Friday, December 30, 2011

On saying Goodbye and Hello, at the same time

I'm working from home today, thanks to a terribly sore back, yet another sleepless night and a cold that won't quit. So, here I am, the day before New Year's Eve, monitoring my inbox and realizing that THE WHOLE WORLD seems to be quiet today. It's quiet here too. Our wonderful, fabulous twice-weekly nanny (Hi B if you read this!) came this morning and took sweet E back to her house. For some reason, I can't sleep when I know Ellie's up and active - unless her nanny is watching her. Then, it's lights out for me - total trust in someone is rare and peace inducing.

It's the time of year where folks feel reflective about where we came from and anticipatory of what's around the corner. I'm finding myself caught up in that hoopla this year as well, much more so than years past. Our family has had quite the rollercoaster year, one in which you simply do your best to hang on.

So, with that in mind, let me recap (in a PC, internet friendly way, my-family-reads-my-blog, way of course) some of what we've experienced this last year.
  • One of us (not naming names!) had a red-letter year, career wise, which involved some scary unknown times, and not only a job change, but a massive directional upheaval in career path. This took a lot of effort, trust, deep breathing and faith that things tend to work out in the end, and today I'm extremely optimistic and thankful for this change
  • One of us (uh, me) gained 40+ lbs and lost 65+... My body shows the wear and tear, and I COULD NOT be more proud of this accomplishment. The scars and stretch marks I will wear proudly for life, as a reminder of what I'm physically capable of
  • On that note - one of us (me again) experienced the most physically taxing and draining year of my life. From near constant sickness, rapidly expanding ligaments, bruised ribs, an all-natural, painful and incredibly awesome life-giving experience, to sleepless nights and running on little more than fumes - I award myself a gold medal. They say that pregnancy and childbirth doesn't earn you any medals, but I just gave myself one, so....
  • One of us (Hi sweet Ellie, mama's talking about you now!) went from being a banana sized fetus, increasing her weight by a factor of 26 (!!!) and is now a full on, little person who is the absolute joy of our life. When I think about the cellular growth that is involved in going from around 13 ounces to almost 20 pounds, I am blown away. No wonder she sleeps all the time! (uh, except when she's supposed to be sleeping!).
  • We mastered the art of parenting Ellie from age zero to 7 1/2 months. Granted, the art of parenting Ellie from 7 1/2 months onward has yet to be explored....
  • The critters stayed exactly the same, except Janey who went outside and never came back (she's still alive, we report daily sightings of her, don't worry!), and Monty who lost some weight and reports slightly less energy.
  • We ate slightly less well (uh, mama has no time to cook) and drank far less alcohol but probably more caffeine
  • We experienced first hand how a baby brings a whole family together
  • We learned that it really does take a village, just like they say it does
  • We hosted Christmas! And, survived!
  • I learned that without a doubt, I picked the right partner to join me through life (awww....)
  • My theory that the universe is a pretty random thing was seriously challenged when I welcomed my daughter. No way in heck were we randomly put together. I've said it before, but I know without a doubt that she and I were simply meant to be. :)
As I reflect on 2011, it only makes sense to prepare to welcome 2012. Some of my family believes in The Secret (you know, you put out what you want and it will come back to you kind of idea). While I am not really on board with that whole notion, I figure it can't hurt - so here goes. My Wish List for 2012.
  • Without being too informative, I'd like to see a signifanct change in our life which would create new responsibilities for one of us (I hope the universe knows what I'm talking about)
  • More nights sleeping through the night than being up round the clock, please!
  • Continued health for our family, not just the three of us, but the greater fam as well
  • Employment for those that wish for it, however that might manifest
  • Perhaps year-end news that 2013 might bring a new addition?
  • An election which will bring leaders who encourage peace, recognize the importance of helping those that need our help and that ALL people share in the right of the pursuit of happiness and true love
  • Deep joy and peace, and mostly happy days (let's be realistic here, no one is happy all the time!)
Peace to you all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Oh, am I exhausted. We had quite the Christmas season and now we are staring down the arrival of 2012. How is it possible that 2011 is already over? Seriously though - I know a lot of folks feel the same way about the passing of each year, but this year just zoomed by (despite the fact that every single day from January 1 - May 15 felt like it lasted forreeevver.... Although for that matter, May 16 through now has had its fair share of marathon days!).

We hosted family in town this year for Christmas - Peter's dad and stepmom came in from Minnesota and his sister and her daughter from Florida. Hosting with a baby - I knew it would be a lot of work, but I didn't realize at the time we committed to the visit just how much planning and preparation I'd be doing. As in, for me - the process of getting everything ready started weeks in advance. With just an hour or two each night for prep work, I carefully mapped out in my mind when I'd do what chore. The gifts were wrapped a couple at a time starting a couple weeks before Christmas. Grocery trips were well planned and well executed. Cooking meals was done days in advance. Cleaning of course was left to the last minute (what's the point in cleaning when it'll just get dirty again?) Quite literally, I knew exactly what I'd be doing at any given moment of the day far in advance of that actual moment. Naps for the baby were a priority, much to the dismay of my 12 year old niece who would have been happy playing with Ellie for 18 hours a day. The weekend went well, but I am completely exhausted and had a mini breakdown this morning when I realized that this was how I'd spent my precious vacation time.

Lovin Christmas
Despite the work involved, it was a great Christmas weekend. We loved having our family here, visiting and connecting with them, and of course, introducing them to the star of Christmas - our Eleanor. Ellie made us so proud - she is such a good, sweet little girl, always smiling and happy and rarely fussy. Despite the fact that since my last blog post (where I announced that she was sleeping great! forgot to knock on wood..) she hadn't slept more than a couple hours straight, she was on her best behavior the whole weekend. Such a good baby we have - she makes our hearts ache with happiness - on Christmas day and every day. :)

Merry Christmas from us!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

third times the charm?

This is my third attempt at a new post in the last couple weeks. I keep trying to no avail. I can't come up with the words I want to say - I suppose that's because I don't even know what to say.

My brain is in a fog right now, despite all that I seem to miraculously accomplish on a given day. Not that I'm having any fun doing any of it, or feel any satisfaction from completion of anything. I'm on autopilot right now, and have that little mantra from Finding Nemo stuck in my head, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Between getting ready for work, commuting there, working and commuting home, I'm averaging just a couple hours a day at home. These hours are precious to me, but somehow I find that I can't even soak them in. Despite my best attempts to be focused and in the moment with Ellie, I am drawn to the many other tasks that need to get accomplished. I feel awful about it, but the moment I get home (after spending 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day in the car!), I set her up to play by herself and run around trying to take care of everything that needs taking care of - washing pump parts (mandatory), trying to scrounge up dinner (not mandatory, but the alternative is costly takeout, which I hate doing), getting bottles set up for the next day, throwing something in the washing machine, etc... Ellie starts squaking and I "play" with her, only to be thinking that I need Peter to come home so I can finish whatever chores are left on my plate. It's with a heavy heart that I've been going to bed lately - I feel so awful that I can't dedicate more of my time to her. Not just for her to get to be with her mama more, but for me to be with her - she is my heart's joy. I soak in every second of rocking her to sleep and when she wakes in the night, I don't mind at all anymore because even though it means I will be even more tired the next day, it also means I get just 10 extra minutes with my baby.

What's even harder is that all of this chaos seems to be escalating, and it's the holidays, which are supposed to be about peace and joy, but for me right now all it means is extra stuff on my plate. Thank GOD for Seriously - I've yet to set foot in a real store this year!

I spend the days and nights fantasizing about what changes could be made in my life to free up some room. I may have found an answer, but the grass is always greener, so we'll see.

On a side note - Ellie is so much dang fun right now. The girl changes every day it seems and has gone from a baby to a little kid in the last couple of weeks. She's starting to pull herself up, has a little tooth, talks and babbles all the time, laughs when she thinks things are funny (any dog is always good for a chuckle!) and even looks older and smarter. I loved the newborn stage, but this stage, despite it's challenges, takes the cake.

And with that, she's waking from her 2 1/2 hour nap. Poor baby *may* be coming down with something (fingers crossed that she isn't!), but the flip side is that she is sleeping like a dream! So, I'll sign off and leave you with a random assortment of pictures from the last couple of weeks. :)
just chillin at the cabin

surprsingly mobile for not actually crawling yet


prunes. :)


Friday, December 2, 2011

Backward Progress

Remember how I said I was going to stop whining and complaining because no one likes a whiner? I feel like I go one step forward and two steps back when it comes to fixing my attitude. The truth is that it is 5:37 on a Friday night, I'm completely exhausted and a large part of me wishes I could toss responsibility aside, pour myself a couple large glasses of wine after another, watch some trashy tv and pass out, with every intention of sleeping for 12 hours. The reality is that while Ellie is asleep right now (thank you universe!!) she will only stay asleep as long as I keep busy - the second I put my feet up she'll call out for me. Then I'll be hanging out/dealing with her for a couple of hours (although bedtime is at 7, we've kissed going to bed on time goodbye with this early evening nap), wrangling dinner (for both of us), bathtime (for one), pjs, diapers, books, cuddles, etc. Then she'll fall asleep (she'd good at this) but stay asleep for 40 minutes until she calls out for me again (she's good at this too - and by good at this, I mean bad at sleeping soundly these days). My attitude needs an adjustment.

I think coming home when it's already dark out adds all sorts of new stress when there is a baby who I am so desperate to get home to. I've always hated leaving work after dark (who likes it anyway?), but it feels SO MUCH later when I'm aching for my girl. The whole commute I'm willing away my anxiety that I'm late, she's waiting for me, etc... The reality is that I'm not late, it's the same time I've always gotten home, it just feels that way. This in turn makes me resent being away from her (not resent my employer - BIG difference!) and generally just sad. Also, I've added in another pumping session at work (TMI perhaps?) in attempt to get my supply to a place which keeps up with my growing girl, and it really does suck being hooked up to a machine like a dairy cow three times a day. But, I'm certainly not near quitting yet, so dairy cow for me it is.
honestly though, I'd doing anything for this girl
So, that sums up Regression Category 1: my attitude adjustment, or lack there-of

Next up - Category 2: Ellie's sleep, or lack there-of.

(No joke - she just cried out for me, as I wrote that. Girl's got timing down!)

We had to start some light training to get her to sleep better a couple weeks ago, but then I got sick and the whole thing regressed. The purpose of our training was to accomplish the following: 1) teach Ellie to put herself back to sleep, 2) lessen her dependance on me for bedtime and strengthen her relationship with Peter on this particular area (as it currently stands, she adores him all other areas of the day, but if he goes to soothe her in the middle of the night, God help us all) and 3) get our whole household sleeping better. She did okay sleeping through the night until she got sick, then the whole thing fell apart.

This is where we were last night: 7pm - I rock her to sleep 7:30: She cries, I rock her again. 8:15: cries, more rocking. 9:15: cries, still more rocking (see a pattern?) 10:30... cries, rocking. 12:30: cries, I kick poor Peter out of bed, bring Ellie to bed with me, nurse her to sleep. 2: cries, I snuggle her. 3:30: cries, nurse to sleep... 5am: tosses and turns, I am wide awake. Needless to say, we've gotten back to square one with the whole "sleep training thing." Not only did she completely need me all night long, but nobody got any sleep at all. And today? The lingering barking cough she's had since mid-October sounds much, much worse (croup's back! Yay!). So, perhaps we're bound to repeat the last couple of months...

So where are we? I've got a bad attitude, I'm sad to be away from my baby and nobody is sleeping. Least of all Peter who was stuck at the office until 4:00AM (!!!!) on Thursday morning and called me again tonight saying, "might be another late night...." fantastic. Not that I can't easily handle the baby by myself, but I do wish he was here with us, especially as, selfishly, if we've got another "late night" on our hands, that means tomorrow it's all me until 1pm or so when he wakes up from being at work until the wee hours.

The good news in all this complaining? It's December 2nd! Which means in 20 days, the days start getting longer again!! Can't come soon enough... in the meantime, any suggestions on a prompt change of attitude and/or getting a baby to sleep through the night without full on crying it out? (I'm too weak - I try! But then I fail!)

this girl's ready for winter!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

inevitable post on boring mom things

Inevitably, on blogs written by new mamas, one will find a post about one or all three of the following topics: eating, pooping and sleeping. Why? Because three things rule the world when a new baby is around: eating, pooping and sleeping.

Here's the thing: as a non-mom looking in, I was like, "oh how boring" and "blah, blah, blah" and admittedly, thought to myself that these moms must have nothing better to talk/muse about. These must be the mom's who have zero else going on in their life, and I would not become such a mom-blogger. Because honestly, no matter how interesting we mama's think the topic is - no one really cares that much about listening to us go on and on (maybe our own moms. But even then. Even my own husband, the father of our darling offspring, will start to zone out when I babble on about sleep and whatnot).

But now? I am one of those moms. Because even though I DO have more going on in my life outside my child's eating, output and sleeping patterns, these three things take up SO much energy and thought-space in my mind. (I think I just coined the term "thought-space"... for those that cannot see into my brain, what I mean by this is that the brain can only function up to 100% - no more. And, for most of us, we operate somewhere around 70%ish most days. This is our capacity, or "thought-space" if you will.). Honestly, you'd think that I don't have a real, outside the home job with how much effort I put into making sure my child is well fed, "going" properly and sleeping well. But the truth is that these three things are not just important, but vital to the quality of life in a household, which is probably why they are the three most talked/tought about topics when it comes to life with a new baby.

Feeding a baby is a hot topic. How one feeds their baby is a matter of much debate. Breast? Formula? Extended nursing? Babylead weaning? Make your own babyfood? Start with rice cereal? How much? How often? How soon?

Here's what I think: Do what you need to do to feed your baby. The end.

Ha - if it were that simple, I stop there. But it's not, so I will write on....

Baby girl and I are lucky that nursing was never an issue for us, she came out of the womb and latched right on. So, while together, we nurse. While apart, I pump, which I loathe. I'd love to stop now, but I don't want to stop nursing for probably another 6-12 more months (give or take, ish. I honestly haven't given much thought to when this will stop. Maybe we'll stop at a year. Maybe 18 months. Maybe longer. Maybe I'll have a toddler and another baby nursing at the same time. But, probably not). So, no stopping the pumping for us!

I started feeling Ellie "real" food probably 6 weeks ago, then stopped because 1) she didn't like it too much, 2) it was messy and 3) SO much more of a hassle than nursing. Then, I started again - becaue come to find out, 6 month old babies should be eating real food TWICE a day. What a total pain. So, here I thought I'd be all over feeding real food to her, and now she's lucky if she gets a nibble of something here, or a spoonful of something else there. (okay - to be clear - I don't starve my baby. But, I do need to step it up in the food category). Mostly I make her food, or she eats bites of what we eat, but sometimes I bust out the good old baby food jars. To date, she looks at me like I'm crazy whenever I try to shove pureed whatever's-on-the-menu into her mouth. The other thing about feeding a baby real food is that invariably, she ends up in the tub, because for the life of me, I cannot keep her from shoving both hands into whatever she's eating, then rubbing them all over her face/clothing/etc... So twice a day meals means that either I bathe her twice a day (not happening) or we get better at this feeding thing (getting better = practicing more).
messy eater

This area of parenthood surprises me - I thought I'd be all over feeding my baby, and obsessed with trying new recipes and creating delicious concoctions for her. The reality is, I have hardly enough time to keep up with life as it is. This actually makes me kind of sad, because it's something I take so much joy in, and wanted to share with her at an early age. But, my days are really, truly busy and I am lucky if I have an hour and a half with her at the end of each day, and of that time, she's cranky the majority of it because it's close to bedtime. That's my reality, and I can't change it, so sadly, won't be putting much effort into cooking during those hours Mon-Fri. So, my new plan is to not only plan the meals for Peter and I, do all the weekly shopping as well as the majority of cooking on Sunday, but add Ellie's meals into the day as well. This shouldn't add too much effort into my Sunday chores - her meals still consist mainly of roasting/steaming whatever I intend on feeding her, then blending that up either with or without a liquid.
She does love sitting at the big kid's table!

So, there you have it. I've exhausted one of the three most boring, but most thought/talked about areas of mommyhood (really hate that word, by the way). I apologize for boring you to tears, and congratulate it if you made it through this post. A fascinating peek into the Lacy household, I'm sure. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

turning a new leaf

So the last couple (okay, most) blog posts have been all, "oh, life hard right now" and "I'm tired, wah!" and "I have a lot on my shoulders right now" and while this is true, I don't think it's either fair or fun to write like that. Not fair because a) we have the easiest baby ever, even with bumps in the road and b) we have SO much support it's ridiculous. Not fun because, duh, wallowing isn't fun and it's always better to change your attiude and move on.
girl was happy to have mama working at home on Friday!
(that's a skill I've been working on for at least 20 years. My step-dad always challenged me to "change my attitude" and for the most part, it's something I'm pretty decent at. Not always, but mostly. I do believe we can decide to have good attitudes despite the crap in our lives, and I try to live like this, but... it's hard....).
waiting at the pediatrician appointment for her six month checkup. Result? A+ baby!
Hi Mama! I want to eat your phone!
So moving forward. Less whining and more appreciation. What brought this on? Perhaps it's the spirit of Thanksgiving, perhaps is the genuine thankfulness I have in my heart right now, perhaps it's just the gorgeous fall days we've been enjoying lately, or the fact that the shortest day of the year is in just a month and from there the days will be longer. Or maybe it's that I've pulled out my Christmas music already and am absolutely itching to start decorating for the holidays. The thought of celebrating Christmas with a kid - my kid, and of being the parent who gets takes the helm on family traditions and of making memories for my family makes me absolutely giddy. As in, Peter has had to officially prohibit me from decorating the house before Thanksgiving... so I'm counting down til Friday when the magic will be unleashed. :)
Saturday morning, lounging in jammies!
It's been a beuatiful weekend filled with freezing temperatures but blue skies, good naps by one little babykins, decent night sleeps (that's saying something!), good food (which means I've had time to make not one but TWO dinners this week, each one providing leftovers for at least two more meals, meaning my meal-making for the whole week is complete!) and seriously - the sweetest little baby girl a mama could ask for. Her smiles have gone from amazing to radiant in the last couple weeks and she is so much fun right now that my heart can hardly stand the happiness she adds to our family.
No caption needed. The coolness speaks for itself.

Happy Sunday afternoon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Half a year

Something happened today which happens in homes across the world every day. On this day, My baby crosses an imaginary threshold - a halfway mark. Halfway through her first year, her baby year. Today, my baby is six month old.

I've read blogs where mamas go on and on at each milestone, and for most of those mama's, the six month mark is one such milestone. I am typically not one to be so sentimental, but today has caught me off guard. I take a deep breath in and brace myself for the realization that she is growing up before our very eyes, and every day that passes she becomes less a baby and more a little person - her own thoughts, feelings and personality. I'm still having a hard time with the realization that she is no longer inside of me - let alone such a sweet little girl. I revisit her birthday every single day in my memory - it is the memory I cherish more deeply than any other, such a profoundly defining day.

So, here goes, sharing my thoughts for the world to see, in the form of a letter to my darling girl.

To my sweet Eleanor Carolyn, our little babykins,

It's not such a big deal in the scope of the world; it's just another day. Today my girl - you are six months old! I cannot put into words the impression the last six months have left on me, so I won't even try. I cannot begin to articulate your daddy's feelings on this day either. All I can tell you is that it is my deepest desire that you grow up and have a baby girl of your own someday. Maybe then you'll begin to understand the depth of my emotion and love for you - but just maybe, because I wonder if there was ever a mama who loved their girl as much as I love you.
three months young
You are growing and changing before our eyes, and we have such a good time with you, little Elliekins! You sit so well, smile and laugh, light up when you see someone you recognize and love, roll over, play with toys and love our critters. You used to sleep well, but you caught your first cold a month ago and we've been trying to get back to your good sleep habits ever since then. Last weekend we made you cry for a while in your crib - it worked, you slept - but I felt so sad hearing you cry and seeing your big blue eyes filled with tears. Almost sad enough to cave in. Oh girl, you are sure strong.  You are a serious little baby, always watching the room and the people in it, taking everything in. I have been so curious to know what goes on in your little head - soon, you'll be able to share with me and tell me. I cannot wait for that.

You have lost your enthusiam for eating; I'm pretty sure it's because you are so easily distracted. You drink your milk-milk bottles during the day and I nurse you when I'm home and you sort of half willingly comply. Sometimes I give you rice cereal or butternut squash or bananas, but you haven't been so into real food, despite your fascination with whatever we eat. We went out to dinner the other night with some friends from the lake and let you play with some rice. A couple grains ended up in your mouth, but mostly that sticky rice stuck to your hands, clothes and hair. You've never been cuter though than you were that night at the restaurant. Sitting at the table with all the other girls, spitting bubbles and eating your rice. You used to spit bubbles all the time, then forgot you knew how, and then remembered again last week. You've been a spitting machine ever since! You love to play alone and do so well at it - we can leave you for almost 45 minutes sometimes in your exersaucer before you holler to be let out!

No teeth yet Ellie, but I gave you your first official bang-trim. Your side-part 'do was getting more and more uneven by the day and so long that I cut you bangs. Didn't do such a great job, but you look so cute with your new style!

We had a rough month last month. You were sick and had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night for a fever and croup. I was so sad for you; you were so very tired but so uncomfortable that you were moaning in your sleep. My little girl - I would honestly do anything for you. It breaks my heart apart to see you sad or sick or uncomfortable or lonely. We struggle with trying to teach you independance while wanting to take care of everything for you. We're still learning, you and I and dad-dad.
rocking the bangs, munching on some rice
Your daddy adores you too Ellie! He loves his girls and rushes home from work to be with you (and me too!). He always changes your nappies when he's around and reads you bedtime stories (although sometimes I think he makes up some of the words!).

And the rest of your family, Miss Eleanor, cannot get enough of you. Grandma Carol takes care of you twice a week but sees you much more often than that. She misses you if she goes more than two days without seeing you! GrandStan adores you and tells me that your smile melts his heart. He can't wait to take you skiing and teach you things. Gramma Deb buys you the most fashionable outfits (I think she's waited for a baby girl to spoil for years!). Your Graddaddy (and Cindy!) loves you too, of course, and your Gramma Lyn and George miss you very much. You'll meet Grandpop and Susan over Christmas, which just about rounds out your collection of grandparents! Not to mention your aunties and uncles! Auntie Jordan lives in Portland but tries to visit you as often as she can, and you get to see Gabey several times a week. She's WAY into you! You have so many people who adore you in your family - I hope you always remember that, even when you feel alone in life.

My sweet girl, always know that your mama loves you more than you can imagine. Always remember that we are so thankful that you came into our family. Ellie, you have changed me. I've never believed in soulmates before, but I do now; you are mine. When you were put into my arms six months ago, I felt a weight lifted I didn't even know I carried. My soul was searching for completion and you fit the empty space in my heart I didn't know existed. My purpose in life was to be your mama, I will never doubt that that is the reason I am here. You can do great things my girl. You might go the moon someday, or be the president, or a nobel prize winning scientist. Even if you don't do these things, whatever you do will be enough for daddy and I. We will do our best to shield you from the world for as long as we can; we will raise you in a happy home where you know you are loved and we will always have our arms open ready to hold you.
one week young
two months young
Happy Six Month young birthday baby! Cheers to the next six!
six months young!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peacefull Stillness

My house is empty (me, kitty and dog) and quiet (except the washer and dryer). I am working from home today (which allows blogging flexibility!) and E is with my mom. On the one hand, I wish I was with them. On the other hand, I am glad for this break.

I have always hated hearing moms talk about how they need breaks. But today, this mom feels like I need and deserve a break.

I feel bad for allowing myself to think like that. I KNOW how lucky I/we are. We have family three minutes (15 minutes actually) away who are always available to help us out and who do. We have friends who continue to go out of their ways to do nice things like bring us dinners sometimes. Even if we didn't have this personal kind of help - we have everything we need and so much more that when I feel overwhelmed, I also feel guilty for the many luxuries we have which so many do not. Not only that, but we have each other and we have our wonderful, miracle girl who we adore so completely and feel so completely lucky to have.

That being said though, some days the burden of responsibility feels very heavy, and today is one of those days. Perhaps this is just my crazy hormones talking (which I blame for the total meltdown I had the other night after dropping a bowl of corn chowder ALL over the floor), but sometimes I wish I could hide from the reality of the world. There is a mountain of stuff I need to tackle, and when one thing is crossed off my list, it is immediately replaced by another. It's ongoing. This is nothing unique to me - I realize that - but it is certainly draining. I hate feeling like this.

My girl is almost six months old - SIX months! In just a few days, we will be as close to celebrating her first birthday as we were to celebrating her birth. Peter and I are having to face the scary reality that soon we will be parents of something which is mobile. Oh boy - that thought intimidates the heck out of me. Here's my train of thought on that: Mobility = babyproofing = more chores = running around after a baby all day = possible weight loss?? = maybe not such a bad thing = very exhausting. She's pushing herself up on all fours now and rocking back and forth to reach for toys placed in front of her. Watching her accomplish this is endlessly fascinating and makes me so proud of my darling girl. She's growing leaps and bounds every day (this week especially as I'm pretty sure we had a nice little growth spurt) and I know if I am this proud of her for reaching for a toy, the pride I feel when she continues to grow up will be incredible. Despite the responsibility and exhaustion, this is so, so worth it.

What else? I have real work to do today (which I AM getting done!) and if I didn't have real work to get done, I'd have a ton of things to pick up off the ground, some bathrooms to clean, dishes to do, etc. What did I do with my "lunch time"? Made cookies. And then ate my weight in cookie dough. SO good.... (remember that post about being accountable to finishing the weight loss?? oops...)

Signing off for the rest of the day. Changing my attitidue. The sky is blue and the sun is pale yellow and all the leaves are orange and it is the season of Thanksgiving. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

stretched thin

I am starting to sense that this will be a recurring them on this little blog of mine - the overwhelming sense that comes with being stretched so thinly and overwhelmed.
I am proud that I am a working mom. When I hear about "working mom's guilt" - I cannot believe that any mother would feel guilty over doing something as selfless as doing whatever it takes to help her family. But, working full time and being a mom full time (seriously - all mom's are full time moms. When I hear someone refer to themselves as a "full time mom" when what they mean is a "stay at home mom", I get.... agitated, needless to say. No one takes time off being a mom to do whatever else they do...) and a wife full time and keeping a house full time does take its toll, and I've definitely felt the pull in the last week. I'm exhausted, and I'm frustrated, and I'm sad at this moment because Ellie is sick, and I have had it with feeling so helpless.

She's had a cough the last couple of weeks and it's sounded kind of barky. I figured it was croup, despite lasting almost two weeks now. Last Wednesday she started getting obviously in some pain (arching her back, thrashing her head side to side, not sleeping flat, not wanting to sleep anywhere but in our arms). Friday we called the pediatrician, and the doc on call said that it sounds like she has reflux, and croup. She explained reflux can be made worse with croup, and gave us some Zantac and we left.

Friday Ellie slept well. Saturday she did okay, but by Saturday night the croup sounded worse, and she'd started having stridor (high pitched wheezy sound) on occasion. No sleep Saturday night, and by Sunday she had a fever of 101.8 and much more stridor. We were directed to urgent care by the pedi on call, and there they gave us some steroids for the stridor, but said nothing about the back arching, crying pain that we'd seen over the last couple of days.
Sweet urgent care patient
Yesterday she had a good day, but with diarrhea. Last night, she didn't sleep well at all and when I realized she was burning up in the middle of the night, I took her temp at it was 104.5. Not okay with me, so off to the ER we went, where they gave us tylenol for the fever, another dosage of steroids for the stridor (which was almost non existant at this point) and sent us home. Today, she's slept off and on all day, and when she isn't sleeping she is crying and screaming uncontrollably in pain.
one of two admit bracelets we've received in the last three days
Something just doesn't feel right to me. I hate seeing her in pain, and I'm questioning the reflux diagnosis. She's been out of sorts for two weeks now, so I'm waiting for the pedi to call us back - again - so we can demand to be seen by her pedi, not the doc on call, and not be told over the phone that Ellie is okay.
And in between all of that, I'm feeling like crap about not being at work or checking emails all day, lame for not doing anything around the house, let alone taking a shower or washing my face, and like I have a pile of laundry with at least three pairs of really disgusting baby pj's covered in the results of all her blow outs (oh yeah, we're out of clean jammies, so I really do need to get on that) and just stretched thinly. Did I mention I haven't slept in a week or so?

Needless to say. Trying to stay positive and to choose my attitude. Trying hard, made slightly easier by knowing that our girl is probably the cutest little  patient they've seen in the walls of Children's Hospital Urgent Care Clinic. :) And still, counting my blessings for a healthy baby (yes, healthy, despite the fact that his whole post has been complaining about my sick baby. Being at Children's, even just the urgent care, reminds me how much worse it could be), a wonderful husband, a home I love, two jobs between the two of us, and family and friends who love us.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

on sleep patterns, pets and shotguns. aka. sunday morning.

I was ready to wax poetically about the changes in our lives that this week last week brought, but alas - instead I will have to make this a bulleted type of post, for we had a rough, rough night last night.

~ We used to have three pets we loved. Now we have one baby we adore and three pets - one of whom we love, but only in moderation, one of which we like in moderation and the other of which we care enough to try to keep alive. I will let you guess which is which, but on a morning like this morning, when between the hours of 7:30pm and 6:40am one of us was holding a baby the entire time (and thus not sleeping), when my nap gets interrupted by a screaming whining cat, and then the baby - who is FINALLY down in her own bed - stirs, that cat should count her lucky stars I do not own a shotgun. For real. I knew that there would be some shifting of allegiance from pets to child when the baby was born, but what I didn't realize was how damn ambivalent I'd be towards those furballs. Perhaps this is the lack of sleep talking, or the fact that I can still hear the cat whining from inside the garage, despite the fact that there is a piece of drywood propped up against the door to minimize said whining.
baby girl loves daddy's thumb. and has some serious morning hair!
Okay, enough whining from me.
more of this, please!
~Miss Eleanor had a rough week. In turn, so did I. Sweet thing has had a little bug for a while, nothing too substantial, but by Wednesday night, when bedtime rolled around, she was having nothing of it. Normally she's a breeze to put down (with only the occasional fit when she's being strong willed), but Wednesday night she screamed bloody murder for several hours while we tried to console her and get her to sleep. Back arching, head flailing side to side, refusing her pacifier, and the second we'd put her in her crib after finally falling asleep in our arms, she'd open her eyes wide and let us have it again. It was rough. The rest of the night was spent with Peter upstairs on the couch and she and I sleeping together in our bed, with her waking a couple times an hour. Needless to say, at the start of the evening I was just annoyed - why wouldn't this kiddo sleep? - but by the middle of the night I was alarmed at her serious change of behavior. By Friday, after repeating this pattern for two nights and showing a decrease in appetite, I took her to the pediatrician, who suggested that she's had reflux this whole time (5 1/2 months), but it's made worse with the cold. Who knew? Also, she confirmed Ellie has croup, which I already suspected. A little medicine made it much better, Friday night and Saturday she slept like a dream, but then last night we started all over again with the whole not-wanting-to-be-put-down thing. Oh well. It's true what they say - they do grow up so fast - and I am already nostalgic for the tiny baby I held in my arms just a couple months ago. When the nights get rough and my baby just wants to be held, I will not only oblige, but count my blessings that she is here, mine and healthy.

~I miss cooking and being creative in the kitchen. I made what I lovingly refer to as "crack crackers" this week and after scarfing them down all week long, I remember why I gained at least 15 pounds from the time we got engaged til the time I got pregnant. Yeah, my "creativity" in the kitchen = packing on the butter pounds. Having a baby is the best diet ever.
best diet AND eye candy!
(For curious minds though - I cannot recommend Crack Crackers enough. Very easy. Line a rimmed baking sheet in foil, then arrange a layer of saltine crackers. Melt together 1 c butter and 1 cup brown sugar til it boils. Boil for a couple minutes, and off the heat stir in some vanilla and a pinch of salt. Pour caramel over crackers and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and dump some chocolate chips on top - let sit for 5 minutes til the chocolate gets all melty, then spread around and top with toasted almonds and a sprinkling of kosher salt. cool. enjoy that sweet, salty chocolatey caramelly goodness!)

~We got a new couch. Now we have two big old leather couches in our living room. My Grandma is coming over shortly to advise on a new arrangement. Poor Peter is learning that he is slowly taking a back seat in home decor, behind not only his wife but all her female relatives (although, he did pick out the sofa and two end tables without me even seeing them...)
One of Peter's favorite female inlaws and one of Ellie's favorite Aunties!
~Halloween is tomorrow. Ellie's costume makes me squeal with delight. Seriously, I squealed when I put it on her.

~I caved to the pressure that is pintrest. Oh dear me. Like I have time to catalog things on the internet that I like. Somehow, I sense that this will take over my life. Last night I was watching the Huskies while playing around on pintrest and my sweet bff from high school texted me about how addicting pintrest was. Turns out, we were doing the exact same thing - on the couch, watching the game, on pintrest. I'm guessing she was in sweats too, but didn't confirm that. :) Love you, friend!
She sits in the cart like a big girl! Kills me with cuteness!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday morning, part II

Um, is it really Saturday morning again? Did I really just give this blog post the same title as last week's post? Gosh - I sure am creative!

Not to sound like a broken record, but these weeks are FLYING by! On the one hand, that's a great thing - the whole household is so busy Monday through Friday that before we know it, it's the weekend again. On the other hand, it means that as each week passes, our girl is another week older and we barely had a moment to breathe, let alone soak up each moment of Eleanor before she presents us with a slightly newer, older model of baby.
Pumpkin Day on the Farm!
Flying Baby!
We had such a busy week. Ellie had her first little cold, and although she was never miserably sick, I wished I could have spent the whole week by her side. Despite the fact that she wasn't feeling well, I have never heard a cuter sounding cough in my whole life. :) My work has picked up big time and on Tuesday for the first time I pulled a 13 hour day and left Peter with Ellie in the evening. I came home with a broken heart, aching for my baby. She was asleep in our bed and poor Peter looked a little shell-shocked. Needless to say, evenings aren't always her happiest time of the day, and she can be a bit challenging to get to sleep on occasion.
She's mastered the art of sitting up!
I ran an all day meeting on Wednesday and had my laptop hooked up to project against the wall, forgetting that Ellie's face was my backdrop. So all the meeting participants got to see a huge Ellie's face on the way for the majority of the meeting. :) So we were busy, busy all week, up until the moment when I was about to walk (okay, run) out of the office on Friday afternoon and instead got pulled into a meeting with several VPs to go over an initiative we are taking on next week. Fitting to end the week that way.
Hi Ellie!
On an unrelated note:

Her birthday was running through my head over and over again last night. I dreamed about giving birth - about the pain and beauty and fear and joy all wrapped up into those hours. It was the single most transformative day of my life. I know that until the day I die, May 16, 2011 will remain the most monumental and pivotal day in my life. Even subsequent births, if I am so lucky to bring more babies into this world, will not have the same impact as hers did, as never again will I become a mother for the first time. Despite that, and despite being (hopefully) about two-ish years from having another baby, I eagerly anticipate the next time I get to give birth.

On another unrelated note:

I gained somewhere in the 60 lb range during my pregnancy. I never thought I'd be that kind of mom-to-be, but oh well. I was up at least 15 lbs from my ideal weight when I got pregnant, so that left me facing a whopping SEVENTY FIVE pound weight loss at the end. I've lost 60 so far, thanks to a) birthing a baby and all that, b) nursing that baby round the clock and c) weight watchers. WW was great at first, but now that I'm back at work, it is SO hard to keep up with, and my motivation has plummeted. Now that I can get back into my pants again, it seems my desire to actually DO something about my weight is nonexistant. I hate that. I need to be motivated again, and I miss seeing the number on the scale drop. It hasn't moved in about three weeks. So, I'm going to kick the diet back into gear (oh, joy). Just thought I'd put that out there on the internet, maybe as a way of holding myself accountable or something. Or perhaps just to overshare. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday morning

Looks like fall is officially here. It should have been obvious, what with the whole "back to school" thing, football weekends, baseball playoffs, etc...  I'm a little oblivious to seasons these days, I guess. :) Baby girl was up early this morning so we ran to the grocery store together in our pjs (okay - she was in her jammies. I put on some jeans) and when we got out of the car I totally realized that it was freezing cold and she must have felt it too. Mama fail, I suppose. She's so sweet and easy, I love going grocery shopping with her when the store is almost empty (the exception being at least three other mamas carrying their babies too - that must be in the unwritten guide-book or something). We walk up and down the aisles and in the produce section as I make selections I talk her through what I'm doing and why, let her touch and smell the produce and explain how we know when something is ripe. She smelled cilantro and held yukon golds (I told her how they are nice and buttery flavored) and then we picked out some bananas for her to try later this morning. Sweet mornings together. Plus, picked up a roast on sale, which I'll teach her how to turn into a super easy dinner tomorrow night!

With the arrival of fall, I seem to be experiencing some weird PTSDish flashbacks of last fall, when I was huddled over a toilet nonstop for months. Like, I can feel the nausea at weird times during the day and brining out my fall wardrobe is making me re-experience it all over again. Lord, how I do not miss that at all!

Peter's birthday was yesterday and tonight I'm making celebratory dinner - "Sweetie Pies" - aka - delicious pizza. I'll make bbq chicken pizza and brussel sprout & prosciutto, with creme brulee for dessert. Can't wait!

What else is going on? I can hear baby girl through the monitor waking up from her nap (now I hear her daddy talking to her!), while I'm eating breakfast of leftover Thai Beef Basil and coffee - strange combination, but delicious any time of the day! :) Work is busy busy this week and next week I'll have to work some overtime, which makes me sad to be away from my girl, but mama's gotta do what mama's gotta do! There are wood choppers in the backyard, so Monty is having some minor panic attacks and a pile of laundry stacked a mile high, so chores call....

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Writers Block

I have writer's block. I actually have "everything block" right now, if there is such a thing. I don't kow what to make for dinner(s), I don't have much to say when I get home from work, I don't know what to write about... It's amazing I get anything done at all during the day. :)
The truth is - despite my best attempts at choosing a good attitude - I am TIRED.  These days take every ounce of energy I have. Eleanor is getting bigger and a little more impatient as she grows. I think she wants to get up, walk, talk, dance and sing. I swear, that little girl has SO much on her mind. I love this time with her as a baby, but cannot wait to hear her open her mouth and share her thoughts. I think her first word will be a complete sentence like, "mama, please explain the theory of relativity again." Needless to say, when we get home from work - she's tired, antsy and does NOT want to be ignored, even for a moment. (not that I want to ignore her - I just want to take thirty seconds to put away the bottles and wash the pump parts without being hollered for!).
Look who tried cereal for the first time!
My point to this post about my writer's block is that I actually voice recorded on my phone on my way home some ideas of what to write about, things I actually care and would like to share about. So hopefully, less writer's block to come, and more interesting posts. On that note - here is an interesting article I read today. It made me think about what it means to want a family and the lengths we'd go to to get one. For me, those who want a family deserve a family. I don't care if you're a 55 year old wanting to get pregnant, or a gay couple wanting to wed - to deny someone that opportunity or look down on them because it's outside of the "norm" just isn't right. We all deserve to love and be loved, and as the structure of our world changes, we need to rise to the occassion and change our expectations.
Mama made some delicious squash for babykins! (that's Lacy speak for "the baby")
On a side note (yet sort of related) - yesterday was our two year wedding anniversary! On the one hand, it feels like just yesterday that we got married. Memories from that day are almost as fresh in my mind as they were the day after the wedding. On the other hand - it feels like a decade of living has happened between then and now. Between home projects, job changes, trying to get pregnant, getting pregnant, being pregnant, having a baby, raising a baby, etc... Life is certainly different today than it was two years ago! I feel so truly lucky to have found someone who fits with me, gets me and loves me the way he does. I am so lucky that I get to raise his babies. :)
Our family - of THREE!
cute little babykins!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ellie's Letter

When we heard that if you send a birth announcement to the White House, you just may get a reply from the President himself, Ellie couldn't contain her excitement and begged us to send a letter. Happily, we obliged, but forewarned her that it might take a while until she gets a response; worse yet, she might not get a response at all.

We gathered her birth announcement and wrote a nice note...
Ellie licked the envelope...

And mailed it off!
And then, we waited. Ellie checked the mailbox daily for a reply. She had just about given up hope when...

We opened the mailbox...

And saw a letter! What joy!

Addressed to Miss Eleanor Carolyn Lacy, from Washington DC. She clutched it tight, and...

Opened it up!
Thanks Mr and Mrs Obama!