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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap

My goal this year was simple: Become stronger, healthier and happier. It was a simple resolution and, even though I can't totally measure it, I think I achieved it pretty well. This year, I'm doing the same thing - I won't have a set resolution but one main goal, to live a good life!

2011 was a crazy year! I saw someone do this on another blog and I wanted to do the same thing. Let's recap the big events, month by month.


Started my 101 in 1001 list.
Kept running.
Spread the love for my Brandon as we passed 200 days separated during deployment.
Went on a hike with my friend.


Spent Valentine's Day alone. :(
Marked 12 years as an American citizen.
Got up close and personal with Gary Sinise.


Started the month off right when Christina gave birth to baby Dominic!
 Spent an amazing two weeks with Brandon on his R&R!
Got pregnant... though we didn't know that yet ;)


Found out I was pregnant (but kept it a secret!)
Celebrated my birthday.
Watched some polo matches.
Marked 300 days apart.
Enjoyed spending time with all my friends!


Mentioned our five year dating anniversary.
Started to feel incredibly anxious about Brandon coming home.
Had my last day at work!!


Announced that we were expecting a baby.
Brandon came home after 353 days apart!
Brandon got promoted to Captain.


Found out Brandon got into flight school!
Also found out we were having a girl!
Ended the month by flying to Australia.


We spent half a month in Australia.
Had my baby shower.
Started yoga.


Marked two years of living in Hawaii.
Started taking the Bradley Method classes.
Celebrated Brandon's 26th birthday!


Toured some homes for the fun of it.
Participated in the AFAP conference.
Became an aunt (again!) to my niece Avelyn.


Started NaNoWriMo for the third year.
Took some maternity photos.
Said goodbye to a great man.


Found out our baby is breech.
Tried everything we could to turn her around.
Gave birth to my pretty Penny on December 16!
Spent Christmas with my little family.
Didn't sleep much, but enjoying every minute!

Can't wait to see what 2012 holds for us!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 14 & Life with a Newborn

I posted days 12 and 13 yesterday right here, so check it out if you haven't!

Penny is two weeks old today! What a whirlwind it has been. We're still trying to figure it all out. She's sleeping and eating fairly well, so that's a plus. Nighttimes are a little rough only because I'm so exhausted! And we're trying to figure out the feeding thing: she chokes a lot and then she falls asleep only to want more like 20 minutes later. It's all trial and error!

She's been a joy to have around. Her favorite things right now are sleeping on Brandon's chest and us reading this book called "Hello Animals" that is black & white. She doesn't mind when Dexter licks her face, either.

We had her two week appointment today! She is 7 lbs 14 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. That's a weight gain of 1 lbs 2 oz from her birth weight and almost 2 inches in length! She did so well and didn't cry once, the doctor was impressed.

Now on to the 30 Day Photo Challenge. Today is... Day 14: Eyes.

I decided to take photos of everyone in the house right now. It was harder to zoom in on the baby, but I got fairly good pics of the rest of us!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back to it!

Remember that 30 Day Photo Challenge? Well, I've been feeling guilty about slacking on it. I did have a baby like less than 2 weeks ago, so I'm cutting myself some slack... but only a little bit.

Honestly, I've been stuck on the next day, which is Sunset. Why? Because I can't seem to get outside when the sun is setting! Ever. So I had to decide if I was going to keep trying to remember, skip the thing entirely, or find a photo I took before and use that.

I chose the third option. Here's a cool sunset photo I took with my phone. I've actually taken some nice photos with my phone in the past, as long as I catch it right.

Let's just say I have an IOU on a sunset photo, alright? ;)

So moving on, the next day is... Day 13: You with 13 things.

I decided to take a quick self-portrait of myself by my desk. In the background you'll see more than 13 things, but here's some highlights: Computer, mouse, trusty water bottle, envelopes, photo, binder, pens, label maker, label maker refill, note board, paper, basket, receipts!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baby's First Christmas

I woke up on Christmas morning to a hungry baby and poop in the hallway - yay. It was 5:30am, an early start to the day! I quickly fixed both situations and came downstairs to see the presents under the tree.

Granted, the presents had been there pretty much all week. There were two extra boxes for me, though, that Brandon put out that night. I had an idea what the big one held but it was still exciting to see it. It wasn't time to open anything yet, we had to get situated with coffee (for the others) and a Christmas outfit on our little baby.

We had bought some personalized ornaments a couple days before. Here's the one we got for Penny's first Christmas:
We started with the stockings, of course. Brandon got me a nice spread including my fave candy, Ferrero Rocher, some bath stuff, a chocolate orange and all natural root beer. He got a bunch of candy from me, Pez from his mom, and some coffee samplers. His mom got a nice Hawaiian spread from us.

After resting from the stockings, we decided to open our presents! We started with gifts for the baby because, well, she's the baby. She slept through the whole thing, but we had fun. Penny got some clothes, a playtime mat, a Sophie the Giraffe toy, a Leapfrog Violet dog, and a bunch of other little toys. She also got a necklace from my mom, which is a tradition with new babies.

Brandon got a whole bunch of Glenn Beck books (he loves that guy) and the final Michael Crichton book, which was a total surprise to him! He also got a remote control helicopter, a torque wrench, and a new wallet, amongst other things.

I got Sims Medieval (which I have yet to play...), an herb mill, a mortar & pestle, and the big gift: a KitchenAid stand mixer! That's what the big box was holding. Woo.
 Anyway, enough about gifts. We spent the entire morning making stuff! First was cinnamon rolls, which we made in the mixer. Then we had to prep the turkey, get the green bean casserole ready, make some broth, and prep the stuffing. Brandon and I couldn't sneak away to shower until well past noon!

We spent the afternoon relaxing and then ate our dinner about 5pm. It was delicious! We finished off Christmas with a walk around the neighborhood and a couple board games. It was a fun Christmas, made especially great because Brandon was home and we had Penny in our arms!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Penny's Newborn Shoot!

My friend Bonnie Jean, who did our maternity photos, came over and did our newborn photos too! We set up in our bedroom because the light came in the window just right and got to work. Penny was cooperative almost the entire time. We had such a great time and are blessed to have such an easy and pretty little baby. 

Here are some of my favorites for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

As the blogs slow down because of the holiday season, I thought I'd shoot out a quick message too!

We've been super busy with the baby, of course. We're slowly getting into a routine and figuring her out. It's been tons of fun.

So I just wanted to say to you all this weekend...

Merry Christmas!!
We hope your Christmas is wonderful!

Stay tuned next week, I'll be bombing you with her newborn photos (one of which is the photo above!)

See you soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This week is the week of baby blog posts! But really, ever since Penny was born, this has been my life. That's what it's like with a newborn!

Oh, btw, if some of my blog posts are filled with typos and stuff... it's probably the awesome meds they have me on. Sometimes they make me a bit loopy ;) I'm not complaining, it really helps with the c-section pain!

We've been adjusting well to having the baby around. I'm learning really quickly that 24 hours feels only like 12 hours with a baby around. Seriously, it was dinner time yesterday and I had barely done a thing! But we'll figure it out and develop a new schedule. Right now I'm concentrating on resting (which is super hard for this girl) and figuring out this little baby.

When Penny was born, we were trying to figure out two things: Her name and who she looked like. We went to the hospital planning to name her either Victoria Marie or Penelope Ann. It's funny, before we met her, we were leaning towards Victoria. It just felt right. Well, once I had her in my arms, I tried to call her Victoria a few times, and my mind kept going back to Penny. Man, was it hard naming her! I wanted to give her a name that day, though, and 12 hours after she was born we decided: Penelope Ann it is. I think it fits wonderfully!

We spent a lot of time looking at her, trying to see who she looked like the most. The brown hair, that's definitely me; Brandon was born blond. We decided she has my small ears and my looooong tree climber toes. Lips? Probably me too. It was her eyes we weren't sure of... we both agreed that she looked a little more like Brandon in the eye-forehead area, but now a few days out, she's looking more and more like my little clone.

This is me as a little little baby back in 1987. It's a sucky picture (the photo is blurry, and then I took a pic of it!), but you can kind of see my eyes.
These are two photos of Penny that people have commented on the most saying that she looks like me. The first one, she's in a bit of a milk daze. Yummy milk!

Yeah, I think she looks like me. Uh oh. That's ok, I'm pretty cute ;). It's so fun to have a baby and learn all about her!

And don't worry, I'll be getting back to my 30 day photo challenge. Hopefully tonight! The photo challenge I'm on is "sunset" and honestly, I just keep forgetting to go outside when the sun is setting!

Nothing More Special

There's nothing more special than a daddy's love for his little girl.

We've been home for only a few days and Brandon has been such a help.

He's eager to hold her. He wants to burp her when I finish feeding. He wraps her up, changes her clothes, and holds her when I'm struggling to move.

He won't change poopy diapers, but it's a small compromise. ;)

The best, most wonderful thing he will do?

Brandon just wants to cuddle with his little girl on his chest.

Seeing him so proud, so in love, and loving every minute spent close to his daughter brings tears to my eyes. I married a good guy and I'm grateful that he's the father of our baby!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Hospital Stay

We stayed in the hospital for about two and a half days.

Our first day was of course right after the surgery. That was a tiring day. First, c-section. Then we were moved to the Mother & Baby unit, poked and propped a bunch, and finally allowed to nap a little bit. In between feedings and even more checks, of course. They had me on an all-liquid diet at first (yay?), and I was so hungry. Jello just wasn't cutting it!

About twelve hours from the c-section, the nurse had me stand up and walk to the bathroom. I wasn't allowed to have my catheter out until I could do that. Whoa, that was difficult! Standing up still takes my breath away a little bit until everything loosens up. Anyway, I made it to the bathroom, yay! No more catheter! Though no catheter meant I'd have to get up to do my business... oh well. ;)

They wouldn't let me have solid food until I passed gas and that was the question of the day, I guess, because every nurse was asking me if I had or not. When the time came, it was a joyous occasion :P. I was soooo hungry! They only let me have crackers at first but when I didn't puke that up, I was allowed more food. Sweet.

Further on in the day, they took out my IV. I was free! They were impressed on how great I was feeling and how fast I was progressing.

Throughout the day, of course, we were taking care of little Penny. Feedings, changing diapers (she pooped and peed so much that first day), and general taking care of her. She had no issue latching on and is a nursing champ. Such a relief! In between all these goings-on, we were taking naps. So exhausted!

That night was rough. Penny decided to feed every hour. When she wasn't feeding, she was fussing a lot, and the only thing that would calm her down was sucking on Brandon's finger. We figured out the next day that she loves her pacifier!

Saturday was a better day. I was walking the halls, feeding well, and even saw our first visitor! Sarah and her husband came by to see the baby before they headed off for Christmas vacation. We got a special "Celebration of Life" lunch of steak. The nurses didn't poke me as often. And Penny was much better during the night!

We were anxious to get home, and they discharged us Sunday morning. We got home right before lunchtime and have been trying to settle into our new lives ever since!