Sunday, January 31, 2010

Skirting the Issue

One of Morgan's co-workers gave us this outfit. No headbands to match this one. (I have brown bows but she doesn't yet have enough hair for that!)

I moved the changing table downstairs this week...we were not using it in the "baby-themed guest room" and she had almost outgrown the pack-and-play we'd borrowed from a friend. The best part of it? Tummy time! She loves to look out from the top of the changing table...and I have no problem standing there watching her do it!


I've spent a lot of time on the computer the last couple of days. I tried to take as many pictures in her new outfits as I could and spent way too long editing. It was my avoidance...skirting the issue if you will. I have no choice but to go back to work tomorrow...and prepare for it today. (Although I haven't checked my lottery numbers yet...although that is my best plan for avoiding going back to I'm not holding my breath!)

So, this week I am taking a computer break. I have scheduled picture posts this week, but there won't be any commentary.

I think I can...I think I can... I have no choice. I have to do it...

Wish me luck!
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rafa vs. The Mother-in-Law

Rafa and my mother-in-law do not get along...AT ALL.

To be fair, Rafa doesn't get along with anyone who comes to visit. I am the only human he likes. He tolerates the Irishman.

Anytime guests come Rafa gets bent out of shape. He becomes anti-social as soon as he sees suitcases. (It either means someone coming or we are going and he is not a fan of either) Most of our guests have tried to befriend him...but then end result is always the same. I try to give the warning before he attacks antibiotic ointment is needed.

We know this about Rafa...and have come to a point that we expect it. Not like it mind you, but accept it.

But Rafa and my in-laws? That is a hate-hate relationship. The Irishman's mother does not swear...but I've heard her use choice words to describe my first furry child. And the rascal himself? She cannot enter the room or look at him without a hiss.

It is bad enough that Rafa takes it out on me...his one human love. He becomes super needy. I cannot please him and he ends up going for my ankles...which only fuels the choice words about that evil cat. It is a vicious cycle.

My mother-in-law in here until April.

Let's hope they can learn to tolerate each other get along...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Remembering a Namesake

Grandma Jo died two years ago today. The Irishman and I are often reminded of can be the littlest thing. (Like the fact that her ashes are in our living room...) She loved sports...and Brett Favre and Tiger Woods were two of her favorites. I would LOVE to know what she would think of them now!
My uncle used to call her "Chicken Bones." He was the only one allowed to call her that. (She would fuss...but secretly she loved it!) When Caitlin was born, the Irishman said that new babies flop around a bit like a chicken. We decided she was Baby Chicken Bones.

My grandmother had a thing with nicknames. She always called me "Jenny Lea." My mom was always "Laura Jean." The cat before Moses was "Bobby Jo." (A cat only my grandmother could love whose ashes are also in my living room...the things you do for those you love!) Thinking of a "Grandma Jo nickname" was one of the things we thought of when we decided on Caitlin Jo.

I wish Baby Chicken Bones Caitlin Josephine could have met Chicken Bones her great-grandmother. I know they'd have gotten along very well!

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

You've Got Mail

Yesterday I finally took down our Christmas cards. They had been on the wire tree in the dining room. A few weeks ago I planned in my head an entire post about mail.
Caitlin was born in November...and then Christmas in December. That meant we had two months of wonderful mail. Every time we went to the mailbox we had a wonderful card or two waiting for us. It was something we looked forward to each day.
Then came January.
All we got were medical bills, "You've been pre-approved" credit card letters, and junk mail. It was looking bleak.
Then this came:
Mommy to the rescue! (And I think Moses must have known the package was from her...he NEVER gets in the shots!) I LOVE these outfits. There were goodies for all three of us. Super special! Thank you Grandma Laura!
Then I got the Shutterfly freebies I'd ordered. Through my money-saving blog search I found coupon codes for a free 8x8 photobook and a 12x20 calendar poster. Both came last week and are FANTASTIC. We've ordered photo gifts before, but the quality of these items stands out. I have a couple of good coupon codes for more goodies now that I can't wait to use!
I've also ordered diapers from three companies. So far all I've gotten are the pre-folds and a plain cover. I have two more cute covers and two super-cute flower printed pocket diapers on the way. I can't wait for them to come!
For now I am off to finish my thank you notes for all the goodies we got in the mail! (So if we owe you a note, please know it is on the way...)
This morning's "Mission Impossible" morning practice has been a disaster! My mother-in-law got in last night so I didn't shower then like I should have...I said I'd do it during morning nap. Caitlin got up at 5:30...right as I was trying to sneak out of the room. I fed her and put her back down...and it is taking her forever to settle. She is falling asleep and waking back up. I think this is just because we were telling the Irishman's mom about how great she is at night...
Oh, and the outfits that were sent along in Nana's suitcase? Also super cute. There will be many pictures to follow!
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Grandpa Eric

My dad flew to Florida to be with Grandpa Boo for his surgery. It was also his first time seeing Caitlin. Here are a few pictures from his trip:

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beauty in Black and White

I'm not supposed to be blogging right now. I have a to do list of things I am supposed to be doing.
I spent the last 5 minutes starring at a blank word document. I am supposed to be writing out Caitlin's daily routine for my mother-in-law. I can't make myself start. Writing it means it is happening. I know she will be here tonight, so it is happening regardless, but I still can't get myself to start typing.
The interim sub in my classroom called yesterday to ask if I wanted a transition week or not. Part of me wants her out so I can fix make changes without hurting her feelings. The other part of me knows I am going to be a mess on Monday. I also know that they have not yet arranged coverage for my afternoon "pump break" so I said a few days transition would be good. Thankfully she offered to write the lesson plans for next week as well. I can't think about that yet, so it is a help.
I went to the neurologist yesterday. The MRI results are normal...just another couple of hundred dollars paid for peace of mind. She did the nerve conduction test and found that yes, there is pinching in my wrist and elbow...again nothing new.
She tried to test my upper arm. That nerve conduction test there requires a needle in the muscle. As she did it, she was getting feedback on the machine and she kept telling me to relax because the noise was tension in my muscle.
HELLO? You put a NEEDLE in my arm and are moving it around...and you want me to RELAX????
After the THIRD time she poked my arm with the needle and told me to relax I started feeling light-headed. She decided that it wasn't telling her much and she didn't want me to pass out, so we stopped there.
At this point I am going to do the genetic testing for HNPP and hope that explains the numbness...
In the meantime my neck hurts like heck...and there is no neurological explanation. It looks like it is just stress. Great.
The morning schedule "trial run" has already been modified. Caitlin doesn't eat well in the morning. Even if she sleeps 8 hours so does not like a big breakfast. So instead of waking her early for a last feed before work, I am just going to pump and let Morgan feed her a bottle at 7. We tried it today and it seemed to work well. Starting tomorrow we are going to work Nana into the mix. I have early PT so I have to have the schedule written out for her by then...which brings me back to where this post started,
Sorry for the down post...that is kind of where I am at right now. (I have never wanted Caitlin to wake up from her nap as badly as I do right now so that I do not have to face the to do list...)
So, to make up for it, here are my new favorite pictures of Caitlin. She makes me smile.
And as if on cue I hear her in the monitor. I love that girl!
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday GGB!

We love you!

This was from yesterday, but I was up to my eyeballs in alligators so I didn't get to post this in time. I did however have a copy printed and brought it over to her house, so I guess that is what counts. My wonderful cousins Colleen and Stephanie organized a take out birthday dinner and I was able to join them for left overs and dessert once Cailtin went to bed.
The best gift of all? Grandpa Boo is out of the hospital!
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet Dreams

If you look closely you can see the sheep on the dress. Counting sheep leads to sweet dreams for our baby girl!

In preparation for my going back to work we have adjusted our morning routine. After one day...I am exhausted. We have been following the schedules in Save Our Sleep. (I highly recommend it...worth a look if you have a baby or toddler!) Caitlin goes to bed at 7pm, dream feed at 10, and then sleeps until 7am. (With a feed at about 4am or so about 50% of the time) I LOVE this pattern we are in. It it lovely.

And it has to change...

The nursery is not yet a nursery. Right now it is a baby-themed guest room. Until April Caitlin sleeps in the Pack-and-Play about 2 feet from my head. This has been acceptable great until it comes to getting ready for work in the morning.

The little one is in a VERY light sleep pattern from about 4am on. You can hear her kicking, cooing, etc but she will not get up until we get her up at 7am. If I get up to get ready for work, so will she. SO, I've come up with a plan and am giving myself this week to try it out.

I shower the night before and leave my clothes in the bathroom for the next morning. (Although last night I stayed up too late so I showered this morning in the guest room.) To practice I set my cell phone alarm on vibrate and sneak downstairs at 5:30AM.
It is like mission impossible.
Once downstairs the plan is to pump, wash a load of diapers to hang on the line, eat breakfast, and pack my lunch. (Only this week I don't really have to do ALL that so I can blog and bake muffins instead) Then I sneak back upstairs get dressed before waking her up at 6:30 for a last feed before leaving for work. I am supposed to be at school at 7:30.
This week is my trial run...
Yesterday? Caitlin was WAY off schedule. Instead of three naps for 45 to 90 minutes...she took two 30 minute naps. She was MEGA cranky. I miss my old schedule already. I know we will get back on track...but until then...yuck!
Caitlin's newest thing is to eat her hand. She is sucking on her right hand ALL.THE.TIME. She broke her hand out of the velcro swaddle last night and I heard her sucking away on it. The problem is the hand is now sticky and smelly and after a couple of minutes she gets bored with it and starts to cry...not my favorite!
Grandpa Boo is still in the hospital, but could get out today. Today also happens to be Grandma Betty's birthday. Happy Birthday GGB!
I go back to the neurologist this morning so the Irishman has taken the morning off to spend time with the baby girl. It WOULD have been a great morning to sleep in...instead I made banana muffins at 5:30AM. I guess it isn't all bad...
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My grandfather is still in the hospital so I took this picture to him. The new headline reads, GGB tells Caitlin, "Thank you!"

How about those Saints? Grandpa was just turning on the game when I went by to visit yesterday. As a Louisiana native I am sure he appreciated the outcome!

Thinking of you Grandpa!
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Pretty in...Diapers!

Well, I took the plunge and started with the cloth diapers yesterday. So far we have only had one blowout...and it was in the disposable diaper I put her in overnight.
I started with the Thirsties All-in-Ones. These wear like a disposable and were the least threatening of all to put on her. I am really enjoying all the colors.

After her mid-afternoon nap I put on a diaper that requires a cover. I have ordered a few more covers, but so far all we have are these wool "longies." (The ones my friend Laura made for Caitlin.)

Super cute! It is almost enough to make me want to take up knitting to make more covers. (Although somehow I do not think my patience carpel tunnel would work with knitting!)

We actually went all the way through our stash today. I have ordered a few more diapers...some really are super cute. (I found the ones I'd had my eye on for a good price...always exciting!) I spent hours looking through diaper sites and sales the other night and got some impressive deals. We'll see how it goes!


Bottle update: I had to pump and dump after my MRI due to the dye they injected into my system. (It sounds much worse than it is...but still!) I was a bit nervous because it meant Caitlin HAD to take the bottle...and the night before we'd had a two hour battle that ended with her falling asleep before the end of the bottle. Grandpa Eric babysit while I went to my test and Caitlin took the bottle for him without any trouble. We had a total of FOUR bottles yesterday with little to no fussing. Let's hope this is a new trend...


This post has taken me all day to write...and in the middle of it all I got a phone call at about 3pm saying that they are admitting Grandpa Boo to the hospital. He had some pain in his foot and after the surgery they are not taking any chances. Please add him to your prayers!


Today was my last Friday alone with Baby Caitlin until the summer. Nana will be here next week to get used to Caitlin's schedule before I go back to work. I feel like there is a clock ticking...

But for now we have a weekend to enjoy! Take care!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Caitlin got two of these little lambies...and she has recently discovered them! We keep one upstairs and one down. It is soft, just the right size, and it rattles.

I picked this outfit out last week and put it on the bed. The Irishman walked by and said, "Umm...that's a nice outfit." You know you have a winner when even Daddy notices it! Thank you Grandma have good taste.
Side Note: Yes Mom, you did get this twice. I had it scheduled and changed my mind...but for those of you who get e-mails or use a reader you saw it twice. It isn't your imagination.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flower Power & Bottle Update

I am exhausted but trying to stay up just a little bit longer to give Caitlin her dream feed. This post started with the pictures and has ended up all sorts of randomness. Oh, well!

Caitlin took the bottle tonight...but it look two hours and a lot of fussing. (I had physical therapy so I missed about half of it.) It is not what is in the bottle...she is only getting "Mommy milk" regardless but rather the bottle itself. She used to guzzle down bottles like it was no body's business. head hurts thinking about it!

I went to the neurologist today about my numb arm. She has ordered an MRI of my brain and spine so I will get that done Thursday. That should rule out MS and all that other scary stuff...but I've had that done before. Depending on the results she will do nerve conduction test on Tuesday...but again I've had that before as well. She is also looking into genetic testing to see if I have inherited HNPP. No answers yet, but she seemed nice enough and is taking what I say seriously. (Which I've found to be hard to find characteristics in a neurologist!) We'll see how it all goes! Caitlin came along to my appointment today and was very well behaved.
I got an e-mail this afternoon from my brother announcing that he is getting married on Saturday. (As in a few days from now...) He has been engaged for almost a year but it is still a bit of a sudden decision. As it turns out they are going to make it official this weekend for insurance and such, but they will still plan to have the bigger wedding they'd wanted in the fall. I did have to laugh...he accidentally titled the e-mail "undate" instead of "update"...but I thought that was sort of fitting for the occasion at hand. We won't make it, but congrats Jay! (Not that he reads my blog...but that's okay!)
I love this outfit! Thank you Mauree!
Off to bed now...good night!

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Beach Babe

Well, yesterday we DID make it to the beach. What a difference a week makes! This time last week it was in the 40s and raining!
I found this outfit that Morgan's sister sent over in Caitlin's closet...swimwear and a protective hat. We had no intention of swimming yet, but it provided good sun coverage...and cute pictures!

We went for naptime, so Daddy and Caitlin both caught up on their zzzzz's. We'd planned to take a walk, but we were all happy enough to just crash out and enjoy the scenery. It has been about three weeks since our first trip to the beach and we could not get over how much bigger Caitlin is now in the Baby Bjourn. She is growing so fast!
When we got there we noticed a large crowd at the water's edge. It turns out there was a large sea turtle on the beach. The turtle swam off and the crowd dispersed, but it was pretty neat to see! I wasn't quite quick enough with the camera though so you will just have to take my word for it.
It was a beautiful day! This is by far my favorite time of the year for the beach. We brought our beach umbrella today, but I am going to look for a small pop up shade-thing. I saw one at one of the baby stores but it was rather pricey so I'm working on less expensive alternatives. The beach is the perfect spot for an afternoon nap.

We took almost 100 pictures today. Thank goodness for digital cameras! Caitlin was an angel all day. She is a very easy-going baby anyway...but today was something else. (She even burped for the Irishman on cue...that NEVER happens! Burping is not his thing.) She has also found her "voice" and been "talking" to us all weekend. Too cute! We love our baby girl!
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Working Girl

Last week Caitlin and I met up with Daddy for lunch. The Irishman could not help but take his little girl to his office to show her off. I think he would have kept her there all day if he could have!


Friday was a teacher work day so I took a deep breath and went to school to meet with my sub. I enjoyed seeing some of my co-workers and showing off Caitlin, but it was stressful. I cried when the principal came in to talk to me. They were nice and are going to work with me when I go back with pumping and a little space...but I SO do not want to go back.

As one might expect there were a lot of changes made in my absence. Some are little things and some are things I feel strongly about. I am trying to decide if I want to just go with it until the end of the year or if I want to fight the changes...I am not sure what is better. My poor worms in the vermicomposting bin didn't make the transition. The students seem to be making good progress though. The sub has not heard much from the parents...but looking at what I saw I can tell at least three parents are waiting for my return to request a conference. I've already gotten permission from administration to put off any parent conferences for a couple of weeks once I get back.

I know it will be hard...I just have to suck it up and do it. I will be okay. Caitlin will be okay. My class will be okay. Their parents will drive me crazy be okay. There are only 4 and a half months to summer...


On the plus side, we are enjoying Daddy's long weekend.

I love the one of tummy time. It looks like Ernie is also joining in on the fun.

The Irishman has suggested a walk along the beach...if we can find our umbrella. Happy Day!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Worn Out

I have two other posts started...but I was looking though my pictures and decided this is how I feel today. The Irishman took Caitlin for a walk so I have a little while now to put my feet up...although there is a load of laundry calling my name.

It has been a stressful couple of days...not sure exactly why, it just has. Nothing that a bag of jellybeans can't fix though. I may or may not be on my third bag this week...
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

1st Play Date

Caitlin had her first almost play date. We met up with Laura and little Johnny at another local nature preserve for a walk. It was a nice day...upper 60's/ lower 70's. Caitlin enjoyed her nap the fresh air.


Laura (John's mom) is my local cloth diaper expert.

She made Caitlin the pink Diaper cover and gave me a bag with these diaper goodies when we met up. I'm loving it! Too cute!

She has also loaned us the Thirties All-In-Ones and at my shower gave me the Bum Genius.

Now I just have to use them! I want to try cloth, but it is the actually doing it part now. I need to buy detergent...all we have is the fragrance/dye free stuff that is supposed to leave a residue. I am almost ready...I just need to sort out the logistics of a few things and order a few more goodies.


We went back to the pediatrician this morning. One of Caitlin's parents was a little concerned about how she was eating and her weight gain. (She has not been eating well the last couple of day...I think she may just have a slight cold...and then spitting up) My little dear has only taken about an ounce of formula in the week...but she still gained 6 ounces in 5 days. The doctor was pleased...and it means no more formula. The doctor said she looks fine and there was nothing at all wrong with her. (Although we do need to do more tummy time...not very good at that!) Both parents are very happy with the outcome. Now we just have to work on taking the bottle of pumped milk again...


I have spent two days working on this post...and I am not sure what I intended to put here at the bottom. All I can think of is that my grandfather is out of the ICU and recovering well. (Note to self must call tonight...) Thankful to hear he is doing well!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

From One Little Girl to Another

This outfit came from a student at school so I wanted to be sure to get pictures of it to share with her. The little girl picked it out herself and was so excited. She was in my class last year and stopped me in the hall all the time to find out what size item the baby could be compared to each week. (This started last year when the class found out I was expecting and I told them that the baby was only the size of an apple.) This student tracked her progress all the way to pumpkin size.
Yesterday I e-mailed the picture to her mom and got this e-mail back today (with names changed):

Hi Mrs. Irish By Marriage,
Baby Caitlin is so cute! The first picture she was just born. I have to admit that Caitlin will look adorable when she is 10 like me. I miss you soooooooooo much.

Love your student from third grade (Insert Name Here)

P.S. I got an award for being the nicest kid in the class this week.

What a sweetie!


Rafa approves of the outfit! Someone asked me the other day how the cats are doing with the baby. For the most part, they are not bothered. Once in a blue moon they come up to sniff her. The Irishman shuts them out of our room at night and they no longer wait at the door to run in...I think they have found new night time spots. Rafa hates the visitors and demands my complete attention whenever I am NOT holding the baby. He has almost tripped me numerous times by weaving in and out between my legs. His favorite spot is on the computer desk. He keeps a close eye on my as a type. (He is there now and I would take a picture, but that would me revealing the true state of the desktop! Let's just say Rafa is good at maneuvering between the mess!)


I don't think I've mentioned here, but I have had problems with my left arm since Caitlin was born. I noticed some numbness and weakness but was too busy to really do anything about it. When I sat down to pay attention I noticed I'd actually lost muscle tone. It is a struggle to put my hand on my hips or to reach behind my back.

Last week I went to my ortho and he said he thinks it is a pinched nerve and started me at physical therapy. Now on top of everything else I have to fit in therapy 2-3 times a week. (Not to mention the bands they gave me to use for exercises at home is now Rafa's favorite toy...I have to do the stretches with a water bottle in hand!)

Last night at the end of PT I was actually able to reach behind my back! When I got there I couldn't do that...I know it is bad, but I was not expecting quick results. I am still weak though...the easiest motions are a struggle, but at least I can see progress.

I am still numb though and do not have a good explanation so I have a neurologist appointment next week. (But no sitter so Caitlin will come with me.) I am hoping that she will be able to figure this all out!


It has been a rough week feeding wise. We have been offering Caitlin a bottle of formula after every other feed like the doctor said, but she has turned it away. Last night I had PT so the Irishman got to do bedtime on his own. After a lot of frustration, it seems she has decided she doesn't like the bottle. We've fed her 1-2 bottles a week from 2 or three weeks of age...but we'd gotten bad about it. We both tried the bottle with no luck...but she ate when offered Mommy. Errr...I go back to work in two weeks so we have to get this sorted. We use Dr. Browns bottles, but a friend also gave us some Avent so I went out and bought new nipples for those last night. She wasn't any more interested in that. Any advice on this?
In the picture Caitlin's tummy was a bit unsettled and she was fussy. A kiss from Daddy makes anything better though! The picture was taken two days ago...after she spit up a bit and went through three outfits herself...and two for me. Yesterday she was fine with no spit up at all. This morning? I have already washed my clothes, sheets, her clothes, and the Boppy. She is now sound asleep in the swing because I wanted to keep her upright and was afraid she'd spit up again.
Caitlin and I are going into school today for the teacher work day so that I can catch up on where my class is and start to prepare myself. I am so not wanting to do this, but I know I need to. I have tuned out so much that when I talked to the sub in my room yesterday I actually couldn't think of my students' names.
After all the laundry and the late nap and the upset tummy it has already been a crazy day. I was hoping for a smooth morning...but it isn't looking that way! Oh well, you make plans and God (and babies) laugh.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Smiles for Mommy

Somehow Caitlin ended up with LOTS of "Daddy" items. She has onesies, bibs, and more that profess her love for her father. I love it...I do...but I want my turn too!

I got it today...with a smile to go along with it!
Update: Grandpa Boo's surgery went well and the doctor is pleased with things. Thank you for the prayers!
And finally...I've read several blogs today that declare it De-lurking Day/Week/Time of Year. If you happen to be one of those people who visit and read my blog (or any other blog) but haven't gotten up the nerve to leave a comment, this is your chance! I promise it won't hurt. Now to go do some "De-lurking" of my own...
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2 Months

Miss Caitlin is now 2 months old!

We went to the doctor on Monday. She grew another inch, but only gained 10 ounces. Looking at the pictures, I cannot believe it is only 10 ounces. Because of the slow weight gain the doctor is having me supplement with formula...something I really HATE. I know it is not the end of the world, but it is not what I wanted and that frustrates me. For some reason it also makes going back to work seem so much sooner...not the best of days.

Another reason this appointment was less than enjoyable? They thought Caitlin's grandfather was her father...Ewwww! Even worse? It happened more than once. I know my parents are young and look young, but STILL!!!!

Caitlin had to get four shots, so she was extra sleepy yesterday. She spent the afternoon sleeping while I held her...something Daddy does all the time, but I never do. I think we both needed it! (That and when the AC repairman came to do a tune up on the unit he left the AC on in our already cold house for an hour...we were freezing!)

Whether the scale says it or not, she is getting SO big! She laughed at Daddy on Sunday at GB & GB's house. I missed recording the date of her first smile, so I made note of the laugh! Such a happy baby!


On another note, my grandfather is having surgery today to repair an aneurysm. He has been fine, but it could have burst at any time so after a fair bit of research he decided to have the surgery. My dad flew down from Montana and drove GB & GB to Gainsville for it...they left Monday. He will be in the ICU for at least 4 days. Please add him to your prayers.
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