Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Time is moving right along…two more weeks and I will be induced and finally get to hold my baby girl. I am so excited to officially meet her since we’ve been sharing the same space for about 9 months and there’s been so many preparations made for her arrival. I am feeling a lot better now that I am closer to my due date and my sugar levels are controlled…as well as anemia. I feel more healthy overall during this pregnancy ..even though I have had a lot of stress.

It took almost a month for my landlord to fix our AC..this horrible experience has really burned me out on renting. I am now researching what our options are of obtaining an FHA loan for HUD housing. I know it will not be the dream home we always imagined for ourselves, but maybe with some elbow grease and love..we could make something decent into a home of our own…then we wouldn’t have to keep moving every year, plus renting is starting to become expensive..especially in my hometown. It’s time to think about moving further out..sadly. For example, the homes around me started out at 250,000 and now almost everyone of the homes are marketed at 400,000 and higher. I’ve seen a lot of for sale signs in people’s yards and I think they’re cashing out for something better. My mom lucked out buying her house super cheap before the economy took a crash. She got a great loan and bought a house within two week span. Now, it’s like pulling teeth just to get approved for any type of loan for cars or homes. The news keeps saying the economy is better, but I think that’s just bull. I think it’s more like a tactic to increase purchasing power amongst middle class by brainwashing them into thinking the economy is better.

Just my two cents.

Anyways..I was thinking I should really make a list of what I found useful and good products from my experience now that Jude is almost one and we are expecting a second child. Maybe it might help make up new parents’ minds about certain products or perhaps it will just serve as a good reminder of what to share with friends and family later for when they are expecting.

Bottles– We put two sets of bottles on our registry for Jude. I’m glad we did because the expensive Tommee Tippee ones were a bust and Jude would only drink out of the Avent bottles. I really liked the Avent bottles we got, especially the nautical themed design. They have the plain ones and then limited edition design ones. We got Sparrow pink Avent bottles with little birds on them. Hopefully she likes them, but if not we still have those Tommee Tippee put away since we threw out the box and gift receipt.

Lesson learned: every baby has a different preference for bottles and some will only breastfeed. Unfortunately, my supply was nonexistent so we lucked out on finding the right bottles.

Formula– My preference is organic and sensitive stomach formulas. I used free Enfamil from a lactation consultant about a week after realizing my milk was coming in. The smell of the formula is so..uh chemically [not a real word lol]. I switched to Earth’s Best. It’s a company that I was accustomed to in health food stores and I felt better knowing that Whole Foods and Earth Fare [both health food stores with stricter standards than most grocery or health food stores] carried this brand. However, I buy the huge value size through Target because it’s cheaper. It doesn’t have a weird smell,but yes it is dairy based…so you never know if your child is going to react badly to dairy, soy, or pea protein formulas. I think my son initially had undiagnosed reflux bc he made the weirdest noises in his sleep and seemed to only fall sleep in an upright position [swing, carseat, held upright on chest]. It disappeared after about 6 weeks..all of a sudden he was sleeping peacefully and we were able to move him into his crib. Nothing is more satisfying than after a long struggle trying to feed your child [lots of stress and tears] and he’s finally gaining weight, healthy, and happy. He’s super bright, hardly gets sick, easy teether, and happiest little guy ever!

Pacifiers– We bought top brands of pacifiers…only to find out that Jude preferred the free, cheap pacifier I got when i spent a bunch of money at Destination Maternity lol go figure! Even then he stopped using one sometime around 4-6 months. So, again never know what type of plastic style your baby prefers and they may not even like them. My sister was shocked since both her kids were hooked on pacifiers like crack.

Crib Aquarium– I wanted to start work on self soothing because it was becoming an issue where I was needed for rocking and bottle feeding just to get him to go back to sleep. We got the Baby Einstein aquarium from Target. It did help when he was able to hit the starfish button himself to put himself back to sleep. Prior to this stage, we used it more as TV time so we could go pee, do laundry, grab another bottle, etc.The remote is useless by the way. However, at almost a year the aquarium is no longer a soothing item since we had to lower the crib to the lowest setting. He literally would have to wake up, pull himself up, hit the starfish, and magically fall back asleep. Instead, it’s like his wake up toy in the morning and it entertains him as I slowly roll out of bed. I will say this- save the box! The motor is starting to get weirdly loud and many people I’ve read have returned it to the store for an exchange [without a receipt] because the company will not reimburse. So, I saved the box in case this 50 dollar toy gives out with only a year use..ahem*

Was it worth it? Yes, many times it did pay for keeping my sanity though the price is ridiculous and the inside parts are falling apart already.

Wipe warmer– I don’t regret it that much since it was cheap, but I’m not buying one for my second child…so that’s saying something. Hot wipes really are not necessary, but it was a sweet thought.

Glider– Do not waste your money on baby gliders. Go to the nearest furniture store and get yourself a nice, plush rocking recliner. They sometimes are either less expensive than the marketed nursery gliders..however, I will say the comfort and qualirt is so much higher. Don’t get scammed into thinking that everything with a baby label is better. Our lazy boy glider is one of the best investments we made for the nursery. It’s super quiet, very comfortable, and it grows with the baby…also I have slept in it. My sister got a fancy nursery glider that was super uncomfortable after hours of rocking and as her baby grew..the padding was not comfy enough to rock a baby wailing in all directions.

Swaddles– Our son loved a good tight swaddle with arms in. Our burrito wrapping skills must have been lacking because even after many attempts he was dissatisfied whenever he managed to escape his swaddle. Our favorites was the Ergo and Miracle Blanket Swaddle. The first one has velcro and great for smaller babies. The latter was a great transition to slowly wean off the swaddle. Next, came the step of sleep sacks. I read like crazy about sleep sacks and was annoyed at how many had the arms free. My son has a bad habit of waking himself up if his arms are free- either scratching his face or they have a mind of their own looking for sheets, bumpers, etc to pull. I ended up getting a Zippadee Zip sleep sack, which you may have seen on Shark Tank. I didn’t because I do not watch tv often, yet the reviews I read online were out of this world. The plus to me was that he was fully in the sleep sack and it gave a loose sense of restraint…a wearable, soothing blanket to replace the swaddle and he could still safely roll/crawl in. He still wears it and I know the sizes keep going up. I’m not sure when he’ll grow out of it, but he will only sleep soundly with it on…and sleep is a wonderful, desired asset for a parent.

Bassinet– Jude didn’t sleep well in his bassinet..and they grow out of them in three months usually…you are better off skipping this item altogether.

Playyard/Pack n’ Play– At first we used this mainly for diaper changes in the middle of the night. After our son moved to the crib it became a storage holder for miscellaneous items I liked to keep near the bed- the monitor, books, computer, glasses, phone, etc. Once we realized we we’re going on our first family vacation together at around 8 months…we realized that we needed to get comfy with the pack n’ play. By this point, Jude maxed out the weight limit and I needed to lower down the “mattress”

[I say mattress in quotations because it’s basically a piece of cardboard that they include…how does this not cause spinal issues? Ours was harder than the carpeted floor. I’m a firm believer in a firm mattress for kids, but this was just lousy quality. I read online that most people ordered a small mattress insert similar to a crib mattress and got a bunch of sheets. So, that’s what we did and he slept like a dream on it. He literally cried if I even sat him in there before.]

We practiced more getting him comfortable with being in there. I put a few of his favorite toys and began to use it as part of our routine for bath time…he plays while I run around getting everything set up [towels, washcloths, running water, set out pjs, throw in some laundry, remove worn clothes from the day, clean his room, grab the eczema cream & hair brush, etc.].

By the time we went on our beach trip..I’d practiced a few times with youtube to make sure I was folding/unfolding correctly the pack n’ play and now Jude was comfortable with being in there. He slept actually pretty well. It kind of sucked he was in the same room only because I take serious bathroom breaks and like to toss around in the night. He’s a light sleeper so I had to be super sneaky and risk waking him up or lay there uncomfortably until I fell back asleep. I guess I wasn’t cut out for cosleeping and good thing he didn’t like it anyways..we tried lol a lot.

So, yes definitely worth having for vacations..especially when they are able to crawl or pull up…a great way to put your baby safely somewhere while you quickly multitask like a crazy person. I’m alone 4 evenings in the week- so I do dinner, bath time, bedtime, and night cleaning all solo. We got a routine down, but it’s going to be really crazy once baby #2 is here..I know it will take time to hit my groove…moms of twins, I bow down to you.

Monitor– There’s mainly three types of monitors…you have the motion/breathing monitors for SIDS, the audio only monitors, and the visual with audio monitors. I’ve never purchased the first type of monitor. I don’t think I’d invest in the Angel brand only because I have read some complaints that if your baby is a mover..they can set off a false alarm just by sliding off the wooden board that measures breathing. I was interested in one brand called Snugza that clipped on to the diaper.

These type of monitors are pretty expensive and while they may possibly ensure less risk of SIDS…it’s hard to know how effective they can be. SIDS is still very much understood by scientists. There’s risk factors based on patterns of data like smoking, race, etc. The Back to Sleep campaign is slightly questionable..only because while SIDS dropped drastically afterwards..they later are releasing news articles that still a huge chunk of parents haven’t been following the guidelines to begin with. I kind of wonder if its more about education, fear, and awareness that has spread about SIDS …there are theories that babies prone to SIDS are sometimes neurologically miswired for that to occur. I did read about a lady whose child passed away even with great precautions [sleeping on the back, firm mattress, swaddled tightly, temperature cool, etc.] So, again it is heartbreaking to lose a child in any form…and we still do not know a definitive answer of what causes SIDS. I personally take an old fashioned approach with mainly not sleeping for months. My husband and I walk around like sick zombies until around 3 months, when a newborn is finally sleeping a better pattern and getting past the most delicate stage. I have never known sleep deprivation like this before…not even college finals could compare to the type of exhaustion endured with parenting.

The second monitor http://only is great for keeping at the grandparents’ house or taking on vacations. It’s like a great backup monitor for when you can’t drill camera holes into the walls. They can be pretty inexpensive and I’m sure you can buy some secondhand ones or get free pass downs from other people that have no need for them anymore.

The last is my favorite and my go to monitor. I love visual/audio combined monitors. I find them extremely helpful especially once the baby is officially in the crib for the night. You can hear every sound, every movement, and its highly reassuring knowing that it can be plugged in literally next to your bed.

Now, that our son is almost a year old..we turn the volume up really, really loud..put in earplugs for outdoor noises [like chirping birds, dogs, garage doors opening, landscapers] and wear sleep masks. The tiniest cry or “talking” noise and we can hear him and just him. It works great now, but I will retire my ear plugs until Sparrow is old enough for me to use them again. Newborns put me on edge..I’m scared to fall asleep unless someone is watching on shifts to let me sleep. You just never know if they will find some way to suffocate themselves or what if I am so sleep deprived that I do not wake up…ugh! I am the worrying type.

Back to my analysis of the monitor….let’s talk brands. These get very, very expensive. They get even more expensive if you want an expansive type where you can keep adding cameras per baby. There’s the clarity of the screen, the night vision, pan/zoom features, temperature sensor, lullabies, walkie talkie action for parents..etc. A lot of great features and technology exist for these type of cameras. There are many now that link to wifi and you can watch your child through your phone/computer, take videos, etc. The wifi kind doesn’t appeal to me because I’m at home- I’m not a computer that often and my iphone seems to get run down with just the little bit I use of social media, music, and surfing the web. I also worry about the security of visuals with wifi enabled monitors or possible interference with slowing down the wifi. For some people, like those at work or overseas..it can be a great way to feel connected to your child. I get that.

The first monitor I got was one on sale at Target by Summer Infant. I should have really read the reviews online about this brand. Mine only lasted 6 months when the visual randomly went black with a white line down the middle…something blew in the device and I was stuck with an audio monitor. This was a real pain in the butt because now I couldn’t tell if my son was just making noises in his sleep [he does that a lot] or actually awake until it led to a cry. I read that the company sometimes would send you a new one if you had a receipt or box..blah blah blah. I said screw it! I am getting a new monitor even better than this one. Later my sister informed me that she had several Summer Infant models that broke on her.

Thus, I began researching monitors and reading pages, pages, and pages of reviews from Amazon, Target, and Walmart. There were at least two brands we narrowed down that we were interested in.

Ultimately, my husband really liked the Motorola model we picked out. It’s not the latest model that has a handheld monitor the size of a baby ipad. However, we are only one month in and I am greatly impressed by the quality so far. There’s no zoom feature, but the camera can move all over the entire nursery and night vision is still great as well. There’s no bright light for the night feature- just a tiny green led light..not that it matters since we have two cute little Ikea night lights for those late night feedings/teethings/night terrors/diaper changes/etc.

I really wanted a monitor that could sense the temperature in the room. This became a great importance to me when our AC went out and we had a hard time getting our slack a$$ landlord to fix it. We installed a baby gate to keep the door open and pets out. We got a super duper fan to run in the nursery and our son mainly wore diapers indoors. Three weeks later we finally got our AC fixed and I realized how much it drove me crazy not knowing how cool or hot his room was compared to the hall thermostat. Now, I am all freaked out about the winter- what if that breaks? So, the fact that the Motorola model had a temperature sensor made me very happy and it seems pretty accurate.

Funny thing is the lullabies on the camera are horrible. I am not sure if anyone actually uses these to soothe their child, but don’t get your hopes up. In fact, one day our son was taking too long of a nap that we were worried that he would miss out on dinner, wake up cranky, and then be super difficult sleeping at bedtime..so I told my husband to put on the lullabies feature from the handheld monitor and it woke him up instantly LOL! He was probably creeped out.I mean who wouldn’t be creeped out suddenly hearing obnoxious lullaby music when you were fast asleep and having no idea where it is coming from. So, I rate that feature highly effective as an alarm for babies that oversleep. You probably will not get much use out of it.

The walkie talkie feature doesn’t have much use to us now, but possibly once were tag teaming with two babies and need someone to grab a bottle..I could see it being of use then. We’ll see..so far we played with it just once, but it hasn’t been anything of practical use.

Of course, we were looking for a model that included two cameras in the package, but many cameras can be expandable..so if you have only one child …but who knows if you want another one..go ahead and make sure its expandable. If it’s a good quality monitor hopefully it will last and you can add on a second camera for cheaper than having to buy a brand new set for both kids. Truth be told- I wish I had skipped that Target deal and invested in a good quality monitor. Sometimes you pinch pennies and it’s a win..other times you smack your head wondering why you’re so stingy and end up costing yourself more money.

Hopefully this monitor will last for a few years..we won’t be expanding beyond two, but I’ve seen most monitors expand up to 4 rooms.

Clothing-I cannot stress enough how shopping outlet malls, thrift stores, and even dollar item stores can really add cute, inexpensive clothes. It’s okay to splurge once in awhile, but honestly..it’s a bit disheartening when your child grew out of that $60 outfit in a month. The second time around we didn’t put any clothes on our registry- and you know what? we got huge amounts for our baby girl …we have lots of newborn clothes and some seasoned mothers at the shower bought 0-3 and 3 month clothes too. They too know how fast babies grow into bigger sizes. Buy lots of bibs- and keep them sorted for bibs for eating, bibs for being out and about drooling…lol it sounds funny..but I just hate when bibs get stains that are brand new. I don’t want to throw them away, but I also don’t want to tout my baby all over the place with a dirty looking bib. So we have “dress” bibs and “do whatever you want to them” bibs.

Shampoo/Body Wash– I’m really picky about ingredients and I don’t believe the marketing on the front of a bottle. Even the organic, natural labeled washes or ones that have names that create images/ideas of that kind of product…nope, turn it around and read every ingredient and that’s all I need to know. I like Alaffia -you can buy that at Whole Foods or Earth Fare. I like Shea Naturals from Target. I am not impressed with Burts Bees ..oh, and tear free is a marketing gimmick from Johnson & Johnson. I look for ingredients I can read easily and less is more. I hate products that contain alcohol..that’s just ridiculous.

Diaper cream– I love Badger Diaper cream. It has a high amount of zinc oxide which is what heals the skin, but it’s the other ingredients that get the thumbs up…or more like the lack of other ingredients. Literally, the product contains oil emulsifiers..there’s no alcohol or junk. It’s very thick and creamy so a bottle will last forever! The first bottle lasted almost 6 months. We go through more now since our son is eating a lot of solids= more poo lol. Still, I am impressed by this product and will not be switching if I can help it. I was in a bind one day and needed to purchase some because I left it at home…I have to say a second best would be the Honest company at Target. It’s less thick and more watery…it’s not bad considering the ingredients. A second best..not my first choice..but these two are far superior to Desitin and Burts Bees diaper cream. Do not let anyone talk you into buying Desitin. My niece struggled with diaper rash consistently and I think it’s because Desitin has a lot of other ingredients that are drying and cause further irritation- it works against their active ingredient of zinc oxide. Switching our son’s diapers had little effect on irritations..he has had few diaper rashes and when I slathered the Badger cream on- BAM! Gone like tomorrow….

Diapers– Not going to lie I am picky about disposable diapers. cheers to the folks who wash and reuse ecofriendly diapers- we didn’t go that route for many reasons..so I am going to only focus on disposable diapers. The Up and Up brand from Target is pretty glorious for price, absorption, and has no fragrance. Recently, we’ve been on the broke side so we will switch occasionally to Luvs when we are at Walmart. Luvs are great for absorption ..they got silly monkey cartoons on them..my only complaint is that they have that obnoxious fragrance. I like fragrance free wipes too..however, again sometimes the wallet is hurting and you buy a huge ole box of nasty powdery fragrance wipes. I wish to say that we went all natural on the wipes- but this is just too expensive for us. However, a note for people who have kids with eczema..if you use the cheap wipes don’t get them near any other part of the skin..I’ve noticed a correlation with eczema breakouts if I use a wipe to clean my son’s hands or face quickly. So, we just use plain water and paper towels.

Eczema- I did not believe it initially, but it is true- the more baths the better it controls and almost eliminates the problem. The minute I incorporated bath time every single day with a follow up of Aveeno cream all over- there has been almost zero breakouts. I use bath time as a great time to do skin checks for heat rash, bites, allergies, etc. If I see a rough/scaly red patch starting to emerge in the crease of an ankle, back of the knee, or underarms I use a prescription from the pediatrician. Seriously, the baths followed up with lotion made a huge difference as well as light cotton outfits. His skin did not like coconut oil or almond oil. Eucerin for babies was okay, yet I saw the most improvement with the Aveeno baby line. I tried Aveeno last because I hate their adult version facial care. I tried that on my face and got the worst zits ever. Oddly, my skin loves coconut oil- so I wash my face with coconut oil every night and then clean my pores with an alcohol free witch hazel cotton ball-with a few added drops of tea tree and lavender. ..then I spray a toner by Alaffia that’s mainly coconut water with neem oil.

Okay, I am exhausted. I must continue this list sometime else. I don’t know if anyone will actually read this and find it useful…but I do love looking back at my experiences and seeing what I feel I’ve learned as a parent.

Tough Day

Today was a great day, but it did have some challenges. Jude and I had two doctors appointments. Luckily, we were able to meet up with my friend and her baby boy in between to make the day less grueling..and well, wonderful to catch up with a mom going through the same motions. She’s expecting another child on the way too.

I learned today that at 35 weeks I am 1 cm dilated. Of course, dilation..effacement..it can all be rubbish because labor can be unpredictable even with knowing this information. If Sparrow doesn’t come out on her own, I will be induced by July 24th. I guess it depends if she wants her zodiac to be a cancer or a leo. Pros and cons to both really…family oriented, emotional, ego, great hair…I got a whooping cough vaccination to help pass immunity to her and got tested for Group B bacteria. I was having quite a few contractions..they didn’t feel like the normal Braxton Hicks and they lasted for hours. I guess that was part of my cervix changing.

Anyways…after Jude’s appointment for his helmet. I get him to sleep and I decide to take a nap too. He had gone the whole day without a nap and for a 10 month old..that’s bananas! It had maybe been 30min and the power went out. I woke up to Jude screaming. I tried to calm him down while trying to figure out what to do. I had no choice, but to put him in his crib screaming while I called the energy company and check with them. I was worried and angry thinking that my hubby had forgotten to pay the energy bill. However, there was an outage in the area and then, I was outraged to lose power in 100 degree weather. So, I packed up the car with all Jude’s essentials and we hit the road to Grandma’s until the power came back on.

It was really nice actually seeing my family and I think Jude did enjoy spending time with them too. He’s got such a great temperament. If the majority of his needs are met, he will make the best of it. Even when he is sick he still tries to smile. I love that little dumpling. I didn’t mind rocking him for an hour in my arms tonight and he didn’t protest when I laid him down in his crib to sleep for the night. We both felt pretty satisfied with all the snuggles and kisses. It’s those moments that I really cherish. Perhaps you need a little rain to be thankful for the sunshine.

Besides, time is limited that we have together one-on-one…pretty soon there will be two babies vying for my attention. It will be a challenge. There will be tough days. Motherhood is really making me stronger with its many tests. I still get weak and emotional, but when you’re in charge of the well-being of another..you suck it up and put yourself last. I know some people will not agree to putting themselves last as a healthy response to parenting…but for me it’s what feels right. To me love means to give, sacrifice, and protect..especially, those in the greatest need. Sometimes, I do need a break even if it means just a small one to sip a full cup of hot coffee or ten minutes with my feet on the couch. The simplest things that I took for granted..like a shower or a hair dryer..they seem magical, almost mystical. When I am able to shower it feels as if I am regenerating and cleansing my soul. It feels therapeutic whereas before it seemed an every day practice ..like brushing your teeth. Now, I feel as if I am Tom Hanks from Cast Away basking in the beauty and conveniences of civilization. I have a rule to myself that when morale is low..first, take a shower. If it is still low, then I need to do something little ..but meaningful for myself to have a treat..like painting my nails, reading a book, lying in bed with Pinterest, creating a Spotify playlist….if all else fails, then nothing like a good cry with hugs from the hubby..and popping St.John’s Wort like lemonheads.

I’ve had a really hard month with financial struggles and it can really test a marriage. You know though at the end of the day it’s just money..while it’s stressful, frustrating, and downright scary at times…you got to stick together and remember to work together instead of taking it out on each other. I know we won’t struggle forever and it’s mainly because I am not working. It’s only for a few years though until the kids are in school before I start contributing money again.

I don’t know what I would do without my parents during this time. I remember getting a full time job in high school to pay for my cell phone, clothes, etc. I took special pride earning and spending my own dollars without falling back on my parents. It made me want to take care of things more and be responsible. I’ve had cars constantly breaking down on me with broken AC and heat. I’ve been so tight in college where dinner was cheese and crackers. When I couldn’t afford ink or had the money to print out essays for college at the library my friends let me sneak into the dorms’ computer lab where printing was free. It’s been hard to depend on my parents more than I ever had for quite some time. It’s not about ego though. I feel guilty for having to take money and not being able to provide for myself as an adult with two kids should. Yet at the end of the day, I know that everyone goes through rough times and that being family is part of that..being there for each other…reaching out..helping out. It’s not about failing myself or failing them. It’s part of the life experience that you will screw up or have misfortunes..and if you are lucky enough there will be someone there to offer a helping hand without expectations or obligations…a hand of love.

I hope that I can be as great of a parent to my two kids. I know they will see the faults of my humanity..as everyone sees in their parents, but I hope they also see the good…and hopefully give them similar gifts in life as my parents and life experiences have given me.

Current State of Affairs

I reread my last post and it has been a long time since posting anything new.

Jude is now 8 months and is wearing 12 month clothing..haha and I used to worry about him gaining weight when he was a newborn. Here’s his current milestones:

-roll over both directions, -sits up on his own, when he feels like it ;), -crawling mainly backwards, but has lunged forwards and rocked on his thighs, -claps objects together in his hands, -eats usually 3 solids [pouches] a day with 32 oz formula, -sippy cup training at the moment, -turns on/off crib aquarium by himself, -teddy bear attachment, -sleep sack instead of swaddle, -takes big boy baths in the bathtub with momma

Sparrow, yes it’s a baby girl on the way, is due July 31st. Less prepared with the nursery this time and were having a very small shower..more like a sprinkle. I kind of wish I could go all out more, but hardly many people are coming to the second shower..I guess its because it’s a second shower. I think most people are excited to go to the first one, yet are over attending anymore after that. It’s mainly family, a few work friends, and two friends from college/high school.

My family relations have improved with staying home and close by. I go walking with my brother 2-3x a week. Usually I see my mom if she isn’t too busy getting her hair done, nails, or shopping on the weekend. I see my sister and the kids more than I have for awhile even though it seems were always on opposite schedules for feeding/naps etc to meet for play dates all the time. My eldest sister occasionally comes down to visit now that she is 3 hours away, but we see her now more than once a year..which is a lot compared to what it used to be.

Still I find myself feeling very lonely lately. My husband works on his computer at home Wed-Sunday during the day, works nights Thursday-Sunday, goes in Monday morning till 6pm…so we only have Tuesday day/night, Monday night, and Wednesday night to spend time together. It’s beginning to really frustrate me and I’ve put a lot of pressure/stress on him to look for something else. I just don’t how I am going to do it with two little babies alone all the time.

When I began college, I had big dreams and aspirations of finding a “dream job” and I thrived in college. I was a Biology major, but then I became conflicted because I couldn’t think of what I wanted to do as a career. I switched to an English major because of well..bad advice lol..that English majors are more versatile and likely to be easily hired compared to a Biology major. I minored in Philosophy though truth be told..I had enough credits to submit it as a double major. I graduated and couldn’t find any jobs that would hire me, except retail. It was during the big economy slump and people were at the time opting to stay in college to avoid job hunting. “Anything but boring 9-5pm jobs,” I told myself. I was holding out for something worthy of spending my time and energy on.

Now, I am cynical and bitter. I appreciate the boring 9-5pm jobs because they give consistency, stability, benefits, decent pay, weekends, nights off, and you can buy a house without worrying about claiming tip money. Obviously, I chose to stay at home with two little ones so close together, but I really would like my hubby to find a job more like that…one that he doesn’t have to take home constantly…a job where we can go on vacation, benefits [he works for a small business, and a lot of small businesses cannot afford to give workers benefits], dinnertime, put the kids to bed together, sleep next to me at night, and still have weekends for quality family time.

I really want a house too. We’ve been renting since we first got married. However, we both come from lower middle class families that did not have the best of luck in money or life. We pretty much eloped and had a private dinner celebration with family at a fancy restaurant. When we first got married we only had a set of mattresses on the living room floor of our apartment and a tv. We ordered pizza and ate out all the time until we were slowly able to afford furniture, kitchen ware, etc. Now, we have a lot of really nice furniture and put a lot of effort into having something to show for our late twenties/early thirties.

I want a house because where we live is becoming increasing expensive. It’s near our families, but I think we may have no choice but to move somewhere further from then to be able to save up for a house. I think we are going to attempt to buy a HUD house and see if there are any government loans that we would be able to get. As long as it wasn’t too much of a fixer upper or scary looking lol..I’ve seen really nice ones occasionally pop up on the website for HUD homes in our area that we would be better off paying for every month then struggling with sky rocketing rent every year..and then once again having to move.

A lot changes when you have kids…your perception changes…your desires change….I want security..stability…a good neighborhood within budget..my husband home with me more and help…

I have two months and 1/2 left of pregnancy assuming I will go to 40 weeks..[I’ve passed all my diabetes tests so far..I have another one next week..still a chance the placenta can block insulin production within third trimester and I might be induced at 38 weeks]. I am struggling with pregnancy blues/moodiness. I feel uncomfortable and depressed about my body..I don’t see a glowing, fertile, sexy pregnant woman…I see a worn out, fat, no makeup, dirty hair mess. I know, I know…I am growing a baby while taking care of another baby..what did I really expect? Technically, I’ve only gained 15 lbs during this pregnancy…however, I only lost 30 lbs from my last pregnancy before becoming pregnant 6 weeks later…so I am very over my BMI than I’ve ever been in my whole life. I tell myself that this is not permanent. I may have been pregnant for two birthdays/two xmases/ etc. in a row which makes it seem a lifelong lol but this is the last one…and then, its snip snip for my spouse. Two kids is really all we need and can afford money as well as sanity wise.

It’s tough when I see a stranger in the mirror compared to pictures of what I looked like before. My body will be forever changed. I slathered my body in oils/lotions and still got a ridiculous amount of stretch marks. I didn’t bother the second time around haha I gave up since I figured I am just screwed genetically on that.

Due to my low self esteem of myself..I feel less intimate, stressed out over everything these days, less social…

My husband has had to bear a lot of moods …more so in this last trimester than ever…it’s horrible, but I lack trust or believe anyone really loves me mainly because of the way I look right now and how I feel. It’s so horrible of me to be so shallow and hard on myself..when my self worth is way more than just a body, nice hair, or a made up face….yet I feel the opposite and multiple times I’ve emotionally pushed away people that love me, which only causes more pain to myself…

UGH! It’s the worst! So, I am looking forward to giving birth soon because I want to ..well, meet my baby girl…second, not be pregnant lol, and I can work on the long journey of restoring my body back…even my hair sucks..the texture and everything has changed with hormones…I wouldn’t mind chopping it all off, but I feel like I look a little bit better wearing my mommy hair bun with headbands every day look than a bloated face with a pixie.

I know I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. My emotional arguments are super weak even though they are..they are still poisoning my perception of self and reality. I am fearful/anxious/sad about my current state…I am afraid that being my worst enemy I am going to inevitably be my own downfall ..and forever push away loved ones from me and officially be unloved…though my husband has repetitively, exhausting fashion attempted to tell me that is going to never happen and that he will love me forever no matter what.

So…let me say the things that I am happy and thankful for:

I am thankful for my husband- his loyalty, faith in me, comfort, support, and forever love of me

I am thankful for my son- he is sunshine every day..even when he’s sick he has tried to smile through and shine..sure, he gets really cranky some days yet those are very rare..I love him and I can tell he loves me..on days when I struggle to get out of bed..I do because I have to..because of him.

I am thankful for my daughter- We have not officially met eye-to-eye, but you are loved my darling! I know that this pregnancy is tough for the both of us..you are hard at work growing/preparing to come into this world..and I am growing/preparing for you to be part of my world.

I am thankful for my family-We are all super busy, but we are there for each other when the hardest struggles are upon us. Thanks to my mom who has paid for a beach house for all of us [kids, grandkids, etc.] to take a break…we all have had a lot of struggles in the last year and this year…I think we all need time near the water..may we find joy and peace close to nature.

I am thankful for what we do have- we may not have everything…but we have clothes, food, and shelter…we have each other..there are people in this world that do not even have basic needs of living..or clean water. It’s easy in this day and age to keep thinking I need more, more, more, and more….I know we have a lot compared to most and I should…and I am thankful for that…I think really now all I desire is for the people I love most to be more available in my life to spend time with and a better work life for my husband..for our time together as a family and to increase quality of life in general.

Thankful. Yes. I am thankful. Please, let my mind and heart find peace through the challenges of every day and remember all these reasons to smile.

Ended Chapters, New Chapters, From Where Do We Go Now

Jude and I have been doing well! He is growing so fast and learning at a rapid speed. We have finally found some different techniques of tummy time that doesn’t bore him to tears [literally]. Thanks to the Back to Sleep campaign in the 90’s babies are now placed on their backs to sleep- reduced SIDS, increased flat headed babies..thus, the development of tummy time to increase the chances of a rounded headed baby. His seems to be rounding out slowly. I think its because as new parents we were so confused on where to let him sleep when he was a fresh out newborn. He seemed so fragile/delicate and we were scared to crush him cosleeping. He hated his bassinet and the crib. So, he ended up sleeping in his swing. However, now he sleeps in the crib and he scoots all over that crib. I’m sure it’s any day for the big moment when he learns to roll over. An

He’s got the most adorable smile. He smiles a lot too. He smiles every morning when I pick him up out of the crib. Sometimes I’m lost in thought about stupid adult issues [bills, money, conversations, senseless worries, etc.] and I look down..there’s those big, beautiful eyes and the warmest smile I have ever seen πŸ™‚ He makes me forget; prioritizes what matters most in life. I give him huge kisses and he gets so excited with coos/ squeals of joy.

He has a routine for day and night. During the day, we play downstairs on the activity mat. I put on music or Gilmore girls and sit right next to him to play. Usually, around late afternoon or near sunset we go on an errand- almost always Target lol. Everything I need or would want I can buy at Target. It’s a one-stop shop. Plus, whenever I go to Walmart by myself there’s always creepy dudes that come out of nowhere to hit on me. Even when I was 8 months pregnant checking out candles, I was approached. UGH! I guess fertility is a calling card at Walmart. So, I only go to Target now and its therapeutic to be out and experience the world..maybe buy myself a new 24 hour lipstick or an outfit for Jude. We go back home for feed, play, bath [1-2 a week, his skin is dry during the winter],and then, feed again. Most nights he is swaddled by 7:30-8:00pm and wakes up for a feeding at 6am, 8am, and likes to be up for the day until an afternoon cat nap. Cat naps usually last 20-30m and occasionally an hour [this is rare].

It’s nice to have a schedule now and we get more sleep than we ever had before. Though I sometimes have trouble getting myself to go to sleep until 1-2am and then end up with only a few hours of sleep—that’s the worst. If only I could be fed and rocked to sleep lol.

He’s going to be 3 months this week ..right after Thanksgiving.

I’ve been having some unusual symptoms of late: cramping, spotting, craving for raw tofu, fruitcake, pecan pie, decrease in coffee/alcohol consumption, nausea, dizziness, weird bursts of energy for cleaning followed by days of fatigue, breast pain….

So, I bought some pregnancy tests. It took a full year for Michael and I to get pregnant with Jude. The first time I got a positive pregnancy test..a few weeks later I got a super heavy period. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant and we kept trying…alas, I took so many tests hoping, yet each month I kept getting my period or negatives. Jude has been a wonderful blessing in our lives and we are so happy!

Well, last night while I was eating tofu..I thought maybe I should take a pregnancy test. I figured even though it was evening [the best time for a pee specimen is in the morning- more hormone levels in urine usually]..I could just see what it said and take another one in the morning. So, I took the test and waited for it to load for the result. I get kind of anxious hovering over pregnancy tests and I always want to see the words “pregnant” even if in my head I try to pretend it doesn’t matter…I always feel sad/disappointed if it says “not pregnant”. I went and put on my pajama pants, then ran back to the test. Still loading…I ran back to put on a shirt, then ran back to look at the test. Still loading….I ran over to put some socks on [some nights I wear socks on, other times they drive me crazy..my feet are fickle]…and I ran back just in time for the third bar to load up and it said…

“Pregnant”

I felt ecstatic joy. I smiled. I laughed. I shook my head and kept staring down at that word. Wow, pregnant. Again. I knew it, I thought smugly..patting myself on the back.

Then, I started to think about what this means. Jude and the baby would be only a year apart. Not exactly planned or the way I expected the future to go…Michael and I had some unprotected parent alone time..mainly because we foolishly threw caution to the wind and figured that i couldn’t get pregnant that fast..also, I think there was a sort of unspoken agreement of whatever happens happens.

I told my Mom over the phone tonight and she didn’t sound very thrilled. She didn’t congratulate or enthusiastically say anything. She said, “Hmmm how do you feel about it?” with that kind of low tone people use for snarky remarks or sarcasm. I was a bit taken off guard by that. I mean how else would I feel about a baby. I love babies. I love my baby. Why would I despise another baby? I’m happily married with my soul mate and have an adorable child whom we love and adore…

“I don’t feel sad,” I said defensively. “You know, I feel happy. It’s a baby. How else would I feel?”…It kind of pisses me off my mom’s reaction. She wasn’t supportive at all for me when I had Jude. In fact, she exhausted me…when my family came over to help a FEW times after the baby was born..they just sat on the couch watching tv or chit chatting about stressful topics like money or their work situations. They overstimulated the baby with too much noise and I felt like I was hosting/entertaining rather than being able to relax. My mom helped my sister out a lot when she had her first born. She tried to help out a lot when she had her second born [from a different dude by the way, we found out that curse family drama later]. She watches both kids about 4x a week. She always talks about how she looks just like my sister..and they are exactly alike yadda yadda yadda. Favoritism much? I mean the funny thing is that my sister [we’ll call her Sister A] is personality wise not at all like my mother..she just looks like her. My Sister B is a doctor and my mom may use that fact to impress strangers, but let’s face it Sister A is the favorite just because she has the same nose and hair. My mom sees Jude and I maybe once every 2-3 weeks. Usually, she drops off some clothes and peaces out. She did help me get my hair done once , but that was kind of a hair emergency [I had tried to dye my hair at home and nearly destroyed it…couldn’t even leave the house it was so bad, had to get color stripped out with lots of treatments]. I had postpartum and tried to cut myself with box cutters..because I felt isolated and deserted by my family. I moved closer to them hoping I would see them more. I think I may seem them about the same as when I lived an hour away when I only live 10 minutes away now. My family wants nothing to do with me now that I have a baby it seems..

So, I’ve grown very reliant, independent, strong..and came to the final merging into adulthood…realizing your family will only be there for holidays or if they want something from you. I’m the parent. I’m the momma. We are a separate nuclear family and our roles are the most important. Grandparents do not have to be that much of a role in my kids’ lives, especially if they value so little time in mine.

My mom will call me and when I finally am able to call her back..she spends an hour blabbering about herself: her nails, her hair, her weight, her job, her bills, her house, her paintings…without a breath in between and even if you try to engage in conversation sometimes she keeps talking over you that you give up even saying “yes” or “uh-huh”. I put the phone on speaker phone and start cleaning, use the bathroom, brush my hair….she called me to listen about her..not to talk because talking would require an action that involves two people. I get frustrated, but I accept it until she ends the conversation [without asking me how me or the baby are doing] because someone else is on the other line or she is buying something at the store. She’s been struggling with her job recently. Even with balancing time with husband and baby, I’d take time out to give her supportive speeches and pep talks..telling her how amazing she is, how she needs to keep looking for a new job, what she deserves is better, etc. You know that’s what I would want if I was having a hard time..is for someone to be there for me and remind me that I’m awesome, that I could do better, and boost their self-esteem/confidence. Michael would get annoyed when she’d call me like this several times when she’s never there for me. He’d sit there listening sometimes and say afterwards, “it’s like your talking to a child and your the parent.” Maybe that’s what happens at a certain point..your parent expects you to be the parent to them.

My mom is really bitter about her marriage [she got married at 18 years old with a baby at the same time]. She had three other kids quickly after- I was the last and had been the inspiration for tube tying. So all of this info…you can see why I shouldn’t have been surprised by my mom’s reaction to being pregnant. I don’t even think she was thrilled the first time I got pregnant [miscarried] nor the second when I had Jude. I’m not sure if it pisses her off that I’m happily married and starting a family..or if that she thinks in her head only about her personal experience and cannot separate herself from it. Maybe she thinks she wish she hadn’t gotten married or had kids so when she hears about any of that she cringes even if they are different people, different situations.

Though my mom has done this before with other things. I remember when I got offered a new job. I called her all excited and she made me feel bad about it..we actually got in a fight about it. She made me feel guilty for leaving, created senseless worries about job change [even though it was obvious I’d get more money, benefits, better people to work for]…she fears any kind of change and puts people down instead of supporting them. It makes me really sad and hurt…sheesh now it’s coming back to me…I remember crying over the phone trying to tell her about my ultrasound and how she made me feel like sh*t for being pregnant. I told my mom I really wanted a baby so bad and that I was ready. I really wanted to start a family and it took me a whole year to get pregnant. I wanted her to just be happy for me, excited for me, and remember she was going to be a proud grandparent to this child. I guess I guilt tripped her enough to where she said that she was happy for me and that she hadn’t reacted well because she was just worried for my sake. Pshhttt! Worried? Nah, she never showed any concern of worry when bad things happened to me..only when good things in my life happen.

I guess what I can take from this is that you are always going to have parents that do not fulfill your expectations of what you want or need in a parent. I always just wanted love and support. Well, realistically you get text messages, cards, objects, or phonecalls that end with I love you about 25-50% of the time. You get support about 15-25% of the time. It wouldn’t matter what I did..there’s no pleasing my mom..I’m not sure if she desires to even be pleased..I think it’s as simple as she is selfish and self centered. She claims she gave everything to us and didn’t think about herself..and I guess she feels now is her time to be done with us or maybe just me. Ah wells, I just need to lower expectations. I love my mom. I just wish she loved me enough to support me no matter what path I choose in life. I mean geez I could be a druggy, a criminal, or a real loser. All I want is to have a family….with someone I truly love.

I can be grateful for a wonderful husband. He is my support, my rock, my anchor. I text him while he was at work and he made me feel really good. We both know there will be challenges, but we are both happy…as we should be. This new baby is a product of a loving relationship that’s secure with a good house, reliable cars, good paying job, and of course, this future baby would have the greatest big brother you could wish for. I love my little pumpkin, Jude Bear. I am intent on giving lots of love to our little family even as it expands- I have lots of love within me to give and it doesn’t have a border, an ending, or timeline. It’s a tough adjustment realizing your mom is never really your mom again after a certain point. I have to lean fully on my husband for all emotional support, guidance, and love wherever life takes us.I hope to be a loving, supportive mother who writes notes in her kids’ lunchboxes every day for school. I want them to always know how much I love and support them 100%..and I never want them to feel even at 30 yrs old or 60 yrs old that they do not matter anymore. I tell Jude all the time that when he’s 30 yrs old that its okay if he still lives at home with me- Momma loves him forever. Lol! though I think Michael would roll his eyes just a bit..though he wouldn’t mind it, not really lol.

Hmmm..I feel better now that I’ve typed, I’ve cried just a little bit, and smiled just thinking of all that I have to be thankful for and love in this world. I’m going to go check on my sleeping darling and curl into bed until the hubby gets home. Goodnight to all and wherever or whoever you are remember the one[s] that love you and support you the most in your life..and cherish them. Forgive the rest if they cannot do the same, but remember the ones that do!

Baby Jude

Okay so I wrote an epic blog post and saved it as a draft..however, every time I tried to restore my draft it wouldn’t appear on the screen. Meh, whatever!

So, instead I am going to do a quickie post of all the highlights of birth to present. It’s going to be a doozie.

8/28/14
5AM Michael and I haven’t slept the whole night. We cleaned the sheets and the house to prepare for Baby Jude’s arrival, but we couldn’t sleep with anticipation of the big day ahead of us.

We drink lots of coffee- I eat an egg burrito that would plague my gestational diabetes my entire labor and stuck with an IV in my arm of insulin.

7AM- Scrambling into the hospital, lost, finding several elevators yet none that go up to the labor delivery floor. We happen to run into my doctor [Dr.W] and she shows us where the “special” elevator to the maternity ward is. We go upstairs and try to check in at one desk, but then get redirected to another nurse at yet another desk. We wait for 10 min before we are shown to the labor room.

Next, I am pricked for blood and hooked up to two poles of fluids- insulin, penicillin, pitocin, hydrating fluids, and eventually my epidural is added to the mix. However, because of all the fluids I have to pee every two seconds and Michael has to help me drag mile long cords attached to the poles, machines, and that tug on my arms. That was tricky and made me not want to pee. I was actually happy to get a catheter. Oh, yeah and they broke my water with something that looked kind of like a crotchet hook- that felt weird. It felt like a balloon of skin being popped and then a huge gush of warm fluids coming out of me uncontrollably.

The contractions went along very gradually. The pain to me felt like menstrual cramps and came in waves..I could feel them start to begin, climb, pain, and then ease back down..just like waves breaking onto a shoreline. Take the worst cramps you’ve ever felt in your life and that pretty much sums it up, but times 10.

I was doing pretty good and I didn’t even notice the dilation and effacement speeding up. It was really quiet and dull at first..yet I was anxious and hoping baby would come quickly…especially because Dr.W was leaving at 5pm and Dr.M [a dude] was taking over for the night shift…a doctor I hadn’t met yet. Obviously, I preferred Dr.W because I had been seeing her for my entire pregnancy. However, when there is a baby coming out of your loins..you quickly adapt.

It started to get intense. I told Michael to put on one of our movies that we brought. We started to watch Howls Moving Castle. It got to the point that I was gripping the bottom rail of the bed with my toes. My feet were literally curling in pain and my hands were gripping tightly on the side bed rails. Dr.W and the Nurse C. told me not to be a hero and that its okay if I want to get an epidural now. I told them that I’m good and want to keep going until the pain in unbearable and then I’ll be ready. I just wanted to experience the full amount of pain that I could handle before accepting help. They wheeled the epidural in anyways..and not too much longer I decided to give in. Jude was baby #17 of the day and all the staff seemed exhausted. Apparently, there was a baby boom going on at Presby and CMC hospital that week. Oh, and I didn’t realize till after that the guy giving my epidural was putting pressure on the doctor and nurse to give me an epidural early so that he could pick up his daughter from school.

19 hours later of all this madness- then, 4 hours of pushing began.

I was on my knees, all fours pushing..I liked this because I could actually feel gravity pulling the baby’s head down and I felt confident I could keep pushing. Nurse C. was worried it would overtire me so I only did that position twice..and then I was back well, on my back pushing. It was just Nurse C. and Michael holding my legs up in the air as I made fat, red, pushy breath faces trying to force Jude out. He was flipped face upward and kept sliding up and down against my bones, but couldn’t seem to go under the bone and out. Finally, met Dr.M and he thought in another hour we would have to talk about vacuuming.

By the way, the whole time there were lot of fluids coming out of me…couldn’t tell if it was just my water or poop lol But Michael swears I didn’t have much of the latter. Truth be told..I kept thinking about how I didn’t want to poop myself during labor..but I couldn’t feel anything or stop anything from flowing.

Near, the end of the 4th hour- they were able to see the head of the baby. Nurse C. called the doctor and hearing him screaming, “Pussshhhhh, ppppp uuuuuu sshhhhhhhh!push, push, push, push!” and the chant around me grew before I knew it- Jude was screaming his little baby lungs, then I noticed the whole room was full of people I didn’t know cheering, Jude passed around to nurses, pediatrician on staff, and who knows what else- I couldn’t even concentrate. I saw a glimpse of the “rope” to my placenta and it looked like a thick, purple alien-like shiny rope…Michael didn’t pass out and was able to cut it just FYI..even though he almost passed out when I tried to prick his finger for a blood test lol. I pushed out the placenta and that felt really good because now everything was out of me- hallelujah!

2:00 AM 8/29/14 Officially, Jude was born. 7 lbs 14 oz. 21 inches long

Dr. M sewed me up a LOT. My dad, mom, grandma, and amber were all waiting in the lobby still to see me and Jude. It was a bit weird for me because they had taken off my scrubs to nurse the baby so it was really tough trying to cover my boobs up to see my family. I felt relieved after they were gone though I was super touched they were there..bc then I was ready for the hardest task- feeding the baby.

He wouldn’t latch. They gave me the wrong size nipple shield hurriedly. At 5am they finally allowed me to eat- unfortunately it was just cheerios and milk. I got tissue damage and bloody nipples from the wrong size nipple shield..talked to five lactation consultants within my 3 day visit and they dismissed my worries that something was wrong and were more interested in keeping me away from formula then helping me breastfeed properly. I kept getting woken up every hour of the hour with blood pressure checks, pull my pants down checks, pricking my finger, bringing me water, food, pain relievers, asking to take photos of the baby, oh, and a screaming, hungry baby to top it all off. Michael and I were so sleep deprived and no one would leave us alone for a minute to sleep…we wanted to cry thinking what were we getting ourselves into. Michael was especially cranky and didn’t mean to, but came off pretty snappy. I mean you can imagine not sleeping for 3 days straight and trying to be happy. We sent the baby to the nursery twice and felt a twinge of guilt..even though it was only for two hours.

Michael saw a lady in the elevator with lots of pretty boxes with lambs on them. He had just bought me some flowers and treats in the downstairs lobby to cheer me up. He thought they were so beautiful that they looked like gift boxes so he asked her about them. Turned out they were baby coffins…they had shared a lengthy dialogue in the elevator, but one thing was for sure..that when Michael came back and told me his encounter…he couldn’t help, but to break down and cry and I couldn’t help crying as well. Even though we were miserable with our stay in the hospital..nothing would be worse than losing our baby boy. We were so thankful for him and every day I count our blessings. I told Michael that I was sorry that he had to see that, but he said, “No, I think I needed to see that”..something to that extent..It was in a nonverbal way we both just agreed that it was a good reminder to both of us that we could be leaving the hospital with a different and sad outcome..and that we should be thankful, happy..and suck it up if we havent sleep in forever..there were more important things in life than sleep..and that was having Baby Jude.

Day 3: Maybe it was the adrenaline rush to get out of the hospital or what, but we were on fire hustling as fast as we could. I mean, of course, I was practically limping hoping that my whole uterus wasn’t going to fall out. I had to wear a huge ice pack in between my legs with these weird, huge fishnet undies that the nurses jokingly called Victoria Secret underwear. I had to literally hold on to the bed rails and yank my body up out of bed and slide off- it took almost 10 minutes I swear for me to get out of bed and walk a few steps to the bathroom. Peeing and pooping was weird. I told Michael, “morale is low, we need showers”..we were both feeling like horrible human beings of the Earth..a shower really helped us feel energized and ready to get out of this joint. Some lady kept pestering us about photos for the baby- we blew her off..it just wasn’t a good time and she wasn’t really that friendy. The guy who did the snip-snip for Jude..didn’t tell us there was a “hidden penis” issue that we later would have to get a specialist to correct. ugh! We took a family photo with our iphones and we were out the door..sort of. We were both freaking out over the car seat though at least we had our junk together..there was a couple next to us that hadn’t even put the base in or read the manual.

We got home! Woohoo! it was tough getting out of bed around the clock- pretty much every two hours…Michael was very supportive with reading to us, making me herbal lactation tea, bringing lots of snacks. Michael fed me very, very well and bought almost the whole store in groceries..I’ve never seen that many groceries in my life lol the whole counter was covered as well as the floor. It was like the Duggers had moved in.

I realized my milk hadn’t come in after a week- saggy,baggy as I lovingly refer to them..and blood was flowing more through my shield than milk..also I only noticed a few drops of milk, but I got really excited..yet felt something was just wrong. Jude wasn’t screaming bloody murder..poor guy just seemed to weak to cry and was losing so much weight. I had a sixth lactation consultation planned at a different hospital- with Jodi. I then was going to get Jude weighed again and go from there to see if I would have to supplement.

Jodi was amazing! Here was a woman who knew everything there was about breastfeeding. She showed me all these techniques to properly get the baby to latch..none of which I had been shown or knew. Breastfeeding is the most complicated thing I have ever attempted, people. I think college was easier than this and I feel like delivering twins would be easier than this. She was the one that noticed they had given me the wrong shield..she basically almost passed out when she saw the damage on my breasts and nipples- bruising, blood, scabs, etc. and to top it all off I had very low supply..She recommended a very expensive, special balm from a compounding pharmacy [made from scratch-really cool! wish I had gone to school for that!]..and that balm is magical- it healed me up in two weeks. She said nothing else would have helped me heal the damage. Then, she said I could try pumping to see if that would increase my supply. I attempted to pump with my $300 breast pump and only a few drops came out 😦 It was so disappointing…

Okay, long story short. I had no choice, but to switch to formula based on Jodi and my pediatrician’s recommendation. It was a horrible, emotional experience. I had some serious post partum where I felt absolutely worthless, cried a lot, and had suicidal yearnings…as well as cutting myself. Oh, and to top it off a vicious amount of guilt and shame for even having post partum issues. Sigh*** I talked to a lot of new moms and that really helped me pull out of my gloom as well as reading tons, tons, and tons of forums of mothers struggling with the same issues.

In 6 weeks, I was feeling a lot better..and the word breastfeeding didn’t make me go into a non-stop sobbing session anymore. I understand I invested a lot of money into something that I thought would come naturally and easilt..I got a fancy nursing shawl, a fancy pump, creams galore, a boppy pillow, lots of pills/teas for lactation, not to mention huge amounts of food to keep supply up…only to have my dream crushed and switch to formula.

However, here’s the most important thing: Jude at his one month check up was 10 lbs, healthy, happy. He is about to go to his two month visit this Wednesday and I know he has gained weight. It makes me so happy to see him smiling, to see him gaining, to see him crossing milestones..he is very aware of his surroundings and has a social interaction with anyone who holds him. He loves to play on his activity mat and squeals with delight. We are getting better at tummy time. Sometimes when he’s really sleepy..when I’ve burped him he falls asleep on my should and snuggles up into the crook of my neck and wraps his arms around me. He has so much expression in his livened face..and I know at the end of the day I got exactly what I could wish for:
a health, happy, well-fed baby that loves me and whom I love so much it makes me cry happy tears…

my cup runneth over with love.

Jude and I have had some ups and downs. When he has a growth spurt and doesn’t sleep for two days straight [pretty much how it seems] and then goes into hibernation mode the next days lol..its tough to adapt..but then I just remind myself how far we’ve gone on this journey together and things keep getting better and better. I love how he smiles and loves to snuggle. I love how he looks up with me those expressive eyes of wonder and so many thoughts. i love how he goes over the moon when I sing to him..even though haha nobody else would πŸ˜‰

This weekend he is going to be dressed up as a baby lobster for halloween lol…which is fitting because his daddy is from Cape Cod and is favorite food is lobster rolls! La langosta πŸ™‚
So, that’s pretty much the story so far…so many exciting holidays, birthdays, and relatives for Jude to bond with [he’s got 4 cousins super excited to see him every time]. I am so proud and happy to have this wonderful boy in my life- he is a true gift and blessing!

Preparing for Baby

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So, I’ve been a busy bee all this summer preparing for Baby Jude. It’s been a summer of ups and downs as my body has changed with hormones and a growing a little one inside me. Every ultrasound has been magical and I’ve hung every picture on the fridge. I’ve made lists upon lists and worked with the hubby to get everything done in time exactly the way we wanted it.It feels like 9 months of preparing for Christmas haha. It seems so surreal after all our hard work that we will be holding our little one in just a few days. The very thought is super excited mixed with anxiety about the actual labor process…too bad we can’t just fast forward that part and have my little boy in my arms already.

The baby shower was in July the following weekend after the 4th. It was a bit stressful, but it all came together beautifully with my family pitching in to decorate, fill party favors, and lay everything out before guests arrived. It was a nautical themed shower: cucumber sandwiches, finger foods [nuts, chips, relish tray, deviled eggs, etc.], french bubbling sodas, two huge cakes [one was butter cream with a pirate ship with Ahoy its a boy, the second cream cheese frosting covering in rubber duckies/rattles/baby shoes], and my mom used a Pinterest recipe we both loved that had foaming blue sherbert punch with rubber duckies floating in it. We had mason jars with twine and life saver candies attached to the jars, seashells, burlap accents, candles, and the party favors were mason jars filled with either white jordan almonds or white buttermints..the outside of the mason jars were tied with sparkling ribbon and had glittery dolphins/sea life attached to the top canister. Everything turned out like a Pinterest dream πŸ™‚

We got a lot of gifts much to our relief. This is our first baby so we were worried of all the things we needed to get started and really wanted to make special for our first child. We bought the stroller, crib, and glider ourselves so that guests could focus on the enormous list of other items we needed. My brother-in-law and sister gave us a refurbished antique dresser that was altered into a changing table and even updated the hardware too [I put those sticky decorative shelf liners in the wooden drawers to add to its wow factor!]. My mom bought a really nice breast pump. My grandma got a pack n play that also will be our “co-sleeper” for the first months…it has an attachable bassinet and diaper changing table for newborns and I can have it right next to the bed to check on him throughout the night, feedings, changing diapers, etc. without having to walk across the hallway or the room for that matter. When I’ve recovered well and he gets greater strength in his neck support we’ll start him in the crib for night time..in the meantime his crib will be a place for day naps and the pack n play for night time so he’s closer to momma and daddy. I just bought a stroller console to carry drinks, keys, etc. and a rinse cup for baths later..really the only thing left are window treatments that block out light for when he is officially in the crib and a more esthetically pleasing to the eye hamper bag. For now, I’m going to use a clear storage container [hide it in the closet of the nursery] for dirty onsies so that I won’t have to bend too much or dig into a tall hamper..I can just lift by the handles and take to the washer and dryer easily.

My hubby got me a very nice diaper bag. I was so indecisive and sometimes I like it better when people pick items like this out for me..they add a sentimentality to the item that makes me cherish and love it more than if I had picked it out myself. Plus, I am always torn with spending money on myself and I go back and forth..between what I desire, the costs, and a weird guilt for spending any money even when I need something. Its a JP Lizzy bag in gray & white chevron, hot pink inside, lots of storage and insulated liners for baby bottles/diapers/cellphone etc., and a longer strap to either hang on to the stroller or across the body instead of the shoulder. I could easily put in an extra shirt for myself and Jude in there as well when were out and about later on.

I ordered from the Etsy store Busy Spinning Thread a nursing poncho. I did a lot of research on what I wanted for breast feeding to make it easier and lets face it..stylish and classy..an extra something to make me get excited about being a vending machine haha. I noticed a lot of nursing covers looked like these weird, ugly patterned aprons that don’t have enough coverage on the sides to protect from some serious side boob action..maybe if you got tiny boobs to begin with I guess…which doesn’t really matter that much I mean its natural and boobs for nursing loses all sexy factor in that context…its just that I don’t want to be on the couch with friends/family in the room and then have a funny incident of scarring them lol..I am not prudish by any means whip it out ladies I don’t care if you do..feed that baby, but I do like my personal privacy so don’t be upset if I don’t join yah. how to breastfeed appropriately article ..um you should read this..I was laughing and almost in tears..and I agree with this author 100% [huffington post article]. Anyhow…I didn’t want a cover that said with an ugly outrageous print..”Hey everyone! I’m breastfeeding!!! Look at me NOW!!!!” with hideous Paisley strewn across my breasts..a Vera Bradley nightmare..I wanted something that was actually a print that I would wear in my every day clothing that fit my personality. I noticed there were these expensive strange nursing scarves that looked just too complicated for my taste and oddly sheer so I stumbled upon the nursing poncho idea. It seemed like perfection to me and made logical sense..a big piece of fabric [for the big boob ladies] for coverage made of light & breathable cotton [easy for baby to get fresh air and not overheat], washable for burping/spit up accidents and protects clothing underneath, could be used long term as clothing [wear as a poncho or bunched up into a scarf], AND came in fun prints/solids that I’d wear on a regular basis. It just seems more functional and a realistic use of a nursing garment/clothing accessory. I liked supporting the Etsy shop and it was officially my first purchase ever on Etsy. I always look at items on there, but tell myself I don’t need more coffee mugs, jewerly, or vintage hair pieces…this is the one item I felt really happy about because I needed it and loved it so much. It makes me excited thinking about the ways I can breastfeed on the go and comfortably wherever I want ..exactly the way I want πŸ˜€ WIN! Now, I just need to the spend the next two days looking over the breast pump manual and cleaning the parts to prepare as well as laying out sharpies/freezer bags/ and maybe creating a spreadsheet format so I can keep track of feedings [output/intake/storage etc.]…can you tell I’m a planner? its very un-pisces of me lol…must be the virgo baby inside me.——Next topic:

I’m going to be induced on Thursday. We are going to pack our bags the night before and go in at 7am to the hospital. I’ve been having mini contractions here and there so my cervix is already ripened as they call it..dilated at 1 1/2 cm and 50 % effaced. Little man has definitely dropped down in the pelvic region with his head downwards and has consistently stayed in position ..I guess he knows where the exit door is now πŸ™‚ Its been pretty amusing because I have seen how over the months his hiccups have migrated to my lower abdomen as he has decided to flip. At his ultrasounds the ladies have been impressed by his long legs and “luscious lips”..I’m still taking credit for the latter lol. I think he has my hubby’s nose..it looked just like it from the 3D ultrasound..and it seemed from the pics like he has hair..I’ve been having a horrible..horrible..horrible amount of acid reflux so we will see if the myth is true. In fact, Michael is picking up Pepsid AC for me tonight because I have run out and I don’t think I can make it a night without it. Sometimes I’ve woken up and choked on acid that randomly decided to shoot up my throat at 4am..and drink a crap ton of water does nothing. I was taking rolaids, which is just calcium and magnesium.but that eventually stopped working the last few weeks of third trimester and I spent two days in serious pain that my husband got the okay from the doctor to start me on the more intense acid relievers.

I am a bit nervous about Thursday..I guess its the not knowing how everything is going to go. I just want him to come out healthy, safely, and happy with very little complications. I am worried more about my little lamb than me.Β  I hope his blood sugar and heart rate are okay during labor..Ive got gestational diabetes. I got a bunch of movies packed to watch and I will have my iphone for music if I wish it so. I hope I react to the Pitocin quickly and my water breaking that its only a few hours before he’s safely in my arms. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from moms about the unpredictable nature of labor and I’m hoping since it is in a more controlled environment with a team of nurses, doctors, and science/technology up the wazoo that we can make this happen safely. It actually makes me feel a little better than if I had went into labor naturally…because I was worried that my water would break and infection would set in or that I wasn’t dilated enough but having painful contractions and having to be rushed through the process….I feel a little better knowing that everything is somewhat planned and really will be more of a waiting game inside the hospital instead of chaos on the way to the hospital unexpectedly…. we shall see on Thursday. Every woman is different, every baby is different..and really it comes down to the two of us when labor starts..and of course, Mother Nature. My favorite piece of wisdom is from my mother: She said to me..”Remember..you are not going to die. It might feel like your dying, but you won’t die.” I think I will try to remember that during the pain just to get through and think of all the mothers who have labored before me and endured excruciating pain. I’m also hoping I don’t throw up..even with a calm facade my nerves get the best of me and I react by throwing up. I’ve had one surgery in the past and before I even checked in to the hospital I had to throw up and then I threw up again when i awoke. I’m pretty good at keeping strong, but then my own body will betray me.

I am excited about bringing the baby home..creating our routines..getting my body slowly to come back to its normal shape..or at least lose these swollen cankles after a week. I’m allowed to return to a relatively normal diet after delivery and only have to check my blood sugar 3x a week instead of every day..and I don’t have to send them in just track them in a log to make sure that my blood sugar is adjusting correctly. I can technically eat carbs again..which really I just missed even eating my staple of beans and rice πŸ˜€ I’m going to increase fruits, veggies, protein shakes, and some nutritionally rich carbs [wheat bread, beans, lentils, etc.] and small amounts of low fat dairy after delivery. I hope in 6 weeks to get a Fitbit Zip in the color pink, of course, to help inspire Jude and me to not only journey around the house, but to take more strolls around the neighborhood together! I got a nice coffeemaker just in time to help me adjust with the lack of sleep..I can’t do French Press anymore…pregnancy has turned me off strong coffee..it seems to hurt my stomach and make me queasy. I actually didn’t drink any coffee until third trimester because I felt the most sluggish now and some watered down coffee with sugar free creamer really helped me keep my sanity and helped me commute an hour to work..[I just took maternity leave a few days ago- thank goodness!]

For Jude:

I think it is no coincidence that I loved the name Jude the first time I saw it. I was flipping through the Bible and I really liked the name. I heard it in the lyrics of Hey Jude by The Beatles and I especially loved when Paul McCartney broke it down at the end of the song “Jude Jude Judy judy judy wahhhrrrahhhhh”. I loved the 90s performer Jude and had a cd of his. Michael had struggled with cancer during his college years and his dad prayed to two saints for his son to recover and return to him…St.Jude [the saint of the impossible, the saint that many pray to for cancer, well known hospital for children St.Judes]..and maybe a lesser known Saint Peregrine…also a saint to aid in healing, also known as “the wanderer”, and happens to be a beautiful falcon in nature. When Michael and I first started dating [we were serious dating..more like courting]..we had a discussion about kids. I told him I already had names picked out..and I had plenty of girl names in mind, but I told him I really only liked Jude for so far for a boys name. So many layers of meaning in one name and another sign that Michael and I were destined to marry and have a son named: Jude Peregrine [last name: going to leave out for privacy sake]. The last name is Irish and actually flows really well together.

During pregnancy..I have had a lot of milkshakes…until 2nd trimester that I found out I had gestational diabetes. My odd cravings were oatmeal..especially oatmeal cookies [which I hate btw lol], celery [another food I actually cannot stand, yet somehow tastes magical and I can’t get enough of it], scooping out peanut butter with a spoon [I’ve been eating a lot of peanut butter], tuna noodle casserole [like momma made for me] or even tuna sandwiches drowning in Duke’s mayo with salt and pepper. The latter is especially unusual since I’ve been vegan for two years, vegetarian mainly throughout pregnancy, except third trimester…really wanted some seafood. You can tell your a daddy’s boy already lol. I call my hubby a sea otter and his favorite cookies are oatmeal cookies..and he loves, loves, loves celery whereas he hates every other vegetable that exists lol. For the most part..everything else is foods that I usually love…sweet, spicy, savory, etc. I think those were the oddballs that really shined through as legit pregnancy cravings that I’ve never had before to this extent.

These days I feel you kicking really good. I was impatient for the longest time because my placenta was muffling your kicks..however you are really strong and big now..and I can feel you shift your whole body and even push with your feet. I like it when you get the hiccups and it surprises me every time. I get a stress test at the doctors twice a week and I love hearing your heartbeat and seeing it coordinate with your kicks. You’ve gotten all A pluses every time you and I were hooked up to the machine. There was only one time you were really tired and so was I but a nurse woke you up with a vibrating machine lol. The second time you almost had to get the vibrating machine on you..the doctor said “well, he’s not there yet he hasn’t earned his A plus yet so I am going to leave you on a little longer…” and right then and there you started kicking and accelerating like crazy that she smiled and gave you an A plus after all. We laughed how you decided to show her up πŸ™‚

I gained a lot of weight with this pregnancy even with eating healthier, walking, and being on my feet 8hours at work..But it has all been worth it for this little munchkin! I organized my closet till 3-4am in the morning with all my Fall clothes..and I looked at my clothes in amazement..I used to think I was fat lol will i ever be a ..size 2 and 4 will I ever fit in you again?..I told my husband my coats even looked so tiny like coats for mice. It has definitely given me perspective that I was fit prior to pregnancy..I was never confident about my body, but experience has showed me to take a lot of pride in my figure and I will get back to size and relish in it. I have a lot to be thankful for. I wanted so badly to be pregnant and I was so scared of not being able to have a baby..and this has been a great journey that will continue. I can’t wait to see Baby Jude grow, smile, speak, and I want to be a part of every moment. I am so in love and I haven’t even held him in my arms yet. I think I’m going to take some of my favorite ultrasound pictures with me to help me focus and get through labor. I think seeing his face will keep me strong πŸ™‚

This is a very long post I realized, but I prob wont be posting for awhile..I’m going to have my hands full πŸ˜‰ and that makes me happy! Good luck to all the other mommas out there..waiting for your due date and your time to meet your little one!

Gestational Diabetes

I’ve been diagnosed in my third trimester with gestational diabetes. It’s been a tough two weeks to say the least….Especially since I’ve had people fat shame me while pregnant..the joke “Are you having twins?” is not funny by the way. If you are one of these jokers, believe me even if the pregnant woman you say this to gives a fake, half convincing laugh …she will secretly want to kick you in the groin. It’s even worse when people in our society equate diabetes to obesity. I did too- until I met my sister-in-law and brother-in-law later in life..athletic, health conscious, young- both diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a RISK FACTOR, NOT the cause of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is like an autoimmune disorder. Type 2 is complicated with several risk factors and is still not altogether figured out yet. The testing has improved so maybe that’s why more people are being diagnosed than ever before. Prior to blood tests it was more common to use a test measuring blood sugar levels in urine. Treatment has improved too with different types of insulin [rapid release, slow release] and now synthetically created rather than relying on animal sources.

I had to go to a class that was 2 1/2 hours long explaining all the types of diabetes, how to prick my finger, and plan a diet with a registered dietician. My diet plan is far more restrictive than type 2..because I’m carrying a baby and there’s a lot more risks involved. I’ve nerd out these past weeks gathering as much research as I can about my condition.

It might be temporary..or it might not. Gestational diabetes increases my chance of type 2 by 40-60%.

I was really, really hoping that all the fat shamers I’ve met in my pregnancy may be right..that all I had was too many cookies that put me into this situation. So, I put myself on a strict low carb, low sugar diet..even impressed my dietician with my disciplined eating habits. I’ve been vegetarian for years, been vegan, been RAW vegan…I can really manipulate my diet when I want to πŸ˜€

However, I didn’t expect the mood swings to occur..huge mood swings mixed with hormones and cutting out sugar, carbs, caffeine..I’ve cried so much and randomly I started crying just eating a spoonful of peanut butter for “dessert”.

Even then..while my food glucose levels [one hour after eating I have to measure my blood sugar to make sure insulin is being produced by pancreas to lower sugar in my blood]..were good…

my fasting glucose [sleeping/morning without food] was bad…these numbers I couldn’t control though I’ve tried manipulating times I eat dinner, amount of calories, snacks, etc. I’m still high in the morning no matter what I do.

The pancreas during pregnancy has to produce 3x the amount of insulin than a non-pregnant person. The pancreas can be stressed out and produce less insulin during pregnancy..that’s why sometimes it disappears altogether after pregnancy..sometimes its just the stress to produce 3x the amount that normal.

It’s important to be treated with gestational diabetes…I had someone tell me, “Ah it just means you have big babies-no big deal!”

Nope, there’s a higher risk of other complications- preeclampsia, macrosomia, low blood sugar of the baby at delivery, respiratory issues of the baby, preterm labor, etc.

My Aunt Carolyn actually experienced a stillbirth because her glucose levels were not brought down low enough for the safety of the baby.

I just feel like gestational diabetes is soooooo misunderstood by the general public. I thought I could control it with diet, but that’s not the case…and sometimes diet alone doesn’t cure the world’s illnesses..sorry, Americans are not just plagued by fat and its not the only cause for everything that goes wrong in the body…that would be an easy fix if self-will could really change your entire well-being in every situation of life. Such is life..there’s more gray than black and white in the reality of most situations of every day life.

So I am to visit the Maternal Fetal Medicine people on Monday for an ultrasound to see the growth and development of the baby..as well as get prescribed insulin. It was very disheartening when I learned my diet, exercise, and calorie control was not enough. It’s very frustrating not to have control over your own body..and honestly I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before. It’s not that I’m a control freak..ich, I don’t think I am..maybe I am lol. I’m used to everything being an easy solution based on how much I give to the situation. Pregnancy has been quite an adventure..with a lot of events out of your personal control…yet it is miraculous. I won’t be pregnant forever though 9 months seems a mixture of time flying by and creeping by.. I am so thankful for Baby Jude and I remind myself multiple times that I’ve been waiting for this beautiful baby to be in my life and it won’t be too much longer that I will get to hold him in my arms…That’s what I’m looking forward to the most..is being able to hold him in my arms and kiss him night and day. You little man, are already the center of my universe and I can’t wait to spend every day with you πŸ™‚

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Updates

I suppose its been awhile since I last updated this blog. I’ve been so busy its been hard to keep up!

I’m 23 weeks pregnant with a baby boy! YAH! His name will be Jude πŸ™‚ I’ve loved that name since I was a little girl. I like the simplicity and the uniqueness to it..yet comforting. It apparently means praise; or praised one. It has biblical roots..not to be confused with Judas lol that’s a different story in case anyone’s rusty on text. Also, the Beatles song “Hey Jude”. I’ve been pretty much singing the Paul McCartney part “Jude, Jude, Judy Judy raaahhhwahhhhh” yano, when he really breaks it down at the end of the song.

We live in a three bedroom house now.really nice. Saussy Burbank house with sea blue color on the outside, white picket fence with trellis, and a layout that flows like a dream. I pretty much feel like I’m living in a doll house. Too bad were renting still- I think somedays..I kind of wish this was forever, but were just not there financially..with both of us having school loans, credit cards, etc. Maybe one day…however, we do plan to stay here for five years [at least we hope so].

Michael and I like the idea of a nautical themed nursery and baby shower. Michael is from Cape Cod so it has some meaning..besides if you looked down the street with every house a different bright color you’d think we lived at the beach. I’m not so fond of jungle themes, and neutrals kind of bore me. My dad and I went to pick out some paint. He does this for a living [painting, building pretty much anything] so I trust his opinion on paint since Michael and I are clueless.Β 

First trimester was exhausting, acne, and nausea. Halfway through my second trimester my complaints have switched to heartburn, swollen feet, breathlessness, and emotional rollercoaster. What the third trimester may bring [second week of June]..we shall see lol.

I can’t wait to hold this little boy in my arms and just look at him and kiss him. I am so thankful for his existence and I can’t wait to really meet him.

I’ve been pretty emotional with doubts, fears, insecurities..even though my joy and thankfulness outweighs all these raging hormones. I find that some days I just want to be in my pjs eating a milkshake while watching Gidget. I have weird fears of abandonment even though my hubby keeps me reminding me that he’s not going anywhere and has to reiterate his love for me over, and over, and over, and over. Or I start thinking of how I’m going to have to work my bum off to lose all this pregnancy weight..and its going to be the hardest weight loss ever..probably…ugh!

However, even though all the above makes me misty eyed..I mostly get misty eyed looking at onsies and filling out my registry every day. All these 9 months will be so worth the amazing gift that will be bestowed upon me..my little Jude. He is already my world and I love him so much already. I can’t wait..I can’t wait..I can’t wait!

Friday Nights

I worked. I made some amazing nachos thanks to the local cheese dip I purchased. I only bought 5 items to make these nachos..$34 dollar nachos ..ugh* facepalmΒ 

Tonight- alone I’m listening to my silly spotify project- to make the saddest playlist of all time. A dangerous playlist to create because it might just end in tears. I don’t know why it amuses me or makes me laugh every time I think of this playlist. I guess its because most playlists are just songs of the moment, infatuation, joyful pieces or used for work, exercise, etc. I wanted to create a playlist of the most heartfelt music that I’ve experienced in movies, my childhood, growing up, college, and my taste influenced by people in my life as well mirroring our memories etc.Β 

I included my mom and dad’s wedding song “Time in a bottle”. I included songs that Michael and I have cried together to like the song I sung in his ear during an evening picnic or the one that reminds us of our unborn children. The song my sister, Amber, gave me when I was a lost, wandering soul in college. Songs I’d sing on top of my parents’ coffee table in the living room [when they were not home, it wasn’t allowed]..or the songs that would play on my radio cradled in my lap as I leaned my face close breathing in the music for hours after getting home from middle/high school. A song that reminds me of my brother’s illness. The song my sister, Karissa, played on an out of tune, antique piano after all the wedding guests had left the house where Amber’s wedding took place. Songs about failed relationships- between lovers, parent & child, friends etc. The classical song my sister liked to hear on a cassette tape before going to sleep. Songs from movies that made me cry. A song that mimics the speed at which life and time passes. Melancholy songs that seem to warm/comfort, slap you on the back, and push whisky down your throat all at once.

It might not be the saddest playlist of all time- But i think its the saddest playlist of my “time” on this Earth thus far.

I might read after I’ve finished listening.

I’ll wash my face, put on my pjs, and sleep soundly.

Tomorrow will be breakfast with friends and then heading into work. I really look forward to mondays, tuesdays, or wednesdays…because usually I get time off work and then Im almost always spending time with Michael πŸ™‚

I wish I had my family albums to look at right now- to see all my siblings as kids, memories of summers in Ohio..I don’t know why..I just want to see my life, our lives…spread in pictures, memories that were once alive, breathing, real.. reality with no sight of the future that would unfold before us ..remembering how I felt in every moment never knowing years later i would be holding the only remaining memory of that reality that has faded and then disappeared as quickly as a candle’s lost flame. And one day in the future I will look on this moment and those that follow with the same fondness and sadness that go hand in hand with remembering.

“Yesterday when I was young,
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue,
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game,
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame;
The thousand dreams I dreamed,
The splendid things I planned
I always built, alas,
on weak and shifting sand;
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of day
And only now I see how the years ran away.

* Yesterday, when I was young,
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung,
So many wayward pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see,

I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall concerned itself with me, and nothing else at all.

Yesterday the moon was blue,
and every crazy day brought something new to do,
I used my magic age as if it were a wand,
and never saw the waste and emptiness beyond;
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
and every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died;
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play.
There are so many songs in me that won’t be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue,
The time has come for me to pay for Yesterday
When I was Young.”