So...we've come to the infamous blog post on New Year's Eve where bloggers 'round the world spout off resolutions everyone knowsthey won't keep and wrap up the year. (I find it hilarious that I only blogged more because I got pregnant, and did not lose 10 pounds but instead gained 40 and then lost 30...so essentially I GAINED 10lbs. Awesome.)
Mine shall be no different.
If ever there was a year that was a rollercoaster of emotions, it was this one. The nerd in me wanted to make a line chart of my ups and downs, but that seems a little excessive.
I ended 2008 by driving to Lutsen, MN in THE WORST BLIZZARD EVAR and then skied my way into 2009. I took a girls trip to Vegas where I crippled myself in my last attempt at heels. I went to Mexico with the hubs and my parents, where I peed on a stick and found out my life was never to be the same. Not long after that, my beloved Grandmother Gabba took a turn for the worse, and in April, she passed away. I said goodbye to a friend far, far too early. Over the summer, I bitched and moaned about being pregnant with Abby, who kicked my ass internally. I had a baby shower, and had to put my darling kitty Miles to sleep. I attempted a weekend in the north woods at 28 weeks pregnant. I turned 29, had about a million labor scares, had another baby shower, gave birth 2 weeks early to my precious daughter, born on her late Great Grandmother Gabba's birthday. And for the past 2 months I have watched her grow to be the best baby a mother could ask for.
If ever there was a year of growing up, this was it. I can safely say that I am not the same person I was on that chair lift in Lutsen a year ago. I am so much different. I know what it's like to lose a part of your heart by losing a loved one. I also know that there is no love like the one you can have for your own child. My mother has become more of a best friend than I ever imagined, and more important to me now that I know what she went through for me. (Read: LABOR.)
I'm not totally ready to file this year away. Parts of it I'm more than happy to try to forget, but others I feel like I never should forget. However, in a little more than 12 hours, 2010 will be here whether I like it or not.
I AM excited to see what 2010 has to offer. It's no longer about me, but all about Abby. I do turn 30 next year, so that sucks, but unlike this year, I'm looking forward to closing the door on my 20s. But that's another post for another day. (Another day, in September. Start thinking of appropriate birthday gifts NOW, people.)
My resolutions? Fast and furious - Try to be healthy and be the best momma I can be. I'm pretty sure those aren't too lofty.
So, that's a wrap. We'll see you in 2010, ladies and germs.
Yesterday you turned two months old. On Christmas day, we dropped you off at the Grandparents house for the evening so we could have a party with all of our friends. Occasionally I'd look around our house wondering who was holding you, only to remember you were safe and soundly sleeping in a house a few miles away. When your father and I finally called it a night, we both agreed that we barely could stand that you weren't here.
Saturday night, like I figured, you didn't sleep through the night like you normally do. I got up around 3:30 when your fussing became too much and groggily fed you your bottle. That's when I realized as much as I thought I'd hate not getting enough sleep and being woken up in the middle of the night...I absolutely love it. In fact, I prefer it. Staring at your beautiful face with only the orange glow of the light in your room is all I need to survive.
One foot on the bouncy chair, making it go. This make cleaning virtually impossible. Unless you call blogging about not being able to clean "cleaning."
We're having a decent sized Christmas party on Friday night for our friends, and our house looks like the setting for the latest apocalypse movie. (2012? Yeah, our living room was the backdrop.) I can't hold Abby cause that's pissing her off. The moby isn't an option. Apparently, sleep is SO 2 days ago.
This morning, as I'm sitting here, enjoying my new favorite talk show (Bonnie Hunt. I love her. That Chicago accent!! It just reminds me of home.) Abby's in my lap kind of squirmy but also kind of sleeping. And I start to get mushy because she's just all kinds of cute.
I love the way she squeaks when she stretches. Did I mention she stretches all the time? Because she does.
And the thing that gets me so much is when she laughs in her sleep. Do all babies do this? She isn't smiling really that much - just an occasional one here and there that we pretty much have to bribe out of her. But when she sleeps? She's all smiles and laughs. It melts my heart. And then this morning it dawned on me that someday, she'll do that when she's awake...and it'll be because of something Josh or I did.
Someone pass the kleenex.
And PS - she slept through the night THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW. Except last night. That didn't work so well. I'm guessing it's because her routine was changed, and we weren't home until nearly 11pm from the in-laws. We'll try again tonight.
It was not a surprise when I woke up this morning to the arrival of that bitch Aunt Flo. I've been having cramps on and off since Friday. However, prior to getting pregnant, I never got pre-period cramps, only one day of HOLY HELL MY REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS ARE GOING TO FALL OUT kind of cramps.
Being pregnant sucked. You all know how crappy it ended up for me.
I long for those days now.
John the Midwife says my Mirena IUD should eventually take care of my cramps and make my monthly visitor lighter and less painful. He also warned me that this first post partum period is going to totally suck. I'm fastening my seat belt as we speak.
No, not that belt. Extra points if you know what that is.
I should also mention here what STTN means for those not in the know. That stands for SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Also, this took place in HER CRIB, not in our room.
Excuse me while I pause to do an effin happy jig.
We had her video monitor hooked up to our TV so all we had to do was open our eyes to see her. She did a lot of waking and squirming, but after a couple minutes would fall back asleep. From 11pm till 6:30 she slept. I woke up a lot, but got so much more sleep than when she's in our room.
One problem was that she basically had icicles on her ears and hands. Our house is a quaint, drafty home built in 1932. Even with the heat set at 72 degrees it was still chilly willy. So, tonight we'll attempt it again, but hopefully will keep her warmer.
This is going to be a huge post. My apologies in advance.
I'll start by saying this - I purchased a LOT of things based on recommendations from friends, internet ratings and just because it looked cool. Some things worked great - others I wonder why I ever bothered. Hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes! Without further ado:
Thumbs Up SwaddleMe wraps - I bought one of these from BabySteals.com or something without knowing much about it, and ended up buying 3 more from Babies R Us. Abby LOVED being wrapped up tight, and it was the only way she'd sleep soundly (and still to this day!) Swaddling with a regular blanket did not work, as she'd kick or punch her way out of it. I had four, 2 fleece and 2 cotton knit. I probably could have gotten by with just one of each, but Abby doesn't spit up much so...take that as you will.
Graco Pack N Play - Anyone who's going to be traveling with the wee babe, or needs something for grandma's house - THIS is what to get. Between the bassinet feature and changing table (that folds out of the way) it's everything you need while on the road. It even has a mini diaper caddy and wipes holder.
Fisher-Price Little Lamb Swing - I know most of the baby world knows how great this thing is already, so I won't go off the deep end with compliments, but it's pretty damn great. Abby loves hers. And momma just found out the seat sits up or lays down. (I'm a slow learner apparently.)
Air Flow Sleep Positioner - I don't remember why I was inclined to buy this (probably the instilled fear of SIDS) but it is WONDERFUL. Abby rolls onto her side pretty easily - not with this product. It's adjustable, and she doesn't seem to notice. The piece of mind it offers is worth the $13 or whatever it cost.
Cloth Diapers - Yeah - I don't cloth diaper. (Tell me about how I'm destroying the environment later.) However, these things are THE BEST burp cloths. Don't bother with the cutesy burp cloths sold by Gerber - they're too thin and Abby ends up getting soaked unless we double them up. Cloth diapers are the way to go.
Aden + Anais Swaddle Wraps - These are HUGE muslin blankets great for swaddling, emergency crib sheet, etc etc. A good lightweight blanket for summertime as well. Also - BUY THEM FROM TARGET - they're about $15 cheaper than if you buy them anywhere else. Don't ask me why.
Soothe & Glow Seahorse - Again, this is all over the baby boards as being awesome so I won't bother going into it. Just trust me - IT WORKS.
Tiny Love Symphony in Motion Mobile - I LOVE this mobile. It's perfect with bold colors and black & white graphics. Unfortch, it's not being produced anymore, but Tiny Love has other mobiles that are just as awesome. I bought mine on craigslist. Here's where I'm not so much on this - the motor was a bit loud, so I tried to contact Tiny Love to get a replacement part. I called them 4 times, leaving messages 3 of those times, and sent two emails trying to get ahold of someone. I still have yet to get any sort of reply. So...as long as it never breaks this is an awesome mobile. :)
Bink Link Pacifier Clip - I'll admit, when I saw little Madeline (of Matt & Madeline fame) with one of these I ordered one. Like, 5 months before I even tried to get pregnant. It was just too cute. And it's also a lifesaver. Abby loves her pacifier, but also enjoys spitting out just as much. This stops it from hitting the floor. And stops me from having a nervous breakdown.
Moby Wrap - I don't use this too much yet - but the times I have made it worth the money. I'm sure I'll use it more as she gets older and when it's not eleventy billion degrees below zero.
Bassinet (courtesy of craigslist) - I wasn't going to buy one since I had planned on using the Pack N Play in our bedroom. Then, a couple months before my due date I realized there was no way in HELL that huge thing was going to fit in our room. I didn't see the sense in buying a brand new bassinet when she was only going to use it for a couple months, tops. I got mine for $30, and it was in great shape. Ours is two pieces, so you can bring the "basket portion" into the living room, leaving the base behind.
Wet Happened Bag - Such a good idea. Anytime Abby's spit up or somehow managed to piss all over her clothes while we were out and about - her clothes went into this bag, keeping everything else dry and smelling good in her diaper bag. I have the "orchid groovy" print.
Summer Handheld Video Monitor - We tried the traditional audio monitor in our house and for whatever reason got nothing but feedback. (WiFi interfering? Who knows.) We had our eye on this the whole time, and finally broke down and bought it. LOVE. We have to keep the door to her room closed since our cat loves her crib more than she does - so having an ear AND eye on her from anywhere in the house is awesome for peace of mind. It was spendy, but I got it on sale at Babies R Us and it's been worth every penny.
Burt Bees "Baby Bee" line - I received Johnson's, Mustela and Burt's Bees products as gifts...and I have to say I love the Burt's Baby Bee products the best. (Ironic name, no?) Their line is almost 100% natural and smells just as good if not better than the Johnson's line.
Munchkin Safety Bath Duck - If you're like me and enjoy a scalding hot bath, it can be kind of scary selecting a temp for your little one. This little ducky stopped me from worrying if the tub was too hot.
Halo Sleep Sacks -I have 3 of these (including a swaddling version from the hospital) and I've used one a couple times. Here's my issue (and maybe it's just a seasonal deal) - her arms are not covered while she's in this thing (the non-swaddle version). It's cold in our house at night, and this didn't keep her warm. Fine for napping, but I'm not sold.
Itzbeen Timer - I bought this because in the beginning I was having a hard time remembering when I had fed Abby. Problem is, I also had a hard time remembering to hit the button every time I did, which makes this thing pretty useless. I will say I use the light on it all the time, as I have it clipped to the bassinet. (Then I don't have to turn on my light in the middle of the night and wake up the mister.) Might be more helpful for breastfeeding mommies (helps to remind which breast you nursed from last).
Carter's Cuddle Me Safari Bouncer - I registered for this because it was cute, neutral and had a vibrating option. IT SUCKS. Her head rolls all around (despite the head positioner) and the vibration makes this thing sound like it's going to fall apart. It's SO LOUD. We had to stuff folded up paper into it to try to quiet it down and it just vibrates out and the one million decibel vibrations resume. I wish we had a chair that was quiet, because she likes it, but momma can't stand the sound. But I can't bring myself to buy a different one.
Fold Away Baby Bath - I thought this would be nice to have since it folds up so small, but it's ridiculous. I can't use it alone, she slides all over the place on the inflatable bottom. It might be better when she's older and can sit up on her own, but not now. Also, the plastic feet made the tub itself slide all over our tub. We ended up with one that looks like this (sans the froggy stuff) and it's MUCH better, I can actually give her a bath myself.
Gerber Burp Cloths - As I mentioned above, these things are adorable but need to be doubled or tripled up to prevent the formula from leaking through.
Baby Cache "Tampa" Crib & Dresser - I only put this here because I have a complaint. The wood is REALLY soft and there's lots of dents and deep scratches in both of these already (some scratches from my kitty's claws!!) and that makes me sad for how much they were. Other than that I really like the design and build of these two...but scratches = sad.
Be Band/Bella Band was my BFF. Bloating can get out of control, and you really shouldn't buy maternity pants until you're really getting a baby belly. (I jumped the gun and bought a pair at 14 weeks and couldn't wear them by my third trimester because they were too tight.) SeaBands really helped my morning sickness. Lucky for me, I wore them in the spring when long sleeves were still needed, because you can't really hide these things. But I didn't take them off for weeks. LIFESAVERS. Seltzer & lime in a highball - to fool the friends and family that yes, you are still a lush and aren't pregnant. Yoga pants - stretchy pants are SO needed for lounging around the house.
Not so much:
Again, hold off on buying maternity clothes (specifically pants) for as long as you can, because chances are what you buy now won't fit later on.
Second Trimester Thumbs Up:
Body Pillow - I didn't bother with the Snoogle (by Boppy) because it seemed ridiculous to drop $50 on a body pillow that's really only useful while pregnant, so I bought a cheapie one available at Target - $10 for the pillow, $10 for a cover. LIFESAVER. My hips hurt so bad from sleeping, it just changed everything. Boppy Wedge- I DID spring for the Boppy Wedge pillow. I found I could use it between my legs on nights when I wasn't feeling the body pillow, and when I got bigger, it was a nice support for my belly while on my side. (However - wedging it behind my back screwed me up BIG TIME. Be warned.) Prenatal Yoga - I went to a Yoga studio that specifically is meant for pre- and post-natal yoga. It was AWESOME and really helped my back pain and overall well being. Of course, I had to quit going thanks to the preterm labor business. Fake Wedding Rings - I outgrew mine and went without for a while (instead wearing them around my neck) but then got nervous about that and bought a fake set instead. I've been back in my real set for a few weeks now and I'm so happy - but even happier that I went through my pregnancy with SOMETHING on my ring finger.
Not so much: Gaiam Prenatal Yoga DVD - I bought a DVD online and it's still in the packaging. Basically, just like my workout DVDs - if I don't have a real live human being in front of me going through the motions, I won't do it.
Third Trimester Thumbs Up:
Pregnancy Massage - I only did this once, and I was SO MAD at myself for not having done it sooner. Laying on the pregnancy pillow which allows you to lay on your stomach ALONE was worth it. Well worth the money. Bra Extenders - I ended up going from a 32C, to a 32DD, to more like a 34D at the end of my pregnancy...and a week after buying the 34D bra - THAT felt too tight. Enter the bra extenders. I wish I would have found these before I bothered buying the 34D bra...but that one WAS a no underwire, which was also quite necessary. American Apparel Fine Jersey T Dress - I bought a couple of these in the second trimester and wore them to the end. And I am still wearing them now. They stretched to accommodate my belly and were SO COMFY.
So, there's the list of Pregnancy needs and things not so much. I may add to this later if I think of something else!
Abby has not let me put her down for more than 20 minutes today. Once she realizes she's not on mommy's chest anymore, the waterworks begin. I've created a monster.
Anyway, to catch up, here's the latest in baby land.
She has not slept as long as she did that Sunday night again. In fact, it's like she's waking up more. Boo-hiss. Also, we may have to transition her to her crib sooner rather than later since it's supposed to get so damned cold here this week, and her bassinet is pretty close to a cold wall and drafty window. So, we'll see.
I cleaned and organized Abby's room a few nights ago, and I'm so happy I finally got to it - her room has a floor, turns out. The shelves that need staining are in the hands of my father in law...and the room is FINALLY near completion.
I'm thinking about putting together a list of things I loved/worked well while I was pregnant and stuff I've used/liked and not used/disliked since I've had Abby. If this is something you'd be interested in - let me know!
And finally, in my first step in keeping Abby an only child (at least for the next few years), I'm having an IUD placed tomorrow. Mirena to be exact. I've got my darvocet at the ready, and my mother in law on hand to keep an eye on Abby while I possibly lie on the couch writhing in horrid, crampy pain. I'll deal though. The thought of not having to think about birth control for the next 3-5 years sounds freaking AWESOME. Especially if it tones my cramps down and well, WORKS.
So, there's a boring update for now. Friday we're headed back to my parents for our (early) Christmas. Yessss...
...amid baskets of dirty laundry and a baby who apparently doesn't care for the Jeopardy theme song to mention the following:
On Sunday night, after 5 hours of being in the car all day (read sleeping), Abigail SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Well, from 12-6:30. As far as I'm concerned that's all night. Of course, it hasn't been replicated, but HOT DAMN - that was awesome. Last night, had it not been for her wet diaper, I think she could have done it again since she fell back asleep after being changed. Le sigh.
In other news, Christmas is fast approaching and I have yet to purchase a gift or even have a clue as to what to get anyone. Not even the hubs. We're celebrating Christmas at my folks house in like, 10 days. I'd better get crackin'. (And Mom - you'd better get that massive tree up!) The hubs and I will be picking out our wreath this weekend while his parents cut down their tree (we have a fake one), and I have to figure out how to dress Abby for the coldest temperatures she will have ever experienced.
Alright, I must go. Abby has clearly had enough of her swing and I don't think I can handle another crying jag.