Hockey Puck, Rattlesnake, Monkey Monkey Underpants

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Motherhood: The First Year

From the moment you tell someone you're pregnant you start getting advice. Information on what other people did, advice on what you should do, judgement on what you've already decided to do (because you haven't yet learned that you should just smile and nod at this unsolicited, unwanted advice). You get plenty of "you'll see"s and "you just wait"s. It's infuriating. At least for me it was. Now I understand that most people are trying to be helpful, and it's hard to put everything you want to say about motherhood into words. You're limited by rush of emotions that overtake you and make your uterus jump when you see a really cute pregnant woman or a tiny squishy baby. You're limited by the fact that you can't put into words how much you can love your child. You're limited by the fact that your brain is screaming "You can't admit that's how you felt when you had a newborn - they'll think you're crazy and/or a terrible mom!"

I got a ton of advice and words of wisdom and possibly some judgement from fellow mommies. I did not get a lot of brutal honesty. I wish I had. Being a mother is hard. Like, cry at night because you're pretty sure you made a huge mistake because obviously if you had any business having a baby you would be able to get her to sleep/eat/stop spitting up/lay somewhere other than in your arms for 5 freaking seconds. Being a mother (parent) is terrifying and exhausting and, at least for me, up until about a month ago I felt like I was a complete failure. No one tells you about that. In all of the advice, no one says "Hey, sometimes you might sob in the shower because you're pretty sure you're life is over and your freedom is gone and someone is going to call CPS on you because your house is a mess and your baby won't stop crying and you're pretty sure it's because she hates you and knows that you're going to completely screw up her life. That's normal and okay." I wish someone would have told me how overwhelming being a mother was.

I suffered from Post-Partum Depression and Post-Partum Anxiety (PPD/PPA). I was so overwhelmed. I felt like I was a failure at everything. When I was staying home with Clara I was overwhelmed. When I went back to work I was overwhelmed. I was exhausted, my house was a mess, it was all I could do to keep up with minimal cleaning, cook something that resembled a meal, and make it through each day. It's a constant struggle to spend quality time with Clara and Derek and get the huge list of things that have to be done each day. Being a mother is overwhelming. Derek helps so much. He cleans and cooks and does what he can - there just aren't enough hours in the day and even if he did everything that needed to be done I felt like a failure because I couldn't do it. Being so overwhelmed led me to feel anxious all the time. I was constantly on edge. I was also full of rage. I could get so mad and it scared me. I knew something was wrong and I needed help. I went to a therapist and she assured me that most people's houses are messy when they have a baby. That all of my fears were normal. Being overwhelmed was normal. And it was also a huge secret. I was definitely suffering from PPD/PPA, but fortunately I didn't need medication to deal with it - I just needed an outlet. I needed someone to talk to, and vent to, and I needed a safe place to say that there were times when I was scared that I'd made a mistake.

Women don't talk about this. We don't say these things to each other even though most of us feel them at some point. We talk about what a joy motherhood is (and it is), we talk about being "super busy", and then we talk about the Pinterest projects we plan to do. I don't even look at Pinterest anymore. It makes me feel inadequate. I don't have time to cook or sew or project or whatever. Most of the time Clara's clothes aren't even hung up much less organized in a closet with a system and color-coordinated baskets. My dogs are desperate for love and a good nail clipping. I have 100 more things that need to be done than those that have been done. Based on what I hear from others, I view myself as a complete failure.

But here's the thing - most other people's houses (or at least one room and every closet) are messy. Most moms feel like failures in one aspect or another. My baby is happy and healthy and clothed and diapered and fed and loved. What else do I want? Well, what I want is a maid, but that's not really in the budget. What's the point of this whole post? I guess honesty. My house is messy. I don't have time to get 90% of the things I want to done. I'm exhausted. But I'm not a failure. I'm just a normal mom. The next time a friend gets pregnant or wants to get pregnant I fully intend to tell them how wonderful it is, and then tell them that it's incredibly hard and that they can call if they ever find themselves crying in the shower because they're a failure and I'll be happy to show them the current state of my sink and let them know that they're not alone and they're not a failure. They're just a mom. And their baby and I think they're damn good at it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Over a year, but who's counting?

It's been over a year since I've blogged. In that year my life has changed completely. I'm a mom. I have the most incredible little girl in the world. She's funny and smart and brave. She loves to climb and chase the dogs and bring us book after book to read.

Being a mom has made me grow and change in ways I never thought possible. It's been amazing. It's also been incredibly hard. There are so many times that I've felt like I needed an outlet where I could talk about what I'm feeling. I'm not good at that on a personal level. I'm too awkward for it and too easily embarrassed. Even though most people who (used to) read my blog know me in real life, a lot of the stuff I hope I can say here I won't be able to say in person. Not yet anyway. I hope I can get there.

So, I'm back. For now. You know I'm not good with consistency - just stop by every once in a while please. Give me the chance to tell the truth. To share how awesome my kid is. To type many sentence fragments. I'll reward you with cute pictures, and possibly some words that make you feel like someone else knows what you're talking about and how you're feeling. This is just my re-intro post. My "I'm back" post. There will be more soon I promise!

P.S. Here are a couple of those pictures I promised you!
Clara - Day 1

Clara - Day 365 in her birthday shirt!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Saturday we found out we are having a precious baby girl. Her name is Clara. I am smitten.

Secretly I wanted a girl. I think it was a secret even to me because I was completely convinced we were having a boy. And then I found myself hoping for a girl as the ultrasound tech was searching around my belly.

I was so excited going in to the appointment just to find out. I wanted to plan and shop and call my baby something other than "baby" or "it". I had no idea going into it that this ultrasound was going to change me completely. I knew I would be finding out the sex of my baby, but I had no idea how much else I would learn. I can tell you actual information about my baby now. She's 6oz. She moves around like crazy. She has loooonnnng legs. She became a real person to me while this was happening. We could see her kick and wave her arms and squirm. She was modest like her mother and it took a very long time for us to be certain she was actually a she. She's already her own person and I am completely amazed by her.

I've felt her move a few times since then (I'm pretty sure that's what it is anyway) and I love it. She kicked me several times last night while I was watching Glee which I'm sure means she will love musicals just as much as I do (or hate them as much as her dad does). I'm excited to get to know Clara even more. I'm sure I'll soon figure out what foods she likes or doesn't like, when she's sleeping, and what songs are her favorites. I really feel like a mom now, and I'm pretty sure my daughter is the most incredible person ever.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who knew?

There's really no way to know or anticipate everything about pregnancy. Everyone is different and may deal with certain aspects of pregnancy and never have to deal with others. I thought going into pregnancy that I knew most of the common things that happen. Tiredness, nausea/morning sickness, swelling, massive boob growth, etc. But I have been experiencing two things that I never knew could happen during pregnancy.

First, my hair started falling out. I thought taking prenatal vitamins and being pregnant is supposed to make your hair grow longer and thicker and become all luxurious and awesome. I was looking forward to that since I've always had thin, temperamental hair. Except apparently my body reacts to progesterone (the hormone that overtakes you when you're pregnant) in an entirely different way. No amount of prenatal vitamins can help. My hair falls out. My hair is noticeably thinner and everyday I pull out more in the shower and find more on the counter and sink after I blow dry my hair. The only things preventing me from having big gaps in my hair at this point are the prenatal vitamins. I am developing a bald spot on the front right side of my head. I can't put my hair in a pony tail anymore because it's so thin. And it just pulls more out. Now that I'm back at work (since I was off all summer) I have to actually fix my hair everyday which puts more stress on it. In the summer I could just wash and scrunch it and look all crazy, but it was better. Slowly I'm noticing less hair coming out when I shower, but there's still some. I think my body is finally adjusting to the drastic increase in hormones and leveling out a bit. My OB says there's really nothing that can be done, and I'm just hoping it doesn't fall out even more after I give birth and stop taking the vitamins.

At first it made me really sad. I felt fat and ugly and bald. Now I've just accepted it and deal with it as I need to. I try to be gentle, and use good shampoo, but that's mostly just to make myself feel better. It would fall out either way. This is not the norm, but I feel like it's definitely on par with my hair history. My hair and I have never been friends, and this is just one more way that it is turning on me. Now I know that I won't go bald, and even if my hair thins it won't be the end of the world. I love being pregnant, so it's not something that's going to rain on that.

The second thing that I'm dealing with is not quite as dramatic, but grosses me out. I was completely unaware that it's very common for pregnant women to drastically increase their mucous production. There is so much gross drainage in my head right now and I hate it. I feel like my nose is always stuffy. I sneeze all the time. It's gross. Not life altering, just annoying and gross. Who knew?

I'm sure I'll continue to be surprised by things that happen, but I'm most excited about the big surprise we're getting tomorrow. We're going for our gender ultrasound tomorrow to find out if we are having a boy or girl! Woohoo! I'll put the info on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow so you can check to see our big news. In the meantime, pray that Baby B is turned the right way so we can see everything we need to!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


So I thought I was going to blog about how my first trimester went, but I can sum it up pretty quickly - I was tired and nauseous. That's about it. Moving on.

Something about leaving the first trimester and entering the second has caused a clock to start ticking in my head. At first, I felt like it would be forever before we had the baby, and now I know how quickly that time is going to pass and I've gotten into a frenzy to figure everything out. Well, not everything - but some things. I've started researching baby products and holy cow it's overwhelming.

I could spend weeks just trying to figure out what kind of stroller I'm going get. There are safety features and size limits and cost to factor in. Not to mention, what pattern to get.

Did you know that there are different types of car seats? I knew there were different brands, but not different types. Like, they serve different purposes. Maybe I should reiterate that I know nothing about babies. I've never changed a diaper, and I've only held 2 actual infants in my whole life and both of those have been in the past 2 years. They're small and fragile and that's scary. I know I'll be fine with my own baby, but I haven't had a lot of practice with other people's so everything is completely new to me. So no, I was not aware that there were different types of car seats. First I have to figure out if I want an infant seat, or convertible seat. What's the difference? After days of research I've found out. Infant seats are rear facing only and usually are made for children between 4-25 lbs. Once your kid is bigger than that you have to get an entirely different car seat. Or you can get a convertible seat, which is rear facing up to around 22 lbs or so, then you turn it forward until your child is about 45 lbs. Well at first it seems that convertible is the best option right? Only one car seat serves two purposes. But then you start reading about car seat safety and you find out that while your child is only required to ride rear facing until they are 1 year old and 20 lbs, but it's much safer for them to ride rear facing until they are at least 30 lbs. Also, you can't carry a child in a convertible car seat, so if you think you're going to be one of those people who wants to use their car seat as a carrier in restaurants or grandma's house the store or where ever, forget about it. Not an option. Well how the heck am I supposed to know if I want to do that or not?! I've never tried it. Inexperienced expecting mother here people. Maybe Babies R Us will let me put 10 lbs worth of stuff in an infant seat and try it out...

My brain hurts from looking at stuff. And that's before I get to the price tag. I have 177 more days to figure this crap out. This week I've spent 3 to car seats. If any of you would like to donate knowledge or research feel free to. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

13 weeks 6 days

I know my big news isn't exactly news to anyone anymore, I think anyone who actually reads this is also my facebook friend so it's not like it's a big announcement, but I am proud to finally put it in my blog that I am having a baby.

We found out June 9, 2011 that we were pregnant. I didn't actually think I was pregnant, because I didn't "feel" pregnant at all, but I was late so I took a test anyway. I was shocked when I saw that plus sign appear. Derek didn't actually think it looked like a plus sign. The vertical line was very faint. So I took another test, the two pink parallel kind - two lines again. Then another plus sign one. And a digital test the next morning. I took 6 pregnancy tests (two were broken and never did anything) which may seem like a lot, but I've learned that it's far more normal to take several than just trust the first one. This is one of those things you want to be as sure about as possible. I thought I was going to pass out when I saw that first plus sign, which quickly turned to elation, then frustration that Derek was being so skeptical, then panic, then back to bursting with joy. It wasn't a surprise pregnancy, I had stopped taking birth control, but it was still surprising that it happened so quickly. I know how naive that sounds when I write it, and of course I knew it could happen at any time, I just still thought it would take longer somehow. It didn't.

So here I am, 13 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Baby B (as in Baldridge, no indication of first name or anything) is officially growing and thriving and I will begin my second trimester on Saturday. We found out so early (about 2.5 weeks) that I've really been able to soak in this first trimester. I had some really bad days of nausea, but never any sickness - praise the Lord. There have been days when I could have gone to bed at 5 pm and not woken up until the next morning, but I'm starting to feel more energetic now. I can feel how much my body has changed and it's completely crazy. I'm pretty in awe of how this whole thing works.

I have so much to write about, but I just wanted this to be an intro. I want to have this record of my pregnancy thoughts and feelings. I'll definitely be writing more and more often. Well, in between bathroom breaks anyway - they are not kidding about having to pee all the time! I'm looking forward to sharing this pregnancy, so if you have questions or anything just leave me a comment and let me know - I'll try to be honest, but not gross. Seriously, some stuff is just gross.


Buh & Baby B

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Give A Little

Note: I wrote this yesterday, but couldn't get the video to embed so just pretend like I posted it yesterday.The day is finally here friends. Oh, you didn't know that today was hugely important in my life? Well it is. I've been waiting for this day for quite some time.

Today, the video for my favorite Hanson song was released.

Not what you expected? Yeah, I get that. But anyone who has known me between 1997 and this exact moment knows that my love for Hanson has not ceased in all this time. I have every CD. I've seen them on every tour. I've traveled over 8 hours to see them.

One of the greatest moments of my life is when I got to walk barefoot through the streets of Atlanta with Zac Hanson. Like, my wedding is greatest moment number 1 and that walk is number 2. I.LOVE.HANSON.

They released a new album last year, which is by far the greatest yet. I say that with every album, but it's true. But imagine my surprise when this album turns out to have the catchiest, most loveable song they've ever written on it. (Obviously this is just my opinion, but I consider Hanson to be one of the few things I'm an expert on). "Give A Little" is saucy, and fun, and holycrapitscatchy. It makes me want to dance every time a hear it. I knew it would be the second single from the new CD "Shout It Out" and I have been so ready because I feel like this is finally the chance for them to make a return to Top 40 radio. People need this song in their lives. So without further ado, I present you with: