Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sponsored Post: Culturelle Kids!

There's a sponsored post up on my review page if you're interested in my pro tips on traveling with a toddler! :)

Click here to check it out.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Still Not Dead!

I'm back from the dead, people. My mind is so cluttered from not being able to sort my thoughts out in this space, but I really had no choice. I have had so much craziness that there is not a moment to spare. Not a moment!

I shall lay out the series of events in bullet form, not only to get you your news in a timely and organized fashion, but so I can have a little list to remind myself of the things I would like to elaborate on. Here we go:
  • I was living with my parents for more than a week before the baby came to be close to the hospital (this meant NOWHERE TO NEST! NOWHERE TO NEST! DANGER! DANGER!)
  • My dog, who is naturally anxious, was so worked up about being in a strange house and living with my sister's cat, that she was licking bald spots into her fur and acting straight-up pathetic (and I had to keep saying "NO LICKING!" all night)
  • I was in early labor for more than three weeks (SERIOUSLY, they LET THAT SHIT HAPPEN)
  • I had the baby early (duh, like there was any other way she was coming)
  • I had the baby on Josephine's birthday (I swear, I told her that was the ONLY day she couldn't come, and she CAME)
  • I had a rather traumatic birth experience (especially compared to the easy-peazy Josephine experience)
  • I had to take my baby back to NOT MY HOUSE, and LIVE OUT OF SUITCASES (we were incredibly lucky my parents took us in and helped so much, and we had lots of extra help frommy sisters, but still, LIVING OUT OF SUITCASES WITH A NEWBORN AND TWO-YEAR-OLD AND JACKED-UP HORMONES AND MORE ISSUES WITH GETTING INTO THE HOUSE. OH MY GOD)
  • I had either a raging case of post-partum hormone dips and dives or post-partum depression (either way, it was B-A-D, and I'm still a bit weepy)
  • Genevieve had some health issues, and I found myself in the hospital and doctor's office an awful lot (we think we're out of the woods)
  • One week after giving birth, we moved into our new house (and on the same day I had to go to two doctor appointments and make a trip to the hospital for G to get a test done, with Josephine in tow, NO BIGGIE)
  • Genevieve, still recovering, had some serious breastfeeding issues and required me (and my boobs) to attend to her around the clock (not that I have a two-year-old, or stuff to unpack, or rooms to paint, or NEED SLEEP)
Long story short (too late -- especially since I fully intend to discuss all of the above AT LENGTH), I am just pulling my head above water. This is the first time I am opening my computer in two weeks, I believe, because I literally didn't have an ounce of time or energy. How do people with more on their plate do it? I'll never know.

As a reward for making it through that litany of whining, here are some lovely pictures to get you up to speed. Thanks, friends. I hope you didn't all abandon me and assume I was dead or lame (although I was a little of both ... and still am, I guess). Anyway, here are the happy highlights of life lately with my girls:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We Don't Have To Call Her Baby X Anymore!

I had another baby and ... holy cow, I had another baby!

I have many, many things to record in this little space of mine, but I am currently exhausted, on pain meds, and holding my little pipsqueak (and typing with one hand), so I will save the stories about being sent away from the hospital, the comedy of errors that ensued after I finally got admitted, finally getting to meet my baby, and introducing my big baby to my little baby.

In the meantime, I am pleased to introduce my little love, Genevieve Grace, born on 8/9/12 (yes, Josephine's birthday ... I have a lot of thoughts on that as well) at 10:49. She weighed 7 lbs., 15 oz., and was 20 inches long.

In case you hadn't already guessed, we are over the moon in love. More to come soon!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

NEWSFLASH: Every Pregnancy is Different!

Did you know? Because everyone and their mother told me this little ditty with a chuckle, and yet, it seems I didn't really believe them. 

Yes, things were different over the course of the past nine months than they were when Josephine was cooking, but for some reason, apparently I still thought that the labor and delivery would be the same. I'm just that clever.

I don't even recall being aware of this, but on a subconscious level, I guess I was assuming that things would go the way they did last time.

Last time, I started having contractions, and they were totally reasonable, pain-wise, and about seven minutes apart. Within the hour, they were still not bad and five minutes apart. Less than an hour after that, they were three minutes apart and still not all that painful. So, I skipped off to the hospital (seriously, I was chipper) and told the lady at the front desk I was ready to have my baby.

While waiting for the big moment, I almost enjoyed contractions. I know, totally sick, but with each contraction, I was thinking, BABY BABY BABY! THESE CONTRACTIONS ARE BRINGING ME A BABY!

I smiled a lot during labor. I waited until the last minute for the epidural, even after a few hours of pitocin contractions. I was giddy and happy and raring to go.

This time. This time, I have been having contractions for ... it's too long to remember. I don't want to go back and check. More than a month now. And yes, I have experienced both Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions, and these are the real deal. 

Here's what makes them terrible: I start having contractions; they ramp up; they get very intense, are more than a minute long, and get to the point where they are three minutes apart; I tell myself, Okay, two more contractions and then I will call and ask if I should go to the hospital. Then -- they stop. All gone. Completely. This happens, if not every day, every other day. There have been days when it happens a few times. It is INFURIATING.

I guess it's better than me getting Josephine out of bed (this usually happens at night, OF COURSE, because I didn't already have enough trouble sleeping), packing our stuff, starting the drive from Lansing to Port Huron and then having the contractions stop. Then I would be REALLY pissed. To say the least.

This time, I also random contractions that are more painful than the worst pitocin contraction I remember, then ... nothing. To be honest, I think the contractions hurt worse and make me more angry precisely because I know there is no way to know if it is go-time or sit-at-home-for-another-three-weeks-while-this-baby-punches-my-cervix time. 

It's killing me. What little was left of my spirit after all the bed rest and pain and packing and temporary moves to be near the hospital now that August has arrived (we are staying with my parents for the time being) has been squelched by the Contractions That Mean Nothing. 

At my last doctor's appointment, I was more dilated than last time, but SO WHAT? The doctor said it looks like I could be walking around with contractions slowly dilating me for weeks instead of going in with steady contractions and waiting for those to dilate me. Oh, JOY. And, of course, that raises the fear that once I/we decide my contractions are strong/consistent enough to the hospital, I might have twenty minutes before the baby arrives. That's not enough time for Jeremy to get to the hospital from work, and it's not even enough time for me to get to the hospital, since my parents are much closer, but still a half an hour away. BLARG.

Then there's one last thing making all this unbearable: THE GUILT. 

I feel terrible that last time around I was joyous and couldn't pull the smile off my face, and this time I am this pissy, miserable, big sad sack of crying and moaning and uncomfortable largeness. Poor Baby X. I should be dancing around sewing things for my new little bundle with a grin from ear-to-ear! What kind of mother am I?!??!?!!

Seriously, this is what I was doing when my contractions were five minutes apart last time:

Sewing crib sheets with my mother!

So, there you have it. My scientific treatise (Is that a thing? Am I using words correctly? Probably NOT, since my brain is as good as a lump of chewed bubble gum right now.) on how every pregnancy is different, which, I'm sure you did NOT previously know. If you've gotten this far, bless your heart. If you quit reading by the time I mentioned my cervix getting punched, I totally understand. I still consider us friends.

Thanks for letting me whine, dear Internet. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

And Then There Was the Time Josephine Was a Flower Girl and I Didn't Take Any Good Pictures

Since I'm still progressing baby-wise, but not ALL that geeked to have her this early, I have been doing a lot of uncomfortable sitting and having to ask people for help, neither of which are my favorite. The last post I did was basically all pictures (lazy), so I thought maybe I could continue the theme! Yay! Another photo-heavy post!

You're welcome, America.

So, remember how my camera was MIA for a full month after Josephine was a flower girl and thousands of people (three people) were asking to see pictures of how fabulous she looked in her dress my mom and I made? WELL, I got my camera back, but I must have forgotten that I gave it to a chimpanzee all day, because the pictures are simply awful.

Seriously, these are the best I got:

I did my best to edit, but totally blown out. Also, she is not interested in being in the picture (big surprise)

 Ring bearer goes in for the hug, she pushes him away. Nice.

Seriously mom, all I want are the toys in that nursery. Nothing else can compare.

Corrupting the ring bearer to lose focus on upcoming aisle-walking duties and focus solely on the room full of toys.  

Ring bearer shows Jeremy his toy, Josie tries to steal it. I wish I could say this is out of character.

YES, YES, YES, I made it down the aisle and ran straight back to the nursery and was finally allowed INSIDE! OH HAPPY DAY!
Here, the poofy underpinnings have already been removed and the sash is askew, so it doesn't even matter that this is the best shot of her dress.

Don't you generally wear a ballgown when going down slides? 

Someone also posted this on facebook. GAH! My LEGS! My swollen ankles! I had real shoes to put on, I swear, but by the time my ankles swelled to the size of my knees, I gave up that dream.

Here's another I stole from facebook. Josephine is at the tail-end of her walk down the aisle, where Jeremy grabbed her and escorted her out a side door to me. I couldn't get any of her walking down the aisle because I had to point her in the right direction, make sure she got halfway down the aisle, and then run over to the other side of the church to be ready to grab her and whisk her away (again, no one wants to hear a talking toddler throughout a wedding ceremony. I'm not so dumb to think she would stay silent through the entire thing.)

And my sister-in-law posted this beauty from the photographer:

If this isn't one of my biggest parenting fails to date, I don't know what is. 

Maybe I feel so bad because I was TOTALLY jealous of every single flower girl at every single wedding I attended as a kid and wished *I* were that flower girl. Now my daughter is living the dream and I didn't even manage to take a nice picture of her so she could look back and think "Dang! I was the cutest flower girl ever!"

But ... maybe the pictures more accurately reflect the day then "good" photos would have. I was frazzled and was already too pregnant to bend down to her level to even attempt a good photo and she was running around like a monkey. That's what happened and that's the photos we got.

Sorry, monkey girl! I still think you were a beautiful flower girl! :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Josephine's Birthday Party!

We had Josephine's birthday party a little early -- just in case -- since her sister has her exact same due date. No need to tempt fate and have Baby X born during the party. We kept it as low-key as possible, but I was still a swollen, exhausted mess when it was over (duh, because I'm a million months pregnant and supposed to be on bed rest) and Josephine was totally punch drunk (duh, because she is two).

We had a really nice time with family in the park, and even though I forgot to take a lot of pictures (of things like the limited decorations, people filling out the pages in the scrapbook/guest book I am making her, the stand full of hot pink cupcakes with Minnies on top), hopefully when she looks back at these pictures, she will think Wow, I had a great party! 

Luckily my mom was with us on the two-hour drive to the party locale and had videos of Josephine on her phone to keep her happy.

Last-minute hot pink pedicure, please!

Gotta admire them!

The lovely park setting (you can see a little hot pink in the corner -- see, there were some decorations!).

Note to self: bubble necklace for a two-year-old? Not your greatest idea ever, Veronica. Your daughter will decide she likes the taste of bubbles.

We let her have her first jaunt through the Splash Pad, and she loved it just as much as we expected. It pretty much rocked her world.

She REALLY wanted those buckets to dump on her. I was a little concerned with how that would all play out ...

She finally got her wish.

And thought it was hilarious!

I had to ask Jeremy to forcibly remove Josephine from the Splash Pad. Once she got dry and had a snack, she opened her presents. Obviously, she reached for the Elmo bag first.

She also insisted on trying out some of her gifts immediately. Obviously.

Then she got her cake, and she wasn't shy about it like last year.

More please!

Jeremy and I were there too. However, there are no pictures in which all three of us look happy. It happens.

And, the best gift of all -- Josephine's sister did not crash the party! Now let's hope that her real birthday is not spent in labor and delivery. Fingers crossed.
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