Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grampa's "little man"

one exciting week in december

Nat and I laugh about how we both had quite the exciting week in December. First, Troy was born on a Thursday and then two days later, when we were enjoying our first day home from the hospital, I get a call from Nat saying she just got engaged! This weekend we had the chance to look at some bridesmaid dresses and we even got to go out for some sangria and girl talk after the family dinner was over. Love ya Nat, can't wait to celebrate at your wedding later this year!

first trip to the "big city"

Yep, I'm blogging about our weekend in Chicago while its still going... but my mom has Troy right now and I had a chance to load all my pictures and spend a few minutes on the computer. So I'm seizing the opportunity!

I started thinking about bringing Troy to Chicago for his first weekend away a few weeks ago. Mike was going to be out of town and even though I didn't really want to do the first road trip by myself I started thinking I could time it right with his naps and make it go smoothly. And even if Mike had been home, I still would have made my best effort to time it right and it still could have ended with him screaming 100 miles (which we totally would have turned around if that happened lol). So I didn't think I had anything to lose :)

visiting grampa at work
Troy did great on the trip up here, and we went straight to the beer company to have lunch with my dad. He could have cared less about all the beer, just wanted milk. Let's keep it that way for the next 21 years buddy.

The rest of Friday we just relaxed around Mom and Dad's. Troy didn't seem to mind being in somebody else's home, especially with all the people and things to entertain him that are here!

On Saturday, Troy had aunts, uncles and a cousin to meet for the first time. He was passed around so much the whole evening, even through an entire nap, but he didn't seem to mind. And he still slept great over night!

We've had a lot of fun staying here in Chicago this weekend, but Troy and I miss Mike tons after having had him home with no trips since before Troy was born/Thanksgiving. So sometime around lunch today we're hitting the road to get back home! Pray for us that our road trip goes just as smoothly as the ride up here went :)

Troy watching the "gramma show"
we thought he looked awfully handsome in his overalls but he doesn't look very happy here

Thursday, January 27, 2011

sleepy little guy

7 week update

Not really a surprise that my blogging has slowed dramatically since going back to work! All this juggling is keeping me on my toes...but that's another post at another time.

So I never actually made a "one month" update for Troy, so I thought I'd do a 7 week update since I'm thinking of it now. And perhaps I'll remember to do a 2 month update, 3 month, etc. He's changing so much right now that I want to make sure these details are somewhere!

Eating: I can't really tell most of the time since I feed him on demand whenever I'm with him. But he started polishing off 4 oz bottles at Gwynne's at the beginning of the week so I started sending 5 oz ones. And now he finishes those off too.

Sleeping: This has been a big week for sleeping! There was such a sense of urgency in recent weeks to try to get Troy sleeping better before I went back to work. As of last Thursday when I went back, we saw no improvement. But by the first day that I had to get up in the morning (Monday) he did much better (answered prayer!) Sunday night was the first night he slept better, and then pretty much every night since has been better and better! He's in his crib 100% now (after weeks of rocking, cuddling, swaying, snuggling etc) which is good. I can't believe how desperate I got for sleep after 4 or so weeks of deprivation. But I feel like things are getting better now. Troy slept from 10pm to 4am and then 4:30-7am last night. I know that I'm very, very blessed with a good baby. And I've learned a great new swaddling technique!

Likes: Bathtime, pacifier (except when I'm around), touching the dog, facebooking (ha!), squeaking :)

Dislikes: when I drink coffee (so I've given that up again for the time being)

Other tidbits: Especially since Troy's at Gwynne's now, I'm realizing how easygoing Troy is. He'll sleep just as well at her house as he does at ours (sometimes better!), he takes a bottle and has no problem breastfeeding later on, he's overall just an awesome little guy. I, of course, am a little biased in thinking just how much of a blessing he is :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gramma and Gigi babysit

On Saturday, Mike and I had basketball tickets to one of the biggest basketball games of the season thanks to our awesome realtor, Pam Franks. Dad and Andy also had tickets to this game, so my Mom and Gramma (Troy's Gramma and Gigi) came with to babysit. This with Gigi's first time meeting Troy and she totally fell in love. It was also Mike and I's first date since Troy was born! We need to make sure we don't wait another 6 weeks to have date #2.

Friday, January 21, 2011

back to work

Yesterday marked my first day back to work :( I loved maternity leave and being with Troy 24/7 but we knew it wasn't here to stay. I think the days and week leading up to going back to work was much harder than the actual day itself. I was a bit teary as I drove to Gwynne's and dropped him off, but by the time I got to church, I was feeling okay. It's nice to know he's with someone I know well and trust, that he's only 5 minutes away and that I always get to see him at the end of the day :)

Troy did great with his first afternoon at Gwynne's. He was only there just less than 4 hours. He stayed up for awhile while the rest of the kids had story/song time, and then had a bottle and went down for a nap once the older kids started their nap. He was still sleeping when I went to go get him and fell back asleep on the way home. I'm praying that his longer days next week will go just as smoothly!

It's so strange to be back at work. After being at home for so long and then going into a quiet office and sitting down at a desk... it feels weird. There's plenty to keep me busy though, so that should make my days go by quickly!

Here's Troy with Gwynne as I dropped him off on his first day, Thursday, January 20.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

morning smiles

I was eating my bowl of cereal this morning and watching the news when I looked to my left and caught a glimpse of this beautiful, smiling face. THIS is why my camera is always within an arm's reach!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

last day of leave

Today marked my last day of maternity leave :( I've been so blessed to have these 6 weeks off, but that still doesn't change that I selfishly want even more. As I feel sad about tomorrow, I've been thinking of Romans 8:28 a lot: we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.

I've also been thinking a lot about how just a year ago I was praying for two big things- a new job that would be a better fit with our family in the coming years and to become pregnant. In March of last year, God broke through into our lives by answering both of those prayers nearly simultaneously. And I'm still very thankful for that. So if I do have to work somewhere away from Troy, I know this is the best place, because its the one that was hand-picked for me :)

So with that being said, we had an enjoyable day today, Troy and I. We ran some errands, relaxed at the house and organized some things to go with him when he starts going to the sitter tomorrow. Here's a few snapshots of our day, and if you are willing, please be praying for all of us tomorrow as Troy and I spend our first afternoon apart...

Closest thing to a smile I've captured yet. I get happy smiles pretty much daily now.

A very posed picture of Troy and Bear. This was the closest I had let them get.

Hanging in the high chair so he could watch me cook.

Another adorable milk drunk pose. I love how he's actually got milk dripping out of his mouth as he's passed out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Videos: Hiccups and Bath

Usual video warnings... you have to deal with my baby talk voice and the videos aren't very exciting. However, if you do proceed, you will be treated to major cuteness :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Can I help you?

I feel like Troy was giving me a "look" here...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

lounging around

Here's a couple of shots of us this weekend

stain removal

Here's the second or third "casualty" from Troy's (early) wardrobe. I had no idea that Troy's blow-outs would be staining clothing left and right. I think I expected breastfed baby's poop to wash out well. But the super blow-outs... quite the problem. So Anne already told me that laying these clothes out in the sun will help to break the stains down but with it being January, I need some other strategies. So what do YOU do, either pre-wash or during the wash process, to prevent (limit) this from completely destroying your baby's clothes?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

neighborhood boys

Today Troy and I had a visit with our neighbors, Su and Liam. Liam is four months older than Troy and they live right down the block from us. Su and I have lots of fun outings planned for these boys once they're a bit older, especially trips to the pool to hang in the lazy river next summer!

"Gill Athletics, this is Troy, how can I help you?"

Troy was put to work when he went to visit Daddy at work for the first time today :)

all wrapped up

I've mentioned the Moby Wrap on here a few times and I've had a couple people ask me what hold I use for Troy. This is supposedly the newborn hug hold- its the only one I've tried so far. It's gotten so much easier to use the bigger he gets, and now finally this week it feels like we're both comfortable for extended periods of time and he really feels secure in there now. Right now I've just worn him around the house to get chores done but next time I go to the grocery store I'm going to venture putting him in this instead of his car seat- there's no room for groceries with his big bucket seat in the cart!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

loving that green

I just realized today (as I happily snapped away with the camera) that I've been dressing this kid in an awful lot of green. Nonetheless, many cute shots from today already :)

My friend Donna asked me the other day how many pictures I have of Troy sleeping. The answer? Quite a few. Does that stop me from taking them. Absolutely not. Especially when they're cute like this.

And the next nap? Another pose, just as adorable.

Troy began to stir at the end of this nap and Bear jumped off the couch and went to lay in front of the swing. Just to stand guard over her baby, I suppose.

Hi, Mom!

Yes, I put my 1 month old baby in the Bumbo today. He loves sitting up on our laps and has had good neck strength since birth. So I figured we'd start using it 5 minutes at a time until a few more weeks down the road when he's even bigger. He liked it!
The greatest thing about all these green pictures? They span at least 6 or 7 hours and he's in the SAME outfit! Seems like he's always moved on to a second outfit by this point in the day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

in your dreams

Enjoy this video of Troy dreaming during a nap this morning. The light is poor so you can't see it too well, but its cute nonetheless. *Due to the nature of this video (sleeping baby), its highly likely this will only entertain a select few :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

dining out

 Troy got to make his very first trip to a restaurant today! There's a lot of pressure in taking a newborn to a restaurant... there's nowhere to hide and there's lots of people to disturb if things don't go well. However, awesome (and daytime sleepy) baby that Troy is, he slept right through our entire lunch at Dos Reales today.

We offered him a chip but he passed and opted to wait for his next meal of milk...

track baby

Mike said someone asked him this past week if Troy had been to a track meet yet. He hadn't been to one at that time, but yesterday marked the very first indoor meet at U of I this year, so Troy got to go to his first meet! I'm normally not too excited about track meets, but I told Mike he needed to come up with something to get me out of the house this weekend that didn't involve walking around the mall and this was a good fit! Quick (1-3pm) and entertaining, my kind of meet!

Aside from the fact that I kept moving the stroller to be in our view from the bleachers (I'd go crazy if something happened to it the second time it was used!) and poor Troy jumping every time the gun sounded to start a race, it was a good way to spend an afternoon!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ABC's of our first month

I saw someone else post this up on their blog and I thought it was kind of interesting. Here are the ABC's of our first month following Troy's arrival.

A- Aden and Anais. Best brand of swaddle blankets, hands down. I also tend to use Carter's swaddle blankets a lot too, as they're smaller so you don't have to wrap them around as many times.
B- Breastfeeding. Definitely been the "big" thing of the last month, as it really is pretty all-consuming in these first few weeks. Even this week, I still feel like he eats all the time! Not that I'm complaining- that's your only job right now, Troy!
C- Christmas. So happy Troy made his appearance before this very special holiday this year!
D- Daddy. Mike has been an absolutely amazing Daddy to Troy so far, and I love seeing these two together.
E- Exercise. Something I haven't been cleared to do yet, but have started thinking about. Something will need to be done about this remaining pregnancy weight.
F- Friends. It's been awesome to have so many great friends stop by over the last month to meet Troy, check up on us and bring us food. Thanks, everybody!
G- Gramma and Grampa. Troy's favorite visitors :)
H-Help. Something that we're happy to have. I try not to turn it down when its offered to us, in a variety of ways.
I-Ice water. I drink tons and tons of it. And I thought I drank a lot of water while pregnant.
J- Jaundice. A not-so-fun highlight to our first month, as we returned to the hospital so Troy could bring down those bilirubin levels.
K- Knocked Up. One of the movies we brought to the hospital to watch the day after Troy was born. We felt it was appropriate.
L- Leave. Maternity leave has been such a blessing, to spend this time totally focused on my baby boy!
M- Medela. A recent arrival on my doorstep this week, I am now the proud owner of a Medela breast pump. The pump I started with was good for the first few weeks, but now that I'm prepping to go back to work, I thought I'd upgrade. And I am so, so glad I did. This pump is awesome!
N- Neglected Bear. We expected it to happen, the dog has been displaced. She's been so, so good though and we work on finding ways to include her/give her attention around taking care of Troy.
O-Oven. Something that hasn't been used much, aside from when Mom has been visiting us. I'm very thankful to have not prepared many meals at all this past month.
P- Photos. We have something in the neighborhood of 400 pictures since Troy was born. Might be more than that...
Q- Questions. Something we have a lot of these days. Thank goodness for the people in our life that we can go to. And if all else fails, there's google.
R-Reading. Part of our new nightly bedtime routine. As of last night, we've officially read every single book we have, many multiple times. Time to acquire some more!
S-Squeaky, squeaky. One of the many noises Troy makes. However, his nickname of squeaky is the first one that seems to be sticking between Mike and I.
T- Target. The place that Troy has made the most trips to. At first it was the doctor's office, but once his jaundice got under control and the visits stopped, Target quickly turned into the place he visited most often.
U-Urinate. Something Troy does at least 10 or so times a day, making for lots and lots of diaper changes. And from time to time, he'll get us when we're off guard changing his diaper
V-Visitors. There's been a steady stream of visitors meeting Troy and checking in on us, but even in the earliest weeks, it was still never more than 1 or 2 people a day, allowing us to enjoy some quality time with a lot of our friends.
W-Witch hazel pads. For my own recovery. Enough said.
X-I've got nothing...
Y-Yawning. Something we do an awful lot of these days.
Z- Zero degrees. The windchill the day we brought Troy home from the hospital.

Friday, January 7, 2011

this weeks videos

Enjoy this short collection of clips from a number of videos I've taken in the last few days. Usual video warning: nothing exciting in this video. Additional warning: my baby-talk voice has to get annoying one minute into the video.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Today I was itching to get out of the house and walk around a bit. With a few small errands to run at the mall I thought we'd head there (though I plan to check out the indoor playground/walking track at one of our local churches for a walk later this week!) This marked the first time we used our stroller, which also meant the stroller finally departed from our dining room and into the back of our car. Troy seemed to enjoy our outing, by sleeping through the entire thing!

the little man

Troy's Grampa (AKA my dad) got used to calling Troy "little man" while he was down for Christmas. When Troy wore this outfit over the past weekend, I thought he definitely looked like a little man and a very handsome one at that :)

my little (milk) drunk

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Song: One Thing Remains

Can't stop singing this song this week... we've been playing it at church a couple weeks now. Check it out!

Note: There's no video to it, just audio :)

Like father, like son

Saturday, January 1, 2011

cord cutters

Mike says there's a term out there for people like us.. "cord cutters". We're setting the wheels in motion to be cut loose from cable. For right now we're getting the new system in place before we go ahead and cancel the cable and return all the equipment. The goal was to get this all sorted out in the month of January. Welcome, January!

For those of you that have inquired, we've purchasing one of these to stream Hulu to our TV to get our shows. The Roku box comes with a 30 day guarantee, and it costs less than 1 month of cable TV so we're pretty excited to see how it works.

Happy New Year!

Can't believe its 2011 today! Last week, we were excited to get a call from Ed and the Smykowski fam that they were free on New Years and wanted to come down to hang with us and meet Troy. So all four of them packed into their car and made the drive down 57 to our home. We had a great time watching The Office with them, playing board games, watching their kids (Isabella and Eddie) chase the dog around and having several courses of fondue leading up to midnight! Their visit made this a very special way to ring in the new year :)

The whole family shortly after arriving. Blanca didn't waste any time in getting her hands on Troy!

We were in the kitchen prepping some fondue when I noticed this adorable interaction out of the corner of my eye. Eddie was having a conversation with Troy, and Troy was very interested in whatever he was saying!

Getting ready for the main course of fondue... mmmm.

Isabella was glad to jump in and give Troy a bottle after I enjoyed a post-pregnancy adult beverage.

And after Isabella had her chance to hold Troy, Eddie wouldn't stop asking when he'd get his turn!