Saturday, May 30, 2009

Month One of Parenthood- COMPLETE

Here are a few notes about how our life has changed and evolved as we slowly get the hang of things :)

- We are oftentimes now getting to bed before midnight! Yippee!! Most nights we are in bed between 10:30-11 and the last two nights Madelyn has slept 5 1/2 and 6 hours consecutively! I'm hoping it's not a fluke, but only time will tell.
- She is still sleeping in the cradle next to our bed. I have major sadness about moving her to her crib, but I'm going to do it in the next week or so. Since she'll be 6 weeks old this Wednesday, it's probably time. Bummer. I may have to sleep on the floor next to her crib for a night or two to ease my withdrawal of being able to hear every breath and squirm.
- We are venturing out of the house more and more. I have also conquered the car seat and stroller which is no small feat.
- Madelyn loves getting baths. She is definitely a water baby so we'll probably be getting swim lessons when she's big enough :)
- I'm trying to teach her to say mama. I am bound and determined for it to be her first word. That or "Gators". Either one. I'm also aware that my attempt at brainwashing her will likely result in her first word being Dada.
- Madelyn loves her swing. She likes to swing and stare out the window. She is very drawn to light and reflections. She also loves to lay on her play mat and stare at all of the toys that hang down from it- this is often when she "talks" to me.
- Anytime we get into the car to go somewhere, Madelyn is sleeping within two minutes, sleeps for the duration of the drive, and often even once we've arrived at our destination. The car is like baby sleep hypnosis or something.
- She already seems a little annoyed by the fact that I feel it necessary to give her 527 kisses a day.

Life is Good

First of all, I am loving my temporary life as a stay at home mom. On Friday I went up to a friend's house (who is also a stay at home mom) for our weekly "Breakfast Club" gathering where we chat and the kids play together. Then we went out to a cute cafe for lunch, ran to Target, and wrapped up the evening with an outdoor gathering at the same friend's house. Just a typical Friday for someone who doesn't work. It's fun. I like it.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job. I do want to keep working because I would never be silly enough to give up my job. It's flexible, I'm well compensated with excellent benefits, I absolutely adore my bosses, I get to travel all over the world, for the most part it's low-stress- it's the perfect job for me. My hesitation comes when I think about someone else being with Madelyn every day- feeding her, playing with her, listening to her coo's and gurgles, teaching her things, making sure she's comfortable and happy- all of the things that I love doing now, and all of the things I know that no one can do as well as I can. I'm crying now just thinking about it. I will continue to work because my job is stable, and like I said, I wouldn't give it up. BUT, if the opportunity to stay home or work part time ever presented itself at some point in the future, I can't say I wouldn't consider it. I know everyone says it will get easier and I hope with all of my heart that is true. I feel so lucky to have had my mom home with us when we were little, and I know she treasures those memories. I'll just continue to take advantage of the next 6 weeks I get to spend uninterrupted with Madelyn and mentally prepare myself for my inevitable return to the working world. Pray for me- I'm going to need it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

7 weeks?? 7 WEEKS??!!

That's all that I have left of my maternity leave! Are you kidding me? This is going by WAY too fast. I am really starting to wonder how I'm going to handle having someone else watch her all day long. I can't think about it now w/out nearly crying...not a good sign...

On another note, my mom was in town this weekend to visit Madelyn. We had such a good time, it's always so nice when she's here. The best part is we spend most of the time holed up in the house just hanging out with baby girl:)

Madelyn made her first trip to Target, the Mexican restaurant, the outlet mall, and our friend's parents lake house. She did unbelievably well, I was so proud and impressed. She was so good, rarely fussed, and also posed for some cute pictures for mommy (see below). It's so nice to be able to get out of the house with her now, especially since she's consistenly been so well behaved! (knock on wood)

Here are a few pictures with her "GG" aka my mom:

And here are a few more for your viewing pleasure :)

Cutest. Baby. Ever.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Return of the Happy Baby!

You may remember me posting earlier about what a happy, awesome baby Madelyn has been. Well, while she is still awesome, in the last few weeks someone took happy Madelyn and sent back grumpy, fussy Madelyn. Needless to say, it's been a rough couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts). Well, we seem to have found the answer to our prayers and our happy baby has been back for two days!! We had to switch her formula to a sensitive version for babies who spit up a lot (which is strange because she never spits up...nonetheless...), but since the switch she has been a completely different baby. Sure she has had bouts of crying and fussing (what baby doesn't?) but she hasn't had a bout of screaming uncontrollably for hours on end since we made the switch, and that's all I need for proof. I had no idea how hard it would be to listen to your child inconsolably scream like that- not only because you feel so helpless and you're convinced somehow you've broken her, but just because that kind of noise for that length of time kind of makes you feel like you're going crazy in the head!

I've also been able to get out of the house with her a few times this week, and I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again! Being able to load her up and go somewhere has given me this whole new sense of freedom, since after the c-section I wasn't able to drive or lift her car seat.

Tomorrow we have her ONE MONTH CHECKUP! Can someone please slow time down???

Anyways, now that we've achieved some sense of normalcy I promise to post updates more frequently.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life with Madelyn

Here is a little snapshot into our new life with Madelyn :)

Depending on what time we go to bed (usually around midnight), and how much we are up at night, Madelyn and I get up around 10 in the morning. We then come downstairs, usually I feed her, and then she goes down for a nap. Sometimes she'll stay up for a bit and hang out with me, but usually she's right back to sleep. Once she's down, I eat something (quickly) and do some housework.

As the day goes on, she eats appx. every 3 hours. A lot of days she naps a great deal of the day. Today, she was up All Day, so hopefully that means she'll sleep through her fussy time may want to know what "fussy time" is- we'll come back to that in a minute.

When she takes her "afternoon nap" I nap too, at least for 30 minutes. I rarely sleep longer than that but I at least lay down and close my eyes.
Then when Matt gets home, he takes over for a little bit and I go shower (yippee!!).

Now, back to fussy time. From about 9-11 every night happy Madelyn turns into fussy Madelyn. She cries and screams and Matt and I scramble to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it. We rock her, stand and sway with her, put her in her favorite chair, change her diaper, feed her, burp her, change her clothes, lay her flat, lay her on a slant, anything...I've pretty much accepted that this is just her time to cry and get out that extra energy. After all, crying is really the only method she has to wear herself out. Even with accepting this, it's still frustrating not to know the cause of the cries, but she is so good the rest of the day we really cannot complain.

At night, she sleeps and eats like a dream. She pretty much continues to eat every 3 hours, occasionally she'll go a 4 hour stretch, and rarely fusses, so mommy gets good sleep. Daddy does the early morning feeding, usually around 4 or 5 a.m. so I can get a stretch of sleep before he heads out for the day. This is a Huge help!

In the evenings I try to take her for a walk, sometimes Matt comes too and we bring a drink with us and call it "cocktail hour"--it's the closes thing to happy hour we'll have for a while :) I'm still very hesitant to take her out in public or have her around too many people, but I look forward to doing so in the coming weeks. We still have to get her up to Athens to introduce her to the rest of Matt's family.

All in all I am LOVING my time at home and being a bit of a hermit. It's so fun to spend the day with Madelyn, especially as she becomes more and more alert. My favorite time is when she falls asleep on my chest. I could just stay like that all day, but I don't want her to get too spoiled (riiiight...). Yes there are trying and exhaustive moments, there is no question about that, but the great moments far outweight the difficult ones. I can't believe I only have 9 weeks left of maternity leave--I am trying to soak up every single second because it is going to be SO HARD to go back to work and leave her!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Observations of a first time parent

Getting ready to take a walk! (as you can see, she is very excited)

A few things I've observed in my first two weeks of mommyhood...

- Being a parent is hard. Call your mom and dad and thank them or if you're lucky enough to live close to them give them both a big hug. They've earned it- trust me- and this is coming from someone who's only been a parent for 17 days, I can't imagine how I'm going to feel after 17 years!

- Being a parent is also the scariest thing I've ever done. I have never been so consumed by worry and stress about every little thing- is she eating enough? Is she cold? Is she swaddled too tightly? The list goes on and on...On top of this I wake several times a night to make sure she's breathing/happy/sleeping soundly/etc...

- I have never thought about myself less than I have these last 17 days. I often forget to eat meals, sometimes don't have time to take a shower until 6 p.m. at night when Matt is free to watch Madelyn, and haven't even considered when the next time is that I might be able to meet up with my girlfriends for dinner or drinks. My idea of "me time" is now taking a shower long enough to shave my legs.

- I don't mind changing dirty diapers, I'm just happy she's making them.

- I've never been so excited to hear someone burp.

- I am learning to do everything with one hand while I hold her in the other.

- Each day I set aside one thing to get accomplished- One Thing. It may be to give Madelyn a bath, or it may be to clip my finger nails, but it amazes me how many days I don't get this one thing done. On the days I do, I feel like the most productive person in the world.

- I will never be able to express in words the way I felt the first time I heard her cry in the delivery room, or how big my smile gets when I see her smile--I realize it's probably gas-induced, but it's the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

More Pictures

I promise to actually provide you some details of our new life soon, but in the meantime, here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy :)

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