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Archive for the month “July, 2013”

The XX Factor

During spring 2013 I had five close friends who were pregnant. Between March 1 and May 4, if you include Dave and I, there were five little girls and one little boy added.  Now that’s girl power!  My personal theory is that the hot spring/summer of 2012 killed off all the boy sperm.  Seriously, it’s a scientific fact that male sperm can’t take the heat (you know, the weaker of the two sexes), hence a lot more little ladies being born in March, April, and May than little boys.  We can debate this later.

What astonishes me is that within my group of best girlfriends (friends since kindergarten besties) we will be going six for six in girls over an 18  month period!  In fact, three of those little girls were born within four weeks of each other (no, we didn’t plan that).

May 4, April 20, April 9, 2013.

May 4, April 20, April 9, 2013.

That's one good lookin' group!

That’s one good lookin’ group!

There’s no guarantee that these little ladies will be as great of friends as the first generation.  But if friendship is hereditary they have a pretty good shot!

August 19th… Extra Hugs Appreciated

I return to work in exactly one month.  I’m so sad and completely terrified.

I really want to get back to work. I love my job; it fulfills me in an important way.  There is no question about whether or I not I will go back, but I am still very sad and scared for both Alex and I.  I know people say that moms cry harder than babies when they are dropped off at daycare. I really hope that is the case for us, but I’m doubtful in our situation.  There are two main reasons, the bottle and some intense mama’s girl behavior.

"Yuck!  No fake boobies for me!" Alexandra Grassl

“Yuck! No fake boobies for me!” Alexandra

First, the bottle. We have had three fluke occasions where Alex has taken a bottle.  Otherwise she flat out refuses. The plastic nipple just touching her lips can throw her into a complete frenzy.  If she’s the slightest bit hungry it is even worse.  I can’t help but worry about her crying and screaming because she won’t eat.  First screaming because she is hungry, then crying because she wants mommy and mommy isn’t coming.

"Mom, where you at?  This isn't funny."  Alexandra Grassl

“Mom, where you at? This isn’t funny.” Alexandra

Then there is the mommy’s girl factor.  Alex and I have been together 24/7 for almost three months.  We’ve had a total of about three hours apart and it is frighteningly apparent how much Alex loves her mommy.  Don’t get me wrong, I am overjoyed to know how much she loves me, I love her even more.  My mind goes back to her first few weeks of life when I actually worried if she would love me.  During that time as a mom you are giving everything to your baby and getting zero feedback.  The ceiling is more interesting for them to stare at than your face and there is no such thing as a loving coo or squawk from their lips, just demanding screams.  That has all changed.  Alex now watches my every move, gives me huge smiles, and chats with me regularly.  She also cries for me constantly.  Not because she is hungry, because she just wants me.

Lately I’ve been trying to practice being away from Alex. Last week my mom and I practiced.  I stayed in a different part of the house while she put Alex down for a nap.  In the morning it worked beautifully.  In the afternoon Alex cried the slowest, most mournful cry I’ve ever heard.  She carried on until my mom passed her back to me.  She instantly stopped crying and in less than one minute she was asleep in my arms.

Alex and I repeat this same process multiple times per day between her dad and I as well. It’s always the same, Alex is fed and happy, I give her to Dave to put her to bed or a nap or even just to play, she cries her sad “mom cry” until he places her back in my arms.  At that instant she will stop crying and fall asleep.  The whole thing is completely upsetting for me.  It melts my heart that she loves me so much but then I am instantly consumed with my fears of what she will do when I’m not there, especially when I work late nights those first few weeks back.  It’s hard for me to handle the idea of her crying for me and me not responding to those cries.

I do find comfort in the fact that my mom will be watching her my first week back.  If Alex screams and cries it will be in the most loving of arms (in fact, if the two of them keep hanging out Alex’s first sentence will likely be, “Grandma loves you”).  I hope that eases the transition for both of us.

For now Alex and I will keep practicing, both with the bottle and separation.  If you happen to see me August 19th and I’m looking pretty ragged, hugs are welcome.

Who Needs a Treadmill?

Because Alex still won’t take a bottle I’ve temporarily retired from running. I’ve gone running twice since she’s been born and it’s just too hard right now to be gone and know that when I get back I’ll be greeted by a mad, hungry baby. Even if I have just fed her she seems to know when I walk out the door and gets hungry (I also think she can sense whenever I’m in the shower or about to eat a meal).

Despite not running I’ve gotten a total body workout the last 10 weeks. Here’s how…

The Hallway:  Pretty Boring.  Imagine hours pacing this, it's a recipe for insanity.

The Hallway: Pretty Boring. Imagine hours pacing this, it’s a recipe for insanity.

The Hallway:
During weeks 1-8 when I was desperate to get Alex to sleep, or just to not cry, I would walk up and down the hallway for the majority of the night doing the walk, shush, bounce combo.  She liked it, it calmed the cries, and was great for my legs and arms.

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce

The Ball:
I’ve had this exercise ball since 2010, but it has been used more in the last three weeks than in the last three years.  We discovered the magic of the ball a little late in the game. We can hold Alex upright and bounce on the ball and it can knock her out.  In fact, I call the ball the “death blow” because it puts her into a dead sleep.  I’ve spent hours bouncing on it.  She’s gotten wise to the ball though.  In the last week it’s lost some of its magic.  When it works it’s a great core workout.

Carrier = Alex Puddle

Carrier = Alex Puddle

The Carrier:
While Alex HATES riding in the car and not for a minute will a car ride put her to sleep, she LOVES swinging in her carrier.  I discovered this around week two when I had to take her to an appointment and she was in a complete meltdown.  The key to the carrier is making sure she is fully strapped in and then I swing her with a range of motion that is pretty close to 180 degrees.  If she’s the slightest bit drowsy this will knock her out.  It will also stop her screams during an unexplained meltdown.  This is our most effective technique but it also has the biggest drawbacks.

1)  If you stop she will generally wake up or start screaming again, sometimes instantly.

2)  I frequently bang the carrier into my shins and knees and have the bruises to prove it.

3)  It is exhausting.  The arm and back workout is ridiculous, you can work up a good lather in just a few minutes, exceeding 10 minutes is virtually impossible.

I have to take credit for Alex’s love of motion.  I ran until I was almost six months pregnant and walked on a treadmill everyday until the day before she was born.  They say that running/walking has a swinging feel to a baby inside you.

Oh well, it’s a great workout.  Who needs to go for a run when you have a ten week old?

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

I’ve been going through my baby book lately comparing myself to Alex. It’s been fun to compare. For example, at Alex’s one month well baby check-up she was about the same size I was at birth. Yikes!  Sorry mom. I also found this picture. It’s from my three year old tap dance class. I’m in the middle row, the furthest to the right. Do you have as many questions running through your head when you see this picture as I do?

Bunnies:  Spring 1985

Bunnies: Spring 1985

Here’s what I’m wondering.
–  Are we dressed as Playboy bunnies?!?!
–  If the answer to that question is “yes,” even if it was unintentional, who thought that look was a good idea for three-year-olds?
–  Do I look like I’m playing the part a little too well?  Who taught me that pose?
–  Why isn’t anyone smiling?  Have you ever seen such an unhappy group of girls who are dressed up, wearing makeup, and ready to dance?

Regardless of what the answers to these questions are, I still think we are pretty cute!

Back in Action

So… Dave and I had a baby, hence I’ve been completely negligent on blogging for awhile.  Now that Alexandra has arrived I have even less time to do anything non-baby, but I do have copious amounts of time from 10pm-4am while I’m holding Alex so she will sleep and I need a way to help pass the time.

We have been blessed with an extremely happy, healthy, energetic little girl. She loves to play, I know, she’s only eight weeks, but she really does love playing, and sing and dance with her mom.  We have also been blessed with what our pediatrician labeled, “a high maintenance baby.” Alex can’t help it, she’s just being a baby.  She loves to eat (did I mention she’s smart too, only wants the boob) and likes sleeping (but only cuddled on her mommy, never in the crib).  We have tried and are continuing to try everything. If you have a suggestion, we will take it, but trust me when I say we have tried EVERYTHING.  I frequently wonder what we did to foster this behavior. The answer I’ve come to is… Nothing.  She literally seemed to be born hardwired like this.

So, I’ll be using the night time “free time” that I have to come back to blogging.  There will likely be a lot of baby talk for the next few months because that’s generally first on my mind when I’ll be writing these at 2am, and it’s really all I do now other than pee and occasionally get to shower.  For now, let’s focus on a few pictures of our adorable, happy baby.

 

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