Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Own Private Island

Blogging is supposed to reflect your given mood. And, no, I'm not always happy and positive (as I usually try to parlay in my posts).

Motherhood had made me... I don't know... lonely?

I describe it as being on an island. I have changed so much in the last 3 1/2 months. My whole world has turned upside down, and I can't even explain it. You'd have to walk in my shoes for a few days to understand. I feel like I'm starting to get a grip on being a mommy. I went from being free to do what I want whenever I want to having this little person dependent on me for EVERYTHING.

At first I was terrified. He was so small. I thought I'd break him. I hadn't been around little ones. I didn't know what to DO with him. Steve had a few weeks off and was able to help me, but I almost had a panic attack when he went back to work. Slowly I got into the mommyhood groove, and learned Brett's patterns and behaviors and did okay.

We braved the great outdoors, slowly taking him on trips to Meijer or Panera... and finally worked up to taking him on vacation. I still haven't taken him to the mall myself yet. I shudder at the thought of getting the stroller together and getting him in it and trying to manuver through all the stores. At least at the big stores you can put his seat in the cart.

But all in all, I'm not the same person that I used to be. And, I know that I disappeared for the first couple of months after I had him into my own world. But now I want to see people and do things. And, it's not always easy. And, when I do get to get together with old friends, do they want to hear me talk about my baby? A lot of my friends don't have kids yet, and they are still enjoying a kid free life. I know what that's all about. Heck, I was THERE last year.

So, I try to appear as normal as possible... not wanting to scare or overwhelm people with stories of my kid. But, my kid is my LIFE. My biggest stories to contribute to conversations anymore aren't great drinking stories - no, they are about how Brett grabbed his toes, or how he laughed at the dogs, or how he smiled at me.

I have my part time job, but I am a FULL TIME mommy. And, when I'm at work, I'm still always thinking about Brett. This, in a way, puts me on an island. I feel like my kid-free friends can't relate to me, and I to them the same way anymore. It can be LONELY.

Being a mom is amazing... I just wish I didn't feel so isolated.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brett's First Playdate

Yesterday Brett had his first playdate (if you can call it a playdate, really, considering he can't even sit up by himself yet :)).


My good friend Julie from high school was in town. She has moved to Alabama with her family, but we still keep in touch. She has two little girls, Leah and Hannah... and just had baby Phoebe!


Flash back to last October. Julie was up and we were hanging out. I thought I'd spring my exciting pregnancy news to her, and she smiled and told me she was pregnant too! In fact, her due date was May 3rd, and mine was May 5th! We kept each other updated all throughout our pregnancies, considering we were going through all the same things at about the same time.


Well, if you read my blogs, you'll know that Brett was born 3 weeks early (April 14th because of my pre-eclampsia). But, the cool thing? Phoebe was born on Brett's DUE DATE of May 5th! What a coinky dink. So, we've been anxious to get together to meet each other's new additions.


So, yesterday we went to Chuck E Cheese. Although Brett and Phoebe didn't get a lot out of the fun games yet, Julie's other girls sure did!



I don't know how, with all of the flashing lights and noises... but Brett took a nap at Chuck E Cheese! He wasn't vibing with the whole play date thing at first.

But, he did decide to wake up. We put he and Phoebe together and let them "talk" for a little bit. Brett was fascinated by her.. he'd not seen anyone his size yet! I think he may have a girlfriend now :).

Julie and Phoebe. Phoebe was so snuggly and sweet! And she has big beautiful eyes!

Me with my little man. Brett was the opposite of Pheobe. He was kicking his legs like he wanted to run! I have a feeling that he'll be all over Chuck E Cheese next time we go.

Overall, it was a pretty successful first playdate. I'll be excited to get together with them next time they are in town to see how Brett and Phoebe are growing together!

Monday, July 21, 2008

He's movin' on up (movin' on up).... to the big crib


So the day I have been dreading came on Friday night. This was the night we officially put Brett in his crib in his own room. Now I know that some of you must be thinking that "wow, he's threee months old and he was still sleeping in your room!". Yes, we had his pack n play situated right next to my side of the bed, so I could just grab him in the middle of the night when he needed to nurse.

He's gradually been sleeping longer and longer, (although we'll still get a 3 a.m. wakeup on occasion), so yes, it's time to get him into his own room.

I know this is what needs to happen. We have a beautiful $400 crib to put him in. It's quiet in there and he needs to get used to his independence. Still it's HARD for me. I have come to love having him sleeping peacefully in his little bassinet right next to me. It's so reassuring to hear his little baby breaths as I drift to sleep.

So, we made the move on Friday. He did really well, but woke up at 3:00 (which sucks, because I have to go into his room to feed him now, unless Steve is gracious enough to get up and bring him to me). Other than that, no problem. And Saturday night, I about freaked out. I got up at 5:15, having not heard him yet and was hoping he was okay. He was sleeping peacefully, and in fact, didn't wake up until 6:30! This was a record for him... 7 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep!


We've also now started using the baby monitor, which is nice, but not the same. It's reassuing to hear him, but I miss having him in our room. I can't believe how sad I am about the move.... I don't know what I'll do when he goes to college!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

Now, I've never done a "Wordless Wednesday" or a "Thursday Thirteen" or a "Friday Fill-in's" like many of you - my loyal blog stalkers - do. Not that I'm opposed to doing one... I've just always had other things on my mind. (BTW - who sets the "Friday Fill-in questions? - just wondering).

But, there are a few things that I must share with you... a few of my favorite things....

1. The Girl Scout Thin Mint Blizzard from Dairy Queen

Have you TRIED this amazingly evil treat? Steve and I have split one the last 2 nights in a row, and I'm sad that they are only through the month of July. By far, Thin Mints are the superior Girl Scout cookie. And, they put them in a blizzard? The only thing better would be for Ritters or Culvers to carry them and mix them into their version of a Blizzard. Soooo gooood! Get one before they are gone. On second thought, maybe not, because you'll be addicted like me and will suffer once July ends!

2. Lost

Okay, so Steve and I never got into Lost 4 years ago. We were intrigued, but were really into all of our reality t.v. shows and Desparate Housewives was starting, and we just didn't have time for it. Then we heard how awesome it was and realized it was too late... we'd be "Lost" like everyone who started into the show after it began. Flash forward to March of this year. We were visiting Steve's brother Chris in Lexington, and he was like us in that he'd not watched it from the beginning, but had rented Season 1 Disc 1. He was hooked, and also the proud owner of the first 3 seasons on DVD. Steve and I watched espisode one with him and had to bring Season 1 home. With the writers strike in effect, we'd watch like 3 espisodes a night. We were hooked. Pretty soon, we made it through seasons 2-3 and watched 1/2 of season 4 online until we caught up (yes, we'd caught up enough to watch the finale of season 4 this year!).

Oh, my gosh. This show is THE BEST SHOW I'VE EVER WATCHED ON TV. No, seriously. I'd always laughed about the people who were addicted to the show and I thought it was crazy and outlandish. Well, yes, it IS crazy and outlandish, but that is precisely what makes this show so awesome. Because we got to watch the whole series almost back to back espisodes, it literally played out like a movie. A really awesome movie. Since the finale I've suffered from Lost withdrawl. Seriously. I've had dreams where I am on the island with Sayid or Dr. Jack or Kate. I STILL have Lost dreams (I even had one last night). This show is crazy. For all of you who haven't seen it, I urge you to get to your local Best Buy as soon as possible and pick up Season 1. Oh, pick up Season 2 too, because you won't be able to wait until you get back to Best Buy to buy it. You can actually watch these on ABC.com as well. But, I highly recommend getting the DVD's. So much better, and they have all of the cool DVD extras.

3. The comeback of the New Kids on the Block

I was your typical 6th grader in love with the New Kids. In fact, I remember plugging in a tiny little black and white t.v. and spending my whole Christmas break watching it in my room. We didn't have cable, so we got "The Box" and about once or twice a day they'd play the "This One's For the Children" video. So, I'd spend my whole day waiting for like 3 minutes of heaven when I'd get to see the love of my life (Jordan Knight, of course!) on my little black and white t.v.

I also had a whole New Kids wall in my room. I wish I'd taken pictures of this amazing mural I'd put up. If I only had that kind of time now!

Anyway, since I've been back on the treadmill, I usually watch videos while trying to work up a sweat. And, the New Kids are back! I love their new video.. it makes me smile. It may not be the best song ever, but it makes me feel like a kid again. I can't wait for the concert in October!

4. Brett verbalizing "I ah ooo".

(Now you know I couldn't write a whole post without mentioning my adorable son!). Lately Brett likes to chat. Especially on the changing table (which makes changing his diapers a lot less painless in my opinion). We'll lay him down and suddenly he starts to vocalize... he'll coo and "ah goo" and respond to us, like we're having a real conversation... lots of smiles from him as well. Steve and I constantly say "I love you" to him, and lately he's been repeating it back to us. You can tell he's trying to make the words. He'll say "I ah ooo". Seriously! It's sooo cute!

5. My new job.

I never read the book "The Secret", but from what I understand it goes something like - you visualize exactly what you want and focus on it - and you'll get it (not that I necessarily believe this, but I find it interesting). From the time I decided that I wanted to work part time, I internalized everything I was looking for in a job, and I found one that fits EXACTLY what I am looking for (save the drive). And, they are looking to re-locate Northeast (yay)!

Well, I guess this wasn't my typical blog, but this was what was floating around in my brain today. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Genetic Puzzle

"No, I don't know what the mailman looks like".

"Yes, he's Steve's son".

These are my responses to "joking" comments that are thrown my way.

And, it BOTHERS me.

See, Brett was born with a full head of platinum blonde hair, and eyelashes and eyebrows. He also was born with the typical newborn steel blue eyes that have since brightened and gotten even lighter blue. And, after the jaundace passed, his skin has lightened up to the pale color of my skin.

Have you met Steve? He's the complete opposite. Olive skin, with black hair and deep brown eyes. Yeah.

Except for the blonde, Brett has my eyes and my skintone. Blonde babies have been born in both of our families, though. Steve's brother Chris was born with very blonde hair, and mine was pretty light at first.

So, we will occassionally get the comment or "the look". Steve swears that in the delivery room, the nurses looked at the baby and then at him with a "you know he's not YOUR son" look.

This hurts my feelings. I know I should take it with a grain of salt, but these comments/looks are ultimately directed at me. In a way I feel guilty/responsible for my son's features. I feel like it's my fault that he doesn't look more like Steve. In fact, I have apologized to Steve numerous times that Brett doesn't have his looks I guess I'm old school, but I feel like the son should look like his father and the daughter should look like her mother.

Take my niece and nephew. Paige looks just like her mother Mandy, and Derek looks almost identical to his father (and my brother) Brad. It's very cute.

And, I am just deep down puzzled by the whole thing. When I was in grade school we learned that brown hair and eyes were dominant, and blonde hair and blue eyes were recessive. I completely expected Brett to come out looking like Steve.

Steve seems to be fine with all of this, and I guess I need to lighten up. I mean, we couldn't hand pick which features Brett got. It really is a coin toss if you think about it.

I guess I just need to learn to deal with the disapproving glances out of the corner of people's eyes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Take Two!

Here's my second "my baby is so cute" video! Anyway, here's proof that he actually likes his play gym and we are thinking it's money well spent (thank god!). The round red thing that he keeps looking at is a mirror :).

And, today Brett is 3 months old! Yay!

video

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday Night's Alright - For Lameness

I remember Saturday nights in high school. They were about getting together with your friends and going bowling or to a movie or something... just NEVER staying at home. And then in college.. we'd check out a party or go to a bar. In fact, in college, Saturday nights didn't even START until like 10:00 or 11:00 minimum.

Those days are but a distant memory. You know what Steve and I did this Saturday night? I was in the mood for breakfast, so we went to Bob Evans. Now, it's not quite as bad as MCL for the blue haired crowd, but it's close! In fact 2 little old ladies came up to us to ask about Brett (they thought we said Brad, but whatever). I hadn't been to Bob Evans in ages, but for $5.99, their stacked and stuffed hotcakes (and no it's not what you think - I am talking about pancakes) are pretty good!

And then, for the ultimate in coolness. We went to Meijer. Oh yeah... this is like the hottest Saturday night of all time! We shopped for bargains and then Brett started to fuss so we hurried it up to come home.

And, you know what? I was really OK with the whole night. Seriously. I was good to head home and watch t.v. before turning in well before midnight. If 21 year old Carrie could flash forward to 30 year old Carrie and see what her life had turned into, I wonder what she'd think.

Yet more proof that I am OLD.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Recording My Baby's History

So, I'm not a scrapbooker. I walk down the scrapbooking aisle at stores and immediately start to hyperventilate. There are so many scrapbooking "things". And, people spend so much money and time on their scrapbooks. I mean, if I were to start, where would I begin? And how would my scrapbook compare to everyone else's scrapbook? Too much pressure!

The closest I came to scrapbooking was my senior book in high school. I genuinely put a lot of time and effort into it. And, then in college, I took lots and lots of pictures and put them into albums. However, as good as I was at putting these together, I NEVER go back and look at them. I have this weird thing about drudging up the past. There are too many emotions and memories tied to things and I never seem to be in the mood to walk down memory lane. I tend to live in the present.

Plus, since we got our first digital camera 5 years ago, we just upload pictures onto our computer and put them on websites. We never take the time to print them out. In fact, I am so anti-picture taking lately, that whenever we go on our vacations or cruises I usually have Steve take the majority of the pics. I just want to enjoy my time without the pressure to record moments. Plus, I mean, what are the proper moments to record? Exactly.

This has ALL changed with having a baby. We have received a plethora of frames, photo albums and a beautiful baby book. Suddenly I feel this responsibility. About recording Brett's life. And, it is STRESSING ME OUT!!!!! I have been putting off and putting off and putting off putting all of these things together. I meant to get this all done before I started my new job. Um, not so much. So, this past week (when I wasn't working - BTW, this was my first week, and I am overall pleased with my decision to take this part time job. It's exactly what I was looking for), I started this scary process. I have actually taken tons of pics of Brett to upload to myspace and this blog, so I have a lot to choose from. So I started the process of weeding out the pics I REALLY like and editing them, some black and white, some sepia (see the new pic with the title of my blog - that's one that went into a frame that I took while on vacation), and uploaded them all to walgreens.com. This was actually a cinch. I uploaded them and they were ready in an hour. So easy!

And then I put in the hours. And I mean HOURS working on these photos and photo albums and his baby book. I finally have gotten to a pretty comfortable place. I can't record any more in his book until next month or until he rolls over or something. And the albums and frames are as full as I can make them at this point in time. Whew! I hope that Brett appreciates this later! I actually am pretty happy with myself now. I think the effort has been worth it, and I am guessing that I will probably walk down memory lane with his stuff more than I ever will with mine...

To end the blog, here are some photos I put together for this project...





Monday, July 7, 2008

Brett Loves Expensive Toys

So, the highly anticipated Fisher Price playmat came in today. This was no cheap playmat. We registered for it, but no one bought it for Brett so I looked around for a better deal since I loved it so much. It arrived from Amazon today, and with much anticipation, Steve and I assembled it. I then put Brett under the exciting lights, music and toys.

Um, yeah....



He did wake up fussing, but then realized that "hey, this is kind of cool" and played for a little while, but I think he was just tired. Tomorrow we'll try it again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's Been a Crazy Ride

Tomorrow I start my new part time job. This has left me waxing poetic today. About how drastically my life has changed in the past 3 months.

The first Friday in April I left for maternity leave (and never to return to that job again.... which I didn't know at the time). It was unplanned. I'd expected to work at least for a couple more weeks. I mean I wasn't due until cinco de mayo. However, life had other plans for me. With my pre-eclampsia I had to basically camp out on the couch until I had him. Well, by the end of the week it had gotten so bad they had to induce me.

The hospital stay has become all but a vague memory of nurses, pain, an epidural, visitors and the most fatigue I've ever had in my whole life! I remember entering the hospital with the biggest belly I've ever seen one a pregnant woman, to leave still looking 6 months pregnant!

Recovery was a b#$%^. Seriously. No one told me about the absolutely horribly paralyzing cramps/contractions I'd have for the next three weeks. I guess I knew that the uterus returned to normal size somehow but I didn't realize how painful it would be. Also, how much more your ankles would swell AFTER you had the baby. I read somewhere that it takes your body awhile to realize that it's not pregnant and that it only needs half of the fluid that it was used to pumping through it. The other bad side effects I won't go into (since this is a family rated blog), but all pregnant women who have been there will know exactly what I am talking about. Anyway, it took about 6 weeks for my body to return to almost normal feeling. And another couple to regain complete feeling in my hands (I had horrible carpel tunnel syndrome, and at the end all I could feel in both hands were pins and needles... I gasp to think how bad it would be if I'd gone on for another three weeks).

Anyway, now except for the weight loss part, oh, and my coordination/balance, I feel about 97% normal (that is pre-pregnancy normal!).

But beyond that , the past 3 months have changed me in so many other ways. I am a different person now than I was on April 13th. When Brett was born I became a MOTHER.

I've started living FOR HIM. I don't care about my hair or cute shoes or cute clothes (alas, not that I can wear them anyway)... I want to spend my money on toys and nursery accessories and value packs of diapers. And, if my comfort level is compromised in any way, I'm not looking out for myself first... first I have to make sure that Brett is happy and comfortable. It's amazing how my view of the world has changed, based on this 12 pound miracle that it now revolves around. Never have I felt so much exhaustion, joy, frusteration and love, as I have in the past 3 months.

And, to watch him GROW. He has changed so much in the short period of time he has been on earth. He sleeps now (thank god!), he smiles and the world lights up, he can hold his head steady, he cries real tears (which breaks my heart), his daily diaper load has diminished (yay!), and he interacts. You know what I am so stoked about right now? The fact that he has a really nice/interactive play gym that should be arriving tomorrow from amazon.com. Yeah, I am starting a new job tomorrow and I can't wait for the fun he'll have playing with his play gym. I can't wait for Christmas this year!

So, to end this blog, here is a pic of Brett just after he was born, and as he is today! Amazing!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cuteness for the sake of cuteness!

On vacation I didn't get pictures of Lake Hamlin, or my family or even myself! But I got tons of pics of Brett! Here are some of my favorites...










Wednesday, July 2, 2008

You just have to see this for yourself

This has nothing to do with my life or Brett (thank GOD some of you may be thinking!).

No, this is a YouTube video of a guy named Matt who "dances badly" all over the world. Pretty crazy, funny & cool! He has a website that explains his story... http://wherethehellismatt.com/?fbid=Bis-RV. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

First Vacation

So, last Saturday we packed up the car (and I mean PACKED up the car... we had overflow that went into my parents truck - ah all the baby stuff!) and took our first "family" vacation. My parents had rented 3 cabins on Lake Hamlin, in Luddington, MI. My 2 brothers, their families, and my parents spent the week there. Previously we had taken family vacations to a resort in Minnesota, but it was recently sold, so we tried out Luddington. I didn't get to head out to the lake itself but just one time because Brett is still so small and nursing, but we got to enjoy a lot of the town together!

Luddington is a beautiful town situation on Lake Michigan and we were able to take lots of scenic stroller walks together along the beach and the marina. Here are pictures from when we walked out to the lighthouse and watched the ferry boat, The Badger, depart for Wisconsin.




This is what Brett got from the experience!

Brett also got to hang out with his cousin, Paige (my brother Brad's daughter). She was very careful and attentive with him! Brett seemed fascinated by her and kept watching her.

"Hey Paige, look over there!"

And, here are more pics of Brett... hanging out with daddy, reading the paper in the cabin, and with his sunhat that my mother bought him (oh, and for right now, we are calling her "the woman related to Brett"... she doesn't like the way I pronounce "grandma"... too much emphasis on the "a" and I refuse to call her "grammy" or other substitute names. The only one I'm kind of okay with is "nana" and she doesn't like that one) . Anyhoo, Brett didn't care for the sunhat all that much, but it looked cute on him!

"Daddy, I find this article about the upcoming election particularily interesting".


Overall, it was a good first family vacation. The 6 hour car ride was a bit challenging, as Brett got very bored of the carseat, and we had to stop multiple times to feed and change him. But, it was nice having all of my family there together, and "the woman related to Brett" was around to watch him a couple of times so that Steve and I could get ice cream and beer and free wi-fi at a local brewhouse (not at the same time, however.... I don't think I'd much like the combination of ice cream and beer).

But we got rested up, and I am ready to start my job! (I'll start next Monday now instead of today... it will just be easier following the holiday). I'm thankful for a few days to unpack and do laundry!