Monday, January 30, 2012

Michael and I were talking this past weekend (with me in the room, that’s normal, especially when I’ve had a redbull) about the first few months of parenthood. And I realized I had this black void of a memory, from July to late October. It was as if my subconscious destroyed those memories and I’m running on pleasant thoughts about how absolutely wonderful my baby is. Michael remembers things differently… because he can actually recount what it was like.
When I sit here and try to recall what it was like as new parents, the memories do start to come back. Blurry, at first, with big pieces missing. But shocking, nonetheless.





First of all, the lack of a memory stems from the fact that I was getting LITTLE to NO sleep. Brianna hasn’t always been a champion sleeper – for the first month and a half she would only sleep on me, which meant mama got absolutely no sleep for fear of dropping her (which I did. I’m a bad mom). Also, the first few days back from the hospital were a nightmare. We were looking at moving, in the dead of Memphis summer, with crazy hot temperatures, and a newborn. I was getting no sleep, we had deadlines, and everything was scaring me. It was bad. I was freaking out in my head. And I didn’t want to tell anyone. Michael found me crying a few times; whether it due to exhaustion or possible postpartum depression, I don’t know. The internet told me she should like her bath; B cried during the ENTIRE process, every single time! The internet also told me that a little bit of spit up was normal; I didn’t realize I would  be SOAKED in her spit up after every meal (which was every 2 hours)… so I lived in Michael’s shirts (or naked) most of the time. Why get dressed when your clothes were gonna be soaked in a matter of hours anyway? We didn’t have a rocking chair, or ANY chair, that I could sit in with her during that first month. Seriously. We didn’t have anything. So while I held her 24/7 I cried because my back hurt, my arms hurt, my head hurt, my body was soaked and cold, and she would not stop crying. I tried putting her down in her bassinette, but she would not have it. I bought a Rock N Play and she would stay there for short periods of time,  but never long enough for me to brush my teeth, let alone take a shower. She had projectile poop (and I was changing her diapers on a work out bench because, again, during that first month we had to move twice – everything was everywhere except where I needed it). She had projectile vomit. I dropped her (did I mention I was a bad mom?) and sobbed like a baby while we took her to the ER (she was fine, and still is, but I’m still a bad mom). I wasn’t the milk-producing factory like I had hoped to be (until I started eating oatmeal and drinking beer, but that wasn’t until the 2nd month or so), or if I was having a good day only it was because one of my Ladies decided to cooperate, and not the other. I had no patience, my husband had no patience, and we fought. We fought because we were both exhausted and a newborn baby is never easy. Those first six weeks were the most difficult period of parenthood to date.
So basically, it’s self-preservation that I am going through. Childbirth was nothing in comparison to parenthood, especially when those LONG days and LONG nights seem to never end. When I was in the thick of it all I felt like this entire thing was out of my grasp. Sure, I LOVE her and did from the moment she was conceived. But I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t cry, and have doubts, and hate myself, and it may be very possible that I did have a mild form of postpartum depression. I can see how women can slip into that; with the lack of sleep and enormous pressure of being a mom, sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
If I were to see my New-Mom self I would be sure to tell her the following:
Look me in the eye. Listen to what I’m saying.
IT. WILL. BE. OKAY.
This is hard. You’re a mess. You want to sleep. You want to take a shower. You want her to stop crying for two hours (two out of 24 isn’t that big of a request). I know but its not going to happen that way. This time is going to be hard but its going to be worth it. Keep looking for the answers, and keep trying new things. You’ll get the hang of this eventually (I promise). You’re not a bad person for asking questions or for being clueless. You’re a GOOD MOM. YOU HEAR ME?! I said YOU’RE A GOOD MOM! That little girl needs your achy arms around her 24/7 because that is all she knows. That beautiful little girl will one day look at you and smile, laugh, and hold out her arms because being with you is one of her favorite places to be! You’re the most integral part of this little one’s life. You’re more than just a “vending machine” and you’re more than just a “bed”. You will sleep again, you will shower again, you will brush your teeth again but these moments with your crying/sleeping/puking/pooping/bathing baby are moments you will never have again. Pretty soon she won’t fit into those newborn diapers, or that 0-3 month dress. Pretty soon you will forget all of this, so sit there, in that back-breaking position, with your arms stuck cradling her, and watch her, damnit. Watch her and don’t forget. She is so so SO SO SO worth it.

"Just keep moving forward". That is the key.
So to all other new moms, or moms-to-be (and for dads-to-be, too)… hang in there. EVERYTHING will be stressed. Your nerves will  be on end. Your body will be different. Men: your wife will cry and will get angry and you guys will fight. You will be pushed to the very limit. But hang in there. One of these days your little one will be six months old and she will be laughing and rolling and teething and melting your heart.
Hang in there.
Would only sleep on me. Notice M's button down shirt.


Look at our faces. Those looks say it all.
Notice: I had no time to look cute, even for a picture.


Poor thing.
She didn't wanna be down there, getting her picture taken.
Look at her now. LOVE.


That smile is worth it.
I wish I could have seen this picture when she was a month old.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

iPhone update.

Because I don't wanna waste my precious baby-time spent on the computer, I've decided to do a quick iPhone update (yay for the blogger.com app!).

Some photos attached:
-B chewing' on her snack net thing (the real name of it escapes me). She's loving bananas!

-picture of the new basket I got to store B's toys in the living room (50% off at kohl's!). Books, blocks, rolling, noise makers -- now they all have a place.

This simple living room organizer has me yearning to organize the rest of our lives/home. I wish I could but considering we won't be staying here more than a year, I'd rather start at our next abode. Can't wait.

Also, yes that tv stand needs dusting. I realize that. Don't judge me. ;)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pinterest Weekend
I HEART...
(All things that I love)

I loved this show! 


FOR MY B
(All things for Bria)

Colored Glass Ice: fill balloons with water, food coloring, and then freeze. Break balloon. Take outside to play in the snow. How fun!


DREAM HOME
(All things related to my imaginary dream home. Michael and I love the classic, rustic, repurposed, and slightly eclectic look.)

What an awesome work table/craft table. Although my dream would be to have a huge, chunky, distressed, "white washed" painted farmers table as a craft table... this idea is good too.

Two hollow core doors ($25 ea.), 4 Walmart book cases ($16 ea).


MR. & MRS.
(All things related to Michael and me)

Such a simple decor! Wine glass lamps. Drop a candle in a wine glass, then put this frosty looking shade over -- easy!


HOLIDAY.
(All things for the holidays. thanksgiving to Easter. Halloween and Christmas. I love 'em all!)

25 Random Acts of Kindness for the 25 Days of Christmas. Such a good, good idea. I hope I have the means to do this with Bria when she's a little older. I love making people smile through easy, yet unexpected ways. 
http://tsjphotography.com/blog/random-acts-of-christmas-kindness-summary/

CREATE.
(This pin board has to be my largest to date. I scrolled all the way to the bottom to grab something fresh and found this one.)

Recycled wine bottle glass. How fun! I should start doing this now so that I have Christmas presents ready, or decor for our reception.

Of course, it wouldn't be fair to me to post something I want to make without then posting a pin, showing how to make it.

How to cut glass using yarn and nail polish remover. 
http://jaimelyn11.blogspot.com/2011/07/cutting-glass.html
DECORATE.
(All things decorate.)

Looks like I've adopted a theme. Wine bottle light fixtures. Using the glass cutting technique above this would be so easy!




PROBLEMS SOLVED.
(Creative and clever ideas to make my life easier.)

How to wash the labels off, so that you can do the aforementioned crafts/decor.


EAT.
(All things digestive. If I had the chance to live a double life I wouldn't do illegal or immoral things. No, with no holes barred I would go to culinary school, move to Italy or France and chase after the culinary dream.)

Lady from work made these the other day with chocolate cake mix. They were AMAZING. You can't taste the pumpkin at all. Just mix a boxed cake mix and a can of pumpkin -- NOTHING else. No egg, no oil, no water. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min.




QUOTE.
(All things worth remembering. I reference this page a lot.)



PHOTOGRAPHY.
(All things pertaining to photography.)

I guarantee this to work. Stamped and approved by Marie.

PLACES.
(All over. every place. every where. This world is amazing.)

Holi -- The Festival of Colors (India). I want to go!


FITNESS.
(All about getting in shape and staying in shape, the right way and for the right reasons.)



ANIMALS.
(All animals. they are all beautiful. But you'll see a lot of elephants on this pin board -- they're my fav)




FUNNY.
(Because you gotta laugh.)




CAN'T BE CATEGORIZED.
(A place for all the weird and random stuff.)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

I’m the proud owner of MOM HAIR!





The cut might make me look young, yes.
I might be considered the dreaded ‘cute’, yes.
But daggum it! I love my hair! I feel like the real-me is finally here and amongst the living. When I walked away from the salon that day I actually felt normal. It’s amazing what a haircut can do for a girl’s self esteem.

It only takes 5-10 minutes to straighten and style every day. I can still incorporate braids and simple up-do’s. It’s easy, out of my face, and actually DONE everyday instead of in a frizzy pony.

For all of those moms out there wondering whether or not they should cut or not.

DO IT.

For folks in the Memphis area, check out Belle Ame, where I got my hair cut. Ask for Catherine! She’s the best!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Personal Mission Statement. I got this idea from THIS blog, where the blogauthor displayed his personal manifesto. I read over his points and truly got to thinking about my life. At first I started listing things off that, as a mom, I want to hold myself accountable for but then I got to thinking: I am a deliberate mother but I am MORE than just a mother. My husband, my faith, my job, my personal desires, and goals. These are all parts of me…

And I suddenly felt the need to create goal that address all of these things.

Without further ado, My Personal Mission Statement:

-Nurture Brianna’s strengths, no matter what my desire for her is.



-Draw energy and happiness when I get home, even when work has been taxing.



-Manage my weaknesses at work, so that they become strengths.




-Pursue passion in my marriage.
-Seek adventure and creativity as a parent.



-Focus on fitness for myself and for my family.



-Consistently be an example of joy to everyone I know and love.





-Depend on God for support when my joy bank seems empty.



-Laugh, every day.
-Cultivate a love of learning for Brianna.
-Listen. To Bria, to Michael, to others, to God.



-Invigorate myself with fresh air, and purposefully expose Brianna to the outdoors.

What is your personal Mission Statement, for your life? What do you want to do, and for whom, and why? We all have a hard time creating goals that need to be achieved on a daily basis cause hell… we have bad days. We have cranky days. We have tired days. If we all tried a little bit harder to remember the why’s and who’s, maybe our relationships will be that much better. Don’t take each other for granted. Don’t take each day for granted.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brianna turned six months old on January 20th.



She still has blue eyes. That is one thing that has not changed.



She is gaining weight! Look at that chubb!

She has so many different faces now. ^Motivation

^Goof

^Concentration




Beautiful girl...

with a beautiful smile.

She can roll over; front to back and back to front.

She triest to hold her own bottle, but still hasn't gotten the hang of it.

She's having a hard time transitioning over to solid foods; she's a picky eater but EVERY solid food we give her = constipation.

She sleeps through the night, in her own crib.

She has a light rash on her left arm and elbow; we're going to ask the Dr. about this soon.

Her hair is growing back: medium brown with a little bit of auburnish subtones.

She is a happy baby -- always smiling and laughing.

She especially loves watching Peyton (the cat), when daddy plays Airplane with her (and zooms her around the room like she's an airplane), and bath time. We recently played with glow sticks in the bath and she had a blast.

video

She doesn't watch football with daddy as much as she used to, but she does like books. She will hit and swat at them.

Everything goes into her mouth, including her toes.

She can sit, with help (boppy pillow or my hand).

She hasn't figured out crawling yet, but she sleeps with her knees tucked under her belly. Once she can figure out how to do that when she's awake we might just have a mobile baby.

Lastly...
I entered B into this contest a week or so ago and havent thought about it since. But now that we're in the running I've decided to put any winning money into her college fund. Please vote for Bria! Every single vote helps.

Come vote for my child in this week's Parents Photo Faves contest!
 http://photos.parents.com/category/vote/photo/1184051