Monday, June 13, 2011

Beautiful Baby

When you have baby, while it's still brewing, you imagine who it will look like. It's hard to imagine who's features it will inherit.
You begin to think of a baby with your eyes, your husband's hair and grandmother's nose. A sprinkling of your dad's intelligence and your mother's sense of humor.

I read that a baby is 50% its parent's DNA, with the other 50% made up of its grandparent's and great grandparent's. So, it's going to look like its parents, but it also has 1/8th chance of looking like your grandmother!

Regardless of the time you spend imagining your baby's particular features, what comes out is always a surprise. In my case, my baby came out looking like my brother! Now, as she gets older, I see bits of me, bits of baby pictures of my brother. Sometimes, she makes faces that remind me of her daddy. But, overall....all of those things don't matter. I look at her skin and her fingers and her arms and the curve of her nose and I see the most beautiful thing I have ever laid my eyes on. I'm amazed at the smoothness of her skin, her green eyes, her fabulous leg rolls and the redness of her hair.

I don't know where she got each of those characteristics individually and don't really care. I know that whoever she looks most like is irrelevant, being that she's a perfect combination of my family and my husband's family. The best of both have been put together to make my baby.

I know I sound biased (I am) and maybe a little conceited about my baby's beauty (I am) but every mother looks at her baby with eyes that see a beauty like no other.

My baby is my little angel and she's changed my life. She's helped me be at peace with my world, even if the world we live in is in chaos. She's helped me see beauty in small things and I love to imagine living life every day where every experience is a new experience, every face is a new land to explore and every sound is like hearing your favorite song at the right time. She's made me much more patient - a feat she should be sainted for - with each day and people and situations outside of my control. She's helped me relinquish control ...

I don't know what I'd be doing today if I had decided not to have children. And I thought about it. I am eternally thankful that whatever unreasonable part of my mind won out during that time and I have her here with me now.

I wouldn't change it for the world.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A year keeps getting closer.

I was bathing my baby tonight, looking at her body. Her arms, legs and head. Her shoulder blades moving as she splashed. Her ears, her toes and hands. Every little thing she did.

I was amazed. I sat in awe watching as she lived her little life with her duck. Splashing, babbling and trying to sit up in her little tub.

I am consistently overwhelmed with emotion when looking at her, or even thinking of her. What an amazing experience.

She is an amazing experience. The best thing I have ever done.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Well, it's official. I'm a bad blogger.

I know how long its been. I'm sorry.

As usual, so much has happened! I wish that I could accurately remember all of the things, but I probably won't be able I kind of micro-blog on Facebook, neglecting this one.

We've been busy. And sick. And sick and busy.

Maggie started daycare at the beginning of April and has been to the pediatrician once a week since. The only thing I can be thankful for when I drop her off and see all of those slimy faces is that she's building up her immunities. I could possibly say that she's building up her immunities in general living in Houma, but that might not be the nicest thing I've ever said.

We came home for Easter, spending it at Mimi's house. The Easter Bunny was really nice to Isabella and Maggie. They even got matching outfits and stuffed animals. Well, Isabella got a duck - which she named Alex - and Maggie got a lamb, but they match because both animals are bigger than the girls. haha

We dyed Easter eggs with Isabella. I'm not sure if she had before, but it was a first at our house. Thankfully, I had the foresight to do it under the carport. Unluckily, I didn't remember to take a single picture. It was so fun. You'll just have to take my word for it.

At first, I'm not sure Izzy really knew what was happening. "Why do we have to put those things in the water?" "How long do we have to wait?" "Are these eggs cooked?" "If I drop one, will it break?"

Once she got the hang of it, and saw that putting the eggs - yes, cooked - into the colored water produced colored eggs, she quickly caught on. She dyed every egg, every single color. She even dyed her fingers, her toes and her clothes!

After we dyed all the eggs, I suggested we go to the park to hide them. I really wanted Izzy to have her Easter Bunny gifts, but wasn't sure how to get them to her. Then, it came to me....I would pretend that the Easter Bunny swung by early and ring the doorbell. I quickly unwrapped her little trinkets and placed them by the front door. Isabella was cluelessly helping her daddy cluelessly get Maggie ready for the park.

I rang the doorbell and slammed the door and yelled for Izzy. She came running in and I told her the Easter Bunny came. I wish I could have had the look on her face on camera. But, I don't. Poor you. She didn't even care about her goodies...she ran in to Maggie's room, screaming for her daddy to come and see the Easter Bunny! He came early! He got our secret letter (the one that Daddy dropped off asking the Bunny if he could come a week early)!!! It was really, really awesome. I was pretty proud of myself.

Then, I headed off to the park to hide the eggs. Hiding eggs is really hard when you're trying to do it for a 3 1/2 year old. You don't want to make it too obvious, so its exciting, but you can't make it too hard so they don't get discouraged. I mixed it up a little. Izzy had a blast, either way.

I called my mom the next day to tell her about our day and she asked "Was Izzy excited to hunt eggs?" Let me tell you, the entire neighborhood knew when she found an egg! If they didn't hear her screaming, then they heard the cracking, crashing sound the egg made when she tossed it into her net. Yes, she hunted eggs with a net.

I don't know how we are going to top this Easter, but I bet we can just repeat the steps above for the next 3 years and she'd be fine with it.

Maggie was oblivious to the fact it was Easter and just enjoyed watching her sister do everything, as usual.

So, to allude to the name of the blog....Maggie has been up to stuff! It all started when she laughed for the first time. I'll never forget it. I cried! (No surprise, right?)

I tried for weeks afterward for her to laugh again, with no luck until recently. Now, she's laughing regualrly and enjoys tickles. :)

She is also sitting up! That's pretty fun and adds another dimension to our photo shoots. She's only fallen on her face once. Let's hope she never does that again. It was very hard for me.

And, as if laughing and sitting up weren't enough, she ate BANANAS for the first time! She really liked them. Who wouldn't??? I did. She also got to try avocado a few days later. Let's just say that we're going to wait a while before she tries that one again.

I guess the bananas gave her some extra pep, because just 2 days later she rolled over for the first time! She's six months old and growing so fast. I don't want her to be a tiny baby again, but I want time to slow down!!

I spent the morning making baby food. I think I did a pretty good job. I've got all the carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash we'll need for at least 2 months. I know she'll really like those....and then I'll add the avocado to some banana or something. I need to ripen my pears a bit more, or I'd have pear puree too! It was really fun!!

That's about all I have to say. Maybe, if you are really nice to me and tell me how much you love my updates, I might be motivated to write more. I can't tell if anyone even reads this anymore.

So, here you go....the reason why you come here in the first place: Pictures!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Facebook Pics

For those readers who may not be on the most popular social sharing site OF ALL TIME!

I'm sorry, the links aren't working. good ol' copy and paste will, though!

The Little Playmate...

Being that it's been 3 months since my last post, I figured I should go ahead and write another one!

As I'm sure you can guess, many many many things have happened since then. It's very hard to believe how quickly time flies!

The last post was so cheery, it really masked the realities of that time for us. We were all very happy, but very concerned about Maggie. The worry really culminated on our trip to Lafayette. We still hadn't figured out the cause for her vomiting. I hated to see her do it, but it was a relief that my Mom could be there to witness it.

I'm glad she did, because she's the one who saved our lives that trip! She suggested we try a different feeding method. We were using Dr. Brown's bottles. Some sort of fancy "no air" bottles. Well, Maggie really wasn't very good at sucking on those tiny nipples, so she would swallow air the entire time she was eating! Then, when her tummy had all that air in it, she'd get hiccups, swallowing more air! So, with all the pressure on her little gut, where do you think the freshly drank formula would go?? Yep, you guess it...all over the things within a 3 foot radius of her at the time. Well, Mimi went out and got some old fashioned Playtex drop ins that week, and we haven't had a projectile vomit since.

In fact, Maggie has been happier and happier.

I wasn't so lucky. The first 2 months of her life frazzled me. I was in a place I couldn't get out of by myself. The constant worry and lack of sleep left me exhausted, depressed and unhappy. To top it off, Maggie got sick, then I got sick.

It was terrible to see her with her first cold and cough! She had to sleep elevated, so for about 6 weeks after that, she slept in her bouncy seat, and I slept on the couch. We really only had to do it for like 8 days, but she was sleeping so good and was right in eye, ear and arms reach of me. I was satisfied with that.

I wasn't satisfied with my feelings, though. I was tired of being a mess!! I spoke to my doctor, and after bunches of huffing and puffing and justifications, I filled a script for an antidepressant.

Within 2 weeks, I felt brand new. I think that Maggie being healthy and smiling regularly at me didn't hurt much either. :)

I'm glad I did it. I didn't realize how isolated I truly felt here until I took a good, hard look at it. Not having any outlets or family or friends really is difficult when you have a new baby. It's a double edged sword to have a baby, and then feel depressed about it. Its a cycle that starts feel sad and lonely, but then guilty because Motherhood is the best, right??

Well, I know that if I lived in an area where I had a strong support system at my fingertips, I would have been better equipped to handle the strong feelings of being overwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, I HAVE friends and I HAVE a strong support system, I just don't live around the corner from them. 2 hours is an abyss when you can't leave your house.

Anyway....the pills are still working their magic. haha. I feel GREAT! Almost like my old self again.

Speaking of my old self; I know that person is gone. I may have lamented briefly the loss of her. But, has been a relief. A baby is a good excuse to grow up. I think I may have needed one. I enjoy the clarity of full night's sleep (yes, I'm getting it now!!). I enjoy the small pleasures of sunny days and walks in my neighborhood. Life has slowed down, but it is so much cooler now.

There are things I miss about my old self, but it's not the person I once was, it is the people I once knew.

Now, I still know these people. We're still friends on Facebook and try to make plans to see each other when I'm in Lafayette. But, it's not like it was before. I am a mom now. I can't pick up and go party for the weekend in town. I can barely go to dinner. And, I certainly can't enjoy a few drinks and stay up all night talking these days. But, that's the nature of having a bunch of childless friends. I have to say No a lot, and then people stop asking. Such is life. When I'm available to start those things again, they'll be taking the trip down Motherhood drive. haha. But, they aren't solely to blame. I'm not making any phone calls these days either.
So, if you're reading this and you think I'm talking about me. I miss you.

My computer died a couple of days ago, so unfortunately I don't have too many new pictures of Maggie. Here are some relatively recent ones. Just a few days old...

She's been a developmental pro these last few weeks. She's really great at tummy time. She grabs her right foot with her right hand every chance she gets. she LOVES bouncing in the bouncer. She laughed Monday, but I haven't been able to get her to do it since. I'm trying REALLY HARD, though.

She's so sweet. There will be another blog soon, when I get my computer back up and running.

In the meantime, you should also go check out my youtube page for very recent and regularly updated videos of Maggie being super adorbs!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Holiday cheer...

The last two weeks have been so crazy! Holidays have a way of making you totally crazy and totally worn out.

We had several firsts. Her first Christmas, her first road trips and meeting some family.

I had so much anxiety about the road trips. I am pretty comfortable putting her in the car and going to run an errand. I still have some anxiety about everyone else on the road, but I know that I am doing everything right. Gah help anyone who would hit my car with my baby inside it. I would go all Mama Bear on their asses! I literally imagine mauling faces.

Bringing her around town is one thing, but rocketing down the road at 70 miles an hour is much different in its own way. In town, the percentage of car-missiles are higher, but they aren't flying at death speeds. On the highway, there's also truck-missiles and bigwheel-missiles flying at death speeds.

I was so nervous. I took much of my anxiety out on my poor husband, nit-picking his every move for a few days. Then, the day before Xmas Eve, I shut completely down, like my mind was in denial that anything was going to happen. I guess it had become too much.

On Friday, xmas eve, Mike and I had a very relaxed day, up until having to get ready for the trip over to Morgan City. We were scheduled to go to his Aunt Brenda's, Uncle Paul's and then to his parents for presents. We managed all of it. Maggie was an angel during all of it. I mean, she's unaware that she's rocketing down the highway. She's pretty unaware that she's doing anything. I know that she knew she wasn't home, but she didn't seem to mind. She got to meet LOTS of new people and hang out with some of her biggest fans (Abba, Pawpaw and bisAbuela).

We got home late, around 11:30. I was ready to leave. Mama Bear was very close to coming out of hibernation.

On Saturday, after presents, I was leaving to stay a few days with my Mom in Lafayette. I realized that morning how unprepared I was to bring Maggie anywhere for that many days. I wanted to leave at 10, but we didn't leave til 12:00 noon. I had to pack everything we use at home to make us comfortable. I used 2 suitcases and every inch of available space in my car, and some of Mike's truck. When we got there, everyone laughed at the amount of stuff and that Maggie filled the entire large suitcase from the set. For a person that can't do much, she sure needs some stuff!
The Lafayette trip was less hectic than the Morgan City trip. Saturday, we spent with my mom. Sunday, we went to my Mema & Pepa's. My Dad's parents hadn't met Maggie yet. I was very excited for them to see her, since she looks so much like I did when I was a baby. Another little Reed baby.

I was pretty exhausted Sunday, and I think the traveling was getting to Maggie, because she wasn't really herself. She was still a good baby and got a good passing around, but when it was time to go, it was time to go.

Monday, we didn't do anything. Just relaxed with Mimi. Nanny came by to see her and even Sara! She got to sleep on Nanny's chest and made all babies everywhere very jealous.

Tuesday, she got to meet Aunty Claire and I got a beautiful, very unique locket necklace from her to put pictures of my sweet girls in. Then, we left.

We had a great time, but it was nice to get home to our smells and routines.

Thursday before Christmas, Mike's sister Jessie (Tattie to Isabella and Maggie) came and spent the night. I hadn't had anything to drink since the weekend before the weekend before we found out we were pregnant, and thought that I wanted a cocktail.

I had seen Tony Bordain (<3) drink a rum punch on his Monday night episode of No Reservations and wanted one. Jess and I head over to the store, and we buy a premixed version from Malibu Coconut Rum. I saw that it had 15% alcohol in it, and didn't really think much of it.

I had one condition to having a little drink. If I was going to have a drink, Mike couldn't. I wanted to make sure that at least one of us was completely lucid for her. Mike agreed because he's awesome.

We got home and poured ourselves some drinks. It was TERRIBLE! We added some orange juice and it made it tolerable, but I'd be lying if I said that after about 1/4 of it, I was giggly and silly. I haven't been that silly since I tasted my first Bartles & James wine cooler. For the purposes of Mom-sanity, I'll leave out the age at which that happened.

Well, I was happy. Giddy. We watched crap TV and laughed about stuff. After my first drink, I made another. I felt pretty buzzed. Before I started that second drink, I looked over at my husband holding my sweet baby girl and I got a little emotional. Then, a little emotional turned ALOT emotional. I realized that after 6 weeks of her life, for the first time, I felt like I couldn't hold her if I wanted to. I felt guilty. I felt lonely. I felt HORRIBLE. I don't know if I need to say this, but I didn't have anything else to drink after that. I vowed to never drink again. Then, I went to bed, depressed.

For NYE, I will say that I had 2 glasses of champagne over the course of about 3 hours, and got very relaxed, but just enjoyed it.

I think something changed for me that night of the Rum Punch. I knew that I would never drink like I did before Maggie ever again. Life has a new meaning now, and she is it. Mama Bear on alcohol is just not a good combo.

I haven't uploaded any pictures from the holidays yet, I will soon. Maybe tomorrow, if you're lucky!

Maggie is 2 months old today, the first day of 2011. Best New Years Day I've ever had.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Continue if you dare....

I've been contemplating writing this for a while. It's not bad, it's probably just a bit of TMI.

It is mainly about bodily functions, so I would imagine if you are a person who is not in the same situation as me, you may not want to continue from here. IF you are a person who is not going to read past this point, here's a picture to make your trip worthwhile.

If you're still here, cool. Let's get into it. I'm all in to full disclosure, and I kind of wish that I had known about a couple of these things.

So, first. Immediately after Maggie was born, my nurse put a catheter in my bladder to drain it. I'm still not sure why she did this, except to put a cherry on top of the onslaught of vaginal trauma that is childbirth. I mean, I didn't have an epidural. I was capable of walking just 10 minutes later. After she drained my bladder, she was all braggy about the amount of urine I had in there. She even made a BIG DEAL about it to my OB. I got a bladder infection the next week and I blame that! That was a whole other story. Short and sweet: antibiotics gave me what I thought was a stomach virus and I spent 36 hours away from my baby.

The next thing is the episiotomy. The bane of childbirth. My Achilles heel. My doc "gave me the extra room" during the delivery. I was pushing out an eight pound baby with a head the size of a pumpkin, so at the time I didn't mind. After Doc stitched me up (which took an inordinate amount of time), a nurse came and gave me an icy-cold diaper to put on my hoohah. It was amazing. The next day, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My whole body was sore. Now, usually, when my entire body is sore from my twice yearly attempt at "getting in shape" I don't have to even think about my private parts. This was different because my vaginal area was the sore-est part of my body. I was given prescription strength Ibuprofen every 12 hours, even though I needed after 8. I also was given these pad shaped ice packs to sit on intermittently. They were heaven. (Later, when we were in the hospital with Maggie, I continued to ask for these, even though the nurse told me that they were useless after 12 hours.) She was not smart. It was still heaven. When I was discharged, I was still very sore down there. I didn't know what to expect. I knew how to clean it (squirt bottle...lala) but I didn't know if it was first, second or third degree and I certainly didn't know it would take much longer to totally heal that I figured. (At this moment, 6 weeks later, I'm still not "normal.") Boy, did the whole episiotomy suck hard. TAKE THE SITZ BATHS AND USE WITCH HAZEL PADS. I didn't know about them until later, and I really could have used them.

To say something good about the episiotomy, or at least my doctor, is that I can't see it. I don't know where it is. I can feel it, but not see it. It's weird. But, I'm glad I'm not deformed. I never thought about the aesthetic aspect of my genitalia...but, I wouldn't want it to look different than it ever had, you know?

Another thing that I experienced with my private parts was something that I had NEVER heard of, but feel the need to tell you about is the clitoral bruising. What is that, you say?? When you deliver a baby, your entire vagina gets traumatized, even your clitoris, which you would think isn't even in the way. Well, it's still there, and it's still connected to the rest of it. For weeks, I would have this weird ache. It would hurt more if I stayed still, especially sitting still, for a while and then got up. I thought it was my abdominal muscle attachments on the pubic bone, but I was wrong. I am only sharing this so that the rest of you ladies delivering babies will also know what the hell is happening. I am very glad that that side-effect has faded away.

When we finally got to go home, I was a mess. I was a mess in the hospital, but it multiplied when we got home. I should explain, because I was personally a mess from lack of sleep and my vagina was constantly reminding me of its trauma, but I was also a mess because I worried about Maggie constantly.

I was so paranoid. I was convinced that if I put her down, she would choke on her spit up and die. I held her so much that her head is misshapen because of it. I'm serious. Last week I noticed that the right side of her head was flat just behind her ear. So, instead of getting a flat head from laying on her back alone too much, I loved her so much that I flattened her head. Now, I have to make a concentrated effort to hold her differently so that her head will go back to normal. Thankfully, it will. It's kind of funny after you get over the ridiculousness of it.

My paranoia is much better. I am no longer convinced that she will die if I put her down, so we're working on getting her to sleep in her bed, which is right next to my side of the bed, so I can look at her if I want to. Which I do, even if she makes the slightest movement. I have not slept more than 4 hours at a time in 6 weeks, and that 4 hour luxury just started last week!!

Despite all of my worrying, she's just doing what she should. Growing. She's soo much bigger than she was when she was born. My neck muscles are tight enough to prove it. I have tension headaches and referred pain into my shoulders and my thumbs (at the carpometacarpal articulation) still have this weird tendonitis type pain. I'm falling apart. LOL. Of course, I wouldn't change it for the world. I just have to look at her sweet, adorable, lovely face and I'm completely in love all over again. Even if she's crying, I still look at her and feel this draw to her. A pull that starts at my heart and doesn't end. She's my little baby. My lovebug. My perfect little sweetheart.

The very last thing that I want to laugh at and talk about is just being a mom taking care of a newborn. From the beginning, it's like my body started functioning different. And, by different, I mean it shuts down. If Maggie is sleeping on me, I can sit still for hours and never have to pee or eat. My days consist of deciphering the Navajo code that is figuring out what she wants every day. Which changes daily. So, after I've exhausted all of the things that have previously worked, I have to start trying new stuff. But, it has gotten easier and I find that I am getting better at just knowing what she wants. I did read about something that has proven to be a very very good helper at calming her down: The 5 S's. Swaddling, side or stomach, shhhing, sucking and swinging. Google it.

Well, I did say that the last thing was the last thing, but it's not...I also want to talk about acid reflux. Your baby has it. My baby has it. Most babies do. THEY DO NOT NEED MEDICINE. Well, some babies do. But, trust your gut and don't give them drugs just because your doc says so. It's still your baby and you have the final say so.

Anyway. That's it for now. I hope that maybe some thing or things that I have said may help you in some way, down the road or now, or you can throw it all out the window.

Happy babying!!