Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Last Week

Time really does fly. Or in the case of maternity leave, time straps a jet engine pack onto its back and zooms past the speed of sound. It seems like just yesterday we were leaving the hospital with her. And here it is two months later. Either way, it's the last week of my maternity leave. I'm going to be hugging this funny little face as much as I can. See you next week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Plates

Vintage plates for $5 that I have absolutely no use for?

Yes please.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sleep: The Most Precious Commodity

Sleep. It's a precious commodity. I never realized how precious until Jane came into our lives.

I used to be a sleep hog. Less than eight hours? Forget it. I was a bleary eyed, half crazed, irrational mad woman until I made it home after work and commenced with a major snore fest. I would whisk through the door, throw my purse on the table and let out a huge sigh.

"I only got seven hours sleep last night. I'm putting on pajamas, watching Dancing With the Stars and going to bed. See you tomorrow."

Ah. Those were such innocent days.

This morning I awoke with a gasp. It was the second night in a row Jane hadn't awoken in five hours. I jumped up and put my hand under her nose, making sure she was still breathing.

I thought surely something was terribly wrong.

But nope. She was just fine. Five hours, a blessing from God. Granted she shrieked like a tiny adorable banshee from 9 pm to 1 am... but still. You take what you can get. Beggars can't be choosy.

And even now, as I listen to the dulcet tones of her tiny baby cries (which are not tiny at all, they carry all the vibrato of a mack truck), I carry the hope of sleep deep within my heart. The hope that one day I can once again complain about a mere seven hours of consecutive sleep. You know. In like eighteen years.

I Bought This For Myself Because

This is my new labradorite necklace. I bought it for myself because:

1. It's awesome. And reminds me of Rebecca's jewelry. Plus, Matt called it a "witchy looking stone." So that automatically makes it cool.

2. I pushed a human being out of my body.

3. I've successfully kept said human being alive and well for six weeks.

Pretty good justification for spending money if you asked me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bring Me Something To Rock In

The other night I turned my wild, sleepless eyes toward Matt, screaming baby Jane on my shoulder, and said in a growl, "Bring me something to rock in."

And so he brought me this. It's begging for a makeover, but I love it.

Because this little gal is not content to sit motionless. She likes to rock. And now, so do we.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And Now There are Three

Today Matt and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. This morning I looked at Matt and said, "Hey, we made it 10 years without getting divorced or killing each other." He high fived me and said, "Sweet."

All joking aside, it's been good. Really good.

When you've been married as long as we have, and you wait this long to have kids, people say really stupid things to you. Once a woman acquaintance laughed and said, "My daughter has three kids and ya'll have none. Isn't that strange?" Another friend warned, "Don't wait too long to have kids. You'll both get used to being by yourselves and then if you ever do have kids, it will be a strain on your marriage." To which I can now say, "Not so madame, and good day."

I worried about that though. I worried that once we changed the rules of the game after 10 years of marriage things would be different. Worse.
But now that we're neck deep in babytown, I'm not worried about that anymore. The other day I looked at Matt and said, "Can you imagine of we'd done this five years ago." He shuddered and said, "No way."

In the past 10 years we've ironed a lot of things out. We gave up fighting about the toilet paper and whether it really needed to be put on the holder. We work as a team, whereas several years ago we were pulling in different directions. And if I've learned anything from 3 am feedings, overflowing diapers and colic... you better be pulling in the same direction.

So thank you for marrying me Matt. Thank you for spending almost 10 wonderful childless years with me. Thank you for giving me Jane. I'm looking forward to late nights, the worrying, the parent/teacher conferences, the Halloween costumes, and Santa. As much as I enjoyed spending kidless time with you... nothing surpasses the joy I have when I look at you holding our baby girl. Happy anniversary, I love you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Morning In Pictures

4:43 am

Bottle washing

6: 32 am

Jane eats and I write thank you notes with my spare arm.

7:22 am

Jane decides she's up for the day, so we go walking and bird walking.

Somedays this whole maternity leave thing is pretty fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Light, Part II

Remember that new light I was talking about? Here's our made-over version.

We just spray painted it chrome to match the other fixtures in the kitchen.

Why replace the hanging pendant that was there?

Because the space now has to accommodate this big monster. And we didn't relish whacking Jane in the head while putting her in her highchair, which was just a matter of time. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Liz Quiz

A big thanks to everyone who has sent me emails the past five weeks. They were entertaining, encouraging and really lifted my spirits during what I now refer to as "Babypocalypse 2011." Just kidding.

So I thought it would be nice to answer some of your questions since I can't seem to get my act together these days. Returning emails like the nice punctual blogger I used to be seems to be harder than I thought. Mostly because my brain is jammed packed with new topics like boiling new bottles and learning to take a squirmy newborn's temperature with an underarm thermometer without giving her a stroke. But, I digress.

1. What are you doing to lose the baby weight?

Before anyone takes offense to this question, let me preface by saying this sweet reader is also pregnant and was just wanting some advice. Sadly, I had none to give to her. Between Jane's colic, sleep deprivation and the fact that most days I'm still wearing my robe when Matt comes home from work... I don't have much of a work out plan in place. I gained a whopping total of 48 pounds while pregnant. But, by the end of the first week I'd lost 26. Each week a little more comes off... but I still have a lot of work to do. I figure I've got all the time in the world to work out. But I don't have all the time in the world to kiss Jane's sweet little face... so that takes precedence for now (at least that's what I remind myself of as I pass by the full length mirror in the bedroom and repress the urge to yell "MOO" at myself).

2. How long are you on maternity leave?

I have a few more weeks to go. But oh how if flies. I have no idea how I'll juggle it all, but believe me, prayers go up about it every day.

3. Are you guys planning to have more kids?

Whoa Nelly. Ask me again when Jane goes to kindergarten.

4. Does Matt help with diapers?

Yes. In fact he does all the night time changes. I feed, he changes... that's our nocturnal arrangement. He's been a real trooper. As I suspected in the beginning, he's a complete sucker for little girls. He's already informed me that:
a. We're never spanking her.
b. He's sending her to daycare in a plastic bubble.
c. She can't date. Ever.

5. How did you decide on the name Jane?

Well, someone told me I should name my daughter after my favorite author. I thought that was a fabulous idea except for the fact that my favorite author is Erma Bombeck... and Matt totally did not go for that. So Jane Austen was the obvious second choice.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Scoop

Words you never want to hear come out of your anesthesiologist's mouth: "Uh Oh"

But first, the scoop.

Several people have asked for my "birth story." That makes me conflicted. When I think back 10 months ago to my no-baby days... I remember being fairly freaked out by birth stories. I didn't want to know about the tears, the number of stitches, those alien and unknown things called hemorrhoids. It grossed me out and frankly, it scared the bejeesus out of me.

So I'll tell an abbreviated version. I wont go into the details of what my placenta looked like. I wont discuss mucus plugs or exactly what getting an epidural feels like because while I know all the other mothers out there can take it... I don't want to be the reason any of you yet-to-be-mothers choose a life without children. Cause let me tell you, the horror stories from friends put me off having kids for 9 years. Bear in mind that while I am telling of the excruciating pain of labor, unless you are a genetic freak like me an epidural is the ultimate pain salvation. You will not be like me. You will be fine.

Anyway, back to the anesthesiologist.

I went into labor at 4 in the morning. And when I say went into labor, I mean sprinted into labor. There was no fancying about and putting on makeup. I didn't slowly pack my back, hot roll my hair and muse, "Gee, I wonder if this is a false alarm." I sat straight up in bed in the dark, and within 30 minutes I was yelling at Matt (who was in the shower), "If you don't want to deliver your kid in this hallway we need to go now."

We got to the hospital. I dilated fast. The contractions were massive.

At one point Matt smiled at me and said, "Hey, you're not being as mean as I thought you'd be."

And as I rode another gigantic contraction like a big wave in Maui, I responded with a string of expletives that would have put the father on A Christmas Story to shame. So much for being nice.

The anesthesiologist came in and gave me an epidural. All was right with the world. I apologized to Matt, sucked on some ice, and joked with my parents. And then, two hours later, I realized something was wrong. I could feel again.

The anesthesiologist (let's call him Jed) came back, looked puzzled, and dosed me again. Another hour passed, and it happened again. By the fifth time Jed looked thoroughly alarmed.

"You feel discomfort?" he asked.

I glared at him, panting, forehead covered in sweat, "On a scale of one to ten, this is a seventy."

"Huh..." he pondered, scratching the American flag bandanna on his head.

"She woke up during surgery a few years ago, do you think that has anything to do with it?" Matt asked.

"Uh Oh," said Jed.

"What do you mean Uh Oh?" I shrieked. I was dilated to an eight at this point and was coming to understand why the little girl on the Exorcist levitated above her bed.

"Well, it's rare, but sometimes people metabolize medicine at an accelerated level, try and lift your legs," Jed said.

I gave it my best attempt, but they were lifeless stumps.

Jed sucked his breath through his teeth, "Sorry, I cant give you any more doses. Looks like your going to have to do the rest of this naturally."

Now at this point, if I could have reached him, I would have snatched Jed's bandanna and glasses off his head, chewed them up in my mouth and spewed them around the room.

Anyway, within the next two hours Jane was born. I did it naturally. I didn't die. I did however, refuse to participate as the nurse commanded me to "look at it, there's the head." But when they put Jane on my chest I realized what my mom and every other friend had told me was true. It is, in the end, all so worth it, even if my epidural didn't work.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Picture = 1000 Words

Mom took this picture over a week ago.

It pretty much sums up life at that particular juncture.

The day before I was freaking out. It had been raining for four days straight. I hadn't left the house. I had barely showered. There were book edits to finish, the house was filthy, and Jane's colic seemed to have reached a crescendo.

My parents called and said, "Come home to stay for a while. Dad will come get you."

They didn't have to offer twice.

So I went home. I got out off the car, screaming daughter in hand, and suddenly there were six hands instead of just my two. Life slowed down. I calmed down. Jane calmed down. It was a week of pure bliss. The book edits got finished. Dad and I walked by the river. We went out to lunch. I even went to an antique store.

And now that I'm home looking at this picture, it seems like it was taken ages ago.

Don't get me wrong. It's still hard. But I'm in a much better place. I'm back on my feet. And Jane seems happier as well. A little less fussy. Today she gave me a big toothless grin while I was changing her diaper.

Sometimes all we need is a little help from the people who love us.

I love you Mom and Dad.


Contrary to popular opinion, I really am still alive.

And things are better.

Jane has managed to sleep during night hours as opposed to all day.

She even smiled at me.

I find that I once again have the will to put on makeup again.

That's always a good sign.
There is a light at the end of this colic tunnel.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

When Women Save Your Bacon

WARNING: Men should stop reading here, unless you'd like a trip past the gates of Woman Town and onto Breastfeeding Lane. Yep, that's right. Go back to checking the NBA Scores or other manly computer pursuits. You can come back later.

When it came to breast feeding, I thought to myself, "How hard can it be? I mean, women have been doing it since the stone age. Like falling off a log, right?"

Answer: NOPE

Without going into too many gory details, let me just say it was a tear fest. The supplement formula at the hospital smelled like canned green beans. My milk wouldn't come in. Jane's weight dropped. I cried and sat with my boobs out in front of my mother and mother-in-law like a deranged, immodest crazy woman.

Wait, did I say I wasn't going to share too many gory details? Whoopsie. Looks like that ship sailed. But at least I didn't do a blood-sweat-and-tears birth story right? That's a horror show for another day.

Anyway, the women around me rallied.

My mom and mother-in-law made a joint shopping trip and came home with the best breast pump ever. And honestly? The thought of the two of them traipsing through the store, comparing pumps and prices and telling passersby "We're co-grandmothers" was one of the only things that made me smile those first few days.

My sister-in-law Melissa called me several times and gave me lots of good advice.

And then Ashley came by the house.

I didn't really want visitors that night. I wanted to sit in my own pool of tears and watch endless reruns of The Golden Girls while holding my skinny baby girl.

But when Ashley came into the bedroom, I felt instantly better. She brought this adorable mini-baby sweater for Jane THAT SHE MADE. Is this NOT the most adorable gift ever? And she brought fantastic cookies. And a great book called So That's What They're For. But mostly she brought kind words. And advice. And her own adorable new bundle of joy.

If I've learned anything from the last month, it's the women in my life who save my bacon. Countless friends who leave me voice mails (because let's face it, when you're up to your elbows in newborn diapers and feedings and colic... phone time is the first thing to go by the wayside). A mom who I appreciate more than ever (I keep apologizing to her for all the crappy things I ever did as a teenager). And for a mother-in-law and sister-in-law so fabulous that the tag in-law should just disappear from those titles. And friends like Julia, Carrie, Ashley, Hannah, Kristi and a whole gaggle of gals who routinely encourage me by phone, email and visits.

I love you all, all you women who save my bacon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A New Light

Hello beautiful cheap lamp that's not quite the right color. I think I can fix that. Stay tuned.

Found here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How's Mabel Doing?

Mabel has been very touched by all of your well wishes and concern for her mental well being. The addition of a colicky yelping baby and a constantly distracted mother haven't been easy. But she's making it. Actually, she has surprised me.

Late at night when the world is asleep and it's just me and Jane, Mabel sticks with me. She pokes her head into the bedroom, her ears bobbing up and down at Jane's screams. She wags her tail, ducks under the bed and plunks down on a big pillow.

She stays under there, a silent little friend in my hour of need. She follows me around constantly. And when Jane is sleeping in her bouncy seat, Mabel likes to give her toes a quick greeting lick.

So it's tough here. But Mabel is OK. In fact, I think she's doing great.