Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That Good Ol' Summertime

I am a proud Baylor grad who knows all the lyrics to both the fight song and the alma mater. I've known that Baylor's alma mater, That Good Ol' Baylor Line, was based on the song That Good Ol' Summertime, but I had never actually heard the song until today.

I got home from getting my hairs cut and flipped on the television. Turner Classic Movies was showing a Judy Garland movie called That Good Ol' Summertime, so in the interest of hearing the song that inspired the Baylor alma mater, I watched it.

And I was surprised!

Did you know that this particular Judy Garland movie was the original movie inspiration for the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks romance You've Got Mail? Neither did I. Just goes to show that what's old is new. Like Elsie's name. :)

Two days until we leave for Texas. Cheers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some pictures (and a video) to share!

I promised I would try taking more pictures, so let me start with this one, Elsie's first doctor's visit. (And this is before she received the HepB shot!)

She did, however, like the sound of the paper wrinkling under her. That was before this picture was taken though. By this time, the doctor, Sara, had been poking around in her belly button with silver nitrate, and Elsie was beside herself. Sweet baby. Hah.

Next, we have a couple more bouncy chair pictures. She was awake this time, and I was trying to get her to smile at me (even if it was just gas). Her smile melts my heart, but it's so fleeting right now, and followed by spit-up, that I can't get it on film in all its glory! These were taken yesterday:

And today, the Beavers came up from Mobile and brought the boat to a state park nearby, so we went out on the water. We sunscreened the baby up, put her in a life jacket (which was the only way I was going to agree to take her out). There are pictures of her on the boat, but they're on the in-laws' camera. Here she is in her stylish life jacket, which she spent most of the time chewing on/licking while exploring the texture.

After we got out of the boat, several in our party decided that they were going to go into the water. I stayed on dry land because I honestly don't like going into water where I can't see my feet even in the shallow end. So, Eli took my baby with him. Elsie liked the water. You probably already know this, but I was amazed at just how much liquid that diaper could hold!

And, I've figured out how to upload videos, so look out! Look at her kicking her little feetsies! [There's no sound since this wasn't taken with a video camera.]

Elsie in the water
Originally uploaded by Beaver Family

When we got home, we gave her her first tub bath. If you'll notice, even though we put sunscreen on her and kept her in shade except for that short time in the water, she got a sunburn! I feel like the worst parent in the world! I called the nurse at the pediatrician's office, and she said, "Tell Daddy not to take her into the lake anymore! She doesn't have an immune system!" Lesson learned.

My poor baby! We also used shampoo today. The head-to-toe stuff just wasn't cutting it for all that hair! You can see how that went over.

Okay, those are my pictures. Please don't turn me in for abusing my child! :( It looks worse on film? Live and learn.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

7 Weeks

Seven weeks old. She's traveled to two states. She's been to court. She's been poked in the eye by a drooly 6-month-old at play group. She's befriended some felines, and made enemies of others (haha). She's pooped on both her parents. She's on a roll.

Elsie is going with me tomorrow to a teacher's conference that is related to the writing project in which I participated last summer and also to the trip to San Antonio I took in October. We'll see how that goes. There will be at least one other baby there, so I'm not worried about the appropriateness of bringing an infant to a "professional" meeting. I just don't know what will happen or what to expect, especially when you add a baby to the equation.

So, someone that reads my blog mentioned participating in the Great Date Experiment with their church? Who was that? If it was you, can you send me a link to the post? I feel like it was someone in TX -- Mrs. C or Misty, but I couldn't find evidence of it in their blogs...

Tomorrow is Friday. Hooray!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old friends, good times

Yesterday Elsie and I went to visit JT in Atlanta. I hadn't seen JT in a few years--six or seven maybe? I can't believe time passes so quickly! Elsie was so good. How blessed am I? JT and I talked and caught up on years passed, and spent a lot of time with shop talk, mommy style. We had lunch with her hubby and also were able to get some things done, settling her in her new home. I don't feel like I was as helpful as I could have been, but if I provided a little motivation, then I feel my purpose in traveling was fulfilled. :) Oh, and she made these amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that I kept eating. On top of that, she sent some cookies with me, and I'm proud to say that they survived the trip. I had some to share with Eli when I got home.

Today, Elsie and I are staying at home. We just put clothes on. I have some laundry to do as today is the first time I have been pooped on. I have previously gotten poop on me, but this time, while I was nursing, it got deposited directly on my person upon its arrival (via the top back of the diaper), running all over me, my shorts, and yes, Eli's side of the bed (Hi, Honey!). The fun side of motherhood this is, I'm sure. Haha.

Monday, June 22, 2009


After church in Mobile last Sunday, we went to Mellow Mushroom with my in-laws and the Sunday school class that they lead. I'm sitting there just looking around and I see a seemingly familiar face. I stare until the guy looks back at me and then it clicks, and I ask Eli, "Is that BA over there?"

After I graduated and after Eli had been dating for a while, he was telling a story about going on choir tour in high school, the shenanigans the boys would pull in the hotels, and he mentioned a guy named BA. I told him that that was funny because when I was in college I also knew someone everyone called BA. Upon further probing, it turned out that it was the same BA. And there he was, sitting in a booth at Mellow Mushroom in Mobile. I hadn't seen him in at least 9 years. Small world.

In fact, BA lived across the street from us when I lived in #17 with JT, and tomorrow I'm going to see JT in Atlanta. Woohoo!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6 Weeks

The first two weeks, I thought I would never make it with any sanity. Now, we're six weeks into this motherhood thing, and I'm still standing. My house is a wreck, but I'm still standing. See, I can play Mafia Wars with a baby in one arm, but I can't scrub the bathtub that way. During the day Elsie hates to be put down. She wants to be held, and I can't blame her. She spends 8+ hours at night all by herself in the bassinet.

When I went to my breastfeeding class, the nurses encouraged us to commit to breastfeeding for 6 weeks before we gave up (for those women who are discouraged and thinking about giving up). That seemed like an eternity at the time, but here I am. All is well. I think we have it down to a routine. Now, I need to fit some pumping into the routine so that I will be ready when school starts. And I need to get that done before we go to Texas because I won't be able to transport the milk back without it unfreezing.

In my random musings yesterday I forgot to mention that Eli had a job interview with a law firm down the street. Eli says he felt good about it--it lasted for two hours--but that there were no definite commitments. He did say that the lawyer wanted Eli to call him if he had any other offers. So, we'll see. If he gets the job, then we'll probably look at buying a house here.

Breastfeeding support group was good today. A mother whose baby had outgrown a couple of sizes of diapers brought all the extras to give away. Turns out that only one baby present wore newborn sizes, and that only Elsie was in size 1 diapers, so we got about 70 Huggies diapers for free! I'm so glad I went. I stocked up all those months ago, but who knew that they would only last six to seven weeks! We have only 3 packages left.

Anyway, tomorrow is Eli's birthday. Saturday we're headed to Tuscaloosa in the evening. And Sunday we're going to see The Sound of Music at Theatre Tuscaloosa--I should have been a singing nun! It's going to be a busy weekend.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

General Update

This is a hodge-podge collection of information arranged topically. Bear with me.

1st Doctor's Appointment: Elsie is 11 lbs. 8 oz. (as of 5 weeks, 5 days), 22.25 inches long, and her head is 15.75 inches in circumference. She received her second HepB shot, and this mommy left her pacifier in the car so I had to work much harder to calm my sweet girl.

1st 5K: Elsie rode in her first 5K yesterday. The hospital sponsors free timed 5K runs through the park on Tuesday nights during the summer, so we took her out in the stroller and walked it. We didn't finish the last little bit since we had to stop and change a dirty diaper and then we had a hot, unhappy baby to contend with, but we did at least the 3 mile part (and not the .1). It's only going to get more uncomfortable for her as the summer heats us, so that may be the last time we do that. Eli thought it was cute that her hair curls when it is sweaty. Who does that remind me of? Oh, right. Me. So, it's cute on a baby, but just frizzy--garnering a "Whoa!" response--on me? I see. There's a double standard. :)

6-week check-up: I went to the doctor today for my post-natal 6-week appointment. I have only 5 pounds of baby weight left. But that's still 10 pounds over my ideal weight, so I should stop the sugar binge. And I've been cleared to exercise--to me that's RUN--again. Finally. Now to find the time when I don't have a baby to care for. Hmm...

Sugar binge: I love my teeth. I really do. But recently I have been unable to stay away from the sugar! Sugary drinks--Coke, Kool-Aid, PowerADE; sugary snacks--Fiddlesticks from Priester's Pecans; sugary birthday cake--so moist, and so much leftover. This may be the battle for those last 5 pounds of baby weight. I love sugar!!!

Planned Texas trip: I got doctor's appointments scheduled accordingly, so I will be able to stay for 3 weeks in Texas when I come! So, we're coming for a July 4 wedding with Eli returning to Alabama for work on Sunday, and then he's coming back for a soccer game on July 26, and we'll all head back to Alabama on Monday, July 27. If you're in the DFW area during those three weeks, let me know and we can hang out. I love my family (love you guys!) but also will probably need a change of scenery, however brief, during those three weeks.

Care for Elsie while I go back to work: I will leave Elsie with the lovely woman from church, but before we go into negotiations about how much to pay her, I'm wondering if anyone can give me a ballpark for how much home childcare workers/childcare centers are charging these days?

Back to work: I got the call yesterday that I will go back to work the week of July 27. Actually, I'm supposed to be there for new teacher orientation on July 27, but seeing as how we will be in the car on the way back from TX, I informed them that I wouldn't be available on Monday. They're okay with that, thankfully. That means that I will probably have to be up at school for the rest of the week finishing orientation (Tues & Wed) and doing make-ups for Monday, and for the Friday before that when there's a reading strategies training that I can't attend.

Birthdays: Eli has been reveling that for the last couple of days his age has reflected that he is two years younger than me. Well, actually, that I'm two years older than him. Nice, right? Well, his birthday is Friday, and we're planning to have a little pool party on Saturday to celebrate the joint Beaver birthdays. It's totally breaking all the apartment complex pool rules, and I will have to get a new swimsuit (two pieces don't work with incisions and fresh stretch marks), but who cares? I also will have to clean my house. Booooo. When will I find the time? I guess I won't be playing Mafia Wars as much. Riiiiight.

I'm sure there's more that has been on my mind, but since I'm so scattered, I'll just have to leave it at that. Time to go mug some people. Oh, and tend to my baby.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gaming Addict

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for not buying me a Nintendo when it first came out. Having to wait a few years was good for me. I think that my life would have been very different had I become addicted to gaming much earlier.


I began to suspect I might have an addictive gaming personality after Eli and I got married and I downloaded Snood onto the computer. I mean, I had had serious issues with Tetris and Dr. Mario (I dreamed about them!), but nothing detrimental to my relationships. I also dreamed about Snood, but I also failed to spend quality time with Eli because I was mindlessly playing it. It got so bad that I had to remove the game from the computer altogether to maintain my newlywedded bliss.

Then, Eli got a broken PS2 off Ebay and he bought me Final Fantasy X. Every day I would come home from work and play for hours. And if Eli was playing Grand Turismo 3, I would be sitting on the arm of the couch impatiently waiting my turn. It drove me crazy when he would do a 24-hour race which is often run in real time...a whole day when I couldn't play FFX! The insanity stopped only after I beat the game.

One day, I happened upon the blog of a friend who reads this one (though I'm sure she had no idea at the time that I was reading her blog) and I became addicted to an online game called Kingdom of Loathing, or KoL. I would play every day, adventuring around. I think I just got burned out on the game, or maybe we didn't have Internet for a while, but one day I just stopped playing...cold turkey.

So, recently (yesterday), I started playing Mafia Wars on Facebook. My sister has said that she was really good at it, so I took that as a challenge to play it myself. I'm feeling a little out of control just like when I was playing KoL and FFX.

I need to stop the insanity before it really starts!

But, I probably won't.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nerdy 30

Well, it's my 30th birthday, and it's been so...anticlimactic?

I wanted to have a big bash or something, which is totally out of my character since I hate being in the spotlight for something so banal (which includes being a birthday girl, a blushing bride, or a mother-to-be), but then a lot of the people we wanted to have over are on vacation or traveling. Next weekend was going to be fine--a joint party for the Beaver birthdays since Eli's is on Friday--but it's also Father's Day weekend, and a completely different set of people will be out of town visiting their dads. No fun. So, this day will come and go without much hubbub. I'm actually a little sad. I wanted it to be a bigger deal. A rite of passage or something. Isn't there a secret handshake I'm supposed to learn?

We did go to Coldstone Creamery last night for our free sundaes, but with the state of economy, they've downgraded to Like-It size creations for their birthday club. Since I already had my tastebuds set on what I wanted, I ended up paying the difference. It was 97 cents, but still not free, which made it taste not as good. There's something about free food that makes it more palatable and delicious. Weird, I know.

This morning we drove to Mobile (where I am currently) to see the in-laws. My birthday, while acknowledged with a gratuitous cake, is not as important to them in the overall scheme of things, you know? That's an observation, not a complaint. Just a lazy day sitting around watching TV while I make headway in the last book in the Twilight series. Eli said we'll go out later to the scenic overlook and leave the little one with the grandparents. Why do I get the feeling that this is a popular makeout spot? Is that someplace that 30-year-old women and their scandalously younger husbands go? Hmm... And currently I'm hearing conversations about going out to dinner at a place that will sing and totally embarrass me. That might be fun, too.

Thirty years, huh? That's three decades. Two and a half scores. I had to flip over TWO numbers in writing my age. Last year I had summer musical rehearsal on my birthday so it didn't feel so calm and uneventful. I was singing and dancing and feeling...well, old, actually, since I was the oldest girl in the cast at the tender age of 29--and there were a lot of girls in the cast.

I think this whole 30 thing is going to be a lot of fun, because most people don't think I'm as old as I am. Now, I can watch their faces register a little disbelief for a couple of years until it seems more plausible. As a new parent, I'm sure I'll start looking more my age as the gray hair becomes more prevalent and the worry wrinkles deepen, but I think I have a few more years until that happens. :)

And, in a couple more scores I may jump out of an airplane, like Georgie. (You know, H. W. Bush?)

Thanks to all for the birthday wishes!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

5 Weeks

My monkey weighed in at 11 lbs 1 oz today. I'm interested to see where she'll fall on growth charts at the pediatrician next week. 99th percentile? I wouldn't be surprised. :)

We went back to the breastfeeding support group today, which doubles as a Thursday afternoon play group. There were several mothers there today, including the one I talked with last week. She told me last week that she has a 1-year-old, red-headed niece named Elsie. I thought that was crazy. Today, she was talking to someone else and mentioned her niece Elsie Jane. Uh. Well. So much for creativity. There are probably only two Elsies their age and they have the same middle name!

Another mother was there with her baby girl Naomi. I loved that name. Eli thought that southerners wouldn't be able to annunciate it properly, something about a lazy tongue making it sound like No Me. Now I'm glad we didn't go that route.

And then there was a mother from my breastfeeding class who had every intention of going med-free, but like me, her water broke early and she ended up with Pitocin that led to an epidural and then to a C-section. She brought her son who is ten days old and weighs less than 6 pounds. He was so tiny--tinier than the little boy I mentioned from last week. He made Elsie look like the Amazon she is. Their funny story was that they had a name picked out and changed it after they met him, and because they had already told people his name they had stuff monogrammed and personalized with what ended up to not be his initials and name. The mother even told me that they had already written it in the baby book when they changed their minds. She laughed about it. Haha.

Anyway, I'm going to miss meeting with other mothers when I go back to work in August. I'm going to get my fill while I can.

Oh, and Elsie wore her cute little butterfly shirt/short set today and got lots of compliments. Thanks Aunt Stacey and cousins!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wild Thing

I'm playing around with my blog layout. The black argyle looking layout that I've had for the past year seemed a little too harsh to host pictures of my sweet girl. But then the pastels look too frou-frou to me. In the end, it doesn't much matter, but I'll still continue to play with it from time to time as E is asleep.

Timmy got to play wild cat yesterday. We went to Sam's Club last night to pick up some food to donate to the church (they're feeding 10 families this summer whose children relied on the free lunch program through school for breakfast and lunch). When we came home, we turned the corner onto the walkway in front of our apartment, and were met by a very dirty white cat who meowed at us. You know that feeling when you see someone out of context? Like when you see your high school friends randomly at your church in your new hometown...familiar face in unfamiliar circumstances? That's how I felt. I recognize that cat. Wait a minute! That's my cat. My indoor cat! He had been out for two hours and I guess when he heard the Subaru pull up he decided to meet us. He obviously escaped when we left, but neither of us saw him. I'm actually surprised he didn't go too far or run far, far away (either extreme), especially since the big doggie next door was out running around when we left. But you should have seen him when we brought him inside. Besides being dirty, Timmy was very cocky, with an "I'm invincible" attitude. That is, until he was hungry.

Coco was lonely. He was glad when Timmy came back inside.

I'm playing around with the idea of staying in Texas for three weeks when we come for the wedding in July. Eli doesn't get any time off, so it would otherwise be a quick trip--a long trip with a baby who needs changing and needs to eat every 2-3 hours. But, Eli's turning around and coming back to Texas for a soccer game at the end of July, so instead of making that trip twice in four days, I can make it twice in three weeks. There's a lot I would need to do before I go, since the week I come back will be the week before I start my new job. In fact, I think there's a 2-day teacher orientation that week. I would also have to see if the pediatrician will schedule her 2-month appointment for the week before I leave, even though that will only be 2 weeks after her already late 1-month appointment. We'll see next week if we can get everything to work out.

Anyway, those are my pointless thoughts for today.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prayers for friends needed!

Eli came home from work yesterday and told me that his (Baylor) friend's four month old daughter died unexpectedly the night before while they were on a family trip to Ohio. Very few details are available except that they put her in her crib at the hotel and checked on her at 10 p.m. and she was fine, but at midnight she wasn't breathing.

Please keep Corey and Kristie and their 3-year-old and the rest of their family in your prayers.

Before, I would have been horrified and sympathetic and been deeply sad for them. But those emotions don't even begin to express the way my heart aches for them now that I understand what it is to have a child. It was all I could think about yesterday in the car to Atlanta, during the game and back. And then when I woke up this morning, it was on my mind again. Elsie is not my child, except in the biological sense. She is God's child, and her existence is all His doing. I have no control. (There's that control motif again.)

I wrote this prayer down during a Sunday school class last fall. It was a part of our lesson and it was very poignant, addressing the issues of control and contentment:

Lord, I am willing to
receive what you give,
lack what you withhold,
and relinquish what you take.

Thy will be done.

Thank you for keeping these friends in your prayers.

Stump Watch 2009, Day...34?

We have detachment! Well...sorta. The large part that gets caught on everything came off, leaving just a flat scab-looking section about the size of my pinky fingernail on her bellybutton. So, it's not completely detached, but the bulk of it is gone, and I can see part of her cute little belly button. In the meantime, I will continue to clean it, and if that little bit is not off by the time we see the doctor next week, then we'll ask about it.

Last night, we took Elsie out of state for the first time, as we went to the Braves game in Atlanta. Turns out it was a relatively easy drive since we're right here on I-85. Because it was Dave Ramsey $1 Night, a deal too good to pass up, we left after Eli got off work, knowing full well that we would miss a couple of innings. I couldn't get Elsie's feeding time just right yesterday, so we had to stop and nurse in LaGrange, GA, and arrived at Turner Field in the bottom of the 5th inning. I was afraid we had wasted our time and effort with only 4 innings to go, but wouldn't you know, that game went to 15 innings! We ended up getting to see most of a full 9 innings of play before we had to hit the road back to Alabama. Anyway, in the 8th inning, I fed Elsie at the first aid station, and her stump came off and was stuck to me. Yuck? I put it in a zip lock bag just in case Eli wanted to see it up close, but he didn't ask, so it will be trash since that's not really the kind of thing one would put in a baby book. At least, Eli already vetoed that. Haha.

Anyway, I've promised a couple of times to explain our lease decision, and I think now would be a good time. So, we signed a lease on this apartment again because,

1. Even though the rent is higher than we would like to be paying, it's too darn expensive to move.

2. Even if we found a place with lower rent, add the cost of moving and prorate it over the year, and I think we would pretty much break even on a place that's not as nice.

3. This place is convenient to everything in Auburn, with easy access to Opelika.

4. There are only ten occupied units out of fewer than 100, which means it is relatively quiet, and a screaming baby affects fewer people. (My apologies to the guy whose bedroom is right next to ours!)

5. Eli didn't have a job, and we had to make a decision. And since I had a pending job offer, it felt right.

6. I hate moving. I hate it, hate it, hate it. This should actually be reason #1, but I didn't want to start with something so...irrational? as a reason for staying.

7. If Eli ends up getting into the Coast Guard, they'll pay for us to be moved, and there's no penalty in breaking our lease.

8. I'll be making a little more money at my job this year in the new district since they pay slightly higher than the state minimum salary schedule. So, no, $200 a month more isn't a lot in the overall scheme of things, but it gives us a little more wiggle room.

9. If Eli gets a job anywhere else and we have to spend a couple of months apart, then we'll be able to afford the rent on this place anyway since we'll have two decent incomes.

10. I haven't finished unpacking from when we moved in! (Though that's on my list for this week.)

So, there you have it. We're staying put, at least for a little while.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pictures from Month 1

Here are some photos from the last month. Sorry I'm not so good at taking a lot. And I wish I knew more about photography. Now would be a good time to learn.

Elsie in the cute ruffly onesie that Crissy gave her (formerly Miss M's), and bow from Michelle.

Big Brother Coco loves the bouncy seat from Kim:

Timmy was eager to break in the stroller that Stacey brought:

Elsie being adored by her cousins and aunt before they left to return to Texas. (Did I mention that I cried?):

Early morning baby asleep on my bed:

Elsie at one month (I took these photos today, outside on her bouncy chair)...I think she looks much better in natural light with the outdoor setting on my digital camera:

She decided to wake up and give me a look:

This cute outfit was one that Baby Burd gave us, but since she wasn't this size until winter, she didn't get to wear it ever. Her loss was our gain. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

1 Month

I got out of the shower this morning and heard Eli talking to Elsie about being one month old today.

"That means that Mommy is 360 times older than you are."

Gee. Nothing like a 3-digit number to make a near-30-year-old girl feel good about herself. :) In all fairness, he did let her know that he's 348 times older than she is. The good news is that as she gets older, that margin will close dramatically. I mean, when Elsie was born, I was several thousand times older than her! When she's 30, I'll only be twice her age (and sixty years old!).

Happy 1 month to Elsie! In celebration, we are going to take Elsie to Atlanta tomorrow because Dave Ramsey is hosting $1 night at the Braves game, and we're going to take a short road trip in practice for my trip to Atlanta soon to help JT out (I'm excited!) and to Texas in July, which is a much longer drive--at least six times as long, and that doesn't include stopping for changing diapers and feedings. Also, we're going to practice with Elsie and the Moby wrap. She loves it. I put her in it while we walked around K-Mart yesterday investigating the nursery furniture that matches the changing table Mom got us. Elsie ended up sleeping for 3 hours, including the time she was in the wrap and then after we got home. It was magic. So, we'll walk around the Braves game with her all cuddled up. We'll see how that goes.

Stump Watch 2009, Day 31 Update: That darn stump is still attached, but little pieces of rotten cord are falling off. And there's goo around it. It's gross, but gross in the way that peeling sunburn is to me--intriguing! There are little white spots/lumps underneath some of the loose main stump. Granulomas? I'm not sure. But we're getting closer and closer to detachment.

And finally, Eli said something the other day about giving Elsie rice cereal. Evidently, he's heard from "everybody at work" that it works wonders in helping baby sleep during the night. I told him that I had read that giving rice cereal was relatively pointless (from Happiest Baby sleep chapter), but agreed to support his decision to ask the pediatrician about it during our appointment in two weeks. (But still, give a guy a bottle--and, therefore, the ability to feed the baby--and he wants to feed her a cheeseburger! Haha.)

As long as I'm the primary feeder, Elsie won't be eating anything solid for 6 months (1 down, 5 to go). Even if rice cereal makes her sleep longer, would we be feeding it for her benefit? No. It would be for our selfish desire to sleep longer (which is overrated). If it had any nutritional value I might consider it, but this is one of those battles that I will win. You know, just like using the free and clear detergent.

And that's the 1 month update. Cheers.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

La Botella Primera

Eli came home from work on Friday, and since I hadn't been out of the house all day, I bargained for a solo trip out of the house to go pick up some kazoos and other flotsam to send in a care package to my friend who is a camp counselor this summer. Yes, kazoos. But that's neither here nor there. Elsie was fed and burped and changed, and I was fed, too, so I made a run for it.

I went to Party City, where I found some fun stuff to send, and then on to Target to raid the dollar bins and get some other stuff that we needed at home. Before I headed over to Books-A-Millions to pick up some dollar MadLibs from the sale bin, I checked my phone, thinking, it's been an hour and a half and (miracle?) Eli hasn't called...perhaps I have time to run to BAM. Unfortunately, I had a text message that I had missed from 40 minutes earlier--"Coming home soon?" Sent only 40 minutes after I left.

Anyway, Elsie evidently started screaming when I left and wouldn't stop. Eli used everything in his arsenal of baby calming techniques, but she would not settle, so he decided to feed her. He took one of my three frozen bags of milk, thawed it, put it in a bottle, and gave it to her. She was asleep when I called. Everything was under control.

He did the right thing, of course. That's why I have a few bags of frozen milk, a stash which I hope to increase before I go back to work in the fall. But I still felt 1) guilty that I wasn't there to feed my baby, and 2) momentarily appalled and saddened that she was given her first bottle in an unmomentous fashion. Stupid, I know. Elsie had her first bottle. Oh, well. On the bright side, that did give me time to run into the bookstore and strike gold, finding camp-related MadLibs to send to my favorite counselor!

I've found that Elsie's cries are like white noise to me. I can be in the same room with her screaming and not be affected. But her little quiet noises catch my attention. Is she choking on something? Can she breathe? It's strange that I'm hyper-aware of the quietude. I tell you this because I've been making an effort to not retrieve Elsie from Eli whenever she's crying (if I even notice) because I know I'm not the expert, and he needs to figure it out for himself. I'm going to go crazy if/when Elsie goes through the phase where she won't let anyone else hold her but me. I mean, she started crying the minute I left the house the other night! That's too much pressure! I want Eli to be able to do his daddy thing without getting an inferiority complex, if for no other reason than to help me keep my sanity. Plus, I think it's already hard on him since she's in what I read somewhere referred to the "slug" stage of babyhood--eat, sleep, poop, stare at the Kandinsky painting on the wall and at the bright lights. He is already at work most of the time and doesn't get a whole lot of time when she's not feeding/crying/burping/sleeping. It will get better as she gets older, I'm sure. You know, when she moves on to the "snail" stage.

Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge your comments. I haven't been in a habit of replying to them, but I read them all and am grateful for the feedback and encouragement, especially as I am entering these personally unchartered waters of mommyhood/parenthood. Thank you for taking the time to respond and offer your opinions.

Tomorrow Elsie is 1 month old. Topics to be covered may include:

1. Our planned first Braves game on Dave Ramsey night.
2. Elsie in the Moby wrap.
3. The latest cord stump update (still attached).
4. Solicitation for information about your experiences with giving babies rice cereal, the latest hot topic at my house (and by "hot topic" I mean ground for possible marital conflict--haha).


Thursday, June 4, 2009

4 Weeks

Goodness, time is flying!

Today marks four weeks since Elsie's birth. I was thinking about this last night: If I weren't keeping track of how many weeks she is on my blog, I would completely lose track and only be able to tell you about how many months old she is (which isn't even countable yet). I know that at some point, parents turn from counting weeks to months, but I'm not sure when that happens. Something else I'm not sure about is when she stops being a "newborn" and starts being a regular "baby." If that happens when she grows out of newborn diapers, then she is well past being a newborn.

Today was a rainy, gloomy day here in Auburn, but after Eli came home from lunch, I decided that I wanted to go out to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital. I've known about this group since the week after Elsie was born, but have had family here and other conflicts that kept me from being motivated to go. I was a little stir crazy today (though I got out of the house twice yesterday--lunch at Arby's with Eli's best friend, best friend's son, and best friend's mother and then FREE floats at Sonic in the evening), so I thought I would brave the weather and go. The lactation consultant had told me that it was a come and go thing from noon until two, so I left the house a little before one. When I showed up, there were only two moms there and they were on their way out...so I was alone, and Elsie was hungry. It was a little awkward. Then I realized that she had a diaper blowout in the carseat on the way, so I had to change her and feed her. And there happened to have a scale there, so I weighed her in her clean diaper.

10 pounds. 5 ounces.

No joke.

If she keeps putting on weight at this rate, she'll be about 37 pounds by the time she's a year old. Ha! I know that she'll slow down, but geez! What a picture!

Finally, another mom showed up while I was feeding Elsie, and it was someone I knew (vaguely) from the Sun Belt Writing Project. Her little boy is two days younger than Elsie and was 6 lbs. 6 oz. at birth, and just went over 7 lbs. today. He was so tiny! It's weird that Elsie was never that weight on the outside. He's still smaller than she was at birth! Anyway, this mom is having so much trouble with breastfeeding and I just had to say a silent thank you prayer that I haven't had any major troubles and that Elsie is gaining weight like a heavyweight champ! Anyway, I think I may go back next week.

We're surviving here in Alabama. Eli's home. Dinner is ready. I need a nap.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stump Watch 2009, Day 27

Still attached. But showing signs of imminent detachment, though I'm not sure how imminent. :) I can't wait to see her cute little belly button.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I can't believe it is Tuesday already.

Saturday, Stacey and the kids and Eli and I took a trip out to a state park. We took Elsie on her first hike to some waterfalls at Chewacla State Park. She slept through the whole thing, but it still stands as her first hiking trip. :)

Sunday, we tried taking Elsie to church. By the time we got there, she had soiled her pants, so I took her back to the nursery and changed her. Eli carried her into church, where we sat on the front row, but that didn't last long for my two loves. During the prayer, Elsie decided to cleanse her colon, and it was audible over the pastor praying. Eli took her out to go change her while everyone's eyes were closed (purportedly). And, he didn't return. During the hymns and some of the sermon, I could hear her crying, but Eli didn't come get me, so I didn't worry about it. He's very capable. Well...turns out that we ran out of diapers in the diaper bag, but there was nothing he could do about it. The car seat carrier was in the sanctuary with me, and all the kiddos in the nursery wear bigger diapers--the smallest is size 3. So, as my family likes to joke, Eli and Elsie got a lot out of church. And we had to ride home with a screaming baby. Ugh.

Monday, we chilled in the morning. I had an appointment in the afternoon with the pulmonologist, which, again, felt like a waste of time and money. Stacey and the kids took Elsie with them while I went in. When I was done, we went to Target and then to the library. By the time we were done, we were beat.

And then it began. The grumbling in my belly. The bubbles in my bowels. I was not feeling well at all. In the night time, my indigestion was terrible. I was trying to feed Elsie, but I was so nauseated that I had to hand her to Eli and make a run to the bathroom where I threw up for a non-pregnancy related, non-sport related record--the first time since we've been together. And let's say that I will probably not eat Chicken Florentine again. I don't think that's what made me sick, but it will definitely always be associated with it. Yuck. And this morning, I felt like death warmed over...and that hasn't really improved much.

It would happen that Stacey and the kids left this morning too. I'll admit it. I cried when they left. I enjoyed having them here, having extra hands, not being alone during the day. I wish I could have been more entertaining. I probably didn't rest as much as I should have (or really at all) while they were here, so that didn't help this morning when I felt overwhelmed by my sickness and my inability to care for my child! When Eli came home for lunch, he found both of us crying on the couch. I couldn't figure out how to help her stop crying--she was trying to work through some gas. We had just awakened from a post-feeding nap. I changed her diaper. Then she started crying. Bicycling her legs didn't work, nor did patting her back firmly. So, we cried. He took her from me and I went to lay in the bed. I heard him move her bouncy chair onto the dryer in the laundry room, talking to her all the while. She still didn't settle down. Then I heard him take her outside, and that was the last thing I remember until my body clock woke me up for feeding time. They were hanging out in the clubhouse at the pool. She was cool as a cucumber.

It's pouring down rain right now and the lights are flickering. Eli is in Atlanta at a Braves vs. Cubs game with his best friend, but I have a feeling that's going to get rained out. Maybe he'll be home earlier than the wee hour of morning.

Anyway, Elsie is swaddled up and sleeping next to me. She should be stirring soon. I will get pictures when I can. Sorry, guys. I just am not a picture taker, but I'm going to make an effort.