Monday, November 30, 2009

Gemma the Jet-Setter

You may (or may not) have noticed that Gemma and I haven't been around for a few days and that is because we have been Bih-Zee! (That's busy to those of you who don't understand my dramatic phonetic spelling ;) )

Thanksgiving was at our house this year. It was a typical, laid-back, family affair. I ate. It was good.

Black Friday (Gemma's 3 month birthday), I went shopping a little, but only in my town and I waited until we woke up naturally. We weren't after any electronics deals or big kid toy sales so it was fine. I don't think we bought anything at all.

Saturday was especially exciting. Gemma had her first overnight trip. Gemma and I met up with one of my sorority sisters and we went down to Richmond to see a bunch of our other sisters. It was so much fun. We basically ordered take out and talked but it was so good to see "my people" if that makes sense  They ADORED Gemma and oohed and aahed and hugged and kissed and it was great. I think at first it was a little awkward to be in mommy mode around people who knew me way before but all of that melted away really quickly. They really made me feel comfortable and I am so glad that I went. I really need to make more road trips like that in the future. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures because I left my memory stick at home, but  really, that was the only dark spot in such a back trip.

Actually, I take that back. On Sunday we stayed for lunch and left around 3:30 p.m. We didn't get back to Northern Virginia until 9:00 p.m. A two hour drive took us FIVE AND A HALF HOURS! We did stop for a quick bite but mostly it took so long because the traffic was horrific. I should have known, being that is was Thanksgiving weekend but unfortunately we hadn't really realized what we were getting into. The traffic itself wasn't what bothered me, I didn't really mind being stuck in the car with a good friend I hadn't seen in too long. What I did mind is that EVERY time Gemma would fall asleep or even start too we would hit another bad patch of traffic and it would wake her up and she was screaming like crazy. It was that awful frantic baby scream that eats at your soul. After we got to my sorority sister's place in NOVA we still had another hour drive home. All I can say is I was awfully glad to see my bed!

Today was not much of a day of rest. In fact we had to drive an hour and a half to see a Pediatric Gastroenterologist who offered a little insight to some of Gemma's crazy fussiness (which had gotten better and then worse) and also reassured me about her low weight gain (she is still under 11 pounds and just over the 10th percentile!). Basically he put her on probiotics, assured me that she will get better, and told me not to stress the number on the scale as long as she has "meat", which she does. There were two very sick babies in the waiting room (feeding tubes, multiple surgeries, NICU stays, etc.) and my heart went out to there parents. I felt so blessed to be one of the "lucky ones" whose child has a small problem with what will likely be an easy fix.

Tomorrow, I think I might declare it a PJ day and cuddle on the couch and catch up with my DVR... (and maybe study for my LSAT, only 5 days!)

That is if I can keep Gemma the Jet-Setter at home :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy 3 Months Gemma!!!

I am going to start my stating the obvious... I didn't try too hard for a picture this time. I snapped 3 quick pictures almost identical to this and then you pooped straight through everything so I ran to give you a bath ... Thanks boo :)

Your sleep this month started off okay but I think you are in a "transitional" phase. Your naps are getting longer and you are letting staying asleep longer if I put you down while napping. We are headed someplace good I think but we are not quite there. You had gotten into a consistent bedtime for a couple weeks but for the past week it has been out the window! You still sleep half the night your bed and the other have of the night in "our" bed. We probably should work on that before you really get rolling around... I would hate for you to end up in the middle of the floor or something  :)

You have actually started to like the swing! Sometimes you will stay in there for almost an hour while I get stuff done. You are also enjoying your play mat and other toys much more now.

You got weighed this past Tuesday and you only weighed 10 pounds and 15 ounces. Apparently that isn't quite as much weight gain as you should have so I am giving you more formula in hopes of chunking you up to a weight the docs are more comfy with.

Since you haven't gained a lot of weight since last month you are still wearing 0-3 months mostly, size 1 diapers a couple newborn onesies still fit.

You are losing your spike and that makes me a little sad.  You are actually losing a lot of hair so I guess I should just be happy with what you have got left!

Your eyes are ever so slightly more brown but for right now they are such a funky color, all I get is red eye or black in pictures though.

One of the greatest things about this month has been watching the relationship between you and Granddaddy (my daddy) grow. It makes me so happy to know you are becoming buddies.

You are also such a SMILEY baby even though your tummy hurts you a lot. I am so pround of you. I love you...forever and always.


P.S. Your aunt has been calling you Bam Bam or Jammers... I am scared that those might be the nicknames that stick!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What I am Thankful FOUR

I decided I would participate in an "All About MEme Monday" and today's topic was the oh-so-seasonal, What are you thankful FOUR, the twist being that you list four things that you are thankful for...get it?

Good :)

Anyway, I am going to skip the obligatory friends and family... of course they are what I am most thankful for but I am sure you have some idea of why. I also want to preface my list by saying by no means is it conclusive, nor are they even the things I am most thankful for...just some of the things. (is that the possible future lawyer coming out???)

I am thankful for My Education: It may not be ivy league, and my major may not have been all that practical (Mass Communications and Sociology...was I planning on ever finding a job?) but it is a miracle it happened at all. I am a first generation college student and I almost didn't choose to go. And then I couldn't afford to go. But then, somehow the fates aligned and everything worked out. I spent 5 years learning and loving and growing. Even though my choice of degree wasn't exactly the most wise I am sure I will be able to provide for Gemma and I one day because I have that. Not everyone is so lucky, especially not everyone with my socio-economic back ground.

I am thankful for Clean Sheets: Okay, I admit this one is kind of random, but I am thankful for clean sheets because although it is a simple luxury, it is indeed a luxury. There are millions of people around the world who aren't blessed enough to be able to enjoy the most basic pleasure of having a clean, comfy place to rest each night.

I am thankful for Knowing my Grandparents: I was luck enough to have all four of my grandparents for 18 years, they were all able to be at my high school graduation. My paternal grandfather and both maternal grandparents are sill living as well as a great grandmother and a great grandfather. Gemma has great great grandparents! The wisdom and love these people have brought to my life is invaluable, and I am very, very thankful to be so lucky.

Gemma and her Great Great Grandmother

I am thankful for Being Taught the Difference between Right and Wrong: I have made my mistakes for sure, but I did the right thing when it mattered most.

So here are just a few of the many things I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I wish you and your family all the best this week as you prepare for, enjoy, and recover from Thursday's festivities :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Confession #2

I have a tendency to develop...addictions.

Really strange addictions. I will become obsessed with something for a short time (usually about a month) and before you know it I am completely OVER it.

I would give you examples but confessing my past loves would probably only serve in embarrassing me.

Who needs that?

Currently, I am addicted to frozen French fries and the show 18 Kids and Counting. (And apparently I am addicted to using links in my blog posts.)

I have been going through about 2 bags of frozen French fries a week. I cover them in garlic salt and then eat them with ketchup mixed with hot sauce. It is one of those things you know is, oh so wrong, but seriously want it to be all right... It is kind of strange to me that I am so "into" them because I always used to think they were gross.

Go figure.

I also used to always think that the Duggar's (the family on 18 Kids and Counting) were gross too. Well not gross but creepy, misogynists, who needed to open their minds and close their legs. Now, I wish they would adopt me. I am in that strange, early 20's phase of finding/defining my faith, and I have no idea where I stand with God or where God stands with me or what I believe or what I don't believe and I find their faith so...refreshing. So welcoming. So easy. It seems so perfect in a way that makes me think even if there is no God maybe it would be worth it to believe just to be as happy as they are.They are all so attractive and well mannered and they seem so darn happy.

I am pretty sure Jill Duggar won't end up back at the Duggar home with a baby when she is 23 and single.

The show makes me feel like life really can be easy.

As easy as frozen French Fries :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I didn't get the job.

I think Gemma is bummed too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Often, when Gemma gets fussy, someone will say to her "It's just so rough being a baby isn't it," in a tone that totally means, "You are living the life kid, cheer up!".

Earlier today, on the drive home from my mom's (where I have been going to study for my LSAT) I started thinking and I actually think that at times it must insanely hard to be a baby. They get gas trapped in their bellies. they cut teeth, they poop in their own pants. Even harder, they have a very short time to learn a ton of skills (crawling, walking, etc.) and I can imagine how hard that is. Like your hardest class ever times 3.

Last night, for example, my dad placed this little blue toy of Gem's in the tray of her swing yesterday. She spent THIRTY MINUTES manipulating this thing to get it to her mouth. THIRTY MINUTES. After about 15 minutes of trying to do something and not being successful at it I want to scream but Gemma just kept plugging along. She would fuss a little here and there but eventually the toy made it to her mouth!

I think she may have surprised herself a little, too . :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Celebrations and Generations

In our post-Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving break Gemma and I have still been finding reasons to celebrate.

My cousin Zack turned 20 years old and then became ENGAGED less than a week later.

Insane right?

It is interesting (and strange) to notice the generation shift as my brother and sister and cousins and I are becoming people who are old enough to get engaged and have babies and be real "grown ups".

I have spent a lot of time wondering lately about what my parents and grandparents thought and felt when they were in the stage of their lives that we (I) are (am) in now and how it must feel to be in the stages that they are in now, and how I will feel when I make it to the stages that they are in (Lord willing) and where they will be when that happens.

It is strange because all people say, "When I graduate...When I get married...When I grow up..." but never fully "get" that it will eventually happen. That they will come to that point in life and even pass it.

You only get it when you look around one day and realize that it has HAPPENED.

Gemma and I also went to a surprise 60th birthday party for my grandmother this weekend. Again, I am still trying to wrap my head around 60 years. How my perception of 60 is so much older than my perception of my grandmother. I can only imagine how she feels.

How I will feel.

When I am 60...


Thursday, November 12, 2009

11 Thoughts on 11 Thoughts for 11 Days at 11 Weeks

When Gemma was 11 days old I wrote an "11 Thoughts for 11 Days" post and now at 11 weeks I thought I would take a look back and comment on some of the thongs I wrote then.

Love Ya Gemma Bean and Happy 77 Days Old!
  1. Even though I realize that Gemma's smiles are pretty much just reflexes, they still make me swoon.
    • The smiles are real now but equally swoon-worthy J
  1. I have always heard that people forget the pain of childbirth soon after...I still haven't, and I am pretty sure I won't be having any kids for as long as I can remember!
    • The pain hasn’t been forgotten, but I am sure that I will be crazy enough to do it again.
  1. I worry when she sleeps too little and I worry when she sleeps too much. I worry when she eats too little and I worry when she eats too much. I have a feeling that this worry is pretty permanent.
    • Ha, the worry is still there. I am more comfortable in my role as mommy though, which has helped a lot.
  1. The way I feel about this baby is indescribable. I love her so intensely, yet she kind of feels like a complete stranger who has hi-jacked my life. I feel a little guilty for typing that.
    • She doesn’t feel like a stranger anymore. I am definitely still getting to know her better but she is familiar to me now.
  1. I though that sleepers for babies were practical. 19 billion snaps is far from practical. The alternative sleep gowns are always from 0-6 months which means she is swimming in them...what is a girl to do about nightwear?
    • This is no longer an issue, partially because I have become better at snaps, but mostly because she doesn’t need to be changed 20 times a night anymore.
  1. Breastfeeding is HARD.
It really has gotten a million times easier and way less time consuming than it was back then. I actually like how convenient it is now, even though I never thought I would get to this place with it.
  1. Throughout my life I have always complained about how hard it is to switch sleep routines, yet now it switches everyday and as long as I got sleep I am happy.
    • Gemma’s night time sleep is great. She doesn’t sleep through the night but pretty close.  In general I feel well rested.
  1. I have lost 28 pounds so far...maybe only a pound or two shy of what I gained throughout the entire pregnancy. I now secretly smile at myself when I pass by mirrors as long as I don't focus on my eyebrows (which desperately needed to be done weeks ago) or think about how my stomache looks (like bread dough that has been mauled by a wild cat).
    • I have gotten my eyebrows done since then ;)! My weight loss has leveled out and I am (considering) starting to watch what I eat and exercise more.
  1. 11 Days later I am just feeling like I am emerging from a post baby daze. I feel like I have been walking around in a fog since she was born
    • 11 weeks later the fog has certainly lifted. I still feel lingering hormonal stuff but nothing at all like it was then.
  1. Yesterday, I thought it would have been cute to do a "10 Thoughts for 10 Days" post but never got around to it. There is so much I wish I could say here everyday and I just don't have the time. Hopefully I can get back at it soon, I don't want to forget these early days. As hard as they are now I know I will miss them later.
    • I am happy with the frequency that I am able to check in. Now I just need to work on making enough time to write everything I want to say in the way I want to say it.
  1. I have been completely obsessed with taking pictures of her even though she is pretty much just always sleeping.
    • I am still obsessed with taking pictures of her. I feel like almost daily there is a new little version of her and I want to remember each one because I love them so much :) 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Babies and Phone Inteviews Don't Really Go Together

I finally got a job interview!

Well a phone interview at least, for a medical receptionist position.

 I was so nervous and to be quite honest I am not sure how I did. It was definitely one of those interviews that you walk away from (or click away from in this case) really feeling like it could go either way. The interviewer was totally sweet and it was a short, straightforward kind of thing. Unfortunately I am still suffering from the mush-brain I mentioned yesterday. Not to mention Gemma was in my arms in a slightly fussy mood that was threatening to get worse so I was pretty distracted.

 I am going to be optimistic though, hope I make it to the face-to-face interview, and if I do I will knock that one out of the park :)

I really, really need this break but at the same time am trying not to get my hopes up too high.

I hate waiting.

Gemma is doing okay. She has had an okay day fussiness wise. I am actually a little surprised because the past week has been TOUGH. As her doc said, I am earning those future Mother's Day presents. I hope all of that stuff they say about high needs babies being super intelligent is true because if it is I have the next Madame Curie hicupping here in my lap!

It is so frustrating because when Gigi is feeling good and her real personality comes out she is such a sweet natured baby. She has a huge gorgeous smile and coos at everything and I really think she would be like that most of the time if she were feeling better.

She is such a handful that my father actually got her a Halloween costume that he felt was more fitting of her personality than a mouse.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stuck In My Head

So, I realize it has been a while since I have done a legit post and mainly it is because I feel so...Stuck In My Head, lately.

You know that feeling where you have 90-bajillion thoughts tumbling around but when you try to articulate them they just sort of come out in a large string of mush.

That is where I am at. It isn't really a bad place, just frustrating. Especially for someone like me who likes to get stuff out.

Keeping it all in isn't my strong suit. (BTW, what the heck does strong suit really mean?)

Maybe letting things simmer a little will bring some clarity. Or giving it some time.

I know it will come.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The first one is kind of lame but just keep looking...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Current Life In Two Lists

Last night before bed I made these lists and thought they did a pretty good job of summing up life for me right now. I crossed out the things I have gotten done (well, at least mostly done)  as of 1:30 p.m. today.

Short Term Goals
  • Take care of insurance paperwork.
  • Call about Gemma's Insurance.
  • Pick up Gem's new meds. (Doc prescribed a new medicine that should help with colicky-ness. I sent my mom to pic it up but I have to wait until 4 when the truck comes in.)
  • Clean Bathroom.
  • Tweeze eyebrows.
  • Fold Laundry. (Gemma's is done...I still have a basket of mine though).
  • Call school lady. (This woman works for a non-profit who said she would help me out with the law school app. process. She said she would get back to me about a week ago. I am trying to figure out how long I should wait before calling her back. I don't want to seem rude, but enough already!)
  • Email lawyers. (I actually posted on a message board asking for help with law school selection/apps etc. and 3 women were willing to help by answering my questions! It is such a blessing and I am so grateful.) 
  • Take Gemma's costume pics. (Then I drew an arrow pointing down to the mid-term goal list)
  • Wash clothes.
  • Return library books.
  • Call Granddaddy.
Mid Term Goals (I don't even think this wording makes sense...but I "get" it so it works)
  • Start studying for LSAT ( Maybe I should move this one up!)
  • Choose the schools I will be applying to.
  • Find a "this year" job. -Maybe apply to 3 per day? (I have applied to 2)
  • Work on my personal statement.
  • Get a haircut.
  • Organize baby room. ( Not a nursery, but an empty room with baby gear we don't use day to day. Gemma is still sharing a room with me and there is NO WAY all of it would fit...)
  • Learn Gemma's schedule and from that create a daily schedule for us both. (With an arrow pointing up to short-term goals. I have a good idea but keep getting suggestions to put it on paper so I think maybe it would be worth a try.)
  • Look up Thanksgiving ideas. (It is at our house this year.)
  • Create a cleaning schedule.
  • Get all of the pics of Gemma printed. (I still have 0 hard copy pics of Gemma, I want to catch up and then try to get pics printed monthly.
Well, my little fuss bucket (as my dad so kindly calls her) is waking prematurely from her nap so I better go get her settled....

Hope you are getting things checked off of your to-do list today, too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts-Negative Nancy Edition

This is my first time participating in Random Tuesday Thoughts at the Un Mom. My advanced apologies for the emo-ness of some (all) of them!


I am sick and tired of people telling me that Gemma's babyhood will be gone in a flash/blink of an eye/before I know it. The thought depresses me, and it makes me feel old. At 23. And now, I am terrified to blink. I spend time everyday reminding myself that time is all relative thus wasting time thus triggering OMG where is my life going thoughts and perpetuating the cycle. Does that sound a little crazy to you?

Part of me REALLY wants a job but part of me wishes I could just stay home with Gemma. Realistically, I need the money and the experience but I can't imagine the day when I gave to drop her off at the sitter. I feel like we have become a unit over the past couple of months...

This Halloween was the first in my life I didn't dress up. That kind of bums me out.

So apparently Gemma has some Milk Protein Sensitivity issues which means NOTHING with even the slightest bit of dairy in it for me for the next 2 months, possibly longer. As someone who could possibly live on cheese this is a total bummer.

Gemma slept 6-7 hour stretches twice last week and hasn't done it since.

As much as I love Gemma I still want myself back. Almost every thought I have is about her. Surely, this won't be what my entire life is like...will it? I know she will always be on my mind but will I always feel so...consumed by her?