So yeah. Still here, doing the baby thing. Eat, sleep, poop, repeat. But while I'm still operating on about three minutes of sleep, things are getting better. We're slowly learning each other's schedule. Every day, we get a tiny bit more in sync.

Little Bit: I'm hungry!

Me: I just fed you! In fact, you still have milk on your chin!

LB: Oh yeah. Well then, what do you want to do?

Me: I have an idea! Why don't we take a nap? Wouldn't that be fun?

LB: Eh. I already napped for five whole minutes fourteen hours ago. Why would I want to do it again?

Me: Well, how about you sit quietly while I nap?

LB: Sounds boring. How long did you want to do this?

Me: Three hours?

LB: No way! How about ten minutes?

Me: How about two and a half hours?

LB: A half hour, with an option for a ten minute cry in the middle in which I will be absolutely inconsolable.

Me: An hour, and no inconsolable cry.

LB: No deal. I need the cry. The cry is non-negotiable.

Me: Fine. How about forty-five minutes, with a three minute cry?

LB: Eight.

Me: Five.

LB: Right in the middle of your REM sleep?

Me: (sigh) Okay.

LB: Throw in a twenty-five minute nurse and a full wardrobe change after my diaper leaks and we'll have a deal.

Me: Anything.

LB: Sweet. Do your nap thing then. The clock is ticking.

I feel like maybe I got the short end of the stick on this one, but I don't care. Little Bit is better at this negotiation thing than I am.

Sleep is Overrated

It's been two weeks now since we've arrived home from the hospital. Tony stayed home for a few days, and Mom stayed with us up through last Friday to help with the transition, but today is officially day one of just me and Little Bit. (By the way, to answer your questions from last week about Baby Girl's real name, I've decided to respect her future privacy by using an alias...however, I haven't decided which one to use yet, so it may change from post to post. As I learn her personality, I hope to pick a permanent nickname that suits her. In the mean time, to avoid confusion, just assume that any reference to someone described with the words Little, Baby, Munchkin, Love Muffin, or Cutie Pie Snuggle Bear refers to the baby).

Anyway, like I said, we're home, and we're adjusting, and it's been...okay. She's sweet and adorable and I can't imagine life without her. She is priceless and perfect and I cannot describe my love for her. On the other hand, she's slowly driving us insane through sleep deprivation torture. You know the new parent stereotype about being exhausted and wearing a bathrobe with baby spit-up on it for three days in a row? Not an exaggeration, my friend. Oh, I thought I could handle it. I was cocky. I told myself that I'd pulled all-nighters before and been fine. So I'd be a little tired. What's so hard about that? But she wears me down. Steadily, methodically, night after night. Interrogators working in questionable forms of "information extraction" would be proud. I would gladly confess to anything if I could just get two uninterrupted hours of sleep.

(By the way, you know that phrase, "Sleep when the baby sleeps"? Well meaning people take one look at my new Night of the Living Dead look that I'm sporting and dispense that little jewel of advice. And it sounds smart. But you know what? It doesn't work. Because Baby Girl likes to nap mid-feed and mid-poopie and with a tummy full of air, and just because she fell asleep doesn't mean your job is through, for if you leave any of that undone the full furies of baby Hades will rain down upon your head when she wakes up and realizes you were slacking instead of wiping baby poo off of her delicate rear end while she dozed. And did I mention that she only sleeps for an hour at a time? So after feeding and burping and rocking and changing diapers, you throw yourself into bed knowing that you have exactly 14 minutes left before she wakes up and the cycle starts again).

But she is worth it. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, I know that she will sleep through the night. (Or at least for a couple of hours). Luckily. Tony and my Mom have been fabulous. Literal life-savers. Because they aren't getting any more sleep than I am, but they're happy to take her at 3am when she wants you to know that the wipes are not warmed to her usual standard.

In the mean time, we take it moment by moment, clinging to those random times when she smiles or makes eye contact or, blessed salvation, actually does sleep in that beautiful angelic way that only babies can. And it's those moments that remind you that there are things that are even more precious than sleep.

*Lest you think that I am sitting here wasting precious sleep time blogging while whining about not getting enough rest, know that Baby Girl is right here snuggled in the crook of my left arm while I type all of this one-handed with my right. In addition to ruler of my days, she has also taken on the role of editor.

One Week

"It's been one week since you popped out of me,
cocked your head to the side
and screamed I'm hungry"

Okay, not exactly Bare Naked Ladies, but it could work.

So Little Miss is a week old now, and we're busy adjusting to life with a new baby. (Which is to say, life without sleep and regular hygiene). But it isn't bad. In fact, I'd say it's wonderful. Every day with her is like your best birthday party and Christmas morning and the first day of summer and a trip to Disneyland all rolled into one moment, every moment.

Here's what we've been up to the last 7 days:

Mainly, she sleeps. We do not. And if we do manage to get more than an hour in any one stretch of time, we are very VERY excited about it. You'd think we'd won the lottery. We tell EVERYONE. "I know! Three whole hours two nights ago! Can you believe it? She slept three whole hours! In one block! It was heaven!" Of course, the first night we brought her home, the lack of sleep was my own fault. She slept just fine...I was the one who stayed up all night staring at her. Was she hot? Was she cold? Did her diaper need changing? Was the night-light too bright? I think I totalled about 15 minutes of sleep that first night. By the second and third night, I had delegated shifts so that I could sleep only as long as Tony or my mom watched her. Now I just put her in her cradle, kiss her little forehead goodnight, and fall face-first onto any available flat surface for some precious seconds of shuteye. My goal is to one day hit 4 whole hours of REM sleep in a single night. At this rate, I figure it will happen right about the time she goes to college.

It has come to my attention that my new role is that of the 24/7 buffet. Baby Girl has a tummy the size of a cherry, so it doesn't take much to fill her up, and it doesn't take long for her to empty again. So we nurse A LOT. She likes to eat for about 10 to 20 minutes, roughly every hour. On the one hand, I love the closeness we have during this time. On the other, I've started having dreams where this giant open baby mouth is coming at me every time I turn around. I have birthed a tiny piranha.

Amazingly, this is the part that I thought I would hate the most (because c'mon- another person's poop?) but it turns out that it isn't that bad. I get a strange sense of accomplishment whenever I can give her a freshly wiped and diapered tushie. Mama instinct, I guess. Baby Girl does her part to encourage this feeling by wetting her diaper, waiting until she is freshly wiped and changed and re-dressed and swaddled and therefore buried under roughly 600 layers of clothing and blankey, and then announcing that she now has a poopie diaper. Then we get to do it all again! I get lots of chances for that sense of accomplishment.

We have taken more photos of this child in the last week than most paparazzi shoot in a year. She blinks and a camera goes off. She yawns and flash bulbs explode like fireworks. We have 900 pictures of her making the EXACT. SAME. EXPRESSION posted on facebook for all the world to coo over. Of course, she is the most adorable baby in the world, so it goes without saying. You can't bring this level of adorableness to the table and expect not to have it documented. Plus she's the first child and first grandbaby for my mom's side. So yes, there are pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I'm just warning you so you'll be prepared for the onslaught. We're at code orange for beautiful baby overload. (Which reminds me. We have the professional photographer coming over tomorrow to do her newborn pictures. Ya'll feel free to send me your order selections).

Man, she just blows me away. She's been sleeping right here in the crook of my arm while I've typed this, and every time I look at her I just want to squeeze her and never let her go. I've never really been a baby person (they freak me out to be honest), but she is just...I can't explain it. It's like when the Grinch's heart suddenly grew three sizes when he returned all the presents to Whoville. Only my heart flew out of my body completely and is now making little cooing noises while it blinks sleepily. She is all sparkles and stars and rainbows wrapped up in a tiny baby body and sprinkled with pixie dust (and butt paste and baby lotion).

And she's worth a million dirty diapers and midnight feedings and hours of lost sleep. I will pay that and consider myself the luckiest person in the world because she is here.

Happy Saint Patty's Day!

From the littlest leprechaun!

Baby Girl Has Arrived!

I hope everyone had a chance to pick a date in the baby birth date contest, because the pool is officially closed. In a shocking turn of events, Baby Girl decided to come even earlier than anyone guessed. I'll give you the detailed blow-by-blow later when I'm less sleep deprived, but the whole birth process was easy and painless and quick. It was the next best thing to actually having a stork bring a baby.

At approximately 4:45pm on Friday afternoon, my water broke. I was standing in the kitchen trying to decide what to make for dinner (lasagna or manicotti?) when all of a sudden my jeans were soaked. (They tell you in the birth classes that your water breaking is almost never a giant sudden gush like what you see in the movies. They are big fibbers. Mine was exactly like that. Big gush, wetness everywhere. And thanking my lucky stars that I had made it home from walmart just 20 minutes earlier because nothing says embarrassment like having to call for a cleanup on aisle 4). Anyway, I called Tony and suggested that he return to the homestead posthaste while I tossed a few last minute things into the hospital bag.
We checked into the hospital at 5:30pm, and they whisked me off to the ultrasound room to make sure Baby Girl was still determined to enter this world feet first. She was, so I was prepped for surgery. IV in the hand, spinal block (not that bad, btw), and endless blood pressure and temperature taking. Then at 7:30pm, they wheeled me into the OR for a little slice n dice and Baby Girl was officially born at 7:59pm. I was comfortably numb and hidden behind a curtain, but Mom and Tony watched the entire thing. (I must say that if you're going to have a baby, this is a good way to do it. I never had the first contraction, I was numb from the armpits down, the whole thing took less than 3 hours from the time I walked into the hospital, and Baby Girl managed to avoid that whole alien cone-head look from too long in the birth canal. I'm telling you, I've had dental cleanings that were more painful than this. It was all delivery, no labor, and a precious little girl as the result).
Baby Girl is 18" long and weighs 5lbs, 10 oz. She is tiny and adorable and perfect, and my heart completely melted and dripped onto the floor in a puddle from the moment I saw her.

Memoirs, Moons and When Zombie Cats Attack

It occurs to me that I haven't had an actual blog topic in a while. Mostly the last few months have been baby updates and bulleted snippets of random thoughts. And you may think that this is just me being lazy and not picking a topic and sticking to it, but the truth is that for the last few months my brain has just been baby updates and random snippets, so it's kinda hard to write in a cohesive theme when your brain is going "Baby stuff, baby stuff, baby stuff, I like juice".

(And from what I understand, it's only going to get worse after Baby Girl arrives. So fair warning).

(Although there will probably be more pictures, because who doesn't love looking at a sleeping baby?)

(She is going to sleep some, right? Please tell me she'll sleep).

Speaking of sleep, I think it is a cruel and unusual twist of fate that I can no longer get a decent night's rest. You'd think I'd need it now more than ever to rest up for all those midnight feedings, right? But no. I lost out on comfortable sleeping positions about a month ago, and now even when I do manage to catch a couple of winks, I have weird disturbing dreams. (The BabyCenter articles say that weird third trimester dreams are completely normal, and just my way of getting through any anxiety I have about the upcoming birth. Which I admit makes sense, but I have yet to figure out how my cat secretly turning into a zombie-vampire and attacking the Seester relates to baby anxiety)*.

In other news, I've become completely obsessed with both the weather and the phases of the moon. I have an app for each on my home page, and I spend hours (yes, hours!) checking the 10 day weather and scrutinizing the minute changes of the moon (Currently at 23% of a waxing crescent, if you're interested). Why the fixation on the weather and the moon? No idea. But if any of you have questions about daily rainfalls in the southeast, or cold fronts moving in from the west, or on what day the new moon happened last week, then I'm your girl.

Finally, in an effort to prove that I'm not as boring as this post makes me sound (the weather and the moon phases? Really?) I'd like to mention that I just finished reading Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Lightning Bolt Kid, and I LOVED IT. It's a memoir of Bill's life growing up in the 50's and 60's, and even though I've never personally witnessed either of those decades, Bryson tells the story in such a way that you swear you're right there with him for every adventure. (His narrative style reminds me of the movie The Christmas Story in that it has that same 1950's through the eyes of a child feel, except without the bb gun). Seriously, I've never laughed so hard in my life. In fact, I spent chapters 2 through 6 not even bothering to get off the toilet because even though I'd just gone, I'd laugh so hard at the next page that I'd pee a little more. Now, the book actually came out in 2006, so maybe you've all already read it and you're like, "Have you been under a rock or something for the last 5 years?" in which case the answer is yes. But if you're like me and have been under a similar rock, then go get the book RIGHT NOW. I promise that it is worth it. I totally heart Bill Bryson.

So that's it. Baby Girl is expected sometime within the next 12 days (if she doesn't decide to come on her own earlier, the doctors have scheduled a c-section for Monday morning on the 21st), and I'm spending my last child-free moments reading and watching the moon phases and being chased around by zombie cats.

Really makes you look forward to a post with sleeping baby pictures, doesn't it?

*Sorry Seester...and you might want to stay away from Sebastian next time you come visit.

Expecting Joy

Hey. Check this out.

So the other day Mom and I were messing around with the camera and came up with a couple of belly shots. They were nice and all, but then I thought, "You know who could make these shots really awesome? Antique Mommy."

For those of you not in the know, Antique Mommy is a writer, artist, photographer and Super-Mom who writes a blog at And she does amazing things with Photoshop. I heart her. (And okay, maybe there's just a teeny bit of hero worship on my end). Anyway, I sent a couple of photos to her, and she did her whole magic Photoshop thing, and this is the result.

How neato-cheeto is this? My meg-o belly is a work of art!

It's The Final Countdown!

da-da-DAH-dah! DA-DA Dah Dah-dah!

(What? That's my attempt at synthesized keyboard sounds. You're welcome, fans of the 80's band Europe).

Anyway. It's March! It's March! Y'all simply have no idea how happy this makes me. I've been waiting on March since last July. Do you have any idea how long that is? It's like waiting on a package from the UPS guy to come, only instead of putting in a tracking number and getting, "Your package is in a regional sorting facility in Topeka", I get weekly updates like, "Your amniotic fluids look normal. That'll be a $40 copay". So yeah. The anticipation has been killing me. But this is the month! Baby Girl will be a March birthday! (At least she BETTER be a March baby! If she goes into April, I may have to shoot her).

But I'm guessing March, and I thought it might be fun to open up a little birthday pool kind of deal on here for anyone who wants to try to guess the exact day. Winner will receive a lovely commemorative birth announcement to hang on their fridge.*

Sound like fun? Just pick a day and leave it in the comment section. And to make sure that we're all on a level playing field with access to the same information, here are some helpful hints:

  • Baby Girl is, and is likely to remain, breech. That means that while the doctors will wait for labor to begin naturally, they'll take her via c-section as soon as it starts. That also means no adding in an additional 16 hours of labor time. Once water breaks and/or contractions begin, we're off to the races. Of course, she could always execute a last minute somersault and assume blast-off position on her own, but they don't think so.

  • I take the last of my P17 shots this Sunday. For those of you not in the know, P17 is a progesterone shot that prevents contractions from organizing and sending me into premature labor. (Think of P17 as the union buster at the contractions plant. There's still the occasional rumble, but P17 is the one who keeps tearing the meeting notice sheets off the peg board in the break room). However, now that I'm no longer considered premature, P17 has been transferred to another plant and rumbles can continue unimpeded. The question is, how long will it take my uterus to notice?

  • The doctors don't want to go past 39 weeks, which is through the 28th. If we haven't started labor on our own before then, they'll schedule the c-section for me. So you probably don't want to be guessing April 12th or anything.

  • There's a full moon on the 20th. Not only that, but it's the spring equinox, which means it will be the biggest, closest full moon of the year. Not sure how much stock you put in Baby Girl being affected by the tides, but I'm throwing it out there just in case.

  • Finally, exactly 50% of the people I talk to think I have "dropped", and the other 50% think that Baby Girl is still riding high. This being my first baby, I'm not really sure what to expect. Your guess is as good as mine.

Speaking of my guess, I'm going with the 19th of March. My mom has picked the 15th, Tony's mother the 17th, Dad the 20th, Seester the 22nd, and Tony the 23rd. What's your guess? What day do you think Baby Girl will decide to grace us with her presence?

*Open to valid US residents only, no purchase necessary to win, please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping and sleep deprivation.