Monday, March 29, 2010


Guess what?  I am back in Alabama.

This is what I do these days.  I hit that sleep deprived wall, and Scott drives me and the kiddos to a halfway point where I then get in the car with mom--who has come to rescue me with the promise of sleep.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful sleep.

I am back to the land of the living with four nights of substantial sleep behind me and even a few good naps.  Thank you, mom.

Motherhood, it never ends.

One day we will emerge from this twilight zone called "living with a newborn," and our lives will resume something that looks a bit normal.

Until then, this is what we do.

Thank you, mom; thank you, husband; for loving me during this time when I am not at my best;)

And John, have mercy on us all, and please start sleeping longer at night.  Thanks.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life These Days

Both kids, attached to me, all. the. time.

No shower, pajama pants, and worn slap out.

Give me grace, Lord.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Monday

I love my life.  I am so thankful that I get to be mom to Ada and John.  What a gift!!  But...the days can get a bit mundane.  Drowning in laundry and dirty dishes and spit up and dirty diapers.  I have already changed three today. 

Here is what we are doing on this Monday morning.

cooking dinner--pot roast, potatoes, and carrots.  One of my favorite meals when I am nursing and oh so hungry at the end of the day.
Ada is strolling her "baby."  Today her baby is a slice of her Melissa and Doug green pepper.  Who knows.  Never mind that we got her that wonderful American Girl baby doll for Christmas.  Really, play with the pepper, Ada.  Well, at least I am seeing her imagination come to life.  She lives in her pretend world all the time.
And this little guy is spending some time on his tummy because apparently that is what he prefers, so I am all for it.  Tummy time it is. 

Before I placed him on his tummy, he was in his swing, finally calmed down after several minutes of crying.  Ada walked over to the swing and started to push him very hard.  I was begging her to stop, trying to reason with her, and she kept saying, "I want to push him!!!"  Then when he started crying again, she looked at me so innocently and said, "John's crying, mommy."  I was like, you think?!

The other thing we are dealing with is projectile spit up.  Are you familiar with it?  I had not had first hand experience with it until John came along.  What I mean by projectile is all over everything everywhere.  When John does it, it lands in his eyes, ears, hair, furniture, all over me...etc. etc. etc.  Apparently, when I was a baby, I projectile vomited after every feeding.  So, on Saturday night, when John vomited five times in a row--it was amazing to see that much milk come out of a tiny baby--I immediately called my mom.  I was sure something must be seriously wrong with him.  My shirt and pants were completely soaked through, as if I had stood under a shower completely clothed.  His clothing was completely soaked through, and our love seat was also covered in spit up.  But he never even cried.  It didn't phase him.  And mom said he was fine.  She has seen it all, you see, after her experience with me as a baby.  Anyway...these are the little things that are making up our days.  But, I know that I know that I know, that each day I am making eternal investments.  I have to keep that in the forefront of my mind so I remember the why behind the routine.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Weekend

It's been an odd day for several reasons.

We were all dressed and ready for church, when a few things began to delay us. 

Just as we were ready to walk out the door (already ten minutes late), John decided he needed to eat, right then.  Ada's diaper was suddenly dirty (she still isn't potty trained), and then John's diaper was also dirty.  By the time all of that was taken care of and we were in the car on the way to church, we were 30 minutes late and still had a ten minute drive.  Scott and I decided we weren't going to make it.

One of these days I will get the hang of getting two children out the door on time.  I was always late before I had John.  Now I can hardly make it to places before we are too late.

So, with the whole day ahead of us, we decided to run to Target to pick up a dress I spotted yesterday.  I needed something that is dressy and nursing friendly for Spring and Summer weddings.  There was one at Target that I thought would work, and I was afraid my size would be gone quickly.  Sure enough, it was gone by the time we got there--and I just saw it yesterday.  So the girl working in the women's department called another Target that is 30 minutes away, and that store put the dress on hold.  John was sleeping soundly, so we decided to go ahead and make that trip while he napped in the car.  Ada was so confused because when we originally left the house we were headed to church.  Anyway, we finally got the dress and headed back to our house.  At that point, it was nap time for everyone.

The dress is only one reason it's been a great weekend.

I am also excited because I finally have a library card at the local library.  I can't wait to check out so many books!! 

The weather was amazing, and I spent much of yesterday outside.  My house is a disaster as a result, but that's okay.  It's supposed to rain for the next two days, so I will spend that time cleaning.

And the final reason it was a great weekend is because Scott spent Friday and Saturday night with John, only waking me when it was time for John to eat, so I slept more soundly than I have in a while.

This is Ada playing with the little girl who lives next door.  The girl is a couple of years older than Ada, but she is very patient and kind with Ada, so they play great together.  Yesterday was the first time that Ada rode in the girl's barbie car, and Ada thought it was the best thing she had ever seen.  They rode that thing in circles forever.  (They are in the swimming pool parking lot.  The swimming pool that continues to be unfinished).

While they rode, I talked with the girl's mom.  Because I was holding John, the conversation naturally turned to babies and then nursing.  The mom proudly told me that she nursed her daughter for 2 1/2 years.  Isn't it funny how moms can't help but compare notes about these things.  I then shared my story about Ada and how she was such a terrible nurser right from the start.  Funny, funny, these things we feel compelled to share.

Anyway...that was our weekend.  How was yours? 

(the bad part of the weekend--with Spring, come allergies.  Terrible allergies.  I kept kleenex by my side all weekend.  And apparently, according to the Target pharmacist, all allergy medicine dries up breast milk.  I am making a phone call to the OBGYN first thing tomorrow to discuss a solution to this problem.  Suggestions, anyone?)

Friday, March 19, 2010


It is in the 70s today, so what did I do?  I dropped the day's plans--things like cleaning and such--and we headed to the park. 

Oh the wonderful sunshine.  Warm sunshine, at that. 

We picked up a couple of hamburgers, and we enjoyed the day, along with every other mom in town:)

John also enjoyed the park:)

And now, while both children are asleep, I might sit outside and enjoy the sun even more.  It's good for my brain, I do believe.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hurry, hurry, hurry, Spring

May I please join the rest of the blogosphere in voicing my absolute need for Spring to arrive.  And arrive soon.

I cannot take anymore rain or cold.  Or snow, for that matter. 

I am dying to feel that warm sunshine on my face and shoulders, so when Ada asked if she could play outside today, I said, "yes mam, oh yes, you can!!!"

And lo and behold, John even cooperated.  He napped on the guest bed, while Ada and I played in the backyard.  (I left the door open so that I could hear him, should he wake up).  (on that note--I think we are working our way to the other side of these very hard newborn days.  If he can nap soundly on the bed, we are getting somewhere).

And when we began to get hungry, I decided a picnic on the back patio was in order.  Why go inside when the sun was shining?
Now, if you are wondering why Ada's cup is buckled into the highchair, then you need to know--it's her baby.  These days, everything is her baby.  No need to bring a doll outside, the sippy cup will do. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Touching Base

It is not like me to go so long without blogging, but my  mind is a bit foggy these days from lack of sleep.  It's harder for me to think of what I want to say, and it's even harder for my words to actually make sense;)

We are closing in on the magical six weeks, but it's not looking like John is going to do a six hour stretch at night to go with the big six week birthday.  We'll see.  He does 4 or 4 1/2 for the first stretch at night, so that helps, but I think six hours at once would be just glorious.  He is crying a lot this week, which I think is to be expected.  Isn't five weeks supposed to be a rough one?  Luckily, Ann is here this week, and her presence is helping so, so much.  I have napped when Ada napped, and Ann even got up with John this morning, and I was able to sleep an extra hour.  An hour here and there really makes a difference.

It's been a good week!!  Monday, my friend Jane Boutwell, came to visit with her children--Elisha and Anna, and Elisha and Ada played wonderfully together.  No fussing at all.  Plus, because Ann is here, another friend came on Tuesday, so I have had lots of adult interaction.  That makes a huge difference in my mood!!  Adult conversation and a sympathetic ear are so encouraging. 

Plus, Jane is letting me borrow her moby wrap until I get my own stretchy fabric, and it has allowed me to "wear" John during this fussy week.  It helps so much, and he loves sleeping on me.  Tonight, during the 5:00 fussy hour, he slept soundly on my chest while I ate dinner.  So nice.  And it leaves my hands free.

I wish I had more to tell you.  But like I said, my mind is rather blank.

I hate a post without pictures, so I am including some very long overdue pictures from the big snow back in February.  While Ada played outside in all that white, Scott and I were battling our way through Atlanta traffic to get to John in the NICU.  The snow really complicated things, seeing that we live in the South and everyone goes a bit crazy when snow arrives.  But Ada was back at home with "Near and Sarah," and as you can see, she loved her first big snow experience. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day dreaming...

Ada, John, and I are about to meet Scott for lunch at "hamburger king," as Ada calls it.  We feel an overwhelming need to get out of this house.  And the weather isn't cooperating, so "hamburger king" it is.  John slept for four hours straight last night--woo-hoo and praise the Lord.  We are working on it and still taking it hour by hour.

In the mean time, I just had to share this wonderful blog post that I discovered.  I can't even remeber how I landed here, but oh. my. word.  I hope to goodness that one day Ada will have a play house as wonderful as this one.  Or maybe, one at Near's house for all the girl cousins to enjoy.  Can you imagine?  I want to play in it myself!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another Day

A few more pictures from our week in Scottsboro, courtesy of Sarah and her camera.

What we have here is Ada demonstrating to you what all of my days and nights consist of.  A lot of nursing, a lot of burping, and these days, a lot of praying;)  Last night, I practically begged God, on hands and knees, for some sleep.  He said yes in the form of my husband.  At 2 am, when I was going on two hours of broken sleep, I finally made my way upstairs, and begged Scott to take over.  I was desperate for some sleep.  I told Scott that if he could just give me two hours, then I would take John back downstairs.  So, Scott rocked John for an hour (I think), and then John slept for two hours, and then Scott brought him back to me at 5 am.  So, three hours of solid sleep!!  Woo-hoo.  It's enough to get me through another day.  My bloodshot eyes are becoming a familiar sight each morning.
And John asks, "what's the problem?  If you would just hold me all night long and let me sleep in your lap, things would be just fine."  That would be "Near's" lap that he is sleeping on. 

And below, he is fast asleep on a quilt my great grandmother, Ella, made.
Oh man, I am sleepy.  That seems to be all I say or think about lately.  I just think about putting one foot in front of the other without falling down flat on my face.  And we make it through each day that way.

Actually, today, knowing that I couldn't sleep through the day, I decided to tackle various things around the house.  I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.  I folded and put away clothes.  And I attempted to teach John to put himself to sleep.  So, while I folded right outside his door, he cried himself to sleep (well, he cried for a few seconds before I went into his room and gave him the pacie).  And Ada played doctor, her favorite game these days. 

But now, Ada is asleep, and while I typed this, John fell asleep in the swing, so I am off to the couch where I hope to sleep.  I wish I had more to tell you.  One of these days I will talk about more than sleep, I promise.

Monday, March 8, 2010

True Colors

This is what John looks like a lot these days.  Not so pretty, right?

I know he's about to let out a wail when his face gets bright red and his eyelids start to pop.  It seems as if  his hair sticks up a little bit straighter as well:)

What was he so upset about?  He probably wanted to nurse.  Again.

He went to the pediatrician today for his one month appointment, and he weighs a whopping 9 lbs 12 oz!!  And to think he was only 7 lbs 3 oz at birth.  I am so proud of my little nurser.  Though I wish he would nurse just a little less in the middle of the night.  He seems to nurse more often at night the older he gets rather than less often.  Oh, six hour stretch of sleep, will you ever arrive?  These two and three hour stretches are killing me. 

But, he is healthy as can be.  NICU?  What NICU?  Thank you, Lord, for our precious boy.  What a gift he is, even in the midst of the sleepless nights and endless crying. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

And then there's Ada.

Ada, Ada, Ada.

She continues to love baby John, though she doesn't understand being quiet when he sleeps, or not getting right in his face and saying, "John, John, John," in a very loud voice when he is finally calm.  But, we'll get there.

And more and more she plays mama to her own babies, imitating everything that I do. 

She's a stinker through and through, but I love her, love her, love her.

John Thomas

Don't let these peaceful pictures fool you.  Don't let all this talk about laid back fool you.  John has come alive in the past few days.

He still likes to nurse.  He still likes to be held.  Apparently those are the only two things he likes.

Starting two nights ago, John decided to rock the boat a bit.  Maybe his little tummy was hurting him.  You know, all that milk.

Mom heard us in the kitchen, rocking away, and she came and rescued me.  I went to bed, and she spent the night on the couch with John.  Both of them dozing off and on.

And last night, he stayed in the bed with me.  Don't worry.  He was on "the wedge" (you know, the infant sleep positioner), so I couldn't roll over on him.  But after each feeding (every three hours, like clockwork), I had to first cuddle him right next to me until he was calm.  Then I placed him on his side on the wedge, and I would pat his back really hard, and finally he would relax, and I would turn over and sleep for a while until the next feeding.  We are approaching what the "experts" say are the hardest two weeks until things peak at six weeks.  And then he is supposed to start sleeping longer at night, and he is supposed to stop crying as much.  Did I mention that he cried for the most of the day yesterday.  That is, when he wasn't nursing.

I am so thankful for nursing.  It is an instant soother.  It works every time.  And it allows me to cuddle with him and stare at him and smell that baby head.  It allows me to enjoy him during these hard weeks.  I like having the answer.  When Ada wouldn't nurse, at all, and I was pumping, and she was screaming, and someone else was feeding her a bottle, I couldn't ever enjoy a peaceful moment with her.  It was always her screaming and me feeling lost and a bit helpless.  I promised myself that I would somehow enjoy these early weeks despite the hardness, and nursing allows that.

So, we are headed back to Georgia today.  And we will make it.  Thank you grandparents, for a week of catching up on rest and sanity.

(as usual, Sarah took the pictures.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ada's take on nursing

Mom reported this conversation to me, but I thought it was hilarious.

Apparently Ada was feeding her doll yesterday--you know, the same way that I feed John;)

And I think mom asked Ada what the doll was eating, and Ada replied, "chicken."

Apparently she doesn't quite understand the entire concept of nursing.

On that same note, the other day we were in the car, and Ada asked why John was crying, and I answered, "because he is hungry." 

She responded, "he wants to eat your chest?" 

(I stole the pictures off of mom's computer.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mom to the rescue

So...after I posted that everything was still going well, I hit a major brick wall on Saturday. 

I had this great idea that with Scott home, I would catch up on some sleep over the weekend.  I was wrong.

I found myself playing parent to both Ada and John, as Ada continues to demand that I do everything in the wake of John's birth.  So, Friday night, Ada woke up twice on top of John's waking up to nurse every few hours, leaving me to once again wake up every hour.

Top that off with the incredible mess that currently engulfs my house from top to bottom, and I ended up calling my mom in tears. 

Scott and I decided that Saturday night I would sleep downstairs in the guest room, where I could not hear Ada if she woke up, and Scott would be left to deal with her while I took care of John.  Well, maybe this would have worked, but Ada didn't wake up that night, so we weren't sure and we were headed into another work week. 

So there we were Sunday morning, and after talking to my mom and telling her I was fine, and that I didn't need to come to Scottsboro, Scott made the executive decision that I did, in fact, need to go.  I think he could tell I was starting to drown in a world of sleep deprivation.  So, Sunday afternoon, Scott drove Ada, John, and me to Adairsville, where my parents met us and drove us to Scottsboro.

And here I am in the comfort of my childhood home, where I plan to catch up on as much sleep as possible and go back home rejuvenated--well, as rejuvenated as possible with a newborn. 

But, I must say, that things do continue to go exceptionally well.  John continues to nurse all the time, he does well at night, and he really is a laid back baby.  However, he is only three weeks old, and it just takes a while for things to settle in.  Don't you agree? 

Just the other day, another mom observed that those first weeks with a newborn are like living in an alternative universe, and I thought that was a perfect description.  I am just one who needs a little extra help from outside sources until we are able to move outside of that alternative universe.

Luckily, I have a mom who totally gets that. 

So, we are in Alabama for a few days, and I am thankful for the escape.

And I am thankful for the nap I took this morning.  Just a couple of hours of sleep can make all the difference.