Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia

Okay, so maybe it's mid-morning. No lights have been turned out. And I live in Ohio, but whatever. I will forever consider this day, 'The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia Day.'
I hate the pacifier. And before I go on, I pass no judgement on any child using a pacifier. Well, maybe if they show up on the first day of kindergarten with one, but everyone else is safe. I have learned, as a mother, that passing judgement is an open invitation for the thing you judge, to happen to you. So I just don't do it. I hate the pacifier because it has caused me so much mental angst. The day I put it in her mouth, my first thought was, 'when am I going to take it away from her, how will I do it, etc?' Mental Angst. 

At first I decided I would take it away at 3 months. Then we moved from Chicago to Cleveland and she was having trouble adjusting to her new environment. Paci needed. Then I got knocked up and became as sick as a dog. Paci needed. Then we weened her from the paci during the day, but she needs it to sleep at night. Paci needed. And now I've decided I'll take it away from her after Christmas. We are traveling to Oklahoma over the holiday break. 18 hours in a car without a paci? Paci needed.

But my bottom line has always been this: The day we lose all of her pacis is the day that she no longer gets it. I refuse to buy anymore of them.

Today is that day.

The past couple of days I have noticed a decrease in our paci supply. We've gone from 3, to 2, to 1. And I went to put her down for a nap this morning and couldn't find any. I've searched high and low, scrapped around, cried, curled up in a ball and cried in the corner, and I still can't find any.

My choice was this. I had to get ready for church, she needed a nap, and there was not a paci in sight. I let her cry it out. And it wasn't as bad as I thought. 15 minutes after a lot of anguished crying, she fell asleep. 

So, here's where I need your help. I will inevitably end up finding one of the missing pacis. Do I tough it out? Never let her have another one again? Or do I stick with my 'after Christmas' policy. 

Please give me some advice if you've ever been at this crossroads, or if you're going through it now.  There is also an open invitation for you to visit me in Cleveland if you think I should take it away. We even have our guest bed in her bedroom. So you'll get to wake up with her, do a few loads of laundry, and wash our dishes. Any takers? And if you are judging me for even giving my daughter a paci in the first place, I do not want to hear from you.

Who would've ever thought a piece of plastic would give me a near heart attack? I need some support, people.

And if you were wondering, you're right. It is true that I have been doing my best Reba McEntire impression all morning.

Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me dooooowwwwn

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful


A blog post titled Thankful around Thanksgiving. Who would've thunk it? I'm just that original.

Well...cliche or not, I am so very thankful for all that God has blessed me with. I am incredibly thankful for our family and friends who have been so supportive while we have been away from home. We are so excited to move back home in a few months!

Of course, I am thankful for this little goober. I really don't have to say much else. She's all I blog about (which reminds me that I need to get a life), so you know how I feel about her. She has enriched our lives in unimaginable ways, and we love and cherish her so much.

I am so thankful for this little goober as well. An unexpected surprise, but a huge blessing all the same. I cannot wait to meet her! We already love her so much and we can't wait to see her precious face. We pray that God continues to bless this pregnancy and this sweet girl.

And he will kill me for posting another picture of him, but I just can't help myself. Plus, embarrassing him is what I consider, part of my wifely duties. 

I don't say this often enough, but I am so thankful for my husband.

I talk all the time about being a mom, and the trials, tribulations, and joys that accompany motherhood. But rarely do I give credit to this guy. He is amazing. He has worked and continues to work so hard for our family. He puts in incredibly long days, comes home, and is 100% committed to Chloe and me. Even on those days when I basically toss Chloe at him and run for the hills the second he walks in the door, he doesn't complain.

He is an amazing dad. Chloe beams when she is with him. She always looks at me with such pride when he is holding her. I know that he will continue to be a wonderful example for her as she grows up. I am so thankful that my child and future children have such a wonderful dad. That is the one thing I want for them. For them to know that there dad loves them.

Just look at her face. Can't you just see how much she loves him?

And last but not least, I'm thankful for my maternity jeans and husband's shirts for supporting my ever expanding belly and rear-end throughout the last haul of my pregnancy. I don't know how I'd make it without you and your stretchy, stretchy, wonderfully forgiving fabrics.
I hope that all of you have an abundant and blessed Thanksgiving Day!

May you have many, many things to be thankful and grateful for in your lives.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Forever Changed

There's an Aldi literally a block away from where we live.
I've never been. I didn't really know what it was. Didn't even really know it was a grocery store. I knew they had random odds and ends of things, but I just didn't know what was in store.

In an attempt to spend as little as possible on our weekly groceries, I travel once a week, 15 miles, to the nearest Super Wal-Mart. I always try to spend no more than $40.

Yesterday, I just didn't feel like trekking all the way to Wal-Mart. It was cold and rainy and dark, and I just didn't want to go. So I decided to go to Aldi. A whole whopping block away. I packed up my reusable shopping bags, because I'm just good like that, and headed that way.

What I found knocked my socks off. I don't think I was actually wearing socks to begin with, but I was super impressed. I expected to find staples, but I didn't expect to find everything on my list. I didn't have a quarter to get a shopping cart, so I carried about 60 lbs of groceries on my shoulders, in my shopping bags, while pushing Chloe in her stroller around the store.

Well, guess how much I spent on a week's worth of groceries? 

$22.63.

$22.63!!!!!!!!!

It doesn't get much better than that. I love Aldi. I'm never going anywhere else again.

But next time I'll bring a quarter for a cart. Carrying around all of that weight on my shoulders made me feel like my baby was going to fall out. Maybe not the wisest move while 7 months pregnant.

If you've never been (which you've probably been going there for years. I'm just always wayyyyyy behind on things like this) you should go!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What can I say? She loves me.

What is this little girl holding in her hot little hand? Proof of how much she loves me. 

Chloe is into everything. While I was getting dressed the other day, she was rifling through some baskets in my room and she found the photo posted below. One of my favorite photos of the two of us. Favorite for a couple of reasons. Reason One- Swaddled Chloe. I can't tell you how much I love swaddled babies. Makes me excited to hold my next little girl. Reason Two- I apologize because I'm going to brag. I think I look pretty decent for having a two week old. My hair's fixed, makeup is on, and I'm wearing a cute outfit. I remember this day very clearly. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon and my mom said, "Go take a shower and get dressed. You'll feel better." I still crack up about that comment. I must've looked pretty rough. But she was right, as mothers normally are, I felt better. 

At first, I was going to take it away from her, but decided against it. She was staring at the photo, smiling, laughing, and talking to the picture. How sweet, I thought, she must be excited to see a picture of the two of us. I bet it's comforting to her, to hold a picture of her mama. I continued to let her hold it and figured as long as she wasn't ripping it apart and choking on it, it wouldn't cause any harm.

This lasted for about 2 minutes. I watched in horror as she crumpled up the photo, chewed on it, crumpled it up again, and threw it down. Then she proceeded to stomp on it. 

Then she left it. Just plain abandoned the crumpled, mangled photo of the two of us. 

As she went to play with a stack of clean diapers, I walked over to the photo and laughed at myself. I felt pretty silly thinking that she comprehended a picture of me.

Obviously she equates playing with a photo of me to playing with a stack of diapers.

Thanks Chloe. I love you too. Actually I really do. 

Afterthought: This post, especially the first picture, made me think of one of my favorite Ray LaMontagne songs, "Jolene." It reminded me of my favorite lyric from this song...

"A picture of you, holding a picture of me"

Here's the video. If you haven't heard the song, you must. It's beautiful. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baby Trends

Apparently the term low-rise now applies to baby clothes too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Can't help but wonder.

Chloe and I go to the YMCA for swimming lessons every Monday. It has been so much fun and is officially my favorite activity I do with her, mainly because she loves it so much. A couple of weeks ago we started a new session, which brought in a new batch of kids and moms. All of the moms are so sweet, but there is one mom I can't help but be a little intimidated of. She walks into the pool completely perfect. Perfect hair. Perfect skin. She's a little older and yet has the body of 20 year old. Seriously, Pilates at least 2 hours a day. She is perfectly pulled together. Her boy is precious. He's probably been reciting his ABC's since he was 2 months old. I can assume she's read every baby book in the world. Maintains a perfect schedule. Totally and utterly devoted every minute to being a mom. Almost like she runs a business. In fact she probably runs a small country and still has time to take her son to swim lessons every Monday. Do you know the type of mom I'm talking about? I admire her, but I can't help but compare myself to her.

You see, I don't have it all pulled together. We're lucky to make it to the pool on time and fully dressed. My daughter is in a swimsuit that's a little too small. I'm in a two-piece that somehow holds it all together, except for my bulging belly. I have no makeup on. My hair is in some sort of scary ponytail. And I'm usually just winging it. 

But it made me think. How do people see me? Not just strangers, but my husband, my family, my friends, acquaintances. They used to just see me. But now, do they only see me as a mom? Or somehow, behind the ponytail, and the non-makeup face, do you still see that girl? The girl who is quirky. Who is reserved until you get to know her. Who loves music and art and being creative. Who loves to laugh and smile. Who is organized and yet free-spirited. Who would eat only cheeseburgers if given the choice. Who has an eclectic, yet fashionable style. Who is goofy and awkward and uncoordinated. Who is determined and stubborn and strong-willed.

A girl who just happens to be a mom now, too?
I hope that no matter how devoted I am to my family, I never forget what makes me, me. I know that I can never forget that girl. I still see her. 

I still am her. 

But sometimes I can't help but wonder if those around me see her too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Proof is in the Pictures.

For the past few months I've been a little unsure if Jason is her father. They just don't look very much alike, ya know? So we did the glasses test, and now I am 99.9% sure that he is.

Yep. He's gotta be her dad.

Yes, we're all relieved and thanking heaven, little girl. 
But I'm still a little unsure if I'm her mom.

How to find that out....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hi and Bye


I finally learned how to download videos from my camera. It's a Christmas miracle, and you should be afraid. Very afraid. 

Chloe has started waving hi and bye. She may wave with both hands and direct it at herself, but we're counting it as waving. And I'm very annoying. 

Deal with it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A little deeper.

Just when you think it can't any get deeper, it does. 
I've always heard people say how the love grows, and I never believed it. Or understood it. It made me uncomfortable. How can you love something more than you already do?

Then I had a baby.

I loved her from the beginning. But I love her even more now. 

And I'm learning. I'm learning how to be a mom. I'm learning how to fit  this new role into my once selfish life. I'm learning how to be me while taking on the responsibilities of being a parent. I'm learning how to adjust to the changes it has brought and will forever bring into my life. I'm learning how to live with my mistakes. I'm learning how to listen to my instincts. 

I've never had the desire to be a mom. It's never been something that I longed for or ever felt the urge to become. 
Over the past few months I've heard phrases pop out of my mouth I never would've expected. Things like:

If I would've known how much I love being a mom, I would've started earlier.

I think that God knew how much I would love being a mom, and that's why I became pregnant so quickly after having Chloe. He knew what I wanted before I wanted it.

I am so fulfilled taking care of my daughter. I don't feel restless like I once did. I finally feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Not that it's perfect all the time. Sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I don't enjoy it. And sometimes I have no idea what I'm doing. But I love it.

I love being a mom. Isn't it the best?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Target, I'm Irritated.

Chloe's allllllmost grown out of her infant car seat. Her feet hang out the bottom and she's 21 pounds. 1 pound away from the 22-pound limit. We went to Target yesterday to buy her new car seat and when we got home, we couldn't wait to open it up and look at it. When we opened it up, the car seat was not inside. Let me repeat. NOT. INSIDE. It was entirely THE. WRONG. ITEM. So now I get to pack everything back up, carry it out to the car, carry my baby out to the car, take us to Target, drag the heavy box out of the car, drag my even heavier baby out of the car, somehow get us all to the Customer Service line, return the item, get the correct car seat, and lug all of us back home. I'm irritated. This is the last thing I need. I will never shop at Target again. 

Of course, I took pictures of the whole catastrophe. Here's the box with a picture of the item I intended to buy. 
And instead of the car seat, here's the wrong item that we found in the box.







Keep scrolling. 









Keep scrolling.








A little bit more.








This little thing popped out of the box. 

We didn't know what to do. We watched as she crawled around. I'm not going to lie. It was a little awkward for all parties involved. 

After a few minutes of not knowing what to do, I decided to go in the box. Once I was in there, I asked her to tell me where she came from. She told me of her family. How she was born in beautiful Chicago and how they moved her to Cleveland. She talked about her extended family and how much she missed them, wishing she could see them more. And then the real kicker was this. She told me how her parents are having a new baby. She thought she was the baby. How can her parents do this to her? I told her I didn't know. It sounded awful.

I immediately fell for her. I told her she could stay with us. She seemed very happy. 

So we decided to keep her.

I'm not going to return her at Target.

But we're keeping the receipt just in case.


Other random thoughts:

-Why do I buy toys? She played in this box for almost two hours. She 
won't play with anything for two hours.

-I thought her infant seat would last a little longer. Is 8-months typical?

-This kind of remind me what parenthood is like. It feels like the baby
just pops out of a box and says, "ta-da!" And where's the instruction
manual?

-Does Sandra Lee have cocktail time with each of her cooking shows? I 
crack up every time I hear her say, "Coming up next, it's cocktail time!" 
This lady must get schnockered everyday.

-The End.

Monday, November 2, 2009

25 Weeks: I Think It's Time

Not time to have the baby--This little goober can cook as long as she wants. No rushing this baby. The longer she's in, the more sleep we get. I'm no fool. If she's anything like her sister, she'll stay in until she's forced out. As a matter of fact, I think Chloe would still be incubating if she were able.--But it is time to break out the maternity clothes. I slipped into my regular jeans a couple of days ago, looked in the mirror and thought to myself, "mmm...this might be stretching it."

Literally. Stretching. The fold of my jeans stopped covering the zipper. The side seams were all off kilter. And my rear end looked like it was about to eat the rear end of my jeans. So I put vanity aside and pulled out the boxes I so bravely ignored all these months.

After giving birth to my first girl, I packed up my maternity clothes just as quick as my body would let me. I bid them good riddance and promised them that I would see them again in a few years. I almost gave them away to Goodwill. I almost shipped them home to Oklahoma. I almost didn't get pregnant again. But I did. And I moved them with me to Cleveland thinking they would be stowed away in a random closet. And here they are. Being put to use once again.


It kind of felt like Christmas going through the clothes. Maybe like a Christmas with your unexpected half-siblings, but Christmas nonetheless. It was interesting to rediscover items that I'd already forgotten about. Like this cute little dress.


And then I found...

Wait. What is that.

I blocked this memory from my mind. Had months of therapy to rid myself of nightmares.

It's my nursing bra. Oh, I'm in pain reminiscing. The nights of writhing and screaming in pain. The fear of God has been struck deep in my soul. Everything hurt. Everything. Especially my...

Never mind.

And then I find these little babies. And my heart sings. So comfortable and you don't have to zip your pants. It's like wearing sweat pants. They're brilliant. I have to admit that they made a brief appearance when I was newly pregnant and heaving everywhere. The thought of having something tight on my body made me sick. But once I felt better, I prayed and somehow fit back into my regular jeans. I must say that I'm excited for my Old Navy maternity jeans to have their swan song. 

And here I am at 25 weeks.
 I'm huge. My stomach has exploded. I'm definitely bigger this time at 25 weeks than I was last time. The picture's on my blog somewhere. Cute, little 25 week, Chloe bump. And no, I'm not linking you there. I'll make you dig if you want to compare the two. I've justified this combustion in my mind with a couple of excuses. A.) It's my second pregnancy. Don't you explode quicker the second time around? B.) I'm pregnant with sextuplets. There must be like six of 'em in there, right? C.) When you get pregnant just 8 weeks after giving birth, your abs do not have the chance to get back into the same shape they once were in. They'll come back right? Flat abs? Please? Someone lie to me? Needless to say, after a baby things tend to give a little quicker.

Why do I feel the need to justify? I'm pregnant, for heaven's sake. That should be reason enough.