Today was a great day with my sweet girl. Despite waking up to hear her screaming at 5 am (I think she may have had a bad dream) the day was a fun one! Today Tim played hide and go seek with Karoline, he didn't realize she was so good at that game. She was stumped when he hid under a blanket, until she saw his toe sticking out!

Peek-a-boo has always been a fun game. However, now the tables have turned and Karoline hides herself. She will pull a towel or scarf over her face and pull it down with a smile just waiting for someone to say, "peek-a-boo!" When you ask, "Where's Karoline?" she will put the scarf back over her face. She is so smart, I love her ability to pick up a new task every day! Time is going by so quickly.

Tiny fingers

As a mom I have realized there are little things that can make up the most amazing days. Today when I went into the bathroom I closed the door as a normal person would however, lately I've had to leave the door open so that Karoline can see where I am. All modesty is gone when you have a child, you learn that when you go to your first ultra sound with your husband. If you have not had a child and you are a friend of mine then I urge you to look up just how they do the first ultra sound so you are not surprised. You're welcome. 

Anywho, I am back to being able to close the door. But, my sweet smart girl can find me even if she was no where near the bathroom when I entered. I can hear the sweet sound of her knees and hands making her way towards me. That sound truly is glorious, I love that she is able to move. After the little, thud, thud, thud stops then I can hear nails on the bathroom door. Sometimes I'll catch a little glimpse of her sweet tiny fingers trying to figure out what is on the other side of the door. Sometimes I will stick my fingers under the door (don't worry this is after I've washed my hands of course) and it is the most amazing sensation to feel my daughter wrap her hands around my fingers. Immediately I feel like I must open the door when this happens. And as a woman and a mom my mind is flooded with the fear of not being able to see my baby or hold my baby. It is a strange thing, the mind of a mother, and all the tricks it plays on you. My heart aches for the babies that are separated from one or more of their parents. I can't even think about that for two long.

Karoline was such a sweetie today. She started to get rather upset this afternoon until she saw her nana on FaceTime. As soon as she saw her nana it was like she really was in the living room. Karoline took off all around the house and was showing off all of her new skills and her nana followed her around and watched all of her tricks. We had several "ah" conversations, she walked along the couch, bed and the stool. She also walked with her walker at an incredible pace! 

This morning was the first step in our next adventure. We met with our real estate agent who was referred to us by Tim's aunt. He is a great fit for us and is extremely respectful of our price range as well as our desires for our first home. We are both very excited and on several occasions have woken up early like kids on Christmas just thinking about the possibility of owning a home for the same monthly price that we pay to rent. I would guess in about 6 months time we will be in our home. I am excited but also glad that it will take some time, I am enjoying every minute with my baby girl and wouldn't want to wish any of that time away! 

Sweet baby

I've had such an amazing past couple of days with my sweet baby girl. I can't believe how quickly she is growing. Our new favorite game is hide and seek, she's an excellent seeker and squeals in delight when she finds me. I can only hope and pray that she will always be that excited to see me.

Still no teeth as we approach the 8 month mark. I am really ok with this, I get a little sad thinking that one day we are going to wake up and we will no longer be saying hello to a toothless little grin.

I think that's it for now, I've come to realize that I am far more tired tonight than I thought and I guess some things will just have to wait until tomorrow.

I leave you with a quote I saw tonight on a friends new etsy page ... Live like less is more.

Human Milk

I've decided I would like to share my thoughts about breastfeeding. Seems everyone has an opinion, and well, so do I. When it came down to having children in my mind there was no option but breastfeeding. Karoline was delivered via c-section so the immediate placement of her on my chest didn't happen. But, the staff at the hospital we were at were absolutely remarkable and the time from her birth to the time we were in the recovery room and she was allowed to lay on me was a very short amount of time. However, my sense of time was completely off thanks to the spinal block. Side note, that was by far the worst part of having to have a c-section, my memory for the first two weeks of Karoline's life is very clouded and there are not many picture of me holding her so I don't remember doing so. Anyway ...

From the first attempt of breastfeeding to today has been a long road. In the beginning it was adorable to see this tiny new life try to figure out how to feed herself. It truly is remarkable the instincts that we are all born with. In the hospital figuring out breastfeeding was an overwhelming task and something that I feel was not made any easier by the constant reminder that we needed to keep track of every time she ate and for how long. Then there were the people who would come and go and would critique your  breastfeeding. We really did have a pleasant experience at our hospital and I know the nurses were just doing their job but while reflecting on it now I am surprised at how unhelpful their help really was. In addition, there was always someone offering formula. To me (now remember this is just my opinion, you all have yours and that is perfectly fine to me) formula is the easy way out (IF you are able to breastfeed). I can't believe how many times they suggested me giving Karoline just a little bit of formula to help her get started and figure the whole eating thing out. I do believe had I been more relaxed and able to just enjoy feeding her instead of being "checked on" every few seconds that I may have been able to help her get used to it more quickly. Even when we were leaving the hospital we were asked if we wanted to take a little bottle of formula. I must note that Karoine was a little "yellow" when she was born and they were worried about her being jaundice. None of her tests confirmed this, it was just her outward appearance. The lighting in our room was horrible and I think that played a big part in it. On the day we were leaving the hospital I broke down on one of the pediatricians that came in to see Karoline. She was pro-breastfeeding and reassured me that turning down the formula was the right thing. I am convinced hat doctor was an angel in disguise, she completely calmed me and helped me to realize that I was doing my best and Karoline was going to be just fine.

Upon getting home breastfeeding did get easier. A week after Karoline was born we met our pediatrician. He was recommended to us by a male pediatrician we met at the hospital ... side note, this man was wonderful and when I called his office to schedule an appointment we found out he worked an hour away. The more alarming part was that he himself returned the call and was able to give us the name of our doctor now. Our doctor is also in line with our thinking and told me that I was on the cusp of helping our baby to grow. We are very fortunate to have been able to meet our pediatrician. I know now and would caution everyone that to make sure you don't settle. There is a doctor who will agree with your line of thinking and will be a great member of your support team.

Over the next few weeks as we settled into a routine breastfeeding became unbearable and excruciatingly painful. I know I did not go through the pain of labor BUT breast feeding was more painful than any of my recovery from the c-section. Despite the pain and a bout of mastitis I stuck it out. I really didn't see any other option, I had to endure the pain for our baby girl. After about a month or two of ridiculous pain it definitely got better. Karoline got better at feeding and my breasts finally became, well callused. There are still issues but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Yesterday while we were playing in the morning Karoline crawled up to me, pulled herself up and let me know that she needed a little snack. This was such a joy to me. She knows that I am where the milk comes from and is now able to communicate to me that she would like to nurse. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. Nursing moms understand, women who want children and who would like to nurse will one day understand as well.

A friend of mine is going on a business trip and has looked into sending home breast milk in the mail for her little one. Such a huge thing to put your children's needs first and I applaud her. Her box will be mailed, labeled "human milk." Breast milk is like gold to a mom who has to pump. We are so blessed that I no longer have to pump, just one of the luxuries of being a stay at home mama.

I do think that this topic is something that most people would prefer is kept quiet. Believe me, before having Karoline I would most likely have felt the same way. I am not one to breastfeed in public, I prefer the comfort of my vehicle while we are out and about, and I still use a big cover to make sure nothing is seen. But, I don't feel like it is something that can't be talked about. If you've made it this far ... thanks for reading and I hope if you have children one day that your will consider nursing your babies. Or will provide support for your wife who will nurse your little ones. One more thing, Karoline is 7 1/2 months old and has yet to even have one sign of sickness. Did I mention breast milk is like gold?

These boots are made for walking ...

Now that Karoline has her own boots she feels the need to walk! Well, truth be told she is more interested in putting the boots in her mouth than anything else. Today when she had them on and tried to crawl she became so frustrated that it was all she could do to get those things off her feet. However, she will wear them and they do keep her feet nice and toasty.

This evening I set Karoline down in our living room and went to the kitchen to get some water. I saw her pull herself up on the ottoman, I turned around to grab my water bottle, turned back around and she was at the couch. I couldn't believe it! So, I quickly grabbed my phone and had her reenact her first steps! She did a great job and was so proud of herself. Earlier tonight when we were using FaceTime so she could see her nana (who she recognized right away and wanted to get to as fast as she could) Karoline stood all by herself for about ten seconds. I sound like a broken record but her physical ability sure is astounding to me!

Today we went and looked at homes that were available to rent in our area. One was the perfect house in the perfect location and was a great price. The sign on the development said a 55+ community. We are just as calm and quiet as a 55 year old couple, I wonder if they would take that into consideration. The other home was very large house and was $2,600/month to rent. I do believe the people trying to rent that house ended up in over their heads and they must be eating some funny mushrooms if they think they are going to be able to rent their home for that much! Well, maybe someone will rent it but I it won't be us. We are hoping to buy a home of our own. Our goal is to eventually build a house. Tim has such a talent when it comes to using his hands and I know the house would he would build would be absolutely wonderful. Building our home will happen but for the time being it seems buying a preexisting home is more likely. We are working with a great real-estate/financial team and we are praying that everything will work out. The best party is, we know it will. We have faith and know we will end up exactly where we are supposed to be.

Boots and Bows

Boots and bows, what more could a girl need. Last weekend my mom was able to come up and watch Karoline for us. Tim had to work and I had a Pampered Chef show and there was a 3 hour gap where neither of us would be home. How blessed are we that we are able to not have to have the fear of a baby sitter. We do have several friends and family close by that would be perfectly fine care givers for a short period of time. However, I think if she can my mom would always prefer to be the baby sitter! I don't blame her, Karoline is pretty awesome.

Her newest trick is "clicking." I showed her how to make a clicking sound using her tongue against the roof of her mouth on Friday night and on Saturday morning she woke up clicking. She has quite the "vocabulary" now too. She has ma, ba, da, and all the vowels sounds down. These last few days I've even taught her the sssss sound. It's adorable to say the least.

On Saturday she also pulled herself up on our TV stand. This isn't the cool part. She grabbed Tim's remote controller and grabbed onto it with two hands. Thus, standing by herself for a good 5-10 seconds! She truly is just physically a little rock star. As are all babies in the eye of their parents.

Back to the boots and bows, my mom purchased these two items for Karoline while we were shopping. The perfect accessories for a stylish girl.

Switching gears, after we finish the food in our fridge we are going on a wholesome diet! We will be eating fruits and veggies galore! I am so excited. Tim will also try a juice cleanse to attempt a body reboot, he's had quite a few issues lately. Hoping this will be the fix. I can not do a full cleanse because I am still nursing but I will be adding the juice to my diet as well. I am beyond excited for the results. I can only imagine how great we are going to feel with the addition of so many natural items to our diet! I'll make sure to update on our progress as well as share some of our favorite recipes!

Growing and Changing

My little sweet pea is growing so quickly. Five days ago she started crawling on her hands and knees! Today she was so fast when she was moving. Any elevated surface is now no obstacle for her, she can scale anything, even a flat wall! Her physical ability is simply amazing to me. Watching her grow and learn is by far one of the greatest things I have ever experienced in my life.

With her new found freedom sleeping has become pretty interesting. Sure seems that once one issue is resolved that something new arises! I don't know how working mom's do it. There is no way I could keep up with our home and all of Karoline's needs as well as a full time job. Or, maybe I could but not at the level that I want for our family.

R & R, Resolution & Relationships

Last night I was holding Karoline and rocking her to sleep when she looked right up into my eyes and started to move her mouth. She has been saying "mama" now for a few months and I've been working on her different sounds for quite some time. She has "bah" and "na-nah" down but the "da" sound seems to allude her. After moving her mouth for a little bit she let out a "da, da, da." I could see her beautiful little mind working very hard to form these sounds. Her tongue was just so cute hitting the front of her mouth to make the "d" sound. After saying, "da, da, da" she looked up at me and gave a smile of accomplishment as if to say, "Did you hear mom, I did it!" I cried. She is so beautiful and is such a joy. I know that every parent thinks their child is, the cutest, smartest, most physically advanced ... and well, I'm no different. Watching her learn is such a blessing. I know I've said it before but, I love being a stay at home mom.

Today we went to meet my mom and brother for lunch and a little shopping. It is amazing what spending time with the ones you love can do for you. The more I grow the more I realize what is important in life to me. For me it is my faith, my family and my friends. I am not sure what it is about the New Year that inspires resolutions but to me it seems like a great way to try and make sure that you keep yourself in check and make changes as you see fit. So, this year my goal is to make sure to take time to read our devotional every day, to read my bible every day and to pray every day. My hope is to always take time to play, love and cherish the time I have with my family. To drive an hour or two to see the ones I miss. To extend a hand to friends. Friends that I have known for years and friends that I know only briefly.

In my eyes the relationships we have in life are the real riches. I know that if I were faced with choice of great wealth or great family and friends the decision would be the easiest I have ever made.

I plan to take time to make time, to never use time as an excuse and to stay true to myself and my goals.