Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Goof-ups and G's, as in cash money (no records)

Babies are expensive.  From the first moments of gestation to, oh, age 25, they spend more than they make.

There's the extra doctor's appointments and blood draws, the maternity clothes for mom's expanding midsection (and backside), the nursery gear, the pregnancy photo session, mom's cravings for McDonald's... shoot, even pregnancy tests are expensive at $10 a pop (I'm just happy we didn't have to take too many to confirm)!  Then they're born and there are the hospital bills (I know insurance gets a bad rap, but I feel lucky to have it at this point), the pediatrician appointments, the diapers (why couldn't I have invented those?), the wipes, the "must-have" clothes and toys, day care... Even with so many generous family members and friends who've gifted us with items we both really needed and just wanted, we've spent G's on Audrey.  We knew that we would and we're just fine with it.  We want our baby girl to be comfortable and though we know that money can't buy happiness (hers or ours), it sure can help when spent appropriately (thank you $100 Graco swing-n-bounce and $400 BOB stroller and $.30 each diapers).

Knowing that we will be spending (and saving) lots of our hard earned cash to provide for Audrey for many years to come makes it even harder to handle the goof-ups... like, me running my car into the frame of MiMoo and Poppy's garage the other week.

Oops.  I could blame it on baby brain or the dog or the sun shining in my eyes.  But, let's be honest, I just wasn't paying full attention.  And I could kick myself.  Blake could probably kick me too if he were that kind of guy.  Granted, it could have been a lot worse, but man, that was $500 in deductibles we would have liked to spend somewhere other than Penske Honda.

CRV ouchie. $$ Band Aid.

Then there are the other "goof-ups" that while not any one's fault, are regrettable just the same...  Take the beautiful new sewer clean-out and sparkly clean sewer line that now live in my front yard.  That was a super fun way to spend two days of my life and 55 boxes of premium, sensitive butt diapers worth of Gs. 

$$$ hole in our front yard and shiny new pipes.

And the cyst that developed on my inner lip back in January that I finally had removed.  That was another super fun (and painful) way to spend a morning and a couple of bucks I'd like to have back.  You also have the dog with the digestive problems and chronic diarrhea that can only be cured by the most expensive dry dog food on the planet and meds, lots of meds.  Potentially true statement: Toby has cost more Gs than the baby at this point. 

Mom, give us some $$$, we want to go out.

Mom, my dog food isn't good enough for me. 
I'm going to eat your plants instead

Mom, this set of pajamas is TOO small.  Buy me new ones.
Your feet stink.

There are also the goof-ups that don't cost Gs, but do take a toll on the sanity pocketbook.  Like... forgetting to clean out the gutters and ending up with gallons of water in the basement.  And like leaving a dirty diaper in the backseat of the car overnight.  And not just any night... the 90+ degrees at 2am night.  Sweet Lord, why me?!

But anyways, like I always say, when it rains it pours. Sometimes the rain is good.  Sometimes it costs you Gs.  Lots of Gs.

Ms. G

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July Already??

Back in May when Audrey was born, July sounded SO far off.  And now?  It's almost over.  With July has come incredible heat and humidity which has kept us inside more than I'd like - I'm sure Audrey could handle a little bit of heat, but I hate to see her turn red and sweaty!  Let's be honest, I also hate to turn red and sweaty...

July has also brought a little bit of stir crazy for me as I work on a better napping schedule for Audrey.  (I'm trying to make sure she's not awake for more than 2 hours at a time and I think it's important for her to sleep in her crib, as opposed to the carseat.)  It's brought a couple of anxiety-ridden nights of power outages and the fear of losing the "liquid gold" I have stored in our freezer.  It's brought mild panic attacks as I start to think about returning to work in just two weeks!  It's also brought better night sleeping for all of us, as Audrey is now sleeping in her own room and waking up around 3am and then again around 6:30am to nurse.  She's much more efficient now and falls right back to sleep after both.  This means at least 8 hours of sleep for mommy!  Plus, she's been taking long afternoon naps!

In addition to the great sleeping, we have other reasons to celebrate this month!  Our tiny baby is gaining weight (though she's a little low on the percentage chart) and growing!  She was 11lbs at her last appointment (11lbs 3oz at the beginning of my breastfeeding support group on Friday and 11lbs 7oz at the end) and 24 inches long! TWO FEET!

Her torso is so long, she's outgrowing her onesies!  Even the 3 month ones are getting a little snug!  We've learned that she HATES to have a dirty diaper (she gets this from me - I HATE being dirty and would shower and change clothes three times a day if I could... I've been known to change my underwear periodically throughout the day even when I can't shower or change entire outfits).  We've also learned that she is advanced :) for her age...

The pediatrician saw Audrey bearing her own weight and exclaimed: "Well, that's a 6 month activity!"  She also holds her head up pretty well and is looking all around!  She makes eye contact with us and smiles when she sees us!  She's started grabbing for toys every now and then and she is "talking" more and more!  We are still waiting on the first true giggle but are sure that it's not far off!

Every day, Audrey does something new!  While it's hard to keep track, I know that every little thing is really a big thing at her age!  I hate to see her grow up and become less of a newborn every day, but I'm also excited for what tomorrow holds!  Hopefully a laugh!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

I am still me, right?

The last 8 weeks have been all about Audrey.  They've been about nursing, crying (her and me), pacifiers, figuring out the diaper genie, poop, spit-up, snot, laundry, walks with a stroller, the moby wrap, the car seat, 3am feedings, having full hands and having my hands full.  The weeks before that were all about the bump, the ultrasound, the heartbeat, the maternity jeans, the gear, the morning sickness, the nursery, the sex, the name, the epidural, and the due date.  And the weeks before that were all about deciding we were ready to have children, some sad complications, waiting, anticipating, peeing on a stick, and keeping a secret that I almost didn't believe I was keeping.

So actually, the last year (and then some) of my life has been about Audrey.  I expect that the next 18 years (and then some) of my life will be about Audrey, too. 

I'm pretty much okay with my life being redefined and reorganized by this little person who, for the time being, is so dependant on me for everything.  I in fact love it 99% of the time. But, sometimes, during that 1% of time when I'm not loving it - like yesterday when I forwent a simple errand I've been wanting to run for weeks and then took the long way home to avoid stop lights and keep the car moving because Audrey is crying in the backseat and refuses to be calmed by the likes of a pacifier, my singing, her toys, talk radio, the Wicked soundtrack, or lullaby renditions of No Doubt songs - I can't help but to think back about what it was like to be alone and the freedom that not being a mom afforded me...  I know that I took it for granted.

Though I'm not really looking forward to going back to work in a few weeks, I'm hoping to embrace it as a chance to have a little bit of me back.   Work is a place where I don't have to be a mom, a daughter, a sister, a wife, or even a friend - it's a place where I can just be myself, accrue self-worth through productivity, and solve problems that are not my own. I'm going to do my best to make the most of being a working mom... readers, any advice on this point is appreciated!

Granted, while I'm at work, I'll always still be thinking of Audrey and wondering how she's doing at day care.  I'll still spend many minutes a day engaging in activities geared towards feeding her.  I'll be working more efficiently so I can get back to her quicker.  I'll spend more time in the car so that she can go to the best daycare.  I'll be doing whatever I can to ensure that that my time away from her is well spent and not a waste (no more leisurely lunches, walks to Starbucks mid-morning, facebooking and Internet shopping, afternoon hikes to the 28th floor for no reason).  It will be hard to balance work and Audrey, especially in the beginning.  But, going back to work will be made a little easier knowing that SAHM's don't necessarily have it any better... see for example:  http://ginandjuiceboxes.com/2011/07/13/i-got-to-thinking/.


Now that I'm about ready to wrap up this post, I see that the content has strayed from the title.  But I don't want to change the title because I'm trying to stick with this alphabet theme and can't think of a title that would otherwise fit and start with the letter "i"...  so, I'll end where I tried to start... 

My life has been taken over by Audrey.  I think about her all day and night long.  I think about me when I'm brushing my teeth (4 minutes a day?)  But, I am still me.  A different, mommier rendition of me, but still me no doubt.  I think also a better me.  A more patient me.  A kinder me.  A more tender me.  I more tired me.  A stronger me.  I think I am getting closer to the me that I was always meant to be, meaning that before, I wasn't really all me yet anyways.  So, rather than mourning the loss of the old me, I'm going to do my best to celebrate this new, fuller version.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Holy Head of Hair!

When I was in labor, the resident who was checking my progress informed me that "the baby has some hair on his or her head!"  "Great" I thought (insert sarcastic tone)... "I don't really care if she's bald or comes out sporting pig-tails - let's just get this show on the road!"  Hours later, when Audrey was finally born, I don't even think the doctor told me that she was a girl, she just said "wow, she has a lot of hair!"  And then I heard the nurses fawning over her hair, her eyelashes, her eyebrows.  It wasn't until I saw her with my own two eyes that I understood what the big deal was...

Audrey has, and has since day one, a TON of hair! Sure, some of it is on her arms and back, but she has some serious, dark brown locks on her head.  It is pretty much the first thing that people notice about her.  It makes her look girly and I really hope it doesn't all fall out!  Contrary to the old myth, I didn't have much heartburn while I was pregnant and even though both Blake and I had some hair when we were born, it was no where near like Audrey's!  It's difficult to capture the magnitude of this child's hair in photos, but use your imagination to envision it growing at least two inches down her neck and over her ears...

Just one more thing to love, love, love about this little girl!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gs and Great Gs

It's been almost 5 years since my mom was hit and killed by a drunk driver while we were cycling with a group of friends. I don't want to recount the entire story or legal aftermath and have tried to forget many of the details of both... but one of the first things I know I said out loud when I realized that I'd never see her or talk to her again was "I still need my mom."  Even though I was 24 at the time, moved out of my parents' house, and financially on my own, that statement (more of a wailing cry really) was true then and is still true today.  No matter how old we are, we always, always still need our moms (and dads). 

My mom and dad.
Whenever I start to feel bad for myself about losing my mom so early in my life, I try to put it all in perspective and remind myself that I am lucky.  I was lucky to have a great mom for as many years as I did.  Some people never have a mother-figure, not to mention a great one with whom they share a bond.  I'm lucky because I have great memories of my mom and because she left behind artwork that is a constant reminder of her creative spirit and positive outlook on life.  I'm lucky because my mom still believed in the hand-written letter and she wrote me weekly when I was in college and living in St. Louis for a year.  I'm lucky because I'm a recovering pack-rat and I saved all of her letters. 

 I can't wait to share the memories, artwork and letters with Audrey as she gets older.

I'm also lucky, and so is Audrey, because the three parents Blake and I still have with us are wonderful.  We also have a total of five of our grandparents still alive and well.  That means that Audrey has three grandparents and five great-grandparents who will know her and love her.  I'm still working on uploading the pictures with the other great-grandparents, but here's what we have so far!

With Daddy, MiMoo, and Great Grandparents Borton

With Grandpa Bob

With MiMoo and cousin, Chloe
With Great Grandma Holly
With Grandpa Bob and Great Grandparents Bob and Rita in Cincinnati!

With MiMoo, Poppy and Chloe

So lucky!