Monday, May 31, 2010

Have I mentioned?

Have I mentioned how much I love...

- this picture -

- when Casey grills our lunch -

- watching The Wiggles -

- grass -

- shorts -

(even when they look like pants!)

- family fun in the summer time! -

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Here's to you, Sandra Bullock

I have always liked Sandra Bullock. She is pretty, a decent actress, I adored "The Blind Side," and she seems like an all-around nice lady.

But now, I have to say "Thank You..."

...for making my baby really laugh for the first time...

...during the "Sweat Drips Down my Balls" scene of The Proposal...

...which was only on TV to begin with because I thought Leah was sleeping... baby is a freak.

(But she's VERY cute!!!)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Goin' to the Zoo

Things to have when going to the zoo:
1. A cute, summer dress, purchased especially for a trip to the zoo
2. A hat
3. Lots of sunscreen
4. Water, water, water
5. A comfy stroller, perfect for napping!

Our first trip to the zoo was a ton of fun, although it wasn't exactly a rousing success.
Leah got to see a few things...
She was VERY cute in the parking lot.

She saw a few big cats.

She discovered that she is not as tall as a polar bear.

We tried to show her the elephants...

And the gorillas...

But she was more interested in...


Really, when you're two and a half months old, a trip to the zoo is more for the parents than the child. Leah was a trooper, especially considering that were a LOT of new experiences for her, and it is reassuring to us as parents that we can still get out and do these things.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

7 Stages of my new Butt

Stage 1: Denial. This isn't a new butt. It's the same awesome butt I had eight years ago when I met my husband.

Stage 2: Shock. Well, it's technically the same butt, but for some mysterious reason it doesn't fit into the pants that fit me so nicely in August. But there's no way it could be so drastically altered after having a baby. COULD it?

Stage 3: Anger. Fine. It's not the same butt. Just because it now takes up its own continent.
Stupid, annoying butt and its stupid, annoying big-ness! Is it possible to get a restraining order so that I don't have to look at it anymore?

Stage 4: Depression. No dice. It turns out you can't get a restaining order against your own body. And when you inquire about it, people laugh at you. And that makes you cry. As do the size 8's I just bought, which still cause these lovely muffin tops. So much for those lying liars who said my body would go back. They must have gotten to keep their original cute butt, sans muffin tops.

Stage 5: Guilt. I am a grown woman. I have a masters degree. I know that women are more than just hot bodies. I know that objectification is cruel. And by God, I created a person out of two cells! I am awesome! And yet... this butt. IT.WON'T. GO.AWAY.

Stage 6: Fear: I probably have Flesh Expanding Butt Disease. It's very rare, but if you get FEBD your butt will eventually consume your entire body, preventing you from leading a normal life. There is no cure for this horrible ailment. Best to just go buy a bunch of sweatpants.

Stage 7: Acceptance. Right. So it isn't that bad, really. There are a few perks to this new butt. It's easier to close the car door now. If I fall, it will probably hurt less. Besides, Casey likes it... maybe this new butt is kind of growing on me...

Adventures in sleeping

For the past three nights, Leah has been sleeping in her crib.

Well... kind of.

Leah is adjusting fabulously to her new sleeping situation. Her mommy, on the other hand, not so much.

I have cried each night as I put my sweet, beautiful baby into a crib all by herself. What if she is too cold? What if she is too hot? What if she is lonely in that room all alone?

And it turns out, all those reasons are a bunch of crap.

The truth is, I'm not ready for Leah to be sleeping in a crib down the hall away from me.

So as a compromise, suggested by my wonderful and extremely patient husband, Leah has been coming into our room after her first feeding, usually around midnight.

And I have been staying up until midnight, because I can't seem to fall asleep until she's back in the room with us.

I'll get there...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Here's why Tuesday is a great day:

'Nough said.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Behind the Scenes

I totally stole this idea from another blogger (thanks, Cindy!). Even though I love to blog, and I try very hard to be honest in my blogs, there are many things you don't see behind the scenes.

So, today, my blog is dedicated to all the things that I haven't written for various reasons; a "behind the scenes" look at my life behind the blog.

What you don't see in my blogging is...

Someone who, even two and half months later is not physically recovered from my c-section.

Someone who could very easily slip into the role of mother, disregarding all the other hats I should be wearing.

Someone who is addicted to TV. Even when I have no idea what's on and I'm not even watching it, the TV is always on in our house.

Someone who is filled with fear, so much that it keeps me awake at night.

Someone who has immense guilt over that fear.

Someone who is afraid that I've become too accustomed to being happy. I no longer think I could handle tragedy and come out sane on the other side the way I did when I was younger.

Someone who has cried more in the last year - from happiness, from frustration, from fear, from the gravity of the beautiful life I have been charged with, but mostly from happiness - than ever before in my life (and that's saying something!).

Someone who has always loved her body, but HATES how everything is just bigger these days.

Someone who has extremely conservative values when it comes to my child.

Someone who loves going to church, but doesn't go regularly.

Someone who always tries to do the right thing, expects others to do the same, and is disappointed when they don't.

Someone who is surprised by how great a toll having a baby takes on a marriage, even when the marriage is strong. (And I hate to think of what would have happened without a strong marriage!)

Someone who is struggling to find a balance in my new life.

Someone who isn't always patient, especially with the people who love me.

Somone who has a very hard time living in the moment.

Someone who desperately craves time with my husband.

Someone who loves to take naps!

Someone who re-reads and re-watches favorite books and movies dozens of times.

Someone who spends too much money at Starbucks.

Just a few of the things that make up my life, but that I don't always talk about.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to Make a Stand

When you're two and a half months old, standing up on your own isn't really an option, given the gigantic head, poor neck control and subsequently bad balance.

But, if you're Leah, that doesn't mean you won't try...

Okay, I know it doesn't exactly come across because they're pictures, but what you can't see is that Leah is totally standing on her own. She's fully supporting her weight. Dad's role was just helping her balance.

I think we'd better be prepared... I imagine we'll have a little mover here long before we're ready!

Standing really wears you out!

Friday, May 21, 2010


If there is such a thing as a perfect mother, I am not it. Probably never will be. But, I recently learned an important lesson:

When the baby sleeps in mommy and daddy's bed, it's important to put a towel down.

Let me explain.

Casey has been out of town for about a week and a half. Since I am back at work, my mom was helping us by watching the baby. Because of a back injury, it is a lot easier for her if she doesn't have to go up and down the stairs a million times a day.

To help her in this effort, Casey moved the pack and play, which has Leah's bassinet, downstairs to the living room. Leah has been sleeping with me (which, by the way, I absolutely adore!).

Leah is wonderful about going to bed. She sleeps well through the night, waking up only to nurse and going right back to sleep (most of the time), as long as her sleep is not interrupted without her consent.

The other night, I put her to bed at about 8. I came in around 10:30, and since she was still asleep, I didn't wake her up to nurse her. She woke up on her own around midnight. While I was nursing, I heard that dreaded wet, chunky noise that signals a dirty diaper.

Horrible mother that I am, I decided not to change her right away. It was only midnight; if I woke her up to change her diaper, not only would she be grumpy, she would have a difficult time going back to sleep. I decided to let her sit on it (so to speak) until she woke up around 3 or 4, when she often struggles to go back to sleep anyway.

Then, I felt a warm sensation around my mid-section. Ugh.

She had had what Casey and I have termed a "Number 3," which is code for when the diaper isn't quite enough to hold it all in. A Number 3 is the reasons moms everywhere pack extra clothes in the diaper bag, just in case.

And it was a hum-dinger.

It was on my shirt. It was on my fitted sheet, my top sheet, and my white down comforter. It was all over my baby's pj's, feet, legs and back.

I literally stood there, staring at the mess for more than a minute. I couldn't decide what to do first!

Not to mention, baby poop should be a Class 5 hazardous substance. Nothing can escape it, and it stains everything it touches!

At 12:30 in the morning, I had to get Leah cleaned and in new PJ's, then wake up my mother so she could take the baby while I changed the sheets, scrubbed the old sheets and the comforter so they wouldn't be forever stained, and scrubbed the mattress before re-making the bed.

So, now I know: when Leah sleeps in our bed, she will now be sleeping on a towel.

Lesson learned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

For Mommy

In the fray of things, I wasn't able to comment on one of my life's most momentous milestones: my first Mothers' Day!

Even though I didn't get to write about it, I wanted to remember it, because it was just wonderful.

Casey got up early and made a beautiful breakfast. I think I'm rubbing off on him... he set the table the night before so that it would be ready to go in the morning.

I love my wonderful husband for many reasons. Among them, the fact that he can take a hint! I had been subtly mentioning the fact that I was in desperate need of a pedicure, and much to my surprise, I was treated to one!

In addition, though, Casey invited my favorite friend Jessica to go along, so I got to enjoy her company and a fresh start - and fresh color! - for my tootsies. That Casey. He's good!

It was a fantastic day. But more than that, I love the fact that it is a day I can celebrate from now until forever. A day to celebrate all mothers; a group of incredible, tough, selfless, multi-tasking, on-their-feet-thinking, wise, giving, amazing women! In short, everything I aspire to be.

Casey and I often say thank you to each other for our beautiful little girl, and I am thankful to both of them for making me a mommy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Guess who...

Fits into this?

It's amazing what nearly a year of waiting will do! Casey and I bought this in July, shortly after finding out we were pregnant. Long before we knew we were having a little girl, we carefully selected this cute little ducky onesie that would suit either gender.

(Sidenote: look how tan and skinny I was!!!)

Almost a year later, we have this...

Ahhh, perfection!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time Flies

This little lady...

is two months old!

Yes, Leah is quite an incredible little pumpkin. Daddy and I are amazed daily by how much she grows, both mentally and physically.

At two months, Leah:
*Loves to lay on her tummy, especially on the Boppy

*Rolls over quite regularly from her tummy to her back, and occasionally from her back to her tummy.

*Absolutely loves bath time (as do her parents!)

*Smiles often - especially on the changing table - but usually just for mommy and daddy.

*Has no trouble taking the bottle.

*(Thankfully!) has a good bed-time routine that includes eating, laying on mommy's tummy while Daddy reads her to sleep.

*"Stands" on her own - although she can't balance, she loves to support her own weight.

*Has graduated from the newborn diapers into size 1.

*Wears 0-3 or 3 month clothes - except her pants, which she still fits into the newborns (mostly). She got her mommy's short, stocky legs.

*Still has the hiccups every day.

*Does well on outings, but cries every time we get in the car.

*Favorite song: "All American Girl" by Carrie Underwood.

*Favorite book: "The Cat in the Hat"

*Watches "The Wiggles" intently

*Loves to dance, especially to Elton John and The Beach Boys, or just about anything on "Dancing with the Stars."

*Has learned to "crawl" out of her boppy by pushing herself with her legs. She can't quite hold herself up on her arms, but last week, she moved herself from the foot of the bed all the way to where daddy was sitting at the head of the bed. WOW!!!

We can't believe how fast these two months have gone, and how much we continue to grow in love for our sweet baby girl!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A dream is a wish your heart makes

Teachers at school are preparing for the summer. Many of them are taking elaborate vacations, including a few to Europe. One of my friends is spending her summer in China. She asked me what I'm doing this summer, and I explained enthusiastically,

"Playing with the baby!"

"Well, that sounds... nice," she responded politely, with thinly veiled sarcasm.

It occurred to me then that she would not trade places with me for anything. She would much rather be galavanting around the Orient than staying at home enjoying a brand new little life.

She seems as strange to me as I'm sure I seemed to her. I'd rather stay home!

When I was 17 and preparing to go to college, I took a trip that I've never really talked to anyone about.

I applied to NYU's Tisch School of the Arts - one of the most prestigious performing arts colleges in the nation. I don't know why I didn't talk to anyone about it at the time, except that I was quite sure I wouldn't get in, so it seemed pointless to tell anyone.

When I received an audition, I was stunned.

Still convinced I would never get in, I had to figure out how to make it work withoug letting anyone know.

Orchestrating an audition in New York without anyone finding out what I was doing was extremely difficult. Fortunately, my parents both work for United Airlines, and were divorced, so I was able to lie and scheme my way into flying to New York for a day without anyone actually finding out what I was doing. (This is about as rebelious and brave as I have ever been, and without doubt the biggest lie I ever told my parents.)

I was terrified as I took a taxi to the campus all by myself, and so nervous about the audition that I remember literally shaking. I thought that, if I somehow managed to get in, it would be the biggest thing I would ever do in my life. I envisioned myself becoming some kind of major Broadway star, and thought about how grateful I would be for such an opportunity.

A few months later, a big envelope came in the mail from New York: I had gotten in, and with a scholarship to boot.

17 year old me had a huge decision to make. Would I move to New York and pursue a musical career?

Even after everything that I had been through to secure a spot in such an incredible institution, as I thought about it and what my life would be like, I ultimately decided that I had to turn it down. Even at 17, I knew that what I wanted out of life would not benefit from an unpredictable career. A career in which I would probably never be home for dinner, and might even have to travel for months at a time. I wanted a husband, a stable, loving home, and a family.

It was a great opportunity, and a huge turning point for me. Because even at 17, I knew that my greatest achievement in life would be becoming a mommy.

I recount this story because I may never get to go to Europe or China. I may never be a Broadway star. I may have to spend my money on diapers instead of clothes, bar tabs or trips. I may spend my Saturday nights bathing the baby.

But 17 year old me was absolutely right about the path I should take; the path that was right for me.

When Leah was born, I saw her face and told her, "I've been waiting my whole life for you!" It just tumbled out of my mouth before I could think about it, but it is absolutely true.

I am lucky, humbled, honored, blessed and grateful, grateful, grateful to a mommy. No matter what so-called "opportunities" I may miss out on, I have the greatest opportunity of all in nurturing my daughter, loving my husband and growing our family every day.

As I prepare to celebrate my very first Mothers Day, I know that the life Casey and I have created for ourselves is only different from the life I dreamed of as a child in one way: it's infinitely better than I dreamt it could be.

Weighing In

It has been a week of doctors appointments for both mommy and Leah. Thankfully, we both look good, and everything is normal.

At just shy of 2 months old, here are Leah's stats:

Height: 23 inches (+3 inches from birth)
80th percentile

Weight: 11.35 lbs (7.12 at birth)
75th percentile

Head circumference: 16 inches around (can that be right???)
95th percentile!

I knew that Leah would need a series of inocculations at her appointment yesterday, and I prepped myself mentally, knowing that it would be difficult. I hate shots and needles as it is, let alone watching her go through it.

What I didn't know was that she would need three separate shots.

I have never seen my sweet baby's face go that red that quickly. Poor Leah was so upset by her shots that she couldn't even get enough breath to cry. Instead, what came out was a very strangled, soft sob - which was infinitely worse - accompanied by a few actual tears, which she hasn't been able to produce up until now.

It absolutely broke my heart.

I was in tears with her as she sat on my lap and received her shots - not to mention long after she had nursed herself back into contentment. Turns out, I'm *not* as tough as I think I am.
My doctor's appointment was much less eventful. I am healing well from the c-section. I've lost a little over half the weight I gained during my pregnancy (not bad, considering it's 8 weeks out and I couldn't exercise for 6 of those).

Most of the time, I feel completely back to normal, and it seems extremely strange to me that I had major surgery just two months ago!

Although... I tried to do crunches for the first time earlier this week, and felt extremely weak and a fairly decent stab of pain from my abdomen. I took that to mean I'm still not 100% healed, but I'm definitely encouraged by how quickly I've gotten back on my feet.

Despite the fact that my waist is close to my pre-pregnancy size, I may never again get back into those "skinny jeans." My hips are a LOT wider than they used to be, and I wonder if they will ever go back.

And I don't care whether they do or not. For this little lady, I'd buy new pants any day of the week! :)

I changed my font at