Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving

I adore Thanksgiving. It is one of the first holidays I got to spend with M. Our Thanksgiving's are filled with tons of great memories.

* 1st year. I had never met any of her family. We were hosting. She said we would have about 10 people. We weren't even living together just dating. It felt like everyday she came home and said, so-an-so called they are coming, too. When the number finally hit 21, my only response was "I am gonna need to buy more napkins." 21 people. All family. I was not the first girl M had brought home either. I was terrified, but it turned out great. We have spent every Thanksgiving since with her family, and I am not longer terrified. It is starting to feel like home. I really love it when my mom can join us, too.

* The herbs. Every year M searches the stores for my perfect mix of herbs. She calls, she hunts, she drives, and finds them every year. It is very sweet.

* Our first Thanksgiving with EG went great. She was a doll. She laughed and played with everyone. She got to play with her cousins and seemed to enjoy herself. We had a cute outfit for her that she never even put on. We thought she would take a nap and then we would dress her. However, she refused to nap -- way too much to see and do.

* My brilliant SAH Mom wife. EG refused to nap on Thanksgiving which caused a very cranky baby on Friday. So, M put EG on the "newborn" schedule. EG had to nap every 1.5 hours. It was hard, but it TOTALLY worked. Saturday was better and today EG has been a blast. Totally laughing and talking and playing. The child really can't miss a nap, but SAH Mom to the rescue.

* I am thankful for our healthy child, a hottie wife, a loving family, and a great job with excellent benefits.

E-

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two teeth

We finally got a picture of EG's two teeth. It took almost 1 month to get this shot.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Working It Out

It is quite hard to type this blog when my daughter is pulling on the cord and moving the entire computer every 30 seconds. I have moved her away from the cord, but there is no hope. I look down every few seconds to make sure she hasn't put it in her mouth or wrapped it around her neck. She is just swinging it like a jumping rope. It is also about four feet from a blanket full of toys. Okay. I have had enough. I pulled her on the couch with me. She will have to sit next to me and play.

Prior to EG, M and I both worked out regularly. We would stay after school and use the school's treadmills during the winter and we biked in the summers. When we got pregnant (over a year ago) that all changed. As you know, the first trimester is basically a coma. Between working full time, getting ready for the baby, shoveling 100+ inches of snow, and having a jobs where we walk multiple times a day we kinda let it go. But that is changing.

Work out after school? No, I want to get home as fast as possible to see my girls, and M can't bring EG up to school everyday.

Join a gym? Would love to join a gym for the spinning classes, but again too much time away from home and the gym is 15 minutes away.

Buy a treadmill? Will it become a clothes rack? Would we actually use it? Have you seen how much those things cost?

We bought a treadmill. We actually bought two treadmills. We went to a local department store, tried them out, did our consumer research and bought a huge, mega, fancy treadmill. They came to deliver it, and it wouldn't fit down the basement stairs. Damn.

We returned treadmill #1. Worried that we would never get a treadmill downstairs which would condemn us to a life of flab, we kept looking, researching, and trying other treadmills. We found another. They came to deliver it and thankfully it fit down the stairs. When M called me and told me it fit and we have a treadmill, I said, "I feel thinner already." We put it together the other night while EG watched from her pack 'n'' play. So, now we have it.

We'll see if we use it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I see it, so I must....

EG's memory is still not fully formed. If she can't see, it then it does not exist to her. However, when she sees something, she remembers what to do with it or how to get it. She is obsessed with the door stops, heating vents, electrical cords of any variety, and all the dog toys. If she sees any of the above, she kicks it into high gear and cruises to attack the object.

We have a stethoscope and blood pressure thingy that was part of a Halloween costume one year. She found it in a cabinet and every morning if the cabinet is open (and it usually is because that is where my hair dryer lives) she crawls to the cabinet - army-man style and starts chewing on all of it...we have proof.



E-

Friday, November 14, 2008

6 months

Today is EG's six month birthday. We went to the doctor this morning for the checkup and shots. She is 27" long and weighs 18 lbs. 13 oz. Perfect. In the 90th percentiles but perfect.

Here are her accomplishments to date:
*Rolls anywhere and everywhere
*Can grab things faster than I can see them
*Is obsessed with playing with cords...this should work out well.
*Does the army man crawl quite well
*Is eating lots of fruits and veggies but still has an affinity for avocado
*Has a strained relationship with the dog
*Steals the dog's toys, hence the strained relationship
*Babbles about everything and nothing
*Tolerates her carseat much better
*Can sit up independently, but really prefers rolling and crawling
*Puts toys inside other toys...like fish in the aquarium
*Usually sleeps through the night except for one feeding
*Has two teeth
*Is growing hair...although most people still say she's bald
*Looks when you say her name
*Knows who her mommas are
*Stranger anxiety is significantly reduced...especially for blonds
*Never sits still

We are having a great time with her. She is more than we dared to hope for.

m

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh, the little things

"EG is so flipping cute." I bet we say that 100 times a day.

She is so fun just to watch. She is starting to army-man crawl and she can roll from one end of the house to the other. She loves a wide open space to roll and roll and roll. She enjoys playing with the heating vents and using her feet as hands. She likes to play with strings/yarn and is constantly looking for shoes to put in her mouth. EG also has an affinity for the dog toys and dog blankets. If she is quiet then she has a dog toy and is trying to lay low. She is starting to put things inside of other things. She has a little people school bus and is puts the people in the bus....okay...she put one little person in the bus, but at least she did it.

The dog wants nothing to do with her. The dog really doesn't like sharing her toys with EG at all.

EG wants nothing to do with solid food. She will begrudgingly eat avocados and oatmeal, but really that is it. We have tried all sorts of food, but she just isn't that into it yet.

Sleep. The ongoing saga. At the beginning of October she started to wake up all the time at night. It got to the point where M would take EG to the guest room to sleep. After weeks of reading, discussing, and observing we decided to do it. To let EG cry it out (CIO). We started last Thursday and it hasn't been that bad. The first night was hell. We used the Ferber method which meant we could go in and soothe her every 5 or so minutes, which seem to help. She was sound asleep in 20 minutes. We have had to do it on and off, but most nights she doesn't cry at all and sleep 9 - 11 hours with one waking for feeding. M is doing a great job of keeping track of EG's progress to make sure it is working.

She is also making great noises now. She giggles, squeals, blows lots of raspberries, makes the ahhhh sound, and grrrr's.

Her hair is actually starting to grow as well. She is still a little baldy, but it is starting to get thicker, which is a good thing with winter coming.



E-

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

The Great Pumpkin brought EG her first tooth. She cut it yesterday and is working on tooth number two today. Two teeth in two days. She won't let us get near it with a camera....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Holy Fun Batman

I wrote this post last weekend and forgot to "post" it......

EG is so freaking fun right now. She just smiles, "talks", rolls, and is highly entertaining. She can roll all the way across the room in no time. She talks to her toys, jumps in her jumper like she is trying to jump to the moon, and has to touch everything. I think we are entering a very fun phase of babyhood.

Random Updates:
1. She had her first cold. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't too bad.
2. She loves, loves, loves avocado.
3. She won't eat anything orange - squash, sweet potatoes, etc..
4. She refuses to sleep past 5:30 a.m. regardless of when she goes to sleep. The fall-back time change might kill us -- I can't imagine her getting up at 4:30 a.m. If you have any suggests we will take them.
5. She went to her first high school sporting event - girls volleyball. She lasted about 5 minutes because it was past her bedtime and very loud in the gym.
6. The weekends fly by.
7. The bathtub. We have a rockin' good bathtub. It is the primo. It has a molded center that allows her to be slightly elevated so she is easily washed. However, little miss eg has figured out how to sit up in the tub. Bath time used to be a splash fest which required me to take off my shirt just to wash her --- now, it is a wrestling match. I have to wash her while she is trying to sit up and not let her drown. M just sits behind me, swearing that she will never bathe her. I no longer get soaked, but it is exhausting and very, very fun.
8. Cousin E is coming this week. EG has a cousin that is 6 weeks older than her. Cousin is coming and we hope they have fun together.
9. EG is so tall that she is fitting nicely into 9 month clothes -- she is 5 months old.
10. She is going to be a ladybug for Halloween.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

SAH Mom for a day

On Saturday M went on an art tour with her mom and sister. I was the stay-at-home mom all day. It almost killed me. The house was a wreck, EG pooped all over, and I was exhausted. Now, by the time M got home the house was in better shape and EG was napping, but for a few crazy hours there it was touch and go. I would need a lot more practice to be a full time SAH mom. I will just continue to go to work and bring home the bacon.

Being the working mom is a hard job too. I start my day at 5:30 a.m. and I feel like I am done when EG goes to sleep around 6:30 p.m. Then I get to relax and see my wife. However, this past week I had to go back to work three nights. So, I would work all day, come home play with EG, put her bed, and then go back to work. It was exhausting. M let me sleep in Saturday morning which helped. I hope to not have too many more weeks like that.

My mom was here last weekend and we had a great time. EG didn't know what to think of Ninna the first day, but she came around by that evening and then she was all about Ninna for days. We enjoyed the built in babysitter and some quiet nights to ourselves. We all went to get our fall decorations.......EG liked the pumpkins.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Life as a Stay-At-Home Mom

I had no idea what to expect when E and I decided that I would be the Stay-At-Home (SAH) Mom for a year. I knew it would be hard. I hoped it would be fun. I prayed I wouldn't have to call E at work in tears too many times. Much to my joy, it is wonderful to be a SAH Mom. More than anything else, I love knowing that EG is safe and cared for all day. She gets a ton of kisses and snuggles. She gets all the attention she wants. Next year she's off to daycare, so I am happy to indulge her.

I also love being a "housewife." I love the rhythm of picking up, cleaning, laundry, meals, errands, etc. E will be the first to tell you that I am picking up before she's out the door. I cannot tolerate nor get anything done when the house is littered with stuff. I love the peace of the house when EG naps and I love her sounds when she's awake. EG and I have figured each other out. I know when she's hungry and tired. I know when she needs to get some fresh air. We have gotten very good at running errands together. I have the smaller car of E and me, but EG actually prefers it because she gets such a good view and she rarely cries on car rides around town. I like having the time to do things for E or buy things for her that I know she likes.

This year is a total gift. People keep asking me if I like being at home. I wish I could make it a full-time job. I cannot fathom taking EG to daycare and going back to work next year. I hope that by then I can see how much she needs to be around other kids instead of me all day.

Here is a picture from an outing this week. We visited my workplace for a couple hours. This was EG in her carseat when we got home. I love the colors. I love that she is not letting go of that teether.

m

Sunday, September 28, 2008

1st week

I worked all week. It was a very busy week at school. I had to work late one day, but the other days I was out of there ASAP.

M did an amazing job with EG during her first week as SAH- (StayatHome) Mom. I think M is getting more and more comfortable with being home with EG and finding things to fill their time.

There were moments that were hard. We had our babysitter Thursday night, and I was exhausted. I managed to make it through dinner and some driving, but then we headed home. It was still nice to sit down and eat with my girl at the same time and have a drink with her. Ninna comes the weekend of the 10th and we are SUPER excited. Built in babysitter for DAYS! We have a list of things we want to do in the yard and out in the real world. We know that Ninna and EG will have a blast all by themselves.

EG is improving on the sleeping front. She is still eating some at night, but everything we read said that eating at night was still okay for her. She should stop it in about 4-6 weeks. Since she has NO interest in solid food we will continue to give up the formula as needed. She is learning to sleep on her belly which scares the crap out of me. All I see when she is face down on the mattress is all of those SIDS boxes that are located in every babybook about every other page. Luckily, most of them say that once the baby rolls over themselves, they have passed the SIDS danger window.

We have a big week coming up --- dentist visit, M's cast might come off, G-ma and G-pa are coming to babysit, and it is HOMECOMIG! That means it's EG's first parade on Thursday night. She will skip the game and dance. I will be at both!!!! ARGHHHHHH

E-

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obsessed

Everytime EG learns a new skill she becomes obsessed with it. It is very common. The funniest one was when she learned how to move her neck. She looked back and forth like a sprinkler for about 24 hours. She was amazed at her new found fun. Her latest trick is keeping us up at night.....


EG can roll from her back to her belly. However, she cannot roll from her belly to her back. Therefore, we spend a lot of time at night getting up to roll her back over. In the beginning of this new skill it was great. She was sleeping better, eating better, and generally much happier. But, now she is obsessed with it and wakes up even more! We are hoping she figures it out soon.


I went back to work last week. I did 2 half days and 2 full days. Work is very busy right now so it hasn't been too bad. I did want to vomit most of my first full day. I just missed EG and M so much. It was great knowing that EG was perfectly cared for at home. I also get tons of updates throughout the day. I was very happy to be back with my two main collegues. They are my friends and co-workers and I have missed them both -- I think they missed me too.


M is doing a great job at home. We talked about "expectations" of a stay-at-home-mom and we decided that the only expectation she has it to take care of our babygirl. Anything else is bonus -- like a clean house or dinner. Her job is taking care of herself and EG. I am sure we will continue to figure out how to live our lives with a new baby around.


Here is a cute pic of our girl. It was cool here for a few days so we broke out the sweater....it was made by her AuntG.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

4 months old

I am home alone with EG while M spends some time with her friends on this dreary Saturday.  We have posted a few videos lately...we love the one where she is learning to "talk", but we haven't said very much.  So here goes...

She is 4 months old.  She no longer sleeps through the night because she is too hungry.  She eats at least twice a night taking 3-4 ozs at each nighttime feeding.  She is 26 inches long (off the charts) and 16 lbs 4ozs (95%).  Doctor says it is time for cereal.  We have tried it three times.  Each time she gets a tiny bit better.  She really doesn't eat it yet -- she just moves it around her mouth and then spits it back out.  I think I got her to swallow about 1/16th of a teaspoon this morning.  We are open to any advice about helping her learn how to eat.

Because her nighttime sleep is interrupted her daytime naps are less then great.  You never know what you are going to get.  She was very predictable when she was sleeping through the night.  We know this will pass when she can get enough food in during the day.  

Even though she doesn't nap very well she is still very happy.  She smiles, "talks", and yesterday started giggling.  Those moments make it all worth it.  My favorite moment with her is when I am rocking her to sleep and I put her on my shoulder to burp her and she falls asleep there.  I can hear her breath in my ear and feel her breath on my neck.  It is pure heaven and there is no better feeling in the world.  It is a great mix of her being full, tired, and ready to snuggle.  

I have gone to work for 2 half days and they almost killed me -- not because I missed EG, but the work load is unreal.  I have two more half days and then full time on Thursday.  I have about month of hardcore work in front of me.  Leaving EG is currently okay because she is with M and M does great with EG.  She is very patient and tough as nails.  I know that it will be hard for her to be home with her all day long, but we know it is best for EG.

We will see how this week goes...a huge transition week.

E-


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mantras and giggles

EG has been stuck in her 3 month growth spurt for over a week.  It began on the heels of our return from visiting family and has been making life harder for all of us.  She started getting up during the night to eat, has not been her usual smiley self and cried her mantra cry frequently.  She's finally settling back into her old routines a bit...napping regularly and waking up happier.  Today she truly giggled for the first time.  She has figured out how to suck in a big gulp of air and we think it naturally led to a giggle which she then repeated several times for our listening pleasure.  Sweet!  It's a great giggle.

I was repeating a mantra of my own today.  I used to be a pretty good softball player, but E had never seen me play.  My sister-in-law asked me to play in a tournament this weekend to raise money for cancer research.  E and I both thought it was a good chance for her to see me play and for me to get to see a bunch of old friends.  Sure enough I saw tons of people from the good old softball days who all teased me about being too old for this.  My mantra:  I just don't want to get hurt.  Being the old softball player I am, I dove for a ball, twisted my hand wrong and now have three broken bones in it.  So much for mantras.  I will have to experiment with new ways of picking up and playing with EG.  The good news is that it's my right hand and I'm a lefty.  And, nothing out of place.  And, no cast.    

And,  I have a wonderful partner who wanted to know more of me.  And, EG giggled today.

m

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Philosophies

When EG was first born, I had no idea what to do with her. I didn't do nearly enough reading on how manage a day with a newborn. At her two week appointment we asked the doctor, "Should we be doing anything with her?" Our fabulous doctor said, "Just talk to her. Talk to her all the time. She needs language." Now, that didn't help with how to manage her day, but it did give us some direction.

We had two baby books that we relied on when we started: The Baby Book by Dr. Sears and What to expect the 1st year. We also googled everything. Now, around 6 weeks I decided I needed to know more and I went to the bookstore almost everyday to buy another book to read. Here is what I learned:

There are two ends of a very wide spectrum on how to manage newborns/babies:

1. Dr. Sears: Attachment Parenting: feed on demand, co-sleep, wear the baby in a sling, breastfeed, no set schedule or routine, and let the baby show you the way.

2. BabyWise: Ezzo's bestseller that puts a baby on a schedule from day one. The baby eats, has play time, and sleeps in that order every 3 hours no matter what. Very, very structured including "adult time, play pen time, and car seat sitting time."

I want to add that for a long time we had no idea what the hell we were doing. EG is not an angel baby. She is very, very active and has been since she was born. I also struggled with postpartum issues. However, we have come to a great place where she is just wonderful and we found our way by reading, researching, watching EG like a hawk, calling M's sister daily for advice (she has three great kids and mothers with great ease -- she's our idol) and trying new things that were developmentally appropriate.

The book we liked the best was The Baby Whisperer. It gave us very practical ideas and strategies to use. The main thing we use is a running log of her days. This helped us see her natural nap pattern and build her day to encourage her natural rhythm. The author is also very in tune with the huge differences between a newborn and a 3 month old. We also use a few Attachment Parenting practices. We did co-sleep for the first month, we breastfed for awhile, I "wear" EG in a sling at least once a day, M takes her for daily walks in the Bjorn, and we let her guide us through what she needs.

I have huge issues with Babywise. I know many awesome parents who swear by the book, but I read it (it was a gift - I refused to buy it) and it made me crazy. One part says something like: "do you ever wonder why you don't have that happy perfect little child you see out in the stores..." OHMYGOD. EG is ALWAYS perfect in stores. She is captivated by the lights, smells, and sights, but that doesn't mean she is perfect or that some other child isn't because they are hungry or tired and upset to be in the store. The other reason I have issues with BabyWise is because I saw a young mother swear by it and almost starve her child. The baby was screaming with hunger and the mother just said, "No you have to wait. It isn't time." Now I encourage EG to wait until feeding time by distracting her, but as soon as she fusses (not crying) I will feed her and each time she is hungry.

In summary -- I have learned that every kid is different. Every parent is different. No one guru has all the answers -- or there would be just one book. (I stole that last line from some random blog, but it is so true.)

E-

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We made it

We made it through our trip. We actually had a nice time seeing my entire family and watching everyone ooh and ahh over EG. She did great during the trip. She had a few meltdowns after she had been passed around too much (my grandmother calls this "being fingered to death"). Each night we were there she started waking up more and more. By the last night she had gotten up 3 times and eaten each time. This is 6 week old behavior -- not 3 month old. I told EG that numerous times. It was just hard for her to be away from home. Thankfully, she slept in her Ninna's room and we didn't have to get up with her.

We took 4 planes to get there since you can't fly anywhere out of our airport directly -- you ALWAYS have to change planes -- makes me nuts. Our child is also the only child that doesn't like to sleep in cars or airplanes. She was awake for most of each flight. We entertained the hell out of her, but the last flight was hell. She cried and cried and cried. It was horrible. Thankfully, it was a short flight, but in the moment of her screaming was horrible. I totally understand why she was upset -- it is hard to be on the move that much. I wanted to cry too. I just wanted to get home.

When we did get home and I laid her in her crib and she just smiled and smiled. I truly believe she was relieved to be home. She slept the entire next day. Seriously, her naps usually total about 3-4 hours. Her nap total for our first day back was almost 7 hours. Poor thing was exhausted and probably going through her 3-month growth spurt all at once.

She has been waking up in the night again. The trip + growth spurt has had her waking up 2-4 times per night. Last night it was only twice. We hope she is adjusting back to sleeping through the night. We'll see.

Funny moment from the trip: It is 6 a.m. in the morning. I wander upstairs to check on EG who sleeps in my mother's room. I walk into my mother's room and all I see is her back facing me as she sits on the bed. She turns her head to see me and looks back at EG who must have been laying on the bed in front of her, but I couldn't see EG because my mother's body was blocking her and my mother says, "Oh no, we have been caught. Oh no, mamma caught us." In the five steps it takes me to see around my mother my mind was racing. I had no idea what my mother had done to our girl...given her solid food???....let her play with a unsafe toy??.....put make-up on the girl? When I finally saw EG I saw this........










My mother was playing dress up with EG. The bonnet was mine when I was a little girl. Now, the funny thing is it is the only hat that EG will wear willing. We have other hats for our little white girl, but she hates them. So, we have been using the bonnet from the 1970's. It works GREAT! It keeps the sun out of her eyes and she chews on the ribbon. She wore it yesterday on her walk and fell asleep for the first time on a walk. The magic bonnet. I asked M to make some more for EG. I know it isn't very modern, but it works!



E-

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I have to change it

I had to post something so I wouldn't have to see that horrible title on our page anymore. The entire bunny slaughter has been horrible. The poor dog is heartbroken that she can't play in her yard unsupervised. However, she will recover because she is going to her favorite place soon....the kennel. Yup, we are taking our first real trip with EG. We will be attempting to fly with a 3 month old.

My mother and sisters are hosting a great party to celebrate the arrival EG and have her dedication. Neither of my sisters have even met EG yet. We are very excited about seeing everyone, but nervous about getting there. We have thought it through about 100 times. We are taking our sling and baby bjorn to use in the airport and on the plane. My mother has a car seat so we don't have to take that which rocks.

So, we will see how it goes...send positive vibes that we remembered everything and that EG (and us) have a good time!

E-

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tales from the Bunny Morgue

Disclaimer: This is not a bedtime story for children. It may not even be suitable for some adults.

E and I live in a fairly new neighborhood. Since I grew up mostly in the country, I had concerns that this new city community would not have much wildlife. I just wanted some birds...maybe a squirrel or rabbit now and then. Watch what you wish for...

We came home from a walk a couple nights ago and I saw a tiny baby bunny by our fence. We oohed and ahhed. Fast forward to later in the night when our dog (Golden Retriever) went outside for her usual nightly duty. We had already let her out a couple times since the bunny sighting. I was upstairs feeding EG when E burst in saying that the dog had found the baby rabbits out in the yard. (Before you call PETA on me, please know that I didn't know there was more than one, nor did I know the nest was in our yard.) E described it as the dog tossing the bunnies like bean bags. If you have dog, you know this is fairly normal play. Our dog is not a killer.

I went outside to find one bunny hurt, one dead inside our fence and one dead outside our fence. No momma bunny has ever been seen. I picked up the dead ones and got rid of them, but I was in a quandry about the hurt bunny. Horrible thoughts of hit him with a shovel went through my head, but I couldn't do it. I walked around the yard in a crying frenzy. Finally, I set the bunny upright and tapped him in the butt to get him to move and he hopped. So, I put him under a bush and hoped beyond hope that his momma would come and he would be okay.

Yesterday morning he was under the bush dead. I did find three live bunnies. The dog doesn't understand why she's not allowed in the yard. E and I had conversations about how we hate when the rabbits eat our garden. I told her the dog can chase them away when they're grown.

E sprayed some bug killer in the garage yesterday that smelled, so we left the garage open for a while. This morning when I went out to walk the dog, there was a baby bunny in our garage outside our back door dead. I cannot find any of the other bunnies in our yard and I took the dog out for a supervised visit hoping she'd help me find them. No luck.

So, I am in bunny hell. I must have been Elmer Fudd ("kill the wabbit") in a former life and this is karma. Circle of life...whatever. It's worse now that I'm a mom. Poor things.

m

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our top 10 baby stuff list...and shedding

Evaluation of the "baby stuff" so far....

1. The rocking chair we bought for the nursery is quite funny. If you are a loyal blog reader you remember seeing a picture of the lay-z-boy chair with bright spots all over it -- well.... sitting in a chair that has spots with a newborn is like giving the newborn crack. EG stares and stares at the spots and she has since she was able to focus. To go to sleep she buries her head in our arms so she can't see anything. It is a great chair and we used it all day long.

2. We couldn't live without our maya wrap/sling thingy. EG gets slung up at least once a day if not more and she loves it. It is a very calming place for her and very comfortable for us.

3. We also love the sleep sacks. Halo is a good brand, but Carters makes a nice one too. She sleeps in one every night. They keep her very warm and safe.

4. Always choose Carters clothes. They are super soft, cute, and well made and affordable. They do shrink after the first wash, but do well in subsequent washes. She really doesn't wear anything but Carters.

6. We loved our Arms Reach co-sleeper. We debated/fought over whether we needed it or not. It was GREAT. EG outgrew it quickly because she sleeps with her arms straight out and she kept hitting the sides. We sold the co-sleeper on Ebay and got most of our money back as well.

7. The pack and play. We have a two story house so having a changing station downstairs and a place to lay her down on the first floor is great. We will be sad when she outgrows the changing table portion of the pack and play.

8. Playtex drop-in bottle system. No worries about chemicals because they are never reused and never heated. We serve room temperature bottle at our house. Again, there are lots of expensive, fancy bottle systems out there, but these work great for us.

9. Graco Travel System. Lots of people we know have very fancy strollers, but our little Graco does great. She is big enough to actually ride in the seat section now too. We used it everyday when the weather was cooler. We hope to use it even more when the weather breaks again.

10. Bouncy Seat. I think it is made by Fisher-Price. She sits in it and kicks the toys and it plays music. She loves it. She can only handle it for about 5-10 minutes, but she has a blast playing with it and she is so funny to watch when she kicks. At first she wanted nothing to do with it, but now she loves it.

10+1. Jujube diaper bag. This was our gift to ourselves. It was expensive, but it is worth every penny. It is Teflon coated so everything wipes off, and it looks very classy. That was important to us since we'll be carrying it for a few years. I have checked out all of our friends' diaper bags at play dates and many of them are falling apart. We literally throw ours in the car, stroller etc. and it still looks like new.

Things that we didn't find useful at all....I am sure some people love this stuff, but we didn't.

1. The damn Graco Swing. EG can't stand it. We try about 3 times a week to put her in it and she wants nothing to do with it. It only makes her cry.

2. While it is tempting to buy baby clothes for friends and family, I will probably try to avoid it. EG was given many beautiful clothes, but except for a few special occasions we put her in onesies. They are so easy and if she spits up or it gets dirty, we don't care. I am glad we have so many friends having babies because some clothes she has worn little and some not at all, so we will pass these along to others.

*****************

Shedding

As a pregnant woman you are blessed with the best hair of your life. None of your hair falls out. It becomes thick, shiny, and full of volume. It is great hair especially for woman like myself who have thinner hair. However, this hair is not yours to keep. You must give it back to the universe to pass on to the next pregnant lady. It is one of the final parts of giving up being pregnant. My pregnant hair is falling out. I will never in my life have that great thick hair again. I will miss it, but not enough to be pregnant again...ha!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Words, words, words


I got this idea from 2 moms.

I love words. The number of times a word is used determines its size. I love seeing which words we use most to describe our life. Just enter your web address or add words of your own here.
m

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wow.

It happened.  It finally happened.  It might never happen again, but for one moment in time it happened.  

EG slept through the night.

She went to bed a little late at 8:00 p.m. and didn't wake up until 6:10 a.m.  It was crazy. M and I both got up all night to check on her, but she was fine.  She was sleeping peacefully.  We are very proud of her.  She did a great job.  We obviously hope this continues, but we also know that it could have been a fluke.  We will keep you updated. 

E-

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our Cute Girl

She is cooing. She is smiling all the time. She is learning some cause and effect. She loves to bury her face in our arms when she is tired. She slept from 7:30 p.m. last night until 5:45 a.m. this morning with only one waking around midnight to eat.

We are working on a routine for EG. We don't believe in schedules for babies, but we do believe that a routine is best for everyone in the family. We have been tracking our movements for about a week now and this is our "routine"....which means that everyday is different, but it goes something like this...

Wake up between 6-7 a.m., eat, play, eat a little more, and then back to sleep for 45 minutes. This pattern of eat, play, eat a little more, then sleep plays out through the day. Her sleep times vary from 15 mintues to 2 hours. At 6:45 p.m. we give her a bath, dress her for bed, read a few books, eat a little more, rock and then off to bed for the night.

Here is a new pic.

E-

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Normal Life?

In the beginning of raising your first child all of your normal days are gone. There is no time for TV, reading, talking, or cooking. We ate Culver's cheeseburgers and milkshakes more than a few dinners in the beginning. We didn't read anything except babybooks for weeks. We have TIVO and it just filled up. The conversations revolved around forumla versus breastmilk for weeks.

Then slowly, very slowly, things start to return to us. The baby goes to sleep in her own room and you can read before you go to bed. You actually begin to count on reading before you fall asleep again. You find that during nap time you actually talk to your spouse and do fun things. Yesterday during a long 2 hour nap, M and I made curtains (okay -- she made them, but I ironed everything). We giggled and laughed and talked the entire time. It was us. It was who we were before EG, and it is nice to know that it is still there. We are also getting much better at eating real food as opposed to Culver's all week long.

The TV watching is humorous. I like to watch more TV than M does. EG and I start every morning with a bottle and two episodes of Sex and the City (Tivo-ed) and then an hour of the Today Show. After that we turn off the TV. We might watch a cooking show or something like that during lunch. At night we always watch the national news and then reruns as we put EG to bed.

Once EG is in bed we indulge. When EG was born we realized that we would be at home a ton and needed something to do while waiting. Waiting is what you do with a newborn. You wait for them to wake up. You wait for them to finish eating. You wait for them to fall alseep. You wait and watch TV. So, we rented DVDs of TV series that we have never seen. Each night after EG drifts to sleep we watch an episode or two. Over the last 8 weeks, we have seen the entire series of "Big Love" and "Weeds." We were addicted to each. I think it was an hour of normalcy in our crazy unplanned and unstructured days. We are going to start "John Adams" next.

I love that "our" life is finding its way back into our "family's life." I love that EG has provided us with oceans of love and oceans of challenges. I can't wait to see what the next 8 weeks brings...

E-

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Infant

The term newborn is applied to babies until they are two months old.  EllaGrace is two months old.  She is now considered an infant, not a newborn.  She is growing up.  Here are some of her latest highlights...

For over a week now she goes to sleep every night at 7:40 p.m. on the dot.  We give her a bottle, rock her, put her in her sleep sack, check her diaper, then rock a little more and when she is drowsy, but not asleep, we place her in her crib.  She looks around and she might kick and coo for a few minutes, but shortly she will demand her nuk and put herself to sleep.  It is awesome and amazing.  

She can't do the same task at naptime quite yet.  She still likes to be held for naps.  Her grandmother who goes by the name "Ninna" came this past weekend and held her for 2 days straight.  I don't think this helped the nap issue, but they both totally loved being together all weekend.  We actually missed her due to the kidnapping.

EG also loves to play now.  M and EG play all the time.  They are very cute together.  They place the face game -- which is just where they make faces at each other.  They play peek-a-boo and raspberries.  I love to kiss on her and make her smile.  I also love her morning smiles that I get as I feed and change her each morning.  She is still in love with her mobiles as well.  She still hates her swing.  What a waste.

Tomorrow are her 2 months shots .. yuck.  We are hoping she handles them well.  

We also had our first babysitter last week.  Our excellent co-worker S came and babysat while we went for a bike ride and lunch.  EG slept almost the entire time.  She also was babysat by her Ninna Friday and Saturday night.  We got massages and saw a movie Friday night and Saturday night we attended an excellent wedding reception.  It wasn't easy to leave her, but we know it is good for us to do things without her.  We are working on it.

I will post pictures soon....

E-

Sunday, July 6, 2008

7.5 weeks old

EG is starting to make a lot of progress in the sleeping area.  She is now sleeping in her crib every night and for some naps.  Yesterday, for the first time, she was able to be put in her crib still awake and fall asleep on her own.  She did it once at naptime and then she did it at bedtime as well.  It was amazing.  We really hope this is a skill she is learning and that it wasn't a fluke.  She also slept for three hours and forty minutes last night until waking to be fed.

M and I are still splitting the "shifts" at night.  M takes anything before 3am and I take everything after 3am.  It works out well because I can't stay up at night and M has a hard time getting started in the morning.  However, if EG is good during M's shift, she is up with us in the morning - which rocks. 

EG is also much more interactive these days.  She smiles, coos, and loves to play face games with her moms.  M does a great job of teaching her new things like playing the "stick out your tongue game."  Which EG plays all the time -- even by herself.

E-

Monday, June 23, 2008

Advice

Okay Blogreaders...it is time to give solicited advice.  

EG has to be rocked to sleep.  Sometimes it is sweet and loving and amazing and other times it is like she is trying to kill you with her discomfort.  Once she is asleep she can't be laid down unless it is night-time and she is in her co-sleeper.  She will stay in the co-sleeper up to 3 hours at night and only wake up to eat, get rocked, and placed back in the co-sleeper.  

Is it time to move EG to her crib?  What will that look like?  How should we do that?  Should we stop rocking her to sleep?  Should we just lay her down when she falls asleep and deal with the consequences of that choice (her waking up and having a meltdown)?

Thoughts?  Advice?  Theories?  Remember she is only 6 weeks old....she is still brand new.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baby Bliss

Life with a new baby certainly can be trying (why does she fight going to sleep so much???), but it is also incredibly sweet.  Right now I am sitting by the open front window.  It is early morning.  The birds are singing and the breeze is blowing in.  EG is napping in her carseat next to me after our walk with the dog.  E is upstairs sleeping.  (She had the first feeding shift, so she gets to sleep in.)  The house is absolutely silent except for EG's stirrings.  

For the most part we find a ton of sweetness in her snuggles, sleeping on us, and her first attempts at smiles.  She loves to take a bath and it calms her after a meltdown.  We are still figuring out how to get her to fall asleep without those meltdowns.  It seems as though she has a very small window of opportunity for going to sleep before she becomes overtired and inconsolable.  It is obvious to us that she is maturing as well as growing.  Three nights this week she fell asleep(which means tons of rocking and cajoling from us) by 7 p.m.  Every night this week, she slept for 12 hours only waking to eat.  That is some awesome progress.  We are now working on taking naps.  She is much happier when she takes a nap, but that means falling asleep.

E is very good at calming EG down when she gets wound up.  EG knows her momma.  As soon as E takes her, she settles a bit and her body relaxes.  It doesn't always last, but it is a welcome break for all three of us.  E is also very understanding when I feel like I have run out of options for dealing with EG.  She is very good at taking turns.  

Now that EG seems to be settling into a bit of a predictable routine, E and I are finding ways to spend time alone doing what we enjoy.  Today was the first day since last August that we got on our bikes.  We took turns each taking a half hour ride around our neighborhood while EG was napping.  While we both realized how incredibly out of shape we are, it also gave us a chance to feel energized and free and a chance to care for EG independently.  We are planning more small outings.

We are having a great time exploring life as a family.  

m

Monday, June 16, 2008

Random Thoughts of a New Mom

EG is sleeping in her car seat after a morning walk with the dog, so I thought I would take advantage of the moments of peace to documents some random thoughts over the past month.

*  A great hospital memory:  When we were still in the hospital M would climb into my luxury hospital bed and we would take EG out of her bassinet, and we would all three sleep together in that little bed.  Snuggled up.  We were all blissfully happy.  It was also the beginning of our "co-sleeping" which we had no intention of doing, but it happens.

*  EG is transitioning to her actual bassinet.  She is good in it for a couple of hours, but then she demands to get in the "big bed" with her mommas.  We have worked out a much better night routine for her where we both take turns feeding her, and we do it in the nursery as opposed to our room.  This allows a more peaceful place for EG and allows the other Mom to sleep peacefully.

*  We have had horrible flooding just north of us and we had to go to a wedding in a town that was almost an island due to the flooding.  We drove north to go back south into order to "cross the river" at a bridge that wasn't flooded out.  We were late to the wedding.  Our first big family affair and we were going to be late with little EG.  We get to the church 10 minutes late, dress EG in the car, M changes pants in the car, I am putting on my shirt and buttoning it as we rush through the church's courtyard and we finally get into the church.  They hadn't started because lots of people were late, but we still had to be seated in front of everyone.  EG was perfect during the service, but M did have to take her out to burp her.  While they were gone I looked down and realized I forgot to put on my heels.  I was sitting in a beautiful church in long black pants with a nice white top and my cheap black Target flip-flops.  In all the rush I forget to change my shoes.  Baby has the brain.

*  Tim Russert died.  I just can't believe it.  He taught me so much about politics.  I Tivo and watch Meet the Press every Sunday.  I don't believe any other commentator except Tim.  It is also hard because my father taught me to watch political shows and listen to both sides.  In some ways, it is a connection to my father who died this month three years ago.   Ironic that Tim also died in June. 

*  Baby Blues.  They still come and go, but for the most part they are much better.  I still have moments of panic and fear, but they pass quickly.  EG is so much better and we are so much smarter now.

*  M.  She is still my rock.  It is a challenge to raise a baby, but M has risen to the challenge and has done a great job.  She takes excellent care of EG and me.  We love her.

So there -- my random thoughts for the day...

E-

Monday, June 9, 2008

26 days old

Here is a brief recap of the last few weeks.

Week 1: Excitement. Joy. Severe case of the babyblues. Hormonal crash. Three days of my crying and feeling overwhelmed. M was the rock star with holding everything together. Seriously, I cried non stop.

Week 2: Breastfeeding. Lactation consultant. Constant feeding. Trapped in the house with no shirt on for days.

Week 3: Discovered that I wasn't making hindmilk, which is why EG was feeding all the time and not getting satisfied. Started using formula. EG became a whole new baby. She ate better, slept better, and is sooo much happier -- and moms are, too. She still nurses a little each day and gets a morning dose of pumped breastmilk.

Week 4: We are just starting week 4. Overall EG is perfect. She fusses for a while each evening when the sun starts to set, but apparently that is normal. It isn't colic because she can be comforted -- she is just fussy. Any ideas?

At this moment, M is holding EG and rubbing EG's back as EG drifts off to sleep. It is my favorite picture in the entire world. My girls.

E-

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Random thoughts

- E was a rock star in giving birth to EG. She did everything the doctors told her and moved through the pain admirably.

- EG is so darn cute...and growing like a weed. She seems long to us...maybe she'll be tall.

- We sleep in three hour bursts at night, but EG is a great sleeper during that time.

- Breastfeeding is not for everyone.

- Going on at least one errand per day is essential to keeping one's sanity.

- If you have any spare cash, invest in Pampers.

- Baths with a baby are sweet and fun.

- We are taking pictures and videotaping a lot...she changes so fast.

- Post partum blues are real and common.

It is amazing to have a family. E and I spend hours sitting and staring at EG. We learn more about her every day. What her various cries mean. When she wants a nap. When she just wants to be left alone. She spends more time awake and she can see much more. She loves looking at the light and will sometimes turn in our direction if she hears our voices. She smiles and makes noises, but they are totally random. We wake up every day waiting to examine her and she how she has changed.

m

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Pics



Here are a few pics of sweet EG. We have TONS to write about and will find time soon. We are totally in love with her....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

EG's Birth Story

Disclaimer
1. As a former history teacher I believe in writing things down. This post is long and winding, but it is written for our memories and for EG.

EG's Birth Story
I love my doctor. Have I mentioned that before? When we were approaching our due date of May 12th, we asked about induction. Doctor says, "We know when this baby was conceived, and I don't believe in overcooking babies -- nothing good comes of it. The placenta starts to give out and things go bad quickly. Any date after May 12th is fine with me." We chose May 13th....impatient aren't we....or was it maternal instinct?

We were scheduled for a 11:30 a.m. appointment to start the induction on Tuesday, May 13th. We got up that morning, took the puppy to the kennel, ate a nice breakfast, finished packing, cleaned up the house, and then took the slowest drive to the hospital ever...because we were early.

At the hospital we checked in to labor and delivery and were shown our room. It was a large birthing suite with couch, bed, chairs, tv, etc. I was told to strip and get into the hospital gown with robe...very fancy. We then met the first of our three nurses. Katie was young, happy, and very kind. The first thing she did was the normal health check, vitals, etc. Then we waited on the resident to come and check me out hoping that my cervix had moved up and all they would need to do was break my water.

When Parker the resident arrived, he was a little clumsy to say the least. He fumbled around, checked me out and said he thought we should start Pitocin now. I knew that was not what my doctor had in mind. He, of course, had to call her and ask permission which she denied. heheheh She instead ordered misoprostol to move my cervix. It would take four hours for it to work. tick..tick..tick..tick..

During the afternoon of waiting M and I talked, gazed at each other, laughed, met our new nurse named Renee, and actually read magazines. I was hooked up to a monitor and we could see that I was having tiny contractions that I could barely feel. My mother arrived around 4ish and my best friend L arrived about the same time. My sister also sent tons of gifts and flowers to fill the room with pink..pink..pink. We all visited for awhile and then it was time to see if the drug had worked.

The drug did a good job of moving my cervix, but Parker the resident wanted to start Pitocin and my doctor then agreed. So about 6 p.m. there was a whole lot of hustle and bustle as they hooked me up to an IV, pushed fluids, moved monitors, and checked everything twice. M and I walked and walked around the ward and tried to help things along. The drug caused minor cramping that I thought was pretty easy to handle...until....

8 p.m. the real contractions begin. Ohmygod. I knew they were the real deal when I had to lean on my IV pump and have M push against my back for counter-pressure. Ohmygod. When I was in the middle of a good contraction, I couldn't think all I could do was try and breathe and focus on M's hands on my lower back. Somewhere around this time my doctor arrived and checked me out. She decided to break my water. I asked for the epidural. I was at 4cm. It was time for the drugs. We also had a new resident, Michelle, who was very kind and much smarter than the first one.

I was asked to get on the bed, and after that point I never got out again until it was all over. My doctor broke my water and it felt like warm bath water pouring out of me. However, my doctor's voice was a little distressed when she said, "Meconium, thick and dark." What this means is the baby had been in distress. It could have happened during labor or sometime before -- either way it was time for her to get out. One of the concerns when there is meconium present in the amniotic fluid is that the baby will aspirate the meconium during the labor or birth, so they decided to monitor everything. They attached a heart monitor to EG's head, a contraction thingy to my uterus to measure the contractions, and a blood pressure cup that automatically took my BP and pulse every 15 mintues.

Now at this point I was nervous. I was concerned about the meconium and the moment my doctor broke my water my contractions got even more intense and I started shaking all over. Between contractions I would almost come out of a fog and see what was going on around me, but when they hit again I would just grip the side of the bed and shake my way through it. M was right there applying counter-pressure with every painful contraction.

FINALLY, the epidural was ready. The guy was a real jerk, but I didn't care. He hooked me up and all of a sudden I felt nothing and it felt great. However, I then went numb everywhere....wild experience, but I went hoarse, couldn't swallow, and my hands were numb. They guy didn't believe me. He thought I was nuts. I thought he would take away my drugs, but I had to tell someone that something wasn't right. He turned it off and said he would be back. I had enough in me to keep the pain at bay.

He later returned and cranked the machine up again. I asked about three questions and he said, "You like to be in control, don't you?" If I could have moved my legs, I would have kicked him. Either way, the drugs worked much better the second time and I was sent off to lala land to wait for my cervix to dilate to 10 cm.

So....our final nurse appeared around 11 p.m. Her name was Olga and she was tough, smart, and very good. She had a thick Hispanic accent which took a little getting used to, but she rocked. She watched my contractions and realized that EG was turned in the wrong direction. She put me on oxygen and had me turn on my left side. Sure enough babygirl flipped into the right position. Again, M helped all night. She helped flip me when I had to be flipped like a pancake and asked all the questions I couldn't ask.

Around 1 a.m. Olga told us that it could be about 5 hours until I was fully dilated and I may have to push for about 2 hours due to EG's position. She told us both to sleep as much as possible. I took the advice and tried to sleep. M did not.

The hours between 9:30ish until time to push are fuzzy. I have one solid memory of that time. I remember my M. I remember her sitting there all night in a dark room staring at the monitors like they were the best show on TV. She studied my vitals and EllaGrace's all night for hours and hours. It was the sweetest and most comforting thing she could have done. I was able to relax and know that she was watching out for me and our daughter.

My mother was also there all night. She was very supportive and totally respected our privacy and our experience. She was kind and followed my "rules"...hehehe...and did a great job of keeping my sisters informed. I am so glad she was able to be there from the moment EG breathed her first breath.

About 2 a.m. Olga came in and I told her that I felt pressure and so she checked me. I had dilated to 10 in about an hour. She was surprised. I was shocked. I wasn't quite ready to push this child out yet. Olga agreed that EG should move further down or else we'd be pushing forever. So, we again waited.

Finally, the pain began blasting through the epidural. M went and told the nurse who said..."Okay, then it is time to push." Holy crap. She had me do a "test push" and she realized that I was going to be able to push this child out in no time. She rushed and called my doctor who was sleeping down the hall and the NICU. The NICU was called due to the meconium. They would need to suction her out as soon as possible.

When it was time to push, the entire room changed. The bed popped apart, these huge leg stirrups came out of nowhere, the doctors appeared, more nurses appeared, and it was very busy. I was just focusing on M and preparing myself for the pushing. My goal was to do everything the doctor said. Which I did. They said push -- I pushed. They said stop and blow, I did. I followed directions. I pushed babygirl out in three sets of pushes. Three contractions and it was done. It took less than 10 minutes and she was here.

She was here and they shuttled her off into the anteroom where they suctioned her. I saw her move across the room and my thought was, "I gave birth to the old man from the Monopoly game." I don't know why I thought that -- I just did. We could hear her crying and I was glad my mother was there to go with her and keep an eye on her. My mother announced she was 7lbs, 5 ozs which is what M had dreamed it would be about a week earlier. I remember M looking so excited and thrilled. I still had a little work to do.

Yes, there is more work after delivery. They pushed everything out of me and banged on my stomach for quite awhile. The beds in those places go through a lot and thank goodness for tons of waterproof pads. I wasn't damaged too much. At some point, they finally brought the baby to us and she was perfect.

They had me try and feed her which went fine. M had some skin on skin time with her. It was all very overwhelming. It was all surreal. It was excellent to be surrounded by lots of love and it was the beginning of the next phase of this journey.

E

Monday, May 19, 2008

She's perfect...we're still learning

We are home and have been for a few days. Labor went great and will post about that later. Just know that it really does hurt and drugs are a great thing.


EllaGrace has a great disposition. She is totally at peace all day long. Until.....we breastfeed. So far, breastfeeding has been very hard and we are on the cusp of going to formula. But, we haven't decided and are trying to make it work.


She is super sweet and cute....see for yourself...



E

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She's here!

EllaGrace arrived at 3:05 a.m. on May 14th. She is 19.5 inches long and weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. She is perfect in every way. E was a rock star! Strong and wonderful. We will write more when we're settled.

m

Monday, May 12, 2008

nothing yet

We're still here. Hanging out. Watching E's belly. Waiting for our stubborn little girl. Virtually all of E's pregnant coworkers went early. E said months ago she would probably go full term. She's right. Everyday we go to work to hear choruses of "You're still here!"

The house is clean. The bags are packed. We went out to dinner to one of our favorite restaurants. The dog is blissfully unaware of how dramatically her world is going to change. However, we are ready and waiting.

m

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Still here...still pregnant

Our official due date is Monday, May 12th. However, I think today would be a great day for a birthday. I am ready to enter the next phase of this pregnancy -- labor and delivery.

I have been a very gracious hostess for over 9 months. I have not eaten cookie dough, drank too much caffeine, or drank any alcohol. I have slept according to her wishes -- mainly on my right side --- she still doesn't like me sleeping on my left side. I have endured the bladder kicks, the partying at all hours in my belly, and the sweet feeling of her rubbing my belly from the inside out. Additionally, M has done a ton of extra work to accommodate for my condition.

So, here it is. I am over it. It is time for babygirl to make her appearance in a safe and healthy way. I had cramping for about two hours this morning, but then it went away. Doctor told us yesterday that I am still 1.5 dilated, almost fully effaced, and the baby is so low she is about to come out......seriously she is at 1.5 + station. The doctor laughed about how low she is.....

We will continue to wait.....it is the two week wait all over again......

E-

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 259

E has played hospitable host to BabyGirl for 259 days. She has taken excellent care of herself, put up with the inner gymnastics and read voraciously about how to be an even better mom. We are both more than ready for BabyGirl to make her appearance, but we also both believe that she is stubborn and will not come out until we send her an engraved invitation.

Spring has sprung and time is going slowly since we can't take long walks or bike rides as we usually would. E passes her free time watching her belly and resting. I cannot sit still and cleaned the basement this weekend for a lack of anything better to do.

People at work keep asking why we don't take the last week off. What would we do? Stare at E's belly? We are committed to staying at work until the last day. We both have all of our work done and spend most of the day answering questions about why we're still at work.

The blog comments have been fun to read, and we are surprised at how many of you are keeping track of us here at the end. People at work are still giving us cute little outfits and gift certificates. We had no idea how many people in real life and blogland would be excited for us. We are very thankful.

So, we will keep you updated and hope there aren't too many more updates...

m

Saturday, May 3, 2008

39 weeks

Yup - 39 weeks. I am huge. I am hungry. I am somewhat irritating. I am moody. I am hormonal. I am tired. I am driving my sweet M crazy. I am hungry - did I mention that already?

I am also still thrilled to have this little girl inside of me. She doesn't have a lot of room to move around so she just squirms and it kinda tickles. I still love knowing she is safe inside of me and I am as close as I will ever be to her. I am also ready to meet her face to face. I wonder what she will feel like? look like? smell like? The wonder of the unknown....

My last day of real work will by Friday - I am thrilled.

We went to the doctors this week and I am 1.5 cm dialated, 85% effaced, and babygirl is +.5 station -- the girl is LOW....

Any bets of when babygirl will arrive???????????????

Sunday, April 27, 2008

38 weeks

I have almost avoided posting because I didn't want M's poem to go down on the page, but I thought it was time. I am currently sitting on the back deck watching M build a raised bed for our vegetable garden this summer. She has half of her tools out here and is using all of them -- it is very cute. We hope to grow tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and maybe cucumbers this summer.

As I said, I am sitting on the deck with the laptop. M has called me pathetic all day. I am tired. I don't have a lot of energy at all. I wish I could convince her to lay in bed all day and read and nap, but we have gardens to build.

We went to the doctors on Friday and I am about the same, but Babygirl has dropped even lower into 0 station, which means her head is fully engaged in the pelvis. Doc says it could be anytime now or it could be 3 weeks. However, she doesn't believe in over cooking babies. We will have to be induced by May 18th at the latest. She would induce us on May 13th, one day past our due date. So, our major topic of discussion this weekend is when to be induced, if needed. We kinda like the 13th.

Being 38 weeks pregnant is quite tiring. My energy is low and I am still hungry all the time. I have a hard time sleeping at night for a variety of reasons. I am also somewhat emotional. M is trying very hard to humor me and trying not to anger the pregnant lady. I love her for that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

'Twas the night...

We have both been working very hard to get ready for BabyGirl to arrive, and now that we are this close we feel like every day is Christmas Eve and we are 10 years old. Every preparation has been made. I spent yesterday in the yard fertilizing the lawn, putting down mulch, and washing windows. I don't know how to explain it. I am so excited that time just does not want to go by. Work is just a little boring because I have all my planning and projects done, so I work with my kids but mostly I just wait for E to call me telling me it's time to go. In my head I know it could be weeks before that happens, but now that we have everything done I have nothing else to think about. So, with apologies to Clement Moore, here's life in our house.

'Twas three weeks before childbirth, when all through the house
All the creatures were stirring, even the mice;

The onesies were hung in the nursery with care,
In hopes that BabyGirl soon would be there.

The mommies were excited and done with their chores,
They washed the windows and even the floors.

The baby keeps growing safe in E's belly,
And they got the dog groomed so she wouldn't be smelly
.

So, here we sit watching BabyGirl grow,
Wishing the time didn't pass so slow
.


m

Sunday, April 20, 2008

37 Weeks

Yup. I am 37 weeks pregnant. I am full-term. If labor starts now, no one is going to try and stop it. This is a good thing. Also a little freaky -- I am not ready to let babygirl go yet.

Being 37 weeks pregnant is just funny at times. Each day it gets harder for me to move around. I grunt every time I need to make a large movement, like getting off the couch - out of bed - out of the car - etc... I have to pee every hour, if not every half hour. I am STARVING all the time. I could just sit around and eat all day, but I fight the urge. I eat plenty, trust me. The swelling varies from day to day based mainly on my salt intake. I have a general overall swelling that is constant, but if I eat too much salt I lose my wrists and ankles.

My friend L, with whom I work everyday, is committed to keeping me moving. She makes me walk the halls many times a day to keep my blood flowing and keep me active--even when I really don't want to walk...she makes me. She is tough and I like it. She has been an excellent friend through this entire experience. She also randomly shows up with pink dresses for babygirl -- she can't resist a sale or anything pink.

Babygirl appears to be quite happy in my belly. She has very strong movements now. She will have periods of awake time where she kicks, pushes her butt out, punches, and wiggles. M can sit and watch my belly just rock and roll. It is so fun to see her move around in there. The best is when all of a sudden she sticks her butt up and my belly grows vertically about 2 inches. We have great time watching and laughing. Then, she falls asleep and is quiet and still for hours.

The doctor told me on Friday that I can only work 8 hours a day from now on and I think that is awesome. I usually don't work more than 9 hours a day, but about a couple of times a month I pull a 13 hour day. Monday was going to be a good 13 hour day, but not anymore. I am freed from the pressure of having to wear myself out. I finally have permission to say no. It feels good.

M has been so awesome lately. I think she is totally in love with me being pregnant. She is very protective and doesn't like to be far away from me, which is good because I feel the same way. She smiles at me all the time, cooks, cleans, fixes stuff, and is very aware of my comfort. She has been the perfect spouse during this entire affair. I have chosen an excellent partner, lover, friend, and co-parent. She still pushes me to do all I can do, but she realizes that it gets harder each day -- sometimes each hour.

Being pregnant isn't a bad gig. It takes energy and I have forgotten what it is like to have my body all to myself, but I will have it back soon enough. I am dreaming of sleeping on my back and on my stomach. I am dreaming of an ice-cold beer on a hot day. I am dreaming of a happy and healthy babygirl.

E-

Friday, April 18, 2008

More Random Thoughts

* We went to the doctor today and found out that E is 70% effaced and dilated about 1 centimeter. The baby is in stage -1. What all that means is that BabyGirl is low and not ready to come out yet. However, we are making progress. The doctor also believes that E will have no problem getting the baby through her pelvis.

* E's aunt sent us a Pack and Play this week, so now we truly cannot think of anything else we need to be ready.

* We have both been working hard at school getting ready to leave before everyone else. As a matter of fact, we have both worked so hard that we are caught up and a little bored. There may be quite a bit of clock watching over the next few weeks.

* I have had the thought several times that this whole process is amazing before we even get to meet BabyGirl. I cannot speak for all lesbians, but I think the whole process of getting pregnant, sharing that with everyone, having baby showers, etc. has given me a view into the straight world. E and I have always had a support network, but this journey makes me feel that there are a whole lot of opportunities for a wide network that happens automatically for the straights. I don't mean it in a "poor lesbian" sort of way. I mean it in more of a "I feel so blessed to be a part of it" sort of way. I had no idea such an outpouring of support existed. People I have worked with for only a couple years have gone way out of their way to support us and give us wonderful gifts. Other friends and family have done more than ever imagined. Everyone has asked a million questions and offered to help however possible. It is an instant connection with people I have no other connection with. Now, we are part of another group...parents. It makes me feel even more confident that everything will be okay once BabyGirl gets here.

* We are so excited. E is doing great. She looks great. BabyGirl is having party after party in there. I can't wait to meet her.

m

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Are we ready?

This weekend was dedicated to getting ready for babygirl. We are due in one month and we want to be ready.



I also want to spend the last few weeks enjoying the end of carrying our babygirl and not stressed out about what we still need to do. So .. here goes our list of accomplishments...



1. Made list of final items that we needed.

2. Went to outlet mall and bought some of the cutest little sleepers/onesies on the planet. We also got socks, mittens, crib pads, etc...

3. Picked up a new pairs of jeans for M...we were there anyways.

4. Target. A Target shopping trip to remember...we got all the baby medicine, boppie covers, lotions, on and on...we basically finished off our registry.

5. BabiesrUs. We bought a co-sleeper (after a week of debating about it....that ended with me in tears....hormones...tears come easy), a swing, and various other items.

6. Put co-sleeper together -- it is going to be great. Babygirl nows has a place to sleep when she comes home and it is right next to her mommas.

7. Washed all the new clothes and put them in the nursery.

8. Cleaned the entire house from top to bottom -- dusted everything...scrubbed anything that would stand still...M had to vacuum because I can't anymore. Vacuuming irritates my pelvic problem. In fact, the problem is almost gone since I gave up vacuuming. We even mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors.

9. Put swing together -- not as easy as you think.

10. M managed mountains of cardboard and various basement items.

11. Hung curtains in guestroom.

12. Did school work. I chose to do mine at 1 AM on Friday night. I woke up in a panic that I would have this baby too soon and no one would know where to start in my office. So, I made this huge list and emailed it to myself. M is doing hers now.

13. We also took a little time out to enjoy each other as well. We had a fun breakfast Saturday morning, watched a movie Saturday night, went to bed early, read the Sunday paper, and we are both engrossed in our current novels.



Wow. That was a lot. Four weeks. Four short little weeks. Our babygirl will join us in four short little weeks. She is totally worth all the work.



E-



P.S. I have a huge round belly, swollen feet, and I pee constantly. Totally worth it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Long Week

It has been a long week at school. It is obvious that my belly has popped out and I am very, very pregnant. I get asked about 10 times a day "How much longer?" I don't know how much longer. I know that I am round, that my belly button is about to give up and pop out, that if I don't pee every hour that I risk pain like I have never know walking to the bathroom, and I know that babygirl wiggles all day long. That is really all I know.

Babygirl is quite funny. She wiggles and wiggles these days. She is head down and her butt moves from my right side to my left side. She doesn't like it when I sit up too straight. She prefer me to lean back and give her more room. She also still gets the hiccups twice a day. Something is starting to lean into my ribs, but it isn't constant.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

35 Weeks Pregnant

It's getting harder. My belly is bigger, and it is even hard to type with the laptop on my lap because my lap is much smaller. I am feeling fine, but it is getting harder to move around. If I have been seated for awhile, it is hard to get up and get going. The first 10-15 steps are killer. I gave up vacuuming and that has helped my pelvis pain greatly. M often looks at me and just smiles with a hint of "I feel sorry for you," then she reminds me to do the dishes. I am slightly kidding, but she does expect me to continue to do anything I can around the house, which I secretly appreciate. I am glad she helps me to get off my butt and do something for as long as I can.

Babygirl is large. We can feel her cute little butt below my right set of ribs. She is bent in half and we can still watch her move around, but she can't move very much. It is very crowded in there. She will shake her butt every now and again and it is pretty cute. I am tall so she isn't "in my ribs" yet. She does, at times, push on my left hip bone.

I am thrilled M did all the painting over spring break (see previous post). She was a rock star with projects and they all look great. I am very happy the nursery is done -- finally.

Yesterday we visited with our new niece who is only 6 days old...she was so little and so very cute. We changed a dirty diaper and it cost 2 diapers, a washcloth, and the changing pad cover...we are rookies and our niece decided she wasn't done with her business, and we really weren't prepared for that. We knew it could happen, but we weren't prepared.

Today we cleaned up the yucky yard. We cut back our grasses, washed out the garage, and cleaned up all the front gardens...looks great and it is just waiting for sunshine. Oh, our tulips are coming up, too! YEAH! Spring! Spring! Spring!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Break '08, baby!




I have been on spring break all week. I was desperate for the time away from school. I'm not sure if it's because of the baby excitement or if it has just truly been a hard year, but I was beyond my patience and ready to be done. So, I was thrilled to have an entire week of doing whatever I wanted. While I envisioned some time for just hanging out and reading, I was happy with every day. I did not get the time to read leisurely except before bedtime, but I had a ton of fun.

E and I made a long list of everything we had to get done before BabyGirl gets here. I spent the week trying to finish the most important items on the list while E was at work, earning more time off for after the baby is here.

When we started deciding what the nursery would look like, we didn't have any solid ideas. Then, we found a sheet that we really liked and everything stemmed from that...the idea of having flowers (whimsical mostly), pink and green, and reusing as much furniture as we could. Earlier this spring I repainted an old dresser. My dad made a changing table attachment for the top of the dresser that I also painted. This past week I painted the nursery and fixed and painted an old table we had. Everything turned out perfect. As somewhat of a tomboy all my life, I never would have dreamed I'd want my daughter's room pinked out but I love it. The flowers over the changing table/dresser are decals.

Most of my spring breaks have started with a loud yell of "Spring Break, baby!!" This year ends with a contented, excited, and ready "spring break....baby."

m

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

pain management...mine, not hers

Since our childbirth class on Saturday, E has been quite freaked out. It probably doesn't help that we also had a breastfeeding class on Monday. And, E realized that every woman she knows who has given birth in the last six months has been induced. Her last standing pregnancy buddy will be next very soon.

E and I discussed pain management. E wants to have whatever drugs necessary to not feel excessive pain during labor. I had a kidney stone a few years ago. We googled childbirth versus kidney stone, and some people feel the pain of the kidney stone was worse...others the reverse. Whatever...I know E will do great. Our doctor already knows about E's pain management request and agrees wholeheartedly.

We are on spring break this week, although E is working to earn some extra days. While she is at work I have been painting. I did the nursery on Monday and finished Tuesday morning. I started the laundry room yesterday and am finishing it today. They both look great and I like knowing that I am contributing while E is at work.

HOWEVER...I think the pain of painting is like the pain of childbirth. You just forget how painful it is. Otherwise, you'd never do it again.

m

P.S. I'll post pictures as soon as I can lift the camera.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

34 weeks

We are 34 weeks pregnant. The belly is expanding at a rapid pace and babygirl is getting bigger and heavier. She can't roll around anymore, instead she has large shifting movements and then tiny little movements as she gets comfortable. I am still pretty hungry most of the time. I have only one major craving.....a real Diet Coke (not the caffeine free stuff). I want it all the time. I allow myself a couple a week, but I try not to have it every day. A few other tidbits....I snore and I keep M up, I roll over and wake M up, and I have Symphysis pubis dysfunction.

We went to Child-Birth Class on Saturday for six hours. I did not enjoy it at all for a variety of reasons:

1. As educators we are quick to see through bad teaching and at points...there was bad teaching.

2. We had to watch a placenta with the sac come out of a woman. I almost threw up. It was the grossest thing I have ever seen, and the thought that a huge balloon has to come out of me is just hard. Now, I know that billions of women have given birth and I will be fine and there is nothing wrong with the birth process..etc...etc...etc..., but yuck.

3. We giggled the entire time we were practicing changing "comfort positions" and role-playing being in labor.

4. I learned that labor takes a long time. Longer than I thought.

5. I was freaked out, but I will recover....right?

This week is spring break. M will be painting the babygirl's room and the mudroom. I will be going to work and building up more days for my leave. I will be home for about 18 weeks and M will be home for about 16 months. We are very happy with our decision for M to stay home. She is going to be a great stay at home mom.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring

Because it is Good Friday we did not have school today. We probably wouldn't have had school anyways due to another winter storm. Yes, I said winter storm. I am guessing we got 8 inches of snow today. It is truly unreal. The snow had almost melted and now this....I really hope this is the end of it.

We had our 33 week doctor's appointment this morning. Things are going very well. Measuring right, weight is fine, she answered a ton of our questions, and we heard a strong heartbeat. We also found out where she is laying, so when we watch the babygirl show we know what we are seeing now. She is already head down and trying to feel her way out. We go back in two weeks.

After school on Thursday we had a baby shower with some of our teacher friends. It was excellent and overwhelming. Everyone was so sweet and giving. There was also a two week old babygirl there and M held her forever and did a great job. She is going to be an amazing mother.

We are thankful for the three day break. School has been kicking our asses. We have a four day week next week and then SPRING BREAK! Woohoo! I will be working, but it really isn't work if the kids and teachers aren't there. M will have plenty to do at home...paint...paint...paint.

E-

Sunday, March 16, 2008

another busy weekend

We had our Caring for Newborns class yesterday. Both E and I have taken care of nieces and nephews, so some of the information was a refresher...but a welcome refresher anyway. When we take classes of any sort, we usually feel it was time well spent if we learn just a couple things. Doctors have recently changed their advice on umbilical cord care, so that was good to learn. And, neither of us had any idea that babies can't breathe through their mouths. Who knew? My only complaint about the class was that I was consistently referred to as a dad. No offense to dads. The hospital tries to be very accepting by writing significant other in all their literature, but both times we've been there the person in charge has not incorporated it into their speech. After the class I wore out my pregnant wife as we made a run to several stores to return various things we bought or were given. At one store, the clerk called me "sir." I guess it was just one of those days. Finally, while we were in Target, E handed me her girly purse and said, "here maybe this will help with your identity issue today." Then she strolled off the to restroom, again.

Today we did lots of chores around the house. We took out all the baby clothes we have and laid them out in piles according to the size they are, not the size on the label. We wanted to make sure we have enough for when she is born. We learned that we do not have many newborn onesies. I know we won't need a lot because she'll grow out of them quickly, but we literally only have two or three. We still have a couple showers coming up, so we'll see if we get any little clothes and if not we'll buy a couple more before the baby gets here. We put a bookshelf from another room into the nursery for the books the baby has been rapidly accumulating. Then, we put all the clothes into the dresser in piles by size. Very cute.

E is an awesome mom already. She eats well, gets plenty of rest and now that the snow has melted off the sidewalks, she can walk the dog with me. It's great to be out in the fresh air together. BabyGirl continues to excel in her Pilates and kickboxing classes inside E.

m