Saturday, March 28, 2009

College Freshman

Remember what the toughest thing about your freshman year in college was?

Was it:

Meeting your roommate?
Choosing your classes?
Deciding which fraternity party to attend?
Which sorority to join?
How to get out of Intro to Calculus?

Those are all tough...but what about the under appreciated but valuable: time management

I never quite believed anyone who told me that. What could be so tough about it?

I quickly learned that it was essential to my survival! Learning to write a paper on the days where I didnt have class instead of sunbathing in front of the dorm, or going to the library instead of watching The Real World marathon. And once I got it down, I was a pro. I was probably more organized than a college student should be--I look back and wish I had been a little more carefree at times--not worrying if my day didn't go exactly how I had it listed in my planner.

So here I am again, learning the importance of time management. No, I don't spend my time watching reality TV marathons (although they come in handy at 3 am when a certain little fellow is hungry), but I'm learning the art of balancing LIFE.

Im currently enrolled in:

Intro to Poopy Diapers
The Art of Burping

Soothing a Fussy Babe 101

House Management

Reintroduction of Romance

Finance in 2009

and my favorite...a literature class:
To Return to Work, or Not Return to Work? That is the question...

The time management struggle started the day I got admitted to the hospital: it meant that I would be starting parenthood behind the curve--simply because I hadn't gotten everything organized and put in it's place--I wasn't done nesting. And it felt like freshman year all over again--I wanted to become a PRO again at balancing all these new tasks in my day.

It sounds so trivial and almost silly to even type, but it's the truth-it has been a real mental battle for me to learn that all life's little puzzle pieces weren't going to fall into place each and every day: and that it's OK if they don't.

Ive stressed for weeks that I havent gotten to blog, and that all my blog buddies would think that I had reached the end of my blogging days...which is so not the case. So that stress had to fall into the lesson of time management: I would get to it when I could, and that was OK! And I have to laugh, because as I sit here typing--I am sitting on the couch with the O-man asleep on my chest--this is multitasking at its sweetest.

And life moves at warp speed most days, and I dont even get a chance to look at my daily planner (yes, I still have one) It's amazing how much time can go by just sitting on the couch, while I cuddle this precious gift.

I really do appreciate all of the comments and thoughts on "My Girls"...we made the decision that was best for our family, and we've made it work. The O-man is doing well--can.not.believe. he will be 2 months next week! We've had to take him back to the pediatrician twice in between these monthly appointments due to the abundance of vomit that was landing on me and our couch. Poor guy has inherited his daddy's acid reflux we've had him on some meds for the past 2 weeks, and he's doing better--just means more frequent feedings for us, since we have to reduce the amount he gets at each feeding. But he's not having any growth issues-he's almost 11 lbs!

And life in general is finally leveling out--I am almost caught up from what I didn't get done before O-man got here--including the nursery! The piles of papers, laundry baskets and other misc tasks are being taken care of...but only when Im not spending precious moments with my 2 boys. I know I need to treasure all of those moments. The piles can wait.

My health: slowly but surely getting the energy back. At my post partum checkup everything went well-all my girly parts are back in place, and my OB said I could "return to normal activity" I have to continue iron pills for 6 months to get my anemia under control. He cleared me to do what I needed to do to get my back feeling better--I think Im going to stick with exercise and accupuncture for now. And about 2 weeks ago I had to go to an alergist--I was breaking out in a rash on my hands: turns out Im allergic to lanolin.

As far as those classes Im currently taking-some days I feel like Im barely passing..and there are some days I'd honestly give myself an there again lies the balance. Im sure Ill be touching on each of those more specifically over the weeks/months to come...but the final exam is coming up for that literature class: and I don't know how to prepare for it. D-Day is April 1st (how fitting) and that's this coming week. I don't know how I can go back, but I also don't know how we can make it on one salary. Big dilemma.

I have enjoyed starting out my Saturday blogging--I think I'll be brave and go ahead and give myself an A+ for the day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One Month

My sweet son,

Today is your one month birthday-and ironically my original due date!

From the moment the doctor showed me your precious face, just seconds after you came out of my tummy, I felt love in a whole new way. It's an amazing feeling to feel an emotion like that. I imagine you will go through a phase of your life where you will get tired of me telling you how much I love you, but I won't ever grow tired of telling you.

It is true what people will tell you: time does fly when you are having fun. I am still amazed and in awe of you each time I look at you-almost as if I can't believe you are really mine. But I'm so thankful that you are. God truly had a plan in creating you-and we look forward to sharing how much you were loved before you were even born.

You've already been given several nicknames-Juice, Pooter, Squeaker, Lil' Man, Bright Eyes...and Im sure these are only the beginning of the list. But you definitely fit your real name: you are such a peaceful baby. Yes, you have your moments, but you truly have a serene nature-you are content to just stare at the new world around you. I would love to know what you are thinking when you furrow your eye brows--which you do a lot. It seems like this could indicate a "serious" personality, but I think you are just thinking really hard=)

You have my eyes: no question about that. Not sure what color they will be yet. I see so much of your daddy in you--those cute facial expressions, and your cute button nose.

Your dad and I could really stare at you for hours. In fact, I have lost track of time on many occasions while we are cuddling. Watching your eyes move, your mouth form this cute little "o-shape" when you are hungry, and hearing you coo and squeak is priceless. You make this cute little sucking noise when I am burping you when you haven't quite realized you don't have the bottle in your mouth anymore! When you are really hungry, your daddy teases you by making you think his nose is a bottle--mean daddy! Speaking of your dad, he sings a song to you that goes like this: "I like da zipper, I like da zipper" He is not a fan of your button up outfits, so he makes sure you know how much he likes your zipper outfits! You and I usually take a mid morning nap together, and then have tummy cuddle time in the evening while we are watching TV with daddy. I wonder if you enjoy hearing the sound of my heart beat--you did hear it for a long time!

You've had a lot of "firsts" in your first month of life:
  • Got to meet your grandparents, aunt, uncles and special friends
  • Watched and cheered for your parents favorite ACC basketball teams-I am thrilled you felt this way about Duke. You MUST be a Wake fan!
  • Saw your very first snow! The biggest snow we've had in this part of our corner of the world in almost 9 years--although you won't remember it, we made sure to document it for you--and you even got your own little snow ball--you weren't a fan of holding it though.
  • A trip to see your Aunt C--our first big outing--and it made mommy realize how much extra time it takes to leave the house!
  • We take a daily picture (most days--some days the lack of sleep makes me forgetful!) so that we can see how you are growing!
  • You have a really cool and special set of Godparents--we are so thankful they are our friends
  • Today at the doctor you weighed 8 lbs 7 oz and you were 20 1/2 inches long: great progress!
Things you like:
  • When you get to eat: Im so proud and thankful for your willingness to adjust. Thank goodness you aren't a picky eater like me!
  • When you get to sleep: and stretch when you wake up--your arms go up to your head, and your face squishes up-so cute
  • Peeing when you don't have a diaper on
  • Being on your tummy--especially when you are on mommy or daddy's chest
  • Sunbathing: we've put you in the kitchen window to get natural light to help get rid of your jaundice, and you love the warmth
  • Car rides: puts you right to sleep
  • Making noises that are so incredibly cute-sometimes we swear you are laughing!
Things you don't like:
  • Being cold
  • Bath time
  • Wipes
  • Being nakey
Don't grow too fast, little one. I know I'll be writing your Two Month letter before I know it! Thank you for making this last month the most rewarding of MY life--I look forward to each new milestone. You are the most amazing gift-and we give thanks for you every single day.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

My girls

This is the inevitable boob-feeding post. Please feel free to skip. BUT, if you have input-read on people, read on...

I've always had a love-hate relationship with "the girls"...I was one of those people that middle school girls hate, and middle school boys loved. I started wearing a bra in 5th grade--albeit, it was a training bra, but still. I was a hurdle-jumper in middle school, and they helped me win a few races. They also made it incredibly painful to be on the track team period. I have YET to find a sports bra that is comfortable. Yes, Ive gotten a few extra looks from the male species--BUT most of the time its unwelcome. And right now, Mook gets a pure death-look if he even LOOKS at them wrong. God help him when he even accidentally brushes up against them...

Anyway...I know you know where Im going with this. I have another love-hate situation with my girls. I am thankful that my milk has come in, and that it is providing O-man with the nutrition he needs. All signs point to A-OK: he's gained and is gaining weight, he meets the required poopy diapers in a day (good grief, its hard to count poopy diapers--and even pay attention to the color) and other than the occasional spit up, I think his tummy handles it well.

Hoooooweever....Im in serious discomfort. To recap briefly: my milk was delayed coming in b/c he came at 36 weeks, so we HAD to supplement with formula those first few days. I had no problem with this, as I knew we didnt really have a choice. And until I had enough supply, we were still having to give some at home that first week. Now I have been able to give him strictly breast milk after pumping.

I have attempted and re-attempted to put him to the breast: we've done the lactation consultant, the SNS, blah...blah...blah. Let me give my son props: he's a champ at adjusting--he has no problem going back and forth between natural nipple and all the bottle nipples we are trying--he's even got a fair latch. But his little mouth and my blistered, fissured nipples do NOT get along. Not to mention, Ive got an inverted lefty.

So..I just came to terms with doing the pumping....with a far off dream that I may be able to strictly breast feed eventually. But THOSE thoughts are becoming few and far between, because even pumping is becoming hard. Not that it wasn't hard before, but: I am in so much pain. I get these shooting pains in my breasts and nipples for about 10 minutes after each pumping session, Ive got constant fissures and 2 blood blisters on my left nipple--(Ive tried tea bags, the lanolin, airing them out....) And I always feel full, yet even if I pump for 20 minutes I get the same amount each time--so the pain sets in. And the sound of the pump: enough to make me want to gag.

Im this close to throwing in the towel. Let me just be completely honest here, OK? My body is tired. Really, really tired. I have no problem saying I have been to hell and back recently. I would NEVER trade even those dark days to give up having O-man here. Never, ever. But you know that saying, "When momma aint happy, aint nobody happy?" That's what Im worried about--that PPD will really start to grip me because I am having nonstop thoughts about breastfeeding and how I will damage my child if I stop, and Im going to give into formula because I just can't hack it, and we will have to spend all this money to have formula...the list goes on. Not to mention the pumping equipment clean up. Mook and I had our first "parent" blow up this morning over the stupid clean-up of pumping equipment-I was in tears, and he was in the silent treatment mode. Everything is fine now--we worked it out--but it just reinforced my "I WANT TO QUIT" mind frame...

We have his 1-month (yea dude, ONE month) appointment this Wednesday, and I plan on discussing it with the pediatrician, and I may give the LC one more call to see if there is anything else I can do about my nipple issues and boob pain. But does it really come down to keeping my sanity? Is it something I just need to suck up and deal with? I just don't know that I can...I need to start feeling some sort of healing process within my body--it's really playing with my mental state of mind. I dont worry about the bonding issues, because I spend plenty of time cooing and talking with him during the bottle feedings and after when we just stare and study each other=)

In our society, we are told not to quit, and when we have the slightest inclination to do so, we get the: "Carry on! Persevere! You can do it!" speech. I dont want to quit when I see that satisfied look on his face. But even now, as I look at the clock and realize its time to "hook up" again, I just want to cry...