Friday, March 28, 2008

Organizationally challenged...

Back in the day, before baby, I always envisioned that my SAHM life would be, well, less messy than this.

Our house is not large, but it is sufficient for our current needs. We have our room, the baby's room, the office (third bedroom), and our living and dining spaces. Our closets are not big, which means they are pretty packed, but for the most part our main living spaces always look(ed) nice and neat.

Then we brought Olivia home. The main living area pretty much exploded overnight. Toys, blankets and burp rags littered every available space. The dining room table was hidden under a pile of baby gifts and thank-you notes.

Eventually, the living space became somewhat presentable again (though it's a daily struggle to keep it that way). But in the midst of working for a few months post-baby and trying to just keep our head above the piles of laundry, the office ended up becoming the dumping ground for anything and everything that needed to be removed from the living space for my own sanity. I thought, "No big deal...soon I'll be home all day and can whip that space into shape in no time".

Yeah. Right. Did I somehow miss the sleep-challenged baby and her constant demand for my full and undivided attention?

Well, said baby is currently napping (praise God), and here I am spending my precious organizational minutes blogging about how I can't get organized. Sorry. Guess I just had to vent. I actually used to be pretty organized, so this is requiring some adjustment on my part.

Anyhoo, to further whittle away at my remaining free minutes, I have FINALLY managed to add something of a blog list to my case the three people who read this blog care to know who else I check in on regularly.

Finally, a gratuitous baby pic.

"OK Mom, you can have all the free time you want if you can just find someone else to sit here and hold my hands so I can stand up as much as I want. I just cannot be entertained by merely sitting."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Kicker

A few weeks ago, Olivia started in with the kicking. It started when she would play on the floor. She'd lay on her back and kick both of her legs up and down in unison. In other words, both of her heels come crashing to the floor at the same time.

Well, the funniest thing about this is that she now does it in bed. Usually, I lay her down asleep. But when she wakes up in the middle of the night to eat, I lay her right back down after she's been properly fed, burped and changed. She usually smiles at me and goes in with the kicking. I go back to bed.

Well, for about the last two weeks, I can hear her from our room (all the way across the house) with the kicking. Thump, thump, thump. For ten minutes or more. She usually doesn't fuss or even talk to herself. She just kicks until she's tired of kicking, and then she falls asleep. I know this because I have, at times, pulled myself out of bed to make sure she didn't strangle herself in the kicking process (don't ask me how...this is just the type of thing that runs through the mind of a new mom), and she's always lying there peacefully, asleep, with her blanket bunched up around her chest and her legs exposed.

She cracks me up.

Anyway, I'm wasting precious naptime online when I have too-small baby clothes scattered all over the floor waiting to be sorted and stored.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Complete social meltdown

Yes, I'm still here. It's just hard to find time to post in the midst of feeding, changing, playtime, etc. Throw in Holy Week and family gatherings, and it's downright impossible to find spare time around here.

We discovered over the last few days that Olivia is just not ready for daily social engagements. She's such a social baby, wanting to be awake and see everything, but her little brain just goes into meltdown mode with too much input. I was able to get her to sleep through Holy Thursday Mass, but Good Friday and this morning's Easter Mass found me playing the walk, jostle, distract, repeat game.

We spent most of Good Friday in the back of church, but that was impossible this morning. There's something about Easter that makes lapsed Catholics come out of the woodwork. People I've never seen before come in droves and fill our tiny church to bursting. The back of church was crammed with folding chairs, and there was absolutely nowhere for us to go when the fussiness started. Outdoors was also out of the question because of the cool temperatures and Olivia's cute but definitely NOT warm Easter dress.

So I pulled out my entire bag of tricks, including her favorite soft book with the paper in it that crinkles because, seriously, crinkle sounds are way better than listening to my baby shriek through the entire Mass.

We survived. I even remember parts of the homily. I was listening, but the servers could have done a jig in front of the altar and I would have missed that completely. I had to keep my eyes constantly on the baby in order to keep the inevitable shower of spit-up from hitting her Easter dress or my own clothes. I succeeded in this task, with the kneeler taking the hit instead. *Sigh*

I suppose we made it worse by dragging Olivia to family gatherings on Friday night and Saturday. The noise and chaos of the 30 or so cousins, aunts and uncles who were able to attend just gets to her, and quickly.

We are not a quiet family. And while most of us have learned to either join in the chaos or completely tune it out, the "in-laws" have more trouble with this. My husband is one of those who gets overstimulated by the noise and confusion...and that's just from the adults. Add in the many small children and the seven (yes seven) babies that were born into the family last year, and it gets pretty crazy. Even I think so.

So I think we'll be laying low for the next few days. We could all use some peace and quiet.

Speaking of the princess...she's awakened from her nap and is crying for her supper.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Four months old

Olivia is four months old today, and she had her four month well-baby check-up at the doctor. Which, of course, means shots. And she screamed and cried and looked at me like I betrayed her. And then she pretty much forgot all about them by the time we got in the car. Truly, I think these are harder on me than on her.

(By the way, check out this kid's hair! And it's all curls. I totally need to get some advice on how to take care of it when it gets long enough to style.)

According to the doctor's charts, Olivia is growing and doing all the stuff she's supposed to do. She weighed in at 13 lbs, which is something like the 50th percentile for weight. But she was 94th percentile for height. And her silly mother forgot to ask how long she was! I guess we'll have to get the tape measure out and see for ourselves.

It looks like we are going to have a tall girl on our hands! Her daddy is already plotting which position on the soccer field she can fill best at her projected height. Sheesh.

This afternoon, after all the ugliness of the shots and such were long forgotten, Olivia and I went to a Mom's group...which was awesome! The kids were fun to watch, but most of all, I really enjoyed gabbing with the other moms. It's nice to share stories about sleep habits and advice on when to start solid foods and all that new mommy stuff.

To top off our lovely, but very busy day, it was a sunny 70 degrees today. I think it did us both some good to be out and enjoying such a beautiful day, even if we did spend most of it in the car.

I think tomorrow we'll both need a couple of long naps!

Monday, March 10, 2008

On a schedule...maybe?

Well, this is the start of my first full week as a SAHM. To give this moment a touch of finality, I discovered that my work email account has been canceled, as of this afternoon. Not that I thought I'd have it forever, but I thought it would at least take them a few weeks to pull the switch. So much for copying my email address book...

Anyway, Olivia has been doing amazingly well with the whole napping thing these past few days. Little Miss I'm-too-busy-to-nap usually manages one decent-length nap (1.5 to 2 hours), and the rest are usually around 30-45 minutes in length. But the last few days, she has taken no less than three substantial naps. Maybe she's growing again. Sheesh. The kid is going to end up being TALL.

Besides napping well, she's starting to be on something of a schedule. I don't know whether to attribute this to being home with Mommy or being four months old.

And! Four months! On Wednesday, officially, she'll be four months old. Where does the time go? For your reading pleasure, I will now list her recent accomplishments.

Olivia factoids:

* She can roll over with great ease and WILL NOT stay on her tummy for more than a minute.

* She loves her bouncy chair that hangs from the doorframe. She'll spend the better part of an hour just bouncing and while chewing on her rattle/bib/burp rag/fingers.

* She has great use of her hands. She can grab anything small-ish and bring it straight to her mouth.

* This recent dexterity has resulted in her constant need to pull her pacifier out of her mouth. She doesn't really use her pacifier except to, well, pacify her when she's super tired and needs to settle down and go to sleep. Now, when you try to pacify her, she grabs that pacifier and holds it out in front of her and starts talking to it. "Ahh, gah, ohh, uh"...with a very stern look on her face. It's like she's saying to the pacifier, "I know your are here to put me to sleep. But look here, Mr. Pacifier, I am not ready to go to sleep, so I'm just going to hold you out here and give you a stern talking-to."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why my husband is the sweetest man on earth...

Today is my last day at work. This beautiful arrangement was delivered to my office. If you can't read the card it says, "Job well done. Welcome Home."

From my husband. Isn't he the sweetest?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Well, internet, tomorrow is officially my last day of work.

Even though I've had mixed feelings up to this point, I'm feeling pretty good today. Nearly everything I wanted to do in training my replacement and preparing for the transition has been completed. Which is why I actually have time to post today.

I'm looking forward to creating a quasi-schedule for my new lifestyle. Playdates with the cousin who lives in the same town as we do. Trips to the library. Joining a mom's group. Finally cleaning up the disaster area known as our home office.

Ambitious, I know.

Anyway, that wasn't the point of today's post. This post has been percolating in my mind for weeks. And I finally have the time to write it.

Today's post is brought to you by the number two. As in, children.

Several of my favorite blogging moms have been posting lately about increasing their family size. Many congrats to Maggie and Blog Nerd on their pregnancy news! (Seriously, I'm starting to think the two of you are in sync somehow...weren't your first babies born in the same month? And now you are both expecting #2 at pretty much the same time? Hmmm...). Arwen also recently posted on her thoughts on this topic.

I guess it's just get at a point with baby #1 when you start remembering, with fondness made possible only by the passage of time, how cute and cuddly she was when she was a newborn. Oh, those tiny newborn diapers and sleepers, and how wonderful and beautiful and new she was! And, yes it was hard, but you've learned to handle it, and look how good you are with her now. Of course, you always wanted more than one child, and why not get started now since you're handling baby #1 so well, and kudos to you for that too!

This is the dialogue I have going on in my head.

Let's start over for a minute, shall we? For those of you who were reading this blog months ago before it became ALL ABOUT THE BABY, you may remember that just prior to our adoption referral, my doctor and I had just completed several more diagnostic tests and had determined the next step in our "fixing fertility" treatments. And then the adoption referral came, which made it very easy to postpone all of this fertility stuff for awhile. It gets exhausting after awhile, and any infertile will agree. It was nice to have many months where fertility is the last thing on our minds.

But now all these "Baby #2" thoughts are entering my mind, and I'm starting to think we should call the doctor and get started back with all the fertility fixing. Because even though I'm not thrilled about the next step (which involves hormone supplements by intramuscular injection to boost my suboptimal hormones), I think I need to give it a chance or I'll always wonder if just getting over these low hormones would have done the trick and allowed us to achieve pregnancy.

So, in a month or two or three, we'll probably start back up on trying to fix my fertility. I'm not really sure I'm ready for that ride yet, but at least I know now that it has an end. We'll make sure of that. We'll put a number on how many cycles we're willing to try this, and then I can happily get off the fertility bus for good and be ready to pursue adoption #2.

Either way, we do plan to give Olivia a sibling someday. In the meantime, I'm SO going to enjoy just being her mommy. Not working, not commuting...just being Mommy.