Monday, April 30, 2012

Working Mom Blues

Being a working Mom has its ups and downs.  Being a working Mom with an insane personal life has even fluctuation of emotions tied to it.  Since my dad had his stroke two months ago, I feel like our entire lives have been turned upside down - on top of having a newborn, who herself was in the hospital.  I have begun to realize how much I would love to stay home and cuddle all day with care for my Harper.  I never thought I would be a stay at home mom, but I would definitely relish that opportunity.  I assume if I did stay at home, I would being very active in MOPS, spending time with Cari and her children, my Mum and Grace and finding volunteer opportunities.  Right now, Jeremy has that privilege; being a stay at home dad.  He is loving it.  Harper is loving it.  I am jealous being thankful for it; as if active state.
Being a working Mom, 1.5-2 hours of my day with this as my view:

I begin to dislike repetitive nature of it all... the constant pumping, cleaning and repeating.  But I always remember; I am SO thankful we are saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by breast feeding Harper, not to mention all of the medicinal/health benefits... plus, that special bonding time I have with my love is sooo important.  I wouldn't trade it for ease of my current state life.  I am enjoying this sacrifice for my little love bug. 

And of course, I can’t help but melt every day when I get home from work to this:  

Or, enjoy a moment like this:

By the way, Harper has been enjoying her Lifetime Fitness membership.  She is a favorite baby in their childcare center(s) and regularly enjoys the pool.  J In fact, they will often “find room” for Harper even if infant spots aren’t available in childcare.  It’s a huge blessing for both Jeremy and I.  We are able to work out, he gets a short break during the day and we really enjoy the pool.  I can’t wait for Harper to enjoy swimming in the pool and at the cabin this Summer!  I hope she’s as much fish as her daddy and I are and as much sun worshipper as I am! 

Here’s her Lifetime member photo:
Gosh, my babe is a Rock Star!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Delivery Suggestions

Here are my birth and delivery prep recommendations.

Hospital Prep

Stretch – like I said in my pregnancy recommendations, stretching helps with delivery in more ways than one. But, I read this article about, ahem, “stretching” as it will help with your delivery AND recovery. Another form of “stretching” is sex. Lots of it.

Music – usually I am a “don’t touch me, bother me, make noise, etc…” when I’m feeling sick type of person. I expected as much when I was in labor. For the most part, that was true. But, I was thankful that we had our iPad and iPod with the Bose docking station to play music. The beginning of my labor started with some Aaron Espe, Adele and such on shuffle. By the middle through end of my labor I wanted some worship, but nothing too distracting, think more Shane & Shane, Bebo Norman, etc… I appreciated having God’s presents and calm in the room during the toughest time of my labor.

Massage – oh yes. When the contracts started to kick in and become a bit more painful it helped to have my back and shoulders massaged. Towards the end I wanted less physical or verbal contact… mostly, I just wanted Jeremy there – but not bothering me. I just wanted to concentrate to get through each contraction and get to a resting period.

Water – again with the water. My doctor suggested this, but noted that a lot of women throw up during labor. I started my labor with lots of water and amazing hospital ice… you know, like the ice from Sonic! I downed probably a good 200 oz. before my contractions became quite painful/I wasn’t allowed to drink anything. I am positive this helped because during my delivery I became quite dehydrated and I wasn’t able to drink at that time. Just think if I hadn’t drank that much water, I would have felt terrible.
Push – push with your bottom, not your face nor entire body. You'll tire out too quickly and use an unnecessary amount of energy to do so. Remember, push with your bottom and not the rest of your body. (I failed at this one, well, that a no one told me this beforehand...)

Pajamas – bring comfy pajamas to the hospital. Buy something new and comfortable. Trying these on while you’re pregnant works… just buy whatever is tight because it should fit you well after your delivery.

Slippers & Flip Flops – bring some to walk about the hospital/birthing center. It’s better than having to wear shoes all the time. Make sure you find a pair of slippers with rubber soles. Flip flops are for the bathroom/shower.

Nursing Bras & Tank Tops – it’s good to be prepared! I suggest delivering in a nursing sports bra. It’s more comfortable than a regular bra, looks semi decent for your half nakey body AND you can easily nurse shortly after delivery. Having nursing bras and nursing tank tops on hand at the hospital are important for a few reasons;

you want to easily nurse but feel like you’re giving everyone a show

nursing tank tops can easily be worn in lieu or with a nursing bra… but it’s more modest for nursing in front of visitors (your hideous shrinking tummy will stay covered!)

you won’t have to go shopping for any of these after you delivery. You can stay home and enjoy every moment with that new baby

Lanolin – my hospital provided Lanolin, but I know many birthing centers and hospitals don't. Lanolin is made for chapped, sore or bleeding, nursing nipples; all of which arelikely to occur during the first few weeks of nursing. It's a lot like vasoline, but thicker. I used it consistently for about the first month of nursing Harper. Since then, I haven't had a need to do so. I carry the trial sized tubes provided by the hospital in my diaper bag - just in case. I was thankful I had bought a tube prior to delivery because I used plenty. *One thing that a nurse told me shortly after Harper's birth is always let your nipples dry or dry your nipples off (esp. in the beginning), before putting your bra/shirt back on. This is really helpful because wet nipples stick to your shirt and can be painful when your clothing to nurse again later.

When you leave – clear out your hospital room. They charge you for all of the ice packs, pads, diapers, wipes, etc… anyway. Ask for extras; you can get extras of anything to take it home. Asking for extra in-pad ice packs was one of the best things I did. Those saved my life that first day and a half at home.

Getting Home Ready

Reusable Ice Packs – keep a couple on hand for rotating sitting on. This helps curb the pain of delivery.

Panties Gauze panties. They are hideous. Yup. They are worse than granny-panties. BUT, you won’t ruin your own and they can be tossed afterwards. I also bought several pairs of underwear from Target to use after delivery so I wouldn’t ruin my own. This was super smart as I was able to wear these and not worry about bleeding.

Clean Bathroom – my lovely husband b-lined it to the bathroom when we got home. He scrubbed that sucker up and down and presented a clean area for me to handle my biz-nas. It just made dealing with after delivery toilet breaks much easier.

Bathroom Prep – you already will have lots going on down there, even if your delivery is a breeze. But, having some things ready ahead of time really helps.

Wipes. It’s was good to have “wipes” because you’re quite sensitive down there and makes clean up easier.

Stool softeners and Laxatives. If you didn’t know, your g-track shuts down during delivery. Natural body instinct. That is why many women throw up during delivery (that and the pain/stress on your body). So, in preparation for knowing this, it is helpful to have stool softeners and laxatives on hand at home. I didn’t end up taking any laxatives but was glad I had them just in case.

Tucks. They are vital to quick healing after delivery. They keep everything clean down there and help to encourage healing.

Pads. Ugh. I felt like I was 12 again. Buy normal sized, not the ultra-thin, because you’ll have plenty of bleeding after delivery. You’ll eventually move down to the ultra-thin, but you’ll need to start with the normal sizes.

Tylenol & Ibuprofen – Tylenol for pain and Ibuprofen for swelling. Opt for the Tylenol more often or even over the Ibuprofen if you’re breast feeding.

Monday, April 9, 2012

He is Risen!

A picture of atonement:Next year I will be very excited to talk more indepth about Jesus' love and sacrifice with our baby love. We told her about his sacrifice and unconditional love this year, but she was much more interested in the boob and stuffed Zebra in her hand at the time. I am loving continuing and creating new traditions for our family to enjoy and learn from.

I found this post to be very intriguing and definitely something I might start as a tradition.

The linnked blog provides step by step instructions with Bible references on how to make these "Empty Tomb" cookies. I can't wait to do this... maybe Cari and I will do a joint cookie baking day on Good Friday night or something...

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from my precious baby girl! We enjoyed a day celebrating Christ's resurrection. Daddy got up early and made us (Mommy) monkey bread and coffee. It was sooo sweet. We went to church, went to lunch at Tim & Nancy's -where Daddy and Harper slept for almost 3 hours (you'd think Daddy got up to nurse you in the middle of the night... nope!) - and then dinner at Ken & Cindy's house. Harper wore a dress from Baby Gap and head band from Mommy had a matching headband. I think this is the extent Mommy will ever go to "match" her little girl. It's just too cheesy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Three Months!

· Visiting FIVE more hospitals at MUCH too young of age – Fairview Ridges, Fairview Southdale (where you were born), Regency Hospital and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital since Papa had his stroke . And finally, spending three days in Children’s Hospital with RSV you caught from Hanky Panky being at Ridges or Southdale. Mommy returned to work, only to skip two days to lounge take care of you in the hospital. Mommy thinks you just wanted to keep Henry and Auntie Cari company so they weren’t lonely. At least we had a good view of Downtown, right? Mommy, Daddy and Auntie Cari were truly blessed by the Ronald McDonald House. It was a place of refuge and peace while we were in the hospital… it made our stay much easier and help since we were feeling bad about “ditching” Nana while Papa was in the hospital.

· You’ve learned to sing with Daddy and Mommy. You prefer Daddy’s voice, which makes Mommy wonder if you are tone deaf know you are Daddy’s girl!

· Laughing! You love to smile, but you also LOVE to laugh. It’s the CUTEST little sound. You’ve begun to enjoy being tickled or given strawberries on your nakey tummy.

· You are talking to your toys. Your favorite toys are the zebras on your swing’s mobile and tray. Daddy bought you a stuffed Zebra when he took you to Babies R Us because you love them so much. You’ve also begun to reach out to grab things. You like the birdy on your carseat. You enjoy hanging on to the foot, pulling and letting it retract back. The shakey feeling brings a smile to your face.

· The boob. You now recognize the boob (or a bottle) and get excited to eat! Daddy is teaching you sign language while he is home with you. Eat. Milk. More. Drink. and such… He is also attempting to teach you to hold your own bottle overachiever!

· Your first April Fool’s Day! We pranked Daddy with the good ‘ol rubberand around the sink faucet trick! He TOTALLY tried to play it off like nothing happened… but we were cracking up in the other room when we heard him get soaking wet! Next year will be even better!


Playing footsie with Jayden Fleig… Mommy and Ms. Rachel did plan an arranged marriage, but you have got to tone down that adorable flirty look you give him! You also are quite enamored with his dad, Jordan. Whenever Jordan is around you study his every move and word, because he’s quite animated. J

· Pooping through! Oh child of mine, how often you do this is ridiculous. You’re a lady, don’t you know?! Uncle Kyle held you during the past month while Daddy did dishes and you instantly pooped!

· Looking at yourself! You finally have found your face (and others) in the mirror. You smiled at yourself for the first time on Sunday, March 25. It was absolutely adorable.

· Peek-a-boo! You’ve started to giggle while playing peek-a-boo. For so long your response was a look of hesitancy or slight apprehension (I think due to either your face being covered, or Mommy/Daddy disappearing). Now, it’s turned into a look of excitement and anticipation!

· First day of “Day Care” with Auntie Cari and your cousins! Oh, child of mine… how this broke Mommy’s heart. I was sad to see you enjoy a wonderful (weather and life-wise) day with them, while I went to work. I might have shed a single tear(s). But, I am beyond thankful for a good, healthy place for you to grow and learn. Jackson and Emilie dote on you with entertainment, care and love. Poor Hanky, he might get a little neglected by his siblings when you’re around. Claire is ever the doting older cousin, informing anyone who is around exactly where you or Henry are at any time. Emilie has grown fond of reassuring you when you might cry or beg for attention, “It’s ok Harper. It’s because you’re an only child.” Ahem. Thank you, Cari.

· First St. Patty’s Day and you got dressed up fancy for it!

· First time wearing sunglasses, which you seemed slightly afraid of until Mommy put hers on and showed you + you didn’t like the sun in your eyes. Now, you’re a pro at them (unless you’re very tired).

· Frist time(s) outside without being completely suffocated covered by the Bundle Me, blankets or hats! (Daddy says Mommy over heats you… better than freezing you, right?) You had a two hour walk St. Patty’s weekend. You saw the trees! It was such a fun thing to see the world through your eyes… the trees, the wind, Sasha running, birds flying about and ducks landing on the pond. You take it all in.

· Napping with Mommy. You’ve begun to relish our lazy Sunday afternoon naps. Mommy adores this time with you too. You’d sleep for days if we are cuddled up together. I can’t even begin to express how much this makes my heart sing. I love your little hands wrapped around me, searching for me to reassure yourself that I’m still there. When you wake to find me lying beside you, your smile could fly a kite! It’s so overjoyed and full to appreciation. I appreciate you too, love.

· Hugging! Oh. My. Heart-melting-moment. You gave me your first true hug! You wrapped your arm around my neck the other night. You were getting sleepy and had finally laid you head upon my shoulder. The next thing I knew, your little hand came around my neck and held on tightly. Little Harper hugs, oh they make me happy.

· You are a running machine! You love to kick and rock those cute little legs for a long time! If you are lying on your changing table, chilling, lookin up at your mobile, you’ll begin this little dance with your arms and legs. You giggle and pump your legs up and down and up and down… it’s so fun. You get yourself all worn out and sleepy. You’ll see from your three month picture, you were dancing there… so much so, that you began to tip over!

· Frist time wearing legwarmers! Auntie Mandy bought you the cutest giraffe legwarmers, a la 1980!, and you wore them to church.

I am so thankful for you, Harper Kendall. You have rocked my world, turned it upside down and brought such joy to my life. I am proud to be your Mum. I only pray I can live up to what God requires for your upbringing. It is a joy to share you with Daddy, even if I get jealous miss you during the day while you hang out with him. I love him more for his compassion, care and adoration for you. I wish I could tell the whole world how amazing you are. You are happy, silly, smart and oh so beautiful. Thankfully, you’ve begun to look more like me. ;) hehe. I am excited to see you continue to learn and grow. I appreciate your zest for everything you do – whether it be playing, pooping or eating. Everything is done in earnest. It makes me appreciate the day-to-day so much more. I live to come home and be with you and Daddy. I enjoy our every moment together. I’m trying to remember to be “in the moment” and not take any second forgranted. You’ll be grownup before I know it. Time seems to disappear before our eyes yet hold on to your every movement. I wish I could bundle this time up with you to save it for later. I love you. To the moon and back. Always and forever. I call you are healthy, whole, wise and happy.

We believe:

You ARE smart.

You ARE beautiful.

You ARE important.

You ARE special.

You ARE the best!