Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Saturday, April 30, 2011

No time for me

I shouldn't use Facebook as an indictor of how life is going for friends and family because I know looks can be decieving. I also know thats its wrong to cast judgement on others and especially if its over petty stuff.

However, and I feel bad admitting this but I am frustrated with myself and am sick of not feeling put together at all.

Yesterday it reached a breaking point. I am rushing around on a beautiful spring morning to take Isabel out for a fun day at the park with friends and I am getting all worked up about stupid stuff.

I can't find any of my sunglasses, none of my cute summer shoes fit, nor do some of my capris, my non-maternity t-shirts looks ratty and I can't wear a dress because none of the tops are breastfeeding appropriate.

My hair is in my face and I am running out of my favorite foundation and I quickly threw on toe nail polish the night before but I am feeling like a HOT MESS.

I was never the put-together, never a hair out of place girl.

Nor was I ever the skinny or selvte, but rather curvy.

If I could describe myself, I would call myself cute rather than pretty and definetly not sexy (which is fine by me thats not the look I am going for!)

I am carrying some extra weight from pregnancy and while we were trying and that is bugging me for sure.

Anyway, as I raced around while Isabel napped I lost perspective and was ready to break down into tears over the outwardly dishevled mess I feel I have become.

In reality, I know that I probably don't look as bad as I feel. That I always manage to pull something together to look presentable and cute, that even though I go way longer than I used to between hair cuts I can still do something with my hair and even though I don't have a huge wardrobe I make what I have work.

The weight issue?

Well, thats a work in progress I guess.

I just find myself constantly comparing myself to SAHM and working moms and feel like I look like the least put together out of them all. Maybe its true.

Why is that?
1. Instead of shopping for myself and buying new pieces of clothes for me to replenish/update my wardrobe I buy for Isabel instead. We don't have a lot of extra wiggle room and I can make do. Plus its more fun to shop for her than me. Logistically its easier too, no lugging a baby into the changing room required! Plus, I would rather not look at my roadmap of stretch marks, and scars that is my stomach these days.

2. Getting my haircut has been disasterous. J, bless his heart has watched Isabel both times but both times she wasn't great for him and cried alot. I know I need to do this for me but the guilt that surrounds it stinks!

3. Same for pedicures! They are $$ and I can't really bring Isabel or leave her!

4. As a mom, I have become accostomed to putting myself last, well not first or even second these days. Its the natural progression I am sure but sometimes it really affects my outward appearance.

I am not saying I am a martyr for my child or a saint either. I guess I am just reflecting on how having a baby, or really this baby has changed how I look, what I wear and even the weight that I am.

Do I resent it? NO, not at all.

However, I look at my other mom friends and just wonder how they do it, look so good and raise terrific, happy kids?

What's their secret? Because cleary I am missing something!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Starting a new chapter

Just this week I have been reflecting on how my life has changed since Isabel was born.

Obviously, I never expected the traumatic events surrounding her birth and the aftermath.

Or that she was going to be a 'high needs baby' you know the one that couldn't be put down, nursed constantly, catnapped on me only, had trouble going to others, fussed for 2-3h a night and was hysterical in the car for the first 3 months.....

We have turned a corner in many ways and its really become apparent this week.

I would say that from her 4th month on she really came into her own and each day she gets more and more fun.

What has really struck me is that each trip out this week (Easter, Panera, Barnes and Noble, Wentworth-Douglas BF Support, and Kindermusik) folks have exclaimed just what a happy baby she is. It made me swell with pride to have people tell me that she is obviously a happy baby!

She blows raspberries, makes a 'teradactyl call', and a noise all her own that I can't describe unless you hear it and she laughs alot!

I feel like as hard as it was the first few months, she has really come so far and really is blossoming into a happy baby. Its especially rewarding that it isn't just apparent to me but to strangers and family alike!

I feel like this week I have turned a corner in my life too.

I feel like my PTSD is lessening and I am experiencing less flashbacks, sleeping better and just feel more like me. It feels great.

Its an empowering feeling to feel like I have come through this experience and have emerged stronger in my faith, stronger in my marriage and probably a better mama.

I am thankful that God has been my rock and I feel like its Him that has healed my heart, my body and my mind. I am thankful to feel like me, but maybe a better me!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter through the eyes of Isabel

Daddy loves you

So does Mama!

A bonnett really mom?!

But my bonnet is tasty!

Love my pink bunny

Love playing with grammy!

My Aunties let me sit with them, I am so cool!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Highlights of the week

This week J traveled for work but Isabel and I made the best of it. Here are some of the highlights:

Tuesday: Isabel 'helped' daddy pack for his trip, we visited Dorothy at Gordon College, visited MIL and stayed over night with my dad

We slept over at my dad's which was such fun! We stuck to her routine of dinner, bath and bed. Dad just loved getting to help feed her, bathe her and play with her. I enjoyed the lobster roll he got for me ;)

Wednesday: We took Isabel to dad's work to make the rounds and show her off (he was in seventh heaven!), we visited Darlene at Seacoast and then we went to stay with my sister. Dad missed her before she even left with a tearful look at my sweet Isabel, he really can't resist her!

We had a delicious dinner of my favorite chicken soup and Aunties and Uncle took turns doing the routine of dinner, bath and bed! Seriously, I was feeling the love! Jess made me my favorite cookies and tea, Scott made me soup and Jolene and Mom came over just because Isabel and I were there!

Thursday: We played with Jess and Scott and then I put Isabel down for a nap...we fell asleep together for 2h at Jess's oooops! I guess I was tired. I felt bad but it was good to rest!

We picked up the dogs (who I missed dearly) and J came home at 1:30am! Ugh!

It may seem like a mundane week but for me it was anything but. Spending time with family with Isabel is priceless. The momenets we share now are precious. It is also helping me make new memories over the bittersweet ones I had when I was bouncing house to house as I recovered from my c-section. I am so thankful for my loving family and how much they love Isabel!

Another highlight is today....the whole day

It is Easter Sunday.

Isabel's first one!

We went to church, it was beautiful day. We went to my grandparents for lunch with my sisters, BIL and mom. It was a big day. First big family gtg since Isabel was born. It was special and here is why:

We celebrated Easter as a family

Isabel wore a sweet dress bought for her by my dad

We celebrated Easter at church, a good tradition that we want to continue for Isabel
Gram and Gramp got to have their great grandbaby to celebrate with, can't believe its been a year since Easter and I was days from finding out we were actually expecting a girl wow!

My mom, sisters and BIL got to dote on Isabel

Isabel loved it all, took in the attention, showed off her rolling skills and her fantastic little noises she makes!

Love Love Love her!!
Family is special and I love mine, feeling blessed tonight!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Grocery store: Extreme Fail?!

This morning I had 'Making Room for Multiples' on and there was a mom that just had twin boys after having a set of triplet boys 4 years prior. Woah right?!

Well, they showed her taking ALL the kids to the grocery store. If you can imagine she had the 3 older boys piled into the front of those carts with the car on the front and the babies in a double stroller that she pulled behind her.

Can you say Super Mom?

Well, it changed my attitude about taking 1 Miss Isabel to the grocery store thats for sure! She made shopping with 5 kids look like a walk in the park so whats the biggie about shopping with one?

Now that Isabel is out of her bucket car seat she's now a lovely 22lbs. I have had the joy of introducing her to the shopping cart riding experience. She's not a fan. J and I took her for the first time a couple of weeks ago and we ended up carrying her all around the store because she wouldn't stay in the car without fussing.

Now, I take her in the Ergo carrier. She's upright, immobile and snuggly with me. It works but its hard with her strapped to my body but it works.

I got a renewed sense of motivation in the recent weeks to coupon.... after watching Extreme Couponing. Hmmmm....its sad that this post has already referenced two TV shows. I really don't watch much of anything so I guess that these two shows just stick in my mind because its all I have watched recently.

Anyway, after seeing how much they saved I have been doing so research, meal planning and grocery list making. Most of the time the items on sale are in the circular and the mfg. coupons correspond.

What I have learned is this:
1. Babies and couponing even with one is a tough combo, its tough to do math and figure out what I need and how much all at once and as quick as I can.

2. Items on sale are usually processed foods so I have to choose wisely but I can save money there and buy more produce so that works

3. Market Basket doesn't deeply discount a product their prices are already low so the store brand is usually still cheaper.

4. I need to shop at Shaw's or Hannaford's to really get a deal on a name brand, something I don't have alot of stores nearby

So, today even with a list, no impulse shopping and coupons, I only saved $8 and still spent $85! Ugh.....

Times are tough and food prices keep rising!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Love with Food

Its probably an Italian thing to love with food. I know its in my blood to enjoying cooking a good meal and sharing it with others.

This week, I made some meals for a dear friend, while Isabel napped (go me might I add *wink*).

I made mozzarella stuffed meatballs, brownies and spinach and ham quiche. Nothing fancy but it felt good. Our friends like the meatballs I make for some reason so I made two containers one to eat now and one to freeze if they wanted to.

There is something satisfying about making recipes that are tried and true and you some one else will enjoy. I remember my nonna sitting at her kitchen table waiting with baited breath as we tried the meatballs she made that week. She would get up at 5am to make them and I remember looking forward to Sundays just for the chance to eat a few! Everything she made was good, every.single.time.

I am pretty sure it was because of all the love she put into it.

I think that when you cook with your heart it can't help but be good.

I certainly carry on that tradition, I can't help it, it just feel natural!

Now, lets not mention what it CAN do to the waisteline! Especially when dad already got me my fave pizza and an arracini (google this if you don't know what I am talking about... heaven in a bite!).

However, in that department thing have settled down and I think I must be down about 10lbs. Yahoo!

This coming week J is traveling for work...(insert HUGE sad face). However, there is a bright side. I am staying one night with my dad and one night with my sis. And I *think* they are excited. They have already told me what they are making/doing for dinner! See? The love, its right there!

They are making my favorite things and really it makes me feel special. I love doing this for others and it feels weird but wonderful that others are going to do it for me.

So, its the same for J and Isabel. J loves that I love to cook and I think he missed it when I was pregnant because I could barely stand the smells for 4 months and then by 7 months on my feet were so huge and I was so hot I could barely stand in the kitchen to cook. Ugh! Then the baby came and I didn't begin to have time to cook until a couple of months ago LOL.

Anyway, I have really enjoyed nursing Isabel too. I know its not cooking but it is nourishing her body. Sometimes I am still amazed that all she needed was MY milk for 6 whole months! How incredible is the human body?! Seriously! Now, I make her baby food and I know she likes it much better than the jarred stuff. Who could blame her ;)

So loving with food doesn't have to expand your waisteline it just means that whatever is made with love should be nourishing! Its refreshing to enjoy cooking again!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Descisions, Descisions

I recently got an email from my advisor that was encouraging about my progress but reminded me that he would hire me to work in the lab to run some HPLC on squash carotenoids.

I was feeling bold and said I wouldn't be able to do it unless I got paid enough to afford a babysitter for while I am in the lab and a few extra hours to be a mother's helper so I could get writing done. I was figuring he would offer something like $10/hr that would only cover the babysitter for while I was at work.

He countered with a wage that would cover a babysitter and then some.

Ugh... on one hand this is great news! I could afford to go back PT and get work done at home while Isabel plays.

Ideally, it would be the same person watching her when I am at work and home. I would want some one experienced with babies, especially high need ones (like Isabel ;)

But I really going to go back to work?!

Not really and here is why:I am still dealing with PTSD

I am getting work done at night and in the morning on my own

Isabel's napping and sleep is getting much more regular but not great

She is developing seperation anxiety

Why I could be ready:I really want to get my PhD. done!

Isabel is less dependent on me for food and is doing well with food

Maybe she would like her babysitter and it would give me a chance to get away alittle bit in a safe way

I need to finish my PhD!! Did I mention that?!

When I first started thinking about going back this morning, I was getting excited and invigorated by the idea. As the day went on, I got more anxious and I felt so not ready.

Now, I am oscillating between fear and determination.

I absolutely love motherhood and am so thankful to be able to stay home with Isabel (have I mentioned that enough?!) I love being here in the here and now and focusing just on Isabel. I don't ever have a wistful moment of *sigh* wish I was at work.

Don't get me wrong, I love my field, my career and all the potential there. I see myself getting a PhD. and using it in the long term.

But Now?

All I want to be is my daughter's mom.

Is that selfish? Would other mom's be jealous of this viewpoint?
To some, yes its selfish and some would argue Isabel is better off getting used to a baby sitter now. Other's including my working mom friends probably do wish they had the choice of staying home.

So I am stuck.

I am enjoying staying home to the fullest. BUT, I have a PhD. hanging over my head...UGH!

This is going some prayerful consideration and putting on my big girl panties to get on. I know what I have to do to finish and working PT might be a means to an end to finish. I can't and don't want to put it off forever. At the same time Isabel will be only this little once and it is so special.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BW=Baby Wearing

Starting out as a new mom I didn't exactly know if I pictured myself as a breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping mama. But that is what is evolving as these months go by and I am proud of it. Obviously, I wanted to breastfeed from the beginning but the latter two choices I made have come about out of necessity!

I got a hand me down Bjorn and a Moby as a gift. Soon after Isabel was born it was clear she was a baby that liked to be worn. She didn't fit well in the Bjorn but the Moby worked right well. Not at first though. She would cry when I put her in it and after all the work it took to wrap it up on me and get her in it I was frazzled. J was great though very encouraging to keep trying. Finally, it soothed her fussy crying jags and she would fall asleep in it. Heaven! I could walk around hands free, cook, clean etc. and she would snooze!! I even took her grocery shopping and for walks in it. She loved it and so did I. Now she is getting to long and alittle too strong for it, she has tried to back bend her way out of it, dangerous! So I opted for a new wrap, albeit an expensive one.

But, since I didn't buy the other two I decided to splurge. We got an Ergo sport and it fits great with a front carrying, back carrying and side carrying option! I have only managed the front carrying because I think I will need help putting her in the other two ways. However, I love this option! We can take walks with the dogs and no stroller! Grocery shopping is a breaze and my back doesn't hurt! One grocery shopper saw me with her in it and called over "now thats the way to do it"! Felt good to have others embrace baby wearing! I think it strengthens our bond and her bond with J when he wears her. Wearing her is also a work out, trying lugging 20+ lbs around when you go for a walk!

Maybe it seems sort of retro to breastfeed, wear a baby and even co-sleep for naps and sometimes at night but I don't care.

Judge if you must but I am finding its really whats best for Isabel. The alternative? We had a fussy, crying, miserable baby that was tough to soothe any other way. I am so proud of how far we have come in getting to know our little munchkin and how much our relationship with her has grown!

Right now she is napping but I just heard her happy little squawkings from the other room and I just love how expressive she is, I almost don't mind that this was a shorter nap!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Surprising results

I decided to do some spring cleaning and try on some more of my pre-baby clothes just to see if I need to get rid of more or if any fit. Well, I got my jeans on that are a size smaller than I am now! I gotta say it was an empowering feeling and a pleasant surprise. J and I are doing WW together and those these 2 weeks have been really hard to stick to my diet however, its so nice to have a partner to make the weight loss happen! I have been more motivated to get out and walk with Isabel and its energizing. I enjoy feeling healthier and the new way of eating isn't so hard. Its kind of like when I had gestational diabetes, I had to keep track of what I ate and how much. Its really not so hard and its nice to see the results. Its not that I am not getting hungry but I am finding a way to prep healthy snacks and that makes it easier for me to eat healthy on the run. I have been making grocery trips albeit short because of Isabel with grocery list and dinners planned ahead of time. Its how I used to do it pre baby. So I guess I feel like I am getting back to feeling more like myself and its a relieving feeling. Obviously, I am a mom and that is life changing but I feel like I am adjusting better and I love motherhood. I would consider myself a work at home mom and though I have been doing alot of work late night or early morning but its fine. I prefer to do it when Isabel isn't up because I like getting out with her and spending day time with her. I have to credit my advisor for being so supportive and encouraging through this process. I really enjoy my work but motherhood is just as fulfilling!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Facing Fears

This week, a very dear friend is due with her first child and I have been thinking of her all week, praying that her delivery goes smoothly without complications. Its a new fear tinged anticipation I feel for all of my friends that are waiting to go into labor. Obviously, based on my own experience my eyes are open wider to all the possibilities of what can go wrong at birth. As a biologist, I always knew alot but didn't think that the near worst could happen to me. No matter what mindset I think a first time mom goes into while in labor I believe it has no bearing on the outcome. I had decided prior to Isabel's birth I would do what is necessary to deliver her safely. No options left off of the table. I would allow monitoring, IV's, an epidural and a c-section if needed. I tried my best to endure the pain and keep an open mind. And for the most part everything including the c-section though not the typical birth experience went well and I am ok with it. Its the after part that really caused me to stare death in the face. Dramatic? Maybe but that night my incision opened I really thought in my head 'I am dead'. Chilling I know. But in a way I had always feared that I would have complications at birth, pessimistic I guess. However, I did have a conversation with J about what would happen if there were complications. In the end nothing went how we had thought it would and we just had to roll with it. There was no script, no predictable outcome, we just took it moment by moment. I don't know why I have been reminiscing so much about this lately, maybe its that my friend is having a baby and its bringing to mind how I was feeling as I anticipated Isabel's arrival. Or, it could be because I am allowing myself to delve into the in workings of those weeks that I had been blurring in my mind because it had been such a difficult and painful time. Part of working through it is to find the good points and hold onto that. Obviously the biggest blessing was our beautiful daughter. And now as I am standing back and 6 months have passed, I can say good came out of this experience. I discovered just how I strong I am when I rely on the strength of our Lord, it was definetly not my own strength! My marriage was tested in every way possible and even though we didn't do everything right at the time, we weathered the storm and we are better than we have ever been. My relationship with my sisters have transformed and I miss them so much, which is bittersweet. I have learned alot about myself, I feel like I have matured so much and am finally settling into my role as mother. With my responsibility as a mom it forces me to look at the future in a new way....and honestly its a bit scary. Isn't that always the way with the unknown? Well, my new biggest fear is not getting to raise my baby girl. Why am I even worrying about this? We have to write a will and outline how I want Isabel cared for. That's not the hard part, so many folks love her and she would be well raised. Its just the thought of not being here to be her mom. That's a gut wrenching thought but thats not a reason not to write a will. Its the right thing to do. That's not to say that my biggest fear is not being there for Isabel. Maybe most new moms think this way, or maybe not. I think I do because of what happened at her birth and how real it felt that I might die. Lately though, I feel even more sure that God created Isabel to be my daughter. I am supposed to be the one to raise her and He blessed me and J with her for a reason. That is my greatest comfort. God has a plan for me and one for J and one for Isabel. I can rest assured knowing God is in control, even when life feels unpredictable and scary. God gives me the strength to face my fears.