Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I know what you're thinking...

ugh, another venting post!

I know, I know, but like I said, I've been pretty crabby lately and I need to vent.  And if I can't do it on my personal blog, where can I do it?  And if you don't like it, that's ok, I respect your opinion and you can go right ahead and stop reading.

When I was pregnant, I remember telling Justin how glad I was that we finally had a reason to make our friends and family come to visit us, instead of us always doing the footwork.  Boy, it seems that I was wrong.  I feel like all I've been doing for the past 7 months is packing or unpacking from a trip with our baby.  How is this fair?

When I first started really thinking about it this week, it made me pretty angry.  Now that I've had more time to digest, it really just makes me sad.  Before, we (Justin and I) weren't important enough for people to come see us, but now Kayla isn't even important enough.  Thinking about it makes me want to cry.  I want to show Kayla off to everyone because I just think she's the bees knees, but I'm kinda tired of doing all the work.  And it's taking its toll on us.  I blame this partially for our sleeping difficulties.  How can Kayla get into a routine of any sort when I'm constantly shoving her into a new environment and asking her to sleep at least as well as she does at home.  It's not fair to her at all.

I can't wait to get settled on our own, when I will finally be able to start really enforcing my rules for myself and our little family:

  1. If you want to see your daughter/son/granddaughter/niece/brother/sister/friend you can get your ass in a car and come see us.  I'm done traveling so much with her. (This may seem harsh but if I've learned one thing as a mom, it's that I don't care what anyone else thinks when it comes to the health/happiness of my daughter.)
  2. Mommy is joining and gym and possibly getting a personal trainer and going to said gym at least 3 times a week.  (Clearly, said gym might need to have a little child care area.)
  3. Mommy is finding and joining a moms group so she has some interaction with people besides a 7 month old.
  4. Kayla will be in her very own room that is quiet and dark and peaceful so she can finally feel comfortable sleeping.
  5. Mommy will learn to cook and make dinner at least once a week (to start.)
  6. Once a weekend, we will have "family time."  (Nothing big necessarily, just a set time to just BE together.)
  7. Mommy is going to make a much better effort to talk with her family and friends more regularly.
For now, that's all I can think of.  I realize some of my recent posts may upset people, and I'm sorry, but I'm really not trying to discretely point anyone out, I'm just speaking about our lives in general.  Part of it may be that pesky post-partum depression popping up again, but I'm ready to get our life back to semi-normal and figure out a way to make myself happy as a wife AND mommy now.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Not in the mood

I am not in the mood to blog.  I'm not in the mood to talk.  I'm not in the mood to take pictures or video.  I'm really not in the mood to do anything but sleep, or somehow figure out a way to get my 7+ month old to sleep better at night so that her dad and I can get better sleep.  Frankly, I know I'm not fun to be around right now.

Our lives being held in limbo for 5 months, my lack of interaction with anyone besides a 7 month old, my lack of any significant sleep due to a restless baby and being unable to fall asleep after being woken up, they all add up to one thing...

One extremely crabby Mommy.

A recent friend I made, kinda through my blog and kinda through my husband, has had it the worst I've ever heard with sleeping, even worse than me.  Her son is almost 13 months old and just recently started not waking up every 2-3 hours.  She has so kindly passed along her Mombie crown to me...Gee thanks! ;)

And for those trying to figure that out, I did too.  It took me a few minutes but let me help you out:

Zombie + Mom = Mombie

Sorry for the downer post but I'm tired of putting on a front.  Until I'm less crabby...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Great Grandpa Markowski

My paternal grandfather (one of Kayla's FOUR great grandfathers) turned 90 yesterday!!

When we took Kayla to meet my family in April, he got a little light headed and dizzy at church.  He ended up in the hospital while we were visiting (luckily he got to meet Kayla before all this happened.)  He wound up having to have a pacemaker put in, but he is doing so great!  He still loves to garden, and work in the basement, and help my grandma cook.  He's always been a quiet guy, but he is the most kind and hospitable person.  Ever since I was little, every time you walk into their house he always asks what you want to drink.  I'll always remember him going up and down the stairs to the basement to make us Shirley Temples (a Markowski child drink of choice.)  He used to make little wooden Christmas ornaments around the holidays.  And he always has the nicest flowers.

I am so blessed to have been able to grow up and really get to know all four of my grandparents and I can only hope Kayla will be as blessed!!

Happy 90th Birthday Papa!!  We love you!!
<3 Melissa, Justin & Kayla


Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Favorites

  • The way Kayla crawls as fast as she can for something soft and fluffy (i.e. pillow pet, dog bed, furry blanket) and dives head first into said soft thing and comes back up smiling.
  • How Kayla bends over to look under the cabinets/couch to find out where that ball she was just playing with rolled to.
  • The way Kayla has SO much to say!  She is really loving learning all the different tones and decibels her voice can hit.  She like in a constant state of talking.
  • Movies...almost any kind (especially old musicals I love that are on "The Unsinkable Molly Brown.)
  • Rainy days when Kayla takes long naps.
Happy Friday...enjoy the rainy weekend (if you are on the East Coast.)


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mother Nature

Mother nature seems to have blessed us with her awesome presence this week.

This week, Kayla has survived a 5.8(ish) earthquake, during which mommy ran around like a chicken with her head cut off.  I was scared.  I had literally NO idea what was going on.  I thought the house might collapse, but I wasn't sure what to do.  I wanted to run up and grab Kayla from her crib, but she was peacefully sleeping.  So I stood outside her door for a few minutes until it was over.  She slept through it.  Since then, we've had I think 5 after shocks, and last night at 1:08 am one that was a 4.2 (I think.)  Kayla had been sleeping like an angel up until this point (with a small waking at around 11 when she put herself back to sleep) and after that, she was up like 3 or 4 more times.  Rough night.

And this week, we are supposed to get hit by hurricane Irene.  I have a sort of sick obsession with the names of the hurricanes and the projected paths etc.  This started when I moved to Virginia for college and it actually mattered to me. :)  I remember my first big hurricane in college.  My parents were in town to visit and we were supposed to go to the football game on a Thursday night.  They were playing Texas A&M.  My football player friend was letting me use his seats...mid field maybe 6 or 7 rows up.  Well it was pouring due to hurricane Isabel, and I had a big weekend of volleyball games, but I wanted to go with my parents at least for a little bit.  Well, my dad doesn't leave football games early, even during hurricanes.  I was freezing and hardly remember the game, but I'll never forget that night with my parents!  (Hokie football rocks.)

I wanted Kayla to remember the name of her first hurricane (and Lord knows I'll forget) so I wanted to write the post to mark this milestone.

So this week, Kayla will (most likely) have experience her first earthquake and hurricane.  Crazy mother nature.

This post is dedicated to Aunt Megan, who said yesterday if she has to listen to one more person mention they can't believe we are going to have an earthquake and a hurricane all in the same week...(insert idle threat here.)

Where's Kayla?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Double edged sword

If this isn't a double-edged sword, I don't know what is...

I don't think it's any secret my baby isn't the greatest sleeper at night.  I've come to terms with this, but what really rubs me the wrong way is that every time she wakes up at night, it takes me about 1-1.5 hours to fall asleep afterwards.  So I really can't blame Kayla entirely for my sleepiness, but what the heck is to blame?  Maybe stress or thinking about a lot of things.

I guess on the positive side it gives me a lot of alone time to read!  I really have missed reading.  Watch out kindle and Nook color, here I come!

I'd say I find her like this 80% of the time when I go get her from a nap or in the morning.

Side note about my attempt to become a photographer:  I think my biggest milestone at this point in my learning is trying to get my camera to focus on what I want it to and not have a ton of blur from camera shake...any tips?  And please don't tell me to use manual focus...I'm just not there yet. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

7 Months

(and a day technically.)

Dear Kayla,

Today (yesterday) you turned 7 months old.  I can't believe how fast the time is flying and how grown up you already feel to me.  You have gone from being a little tiny, gassy baby who didn't move much besides her legs and head to a still comparatively small little human being who loves to crawl and climb on everything and sits like I would imagine any adult would sit.  I can't say that I have loved every single second of the past 7 months, but the seconds I have loved far outweigh the ones I didn't....far outweigh.  Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and redo some of those moments and change how I reacted to them, but I will always focus my memories on all the wonderful times we've had, because I don't get to be a new mom again.  I now miss those times when you were tiny and more cuddly, but I absolutely love watching you grow and learn everyday.

Here are some things you love or have learned this month:

You love to eat any and all kinds of fruits, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, pumpkin, but you sure do hate green vegetables.  We tried to give you some finger foods like pears, broccoli, and avocado but you just really aren't sure yet.  You really love the little melt in your mouth snacks we bought for you though, and those mum mums for your poor teething gums.  You have learned to drink out of a sippy cup on your own!  But you have a brand preference for sure.

You still aren't sleeping too great.  We are officially down to 2 pretty good naps at pretty much the same times during the day, but you still like to have some mommy and me time at night.  I'm starting to come around to this since soon I'll have to go back to work and I'm really going to miss getting to see you all the time.

You hate to sit still.  Like, hate it.  Attempting to take these monthly photos is becoming significantly harder.


But I can almost always get you to smile, which really brightens my day.


You also have a new found love of shaking things.  I love to watch you from the bottom of the stairs sitting contentedly and shaking on of your little balls or tumblers and just smiling at me because you are so proud of yourself.


You love your toy box, sometimes it seems even more than the toys that are in it.  And literally everything goes to your mouth.  Part of me wishes those little teeth will come through for all of our sakes.


You love to use your toy box to help you stand up and then you proceed to pull of your toys out and throw them on the floor.  I want to be upset at the mess you are making but you are just too cute to be mad at.  So I put them back in and you pull them back out, it's like our own little game.



Speaking of standing, sometimes you let go all together and can stand on your own for 3-4 seconds before you slowly lower yourself down when you get a little scared because you don't know what you are doing.  I'm encouraging this new growth.  Although it's a struggle between being so proud of all your new milestones and really wanting the time to stop so I can enjoy you for a second.



You love to crawl as fast as you can towards your pillow pet, or the big furry blanket or into the dog bed and dive into it rubbing your face all over it to feel the texture.  Really, you just love to crawl, especially toward the stairs now-a-days.


You transition so easily from crawling to sitting to standing to sitting to crawling to lying.  It's so amazing to me how far you have come in just a month!  Sometimes I think you might be a model because you have this new pose you like where you sit on one hip and prop yourself up on your elbow, with your legs crossed of course.  You can practically pirouette on your butt.  You are amazing. :)


When daddy and Aunt Megan get home from work, you always give them a big smile and begin flapping your arms like a bird and yelling in excitement.

And you (and I) sure love our new favorite cloth diapers, and this one is in Mommy's favorite color!


You love mirrors.  It's like you are wondering who that cute baby is and then you want to touch her, so you reach out for your own hand.

Sometimes, I can just tell your mind is reeling trying to think of what you want to do and how you are going to do it.


You had a little fight with bath time for a few days there, but now you realized it's just as fun as the pool because you can wave your hands and slap the water to make it splash all over you and anyone in your vicinity.

You love to talk to me with your one syllable words like bah and pah and I think your first word may have been "up" (which was apparently a favorite words of your mommy's when she was little.)  And you love to blow raspberries and make all sorts of noises with your little lips.  You have so many funny and adorable faces.


You also started to discover that objects have permanence and it's no longer out of sight out of mind.  I can tell because if something rolls under the couch or cabinet, you bend your little body in half and tilt your head to the side to look underneath.  The little head cocked to the side trying to see behind my back where I hid that toy I was just rattling in your face to get you to look at the just kills me.


I love those blue grey eyes, just like mommy's.

You laugh and smile all the time.  If the only "negative" thing about you is that you wake up once a night because you are a little hungry, or maybe just want some mommy time, I will take it.  Because you are probably one of the happiest babies I know.  Your smiles have changed from gummy smiles with mostly lips to these giant open mouthed smiles, where you show off not only your two little bottom teeth, but all the gums on top and bottom.  You play by yourself and then all of the sudden will just look at me and smile.  I can make you laugh by doing the silliest of things, like clapping your feet together when I'm changing your diaper, or tickling your chin, or tickling your forearm when you are holding my hand when I put you down for naptime or bedtime, or rubbing my nose on the bottoms of your feet.  And daddy makes you giggle every night when he gets home from work.  I can't even describe in words how much I love that laugh.  Love is just bursting out of me for everything about you. One day you will understand, when you have a daughter (or son) of your own.




I love you more and more each day and I can't wait to see where the next month will bring us!



Monday, August 22, 2011

NMM 8/22/11

Be patient with yourself.  
This is definitely on-the-job training.

No real blog post since I'll probably be posting later today, or early tomorrow morning; but here are some recent iPhone photos.
In my new Ragababe Star Candy diaper :)
I really love bottles

This is how I usually find her post naps

And this :)

She loves to be like this playing with toys...kinda weird but I love her

Weekend morning family time :)

She's looking for her toy under the cabinet :)

Cross off #100

I have officially ridden a mechanical bull. thanks to Red Rock Bar on Water Street. I also did it with a new friend of mine. Who knew they would let two people ride a bull together?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My love/hate relationship with the kitchen.

Love:  Eating, food
Hate: The entire preparation of the food

Here's the thing.  I love shopping, but I hate shopping at department stores.  It is so overwhelming for me:  too many sections, too many clothes, where do I find what I'm looking for?  So I basically only go into department stores to look for shoes.

This is the same way I feel about cooking.  I really want to become a better cook (or a cook at all for that matter.)  I want to be able to cook for my family, I just don't like it.  I think it starts with the grocery store.  Not only do I not know how to make anything (which can easily be remedied) I don't know what to buy at the grocery store so I don't have to keep going back for more ingredients.  It's easy enough for me to find a recipe that I think sounds delicious, and I could probably even follow the recipe as long as the directions are clear (I'm really good at following directions...seriously.)  But what I don't get it how to have all the ingredients you need for different recipes at home without having to go to the store every time you want to make something new.  Can anyone solve this dilemma for me?

I have multiple things regarding my desire to be a better cook on my 101 list.

  • Learn to cook 10 different dishes
  • Plan weekly meals for my family for 3 months.
  • Find a good homemade spaghetti sauce recipe

So, I need your help lovely readers!  If you have a recipe you love that is relatively simple and quick to make or you have a great homemade spaghetti sauce recipe please leave a link or the recipe in a comment so I can start building my arsenal!  Tell me your shopping strategy at the grocery store!

P.S. For those interested, I made the homemade spaghetti sauce a goal because, if you know me at all, you know I HATE tomatoes and pretty much any tomato products.  I thought maybe if I could find a great recipe I would dislike spaghetti a little less! :)

Oh and today, I'll be making puppy chow.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Few Favorite Things Fridays

Sometimes, I have so many ideas of things to write about, and sometimes I feel like I have nothing, hence the reason I started New Mom Mondays.  Well I've been thinking about all the little quirks Kayla has that make me smile and thought it would be good to do a post a week about a few things that make me happy.

Coincidentally, one of the things on my 101 list, #42, is to write down 100 things that make me happy.  So this will be a great way to slowly do that over time.  I'll probably just write down a few bullet points, and it might not be every Friday, but I'll try!  Also, the things won't all be about Kayla, I promise, because there are a lot of other things that make me happy too!

  • Kayla will be climbing all over me one second and the next second she's this independent little stinker crawling around and climbing on everything, pulling all of her toys out of the basket.  But when I look at her across the room and she looks back at me, I love the way she gets this huge smile on her face and starts making a beeline towards me again.  
  • I love that Justin would do anything in the world to make me happy, including staying up with wide-awake Kayla in the middle of a week night to try to get her to sleep when he has to wake up early for work.
  • I love having something to look forward to.  For example, our family trip to Hawaii in a little over 2 months!!! :)
Speaking of which, I took a quick trip to Target yesterday with Megan for some baby essentials...

Check out these adorable sandals for our trip to Hawaii! :) (BTW these were NOT the essentials I needed to get, they were just a bonus.)

Do you like the effect I chose in PS?  I'm trying to branch out from plain old editing. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Poor Baby

Kayla hasn't ever been sick in her nearly 7 months of life.  This week, I read a new book called Starting Solids to have some sort of plan on where to go with feeding her, because this seems to be the most confusing thing.  I mean, am I just supposed to wing it?  If you know me at all, I don't "wing it."  When you give me a recipe, you bet your ass it better have specific step by step instructions.  Don't even think about putting any of that "add a pinch of this" crap.

I digress.

The point it, the author talked about all these good starter foods and has some great recipes and good first finger foods, so I wanted to try some new things.  Well this week, I added peaches and yogurt with pears into her diet on the same day (a no-no in some circles.)  Ever since then, she's been REALLY stuffy.  I'm not entirely convinced it was the peaches or the yogurt, and I know it wasn't the pears since she's had those before.  I called the doctor's office today to get some advice (since she screams bloody murder and writhes around with her strong little muscles when I try to get saline up there and suck out some boogers.)  The nurse told me to just do the saline without the bulb syringe and she'll just sneeze it out.  I'll also probably have Justin put the cold mist humidifier in her room tonight.

Whatever it is...I feel really bad for her.  She's so snot-filled it's hard for her to eat so she's not eating well or sleeping that well, but I know she's so tired.  Poor little stinker (thought I took this yesterday and she doesn't seem too upset...)


And just because....quick story.  I hate taking Kayla into public bathrooms because I never know where to put her while I go.  I don't know if you've ever tried to go to the bathroom while holding a wriggly baby, but it's tough.  On our way home from the Midwest in July, the restroom had these....  She seems to really like it there. :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lauren's 101 Update #1

Ok so my sisters are tied for 3rd most important people in the world to me, so going through the 101 things list with them is special to me.  You can follow Megan's progress on her blog (link on the right).  Well, Lauren doesn't have a blog, so since she is a co-writer on mine, I told her she could post her list here.  As a way to help her keep up with her list, I'm going to add her list to my page above.

Also since she just commented on her list post the things she has completed, I thought I would share it with you all and maybe she'll comment on this post with some more information...or send me some photos I can post! :)

Here is what she has completed so far:
#13:  Run a half marathon
#30:  Give a 100% tip.   Where and whom did you give this tip to, Lauren?  Was it expensive? :)
#44:  Find the perfect pair of jeans.  What kind of jeans, were they expensive?  (Some of you may know I have a slight obsession with jeans...even more so than shoes.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

PA Trip

Justin's dad's cousin lives in (or near) Clarion, PA.  So two weekends ago (I know I'm a bit behind...editing photos takes me some time) we drove up there to see my in-laws and some of Justin's family.

We left on Friday morning pretty early and drove the 4.5ish hours up to the middle of nowhere, PA.  I joked with them that the closest Best Buy was like an hour and a half away.  Really?!?  Well, "Is there a Starbucks here?" I asked...because everyone knows there is a Starbucks EVERYWHERE.  There was one there if you must know.  :)

Anyways, we got there around lunch time on Friday, after a stop at our favorite road trip food source, Sheetz.  We had lunch, played, ate dinner, get the point.  Kayla is full of life nowadays, despite the lack of sleep.  She and her grandpa laughed over a beach ball for about 30 minutes.  She is so entertaining.  Friday night bedtime went pretty much as usual.  Kayla woke up at around 10 crying, so I just fed her and she went right back to sleep.  When Justin and I headed to bed shortly after that, she woke up crying at 11:15 (we managed to get her back to sleep) and 12:15, after which she would cry every time we tried to put her back in the crib.  Basically, she was up and ready to play, FOR 3 HOURS.  I'm not kidding, she was up for 3 hours straight.  I rocked her, walked around with her, laid down with her, we tried everything...and it was miserable.  By far the worst night of her short life.  I finally fed her again at 3ish and went into the other room.  Justin offered to stay up with her while I slept for a bit then we would switch.  Well, apparently she fell asleep shortly after I fed her and Justin was able to sleep for a bit.  On Saturday, everyone else went to watch a little tikes soccer game while Justin and I stayed back to nap while Kayla slept.  And she sure did sleep...she took 2 very long naps (which hadn't been happening AT ALL prior to this.)

What is amazing to me is that, even though she is seriously a terrible sleeper, she still manages to be smiley and giggly and fun during the day when she is up.  I guess I'm blessed by that fact at least...even if I'm exhausted.  The rest of the weekend pretty much involved eating and more playing cards and playing with Kayla.  There was also a birthday party thrown in there.  After that night, she has been slightly back to her normal with sleeping.  I'm still awaiting the day I'm not up at least 1-2 times with her every night.  Oh well, minus Friday night it was a fun weekend.  Enjoy the photos.  :)

On the way up...this is what I look at in the rear view mirror when I'm driving Miss Kayla

Giraffe leggings with onesie...haha

Kayla with Grandma and Grandpa Hales

She literally puts everything and anything in her mouth

Slowly but surely learning to drink from a cup/sippy cup

Family photo
Kicking and playing with her car seat on the way home

P.S. I made these photos really small AND saved them for the web, and they are STILL blurry!!!  Suck it, blogger.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today, the love of my life is 29.

Justin and I are complete opposites.  We like different music.  I love movies, he doesn't care about them practically at all.  He's tall dark and handsome, I'm short(er than him), blonde (normally) and homely. :)  He likes sports and ESPN (which I'm ok with SOMETIMES and depending on the sport), I like reality t.v.  He likes to cook and eat almost anything.  I despise cooking and like to eat what he cooks (mostly).  He likes to sleep the days away on the weekends.  I like to get out and do something, anything really.

Fundamentally, however, we have the same priorities: friends and family come first and foremost.  It's great if you like your work, but really work is what you do so you can do what you want outside of work.  I know he would do anything for me, and Lord knows I'm stubborn and I don't deserve someone like him.  But for some reason, he puts up with me.  It's probably because I gave him the cutest little girl in the world.

I love you more than anything, Justin David Hales, and I am looking forward to at least 50 years more of birthdays, anniversaries and holidays with you and our family.

Here's a look at 7 years of pictures (well almost):

College and immediately post college (for me):

Grad school:

A few engagement photos:

A few wedding photos:

A few pro honeymoon photos:

A some of our new family of 3:

Believe it or not, I have more than this...a lot more I think.  I'll save those for October :).