Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm late... I'm late... for a very important update!

Well it's been forever since I've blogged.  I don't have any flowery out of this world excuses - just the usual... so much to do and so little time.  Since I blogged last, life has moved forward at a rapid pace.  Luke is growing so fast.  He's been walking for several weeks now.  If I've learned anything it's not to fret about missed naps, uneaten meals, and messes.  As quickly as a bad situation befalls us... just wait a few minutes... it will change.

Tim is staying home with Luke and that is such a huge blessing for both of us.  I can go to work and not worry about whether he is getting all of the love and care that I would give him if I were home.  I get updates on the goings on throughout the day along with cadid photos of all the misadventures.

We've had many firsts over the last few months - first haircut, first birthday, first step... and the list goes on.

So without further ado... here are some photos:

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Life with Luke!

I guess it's about time for me to get back to this blog.  It's amazing how busy we stay around here.  The days and weeks are just flying by.  Being a working Mommy has proved both challenging and rewarding.  I'm at my best when I'm super busy.  I take great pride in being able to juggle multiple priorities and give my very best to each one.

I've been working 10 to 12 hour days for the last couple of weeks.  While that would sound just terrible to many people, I just love it.  However, it's the routine that we have established at home that enables me to go to work and feel good about the time I'm spending there as well as the time I'm spending at home.

Tim and I do a lot of preparation each night for the next day.  We make bottles, lunches and get breakfast items ready for the next day.  We pack up as much as we can for Luke's day with Miss Jean the night before as well.  We usually get to bed about 9pm.  I go right to sleep and Tim stays up until about 10 and does a dream feed with Luke.  I do the feed in the middle of the night - usually between 2 and 4am.  We both get up at 5am.  I go downstairs and let the dogs out, put a bottle in the warmer, and start my coffee.  While I'm doing that Tim gets his shower.  By the time I get back upstairs Tim is out of the shower and it's my turn.  While I shower and get ready for work he gets Luke up.  Normally he brings him in to see me as soon as he gets him up - which is something I love!  I finish getting ready and get myself out the door to work around 6am.  Tim takes Luke to Miss Jean's and normally picks him up around 4pm.  If I get home in time, I do bath and bedtime with Luke around 6pm.  That gives Tim and I about 3 hours to spend together before I have to get to sleep.

It works really well for us.  The weekends are normally full too with errands or other obligations Saturdays and church on Sundays.  We love our busy life!

Luke turned three months old on October 28th!  I cannot believe how fast he is growing.  Every day it seems like his looks change a little bit more.  He is really enjoying vocalizing these days.  He will make noises, making his little voice louder and softer, for more than an hour.  It is so funny to listen to.  He is fascinated with his hands now too.  He is a happy little boy 95% of the time.  He has the sweetest little smile and he laughs and laughs (mostly at his daddy :) ).

Here are some pics from the last few weeks:

Mommy and Luke at Aunt Missy's Shower

Luke loving his little bug
Luke and Aunt Susan

Luke and Mamaw

Happy Baby

Luke Loves his Aunt Shell

Look at this Face!

Luke and his Zebra

Friday, September 24, 2010

Daycare Nightmare - 9/23/10 with Update 9/24/10

Daycare Trial Run - 9/23/10

Today was day 1 of our trial run for Luke's new Daycare.  I have spent the last month preparing for this day by gathering everything he might need and also by trying to strengthen myself emotionally.  Well today turned out to be the perfect storm. 

We got up on schedule and headed to the daycare about 7am.  When we arrived, from the very beginning, things seemed to be in a state of chaos.  We learned that the main teacher in the class Luke was to be in was out with a broken toe.  The absense of this teacher seemed to throw everyone into a tizzy.  The girl that showed us to our classroom was not a teacher in the classroom but filling in for the day.  She had no idea, I guess, that it was our first day.  She had a thick accent and I struggled to understand her, which was VERY frustrating, because I wanted to catch every single instruction she might provide.  She had us put our trunk of supplies in the closet, but complained that our trunk was too big for the shelves.  She showed us a feeding schedule that she acted like we should already have, and I think she told me I was to fill one out every month.  She told me if the babies are asleep, they don't wake them to feed them, they just let them sleep and sleep and sleep.  I'm a fan of letting Luke sleep a half hour, maybe an hour past a feeding if I know he's super tired, but no more than that.  When I told her that she again said that they don't wake the babies to feed.

I watched as parents brought their babies in and left them.  They all appeared to be normal red-blooded concerned parents - just like me.  Baby after baby after baby came into the room.  At one point I counted 10 and there were only two teachers there.  I asked about the ratio and they told me that there are normally three teachers but that the third teacher doesn't get there until 9am. Hmmmmm....  They laid Luke on a boppy covered by one of his blankets on the floor.  He seemed happy enough for a while.  The girl who showed us in proceeded to anecdotely tell me that her pet peeve is screaming babies. Double Hmmmmmm....  I watched as she picked Luke up to change him and did not properly support his head.  Luckily, his little head didn't go flopping around.  However, I did witness another teacher carrying a little girl slightly older than Luke.  Her head was not properly supported either and BOINGGGG... her little head fell back and she screamed!  I don't think the teacher noticed that I saw this.  At this point I'm ready to leave, but tell myself that I'm being overly protective - first day jitters - etc.

The next incident was a little boy who was throwing a fit.  A third teacher appeared and sounded visibly annoyed with him because he wouldn't stop crying.  Triple HMMMMMMMMMMMMM.....  Again, I wanted to scoop Luke up and leave right then but managed to pull myself back.  At one point a little boy, probably close to 18 months was tottering over to where Luke was.  This little boy was pulling a heavy wooden toy and beating it against the floor.  I watched, just waiting for him to hurl that toy at Luke, no one watching.  Luckily he didn't.

I finally left about 10am and went to my car crying my eyes out.  Was I just being overly protective? Would this get better?  I could not see a clear path to this getting better anytime soon!  Tim was at a meeting so I drove to my Mom and Dad's house.  They were so helpful and provided a listening ear and sound advice.

I met Tim for lunch at Olive Garden around noon to discuss my findings and our options.  As I drove to meet him and sitting at the table before he got there, I prayed that God would give us the widom and the fortitude to make the right decision for Luke.  Deep down I wished so much that Tim could just keep our precious angel, but I hesitated to put that sort of pressure on him.  As we ate, I finally came out and told him what my perfect picture would look like.  We started to discuss and it became clearer and clearer that this might work!  Thank God - my Superman husband saves the day again!

Tim called up to the daycare on our way to get Luke and asked the Director if we could speak to her for a few minutes when we got there.  We arrived and got Luke from the classroom and sat down with the Director.  I had been through such a rollercoaster of emotion that day already that my brain was total mush - so thank God for my husband who can have a conversation in the middle of a hurricane.  Tim then eloquently and so very diplomatically told her of our concerns.  I was sitting there with Henry Kissinger!  The Director was very concerned and thanked us for bringing the issues to her attention.  She said that she would make sure these points were addressed in their upcoming trainings - like how to properly support a baby's head (WHAT?... THEY HAVEN'T ALREADY BEEN TRAINED ON THIS?).  Tim ended the conversation by telling her that we would not be enrolling Luke in the program.  She told us she understood and then said that if we ever decided to come back, she would apply our application fee to that enrollment.  We then went back to the classroom to collect the bin of supplies we brought that morning and we were out of there!

UPDATE 9/24/10

Today at 9am we met Miss Jean!  Miss Jean was recommended by Heidi Cole, one of our new friends and Wellspring UMC congregation member.  Heidi's three sweet kiddos were cared for by Miss Jean for several years before going into a preschool program just this year.  So Miss Jean had some openings!  I am so pleased to say that we just loved her.  I began to feel more and more relaxed as we talked to her.  She has five children herself from the ages of 27 to 10.  She cares for two other little four year old boys each day.

So for now, we have decided that Tim will keep Luke with Miss Jean caring for him a few days each week or whenever Tim might need to be away from home.  Mom is going to watch him some too!  It is just such a burden off my heart to know that my sweet baby will be with his daddy, his grammy, or a caregiver who will love on him and give him all the attention he needs!   I sat today, stroking Luke's hair as I fed him, and thinking how phenomenally blessed we are as a family.  God has provided for us at every twist and turn in our lives.  I will go to work Monday with a happy heart.

Thank you God for the flexibility you have provided to us in so many ways.  Our family is truly blessed.

And because I don't like for any pictures of my angel baby to go to waste - here are a couple from that morning at daycare.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Best Friends

A couple of days ago, I put the mobile up in the pack and play.  Luke is starting to look at and respond to items he looks at more and more.  He will just coo and goo at things for the longest time with the sweetest smile.  I think he has found his favorite though.  His best friend appears to be the little gray elephant that hangs from the mobile in his pack and play.  I tried to catch him talking to Mr. Elephant a few moments ago.

Luke and his new best friend - Mr. Elephant
 The conversation with Mr. Elephant continues even as I type this blog LOL.  What a fabulously cute son I have! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Smiles, Cousins and Mommy and Me!


This past Sunday I was finally quick enough to grab the camera to catch Luke's smiles.  He has been smiling for a couple of weeks now, but just recently they have gotten bigger and so much more joyful.  He is even starting to squeal every now and then.


Just a few days ago, Michelle came by with all three girls and Grammy for a visit.  The girls got to see Luke and Michelle got to see our new house for the first time.


On Monday, Luke and I traveled downtown to Baylor to go to a Mommy and Me class on sleep that Miss Christy was giving.  There were so many Mommies there with their babies.  Most were older than Luke.  He got to be the class model for the miracle blanket demo though!  I found it really hard to identify with the other ladies.  It seemed that most of them were stay at home Mommies that came to these classes every week.  They all knew each other and it was apparent as they laughed and talked and traded blankets, snacks and stories.  After the class, we went out to lunch with Christy and another of her clients.  We had a great day and Luke did great.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

2 and 1/2 Weeks and Counting.....

I cannot believe how fast my time off has flown by.  I have been home since the beginning of July after my second stay in the hospital for hernia problems during my pregnancy.  The month of July crawled because we were waiting for Mr. Luke to arrive.  Once he was born, the time started to fly.  The spectrum of emotions I have felt during this time is indescribable.  The one feeling though that tops all of the rest is the purest, deepest love I have ever experienced.  When Luke was born, the moment I heard his cry, my heart doubled in size.

So - with a much bigger heart now - there is double the heartache when I think about returning to work.  It really is a very confusing time for me.  On one hand, I want to spend every minute of every day with him.  I don't want to miss a sound, a move, any facial expression.  On the other hand, I miss the charge a hard day of work gives me - the sense of accomplishment.  I know many many working Moms who manage to have a wonderful family life and kids who are happy and healthy.  I have decided that working will make me an even better Mommy.  See I'm very good at what I do and I enjoy the daily challenge that my career in Financial reporting gives me.  I also enjoy working with other people and helping to cultivate the careers of those around me.  I believe that the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction I get from working, will make the time I spend with Luke that much better quality.  He will also get to see that his Mommy is smart and driven and has a career of her own that she excels at.  In other words, I believe that my keeping and building upon the identity my career gives me, will allow me to be a very good example for Luke.  For some Moms, it is absolutely the right thing to stay home with their babies.  I don't think that one choice is better than the other - I just think there are different choices for different Mommies.  Both choices can result in a wonderful family life with happy, healthy kiddos.  I think the most important thing for a Mommy is that she know herself well enough to make the right choice.

So - with that said... I have started to come to terms with the fact that we will start school for Luke on September 27th - the day I return to work.  I am calling it school because it makes me feel better than calling it day care :)  I called the Montessori Academy at Westridge (the school we have decided on) today to see if I could bring Luke in before I actually have to go back to work in order to ease both of us into this transition.  They seemed very prepared for crazy overprotective Mommies and told me that we could use the 2 business days before the 27th as our transition period.  So, on Thursday September 24th, Tim and I will go to school with Luke for the day.  We get to be there and experience everything that he will.  On the 25th, we will actually leave him for a while.  Then the 27th is our official first day.  Being able to go with him the entire first day makes me feel much better.

Over Labor Day weekend, we took Luke on his first overnight trip to see Nana and to go to his cousins' first birthday party.  The first day of our trip was not great.  Luke was way overstimulated the day of the party and was extremely fussy.  We weren't able to be outside with everyone much - but that's babies!  The next few days were much much better!  I planned and tried to stay one step ahead of Luke's every need LOL.  I created a special sleeping oasis for him at our hotel.  He was cozy and had his sound machine to make him comfortable while he slept.
Fold-out couch made into bed and changing area for Luke!

Luke also got to meet his Nana for the first time.  Nana loved on him and he was one happy little boy!
Luke also got to meet his great Aunt Laverne and cousins Pat and Christy, plus Christy's husband David and their sweet kids Eric and Kayli.  Tim's friends Wade and Teri also paid us a visit while we were there and Sunday we visited Northwest Hills UMC where we saw so many wonderful friends who all loved on Luke.  He is one lucky little boy.

So I have 2.5 weeks before I go back to work.  I plan on making the absolute most of the time I've got left, but more importantly, I plan on making the most of the time I spend with my son and my husband each and every day - regardless of work or anything else that requires my time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Luke is One Month Old Today!

I can hardly believe it's been a month.  In some ways the time has just flown by, in other ways it feels like he has been with us forever.  We have figured out a few things over the past few weeks.

1.  Breastfeeding just wasn't for us.  We tried the first two weeks and ended up just frustrated.  I could not see a light at the end of the tunnel and I could not figure out how I was going to do it once I returned to work.  I felt horrible guilt about it but finally decided that it was better for our entire family to keep our stress level down.

2.  Luke can be a cranky baby!  For a while, during his waking hours, he was constantly fussy.  I finally got to the point where his cries do not send my anxiety level through the roof.

3.  I am not going to be able to fix everything for him.  Sometimes he will just have to cry.

4.  The swing is our friend! (this week)  He will sit in the swing and look around for the longest time.

5.  Routines never work the same way twice.  This has been hard for me.  I think I have it all figured out and then what worked beautifully one day, doesn't work the same way the next.  For example, the bedtime routine.  For a few days it seemed to work great.  Then the next day it took 3 hours to get him to sleep!  I am learning some valuable lessons in patience and going with the flow.

6.  Raising a baby without a wonderful husband by my side seems almost impossible to me.  I know there are some great single Moms and Dads out there and my hat is off to them!  I am so glad Tim is by my side daily to offer help and support and encouragement.

We also went for our very first portrait session this last week.  It was a very long session to go through with a baby - over three hours!  It was worth it though in the end.  We got some wonderful pictures.

We are headed to West (near Waco) over Labor Day weekend to be at the triplets first birthday party.  After the party we will continue on to Austin to visit some of Tim's family.  It will be Luke's first trip.  He normally does well in the car.  Praying that the trip goes well for him and for us!  We are looking forward to seeing our family in Austin and introducing them to the newest Payne :)