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A new novel…by me

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Experiences

Four nights ago, Mike and I decided it was time to put Farrah in her crib. It's not that I don't completely love to cuddle and sleep with her, it's just that I need to be able to get some sleep. For several nights, I have been up at all hours of the night because she wants to talk my ear off. She has inherrited the talky gene from me, her Grandma, and her Great Grandma. I apologize in advance to anyone who thinks they would like to carry a conversation with her someday with hopes that you will get two words in. Good luck with that. In any case, as the circles under my eyes began to get darker and my appearance along with my walk became more like that from a scene of The Living Dead, we knew it was time. I gave her a bath, turned down the volume on the TV, turned off most of the lights in the house, fed her, and spent the rest of the time whispering with Mike. The house was shut down. I put her in her crib and turned on the monitor. I kept her door cracked as well as ours so I could have a back up method to hear her. Can you believe that it worked?!! She fell asleep for about two hours, wanted to eat, I fed her, put her back, and she slept for another 5 hours! I GOT TO SLEEP!!! This small achivement actually made me love her even more. Then there were the next two nights. She felt like staying up. All...night...long. So tired. However, one of the nights was our fault. I didn't give her a bath and we took her down stairs with us at 10:00 PM to watch a two hour long movie. She slept through it and then when it was time to go to bed she didn't want to. Don't shake your finger at me, I know we screwed that one up. Last night we went through the same routine as the first time. Much better. Slowly but surely, Mike and I are going to try to get to bed earlier so she can get to bed earlier. That way when I have to start going back to work, I won't feel like slitting my wrists at the thought of getting up at 7:30 rather than noon.

Last night was an interesting experience with Farrah. I wanted to get together with my parents because my mom is going in for surgery today on her back (which should make a world of difference for her and we're all very excited). My parents wanted me to meet up with them for dinner a little before 6. I was getting ready to leave at 5:15 when I noticed that Mike had the base to the car seat. I thought I was going to kill him. He was at the gym and by the time he'd stop what he was doing, grab his stuff, and get here, it would be way too late for me to leave. So, he and I agreed that it was only two miles away and that I could tie her seat up with the seat belt and drive very carefully to the gym to get the base. It was a Brittany Spears moment. Don't judge me. We made it there safely and I got the base out of the car. Mind you, the whole 2 mile drive was noisy from Farrah screaming and crying the whole time. Aghh. She settled down and we headed for the restaurant. We got there and met up with my parents and Grandma. We ordered our meal and just talked. As soon as my meal arrived, out came an awful squeal from my daughter. I quickly checked her straps in her car seat to make sure nothing was pinching her. She was crying her hard cry so I unstrapped her and held her while trying to eat at the same time. That didn't work. My mom told me to hand her to her, then my dad said he'd hold her, followed by my grandma. I held her a little while longer and then finally handed her over to my mom so I could get a couple of bites of my dinner. She was passed around to everyone and then we figured no one would be able to make her stop until I fed her dinner. Great. I grabbed her and took her to the ladies room for a quick change and brought her back to the table. She stopped crying for the whole time that I changed her so I was excited thinking that I wouldn't have to pull a boob out in public. As soon as we sat down, the screaming started again. Mind you, Farrah is a LOUD child. Even the waitress had to come over and ask how old she was because she had never heard a newborn have such a loud cry her whole life. Her vocal chords aren't even fully developed yet, so I am scared to think what we have waiting for us down the road. Luckily, the restaurant was pretty empty so I was able to grab the booth behind my family and whip it out. This seemed to be exactly what she wanted. Eventually, I figured I was more covered than I thought so I walked with her still attached to my family's table and seriously multi-tasked. I sat there feeding Farrah, hiding myself, eating my dinner, and readjusting myself under my blanket whenever Farrah got unattached. My parents and grandma got a kick out of watching me do this. They wished they'd had a camera because I looked so ridiculous. Oh well, it worked! Boy, when that kid gets hungry she let's you know immediately.

After that fun time, Farrah and I took off to Babies R Us for some much needed items. I bought an extra car seat base for Mike's car, a mobile, a tummy play mat, a slumber bear (wonderful little item to put her to sleep with), and an adorable outfit for her next set of pictures. I can hardly wait until they're done. She's going to look amazing. She already does.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dear Farrah Part 1

Today, Monday January 15th, you are 4 weeks old. I couldn't decide whether or not I was going to do my letters to you on certain weeks or months. So, I went for the 4 week milestone because I couldn't hold back any longer on what I want to say to you. Here goes...

You are wonderful. Although, you tend to keep me up all hours of the night, it's not entirely your fault. See, when you're asleep and I should be asleep, I am up staring at you. I know it sounds odd, but I honestly can't help it. I am so amazed at your existence. The science behind you going from a microscopic egg to a living breathing person is incredible. But the emotional tug at my and your dad's heart strings is beyond anything I could've imagined. You are at such peace when you are asleep. I love to look at the shape of your face, your almond eyes, your pouty lips, pudgy nose, plump cheeks, and perfectly crazy hair. I love your face so much. In fact, it is one of my nick names for you. Face. I love to call you Face, because I just can't get enough of it. If it wouldn't hurt you and be considered psychotic, I'd like to remove your face and eat it for desert because it would be that delicious. I also call you this name because of the many different facial expressions that you make. My favorite face you make is actually probably your most unflattering. Whenever you have completed doing something very relaxing such as sleeping or nursing, you pull your forehead up and make several creases below your hairline, you keep your eyes closed while it looks like you're looking as high up as you can, and you pucker your lips like you're ready for a big kiss. I LOVE THIS! You also tend to push your head back as far as it will go, arch your back, stick your butt out, and put your hands in fists and hold them to your cheeks. It is the first of many stretches after a wonderful slumber. The face you make when you're pooping and farting is also priceless. You scrunch everything together and look away while the explosion erupts. I can't tell you how many times I've told your father that I love your face. Right now, you are sporting some seriously cute baby acne. We match! Only yours is adorable and mine is not. Yours actually looks like freckles. They are slowly but surely going away, though (for both of us).

You are approximately 7 and a half pounds right now. You're growing a little everyday. Part of me wants you to remain this tiny little helpless person, while the rest of me can hardly wait for what's going to happen next as you continue to grow and learn. For the past week, your dad and I have noticed that you are recognizing both of us. In the past couple days, though, you are making perfect eye contact with us. This blew me away the first time I noticed. You have looked me straight in the eye while I've talked to you. You understand the roles that your dad and I play in your life. You have seemed to grasp the concept that when you aren't feeling well or if you feel lonely, the second our hands touch you and begin to lift you in our arms you start to calm down and pull yourself as close to us as possible. One of your favorite things is to lie chest to chest on your dad. This is one of his favorite things, too. It is something that you can do for hours and feel completely content. It's a closeness the two of you will have forever. I can picture you lying with your daddy when you're 6 years old and sleeping while he watches Jeopardy.

You also love to lie in my arms when we sleep. I, too, love this. I've had people scold me for doing this, but quite honestly, I could care less what they think. What do they know? Their kids are their kids. Everyone will do things that they see fit for their family, and this is what suits us. I usually keep you about 8 inches away from me so as to make sure that I don't crush you, however, with your incredibly strong legs you manage to push yourself up to me as close as you can get until we are touching. In fact, there was one morning when I woke up to you sleeping nose to nose with me. It was awesome. I knew back when we had the first 4D Ultrasound done that you would be a snuggly kid. I was right.

This last week has been a tough one. You have had some pretty bad gas. When I say that, I don't mean that we wanted to put you outside with the dog to take care of your dirty business. You've had gas pains. This has been difficult for your dad and I. You cry with the pain and we've tried many different things to try to get you comfortable. For the last two nights, I was up with you for hours downstairs so your dad could get some needed sleep. I hate seeing you uncomfortable. When you cry or squeal in pain, it tears me up inside. All I can do is hold you and talk you through it. Your dad is the Jedi master when it comes to burping you so he has come in handy to try to help relieve any future gas. Unfortunately, it doesn't take care of all of it.

You do one thing that breaks my heart. You cry when you're lonely. If you think that I've left you all alone, you cry. I mean you really cry. This is the hard crying with the pouty bottom lip, the screaming at the top of your little lungs, and the choking in between. I hate this. I don't hate it because it sounds like nails against a chalk board, but because it truly breaks my heart. It makes me want to sit there and cry along side with you. But again, the moment I pull you to me, you settle down because you know you're mommy is going to make it okay. (By the way, you didn't want to be alone while I typed this so I have you curled up in a ball in my lap right now).

Another feature of yours that is very entertaining is your tongue. I've never seen anything like it before. It is always sticking out of your mouth. Your Grandpa asks if I accidentally gave birth to a lizard and that we need to be careful because you could end up catching flies with that thing. As a matter of fact, as I type this your tongue is down to your chin. I suppose I need to break away and feed you as I have determined this is your way of asking for dinner. Your tongue was out of your mouth, literally, the moment you came out of the womb. It's funny. I hope to catch you on video one of the next times while you communicate with us with your tongue.

The second nickname I've given you is Squeak. This is because of the many squeaky noises you make. You squeak before you begin to make the creaking door sound which then turns into a baby coo. But there's always a good long few squeaks to make me smile. They're so high pitched. I didn't know babies made sounds like that. It's awesomely adorable. By the way, I should probably tell you what your first word was. We heard it week 2 of your existence. It was, "hot." Yep. Pretty sure you didn't know what you were saying but the way your mouth was formed with the perfect timing of the sound coming out, it created the word "hot." Okay, so it wasn't truly your first word because you weren't referencing anything actually being hot, but I thought I should put it in here so that I never forgot.

Saturday, January 13th was your Grandma Jan and Grandpa Bob's first time babysitting you. They loved it. As soon as I walked in and gave them the information they needed before I left you, they were already playing house with you. Grandpa held you in his arms and walked around with you while Grandma pulled out a small pot to heat your bottle in. Not just any bottle, but your FIRST bottle. You hadn't eaten all morning because you had terrible gas which gave you a stomach ache so I brought some pumped milk. I was a little uneasy to leave you for the hour and half to two hours that I would be gone knowing you hadn't eaten and that you'd never taken a bottle before. However, your Grandma was able to feed you. I had instructed them not to heat more than 2 oz of milk for fear that you wouldn't eat it. Not only did you finish it, but they were able to get you to take an additional ounce. Good girl! Tonight, I went over to Grandma and Grandpa's for a visit and dinner. I picked up your Great Grandma and brought her over so she, too could spend some time with you. She held you for a good hour and you remained calm and relaxed the whole time. How could you not? I loved lying with my Grandma and snuggling with her when I was a kid. If you ask nicely, she'll rub your back. That was my favorite thing that my Grandma would do. She'd sit and talk to the adults while rubbing my back for a long time. I loved it.

You're a very lucky little girl, Farrah. You are very loved. Every new day, every new experience brings on new feelings of joy, bewilderment, and love for you. Your dad and I love you so much. Everyday feels like Christmas morning. I love waking up to my gift. You'll have nothing but happiness and love in your life because that's what everyone feels when they're around you.

Here are some recent photos that make me smile and make me laugh...







Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bath Time Fun

Farrah loves getting a bath. I love giving Farrah a bath. She smells so good and she's adorable naked. I can take a diaper changing moment full of screams and tears and get her to completely relax and get comfortable. Monday night, however, she got so relaxed and comfortable that she shit in her tub. You know you've made it to "mommyhood" when a moment like that can seem precious. Is that weird? I laughed histarically, removed my child from the fecal infested tub, cleaned out the tub, and tried again. When Farrah is all clean and I begin to dry her off, her long dark hair has a bit of curl to it. When her hair completely dries, however, it is completely straight and sticks up like an old 80s Pat Benatar. Super cool.

Another memorable moment with my daughter was a recent diaper changing experience. In a matter of 5-10 minutes, I managed to change her diaper 4 times! This girl knows when she wants to go and although it might be completely inconvenient for others, she makes her decision to go and then executes that decision. Even though in that moment I let out a very loud, "God Dammit!", I was laughing the whole time. How could I not? It's still precious. Like I've always said, poop is funny, and Farrah just knows how to make it funnier.

P.S. It has been brought to my attention that I now have dark circles under my eyes. I intend to make a trip to Target tomorrow and buy some diapers, some Febreze, and some light colored concealer to fool everyone into thinking that I am well rested or I might have to make a trip to the art section, buy some paint, and paint my eyelids with open and alert eyes. Either way, it's all an act. I'm tired. Even so, I am loving this experience.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kinda Tired

Since December 18th, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep. Unfortunately, before that I had been suffering from insomnia. So, before my baby arrived, I was already very sleep deprived. Ironically, I had the notion that she was on her way so I was smart enough to take a sleeping pill Saturday night of the 16th and got some very needed rest. In any case, I just thought I'd complain about how tired I am and how screwed up my schedule is.

When I was pregnant, Farrah was active when I was active and slept when I'd sleep. I thought for sure this would automatically continue out of the womb. Wrong. She likes to sleep a lot. Only she likes to sleep when I'm awake. When I'm awake, I feel like I need to do stuff. From her first week home with us, she found her voice. She doesn't sit there and scream when we're trying to sleep; she talks. She talks soooooo much. Many of you can probably guess who she inherited that from. When we've all settled down for the night, she talks about being in bed, she talks about what we're watching on TV, she talks about what she's eating when being fed, she talks about being held, it just doesn't end. When I put her in her co-sleeper, she babbles on and on. So, to get her to stop, I have to hold her in my arms to get her to fall asleep. When she seems like she's out cold, I gently put her back. That's when her conversation with herself starts up again. Mind you, she has a lot to say, too. What, with having so many life experiences in a matter of weeks. You know, pooping, peeing, crying, eating, and pooping some more. She has to tell someone about it.

Mike has been sick for the past 4-5 days. Unfortunately, that means I haven't been able to hand her over to him for help. He can't touch her when he's sick. I think I'd have a heart attack if she were to catch a cold right now while I'm still trying to get accustomed to her sounds. The very first time she coughed (mind you she exerted 2 coughs) it scared me so bad that I started to cry. I know I'd flip out. In any case, with Mike being sick I've had to make sure that every time she'd cry I'd get up to check on her. If she just wanted to cuddle, I'd have to do it (although I love to cuddle with her) and wouldn't get an opportunity to take a nap. It has seemed that everytime I would get ready to take nap, she'd need to be fed or burped or changed.

A few nights ago, I was up from 11:00pm to 4:00am. That's just ridiculous. And since Mike has to work and is also suffering from sleep deprivation, I've had to pick Farrah up and sleep downstairs. I have to do that since that's where there is a TV to watch while I try to get her to relax and eventually pass out. This is something I've ended up doing for a few nights now. So, now my schedule is completely screwed up. I sleep from 8 or 9 in the morning until noon. I don't take naps like I should when she sleeps. Instead, I'm up. Last night was probably the worse of it. I know it was because I finally broke down crying from exhaustion. I wanted to sleep so bad, but Farrah wanted to eat. At least that's what I thought. She constantly would fake me out by pretending to go for the boob and then just decide to talk, grunt, kick, and cry. Aghhh. I cried in frustration and wrapped her up and took her downstairs with me and curled up with her in blankets. Eventually, I did get a little bit of sleep. Mike came down around 4 in the morning from being up all night from coughing. We're a piece of work. This weekend has been a lazy weekend. Mike said I was so tired because my body was working so hard to produce so much grease in my hair and I told him that he was so tired because his body had worked so hard making all his hair grow on his face and make his skin smell. We both found enough energy deep down in our souls to finally turn on the shower and use some soap. Well, I must now prepare myself for another night of potential sleeplessness.

Sound the Trumpets!

I'm trying to post as much stuff as I can possibly remember as it comes to me about my new motherhood experiences. Farrah will be three weeks old on Monday. Can you believe it?!! Before we know it, she'll be enrolled in Kindergarten and we'll have to start making quarterly visits to the principal's office. Of course we won't have to do that, because she's just too perfect. Anyway, getting to know our daughter has been quite fun and tiring. The whole diaper changing experience has not been as big of a deal as I thought it could be. One very good characteristic of Farrah is she doesn't like to be dirty. Not that there are a lot of people who like to sit in their own feces, but she really isn't a fan. She pretty much gets her diaper changed minutes after she blows.

Yes, Farrah has trumpets in her pants. She is a product of her father. At three weeks of age, she can put many beer guzzling, chili eating, men to shame with the racket that her butt makes. It is quite impressive. Farrah also has a way to announce that a good fart or poop is on its way. She grunts. She bears down, lets loose a grunt, does her dirty business, and releases an "ahh" and sigh of relief. Every time she does this I can't help but laugh. Of course, she times a massive crap almost immediately following a recent diaper change. The words, "Are you kidding me?" have escaped my and Mike's mouths at least three times a day since her arrival. She knows how to keep us on our toes, because believe me, I don't want to hold her and smell that. It's not "cute", it's smelly.

Speaking of smelly, holy lord did her umbilical cord stink like death. At first, the smell scared us thinking that our little girl's belly button was infected. Later, after talking to other mothers we learned that some smell and some don't and that it is perfectly normal. A lot of empty diapers that I was getting ready to change were a result of thinking that she had crapped herself, when in fact it was her rotting cord. Last week I took her to her doctor's appointment for her second PKU test and the doctor was kind enough to remove the cord. I had to step out of the room for fear that I would either faint seeing her do this or barf all over the place. Of course, they didn't want the mess so I was sent out for the minute it took for them to remove it. Apparently, the cord was also acting as a plug for an incredible amount of shit that Farrah was storing. It didn't hurt her when it was removed, but when it was she crapped all over the place including all over the nurse and peed all over the exam table. I suppose I could've watched and simply participated by barfing and contributing to the mess. I'm sure they're glad I didn't. The doctor and nurse were very gracious and kind about the little "accident".

Breastfeeding. Ah, the wonders of being a mother and being responsible for the wellbeing, health, and weight gain of your child. It has come pretty naturally for me, but it hasn't been without it's challenges. It can be quite painful at times. Luckily, I had a good talk with Evie who told me to just tough it out the best I can. If I couldn't do it, I wouldn't be judged. Well, I've managed to keep it going this long and intend to continue. Being the naive new mother that I am, my first two weeks into this thing I thought I was supposed to put a boob in her face every time she cried or fussed. That, of course, made me very tired. All she would end up doing is eating for about 5 minutes and fall asleep. It concerned me because I thought she wasn't getting enough to eat. Mike was kind enough to introduce me to the magic that is the pacifier. She just wanted to be nurtured. So we now provide her with artificial nurturing from time to time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Night Life

After I was handed my daughter and I was fully stitched and covered up, family started to make their way in. Of course, we wanted her brothers in there. Nick and Alex came in and saw their sister and both got their pictures taken with her. Steve (my brother) and his wife, Bree came in and saw her. Steve was afraid to hold her though, because he thought she was too fragile. Melissa, Nick's mom was their. Donna, Joe, and Kristina drove all the way from Whidbey Island. Jen came by after a lot of people had left. Her reaction was sweet. Our friends, Stacy and Calvin and their sons, stopped by and brought flowers. Stacy had mentioned how much she loved the photo that Mike sent out to everyone. I hadn't seen it so Mike showed it to me and I broke down. Clayton and Cynthia also stopped by. If you can't already tell, I'm giving a "shout out" to those that came to see us. If I missed anyone and you're reading this and your name was missed, sorry.

One treat that I had was chocolate milk. When I was in labor, I was craving chocolate milk like crazy. My dad went and bought me one. I had to send him out to get me about 3-4 more. That's how bad I wanted it. The cafetieria called me and took my order for dinner. Ironically, I was also craving a toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup. They had it on the menu. When they asked me what I wanted to drink...chocolate milk of course. As soon as I was allowed, my dad grabbed two of my chocolate milks. I also had massive amounts of water. My dinner came and people started heading home. Eventually, it was just me and Mike. Every chance Mike had, he would curl up with Farrah as he laid on the couch. The nurses had me all set up with plenty of drugs to take so I can use the bathroom. They did a great job at freaking me out about it. Mind you, they were incredibly helpful, though.

Throughout the evening, Mike slept as much as he could, I got up almost every hour when the nurses came in to check on me and check on Farrah, and ultimately didn't get a whole lot of sleep. It was okay, though. I LOVED getting up to change her, to feed her, and to simply hold her and look at her. It was so nice. The room was dark and quiet and Mike would wake up from time to time and ask me how I was doing and check on her. We felt like a little family. It was an incredible feeling. I was definately ready to go home the next day.

The next day, my parents stopped by and so did my younger brother, Jeff. Alex also stopped by and helped us get some of the final details taken care of. We left to go home around 6 pm. I was very excited. I was also very high with my drugs. I sat in the back with Farrah and Mike chauffered us home. Most of the rest of that evening is a blank. I'm sure we tried putting her in her co-sleeper, but ultimately slept with her in my arms (which is what she still does). We took massive pictures of everything. I'll be sure to share some.