Monday, April 30, 2012

Sour Grapes

Yes, I am currently experiencing a bit of sour grapes.  Or jealousy.  Call it what you will.  As evidenced in my very first posts, I always imagined I'd meet a man, get married, have kids and be able to help raise these kids.  Along the way I decided that my education was just as important so I managed to get not one, not two but THREE degrees (okay, so maybe an Associates Degree is pointless but still).  I was in college the better part of 15 years and now I have a Master's Degree to show for my hard work.  Which has amounted to be a big fat, NOTHING.  I have a baby that I adore and a husband I can't imagine life without.  Yet, I don't get to enjoy any of it. 

I see all these mommy bloggers who are able to stay home and take care of their kids.  How do I do that??  What in the hell do I need to do in order to make that happen?  I am so frustrated with worrying about money that I know I'll never be able to stop working and focus on my family.  I'd love to have lots of kids and it pisses me off that I have to worry about FMLA and my age before anything else.  Instead of starting again right away, I have to say okay Oliver is 6 months old and by the time, God willing, baby #2 gets here it'll have been a year since I used my FMLA/STD benefits and I can take off 8 weeks from work again.  I'm all for this women's lib and, quite frankly, I doubt I could stay home permanently.  But, it sure would be nice to be given the choice.

I mentioned to a friend recently something that I know isn't going to be popular.  And if my husband sees this his feelings are going to be hurt, so I apologize in advance.  Make sure you marry for not just love.  Unless you desire to live as middle class and have to work forever, make sure you settle down with someone who can provide for you financially.  Being the person who makes more money is liberating at first.  Until you start working again and having to leave your baby with (albeit nice) strangers to watch him day in and day out, you won't fully understand how hard being a working mom is. 

Maybe this post fits into that category I had myself in years ago, imagining something that I thought could never be a reality?  I surely hope so.  If I had my way, I'd already be pregnant now and me, Oliver and Aunt JCC would be planning what we were going to do during the day.  Again, I am so grateful I have the job I do, I love being challenged and the grownup interaction is wonderful.  However, my grandmother is gravely ill and most likely will not be with us too terribly much longer.  Instead of being with my mom and helping as much as I can, I am waiting for the call of when her final respects will be paid.  I know that my asking to have a few days off would just lead to WWIII and I don't have the strength to deal with that right now.  Ah the joys of working motherhood. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Looks like my boy is finally starting to miss us when we go out. My mom watched him so Josh and I could have dinner as an early anniversary to ourselves. I got a call about 7:30 waving the white flag, that Oliver had been crying since we left. There is a part of me that's a little happy he actually misses me when I leave him. Is that wrong?

Nana T heads to Virginia tomorrow and we won't get to see her again until mothers days weekend (my first one!). Please pray for my GMA. Things don't look so great right now and I really hate this. I know this is part of life but that doesn't make any of this any easier. For every milestone Oliver achieves, I always have in the back of my mind that my family is going through a lot of pain and I hope my GMA is at least comfortable and okay. No matter what happens I am always going to be so thankful she was healthy and well when I brought Oliver to meet her the first time.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Back to grind in the morning!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My grandmother is fighting lung cancer right now and it doesn't look so good. We are heading back from the airport in Charlotte after picking up my mom.  Looks like we will be burning up I-77 going back and forth to Virginia the next few weeks. She is my last living grandparent so this is a difficult time. I can only imagine how hard this must be on my mom.

Here's Oliver with my GMA from a few weeks ago.  

On a side note, today is my dads birthday. Happy Birthday General!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Boy I wish they had told me that

A disclaimer:  This post is going to be very TMI and female oriented so, be fair warned.

I am so thankful I've been given the blessing of becoming a mother.  The end result has been nothing short of magical at times.  That being said, boy are there a few things I wish people had warned me about ahead of time just so I could be prepared (I'm a preparer by nature).  In no particular order of grossness:

1.  Bleeding
I knew going into the final weeks of being pregnant that afterwards there would be recovery and bleeding.  I get it.  However, I had a scheduled csection and thought surely they'll use a vacuum or some sort of socker-outer and get everything out, right?  Wrong.  Very, very wrong.  The nurses come in and press on your already wrecked stomach once an hour for the first 24 hours, making sure your uterus goes back to where it should.  Now, this is a part of the healing process and I get it.  However, having to be cleaned up by a nursing assistant like an invalid was not something I was prepared for.  With people in the room no less.  Thankfully, I did not have that when you first stand up gush or anything but it was still gross.  And oh the bleeding afterwards.  That lasts for WEEKS.  Hello????  Why is this not in any pregnancy book?  Lies, please.  Lies!

2.  Hair loss
Why was I the only person who was not aware that you will lose your hair like a middle aged, red sports car driving man?  I literally have bald spots but thankfully they can be covered so no one else sees them.  I will not even describe what it looks like when these bald spots start growing back in! 

3.  Cycle issues
I've spent the last week freaking out and worrying about my monthly friend not showing up.  I want more children and close in age but a year apart is just a little too close for comfort for me.  How many calls to my OB do I have to make, asking is this normal?  Why was my period 12 days last month and it's a week late this one?  (Told you, this would be TMI...again, I apologize).  I wish someone had warned me just how much your body must endure in order to bring a tiny human into the world.  Michelle Duggar can suck it. 

4.  Boobs
Between the leaking and the pain, this alone could be a post in and of itself.  How come I had to take to the internet to realize that you don't just stop breastfeeding cold turkey?  Why didn't someone tell me this before I just quit and almost died from the pain the next morning?  Or that feeding or pumping that morning would make me want to scream in agony?  Or that the pain of dealing with that was worse than my csection recovery was?

5.  Itching
This goes back to the beginning of during and after my csection.  How in the hell did it slip someone's mind to say hey you may have a reaction to the spinal and will want to itch every square inch of your skin off?????  I look like Rudolph in every single photo from the days in the hospital because of my reaction to the spinal.  I was almost in tears on quite a few occasions, begging the nurses for more Benadryl to at least dull the agony I was in.

6.  Scar tissue
I may be the only person who had this issue but feeling along my scar and realizing there was a lump on one side sent me running out of the shower and on the phone to my OB before I had even dried my face off.  Apparently this is normal.  Again, something that would have been nice to know beforehand.  Thanks, people.

7.  Hormones
I knew I'd be hormonal but bordering on insanity I was not expecting.  I had to learn early on that cutting out the nonsense was the only way I'd be able to survive.  You will most definitely cry for no reason. 

8.  A baby with days and nights confused
Sure, it happens to some babies.  But why doesn't the hospital explain that just in case.  Wouldn't that be a nice little nugget to know ahead of time?  Hey, just so you know.  Thanks for the advice, nurses. 

9.  Useless hospital staff
At least in my experience, I would have rather had Oliver in a field than where I did.  The nurses were rude and it took forever to get anything when I'd ask for it.  I won't even begin to describe how the nurses in his nursery acted, other than to say they made me feel like the biggest idiot on the planet.  Make sure you bring your own mittens and clothes, unless you want a baby who scratches its face and is freezing in that cheap hospital "gown" they provide babies nowadays.  If my OB's office wasn't directly affiliated with the hospital where I had Oliver, I'd switch in a heartbeat with my next child.  I won a VIP package in May that I was so excited to use when I had Oliver.  Because I had him on a weekend, their offices were closed and I didn't get to use ANY of it.  When we went to claim our gift certificates when I was leaving, the lady laughed at Josh and told him she wouldn't help him because we waited too long.  How is this behavior tolerated from what is considered the baby hospital of Columbia???

10.  Crazy breastfeeding ninjas
In a perfect world we'd all be able to feed our babies and not have to rely on formula to help.  That would be amazing!!  However, I wish I hadn't spent so much time and energy worrying that I had to supplement Oliver from pretty much day one.  And back off, jerks!!  What's good for you is not necessarily good for me and my family.  Does your baby fall asleep 5 minutes after feeding and no amount of poking and prodding will wake him up?  No?  I didn't think so.  So mind your own damn business.  Breastfeeding is good but do not let anyone else tell you what is best for YOUR baby.  You have to live with him or her for however many years they are at home.  If you go into the hospital even knowing breastfeeding isn't for you, good for you!  I know for next time that we will bring bottles (yep, hospital won't provide those either...unless you use whatever company has swooned them and is giving away free samples at the time). 

I'm sure I will have many more things to add to this list as Oliver gets older and my mothering adventures because more pronounced.  It feels like every month something pops up and I think why didn't someone tell me about this while I was pregnant?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trying times

Will the constant screaming and fussiness ever stop?  Seriously, how do single moms do this?  I feel like I've got an F in the mom category today, for sure.  Josh went to class last night and things were normal at the house.  I actually was able to clean up the kitchen while Oliver was still awake.  For some reason, 6:30 rolled around and all hell broke loose.  There was literally NOTHING I could do to appease him.  He just eats and eats and screams in between.  Like we are starving him or something.  I took a photo of him screaming because all of his food was gone but I'm guessing I shouldn't share that one because one day he will be embarrassed by that. 

Honestly, I don't feel like a good mom at all today.  I finally had to take a break, put him in his crib, shut the door and went downstairs for about 20 minutes until Josh got home from class and he took care of him.  Then I spent the rest of my waking evening checking on Oliver, wanting to wake him up and tell him how sorry I am that I got frustrated with him.  I can normally calm him by putting him in the bathtub and letting him splash around.  Last night?  Not so much.  What am I doing wrong??  Does he have another ear infection that we need to attend to?  Is this parenthood thing EVER going to get easier?

In a word, I'm defeated.  Absolutely defeated today.  Plus, Josh's mom bailed on our dinner plans and gave no explanation so I have officially closed my heart to her forever. 

I'm hoping in a month or so I will look back on posts like this and laugh, seeing my content baby flourishing.  I really hope other mamas have days like this.  Today I pray for strength and guidance.  Nothing more. 

No matter how crazy our house gets, these two still stick together.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sleep, precious sleep. And quiet

Where has my down at 7, up at 6:45 baby gone??  I don't understand this ebb and flow of parenthood sometimes.  We were in a little routine and I don't think Oliver got the memo for some reason.  He is a bear about an hour after we get home from daycare/work and our normal routine, until Monday, was bath, solids, bottle, bed.  Well he's decided he wants to wake up and be angry for like an hour then go back to sleep about 9:30 or 10.  Any idea what is causing this??  I don't know how to fix this.  I just attempted to make an appointment with a GI doctor but apparently we need a referral for that.  Lots and lots of hoops jumping when it comes to being a parent!

There's a slight possibility that we may be having dinner with Josh's mom tonight, depending on if she agrees to come alone.  This should be very interesting and make for great material if it does happen! 

While we are on the topic of questions, explain to me how my baby wakes up like this?  I surely did NOT put him in his crib that way!!!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sweet boy

Although it looks like I'll be the only person reading this, here's a picture from last night of my sweet boy.  He went from a dark haired, dark eyed blob to a blonde haired, blue eyed kid who smiles ALL THE TIME, even when he's supposed to be in bed.

Oliver and I normally spend nights alone while daddy is getting his education (yay daddy!) and I really am trying to figure out things to do to keep him occupied.  I'd love suggestions on what to do to make sure he doesn't get bored.  A bored Oliver = a cranky Oliver. 

Maybe I'll make this post a picture dump?  Oliver loves food..(these would be avocado)

I entered him in the Gap Casting Call contest but in a sea of 36,000 applicants, I'm guessing my little guy got lost in the shuffle.  It's okay, we still think he's cute.

I guess at some point I can do a post on my love of Smocked clothes.  Ha ha, I'm trying to keep a running picture list of all the outfits he wears.

Or how this is how he spends more evenings.  Is it normal to have the baby not wear clothes at home?  Oliver is having issues with reflux right now and I hate cleaning up vomit.  Seriously, sue me.

Well, this has turned into a random bit of information, hasn't it?  Just an excuse to show off pictures of my little guy, I guess!  Hope it's a good day to anyone who might be reading.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A rant

I've been stewing about this topic for almost a year now but I'm hoping if I actually get it "on paper," I'll be able to move on and never talk about it again.

My in-laws.

Where do I begin??? Should I start with the fact that Oliver is 4 months and 7 days old and he has yet to meet his grandmother? Yeah, let's start there. Or that Josh's only sibling on the planet hasn't met him either? I am so angry today about them and I don't really know why. We have gone around and around about having a relationship with these horrible people and each time I try and mention it, Josh rejects it and changes the subject. What about my baby?? Does NO ONE think of him? I attempted to contact Josh's mom about two months ago and, besides the fact that it took her two weeks to respond to me, she would not meet me and Oliver unless it was under her terms. Really???? You cry to people that you haven't met your grandson but when I offer it you turn me down because I don't want your low life piece of trash husband there too?? I am so furious today about this. My mother lives 1,000 miles from Columbia and would probably give up part of her life to see Oliver yet my mother-in-law lives 10 minutes from our door and doesn't even know what he looks like. How is this possible?

I guess I should back up for a second and explain how we got here. If I've learned anything about Josh it's that he doesn't rock the boat, ever. He goes with the flow and tries to please everyone. I'm not sure if it's because of how he was raised or just his personality but he tends to keep to himself and not bother anybody. That being said, he was approached by his stepdad years ago with the request that Josh buy his childhood home from his mom and stepdad under the guise that they would buy it back within a year. He shelled out $5,000 for closing costs and was told he would get those back as well as soon as the proceeds from the sale of the house were finalized. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how all of this played out, right? No proceeds returned and it's 2012 and Josh still owns this crappy house. With a 30+ year old air conditioning. A 20+ year old roof. My guess is jerk Larry hired a friend to do the inspection on this house and sign off on everything being on the up and up. Instead, Josh and I are almost bankrupt trying to repair things here and there. Mind you, I was 3 months pregnant when we moved into this house WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING in South Carolina in the summer. I spent more days than I care to remember feeling light headed and like I was going to pass out.

All of this is neither here nor there at this point, I think. I'm so angry and bitter that my child has to wait for his grandmother in Massachusetts to visit to get any sense of extended family and I'm really pissed off today. Really pissed off. I want these people to make it right and give my child the fairness he deserves. At this point, I don't think it's possible but at least the thought is there. Instead, I spend time wondering what could have been. Does anybody really think that a child growing up realizing that he has a whole other family who he has never met is a healthy thing?? How will he feel about all of this one day??

I apologize for the rant but, for some reason, this has been on my mind today. I thankfully have a good support system in place with my family and Oliver has his Aunt JCC basically in the same room with him as much as Josh and I are so I am thankful for that. I think this blood family issue will be with me for the rest of my life. I never thought this part of my life would end up like this. Any suggestions on what I should do???? I could really use the guidance.

Oliver meets the beach

We set out early Saturday morning for a day trip to Charleston to take Oliver to Folly Beach and let Aunt JCC see the sights in Charleston for the first time. I have to say, Oliver really surprised all of us and made it down with absolutely no problems. We got to Folly and headed straight to try and eat at The Lost Dog Cafe but it was far too crowded so we scrapped that idea and headed straight to the water.

After lubing Oliver up and carrying what felt like 50 pounds of baby beach equipment, we parked ourselves down and watched him look around in wonderment. It really is so much fun to watch a baby watch things and take everything in for the first time. We (read, ME) forgot the card for the camera so we were forced to capture these precious moments on our cell phones (curse you the ONE time I don't bring the video camera in the diaper bag).

He seemed to not really care one way or the other about the beach and I'm totally putting this in the W column. Believe me, after spending so many days dealing with a screaming baby, it's nice to have one that smiles and doesn't really care what's happening.

We didn't spend too much time at Folly because we know that time with little man is sometimes limited and we take the good time and run with it. Every time we go somewhere there's a clock in my head that runs, saying in 3....2....1 he's going to melt down so let's make this count (boy was I right on this on Sunday when daddy and I tried to get breakfast). Anyway, we decided to let Oliver have a mid morning snack of peas on the beach before we headed on to our next destination, which I think he quite enjoyed.

(Trust me, he wasn't this clean after having his snack...this was the "cleaned-up" version of Oliver).

We all wandered around the Battery, taking pictures and trying to avoid the rain as it decided to roll on. Aunt JCC and I were met with an unfortunate amount of humidity and spent the entire afternoon channeling an 80s hair band video. Trust me, it was ugly.

I will definitely put this day trip to Charleston in the W column because Oliver was good and seemed to enjoy himself everywhere we went. He made lots of friends as we walked around the Market in Charleston and even more while we were shopping at the outlets. I know these are not memories he will ever remember but at least we can say that we did them and look back on these pictures and laugh. I was wondering yesterday if Oliver grows up to be this tall and skinny athlete if he's going to look at himself from this time and wonder what we were feeding him?!? Just know, my future grown up Oliver, that we love every single part of you and everyone you meet comments on just how incredibly adorable you are. Always remember that my sweet little man.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the way to Charleston for a day trip. Hopefully little man cooperates and his first beach experience is a memorable one (for us, not him).

Friday, April 20, 2012

4 months as a mom

I am 4 months and some change later from my first day of being an actual mom and here are a few things I've learned along the way:

1. Breastfeeding is not easy
Oliver struggled to stay awake during his feedings and we literally tried everything. One of the doctors who worked on Oliver while he had RSV was giving us pointers along the way and NONE of them worked. We tried frozen peas on his back, loud noises, tickling his feet...absolutely nothing worked!! After a month of struggling, Josh finally said enough was enough. Having such a big baby, nobody prepares you for the defeat you feel when you have to supplement. My poor baby had chapped lips he was so dehydrated while we were in the hospital. I would definitely not completely stress yourself out about breastfeeding because, in the end, as long as your baby is healthy, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else matters.

2. Life won't always be rainbows and butterflies
I went into my first few days at home as a mother thinking I'm going to fall madly in love with this baby and life is going to be perfect. Ha! I had a csection so I was dealing with that on top of hormones AND a sick baby who eventually had to spend a night in the hospital. I felt like such a failure that all I wanted to do was cry at times because I didn't feel like I could catch a break. Little did I know that it's perfectly normal to be frustrated and not want to be a mom for a moment. Please don't mistake what I'm saying for a hatred for my child; on the contrary! I love Oliver almost as much as I love his daddy but I'm still human and constant screaming will grate on anyone's last nerve.

3. Take advice with a grain of salt
Early on, our pediatrician okayed us giving Oliver a little cereal in his bottle to: (1) help with reflux; and, (2) help satisfy him because he is such a big boy. The looks we got and whispers I heard still make me want to punch someone. Absolutely no one can tell you what is best for your baby, no matter what they say. You do what's right for you and who cares what anyone else has to say? If you get the okay from your doctor, that is all you need to concern yourself with.

4. Be crafty!
Oliver, like many other babies, had his days and nights mixed up so we eventually had to resort to letting him sleep in his swing at night. Whatever, it made him happy and we got a few hours of precious sleep.

5. Babies are going to get sick
I have spent the better part of the past 4 months being absolutely obsessed and paranoid about every sniffle, cough and sneeze Oliver makes. In our experience, breastfeeding did not keep him from getting sick but he might be an exception. I have forced myself, especially now that he's a little bit older, to relax and let things happen as they are going to happen. If he gets sick, I just need to love on him and go with it. Leaving a baby inside a bubble is not realistic and they will eventually need to build their immune system. As much as I'd love to keep him sheltered, he will go to school one day and I'd rather he gets sick now then when the days off will count against him.

6. Take the help, even if you don't want to
Josh and I left Oliver with someone pretty much from day one and it was the best thing for both of us. We were able to get a little away time, without being worried about vomit, crying, pee, etc. Do not try to do it all, seriously. Give yourself a break and enjoy being a grownup every now and again.

7. Soak in every moment
I know it's completely cliche and that's fine but enjoy your little one. I know Oliver is only 4 months old but even in those few months he has changed completely. He's gone from a dark haired blob to a blonde who loves to laugh and smile.

8. Cut yourself some slack
Okay, this one is huge for me. I've felt like a horrible mother on quite a few occasions because I get frustrated or angry or, I'll admit it, I even remember what life was like before I had a child. But then I realize, everybody feels like this. We all reach the end of our ropes sometimes. We all get tired and cranky. I felt so guilty that I had friends who either could not get pregnant or it took them years and hundreds of dollars to do it. I am truly blessed to have a child and even more blessed that my pregnancy was easy and getting pregnant the first time around was not difficult at all. I am so thankful for that every day and whenever I need a reminder, I just go and look at my little guy to remember how truly lucky I really am.

9. Give birth however you and your doctor deem appropriate
Oh, nothing pisses me off more than these overzealous women who tell you that having a csection or epidural is an easy way out. I could spit nails that makes me so mad. Sure, women all over time have given birth naturally to 10 lb 4 oz babies. Oh don't worry, a little incontinence or tearing never hurt anyone. You go to the bathroom on yourself, no problem. I mean, really??? Just because I scheduled a csection doesn't mean I didn't give birth. My doctor told me about three weeks before I had Oliver that he's NEVER done a csection he regretted but he has done plenty of natural births that he did. So, think about that. Do you want to take the high and mighty road or have a live baby? Who doesn't have broken shoulders.

I know I'm by absolutely no means an expert on any parenting tips, advice, etc. These are just a few things I've gathered along the way so far. So many more things to learn!

My little guy from this morning. Figured he should probably wear this outfit one more time before it's too small :( Thanks for the cute outfit Aunt JCC!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sweet baby

I know I'll regret saying this but my little man has been so sweet lately. Guess three days of Rocephin shots in each leg will do that to a baby, huh? It's so nice to NOT dread picking him up every single evening after work, wondering what kind of mood he will be in. We've started solid foods and he seems to love them! Ha ha, he's 20 pounds so I cannot imagine why he wouldn't love them.

(Yep, pretty much describes Oliver's attitude until about a week ago)

Daddy and I decided to take a day trip to Charleston on Saturday. Right now, Oliver HATES his car seat so let's hope we don't end up bailing and turning the car around halfway there (we live about an hour and a half from Charleston).

I've been looking through my old posts, especially the ones right after I found out I was pregnant and I'm so sad for that girl. I was SO terrified something bad would happen. I spent my whole life wondering if I'd ever be a mother and now look where life has taken me. If someone one day reads any of this, please know that things DO change and your life can be exactly what you want it to be if you remain patient and know that one day things will happen when they are supposed to.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4 months

If nothing else, I want to keep posting each month so I will have a record of what is happening to you.

You turned four months old on Monday, April 16, 2012. Your Nana T and Aunt JCC took you to daycare before Nana T went home.

You had your appointment on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, and your stats are:

Weight: 20 pounds even!
Length: 25 1/4 inches

You got one shot and took it like a champ!

So far, you like:

Green beans
Rice Cereal

I'm really going to do this

Your birth story

We had known for quite a while that you were measuring big, my sweet Oliver. On Thursday, December 8, 2011, your Aunt JCC and I were having lunch when my doctor's office called and said would we like to have a baby on Friday, December 16th? I was so excited, I couldn't even stand it!

Your Nana T flew in on Sunday afternoon and we got all prepared for your big arrival. Friday, December 16th your daddy and I drove to the hospital and got all checked in. You came into the world screaming your head off at 12:41, weighing 10 lbs 4 oz. You had so many people in the waiting room just ready to see you for the first time...Nana T, Aunt JCC, the General, Pops and even your Great Aunt Lucille and Uncle Boney drove all the way up from Georgetown (they never leave Georgetown!!!)

We spent three days at Baptist and came home to Dewey being really scared of you. Those first few days were very tiring, to say the least. You didn't want to sleep anywhere but your swing. Your daddy crashed into the closet and mama scared Aunt JCC so bad while she was holding you that she jumped almost out of her chair!

You managed to get sick pretty early on (you were sick on Christmas day) and we finally took you to the ER on the 29th and found out you had RSV. Boy, mama and daddy were SO scared something would happen to you.

You are all better now and we can't wait for what the future holds!

Monday, April 16, 2012

An update

I did it again. I read so many blogs and yet I cannot keep up with one of my own. I would love to have people reading about me and my life. It would be so great if that were to happen.

Where to start? Goodness...

Oliver Hugo Nick was born on Friday, December 16, 2011, at 12:41 p.m.

So many things to say, so little time. I will post another time when I can actually get my thoughts out.