Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sixty Days of Mommyhood

Cue the Elle is two months old today! The love continues to flow and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to look at the picture I have framed of the two of us on my desk. As I settle into my routine of work and school I'm that much more appreciative of our time together. I guess it would be helpful to remember this when it's saturday afternoon and I'm bored out of my brains. There's only so much you can do with an infant and as much as I love our heart to hearts she's more of a listener. Which brings me to the coo'ing she's started to do. It's absolutely adorable which isn't saying much since I feel that way about everything she does, with the one exception of poopy diapers. How could something so sweet make something so foul? My fingers are crossed daily that I'll miss it, being gone eight hours of the day does increase my odds rather nicely :)

There is one person who without this experience would be very different. She's my mom and Elle's Gram-Gram. I can't deny that the woman drives me mad (which she's well aware of) but she also gives so much of herself to the both of us. She takes care of Elle during the day thus eliminating daycare. I literally rouse her about everything. From "threats" of docking her pay if she's late in the morning to takeover to the weekly meeting me and Elle are going to have about how she feels things are going (she being Elle...LOL). It really does come from a good place. We're both able to laugh at the ridiculousness that is...Vanessa. I realized recently that I don't tell her enough how thankful I am for her. Because of her my social life has remained in tact. Because of her my daughter gets fabulous care and priceless time with her Gram-Gram. Because of her I'm able to be the mom (and person) that I am today. It goes without saying I love you Mom!

We're finding our groove. There is so much I'm looking forward to this year and having Elle here to be a part of it all means I'll never run out of batteries for the camera!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Hush Lil' Baby Don't You Cry

Cry (verb): weep and to make sad sounds. Synonym's include: bawl. blubber. boohoo. breakdown. burst into tears. choke up. complain. fret. howl. lament. let it all out. sob. turn on the waterworks. wail. yowl.

Last night was the worst I've experienced in the past fifty-seven days. Yes, I counted. I sit here tired. Wait exhausted. No even that doesn't do justice how it is I'm feeling. Depleted. Yeah there we go. I considered calling out of work this morning but then realized that peace and quite was waiting for me there. As a reward for not falling asleep and drooling all over the keyboard I took a nap. Fifty-five minutes of glorious, uninterrupted, sound, not exactly deep but deep enough z's.

My beautiful little of bundle of joy has a strong set of lungs. How one could not only cry for that long but at that level of intensity is beyond me. Of course she didn't cry herself to sleep. I'm starting to think that's just a myth because Elle is a bonafide master of crying just enough not to exhaust herself. The way her bottom lip curls under is absolutely adorable. And lucky for me after so long I'm able to not even hear it but every so often check back in to see if she's in need of a new diaper or decided that she is ready to eat. At ten o' clock I turned the light out, turned the volume up on the womb bear (who by the way I think really needs a name...hmmm?) and watched Oz. Random Vanessa Fact: I really like shows with a crime, investigative, prison theme. Such as: The First 48. 20/20 on WE. Gangland. It was around 11:30 when she finally went down for the count. There were a few times when I thought she had given in earlier but she was just plotting against me, with her eyes closed and that pretty lil' smile. As soon as I let my guard down she was back at it, crying inconsolably. And if you think that's where this persecution stopped you are sadly mistaken. She slept in two-hour chunks with a forty-five minute turn around (i.e. time spent getting her back to sleep).

At five a.m. I declared Elle the winner. The lights and television came on. Something was different though she wasn't bursting into tears and sending me to the brink of shedding my own. She was awake, taking in her surroundings (like she always does) and being the lovely lady I've spent the past fifty-seven days getting to know. I can't tell you how happy I was to see her for a second I thought I was going to have to find my receipt for a return and refund :) I wouldn't trade her for the world! Besides soon enough it'll be my turn to drive her mad. Until then...


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The best way to put it is like this...

I feel like my life and my person are under a magnifying glass. Having only been going at this mom thing for almost two months now saying that I'll just adjust is a gross understatement. My entire world and being as I knew isn't there anymore. Life now revolves around a beautiful little girl.

I've got the smiling, nodding & thank-yous down. I accept that it takes several trips to get the car packed. That even when I think I've given myself enough time to get us ready, I haven't and we're inevitably running late. Sometimes I struggle to open up the stroller and I think I look incapable. I am OCD when it comes to just about everything ranging from how her clothes are folded to her wardrobe, yes as insignificant as it sounds I expect her socks to match. At three a.m. it inescapably hits me that I'm alone, its just me & holy shit I'm a Mom! Did I know this is how it was going to be, well sure from the very beginning but living it day-to-day is something completely different. It's taxing emotionally. I'm still letting go of the person I was. It's difficult. I realize how content I was with that Vanessa. The size 12, blonde, party girl. Today I'm a far cry from all of that. I don't fit any of my clothes, I'm back to my natural hair color & I can't leave a store without a new outfit for Elle. Time has a new value. Doing this means that doesn't get done. I feel like everyone is living life and mine has stopped. Sometimes I feel like I'm in quick sand being pulled down by the choices I made or it's as if years have passed and I don't recognize anyone or anything around me.

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." ~Rajneesh

I always wanted to be a mom. XOXO

Monday, January 18, 2010

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

For six glorious weeks I was a stay at home mom. It was undeniably a fabulous time that allowed me to enjoy my daughter in a very special way. I've also decided that it's the way I was intended to live life: at home. Rising with the sun. Watching Play House Disney (which consists of Handy Manny a personal favorite, Imagination Movers, Jungle Junction & Mickey's Playhouse). Giving baths. Making bottles. Afternoon naps. TV time with Tyra & Oprah. Dinner. Laundry. Play dates. Need I even note doing all the aforementioned with hair and make-up done.

I was determined to make the most of our last week so we made our rounds and spent time with everyone who our lives wouldn't be the same without. I used Monday as a planning day and got our week mapped out.

I had a dinner date with Shanda. We met at my favorite restaurant Lenox Square Grill. We did some long overdue catching up, the last time I saw her was right before I had Elle which was Thanksgiving! And best of all she treated me :)

We went to Rebecca's for dinner. She made us chicken tortilla soup and for desert apple pie and ice cream. She mis-read the box and thought it was only going to take 15 minutes it actually took around 45 min. or so, but it was definitely worth the wait. When I'm at home and Elle's up I usually have the TV on disney or nickelodeon. It's true that the majority of the time she couldn't be less interested and is usually trying to figure out where I am and then stare me down until I pick her up. The three of us enjoyed Curious George, who I appreciate is a real monkey & communicates in genuine monkey grunts and coo's. Then we got pulled into the disney channel and noted that Zack & Cody from A Suite Life on Deck were looking older and "healthier" (anyone else remember there very chubby stage?). Followed by the Wizards of Waverly Place. All the while being pulled into a commercial they played every break about a new movie that was debuting over the weekend. We were in agreement if we were fifteen years younger we would have definitely been swooning over the cute boys who made up the more important part of the! On a side note, later on that weekend when I was flipping through the TV guide I remembered the movie was coming on and auto-tuned it. Sadly, I was fast asleep before it came on at 8 o'!

(Gymboree welcomed us with Elle & Kira's name on the chalkboard, Me & Elle, Kira & Elle)

Elle & I had our first play date with my girlfriend Kyi and her daughter Kira. We did a free class at Gymboree. Actually "free" was a $10 donation to St. Jude's. I wasn't sure if Elle was going to join us or not being that she was in the midst of some very good sleep. But after a lil' finagling she was up and partaking in the festivities. We sang songs, layed on our tummies, became one with our five senses and found the time to eat & get changed. We kept the good times rolling with lunch at Chick-fil-A! It was a sight to be seen. I could have never pictured me and Kyi together with kids. But I'm so glad to have another person who is going through the same things I am, understands and keeps me laughing along the way.

We did lunch with Tracy at PF Changs. I had never been there before and was not disappointed. It was not only really good food it was super inexpensive between the two us it was only $23?! It had snowed the night before so the roads were icy and everyone lost there damn mind, because that makes a whole lot of sense. You say the word "snow" in Georgia and you better start rationing bread & water. We drove slow and safe and made it in one piece. Since we were just right next door we went to the mall as well. I bought Elle some very cute sweat pants from H&M, they were only $5! I also treated myself to some bronzer that I love from bath and body works. Yes, I bronze and use self-tanner. I want that J-Low glow! Since it was on clearance I bought two and after raving about it Tracy bought two too! I also went scoping ear jewelry (i.e. earrings) for Elle. She's not old enough yet but as soon as she is we're getting those ears pierced. The piercing pagoda actually had a really great selection...I can't wait!

We rounded out our weekend going to a meetup group I joined so that we could both make some new friends. It wasn't too far from my house and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get out there and start socializing. My GPS that I love so much wasn't able to find the address to where we were going. Luckily, my handy dandy i-phone got us there with no problem. Once we're there I'm introducing myself and Elle and exchanging pleasantries. Elle starts to stir and I realize it's time to eat. I go to where I ALWAYS put her bottles and....DUN-DUN-DUN, I forgot the damn bottles. It took everything I had not to fall apart and burst into tears. But that was how the old Vanessa would have reacted the new Mom Vanessa remains cool, calm and collected while figuring out a solution. Actually to be honest I was appearing to keep it together while freaking out on the inside. The only thing I could do was go buy some formula. The nearest store was Target so that's where we headed. I made a mad dash to the baby section and of course they didn't have the particular kind Elle eats but they had the brand. So I made an executive decision to not switch brands, in fear that she'd hate me and just got a different type. As I was walking to the register it dawns on me that I need a bottle. I walk all the way back to the section I was at and proceed to walk in circles looking for a damn bottle. Eventually, I give up and search for some assistance and am directed to where the bottles are. Which on a normal day I would have been able to figure out but given my panic stricken state it just wasn't happening. Before heading for the check-out a second time I cruise by the purse section and find something I really like on clearance, mom's gonna treat herself! On the way to heading back to the meetup we have to stop and get gas=taking. up. more. time. But the last thing I wanna do is run out of gas with Elle, so we do what we must do. Once we're back I get some words of encouragement. No, I'm not the worst mother in the world. Yes, I'm going to forget stuff. Elle eats while I get to know the ladies and have a muffin. Which by the way I baked fresh that morning. I didn't want to come empty handed and apparently impressed everyone. Not so impressive the whole forgetting the formula but no one held it against me. WHEW :)

Last but certainly not least we spent the following afternoon with my bestie Dizzy. Me and Elle went over to her place following church to meet for lunch. We had some time to burn so after a quick diaper change we were in the car and headed to Target. I picked Elle up some new stuff a couple onesies, jacket and the cutest pair of leg warmers! We ate lunch at a very cute japanese spot, hibachi and all. It was another delicious meal as well as entertaining. Everyone was really personable and I am looking forward to going back, for Dizzy's birthday dinner (in We spent our time catching up on lost time. I'm happy that she's not only back in my life but able to be a part of Ellie's (her nickname of choice).


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thirty Days of Mommyhood

On the 28th I'd been a mom for a whole month. Woo-hoo! Not a significant milestone but a milestone nonetheless. It's amazing how much I've experienced in just a mere thirty days...

I absolutely love my daughter! She makes me incredibly happy which helps when I'm covered in urine and spit up. I'm happy to report that it doesn't even phase me now. All it means is it's time to put on a new shirt and decide whether or not her outfit is salvageable. You'd think I'd do a better job about using a burp cloth but I'm not and I'm okay with it. Lucky for me I like to do laundry and find folding laundry therapeutic. And even though I've heard several times that the day is going to come when I won't be anal-retentive about how her clothes are folded, I think they're wrong. Mothering is very hard work. Rewarding. But hard. When it's three o'clock in the morning and I'm walking to the kitchen to make a bottle & all I can think is "please let her fall back to sleep smoothly". Hard. When I've got a naked baby pooping. Hard (and gross). One morning as I was getting ready to bathe her she started her BM for the day and I gagged my way through it, start to finish. Luckily, Gram-Gram was there to serve as back-up. When she's crying and there's no soothing her. Hard. But when that smile appears on her face it's priceless. When she goes smoothly from falling asleep on me to being put in her crib, score! When I can get her changed or fed before the tears start...time for a celebratory dance. The morning I made a bottle sans the formula & didn't realize it until I was shaking the bottle, hilarious! My ability to do everything from opening doors to putting on make-up with one hand, impressive. She has a wardrobe she doesn't quite fit yet. She's outgrown her newborn onesies but after trial and error I realize that she still needs newborn sized clothes. I'm kooky about her hair. I expect her outfits to match, socks and all. If you couldn't tell I'm one of "those moms" and I embrace every bit of it.

Nipples Were Meant to Hurt
I decided early on I was going to breastfeed. It's best for both baby and mom. I heard how it hurts but it's one of those things you have to live to truly understand. I can say now however I get it. It's an intense commitment and after eighteen days I threw in the breast pump! In just a matter of days I had my Elle successfully on formula and after a recommendation from her pediatrician I found one the she could eat and digest minus the sour faces and looks like I was trying to murder her. I can look back on those days fondly. It really is this amazing bonding experience but mom wants her boobs

Estrogen is Powerful

The range of emotions I felt ran the gambit. Everything from genuine happiness and fulfillment to overwhelming frustration and anger. I can say that first week or so home I really didn't want to let anyone else hold her. I was completely content with it just being the two of us. Everyone was welcomed to look from afar but that was it. After a blowout and some tears I can say that I've successfully moved through that portion of the emotional roller coaster, here's to whatever comes next!


PS-Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the two of us!