Little Fish

I find it a little ironic that my little Jameson is such a water baby. I mean, I was sure she was a boy when I was pregnant. and our boy name is Fisher… and now I’m calling her my “Little Fish” anyway. Funny how that works out, huh? ;)

I CANNOT keep this girl away from water. Any water at all.

Bathtub? Well, that’s a given… she’s climbed in fully clothed on multiple occasions, just because she’s too impatient to wait threefreakingseconds for me to undress her.

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Sink? She’s almost tall enough now to stand on the stool and turn on the faucet… almost. For now though, she just stands on the stool and screams “TEEEEEEEEETH” at me until I turn on the water and hand her a toothbrush.

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Pool? Duh. And she has no fear – always trying to climb out of her floaty, and jumping in without a life vest on like it’s no big deal at all.

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Water bottle? Don’t even try to drink one around her. Don’t. Even.

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Dog dish? The most frustrating obsession of all. The word “no” has absolutely no effect on this child when it comes to the dog dishes. She wants to SWIM in Tali’s water.

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I kid you not, people… she just walked up to me AS I WAS WRITING THIS, threw an empty cup into my lap and yelled, “WAWA!!”!

My Little Fish. My cup runneth over. <3

Bruise-Free Bananas

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m raising a picky eater… But… I’m raising a picky eater.

I mean, she eats all kinds of foods. It’s the QUALITY she’s picky about. Most recent prime example:

A few mornings ago I was getting the girls up and ready for the day. As I was changing Jamie, Ellie headed downstairs without me. I didn’t really pay attention to what she was doing because a.) usually she just grabs the iPad and sits on the couch, and b.) I was going to be down there in like 2 minutes.

A few minutes later, she met me halfway up the stairs with a completely peeled banana in her hands.

“Mommy! This one doesn’t have a bruise! I’m gonna eat it!”

I was pleased that she had gotten her own breakfast, because I was running semi-late.

Until I got downstairs and realized that there were THREE completely peeled bananas sitting on the couch. All with bruises.

Now I know what she meant by “this one doesn’t have a bruise“… Picky betch!

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Superwife: Not so super for a while there… But I’m back!

Well, this is LONG overdue. Thank you all so much for not pressuring me to tell this story before I was ready… so, without further ado, here is Jamie’s beautiful birth story. And the aftermath.

I went into labor on a Thursday afternoon. I didn’t know it until about 6 hours later when my contractions had strengthened and become pretty rhythmic, so I spent the afternoon admiring my perfectly spotless house, eating macaroni and cheese for lunch, and waiting for my mom’s flight to get in. BTW, don’t eat mac & cheese the day you go into labor. Trust me, just don’t.

Anyhoo, my back was pretty sore around 7-8pm, so Ellie and I sat on the yoga ball and stretched/bounced for a little bit. Adam left to go get my mom at 9pm, and by the time they returned at 10pm my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and getting stronger. We left for the hospital at 11pm – my mom hadn’t even had time to take her suitcase upstairs!

Once we got to the hospital, I wasn’t admitted into Labor and Delivery for another HOUR, even though I was at 5cm. About half an hour after we got there, however, I made everyone leave the room because I was feeling SUPER nauseated. Adam of course was like, “yeah you guys should leave…” and I yelled through clenched teeth.. “EVERYONE. GET OUT.” Yep, I banished him to the waiting room along with my mom, my sister and her boyfriend, and my friend/birth photographer Kaile.

I got wheeled into L&D around 1am, where I proceeded to dry-heave until 3:15am when I got my epidural. The little bucket they gave me to hold in case my lunch came up was mangled by that time, because I was apparently using my super-hulk-strength to squeeze it with my left hand during contractions.  I allowed Adam back into the room when I was sure I wouldn’t barf on anyone, and then my water broke (read: exploded) all over the nurse’s shoes (luckily for HER it was only her shoes, because — no joke — 1 second before that she had her face in my vagina checking my cervix).

The doctor (not MY doctor, who apparently is never on call when I want to have babies) came in to check my cervix at 3:30 and immediately proclaimed that we’d better get everyone in the room because baby was coming. Four pushes later and out came a tiny, screaming little beebee.

6lbs, 5oz , beautiful baby girl Jameson Lea greeted us at 4:01am on Friday, November 16th, 2012. I was ecstatic, smiling, and laughing immediately. TWO GIRLS!!!! OMG!

Adam and I didn’t get to our mother-baby room until 7am or so, and we started getting visitors at 9am. Jamie was perfect, quiet, sleepy, and hey!– I remembered how to breastfeed! Everything went great. We even left the hospital as soon as they would let us — Saturday morning we were outta there!

Aaaaand then my life turned upside down and went all to hell.

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Some of you may remember my semi-public meltdown on Facebook… I posted daily little quips about how I didn’t think I would EVER be able to leave my house again, wondering how ANYONE ever had more than one child and had a normal life, etc. Starting on Day 4, Jamie cried NONSTOP. Unless she was eating or sleeping, the girl was SCREAMING.

I didn’t sleep. I ate like crap. I cried. A LOT. My house went to shambles. None of my clothes fit. I cried a lot more. I picked fights with Adam. I cried even more. I scared all of my friends who were thinking about trying to have a second child. I scared my sister and her husband, who were about to have their second child any day.

I beat myself up daily with guilt — I felt like I was neglecting Ellie, who had been my little #1 best friend for the last 2 years. All I wanted to do was put down this screaming, red-faced baby and hold my EllieBelle. I didn’t want my Mom to EVER leave me, and I didn’t want to see anyone else in my life. I was embarrased because I felt like a crap mom, like I didn’t have it together at all. I felt guilty for feeling guilty, which lead to a never-ending cycle of tears. I cried all the way through Jamie’s 2-week appointment, using a burp cloth to wipe my eyes while Adam did most of the talking to the pediatrician.

My best friend had had her second baby just eight days before I had Jamie, and she was making it look so easy! I felt like a complete failure. I felt… like I was drowning. And I absolutely could not get and keep my head above water.

My sister-in-law tattled on me to my doctor, who called to check on me the same day. I of course said I was fine… then I spent the entire day crying and wondering how I was going to get through a babyshower that night with lots of people who wanted to meet Jamie when all I wanted to do was crawl into Ellie’s bed and snuggle.

At my 6-week postpartum checkup, the nurse who took my bloodpressure asked how I was feeling. I jokingly said, “a little crazy, but that comes with the territory of having two kids I guess.” Then when my doctor came in, all she had to do was LOOK at me and she said, “Feeling a little sad?” … to which I replied by bursting into tears.

So, Zoloft it was. It hadn’t quite kicked in by the time I took both girls, by myself, on a plane to Idaho to visit my family… luckily I was able to keep myself calm enough not to flip completely out while traveling, though I did have one scary panic attack where I was thisclose to throwing up. I didn’t though, and the guy sitting next to me never had a clue how close he was to disaster.

My sister had her baby a few days after I arrived, and when she came home we had FOUR children in the house. FOUR. And she was so calm about it! My anxiety was through the roof, of course, and I had to actually focus internally on breathing so I wouldn’t pass out or throw up. And my Mom had the NERVE to LEAVE US! Sheesh.

I struggled with more feelings of guilt and inadequacy as I watched my little sister seamlessly integrate her new baby into the family. She was *glowing* with happiness, and I was jealous. The only thing I glowed with was sweat from panic attacks about being a terrible mother.

Of course, I didn’t notice the Zoloft starting to kick in until about a month later. I began to feel lighter, less guilty, and more confident. Coincidentally, Jamie began to smile more, cry less, and calm more easily right around 7-8 weeks old. In the following weeks, I cheered up. I cried SO much less (actually, as of today I can’t really remember the last time I cried). I quit worrying about the house (so much). I spent the majority of my non-working time on the floor with my kids, laughing and playing.

So… here’s an update as of today: Jamie is now SIX MONTHS OLD. She is absolutely THE smiliest baby I’ve ever met. This girl has a perma-smile! The only time she really cries is when she’s hungry, or really really tired. I don’t feel like I’m neglecting Ellie anymore, because blessherheart she adores her little sister and spends as much time as she can with her. My house is kind of a wreck still, but I care much less about it. I focus on doing fun things with the girls, and making sure that I get in as many snuggles and giggles and kisses as I can. And I am SO happy.

I quit taking my Zoloft this week. I really feel like I’m over the post-partum depression and anxiety hump, and the plan was never to be on the drug for longer than I needed it. While I think it was time, and I’m not extremely worried about side effects other than headaches and slight dizziness… if you notice me having another public meltdown on Facebook, maybe let my husband know. ;)

And on that note, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Today is actually Mental Health Blog Day, which is what prompted me to get this on the page. If you know someone who seems to be suffering, please reach out to them.

Girl’s Got Aim

I’ve shared some of this on Facebook recently, because, well… I continue to be so shocked by my daughter that I have to immediately upload photos and explanations so people can get a good chuckle. Here is the (developing) story regarding Ellie’s latest “potty adventures”:

Since we’ve started potty training (approx 6 weeks ago), Ellie has massively impressed me. She got the hang of everything right away, and now she’s to the point where she doesn’t even use her little potty chairs. She just uses a cute little Dora the Explorer seat ring on the big potty… well, that and a few other interesting “venues”.

Exhibit A — Dora’s Potty

A few weeks ago I heard Ellie say “potty” in the living room so I ran around the corner to investigate. She was sitting on her pink potty chair by the couch, proudly telling me she had peed. As I cleaned her up and emptied the chair, I noticed she had a little bit of pee on her leg. I mentioned to Adam that maybe she had missed a little before she made it to the potty, and we didn’t really think twice about it. A few hours later, while cleaning the living room after I had put the Pee Queen to bed, I found out where she had “missed” — apparently she had tried to sit on the TEENY TINY potty chair for the Dora Potty DOLL I had given her. When she realized it was uncomfortable/too small/ridiculous, she moved over to her own potty chair and finished. Apparently. How she managed to hover over that thing and actually pee into it, I’ll never know.

Exhibit B — “Dump” Truck

This is actually a little jungle truck, but I think my title is more fitting. Last Saturday night, just before bed, Ellie was running around our living room like a little naked banshee. She got out this truck and started trying to sit on it, which already had us cracking up. When she finally did manage to sit her little butt on top of it, and just as Adam jokingly said, “hey, don’t poop in that, Honey” – she ripped the biggest “toot” and actually grunted. I laughed so hard that I almost peed MY pants (it’s a miracle I could pick myself up off the couch to get her to the bathroom while I was in hysterics).

Exhibit C — Potty Snacks

Again with the naked-banshee-nighttime-playing, but in the kitchen this time. Adam had a buddy over and they were drinking a beer and chatting, when all of a sudden I hear, “Hey, what is she DOING?” — only to run in and see Ellie ACTUALLY SITTING on this tiny little snack container saying “potty time!”

Size Comparisons:

I guess I’ve got to hand it to her — the girl’s got aim. Unfortunately I’m realizing now that I’ll have to check ANYTHING ANYWHERE EVER for pee, since she’s apparently the Secret Pee Ninja.

But really… potty training is going great. I promise.

On Becoming a Supermom – For Amanda

After visiting my sister-in-law Amanda in the hospital just moments after she gave birth to my gorgeous new nephew, Carson, I mentioned to Adam that I was jealous of her. He of course thought I was referring to the fact that she no longer has to deal with the aches and pains of pregnancy that I complain about 24/7 – in a way, yes sure, I’m wishing I could move this whole process along, but I was really thinking of this particular time in Amanda’s life that has me wading through the waters of jealous remembrance.

She is now on Day 3 of motherhood, and I can’t help but tear up when I think of how overwhelmed with emotion I was when I was a 3-day-old mommy. Sure, my “new-mommyness” was a bit tainted with the pain of losing my father-in-law less than a week before… but nothing can get in the way of the pure magic only a newborn can provide. (I would even say that Ellie SAVED me from my grief – a powerful feat from such a little human.)

Amanda is in this time-suspended period where all she has to do is stare at her new baby, breathe in the delicious scent of her new baby, and dream up all the things she hopes to accomplish for her new baby. When I had Ellie, it didn’t even matter who or how many people were in the room (we had a LOT of visitors) – I was completely submerged in her essence. Her smell, her tiny noises, her little squirmy movements… the way she blinked, breathed, yawned and especially the way she would just stare into my eyes.

I’m jealous because while I will definitely get to experience the new-baby fun in just a few weeks… I won’t ever get to be a “new mom” again. New moms have no expectations, no pre-conceived notions – they’re a clean slate, no matter what advice they’ve been given. Every single little tiny experience is created from a fresh, innocent place.

So… because I can’t help it (what mother can?), I offer this advice to my beautiful sister – and any other beautiful new mommies:

  • Smell your new baby, as much as possible. I always wondered when that “new” smell would dissipate… it takes a while, but enjoy every second of it.
  • Get lost in your baby’s eyes. They may change color over time, but you’ll be enamored with that part of your child forever. A child’s eyes carry so much emotion and wonder, you’ll feel like they make time stand still.
  • Relax when your baby cries (but don’t feel guilty if you cry a little too). It’s true that they feel your tension… and they also feel your calmness.
  • Learn to never stand still. I still do a little side-to-side sway sometimes, even when I’m not holding my daughter… it becomes an ingrained action.
  • Laugh. At everything. Laugh at the funny faces your baby makes, and laugh at how ridiculous you look (and feel) while using a breast pump. Laugh when you spill coffee all over yourself, and laugh when your baby has four “blowouts” in one day. Do NOT forget to laugh.
  • Listen to (and ask for) advice – from your mom, your dad, your friends, your sister (hint hint), and everyone else who may have something to offer. Do not feel obligated to use any of it. Motherhood is individual to each of us… my experience is different from your mom’s, and yours will be too. YOU get to make the calls now, and no one can decide anything for your baby but you.
  • Try not to get jealous when other people hold your baby – but don’t feel guilty asking for him back. It’s normal to feel naked without your baby attached to you, and during those first few weeks at home it’s really, really hard to willingly place him/her in someone else’s arms (until you really, really need a shower – then it’s a little easier).
  • Accept meals (whether homemade or fast-food) from anyone and everyone who offers. You just concentrate on getting to know your new baby – your family and friends will make sure you get fed. :)
  • Don’t forget about Dad. He’s experiencing all of this for the very first time too… and he’s loving it just as much as you are. Share in that together… and be thankful – every single stressful amazing second – for your new family.  

I’ll reign in the rest of my motherly knowledge until I’m asked. Or hell, maybe I’ll spill it all out every time I visit, who knows? Just know that no matter what anyone tells you, your only job right now is to revel in the beauty of your baby and your new family.

I love you, Amanda. Now share your baby with me. I’ll be over in a few hours.

 

The Baby Lists: Your Medicine Kit

I always keep a medicine kit in Ellie’s diaper bag – that way I have everything I need in case of an emergency no matter where we are… and if she’s at Grandma’s or anywhere else without me, they’ll have emergency items as well. Here’s what I keep in the kit:

  • thermometer
  • ibuprofen
  • tylenol
  • nail clippers/files
  • bulb syringe
  • boogie wipes
  • pedialyte
  • orajel
  • Vaseline
  • qtips
  • little noses saline drops/spray
  • baby Vicks vapo-rub
  • baby tooth/gum brush
  • gas drops (though I never used them)
  • chapstick (of course)

Do you keep a med kit for your superbaby? What’s in yours?

The Baby Lists: What’s in Your Diaper Bag?

I struggled when I was a brand new mommy because I wanted to just bring my whole house with me every time I left to run an errand with Ellie… after a few weeks of packing and repacking, I had it down. This list worked perfectly for me whether I was taking Ellie with me to the store or dropping her off at Grandma’s for a few hours. All of this for a trip to the store may seem like overkill, but if you really feel overburdened just leave the bag in the car… you never know, however, when your superbaby will have a blowout or pitch a royal fit. :)

Here is what I recommend for a new mommy to keep in her diaper bag:

  •  at least 6 diapers
  • wipes
  • changing pad
  • baby powder
  • a&d ointment
  • diaper rash cream
  • baby lotion
  • hand sanitizer
  • burp cloths
  • rec’v blanket
  • soft blankie
  • pacifiers (a couple)
  • toys or lovey
  • med bag
  • bottle
  • formula/breast milk
  • breast pads
  • nipple cream
  • extra change of clothes
  • coat & hat
  • baby food/bibs/spoon/puffs (4mos+)

What do you think, mommies? Would you add anything?