Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Confessions of a Hypocritical Mother

 Just a few confessions here.  My train of thought has changed quite a bit since having a baby.

  • We will tote the baby all around town and she will be sooo cultured due to all of the events we take her to
    • I used to find myself getting unintentionally irritated with parents who were not flexible with their children's schedules.  No longer.  We have Henley on a loose schedule and often times decide the things we used to love doing aren't always the best for a baby.  There is definitely a balance with this one.
  • I will have all the time in the world to cook, do projects, keep the house spotless and start some new hobbies...
    • I have no clue what I do all day and yet I feel so busy.  Having a child has not domesticated me.  In fact Richard said the other day when someone asked how often I cook "She actually cooks less now than when she was working."  Can't deny that. 
  • Sleep deprivation, not that big of a deal.  I used to only get a few hours of sleep each night in college and I was fine
    • Not the same.  Is it because I am older now or if staying up late in college usually meant doing something fun???  All I know is that when I am sleep deprived I walk around with a little bit of crazy in my eye.  Come to find out, I need sleep.
  • Crying it out can't be that bad
    • So far this method is something we have not been able to do.  Bunch of softies.  We know we will eventually have to do it and it will pay off, but can I please not be home?!
  • Other random things I have learned
    • Never make a batch of cookies in the middle of the day when you and the baby are the only ones home.  I end up eating at least half of the dough and then another five cookies once they are baked.  The inner tube around my middle is the proof.
    • I will never say I won't do something because I will almost definitely do it or be extremely tempted to.
    • The longer I'm a parent, the less I know.


Hello...she's smiling now.  Love it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Visitors & Holidays

October and November have been very busy months.  Here is a little recap.  We had TONS of visitors from my family.  My mom came for a full week once the baby was born.  She was a God send.  And yes I cried like a little baby after dropping her off at the airport, all the way home, and most of the afternoon.  I am pretty sure reality had just set in and I knew I was going to be home with this baby with not a clue what to with her.

My cute younger sister and her husband Steve dropped by for a couple of days. 
 My older sister came for a weekend and helped us out while on her way home from a conference in Chicago.  
And then again in November, both my parents came for five days and we had the best time.  Maybe I should say, Richard and I had the best time.  We were able to go on a date...I was pretty worried about going but once we were gone I was fine.  It was unbelievably nice to have some time with just the two of us.  My parents also were amazing and took a couple of the night feedings.  That was the first time I had more than three consecutive hours of sleep since Henley had been born.  Pure heaven.  
Then of course there was Halloween.  The Graff's held their annual Halloween bash and we went as robbers.  I have always really loved dressing up for Halloween and it made it even more fun this year with a baby.  As you can see, she didn't love her hat.  It was ripped off multiple times before we gave in and took it off all together.

Traditional pumpkin carving.

For Thanksgiving we celebrated and ate ourselves to death with the Graff's, Allen's, and Obryant's.  Once again I decided to make homemade pie (including the crust).  Last year it ended in a lot of swearing and tears after I scalded myself with the filling and the crust edges all slumped in the middle of the pie after being baked.  Richard asked me multiple times why I was doing it again and there was no logical explanation except I felt like I had to defeat the crusts and to torture myself.  Outcome, the crusts won.  Slumped edges.  But on the bright side I didn't get burned or mad this year.  So I considered it a success.  Maybe next year.  We also had to take a picture of Henley with the football to prove we held the tradition of throwing around the old pigskin for the holiday.  Now on to Christmas!!  Is it sad that I always have a very big list of items that I want?!  I thought that would maybe stop as I got older.  Nope.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Because I Can't Help Myself

If you are sick of seeing baby pictures, please don't proceed reading this post.  I warned you. 

One of her calm moments with a headband on.  I think she is finally getting used to them.

Her Zoolander face.  Ben Stiller would be proud.
First piece of mail.  It had to be documented.
Very tired mama

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Every year since I have lived in Iowa I have wanted to go to a pumpkin patch and an apple orchard to pick our own produce.  Both of these activities need to be done in the day and since I am not currently working it was easier to cross one of these off the list this year.  I gotta be honest, I was a little disappointed.  On their website it said that we would be able to go into the pumpkin field and pick our own pumpkins.  Apparently the pumpkin field is a grassy area with only perfectly picked pumpkins.  It was fun and I’m glad we did it, but a little anti-climatic.    

The pumpkin patch visit occurred while my cute sister and her husband were in town.  They sure are troopers.  Firstly, they decided to DRIVE to Chicago (from Utah) for their fall break and along the way they were sweet enough to stop by Des Moines for a couple of days.  Also, they were super understanding about working around Henley’s feeding schedule and doing a lot of sitting around since at this point I was still quite frightened to take her out anywhere.  (Still not completely over that).  We had a ton of fun with them and probably provided a good dose of birth control they probably weren’t expecting :)

Sadly, the only picture I took with Sharice

Her first height chart...she was thrilled

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Birth Story

I started writing her birth story and the result was three long, very detailed pages.  I will keep that for myself and describe Henley's birth in a nutshell.  
The day before she was born was quite normal.  I worked a full day and Rich went to school and took an exam.  We figured we should get a picture of me nine months pregnant and what better way to do it in Iowa fashion in a cornfield.  We also went out to eat and pigged out until we could barely walk out of the restaurant.  Below is also a picture leaving our apartment for the last time.  

I have to be honest...I was scared the morning of the c-section.  It was hard to believe that by noon we would have a baby of our own.  We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 am.  They were ready for us. First they had me change into one of those potato sack gowns that I learned to love by the end of my stay.  I was hooked up to the fetal heart rate monitor immediately, given an IV and pumped up with numerous fluids, drank the really tart antacid crap, had an ultrasound (to make sure she was still transverse), and last but not least – had a catheter inserted...yipee!  11:30 approached slowly as we watched The Price is Right and Live with Kelly & Michael.  As it got closer and closer I began to get more and more nervous.  They took Richard to get scrubbed in (I didn't like being separated) and my nurse walked me to the OR.  As I sat down on the table I started to shiver uncontrollably out of nervousness, fear, Rich wasn't there with me, and it was cold in there.  My nurse and anesthesiologist were amazing and helped me relax as I received my epidural.  Which by the way, was less painful than the IV in my hand.  Shortly after 11:50, everyone was there and we were ready to begin.  Everyone in the OR kept the conversation going through the entire procedure which helped my nerves.  At 12:07 pm, Henley Ada Bell was born.  Healthy, pink, and a head full of dark hair.  There is no better sound than your baby's first cry.  I thought my heart was going to burst when Richard brought her over to me.  At that moment Richard and I were both extremely emotional and the circumstances couldn't have been more perfect.

After lots of shoulder pain (deferred from the c-section) and throwing up numerous times all over myself, the nurse brought Richard and I our baby.  She is perfect and so sweet.  She is a little cuddler and her favorite spot is on either of our chests.  We love her little raspy, cat cry and the way she stretches her whole body when she is full.  She smacks her lips while she is sleeping, purses her mouth into a perfect O, and raises her eyebrows often as if she is questioning us.  We have turned into those parents who can just stare at their baby for hours and be entertained which I never understood before having a baby.  We have taken about 1000 pictures that are all similar but somehow look different to us.  Yes, we are lame but are okay with it.

Overall we had an amazing experience.  The nurses and Dr. that assisted us were fantastic.  Henley's birth was one of the best/most emotional days ever.  We feel extremely lucky to be blessed with such a good baby and are ecstatic to have her be a part of our family.  It already feels like we have had her for forever.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Introducing Henley Ada Bell

Here is a sneak peek of our little one, Henley!  I'll post some more pics in a few days.  My mom just left so I'm still trying to get used to this "stay at home mom" thing. 

She is pretty dang fun!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Turn Baby Turn

We are in the final count down of this pregnancy!!  Each week I’m going in for my routine check/appt…ps will I ever get used to getting checked?  (I still get anxiety every time I know I will be “spreading it”).  Last week I walked from work to the Dr’s office during my lunch break and had the biggest tacos (armpit rings) by the time I got there.  Basically I looked real good.  I ended up texting Richard to come and pick me up in an hour cause I couldn’t brave the heat again.  As the Dr was checking me he asked if I had felt any major movements from the baby recently.  I hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary.  He was unsure of the baby’s position and wanted me to get an ultrasound that day. I’m glad I had called Rich to come get me, allowing him to be there for the ultrasound and the decisions to be made afterward.  Long story short the baby is lying transversely.  Which means her back is facing up towards my ribs and her legs and arms are dangling below…toward the exit.  Two options were given; 1.  Schedule a C-section  2.  Try an external inversion, aka attempt to turn the baby.  After much discussion of pros, cons, risks/pain we decided to go with the external inversion and see what happened. 

Friday the inversion was scheduled first thing in the morning.  I didn’t read anything online beforehand because I had already heard painful horror stories about inversion and didn’t feel it would be effective to freak myself out even more.  I showed up prepared to be in some excruciating pain.  They tell you to pack a bag like you are going to deliver (WHAT?!) that day because it could happen.  An IV is started, blood is drawn, and a uterine muscle relaxer is given.  The Dr. lubes your tummy up like a greasy pig and goes at it.  My Dr. was wrestling with the baby for about 7-8 minutes until she stated, “I can keep trying but I don’t think the stubborn little thing is going to turn.”  At this point I felt okay with her continuing to poke and prod but we didn’t really see any point in it.   So, it looks like we are going to have a Cesarean delivery (unless she turns in the next 2 wks).  Something I was never expecting but I am totally fine with it.  Pros and cons to everything, right?  We will get the exact date scheduled tomorrow.  Very crazy!!

About the actual pain, yes I was uncomfortable, found it difficult to breathe and was in some pain.  I have a few bruises on my tummy and was sore for a couple of days but I would do it again.  It wasn’t nearly as painful as I was expecting and it goes really fast.  Plus I would have always wondered “what if” if I hadn’t tried.  So if you ever have to go through an external inversion please ignore the horror/painful stories.  It wasn’t that bad. 

PS…I took some pictures of us at the hospital after but I look like Santa Claus.  My face doubled in size and was extremely rosy/shiny.  Not my finest moment.  C-Section, here we come!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Amana Colonies

Quite a few weekends ago we took a day trip with the Graff's to the Amana Colonies.  They are these German colonies about two hours east of Des Moines that are famous for their food and little shops.  We are very glad the Graff's invited to come along because I don't think we would have made the trek otherwise.  Such a fun day.  Luckily the weekend weather was overcast which made it a lot more bearable.

 Lots and lots of meats and cheeses in the shops.  We didn't buy any of it and I didn't even try the samples.  I'm a total wimp, I know.

 They had their own root beer brewery.  I thought it was delicious.

The lily pads were in perfect bloom while we were there.  Honestly couldn't have been a more perfect time to go.

 They had this gigantic rocking chair and cute wood shop right next to it.  

On to the food...always one of my favorite topics.  We ate a German restaurant (the name is leaving me right now), but we ordered the spaetzle noodles and the weinerschnitzel.  I haven't had either and I was a little afraid of the meat.  The name in itself frightened me.  I was thinking it would be meat in a casing like a hot dog yet I was pleasantly surprised.  The meal also came with delicious broccoli salad which to this day Rich can't stop talking about.  This kills me because we had better broccoli salad at our wedding reception and he has no recollection of it!  So funny the things they remember.

On the drive back, there are some shopping outlets right off of the freeway which were nothing short of amazing!!  Of course Ashley and I planned on stopping and in reality thought the shopping was just as important as the Amana Colonies.  I had warned Richard beforehand and he had agreed to it saying he would just sit in the car.  The stores didn't let us down and the boys didn't stay in the car either.  Rich ended up getting quite a few things which was surprising but made me feel a lot better about buying a few items.  
One of the things he purchased was a Drew Brees jersey.  I know, I can't believe my life partner owns a jersey - however he only wears  it on Sundays (the second we get home from church) and isn't allowed to wear it out of the house.  Strict?  I don't care - jersey's are ugly and trashy unless worn to a sporting event.  When we finally wrapped up the shopping Richard mentioned he has never been shopping for soooooo long in his entire life.  We are talking like two hours people - not really that long at all (I could've spent the entire day there)!!!  He was a really good sport and didn't complain at all which I love him for.  After a long day of traveling, sightseeing, and shopping we treated ourselves to Mcdonald's lovely chocolate dipped cones. One of our summer obsessions.   All in all, a fabulous weekend! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Few Thoughts

Post pregnancy excitement
      1.  Clothes, clothes & more clothes – I have been dying to try out the colored jean trend and get some cute new patterned tops/dresses.  Here are a few I’ve had my eye on.  My wardrobe will also triple in size because hopefully after a few months I will be able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy items.

2.  Working out – I can’t wait to bust a move on the treadmill or go to a class and actually be able to keep up.  I’m finding myself winded these days just going up a few stairs.  Also, having a goal and workout regime in mind is something I look forward to.
3.  The Ta-Tas – This is a gross description I know, but seriously it is getting out of hand.  I’m fully aware that these gallon jugs are going to get even larger while I am the main source of the baby’s food supply.  A girl can look forward to the deflation, right?  Call me crazy – I’ll probably change my mind after it happens. 
4.  Bending over – Sumo wrestler, squatting or panting lady is how I would describe myself when I pick things up these days.  Everything is just sooooo squished.

What Will Be Missed
1.  Feeling the baby move – If you haven’t experienced this yet, it is quite incredible peeps.  Yes there are times when you get a good jab to the ribs or bladder but overall it is fantastic.
2.  Lack of Working Out – I know this is contradicting what I already said.  There are a lot of times though where I really have enjoyed slacking off and not feeling too guilty about it.  It has been a nice break and I will miss having a good justification.
3.  Pot Belly – Yep, I am really going to miss letting it all hang out.  I can’t remember the last time I tried to “think skinny” as my dad would say.  I don’t even know if my muscles will be able to recall how to suck it in.  I guess we will see.

I hope some of you are in my boat and have or had a list of things you looked forward to after being pregnant.  I would love to see what is on your list...

PS...Of course I am ecstatic/frightened for the actual baby and all it entails.  It just seemed to obvious to list.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Food, A Day Off, and Fireworks

Given the blistering heat index and humidity this year, we avoided going outside for most of July 4th.  We did make it to a work (indoor) BBQ where I took homemade potato salad.  First attempt and the last.  Way too time consuming and not that great.  I'm a mayo lover yet potato salad never impresses me.  After two years, Rich finally got to meet a lot of the peeps I work with!!  It was fun introducing him to everyone.
For the evening we had delicious lettuce wraps and ventured out to the local fireworks.  We played a little Phase 10, ate our own body weight in Twizzler Nibs, sweated, and enjoyed a rather notable showcase of fireworks.  And...I promised my family some pictures of the pregnancy progress.  Slight bump, big, and bigger.  PS - I have no idea how to pose normally let alone pregnant so just ignore the awkwardness.