December 28, 2012

the holidays aren't over yet



i figure since i received 2 christmas cards in the mail yesterday, it's completely appropriate to post our christmas card 3 days late. 

hope you all had a marvelous holiday with loved ones and lots of delicious food. it's all about the food, amirite? 

xo

December 11, 2012

what we did today and car seat stories

today has been deemed a success by this mom, who now sits on her couch, watching ellen, typing this post, while her baby sleeps in his swing 5 feet away. the sound machine is on, i've restarted it twice...and if you know how long we get on that, it's 45 minutes times two. i don't do math so yeah, however long that is. but that's not the only success of the day, no, no, no.

let me divulge a bit, yes?

ok, soo, river does not love car rides. i don't know what we did to get so lucky to have a baby who screams on every. single. car ride but it must have been something super awesome. nothing really helps and we've been trying everything.

need proof?

we bought a convertible seat to see if it was his infant seat that he hated.
we play toddler tunes on the radio at full blast.
we sing at full vocal volume - this probably makes it worse now that i think about it.
i talk to him, sometimes i just repeat "i love you" over and over. this helps me too because not killing your child is a good thing, im told.
i give him toys, pacifiers, teethers, blankets.
i dress him warmly.
i dress him cool..ly?
i put a mirror on the seat so that he can see himself. he loves to watch himself cry, apparently.
i pump my brakes, for fun!
i installed window shades - maybe he hates sunlight.

and today, today, i went and had all my windows tinted. even with the sun shades, sunlight would directly hit his face from other uncovered windows. so in another effort to help make rides more pleasant, i got serious and paid $234 (that includes the 10% discount i found online! holler.) and shaded the shit outta my car.

while we waited for mr. tint to do his business, river and i took a little, ahem, 1 mile walk to the nearest target. now, when i go out with my child o' mine, i take not only a stroller but a carrier too. because while sometimes he'll actually fall asleep reclining in le stroller, he often prefers to be carried on my person. facing out, ma'am, puhlease. today was a carry day but since i had the stroller, i carried him and pushed it all empty like. though, it did come in handy later when i bought things sooo win/win?

he was calm the entire walk. he babbled and gave himself a hickey on his arm. typical.

when we got to target, i first visited the dressing room to breastfeed him. this was my first time doing so and it was quite lovely. i got to sit, relax against the wall, rest my arm on my diaper bag and feed the monster for as long as he needed. which in some cases, if you're wondering, is up to 30 minutes. mr. distracted likes to take his sweet ass time.

after his lunch, i tried to lay him down in the stroller again...no dice. and so, back in the carrier he went. we strolled about target. i bought a few things i never knew i desperately needed. and the entire time he was a happy companion. he even smiled at the cashier as i was checking out.

then, it was time to head back to the tint shop, with a mile ahead of us. and what do you know, he fell asleep about 1/4 of the way in. i knew it had happened because he stopped looking to the side, stopped talking to himself and his arms went limp. does anyone else get nervous when their baby falls asleep in awkward positions? i kept worrying that his hands were asleep and he had passed out to avoid the pain of pins and needles. #yesimcrazy

we made it back and he slept for a while in the waiting room. i took a bunch of photos of him sleeping to document the awesomeness. my kid doesn't nap much. and when he does, it's short. like, i barely have time to poop short.




when he woke up, we played for a bit and then the crank started up. twas feeding time again. so out with the bebe au lait cover and in with the boob. the tint guy came in to tell me my car was done.

"oh, you're feeding him? ok, whenever you're ready, come and get me and i'll ring you up."

i was pretty pleased with how calm he was about my breastfeeding in his tiny, public waiting room. he probably has kids too, i thought. 5 minutes later, not 30, hoo-ray!, we paid our monies and got in the car.

now here's the amazing part. river didn't cry.

he had his sophie, and his crinkle monkey and his mirror but now he also had protection from the sun! he sat back there, babbled a little and then, he fell asleep.

asleep, people.

it was either a christmas miracle or tinted windows are the answer to my prayers. ya know, if i prayed.
either way, i'm sending mr. tint a present this year.

i'm thinking some breastfeeding covers for his wife.


xo

p.s. ellen just gave some family 25K and now i'm crying. 

December 5, 2012

5 dresses in and i'm living in a time warp

all i can say is, how the heck have 5 days of december come and gone so quickly?? i am so unaware of the minutes, hours, days that pass. i spend them in 2 hour chunks of feeding little river. and lately, he's become a crazy boob eater every hour and a half on the dot. i hope i see some serious baby growth to show for it. oooo baby rolls, come to me. 

::

day 2

h&m dress, tjmaxx sweater, steve madden boots, mac lipstick in russian red

:::

day 3

 old navy maternity dress, h&m shirt

::

day 4

h&m dress, target sweater, zara jacket, steve madden boots

::

day 5

free people dress, american apparel unitard, boots from urban outfitters

xo

yes, i wear unitards

December 1, 2012

oh hey dressember, back so soon?


so this month just sorta crept up, amirite? 

i'm almost positive october and november never happened. though i do have a chunky little 3 month old in my house so time must be moving along. it's just a little too fast for me to take note. 

for example, i am still working on my thank you cards from my baby shower. my baby shower that was in july. i figure i have until the end of this year before they're entirely obsolete, yes? maybe? hopefully? 

if i don't make it, i want all of you generous, gorgeous gift givers that i love all of you and the gifts you gave. they have come in handy each and every day. hugs and kisses, meow and hurrah. for serious.

<<<< THANK YOU >>>> 
lurve, 
me.

so back to this month, it's december and the holidays are totally taking over. case in point: elf is on tv right now. and smiling is my favorite. 

not on tv right now, my dressember dress. its on my body, under a blanket, a pillow and some spit up. 

and so it starts. 

31 days of dresses, definitely when i leave the house, possibly even when im on the couch all day. photo documentation to follow. 

day 1. 
with the gorgeous carriediev



looks like this year will include some mini hank cameos. lucky us! 

follow along on instagram and perhaps even join in?? :) 
@vickichristine

xo

November 27, 2012

when old things become new



i've long loved this song. it's been on many a playlist for me and the other day, while river and i were reading blogs and he started to get fussy, i opened my itunes and started playing this song to calm him down. you know it's a good song when he stops and listens for the entire thing. he, of course, did just that for this song. but while he was in a trance, i started singing it and then, i started crying. before i knew it, one verse in, it had an entirely new meaning for me. i wasn't singing this song to my husband that day, i was singing it to my baby boy. and save for a few lines, it fit magically. 


been up all night, staring at you, wondering what's on your mind. 

every word you say, i think, i should write down. don't want to forget come daylight. 

happy to lay here. just happy to be here. i'm happy to know you. 


have you heard this song, don't you just love it? 

xo

November 18, 2012

a river runs through us: a birth story, part two


apparently it’s much more difficult to find the time to blog these days...but here we are, it’s birth story time again. if you forgot what happened to this point, check it out here.

\\\

i’m shocked that i’m not further dilated by this point. but i shake it off and focus on the fact that i get to stay and prepare myself for what’s to come. it’s more real now than ever and i’m so excited for what’s to come.

how much more intense will these contractions get? what will it feel like to push my baby out?

let’s. do. this.

i put headphones on, listen to my hypnobirthing cd and get in the zone.


now, time is hard to recall during this time. it was a blur during the day and it’s even blurrier in the hospital. i know i listened to that cd for hours. i know we sat in the shower for a long time. the hot water running down my back, my face, my belly, it was an amazing distraction. when my fingers pruned, i got out and went back to the room, strength regained for a short time.

they started to get the hot tub ready for me. it was something i had anticipated loving, something i was looking forward to for months. and then, i got in. immediately, i wanted to throw up. i felt nauseous and out of control. i hated it.

i feel like that’s such a great reminder that you truly have NO idea how any of this will feel once the time comes. you can plan and plan. you can prepare and hope but you just have no clue what you’ll actually want or need during birth. such a great lesson for the next time around. for me, at least.

so quickly, i got out. and because i was feeling so ill and because i was exhausted at this point, i asked for something to take the edge off. not an epidural but anything they had available to me in the birthing center.

the nurse brought my midwife in and she made sure that’s what i wanted. without a doubt, yes. give me something, please.

they put an IV in my arm, shot me up with some goodness and i immediately fell asleep. for 2 hours. it was heaven.

i think it was around 2am.

when i woke up, there was a lot of pain. new pain, stronger pain.

some hours passed as i walked around the room, bounced on a ball, breathed through each surge. they came in and checked me and i was at 6cm.

6.

6!

while she checked me (aka, had her lady hands all the way up in my lady parts) she broke my water inadvertently. and woah, hello water party! i kinda liked it and hooray for another milestone closer to meeting our little guy. i was excited!

the sun is out now and we’re well into friday morning. because my water had broken and things were progressing...slowly...they gave me the sexiest underwear i would ever wear. get excited about these ladies. made of stretchy gauze and bigger than any pair you’ve ever seen...

my undies bring all the boys to the yard.
and they’re like, they’re bigger than yours.
damn right.

so with my new outfit complete and a pool of water beside my bed, we got moving. there was a lot of deeeep breathing. a lot of pulling on bed posts and squatting down. a lot of sitting on the exercise ball. a lot of hand holding, hair rubbing, back massaging and a lot of encouraging words from all the lovely people in the room.

who was there, you ask? my nurse, my doula, my hank, my mom, my sister, my sister-in-law. and every now and then, my midwife with her apprentice.

it’s maybe 1pm now.



they check me again, curious about the progress i might have made.

i’m at 7cm.

holybajeezussomebodykillmenow.

i’m trying really hard not to cry hysterically.

it was then that the midwife, the doula, the nurses all looked at me with their most sympathetic faces and told me that it was time to intervene. their suggestion, pitocin.

at this point, i knew my body. i knew that i had endured a lot already and on very little sleep. i knew that i could keep going naturally but on pitocin - with faster, stronger contractions to face - i was going to need an epidural. i was going to need sleep.

they asked me twice, was i sure? is this what i really wanted?

it was.

...and just like that, what i envisioned for my birth was not to be. i was nervous and emotional. but the idea of not feeling the pain was also so exciting and i could barely wait to get that huge needle in my back.

a wheelchair rolled into the room and we packed our bags to move down to labor and delivery.
natural shmatural.

so things are very different in l&d. they immediately hook me up to machines and i have to be careful not to tangle myself in tubes and cords as i sit up for my epidural. within minutes, there is relief. they turn the lights down, close the curtains and i sleep for hours. i have no idea how many but it was marvelous.

my family will tell you that when i woke up, i was me again. i made jokes. i was able to speak! it was a new day and i didn’t even care how long it was going to take to get to 10cm. and good thing because it took a while. i took two more naps before they checked me again and proudly proclaimed, it was time!
you’re at 10cm and we’re ready for you to push now.

ahhhh! i couldn’t believe it was time. it was so awesome!

the midwife leaves me with the nurses to get started. i can still feel the pressure of the contractions and know when it’s time to push. they tell me to try and push 3 times with each contraction. sometimes, i’m even able to get 4 in. i want this baby out. i want to pull him out and hear him cry and see his little face.
the nurses tell me i’m doing a great job and that they can even see his head coming down, they’re going to get the midwife. ohhh man.

she comes and coaches me. she can see that i’m doing everything i should be and that he should be coming out. 2 hours pass....

she reaches in and tells me that he’s sunny side up. she tries to turn him, twice. it doesn’t work. BUT it does successfully push him back up to negate all of the progress i made to get him out.

um, thanks?

they do an ultrasound and see that not only is he facing up, his arm is hooked around his neck. as in, that is not going to fit through any holes i have.

she tells me that she’s going to get the doctor to come see me.

she doesn’t directly say what this means but i have an idea. and the sadness starts setting in.
a doctor i’ve never met comes in, introduces herself and says she’s going to try and turn the baby as well. she reaches in, tells me to push and does her best.

she can’t turn him and she says,
i know you’ve been through a lot and you’ve done such a great job but i think it’s time for a cesarean delivery.

i immediately start crying. balling.

i tell them, no, i can turn him. let me push on all fours. let gravity pull him around. please, let me try. please. i do not want a c-section.

they tell me i get one hour.

in retrospect, i know they did this to be nice. they knew then that there was no way i could turn him and that i had no energy to push anymore.

i turned over, careful again not to pull out any cords, and pushed and cried. and cried and pushed. nothing happened. nothing changed.

my fate was sealed. i was defeated. i told them to just fucking do it.

now the worst part for me at this point, besides the extreme disappointment and fear of surgery, is that i haven’t been upping my epidural meds at all since i started pushing. they give you a little button that you can push anytime you feel pain so that it’s manageable over time. well, i thought i was going to push him out quickly. i didn’t think i’d need to keep the drugs coming. and now, i can feel everything again.

except now, everything is at 10cm, without a water cushion, on full steam pitocin. so basically, every contraction is at full strength and without pause. they just come, one after another, after another. i watch the monitor and keep asking why it’s not going down? why is this happening? i’ve already done this. i’ve already endured these, make it stop.

it takes one hour for the anesthesiologist to get to my room.

during this hour, i am crying, gripping the bars of my hospital bed, sweating, counting. there are people at every side of me, rubbing my back, my head, my arms, my legs to try and distract me. they are crying too and there’s nothing any of us can do but wait.

wait for me to be taken into surgery. not exactly a comforting thought.

finally, they come, shoot me up with more drugs, make me sign my life away and roll me  into the third room i’ve seen since i’ve been there. this is the room where my son will be born, so far away from where i thought it would happen.

they transfer me onto this tiny metal table. they place my arms outstretched on either side of my body.

i’m on a cross. it’s cold.
i’m shaking uncontrollably.

they introduce themselves one by one and tell me my husband is on his way.



hank comes in and sits by my side. as soon as he’s there, they start and within 5 minutes, our son is out.
we hear him cry and they carry him past the blue sheet to the left of us. to a warm bed where they clean him up and get him ready for the inaugural cord cutting. of course, they’ve already cut the real cord from my body but still, they let hank cut the remaining part.

we’re so overwhelmed. with all that has happened and now our son is here and he’s ok and healthy and beautiful.

i try so hard to feel happiness and relief. to focus on my child. but i can’t because i’m still on the operating table, wide open. i feel immense pressure everywhere. i imagine them moving organs around and stuffing things back in. i feel my body being moved from side to side, up and down, in and out. i’m still shaking.

it takes about 20 minutes for them to close me up.

i hear them do a tool count, twice. making sure they left nothing inside my body. i hear one doctor say to the other, nice job on my incision closure. i hear the anesthesiologist tell me that i’m ok, even though i tell him i’m starting to feel things down there. i hear hank tell me that river has 10 fingers and 10 toes. i hear people move me onto another bed. i hear them ask me to push the button to play the song that a new baby has been born. i hear myself tell hank that no, im not ready to hold our son. i hear it all but i don’t feel it.

i am not present.

hank says it was almost an hour before i held river.

when the midwife came in and said that i must try and breastfeed him, i did. i took him into my arms for the very first time and he immediately looked for me, for my breast. i don’t know if i cried then but i’m crying now. he knew me and he did exactly what he needed to do to survive. such a good boy, such a smart and capable boy.



he had tons of hair and big eyes and perfect lips. and he was ours. we made him.


after all that, he was here and it didn’t matter anymore. because those moments were gone and this one was here and we had made it. together.


we love you so much, river henry.


xo
a million times, xo.



November 14, 2012

see ya later month two


little river man turned 2 months last week and we're saying heyhey! to all sorts of new things already.

where month 1 was all about surviving, a feeding and sleeping fest, month 2 was about getting to know each other. and for us specifically, learning to deal with his newly acquired reflux.

when before he would sleep after eating, now he would cry because of tummy gas. he would vomit all over his clothes and ours. he would arch his back and clench his fists.

a little zantac has made it much better. not all better but much improved for sure. our poor little man.

the other things, when reflux wasn't monopolizing our attention...

learning each of his cries.
and how he likes to be held.
and how long he needs to eat to feel full.

there are so many new things every day and the more we learn, the better we all get along.



i love to watch him on the monitor or from behind a piece of furniture. to see him work things out or take in what's around him. it's all about recognizing his cues and learning how to respond to them so that he's happy and content. and it's amazing.

this month, he learned to smile and laugh. he holds his head up like a champ. he always wants to face out and see what's going on in his world. he talks a lot and laughs at his reflection.



he still has not decided what chupi he likes best, if at all.
he stops crying every time we play with his crinkle monkey.
he sleeps an average of 6 hours a night.
he has one dimple on his right side.
he hates his car seat and red lights.
loves eating his hands.
loves bath time.
doesn't love hats.
doesn't love tummy time.
he does love diaper changes. we're about to start wearing size 2! holywut.

he weighs 12.5 lbs and is wearing 0-3 and 3 month clothing.


i could go on for a long time like this but i'll spare you more oogling from the mom corner.

p.s. i'm a mom. whaaaaaaaaat??

xo

November 4, 2012

a singing video

the follow-up to yesterday's post here.

me, being patriotic.
and just in time for the election!

holler.


video


so there you have it.
meeeow.

also! before this, i spent some time in the penalty box with rachel buehler.

buehler...buehler....??

well if you don't know who i'm referring to, she's a defender from the u.s. women's soccer team. the team that won gold in the olympics. she had her medal with her and um, i held it.

gold. it's heavy.
#yesyoucanbejealous


xo

November 3, 2012

ohhh say can you seeeee

you know this song, yes?

welp, if you're bored or happen to be in the area, i'll be singing the national anthem at the sd sockers game this evening. in about 3 hours to be exact.

i know, short on notice.
but that's how i roll.

good news is...while i was googling the lyrics earlier today, i came across xtina's performance. ya know, the one where she sang the wrong words.

kinda made me feel like i got this.



wish me luck!

yeeeehaw.

xo

November 2, 2012

our lil bunny turned giraffe

if you've been here a while, you might remember how baby river was always bunny. bunny baby in the womb. who knew he was actually a giraffe!?

though, giraffe doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well, now does it?


oh, that tail.

xo

October 23, 2012

a river runs through us: a birth story


4 days before birth day

remember that one day i slathered plaster all over my naked torso? 

well, i’m no expert but i think said action is a sure-fire way to kick labor into gear because mid-slathering, contractions started happening. at first, i thought, woah, i just felt a short period cramp. it was your standard period cramp, warm, twisty and achy. nbd. and then maybe 10 minutes later i felt another one and wondered if i was making it up in my head. did i want to get baby out so bad that i started imagining labor pains? are these even labor pains? you mean, i will actually go into labor at some point??

i sent a text to my co-pregnant pal asking at what point do i start timing these things. she said to just start and so i did. 

this was wednesday at 7pm. 

at this point, contractions/surges were all over the place. some were a minute long, some 2 minutes, some 30 seconds. they were 10 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, 30 minutes apart. what does it feel like at this point? 

excitement. it feels like totally bearable excitement. 

i loved the feeling. warm, tingly crampage knocking at my cervical door, saying let me out, let me out. i sat on the couch, chatted with my mom about how it was feeling while hank was at his weekly hockey game.  i was getting increasingly excited for what would come. my mom went home and told me to call her when we were going to leave the house. hank came home and sent his boss an email saying he wouldn’t be in for work the next day. it was getting real, folks. 

when midnight came around that night, we decided to go to bed and just wait for the contractions to get stronger. i slept through the night almost completely. two or three times, i woke up from the pain, went to the bathroom and then fell back asleep. it was a calm scene. 

the next morning, my contractions started to become more consistent and from thursday morning on, they were never less than 10 minutes apart. and as the day went on, they grew in intensity and i thought, we should pack the hospital bag. ha! procrastinate much? 

so we packed the bag, i bounced around on an exercise ball, we watched ridiculousness and laughed through the pain. but i had a goal, whether it was time or not, to drive south to my sister’s house to be closer to the hospital and to miss rush hour traffic. (we live about 40 miles from the hospital since moving) so when 2:30pm rolled around, we left. by this time, it’s pretty intense and i expect to be a mommy by that evening. i sat in the passenger seat with a car seat in the back, hank’s hand on mine, and my requested john mayer playing loud from the stereo. i breathed through each “cramp” and sang songs during the in-between minutes. 

one thing to know about labor, contractions are almost delightful in the early stages because you know it will end soon. you know that in a minute or so you’ll feel completely normal again. you’ll breathe normally and carry on a conversation, close your eyes and rest. knowing that there is light after each contraction is heaven. sleepy, happy heaven. 

we park at my sister’s house and i slowwwwwly waddle through the pain to her front door. it’s getting worse. walking is difficult. laying down is NOT happening. sitting, sitting up is all i can do; it’s my preferred position. i totally thought i’d be able to lie down and rest or sprawl over the exercise ball but no, no, no. the pain is practically unbearable in those comfy positions. it’s upright or nothin’. so i keep changing my seat up. i’m on the couch, a chair, the ball, a different chair. i’m hot, i’m cold. it’s too loud, it’s not loud enough. i want my back rubbed, i don’t want to be touched. it was a lot of back and forth, searching for the thing that would help me through it.

it’s thursday at 10pm.

i decided things were brutal enough. contractions were consistently 4 minutes apart and i wasn’t waiting for 3 minute mark. i had to be close to ready because back labor had begun and silent tears were rolling down my face. we packed up and made our way over. 

we checked into the birthing center and found out that my midwife is on duty. hooray! they move me into one of the biggest rooms there, a second hooray!, and i change into the infamous hospital gown. my midwife comes in and hugs me. i’m so ready. i’ve been doing this for more than 24 hours at this point and can’t believe the moment is so close. 

she checks me and says:

ok, so you’re only about 4 centimeters dilated. it’s still pretty early but we’ll let you stay. get comfy, it could be a while. 

W.T.F.


to be continued...


October 17, 2012

see, here's the thing. the honest, sappy thing.

i'm just gonna say it.

it took me a month to really fall in love with my little river man. of course, i instinctually loved him when he was born. i loved that first cry and that first look and that first latch. but it's all so new and overwhelming and, and, and.

those first few weeks were hard. we were getting to know each other. he, new to the world. me, new to his world. because it is now, it's all his world and i am here to guide and help and comfort him along the way. and lucky, lucky me.

it took a month to recognize his moods, his needs, his wants. it took a month for a real smile to be shared between us. it took a month to get used to sleeping less and showering less and getting out of the house more slowly.

it took a month.

and now, here we are at almost 6 weeks and i am completely, utterly, most undeniably in love with that boy. i miss him when he's sleeping. i can't wait to nurse him again and again. i soak in every new move and face he makes.

and i know that it will continue to grow, this bond we're forming, because that's how life works. change is always good, even if it takes time to give into it. it's all about time and effort and love. that's all we can do; that's all we get to do. to give it our best shot each day and to let those around us know how much we love them, how much we appreciate them, how special they are to us.

and river, you are the cat's meow, kid.
you really are.

oh, lucky, lucky me.


xo

October 11, 2012

peace out newborn diapers

im sitting here pumping as i anxiously watch my child writhe and squirm in his sleeper. he's got gas. he's got it bad. it's only been 45 minutes since i last fed him and i can tell i only have a short amount of time to finish this up because he's going to be hungry again.

we always stand in a buffalo stance.

it's during these times that i miss the first few weeks of newborndom. the days when he literally ate and then slept for hours on end. i believe it happens like that to ease you into parenthood. to trick you into thinking it will always be that simple and systematic.

as the days go on, i can see that no days will be predictable. when yesterday, rocking worked, today, he hates the rocking chair. when last night he slept for 7 hours, tonight, he woke up every two just to make sure you were listening. it's a crazy baby world for this crazy baby momma who loves rules and order and predictable things.

...i'm done pumping - only 2 ounces yielded.

eff.

eff is a common feeling for me these days.

reminds of yesterday when we were happily, peacefully in nursing land. baby eating like a fiend, mommy watching another boring television show when there was a crash. it was a crash from down below, a thunderous boom from diaperville. at first, i thought, great job buddy! but then, then i noticed my hand and thigh felt warm. too warm.

i look down.

the biggest glob you've ever seen...or smelled...of yellow baby poo all OVER his clothes, his blanket, my pants, my hand. we walk slowly to the changing table to clean up the scene. well, once baby is laying down, his sock gets in the poo. so i take that off. well then his foot in the poo. and when it's time to remove the onesie, the poo transfers to his back and his hair.

bath time was early yesterday.

from his first bath - which he hated.
note: submerge baby in the warm water at all times. turns out, they don't like being cold either.
psh. 
oh and did i mention i'm wearing make-up today?! eff yeah! 

see, sometimes eff is a good thing. 
xo

hey riv, remember when you grew out of newborn diapers at 4 weeks? wah.

October 9, 2012

one month and two years


on monday, river celebrated his first month birthday. he partied it up by eating, pooping and sleeping the day away. he also smiled at me 10 times and enjoyed a decent amount of tummy time. his one month appointment was today and little riv is weighing in at 10 pounds. he's feeling mighty strong and capable these days. he even crawled up my chest and headbutted my chin to prove his strength. to which i said: show-off!

he smiled again.


on monday, hank and i celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary. we partied it up by going out to a fancy italian dinner on saturday. it was filled with delicious pastas, cheeses and wine. i had two whole glasses and yes, i was mildly intoxicated. it felt grand. river's gigi offered to watch him overnight that day. overnight, people! of course i did have to get up twice to pump because river's eating machines were about to explode without their best customer in the house. but man, it was a quiet, peaceful sleep we had. and even still...7am couldn't have come any sooner to go over and hold our little man. but back to wedding anniversaries. i am married to my most perfect partner. there is not a day that passes that i am not entirely grateful, happy, lucky, amazed, and fulfilled by this man. this hank. 2 years and about 100 more to go. i love you hanklin. big time.

good things.
xo

October 3, 2012

what to pack: hospital stay for baby day


i wrote this list on a chalkboard in our kitchen so that regardless of when it had to be packed - the day we went to the hospital, as it turned out - hank knew exactly what to get. men like lists and i don't plan ahead. just in case you can't read my sloppy writing, here's the list again: 

toiletries - for each of us. ex: toothbrush, face wash, deodorant, etc. 
boppy pillow - breastfeeding helper, though the hospital has so many pillows, you'd be fine without this. though! hank slept on it as his pillow and fell in love with it. so if not for feeding, bring it for your hubby. 
laptops and chargers - we only brought one and i never even touched it. 
camera and charger - definite must have
phones and chargers - also definite - hello, you will need to instagram all the newest baby pics! 
robe and going home clothes - i was really happy to have my own robe to walk the halls and to look a little more like myself when visitors were around. got a super comfy one from target. 
river's outfit - i see many people bring more than one to dress the babe while you're in the hospital, we didn't do this so he was a naked swaddled baby most of the time - he didn't seem to mind.
makeup bag - i used my chapstick, blush and eyelash curler while there. though honestly, it didn't help much. ha. 
exercise ball - hospitals probably have these around but i brought mine anyway and used it A LOT. 
blanket - for baby's ride home
swaddle blanket - not necessary but cute to have with you so your baby is swaddled in something cuter than hospital blankets. 
snacks - lots of them! hubby and you both are going to be hungry after the delivery and during the day(s) you are stuck in there. hank's version of snacks was a costco size bag of skittles, fyi. 

there you have it. i honestly didn't need anything other than what's listed above. so good news: you don't have to stress about packing for the big day! easy peasy. 

xo


September 28, 2012

some firsts from mommyland


i peed yesterday while holding my baby. 

it was a first for me. though i'm sure it won't be the last. i'm actually considering waking him up right this second to practice this new bathroom behavior. HA! no, i'm not considering that at all. sleeping baby means time to blog, read, sleep, poop, do dishes and/or laundry, etc., etc. and there is no way i'm messing with that gloriousness. 

another first, i showered today while the babe was in the bathroom with me and he didn't wake up! i didn't have to skip shaving or conditioner to rescue him from his crying. it was a beautiful thing. and the best news, i'm clean! hank, ya hear that!? i'm clean! you're welcome. 

and my last first for this post, i used a breast pump. and as i did, hank and i just laughed because i am officially a cow. it's udderly insane. but i got 2 oz. and today i'm going to try and get more because thinkin' that said pumped milk will buy me a ticket to get a pedicure, ALL by myself. holler. 

these firsts are triumphant but more than that, they are evidence of just how much life has changed for me. i'm really trying to embrace the change and flourish. but i'm not going to lie, it's hard. it's mother-effing hard y'all. after 31 years of being able to do whatever i want, whenever i want, it's quite the task to not be able to do anything you want, ever. ha! and how to make this a-ok? well, number one, just look at that adorable baby you get to hold and soothe and snuggle. two - change the things you want...for now. and three, know that everyday is a new day and things will evolve and will probably improve. as life does. 

i cry a lot. and at first i thought i was crying because i was sad and overwhelmed - and sometimes i am - but last night, while i was singing a song to river, i realized i'm crying a lot because i'm so in love. so much so that i can't contain it half the time. even now, i'm crying as i type this. i couldn't even finish the song because my voice cracked and the only thing i could do was hold his tiny hand and watch as he fell asleep right next to me. 

xo

September 24, 2012

still alive and feeling love in completely new places

hello!

do you know what happens in this house when you have a baby? you forget that you have a blog and that there are other amazing blogs out there to read. and then you sit down for a second, instead of doing the dishes like you should, and for a minute, you remember these things and you start exploring. and then the baby makes a noise and you stop and look up. he's squirming but he's still asleep. 

so you go back to the computer for a bit. but then your nipples start to hurt. yes, i said nipples. it's the weirdest shit, guys. boob madness all day, every day. 

when i see him, they hurt. 
when he cries, they hurt. 
when it's time for him to eat, they hurt. 

dear emotions - get out of my boobs! 

i have enough emotion and feeling and love everywhere else. the last place i need them is in my breasts. because let me tell you, these ladies are already large enough. 

as in, no vacancy. 
fully boarded. 
milk production in the highest, hosana.

for serious.

but milk must be doing someone good because he's gained over a pound since we left the hospital AND that ridiculously cute river slept from 830pm - 2am last night. and then i fed him and he went back to sleep until 6am. 

um, winners up in the hizouse! 

see that second photo...that's his champion sleeper arm stretch. 


dear river - i love you so so so much.
and so do my boobs, clearly.

xoxooxxoxoxoooo

September 19, 2012

guest post! sarah from the reverie blog

as you've probably noticed, having a newborn in the house has taken a toll on my blogging time. and it's rather unfortunate as i have many, many things to say about this new baby business.

luckily, today i have a guest blogging treat for you.

sarah from the reverie blog has so graciously stepped in to share her memories of this newborn phase with her darling girl, Iris. sarah's blog is always so honest, heartfelt, and gorgeously written - if you haven't visited her blogspace yet, now is the time my friends.

thanks so much, sarah! xo

>><<


I'll never forget those sleepy, lazy, hazy first few days of Iris' life. I'll never forget them, and yet I can barely remember them? I can barely remember the ins and outs of what we did or how my body felt or if we slept or not. I can't remember who stopped by or what we ate or if I managed to squeeze in a shower or two.

But I won't forget staring at my daughter's face.
I won't forget seeing my husband hold his little girl.
I won't forget the weight of my little one, sleeping in my arms, and just holding my breath to remember the moment, fearful to put her down lest I miss out on a second of what I knew I should be drinking in.

Now, that beautiful new baby is my gorgeous, vivacious, life-loving 18-month-old. There have been days I remember in detail, there have been more days that have been a blur. And each day has been better than the one before it--knowing her more, somehow loving her more, if that's even possible.

And we're awaiting the arrival of our second baby girl in just (hopefully less than!) seven weeks. I can't imagine what it's going to be like raising and loving two girls. Just like the first time around, there will probably be a lot I don't remember or don't understand. But somehow, just like last time, we'll find ourselves holding on to what's really important, doubled-over with love, and just a big happy family.

I'm so thrilled for Vicki that this is what she's experiencing right now. That even through the haze or the uncertainties, that she's living those first sacred moments--the moments when unimaginable bonds of love are formed.

Congrats Henry family!


September 16, 2012

7 must haves for the first 7 days with a new baby


the first week hath passed! and we survived. we flourished, really. i didn't think we'd be sleeping as much as we are, didn't know we'd have a lot of downtime throughout the day to relax and/or clean. and while yes, it's the adjustment of the century, it's so incredible how each day gets easier and each day you fall deeper in love with this tiny human being, this little person that we made. like, we made him. are you wrapping your head around this? because i'm still working on it. 

i fully believe that all you need is love. and la la la, etc. but there is no harm in having some fabulous helpers along the way. 

here are mine for surviving week one with a new baby at home. 

::::

1. wubbanub - we don't want to rely on the pacifier...or as we call it, the chupie...but dang there are some special moments when it really comes in handy. say, for instance, when you really have to poop and screaming just doesn't jive with your need to concentrate because uh, having a baby really stops that train. know this. 

2. aden+anais muslin wraps - i know you've seen these everywhere but just know that everyone speaks the truth. they're amazing and light and lovely and super awesome. they work for swaddling, cuddling, burping, blanketing, etc. just get them. 

3. cloud b sound machine - holy heckness, does this work. river was taking a nap on wednesday while we organized his room and just when he started his squirmy dance, we tried it out. i'm not lying when i say he continued to sleep for another hour. we also use this during the night after his feeding - magic. 

4. swaddleme by summer infant - not the best swaddler in the world? hands flying out everywhere? the swaddleme is easy, fast and secure. baby is staying put in this baby and it only takes this swaddle challenged momma a minute to wrap things up. holler. 

5. medela ultra-stretch nursing bra - love it, love it, love it. so comfortable and comfortable and did i mention it's comfortable. comfort is key when your boob is a milk factory open for business 24 hours a day. milk party holder. get it. 

6. gerber cloth diapers - burp your baby with these. wipe up anything with these. lay them down and change a poopie diaper with these. money. 

7. fisher price newborn sleeper - love the incline, the portability, the design, all of it. just love it. and so does our little river man. turns out you don't need a bassinet. you just need this. bam. 

::::

yay for 7 day accomplishments! 
hope this list serves you and your precious little baby booties well. 

xo

September 12, 2012

new roommate up in here

oh, hello there. 

i almost forgot how to use my computer but can i tell you that it feels amazing to be sitting here, watching my newborn baby boy sound asleep, computer screen alive and well in front of me, typing away like a badass momma. 

because yeah, that's what's up. 

i opened my gmail and had 383 emails to delete. delete because yes, most of those are newsletters that i once signed up for and now refuse to unsubscribe from for fear of missing the deal of the century on ya know, anything...omaha steaks, international wine, groupons and living socials from cities i don't even live in anymore. oh the life i lead. 

but yeah, um, did you notice what i said up there?!? i had a baby people. it happened. after all those PBMs, he finally showed up to change our lives forever and holy cannoli balls, is he amazing. and since i'm not biased at all, it's completely fair for me to say he's the cutest baby to ever sleep, eat, and poop his way through each day. 


thanks so much for following us on this journey. here starts another one. 
i hope you'll stick around! 

because next up, a birth story, just as soon as i can wrap my head around what the hell happened in that hospital. birthing babies, it's serious shit. let's talk about it, shall we? 

until then, my loves. 

xo

September 6, 2012

cast away belly





my mom's coworker recently told her about a little thing called the belly cast and how it could be easily purchased at babiesRus for just $19.99. 

well that was all it took because here i am, waiting the recommended 5-10 days for said cast to dry completely before i do god knows what with it. but what's the harm in documenting how freaking huge adorable my belly and um, boobs are at this stage in pregnancy. 

it's a party everyday, people. 
no diggity, no doubt. 

xo

September 5, 2012

the closet that hank built




and then it was complete.


i've since added my colorful scarves to the space. it's a work in progress but this is much better than my shoes in a pile on the closet floor - they way they've been for years. we've also added some dirty clothes to the hamper. i'll save you a photo of that reality. and see those hunter boots down there? it is a fact that there is nothing i want more right this second than to be wearing those in cooler autumn weather holding a gorgeous, new baby boy in my arms. 

summer, i'm done with you for this year. clock out already; your shift is up.

xo

shelves and brackets: lowes
curtain: ikea
nightstand: ikea
hamper: bed, bath and beyond
husband: connecticut - but there's only one and he's all mine. mmMmmmm. 

September 3, 2012

pbm: week 40. are we done yet?


it is week 40 and each day could be THE day. hank and i talk a lot about how these are our last days to rest up and take random outings. we spent most of the holiday weekend at my mom's pool, playing and swimming with easton. we ate a lot of good food and took some naps. it feels almost illegal to be relaxing so much but everyone keeps telling us to soak it up so we're trying. we did get some organizing and cleaning done. all the baby clothes are washed and put away and ohmygoodness, do we have a lot of clothes for this boy! - thanks to all our friends and family!! [thank you cards...must. write. thank you cards!!] 

not much new to announce...

sleeping is still easy until i have to move. 
eating is still great. good food to be had, no heartburn or acid reflux. 
weight - no idea. the scale is upstairs and well, climbing stairs to step on a scale is not my idea of a good time. so yeah, that doesn't happen. 

oh, one new thing is the awesomeness of carpal tunnel syndrome. is there anything fabulous about not being able to bend your fingers in the morning, after a long night's sleep? umm, nope. ouch, ouch, and ouch! it usually improves as the day goes on but dang, fingers are like, super important! i like mine to operate normally so i'm looking forward to that possibility. fingers crossed...oh wait, maybe later. 

thing i'm most looking forward to: baby river's birthing day

xo