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The Bohemian Baby Blog

From pregnancy to parenthood: Taking this crazy journey one day at a time

Chaos: the new normal

Goodness it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to sit down and write a post. To say it’s been a crazy couple of months is an understatement. I’ll try to go in order!

August was a doozie. One night while giving Dean his bath, we gave him his probiotic, which has a glass dropper. He’d never bit the dropped before, but on this night, he did, but just barely, and it shattered in his mouth. We panicked, but calmly got all the glass out of his mouth and the tub, but when we called the doctor they still suggested taking him to urgent care. So we took him to urgent care and they suggested the ER because he’d need an x-ray to check for class, internal cuts, etc.

So we went to the ER. And for someone who hates hospitals and values her son’s life over all others – this was a nightmare for me. I was trying to stay calm for Dean, but internally I was dying. Why had we used a glass dropper? Why the F did the company who made the probiotics used a glass dropper in it’s product?! Did we get all the pieces?! We didn’t see any blood. Would he have internal bleeding if he swallowed anything?! My mind was running in circles.

But after an x-ray and consultation with a pediatric gastroenterologist, we were told everything looked good and to just keep an eye on him and follow-up with his pediatrician the next day. Apparently kids’ stomachs are like steel traps and super resilient because the pediatrician said if he swallowed anything it would already be like a grain of sand by now. So, whew, crisis avoided.

However the stress of those 24 hours caused two days of really painful braxton hicks contractions and I was sure I was going to go into labor.

But at the urging of my brother-in-law (who is a nurse) I went to my Stroller Strides workout and started to feel better.

Two weeks later we lost our cat Kizmet who I’d had since she was a kitten. She’d been acting weird for months and had to be put on kitty prozac because of the move, but we thought she was getting better. Then overnight she stopped eating, started peeing everywhere, so we took her to the vet – again – to see if something was wrong. Finally this vet checked her abdomen and said he felt lumps in her intestines and sent off some tests, which came back inconclusive. The next day she stopped eating completely. We called the vet and they made us an appointment at a clinic an hour away (because it was a Saturday). I left Dean napping with Michael and took Kizzie to Arlington where they were going to do an ultrasound and see what was wrong with her intestines.

Lymphoma. And it was so advanced it had spread all over her body. (The blood tests and physical exam she had in June before we moved to Texas hadn’t caught any of this!) They suggested we put her to sleep because at most she’d have a couple of days left, but no quality of life since she wasn’t having bowel movements, wasn’t eating or drinking and was peeing everywhere. So nearly 8 months pregnant I was sobbing in the vet’s office having to say a sudden farewell to my cat of 9 years.

The next day I started having painful contractions  again and they continued to for two days. I was sure the stress of having to put down my cat was going to put me into early labor. It didn’t.

I continued to workout with the Stroller Strides group until I was 38 weeks pregnant. I stopped then because at my 38 week check-up, I was told our baby girl was in the transverse position, which meant we needed to get her to turn into the appropriate position otherwise I risked a really difficult labor or possible c-section. A week prior to this, Michael and I had decided to hire a doula to help ensure I had a natural, medication free, labor and delivery. She suggested I go to a chiropractor who could help get the baby into the right position. Seven visits later, baby girl was in the head down position and all we had to do was wait. But because she was finally in the right position I decided to take it easy so as to not risk her moving again. And I kept thinking labor was going to happen sooner rather than later because I was SO uncomfortable. Plus I’d had SO many false starts – there were several days where I thought I was going to have this baby TODAY.

But her due-date (Oct. 9) came and went. My midwife scheduled induction for week 41. The day after her due-date I went into labor at 9:30 at night. Contractions started off slow but regular, so I just went to bed not wanting to get my hopes up, but I texted my doula to let her know what was happening. Then at 2:30 a.m. they started to get super painful, so I went to the bathroom, told Michael, then called my doula and told her to head to the house.

While we waited, I got in the shower to try and get some relief from the contractions. I labored in the shower for about 30 minutes. When I got out, I labored in our bedroom, pacing, leaning against the edge of the bed, trying to lean against the yoga ball – they were getting worse and worse. Finally, just when I was starting to feel like I was being stabbed, my doula came, and not a minute too soon because the contractions were sending me to my knees. I labored on my hands and knees, with my doula and Michael pushing on my hips and back to counter the pain, for about 30 minutes before I felt two REALLY strong urges to push.

“I’M NOT GONNA MAKE IT” I said, and begged them to call an ambulance. I was sure this baby was going to be born at home.

Instead, my doula and Michael got me to walk through the next three contractions and get in the car. My doula had put a TENS Unit on my back to help through contractions and I really believe that’s the ONLY way I made it to the hospital.

When we got there and got into the room, I was 10 CM DILATED!!! Woohoo! The midwife came in and broke my water and five contractions later Aefa Mamie Simpson was born at 5:13 a.m. on Oct. 11,  8 lb 13 oz and 21 inches long! Almost exactly the same as Dean 21 months earlier! She took to breastfeeding immediately and has been an efficient eater ever since. Although she’s been cluster feeding like a maniac the last 24 hours which, I’m not gonna lie, was ROUGH.

Dean has taken to being a big brother like a dream. He loves his little sister, and while he does occasionally get a little jealous he doesn’t take it out on her, just me 🙂

The first two weeks of having two under two was the hardest. I felt like a prisoner in my own home because Dean was going through a phase where he didn’t want to get dressed (And this is still a fight) and we couldn’t go ANYWHERE without him having a complete meltdown and having to leave almost immediately. It was so frustrating. But we are finally able to leave the house and Aefa is a great traveler as long as she’s being worn. She is not a fan of the car seat like Dean was, but she’ll tolerate it long enough for us to get somewhere.

Also, we lost my dog Ellie a week after Aefa was born. Ellie was 12 years old and other than being old was very healthy. We took her to get groomed on a Wednesday and when we got her home 7 hours later, she was almost completely blind and deaf on her right side. We were horrified and thought she’d had a stroke. The next day Michael took her to the vet and they ran $1,000 worth of tests only to discover there was no underlying cause for what had happened. They said if she had a stroke she could recover some of her sight and hearing after a while. But Ellie just kept getting worse.

After two days of having seizures and losing her ability to control or pee or poo, we made the gut-wrenching decision to put her down. And while we’ve had plenty to distract ourselves with, we’ve all been missing her like crazy.

We’re having a super slow morning today because I only got 5/5.5 hours of sleep and Dean, after first refusing to put clothes on, peed all over his clothes because he has regressed and will not stop playing with his penis so he keeps peeing all over his clothes and my floor, so he’s in the living room watching Cars for the millionth time – in just his diaper. Cars (toys, the movies, etc) is his current obsession – I mean he LOVES them. I am not a fan of the screen time, but it makes him happy, and we still spend most of the day away from screens. My plan was to take us all to the park this morning, but I’m learning that plans have to be loose these days, because more often than not things don’t happen when you think they should.

Everyone who said going from 1 to 2 kids is the hardest adjustment was right. It’s a total disruption from everything you finally thought you had under control. And you have very little control anymore – which for me has been the hardest adjustment. It caused me to have a lot of anxiety and my postpartum depression or baby blues was getting pretty severe. And I don’t know if my hormones are finally balancing out or if I’m just embracing the chaos better, but I’m finally feeling better.

I still make plans for us, but I try not to be too rigid about it, and unless it’s a doctor’s appointment, I don’t beat myself up if we miss something because there’s nothing so important we have to do that’s worth a meltdown – by me or my children.

I know things will get easier as Aefa gets older, so without rushing her growing up, I’m looking forward to that!

I have my postpartum check-up tomorrow and am excited about getting cleared for exercise (I want to run sooo bad!) and Aefa has her one-month appointment on Friday!

We’re finally getting into the swing of things here, and for the near future, I’m embracing the fact that the only thing I can really plan on is chaos. Beautiful, silly, crazy, sometimes stressful, chaos.

 

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No gestational diabetes – and still no furniture

We’ll start with the good news! My results from the one-hour glucose test came back negative, which means no gestational diabetes for me this time!!! Hurrah!!! I almost felt like celebrating with donuts but then I remembered the midwife still made me feel bad about my weight-gain (did I mention this in my last post? If not, she did, said she would have recommended I ONLY gain about 20 lbs with this pregnancy (I’ve gained nearly 30), and well, duh, obviously that’d be great, however no matter how good I eat, since I stopped feeling nauseated 24/7 at my 11/12 week mark, the weight has piled on), so I’ve been trying to go easy on the carbs and stick to protein when I can. Or at least trying to counter the carbs with protein. And I cut out my beloved OJ as the midwife suggested and I’ve upped my walking.

Our moving truck still hasn’t arrived (the bad news) so I went out the other day and drove a complete circle around the North Dallas area to buy a used double Bob jogging stroller so that I could at least take Dean and the dogs for a walk. I got a great deal, but it turns out it’s a fixed-wheel Bob so it’s a little stiffer than I’m used to with my single Bob that has the nice turney wheel – so if any fixed-wheel Bob owners are out there and have suggestions on how to help it manage turns a little easier, I would really appreciate it.

Because our movers still haven’t arrived, I still have no place to sit (comfortably) other than our bed and I’m still used as a jungle gym by our toddler and I haven’t had a single meal in a week where there hasn’t been a toddler on my lap. I’ve begged Michael to spoil me a little bit this weekend and at least have us go out to lunch or dinner so that Dean can sit in a high chair and I can eat a meal without a tiny human globbed onto me (Since in 2.5 months I will have another tiny human stuck to me 24/7).

Today, when we found out the movers weren’t coming until Monday for sure, it’s taken all I have not to sit and cry in a corner somewhere. I’m just worn out. And I know we have it better than so many people out there, but not having the comforts of home (like stuff to cook with and places for my pregnant ass to sit) makes things really difficult and it’s been really hard because Dean has really needed some just lazy days at home after all the chaos but we haven’t had any of his stuff, like the kiddie pool and outdoor toys and his busy board, etc. that he’s used to occupying his time with when he needs a lazy day – so instead I keep trying to keep him happy at the park or the pool, but it’s so hot he’s just ready to go home after 30 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think toys are the answer. We’ve spent hours in our backyard letting Dean just play in the potting soil, throwing balls to the dogs, etc. and we’ve found ways to relax indoors with the books we managed to pack, etc. but still, there are a lot of hours in the day when your toddler only naps once and only for 1.5-2 hours.

Needless to say, I’m grateful it’s the weekend, and Michael’s boss has given him the day off Monday and Tuesday to help with the movers, and then my mom comes Tuesday afternoon, so next week will have it’s own chaos, but at least I’ll have other adults to talk to. Something I never realized I would miss since Michael worked from home and I was able to talk to him sporadically throughout the day and I had plenty of neighborhood moms I could squeeze a last-minute playdate with. I’m eager to meet some mom friends here and hoping that in the next week or so I can figure out where they’re all hiding in the neighborhood and get us some good playdates.

Happy weekend!

We’re in Texas, ya’ll!

imgresWell, I can’t remember if I mentioned it in previous posts or not since it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything, but we have relocated to the great state of Texas for my husband’s job and we have one full weekend under our belts.

The move was kind of a nightmare for me. Not that things didn’t go smoothly – but good lord the logistics of moving halfway across the country with a toddler, two dogs and a cat and a house full of stuff is not easy. Michael’s company paid for our movers, but we still had to have one set of movers for the house stuff, one set for the cars, and another for the pets.

The cars are about to be delivered as I type (and they have a toy chest in the trunk for Dean, who has been SUCH a trooper these past months), the dogs will be delivered sometime tomorrow evening, and the house stuff will likely not be delivered until the 24th! It suuuuucks living without a)- a place to sit other than our Purple mattress which we had shipped to the house and Dean’s pack n’play, b)-no/minimal kitchen utensils/supplies because it means no yummy home-cooked meals, c)-a vacuum because all I want to do is CLEAN. I’m so ready to nest!!

I had to take a break in writing this post because our cars got delivered, and because people here don’t like parking in their driveways so the guy couldn’t get down the street so I had to help by driving him back and forth to the truck.

Anyway, my mom will be here next Tuesday, and our stuff won’t be delivered until that Monday, unless by the grace of God it gets delivered early. Either way, I guess it’ll be good to have the help.

So, in other news, Dean has been going through an “I loooooove my penis” phase – he doesn’t say this, but he just wants to play with it ALL DAY LONG and we have tried everything, and we can’t keep him away from it except by some seriously creative distraction. And for nap and bedtime we have had to resort to buying one of the only 2T zip-up onesies out there (short sleeve and no feet for summer) because that is the ONLY way we can keep him from playing with it at night and waking up in a puddle.

I wish they made summer onesies/rompers in his size because during the day it has caused some problems – we go through quite a bit more clothes, but we also have had TWO poop incidents where his hands went a little further south and it seriously has been the most disgusting thing I’ve had to do since he was born. The first time it happened he was grossed out and wiped it ON THE COUCH (which thankfully had a slipcover on it) and I completely freaked out and scared him to death (#momfail). The second time it happened he walked up to me and said “ugh” and I saw it on his hands and quickly and quietly wiped his hands off and carried him upstairs to clean him up. Then once he was contentedly playing, I had to go around the house looking for where the poopsplosion happened (bottom of the stairs). Honestly I never understood how poopsplosions happened in all those memes where kidimgress have poop smeared on the walls, etc., but now I know. It just does. And you can try your damndest to prevent it but luck is not on your side with this, parents, so just be prepared. Or at least try not to freak out when it happens.

Other than his penis infatuation, he’s doing great. His personality just keeps developing and he’s such a fun, silly little person to be around. He also is very stubborn and has tantrums over things like toothbrushes, but fortunately they’re pretty short-lived.

Both of us have our first appointments with our new Texas doctors this week – him for his 18-month check-up, and me for my 28-week check-up.

I’m more nervous for mine than I am his because I’m terrified the doctors are going to tell me I’m too fat (I weigh what I did when Dean was born because I never lost my last 10 pounds before I got pregnant again. Thank you, Michael), and I’m afraid they’re going to tell me I have gestational diabetes again. With all the sweets this baby girl has craved (and I’ve tried to consume at a minimum) I would be devastated because it would be SO much harder this time. My appointment is tomorrow so I’ll try and remember to report my results.

Life has changed a lot in just a few short months and it’s going to change a whole lot more in 12 short weeks!

 

We’re having a girl!

b109a74e3351f7bae4a99f4019409bf9We had our anatomy ultrasound last Monday and got the news that Michael has been waiting to hear since we were pregnant with our first … IT’S A GIRL! He was sure Dean was going to be a girl, so after that ultrasound he was in a little bit of shock/disappointment. This time I was the one in a little bit of shock. I won’t say disappointment because I wasn’t disappointed, just scared.

Ever since the desire to have kids kicked in several years ago, I’ve been afraid of having a girl, ONLY because I was projecting my own experiences of adolescence onto this unborn child. So after we told our family and friends, I was speaking to my aunt who said “your daughter is not going to have the same experiences as you, and she’s not going to be growing up under the same circumstances you did, so she’s going to be ok.” And it was like a total a-ha moment and ever since then I’ve been able to relax and get excited about the fact that Dean is about to have a little sister!

In other big news … I think I mentioned previously that my husband’s job was going to move us to Dallas, TX, and it looks like that might happen sooner than we originally anticipated. We’re meeting with the realtors this week and hopefully will have the house listed by the end of the month and be in a new home in Texas by July at the latest because I have a very limited window of when I can travel! Plus decorating a nursery and getting a house to feel like a home is not an easy task while 9 months pregnant.

And until then, I’m trying to collect as few new baby items as possible. Which on the one hand makes me nervous, because I’m afraid we’ll be missing something we need, but on the other hand, it’s nice to not be adding to the clutter and list of things we have to move.

I’ve already been through Dean’s old clothes and set aside outfits that are unisex enough to be used for our little lady, so she’ll be good for her first few months. And I know that if we have a baby shower, we’ll get everything else we need. Plus my mother in law and friend have already gifted me a couple of super adorable girly things!

It’s so much to think about, but it is exciting. And it’s very exciting to be able to be excited about things again. My therapy has been going great, and my prescriptions have finally evened out and I’m feeling more like myself now.

The best thing about feeling good is that I’ve been able to be so much more patient and kind with Dean – who is undoubtedly the absolute love of my life. Every day I am completely amazed at the little person he’s becoming. He’s so brave and curious, so smart and so sweet, he’s just really incredible. We took him to the YMCA pool yesterday for Mother’s Day and after a few moments of apprehension he just went for it. He took total control and was walking all over the kiddie pool and then LOVED climbing the little play gym in the middle of it and went down the covered slide all by himself. He went up and down that thing like 20 times. There were kids two and three years older than him who were too afraid to do what he was doing. It was amazing. I know that every kid is different, but seriously, this kid is fearless and I love it. Yes it gives me a heart attack some days, but I really think he only tries new things like he does because he trusts that Michael and I are going to be there to catch him or pick him up should he fall, and that just makes my heart swell.

Motherhood has by far been the biggest, greatest adventure I’ve ever been on. It has by no means been an easy road, but man I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And I am incredibly nervous about what life is going to be like once there are TWO kids and I’m outnumbered while Michael is at work, but I can’t lie to myself or anyone else and say that I’m not feeling excited about it because I know that if anything, it’s just going to make me stronger and better.

Depression, toddlerhood, tantrums and some big news

So turns out that dark, dark place I was in a couple of months ago, was actually depression.

I wish I hadn’t been so stubborn and I wish I had done something about it sooner because after my last post, I kind of went into a tailspin and really could see no light at the end of the tunnel, no joy, nothing. I was just done.

My husband suggested postpartum depression and through the tears and anger I was dealing with I didn’t think he was wrong so I found a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression and made an appointment.

That was almost three months ago and I can finally say I am beginning to see the sun through the clouds. Through this therapist, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety, and after a couple of sessions and seeing no improvement in my mood, we figured I should go see a psychiatrist to try and get some new medicine to aid in my recovery.

This new psychiatrist is amazing. I’ve seen one before for my anxiety, but that lady only made my anxiety worse and I cried every time I met with her. This new one, though, she was a breath of fresh air. So warm and supportive and non judgmental. She diagnosed me with major depressive disorder, brought on by postpartum depression … aka I let the postpartum go untreated for too long and had ended up in a mess. But she prescribed me Buspar and an extremely low-dose of Zoloft due to my sensitivity with medications, and almost a month alter I’m doing better.

My therapist thinks I could be doing even better, though – and she’s not wrong – so next week I have another appointment with my psychiatrist to give an update and adjust my medication.

Because moms never get to deal with one crisis at a time, while all of this has been going on, I’ve also been dealing with an increasingly independent toddler who is also increasingly having complete and utter meltdowns over NOTHING. And they aren’t just your run of the mill tantrums – they are epic, pull your hair, claw your face, bite your face, sob huge crocodile tear tantrums. So if my nerves weren’t raw enough, this has just been the icing on a really crappy cake. I’ve handled most of it OK, but I have my seriously weak moments where all I want to do is scream that I know I still have a lot of work to do. So out of desperation this week I ordered three books on the development boys so that I can better understand what he’s dealing with and how I can handle it in a more positive way.

I’ll let you know how the books are.

In the meantime, we also got some big news around the time I started going to therapy. I’M PREGNANT.

Yup, pregnant with number 2 and dealing with a toddler who’s somehow already going through the terrible twos and dealing with a depression that has been so hard to cope with some days.

Suffice it to say, I am constantly EXHAUSTED. The first 11 weeks I was so nauseated, even the idea of food made me want to vomit. I couldn’t even open the fridge without gagging.

Then last week, all of a sudden the nausea lifted and the insane hunger took over. I gained no weight in the first 11 weeks of this pregnancy and then this past week I’ve gained nearly three pounds. Oops. Was hoping I wouldn’t gain anything until the second trimester, but knowing me, I should have known better haha.

So things are crazy right now, but at least I’m coping … mostly. Oh, my husband also may be facing a job change that could require us to move to Texas, if not immediately, then in the next two years. So yeah … always something.

But there’s the update. I’m really hoping to make more time to blog in the next few months because I feel like if I don’t I’ll have no record of this pregnancy because my son occupies every minute of my waking day.

And now he’s having another tantrum because I’m on the computer and not doting on him, so off I go.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

And if your’e dealing with even an ounce of depression or anxiety that seems out of the norm for you, please go talk to someone. You won’t regret it.

As my therapist says “if the mom goes down, the whole ship goes down,” so take care of yourselves.

xo

 

In a dark, dark place

I don’t know if it’s my hormones from somewhat having a cycle again, or if it’s hormones from weaning or if I’m just crazy, but my anxiety issues have reached an all-time high lately and I am just in a not great place at the moment.

I’m so tired and so incredibly irritable that I honestly scare myself sometimes.

It might be that I’m too plugged into what’s going on in the news these days and I can’t seem to shut it out, or that I’m just getting more and more worn out from having to do EVERYTHING for our family. I realize staying at home means I have a greater capacity to clean, cook, take care of the kiddo, dogs, etc., but do you know what there’s no capacity for … ME. I still don’t get any alone time, and when I ask my husband to help out so I can get some, it never happens. My requests seem to go in one ear and out the other.

The only time I’ve had help with Dean in the last couple of weeks was from my mother-in-law so I could go to the dentist and the OBGYN.

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Why is this so hard for some people to understand?! 

The other night I’d had ENOUGH, so once I got Dean in bed, I put on my running clothes and said “I’m leaving my phone here, I’m not taking a flash light, I just want to be left alone and unseen.” Safety-wise it maybe wasn’t the best thing to do, but mentally it was. I needed to be completely alone out there, with just my breath and my feet hitting the pavement. I need it more often, and my husband said “there’s no reason why you can’t do that regularly,” but then I get mad because he gets to swim three mornings a week, I get to run once every blue moon because guess what, at the END OF THE DAY, after I’ve taken care of everyone else, I am freaking TIRED. I told him today he’s not living up to the bargain we struck when he started swim – he swims three days a week and two days a week he takes morning duty so I can run. It has happened ONCE and I know it won’t happen.

But I have GOT to figure this out because otherwise my marriage and my son are going to suffer. I don’t know how to steal time for myself. As I write this I’m in the playroom with Dean who is running amuck happily, but who will have a fit and fall in it if I step to the other side of the baby gate to write this in my office.

This isn’t about losing my identity, or feeling a lack of purpose … I have all of that. What I need and want is sanity and alone time, at a time of day when I’m not too freakin’ exhausted to enjoy it.

So please, moms, tell me what you do. How do I make this happen so I can go back to being a happy, fun mom and a somewhat decent wife.

xoxo

Teething bracelets! 

Hey readers! I’ve got a new line of teething bracelets that I’ll be posting in my etsy shop later this week, but I’m offering first dibs to you guys via Instagram and PayPal so head on over to Instagram and follow me @icreateucelebrate and get your order in before they sell out! 

First birthday and sleep regression

Birthday smash cake was a success!
This is supposed to be an exciting time for us as a family, and it is, but it’s also a total disaster and NO ONE warned us about what we are currently dealing with. 

Let me first take you back to the week of Christmas. Dean had been sleeping BEAUTIFULLY for weeks – in his crib by 8, up between 5:30-6:30 waking up once around 2 on a bad night. 

Then the day after Christmas we had to travel to Tennessee to visit family and while there Dean had to sleep in his pack and play, which he has outgrown. So not only was he in a new place with new smells and sounds, but he was also too big for his bed. Needless to say we had two very awful sleepless nights with him waking up ready to go at 4:30 a.m. Both days. 

When we got back home, it took a few days but then he was back on track. Then our friends came over for a play date on New Year’s Eve and their daughter had a cold they didn’t warn us about, and not even 12 hours later Dean had it and was so congested for the first three days of 2017 that he couldn’t lay flat in his crib so I ended up sleeping in the glider just so we could all get some sleep.

Finally last week the cold stopped and he started to sleep a little better but then all of a sudden started waking up two or three times a night. And he would just SCREAM during these wake ups. He hasn’t had a night feeding since 9 months so I know he’s not hungry. He is getting his molars so I know some of the problem is teething, but the week of his first birthday – last week, he hit a full on sleep regression and won’t take his afternoon nap, which means he’s likely over tired when he goes to bed and therefore won’t sleep through the night. 

Last night I ended up sleeping on the floor of the nursery because he was up so frequently and the only way he’d settle back down was if my hand was on his back. I’m exhausted and at a complete loss as to what to do. 

He’s also apparently in the middle of a wonder week so his little world is just a total clusterfuck right now and I can’t wait til things calm down for him so he can sleep. Otherwise I am going to have to be committed. 

Everyone warns you about the 4 month sleep regression but no one warns you about the 12 month one. And it’s real people. And not only will he not sleep but he’s also started having temper tantrums which just makes the sleeplessness 10x worse. It’s so hard to stay calm and patient and objective during all of this, but I keep trying to tell myself that this too shall pass, it’s just a phase … but I know that by the time it’s over I will have a head full of grey hairs and the permanent dark circles under my eyes will be more like craters. 

If you’re reading this and have experience with this phase and have some tips, PLEASE SHARE!!  

In the good news arena, Dean is a walking everywhere, loves books, can identify and mimic animal sounds, loves music, riding on the back of the bike (in his bike seat that Michael bought him for Christmas) and is still loving swim lessons! He’s a super sweet and silly boy and his first year has been amazing. 

If you’ve ready any of my blog you know it hasn’t been an easy year, I don’t know anyone who has an easy first year, but I didn’t expect it to be a cakewalk. I will say though that it was harder on our marriage than I ever dreamed it would be.  So when we celebrated Dean’s birthday last week, I was celebrating not only his first year of life, but the fact that Michael and I survived our first year as parents and we made it through together. 

People tell you how much sleep you aren’t going to get, but they don’t tell you how that sleep deprivation is going to destroy you and turn you into a complete lunatic … especially if you already have issues with anxiety as I do. 

This first year has taught me to be open about my feelings – no matter how scary and nasty they are – to turn to friends and family when I feel like I can’t possibly handle things anymore – and to turn to Michael and ask, or beg if I need to, for him to share in some of these tough moments, because motherhood is not something for the faint of heart, and I doubt if anyone can do it alone. We all need a support network – so whether you’re single or married, be sure to surround yourself with people who are going to love you unconditionally through this process and who will lift you up rather than judge you when you have a really horrible, no good, awful day/week/month! 

Here’s to a year of firsts and more sleepless nights than I can count, and here’s hoping this next year brings us even more joy, laughter and love, and maybe even some sleep! 

Baby’s first Christmas! 

I have been looking forward to Christmas with our little man since he was just a blip on the ultrasound and now it’s just one week away! 

I have been in the Christmas spirit since probably Halloween and normally I hate those people, but I promise I didn’t start listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving … like THE day after! 

Because Dean is into everything these days I decided to pair down our Christmas decorations this year. We did our tree but put up only lights (he’s a little afraid of the tree, though, so we are gonna put up ornaments this week) and I made us all new stockings and put up wreaths and bows outside on all the windows, and of course a nativity inside, but that’s it. 


Our families are of course excited about Christmas with our lil bud this year, but I’m having major anxiety because I’m hoping against all hope that they didn’t buy him too much stuff. 

For the last five years or more I have been begging my family to forego gifts for the adults because everyone is fortunate enough to have everything they need and want and we could all do better things with our money at Christmas – like give it to charities and people who actually need things. But they fight me on it every year, and this year was no different.

I know they all want to spoil Dean rotten, too, but here’s my beef with that … he doesn’t need anything, he’s not going to remember this Christmas, and I don’t want to start a trend of him expecting gobs and gobs of presents every year. I want him to appreciate the true reason for the season and the pleasure of justbeing  with family, of delicious food and fun music. I want to teach him how to be grateful rather than greedy – something that took me way too long. 

I of course want him to feel special and have gifts, but not too many. And I want those gifts to have meaning or purpose when possible so that he really can use and appreciate them instead of just collect more junk.

My family doesn’t understand this so I know I have an uphill battle for as long as we all shall live, but to me it’s worth it. And who knows, maybe one year my family will finally give in and we can actually do something good for others, instead of ourselves. I feel like that sounds really harsh and judgmental, which is the opposite of how I feel. I just want to help people, it feels great to do something for others, and it’s a feeling I want my son and my family to experience as much as possible, but especially at Christmas.

We did a couple of things on our own – the three of us – for families in need this year, and while I know Dean won’t remember it, we’ll be able to tell him every year that it’s part of our holiday traditions and we started it as a family on his first Christmas! 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! 

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