Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas fun...

I had a lovely Christmas with my family in Massachusetts. J, JOE and I arrived on Monday evening. It was a pretty smooth trip considering it was JOE's first plane ride @ 6 weeks. She did GREAT! She slept from the minute we left home until we arrived in Boston and were about to get off the plane! I didn't even have to nurse her during take off and touch down because she refused to wake up. I did put on kid size headphones over her ears while in flight just so the noise wouldn't startle her.

The rest of the day was spent with my nieces and nephews. They have all grown up so much! I don't get to see them often so when I see them, I see major differences in them. I wish me and all my siblings lived closer to each other.

As I have gotten older, I take more pleasure in seeing the looks on the faces of my nieces and nephews when they open their gifts than I do getting a gift. I guess it has to do with the fact that I feel like if I really want something, I can buy it for myself but kids can't necessarily do that.

JOE made out like a bandit in her first Christmas. J & I asked that in lieu of toys and clothes, we be given gift cards to use towards her nursery when we move next spring. My siblings certainly did not disappoint as far as giving JOE cash gifts and gift cards. Our little girl is truly blessed.

As is our typical family tradition, my younger brother made breakfast for the family. He made a very yummy breakfast of oven baked French toast and a vegetarian omelet. It was so yummy and was gone before I remembered to take a picture of the awesome meal.

After breakfast, the kids all sat around while they were each called to get their gifts. Over the years, we have found this to be more efficient than having them get it themselves. Once all the kids had their gifts, we distributed the stockings.

This year, we decided not to do gifts for adults. Instead, we all stuffed all the stockings with goodies. Can you guess which one was mine?

It was a fun Christmas and all of JOE's cousins enjoyed hanging out with her even though she was a little restless towards the end of the day thereby causing daddy and mommy to have our own private quiet dinner picnic away from the group.

Oh and incase you were wondering, my darling J got me a gift card to a very nice spa resort. I get a day full of pampering. Can't wait to use it!

Hope you had a fun and blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Be sure to hug your loved ones and be thankful for them.


J, J & J

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thankful weekend!

In light of the horrendous shootings on Friday in Connecticut, I know a lot of people are asking ” where is God?” when things like this happen. Why would God allow a crazy person to take so many innocent lives? While none of us knows why, we can be sure of one thing...that God is still in control.

It is hard to be thankful but I feel like being thankful is another way of acknowledging God's presence in every situation.

I have so much to be thankful for in the last few days so I've decided to blog about a few of the items I am thankful for.

1. I am thankful for the lives that were spared in the Connecticut shooting. I know a lot were taken but I am thankful that more were not.

2. I am thankful for the holiday session which is a reminder that God loved us so much he sent his son Jesus. Emmanuel!...God is with us!

3. I am thankful for our little shrub (a.k.a.. Our Christmas tree). Our big tree is in storage while our new home is being built.

4. I am thankful for the progress of our new home. We should be ready to move in in early Spring!

5. I am thankful for my husband and daughter. God truly has increased the love in our family a thousand fold!

6. I am thankful for my first 8+ ounces of milk pumped in one session. My little JOE is going through a growth spurt so she needs every single one of those ounces.

7. I am thankful for my sister who arrived on Friday to help me out a bit.

8. I am thankful for love, life and family!

9. I am thankful for God's provision always so J & I can afford to buy Christmas presents for friends and family.

10. I am thankful to be alive!

What are you thankful for today? I challenge you to start out the week by being more positive and giving thanks.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mary Poppins...finding the right nanny for baby JOE

When I was younger, one of my favorite movies was Mary Poppins. I love it so much I still remember the words to the song Supercalisfragilisticespealidocious!
It's no surprise then that when J and I started looking for a nanny for little JOE, the image I had in mind for a nanny was skewed. I was expecting a nanny who would come and blow me away with her skills and immediate connection with Jordan. My experience so far during the nanny search process has been far from the way it was in the movie.

J & I started the search 2-weeks ago. Yes, I know we are late in the game but we didn't want to hire someone and tell them they couldn't start for another 2 months.
We decided to use based on some positive feedback we have received from close friends.
So here is an account of our interview process. In hind sight, I can laugh now but when it occurred, it wasn't so funny.

Nanny #1showed up dressed to the 9s. She had on heels that clearly weren't kid friendly and she spent the entire interview playing with her hair! Our ad asked that the nanny be CPR and first aid certified. This lady had neither and when asked if she planned on getting it, her response was " know what? I have seen that a lot of people have been asking about that so perhaps I need to get it." She then spent the rest of the interview talking about the pictures we have around our place. She did not once ask any question about Jordan and never once asked to hold her or see her.

Nanny #2 was really good. We really liked her and since she has worked as a au pair before, she met all of our requirements. However, she didn't want to come to our place to watch JOE. She wanted us to bring her to her house. She lives 15 minutes in the opposite direction of J's and my job so that would add 30 minutes to his commute every morning and to my commute every evening. Needless to say, it was not favorable for us. But even then, we decided to make her an offer with the stipulation that she come to our place. She turned down the offer so we decided to continue the search.

In the meantime, we decided to check out a couple of daycares. That was a traumatizing experience for J & I and mostly because of the way the newborns were being cared for. In one place, one of the caregivers changed a kid and then proceeded to feed another child WITHOUT washing her hands first. That freaked me out. I know they are busy but for a newborn, that's a no no in my book.
The other place had too many coughing kids and was overcrowded. J and I decided we should continue with the nanny search. Plus when we crunched the number,the price difference between a daycare and nanny care was $1.50/hour. J & I were willing to part with that $1.50 to ensure a more personal care for our little JOE.

Nanny #3 cared more about the money than about JOE. When asked about her experience with newborns, she kept referring to her son. Ok...nothing wrong with that except for the fact that her son is 27! Ummm...that doesn't give me much confidence when your last experience was 27 years ago and was only with one kid! Oh and before she left, she wanted to know about the benefits plan. I did mention to her that this is a live-out nanny position AND our ad clearly stated what we were looking for.

Nanny #4 was awesome! She asked for a parents handbook which includes our contact information and who to call when there was an issue. She also gave us quite a few tips during the interview process. AND she was the only candidate who asked to hold JOE to see if there was a connection. JOE was awake and alert and actually smiled at her! We were very impressed with her.

Nanny #5 was "special". There was just too much to go into. The one interesting aspect of the interview was when J asked "what age kids do you typically like to work with?" Her response was "2 - 3 year olds because I don't know what to do when babies cry." I thought I was being punked! Who shows up for a nanny interview for a newborn and isn't comfortable taking care of newborns? Oh and did I mention she used to be an au pair? When asked about that, she said "yes, I watched some babies to fulfill my au pair requirement." Yup...I was ready to end the interview there and then but J wanted to be polite.

2 other candidates confirmed the times but never showed up. Oh well...better they do that now than after I hire them.

At the end of the day, we made an offer to nanny #4. We truly hope it works out! I will keep you posted!

For those who had to make childcare decisions, how did you make it? Do you like your current childcare arrangements?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Look who is a month!

Our little J.O.E turned 1-month yesterday. It is so hard to believe that it's been a month since I had her.
Being a mom has been a challenge but also a very rewarding challenge. When she smiles, I feel like all is right in the world. She is growing each day and noticing more about her surroundings. This week, she started interacting. She likes to "play" with the vibrating sassy bug on her carseat handle. I use the word play loosely because all she does is swipe at it. :-).

She loves taking baths! Most babies I know don't but my little J.O.E would sit there for s long as I will let her (3minutes max!).

She hates tummy time but it can't be avoided. I hate it too because I hate seeing my baby so frustrated. But despite that, my baby is up to the challenge. She lifts and moves her head from side to side.

Of course, like most parents, I think she is a child prodigy :-). I know I am biased though.

We started the process of looking for child care for Jordan for when I go back to work and already, I am dreading the day I'll have to leave her with someone else to care for her.

Now, I know what it means to love instantly and unconditionally. I pray God gives me the power and grace to care for and teach this precious gift he has given me.

Have a nice weekend all!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Behind the name

So I have had a lot of people ask me why we named our daughter What we named her (Jordan Oyekemi).
Comments have ranged from "that's a cute name" to "were you unsure of the baby's gender?" Or "why didn't you spell it differently to feminize the name?" I often want to make a rude comment but I know it's not coming from a mean place. At least I hope not.

So the question remains, what's behind the name?

We knew we wanted a name from the bible and that the name would begin with a J. The names we had on the list were: Jenesis (yes...genesis with a J), JoAnna, Jessie, and Joelle.
We narrowed it down to 3 names. Jenesis, JoAnna or Jordan. The name Jordan literally jumped into my head. First, it isn't a person's name in the bible but rather the name of a river. Secondly, I thought for sure, we would go with Jenesis which means first or beginning.
Jordan was originally not on our list of names. We added it to our list during hurricane Sandy when we lost power. Basically, hubby and I were sitting around talking since at that point, I think we were done singing about the "bottles of beer on the wall" (our way of passing time) :-).

J & I both decided that we would give her a name after we meet her. But we knew we had at least 3 good names.

I said if it was an easy birth, she would be named "Jordan" because there is something calming and soothing about rivers. However, if it wasn't, she would be named Jenesis.
The labor was HARD! But when it came time to push, it was rather easy. I knew there and then that her name would be Jordan. The minute J asked me what we wanted to go with, there was no doubt in my mind.

Her middle name is a name her dad loves. Or rather, he loves the short form (Kemi). It is a Nigerian name (Yoruba heritage). But Kemi alone doesn't mean anything so we had to add on to it. Oyekemi means "honor favors me". We thought it was very appropriate for a child who was certainly prayed for and has been showered with lots of gifts and favors from conception.

So, now you know, the rest of the story :-).

Have you ever wondered how your parents decided on your name? If you have kids, how did you come up with their names? If not, do you have a name picked out yet for when you become parents?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Before & After

Being a mom truly has been amazing and challenging all at the same time.

I feel like I could sleep for 12 hours straight but yet at the same time know that I can function on just 2 solid hours of sleep.

The healing process has been a little slower than I thought it would be. I thought for sure by the time J.O.E turned 1 month, I'd be feeling like my old self again but that has not been the same. I am still sore down below. One of the "fun stuff" no one tells you about :-).

A while back, I read on Pegster's blog about the wonders of the belly bandit. I decided to purchase it because I saw the great results Peg got from using it.

Well, the day after I had Jordan (hours after I had her), I put on my belly bandit. I have worn it night and day for the last month.
Here are the results of wearing it. It says to wear it for 6 weeks but the one I got (medium) is too big and I refuse to buy a new one for just 2 weeks.

I am now a believer! My only complaint is that it kept bunching up in the middle which required adjusting it often. But other than that, it was great.

In other awesome news, I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans last week at exactly 3-weeks. I lost all the weight 2-weeks after delivery but it took an extra week to get back into my jeans. That totally made my day last week.
Keep in mind that I was up 17-lbs when I went into labor. She weighed 6lb 4.9oz. Adding another pound for the placenta and also for blood, I was down about 10-lbs when I left the hospital.

Before @ 39-weeks 4days

;">After @ 3-weeks 6 days postpartum.

I hope as J.O.E gets into a routine, I am able to blog some more. I am looking forward to spending the holidays with our new little family.

I am learning to use my iPad so my posts might be a little "patchy" for now. Feel free to offer up tips if you are an iPad expert using blogger.

Have a fabulous week!


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