Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baby's first Christmas

It's been a really good year for us. Just look at that little girl!

Christmas Eve and morning was spent at my parents house. Norah already has her own stocking and got her first pair of Christmas Eve pajamas. Grandma and Grandpa went all out and spoiled her rotten with an incredible baby hiking backpack, books, and toys. It was so much fun to have my mom and dad help her open presents and to be there for Norah's first Christmas. Nic and I were also incredibly spoiled. Thanks Mom and Dad for all you do!

We had Christmas dinner with the Stewarts, so Norah got to see all her cousins with all their new toys. It was a noisy, excited, happy bunch of kids. It reminded me of when we would go to my Granny Wilcox's house on Christmas Day when I was little. I would always take a favorite new toy to show my cousins. I love that Norah has so much family so close to make those kind of memories with. Not that she'll remember any of this year.

I'll get pictures soon. Although I do have this picture of where Norah slept on Christmas Eve:

Can't tell where she is? How about now?

She's in a drawer. I forgot her Pack 'n Play and so she spent her first Christmas in a drawer. A drawer. Nic has already assured me that he's going to tell her about it for the rest of her life, so I thought I might as well put it out there in the universe. But it was a very cozy drawer, just for the record.

Besides family parties and the like, we didn't do a whole lot of Christmassy things. I didn't even put up a tree. My attitude is that I have very limited time left until things like trees and lights and presents that are actually wrapped really matter--so I'm enjoying my last few lazy holidays. We did venture out into the cold once though. Really it just gave me an excuse to get Norah all bundled up and adorable and take some more pictures of her wide eyes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On working

It's probably because I'm in Utah, but as soon as people find out you're having a baby they assume you'll be a full-time mom. And maybe it's just me, but it seems like when they find out that you'll be going back to work, they feel bad for you (and probably pity your child too).

I'm not trying to get into a debate about what is best for whom; all I can say is that I am so much happier being back at work.

My maternity leave was awesome, but it was also a huge challenge. Something about not having a lot of structure just isn't good for my mental health. It was hard getting up in the morning and having what seemed like an endless day in front of me and at the same time not knowing what all I should do. I think the best word I could use is daunting. One day I even scrubbed the tile grout in my bathroom with vinegar because I heard somewhere that that's a good way to clean. I'm just not good at being home all day.

But still I always feel kind of defensive when people find out I work. I feel like I have to explain that sometimes we don't know when Nic is going to get a paycheck. Or Have you met my husband? You live with him for a year and see how you'd feel if you didn't have health insurance. And so on.

In truth, I feel blessed beyond belief to have my job. I work six hours in office and then the rest at home. On days when I feel Norah really needs her mom, I can work from home all day. For me, it's the perfect arrangement. I also have to say that I'm incredibly lucky to have friends and family who watch Norah so I never feel like she isn't being loved or well cared for.

I guess my whole point is that I'm discovering that being a good mom is so specific to each family. I know so many stay-at-home moms who rock it each and every day and I've worked with some amazing women who can balance work and family seemingly effortlessly. So good for all of us moms! Girl power and all that.

The only part I could really do without is the getting to the car part in the morning. Once I gather my purse, phone, lunch, Norah's diaper bag, car seat, her chubby little body, and convince the dogs that, no, they're not coming with, I can barely get out the door. The only bonus is that Nic has been shoveling the driveway religiously because he's scared I'm going to trip and fall to my death with all the excess baggage.

And as if this post wasn't long enough: I get an email from Baby Center each week with an update on my child's progress and they always include a little comic at the end. I got this one a while ago and felt like they totally understood what I'm going through in an oh-my-goodness-this-is-what-my-life-has-become sort of way. So now that I enjoy cheesy parenting cartoons, I guess the next logical step is to find a nice pair of mom jeans.

Monday, December 13, 2010


At six weeks Norah starting sleeping from 8:00 p.m. to around 4:00 a.m. when she woke to eat and then went back to sleep for another four or so hours. The first time it happened I felt like I won a prize. Then she started doing it all the time and I felt like the luckiest new mom on the planet. Then I starting working again. And then she started waking up two times a night. Then three. Then four. Then sometimes five or six.

Problem was I had no idea what to do. I thought that by feeding her I would help her sleep longer; but the more I fed her, the more she woke up demanding a bottle. And the more she woke up demanding a bottle, the less sleep I was getting. Can you see where I'm going with this? Exhaustion. That's where.

I posted something on Facebook and Siouxzy recommend this book:

I read Baby Wise and researched the Internet and asked other parents and all that, but I had yet to find anything that seemed doable for me. Until this book. God bless this book and the man who wrote it. I had heard of Ferber before, but didn't pick up the book because all I knew about him was he's the cry it out guy. And yes, Norah's had to cry it out at night, but it's not heartless and impossible like I thought.

And now. Now, we've gone from five or six nighttime wakings and feedings to zero feedings and only one waking in about a week. One week! I'm a changed woman.

I'm not going to go through all the details of how it works; you can read the book if you're interested. I just wanted to shout to the universe that we're getting sleep again. Glorious, glorious sleep.

And for anyone who still thinks I'm heartless, this clip from Modern Family is for you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On November

So. November. Ahhh November. If you ask Nic what he thought of last month, he'd probably say that November can suck it.

We started out the month with yet another knee surgery. This one's been a while coming, but I made sure Nic got it done before the end of the year so at least we wouldn't have to pay copious amounts of money for it. Turns out it's really easy to meet your deductible and out-of-pocket when you have an ambulance ride, ER visits, colonoscopy, some other weird test involving dye on your insides, culminating in the removal of your gallbladder. Put it all together and you get free knee surgery!

And no, he didn't take any time off. And yes, I think that is ridiculous.

Nic's also been working on a job in Ogden that spanned all of November and is just now wrapping up. Hence the reason he didn't feel like he could take any time off. It's good because usually this time of year is slow, but bad because he's been working crazy hours and has to top it off with a two-hour drive each way. So basically it's been girls night each night at our house, which is awesome when you're in California, but not so awesome when there's nothing to distract you from a baby who has her first cold and won't sleep.

All of this is just to say that I haven't really been in a blogging mood. But this month is already proving to be so. much. better.

So suck it November. Suck it.