Monday, December 31, 2007


Anyone who says they don't make New Year's resolutions is probably fooling themselves. We all have that thing in the back of our head that we think... "yep, this is the year". So what are your New Years Resolutions?

This year I made 5 resolutions (which probably sounds like a lot but I figure I've got a 20% success rate on these things so maybe if I am lucky I'll do one for a whole year). I don't believe in resolving for things like losing weight or quitting something I currently do because if you need a new year to force you to start doing something like that... you're going to quit before too long. So this is my list... a very adult list...

1. Find a job I like that let's me still have quality time with my husband and daughter.
2. Take an active roll of being more affectionite when I feel lovey dovey. (Seriously I'm just lazy and I always have been)
3. Try to pay of debt efficiently by having more things here at the house and less things at restraunts... that means parties but also just dinner.
4. Take a trip...even something small... every single month. I used to take a lot more day trips or weekend trips and even with money tight you can still get out for a day... so that's the plan.
5. Spend more time with other adults. I've only been a mom for 3 months and I feel that pull already to hang out with my friends occassionally or just be wild and crazy.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

To Layla @ Three Months Old

Yesterday you turned 3 months old my darling daughter and you celebrated by getting up for no reason at 4 am and carrying on with your day like you couldn't understand why I was so tired. It made for an interesting day and you and Mommy were both in bed by 9 pm.
This morning you woke up and your socks were too small... a little growth spurt to celebrate your new month I guess...and it's about time because you've been in new born socks for a very very long time and you're already past 0-3 months but your clothing and socks still fit just right. Except for jammies... your leg/torso length means you had to go up a size in jammies and now you swim in them because you really are quite thin...lucky you... you got Daddy's metabolism (I think he wants it back... but you can keep it just don't tell him I said it was ok).
Your very athletic for a 3 month old. You've been rolling over for over a month now and you can hold up your head whenever you want to. You're very alert and have great hand eye coordination. You are the only 3 month old I know that can hold your own bottle (when you are in the mood), grab a swinging toy and pull it into your mouth or throw it, kick things with your feet to get them to where you want them and you do it all without losing your smile.
You are a VERY big flirt. You smile at everyone. You especially like people who make silly faces, sing songs or who have access to your pacifier. You giggle and coo when mommy sings row row row your boat and you like to snuggle in for a nap to the tune of amazing grace.
You still have a few things you don't like. The crib is at the top of that list. You sleep every night in a play pen next to Mommy's side of the bed because frankly you just don't like the crib. You also don't like cats...they make you itchy and it seems you've already figured that out. You don't like it when Cousin Aiden yells or when you hear another baby cry. We call it sympathy crying and you do it often.
And there are a few new things that you definitely like... sitting up like a big girl and looking around with little to no help from us (maybe a hand to hold on to or a couch or hand behind you), bath time is your favorite because you like to kick water at Mommy, when Daddy makes silly faces at you in the bed in the morning and the new sensitive tummy formula (thank god no more smells bad soy).
You loved Christmas, the lights and the sounds kept you very entertained. You even liked the new stuff and all the pictures Mommy took of you in your Christmas dress only upset you a little.
You are definitely still our little drama queen who likes to be clean and entertained and you've still got us wrapped around your little finger (Mommy more so than Daddy) but in this month you've developed a love of playing on the floor by yourself and watching the Mickey Mouse Club House in the morning. That's all you baby girl and I can't wait to see what else is "all Layla"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Moving On

One of the hardest parts about being on the hunt for a job while having a new baby is the fact that you always feel guilty about cheating someone. I'm always juggling something...sometimes multiple somethings at the same time. I hate to juggle but I'm really good at it and then I get so used to juggling that I forget that I always had the option to just set everything down and take a good look at it before I decide which things are worth keeping my hands full.

I think most mom's feel that way. It doesn't matter if you're staying home or going to work. I also think that if you are staying home you secretly sometimes day dream about going back to work and if you're at work it's natural to zone out thinking about how nice it would be to just be home. It's the same way looking for a job. Each posting I look at I day dream for a second about what it will be like to work there and what it will be like not to be home with the baby all day. It's my little fantasy world where I get a shower before my husband comes home from work and where my ass looks great in my slacks and high heels. Then someone in the next room needs me and I move on.

I feel like I've been just rolling with the punches lately and last night I had a nice long talk with the hubby. Like most female driven talks it was mostly me crying about things he can't fix and him wishing he could fix things beyond his control. Then I got up this morning and I started moving on. That's what us mom's do. For a second I stopped juggling and now... I've picked a few things worth keeping my hands full and I'll be working with those.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Looking back @ Layla's 1st Christmas

I really thought I would post more this Christmas season being as there would be so many things in the babies first Christmas I thought I would want to remember...but I didn't post. I was looking for a job and looking for a deal or looking for a recipe and looking for my lost serving platter. I was looking for something everyday...sometimes more than one something at a time and my requests for a simple first christmas to remember flashed by and found me looking back at a bunch of things I wish I could have done differently. I suppose that's why God makes sure that you and the posed pictures are the only things that will remember that first Christmas with your child. So you can learn from your mistakes and you won't spend the next 50 years living down the teasing of your first born.

You see all I really wanted this year was a structure to my celebration so I wouldn't feel like I was rushing from place to place and thing to thing but wouldn't you know it from Thanksgiving right through last night it was just one stumble after another. Families changed plans multiple times and numbered RSVPs changed up and down as fast as a yo-yo on a string. My OCD like desire to just know where I was going and why I was going there left me praying in the bathroom more than once during this "celebration" of God and Family season.

I can't handle some things that are new to my life. As always blending two families together caused a lot of stress all the way around. Combined with a financial strain, a daughter who went through a short phase of not liking anyone but me and an overwhelming love of order. Well, I was doomed to learn by trial and error that you can't get what you want but you will get a lesson or two on things you need during the holiday season.

So this year I say it again just like last year and the year before. Next year will be different, next year I will focus more on the reason for Christmas and less on the marketing, flash, obligation and emotional tension. Of course, I'll forget by next year and by Nov first I'll be itching for Christmas tree lane, Christmas carols and bright colored boxes. But for now, I'm tired... I'm disappointed and frankly I'm a little pissed off.

But, I know it's just me and I'll be over it soon. Soon I'll be looking through the pictures of our night at Christmas tree lane with the family or Layla's first Christmas tree parade and remember how she slept through the semi's covered with flashing lights honking and driving by. Soon I'll smile at the thought of the dinner with Grandpa M and her little pile of presents and the gift she already loves so much. Soon I'll think of Christmas eve and instead of seeing the plans that changed 5 times I'll see the people who loved each other so much to adapt their schedule over and over. Soon I'll see Christmas day with that table set for 20 people and think of how wonderful it was to break bread with my loved ones even if they were all late.

I know it's in there somewhere. Somewhere behind my day after Scrooge emotions which are tired and frustrated there lies a Cindy Lu Who who's singing "Where are you Christmas" and waiting for that It's a Wonderful Life moment when the bells are ringing and in my heart I know that love was more important.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are you really?

When you tell someone that you're praying for something for them... do you really do it? How long do you do it? How often do you do it? What is the the reasonable expectation for prayer...

You see I'm waiting to hear about the dream job. I made the final cut and I should know by Friday. I REALLY need this job. On a scale of one to ten the urgency is about an eight. I'm scared. I keep telling people...please pray... and they say "of course I will".


I mean not to be greedy but when I say I'll pray about something for you I pray about it every day until you tell me prayer about it is no longer needed...or I see the result... good or bad. I make a commitment. So here I am waiting and wondering... is my prayer enough? Is anyone out there praying with me? What exactly are they praying for?

I find myself wondering. Should I have been more specific. Should I be praying more than the several times a day I am now. Does it even matter if I am praying about it? And I wait.

It's a Fat Girl Thing

I want to vent about something. I know I haven't gotten on here and vented in awhile but I'm ready for a good vent. I'm frustrated... and for once in my life it's not because I'm bitter with God or pissed at myself. I'm pissed at society.

The whole time I was pregnant, every single visit, my Dr would make comments about how he couldn't believe how healthy I was for an "obese" person. My cholesteral never got high, I never got diabetes, I never got high blood pressure (until after my kid went into the NICU). I didn't eat too much, all my levels were good till I got cholestasis and even then I was the "healthiest person with cholestasis" the mid-wife had ever seen.

I'm pissed that a grown man with a medical degree can't see that it's possible to be physically fit, eat well and still be fat. Because you know what, I do eat well.

I'm also a little ticked at an unmentioned member of my family who when I recently mentioned how much weight I lost started talking to me like she was my grandmother about how out of shape I used to be. Are you serious? I know I could out hike her. I'm not strong but I have more endurance than the average person. I could walk for hours without an issue.

I think people forget... I think they forget that just because you jog every day with your double stroller and I don't doesn't mean I'm not up and moving sometimes. I gained a whooping 10 pounds being pregnant and by two weeks after I was pregnant I had lost 55. I put back on 7 lbs but I'm still way under where I started.

Would I like to lose more? I don't know. I kind of like the shape of my boobs and the size of my hips and all though my stomach flab isn't attractive it isn't unattractive appearantly because my husbands a frisky guy most of the time. And even if I did...why is it your business?

What I would like to do is give my daughter good examples of healthy eating. She will not be forced like I was to clean her plate... not even at grandma's house. I don't care how good you think the corn is for a child teaching them to eat when they are full teaches them to clean their plate in societies super size me serving delusion.

Am I part of this fat girl appreciation movement that's sweeping the planet? No. But I'm not part of the group of people sitting on the couch watching biggest loser while I eat my ice cream either. I just don't care. I think that if your happy then you should go right on being happy and if you're not you should do something about it.

I've got other things I'm more worried about.... don't you?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's this? What's this? There's Colors Everywhere!

Every year I post pictures of my house and my Christmas decorations for the readers here who don't get to stop by between the day after Thanksgiving when everything goes up and the day after Christmas when everything inside comes down...and several days later when the hubby takes down the outside lights. Layla loves the twinkling lights and the christmas music. I can't wait until next year when she really understands how magical this season can be.

When you arrive at our house which is at the end of a cul de sac of decorated houses it looks very pure. Everyone else has blow up Santa's and glittering presents in their yards but we're not the inflated snow globe type. So each year we put out our simple white lights and this year Jon bought me two deer made of white lights for the yard. They actually move which is really cool.

Normally on the door I buy a wreath but this year with the new baby and a tight budget we decided to put up this welcoming Santa sign which we already own. I think he's a nice little spot of color for the walk in.
Inside the front door in the walk way to the living room there is some mistletoe. Every time I walk under it with Layla when I'm home alone or feeling silly, I say "oh no mistletoe" and give her a few kisses. From the candle sconces in my living room I always hang my "extra" stockings. Last year when Jon and I got married I bought us matching stockings and I bought three gold stockings for future children so we'd have one's that match. Of course Layla's is in use now with ours on the mantle but these extras get put up too with some red candles for now.

This christmas ball candle holders were a gift from my Aunt Penny before she died. Normally they only come out on Christmas day for the center of the table but this year I needed something for this counter so here they are.

In the dining area (really this is all one big great room dining area, living room and kitchen) I hang our christmas cards around this strategically placed stocking that covers a phone jack which I think is both unsightly and in a bad spot.

In the living room by the TV I have placed a motion activated dancing Santa I inherited from my Grandma Gerty. The kids are scared of him so for now he's not plugged in but he guards the advent calendar full of Lindor Chocolate truffels and looks good with the pine cone garland under the TV.

Next to the TV there is a DVD stand which I top with the snow village I made with my Aunt when I was little. Placed amongst the houses we painted ourselves are some that I picked up a few years back to make it look like a real town. The ones we did are the ones with lights.

That brings us to the best part of the room in my opinion. My nativity scene. It's by willow tree. It sits on top of the piano with some back lights.

This is the baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph.

This is the wise men...technically they weren't there yet but we'll let it slide being as they match so well.

These are my shepards, complete with flock...oh and a camel...because shepards like camels I guess.

They sit next to the fireplace which holds my burgundy stocking, Jon's green stocking & Layla's gold stocking along with some great candles with pine cones under them and yup you guessed it...more pine cone garland.

I just love this garland when you put lights in it.

This is our tree. It's already dry but we love it. It's still beautiful with all my candy cane themed wrapping paper covered boxes under it. Plus it was made with love...and that's what really counts.

2007 the Re-Cap

January found Jon, myself, my Sister-in-law, my brother-in-law, & their son A all on the way to South Carolina for a visit with the Great Grandparents and some far away Aunts, Uncles and Cousins from Jon's side of the family. Like every long trip I learned a few things... Benadryl will make a baby sleep through a very long plane ride & always get a hotel room instead of staying with the family.

In February we made a small road trip to the coast with our friends J & G. We went to Monterey really but the power was out so we ended up going to Capitola for dinner which was great fun. It was definitely better than Valentine's day which we spent on the phone with our first horrible OBGYN trying to figure out how to save a pregnancy he had deemed as doomed. Talk about killing the mood.

In March for my birthday we went to So Cal. We took a 4 day trip to Disneyland with J & G and got to see our Cousin Sarah and her dad Bill. It was a great trip even though I spent part of the time on complete bed rest forced not to ride rides and to be pushed around in a wheelchair by my husband. It was worth it though for the disneyland hotel, my one ride on Pirates of the Carribean and watching grown men skip down Main St.

April was a slow month we used to catch up financially from all our traveling. J was living with us by then so we started making improvements around the house and upgrading things when we had the time and the money. We had a small family BBQ on Easter and mostly Jon's family came. We had a couple board game nights at the house with friends.

In May our nephew turned one and they used our backyard for a BBQ which was super fun. Also by May we had had a couple good ultrasounds and we knew the baby was probably going to make it. So in May we started planning for baby rooms and baby furniture and things along those lines.

By June things were getting hot and tired. I was very pregnant and very sick and sadly most of the month of June I laid around feeling miserable. My husband on the other hand was booked solid being in his friends K & J wedding. Which I hear was beautiful and I've seen elegant pictures but I opted out because Fresno in June is very very hot.

In July we went to a BBQ at our friend C house and then spent part of the month swimming there whenever she made the offer. We also went out to eat a lot in July because by then I was too hot and too tired to actually cook anything. The airconditioning didn't work right and nothing ever tasted good.

August picked up the pace again. J moved out so we could make a baby room but we decided after a near break in at our home in the ghetto to upgrade neighborhoods. We moved to a better house in a better school district and then we had a party for Jon's birthday and lots of friends and family came. Our neice F was born in August as well.

September found us emerged in two baby showers, one I was hosting and one that was for me...back to back. (Really it sounded like a good idea at the time). In Sept our nephew C was born and of course our lovely daughter Layla was born at the end of Sept after a little bit of bed rest, some nasty labor and a C-Section.

October first we came home from the hospital and the month soon became busy with our neice N's first birthday party. Halloween was fun, we dressed Layla up as a pumpkin which made her very unhappy and gave candy to the cute neighborhood kids. During the middle of Oct I lost my job but thanks to SDI for pregnancy got some paid time to stay home with my daughter without worrying about it.

November started slow and picked up pace rather quickly. We ended up doing Thanksgiving in two ways which was a little odd. After Layla and I watched the parade we went to my Uncle K's house to see my side of the family then we met Jon when he got off work at his mother's where Layla got her first taste of Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin pie. On Black Friday I did lots of shopping with family which was a fun new twist.

Now it's December, the tree is up and the traditions are flowing freely. We had our back in the day party and we went to the Christmas tree lighting and Christmas tree parade down town. We'll be spending Christmas eve with Jon's family and Christmas day here at the house with lots of people. The shopping is done and the presents are wrapped. But the best gift we could have asked for is sleeping next to this desk in a swing.

I can't wait for next year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh My It's an Update Blog

I know I haven't been blogging very much but between the new baby and Christmas coming up it's been chaos over here. So this is the random update blog that we've all come to know and love from busy mommy bloggers.

This week has been down right crazy. I had the flu, then the baby had the flu, then I had an interview for a dream job and then the baby got a rash all over her body and had to go to urgent care...only to find out it's nothing. The hubby and I did sneak in a few hour road trip to the Crab Shack in Sacramento and a walk around Old Town to fill in some of the humm drumm of a vacation we ended up not going on.

This weekend we were looking forward to Christmas tree lane and returning to church but it looks more likely that we will spend Sunday at home watching WWE on pay per view and eating tacos.

I have a second interview (final interview) for the dream job. They are down to me and one other candidate. I really want this job so I've been praying very hard about it. If I don't get it I'll be back on the hunt by the middle of next week and putting out more applications.

I've been blessed in that everything here seems to be under God's graceful umbrella still. I got an extension on my disability checks which was a huge blessing with Christmas time being here and me not having a job. I've had a few interviews and good response. I actually turned down one job offer because it was a bad fit for a new mommy. But I'm optomistic that in the New Year I'll be able to pay my debts and balance out the chaos some.

Some of you know we gave my cat away a few weeks ago. We thought it was making the baby sick and sure enough my kid is allergic to cat dander. We get a runny knows when cat people come over or we go to Grammi's house but now that there is no cat at home there is no snot issues and no random itchy skin patches. That was also a blessing.

This week I'm planning out Christmas dinner and putting the finishing touches on a few hand made gifts. I can't wait for Christmas to come and to spend it with my daughter and husband. I also can't wait for a few other things to come that haven't happened yet this month.... yea we're still waiting on that.

So I think that's about it. Please pray about my interview and job quest if you have time. Also pray for Layla's lovely rash to go away and then have a few christmas cookies and write your letter to Santa.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I skipped a punctuation mark

So... it had been awhile and luckily this time no one needed to stretch first. But it had been so long no one remembered that you need to have things on hand when your about to do a work out. So... having said that....

I'm a week late. Lord help us all. It's probably just stress...but then again I learned in highschool from my bestest friend it only takes on sport to make it to the playoffs.

At least it's still funny to me... I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The face of the flu

Night before last I awoke at 2 am with the sort of stomach pain you always pray you'll never had. If I had an appendics I would have thought it had ruptured. I made my husband rub my back, and then my front. I walked around. I took a hot shower. I sat in the dark and cried. I eventually threw up. The next morning the pain was gone but I had the flu. I was miserable for about 14 hours and now it's tapering off.

Except- now Layla has the same flu. There has been curdled baby vomit on my clothes most of the day and she insists on one of us holding her. I know she has what I had because she rolls around whining and crying and then once she throws up or goes potty she's happy as a lark playing on her play mat again.

I figure I've got about 3-4 more hours of this yuckiness before it passes for her too. Only I've got a job interview tomorrow so I guess she'll just have to stay home with Daddy while I go off to try and get a job. Poor daddy.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Some days you just don't want to be an adult. Sometimes you lay in bed and remember back when you were younger and Christmas was all about you. You remember don't you...back when you took the giant Sears catalog and you turned down the corners of pages and circled things with a marker. Then Santa brought you free stuff and you got to eat good food and watch Kid's movies on TV in the evening and no one cared? I remember.
So long ago I started this annual party where everyone comes in their PJs and you don't talk about your diet and you eat sloppy joes and corn dogs while no one wonders what sort of person eats tater tots with a side of mac and cheese. You play. You play board games and you drink cocoa and you watch those same Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and Frosty the snowman specials from your childhood.

Every year something happens that we weren't expecting. This year was no exception. Someone brought up twister and then for an hour or two grown adults played the game...sweating...knee shaking... laughing and making jokes. It was priceless.
And there twisted up in our holiday celebration we caught a small glimpse of it again. That part of the holiday where no one worried and everything for one night...was all about us.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Rat Race

Interviews, interviews and not a job to be offered. Ok that's not true. I got offered one job but I don't want it because it doesn't have sick time and you can only take your paid vacation (which you get very little off) during a three month window which is retarded.

This week I have 3 interviews. Two of which I already had. Next week I have two more and I have three more resumes to get out this week. I haven't heard from the job I really wanted which I interviewed for on Wednesday but that's ok.

So far God has been providing for us in ways we didn't see coming. And we are ever so appreciative that although it's tight we're not screwed yet by my not having a job. In fact we're even going to be blessed with a normal Christmas.

So we keep charging on. I keep sending out resumes and applications and Jon keeps going to work every day and coming home to listen to me worry about money while we watch Law and Order.

This weekend we'll be lucky enough to be too busy to worry. It's a weekend of friends and family and I can't wait. And next week we might go on a road trip to visit a cousin between interviews.

With our cat being sent off to live with someone else my daughters issues with dry skin rashes and snotty noses have completely gone away. It's making her much more fun for daddy who was a little frustrated with all the "i need mommy" ness of a baby with snot.

All in all it's been a blessed month. I can't believe I'm saying that but so far it has. I'm also reading a great bible study book which I'll be writing all about when I finish. My cup flows much so I am behind on my blogging. I'll try to be better about that. No really... I will.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Christmas in California

Saturday found my husband and I standing in a 65 degree tree lot in the sun looking for the perfect Douglas Fir tree. We tossed it into the back of my mom's new SUV and jumped into the second lane of traffic to drive the three blocks home again. Once home the hubby put the tree in the stand walked it through the sliding glass door and as I took of my sunglasses and flip flops we decided which side looked the best and then placed it next to the fire place to decorate it. We both know that even though we use the fire place we don't use it to heat the whole house so the tree will be safe for the next 25 days.

The truth is that I decorated most of the house fact I did most of it the day before thanksgiving because now that I have a baby I didn't want to wait till the last minute only to find that my hands were full of fussy infant and I couldn't get it done. This weekend is the small downtown Christmas Parade which is held in the evening and everyone is decorated with lights. We're going to go to a little Bistro on Main Street, have a nice meal and a glass of wine and sit outside where it might get as gold as 45 degrees (so we'll bundle up) and let the kids watch the parade lights pass.

This weekend is also my annual "back in the day" party where people come over in their flannel pjs and bring cookies and we watch the old Christmas classics like Rudolph and Alvin and the Chipmunks and we eat food we liked when we were 7 like hot dogs and chili boats. We'll through in some competition rounds of candy land and chutes and ladders and for a whole day adults act like little kids. I wanted to be decorated for that.

So this morning I walked through my pine scented living room, passed the white light piles of pine cones and the nativity on top of the piano. I walked passed the tree that was bigger than we thought and the presents all decorated in red and white and I sat in my chair. 7:30 am...the babies awake time and we sit in the middle of Winter Wonderland and listen to the Christmas music channel while I drink a pepsi and she has a bottle. She stares at the light and I know in my heart that by this time next year 5 minutes at the tree lot and throwing up the decorations will be a lot more hands on.

Next year she'll start being active in our little California Christmas. Next year she'll walk Christmas Tree Lane and see all the lights and really sing the songs. Next year she'll ooh and awww at the parade and next year she'll pull the ornaments off the tree when we aren't looking or sit on the wrapped boxes when she plays. Next year Santa will have his hands full when we take pictures at the mall.

I can't wait for a sunny California Christmas through the eyes of a toddler.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Layla @ 2 Months Old

My darling daughter,

You are only two months old and already Mommy can not imagine life without you. She can't fathom a day with out being able to be enamoured by your beautiful bright eyes and your elfish little grin. You have become quite the drama queen in the last four weeks, and you now freak out over the little things that are your pet peeves. Luckily for me those things are few and far between but boy are you loud about having something wet touch your face or when something tickles your feet.

You love the bath. When I put you in you cry till the water pours over your head. Then you proceed to take a nap. Every single bath you nap...except the water was only warm and not "nearly hot" and you decided to cry instead. You share my love of really warm baths I suppose.

Today we took pictures with Santa and you slept through the whole thing. You struggled in your sleep to keep Santa's beard from tickling you and to grab ahold of his white puffy coat with one hand to keep him from touching your pacifier which you have gotten very protective about now that you have gotten the hand control to put it in and out of your mouth.

Mommy thinks you will be athletic because at two months you roll without problems, hold up your head when you want to and grab things when you want them. You even try holding your own bottle already and you're getting pretty darn good at it.

This week Daddy put up the Christmas lights and twinkling lights are your favorite thing on the planet. In fact the day they went up you cried when I brought you in the house so daddy had to turn on the indoor lights so you'd calm down. You are a Christmas child, you love the sound of Christmas carols and will lull yourself to sleep if Mommy puts on the 24-7 music channel that plays Seasonal Favorites all day.

This week you also decided you want a 9 pm bedtime. We're ok with that but it took 3 days of you screaming from 8:45 till 9:15 when you crashed out before Mommy figured out to have you in your pjs by 8:45 and rock you in the chair. Sure enough you were out like a light with out crying both times she tried it. And you thought Mommy's couldn't be trained didn't you.

We're all learning and growing over here in the J house. Daddy is learning how to sleep in a smaller spot on the bed because you roll all over. Mommy is learning how to talk on the phone, give you a bottle and answer the door all at the same time. And you, my wonderful baby, are learning to wrap us around that tiny little finger of yours. But that's ok...we kind of like it that way.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


First off, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your turkey and your family time. I hope your team won and that your pie crust was perfectly flaky.

This year I got all the things a girl could want. I have a family that loves me, a baby that's healthy, a husband who makes me giggle like a school girl and hope in my heart. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Waiting to Exhale

There is something dramatically clear about looking for a job while the Christmas displays go up and the Black Friday sales ads come out. It is in this moment of consumer overload that you really start to think about what you need. You start to itemize the things you hold as a priority. You start to outline the things you want your children to understand and appreciate.

I want my kids to know that having debt isn't the answer but that not having debt won't save you from a consumer reality. I want my kids to know that saving for a rainy day will some day save you when you lose your job or your car but that saving isn't the most important thing to do sometimes. I want my kids to know the joy of earning a dollar and the joy of spending a dollar on themselves so that they don't grow up to be the kind of people who act like martyrs in public and grow bitter at home.

There is a certain confidence in knowing that you can be independent and that you will be ok. There is a certain air about a person who knows that they possess skills and that they have value. I want my kids to have that.

I don't ever want my kids to feel like they are waiting to exhale. I don't want them to feel captivated in the moment like they are frozen in time. I want them not to worry, a value they can learn from their father.

As I sit trying to find a job this week I know at least four people who are also looking. People of varying skills, people with different history, people with different personality... some of those people are holding their breath... I can see it in their eyes. They are banking on the unknown in the same way that I am but they aren't as sure they can tread water during high tide.

So I am proud when I see the Christmas display go up and I know that I'll still be having a Christmas. I am proud when the bills come in and I know that they will somehow get paid. I don't know how... but my faith and my history have taught me that it's ok to breath right now and I'm not going to doubt it.

You don't gain anything from waiting to exhale.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vigilent Watch

I watch for it every day. I listen for it in the quiet. I wait for it to come. Judgment looms just beyond each step I take. My soul cries out so loud that the windows and the doors shake and the neighbors who hear my mournful cry look out their windows into the still night and wonder what could make such a noise. I open my eyes and I am alone with them... my inner demons... we wage war. Their doubt and fear plague me and as I struggle to break free from the brokeness that entangles me I search around me for something solid to hold on to.

There in the dim light of the morning I find peace and forgiveness sleeping next to me and I stare at them both as they snore in chorus and I wonder in silent prayer to God how someone so broken as me deserves a love this pure.

Then it washes over me and I know. This forgiveness, all the forgiveness I have been given in my last months of struggle they are a proof of God's love. He has given it to me so that when I can someday confess my brokeness outloud people will be able to look at it and say... wow if someone that broken can have love... I can have it to.

I could never deserve what I have been given. I could never deserve what I have taken and what I have thrown away. Perhaps knowing that is what saves me most. But, in my dreams they dance around me... shadow figures around a fire in the fog and they laugh... you will never be good enough for this life they mock. Their words stab at me like jagged sticks and pound me till I am weak.

This stone upon my chest. This weight upon my back. It is my burden. It is never light. It is never visible but it is pure. It is the purity that the knowledge of salvation gives us. It is that earth spinning knowledge that despite all faults you are loved. It's scary, it's heavy, it's deep and it is constant. And for it, I am grateful even when I can't find the strength in my soul to acknowledge it.

In my panic, in my anxiety I lose grip on it for only moments. Then I am calmed. I hear the breeze rustle the trees outside or I hear the voice of my father in the back of my head. Sometimes I remember the tastes of my childhood or the sounds of the oceans ever constant waves. Something, something in the silence finds me and lulls me back to sleep. He is there in that moment. In the giggle of my sleeping child or the way my husband can crack a joke at the perfect moment.

He gaves this to me. What will I give back in return?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things

From now until Christmas I am going to try to post a couple of my favorite things for presents or things I've gotten that I loved for those of you out there that are looking for the perfect gift.

I'm going to start with my favorite things for kids because lots of us have kids and it's never too early to learn how to be loved well...err... I mean spoiled.

I should start by saying I really like toys that encourage children to be creative and imaginative. Having said that... I'm not really found of the out right "learning toy". I think children learn plenty no matter what the toy is if you play with them. (Please learning-toy-people do not email how my child will be broken forever... it is a battle you will not win with me.)

Ok so my top toys (in no particular order) for kids under 2 this year are as follows-

1. Wooden blocks- I don't care if it's Lincoln Logs, Duplo blocks or the old fashion wooden blocks. It teaches imagination, hand eye coordination, balance, cause and effect, and you can't outgrow them. When your 7 your G.I. Joes can do battle in them, when your 13 you can use them to make a pyramid for history class. You can share them, you can get them wet, you can combine them with other things and you can't really break them... and if you try to eat them they are high in fiber.

The hundred piece block set by Maxim shown above is available at Amazon for around $14.00.

2. Pretend Houses- Most of my childhood was spent in a plastic Fisher Price kitchen. I served up thousands of plastic pieces of cake and glasses of water from tea pots covered with pink daisies into mugs with handles so small my Grandmother couldn't get her finger into them. I was my own little version of a Mommy in my imagination. The care taker for each little dog. The proud owner of an apron and a broom. If I still have that many vivid memories of playing with my house set... your kid will too.

The Rose Petal Cottage by Hasbro shown above is available at Amazon for around $80.00.

3. Classics every kid needs- Every kid needs a red wagon or a tricycle. My favorites are still the classic ones that you can find by Radio Flyer. Radio Flyer has been making these things since 1917. Anything that has been around since 1917 that kids will still play with has got to be a keeper.
Radio Flyer items are available from the Radio Flyer website and range in price from $20 - $200 depending on style and features.

So those are some of my favorite things. If you would like to post about your favorite things on your website please put a link in the comments and I'll add you to the bottom of this blog. We'll be doing this every Tuesday for a month or so.

Monday, November 12, 2007

That's not my nipple I swear

You know it's a bad day when right after you get up someone throws up in your hair and you don't get to take a shower till that night at 9 pm. Of course, the three other times she threw up on me were more entertaining. I especially liked the time she threw up on me by putting her face into my cleavage and barfing down my shirt. Yes... that was good times right there.

My poor boobs. The only action they've gotten in the last month is cold baby hands seeking warmth and projectile baby barf. It's a wonder they haven't gone on strike.

Combo that with a little nipple confusion. We tried to change bottle brands and boy did that not work. Layla spent last night screaming because she refused to drink from the old bottles or the new bottles. After a short nap at 10 pm she woke up at midnight starving and drank 5 ounces in about 3 minutes, burped and then slept till 4 am. Something about the hubby leaving the house always wakes her up. I wish I knew what it was so I could sleep past 4 am again like I used to a few weeks ago. Granted, she's still sleeping a minimum of 6 hours at a time.

This morning we were in the living room tenatively sucking from an old bottle (it's like she thinks I'll trick her and mid feeding it will turn into a new bottle) and the swing in the living room powered itself on and started swinging at a speed 3. Then the light went off the console when I tried to turn it off but the swing kept swinging. It's been 2 hours and the swing has stopped but you can still hearing it making swing noises.

Creepy much?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Simple Joy

Staying home with your child for a few months can teach you a lot about yourself. I've learned I don't deal well with crying for more than 20 minutes because I'm a sucker. I've learned I curse like a sailor over spilled milk. I've learned oxy-clean is a product of the Gods which removes baby ickies from anything. I've learned how to do three things at once. And I learned to remember that I used to love simple joys.

I used to get great joy out of a windy day. I'd throw my hands out to my sides on the way to school and as I walked down the street I'd spin in the breeze whipping my hair around my face and making me giggle. It made my heart race in the morning to hear that breeze outside the window when I woke up. I loved my cold hands waving around me in the icy air of morning. It was free, pure, innocent fun.
My daughter gets a simple joy from hearing people sing to her. She giggles and coos and watches in wide eyed amazement as you make sounds she loves, whether it be a hummed melody or an off key ballad for her it's the best show off broadway and she'd love nothing more than to hear it over and over again. Throw in the ability to see the ceiling fan at the same time and she'll lay there with her heart racing and her little feet kicking until the end of your final encore performance.
My neice is all about adventure. She loves the next corner before she ever turns it. She wants to be higher, faster, and farther from whereever she has already been. She's always looking for something to get into, something open or close, something to hide behind. She's constantly moving, going as fast as her little flat feet will carry her. You can follow the sound of her flinstone step and her care free giggles from room to room all day.
Her simple joy and the wonder in my daughters eyes have led me back to a more childish time. I hand her oreo cookies with reckless abandon and watch her learn about the adventures of new tastes. Then I take my daughter out into the foggy morning for a minute to let her feel the coldness against her skin and I stand in simple joy watching them learn about those things that are pure, free, innocent fun.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hopelessly Devoted

This weekend was my daughters baby dedication at our church. It was also the homecoming for Jon and I who haven't been to church since Easter, partially because of baby complications and partially because of bad scheduling and laziness. It was a sweet moment...a reunion filled with showing off our new baby, getting hugged by people we've missed very much and presenting ourselves before everyone as a family that is dedicated to providing the best relationship between our daughter and God.

Monday, November 05, 2007

In Passing

I am always amazed by how deep a person can get into something before they realize they are in over their head. I myself fall victim occassionally to my own temptations, demons, double booking and doubt. I sit around thinking about the next thing instead of focusing on the thing I'm currently doing. Things get lost in the passing of time.

This month I'm trying to keep my focus. I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize. I'm living in the moments of being a new mom and spending a little less time on the phone, out with friends or swallowed up in my own perceptions of what could be important. I've blogged less. I've shared less and I've learned more.

I've learned that I was missing a lot in the passing and some parts of my life were passing me up.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dreams Jobs

November 1st marks the start of my new journey. Today I dust off the resume and start looking for that dream job that is always just a little out of reach. Before I started my search I made a list of things I need from a job. Not material things like how much money I'll make or what benefits I'd like but that list of things I never really felt like I ever truly got from any of my old jobs. At least, I never got all of them at once.

I want a job where the people I work with want my opinion. I want a job where I get to be creative and where I get recognised when I do creative things. I want a job where I will get to go home from work at the end of the day and enjoy my husband and my daughter with out worrying about something, checking my email or answering calls every single night. I want a job that makes me feel appreciated. Mostly, I want a job that doesn't feel like a job.

Don't we all? I mean I like hard work just as much as the next person but I like to enjoy my hard work. Let me tell you a few things I don't enjoy... I don't enjoy feeling like I'm always in training for the next thing. I want a job where I can be happy with what I'm doing without always thinking about what the next move up the ladder is.

Hopefully, I'll find it. And when I do... I'll tell you all about it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Things We Do For Love

I'm sure some day my daughter will forgive me for dressing her up like a pumpkin complete with a hat with a stem on top.
This being my first Halloween as a parent I find myself thinking about what traditions I want to start once Layla is old enough to remember them. The picture evidence of costumes we'd be embarrassed about will have to last till then.

What Halloween traditions do you and your family have?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

To Layla @ One Month Old

My Little Layla-bug,

It's baffling to mommy that you could already be one month old but I look at the calendar today and sure enough here it is the first month anniversary of your birth. You have been around only one month and already you are the most important thing in my life. You have become my center of gravity and I revolve around you changing your diapers, feeding you and letting you nestle next to me in bed to sleep.

Daddy mentioned last night that eventually you will have to go to your own crib. I laid in bed after he fell asleep and my heart broke. I love daddy very much and sharing a bed with him is one of my favorite parts of being married but I know a little part of our relationship will shatter when you move to the other room in the near future. I awaken sometimes in the middle of the night and the light from the closet (which we leave on so I can see you when you make noises) casts a little shadow across the bed where you and daddy lay in the exact same position snoring in chorus.

I feel your breath against my chest as I sleep because you always roll yourself on your right side when we lay you down. You're a strong little girl, already kicking and holding your head up, grabbing onto things to inspect them and rolling yourself around to get to where you want to go. Right now you want to go next to me and it makes my heart swell.

You are a determined and stubborn child. You hardly ever cry but you are more than willing to scream a protest at anyone who attempts to make you wear socks. You hate socks. You spend a good deal of your day trying to keep things away from your feet because you are very ticklish just like your father. You give people stink eye when they try to wrestle you into footwear. It's very funny to watch.

When we laugh you laugh. Strike that. When daddy laughs or Grandpa Glen laughs you laugh. When mommy laughs you look at her like she's crazy. You have a great little laugh and an impish grin that makes grown men melt like butter. You are quite the little charmer.

In addition to winning over your family, god parents and most our friends you have an uncanny ability to be the center of attention in public places. You lay there, peacefully sleeping in your car seat, and perfect strangers will walk up to mommy and comment on how lucky she is and how beautiful you are. Mommy always agrees because she's bias but the truth of the matter is that you are beautiful because of your uncanny ability to love everyone already.

When we hand you to someone you immediately trust them, you slip into their arms and drift ever so slowly to sleep until you overflow on to their lap or chest and you make little happy noises and you slumber. Your purity of heart makes people feel loved and they hug you and sigh. Don't get me wrong I'm not handing you to strangers but I have yet to introduce you to a family member or friend who wasn't warmed with your charming little spirit.

It's only been a month and it seems as though somehow at the same time you have always been here and like you've only just arrived. You're like watching fireworks, my own little pyrotechnic show. You burst with life, you explode with love, you glitter with newness of life and you are a startling reminder of how dramatic lives best changes can be.

Daddy and I love you more than you could possibly imagine.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Interview by Cheryl @ Red Pens & Diapers

Cheryl over at Red Pens & Diapers (link in the sidebar) got interviewed by another blogger on her site and she asked if any of us would like to be interviewed by her. I volunteered because it sounded like fun and these are the questions she asked me. If anyone would like to be interviewed by me I'm offering up the same deal just email me or leave something in the comments section and I'll send you 5 questions as well.

1) I know you're a talented chef. What is your most hated food that you would never prepare?

I really dislike brussel sprouts. I even hate the way they smell so I would never ever cook a brussel sprout in my own home or anyone else's for that matter. I also have never had great luck with home-made corn bread so I try to avoid that one whenever possible and use a mix. I'm allergic to oranges so we hate those around here too.

2) What do you see happening with your career over the next five years?

I recently got terminated from my job (and no I'm not going to talk about it so don't ask). In the next five years I'll be developing myself in a new career that has yet to be determined and won't be until the end of my SDI for the C- Section I just had. But, I know this much... you learn something from everything you do and I learned a lot from this job...both doing it and leaving it that will be helpful no matter where I go.

3) What is one thing you are craving today?

I am a huge pepsi with ice person and most of my readers know that. What you don't know is that I always want one. It's like be an addict. I'm always thinking about my next pepsi with ice. But not food related today I crave forgiveness and grace. Which I think all of us crave at one time or another in our life.

4) You've had an interesting spiritual path, to say the least. What are you going to tell Layla about it?

Actually this topic comes up a lot in my family. I'm going to be telling my daughter the truth...from a very young age about all the things I've gone through spiritually and how they developed me as a person. If it weren't for some of the pagan things I did my belief would be different and I think that's important for her to understand. I'll tell her to focus on loving well because I think that's the most important part of any religion. And I'll tell her that the grace in Christianity appealed to a broken part of my soul and so I choose to be filled with it. I will tell her that I still struggle daily and that I still sin. And then I will tell her that no matter what path she walks me, daddy and God will always love her.

5) If you suddenly found yourself to be the Queen of the World, what five rules would you immediately impose on your kingdom?

Rule #1- Love others well. Forgive them without question. Accept them without judgment. Help them without asking for something in return.
Rule #2- Be yourself. You are perfect just the way God created you. A brilliant mix of imperfection and chaos. You may not believe it but you will if you just focus on being who you really are.
Rule #3- Learn from your mistakes and from the things you did right. You will fail. You will have shame. You will succeed. You will know joy. No matter what you do right or wrong you can learn so much more from doing things than you can from judging them or watching them from a distance.
Rule #4- Live life like it is something you can't do over because you can't do it over. My mother used to say it was better to be odd than boring. I don't know that I'm odd but I'm definitely willing to make an ass of myself in order to try something and I've gained a lot from can you.
Rule #5- If in doubt...see rule number one... it's the most important.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tom Cruise Can Kiss My Ass

Day by day you learn things you didn't know as your pregnancy progresses and then after you become a mom you learn things you didn't know you didn't know. For instance I didn't know that there was such a thing as post partum anxiety. Everyone talks about PP depression but PPA is just as common. I'm not sad and I have never wanted to leave or to go back to pre-baby... I'm anxious and worried all the time.

Worried about my daughter, my job, worried the dishwasher will break, worried I'll be hot when I get there, worried that I'm worrying too much, worried I haven't worried in awhile. And then I cry not because I'm sad but because I'm seriously stressed the f*ck out and my heart is racing and I don't feel like I'm bonding correctly because I'm too busy worrying I'll forget something or remember something or something will change or not change.

Then the baby wakes up because she realizes I have left the room and she cries. She is worried. I pick her up and she is instantly calm and smiles at me and I think "yea this is the good life" but soon she drifts off to sleep and my mind wanders off to the land were things are unsettled.

Today I called my mother and unloaded the kind of stress only a mother will listen to without telling you to "buck up cowboy" and when I finished she advised me it was time to call my Dr and start enjoying my maternity leave.

I don't believe in magic little pills or maybe it's just that I don't want to believe that everything will be ok because then if it isn't I'll be worried again but I'm ordering my little pills because I couldn't pray my way through this one. Sometimes when you give it to God he tells you to call in reinforcements.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

8 Hour Nights

The last two nights Layla has slept from 11 pm until just before 7 am. That's 8 hours for those of you that are bad at math. People often wonder why a person would want to co-habitationally sleep with their kids in their bed... well that's why people... 8 glorious hours.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Looking Back

I vividly remember the day of my ultrasound. I remember the anxiety of waiting for the heartbeat and the anticipation of finding out the sex of our baby and I remember the ultra sound of little tiny feet. Out of all the pictures for some reason those little tiny feet became my symbol of hope... ten perfect little toes and two tiny little heels. They were done... completely made...the way God intended them to be...the first fully baked part of my baby.
She's two weeks old now and I find myself still fascinated by her little tiny feet. Tiny little perfect arches, perfect ten little toes- all if it so pink and little. Some day these feet will walk, some year down the road they will dance her through her prom and years after that they will carry her down the aisle. They've stopped being a little sign of hope and have started being a tool. They will be a part of her future she takes for granted.
I'll tell her. I'll tell her about how she used to kick anything that touched my stomach while she was in the womb. I'll tell her about the blue bruise I had for the last two months of my pregnancy from her kicking the table when I sat too close to it. I'll tell her about the little picture of her ultra sound and how those little toes meant so much to me. I'll show her this picture of her little perfect feet just days after she was born and I'll tell her how she was so ticklish when we got her home we couldn't put socks on her and sometimes she'd cry when her blankie rubbed her feet wrong.

She'll think I'm a silly old woman when I talk about her feet and maybe I will be a silly old woman. But I walked a long path, I'll tell her, I walked the halls of the Drs office and the corridors of the hospital, I walked the tile floors in the living room when she cried and I'll walk with her down to every memory she'll let me. And I'll be the silly old woman who loves her from the top of her head to the bottom of the perfect little feet we all prayed so hard for.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Ticker

The little ticker in the sidebar of this blog says that Layla should be 3 days old. According to the powers that be she would be coming on the 12th of October but she had plans of her own and instead of celebrating her birth last night we celebrated her umbilical cord falling off with a real in the bath tub bath. A bath that made her already slightly unruly hair even more wild and unpredictable.

My little Libra born at the end of September when she was the least expected already lives up to her sign. The Libra is the only astrological sign that is not an animal or a human. It is based on the constellation Libra... the scales.

Little Libra if your sign holds true you will be clever, articulate, outgoing, fair, artistic, social, refined, diplomatic, sensual, even-tempered character. Your friends will find you co-operative, demonstrative, playful, open-minded, self-sufficent, pleasant, partnership oriented, graceful, idealistic, charismatic, and peaceful. You might be prone to rationalize, indecisive, are also thought to be flirtatious, extravagant, frivolous, impatient.

From best I can tell you got the best of your father and myself. You are laid back and gentle like he is but fiesty and playful like I am. And you already have a little of the worst of us... you are quick to temper like I am and quick to let things roll off your back like your father (while some think that's a great trait it has it's faults).

You'll be your own little person soon enough. Your personality blossoms every day. Your little smiles have purpose already and you've taken rolling onto your right side on as a personal goal which you often conquer on the first try.

You are beautiful, everyone says so, strangers tell us when we go out to eat. People stop to look at you. But they don't know the truth... the beauty of your wavy hair and tiny body someday will be so unimportant and mommy knows the truth...your real beauty lies within.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meeting Your Match

There comes a point around 4:30 a.m. when your child is enjoying her awake time once again during the wrong time of the day that a new mom has to admit it. She's met her match.

I should have known a few days earlier when she flashed the devilish grin above at her uncle or the day she held her breath when I tried to put socks on her but I didn't figure it out until last night.

Perhaps it was the fact that she refused to eat at her normal time, or the fact that it took an extra hour to rock her to sleep that clued me in. Maybe is was the way she laid awake on the bed between myself and my husband cooing ever so slightly and wiggling to remind me to stay awake.

Or perhaps it was the fact that when I picked her up she melted into my arms, buried her head into my chest and sighed her whole body weight into my breast...relaxing finally... looking into my eyes with her little blue baby eyes, letting her lips curl up into a gentle grin and reaching out an outstretched hand and giving me a nipple twister with her right hand.

And as I gasp for air and swear under my breath arching my body to get away from the worlds smallest purple nurple grip... she then gently slipped off to sleep with her other hand placed ever so innocently on the side of her head like a little cherub in a pink onsie.

I'm so proud.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Get the Memo

Dear Boobs,

We are not breast feeding. Please stop leaking milk. It's been over a week and no one has drank from you. Please take the hint. The tenants are tired of waking up in a puddle every morning. We understand you're disappointed but we assure you, you do have other purposes... like holding up great tops and helping us determine when it is cold. Not producing milk will not effect your employment.

Thank you,
The Management

When there isn't a lot to blog about

So recovering from a C Section is pretty easy if you have to get up and walk around right away. The baby sleeps a good 5 hours a time at night and Jon goes back to work tomorrow. Yep. That's it.

We've had a few visitors but mostly I sit around watching TV and feeding on demand. That's pretty normal from what I hear. Tomorrow I have a Drs appt so my mom is coming over to take me and the day after Layla has another well baby check.

That's about it...sorry... wish I could give you more.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Five Things I learned in my First 5 Days Home

There are a lot of things people tell you about being home the first week with a baby. Here are 5 things people cleverly forgot to mention ...

1. The bible doesn't talk about when Hannah got Samuel home. It doesn't tell you she checked to see if he was breathing 350 times the first day or that she had to be holding him most of the time. They don't tell you that because they don't want you to worry... but it's normal...or so I've been informed to have to hold your own child a lot in the beginning.

2. Newborn diapers don't fit newborns. They are a waste of money. My daughter is a week old and they are too small. Now if only I didn't have 2 packs of them left. Good thing she was early or we would have thrown away4 packs of diapers.

3. A child 3 hours old can take off a hat or socks if she doesn't like them. She can't hold up her own head but she can sure as shit get something off it if she doesn't want it there.

4. Anxiety sucks at bed time. Turns out it's so normal with NICU baby moms that the have a term for it called "extreme birth anxiety"... but they aren't going to tell you about it. Oh no. They are going to send you home. Let you wake up at 2 am unable to breath. Panick. When you call in and go see a Dr they will shrug it off. This is not a good time to threaten to hit someone in the baby maker... but you'll think about it.

5. If perhaps, during labor your husband should make a joke about the fact that you are hurting his hands during contractions. If you tell him to breath through it everyone will laugh...mainly because he's been saying that for 25 hours straight. But the moment you get home... that man... he's a different one than the one you married because you've seen him in crisis and it makes him the most handsome person you've ever known... even when he's swearing at a video game while you do the dishes...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Layla Grace's Birth Story

Thursday afternoon was just like all the appointment days before it. I waited impatiently for my appointment time, talking to friends, stopping by work and hanging out with family. Jon went to work and I went to my appoint at 2:15 fully expecting what I had been getting for the last several weeks, an NST... and more waiting.

Within minutes of seeing the midwife my view of the afternoon was changed. My blood pressure was high, the baby was tacky and with my yellow skin and itchy complex the midwife decided it was time to meet our baby. She found the OBGYN and got the clear to have me induced.

We went to her office and while she called make sure there was a bed for me in the Labor and Delivery Ward I called my husband to tell him it was go time and to leave work and meet me at the hospital. In the time it took me to cross the street to the hospital and find a parking spot the bed in Labor and Delivery had been given away but while I filled out paperwork they found an OB check room to put me in.

In the OB check room with my husband (this room is like a closet with a bed in it people...seriously) he started calling family and telling them what we had been told. I would be induced with gel... if I didn't progress I'd go home and come back Monday... if I progressed we'd have a baby before the next morning.

Our mothers both decided to come to the hospital. While we waited for them in the tiny room I was induced and hooked up to the monitors, and an IV. After a few hours I was checked and I had progressed from 2-3 centimeters to 4-5 centimeters so more gel was applied and I was moved to another room to wait a few more hours.

When the midwife came back I had progressed again... so more gel... and this time they broke my bag of waters, hooked a monitor up for the baby and my contractions internally and told me she'd be back in another couple hours. We were super excited when she came back... I had been having strong regular contractions, breathing through them with my husband for hours and I had dialated to 7 centimeters.

Here is where the story gets complicated. At this point it was probably 10 pm. By midnight I was still at 7 centimeters but my contractions were getting stronger so I kept waiting. I had been ruptured so we were having a baby and I kept telling myself I just had to make it awhile longer.

People came and went visiting when they could between the contractions and I labored on... I lost track of time and day. I lost track of morning. I panicked and my husband ever the strong and unwaivering man of my dreams talked me through each and every pain.

For 25 hours we labored...naturally...breathing together, cursing together, screaming together... I moaned and waited. I eventually let a nurse talk me into an epidural at about hour 20 which didn't work and then about an hour after that I got a "tickler" which made my whole body numb like novicaine. It was a last ditch effort. I had lost my ability to communicate and function well... but I progressed at some point to 10 centimeters and the babies head had engaged...then she just stopped progressing. The tickler was an attempt to get me to relax enough to get her to start moving again.

I had good nurses and had horrible nurses. Near the end I had a nurse who kept telling me she knew labor was hard and that I wasn't progressing because I wasn't relaxing. I kept telling her it didn't feel right. I had an urge to push but if I pushed or relaxed with each contraction I felt as if the baby was being pushed into my pelvic bone and hip. She kept telling me I was being irrational. If I ever find her in a dark alley I'm going to kick her ass.

At the 25 hour mark the actual OBGYN came in. At this point, 2 ticklers, an epidural and many many hours of natural labor before that he was worried about the baby and my blood pressure. He said I needed a C-Section and he (and my husband) looked honestly shocked when I agreed.

Within 20 minutes we were in procedure room and they slowly made me numb while explaining what would happen. Nurses calmed me and the Dr reassured me till my husband came to sit by my side and then they retrieved my darling daughter from my womb.

The baby it appears had been stuck in my cervix like a mayo jar lid twisted on at the wrong angle. She was also face up. She would have never made it out on her own. As they pulled her out my husband took pictures and I told him to stay with her as they rushed her to the NICU for treatment.

Despite being 8 lbs 2 oz she was 3 weeks early and the combination of my being in labor for over a full day without eating anything, her early little lungs and all those tickler drugs she wasn't breathing well. They let me see her for about 2 seconds before they took her off. As my husband left with her I yelled don't let anyone see her till I see her. He didn't.

After I was stitched up I was taken to a post op room where my husband and eventually my family joined me. High on pain killers I was happy as a lark. They told me the baby was ok and just in the NICU for the night and I sighed in relief. It was 6:28 on Friday night.

It took a few hours to get me to a bed in the Mother Baby ward. On the way I was allowed to stop by the NICU where a nurse brought my daughter out for 5 minutes to show her to me. I wasn't able to move because of the drugs so I just cried and looked at her. I was given pain killers and put to bed. My family and my husband went home around 10:30.

The next morning I awoke to find out my daughter would not be in my room. Her suck, swallow & breath reflex wasn't fully developed and she kept turning blue when she tried to eat. Her blood sugar was low and they had her on IV's and monitors. She was down the hall and I couldn't get to her. I was stuck in bed.

The nurses marveled. By the end of the first day I was down the hall in a wheelchair and by the end of the first night I could walk there. I was the fasted they had ever seen a person get out of bed after a C- Section. For 2 days I made the trip for every feeding I could. If I couldn't go I sent my husband. I talked to peds drs and I refused pain meds if I thought they would make my head foggy.

But on day 3 my daughter and I were both discharged home...together. Her first night in our house the first night I spent with her.

All in all the story won't matter some day. How she got here is already so unimportant to me. I know people prayed her here from start to finish and it was God's blessing alone that got us through.

I prayed each day as I got out of the recovery bed and each night as I walked away from the NICU but I always new in my heart that she was going to be OK.

Today was her first well baby check with our peditrician. Since coming home she has developed excellent eating skills, her color has changed and she is a wonderful healthy...premature... 8 lb baby.

I bet you never thought you'd see an 8 lb NICU baby...

A special thanks to God who gave me this precious gift, my husband who kept me focused and kept providing even when he didn't know what to provide, my family who loved unconditionally and to those of you who prayed...and continue to pray still.

Monday, October 01, 2007

25 hours of natural labor + 2 Drs doing a 2 hour C- Section = 1 Layla Grace

I'm finally home from the hospital today. It was a rough ride. Here is one picture to hold you over. More pictures will go up on Layla's site over the next couple days & I'll post the story once I'm up to it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

She's finally here!

So actually this is the "hubby" as Allie likes to call me on here. I was just posting to let all of her readers know that at 6:30 last night (Friday, Sept. 28) Allie gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Layla weighed in at 8lbs. 2oz. and is 21in. long. She was delivered by C-Section, and mom and baby are doing just fine.

I'd go into more detail about the whole process, but I know that Allie will have a much more eloquent (as well as personal) way of telling it than I ever could. They should both be out of the hospital on Monday, so I'm sure that you'll get that story soon after. Thank you to all who prayed for us through this time. We realy appreciate it.

Pictures will come in a few days.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I don't call... I don't write...

It's been a few days. It's been enough days that some of you have called or sent an email wondering where I am. I'm here. I'm stuck in the middle... in the middle of contractions that don't lead to anything, in the middle of being sick to my stomach and in the middle of waiting.

Tomorrow morning I have a blood test then I am going to stop by work and check on the girls and then I have a Drs appt at 2:15 to see if I'm ripe enough to induce yet. After that I may or may not get to have a baby.

So far... I spend a lot of time sitting on the couch, laying on my left side, and nesting in small bursts.

Not a lot to update really... just waiting some more... praying... open open open

Sunday, September 23, 2007

All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go

I'm not leaving on a jet plane... much to Aerosmith's dismay I'm not quoting their song. I am however finally the proud owner of a fully packed hospital bag. Just in case I need know... being as I have another appt tomorrow in which I may or may not be told I get to have a baby.

So we're praying for dialation people.

Friday, September 21, 2007

5 Hours of Waiting

After this mornings appt at 9 it was more laying around the Drs office being monitored and then after a look at my urine (TMI sorry) it was determined I was way to dehydrated for a woman who was 9 months pregnant so off the the EMC Labor and Delivery Unit we went.

I got a nice dose of IV fluids combined with anti-vomit meds. Layla got another NST stress test and they monitored my BP for awhile. I watched the cooking channel and took a nap. My dutiful husband stayed by my side even when I threatened to scream and vomit because they gave me an IV (I did neither by the way).

Today I got information though and I feel a little better having it. Until I have dialation on my own I'm not a candidate for being induced (only for a C-Section) and as long as I'm not dying and neither is the baby he'd rather not give me a C-Section because I have had a pretty high risk pregnancy and he doesn't want to make my "next" pregnancy even more difficult. Plus I'm at 37-38 weeks (depending on who you ask) so I should start dialating on my own soon he'd rather stick it out.

As soon as we get an opening in the cervix we'll be inducing me. Thus the every 3 day appts to check Layla and make sure I don't need a C-Section and to check that little opening for a chance to run with the bulls.

So for the next three days I'll be laying around on my side, taking anti-vomit pills and thinking about the new Sizzler salad bar which I really want to go to...while impatiently waiting for my green flag.

37 Weeks

In one hour I have an OBGYN appt. I'm torn between wanting them to induce me and being terrified they will induce me. The thought of a still birth is constantly looming overhead now and I don't like it. I haven't held down/in food for more than 30 minutes in 6 days and I've scratched my skin so much I have cuts and gashes from my fingernails on my chest, feet and hands. I am exhausted but I can't sleep.

I lay in bed each night alternating between waiting for Layla to move and praying that she's ok and then praying I can stop itching long enough to just sleep a little bit.

All I want is a healthy baby. I'm sure that's all anyone wants at this stage. I'm just not sure I know (or anyone else knows for that matter) that whatever we will do will result in a healthy baby.

Today we hit 37 weeks. In my Drs office 38 weeks is the magic number. One more week and they won't worry about lung function, liver issues or early labor... but I'm not sure I'll make it that long. Layla's heartbeat was strong on Wednesday and although I couldn't feel them I was having contractions about every 2 minutes... but I have not dialated to the best of my knowledge so there is no sign of a natural end in sight.

I knew I was sick and losing motivation when my fear of IV needles which I've had since I was 5 was suddenly gone. Heck, I think I'd even be ok with a C section at this point. I've thrown up 4 times since 4 am. That can't be good for either of us... surgery sounds better than slowly wilting away.

But, there is still hope in my prayers. They said we couldn't get pregnant. They said we couldn't make it past the first trimester. They said we'd spend months on bed rest. They said a lot of things. God said... hey... wait till the 35th week then we're going to make you miserable so you'll truly understand the miracle of life I am giving you.

Ok God. I'm listening.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Complicated...err... I mean a complication

So in the last 2 weeks I've found out about a lot of things I don't have and now finally one thing that I do have. I don't have Group Strep B, Strep Infection, or an infection of my "fill in the blank" (I've been diagnosed with 3). What I do have is called Cholestasis of the Liver.

Cholestasis in pregnancy has wonderful symptoms like all over body itching (think about chicken poxs minus the rash), flu-like symptoms (vomiting and diarrehea...ewww), jaundice of the skin (I'm yellow people), exhaustion (um... all pregnant people are exhausted in the 9th month) and a couple more symptoms I am lucky enough not to have yet.

It is caused by a decrease in liver function and according to all the websites is horrible for me and the baby. It can cause still birth if not monitored correctly. There are no meds you can take to fix it and the only cure is to have a baby. So I'll be going to the Dr every 3 days, doing lots of NST, praying a lot and most of all... I'll be being induced soon... very soon... as soon as they determine lung function is good.

Please pray for Layla. I know I'll be fine. I'm a big girl (literally) but she's going to need some functioning lungs right quick like.

Scary? Yes. Sick? Yes. Ready? Yes. Let's do this already.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Someone Had a Baby Boy

Nope. Not me. My sister in law... isn't he cute. 8 lb 3 oz 21 inches long...born at 2:30 this morning.

Friday, September 14, 2007

36 Weeks- Give or Take

Again today I was given another due date...October 7th this time. We'll see. I'll believe it when I see it. Today's OBGYN appt revealed a whole lot of nothing. I'm still at 1 - 2 centimeters, I have no effacement. And to top things off I have an infection and might have Strep B.

So I was swabbed, poked and proded and then they said to watch my salt intake because I've had some numbness issues. I'm off work on STD now and been assigned 2 hours of bedrest in the morning and evening every day. Yep, 4 hours a day in bed... that's gonna suck.

I go back again next Friday. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Right Tool 4 the Job

So one of my many pet peeves in life are people who don't use the right tool for a job. You know the people who use a butter knife as a screw driver or a business card for a tooth pick. It applies to everything really, people who don't know the difference between a comment online and something you should write an email to... people who fill out legal documents in pencil... that person who had to be told via the warning sticker that you can use a toaster to heat up " non-food items". Yes... you... it's not a sock warmer.

I spend a lot of my time reminding myself that some people just don't think about what they are doing. Some people have some sort of flighty air head nature about them that tells them there is no such thing as a stupid question and that it's ok to ask your not stupid question in a public place. I don't care what your teacher said... there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Dane Cook has a comedy routine that says in every group there is an @-hole. If you think your group doesn't have an @-hole it's probably you. Well stupid questions work in much the same way... if you aren't frustrated by stupid questions often... I fear you are probably the one asking them.

So how do you tell someone that they are skating around on your last nerve using your biggest pet peeve like a pitchfork? How do you nicely say...'um did you think about that first'? How do you tell someone why people think they are the @-hole sometimes?

I don't know. I do know that sometimes I ask stupid questions and sometimes I'm the @-hole in the group. Usually both can be blamed on lack of sleep, hormones and an illegit-assumption that I have a right to judge something someone else is doing.

Because really judging that something is prideful and awful, feeling entitled to be "right" isn't any of my business. There is only one person entitled to always be right and he comes with a choir of angels, eternal salvation and a wicked sense of humor (oh come on I've seen a platapus and I've eaten a star fruit).

So what makes your question stupid? What makes you the @-hole? What makes it the wrong tool for the job? Intention probably... because no matter what you intended to do if you aren't using the right tools the right way...well you're just another pet peeve waiting to happen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Say It Like You Mean It

For the last 2 weeks when people ask me how I'm feeling or how the pregnancy is going I always answer "I'm ready to be done" but in the back of my head I'd always silently add...almost. You see I'm a planner and I wasn't quite done yet. I needed a diaper bag. I am the only woman in America who registered for a diaper bag and did not get it at her baby shower so I had to order one from Babies R Us. They take a long time to stick things in the mail at the baby store. So it took almost a week and a half for me to get my new messanger bag style diaper bag. But it's here. There is stuff in it. I'm ready now. She can come whenever she wants.

My Drs appt is on Friday and I have prepared myself for him telling me it will still be weeks. Because really it should be weeks... even if I'm itchy all over and I can't sleep that doesn't mean the time frame should be shorter...although I know I'm totally willing to try to find ways to make it that way... now that I am done shopping.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Houston We Have a Problem

It appears that while I didn't realize it I actually bought a bassinet for the cat. I can't keep her out of it, and even if I could I might not want to because while she sleeps in it she's not trying to sleep on my chest. Now the problem is, where do you put the baby... down the hall in the crib? in the moses basket on the bed? I dunno... I guess we'll deal with that when we get there.

I'm so bored. I'm not even on full maternity leave yet and I'm already making myself little lists of things to do because without them I'm bored stiff.

God I hope she comes early.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

35 Weeks

My sister in law has spent this last week on the brink of labor. She's also 2 centimeters but is 50% effaced and having contractions 2-3 minutes apart...for 3 days now. She's going to end up being about a week to two weeks early. I am jealous.

My other sister in law told me a month or so ago that 36 weeks along you just suddenly want to be done being pregnant. I couldn't agree more. I am suddenly very pissed when I drop something and I have to bend over to pick it up. I don't want to do anything or go anywhere I just want to give birth so I can have my freedom of mobility back. Even if it's with my hands full.

Today is my 1st anniversary. It comes at the end of a very bad week. Family fueds, my insurance dropped the hospital I'm supposed to deliver at and I hit the 36 week wall...give or take a few days. I love my husband to death... but I see take out food and bad tv in our anniversary plans.

I have an OBGYN appt on the 14th and after that I'll be off work...but even that doesn't make me excited. I just want to eat, nap and have a baby already. Well... I want to wait till Wednesday to have the baby at least...that's when the last of the baby stuff should arrive and we'll be ready for her. But other than that... I just want to be done.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

9 Mo Preggo

Just in case anyone forgot exactly how big an 8-9 pound baby looks in a curvy girl... I give you the little black dress... in all it's stretched out...maxed out... preggo out... glory.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I had it...then I lost it...

I had this long post ready about my weekend and then my laptop battery died. I decided not to retype it. Instead I am writing this lovely short post about my OBGYN appt today.

I'm starting to dialate, I'm at between 1-2 centimeters. I go back in a week and a half (to get me on the right weekday for how far along I am now).

The baby they think is between 8-9 pounds. Yikes!

That's about it.

Friday, August 31, 2007

34 Weeks

So this week has been extremely busy. Company meetings, client presentations, payroll runs, event planning, event attending, etc have all been back to back to back. So I wasn't at all suprised when I started having Braxton Hicks.

Then today the OBGYN calls me to tell me my glucose is fine, my iron is fine but from the looks of it I might be farther along then they think... they thought I was 34 weeks but I could be as much as 2 weeks off... that's 36 weeks people!! That would put me at Oct 2nd which is the date I've been using all along. We find out for sure at my appt on Tuesday.

That explains why the baby dropped in week 33, and why for the last two days I have a contraction every hour on the hour. The time it is a coming.

It's probably still a few weeks out. Past the baby shower, past the last day at work, past the point of no return, but definitely past 34 weeks... because according to today's call...we're already there.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

6 AM Ramblings

Yesterday was a busy day. I had to run payroll at work, I had a client meeting across town and the power went off half way through training someone. By the time I got home at 4 I was hot, tired and still had a good hour worth of work related stuff to do. It happens sometimes.

The hubby worked the closing shift at work last night so I made my way through the evening talking to my mother on the phone, making myself a simple dinner and watching law & order reruns. When I went to bed at 8:30 I was exhausted.

Perhaps that is why as soon as I went to bed I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. I've had them off and on all night, never quite comfortable, never 100 % asleep. It is 6 am and 45 minutes ago I gave up on sleeping altogether.

I have a client presentation today and a company meeting I am in charge of tomorrow. As you already know the weekend is completely booked. I'm hoping this sleeping problem goes away tonight because otherwise I might look very poorly by my OBGYN appt Tuesday afternoon.

The best part? If you are up at 6 am there is nothing to eat, nothing on tv and you can't make any noise because the hubby wants to sleep. So what do you do at 6 am? You work. From home.

God I'm pathetic.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Do Over Day

Today was the infamous do over of my glucose test. Today was also the day I got to do over two things I had previously had done at work. At least I thought I had them done till someone informed me I was doing them over.

All in all, if I make it through this week I'm going to develop a large head...a swelled ego...a huge burst of confidence...ok more like an intense desire to take a nap.

Tomorrow I get to run a company worth of payroll, attend two meetings and do a client demo. The next day I get to prep for an event, do a client meeting and update my staff for while I'm out. The day after that I have a huge company meeting and a huge sales meeting. Saturday is my baby shower and my husband's birthday party (and the caterer just canceled for his party) and Sunday is my sister in laws baby shower which I am throwing (and totally ready for yo!). Monday is a holiday and I will the person laying on the couch in a near coma if anyone needs me because Tuesday I have a full work day and an OBGYN appt where hopefully I will be pulled from work and put on maternity leave...because if I'm not... I'm going to cry.