Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's been that kind of day

Jackson received a few special Halloween outfits at our baby shower, and I picked up a couple for him for $2 each at Old Knavery yesterday. He unceremoniously serial barfed on all but one of them in succession today.

In the end, I think this lone surviving unbarfed on outfit and the accompanying facial expression best describes our day:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Too big, too fast. The past four weeks? I blinked, I missed it.

Quick, look at your calendar. Jackson is 4 weeks old today, can you believe it?

Neither can I.

Where did all that time go?

I got scammed out of his first week of life since he was in the NICU. So I've really only had 3 weeks of getting to know him. But still. Four weeks. FOUR WEEKS! He's nearly
a month old. He is getting too big for his "Newborn" sized onesies. He is starting to try to lift his head on his own, his Floppy Necked days are numbered. He hangs out with his eyes closed less and spends his awake time with his gorgeous eyes wide open, taking in the world. He listened and watched intently as I sang him Little Bunny Foo Foo yesterday complete with hand motions. He responds to me. When he cries, if I tell him "It's okay, Mommy's here" he settles down a little just at the sound of my voice.

I wish he would stay my tiny little Peanut forever.

He's getting too big, too fast. As each day melts into the next, time just speeds by us. Sometimes I hold him and think "I will never have this moment again" and it makes me so sad! His little face changes every day. As each day passes, his features become more defined and he becomes less of a generic "baby" and more

Too big, too fast.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Mean Monday

From Jackson and the hippo on his Mean Monday onesie.

Please tell me the Land of Bad Mothers isn't calling because they are missing their Queen

Jackson had a particularly spitup-y morning and I hadn't yet had a shower.

Necessity was the mother of invention, and I crafted a crude "sling" from a couple of cloth diapers (thin, dries quickly, provides just enough traction to keep a wet and slippery baby in my grasp). I strapped the kid in and we took a shower together. He kind of liked the sprinkling water (he loves his bath normally) and didn't fuss at all. Now we're both freshly bathed and warmly dressed and we're both pretty happy about it.

Please tell me it's not a Crime Against Children to take a shower with a three week old baby. Because it worked well and I just may do it again (and again and again and again) so we can both avoid becoming Smelly People.

On girlfriendship, and the family that you choose.

The past month has been exceedingly tough for me. First there was all my fear and nervousness that the pre-eclampsia would be a serious threat to my baby. Then there was my very difficult labor and delivery that did not at all go how I had wished. Then there was my struggles with nursing and not having enough of a milk supply for my baby. Now there's the sleepless nights and exhaustion. Through it all, I have had one constant buoy in the stormy sea of life.

I've had my girlfriends, the people I love who love me. The family I choose.

My friends who live as far away as across the country and as close as around the block have all been there for me, rallying me on, comforting me, listening to my problems and supporting me every step of the way.

I've never been alone during any of this. A circle of incredibly amazing ladies all made sure of it.

Not to discount the loving support of my dear husband, but there are some things that guys just don't "get" and that girls are better equipped to understand and sympathize with.

I have revealed to you my difficult childhood, and how my parents aren't a part of my life anymore (and why). My family has become not just those people I am related to through blood or marriage, but the people I let into my inner circle. My family consists of those select few that I am not afraid to be emotionally naked in front of. The people who know all my shortcomings and mistakes and love me just the same.

My heart overflows with gratitude for my family. And if you're a regular reader of my blog, chances are pretty good that definition includes you.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let the Damn Near Anorexic Diet Begin!

Since I am sadly unable to nurse Jackson, I am attempting to make lemons out of lemonade. I can't diet while I'm nursing (at least not to the extreme that I have in the past) so I'm doing it now! Before we conceived, I had dropped about 40 lbs. by using Seattle Sutton's for 2 months and NutriSystem for 1 month. I was eating 1200 calories a day and hitting the gym for a couple of hours a day. I can't log the gym hours yet - have to stay home and take care of the bebe and plus I'm not yet cleared to go back to working out by my doctor. I still have a few weeks to heal from the c-section. But I can go back on the NutriSystem - which Tim and I are doing together (poor lamb gained some sympathy pounds during my pregnancy).

I decided to use the NutriSystem plan again because it's less expensive than Seattle Sutton's by far and it's super easy and convenient. It's become far too easy to send Tim out for take out for dinner every day and far too hard to find the time to grocery shop, meal plan and cook for us while we adjust to life with a newborn. Everything on NutriSystem is pre-packaged and shelf stable. You add milk, fruit and veggies every day to the meals. It's super easy and nearly impossible to screw up.

Soooo....here we go! Since starting the plan earlier this week, I've seen the scale drop by 4 pounds, and that's encouraging. Nothing compared to the 30 lbs. I lost in my week in the hospital...but still a great start. Stay tuned for updates...

And of course if you'd like to join me on my journey with some weight loss goals yourself, drop me a line. It's more fun to do with company along the way for encouragement!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Frolic Friday

When I was pregnant, I ordered these Day Of The Week onesies for Jackson. At the time, I thought they were just a cute novelty. I had no idea how useful they would be!

You see, by dressing my child every morning, I am made aware of what day of the week it is. This is especially useful if you're a new mother whose brain has deteriorated into jello after each day runs into the next and it all becomes one big blur of dirty diapers and middle of the night feedings.

Thanks to Jack's Day of the Week onesies, I know that today is Frolic Friday. Tomorrow is Silly Saturday. Hooray, it's the weekend! When I put them away in his drawer after washing, I make sure to stack them in order so I always have the right day on top of the pile.

It hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure one day it will. My onesies will get mis-stacked and I will end up having the buzzkill of all buzzkills. I'll dress him up and celebrate

but it will really only be

You know it's going to happen and so do I. It's only a matter of time...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dear Spawn of Satan On My Chin:

Please go away.

I have scrubbed you, I have microdermabraded you, I have glycolic peeled you, I have Retin A'd you, I have Lavender Oiled you, I have Oxycuted you. And yet still you persist. Can't you tell when you're not a welcome guest?!?!?!?!?

Look, here's the deal. I begrudgingly put up with your shenanigans when I was pregnant, because my hormones were all crazy and there was nothing I could do about it. But the baby is born now, and my hormones should be starting to settle down a little and frankly, I don't like walking around with a gigantic zit cyst on my chin. So beat it already!

You're embarrassing! You walk into the room five minutes before I do, and with you prominently displayed on my chin nobody notices any of my other, better looking facial features. Nobody even notices that I have lost 30 pounds in a week! All they see is this gigantic, honking zitfest!


I would like to go back to my regular non-pregnant complexion now. The skin that looks like the weather forecast for Heaven: eternally fair and clear. I miss THAT skin.

If you do not go away on your own, I will be forced to call in someone to perform an exorcism on you. And by exorcism, I mean extraction facial. And trust me, you will NOT like that. So pack your bags and get out of here. I'm sure some greasy faced 15 year old misses you somewhere. Get along, little doggie!

Love, me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

If I sleep while the baby is sleeping, when am I supposed to shower?

Seriously, this is my question.

There are plenty of things that I would like to do while my arms aren't occupied by Jackson. One of them is blog...see? I'm doing this now.

But I also enjoy a hot shower, eating meals, painting my nails, going to the bathroom, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning house...I could go on for days.

When the kid only naps for an hour and a half at a time if I'm lucky...how am I supposed to do all these tasks? I'm supposed to be sleeping while the baby is sleeping! But if I sleep while the baby is sleeping, then I can't, say, EAT while the baby is sleeping. Or PEE while the baby is sleeping. Because have you ever tried to go to the bathroom while holding a wiggly infant? It ain't easy, my friend.

But then if I do eat or pee or clean or whatever while the baby is sleeping...I never get to sleep. It's a vicious cycle.

To remedy this, I have determined that the perfect solution would be that at the time of birth, the hormonal shift caused by the removal of the placenta should also trigger an Appendage Growth Hormonal Spurt, which causes mothers to sprout an extra two to four arms. While this would make clothes shopping a little bit more of a challenge, I'd put up with it in order to be able to consume a meal while it is hot again. Wouldn't you?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jack is crack.

It must be hormones. What is it about holding this tiny person that relaxes every cell in my body? He melts me. When I snuggle him while feeding him, I just turn into a blob of happy jelly. It almost lulls me to sleep!

He makes me so ridiculously happy. Happy isn't even the word. Like I said, he's crack. I'm high on him. When I hold him, my heart just explodes with happies. I love him so much I want to inhale him.

Tim frequently needs a hit too. I tease him that he's a Baby Hog, when he's home he always wants to hold the baby. I'm like "Ummm...can I have my kid back now?" Unless a stinky diaper is involved, Daddy doesn't want to hand him over.

I still can't believe that this person came out of me. This tiny, perfect little person was inside of me. He shared my blood. It's the most amazing thing.

I made a person. We created life.

When I married my husband, I never imagined that I could love anyone as much as I love him. Tim's such a good person. I adore him and I'm so lucky to have him. As much as I love my husband, the love I feel for this tiny package of wonderfulness completely eclipses any feelings of affection I've ever known. "Love" isn't even an adequate word to define it.

I'm totally hooked on this little man.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

This also made me laugh today

These made me laugh today

I love cats.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On bottles, breasts and capes

Well, I officially quit pumping. Including the time it takes to wash and sterilize all the parts, I was spending 4+ hours a day pumping my bewbs to get maybe a grand total of 8 ml of breast milk. Total. For the whole day.

The time I spent doing it just wasn't worth what I was getting out of it. Jack is officially going to be a bottle baby.

At first it broke my heart. I cried. I asked God why...why He would take this away from me in addition to everything else I had to give up over the past two weeks. And then I realized - He had to take it all away so I could see that He gave me what I wanted to begin with...He gave me Jack. What more do I need? He gave me the dream of my heart, the one wish I nurtured for so many years. The one thing I wanted, a healthy and happy baby is mine. Maybe I got greedy, maybe I started to ask for too much.

I was talking to my friend Alice yesterday, and we were discussing how much more difficult new motherhood is compared to what they tell you in the parenting books. I really feel like I was duped! I had spent the past 8 months reading parenting books like I was cramming for final exams. I really thought I was prepared for these first two weeks! Boy, was I ever wrong. Now that I'm in it, I feel like I need to be SuperWoman to do it all. But there are times where I'm washing dishes and holding the baby and the phone is ringing and I'm cooking dinner and I have to go to the bathroom too...it's nearly impossible! Maybe I could be better at this if I had gotten my Regulation Issue SuperWoman Cape when they discharged me from the hospital. They gave me all kinds of things...a cheesy diaper bag, that puffer thing to blow into to work out my lungs, weird nylon disposable panties...but no cape.

I really could use that cape.

It makes me laugh when I hear people say that stay at home moms have it easy. Because we're not out there earning paychecks, sitting in endless meetings, patching runs in our hose with clear nail polish, laughing at our bosses' bad jokes. Tell me again how easy I have it, when I don't have a moment to pee much less take a shower, as my shirt bears spit up stains as a badge of honor, while I'm changing a poopy diaper as I get ready to walk the dogs right after I feed the baby...when I haven't even had lunch myself. Oh yeah, it's a freakin' picnic.

They really should give you a cape.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New mother indecision

Since I can't quite bend at the waist without having pinchy pains, I have not shaved my legs for nearly two weeks now.

I can't decide if I should just go to Target and get a bottle of that foamy Nair stuff that you squeegee off with a rubber "razor" (which I could do seated, easily) or just let the hair continue to grow and see how long it will get...maybe go for a Guiness Book of World Records leg hair length.

I think I would feel far more attractive, maybe even a little bit seckse if I went for the depilatory.

I mean, look at how good I feel after I snuck in a shower! Imagine having smooth legs too. Hmm....decisions, decisions.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Labs really DO make excellent family dogs!

Bella loves Jack!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm an aunt!

Here's my youngest brother's son, AJ.

AJ was born 6 days after his cousin Jackson.

My two main men

Please try to not die of the extreme cuteness.

What's my name again?

So, I have survived Jack's first week of life.

And when I say "survived" what I mean is that I am still alive (although I feel half dead) and I haven't killed anyone else.

What day is it? Isn't that Daylight Savings Time stuff supposed to change soon?

I am all sleepy and sore and out of touch with reality. I turned on CNN the other day and had to turn it off. School shootings and some congressman hitting on a teenage intern online. Ew. Maybe I didn't miss that much anyways.

I am so thankful. I am thankful to my husband who listens to me cry and tries to comfort me. I am thankful to him for trying to cook so I don't have to. I am thankful to him for being such a great Daddy.

I am thankful to my wonderful friends who have been there for me, who understand how I feel and talk me down from all this crap swirling around in my head. Because as much as I adore my husband, and as much as he tries to "get" me, there are some things that only a girlfriend can understand.

Time for me to go hold my baby, and slowly let my brain turn into soup some more. Being home with a new baby is exhausting, and it has turned my life upside down like never before. It's so incredibly crazy.

I've never been more miserable or more tired or more fulfilled or more content. I'm a walking dichotomy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Welcome to Hell, Population: Me

I am so overwhelmed right now.

I'm fried.

I'm tired.

I'm sore.

I'm frustrated.

My milk still isn't here yet, Jack won't latch on, giving him formula breaks my heart because I want to give him the best of everything and I know breastmilk is so much better...

I'm pumping and get only drops. It makes me want to cry.

I feel like an incompetent mother. This messes with my brain in a way I can't even put into words. I freak out and think that maybe I'm just as bad a mother as my own mother was to me. And then I bawl my eyes out and have to tell myself that I'm not her. I'm not her, I'm not her, I'm not her.

I'm not her.

When Jack doesn't latch on, I have a hard time not taking it personally. It doesn't feel like he's rejecting my breast, he's rejecting me. It kills me inside.

Why doesn't my baby love me? I gave up everything for him.

My career.

My body.

My health.

Sushi and brie and good wine.


And all I want is to give him the best of everything I can and...why won't he let me?

I can't stop crying.

My soul hurts.

If you pray, pray for me and if you pray for me, pray for milk. Everything, everything, EVERYTHING that I wanted for his birth and beyond I have had to give up. I can't give up breastfeeding. I just can't. It's like, the last bastion of being a good mom and doing it right that I have. I have had to give up on everything else that I wanted, planned for and worked for. I can't give this up too. It will kill me if I do.

So pray for milk. I feel so alone and I feel like God doesn't even pay attention to me anymore. I feel like He's left me stranded on an island of Hell to make it on my own. I need to know that's not true. I need to know He still sees me and cares and hears my cries.

This hurts so much I can't even tell you.

'you are not broken you are amazing'

So says the text message that I got the other night.

Thank God for good friends who know just when to say what you need to hear.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Aww, don't worry Dr. Y. We still love you!

Dr. Y came to check up on me today. We talked about how I was doing, how the baby was doing, possible discharge plans for both of us and stuff like that.

Before she left, I said "I have to tell you this. Thank you so much for working so hard to give me the birth I wanted. I know you did everything you could and it means so much to me that you tried so hard."

And she said, "Oh really?! I thought you and your husband for sure would HATE me after I made you have a c-section! I thought you were totally regretting your decision to change doctors to me now."

Oh no no no no no. The only regret I have is not switching doctors sooner.

I told Tim about this convo when he got back from running a few errands and he said "Are you kidding? Changing doctors to her is the best thing we did!"

So if you love your doctor, and they do right by you, make sure to tell them. Because you never know what they're thinking and I personally would have felt bad if Dr. Y kept feeling like I was mad at her when in actuality I am eternally grateful to her.

And if you are looking for a phenomenal OB/Gyn in the NW Chicago Burbs let me know. My doctor is just awesome and I'm happy to pass along her name as a reference. :D