Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm back!

I'm so glad I'm finally home! What a trip!
We had a doctors appointment for Bella last Tuesday, so we went, and she got four shots! Poor baby got a fever from the shots, so we were up all night monitering her, making sure it didn't get to high, and soothing her because she was very fussy. Then the next morning we left for Alabama. We left late, but figured that would be fine.
Then our battery died when we stopped for lunch. No problem, someone jumped us off, we'd go to an autozone when we got out of Atlanta. Then we got caught in traffic and our car overheated because my husband had unplugged the fan to balance it (or something, I don't speak car) and forgot to plug it in again. So we had to stop for awhile to let our car cool, and my husband had to plug in the fan.
Then we finally made it out of atlanta, and got to the autozone, where they tried to charge us $90 for a new battery, or "if you slip me a $20, I'll get you a used battery from the back." That's ok, it had enough of a charge on it to get where we were going.
Then we picked up two nails and got a flat tire. Thankfully we had a full spare, and someone stopped to help us. By now we are hour 5 into our 4 hour trip and only a little over halfway there.
The baby starts crying. So we stop again and we feed her and change her, and once she's happy, and we've calmed down a bit from all the craziness, we get going.
Bella cried when we got out of Birmingham, no problem, we stopped again and fed her, and changed her and got a bite to eat ourselves.
We hit a problem when we past Jasper at 11:00 at night and nothing was open and Bella was crying again. She still wasn't feeling that great, and she'd been in the car for hours, honestly I felt her pain, but there was nowhere to stop.
So we drove the rest of the way with a crying baby.
She was hoarse by the time we arrived at his grandmothers. I said a quick hello, then went to the back to feed her, and went to sleep. She was exausted, and I was exausted.
The next morning she got to meet her family, which was nice. People kept coming over and every other hour or so I'd have to slip off to feed the baby. It wouldn't have been a problem if it wasn't for the fact that all of these people were just dropping in to say hi, and always when I had the baby in the back.
I actually didn't care. We'd met all the family I'd ever met by this point, and they were sticking around. These were great aunts, and second and third cousins, and people who if I haven't met in over three years of marriage on top of a year long engagement, and dating for three years, I don't figure will be too broken hearted if I don't cut feeding my baby off short every two minutes so whichever relative dropped by could say hi.
I didn't mind, my husband didn't mind, and my overwhelmed, tired and hungry baby didn't mind. The family minded.
Or maybe it was all in my head. I'd come out of the bedroom with a happy well fed baby and hear about all the people who came by while I was feeding the baby. Which I already knew because my door had been knocked on every time they dropped by.
Day two I was being asked if I would consider formula.
Hah! How much I would love to feed my baby formula. She used to get a bottle a day of formula, but recently she's decided she'd rather not bother with that stuff anymore when she can get it from the direct source.
His grandmother is sick. She keeps thinking she has ms, even though the doctor has said she has a slipped disk (which sounds incredibly painful when I think about what that means) and she's on a lot of pain meds, and has really high blood sugar, and all of this is compounded by the fact that she smokes and eats a lot of sugar. She was fine until about Saturday when the most people showed up, and then I think her nerves were frayed by all the company because she kept snapping at everyone, and got really upset when she was told she couldn't speak to her 3 year old great-grandaughter on the phone at 1:00 in the morning, and to please stop calling. Everyone was stressed, and the stress was stressing the baby.
I kept trying to go into town with my husband but he wasn't getting the hint that maybe we should give the family a bit of space for awhile. "No, you stay here, I'll run and grab whatever, it'll be faster without the baby."
*sigh*
Also I was hungry. I don't eat red meat. I used to not eat meat at all, but have had to eat fish and chicken just to have options while traveling, though I still don't care for it. I haven't eaten meat since I was 9, long before I met his family, but they never remember, and that would be fine if they didn't act insulted when I either bring my own food, or go get food out. Really? I get his grandmother not remembering, but even my mil forgets. Which when she forgets is fine, because she doesn't get upset when I walk in with a sandwhich instead of whatever was cooked.
I was excited to see my husbands aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents, and his parents and siblings. Both sides of his family live in the same town so it works out well.
Bella got a stocking, and toys and clothes, and we tracked santa with norad on christmas eve. We had a good time, and saturday we had a baby shower.
My real baby shower was in July while I was pregnant, but since his family couldn't drive the four hours to attend (I completely understand, four hours is a LONG drive, it sounds short, it does, like wow, just four hours, but really, it's a lot) they wanted to have another shower for me when I visited. It was sweet. So they made chips with sausage dip, and punch, and a few relatives showed up, and the baby acted adorable, and everyone was happy.
Except the relatives who couldn't come because they were busy, they told me to come by in January and they would throw me another shower.
I said thank you for the thought, but I think we're done traveling for awhile. Which was apparenly offensive.
I had a nice girls night with my mil, and my husbands cousin, and then we went home.
Praise the lord we are home! I'm visiting my fathers side of the family in February, and then I'm never traveling again. At least not until next thanksgiving.
I think that's what we're going to do. My family for thanksgiving, his family the week after Christmas , and if we can afford it a nice trip for us at some point inbetween (my fathers family lives in florida, so that can always count).
I say the week after Christmas because I want to have our own christmas as Bella gets older. This year we're celebraiting Christmas in January due to finances, but once she's old enough to know whats going on, I'd rather do Christmas with just us, and visit his family when stores and restaurants are less crazy, and everyone is less busy.
Thank God I'm home, I'm glad we went, I am, but thank god I'm home

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Out of Town

Sorry for the non-updates, this has been a crazy week. Replies to all comments and new blog postings will continue next Wednesday, after we all get back in town. Thanks guys!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Progress?


Wednesday was sort of a rotten day, my husband and I went out to eat, and Bella decided to be fussy for the first time while we were out. I took her in the bathroom to feed her :S, and my food was cold by the end of that unpleasent experience. What a waste of money, we should have just ordered in, or gotten fast food. Then we went grocery shopping, came home, tended to the baby, and went to sleep.






My husband woke me up the next morning angry that I hadn't answered my phone because the apartment manager wanted to inspect our apartment for mold. I had a bit of a breakdown, and yelled at him about the dangers of waking up a nursing mother who got roughly five hours of sleep intermitently throughout the night not only to talk to her about the yucky apartment she already hates, but with anything other than a very pleasant voice and some form of a gift.




Seriously, make me breakfast, apologize profusely for waking me while thanking me for being such a great wife and mother, and slowly broach the potential deadly mold topic (all clear btw) with even more apologies about how we live here now instead of in our nice apartment in Atlanta so you don't have to commute anymore. Or better yet, pick up the damn phone yourself and make the arrangements.




I have to give the man credit. It only took a moment of me yelling near tears about how I was woken up every hour last night, and having just gotten back to sleep half an hour ago, and a lot of incoherent nonsense about apartment people calling after noon before he realized I either A. had a point, or B. he'd better pretend I had a point if he valued his life.




Then I enjoyed a day off of sorts. I watched chickflicks, and played with the baby while my husband cooked and cleaned. Then I got to work on my resolutions. I played with Bella most of the last two days. She's getting to the point where she tries to make conversation. It's not really baby talk yet, more like "aahs" of different lengths, but she smiles, and sticks her tongue out, and tries to pull off my glasses. It's adorable.




I also found a way to help her enjoy tummy time while curing diaper rash. Naked Tummy Time. She loves it. Everytime I change her diaper, I put her down on her tummy time mat before I put her new one on. She scoots along the mat, and then holds her head up looking into the mirror, and promptly rolls over and coos at the mirror as she kicks her little feet in the air.




She has no interest in toys still, but that's just fine. She's outgrown newborn clothing, which makes me a little sad, but I packed away a few sentimental outfits and put all the gender neutral clothing in a bag for my friends expecting a boy, and the girl clothes in a bag for my friends expecting a baby girl.




I fixed my husbands DVD player. It's one of those ginormous 400 disk changers, but it lost its memory of the dvd names on the move, so I sorted those while listening to my husband talk about drugs.




Did you know that antihistemines are related to allergy medications? It has something to do with beta blockers and h1 and 2 inhibitors, and there were words about the fight or flight reflex. I could be getting it all garbled, but the important thing is I did listen :)




Didn't do anything on the diet front yet. I'm keeping track of calories and logging what I eat so I'll know what a realistic goal is and what to cut. I'm drinking a lot of milk, 2% which still has lots of calories, but thats not something I want to cut back on while I'm still feeding the baby. I may be able to lose more weight by switching to say diet soda for all of my meals, instead of a cup a day, but the milk is better for me... so I'm going to have to figure out another place to cut. I'm thinking my first dieting step may be to reintroduce myself to water. *Hangs head* I hate water, but juice and milk and soda aren't as good for me... I got used to it while pregnant, I can do it again.




I've been trying to do a yoga routine every morning or night depending, just to try to get a little exercise it, but so far it's not turning out so well. I'll get started, and then Bella will cry. When it gets warmer I can go on walks with her, and incorporate her into my exercise program, but for now, I'm at least trying, and I get my baby lifts in :), so my arms should get stronger at least.




Appearence wise at the moment I'm making a point to shower and dress everyday. Not doing much with my hair other than pulling it back in a baby friendly braid, and not so much with the makeup. I'm working on it though. I will try to discover new baby friendly hair styles, and at least wear lipgloss or something.




I remember why I stopped cooking. I would cook, and sit down to eat, and then Bella would smell the food and get hungry (nevermind that I just fed her) so I would take care of her while my husband ate and then I would get a turn. So I'm not worrying about cooking until she gets the same meals. I make a crockpot meal everynow and then, maybe I should get more crockpot recipies and caserole recipies. Those can bake or sit for awhile. As for cleaning the house, dumping bleach on everything makes it sanitary, but I have googled additional cleaning techniques and will be trying those out one room at a time in the coming weeks. Coming next Week... how to clean a bathroom...




As for education I have submitted three applications for different graduate programs. A masters of creative writing program with an optional Phd program attatched once you finish the masters , an English education masters, and a computer programming masters.




The creative writing program is super competitive. I need to write a 15 page literary criticism, and submit 25 pages of creative work, and write a letter of intnent, with three letters of recomendation, have a 3.6 gpa, and a 1200 on my gre score with a 90th percentile in verbal. I am working on a paper about Peter Pan (more on that later) proofing my old creative stuff, and I have written a letter of intent. I made a 910 on my gre, and have a 3.4 gpa... so its sort of a long shot anyhow, but hey, may as well try.




The English Education program is promising, but I'd have to student teach in my second year, and I don't have anyone to watch Bella, plus I don't want to teach High School, so it's sort of a back up. But it's pretty competitive as well, though it only requires a 900 on the gre, and a 3.0, and a letter of intent with three letters of recomendation, so I may get in.




The computer programming is my safe bet. I don't have an undergrad in it, but the guy I spoke to said half the students don't, it just means an extra semester of computer classes to master some basics. It's all online, which is awesome, and would lend itself well to my future at home work, and leads right into goal nine, finding better work. I only need a 2.6 gpa, and a 900 on the gre.




I haven't decided what activity to pursue for my me time (must get to a point where I can exercise everyday first) but I'll keep you posted.








So I'm making progress. I'm proud of myself, and I'm excited about these new developments in Bella. I'm worried that she doesn't care about toys though, how old were your kids when they noticed toys?




Picture of the day, Bella's newborn photo, see how far she's come?




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Resolutions

So it's not New Years yet, but I do have some resolutions related to my last post.

1) Bella- Bella is the most important person to me in the entire world. I will stop living for nap time. When she is awake, I will spend time with her, talking to her, reading to her, putting her down for tummy time and play time and I will not get frustrated when she cries

2) My husband- Equally important, just more independant. I will be less selfish, ask about his day, listen when he talks in great detail about chemistry things I don't understand, because he listens to me ramble on about everything I'm interested in. We will spend time together not zoned out in front of a television snacking on junk food.

4) my diet- I will cut out junk food, and watch what I'm eating. My diet still affects my baby, and I need to lose weight
5) exercising- I should do some of that... daily

6) My appearence- I need to rediscover make up, and clothes that are not pajamas. I may have a newborn, but that's no reason to let myself go. She's not colicky, and I am of the lucky few who has a baby that sleeps long hours. I should take advantage of that

7) Housewifing- ok, so I hate my apartment, and my kitchen, and even when I clean it looks cramped and ugly. I should have a little pride in my home, and for sanitary reasons should most likely bleach everything down at least once a day, because every surface here looks gross.... I should also cook more. I weighed less when I cooked more

8) Education- I'm done with useless classes. I have to stay in school until my husband finishes. (we cant afford loan payments yet, and I'd be lying if I said the financial aid money didn't make life a lot easier) I've applied for three different masters programs. I will either get a creative writing masters degree, with an option for a phd, an English masters of teaching degree, or a computer programming degree. I'll see which one accepts me, and figure out which one to pursue from there. If I'm in school for two more years, then the classes should be counting towards something.

9) Work- I don't like what I do now, and I barely make anything. I'm not quiting, but I hope to find something I can do at home that is more fulfilling, (like getting published maybe?) and if not, at least try to earn more so we can move to a less crappy apartment

10) Personal betterment- I will work on something constructive every day. Whether it is a few more pages of my stories, a painting, or reading a book, I will do something that is constructive and personal to me so I don't lose myself mommying.

Ok... time to get to work

Monday, December 14, 2009

What do you want to do?

It's such a loaded question. What do you want to do? I've always wanted to write fiction, but that's not exactly an easy task. First you have to finish a book, then you have to get it published.

I've finished a novel (when I was twelve) but I figure I should be able to read through it without blushing with embarresment at young me's attempts at writing. I've started lot's of books, but I "never have time" to do much beyond that.

Why not? I'm home all day? Why don't I write? I've come to a conclusion. I am lazy. I do nothing but sit on the couch all day unless something else has to be done.

One week after having my baby I was at my prepregnancy weight... now I've gained 8 pounds back. I'm the only person I know of who gained weight while breast feeding. (It doesn't help that breastfeeding makes me hungry all the time!)

My art education degree is going no where. The art classes are never in the afternoon, and I've always worked days, while my husband was in school, and now I'm home with the baby while my husbands in school, so I take filler classes instead. What a waste of tuition!

I thought I could be a good housewife, but that laziness thing. I'm not very good at cleaning... I can surface clean like a pro, but deep cleaning? I miss having a maid come once a week like when I was younger at my mom's house. I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to deep clean. It's sad when you're googling "how to clean a bathroom" but seriously? There has to be more to it then spraying everything with bleach and wiping it down. I mean the bathroom never looks clean anyway.

I never cook anymore. I used to at least make dinner every night, but that stopped when the baby came. Food is expensive! It's just easier to make peanut butter and jelly, and pasta, and cheap foods. Honestly, I could care less what I eat, as long as I'm getting everything I need for the baby, which I am, but my husbands getting a little sick of freezer dinners. (Why are they cheaper?)

So I'm not writing, I'm not doing much in school, and as a housewife I suck.

How am I doing as a mother? That's what should matter. Well last night I got frustrated and yelled at my baby because she wouldn't stop crying. I didn't yell words or anything, just a frustrated yell, similar sounding to hers. She didn't even notice. She was hungry, and I guess I was out of milk or something because she wouldn't take either breast, which is extremely frustrating, so I yelled "arg" and got up to make a bottle.

That's not the worst of it....

I put her down on the couch to go get her bottle, and not gently. Not roughly, I didn't throw her down or anything, but instead of being placed gently on the pillow she was set down forcefully, and rolled off the pillow, hitting the couch arm, and rolling back onto the pillow. The couch arm was cushioned, and I picked her up right away, frustration forgotten in worry, but she didn't seem to have even noticed.

I know she rolls over, or bumps her head into us sometimes with much more force than that little roll off the pillow, but I felt terrible. How dare I yell at a baby? How could I get frustrated enough to do something as dangerous as try to set her down on the couch even for a second? And how could I do it with enough force to make her roll? I mean I practically dropped her that inch instead of cradling her! Thank goodness she wasn't hurt.

She wouldn't take the bottle either (she's decided she doesn't like formula), so we just had to cry for a bit until I came through with more milk.

I have all these excuses. I'm tired, I don't have time, it's not convienient, but it boils down to the fact that I'm lazy. Today I felt sorry for myself, and watched a movie (Julie and Julia btw, great movie) tommorow I'm going to get into gear and start taking care of myself, my family, and my home better. It will be particularaly challenging, because my husband will be home for vacation, and I am not good at doing anything while he is home. I sit there, with him, and we do nothing except relax. He's earned it, he hasn't slept all week and has practically been living at the college of pharmacy for finals. I on the other hand have nothing to relax from.

I also need to think very carefully about this blog. It is a mommy blog, but I have nothing new to offer, just observations of a brand new, selfish and lazy mom who yelled at a baby for crying (Why did I DO that? She rarely cries, just some nights when she gets extra hungry) Of course I'll continue writing about that stuff, hopefully no more yelling, but I will continue to update on Bella, because I can't help but write about her, but I should have something more to offer. Something unique to me. My day to day life isn't all that interesting. After all, I sit on a couch and watch tv, and feed my baby every two hours. I work, but that takes up very very little time, and is extremely uninteresting. For now, I'm just going to continue writing about Bella, and my day to day life, but at some point I'm hoping to shift to some other theme which will include Bella and I, but have some sort of niche I fill. Like the cooking with Julie and Julia (perhaps I could go through cooking for dummies?).

Wednesday I will offer a complete list of my goals, and I am not going to let myself procrastinate any longer.

The picture above is my mom with Bella. I hope to look as good as she does one day :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Routines


I never realized how reliant Bella was on routines. She's doing great now that we're home. Slept straight through the night her first night home and has been doing great ever since. She's not been especially fussy, she's just been herself. While we were on vacation though, it was an entirely different story.
She was up all night, she cried almost all the time, and she was just this strange baby. I felt bad because I bragged about how quiet she was.
I think she was overwhelmed. There were to many people, to much noise, and she was being passed around to much. I'm thrilled she got to meet everyone, but I'm sad that it stressed her out so much.
Later this month we're going to meet his family and the situation will repeat itself. Hopefully she'll be a bit better adjusted for this second trip, but if she's not is this fair? Should I be making her travel when it so clearly stresses her out? Or is this just selfish of us?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jacob Black

I saw New Moon twice while on vacation. My mother wanted to see it, and my friend wanted to see what all of her students were talking about. Mostly my friend just made fun of it while she watched it, which was a lot of fun (don't worry, we whispered very quietly, so as not to upset other members of the audience... except for the part where one guy said he saw nothing in Bella's head... we had to laugh at that) however she did enjoy one aspect of the movie quite a bit








There were many comments made about his appearence, and what he may be allowed to do to my friend, werewolf or not. In fact she talked at GREAT length about that the whole way home. Then... because I am a mean friend, I showed her this

Which came out the year after we graduated high school


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa

The first thing I wanted to do after Thanksgiving was get that santa picture. I was so excited, this is a Christmas tradition, and I get to share it with my daughter, how cool is that?
Everyone was against it.
"You're going to let some dirty old man hold your baby?" asks my mother.
"It's flue season, you'll get her sick!" says my aunt
"It's too cold outside for babies, stay indoors." advised my grandmother.
"She'll only cry," my brother pointed out

I was obstinate. Santa was going to hear my little girls christmas wishes, so help me.

So I went shopping for the perfect outfit.

"Don't get that one, it'll get stained." My mom told me helpfully
"She'll outgrow it before she wears it twice." My aunt reminded me
"It may be too warm" My grandmother said, "She'll have to wear an outfit under it, and then it may be too tight."
I was sensing a pattern.
Still, I bought the outfit, I put the baby in it outside of an Atlanta bread company (over her other outfit, but wow, the horrified looks I got when I took out the changing pad(never used!) and put it down on the table, poor diners thought I was going to change a diaper or something)
and then marched up to see Santa.
And the picture was taken.

Everyone on facebook commented on the adorable outfit, and how cute it was I took my baby to see Santa.
My mother learned how to use picture messaging to spread this picture around
It's the background on my aunts computer
My grandmother printed off copies and turned them into Christmas cards.
Go figure, maybe the new mom was right?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving

I'm so behind on posting, lol, it's been a busy week, just getting back into the routine of things.

So Thanksgiving morning my husband and I were woken up by a phone call, his grandmother had died. Naturally he was very upset, and so was I. His grandmother was a wonderful woman, whom I'd met on many occasions, but unfortnately Bella had not yet met.

We had been planning to go up to his home town next month to visit her.

It wasn't really a surprise, we knew she was sick. In fact her liver failed a year ago, and we had been told on numerous occasions that she would die within days. The last time we saw her was at her seventy-ninth birthday party on mothers day. I couldn't travel after that, and the doctor only just gave us clearence to travel again at my six week checkup last week. So its not as though we could help it, but we felt guilty all the same.

My husband decided he would go to the funeral alone, since my mother was only visiting a few days before she had to fly back to California, the baby and I would stay with her, and the rest of my family in Columbus.

That night we ate thanksgiving dinner, and let my husband baby sit the baby while my mom and I went to New Moon. I felt like a jerk, but he insisted, and wanted to spend some time alone with the baby.

After the movie (more on that later) my mom and I went to Walmart and got Bella a swing, and a tummy time mat. The next afternoon, my husband drove to his grandmothers funeral by himself. Don't I feel like a jerk :(

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pulled

Bella is home recovering from her first road trip. We had a great time. We left Sunday morning, and when we passed through Atlanta visited my friends baby shower.
They had a nice baby shower, I'm talking champaign, (which of course I couldn't drink :( ) different types of cheese, little mini bagels with salmon and cream cheese on them, and exquisite decorations.
And there my husband and I were in our travel-comfie clothes, with a baby who was not enjoying being out in her car seat while the car wasn't moving.
Still, we had fun. These people were our neighbors at our last apartment (my favorite place I've ever lived) and we actually made friends with their fifteen year old son first, and then his dad, then his mother. They're great people, lot's of fun to talk to, and I've missed them so much. I'm glad we went, and I think their son was happy to have someone to talk to. :)
So we visited, and gave our gift, and then out the door we went to drive another two hours to go to Columbus. We were supposed to drop by my mil's house and say hello before proceeding to my Aunts house, where we would be staying the week, but instead stayed at my Mil's for the night. We were just to tired to do anymore driving. Even though it was only 8:00 at night, the twenty minute drive to my aunts was just too much, and if we were tired, Bella was exausted.
She handled it like a champ though. She cuddled with her grandmother, and her (step? how do you say this? we've got to figure it out before she can talk, he's a great guy, but my husband doesn't call him dad or anything, he was too old before they got married, so what should my daughter call him?) grandfather, and her uncles coo'd over her. (Still too nervous to hold her, lol)
We watched "Up" (saddest movie ever, btw) and went to sleep.
When we woke the next morning, we ran some errands, ate lunch with some friends, and visited my Mil during her lunch break, so she could show off the baby to her friends and co-workers.
My aunt wanted us to stay for dinner (makes perfect sense to me, right?) my husband wanted to go to my mil's after she got off work at 6:00, and hang out until we went home to go to sleep. "She wants to see her grand daughter." Was his reasoning.
Yeah... we see her once a month, I haven't spent time with my family in a year. Hmm..
To be fair, my mil seems to get the road goes both ways thing and visits us frequently, but this week wasn't supposed to be about visiting her, it was supposed to be about visiting my side of the family. We're seeing her in about two weeks when we go to her home town to visit with her parents, and siblings.
We decided to eat at my Aunts, and head into Columbus after dinner. My brother came for dinner, and we had a great time. When it came time to go to Columbus though, my husband decided it would be better to visit tommorow, because it was getting late (it was about 7:30, but we would want to be in by 10:00 so we weren't bothering my family by coming in late).
Problem is my grandmother was coming in the next day, and we wanted to spend time with her, and the next day my mom came in, and then his family left for thanksgiving on Thursday.
Anyhow, between seeing my relatives, getting everything ready for thanksgiving, and the fact that my mil got off at 6:00 each night, which left a small window to visit, we didn't see her again while we were in town.
Note: She is not upset, I mean she was dissapointed to not see Bella, but she understood. My husband felt terrible though, and that irritates me.
Why did he commit to seeing them beyond that one night we stayed at their place? I asked him not to, because I knew this could happen, but when his mother asked if we would drop by again while we were in town, and I said we would try but it was a pretty busy week, he cut in and said we would make it down here sometime before Thursday, not for long of course, but we would be back.
That put pressure on, and each day we tried to find time, and felt terrible when we couldn't. Had we just said from the get go, "we'll stay with you a night, and eat lunch with you, but after that we're visiting with her relatives who drove or flew to be here that she hasn't seen in a year, and have never met the baby," everything would have been fine. We could have just ended with that lunch and been done with it.
I hate this, I can't wait until our families don't live in the same town anymore. My mothers moved, my brother is moving to Atlanta, and my Aunt and Uncle are moving back to New York. Then when we visit, there isn't any pressure to make rounds, no hurt feelings, just visit, and go.
I won't even have to choose about Holidays. His family is Jehovah's (sp?) witness (my dh wasn't raised as a witness, I'm not sure when my mil converted, it was before he met me, but it sounded recent then) so they don't do holidays. As long as we visit during breaks at some point we should be fine.
But no more of this trying to appease everyone in one trip thing, either someones going to get their feelings hurt, or I'm going to spend the whole trip stressed, or both!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vacation and New Moon

I'm so excited to go on vacation next week! My husband and I are heading home for the holidays starting tommorow, and coming home next Sunday. I won't be able to blog there, but I'll have tons to write about when I get home.
What should I bring for the baby? I know I need to pack pretty much all of her clothes, because she has leaky diapers (We tries huggies little snugglers... super cute, they match her winnie the pooh nursery, but they leak pretty much every time you use them, even doubled up. The walmart brand parents choice leaks semi-frequently, the only brand I've never had a leak with is Pampers, but I still need to try Luvs)
and I need to bring her blankets, a towel and washcloth, her swadler, her sling, and maybe her bouncer. Should I bring her wipe warmer? She kind of hates cold wipes. She doesn't play with toys yet, not really, so I think I'm safe there, she's never needed gas medicine, or baby Tylenol, but she may while we're out of town, so I should bring those just to be safe, and of course her car seat, but is there something essential I'm forgetting? How about it mom's? What do you have to take when you leave town with a six week old?

Anyone sick of hearing about Twilight feel free to tune out now, you won't be missing anything else

One thing I'm going to do when I go down there is hang out with some friends for a girls night, and see New Moon. I'm embarrassed, I've spent the last year bashing that series, and now I sort of want to see it in theaters. Unlike most English majors, I don't have an issue with Stephenie Meyers writing, I'm not much of a literary snob. I mean as far as creative writing goes, she's sort of the desired outcome right? I wouldn't mind selling one of my stories, and making millions, I just know it's not likely to happen.
I read her books, the plots were interesting, nothing special, but I did read all four books, which means it was interesting enough to stick with, and more importantly generate three more sales. I also think her characters were very realistic.
The problem is that they realistically reminded me of people I just don't like very much.
To clarify, my daughter is named Isabella, it's a family name, she is NOT named for Bella Swan. Bella reminds me of this girl I knew in High School, she wasn't anything special, just shy and quiet, and so it seemed like she attracted every eligible guy in a hundred foot radius, not because she was pretty (just average, which isn't bad, I'm just average myself on a good day) but because they could insert whatever personality they wanted into her and she wouldn't speak up to object.
When asked these three different guys liked her for three different sets of personality traits, about sixty percent of which she didn't have. Everyone assumed she was smart, but she wasn't in particular, and she and I talked on more than one occasion about how frustrated she was that everyone kept putting all of these labels and expectations on her just because she didn't speak up to prove them wrong or ask otherwise. My friend was a doormat, and she was well aware of it.
Of course as it happened any guy I ever liked fell for her, and so I was very jealous, and then she started dating this guy I was best friends with and really liked but knew I would never date, our relationship was completely platonic, we never dated, and I still talk to him all the time, but because we never dated I still kind of wonder what if? I know "what if" we didn't date because he's sort of like my brother, or at least a very well liked cousin. It would be gross. Anyhow, she cheated on him with this other guy I liked, and broke my best friends heart, and really insulted me. It was all very immature, and dramatic, and I'm so glad I've outgrown that stage of life.
So that's pretty much who I see Bella Swan as, unfair maybe, but has anyone ever known anyone like that? The quiet pretty girl that everyone thinks is so smart?
One thing I found interesting is I liked Bella more in Midnight Sun, when told from Edward's perspective. Maybe if he could read her mind he wouldn't like her either?
What bothers me the most about the series is that Bella thinks of herself as a smart and independent woman, when really she's about as passive and doormat like as they come. She's book smart, she listens to classical music, but she is completely dependent on her boyfriend, or at least on having a boy around to lean on. The correct response to a boy sneaking into your room without you knowing to watch you sleep, following you, being incredibly over protective of you, threatening to kill you and following you is to let your dad the chief of police know about him. Edward is obsessively controlling, and is constantly making her feel inferior, and she lets him, and that makes me angry. It's a terrible message to send you young adult women everywhere, they have an extremely unhealthy relationship, and Bella lies and manipulates her way into it, and doesn't care who she hurts so long as she gets her way. There is nothing positive about Bella Swan.
Don't get me wrong, I like the books, and like I said, they portray a certain kind of person very realistically, and that person does tend to think of themself as strong and independent, and never sees the danger in being used as a doormat by their borderline abusive controlling boy friends (to clarify, Edward does not at all remind me of my very good guy friend,) but will kids reading it see the difference?
Maybe I shouldn't worry about it, if these books are still popular when Bella hits a good age to read them I'll talk to her about positive and negative relationships, but it's not like Beauty and the Beast was in a much better one.
In fiction we like controlling men who are constantly having to rescue us, my favorite couple as a kid was Sailor Moon and Darien, in literature it was Julian and Jenny from the Forbidden Games series, it took me about a week into my dating life to realize that the men who attract me on screen or in books would make me so incredibly angry in real life that I wouldn't be able to stand in the same room with them, it took me maybe another week to realize that arguments weren't romantic, despite chick flicks that imply otherwise, so I'd never be compatible with those types of guys. Even on the rare occasion I've fought with my husband I can honestly promise you we have never stopped yelling and begun passionately kissing each other, hell no, we're lucky if we can stand to be in the same room with each other until we've cooled way way off.
Ah well, chick flicks are still fun to watch

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Milestones

It's amazing how small things we take for granted are such difficult milestones for babies. This weekend Bella began raising her head all by herself, and holding it up for impressive periods of time. I still need to support her head when I'm holding her, because she doesn't have complete control, but still! How exciting :)

Then on Monday she rolled over during tummy time!

She's just started showing interest in toys, not playing with them, or even really touching them, but she'll look, and she seems much more interested in story time than before. Her squeaks and sighs are sounding a little more conversational, though we're no where near goo-goo ga-ga's, and she's staying awake for longer chunks of time (granted this chunk of time is from 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM, but hey, I'll take what I can get)

She's thinking about crawling, well not really, but she can lift her but with her feet, and lift her head and torso, just not all at the same time. She can scoot like a pro though! The baby book says she should be smiling and laughing soon, and anticipating routines, (it would help if I would establish a routine) It's all so amazingly exciting, is it strange I'm a little sad though, it's going by so fast, 6 weeks ago she was one baby, and she's slowly morphing into this other baby who can do things other than sleep and blink sleepily up at my face. I'm thrilled, and I love it, but I feel like I'm not taking enough time to cherish every second of this newborn stage. People keep telling me to watch out, they grow up fast, and I'm half afraid I'm going to blink and she'll be walking.

One things for sure, she's one smart baby. She's gotten strategic with her pacifier (see above picture) she'll cry for it, spit it out, and leave it propped on her lip for use later. I thought it was coincidence, or her just spitting out her pacifier, but when I lovingly reached down to pull up her covers and move her pacifier out of her way, she woke and cried, and this repeated a few times until I finally got wise that she likes her pacifier right where it is. She's also perfected the mommy fetch game with said pacifier, she's pretty good at throwing.

Anyone else's baby hate tummy time with a fiery passion? Seriously, she cries the second I put her down until she rolls over. Poor baby, hates to exercise, just like her mommy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Baby Shower Envy

Sunday my husband, Bella, and I went to a friends baby shower and had a blast. She had tons of people there, the boys played games in the back and drank a keg of beer, the kids played in the yard with toys and the dogs, and the girls played shower games inside, it was all very fun.
I couldn't help but compare it to my shower (or showers, actually) and while I wouldn't trade my showers for anything, I have to admit I was a little jealous. I kept thinking , "ah, I wish I had thought of that!" whenever I saw something cute, or played something fun. Then of course there was "ooh, I wish I had thought to put that on my registry," though considering that item was a boo-boo bunny, I think I did pretty good. Seriously, I have to find those boo-boo bunnies.
Then I felt bad for feeling that tiny bit of jealously. My friend deserved the perfect shower, and my shower was pretty darn perfect as well, to think otherwise is ungrateful. I think it's just in my nature to compare and contrast, but it's really a habit I would like to kick.
Of course I didn't vocalize any of this, mostly I enjoyed letting other people hold the baby for a bit, and hanging out with people. I didn't realize how much I missed hanging out with people until yesterday, it's not like I can't go anywhere, and it's not even since I had the baby, more since we moved. I don't know anyone in Athens, and having a newborn, or being extremely pregnant, makes it kind of hard to just get out and meet people.
I tried meeting people through pregnancy classes, but the ones we attended in Athens (most of ours were in Atlanta) had the most super focused, antisocial people in them ever. I mean I know learning how to change a diaper is important and all, but really? No one arrived early, or stayed late, or spoke at ALL during the break? Wow!
When Bella's older I may meet people through baby sign classes, or kindermusic classes, and the like, but thats months away. I work from home, I'm no longer a student (though I may enroll in art classes at UGA in the spring, they offer some great ones) where do you meet people? I've got another shower we're driving to Atlanta for next Sunday, and then next week we're heading to Columbus to visit family for the week, so I'll get my socialization in for the rest of November at least, but I don't want to go weeks where my only outings are to grocery stores again. I didn't even realize I was doing that until Sunday, and I can't even blame the baby, this was going on before she arrived.
I need to find a girlfriend or two that I don't have to drive to Atlanta to visit, any suggestions on where to find people? What is an appropriate place to meet friends with a newborn in tow?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grocery stores bring out the monster in me


Seriously, I hate grocery shopping. I have got avoiding grocery shopping down to a science. Every non-perishable that Sam's sells, I order to pick up at my store. Then I go to publix and get the perishables, which are generally in the very back of the store. Today my husband and I grabbed lunch, and he announced he needed to get a hair cut, so we went to Kroger instead so he could get a hair cut at the supercuts next to kroger, and I could go grocery shopping. Bella sleeps every second we're out of the house, so why not?
So my husband gets his hair cut while I run into the grocery store to buy 6 objects
1) milk
2) bread
3) chicken
4) pork
5) hamburger meat

Simple, right?

Before I begin to bash this store, let me make you aware that my absolute favorite grocery store in the world is the Kroger that was next store to my shop, but here in Athens they don't like to organize their stores logically (seriously, the honey is in the middle of the freezer section at this random stand alone shelf, everything is nuts like that), and somehow they have more people in the stores than Atlanta ever did.

So I walk into the store, get my buggy, get Bella all set up, and walk the mile to the back of the store through impressively narrow aisles, chock full of people who are by all appearances just standing there! It takes me about ten minutes to get to the back of the store thanks to the hundred or so women who stand on one side of the aisle intently reading the ketchup labels, and have their cart on the other, and don't notice you until you actually have to ask them to please move, and then get all angry about it like you're being rude.

I get the milk,the bread and the hamburger meat, then I make a beeline for the chicken when Bella wakes up and promptly bursts into tears. I give her the pacifier and try to sooth her, momentarily becoming one of those morons who block the aisles, and slowly make my way to the pork.

Now Bella is shrieking inconsolably. I take her out of her car seat and hold her while looking at the pork, without really seeing it, just trying to find the stupid pork chops and get the heck out of the store. She quiets for a second but then starts to cry wondering why I'm not feeding her (because she ate 20 minutes ago, but she only ate for like 5 minutes and then would not eat any more, so I sort of figured she'd be hungry soon) I tell her I'm sorry and we'll be out of here in one second, well aware I'm being glared at from all angles by people wondering why I've got a screaming baby in the grocery store.

Finally my brain clears enough to see the pork chops, grab them, and try to get to the registers.... on the other side of the store. Nice.

Bella goes back in her car seat, a fact she does not appreciate, refuses her pacifier, and screams all the way to the door. This baby has never cried longer that one or two minutes at a time in her life! Then again, I've never actually not fed her the second she starts rooting and before she even begins to cry either, so it makes sense for her to be distressed, and who likes grocery stores? I don't even want to be there, why should she?

I try to get through the congested aisle, maneuvering my way around these three women who are chatting in the middle of an aisle about some recipe. As they move their carts to allow me to pass their conversation stops, when I get past they begin a conversation about how they would never allow their children to scream and cry in a store, and one of them said something about how she has such a headache now, and something else then the word inconsiderate.

I snapped. I turned around, taking the baby out of the car seat as I turned, and said "I can hear you, you know? In case you haven't noticed the exit is that way, I am trying to leave, I would have been out of here thirty minutes ago before she even woke up if it wasn't for jackasses like you taking up the whole freaking walkway."

Then we turned back around and picked our way through the crowd in a very slow motion dramatic exit. I finally got to the register, finally checked out, finally got out the door, and the baby stopped crying the instant we got outside.

I hear you sweetheart

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shots


My baby had her "first" shot this morning :(. I put the quotes in because I know she got shots in the hospital when she was born, but this was different. She cried. It was this terrible minute long wail that just kept going until she ran out of breath, and then the real crying started :(. I have never felt so helpless, it's so silly, but I feel terrible for her, she's fine now, she's sleeping it off, but I don't know if I can do two more shots next month and then lots of shots at her six month check up. I hate to see her in pain :(

I'm very pleased with her new fleece sleepers, she loves being all warm and snugly. She especially likes the sleepers that have little feet with animals on them like the bunnies in the photo above. I couldn't get a photo of her doing it, but she keeps sticking her little feet in the air and grabbing at the bunny ears that flop down, it's very fun.

This morning we hit a landmark development (at least in my opinion) Bella is beginning to speak baby. I woke up before she did this morning, and was getting ready when I heard her wake, instead of making her squeaky sounds and then crying for food, she spent a few moments making little babbling sounds mixed in with the squeaks, which reminds me I need to make a recording of her little squeaky sounds before she stops making them.

Yesterday I began her baby book, well one of the like ten baby books I'm working on. My mil got me a baby book, and my mother got me a baby book, and I had already decided to do my own digital baby book on shutterfly of Bella's first year. What I've decided to do is fill out all the baby books, keep the shutterfly one, and give the two others to each grandmother on Bella's first birthday. I'm pretty excited about this project.

Tommorow is my husbands birthday :) and I still don't have the slightest clue what we're doing for it. I got him a dvd he wants, and Bella got him a book called "Daddy Hugs." I would love to buy him more (we spent a small fortune on my birthday this year, I think that may have had something to do with the fact that I pushed a baby out two weeks before hand though) but he's so focused on the baby, and school right now that he honestly can't think of anything he wants or needs outside of those two worlds. Ah well, we will be celebrating on Saturday, so I'm sure he'll think of something by then.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crane Humidifier Giveaway


The crane humidifier company is giving away one of their cute humidifiers, visit RaisingMy4Sons for details!


I'm a newly converted fan of humidifiers, I never saw a use for them myself, but after having Bella, and living through her first bout with the sniffles, I'm a huge fan. We got a really plain vicks humidifier for about $15.00 at walmart, but I see the appeal in having a cute one like this.

Off to feed the baby... again, lol

Friday, November 6, 2009

What new mom's really need


When I registered for my baby shower, I put things I really needed on there. A pack and play yard that doubles as a bassinet, a bouncer for the baby, a travel system, a high chair, a baby bath, sheets, receiving blankets, cloth diapers (to use as burp clothes) baby proofing stuff, a swing, and some general things to decorate the babies room. There may have been more, I honestly don't remember. Then I put some little toys and inexpensive things that my friends could get.
My family bought all the high dollar items, a friend bought the baby bath and health stuff, and another friend got the baby room decorating stuff. Everything else was picked out by my friends.
My friends have fantastic taste. I have lots of blankets, lots of bibs, and a billion baby clothes. Seriously this kid has more clothing than I do. I do have some bits of advice for anyone shopping for a baby shower, not that the gifts I got weren't great and useful (they really are, I love them so much, and so does Bella) but just some general advice I am now keeping in mind as I shop for my other pregnant friends

1) babies can't use blankets :( We got a lot of receiving blankets, which work great while she's in her car seat, one big fluffy blanket, which works as her tummy time mat, and a hand knitted swadler type blanket which she can use in her crib. These are great, and they are all a new mommy needs. I don't really get why when you walk into the newborn section of a baby store you see all this fluffy stuff for the babies crib. They can't use it. Yes the blankets are adorable, but all the baby needs are receiving blankets, (which the hospital also gives you a lot of so actually you can forgo buying the cloth diaper burp clothes, though we put them on the changing table so it's not too cold for Bella's little but)
2) Accessories are cute but the baby does not need fifteen hats, and 8 million socks. We got two sets of six packs of socks, and one really soft yellow pair, plus a few that look like mary janes but are actually socks. We also got two sets of three baby hats, they go with all the babies outfits, and don't get dirty at this point, so the like fifteen pack of socks and hats and bibs (bibs we do use a lot of now, when bottle feeding) aren't needed. Just buy the small pack of super cute socks and hats. That's all we needed.
3) Newborn clothes. Someone out there is spreading advice not to buy newborn clothes because the baby will grow right out of them. Unfortunately we followed this advice and only bought a five pack of onesies, and have a closet full of three and six month clothes. Those will be great when Bella gets that old, but for now, newborn is actually a size large for her. I am very grateful to my mother and my aunt who upon hearing my plight bought lots and lots of warm newborn outfits and a few more onesies for my baby. She is now sleeping in warm fuzzys that don't fall off her shoulders. Buy newborn clothes for the season, and include a gift receipt. If you're really worried about the baby just happening to be born at a three month size, buy a three month outfit, it'll do long enough for an online order in the right size to arrive after the baby is born.
4) Get a baby wipe warmer and a bottle warmer. My aunt took care of these for me, and let me tell you are they life savers. My baby hates cold baby wipes, can't say I blame her. And it's really nice for those few times we feed her a bottle for my husband to just pop the bottle in the warmer.
5) A sling, I promise the mom will thank you when she can walk around the house with her sick baby who doesn't want to be put down and actually do things like type on the computer, or clean the kitchen. It's heaven. Life before the baby sling was rough.
6) New babies can't do much with toys. At this point we have three, a pooh rattle, a doll, and a Georgia Bulldog. They are just small enough for her to grab at, and we use them to work on her vision.
7) newborn pictures- a gift card to the hospital photographer is a great gift, then the parents can order all the newborn pictures they want
8) Diapers, or a gift card to diapers.com to order more diapers. We got a lot of size one diapers, and those are too big for the baby, so we're still buying newborn size, but when she gets old enough for size one, we will not have to buy diapers for weeks
9) Baby memory book or gift card to shutterfly.com, so the mom can make a digital memory book. '
10) baby pacifiers. You can buy either the soothie brand, or the hospital brand. I found the ones the hospital used by searching gumdrop pacifiers. They're made by Hawaii medical supply and you can stock up.

Just my ideas of what to buy for baby showers. I have two to attend this month, so its shopping time for me

I need to thank my friends and family for making sure I had everything I needed, and then going the extra mile and buying those things that just made life easier. You're the best.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I hate burping the baby

I love feeding the baby, I love how she curls up against me all warm and sweet, and that look of intense concentration on her face as she feeds and the way she moves her head like a zombie if she gets disconnected and the little noises she makes. It hurts sometimes, but after a few minutes she stops sucking, closes her eyes, let's go and falls into a peaceful slumber. And then I have to burp her. We've tried every position but none of them are what you would call unobstrusive. Bella ends up waking up and crying. Her pacifier never pacifies and she gets hungry again so we start the whole process over again.
The only thing worse... Is what happens if I don't burp her

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween and sick babies



Haven't posted in awhile, because my little one has been sick :(. It all started on Halloween, when she woke me up in the morning with a strange gasping, choking sound. She kept struggling to breath so we rushed her to Kaisers weekend/after hours clinic, paid the fifty dollar co-pay, and had the doctor continue to mention how fussy she was, "it must be colic."
Sorry Doctor? My child who has never cried when she wasn't hungry, colic? Based on the fact that she was crying after you shoved a thermometer up her but? I would cry to!
We kept trying to explain that she wasn't being fussy, that's not why we brought her in, she wasn't breathing! Her face turned red, and she flailed around, and no she's not doing it now, but it was terrifying so fix it ok!
Then he told me about infant breathing patterns. Ok, obviously you didn't believe me when I said I know all about those from the baby book, and listen to her breath all night every night sleeping intermittently, I know her breath patterns!
Well according to the doctor she didn't have a fever (98.6, which isn't a fever, unless you are my daughter or me, who both consistently have a temperature of 97.4, of course this wasn't her regular pediatrician so he didn't know that) and she wasn't congested. They did humor me and check the o2 levels in her blood, and they were fine. So I got what I came for, my baby wasn't suffocating.
We got home, put her in her halloween costume, and she promptly fell asleep in her warm fuzzy outfit. My husband and I watched Orphan, and let me tell you, watching scary movies is a completely different experience once you have children. It's way more stressful. I now understand why my mom would randomly change the channel when hocus pocus got to intense. Stuff happening to kids is ten times more frightening.
The next morning her temperature was 99.9, she WAS congested, and she wanted to be held all the time, and be fed all the time, unfortunately being fed all the time led to her projectile vomiting. :( poor sick baby. Thankfully her fever is broken now, and besides being a little more clingy than usual, she's doing very well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Holding the Baby


It's amazing how natural it feels to hold your baby. Before I got pregnant I had only seen babies, rarely had I ever held them. I dealt mostly in three year olds at my preschool. Once I got pregnant, people kept handing their babies off to me "for practice". Not strangers, cousins who had recently had children.
Holding their babies felt strange and awkward. I was afraid I would drop them, and they seemed to be all limbs. Practice doesn't do a thing.
Holding my baby is like holding a part of me. She's warm and soft, and she curls into me naturally. It's amazing how different it is. It was instant after birth.
It didn't work that way with my husband. He was terrified of holding her, he was afraid she would break, or he would drop her. Now he's great at it, but that's one unique thing about being a mommy I guess. Your baby feels like you.

One thing I find funny is when people are visiting and you ask if they want to hold the baby (ok, I never ask because I hog the baby, if my husband asks) and they say something along the lines of "oh... I don't know, I've not held.. continue excuse here" and I say "Ok, if you're not comfortable holding the baby I'd actually prefer you didn't, so thank you for being upfront about it." They're expression is funny. I think the response they were looking for was for me to talk them into holding the baby.
It's like my friend who always tells her techie friends that she doesn't want an iphone because she doesn't want to be that connected. The next part of the "script" is for the iphone owner to tell her how great it is and show her how convenient it is and for her to keep protesting that she doesn't "need" email. When she talks to me about how she doesn't need an iphone, I agree with her that since she doesn't use all that stuff it would pretty much be pointless for her to have it, but as a business owner it worked great for me. Conversation dead.
I'm so mean

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WIC

I'm a little surprised at the WIC program. Technically my husband and I qualify because the bills are mostly paid by his scholarships, grants, and loans. Nothing that technically counts as income. I make a little every month, and that is enough for us to purchase food and gas, and pay our little tiny bills. I tossed and turned about applying for WIC because it's not as though we are in desperate need... but my job is commission based, and could end at any moment... so maybe I should apply just in case.
Turned out not to be an issue. While I was in the hospital a WIC representative talked the whole thing over with me and signed me up. I qualified for the breast feeding exclusive part, and received my vouchers. I was a little excited. I had no intention of using the vouchers unless I needed them, but some months it was hard to get by, and having some extra food would take the pressure off.
Now, I have a lot of opinions about public assistance programs. I agree that they need to be there, I hate people who take advantage of them, and I hate people who treat others who need the programs like crap. My mom was on wic, welfare, food stamps, social security and every other type of government assistance, when my father died. She used the time to go back to school and get her nursing degree. Now she makes 90 grand a year travel nursing and has more than paid back the programs that helped her out. We feel no shame over this.
Still I have always felt there should be more giving back to help offset the costs. The wic office needs to be staffed yes? I would be more than willing to come in every month and work a few shifts to make up for the fact that they are giving me food. Same deal with unemployment, and medicare, and all of that. People on public assistance working public service jobs. Not full time, not even weekly, a shift a month per service. Who will watch the kids? We could open public daycares and staff those with qualified individuals. (Hey, some people who are down and out are certified to teach. I am, I just want work all those hours right now, I want to be home with my three week old. My cousin is, had full availability and it took her a year to find a teaching position)
Having actually looked at the WIC program, I kind of have to laugh at the people who complain about their taxes supporting these women. Wic shaved $25 off my weekly grocery bill. It's nothing to sneeze at, and I'm extremely grateful, but really? People are out there pitching full scale "I didn't choose to have a baby so why should I pay for yours" fits over what amounts to

1 loaf of bread
$10 fruits and veggies
6 gallons of milk
1 box of cereal
2 cans of beans
1 jar of peanut butter
1 box of eggs
1 pack of cheese
2 bottles of juice
and
1 can of tuna

I'm sure larger families get more but I'm a family of three. Seriously people, relax

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby in utero versus "real" baby

Here goes,
There's a big difference between the baby being inside my body and outside my body. Well duh, but seriously it's difficult to reconcile that this is the same baby. She "acts" different. Remember how I said babies have a personality in utero? Well I was wrong. I thought the baby who was in my tummy was hyper, and had an attitude. Loud noises equaled an angry baby, stuff like that.
Nope, my child is an angel. She sleeps and rarely moves in any way that could be considered hyper. Ive seriously got the most serene and peaceful baby that ever existed.
I love my child more than anything in the world. But it's strange, I feel like I spent nine months getting to know my baby, and when she was born she was completely different than inexpected.
So if I ever hear a naive mother talking about how they know their baby already while their pregnant, I'll smile, because at least in my experience, getting to know your baby doesn't happen until after you have the baby.
I love my baby so much, she's absolutely perfect

Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthdays and visitors oh my!

So Friday came and went. I got my hair done (will post pictures later) got a massage (heaven, exept my breasts hurt when I laid on them) manicure and pedicure, and got my eyebrows waxed. I got a gift card from my mom so I can go shopping for a new jacket, and I'm considering a new purse.
My mil and bil came to visit this weekend and while that made it possible for my husband and I to go to outback and then see the vampires assistent (cute, but doesn't hold a candle to the books) it also made things complex for a few reasons
1) they don't celebrait birthdays or holidays, given that it was my birthday and our house was decorated for Halloween it was a little ackward. We all handled it well by not talking about it at all
2) Bil brought his wheelchair instead of crutches. We told him our place wasn't handicap accessable, so we had a whole weekend of him not being able to fit through the doorways to the guest room or bathroom which equaled him hopping around which looked painful and dangerous. Also our furniture got scratched to pieces where he forced his way through, our carpets not wheel chair friendly, and he knocked over my husbands speakers. I don't mind at all, but you could tell he was embarressed and I felt bad for him.
He was great with Bella though and we are so happy he was able to come. I haven't seen him so happy in a while
3) mil doesn't like our apartment :( she kept mentioning things that are wrong with it. It's not bad! I mean it's cramped sure and yeah they need to do a lot of repairs after the flood the other week but those will be done this week. The knats will go away once the leaks are fixed. I get that it's not ideal but really when is it ever polite to comment on someones homes flaws?
4) company always throws routine

Other than that it was a fantastic visit and a great birthday. Dh got me a wedding band to replace the one I lost, and mil got to see her grandbaby and even cooked dinner! I got to be lazy and I got to hang out with my bil who is doing really well now! Overall a good weekend and a great birthday

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy birthday me!

Happy birthday to me!

I'm off for a great spa day, and then when mil gets here it's dinner and a movie for me and my husband. :)

I have to confess I'm nervous about leaving Bella.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So they say...


They say a newborn baby can be placed on its mother stomach, inch its way (all by itself) to the mothers left breast, latch on, and eat immediately after birth. Let me just say not my baby.
I love my baby, but she can barely find my nipple when it's shoved in her mouth, much less if she's not placed at the perfect angle right in front of it.
She's so cute when she's frustrated though. I'll get all set to breast feed, and then I'll put her where she needs to be, she'll latch on to the white part of my breast right above my nipple (a huge accomplishment as my nipples and dark part of my breast are HUGE now) I'll detach her, and try again, she'll let out this frustrated wail, at which point my breasts will squirt her in the face, and she'll get this eureka look on her face, and go all zombie baby on my boobs.
Seriously, it looks like horror movie zombie attacks, only super cute because its my darling. Incidentally nothing frightens me more than zombies, but this is funny not frightening.
Seriously though, why did my breasts get all huge, and dark, and my nipples get even bigger if it doesn't even help my baby find the nipple? I joke about it but I'm actually kind of worried about her vision...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Busy Busy

I know I need to be taking it easy, but unfortunately company is coming again tommorow, and I have a very big day ahead of me. Bella has an appointment at 10:00 am, then we have to go to Atlanta for the swine flue vaccine at noon, then we go home, then my husband goes to class, I need to clean the house and decorate for halloween, and then we need to do laundry.
Friday isn't looking any better, but in a much better way. It's my birthday :). We have a morning meeting that couldn't get rescheduled at 8:00 am, and then we are all going to go to a birthday breakfast. Go home and feed the baby, take a nap, go to lunch (haven't decided where yet) then off to the spa for a relaxing massage and hair appointment. Then its home to feed the baby. Then its time for a manicure and pedicure , feed the baby, then leave the baby with my mother in law, and go out to dinner and to a movie. My husband has a present for me, and my mom sent me a gift card to a clothing place, so I'm very excited.
*deep breath* it's not exactly taking it easy though.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pre pregnancy Weight

So today I decided to weigh myself. I look a lot better, not more huge tummy, and I'm not swollen up like a chipmunk anymore. Hooray, I lost 22 pounds! I'm back to my pre pregnancy weight!
I'm actually kind of disappointed. I was sort of hoping to be lower than my pre pregnancy weight :(. I know it's stupid, and frankly its a huge deal that I'm already back down to what I am. Also I'm breast feeding, so I know I'll lose more, but I had thought about weighing myself all day and just kept imagining the number lower and lower.
I want to lose about eighty pounds. Huge goal! I know, and all the books say not to even start trying to lose weight until about three months after the baby is born. It makes sense, I'm not getting that much sleep, and my body still needs calories to feed the baby. I'm losing weight rapidly (baby was five pounds, water was 2 pounds, uterus was 2 pounds, placenta was 2 pounds, and extra blood was 4 pounds, going with the lowest number for these I'm still ahead 7 pounds, which is about 2 pounds a week since starting to breast feed) but I feel so motivated right now. Maybe I should start making careful choices food wise and see how that goes. Nothing dangerous for the baby, but good for the baby. I won't cut back on the milk or juice or anything like that, just maybe less oreos.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Taking it easy

So apparently I've been doing to much. My body is sending very clear stop and rest signals, in the form of lots and lots of bleeding and cramping, and general feeling bad. When I called the health line about it they said it was my bodies way of telling me to stay off my feet, and do less. Makes sense I guess, two weeks ago I was pregnant, then gave birth. The next day I was up running around getting my house clean, shopping for baby stuff, and being a hospitable hostess. I felt fine though!
It's hard doing less. I don't actually do that much. I wake up, nurse the baby, take a shower, eat, nurse the baby, do work (all on the computer so it doesn't count as physical activity) feed the baby, take a nap, eat, feed the baby, clean the house, eat dinner, and take cat naps the rest of the night.
So cleaning the house has to go, since work can't, and feeding the baby can't. Instead of cleaning I now nap. It's hard not cleaning though, because my husband tries, but just doesn't get it done like I would. He's fine with dishes sitting in the sink instead of in the dishwasher (I wouldn't care that much except in an apartment that equals bugs) or not taking out the trash as soon as the bag gets full so we aren't pushing trash down in an effort to close the lid, or doing laundry before we actually run out of clothes.
What I need to let go of is that he does do everything though. He makes me dinner and lunch if he's home, and eventually when no more dishes fit in the sink he'll empty the dishwasher and fill it back up, he does the laundry every week, and he does take out the trash eventually. I need to relax, and get over it. I should be better soon, rushing my recovery won't do anyone any favors.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I love facebook


I love my family. Even though they haven't seen my baby yet (which is completely fine with me, I love them, I want them to meet my daughter, but company is so disruptive to my newborns schedule) they are keeping up with her every move on facebook. Yes I am one of those annoying moms who post photographs daily of their children. Mwahhah! I refuse to feel bad about it considering how many friends I have that post daily pictures of themselves either modeling or drinking with their friends every day. Nothing wrong with it, just don't complain about my million pictures if you don't want me to complain about yours.
Actually no one has complained, (but I'm ready if they ever do!) everyone comments about how cute my little angel is, and then they send me presents. :) Every item I've mentioned on facebook I've received in the mail within a few business days. Wipe warmer, bottle warmer, clothes in newborn sizes, (we had a few newborn clothes, but mostly we got 3 and six month outfits because we weren't sure what size she would be when she was born, size wise she's preemie, newborn outfits are huge on her, but I feel like actually buying preemie clothes would be a waste since she's already back to her birthweight, and next week will likely be newborn size) a swaddler, and hopefully *fingers crossed* a sling here soon.
I'm not posting in hopes of getting items, I'm asking if anyone knows of a good brand to get, and then bam, it shows up in the mail. Love it.
It's making my husband worried though, his family is throwing me a shower whenever I go visit them in Alabama, (they couldn't come to my shower, and felt bad, even though I completely understand not driving four hours to attend a shower and was not offended at all, they are insisting I drive my newborn child down there to visit them so they can throw me a shower. On the one hand that's super sweet, on the other hand umm... four hours is awhile for me as well. But we reached a good compromise, I'm going to go when I'm ready, and when Bella is ready. We don't know when that's going to be, but most likely in late November or early December)
anyway they aren't rolling in money (who is?) and most of these items I keep mentioning on face book are low ticket items, given that I post with intent to buy, and I don't have a lot of money. He's concerned that all the affordable gifts are being bought, and while he's grateful they are being bought he's worried.
Honestly we can do without presents at all. The baby got everything it needed at my first shower, now we're just getting novelty items, like diaper genies (courtesy of my husbands cousin) or wipe warmers, bottle warmers, and more clothes. I'm running out of items to even think of buying. Hopefully I'll come up with a few more by Christmas, so that I can buy my baby an awesome first Christmas gift.
My brother is visiting tommorow, and then next week my mother-in-law is visiting for a week, so lot's of company is coming through. But after that it is just me, my husband, and the baby until Thanksgiving :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Swine Flue


So my husband comes home today talking about how people in his pharmacy class are out with swine flue, and he was nervous because so many people were coughing today. That's great. He took a shower, and is nervous about being around the baby, but it's not like it's avoidable. We're both getting the vaccine next week, so that's good, but I'm so nervous it's going to be too late. What happens to a newborn with swine flue?
Furthermore why were people who were coughing going to school? Because of pressure. Students are told to stay home when sick, but then told if they miss more than two days they'll fail, and make ups are impossible. It's not just pharmacy school either, when I went to high school we had a kid show up with TB because his AP Lit teacher told him if he missed any more days she'd fail him! So then the whole school had to be tested.
Not a year later we had a kid come to school with pneumonia because he absolutely couldn't miss a test, he collapsed after the exam and had to be hospitalized. His parents thought he was home, but he drove himself to school while they were at work.
It's not just schools, people go to school deathly ill because they don't want to be fired. It really bothers me to see a waitress, or teacher sniffling, sure it may be allergies, but more likely than not they can't afford to be sick.
And people wonder why this stuff spreads so fast. Yet another argument for homeschooling Bella, not that I need more reasons.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Time Management


It's sort of difficult to plan your day in two hour increments. Bella has her times when she's awake for an hour or so, generally between her 4:00 am, and 6:00 am feeding, and then she has her typical two hour naps, like from 6:00 am to 8:00, and from 8:00- 10:00, and then she has her random long stretches, like from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. And it's hard to figure out what to do with my time.
When she's awake I want to spend time with her. I look at her, play with her, dangle toys in front of her face, dress her in cute outfits, that sort of thing. Mostly though we just stare at each other. She doesn't like to be put down while she's awake, and since it only lasts longer than ten minutes while she's not feeding twice a day, I'm loath to put her down.
I try to nap during her two four hour naps during the day, but then that leaves me doing things like cleaning, and work, and blogging at night. I can clean at night without a problem, but the computer is in the bedroom so working or blogging while my husband is trying to sleep is out of the question. I'm seriously considering moving the computer to the babies room, since I spend most of the night in there with her, but how ridiculous would that look?
It's already odd that our baby has a tv, cd player, dvd, and ipod touch, but we had those in our guest bedroom earlier, moving them out just because we had a baby wouldn't make a lot of sense.
Plus I've been told not to get attached to any one schedule, because she's going to change it soon. So what to do?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Breast Feeding Basics


I think I may finally be getting the hang of this breast feeding thing! I've been doing it for one week and one day, and Bella and I are settling into a routine, and my nipples are toughening up. I haven't really had to deal with engorgement. Sure my breasts get sore and full feeling when Bella sleeps through a feeding, but nothing like the books described. I'm either a super lucky woman, or those books exaggerate to the nth. degree. Most likely its a combination of me being lucky, and me being young, and not having to work.
I about quit two nights ago when Bella just kept feeding until she was due for her next feeding, and she was still hungry! I was out of milk, and thank goodness I had pumped some earlier for my husband to take her away from me and feed her. She of course settled right down.
Since then I haven't had time to pump, I've been trying to get back into the swing of things. My house is clean, my work is done, I eat and sleep on a regular basis, and the baby eats and sleeps on a regular basis, but that doesn't leave me a spare second to pump milk for the baby.
That upsets my husband, I can tell. He loves giving her one feeding a day, heck he'd do all the feedings if I'd let him. I'm nervous though because I wanted to have a reserve in the fridge and so far that's not happening.
The biggest difference in breast feeding was getting the position right. I thought I was doing exactly what the lactation nurse told me, but I was reading a baby book the other night and it pointed out the baby needs to be tummy to tummy with you. *head bang* well there you go. I was cradling the baby not putting it tummy to tummy. Wow the difference that makes!
Hopefully I'll be as enthusiastic about this tommorow as I have been yesterday and today!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I don't like company


Ok, maybe I'm the most possessive new mommy ever, but I really just want to be home spending time with my baby with my husband. Actually considering that I didn't even want guests at our wedding, I'd say this is most likely just a personality trait. Its not that I don't like people, I love people. I consider myself fairly social. It's just that I'd rather not worry about people when I'm cherishing a special event.
That said, my husbands cousin came to visit this weekend. She brought a diaper genie, and promised to help with house work and cooking. Thing is I don't need help. The house was clean, the cooking pre-done, so all she actually did was hold my baby, and make me feel rude when I napped or went back to the room to feed. She's super nice, and she was trying to be helpful, so it wasn't her fault, its just that I would have rather waited a few weeks before having company.
My husband felt the same way once she was here and felt bad about it, so instead of studying he spent to the entire time in the living room with her being social. Which again meant I was nursing without him talking to me and playing with the baby with me.
She's left now, but his mother is planning on visiting for a week sometime soon. A week! I love my mil, but I just want to be with the baby and be alone, but I can't deny her the opportunity to see her grandchild either. My brother is visiting next weekend, but only for a few hours, so I'm not very concerned about that. But in the meantime I feel like a selfish ogre. No company please, just me and my little family.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life with baby


Being home with the baby is so strange. When I was in the hospital, I couldn't wait to get home, even though all the books told me to take my time and stay as long as I could, because I would be longing for those catered meals soon. I knew that, but I also know my insurance policy makes me pay 20% of the bill, and I'd rather have a lower one, and I also know that my food is better, and that I like being home. I knew my husband would take care of me once he got to feeling better.
I'm still a little annoyed at the husband for being sick when we got home, even though he couldn't help it. It helps that he's as embarrassed as I am annoyed. I just gave birth and am walking around cleaning the house, and he's knocked out by a tummy ache? Ah well, at least he acknowledges that's stupid.
Anyway, being home with the baby is strange. It makes her existence more real to me, because she's in my space, not this unfamiliar place where strangers will come and whisk her away in the middle of the night to do lab work. Yesterday and today I pretty much just sat around staring at the baby, and it was great. I feel no need to do anything else.
On the one hand I know I should be cleaning, and cooking, and working, but on the other I should take a break, I mean if not now when? I made a point to get ahead on work so I could take time off once I had the baby, so why don't I take advantage of that? Instead I'm about to get off the computer, clean the house top to bottom because my husbands cousin is coming to visit, and then get to work. Something is wrong with me, because I just can't stop.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The ride home


Tuesday we were allowed to leave the hospital after the pediatrician looked at the baby, the doctor looked at me, and the photographer came by to take pictures of the baby. Our friends from Atlanta came to visit while we were waiting for the photographer, and then my darling little girl posed for her first modeling gig. She looked fantastic, and we had a good time.
After that came the scary part, checking out of the hospital. We packed everything up, I got ready to go home, my husband loaded up the car, and went by the cashiers office to settle up. The nurse came by with final instructions and a whole bunch of hospital papers and adorable souvenirs, and then it was time for them to wheel me out to the car, and check the babies car seat.
I think my husband drove twenty-miles under the speed limit the whole hour and a half home. It was nerve wracking. I think I died a little inside every time a car merged, but eventually we made it. We took our little girl into her home and introduced her to her nursery. My husband brought everything in from the car, and I settled in on the couch with the baby prepared for some pampering.
Except all the stress and lack of sleep and fast food caught up with my husband now that he could finally relax, and he spent the rest of the night sick to his stomach, and sleepy.
Ah well, welcome home

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

After Birth


I was given time with the baby right after birth to bond and try to feed. She did a good job with latching and for awhile my husband and I just stared at her. Then it was off to the after delivery room, and the baby was taken to the nursery to be seen by her pediatrician.
I fell asleep promptly, and when I awoke I had a wonderful daughter laying in a bassinet by my bed. We had fun counting all her fingers and toes and talking to her, and I took the time to take stock of the damage done to my body.
My arms, legs, and back were very sore. This puzzled me for some reason (pregnancy stupidity?) and my husband pointed out I'd been exercising those muscles for about two hours straight pushing. Mystery solved, I moved on to my breasts, which didn't feel any different yet, but leaked fluid just about anytime I moved. Now for the scary part... down there. I opted not to look and see the damage, but considering that every time I went to the restroom there was enough blood to provide for three over the top slaughter films, I imagined it was pretty bad.
I'd read in the books that the first time you poop after delivery is a majorly frightening event. Thankfully I had to potty pretty soon after delivery while I was still pretty much out of it. I suffered a moments apprehension but otherwise it was all very uneventful and not painful at all.
Body accounted for, I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and fixed my hair enough to become presentable, and then spent the rest of the day lying in bed with my baby, making small talk with my in-laws.
I know I'm a terrible person, I love my mil, and my little bil, but I really just wanted it to be me and my husband for awhile. My little bil was bored and sleepy and kept complaining about it. (My heart goes out to you kid, really, whine about being tired and having nothing to do one more time, we can see how far I can throw an iv needle) my mil of course wanted to hold the baby and talk. All I wanted to do was hold the baby and stare at it. She was really considerate though, always asked before holding the baby, so she mostly got her during my naps.
Feedings were a minor issue here because they would leave the room, and my husband would feel obligated to go with them and continue small talk in the cafeteria. I wanted him with me. It wasn't an issue for long though, they left that night, after giving us our baby gift. A cute bassinet for home.
The whole staff was nice, but getting your bp checked every hour, and having doctors and nurses come by to either take the baby or check on you gets tedious fast. It's like there is a schedule, and I don't know it, so it frustrates me even more. I could plan to say eat when the baby was gone as opposed to eating while holding the baby because I didn't want to let her go.
I was visited by a lactation consultant from the hospital and from a kaiser consultant, so that was very handy. Bella had done a little damage to my right nipple with incorrect latching, but we were now able to fix the problem and nursing was no longer a painful event.
I think at this point I was still in shock that I had a baby, when she was in the room she was all I could look at, when she was gone, it was like she hadn't existed yet? Not in a bad way, and with no negative feelings, but it felt like a dream, not reality. I was still waiting on reality to kick in.
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