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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aha Moments

It is always a little bit of a strange experience for me when I go out with my new little bundle of joy. Since we are just rounding the corner into week 7 of her existence, we are just now making trips out into public more often. I am amazed how many people just come right up to you and start talking about your baby. AND that people want to touch on new little babies who are not theirs! Really people-get the grubby hands away.

The amazing part are the numbers of people who tell me that HK looks just like me. And I really do think that she has Justin's eyes. We have people tell us that we did a great job because she is absolutely beautiful. Don't get me wrong-she is. She is a gorgeous baby. But truly, we had nothing genetically to do with it. Happy baby? Ok-we can take some credit for that. Beautiful baby-got nothing to do with it.

I just think that things are starting to settle in a little more. For instance, it just REALLY hit me the other day that HK has 2 biological brothers. Yes, I have known this from day one, but for some reason it did not really occur to me until the other day. I was talking on the phone with my brother, and after we hung up, it just kind of clicked in my head.

Not only are we becoming parents and learning to figure out this little, complicated, 9 lb wonder, but we are kind of figuring out how we all connect and fit with one another. Things are still slowly revealing themselves to me. Small little realizations just pop up out of nowhere. The thing is though, they are not nearly as overwhelming as they had been. I am just kind of taking each new thought with a kind of "huh" mentality instead of feeling like I have to tackle my feelings and sort out how I want to file it away in my brain.

I continue to be amazed everyday by this little person, but mostly by the kindness of people, and the way that this little girl seems to bring out the best in people-strangers and friends. We are so lucky.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pet Peeves

Things seem to be settling into quite a routine around here. I could do an infomercial for Babywise. I truly could.

HK is finally smiling-and I think that she is going to laugh soon-probably at me. But, God Love Her for bearing with me while I figured out that she needed lots of naps. She is very forgiving.

So, I have figured out some of my biggest pet peeves since becoming a parent. The same 'ol ones remain-like people who drive with their blinkers on, and people who use horrible grammar. I have new ones now too.

First of all-I know that I am a regular person and that just because I have a new baby does not mean that the seas should part for me and let me glide through in my chariot. However, if I am in a store and just trying to squeeze past you because you are taking up the entire walking aisle, please take pity. This carrier weighs 30 lbs, then there is the additional weight of the little baby in it, and I have a purse and diaper bag strapped to me. Please take pity-and move out of the way. Seriously, what happened to manners? We are in the South.

And, I never thought that I would have a big pet peeve with the mall-apparently hell has frozen over. When you are not stroller bound, you do not really notice things like ramps, elevators, etc. Well-ramps are poorly placed and you have to literally have a hound dog with you to sniff out the elevator locations. And-the ramps and elevators are narrow. Now, I do strap a lot of things to myself and the stroller, so I am quite wide. But, geez, cut a girl a little slack. One must be prepared for any emergency or potential situation. Lots of things are needed. I am going to open a baby friendly mall with lots of elevators and nice people there to press all of the buttons for you.

Another pet peeve-these weird Baby Einstein dvds. No matter how strange, we will watch them. I know that she will be entertained by them. But, I am sure that any parent who actually sat down and watched one of these can tell you that they are a little weird. Today, HK and I watched "Baby's First Sounds." Educational, yes. Colorful, yes. Confusing to an adult mind? A little bit-I have to admit. First of all-what in the heck are all of those languages they are speaking??

One day-HK will come up to me and say "good morning" in German. I will not know what she is saying, but I can thank Baby Einstein for it. So, we will keep watching. I just hope I am smart enough to figure out what she is saying to me one day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Mom Escapes

So, after being in my house for 6 days STRAIGHT, I finally escaped to the grocery store of all places. It was pure, packaged food bliss. In fact, I spent over 2 hours at the grocery. I hit every aisle twice. I spent over $300......Justin called me and asked if I was STILL at the grocery. I have to wonder where else he thinks I went-clubbing, a movie, to get a massage??? Plus, he saw me when I left-in what some would consider pjs and not showered. The deli staff at Kroger were the ONLY people who could be allowed to see me in this condition.

I know that I need an escape every once in a while, but I have been introduced to Babywise-it is the perfect idea for my type A, organized, scheduled self. I LOVE it. If HK does not take to it-too bad...she will have to learn to LOVE it as well. So, we have been going on schedule-eat, awake time, sleep, eat, awake time, sleep...bliss.

This whole Babywise phenom has taught me that newborns need to take actual forced naps. I know that you all think I am an idiot for not knowing this. I truly thought that she would just nap while being held, nap under her gymini, nap in her swing, nap while eating...nap whenever and wherever she wanted. I also thought that she would sleep better at night if she slept less during the day. As I am reading Babywise, it says that if you constantly cater to baby, you will wind up with a baby that you have to wear around, strapped to you in order to keep her quite and content. OMG...how did they know??? I had just ordered Justin to Franklin to pick up the Baby Bjorn carry thing on his way home because I thought that it would be a more comfortable carrier than my other one. I AM CREATING A MONSTER!!!!!!

Well-no more! She has slept almost 8 hours the past few nights since being introduced to her new schedule. I mean-she is THRIVING on her baby organization. There are no doubts that this baby was meant to be mine!!!!

Now, let's see how well it develops...more to come I am sure!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No More Germs!

My poor little bambino has a slight cold. I feel really horrible for her. It is strange-Justin and I are not sick. We have no idea where this came from. So, in an effort to relieve her symptoms - slight runny nose, sneezing, small pitiful coughs- I went on a spree of sorts for health items. I can justify gadgets when they are related to keeping HK well and germ free for non-sick times and comfortable during illnesses. Now, do not think that I am trivializing her being sick-I really and truly feel terrible that she is sniffly. But, she has no idea that she is not 100%-seems that this little case of the sniffles bothers me much more than it bothers her. Either way-these items are sure to make us BOTH feel a lot better.

My FAVORITE website-onestepahead.com-has a WHOLE section for health related items. So, I bought:

1. The pacifier rinser. While some of the reviewers say that it leaked, I have a friend who says hers does not. So-friend wins. What a handy little device-it cleans the pacifier wherever you are-water available or not. How handy is this little thing??? Now-no more germs! The lady at their customer service told me that they recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash without alcohol-WHAT FUN!!!

2. Nasal Clear. This little thing plays music to distract snot filled baby and suctions it all out-no more blue bulb thingy! And-you can actually see if you get anything out. I swear that the blue bulb from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks either does nothing or sucks it all into the bulb so that I am forever left wondering if I am doing any good. Problem solved!!! Look how content this little baby is while having her head drained. Maybe it is the exciting music that is keeping her content. Either way-she is not screaming and squirming, and that would be an improvement.

3. Piddle Pad. This item is just for sanitary reasons-again, it is not just about keeping ill babies comfortable, but it is equally important to keep babies from catching the germs in the first place. I feel that being able to clean up potential diaper explosions in an efficient manner will cut down on germ infestations. This little pad is just handy-and I can think of all of the places it will go...stroller, car seat, other seats....there are lots of seats I am sure.

4. The teethifier. This is just smart. It is a teether that will get to the back of baby's mouth. It just looks so soothing and easy to use. While HK is only 5 weeks old, she will eventually begin teething. This little handy device will keep her from putting germy items into her mouth for comfort. Oh, no HK, don't put that in your mouth! Mommy is here with your teethifier! And, if you should drop it, no worries, Mommy has a pacifier rinser that will keep your teethifier clean and you happy!!!

Now, I think I just need to become a germ-a-phob. Really, can you imagine if I truly was one??

Over the hump

So, we are officially over the 5 week hump. The learning never stops. It is about as continual as the money spending. I mean, she is only 5 weeks old, and she is EXPENSIVE! Now, you seasoned parents out there already know this, but I am just having forward flashes to the days when she actual REQUESTS things. Oh my....

So, what have I learned in the past week or so?

Babies have somewhat of an eating schedule, but they can binge with the best of them. When I binge, I blame it on hormones, bad day, low blood sugar, nice weather...whatever. HK apparently has "growth spurts." At least I now have a new excuse. It will go something like this-"Yes, one gallon of the chocolate chip ice cream please. It is necessary for the growth spurt I am experiencing today. I want to make sure that I don't stunt." I learned about this growth spurt when we went to the doc. I informed him that 2 days prior, little miss thing ate 7 ounces (she usually has 3) in a 2 hour period. His comment-"Yes, that is brisk." Like it was a lesuirely stroll or something. No-this was 2 hours of unlesiurely shreiking because I was NOT gathering that she was still hungry. How could she possibly still be hungry after the 5th ounce? So-lesson here is that babies appetites vary. My appetite stays pretty consistent, but that is a whole 'nother story and a whole 'nother time.

Another important lesson-this baby likes her sling. More importantly, I like the sling. I can get things done. I can move about freely without having to make one trip a minute to reinsert her pacifier into her mouth. Very nice, eh? Downside to this is that my back and neck hurt. But, the upside is being able to actually sit still for an hour.

So-we are getting the hang of this mother/baby thing. One day at a time; one gadget at a time!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


So-we had a great day yesterday. Hannah Kate and I attended the SWEETEST shower at Justin's office. It was great fun. The best part? The weather had been rainy, so she got to wear her rain boots!!!!! See below-they are so fun.

I had a mom moment as we were driving to the shower. I knew I had thrown my earrings in my purse. In an attempt to look pulled together and like-yeah, this mom thing is NOTHING. It's just a breeze. I can still manage to put together an outfit and be on time...So, I am driving and digging in my purse. I pull out a pacifier and butt paste. Now really, I am very organized so the thought that these items are floating around would be really funny to those who know me well. I did finally find the earrings.

Then, as we are heading home, missy decides she is hungry. VERY hungry. PLEASE, I silently beg. Please let me just run into Walgreens and then we can make it home in 5 minutes and eat. Little miss thing would hear nothing of it. So, I climb in the backseat and proceed to feed her in the parking lot. I am beginning to learn that all parking lots are potential dinner tables. See, I had to go to Walgreens because I HAD to get Valentines cards for my hubby. He told me the other day that he already had his. Then, he told me not to worry about getting him a card because I was a stay at home mom for a few more weeks and it was really hard work. He was not being sarcastic at all-he was being serious. And, it is really hard work. But-that pretty much solidified that he would receive not one but 5 cards.

This morning I am changing little one, talking to my aunt on the phone, and HK has a little #2 without her diaper on. OK-this seems to happen frequently, so I am getting better at not gagging or freaking out. So, she finishes as I patiently wait and continue to talk on the phone. A few minutes later I stand up and realize-it was a projectile poo, and it was somehow missed by my laser mother eyes because I am wearing it. Well, let the freak out begin. My poor aunt says, "Well, I'll let you go." She is hiding a giggle or a full out belly laugh. I leave HK on the couch because it is of UPMOST importance that I get out of poo clothes. PLUS, we have our first home visit today from our adoption agency, and I just had these visions of them arriving RIGHT THEN.

Luckily, we all survived. It was touch and go for a minute, though.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Finally a mom!

In the olden days of adoption, adoptive parents sent letters and pictures via the adoption agency to the birth parents a few times a year. Our agreement with the birth parents was to set up a private website where notes and pictures can be exchanged. I wanted the birth parents to be able to see HK when they felt like they needed to.

When we first started the adoption process, both Justin and I agreed that we wanted little contact with the birth parents after the adoption. I did not want to share- we were taking the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with parenthood. I did not think it was fair for them to get the good without the rest. Our case worker told us that all adoptive families come into the process feeling that way, and most change their perspective once they adopt. "Not I," I said.

I regress. I eat my words. Now, I do not want a relationship where the birth parents become aunt so and so and uncle yada yada and come to birthday parties. But, I want these people to know that the child they physically and biologically created is all right. I don't want them to worry. From one meeting, I began to truly care about these people-I want them to be all right.

On our website, HK's birthmom recently left a sweet note. She told us that she knows she could not have chosen a more loving family. She knows that we are her parents and that this is how God meant for it to be. She admitted that some days are harder than others, and she looks at the pictures of HK for comfort. I love that I can help her, and in a way, hearing her comments helps me. Even for me as the adoptive parent, there has been a "coming to terms" period.

HK is beginning to feel like mine. She is beginning to truly be a part of my heart-actually, she snuck in and became a part of it. I looked at her today, and I knew it was different because I did not think about "adoption" at all. I looked at MY daughter. I have loved her since I laid eyes on her, but the course we took to get her and all involved cannot be easily forgotten. As much as you want to minimize it and just bask in the happiness of being a new mom to a healthy, beautiful baby, there are just other emotions. Heart heavy emotions. They are starting to lift-I noticed it more today in fact. I am a lot less heart heavy. I am grateful. I am happy. I am a MOM!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spa Baby, Spa

Ahh- the hubster redeems himself! I have to say, I was feeling a little guilty about making him out to sound like a bad guy. Last night, I went to sleep at a fairly reasonable hour-midnight. I woke up this morning and thought-OMG, HK is a genius! She slept all night! Then hubby informs me that he fed her at 1, 4, and 8:15-what a guy! I never heard a thing. Apparently somewhere deep inside of me, my body still remembers my previous life's sleep and misses it. It was heavenly-and I love him even more for it!

So, I am still on my quest for fun little baby things-oh how I love them. So, I just ordered these fun little sunscreen wipes-it is never too early to begin the antiaging process. They are from whatshebuys.com, but you can find them at many websites. They are sold out though at a lot of them. Anyway-they are Baby Silk Babysafe sunscreen towelettes. How Fun!!!

In an effort to maximize sleep, I also got HK some relaxing, calming, herb infused bath wash and lotion. Aveeno makes the best stuff-and this is shown to calm babies before bed. I mean, who wouldn't be rested and drifting off to sleep after lying in warm water with lavender and vanilla being rubbed on you? Apparently my baby thinks it is invigorating because she did not drift off to sleep land. But, I am thinking she just needs to get used to it. I am not giving up. I believe in the power of lavender and vanilla. So, I am still recommending it because either way, her skin felt great and she smelled yummy!

I mean, really-I think I am running a baby spa over here. Just call me skin care mama.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My New Routine

Ahhh, parenthood of a 3 week old. Seems simple, doesn't it? Well, it is if you are said 3 week old's daddy. I am beginning to understand hubby's desire for a baby.

A little background-
Justin has always wanted kids, from the moment we got married. I had just turned 24 when we married 7 years ago (ok, almost 8), but I wanted a little time. So, after a little more than 3 years of marriage, I decided that I was ready to give this parent thing a shot. Hubby was very relieved. We had actually had fights about him wanting to start a family immediately and me wanting to wait. He was ready, ready, ready.

Now I know why.

A day in the life of hubby:
Get up about 6 or 6:30 am
Feed baby
change diaper
put baby back in bassinet
baby cries
put baby in bed with mom
take a shower
get ready for work
go to work
arrive home a little after 5
have baby thrown at him
feed baby
change baby
get baby to sleep
eat dinner
watch tv
go to bed around 10 or 11

Sounds nice, eh?

Day in the life of mommy:
Have baby handed to you around 7 am
try to find a comfortable sleep position in which to not squish baby and keep one hand on the pacifier so that it remains in baby's mouth
Keep trying to get baby to fall asleep
Baby and mommy fall asleep around 9 am
Feed baby around 11
change diaper
Feed baby around 2
change diaper
feed baby around 4
change diaper
5 o'clock hand off to daddy
pay bills
update website
check email
do laundry
prepare dinner
feed baby at 10 when she wakes from daddy induced nap
change diaper
entertain baby until 1 am feeding
make a pallet on the couch with baby in a position that again allows for pacifier to remain in mouth
feed baby around 4 am
change diaper
try to fall asleep on couch-no luck
hear daddy come in and ask if he can take the baby so you can go to bed in a real bed
make it to the bed around 6 am

Yes-this is my life. Now, I know that I am on maternity leave and he is actually working. I know that he has to be in an office all day. He would feel bad if he read this. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but this morning, he says to me as he is leaving for office bliss, "Honey, I am leaving. I fed HK and changed her diaper twice so you could sleep." NO WAY!! Really-what a hero!!!!! Like he is going to win some kind of diaper dad award or trophy or ribbon. I sat straight up and gave him a big THUMBS UP!!!

He did catch the sarcasm.

I turn into quite a little you-know-what with lack of sleep-you don't have to tell me. I know I do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sleep Deprivation-more dangerous than previously thought

So, in my quest for a good night's sleep-the sleep of my previous life, the sleep of the privileged, the sleep of my youth...I have come to appreciate the beauty of internet surfing and shopping. Yes, I have been known to spend hours on the computer wasting time, searching for the perfect face cream, but this is a whole new world. I am now, of course, obsessed with shopping for baby things. Unique things. MUST HAVE things.

So, HK is now the proud owner of lots of superfluous items that are going to make our lives easier. I am convinced.

This website-greatbabyproducts.com has great stuff for GREAT prices. I am hooked. I love gadgets. I blame my dad for that.

So, I just bought her a formula dispenser. Now really-this is a handy little thing. Instead of having to carry the entire container of formula powder, I can pre-portion it into this little tupperware thing. Why can I not use a ziplock bag?-well just because. This is much cuter. Those munchkin people know what they are doing. They LOVE people like me.

Then I decided that she MUST have a juice box holder. I mean, come on. One day she will drink juice boxes. Every child must have a holder for these. They DO squirt out of the top of the straw if you squeeze the box too hard. So, I bought those too.

Then, I decided that on those hot summer days, you definitely need a swim diaper. It is the first of February and all and swim season is just around the corner (thanks groundhog for extending this LOVELY winter weather by the way). So, I bought that too. It will be very handy. Really, it will. The description says that most public pools no longer allow disposable diapers, and it is irrelevant that both sets of grandparents have their own private pools. We may need to go to a public pool at some point.

Then, I thought that she might need a fairy train set. My friend Sally sent me the link to this one, and as she likes to say, I do not make the rules here. I just have to make sure that I stimulate HK's mind so she can become a brain surgeon and care for me in my old age. This one is from chasing-fireflies.com...

I did not buy it-but oh-it is so sweet! I can see her racing her little fairy train around and around the tracks. She is only 3 weeks old, I know. But really, I think she is a genius. And, every little girl should have a train set.

Don't worry-I am not completely losing it. I think I will unplug the computer to maintain my sanity and my bank account, though!