Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Smile

Here's the thing about motherhood, it's uncharted waters. Sure there are tons of books, magazines, websites and blogs on parenting, but it's all just advice. There is no proven equation for perfect parenting. So as mothers, we're all just doing the best we can. So why are we our own worst enemy? As a mom, I am always second-guessing myself. I may seem confident, but internally I do wonder if I am doing everything I can to make sure Ben becomes the best he can be. There's a lot of self-pressure, guilt and worry - so do we need the judgement from other moms? I have found that other mothers can be the best and worst for advice. There can be a dash of judgement thrown in, especially when it comes to different styles of parenting. And believe me, I'm not excluding myself from this list (see previous comment re: the name Jacoby).

Last week I posted on Facebook that I had survived Ben's first dental appointment. Yes, my son is 13-months old and I took him to a pediatric dentist for a check-up and cleaning. This is something that I had done the research about during pregnancy, as one of my favorite former clients is a pediatric dentist with a great practice. He recommended that the baby should come when he has his first tooth and at minimum by 1-year. So, I was already feeling a bit guilty taking Ben in over 6 months after his first teeth. However, what I didn't expect was that people on Facebook would have a mini-debate about it and that when I would mention said debate to other moms at Gymboree they would chastise me too. I kept being told "Oh, my doctor said there was no need until the child is 3." And then, "Yes, yes, my doctor said that too. Besides the doctor checks them at the visits anyway. Why would a child need a cleaning at that age?"

So, while I was confident in my initial decision to go to the dentist and the visit went well. Afterwards I felt like a bit of an idiot. Did I do something wrong? And seriously, it's silly. My decision was mine and your decision is yours. Why should I now feel like a "bad" mom for doing something proactive about my son's dental health? I mean, baby teeth are tricky. How do you clean them properly? When should they start really brushing and using toothpaste? How can you be sure to avoid cavities as best possible? These are all questions that my pediatric dentist answered for me. As well as alerting me to the fact that Ben's first molars are popping through, and which teeth should come next. And let's not mention that it was fun for Ben to see the dentist's office and play with the tools. Sure, he didn't love the cleaning but it took 45 seconds and then we were done.

There's really no moral to this story, just a little thought - you do what works for you, and I'll do what works for me.

Sidenote: Check out Parenting Magazine's January article "Give us a Smile!" - it's all about your child's dental health. "Take your baby to the dentist by her first birthday" per the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Dental Association. Sure, let's judge each other less...but for a moment, vindication is mine. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sickies

I feel bad that I haven't posted but this house is a bit under the weather. Well, Ben is under the weather and we're just all catering to his needs. Poor bugger has a virus that I am sure he caught at Gymboree (or Germboree as my corny husband likes to call it). In fact, I am pretty sure that I heard one of the mom's saying that she hadn't been to last week's class because her son, Jacoby, had been ill. Well, he was still snotting and sneezing all over the equipment, so maybe she shouldn't have brought him back just yet. Argh! I know, I know, germs are normal and even good. Kids need to build up their defenses by getting sick, etc., etc. But since Ben is a stay-at-home kid, he's only been sick once and that was when he was 3 months old (also after an interaction with other kids)...so is it selfish of me to want to keep my healthy baby all to myself and not deal with the sickies!?! Sure, he's only snotty, sneezy, whiny, sleepy and fevery (hehe, 5 of the "sick" 7 dwarves), but it's hard to watch him feel so miserable. This is a kid who is always into everything and constantly willing to eat anything he can get his hands on. Now, he's whimpering and we're having to force him to eat and drink. Not to mention that I just hate having to check his temperature...rectally...ouch. Sigh, I'm just whining. This is part of motherhood and I've been lucky he's been well all year and that he's not sick with anything more serious. I don't know how people handle it when their kids truly have something horrible wrong with them. On the positive side, I do get a lot more snuggles...mainly because he's too sluggish to escape. I'll take 'em when I can get 'em.

On a side note, does anyone else think Jacoby is a stupid name? I apologize in advance to anyone with a kid, nephew, grandson, etc. named Jacoby...but it sounds silly to me. Was Jacob not good enough?

On another note, when I go to these classes I really notice that Ben is seriously so much cuter than the other kids. Really, he is. Does everyone else think that when they take their kid to class too? If my kid was funny looking, would I notice? Cause some of these kids are funny looking. Yes, I'm mean and shallow - judging toddlers...tsk, tsk.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Moving the Cheese

Hi all, just wanted to let you know that I've added a new section of links for my friend's who have an online business.

So far, I've added a friend who makes the most delicious quiches - fresh and delivered within the CLT area. Interested in some great Javis Davis for your baby's room? Then Make Room for Style is the site for you! And if you are looking for handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts, check out the Pink Crocodile's Etsy store.

So, if you are selling, making or distributing goods on the internet, let me know and I'll add you to my sidebar under "Friends in the Biz"...provided of course that I know you and can/will vouch for the products! :)

Shark Test

Is anyone else disappointed with the new seasons of returning shows this fall? I feel like a lot of great shows may have jumped the shark, so to speak.

House: I loved the 2-hour season premiere when House was in the nutter. I really wish that they would have played that out a bit longer into the season. Now that he's back at the hospital and being "nicer," it's just boring. Something is missing. And I am so over the 13 and Forman "on-again, off-again" love story. I honestly don't care if they date or don't date, just make a decision and stick with it. And even though the old gang is back together for a bit, they've lost their spark. They need to introduce a love interest, not Cuddy, for House - how about 13? That would spice it up a bit. Overall, I'm bored.

Law & Order SVU: Does everyone look a lot older this season? Maybe it's the HD, but folks are looking rough. And what the hell is up with Christine Lahti, the new DA? God, she looks the worst of all. She is so irritating, bitchy, and angry. And why does she have a hard-on for Stabler? Thank goodness her last episode was tonight. The storylines this season have been weak as well, which is odd because SVU is usually the strongest of the Law & Order franchise. Also, whatever happened to the Benson/Stabler love interest from 2 seasons ago? Benson just got over it? Come on, you know she's still carrying a torch. Gimme back my old SVU!

NCIS: Okay, we get it, Ziva is a bad-ass and she has issues with her dad, with trust, and with her feelings. Can we move on now? Also, can we just cut the tension and have she and Tony get it on already? And why have the episodes so far had so little Abby? Hello, she's only the best character on the show. Get back to the basics NCIS.

Ghost Whisperer: We all know how much I love Jennifer Love Hewitt and this show, but this season is a little lacking. First, why the speed forward on the kid? Last season she was preggo, and then this season flash forward to a 5-year old? I get it, it's hard to do stories about the kid's special powers when he's an infant - but still it's odd to all of a sudden have this 5-year old wandering about. I guess it would have been nice to have seen more before the flash forward. Second, so is Jim just Jim again? Melinda is calling him Jim in front of everyone and in public and there have been no more "Sam" cameos. So, does everyone just think Jim came back to life (not likely) or is Jim still Sam but she just calls him Jim and no one outside of her circle thinks it's odd that she calls her new hubby by her dead hubby's name? Third, where's Camryn Manheim? She's been on so little and I miss her!! Fourth, Melinda is rarely at the store anymore - who's minding the store? Fifth, if we have jumped 5 years would Camryn's kid really be in college? Wasn't he like 15/16 last season, so this season he should at minimum be a senior in college not a freshman...right? Sixth, the storylines have been a little weak. I mean the big reveal last week was that Jamie Kennedy's mom was a lesbian. Really?

Dollhouse: I was looking very forward to the second season, and so far I've been disappointed. It's just boring. Thank goodness for more Topher and "whedon-isms" but the storylines have been so formulaic. Echo has an assignment, something goes wrong with assignment, Echo goes quirky and yet still fixes it, Echo gets wiped but isn't forgetting anything... Where is the meat Joss?? Where is the action?? I'm holding out hope that it picks up this week.

I have been watching Flash Forward, and was very impressed by the first episode. However, the last few episodes have been a downer. So, I'll give it a season but it needs to get back to the first episode awesome-ness. And Nip/Tuck is back this week, so I can't wait to see what craziness they serve up this season. Nip/Tuck always delivers!

Thank goodness for new shows like Glee and Modern Family. If you're not watching Glee, then you suck. Seriously, watching Glee just feels my heart with joy. And Modern family is great, well the gay couple on Modern Family is great...the rest is just filling. I honestly wish the whole show was centered around the gay couple because they crack my ass up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boys Will Be...

Boys are a handful. Has anyone else had this experience? Even as a toddler, they are just into everything in a much more destructive manner than little girls. It's crazy. I cannot keep Ben out of the trashcans, toilets, cabinets, bookshelves, blinds, and dangerous corners of doom. Babyproof you say, I laugh at that suggestion. Mere mortal babyproofing cannot stop Benjamin. Why just yesterday he broke all the cabinet "locks" just to show mommy how feeble her attempts to control him are. Plus, he's so cute and has the act down.

He pushes his little toy over to the bookcase, for example, and plays quietly until the parental unit looks away...



then he stealthily pulls out the books and rips the dust jackets.


When he's caught, he looks up and smiles like "what, these old things?"


He cannot be stopped!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book It

Do you ever have a great idea (at least in your mind), but no know-how on how to make it happen? That happens to me all the time, especially when I'm kicking around business ideas with friends. I have decided that a lot of my enterprising problems could be solved if I had a) unlimited capital, and b) access to a website engineer.

Yet again, I have been beaten to the punch! For years I have been wondering why there wasn't a booksite like netflix. Seriously, why don't I ever invent these things!? I've been thinking it for years and years. Well, of course, it already exists. It looks cool, and I'm thinking of trying it because the CLT libraries never have the books I want unless I'm willing to be #52 on the waiting list. BookSwim seems like a great idea especially for a voracious reader like myself.

I've also started clearing out my bookshelves using SwapTree - it's an online trading community, all you pay for is the shipping when you make a trade. I had a lot of books, cd's and dvd's that James hadn't been able to sell yet on Ebay, but this way I get a book I want, and get rid of one I don't need anymore. Gotta do what you can in this crappy economy.

(Oh, and since I'm on a book themed post, I think everyone should join online communities like Shelfari or GoodReads. It's a great way to recommend books to friends and family, and to learn about books that you should read. I'm a member of both, so friend me.)

Growing Up

Wondering what’s been going on in the wonderful world of Ben? Of course! Here ya go:

-He has 6 teeth now (4 top, 2 bottom) and is currently cutting some more. He got his first two teeth at 4 months. Teething involves a lot of crankiness and crying.
-He rolled over, finally, at around 6 to 7 months. A little slow on the rolling, but he does things when he feels like it. I accept it.
-He is a happy-go-lucky baby, and finally started smiling in photos! Whew.
-He started crawling at 7 months. Apparently he wasn't fond of the rolling, so went on to crawling. However, he doesn't crawl on all fours like other kids. Nah, he's special. He keeps one leg bent in the ever-ready-sit position. You'd have to see it to understand, but he's fast and terribly cute.
-He has mastered the stairs. Well, just up. It was the first thing he did once he crawled. I have no idea how to teach him "down" for the stairs.
-No talking yet. Lots and lots of babbling and odd yelps and screams. Who knows when he'll talk.
-He can open doors, flush toilets, turn the lights on/off, pull all the books out of the bookshelves, break anything electronic, and basically get into anything he shouldn't be in. The baby proofing on the cabinets worked briefly, but he has now figured out how to pop those open too. *sigh*
-He has been walking in the past few weeks, but only when he feels like it and mainly when we're not watching. He cannot be enticed to walk towards you with food because crawling there is much faster (duh!). So, we just cheer him on when we catch him walking and he promptly rewards us by sitting down. What can I say, he's been this way since he was in the womb.

Here are some of my favorite photos from this summer:



Monday, October 12, 2009

Avert Your Eyes

Is this what fashion has come to? A replay of the 80s and early 90s? Seriously?!



I mean, Katie Holmes has access to stylists and money -- but she's dressing like this? Acid washed jeans with pre-fab holes and tight-rolled!? Jesus. If Hollywood is embracing this style, there is no hope. I have already seen the god awful plaid shirts at Target. What else will they be rolling out to the masses? The 80s and early 90s were the worst fashions for women, IMHO - especially if you aren't model-thin. I guess I should have saved my doc martins - my mom always said that they better last me for the rest of my life since I paid so much for them. Guess she was right.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cut + Paste

Oh yeah, the whole reason I wanted to post was to share some of the fun online photo sites I've found for creating scrapbooks, cards, etc. I swear, pregnancy brain was bad, but mommy brain is worse!

Fun photo sites:
http://www.snapfish.com
http://www.shutterfly.com
http://www.mixbook.com
http://www.picaboo.com
http://www.myphotoalbum.com
http://www.lulu.com

I have literally printed off 2 pictures of Ben since he was born. Thank goodness for grandparents! Let's not even mention that there are no photo albums (yet) and I haven't completed his baby book. I could say I am too busy, but that'd be a lie. I just hate doing stuff like this. Luckily my guilt has kicked in, and I have decided to get it done before his 1st birthday (less than a month people!). We'll see if I hit my deadline, or if it gets pushed back to Christmas.

Right now I'm playing on Mixbook to create a scrapbook for Ben using their "Baby Boy" template. It's nice because if you're a non-scrapbooker like me, it will totally do the pages for you and you just drop in photos, add quotes, etc. So quick and easy. Or you can just start from scratch, if you're cool like that.

All of these sites allow you to create online and share, and then order an actual album based off of the online creation as well. Great idea for gifts for the grandparents, newlyweds, new parents, new grad, etc.

Enjoy!

Remember Me?

I'm alive. I wish I had a good reason for being absent for almost a year, but I don't. Let's chalk it up to a mix of new motherhood, some depression, and just plain laziness and avoidance. It's not you, it's me. I still love you, and hope you love me - but I've just been in a fog. But, I'm trying to get back into some of my old habits, like blogging, in a hope that it'll help pull me out of my funk.

Right now I am multi-tasking while Mr. Ben takes a nap - blogging, online scrapbooking, and reading gossip. So, I must run but wanted everyone to know I'm alive and well and returning to the blogosphere. Let's hope I have something to say, and not just "today ben pooped a lot" - cause you know that just gets old (or at least it does for me).

Love!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An E.L.F.

I just got a heads-up from a friend of my mother's that the make-up line E.L.F. (Eyes-Lips-Face) has been bought out by Nordstrom. So, Nordstrom is re-packaging the current E.L.F. products to put their brand on it. To that end, E.L.F. is having a huge online clearance sale, most products are only $1!! This is the deal of the century, and I just loaded up. So, if you are interested in some great new make-up and other products, go on over to their site and stock up. Oh, and if you spend over $15 on your order, type in the coupon code CAROLINA before checking out and save an additional $7.50 on your order. It doesn't get any cheaper than this! Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nominate This

OMFG, my baby is SIX MONTHS old, and I totally forgot to update my blog with pictures and such to mark the day. To add insult to injury, he has teeth now and I have not been able to get a picture of the little protrusions. Every time he opens his mouth (or "nibbles" on my hand), it freaks me out to see those two gleaming white nubs. Who decided my kid should get teeth this soon? I was a toothless-wonder until almost a year of age! It's all happening so fast, and I still haven't even written one thing in his baby book. I guess the Mother-of-the-Year award committee will be skipping my house this year.

Perhaps I'll get my act together and post pictures later in the week. Maybe I can get some good "teeth" shots after his 6-month check-up when his all loopy from the shots. I'm sure he'll be crying.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shh...SHUT UP!

Why does the f'ing UPS guy always have to drive up after I've gotten the baby to nap? I swear to all that is holy, if he rings that damn doorbell and knocks again tomorrow I am going to jerk a knot in him. And why do you need to ring the doorbell twice and knock twice? Is this part of UPS training? Between you and the Jehovah's witnesses that keep circling the neighborhood, it's like Grand Central Station on my porch. Just knock and leave the damn package on the door. You know I have a new baby, you've seen my disheveled, smelly self when I've had to sign for packages. Have a heart, and just SHHHHHHHH.

To the Jehovah's witnesses, what's with all the furious recruitment efforts of late? If I'm correct, aren't there only so many spots in heaven per your teachings? So here's a thought, if you stop recruiting, you're guaranteed a spot. If you recruit me, who's to say that I wouldn't be taking your spot? That would really suck for you.

Messy, Messy, Messy

If any other man in my life constantly vomited, peed and shat all over me, you'd think I was some sort of kinky fetishist. No, I'm just a mom. A very dirty mom. I never knew how much I'd love baby wipes. Baby wipes are the new shower.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Discount

Did anyone see the episode of The Real Housewives of New York last night? I cannot stand the Countess. OMG, I cannot believe how full of herself she is. On the episode last night, she was talking to a group of underprivileged girls (and of course going on and on about herself and her Countess status) and asking them what they wanted to be when they grow up. One girl, who was 10, said she wanted to be a model. She asked her to stand up to see how tall she is and then let her know that she had a pretty face and needed to lose weight. She said "Don't worry, you have plenty of time to grow" - and then went on to tell her losing weight is easy, don't worry. Are you fucking kidding me? Yes, the girl was overweight. But can we please have a reality check! You are a fucking Countess. You are rich. You are of the elite. Do you know anything about how socioeconomic status affects health and obesity? Clearly not. Did you need to go into this room, a place of sanctuary for these girls, a place where they are trying to build self-esteem and worth, and tell her that she needed to lose weight? Do you think she hasn't heard that before? Do you think telling her it's easy will give her the strength she needs to drop those LB's? How dare you. How sanctimonious of you. And then to go on and say, "You could tell those girls really appreciated my taking time out of my day to spend with them." Yes, how kind of you. They have learned that if you marry a Count, life is good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Funny Boy

I think that being with a baby all day has made my brain turn to mush. I literally can't think of anything to post about other than Ben. And really, shouldn't I have more to talk about than the baby? Maybe? I mean, he's my world and all, but seriously, a single thought of my own? It's like they just flutter out of my head before they have a chance to land. Instead, I shall tell you that Ben is now eating solids. Is that crazy? It seems way too soon to me, but he's loving it. So far he's tried sweet potatoes, squash, green beans and peas - and likes them in that order. Tomorrow we're adding carrots to the mix and soon we'll venture on to fruits. Oddly he already likes as many veggies as I do, so here's hoping he's not a picky eater like his mom. Watching him eat is seriously one of the highlights of my day. It's just so funny to see the expressions he makes and how animated he can get when he's really hungry and I'm just not shovelling it in fast enough. He's already grabbing the spoon and trying to feed himself. Shockingly, he seems to be leaning towards being a South Paw. He predominately uses his left hand for most things, so it'll be interesting if two rights make a left - especially since my parents are two lefts who made two rights.

Here's my little man laughing his head off at pizza, of all things. He was just staring at me eating pizza, so I started making the nom-nom-nom sounds and it just cracked his ass up. This is the first time we've ever gotten him to laugh more than once, and were lucky enough to catch it on camera! Seriously, I was crying because I was laughing so hard at him laughing.

video

Friday, March 6, 2009

It Has To Be Said

I've been reading and hearing all the news surrounding the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation, and it just has to be said - HIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT OKAY. EVER. NO MATTER WHAT.

When I first heard, I was shocked and my heart went out to her. I was proud of her for standing up for herself, working with the police, and what appeared like separating herself from Chris and moving forward. But now all the news seems to speculate that they are back together. And while charges can and may be pressed without her, she's not necessarily the driving force behind them anymore. I am so saddened by this. However, I understand she is a confused, young girl who believes herself to be in love with the man of her dreams. And like most people who find themselves in abusive relationships, they are the last to realize it and the first to excuse the behavior. And so the cycle continues...

But here's what I am really f*cking pissed off about - the lack of outrage. While the media is covering it non-stop, no one is really coming out and saying "This is totally unacceptable." Sure, a few celebs came out and said "I can't believe this." or " His behavior was unacceptable." - but now it feels like everyone is changing their tune to "This is private. We should give them time and space." or "We have all made mistakes." Really, we've all made mistakes? A mistake is speeding, not beating down the woman you supposedly love. I know I am generalizing here, and I'm sure there are people and sites that are totally standing up and saying this isn't okay at all...but it just feels like there's just not enough collective discussion about domestic violence. And then you get the people who say, "Well, she hit him first." and, "Why was she checking his phone?" - as if these are things to lessen his reaction of violence. I don't care what she may have done that angered him, it is NOT normal or acceptable to react in such a manner. A real man would have walked away.

This is a chance to create a national discourse about abuse of all forms. We need to stand up and speak out against domestic violence to teach our young people that it's not okay. So many girls and boys look up to Rihanna and Chris Brown, and by treating this as a "private" matter we are saying to them that it's okay. As much as I understand that it is something that would be easier for them to handle if it wasn't in the public spotlight, it's also part of the package they signed up for when they became stars. They are role models, and whether they like it or not, people are watching them to see how they react. People will say "Well, Rihanna took Chris back...so it must be okay if you really love someone." This is not the message I want girls and boys to see. But sadly, it is the message they will receive...and a lot of them will not get any other message from their parents. They will see how this happened, how it was handled, and they will glean that this form of behavior is okay.

**EDIT: Since starting this post last week, Oprah did a wonderful show educating people on domestic violence. Sadly, not enough kids watch Oprah and not enough of the entertainment community is espousing the same message.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's a LONG Story

So a few months ago, I did this thing, I had a baby. Lemme tell you bout it...let's all travel back in time to November 1st. Are you there? Do you remember? The anticipation, the hope, the non-stop TV coverage. No, not about me - because there was a presidential election looming - silly!

Well, after standing in line to last-minute-early vote, I went home to meet my husband and parents for lunch and then last minute baby shopping. I figured I needed to cram some more useless stuff into my hospital suitcase. I couldn't possibly go have a baby without the Brest Friend Pillow...right?! Afterwards, we went to meet my sister at her new apartment in Charlotte. She moved just in time - 24 hours before the induction (or is it inducement? is that even a word?). While the menfolk helped lug heavy objects, I sat on the couch and then played on the floor with her soon-to-be nephew, Colby. I figured it was good training for how to interact with boys.

At around 7 PM, we decided to call it a night and head to grab some dinner at Chili's before going home to my place. I thought we'd go home and have a nice night of sleep before arriving at the hospital on Sunday at 10 AM for my dose of pitocin. I guess baby had a better plan. While in the bathroom at Chili's (what a way to start a sentence), I started having what I thought were really bad Braxton Hicks contractions. I mean, it couldn't possibly be labor. I wasn't even dilated the day before, and as my least favorite OB said "you'll know if it's labor. you won't be able to talk or walk when it's real!" (Thanks guy. I mean, I know you and your penis have been through so many labor pains - jerk!) So, I was convinced it wasn't labor because here I was walking and talking. But, I did decide I didn't want to hang about at Chili's, so my mom gulped down her glass of wine and we skedaddled. On the drive from South Charlotte to my place, I started to really hurt. So much so that my dad, who was driving, started speeding and breaking a sweat. Even though I was in pain, I was still convinced that it wasn't labor. I just needed to get home and be on the couch in loungey pants...that'll solve it. I mean, this baby is scheduled for November 2nd people - get with the program!

Once we arrived home, I started to feel better. Enough so that I had J make me a dinner of grilled cheese, and got on Facebook to distract myself. After a few bites, the pains resumed and took my breath away. At that point, my dad said "I think this is labor." I kept asking my mom what it should feel like, and she was like "I can't remember, it's been over 20 years." Thanks for the help! Well, we decided to start timing the pains around 8 PM. I would feel something, yell it out, and my dad would jot down the time. Soon he started anticipating my pains, which was really frustrating because he would look at his watch and then stare at me...alerting me to impending doom. I got so angry, that I told my mom to help me upstairs, away from the pain patrol. I was pretty convinced this was it once I had to "go" to the bathroom, which was terrifying. Have you ever tried to poop when you're having contractions? I just knew I was going to pop the baby out in the toilet! Everyone was pretty convinced that I should head to the hospital because the pains were about 5 minutes apart for an hour, and I was on board because I wanted that epidural as soon as possible. But first, I wanted to take a quick bath, fix my make-up, and update Facebook. I know, priorities! Let me say the bath was a huge mistake. Once I was in, I almost didn't get out! I didn't realize how huge I was, and neither did James. It took him and my mom to get me out. Ahh, fatty-ness!

On the drive to the hospital, I sat in the back and just writhed in pain because the contractions were about a minute apart. Seriously, contractions are the worst pain I have ever felt. Ever. That shit just hurts. Period. When we got to the ER, I remained calm but simply told everyone I wanted the epidural. People, I want the epidural. Don't leave me hanging and tell me I can't have it! We got checked in by the skeleton crew because it was about 11 PM on a Saturday night, and I wasn't expected until the next morning. At around 1 AM, I was 4 centimeters dilated and the doc okay'd my epidural. For a girl terrified of needles, I had never been more happy. When they started the epidural, I was scared to death but handling it fine...then came a contraction, and the doc said "Don't move!" Let me say, it is not so easy to stay completely still with a needle in your back and a big old contraction coursing through your body. But I got through it, and the medicine took its toll and calmed me right down. To those who have done it without meds, more power to you...but I would highly recommend the epidural, it will be your best friend.

After the epidural, the doc came in and stripped my membranes and broke my water. I didn't feel any of it! My mom, dad, sister, her fiance, and my husband were all in the room with me and we all settled in to watch Dickie Roberts (I love that movie! And I wanted something mindless because it was really starting to hit me, I am about to have a baby! OMG!). I think I got a few hours of sleep before I started feeling pain on my left side. I thought it was odd, but didn't know if maybe it was normal to feel something...so I didn't say anything. Around 4 AM the nurse noticed I was wincing from pain, and got the anesthesiologist to give me another bump of epi meds and had me lay on my side to get the meds to travel to that side of the body. Basically it became a waiting game, when is this baby coming? The doc kept checking me, but there wasn't that much change. Finally around 7 AM, I was at 8 centimeters but not fully effaced. However, I just knew it was almost time. We started placing bets on when Ben would join us. At around noon on Sunday, and after nurse and doctor shift changes, I was finally fully dilated and ready to push. It's all so surreal when it comes down to push time. I was ready, but also just shocked that I was about to have a baby. It just becomes so real when you realize this boy is going to leave the belly and come home with you.

There was a bit of a situation when it came time to push. I knew that James would be there, but sitting behind me. He's not really good with gore, in fact once we arrived at the hospital he started to look pale. I knew my mom would be there, and I assumed that a nurse would be there to help too. Go figure, I get the 8-month preggo nurse and she's not allowed to help in lifting my legs. So they say "We'll get your sister." And I was like, "Oh no. She will pass out, and definitely never have kids if she sees this!" I told them to get my dad, the nurses were a bit shocked by that, but it's my dad. Who cares. Believe me, he would have preferred to be in the waiting room - but he helped out and just stared at the wall behind me the whole time. Poor guy. Once we started pushing, apparently I started bleeding a lot from tearing. James saw a bloody towel, and almost lost it. The nurses made him sit down and drink OJ. So in between pushing, I'm holding his hand and asking if he's okay and demanding he stay seated and not pass out on me! I was in the zone when it came to pushing, and I just focused and stayed quiet because I was in deep concentration on getting this baby out. After two hours of pushing, I started to feel pain again. It felt like my whole lower half was going to split and fall off. It was horrible. Apparently the epidural wore off, and they were trying to decide if I should keep pushing or go to a c-section. During this time the baby's heart rate was fine, but my blood pressure was not so good. The doc wanted to give it one last big push and try the vacuum. I thought, "Whatever...just get this damn baby out of me!" During the last pushes, I started to grunt loudly while pushing. One of the nurses, Nurse Helga as I like to call her, grabbed my arm tightly and said "SHH! Don't make any noise, it's just wasting energy and you need to focus on getting this baby out." I thought my mom was going to jump over my belly and beat this woman down. Surprisingly, I just rolled my eyes at her and pushed on. Well, that last push didn't work. Ben refused to come out, and then they decided to take me to the OR for a c-section. They rushed everyone out of the room, except James, and came in to shave me. This is when I almost lost my shit. I so did not want a c-section. When my parents said bye, and my sis came in to say good-luck, they were all crying and I started getting teary. I just kept saying "Why can't I do this? What's wrong with me?" I felt like a failure. I know that's silly, but I really wanted a vaginal birth. After so much effort, it was a disappointment to then have to go for a C. To add insult to injury, the contractions just kept on coming and I was told to just lay there and not push. Hello, seriously?!?

Finally around 3 PM, I was in the OR and getting the good meds for surgery. They got me situated and then had James come in. He looked terrified, and I was physically shaking. I was just so worn out and so scared, my body was just involuntarily convulsing. The doctors and nurses in the OR were so nice, and really helped calm me down. The doc started to prick my abdomen to make sure the meds had taken effect before cutting...but I felt it. Every time he'd prick, I'd say "Yep, I feel that!" So then they'd give me more meds, but I kept feeling it. This scared me even more. The doctor leaned down and said "We're going to have to go with Plan B." In my head I was thinking, "But this is Plan B. What's next? Do I just have to suck it up and feel this?!" The doc said that in about 5% of c-sections, the patient has to be put 100% under. Lucky me. They had James leave, as he was not allowed to be in the room. I was terrified, but only remember saying "100, 99, 98" and then I was out!

I woke up around 4:30 PM and totally could not figure out where I was and what had happened. The nurse was talking to me, but I don't remember answering - even though I was. I just started scanning the room for James and the baby. Finally, I saw him at foot of my bed, holding the baby. I asked if Ben was okay, did he have all his fingers/toes - and then James brought him over for me to look at. I felt too weak to hold him, but the nurse assured me I would be fine. When they put him in my arms, I just melted. There is no feeling like holding that baby for the first time. He was just so beautiful and alert. He was just staring at me, and it was like he could just see your soul. God, that's so hokey! But really, there's no way to describe it. After a few minutes they allowed my family and friends to come in, and that's when I felt overwhelmed. There was just so much love and joy in the room, and I knew my life would never be the same. And so far, it hasn't.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fatty, Fatty 2x4

OH. MY. GOD. I am so f*ing fat right now that I just want to curl in a ball and hide. (Yes, I know this will not solve my fat problem and only serve to worsen it.) I am on my way to the funeral today and I don't know why it didn't cross my mind earlier this week to maybe try on some clothes to see if they would fit. I was just so sure that my black dress would work. Wrong. The dress won't even go over my boobs. Then I moved on to a skirt, nope - not zipping that unless my waist becomes the area right under my boobs. So, my trusty grey pants have to work...right? Hell no. OMG, what the hell am I going to wear?

Here's the thing - while I've lost a good chunk of the baby weight, I haven't lost the last 10-15 pounds. The other issue is that I have, unfortunately, weighed this horribly fat weight before, but my body shape is totally different since the birth of the baby. So while my fat clothes should fit, they don't because the fat is hanging out in totally different places than before. UGH!!

I should get a fatty award because I just figured out how to fit into my grey pants and only look a little like a stuffed sausage. I have the Spanx on under the pants, which was a feat, and yet they still won't button...so on top of that I have the Bella Band from my first trimester of pregnancy. It's not pretty, but it'll do. I was only one step away from breaking out the full on maternity dress or pants, but all the people I will see today would have recognized that I was still in maternity and I could never do that. I'd be so ashamed.

This is why I wear sweatpants every day. So much easier.

Monday, February 9, 2009

In Memoriam

On Sunday, one of my close friends lost her husband to a battle with an unnamed foe. I hesitate to post about this, as it's her story to share...and in time, I am sure she will. However, I want to write about what an amazing woman my friend is, and how much I admire and love her.

Melissa and Pete were married only a few years, and for over half of that time Melissa was bravely and lovingly handling what most of us believe we won't have to deal with until we are much, much older. At 30, you don't imagine that your husband will get sick. You don't envision multiple rounds of MRIs, spinal taps, CT scans, and tons of doctors visits - all performed, with still no answer as to why the person you love is deteriorating. Melissa you have amazed me with what you have been through, and how you have handled it all with a positive attitude. Always seeing the bright side and celebrating the small victories. You are stronger than you know, and Pete was blessed to have you always by his side.

We are young. We live our lives as if it's all ahead of us, and for most of us it is. When Melissa met Pete, her life was forever changed. When I met Melissa, my life was forever changed. Melissa, words cannot express how profoundly sad I am for your loss and how much I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better. You have taught me to never take any day for granted, to be thankful for what we have, to always tell those you love what is in your heart, and to try to face it all with a positive attitude.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Little Big Man

I can't believe it's been 2 months! The time has just flown by, and little Ben is growing by leaps and bounds and doing one amazing thing after the other - but I may be biased. We had our 2-month appointment today and all is well. He's a big baby boy, weighing in at 15 pounds and 6 ounces - or "off the charts" as the nurse practitioner told us. What can I say, we made a big baby!

We had our first round of shots today, and he did such a good job! I know I was more upset than he was, but it was scary for mommy. I mean, they just come in there and jab him without much of a warning or anything. Bam, bam, bam - 3 shots in a minute. He screamed, but then I picked him up and he calmed right down. Of course the rest of the day he's been a bit more irritable and achy, so we've had our first experience with baby Tylenol. So far, he likes the grape flavor the best.

Well, I have so much more to share - like the birth story, the first weeks home, how much I miss adult interaction, etc...but I need to go to bed and get a few hours of shut-eye before the little man wakes up for his middle of the night feeding.