Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Baby,

Dear Cole,

Today I was reading a blog about a mama who lost her little boy to cancer.

I cannot imagine her pain and sadness.

I looked over at you sleeping peacefully next to me, your little belly rising and falling rhythmically as various expressions flit across your face.

And I am so incredibly, unendingly grateful that you are my healthy, strong little boy. 

My heart goes out to every mama who has to watch her child in pain... words cannot describe what each is going through.

I pray you stay my happy and healthy son forever.

Love, Mama


Because Chris always tells me I need pictures of me on here - but we all know you come just to see pictures of this adorable little guy!

A poopy kind of day

No, not poopy as in bad - we actually had a GREAT day.

There was just a lot of poop involved.


Now let me just say that usually my darling son poops like once a week.  Sometimes not even that often.  Our pediatrician says as long as he is eating well with plenty of wet diapers, it's fine - it's just because he's breast-fed.

I said USUALLY. 

Yesterday, Cole pooped 5 times.  FIVE TIMES, PEOPLE!!! 

And we weren't even at home - we were spending the day in Klamath Falls visiting friends and family.  With a limited number of wipes.  And a limited number of diapers.  And a limited number of CLOTHES!

All in all, Cole had two baths and five clothing changes today - along with one whole container of wipes! And amazingly, I only had to change my clothes once (again, good thing I was prepared!).

Some days, I feel like if I can handle these sort of days, I can handle anything. 

Good thing I'm not afraid of poop.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Chris took Cole up to change him last night and brought him back down in this adorable Very Hungry Caterpillar onesie.

I bought this onesie years ago - 5 years, to be precise.  The first summer right after Chris and I were married.  We knew we weren't planning on having kids for several years, but I - being the planner that I am - started buying baby things for cheap at yard sales right away.  I was so ready in so many ways to be a mama, I channeled all my energy and effort into doing whatever I could to prepare for kids until the day we could afford to have them.

I bought outfit after outfit, eagerly awaiting the day I could dress my darling baby in all the clothes I purchased so lovingly. Words can't describe how it feels to actually have my son wearing the onesie I optimistically found years ago - just for him.

This onesie represents all my years of waiting patiently (and not so patiently) to become a mama! 


I just adore this look Cole gives me when he's done nursing... he purses his lips and leans his sweet little head back and just looks like he's so satisfied.  My little milk connoisseur:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quality Daddy Time

I just love watching Chris and Cole snuggle.


I think Sprint is trying to increase their customer base.

We went in there yesterday to address a problem with my cell - the customer service rep tried to fix it, but couldn't, so he gave me a customer service number - a direct line - and told me they would be able to fix the problem

I called the number this morning - an unassuming 1-800 number - and guess what I heard?

"You have reached the nation's fastest directory for the best in phone sex.  Please have your credit card ready."


I'm pretty sure it was the wrong number. But it made for a great laugh when we went back into Sprint to get the correct number!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hair Deja-Vu

Our son has his father's hair - along with about a bajillion cowlicks.  Poor kid is going to have to have short hair his entire life.  I think it's hysterical.

I love seeing parts of my hubby in Cole.  It still amazes me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The packing saga...

O how I hate moving.  Is there a word stronger than hate? It's seriously the pits.

And I should know.  I've moved a bajillion times in my life.  Or maybe only 9.  But still, it sucks.

Moving wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for all the PACKING. Tracking down a bajillion boxes (I'm into exaggerating today, aren't I?), then multiplying the number you think you need by ten, because it's never enough and then you end up trying to track down boxes at midnight the night before you're supposed to move. Not that I speak from experience or anything.

It always starts the same.  I begin by being super organized, labeling boxes exactly, filling every box with relevant materials. 

But then the clock starts to tick down to the moving deadline.  And I start to frantically toss random stuff into boxes.  Soap goes in with the picture frames.  DVDs and socks are carelessly tossed into a box. Flip flops somehow inexplicably turn up in the same box as the silverware.

And then things always seem to get packed that you need.  It doesn't matter that I hadn't worn THIS pair of shoes since our last move, I will pack them and all of a sudden I will NEED them.  So then I'm destined to open six boxes (we're past the whole exact labeling thing already) to find that certain pair of shoes, which by the way are in the LAST box on the BOTTOM of the stack of boxes with the shoes in the BOTTOM of said box.  Murphy's law.

And for some reason important things like toilet paper seem to get packed.  Oh yes, I will leave out the video games for Chris until the last minute, but toilet paper is in the box with the baby's clothes.

So if anyone wants to come on over and help us move, feel free!  Just know that I probably won't be done packing and our toilet paper will be in the bottom of a box.


I think if I loved this little man any more, my heart would burst.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

You, my dear son, love to be held.  All. The. Time. 

I'll hold you for two hours straight, go to put you down and you instantly wake up crying, no matter how slowly and gently I place you down.

Sometimes when I'm holding you, I'll start to feel frustrated.  There's an endless to-do list running through my head and all I can do is sit and hold you!  What about the dishes, the laundry, the packing, the vacuuming?  There's so much to be done!  I can't simply sit here and waste time!

But then I think about how much you've grown these past two months.  How much like a little boy you are starting to look, less and less like a newborn.  How fast this time has gone by already. 

How someday soon, you might push me away when I want to hold you.  How you might be too big to fit snugly into my arms.

I look into your eyes, staring up at mine, and rejoice in the fact that my arms can bring you such comfort.  And then I sit back and relax, pulling your warm little body closer to mine, clearing my mind of my to-do list and simply enjoy doing nothing but holding you.

BIG personality!

So I always thought babies didn't really have any personality until they were like, 4 or 5. I mean, how can you have a personality when all you do is eat, poop, and cry?

But that was BC - Before Cole. This little man has more personality than I could have ever imagined. He has such definite likes and dislikes...and boy, does he let us know!
Our newest discovery is just how much Cole HATES getting his boogers sucked out by the ball syringe booger-sucker thingy. I think if he could talk he would be screaming some pretty severe swear words when I'm doing it - I have to close the windows so the neighbors don't think I'm murdering my son.

And also this:

Tell me that is not the saddest face you've ever seen!
The bottom lip! The tear-filled eyes! He just looks so SAD!

This face breaks my heart - and I swear Cole knows it. If he asked for the moon and stuck that lower lip out, I would move heaven and earth to get it for him.

I can't wait to see what other ways he shows his personality in the coming months!

Friday, July 23, 2010

soooo hoooooooottttttttt

It's been hot here. No, correction, not just hot, but HOT!

So this is what we've been doing:

Hanging out with no clothes on!  Doesn't that chubby baby belly just beg to be kissed and snuggled and raspberried? (Just make sure he has a diaper on, otherwise you get peed on...on your face.  Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Lately, Cole has been holding onto my shirt while he's nursing or drinking his bottle.

It's seriously the cutest thing ever.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good Morning!

Just some perfect tiny toes to start your day!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Everything You Wanted to Know About Spit-Up (and some things you didn't!)

Let's talk about baby bodily functions for a minute.

Yeah, exciting, right? (The sad part is that there is no sarcasm here... I honestly could talk about my baby's bodily functions all day long quite happily! I never thought I'd see the day that Chris would walk in the door from work and ask me how our day was and I would happily engage him in conversation discussing the number of poopy and wet diapers our son had!)

You see, I always felt quite prepared for all the... shall we say STUFF - that comes out of babies: poop, pee, boogers, drool - you name it, I was ready for it.

But spit-up is one thing I didn't realize came with babies. At least not in such QUANITITY! I mean, WOW! The kid only drank like 3 ounces of milk and I could swear there's now 4 ounces projectile vomited all down my shirt and Cole's 3rd outfit of the day!

And when I say projectile vomit, I mean PROJECTILE! The kid can really get some distance with that stuff - just ask Chloe, an innocent spit-up victim who was lying in what she thought was the "no splash" zone...little did she know of Cole's ability to get spit-up on anything within a three-mile radius.

So if you are planning on visiting us any time soon, you may want to invest in a HAZ-MAT suit to protect yourself - and be ready for a nice long conversation about my baby's bodily functions!


I think Chloe is afraid Cole is going to take all her toys.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Deepest Love

His warm little body is snuggled perfectly into mine, like two puzzle pieces that were meant to be together. The softest snores escape from his nose, and I can feel the heaviness that means the deepest, most trusting sleep. His tiny hands splay star-like against my chest, then his toes curl and uncurl in his dreams. I watch his face as he dreams, a whisper of a smile here, a faint frown there. I feel his breath, in and out, against my body. He needs nothing else right now - just to sleep safely in my arms as I marvel at his perfection.

This, I think, this is the deepest love.

His daddy walks in the door from a long day of work, but comes first to us to lovingly kiss his son. "Hello, little man," he says gently as he strokes his soft hair. He kisses me and asks how my day was, then takes our boy to feed him, diaper him, hold him, and rock him to sleep. I watch as he smiles at his daddy, a wide gummy grin that tells more than words ever could.

This, I think, this is the deepest love.

His gram lovingly holds her first grandson. "He is perfect, isn't he?" I ask, and of course Gram answers yes. She holds him tight, her arms remembering holding a different baby years ago, and is amazed at his strength. His grandpap takes him from my arms to burp him, patting him on the back and speaking to him in soft tones. They can't wait to teach him about the world and show him all their love.

This, I think, this is the deepest love.

His grammy eagerly awaits her turn to hold him. She plays with his long fingers as they curl around hers tightly. She marvels at his full head of dark hair. His papa cradles him gently in his arms, smiling at my insistence that he is, of course, a genius. They are so eager to share their love with this long-awaited grandbaby.

This, I think, this is the deepest love. There can be no greater love than this.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

green baby

We're going green today. Chris' mom bought us this onesie for Cole - does she know me or what?
It's so cool now that Cole is starting to get old enough to notice things around him - I love showing him some of the things I made for him while I was pregnant.

Remember this?
Cole LOVES staring at this book... he literally won't blink until I take it away! I have a feeling he's going to be a reader!
And then there was this: It took me FOREVER to make, but it's so worth it to see Cole enjoying it!

Good Dog!

Every single time during the night that I come out to the living room to pump or to nurse Cole, Nala wakes up and comes out with me to keep me company. She's such a good dog!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cutest. Picture. Ever.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cole's Birth Story

I've finally finished writing Cole's birth story, so I thought I'd share his journey into the world.

I'll start our story at the beginning, when my water broke. I had been sleeping uneasily for the past few weeks, in part to the complete discomfort of being nine months preggers and in part because of the complete excitement of being nine months preggers. But Wednesday morning I woke up at 5:30 feeling surprisingly rested, as though my body knew it had a big day ahead. I peed (yeah,big surprise), then took the dogs outside, when I noticed a trickling sensation. Of course, my first reaction was OH MY GOSH I JUST PEED I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M PEEING MY PANTS I AM SO READY TO BE DONE BEING PREGNANT!

But then I went into the bathroom and realized that my water had broken. I sat there in complete disbelief, unable to let the fact that this baby was coming out TODAY sink into my head. I ran (ok, waddled) upstairs to tell Chris my water had just broke - he said, "Are you sure?" I think he had some disbelief that our long wait had finally come to an end, too.

I called labor and delivery at the hospital to let them know we would be coming in, and we decided Chris should go to work for a couple hours since it was a busy day and the department was short staffed.
My mom and Meg left to get donuts and coffee while I busied myself packing last-minute items and timing my contractions, which were so mild I felt a little bit like a labor imposter. I took a nice hot shower and even shaved my legs (I know, it's silly, but it's amazing how much better you feel with shaved legs, and I knew I was going to need all the help I could get!) and blow-dried my hair. We left for the hospital around 8:00 (amid much teasing from my mom about how much stuff we were bringing! Hey, a girl's gotta be prepared!).

I'll never forget walking into the birthing center - a gentleman was walking in the parking lot and called out to us, "Is it time?!" I called back, "We hope so!" and I think that's when it really hit me, that when I walked the parking lot again it would be with our baby in my arms.
I was sent to a receiving room, since all their birthing rooms were full, and they hooked me up to monitors so I could see my contractions. They were steady and frequent, right on top of each other, but still very mild - a pleasant surprise! Around 9:30 I asked Chris to come down (he was working in his wing of the hospital) and we all moved to the birthing room. My contractions were starting to get quite a bit more noticible by now, but all I had to do was focus on Chris' face and listen to his instructions to breathe, deep breaths, and I made it through fine.
The midwife came to check me for the first time and announced that I was four centimeters dilated...but, she could break a pocket of my bag of waters if I wanted her to and see if that made a difference. I told her sure - she popped the water and all of a sudden I was six centimeters!!! I was so glad I was already over halfway there! But at this point, my contractions were definitely much more intense and painful, requiring all my concentration and focus to get through them.

At around 11, the wonderful nurse drew a bath for me in the Jacuzzi tub so I could labor for a while there - and it was instant heaven!!! My pain went from about a 7 (on a scale of 1 to 10) to a four... I remember chatting happily with Chris, hardly focusing on the contractions at all! But unfortunately Cole wasn't a big fan of the tub - his heart rate decreased rapidly at one point, so the nurses got me out of the tub quickly and to the bed so they could get me some fluids in my IV. I think that part was the scariest - even though it was only a minute or two that Cole was in any danger, I remember feeling panicked that something was wrong.

After that, the nurses needed to keep me in bed to monitor Cole's heartbeat - which I was thankful for, but it did make the contractions much more intense since I couldn't move around or change my position. I remember holding onto the handrail of the bed for dear life, squeezing the life out of Chris' hand, doing anything in my power to distract myself from the pain. It took every bit of focus and concentration with each wave of contraction to make it through. I will always remember looking up at Chris' face while he encouraged me through each one, stroking my hair and doing everything just right to help me through.

We called our doula to ask her to come on down (I didn't want to call her too soon and have her waste her day). By this time I was measuring at an 8 and in absolute misery from the contractions that were coming one after another. I barely remember my mom and Chris' mom and my sister coming into the room - I was having to concentrate so hard to get through each contraction.

Thus, Cole taught me our first lesson - when it comes to babies, our best laid plans often don't work out. Even though I desperately wanted a natural birth, I just couldn't handle the pain anymore and asked for an epidural.

After the epidural came, I felt instant relief from the pain. I didn't even end up "using" the epidural, the initial numbing shot the anesthesiologist gave me was enough to make it through. I remember being able to smile again - especially after the anesthesiologist thanked me for being skinny, since it made it easier for her to give the epidural. After nine months of pregnancy, I will definitely remember being called skinny!

Before labor, I was a little worried about being able to tell when I should push - but I needn't have been concerned. The urge to push was amazingly strong, overshadowing any other feeling. At 2:45 my midwife came in and announced that I was ten centimeters, ready to push. I couldn't believe that in such a short time we were going to meet our little man!

With each push, I could feel Cole descending, moving forward with each contraction. I focused so hard on Chris' face with each push, my only thought to bring his son into the world. I watched his face as he stood, ready to catch our son.

After a mere 45 minutes of strong pushing, I had one final push that focused all my energy and effort - and I felt our son enter the world into his Daddy's hands. Chris placed him, slippery and warm, on my stomach so I could hold him.
To be honest, I don't remember much else of those moments - my whole world suddenly shrunk and was focused on only my son's face. I couldn't believe how perfect he was - a perfectly shaped head, pink bow lips, a button nose, and the brightest eyes. I spent nearly an hour oblivious to everything else (including having my level 3 tear sewn up by a surgeon - ouch!).

Cole stayed curled up on my chest while Chris held us both and we marveled at his perfection. No one took him away for tests or measurements while we got to know each other. I couldn't believe that after so many months of wondering, I could finally memorize every inch of our son's perfectly formed body.

When we were good and ready, Chris gave Cole his first bath and helped the nurse weigh and measure - I couldn't believe that I actually pushed out an 8 pound, 6 ounce baby! I was so grateful to have had such an easy, safe labor!

Our darling son was welcomed with so much love and happiness. I thought I was prepared for just how much I would love this little person - but nothing can prepare someone for this feeling of overwhelming love. I wish there was a word stronger than love - I feel the deepest love for this child, born of our love.

I cannot believe how changed I am - how one simple act of giving birth, something that happens to millions of people every single day - could have turned my world and what I thought I knew upside-down in the most amazing way possible.

Motherhood is a gift unlike any other.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Little Slice of Heaven

"I'm pretty sure this is Heaven."

-Chris, last night while holding Cole.

I have to admit I agree.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keeping the laundry monster at bay

Cole is almost six weeks old now and I have yet to launder any of his clothes.

And we could probably go another six weeks without doing laundry.

Think he has enough clothes?

Friday, July 9, 2010

In favor of feeding babies

I have been a nursing mama for five and half weeks now. A very difficult five and half weeks that still show no signs of getting any better.

Fortunately, I am extremely stubborn. Obstinate to a fault. So we are sticking with it, no matter how painful it is.

But I did not forsee just how difficult this whole breastfeeding thing was going to be. Not only the incredible pain factor, but the logistics of being a nursing mama in a society that does not always support nursing.

::WARNING: I am stepping on my soapbox for the remainder of this post!::

I remember reading an article several years ago in which Barbara Walters complained about a woman who publicly nursed her baby on an airplane. Um, hello? It's an airplane? In the air? Where was she supposed to go, step outside to nurse? I remember being horrified that someone would be so obtuse about a natural body function.

And now from the perspective of a nursing parent, I am even more horrified.

Breastfeeding is by far the best way to feed a baby. This we know for sure. But our society does not make it easy to nurse babies in public. I have had to nurse Cole in sweltering hot cars, corner booths of restaurants, even a restroom (on the toilet! yuck!).

Occasionally, I will nurse him under a clever contraption called a Hooter-Hider... but when it is 100 degrees outside, I cannot subject my son to eat his meal under a hot piece of fabric.

Now, none of this really bothers me. I am happy to nurse my son anywhere, as long as he gets to eat. But what really irritates me is when I am judged for nursing.

We were in Philadelphia (in record breaking heat, by the way), and stopped in at an air conditioned Starbucks to cool off, change Cole's diaper, and nurse. The restrooms didn't have any changing tables, which was irritating enough, and Cole was overheated and hungry. Mom snagged us a table so I could sit and feed the baby, when we overheard some people sitting across from us say, "Oh, she's going to feed that baby. Is that going to bother you?"

Oh yes. They really did.

My child is screaming with heat and hunger, and I am subjecting him to feeding under a hot piece of fabric for others' comfort, and I am being CRITICIZED for feeding my baby?!!!

Oh boy, they are lucky I didn't hear them.

Just what did they expect me to do? Let the baby cry in hunger? It's bad enough to not have a private place to nurse comfortably. It's bad enough that these people were sitting in comfortable leather chairs while I struggled to hold the baby in a hard wooden chair. And it's not like I was whipping my boob out in front of the entire coffeehouse - I am always covered up in public.


Well, I don't know about any of you, but I am always in favor of feeding a hungry baby - breast or bottle. Here's hoping the rest of the world can someday all agree on that.


Cole is rockin' the mohawk 'do!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One Month

Happy Birthday to my little man!

He's one month old now. Four whole weeks.

I can't believe how big he's getting.

And so begins the struggle of a mother - some days I look at him and my heart feels like it's practically breaking for the wanting of him to stay tiny and sweet. I love him so much at this age... it's hard to imagine that I will be able to love him even more when he is older.

But then I think about how every day he shows me something new he has learned - a new cooing sound, falling asleep on his own, getting his pacifier back into his mouth - and I am overwhelmed by excitement for what's ahead as he grows and learns.

My darling boy, I can't wait to see what adventures you have in store for us as you grow!

We're Baa-ack!

And we did it.

We all survived our cross-country flight, complete with missed planes and weather delays.

I think we are going to rock at this whole parenting gig - let's face it, if we can make a six hour drive to Portland, two LONG flights across the US, and a week in record-breaking heat in Pennsylvania - all with a newborn - then I think we can do anything!

Can I get a pat on the back?

I'll be back to blogging much more tomorrow...I think now I will sleep off some jet lag!
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