Thankful Thursday: Six Months …Already

Remember this post?

That was a YEAR ago.

A whole year has passed since I told you guys I was expecting. On that day (and the 180 days that followed), I trembled at the idea of being responsible for an infant. I couldn’t imagine what life would be like with a baby (but I was excited to find out).

Now, almost a year later, I have a six-month old!

And now I struggle to remember what life was like before he arrived. Strange how that happens, huh?

It’s amazing how much can change in one year. For example, I used to have long blonde hair…now it’s short and brown (more on that later). I used to go out and drink bottles of wine with my girlfriends…now I do that at home by myself. Wait, what? Uh…nevermind that.

Back then, I couldn’t tell you exactly how a diaper operated and today I’m a pro. Mystery items like teething tablets, butt paste, moby wraps, and nursing bras are now necessities I’m all too familiar with. And, of course, I can love someone more than I ever thought possible.

However, things that clearly have not changed are my stellar photog skills and graphic design abilities. You’d think I’d have improved over a year…nope. And things that haven’t changed in the last month…. I’m still recycling the first set of tie onesies. I still haven’t made new ones. (Go ahead and expect to see months 3 and 4 restyled in months 7 and 8.)

Speaking of changes, my little man is changing so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up with him. He’s almost got sitting up mastered and he’s thinking about crawling (I can see the desire to move forward in his eyes). He has a tooth that’s just about to show up (I know it!) and he’s developed the best belly-laugh ever. It’s truly the most heart-melting, adorable sound I’ve ever heard.

On today’s Thankful Thursday, I think it’s fairly obvious what I’m thankful for! Happy Six Month Birthday, baby boy! Mommy and Daddy couldn’t be more thankful for you!

Thankful Thursday: Change

Happy Thursday!

Last Sunday, I was hanging out at a plant nursery and I stumbled upon this frog.

I immediately started giggling at a memory from a rehearsal dinner six years ago. A dear friend of mine looked over at the host’s garden and saw a similar statue of a pondering amphibian and said, “That frog makes me think.” Naturally, all the guests in the vicinity looked from her to the frog and then back to her and burst out giggling.

While that may not strike too many of you as funny (maybe you had to be there) I tell the story because as I looked at that thinking frog, I realized how much has changed since the night of my comedic friend’s statement. Oddly enough, that frog got me thinking.

I thought about the happy changes that have occurred to my family and friends; having children, new homes, graduations, new jobs, engagements and other expected, positive life events. And then there’s been the harder changes; loss, illness, broken relationships, and impacts of a failing economy.

Personally, the changes that have impacted me the most have been in the last two years (six years ago when the frog statement was said I was married, living in the same house, had the same job, etc). But, two years ago, I woke up one day realizing that I wasn’t very happy with many aspects of life. Determined to change, I started the list. Fast forward a little more than a year and the biggest change of my life occurred, I got pregnant.

And today, I am extremely thankful for those changes. The list helped me out of the negative place I was in. It helped me achieve goals I wasn’t sure I could do and gave me confidence in my abilities. And being pregnant taught me so very much about what is important to me, allowed me to finally accept my body, and really helped me get so many aspects of life in order to prepare for the new addition.

Without the changes of the last two years, I know I wouldn’t be in the good place that I am today. Spending the last several weeks with my little boy and learning to be a mom has been the most fulfilling change yet. With every day, he changes as he grows and develops at an astounding rate. I can’t wait to see what changes the future brings!

P.S. I chopped off all my hair, too. Here’s to changes!

Welcoming Baby

Two weeks ago today everything changed. On March 6, 2012, our little baby boy arrived at 11:56pm weighing in a 8lbs 7.5oz and 19.5 inches long! It was the most intense and surprising day of my life.

It started like any other Tuesday. I was running late to a doctor’s appointment, my hair was all over the place, and I was trying to do my makeup and drive at the same time (which I’ve since given up). I arrived at the appointment ten minutes late and took a seat while mentally preparing for a discussion about the options we’d have to consider if I went beyond 40 weeks of pregnancy (at that time I was 39 weeks and 4 days).

A quick exam by the doc was followed by the words, “You’re having a baby today!” And as I sat up in shock, I felt my water break. This was no cute scene from Sex and the City where an unlucky pair of Manolo’s gets ruined or Big gets told off by a polka-dot clad Charlotte. Oh no. Let’s just say tv and movies lie about what really goes down in the moments after the bag of waters explodes.

The next sentence was, “You need to go to the hospital.” Well, more water was shed but this time from my eyeballs. I picked up the phone and called my spouse, my mom and a close friend (who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse) and through sobs of fear, excitement, and overwhelming emotion, I spit out the words, “I’m in labor and going to the hospital.”

Fourteen (yes, 14) hours later, I still had no baby. I won’t get into the gruesome details but the decision was made to do a c-section and I was wheeled off to the operating room with a team of doctors, nurses, and an incredibly gifted anesthesiologist behind me. Ten minutes into surgery, I heard my baby cry.

I peeked up over the screen and saw my baby boy for the very first time. Emotion took over and I cried in relief, love, and thankfulness. Minutes later my spouse was holding my blue-eyed boy who was blinking at me with a classic “What just happened?” expression on his face.

New Life
A very proud Daddy

The hours and days that followed were the most exhausting and exciting days of my life. Three days after his arrival, we took our tiny man home and introduced him to the dogs, then settled in and welcomed family and friends to meet our little guy. I’d like to say the story ends there, but unfortunately it does not.

Mom and Baby

On Tuesday of the following week, my little guy’s one week birthday, I was readmitted to the hospital for another four days thanks to an infection from my surgery. Not fun. After four days of IV antibiotics, one allergic reaction to said antibiotics, several temperature reads, and countless hospital meals I finally got to home for the second time.

Smooth sailing? No. Perfect outcome? Yes. I couldn’t be more smitten with my baby boy. I won’t attempt to describe the unconditional love I’ve become consumed with – true love feels different for everyone and I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself in one form or another. But I will say that from the moment he first cried, I felt like I’d always known him.

In a strange way, he’s always been a part of our family. As soon as I met him, I knew him as if we were old friends; previously separated souls who had finally been reunited. The ease with which he joined our family and took over our hearts was surprisingly seamless and brought feelings that I’ll always fail to articulate accurately.

On the flip side, getting used to living with a newborn has not been as seamless…..but we’ll leave the sleepless nights, constant worry, and hundreds of diapers for a different day.

So, I am pleased to introduce our baby boy! Welcome home, my handsome son!

Our sweet little boy. Taken by Elaine Connolly (Grandma).

Here’s to One More Week!

Happy Friday!

I am so glad the weekend is here! And, we only have ONE WEEK left until our due date! I keep hearing that babies are unpredictable so…..he could come at any time!

I thought a quick recap of the Baby List updates might be in order as we’re approaching the end of this crazy nine months.

Updating you on our preparations has been so fun (and therapeutic)! Thank you all for your feedback and encouragement! This is such an exciting (and also scary) time!

1. Decorate & Complete the NurseryDone! Brown & Gold. Sports. And little Cowboys.

2.Write a Letter to Baby & Save for a Time in the FutureIn progress.

3. Get the Spouse the Perfect Dad Gift Done! I haven’t posted it yet because I don’t want him to see it ahead of time. I’ll share with you all after the little guy arrives.

4. Continue Exercising (Cardio & Yoga)Done! With the exception of the last two weeks, I worked out for pretty much the whole nine months. There was a break here and there, and some inconsistency – some weeks only one workout, others four! I can’t say I was perfect or kept it up the entire time but I feel pretty good about what got done. You can read my update here. And here are a couple of pregnancy race recaps: 1, 2

5. Make a Special Welcome Gift for BabyIncomplete :( This project has been put off weekend after weekend. Maybe this weekend it’ll happen?

6. Select God ParentsDone! Read all about my brother and sister.

7. Schedule a Spa/Relaxation DayDone! It was glorious.

8. Write a Thank You Letter to My Mother Done! Yesterday’s Thankful Thursday.

9. Buy as Few Maternity Clothes as PossibleDone! Shared a little advice and my favorite spots to shop.

We’re getting close! Bah!

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. You can read all my pregnancy posts here.

Thankful Thursday: Mom (Item #8)

Happy Thursday & Happy March!

We’ve reached the due date month….eek! We’re starting to feel more and more prepared around here, but still a little freaked out at the idea of bringing home a baby!

Things are definitely starting to feel more settled though and I’ve had a little quiet time to reflect on the past months. Thanks to that quiet time, I can say that Item #8: Write a Thank You Letter to My Mother is complete! Of course, I am not going to share it with you all. It’s all sealed up and waiting for her arrival later this month.

I will say that the pregnancy experience has given me a whole new appreciation for my mom…..who gave birth FOUR times! I’m so thankful for her desire to have a big family and her healthy lifestyle that allowed her to produce me and my siblings. Right now, I’m especially thankful for the fact that she didn’t get stretch marks….and so far me either! Woot Woot!

I don’t want to get too mushy on you but I just have to say that the past few months have given me new perspective into what my mom has done for me. When I think of how I’ll raise my little guy, I can’t help but think about the love my mom showered us with, the sacrifices she made, and the way she taught us about life.

Today, I’m filled with gratitude for my mom. Aside from the stretch mark thing, I am most thankful to her for providing me with an amazing example of the kind of mom I hope to be.

On today’s Thankful Thursday, say thanks to your mom or mom you admire.

My Mom & Me

The Baby List: #1

Happy Tuesday!

I’m so excited to share Baby List Item #1: Decorate & Complete the Nursery with all of you today!

The spouse and I agreed very early on that our little man would have a room inspired by our alma mater, the University of Wyoming! We combo’d UW’s Prairie Gold & Brown with some of our favorite sports and a few Cowboy touches to come up with a pretty fun room for our little dude.

As always, I wish my pictures were better! I tried taking them in the early morning light and, well, I still take a bad photo. Puh. I hope the fun of the room isn’t lost in the bad photography!

Of course, we have a couple of things left to do like install the video monitor and add a shelf above the changing table, but for the most part the room is done! I am so excited to cross this item off the list and happy our little boy has a room to call his own.

Did you spy the little booties on the changing table? Well, while I’m sharing photos, I just have to show off his cool mustache shoes. These were compliments of my wacky cousin, Richard, and his girlfriend, Keryn. They are too fun!

Have a terrific Tuesday!

The Baby List Update: #9 Maternity Clothes

Happy Monday!

I fear I have to go back on a promise I made to you so long ago. I said I wouldn’t be turning this into a pregnancy blog….but this week I have a feeling we’ll be a little heavier on the baby content than in previous weeks. I apologize to my not-interested-in-baby-talk readers! I have a lot of list items to update you on. Yay for progress!

To kick off the week, I thought I’d start with something a bit light-hearted….fashion! Way back when I made the list, and I imagined myself being a tiny pregnant woman, I added #9 to the Baby List: Buy as few Maternity Clothes as Possible. Well, despite not being tiny….oy, this baby is huge…I can say this was achieved!

Truthfully, Bump It Up saved me. This book taught me some of the basics and I applied them to every stage of pregnancy. Instead of dropping hundreds on maternity clothes, I followed some of their simple guidelines and made a few of my own:

1. Don’t be afraid to borrow from a friend! As I said before, I was so fortunate to receive piles of super-cute maternity clothes from my sister and girlfriends, so I had an advantage on this goal. Of course, only use the stuff that’s still in good shape, in style, fits your body properly, and – most importantly – you feel great in.

2. Invest in a few, simple pieces – This advice is straight out of Bump It Up. Don’t worry about getting several pairs of jeans or multiple dresses for events. Buy only a few items that are basic and can be worn over and over: one quality pair of jeans that fit you well, a long pregnancy tank, leggings, etc. With a few basics, you’ll be able to create a lot of looks with the additional advice below.

3. Use pre-pregnancy pieces with the above-mentioned staples. (Also from Bump It Up). Wear your structured blazers, flowy cardigans, knee-high boots, maxi-skirts, etc. from your pre-bump days over the basics to create endless looks. For example, there’s no reason to drop a lot of cash a pregnancy cardigan. Wear one you already own over your long pregnancy tank and belt it just under your ginormous rack.

4. Accessorize! (From Bump It Up) From what I hear, wearing jewelry around a baby is near impossible, so take advantage of this time to wear your favorite baubles. You’ll be able to change the basic jeans and pregnancy tank into countless outfits by switching out jackets, scarves, necklaces, handbags, and shoes. And ladies, don’t toss out your high heels right away. I wouldn’t torture yourself, but wearing heels can make you look slimmer, more polished, and gives you more footwear options.

5. Embrace your bump. Don’t try to hide your baby under baggy shirts or sloppy clothes. During the first trimester, wearing baggy clothes will help keep your new weight gain a secret until you’re ready to announce your news, but that’s the only time to hide! I’m not suggesting you wear belly exposing clothes or anything that’s too tight, but let that glorious bump be seen by belting baggy shirts, wearing slimming pants, etc.

In the end, I borrowed quite a few maternity clothes, was given some as gifts, and only purchased a handful of pieces. I quickly found that I wasn’t impressed with Motherhood Maternity or A Pea in Pod, but did find a couple of sites that offered cute maternity clothes at a reasonable price.

And of course, Old Navy and Target have some inexpensive and trendy options, too.

Hope you all have a great week! I’m excited to share tomorrow’s Baby List Update with you……#1: Complete the Nursery!

Here’s to Nine!

Well, I can’t believe we’re actually here but I am officially nine months pregnant! Today I am considered full-term and my little man can literally arrive any day now.

I’m sure these last couple of weeks will be the most challenging (especially since I’ve been blessed with a pleasant pregnancy so far) but if they zip by like the last 37 have, then I guess he’ll be here in the blink of an eye!

I still have a few pregnancy posts coming; the list is getting closer to completion and, if the insomnia I’ve been experiencing continues, you may get a rant or two about the challenges of carrying around an extra 40-something pounds (note how it’s gone up…again). But, just in case he comes early, I want to say a big thanks to all of you who’ve spent time reading my posts and giving advice over the last nine months.

Your thoughtfulness, support, and words of wisdom mean more than I can express.

Thank you!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Baby List Update: #6

Oh my, this baby is getting so close to arriving! Every day I wake up a little more ready to meet him….and a little more anxious!

While he’s been growing and preparing his little body to enter the world, I’ve been creating non-stop To Do lists and getting hung up on weird little details that seem necessary to welcome him. You know, like replacing the handles on my dresser drawers….as if the baby cares? I just want to make a good impression. I hope he likes us.

I’m kind of sucker for weird details. In most areas of life, I jump into the tactical details and skip the big picture planning. (Hmmmm….I see a future blog post coming). Lately, I’ve been worried about hanging the curtains in the nursery and getting the car seat installed, meanwhile the child is still unnamed. Poor baby boy. He has such a neurotic and, yet, simultaneously disorganized mother.

In efforts to get my To Do list under control, I recently started planning his baptism and realized I hadn’t done the most important step….Item #6 – Select God Parents! In my religion, being a God Parent is big deal. It’s a lifelong commitment to a special soul to give them guidance and spiritual strength so they can establish a true connection with their faith.

The spouse and I discussed and selected my sister, Maggie, and my brother, Logan, to provide this spiritual guidance and fill such a pivotal role in our baby’s life. They both accepted! A HUGE thank you to both of them!

Now that the big important step is taken, I can jump back into the details and start worrying if we should have a party after the ceremony, who to invite, what to get him as a baptism gift, and all the other unnecessary, silly details that I’ll let consume me.

You May Say I’m a Dreamer

I don’t know a lot anything about dreams. Except, I know that my mastiff has them…I watch her whimper in her sleep while kicking her long legs as if she’s running. I assume she’s chasing bunnies….or maybe she’s chasing pugs?

My spouse doesn’t really dream. He can’t remember his dreams in the morning and, thus, never entertains me with tales of his nocturnal adventures. I, on the other hand, have incredibly vivid, wildly absurd dreams. I can recall the intricate details of my dreams almost every night. In fact, sometimes I have such real dreams that I confuse reality with made-up events that were created in slumber (read: AWKWARD).

And whenever I dream about another person, I get this bizarre feeling when I run into them in the real world that they know that I dreamt about them. Suddenly, I wonder if they know what I know. Did they dream the same thing? Should I be suspicious of their motives and friendship……. Regardless of what happened in the dream, I’m clearly the creep in the situation.

But, I’ve gotten used to all that. What I am not used to is the pregnancy dreams.

via

Pregnant ladies have CRAZY dreams. Since I got knocked up, my dreams have been absolutely nuts! I’m talking dreams about my future child, creepy (and sometimes naughty) dreams about my favorite people, and nightmares about my most feared situations (read: anything involving a snake). Blech.

Then there’s the stress dream. Oh, the stress dream! I’ve had the same recurring nightmare for, like, ten years. I have it every time I’m tapped out emotionally. I shared this dream recently with someone. The response: hesitation, nervous laughter, followed by a look of concern.

I’m stuck in the servers’ area of a restaurant that I waited tables in for several years. There are invisible walls around the servers’ area and I can’t get to my tables who all need attention. One needs to order, one table is waiting on drinks, another is requesting more ranch dressing. The more I try to escape my invisible cell, the louder the calls for service are. The stress mounts. My shoulders tense. I’m screaming to get out of the cell!!!!

It’s awful. Since becoming pregnant, that dream has intensified. I wake up dripping in sweat, heart racing, and thanking God that I no longer wait tables for a living.

Then there’s the nonsensical dreams. The ones that seem normal at first and then take you on a disconnected journey to weirdville. You know, like when you dream you’re walking in a convention hall but then exit an airplane to go to a speech your coworker is giving and halfway through the speech you realize you’re actually at a Spanish rock concert and your coworker is the lead singer.

Weird. Preggo dreams are weird to say the very least. I was never told about this little side-effect of growing a human, so, I wanted to give all the other hot mama’s out there some peace of mind.

Don’t think you’ve lost it when wake up after having a dream about your child coming out with red hair and freckles (read: Chucky) and bouncing across giant mushrooms like Super Mario. You’re probably fine.

Crazy dreams are just another part of the pregnancy roller coaster. At least, I think they are. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to experience the wacky side of bedtime while pregnant….am I?

What are your dreams? Did you have more vivid or wild dreams while pregnant?