Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gigi and Papa

My dad and step mom ("Papa and Gigi") spent the weekend with us this last weekend. They are absolutely in love with "Papa's pretty princess" and there is nothing more precious than watching your parents love on your child.

Saturday, while they were here, we took Maddy for her first outing to the Sound. We visited Redondo Beach and took a walk along the boardwalk. The day was perfect for it - sunny and brisk! If only all winter days were like this.

Saturday night we went to dinner at Kent Station while Mommy tried not to look like a first time Mommy and relax and just eat her dinner (easier said than done). Seems that Mommy is easy to stress out when her baby cries. Maddy was a little gem though, crying very little.

Monday, Maddy and Mommy dropped off Gigi and Papa at the airport and then went on a little shopping excursion. Mommy needed to return some clothing and pick herself up some decent sweats. And....Maddy taught her a lesson! We were out a little long, which required me to feed her (in the Lane Bryant dressing room....). She decided to make me a little package and boy howdy - it was a total blowout. We're talking poop up the back and everything - and I had NOTHING to change her into. Bad Mommy - no clothing change! Lesson learned! The only sad note about the blow out is that I think we need to move up diaper sizes - she's starting to blow out her diaper every time it's poopy. Moving her out of newborn diapers makes me so sad :( My baby is growing up.

Jim went back to work on Monday. Thus far it hasn't been that bad as he has only worked two days. Things are really slow for him right now and he's only picking up 3 - 4 shifts a week. It's nice to have him home - but always the worry wart, I worry about not having money coming in from at least one of us now that his STD is up. Ahh well...we'll make it :)

We also had a *very* important visitor last week....Maddy's boyfriend, Ryan MacDonald! My dear friend Kim had her precious little one two days after Maddy was born. It's fate....they're meant to be together. Nevermind that Maddy threw up on him while they were taking pictures together (notice her very innocent look when Ryan is crying.....poor guy, the first time on a couch with a girl and he ends up crying). The throwing up part? That's a sign of affection. Really.

Lastly, I've taken some pictures of Madelyn's latest accomplishments. She's decided she can hold her own bottle. That or Daddy was faking it. I'm not sure. She's also doing very well in her tummy time adventures.

And...the cutest thing she does as of late....when we unwrap her from her swaddle, she'll throw her arms up and stretch. She shoots...she SCORES!

As always....a complete collection of the pictures can be found on our Shutterfly site:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Besties!

One of my dear friends, Deborah, and I have long said our little girls are going to be BEST FRIENDS. Her daughter, Mikayla, was born last June and is absolutely a doll. The perfect BFF for my little girl.

Deb and Mikayla came to visit today - note Mikayla trying to hold Madelyn's hand. True best friends :)

Changin' Times

I just have to give a shout out to all of those going through change right now. It can be downright scary even if it's what needs to be happen.

But sometimes the most important steps in life are ones that scare us silly.

So - for all of you who are going through change (and you know who you are)'s to new beginnings and happier times ahead.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Real Tears

I had my first horrible mommy moment last night. Madelyn has broken out with baby acne and fairly bad (at least to my eyes) cradle cap. Jim and I gave her a bath before bed. I'm trying to get us on a routine: bath, book, bottle (while rocking), bed. All of the videos and books said that when baby has cradle cap, to wash their scalp and gently brush their head while you're washing.

So....that's what I did. And she seemed fine with it at the time. Madelyn loves her bath time - she really seems to enjoy being in the warm water. She only cries when I dress her. Or undress her for that matter. Miss Thing does not enjoy the dressing and undressing part of anything. She likes to be either fully clothed or naked as a jay bird.

After her bath, I dried her off and started to put her lotion on her - and she started to cry. Just the normal crying - nothing serious, just her telling me she's not enjoying the festivities. the time I was getting to putting her onsie on her, she's in a full on melt down. The kind of crying that is silent, but with a wide open mouth and real, full on tears streaming down her face.

I couldn't even put her jammies on her - I barely got a onsie and a diaper on her. It took me a hour and a half to calm her down enough to swaddle her and attempt to take her to bed. She cried and cried while I held her, till she was hiccuping and doing the half asleep, half sob kind of crying.

I just don't know what we did wrong. If it was her poor little head, which seems rather red and raw (no more shampooing, that's for sure!) or if she was just overly tired and didn't like getting dressed.

But I do know that's the first time she's cried like that and it absolutely broke my heart!!!! Both Jim and I were just beside ourselves, we don't like it when our baby cries at all...and we certainly don't like those kinds of tears.

I sure hope those sorts of melt downs are to a minimum. I don't think Mommy can take those kinds of tears very often!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love Letter #1

My dearest Madelyn....
I don't have a baby book for you. I meant to pick one up, but I kept forgetting and I haven't been back to the baby store since you were born.

So this is your baby book....your monthly love letter from your Mommy. You are one month old today. My littlest and dearest baby girl is one month old....and these are the things I love most about my little girl.

I love your cough. You have the cutest and tiniest cough and it just melts my heart. I keep trying to catch it on my camera video, but if I don't, I always want to remember the sound of your tinest cough.

I love your cheeks. You don't have cheeks as chubby as some...but the cheeks you do have I love to nibble. They are so precious to me.

I love your eyes. I think they're going to end up being blue like your daddy's.... and I love the way they cross when they're looking up at me.

I love the way you love your Daddy. You just light up when he has you. You are such a daddy's burp better for him, you quiet down quicker for him...he's your honey, no doubt about it. And you're his honey too...I knew he's love you, but I wasn't prepared for just how much. He just adores you and loves on you every chance he gets. Sometimes we actually fight over who gets to hold you and love on you. You're his "pumpkin", his "darlin", his "sweetie pie". He calls you beautiful and gorgeous all the time.

You've been growing and growing over the last month. You still don't sleep through the night - and you don't hold your head up yet, but you're starting to smile...and I love that - I love that you're starting to smile at me. That face lights up my heart.

You love to cuddle with sleep the first part of the night (from midnight to 3ish) in your little co-sleeper. But when you wake up for that feeding and then we go back to bed, you don't settle until you're in the middle of Mommy and Daddy. Some people tell us to start training you to go back into your own bed....but Mommy isn't ready for that (and neither is Daddy - this morning I woke up to him holding you in the crook of his arm). I love that you want to sleep in the middle of us - that only lasts for a few years for most kids, and I'm okay with that. Some day, you're going to be just like me and not be as cuddly with your Mom and Dad. I'm okay with letting your cuddle time last as long as possible.

You LOVE your mobile! It fascinates you! It's over your changing table right now - because you're so rarely in your crib. When you do move to your crib, we'll move it. But for now, when we're changing clothes or diapers, it holds your attention like nothing else. It's the first "thing" besides Mommy and Daddy that you just adore.

You like your tummy time. You hold your head up for a minute or two at a time. And you love the sound of things that crinkle....that's what gets your attention most.

You've had a few outings. You and I went for our first Mommy/Maddy shopping trip. We went to Costco and we did just fine! You slept in the Baby Bjorn and I shopped. It worked perfectly.

You've been to Grandma Freda's twice to visit family and friends...and play with your big cousin Sidney. She's quite enamored of you - she tries to get you to play with her toys. She was a little shy at first, but not anymore. She's always trying to convince me she can hold you all by herself. It reminds me of me when my sister Jaime was born. I was about Sidney's age and I was always trying to take care of her on my own.

You've been to Grandpa Jim and Grandma Jody's. They're convinced that you don't cry. Dad and I know do cry, but not much. Your biggest noise is grunting. You grunt all the time. I think it's because you're always trying to work out the gas you swallow when you eat. So...we just tell you to work it on out and grunt all you like.

You've been up to the cabin for the Clark/Smith family weekend. Actually, it was just for dinner. Mom and Dad weren't up for an entire weekend and as you'll learn, someone always comes home from that weekend sick, and we didn't want it to be our little honey. But you did go up and have dinner with everyone - and love on your Aunties and cousins.

Grandma Diane came to visit you. She spoiled you rotten! She let Momma sleep and took the night shift. She rocked you and rocked loved it.

This next four weeks, we're going to work on getting into a routine so Momma and you can get out of the house a little bit more and see the world. There's so much of it to see and I can't wait to show it to you.

I love you my little Madelyn....I love you from your head to your toes. You're just beautiful to me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More Pictures

Aside from all the pictures her talented daddy has been taking, my good friend Rebecca took some shots of her. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our Miracle

She's here....and our lives will never be the same.
People tell you that....that you aren't prepared for how much you will love your child - and they're right. I thought I wouldn't be overwhelmed with how much I love her. I thought my previous experiences had me prepared for how much she would mean to me. I was so very wrong.

I will never forget how it felt to bring her into this world. It was, without a doubt, the single most awe inspiring moment of my life. I've had some big moments in my life....saying my vows, being present for the death of my beloved grandmother are among the top two...until now.

This one tops it all - there is nothing like that instant where she moves from being safe and sound inside your body to breathing her first breath. I don't have words for it.

Which, is not to say her delivery was a piece of cake. Well, the delivery part was - honestly, I actually enjoyed the pushing. Of course, I had an epidural by then, just strong enough to take away the major pain, but not the feeling. Up until that epidural, however....all 26 hours up until that epidural... it wasn't so much fun. I'd thought perhaps I'd be able to do it naturally, but man alive was I not up for that.

My labor started around 3 am on Thursday, January 15th. It started as heavy menstral cramps. Strong enough to be painful, but not enough to make me think I was in actual labor. Pregnant women have cramps all the time. The difference, this time, was that they were coming in timable waves. Being the true trooper I was (that's a shameless grab at an 'atta girl), I started working about 6 am. I was uncomfortable, but able to concentrate. By 10 am, that wasn't the case. I was on conference calls and had myself muted because I was having to breath through the cramps. By noon, I couldn't concentrate and I called it a day, thinking these were Braxton Hicks and I'd be right back at it the next day. Her due date wasn't until the following Tuesday, after all. However, my girlfriends convinced me I should time them before I laid down - which I did. They were about 10 minutes apart.

For the rest of the afternoon, I tried to nap. My husband kept saying they were just BH contractions, I couldn't possible be in labor. But at this point, I knew I was in some sort of early labor. BH goes away when you change positions, drink water, lie down. These hadn't gone away.

By 4 pm, they were about 5 minutes apart and I called my OB. Her nurse suggested we hang out another hour or so before going to the hospital and wait for them to be 5 - 3 minutes apart.

The next several hours weren't fun. My contractions would go from 3 minutes apart to 5 minutes to 7 minutes to 2 minutes. They were all over the board - and strong enough to bring tears to my eyes. I wanted to go to the hospital! I was sure I must be dialated to a 3 or 4!

Jim thought we were going too early - and he was right in the end - but I didn't care. We got to the hospital, I was checked, and sure enough - I was a 1 :( They didn't send me home, however, but let me labor in the tub for an hour. In that time, I progressed to a 2. However, there were other signs things were moving along, so they monitored me for another hour. In that time I moved to a 3 and they decided to admit me for good around 11 pm.

The problem was, my contractions weren't in a steady pattern. They were "coupling", which meant they'd come one on top of the other, then several minutes, then a contraction, then several minutes, then several contractions. This isn't considered "productive" laboring, so I was dialating slowly - which meant no epidural.

For those that go naturally, I applaude you. However, I do not handle pain that well....and I was not a happy camper. I didn't yell, I didn't scream. I just cried - a LOT. I ended up having a dose of pain medication. I'd wanted to avoid any narcotics, but I was hurting so terribly, and the nurse assured me we were far enough away from delivery, it wouldn't adversly affect Maddy. That helped for an hour.

Finally, at 4:30, I had a series of contractions that moved me from a 5 to a 6 in ten minutes. Those hurt ALOT....but...they ended with the doctors agreeing I could have an epidural. Ahhhh, pain relief, you are my friend.

Once the epi was in place, I was a happy camper. Jim and I were able to relax - he slept for a few hours, I dozed. We were back up around 10 am. My doctor had stopped in about 7 to check on me. Things hadn't progressed much, so she broke my water. That didn't do much, so I was started on a pitocin drip. By noon, things were far enough along that it was time to push.

Pushing was awesome. It didn't hurt - it was a lot of pressure, but it didn't hurt. And it was exciting to me! It meant Madelyn would be in my arms shortly. I was warned I would push for hours, but after my "test push" at 12:15, I got down to business and pushed her out in record time - an hour and a half.

And life will never be the same.

Things have been interesting, to say the least. She had water on her lungs when she was born and gave us all a bit of a scare. She had a slight case of jaundice, which lead to some feeding issues that have been hugely emotional for me at times. Life just doesn't go exactly the way you planned it to. But with the help of my husband and an amazing pediatrician, we're on the right track.

There are other stories to tell...but little miss is giving me signs it's time to eat - so I must go. But not before I also say that bringing a child into the world with the man you love is amazing - and will make you fall in love with him all over again. Jim is the most amazing father. I don't know what I'd do without him. He has been right by my side, changing the late night diapers, making the bottles, and fussing so over his little girl - she's so in love with him and he's so in love with her - and I'm so in love with them both.

And these are the two little words I've waited most to say.... "she's here".