don't know about you, but coffee gives me motivation and inspiration to save the world!

2. Apply Lanolin 100X/Day. I couldn't believe that the OB nurses and lactation consultants told me to give it a good month and my nipples would feel better. ONE MONTH OF SORE NIPPLES AND SCREAMING BABY AND SLEEP DEPRIVATION. I thought I would die. Lanolin soothed not only my nipples, but my soul.

3. Sleep ALL DAY if you can. Ha! All day. Yeah right. You can't even get a night's sleep. But luckily my baby slept on and off 24/7. She slept. I slept. It was simple. If I didn't have to leave my house, [which I rarely did] I stayed in pajamas, if not almost naked all day, everyday. I slept on and off all day. And even though it felt like I never got enough sleep, it did help. I promise.

4. Repeat mantra "It will get better." I think most babies start sleeping five-six hours during the second month. My baby did anyways. Those extra hours, yet so few seemed like a miracle. I never knew how much you could appreciate only five hours of sleep. [I can sleep 10-12 hours if you let me!] Also, feeding times will decrease. My baby eats every three hours during the day, but she can sleep 8-11 hours at night [at five months old]!

5. Cry!! But don't be afraid to get support from other mothers. I was really emotional. I'm sure the majority of us are after having a baby. If you need to cry, don't feel like you shouldn't. Just cry and cry and cry. Nothing has to be wrong! Really though, I cried a lot. I got a lot of support from my mom and friends. I even had a few nurses come to my house to help out with ANYTHING. Questions. Concerns. Emotional Outbreaks. Counseling... haha

6. Do something you enjoyed before being pregnant. Looking back, I don't know how I managed it but when my baby was only two weeks old my best friend and I went out for a drink. I nursed my baby right before I left and was only out for a couple hours. Luckily my baby took a bottle of previously pumped breast milk just fine. I pumped and dumped the milk when I got home. It didn't cause any problems with nursing. Not everyone gets so lucky... [just as a precaution]. The point is do something you haven't been able to do for awhile when you work up the energy! It's refreshing!

7. Enjoy the cuddle time. Not all babies like to cuddle their whole lives! The big time to cuddle is those first couple months when a baby wants nothing more than to be in her mother's arms. Take a moment to look at your precious baby sleeping. That moment is worth all the other struggles!

I Can't Believe I've been a Mom for 5 Months!

Today Miss A is officially FIVE MONTHS old. Seriously? Where did the time go!? I really can't believe it. It's weird because I hardly remember her being such a tiny newborn. We went Christmas shopping last night as a family to the mall. I saw so many babies that were ridiculously tiny! It really made me miss the first couple months of Miss A's life. I hadn't realized how much she has grown already! It's insane! And to think... she is still really little. She's only five months old. She has only been with us for five months!! [Sorry], it's really hard for me to believe how big she has grown in such a small amount of time. And at the same time, it's hard for me to believe she is already five months!! CRAZY.

This scares me because Bill & I want to have another baby fairly soon. As long as I have a full time job, we want to start trying around the end of next summer. In reality, anytime after our wedding in February would be okay. But I don't want to be pregnant again so soon! That would be... awful? exhilarating? frightening? amazing? I'm not so sure we are ready quite yet. Time is flying by so fast though! Will I ever be ready to have another baby? I don't know... I think it's too soon to start wondering/worrying about this possibly!

But just seeing all the newborns at the mall really make me miss the first few months! Miss A requires so much more attention now compared to her first three months. Back then, I always knew why she cried. She was either hungry or needed a diaper change. Period. Otherwise, she mainly slept in her bouncy chair or in my arms. Now she still has those issues but also possible teething pains, boredom, true fussy times, and frustration! I feel like I have to entertain her 24/7 now! She gets too bored laying on her back or tummy for too long. I have to constantly switch toys she's playing with because she can't do it herself yet! I am always singing songs to her and doing huge hand/body motions because it's her favorite! She loves story time. As much as I love seeing her laugh and babble, it's getting to be exhausting! I know I'll probably regret saying this but I can't wait til she can crawl around so she can entertain herself a little better.

As even more time goes by I'm excited to watch her learn even more new things. One of her favorite things to do this past... her whole life has been to lick/suck on anything that comes close to her mouth! It's cute and I'm wondering when this will stop?? I'm not usually around many babies so I don't really know when babies do this or that and stop doing this or that! It's a learning experience..


I still can't believe I've been a mom for five months!

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