New Writing Adventures, Ellie Hits 3 Months!

There was no new Bachelorette this week. I was thankful for the week off, truthfully! Lately, I’ve been focusing on my new writing gig at ThoughtCatalog.com. So excited about this opportunity! I’ll be writing 5 articles per month for them. If you like what you read, please “like” and “share.”  The first two were published already – here are the links:

3 Months Today!

3 Months Today!

8 Things We have To Stop Saying to People Who are Going Through a Breakup:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/stacey-becker/2014/06/8-things-we-have-to-stop-saying-to-people-who-are-going-through-a-breakup/

12 Warning Signs You’re About to Marry Your Future Ex-Husband:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/stacey-becker/2014/06/12-warning-signs-youre-about-to-marry-your-future-ex-husband/

In other news…

Our little baby girl is THREE months today. How did that happen? How did we all survive? I could not have imagined making it to this point just a few short weeks ago. Since last writing about Ellie, her latest formula (Neocate) has been doing the job. She takes it happily and the fussiness has almost entirely gone away. Who is this baby? She’s smiley and giggly. I know that I’ve done some serious venting about this baby, so let me just say what I love about her in case she reads this one day and starts to feel guilty:

(1) A couple of times in the last week when I gave her the last bottle of the day and I’m doing everything possible to get her to go to sleep and it seems like every second of the day has dragged on to make it the longest second that ever lived in a day – the following happens: Ellie gives me these gigantic, earth shattering grins. Like she’s been giving us all the trouble for fun. To test our patience. As a joke. She smiles with every ounce of her body and her whole face lights up and all of the exhaustion, frustration and angst is gone. Wiped out from my body in that moment. I am amazed at how much I love her despite only knowing her for 3 months.

(2) She is The Husband’s mini clone. I mean some friends are nice and say she has my “mouth” or my “chin,” but in reality, she doesn’t look a thing like me. I take solace in the fact that she will have my brain; she’ll watch The Bachelor with me whenever I want and we’ll talk about relationships and friendships and we’ll crack each other up one day. The Husband is cute, so a female version of him is fine by me (even though I did all the work and whomever has to be pregnant and go through labor should automatically have a baby that looks like her).

(3) The explosive vomiting has gone away. I won’t say it’s entirely gone, but to go from a big, splattering upchuck at every feeding to a couple per week – it’s life changing. I no longer go through 7 outfits a day. We’re on an average of 2. This has helped massively with laundry. We still go through bibs like crazy, but that’s to be expected.

(4) Dressing Ellie is like playing dolls. I think I enjoy shopping for little baby girl clothes more than I have ever enjoyed shopping for myself.

(5) I can sing for hours to Ellie and she can’t say a thing about it. Yesterday I introduced her to classical music for the first time and she smiled through all of it. She’s now heard me belt out everything from Britney Spears, to Frozen, to The Little Mermaid to Rent to Lady Gaga to Daft Punk to Michael Jackson to Billy Joel and beyond. Next week, I’ll be introducing her to country music.

Ok, little one is stirring. Time to wake up The Husband (he takes the BEST naps when Ellie needs to eat).IMG_5007 IMG_5003 IMG_4989 IMG_4971 IMG_4960

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Tick Tock, ‘Cause The Party Never Stops…

We didn't have anywhere to put Ellie down at my parents' house, but we found a file box with a pillow in it that made a great mini bed. Wally stood guard.

We didn’t have anywhere to put Ellie down at my parents’ house, but we found a file box with a pillow in it that made a great mini bed. Wally stood guard.

I thought that I hit rockbottom when my baby girl projectile vomited at my new moms meet up class and I had to spend two hours covered in her vomit after she had managed to splatter me, herself, the floor, the diaper bag and the moderator of the group.

I was wrong.

After a week of trying to sort out Ellie’s feeding issues, we decided to leave New York City for a relaxing overnight trip at my parents’ house in the suburbs. They were gone for the weekend helping out my sister’s family. We were excited to have a whole house to ourselves instead of our completely clutter-filled apartment exploding with baby stuff. We packed up the car with 7 loads of dirty, spit-up on laundry, the car seat, stroller, two gigantic duffle bags of supplies for Ellie, a backpack for me, a backpack for The Husband, Wally’s carrier, a bag of Wally’s dog food, bowls and toys. We do not travel lightly. I had two bags in the backseat of the car underneath my feet and a 20 pound dog on my lap who wouldn’t sit still.

An hour later, we arrived. We unloaded everything and attempted yet another feeding of Ellie’s new hypoallergenic formula. As soon as I presented her with the bottle, she fussed. She cried. She gagged. I took the bottle away. Walked with her and patted her back. Rocked her to stop the crying. After a few minutes, I gave her the bottle again. Instantly, her face turned bright red and she started screaming. This cycle repeated itself until she latched and took about 2 ounces. I’d burp her for a few minutes and as soon as I stuck the bottle back into her mouth, she’d scream all over again. This would ultimately lead to the gagging phase and then the ultimate vomit. Then we faced the question of – do we try to give her more? She was giving me all of the signs of being hungry, but wouldn’t take the bottle.

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She may look civilized here, but this lady knows how to boot and rally.

Now picture this scenario going on at every feeding for a straight week prior to our arrival at my parents’ house. We were not the most patient, well rested versions of ourselves. Ever notice what happens to human beings when they don’t get enough sleep? Well, I’m not sure about the rest of our species, but I become a completely different person. I see the world differently. I think that I’m dying of something. Everything bothers me. Nothing seems achievable and life is consumed by overwhelming, never-ending tasks.

We got Ellie ready to take a bath. The Husband was getting a bottle ready for her and I filled up the baby bathtub in the upstairs guest bathroom. I was midway through bathing Ellie, when I felt something on my right forearm. I saw a tiny little insect there and tried to flick it off. It didn’t budge. I flicked it again. It was still there. I tried pulling it out with my fingers. Still it wouldn’t move. As I looked closer at it, I started to panic when I realized it was not a mosquito or ant. It had tiny little legs and arms.

I did what any sleep deprived, zombie inflicted new parent would do in a situation like this. I started screaming for The Husband at the top of my lungs.

“GET IN HERE. HELP!! HELLLLLLLP!” I screamed.

In the meantime, I took Ellie’s washcloth and squeezed the insect out of my arm with it. Finally, it came out and I saw that my arm was bleeding. BLEEDING. This insect SUCKED OUT MY BLOOD. I studied the insect in the magenta pink baby washcloth and realized it looked like a tick. I had no idea what a tick looked like, of course, but was pretty sure that this had to be one.

Meanwhile, The Husband came running up the stairs where I promptly declared that I had contracted lyme disease and was going to die. I told The Husband that we needed to save the tick and get it tested. He rolled his eyes. I insisted that he Google the words “tick” and “lyme disease.” We studied the pictures of ticks and I concluded that I had in fact been stung by one and would probably die.

Now a normal person who realizes that they have been bitten by a tick may be freaked out. But keep in mind that I had been dealing with a vomiting newborn all day, had not had a normal night’s sleep in 11+ weeks and was staring at my bleeding forearm after just confirming a tick bite. All hell broke loose. I got Ellie out of the bath, dried her off, put on her pajamas and took her with me on a search around the house for alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream or anything that would kill off the microscopic poison that had just been deposited into my wound. I called my mother in hysterics demanding to know where she kept this sort of stuff. I ended up using some Wet Ones wipes and bacitracin. I texted her and my sister pictures of my wound.

The Husband had the nerve to say that I was overreacting. But then we both witnessed a small ring form around the bite within minutes. Never ever EVER look up ticks and lyme disease on the Internet because you will always think that you are about to die. I debated whether I should go to a hospital to have them clean it out or to test the tick to see if it carried lyme. It didn’t matter, though, because The Husband flushed the tick down the toilet moments after I pulled it out.

So much for a relaxing weekend. Who gets stung by a tick in the safety of their parents’ suburban home’s bathroom? It’s not like I was hiking in the woods. I was bathing a baby. From that point on, The Husband and I were paranoid that bugs were crawling up and down us for the rest of the night. We kept slapping at our arms, legs, necks and head. We weren’t completely nuts – we found a dead wasp in my sister’s old bedroom. At that point, I wanted to sleep in mosquito netting and hide Ellie underneath my nightgown.

So it’s 3 days later and I’ve still got all my limbs. No lyme disease symptoms yet. The ring around the bite mark has disappeared, but I still have a mark where it was bleeding.

As for Ellie, she was still throwing up as of 2 days ago, so we switched formulas again. In case you’re counting – that’s going from regular Similac, to Similac’s Alimentum to something called Elecare (which by its name should have been appropriate for Ellie). She hated this new formula even more.

By 4 PM yesterday, Ellie had not kept any food down for almost 7 hours. At my wits end, I called her pediatrician and nearly burst into tears while on the phone with her. She told me to give Ellie Pedialite for the next 12 hours. Pedialite is like Gatorade for babies. It’s used to treat dehydration from vomiting and/or diarrhea. I took her in to the pediatrician today and learned that despite her inability to keep down most of her feedings, she had gained weight. Our little peanut is now 10 pounds, 10 ounces at 11 weeks old. We’re trying a new formula again and combining it with the pedialite to ease her little digestive system into it.  Of course, Ellie guzzled down the new formula / pedialite combo like a polite little lady in front of the doctor and gave her a smile when it was over. As if to say, “Yeah, Doc, I have NO IDEA why my mom’s freaking out. I’m a perfect eater.”

It’s been 15 hours of trying the new formula and so far, so good. And the doctor called tonight to see how Ellie was doing with the new food. At least that’s why she said she was calling. I’m pretty sure she was actually calling to see how I was doing given my insane state of mind when I called her yesterday.

We’re headed to a pediatric gastroenterologist tomorrow morning to make sure that there’s no mechanical issue going on with Ellie. The pediatrician thinks the issue could be something as simple as that Ellie doesn’t like the taste of these hypoallergenic formulas. Do they make pizza flavored formula? Can’t I just feed her a vanilla milkshake? My poor baby! I’m pretty sure that I’ll need a trip to a shock therapist if/when we resolve these feeding issues. Does anyone come out of the first 3 months of parenthood alive?

She’s down for the count at the moment, which means I’ve got a chance to sleep off the stress for a few hours. It’s been another banner week of new parenting. If I survive these feeding issues, my tick bite and the constant feeling of panic, I’m considering doing something dramatic, like putting makeup on before I leave the apartment. I wonder if anyone will recognize me.

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The Formula for Mom Insanity

elliepinkdressYesterday, I had the most horrifying 30 minutes of parenthood in my 10 weeks and 3 days of being a mother.

It was the first day of my new moms support group being held at a local Kidville, a children’s center that has classrooms for different activities. I was very excited to attend and meet some new moms in my neighborhood.

I had set aside 90 minutes of prep time before departing for the meeting. This involved packing up the diaper bag with a change of baby clothes, the new size 1 diapers that Ellie has finally transitioned to, a bib, burp cloth, formula, an empty Dr. Brown’s bottle, wipes, a blanket and a pacifier. It also involved changing Ellie’s diaper twice, one spit up and finding her an outfit that perfect strangers on the Upper East Side would find acceptable and then figuring out what I should wear. My regular clothes don’t fit yet despite two weeks of T25 workouts and severe dieting. My maternity clothes are too big, except for one pair of jeans and cargo pants – both of which I wear constantly and had spit up all over them. This left me with the options of leggings or yoga pants but these were both in the laundry. I spent 30 of the 90 prep minutes spraying my dirty cargo pants with Dreft spot cleaner and then drying the wet spots with my hair dryer. When this was completed I put them on only to notice that the entire ass region was still covered in spit up stains. Rather than attempt another round of Dreft spot cleaner and hair dryer blowing, I went with the dirty maternity jeans.

It was 11:35 AM when Ellie and I finally made it out the door for the 11:45 AM start time, 10 blocks away. Ellie’s feeding time was 11:15 AM, but I figured she could make it another 30 minutes until we got to the class. We switched Ellie’s formula due to her milk protein allergy and she’d been having a really tough time with the feedings. I didn’t want to rush the feeding at home. She has been spitting up a ton since we switched formulas – to the point where I want to wear a shower cap and garbage bag when I feed her.

By the time we arrived at Kidville, Ellie was screaming in her car seat. I was sweating from rushing to get there and the receptionist told me that I needed to take the car seat out of the stroller and bring it up the stairs to the second floor for the class. Having never taken the car seat out of the stroller before (The Husband usually takes care of this), it took me a few minutes to figure this out – all with a screaming baby adding to the pressure. I finally got the car seat out of the stroller with Ellie in it, grabbed the diaper bag and headed for the stairwell. A toddler class must have gotten out just then because I was playing Frogger with multiple 2 year olds going down the stairs with their respective parents as I was heading up the stairs with the ridiculously heavy car seat and baby / diaper bag.

When I entered the classroom, dripping sweat, screaming baby and all, I thought it was the wrong room. Eight women had their eyes closed with quiet, peaceful babies in front of them. The women were taking deep breaths. Was this a baby yoga class? But then I saw my friend Liz who had agreed to sign up for the class with me. Ellie killed the zen in that room right then and there. We took a seat next to Liz where Ellie continued to scream while I scrambled to whip out my can of formula and prepare a bottle. Wondering if anyone was judging me for using formula instead of breast feeding, I popped the bottle into Ellie’s mouth. She fussed for a minute or so and then finally took it. SILENCE. RELIEF.

The crying stopped momentarily while we went around the room and introduced ourselves. “Hi, I’m Stacey and this is Ellie. She’s sorry for crying earlier. She’s 10 weeks old and we live in the East 70s. We just switched her formula and she’s been having a lot of issues with keeping it down.”  The moderator nodded and the introductions continued.

Minutes later, feeling proud that my baby was finally calm and quiet, I heard Ellie gag. Before I could even blink, a hot volcano of formula erupted from her mouth. It splattered all over herself, me, the diaper bag and the floor. Drops of it even hit the moderator next to us. Under normal circumstances, I would have been humiliated, but this had happened so often in the previous few days that it seemed normal. Like sneezing. I spent the rest of the class soaked in my daughter’s spit up, smelling like sour oranges. My bra had a mini lake of the formula that had pooled in the cleavage section. Never has a more attractive person attended a new moms group. In fact, I’m sure these ladies are each dying to be my new friend.

To make matters more aggravating, as we exited the class, the ladies all headed to the ELEVATOR, which had somehow magically appeared in the building. Who the hell knew there was an elevator? I was only referred to the stairs. Did the receptionist think it was preferable to walk up two flights of stairs with a screaming baby in a car seat rather than take an ELEVATOR to the same location?

I’ll know better next time.

I’ll also wear a raincoat, rain boots, face mask and shower cap to my next new mom class. Perhaps I should hand out plastic shields to my neighbors.

The doctor says that Ellie will outgrow this milk protein allergy between 4 – 6 months. At $30+ per can of powdered formula, I certainly hope it’s on the earlier side. Today was better. She’s still fussy at feeding time, but she didn’t have any vomiting. That was until this evening. My parents were over for Chinese food and after spending 45 minutes getting her to take 4 ounces, Ellie showered me once again with her meal. An outfit change for both of us, and she is down for the night.

Liz texted me to ask how Ellie is doing and I explained about the latest round of vomit. I also asked what the heck was going on in the classroom as we entered it. Liz explained that the moderator wants to start each class with some breathing exercises. I already disagree with this format. Shouldn’t the sigh of relief come at the end of class? So we can congratulate each other on having gotten ourselves together enough to leave our homes, trek to the building and then be able to do whatever is necessary to survive the class like change a poop diaper that looks like pea soup, feed a fussy baby and prevent the baby from crying the entire two hours of the class? It seems a bit self-congratulatory to breathe peacefully before the hell has actually begun, right?

Despite all of the insanity surround yesterday’s new moms group, I’m only upset that Ellie’s not getting all of the nutrients she needs. Well, that and the fact that this spit up / throw up phase is causing a severe laundry situation. I’d kill for a washer / dryer in this apartment.

Ok, off to cat nap before the next round of Mommy vs. Ellie’s new formula. I hope The Husband likes sleeping with sour oranges.

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Running Ragged

ellie.2monthsWe hit the 2 month mark this week. My little baby is growing in leaps and bounds and yet she’s still under 10 lbs. A peanut. I was so proud that she finally seemed to be making progress once we figured out that she wasn’t getting enough to eat at her 1 month check up. But the last couple of weeks have been rough again. More crying and crankiness when she was awake. More fussiness at feedings. Pooping constantly. And that damn thrush. It was still on the inside of her mouth and spreading to the roof, her front upper gums, the inside of each cheek. We spent 4 weeks applying medicine 4 times a day to her mouth. She hated it. I hated it. She cried. I cried.

I followed the advice of some of the readers of this blog and got gentian violet to put on her gums. That stuff stains like crazy and turned her mouth a deep blue, but it wiped out the thrush in 48 hours!  I used it on my boobs too and it seems to have done the trick. I might actually be able to shower like a normal human being again soon without wincing in agony when the hot water hits my boobs.

Aunt Wendy babysits. I was somewhat surprised that she didn't take Ellie home with her.

Aunt Wendy babysits. I was somewhat surprised that she didn’t take Ellie home with her.

My sister and nephew came to babysit Ellie over the weekend. The Husband and I escaped for burgers and a movie. We saw Neighbors – a very funny comedy which is extremely relatable for any new parent. Wendy asked me whether Ellie had been having diarrhea. It’s hard to tell the difference between what’s a normal poop and what could be considered diarrhea as I think it’s all pretty much a wet mess down there in the beginning. But once it started “raining” from Ellie’s tush a couple of times, I think it crosses the line. Then on Mother’s Day, I had a complete mental breakdown when I noticed some blood in the poop. One of my friends had mentioned that blood in the poop could indicate a milk protein allergy (who knew?) but it’s still extremely alarming. By Sunday night, I was practically in tears – worried about the thrush, the diarrhea, the blood and then a horrible rash that was on Ellie’s tush. We had her 2 month check up scheduled for the next morning and I had a list a mile long of questions to ask the doctor.

Well, the doctor confirmed that the thrush in the mouth was gone, but unfortunately it had spread to her tush – that rash was a yeast infection!! So now we’re applying two creams at each diaper change. The blood / diarrhea was in fact a milk protein allergy so we switched formula. I had the momentary guilt that had I been breast feeding, I could have avoided this issue, but have tried to block that out. The new formula STINKS like sour oranges. Ellie’s been spitting it up at several of the feedings so far, but already I see a big improvement in her. The fussiness / constant crying is gone. Today I had a full 3 hours of her being awake when she wasn’t crying and I felt like I had to entertain her. So I took her dancing in the nursery to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and she smiled at me for the entire song. The most smiles I’ve gotten to date. It brought tears to my eyes. Is there anything better than newborn baby smiles while dancing to Lady Gaga?

Ellie loved her cousin Ryan.

Ellie loved her cousin Ryan.

This morning I had plans to meet up with another new mom friend and her baby girl. As we were leaving, Ellie spit up all over my sweatshirt. As I went to change, she pooped. This meant another diaper change and more cream reapplication. I finally got that done and she spit up again all over her outfit this time. I brought her back to the nursery, changed her clothes and then as I’m literally wheeling her out the door, I hear another poop coming through her. One more diaper change, more cream application. We were 30 minutes late in meeting my friend but she understood.

The Husband and I are still doing the T25 program. Who knew it could be so hard to find 25 minutes a day to follow a video exercise program. It’s even harder to stick through the 25 minutes without finding an excuse to go check on the baby, play with Wally (who loves to sit on our exercise mats while we work out) or think of 100 things that need to be done other than exercise. I’m so out of shape that even the “modified” version of the video has been impossible at times. I feel like I need to get in shape before doing the videos.

This led me to attempt my first run in Central Park in over a year. I was banned from running during my pregnancy due to being a high risk patient. This was really annoying as I am a big runner and live for doing my 30-45 minute runs after work. Saturday was the first time in almost a year that I attempted a run – the weather was finally warm enough and there was an actual window of time that fit for The Husband to watch the baby when both of us weren’t doing the 300 other things that come with being new parents. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face as I laced up my sneakers, got my iPhone ready to play some music and had my earphones ready to go.

I think that I expected to get outside and take off – like no time had passed. If enthusiasm counted for anything, it would not have been a problem. Instead, my legs felt like they were wading through mud. I could barely get them to move. Ten minutes in, I was sore, sweating like crazy and the walkers were passing me. Twenty minutes in, I had to stop. My heart was beating out of my chest and my leg muscles felt like they would collapse on me. So maybe it will take some time to get back to where I used to be. Frustrating! I’ve run the NYC marathon twice and I could barely do a 20 minute run.

Today, I attempted the same run. I was still the slowest person in the park, but was able to go 30 minutes before I nearly had a heart attack. I guess that’s improvement, right?

Alright, it’s after midnight and it’ll only be a matter of time before I have to go into Ellie’s sour orange smelling room to give her more sour smelling formula. That stuff is EXPENSIVE too! I hope she keeps it down. I also hope she’ll dance with me tomorrow and give me big smiles again. Her rash is improving and at the last check, there was no blood in her diaper. Small victories. She weighed in at 9 lbs, 14 ounces yesterday and is in the 10th percentile for height and weight but the 25th percentile for head circumference size (did her new found weight gain go to her head?). She got a bunch of shots yesterday too and screamed like a wild woman but then quieted down and slept within minutes of leaving the doc’s office.

So month 1 found Ellie not gaining weight and infected with thrush. Month 2 was about blood in her diarrhea, a milk protein allergy and a yeast infection. I am terrified of what month 3 will bring. With that thought, I’m off to take my T25 sweating, sour orange smelling body into the shower to prepare for another round of babe-insanity tomorrow.

Xoxo,

Stacey

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Social Butterflies With Spit-Up

8 weeks, 3 days.

8 weeks, 3 days.

Happy almost Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there!  I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated my mother more than these last 8 weeks. To think that millions upon millions of babies have been given middle of the night feedings, had their diapers changed, their crying soothed, their clothes laundered, their gas burped out of them – there is not enough gratitude in the world to effectively compensate what parents do for their babies. So actually, I’m not just thanking myself in advance for Ellie – I want to say how in awe I am that for every human being in the world, there was a new parent (or experienced one) who did these things for them. Thank goodness for the Moms. Thank you, Ma.

As for the latest with Ellie – something miraculous is going on at this very moment. I am testing out a new babysitter. She’s 25 and lives in NYC and doesn’t look like she was up all night with a baby, nor does she have bags under her eyes. She’s wearing a cute outfit and is smiling at Ellie as she coos from her rainforest play mat. I’m pretending to be doing something serious like paying bills, checking my work emails and ordering groceries online, but I’m sitting here, blogging – so grateful for an hour of peace. BTW, I am the worst babysitter interviewer in the world. I should be asking her questions like whether she had a flu shot or what her experience with babies is, but as soon as she showed up, I decided she was fine and then proceeded to ask her if she watches The Bachelor. Once she said that she does, I figured this was the most important criteria, so everything else would work itself out.

BTW, we are almost 1 week away from The Bachelorette‘s premiere on Monday, May 19th at 9:30 PM EST / 8:30 PM Central. I can’t believe we are almost mid-May. Which means that my maternity leave is slipping between my fingers. I am NOT happy about this. The good news is that I have been more social these last couple of weeks than I’ve been in years. It’s so nice to get visitors for Ellie but also there have been some new moms that live in the neighborhood who are always up to hang out spur of the moment. It’s never been easier to meet people and us new moms are so eager to get a few moments of socialization with grownups, that even going for a walk around the block with the babies is a fun activity. Nobody cares what you look like and you’re considered cooler if you have spit up on your shirt. I can wear a ponytail and workout clothes for 3 days in a row and it’s perfectly acceptable. On the Upper East Side! Or maybe I’ve just hit the jackpot in the kinds of new moms that I’m meeting. I’m sure somewhere around here, there is a very fashionable new moms club. And they all bring their live-in nannies with them to social gatherings and have jewelry on and tweezed eyebrows and cute outfits and they’ve lost all their maternity weight. I wouldn’t fit in.

As I walk around with Ellie strapped to my chest in the baby carrier, debating whether we should go for a walk to Central Park or drop in to a children’s clothing store that’s having a spring sale – I wonder what is better than being able to do such things at 1 PM on a Tuesday, for example. And how much I love this time with her and for myself. And how the thought of putting on work clothes and commuting on Metro North is a daunting one. Will I ever have precious time like this again just to enjoy my baby girl? And what about my Sex and the City marathons? My new mom friend, Liz, and I both admitted that we can sometimes watch the same episodes over and over and they are still entertaining.

Ok, the babysitter is leaving soon, so I best go do something useful like sort through my maternity clothes or write something in Ellie’s baby book before I forget everything that’s happened so far. She gets her 2 month check up on Monday (with shots) and then we’ll be social butterflies. Even more so than we are now. Well, the laid back, spit-up on version of social butterflies, and proud of it! Ellie and I wear our spit up like badges of honor.

Hope you are all celebrating your moms this weekend or being celebrated as moms. Enjoy!

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Forgive Me, Linda. I’m a Mess!

Family Shot at Bar Mitzvah Reception
Family Shot at Bar Mitzvah Reception

Something really embarrassing happened this weekend. The Husband and I took baby Ellie on her first road trip down to Maryland for The Husband’s nephew’s bar mitzvah. She slept beautifully the entire 5+ hours down from NYC. We did one quick stop off the New Jersey turnpike where I fed and changed her in the backseat of the car. It was a miracle. Ellie got to see her grandparents and meet two of her aunts, her uncle and five of her first cousins. A historical weekend filled with lots of joy.

Fast forward to the reception which was held in an outdoor pavilion. There were dozens of family friends of The Husband’s parents there, many of whom had attended our wedding and even co-hosted a bridal shower for me. We had received generous baby gifts from all of these people and I had actually tackled the majority of the thank you cards for these people. Ellie was a big hit at the party. We were surrounded by well wishers for the entire reception, which was my first opportunity to be social in many months.

Feeling confident in finally recognizing and knowing a few of my mother-in-law’s close friends, I was able to greet them by name and even thank them for the specific gift they gave us. Like Ellen who gave us the musical mobile that hangs on Ellie’s crib. And Barbara and Rozelle who got Ellie an adorable framed print from The Land of Nod with Ellie’s name on it. And then there was Linda.

Linda lives across the street from my in-laws. She has a side business doing stationery and helped us with our wedding invitations. Linda has an adorable little dog who sat on my lap while we went through albums of invitations, picking out the perfect one. She hosted us all for Thanksgiving a couple of year’s back. She’s this funny, kind and generous woman and she came to Puerto Rico for our wedding. Well, there I was. Standing in the middle of 3 women who came over to meet Ellie. I was chatting away about feeding schedules, my failed attempt at breast-feeding and my work situation. My mother-in-law came over with another one of her friends. Feeling way too confident that I knew who this woman was, I promptly greeted her with an enthusiastic, “Hi Ruthie!”

Well, my mother-in-law quickly let me know that this was NOT Ruthie (another hostess of my bridal shower), but rather, it was Linda. My beloved, sweet, funny Linda. She had changed her hair. She was still adorable as ever. And yet, I had called her by the wrong name. How does it feel to be called by the wrong name? Horrible, I’m sure. Far worse than when my parents call me by my sister’s name, which happens often. In the hope that Linda forgives me, here is a list of excuses of why I may have called Linda by the wrong name:

1. I was working on 4 hours of solid sleep the night before. The Husband and I shared a room with Ellie, who was off schedule and waking up every 3 hours, during which, we both got up to change and feed her.

2. I was meeting and greeting people for at least an hour when Linda approached. My brain was scrambling to remember everybody’s name. I hadn’t seen many of these people in over 2 years.

3. I actually really like Ruthie. So when I saw Linda approaching, I associated her with someone I really like – Ruthie.

4. Ok, there’s no great excuse for calling someone by the wrong name. I take pride in remembering details about people. Forgive me, Linda. I’m a mess. I adore you and am sure you remember the early days of motherhood and how your brain feels like it’s in a cloud most of the day. I do remember that you got us the Einstein exercise saucer and an adorable pink stuffed teddy bear and something else which was equally generous that I can’t recall at the moment. Forgive me, again! Really, I just want you to know that of course, I know who you are and I would have loved to have greeted you with a much warmer, smarter, happier, “Hello, Linda!!!” than the Hello you received. You deserved better. The next time I see you, I’m going to tackle you with hugs. And maybe a t-shirt that says, “Linda Rocks.” Get ready.

The rest of the weekend was a success. Ellie was on her best behavior. She has a bit of a stuffy nose, which is upsetting, but that hasn’t stopped her from sleeping, eating or pooping. The ride home was equally smooth even though it took us a solid 6 hours of driving. The Husband sat in the back seat with her both ways – removing the head rest of the front passenger seat so he could see out the window. Occasionally I’d see his feet dangling off to my right. Great road trip companions. We stopped once on the way back too, at a gas station called “Sheetz.” The entire family took that name literally and did our business there. Ellie did hers twice and needed her entire outfit changed too. My back kills from bending over to change her in the backseat while standing outside the car. Yes, I could have taken her inside to the bathroom but she was already exposed to so many things over the weekend, I didn’t want to risk there being bad germs in that Sheetz’s bathroom.

Today, I am a zombie. The Husband and I started the T25 workout program. It’s 10 weeks of a 25 minute workout per day with a nutrition program. It’s time to get rid of that baby weight now that the breastfeeding is done. I’m officially weaned off, though my nipples have not recovered yet (TMI, apologies). I don’t think that my nipples have to do any actual exercise so that’s good. Just need to find a better sports bra because “the girls” are a lot bigger than they used to be these days. Ok, off to eat some high protein, no carb dinner. Ellie’s wiped out from watching us work out. She’s probably wondering what the heck her parents are doing as she’s never seen us sweat before. I’m hoping that I may recover some brain cells while my body is getting back into shape. I’m going to greet the crap out of Linda the next time I see her.

Xoxo,

Stacey B

A couple of pics from the weekend:

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The Husband, his father and brother attempt to put together Ellie’s pack n’ play.
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My mother-in-law watches Ellie being held by her adorable cousin
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My beautiful niece and daughter – moments after meeting.
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The Husband comforts Ellie after a long drive to Maryland.

 

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