Monday, September 14, 2009

Perfect pearlies

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. Becoming a parent makes you stupid. Or, at least feel stupid. Latest case in point:

At the beginning of August I was extremely impressed with my baby for sprouting her first tooth. I even posted about it so that one day, Kate could Google herself and know exactly when her first pearly white appeared.

Just goes to show. Don't trust anything you read on the Internet.

You see, this is another example of my sheer stupidity (or extreme ignorance, pick whichever phrase tickles your fancy) and lack of knowledge about anything baby. For weeks, I gave Kate Tylenol and rubbed Orajel on her upper gums, hoping to soothe the beast and make that little tooth's passage into Katieland a pleasant and easy trip.

So time goes by and nothing new happens. I just couldn't quite figure out what was taking it so long to finish coming in. Then one day, as Kate is joyfully sticking all of my fingers one by one into her mouth, I realize that she has either figured out how to stash a prison shank in there or she has a MOTHER F-ING tooth in her mouth that is the approximate sharpness of a razor blade.

I flip Kate on her back and pry her mouth open to stare at the offending tooth. And here is the rub, here is where it just goes to show what a nit I am. I look in her mouth and think, HOLY SHIT, it looks like an actual tooth, not like that smooth little bump that I THOUGHT was a tooth that is... wait for it... wait for it... WHERE THE F IS THAT FIRST TOOTH??

Yes folks. The first "tooth" was some little white bump (that I now know is called a Bohn nodule) on her upper gums that simply went away, not actually a tooth. Her first REAL tooth came in about a month later on her LOWER gums. Poor Kate is teething, and I'm treating the WRONG FLIPPING PART OF HER MOUTH. And frankly, now that I know what an actual baby tooth looks/feels like when it is coming in, I realize how stupid it was to think that first little delicate white NOTHING was a tooth.

I do have to say, she has been a good sport about the whole thing. But sometimes, just once in awhile, I get the feeling Kate is looking at me and wondering if I know what the hell I'm doing.

No sweetie, mommy sure doesn't.

Alive and stuff

First off, yes, we are all alive. And oh so much has happened since my last post, which you would think means MORE posts and interesting stuff to talk about. Instead, I was too busy getting to know my daughter to find out how to put into words all the teeny tiny things that are changing that make it such an exciting, thrilling and slightly scary time.

You see, Kate has gone from this little adorable lump of yummy goodness to an actual PERSON. It was happening slowly and then all of a sudden... BAM. Gone is my baby, and in her place is a sweet little chunk of a girl who has likes and dislikes, knows how to manipulate her parents and I think is applying for colleges next week.

I have new posts coming, but I just wanted to send a quick shout out to the Internet. We are still here Internet. Talk soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A date to remember

Yesterday, August 5, I noticed that Kate's first little tooth was making an appearance. And I'm telling you (yes, all of YOU on the Internet) since I am slightly lazy and not crafty and it is highly unlikely that a baby book is ever going to get made. But this is way better than a baby book. This is the INTERNET. And when Kate gets older and asks me when she got her first tooth I can say, "I don't remember honey. Why don't you Google it."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Star power

Just a few days ago I received an email about some beautiful baby photo contest. You know, the kind you send a photo in and the judges decide if your baby has what it takes to be discovered by baby talent models (Seriously? My baby can drool and look cute, is that considered talent? Yes? Well hell, I can drool too, wanna see?)

In a weird way, I was flattered that I received that SPAM email. I wanted to write back and say, "Why yes, thank you for asking I DO have a beautiful baby. Headshot? Well, there is this one in a pelican cut out..."

Being the creep that I am, I began to day dream about what our life (I mean Kate's life) would be like if she DID win, if she WAS discovered. It would start with us jet setting across the country for various photo shoots, progressing into commercials and finally a feature film or maybe she could star in a Disney show, because I'm positive she is musically inclined in addition to cute. I would be her manager, despite knowing nothing about the industry (because that is just how it is done) and we would be deliriously happy. That is, until Kate started feeling the pressure of Hollywood, and got an eating disorder/drug addiction/miniature chihuahua and then fell into the wrong crowd.

I immediately deleted the beautiful baby email.

But that isn't the first time I've dreamed about Kate's future. Even before she was born, Ben and I would come up with scenarios for the amazing things she would do in her life. We discussed what sports she would play (tennis -- her height will be an advantage), where she would go to college (anywhere she wants since an academic scholarship is likely) and what she might be as an adult (maybe a vet or a lawyer).

We discussed all these ideas with excitement and hope. But my real hope is that Kate will have the strength and desire to be and do whatever it is that makes her happy, despite what Ben and I want for her. Too often I believe parents pin their missed opportunities, standards and unfulfilled dreams on their kids. I can see how this is easily, and accidentally done. When all you want is the best for your child, the best is probably what you yourself couldn't or didn't achieve. I hope that I allow Kate to see the world and the possibility of it through her own eyes and not mine.

And so, Kate my love, consider this my blessing to be, to do, whatever you want in life, as long as you do it with passion, with grace, with morality and with pride.

PS: Kate, you know I don't mean eating candy for dinner, so don't even consider throwing this back in my face some day little miss.

PPS: Mom and Dad, you know you have been nothing but supportive of my life choices, so I love you and thank you for being the kind of parents I hope to be. Although when I was younger I wanted to be a trash man so I could drive that big garbage truck and you didn't really nurture that, so hmmmmmm....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Responsible parenting

I know I'm a good parent. Kate is happy, loved, thriving and better dressed than I am. But there are also times I feel about as far away from adulthood as you possibly can get. This is normally when I'm giggling about some fart joke or the fact that someone used the word "moist" which for some reason feels like a dirty word. And if you can't use the word moist in a conversation without giggling, what the hell business do you have raising a child?

But then I think about how Ben and I are head over heels in love with our daughter, how we will do anything and everything to make sure she is safe, confident, happy and well taken care of, and I know that everything is going to be okay. That of course Ben and I will be good parents, that while we may not have known it before she was born, our lives were empty without her.

Besides, if you pose your four month old child in a cut out of a pelican with a tattoo and hat that says "Dirty Dicks" on it, and seriously consider using that photo as the family Christmas card, how can that NOT be good parenting?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Productivity

Some people have it all together. I admit, I am not one of them. Pre-baby there were a ton of things I would put in my "required for living" category, like a daily shower, pedicures, clean underwear, a glass of wine with dinner, and so on. Now the ONLY thing in my "required for living" category is a cup of coffee every morning.

However, on some days you get lucky and productivity reigns. Today was that day for me. Kate was in a fantastic "I don't need to be held 24/7" type of mood, so while she played on her play mat, I raced around the house in frenzy doing all the things I put off this weekend. I folded about three loads of laundry that were piled up on our washer/dryer, did two more loads of laundry, fed the dogs, took out the trash, did the dishes, started dinner in the crock pot, wrote four emails and had TWO cups of coffee. By the time Kate was ready for a snack and a cuddle, I felt exhilarated, powerful and boastful, all "hahaha, I CAN be a super mom and do it all. Lookout world, here I come!!"

Then I noticed that I wasn't wearing any pants.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bait and switch

Last night, we tried giving Kate formula for the first time in her life. It reminded me of another experience I had several years ago with my dog Jackson.

When Ben and I were still just a hot young couple in love (not the current semi-hot late 20s couple in love with a mortgage and a baby) we often took walks in our neighborhood with my dog Jackson. He always knew that likely the walk would end in his favorite park, where we would throw the tennis ball for him until our arms got tired. Because, he never EVER tired of chasing the tennis ball.

So one Saturday morning, after my annual pumpkin carving party (I've mentioned how I totally geek out for Halloween haven't I? If not, you now know my dirty little secret) Ben and I took Jack to the park. Being the responsible early 20s version of my current self, I a) was hungover and b)couldn't find a tennis ball, so instead of actually MAKING AN EFFORT and going to buy one, Ben and I grabbed a small mini-pumpkin about the size and heft of a ball. Genius right?

As soon as we got to the park, Ben let that pumpkin fly. Jack caught up with it just as it was hitting the ground and when he pounced and closed his mouth around the foreign pumpkin instead of the familiar tennis ball, he reacted like he had been soaked with a hose and then attached to a car battery. In one fluid OH SHIT moment, all four paws left the ground as he leaped straight into the air like he had pogo sticks for legs. The look on his face was priceless. I laughed my ass off.

It was a classic case of bait and switch. And it just shocked the hell out of Jack.

Last night, Kate experienced our bait and switch tactics, and she was none to pleased. Finally at rest with the idea of supplementing with formula, we decided to try her first bottle before she went to bed. Ben bathed her, read her a book, got her all snuggly in her footy pajamas and settled down in the rocker where I normally nurse her. When I handed Ben the bottle she looked a little nonplussed that she wasn't getting the boob, but since she is a greedy little thing she lunged for the nipple and began boisterously sucking away.

You could see in her face the exact moment she got a mouthful of formula. If she had the required muscle control she would have leaped straight of Ben's lap, grabbed the bottle and possibly bitch slapped him for putting that CRAP in her MOUTH.

I guess you could say it didn't go well.

She jerked with shock when she first tasted the formula instead of the milk she expected. Her eyes widened, her mouth opened, she spit out everything she could and began crying. I had to leave the room. This continued for maybe three minutes while I sat on the sofa in the living room in the fetal position and rocked myself. When I couldn't stand it any more, I went into the nursery, scooped Kate of a miserable Ben's lap and popped her on the boob. She began to eat furiously, making grunting, snuffling noises and if she could have talked I swear it would have sounded something like, "Oh, hm, yeah, oh yeah, um, this is good, snarf, this is really good, this is what I wanted, what is that other crap, keep that other crap away from me, bullshit I say, oh, God, yum, yes, this is the ticket, hmmmmmmmm, miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilk."

So I'm a formula failure. In my defense, Kate had a rough day with her shots and wasn't feeling great, so I decided that it wasn't the time to insist on formula. She needed both food AND comfort and I knew I could give them to her. I plan on trying again today though. Jackson ended up playing a nice long game of catch with the pumpkin once he recovered from the shock of it all, and I have high hopes for Kate too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bragging rights

I try to stay away from gushing about Kate in my posts. Not just because it could get boring and repetitive for you, but because all the things that I would gush about seem awfully small to an outsider (She smiles all the time! She sings and coos! No shit, she is a baby!!). But every once in awhile, I think gushing is a good thing, and today seems like the day. Because today, our little Kate turns four months old, and all the small things she is and does on a daily basis is what adds up to be the greatest blessing I've been given in this life.

So here goes a list of just a few of the things I love about my Kate.
  1. Kate is a flirt. Men, women, children, it doesn't matter who, Kate loves attention. Whenever faced with an admirer, Kate has her coy little act down pat. She will stare at someone for a few seconds, then grin really big and turn and bury her head in the chest of the person holding her. Then she will look back to make sure she still has an audience, and give another big gummy grin, then again bury her head. She'll keep this up until said admirer gets tired of staring at her adorable little face (doesn't happen often) or she needs a nap or milk break.

  2. Kate smiles with reckless abandon. There is no holding back with my baby, and when she smiles, her whole face lights up with joy. Her nose scrunches and she truly grins with her eyes.

  3. Kate sleeps like her mommy. As soon as Kate figured out how to roll from her back to her front, she decided sleeping on her side was the way to be. She rolls over almost onto her stomach, so that her top leg is crossed over and kind of pulled up near her chest, like a little mini-me. I also love when she is just out to the world, that slack-jawed deep and peaceful slumber which adults rarely experience unless drunk or on sleep meds. At those times, the world could be exploding around her (or okay, a more likely scenario is that the doorbell rings and the dogs go crazy) and she doesn't even flinch.

  4. Kate is a wiggle worm. A tiny bundle of raw energy, Kate is constantly rolling over, looking around, pulling at toys, shaking her rattles, kicking her legs and stuffing whatever she can reach into her mouth.

  5. Kate is an (evil) genius. Not only does she constantly outwit Ben and I, but she does this thing with her hands where she rubs them together and twists her fingers like she is in the process of creating a nefarious (but brilliant) scheme to rule the world, or at least the Edelbrock household. It is pretty adorable when she is falling asleep while planning her next move for world domination.

  6. Kate is a talker. She is constantly chatting to herself, her panda, her hands or feet, me, the mirror, a wall, the dogs, or insert inanimate object of your choice here.

  7. Kate is handsy. There is nothing I love more than watching her explore her world by touching, grabbing and scratching everything around her. I love picking her up and having her wrap her hand in my hair, my shirt, my necklace, and I love how she falls asleep while eating with her hand on me for comfort.

The list of things I love could go on and on. Obviously, she isn't curing cancer or solving quadratic equations. But what she is doing is growing and learning and changing and I couldn't be more proud.

As for the official baby stats, today Kate weighs 11 lbs 15 oz and is 24.5 inches long.


Kate and Panda at 1 month

Kate and Panda now (4 months)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A is for attitude

My daughter is a sweet and cuddly love-bunny. Until she puts on her sunglasses. Then she is a grade A bad-ass.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mommy lesson #7

Don't compare yourself to other mommies. Especially the ones you meet in the nursing room at Nordstroms. Especially not the one who has her FIVE WEEK OLD in tow, is wearing a (gasp!) dress, has her hair done AND makeup on, and is at least two sizes smaller than you.

But you can compare your babies. And your baby is WAAAAAY cuter.

Suck it Nordstrom mommy.

A moment of gratitude

Thank you to everyone who commented or emailed me about my breastfeeding post. I felt like a frustrated, ungrateful wretch writing it, but found it to be a blessing in disguise. Your thoughts and comments about motherhood and doing what is right for each family really opened my eyes and took a large load of guilt off my shoulders. I feel lighter already. As an update, at Kate's four month appointment I will be speaking to the doctor about supplementing with formula while continuing to breast feed as much as possible and hopefully I can strike a balance that creates World Peace, or at least harmony and happiness in my household.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An important milestone

One of the milestones I'm going to mark for Kate is when she actually gets her whole fist in her mouth, because God knows she tries on a daily basis. This photo was taken right after Dexter licked her hand, and if I thought THAT would be any kind of deterrant to her, I was sorely mistaken. I would be worried about germs, etc., but I'm pretty sure he already gave her face a tongue bath yesterday while I was taking a shower. What can you do?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A cow by any other name

Mothers scare me.

Seriously.

Other mothers are intimidating. Maybe its because they all seem so together and I just keep fumbling along, doing the best I can and hoping my ineptitude isn't going to turn Kate into something awful, like a career criminal, exotic "dancer" or Jehovah's Witness.

The truth is, other mothers have such strong opinions about things. It usually reflects their choices and how they raise their children, and they often take it personally if you decline to try their methods or choose another path for your offspring. Often times I get a comment or lecture if I throw out some off hand comment, like when I mentioned that one time I let Kate watch Family Guy while I cooked dinner and I was reminded babies shouldn't watch TV. Well, no shit. But the chicken ain't gonna grill itself.

One of the many topics that get mothers all hot and bothered is breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. I'm breastfeeding. I honestly think I'm doing it because I was guilted into it by all the books and other mothers that said, in very specific terms, that my baby would be a total loser if I didn't nurse her (not those exact words, but you get the picture). Ridiculous, right? I was formula fed and damn if I'm didn't grow up to be a pretty okay adult. I rarely get sick, am not obese and fingers crossed, am not a loser.

So while I started nursing out of guilt, I actually ended up liking it. It is extremely rewarding each time your baby is weighed and you know that YOU DID THAT for her, that you are giving her something that no one else can.

Yet that is exactly why it is so difficult. No one else can do it for you. You have to plan and pump in advance for any kind of event, be it a few glasses of wine or an afternoon of mommy time (sans baby). Last week, while on vacation, I found myself constantly alone with Kate, nursing her while family frolicked at the beach. I got frustrated with my husband, accusing him of sticking me with the baby all the time when really, what could he do?

In September, Ben and I are going on a 4 day vacation again, this time without Katertot. I'm terrified. Not just to leave my precious baby (whom I have a hard time spending a few hours away from) but how I'm going to be able to provide for her while I'm away. When we go, Kate will be approximately 6 months old and eating around 40 oz. of milk a day. I have exactly 3 oz. of milk stored up in the freezer, and if this week continues on the same path, I'll be using that up this weekend so I can have a much needed drink or two.

My mom mentioned supplementing with formula. I was horrified. And really, I don't know why. If I had gone back to work, I would have definitely switched to formula, no questions, no concerns. But there is something about the fact that I am staying home that makes me feel like I should continue nursing. I guess I kind of feel like it is my job. For that reason alone, I feel guilty about wanting to give Kate formula..

But frankly, I'm tired. I'm tired of being the only person who can get Kate to go down at night because I feed her last. I'm tired of being the only person who can get up for midnight feedings, and I'm tired that I can't have a girls night out without planning far in advance. I'm even a little tired of not being able to finish a blog post.

So you will have to excuse me, I need to go feed my daughter.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A beach of a week



Yesterday I returned from a week-long vacation with my husband, his family and my parents. We spent the week in our own slice of heaven at a beautiful beach-front house on Cape Hatteras. Our days were filled with blessed little more than lazing about, eating, drinking and generally enjoying something we have precious little of these days... time with loved ones.

While the entire trip was special, what meant the most to me was the time that our family got to spend with Kate, learning about her own little personality and (hopefully) falling more in love with her, like Ben and I do, each day.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hoping for a Christmas miracle

Babies have/need/create more crap than you would have previously believed possible.

You may assume that because an infant is small, they would create a smaller amount of disturbance and mess than a typical adult, mainly due to the size ratio. You would be wrong. Everything a baby does, they do it big.

This has just been reinforced as I try to pack Kate up for our vacation that begins tomorrow. When Ben and I went to China, we traveled for TWO WEEKS in a foreign country with just our carry-ons. We are now traveling for one week and are having to check TWO BAGS. That is in addition to our carry-ons. The length of vacation has been cut in half, the travel needs have multiplied by about 200.

I feel as if I'm in one of those bad comedy movies. I can just picture it, cut to a scene of me trying to get my suitcase closed, sitting on it and using pliers to finally heave it shut. Then, once we arrive to the airport hilarity ensues as our tightly packed baggage springs open and diapers, blankets, onsies, toys and at least one nursing bra rain over our fellow travelers.

If I can make it through tomorrow with my sanity (and without my bra landing on some poor TSA agent's shoulder) I truly believe it may be a Christmas miracle. Just a few months early.

And scene.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hungry for milk I am

I think my baby girl is the most beautiful baby on the planet. I do. In all honesty. That is why I can say this without feeling bad.

Doesn't Kate look a little like Yoda?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kate and the camel

Okay, I love babies as much as the next gal. Before I had Kate, I always would poke my husband and point at adorable kids, toddlers and infants, to make sure he didn't miss the cuteness. Sometimes I even had the nerve to, from a distance, wave or make faces at said children. So sue me.

But what I've learned in the last three months is that many people have no, absolutely NO personal boundaries. Do I know you? Yes? Well then yes, you can coo at my baby. But you, strange woman who just WALKED OUT OF THE BATHROOM? No, you can not pinch my baby's cheek and make some odd kissing motion with your hands that was either a blessing or a curse on my children's children. And you damn well better have washed your hands.

You see, I get it. I understand the appeal of babies. All lovely and squishy and soft. I don't mind the women (it is ALWAYS women) who just want to take a look at Kate and I don't get bothered or worked up when they lean in just a little closer to get a grin out of her. She likes the attention and who am I to deny my daughter an audience with her fan base?

But once in awhile, like today, someone takes it just a step further than I'd like them to. They get too close. They hang around a little too long. They touch, as if they have a right to touch my child. However, I'm sort of a coward and I hate offending people, so I gritted my teeth, smiled at the woman and walked away.

What I really wanted to do was whip out my hand sanitizer and rub it all over Kate's face.

When I was in China, my friends and I were heading up to climb a section of the Great Wall (stay with me here, this tangent has a point). On the side of the road was a camel. A Chinese camel. Obviously we needed a photo of this great creature, but as we all pulled out our cameras a man ran over and stood in front of us, waving his arms and keeping us from taking the photo. You see, you had to PAY to take photos of this camel. This Chinese camel on the side of the road. And forget about touching the camel. Riding it cost extra.

We were all a little confused. The camel wasn't behind glass, or in a cage or foreclosure. The camel was just SITTING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. How come we couldn't just take a picture or pet an animal sitting on the side of the road? Well, excuse the comparison, but I think babies are all a little like this Chinese camel. Everyone wants to stop and stare and touch. And they see nothing wrong with that, because a baby, like a Chinese camel is a pretty compelling site. But I think that from now on I'm going to take a page from our China experience, and if someone tries to get a little too up close and personal with Kate, I'll be standing in front of her, waving my arms and letting folks know that she isn't currently available for photos or petting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mommy lesson #6

There are beauty and blessings in each and every day.

Some days it is easy to see them.

Some days it isn't.

But if you look, if you truly look, even the hardest day has that one moment that makes it all worthwhile. Today, on this day, I saw it in Kate's huge smile when she saw me first thing in the morning. And that small token from my daughter makes it all okay.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Don't Kate me because I'm beautiful

In honor of Kate's three months of cuteness on this earth, I've put together the obligatory montage video, crudely cobbled together with crappy Microsoft software, the few good video clips we have and I think some duct tape. Behold, three months of Kate.

Happy birthday baby girl. We love you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An abbreviated rant

So I had great intentions of writing a brilliant post tonight. Something about how my doctors MAY have known what they were talking about when they told me not to gain too much pregnancy weight. And how people were straight out LYING to me when they told me the baby weight would just "fall off" if I were breast feeding.

And then I was going to gripe about the frustration of needing to work out, but feeling so big and uncomfortable that the gym is the LAST place I want to be. You know, because everyone who goes to a gym is in SHAPE, which is intimidating and depressing. Besides, running is nearly impossible when your thighs rub together so much you get rug burn just thinking about wearing shorts, and your breasts are the approximate size and heft of large sacks of flour. Or anvils. Thanks to breast feeding, either analogy seems appropriate.

However, Ben is traveling and my little Drill Sargent is having a rough time getting to sleep. Which means I'm too tired/frazzled/annoyed to write the damn post, so you get the above cliff notes version. Now I'm off to rock a cranky infant and have a very frank debate with her about the pros and cons of keeping us both awake.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My baby is cooler than your baby

So, I'll admit it. I used to be one of those people that sneered at parents who had those bumper stickers on their cars, the ones that announced their child was an honor student, or some similar achievement. I always gave a mental high-five to the parents with the "My kid can kick your honor student's ass" bumper stickers, giving points for humor, humility and honesty about their offspring's real talents.

But now, I totally understand the "my kid is the smartest, greatest, most intelligent child on the planet... and really adorable to boot" mentality. And the need to shout it from the rooftops (or from the blogosphere). So where do I sign up for the "My baby is cooler than your baby" bumper sticker? Truly, I'm ready to slap that puppy on the window and go for a drive.

This week (Monday, June 1 to be exact) Kate rolled over for the first time. I was on the floor with her during tummy time, and my mom was watching us while talking on the phone and when it happened, we both just looked at each other like "Did Kate just roll over?" I was flabbergasted that it happened so quickly and with so little fan fair. I am not sure what I expected, but something along the lines of a marching band crashing through our living room seemed appropriate.

This just felt like such a momentous achievement. My mom was fairly certain it was an accident and took Kate by surprise as much as it did us. But then she did it again the next night. And by the time Ben was back in town, Kate would flip over nearly seconds after being put on her tummy. She never liked tummy time anyways, and now she realized that by just raising up on her arms and flinging her big ol' noggin over with reckless abandon she could end tummy time quickly.

Genius, thy name is Kate.

And while I pat myself on the back for having perhaps the smartest child of all time, I realize that all parents feel this way. And I realize that rolling over at 10 weeks doesn't necessarily put Kate up for a Nobel Prize. And yes, for all you other mothers out there, I also realize that my baby probably really isn't cooler than your baby. Not to you anyways. But you have to be honest. At those moments when you are staring at your amazing little human who completely BLOWS YOUR MIND with each new day, you KNOW you are thinking it too.

My baby is TOTALLY cooler than your baby.

And no, we don't have video of this achievement just yet. We were in Tulsa with the grandparents and of course left the camera back at home. Because that is just what you do, you buy a video camera to capture all those momentous occasions and then you never have it with you when you need it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's a wee world

There is a distinct possibility that my child is an evil genius. A cute, cuddly, ball of devious intellect.

And I say this with love and pride.

Every week she continues to come up with new ways to outwit Ben and I. Early on in life she had a canny sense for when I was trying to get out of the house with her. In a fine orchestra of bodily fluids, she would poop, pee and urp on everything she could reach, including her clothing, my clothing, her crib sheets, her changing table, the car seat, etc. By the time she and I were both cleaned up, she would be hungry again and I would be tired and likely mommy's outing to the grocery store for toilet paper was canceled.

But it didn't stop there. She began LEARNING. And her genius developed even more. You see, Kate hates (LOATHES) a wet diaper. For stupid parents who can't tell if a diaper truly is wet (I include myself in this category) Pampers has come up with a magical diaper that has a yellow line that turns blue when peed on. And for the first two months of life, Kate would slightly wet her diaper and then scream, cry and protest the unfairness of it all until her pants were changed. So now, every time that she even slightly wets her diaper, Ben and I know it must be changed STAT or all hell will break loose.

But she changed the rules on us last week. Now, she will slightly wet her diaper and fuss to let us know it needs to be changed. If we even see a hint of blue we've been programmed to change her diaper, so we immediately do so. And then, with sheer glee, Kate will urinate all over whatever we happen to be changing her on at the time. In just a few days, she has pulled this trick on our car seats, on a hotel bed, on her mattress, on her travel changing pad and on her changing table not once, twice or thrice, but FOUR times.

You see? It is genius. She never ever has to go to the bathroom in her diaper. And each time she pulls this one on us, she gets a big grin on her face and squirms around in total joy. I imagine her inner monologue as she congratulates herself on getting away with it again. And I just have to laugh at her and shake my head and think...

"You bested me again, my worthy opponent. But just wait to see who has the last laugh when you are 16 and we don't get you a car because you peed on me one too many times."

Ahhhhh, sweet revenge.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life as we know it

Yes, I know.
I KNOW.

It has been too long since a post. If any of you are still reading or checking this blog, take heart! I plan to return to regular posting now that my sweet angel has some sort of schedule that allows me to (GASP) have some time to myself during the day.

Kate turned two months old over the weekend, and its hard to describe the amazing changes we've seen in her during that time. And yet, while she totally BLOWS MY MIND with how cool she is, from what I gather, all her amazing intelligence (She makes eye contact! She smiles!! She coos!!!) and stunning physical prowess (She can lift her head! She is starting to try to roll over!! She is sure to begin crawling, like, TOMORROW!!!) is just really normal baby stuff. So I'll bypass a blow by blow of the last two months for you all.

What I can say is that Kate is a healthy 10.1 pound 21.5 inch bundle of wiggly baby joy.

As for mommy and daddy, we are surviving. Since Ben travels during the week, and has class every other weekend, I have precious little personal time. And, while I love every moment with Kate (ok, I didn't LOVE cleaning poop off Kate's feet yesterday morning, but you get the point) I sometimes dearly need time away. The problem is that when Ben actually IS home and has time to take the baby off my hands, I find myself at a loss for what to do. He urges me to get out of the house, but really all I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep or take a long hot bath without someone running in and saying "Um, the baby is hungry and she wants her cow".

However, as we begin to settle in with baby Kate, I have started to feel the shift where this life changing event simply becomes life as we know it. And life as we know it now has some serious cuteness.



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mommy lesson #5

You will weep tears of joy the first night you get some sleep. And the second night you get sleep, you will thank God. And the third night, you will start to think that you imagined how mind-numbing the first three weeks of sleepless nights actually were. Then, the fourth night you will have become USED to four hours of continuous sleep which is just damn GREEDY and your baby will fix that for you by refusing to sleep again.

And then the next night you will weep tears of joy... and so on. I think this vicious cycle lasts until your child is seventeen, but I'm not totally sure.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A love letter

To my Kate,

One month ago you came into our lives and completely changed everything. From the moment I saw you, I was flooded with an intense love. And in the short time since that moment, we’ve learned so much about you and about ourselves. Each week brings a new story, a new lesson, a new level of patience.

There are so many memories, small and momentous moments, that I will never forget. The first time I heard you coo, the first time you locked eyes with me. Staying up all night holding you because you couldn’t sleep anywhere but in our arms. The way you smile and how you stretch with your arms over your head every time you wake. I love the look you get on your face and the sound you make when you are getting ready to eat. I love how peaceful you are when you sleep.

You make me laugh daily and you bring such joy to our home. And when you cry, my heart literally hurts.

In this one month, you have blown every expectation I had about being a parent. It has been so much harder, so much more rewarding and so much more humbling than I ever imagined. And while I can’t even begin to imagine what the future will bring, I look forward to every single moment I spend with you.

All my love,

Mom

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One month gone by, a lifetime to go!

Kate turned one month old today. I have so much to say, and yet so little time to say it! Today, to celebrate her big milestone, see some of her amazing cuteness below. I look at her and just want to yum her up... this kind of tasty adorable goodness could potentially solve all the world's problems with just one coo.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mommy lesson #4

If a product has the word "miracle" in the title, and if you have heard/read amazing things about said product, don't wait a few days to test it out. That is just plain stupid. Because a company wouldn't call something the "Miracle Blanket" if it wasn't true.

I dedicate last night's sleep and the lack of a 3 a.m. meltdown (by both Kate and I) to the Miracle Blanket and my sister-in-law that sent it to me. Bless you. Both of you. Equally.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mommy lesson #3

My nipples are magical. If I had known their raw and awesome power before, I would have probably used them to hypnotize everyone from taxi drivers to employers. I can't even imagine where I could be in life today if I'd begun utilizing them earlier, maybe I'd be CEO of a major company or even president of the United States.

For now, I'll just continue to use their power for good, or in other words, getting Kate to eat, sleep or stop crying in about 3 seconds flat.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kate's productive morning

Newborns do not do much, but what they do, they do extremely well. This was impressed upon me this morning when in the first hour of her day, Kate did the following:

  1. Had an extremely wet diaper.
  2. Ate breakfast.

  3. Threw up said breakfast all over clean onesie for the day.

  4. Pooped. Big time.

  5. Was hungry due to previously mentioned cookie tossing, so ate again.

  6. Pooped again. Even bigger time. So big that second onesie for the day was rendered a casualty of the "blowout."

  7. While getting changed into THIRD outfit of the morning, spit up some of second breakfast all over her changing pad.

  8. Worn out from all her eating, pooping and spitting up, passed out in her bouncy for what will (I'm assuming) be a good nap after the busy morning she had.

As for myself, I just have aspirations of getting a cup of coffee before the afternoon begins.


Yummy in her tummy

Yesterday was Kate's two week ped appointment. A huge source of anxiety for me has been breastfeeding and whether or not Kate was getting what she needed nutritionally. When you can't see portion sizes and only get to count what comes OUT of one little person versus what is going IN, there is some uncertainty.

All fears were laid to rest when we weight our little champion eater. Usually, by the two week appointment, pediatritians like to see babies back up to their birth weight, which for Kate would have been 7 lbs. and 4 oz. Well, baby girl was up to 7 lbs. and 9 oz.! Dr. D (Kate's ped) said those extra five ounces were bonus and he was really pleased with her weight gain. Which meant I can now start pumping and offering her a bottle a day. Holla!

This little bit of news means that I may actually a) get some sleep at night and/or b) get to get out of the house for more than an hour at a time and/or c) NOT lose my mind.

And, while there are still challenges (i.e. the fact that Kate is a night owl and she only wants to sleep in her car seat which Dr. D. said will flatten her head) all I have to do is look at her face and my heart melts. It amazes me on a daily basis that Ben and I made her -- that this perfect little package is all thanks to us, and now we get to cherish, love and protect her. And in no time at all she will be so much older and no matter how stressed or sleep deprived we may feel now, we are so lucky to have these moments with little Kate.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mommy lesson #2

Sometimes, babies will cry for no reason. For hours. And they have no regard for your sanity.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mommy lesson #1

Showering daily is an unattainable luxury. Showering every other day is optional. Showering every few days is mandetory to keep from smelling like spit-up and breast milk.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All about Kate

Every day that passes, we learn a little more about our newest little resident and task master. Here are a few of her stats as well as the first lessons she has shared with us in the past nine days.

  1. Birth stats: Born 8:53 a.m. on March 23, 2009. She was 20 inches long and weighed 7 lbs. 4 ounces.
  2. Looks: Like a teeny bald angel (but I'm slightly biased). She has a dusting of blond peach fuzz on her head and there is an intense debate on the color of her eyes, however, we are positive they are either brown, gray, green or blue. People say she looks like Ben, but she has my lips for sure -- you should see her pout.
  3. Likes: Eating, sleeping and pooping. I'm told this will change as she gets older, you know, she may pick up some other hobbies or start enjoying toys, etc. However, being an Edelbrock, she is sure to continue listing at least two of the three as her likes even as she grows into an adult.
  4. Dislikes: Laying down. Currently, Kate sleeps either in someone's arms or on their chest (her favorite location) or in her car seat. Any other possible sleep location is 100% not acceptable, including the pack and play, the crib, the co-sleeper or the basket carrier. According to the pediatrician, this could be due to acid reflux which affects many infants early on.
  5. Favorite Food: Milk (duh) although it must be from her most beloved cow (aka Mom). She eats nearly every two hours (except at night) and I'm pretty positive that come our two week pediatrician weigh-in, she will be a little chunkster.
  6. Best Friends: Heart beat lamb (helps her sleep at night), Dexter (who has displayed a disturbing foot fetish since she came home... any chance he gets he tries to lick her feet), Dad (who walks the floor with her when she is cranky and is ready to give her anything her heart will ever desire), G'ma Entwistle (who is keeping me sane by helping with Kate when I have to shower, eat, nap or anything else that can't be done with a sleeping infant in tow), Grandparents Greg, Roger and Michelle who brag on her and even joined Facebook to keep tabs on her, and all her aunts, uncles and family -- especially her cousin Lily who is already planning to share toys with Baby Kate (as she calls her). Oh, and she likes me too, although she is certainly influenced by her love of my boobs.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Introducing... Kate Elizabeth Edelbrock (Baby E)

Today marks the one-week anniversary of Baby E's birth, and I've just now gotten myself together enough to be able to share the exciting news that after nine months of complaining, weight gain, swollen ankles and heart burn, I've given birth to a beautiful baby girl named Kate Elizabeth Edelbrock.

She is, without a doubt, the bees knees.

Everything about her is truly perfect. And, while I'm a tad bit biased, I can literally stare at her for hours and not get tired, or go cross-eyed or even feel just a teensy bit like I'd rather be sitting outside on a patio somewhere, pounding margaritas. I'm totally content to just BE with her. Which is good, because there is going to be a lot of togetherness for the foreseeable future.

I know that many of you want the obligatory birth story, so here goes a rather abbreviated version. Most everything I do for myself (showering, eating, breathing) is rather rushed right now, as Kate rules the roost around here, and my boobs (and self) are called into action alarmingly often. So here is Kate's brief birth story.

On Saturday, I started having a few Braxton Hicks contractions. I didn't have any pain, and I was stoked my uterus was starting to show signs of evicting its little resident. That night, I woke up several times with painful contractions, but without any sort of pattern. Starting around 8 a.m. on Sunday, my contractions started for real as I eased into early labor with them ranging between every 20 minutes to every 5 minutes. Again, no real pattern but each one getting stronger and more painful.

By about 5 p.m., my contractions were regular, painful and I was pretty sure this baby was coming sooner rather than later. Ben was fantastic throughout the entire day. He held my hand, helped me breathe when the contractions were at their worst, and watched an entire marathon of Band of Brothers on the History channel with me. What sacrifice!

By 10 p.m. I was ready to head to the hospital to get checked out. I was tired and my contractions were varying between every 5 and 7 minutes, so I was done waiting it out at home. My parents had just driven into town and were planning to meet us at the hospital later as things progressed. Turns out that once I was checked in, I was only dilated to a 3, so my doctor (SANTA WAS ON CALL!!) told the nurse to have me walk around the hospital for a half hour before I could have my epidural. Talk about incentive... I practically jumped out of bed so that I could get that damn needle in my back. As soon as we started walking, my contractions got much, much worse. By the time I was back in bed and checked, I'd gone from a 3 to a 4.5 or 5. Plenty far along for my epi -- hurrah!

After this, timing and other details get fuzzy, but I got my epidural around 1:30 or so, slept for several hours and then was told around 8 a.m. it was nearly time to push. Apparently, I am a kick-ass pusher because less than 30 minutes after I got started I was told to STOP PUSHING and wait for Santa to get there. He waltzes in and talks about his weekend of golfing while I'm panting and trying NOT to give birth until he is in position. At this point, I hate Santa and everything he stands for. As he jokes with the nurse I'm literally feeling that Kate may make an appearance whether someone is there to catch her or not, and I say a little "Um, excuse me?!" which I don't know if they heard or not, but all of a sudden Kate is being delivered, Santa is laughing in a jolly Santa way, and I get to see her for the first time.

She is perfect.

Ben and my Mom get to go with Kate to get her all cleaned up, and I get to hang around with Santa as he does a little (okay a lot) of repair on my body. I personally blame his inability to get his gloves on quickly enough to gently deliver my baby, but who knows. Perhaps this is a sign of Kate's personality or of things to come. Just as she barreled her way into the world, hopefully she will have that type of fearlessness throughout life.

We've now been home with Kate since last Wednesday afternoon, and every moment is still a whirlwind. Each day ends, and I've accomplished almost nothing to speak of, but have a very happy, well-fed baby and that makes me feel like its been a good day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Backing down the corporate ladder

I consider myself a fairly maternal person. I'm a hugger. I call people pet names like "sweetie" "hon" and "sugar dimple bottom" (okay, I've never used that last one, but doesn't it sound endearing?). I actually LIKE listening to people's problems and I very rarely roll my eyes at them, unless its after they've left the room. See? Maternal.

Yet, despite all of this, I didn't grow up wanting to be a "mommy." I always knew I wanted a family, but my passion, my drive was never to hurry up, get married, have kids and be a mom. To me, these things would happen in life, but weren't things I focused on. Instead, I focused my slightly (okay, more like extremely) competitive spirit on excelling at first school and then my career. I worked hard early on in my career, waking in the middle of the night to check my blackberry, obsess over one thing or another and had a hard time "turning off."

As I got older, I learned from some great colleagues the benefit of work/life balance. I found I could still climb that corporate ladder and be a leader without burning myself out. But my desire to succeed and be a top professional in my field never diminished.

Which is why it came as such a surprise to myself, and many of my colleagues, when I decided that I needed to resign and take an extended maternity leave of a year or two. I've gotten a lot of questions about my decision, mainly from people trying to understand why I chose to quit my job when so many women are able to work and have children -- able to "have it all." I never felt like I had an acceptable answer.

But I guess the answer is that I still feel like I'm going to have it all. Just not all at one time.

A woman at our church, a virtual stranger, said something to us last week that resonated with me more than any advice I've had throughout my pregnancy. She told me to enjoy the early time with our baby, that "The days are long, but the years are just too short."

She summed it up in such a succinct and beautiful way. While my friends and colleagues may not understand my choices, Ben and I decided that although the days will feel long, and I may not be fulfilled or happy every single one of them, the years are just so short. And in those few short years, I will have an experience with Baby E that I can never duplicate.

Then, after those few short years I can start clawing and scratching my way back up the corporate ladder. Because ultimately, that is where I want to be -- I want it all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eviction notice

Last week, I really thought I could just not feel any more pregnant. That is why I was SO SURE I would be having the baby early. Because there was just NO WAY for my body to feel more alien and uncomfortable.

Ha.

This week, I've both RUN MY HUSBAND out of the bedroom with my buzz saw like snoring and FALLEN ON MY FACE in public when bending to pick something up. Both equally feminine and graceful, and I just keep thinking that "It just CAN'T get any better than this" (heavy on the sarcasm there). However, if I say that out loud, I'm fairly certain that next thing you know I'll have hemorrhoids and backne and just have to head slap myself for foolishly tempting the fates to deal me a few more hormone induced insults before Baby E makes her appearance. So I'm staying mum and just thanking my lucky stars that at the VERY LONGEST I'm only going to be pregnant for three more weeks before my doctor evicts her from my uterus.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Me and My Lazy Cervix

Yesterday was my doctor appointment with Santa, and the jolly old guy did not disappoint. He gave me a few high-fives during my appointment (which can be awkward when he is also in between your knees) and basically told me I was doing great. I think "great" is a technical term, but if you want me to get really detailed, here is what I learned.

(By the by, if you are of the male persuasion and NOT my husband, or if you are female and girly/pregnant-y type details gross you out, you may just want to skip this post and continue to think that Baby E is going to magically appear thanks to Leprechauns, space aliens or the Tooth Fairy. It will just be easier for all of us involved.)

I'm about 50% effaced, which means my cervix is thinning out -- and although the medical details for why this is necessary is still slightly fuzzy, I do know that it has to happen for the baby to be born and I'm halfway to 100% so that has to be good.

Next, Ben and I were right... Baby E HAS dropped. A lot. As in, when Santa was doing my internal exam he told me he was TOUCHING HER HEAD. As in, well, if HE could reach in and touch her head, I probably could too if I were so inclined to try (I'm not by the way). She is at a station minus-2, on a scale of -5 to 5 (5 being when her little head is popping out). A zero means she is "engaged" which means I'm in labor (hopefully) so I was thrilled that she really is starting to get into position.

Finally, the not so exciting news. I'm not dialated at all. Even with these other great pre-labor signs, not a darn thing is going to happen until I start dialating, so I'm trying to mentally coach my cervix to GET WITH THE PROGRAM. My doctor suggested walking at least 30 minutes a day. If that is going to get me to have this baby sooner rather than later, I'M ON IT. I sacrificed today at lunch and walked around the mall with a colleague who wanted to shop and I stood by while she purchased adorable clothes that didn't have waistbands made of ELASTIC and I turned green with envy at her ability to fit into clothing that doesn't look like a circus tent. It was torture for me, but it was also me standing and walking around for a good half hour, so that should tell you something about how badly I want this baby OUT OF MY BODY.

However, to keep this positive, Santa did tell me that he felt I would have the baby naturally and close to my due date, and hopefully I won't have to be induced (yeah!) Then again, he also guessed I was having a boy when he listened to the heartbeat (um, wrong there buddy) so Santa may not be the MOST qualified to guestimate my delivery. My next appointment is with THAT WOMAN (my actual doctor) next Thursday, so hopefully my lazy cervix will have done something by then and I'll have more news to report!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week 37: A Wish for Santa

Today marks the start of week 37 for me and Baby E. For my troubles, I received a massive kick in the ribs this morning as a wake-up call and then for good measure, a little bouncing on the bladder. Apparently Baby E is a morning person.

This Thursday, I FINALLY get to go in to see the doctor again. Most everyone I know goes to see their OB-GYN every week from 35 weeks on, but not my practitioner. OH NO, she apparently is getting no "it could happen early" vibes from me, so I'm still on the every two weeks cycle. Which is completely FREAKING ME OUT. Because, how do I know that I'm not totally dialated and ready to have this kid? In fact, she even has me scheduled with her colleague this week instead of with her. Apparently, she doesn't feel the need to see me, since, you know, I have, like, a FULL TERM BABY INSIDE ME.

I'm almost hoping my doctor's colleague is on call for my delivery instead of my doctor anyways. Her colleague in the practice has been named top OB-GYN in Dallas for like, 30 years running. He is extremely calm and comes across very caring, lovable and father-like. And, I don't know why this delights me so much, but he has this great tuft of gray chest hair that peeks out of the tops of his scrubs. His eyes even twinkle. Seriously, they TWINKLE. Its like if Santa Clause decided that delivering gifts to ungrateful children everywhere was no longer fulfilling, and he decided instead to care for the vaginas of the world. Now THIS is a man I could have deliver my child. I'm thinking of asking for his on-call schedule and by sheer willpower having Baby E while he is working.

But until that day, Baby E and I are just trucking along. Ben and I are almost positive she's dropped, which is something that typically happens to first time moms soon up to a few weeks before the birth. Ben says my belly looks lower, which I can sort of see, but MY telltale sign that she is lower is my need to run to the bathroom every 20 minutes since she is using my bladder as a recliner. Oh, the joys!

A few pictures so you can marvel at the week 37 belly. The OMFG HUGE week 37 belly.



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Nursery

Shhhhhhh. Can you hear that? It is the sound of silence, meaning I've quit tearing the nursery to shreds as I organize and reorganize the baby's room. Yep, it is true, I've finally (FINALLY) gotten the baby's nursery together. And, because patting my own back is difficult because I have limited mobility and get tired easily, I'm sharing with all of you so you can heap your praises on me. Go ahead. Heap.

So, in truth, it isn't a huge feat to have gotten this far, but I truly felt like it would never happen. I'm pretty positive that my poor husband was equally positive it wouldn't happen, and was planning which of his dresser drawers would have to be emptied so that our poor child would have a place to sleep when she was born. Every time he neared a wall with so much as a thumb tack to hang something, I would completely loose my mind, unable to fathom doing something so permanent as HANGING something on the WALL. Dear LORD what if we changed our minds about where it should HANG!?!

However, we finally made progress, and except for the space above the crib where we will put Baby E's name (when we figure it out... give us time people, the world wasn't made in day here) everything is put just exactly where it should be.

I'm at peace with the room. Which is good because my crazy has moved its laser focus back to the baby's clothes which are ALL WRONG. But that is for a different post.

Enjoy below, the beauty that is Baby E's nursery.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bragging on Ben

I'm a little behind on blogging, but I have to back up for a few days to brag on Ben. One, because I love him and am proud of him and want everyone to know how amazing my husband is. But two, because I have a sneaky suspicion he may also LOVE for everyone to know how amazing he is, so if I keep bragging on him, I keep getting special treatment and grand gestures. Its a win, win for everyone involved.

The day before Valentine's Day, Ben had flowers delivered to my office. When the receptionist brought them to my office, a few of the other girls followed her in to help deliver them. Not because there was one bouquet of flowers, but because there were TWO bouquets, and everyone wanted to know who they were from (duh, like any other man would send me flowers) and what the cards read.

The first arrangement was a large, beautiful piece with lilies, roses, daisies and more. The card was from Ben and was a nice, sweet love note to me (no way nosey, the card was between us, thank you very much!)
The second vase was smaller, filled with two red roses and some baby's breath. The card, which I DID read aloud to the room made a few co-workers sigh and a few others swoon. This arrangement was for Baby E, and the card simply read "I can't wait to meet you."Yes, my sweet and nearly perfect husband bought flowers for our UNBORN CHILD. On the romance scale of 1 to 10, this little act had my heart tripping in at a good 15. I mean, come ON people, does your heart not just melt a little hearing about it?

So that is my good husband story of the day. He doesn't always get a lot of credit for the things he does for me day-in and day-out, but he is my rock, my cheerleader, my partner in crime and my best friend, so in honor of Valentine's Day and good husbands everywhere, I want to say thanks to my Ben. Love you honey.

Week 35: The weight debate

Having a debilitating cold has its pros and cons. I believe I may have beaten you over the head with the cons last week, so how about today we start with the pros.

I had my week 35 appointment today, and (drum roll please) I LOST four pounds since my last visit!! I nearly wept with joy when I heard that, and once the nurse left the exam room, Ben and I high-fived and did a little victory dance that I'm pretty sure looked more like the African Anteater dance from "Can't Buy Me Love" (awkward and unattractive) but it still felt pretty darn good.

When my doctor came in to chat, I again mentioned how excited I was that I lost weight. She looked at my chart, made a few notations and looked at me and smiled, and then said "Yes, that is good. Now you are at a perfect weight. Try not to loose any more weight, but don't gain any either. Try to stay just about where you are."

I think my eyeballs may have popped out of my head while she was looking back down at the chart. I wanted to say "Sorry sister, but this isn't exactly a precise science, what with the baby gaining about half a pound a week, and me facing down cravings like a fighter pilot facing enemy crafts and my body retaining water like a camel before a long trek. I mean, sheesh lady." But instead, I shook my head in eager agreement and looked innocent. I then went for lunch and had two biscuits slathered with honey for my reward, followed by an enormous dinner with ice cream for dessert. Yep, I'm going to get back to watching what I eat, but damn if that little day of indulgence didn't make me happy, and the four or five Tums I had to take down to atone for it didn't even taste all that chalky.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Out of my way: I'm pregnant and nesting

Several months ago, I mentioned in a post that I thought I was nesting. Haha, silly six-month ago me -- I was just in a mood to clean that day, and had no IDEA what nesting really was. NOW I'm nesting. For the last few days, I've been following an insane urge to shop every day for MORE BABY STUFF which I then drag home and ORGANIZE. And then, I look at the nursery and have this need to REORGANIZE because, surely, the baby blankets can't go on THAT shelf, they make much more sense to go in this DRAWER and OH MY GOSH what was I thinking putting her lovies and dolls in BASKET on the FLOOR when there is clearly more space on the SHELF??

Each day ends with me, spent and slumped in a chair looking at the room that I am certain I made MORE disorganized, with piles of stuff just waiting for their crazy master (me) to decide where they should go.

Saturday, I sorted the clothes we have for Baby E into ages. I thought it would help me get an idea of where we stand and what we still need. Instead, it caused a HUGE amount of panic, because LORD HELP ME if I have any idea what size this baby will be when she comes out, so how do I know if we need a bunch of newborn onesies, or if we should go with the 0-3 month ones, that seem to make sense but completely dwarf the newborn onesies and we don't want her swallowed alive by her clothes so we should definitely have some newborn onesies, but DO WE HAVE ENOUGH!?! DO WE HAVE TOO MANY?!? The uncertainty is absolutely killing me, I'm a planner and a waste-not, want-not so the idea of taking tags off clothes WE MAY NEVER USE makes me want to cry, or at least wash everything with the tags still on.

And don't get me started there. Ben came home from class on Saturday and looked at all the baby's clothes on the floor and I babbled on for awhile about how we need to wash all her clothes before she gets here, which is why I've emptied her drawers onto the floor. He just waited me out, then smiled gently and said "Okay, great, I'll just go throw these in the washer and we can head out." I nearly lost my mind as I lunged for all the tiny onesies and pulled them out of his hand. I WAS NOT READY FOR THOSE TO GO IN THE WASH. I said they NEEDED to be washed. But not yet. And CERTAINLY not by you, Mr. cutting tags off and being all rationale guy. OH NO SIR.

Does it make sense? Nope. Was it nice he wanted to help me do the baby's laundry. Yep. Am I a COMPLETE LUNATIC who has a need for CONTROL over little, insignificant things? HELL YES.

Today I'm tackling the baby's bathroom. I'm cleaning out all the junk under the sink and organizing her towels, washcloths, soaps and medicines. Don't be surprised if you talk to Ben later and he mentions how he will likely find me tonight. Sitting on the cold, hard tile of the bathroom floor, surrounded by baby products and agonizing over whether the Frog Pod should go on the front, back or side wall of the shower and whether or not four hooded bath towels and six washcloths are enough, or if I need more, and if so, what color should they be?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blogging from my closet

So tonight in Dallas there are severe thunderstorms and tornado watches/warnings all over the place. Which is fine, except I grew up in Oklahoma where tornado watches/warnings nearly ALWAYS lead to actual tornadoes, so I'm a bit twitchy whenever I see the little alerts show up on the bottom of my evening programming. Throw in my pregnancy, a little leftover illness and the fact that the tornado sirens actually WENT OFF in our neighborhood and you get my current situation... blogging from the closet while my annoyed but defeated spouse and two dogs sleep in awkward and uncomfortable positions.

I would write something pithy here about my over reacting to the situation and how it could JUST NOT GET WORSE, but last time I complained about something semi-uncomfortable, God leaned over with the ungrateful stick and smacked me with more illness and misery than I had thought possible.

Last week when I blogged about being sick, I thought I was really pretty sick. The joke was on me, when just HOURS later I got "oh THIS is sick" sick, which means a fever, and what I thought was near and certain death. Panic-y calls to my OB-GYN, a handful of tylenol, two gatorades, several gargles with salt water and a torture device where you spray OCEAN water in one nostril and let it come out the other later, and it was clear I wasn't dying, but I should never EVER back-talk modern medicine again.

So, I've learned my lesson and I'm just throwing out there to the Internet that I'm blogging from my closet... and LOVING it.
My poor husband who has a flight out of Dallas tomorrow morning at SIX a.m. trying to get some sleep because his crazy, panic stricken and pregnant wife insisted he hunker down in the closet. Lucky he can sleep anywhere, so I think he's good until morning.

Jack and Dex are just excited that they have someone sleeping with them on the floor. Well, Dex is. Jack keeps just slightly opening his lids to give me the stink-eye before going back to sleep.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Its a cold, cold world

Despite all my whining these past eight months or so, pregnancy hasn't been all that bad. As far as growing a human goes, my experience has been pretty misery-free compared to some people I've talked to. But today, I feel differently. Today I have a cold and I am pretty sure my entire world is ending.

Yes, I AM a big baby, thank you for asking.

I'm usually one of those "I'll tough it out" types. Besides the occassional Tylenol, I haven't taken a single drug since I've been pregnant. I'm kind of that way when I'm not pregnant too, following dosage labels to the letter and begging my husband to stop swigging cough medicine from the bottle and use the LITTLE CUP IT CAME WITH, damnit!

But today, today I would throw all of my caution to the wind and mix every single cold medicine I could legally get my hands on, if I didn't have to worry about one little thing (er, person).

To be responsible, I called my doctor and asked what medications I could take, being in my third trimester and all. The woman on the phone recommended Tylenol (duh), Robatussin, Claratin or Benadryl. DONE! I raced to the pharmacy and bought all of them and dragged my loot home, coughing, wheezing and chortling like some demented drug pirate. I drank some Robatussin, took a Benadryl and immediately conked out -- that great kind of drug-induced sleep where you wake up not knowing where you are and wiping a good amount of drool off your cheek.

I wandered into the kitchen to decide what lovely drug cocktail I could cook up next, when my Mom (who is visiting) and Ben showed up. We got to talking about what my doctor (or rather, her receptionist) recommended and a little voice started nagging at me to be VERY careful about what I'm taking. I told the voice to shut up or I would take it out back and beat it, but it got the best of me and I sat down to do a little Web research before I took anything else.

Googled Claratin first and got to reading the drug information. Well, what do you know but they suggest that people be ESPECIALLY wary of taking the drug in their THIRD trimester. Apparently my doctor's office let Mrs. Potato Head answer the phone today and she just spouted out some random drugs when I talked to her. I'm suprised I actually got medicine names and not just random words like "Jungle! Toothbrush! Hickey!! San Salvador!!!"

I found a good article on WebMD that listed safe medications to take, and the two I had actually taken already were fine, Whew. At this point, I decided that I was done branching out and Benadryl and Robatussin were the only drugs I'd dare take. And, as I sit here with a Kleenex stuffed up my nose, I'm cursing both of them for their great ineffectiveness.

I'm also fairly certain I'm going to be the parent that reminds their children of everything they went through to bring them into the world. Because as I focus on how miserable I am, I'm already practicing the speech in my head that my (likely teenage) daughter will hear someday.

"Not ONLY did I get way fat and find out my real hair color is BROWN, but I carried you for NINE WHOLE MONTHS and then went through pain and agony to get you out into the world. But you know the WORST part? One day, I used an entire BOX of Kleenex because I felt like my brains were melting and draining out of my skull, and my throat hurt and I kept coughing up stuff that should never see the light of day and you kept KICKING me, like you had no CLUE how miserable I was and I HAD TO DEAL WITH IT practically drug-free. Like no hard core stuff, just so you could be all perfect and non-birth defect-y. But do you APPRECIATE my sacrifice?!!? DO YOU?????"

(In my head, this is the point my voice gets all screechy and hard to understand and my daughter will roll her eyes, call me weird and slam the door behind her on her way out. It's only fair -- ask my Mom about our relationship during my teen years.)

Now you'll have to excuse me. I need a nap and a new box of Kleenex.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

33 weeks and growing

As promised (a week or so ago) here is the latest belly photo. As you can see, I'm the size of a small air ship and no surprise but my doctor just about fell out of her chair when she saw how much weight I had gained over the last three weeks. Apparently, I'm some kind of super-human eating machine. Neat.

When I tried to explain that I normally have my appointments first thing in the morning before breakfast, and today my appointment fell just after lunch so that might add to the total weight gain, she just looked at me and asked if my lunch salad had possibly weighed 10 pounds.

Touche.

I acted so baffled by the weight gain, she took pity on me and shared with me how I might THINK I'm eating healthy, but really not. As in, I might eat a WHOLE banana, but really, because of the sugar content, I should limit myself to HALF a banana each time I sit down to eat one. I should drink skim milk, and cut juice out of my diet.

At this point, I realize that if those are her suggestions, I probably AM responsible for my weight gain and should just own up to it. Nope, sorry doc, its not those late night apple juice cravings or sneaking one whole banana at a time that is doing this to me. Its more the cookies, brownies, cakes and doughnuts that are turning me into a female Jabba the Hut.

I mean, last week when Ben was in class, I had a Cinnabon for dinner for God's sake. A CINNABON.

As punishment, I'm forcing myself to go to yoga tonight, and then I'm going to eat something miserable, like a Lean Cuisine. And then I'm going to cry myself to sleep.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pink stuff and rattles and blankets, oh my!

Do you ever get to feeling like you are an island? Like in the movie About a Boy, sometimes you get so wrapped up in what is going on in YOUR life, you loose sight of others, and then, assume they've lost site of you?

Pregnancy has been like that for me. More content to stay at home because I could sit on the couch sans pants (EVERYTHING is tight, don't judge me) than be social, I've missed countless nights out with girlfriends, holiday parties, happy hours, dog park trips, etc. Besides spending my days at work, sometimes I feel like the only way I've been connected these past months has been thanks to the all-mighty Internet and Facebook, Twitter, email and this blog.

I kept telling Ben how I probably wouldn't have any baby showers. That as the first of my friends to really have a child, it might not be something that they think about. That was my excuse. Really, I just felt that I'd been too far removed from the day-to-day to be bothered with.

I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong, and the amount of love and support that I've received from friends, family and family friends has been a little overwhelming and a lot humbling.

Last weekend I went to Tulsa for a shower that my mom's friends were hosting for me. It was beautiful, and nearly moved me to tears at the amount of obvious affection and friendship these women had for my mom, and by extension, for me! Not to be outdone, my extended family came over that night for a dinner, and surprised me with ANOTHER shower. I think that if Baby E were born today, she would be beyond set, with beautiful blankets, clothes and all the necessities.

How lucky are Ben and I that we have this kind of support system in our lives? They say that babies are incredibly expensive, and we've been given such an amazing gift by all these people, a head start. And we aren't done yet!

My friends are hosting a Dallas shower for me in a few weeks, and my colleagues have asked if they could host a work shower as well. And THEN, to top all of the celebrations off, another group of friends are hosting a "sip and see" for Ben and I after Baby E is born so that everyone can get together and OOOO and AWWW over her cuteness.

Just the thought of all of this makes me want to stand up and yell "You like me, you really like me!" And not because I'm a big loser (which obviously, I am) but because I'm overwhelmed with the good will and wishes that this baby is bringing to our little family.
A few pictures from this weekend. More to come once I can get all the shower photos off my parent's camera!

The hostesses with the mostest -- My mom (far left in red) with the hostesses of the lovely Tulsa shower.

Luckily, I have no shame so I shared my story of eating cookies with icing out of the trashcan. This lead to the most fabulous cookies with icing for dessert at my shower.My adorable cousin CJ helped me open gifts at my family shower. He was better at it than I was, but that was because I couldn't bend over my stomach to reach anything sitting on the ground.
My mom and I look like twins. Same color hair, same short cut, same color shirt... only I look part human, part tanker. Wide Load! Carrying a baby!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Music to her ears

I have a slightly obsessive personality. It rears its head in odd ways, and one of those are my propensity to listen, on repeat, to a certain song until I (or someone else) wants to attack the music player with a hammer.

The song changes regularly. Beginning about a month ago was Jason Mraz's song, "I'm Yours." Every time it would come on (the radio, my iPod, etc.) I would turn it up and sing with gusto. Then, if luck would have it and I was near my computer or the iPod, I would listen and sing a few more times before I felt I could go on with my day.

This week I've found a new obsession, and am now on the fifth play of it this morning (and not getting tired of it in the slightest), The Fray's "You Found Me." It was a song I liked immediately when I heard it, and after hearing an interview with the band about the song and the meanings behind it, I was hooked.

The funny part of all of this is that I may be passing my musical obsessions on to Baby E. Once babies can hear in utero, they begin to identify things that they will recognize after they are born. That is why they will recognize and soothe at the sound of their mom or dad's voice. Likewise, books that are read to the baby in utero often have a calming affect when read after birth, and OF COURSE, familiar music from before birth is also comforting.

So, my obsessive song playing is really just going to make these songs very familiar to Baby E. Hell, with the amount of times she's heard them already, she may even come out with the words memorized.

If YOU have favorite songs Baby E and I need to discover, I'd love to hear about them. I need a bigger playlist for the two of us to enjoy.

Check out the video for "You Found Me" -- hope you like the song as much as Baby E and I do!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Baby the Drunk Ox

Today marks the first official day of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Ox, which means I'm having a baby Ox. I looked it up to see what that meant, and apparently, Baby E is going to be bright, patient and inspiring to others. She can be happy by herself and will make an outstanding parent.

This is all excellent news, but somehow I have to guess there is an "Ox" dark side that they aren't quite sharing. Similar to my conversation with a co-worker last week where I learned my baby is also destined to be a drunk.

Every Friday, we have breakfast brought in so everyone in the office, from intern to senior vice president, can hang out for a few minutes and relax. Well, last Friday, conversation turned to my pregnancy (likely b/c I was moaning around a mouthful of apple butter and who can ignore that kind of behavior?) and the head DUDE of one of our practices starts chatting me up about my due date. When I mention that our little bundle of joy is due on March 22, he very matter-of-factly says, "Oh, a Pisces -- did you know that, like, 80% of the world's alcoholics are Pisces?"

Well, no ass-face, I didn't know that. But thanks for the good tidings of joy and booziness.

I laughed it off with him, made a few jokes about how apparently Ben and I timed our baby perfectly so she could share the family genes and moved on.

But later I started to dwell. Because while I put practically ZERO weight on astrological hocus-pocus, there is something slightly... irksome... to be told you might as well start saving for a good recovery program instead of a good college. And besides that, SERIOUSLY?!? Just a note for all of you out there. The last thing a pregnant woman wants to hear is the serious illnesses or personality flaws that she has to worry about with her unborn child. Know some random stat about when the most psychopaths are born and want to share? BITE YOUR TONGUE. Write it down. Share it with a stranger. Hire a plane to sky-write the fact for the world to see, but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you tell the mother-to-be.

Anyways, I'm over it (or as over it as a pregnant woman can be until pregnancy brain makes me forget this ever happened and then I'll REALLY be over it). Besides, I looked it up and the guy was wrong... if Baby E IS in fact born on her due date of March 22 she will be an Aries and the worst thing I could find there was that she would be selfish, and I'm all like "duh".

But, if she is born early, and happens to be a Pisces, I will love my little drunk Ox. I just might buy a padlock for our liqueur cabinet. Mommy isn't ready to share just yet.


*Cute Ox onesie by Fauborg St Denis, and a brilliant find by Cool Mom Picks. The onesies feature a funky red Ox and one of them says "We are the kings of 2009!" in French.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Third trimester blahs

So I'm feeling it... the third trimester blahs. It isn't the bone crunching sleepiness or the "if I smell one more person wearing perfume I'm going to lose lunch" feeling of the first trimester, but rather a slowing down of all bodily functions. My brain is becoming sluggish, I've started waddling rather than walking, and getting up and down out of anything (a chair, the car, the bathtub) has become a miracle if I can do it on the first try. I just feel big and... well... blah.

I feel so blah in fact, I'm not sure what to share with everyone. I'm fairly certain my stories of waking up in the middle of the night because Baby E is performing Riverdance on my bladder is the sort of thing you tune in to read about. Or the fact that 9 p.m. is getting to be my GOAL for how late I stay awake on a week night, or that I have to stare at documents I'm reviewing for a good 30 minutes before being able to take action and I'm fairly certain I'm forgetting something for at least one of my four clients, but I'm just NOT ABLE TO REMEMBER WHAT THAT IS.

I think (from what I've heard/read) that this is fairly typical, but then I have this weird feeling that I shouldn't be feeling this way just yet -- that if I'm this tired and fuzzy headed now, in about a month I should probably have my drivers license taken away and when the baby is due a month after THAT I may just be barely functioning.

Last night I had a dream about Baby E. I dreamt that the birth was really easy and I had TWO baby BOYS (so much wrong with this dream already -- right?) But the thing was, when I had the babies, the nurse told me that they had gotten it all wrong, that they were actually a month overdue because I was much further in my pregnancy than they thought. My interpretation of this dream is that I'm worried about another two full months of pregnancy and my subconscious is telling me to suck it up. My subconscious is great at giving pep-talks.

I also owe everyone a third trimester photo, so I'm making a promise that I'll try to get one taken and posted this week. If I don't, I'll post a cute picture of our dogs so you get distracted and don't remember I haven't posted a photo of myself. Tricky, eh?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pillow Talk

Last night in bed, Ben and I discovered we have very different reasons (besides being excited about BabyE) to look forward to me no longer being pregnant:

Liz: Feel this, feel how much she is moving. This is the only part of pregnancy I like.

Ben: You know, I don't mind your being pregnant so much. Except for the pillows. I hate the F-ing pillows.

Liz: I take that back, I also like being able to eat anything I want. That part of pregnancy is good too.

Ben: Lizzy, THAT part of pregnancy doesn't exist. You made that part up.

Liz: Oh, yeah. Well, it works for me so can it or I may feel the need to add one more pillow to the five I'm currently using.

Ben: (something muttered, not sure what but fairly certain it was unflattering and directed towards where I could put my pillows).