Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday High Fives

As I write this, it's technically Thursday night but the end of another work week is insight. We're almost there. Although a few nights got a little hairy with a 13 pound alarm clock going off a few more times than I'd hope for, I've powered through yet another week of learning to juggle kiddo-life and career-life. And as Saturday approaches, I can promise you that there is at least one nap in my future.

In keeping with tradition, I give you all the little things that kept me going this work:
  • An amazing Thanksgiving dinner with our growth group through our church. We're grown to 6 couples strong, and have gone from 2 babies to 3 with another one on the way, and therefore have much to celebrate and give thanks. There was no shortage of food and ALL of it was fantastic. Had I known how good of a cook everyone was, I would've busted out on my maternity pants for one last hurrah. At one point the Hubs looked at meand said "two plates, huh?" Umm, yes, I have my dinner plate AND my salad plate maxed out and I do not care one bit. By the end of this night, I'll have filled three plates and I am prepared to drown my shame in green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. Judge on, judgey wudgey. Judgement has never tasted so good.
  • Decaf coffee
  • Baby talk. Nash has officially found his voice and this kid is LOUD. He loves to babble to you and fill you in on his day. Granted, it may make your ears ring, but it'll be the cutest ringing in the world.
  • An invitation to attend the Blue Man Group as the guests of our new neighbors. Talk about hospitality! I would've been grateful and humbled by a coffee cake or bottle of wine, but theater tickets and a fun dinner out? Well, welcome to the neighborhood!
  • Having my little brother over for dinner on Tuesday. It's always fun to get some time with him and if you can sit in his presence for an hour and not belly laugh at least twice, you're just wrong.
  • Hearing this oldie but oh so goodie come on my Pandora. We need more ballads like this and less singing about beer in country music. Yes, Garth and my man Travis Tritt, I'm talkin' to you. We miss you. Hurry back.
  • Christmas sugar cookies and anything remotely related to pumpkin or apple cider.
  • Cookie butter on whole wheat English muffins. Get you some.
  • The kick-off of cheesy Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. Last Sunday Nash and I curled up in our bed and took turns napping during the commercials. It was the perfect, snowy Sunday. I'm down for part II of that this weekend. And the next. And the next.
  • Seeing one of my BFF's last Friday night for dinner and hang out time. It was much needed and SO good for this soul of mine. Seeing Nash in her arms made me so thankful for friendships like hers even if we are separated by 1,000 miles on most days.
Happy Friday, Y'all!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diaper PTSDC

I feel as though I should kick off this blog off with an apology. Where everyday randomness and stories used to fill these "pages", baby stories have become king. Sorry, friends. My creativity these days is limited based on my activities, therefore you can either have stories about babies or fundraising. Oh, what's that you say? You'd rather hear stories of writing appeals, planning events and entering data in a donor database, said no one ever. That being said, I am left with baby stories and you are left reading whatever I have the energy to share on 4 hours of sleep. Which brings me to diapers...

As a boy mom, there are many things to learn. The biggest learning curve right off the bat was retraining my brain on shopping for baby clothes. I was always drawn to the pink side of the shopping floor. Skirts, dresses with ruffles, leggings, and teeny, weeny bikinis are just, well, cuter. Boys have pants or shorts to choose from. Your options appear to be way slimmer, at least at first glance. I have since begun to enjoy shopping for tiny man clothes and have discovered hats, hoodies with ears, and the world's smallest ties.

Aside from boy clothes being different, some of their needs are different as well as the obvious difference of anatomy. Where this said anatomy difference comes into major play is during the always occurring diaper change. Wow was I in for an awakening.

I kid you not when I say that I'm pretty convinced that in the first two months of boy mommyhood, I suffered from PTSDC...Post Traumatic Stress from Diaper Change. This baby came in with guns blazin'! I have wiped tinkle off the walls, the carpet, the lampshade, my clothes, the baby's ear, cheek and sadly, his eye. I'd tell you that it did not sneak into his mouth, but I'm not confident in that statement. After examination, his mouth appeared to be spared, but I had looked away for a nano second when the gunfire occurred so I just had to go on the evidence, and it was certainly not conclusive.

After a few failed attempts of keeping things under control with a peepee teepee (which, mind you, is WAY too big for a newborn thus not really catching anything but instead creating a ricochet affect), I began to realize that as I'd tug the Velcro loose on his diaper, my heart would begin to race, my hands would start to shake ever so slightly, a tiny bit of sweat would start to form under my arms, and I'd feel as though something awful was waiting for us around the bend. If those are not true warning signs of PTSDC, I don't know what is.

My motto became "get in and get out QUICKLY." Do not dilly-dally. Do not stop and make small talk with the cute baby who is lovingly staring up at you with those big baby blues. That's how the enemy ropes you in! Oh, look at me, I'm so cute and warm and snuggly. You should pause, momma, and bend over to kiss my cheek and WHAM, peepee on the lampshade, sucka. Now you're going to have to change your shirt, find the Resolve for the carpet and Google "can urine in the eye make my baby go blind?"

I can clearly remember a middle of the night diaper change and feeding around the 5 week mark. The Hubs got up to change the diaper as I prepared to feed the baby. As I walked like a zombie sauntered passed the nursery, I looked in to see the Hubs had left the baby sans peepee teepee as he reached for the diaper wipes. Big mistake. Big. Huge. And then I waited for them. After about five minutes they rolled into the den together and when I asked what took so long, the Hubs reported that the baby had "peed all over himself." Well, duh. You gotta cover those things, man. Even in a foggy, sleep deprived state, you cannot leave those things to chance!

I'm happy to report that the gunfire has slowed down to somewhere between friendly shots here and there to an almost cease fire, but I am not letting my guard down. No way. I don't know that you ever fully come back from being hit in the face with tinkle. I'm pretty sure that image stays with you for a long time. Pretty sure, indeed. Just ask the poor lampshade.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Breast Is Best- A Follow Up Post



Yyuuuummmmmm, this crow tastes a lot like breast milk delicious. Yep, friends, this momma is eating her words over and over again.

To get a better understanding of the exact words that I am eating daily, please take a few minutes and glance over my original Breast Is Best post a few months ago here . Man, how quickly times have changed in our casa.

Before the arrival of our handsome bundle of joy, I teetered between the mindset of "no way, no how" on breastfeeding to "okay, I'll give this thing a shot" based on the alleged benefits. To better prepare ourselves for the BF'ing journey, we suffered through a class as discussed in detail in the above listed blog post. Holy awkward is what still comes to my mind when reminiscing about that evening. I never wanted to discuss BF'ing again after walking out of that classroom. I'd knew I'd give it a go, but I shall not talk about it from that day forward. BF'ing a private journey and I shall be just fine powering through on my own. Or so I thought.

Fast forward 2 months and you would've thought I was running for council member of La Leche League International. I swear, anytime I opened Google, my phone would automatically insert the word "breast". Slightly creepy on many levels. Chances are, if you're a mom and interacted AT ALL with me within the first 4 weeks of my son's life, I inquired about your lovely lady humps. True story. My apologies to any female who stopped by to meet Nash. I promise to no longer ask such personal questions anymore. I've got that on lock now, I swear.

The poor Hubs heard more about boobs in those first few weeks as he had in his whole existence (hopefully. If not, that might be another topic for another day). I was confused, lost, struggling, worried and exhausted and I wanted some daggum answers to this so called "natural" endeavor, man. Nothing. Was. Working. Right.

For the first 36 hours after Nash arrived, he would not eat. Not even one sip. It was beyond scary for this new mom and added a layer of stress to my already weary and overwhelmed spirit. Nurses were literally coming in every two hours throughout the night to try to get this baby to latch. Keep in mind, I had been awake for 42 hours at this point and was feeling anything but 100% by the second night in the hospital. It was awkward and tiring and stressful to say the least. At any given moment you could find this desperate new momma tirelessly praying for the latch that I had shrugged off for years before. For the love of all things holy, give me a latch.

After about 3 different nurses had man-handled Nash and me, a God-send of a lactation consultant came in and within in 10 minutes I could've shouted from the rooftops "Houston, we have a latch"! Insert Rocky theme song here as I mentally ran up and down those famous stairs in victory. I don't know that I've ever taken a deeper breath in my life. And you know what, that dang latch was stinkin beautiful. I'd compare to it a sunset stretching out over your favorite beach. It was THAT beautiful. And thus came my first taste of crow.

In that moment, I learned what no amount of awkward class time or pamphlet can teach you:

  • Breast feeding, although natural, is one of the most unnatural activities for so many of us. There's zero ways to practice until your baby is in your arms and hungry. And at that point, it's sink or swim and I pretty much felt as though there was an anchor strapped to my nursing bra.
  • BF'ing is not for the faint of heart and the modest of women like myself. You can power through it, but you're going to have to throw your modesty out the window along with your hooter hider. Nurses have no issue grabbing "you" if push comes to shove.
  • Hooter Hiders suck. Seriously, who designed these capes of torture? How in the world am I supposed to be able to see under there? I'm now 3 months in and I still cannot work that "simple" cloak of agony. The baby and I both end up sweating bullets and fumbling around like Steve Wonder in an apple bobbing contest. There has to be another way. It's just not right.
  • When your baby latches, I swear you can hear a choir of angels singing somewhere off in the distance. You feel victorious and as though you have found your purpose in this ever confusing momma world. If I didn't need both hands in those first few weeks, I would given myself a round of applause and fist pump at every single feeding.
  • Nursing makes you feel as though you were just rescued from the Sahara. Seriously, WHY do you get SO thirsty? Future, new mommas, skip the wipe warmer on your registry and go straight for the Camelback. You're welcome.
    • Three cheers for the hospital mugs, aka buckets-O-water, that they give you in recovery. I pounded those mugs none stop and was still parched. New moms, DO NOT LEAVE THOSE MUGS IN THE HOSPITAL. They are yours and you're a dang fool if you leave it behind. You will never love a mug as much in your lifetime. Case in point, I still carry my mug everywhere. This was my desk yesterday. I heart you, giant mug of mine.

  • Friends, where was my head's up on the breast pad situation? I ain't mad at ya, but come on. You gotta tell a sister that when her baby cries, or someone else's baby for that matter, you're going to turn into a fountain of milk. I learned this the hard way. Our first visitors to stop by got to see this lovely phenomenon first hand when their baby cried in our living room. Awesome. Just awesome. I already look like a swollen, fat faced chicken who waddles like a duck and now I have my husband signaling to me from across the room with horror on this face to check the front of my shirt as I'm sitting 2 feet away from our guests. Let me tell you, there is no chance of slyly or gracefully excusing yourself when each waddle step you take is painful and extremely slow. You just gotta laugh it off when you really feel like crying.
  • Being solely responsible for the nourishment of your infant can seem overwhelming and isolating. If you feel like that, trust me, you're not as alone as you may feel, especially at 3am. Somewhere there's another momma who is nursing their tiny one and praying for one of those beautiful latches too.
  • When in doubt, grab the nipple shield and don't look back (yep, I just wrote about nipples. This is what my life has come to).  Your lactation consultant may not be proud of you, and other mom's on the Baby Center message boards may shame you, but that's okay. There is hope for weaning from it and living to tell the tale. Do what you gotta do, momma. Ain't no shame in our game. Nipple shield for the win!
  • Be prepared for the fear that sets in when one of your BFF's nonchalantly asks "have you reached the stage when it feels like your being stabbed by a thousands knives when he feeds yet?" Umm, W.H.A.T?! Knives?? Thousands of knives? Where was that in my BF'ing handbook???? When I responded with "uh, maybe." She laughed and said "Then, no, you haven't. You'll know when it happens." Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!
  • And lastly, although you may think that BF'ing is going to an uber private matter for you and you'd rather be caught dead than to nurse in public, you may just find yourself feeding with the best of them in a conference room at a BF'ing support group. True story. As I sat there, trying not to look around the room at the other 6 or so new moms fumbling through this oh so natural way to nurish your baby, I've never been more thankful for the opportunity to whip it out in a room full of strangers. There we were, united by our endless questions and tired eyes, banding together to struggle through this new normal. We'd cheer when someone else's newborn would burp (yet, in about 3 years, we'll spend hours reprimanding our kiddos for those same public displays of gasiness), we'd feel a twinge of jealously as someone else shared victory stories of the ease at which their latches came about, and we'd leave that room feeling a little more relief then we had when we entered. We were a band of sisters, tied together by the fabric of our nursing bra elastic and breast pads. We alone were ready to sustain our babies once again! At least for another week. Day by day, week by week, we'd stagger through this journey together and our babies would thrive because of our commitment and perseverance. Natural or not, awkward or not, we'd get through this together and live to blog about it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Three Months, Nash

Our little munchie munch is three months old this week! This both shocks me and seems about right all at the same time. Some of the last 90+ days drug on and on and on, while others flew by with a blink of an eye.

Over the last three months we've gone from waking up to feed three times a night to one which seems like a sweet, sweet reward for those nights when I'd close my eyes only to hear him whimpering 20 minutes later for round two.

And because I'm a proud and doting momma, and because this is my blog and I'll share if I want to, I bring you "Nash's Three Month Review":

Likes:
  • Smiling!
  • Having his diaper changed
  • When momma plays a little game we call "You got stinky feet! P-U!" I know, we're creative geniuses over here.
  • Eating and growing those chubby cheeks
  • Having grandma time three days a week
  • Bath time
  • Favorite songs:
    • Five Little Monkeys
    •  "Free" by Zach Brown
    • "A Thousand Years" Christina Perri
      • I play and sing this song for Nash once a day, usually around bed time, and it's become our little song over the last few months. I can't help but think that maybe some day, MANY, MANY years down the road, just maybe this is the song we'll dance to at his wedding. Be still my heart.

Dislikes:
  • Spitting up (although he doesn't seem to mind this at all. It hurts me way more than it hurts him)
  • His winter coat when he's in his car seat
  • Being burped
And here's a glimpse of our growing boy over the last three months:


Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Squeegee Dilemma

I'm weird. I know it, I own it and in most instances, I embrace it. I have a freak flag and I fly it with pride, but apparently not everyone embraces my weirdness and quirks. I like to think they're charming. My husband and parents, well, I think they just think I need counseling.

Last month the Hubs and I moved into a new home as many of you know. As with any home change comes many a learning curve. One of said curves for us is our new shower in the master bedroom. We transitioned from a curtained shower to a glass shower, which is the first for moi.

As a glass shower rookie, I immediately went out and bought a shower door squeegee thingy as to avoid unsightly streaks in our future. And thus began my personal squeegee dilemma...

Enter shower/bath phobia, or weirdness depending on who you ask...

I cannot stand the feel of wet tile or porcelain on my skin. Even thinking about it gives me the willies. As a child, I would only sit in the tub if the porcelain was covered by a towel or washcloth. It was a non-negotiable. As an adult, even when in my own shower, I strategically stand on the very sides of my feet so that only a portion of my skin is touching the tile. Taking a bath in my own home? Not even a thought in my mind. Why, you ask? I have no earthly idea. I just can't go there mentally.

Tuesday night while discussing my plans to shower before bed, the following conversation ensued:

Hubs reminding me "don't forget to squeegee the glass when you're done. You never squeegee it and it's starting to leave marks."
Me: "Not true. I've squeegee'd it a few times."
Hubs: "I don't think so. Sometimes I even squeegee for you when you're done."
Me: "Here's the issue...I hate squeegee'ing it because then the water on the door that's been flung off of my body while I'm showering runs down the glass and onto my feet. Then I'm standing in it and it's dirty. I've tried squeegee'ing it when the shower is still running so that the glass water isn't hitting my feet but it doesn't work. The glass just gets wet again."
Hubs, after staring at me blankly for a moment "who damaged you so badly that you even think of stuff like this?"

Great question, Hubs. Mom and dad, any thoughts on where and when the damage took place?

Squeegee water on my bare feet...this is a heavy cross to bear. I cannot be the only one who carries this burden, right? Please tell me someone else out there understands my damaged brain? Bueller, Bueller?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Parental Know It All

As of Thursday, we'll be three months deep into parenthood and we now know everything there is to know about raising precious, little people. Ha! Even typing that made me laugh. Not even close, friends. Not even close.

What I can tell you that I now know with confidence are these handy nuggets of wisdom:
  1. Everyone tries to prepare you for childbirth. From the doctors to the birthing class, BUT no one tells you anything about what follows the hours after you labor. WHY??? Why did we have a four week class on the portion of the process when a nurse is literally holding your hand with every breath and every push, why did we go over every detail of what is going to happen naturally whether you want it to or not, and yet we spent ZERO minutes on the recovery? What my body felt like and went through was a shock to the system and I certainly could've used a few head's up, ya know?!
  2. Breastfeeding, albeit the most "natural" way to feed your precious wee one is anything but natural in the beginning. More to come on this one. This venture deserves its own post.
  3. I'm learning just how much, or just how little, sleep I can function on. To the self who thought I needed 8 hours to avoid being nauseous from exhaustion, I laugh in your sweet, naive face. Five and a half hours is where I'm headed most nights and still somehow manage to form coherent sentences. And nausea? Ain't nobody got time for that!
  4. My personal level of hygiene has taken a dramatic turn over the last three months. In years past, I could probably count on one hand how many times in a 365 day span that I'd go without a shower. Even if I had to be up at 4am for an early morning flight, I'd shower. Ha! What a fool! In the first few weeks of entering momma land, showers were few and far between and when they occurred, I'd stand in there and feel as though I was suddenly on vacation. No one was in there asking to be held, fed, rocked, etc... There was no laundry or dust bunnies mocking me as struggled to decide between a 20 minute nap or a load of whites. It was all about me amongst those tiled walls and it was warm and clean and magical and glorious. I wanted it to last for 4 hours. Some days I'd even cry because all I wanted was a shower. Yes, real tears, people. I had hit cleanliness rock bottom. Luckily I've found a healthy balance between clean and questionable, and have realized that some days, just wearing normal clothes and make-up is clean enough. And that is why on the 8th day the good Lord created deodorant and saw that it was good.
  5. Friends and family who bring over meals are the closest things to angels as I've ever witnessed. There are no words really. Cooking was the LAST thing I wanted to do, especially when my appetite failed me for the first week after Nash's arrival. It was such a blessing to have warm, nutritious meals arrive, and to be able to spend the time I'd normally spend cooking just holding my little man. Thank you!
  6. Do NOT move with a newborn. That is all. No, seriously, do not do it.
  7. When traveling away from home, do not remove any part of the stroller, regardless of how trivial that part may seem. If it's attached assume that junk is crucial. I shall not name any names or point any fingers, but the so called "non-essential cup holder tray" that is "just taking up room in the car" can turn out to be the very thing that holds the car seat into the stroller. Totally hypothetical and it has never happened to us while traveling to New York. I'm just trying to look out for you friends.
  8. Nothing prepares you for rocking your two month old to sleep in a cold, lonely hospital room in the middle of the night. Luckily we only had a one night stay, but that was one night too many for this momma. I wanted my baby home.
  9. Nothing can prepare you for the love you feel for someone you've only just met. My cup runneth over and over and over. There are so many 3:00am moments of simply hugging my son tight in the stillness of our home and thanking the Lord that out of all of the babies in all of creation, He chose this one for us. This small miracle who made me a mom is the greatest gift I've ever been given and I shall hug him and hold him tight even when the stillness turns to chaos and his tininess turns to barely fitting and than not fitting in my arms at all. There's just nothing like it in the world.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Reason Behind The Silence

This face. This sweet, unassuming, squishy little face is the reason for my hiatus. And let me tell you, he is worth every second of "putting everything else on hold". Those cheeks, those lips, the way he will stare at me for 20 minutes straight without looking away or needing to be entertained. He was all the creative outlet I needed until my twelve weeks of baby focus were up and it was time to re-enter the real world.



Thanks for giving me the space to simply be Nash's momma. It's the best title I've ever carried.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ready Or Not

Here he comes!!

I'll be on a blogging hiatus over the next few days as we wait to welcome our son into this world of ours. After finding out yesterday that his arrival needed to happen sooner than later, we kicked it into high baby mode and were at the hospital by 6am to start the induction.

Needless to say, last night was not spent sleeping as visions of the labor, but more so our little nugget raced through my head.

And now we wait. I've never been great at waiting, but amazing things come to those who wait.

Until we chat again, I wish you a fabulous week and  I look forward to introducing Ziggy to you.

Let's have a baby, shall we?!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday High Fives

Today marks the end of my summer, folks. It's back to full days on Fridays and I'm so broken up about it that I have not stopped crying out of my right eye for the last four days. Or that could be from the pink eye, but even if it is, I'm still pretty bummed that my half day Fridays are complete for another year. See ya in 2015, half Fridays. You and your endless possibilities for afternoon naps during horrible Lifetime movies, estate sale shopping or spending time with my mom
 will be missed tremendously.

With that I bring you the good things that got me through a rocky week:
  • Getting a prescription for this eye of mine. I went back to the doctor yesterday as my eye was getting progressively worse and the minute the doctor walked into the exam room, she took one look from across the room and said "oh, you poor thing. Let's get you some drops." Thank you, thank you!
  • Texting and emailing with my BFF's in Charleston this week. They're always on my mind and even just a few texts back and forth make the distance feel not so far. Miss you girls SO much!
  • The Hubs and his buddy putting in our car seat. We're all set, Ziggy!! Your car seat and swing await you.
  • Finally getting to watch Jen Hatmaker's Big Family Renovation show on HGTV last night. They're just the cutest, most real family. Check it out if you can stay up that late on a school night.
  • Celebrating my in-laws for their anniversary with a little hibachi and Red Mango. It was fun to do something different for dinner and the food and company were both wonderful. The Hubs may have ruined his shirt thanks to being an overzealous chocolate syrup eater, but no one's perfect.
  • The start of Bachelor in Paradise. I make no apologies for the crap TV that I partake in and it was nice to not have a void in my Monday night entertainment. Could I have been doing something more productive like painting the trim in our house to get it ready to list? Sure. But who can pass up watching a house full of drama queens and clueless men on a tropical island? Not this girl.
  • Getting the little nugget's room finished for his arrival. He'll have a little more space in the new house, but for the first month of his life, I think this nursery is perfect and will hold many precious memories.

  • Welcoming our furniture pieces back that we had sent out to have painted. I'm so pleased with how they turned out. Rennie, recognize any of these pieces? It's hard to tell the colors in the photos, but some are an antique white and some are a French gray, and all of them look so much better! Here's a little before and after for you.
Before (gag):
 
 
After:

 

 

 
 
Happy Friday, Y'all!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pink Eye The Stink Eye

I can comfortably say that during this pregnancy, I have weathered many a random, physical challenge and lived to tell the tale. From battling the flu for a full week when I was about 8 weeks pregnant to morning-afternoon-evening sickness, to pregnancy induced Carpal Tunnel, to today's joys compliments of pink eye, I have seen my fair share of random illnesses in the last 9 months. The good news is that in each instance I've been able to power through and Ziggy seems no worse for the wear. The high fevers during the flu were the scariest, but this little nugget is tough and went unscathed.

The down side of this weeks illness is that I currently look like Sloth from The Goonies. True Story. My face is fairly swollen when I awake these days and now I have the pleasure of having one eye about 50% swollen shut. I dread looking in the mirror this week. It's ain't pretty folks. No way around it. I keep telling myself "if the Hubs doesn't run and hide and somehow still finds me remotely attractive after all of this is said and done, well, he shall be dubbed Saint Hubs".

I don't typically ask for prayer over small illnesses such as the stink  pink eye, but if you don't mind sending one up for me, I'd be very grateful. I can power through this thing, but I'm worried about our son coming a few days early and his momma looking like a combination of Sloth and one of those white rabbits with the bright red eyes that you see at the county fair, in every single photo of his first days of life. And more importantly and less selfishly, I don't want to worry about giving this gunk to our new baby. I want to be able to hug and kiss and cuddle him as much as he deserves and as much as I've been anxiously waiting to do without fear of harming his brand new eyes.

This too shall pass, and if I have to walk around with one eye fully done with make-up and the other as bald as an eagle and running nonstop, I can do it without much complaint (note "much" complaint. I'm human and this stuff stinks!). I just pray this doesn't take 7-10 days like the doctor mentioned or I shall forever look like I'm winking at the camera in every single photo of Ziggy's arrival. Not exactly how I imagined looking in our first family portraits. Sigh.