Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you are doing well and are enjoying the day - spending time with family, exchanging gifts, and celebrating the greatest gift of all: The birth of our Lord Jesus.

We were able to witness Sarah opening gifts for the first time this morning. She caught onto the concept about the time we were finished. :) We are looking forward to spending time with Tim's family this afternoon and mine tomorrow. We are so thankful to be in Ohio this Christmas and to be able to enjoy everyone around us!

Of course a Christmas post is not complete without pictures! I realize these are only of Sarah, but I will post more after our family celebrations...and perhaps one or two will even include Tim and myself! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We are very pleased with Sarah's current sleep schedule. We have had to let her cry it out in the middle of the night a few times, because she has not fallen asleep in a resonable amount of time. I think we are being very lenient - Tim was up with her for an hour last night before he let her cry it out. However, she is going to bed without issue at 6:00 pm, and the past two mornings she has slept in until 8:20! When she sleeps in, she does not need a morning nap. She just takes a one and a half hour nap around 12:00, and she is a happy baby! We still have some issues to work through, and it still takes her awhile of crying before she falls asleep, but things are WAY better than they were about 2 weeks ago at this time!

Tim and I are feeling a little under the weather at this time. We both have head colds and feel miserable. I had to come home from work early yesterday, but I plan to work a full day today. We are hoping we both feel better by tomorrow so that we can travel and spend Christmas with our families.

That's it for us this morning!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

She cried it out...morning edition

Sarah only woke up TWICE during the night last night. Once at 12:30 for a bottle and diaper change, and the same at 6:15. Here's hoping this becomes a pattern! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

She cried it out...

So more of The Sleepy Sarah Saga...

Wednesday night, Sarah kept waking up hourly. Around 1:30 in the morning her skin felt really hot, so I decided to check her temperature: 101.5. I made a phone call to the nurse on-call for the proper dose of Tylenol and gave that to her. She fell asleep taking a bottle and slept well for the next hour. I, of course, stayed awake listening to the monitor, convinced she was going to have a seizure. (I have since learned that it is a sudden rapid change in temperature that can cause a seizure in infants...not a fever in general.) I woke her after an hour to check her temp and it was 100.5. We all slept well until the morning, and she had a low-grade fever for the rest of the day. I'm not sure what that was about, since she had no other symptoms and was relatively happy throughout the day.

Thursday night was more of the same: frequent waking. She would fall into a light sleep only to wake herself up about an hour later.

Today we made the trip back to my parents' house. They are out of town at the moment. After walking/rocking/swaying Sarah for an hour and a half tonight, we decided to take advantage of the empty house and let her cry it out. She threw up twice at the very beginning. I have to give her credit for her aim though: It landed on the carpet, not on her sheets or blankets. (Sorry about that Mom.) She had a 50-minute period of angry wails (not cries...angry wails) before falling asleep in a heap in the corner of her crib.

I feel like we accomplished something tonight. I felt awful hearing her cry like that, but I truly think it is the best thing for her. She needs to learn to soothe herself to sleep, and I believe she will get better quality sleep once she learns that. So will Tim and I. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sarah's Sleeping - Update

In my last post, I mentioned a book I have been reading: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. In this book, he states that the majority of infant sleep problems are related to chronic fatigue, usually brought about by an inappropriate sleep schedule. In reading his book, I realized that many of the things he mention pertain to Sarah: Fighting sleep for hours at a time especially when exhausted, waking several times during the night, inconsistent nap schedule, requiring motion in order to fall asleep, etc. He offers some suggestions on how to remedy the situation, and we began making changes on Monday. Here is a run-down of our experience so far:


Monday morning: Awake at 7:15. (Goal: Between 6 and 7. So far, so good.)
First nap: 11:30 - 1:00. (Goal: 9:00. Not good at all.) This followed a long period of walking.
No attempt was made for a second nap since the first was so late.
To bed: 5:45. (Goal: Between 6 and 8.)
Middle of the night wakeups: 7:00, 9:00 (for 3 hours!!!!), 2:00, 5:30. Each wake-up required walking, bouncing, feeding, etc. to get her back to sleep. We were not happy.

Tuesday: Awake at 7:30. That's pretty consistent.
First nap: 10:30-11:15. That timing is a little better. However, Tim walked her for an hour before she fell asleep.
Second nap: Ha! She cried in her crib for an hour and never did fall asleep.
To bed: 6:15. That's right on target.
Middle of the night wakeups: 7:00, 9:30, 2:15, 5:30. Each wake-up required 10-20 minutes of sitting by her bed, rubbing her back. We can totally handle that!

Wednesday: Awake at 6:30. That's a little too early for our liking, but if it makes a happy baby we'll do it.
First nap: 9:20-10:05. Hey, that's right on target!
Second nap: 12:35-1:20. We just need to work on getting that one a little LONGER.
To bed: 5:45.

I am excited to see what tonight holds. Hopefully things just keep getting better and better! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Go, Baby, Go!

We went to my parents' church last Sunday, and my mom was working in the nursery. I went to pick Sarah up after the service, and my mom was very excited. "You have to see this", she told me. Then she set Sarah up with this toy, and the girl was off! This is just a little clip:




I purchased a book today titled "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". I am very excited about what I am reading. I am looking forward to putting some things into practice over the next few days and seeing if that helps Sarah's sleep habits. She currently does not go to sleep unless you walk her - whether it is nap time or bed time. She fights you even when you do that, and it can take hours to get her to sleep. She wakes in the night and cannot put herself back to sleep, so we have to walk her again...only to have her wake up when we set her back in her crib. The whole process can take hours, and it is draining on the entire family. As I said....I am looking forward to reading more of this book and putting it into practice. I will keep you posted on how it goes!

Monday, November 30, 2009

November Happenings

How did November go by so quickly?!

We enjoyed being able to spend a 5-day Thanksgiving weekend with our families. We travelled to Tim's parents' on Thanksgiving day and spent the day there with all but 5 of his family members. The next day, my mom and I headed out for some 4 am Black Friday deals. It was my first true Black Friday excursion. (It is only a true excursion if you are there when the stores open and spend at least 5 hours shopping.) We had a blast! I think the most fun part of it all was sharing the crazy experience with my mom. (How did people find their cars before they invented "the panic button"?) Later that day, my brother Jeremy and his family drove down from Michigan and we had Thanksgiving Dinner Number 2. Grandma De was able to join us, and we all had a great time. I fell asleep at some point and woke to my nephew Ben poking my nose. :)

Sarah took her first step on Sunday! She only took a step and a half, but she did it without holding onto anything, so it counts. :) Her Mawmaw and I are the only witnesses. However, my dad saw her take two steps today. She is growing up way too fast! I love this age though. She is so much fun.

We are back in Columbus tonight, and I resume work in the morning. Our schedule at the Flu Shot Clinic has been modified a bit, and I will be working 4 10-hour shifts each week. I think I will enjoy this schedule.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our apartment/My job

We moved into our little apartment last Monday. Tim was able to move in while I was at work, and I joined him and Sarah around 5:00 pm. The first thing I did was call my recruiter to express my disappointment. Our apartment is small, and that is not really a big deal. The problem is this: With my company, a furnished 1-bedroom apartment is provided free of charge, but you have to pay if you want a 2-bedroom apartment. We decided to pay for that extra bedroom. Well, our second bedroom is set up as a dining room because there is no other place to put a table! Click this link to check out pictures of our apartment. We are making this work...we can live with just about anything for 8 weeks! But we are still waiting to hear from my company about whether or not they are actually going to charge us for that second bedroom.

The job: It is going great so far. Ask me anything about the H1N1 vaccine and I will do my best to answer! The job is easy as can be. I give shots for 8-12 hours a day! It is nice to have a relaxing job for a change. I am enjoying the break. But I think I will be ready for a little more action after this assignment. I work with 3-4 "screeners" and 2 other nurses, and we all get along pretty well.

We were able to visit our families this weekend and look forward to doing that on future weekends as well. I was happy to find out that the flu shot clinic is closed Thanksgiving Day and the day after. That means a 4-day weekend and plenty of time to shop on Black Friday! :)

I have fallen behind on Sarah's picture of the day album. Rest assured, we are still taking pictures of Sarah and will update those albums when I have the time! :)

Speaking of Sarah...we may have a little tomboy on our hands! She likes to play with cars and trucks. Tim and I finally bought her a little tractor toy of her own to play with, and she loves it.

She had a blast playing with her cousin Drew this weekend, and he is starting to enjoy the attention she gives him. It's cute to watch.

Sarah is also learning to communicate a little better. It seems all her favorite things start with the letter B, and she slightly modifies her "buh" sound to let you know what she's talking about: Bluebeary, ball, bottle, book, etc. She is also matering the "point and grunt" to let us know what we should be doing for her. That girl is so much fun. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Go Buckeyes!

We are now in Columbus, staying in a hotel for the night. We arrived around 4:00 this afternoon, dropped our things off at the hotel, and went to find the hospital where I will be working for the next 8 weeks. The hospital is huge, but we were able to find the appropriate parking garage and building I am supposed to report to in the morning. My main concern is traffic. I have to take a busy highway in the morning, and I am not sure how much extra time to plan on taking.

The new-job nerves have not yet kicked in. I told Tim those will probably hit around 2:00 in the morning.

The apartment we are supposed to be staying in should be cleaned and furnished for us by tomorrow afternoon. I am looking forward to seeing the place, and settling in for the time being. :-)

Sarah did well on the trip out here. She actually slept for an hour and a half of the 2-hour trip! Good baby! We are hoping she adjusts well to yet another new house, and that her sleep is not affected too terribly much.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Brief Update

I do not have much time to spend on the internet these days, but I did want to give a brief update!

Sarah had her 9-month checkup last week. She is still doing well - topping the scales at 20lbs 3 ounces. She is still struggling with her sleeping pattern, and I talked to the doctor about that. She advised me not to let her cry it out at night until she is at least a year old. I was relieved to hear that. I had tried to just let her cry the night before, and after 3 minutes she had vomited all over her crib. I'm not okay with that. We'll try again in 3 months.

I finally found a travel nurse position! I think I start next Monday (still waiting on some details). I will be working in a flu shot clinic at the Ohio State University Hospital. I will be working with 2 other travellers, giving immunizations to the hospital staff. Apparently we have 10,000 employees to vaccinate! We will be busy! This is an 8-week assignment, and I will have my weekends and one day a week free. It sounds like a really good schedule and I am looking forward to it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures and Videos

I have some pictures and videos to share! First, some pictures from our last few days in California.

Visiting Pismo Beach:
Visiting Santa Barbara:
Our final visitor in California: Holly! She came out to help us with our trip across the country. While she was there, we ran into some snakes in Santa Barbara. So Holly held one. :)
Now for some Ohio pictures:
Here is Sarah with her daddy, taking in the fall colors.
And touching the fall colors:
Hanging out with a few of her cousins, Hailey and Tori:
And making a new friend, Gabriel:
I also have a few videos I wanted to share. First, Sarah has learned a new game. I was attempting to entertain her on a road trip last weekend, and she caught on to this and loved it. :)




The second: My dad loves popcorn. He has perfected the art of airpopped-popcorn. Here is a little clip of Popcorn How-To. (No, he did not know I was filming him.)

I am being told I have spent too much time on the computer. That's all for now!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ohio!

We made it in Thursday evening, safe and sound. Sarah was wonderful on the trip. She did not enjoy travelling once it got dark outside, but we found that turning a light on in the car and reading the same book over and over again kept her entertained! I think Holly memorized Brown Bear, Brown Bear and The Very Hungry Caterpillar on this trip. :)

Thursday was a very long day. We woke at 3:00 am and were on the road by 4. This got us to Tim's parents' by 6:00pm. We were all exhausted and are still recovering.

It is great to be in Ohio again. Driving here was amazing. We all really enjoyed watching the landscape changes over the 4-day trip. I was amazed at how quickly I forgot what Ohio looks like in the fall! I am enjoying the changing leaves, the open fields of green grass, and the lack of fences around all the homes! California is beautiful, but now I am able to appreciate that Ohio is too. However...it has been raining since we got here!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heading East!

I just thought I would give an update about our travelling. We left Monday around 8:30, which was about an hour and a half later than we were wanting to leave. This was after much unavoidable last-minute packing and cleaning. Sarah did not enjoy the car ride Monday, and we just barely made it into Arizona. We stayed at a 40-dollar motel in Kingman, AZ and realized that you get what you pay for! It had a bed and a lock on the door, so it sufficed for the night. :)

Last night we stopped in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. We were able to put in 560 miles yesterday, and Sarah did much better in the car once we realized that she had no problem taking a bottle while sitting in her carseat. I don't know if that's a no-no, but it made the day a lot easier. We had less stops and a happier baby.

We are hoping to make it somewhere between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Springfield, Missouri today. We are taking Route 40 for quite a ways, and it is quite scenic. We are happy to have Holly along as one of our drivers/nanny. :) It is fun to watch her excitement as we drive. This is her first trip West, so everything is new.

I have many photos I could post but no time. I will update again when able!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Loaded up, almost ready to move!

Our "moving van" is loaded! Yay!!! The trailer was dropped off in our driveway on Tuesday. Tim and 2 guys from the church began loading it Wednesday afternoon, and by the time I picked Sarah up from the babysitter's house on Thursday, we were finished! Thank you to everyone who helped out. Many hands make light work! We have some cleaning to do in the house over the next few days, and then we will load the rest of our belongings into our vehicles and begin the drive across the country on Monday or Tuesday.

Due to unforseen circumstances, we may only have one person helping us on our drive. We are very happy to have this one, because we will still have someone to entertain Sarah while
the other two adults are driving! Our fourth driver may or may not be able to join us, but we will just have to wait and see.

Yesterday we saw a rocket launch! It was really cool. We were encouraged to actually go to the launch, but we were afraid that we would not have time to load the trailer if we did that. So we watched from our front drive instead. Here are a few pictures that I snapped with my phone. It was amazing to see the smoke from the rocket and not hear any noise from it for quite a few seconds.


I wanted to post pictures of a few of the influential people in Sarah's life. These ladies deserve recognition for all they have done to help out with our little one. They have each been very committed to helping out in the church nursery and/or watching Sarah when we needed someone. Quite honestly, I do not know how we would have survived without them.

This is Mrs. M. Every Sunday morning, she would watch Sarah in the church nursery during the Sunday school hour. This allowed Tim to teach the junior high/high school class and me to sit in with him. We appreciate Mrs. M's sacrifice of time. I am sure there were weeks she would have liked to be in Sunday school herself!

This is Mrs. L. She volunteered in the nursery every Sunday evening during the AWANA year, and this allowed Tim and me to be involved with the junior high. We love our junior highers, and we appreciate Mrs. L.'s faithfulness in watching Sarah during that time! There were also several occasions when we needed a sitter for youth events or date nights, and Mrs. L. was always more than willing to help us out.

This is Mrs. S. She is probably the one Sarah is closest with, because she has been Sarah's babysitter since she was 3 months old. Every Thursday, Mrs. S. watched Sarah all day so that Tim and I could both work. Sarah recognizes Mrs. S. when we are at church and gets excited when she is around. We really appreciate Mrs. S.'s willingness to commit to watching Sarah week after week.

These are just a few of the people here who have impacted our lives. As you can probably sense, it is going to be difficult to leave them. We love our families and look forward to being close to them again, but at the same time, we are leaving some very precious people behind. We love them and hope to be able to visit!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just some cuteness

So we were at WalMart the other day. I turned my back on Tim and Sarah for 2 minutes, and the next thing I know, these 2 little guys were in the cart, planning to come home with us. They're really soft and cuddly. I think Tim and I may like them more than Sarah does. :)


I have really enjoyed having the last week and a half off work. Our situation these last few months has not been ideal: I work on Tim's days off so that he can watch Sarah while I work. That's great as far as Sarah having a parent home most days of the week, but I have missed being able to spend the entire day with my husband and our little girl. This past week has been a lot of fun.


Sarah has been cutting a lot of teeth lately. Here is a picture that shows the top row:

We took Sarah for her flu shot today. I was very proud of that little girl. Tim was getting the flu mist for himself, so he took Sarah back while I was in the lobby writing a check. They came out before I was done, and I hadn't heard Sarah cry at all - so I assumed they had not done the shot yet. Tim told me that Sarah watched the tech inject the needle and didn't even flinch! I was amazed. So proud.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Our lives these days

Sleep.
Play with Sarah.
Eat.
Play with Sarah.
Pack while Sarah naps.
Eat.
Play with Sarah.
Pack while Sarah naps.
Eat.
Play with Sarah.
Pack while Sarah sleeps.
Sleep.

This is what our lives consist of right now. :)

We are looking forward to our move - to our friends coming to visit and drive with us - to being near family again. But it is sad to pack up and know that our time here is coming to an end. There is much we are going to miss!

Please continue to pray for us as we both search for jobs.

Milk is now 3.29 a gallon. A 10 cent increase in one week? That's worse that gas price fluctuations!

Friday, September 25, 2009

$3.19 down the drain...well, the heating vent...almost.

Let me begin by saying: Milk is $3.19 a gallon? Wasn't it just $2.29 last week?

Why is it that whenever I try to unlock the door while carrying my purse, Sarah, and all the groceries, the one thing I drop is the milk? Why couldn't I have dropped my purse? Or frozen pizza? Or anything else I was carrying (except Sarah of course)? I'll be happy once Girlfriend can walk...then she can help me carry the groceries. Right?

I had almost made it. Actually, I had made it! I managed to close and lock the car, open and close the gate, unlock and open the back door, and set all the groceries on the kitchen table. Next thing I knew, there was a thud and milk spraying all over the kitchen floor. Hence, $3.19 down the drain...and almost the heating vent.

For future reference, it takes approximately 4 bathroom towels to absorb a gallon of milk. Also - Sarah finds the cleaning process fascinating and is willing to sit still and watch! Good girl!

So what is new since the last time I posted? I still have not found a job. There was a time last week when I was majorly stressed about that. (I also had the worst day of work that I have ever had at my job that week.) But - my loving husband kindly did some research on the cost of medical insurance and assured me that we will be okay. Even if it takes longer to find a job than we had anticipated, we will not be out on the street. I am still looking for a job, and the market in the midwest is not the greatest, but we are confident that God will provide for our needs...whether that is in the way we had in mind or not! :)

Sarah. She is changing so much! She now has an upper tooth, and there are 3 more just waiting to cut through. Her hair is getting thicker. I noticed today that she is going to have Mommy's bushy eyebrows. She may need them if she sweats like a DeArmon! :) Sarah now crawls with her belly off the floor. She stands. She tries to stand without holding onto things, but she's not real good at that yet. She takes steps side-to-side but doesn't really grasp the walking concept yet. She says "da-da" and "bu-bu" which sometimes sounds like Bible with a southern accent. She loves her "Bluebeary" and knows him by name. She knows Monkey by name and attacks him on command. She is a handful, and we love her more every day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Future Plans

This past week has involved some box packing. For those of you who do not know, we are moving! We have decided to head back towards our families, and we are planning to leave here in early October! These next few weeks will involve a lot more packing, many goodbyes, and a frantic job search.

The plan right now is for me to look into travel nursing. For those who do not know who that is: Many hospitals find themselves short on staff, and they need short-term help. They hire in travellers who are contracted for anywhere from 4 to 52 weeks - the most common is a 3 month (13 week) contract. As a traveller, I basically tell a healthcare staffing company what states I am interested in, and they look for hospitals who need help. They line up interviews for me, and I find myself a job. The company provides housing, travel reimbursement, helps me obtain the necessary licensure for that state, etc. After my contract is up, I am free to sign on with another hospital, move into a permanent position, take a month-long vacation, etc. It sounds like a great plan...I just need to find a job! :) I am currently talking with about 4 travel companies, so I am praying they help us come up with something close to our families!

It is going to be difficult to leave. There are many people that we will miss dearly. I love my co-workers, and it is going to be sad to leave them. Our church truly is our family away from family, and we love them so much. It will be difficult to take Sarah, knowing she will not remember the people who have played such an important role in her early life. We need to take many, many pictures in the next few weeks.

In Sarah news...

Notice the exercise ball in this picture. This is the ball I use to bounce Sarah to sleep, so it stays in her room. Notice the proximity of the ball to the crib. Sarah was supposed to be napping, and I heard some noise in her room. When I went in to check on her, she had the crib bumper pulled down, her arms were stuck through the slats on the side of the crib, and she was rolling the ball back and forth. She's a stinker!


The next day...

She was supposed to be napping. I went in to check on her, and I found her like this! She had never stood up in her crib before (that I know of), and I was quite surprised to find her eating the railing.


Five minutes after that last picture was taken, this is what she looked like. She's a little sweetheart. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

She'll be fun at Christmas

Since Sarah has been born, I have been receiving free issues of Parenting Magazine. I enjoy these magazines - free is always nice. They contain useful articles and have led me to many helpful frugal parenting websites. A few days ago, Sarah found another use for them. :)


Ah, that girl...I sure love her. :)

She outgrew her infant carrier. :( I had known all along that the weight limit was 20 pounds. I was timing it out...we had about 2 more months. Then a few days ago, I read the sticker on the carrier again. It also has a height limit: 26 inches! She reached that around 5 months! Sad, tall girl. Tim installed her rear-facing converter seat in my car. Unfortunatley, this means that if she falls asleep in the car, we will most likely have to wake her to get her out

In light of this, I have been experimenting with new ways to get Sarah to sleep. I found one that is good for Mommy and Baby: bouncing on an exercise ball. With Sarah's ability to fight sleep and my determination to fight right back, I am going to have excellent abs. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's hot!

It has been abnormally warm here the past 2 days. As I write this, pretty much all the windows in the house are open, all the fans we own are in use, and it is still uncomfortable. There is no wind! This is very unusual for this area...and we don't know how to deal with it. :)
Sarah went "swimming" for the first time today. I think she was wondering, "why is this crazy lady giving me a bath outside with my clothes on?" She was more comfortable after that though! We decided to go for a drive this afternoon since the car has air conditioning and the house does not. We ended up at the beach - which is normally windy and cold, but was very very comfortable today! Sarah didn't know what she thought of the beach (this was her first trip). She had just woken up from a nap though.
Tim and I are both getting over being sick. It hit Tim early Thursday morning, and I got it Thursday afternoon. Sarah has been fine so far, so we're hoping all this was caused by something we ate. We are both still feeling a bit weak and queasy. Hopefully this won't stick around too much longer!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This weekend at the Farleys'

Sarah has learned how to use the couch cushions to pull herself up:
She stands pretty well on her own for awhile:And then falls:She doesn't quite get the whole sitting on the shoulders thing...she prefers sitting on the head:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thoughts on diapers, thoughts on prayer

Light topic first:

Why hasn't anyone invented a diaper that fastens in the back? Especially for toddlers? What mobile baby is going to lay still on their back long enough for you to take off the dirty diaper, wipe them, apply cream if needed, slip a new diaper underneath, and fasten the new diaper? And what mobile baby is going to leave said diaper in place if you do not get pants over it as soon as possible? Now if it fastened in the back, Baby could be on his or her belly, happily playing with tags or floor lint as you slip a diaper underneath and fasten it in the back.

A little deeper:

Why is it that I find myself saying "All I can do is pray" as if that is not the most effective tool I have in my life? I find myself thinking "If only I could actually DO something". I realize I say this because prayer is not something from which you instantly see results. You may say to someone, "I'm praying for you", and they may be encouraged by it, but you do not directly see results. It's not like making dinner. You make dinner, you feed it to your family, you watch them eat it, you see them stop, you know they are full, and they are satisfied. Prayer is not tangible. It is also difficult to see the answers to your prayers. You may get a "yes", "no", "wait awhile", or "I want to give you this instead". It may not be the answer your want. But it is an answer.

I realize it is absurd to think of prayer as a last resort. Lord, help me not to just realize this, but to live it in my daily life!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog purpose

I feel this blog is boring.

I live with the mindset that anything I post on my blog, I should be willing to discuss with any random person on the street. Or my boss. My neighbor. My children. Jesus. :) Anyone could be reading this. My blog is not my online journal. It is not the place to disclose my most personal feelings. It is not where I post about things that are bothering me.

So what is the purpose of blogging?

Originally, it was to post pictures and updates of the baby. Now I pretty much use Facebook for that. So what now? I can only write so many posts saying "Sarah did the cutest thing".

I do not get many comments on my blog. (I am not saying this for pity comments.) I just don't know if anyone reads this anymore. If it is not even being read, what is the purpose?

I suppose I need to spice things up a little bit. Tell stories. Share my feelings. I'll work on that. But for today, here is another Sarah update.

The girl is incredible. I don't know how we ever lived without her. She's the most amazing little thing. She can military crawl now. And she's pretty fast at it. She can push herself up into a sitting position. She can pull herself up to stand. She loves shoes. She tries to eat the laces. (We don't let her.) Actually, she tries to eat everything. She likes to drink from a sippy cup and just laughs and laughs when she gets water in her mouth. She loves her daddy. She loves her mommy too, but I love to watch her with her daddy. They definitely have a strong bond. She likes the song "My God is so big"...and she likes you to yell the word "BIG". She can wave. She likes to play peek-a-boo. She likes to throw her bowl and spoon on the floor and watch Mommy pick it up...over and over again. She is such an inquisitive little thing. When she wakes up and I go in her room to get her, she has the crib bumper pulled down low enough so that she can see what's going on in her room. When she sees me, she lets out the cutest laugh and sigh of contentment. I love that little girl.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cute video

I cannot figure out how to post this video, but you have to see it if you haven't already. I know quite a few family members who will appreciate it. :) That's all. Post your comments.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Doctor's visit

It's official: Sarah is growing like a weed! She had her 6-month checkup on Tuesday. She weighs 17 pounds 4 ounces (70th percentile), is 27.25 inches long (91st percentile) and her head circumference is in the 91st percentile. She did not enjoy her shots...or being at the doctor's office in general...but she did enjoy the paper on the exam table!

She is getting up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth quite a bit lately. It won't be long...

That's all I've got for you. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

6 months

Sarah turned six months old last Friday! On her half birthday, I had the fabulous idea to taker her to the little open space behind our house and do a photo shoot. Unfortunately, Sarah did nto want to participate! :) Here are some of the pictures I did end up getting.

I apologize for the lame post and lack of posting lately - Sarah's sleeping schedule has been very inconsistent, so our schedules have been off lately as well.















Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pictures

I just wanted to share a few pictures of our little girl. I cannot believe she is going to be 6 months old this Friday. That is so amazing. She is growing up so fast!

I have this week off of work - kind of. I worked Sunday, and I work Saturday - but I have the weekdays off. It is nice to be able to just relax this week. Having an extra day off makes all the difference in the world. I haven't been very productive so far, but I will work on that. :)

We have a hike with the youth group scheduled for tomorrow. Actually, Tim has a hike. I am just planning on taking Sarah and meeting them for lunch afterwards. It will be nice to relax with the youth a little bit. Sarah and I end up leaving youth group early every week so that she can get to bed, and I miss spending time with them! We have a 6 Flags trip next week as well, so that will be another bonding opportunity.

Now...on to the pictures I promised.

I love outfits with matching hats. But Sarah has such a big melon, that most of the hats end up looking like this on her:

Crazy eyes! I love it. :)

She loves to eat these blocks. I can't remember who bought them for her, but they sure keep her entertained! She loves to knock them over when Tim stacks them too.

Miss Innocent, sitting in her stroller...she would NOT take a nap this day, no matter what I did. Little stinker.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sarah sitting (scroll down for earlier post)

Be sure to scroll down for a post written earlier today.

Promote Breastfeeding!

I received an e-mail today from one of my "your baby should be doing this now" websites. :) It contained a link to an interesting Act that has been presented to Congress.

Before I write any more, I want to make it clear that this is not intended to discourage or convict those who chose not to, or were not able to breastfeed their babies for one reason or another. This is a very personal decision, and many factors have to be considered. My goal in writing this is simply to educate those who are unaware:

Do you know that there are major benefits of breastfeeding - both for Mom and Baby? According to this website, "The medical evidence shows that NOT breastfeeding increases the baby’s risk of infections, diarrhea, SIDS, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and childhood leukemia, and increases the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers and diabetes. A 2009 study of nearly 140,000 women found that women who breastfed for at least one year were 10-15% less likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease compared to mothers who never breastfed."

It is a challenge to continue breastfeeding while working. I work 12 hour shifts in a high-stress job. I use my breaks for pumping - 15 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch, and 30 minutes in the afternoon. There is one room at work available for pumping. One room for all breastfeeding workers, as well as all mothers of babies in the NICU. Unfortunately, many times when I try to pump at work, I find that room occupied. Then I have to be creative, or skip pumping all together. I am fortunate that my workplace provides that room at all! I am also fortunate that they provide the equipment as well.

However, many women are not as fortunate. I encourage you to read this article. Click here, and let your voice be heard. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I am attempting to blog with a baby on my lap! I was supposed to work this morning, but I was put on call. Yay! Tim has a men's breakfast to go to, and he was going to take Sarah with him. I guess she got excited about getting up early for that, because here she is...awake an hour and a half earlier than usual. She is a happy girl though - banging on the table, squealing, and reaching for the keyboard. Little cutie.

I wrote that the 30-hour famine went well. After totalling up the money collected, we found that our little group raised about 1,000 dollars for World Vision. That is enough money to feed 2 kids for a year and one kid for 9 months. That is pretty amazing to think about!

We broke our fast last Saturday with Unimix. This is an easily-digested food consisting of corn meal, beans, sugar, oil, and milk, that is used to feed extremely malnourished children in emergency centers. It actually didn't taste too bad! We also had Progresso chicken noodle soup, potatoes, and rolls. Soup never tasted so good!

This week has been rather uneventul for us. Sarah has had a full week though! She has learned to scoot around a little bit. She has not realized her full potential yet...she could be crawling if she put her arm and leg motions together. I think she just needs to beef up her arm muscles a little bit. She loves to reach for things and wants us to carry her around the house so she can explore and touch everything. We are usually happy to comply. :) She also is mastering sitting up. The window in her room was open yesterday, and I had her sitting on her changing table looking outside. She sat on her own for a full minute before needing some balancing assistance. The girl is enjoying solid foods as well. Her diet now includes rice cereal, carrots, peas, and the newest - green beans! We had a time in there where she did not have a bowel movement for 5 days, but we had been told that could happen. Without going into too much detail...we're fine again. :) I think we just need to watch the amount of carrots she's eating - that seems to be the culprit.

Well, Girlfriend is ready to go back to sleep now!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daddy and Sarah

This video was taken a few days ago, but I thought Father's Day was an appropriate time to post it. Sarah and her daddy sure enjoy each other! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

5 Months, etc.

Sarah turned 5 months old a couple days ago. How crazy is that? She is now 16.5 pounds and 26.5 inches long - staying on track for her growth curve. She is eating rice cereal, and we are talking about starting her on veggies this week. She has two teeth already and seems to be cutting another. Bedtime has been a battle the past few nights. That was how it was just before she cut her first two teeth, so we're hoping that is all it is this time!

We are looking forward to the 30-hour famine this weekend.

That's about all that is going on here. And that is why I have not posted anything recently. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

30 Hour Famine

30 hour famine:

One of the things that I believe that we (as Christians) do far too poor a job of is caring for the less fortunate. My desire is to do more in this area myself, as well as to encourage a willingness and desire to serve in those teens I have an influence upon. This year, I will help lead students in my church in a 30-hour famine. The famine is designed to raise awareness and financial assistance for those in poverty around the world (especially children). Do you realize that 26,000 children die every day from preventable causes like hunger and lack of basic medical care? We need to help.

In an effort to do our part, our group will stop eating on June 19th at 12:00 PM and not eat again until June 20th at 6:00 PM. Through a partnership with World Vision, we hope to have individuals sponsor us in our famine by making donations to this cause. Those donations will be used by World Vision for relief efforts around the globe.

Would you consider sponsoring us? You can make a donation or learn more about World Vision and what they do here.
*Much of this post was copied from Tim's blog about the same topic, which can be read here.*

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This week at the Farley Funhouse

Sarah got a new toy! Her pediatrician recommended we invest in a stationary entertainer. Tim got a taste of what every Christmas afternoon is going to be like from now on:

Monkey tested it out first:
And Sarah approved of it herself the next morning:
Sarah picked her first flower this week - a rose from the back yard. Pretty!

She proceeded to touch it and pull on it and have a good old time:

The flower post-Sarah:

And the steps outside:

Today was the church's World Record Day. Tim set a record in frisbee toss, and Sarah set a record in longest nap at World Record Day. My records from last year remain unbroken, so I didn't see a need to set any new ones. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

4 month checkup

Sorry I am late in posting this. Life has been a little busy lately. It is amazing how much time is taken up with work, cleaning the house, and cuddling a baby!

Sarah's 4 month checkup was last Tuesday. She has gained back her weight from when she was sick and is following her growth curve quite nicely. She is 14 lb 14 oz (78%), 26 inches (97%), and her head is 16.5 inches (76%). I think the height measurement is off by about half an inch though. She was squirmy. She handled her shots a little better this time around! Yay, Sarah!

Yesterday we had Sarah's first professional photo shoot at Sears. We ordered some cute pictures and actually bought the disk too. Here's one that we did not order, but I still think it's cute.

We are looking forward to the church's second annual World Record Day this Saturday. Everyone is invited to come set a new "world record". Last year I had the fastest time in the AWANA marathon (which Tim is going to attempt to break this year), and I made the most baskets in 2 minutes (which is a very long time for shooting layups). I don't know what world record to attempt this year. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Today was my first Mother's Day as a mom. I didn't expect it to mean as much to me as it did. It really is a special day for all moms, and I love the fact that I could celebrate it in a new way this year! :)
Sarah and her daddy had a card and flowers waiting for me when I got up this morning. Tim must have been up early, because he had roses trimmed and arranged in a vase before I even woke up at 7:30. For all I know, they could have been sitting there all night though. :)

Sarah woke up early this morning and didn't get her full am nap, so she was crabby when we got home from church. Tim had planned for us to go out to lunch, but Sarah and I took a 2 and a half hour nap on the couch instead. It was a great bonding day. I sure love that girl!

I hope today was enjoyable for all you mothers out there! To my own Mom: I miss you! I wish I could have been there to spend the afternoon with you today. You are very special to me, and I love the fact that we are becoming closer. I am so thankful for your support and example all these years, and I am blessed to have a mom I can go to anytime, for anything. I love you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ohio Trip

We had a wonderful week. Everything was terrific. Family, friends, food. Ohio was good to us. :)

We left here Sunday night and were able to spend a full week visiting and enjoying our Ohio friends and relatives. We took many, many pictures which can be viewed here, and just a little video. I have to share one video clip. This was taken Saturday night:

Sarah rolled over! She did it three times, but she was never able to pull that arm out from underneath her. Yesterday she mastered that. I'm so proud of that girl! She hasn't rolled from tummy to back yet though.

So we're adjusting to being back in California. Tim went back to work today. He either has a cold or allergy flare-up, but he isn't feeling that great. Sarah seems to be about 1 hour off - she was up at 6:30 this morning rather than 7:30. I go back to work Saturday, but I have classes on Thursday and Friday for my ACLS certification.

Will post when something else interesting happens. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heading out!

We are leaving for the airport in ONE HOUR! Can you hear the excitement? We have an overnight flight, so it will be interesting to see what time zone Sarah is in when we land. Her schedule could be crazy!

I will not be posting on here or updating pictures of the day until Monday, the 27th (at the earliest). I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures and stories to share at that time though. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Concise update? Hopefully.

My dad has sent out weekly bulk e-mails for at least the past 10 years, giving updates about the happenings in our family. His e-mails are usually only one or two paragraphs long, but you walk away with information on everyone in the family! That...is an art. :)

Here is my attempt at summarizing our week.

Sarah is feeling better. She is back to her normal sleeping routine but wants to nurse every hour or two. I am back to work and have mixed feeling about that. I miss my baby, but I enjoy seeing my co-workers and taking care of people. Tim is doing well. He has experienced some stress relief: He was in charge of our church Easter egg hunt yesterday, and it was a success. We had about 120 kids (plus parents) participate. It was great to see so many people of the church put time and energy into helping with this event.

Here is our attempted family picture from this afternoon:


We will be leaving for Ohio one week from today. We are very excited!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Update on Sarah

Well, Sarah still seems to be recovering. We had a little bump in the road and actually ended up in the hospital on Wednesday. Sarah wasn't urinating much, she was cranky, and her diarrhea was getting worse instead of better. I took her to the doctor, and she decided to admit her to the hospital for IV hydration. :(

We were seen by a different pediatrician at the hospital, and she said Sarah really didn't look that bad to her. Her thought was to bottle-feed Sarah through the day in order to measure how much she was taking in and weigh her diapers to see how much she was putting out. No need for an IV at that point. Yay! The pediatrician came back in the evening and said everything looked okay and we could go home. They did test her for rotavirus, and that was negative. So as far as we know, she just had some sort of virus - just not sure what! The doctor said the diarrhea Sarah is having now is just post-viral and it's nothing contagious.

So the plan right now: I am on a little bit of a diet until Sarah feels better. That means no caffeine, no dairy products, and no spicy foods. We don't want any of that stuff crossing into Sarah through my milk.

Today Sarah seems pretty good. She's still a little more fussy than usual, and it has been difficult to get her to bed the past two nights. She seems to be hungry constantly. That's good though, because she has lost some weight. At her appointment 3 weeks ago, she weighed 11 pounds 13 ounces. At the hospital, she weighed 11 pounds 9 ounces. A baby her age should be putting on a little under a pound every two weeks, so that ends up being quite a weight loss for her little body! Good thing she was chunky to begin with! :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sicky Sarah

Sarah is on the mend from her first time being sick. It was not a fun time for any of us! I'm sure many of you can relate!

She had GI symptoms that started in the middle of the night Wednesday. We took her to the pediatrician Friday, and she sent some stool for tests. Saturday, Sarah started throwing up her feedings. We called the nurse helpline, and they advised us to take her to the ER. She fed once and kept it down in the ER, and she wasn't showing many signs of dehydration, so they sent us home.

Saturday evening she threw up a few more times and was still having loose stools with some blood in it. Fortunately, we have the best pediatrician in the world! She had told us she would call on Saturday to check up on Sarah, and she followed through with that. She actually called 3 times Saturday, twice Sunday, and once this morning. Ah...that is a new parent's dream doctor!

To make a long weekend sound a little shorter - Sarah and I spent Sunday cuddling in bed. She fed tiny amounts every hour and was able to keep most of it down. Last night I started stretching her feedings out to every two hours, feeding her a little longer each time. She has been tolerating that. She still has loose stool, and she isn't urinating as often or as much as usual, but we'll give that a little more time. Tim and I are just grateful that the worst seems to be over!

We're not sure what caused this. Her labs haven't all come back yet, but her doctor and I were wondering if Sarah might have had a reaction to something I ate. I had made taco soup on Wednesday, and I ate it again Thursday for lunch. It had jalapenos in it and was pretty spicy. No more of that for me! Too bad I doubled the recipe and froze half! Tim's going to have a lot of soup to eat!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Inspiration from a baby

As I hold Sarah in my arms, admire her chubby cheeks, massage her soft skin, and coax out a cute little smile, I realize I am totally in love with that little girl. And I realize that when I was a little baby, my parents felt the same way about me. They love me in a way I never understood before.

One of my favorite books to read to Sarah is "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney. For those who do not know the story: Little Nutbrown Hare is getting ready for bed, and he is talking to Big Nutbrown Hare, trying to express to his daddy how much he loves him. He loves him as wide as he can stretch his arms, as high as he can reach, as high as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare is a topper. He can stretch his arms wider, reach higher, and jump higher - and that is how much he loves Little Nutbrown Hare. The story ends with Little Nutbrown Hare telling his daddy he loves him all the way to the moon. Big Nutbrown Hare says "That is very, very far." Little Nutbrown Hare drifts off to sleep, and Big Nutbrown Hare whispers, "I love you right up to the moon - and back."

Ah...I love that story. It makes me think of a passage of Scripture that I love even more: "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully." (Ephesians 3:18-19a - NLT)

I praise the Lord for our little girl, and I pray that one day she will come to know His love for her - so much more love than even her father or I can ever provide.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A little update since the last post: After Sarah's shots on Tuesday, she seemed to be doing fine. She was more sleepy, which the doctor told us to expect, but otherwise she was great! Then 6 o'clock rolled around. She woke up from her nap and was cranky. Then she just started screaming inconsolably. To make a long story short, we gave her some Tylenol, and after that kicked in and she fed, she was a happy girl again. It was a full hour of listening to her scream and not being able to help her though. It was not a fun hour! I don't know how parents of colicky babies handle it! I was crying right along with her. :)

Well, she has figured out napping! Here's a picture of her in the middle of a 3-hour afternoon nap, which has become the norm.

Thank you to everyone who offered suggestions on how to get her on a schedule! She has been putting herself to sleep for naps and for the night for a few days now. I just hope that continues! A few things we had to do for her naps though: She has a half-moon window in her room, and I created a covering for it out of cereal boxes. :) That keeps the light out during her naps. We also moved the humidifier into her room, and the background noise seems to help. I am looking forward to using her afternoon naptime today to do some scrapbooking! A friend bought me some "girly" pages, and I haven't had the opportunity to do any Sarah scrapbooking yet. Today's the day!

Doesn't this face just make you want to pick her up?

I tried some 3-6 month clothes on her earlier today, and she was very compliant. She makes a great doll! (Mom, this is the outfit I was trying to describe to you.)


Tim and I are very excited. We bought our tickets for Ohio! We will be arriving the morning of April 20th (Monday) and leaving the morning of April 27th (Monday). We are so excited to see everyone and share Sarah with them/you!

Tim's softball season starts up tonight and I have a ladies game night to attend. Otherwise our weekend is empty!

You may notice on the links to the right that I had to start a second picture of the day album for Sarah. They only allow 60 pictures per album. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2 Month Checkup

Sarah continues to grow and develop appropriately! She is currently 23.25 inches long (84th percentile) and weighs 11lb 13 oz (79th percentile). So - she has grown one inch and gained 1.5 pounds in the past month. Our girl is right on track! Her head circumference is 16.25 inches (96th percentile).

She is now up to date on her immunizations as well...well, sort of. She didn't seem to swallow any of the oral rotavirus vaccine. She was tricky and let that just slide right back out of her mouth. Let me say - the shots were not fun for anyone involved! Daddy wouldn't watch, Mommy almost cried, and Sarah didn't even know what hit her! One minute she was laying there looking at me and holding my hands. The next minute her face was bright red, her eyes were scrunched closed, and her little lips were quivering. Then the crying started. Oh, how pathetic. It broke my heart. I'm so glad we have 2 months to recover before we go do that again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Same old, same old

We really don't have anything new to report here! I just wanted to share a few new pictures of Sarah. She has her 2-month checkup tomorrow, so I will let you know her stats after the appointment. 2 months means...shots. I am not looking forward to that. I clipped her thumb awhile ago when I was trying to cut her fingernails, and her little "I'm in pain" cry is so pathetic. I don't want to hear that again!

Her legs have grown enough that her tights from Mawmaw fit her:

Today she looks a little bit like a Smurf:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tummy time!

Sarah is tolerating tummy time a little better these days. She was on her tummy for about 20 minutes today - a new record! Here's a little video of her being cute:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Naptime...help!

Sarah has decided that she is a big girl now. She doesn't need an afternoon nap anymore. Help! :0/

The past few days, she has gotten really fussy around "naptime" (1-2pm). She takes a 45 minute nap in the morning, and she had been sleeping for about 2-3 hours in the afternoon. Now she just fusses in the afternoon. She will sleep for about 15 minutes and then wake up for whatever reason and cry again.

Today she fell asleep on Tim's shoulder (after crying for awhile first), and then woke up when she had to be set down. I decided to try going through her bedtime routine - I changed her diaper, played her bedtime music, gave her a massage, and then fed her. She fell asleep feeding, only to wake up when set down! So I tried rocking and reading to her. She fell asleep in my arms, and stayed asleep in her crib for about 15 minutes. (Her eyes were glassy this entire time, so I know she is sleepy!) Well, again she woke up. Now she is asleep on my shoulder. I'm afraid to set her down!

Alright, I do notice the pattern here: She falls asleep in someone's arms, and she wakes up in the crib or as she's being set down. Let me justify myself: We have tried just setting her in her crib or bassinet at bedtime or for her nap. For bedtime, it usually works after about 30-45 minutes - but it's dark, and there's nothing to explore. For naptime, it just feels cruel to leave her in there all alone when she's awake. Mommy wants to pick her up and love on her!

So is 7 weeks to young to start letting her try to put herself to sleep for naps? Should I be going in to reassure her, but still let her put herself to sleep?

The past two nights, she has slept quite a bit better. She puts in a good 12 hours at night. I was impressed - she slept 8 hours straight last night before she woke up to feed! Yay, Girlfriend! I think it helps that I'm tucking a receiving blanket around her in the middle of the night - that swaddles her arms down by her side and she sleeps better.

Now we just need to figure out these naps!

This is what Sarah wore to church on Sunday. I love how she's holding her hands in this picture, as if to say, "I'm the princess. I don't get my hands dirty."