Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I'm a little late in getting this post up... things were a little hectic and emotional on Christmas Day, but we still had a wonderful celebration nonetheless.

It started by going to church on Christmas Eve. Madi was a bit sleepy, but incredibly happy. She kept squirming around and smiling at the people behind her. She was complimented afterwards for her good behavior. :-)

The following morning we had stockings full of presents and lots of fun as Madi ripped and ate tissue paper from the gift bags. She also decided that Christmas Day was the perfect time to go from laying on her stomach to sitting up!

And it wouldn't be Christmas without Madi eating a few rocking horse ornaments. ;-)

And we ended the night playing dice games! Madi won. :-)



A friend told me a couple years ago that I have too high of expectations of people, myself included. She gently chastised me that I get my feelings hurt too often as a result because people will always end up letting me down eventually. I listened to her and gave her words some weight since I knew she was saying them out of love and concern, but, admittedly, didn't see exactly what she meant and was talking about. Until now.

This past week has been a struggle for me. It wasn't the ideal Christmas INSERT LINK if you read this post here about having to start supplementing with formula. Between the bottles and my low supply, Madison is not enjoying breastfeeding, which means I am not enjoying breastfeeding. There are few harder sounds to hear than your child crying and trying to latch and not getting enough to eat.

I spent one evening a couple nights ago on the phone with another dear friend who shared with me her struggles and encouraged me to do what's best for my relationship with Madi. I gave that a lot of thought and prayer and realized that the way things were going right now was causing me to resent my daughter, to dread feeding time, and angering me because I wasn't able to provide for her. And I was unfairly taking it out on my daughter.

Between my tears and her tears, I've decided to stop nursing her. I tried pumping the last couple of days and feeding her just in the morning, but I'm still not getting my supply up enough to keep up with her and it's getting to be a hardship. Jason and I talked about it last night and decided that my feed this morning would be my last.

Through this struggle my eyes (and heart) have been opened to see what my friend was sharing with me regarding expectations. It took my beautiful, helpless, needing baby girl to show me that I was already expecting too much of her. I expected her to eat efficiently and calming. I expected her to be able to distinguish between a bottle and my breast with no problems. I expected her to only whine and fuss when something is wrong, not when everything seems to be fine. Expected, expected, expected. And I didn't even realize it.

It scares me to think that I might continue in this pattern as my daughter continues to grow. It brings me to tears again to think that she might grow up feeling like she can't do anything right and that failure is not an option because I have too high of expectations for her. I want her to fail sometimes because it means she tried and she'll grow and learn. I want her to know that I love her more than she could imagine even when she sins.

I'm concerned for my marriage and that I'm possibly putting too high of expectations on Jason. I'm wondering if my friendships have struggled because I unknowingly expected too much and as my friend predicted, got my feelings hurt too easily.

I'm not really sure where to go from here either. I'm not sure how to fix myself or adjust my expectations - of myself and those I love. I'm open to advice or suggestions from anyone that's had a similar struggle. All I do know is that I do indeed need to change my perspective so I don't push away the people I love and care about, especially my husband and daughter.


Monday, December 30, 2013

A Colorado Christmas

After Chicago and Houston, our next stop was Colorado to see friends and Jason's family. Once again, it took a day or so for Madi to warm-up to new people, but afterwards she did great! There was lots of playing, laughing, and fun times with everyone! :-)

Good little traveler! Note to self: remove headband prior to naps and car seat rides... :-/

We got to see some good friends for coffee and dinner as well as make a quick stop by our alma mater, the Colorado School of Mines.

Afterwards we headed down to Colorado Springs to spend time with Jason's family. We surprised Jason's sister Lily at school that day.

And had lots of fun and laughter during our visit!

We also drove up to Greeley to spend time with more family. Madi got to meet her Mörmör (great grandma) and her Meema (great GREAT grandma). We got a fabulous five-generation picture too!

But first, a Lily and Darcy selfie. Don't worry, it was at a stoplight. A red stoplight, just to clarify. ;-)

Back down in Colorado Springs we spent some time with Lisa's family. Unfortunately, I got sick before going over so my visit was cut short, but Jason and Madi stayed awhile longer. We also made sure to get a family photo before I left.

I promise she's not a Longhorn... she just likes to suck on those fingers... :-/

And it wouldn't be a trip to Colorado without a stop at Chipotle!!

Stay tuned for the rest of our Christmas adventure when we headed to Oklahoma City!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Christmas Confession

Confession: I've spent five of the last six Christmases in tears, and unfortunately, not tears of joy. Whether it was because of difficulties in our marriage, issues with family, or pregnancy hormones, there's always been something that has brought me to tears. (And yes, I am admittedly, a cry baby.) And yesterday, well, yesterday I cried because we had to give Madison a bottle of formula.

In an attempt to get ourselves a date night I brought my pump and was trying to pump a little after each feed. However, between all the traveling, getting sick last Sunday, and perhaps not staying hydrated enough in dry Colorado, my supply has obviously dropped and I'm not producing enough for both. Madison was still hungry and my mom and I had to run to the store for formula, delaying our Christmas meal, because I was worried. Add to that Madi's teething, spitting up (still), possibly fighting a cold/cough, refusing to let other people hold her and crying every time I leave or enter a room she's in, and general fussiness and I am just plain tired.

I am tired of the crying, the screaming, the fussiness, and - if I am truly honest - Madison herself. Since we've been traveling so much and Jason was sick before we left I feel like I haven't gotten a break for the past month. I realize I am being my own pity party here and that you don't get a break as a mom and that I'm blessed enough to have family that's been kind enough to take her as much as they can. So we are taking advantage of that tonight!

Tonight Jason and I are going away for the evening and getting a hotel room, leaving Madison with my mom and Jeff. I'll acknowledge the fact that it's more important for my daughter to be nourished with formula than for my pride to try and nurse her. But I'll continue pumping in an attempt to get my supply back up. I'm going to try my best to enjoy this time alone with my hubby and not wonder how Madison is doing and if she's behaving. I'm going to focus on the many blessings I have in my life and stop being so hard on myself and instead remembering to thank the Lord for the gift of His Son yesterday and the gift He gave me in watching over His daughter Madi.

And next year, I'm going to try and keep it together and not cry on Christmas! Maybe. :-)


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Madi: Six Months

- First overseas trip to 'Merica! We've taken you to Chicago, Houston, and are currently in Colorado. We'll head to Oklahoma next and spend Christmas and New Year's there.
- You got not one, but TWO teeth shortly after arriving in the States. Mommy thought you were just being fussy from the time change, but then noticed a bottom left tooth had emerged! A couple weeks later you got the other bottom tooth. :-)

- You continue to talk and have experimented with different sounds. Some sound like a gagging, some high pitched talking, and others. It's fun to hear you play with different sounds.
- You are pretty much sitting unassisted. We aren't quite to the point where we can set you down without someone being close, but you are getting really good! You also go from all fours to a sideways position that looks like you are about to sit up on your own if you could move your hand and had a strong enough core. I'm sure you'll be there very soon!

- We've implemented the Baby-Led Weaning method and introduced you to solids. We started a tad early after you were watching us eating very intently and moving your mouth in chewing positions. You do very good and have tried avocados, bananas, pears, strawberries, raspberries (which you hated), dumplings, french fries, chicken, steak, bread, muffins, cucumbers, lettuce, bell peppers, tortillas, pasta, and cookies. You are amazing at picking the food up and taking it right to your mouth and it's so fun to include you in mealtime!
- You continually push-up on all fours standing on your feet in the yoga downward dog position. We're afraid that pretty soon you are going to realize you can pull yourself up. :-/

- You aren't crawling, but you are definitely moving forward. Particularly towards the iPad when it's playing "What Does the Fox Say" video. ;-)
- You are definitely going through a "Mommy-only" phase. Particularly in a large group of people and new people, both of which you have been exposed to in our whirlwind tour of the States. After about a day you warm up to people though so all the grandparents have been able to hold you. :-)

Madi Duck -
You are so much fun! You love smiling at people and are a joy to be around! You've been on 12 flights so far and have done fabulous on all of them. You are being so good throughout our travels across the country. All of the grandparents have been loving having you with them and we are so grateful that we've been able to take you to meet so many people (even if you haven't let them hold you, haha). We are so excited to be celebrating your first Christmas soon!
Daddy and Mommy


Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 Christmas Card Reveal

The Christmas cards are stuffed, sealed, addressed, and stamped and in the post as we speak! So I think it's okay for an Internet reveal. :-)

I love sending Christmas cards. I was devastated not to send them last year but with the move and everything going on we didn't have time. Instead we sent "We're Moving / Expecting" postcards. This year, however, I made sure to get them made and ordered. I sent them to Colorado to make sure they would arrive before we did and got them assembled with the help of my amazing hubby and sister-in-law Lily.

Once again I used GotPrint for the order. I was able to download their template for Adobe Illustrator and design the entire thing myself. Their prices are super reasonable and since I am a snob about not wanting logos on my cards they are a win-win in my book! Here's our 2011 Christmas card and our birth announcement, both of which were designed and ordered through GotPrint. (By the way GotPrint has no idea who I am so it's safe to say I'm not being compensated for my shameless plug. :-) )

So without further ado (let's be honest you probably already scrolled down to it anyway!) -

The Stingerie 2013 Christmas Card


Friday, December 20, 2013

Houston: 2 of 4 Christmases

After visiting Chicago and visiting my family there for Madi's first of four Christmases, we (Madi and I) headed to Houston! Originally, I planned to arrive and juggle two suitcases, a car seat, stroller, and Madi while trying to get a rental car, install the car seat, and then get on the road. Fortunately, a couple months ago, Jason found out about a meeting in Houston that he needed to attend... and it was the same week I was planning to be there! So Jason bought his ticket to arrive a couple hours before us and after clearing customs he went and got the rental car and came and met us at the airport. I can't imagine how I would have handled everything by myself and I'm so grateful God knew I needed my husband! :-)

Since Jason was there for work, Madi and I drove across town having lunches and coffees with lots of friends and taking Madi to my office.

And we had some fun playing in our l-a-r-g-e hotel room. :-)

My sweet friend Catherine watched Madi while I went and got my hair done. It was a much needed break for Mommy and a ton of fun for Madi and Miss Catherine!

Over the weekend we stayed with Jason's sister Stephanie and her family. I'm so glad we got to spend time with them while we were in town and so glad Jason was able to come and see them! You'll notice there are no pictures of our nephew Jaiden... he was sick so Steph tried to keep him away as best as possible to avoid everyone getting sick.

There was lots of playing and we got to give Sydney her Christmas present - a headband and clip holder that we made!

We visited CEPC on Sunday and afterwards had lunch with our friends Erin and David and their kiddos Noah and Hannah.

Of course there is never enough time, but we used it as best as we could and loved getting to see so many people! And it wouldn't have been possible without some fuel from Starbucks. ;-)

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