Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Party #1 = Disaster

Okay, okay...Maybe disaster is a slight exaggeration but it was not a great success.

I have told y'all before about the area playgroup that we finally got the chance to check out last week. Today they were hosting a Halloween party and I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet a bunch of the moms at one time.

As they say, that's what I get for thinkin'.

As I trace my steps all the way back to last night I should have seen the warning signs that the day would not go as planned (does it ever?). 

Gems did not want to go to sleep. She was fine in my arms but would start fussing when I would move and especially when I laid her down. She had been going to sleep around midnight pretty consistently, which I thought was late until last night. She didn't finally settle until 1:30 a.m.

She must have worn herself out, because when I woke to my alarm at 7:40 she was STILL asleep (and in her own crib too!) I laid in bed for a while contemplating whether I should sleep longer and enjoy my good fortune (and avoid the cold, it was rainy and icky out!) or head to the Halloween party as originally planned.

Eventually exhaustion won out and I decided to cancel and got out of bed to do so (there is an online RSVP system), but by the time I had checked my email and everything I was feeling a little bit more awake so I changed my mind again and decided to go to the party.

Luckily, it was one of those mornings where getting ready goes really smoothly. Gemma cooed and smiled and was just in a good mood. She didn't fuss at all when I put her in her car seat or anything. I hate to say this but she was so good it was like it wasn't even my baby! 

I stopped to get gas on the way and that is where it started to go slightly downhill. 

Apparently my credit card was expired so I had to lug the car seat into the gas station to pre-pay for the gas. Then, I realized I had pulled up to the pump on the wrong side (how, I have no clue, I have been driving the same Jeep for months) and had to turn around. While I was turning around some woman pulled up to the pump I had paid at (of course!) and got out of her car. I awkwardly stopped and explained to her what happened. She looked at me like I was a complete idiot but moved her car. 

Then, I realized that I didn't have the side dish I had signed up to bring so I lugged the car seat back into the gas station and grabbed a $4 bag of chips (am I being cheap or does that seem pricey?) and decided if nothing else I could just smile and say something about being a new mom and hope that would excuse the chips :)

Finally, I was on my way again. I only got "lost" once, which actually isn't bad for me when I am using MapQuest directions :) 

When I got to the church is when my morning turned from silly bad to awkward bad. I think I prefer silly bad.

For some reason every social skill I have cultivated in the past 23 years completely escaped me at this party. I  reverted to the awkward 12 year old sitting in the corner waiting for someone to come talk to me (Yes, I was that kid. Don't feel bad for me though, it was only for like 6 months!). The only difference was this time I had an adorable baby dressed like a mouse sitting on my lap.

A couple of times women initiated conversations with me. My brain would blank and the completely wrong thing would come out. I think I even mentioned the vaccinations Gemma had earlier this week.

 In a room full of middle class moms.

 Not the best conversation starter. More like a "can you please let me out of this before all hell breaks loose" conversation killer. 

After tackling the uber-uncomfortable situation of,  "Where do I nurse this baby in a room full of people who I desperately want to make a good first impression on?"  (the only other mom nursing at that time was in a chair at the end of the table, all of these tables were full and I didn't want to feed her at the table since everyone was eating and it felt...wrong), with absolutely no grace (I pretty much went to a chair at the far corner of the room, the place where I was probably most noticeable to those trying to enjoy their spinach dip...I felt like I was on stage at a dinner theater), I decided to cut my losses and head home.

And then I got lost.

In West Virginia.

Oooo, what a day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy (Belated) 2 Months Gemma!

Yesterday, Gemma turned 2 months old. I kept meaning to post yesterday but time just got ahead of me I guess :)

So Gemma at 2 months...

You already sleep like a teenager (sort of), your usual bedtime is somewhere between 12 a.m. and 1 p.m. Most mornings we are up and at 'em about 8 a.m. (so maybe you are not like a teenager at all!) Usually I rock you to sleep and then place you in your crib (a habit I am now told we will have to wait a couple of months to break!) and you sleep most of the night there. Around 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. I bring you into bed with me... You snack just a little and drift back to sleep. Like I said, most mornings you are up at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. but sometimes you will wake for a bit and then sleep until 10 a.m. (Mama likes those mornings!)

You still prefer my arms for naps, although I can sometimes put you in the bassinet while you are sleeping and you will nap for 30-45 minutes more (often, you pop right back up though!) I have gotten better about telling when you are sleepy so you are definitely napping more.

You still don't like the swing. Or the bouncy seat. Or the play mat. There are a lot of things you don't like.

But you DO like mobiles. Especially the one hanging above your crib. You love when someone gets right in your face and talks to you. You enjoy the bath and only fuss when I take you out. My laugh makes you smile.

You are still a tiny little thing. You are 23.49 inches long and weight 10 pound 7.9 ounces. It sounds like an awful lot to me but you are on the small side for your age. You comfortably fit into most 0-3 month clothes but some of your newborn onesies still fit. Your diapers are still size 1.

I am happy to report your hair is still spiking. Also, your eyes are still bluish gray although I am still betting they will turn brown.

You have really outgrown the newborn stage this month. You are so engaged with the world around you compared to last month. I love the fact that when I hold you, you cling to my shoulder like a koala bear. My koala bear :) (Speaking of which, we still haven't found a nickname that has stuck!)

Love you boo!

Here are a few of our "outtakes" from this month's photo shoot:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Are You Going To Get Your Lip Done Too?

...Because you need it. 

That is what I heard as I laid down to get my eyebrows waxed today.


When I walked in I fully intended on only getting my eyebrows done. I was so oblivious to my own poor body hair maintenance that I didn't even realize there was a caterpillar growing on my top lip.

Obviously, after she pointed it out I couldn't not get it done because then I would be the gross lady who doesn't mind a little peach fuzz. I may be a mom but I refuse to be that mom, ya know?

So I dropped the extra 5 bucks (I know I shouldn't complain but it's tough times!) and to be honest with you...

I feel like a new woman.

Thank you tactless, nail shop lady!

In all seriousness, I finally feel like I am in a position to get some momentum going and really get the ball rolling towards my next step in life. Tidy eyebrows (among other things!) are symbolic of that.

 I am learning how to be a mom and accomplish small goals too, like running errands and  getting stuff done around the house (and taking regular showers!). Those seem like small things but they were impossible for me a month or so ago and they have even been tough in the past few weeks.

I am realizing as things continue to get easier I need to really start working towards the larger goals in my life too. I have finally come up with a copy of my resume I am comfortable sending out so I am going to start seriously looking for a job. I am going to make the time to research graduate schools and start taking the steps necessary to apply for next August.

I am going to make a life for myself, and more importantly Gemma, that is just as amazing as it would have been if I had done everything the "right" way.

This little girl deserves everything the world has to offer and more.

And I am going to go out there and get it for her.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Was So Tired I Forgot To Title This Post

Today was a big day for Gemma and I. We finally made it to a playgroup!

I actually found the group before she was born through the website Meetup, I actually spoke with someone to "join" the day before she was born. I recognized how desperately I needed a local support system as well as friends with kids (as none of my other friends is at this point in their life and probably won't be for 5-10 years!) so I sought it out from the beginning. Unfortunately, the reality to adjusting to life with a newborn has made it difficult for me to make it to any of their events.

 Today though, things worked out!

I was super duper sleepy (she didn't go to sleep until 1 a.m. HELP ME!) this morning at 8:00 when I had to get up and I was seriously considering blowing it off but I think I am missing adult interaction even more so than sleep so I sucked it up and (nervously) went. The playgroup today was specifically for new members so I thought it would be the most comfortable to sort of plunge in..

I got a little lost on the way there (it is about a 25 minute drive) but once I found it all is well. I think there was some level of intimidation as the women are all older than me and are all married which made me hope that they weren't sitting there thinking I am some young, silly hoochie or whatever but they seemed really welcoming. Both of the other "new members" were insanely talkative so I kind of took a backseat but it was good just being able to sit around and chit chat with people that I could relate with in some ways at least.

Motherhood is an insanely unifying bond.

Gemma was great. Most of the time she was either nursing or sitting on my lap chewing her hand which is quickly becoming a favorite past time of hers. She even took a little nap on my  lap while we were there. I was really happy that she seemed so happy!

After the playgroup, we headed to the mall to pick up this warm winter hat that I want to get Gemma. They didn't have it in her size (I should get her the 0-3 mos, right? The 3-6 mos seemed so big on her. Then again, winter lasts a while...) but the salesgirl was really nice and gave us a coupon for free shipping so I am going to order it when I get done here!

Since we have been home we have just kind of been lounging around...

It has been a good day so far :)

P.S. Happy 8 weeks Gemma!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Confession #1

It is only within the past week that I realized that babies need help taking naps.

Yes, I am completely serious.

I did know that babies needed lots of sleep. I even knew that sometimes babies needed a little help with going to sleep at night.

But naps! I just didn't get it. I thought that Gemma was just an alert (and very fussy) baby.

Then with a combination of stuff I had observed watching Gemma (like the fact she always passed out when my Great Grandmother rocked her) and stuff I had read, something finally clicked and I thought I would give rocking her to sleep when she got super fussy during the day a shot.

And  wouldn't ya worked! Within a week I am able to get her to take at least 2 or 3 good naps each day. I have even developed  (a very scientific) technique of rock, tap, swaddle, squish, and hold the binky in place.

Now she is MUCH less fussy and I am able to get a little more done during the day.

I would say someone should have told me, but deep down I am pretty sure I should have known.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Miss My Old Name...

101 Days Until Baby that is... I am not sure I am feeling the new name either...Just test driving it I guess.

P.S. I can't believe it has been 53 days with baby!
P.P.S. I have an ellipses addiction that must be stopped.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Seven (Somewhat Connected) Thoughts For Seven Weeks

So maybe she is 7 weeks and 1 day old but whose counting? Anyway, this post isn't (entirely) Gemma-centric, I just wanted to get some random stuff floating in my head down before it is lost forever :)

  1. Where on earth can you find a mini-witch hat? I was on a message board and they were talking about taking a picture of your baby in a hollowed out pumpkin. I think it is a (cheesy) cute idea and thought it would be even cuter if I could find a witch hat for her but I was looking around today and couldn't find one anywhere...
  2. I LOVE my sorority sisters. I opened my mailbox on Tuesday to find that they had sent me a bunch of handmade cards just to let me know they loved me and missed me. It is nice to be reminded that I DO have friends (really amazing special ones at that!)...even if I am so lonely here.
  3. Sometimes even people you don't know can be so kind. An ex-coworker of my dad's sent Gigi a super cute hand knitted sweater. It is really pretty and I will post a picture as soon as I get around to taking one! The mailbox has been kinda nice to me this week.
  4. My dad is away for the weekend so my sister came home from college to stay with me. We have kind of been at odds a little lately (typical sister stuff, nothing too intense) but since last night when she got here it has been so far so good. I like when she is here because I get an extra set of hands to help out... It is nice to not be COMPLETELY on my own.
  5. I am really starting to understand why it takes two people to make a baby! It takes two people to take care of a baby! I always feel like my hands are so full with this little one. I sometimes wish that I could just pass her off to someone else for 5 minutes. I realize if I had a husband I might be able to do this sometimes and when thinking about that really gets me down I just remember that even some people with husbands don't have support. (In which case I am better off in my position.)
  6. I think Gemma might have issues with Mylicon. I tried giving it to her to relieve her gas and the two nights I gave it to her she screamed bloody murder. I didn't give it to her last night and she was somewhat back to normal. I didn't even know Mylicon could bother a baby!
  7. Speaking of screaming bloody murder... Tub bath #2 didn't go nearly as well as the first one did!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gemma Bean's First Bath

If you have read this blog before, you might be scratching your chin and wondering "Isn't that baby a little old for a first bath?"

Or alerting the authorities of this lady on the Internet who doesn't bathe her baby...ewww!

But of course, this wasn't her first bath just her first tub bath. Gemma has been getting regular sponge baths since birth... I just waited awhile to bring in the baby gear :)

Why did I wait for so long for a tub bath?
  1. I am kind of a chicken. In my head the logistics of a tub bath ( code for washing without drowning) seemed far more complicated than they really were.
  2. I wanted pictures! As a single mom, bath time it is just the two of us. I wanted to make sure I captured the "moment."
Once again, I have highlighted my sometimes ridiculous thought process.

Anyway, last night I decided to head up to my mom's house and utilize the extra hands to give Gemma her first (tub) bath. My mom and her girlfriend and my grandparents (they all live together) like sharing moments like this with us and it allowed me to get pictures.

Plus, my bed was getting kind of wet during those sponge baths so I reasoned that it was time.

It seemed like Gemma enjoyed it. Well at least she didn't cry :) She actually smiled while we combed the cradle cap out of her eyebrows, which I thought was kind of strange. To each her own I guess!

I think she is trying to figure out if she likes it or not.

Deciding it is not that bad.

And afterwards...

She's such a serious baby! But I am sure this expression means she loved it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

On A Lighter Note

Try these chips. They really taste like a taco shell and taco seasoning. I really should not be eating these (do I really want to gain back the 35 pounds I have lost?) but they are really good.
If you like tacos.


Warning: The Following Post May Contain Excessive Whining

It seems like it has been a while since I have posted about daily life and basically that is because my daily life...kind of sucks right now. Lately, Gemma is either eating, sleeping, or fussing... I am completely drained. She isn't out for the night until at least midnight or so and we are back up for good by 7:30, which wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't usually up for about an hour in the middle there. Or if she wasn't such a grump during the day.

In fairness to my Gigi, it isn't her fault she is a grump. Unfortunately, I am thinking it is tummy troubles and at this point I have no idea about how I can make it better. I am worried I am actually making them worse. I have mentioned before how she has had issues with Reflux. We have gotten her on a medication that has improved the Reflux issues SO much but as I said she has gotten so grumpy lately and this has coincided with the medicine. The doctor said it could be the medicine causing her stomach pain. She has reduced the dose twice and at this most recent dose I am noticing Reflux symptoms again and she still seems fussy.

So what do I do? Take her off of the medicine? She couldn't rest with the Reflux because as soon as I laid her down she spit up. It was a mess. Now I can lay her down and she is sleeping better but when she is awake she seems so sad!

I don't want to be causing her pain. I am guessing I will be calling the doctor again on Monday. Maybe I need to get a second opinion?!?!

Other than that...

I have been kind of, sort of looking for a job but also trying to really focus on Gemma and appreciate her at this age so my search has been kind of a lazy one. Honestly though, I am not seeing many jobs at all when I do find time to look. I am starting to worry because I DESPERATELY need some income. I have been completely broke for a while now and I am not used to living like this. My family has never been well off so I have made it a point to always work, from the time I was 15, to make sure I could afford what I need.

Luckily, I have been resourceful enough to meet all of Gemma's needs but I am not sure how I am going to be able to afford warm shoes for the winter (I literally have been wearing the same pair of Old Navy flip flops pretty much everyday since May) or how to get my haircut (which may not be a need but I have never not known how to afford a haircut before.

I still talk to my friends but lately I feel more isolated than ever. I was home alone for most of the week as it seemed everyone had work trips or vacations planned at the same time. The distance between my friends and I seems to be getting more pronounced as time passes. Of course there are the friends I can always talk to but my life seems worlds away. The fact that I haven't see some of them since May or most of them since July and then on top of that the fact I have NO friends here... it really just sucks.

I have found a local playgroup but I am having a hard time getting out with Gemma to have that first meeting. On two separate occasions I have planned on going to events they have held and the morning of I couldn't get it together. Getting us both dressed, presentable, fed, happy and out the door just seems like an insurmountable challenge sometimes. I wouldn't think it would be so bad because I am usually able to get everything done when I need to go to the store or the library or whatever but when it comes to this it might be harder because I am more anxious?

As cheesy as it is to say this, the whole "One step forward and two steps back," thing is making a lot of sense to me right now...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Have A Theory

So, you know how there is this cultural belief that women LOVE chocolate. I have never really gotten it. I mean, chocolate is okay and all, but when I see a bumper sticker that reads "Forget Love-I Would Rather Fall In Chocolate," all I can do is shake my head and wonder how anyone can seriously feel that way. A donut or cake or some small candy is great now and then but better than love?


Recently though, as I polished off a box of 30 chocolate covered cookies in something like 12 hours I think I started to get it. I mean, I am not sure I am buying the whole better than love thing, but the whole LOVING chocolate thing...I finally got.

Then today, on the ride back from my grandparents house, I was thinking about chocolate (weird, I know, but I still have a little residual new baby brain!) and this new love and I think I have figured something out. It is not WOMEN who love chocolate but instead it is MOTHERS who love chocolate.

Think about it, you know the woman driving the car with the love bumper sticker has a few kids at home. And when you consider commercials, the woman with the chocolate addiction always has a total mom sweater on.

Is there ever an end to the effects of pregnancy hormones???

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What To Wear?

I am currently searching for Gemma's first Halloween costume. To be honest with you, I have probably been looking around since late June, the search has just intensified as I realize it is less than a month away. As with everything in life I have been way over-thinking it ( Are pumpkins overdone? Would a ladybug be to cliche'?) and have resolved myself into finding a creative, inexpensive, quality, beautiful costume. Is that so much to ask ? :)

Here are a few that I have found that I really like:

Sushi: I just think this one is very cool and I love the bright orange! Also, the wasabi headband is such a cute detail!

Pebbles and Bam Bam: If only Gemma had a little boy playmate! Adorable. I think the costumes would lose impact without each other though.

Ladybug: So maybe it is a little overdone but I think that ladybugs are popular for good reason, again, super cute. I really like this version of a ladybug costume!

Bunny: I like this because I call Gemma "Honey Bunny" (plus, she looks really good in white!) My only concerns are getting her in her car seat in a bunting and I worry that it might be too Easter-y.

Bee: I really like this one! It looks plain here but the other pictures show a little more of it. Plus, Target had black leggings size 0-3 months in the dollar spot so I could definitely make it wearable.

Officially, I am still looking but leaning towards the bee. Options are so limited for the smallest babies!

Decisions, Decisions!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Failed 1 Month Photo Shoot

So, I was totally copying other people by making the signs and everything and where this is something I hope to do every month, I think I may need to make a few changes (hugeunderstatement). Because the pictures are so bad it is funny (and because they were all I got that day) I have decided to post the best and the worst of our "photo shoot".

The Worst Picture of the Day

The Best Picture of the Day

Changes I already know I need to make:
  • Different Location
  • Object for Size Reference
  • Take the Picture Earlier in the Day
Any other suggestions?

Real Smile Vs. Fake Smile

According to Baby Center ( which I have been slightly addicted to since mid pregnancy), Gemma should start social smiling soon. I still can't tell where her smiles are coming from or if they are any more intentional than they have been previously. I mean, as I have mentioned here before, I love her smiles anyway, it is just how will I know where to put her "Baby's First Smile" sticker on her First Year Calendar ( my single girls answer to the standard baby book!) I have heard it is one of those things that when ya know, ya know...and since I don't know then maybe it hasn't happened? Maybe I am just being slightly spazzy.

There was one addition to the First Year Calendar that I know for a fact happened this week (and it never made it on here because I have been too busy with the doing nothing that is associated with caring for a newborn, never in life have I felt so simultaneously busy and fulfilled and completely unproductive and bored) and that was Gemma's 4 week appointment. Gemma now weights 9 pounds and 4 ounces and is 20 and a half inches long (still a shorty like her mama, poor thing!) They also gave her a vaccine and like an idiot I burst into tears in the doctors office. I felt so silly. I think I cried longer than Gemma did! I am wondering if they will let someone else be in the room with her when she gets her 2 month shots. I know they get a few more that day and I am not sure if I can handle it.

Oh, Motherhood...