Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Is this it?

It's taken a while - nearly 8 weeks, to be exact - but I think we're there.
That once mythical place in parenthood that I thought only existed in the minds of other, seasoned parents. That spot where it is fun and there are fewer tears.
We're finally there.
I think.
Given, we may be in a totally different place tomorrow or the next day, but right now--- we're there. And I like it.

My sweet little sleepy, squishy baby is coming alive. She's talking to me, smiling at me, and loves to play. It's baffling how one little person can change completely from week to week, but she manages to do so.

I love making her smile. :) 

Second favorite thing to do - play on her mat. I'll let you guess what her favorite thing to do is. ;)

At first, I was petrified to take this little punk out anywhere. I was trapped. But she's calmed down, I've braved up, and we've taken on the outside world quite a few times. We've been out to eat, gone to get groceries, and even just walked around the square shopping. Honestly, I'd almost rather take her with me now than leave her at home! This must be what all those folks were talking about - parenthood being the best thing ever. It has to be because those first weeks - eek!

Our first restaurant outing - Mexican!

On a walk with Buddy. Sidebar - she's not a boy. Nope, she's not wearing a bow.
Yep, she's wearing blue. But there's a flower on her shirt! 

At 8 weeks old, Lydia Claire ---
- Still hates riding in the car
- Loves to stare at the birds on her play mat mobile
- Kicks her chicken legs all of the time
- Adores being worn (Boba and ring sling)
- Enjoys bath time
- Now wearing 0-3 month clothes
- Has started sucking on her fingers/hand
- Will NOT drink from a bottle (uh oooooh!)

At 8 weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Loves wearing baby
- Covets baby cuddles
- Wishes baby would take a pacifier
- Never has time to fix her hair (ponytail!)

One of the hardest things about the first couple months of parenthood was breastfeeding. I thought that would be the easy part! Wrong. I wrote about it here, but it's presented a big issue. Well, two big issues. I may have carpal tunnel in my thumb from scrolling on my phone while she nurses, but that's another story. ;)

Baby girl refuses to take a bottle. Cue mom's panic. Eek! We go to daycare soon! She'll starve! They'll kick her out! I'll have to quit working! We'll all starve!!! Yeah. Bless Adam's heart for enduring my panic. However, it is a pretty serious issue. It's been 1-2 weeks since she last had one, so I have no idea what's going on! Dr. Google has told me lots and consequently scared me to death. Anyone else experienced this?

Classic baby in a basket photo. Still no bow, still not a boy. Just a naked baby.
7 weeks

Classic baby in a suitcase photo. Everyone does this, right?
8 weeks

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Oh. My. Goodness ThisIsHARD.
Again, no one told me anything about how hard owning a baby can be!  She cries. She poops. She spits up. Then she cries again. And now Adam is back at work. Y'all. He's the pro at putting her down for a nap. I stink at it----and little girl knows it.

Our first day alone was, well, ok.
Then came our second day.

She wasn't the only one crying.

Our  morning started off pretty good. Wake, eat, nap. Pretty routine. I used that time to gather our things for a much anticipated visit to my old school, Ben Davis, and get myself somewhat ready. Remember, I don't have a lotta clothes to choose from, so that cuts my gettin' ready time down significantly. ;) She woke up again - time to eat again! Then we got in the dreaded car. I have never met someone who detests riding in a car more than my little girl. She cried the entire 25 minute drive to school. Once I picked her up, all was well. She had a great time, in between crying spells, being loved on by those ladies. I even learned some tricks of the trade from them on how to calm her down while I was there! Between all the love and all the crying, LC was worn out, so she snoozed on the drive home. HALLELUJAH, some peace and quiet!

And then our afternoon.
Once she woke up, we were at odds for the remainder of the evening.


And then she decided to pull my hair! ;)

I simply could not get this little girl to nap again. Mama needed a nap, too!
So when her daddy finally walked in the door, I graciously handed her over.
And I hate how easily her settled her down for a brief nap.
Hate, but love.
Love, really.

I'm worn out just thinking about it again....

While growing a baby is hands-down the most challenging thing I've ever done, it's pretty amazing. To see how much she has changed is remarkable. And I love it.

Hating her bonnet her great, great Aunt Johnnie made her.

At six weeks old, LC ---
- Hates riding in the car
- Loves to smile at her daddy
- Enjoyes baths and diaper changes
- Still fits into her newborn outfits
- Loves morning snuggles
- Gets hungry when mom tries to eat

At six weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Eats faster than she ever has before
- Consequently hasn't truly tasted her food in six weeks
- Loves morning snuggles
- Can almost wear her wedding band again (!!!)

So, speaking of changes, it's time for me to make some changes as well. I'll be working to change my diet and exercise routine next week. While I've had the best time eating whatever I want and sitting all day, it's time to get after it. This one pair of mom pants is getting old, so I guess I'll try to fit into some of my other things.

In the past, I've really liked following the Paleo diet, but while being a milk factory for baby, I need some carbs. Mmmm, how I love carbs. :) Anyway, you're welcome to join me as I slowly (and I mean slowly) work my way back into an exercise routine, running, and healthy eating. Lemme know if you wanna be my support buddy - believe me, I'll need it. Not sure how strong my sugar withdrawals will be. ;)

In other news, LC went to Tennessee this past weekend to meet some of her family! 

Meeting her great grandaddy for the first time

Hanging with her great grandma

Taking a break with her Uncle D

Stay tuned for more pictures of crying LC next week! ;)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I Get It.

I get it now.
I really do.
All those years, I scoffed...
...questioned why.
But now I get it.

I kinda hate that I now understand mom jeans. The ones that go up to (or past!) the bellybutton. Don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about. Those jeans, those pants. That safe, secure, waist band height. I get it now.

After gaining 50ish pounds while growing dear LC and eating copious amounts of ice-cream (no regrets), there's no way on this green earth that I can already fit back into my regular jeans. Really, I may never squeeze these hips back into my favorite pair of softly worn jeans ever again - I understand that. In all actuality, there are very few items of clothing I can currently fit into, so getting dressed to go out in public is a battle. On one outing, the cashier at the grocery store asked if I was expecting., no. Better bet I'm not putting on that outfit again. Then during another venture into the outside world, the sales associate asked when my baby was due., no. Yet another outfit thrown to the back of the closet never again to be thought about or worn. So, that should give you a good idea of what I'm working with here.

But there's this one pair of gloriously stretchy workout capri pants I own - these babies are my saving grace! The waist band can be turned down and worn low or one can leave it up. That's when these capris become my mom pants! Ahhhh. Just thinking about them makes me feel better. All that wiggly, jiggly ice-cream belly locked in tight thanks to my high-waisted stretchy mom capris.

So, after all those years of turning up my nose at high waist pants, I get it now.
And I will choose to embrace it!
At least until the jiggle is gone...if it ever leaves!
I'm working on it daily, but I'll just go ahead and tell you that it's HARD.
But I'm working on it. We power walk/stroll. I hit up the Airdyne. I whine afterwards...
Until it's gone, though, I'll just rock the mom pants. :)

Here's a good portion of that 50 pounds I gained. My 1 month old little squish. :) <3

She loves her joggers. :)

No one wants to see my face anyway. It's all about LC now!

She has my heart.

What also happened...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Can't Wait

I find myself thinking about those words a lot...
I can't wait until LC will fit into this cute outfit...
I can't wait until Halloween this year! What can she be...?
I can't wait until I can run with LC...
I can't wait until LC stops crying all of the time...
I can't wait until  I can embarrass LC with all these pictures...

I even remember using them months ago ---
I can't wait until I look pregnant (ha!)...
I can't wait until I can feel her kick...
I can't wait to have this baby...

But there have already been so many firsts.
She's already more alert. I couldn't wait for that.
She's trying to focus on things. Couldn't wait for that either.
And I can tell she's getting longer and gaining weight. Another thing I was anxious for.
I even heard her first giggle the other day. Granted, I didn't do anything to get this giggle- it was at 3 a.m. in her sleep, but it was still the most adorable thing ever.

With all this can't waiting going on, she's accomplishing a lot. She's teaching us tons.
And it's pretty amazing to see her grow, change, discover.

So, this week,  LC turned 4 weeks old. Four weeks of dirty diapers. Spit-up everywhere. Lost sleep. And lots of staring at the scariest, most amazing experiment ever.

At four weeks old, LC loves to ---
- Eat
- Cry
- Stroll (still)

Such a cry baby sometimes... ;)

At four weeks as a mom, Janell ---
- Has learned to function on very little sleep
- Rarely gets to dry her hair
- Is less OCD about things around the house
- Loves to take LC on strolls

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What? I'm a mom?

We're three weeks into this adventure, and boy has it been something else.
Much like the belly button saga of pregnancy, there are just so many joys of parenthood that you never really expect - things no one ever mentions.

The coos, chirps, and sighs in her sleep.
Her inane ability to dirty a diaper right after being dressed in absurdly cute pants.
Little reflex smiles that melt your heart.
Being peed on.
Her staring straight at you with adorable little eyes.
Screams that the whole neighborhood hears.

We're still trying to figure one another out, but it's going ok.
I say this as she's fast asleep. ;)

So far, LC loves to put on a show for all of her visitors. She's so sweet and cuddly - never makes a peep.

But then when they leave....

The best advice came from one of my friends. He comes from a HUGE family and has one precious little boy of his own ---

"Infants are easier to handle if you think of them as drunk adults. Drunk adults are all about basic things. They get upset and cry when they are hungry, sleepy, gassy, or bored. And sometimes they will be upset regardless of what you've done, and at that point you just gotta hold them and let them cry."

His words could not have come at a more perfect time. Sometimes the best medicine is laughter. There have been many instances where I'm at my limit, tears streaming down both of our faces. What do you need, LC?!?  But somehow she stops crying and things are alright again.

At three weeks old, little Lydia Claire Bear loves to -
- Ride in the car
- Go on a stroll
- Eat
- Be swaddled
- Cry from 9-11 P.M.
- Pee on her parents right before/after a bath

At three weeks as a mom (WHAT?!? I'm a mom?!), Janell ---
- Feels accomplished if showered before noon
- Routinely sports clothes with spit-up on them
- Is amazed at how long getting ready to go somewhere takes with a child
- Can change a dirty diaper 30 seconds flat
- Melts when LC gazes at me
- Has no recollection of what 8 hrs of sleep feels like

Also, I recently found our very first family photo on AHill's phone! How in the world some folks manage to look great after all that is beyond what I understand - I look a hot mess with my chipmunk cheeks and messy hair! But I love it. :) And I love us...all three of us!

Monday, July 6, 2015

So, I had a baby.

You always tend to remember your firsts.
First date.
First car.
First real job check.

This past week has been full of firsts.
And I don't think I'll ever forget them.

Last Tuesday, I made one of many tough first decisions. We were told that my body was being stubborn --- labor didn't appear to be anywhere close. We were given the option to wait it out for a couple days and I could be induced with a doctor I didn't know. Or we could schedule LC's birth with my favorite doctor.

Guess what I chose.

So, Tuesday night, Adam and I headed to the hospital to be induced. We had already told our close family so that they could make plans to be at the hospital the next day. I had no idea what to expect, so I had spent much of Tuesday doing weird stuff around the house (like organizing the cabinet on top of the microwave, cleaning the inside of the dishwasher - you know, normal stuff) to keep my mind busy. To say that I was nervous would be a terrible injustice to my nerves. We got into a room, met our nurse, and she told us what was going to happen. Then, THEN I got to strip down and don one of those glorious hospital gowns and climb into the bed. Cue another first - a stay in a hospital. Then the nurse started an IV for me - another first. It ended up being in my hand, so needless to say I didn't move my hand for a good 10 hours. It felt disgusting.

Last picture of my baby belly!

What a wonderful hospital!

Anyway, they started some medicine and I was told to go to sleep.
First night in a hospital. First IV. First baby on the way.

Eventually, I did sleep. Hard. And before I knew it, it was July 1st and my doctor was sitting at the foot of my bed telling me how it would all go down. I nodded my head as they started my Pitocin. Now to wait.

And wait we did. We waited what seemed like forever.
Around noon, the doctor came in to break my water. Talk about a weird feeling. I still can't get over that! She said I had made some progression - maybe dilated to 5 cm - and that I should progress about 1 cm per hour. At that news, my spirits lifted. Soon, we would be holding our little girl. We'd get to see that little nose and squeeze her little feet.

Hour 473820 of enduring contractions.

The contractions came and went, but they were never anything I couldn't stand.
More Pitocin.
No more dilation.
More Pitocin.
No change.

By 5 pm, I was worn out. I was starving. And I was feeling pretty down.
That's when I did it.
I asked about my options.
Pain medication? Epidural? C-section?
My sweet nurse and husband encouraged me to stay strong.
But I knew something had to give.
After discussing it with the doctor, an epidural was ordered and suddenly all was right with the world! Oh epidural, how lovely you were!

After an hour, LC still hadn't made any progress.
The decision was made to wheel me back for a C-section.

As another first (surgery), I know I should have been scared. However, I knew that I had given it my best shot. Now I had to focus on what was best for baby.

I had not wanted to be induced.
I had not wanted an epidural.
I had not wanted a C-section.
But I kept reminding myself - Not my will, but yours. 

The C-section was somewhat of a blur. I remember Adam holding my hand. More medicine delivered. Pulling and tugging. Crying. And then LC was on my chest. My first look at our daughter.

From what I was told, this part took a while. I was losing a lot of blood due to the high amount of Pitocin in my body. The epidural began to creep up too far. I got light headed and felt my heart rate dropping. They snatched LC off my chest and handed her to Adam. My sweet husband, though, handed LC to a nurse and stayed by my side as they pumped my violently shaking body full of more medicine, covered me warm blankets, and asked me this and that.

Before long, LC was back on my chest and we were off to our room.
Well, our room or Cloud 9.
We couldn't stop staring at her.
And we still can't.

My sweet family meeting LC for the first time. <3

Right before her first bath.  

This picture makes my heart flutter. I have to be sappy and say that AHill was born for this role. He is a natural and LC already adores him. He has been super dad and super husband for the past 5 days. His love and patience get me through my tough times of feeling like a failure. I can't do much around the house. I have trouble getting off the couch, out of the bed.  My medicine makes me loopy AND sleepy. While he does everything, I rest. And he does it all with so much love.
Sappiness over. 

My dinner date while Adam was taking care of our fur babes at home.

That silky smooth head! Ahhh!

So, while we were waiting out the contractions, we decided to make a little video. This is pre-epidural, so I can't blame it on drugs! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

40 Weeks and Counting

Sometimes it's tough being an adult. It includes making choices you'd rather not make.
Like trading in your glorious, gas guzzling Tonka truck for a more family friendly ride. 
Or preparing a real dinner with vegetables instead of making that remaining piece of chocolate cake be dinner. They're tough, but you know it's for the best.

Tonka truck, I miss you.   :(

Sometimes, however, folks don't have the good sense to make tough decisions. Chalk it up to ignorance, denial, I don't know. But I do know that my thoughts automatically go to those occasions when folks just don't know it's time to leave. Maybe they're enjoying themselves. Maybe they're just really comfy. Whatever it is, they just don't seem to get any subtle, or not, clues that are dropped. 

Oh! I have the perfect example. 
And I'll even use names!

That's right. I just used the bold, italics, and underline feature. You know I'm serious. 

Is she really comfortable? Is she lazy? Or is she just really stubborn? Who knows. But I do know that we're running out of room. Seriously. She hit the 40 week mark yesterday, Monday, and shows no signs of wanting to head outta her current cozy abode. Honestly, I feel like we're both pretty uncomfortable. She''ll kick me at the top of my stomach, I'll try to press her back down, but it does no good. I can feel her from the top to the bottom of her living quarters. And the way she can make my stomach rock these days is like something from a sci-fi movie. She's gonna be a powerful little baby!

With the report from our doctor yesterday being the same as the previous week (read no progress),  things are now being talked about which I had never considered. Induction. Cesarean. Medications. She has some time, though - she can still make her entrance the way I want her to.... but wait. Is this LC already being defiant?!? Ha. Interestingly enough, my doctor will not allow me to go past 41 weeks. She said that would not only put baby in danger but me as well. Apparently the baby they thought would be on the small side is now potentially a little large for my frame.

So, I'm off to walk a couple miles while eating pineapple and spicy foods. Here's to hoping she comes soon!

Wedding with my favorite guy and almost 2nd grader!

Pizza with college friends Yuki and KRay!