Monday, August 31, 2009

16 Weeks. Here We Go Again with the Belly Shots.

My original idea for this post was just to post a picture of Chloe's belly. No pictures of me. I decided that I wasn't posting any pictures of mine until I really look pregnant. My fear is that I look like I just have some residual leftover gut from the previous pregnancy.

Isn't her little belly so sweet?

Well, I started feeling badly. The whole second child syndrome is already beginning. With Chloe, I was acutely aware that I was pregnant all the time, and everything was well documented. With this pregnancy, I'm constantly forgetting that I'm even pregnant. So to make up for lost time, and to abate future second child hurt feelings, I'm posting my first pregnancy picture. Residual gut or not.

Isn't her 16 week gut so sweet?

To distract your eyes from the above picture, I'm cooly changing the subject: Little Chloe starts swimming lessons today. Swimming lessons! Last night I realized that Chloe has one 3-6 month swimsuit that was a little tight on her a month ago. I panicked. We ran to Babies R Us to look for a swimsuit, but of course they didn't have any. Instead, we left with a Graco double stroller and an infant car seat, but that's a whole other can of worms. I rue the day we bought that Chicco travel system. Anyway, we may be that mom/daughter duo at swim lessons today. You know, the ones who are a little on the white trash side? Chloe will either be busting out of her swimsuit or naked with only a water diaper to her name. Mom, on the other hand, will just be busting out of her swimsuit.  The panic is setting in already.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So I Did It.

I threw a big old pity party for myself. It was 3:30 in the morning, I gave Chloe a bottle and she wouldn't go back to sleep. 4 rolled around. 5 rolled around. 6 rolled around. At 6:30 I lost it. I cried because she wouldn't go to sleep. I cried because she normally sleeps until 6:30 or so. I cried because I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I cried from the exhaustion of being a new parent, and from the exhaustion that accompanies a pregnancy. I cried because I'm worried about having two young babies. I cried because our support system lives millions of miles away. At that moment, I felt so alone. 

I let myself go there, and I never let myself go there. The critics in my life would say to toughen up. You made your bed, so lie in it. I could hear their voices resounding. But all I really needed was a hand on my back, and a voice calmly saying that everything would be okay. 

And of course, everything is okay.

Being a mother is a thankless job. Nothing can prepare you for the day-in and day-out grind of it all. Of course, I wouldn't trade it for anything. My sweet girl is more than worth it. I just think that sometimes you have to step back and take it all in. It is a hard job. The hardest of all jobs. And I think it's okay to acknowledge that from time to time.

But for today, I keep plugging along. I get dressed. I brush my teeth and fix my hair. And I keep moving. 

I just keep moving.

*I must add that Jason offered several times to take her this morning, but I wouldn't let him. He had a possible surgery this morning. And who wants a sleep deprived parent operating on their foot? He's a good husband.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why is this so funny?

I will forever love introducing this girl to new foods. In this case, green beans. I will never tire of the you-just-totally-shocked-my-taste-buds-this-is-not-cereal face. 

Can't wait until I introduce her to the really disgusting stuff.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Confessional Tuesday

Imagine the horror you feel when you realize you've only posted 7 times in June, 5 times in July, and so far, 5 times this month. I should seriously find some material to write about. Maybe I'll have a baby, or get pregnant... Oh wait. In hopes that I post a little more often, and in the spirit of "Random Thoughts Thursday" I've decided to have a "Confessional Tuesday." I dedicate this day to confessing all of the silly, and yes, sometimes stupid things I've done in my life...make that this week. So to my 3, maybe 4 faithful readers, I hope that these confessions make you realize that no matter what you do, you're always fifty steps ahead of me. 
You, of course, are invited to join in. And if you hate it, I will crawl into a hole with Chloe, and only come out when I have this next baby, or to get a piece of no-bake cheesecake. 

Confession No. 1: Mother's Instinct

Let the soul cleansing begin.

Mothers have that instinct about their babies. From the second they are born, they memorize their face, they know their smell, their cry, what they need. You name it, the mother knows it. It's natural. It's the way God intended. 

For everyone, but me.

After I had Chloe, she stayed in our hospital room quite a bit. I fed her, cuddled her, we stared at her, watching her every little movement, amazed that our genes could actually create a cute baby. But after labor, you also need a nap. So we'd send her to the nursery and doze off into a peaceful sleep. The second day we were there, I wanted to visit her in the nursery. After 20 minutes of  convincing myself that my rear-end wouldn't fall off, we headed that way. An hour later we finally made it. We walked in. My eyes searched among the 15 other babies for my precious bundle. I found her. My beautiful girl. As I walked closer my smile got bigger and my heart started beating faster. Right as I made it to her, Jason pulled my arm and we kept walking. "She's over here."

My first failure as a mother. I didn't recognize my own daughter. In fact, after closer inspection, the BOY I thought was my daughter was actually Hispanic. Had it been the olden days, I probably would have left with a lovely Hispanic boy. Actually, I probably would've had the baby on the kitchen table, drinking whiskey for the pain, but that's beside the point.

Just so you know, if you ever bring this up publicly, I will blame this whole mistaken identity thing on drugs. I was heavily sedated after I had her. Okay, maybe I wasn't, but I'll never tell anyone else that. 

I leave you with a  picture of my sweet, pale-skinned, probably will never have a tan, definitely not Hispanic, girl. This was right after she was born. Poor kid's stuck with me.

For today, my soul has been cleansed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yes, He Works in Mysterious Ways

Today after church, I was approached by a woman who really wanted to meet me. Okay, that's a lie. She wanted to meet my little stinkpot. She begins to tell me what a blessing babies are and then proceeded into a religious rant (I didn't know what other word to use. I don't mean "rant" in a bad way. I just mean a lot of "religious speak"). Not that there's anything wrong with it! It just makes me nervous, always has; and of course I started to sweat profusely. I went into a religious rant in my head, praying that God would allow my daughter to spit-up in my armpit to cover up the ever-growing sweat stain. 

She looks at me and says, "I see you're expecting baby number two." I died a little bit inside. People can already tell??? Oh least they don't think I'm just fat. Or maybe they think I'm pregnant and fat. I. must. stop. now.

She tells me about a lady who has 10 kids. Yes, 10.  An OB/Gyn. You think that at least she would know how babies are made. Then she tells me she has 4. I say that I always wanted 4, but now I don't know. She balks at me and says, "What you want? What you want? It's what God wants." I died a little bit more. I'm always saying the wrong things.

After we finished up the conversation, it really made me think. I have no control over things in my life. I have planned nothing. Obviously, we're not dumb enough to plan two babies this close together. We're not dumb enough to move away from our friends and family for five years. And of course, I don't have the power to convince my daughter to spit-up in my armpit at the appropriate time. God always likes to make me sweat. We couldn't have planned out the path our lives have taken. But I'm thankful He has. Because without His plan, I wouldn't have this crazy-haired monster...

And I probably wouldn't have worn these great boots to church...

God is always throwing me curve balls, and while I'm not happy with all of them, I'm thankful for each one. So God, I think I realize You're in control. And if you want me to be a sweaty mother of 50 back-to-back babies, I pray that you always put me in fabulous shoes. Thank you. Amen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

She's a Bo0b Girl

Our original programming has been interrupted for a word from our sponsor.

Me: Hey, Chloe!
Chloe: She actually didn't say anything. Just smiled. It's her normal reaction when she sees me. She never, EVER, looks at me like I'm crazy.

Me: I'm blogging about you today!
Chloe: Really? Sounds exciting!

Me: The title of the post is "She's a Bo0b Girl"
Chloe: Mom, I don't know about this...

Chloe, listening intently while I read the post.

Chloe: I can't believe you'd write that about me!!

Chloe: I'm gonna erase that post whether you like it or not!
Me: I outsmarted you, little girl, already saved!!

Now, back to our original broadcast.

Chloe is a fan of the bo0bs. She's relentless in her search. She'll go down the shirt, up the sleeve, and if she can't find 'em that way, she'll find them through your shirt. If you've got them, and you've held her, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Young. Old. Large. Small. Perky. Saggy. Real. Fake. (Has she felt a pair? I will never reveal.) She does not discriminate. I'm so proud. 

I wasn't going to say anything about this obsession. At least not publicly. And most babies do have this innocent obsession. It's actually very, very sweet. But I have to talk about it because of the following story. 

On our flight back from Oklahoma, we sat next to a nice lady with a deep v-neck shirt on. When we took off, I gave Chloe her bottle and burped her...which of course ended up in a river of spit-up down my back. 

Strike one with my neighbor. 

After the bottle, she cried for a while and then pooped her pants. 

Great!! Stinky, strike number two. 

I grabbed my stuff and ran to the restroom. Much to the dismay of our entire flight, I could not fit both of us in the bathroom and bend over to change her diaper. I had to leave the door open with my rear end hanging out the back. My apologies to all passengers on board. Totally humiliated, I went back to my seat. 

As for strike number three? 

While I was putting away my stuff, Chloe proceeded to lean over very closely to the neighbor and pull down her sleeve. The stretchy, deep v-necked shirt gave very easily, exposing her bra; a red, lacy, see-through bra. I could have died. SHE could have died!! After apologizing profusely, I knew there was nothing I could do to undo the damage that was done. So I faced forward, and put my bre@st-baring daughter to sleep. I chuckled under my breath the whole way home. My humiliated neighbor, however, did not. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting to Know You

After my last ultrasound, I decided it was time to get Chloe used to the idea of having a little brother or sister. I showed her the picture of what was causing her mama to bloat like a pig. She immediately crinkled up the picture, stuck it in her mouth, and threw it on the ground. This is going to work out so well....
I'm also beginning to explain to her the older sibling responsibilities. She needs to be able to fix her own bottles, change her own diapers, feed herself, and clean up her room. Okay, so maybe she just found her feet, but I think by the time she's 11 months old, she should have all of this figured out. Right? Don't tell me any different. I'm still in denial. 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear Pioneer Woman

Dear Pioneer Woman;

I don't think I can eat your Baked Lemon Pasta ever again...

So, I am like the last person in the world to catch onto your blog. My friends, my sister and strangers have mentioned your general awesomeness, but I was slow to the take. After having your oatmeal crispies with friends this past weekend, I was intrigued. I have since scoured your website and look at it maybe 50 times a day. When my daughter is asleep, I pour myself a nice cup of Trader Joe's orange/carrot juice (I wish it was a gallon-sized coffee...pregnancy is so cruel), ignore the dishes, laundry, and unpacking I've yet to do, and curl up with your love story with Marlboro Man, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

Morning sickness has riddled my life for the past two months, and cooking (bless my husband's heart) has been the last thing on my mind. I've been feeling generally better for the past week, and I was inspired by you to make dinner. I saw your recipe for Baked Lemon Pasta and knew I could do it. I gussied myself up, went to the store with my screeching 5-month old and bought the necessary ingredients. I decided that since my husband wouldn't be home until 6:30 or 7:00, that I would start cooking at 5:00. A good plan right? Well yes, if you don't have the above mentioned 5-month old melting down more and more each minute. Is bedtime this hairy for everyone?? I feel like I need that gallon-sized coffee to make it through. Anyway, I started making the dish...started out really well, and then all heck broke loose. My daughter started bawling, Ashlee Simpson was blaring much too loudly over the Bose, and my head was feeling like it was going to explode. My screaming daughter prompted me to fix her a bottle, which caused her to  scream every time I put in her mouth. If you've seen pictures of her, you know that she does not skip a meal! Quickly decided to put her to bed, and then my husband walks in the door. He managed to finish the pasta, make the sides, and plate our meals. I didn't even finish it! But BOY, was that pasta tasty. Jason even said it tasted like it came from a restaurant, which it totally did! After dinner I fell asleep in my recliner for about an hour before heading to bed. 

And this is where things go terribly wrong. I hopped in the bath, brushed my teeth, washed my face, took my contacts out and jumped into bed. Not two seconds after hopping into bed, waves of nausea washed through me. I jumped up, ran into the bathroom, and you guessed it, I saw the Baked Lemon Pasta for the second, the third, a fourth and a fifth time. I'm devastated because I can never have your pasta dish again. And I'm devastated because I feel like I can't pull it all together. Cooking used to be a leisurely activity for me, and now it's just a race to the finish, which I inevitably puke back up.

So I'm not really sure why I felt the need to write about this. It's just kind of a gross story. But I guess, somewhere deep down inside of me, I want you to know that I'm trying. I'm trying to be the cowgirl that gets back up on the horse after getting bucked off. You've inspired me. Just like you've inspired millions of other women. I know that you'll never read this, even though deep down I wish this were true, but I hope you know what you've added to my life. Recipes, stories, photos, humor and a taste of a woman living in Oklahoma who never thought she'd end up there. 


Thank you,

An Oklahoman in Cleveland

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baby Making: 2009-2010 Edition

I was pregnant and had a baby in 2008-2009, and folks, we're doing it again this year. That's right, we're having another baby. I will pause while you laugh (don't feel bad, it's the most common reaction).................................................................................. I am 13 weeks along and due February 15th. This means that Chloe and Baby Lash II will be almost exactly 11 months apart. Our initial reaction was total shock and denial, but we are very excited and elated to welcome another baby into our family. We know that we are going to have our hands full, but we are ready for this wonderful challenge. 

I have to tell the story of how we found out. It was during one of the busiest times of our lives. Jason had just graduated. We packed up our entire house. Said goodbye to Chicago and our friends. We packed up the car, and headed to Oklahoma for our dear friend's wedding. Only to turn around that same weekend and move to Cleveland. During this very stressful and busy time, I was having some ill feelings towards Jason. He was honestly making me mad and I was beginning to not like him very much. If you know Jason at all, you know this was undeserved. He is probably the nicest and most caring person I know. Of course I attributed the madness to the major stresses in our lives, and I knew it would pass. But it wasn't going away. It culminated on our trip home. We had a good trip, but I could not shake my feelings towards him. Soon enough, my bad feelings turned into arguments. 
The day we arrived in Oklahoma for the wedding weekend, Jason said, "I think you're pregnant." He has quite the radar for these things. He called the last one, too. I responded, "I'm a little late, but there's no way I'm pregnant." How could I be pregnant with a not-quite-3-month-old at home? We bought a test, which I took later that night. Of course it came back positive. My first reaction was...well, I'll just keep that one to myself. My second reaction was pure happiness. Not because I was pregnant, but because I knew that I didn't hate my husband. You see, my initial reaction to my last pregnancy, and subsequently this pregnancy, was and is hatred towards my husband. At that moment, I hugged Jason and proclaimed several times, "I don't really hate you! I don't hate you! I'm just pregnant!" To which he responded, "I was getting a little worried. I'm so glad you don't really hate me." There was no more hatred after that, only happiness. It's always nice to find out that you don't utterly despise the love of your life.

Here's a picture that was snapped only moments after we took the test. I just think this picture is priceless. You know I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and shocked when one pant leg is pulled up. 
And one more thing before I wrap things up. The answer is "yes" to your question. I know how babies are made. Please don't ask me to my face. It will turn the color of a tomato. Thank you in advance.