Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas

That's our little Santa Baby :)

Merry Christmas you guys!

Monday, December 24, 2012

"She wants a Corvette"

We are out visiting my family for the holidays, and I was telling my dad about the disappointing Santa experience.

(if you are planning on robbing us, I hope you are into half finished craft projects and garage sale chairs)

My Dad had a great solution.

Chantel and her baby Sage carpooled with Syndil and I up to a very realistic Santa's North Pole, for a do over. The Santa was realistic, that is. Not so much the North Pole part, since it was in the middle of a shopping mall.

I knew this Santa would be awesome, because I had just spent 3 hours in a Verizon store (they were helping me with an update and then they fried my brand new phone. Which? Perfect timing. They ordered me a new one right then, and couldn't even suggest that it wasn't covered.). The sales guys felt really bad about the whole broken-phone thing, so when I asked where the best Santa was? They spent 15 minutes looking it up and showing me pictures of my options.

This one won.

(People kept asking if they were twins. Very fraternal twins.)

There we were, Chantel and I, driving with two almost-6-month-olds who hate their carseats.

We just pretended they were carolling at the top of their lungs, and those were tears of joy.

My Dad met us there, and this Santa experience was a million times better.

(That's my dad, not Santa)

The wait was short, the people were so friendly, they gave us a single print, and also a flash drive with all 9 pictures on it for $30.

And it felt like a good deal.

As I went to pick Syndil up from his lap, Santa leaned in and whispered "She said she wants a Corvette."

Then he winked.

I hope that wink means I'll find one in my driveway tomorrow. For Syndil, of course.

Disappointing Santa

We took Syndil to see Santa. It was really lame. We waited for over an hour, and then we were rushed right through. The girl asked me if I liked any of the pictures.

"No, not really. Can you take a few more?"

She gave me a look of disdain, and snapped one more picture without even looking.

I guess we were holding up the line.

I chose the best one, and while I was paying ($22 for a single picture)  I noticed that the older kids in line were taking a much longer time, talking to Santa and telling him what they want for Christmas. Which made me sad. And every time I looked at the picture, it made me frustrated.

Kurt offered to say something, and maybe ask to see a manager, but the line was really long, and I didn't want to make the other parents and kids stand in line forever while the mess was sorted out.

So we left.

"Mom, get me outta here!"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Not my delicious boogers!

Syndil has a cold. It's been a miserable week- mostly for me. During the night, she forgets that she can't breathe out of her nose, closes her mouth, and then freaks out and starts screaming when her nose doesn't work. I haven't been getting much sleep.

And during the day, I have 2 choices. Either I leave the thick river of snot to flow down her face and get on everything, or I wipe it. And if I wipe it? She screams at me.

Why do baby's hate this so much? I'm using a wet wipe, so it isn't getting sore.

I think it has to do with the salty taste. Maybe she is screaming "Noooo!!!! Not my delicious boogers! That's my afternoon snack!!!"

I've tried the bulb suckers, and they suck. Or, rather, they don't suck, and are terrible. Then I ordered a Nose Frida. That was exciting. It got great reviews, and I have friends who swear by it.

I stared at this thing for about 20 minutes before I tried it. It's basically a long tube that you stick in their nose, and then you suck on the other end. I was a little disconcerted. What if I sucked too hard, and it got in my mouth?

(it's a pretty long tube. Like 18 inches or something).

But I shouldn't have worried. She won't let me near her with it. After 3 tries, where I got it working, but nothing came out of her nose, she realized how much she hated it and now she starts screaming and thrashing everytime she sees it.

"Noooo! Not the booger-stealer! These boogers are miiiiine!!!!!"

I've tried swaddling her, pinning her down with my legs, holding her face still with 1 hand while she thrashed and screams- and it felt like something CPS would disapprove of. If you guys have any tips, please let me know.

Until then, if you see me, look for the booger tracks all over my shirt/face/hair. I'm rocking this mommy look.

Friday, December 14, 2012

But then I added "And a Happy New Year!", so it's ok.

This year we decided to send out Christmas cards to people who knew us back when we were single/newly married. Since we didn't send out birth announcement photos for Syndil, this would kind of count. We want to send them to Kurt's old boss, and some friends we haven't seen in a while, and, of course, our Singles Ward Bishops.

We figure our old Singles Ward Bishop's will want to pat themselves on the back for getting the two of us reprobates married (this is the main goal of most Singles Ward Bishops, and they sometimes have competitions). Not only did we get married, but we are STILL married, and we are multiplying and replenishing the earth. Bonus points. So our picture had to include our faces, because they may not recognize us by name alone.

Good idea, yes?

...And then I procrastinated.

But thanks to my good friend Randee, who took our pictures and edited them in the same weekend, today I placed an order for our cards! And selected the free standard shipping, because we are poor. So they probably won't get here until Dec 24th.


But then I added "And a Happy New Year!", so it's ok.

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I don't have the best track record for Christmas cards. How about you? Do you like sending them? Or are they not worth the hassle?

Friday, December 7, 2012

He never had sisters.

"Did you know that you are supposed to leave conditioner in for two minutes before rinsing??"

I looked up, surprised at the accusation in his voice.

"I did know. And I was keeping it from you. I'm sorry."

He rolled his eyes, and walked away.

After 30 years of using conditioner every day, this just blew his mind. Either his showers are a lot more exciting than mine are (and he never has time to read the bottles), or this is what happens when you never have sisters.

His showers are now 2 minutes longer.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Weave

I was unpacking Christmas decorations tonight, and things were getting a little bit...weird.

I'm pretty sure at the end of the Season last year (some time around February), I was doing a take-the-Christmas-decorations-down-and-clean-up-random-crap mixed event. And a lot of that random crap wound up wrapped around my garland and lights. It might have been on purpose (extra padding for the breakable stuff?), or just my version of leaving your cell phone in the fridge. I have no memory of it happening.

Whatever the reason, I keep finding little unexpected gifts from last years pregnant version of me.

Items found shoved inside my Christmas boxes (so far):

A single orange curtain.
An unsigned thank you card.
A pair of brown Old Navy flip flops.
Three blue sponges (these appear to be unused).
Fuzzy socks.
An empty snack size Frito's bag. (This one worries me- the last time I ate a Frito was back in 2003).

My weave.

When I reached into the box, at first I thought it was a rat. After screaming and jumping in a circle for a while, I realized that nothing inside was moving, and I hadn't been bit. So either it was a dead rat (and I'm dying of the plague), or I had just found my SPAC braid. YES. 

I ran into the bathroom, and emerged 3 minutes later looking about a million times more Pittsburgh-chic.


Syndil was pretty excited about it.

Kurt...was not.

"This is happening." I announced.

He looked up in surprise, and his eyes widened in horror.

"I....can't even look at you right now."

And he walked away.

Probably because we have guests coming over, and he wanted to jump me. It is that attractive.

I smiled, and tried to run my fingers through the strands, but they got stuck. I haven't actually brushed it in 5 years. (which just adds to the Pittsburgh flavor, amiright?)

Where did it come from? Back when I was a folk dancer at BYU, my touring team had to braid these into our hair every day. And they were pretty gross back then. Also, heavy. 

I may just make this a regular part of my wardrobe. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

My little witch

Sorry guys, I know. It's been a while.

But, here are some pictures from the last few weeks. You know you can't resist a cute baby.

I had 5 Halloween outfits (onesies, etc.), and 2 Halloween costumes for Syndil. We are very festive.

Mommy's little pumpkin.

Here she is giving me the stink eye:

And Here is Halloween costume #1: Mommy's little witch.

My friend Sarah has a tradition that I absolutely love. Every year the girls in the family dress up as witches, and celebrate. They take pictures of their little coven, and I get excited every time they post them on Facebook. I want to do that with my 6 daughters someday. But for now, I'll start with this one.

Kurt's school has a kids costume parade every year, and Syndil was a hit. She lasted about 5 minutes.

"Uh oh, just wait. When she is 16, she is going to want to wear this outfit again."

Yeah. We are in for it.

In case you rare curious, I put the witch costume together myself. The tights and skirt are 1 piece, and I got this on clearance around Christmastime last year, from Children's Place. The top is a crochet top from this online vendor, and I threaded it with green ribbon. The hat I bought at Michaels, for $2.99, and I hot glued onto a little headband. The whole thing cost about $6.50, and I felt so accomplished. Almost like a real mommy. Right Pinterest?

And here is costume #2. This ladybug costume I actually bought last year, before i was even pregnant. And it happened to fit perfectly. I think fate had a hand in this.

It fits really well because we her nickname is Bug (she's my little snugglebug). I'm pretty sure she thinks that's her name. Oops.

Because of Hurricane Sandy, our Halloween was pushed back a few days. Syndil didn't seem to mind.

She sat outside and handed out candy. With help. She can't quite sit by herself yet, and that candy would be in her mouth if she had any say in the matter.

After a whole month of dressing up in festive clothes, we went back to regular ones, only to find that she had outgrown a lot of them. Oops.

Upside? I get to go shopping.

"Halloween is over??"


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Human burp cloth

Syndil is a spit up fountain!

I feel like I should be tossing pennies in her mouth, and making wishes...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Carseat Safety! Let's save some tiny lives.

I hate seeing pictures of babies strapped in wrong. Do I say something, and come off like a jerk? Or just let it go, and risk injury to the child? Ugh, so awkward.

So here is my solution.

Carseat Safety! Please share if you know someone who has a kid in a carseat. The chest adjuster goes over the breast bone, so it is even with their little armpits. The sternum is the strongest bone in the area, so their ribs are less likely to break. Also, if it is down too low, they can slide out if the car rolls. Babies have died this way. Now, tighten those straps until you can't pinch them, and put the handle back (most rear facers are designed to hit the seatback, to create a protective shell. Check your manual on this one!). And you're set. Drive safely!

You can share this. I want you to. Save it, upload it, pin it, use it on your blog/twitter/old fashoined email mass forward. Just get it out there! It might save a precious little life.

Plus, Syndil is wearing leg warmers. How cute is that?

If you want to like/share this on Facebook, I have it on the Life in the Pitts fanpage. And I'm going to pin it on Pinterest. And you can retweet it.

Here is a smaller picture, which you can copy and paste to embed it easily. 

Life in the Pitts

Let's save some tiny lives together.


Do you have any carseat tips? Please add them in the comments!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Noticing her toes for the first time.

"What are those tiny fingers!!? They look delicious." 

She is right, too. I've nibbled them. They are yummy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nip slip!

The other night I was nursing Syndil in the car while Kurt ran into the grocery store.

She paused, smiled up at me, and let out this giant poop. About a second later, my jeans felt wet. That poop went EVERYWHERE.

I grabbed the diaperbag and rushed inside. people turned to look at the tiny baby, and then stared at the poop all up her back. Or so I thought.

I saw Kurt at the checkout, and detoured to show him the massive blowout. His eyes got big, and he turned red when he saw me. Then he reached over to tuck my nipple back into my shirt.

I almost died. Has this happened to any of you?


And in case you aren't following me on Instagram (@lanieree), here are today's BabyMama photos.

These are by far the best pictures of me with my baby.

If you want to join in on the BabyMama challenge, check out yesterday's post!

Monday, September 17, 2012


I realized that i only have 2 pictures of me and Syndil. It's partly because I'm the one behind the camera; but it's mostly because i don't feel very pretty anymore.

This makes me sad. And I bet it will make her sad too, someday.

So I made a goal: 1 photo of me and my baby every day this week.

Here is my first one:

And I'm challenging you all to do the same with your kids, whether they are babies, teenagers, or of the furry/feathery variety!

Then post them on your blog, or instagram, or just keep them for your posterity! We can call it the BabyMama Picture Challenge, or #BabyMama on instagram.

To see my pictures, follow me on instagram. I'm @lanieree.

Who's with me?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

She is ok. And so am i.

Hi guys. Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and comments. Here is an update on how we are doing.

After Syndil stopped breathing and turned blue, we saw her pediatrician. He agreed with the ER doctors. Probably her reflux. Which confused me. How could heartburn kill a baby?

He explained that babies have a reflex, and when acid washes into their throats, their vocal cords slam shut. That way they don't aspirate acid into their lungs. Sometimes it subsides in time, and they start breathing again on their own. Sometimes you need to jiggle them a little, to get things started again. And sometimes they die.

So now we have her on Zantac. Its an antacid, so even though she spits up just as much (more than ever, really), it isn't acidic, so it shouldn't cause a "blue spell."

She has been fine ever since. Great, really. Happy and healthy and growing way too fast.

I, on the other have, have never had so much anxiety in my life. If your baby can stop breathing in your arms, when will she ever be safe?

For a while I could do nothing but stare at her. What if I put her down in her bouncer, and walked away for 5 minutes? When I came back, it could be 2 minutes too late.

I wasn't sleeping. Even with her Angelcare monitor.

I just couldn't trust her to keep breathing.

My good friend McCall came over to hold her for a few hours one day, just so I could sleep. It was the first time I had slept for more than a 20 minute stretch in a long time.

Slowly, after days and days, I started to relax. I got a cosleeper, so I could sleep with my hand on her chest. I started showering while she sat cooing in her bouncer or swing. Fastest showers of my life, and sometimes I didn't get all the shampoo washed off before I jumped out and ran to check. But still, progress.

And then I got a Snuza.

This little thing clips onto her diaper, and alarms if it doesn't feel movement for more than 20 seconds.

And I felt a million times better.

 (that orange thing on her chubby belly is the Snuza)

I still have anxiety attacks. There are nights when I can't put her down because I KNOW that she is going to die. I know that it is her last night with me, and she won't be here in the morning. And it hurts so bad, because I love her so much. I wake Kurt up with my sobbing, and he holds me while I explain that this is definitely my anxiety, but what if it isn't? And then I stare at her for hours, just praying that she will live.

This is happening less and less. And little by little I'm starting to trust her again.

I still can't leave her with her daddy for more than an hour before I start crying. I know they are having fun, and she is ok. I'm just not. Baby steps for momma.

This little girl will be wearing her Snuza for the rest is her life.

Or maybe just until her first birthday.

(But probably until she leaves for college.)

So that's it. I am ok. We are ok.

Most of the time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Tonight I laid her down, and watched her peacefully look around the room for about 5 minutes. 

Then she went to sleep. 

Without me. 

I used to worry that I'd always have to rock her to sleep. Now I just want her to slow down. 

This time is flying by so fast, I'm afraid to blink.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Children are terrifying.

Saturday night Kurt and I took our 4 week old daughter Syndil to Carter's, to meet one of her biggest fans- my manager Bekki. And she wasn't even wearing a Carter's outfit! I felt like such a rebel.

Bekki was holding her, and Syndil was loving it- until she realized she was hungry. I had my moby wrap, but I wanted to wait a few minutes before feeding her. I knew it would hurt, and I needed to wrap my head around feeling that much pain in a public place.

A few old ladies heard her crying, and came over to see the little baby.

"What's her name?"


"Oh, how...unique."

Awkward pause.

"Her feet are blue! She is cold."

"No, babies feet are just sometimes blue. She is fine. But thanks."

"No, she is cold," they kept insisting.

The whole thing was pretty irritating.

I handed her to Kurt to try and calm down, because when I hold her all she smells is milk. After a few seconds, she settled down, and was falling asleep.

I was talking to Bekki and my friend Tami, and we were laughing when I glanced over at Syndil. Her eyes were closed, but something was off...

"Is she breathing?" I stepped away from the convesation for a better look.

Her face was blue.

And she wasn't breathing.

Quickly I grabbed her, and started patting her back. Nothing.

Kurt felt under her nose for a breath, while I started rubbing her back, hard. Nothing.

"How do you do infant CPR? How do you do infant CPR?"

I as vaguely aware that that was my voice asking the question over and over again, but my mind had already answered it. I leaned her back and was about to start rescue breathing when Syndil took a breath. On her own.

"She's breathing. She's breathing again."

I looked around at Kurt, Bekki, and Tami. It had all happened so fast, maybe 20 seconds on the outside.

Longest 20 seconds of my life.

After a few seconds, her color was normal, and she was looking around alertly. Probably wondering why we were all staring at her.

"...Um, I guess I should feed her."

I was fine, until we got into the car. All of that adrenaline, I guess. But then I broke down.

If your baby isn't even safe in your arms...

You are probably wondering why we didn't take her to the ER right then. Honestly? We didn't even think about it.

It wasn't until around 3am when I was staring at my sleeping baby, unable to put her down that I thought "Oh my gosh, we should have gone to the ER. What kind of parent doesn't go to the ER???"

Then the guilt hit.

This was good, I guess, because I had to put the baby down so I could run into the other room and call my sister Amber. I would probably still be up there holding her right now if I hadn't.

Amber is kind of my lifeline. Kurt is great, but sometimes he is too tired to wake up and listen. And sometimes I just need to talk to my sister.

She reassured me that if I had needed to go to the ER, I would have felt prompted to go there. Obviously, it wasn't just a coincidence that I looked over in time to help Syndil. If I had looked over just 2 minutes later... But I didn't.

I had done some internet research, and figured it was either her reflux, or apnea, and if she didn't have any more spells that night, they wouldn't have been able to figure it out anyway.

(I was right.)

The next day she was fine. Completely fine. Until I tried to feed her before bed.

"Kurt, she won't latch. And she sounds like she is choking when she swallows. Do you hear that?"

She pulled away, and screamed.

"It's probably her reflux. I bet the thrush medicine is making her acid worse."

I tried over and over, but we weren't getting anywhere.

"Here, can you hold her? Maybe if she calms down..."

Kurt picked her up. And her feet were blue.

All the way up to her knees.

I ran and called the nurse line at the pediatricians office.

"Hi, my daughter's feet are blue, and yesterday..." I sobbed into the phone.

They sent us to the ER at the Children's Hospital.

The doctor's saw her right away, because she is so little, and blue feet could mean she isn't getting enough oxygen. We told our story over and over- to 3 different nurses, and 4 different doctors. They ran tests and monitored her for hours. It was 4am when the Attending Physician came in to give us the official word.

"She is fine."

Yup. That's right. It's not uncommon for a baby to turn blue and stop breathing.

I'm not being sarcastic.

Babies with reflux stop breathing sometimes. So do babies with apnea. And sometimes babies do it for no reason at all. Sometimes they remember to breathe again on their own. Sometimes they don't. Their best advice was to watch her closely, but not to lose sleep, because it probably won't happen again.


And the blue feet? Sandifer Syndrome. She was cold.

Those old ladies were right.

(but they were still irritating)

So for the past few days I haven't slept for more than 10 minutes at a time. And I probably never will again.

We have an AngelCare monitor, but that only helps when she is sleeping in her crib. Not when she is napping in her bouncer, or riding in her carseat.

Or sleeping in our arms.

My Dad is getting us a Snuza this week. But I still don't know if I'm ever going to look away for more than a second.

Babies are terrifying.


Thanks Mama Kat for this weeks prompt- "Tell us about one of the scariest moments of your life." When I read it, I thought "Well, that's easy." I probably would have blogged about this eventually. But not today.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reasons why I hate nursing.

I was so prepared to love nursing. All my life there had been no question- when I had a kid, I would nurse. My mom nursed, and loved it. It's the best for the baby. It is a great bonding time. It's easy and convenient.

Ah, expectations like these. They are the perfect set up for overwhelming guilt when things don't work out.

And they aren't working out.

1. Nighttime feedings. And feedings in general. When she is crying and saying "Neh" and rooting around, there is no point in handing her off to Kurt. Especially since pumping just isn't working very well for me. This means I get the hungry, angry baby, and all the sleepless nights that go with being the sole provider of her nutrition.

2. The pain. Breastfeeding should never hurt (except maybe for a few seconds when they latch, and mostly just in the beginning weeks). Let me say that again: Breastfeeding should never hurt. If it does, something is wrong.

Something is wrong.

Our latch wasn't great in the beginning. I wasn't kidding when I said that 15 people saw my nipples that first week. Between Kurt, Amber, Jamie (who took our newborn pictures), the nurses and pediatricians and midwives and random people on the street, 15 people might be an understatement.

(Kidding about the random people on the street. I didn't go anywhere except my couch, and that was a painful mistake. If you are a new mom STAY IN BED. For at least a week, if not 2.)

And this bad latch, combined with my baby's need to comfort suck led to:

Cracked and Bleeding Nipples.

Ouch. Actually, it was more like OUCH!!!!!

Once our latch was better, those healed pretty fast (thank you magic breastmilk!)

But then I got a clogged duct.

...Which turned into Mastitis.

So, that was really painful.

Did you know that you have to nurse more on the painful side when you have a clogged duct?? And you have to nurse a lot when you have mastitis? This is because Mother Nature hates us.

That cleared up, thank goodness, and then I got Thrush.

Well, I'd always had it, but hadn't really noticed it with all the other things going wrong. The thing about Thrush is, it just gets worse and worse. So it didn't mind waiting it's turn to make me cry.

I have yet to go a single day without crying from pain while she is nursing.

Which brings me to the whole amazing bond thing.

It's hard to feel any kind of bond when your child is sucking the happiness out of your life, and replacing it with searing pain.

It's not her fault. And I have to keep telling myself that as she sucks and sucks, and I cry and cry .

...and she is only 1 month old. It's been a painful month.

You're probably wondering why the heck I haven't turned to formula feeding. Or at least supplementing. Or at least pumping.

(I try to pump, but with Thrush it hurts me worse than nursing)

These are all great options for other people. I would never look down on someone for using formula, no matter what their reasons. So why am I not using it?

I'm too stubborn. I want to like breastfeeding. I want that bond. I want to win, dammit! I don't want to lose out because I happened to get every single painful condition known to nursing women.

(I know, there are more conditions out there. Like milk blisters. But I'm just assuming that I'll get them all, because I've already had 4 serious ones, and she is only 4 weeks old. That one is scheduled for next week.)

I know some people desperately want to nurse, and can't for a number of reasons. And I know that the fact that I even have a baby to nurse is something to be so, so grateful for. And that that baby is healthy? Is a huge blessing. I really, really have no room to complain when faced with the alternatives. I am truly lucky.

But that just doesn't help when my baby latches on, and I have to bite back a scream.

So that's my list. It is only 2 items long, really. The pressure of being the sole comforter and provider of food for my little girl, and the pain.

Seems like such a small list when I put it that way.

Did you breastfeed? And did you like it?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How do you spell it?

Doughnut or Donut?

I went with doughnut, because they are made from dough. But then a commenter spelled it "donut" and I freaked out a little, thinking this was another "Cereal Killer" moment.

How embarrassing.

But after researching it thoroughly (we're talking at least a 15 minute internet search), I've discovered that either spelling is ok. Doughnut is the classic, original spelling, while donut is the common, slang, americanized version.

So what are you? Classic, or common?


Have you ever missplelled something in an embarrassingly public way?

And since this is kind of a random post, here:

Cute baby picture!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I've eaten 13 doughnuts this week.

(sorry, this also isn't Syndil's birth story. But I think you already guessed that, since "I've eaten 13 doughnuts this week." would be a terrible birth-story-title, even for me. It's coming, though. I promise.)


Kurt bought a box of "Study" doughnuts for finals week. When he walked in with them, my whole face lit up and I started smiling really big.

...Too big, I guess, because Kurt got an alarmed look on his face and announced that these were his doughnuts, and I was only allowed 2. The other 10 had to last him the whole week.

Then he set down a box of Chips Ahoy! cookies. Which are also just for him.


1. I'm breastfeeding. Which means I'm constantly hungry.

2. I have Thrush. And the yeast that has taken over my body is demanding sugar. I didn't know it then, and when my body starts craving sugar like a diabetic maniac, I usually listen. Which might be why I have Thrush.

3. You can't plop cookies and doughnuts on the counter and tell me I can't have them. All that does is create a bitterness and hostility in our relationship, which will only get worse when I lose it during a 3am feeding, and eat the whole thing out of spite.

Two days later, me and Syndil took a trip to the store, and bought our own damn doughnuts. And cookies. And a bunch of candy, because this yeast infection has taken over my life (again, thrush is a yeast infection. I'm talking about my boobs here). I can't say no to sugar right now.

That night,we were plopped down on the couch nursing, and Kurt walked by eying the doughnuts with disapproval. A minute later he came back from the kitchen, looking confused.

"You bought your own doughnuts?"

"Yes. Because I'm only allowed to have 2 of yours."

"I was kidding. I can't eat an entire box by myself! They will go stale."


I'm pretty sure that was a lie. He wasn't kidding. Or if he was, it was with a serious look in his eye, which implies he wishes he wasn't kidding. Either way, I know what I saw.

Anyway, now we are stuck with 2 boxes of doughnuts, 2 things of Chips Ahoy! cookies, and a whole lot of candy.

And a (now) known yeast infection. Which means I shouldn't be eating any of it. Because my boobs hurt so bad.

So if you are in the area and you want a doughnut, you know who to call.

Monday, July 16, 2012

She's not a baby. She's a newborn.

Hey guys. Sorry about the silence- Been a little preoccupied :)

I'm working on my birth story. It's a lot harder to write than I thought it would be. How detailed should it be? Should I include pictures? (yes, I have pictures)

So many things to consider.

So while I'm working on this, let me just share a list of things I've learned since having a baby. Some of them I "knew" before- but it all took on new meaning once my pooping, screaming, loveable little bundle of joy became a reality.

Things my baby has taught me

  • "Sleep when the baby sleeps" is not just advice. It's the only way you will survive.

  •  Burps and gas and poop that won't come out- these things are the enemy. "I wish I could just have your gas for you!" is a sentence I never thought I'd say. Especially not at 4am, while we are both sobbing. 

  • Poop sometimes shoots out like a cannon, and almost hits you in the face. Without a cough or a sneeze or any kind of warning. You must always be on guard. 

  • The Sneeze & Sigh. That's when a baby sneezes, and draws in a big breath to sneeze again- but then turns into this adorable little girly sigh. There is no way to prepare for this level of cuteness.

  • Cracked and bleeding nipples. And I thought labor was painful.

  • Everything is worse at night. Especially anxiety. There are times I can't put her down in her bassinette because I just know she could stop breathing. This gets better. And an Angelcare or Snuza monitor helps in a BIG way.

  • Newborn baby eyes do weird things. Especially when they are sleeping.

  • All those newborn outfits? Might not be worth it. They still fit just fine, but if we are staying home (and right now we are mostly staying home) I prefer her naked. She is just so soft and cuddly.

  • Having help for the first few weeks is insanely important. Healing from having a baby can be delayed if you aren't taking it easy. You may feel great and have so much energy, so you go make yourself a sandwich at noon, and then do the dishes- but by 3pm you will be crashing and in pain and unable to walk to the bathroom without help. And you will know if you are overdoing it, because your body will bleed more and pass giant clots as revenge.

  • THE BOPPY. Get one. It is heaven to sit on.

  • No matter how curious you are in the days following birth, don't look down there. You can't unsee that image. And it will haunt you.

  • "Kurt, can you go buy me some more Depends?" - I thought I'd have a good 4 or 5 decades before asking that question.

  • Padsicles became my best friends. This is a giant pad soaked in water and witch hazel, and then frozen. You put it right in your depends. And it is heaven on your lady parts. You can never have enough of these.

  • Nothing prepared me for the squishy leftover stomach. Not even Santa. It just hangs out and swings when you move. But it does go away, especially if you nurse (this causes your uterus to contract). Shapewear tank tops- that's where the real magic happens.

  • Speaking of tank tops; take a tight one, and cut holes for your boobs. Now every shirt is a nursing shirt. Just pull the overshirt up or down, and you are covered. 

  • ...Not that you will care. I think 15 people saw my nipples in that first week. And after birth? It doesn't even matter anymore.

  • The heel prick test- don't do this one alone. I cry just thinking about it. She was in so much pain.

  • Waiting to announce the name- best decision I've ever made. Besides Kurt. And having this baby. And not getting that perm. If you tell people before the baby is born, they think it's ok to give their opinions and alternative suggestions. If you wait until the ink is dry on the birth certificate, all they can say is "How cute!" etc. Unless they are jerks. But you didn't really like them, anyway.

  • Hot shallow baths with witch hazel. These also became my best friends. I can have multiple best friends.

  • Turns out the things that make mommy gassy can also make the baby gassy. Fiber cereal, dairy, dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans, caffeine. Caffeine doesn't bother me, but apparently it's a thing. This is according to my pediatrician. Basically, my baby wants me to be constipated.

  • Apparently Gripe Water and Colic Calm and cutting dairy out of your diet can help with the baby's intestinal pain- depending on the kid. I haven't tried these yet. But I CAN vouch for the Qtip trick. She filled 2 diapers and finally stopped screaming, thank God. (that is not blasphemous. I really am thanking God. This poor little baby was in so much pain).

  •  When she does get a poop out (and you will know- it's so loud and squishy sounding) it's cause for a happy dance celebration! You'd think she just got into Harvard or something. "Yay!! I knew you could do it! I'm so proud of my little girl!! Where's the camera??"

  •  There is no way to prepare for the bitterness that washes over you at 4am, when you are trying to feed your fussy baby, and your husband is sleeping peacefully next to you. Dark thoughts go through my head, and I start plotting my revenge. He doesn't know the pain of back labor, childbirth,  tearing, stitches, recovery, cracked nipples, or endless nighttime feedings- BUT HE WILL.

  • To be fair, he gets up and helps whenever I ask. I just don't ask often, since his day  starts at 6am, and ends with a diaper change at 1am. Like I mentioned above- everything is worse at night.

  •  ...especially the sweat. Holy dripping down my legs! I heard someone mention that you sweat out the puffiness and extra fluid, but I honestly wake up in a puddle. Every night. You do not want to be in my armpits right now.

  •  Sometimes you have to put the crying baby down and walk away. Especially if it's been hours since you've peed. And that's ok.

  • Lactation consultants can help. So can Post Partum therapists. And Pediatricians. And they all want you to call them if you have any questions. No matter how silly you feel- they will not make you feel stupid. 

  • She is not a baby. She  is a newborn. And newborns are hard. They are little balls of needs who cry and scream and sometimes you can't help and it is really, really hard. But they need you, And they will grow into babies, who smile and giggle and hug your neck and plant slobbery kisses on your face and love you so much. You just have to love them first. Even though it's hard. Even though you sometimes want to give up. Because they are worth it, and so are you.

  • And if you feel like she isn't, or like you aren't you need to tell someone who cares. Even if you are ashamed. Because Post Partum Depression is real, and it's dangerous, and it's hormonal, and it's not your fault. And it's sneaky. You might not feel sad. You might not feel "depressed." You might just feel angry, or sad, or hopeless, or full of anxiety. Or you might not feel any of these things. You might just not love her. And it might fill you with guilt because what mom doesn't love her child?

  • And it's ok to feel like this, as long as you don't hide it. Talk to your partner or your mother or your pediatrician, or your healthcare provider. Because talking helps. And a Midwife or a Doctor? Has heard this before. And they care. And they know how to help you.

  • And then it will get better. And you'll realize that you loved her all along. 

  • And finally, that squishy little face she makes when she stretches? It melts my heart. And suddenly everything is worth it again.

That's my list. That's what I've learned so far. And she is only 3 weeks old.


What are some things that surprised you when you had a baby?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hello, my name is...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sometimes honesty? Is not the best policy.

"Hey Kurt, what is the most exciting part about having 6 daughters in the next few years?"

(I feel like that's where this is headed)


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

TMI? Oh no. There is no such thing when you are 40 weeks pregnant.

Guess what I was doing 9 months ago today??

Buying tampons. Because pregnancy is weird, and you are technically pregnant 2 weeks before you even have sex.

So guess what I was doing two weeks after that...? (wink wink)

Hanging out in California with my family. Without Kurt.

Because bodies are weird, and sperm can stay alive for up to 3 days once its been... donated. Or something crazy like that.

So in honor of that day 9 months ago, minus 2 weeks, plus 3 days,


Which, apparently, means nothing.

No real contractions, no water breaking.

But I do have pitting edema in my feet (and wonderfully low blood pressure, thank goodness). And I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel in my left hand (what the...? Pregnancy is weird.). All of which matter about as much as my due date. This baby is going to come when she is good and ready. Sometime around her 5th birthday.

Things I have tried, to move things along:

Pineapple. I've eaten a whole, fresh pineapple 3 times.  My mouth did not bleed. I did get canker sores.

Red Raspberry Leaf herbal tea. Every other day.

Evening primrose oil. I swallow 3 throughout the day, and then we use 1 topically at night.  For the past 3 weeks.

Sex. I am convinced that this is a myth started by husbands who are freaked out at the whole 6-week fast that is looming ahead, especially combined with the past few months of "Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how uncomfortable that would be right now?"

But we've been sacrificing comfort for potential contractions every single day. TMI? Oh no. There is no such thing when you are 40 weeks pregnant.

Exercise ball. I use one constantly, instead of a chair.

Accupressure. Kurt has been a champ when it comes to this. It is the best part of my day.

Spicy food. Every day. Followed by heartburn. Every day.

Walking walking walking jogging and walking some more.

The jogging wasn't pretty, you guys.

The occasional use of a manual breast pump. I know, you aren't supposed to do this unless you are being monitored. But sometimes I get desperate.

Riding in a car through Pittsburgh. All the natives say this is guaranteed to start labor. There are that many pot holes.

Grand result: Nothing. She is in here for good. Or, until the 10 of July, which is her eviction date. If I haven't had her by then, I have to go to the hospital, and get induced.

I really, really don't want to go to the hospital.

And no, I won't be trying castor oil. Not until the 8th of July. Because it sounds like the absolute worst way to start labor. Also, I hear it can give the baby diarrhea, too. And my birth center doesn't do meconium-filled births.

What did you guys do to get things started with your labors? It's ok if some of these things worked for you. I won't stab your eye out with a spork or anything.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Yet another moment brought to you by the letter E. For "Elegance."

Missionaries always stop by as I'm sitting around mostly naked, and I have to dash for cover.

9 months pregnant? I do not "dash" very well.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stop Lurking!

I was looking at my Google analytics, and wondering who you are. Are you searchbots crawling through my blog? (Those exist, right?) Or actual people who are reading my stories and hoping I'll just draw a freaking stick figure already?

Are you real?

If you are feeling bold, please take a second to introduce yourself in the comments. Who are you? How would a close friend describe you? Or an enemy? What kind of blog do you write? What keeps you coming back here and reading about my life? Do you have an unusual amount of backhair?

Or whatever you want to say.

I'm interested.

Friday, June 22, 2012

She's already beating up her little siblings

In March, I was about 6 months pregnant, and the baby was flipping around and kicking everywhere.

That second trimester? Was heaven. The baby was so fun and active, the morning sickness had died off, and I was totally showing- but in a cute way. Not in a scary way that makes people avoid you on the sidewalk like you are about to explode.

Which is what happens now.

One night I got up to pee (for the 6th time), and on my way back the baby kicked me in my ovary.

It hurt.

I doubled over, whimpering in pain. Have you ever had a cyst on your ovary? It felt like that. Only much, much sharper.

"What happened? Are you ok? Is it the baby??"

Kurt was sitting up, panicking.

I explained about the kick, and he chuckled.

"She's already beating up her little siblings."

It wasn't really funny at the time.

I crawled back in bed, and fell asleep.

A few hours later, I woke up to pee again. I moved back the covers- and found a sleeping Kurt hugging my belly, and talking to the baby.

"Ok? You need to be nice to your mommy. No more hurting her...." his voice trailed off into a snore.

I'm not sure how long he had been giving her this lecture, and he had no memory of it in the morning.

It melted my heart.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My wardrobe keeps getting smaller.

"Kurt! Guess why I love this shirt???"

"Um...its green?"

"No, its too big for me! See? Look at all this space. I'm going to wear it every day."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You're Using Midwives???

It was February. I was about 4 months pregnant, and my obgyn wanted me to get my yearly pap smear.

Not a big deal, right?

I had been going to this group of doctors for over 2 years, and I had mainly seen the same one. I didn't dislike her. I didn't particularly like her, either. She was convenient, and since I didn't have any other plans, I just kept on going to her office after I got pregnant.

As she is part of a practice, and any number of doctors could be on call during the delivery, they started cycling me through so I could meet all of them.

When they told me it was time for my exciting yearly procedure, I didn't really care. By that time in the pregnancy, I had been in those stirrups at every visit, not to mention the ultrasounds. It would almost be weird to go into an exam room and not drop my pants. 

That day, I arrived 10 minutes early. 40 minutes later, they showed me to an exam room, and had me get undressed. 30 minutes after that, the doctor came in.

First off: he was young and attractive. This is not a good thing in a gynecologist. We're talking a tall, dark, handsome man who probably started his medical career on a soap opera, playing a devastatingly handsome neurosurgeon.

He walked in flirting with the nurse. He didn't introduce himself. He didn't even look at my face.

"Put your feet in the stirrups."

Abrupt, but ok. He was obviously very busy with the nurse. I'm sure he'd get around to me in a minute.

"Nice toenail polish."

Um, what? I didn't want him noticing things.

I said a hesitant thank you, but he had already turned back to his important conversation. About motorcycles.

Then he got to work. And it hurt. Like, really bad. I know things are more painful down there during pregnancy, but this guy would have hurt no matter what. It was the harshest, most abrupt pap smear in the history of pap smears. I swear he used a bristle scrub brush.

I winced in pain, and tried not to move. Not that he would have noticed. He had moved on to his favorite vacation spots, and had she ever been to the nude beaches in France?

(no, she hadn't. giggle giggle.)

It was over in about 2 minutes, and he stood up to go. As he was leaving the room, he looked at my eyes for the first time. He seemed slightly surprised that there was a person attached to my vagina.

"You'll probably bleed today."

And then he walked out of the room.

That was it. Three sentences.

"Put your feet in the stirrups."

"Nice toenail polish."

"You'll probably bleed today."

I still don't know his name.

And if he was the one on call, I'm sure the delivery of my baby would be just as abrupt and impersonal. Although if there was a hot nurse around, I'd probably get to hear him talk about his new car during the delivery.

When I got home, I went straight to my computer, and started looking into other options.

And that is how I found my midwives.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The three of us

My friend Randee is a fantastic photographer. She mostly does children's photo shoots- and her pictures are always amazing.

So when she asked if I would like her to take some photos of the three of us- me, Kurt, and my belly- I said "Yes, please!"

Here are some of my favorites.

Kurt loves his little girl

This is my favorite scarf. And that is our backyard.

Romantic forehead kiss. Only allowed after he wipes off his chapstick.

He thinks this one is so awkward

I love this one. I'm not sure why

Notice the lack of cleavage? That took work.

You're welcome.

Those little socks! <3 

That one is going on her bedroom wall. 

Where it will give her a foot complex.

"You look like you're up to something. That face always makes me nervous." -Kurt

And finally, my favorite.

We have a lot of black and white in our room (all of our ikea furniture is black, and our walls are white). So I went to picmonkey and edited all of these photos, adding a black and white effect, but toning it down so there is some color (straight up black and white intimidates me). 

Example? That last picture.

It looks really good on our wall.

I used other effects on them, too (I like to play around, and have variety in my photo books). And some of those other versions made their way into this post. But the ones on our walls are the washed-out versions.

Just thought I'd share, and explain why I made myself so darn pale in that last photo.

"We look like vampires."

"Yeah, and not the sparkly kind."


(Kurt did not get the reference.)

Ok, that's it for baby belly photos. I don't have any more waiting in the wings. 

(What? How could I possibly stop with only 3 photo shoots??)

In case you missed it and are interested, here are the other maternity pictures. Part 1 and part 2 with my sister, and me at 32 weeks.

I'm hoping next time I post pictures, it will be of someone much tinier and cuter.

(no offense, Kurt)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Guess who just threw up by the side of the road?

Back in the beginning of my second trimester- we're talking late January- I was driving home from a midwife appointment.

It had been a few days since I'd puked, and I was feeling really confident that that part my pregnancy was over.

That morning, I was rocking out to the radio, crossing the really high bridge over The Waterfront (where we lived for 2 years), when my mouth started salivating.

That's never a good sign.

Quickly, I pulled over, opened my door, and started heaving up that morning's breakfast. And last night's dinner. And possibly last week's chocolate cake.

The chunky acid dripped out of my nose, and I knelt there on the side of the road, sobbing.

It was a dark time for me.

A few minutes later, I wiped my face off with a handful of litter, climbed back into my car, and texted my sisters.

"Guess who just threw up by the side of the road?"

Chantel's reply?

"Your baby is such a drama queen."

That made me crack a smile. And that smile turned into a full blown laugh.

Sister's are a gift.

And mine was so right.

ps. It was my litter. When I opened my door, a few napkins blew out of the door pocket. But at that point, I probably would have settled for a homeless man's handkerchief.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More Maternity Photos!

My friend McCall takes beautiful pictures. About 6 weeks ago, she came over to my house and she worked her magic on me!

(no really- the lighting inside my house is terrible, and it is proof of her magical talent that she was able to get a single good one- let alone this many!)

My little 32 week belly. And I thought it was so big back then.


- The truth about pregnancy diets.

A very handy shelf.


A tribute to our future.

And my favorite. I like it because I don't have a double chin yet.

There are more, but they involve potential names, which we aren't ready to reveal. Mostly because we can't agree. 

(Poor McCall had to take multiple shots, with a bunch of different names.) 

Also, Kurt's new thing? Telling me he thinks we are having a boy. Which is not funny. 

He would have to wear dresses. And his middle name would be Marie.

Which pictures do you like? 

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