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Monday, September 10, 2012

My life is over

Can't believe I get to say this- my baby girl is walking. Not just walking, running actually. I have only been home from work about 3 hours and am exhausted from making sure she doesn't get into anything she isn't supposed to. Or making sure she doesn't try to plug in Jake's reclining chair. Yes, La-Z-Boy has reached a whole new level of laziness...Jake has a recliner that must be plugged in and has buttons to push to recline the chair. And Jennie has taken it upon herself to try to plug in his chair any chance she can. Or she puts the cord in her mouth. Either way, I'm about to throw the chair in the garbage seeing as how Jake never uses it and I'm sick of keeping Jennie away from it. Think he would notice if he came home from work one day and an entire piece of furniture was missing? Judging by the fact that he hasn't noticed all the t-shirts he is missing because no one dude needs well over 200 t-shirts. And he doesn't do laundry. Ever. Yes, Jake had that many when we moved in together nearly 4 years ago. Definitely doesn't have that many now...

But anyways, Jennie Jo is walking. She started the process last week- she would take a few steps here or there with assistance but was still pretty shaky. Fast forward to Saturday morning and I'm pretty sure she just made the decision of "Hey I got this". Because she did have it...ever since Saturday she has been ON THE MOVE. And judging by all the comments I have been getting, apparently my life is over. But wait, those same people told me that same thing when they found out I was pregnant. And those same people said the same thing when Jennie started crawling. And hey, my life did change. But it's definitely not over.

I have been having a really tough time the past few weeks, struggling with the stresses of daily life, the desire to have alone time, and the guilt of wanting alone time. I can honestly say that, other than a few minutes here or there, I haven't had ANY "me" time since July. And I'm the first to admit that I'm not one of those moms who is happy only being a mom. I have to work, I have to have date nights with Jake, and I have to have time to remind myself that yes, I am a person too. I have my own wants and needs. And it doesn't matter how many times people tell you can't feel guilty for leaving Jennie. I'm a mom. Guilt is my middle name now. Especially after the weekend I just had- between Jennie walking, Jennie teething (she is getting two teeth at the same time...ugh), arguments with Jake about certain home improvement projects, and other people in my life not realizing that I don't have time for their shit, I need for it to be Friday already. Jason Aldean & Luke Bryan in St. Louis with a friend of mine who hasn't left my side even after my life was supposed to be over? Yes please! And happy anniversary to you, Erika and LeRoy...here's to many years of happiness, love, laughter!

Here's me and some of my favorite girls in the world. I was 2 weeks away from delivering Jennie Jo and looking like a whale...my feet were HUGE after all the dancing that night, and it was all worth it! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Work vs. Life

Ever have one of those days where you wake up thinking "let's make this a great day!" then everything that happens following that thought does its best to prove you wrong? Yep, had a day like that today. And honestly, it was all work related, but because I take work so personal, it really, REALLY bugged me. Ugh. I'm not one of those people who can leave their work at work. I'll fix that one day.

So of course I come home in a bad mood, make dinner, sit down to eat it, and spill an entire plate of pasta all over my lap and chair. Awesome. I'm sitting in said chair and I still smell the sauce...just another thing to clean I guess. Add it to the list, along with laundry, emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming up all the damn dog hair that comes with having 2 huge dogs.

The worst part about all this- my daughter did something today that was so sweet I nearly cried when it happened, but in the split second it did, something else, much more negative eclipsed it (again, work related). I went to pick up Jennie from her classroom, and when I walked in she lifted her arms up in her "pick me up" gesture. When I did, she leaned in for a kiss. Now, by kiss I mean she leaned her head into mine, open mouth, tongue out and pretty much licked me. But she just learned how to "kiss" in the last two or three days. And, of her own will, she wanted to give me a kiss today. As I write this, I'm tearing up mostly because I realize how amazing that is...and how I let some other event from work overshadow its importance. I really do need to learn to not take my work so personally.

In 18 days, Jennie Jo will be one. In 18 days, I'll have a one year old. In 18 days, I'll look back on the last 365 days of my life and realize that even if it wasn't how I wanted it, or had it planned, this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life changing moments

So I have to share this with you all. And feel free to be very jealous.

I went to Wal-Mart last night. By myself.

End of story.

Nobody would understand how epic this was for me if you aren't a parent. Jake forgot to pick up formula on his way home from work last night, so after having dinner with my parents, I realized we needed some.

So I got in the car, without a carseat, diaper bag, or baby, and drove to Wal-Mart. Windows down, radio up...back to my old driving habits (meaning I drove like a mad woman).

I went into Wal-Mart, not needing to get a baby out of a car seat, get a cart, or worry about how I'm going to entertain Jennie in 20 seconds because she is already bored.

I picked up the can of formula, checked out, walked back to my car, and drove home. Again, windows down, radio up.

I seriously feel like I had a vacation last night. And now I'm officially a grown up.

PS- to residents of Rochelle, IL...I'm sorry if I disturbed you. Momma needed to listen to Jason Aldean, REALLY loud last night :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

11 months old

Today, Jennie Jo is 11 months old. In just one month, I will have a one year old. Mommy melt down ensues. And Miss Joyce, her teacher at the daycare, decided to tell me that she is "officially walking at 11 months". Ok, she isn't walking all by herself yet, but can take 3 or 4 steps. Again, another mommy melt down. EVERY parent I know says this- but once you have kids, time flies. You go from pushing out a 7 pound 9 ounce alien-looking thing to catching your 11 month old playing in the toilet water. Yep, happened yesterday morning. She can now say "da da", "ow", "hi" and when you say doggy she says "woof". Guess what? No "momma" yet. Every time I try to get her to say it, she either laughs or says "da da". I know most babies say da da first anyway because it is easier to form with the tongue and lips blah blah blah. I don't care. This girl can have an entire conversation with herself using only da da, fluctuating her voice up and down, enunciating, as in "DA da da dadada DA DA da"...but no momma. Any of you remember the first time your kid(s) said that magic word? The day that happens for me, there will be a blog post for sure!

Anyways, now that Jennie is mobile, life as I know it has changed. I can no longer just put her into her bouncy seat or jumper and wheel her around the house while I clean- now I have to pick her up, carry her into the laundry room or kitchen, speed load the washer or dishwasher, then turn around and chase her down before she tries to put dog food in her mouth or eat Jake's work boots. If I'm lucky, I don't have to carry her...I can call her and coax her on like a dog to follow me..."c'mon Jennie Jo! Come get momma!" Complete with leg patting...ridiculous. At that point, I usually have our two dogs following right along too.

Speaking of doing laundry- Jake, your load of clothes is in the washer still. From Tuesday. The laundry fairy refuses to visit until you re-wash those clothes since they stink from sitting in the washer for well over 48 hours now. Also, after you wash clothes, you have to put them in the dryer or hang them up to dry. Which means when they dry, you have to fold them and put them away. I know it has been a couple of years since you have done a load of laundry, so I wanted to remind you how it works. Again, the laundry fairy is on strike. And pretty soon the dish fairy as well as vacuuming fairy will be too because she is pretty angry about the laundry fairy not visiting.

Bed time fairy is making her rounds...Jennie is asleep, Jake just fell asleep on the couch. Hope she visits me soon :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

When are you ready?

I'm blogging before 10pm...this feels strange. Jennie decided that she only wanted to take one nap today, so she has been out for almost 40 minutes already. I'm hoping she is down for the night, not just taking an extended nap. Waking up at 2am is not my favorite thing to do anymore. Hell, it never was to begin with.

Speaking of 2am wake up calls, I think Jake is missing them. Guess who decided to pop the "are we ready for baby #2?" question on me a while back? Yea, that's right. NOT ME. Jake. Seriously, our relationship roles are so reversed, and apparently daddy has the itch. I knew it would happen sooner or later since he has been having a hard time dealing with fact that he will be a father to a one year old next month. Like, every time I bring up the fact that we need to start planning her birthday party, he changes the subject. But his question has got me thinking about what it's like to have 2 kids. Or 3, or 9, like I want. I'm having an inner battle with myself as we speak- I want a large family, but don't feel ready for our next baby yet. Jake jokes that he is going to get "the cut" after 2 kids, and I say he has to find me more baby-daddies then but how can I want a houseful of kids when I have a heart attack thinking about getting pregnant again? I had such an easy pregnancy with Jennie so that isn't the problem. Although I know alot of my friends who are pregnant right now are having a really hard time (yea Kim, your current pregnancy is scaring the crap outta me!) I guess everything that I'm afraid of is what EVERYONE is afraid with during all of their pregnancies. I think with your first pregnancy, the new-ness of the experience blocks out some of the negative thoughts.

Oh, guess what, Jennie is awake. And crabby. Looks like a long night ahead...

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Supermom"

I just watched a commercial for Steak-n-Shake that featured a mom driving her kids to the restaurant in a minivan, and she turns into a Cat Woman-looking, bat-out-of-hell-driving badass, complete with a maneuver in which she slides her minivan under a semi, shaving off the top of the vehicle. Then she ends up in front of Steak-n-Shake, all normal looking again, and the masculine voice over comes on: "Mom + Steak-n-Shake" = Supermom.

So, you become a Supermom by putting your kids in danger through reckless driving to get them some of the unhealthiest food on the planet?

Mmmmkkkk. I'll get right on that. I always thought being a supermom meant you can work 40+ hours a week, be home in time to get dinner on the table, get said dinner cleaned up and dishes done, start baths for your kids, all while looking impossibly gorgeous for your husband who is sitting on the couch? Sorry, my bad. I'll go buy a minivan now.

Ever since I became a mom I have despised the term Supermom. Seriously, who can live up to those expectations? I try, trust me...I work 8+ hours everyday, get home, start dinner, change Jennie's diaper and give her a bottle, and do the dishes that somehow, magically, appear from after dinner the night before and the whole day while we are both at work... (*cough cough* Jake, wash your dishes from breakfast please. Also, even though you do sometimes wash your dishes, you have to move the dirty bottles in the sink to do that. Just wash the damn bottles too!) And I do all that before Jake gets home. Like tonight- I made dinner, cleaned up dinner, we both did play with Jennie before bed, I got her pjs on, Jake tried to get her to sleep but she wanted nothing to do with him tonight so I was the one who finally knocked her out. Not literally. Now guess who is sitting here blogging while someone sleeps on the couch? I find it funny that no one has thought to coin the term Superdad. Probably because to be be considered a Superdad, all you have to do is change ONE poopy diaper.

Isn't it crazy how we have come so far when it comes to women's, and mom's, rights, and yet in this day and age, men are still considered "awesome" if they do change ONE diaper? In that case, almost every dad I know can call himself Superdad. But most of us moms struggle to even give ourselves credit in one area- wife, mom, friend, etc. I'm right there with you all, but c'mon, it wouldn't be fair to men if we could do EVERYTHING by ourselves, right? ;) So screw being a Supermom. I want to be the mom my daughter wants me to be. I want to be the mom my daughter just wants, period. She is growing so much by the day, and the independence is killing me. Never thought I would say that, either!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

An introduction, and shameless plug :)

I am very honored that Kelly asked me to help with her coupon blog while she is out of town for the next couple days. Honored, and nervous as all get out! 1300 followers, compared to my measly 600? Hopefully both of our numbers increase over the next couple of days, as I would hope that some of my readers will "like" her page, and vice versa :) Here's just a little bit about myself, and how I know Kelly...

My name is Leslie and my blog is based on my experiences as a new mom to a 10 month old baby girl. And just as a heads-up, my blog isn't always as "family friendly" as Northern Illinois Couponing Moms, aka I curse. Alot. (You're welcome Kelly, didn't want to offend anyone!) but as long as I am a guest on NCIL, I vow to watch my language. Again, you're welcome Kelly. I have been working at a daycare in Davis Junction, IL for nearly 5 years now, and that is how I met Kelly. She brought her daughter to the center, and I taught her all kinds of naughty things to say and do, and I'm sure Kelly thanks me for that everyday. I really do miss having her daughter around- when you work with kids, there are some that you have instant connections with and her daughter was one of them. Kelly has become a friend to me, as well as a mentor, sounding board, teacher, and I think we have a mutual stalking situation going on- I religiously follow her couponing trips, and she is always commenting on my blog, usually something along the lines of "ahahahahaha, I so know what you mean!"

Couponing was never of interest to me until I realized that it's not just about me anymore, which was about the time I found out I was pregnant. When I was pregnant, I ate a lot of cereal. Let me re-phrase that: I should own half of Kellogg's and General Mills with the amount of cereal I ate while baking my cupcake. But I got all of the boxes super cheap, because Kelly taught me how :) And I never looked back- I'm not an extreme couponer, but I have cut my grocery bill by 50% at least, every month. But I also still consider myself to be a beginner- I make mistakes, or get home and realize I should have bought this with that coupon. Whatever...I consider any savings to be of importance, especially when I have to spend a ba-jillion dollars on diapers and formula every month. I also have to cut spending in some areas to be able to afford my hobby. And my hobby is Jason Aldean. I attend his concerts, and am a pretty big fan, to say the least...Kelly, you said I could put a picture of him up, so I am:)

(Me and Jason in Madison, WI, 2010)

Ok, enough about me. Can't wait to interact with all of you on NCIL, and let's hope it's a learning experience for me, and not a "Kelly's website is going down in flames because Leslie has no idea what she's doing" experience...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Enough said. Once you have a little one, you never get to "sit down" again...



Monday, July 30, 2012

Planning and plotting

One of the hardest things I have had to deal with since becoming a mom is the fact that you can't plan anything. Two reasons- babies don't understand the concept of time, and even if you do get out the door on time, something is bound to screw up your plans. Perfect example from this weekend actually...I had a meeting with a fellow blogger on Saturday morning, and had made plans to go to my parents house for the afternoon. Texted my mom and said I would be there around 12 or 12:30. My meeting got done right as I expected it to at 11:30, so I start getting the diaper bag, car seat, my purse, everything, ready to go. I get the diaper bag and my purse over my shoulder, get Jennie in her car seat on my arm, and get out the door into the garage. Crap! I just realized I have to pee. Then I get to thinking as I head back inside, that I hadn't peed since the night before. So I put my purse, the diaper bag and Jennie down and run to the bathroom. Do my business. Get all loaded up again, going through the garage, throw Jennie up into the truck. As I buckle the car seat in, I smell something. Crap! Literally...Jennie pooped. Back inside...and of course it would be the kind of poop that I have to change her whole outfit because both her shirt and pants were ruined. A new outfit and 12 wipes later, I load her and her stuff up again. Back in the truck, and at this point I realize I should probably check what time it is. It's 12:45. And it doesn't matter that all I was doing was going to my parents- I hate being late. But that's another thing you get over when you have a baby. You're either late to everything, or super early because you allotted way too much time to get ready.

Another thing you realize when you become a parent is that it's never just one thing that goes wrong. It's a domino effect, which eventually leads into Murphy's Law. And I take everything personally so anything that does go wrong makes me think it's all my fault and I start kicking myself. You can do better than that...you should have done this instead of that...how could you let this happen? It all runs through my head. Can't help it, but usually after it's all said and done, it's never as bad as I think it was. I have been feeling kind of down on myself for the past few days. Then Jake showed me a picture our friend, and my fellow co-worker, took of Jennie today, and it hit me- if I am such a bad mom, how come my daughter looks so happy here? Thanks Amber...it's the little things :)




Thursday, July 26, 2012

One foot on the ground

Again, I know that as soon as I post this, it's all going to go to He**, but Jennie Jo has been sleeping through the night (like 10pm- 7am) for the past couple weeks. She does wake up about once a night to fuss, but always puts herself back to sleep. And you don't realize how valuable sleep is as a resource until you go without it. For days on end. While dealing with a fussy, teething, drooling, crabby beast. For now, I have forgotten that side of my daughter. And I will blame ALL of you if "the beast" shows up soon.

While reading a parenting magazine one day, I came across this question- "what is the worst thing you have ever done while sleep deprived?" For me, I think the right answer is drive. Seriously, they say driving while tired is worse than drunk driving. Which means 90% of the people on the road right now are out to kill you. Just kidding, but think about it. EVERY parent is sleep deprived, because as one mom of teenagers I know put it- "when I go to bed, I have one eye open and one foot on the ground". Even if all your kids are grown, sleeping tight in bed, you never know what's going to happen. Honestly, I guess I sleep like that too. Every fuss Jennie makes on the monitor, I sit straight up in bed and prepare myself to be awake for the next two hours. Hasn't happened in a couple of weeks, and again, it's your fault if it does.

On another note- my daughter is about to start walking. She is going to be a walking, talking toddler soon. She is going to be one soon. Yep, mini-mom-meltdown about to happen. I used to make fun of all those moms who were like "my baby is growing up"... I have turned into one of those moms. It happens. You think you won't be like that? Talk to me in 2 years when your child is about to turn one, and you still clearly remember the day you found out you were pregnant, and you cried because you didn't want it happening to you.

Don't ask me when the next cupcake is going to begin baking either. Just when I get to sit down and enjoy a couple of bites of the finished product, and you want me back in the kitchen? You must have one foot in the grave...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

10 months ago

10 months ago...
I gave birth to the most beautiful girl in the world. I realized from the moment I found out I was pregnant, up until I went into labor, that motherhood can't be planned or plotted. It happens when it is supposed to, and that's all there is to it. 10 months ago, I knew immediately who would still remain my friend after I became a mom. Those who were at that hospital with me at any point are still in my life. Others have left, and that's ok. 10 months ago, my relationship with Jake changed. Years of just being together didn't matter anymore. We are now connected forever by a little girl. No piece of paper, no ring on our finger, no matter. She is living, breathing proof of our love for each other. 10 months ago, I realized that I don't matter anymore. My wants and needs aren't even secondary, they aren't even considered in my day to day life. She is my alarm clock in the morning, and I fall asleep listening to her sighs and breathing over the baby monitor every night. 10 months ago, I found out that it is possible to love someone more than words can say.
Jennie Jo Johnson, my cupcake :)...10 months old


Monday, June 4, 2012

One week later

So I began telling the story of my "oh crap I'm pregnant" moment on Friday, ending with the fact that I took my first pregnancy test with a negative result (or so I thought).

So we go on with out lives. Jake puts groceries away, we enjoy the rest of our Sunday afternoon and we go about our week like normal. Until Saturday, when I realize I still haven't got my period yet. 2 weeks late...starting to get worried. I tell Jake and he says we should go to Walmart and get another test, so we do and again I get the cheapest one I can find. Get home, I go upstairs to pee and this time I read the directions (whoa, what an idea!) and I immediately begin to shake- while holding the test. Yep definitely peed on my hand because I read the part where it says it doesn't matter if one line is not as clear as the other. Two lines = pregnant. I happen to look down as I finish peeing and the positive sign is already beginning to show on the test. Tears start...but I tell myself I can't cry because I don't want Jake to freak out. It could be two false positives. Right? I wipe my eyes, go downstairs and tell Jake
"It was positive this time"
"Are you sure?"- Jake
"Yea. I read the directions, and it says that it doesn't matter how strong the lines are. If there are two, then I'm pregnant. I guess I lied the last time." -Me
"Fuck this plus or minus shit! I want the one that says PREGNANT, NOT PREGNANT!!!"- Jake

Freaking out ensues. I tell Jake to calm down because if I am pregnant there's nothing we can do about it. And because I read everything you put in front of me, somewhere along the line I remember learning that if you are pregnant, your hormones are strongest in the morning so a test taken in the morning is more likely to give you the right result. I tell Jake this and we decide to run to Walmart first thing in the morning to get the PREGNANT, NOT PREGNANT test. I'm still in denial. Nope, not pregnant. Can't be. I'm on the pill, and I took it religiously every night at 9pm.

Sunday morning, bright and early we are both awake and ready to go (surprise, we both didn't sleep well that night). Go to Walmart, get the $15 EPT test to confirm/deny what I was starting to think was the truth. Get home, go upstairs and begin to pee. Pretty sure my pee didn't actually hit the stick before it was coming up..."PREGNANT".

The one and only time I wanted to throw up in my whole pregnancy was that moment. Seeing that word on the test. I didn't want to be pregnant. I immediately began to think Jake was going to leave me. He was 21 years old. His girlfriend is pregnant. Of course he was going to leave me. I go downstairs and show Jake the test. I don't remember much after that. I think we both may have cried, and I don't remember any words being spoken until I said I would call the doctor Monday morning to make an appointment.

Think this story is over? Not yet...

Friday, June 1, 2012

I don't want you to worry...

So I was having a discussion with a co-worker this morning about our "how we found out we were pregnant" stories. I have grossed you out with my birth story and also kind of given you an idea of how Jennie's nickname, Cupcake, came about. For alot of girls, finding out they are pregnant is a source of excitement. Not for me. Here is my honest-to-God recollection from the time I suspected I was pregnant to the day of our official announcement.

I don't remember the exact day, but it was a couple days after my birthday (January 26, 2011) and Jake and I were at Target. I should have had my period the week before but it hadn't come. Which is strange- ever since I got my first one in 6th grade, I have never missed and was always pretty regular. But I just figured it was because I had run out of my birth control. Back in December, my prescription had run out for the pill I was on, so I had taken my last one December 26th but just kept forgetting to go get my yearly physical and get my pills refilled. You're probably thinking, "well duh, if you weren't on the pill, then why were you surprised you got pregnant?" Don't assume everything til you know the whole story :) And why the date of my last pill stuck in my mind, I have no idea. Sooo anyways, Jake and I were in Target getting groceries and we walked by the "family planning" aisle. I told Jake I would be right back...went and grabbed the cheapest pregnancy test I could find. I told Jake "I don't want you to worry. I know I'm not pregnant but I just want to rule out everything since I haven't got my period this month yet." Seriously, don't worry. Telling a guy not to worry when his girlfriend grabs a pregnancy test...ha. ha. ha. Anyways...

We get home and go pee on the little stick. Most awkward thing ever (actually at the time it was. Trying to pee in a cup while 9 months pregnant is worse). After I'm done peeing I'm trying to figure out where to set the stick. Seriously, I'm supposed to sit something I just peed on on the sink counter? Gross...but I did. Wash my hands, hang out in the bathroom. Jake is still downstairs putting groceries away. Everyone says those three minutes waiting for the test to show it's answer are the longest minutes of your life. Nope. Not at all. Because I wasn't pregnant. No way I could be. Those few minutes actually went really fast. Looked at the window on the test...a strong horizontal line and a (very) weak vertical line. Heyyyy! Both lines aren't strong, so I can't be pregnant. I run downstairs, tell Jake everything's fine and we go on with our lives.

Ok, so obviously you know there's more to this story. And you will get to read about it at a later time...and a word to the wise. Read the directions on everything you buy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One month off

Apparently I decided to take a one month vacation from blogging. Actually, it's because (surprise!) life got in the way. A promotion at work, teething, crawling (and almost standing up on her own- woahhhh), 2 dogs, and a house to take care of takes away from "my" time and I do consider my blog to be a part of those few precious alone times. I can reflect on what has been happening...I take a step back and realize all the hardships will pass. They will pass...please tell me they will.

Last night, we went to bed around 8:45pm, and by 10pm Jake was up puking. And he puked A-L-L night. The first time he got up, I went to check on Jennie and what did I find? She had vomited in her sleep. All over. Her sheets, blanket, shirt, boppy pillow, everything covered in vomit. I can handle alot of things, but like most people, the aroma of puke isn't my favorite thing to smell. And not very pleasant in the middle of the night. So I woke Jennie up and boy was she pissed...but seriously, how had she not woken up? When I realized what had happened, I'm really lucky that she happened to fall asleep on her side last night. All my first aid and CPR training came flooding back to me when I realized she could have drowned in her own puke. *Shudder* Never actually thought I would see something like that. But I digress...a 2nd bath for the night done, put her in her bouncy seat in the living room and turned on some BabyFirst TV (channel 9400 on DishNetwork, it's a lifesaver) and went to clean out her crib. Started a load of laundry and came back to get some snuggles with my baby girl only to find she had puked. Again. 3rd bath of the night coming right up...she was very confused by all the action at such a strange hour. Still not really sure what caused all the vomit from her and Jake both. Jake continued to be sick all night but Jennie was fine after an hour or so of snuggles on the couch together. She passed out in my arms and I (of course) was not in a comfortable position to sleep, so what's a mom to do? Oh yea, that's right, sacrifice her own sleep. So I switched from BabyFirst to The Girls Next Door on E! (c'mon, who hasn't wanted to be a Playboy Bunny?) until 3am when I decided that if I was going to be of any use at work today- hello 7am-6pm day!- I should probably lie down. Commence awkward slide down onto couch with Jennie in my arms...DON'T WAKE THE BABY! Mission accomplished...

How Jake made it to work today, I have no idea. He puked literally all night but was out the door at 6am for work and won't be home til after 6pm. Jennie hasn't had such a good day here at the daycare either. Refusing her bottles and napping most of the day is NOT like my daughter. A stomach bug? Another flu? Possibly bad food? Who knows. All I know is, this momma is tired. But guess what? My local grocery store is running their double-coupon promotion tonight, so I'll be there to try and score some deals from my little family. Such is the life of being a parent. Hopefully I haven't grossed you out too much :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm gonna jinx myself

I don't even want to write this...I know that the second I put it out there for you all to see, it's gonna end. But here goes- Jennie has slept ALL night, every night, for the past week. From last Sunday night to this Sunday night, Jake and I have enjoyed 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Could be many reasons for this-

1. What we were dealing with a couple weeks ago was actually a growth spurt, and not a teething event. Unlikely...she has all the symptoms of cutting a new tooth, just no new tooth.

2. After witnessing my daughter nap through one of the most rambunctious days in her classroom (picture day at daycare= crazy kids!!) and the fact that she doesn't nap well at home, we realized maybe she likes lots of noise when she sleeps. So we put a radio in her room and ever since she has slept all night. I knew she was going to be a country music lover from the time she was in my belly- but the fact that she is sleeping while her "boyfriend" Luke Bryan and others sing to her makes me chuckle. So this is definitely a reason why she is sleeping.

3. You're gonna laugh at this one- she has an egg hanging above her door. Ok, maybe you're not laughing- maybe you're going "what the hell?!" Here's the story behind that- one of our friends is from Kentucky and she is always telling us old wives' tales from the south concerning babies and parenting. Her big one when I was pregnant was "don't buy a crib til after 20 weeks" (a superstitious story about losing a baby in utero before that time). When we visited her one day during the week of Hell I described in an earlier post, she told us to hang an egg inside one of her socks above her door. She didn't actually explain the story behind it, she just told us to do it. So we did. When you're in the middle of a hair-pulling, no sleep, screaming fit (and your daughter is doing the same) you'll try anything. So we did. And guess what- it worked. She has slept so good ever since. And guess what again? It's still there. It's been nearly 2 weeks...you would think it would start to stink. I'm going to be so worried when I have to change it out- what if it messes up the sleeping streak?! Nooooo!!!! Sorry if you come in our house and it smells like rotten eggs. But if it means my daughter is sleeping, let it stink.

Know any old wives' tales or stories concerning babies or parenting? Share them here...love hearing them all!

And this is my baby girl on her 7 month birthday :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm happy to announce....

everyone, take a deep breath....

I SURVIVED!!! Yea, bet you didn't think I was gonna say that. What I'm trying to say is, I survived last week, one of the toughest of my new-mom life so far. From Sunday til Saturday, my daughter was kidnapped and replaced with a baby who didn't sleep, didn't eat right, and screamed...ALL. DAY. LONG. Pretty sure it was teething, but still no new tooth to show for it. I'm so happy my real baby is back- smiling, laughing, eating like a beast. I really thought that by Thursday night I was going to lose all my hair whether it be from her pulling on it while she was screaming or me actually pulling it out myself, but I'm intact.

A big thanks to my mom and dad for watching Jennie Saturday night while we held a birthday bash for Jake, Chris and Amber. We celebrated til 4am...it's been a LONG time since Jake and I have stayed up all night (for fun anyway). Tons of friends came out, lots of drinks were served (mostly to Amber lol) and I realized that I have some pretty awesome people in my life. Here is just a few of them :)
And I promise Chris is actually having fun...

Well, a short post tonight, since now my daughter is trying to tell us it is bath time- how is it 8:30pm already?!- hope I didn't scare ya too much with my big announcement ;)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fighting it

Day 6 of teething. Jennie slept all night Wednesday and Thursday nights...last night was not so good. Jennie went to bed at 9, but woke up at 1:30am and was awake til about 3am coughing on all the drool that is caused by teething. She was fine when I was standing up, holding and rocking her. The second I put her down in her crib, she would fidget, wiggle and cough. Did this for about an hour and a half. Teething is such a hard thing to handle, as I've said before, mostly for one reason- the baby's worst pains always seem to happen in the middle of the night. And at 2am, it doesn't matter that millions of other babies are keeping their parents up for the same reason- you feel so alone when you look out your baby's bedroom window and see all the lights in your neighborhood out. Alone and helpless. There really isn't a decent product on the market to soothe those little gums...Tylenol does help, but Orajel doesn't do anything for Jennie and we still haven't had a chance to go get those teething tablets everyone is raving about. Mostly because I don't want to risk a meltdown in public with an inconsolably-in-pain baby. Going to lunch with some co-workers today...wish me luck!

Tonight is the epic birthday bash I have planned for Jake, his best friend (and Jennie's godfather) Chris and my best friend Amber, and I'm fighting the urge to tell my parents they don't have to watch Jennie tonight. I know they can handle her at her worst but that guilt of handing her over when I know she isn't at her best kills me. And as much as I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends I know my mind won't be 100% with them. Every mom gets those feelings when their child isn't around- you hear them crying when they aren't there, you all the sudden stop because you just know something isn't right. I'm sure it's going to happen multiple times tonight and hopefully I can fight the urge to text my mom to make sure everything is ok. Because it will be ok. But if you're at my house tonight and you notice that I haven't been able to get my phone out of my hand you'll know why. And then you can take a shot on my behalf- I deserve it after the week I had** :)

**I don't drink- that's why you can take the shot :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not again

My daughter is teething. Again. She had her first tooth pop through a couple weeks ago, and if she isn't teething, then somebody needs to return my happy, smiling daughter. A fever, unstoppable drool, inconsistent appetite, horrible gas...all of the above have contributed to a baby who, if she isn't being held or constantly entertained, is screaming bloody murder. And in the past 48 hours, it feels like she has slept a total of 30 minutes. Jennie's schedule is pretty easy to figure out- awake for 2-3 hours, then takes a 20-40 minute nap. Yesterday, she was awake from 2:40-7pm, when we finally put her in the car just to see if she would nap. She slept til we got to Walgreens in Rochelle (a 15-20 minute drive), was awake during our shopping trip, slept a little bit on the way home, then decided to NOT go to bed til 10:30pm. Oh, and guess who woke Daddy up at 3am, then woke mommy up at 4am, and Daddy got up with her again at 5am. Exhausted doesn't even begin to cover it.

What kills me is how different Jennie acts while teething. We get so many comments about how she is always smiling, or how happy or well behaved she is. One of her daycare teachers even said "She musta been born with a smile on her face!" But when she is teething, smiles are few and far between. And guess what- mother's guilt kicks in. Why can't I make her feel better? Why is she screaming like this? Do I give her Tylenol or let her ride it out? About a million other questions fly through my mind (and I'm sure Jake's too).

Hopefully soon we get this situation figured out because my life is this equation: teething baby + busy work schedule + no sleep in 48 hours = one exhausted set of parents. Jake's birthday is on Thursday, and I would love to give him a full night's sleep or a new tooth in his daughter's mouth. But guess what? We will more than likely end up getting home from work, taking turns carrying Jennie in circles around the house and possibly eating a cold dinner around 9pm. Happy early birthday babe :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't drink the water!

If you are a female, you're more than likely pregnant right now. Seriously, EVERYBODY has either a) announced that they are pregnant or b)updated their Facebook page with belly pictures. Can't say much...obviously I drank the same water because I now have a 6 month old. And I see all the pictures and Facebook statuses from these newly expecting girls with such high hopes and dreams, and I used to be one of them. "Can't wait to be a mommy- I want to see what this little bundle of joy looks like!" or "Found the cutest matching stroller-carseat-high chair set!" Good grief...to be so naive again. I remember the days of registering for my baby shower and Jake and I just went up and down the aisles clicking on everything- these companies do a good job of making it seem like you NEED a $12,000 baby monitor (it has an LCD screen and can Tazer any intruder!) Ok, over-exaggeration, but you get my point. How are you supposed to know what you need and don't need? I'll make it simple-

1. A crib
2. Diapers
3. Wipes
4. Carseat

Everything else, seriously, is just extra. Oh, and another piece of advice- if you plan on having more than one baby, buy the "big" stuff in a gender neutral color.

Another status that made me laugh recently from a girl who is pretty close to popping- "I just want to sleep! This baby can't figure out where he wants to be, and I haven't slept right in days!"

Ha...ha...ha...you think that by that baby being taken out of you, you will be able to sleep? To be that hopeful. This baby has the right idea:

Now I'm not saying you'll never sleep again (although it sure as hell feels like it). But your idea of a good night's rest goes from 8-10 hours uninterrupted to being able to sleep from 10pm-4am with only one wake up call.

And I'm also not saying that you can't go buy some cute, unnecessary items for your bundle of joy- Lord knows I have spent tons of money on International Harvester clothes and accessories for Jennie. But listen to me, and other experienced parents when they tell you what to splurge on and what to save on. We kinda know what we're talking about ;) As an expecting mom, a new mom, and even experienced parents, we receive advice on a daily basis and your best bet is to listen to it. If you're not ready to listen, then don't drink the water...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another great giveaway!

As a mom, I'm always looking for deals. Whether it's for diapers, food, clothes, or anything really, anytime I save my little family even just a buck, I feel like I've helped out alot. One of my friends and fellow bloggers, Pam, is doing a Thirty-One giveaway. If you aren't familiar with the Thirty-One brand, they offer trendy and affordable purses and bags featuring super cute designs! My boss gave us a few bags for Christmas, and I love each one of them. The bags have many uses...I couldn't live without my large tote to carry my coupons and couponing supplies while grocery shopping! Here are just a few of the bags and designs you can choose from:

I love blogging- getting to share my daily experiences as a new mom helps me in more ways than one. And I also love reading other blogs and Pam's is definitely one I don't miss. Her blog reminds me of the days of being child free and worrying about what bedroom set I'm going to get :) Check out her blog at www.somethingshiny24.blogspot.com...it's good for a laugh or two, or just one of those "what the f**k" moments. Don't forget to tell her The Cupcake In My Belly sent you!

Copy and paste this URL into your browser to enter her giveaway:

http://somethingshiny24.blogspot.com/2012/04/i-think-i-will-do-giveaway.html?showComment=1334175563417#c6320593984993376153

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our first Easter

What a weekend- I don't think I have sat down once! From 7:30am yesterday til 8pm tonight, my little family has been all over the place. Yesterday morning, I ran a 3k race with a set of parents from the daycare I work at- 1.8 miles in 22 minutes, and somehow walked away with a medal for placing in the top 3 in my age group. Obviously, I didn't have much competition, but I'm still pretty proud of myself for finishing a 3k. Next goal: complete a 5k (Brat Fest 5k, here I come!!) After the race there was an Easter egg hunt, which was Jennie's first. Big thanks to McKynlee for letting her help :)
Me and my baby girl...don't mind me lookin-a hot mess after the race

After Jennie and I returned home from the race and egg hunt, we headed to Auntie Amber's house to support her during a rough day. Her step-dad was killed in a car accident, and yesterday they held an auction to sell off his things. Amber and I have been friends since we were babies, and she has been through more than her fair share of hard times (read more about our friendship and our history by looking under January's posts and reading "The Good and The Bad-This One Is For You Amber"). Watching 15 years of her memories being sold off was almost too much to bear- nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one so suddenly and unexpectedly, and I don't know what's worse- the fact that they are gone or all that you have to do and take care of once they are gone. Lots of tears were shed...but we also had lots of laughs later last night when she came over with a few friends. Hopefully we took her mind off everything for awhile. 24 years of friendship right there...love you Amber!

Easter Sunday today- our first Easter with Jennie. Easter brunch at Jake's grandparents, and the afternoon spent doing yard and housework. I realized today that it's absolutely pointless to have Jake in the yard and me in the house trying to clean. When you have a baby, only one person can really concentrate on the job they are doing. In the time it took Jake to load a truck bed full of firewood, go the gas station and get fuel for the quad, and then use the quad to pull out three large bushes from our backyard, I was able to put away Jennie's laundry. Yes, it took me over an hour to put away one baby's close. Know why? Oh wait, 5 minutes into putting clothes away, it was time for a bottle. After the bottle, she needed a diaper. And after her diaper, she apparently thought it was time to play with mommy. Every time I set her down so I could fold her clothes, she grabbed that said piece of clothing and tried to shove it in her mouth (oh, they joys of teething). Speaking of housework- if you know of anyone willing to be my maid, send them my way.****<-----see disclaimer at bottom

Another exciting development for the weekend? Jennie's first tooth poked through. And now her upper gums are swollen (both left and right sides). So corny, but I can't believe how fast time is going. How can my baby girl be 6 and a half months old already?

****Disclaimer- I'll pay you in fond memories of vacuuming two large dogs' hair, sinks full of dishes with who knows what on them, and lots of diaper-genie refilling. Anyone interested in this position, please call the household chore fairy Jake seems to think lives here that does all this :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What do dads think?

Lots of my readers are moms. I love it- you girls know exactly what I'm going through, whether it has happened to you just a few months ago or 18 years ago. But there are alot of things I wonder about when it comes to being a dad. So here goes-

When you see a guy riding his Harley down the highway, do you ever go "Wow, to be that guy!" I do the same thing when I see girls around my age out shopping, or running, or out with their friends, able to wear cute black shirts that don't have snot or spit up on them. Sometimes I look at them with such jealousy- Wow, I wish I could be that girl right now! And moms, don't even try to say you have never thought something like that. So I wonder if dads do the same thing- "that lucky son of a bitch!" Is that the thought that runs through their heads when they see a guy, gloriously alone on a Harley?




Along those lines...

When you see a guy driving a minivan, do you go "awwww, that poor guy!"? Must have got suckered into buying one by his wife when all he wanted to do was get himself an Expedition or Tahoe to haul the kids around (or whatever he REALLY wanted, but just agreed to buy to get his wife to shut up).

Jake always asks me this- "How are girls able to carry babies on their hips?" And I noticed this- when guys hold babies, they generally hold them like footballs or sacks of groceries. Girls can hold babies just about any way- on the hip, in front of us, around our neck, attached to our legs. Guys aren't so sure of themselves it seems like, even when it's their own kids.

Dads, do you ever wonder how your baby mamas would be able to get the car seat base in the car without you? Or put the crib or any of your kids' toys together? I know anytime something like that needs to be done for Jennie, Jake does it. I'm sure I could figure it out by looking at the directions, but it's just easier to be like "Jaaaaaakkkkeee! I can't do it!"

Another question Jake ponders- How the hell did our baby fit inside your belly? He is constantly picking Jennie up, holding her over my stomach and going "How did you ever fit in there?" I wonder the same thing, but I was able to feel feet jamming into my lungs and hands poking body parts I didn't even know I had. Pregnancy is such a mysterious thing, and for guys, I can't even imagine what they think it feels like.

I'm sure I missed other questions dads ask themselves and each other when moms aren't around- oh yea, do dads discuss their baby's bowel movements with each other the way moms do?- but now it's dinner time. Jake made steaks and potatoes- he is such a good wife :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dear Jake...


March 31 marks the 8 year anniversary since Jake called me up after school one day and asked if I wanted to go out. Actually, that was the second time he called me that day. The first time was just our usual catch-up of the 15 minutes we didn't see each other on our journeys home from high school. As soon as we updated each other about how we got home, we hung up and I called my best friend Andrea. She asked me if Jake had asked me out yet...nope! Then she goes "hang on!" and we hang up. 5 minutes later, my phone rings again- it's Jake. I don't even think he said hi or made sure it was me on the phone. He just blurted out "you wanna go out with me?" I giggled and said of course. That was it. 8 years later, Jake is sitting on the couch next to me, holding our baby girl who is passed out in his arms.

Crazy to think that I am 24 years old and Jake and I have been dating 8 years. For you non-math majors, that's a third of my life. In 8 years we have gone through a couple years of high school, a break up that lasted about 2 months, Jake going to school out in Wyoming for 9 months, and now we have been living together 4 years as of this May. Crazy to think that I have spent a third of my life either saying or texting good morning and good night to him; high school dances, late night rides in one of his many different trucks, 9 months of long-distance, and years of love.

But what I can say is our strongest bond? Friendship. We are best friends (corny, I know) who tell each other everything. Literally, everything. Like, if you have ever told me something that was a secret, Jake knows it. Unless it was too gross to tell him, then you're safe ;) We share a love of anything Ford, country music, and our baby girl. For some couples, an unplanned pregnancy tears them apart. For us, we realized why we were brought together- to make babies and love them <3

I love you babe...here's to lots more years together, and lots more babies. Yes, I said lots. LOTS more...

PS- Your feet really stink tonight.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 6 months in pictures

September 23


October 23

November 18

December 23

January 28 (this picture makes me laugh)

February 23

March 25

Monday, March 26, 2012

An awesome giveaway!

I have teamed up with Christina Serrano, an Avon representative to offer our blog followers some awesome giveaways! She has reached 3000 fans on Facebook, so it's only fitting she celebrate! It's an easy Rafflecopter entry form...good luck :) You have two weeks to enter!









a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 22, 2012

If momma ain't happy...

I have taken full advantage of this absolutely gorgeous weather we have had lately and tried to get myself back into shape. Last week I walked over 13 miles and my goal for this week is to cover 20 miles walking and/or running and I'm well over half way there. But just when I started feeling good about myself, someone had to burst my bubble. I'll call her an acquaintance- someone I know, not too well but apparently she knows me well enough to judge me. She told me "I have no idea how you have the time to exercise. You work and have a baby- you must not spend a lot of time with your family". Feelings of guilt sink in, even though Jennie goes with me 90% of the time when I walk, and Jake is with us every night after work. I don't take Jennie with me when I run (which has only been twice this week) because I don't have a jogging stroller- and it is wayyyy too complicated to try and run with a regular stroller. But damnit, you really had to go and tell me that I need to spend every waking minute with my baby girl? I know this, but it's not possible, and that is what every mother struggles with. What makes me the most mad- why did I let that comment bug me? Oh, that's right, it's another part of mother's guilt: I'm not good enough and any flaw I have screams bad mom. That's what all of us moms struggle with.

The problem is I'm not myself if I don't get to exercise, even if it is just a walk here and there. I like to take care of myself, and I fully believe the idea that you can't take care of others until you take care of yourself. If I'm not happy, I can't make anyone else happy. And we all know this one- "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". It's true though- even with dads who are 100% supportive and willing to help with everything when it comes to their child(ren), we as moms still feel like we have to shoulder every task and burden by ourselves. And there's only so many loads of laundry we can do to soothe our souls or poopy diapers to change to put a smile on our face. At some point, we need a break.

So I'm here to tell that girl who judged me- dude, those 2 runs I took totalled in time to less than 30 minutes. It is now Thursday, so in 4 days time, I have had a total of 30 minutes of time all to myself. How much time have you had? Oh wait, you don't have a baby, so ALL of your time is your own. Leave me alone and have a nice day :)

(Actually, insert several obscene comments here as to where you can go and how you can get there, because I am a damn good mom and you're probably just jealous that I am in better shape post-baby than you could ever dream of being.) #rantover

Thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who are you and what have you done with my baby?!

Something or someone stole my baby this weekend. In her place they left a baby who can now sit up unassisted and who has slept (SOUNDLY!) through the night every night almost every day this past week. Saturday night she slept from 9pm til 7am Sunday morning...seriously, this is not my baby!

This momma thought she was so prepared for all the milestones of infancy because I have worked in daycare nearly 5 years; I have watched little bitty things go from cribs to pull-ups to writing their names over those 5 years, so I have an idea of how a child is supposed to grow. What I didn't realize is how emotional the parents get watching it happen. Obviously working in daycare you become attached to the kids, but there is a COMPLETELY different bond formed with your own child. For example, about a month and a half ago, one of the babies in Jennie's room sat up by herself for the first time and I said "yay!" Jennie did the same thing this weekend and I went "how can you possibly be doing that already? You're only six months....ohhhhh wait, you're 6 months old!" I was excited she could do it, but at the same time sad- where did my newborn go, who I could cuddle with without her pulling my hair and screaming in my ear because she has to see what's going on around her? Jennie also drank from a cup last night, and we had to turn her around in her little bathtub, because she no longer fit into the "newborn" side of it. So many changes in such a short amount of time. 6 months old really is a big milestone!

So, to whoever took my baby...thanks for leaving one who is sleeping through the night (doing a happy dance even as I write this). Pretty sure you got the short end of that stick :)

There's my girl...sitting all by herself!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

When are you going to have your next baby?

Did you just ask me that? Oh you did? Now can I punch you in the face? No? Then don't ask me again...Yes, I want a large family (seriously, I would be happy if I could have my own show called 19 kids and counting) but that doesn't mean it has to happen right now. Like I said in my last post, Jake and I are finally hitting our stride as parents and we would both like to enjoy our little family right now because I know that pretty soon our house will never be this quiet. As I sit here in the dark, listening to one of the first spring storms roll through with CMT on and Jennie sleeping in her bouncy chair, I can't help but wonder- when will this happen again? We have gotten lucky because Jennie has started sleeping through the night (more like 10pm-5am, but we will take it)...I know that because I just wrote that, she won't sleep for the next two weeks. That's just how it works. Will I ever have another morning where I can watch an hour of my favorite music videos without interruption? Time will tell...

Ok, I won't punch you in the face if you want to ask me that. Maybe you should pay me $1 to help pay for this next baby that you seem to want to come along. I guess what bugs me the most about people asking me this is it seems to imply that we aren't happy with what we have now. Everyone is so concerned about what's next. Let me tell you what's next for us- a gorgeous weekend full of nothing to do. Jake and I ARE happy with what we have now...a gorgeous baby girl, 2 crazy dogs, a new house to make our own, and Jake just got a promotion at work. Let us enjoy what we have going on before you assume we want something else to add to our plate. And I won't ask YOU when YOU are going to have a baby.

When ARE you going to have a baby, by the way? :) Couldn't resist...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How long are you a "new mom"?

My daughter is going to be 6 months old next week, and I got to thinking- at what point am I no longer a new mom, just a mom? My blog is based around the whole premise of experiencing new things on a nearly daily basis, but just in the past couple weeks, I feel like my little family has finally hit a routine. We haven't had many of those "OMG" moments recently..."oh my god, what do I do?! She is crying and won't stop!" "oh my god, she hasn't pooped in 3 days!" Nothing too exciting, other than she can now roll everywhere and stick both feet in her mouth- which is pretty cool, if I must say. Our new routine- wake up, get ready, go to work (she goes to the daycare I work at), come home, go for a walk, eat dinner, take a bath, then go to bed. It just hit me one night earlier this week- "holy crap, I think we got the hang of this whole thing now". Most experienced parents said that would happen around the 3 month mark, but for us I guess it took a little longer.

So, moms and dads out there- at what point did you go from calling yourself a "new" mom or dad to just a parent? One who takes everything in stride and realizes "this too shall pass"? I kinda feel like I'm losing a special title or something, not being able to call myself a new mom. Just a mom. But that one word sums up my whole life now- a life that I have no idea how I lived before I took on that title.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10:49pm

10pm- I have agreed to a c-section. I am in tears, wanna throw up again, and overall am the biggest wreck I have ever been. My mom and all the nurses and doctors are saying "you did such a good job!"...Jake knows how I feel about having a c-section, and he is a wreck too. His mom pulls him aside for a few minutes. The staff around me are busy cleaning up and preparing me for surgery. I have no idea what to expect. A huge reason why I didn't want a c-section is because I had never been in the hospital before, even for a minor injury, so the thought of surgery frightened me. And I was so concerned about getting back to work ASAP because I didn't get a paid maternity leave that I didn't want a long recovery time. Jake comes back to my side, wipes his tears, wipes mine, and I get wheeled off to the O.R. with him walking beside me.

10pm-10:48pm- I honestly have no idea what happened in these 48 minutes. I only kind of remember the ride to the operating room. One clear memory though- after the cloth was put up over my bottom half to cover what was going to happen during surgery, the anesthesiologist came by my side to check to see if I was ok. I remember asking him "will they be able to get her out?" For some reason, I thought that because she had gotten stuck in me that they would have to pull her out. This was the vision I had in my head- my doctor pulling my daughter's feet out of me and yanking and yanking and yanking and nothing happening because her head was stuck. Weird I know, but the anesthesiologist reassured me that the doctor would be able to get her out. I think he even chuckled at me being so worried about her being stuck. I also remember seeing Jake walk over to me in the blue surgical scrubs, mask on, laughing because the covers he put on his boots weren't really big enough (he has a size 13 foot). But mostly what I remember from this short 48 minutes of time was exhaustion. I think I was dozing in and out the whole time. Jake was rubbing my head and the O.R. staff were busy around me.

10:49pm, September 23, 2011- Jennie Jo Johnson cries <3






I have no idea how long it took the nurse call Jake over to see Jennie. But when she did, Jake looked at me and said "I don't wanna go over there"...he was so scared of seeing all my insides from surgery. I said "go!" and after a few minutes, he brought the most beautiful baby girl over to meet me.

Monday, March 12, 2012

9:30-10:00pm- Yes

9:30pm- Back on my back, pushing for 10, relax, pushing for 10 again. Barely making it to 5. My stomach really isn't feeling good. I wait for my next contraction...here we go. Push push push push, relax and then..."Jake, get me a garbage can!" I can't hold it any longer. Jake holds the garbage can for me while puke harder than I ever have before, and all that came up was the chicken broth and Jell-O I was allowed to have for lunch. I completely forget that I was supposed to be pushing until Nurse Jenny says "If you can make yourself vomit again, Jennie may come out...that was a good push when you puked!" I'm crying my eyes out at this point- I absolutely HATE throwing up, and I'm exhausted, but I'm still feeling contractions which means I need to keep pushing. I can't fight instinct. Jake's mom had to leave the room because she doesn't do so well with puke, so Jake had to take over holding my leg. At that point, I didn't care. I was sweating, I had puked, pooped, and been in (what I thought was) every position possible. Nurse Jenny calls 2 more nurses in for help. I now have 5 nurses, Jake and my mom in the room.

9:35pm- My doctor comes in to check on my progress. Jennie hasn't moved an inch. I'm still crying but trying to stop because I know I need to save all my energy for pushing. Dr. Shah tells me I have 25 more minutes to push if I want to. When she comes back at 10pm, I have to make the decision. I want to push. I don't want a c-section. Somehow, some way, I'll get her out. I don't care. Dr. Shah says "see you in a little bit" and Nurse Jenny gets back to coaching me.

9:40pm- One of the 5 nurses suggests I try getting on all fours to push. It releases pressure off your back and allows the baby to drop a little further. At this point, I'm willing to try anything. I have to have help rolling me to my arms and legs because I'm so tired I can barely move. I somehow get my huge belly under me. I have to get down on my forearms, forehead on the bed and put my butt in the air and push. It's as awkward as it sounds, and you have to wear a hospital gown while you do it. I was 90% naked on all fours in front of at least 6 people (there may have been more, I lost count of all the nurses who were trying to help me) and pushing. But as awkward as it sounds, this position was extremely comfortable. I was using different muscles and body parts to push that weren't so tired. And at this point in your delivery, you won't care who is in the room. Instinct is telling you to get baby out, and that's all that matters.

9:50pm- 10 minutes of pushing on all fours, and Jennie still wasn't here. Nurse Jenny goes into panic mode. She has me get back on my back and if I remember this correctly, she asks for help from 4 other nurses. They do the elevator door thing again (read my last post for that explanation) while two other nurses hold me open at the top and the bottom while Nurse Jenny uses her hand to try and coax Jennie's head out. 5 hands in my vagina. And I push for 10...except I can't even make it to 3 before I give up. I'm exhausted, crying, wanting to throw up again. Nurse Jenny says "c'mon, you can do this!" and I know she is just as defeated as I am. She wanted a vaginal delivery just as bad as I did.

9:55pm- 5 more minutes of pushing, but I can't even make it past 2 in my counts. I can't do it.

10pm- My doctor comes into the room, and doesn't say a word. She sees the look on all our faces. She is quiet for a minute. Looks at me- "What do you think?" I can't even talk. I know if I do, I'm gonna lose it. I nod my head. She asks "Are you ready to go to a c-section?" I nod again, and can't even say the one word before crying my eyes out..."yes"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

9:00-9:30pm- Seriously, how are you still reading this?!

8:50pm- What the hell is this black cloud my doctor speaks of?! Nurse Jenny says, "No, we are NOT going to talk about it". But of course, you guys brought it up, and now we all want to know. Dr. Khalek explains that my head nurse, Nurse Jenny, hasn't had a vaginal delivery since May. May?! It's the end of September! Every birth she has been present for has been in the O.R. because it has had to go to c-section. Not that she has done anything wrong....it's just been her luck that she hasn't had a vaginal delivery. My heart drops. Another sign pointing to what I know is coming, but don't want to happen: a c-section.

9:00pm- Pushing...counting to 10, take a breath, count to 10 again. It's getting harder and harder to push all the way to 10. Making it to 7 or 8 is tough. And all I keep hearing is "Look at all that hair!" My baby girl is so close to making her debut, but my body wasn't letting her out yet. Add another tally to the "bad mom" column...add even more guilt to my plate. Nurse Jenny calls 2 more nurses in for ideas on how to get this baby out. An older one suggest playing tug of war. Huh?! I have to hold on to one end of a towel while she pulls the other, and push as hard as I can against her for 10 seconds. My mom has one leg and Jake's mom has the other leg still, Jake is at my head, supporting my neck. I do this 4 or 5 times...no progress.

9:10pm- More rounds of pushing. My stomach is starting to get upset but I don't say anything. I just figure I'm getting stressed out from thinking about what will happen if I can't push Jennie out. "Look at all that hair!" I'm gonna punch the next person that says that. Tug of War hasn't helped. A young nurse (I swear she was only 16 years old) suggests laying on my side, one leg in the air and try pushing that way. So, exhausted as I was, I switch positions from my back to my left side. Right knee comes up to my chest, and I push. And push. And push. No progress. Jennie ain't moving.

9:20pm- Tug of War and laying on my side hasn't done a thing. At this point, I have a doctor, 3 nurses, Jake, my mom, and Jake's mom all in the room with me. And also by this time, I'm barely making it to 6 or 7 in my counts while pushing. The nurses and my doctor are all arguing over which positions and strategies are best for helping this baby out. Nurse Jenny calls another nurse in for more suggestions. Nurse Jenny doesn't like any of them- back to standard ol' pushing. But this time, she wants Daddy Jake to hold on to my leg. Ummmm, I don't think so. I don't want Jake to see my business down there. But she insists. Then says "I'm gonna use my hand to guide her head out"...so she slides her hand in me and I can feel her touching Jennie's head. Grossed out yet? Nurse Jenny counts to 10, and while I'm pushing I can feel her trying to coax Jennie out...relax, count to 10 again. Starting to feel nauseous. Still not saying anything about it.

9:25pm- Nurse Jenny asks for help from 2 other nurses. While Nurse Jenny has one hand on Jennie's head, the 2 other nurses get on either side of me, and "hold me open" with their hands while I push. Don't get what I'm trying to say? 3 nurses' hands inside me at one time. Think about it like trying to hold elevator doors open. Had no idea that was even possible. Barely making it to 5 in my counts before feeling like giving up. That chicken broth and strawberry jell-o I had for lunch isn't sounding like such a good idea anymore...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

8pm-9pm...The black cloud

8pm- I feel my first contraction come on. With the epidural I didn't feel any pain with the contractions but still felt a sensation that's hard to explain. It's instinct at that point- my body was telling my to push this baby out. I tell everyone that I'm ready to push. Chin to chest, hands behind my thighs, Jake's hand on the back of my neck...Nurse Jenny counts to 10. And I breathe one more time and go for another 10...and relax. I can already feel Jennie descending in me...what a weird feeling. But it's true- you feel like you are taking the biggest poop of your life. One that you're not sure you're even capable of doing, but know you have to. And guess what? Because you are pushing like that, you poop. Not alot, but if you are able to see what the nurses are cleaning up after you push, you know it isn't just water (I warned you). Still resting, waiting for my next contraction to come on. Nurses and my doctor are busy getting everything in order and they call the "catch" nurse in, so called because she literally catches the baby after the doctor brings her out.

8:02pm- Next contraction, 2nd push. Chin to chest, hands behind my thighs, Jake's hand on the back of my neck...Nurse Jenny counts to 10. And I breathe one more time and go for another 10...and relax. Jennie is a little further down and even while resting, my body still wants to push her out. Have to fight the urge, and save my energy for the contractions when my body is more ready to get her out. Nurse Jenny checks Jennie's progress- she says she is RIGHT THERE! She can even see a little hair! Everyone starts looking (except Jake, I didn't want him to, and he didn't have any interest haha) and everyone says "look at that hair!" She is so close! And by Nurse Jenny checking progress, I mean feeling an entire hand in my vagina. Doesn't hurt because of the epidural. Yep, here goes the gross part...

8:04pm- Next contraction, 3rd push. Chin to chest, hands behind my thighs, Jake's hand on the back of my neck...Nurse Jenny counts to 10. And I breathe one more time and go for another 10...and relax. This time, I didn't feel any movement from down there. But the whole time I was pushing, all I heard was "keep going, her head is right there...look at that hair!" Nurse Jenny checks Jennie's progress again (please don't make me explain that again) and says "just a couple more pushes!" She calls the doctor in, and we all start getting anxious. Dr. Khalek checks me (another hand!) and drops a bomb. She looks at Nurse Jenny and says that Jennie's head is stuck behind my pelvic bone, something I had kind of already felt happening. But she says it is ok to keep pushing, so we keep going.

8:15pm- multiple rounds of pushing. Still no progress. But she is RIGHT THERE! Look at all that hair!

8:30pm- Getting tired. Pushing is some of the hardest work you will ever do, even if it is just for 10 seconds. Pushing every 2 minutes now, contractions are coming faster.

8:45pm- Push for 10 seconds, relax, push for 10 seconds again. Nothing. She isn't budging. I'm starting to give up hope. The doctor comes in and confirms what I know- Jennie hasn't moved since last time. She is stuck, but doing fine- her heart rate and breathing are registering just fine on the monitors, so she tells me I can keep pushing. But she drops another bomb- she doesn't like her patients to push for more than 3 hours because it's too hard on mom and baby. If Jennie isn't here by 9:30, I'll have to think about a c-section. Then she looks at Nurse Jenny and says "Looks like the black cloud has followed us tonight too."

Wait, what?!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Here goes the gross part...7pm-8pm

I was in labor for nearly 14 hours (5am-7pm) before it was time to start pushing. If you thought my labor stories were a little too much, I suggest you stop reading. Now. Run away. Because labor is nothing compared to the absolutely disgusting job delivery is, whether you deliver vaginally or have a c-section. I assume since you're reading up to this point, you want to hear it, which means you are either a mom, or thinking about becoming one. So here goes...

7pm- It was shift change for the labor and delivery staff. Luckily I had the same doctor (Dr. Khalek) but my main nurse changed. Her name was Jenny. What an amazing coincidence! We were so excited, the nurse included...we talked about how it was fate that she was working that night, and she had never delivered a baby named Jenny (or Jennie, which is how my daughter's name is spelled). While Jenny prepared things for the doctor to do my next exam, the excitement began to build.

7:15pm- Dr. Khalek does her exam. I'm at 10cm dilated. It's go time! Nurse Jenny says one of the most haunting phrases from my whole ordeal- "I'll bet in 2 or 3 pushes, Miss Jennie will be here!" All the nurses and my doctor say if I want to see anyone one last time before I have a baby, now is the time. Our dads come in, and I don't remember if anyone else did. We chatted while the staff prepared the delivery room: turning on the heater in the crib, setting up all the tools and instruments needed for delivery, and I'm sure a hundred other things I didn't witness. The doctor says she is going to go check on her other patients while Nurse Jenny coaches me through some practice pushes.

7:30pm- Practice run- I scoot to the end of the bed. Nurse Jenny says I have to pick two people, one to hold each of my feet up while I push. I wasn't sure how Jake would do from that angle (I didn't want him seeing anything down there, and he had no interest in it either), so I said my mom and Jake's mom could. I was told to push my chin to my chest, wrap my hands around the backs of my thighs, and push like I was taking a crap. Ok, I'm sure the nurse said something more professional, but I don't remember. It's true what they say- you do have to push like you are going to the bathroom. I have my chin to my chest, Jake is supporting my neck, and each one of my feet is one of Jennie's future grandmas' hands- I have to take a deep breath, let it out, take another deep breath, and PUSHHHHHHH while Nurse Jenny counts to 10. I do this a couple of times and Nurse Jenny is telling everyone to get ready to see a baby by 8pm- I'm doing great pushing.

7:45pm- Dr. Khalek comes in, does another exam to see how far Jennie has descended (can't feel a thing, thanks to the epidural...amazing!) and she says her head is RIGHT THERE, and that I'm at "+1". I'm not sure what that means still to this day but I guess it meant Jennie was gonna come, and gonna come soon. Nurse Jenny instructs me that from now on, whenever I a) feel a contraction coming on or b) she sees a contraction happening on the monitor I'm going to push, just like I did practicing. Everyone started placing bets on when Jennie would arrive, and everyone said sometime before 8pm. I was so excited!

8pm- I start pushing...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good luck

2pm- The nurse is checking my vitals, and I'm in intense pain. Like wanna scream curse words at the top of my lungs, but can't because I'm in too much pain to even speak. Shaking, holding onto the bedrails, and just want to take a nap but that isn't possible with how I'm feeling. How can that be, when just an hour ago I was sitting up, eating lunch and joking with Jake and our parents? As the nurse is checking me, she asks what number on the pain scale I'm feeling (seriously, dumbest thing ever. Can't I just say "it f'ing hurts!") I tell her probably an 8, if not a 9. My threshold was an 8. I knew what that meant. I couldn't put it off any longer.

2:30pm- I agree to an epidural.

2:31pm- Guilt. The guilt of not being able to do it myself. Having an epidural was one of two things I knew I didn't want to happen during my labor (a c-section the other thing). The guilt of feeling like I am a bad mom already, and Jennie's not even here yet. Guilt is a daily, hourly, by the minute struggle for most moms (and parents). You are forced to make decisions on behalf of someone else, not knowing how it will affect them later. Guilt will haunt you the rest of your life after you become a parent.

3pm- The anesthesiologist has come in and begins preparing for my epidural. My nurse and him both can see I'm not comfortable with it. The horror stories of how bad it hurts are the one and only reason I didn't want one. The anesthesiologist is walking me through the steps, and I can't remember if I asked everyone else to leave the room, or if they did it of their own will. I was left by myself with him and the nurse. And I prepared myself for more pain. He tells me he can do it in between contractions which are coming about every 2-3 minutes now- he says to just let him know when one is finishing, and he will start. I say ok, wait for the horrible wrenching and twisting of my belly to stop, and tell him it's fine to start.

3:30pm- 3 pricks. That's all it was. 3 damn pricks, and now I'm feeling nothing below my ribs. I went through nearly 90 minutes of the worst pain of my life, because I was afraid of 3 measly pin pricks? What the hell was everyone complaining about?! Literally, I feel NOTHING. Everyone is back in the room and already commenting on how much better I look. I feel so much better too, obviously, because I can now try to rest and prepare for the arrival of my baby girl.

4pm- The doctor checks my cervix (and the exam doesn't hurt! yay! I can feel her hand inside me, but not the pain I experienced before during her exams) and I'm at 5cm. Halfway there!

6pm- 8cm dilated. No pain. Amazing!

6-7pm. I honestly don't remember much from between 4-7pm. I think my friend Amber came to see me, but I can't remember. I'm sure I was napping. I remember the doctor saying I was 8cm dilated around 6pm, and saying I needed to start thinking about who I wanted in the room for the actual delivery. I was allowed Jake and 2 other people. My mom and Jake's mom were the only ones interested in staying (whodathunk our dads wanted nothing to do it?!)

7pm- Shift change for the nurses, and my new nurse's name is Jenny. Good luck, right? Same doctor though, which I'm thankful for.

Jake and me, right before I started the delivery process. Lookin' a hot mess, but I didn't care. my baby girl was going to be here soon!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A scale of 1 to 10

1 pm- So I have just finished my lunch (chicken broth and Jell-O, and it was amazing by the way) and am pushing my tray away from the bed when I feel a little something. Like I said before, nothing bad, just more of an annoyance. The nurse comes in to take my tray and notices my look of discomfort. She asks if I'm ready for an epidural yet (hell no...I don't want one!)and how bad the pain is on a scale of 1-10 (10 being unbearable)- I say around a 4. She then asks where I would have to be on the scale to consider an epidural. Can someone please explain to me the value of trying to gauge your pain on a number scale? I had no idea what to answer, so I said an 8 or 9. She leaves with my lunch tray and I lay back in the bed.

1:15- ouch. That one hurt a little. Pain is around a 5 or 6.

1:30- Ok, ummmm OUCH. I'm turning into one of those moms in labor on tv who is squeezing her significant other's hand and wincing. And I hate that I'm doing it but can't help it. It f'-ing hurts! But no epidural. I have heard so many horror stories about them that I'm more scared of the pain of it than the pain of labor. Pain is a 6 or 7.

1:45- One word- F**K!! I'm shaking every time there's a contraction, I'm getting sleepier by the minute, and no matter how I lay I can't get comfortable. I give up on Jake's hand- I have both bedrails in a death grip. I couldn't figure out why I was so tired until later (duh...it's called labor for a reason. My body was working, and working HARD) and everyone kept saying "just close your eyes and rest". How the hell am I supposed to rest when I'm in so much pain? Around this time, I begin to think- "I won't have the energy to deliver if I keep trying to suck it up now" and I seriously begin to consider the epidural. At this point, the pain is at least a 7, if not 8.

2pm- I'm laying on my side, tears in my eyes, shaking, when the nurse comes in to check on me again. She takes one look at me and asks "how's that epidural sounding right now?" I can't even answer with a word. All I can do is nod while my knuckles go white on the bedrail beside me. The pain is so bad I want to throw up, but I also HATE vomiting, so I take as deep of breaths as I can to calm my nerves. The nurse calls the doctor in and says it's time to prepare for the epidural. More tears on my part, but everyone around me says "there's nothing wrong with it". Yes there is. I DIDN'T WANT ONE. I felt like I was wimp-ing out on something that is supposed to be natural. Women have done it for thousands of years without the choice, so why couldn't I?

**To this day, I have no idea what happened in that one short hour. I went from not feeling a thing to the worst pain of my life in 60 minutes. From talking with other moms, I think this was a pretty rare experience. Most moms I know say their pain progressed fairly even throughout the labor process. If I haven't scared you off yet, I hope you'll continue reading tomorrow, when I talk about the rest of my labor up until the point of delivery :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Admitted

After the horrible experience of my exam and the WEIRD feeling of my water breaking, Jake wheeled me down to the labor and delivery room. I wanted to walk there, but I don't think the nurses wanted me dripping all the way down the hall. As we are going down the hall, the nurse asks me if I have had any other symptoms like swollen feet or ankles or a feeling of the baby "dropping". As I'm about to say "of course my feet are swollen" I look down...and they are twice their normal size (which is about 4 times the size they are when I'm not pregnant). I had no idea that was even a labor symptom. As for Jennie "dropping", meaning a feeling of her descending even further into my pelvic area than she already was, I definitely didn't feel that. The strange part was, earlier that week I had gone to lunch with Jake and one of his co-workers (male by the way) told me it looked like my belly had dropped. I just laughed it off- there's no way I could be dropping already because my official due date wasn't until October 3rd. I climb into the bed and my nervousness starts to set in.

9:30am- I have an I.V. put in (not so bad after all)and get all settled in. The nurse goes over everything- I've been given pitocin to speed up the labor process because once your water breaks you have 24 hours to get the baby out otherwise the risk of infection goes up. I'm allowed to go to the bathroom, but have to do it into one of the "hats" so the nurses and doctors can monitor my bodily functions. Being hooked up to an I.V. machine doesn't make the whole going to the bathroom process any easier though because you have to get all the cords out of the way- and when you're 9 months pregnant, doing anything requiring sitting and standing in a short amount of time is tough enough.

10am- I'm starving. I haven't eaten anything since dinner the night before. I ask the nurse if I can eat and she says "of course not, you're in labor...you should have eaten before you came!" How the hell was I supposed to know that?! And apparently she could tell I wasn't happy with her answer. Around that time, my parents and Jake's parents both show up and begin the process of just sitting and waiting around. The nurse checks my vitals and asks how I'm doing with the pain. Still feeling nothing, I got this! I'm still on track for my birth plan- no drugs, no c-section is the goal! (By the way, birth plans are a waste of time)

11am- No pain still. Watching the CMT Top 20. My mom cracks a joke about Jennie showing up before Jason Aldean's video for Dirt Road Anthem comes on. Wouldn't be funny to me- it would make sense :) And I'm still hungry.

12pm- The nurse comes in and tells me the doctor approved for me a liquid diet. Never have I been more excited for Jell-O and chicken broth. The nurse then asks me how I'm feeling- still not feeling a thing. I'm going to have the easiest labor and delivery ever.

1pm- Finishing my lunch, and I start to feel a little something. Not quite a pain, more an annoyance. The nurse asks if I want an epidural yet. Ummmm no. I'm not in enough pain to even feel like I need an Advil. I got this...I can do it myself.

Ha...ha...ha...

One of my friends, Emily, is a fellow blogger and she is doing a giveaway for a $25 sneakpeeq gift card! Check it the link on my blog's Facebook page (search The Cupcake In My Belly) and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We make it to the hospital...

So we make it to the hospital around 7am and we walk up to the labor and delivery unit. Actually, I waddle along behind Jake and have to make a pit stop to pee before we even make it up there (I'm pretty sure during my last trimester I was in the bathroom every 30 minutes, no joke). As I'm peeing, I can tell that it still isn't all just urine again. I didn't even bother to look this time...I was focused on getting up to the labor and delivery unit ASAP. After checking in at the desk I'm admitted to what amounts to a holding room. Because I couldn't actually tell if my water broke all the way, I was submitted to being poked, prodded, hooked up to machines and forced to pee (ok, not forced, I had to go again already) to see what my condition was- labor or something going wrong were the options. When I came out of the bathroom with my urine sample, the nurse took one look at it and said "oh hun, you ARE in labor!"- apparently I was experiencing the "bloody show". Yea, google it...it isn't pleasant. The weird part was I didn't feel any pain or anything for that matter. The nurse checked one of the screens I was hooked up to and said I was "really cranking out" the contractions but didn't feel anything. I was relieved- if this is labor, it's gonna be a breeze! Ha ha ha...good grief I was so stupid.

Around 8am, a doctor comes in, and it isn't MY doctor. She informs me that my doctor had just come off the night shift, and wouldn't be back on duty til Sunday. I felt comfortable with this doctor, Dr. Khalek, from the get-go though. She said she was going to do an exam to see what was going on.

8:15am- I'm screaming in pain and crying after the exam, and soaking wet. Apparently my cervix is set far behind my pelvic bone and this exam consisted of this doctor trying to find my cervix. It felt like she was moving my lady parts around by digging, and when she shined the light on me down there, she said "yep, your water has ruptured" (at least I think that's what she said, I was crying so hard I'm not sure). After she showed the nurse my ruptured water, she continued the exam, continued digging, and then...a feeling like a water balloon had popped inside me and the bed floods. Dr. Khalek goes "yep, there it is, your water officially broke."

9am- admitted into a labor & delivery room.