Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Wishes

These are my wishes for Bianca in 2010:

~ That she always feels loved and safe
~ That she hits her milestones when she's ready, without us worrying if she's on schedule
~ That she smiles and laughs because she is truly happy
~ That her personality begins to develop
~ That she doesn't receive too many booboo's along the way

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!

Goal: Healthy in Body

My goal to achieve holistic health definitely includes my body.  I have struggled with my weight and body image for the majority of my life.  For as far back as I can remember, my New Year's resolutions always involved losing weight.  I never had much success in this area.

I'm hoping that this year will be different.  Number 1, my husband makes me feel beautiful, so I have more confidence than ever.  Number 2, I want to get physically fit in order to be a positive role model for my daughter.  Number 3, I will be using this blog as a catalyst for change.

So here we are at Day Zero.  (Day 1 will begin tomorrow!)

My current stats:  5'3"; 173 lbs; BMI 30.6
Here are my "Before" Pics:

Farewell, 2009

" make an end is to make a beginning."  ~T.S. Eliot

Here we are on the eve of the new year.  God gave me a gift this morning.  I awoke to snow falling down.  The neighborhood was covered in white.  Everything looked so pure and at peace.  AND my boss gave me permission to work from home today!  I am able to spend my last day of the decade at home with my two Loves.  And while I will be working periodically throughout the day, I hope to spend the majority of the time in reflection, saying goodbye to 2009 in the best way I know how.  I'm so grateful for this unexpected blessing!

I'm also very grateful for many happenings in 2009, which turned out to be a year of transition for me.

~ In the New Year, I had only just discovered I was pregnant.  Carrying Bianca was such a wonderful experience.  I felt joyful, hopeful, and radiant.  Even though I got heavier, I loved the way my body looked carrying a child.  I felt beautiful for the first time in a long time.  My love for my husband grew, even though I never thought I could love him more.  I felt the miracle of life move within me.  It was an undescribable, amazing experience.

~ Of course, there were all the fun events that go along with a pregnancy, as well.  Keeping a blog, getting sonograms, picking out names, registering, celebrating with family and friends at showers.  Overwhelming at times...but definitely moments to remember.

~ Harry and I bought our home.  It was so much fun touring different communities and imagining ourselves there.  We ultimately decided on a neighborhood and visited the sales office three different times before choosing our model.  We signed the papers on a Sunday after church with Damian in tow.  We spent hours at the design center deciding what our new home would look like.  We bought new furniture.  We chose paint colors.  We created our sacred spaces.  There was so much excitement and anticipation throughout the entire process.

~ I turned 30.  Harry revealed to me that we were having a girl.  We took a trip to Vegas with Tony and Amanda.  Manda and I received facials and massages.  Harry took me to see a Cirque du Soleil show.  It was a wonderful escape.

~ I found out that Danny and Kylene were having a baby.  They announced the news on Mother's Day.  They told Harry and I in private first, because they wanted to make sure we would be ok.  Of course we were thrilled, as our babies would be three months apart.  Danny and I are four months apart, so it was simply perfect.

~ Stephanie and I started our Sacred Fridays.  Our friendship grew in deep and wonderful ways, despite the physical distance between us.  Our Girls Day with Manda became even more special, focusing more on quality since our quantity had diminished.  These friendships fed my soul in a way no others could.

~ I finally gave birth to my beautiful Bianca.  The day that little angel came into my life, I experienced a new, powerful, incredible love.  My heart literally felt like it was going to burst out of my chect and swallow her whole.  I looked at her and saw Heaven.  I looked into new eyes and saw an old friend.  Watching her grow over the past three months has filled me with a joy and laughter I didn't realize were missing before.  Being a mother is the most amazing experience.  I think this new role suits me well!

~ Of course, there was the wonderful maternity leave that followed her birth.  Eight incredible weeks of bonding with my Little Miracle.  Leaving my job behind and focusing on my life's work.  It was anything but relaxing since I was trying to unpack the house at the same time as taking care of a newborn and my husband, but it was oh so good.  I also discovered the wonderful shows on Nick Jr, my personal favorite being Yo Gabba Gabba.  It just makes me happy!

~ Going back to work was tough, but an amazing thing happened.  My attitude completely shifted.  I finally felt like I belonged there.  I accepted the fact that God needs me in my current position, and instead of focusing on everything that was wrong about the job, I started to focus on all the positives.  My work mantra for 2010 is "Be Effective."  Now that I've been there a year and am comfortable in my role, I can finally start focusing on making an impact.

~ I am so grateful that Bianca is able to stay with my Aunt Dot while I'm at work.  I admit that I would much rather be a stay-at-home-mom, but since that isn't an option for us, I am so happy that she is with family.  Yes, it helps out Harry and I financially, but there is such a peace that comes along with it.  I don't have to worry during the day if she is getting the care or attention she needs; I KNOW she's getting it.  That comfort is priceless.      

~ I finally got the courage to walk away from my church.  I was saved in 1999, but for several reasons, I was never able to break away from the Catholic church.  One of the factors was me singing at Mass for 18 years.  They depended on me, especially my organist.  I felt so guilty about leaving.  Finally, a few weeks ago, I told my organist I didn't want to sing anymore.  I also told my mom that I wouldn't be attending St. Luke's anymore.  Surprisingly, both took the news very well.  I know God's hands were all over the decision.

I could go on, but that gives you a general idea.  Life is a series of peaks and valleys.  It's pretty obvious that I am in a peak.  And I just have a gut feeling that I'll just keep on climbing in 2010!

It's time to bid you farewell, 2009.  You were a  great year, and I know you will live on in my heart until the end of my days.

Happy Birthday!

We want to wish Bianca's Aunt Krissy a very Happy Birthday!!  We hope that you have a great day, and that this coming year will be the best one yet for you!!  xoxo

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

An inspirational force in my life is Jamie Ridler, the creator of Wishcasting Wednesday.  Today, she asked the question: "What do you wish for 2010?"

I suppose I have many wishes for the coming year, but my five main wishes are:
~ A new church home
~ More nutritious people in my life
~ A God-centered marriage
~ Better health
~ More laughter

I can't wait to watch them all come true!  As Jamie says, "There is great power in wishing together."

Why Blog?

I guess the better question should be, "Why Not Blog?"  After all, blogging is all the rage these days.  I just hope I can live up to the challenge, as I've never been able to blog successfully up to this point. 

My first failed attempt at blogging was in 2004, when I hoped to record my weight loss journey.  Didn't have much luck with it.  (The weight loss OR the blog!!)  Then I moved onto trying to write about the frustrations I was feeling while completing my Master's degrees.  Another utter failure.  I randomly posted to my MySpace blog when I was feeling particulary depressed about life, but I haven't updated it regularly in a few years.  I started keeping a blog when I was pregant (all the cool kids on The Bump were doing it!) and I've updated it periodically with random bits of goodness in the life of my daughter, but not as often as I would like.

So here I am, once again attempting to start a new blog.  I'm embracing the challenge because 2010 is going to be my year of ACTION.  I'm very passionate about holistic health.  I strive to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.  I also want the people in my life to be holistically healthy.  I have made several vision boards showing myself in that state.  I have written countless journal entries on the topic.  And yet, I have remained stuck.  Stuck in an overweight body, stuck in unfulfilling jobs, stuck in unhealthy relationships, stuck in patterns that have kept me from living an authentically happy life.  Being stuck sucks.

But this coming year is my year of change.  I can feel it.  And I'm more determined than ever to get there.  Oprah Winfrey says, "Transformation doesn't happen unless you're willing.  It's your choice."  I am CHOOSING to be successful at change.  No, I may not reach my ultimate goals in just one year's time; however, it has to start somewhere.  And this is where I'm starting.

I subscribe to Debbie Ford's newsletter, and this morning she sent out a delicious nugget of inspiration called "2010: The Destination of Your Dreams."  She challenged her readers to choose the destination of our dreams, create a flight plan and then stick to it.  She also recommended choosing a co-pilot who will keep us on course when we get off track.  I am choosing Stephanie - one of my dearest friends - to be my co-pilot. 

This past year, Steph started an exercise with a basket full of inspirational words.  Her mission was to pull a word from the basket and reflect on it, put it into action, or just let the word work in her life for a week.  Of course, this is a venture that she could have experienced on her own, but luckily for me, she invited me to join with her.  The words have impacted my life, but not as much as our Sacred Fridays have.  Even though she moved hundreds of miles from Maryland to be with her true love, I have never felt closer to her.  I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for both of us!  Call it an instinct, but I just KNOW that 2010 is going to be a wonderful year on so many levels.  

And so, My Journey to Holistic Health begins.... 

First Taste of Applesauce

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Happy Holiday

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, and I do apologize. Honestly, I didn’t think anybody was reading this blog anyway, so I didn’t make it a priority. I found out over the holidays that people ARE reading, so in 2010, I will try to be more diligent about posting.

This sentiment is a little late, but I wanted to send out a big congratulations to my cousin Danny and his wife Kylene, who gave birth to Gavin Carroll, a precious 6 lb 12 oz baby boy, on December 17th. Welcome to world, Little One!

So Christmas has come and gone. This year, everything just seemed to get away from me. I didn’t send out cards (and anyone who knows me knows how terrible I feel about that), I put off my shopping until the very last minute (I even had to put money in card for our new baby cousin on Christmas morning because I didn’t finish shopping), we didn’t put up any lights (and I felt like the Scrooge of the neighborhood), I didn’t watch any holiday movies (I have usually watched “A Christmas Story” three times by Christmas morning) and in general, I just felt overwhelmed and unprepared. I’m really hoping that next year is better.

Our Christmas was pretty low-key this year. We went to 8:30 Mass. Bianca was dressed in a cute red and white dress and a bib that said “My Merry First Christmas.” We then went to my mom’s house to eat breakfast and open presents. The highlight was watching Damian open all his gifts. BiBi slept most of the time. We then headed over to my grandma’s house where my entire family (minus Danny, Ky, and Gavin) gathered together for food and quality time with each other. Of course, Katie, Lucy, and Da were anxious to open more presents! We were back at home by 7:00, and we spent the rest of the evening relaxing. I will have to upload some pictures of the day later.

On Christmas Eve, Harry decided to give Bianca a little treat. He gave her three spoonfuls of apple sauce! Dr. Fireman told us that she should start eating solid food anywhere from 4 to 7 months. She’s not quite there yet, so I was a little timid about giving her anything, but Harry thought she would be fine. I captured the incident on video. When I get home, I’ll have to try and upload it on here. She spit most of it out and made some funny faces, but she seemed to like the last bite. I’m thinking we won’t have a problem introducing her to solid foods once we get the ok from the doctor.

On Saturday, my mom came over and watched Bianca while I went to the Melting Pot with my girls Stephanie and Amanda. (We were celebrating Steph’s Big 3-0) Harry was in Salisbury for a basketball tournament. (Patterson won their first game 57 to 41!) Then yesterday, Mom and I took Bianca to the mall so I could spend my Christmas gift. She had her first ride in an umbrella stroller. Target didn’t have any, so we just used Damian’s old one. She did pretty well. She kept looking up at the ceiling. She can’t quite keep her head up all the time yet, so she was sorta leaning over as she rode. After about an hour, Mom took her to a bench and fed her, and then she fell asleep when Mom started singing to her.

Yesterday was an emotional day. It was exactly one year ago yesterday that Harry and I found out we were having a baby. It was such a joyous day. I found myself longing to be pregnant again. Then I found out that my friend Michele had a miscarriage. All I could do was thank God for blessing us with Bianca and remind myself that everything happens in God’s perfect timing. We will have another baby exactly when The Lord wants us to.

I’m back at work today, and as you can guess since I have time to write this post, I’m not doing much. There is hardly anyone else here. UMB is closed this week, but since I am an HHMI employee and not a UMB employee, I had to come in. With the lack of security guards, cleaning people, coffee cart employees, and all my co-workers, I must admit that it’s pretty creepy being in this building. Hopefully I can get out of here early.

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday. Four more days left until the New Year!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

For Everyone Who Thinks BiBi Looks Like Harry...

The Martins Have a Bug

Not the creepy crawly kind, but the kind that causes runny noses, sore throats, and coughs galore. All three of us are sick. Blah.

At least Harry and I can medicate ourselves into an oblivion. Poor BiBi just has to suffer. She has been sleeping with the humidifier on and we've been putting Baby's Vicks Vapor Rub on her chest. Other than that, all we can do for her is suction out her tiny nostrils with a bulb syringe...which she hates. Hopefully we will all be healthy again soon.

In other, more happy, news....I don't have to go to court for my accident anymore! I am so excited! My lawyer called me last night to tell me that the case was settled outside of the courtroom and is now officially closed! I am just so glad to have that all behind me. It's been over a year of worrying, and knowing that it's finally over gives me so much peace. I truly feel lighter this morning. (Or perhaps that's just the cold medicine! lol)

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

No, Sir, I Don't Like It!

Well, Bianca didn't really enjoy her first experience with the snow. I took her outside, and she initially didn't react much. Then she started making not-so-happy faces. Then she started gasping every time a snowflake hit her face. Just before she started to cry, I took her back inside, and all was well again.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lots of Firsts

The past couple of weeks have been full of excitement. Last Tuesday, Bianca had her 2-month doctor's visit. She is 23 inches long and weighs 10.5 pounds. I asked Dr. Fireman about the bumps on her face, and he thinks dry skin is to blame. He recommended that we start using Aquaphor on her face. We went out and bought some that night. I really don't like it. It is super thick and sticky, and even though it does appear to be working, I don't think it is working well enough. My friend Jackie recommended using Lansinoh. She said it worked like a miracle on her own daughter's face. I think I may try it.

The most awful part of this visit to the pediatrician was watching Bianca get her first set of vaccination shots. She was given three total, and she had to drink a liquid. She did not like the needles at all. She turned bright run and screamed in pain. I felt so bad that she had to go through that and there wasn't anything I could do to help. She eventually calmed down once I was able to hold her. She started crying when I laid her back down on the table to get her dressed, and I truly felt terrible. The doctor said she would be fussy for two days. She was fussy alright....but it was more like seven days before she got it out of her system. After the appointment was over, I had to go to work. Dropping her off at Aunt Dot's house was so hard for me. All I wanted to do was be with her and comfort her. Days like those remind me how much I would prefer being a stay-at-home mom.

Wednesday my car had to be towed to the shop, so instead of going to work, I worked from home. It was wonderful getting to spend the day with Bianca. I think I did a great job of balancing both work and taking care of her. I really wish every day could be that way.

Thursday was Bianca's first Thanksgiving. It was a busy day. After her bottle, we gave her a bath and dressed her in the cutest outfit. We went to church, then to her Nana's house, and then to her Mom Mom's house for dinner. Bianca met her cousin Harley for the first time. It was cute watching them together. Bianca was still extra fussy, so Harry and I ended up coming home pretty early. We talked about how grateful we are for our daughter and our new home. We have everything we always wanted, and that's a great feeling.

Friday was Black Friday. Harry and I both had off, so we were able to sleep in. It was so nice. We didn't do much shopping, but we did stop at Dick's and Costco's. The rest of the day, we just relaxed as a family.

Saturday, we went to Breakfast with Santa at St. Luke's and Bianca got to meet Santa for the first time. She was dressed so cute in an outfit that Aunt Carol got for her. She did really well on Santa's lap, but she had no clue who he was.

That night, we decorated our first Christmas tree as a family. Even though summer is my favorite time of year, there is something magical about the holidays. This year is extra special for obvious reasons, but our Little Miracle is clueless. I can't wait until she understands. Of course, it's my hope that she will be just as excited by the true meaning of Christmas as she is about material presents.

Today it is snowing for the first time this year. (Dawn - I'm sure that sounds funny to you now!) Bianca is sleeping at the moment, but I will most likely take her outside later just so she can experience it. Here is a picture of her looking out the window when it first started.

I recently found out that my friend Michele is pregnant with her third baby. I am very happy for her, and I honestly found myself feeling a bit jealous. Even though it is probably way too soon to be thinking about it, I would love to have another baby. Of course, Harry reprimands me every time I bring it up. He said that we need to take care of Bianca and give her the love and attention she deserves first before adding on to our family. I know he's right, but I can't help but daydream. I had an easy pregnancy, an easy delivery, an easy recovery, and an easy baby. Who wouldn't want to do it all over again?

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Pictures, As Promised

Isn't she precious?

This one is a little blurry, but it was too cute not to post!

Our Little Doll!

Trying to hold her bottle...

She thinks her hands are fascinating.

She is constantly losing her socks!

Our Little Cutie

She loves her Daddy.

Peek A Boo!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I know, I know!

Before you say it, I know I have to post more recent pictures. Sadly, I haven't taken any since Halloween. I will have to take some this weekend so you can see what a beautiful two-month old we have!


Since both of my bosses are at a conference today, I finally have a few minutes to share what's been happening in the Martin Household lately.

As everyone is well aware, I came back to work last week. I think I adjusted well enough. The only problem is when I came home from work, all I wanted to do was hold Bianca and make up for lost time together. This resulted in me totally ignoring everything else. The extent of my neglect actually made me feel like quite a loser by the weekend. Harry did everything. He dropped Bianca off in the morning, he went to work, he picked her up at night, he cooked dinner, he did the dishes, he made the bottles, he fed and changed her, he took out the trash and the recycling, he went grocery shopping, he did the laundry.....all without complaining. (Have I mentioned lately how wonderful my husband is?!?) On the other hand, the positive of all this is I realized that if anything were to happen to me, Harry would do an amazing job at taking care of her by himself. That gives me an additional peace of mind. For the record, though, I have stepped back up with my duties this week and I don't feel like quite the loser anymore.

Saturday was such a great day. Harry had to go to school, so Bianca and I were home alone for the morning. We went downstairs, watched Nick Jr, and just talked and cuddled. It felt great going back to our familiar routine, and I was grateful for the quality time with her. I loved the weekends before; now they are going to be extra special.

Bianca has been doing really great with sleeping. For the most part, she sleeps through the night every night. Monday night was the only night she got up wanting to be fed. Then again, she really wasn't feeling well that day. Aunt Dot said that she threw up all over herself, she slept a lot more than usual, she ate a lot less, and she screamed for a good hour during the day. Normally she is quite content, so we could tell that she didn't feel great.

She is also doing great with eating. She has now graduated to drinking four ounces of formula at a time. She also tries to hold her bottle. She's not quite successful with it yet, but it is adorable watching her wrap her little fingers around the bottle.

More and more, she is "talking" and smiling. Both of which melt my heart. Of course, she seems to do more of both when Harry is around. There is no deying that - at least at this point - she is a true Daddy's Girl.

She has also discovered her hands. She likes to look at them and suck on them. I've been working with her, trying to show her that she can grab things with them, but she hasn't quite gotten it yet. We've been practicing with her rattle. She seems to like the noise it makes. I was so excited when she took it from me the first time.....until she whacked herself in the head with it and cried. Perhaps we need to start with something softer!

The one thing she's been doing that has been upsetting me is sticking up her middle finger. She does it all the time. When she's holding her bottle, when she's touching her face, when she is holding my hand. I know she doesn't mean it, and she has no idea what it means, but I am quite disturbed by it. Does that make me neurotic?

I am also a bit worried about her skin. It seems to be so sensitive. Her face is really dry, so it peels in places. Trying to help that issue, we put Johnson's lotion on it, but she breaks out in little bumps. We stopped putting the lotion on her face, but the bumps haven't cleared up. I finally realized that she may be allergic to the lotion. Usually I put lotion on her after her bath, but last night, I didn't put any on. If her face clears up, I think we found the culprit. I take her back to the pediatrician next week, so I will ask him what I can do about her dry skin. And if the bumps don't clear up, I will ask him about giving her an allergy test.

Speaking of the pediatrician, I have to admit that I'm a little nervous about this visit. She gets her first vaccination shots. It was awful watching her have the PKU test done. I don't know how I am going to react to her getting a needle stuck in her. My friend Karen told me that an hour before the appointment, I should give her some Tylenol. This will help with the pain and with the fever that may develop afterwards. Good advice! I just hope I remember to do it.

My friend Andrea came back to work this week. Even though she had Natalie before I had Bianca, she decided to take a longer leave. She looked terrible when I saw her yesterday. She said that having Natalie in daycare was a traumatic experience. She told me that I was so lucky to have family watching Bianca. And I finally realized that she is absolutely right. Yes, I hate being away from my daughter during the day, but I honestly have no worries about whether or not she is being taken care of properly. I know she is. And I should start giving God more praise for the fortunate situation He has placed our family in.

All in all, Bianca is a pleasant and happy baby. When she gets excited, she likes to kick her feet and wave her arms. The movement is usually accompanied by her little laugh and big smile. Of course, when she gets in that mood, Harry and I can't help but laugh with her. She has brought us so much joy in her little time here. I know it is going to be amazing watching her grow. But I have to admit - part of me wishes she would stay this small forever. I am so incredibly in love with her!! If I haven't mentioned it before, I absolutely ADORE being a mom!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Survived!

My first week back at work has quickly come to a close. Honestly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Yes, I missed Bianca every day, but ironically, I missed her the most when I was with her. It was when I was holding her that it hit me that I have been holding her less. It was when I was watching Harry feed her so that I could get ready that it hurt knowing I wouldn't be around for the rest of the day. When I was at work, I was way too busy to think about anything other than work. I guess that is a blessing in disguise. This first week flew by.

I have to thank Carol, who was filling in for me while I was on leave. I came back to a relatively clean desk and to-do list. It was really nice not having a big mess to clean up. It helped make the transition back to work easier. I think it would have been worse had I come back feeling stressed. Now I can pretty much take things easy until the beginning of the year. It's a great feeling.

Oh - and I should mention that Bianca has been an absolute angel this week. Miraculously, she started sleeping through the night on a regular basis starting on Sunday night. It really helps my energy level not having to get up in the middle of the night to change and feed her. She truly is a good baby, and I feel so blessed to have her!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Our Happy Dance Was A Bit Premature!

Although I had high hopes for last night, Bianca decided not to sleep through the night again. She got up around 2:00 and again around 5:30. Which is ok; this is what she does most nights. I was just hoping we made more progress before I have to go back to work. I just have to keep reminding myself that she's doing great, and she'll eventually sleep through the night on a regular basis...but only when she's ready.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time To Do the Happy Dance!

She did it! She really did it! Bianca slept for 8 hours straight last night!! She went to sleep around 9:00 pm and didn't make a peep until 5:00 this morning! I admit: I got up around 3:00 am just to check on her, but after confirming that she was breathing, I went back to bed. It's just very exciting! Her first time sleeping through the night! I suppose tonight will tell if last night was just a fluke. Until then, I will revel in her accomplishment!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Think It Will Help?

I've decided to get my hair cut. Not too short, of course. I'm just hoping a little sprucing up might make going back to work a little easier. I'm hoping a new hairdoo will help me create a more positive attitude. I'll let you know on Monday if it works.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Final Countdown

Well, this is it: the last week of my maternity leave. The past seven weeks have gone by WAY too quickly. Harry told me I need to enjoy this last week and not put any energy into feeling sad. I'm trying my best, but it is a little hard not being sad.

Last night, Bianca smiled at me with such joy in her eyes. I didn't expect to, but I broke down. I don't want these magical moments to end. The majority of her waking hours will be spent with someone else. It is breaking my heart knowing that I will be missing so much. The Bible says that we shouldn't be envious of others, but right now I am extremely jealous of all my stay-at-home-mom friends.

I know we don't have a choice. I have to work. We can't survive on Harry's salary alone. I just wish there was a way that I could bring in income and still not miss anything with our daughter.

If anyone has any tips on how to deal with going back to work with a newborn at home, I would really appreciate hearing them. Right now I am at a loss.

Halloween Fun

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Playlist

I realized today that the songs I had on this blog's playlist didn't really apply anymore. For instance, the song Capri starts out with the phrase, "She's got a baby inside." After searching for some more appropriate songs (half of which I added and then subsequently deleted), I decided on an obvious theme.

Hopefully those of you with sound will enjoy my choices. The first one was sort of a default, as it was the only song I found that was in English...other than a rap song that I thought was rather inappropriate...but luckily, it's a song I would have liked anyway. I have a feeling Bianca will like it one day, too. It's really awesome hearing a song with your name in it. I was named after the song "Carrie Anne" by the Hollies, so I was always tickled when I heard it. It was the same with "Carrie" by Europe. At least Bianca has one song she can claim.

The second song was actually chosen by Bianca. When I listened to it, she got a big smile on her face and started kicking her feet in excitement. I couldn't just ignore that reaction, so I picked her up and started dancing with her in circles around our living room. I think we both enjoyed it! Honestly, when I hear the song, I imagine BiBi when she is five or six years old, dressed up in a pink tutu and holding a sparkly magic wand, dancing around in circles. It's just a happy song!

The last song is my favorite. Just because I love hearing the name Bianca being pronounced in Italian. It sounds so beautiful and exotic. When I hear this song, I picture my daughter as a young woman, being courted by her first love.

Wow...I've heard of people having moments where their lives flash before their eyes. I think the same just happened to me...only it happened with BiBi. She is going to be a beautiful, happy woman. And however small it is, I'm going to have a part in it. That makes my heart soar!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

She's Getting There!

Bianca is doing really well when it comes to sleeping. Last night, she slept six hours straight without waking up! The night before, she slept five and a half! I think if we try to get her on a regular routine, she will be sleeping through the night very soon. This is awesome news considering I go back to work November 9th. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to function properly without getting regular sleep at night, but maybe it won't be an issue after all. We have the best baby!

Monday, October 26, 2009

BiBi's Baptism

Yesterday we had Bianca's Baptism. In general, it went well. Right before the ceremony began (and when things started to get quiet), Bianca very loudly soiled her diaper. It was too late to change her at that point, so my sister got stuck holding her with her "pleasant" aroma. Harry - always joking around - said "Eww...what's that smell?" when we walked up to the Baptism font. Of course he knew the culprit was his precious little lady!

BiBi was very good throughout the ceremony. She only let out a brief cry when our priest poured the holy water right into her eyes and ear. Personally, I don't blame her! She calmed down pretty quickly, though. I was very proud of her.

We had a small get-together at our house afterwards. It was wonderful spending our Sunday with our family. We also got a chance to get to know our next-door neighbor better, which was nice.

All in all, it was a great day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

So Big!! (err...Average!!)

Bianca's appointment with her pediatrician went well last week. She is now 21 inches long and weighs 9 pounds 6 ounces. She is in the 50th percentile in both height and weight, making her completely average. She also has an average head size, measuring at 14 inches. I told Harry he couldn't call her Big Head anymore; he had to call her Average Head! The rest of the appointment was relatively uneventful - I just had some new-parent questions answered - but Dr. Fireman said that she was not only gorgeous, she was one healthy baby. Always nice to hear!

Monday was a wonderful day for us. This is the first week where I didn't have to focus on unpacking the house, so it gave me more time to bond with my precious little angel. I spent the majority of the day singing, dancing, talking, and cuddling with her. It was the first day that I felt like a good mom, giving my sole attention to her. I'm hoping to steal a few more moments like those during the last two weeks of my maternity leave.

A huge part of me is incredibly sad about going to back to work. I am going to miss her so much. It breaks my heart to think that I won't be there every minute to watch her grow. There's a great possibility I will miss her holding her head up for the first time, her first laugh, her first attempt at crawling, her first steps, her first word. Someone else will get to experience those magical moments. I know she is going to be with family and I should be grateful, but it doesn't make it much easier. I did take her to work with me on Wednesday to meet some of my coworkers. It felt surprisingly good being there with my friends, but again - I had her with me. I'm not sure how it's going to feel without her. But like Harry reminds me over and over, I have to work in order to give her a better life. And I wouldn't want to deny her that.

As I type, I am watching her sleep. It seems hard to believe that I helped to create this piece of perfection, especially considering that I am so flawed. She is a true Miracle.

This Sunday, she will be getting baptized. She is going to be wearing the same gown I wore for my own baptism. My mom went and had it restored at the cleaners, and it looks great. I am so excited to have her wear it. I can't wait until the day I will pass it along to her. Perhaps my grandchild will wear it, too.

My family will be coming over after the ceremony, so I better go and get the house ready. I'll be sure to post some pictures next week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Month Old!

I can hardly believe it, but our Little Miracle turns one month old today! It really is amazing how fast time has flown by. I've been horrible at updating this blog, but I do have a good excuse: not only was I adjusting to motherhood, I was also trying to get our house unpacked and organized. Now that we're pretty much settled, hopefully I'll be able to write more.

Bianca is such a joy. Yes, I am a bit biased, but she truly is a good baby. She is generally calm and only cries when she is hungry or needs a diaper change. She is also sleeping well at night, getting up every 3 - 4 hours to eat.

The past four weeks have been pretty eventful for our Little One. She has been to church, soccer games, a surprise party, and a crab feast. She has been held by several different people, and she never gets upset. So far, she is a pretty laid back baby.

I can't believe how fast she is growing. I take her to the doctor's tomorrow, and I will find out her measurements then; however, I can already tell that she has gotten longer and heavier. She is more alert during the day, and she is "talking" more. She is also starting to smile, which is a sight that just melts my heart. She discovered the TV last week and often watches whatever is on the screen. This weekend, she watched her first movie on her Daddy's projection screen. (At least a little bit before she fell asleep!) It really is amazing watching her grow.

Here are some new pictures of our precious daughter for you to enjoy:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today marks Day 6 of being home with Bianca. Overall, I think we have all been transitioning very well. Our Little One hasn't settled into a regular eating/sleeping routine yet, but in general, she is a very good baby. Sunday night was a bit rough; she didn't want to sleep at all (which, in turn, means Mommy couldn't sleep, either), but every other night, she has slept quite well. She has been getting up every 3 hours or so to eat and be changed, but she falls back asleep pretty quickly. Even though I am tired, I feel much more rested than I anticipated.

Just as I suspected, Harry has been absolutely wonderful with her. He never hesitates to hold, feed, or change her, especially when I need a break. I just love watching them together. The two of them are my world, and my heart feels like bursting with joy when I take in the sights of our new family.

I literally can stare at our daughter for hours at a time. She is just so precious. She makes so many cute faces. My favorite ones are when she forms her mouth in the shape of an O and when she smiles. I also love it when she is upset, but not really crying. She makes a "waah" sound that is just adorable.

Bianca had her first doctor's appointment yesterday. She appears to be a very healthy baby. She has already surpassed her birth weight, weighing 7 lbs 11 oz. (She was 7 lbs 3 oz when she was discharged from the hospital.) She had a PKU test done, which I think was harder on me than it was on her. I hated hearing her cry and not being able to comfort her while they squeezed the blood out of her foot. Of course, I had a few tears of my own before it was all over. She goes back for her one-month check-up on October 15th.

Unfortunately, I am unable to breastfeed her. I knew when I had my reduction that could be a possibility, but I was hoping to beat the odds, as most literature says "Breast is Best." We tried our best for three days, including a supplementing system, but we quickly found out that she was dehydrated. My body just wasn't producing enough colostrum. To this day, my milk still has not come in, so I feel better about the decision to start bottle feeding. I know the formula is giving her the nutrition she needs to stay healthy.

My recovery from the c-section is coming along slowly. My incision is still pretty sore. I was prescribed Percocet to help with the pain but I didn't like the way it was making me feel, so I stopped taking it. I think I got a case of the "Baby Blues" yesterday. I was extra weepy. Luckily, I feel much better today.

In other news, Harry and I settled on our house on Friday. We will be officially moving on Saturday, but he and Kris have already started taking boxes over. The painters started this past Saturday. They have done an amazing job. The house looks great. The only room left to finish is Harry's basement. His new toy - his projection system and 100" screen - was installed yesterday. We watched a bit of it yesterday, and I must say, it is pretty incredible.

Without further ado, here are some recent pictures of our Little Miracle:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bianca is Here!!

We are finally home from the hospital, and I am overjoyed! I am a bit tired, and I don't have the energy to write much, but here is the brief version of our Miracle's birth story.

I went into the hospital Sunday night around 8:00. I was still only 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Instead of repeating the gels, they inserted a medicine called Cervadil for 12 hours. I was checked after that time period, and I had only made it to 1.5 cm and 90% effaced. Dr. London broke my water and started me on Pitocin at that point. I labored until around 8:00 PM. When she checked me again, I had made it to 5 cm dilated.

There was an issue with Bianca's heart rate, though. It was extremely low, and at times, Dr. London couldn't find the rate at all. Dr. London tried to push her head out of the birth canal and back into my uterus, and the heart rate went up just a little. She said that it was bad news because that meant the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Because the baby was in distress, I had to have an emergency c-section. I was a bit nervous because once they ordered the stat operation, the room filled with people, I was given an oxygen mask, my mother was crying, and I was being rushed into the operating room.

It all ended up wonderfully, though. Bianca Ruth Martin was born Monday, September 14th at 8:39 PM. She weighed 7 lbs 10 oz and was 20.5 inches long. She looks just like her Daddy! She is the most beautiful creature I have ever seen!