Sunday, March 24, 2013

Back to Work

It's been a little quiet on the blog because last Friday the 15th was my first day back at work. I had every good intention of doing a "dry run" like what I did with Amaya, but sleeping in was a much higher priority.

I had mixed feelings returning to work. While I would miss Amaya and Weston tremendously, I was more anxious about catching up at work than I was leaving them with my parents. I was put on bedrest in the beginning of November, so it had been nearly 5 months since I had given an allergy shot... done a skin test... performed a breathing test... administered peanut butter to an allergic kiddo with the hopes of outgrowing an allergy. I was terrified of opening up my e-mail - I ended up having 893 e-mails to weed through, delete, sort, mark as high priority, and add things to my "to-do" list. I was behind on my online and paper competencies (12 tests!!) I was delinquent on my TB test and at risk of suspension without pay (my supervisor handled that one!). My yearly evaluation with my supervisor was 3 months past due. Oye... plus all the meeting minutes that needed to be read, policy changes, etc...

My supervisor is absolutely phenomenal and decided to just spend my first day back catching up on e-mail and competencies. And she even made scrumptious Special K Bars to welcome me back and get me through the day! This past week, I worked Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and was able to get everything done on my list and my supervisor's list. It is wonderful being back with my "work sisters," but I still haven't quite caught up with everything going on in their personal lives. A lot happens in 5 months! And I was surprised that I missed my patients a lot more than I thought I would. I had forgotten several passwords, but most everything feels like second nature now. Overall, it's great to be back!

Of course, I miss Amaya and Weston... I had gotten into a nice little routine at home dropping Amaya off at preschool, going out to coffee with Jen, cuddling with Weston, playing Barbies, Polly Pockets, or babies with Amaya. Now we're all settling into a different routine. It's very different, but good.

Working part-time has been a good balance for me... While I would still LOVE to be home full-time... being away from Amaya and Weston makes me a better mom when I am with them. Our time together is much more special and I cherish every moment with them.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Transition to the Crib

Since having Weston, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is: " Are you getting any sleep?" Yes, we are getting sleep. Enough sleep? Absolutely not!

Weston has been a much better sleeper than Amaya was at this age, although Amaya was sleeping through the night by now with the exception of a feeding at 3am. Steve paced and paced with Amaya to soothe her and she took a lot of her naps in the car seat until she'd wake up 30 minutes later, then I'd rock her back to sleep. Aside from some gas pain that makes him a little fussy, Weston typically will go right to sleep, wake up to eat and then go right back to sleep. No pacing and no rocking. Of course, he rather be sleeping in someone's arms and on his tummy! He's been usually going to sleep between 9-10pm and we can usually get anywhere from 4-6 hours from him. Then he's ready to eat anywhere from 5-7:30am. It's not the best schedule, but at least he's content falling back asleep in the bassinet. Just as Steve and I were beginning to get some better sleep, we changed things up with little Wes and unfortunately, it's been a little bit of a challenge getting our good little sleeper to sleep.

Saturday night, we decided since he was quickly outgrowing the bassinet, we should transition him to the crib. Plus, with me going back to work in 2 weeks, we figured it would be best to transition him now. We were hoping the transition would be as smooth with Amaya (that's when she started sleeping through the night), but as we are quickly learning, every child is different. The first night, he had difficulty settling down because he had a big gas bubble - unfortunately, we didn't realize that until a half an hour later when he finally burped. Once he got that gas bubble out, he was able to sleep. Then he was awake from 2-4am.  I fed him right away at 2am and thought he was done... surely after 40 minutes, he should be full! But after crying for another half an hour (us thinking it was gas pain), he wanted to eat AGAIN! (And I'm still nursing on demand and not on a schedule...yet) So... another 40 minutes or so... he was finally in a deep "milk induced coma." He slept until about 7:30am. Overall, an ok night - we all survived and managed through Sunday with some caffeine and a cat nap.

Last night, I thought for sure he would be exhausted from all the activity at my parent's house. He had only slept an hour or so in my brother's arms in the evening, so surely he would eat one more time and then conk out. WRONG! Little man was WIDE awake after eating at 9pm, so we watched Iron Chef - he got drowsy - we put him to bed - he woke up mad - I held him and we watched the news - he got drowsy - we put him to bed - he woke up mad and wanted to eat AGAIN! Then around 11:15pm, he was finally ready to sleep. He woke up around 2:30am to eat, took a little bit for him to settle down when he was done at 3:10am and woke up again to eat at 6:30am. Fortunately, I was able to get him to sleep a little longer in bed with me... I know, I know... I should have put him back in the crib, but I'll admit, I kinda like snuggling with him! I got up at 7:30am to get ready and get Amaya off to school. We got some snow last night, so my parent's graciously offered to take her to school so I wouldn't have to deal with the snow and bring Weston out in it. Little Wes, slept until 8:40am to say hello to my parents when they picked up Amaya. And now, after a bath and his breakfast... he's sleeping in the crib...

So... are we getting any sleep? Yes... is it enough... no. But, we're making progress (I hope!). It would be so much easier to hold him all the time and rock him to sleep... but little man needs to learn to fall asleep on his own without help from Mom and Dad. It'll make our life a lot easier in the long run. Short term pain for long term gain, right? So next time you see us, you may offer us a cup of coffee - the stronger the better!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Valentine's Day

It felt more like Valentine's WEEK more than Valentine's DAY, which was ok with me because I love Valentine's Day.

 Amaya celebrated Valentine's Day in preschool on Wednesday. They made bags in class and then passed out valentines to everyone in the class. Amaya chose to pass out NERDs valentines. Wonder where she got that idea? (Her daddy LOVES Nerds!)

Amaya and all her loot!

On Valentine's Day, I woke Amaya up and served her a special Valentine's Day breakfast.

 Pink heart shaped toast, pink milk, and strawberries

On Pinterest, I saw this super cute idea of putting on bright lipstick and kissing your baby and posting a sign next to him saying, "Kisses 25 cents." Normally, I have great success with my Pinterest projects, but this was a epic fail... it just looks like Weston has a bad rash. Oh, well... we made memories!


Amaya and I had grand plans of doing a Valentine's Day craft, making cupcakes, and making a special Valentine's Day lunch, but we ran out of time. I had to run in to work to drop off a baby gift for a coworker, and we ended up staying for 2 hours. So, we ended up going through drive through at Burger King and spent the rest of the afternoon playing.  

That evening when Steve got home, we opened up cards and presents.


Amaya got some Hello Kitty bracelets and Hello Kitty jelly beans.


Weston got a Valentine's Day Book - he's thrilled about it, can't you tell?!?


Steve and I exchanged cards too and were planning a date night once we knew Weston would take a bottle. (We ended up celebrating last Friday night! We went to AppleBee's and then to a movie. It was wonderful to reconnect and spend some time together without the kiddos. And Weston did wonderful at Grandma's house!)

On Friday the 15th, Weston took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon, so Amaya and I made cupcakes and brownies. I also made some Baked Potato Soup and rolls to bring to our friend Nancy. 

It had been awhile since Amaya and I had baked together, so we had a blast as she frosted and put sprinkles on the cupcakes!

We saved a few cupcakes and brownies to keep at home, but brought most over to Nancy's house later that afternoon.



One of my favorite things about Amaya is her generous spirit. As we brought the meal and treats over to Nancy's house, she said, "We need to help more people like they helped us out. Jesus would like that." I agree Amaya... you catch on fast, sweet girl. Jesus does like that.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

5 Year Well Child Check Up

Today was Amaya's turn for a check up with the doctor and she was very excited for bandaids and stickers! She weighed in at 48 pounds - ranking in the 88th percentile and was 44 inches tall - the 72nd percentile! Amaya has just a little bit of a tummy on her, so Dr. Horn encouraged her to eat more vegetables and a little less candy. Amaya has been very healthy, so it had been awhile since she had seen Dr. Horn. She was very pleased with how Amaya has grown and developed into "such a precocious young lady." Amaya was on the receiving end of 4 vaccinations and I was shocked that she didn't cry! Not one little tear - just a lot of "owie, owie, is she done yet?" The nurse was incredibly fast (she was the same one that did Weston's shots on Tuesday) and put on Tweety Bird bandaids which Amaya loved! Dr. Horn also gave her a book and the nurse told her to pick out four stickers - one for each shot. Amaya was thrilled and left the room skipping - yes, skipping down the hall. Such a brave girl! As long as you explain exactly what's going to happen, what it will feel like, etc. she can handle just about anything and today was no exception. She's feeling good this afternoon, although she said her legs were a little sore. I gave her some tylenol and we're snuggling this afternoon while Weston naps. Next week, I have an appointment with her and then we're done with appointments until the the end of April. Whew!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2 Month Check Up

Weston continues to grow by leaps and bounds! He had his 2 month check up today and weighed in at 10 pounds!!! Way to go little  man! He is also 22 inches long - a gain of 3 inches since birth! No wonder his clothes don't fit for very long. On the growth chart, Weston is at the 16th percentile for weight and 22nd percentile for length. Our family doctor was very pleased with how well he's doing. She expected Weston to be a little behind developmentally, but I showed her how he could roll over from his tummy to his back and she was impressed! So far, he's right on track for everything developmentally!! Huge answers to prayers! He ended up getting 3 shots in his "chubby" legs and one vaccine orally. So far, he's only felt a little warm and the tylenol seems to help.

Interestingly enough, I found Amaya's old growth charts and Weston is following in his sister's footsteps. At Amaya's 2 month check up, she was also exactly 10 pounds and just a few centimeters longer. I'll be curious to see how they continue to match up. 

On Thursday, I'm bringing Amaya in for her 5 year well child check up. Rumor has it, she get 4 shots... Amaya is excited because she gets stickers and bandaids... She didn't cry when she got the flu shot, but we'll see...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pet Sitting

This past week, Amaya has been babysitting our neighbor's pet fish, Sweeper, while they were on vacation in sunny Florida! (No envy here at all...NOT!)

She was so excited and when they brought him over, she wanted him to sleep with her in her bed. Amaya settled for him being on her nightstand. We didn't need to clean the tank, but she was responsible for feeding him. He wasn't the most active fish, but Amaya loved him just the same. After a week of taking care of Sweeper, I asked Amaya if she wanted a pet fish. She said, "Umm... sure... but they don't do too much."

What a wonderful experience for Amaya, but I think we can hold off from getting a pet fish for awhile!

Great Grandma's Birthday

On February 11th, we celebrated Great Grandma's 94th Birthday!!! We hadn't seen Great Grandma in awhile - it was definitely before I got put on bed rest - maybe Halloween when we dropped by her house?

First things first though, Great Grandma wanted to hold Weston. So sweet...


Steve's aunt Janet was visiting from Arkansas, so while Gerry was grilling steaks for dinner, we visited for a bit. (And the steaks were delicious!!! As was the rest of the meal - Janet experimented with a couple of Great Grandma's old recipes and they were scrumptious too!)

Great Grandma's Cake 

Lighting of the candles - it was a team effort!

Happy 94th Birthday!

Make a wish!

 Opening presents. We gave Great Grandma a puzzle (she got several of these!)

It was different celebrating without Great Grandpa... I got a little weepy when Great Grandma talked about him... The ache of missing him has gotten better as time has gone by... but we still miss him a lot. It makes me appreciate family that much more and I'm thankful we were able to celebrate with Great Grandma!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grandpa Gustafson's Birthday

January is a crazy busy month, so even though I wanted Weston to be born full term, there was a little part of me that was glad that Weston was born in December and not on his original due date of January 23rd. Arwen's birthday is the 5th, my aunt Rose, Uncle Jerry, and cousin Jay have birthdays on the 18th, Debbie's birthday is the 19th, Amaya's birthday is the 20th, Lowell and Ruth Ann's anniversary is the 21st, my dad and cousin Brenda's birthday are the 25th. Wow! We have a lot to celebrate!

It gets a little challenging trying to coordinate everyone's schedule, so we ended up celebrating my dad's birthday on Super Bowl Sunday.

Here he is getting a little help opening presents.

My dad likes popcorn... so we got him 7 gallons of a mixture of butter, cheddar, and caramel popcorn! We were glad he shared some of it too!


66! or 99? 

Dad with the grandkids (missed you Joshua, Jordan, Hannah, and Hope!)

Mom makes the most delicious peanut butter balls and we end inhaling them - sometimes within minutes! The kids were being silly and decided to pose with their peanut butter balls. Love Ben's expression here!

Some random pictures of the evening...




Weston is all partied out!


Happy Birthday Dad! We love you so much and hope for many, many more years to celebrate YOU!

Weston's Room

As most everyone knows, I was a wee bit stressed out that Weston's room wasn't finished before he arrived. I just wanted everything to be ready to go, but it didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things since he was going to camped out in our bedroom in the bassinet.

But now... it might be my favorite room in our house! Steve did a phenomenal job and it was a lot of work. We used the fourth bedroom primarily for storage and I'll admit - it was a disaster - especially when I started sorting Amaya's baby things and garage sale stuff. Oye... Anyway, the room was in need of some major work. I'm not exactly sure what the previous owners were thinking, but there were nail holes everywhere and in places that just really didn't make sense. (And unfortunately, this has been the case with the entire house). And the closet wasn't finished - no carpet, no baseboards, and just a simple board across for storage. We needed a new light fixture and I also wanted the outlets changed from beige to white. So, my wonderful husband - aka. electrician, painter, carpenter, and carpet layer - went to work!

When Weston was in the ISCN, the staff put his name up on his door and so Amaya wanted to do the same at home.

 Initially, I wanted to paint the room a cheerful yellow color, but Steve vetoed that idea and we chose a light blue. Caribbean Mist (I think). 

I found an incredible deal on bedding and accessories off of facebook. Included were the quilt, bumper pad, dust ruffle, garbage can, mobile, window valance, 5 wall hangings, nighlight, and outlet cover. 

Here's the mobile...

And one of the wall hangings... so cute!

Sorry this picture is a little dark... but this is where Weston and I spend a lot of time! 

Amaya went through her books to give to Weston - he's got a good start to his own little library!

Pardon the disorganization of little Weston's clothes - that's one of the projects I'm still in the middle of! Steve installed the closet system, put in new carpet, and did the baseboard trim. Still not sure why the previous owners didn't just finish it off, but it looks great now!

And lastly, the changing table.

Weston is still in the bassinet... Steve kicked Amaya out of the bassinet when she was 8 weeks old because she was banging the edges of the bassinet and keeping him awake. She was sleeping through the night with the exception of me feeding her around 3am. Weston is still waking up every 2-3 hours to eat, so until he's doing longer stretches, we won't transition him to the crib quite yet. I'll admit, I'm a little nervous with him on a different level of the house, but Steve is such a light sleeper - he will wake up to anything he hears on the baby monitor.

Thanks for touring Weston's room! And a bigger thank you to Steve for doing a wonderful job for our little guy! He continually amazes me with his home improvement skills!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Random Pictures

I know when I'm behind blogging when Weston has outgrown his outfits before I get a chance to blog about the pictures of him wearing them. So my goal is to get caught up before I go back to work on the 15th of March! (EEK - We'll save that for another blog post!)

Here is little Weston in the bassinet - for the most part he sleeps pretty well in it, but he'd much rather be held and snuggled or laying on his stomach. While he was in the ISCN, they had him on his stomach and his side quite a bit, but they had him on a heart monitor and pulse oximetry, so no worries about him stopping breathing. The challenge at home is that we can't put him to sleep in his preferred position for a couple more months. Oh, well...

Amaya continues to amaze me even though I know she's a great kid. She is so helpful and thoughtful - she's been a lifesaver and has made taking care of Weston a little easier. 

One day I hope Weston realizes how blessed he is to have a wonderful big sister who loves him tremendously! And it's my hope and prayer that they not only get along well, but become good friends.

Amaya's 5th Birthday

It's unusual for us to celebrate a birthday on the ACTUAL day, but this year it worked out to celebrate Amaya's 5th birthday on the 20th of January. She invited her grandparents, Mike and Arwen and family, and our friends, the Hulls. Unfortunately, her Grandpa Horning had the flu, so he and Grandma Horning weren't able to come and we celebrated a different day.

The birthday girl wanted to have pizza, cheetos, cake, and Grandma's mints. Here are the younger kids - Tess, Cooper, Miles, and Amaya.

 After dinner, the kiddos played for a bit and then Amaya opened up her presents.

Weston got passed around quite a bit and he didn't seem to mind too much. Lydia does such a wonderful job with little kids and is going to make an awesome babysitter some day!

Poor Annika... this picture was taken right before Weston spit up all over her and the couch. 

Family picture!

Amaya's cake - Decided to forgo making a cake this year and I just may order one every year because it was so easy and NO STRESS! (I love the no stress part!)

Ben lighting the candles

Make a wish!


Grandma's famous mints!


Steve bought me this gorgeous bouquet of flowers, "Just Because." It was so thoughtful to be remembered on Amaya's birthday.

It's hard to believe our 5 pound, 10 ounce little baby that we took home during a blizzard is now an energetic, creative, thoughtful, and smart 5 year old. I thank God daily for the joy she brings to our lives!