Archive for April, 2011

  • The Secret Club

    Date: 2011.04.26 | Category: Baby, Family, Life, Sarah, Weirdness, Work | Response: 9

    Now that I’m a mom, my eyes are being opened to this whole other world…

    I took a short break today. Mom came by and watched Sarah while I made a 30 minute run to Target. It was 3:00 in the afternoon. The store was peacefully quiet. The only people there were other mommies toting around their babies and toddlers (oh and the random college and high school kid who didn’t have a job). Shopping was painless. I didn’t have to wait in line. And the mommies? They all just looked at each other knowingly.

    I am so used to shopping during the weekends and fighting the after work crowds for everything that the whole experience went much faster than I anticipated and kind of came as a shock.

    Another moment of “welcome to a world with children” came during our first pediatrician visit. As Mark and I sat with Sarah, we watched the other parents filtering in. Some with toddlers, some with babies, some with 12-year-olds. We realized at that moment that we had really left the no-kids world behind and willingly joined this new club. A club where all these people cater to their little people. Their priorities are different and a million to one they would willingly commiserate with us over any problem we were having.

    It’s just so strange to finally realize that we’re really parents. We’re one of those people now. And you know what, I’m happy about it. And I finally sort of feel bad for that parent with the screaming child in the store.

    Too bad I can’t remain a stay-at-home mom. This maternity leave has really tempted me. I thought I would be absolutely stir crazy by now, but I am eating it up. Maybe it’s the extreme exhaustion, but I absolutely love being at home with my little girl (even though some of those days are spent working from the couch). Maybe I’ll be more relaxed when it’s time for me to go back to work in a couple of months?

    In the mean time, I’m just going to kick back and enjoy it.

  • Happy 34th!

    Date: 2011.04.25 | Category: Baby, Birthday, Family, Life, Love, Mark | Response: 8

    I have been so caught up in mothering a newborn, that I shamefully omitted a blog post on my husband’s birthday. Granted that was an insanely busy day, with us taking Sarah out on her first real outing to visit Mark’s family. But still, a post is deserved, even if it is a little late.

    So happy 34th birthday Mark.

    Happy Birthday to the man who has literally kept me sane the past two weeks. Who has willingly cooked dinner nearly every night; who learned how to effectively work our clothes washer; who holds the baby when I really need a break; who makes sure that I have my nap every day to “keep the crazy away;” and who tends to both of us girls with the utmost love and adoration.


    Happy birthday to the man I’ve loved for eight years, who introduced me to a wealth of good music; who has made many trips and adventures with me; who somehow accepted letting me get four pets, and then talk him into having a baby.


    Happy birthday to the man who had to make his own birthday cake this year while I caught a nap on the couch. And instead of complaining, he embraced the challenge and even made the cake with a layer of icing in the middle. Turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had!

    Here’s to another exciting and amazing year!


  • Adjusting

    Date: 2011.04.22 | Category: Angie Cat, Baby, Bonnie Barrell, Dogs, Family, Holidays, Kitties, Leela Fish, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Pets, Sam Cat, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 12

    It’s been nearly two weeks since I gave birth… and it all seems like one big long daze. From a 24-hour cycle to reoccurring 3-hour cycles. It’s hard. Harder than I thought it would be. The sleep deprivation and breastfeeding are difficult, but with the help of Mark, who mostly works from home, we’re doing it and making it.

    The other members of our house have had a hard time adjusting too.

    Leela was very weary. She wouldn’t come within about five feet of Sarah for a week. Leela is slowly getting closer and closer to Sarah… laying next to her, sniffing her and her blankets. And then yesterday Mark blew on Sarah’s belly. Leela HATES that noise with a passion. Suddenly Leela launched to Sarah’s defense, trying to keep Mark’s lips away from Sarah’s little tummy. And then Leela started covering little Sarah with kisses from head to toe, relieved that she was ok. Their relationship has been sealed ever since.

    And Angie Cat has suddenly turned from Miss Scaredy Cat to resident Bad Ass Cat. Out of nowhere she has suddenly started bullying Bonnie. We will hear Bonnie cry, then she come running into our room, followed closely by Angie all frizzed up and hissing. What in the world? When did the dog start being terrified by the weenie cat?

    Sam Cat really could care less that there is a new family member. He’s just happy the changing table is set up so he can sleep in it. I have a feeling that when we actually start using the nursery his attitude will change.

    Bonnie, like Sam Cat, is completely unfazed by Miss Sarah. The first day she met her, Bonnie walked right up and licked Sarah on the head.

    So we’re all adjusting. And when I start to feel overwhelmed, Sarah will flash me the biggest smile and make me melt into a big pile of gooey happiness.

    We’re a team. We’re a family. And we’re figuring it out.

  • Happy Birthday Susan!

    Date: 2011.04.20 | Category: Birthday, Friends | Response: 6

    A break from baby craziness to wish my best friend Susan a very happy birthday.

    I think it says a lot that out of all the people in the world I could have in the delivery room with me, I chose Mark and her. Of course, it helps that she is a doctor and knows her way around with a SLR camera, but I would have had her in there even if she were flipping burgers and had never touched a point and shoot.

    We’ve been friends since high school, and best friends since college. We’ve been roommates, tent mates, rowing mates and bridesmaids in each other’s weddings. We’ve been through boyfriends, breakups, fights and even cliff repelling together. We got tattoos together when we turned 18 and have shared many a bottle of wine on our porches while our dogs played together. I had to run to the hospital the other day to meet my new nephew Jacob, and guess who Sarah’s first babysitter was? That’s right, Susan.

    There are a million things I could say about what a great friend she is to me, but suffice it to say that she is one of a kind!

    I hope you have a very happy birthday Sus!

    Picture 1


  • New Beginnings

    Date: 2011.04.17 | Category: Baby, Family, Home, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Photography, Sarah | Response: 20

    First off, a big CONGRATULATIONS to my sister Shannon and her husband Robbie on the birth of their son, Jacob Scott. Jacob was born on April 15 at 8:40 a.m. He was 7lbs, 2 oz. and 19.25 inches long.

    Shannon with her son. Don’t they look amazing?

    Me with my nephew!

    Cousin Jacob is just four days younger than Sarah. These two are going to have a blast together.

    And I’m quickly learning that having a newborn is exhausting! We’re on a three hour cycle. Feed, change, snuggle and play, sleep. That goes on 24-hours a day, every day. But even at 3am, when I’m sitting up and feeding her, I’m so full of love for her that it doesn’t feel like a chore, but another moment I get to share with her.

    I love her so much.


    I love being a mom.


    I love watching Mark be a dad.


    I don’t think it gets much better than this.


  • The Most Amazing Day of My Life

    Date: 2011.04.15 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Health, Life, Love, Mark, Me, OMG YAY!, Photography, Pregnancy, Sarah | Response: 31

    I’m still in awe of the past few days. My life has been turned upside down and I couldn’t be happier.

    Sunday night we went to the hospital to start labor induction. I was six days past my due date and an absolute nervous wreck. Mark was a rock though and kept me calm throughout the whole thing. Sunday night turned out to be a breeze. Lots of questions to answer. (Nurse: “Is he your husband?” Me: “Yes.” Nurse: “Is he the baby’s father?” Me: “Um, yes…. that would be awkward huh?”)

    They offered me a sleeping pill. I took it. It didn’t work. My anxiety kept me awake from 1:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. when they started the pitocin to induce contractions.

    Contractions weren’t bad at first. I took some demerol and phenegren to take the edge off. That worked… for about 20 minutes. Then the labor contractions you hear women screaming over started. Except I couldn’t scream because I was in so much pain. I just writhed around in bed and whimpered. Then I begged for an epidural. I was only 2 and a half centimeters, but my contractions were coming hard and fast enough that they granted me one after they broke my water.

    That, my friends, is nectar of the gods. The epidural stung, yes, but compared to contractions I’d take a million epidurals. And then it kicked in. It was wonderful. So wonderful that it, combined with the phenegran, actually let me SLEEP through almost my entire labor. My mom and mother-in-law thought it was hilarious.

    My nurse, who it turns out I went to high school with, was absolutely amazing. She would wake me up every so often to check my progress. It was slow going at first, about half a centimeter an hour. At 11:30 mom and my MIL went to get lunch. They checked me then and I was at a 4. Thirty minutes later they came back, set up lunch and started eating. They checked me again about that time.

    The nurse’s eyes got big and said, “We need a table now. You’re ready.” In thirty minutes I went from a 4 to 10. Everyone was kind of in shock. My best friend Susan, who was the designated picture taker, got the “Get here right now” call, as did the doctor. Everyone else got pushed out of the room.

    I was shaking like a leaf at the sudden turn of events. But I had Mark on one side, Susan on the other and my calm and collected doctor at the receiving end. My doctor was shocked that I had progressed so quickly. Apparently out of the six women who were induced, I was the first to go. I even beat the lady birthing her sixth kid.

    I started pushing. Apparently I was meant to be a mom, because that too took almost no time. And then Sarah got stuck. The doctor had to yell for help. Thank goodness Susan is a doctor too and knew what was going on. The next thing I knew I had four doctors literally punching me in the stomach and then out shot the baby, safe and sound.

    Her arrival in the world is the single most amazing, overwhelming, emotional experience of my life. It was so surreal. I couldn’t believe that she came out of my body. She cried and fussed enough to let us know she was healthy, then settled down for her clean up.

    They laid her on my chest after that and she just stared and stared at me. She was so alert and transfixed by me. It took my breath away.

    Cutting the cord.

    From Welcome Sarah

    Clean Up.

    From Welcome Sarah

    Daddy’s Love.

    From Welcome Sarah

    Meeting Sarah, my love.

    From Welcome Sarah

    Loving my girl.

    From Welcome Sarah

    We love you Sarah Marjorie.

    From Welcome Sarah

    I later learned that a lot of things could have gone wrong with her getting stuck, but she beat the odds and came out healthy and perfect. No broken collar bones, no damaged nerves. I was also told by my doctor that in the future I wouldn’t be allowed to have a baby that big. But that’s ok, because we both did it!

    She was 8lbs, 2oz. and 19 and a half inches long. She has my lips. Her other features are still up for debate, but my family vehemently argues that she looks just like me.

    Mark was so amazing throughout the whole process. After Sarah was born, he pulled out his flip camera and captured all the moments I couldn’t get up to see. I watched the video today and relived the emotions all over again. What an incredible experience.

    Sarah is already fitting seamlessly into our lives. More on that to come.

    We have tons of photos from the labor. Some are bloody, but none are “indecent.” A few are on FB, but I didn’t want to share them all there. If you want to view them, you can click here.

    A very special thank you to Susan for taking all the photos. I am amazed at them all.

  • History Repeats Itself

    Date: 2011.04.09 | Category: Baby, Family, Me, Nostalgia, Pregnancy | Response: 11

    My dad is not a shopper. For Christmas and birthdays, he calls in me and my sisters to hit the stores and get things for mom. But every once in a while, he’ll get an idea into his head and take off on his own.

    This morning he called me to tell me he had a gift for baby Sarah that he had gone out and shopped for by himself. He wouldn’t tell anyone what it was, including my mom. Curious, I made my way over to his office where he produced a gift wrapped in the signature Toy Fair red and white striped packaging.

    I opened it up to find an oversized Raggedy Ann doll, almost exactly like the one he bought for me when I was a little girl well over 20 years ago. She was always one of my favorite toys, and mom saved her for me. Now my little girl will have her very own, courtesy of my sweet daddy-o and her sweet grandfather.

    Sarah’s doll.
    raggedy ann

    Me with my doll.

    So sweet and so thoughtful. Thank you Pops!

  • Creature Comforts

    Date: 2011.04.07 | Category: Baby, Dogs, Health, Home, Kitties, Leela Fish, Me, Pets, Photography, Sam Cat | Response: 19

    Being sick sucks. Especially when you’ve been laid up in bed for five days straight without much improvement. Although this is allegedly an “upper respiratory infection,” I’m starting to think it’s really the plague. Maybe it’s just because my immune system is ineffective because there is a human being inside me? I don’t know, but I hope this nastiness ends soon. Though I’m sure I’ll be able to appreciate sleeping 20 of the 24 hours after little girl arrives.

    Leela girl, however, loves that I’m laid up in bed. After all, my legs are apparently the most comfortable pillows on earth. Her snuggles make it a little easier to feel so wretched.

    Sam cat, on the other hand, has already started staking of his territory. He knows something is up and he is rubbing his scent on everything. When I was up wandering through the house at 2am a few nights ago in search of my “it’s ok to take these medicines while you’re pregnant” sheet, I went into the nursery and found this shameful display.

    He has taken to sleeping on the changing table. My poor baby’s butt is going to be covered in cat hair. I wonder if he’ll still try to sleep there after we start using it for it’s intended purpose…

    On the baby front:
    We went in again today. Turns out you have to go to the doctor twice a week when you pass your due date. It’s kind of sad when everyone there knows who you are. Apparently my pathetic sickness was a hot topic this week, because nearly every nurse I saw asked me how I was feeling. Just the thought of being so pregnant and sick is enough to make all of them tear up in sympathy.

    Good news: Baby girl is still doing well. She passed her physical exam today and apparently has very long legs and very fat cheeks. She is currently weighing in at 8lbs, 4oz. So she is going to be a big, healthy girl. Because she’s so big, they aren’t going to let her stay in much longer. They don’t do inductions on Friday, and honestly I’m still too sick to attempt one. So we go in Sunday night at midnight to start the induction process. If all goes well, little Sarah will make her appearance sometime Monday afternoon.

    As if that wasn’t enough, my sister has been scheduled for an induction the following Friday. Things are about to get insane!

    p.s. Sumo baby does not want to leave the womb…. ever!

  • 40 Weeks

    Date: 2011.04.05 | Category: Baby, Mark, Me, Pregnancy | Response: 4


    Well, today was supposed to be the big day, the day you made your grand entrance into the world. Alas, you have elected to stay put for the time being, thank you very much. And I have to say, I can’t blame you. Why would you want to be delivered to a mom who has an upper respiratory infection and feels terrible?

    This week has been full of ups and downs. It started out great. We had high hopes that we would see you soon. I vacuumed, cleaned, stocked up on pet and grocery supplies. I worked ahead to prepare myself for the time off work.

    On Friday they checked me and sadly noted that you are still not doing anything. This is the first time they brought up possibly scheduling an induction. My blood pressure has been iffy and you are getting huge. But, my doctor was out of town, so they told me to come back and meet with her on Tuesday.

    Saturday arrived and I had big plans to spend time with your daddy, shop, go to Blake’s birthday party and enjoy my last weekend without having to call a baby sitter. And then I started to feel run down. I thought it was allergies, but knew better than to push myself. I canceled going to the party and hauled myself to bed at 7:00. Sunday morning rolled around and oh my gosh. I woke up feeling terrible. I stayed in bed all day. And then came Monday. It was worse. Another day in bed. Last night I spent the whole night in the bathtub, dousing my throat in chloroseptic spray and crying. It was pathetic to behold.

    Your daddy took one look at me this morning and said, “I’m calling the doctor.” And so he did. She got me in immediately.

    I knew things were bad when the doctor came in with the most sympathetic “poor you” look on her face. She said, “You guys never call. I’ve learned that patients who never call are usually knocking on death’s door when they call up here.” Mark chimed in with “this is the woman who waited a week with appendicitis before going to the doctor.” Ok, so I’m stubborn. Thus the rush to get me in. And thank goodness. She started me on antibiotics and sudafed. Do I still feel terrible? Yes. But nothing compared to how I felt last night.

    In other good news, they did a short ultrasound today. You, little girl, are kicking butt even though you are super squished. We were able to see your mouth and lips sucking away. You moved a bunch and your little heart is thundering away. They are still worried about your size though. Because you’re at term, I have to go in twice a week now until you are delivered. They want to do it soon, before you get too big.

    They checked me today, and still no progress. Plus, your little head won’t come down into my pelvis. So they aren’t worried that you will arrive before I get well. We go back Thursday for a reassessment of your size and position. Then we will have to make a decision about how best to get you out of there. I hope we don’t have to do a c-section, but if we do, I can handle it. I just want to make sure that I’m good and well when I hold you the first time. That would stink for you to get sick in your first few days of life!

    So here’s to hoping. Hoping I get well quickly. Hoping the pollen goes away and gives your daddy some relief. Hoping that you shift down into my pelvis between now and Thursday.

    We can’t wait to meet you!

    Love, Mama