I am better about my posting schedule, mostly because I’m finding time to post a bunch in advance, which really really helps! If I have a chunk of time, I take it!
I’m a bad blogger because I’m not good about reading others’ blogs. If I expect to grow my community, I have to be a part of the blogging community.
Part of my dilemma is there seems to be so so many mommy blogs. There are friends blogs, which are great because I like to know what their kids are doing. And then there are more universal mom blogs. There are funny mom blogs and helpful mom blogs (and some not so helpful) and product blogs and life blogs. It’s just overwhelming.
And then there are the mom blog communities. I don’t even know how to get started there.
So maybe you can help me. What are your favorite mom blogs (other than your own)? And what are your favorite mom blog communities? Are there blog conferences you go to that you love? That’s on my list this year (and maybe if a certain mommy blogger gets back from a certain [Japanese] country, she will go with me!).
I am not one for silence. Ask my mom. When I was a kid, I would talk, just to fill up the air because the sound of silence was boring. If there isn’t noise in the room, there is noise in my head, which is why I have to fall asleep to the TV or radio.
Having a child changes my feelings about silence.
There are days, moments, when the slightest noise is too much. Noise is sensory overload.
There are moments when I want to turn off the TV, the radio, the refrigerator, the computers’ humming, press mute on my child and my husband. There are moments when I crave the silence of the open roads of Wyoming where miles and miles of silence and calm and stillness pervade. I crave the sound of my own thoughts. To think about more than “Where’s the damn toy?” and “How do I turn this thing OFF?” and “I don’t know WHAT HE WANTS.”
I never thought I would crave the sound of silence. But now, especially in the fall, no noise could be as welcome.
I knew new moms don’t sleep. I mean, I guess I knew that. But I think I knew that the same way I know it hurts if you get mauled by a bear or the same way I knew it would suck if my house burned down. When I saw homes on the news that had been burned I always thought, “Man, that sucks.” But when it actually happened and I started walking around with a hole the size of my 1400 square foot house in my heart, well, then I knew that it more than sucked. And that’s kind of how I feel about sleep deprivation. You can’t tell an expecting mom what it’s going to be like. Because they will say, “I know.” But they don’t.
I remember in the hospital not wanting Kellen to leave our sides. But having not slept the night I gave birth, I remember being so exhausted that my eyelids wouldn’t stay open long enough to change his diaper. Our birthing center (inside a hospital) doesn’t have a nursery. But I eventually decided that the nurses could play with Kellen for a couple of hours while I slept.
I remember that first night at home, not allowing myself to sleep for fear that something would happen to Kellen while I slept. Dan and I had to take shifts, and then my mom would let us sleep. I remember this maternal need to hold Kellen all night long to protect him.
He slept in his car seat for months. We spent so much time away from our “house” (AKA the POS rental) that he got used to sleeping in the car seat, and it was where he slept the best. It also seemed to be the place he was least likely to puke all night.
Then he slept in the Amby hammock until he learned to sit up, which was far too young. We transitioned him to his crib without much trouble, and then he was in and out of our bed. He still is. On a good night, he sleeps from 8-6 in his bed and then another hour with us. On a bad night, he’s up at 12.
I had heard about sleep deprivation. I just didn’t know what it was like to feel it in your toes, in your hair follicles, in your teeth… for a year.
“Support his neck.” I don’t know how many times I heard this mantra growing up holding babies. Those fragile babies. All but mine. He should have come out with a sign: “No neck support needed. I got it.” It really was shocking, this strong baby.
I remember when he was two weeks old thinking, “Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be doing tummy time.” The idea I would forget any of this is strange, but considering I was spending all day meeting with contractors, picking out back splashes and floor types, and wall colors with my three-day old baby, well, it wasn’t a normal situation! Anyway, I put Kellen down on the floor, and what did he do? Rolled over. So I did it again, just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke. And again. And again. And then I got it on camera so that everyone would believe me. I remember reading later on a message board that it’s usually a fluke when a baby rolls over early, that they might do it once, but then they don’t do it again until a more age-appropriate time. Nope. Our kid was on the move from birth. I’m pretty sure he would have rolled over earlier if I had thought to put him on his tummy.
After that, it wasn’t a surprise that he was crawling at five months and taking his first steps at eight, though the fact that his confidence was low with walking in the beginning surprised me and is another sign that he likely takes more after me in certain things than his dad (in the fact that he lets his thinking interfere with his doing- though there are times that I wish the Dan’s way of thinking would make an appearance!). He’s moved on to throwing EVERYTHING in sight, not dropping, throwing. And although this is a post about looking back, I’m looking forward too. He’s built sturdy. The hope is that he has the athleticism to match. And if he has the brains to go with it, he really could be a tremendous quarterback. Or, he could be a 6’8″, 350lb accountant, like his great-uncle.
A year ago, I was over 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. We were pretty sure Kellen was coming early, but then the doctor said that I could be like that for weeks. Such a mood killer! She told us that if we wanted the baby out, we should have sex. My mom was in town for the week, helping us get settled in our rental and deal with all of the insurance, post-fire stuff. I have to say that sex at 9 months pregnant is probably the most awkward, uncomfortable thing ever.
A week later, my blood pressure was up and I was starting to swell. I didn’t have pre-e, but the doctor decided I should be on modified bedrest. Wednesday, the 24th was my last day of work. My mom and I did some scrapbooking on Thursday in attempts to pass the time. She decided she would go back to Oregon the next day for the weekend since it didn’t seem like the baby was coming.
I woke up the next morning, spotting, pretty certain that the baby would be coming that day. All day long, my back was KILLING me. I never had contractions, just constant back pain. We went on a last minute trip to Babies R Us (mom decided not to leave). I just wanted to walk the baby out of me. My mom started to get concerned because she never had real contractions until she was almost ready to push. Instead of taking the nap I thought I needed (because I assumed I would be in labor in the middle of the night), we went off to the hospital. They told me I wasn’t in labor and that they would be very surprised if I had the baby that night. Ha.
About an hour after we got home I decided I should start timing the back pain because then I would know if it was regular or not. It was already a mere five minutes apart. I still wasn’t having regular contractions, only timeable back pain. I decided I needed to go for a walk and stood by the front door waiting for my mom and the daddy to come join me. When they didn’t, I loudly announced that I was going for a walk and would they care to join me. I was so angry walking down that road alone at 10 p.m., in labor. About five minutes later, they came running out of the house looking for me. They had been so engrossed in their computers they hadn’t heard me leave.
At that point, we decided it was time to head to the hospital. When we got there, I knew we would be staying, since I had to wait out a contraction before walking into the triage area. We got settled, and I asked to get in the jacuzzi. It helped a lot. Unfortunately I had to go back and lie down every hour to be monitored, and given that I had intense back labor, lying on my back sucked.
The plan was a natural birth. Sometime around 1 a.m. they started telling me they needed to screw in something to Kellen’s head to monitor his heartrate. I wasn’t ok with that and asked that my midwife be called in at that point. She was off-duty that night but said she would come in to deliver us (I love her!). When they checked me at 3 a.m. and I hadn’t dilated any further, I decided to have them start an IV for a possible epi. I wasn’t able to sleep through the contractions, and I was concerned about not having enough energy to push. The epi was placed around 5, and I had about 5 minutes of the pain meds before I told them I was ready. The epi was turned off. I pushed for two and a half hours. Dan kept telling me I was crowning, when I wasn’t. Finally I told them I needed help, and they used the vacuum to deliver Kellen. The cord was wrapped around his neck, which had been impeding progress. He needed some extra love by the NICU team, and after about 10 minutes, I was finally able to hold him. I couldn’t believe how cute he was. He had these big, blue eyes and this really blonde hair and was so alert. It was amazing. Truly amazing.
We are trying to finish decorating our new house. I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but we love these vinyl sayings you can put on the walls. In the guest bedroom, we have the saying, “Everyday holds the possibility of a miracle.” I bought one for upstairs for our reading nook in our master bedroom that says, “Real love stories don’t have endings.”
When I put up the first one in the guest bedroom, I had a hard time making sure that the letters transferred to the wall entirely. So this time I wanted to make sure I had something sturdy. I looked around, and sitting on the floor was We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, board-book edition. It worked perfectly.
Board books are also great to use for altered books, which if you aren’t familiar with them are kind of like themed scrapbooks. I am thinking of doing one of nursery rhymes… once I finish all the other projects in my closet!!
What are some unconventional things you’ve done with a board book?
Five things I loved about being pregnant (since I was a week away from giving birth last year!).
1. I could keep him safe. There is something so true about the saying about a baby being your heart walking around on the outside. And that is such a vulnerable feeling. Given everything that happened last year when I was 9 months pregnant, the fact that I could keep Kellen safe inside me is such a comforting thought.
2. There was no screaming. If Kellen wanted to tell me something, he kicked, but at least that was quiet!
3. I didn’t have to worry about losing weight. Those nine months were some of the only months of my life where I didn’t worry about the food I was eating or the weight I was gaining. And as soon as Kellen was born, the worry began.
4. I got to see my midwife all the time. I loved being able to check in with the doctor at least once a month and develop a relationship with them. They threw us a baby shower right after the fire, which was just incredibly generous and thoughtful, and we love them (and miss them).
5. The anticipation. I loved thinking about and wondering about what my son would be like, what color his hair would be, who he would look like, what his personality would be. Everything seemed so possible in those weeks before his birth (even breastfeeding seemed easy!).
Kellen’s first birthday is in a week. I just can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I had him.
We are doing a star theme, which should be really fun. I am trying to get the favors painted so that the kids can decorate them the day of the party. I am also making stars to hang up around the house with Kellen’s picture on them.
I was planning on doing fondant on the cake, but I wasn’t really thrilled with the texture. I might just do cupcakes instead, in which case, I can make Kellen’s with applesauce and whole wheat flour and not nearly as sweet.
I am excited about his birthday… though not nearly as excited as I am about Halloween. October is going to be ridiculous at our house!