Friday, January 30, 2009

What a week....

I sware, the planets have aligned, things have changed drastically in the last week. Things are GOOD. At the beginning of this week, Nick and I looked at each other on Monday morning and had a mini conversation. He said "It's going to be a good day, it's going to be a good week. I'm going to focus on the positive."

Now, what you need to know is normally I'm the one to say "Have a good day!" or "It's going to be a great day!" (yes, I use exclamation points in my speech as much as I use them in my written word) but lately with the teething, the lack of sleep, the fussiness, the lack of enthusiasm for work I've just lost my optimism. Good friends used to despise and love my optimism all at the same time. I'm pretty sure Nick has, too. So, to lose it was kind of a big thing. And I didn't even see it.

In the last 2 weeks, songs have been playing on the radio that make me well up. They hit close to home. I've come across written things that talk about forgiveness and how to calm the negative in your mind. I'm not the religious type but it said that in order to calm the negativity in your head, you have to learn to forgive and hope (they said pray) for those that feed your negative energy. So, I started. Anytime a negative thought came up, or a negative feeling (pit in your stomach kind of thing) I would take a moment, pause and hope that those that I've hurt would find it in their heart to not hurt anymore. That they would forgive. Not for my sake, but so there would be no negative feelings. (wanna send me to the looney bin yet?). I wish the best for each person, in all they do, no matter what right or wrong they've done.

And, one person did forgive. I'm overjoyed and amazed all at once. I missed the friendship.

I've also been reading sleep training books. And I think we've gotten a break from teething. Jenna's been well rested, happy and sleeping much better this week. She does have to go down at 6 pm for this to be accomplished, but her being so cheery makes it well worth it. I've been happier and the week has been good. Really, really good.

After my last post, I've received an overwhelming response. I've had offers for babysitting (Thanks Em!) and friends that have set up multiple GNO's and the like. In fact, I'm going out tonight! Wahoo! And, Nick's going out for a guys night tomorrow night. I'm excited for him. I'm a firm believer in 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' and with him being gone for a few hours I'm looking forward to his return already.

I'm in a better place. Things are looking good. The clouds have parted, the sun is shining (literally!) and my optimism is back. In fact, I'm drunk with optimism. Anyone else care to join me?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I've slipped...

Not in the literal sense. Thanks to Alison, for posting a link to pregtastic, that doesn't apply just to pregnant women, but also to Mom's. I've written time and time again about how important it was for me to continue to be me, not "just a Mom". I think a series of events coupled with me working has resulted in me falling out of touch with who I really am.

And, lately, I've noticed that I have little conversations about stuff other than Jenna. I *hate* that (I don't use the word hate frequently). I've fallen into the "just a Mom" trap. And now, I think I know why. Going back to work was initially a very good thing. I still think it's good, but the difficult part is that I see how little time I really get to spend with Jenna and I try to maximize EVERY MINUTE we spend together playing with her. Being with her. Because of the teething/sleep issues that have been going on for the last 6+ weeks, I've hunkered down. My initial goals are funny to me now, and I need to reinstate them. The goal, in the beginning was to have Nick get a night out without us (Jenna and I), me to get a night out without them (GNO!) and Nick and I to get a date night every month. To say we've failed is an understatement.

I just keep going. It's the same routine. Up, get ready, feed, put her back down, go to work, feed her at lunch, back to work, pick her up, go home, play with her for a little bit, prep for the next day, put her down and CRASH. Repeat, over and over and over. Me leaving her at home for a grocery shopping trip this past weekend was tough. I didn't want to leave her. I *never* thought I'd feel guilty for leaving her to go to the grocery store. I promised myself I wouldn't get that way. But, I have. I need to get over me wanting to be with her every minute she's not in day care. Mommy guilt is a bitch. Seriously. I work because I need to. I'd love to work part time. I used to think work would fulfill me enough to use it as my "me" time. But it's not. It's not fair to me, or to Nick, or to Jenna to not take some time for myself.

I was better at managing all this when I was on maternity leave. I went to Mommy and Me groups and was able to leave her because I felt like I was getting adequate time with her. Well, honestly, I *was* getting enough time with her. Those groups saved me from falling into this patch before. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again, anyone reading that's pregnant, TTC or has a newborn *join a group!* Now, I'm doing the best I can. But I need time for me. And, thanks to the podcast, I'm taking it.

So far, I've put in a call to get my hair cut. I'm getting the Mommy cut. Ideally, something that *won't* fit into a pony, because that's my cop out. I want to be styled again. I want to be forced to wake up and do my hair (thanks, Flylady). I just dug through the back of my closet. I pulled out all my pre pregnancy pants that I haven't worn in about a year and a half. My *skinny* pants. I'm wearing a pair right now and just not wearing baggy clothing has helped me tremendously. I'm back at my ideal weight and I need to dress accordingly, not hide the skin left over on the belly.

I'm also going to go out to a GNO this Friday night (I was on the fence up until now). I'll be kicking Nick out of the house shortly, too. Also, we'll get a date night on the books. I know we have something scheduled for V-day (my parents will be in town to watch her) but I think we need something before that.

::sigh:: big changes ahead. But, necessary changes.

7m, 6d

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

7 month letter

Dear Jenna,

Holy cow! You're 7 months old! You're officially closer to 1 year than your birthday. Time continues to fly by. You amaze me daily. You make me giddy daily. And, there are those days that you frustrate me. Luckily, those are fewer than the 'amazing' and the 'giddy' days. I'm in awe. You're growing by leaps and bounds. The last month has presented us with the challenges of teething. You poor thing. Your first tooth popped through the day after Christmas, and, in the last week you've cut 3 more. You've also learned to bite, but I won't go into those details in this kind and gentle letter to you. Though, I did want to mention it, should I need leverage during a "discussion" when you're a teenager.

You had your very first Christmas! Santa was good to you and brought you this musical table. Your favorite part of the table is the trombone and you shake your little tush whenever you move that slider. Santa must have known that you'd be standing before Mom and Dad because he had those elves of his put the legs on the table so you could stand at it. We (Mom and Dad) couldn't figure out how to take the legs off, those elves must be paid pretty well, their work is good, too good for us to figure it out. In any case, you're now standing at this table and it keeps you entertained for a long time.

You're now *loving* your baths. You have a grand old time. Go figure, all it took was us taking you out of the kitchen sink and putting you in the tub. Oh, and giving you toys. That was a big factor. Here's an obligatory "baby in the bath" shot. How stinkin cute are you!?

OK, back to Christmas (silly photo up loader! I don't have the patience to upload pics one at a time, thus, it gets jumbled). So, as much as we wanted you to enjoy your new duds and toys, you, of course were much more excited about the paper. You're currently obsessed with paper. We try to keep it out of your mouth, but you see how good of a job we were at that task on Christmas morning. In any case, you *love* Sundays as you get to play with at least one advertisement while I bat it out of your mouth. Of course, with the teething over the last month, EVERYTHING goes in your mouth and is subsequently covered in drool. I've heard about this from other parents, but after experiencing it, I've realized how much drool can really come from one little monkey. And, let's just say it's enough to soak you and me.

Your personality continues to shine through. You're not shy about letting us know what you want, and how you want it. You're currently becoming more and more mobile and, subsequently, borrowing (taking) toys from the other babes at day care. You also aren't shy about grabbing some one's arm/hand/neck/hair and biting on that. Again, everything goes in the mouth. Doesn't matter if there's flesh or fabric or a toy, it all goes in the toothy abyss.

We introduced you to snow at Nanny and Poppie's over Christmas. I'm pleased to say that your first Christmas was a white one. We opened gifts and headed up to Nanny and Poppie's and shortly after we arrived, it snowed. This is a picture from the morning after that, and you weren't quite sure what to do with this white stuff. Going up there and dealing with snow and you for only a couple of hours before most of it melted made me appreciate the fact that we live in the bay area. We get to choose to go to the snow and don't have to deal with it on a daily basis. For us, it's a novelty, something fun as opposed to an obligation. Guess that's why we deal with the cost of living here in the bay area (among other reasons).

Here's your official 7 month picture... you're about to take down Coach. The bunny doesn't interest you at all.

You're beautiful. I know I'm biased, but you're so stinkin cute. People that haven't met Dad tell me you look just like me. I don't see it. At all. I honestly don't see my face or your Dad's face in you at all. I see a little of Nanny and a little of Grandma, but that's about it.

Current events: We just welcomed a new President to office. It's a very exciting time for our country, there's a lot of hope out there and the optimistic feeling has been amazing.

You continue to amaze us. I think I've said that in every single letter I've written you, but it's so true. Each day I can't believe how quickly time has passed, how big you're getting, the fact that you're hitting various milestones and are just growing up. The thought of you walking scares and excites me. You're right on the verge of crawling (though you can motor around, for the most part) and it's just amazing to me that a year ago I found out you were a girl and just started to feel you move.

You make my day. Each and every day. Thank you for that.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a difference 7 months makes

So, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Grayson Parker yesterday. He was just born on Friday and he's beautiful. Nick had a rough MLK day at home (I had to work) and when I came home, Jenna had been fussy and was hungry. As I was feeding her, it struck me how much changes in 7 months.

Holding Grayson, I had flash backs. It's hard to imagine her being that small again. The memories are bittersweet as it was one of the most difficult times I've ever been through. I know that sounds rather dramatic, but when you're right in the middle of it, it's hard. The crying, the hot flashes when the crying begins, trying to figure out supply and latch, bearing through the latch because you know it's going to hurt, trying to unlatch only to relatch because it's wrong... it's all one big guessing game. Up until she started smiling I had little to know what I was doing was right and good for her. I had an oversupply so I was feeding her too much, then, once I backed off on feeding her I always second guessed whether she was really done, or if she just needed to pacify. It was challenging.

Now that we're in the 'throws' of teething, it's hard. It's still hard, but in a different way. I've seen my happy, well rested baby. I've seen her smile and giggle and to see her go from crying to laughing to crying and screaming and it's challenging. I've come to the conclusion that motherhood (and parenthood for that matter) is nothing but a series of guesses. You guess what to do next, whether it's right to sleep train (for them AND for you), when to feed, when not to feed, when to introduce solids, when to ramp up solids, etc. It's a challenge. But, watching her feed yesterday, it's all worth it. All I need is to see her snuggle up and be content if only for a few moments to know that I'm doing all that I can for her. Our series of guesses has gotten us this far, she's thriving, she's doing well. Her teeth are coming through (visual evidence below) and she's a happy child.

I'm currently listening to the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States. The change that we as a country have finally accepted makes my heart go flutter. And I feel cheesy stating the obvious, but I'm going to do it anyway: I have high hopes for my daughter. I have high hopes for her future. It's difficult with the country going through a recession, but knowing and trying to envision all that is out there for her gives me hope. I'm so excited to watch her grow up with the obstacles in front of her, knowing the series of guesses I will continue to make, no doubtedly for the rest of her life (or, at least until she's a teenager) will be so she can live the best life possible. The impact is tremendous and after seeing the change that has taken place in 7 months (ok, one day shy of 7 months) is amazing.

1 day shy of 7 months.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

She bit me

3 times. And, it hurts like you think it would. I'm not happy about it.

On another note, I finally got to meet Echloe after writing back and forth for what seems like eons. We met up at my favorite LYS and each picked out some yarn for a new project. She's going to knit a gorgeous baby blanket for the baby she keeps referring to as a 'he' :p and I picked up some yarn to knit Jenna a sweater since she's going to outgrow the one I knit for her while I was pregnant any minute now. (sniff!)

My knitting obsession is back in full bloom after someone introduced me to Ravelry. This website is amazing and has already taught me so much! (provisional cast on, how to cable without a cabling needle and how to weave in ends while you work) Very exciting stuff. Plus, it allows me to see how others used the same yarn I have *just sitting there* in my stash, so hopefully I can make room for more fun projects.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I've been absent

I've not had time to blog lately. Well, not adequate time. No time to upload photos (I've got a couple good ones, too), no time to rest, no time to post.

As I've noted, Jenna's been fussy. The top tooth is coming in s l o w l y as it's half way through (took about a week to get from barely pointing through to half way through). She hasn't been sleeping well since Christmas, and, the two weeks before Christmas she was ill twice. So, roughly six weeks worth of poor sleep has really worn on all 3 of us. But, I feel like we're on the mend. YAY! We're currently reducing the night time feedings down to what they *used* to be at 1-2 per night. I think with the illness/travel/teething/chaos she just got used to being held and comforted at night and her sleeping habits took a nosedive.

The other reason I've been missing. I've decided I spend way too much time on my computer at work to come home and spend some more time starring at a screen. So, I'm limiting my computer use at home. That, and, I've started back on FlyLady and my house is slowly but surely getting back into shape. This month is all about reestablishing my daily habits (little more than that) of unloading the dishwasher in the morning, starting a load of laundry, making the bed and swishing and swiping my bathrooms. If I have time for my other 'task' for the day, so be it. If I choose to knit instead, that's ok too.

Jenna's been making leaps and bounds in terms of developmental milestones. One of the reasons I started this blog was to actually *remember* to write these down, and now I feel like I've already missed so much to document. But, as of right now, she can currently roll (both ways! Finally!) scoot around on her belly (360 degrees) sort of crawls backwards and now she's doing the sitting -> 3 point 'stance' rocking as though she's going to crawl. Nick predicts she's going to be crawling by her 7 month birthday (in 8 short days). Most of these little milestones happened over the weekend, but they're all very exciting, none-the-less. Oh! And she's standing... we got her a musical table (still haven't posted on Christmas, due to not uploading pictures) and originally Santa put the legs on the table only to realize that when the box says "removable legs" they only mean that if you don't put the legs on first... meaning, the 'table top' can be used on the floor and then the legs can be ADDED. Once they're on, they don't come off. Nick and Poppie both tried very hard to get them off and they just don't. Well, Christmas morning, it seems as though it would be forever for her to stand and use the table.. so we just kind of held her up to it. Now, she stands at the table, hits at the different 'stuff' and dances to the music. The trombone is her favorite :) (note to self! Must get video!)

8 days shy of 7 months...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jenna's been fussy

Man oh man... Jenna's back on the fussy bandwagon. She's getting better as of last night, but it's been difficult to get her back to that point. For the last few weeks she's been teething (still only one tooth) and just fussy as can be.

Not last night, but the night before, she was up every half hour... meaning, as soon as I'd get a chance to just drift off, she'd be up again. I was so out of it the only way I knew it'd only been 20 minutes since I was last in her room was by looking at the clock. My body was desperately trying to catch up on sleep and it just wasn't happening.

When I would go to her, I'd try to feed her and she wasn't having any of it. She just wanted to be held. So hold I did. So did Nick. We were both frazzled yesterday and luckily Nick snapped me out of it saying "We have to enjoy the good and the bad. She's a blessing and we need to understand that and enjoy it" Thank you Nick.

Last night was much better. We went to bed shortly after 9 and she woke to feed at 12:30 and 3:30. (I dream fed her at 6:30 as usual). Thank you Jenna for letting us catch up. She's been resisting the bottle at day care and I'm thinking that's the reason she's now requiring more feedings at night. Either way... it's gotten a bit more difficult these last few weeks and I hope things level out soon..

This week's food...

I've realized if I start keeping track of my meals, I'm likely to stick to them instead of giving into temptation.

Sunday we had chicken with fresh tomatillo salsa and queso fresco over brown rice and a spinach salad (left overs for Tuesday's lunch)
Monday we had Flank steak (marinated in red wine, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and some brown sugar) over horseradish mashed potatoes (skins on) and a salad. For lunch I had tomato soup.
Tonight I'm taking the left over 'steak' and making a steak salad.
Tomorrow night I'm going to the grocery store (this week is 'off') and so I'll likely pick up a 'cheater chicken' (rotisserie chicken) and have that with quinoa and a salad.
Thursday night will be chicken enchaladas using the left over cheater chicken.
Friday night we'll have sausage and lentils and a salad or tomato soup and grilled cheese... hmmm

This weekend we're traveling.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Update on me

I'm having issues with my photo-sharing website (slow to load, apparently I'm not the only one that decided to order prints from 'last year' on my day off) and I thought I'd do a different update. 

So, I've hit a major milestone and I realized I haven't updated my stats since after giving birth. I'm super proud of myself. 

I'm back to below my pre-pg weight! I'm currently back in most of my pre-pregnancy clothing, I weigh less than before I got pregnant and I'm still nursing. Since having Jenna, my diet has drastically changed. I've never been one to "diet" because I just enjoy 'real' food too much. I try to avoid margarine, artificial sweeteners and the like. Anyway, since having Jenna and looking at both Nick and I's family histories (diabetes and heart disease) I wanted to start eating more appropriately as a family. So, nutritious home cooked meals more frequently. 

I knew it would be a challenge especially going back to work. BUT because I go feed Jenna at lunch, I really can't go out for lunch anymore. That means I have to prep something ahead of time and if I'm going to do that, it makes it easier to be healthy because I have to pre-plan to make it happen (I, for one, don't pre-plan to have 'comfort food'... that's a craving that pops up and I used to give in to at lunch ALL THE TIME). 

Speaking of pre-planning... I now have to grocery shop only once a week. Because it's much more difficult with Jenna, I plan our meals out for the week, write out a list and tackle it all in one day. No more running to the store for one meal. This helps out both for our food choices (again, I don't pre-plan food that's unhealthy) and our wallets. When I used to run to the store for one meal, I would somehow spend $30 on that ONE meal only to have a bunch of the rest of the food spoil. Now, I plan ahead, and use leftovers either for another meal or for lunch the next day. 

Does all this mean this system is "perfect" for me all the time? No. There is no such thing as perfect. I learned once I stopped striving for that not only was I happier, but more forgiving to myself. I buffer in about one meal a week to 'eat out'. That tends to be pizza, Los Panchos or something else easy to grab and yummy to eat. 

So, all in all, 6 months after Jenna arrived, my body is finally feeling back to "normal". I'm back in my clothes, I don't have digestive issues anymore (I thought they'd never go away!) and I'm feeling good. My only remaining issue is my bra size only comes in $70 bras. That, I hope will resolve itself in about 6 months when we stop nursing... but until then...