Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, March 28, 2011

Am I EVER going to graduate?

Today I felt a quick pang of fear that my dream of attaining a PhD. is just NOT going to happen in this life time. Was it my way of scaring myself into getting motivated? Maybe. Honestly, juggling a baby, a household, a husband and a dissertation, guess which one gets last dibs? Yea my dissertation. I felt especially desperate today since I got an email from my advisor and the tone was pleasant but I get the feeling he's not thrilled with my slow progress (as I call it). I know he knows I have it in me to finish but that having a baby changes the game...ALOT. I think I did the best I could to get as finished as possible before Isabel was born but I underestimated the difficulties Isabel would have with sleep and how little time I would have to write and crunch numbers. Some days its utterly the LAST thing on my mind. I am running from the minute I wake up until the moment I lay down. Its also hard to tear myself away from Isabel to work.... I wish I could afford a mother's helper to play with her for a few hours a few days a week so I could work with less guilt. *sigh* But I am honestly done making excuses and I am going to pull up my bootstraps and get 'er done. I don't want to give up because it feels less than doable to finish. I want to be a good example to my daughter and show her I am a strong, well-educated, determined and smart mama. So I am focusing less on graduating and more on attainable goals that are more of a day by day thing. I want to finish even though right now I feel completely overwhelmed at the thought... No more excuses, must finish.... I am so close I can almost taste it!! I am dedicating my dissertation to my baby girl, she is my NEW motivation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tea and cookies

The other night I was talking to my sister about possibly staying with her with Isabel of course while J goes away on business (not something I looked forward to before Isabel and NO happier about it now).

Isabel and I stayed with my sister and BIL if you recall when Isabel was only a few weeks old as I recovered from my c-section infection. Those days felt very dark in so many ways. I was very sick, medicated on antibiotics that really made me feel terrible and I was in terrible pain and trying to get the hang of motherhood all at the same time.

However, there were definetly bright spots...ok major BRIGHT SPOT: my darling amazing Isabel was doing really well, albeit she was a fussbudget but amazing nonetheless.

Other bright spots? Well they all involve family:
  • Jessica made chocolate chip cookies, which I LOVE and would make for her if she were staying with me and we would eat them each night while Isable took turns sleeping on us. I would drink my lactation tea and we'd enjoy a quiet moment watching Food Network before I would trudge off to bed knowing Isabel would be up again soon.
  • My brother in law Scott would sing to Isabel a sweet little song his parents sang to him to settle Isabel, he had excellent patience for Isabel's crying
  • Jolene would take turns with Jess and Scott taking me to my appointments. We had some really deep conversations about life, we were team Sister when it came to handling the baby and my apts. We enjoyed our little trips equally I think. We ate in the cafeteria and enjoyed some yummy ham salad ;)
  • Speaking of the cafeteria, anyone that would help me at my appointments would go to lunch with me after and I just felt safe there and calmed by that place, it was comforting for some reason
  • J got me an amazing Edible Arrangement something I craved after having GD
  • My cousin Maryann was errand extraordinaire...bringing me whatever I needed whenever I needed it, I wish I could be more like her, she's got a serious Servant's heart
  • Despite it being hectic my aunt came to help out and it was so wonderful to reconnect with her, makes me miss her more now!

Why am I reminiscing? I am not sure.....In a way I guess its good that I am starting to find bright spots in what at the time felt pretty scary, overwhelming and fast paced. I think all that happened is sinking and I am processing it more. I think I am only able to cope with the gravity of the situation by accentuating the positive. I keep reminding myself I am healed, I have a beautiful daughter, a supportive set of sisters, husband, mom and closer relationship to my brother in law, cousin and aunt.

*sigh* I obviously don't want to go back to those days but I do miss my sisters and mom especially these days. They tromped through the muck of hard times with me when Isabel was a newborn and I was sick and I feel like they are missing the 'fun' stuff. Sometimes, I wish I didn't live so far away. I really love where I live and J and I feel settled here but closer would be nice. At the same time everyone works except for me so even if I was closer would everyone see her more? I am not sure.

I do however sometimes find myself wishing I could have sister/mom sleep overs with Isabel. I think the thought is comforting because I felt so supported during that time by them. In reality sleepovers would be hard logistically but doable once in a while. Not to mention that I am married to a sweet guy that I don't want to leave out of course. I guess its just nice to know that my family is there for me when I need them!

So if J does travel, then we might get to have a sleep over and they can enjoy the sweet, fun and more predictable Isabel while we eat our tea and cookies :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dreaming about my Nonna

The other night I had a dream about my Nonna, the one we named Isabel after. She's been gone almost 2 years and its been a while since I dreamed about her.

Anyway, in the dream she was talking to me through Skype. She was in NC at a beach house (random I know, since she never left her home in Gloucester like ever!) I could see the ocean in the background and the waves crashing. She looked healthy, happy and thrilled to see Isabel cooing at her.

When I woke up it almost felt like Nonna was still alive and I wanted to call her up and say hi like I did regularly. It made my heart ache even more that she isn't here enjoying her great grandbaby like my other grandmother and Josh's grandmother get too.

She has lips like my Nonna's and I know she would be so proud of her.

Nonna only wanted me to be happy in this life and I am but I would be happier if she were here to see Isabel. The comfort I do have is that if anyone is in heaven its my Nonna and I know she is looking down on us always.

Love you my Nonna~

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy 6 months little one!

Our Isabel is 6 months!! How did that happen? Seriously, I am with her everyday and it still went by so fast. Obviously, the first 2 months were tough but now its so much fun days just fly by!

Isabel is a rolling, jabbering, swimming (well splashing) rice cereal eating baby!

I know it seems like everyone talks about these little milestones and it doesn't seem like a big deal but for me it is so humor me I guess!

We have been watching Isabel lift her head up while on her tummy and roll from back to front. She is so strong! I swear she is going to up and walk soon! Maybe she will skip crawling....

We decided to wait the full 6 months to introduce solids and it really felt like the right decision. Friday we introduced the cereal mixed with milk and she just took to it easily. It was fun to see her open her mouth like a little birdy. On one hand its exciting and a huge milestone and other hand its hard to see her grow up! I know that she still needs me and this is only a small portion of her diet but its still a step toward independence. I am working to embrace these changes, but she's still my baby!

This week was her second swim class and she is taking to the water like a fish. She splashed around and reached for the duckies. Love to see her experience new things.

I have to say I absolutely LOVE staying home with Isabel, she is the best job in the world. I like that I am still working on my PhD. which gives me another focus but at the same time I'd rather focus on her! Who wants to write a dissertation anyway ;) Just kidding, its going well!

So Isabel is now:
6 months 4days
She giggles, rolls, stands and leans with help, sits up, eats cereal and responds to her name...and I think she is starting to wave :)

I love this little girl but it is even more fun to see how much her family loves her!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Traded my Diaper bag for my Work bag today

Today I went to UNH to work in the lab and teach my fellow lab mate how to do some of my methods for his carotenoid work.

We made the plan to work in the lab weeks ago and I arranged someone to watch Isabel. Originally, I planned to bring her with me and have a friend watch her at school but that fell through. So, my brother in law, Scott came up and watched her for me.

As you may have noticed, Isabel and I are pretty much inseperable. I love her fiercely and rarely chose to be seperated from her....I am getting better at it as you can see but I think this stems from my rough start with her and not getting to bond as readily as most new moms due to the complications with her birth.

Anyway, the anticipation of leaving her to go to work has been building for weeks. Its not that Scott isn't wonderful with her. Actually he is one of few I would trust with her. Like J, he is patient, can handle her crying and genuinely loves her. She does well with him, I can see her trust in him and they enjoy each other. It makes me so happy that she will have another strong and wonderful male role model in her life. I only had one uncle I was close to and saw frequently and I hope that this relationship with Scott will grow as she does. She's a lucky and loved little girl thats for sure.

So back to today. I had an appointment in the morning so in a way it was good I didn't have all morning to sit around dwelling on how I was leaving my baby for the afternoon. When Scott arrived, I had just nursed Isabel and she was between naps and chipper.

What struck me the most about this day was that I was finally the mom that scurried around as they got settled and reaquainted. I packed my work bag and made him a sandwhich (this is tough to do when holding a baby). I changed my top and fixed my hair and was ready as I ever would be to go. I ran down the contact info and how to make her bottle (as if he didn't know ;) I think it made me feel better at least. Then I quickly kissed her and slipped out while they played.

It was sort of anticlimatic. She didn't cry. She napped, ate a bottle, played and was chipper when I got home. She didn't even cry for me when she saw me, she was happy in Scott's arms.


Alittle, but reassuring too. The world didn't end just because I left her for a few hours. Scott did an amazing job with her and alone might I add (usually he watches her with Jess). I wouldn't expect anything less though! I have to say I am so greatful for Scott. He has really stepped up as her uncle (her only uncle) and a brother in law. He has been so generous with his time, home and love for Isabel and me. It means so much and Isabel has really transformed my relationship with Scott and I am really thankful for that. We always got along but now we are alot closer and I like that.

At work it was like nothing really changed and 6 months hadn't passed. It was a nice familiar feeling and though it was nice to do what I am good at, I don't really miss it! I am discovering just how contenting being Isabel's mom is for me. Not that I don't want to finish my PhD. or develop in my career after Isabel is bigger, I am just happy taking care of Isabel as my job. Its the most rewarding feeling in the world and I do it for free ;)

So, I will continue to work from home on my dissertation and go in once in a while. It just feels good to know that I can leave my little chickadee and life will be ok, especially when I can leave Isabel with her uncle (and/or her aunties ;)

So this is me letting go a bit and letting other people in our family love her for a bit. I wish everyone in our family go to do it more, she is a well loved baby!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Isabel goes swimming and other adventures

So I bit the bullet, put on a bathing suit and bravely marched into the pool with my adorable sweet baby to take her swimming. Probably the first of many experiences where I will do something that is uncomfortable for me but great for Isabel.

She did great! She didn't mind the coolish water and she did all the activities like a fish. Well we didn't do too much because we spent 15 of the 30m on the pool deck learning the rules *yawn*. I was left feeling like it was alot of work to get her dressed and undressed just for 15m of swim but it was fine.

It was a blast from the past to go to the same pool where I did prenatal water aerobics just 6 months ago! It was extra special to go with Crystal (my swim buddy) and Jameson her son!

My body image however, is definetly taking a nosedive...ugh. I am trying to be brave about it but that conversation with my OB and the unflattering pix of me that I have seen of me lately are rattling and depressing.

I don't mean to go on and on about this but it is a fear of mine to become the 'fat' not fit mom. I know that to take care of Isabel, I have to take care of myself. Its a balancing act, the demands of motherhood tend to take precident over dieting especially where breastfeeding is concerned.

I do want to take care of myself don't get me wrong but I can't seem to loose weight in the way I used to right now. I feel like it sounds like a lot of excuses but being a mom and losing weight is a challenging combo. So I have to get creative.

I have the 5k coming up, the WW as a guide and spring is almost here. I am contemplating joining the gym and going in at 5am when Josh can take care of Isabel so I can work out. Might be tough but I love going to gym and Isabel would be sleeping.

I am hoping that I can get out and get more active now that its better weather and I can take Isabel out more that she is bigger.

I guess I feel like the conversation with my OB was not motivating, more or less it made me feel desperate rather than hopeful. Not a good feeling.

So I am going to put my big girl panties on and just work harder to take care of me so I can take good care of Isabel and Josh (can't forget him) plus when I eat well, he does too!

Can't wait for more swimming...and going to lake in a few short months!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Lately, Isabel has been difficult to get to sleep and sleep well. Its been about 3 weeks since we moved her to her room and crib.

At first she went to sleep like a dream and did her usual one time a night wake up. However, in the last week or so she's been tough to put down and keep asleep.

I have gotten lots of advice, reading books and comparing notes with other moms.

What have I learned through my sleep deprived haze?

  1. Everyone has an opinion ;)

  2. My baby is apparently a 'high need baby' meaning she needs alot of holding, attention and closeness (sounds like all babies right? Apparently not, I know more babies now and see how different temperaments each baby can have)

  3. Crying it out has been the resounding solution I have gotten from friends, her pedi, and some books

  4. Isabel is a energizer baby when left to cry, she just keeps going and going tirelessly

At first I was totally against letting her cry it out. I thought it was mean. But after night after night of crying when she wakes several times a night and she's full, clean diaper and even being held I felt desperate. So I let her cry for up to 15 minutes.


She would get more and more frantic, the cries didn't die down and she was clearly freaked out. After some reading about 'high need babies' I learned some babies just can't cry it out to learn to self soothe. They will just cry hysterically and if then get scared and cry some more.

That sounds like Isabel.

So it may seem like I am catering to her too much but we all got to sleep. Last night I decided to put her down one more time in her room. She went down and as I was blogging 30m in, she woke up and wouldn't go back down. Ugh. That was 10pm.

Finally I brought her to my room and she fell asleep peacefully and into her PNP 10m later. She woke up at 1am and I nursed her, fell asleep with her next to me and she didn't wake up for good until 9am!!

Obviously, I don't want her in my bed all night but having her in our room may be but she needs for now. Maybe she has seperation anxiety?

This is just a sleep deprived mama trying to figure it out and go with her gut. Its so funny because I never thought I would have so much trouble with her sleeping and end up having her sleep next to me. That's like the one rule I had before she was born...LOL how things change.

Of course, there are other reasons for her crying in the middle of the night:

  1. Teething

  2. Hunger (yes, I do nurse her most times)

  3. Growth spurt

  4. Too hot/cold

  5. Dirty diaper

So after attempting to eliminate all those and she still cries, you can imagine its frustrating!

On the upside, Isabel is thriving, well loved and developing so fast! This week she mastered rolling over and the raspberry!

She is a doll, giggles like crazy and is really good at entertaining herself which is awesome!

If we could get her sleep under control, I know I would feel a bit less frazzled and run down and yet I think I am doing ok. I am napping with her a bit more and pacing myself. Exercising helps too.

Can't wait for spring!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today, I went to see my OB for a check up on my incision and to check in. I was feeling apprehensive because I haven't been back to my OB since December.

I have been having conflicting feelings about my practice, expecially since I have had some time to process all that happened and how I feel about what happened and the decisions made by my doctors.

J came with me, which was helpful since he could hold Isabel. It was challenging still because Isabel still cries when anyone else holds her, even J. :( But she did fall asleep on me and I could transfer her to him so I could deal with my appointment.

I got a surprise however, the appointment ended up focusing on my weight. Basically according to her, I need to lose 50lbs. Duh, its not like I love being the weight I am now. However, I felt like I was doing pretty well.

Now, this sleep deprived mama has to find a way to step up the diet and exercise. Feels like alot!

**well I hear Isabel crying so I am off!**

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Growing up

'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh' Genesis 2:24

I married J 4 years ago on a beautiful sunny December (yes, December) in the church I grew up in front of 140 of our friends and family.

When we said our vows, to love honor and cherish through sickness and health neither of us really knew how these vows would be tested. We've had our share of ups and downs and so far have weathered this thing called marriage. For some, four years is an accomplishment, others its a drop in the hat (like my grandparents married 60+ years). Just the same, these years have gone slow and fast at the same time.

What I am realizing now is that in my preparation to be married (no it wasn't just the fairytale wedding day, like so many brides) I feel like I kind of skipped over the 'leaving your family to be with my husband part' and what that would really mean and feel like.

Obviously, when J and I got married somethings changed, we moved to a new home, in a new state, we saw our families less and socialized more as a couple. Of course we were close to family but as the last 4 years have passed our ties to our families loosened and we became more of a unit.

Having a baby changed all that. I think it makes you more dependent on family for support and yet bondaries need to remain intact so that our little family can become defined. Its a fine line.

J and I have certainly gotten into a groove with Isabel and our life has become alot more settled these last few months. We are making our own decisions about how to raise Isabel, even if it means ignoring well-meaning advice. We are doing it our way. Thats new. We haven't always had 'our way' of doing things. Now, because of Isabel we are a cohesive unit.

It requires more compromise, honesty and some change in the way we do things. For example, when we would go to Gloucester we would do a marathon visit and see each set of parents in a day, or at least try to.

Now? We only see one set at a time. Even if it means less frequent trips and less frequent visits we can't manage it with Isabel. Its too much.

That's tough for me. I look forward to seeing all of our family. His and mine because it means they get to cherish our little Isabel. I spend so much time with her its fun to share. However, it means alot of driving and less one-on-one time for J and Isabel. Weekends have become precious.

Now that I am staying home with Isabel I have less distractions and would love to just pick up and visit my sister(s) on a whim but it takes planning with Isabel and I don't want to leave J home alone either.

However, J works long days and isn't home until 8-9pm sometimes so I long for a visit or someone to have dinner with.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't meant to sound complain-y at all.

I guess its just a reflection on how our little family has developed, is growing and what it means to be married.

I think alot of times, especially in this day and age we don't always realize that once we are married that means that that makes us a new unit. We are our parent's children but we are our spouses' husband or wife first. And vice versa, our parents have to realize we are their kids but we have kids now and we make the decisions (which by the way are final) now.

Its the natural progression of life and its good but its bittersweet.

I love my husband and daughter fiercly and my family dearly. I love how much they love her. I have found this process of becoming a parent changing me in ways I didn't expect and thats actually a good thing. I feel closer to J and my family but that relationship with each of them has been re-defined.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Night time, a chance to catch up

With Isabel's new night time routine, she is getting to bed around 8:30pm. I can actually put her down and do something at night. Its a new feeling. Usually, I try my hardest to get her down but it was so unpredictable timewise until a few weeks ago that by the time she was down I was ready for bed too.

Its a nice change that I am getting used to, though I actually felt a bit guilty for enjoying my night after she was asleep.

Last night that changed, J found a new TV show that is absolutely HILARIOUS, its called Mike and Molly. I sipped a chai latte and laughed so hard I could have peed my pants...ok not gonna lie I almost did. *sigh* I did Kegels during my pregnancy but also I feel like I am now one sneeze away from peeing my pants ugh...

Anyway, it was a nice chance for J and I to reconnect, share some tea and laughs. It is a nice change of pace and I am enjoying it.