Thursday, December 19, 2013

Avoiding Holiday ‘Mom Guilt’

So if you've read any of my recent posts (the few that I've done), or know me in my real life, you know that I've been a bit frazzled lately.  This working mom of 2 is hard.  This having a child who wears a pesky helmet for 23 hours a day and has to be cleaned with rubbing alcohol daily and do physical therapy 3x a day is hard.  I've been a bit of a mess lately.

So as you may know (or may not know), I write a monthly post for the Primrose blog, 360 Parenting.  Way back in January we set my topics for the year and for December the topic was selected as mom guilt and the holidays.  Since I’ve been on the ledge this past month, it was very ironic for me to write a post advising others to do something I am failing at doing.  But in writing it, it did help me put things in perspective and so, I share my post with y’all in hopes that we all can let go of the mom guilt this holiday season...and always! 

Avoiding Holiday ‘Mom Guilt’

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Toddler Talks

On 15 December 2013 at 9:55 AM...

"Coloring with L this Sunday morning:
L: Mommy do you like coffee?
Me: yes, I love coffee!
L: Daddy likes beer!
Me: (laughing) yes, he does.

Captured with Momento –

Saturday, December 7, 2013

On Friday, this happened...


My dad thinks he looks like a storm trooper!  What do you think???

I'm still getting used to the whole thing but luckily Julian is warming up to his new accessory.  He gradually works up to wearing it 23 hours a day.  Today he wore it a total of 6 hours and did great.  Tomorrow he'll take his first nap in the helmet.  I'm hoping that goes well.  Perhaps the helmet will turn out to be some magic sleep solution and he'll start sleeping through the night.  One can wish!

Otherwise we are doing OK.  More on that later.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Raising a Grateful Child

Raising a Grateful Child

Check out my latest parenting post on 360 Parenting!!!  I admit to raising a spoiled kid.  Go me!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The moments of joy

Today was a hard day. A rough working mom day. L didn't feel good before school and I felt bad that I wasn't a SAHM who could keep him home today just in case. But tonight after feeding J and putting him to bed, I made it downstairs in time to do bedtime with L, something Todd has taken over for the most part. I love bed time with L. It's a cozy time. And tonight was a sweet kind of special.

We read our 2 books- Giraffes can't Dance and Chugga Chugga Choochoo. Then his "one more book". Tonight was Say Please. After books he needed water and then all his stuffed animals had to be tucked in. Then I laid in bed with L and we talked. We giggled and hugged and cuddled. He wanted a story so I made one up about the octonauts - Kwazie and Barnacles helped Harold the hermit crab find a new shell (he took over hermit crab Lila's old shell). L loved the silly story.

It was a good end to a tough day. He reminded me how truly lucky I am. I get to be his momma. And that makes all the hard things seem not so bad.

Captured with Momento –

Friday, November 15, 2013

Emotional Mess

It's 10pm on a Friday night and I'm sitting at my dining room table with a glass of wine, the baby monitor, a to-do list, shopping list and multiple work files surrounding me.  Both kids are asleep.  The husband is out with a friends (I told him to make other plans because I had a night of lawyering ahead of me).  And I may or may not have gotten teary eyed in my boss' office this evening before leaving for the day.  (Do I get points for not full on crying?  Yes, the answer is yes.)

This working mom thing is rough.  With two kids its rougher than it was with one.  And this is our busy season at the office so I'm fully engaged at work, as in have enough work to work all through the weekend engaged.

Lawyering momma of two would be enough for now.  But I don't like to be bored so we're making life interesting.  We listed our house for sale 11 days ago.  We've had two showings and a third scheduled for tomorrow morning.  So the house has to be "show ready" at any given moment.  Did I mention that I have a three year old and a four month old.  Who have way too many toys and don't exactly like to keep things neat and tidy?  Nevermind the two adults that live in this house who are not exactly make-the-bed, clean the counters, vaccum the floors daily type of people.  If the house doesn't sell soon I might go crazy.  Or potential buyers will just have to deal with a less than perfectly tidy house.  But if we do sell the house we have no idea where we'll go.  I see a brief stint at my parents house in our future.  We can't decide on a neighborhood.  We can't even decide to stay intown or move to the burbs.  I honestly have no idea where our next house will be located.  It's an adventure, right?  Yes, the answer is yes.

Did I mention that the baby isn't sleeping well?  He's been waking up every 1-2 hours a night to nurse.  I haven't slept longer than 3 hours at a time in weeks.  Combined with my whacked out hormones and I'm a joy to be around.  Lack of sleep is serious business.  And I'm supposed to be making lawyerly decisions on no sleep.  Right, that doesn't exactly work.  So we're laying down the law and starting cry it out officially tonight.  Little man J cried for exactly 18 minutes tonight before falling asleep after rolling over on his belly.  I plan on doing a dream feed before I head to bed (where you feed the baby while he's still asleep) and then he's going to cry it out if he wakes up again anytime before 5am.  Last night was unofficial cry it out night 1 and he cried for a full hour at 3:30 in the morning.  It sucked.  But this morning he was all smiles and had no recollection of the evil mommy action of the prior night.  So tonight it's on.  Wish us luck.  (Did I mention I was drinking wine?  It's not a coincidence.)

Since I'm on this woe-is-me roll, I'll keep going.  My hair is falling out in clumps.  Clumps.  It is gross.  And I may have forgotten to clean the drain in the shower before our house showing last Saturday.  And the shower door was definitely open when we got home even though we closed it before leaving.  Yup, the potential buyers saw my drain hair.  Shocking that they didn't make an offer, no?

And the kicker, because there has to be one.  We have an appointment next week at Scottish Rite for potential cranial remolding for Julian.  In layman's terms, my sweet baby is likely to start wearing a helmet to correct his rather misshappen head.  I know, I know, helmets are almost chic these days for babies thanks to the whole "back to sleep" campaign.  But it still breaks my heart. 

Ok, I'm done now.  This is my life right now.  I know that nothing is life shattering or even a big deal, but it's just a bit much to handle all together at the moment.  I know that this too shall pass and soon enough I'll be sleeping all night,my hair will stay attached to my head, work will slow after the new year and Julian will have a round head in no time.  But for now, I think I'll have another glass of wine.

Toddler Talks

At the pediatrician for his three year checkup:
DR: How old are you?
L: Three
DR: What's your favorite food?
L: Mac n cheese & quesadilla
DR: What fruit do you eat?
L: Strawberries and blueberries
DR: What vegetables do you eat?
L: Corn and peas
DR: Do you brush your teeth at night?
L: yes
DR: Do you brush your teeth in the morning?
L: no
DR:Can you count:
L: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, ZERO
Dr: What's your favorite color?
L: Pink AND purple

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to Lukas!

My silly, sweet boy, Lukas, turns THREE years old today!  It seems like just yesterday that I was anxiously awaiting his arrival.  In carrying on with my birthday tradition, here's Lukas' 3rd birthday letter:

Last day as a two year old!
Mommy and her THREE YEAR OLD little boy!
My dear boy Lukas,

Buddy, you are THREE years old today.  This is crazy!  I look at your four month old little brother (who looks JUST LIKE you, I jokingly call him Lukas 2.0) and it feels like just yesterday that you were a little baby who couldn't talk or walk or eat anything other than milk.  How the times have changed!

You are still such a sweet, silly soul.  I get notes home from your teachers telling us how you make the whole class laugh and how loving you are to your friends.  And you are the BEST big brother.  You love Julian and are so kind to him.  You give him hugs whenever he is near you and want to get as close to him as possible.  If Julian is crying you'll tell me, "mommy, I think Julian wants some milk."  Or if he's upset in the car you talk to him and tell him we'll be home soon.  And your little brother absolutely adores you.  He lights up when he hears your voice and starts kicking his legs and flailing his arms.  I'm so excited to see you boys grow up together.

This year you're in preschool at Primrose.  You are learning new things every day and are a little sponge - I think you have your daddy's memory.  You can spell your name and you point out Ls on signs everywhere we go.  L for Lukas!  You can recognize all the letters of the alphabet and you can count to 20.  You love to read.  Right now some of your favorite books are any Bearanstein Bear book, I Love You Stinky Face, Curious George and all your Dr. Seuss books.

You are very into your toys and TV shows.  Your new obsession is The Octonauts.  Mommy is having a hard time learning all the characters, but you are constantly talking about Kwazi and Shelleton and driving the Gup-A.  You also love Jake and the Neverland Pirates (you even dressed up as Jake for Halloween last week!).  And we can't forget Special Agent Oso, the unique stuffed bear or Doc McStuffins.

You are such a good little helper!  You love to help mommy or daddy cook dinner.  You stand on your black stool and measure out the cheese, count the olives, help bread the chicken and mix the sides.  You also love doing yard work with daddy and helping him fix things around the house.  He even let you paint last week!  You are especially helpful with your little brother - you grab mommy diapers and burp clothes and toys for Julian to play with.

Lukas, I can't tell you how much joy you bring to my life.  3 years ago you made me a mommy.  You are the best gift I've ever been given in this life.  I love you with my whole heart and the sweetest words ever to be spoken are when you say "I love you momma".  My heart melts.  I love you sweet boy, happy birthday!


Now a walk down memory lane....

2011 - Lukas' FIRST birthday!

A year ago - Lukas' 2nd birthday!

3 years old!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Toddler Talks

Early last Saturday morning I went downstairs when I heard Lukas jumping in his room.  The husband had been up all night with food poisoning so I let him sleep in.  (Is it bad that I was a wee bit jealous of his instant weight loss?  Kidding, kidding.  Sort of.)  After saying good morning to my little buddy I put the baby in his crib and hurried off to the potty.  Lukas decided he needed to pee too so he followed me in the bathroom (sidenote: peeing alone is a thing of the past once you have toddlers).  So I'm on the grown-up potty and Lukas is on the frog potty a few feet away.  Start scene:
L: Mommy, the water is coming out of my penis.
Me: That's great buddy.
L: Is the water coming out of your penis?
Me: (Holding back giggles).  Buddy, I don't have a penis.
Me:  (Trying to contain myself.)  No honey, girls don't have a penis.  Girls have a vagina.
L:  [Stares at me confused].  Let me see. 
Me: I think I hear your brother crying....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lukas' Party

Well, there was a change in plans after my last post.  I hit "publish" and a within the hour I had an email in my inbox from a friend insisting that I allow her to throw Lukas a birthday party.  So yesterday afternoon we celebrated Lukas' 3rd birthday thanks to my amazing friend.  She did everything - bought the food and cupcakes, decroated her house with balloons and a happy brithday banner, bought Jake the Pirate themed plates and napkins, invited our friends and opened up her house to us. All I had to do was show up.  I am so thankful to have friends who swoop in when life gets to be too much.  Lukas LOVED his party and I could tell he felt so speciall all evening and couldn't stop talking about his new presents this morning before school.

So I have to say a very big thank you to Emily for making my little man feel very special for this third birthday.  Yesterday meant more than I can express in words.

Taking it all in as we sung him Happy Birthday!

The kiddos!

Blowing out his candle

For all you busy moms out there, please remember one thing: It's OK to ask for help and to ACCEPT it when it's offered.  It really does take a village.

Friday, November 1, 2013

F You, Pinterest

Lukas turns three in one week. And I haven't done a thing. I haven't bought him a present. I haven't planned a party. To be honest, there will be no party. I'm feeling very guilty about it. I feel like a bad mom. A failure. I see all these pinterest birthday party boards my friends have in plans for elaborate parties for their children and I simply can't get it together to even invite a few friends and their kids over for cupcakes.

We have a lot going on, it's true. We're listing our house to sell next week. We're on the hunt for a new car after the husband's car was totaled two weeks ago in a hit and run accident. I'm back to work full time and Julian is still waking up an average of three times a night. I've been on the verge of tears most days the past few weeks, and wound up crying on more than one occasion. It all just feels like "too much" right now. And the fact that the thing to go is my son's birthday party makes me feel awful.

It's mom guilt at its worst. I know I should let it go and that Lukas will not care or even notice that an extravagant party is not had. He'll be psyched about cupcakes, my parents coming over to celebrate and opening presents. And I'll send cupcakes and stickers to school so he can celebrate with his school friends. But it's hard not comparing to what these other moms are doing. Facebook and Pinterest display their thoughtful ideas and it just feels like I can't keep up.

I know it's not a contest. There's not a trophy for best mom. And I know that throwing a party does not a good mom equal. But I still can't let it go.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Julian's Birth Story

My littlest baby, Julian, turned 3 months old a few weeks ago.  So I figure it's high time I jot down his birth story before I forget it....

So going back in time to Friday, July 12.  I went to work that day expecting to go back to work the following Monday.  I was only 39 weeks and 3 days at that point.  Lukas was born at 40 weeks plus 3 days so I figured I might as well get comfortable.  I even had Mr. Cob snap a picture of my growing belly that night.

39 weeks + 3 day belly

We woke up Saturday morning and went about our day.  We did something for breakfast, donuts maybe?  (See I'm already forgetting).  And then we went to the bank.  I decided I should probably cook some food to freeze for after the baby arrived so we then headed off to the Farmers Market.  I didn't really want to go but we'd already made the fatal mistake of mentioning the farmers market to Lukas so there was no way we weren't going after that.  So off we went.  It was at some point in the late morning that I noticed the contractions.  Nothing painful.  Nothing consistent.  On we went with our day.

Our good friends' son was having his first birthday party that afternoon so after cooking a few meals in the early afternoon we headed over for the party.  Sitting in the car I realized the contractions were somewhat timeable.  About every 7-8 minutes.  I was still unconvinced.

I spent all afternoon chatting with friends at the party and watching Lukas and his friends play, so I didn't really notice the contractions.  But on the car ride home (around 6:30pm) they began again.  Every 7 or so minutes again.  We got home and put Lukas to bed and I figured I'd cook the rest of my freezer meals in an effort to distract myself.  Finally around 9pm, with contractions hanging around every 7 minutes, we decided to call my parents to give them a heads up and said they could come over if they wanted.  My mom said there's no way she could sleep now knowing the real thing might be happening, so they decided to head over. 

They arrived a little after 10pm.  Mom helped me finish making enchiladas while dad and Mr. Cob watched TV.  Lukas continued snoozing away, unaware that anything was happening.  The contractions were about 6 minutes apart but not painful.  I took a bath at one point to relax and thought about laying down for a bit but everyone else was more concerned than I was and around midnight Mr. Cob convinced me to call my OB.  My OB said that I could head to the hospital at any time, but it sounded to her like things were happening!  I was still not convinced.  (Sidenote, I LOVE my OB.  As in, may have another baby just to hang out with her on a regular basis again.  Even though I had clearly woken her up from a deep sleep, she chatted with me on the phone for 10 minutes, at midnight, about how excited she was that my little boy was finally coming.  I mean, really, she is Fabulous!)

So at that point I decided to actually pack a hospital bag and we left around 2am for Northside.  Eerily it was the same time we went to the hospital for Lukas' birth.  I was convinced we were in for a long labor (remember Lukas wasn't born until almost 3pm the next day).  And I still wasn't even uncomfortable.  I thought we'd get to the hospital and be turned back for a false alarm.  Before I go any further I need to make note of what has now become one of my favorite parts of being in labor - the car ride to the hospital with my husband.  We are both so giddy and excited and we sing very loudly to fun music.  It's just a burst of fun before the "labor" part of labor begins.

We arrive at the hospital and a sweet security guard asks if I need a wheelchair.  I do not.  (I'm still convinced this isn't happening).  We check in and wait for the nurse to take us back to our room.  We get in our room (one without a window) and I get hooked up to the fetal monitor.  In case I didn't mention it with Lukas, the fetal monitor is one of the most uncomfortable parts about the whole thing.  They wrap a band tightly around your gigantic belly and the thing is so tight it leaves marks.  I hate it.  Anyway, she checked my progress (about 2-3 cm) and confirmed that the contractions were about 6 minutes apart, so we were staying.  The real deal had truly begun!

Then the nurse left and said she'd be back and to try to rest.  Mr. Cob passed out on the "sofabed" and I got a little sleep myself.  I could only get comfortable on my side though, and they lost the baby's heartbeat every time I laid on my side so eventually around 6am I had to turn back over.  I was still in no pain at this point.  I noticed the contractions but didn't have to breathe through them or anything.

Here I am after my night's "sleep"....

And here's Mr. Cob...ha
At 6:30 the nurse came in to say my OB wanted to start me on pitocin since nothing was really progressing. I asked if we could give it 30 more minutes to see if things would pick up on their own. She agreed. Nothing progressed. So they started the pitocin. (Which, if you're keeping score, I'm now 2 for 2 on the pit front. Oh well.) Around this point someone checked me and I was like 3 cm, so not much progress.

My OB came in around 8:30 to check on things. The pitocin had made the contractions pick up in timing, but they still weren't of the painful variety.  She checked me and said I was closer to 4cm.  She then broke my water.  Now, let's talk about this for a second.  I had thought I felt some leaking before the big water breaking event, but chalked it up to wishful thinking.  Well after the water breaking (the big gush variety), which took her some time (we think his head was really low and was preventing the water from breaking on its own), things started to pick up.  As in I went from totally cool and in no pain to having to breathe through the contractions and really concentrate in the span of 30 minutes.  By 9:30am I was in some serious pain, but still breathing through.  By 9:45am I lost my mind and was screaming for drugs.

The anesthesiologist was called and on his way.  This did not change the fact that I completely lost it from about 9:45am -10am.  The pain was too intense.  My nurse (Katherine Hill, who just happens to have the same name as my BFF) was INCREDIBLE.  And so was Mr. Cob.  If it wasn't for them I'm not sure I could've made it through that 30 minute span before the doc gave me the epidural.  It was rough.  The contractions were very intense and very close together.  I do think the hypnobirthing techniques I learned with Lukas (and practiced during my nightly meditations before bed this go around) helped keep the pain at bay for as long as it did and helped me somewhat breathe through the really bad contractions.

Finally the doc with the goods arrived to get rid of the pain.

But I lost it again when he was there because the mere thought of a needle in my spine sends me over the edge.  Thankfully he was quick and painless (seriously, the insertion of the epidural did NOT hurt).  And within 5 minutes the pain was gone completely.  BUT, the pressure started before the anesthesiologist even left the room.  The pressure down there.  You know, there there.  I mentioned it to the nurse and the anesthesiologist and they just figured it was nothing. 

Well it wasn't nothing.  Thirty minutes later (about 11am) the nurse was back to check me.  I looked at her like she was crazy because I knew nothing had happened since the last time I was checked.  Wrong.  Ten centimeters baby!  It was time to go.  (Sidenote:  if there is a baby #3, and I'm not saying there will be, I will ask to be checked once more before getting the epidural.  Looking back, I think I was probably in transition when I got the epidural.  I am not crazy or against the epidural, but if I'd known the finish line was so close, I think I would have opted to skip the epidural ONLY because it took seemingly forever to wear off this time and I couldn't walk for hours after delivering J.)  So at eleven am I was ready to go but my OB was not there.  The nurse called to tell her it was time, like N.O.W.

So my OB arrived around 11:15 and got set up.  And when she was ready I started pushing.  (We need another sidenote at this point.  There were only 4 people in the room for the pushing this time: my OB, Katie Hill the nurse, my hubby and me.  With Lukas there was about 12 people in the room.  Seriously.  The was meconium when my water broke so the neonatal care team was brought in.  I hadn't realized with Lukas that if there are no reasons to suspect complications, there are very few people in the room.  I much preferred only having 3 spectators!)  So back to the pushing.  I pushed three, maybe four times and out he came.

It's true what they say, your heart simply expands and you truly can love another child as much as your first.  I did not believe this until I saw Julian for the first time.  We are truly blessed to have him in our lives and it's hard to think of our family before him.  It simply feels like he has always been a part of it.

Julian Rhys

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Day in the Life: Working Mom of 2

I'm now a working mom of 2.  And in case you were wondering, this is what I do all day....
7am: Wake up to baby warmly snuggled against me in bed suckling away.
7:15am: Go downstairs with satiated baby.  Wake up big brother and haggle with him about going to the potty.
7:16am: Bring book to toddler sitting on potty.  Remind him that we need to get going.
7:17am: Diaper and dress baby.  Lay baby in crib or on floor to play.
7:20am: Urge toddler to please go potty.  "But mommy, I have to poopy." (Said in slightly whiny voice).  Internally sigh because it is impossible to rush a toddler learning to go poopy on the potty.
7:22am: Coo at baby.
7:25am: Gather the pumped breast milk bottles and put them in baby's diaper bag for "school"
7:27am: Coo at baby. Melt at his smile.
7:30am: Run into the bathroom clapping hands (and often signing) because I hear toddler excitedly proclaiming "Mommy, I poopied" followed shortly thereafter by "Mommy, can I have my Twix now."  [Don't judge.  At least I haven't cleaned poop out of superhero underpants in a few days.]
7:32am: Finish cleaning up after said poopy and convince toddler to get dressed because the Twix cannot be eaten unless he is dressed.
7:35am: Get toddler string cheese, milk and whatever else he insists upon having in the car ride to school.
7:36am: Get baby in car seat and give lots of kisses.
7:37am: Ask toddler for hug and kiss.  Denied.
7:38am: Kiss husband and give him kiss.  Yell after toddler that "I love you bubba".  Hear an "I love you too momma" in return.  Heart melting again.
7:40am: Realize diaper bag with all important liquid gold breast milk is sitting on counter.  Run outside in bathrobe to catch husband before he leaves.
7:42am: Put some oatmeal on the stove and run upstairs to shower, do makeup and clothe annoying postpartum body and the extra 20ish pounds its holding on to.  Grumble.
8:15am: Eat oatmeal and stare at the dog.  Shit, did we feed the dog? 
8:17am: Feed dog.  Perhaps for the 2nd time of the day.
8:20am: Pack pump bag: 4 bottles and tops, check.  Ice pack, check.  Strapless pumping bra, check.  Breast shields and connectors, check.  Little white pieces that constantly get lost, check.
8:25am: Pack some food for work.  Must eat enough food to make milk for baby.  But must reduce caloric intake to lose weight.  Conundrum.
8:30am: Set alarm and schlep to car feeling like the bag lady with my pump bag, purse, food bag and work computer bag.  I must be losing pounds by the sheer weight of all this damn baggage.
8:55am: Arrive at parking deck.  Why the f*ck does it take 25 minutes to drive 6 miles?  Did I mention I don't take the highway?  This whole "city living" thing is starting to feel like a joke.  Think that moving to the suburbs will not be that bad after all.  Oh yea, we're probably moving the suburbs.
9:00am: Find parking space and park.
9:05am: Arrive in office.
9:06am: COFFEE.
9:06am-10am: Lawyer/chat with work friends/drink more coffee.
10am: Pump #1 of the day: Unlock the "wellness room" and immediately kick off shoes.  Take off top and bra.  Put on strapless nursing bra and attach myself to pump.  Sit and think about how strange this whole pumping in the office thing is. Remind myself that it's a means to an end.  Pray no one somehow accidentally walks in to the locked room.  15 minutes later I detach from pump and check out my bounty.  Usually a high output in the morning so I'm happy.  Yes, my daily mood is highly correlated to the amount of breast milk I do or do not pump.  Bizarre, yes.
10:30-12pm: Lawyer.  Eat snacks because nursing makes you crazy hungry.  Oh and I'm also chugging water this whole time. And drinking coffee and mother's milk tea.
12pm: lunch
1pm: Pump #2 of the day.  Almost fall asleep hooked up to my milking machine.  Look at pictures of baby to stay awake.  Get watery eyes thinking about baby.  Miss baby.  Damnit.
1:30pm-4pm: Lawyer
4pm: Pump #3 of the day.  I can only last 10 minutes attached to the machine by this point.  I hate the sound.  Anyone who has pumped breastmilk knows what I'm talking about.  The rhythmic murmur is obnoxious.
5pm: Shut down computer and walk to car.
5:15pm: Arrive at daycare and get baby.  Nurse baby at school.  Or at least attempt to.  He'd rather sip on milk for a second and then stop to smile at me, rinse and repeat.  He doesn't really get any nutrients at this "feeding" but at least we're bonding.  We ARE bonding.
5:30pm: Go pick up big brother off the playground.  Shocked by the smell of a sweaty boy.  When did my first baby become a little boy????  Ain't no baby left in that one.
5:35pm: Navigate school parking deck with toddler trying to wiggle out of my grip and heavy baby in carrier.  (Again, must be losing weight, right?) Head home.
6:10pm: Arrive home.  I hate traffic.  At least the toddler and I talked the whole ride home about yucky traffic and what he did that day. 
6:15pm: "Mom can I watch Octonauts now?"
6:16pm: Turn Octonauts on TV.  Don't judge.  Pray baby keeps sleeping in car seat long enough for me to start dinner.
6:20pm: Baby cries.  Pick up baby and nurse.  Somehow throw something together for dinner.
6:46pm: "One more tv show mom".  "No."  Tears.  Tantrum.  Outburst by toddler.  At least I have perfected my powers of ignoring him.  Win for mom.
6:50pm: Husband is home.  Toddler may or may not still be screaming. 
6:55pm: Sit down to eat with baby in bouncy seat on table.  Constantly reinsert paci after he spits it out over and over again.  Have fragmented conversation with husband as toddler requests more food and chit chats with us.
7:20pm: Finish eating and start bath for toddler and separate bath for baby.  Daddy bathes toddler.  I bathe baby.  (Disclaimer: This part of the evening only happens about every 3rd night.  Bath time stresses me out man.  So on non-bath nights we're all in the boys' room playing.)
7:45pm: Round two of "The Toddler Pooping Diaries".  Followed by getting the boys in their PJs.
8:00pm: Nurse baby and put him to sleep.  Hold him longer than I should because I realize I haven't spent any quality time with him all day.  Feel the mommy guilt unleash.  Kiss baby.
8:30pm: Change into workout clothes.  Go downstairs and prep bottles for the next day.  Pour 4.5 ounces of milk in 3 bottles.  Date them all.  Put them all in ziplock bag.  Wash bottles from today.  Wash pump parts from today.  Do dishes.  (Husband usually helps with this part).
8:45pm: Workout while swearing at Tracy Anderson and her ridiculously hard DVDs.  Surely I'll lose the weight.  Must lose the weight. (Disclaimer: I'm only on day 4 of the 90 day program...check back to see if this lasts.)
9:45pm: Thank God the DVD is over.  Shower.
10:00pm: In bed or talking to husband.  Wonder what I've done all day.  Think about the laundry that needs to be folded but decide it can wait another day.  Think about the mail I need to open, but of course do not open.  Wonder if I fed the cat.  End up reading blogs instead of doing anything productive.
10:45pm: Asleep.
12:00am: Baby crying.  Nurse sweet baby.  At least he smiles at me and goes right back to sleep.
12:15am: sleep.
2:00am/3am: Baby crying.  Nurse half asleep.
4:00am/5am: Baby crying.  Bring him in bed and sleep while letting him nurse on and off until it's time to get up.
6am: Alarm clock rings.  Snooze until 7.
7am: Repeat.

Toddler Talks

I find myself constant laughing at the things my almost 3 year old says and in an effort to remember them, I'm going to start a "Toddler Talks" series on the blog. Basically it'll just be me writing down the things Lukas says so I can look back at them later and remember this hectic but awesome time.

At our friends house this past Saturday Lukas was playing with his friend Elise in her room. Every single toy she owned was out and piled high on her bed, including her various princess dresses and tutus. Elise told Lukas she wanted to wear her dress up clothes.

L: Lisey, I can't wear your princess dress because dresses are for girls and boys don't wear dresses. I'm a boy. I don't wear dresses.

Me: Buddy, you can wear one of Lisey's dresses if you want to, it's OK.

L: Eyes me suspiciously to see if I'm being serious.

Me: Nods head. Really, you can wear a dress buddy.

L: [screaming super excitedly] OK!!!!!

Me: Which dress do you want to wear?

L: (Without any hesitation): THE PINK ONE MOMMY!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Making the Most of Your Maternity Leave

I'm in California visiting my brother and nephews....that's right, nephewS as in more than one!!!!  Tristen "Kai" was born 3 weeks ago so Julian and I hopped on a plane to Cali to meet him!  We miss Todd and Lukas but are having a ball!  So I thought it perfect timing to share my latest 360 Parenting post.  Enjoy!!!

Making the Most of Your Maternity Leave

Monday, September 16, 2013

Real Adult Life

One day you wake up and realize you're an adult.  And that life is real and things happen.  Bad things happen to good people.

Parents have beautiful babies only to lose them to cancer less than a year later.  

Parents get sick with cancer and other non-curable diseases.   

Parents lose jobs and wonder whether the money they've saved over the years will be enough.

Parents die.

I've known that life isn't always easy and I've personally been lucky in that I've not had too much personal experience with these hard life realities myself.  But I have friends and love ones who are in the midst of these hard life things, and my heart feels so heavy for them.

One of my best friends said goodbye to her daddy this morning after a year and a half fight with cancer.  He lived longer than the doctors predicted and my friend knows she's lucky to have had this "extra" time with him and is thankful he's at peace now and is no longer suffering.  She's a strong one, this friend.  Stronger than most.  But my heart hurts for her and her mom.  You see, my friend is a daddy's girl and I know there's nothing I can say or do that will fill the void that her dad's departure will leave.

This life is not forever.  This is the one truth in life.  So while you're here, say I love you to your loved ones.  Say it often. Let go of the grudges.  Say you're sorry. Forgive.  And remember what is important.  It's so easy to get wrapped up in the petty things in life, but today lets let it go and love one another fiercely.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Being a Mom of Two

Hi.  I've been MIA, I know.  Sorry.  There's a good reason, I promise.  Two reasons actually.

Their names are Julian and Lukas.  And I'm their mom.

I am on week 8 of my second maternity leave and I'm enjoying it SO MUCH more this time around.  I'm much more relaxed.  I'm not fretting over every noise the baby makes.  I'm not afraid to leave the house or drive in the car with him.  I'm showering daily and usually changing out of my pajamas before noon.  I'm even working out (i.e. walking/jogging on the treadmill and the occasional DVD) most days of the week.  (If only I were one of those thin pregnant gals who didn't gain loads of weight.  Oh well.)  I'm not nervous about nursing Julian wherever and whenever he needs to eat.  All around I am just much more comfortable with this mom thing.  I guess those 2.5+ years practice with Lukas gave me a hand-up on the newborn stage with Julian.  So this time around I'm not stuck inside all day long with plenty of downtime to blog.  J and I are out and about so the blog has been one of the things I've let go for a while.

I'll eventually write out Julian's birth story and give some more details on how we're doing, but wanted to pop in for just a minute to share some brotherly pics and let everyone know we're doing great!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Potty Training Tales

In the midst of all the newborn-ness going on in my life, I wrote an article for Parenting 360 on potty training my toddler.  Check it out below!!!

Potty Training Tales

We're 90% of the way there now....but we still deal with a whole lot of poop...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Drive Time

My latest post on the Parenting 360 blog was posted last week!  If you have a minute, check it out and leave a comment on that blog to let me know what you think!  Thanks for your support!!!  Link below:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Welcome Julian

I am so happy to announce that Lukas' little brother, JULIAN RHYS arrived Sunday July 14th.  He weighed in at 8 pounds 6 ounces (6 ounces bigger than his big bro) and was 21 inches long (1 inch longer than Luke). He arrived 2 days before his due date, which I was very thankful for.  I'll give the details of his arrival at another time, for all you wondering if I went au natural or got shot up with drugs!

Lukas is smitten with his little brother and frequently comes over to tickle his feet and pet his head.  If Julian is crying Lukas comes over and says so sweetly "it's ok Julian" and often comes to sit next to me when I'm feeding Julian.  He kisses his head and knees often and says "I love you Julian" all on his own without any prompting from us.  I really think he loves his brother and is excited he is out of mommy's tummy. 

Lukas came to the hospital the day Julian was born and his daddy introduced him to his little brother.  (I'll share that sweet video whenever we get it uploaded.)  But the most hilarious part about the introduction was that right after meeting Julian, Lukas looks at me and asks, in all seriousness, "Where's my little sister?"  And every day since then he has asked when his little sister will be here and if she's going to come out of mommy's tummy!  So it appears that he really likes this big brother gig and is ready for more siblings!  I think mommy needs a little time before we entertain that thought...

And now for some pictures of our two guys side by side - do you think they look alike?  I feel like they are identical!  Who is who???

Do you think they look alike?
Lukas or Julian?

And one more side by side...who is who???

I'll load some more pictures soon.  We're so in love!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

39 Weeks - Round 2

How far along? 39 weeks and 2 other words, ready to pop

Total weight gain/loss?  At my appointment this week I'd gained a grand total of 44 pounds.  This sounds excessive (as in, more than the "recommended 25-35 pounds") but I am ECSTATIC!  This is TWENTY pounds less than my final weigh-in with Lukas.  Let me repeat, 20 pounds LESS!  Maybe if a kiddo #3 is in our future I'll be able to keep to the recommended weight gain, but maybe not.  I'm still convinced your body puts on the weight it wants to.

Maternity clothes?  Vomit.  Please go away. The only thing comfortable to wear these days are dresses - anything too tight on my belly makes it hard to breathe.  I'm ready to put these clothes away!  

Stretch marks?  Yea buddy, but I think they're just the old ones getting dark again.  They faded after Lukas was born so I'm hopeful they'll fade again this time around.

Sleep? Considering I'm walking around all day feeling as though a bowling ball will fall out of my vagina at any moment, my sleep has been pretty good.  Last night I tossed and turned quite a bit, and I have to pee multiple times a  night but I remember my sleep being much worse at the end of pregnancy with Lukas.

Best moment last week?  Having four days off to spend with my boys.  I'm really trying to get as much quality time in with Lukas as possible before his little brother arrives.  I know the time of him getting my undivided attention is quickly coming to an end, so I'm getting in as much Lukas-mommy time as possible!

Movement?  Yes, but he's cramped in there so the movements are rather painful and jabby.  You can even make out a foot and knee.

Food cravings?  I've been eating toast with peanut butter, banana and honey every morning this past week.

Food aversions? Nope.

Gender?   Baby boy on the way (at least that's what we've planned for!)

Labor signs?  Yes.  I'll leave out the lovely details, but things are happening, but of course there is no guarantee that real labor will start any time soon.

Belly button in/out?  Out and proud.

What I miss:  Where do I begin?  High heels. Big glasses of wine.  Sleeping on my back.  Martinis.  Graceful movements.  Breathing normally.  I could go on and on....

What I am looking forward to: Meeting Julian, hello!

Milestones: I am still wearing my wedding rings!  

So here's the deal, we're just waiting for little dude to come any day now.  I'm not due for another 5 days but my OB thinks he could come any day now.  Labor signs are moving in the right direction and we're all more or less ready for him to arrive.  I think July 11 would be a fabulous birthday, don't you?  Any thoughts on when he'll arrive and how big he'll be????

Friday, June 28, 2013

37 Weeks - Round 2

How far along? 37 weeks and 3 days (I figured after 5 weeks off, it was time to fill out the weekly survey)

Total weight gain/loss? I haven't weighed since my appointment this past Tuesday, but I'm up a grand total of about 40 or so pounds.  Yes, yes, this is over the "recommended" 25-35 pound weight gain (with still some time to go), BUT, compared to my last pregnancy, I'm doing great.  I was about 20 pounds heavier at this point with Lukas.  And I started both pregnancies at the exact same weight.  So, yea.

Maternity clothes? Ugh, I'm totally over the same 5 dresses I wear every week to work. 

Stretch marks? You know, I haven't really noticed them too much.  I haven't gotten the linea nigra (dark line running vertically up your belly), which I'm happy about!  Have I mentioned that I do have a few dark spots on my face that I swear are pregnancy hormone related?  It looks like I have a dark circle /black eye under my right eye.  It's pretty, really.

Sleep? Depends on the night.  On the whole I'd say I'm sleeping well, but one night this week I was up with insomnia for about 4 hours.

Best moment last week? Sunday was a pretty good day all around.  It started with homemade overnight Grand Marnier french toast and brunch with my parents and ended with an evening spent with good friends.

Movement? He's running low on space, but Julian is still rolling around in there and his kicks have become quite painful.

Food cravings? Cheddar cheese.  Is this strange?  And sweets - mainly cookies.

Food aversions? Nope.

Gender? B is for boy.

Labor signs? I've started to have more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions.  Yesterday evening they were almost timeable, but stopped after about an hour.  My OB has also indicated that things are "progressing" from the other effacing, dilating perspectives, but I know that means nothing as far as when labor will actually begin.  So we continue to wait.

Belly button in/out? Out.  As in poking out through shirts.  But did you know that when it's "out" during pregnancy, it's not exactly that your innie turns into an outie.  My innie is still there, but above it is now this protruding mound of skin.  It's really bizarre.

What I miss: Gracefully being able to get off the couch/bed/floor.

What I am looking forward to: My last pregnancy massage and eventually having a very dirty vodka martini with my BFF with a side of sushi.

Milestones: Full term buddy!  Come out, come out wherever you are!!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let's Talk about Birth Plans

I'm officially 37 weeks today, which means Julian is considered FULL TERM and in theory can come any day now.  So I thought it was perhaps time to consider packing a hospital bag and think about what I'm hoping for in this labor/delivery.  I've decided that I'll throw the hospital bag together when I'm 39 weeks or once I start having regular contractions.   As for my birth plan it would look something like this if I were to actually write it down, which perhaps I will and give to the nurses.

Birth Plan: Delivery healthy baby

I'm serious, I have no expectations for this birth.  I have hopes, but I've decided not to go into it with any game plan.  Will I get an epidural?  Who knows.  Probably.  I'll decide when the time comes.  Will we have a birthing playlist ready?  Nope.  I don't even think we had music playing when Lukas was born.  Do I care how often I'm checked at the hospital?  Not at all. 

I have one goal.  Birth a healthy baby boy.

Now this is a much different perspective than my labor expectations with Lukas.  So let's talk about that.  Here is the actual birth plan we gave to the nurses at the hospital:

We have chosen to use the quiet and relaxed method of Hypnobirthing to bring our baby into the world. We appreciate your support of our choice for a natural birth with minimal intervention. Thank you for your help and care on this very special day for us.

IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY: In the event that the situation becomes life-threatening for either Ms. Swan or our baby, we will, of course, yield to any request for life saving intervention, upon the briefest of consultation. In the strong likelihood that we have the normal birth that we're expecting, we ask that you refrain from any routine interventions or measures that we have not previously agreed upon.

• Hydration: We ask that Ms. Swan hydrate herself with water and juice as desired, and will be happy to accept a Heparin Lock (but request that the Heparin Lock not be inserted in the back of either of Ms. Swan’s hands). IV to be implemented only in the event of complicating factors.

• Monitoring: We prefer intermittent monitoring as opposed to continuous. Internal monitoring, upon our consultation, to be used only in a life-threatening situation.

• Room Environment: We will be performing various techniques of self- hypnosis and for this reason we ask to be allowed to bring soft music, use dimmed lighting, and ask for the staff to kindly use a low voice - avoiding references to "pain", "hurting" or "hard work".

• Management of Labor: It is our strong desire to allow our birthing to proceed upon its natural course, in the absence of complications, without restriction to time. We plan to use pitocin or AROM only as a last resort after all other natural methods have been attempted.

• Vaginal Exams/Dilation: We request minimal vaginal exams – with permission. Please do not inform Ms. Swan of her progress or “lack of progress” in dilation. Please share such information with Mr. Cob instead.

• Coping with Labor: We decline discussion of pain tolerance or pain levels, and request that there be no offering whatsoever of pain management options.

• "Pushing": Because we are using hypnosis for childbirth pushing techniques, Ms. Swan will be using positions she finds effective, and this will be completely mother-directed. We ask that the staff respect our request and not direct us how to push, unless an emergency arises. We request a calm, gentle, encouraging atmosphere during the final birthing phase – calm, low tones of voice with no “counting” or “pushing” prompts.

• Breastfeeding: We will be exclusively breastfeeding our baby and request that no bottles of any kind be given to our baby.

Thank you for all of the care we've received during our pre-natal visits and in advance for the respect and assurance we know we'll receive from you during our birthing.

Ha.  Do you think those things happened?  No.  Despite my lovely laid out plan, things veered off course.  A bit.   After hours of laboring through the night, I got an IV of fluids at 6am in anticipation of the epidural I decided I wanted (screamed for, even begged for), which I got around 7:30am.  I was more or less confined to the bed thanks to the catheter and epidural (which was sweet relief and even allowed me a few hours of sleep after being up the whole night).  The baby was monitored continuously once I got the epidural and I asked them to tell me how far along I was every time I was checked.  Oh yea, and eventually I even got pitocin.  Lots of it.  And I distinctly remember counting during the pushing stage, which was done totally on my back (for only 15 minutes, thankfully).  And right after he was born, Lukas was whisked away by the nurses to have tubes shoved down his throat to make sure he hadn't swallowed any meconium, so I didn't get the immediate skin-to-skin contact I wanted.  I did, however, exclusively breastfeed and refused bottles even though he SCREAMED the entire day 2 in the hospital.  So you could say things didn't go as I'd planned.  

This time around I'm focusing on one thing and one thing only: healthy baby.  And if he screams in the hospital on day 2, the kid is getting a bottle of formula.  

And they say the second kid always gets the shaft.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Shedding Light

Since "the Palace" has shed some light on Kate's baby plans, I thought it was about time I do the same. I know my royal subjects are waiting with bated breathe...


The Swan Palace can confirm that another little king is in the making. This was confirmed last week via an ultrasound tech during a routine ultrasound given to Ms. Swan at 35 weeks to determine the size of said baby boy. Thankfully, he was weighing in at 5 pounds 16 ounces as of week 35 and assuming a full term baby, he should not completely wreck his mother's vagina and future sex life as he is estimated to weigh a nice 8 pounds or so at birth. However, it should be noted that the tech did mention something about a wide forehead, but perhaps I misunderstood her as I was stuck on trying to understand how she could determine that his bladder was indeed full.


Mr. Cob intends to be fully present during the birth of his second son. And by fully present, he means actually in the delivery room sitting in a chair up by his wife's head. He has no intention of witnessing the actual birth or cutting any cord. As for his wife, she is fine with this approach and offered that he can pace the hall instead if he chooses.


Ms. Swan. And by Ms. Swan we mean baby Julian. Oh and the fabulous Dr. Sun will be directing the whole show. (BTW, she is the most amazing OB in all of metro-Atlanta so contact Ms. Swan's people if you're on the hunt for a new OB.)


No. Unless she gets bored in the car and decides to post a message to her blog, show pictures of the water breaking carnage on facebook or tweet her screams of labor pains for her 2 followers. But there is the unknown factor of the anxious grandmas whose excitement cannot always be contained, so perhaps they'll break the news on facebook for all to see.


The "people" will likely be able to view a photo of baby Julian on Instagram or Facebook. (I should point out that Julian will be very disappointed to learn there's no throne involved and his brother had beaten him to it even if there were).


Julian R. You'll have to wait to find out what R stands for. Unless I've already told you, in which case, oh well. I don't need comments from the peanut gallery on our weird middle name just yet.


Friends and family are welcome to visit us at the hospital. If we're close enough that you have my phone number, well then give me a holler and I'll give you the room number at the hospital. Just be warned that you might see some boob action, and it's not the pretty kind. And there is an admittance fee equal to a bottle of wine. And I won't even make you hold the baby if you bring me some chocolate too.


Sleeping on the amazingly comfortable "bed" in my recovery room and then hopefully taking a week off work to bring me the baby at 3am for another round of "please don't tear off my nipples".

More news updates as Ms. Swan enters the final weeks of her pregnancy. How much weight will she gain? What color will the baby's hair be (since the ultrasound tech did confirm HE HAS HAIR!!! as opposed to his bald big brother)? Will she resort to any old wives tales to get the baby out early? Stay tuned for these and other questions "the people" are just dying to know.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bump #2 @ 33 Weeks

Bump @ 33 weeks with Julian

And here I was at 33 weeks with Lukas, in the same shirt even....

Bump @ 33 Weeks with Lukas

Friday, May 24, 2013

32 Weeks (Round 2)

How far along? 32 weeks and 3 days

Total weight gain/loss? Up 32.5 pounds total. So let's take a minute to talk about this and the fact that I absolutely lost my shit last Friday when I weighed myself and the scale told me I'd gained 5 pounds in one week.  (For those keeping score, that is considered "excessive weight gain".)  Since then I've actually lost 2.2 pounds.  So I was probably seriously retaining water last week.  Also I had just come off my birthday week and was eating leftover carrot cake every night.  And I wasn't walking more than 6,000 or so steps a day.  Excuses, excuses.  Yes. Whatever the cause, I am actually sticking to my theory that this time around it has been better to weigh myself more often than not.  When I weigh and realize I'm venturing into excessive weight gain territory, I make a conscious effort to scale down on snacking, up my walking and reduce my carb intake.  I'm not depriving myself by any means, I'm just more aware of what I'm eating and what exercise I'm getting.  And it seems to be working.  Something will have to go terribly wrong for me to put on 30 more pounds in the next 7+ weeks to hit the 60+ weight gain I had with Lukas.  This is a good thing.

Maternity clothes? Yes and they're starting to really bore me.

Stretch marks? The old ones are getting darker.  Yay.

Sleep? After a week (last week) of waking every night to horrible leg cramps, this week has been a joy in the sleep department.  I'm listening to a new hypnobirthing meditation before bed and have slept through the night all week.  It's great.

Best moment last week? Going to the aquarium with Lukas and having him hold my hand the whole day.

Movement? My little ninja warrior is getting down to business - cramped space be damned!

Food cravings? Nothing particular.

Food aversions? Nope.

Gender? Beautiful baby boy.

Labor signs? The occasional Braxton Hicks contractions.

Belly button in/out? Half & half.

What I miss: My sanity.

What I am looking forward to: Drinking wine.

Milestones: The little dude is 95% daytime potty trained!!!  This is a very big milestone in our house right now.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Mommy Clothes Battle

[Some of you may know that I am a contributor to the Parenting 360 blog associated with Primrose Schools - I usually have a monthly post on various topics about being a mom and raising a toddler.  In March I wrote about The Wardrobe Fight- The Toddler Clothes Battle - you can read that post here.  I wrote a follow-up to that post about mommy clothing battles but it's not being published on the blog due to a last-minute content change.  So rather than let it go to waste, I thought I'd share it with you all here!  The style is a bit different than what you usually see on TSAN, but I hope you enjoy!!]

I hope my post last month on the Toddler Clothes Battle and the tips to combat the fight were helpful to you! But in my house there is another wardrobe battle raging on: the Mommy “what to wear” Wardrobe Fight. As if keeping up with current trends and whether or not color blocking and chunky wedges are “in” this season, new mommies and moms-to-be struggle with what to wear for their ever changing figure.

Five years ago I was preparing for my upcoming wedding and woke up at 5am to attend a daily boot camp class before work. I lost a few pounds, toned up and enjoyed clothes and shopping! Then I got pregnant in early 2010 and suddenly my wardrobe options shrank. A sixty pound pregnancy weight gain only made matters worse. Flowy maternity dresses were my go-to option for those 9 months. Then my post-partum body was constantly changing and it took me a full year to lose all the “baby weight”. My closet held clothes in six different sizes and I never knew what would fit at any given moment. It wasn’t until my son was almost 18 months old that I figured out how to fit exercise into my working mom life and finally felt good about my body again. And then I went and got pregnant again and the cycle has started all over.

If I could wear yoga pants and tee-shirts every day, I probably would. But my office has a “business casual” dress code and something tells me yoga pants, even for a pregnant woman, don’t count, so I have to try to find an appropriate outfit 5 days a week. While maternity clothes have come a long way over the years (as my mother is happy to remind me), it is still difficult to maintain a positive self-image when I feel like I’m constantly on parade with my growing belly (especially when people decide that comments about your appearance are totally acceptable when you’re pregnant. “Wow, look at you!” isn’t a compliment to a 6 months pregnant woman).

But since mommies and mommies-to-be can’t hide under the covers all day (or only wear yoga pants), how can we best handle our changing bodies and even embrace them? I personally have really struggled with maintaining a positive self-image over the past few years, but have found a few things that help.

Remember WHY your body is changing/has changed! You’re growing another human being and are literally creating new life! This is an amazing thing and should not be forgotten when you look in the mirror or fail to button your pre-pregnancy pants.

Indulge in one outfit that makes you feel beautiful. During my first pregnancy I coveted one designer’s maternity clothes but opted for cheaper dresses and outfits since I’d only be wearing them for a short period of time. Big mistake. The second time around I purchased a wrap maternity dress from the designer and I LOVE it. I wear it at once a week and feel great about myself every time I put it on, even on mornings where I’m otherwise feeling less than pretty.

Accessorize! Shoes and chunky necklaces (particularly in fun, bright colors) don’t care what size your waist is and are a great way to liven up any outfit (especially when you’ve resolved to only wear black the last few weeks of pregnancy).

Be kind to yourself. Remember that no one else is as critical of your body or outfit as you are. And if someone compliments you, don’t dismiss them off hand. Say thank you and smile a little brighter. Your baby and older children don’t care how you look, all they see is mommy and they love you for who you are, so try to do the same for yourself!

How have you handled your changing figure during pregnancy and beyond?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hormones are the Devil

I've been hesitant to write lately because if I write the truth it's not pretty.  And I don't like to sugarcaot things here so its been easier to just stay silent.  But I figure it's not doing anyone any favors for me to just sit here and give off the vibe that things are hunky dory when they're not.
About ten days ago a funk set it.  It started on a Saturday morning when I just didn't feel right.  Julian was hyperactive all morning and his kicks, jabs and headbutting made me feel off.  I was uncomfortable by his antics, but not in pain.  But I felt, well, blah.  Friends came over for a festival in our neighborhood and were a welcome distraction for a few hours.  After they left I could only convince myself to lay on the couch and moan to Mr. Cob.  The next day was Mother's Day.  My boys were sweet to me all day and we went to brunch with my parents.  I felt down most of that morning as well, but just chalked it up to being pregnant.  Later in the day we went to our good friends' house with a few other friends, but I didn't want to go.  I may have cried on the way over.  I just didn't have it in me to be cheerful.  Luckily these friends don't expect me to smile all the time and they get it.  Lukas enjoyed playing with his best friend and Mr. Cob had a nice break from me.  But I'd be lying if I said that the entire time we were gone I wasn't waiting to go home. 
The next day I had an OB appointment.  I mentioned to my doctor that I was feeling off and slightly depressed.  She asked if it was the same feeling that I had when the postpartum/post-weaning depression set in.  I told her it was close, but didn't feel that strong yet.  She said we'd keep an eye on it and to call her if it got much worse, but in the meantime she advised me to stop doing any "extra" stuff.  Meaning: go to work, take care of Lukas and chill out/relax.  So I'm trying to do that.
The rest of last week sort of floated by in a haze.  Work is busy and a welcome distraction. 
And then last Friday happened.  With the intention of filling out my weekly pregnancy survey I hopped on the scale to determine my weight gain for the week.  This was a mistake and was the push I didn't need to send me over the edge.  That was the moment the tears really started.  I went to work that morning in a major slump.  I shut my door and kept to myself.  But all day I was seriously down.  I had plans to go out with girlfriends that night, and had enough time to treat myself to a pedicure before dinner, hoping to relax.  It helped a bit.  Dinner and a 50 Shades of Grey musical parody helped a bit as well.  But I got home that night and resumed the sulking.
Saturday morning I woke up sad.  My in-laws were in town visiting and Mr. Cob convinced me to join the group for a walk to the local farmer's market.  I tried to be cheerful.  I failed.  I'm sure I was short with my in-laws.  I know I was short with my husband.  They all left me for the majority of the day to go watch Mr. Cob play two soccer games.  I sat on the couch and watched a Fast and the Furious marathon.  Paul Walker and Vin Diesel didn't even help.  That night we had plans to go out with a group of friends to dinner for my best friend's birthday.  I love my friend dearly, but I did not want to go.  I cried in the car ride to the restaurant and told Mr. Cob that I wasn't sure I could do it.  I just could not pretend to be happy at dinner and I did not want to go.  But we went.  Thankfully we went.  Dinner pulled me out of the funk a bit.  My BFF's honesty that "actually I looked good" made me laugh.  Not having to pretend I was OK was nice. I actually really enjoyed the evening.  It was a welcome change.
Sunday I woke up happy.  I cooked waffles from scratch and we spent the day at the Aquarium.  My little man held my hand as we looked at the fish.  His amazement and joy made me smile.  I started to feel like me again.  I hoped it would last. 
It didn't.  Monday morning I cried within 5 minutes of being at work.  A very small thing sent me over the edge again.  And I cried on and off for the morning.  Mr. Cob took me out to lunch.  We talked about whether or not my behavior was similar to the post-weaning depression and he said he thought it was.  I think he's right.
So I'm left deciding what to do.  I have 8 weeks until Julian is due.  That's not a short period of time when we're talking about depression and sadness.  I did some research and I don't feel comfortable taking any medication.  Apparently acupuncture has helped some women in this situation, so I'm going to do some research on that.  And last night I downloaded a new pregnancy relaxation/meditation program.  I feel asleep half way through the meditation, but I felt calm while I was awake.  And I slept all night without waking up.  And today I haven't cried and I don't feel quite as down.  Here's to hoping the meditation and renewed effort to exercise helps keep the stress and sadness away.
Despite the sadness, the sincere truth is that I am so excited to be having this baby.  And I cannot wait to meet him.  I look forward to being up in the middle of the night with him nursing him and smelling that sweet newborn smell.  I know Lukas is going to be an awesome big brother and my heart bursts just thinking about the two boys growing up together.
But it's not sunshine and roses every day right now.  On the one hand, I am overjoyed to be pregnant and expanding our family.  I hope to be pregnant at least one more time in the future. (Crazy, perhaps).  But the day to day part of it is hard right now.  My poor husband is bearing the brunt of it, and he's been amazing.  Nothing he says helps.  Nothing he does helps.  But he keeps trying and more importantly, he keeps showing up.  He lets me be sad.  He lets me lay on the couch.  He lets me complain and he still loves me.  For this I am thankful. 
So that's what it's feeling like to be 32 weeks pregnant right now.  There are some sad days and some really happy days.  And I'm just really hoping the scale tips back permanently to the happy side soon.  I don't like this glass half empty side of myself.