Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rocking Motherhood

More often than not, I feel like I'm drowning in motherhood, certainly not rocking it.  However, Jen is my ever-present blogging cheer leader so I'm going to write today about motherhood just as she prompted me to.  And, Hi to all those new faces she keeps sending my way! ;-)

I trust my gut.  We're 14 months into this thing and B still doesn't sleep at night.  We have tried everything in the book - white noise, essential oils, melatonin (only once, I promise!), reflux meds, having him sleep with us - except sleep training.  Sorry, I just can't do it.  My gut tells me there's some other reason he doesn't sleep, and I guess I just have to wait it out.  I'll sleep when he gets married, or goes to college, or moves out the house, I suppose. 

I look for his cues.  On that same note, I try to follow his cues for sleeping and eating (that's not to say we don't have a schedule, because we definitely do) and being around others.  If he doesn't want to go with a family member or friend, including grandparents, I don't make him.  Let those feelings get hurt, I refuse to force my kid to be with you if he isn't comfortable doing so.

I read to him daily.  B LOVES books.  LOVES them, I tell you.  We read all day, every day.  It's not unusual for him to beg me to read a few quick books after I change his diaper in the morning and before I rush off to work.  He's constantly dragging books around and making us read them.  He's also known to disappear into his self-made book nook and spend 30 minutes ooh-ing and ahh-ing as he flips through the pages. 

I love his daddy.  Parenthood is hard.  Really hard.  We're certainly not our best to each other as we were before B, but I still love Alex and I yearn for time spent with him regularly.  One day, I hope B will learn to treat a woman as well as his daddy does...a direct result of my love as well. 

I don't buy him new toys or clothes (often).  I say this 2 hours after we bough several new shirts and shorts for B on our weekly grocery trip to Walmart.  However, this is probably one of three or four new clothes purchases I have purchased for B in his whole life (from Walmart, at that!).  Ninety percent of the time B wears hand-me-downs (I'm looking at you Jen!) or items purchased from Goodwill.  We buy books for holidays and birthdays, occasionally something that we know fits his personality (a stuffed Clifford on sale for $3 or a toy steering wheel because he loooves real ones), but that's it.  ...He's a kid people.  He doesn't know what brand he's wearing, or if it's new/used, etc.  Plus, they grow so fast.  I can't in good faith pay full price for a whole new wardrobe every few months!  Let's just say we're teaching him the value of a dollar, and smart buying early on. 

I let him watch French TV.  I know, I know.  The APA recommends ZERO screen time before age 2.  We were sticklers for that right up until age 1, and then I started relaxing the rules a little.  We don't give him our phones/tablet/computer to play, but we do occasionally flip through pictures of him because he loooves looking at himself.  Recently we have also begun allowing him to watch a French television show on PBS Kids.  I keep telling myself it's good for him to hear the language being spoken because now is a great time for him to bridge those synapses or whatever it's called when language development happens.  Ha!

I take him to church (and we don't sit in the cry room).  As best as I can remember, B has missed church less than 3 or 4 times in his 14 months on this earth.  Thanks to the wonderful wisdom that abounds from amazing mama blogger friends, we choose not to sit in the cry room unless an emergency diaper change is needed or a full out meltdown occurs (and even then we stay as briefly as possible).  I feel B needs to learn how to respect the fullness of the Mass, and for us that means sitting in the pews with everyone else.  Before he was born, I swore I'd never give my kid snacks during Mass, but I've learned that little kids eat a lot more often than adults, and snacks really aren't a big deal if they're quiet and used appropriately (re: before the age of reason).  While I can't guarantee B will be a faith-filled adult, bringing him to Mass, and bringing him regularly is an important part of that journey.

Mmm...sadly, I am stopping there because neither me nor my husband can think of anything else.  I told you I totally don't rock motherhood.  Plus, B will wake up from his nap soon, and we all know how that goes! 

First, though, I'm tagging a few friends:

Stephanie at Blessed to Be

Stephanie at Captive the Heart

Sheena at Bean in Love

Annie at Annery at Home

Rosie at A Blog for My Mom

That's all folks!

P.S.  These are obviously NOT current photos of the B...but I figure I'll keep inserting an assortment until we get all caught up (one day?!). 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Introducing BAE

Because who doesn't like ooh-ing and ahh-ing over wittle (or not-so-little) babies...

Some photos taken by Bennett's godmother a few weeks after he was born:

And, if you recall...we hosted a baby pool at  It was SO much fun to watch the guesses come in as we got closer to the big day.  In the end, over 65 people participated!

The first place winner was a college student who worked for both Alex and I (at our separate jobs - yes she was employed by both of us, no wonder she won!).  Second place went to one of Alex's graduate assistants.  I guess they spent enough time with us...or just got really lucky. 

For fun, check out their guesses:

Kerigan:  Feb. 16, 8:11 a.m., BOY, 8 lbs. 5 oz., 19.75 in., J name
Dan:  Feb. 16, 8:05 p.m., BOY, 8 lbs. 3 oz., 20.25 in., L name

We actually had someone guess the correct date (Feb. 15), but she came in 3rd place. 

If/when there is another child, we will definitely be waiting to see the gender, and using another baby pool.  It was so much fun!!!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Clearing the Fog [Birth Story, Part 2]

We arrived at the hospital just before 5 a.m.  Of course, I was placed in triage, but thankfully, I was the only one there.  The nurses had me change into a gown, give a urine sample, checked my cervix (not more than a 1, if I remember correctly) and then hooked me up to monitors.  Alex went to move the car from ER parking to a regular lot while the nurse started a test to find out if my water had broken.

Before he even returned from the parking lot, the test results were water had broken and we were there to stay.  Needless to say, I think we were both surprised; I for one, was certain they would laugh at my trip to the hospital and turn me right around, insisting that I was not, in fact, in labor.  Oops.

Since I was still only dilated 1-2 cm, we were told the procedure would wait until my doctor arrived for the day at 8 a.m.  My family lived 3.5 hours away, so once we received the news that we were staying and baby was on the way, we made the call around 6 a.m. to let them know things were happening.  I sent Alex back to the car to get our bags...and reality started to set in.

At 7:59 a.m., I was rolled into the OR and prepped for the procedure.  Alex had to wait in triage for about 20 minutes while they did the spinal block and got everything set up.  When he came in, he stood at my head and we waited anxiously to find out the gender of our little one.  The doctor asked us one last time before delivery, and we both guessed it would be a boy...


Bennett Alexander was born at 8:28 a.m. on Monday, February 15, 2016.

Alex went over to the baby table and watched as they cleaned him and stamped his hand and footprints.  They cut the cord, wrapped him up, and Alex brought him over to see me while the doctor stitched me back up.  Then Alex carried him to the nursery so they could take his stats and complete initial tests. 

I was returned to triage less than an hour after I left.  Alex beat me there, so he texted my family to let them know "it's a BOY," and announced his name.  This is when things get really really fuzzy; I guess it's the pain medicine to blame here.  Baby was returned to us before we got our room...the oohs and ahhs, and "oh my gosh what are we doing" began. 

Once we got our room, we continued skin to skin and enjoyed baby, hoping we'd be allowed to keep him at least until my family arrived.  Just as the nurses were coming to take him back to the nursery, we got word that my family was close, so we asked to keep him a few more minutes in order for them to meet him.  Family came, lunch was delivered, we settled in, and as they say...the rest is history!

I realize this is all "old news" at this point, but because we ended up having such a difficult time with the transition to parenthood and family life, I really do want take the time to write down as much of it as I can remember and bare to tell.  Even though my memory is super foggy, I think it's important to have a record of our experiences, and to acknowledge for others that having a baby is not at all like the movies or on TV, or even like what some of our friends experience.  In fact, sometimes it downright SUCKS.  But that's another story for another day.  ;)  Thanks for sticking around and feel free to leave some love before you go!