Saturday, March 26, 2011

Her Birthday in Photos

Well the birthday festivities are finally over. We had a quiet evening at home for her birthday and then a small party with family today. Caitlyn really enjoyed herself.

Here are some photos of the last few days. We got really lucky with the pictures, some of her facial expressions are just priceless.

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Her first experience with balloons. Love the look of wonder and excitement.

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I'm not sure what was going on here, we were in the middle of opening gifts when this picture was taken.

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So focused

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My little book lover.

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and of course the cake pictures, she sure loved that cake.

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It's back to work for me Monday. My maternity leave is officially over and its time to reenter the working world. I'll be taking some tips from Leah and making sure I'm organized the night before. Hopefully the transition from stay at home mom to working mom goes good. Caitlyn has had a couple of days at daycare already and seems to really enjoy herself so that makes me feel a bit better about having to leave her.
 I'll let you know how I make out next week. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Challenge - Week 1

Have you read about Ruby and Leah's Spring Challenge? It's a 12 week challenge designed to help you include healthy living in your day to day life.

I'm really excited about participating, especially because they are including a Diet, Fitness and Life challenge each week. Remember my 2011 Goal to focus on my health, this is going to get me started. Yes, I realize its 3 months into the year but better late than never right?

Here's how I've done so far:

Week 1

Diet Challenge: Eat More Fruit

I got lucky with this challenge. Grapes were on sale this week at the grocery store and I happen to love them so I bought a whole bunch. Add in some oranges and apples and I was a fruit eating machine.

The best part, fruit pie counts towards the goal. Why? because Ruby said so.

 



Fitness Challenge: Set Up a Six Week Fitness Plan

As soon as I saw this I knew what my fitness plan would include. I have aspired to be a runner for 3 or 4 years now but I can never seem to get a routine going where I run enough to be good at it. Running with no endurance sucks and sticking with it long enough to build endurance is really tough.

March 28th my mat leave will be over and I'll be returning to work. There's a gym across the street from my office and my intention is to spend my lunch hour at the gym a minimum of 3 times a week. This way I can work out without it cutting into my evening time with Caitlyn.

Giving myself a week to get back into the grove this plan will officially start April 4th. Its a simple plan really:
  • Go to the gym Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. 
  • Spend 30 minutes on the treadmill doing interval running. 
  • Track improvements of my overall time and distance on a weekly basis.
I tried looking into learn to run programs however I'm not sure they're right for me. I know that I can run longer than a run 2 min walk 1 min interval that those programs typically start with. I think the best thing is to track my runs the first week and then plan for improvements from there. Hopefully at the end of 6 weeks I can officially say I'm a runner rather than someone who just aspires to run.

Life Challenge - Start a new book

This challenge was actually pretty easy for me since I've been reading quite a lot lately. I've found that in the evenings before I go to sleep doing a little reading really helps me unwind. My current list of favorite authors include: Kelley Armstrong and Jodi Picoult. I've also been reading a bit more about eating habits lately. This week I'm reading through Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and I'm heading out soon to pick up Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet from our local library.

I'm really interested in seeing what everyone else doing the challenge is reading. I'm always looking for new authors and books. Sometimes I can wander our local Chapters for hours just trying to find the right book to read.

So there we have it week one challenge complete!

Here's some pictures from our birthday play date.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Caitlyn!

Well it's here, her birthday. As of 5:38pm March 23rd, 2011 Caitlyn is 1 year old. Its been a year of joy, learning and struggles. But most of all its been a year of love. Love for my daughter who was so much more than I imagined she would be. Love for my husband, who is the best father I could have wished for. Love for my family and friends, who have been a part of her life and supported me during this past year. 

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I started this blog a few weeks after Caitlyn was born so while I did a quick summary of how our family came to be, I never did a true birth story for Caitlyn. In honor of her birthday and before I forget I thought I would share that story today.

Caitlyn's Birth Story:

Her story actually starts two days before her birthday. Sunday March 21st 2010, Brock and I were having a quiet evening at home. I was 35 weeks pregnant and still working. Brock was messing around with the stereo, as he often does, and was playing the Black Eyed Peas new song Boom Boom Pow pretty loud with lots of base.



As the song was playing Caitlyn kicked me harder than she ever had before. It was painful! She kicked me more than once and I actually made Brock turn off the song convinced that it was what was causing Caitlyn to kick so hard. I still smile every time I hear that song.

That night I went to bed thinking nothing more of her earlier kicks. At 4am Monday March 22nd, I woke up to go to the bathroom for what must have been the third time that night. Except this time was different, my underwear and pants were all wet. I actually smelled them to check if I had peed myself (too much info? maybe). Turns out it wasn't pee after all, my water broke. I blame the Black Eyed Peas. That kick from earlier started this chain of events.

Brock and I were totally unprepared, I was only 35 weeks after all. I was supposed to have at least 2 weeks left before Caitlyn joined us. We left for the hospital with just my purse. No bag filled with labor stuff or baby things for Caitlyn to come home in. Just me and my i.d.

We showed up at the hospital and got checked in. They attached the monitors to me and checked to make sure everything was ok. We called our parents and our moms came to London to be with us. I called in sick to work since my maternity leave wasn't set to start for two more weeks. After several hours labor was not progressing and I was told it could be another week or two. So the moms headed home as did Brock and I settled in for what could have been a very long week. Luckily I didn't have to wait after all.

At 1 am Tuesday March 23rd I started getting some consistent contractions. I called Brock back to the hospital around 4am, a full 24 hours after my water broke. Contractions started coming stronger and stronger, for someone who wanted a "natural" labor I was in shock at how painful it was. Given that Caitlyn was coming 5 weeks early I was stuck on the monitors the entire labor and unable to move around, all the pain relief techniques you learn in your prenatal class went out the window. After the first contraction that made me cry I asked for an epidural. It was probably the best decision of the day :)

We decided not to call our parents right away, our moms had already missed a day of work and I didn't want to call them back to London if nothing was happening. Once we knew that Caitlyn was coming for sure we called our parents and asked them to come up later that day. It was really great having just Brock in the labor room with me. He was so wonderful the entire day and it was a very special time that the two of us got to share. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

By 3:00 that afternoon I was ready to start pushing, it was so much more tiring than I expected. Brock and I got into a great little routine early on. Between each push he would wipe my brow and offer me a sip of water. I remember telling him not to push my bangs up because I didn't want them sticking straight up in the pictures after she was born. Little did I know I would have a huge swollen head and two black eyes. Did I mention pushing was hard?

At 5:38pm she was born. They took her off to the side of the room right away to check her and make sure she was ok, since she was premature. She scored a 9 on the apgar scale, weighed 6lbs 1oz and was 18 inches long.  I can barely remember the first time I held her, I just know that I had that moment. You know the one people talk about where you fall in love right away with that little person you just brought into the world. Yup, that was me. I loved her right from the start.

She surprised us by coming early and we were so lucky that she was fine. Brock on the other hand got sprayed with placenta blood just before he went out to tell my father everything went well and we were both healthy. I can just imagine people's faces when he walked out of the delivery room with blood all over his shirt. I remember crying when I saw my mom for the first time after Caitlyn was born. I was so happy that everything was ok.

There aren't many pictures of myself that I'm willing to share from that day. Did I mention the swollen head and black eyes? Yeah no one bothered to tell me about that until all the pictures had been taken and the visitors were gone for the day. I found out when I went to the bathroom for the first time after she was born. Needless to say, the pictures aren't pretty :)

What I will share are a few pictures from the past year as we've watched our baby girl grow.

Day she was born

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1 Month

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2 Months

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3 Months

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4 Months

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5 Months

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6 Months

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7 Months

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8 Months

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9 Months

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10 Months

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11 Months

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1 Year

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Happy Birthday Caitlyn!! I can't believe you're 1 year old already. It feels like just yesterday you were still in my tummy growing like crazy but really you've been out and a part of our lives for a whole year already. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me and I love you so very much! Happy Birthday baby girl!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

There's a Toddler in Our Midst

Caitlyn's 1st birthday is in 3 days. I'm not ready for this, I'm not ready to have a one year old. It feels like I just got used to having a baby and now I have a little toddler.

Caitlyn has changed a tremendous amount in a very short period of time.

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She understands lots of different words now. My personal favorite is when we are in bed every morning and Brock's alarm goes off I'll say "wake up Daddy" and she immediately crawls over to him and either crawls on top of him, slaps him or pulls his hair to wake him up. Sometimes I don't even have to tell her to do it she just automatically heads over and wakes him up.

Babbling like crazy! This kid has entire conversations these days and gets so excited while she's talking. She's saying Mama and Dada (especially Dada) a lot more these days. She seems to sing and when she hears the song "When you're happy and you know it clap your hands" she actually claps. Its amazing to watch her.

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She is loving her food and mine. It seems like now every time I have anything to eat I'm sharing with Caitlyn. She comes right over and starts begging for whatever it is that I'm eating. This is a good thing for me actually, might encourage me to make better choices if I'm sharing with her. She wants to eat from my spoons and drink from my cups (a little messy of course).

When we make her breakfast in the morning she goes crazy following us around the kitchen. She pulls herself up on the cupboards or on my legs trying to get at her breakfast on the counter. We don't have to carry her to her high chair anymore. Just call her and she crawls right over ready to eat.

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Her laughter is so contagious. We play games with her where I'll hold her and Daddy chases. She laughs so much we can't help but laugh with her. I love how easy it is to make her happy.

She has eight teeth! That's right, four on the bottom and four on top. I can't believe how fast the top ones have come in considering how long it took for the first two to come out. I'm really hoping we get a little break from teething before her molars start showing up.

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Wednesday we'll be celebrating her very 1st birthday.  I wanted to thank you for taking the time to follow the journey of her first year. I hope that so far you've enjoyed reading this blog as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Can't wait to see what her 2nd year will be like.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shower or Blog?

After a rough night with teething, Caitlyn is enjoying a morning nap and I was left with the choice to shower or blog. Obviously I chose to blog and I'm hoping that Caitlyn will sleep long enough for me to shower as well.  Aren't you all glad I have my priorities straight?

Last night she had one of her eye teeth break through finally and her two front top teeth have made some progress and are getting bigger. This totally explains the screaming baby Brock and I were dealing with at 3:30am. I hate when she's so upset from teething pain, its the kind of thing that you can't really cuddle away. We gave her some Advil and she ended up spending the rest of the night in our bed with us which seemed to help.

Caitlyn is getting much faster and more adventurous with her crawling and she's cruising the furniture all the time now. I thought it would be a great time to bring out this tunnel that our cousin's neighbor gave us.  She was very apprehensive at first and the only way I could get her to crawl through the tunnel was to stick the T.V. remote in the middle so she would go after it. Most of the time we don't let her touch the remote unless of course I'm trying to bribe her to do something. Yes its mixed messages, hopefully I don't damage her too much :)

Makes for cute pictures though...

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