Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's Get Real...

I've made it my personal duty to stay positive on this blog, while being honest at the same time.  It is a documentation for our little family of 3 of what we go through day in and day out together, as well as a way to keep others updated on our lives. Writing has also always been an outlet for me.  If you know me, you know that.  I was hesitant about writing this post for fear of judgment of my honesty, but quickly realized that fear of others' opinion is not true to myself.  However, "honest" hardly describes what I've fully been and the positivism may not stick with me through this WARNING, you may not want to read on...I may vent a little, I may say some things that offend you, hell, I may even get a little colorful and feisty with things as I'm known to if you are feeling even the slightest bit judgmental, then consider this your cue to leave; things are about to get real up in here.

I've always prided myself on doing just that... "keeping it real", but I haven't kept it completely "real" here lately with some things that we've been going through.  Outspoken to the core, I've always been known to have a way with words and put you in your place if you do something that I find offensive to myself or others around me and will ALWAYS stick up for the people I love.  My students are NO exception to that, nor are the politics in schools and their coinciding administration and that has gotten me into trouble and some sticky situations a time or two...okay, even three.  I know I make more mistakes (mainly with my words) than the average bear and always end up pissing off someone around me.  Sometimes, I don't even have to say anything and I STILL piss people off.  The joys of being outspoken.  I can't help it, it's my nature. I can say, though, that I work to hold myself accountable for my responsibilities in those situations and the things I say to learn from my them and my actions.  Thus, when I began at a new school this year, I made a promise to myself that I would take a full-on passive approach (more so than "slightly passive" as I had in previous years), against my nature, in order to "fly under the radar".  School politics these days almost require that you keep your mouth shut...or someone gets pissed...rather, someone gets sensitive...forgetting it is NOT personal, yet making it just that.  I assure you that that is what I did this year...became passive to the higher-ups in school almost to a fault...yet, I still gave a few lovelies the wrong impression...

Obviously so, because I got pink-slipped... like a freaking slap in the face.  It is embarrassing and I am super ashamed to publicly admit this recent fate of mine, but several folks close to me that do already know, thought it pertinent for my healing and your knowledge to get an understanding of just how messed up it truly is. And let me just tell you...I got pink-slipped WHILE I was home on bedrest/ maternity leave...for high blood pressure...while pregnant...4 DAYS BEFORE GIVING BIRTH.  Oh and did I mention, HE CAME TO MY HOUSE AND DID IT?!!? Right after an email littered with smiley faces and positivism?!!?  Once here, prior to pink-slipping me, I got THE BEST evaluation I have ever gotten in all my several years of educating...hands down.  It really was when he dropped the big news, it was like a bomb going off and I was stunned.  It didn't seem real...or even possible for that matter.  Given my passive attitude this year, and the awesome evaluations (yes, I went back through every evaluation, EVERY walk-through, EVERY email), it seemed a "given" that I'd be back for another year and this was one less thing I'd have to worry about in the stress and excitement of adding another person to our household, while being off work and away from my students. For one of the first times in my life, I was literally speechless.  Lured/ recruited to THIS particular school under the pretenses of "you're a ROCKSTAR of a teacher"; "I now have quite possibly the best math teacher in the entire county"; "you will do amazing things with our scores", I felt completely used.  I asked how THAT was possible that he'd be letting me go, while keeping first-year teachers or ones that aren't particularly invested in OUR school over one with proven scores and outstandingly strong relationships with students and which I got the response, "well, ya know for staff reductions".  Seriously?  That's it?  That's all I get?  And 4 days before the biggest day of my life?  I hate to admit it, but with the theme of keeping it real, my joy for what was about to happen to me with the birth of my child was drained...robbed...gone.  I've never been more hysterical in my life.  Here I was about to give birth...already having high blood pressure causing me to deliver 3 weeks early via c-section, and I was hyperventilating over not being sure I'd have a job to add to supporting my family and new child when it was all said and done.  I was defeated.

4 days later, I gave birth to my son and it was magical.  He is the best thing that has ever happened to us...he is my world.  Now, he is a month old and the baby-moon phase has worn off quicker than I had planned because of one major detail: I DO NOT HAVE A JOB.  I still do not understand WHY, but I am trying to pick up the pieces and move on, while raising and trying to adjust a newborn to life amongst our world.  It's just hard to "keep the joy" and "keep the faith" when I'm not sure about being able to provide for the future of my family. What's worse is many around me just do not understand what life is like for me these days...or any new mother in general so it's time to get real about something else...PEOPLE.

Motherhood is such a blessing, but it is an adjustment.  It is an adjustment for me, it is an adjustment for B, it is an adjustment for my family, it is an adjustment for Jack, but it is also an adjustment for life as we all know it. I am now not just me - Abby: the wife, daughter, teacher, friend, and fun-lover...I am Abby: the wife, daughter, teacher, friend, fun-lover, and MOTHER which is the most important thing of all.  It is the defining thing and all else falls by the wayside.  It has to because nothing is as important as the health and well-being of my son.  I hate to say this, but not everyone understands that...especially if they've never had a child yet themselves.  I didn't before I was a mother and I thought that I could keep up with everything. I judged people.

I have recently come to realize that I may have to be the bad wife, the bad daughter, the bad friend, the bad co-worker, the bad teacher, the bad anything, but the one thing I refuse to be bad MOTHER.  I AM learning to accept that I have to make choices about which "bad" I'm going to be in this game of motherhood and it's not easy letting things go.  I have always wanted to be the "good" everything, but that's just not possible right now as much as I want it or try for it.  I may be late, I may have to cancel plans, I may not even be able to make it to something at the last minute, but people need to understand that it's all for good purpose and good reason.  I would never just "flake" out on something or someone as that is not who I am, nor has it ever been, but I also REFUSE to put my child second for any thing, any event, or any person if he needs me.  Right now, he needs me and he needs me at my best 24/7.  
I am a pleaser and never want to let anyone down, but my child deserves all the good that I have and nothing less than that and if someone can not accept that, then I'm sorry, but I do not want, nor need that person in my life.  It's a harsh reality, but I am realizing that if that ends up being the case, then he/she was not my friend to begin with, and not the person I thought he/she might have been; I judged incorrectly. Simply stated, I gave that person too much credit and HE/SHE is not worthy of MY friendship.  Its a tough reality to face and a hard pill to swallow...especially for me, but it's true.

There have been a few people mad at me for missing a few things here and there the past couple of weeks and some have even blamed me for THEM being stressed because "I had the audacity to have a child" (I know, how dare me, right?), so my message directly speaking to THEM (and this is what may piss many a folks off) in keeping with the theme of getting real is (if this hasn't been you, then can you ear-muff it real quick?!?):
"get your head out of the gutter, stop thinking about yourselves, and move on!  How insensitive.  How selfish.  While my son is heaven on earth, THIS is not a vacation for me and putting my family's needs and happiness before all of yours if what I'm going to do.  The timing of the birth of my son may be inconvenient and put a hankering on things for you folks...but I would never...and I MEAN N-E-V-E-R NEVER, make you people feel guilty for your joy, no matter how swamped or stressed I was because of your absences somewhere I wanted all of you to be.  Let's get let's get honest, THAT is NOT conducive to a healthy relationship for anyone.  I can only hope that someone does not make any of you feel this way when you have a child.  I believe that all of you deserve better and so do I!  Treat others as you wish to be treated, folks...didn't your mother teach your anything?!?"  :)

The final thing that we'll "get real" the questions people ask.  First and foremost, please do NOT ask me, "is he sleeping through the night yet?"...unless you want me to slap you in the face and then promptly hand him to you so I can take a nap.  I am a frazzled momma going through crazy hormones, the loss of a job, a newborn who has his days and nights confused and screams in agony at times during the day because he is still training himself in the workings of digestion and "pooing", and only about 2-3 FULL hours (4 if I'm lucky) of sleep a night...never uninterrupted.  I am tired, I'm dirty, and I stink. He seems to have a sensor when I want to get something done, so a shower is never a possibility...nor is a nap.  Writing this blog was tough and to be honest, I need to be doing job applications but I promised my father I'd do this "Let's Get Real" blog post if he'd go to the doctor about some concerns he's been having (an eye for an eye and we ALWAYS have each other's backs).
And no, my child is NOT sleeping through the night yet...he is a NEWBORN...more specifically, he is a breastfed newborn.  He does NOT sleep through night because he has it confused with the day...AND because he metabolizes my breastmilk so rapidly that he is often seemingly starving within 3 hours of the last meal.  We are trying to follow the eat, play, sleep schedule in part of the BabyWise method...but it has been way tough with him.  And yes, we ARE trying.  I am trying all day every day.  In "crying it out", he will literally choke himself because he cries so hard and it is more than I can handle.  My boy is rapidly losing much of the mild-mannered and calm nature at times as we are crazily trying to adjust and fine-tune a schedule for him.  We are all going a little "nutty" here and he is no exception to recognizing that.  Nothing is making me feel like a worse mother.

The question of, "where is he sleeping?" is starting to drive me a bit crazy.  Um, why is that important?  NO, my child does not sleep in the bed with me as we do not believe in that, he sleeps in his crib...but what does that matter to you where he sleeps?  No, I do NOT mind walking into his room and feeding and consoling him in his glider in there...that's why we have it.  Please do not tell me where you think I should put my child's bed or that you think he should sleep with us.  We do not believe in that, but do not judge you if you do.  Our arrangement works for us and we like it.  

You may now be judging me a bit or even a lot, but these are some things that I have remained mild-mannered, calm, and passive about and finally decided to get off my chest.  Please know that this is my way of being honest and dealing with some things that we're going through right now as a family. They are not meant to anger you.  My sincerest apologies if they have.  Thank you if you made it through this entire post and thank you more if you did and didn't judge me (or did but are not going to tell me).  There's something to be said about passivism, but there's more to be said about honesty and being true to your self.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3weeks - our toots is a chubs :)

WARNING: a bit of a long post!
Tackling issues first...
Yes, you read correctly...our tiny toots (ya know, the little guy we've been braggin' about?!?) is actually considered a bit of a chub!  Exclamation point?!?  Well yes, for our preemie cutie, this is kind of a funny adjective to describe our little guy and well, Mommy and Daddy are to blame.  Whoops. You see, we are first time parents and well, we are 100% CLUELESS.  I admit it.  Wholeheartedly...and without shame.  Our little boy has gained 2 POUNDS in 2 WEEKS.  We thought this was normal.  Um, no.  Apparently, tiny toots at this age are only supposed to gain about 1-2 pounds a month.  Mommy and Daddy are overfeeding ours.  Whoops again.  Jack has now been labeled by our doctor as a "ferocious" eater and ol' Mama Abby and Daddy Braddy have been fooled by his trickery.  You may remember me saying how Jack is only receiving breastmilk, but it is from me pumping, not from nursing.  When I was learning the signs of breastfeeding, we learned that him "birding" or "searching" is a sign that he's hungry so we've been feeding him with the bottled breastmilk every time we see that sign and his obvious zealousness to eat. No dice.  Little Boo is not always hungry when he shows that sign, it's a habit and mom and dad were too dumb to know and putting a bottle in his mouth...ha!  Like I said, CLUELESS. Let me be clear though, he is fine...not harmed by our idiocy in any way.  He is healthy and please do not mistake my humor for lack of care or concern or empathy; our child is perfectly fine, he's just a lean mean, over eatin' machine, and since he is, we can find comfort in laughing at our hits and misses in the parenting world.

in his wardrobe change after newborn pics with Aunt Lu
The reason we found this out?  Well, our little guy has been quite a bit fussier the past couple of days than he ever has and was spitting up and not sleeping as great as before (the past two nights, I was up with him from 3a.m. on, holding him the ENTIRE night) and being the over-analyzer that I am, I freaked out.  Rightfully so, yes?  I mean, wouldn't this drive even the most rationale person mad?!?  I think, yes.  Sleep deprivation is no joke, yo!  But...I'm glad I did overanalyze and worry true to my form because our pediatrician and her nurse practitioner are so, so reassuring and calming and give us such great peace of mind so my worrying does not get out of control as it can tend to do.  Jackbaby has been so mild-mannered and calm, that I've been convinced the bottom will drop out and he will be colicky.  I was kind of feeling like our payment is now due...we've just been too lucky.  I've also been quite concerned about reflux because this mama is the reflux queen (I've had two stomach surgeries for it and take a prescription pill everyday as well too)...he got everything from his dad, hopefully my frequent and weird health issues are not the only things he actually gets from me!  Turns out, the reason for these nights and his step up in the fuss department is because his tummy has been too, too full.  Thank goodness.  She did say we've been doing everything right (REALLY?!?), but he has simply been eating too much.  Holy crap, maybe we're not horrible parents afterall...which is good news because I was ready to stamp my wardrobe with a scarlet 'HP'.  Anyway, she gave us some valuable tips for scheduling and for helping any coincidental tummy discomfort that may arise as we adjust and Jack perfects the art of pooing.  I'm hoping this helps and we can get our days and nights reversed (Jackbaby is a wee bit backwards on these!) and he'll get the stomach relief he needs...IF his parents can stop being such dummies!  Whew. 
I took this on my phone as Lu was taking his newborn pics

Now, onto our 3 week update...
STATS: Jack Robert - 3 weeks:
Weight: 7lbs, 11 oz. (+1 pound from last week)
Height: 20 1/4"
Head: 34cm

LOVES: snuggling with Mommy; visiting with people; eating; sitting in his chair; his hands!

EATING: it was 3 ounces every 2 1/2 - 3 hours (sometimes he'd eat 4 which is no bueno we learned!), but now we're going with 2 ounces every 2 hours in the day and 3-4 every 3-4hours as needed in the night.  We want to streeeeetch out those nightly feeding times but know it's tough with a newborn...specifically a breastmilk fed newborn. 

FIRSTS: visit to Nanny and BigBob's (Poppy's) house; visit to Daddy's work/ office; night stay with Daddy out of town; visit to Mommy's school to meet her students; holding head up and turning it from one side to the other (very short increments, but he's doing it!); half rolling over (we know it will be awhile for the full monte, but he's so cute getting halfway around); cooked breakfast with Mommy; and too big for a few outfits!
first time to fit/ sit in his chair...thinking about it...

feeling good...

still considering his thoughts...

...ahhhhh...this is NICE!

...and, we love it.

cooking breakfast with mom!

first visit to Daddy's work - sitting in his chair in his office :)

head up on Mom's chest

head up - just chillin'!

off to Nanny and BigBob's!

halfway over

in action - rolling :)

halfway over again

PERSONALITY: still pretty mild-mannered and calm...even when he's upset or fussy!  He's also showing that he's tough to wake up (like Mommy) and loves to be around people (yay for a social butterfly!).  He seems to be quite the ham!
silly faces are his specialty :)

feelin' good, but then...

my child looks tipsy...


straight hammered... (Milk drunk, folks)

....aaaaand he's out.

CLOTHES: we're moving into 0-3 months!  Still can wear a lot of his newborn clothes, but they are most definitely getting snug.

DIAPERS: newborn diapers are getting a wee-bit snug.  We have one and a half packs left and once we finish those, we're moving into size 1.

PARENTS: We're getting into a parents, that is.  I always work to make sure J is up and alert when his Daddy gets home from work so they can have some visit time since he's been with me all day.  B still has the first feeding in the night and that helps a lot!  Sometimes, he is just hard to wake up...someone should give the daddys those mommy instincts because I wake up for every single peep!

MOMMY MOMENT: J wasn't feeling great the other day and he had to hear my voice everywhere we were.  Monday was a successful day for me as far as balancing being a mommy and being a housewife as I got every chore done I had planned and every got some other stuff done too.  Toots obviously went with me everywhere around the house when he wasn't sleeping, but got upset if I wasn't constantly talking to him when he wasn't being held.

FUNNY MOMENT: Last night, we had some visitors coming over and I of course had Jack in a very cute outfit.  Before their arrival, B was changing his diaper and saw that it was quite messy and asked me to be his wingman to ensure there was no "spray".  As soon as he said that, Jack started peeing everywhere...we were managing that (it was A LOT) and he of course starts the pooing too...well, guess who rang the doorbell right at that moment?!?  Ahhhh, perfect timing, that kid :)

FUN FACTS: Jack sleeps in his crib every single night!  He still has what seems to be an outie, and has quite the precious little body build!  Daddy got him a chair for the kitchen that attaches to our dining room chairs and changes shape as he gets older (it's a highchair for newborns, infants, AND a booster for toddlers).  People told me I was crazy to already want a no, I knew what I wanted and it is way cool!  For B and me both, dinner with the family was a non-negotiable, you did NOT miss we expect the same thing for J-man and love that he is already at the table with us, if only for decoration!

NICKNAMES: same ones - I just always call him "Boo" or "Toots".  B always calls him "Bubby"

WHAT'S ON OUR SCHEDULE: Mamaw, Papaw, Aunt Sis, Uncle Joe, Spencer, and JilliBean are all coming in this weekend!  Yay!  Also, our birth announcement will be mailed by the end of this week...yay again!


another pic I snapped over Lu's shoulder as she was taking his REAL newborn pics (I'm just an imposter!)

feeling better about baths!

I love that oooooooo face!

our Boo :)

he's the funniest sleeper! (ALWAYS gets out of his swaddles and blankers) "I'm FREEEEEEEE!!!"

Mommy's very first pic after giving birth

"Mom, no lullabies today, please!"

sho dawg, you STANKY!

I was cooking dinner and heard him clanking around in his gym and then didn't hear him anymore - well, seems that someone passed out on the job!  He sleeps EXACTLY like his Daddy!

do exactly as they say and every mother of a baby boy should have some!


Daddy brought this home for me from his work trip!  Can't wait to fit on it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2 weeks old!

Today, our Little Boo is 2 weeks old!  To commemorate the milestone, we went to the doctor!  Truth be told, I was a bit nervous about going because Jackbaby had to be back up or beyond his birth weight or we'd have to start supplementing to my breast milk...well, Mommy need not worry so much because Bubby-Wubby has gained almost 1 pound and 1 inch in only 1 week!  Wowza!!!  Yaaaaaay!  It was such a pleasant surprise because I was seeing that clothes are just still so, so BIG on our so, so little guy, but it seems he is a growing, growing boy!  Cue the sadness, he's already growing up...tear =..(

STATS - Jack Robert, week 2:
Weight: 6lbs, 11 oz. (up 14 oz. from one week ago!) 10th percentile
Height: 20 inches (up 3/4" from one week ago!) 50th percentile
Head: 34cm - 10th percentile

LOVES: his hands! getting a bib put on (our hungry boy realizes that this means it is time to eat); Mommy and Daddy (yay!); being loved on by all; laying in his activity gym; eating!

EATING: our growing boy has already become such a terrific eater!  I am almost fully pumping now so he's only getting breastmilk, but we switched to just the pumping so we can monitor how much he's eating (he was passing out incredibly quickly while breastfeeding and we couldn't keep him awake, nor fully ensure he was getting enough) and also so Daddy and Nanny and others can help Mommy.  With this, we see that Boo is eating at least 3-4 ounces every 2-3 hours.  Like I said, he's eating well!  Go Jackbaby!

SLEEPING: Jack is also developing a little schedule - we're up 2 times a night to feed and if we change his diaper and swaddle him back up before eating, he is back down to sleep as soon as he's done.  He usually wakes up around the same times too: between 1:30-2 and 4:30-5.  Then, we wake up at about 7-7:30 to see Daddy off to work and feed again and then go back to bed until 9:30-10 which is a HUGE help to Mommy's sanity with rest!  We are now trying to push back the 1:30-2 (first) feeding as much as possible to eventually get to sleeping through much of the night.  Now that Daddy is back to his routine with work, he is helping me with a feeding in the night so I'm not so exhausted with it all.
big boy in my OWN bed in my OWN room!

I woke up from a nap one afternoon and my parents had put this with Jack as he was napping.  B got this for Boo and I love how my parents made it look like they are buddies having a "little chat"

HE did this to himself - got the blanket off, etc...

PERSONALITY: Jackbaby is so, so calm, mild-mannered, and easy-going.  He is seriously such a great baby!  Even the doctor and the ladies at our doctor's office commented over how tremendous he is which makes us so proud and so happy!  They gushed over how very, very lucky we are. I just keep wondering how did WE get this lucky to be so blessed with such a great baby?  He does not whine, he rarely cries out (unless he's cold or seriously hungry and that's even subsiding), and he's just nothing like I anticipated him to be or feel deserving of.  You hear horror stories (especially tales from my own family) of babies crying all the time, and our boy is just very, very low-maintenance.  I hope it stays!  We love our sweet, sweet baby boy!! 
yea, we think it's stinky too!

this was after the second bath - looking MUCH better!

happy baby!

FIRSTS: bath (he was less than pleased, to say the least); sleeping in crib (his OWN bed and Mommy in hers...yessssss!); walk around our neighborhood; pictures with a photographer (newborn pics with Aunt LuLu); outing to Target and BuyBuy Baby with Nanny and Mommy; outing to lunch at FiveGuys with Nanny and Mommy (Jack slept through the entire thing!); wearing a 0-3months outfit!
this was after THE bath (he looks like "ET"!)

clearly traumatized by that first bath experience - ha!

"don't make me so cold, Mommy!"
Target/ FiveGuys outing - he was NOT to be bothered...ha!

CLOTHES: newborn still but we are wearing a few 0-3 months...they are quite large, but we're rolling with it!

PARENTS: B and I are adjusting to life with another life we're responsible for!  I would not let him get up with Jack last week when he went back to work and I quickly became exhausted, so this week, he has started taking the first feeding and it is helping me (and my sanity) so, so much!  We are talking about that we think we're ready to get out and have a date night next week while Jack stays with Nanny and Poppy...yay!

MOMMY MOMENT: Jack was upset the other day and as soon as he was passed off to me, he was alllll melted my heart!  Mama also had her first adult beverage the other day at Holden's was DELIGHTFUL! 
sleeping on Mommy :)

"the BEST hug EVER!"

FUNNY MOMENT: Jack HATED his first bath because he was so cold and well, he peed alllll over our bathroom mirror!  HA!  Then, on our second go-round, he was MUCH better and had no fussing until getting lotion and dressed time (he was cold), so Daddy was trying to comfort him, and he peed on him!  Ha again!  So much fun :)

FUN FACTS: Jack's belly button fell off in the middle of the night on Sunday! It's kinda looking like he's going to have an "outie" and it's precious!  This week, Jack met Katie (Uncle Cheeks' fiance)!  He also got his video monitor so he can sleep in his own bed in his own room which is OUTSTANDING!  Mom and Dad had absolutely ZERO issue with having him sleep in his room!

Bubby-Wubby (or Bubba-Wub)
Little Boo (or just, "Boo")

WHAT'S ON OUR SCHEDULE: Daddy is off to a USBank event this weekend in Louisville so Jack and Mommy will be at Nanny and Poppy's; getting our birth announcements in order; Mommy has a check-up on Friday and Jackbaby will be attending; Jack gets to meet some of Mommy's friends from work :)

my sweet angel baby :)

we take daily pics for Daddy to send to him while he's at work - this is what we got one afternoon - love them!

playing in my gym! - and mealin' on my fingers!

"well, hello Mr. Lion...maybe we can be friends?"

"okay, well, i'll tell you a secret..."

"you aren't my friend?!?"

and we're good!

tummy time!

love that smile!

napping after our walk!

a small glimpse of what we did for newborn pics - I snapped this on my phone

Aunt LuLu's are MUCH better and this is just a preview of something from his newborn pic that I snapped on my phone!

Mickey ears!  These were a gift from Aunt Beth and Uncle Kody (Uncle DumDum) who just got back from a trip to Disney!  We LOVE them and our stuffed "Goofy"!  Thank you so much!

sleeps like Daddy :)

always a content boy!