Saturday, May 15, 2010

Update your bookmarks

I feel like I told everyone, but perhaps I didn't...

Please visit me at my now-public blog: www.domesticblissdom.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Until we get our new camera...




...this will have to do. I've been asked for updated pictures of William, but all I have uploaded at the moment are these taken by his Aunt Modey!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All you need is love

Nice sentiment, Paul, John, Ringo, and George, but it couldn't be more false.

The past 2 months have been the hardest of my life. I have been sick before, but never for an extended period of time, and never like this. I have battled nausea and fatigue nearly every moment of every day. As I tell Marty, if every pregnancy were like this, the world would be filled with "only" children.

One of the hardest parts has been the absolute loss of energy. I can't seem to do anything I need to do, let alone anything I enjoy doing. Gone are the days of sipping good coffee, reading books in bed after Will is asleep, going out to dinner with my little family. Instead, if I'm not working, chances are I'm in bed, sleeping or zoning in front of the TV. I eat meals in there, play with Puppy in there, even work in there when I can. The only thing I have managed to keep doing is feeding, bathing, and rocking Will. I refuse to give up these "tasks" because they help to nourish and heal me. I adore being a mommy and I can't lose sight of why I'm going through all this.

Along with the sickness and loss of energy, though, has come a dependence on the care and help of my husband. This is truly difficult for me because I'm a nurturer at heart. I want to be the one taking care of someone, anticipating needs and providing comfort. Instead, I have become the unwilling but oh-so-grateful recipient of Marty's care.

I believe not only that everything happens for a reason, but that things happen for multiple reasons. God is a multi-tasker! This period of illness has taught me to pray for strength. It has given me new perspective on priorities. It has taught me, even in the midst of horrible discomfort, to be grateful for the wee baby that I'm carrying, because I remember all too well the pain of not being pregnant when I wanted to be. But most of all, this illness has taught me what a beautiful marriage looks like when "in sickness and in health" becomes reality.

From the beginning, Marty and I have always enjoyed passion, interest, companionship, and of course, love in our relationship. But it's not all you need. When the hard times come, you absolutely must have patience, kindness, compassion, humility, self-sacrifice, and a keen sense of humor. Every single day, my husband shows me these things. He is tireless and uncomplaining in all the things he does to care for me and Will. In short, he has taught me more about a loving marriage in the last 2 months than in all our time together thus far.

My Marty, I love you so much. You'll never know how grateful I am for your generous love toward me and your undying patience. I'm in awe that I get to have you for my very own, for all time.

(sorry for the blurry picture but our digital camera died and all we have is Marty's trusty iPhone! I was pregnant in this picture but didn't know it yet. That glow soon turned green!)

Friday, January 1, 2010

This, too, shall pass

That's my mantra these days. I tell myself this constantly, as I struggle to get out of bed, as I struggle to eat, as I struggle to get a load of laundry done. Life with this second pregnancy has become one big struggle.

Since some people want to know and since I don't mind sharing, no, we weren't planning this pregnancy, at least not this soon. But, here we are, expecting our second baby in August of 2010. Yes, that nearly makes Will and his little brother or sister "Irish twins" (kiddos born within 12 months of each other), but not quite. However, with the Irish last name Conway, we've certainly taken our fair share of teasing. Lots of people have given us the "You know how this happens, right?" which is my least favorite. Thank you, yes, we know. Brilliant joke, truly hysterical.

Anyway, we went to see Dr. Pickler last week and she did an ultrasound and found that our wee little one is growing perfectly and right on track, with a heart rate of 159 bpm. It was absolutely crazy to be back in her office, back on the table, looking at a monitor showing a teeny-tiny baby. Sometimes, waking up in my new place and with this new knowledge, I feel completely lost for a few minutes. Like a wise friend once said, "You have to find the new normal." I'm still looking for it. If you see my new normal, will you send it in my general direction?

Dr. Pickler also prescribed me an anti-nausea medicine called Zofran. I take it every 12 hours and haven't missed a dose yet; I utterly depend on it. It doesn't completely eliminate the nausea, but it does take the edge off. I was never, ever this ill with William. I had queasiness, certainly, sensitivity to smells, fatigue, all that stuff, but never this kind of debilitating sickness. There are smells I absolutely can't stand -- even my kitchen countertops. They are a custom concrete with a polyurethane finish, and for some reason, I can SMELL that darned polyurethane finish and it makes me want to be sick to smell it. You can imagine how many dishes I've done lately. Oh, and coffee. The smell of coffee makes me want to run for the hills. Oh coffee, my old friend. Sometimes I think I'll never see you again.

So here I am, popping Zofran and fighting sleep every waking moment (one of Zofran's lovely side effects). I hold my nose while I feed Will his baby food, and especially while I change his diapers. I live off of cinnamon toast, tomato soup, and the magnificent kindness of my husband, who takes care of us every single moment he's at home. He sends me to bed and brings me Sprite, and rubs my back and holds me when I can't stop crying in frustration.

I'm not in a good way. Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely thankful for this second child, and I know I'll be excited once second trimester (and its blessed relief) comes along, but right now...right now I'm struggling. I could use prayers and babysitting and meals for my husband, but mostly just prayers. I pray constantly for God's strength because I have none of my own. And I constantly tell myself, this, too, shall pass.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We are headed off to church for the Christmas Eve service...we can't wait to bow our heads in thanksgiving at the blessings bestowed upon us this year by our Lord and Savior, born this night so many, many years ago. "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill to all men!!!"

Love,
Marty, Becky, Will and Baby Conway

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet Tater

It's nearly impossible for me to believe, but our Sweet Tater had his first "real" food tonight -- sweet potatoes! During a talk with Dr. Terry last week, we discussed Will's 90th percentile ranking in height and weight, and she said because we have such a big little man on our hands, we should go ahead with rice cereal on its own (not just in a sludgy bottle), then introduce a first food (preferably a veggie) by the time he reached his 5th month. Well on Saturday he took rice cereal so well -- swallowed nearly every bite! -- we decided to try the sweet potatoes tonight (a few days ahead of schedule). He grimaced at first, but literally after his second bite he became a baby bird and opened that little gullet for all the taties his Mama could scoop into him!

Yes, he's wearing his Saints jersey underneath the "Boys Are Just Better" bib.

Hasta la vista, sweet taties.

Hooray! Saints are winning and Will-Baby is full!

Monday Daybook

Outside my window... it's frosty-cold. And noisy. I can't WAIT to not live next to a jillion and a half college students. I know I'll have "city noise" when we move to the loft, but I'm really over always hearing the comings and goings of my neighbors, 99% of whom are in the 18-21 crowd. Yuck. No offense to college-age kids; I'm just...well past that kind of lifestyle.
I am thinking... of how I'm going to possibly get organized and packed for our big move in T-minus 14 days. Climb every mountain. Yikes.
I am thankful for... home. Even though I'm tired of this apartment (have I mentioned that yet?), it's still home and it's still where we lay our heads at night. I love my family and I love traveling, but I really hate living out of suitcases.
From the kitchen...
  • Monday: Beef Noodle Bowl ('twas delish tonight)
  • Tuesday: Omelettes with fresh veggies, baby bella mushrooms, and cheddar cheese
  • Wednesday: Three-cheese Ziti with Spinach
  • Thursday: BLTs
  • Friday: Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie
I am creating... a plan of attack for unpacking in the loft. Will's nursery first (put together crib, plug in monitor, set up diapering station, etc.), our master suite second (put sheets on bed and towels on racks, etc.), then basics in the kitchen. All of that needs to happen in Hours 1-2. HA! I'm only half-kidding, because then I need my office set up so I can return to work in a timely way, then the living room so Will can watch Clifford with Jessie, so on and so on. Anyone want to fly in to Tri-Cities to help???
I am going... to do at least 2-3 more loads of laundry yet tonight. I hate the piles of laundry that are inevitable after a trip. (I just realized how domestic this whole post sounds. Not sure how I feel about that.)
I am reading... just my magazines at the moment. Though as I told Kate earlier today, if Southern Living features another family who "enjoys getting away to their 2,000-square-foot woodland retreat when life in the big city gets to be too much", I might toss cookies and cancel my subscription. Really, Southern Living, can we include more of our target audience next issue??? Anyhoo, I need some book recommendations. My latest pick-up at the store was a complete dud.
I am hoping... to figure out a great birthday present for my hubby. His birthday is Christmas Day, y'all! No pressure on me to come up with double the amount of fabulous gifts!
I am hearing... The Saints v. Patriots game on the telly. Now if the Saints go to the SuperBowl, some of that gift-giving pressure might be off, because Marty won't be able to concentrate on much else until the end of January. He's been a Saints fan all his life and they're still undefeated!
Around the house... I'm missing some essential baby-gear items. Time to buy an exersaucer, time to buy a highchair. Puppy is now eating at least 3/4 cup of rice cereal at night, and right now we're doing the "Daddy props him on the table while Mama scoops it in" thing, and that's just not working for us.
One of my favorite things... clean sheets. Coffee. Cookies. Online shopping. Life changes. Friends. You name it -- anything that's blessing me these days is my favorite thing!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My moment

My moment
My sister just sent me this picture that she took at my cousin's wedding in September. When I saw it, I think I gaped at it for a solid 5 minutes. Katie managed to capture quite the motherhood moment for me, in which I appear to be clean, calm, contented, and chic all at once. Wait...hold the phone...is that my white-trimmed Coach bag? And the wedding was in late September! Crap -- Labor Day/wearing white violation. I KNEW it was too good to be true.
Oh well, it was a good try.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home

I've been thinking on the topic of "home" for the past few weeks in a way I've never done so before. From the moment we found out that Will was on his way, Marty and I have been talking about where to raise him and our other (future) children. We've talked about family, church, schools, communities, geography, politics, safety, you name it -- anything and everything that influences how you function inside and outside the four walls and a roof you call your home. The most obvious place to call home was, of course, Indianapolis; my family lives there and the only other option would be Mississippi, and Marty has stated vehemently more than once that he'll "never live in the swamp again." So, even before my first trimester was over, we fixed our trajectory on Indiana and never wavered. In fact, I felt true grief that circumstances wouldn't allow for me to deliver Will in Indiana, surrounded by family and friends and just...familiarity.

Well, to make a very long story very short, things have changed. Without going into great detail, my parents came down for an unexpected visit a few weeks ago, sat down in our living room, and gently suggested we perhaps not move back to Indiana. The reason why? Because in a couple of years, they won't be there. Neither will my sister Sarah and Garrett and their brood. Where will they be? It feels funny to say, but they're moving even further south than where we currently reside -- North Carolina! There are many, many, many reasons for this move, but the primary one is my nephew Ethan. North Carolina offers him the best chance for a mainstream education, the best therapy for his autism (they utilize something called the "TEACH method"), the best opportunity to learn and grow and achieve his full potential. He's simply not getting any kind of decent opportunity from Indiana's special education track, and the curriculum only promises to get worse, and downright awful by the time he's in 3rd grade. And because my parents are nearing retirement, and because they refuse to live without their grandchildren (by their own admission, so cute), they're seeking a big change and thus, the big move south.

Without missing a beat, without so much as a moment's worth of hesitation, we happily decided to make North Carolina our new destination as well. In fact, our compass spun so quickly I got a bit of whiplash -- and I suddenly had the clearest perspective I've ever had when it comes to "home." All this time, I've been keening like crazy to call myself a Hoosier again, and suddenly I realized, I don't even care about that so much, I just care about living near my family. But even that is secondary. In all of the conversations that ensued, I further realized that I just want to be with my Marty and our Will. I want us to have a family adventure all our own. In all the planning and plotting to provide Will the best growing-up situation and as a result, setting our sights on Indy, I never sat and actually had this thought -- and shame on me!!! Of course, I'd be lying if I said I don't want to be near my family -- I absolutely do and Marty shares that desire. So, in a couple of years, we'll pick up stakes and mosey on down the trail. But in the meantime...oh, in the meantime, we've decided to choose the best place for us to be right now.

And not only have we found a great place, I've also stumbled upon the greatest sense of contentment I've ever had. A scant 2 and half years ago, I was perhaps the most miserable person I knew. I was in a sham of a marriage, unable to have children, lonely at home and sad at work and depressed everywhere in between. I fixed a fake smile on my face for the world to see but cried constantly on the inside, knowing in my deepest soul that my life was nothing that I wanted it to be. And now here I am, those 2 and a half years later, married to the love of my life (just know that I type that with tears in my eyes, because this man is genuinely a prince among men), listening to my baby son coo in the other room, and looking at the pictures I'm about to show you. I'm just so happy, because I've found my true home, my family with Marty, and together we've found a physical home, those four walls and a roof that will shelter and protect and embrace us for this next chapter in our lives.

And so, without further ado, meet my loft in downtown Kingsport:

7-foot French doors that are our front windows (follow me, I'm going to slowly spin to the right around the great room)

The windows now closed so you can see the restored hardwood floors and the exposed brick wall


The area that will be our dining room


Kids, meet the kitchen of my dreams: stainless steel appliances, extra-tall espresso-stained cherry cabinets, custom concrete countertops, and the coolest pendant lights you'll ever hope to see hanging above your sink


Another view of the kitchen, and if you look up, you can see the exposed wooden beams/rafters


The view down the hallway (doors lead to master suite, Will's nursery, guest bathroom, and laundry closet)


The area that will be my office (excuse the presence of the leasing agent, who may be my newest friend; her name's Samantha, she's lived in Europe, she had a private Christian school upbringing [I kid you not], and she's already invited us into her loft [she lives here too] and she might just be the coolest chick ever)

Finally, the living area, with those majestic windows open again (we have 2 sets of 2).

So why did y'all go for a loft?, you might ask. Well, we tried to get a house. Tried several times to find a decent home to rent, but OH. MY. STARS. I've realized something. There are a lot of people in the world who don't live clean, sanitary lives. To put it simply, there are just a lot of GROSS people out there, and I'll be darned if I'm going to rent a house from someone whose basement smells like dirty animals. In our quest to find some new digs, I haunted Craig's List and we went on several jaunts to see places, and we (read, I) kept getting more and more frustrated. It wasn't just once that we drove away from a place with me in shock and/or tears! Then one night, we saw the ad for these brand-new lofts, converted from an old furniture warehouse. By the time we called, there was only ONE left. Marty went and toured that same day, and we signed our lease on Friday, the same day I got to see it for the first time. With absolutely no sense of propriety, I got to the great room and started jumping up and down in sheer joy. My greatest feeling isn't joy, however -- it's gratitude. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, Lord, for bringing me home.

And thank goodness my blog is private, because I can share with y'all our new address (we move in December 1st):
The Conways
217 Broad Street, Loft 206
Kingsport, TN 37660

Now, one last and completely unrelated photo. This is Will with his beloved Dr. Terry, his pediatrician. I'm not kidding when I say that they love each other. I think the photo says it all.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Daybook


Outside my window... might as well be the dead of night, because it's pitch-black. I really hate the "falling behind" portion of daylight savings. I would so rather have daylight on the back end of the day rather than at 7:00 in the morning!
I am thinking... about several blog posts that I'm itching to write. I'm also thinking about finalizing all plans for November and ways to celebrate Christmas at home. That's right, we're staying HOME for Christmas this year! Marty and I decided it's very important for our children to wake up in their own home on Christmas morning, to run down the stairs in their footed jammies and rejoice at the sight of presents while Mommy and Daddy snuggle on the couch, sipping coffee and enjoying the lovely chaos of it all...sigh with me now -- "ahhhhhh."
I am thankful for... a young college student named Jessie. Who is my new day nanny, who starts tomorrow, Hallelujah! She is a doll, this girl, and she singlehandedly helped me go from worried like crazy about having a "stranger" in my house, caring for my son (even while I'm here) to stoked-excited at having some quality help. Jessie genuinely loves children and has excellent experience and credentials. Plus, we already dished on how much we love the Twilight books...I think this one's a kindred spirit. (My other favorite thing about having a nanny? I'm this much closer to actually living like Tori Spelling. HA!!!)
I am creating... a budget. Still. And at the advice of my dearest Kate, we bought Quicken, and may I pass the recommendation on down the line? It's a fantastic program; I especially love being able to hit the "Update" button and get current balances on all checking and savings accounts, plus credit cards. It's so cool, it seems magical.
I am going... to keep the kitchen clean daily. It's like a new obsession of mine. I refuse to go to bed with a single dish on the counter. Let's hope this obsession sticks!
I am reading... The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It ties in with what I mentioned last week; there's a big ole blog post on this topic coming soon; I'm already drafting it.
I am hearing... "Jeopardy." Marty and I are self-admitted senior citizens when it comes to pre-primetime TV. We truly love a good episode of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy," even though Marty can't stand Alex Trebec's attitude (I think it's funny).
Around the house... are baskets of clean laundry. I need to clean out my dresser -- I'm sick of piling clothes I use on top of clothes I ignore. It's time to purge!
One of my favorite things... Mrs. Smith's frozen pies. We've been enjoying Dutch apple and it's going to disappear tonight. I wish I could make a homemade fresh pie, but at this point in my journey of (still) growing accustomed to motherhood, in addition to my other roles, who am I kidding? It's going to be frozen pies for the Conways for a few years to come.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Will at 3 months

(Yes I realize I'm a month behind. I am determined to catch up; I can't keep everything straight in my head!)

This month marked many “graduations” for you, Puppy. (Oh yeah, Mommy calls you “Puppy” all the time now.) First of all, at the beginning of the month, you were still sleeping in your cradle in Mommy and Daddy’s room – if you can call it “sleeping.” Because you weren’t, really. And neither were Mommy and Daddy! One day, after getting up with you every 2 hours in the night, your sleep-deprived mother got pretty desperate and decided to institute some changes. Namely, I put fresh linens on your crib (in your room) and opened the baby monitor box and figured out how to use it. I also decided it was time to put some rice cereal in your night-time bottle. That night, you had a “ricey bottle” and a warm bath, then we put you in a comfy sleeper and read you some stories, then we laid you in your crib and tucked you in. Mommy prayed over you like I always do and turned on your “light show” (you have a projector mobile), then with you sucking contentedly on your paci, we snuck out and listened for any complaints on the monitor. There were NO complaints and you slept about 4 hours at a stretch that night – not as much as we wanted but a vast improvement! You seem to love sleeping in your nursery and you sleep better when we follow the whole routine, including the bath. We don’t do a bath every night, however, because I’m pretty sure that’s not good on tender baby skin!
You also developed something of a routine this month, too. Your bedtime is between 10 and 11 p.m. (don’t get used to that, kiddo), and you usually wake up between 2 and 3 a.m. Mommy also learned this month to only turn on a soft light in your room and nurse you in the glider, keeping you as much asleep as possible, and avoiding changing your diaper unless necessary. You adapted to this very well, and there have been several night-time feedings in which you didn’t even crack an eyelid. This has helped me so much, because I can put you back down in your crib, you squirm for a few seconds until you find a comfortable position, and then you’re back out like a light! Now, there have been some nights when you wake up when I lay you in your crib, and you seem offended that I’m not rocking you anymore. Well, it was hard, but I’ve learned to let you soothe yourself to sleep. You never get all that upset, and it just kills your Mommy as she listens to you on the monitor, but in a few minutes you’re back to sleep and Mommy is back to sleep that much faster, too. Then you’re usually back awake between 6 and 7 a.m., and Daddy pulls morning baby duty and feeds you a bottle, changes your diaper, then hands you off to me around 7:30 when he has to leave for work. I usually put you in your swing and we both doze until I have to get up to begin my workday. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, you’ll sleep from around 8 a.m. to 10:30 or 11 a.m.! That always signals a good day for me, because I can get some rest and then get my day started while you sleep in the sunshine streaming through the living room windows. It’s very peaceful!

We also had to take you in for an unscheduled doctor’s visit this month (you weren’t supposed to go back until 4 months). You had a very uncomfortable-looking diaper rash that didn’t clear up with Desitin, and you woke up one Sunday morning with goop coming out of your right eye. The goop would appear every time you blinked, and boy, did it ever make you mad! That next day we took you in to see the on-call doctor, who gave us a medicated cream for your rash and told us you had an infected, clogged tear duct. She said it was very normal and told us to massage your tear ducts during/after bath time, but we’ve never had to do this because your infection cleared up almost immediately and you haven’t had any problems since. While we were at the doctor’s, they weighed you in at 14 pounds, 8 ounces (they didn’t measure your length, for some reason?). Everyone at the doctor’s office always remarks on how “healthy” you are – you have some fantastic chubby cheeks and thighs, Puppy!

Mommy finally had to pack away all your newborn and 0-3 months clothes. I couldn’t help but be a tiny bit sad about it; you were such a sweet little infant and your clothes were so precious. But that’s okay, Mommy is so glad you’re growing like you should! You also graduated into size 2-3 diapers.

This month you also seemed to become much more aware of your surroundings, and you take great interest in people who talk to you (close to your face). You really began to recognize your Mommy and Daddy and you practically squeal with happiness when you see that Daddy is home from work. You talk ALL the time, and Mommy and Daddy have a running joke about how we should have expected this, seeing as we’re both English majors (communication is our THING!) and we fell in love over the phone (talking, talking, talking!). You also love to look around and your face shows that you’re super-alert and just taking it all in. When people meet you for the first time, they either remark on your hair (it’s so long and naturally spiky on top, although lightening up a bit from coal black to a soft brown) or your eyes (Daddy calls them “gun-metal blue”), or both. You’re just a beautiful baby and although Daddy and I would think this anyway, it’s always nice to hear compliments from other people. We’re just so proud of you, Will-Baby!!!

Finally, Daddy wanted me to also mention how much you LOVE watching football! Actually, it's quite true -- I think you see the images of the men in their brightly colored uniforms running around and it really piques your interest. Either that, or you're just a football prodigy and you're already taking in the game -- now wouldn't THAT make your Daddy happy??? You always get decked out in team gear with Daddy during a Saints game. They're undefeated so far and Daddy insists that you're the good-luck charm enabling this to happen!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our little punkin'

On Halloween evening, Marty and I took our little punkin' and his Aunt Katie out to eat and then to go "trick-or-treating" at Barnes and Noble (our little version of it anyway, since Will can't eat candy, obviously). Mommy, Daddy, and Aunt Katie took turns picking out books and putting them into Will's bucket, and then the adults took turns pushing Will around in his stroller while we all browsed to our hearts' content (a family of nerds are we). Here's some pix of the cutest punkin' ever!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Daybook


Outside my window... bright blue skies that make the deep colors of the (remaining) red and orange leaves really pop.
I am thinking... about an enormous life change (yes, another one). More on that to come. Also about how sad I'll be when my sister leaves for home this week.
I am thankful for... my heating pad. Not doing so great adjusting back to the delights of NOT being pregnant...ahem.
I am creating... a budget. Wish I could say it's going well, but I'm not talented with math or money. If only one could create a budget by just reading stacks of books, but NO. You have to use spreadsheets and calculators and numbers and all sorts of things that give me hives.
I am going... to call and schedule haircuts for myself and Mr. Conway. We're both sporting way too much hair these days.
I am reading... The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University. And holy cow, do I ever have things to say. This book has inspired me to rethink some future goals; namely, I want to become something of an amateur expert on fringe/extreme religious sects within Protestantism, because I truly believe God has something for me to say/contribute to the Christian understanding of these "cultures."
I am hoping... to nail down a daytime nanny very, very soon.
I am hearing... sweet silence. Will is asleep, rocking in his swing. Aunt Katie is sitting on the couch, absorbing another book. I'm quietly tapping at my keyboard and enjoying the sunshine streaming in the windows.
Around the house... are plenty of groceries. I did one of those marathon trips to Wal-Mart yesterday to prepare for the coming week. And came home simply exhausted! Does anyone else get worn out by Wal-Mart?
One of my favorite things... our new Avent bottle-warmer. Ridiculously priced (just as expensive as our coffeemaker?!?) but it will definitely pay for itself fairly soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quick and random

  • Thank you to everyone for the sweet and encouraging comments on "doing it all." I feel lifted up by those of you who have journeyed this path of motherhood before me, and I feel refreshed by the perspective of those who are on a different path altogether. Thank God we're not all on the same path at the same time, or chaos and panic would reign, eh? I do believe this is why God intended a sisterhood of women, for this very encouragement and refreshment that I've felt from you all. Thanks again, my lovelies! I'm going to write a few follow-up posts as I continue to juggle my responsibilities and improve(?) in my efforts. Of course, I'm sitting here in my pj's and a bathrobe at nearly 5 p.m., but at least the kitchen is clean and dinner is planned for the evening. Baby steps!!!
  • I just saw a picture on a blog of a mama kitty nursing several baby kittens. I'm not a cat person, but this picture brought tears to my eyes. Nursing is such a gift (for all us mammals!), and I have been so thankful for the opportunity to nurse my son. We supplement with formula so Daddy can take a feeding and so Will's tummy can get full (more on that coming in his 3-month post), but I intend to keep breastfeeding for another few months at least, not just for the health benefits for me and for William, but also because it's such a unique and beautiful way to bond with another human being. Will takes bottles with gusto, but he always wears a different expression when I'm breastfeeding him, and I will be truly sad when I wean him and I'll no longer see the look of absolute peace and contentment on his face when we're cuddled up in the glider and he's nursing. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the beauty of it, because it's one of those things I really gave up on ever getting the chance to experience. God is so good!
  • Snickers ice cream bars may very well be my Favorite. Food. Ever.
  • Who else is totally geeked about THIS tonight???

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Doing it all

It's nearly midnight on Saturday, and I'm wide awake, having consumed inordinate amounts of caffeine throughout the day to a) wake up, b) stay awake, and c) have faux energy to get things done. In reflecting over the last 24 hours, I find myself completely baffled by something: I have barely sat still during that time (except when I finally passed out into sleep from around 3 am to 11 am -- thank God for Saturday mornings and Marty pulling daddy duty), yet I am surrounded by things needing to be done. During these past 24 hours, I have: done 6 loads of laundry, cleaned Will's nursery, changed the sheets and dusted in our bedroom, worked on a baby photo album, bought a birthday present, ran the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, researched recipes online and in my cookbooks, made out a meal plan for the next week and a half, went grocery shopping (with a detailed list and on a tight budget), paid bills, bathed the baby, washed and sterilized all the bottles, reorganized the pantry, and worked more on cleaning and reorganizing my office. During that time, I also managed to play with Will (I'm teaching him colors and shapes, we're reading Winnie-the-Pooh, and we're practicing saying "Mama"), spend some quality time with my husband, watch a movie ("Sunshine Cleaning" -- anything with cutie-pie Amy Adams is worth watching), and almost finish One Fifth Avenue during an extremely long bath this morning from the deliciously silent hour from 1 to 2 a.m. And all this after I put in a very long and hard full-time workweek, during which I completed 4 projects in 5 days, which is an excellent showing, trust me. So you'd think after all this energy expenditure and things accomplished, I'd feel good about where I stand in all areas of my life. Well, you'd think. But to be completely honest, I feel the exact opposite. I'm facing a mountain of work at my job next week, and if we don't get a daytime babysitter soon, I might very well break down and cry 5 times a day instead of my usual 2, as I look with extreme guilt at my poor son who's so over his bouncy seat and swing and play mat, my only aids in keeping him occupied while Mommy works on laying out congress posters for her clients. I'm in the middle of about 18 projects in our household, from washing and packing up all my maternity clothes and rearranging my closet for seasonal purposes, to creating a new method of bill-paying and budgeting as we continue to work toward our savings goals while paying off the last of my divorce debt (to put it nicely, my ex didn't exactly stand up and take his share) and other yucky bills (um, I wish doctors would inform you of the $3,000 after-insurance price tag when they dangle a C-section in front of you in your most desperate moment -- might take some of the edge off that desperation). Instead of going on about the rest, and I could, let me just state unequivocally that I'm overwhelmed. Meanwhile, I haven't responded to about 95% of the emails received in the last 2 months, I haven't talked on the phone with anyone in about 3 weeks -- save for my mom who got all of 5 minutes today, and I really need to give myself a pedicure and a root touch-up. And figure out how to get out of sweats and stop sporting the ever-present ponytail. And shower before 8 pm each day. To top it all off, I look outside and see the warm autumn sunshine and breezes blowing the first leaves to the ground and I know that fall is already starting to pass me by, when I already missed spring and summer because I was hugely pregnant and then a brand-new mom who briefly lost all concept of time.

I'm not one of those girls who's going to put a big fat smile on her face and pretend to the world like she's got her act together. Nope, I'm done with faking (I was miserable in my first marriage but made sure no one knew until the day I decided to be done being miserable). So I guess I'm swinging to the other end of the spectrum -- brutal honesty. I'm just not doing well at this juggling thing. And I'm sharing this with you, all 8(?) of my readers, in a desperate plea for advice, tricks, tips -- help of any kind. What's your system for paying bills? Grocery-shopping? Meal-planning? Answering the phone? Getting sleep? Cleaning the house? Getting out of the house???

I just re-read the title of this blog post, "Doing it all," and laughed to myself. Of course it should say "Not doing it all." Or, "Doing it all, crappily." Well, now that that's off my chest, I'm off to go soak in the tub for an hour and escape to a building in Manhattan whose inhabitants spend their time gossiping and shopping at Louis Vuitton. Sigh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Daybook


Outside my window... a windy day with starkly blue skies blowing around a little white cloud or two. Autumn has come to the mountains.
I am thinking... about who I can hire to babysit Will for a few hours each day, so I can focus on my work. I would prefer a college student who is studying education or childhood development. My mom encouraged me to think of this as an opportunity to befriend someone, but it's difficult to not be fearful. Even under the same roof, I'm hesitant to place my precious baby in the hands of someone else.
I am thankful for... coupons. Saved $12 at Babies-R-Us tonight.
From the kitchen... breakfast for dinner: pancakes and sausage patties and orange juice. Marty cooked for me, once again. Wasn't I going to get my act together in the kitchen?
I am creating... a baby photo album on Shutterfly. I'm already up to page 35 and only into the third week of Will's life. Each album has a maximum of 80 pages, and at $75 an album, it's quite the expensive hobby.
I am going... to finish cleaning and organizing my office. Then I'm going to reward myself by starting a savings fund for new office furniture, I'm thinking the Bedford collection from Pottery Barn. I'll be able to purchase it sometime in 2013.
I am reading... One Fifth Avenue. Still. See, Kate, you're not the only one lagging behind on finishing a book!
I am hoping... that Will sleeps more than 4 hours at a stretch tonight. He had shots today and is tired, cranky, and a wee bit feverish. It makes my mommy's heart sad to see him not feeling well.
I am hearing... Monday night football, Cowboys vs. Panthers. I'm rooting for the Panthers because I think that stadium in Dallas is just a bit much, and I'm way over Tony Romo. Wow, I remember the days when I hadn't a clue as to the identity of NFL quarterbacks, nor did I care about the outcomes of games. But, as my friend RJ once told me, I had my "football awakening." He also told me if there were a Hallmark card for such an event, he'd have given me one. :)
Around the house... is never enough company. Leslie is visiting in mid-October and I'm counting down the days.
One of my favorite things... is cinnamon roll Pop-Tarts. I've only ever seen them sold at Wal-Mart.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I needed this

I totally scammed this from another girl's blog, and had to clean it up a bit for the sake of some of my readers, but YOU HAVE TO READ THIS. Be prepared -- don't read it if you're eating or drinking, or around other people if you have a laugh that you're embarrassed of, because you will laugh out loud.

Random thoughts from people 25-35 years old

-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

-More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

-That's enough, Nickelback.

-I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

-Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

-There is a great need for sarcasm font.

-Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

-I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

-How the h*** are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

-I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

-I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

-The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

-LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

-I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

-Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantrontest is absolutely petrifying.

-Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

-How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

-I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent someone from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

-Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

-While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

-MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

-Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

-I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

-Bad decisions make good stories.

-If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

-There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

-I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

-I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring, but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

-I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

-I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle,then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

-As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers,but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

-It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

-I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

-Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

-I wonder if cops ever hate the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

-I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

-The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself.

a great coupon

for all my friends with babies, or even with kiddos who are still wearing sizes that Babies-R-Us carries...

Here's a link to a coupon for 30% off your entire clothing and shoe purchase at Babies. Valid only until October 4th. I need some things for William, plus diapeys and wipeys and formula, oh my. I'm going to hie me hence to the store to use this, and I hope someone else can use it, too!

http://trus.imageg.net/graphics/corp/092309_BRU_Apparel_em.pdf

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

knock, knock, knock

Is anyone out there?

I'm just wondering if anyone is reading my blog anymore since I went private. I'll probably keep going even if no one is reading, but I'll probably update less often. I don't think I want to go back to having a public blog, but I didn't mean to shoo anyone away, either. Is it too much of a pain to log in, have a password, all that?

Let me know if you read; I'd appreciate it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Daybook

Because I'm completely unoriginal and because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'm going to follow Kate's lead and do...

Outside my window...what looks like an evening in November. It's gray and morose-looking, rather like my mood.

I am thinking...about a family situation. I feel downright rage toward some people who have hurt my family. I mean, no one hurts my family. I don't let them. That's how I feel, anyway. I have been having imaginings about hurtful things I could do in response, but what keeps going through my head is a memory of saying the Lord's Prayer in church yesterday..."forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Very, very hard today.

I am thankful for... my husband. Always my husband.

From the kitchen... expressed breast milk. Nothing else! Today was my first day back at work and it was all I could do to keep pace again; my brain is half-rotted from so many weeks of reprieve from concentration. I think Marty's making burgers, though, so at least I won't starve, and maybe next week I'll have my act together in the kitchen.

I am creating... an organized home. Worked all weekend on drawers, cabinets, closets, etc.

I am going... to take a bath as soon as this post is written. Hallelu!

I am reading... One Fifth Avenue. Still. It's an easy read but it's long!

I am hoping... that Marty gets a job in Indiana soon.

I am hearing... Sports Center on ESPN, as Marty and Will gear up for Monday night football featuring none other than my Colts. I'm also hearing Will suck loudly on his pacifier.

Around the house... is too much stuff. Thus the organizing of it all.

One of my favorite things... house slippers. Just bought some turquoise and plum slippers from Target, and I think I'm going to buy another pair for when these give out.

p.s. -- this is not the end of The List. It shall be resurrected soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A shout-out

I just couldn't resist giving a shout-out to my dearest Kate's husband, Dan DeVries...last night he won the election for MAYOR of his hometown!!! Dan is now the mayor, or more accurately, the village president, of the Village of Schoolcraft, Michigan.

All I could think when I heard the news was, are we really grown-up now? Dan is MY AGE!

Anyhoo -- a big fat congratulations to you, Dan, and also to the First Lady of Schoolcraft, my BF Kate!!! Reign with grace and dignity, my dearest! :)

Please go here and here to read more!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Will at 2 months

My William, you are growing so fast it is making your Mommy's head spin. It seems like it was just a few days ago that we met:
I promise, those are happy tears! (I'm not one of those girls who are pretty when they cry!)

Could I have another tube or wire in my hand, please? I don't think I had enough there.

Then we took you home and started our family adventure. I love this picture, even though it's blurry. Look at that pink, precious baby!

Now at 2 months, my William, you:

  • are 13 pounds, 5 ounces, and 23 1/4 inches long. That's between 75-90th percentile in weight (big boy!) and 50th percentile in height. You are a very healthy baby!
  • are immunized against diptheria, tetanus & pertussis (DTAP), polio, and Hib (an influenza). You received Pentacel at your 8 weeks appointment, which is a combination vaccine -- only 1 shot! The doctors wanted to give you more immunizations, but your parents prefer to spread them out a bit, so we're going back in 2 weeks for the rest of your 2 months' vaccinations. The doctors weren't happy with Mommy and Daddy, but oh well. You're OUR child and we felt strongly against loading you up with too much vaccine, too early in your life. Anyway, you lived up to your name of Champion in taking that shot -- you made a complaint sound but you didn't even cry! Mommy was all prepared to nurse you for comfort but you didn't even need it. You felt better as soon as the nurse handed you back to Daddy, then you began looking around the room again with your usual curiosity! Daddy and I giggled in awe of our tough little dude.
  • have quite the collection of nicknames. Mommy likes to call you Will-Baby, Doodle, Bubba, Bubby, and Little Dude. Daddy calls you Babies and Champ/Champy. We both call you Puppy and Punkin. Most of the time in conversation with other adults, though, we'll call you William or Will.
  • are wearing some 3-6 months clothes, especially t-shirt onesies and sleepers. You are also wearing size 2 Pampers, although your parents are going to try to squeeze you into the remaining size 1's we have about the house, because we're frugal that way. Bad Mommy and Daddy.
  • have the most startling blue-gray eyes:
  • have a best friend. His name is "Paci." When we first brought you home, you were all about the Soothies, but once introduced to this particular pacifier, you won't take anything else now. In fact, you spit out every other type of pacifier as though they offend you! Mommy can't find a duplicate of Paci anywhere, so if Paci should be lost to us, Mommy and Daddy will be, quite simply, up a creek!!!
  • have a pro for a Daddy. This is Mommy's new favorite picture (and yes, that's Paci in Daddy's mouth, being gripped by Paci's handle, of course):
  • are a seasoned traveler. We took you to Lake Michigan at St. Joseph, where Nana and Pa-Pa always took Mommy and her sisters when they were growing up. This was a very special occasion for your Mommy, who used to walk along this beach and dream of one day having a little baby!
  • have attended your first birthday party, your cousin Elijah's 3rd birthday (dinosaur-themed). You are fascinated by your cousins and fought sleep in order to keep watching them. You weren't too fond of the party hat that Mommy forced on you, though:
  • have watched your first regular season NFL game with Daddy. This was a big deal for Daddy, who put you in your Saints jersey for the first time! (Don't tell Daddy, but I think you're secretly a bigger Colts fan.)
  • have had your first non-milk food item -- pear juice! You've been going a long time in-between poopies (you'll hate me one day for telling other people this), so Dr. Terry recommended we give you some pear juice to encourage things along. You had 3 ounces of juice -- which you really liked -- and just a couple hours later, SUCCESS!
  • are getting almost 5 hours of sleep at your longest stretch during the nights. I can't even tell you how pleased this makes Mommy!!! We're getting there, and pretty soon, you'll get 6-7 hours at a time and your parents will remember what it's like to get a full night's sleep.
  • are "talking" all the time. You love to coo and gurgle at us, and when I get you out of your cradle in the mornings, you now break into a grin so wide you have to move your head to get out all that happiness. It absolutely melts your Mommy's heart that you're so happy to see me.

I love you, my Will-Baby!

Miscellaneous pictures

"Look, Nana, we match."


Sleepy puppy. (One of Will's nicknames.)


Our family. (Please ignore the stringy hair and bags under my eyes.)


Just baptized! Pastor Harmon, who joined me and Marty in marriage, performed the baptismal ceremony and it was so very sweet.


This is his just-opened-eyes look.


Tired but happy, happy, happy.


I love the wedding ring and baby toes -- they represent the greatest blessings in my life.


Our hero, Dr. Pickler. Seriously, I love her -- she was so awesome when I needed her to be.


The best picture of all -- he gave my mom his first "official" smile.