Thursday, May 28, 2009

18 Weeks

Spud, Tater Tot, and I went to the pediatrician's office yesterday. She weighs a whoppin' 13lb, 6oz (I thought she was over 14... but that's ok) and 25 inches long! Tot's 4 months old now, so she got another Dtap shot and was checked over from stem to stern... poor little thing!

I really don't know what else to write about! Every day is pretty much the same, and then I go to work on the weekends and Jeff gets to spend some quality time with her. Although, when I came home from work on Saturday, she took one look at me and started crying inconsolably! Bath, bottle, bed.... then Spud and I went out on a "double-date" of sorts while the baby slept at home with a sitter (aka. One of my Macy's co-workers that I called in last-minute!) Actually, that whole weekend I really didn't get too much quality time with her because I would come home either just before or just after her bed-time and leave in the late morning. I felt kind of disconnected... but it could be worse. I could be working full-time and never get to see her at all.

I know people may think that I don't pull my weight or that Spud supports me, and he does, but that is the life that we chose. It's not for you to judge. I supported him through college and grad school... paying rent, buying things for our house, taking care of him and his mountains of laundry... now it's time for me to connect with my little one and be a mommy for a little while. I don't see a need in getting a job where I would just have to hand over my paycheck to my babysitter! What's the point? Use that time to let my baby bond with me - not a babysitter!

I pull my weight plenty. I take care of a huge house. I load the dishwasher everyday. I do upwards of 4 loads of laundry every 3 days. I take out the trash, feed the animals, clean up after the animals, shovel poop all day long (ours and theirs).... it's a rough job! Yes, there's down time. But there's also really hectic/crazy/stressful baby craziness time. I'm so glad that I have someone else to lean on... I don't know how single mothers do it!

Anyways... not gloating about the (joys) of being a partially-stay at home mom... but if we're able to afford it (roughly) for right now, then why not?

There's also some crazy family issues that are going on right now. I don't even know where to begin but I hope it works out.... for Tater Tot's sake. Nobody ever said new mom's were perfect!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Four Months

Tomorrow will be Tater Tot's One-Third Birthday (haha - how's THAT fraction for ya?!). She's getting so big and I can't wait to see what kind of child she is going to become.

We go to the doctor next week for another round of immunizations, weighing, measuring, and to start talking about eating rice cereal and other mushy/disgusting baby concoctions. I'm toying with the idea of making our own baby food once we're at that level, so we'll have to see how that goes. Although, I may give in and buy a few "treats"...

Unofficially, I'd say she's around 14 pounds and is about 24 inches long! She's either getting a tooth soon or thinks that her hands are really tasty! I'm still having trouble getting her to increase her feedings, but they're starting to get on more of a regular schedule.

Last night, though, she skipped her bedtime feeding completely and the woke up 7 hours later wanting a bottle. She'd gone from 6:30pm to 4:15 am without any food! And slept from 9pm (albeit, with some crying in my arms until she fell asleep) until 4:15am. That was manageable, though, and I fed her and let her crawl into bed with me to sleep until 9:15am. You'd think she'd be starving, but she just barely finishes 4 ounces (5 if I'm lucky.... most times 3.5) and then pushes the bottle away like she's sick of it! She's a funny little thing... but not starving, that's for sure! Growing... growing... growing....

Meanwhile, Mckenna has her first boyfriend at the tender age of 4 months. Bekk (to the right) is a younger man - by three weeks! His mom and I were best friends in high school and we even nicknamed ourselves "The Tuff Girls." Hope was Tuff Girl #1, Ruth was Tuff Girl #2, and I was Tuff Girl #3. Hope and I both married men named Jeff and had babies within weeks of each other (Tuff Babies #1 & #3). Look at them holding hands! How cute! She started to cry when I put her down, but I think he was trying to calm her down so she'd take a good picture. Hope joked that we were going to show this picture at their wedding someday!!!

(Meanwhile, I'm freaking out because I just realized my baby is going to get married and have HER own babies someday! AHHH!!! And I'm gonna get gray hairs and have to pay for a lavish wedding!!! Oh no!! :-P )

Upcoming: Preparing the house for my grandparent's-in-law's arrival in June. Trying to clean just so when they come, they don't feel obligated to clean it for me! Ha! Also on the agenda... buy a highchair. Nothing plastic and "cheap" looking... something that will look nice with our furniture, of course! We'll see what we can find that's affordable too!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

16 Weeks

Tater Tot and I took a week long trip to visit people in Pennsylvania while Spud worked on graduation. We stopped by our friend Katie's house and she took some gorgeous pictures of us! We also received two huge trash bags full of hand-me-downs from her cousin Hash Brown. I thought I had enough clothes before! Whew!!!

She's smiling.
She's a supported sitter.
She can pull herself into a sitting and standing position with little help from me.
She can balance in the palm of Spud's hand.
She's sucking on her hands for comfort instead of a pacifier, which will be harder to wean her from later.
She's 3 1/2 months old.
She follows me with her eyes.
She squeals with delight when I enter the room.
She still has colic and tummy problems... but she's getting better.
She falls asleep easier.
She gives hugs.
She drools.

Trip Home to PA

It all started when I forgot my toothbrush....

I packed everything, washed everything, and cleaned everything so that I would be all ready to leave Kentucky in the evening. Jeff watched the baby while I took a nice long nap (thanks to some Tylenol PM and blackout shades) and when I woke up, we bathed her, fed her and put her to bed in her car seat. Travel-wise, the easiest part of the trip was going from Owensboro to Columbus. It took us 5 hours, without stopping, and she stayed asleep the whole time.

We arrived in Columbus around 2:30am and met Emily, who was going to help me feed Mckenna while we ate a VERY early breakfast at a diner, and then follow me back to Pittsburgh. After a few unsuccessful tries, we finally found an all-night Waffle House that wasn't too scary looking, ate, peed, fed the baby, then got on the road again. Except, I got on the East-bound road, and Emily went West! We eventually met up at the next exit, and away we were. A few more stops (MCKENNA'S CRANKY MOMENT #1), some rain, and head-lights that blended into all the other head-lights behind me put us a little behind but the baby and I finally arrived in Butler at 7:15am. Whew!

We cleaned up, ate a morning bottle, and then visited Grammy in the hospital for a little while. Then we went back to my mom's apartment to attempt to nap, but I was so pumped up on enough caffeine to kill a small horse and just stared at the ceiling. After unpacking and showering, we went back to the hospital to pick up my mom from her treatment but it took a while because Mondays require more tests. (MCKENNA'S CRANKY MOMENT #2).

After dropping Mom off at her apartment to sleep, MK and I went up to Slippery Rock to visit with Deanna and Baby Ellie. How cute to see those two theatre babies together! (MCKENNA'S CRANKY MOMENT #3) She also got to be held by Reba, until we had to fly out of there to meet my in-laws for a very early dinner (I'm still on central time, mind you).

Oh, and I haven't slept.

Dinner with in-laws at Snack-n'-Pack. (MCKENNA'S CRANKY HOUR #4) She really needed to nap but just didn't want to close her eyes with all the people and noises and lights around her! Oh my.... Then back to Grammy's for a nap, bath, bottle, then bed! Whew! I've been up for more than 36 hours!!!!!

Take Mom to hospital bright and early, then go back to bed! I think we're both still exhausted! Pick Mom up and then drive over to visit the girls that I used to babysit (who are now 8 &12!). Back to Grammy's for dinner and a visit from Aunt Julie and Baby Cousin Ava.

Hospital. Shower then run errands to Wal-mart, Verizon store ($42 for a battery?!?!), then breakfast at my beloved Sheetz. Oh how I've missed you.....

Then a short jaunt up to Slippery Rock to visit with Sonya, Anna, & Monique at Airport Orbit, a travel-extraordinaire company that I used to work for (and live above). They just ate her up! Back to the hospital to pick up Mom, and I see Vanessa and two of her 3 kids, Victor and Naomi, about to get on the elevator! We stand and talk for a while and Victor says, "Excuse me, I have something very important to tell you...." How polite! (You'll find out the important thing later....)

Take Grammy home, then it's a much needed nap time for all. In the evening we drive out to my sister Julie's house and visit with Ava, Mark, and Julie. Two huge trash bags full of baby clothes, and a sack full of Rice Cereal later, (plus another Sheetz run) we're back home and ready for bed!

Hospital. Back to bed. Hospital again. Then Mom gets her hair finally cut and colored by the mother of the girls I used to babysit (Follow that? I just saw them all on Tuesday). It was so long and so gray and thinning and in dire need of some help. What a pick-me-up, what a nice boost for my mom! It's colored and highlighted and cut and styled and so refreshing!! It took us a while because Mom was so exhausted, but it finally got done!

After that, we rested and took a bath, and went over to Hope's house so Mckenna could meet her new boyfriend, Baby Bekk. We took pictures of them laying on a couch, "holding hands," and "in love." We're going to show them at their wedding, 20 years from now!!

On to dinner at Chili's with Becca and Emily, while the baby ate and fell asleep in her car seat. At least it was nice and dark and quiet in there!

Mom's last treatment at the hospital! She graduated! Yay!!!!!

After we dropped her off, we went to Katie's house and met Baby Nicco. We drink coffee, eat doughnuts from Stanley's, talk Mommy-stuff, and take some pictures that I can't wait to see! I think Nicco fell in love too.... when it rains it pours, little girl!

Then we do laundry at the laundro-mat and pick up Grammy at the hospital for her last treatment! So exciting! I run and pick up some prescriptions for her, while the baby tries to eat lunch but ends up screaming through it instead. It takes a while to get on the road to Jeff's grand-parents house, and when we finally do, I realize that my mom's cell phone has been left behind in my car.

Turn around. Back to Butler.

Once we get to Gug and Pap's, we eat dinner and I try to nap but I can hear her screaming in the other room from too much stimulation. FREAK OUT!!!! Then I realize that I don't have the right cell phone charger... I have my mom's. My phone dies and I haven't napped, so I just decide to get up, help calm Mckenna down, and leave their house in the very early morning after her middle-of-the-night bottle.

For the first time in her life, she sleeps nine hours! Needless to say, we didn't end up leaving until around 9:30. Then we stop in Somerset to buy a car charger, make a few other pit-stops, and by 11:00 it's time for her to eat and we're going past my in-laws house. After two other failed attempts to get them to see her again, at least we get a few more minutes to spend with them while she's changed and fed.

Actually leaving Pittsburgh at noon. After that, it's a crazy blur. All I know is that around 7 we were past Louisville when I got pulled over for doing 60 in a 55. It was an obvious speed trap (from 70 to 55 in an instant?!? Come on!) but as soon as the cop saw the SCREAMING HUNGRY BABY in the back seat, he let me go. I told him I was looking for a place to pull over with her, which I was, and was in a hurry to feed her, which I was. I had a feeling he would have just warned me anyways, but I gave the baby extra kisses for being such a good girl and saving Mommy hundreds of dollars!

Finally arrive home at 9pm CT and I can't wait to get home, eat, relax, unpack, and clean bottles (sick huh?). It was a whirl-wind trip that sounds busier than it actually was, but I was glad I was able to spend time with my mom, meet all of my friends babies, eat some good food, and try to schedule in short visits where I can.

There are two very hard things about being a new mom. One is trying to appease everybody and make sure they all get their chance to visit. God forbid someone spends 20 minutes more with the baby! It's so frustrating and I tried so hard... but I can only do what I can do. The second thing is listening to other people tell you how to raise your baby. I am the expert in my daughter, that's the end of it. I know when she needs to nap, needs to be held, wants to look around, needs to eat and is still hungry. It's very frustrating too to have to listen to people say, "Let her scream, it's ok." No, it's not!!! AHHHHHH!!!! But we'll get through this.... someday!!!

( I need to inject that my in-laws are otherwise know as Gramma Dede and Grampa Bill, Cookie and Bill, Coleen and William. Is that specific enough? But to me... in my narrative... they're my in-laws)