Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let's talk about sex...baby.

The thing about babies is that while it's lovely to think about making one, practice making one and actually making one, once you do, make one, you stop doing what made one in the first place.
Let's go back a bit.
There's this thing that happens to a pregnant woman. She's so hopped up on her own hormones that at some point she become insatiable and can't get enough boo-tay. This did not happen to me. I got pregnant and wanted nothing to do with sex...ever...again.
Now I am a fair woman. I took one for the team every once and a while for the hubs but for the most part that whole wanting it all the time thing passed right by me.
Fast forward to new mommy. My hormones were still all jacked up but we were inching closer and closer to the 6 week finish line.
Now you would think that after 6 weeks of no "brown chicken, brown cow" action that I would be a randy girl! You would be wrong.
Hormones aside, have you ever tried to have sex with a 6 week old baby in the house?
Let me give you an illustration...
A few kisses, clumsily moving to bedroom, a few more kisses, a pair of pants flying this way, a shirt, that way, now we're getting somewhere.....
You become masters of the "quickie".
As we move toward the 4 month mark, I am happy to say that when my husband and I are actually home (and awake) at the same time, our little girl is really good about sleeping just long enough. We are back into the flow of practicing making baby #2!
(Don't get excited...I said practicing!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's gets better...

That's what EVERYONE tells you the first few weeks after your first baby is born.
And man, are they right!
Ty and I were reminiscing about those first 3-4 weeks after Evie Sue was born and how tired, frustrated, worn out, and tired we were. I knew what tired felt like or at least I thought I did until the one night she just wasn't feeling sleep. AT ALL. Oh and did I mention that she hadn't napped that day either? By 6am I was so tired I was actually dizzy. It was bad.
But we have finally gotten into a bit of a groove. At most she is getting up once per night to nurse. And a few times we've even made it through all night (10pm-7am).
I should really say SHE has made it.
I, on the other hand, tend to wake up at about 3am in full panic mode rushing in to the nursery to check her breathing.
We have even had a few playdates to break up our days. Days that, while yes she is sleeping so much better and is so fun to be with, still sometimes melt into each other. I still feel like I am doing the same load of laundry over and over and missing my husband every second he has to be gone.
But yes, it has gotten better. The breastfeeding, the sleep, her smiles and holding her head up and just being playful in general.
I now find that I can spare a half hour at bedtime to read a few chapters of a book because I'm not always worried about getting in a few minutes of shut eye before she wakes up again. She naps really well most days so I am able to actually take a shower without rushing.
Going out can still be a challenge but dammit we make it happen.
In about a week Evie Sue will get to meet her aunt and uncle from Chicago and we are taking her to her first minor league baseball game with the whole family.
Speaking of family, I feel like we are getting this "family" thing down. I am trying new recipes to have waiting for my hubs when he gets home. We love taking the Button to work and school events to show her off. And we are getting really pumped for our Vermont trip.
All in all, it has gotten better and I know it will continue to. For all of us. Baby steps (pun intended) towards more sleep, saying "hi", "Momma", and "Daddy" and settling into this crazy life of parenthood that we are so in love with.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Evie Sue is 3 months!

My little one is 3 months old. Yowzers!
I was trying to think of what to write about and there is one thing that keeps coming up again these days. Breastfeeding. I'm gonna write about my boobs!
I know this can be a touchy subject so here is my disclaimer. I have no judgement about anyone who has chosen for whatever reason to breastfeed or not to breastfeed. It's none of my business. This is about my journey.
Here's the thing. I've said it before...breastfeeding blows...for awhile. 5 days after Evie Sue was born I was done, finito, arrivedeci to breastfeeding. Let me tell you why.
It hurts! Really bad.
I did all the research, I knew the sayings ("Breast is Best"). But I also knew at that time that I was miserable. Here I was with my newborn baby girl. I should have been elated. I should have been bonding. But all I was doing was dreading the next time I had to feed her which if you know anything about newborns this happens like, all the frickin' time!
It was a bit devastating. I wanted to be with her all the time. I wanted to love her and kiss her and snuggle her. But I began to associate being with her as pain. As soon as I was done feeding her I literally wanted her away from me so I could go about my routine of trying to soothe my ravaged nipples(sorry) and frankly, prepare myself for the next go around. It was awful and I was done. And let's be real, my husband and I weren't breastfed and we turned out fine. I had no problem moving to formula and I was ready.
I went to the pediatrician. It was Evie Sue's first check up out of the hospital. I walked in prepared to tell the doc that I was ready to move on to formula, what's the best kind, let's go!
She was beyond supportive and knew exactly what I was going through. She described my pain to a t and said "Give it until Friday" (this was Wednesday) "Give it a full 7 days and if it's still not working, pat yourself and the back for a good try and move on! Food is food, what your daughter really needs is a happy momma."
And I did. Give it until Friday. And guess what happened. It was almost as if her giving me permission to move to formula made me relax so much that I was able to give it a few more days breastfeeding. And then another week, month and here we are!
My husband looked at me the other day and said "Do you remember that first week and how miserable you were?" And I can't.
I mean, yes, I remember that it was hard but who am I kidding? I was so sleep deprived the apartment could have blown up and I wouldn't have remembered!
So yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking it out. It has saved us time and money.
And then there's the bonding.
Now, I bond with my child however I can. Reading and singing to her, snuggling and yes, breastfeeding. Do I also try to get other things done while nursing? Yep. I eat, check facebook, watch tv and blog all while nursing...I am currently typing one handed if you catch my drift.
And yes, it still hurts every once and a while. I am in constant fear of that first tooth. I'm hungry all the time! And the other day I realized my breasts will never be the same...and dammit I had some really nice tits.
Ooh! The hormones too! Breastfeeding apparently releases oxytocin and prolactin which help relax mom...and does it ever. Sometimes I literally feel a little bit drugged!
I have decided to go until 6 months (if I can) and reevaluate. Make sure it is still working for both Evie Sue and I. If not, I will have no problem switching to formula.
But there are those moments, maybe late at night or just as we're waking up. I look down, maybe she looks at me, maybe she doesn't. But man, the love I feel in that moment when I am all alone with her, feeding her from my body, making her happy is like nothing else in the whole world. And it's all mine.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Working Girl

I am going back to work tonight.
(Well technically I did run a workshop this past Saturday but that was only an hour and a half...)
Tonight I start my Spring session at Drama Learning Center where I direct Junior versions of Broadway shows. I've been lucky enough to do this for the last few years but for obvious reasons I had to sit out of last session.
Tonight I go back. And while I am excited to get out and focus on something besides my precious girl, I have to say I am a little sad. And nervous. And sad.
I'm gonna miss her.
Let's be clear. I am going back to "work" one night a week for the next 2 months...but still!
My husband is perfectly capable of caring for our tiny daughter for a few hours once a week...but still!
I need to get out of the house, focus on something creative and frankly, bring home some dough!...but still!
She is my sweet, tiny everything that I have been with almost 24/7 for the last 3 months! I know what every cry and gurgle means. She knows mommy's voice and is used to it.
I know, I know. I need to let go and trust that she will be fine in the care of others, especially her Dad! What am I gonna do? Never leave her?...Hmmm...
But it's hard!
Not to mention the fact that I am breastfeeding. I can only imagine how uncomfortable I'm gonna be by the end of class (sorry for the TMI...and she won't starve, she's a champ at taking her bottle of thawed frozen milk so no worries there).
Ugh...we need to make money, I need to work, Ty needs alone time with his baby girl, Evie Sue needs time away from Mom...I get it.
But my heart will still break a tiny little bit as I get in my car and look up to see my hubby and my daughter wave goodbye from the window.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm in a Mommy state of mind.

In keeping with the "parenting" ideas, I decided to write about some of the decisions that I HAVE made for Evie Sue's life.
Now I'm not talking about her college major or who she'll marry if she decides to. I'm talking about things like will I allow her to get a tattoo(yes), a facebook account(only supervised) or a cellphone...dear lord what have I gotten myself into?
Okay, let's start with the cellphone. Does my child even need a cellphone before she hits double digits? Nope! And even then I'm just thinking for emergencies. Hmm..maybe not until she's driving...wait! Driving? Maybe that's when I should take it away....I'll get back to you on this one.
Now, about that tattoo. Yes, absolutely. But she's gonna have to work for it. And I don't mean just paying for it herself (which she will have to do) but I want research. If she is going to put something on her body that will last forever (as both Mommy and Daddy did)I wanna know where it's going and what the design means to her. And it better mean something, not just "cause it was pretty". It will be like a little project. Mommy and Me body art class!
Facebook account? Computer time in general will be closely monitored for safety but yes, at some point my tiny will want to join the world of social media...of course who knows what site will be the it thing then...and with supervision she will be allowed.
There are a couple of things that I decided a long time ago would NOT be my decision to make.
Religion-Which is why we did not have a baptism, that is her choice.
Pierced ears-Again, holes in her body? Her choice (and her money).
Things that I will "push" her ever so gently towards:
A realistic college degree-I.E. not Theatre.
A sport
An instrument-Yes, her voice counts.
I don't care when she starts playing with make up or whether she prefers mack trucks over Barbies. I don't care if she hates acting class and wants to join the Math club. TV? Hmmm...don't really care. I have a massive appreciation for the film industry and obviously there are some incredibly fun and educational shows out there for kids. I don't have a problem with her watching tv and sharing movie night with us. Heck, I may even use it to "babysit" (gasp) her while I make dinner.
I do know that she will have good manners and respect adults. I'm totally ok with teaching my child to say "Yes, M'am" and "Yes, Sir".
I've never been a terribly "girly-girl" so I actually can't wait to see what outfits she decides on when she starts picking them out herself.
As long as she is happy and well rounded.
Now let's talk about her name. Evie Sue. Yes, we call her by both.
Evie-pronounced like Adam and. Long "E".
Sue-Named for her beloved Grandmother who is no longer with us but would have loved her fiercely and unconditionally.
Once we knew she was a girl we knew we would honor Ty's mom by using her name. We wanted it as her middle name so now we just needed something that sounded good with Sue. Nothing too southern or sing songy. We went through all the books and vetoed each others choices. Then one day I was walking our dog and the name just came to me..."Eve? No...Evie...Hmmm....Evie Sue...." We both fell in love and from then on that's who she was.
So yes, both names are important to us and frankly, as pretentious as I always thought it was, her name was designed to go together. Therefore, Evie Sue. Now, will I, every once and a while, just call her Evie? Yep. If one day she comes to us and just wishes to be called Evie, will we respect that? Of course. But her name is Evie Sue.
I am well aware that she is just barely 3 months old (wow!) and that I can talk really big as she drools next to me full of smiles and baby poo. I have no idea how I will feel when she is 2 and screaming because I took away the remote. Or 16 and screaming because I took away the keys.
But man! It's a lot of fun to sit and dream for this little life I created.
And soon enough I'll get to do everything I can to help her achieve these or any other dreams her little heart desires.

Monday, March 5, 2012

You mean I actually have to 'parent' now?

It's no secret that we did not exactly 'plan' on our little baby Button. It's not that we didn't want kids, it's just that...well...we weren't exactly thinking about it almost exactly one year ago, when I got pregnant(wow, that's weird to think about). Nevertheless, and much better for it, here we are. I have an almost 3 month old gorgeous daughter. She lights up every day, makes my world better and brings me so much joy and laughter sometimes I am overwhelmed(in a good way of course).
So imagine my surprise when it dawned on me that I have to make some decisions about how to parent her! Now I realize that she is pretty young but isn't that the time to really get started?
So many decisions to make. What kind of parent do I want to be? Do I want to read a book to tell me or go on my instincts? Natural or not? Attached or independent? Should she learn another language? I'm gonna need to learn how to braid hair!
Let it be known, I have not subscribed to any parenting style so I may not know exactly what I am talking about. I am only going on our experience.
Without realizing it, I did end up doing a lot of what is referred to as "attachment parenting". I breast feed on demand and refuse, at this point, to let her "cry it out". That said, she has slept in her own room since she was 3 weeks old and I let her hang in her swing while I do stuff around the house.
I am not sure if I will allow her to dictate when the weaning will begin but I do know I am pumped to give her her first taste of avocado and cinnamon applesauce!
I know I want her to love animals so we never kept Tootsie away from her. She has already gotten her first scratch(way to go Mother of the Year!).
We also decided early on that we would not create a quiet world just for her. The world is a noisy place and she better get used to it. Do we still sometimes tip toe around and whisper while she naps? Of course. But I still accidentally bang pots and pans, leave the tv on and yes, the dog will bark...and we don't really sweat it.
Right now we are slowly working on a schedule. Evie Sue has naturally fallen into a habit of one 3 hour nap a day. What time that nap happens varies but hey, I'll take it! She also tends to hit the sack between 9:30 and 10:30 pm.
And I talk to her...all the time! I read somewhere that you should narrate everything, all day long. So I do. Well for the most part. To be able to read an actual book I've found it works really well to read to her. Right now she is hearing a very upbeat version of The Hunger Games.
A wise friend also told me to play music that we enjoy. We didn't have to lock ourselves into a world filled with singalong baby tunes that make us want to rip our ears drums out after the one millionth play. She will enjoy what we expose her to. So what do we expose her to? Everything! Showtunes, reggae, classical, heavy metal and Motown to name a few.
We are working on getting her to recognize her hands right now as well as just a little bit of tummy time.
There is SO much!
I don't know a lot about parenting...yet. I feel that while books can tell me where to begin it is up to me to take the steps. Steps to making sure my little girl is happy, healthy, kind-hearted, super funny, free spirited and independent while still being in love with her mom and dad.
Should be no problem. Here we go...