Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oh So Handy Post-Preggers Convenience

After we came home from the hospital with our lil' wee one, we slept downstairs on the pull-out couch until our lil' jellybean was two weeks old. We did this to help me avoid having to use the stairs, up to our bedroom, post-c-section. During that time and the month after, I had this first basket beside me wherever I was camped out for the day, and the smaller one went with me whenever I left the room. Keeping my essentials close to me via these two baskets made it easy to not only keep track of everything, to have it all in two primary stash spots, rather than spread about me, but to also easily reach whatever I needed whenever it was needed. It was very handy to be able to grab the basket handles from whereever I sat, and to also loop the handles over my arm, allowing me to bring my lil' things along with me as I carried other things, like my new baby. I'm still using the smaller of the two baskets today.

The contents of the featured blue Easter basket, aka 'Mah Post-Pregnancy Essentials Basket': 1) Spray bottle hung from the side for the kitties (it serves as a deterrent we use to keep them off the kitchen table and counters); 2) the bless-ed Itzbeen (strategically clipped to the basket handle so I could view it at all times); 3) box of tissue (for the obvious reasons, plus all the hormonal crying); 4) my PDA (to have and record all my numbers and stats handy); 5) camera batteries charger (I was taking A LOT of pictures!!!); 6) nail filing kit (keepin' my nails short for baby handling); 7) hand lotion (keepin' my hands soft for baby handling); 8) lanolin (I didn't need it as much as I was told I would, but that's because we got 'a good latch' started before we came home from the hospital); 9) polysporin (this was more important to me); 10) nipple shields (only used 'em 4 or 5 times - - were real messy, but rreeeeal helpful when I didn't want anything touching me!); 11) 3 pairs of nursing pads at all times (and restocked almost daily); 12) my meds (which I took as prescribed by the hour for the first 10 days post-delivery without ever trying to go without, as I'd been counseled to do and boy am I glad I did!); 13) lip balm (I HAD TO HAVE IT); and lastly, 14) ummm (clearing my throat), a small bottle of Colace (what's that? -- it's the much needed stool softener I had to take for over a week... Sorry, but it's true! It was an absolute must-have post-c-section)!

This is the smaller basket that always went with me everywhere, which I still use. It holds a spare binky, a pen, my phone (this pic shows my old cell phone, as I now have a nifty Blackberry my parents gave me so I could send them regular pics and texts of their grand-daughter!), my wallet and digicam, and an extra pair of camera batteries.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"She Did It Again" or "I Had No Idea"

She slept another 8-hour-night last Thursday night (Wait, did I ever write about the first time she slept 8 hours straight? I did? oh yeah, I did), and she slept 7 hours straight last night. And so, today, in preparation for when the time comes that we can say "she's sleeping through the night now," our baby girlie had her first ever nappy-time sleeping in her crib. And man, did she look so small in her big crib! It's funny, right now she's beginning to look like a giant in her bassinet!

See, our plan is to move her into her own bedroom to sleep in her crib, and out of our bedroom, once she's consistently sleeping through the night.

Before she was born, I would tell people that although my honey-man believed and told everyone the baby would be sleeping in our room until she was six months old, I was not going to allow it for more than a couple months. Yeah, so I totally had NO IDEA what I was talking about at the time.

Not only did I not understand how many times I'd been getting up in the night to feed her well into the second month, I also had NO IDEA how much I would ENJOY coming to her rescue whenever she stirs and begins to wake and whimper for attention. And I LOVE to hear her sleeping breath at night. And I LOVE to hear her lil' breathy sighs and her middle-of-the-night squeaks. During her first month, of course, some of those little noises of hers would honestly freak me out, as I'd bolt awake, bracing myself for a big upset, but they were, more often than not, false alarms, which I'm now used to anyhow.

Our baby sweet potato girl is three months old as of yesterday. Yup, THREE MONTHS OLD. She was in mah belly just 3 months ago!?! And my honey-man might be right after all... Three is more than two ya know. TRANSLATION OF THE LATTER NONSENSE STATEMENT: I'm not sure I'm ready to give her up to her crib --I cannot tell you how much this realization blows me away. Three months ago, I was sooo sure I'd be just itching to get her out of our bedroom, almost as if she would somehow be an intrusion. I know, it sounds absolutely crazy to me now, because right now I cannot imagine missing the chance to be right there when she first begins to wake, to see her when she opens her eyes wide to the morning light, to watch her stretch her little chubby arms high above her head as she pushes her tiny belly outward, stretching her legs and even her toesies as well. And to see the recognition brighten her little face as she discovers I'm spying upon her. I'm not ready to give that up, not yet.

In three months' time, or rather, 3 days from the time of her birth -- No, in the first 3 hours? -- Naah, more like 3 seconds' time... whoops, how I digress. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for my baby girl. It having been three months now, looking back to the day she officially entered this world --my world-- I cannot believe how much she has utterly bewitched me. I had NO IDEA how much I could love this child; I love her more than life itself.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 39

This one is way, way, waaaay overdue, by about 3 months:

Because he can talk to our baby daughter with such a truly shameless, absolutely super sweet, falsetto baby-talk voice, ladling every ooey-gooey word he speaks to her with such apparent adoration and love. He's such a cute daddy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

She Loves Me, Yes!

After the last post I'd written, June 20th, in which I mentioned that my baby daughter had woken up FIVE times in the night before? Well, I've decided she must love me, because she totally made up for it that Saturday night: SHE SLEPT FOR EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT! And no, that was NOT a typo = We got 8 hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep! Well, not entirely uninterrupted... Around 5am, I bolted upright out of our bedsheets, instantly awake when it'd somehow hit me in my sleeping state that I was still sleeping; I hadn't heard a single stirring peep from my lil' baby sweet potato girl since I'd laid her down to rest! I lunged towards the foot of our bed where she sleeps in her bassinet to verify that, indeed, all was well with the slumbering babe, thank goodness! Man, she scared the crap outta me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back from Grammy & Popa's House

Just got back Thursday night from Iowa after staying with my parents for what was my baby girl's first ever flight and her first ever visit to her grandparents' home... annnnd it was my first time back home to Iowa since 2005, and my first non-November or December trip to Iowa since '99. Yeah. Anyhow, we've been trying to get back on Mountain-time for the past couple days and to catch up with some things before this next week begins (a week that will most likely kick my bummy due to THIS HERE).

The month of June has been flying by, the fastest of them all yet! *sigh* My honey-man tells me it will only get worse. The angel boy-O is here with us for his first two months of summer, since June 4th, and I cannot believe we only have 6 weeks left with him here. July will be worse than June for sure! One of my best friends will be here with her two girls, arriving Tuesday night, plus, we'll have family in town all this next week until we leave for Utah for the angel boy-O's birthday and our 4th of July holiday, July 2nd thru to the 7th or 8th. I hope to spend most of our time there with my paternal grandma, who's health has taken a serious turn for the worse: terminal pacreatic cancer. Don't get me started on that - I can't take it right now. Thereafter, once we're home from Utah, we already have set plans for 5 of the 8 nights we'll have before we'll be leaving for Montreal the 17th-27th. The angel boy-O goes home to Utah the weekend following our return from Montreal. Oh, yes, that was not a typo: Late last night, his mom and step-dad arrived in Ogden, UT with a moving van containing all their belongings. More on that later.

Anyhow, I need to write about my Iowa trip, but I haven't managed to do so with this post just yet, and I'm really tired. Our baby girlie woke up FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES last night. I think it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Going Back to Work

Ya know when you go on that nice vacation, a week-long or so, and then you return home from that nice vacation, and that day comes shortly after your return when you've got to go back to work, post-that-oh-so-nyce-vacation? Well, this is a bit different: Not ever has the phrase "going back to work" felt so heavy or so dreaded.

My maternity leave is coming to an end... I return to the world of the 'working-for-living' come this Monday. I have, however, been granted a 3 month-long, temporary part-time contract to help me ease more gracefully back into working, also allowing me to remain at home with mah baby girlie-girl until she's 6 months old, which is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC (I am sooo freakin' lucky! So, so, so, soooo lucky! I know! I know!), BUHHHT I'm still scared: How am I going to get things done AND retain my sanity?

Better yet, why do we live in a culture that values motherhood and its children so poorly? Why aren't we like England, or France, or Sweden, or the other countries granting mothers a year at home with their infants, minimum, and without losing their livelihood? Paid maternity leave is a rarity and parental leave is almost unheard of in the U.S., yet we wonder as a society why our children have so many problems, developmentally, psychologically, and academically. Yet over and over again, we vote for legislators who devalue, and consequently, underfund federal and state level health and educational programs for our children. And why does this happen? Children aren't the priority, apparently... Our government is more interested in oil and profits, and we, the people as a majority, we're more interested in consumption than caring for our own. Yeah, most of us, we'd rather bitch about gas prices and taxes. Think about it.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Overhauling One's Expectations

I wrote this last night around 10pm-ish and at some point, I actually nodded off to sleep!

Some days, I can't determine if my expectations of myself are truly realistic or way, way off base. Sometimes, honestly, it seems my expectations simply set me up for an overall sense of failure. I can never do all that I want to get done, and I know this. Yes, intellectually, I do know this, yet I keep struggling with this nagging feeling that I should be doing more, always. Well, it's not really a feeling so much as a deeply felt belief, a belief I can't seem to give up.

I may have mentioned this before, but I'm one of those people who derives a grrreat (and also sick) sense of accomplishment by crossing things off a to-do list, able to stand back and look at what I've done, able to say to myself, see all that you've done today? Well, having a baby, as I suspected would be the case, it has really thrown me for a loop, in that she does not either require a neat and tidy to-do list, nor does she accommodate much of any to-do list I may have.

Some days, I can easily dismiss the many to-do lists I can create, and I can instead focus upon the here and now, enjoying my baby daughter and accomplishing a little bit of everything as I take things as they come, and I don't think (or rather, obsess) much about tomorrow. Other days, I plan a marathon of errands, and I run through a literal laundry list of household tasks, plus a litany of projects to work on towards completion. If my timing runs as I hope it will and zee wee babe goes along with mommie's fast-paced flow, I'm a very, very happy camper, as it's reminiscent of how I used to be; how it felt then to get things done... how I then used to derive a sense of self-worth for myself. Sometimes though, honestly, when I try to do what I did before, it's just exhausting is all.

It's been getting easier over the last couple weeks though. More often than not now, our big run-around days are quite successful! Of course, it certainly helps that I've had two and a half months to learn how to read the signs my baby gives me as to what she needs. Foremost, I'm having to learn how to derive my sense of worth from both my to-do list AND from being a mommie. When I focus upon the latter, without being too critical (of couse), I can be as happy as a lark... I LOVE BEING A MOMMIE, but it's the old me that throws it all out of whack. I'd been doing really well the last couple weeks, juggling the old me and the new mommie-me. Unfortunately, in just the last couple days, the balance is threatening to fly off kilter, as the angel boy-O arrived to Vegas for these first two months of the summer (yay!!!), and the countdown to the day I return to work has begun.

Yup, I return to work on June 22nd, and this makes me really nervous = AND WHAT A BIG, FAT, FREAKIN' GYNORMOUS UNDERSTATEMENT THAT IS!?!

One of the big questions plaguing me is "How will I get everything done?" --Well, I do know the answer to that, it's easy: I won't. But how will I not go crazy because of this? --I don't yet know how and that's why I'm nervous.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

See Anything Unusual Here?

Hey, I needed to take the basket of clean, folded laundry upstairs AND the sleeping baby as well -- this was the obvious solution!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What I Would Blog About If I Had Time for Blogging

BE FOREWARNED: This post will be entirely about my baby girl.

-Our lil' baby sweet potato girl turned two months old last week! This is a joyous thing - - and strangely, a sad thing as well. She's growing too fast! And I know it's only going to go faster. Next thing we know, we'll be celebrating her first birthday, and her first day of kindergarten and, and, and... I can't think about it! I get choked up. *sigh* In fact, yesterday morning, while she laid in her bouncy chair, I sat on the floor in her bedroom while folding and sorting her clothes, and I put aside in a bag all the clothes she's grown out of... and I cried. [SIDE NOTE: She only likes the bouncy chair if you're sitting right there with her.]

-She had her "two months wellness appointment" with the pediatrician and her second round of immunization shots last week. She's in the 90% across the board for her age group in terms of height (23 inches), head circumference (41 cm) and weight (12 pounds). Mind you, that was all last week...she's gained 6 ounces since that appointment!

-Over the last week, she's become a serious lil' eater in the mornings, and that includes her 2-3AM-ish feeding (thank goodness). Yup, she gets right down to business and she gets 'er done fast in 20 to 30 minutes. In the late afternoon and evenings, however, she now dawdles --yes, she dawdles. She looks around and takes long pauses... she'll stop and sigh, she'll stop and grin and coo at me and look around some more... She'll quit eating altogether and refuse to continue, so I'll wrap it up, and 10 minutes later, she wants more. Thankfully, the very latter behavior isn't an every day thing (so far).

-Oh, and about three week ago, she decided she doesn't really like laying down or reclining during the daytime anymore... she wants to sit up and see what's going on. And she'll squawk LOUDLY if she isn't placed in her preferred position.

-Over the last month, she's developed a fussy time that falls somewhere between 7:00 and 8:30PM, and it lasts for about an hour (now that we know what's going on), at which time, it's best to either take her on a quiet walk in the stroller or LET HER ALONE! More often than not, she simply wants to lounge in her swing or be propped up amongst some pillows on the couch - - and she's in no mood for conversation or cuddles nor any kisses at that time, no thanks! Now that we've figured this out, the evenings are pretty fine. At the end of April and into May though, there were two weeks when we just didn't quite get it yet. We'd rock her, walk her in our arms, bounce her, sing to her, coo to her and talk to her and we'd try to feed her --I'd make an attempt or my honey-man would try a bottle-- and we'd burp her and try burping her again, we'd exercise her legs hoping to help her "release painful bubbles," all to no avail until one night, after over an hour of whining and fussing and crying, my honey-man had just had enough already. He silently swaddled her and then laid her alone in her Pack n' Play bassinet and walked away. And I was shocked! But there was silence... Cautiously, we both approached the Pack n' Play to peer inside... She was just lying there, wide awake and she had a slightly slap-happy grin on her face. And as soon as she spied us spying upon her, she gave a whimper and a deep frown, and another sad whimper as she averted her eyes; this was a WARNING for us to please leave her the freak alone! We thought it was a fluke at the time, but the very next night, we realized a pattern had evolved ~ We finally got the message!

-It's too hot now for her to be fully swaddled and she no longer likes 'jello head'. If she needs to be settled down a bit in order for her to be ready for bed, she now likes to be swayed back and forth or bounced in one's arms, either sitting or standing, it doesn't matter. Moreover, I can swaddle just her arms about her and lay her in bassinet before she's actually asleep, placing a blanket over the bassinet hood to decrease visual distraction. Sometimes she may need her binky, and I may creep a hand in a couples times to give it back to her if she spits it out before conking out-- but basically, she's capable of falling asleep on own now. It's a wonderful thing... At the same time though, I love it when she falls asleep in my arms, but I don't want her dependent upon either of us in order for her to fall asleep at night. [SIDE NOTE: The latter is an indirect confession of sorts: Who says I don't let her fall asleep in my arms during the day? I certainly didn't!] *UPDATE*: I neglected to mention an important part of her bedtime routine! She has a white noise machine at the head of her bassinet which plays the sound of ocean waves and we let it run all night long!

-Oh! She's beginning to recognize that those things that occasionally bop her in her face possibly belong to her [and those would be her hands].

-Speaking of her hands, she really likes to clutch what we call her "spee rags," as in 'spit rags,' which are the birdseye cotton cloth diapers made by Gerber - she loves them! When she's in her carseat carrier, riding in the backseat, we're always sure she has one = they keep her happy when she's lost her binky and we can't reach her. Thanks again, Debbie & Kelly!

-Last week, she reallllly began paying close attention to the kitties... She'll watch them walk past her or whatever and she grins and smiles at them when she sees them. Yes, it is very cute. Yes, I do have pictures...

-And again, speaking of her lil' hands, although she doesn't really know what she's doing whenever it happens, sometimes when she sees the kitties, she'll get really excited and she'll kick her little feet and she'll reach out her arms and hands. Well, when she does this, she sometimes inadvertently winds up touching a kitty and when that happens, she'll freeze for a split moment, and then she'll slowly spread and wiggle the fingers of her hand that's made the contact, and her eyes will widen and then she'll smile and crinkle her little nose while smiling some more. Yes, it's killer cute.

-Her bald spot isn't really a spot per se -- it's more like a line that runs across the back of her head from ear to ear. Yesterday, upon closer inspection of the fitted sheet for her bassinet and the 'spee rag' that's kept there beneath her sleeping head to protect the sheets from baby spit up and drool, I discovered I could actually see the tiny, fine, dark hairs she's rubbed off from the back of her head, from her turning her head about from side to side, looking around while she's lying there in the mornings before she lets us know she's ready to get up.

-Speaking of drool and spit up, my lil' girlie is already a major drooler! oh my, yes she is! AND if we're not really careful with our coaxing for a burp, she spits up as well. No, no projectile spitting up just yet! [SOME BACKGROUND INFO: Like her mother, she's not a good burper. Yup, not only cannot I not voluntary produce/force a burp, it doesn't happen all that well involuntarily either, thus, I am not into carbonation, no matter how much I love the taste of Dr. Pepper. Furthermore, like her mother as well, she has also apparently inherited my overactive salivary glands. No joke!]

-Oh and, again, speaking of drool, that reminds me! She's a bubble blower too. Yup, spit bubbles - - she does it when she's awake and when she's asleep. If she were an adult, it'd be a disgusting thing to do, but she's a baby, sooo, somehow I find this behavior to be absolutely adorable! As my step-mum wrote me in a text, after having received a pic I'd sent her of our babe with a clear line of drool down her chin, "Gotta love it. Did you ever imagine you'd think drool was cute!"

-When I give her a bath in the mornings, I play the B52s (we always skip "Cosmic Thing") and I sing to her and she loves it! Oh, and three weeks ago, she added something new to her morning bath routine: She now vigorously kicks her legs and feet, splashing water everywhere... she loves it and I LOVE IT! Soooo cute! I think tomorrow we'll try some of The Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band... When my lil' brother was a wee one, I taught him all the words to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

-I bought three mini-handheld, battery-operated fans last week; 1 for the changing table in her room, 1 for her Pack n' Play diaper changing area, and 1 for her diaper bag-- all to help us dry her bum completely whenever we change her diaper... Hey, I'm really serious about preventing diaper rash! Before the mini-fans, we were actully blowing air on her bummy to dry her! Oh, BTW, she loves getting her bummy air-dried via min-fan! It's hysterical.

-I bought her a size 3-6 month swimsuit at Old Navy this past Sunday - - I tried it on her yesterday and it doesn't fit = it's TOO SMALL!?! Now remember, she's only TWO months old! Not three or four, nor SIX MONTHS -- She's only TWO months old!

-As I'd mentioned last week, for two weeks' time, she was wanting to eat every 2 to 2 n' half hours, like she was a newborn again. And during the nights, she was waking nearly every 3 hours or less! There was one night she woke at 1:30AM, and she took over an hour and 30 minutes to eat, including the time it took to properly burp her and change her diaper... and then she woke up again at 3AM, ready to eat again! I think my left eye was twitching for 5 days straight... BUT THEN SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED! [drumroll please] She slept from 10PM until 4:50AM = That's nearly SEVEN HOURS of uninterrupted sleep! = For me, this constitutes our first official time she 'slept through the night.' Of course, it hasn't happened again since, even if the very next night, she was out for 6 hours... it really hasn't happened again. Fingers crossed for a repeat and soon!

-Yeah, lots of new things began when she reached 6 weeks of age, and more stuff is happening now that she's two months old. I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH SHE'S GROWING AND CHANGING! Have I said this before?

P.S. As I began this, my honey-man had just left for LA to bring the angel boy-O back here for his first two months of summer. At some point while writing this, after my baby girlie was asleep, post-fussy time, I realized this could be tonight's only window of opportunity for a shower... I don't think I've ever ran upstairs faster, no do I think I've ever taken a faster shower than I did tonight!