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postpartum

happy birthday baby girl

I’ve been working on this video for months, and somehow I was still up late doing it the day AFTER Jena’s birthday. Something about having two birthday parties, Easter and a baby cutting their first tooth all falling in the same week.

All things considered I’m shooting the perfectionist in my brain on this one. First time I watched it she found at least 5 things to change…you should have cropped that photo and put that one in a different spot and slowed this part down and why’d you highlight THAT one and and and then I told her to SHUT UP and enjoyed watching it again.

On that second run through I thought I would burst with pride. Not only did I create this thing, but I made (ok so technically God did…semantics really) that little girl.  Wow. I’m still in awe.

Dear Jenavieve Grace,

It’s your birthday…not today, a few days ago. But I told myself I could have 10 days to post this, since you were 10 days late, I felt it was only fitting.

Easter morning, a little after 10 you were officially two years old. We had a rough start, you and me. My brain did not react well to your birth, though for all intents and purposes yours was the easiest labor, I forgive you for waking me at 1:30 in the morning to begin your decent into this world. I’d been practicing my relaxation techniques for months and after the first hour of labor I had it down pretty good. As long as I was still, the contractions hardly hurt at all. Of course being still made you take longer, that’s what I could over heard them saying about us in the hall. I personally believe you were just paying them back for making you come on their timetable not your own. Starting labor tired was not the greatest idea, by the time the sun came up I was exhausted. As easy as your labor was I was able to lay down and sleep for a few hours before I brought you to the outside world.

Somewhere around 10 the next morning I had your daddy go get the birth team and tell them I was going to push you out. In they came and we wrestled over how this was going to be done. Once we’d settled on a position and a way to go you were on your way. One strong push and out you flew, covered in vernix. Like you weren’t even past term, I think you’d been telling them that all along.

You were a quiet little girl. They laid you next to me and you just laid there, you didn’t cry you just were. I didn’t know what to do with you. My mind was not computing that you were here, my little girl, the one I had desperately prayed for months convinced you were not going to happen. I was bleeding pretty bad, but I was so tired I didn’t even realize until later they were concerned. All I wanted to do was sleep, luckily you were my sleeper.

Boy could you sleep, 6 hours, 8 hours, even 10 one night was your norm the first few months of life. Of course then teething started and ended all that, but let’s not talk about that. Your easy labor turned into an easy babyhood, God knew my frazzled brain couldn’t handle much more. You were the dream baby. We decided to no-cry train you to sleep on your own in your first week of life. Since you seemed to want your own space anyway, it worked like a charm.

You were daddy’s little girl, right from the start. You two took to each other like peanut butter on bread. Daddy did everything with you, but feed you, that was all I had with you.

I really enjoyed making you your birthday video baby girl. I’m so glad we took videos and lots of pictures, I know if I look at them enough, someday it will feel like they are real memories not just images implanted into my hazzy memory of your first year of life. Your little brother decided to enter the scene when you were only 9 months old. I was crushed, for a variety of reasons but mostly for you. I felt so bad you’d had such a bum mother the last year and now it was going to start all over.

Thankfully God had other plans for us. A few months and a good midwife later mommy started coming back. I couldn’t believe how beautiful you were. How had I not seen it? With your big blue eyes and your blonde hair starting to curl all over your head. You were a happy and mischievous little girl, the happy has stayed, though thankfully the mischievous is starting to go. You’ve kept us on our toes this last year, mostly to step over whatever you found to dump on the floor in the two seconds we took to blink our eyes. Your willingness to eat off the floor began the morning you dumped every box of cereal and crackers we had in the middle of the kitchen floor. I was only trying to go to the bathroom, my mistake.

When your baby brother entered your world, your eyes were opened and all of a sudden I existed. Oh how I cherished those moments with you sitting on my lap without wiggling to get down. You finally decided I deserved my own name and mommy entered your permanent vocabulary. No longer was I daddy or nena to you, finally I was mommy.

I have so enjoyed watching you turn into a little girl this last year. You are a beautiful, sweet child. I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow. You’ve taken all of your life so far in stride, lighting the world with your smile wherever you go.

Happy Birthday my Jenavieve. Mommy loves you little girl.

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laundry. pain. iPod!

It’s been a while, I KNOW. We went to my in-laws this past weekend, and I did not prepare the week before like I should have. Not even my new super charged exercised self could fly through this week unscathed. I have been drowning in every way imaginable. Thankfully we left the house clean, not that you’d be able to tell now…I’ve also had to go out every night for one thing or another…and then there’s the laundry, OH MY WORD. You don’t skip a week around here without paying for it. Think about it. There are five. Add up all the clothes we’ve worn in a day, especially a cold one, and you’ve got almost an entire load…right there. That doesn’t include towels, and sheets, and baby blankets…all of which are quite nasty and being used anyway I might add.  Thank God for my MIL who washed the kids PJs while we were up there or they would have frozen to death the past few nights. When a kid wakes up telling you they’re wet, even I won’t reuse the jammers.

There is an up side to the laundry fiasco though! I discovered I now fit in my size 6 work pants. Yippie! Though saying they fit is really stretching it a bit, they did zip AND  button. I rest my case. It was 30 degrees out there, even their ‘fit’ was better than a skirt.

On a totally random note I realized why my knees, ankles, legs in general have been hurting me so much lately. I was thinking it was the exercising or maybe the weather or maybe I pulled something or Jacob’s just getting heavier or….Gpt any guesses?

Shoes. It was my shoes. I only had one pair I could wear after I got the tattoo at Christmas and I just kinda kept wearing them, even after it healed. The problem is they’re semi-cute shoes, and any woman can tell you that any kind of cute shoe is trouble. Looks like it’s back to the butt ugly sketchers…boo.

In other news. My rock awesome sister bought me the new iPod nano. I’m totally stoked. I don’t get this kind of jumpy giddy excited very often, but I tell you I am jumpy giddy excited. And she bought it just because. Because she’s awesome and I’m awesome and you wish she was your sister but she’s not, she’s mine, all mine I tell you. Moving on.

This thing does EVERYTHING.  It’s rock awesome red, because part of the proceeds were donated to Project Red that helps fight AIDS in Africa which just makes it more awesome. I’ve named her Jewel, she’s charging next to me as we speak. I have a feeling you may be hearing about her again.

feel the burn

I started working out. It was not a New Year’s Resolution. It just ended up that way. Since this is the last kid popping out of my body, I figured it’s time to get back in shape. It’s back to the dance days for me! ABS OF ALUMINUM FOIL BABY! I mean…ah…er…STEEL!  Jacob was born in September, 6 weeks recovery, a few weeks to transition back to work, thanksgiving, christmas, new years and BAM here I am working out.

What am I doing you ask? What am I doing….hmmm…can I even say. I cringe to think I’m going to have to answer that question, which is of course why I’m putting it on THE INTERNET.

I signed up for Jazzercise. *cringe*

There I said it. Maybe you’ve heard of it, ’cause your GRANDMA takes classes there! I am so not the demographic that does this. I wanted to take a dance class. But I haven’t dance since before the FIRST kid. To say I’m in shape would be a joke, and my flexibility is laughable. I’ve been in the dance crowd, there was no way I was going back the way I am right now. Jazzercise is close enough to dance and I told myself I’d do it for one year, then I’d sign up for dance classes.

Saturday morning I signed up. I stayed to the back of class and tried to follow along. It wasn’t too difficult to pick up, though it was clearly my first time. Having just read Three sets of ten on dooce.com  and having NO DESIRE to look like a chocolate-flavored Blow Pop having a seizure, I decided to take it easy.

Which wasn’t to hard. To be honest I had a harder time beating down the voice in my head screaming THIS IS SO NOT COOL! But I am an adult, I don’t have to be governed by the rules of cool anymore…right?

Two days later I’m back. Monday night, home all day with the kids, to say I was highly motivated to get out would be an understatement. New instructor, a few possibly pre-menopausal women, the night was looking up. The routine was easier to pick up this time around, and with the volume up and only one country song to deal with, I actually found myself getting into it. About half way through I realized I was having too much fun, I needed to tone it down, but by then I was already into it, I couldn’t stop, the momentum was going, and an hour later I thought, I AM GOING TO DIE TOMORROW.

run of events

So things have been happening over here. Nothing you want to hear about, but things nonetheless. We’ve got diaper changes and nap routines and screaming (I do try to keep mine to a minimum).

Then there’s the really fun things like the older children regressing, me getting Mastitis and me having to take milk out of my diet.  Since yet another child is showing early signs of milk intolerance. Do you know how many things milk is in…think about that for a minute. All that to say I don’t know how I thought I was ever going to get this birth story done. I still plan too, and really want to. In fact I have another installment sitting in my drafts, but since the Mastitis a week ago I’ve realized I’ve been running myself to hard and need to pull back a bit.

So that means less posting for a while, of course now that I say this I’ll probably find time tonight to finish the story and post it and then I’ll look like a liar, but that seems to be how my world works…I should have said this a long time ago.

I’m sure I’ll still be able to manage some videos, for my own sanity as well as your benefit. The kids are finally adjusting, which means they’re being great most of the time and monsters a little bit, instead of monsters most of the time and great kids NEVER. And since it took 5 weeks for them to adjust to this life they’ll only have for two more weeks. I will be documenting the heck out of the next two weeks. I will need them to remind of me that yes, I do love these children, while we start the adjusting all over again, can you tell I’m thrilled about that? Can you? CAN YOU?

the new Cullen family

Two lessons were reinforced yesterday.

1) No matter how good the change, change brings stress and kids under stress have a tendency to act up.

2) If your children are under a certain age, lets say 18, silence is something you should fear.

Anybody want to guess what Grant found yesterday? There was quite a number of things, I’m sure if you  just randomly start listing things you’ll hit on at least one of them. Crayons? Glue? Paint Brushes? Ribbon? Glitter? All of the above? What was that? All of the above you said? My I’ve got some smart readers today.

Well that’s not entirely correct. It wasn’t technically crayons he found, it was mommy’s oil pastel’s. Mommy’s very expensive oil pastels that have not seen the light of day since the kids have been born. However, when displayed so artfully on the wall only a trained eye could tell the difference.

Original Artwork by Grant Neil Byce V
Original Artwork by Grant Neil Byce V

I must say though, this is one of the best pieces I’ve ever seen him do. Would you look at all the use of color? We usually see two, maybe three colors in his pictures. This mural made use of half my set. I know it’s hard to see the different shades that were used, but they’re there, really. I plan to auction off this piece of wall to recoup my damages, feel free to place your bids in the comments.

But what of the glue, the paintbrushes, the GLITTER!?!? Oh have no fear, for those were used fantastically as well. My paintbrushes were used to distribute glue all over a coordinating wall, and the glitter, well the glitter…really what can you NOT use glitter for?

He was trying to match the star decor with all this glitter, I'm convinced.
He was trying to match the star decor with all this glitter, I'm convinced.
see how it catches the light from the flash?
see how it catches the light from the flash?
is that sand? is this the beach? NO, it's GLITTER!
is that sand? is this the beach? NO, it's GLITTER!

I really should have snapped this photo when I first came in the room, I had already scooped up an ENTIRE tube of sparkly, iridescent, extra fine goodness by the time I thought to take a picture.

Did I mention that this was the extra fine stuff? You know, like fairy dust. My children now have a regular fairy princess room, with swirling glitter in the air, glitter on the floor, glitter on their stuffed animals, pillows and every blanket they own (did I mention he’d emptied his dresser of blankets on to the floor?)

All I had to do was walk in the room and I was sparkly, by the time I finished cleaning up, I was like a freakin Rock Star. I felt like a character in that 80s cartoon, Gem and the Rockers. You know the one I’m talking about? You might not, I’m not even sure it was real. But that’s what I felt like anyway. I was now covered in glitter, both my older kids were already covered in glitter and later that night as I was nursing the baby I realized I’d transferred glitter to him as well. Look at us sparkle.

I had to go shopping before dinner and as I was walking around I could jus tell everyone was loving my new Rock Star look. It’s so totally in to have glitter in your hair, clothes and stuck to your skin when you go to the produce market. I just KNOW the staff loved me for leaving my glitter AWESOMENESS all over the remaining fruits and vegetables in the store. But that’s not the best part.

The best part is on the drive home it occurred to me, we aren’t rock stars, we’re THE CULLENS! That’s right, we are the beautiful, sparkly, vampire family of Twilight. I wish a picture did it justice, but it simply couldn’t pick up all the glitter awesomeness. You’ll just have to imagine how the sun now shimmers on my awesome littler glitter covered family.

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