Sunday, March 25, 2007

365 days or 525,600 minutes or 1 year

Dear Jules,

You’re turning one! Now when we ask you, “Julianna, how old are you?” you answer correctly when you hold out that adorable chubby finger. I’m so proud of the little girl you’ve become and I can’t believe how fast you’re growing up. This year has really been a whirlwind!

You’ve had a blast outside the past few weeks as the weather has gotten warmer and I revel each day that it’s nice outside in what wonderful timing God has. He was certainly doing a good thing by following His plan instead of ours and bringing you to us in March. What a good month to have a birthday! What a good month to have a one year old!

You understand so much more now than you did last month. We can ask, “What does the cow say?” and you respond, “Mmmmmmm” or “What does the duck say?” and sometimes you give a short, “Quack!” (And sometimes it’s even, “Tack!” but you’re amazing anyway Stinker.)

You take only one nap a day now. It was a really easy transition from two to one and now that we have longer mornings together, I’m thinking about signing us up for a class together at the Little Gym. You’re such an easy, good natured girl. Thank you for that.

Another cool thing that happened this month was the fact that we got you down to no more bottles; you only drink from sippy cups now. You eat basically what we eat, except no more shrimp, I promise. We’ll see how you do with the transition to cow’s milk.

You’ve also started to sing the ABCs with me on the way to Nanna and Papaw’s house each day. I’ve always sung to you – ever since the first day back to work, but now you hum along, just like you know the words but choose not to say them exactly. You’re so smart. You call yourself “Anna” which I can understand. It’s hard to say long words like Julianna. I pointed out your potty seat the other day and you looked at it and said, “Anna?”

You’re also a very brave girl. Since your Mama never vacuums you got scared of the running vacuum cleaner the other day. You ran back and forth from Nanna to Papaw just shaking with fear. But you know what? They said that after just a minute or two you calmed right down and investigated what that scary thing was all about. I’m so proud of you.

Your father sings to you every night and you go right to sleep. He’s been gone all week for work and he’s been missing you terribly. He thinks you’ll forget him and your slight clinginess to me has made him worry that you don’t love him as much. Doodlebug, I'm so glad that you gave him big hugs and kisses this week to make sure he knew otherwise!

Happy birthday, Julianna! I hope you have a fun day.

We love you!

Friday, March 23, 2007

363 days old

Twenty Characteristics of One*

  • One holds out an object to be praised, “Thank you!” and then quickly takes it back.
  • One tries to pick and choose what to eat and what not to eat.
  • One tries “jumping” with feet still planted on the floor.
  • One squeals and laughs.
  • One throws temper tantrums.
  • One no longer drinks from bottles.
  • One can be a wobbly walker with hands on hips.
  • One sometimes tucks toys/stuffed animals under her arms to free up her hands.
  • One plays many, many, many, many games of peek-a-boo.
  • One grunts and reaches pleadingly for objects she desires.
  • One goes up the stairs and down the stairs over and over again.
  • One plays in the toilet.
  • One pulls up her shirt or dress while walking around.
  • One walks over to objects (like a toy wagon or a MAMA), backs up, and squats down to sit on said object.
  • One rubs eyes with tiredness and sucks on her bib or little stuffed lamb.
  • One begs to be picked up with arms stretched out.
  • One squeals with delight while playing in the dirt.
  • One enjoys watching the weather forecast on the local news.
  • One occasionally tries to eat ladybugs.
  • One points outside and waits expectantly.
  • One is a squirmy worm (especially at diaper time).
  • One loves to brush her teeth and gets mad when you try to do it for her.
  • One is FUN!

*Idea shamelessly stolen from Stephanie.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sugar Makes Me Smile

I just spent the morning with one of my SILs and her new baby at Starbuck's. It instantly put me in a happy mood. What can I say? Sugar just makes me smile.

*pictures to come

361 days old

Things I Didn't Know a Year Ago

  1. I didn’t know how my life would be forever changed once I gave birth.
  2. I didn’t know that you could feel guilty about SO MANY THINGS.
  3. I didn’t know what a mucous plug was.
  4. I didn’t know what I was missing.
  5. I didn’t know how quickly I would consider working from home.
  6. I didn't know just how supportive, calm, and rational my husband could be.
  7. I didn't know that a normal 20-something-year-old could have significant memory loss forgetfulness.
  8. I didn't know that I would miss my daughter every second that I’m not with her.
  9. I didn’t know just how good God’s timing could be.
  10. I didn't know that when the baby was born I would judge the success of the day by how many times the baby pooped and how many hours of daytime sleep she got.
  11. I didn't know that working would become less and less of a priority.
  12. I didn’t know how to appreciate my parents.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Small Change Update

I have not had a soft drink in thirty days. That's a really long time. Go me.

If I had to guess, I'd say that I only drank around 2 a week before this small change thing anyway, but it's just starting to seem like it's been so long.

So if I make it until Easter which is only two and a half weeks away then I will have made it seven weeks without one. Not too bad.

360 days old

since i've always wanted to document it and it's never been told, here is
Julianna’s birth story

One year ago today it was a Friday afternoon and I was coming home from yet another long week of work and whined and complained about how bad my pelvic bone was hurting. Then I proceeded to laid around on the couch until someone suggested that we go out to dinner with my mom, dad, and sister downtown. We went to a restaurant I had never visited before. It was different but yummy and I remember the cold air blasting in through the door every time someone opened it. There was to be live music there that evening and because we were eating a pretty early dinner we didn’t see the musicians until we were about to leave. They had just come in to start setting up. Anyway, I don’t remember what I ordered except that I did eat my mom’s bowl of chili after she decided she didn’t like it. Whoa buddy. Big mistake.

So where was I? Oh yeah. Back to the restaurant. When we were done with our meal and waiting on the check I started feeling some tightness in my stomach. When I complained about it everyone kept asking, “Are they contractions?” But I didn’t know. All I knew was that I was feeling really bloated and when I touched my belly it was as hard as a rock. So we all went on home.

When we got home the tightness still hadn’t gone away so I called the doctor and the nurse on duty kept asking me how long apart the contractions were. I tried to explain to her that it was basically a constant pain and tightness in my lower stomach and upper thigh area and that I couldn’t feel the tightness go away ever or at least not enough to time it. So they finally just told me to go on over to the hospital to get checked.

On the way to the hospital my water broke (or so I thought). We made it up to the fourth floor and I got checked in. She asked for my symptoms and I told her about the tightness in my stomach and that I thought my water broke. She told me to go on over to the nurses station in Labor and Delivery. When we got there we had to wait a bit to even be addresses so I went over to the bathroom. It was then that I was certain that my water had indeed broken. By the time I got out of the bathroom back to the nurses station I could feel the pain coming and could definitely start timing the contractions. They were about 2.5 minutes apart (or I could be mistake since my memory is fuzzy, but that’s how I recall it). Anyway, they got me into a bed soon and hooked up my IVs and took my blood pressure, etc. When the doctor came and checked I was 4 cm dilated. We called my family to let them know we were there, but also told them that there was no need to come to the hospital just yet because all we were doing was a lot of waiting… I think it was about 8pm then.

They sometime moved me over to a real Labor and Delivery room and got me hooked up to all the machines and everything. Then my doctor actually came by to see me and I remember feeling really relieved that it was that particular doctor on call that weekend. I asked her when she got off and when she said, “Not ‘til Sunday” I was pretty happy that she would be the one that would more than likely be delivering my little one. She told me that there were a lot of patients on the hall that night so that she’d be back a little later.

Well, we hadn’t been in that room for long when my mom, dad, sister, and sister’s boyfriend come strolling in. Jonathan decided to call his mom and tell her that everyone was there so they might as well come on up too. So shortly after that his mom and grandmother were there.

My pain was getting pretty bad and the nurse kept saying that a doctor would be in to check me again shortly. I remember being SO UNBELIEVABLY HOT. Everyone was fanning me with folded up papers and I was snapping at people who wouldn’t answer my questions the first time I asked. The nurse was pretty generous about letting more than the allowed 4 people in the room with me, but then the pain got so bad at one point I remember saying to my mom, “I can’t do this!”

The NCAA Tournament was on TV and I kept trying to distract myself by watching the games. (I believe Boston College was playing, but then again maybe I am mistaken. It was hard to pay attention and besides NCSU and UNC were both already out.) By about 10:30 my contractions were getting so bad and they kept telling me that the doctor was going to be right in to check me. I had told myself that if I could make it to 7 cm then I would try to have a natural delivery, but since the doctor wasn’t coming I finally called for the drugs.

Then it seemed like AN ETERNITY before the anesthesiologist arrived. Apparently several women asked for their epidurals all at the same time. He did finally get there and administered the drugs pretty quickly and easily. I just remember him about to stick the needle in my back and me yelling for him to stop, that a contraction was coming. I was so afraid I wasn’t going to be able to sit still. But after it was all said and done, the epidural didn’t hurt at all. Anyway, he was Puerto Rican and very funny. I remember liking the man with the drugs a whole lot. He he.

After I got some relief from the pain I was able to rest a little. I don’t think I ever went to sleep, but it was definitely a lot easier to sit still and think. The nurses had shooed my family out into the waiting room when the anesthesiologist came so it was a pretty nice quite time with my husband for a while after that.

With the epidural I could still feel each time a contraction was coming, but it was very minor pain compared to before and I later I realized how good this was because I would know when I was going to need to push. As my luck would have it, the nurse checked me right after I got the epidural and I was 7 cm and they told me that it wouldn’t be too much longer before we’d start the whole delivery process.

In hindsight, I *think* I could have managed without the epidural if I had known that I was already to 7 cm and if the delivery had still gone as smoothly as it did with the epidural. However, I do want to note that that was indeed the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. It makes me a wee bit sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to really evaluate the situation and decide, but I hope to have other opportunities to see if I actually can manage a natural childbirth. For me, the breastfeeding was the worst part of the whole experience, but that’s a whole other story…

Now I’ve lost my place again. Oh yeah. My labor kept progressing normally. They called the doctor. I think around 2:30 or 3 am the doctor finally got there and told me I was ready to get the baby out. I started pushing and the baby’s heart rate starting dipping a couple of times which worried me a little, but not too much because the doctor wasn’t too concerned. I pushed for an hour and a half (I think).

We stopped. The doctor explained how close the baby was to coming out. She explained that every time I’d give a really good push, her head would twist to the side and get stuck. The doctor had tried to use her hand and hold the baby’s head upright while I pushed, but she wasn’t having much success with that because she needed to use her hands and also because Julianna’s head would just twist right back. She gave us three options. First, we could choose to keep pushing and trying (no telling how long that would be). Second, we could give her permission to use forceps - not to pull the baby out, but just to hold her head stable while I pushed so that it wouldn’t twist and get stuck. Our third option was to go with a c-section. She said, she’d recommend the second option and that sounded like the right one for us anyway. She also explained how they’d have to call in some extra doctors and nurses from the pediatric unit to examine the baby if forceps were used. That was just a routine precaution that the hospital takes and requires every time forceps are used during childbirth and we were fine with it too.

Well, what seemed like five minutes and two pushes later, Julianna was born March 25, 2006 at 5:38 am weighing 8 pounds 4 ounces and she was 21 ¾ inches long.

It turns out that the umbilical cord was around her neck, which must have been why the heart rate was dipping a little, but they were able to get it safely untangled pretty quickly. Jonathan got to cut the cord and they passed her off to the pediatric team. He started videoing and she started crying. Then I did all the afterbirth stuff and finally the doctor helped me try to nurse one quick time before she left.

The nurses came in a little while later and took the baby to the nursery. Jonathan walked down the hall with them and pointed Jules out to the proud grandparents. Phones around the country started ringing. (I’m kidding.) As they tried to move me to a new room I realized I couldn’t walk, but with a lot of people help and a wheelchair, I eventually made it. We stayed until Monday morning and then we brought our little jaundiced baby home. The rest is history.

Monday, March 19, 2007

359 days old

In honor of the little girl’s upcoming birthday, for the next seven days I’m planning on doing a series of posts reflecting on the past year. Also, BE WARNED that since I love lists, a lot of these will be in numbered/bulleted list format.

Things I Love About Being a Mother

  • Being needed.
  • Being wanted.
  • Being reminded of and frequently reflecting on my own childhood.
  • Rediscovering the simplicity of everyday fun.
  • Always having fresh fruit in the house.
  • Reading lots of fun books.
  • Naps.
  • Shopping for adorable little kids clothes.
  • Teaching my daughter new things every day.
  • Two words. Goldfish crackers.
  • Knowing that someone always loves you (at least until they’re teenagers).
  • How easy it is to stop heartbreaking cries sometimes by just walking in the room
  • How something so small can make me feel so important and happy.
  • Before, I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
  • I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

can you believe it?

My husband eats chicken salad.

Adventures in Babysitting

Since the husband has been out of town the little girl and I have been gallivanting around town visiting people. Thursday night we went to my MIL's house and had dinner. Friday afternoon and evening we went shopping with my mom and sister. This morning we spent some time at the library and then went over to my sister's new house for a bit. This afternoon I think we'll just spend some time at home.

Here are some pictures from our trip to the library. We did a lot more playing than we did reading, but it was all good fun. My baby is adorable!

climbing on the toddler chairs
trying to read a Frosty the Snowman book
but getting distracted by children walking by
playing on the turtle pillow

running from Mama

"I got up here all by myself!"

playing in the "reading rainforest"

She's got my keys. I think it's time to go!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Five Days

I have a question. Would we appreciate the weather if it were sunny and warm like this all the time? Or would we just take it for granted like we do everything else? Are people in California generally happier people?

I mean, seriously, I've walked outside several times today. I spent literally all day outside yesterday except for the 3 hours I worked and 1 hour I was in a meeting. It is absolutely beautiful. Comfortable and nice. Doesn't it just make you smile when the weather is like this? It didn't used to make me feel this way, but for some reason now it does.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that about 11 months ago the weather was like this, but I spent most of my time inside a dark house, being depressed and crying. Mostly about how different life had become and how frustrating nursing was to me. Anyway, this year the warm weather makes me euphoric. I know that if I spent time like this outside most days I would be a happier person. It's really nice how the weather can do that do to. It's officially Spring in five days.

But tomorrow they're calling for lots of rain and thunderstorms. :(

stupid dog

Julianna has started throwing temper tantrums to get what she wants. She literally throws her body down on the floor and screams. We're trying our best to ignore her and she usually stops crying pretty soon after, especially if we can leave the room that she's in to guarantee she gets no attention.

ANYWAY, she's also gotten to where she points at the window and "asks" to go outside. As I've mentioned before, she loves to look out at the neighbor's new puppy. Well, the other day she saw the big dog across the street starting out on a walk with his owners. She got so excited when she realized that I was taking her over to see the doggie.

Then last night we were out in the yard planting flowers. I know. Flowers? Me? Planting? I'll wait while you stop rolling on the floor laughing. Now. Feel better? Good. So... we were out planting flowers and the neighbor and the big dog started out on a walk again. When the neighbor asked, "Does Julianna want to see the dog?" I said, "sure" and we headed over in their direction.

It started out as a simple visit in our driveway. Jules got really excited and flapped her arms wildly when she got close to him. He let her pet him and she grinned from ear to ear. Then I put her down so he could lick her face.

Let me pause here to say that this dog weighs over a hundred pounds and is definitely a few inches taller than she is. He is a rescued dog who has come a long way since he was first adopted by our neighbors. There are some bad pictures here, but at least you can see that he is rougly the height of the MAILBOX. The other day he accidentally knocked her over by nudging her with his nose while she was petting him. But I digress.

To make a long story short, last night when we were done talking I picked the little girl up and we started to head on our way, when the stupid dog leaped up and bit my baby!



I immediately jerked her back and pulled up her shirt to see if there was blood. (He bit her belly/side around the top of her diaper.) She started wailing. I tried to calm her. The owner pulled the dog's leash and apologized several times. She even came back later on to check and see if Jules was OK. She really was fine and calmed down easily, but I was definitely shaken. She was mainly just scared too. I looked this morning and she has a faint bruise and pink streak but it has mostly gone away.

But I think it will be YEARS before we get a dog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On My Mind

I spent Sunday afternoon watching crummy basketball games and downloading songs to my new iPod. This took hours, but because I ran 5 miles again on Saturday I was totally inspired to create some speedy running mixes. I get to try them out today during my 4-miler.

Last night we finished up watching Babel. If you haven’t seen it yet then I want to strongly encourage you to watch it. It was moving, nerve-racking, and thought-provoking all at the same time. The thing is, I really didn’t expect to like it. But I ended up sitting frozen on the couch the majority of the last hour with my stomach in knots and my emotions running wild. My theory usually is that if a movie can instill that many emotions then its probably a pretty good one even if you dont quite know what to make of it when its over.

On a sad note, the clock keeps ticking. The husband leaves in two nights. I will be a single parent for the time being and the little girl and I are going to tackle some spring cleaning. He he hee. We'll just have to see how that goes.

Julianna vs. The Popsicle

Monday, March 12, 2007

weekend re-cap

After being really sick Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and having to go to the doctor for antibiotics, etc. Julianna was feeling better and getting a little tired of being inside by yesterday afternoon. The weather was perfect so at half time of the game we spent a few glorious minutes outside. Here is just a fraction of all of the cute pictures we got.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Here Boy!

I’m in a rotten mood.

The husband is leaving for a fun trip followed immediately by a business trip in a few days. OK so it’s more like eight days.

But still.

It leaves me as the baby-put-to-bed-er for seven nights. I totally owe him so I guess it's all right. But I'll miss him like CRAZY.

I have a sore throat and I haven’t been sleeping well. Last night was better, but I still need to catch up so I don't get sick. I also have the filthiest house and I don’t feel like cleaning it, but it's stressing me out a little.

In addition, our next door neighbors got a puppy. They pinned his chain down on the far side of their back yard closest to our house. He’s practically just outside our living room bay window. And while he’s the most adorable little puppy I’ve seen in nearly forever, his bark is quite annoying. He has been barking ALL morning long. I'm not exaggerating.

On a more positive note, the hubby gave me an iPod for my Best Birthday Ever and I still haven't put any songs on it. (Yes, I know that it's quite possible that I'm the last person on earth to get one. Don't rub it in.) I need to get to that before my run tomorrow. So I'm off! Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Best. Husband. Ever.

Did you read Emily’s most recent post?? Ya’ll. I wish I could think like that. She says:

Dave is a wonderful father, and I want him to believe that, but I don’t think he will be confident about his abilities if all I do is correct him and try to make him do things my way. Who cares if he doesn’t warm up the bottle to the exact same temperature I would? Asher still drinks it. Why should it matter if Dave scrubs off Asher’s cradle cap with a washcloth instead of a soft-bristled brush? It works either way.
I love my husband for all that he has done for the little girl and I. He goes to work and does it every day. He comes home and does some more. Then he goes off and does something to help out someone else out and then, yes he comes back and he does more for us.

And I am critical. I correct him. I nag him. I moan and groan to him about the dumbest little things. I do less than my share of everything. I give a little and I take a lot. And a lot of times I am unappreciative. For all of these things I am sorry.

So let me learn from Emily. Let me recognize that we all struggle with the guilt of being a mommy and a wife. But most importantly, let me try to be thankful for having the bestest husband on the planet and not take him for granted. I love you, Booger.

overheard at my house

Remember the Molten Chocolate Cake we ate the other night?

Last night when offered some Cold Stone my husband replied, "I can't. Last night I died of a Molten Chocolate Cake."

Monday, March 5, 2007

mini hills and mountains of cake

Another mini hill, around the curve, and to the light pole. We can do it.

We chanted this over and over again as my sister and I ran 5 miles yesterday. I wore and embarrassing outfit and the wind was blowing our hair and snot into our face. My husband and little girl topped off the dorkiness of it all by driving the car beside us and cheering us on every 1/2 mile or so. We did it.

Soreness, chafed arms and all. I have my first battle wounds from running. But my pride? My pride is soaring.

Today I am 29 years old and I ran five miles straight yesterday. I rock.

Last night we celebrated with dinner at a restaurant with the Worst Service Ever. I won't tell you the name, but let's just say I intentionally got the salad bar as my meal because I was saving up for a huge feast on dessert afterwards. Well, after the service was so bad, we skipped the dessert and hightailed it outta that place. I was devastated, but luckily my hubby is good enough to me to take me to the other side of the mall to get a Molten Chocolate Cake from Chili's to take home. YUM! All 1270 calories and 62 grams of fat of it.

Life is so good. To say that my happiness level is out the roof would be an extreme understatement. :)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

A Note From Little J

Aunt Lucy,
Now that I am old enough, I LOVE to sleep with my lamb. He is so soft and when I suck on his ear, it helps me fall asleep. Please bring Forrest to see me soon. I really want to meet my boyfriend and I miss my 2nd favorite aunt!

getting old and sappy

He’ll kill me for posting this…

Oh well…

I still have to brag on the awesomeness that is my husband…

We continue to watch old Friends episodes each weekend and the other night big J and I were watching an episode from the end of the first season where Ross’ ex-wife Carol has their baby. By the end of the episode I look over and J had a few tears rolling down his cheeks. Of course, he got majorly defensive when he saw that I noticed and he loudly exclaimed, “What?! We were there. Doing that. Almost a year ago!”

linkity link link link

I went to the Healthy Living Expo earlier today and that was kinda neat. I got to see Matt and Suzy Hoover from The Biggest Loser, one of my favorite TV shows. We heard them speak about becoming healthy and losing weight and Suzy looked so adorable with her new haircut and tiny little pregnant belly.

I got some fun freebies too, like lots of cool ink pens, coupons, free passes to the YMCA, hand sanitizer, etc. Who doesn’t love free stuff? My granddaddy always said to take the freebies and help the printer.

After that we went to eat lunch. Yummy. I cheated on my diet. Yummy. And now we are home. Yummy. The little girl is taking a much needed nap and some Tylenol is kicking in to give her a break from the pain of those dern molars. And I just cheated on my diet again. Yummy. But I still haven’t had a coke.

**Updated to add: Oh! And I also just found out that Alison Sweeney is going to be the new host of show. Yippeee! Love her.
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