Saturday, December 31, 2005

E-Lo’s 2005 Year in Review

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to think about the year and what it brought me. What a difference a year can make. Last year at this time I was working at Target and wondering how I could make it home, get really drunk and smoke a bunch of cigarettes, and be up and back to work by 7 in the morning.

Now? Not so much… but I am wondering just how many drinks I can have while breastfeeding before my child becomes totally wasted. Ahem.

But first, for your daily dose of cuteness:

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It’s certainly been the hardest year of my life, and the happiest. So here we go:

Best moment of 05: Duh. The day I gave birth. I mean, it wasn’t necessarily the best day I’ve ever had, considering I spent most of the day in a great deal of pain. But the outcome was well worth it.

Best bit of news of 05: I had a lot of good news. But I’d say the day I got my job was pretty good news. Because I was able to put my 2 weeks in at Target, and that made me incredibly happy. Ha, you thought I was going to say the day I found out I was pregnant, huh? No. That one is coming up though.

Best show of 05: Hands down, Mellencamp. You thought I was going to say Ozzfest, didn’t you? Nope. Mellencamp rocked my pregnant socks off.

Scariest day of 05: Ok. The day I found out I was pregnant. Seriously, you would have thought I was a 16 year old girl instead of a married 28 year old. I don’t think I’ve ever been more freaked out in my life. But hey, it all worked out for the best.

Favorite song of 05: Gold Digger. You know, that Kanye West song that is super overplayed… yeah, I love that song. I can’t wait until I can go out to a bar and "get down girl, go ‘head, get down" to that one.

Best excuse to get out of having sex in 05: "I just had a baby! My vagina hurts!" Also, the old "I just had a baby" bit is a good excuse to get out of doing dishes, the laundry, making the bed, running the sweeper, and various other household activities. Having a baby has made my husband quite the domestic diva.

Best thing I heard out of Ryan’s mouth in 05: (talking to Lyric) "Oh, little girl, you are so beautiful. You look just like your mommy."

Best food of 05: Ice cream. Any kind. Ice cream was the official sponsor of my pregnancy. I have a feeling my little girl will have quite the taste for it for the whole rest of her life. With any luck, she’ll have her dad’s metabolism, instead her mom’s proclivity for big ass-edness (Yes, I just invented a new word there).

Most successful day of 05 other than the day I gave birth: The day I finished my thesis and became a Master of Communication Education and Mass Media Technology. Whatever that means.

The thing I’ll miss most about 05: Feeling my baby kick my innards around. Every once in a while I swear I feel a phantom kick. Maybe it’s just gas?

Best movie of 05: HP and the Goblet of Fire. It knocked my socks off. Seriously the BEST HP movie yet. I saw it the day it was released, because I was 3 days overdue with Lyric and I thought it might be my only chance to go. It was well worth sitting uncomfortably for almost 3 hours. Especially after how miserable PoA was.

Biggest Mundane Perk of 05: Those "new and expectant mothers" parking spots. How wonderful for lazy moms like myself.

Worst band of 05: Him. Their slogan should be "turning otherwise normal girls into little goth princesses." Ryan’s little cousin is a fan. 2 months ago she was wearing baseball caps and oversized sweatshirts. Now she’s all decked out in black nail polish, black eyeliner, and shirts with skulls on them. It’s cute, but she’s freaking 11. I had my phases, but I was 19 when I was getting tattoos, piercing my tongue and wearing dog collars. Kids move so fast these days. Before you know it, Lyric will be piercing her nose and teething.

Best decision of 05: Quitting smoking. I had my last cigarette on March 16th. Now cigarette smoke gives me a headache, and smelling it on people makes me ill. I’m going to have a hard time if I ever go out to a bar.

Most exciting prospects of 06: Riding a roller coaster, riding a horse, painting my own toenails, tying my shoes, and wrestling with my husband. And buying a house. I’m also looking forward to returning to work so I can catch up on everyone’s blogs. I miss that. But mostly watching my kid grow. That will be good.

Happy New Year!

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Cow in the Meadow Goes Moo

Christmas Day. We’re at Ryan’s aunt’s house. I’m surrounded by his mom’s side of the family, all of whom I get along with very well. But being the modest mom I am, instead of pulling my boob out in front of everyone, I go into the living room to feed Lyric.

We’re sitting there quietly, she’s covered up with a blanket just eating away. Ryan’s adoptive second cousin, this very strange little 9 year old, walks into the room. This little girl freaks me out. She has big crazy eyes and asks strange questions. (See, even though I’m a mom, I still don’t like other people’s kids.)

"Is she sleeping again?"
"No, she’s eating"

She gives me a strange look, then looks down at the lumpy blanket covering my chest and lap.

"How is she eating under there?"
Oh crap.

I decide to ignore her, but she keeps pressing.

"Is she eating a bottle?"

I shake my head, wondering how I can possibly explain this to a little girl who obviously has no idea that boobs make milk that feed babies.

"Baby food?"
I start to grimace, but suddenly Ryan’s aunt walks into the room and saves me by shooing her out. I thank my lucky stars for her impeccable timing. Then I think, "I’m so blogging about this."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays

Wishing my blogger family a wonderful holiday season. Hope you all get all the presents you want this year. I know I did.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

One Month: Lessons I’ve Learned

I can’t believe it’s been a month already. Or should I say, I can’t believe I’ve survived a whole month. My baby cries a lot. She’s fussy (as opposed to fuzzy), and she’s gassy, cranky, and hates getting out of the bathtub. She refuses to sleep sometimes because she’s afraid she’ll miss something. Sometimes I feel like I might go crazy from her screaming, but then I think about her smile, and how her eyes squint up and she gives me that toothless grin, and that makes up for every last second of lost sleep.

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This morning she was screaming again and I was trying to get her to take a nap. I’m afraid that she’ll never be able to get to sleep without someone holding her or me feeding her, so I tried to put her down while she was still awake. She wasn’t having any of it. I thought I’d just let her fuss for a while. The fussing soon turned into full fledged screams, and I started thinking to myself that she probably thought I deserted her, so I ran to her rescue. Her little head was beet red and her eyes her full of tears. It broke my heart.

I’ve learned that I can survive on little sleep. She actually sleeps pretty good when she’s in bed beside me. She knows that her two favorite things (my boobs) are right there. I’ve been trying to get her to stop using my boobs as pacifiers by actually trying to get her to take a pacifier, but so far, no luck there.

I’ve learned that when babies poop, it actually sprays out of their little bums. Not only has she peed on me various times during diaper changes, she’s pooped on me too. Just the other day we were at the mall, and I changed her in the ladies room at JC Penneys, then I took her into the fitting room to feed her. Ten minutes into feeding her I noticed a smear of her lovely mustard yellow poo on my index finger.

I’ve learned that unfortunately, when tensions get high at my house (AKA: when the baby is screaming) that Ryan I and go at each others throats like rabid dogs. All teamwork goes out the window, and it’s frustrating. It mostly happens when we’re tired. Otherwise, he’s wonderful with the baby. He calms her down like nobody’s business. All I’ve got is boobs. He’s actually got magical powers that shuts her up and puts her to sleep.

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I’ve learned that yes, it is true that sometimes when you’re sleep deprived and your baby is screaming that you can go temporarily insane and want to drop the baby and run screaming from your house, as fast as you can, to Mexico or some other country, change your name and never think about your former life again. But if you’re a normal person, you look at that tiny red scrunched up angry face and wonder how you could ever leave it behind, even to go to work in the morning.

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I’ve learned that with my baby, there is no routine, no schedules, nothing that even resembles any type of normalcy. Maybe that’s the case with everyone’s baby. But I’m afraid I’m breaking her by not setting something for her to go by. I’m afraid that we’ve spent the last four weeks doing all the wrong things, like letting her sleep with us, nursing or rocking her to sleep, staying out later than we should and then forgoing her bath, just to have her crying until 3 in the morning.

I’ve learned patience. Because you cannot possibly survive without it. The thing about babies is that they’re very primal creatures, and they depend on you to meet all their needs. Their only form of communication at first is crying, and you have to learn to speak babyese. Is that the hungry cry or the tired cry? I’m still learning that language.

Mostly, I’ve learned that every day, my love for this little primal creature grows more and more. We wake up side by side in the morning, and she turns her face up to look at mine, and I say, "Good morning, my beautiful girl." And she smiles. And my heart swells with the most beautiful love I’ve ever felt.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

How about some cheese with that…

Ok, I feel like a giant whiner after that last post. It’s not that bad. Really. I mean, sometimes it feels that bad, just because I’m either full of hormones or the baby demon won’t stop screaming, but I think we’re getting there. It’s just a matter of wondering if we’re doing things right or not. But she seems to be living, so I think things are good. She even gives us some smiles every once in a while, if you can believe that. Maybe that means she likes us! But don’t think that I think this sucks in any way. It’s just an adjustment, and we’re getting there.

We’re offically house hunting. We’re going through a whole lot of crap with the people that own the place that we live in (they’re assholes) so we’re leaving. That means that probably by the end of February we’ll be homeless. Well, unless we find a house by then that we can move into. If not, we’ll be staying at Ryan’s mom’s house. Which scares me a little, but thankfully, they’re not there for the time being. That’s another long story, but it has to do with Ryan’s mom’s various illnesses. But I’m looking forward to getting our own house that we can do whatever we want with.

I’m hungry. That’s amazing. My appetite is finally somewhat returning. For a couple weeks there I had no urge to eat. Which was really strange, considering that I could have eaten the ass end of a dead rhino the entire time I was pregnant. But it feels good not to be so dependent on food all the time.

In other news, Ryan made a trip to the hospital yesterday. He has acid reflux and sometimes it closes his esophagus off, depending on what he eats. He ate one piece of steak and that was it. We’re seriously considering becoming vegetarians, because it only happens when he eats meat. I’m not sure if I can give up chicken though.

The beast is waking… excuse me.

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(Yeah, this beast. We were talking politics when I snapped this picture. She’s telling me her thoughts on the Iraqi elections here.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Taking care of mommy

Three weeks post-partum. I still feel pain in my crotch. My back still feels like someone beat it with a bat. I’m tired down to my bones. I can still feel the stitches. I can’t pee like a normal person. And don’t even think I can poop. Pooping is beyond me. I have to take a laxative/stool softener if I even want to go there. And nobody warns you that the bleeding will last this long. Girls, I'm here to tell you, the bleeding is amazing.

Everyone keeps telling me to relax, to rest when the baby rests, to not worry about the state of my home and the long list of things that I need to do. But that’s not me. I’ve never been a relaxer. And I’m lucky if I can sleep at night when the baby is sleeping. Every little peep she makes wakes me up.

The state of my body is a different story. I’ve lost a good 45 pounds of pregnancy weight. That’s right, I said FORTY FIVE POUNDS. And you know what? I still have a lot to go. Too bad I didn’t crave low fat frozen yogurt instead of all that ice cream. But my body is in sad shape. I somewhat resemble a deflated balloon, at least in my stomach area. My boobs though, they resemble over inflated balloons. They’re really quite scary, and they hurt with the rest of me.

My feet are practically back to normal. Some of my shoes are still a bit tight, but with any luck I’ll fit back into them. My hands aren’t quite there yet. My wedding ring still doesn’t fit. But it’s amazing to look at my feet, hands, and wrists. They’re so skinny looking it’s like they belong to a stranger.

The other day I had my first outing without Lyric. My mom took me to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. It was miserable. Not because I was away from the baby or worrying that Ryan was going to go beserk because she wouldn’t stop crying or wouldn’t eat from the bottle (which are two things she excels at), but because my mom kept insisting that I try on clothes. She wanted so bad to buy me something, but nothing fits me. The problem is the inner tube that currently resides around my mid-section. To top it off, I was exhausted, both mentally and physically, because my beautiful daughter kept me up all night. I know I looked at the clock at least twice every hour the night before. So needless to say, I felt like complete crap, and then got depressed on top of that since I couldn’t find anything that fit me. I still have to wear my maternity clothes. The plus side of that is that I’m able to wear all the maternity clothes that I outgrew months ago.

But the guilt. Now I understand why mothers feel so guilty all the time. Leaving Lyric, even with Ryan, made me feel guilty. I feel like she needs to be my responsibility all the time. Ryan is wonderful with her. So what’s my deal? As if I haven’t spend the last 10 months being the sole caretaker of this little girl. It’s someone else’s turn, right? Then why do I still feel guilty? GAH.

But anyway, my mom and I went to lunch at a Chinese place and I got the best fortune. It’s really not a fortune, it’s more like wisdom. It said, "He who cannot endure the bad will not live to see the good."

I think that pretty much sums it up.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Updates, Snow Storms, and Snot

Baby it’s cold outside

The past few weeks have been stressful, to say the least. I think that’s probably normal, what with a new baby and all. But Ryan’s mom continues to get sicker and sicker, which puts a lot of stress on him, and when he’s stressed, I’m stressed.

Lyric tends to get fussy around 9 at night. That adds to our tension. Being alone all day frustrates me. Like having to wait until she’s asleep to run to the bathroom. Although I do love staring at her face when it’s not screwed up into the "I’m about to scream bloody murder and there’s nothing you can do about it" look.

I still haven’t had any luck getting her to sleep in the co-sleeper. She prefers to nap in her bouncer. I guess it will take time. Soon enough she won’t be interested in cuddling anymore and I’ll miss it.

Breastfeeding is a challenge. I knew it would be. Being the only one that can feed her is tough. Sometimes I feel like I just need a break from the constant sucking. And I can’t get her to take a pacifier no matter what I do. Our pediatrician said it’s fine to supplement formula, so that’s what I’ve been doing, especially when we go out. I don’t mind pumping. Pumping takes no time at all for me, however, breastfeeding can take up to an hour or more before she’s happy. She’s a lot faster when it comes to having a bottle. I may just start pumping and giving her a bottle more often. At least then she’d still be getting my breastmilk.

Ryan has been great at getting us both to calm down. There are times when she starts crying at night when I feel delirious and start crying too, and he takes over. I can’t imagine being a single mother. I give serious credit to those of you who have done it. Doing this alone would probably drive me to the psych ward.

Speaking of mothers, I have to thank both Celti and Aimee here. Celti sent me a bunch of bottles and a cute ornament, and Aimee sent us a beautiful pink wool baby sweater (did you make that? Because if so, that’s amazing). Thank you so much! Lyric is so spoiled already. Good thing she’s too young to realize it yet.

The best news I’ve gotten all week is that Ryan’s last day of work is today. That means he’ll be home with us tomorrow, and that makes me incredibly happy. It’s not that I mind being here with the baby, it’s just incredibly lonely at times. And we’re supposed to get a snow storm tomorrow night. I love snow storms when I don’t have to go anywhere.

My most motherly moment this week happened yesterday, when I had to suck snot out of my baby’s nose using one of those sucky ball things. It didn’t quite come out the whole way, so I had to pick her nose for her. Awesome.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sleepy Baby Awake Baby

Originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

Anyone who ever said having a baby is easy is either highly medicated or never had a baby. The past week has been the hardest of my life. Ever. Giving birth was nothing compared to the unpredictability of having a newborn living at your house. It’s insane. I don’t know if I’m coming or going half the time.

Yesterday was my first day alone with Lyric. It was challenging. I felt like I couldn’t get anything done because I had a kid hanging off me. Plus, for 2 days she wanted to eat ALL THE TIME. My boobs can only take so much. The good thing about that is that when we went to the doctor yesterday we found out she now weighs a whopping 8 pounds, 1 ounce, which is incredible. Most babies lose weight during their first week of life. Not mine. She’s a champion eater. My boobs have never felt so important.

Sleep is another story. I dread the night. It’s when I get most depressed, because I never know what to expect. 2 nights ago she nursed ALL night. I got probably an hour of sleep total. But last night she slept from 1:30 to 4:30, which is a pretty good stretch. She refuses to sleep in her co-sleeper. She only sleeps in the bed with us. That makes me incredibly nervous. I’ve been trying to put her down for naps in the sleeper but the longest she’s made it is 20 minutes. I’d put her in her crib but for now that just seems so far away.

We’re alone again today and it’s been much easier. Adjusting to this is harder than I thought it would be. It’s a good thing she’s so cute, or I might have second thoughts about this whole motherhood thing.