Being Brickner : October 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Welcome Back to the Club ... Almost.

With each passing day,Waverly is hitting new milestones and surprising & delighting us with how much she is progressing.  There are certainly quite a few of these progressions that I could write about, yet this major development is one of my own.  

It's safe to say that I was pretty much ecstatic about the news that we were going to welcome a baby in 9 months after peeing on a stick last November.  The fact that my husband and I were creating a new life together and how much it was going to affect our own was all I could think about from that period on.  But other than being overjoyed for the miracle we were waiting for, I am probably no different from a lot of women in that I was really excited for the opportunity to indulge in some foods I previously hadn't been, and also for a slight break in my daily workout sessions.  In fact, I was so enthusiastic about the temporary break from my healthy lifestyle that I am pretty sure I went though the Wendy's drive-thru for the chicken sandwich combo the day after my pregnancy was confirmed by the blood test.  I most likely over indulged for my entire first trimester.  I gained pretty much half the weight I would gain the entire pregnancy in the first two months, while the suggested amount is merely 1-3 pounds.  My weight gain eventually leveled off after I realized that eating for two didn't really mean Taco Bell burritos, Burger King fries, and marathon eating sessions throughout the day.  

So although I caught myself before I ended up in the same position as Jessica Simpson (I had to do it ... ), I still had some weight to lose and certainly did not walk out of the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans.  And although I am not yet at my goal, (or most pairs of those pre-pregnancy jeans!) I am getting closer ... As my sister welcomed me back to the club when I got back to the 120's and a pair of Size 3 pants this week.  

What have I been doing?  It turns out there really is no magic formula - as I am back to that same
 lifestyle of healthy eating & exercising like before.  Specifically, I am trying
 to keep my metabolism up by eating every three hours, staying away from carbs at night, trying to keep within 1300 calories a day, and attempting (another blog post to come) to workout for at least thirty minutes four days a week. And the breastfeeding (the closest thing to a magic formula) certainly doesn't hurt either.

It feels good to (almost) be back.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

These Are a Few of OUR Favorite Things ...

Even though it was less than six months ago, if my memory serves me right ... compiling the registry for Little Miss Brickner was quite the daunting task.  I am pretty sure that the "suggested items you will need" brochure provided at "Babies'R'Us had over 200 items on it.  And I am also sure that we were no different from other first-time expecting parents who had never even heard of most of the essential items before. 
Needless to say, we conquered the challenge and successfully registered for our baby girl, recieved many of the items from our sweet family & friends at our showers, and bought a majority of what we didn't get before Waverly arrived in July.  We were locked & loaded, and even though we still didn't know how to use or perhaps even pronounce many of the baby items we had on hand ... the fact that we had them provided us some confidence. 
Now that Waverly Maye is three months old, I have a much better understanding of many of those items we were told we needed, and am thankful that we have them.  But just like people, every baby is different & Waverly (And Mommy!) definitely have preferences for some of the products more than others.  I have listed my top five "must-haves" for Waverly's months two & three.

1 - Fisher Price Cradle Swing (Babies'R'Us; $140.00):  I had to put this on top, because Waverly has spent at least half of her first three months of life snuggled into this swing.  It is our "go-to" when she won't fall asleep for naps and her current resting spot each night ... so it is obviously super comfortable.  It also has straps to ease my mind that she is secure, plays music, and has a mobile for her to gaze at when she is awake.

2 - Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets (Target; $34.95 for 4):  I laughed at my mom for spending this much for some muslin blankets when she purchased these for me during my pregnancy, but she was convinced they were worth it based on the reviews. She was right.  Not only did they save our lives
for her first month when we swaddled her in them each night, but we still use at least 2 daily as burp cloths or to just wrap her in.  They wash well & the prints are adorable.

3 - Boppy Pillow (Target; $29.99):  For something I had never heard of or seen before, the Boppy has become my best friend. We use it each & every time we breastfeed at home, which is at least multiple times on a daily basis.  It makes breastfeeding soooo much more comfortable for us both.  We also use it to practice tummy time, to prop Waverly up for photos, and to occasionally hold her for a nap.

4 - Medela In Style Breast Pump (Babies'R'Us; $269.99):  I was lucky enough to have mine passed down from my sister-in-law, which was great since this is one of those expensive products that breastfeeding moms need but aren't that glamorous to buy.  The pump is obviously essential, and the Medela is the best.  Since going back to work, I bring it (in the handy bag that is included) and use it

5 - White Onsies (Carter's; $26 for a 5-Pack) - I was definitely more excited to get printed dresses, leggings, and cropped jackets rather than plain white onsies for my little girl ... but have quickly learned that the basics were what I needed most.  It's just like adult fashion, you need to build a good base for your wardrobe.  Waverly wears them under her outfits almost everyday, and as it gets colder, even under her sleepers at night.  She also goes through them quicker than I could have imagined, so I alway find myself stocking up on more.  Carter's makes the best quality, and with a coupon (google for one!), you can get them for super cheap!

Aden & Anais Blankets

Boppy Pillow

Medela Breat Pump

Carter's Onsies

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Waverly's Night of No Waking

I must say that our sweet Waverly Maye has always been a good sleeper.  I won't even consider complaining about her waking up once a night, as she has pretty much been doing nightly for the past couple months.  And I won't do that because I have been informed by various baby blogs, books, and conversations - that some babies wake way more than that.  Furthermore, after the first month of being a mother and trying to function after an average of three to four hours a night, a thirty-minute date with my daughter on the pink recliner in her room once a night hardly affects my energy on the following day.  I feel pretty lucky.

Specifically, this past week ... I have felt even luckier.  Waverly must have empathy for my return to work & early start time (7 AM to arrive at school), as she slept completely through the night on Thursday night.  After I put her to bed (in her swing ... I admit) at 7:30 the night before, she happily snoozed until 6:30 Friday morning.  There were several occasions that I walked over to her swing to ensure she was still sleeping happily in that swing ... And indeed, she was.

Did I mention she was a sweet girl?  Love her.  Now on to getting her sleeping in the crib.  That's a milestone we will have to cross next ....I don't know that Mommy is fully prepared for that yet.

Waverly's Place of Sleep As of Now ...    

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Piercing for My Precious

Waverly had one of those major moments this week.  It wasn't a developmental milestone, but an important day in her life nonetheless ... One that will most likely affect her daily fashion for years to come.  Yes, our Waverly Maye had her ears pierced.  As may be expected, it was planned by mom much to the disappointment of dad.  I made the appointment a few weeks ago (at the doctor, rather than at Claire's or The Icing), and knew my husband wouldn't share my excitement for the event. However, after some convincing ... He didn't argue my need to adorn our baby girl with a pair of studs in those precious ears.

Like mother, like daughter ... As I also had my ears pierced as a baby.  However, times have certainly progressed as Waverly had lotion applied to her ears to numb them and she didn't even feel a thing.  Our wiggleworm was hardly quiet when she had to sit still on my lap in order for the nurse to perform the piercing, yet she was smiling within minutes.  And those sparkly studs look rather adorable on that cute face.  In fact, they are so cute I think my husband secretly likes them himself.  He just won't admit it. 

Side View the Next Day ... With her "Aunt" Niki! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

To Grandmother's House We Go ...

As previously posted, our Waverly Maye has spent the last week with a few people other than Mommy, since this was my first week of work.  Truthfully, if it wasn't for these few family members & close friends... I probably would have quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom rather than drop our sweet girl off at daycare.  But luckily, Waverly had her Li-Li watch her on Monday/Wednesday, a family friend on Tuesday/Thursday, and my grandparents this past Friday.  It was an eventful week, but our baby girl exceeded our expectations and adapted perfectly.  (Almost TOO perfectly ... I was hoping she would need her Mommy a little more ... :) ).

Li-Li spends tons of time with Waverly and Taylor is a babysitter by profession at the moment, so if I was slighty nervous about any day - it was most likely Friday.  Not that my Momma & Papa aren't two of my favorite people in the world, and not that they didn't watch me quite often as a child ... But our sweet Waverly can be a bit high-maintanence and certainly has her unique personality traits.  (She most likely takes after her mother, and therefore can have her dramatic moments.)

But, according to my grandmother, the day was not as high drama as I might have predicted.  I came to their house to find a peaceful, sleeping baby.  Of course, she was in Momma's arms, as I assume she was all day ... But you can't spoil a baby, right?  Because all I want to do when I come home to that face is hold her tight all afternoon & evening long.

I am thankful for a successful first week and my happy baby girl ... And those special people who are her happy when I can't be there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Waverly Maye's Three Month Report

Age:  Three Months

Height:  Since Waverly doesn't have a doctor's appt. until next month, she hasn't had her height checked since two months.  So ... I don't know her exact height. But if she is going at the same rate, she is about 23 inches.

Weight:  Waverly was weighed last week, and she was 11 pounds & 3 ounces.

Milestones:  Waverly is becoming more vocal each and every day.  She has a high-pitched squeal that she uses at least daily, especially when she is extra excited.  She will make direct eye contact and coo over and over all of the time, especially when she is being changed.  She is so strong and can hold her head up perfectly, although she doesn't like tummy time so she hasn't rolled over yet.  She has been kicking her legs (and staring at them)and wiggling like crazy, and in the past week has started to try to lift her head to get out of her swing!  We better watch out! 

Sleep:  Waverly is pretty much only getting up once a night now.  She has fallen into a routine of going to sleep by 8, and waking up between 2 and 3 for about thirty minutes to eat.  We still are putting her in the swing to sleep since it is her favorite ... although we have every intention of moving her to the crib at some point soon.  (Mommy's not too excited about that!)

Eating:  Breasfeeding has been smooth and really enjoyable for a while now .. so smooth that the problem turned into one with the bottle!  Since mommy went back to work this month, Waverly had to get used to a bottle for several times a day.  Although it was definitely rough the first few times we tried, she is finally getting used to it and isn't putting up as much of a fight!

Favorite moments:  Waverly smiles all day long, and each times she does, it completely warms my heart.  I love when she first wakes up (because I miss her when she sleeps), when we have our little talks, and definitely when we breastfeed.  Specifically, I love our final, long feeding every night at about 7 pm.  And since I have gone back to work this month, I love coming home to that sweet, sweet face.

Worst Moments:  Waverly got sick for the first time this month.   Our poor baby was stuffed up, sneezing, coughing ... And she definitely got it from me as I had it the week before.  We had to use the aspirator to clear her nose and she hated it!  We felt so bad! 

Extra Comments:  Waverly Maye is so alert now, and although I don't want her to grow up so quickly ... I love how fun she gets each day.  She is able to interact more, to make better eye contact, and it couldn't make me happier.  To watch her develop and grow is the most rewarding thing in the world.

Favorite Moments

Worst Moments

Extra Comments

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Drama in the Department Office

Day two of my return to work was even more bearable than day one ... Waverly only woke up once in the night, leaving me with more sleep, I was less nervous and a little more prepared, and I was mentally more aware that the day would go by fast and I would be home with my baby girl before I knew it.

However, there was one slight hiccup.  A hiccup I have since laughed off ... But that I must mention.  During my second block, the time I have allotted for my pumping session, I walked down to our department office just as I did the day before.  The difference?  This time ... I ended up walking back with milk soaked down my brand new turquoise shirt, just in time to meet & greet my brand new third block.  Enough said.  It's a story I'll share with our Waverly Maye one day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day One: Check!

I made it.  The first day back to work after a rather long maternity leave with my first daughter is officially over.  A little painful, yes ... but over indeed.  And hopefully, it only gets easier from here on out.

Truthfully, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  It was the hours leading up to the actual drive to work that were the worst.  Like, for example, when I cried in the paper products aisle at Kroger, while searching for ziplock bags to pack my lunch.  Or, the second cry later that evening while packing Waverly's large bag of items for the following day.  The final emotional moment was this morning, when I had to say good-bye to my sweet girl as she slept in her swing.  But once I actually got to work, it went by so fast that I didn't have time to continue my emotional downward spiral.  While I definitely missed her precious face, I was able to get hourly updates complete with photos and descriptions (I am so thankful for the iphone).  And it was actually nice to get dressed, do my hair, and be back at a job that I really do enjoy.  I forgot how much I do appreciate the company of my students and teaching one of my true passions.  But the best part of the day, without a doubt?  Coming home to my number one passion at 2:30 this afternoon, and getting to spend the rest of the day with her.  It was like Christmas in October.

Ready for my first day bag & lunchbox. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Princess @ the Pumpkin Patch

I love fall.  I always have. I adore wearing boots & jeans, sipping on a hot coffee, the changing of the leaves, and, if you live in Virginia Beach, the time when the tourists head out and leave our hometown a lot less hectic. And even though dressing up on Halloween has never been my favorite (I would rather just wear a cute outfit ... Lame, I know), the sight of pumpkins & hay have always easily put me n a good mood.

So without a doubt, ever since I found out that I had a Brickner-to-be in my belly ... I have looked forward to sharing the joys of the fall season with my baby.  Obviously, Waverly didn't quite understand our visit to the pumpkin patch over the weekend.  In fact, she wasn't in quite the celebatory mood I was (due to the start of her cold that we didn't yet know about). But nevertheless, we walked her through the patch, showed her the hay & variety of pumpkins, and of course, took the. Obligatory series of pictures along the way.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Inevitable

As much as I've tried to "forget" the reality of what will come bright & early on Monday morning ... It's time to face the end of my maternity leave and start to my 2012 school year. It has been four months since I had to set my alarm clock, pack my lunch, or lay out my outfit for the next day.  I haven't heard the calls for "Mrs. Brickner," the sound of the school bell, or had a need to take attendance.  This departure from school and my normal routine has certainly been welcomed, and replaced with some major life-changes.  Since June, I have desperately awaited the end of my pregnancy, welcomed my beautiful daughter, and transitioned into motherhood.  It has been eventful, to say the least, and with its craziness ... The thought of returning to work hasn't been at the forefront of my mind.

But it's here.  The thought of leaving our Waverly Maye for seven hours a day, Monday - Friday, is almost unbearable.  I will miss that sweet face so much that I am not sure how I will get in the car, and the thought of not being there for each feeding, smile, and possible milestone really does bring tears to my eyes. But it is inevitable, and therefore, I must look at the positives. She will be in good hands, I can come home to her by three each day, and I have the summer to look forward to.  And the truth is, I do love my job and look forward to seeing the kids and to having a reason to dry my hair & put on make-up again. 

So ... I am prepared for a tough morning, first day, and week back (and I know I won't be the first to experience this, as there is a section of cards dedicated for moms first day back to work at Target, a search on google, and several books on the subject).  But I know it will get easier, and eventually, will be to best scenario for both of us.  And no matter what, we have the summer.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

She Found that Thumb ...

In her first 10 weeks of life, Waverly Maye and her pacifier have had a love/hate relationship.  At some points of the day, it is a lifesaver.  She grasps onto it for dear life and it seems to be the singr,e best baby purchase that we made.  (Specifically, when she is sitting in her car seat, more than a little angry to be restrained by its two tight straps).  At other moments, she abruptly spits it out, seemingly angry that we would even consider giving her such a silly thing.

Well, it seems we have moved on ... to something we didn't have to purchase and that is pretty adorable, if you ask me.  I woke up the other night to Waverly fiercely sucking her thumb.  She found it.  And liked it.  She has been back at least daily since, and even though she hasn't quite figured out the typical maneveuer yet ... it seems to be the perfect self-soother for her.  And as a result, we have benefited from a little more sleep in the Brickner household, as she has only has needed to wake up once a night since.

Day Two After Finding Her Thumb. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Sweet, Sick Girl

It seems lately there is a first for everything ... although today's first is not as positive as many of the others we have experienced lately.  Our sweet, innocent baby girl is sick for the first time.  There is nothing worse than hearing your baby sniffle, sneeze, and cough when you can't do anything about it.      I just want to make it all better for our Waverly Maye, and have been snuggling her close to at least make this first illness a little more bearable.

The good news?  Even with a stuffy nose and watery eyes, Waverly manages to crack a smile.  Somehow my baby girl completely brightens each and every one of my days, every single day since the day she was born. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spunky Waverly

I have this feeling that our Waverly Maye is going to have quite the personality. Even at just over two months old, she shows her sweet, spunky, and silly traits throughout the day ... and truly, you never know what you are going to get.  We call her our little drama queen, a nickname I have also been known to have.  :)

Yesterday, Waverly met a baby her age for the first time.  One of my mother's closest friends  became a first-time grandmother one month before our Li-li, and her grandson is Brady.  Needless to say, Waverly was batting her eyes at "Baby Brad" in no time.  She was smiling & talking while making complete eye contact across the table, minutes before having a little meltdown in the middle of the Lynnhaven food court.  All while Brady chilled on his grandmother's lap. 
Oh, gotta love our crazy baby girl.  They say ... "Like mother, like daughter."