8 Reasons I Didn’t Respond to Your Text/Voicemail/Email/Message/Etc

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I know you sent me that text/voicemail/email/facebook message/instagram comment/smoke signal last week/month/year. I know I was supposed to respond. You and I both know that I did not. Here’s why:

1. I did respond. In my head. I crafted a witty and clever response that also managed to address all of your questions/comments and add a bit more about what’s going on with me. I went over it a few times to make sure it was awesome. I promised myself I would write it down and send it as soon as I wasn’t driving/dealing with a toddler/out for dinner/whatever. And then my brain told itself I’d already responded and it checked that item off my to-do list. If you asked me, I’d tell you that I did, in fact, respond. Seriously, I have science on my side here: this is really a thing.

2. I want to write a perfect, thoughtful, lengthy response, but I just can’t seem to find the time. Your email/message was so interesting and awesome that I feel you deserve the same back from me. I’m estimating it will take me about 30 minutes to respond in the manner in which you deserve. That means I just need 30 minutes of unscheduled time when I can sit down and respond to you. At my current pace, I’m guessing that will be in 2031. Continue reading

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It gets easier… Or does it?

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When Adeline was only a few weeks old and I was brand new to this parenting thing and losing my mind and feeling like I couldn’t do it, a few helpful people told me that I would get through it and they assured me, “It gets easier.” Then a few really helpful people told me all about how difficult having a toddler/preschooler is and assured me, so very helpfully, that “It just gets harder and harder and harder.” (Thanks big sister!)

Now that I have a nearly three-year-old and a seven-week-old, I’m pondering that question and weighing the pros and cons, trying to decide: does it get easier or harder?

Cute vs. Awesome

Look, babies are cute. There’s just no denying it. Those tiny toes, those chubby cheeks, those round bellies. They’re basically a pile of adorable. But that’s kind of… it. There’s not much else to them. Sure, as they get a few months older they start doing things like rolling over! scooting! putting their hands in their mouths! But come on, it’s not really that great, it just seems great compared to the lumps that they were before.

tiny bundle of adorable

tiny bundle of adorable

Toddlers/preschoolers, on the other hand, are awesome. They’re funny and spunky and adventurous. They’re learning all about the world and saying hilarious things as they go. They’re creative and imaginative and curious. They give you big hugs and even say, in their adorable toddler voices, “I love you mama.” In other words, they’re more rewarding, which goes a long way to making up for some of their other flaws (see below).

Naps vs. No Naps Continue reading

Romance in the Checkout Line

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I just bought a Nora Roberts novel.

I’ve never done that before. I’ve never bought anything remotely like it before. But the book I’m writing has some romance in it, and I’m trying to amp it up a bit. My awesome writing partners suggested that I read a romance novel, just to get some ideas. That way I can see how it’s done when it’s done to the extreme and then just tone it down for my novel.

The idea has been in the back of my head, but I’ve never been able to convince myself to actually take the step of buying one of these books.

So there I was: a quick trip to the Walgreens down the block for the usual crap that you run out to Walgreens to get. Standing in line behind that woman with too many coupons and a big burly guy buying Mountain Dew. And there it was: an entire stack of Nora Roberts novels. Continue reading

Domain Restored!

Hey loyal readers! If you tried to read my post yesterday, you may have encountered a message that my domain had expired. I encountered that same message for the first time when I attempted to proofread the post after publishing. Whoops! Not sure how that happened.

But never fear, I have successfully renewed my domain and everything is back to normal. After several hours of failed attempts, help from my husband, and lots of quality time with Google Customer Support. Just kidding, Google has no customer support. At all. But that’s another story.

So anyways, if you’re still interested in reading yesterday’s post (about Archer turning one month old – complete with pictures!), check it out HERE.

Thanks for all the messages letting me know about the problem – it’s great to know I have so many readers who want to read my posts :)

One Month!

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Archer is one month old today!

It’s kind of unbelievable that I’ve had a newborn for a month… it sure doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. On the other hand, he’s certainly letting me know about the passage of time because Holy Cats! he’s gotten so much bigger. Which, obviously, I’m heartbroken about. Continue reading

Postpartum Culture

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I just came across this amazing article about our culture of postpartum care for the mother – or lack thereof. Because I’m postpartum myself and not up to writing a huge post about it, I’m just going to quote extensively from the article. But really, you should read the whole thing.

The main gist of it is that in the United States – unlike most other parts of the world – we do not take very good care of women in the postpartum period. It’s about the healthcare system, yes, but it’s mostly about our culture. About what moms expect of themselves and what others expect of us.

She starts off by comparing the care we give pregnant women versus the care we give postpartum women. Continue reading

Two Weeks

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Archer is two weeks old already! That hardly seems possible, but it’s true. It’s been a bit of a blur because, as I mentioned last week, life with a newborn is hard. Some days I don’t manage to leave the house, and those days pretty much suck. But I’m making an effort to take a walk or do something outside every day and that helps.

As far as the highlights of my last two weeks, here are a few. I was doing laundry yesterday and ran out of clothes, so I attempted to put on my pre-pregnancy pants. That was a miserable failure. Honestly though? I’m ok with that. Because let’s be honest: elastic waistbands are pretty much the best. So forgiving, so relaxed, so comfy. I’ll stick with my maternity pants a bit longer.

Last week Archer and I did the follow-up to my maternity photo session: photos together, both of us nude. In the course of an hour, he managed to spit up on me, pee on me twice, and poop on me. Add to that my leaky boobs and I was covered in almost every bodily fluid. So that was awesome. But the pictures are fantastic, so I’ll take it. All in the name of art, right?

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Adeline is adjusting to being a big sister. For the most part she seems to really like it. She puts little blankets on him and gives him big hugs and kisses and gushes that he’s just “soooo cuuuuute”. On the other hand, she’s been wearing the same dress, almost constantly, day and night, since he was born. (Alternated with her “big sister” shirt that a friend got her.) I guess it’s her version of a security blanket. We manage to wash it every few days and so far I haven’t had the energy to fight her on it much. But eventually she’s going to have to wear something else… right?

The dress.

The dress.

The shirt.

The shirt.

More about Archer. He has definitely “woken up,” but on the whole he’s still pretty chill. He sleeps a lot, but he still has his days and nights mixed up a bit, so he’s up a lot at night. During the day he mostly just eats and sleeps. I had forgotten how they’re pretty much completely uninteresting at first; there’s not really much to say about him. So I’ll just show you some pictures:

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One Thing A Day

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Life with a newborn. It’s not easy. Life with a newborn and a two-year-old? Chaos.

Between nursing all the time, feeding Addie, cleaning up Addie’s constant messes so that the house merely looks like it got hit by a tornado instead of a category 5 hurricane, changing Archer’s diapers, changing Addie’s diapers, nursing all the time, changing my clothes when giant milk leaks leave me with a sopping wet side, changing my clothes and Archer’s clothes when he has an epic spit-up, feeding myself, attempting to shower and brush my teeth, nursing all the time, changing diapers, and, oh, I guess I’m starting to repeat myself. Probably because my day is incredibly repetitive. Anyways, between all that I feel like I only have the time and energy to do one or two other things in a day.

Today, I had to take Archer to the pediatrician for a weight check. Because it involved my son’s health and because I had a pre-scheduled appointment, it got priority treatment. But it also meant that I couldn’t manage to do much else. I got ambitious and thought I would also do laundry. It’s been sitting wet in the washer for six hours. So there’s that.

We’re out of milk, but a trip to the grocery store just was not in the cards today. I don’t know what I’m going to say to Addie next time she asks me for milk. I suppose I could offer her a breast.

We need more garbage bags and we actually have some – down in the garage. I’ve been meaning to bring them up for days. But it’s not super urgent (unless you think garbage piling up is urgent… do you?) so it keeps getting shunted to the bottom of the to-do list.

Dirty dishes are piling up, but since I’m not cooking, it’s not like we need clean dishes for eating meals or anything like that. If I use a wine glass for my nightly glass of milk, I can wait until tomorrow to do the dishes. Oh shit. We don’t have any milk. Actually, this is a win! No need for clean glasses when we have nothing to drink out of them.

I need to pay the bills, but hey, we just bought a house and we have two relatively new cars. We’re not going to need good credit again for at least several years. The bills can wait.

I need more freaking maxi-pads for the seemingly never-ending post-birth bleeding. But I’ve done the calculations and it can wait until tomorrow if I ration them appropriately. I can combine that with getting milk and do it tomorrow, even if it means nothing else gets done.

I guess that wet laundry will just have to sit there a little longer.

It all leaves me feeling useless and a little hopeless. Why can’t I just get my shit together? I’m pretty sure everyone expects me to and they probably think I’m a failure. I wouldn’t dare have anyone over to the house right now for fear that they judge me worst mother of the year.

But you know what. It’s worth it. Look at this face and tell me it’s not worth it:

Archer

Archer’s Birth Story

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Saturday, August 3.

Only one day past my due date, but I was getting antsy. I really wanted to have the baby soon, for many reasons: I was sick of being pregnant, I wanted to meet my son, and I wanted to give birth before my close friend, Margaret, went back to Denver. That was happening on Monday evening, so we were coming up on the deadline. Besides, I figured the weekend was the ideal time to have the baby so that my parents would be able to come down as well.

I was feeling a bit mopey and sorry for myself on Saturday morning, imagining how sad I would be if I stayed pregnant for another week. I didn’t want to indulge that mood any longer, so I strapped Addie into the stroller and took a two-mile walk, figuring that the sunshine and fresh air would lift my mood and hoping that the walk might start labor.

It definitely did lift my mood. We met up with David and had a nice family lunch.  Afterwards we came home and he went to get a haircut. Addie and I were playing in the boy’s room – she loved going in there and pretending to be a baby – and just waiting for David to come home. I looked around my son’s room and watched my lovely daughter and meditated a bit. I envisioned going into labor that day, imagining what it would be like, how I would call my parents and Margaret, how I would have David already home with me. And I spoke out loud to the baby, telling him that I trusted him and would wait as long as he needed, but asked that – if he thought he was ready – could he please come today?

And then, suddenly, a contraction. Stronger than the Braxton Hicks I’d been having regularly for the last week. Not painful, not even intense, but definitely strong. It was 2:00 P.M. Continue reading

Archer: Newborn Photos

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Archer is five days old! He’s pretty chill, but he currently has his days and nights mixed up, so he sleeps all day and is awake a lot at night. But hopefully that will sort itself out soon. He’s definitely a boob man – as soon as my milk came in he just couldn’t get enough. I’m remembering what it feels like to have a little being latched onto my boobs all day. Pretty amazing, for the most part, but also exhausting.

I promise a post with his birth story is coming, but I just haven’t been able to get it done yet. In the meantime, here are some photos I took of him yesterday. Damn, I’m in love! Continue reading

Introducing My Son

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He’s here!

Less than an hour after hitting publish on my last post – lamenting the fact that I was still pregnant – I went into labor. I’ll tell the whole story soon, but for now I’ll just say that everything went really well. I delivered him at home, in the birth tub, and caught him myself. It was amazing!

But enough about all that, here’s what you care about. Pictures of the boy. Continue reading

Belly Series

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Still pregnant. While I wait, I figured a post on my growing belly was in order. See, in addition to all the pictures I’ve taken with Addie and our week-by-week sign, I’ve also been taking pictures of my growing belly. When I looked back to do this post, I kind of couldn’t believe how much it’s grown!

18 Weeks

18_weeks_pregnantI was already in maternity pants at this point because my regular pants wouldn’t button, but holy cats! Looking back… Yeah, this was nothing. Continue reading

Pregnancy Photos: 40 Weeks

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Well, I’m still pregnant.

40 Weeks Pregnant

I’m still measuring two weeks behind, so I guess this baby is small and needs a little more time to cook. Hopefully not as long as Addie needed to cook… The midwives assure me that most moms don’t go as late with subsequent pregnancies as they did with their first, so I’m trying to stay positive.

At the same time, though, I’m begging this baby to come already, both because I really don’t want to be pregnant anymore (and I want to meet him) and because Margaret is leaving on Monday and I really want her here for the birth.

I’ve been walking as much as possible and spending a lot of time rocking on the birth ball, in hopes that it will get something started. But I’m face to face with the simple fact that you can’t hurry labor.

I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over it during the last week, and I think that – as much as it pisses me off – it’s one of the things that makes birth so magical. Because birth is one of the few things in our modern world that we can’t control.

We schedule our days, our weeks, our months and our years. We have clocks everywhere, calendars with our meetings and appointments and vacations lined up. We know when we’re waking up, when we’re eating, when we’re hanging out with friends. We know when school starts and when it ends, when we’ll be up for a promotion at work, when we need to go see the doctor.

But birth isn’t on a schedule. It’s considered totally normal to go into labor any time between 37 weeks and 42 weeks. That’s a FIVE-WEEK window people. In what other circumstance in life do we sit around waiting for something (especially something life-changing) for five weeks with absolutely no idea when it’s coming?

Maybe it’s no wonder that so many women want to schedule an induction or a c-section: just waiting around goes against everything we’re used to. It doesn’t jibe with our modern sensibilities. It doesn’t feel right.

But I trust my body. I know that labor will start when both the baby and I are ready to go, and that to force it to go any earlier wouldn’t be healthy. And so I wait, hoping that trusting my body won’t keep me pregnant for another two weeks.

Seriously, body. I do trust you, but I’m not so sure I could handle that.

Pregnancy Photos: 39 Weeks

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First of all, yes, I have basically given in and wear yoga pants whenever possible.

39 Weeks Pregnant

But in my defense, I had just gotten back from physical therapy when this photo was taken, so I really had to be in yoga pants.

Symptoms haven’t changed much. Still having heartburn/reflux ALL the time. Still exhausted. Still having intense braxton hicks. And in fact, they’re getting more and more intense all the time. So hopefully that’s a good sign.

A bonus new symptom is that baby boy has definitely dropped. Continue reading

Flashback: Adeline’s Birth Story

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Every birth story has an abbreviated version. Not even a story, really, it’s just the two or three most dramatic moments chosen to make the listener laugh or gasp. One of my moments is always the start of the story: I went into labor at Costco.

Like every dramatic moment, of course, it’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I did, indeed, have my first real contraction while standing in line at Costco. The kind that made me go, “Damn, I need to sit down.” The kind that made me realize, “Oh, these Braxton Hicks I’ve been having haven’t been shit.” The kind that made me think, “This could be it.”

It was 11:00 A.M. on Sunday, November 14, and Adeline was 8 days late. Continue reading