Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm nervous... But that's normal, right?

Everyone gets a little nervous before a new baby comes, right? That's normal, right? Well, I wouldn't say I'm normal, but I am nervous. I'm definitely not looking forward to not sleeping for a solid two weeks. And I'm not looking forward to being so stretched to my physical and emotional limits that I can't even see straight.

I have a tendency to remember the worst parts of things (and people) instead of the best. You know when you go to a funeral and everyone remembers the jerk as a loving, caring, sweet and sensitive guy that everyone loved to be around? I'm the one that remembers how mean he was, and I'll share detailed stories.

But seriously, after those first few weeks and months eventually calm down (and I know they will), I know everything will be great. I'm looking forward to having two kids. I can't wait (or maybe I can) to see how Big Sister responds to Little Sister. I've had "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" shirts in my Amazon cart for months now. It's going to be great. Not at first, but eventually.

Mostly, I'll be glad I'll never be pregnant again! I have just less than three months to go, and already I can't wait to be done!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We used to have a life

You know, I used to have a life. I used to do stuff. I used to be more useful than this.

Sometimes, I remember what our/my life was like before there was a mini version of us. We had our routine, but we traveled, too. We saw movies in the theater. We could meet friends for frozen yogurt on a whim. We could drop everything and go somewhere on the spur of the moment. Naturally, we didn't normally (or ever, really) do that kind of thing, but we could've. It was an option. It was out there.

Now, going out takes a lot of planning, whether we're taking the Munchkin or not. Food. Drinks. Diapers. Toys. Blankets. Pacifiers. A stroller. Instructions for a babysitter. It's complicated and stressful and anxiety-inducing.

But it's the best thing, honestly. There are parts of the whole thing that I could definitely do without, but overall, we've worked out a great system now. Him and me. Me and The Munchkin. Him and The Munchkin. All three of us. It took MONTHS - and those were some long, very tiring, trying months, but it is so worth it. I wouldn't change anything.

For the record, I wasn't sure I wanted to have a second kid, but after we finally worked out our system and how we all interact, everything fell into place, and I'm really excited (and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous) about adventure #2: Peanut. I know it'll take months or even longer to adjust to a family of four instead of three, but I know well get there, and it'll work. Everything will be fine... Eventually... Assuming I survive the sleepless nights.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Recent thoughts

It's been a while...
A lot has happened...

Today, at about 4.5 months (or 19 weeks and 3 days) pregnant, I managed to keep going on an elliptical for TWENTY minutes. You have to understand that we have an elliptical at home that I can't manage for even five minutes. And I'm not even exaggerating. It's pathetic.

Also pathetic: my cravings for things that are bad for me. Not just because I'm pregnant, either. Ugh. The last time I had a prenatal checkup (NOT with my normal doctor), the wench gave me a five minute lecture on my weight. Which always makes a pregnant woman feel amazing and wonderful and nothing negative... No pregnant woman would ever want to cut a bitch like that. Nooo...

I'm nervous: how is this while second kid thing supposed to go? I worry about everything: Leaving Katelyn with someone...  Bringing home an infant again... Sibling jealousy... Sleeplessness... I bet these are all very normal things in the world, but not in my world. Not yet, anyway.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Let's have lunch

With too many of our friends, it's been way too long since we've hung out. Like this here - it's been too long. So I thought we could pretend that we're sitting down for a nice leisurely lunch - what a dream, right? What would we talk about? What do we need to catch up on?

I might start by telling you that I love my job, and I think it's going pretty well. I question whether some of my co-workers like me, but I think most are at least okay with me and the work I do, so that's great. I love writing and editing and formatting documents. I love everything I do at work. And I'm busy, which feels amazing and wonderful. I love looking forward to work because there's stuff to do! It makes me feel so energized!

After hearing me drone on about how I love my job (a job that I've discovered most people find extremely boring), I'd finally ask what you've been up to recently - anything new?

Depending on what you tell me, it might trigger my urge to tell you (and the rest of the works) that I'm training for a half, but I haven't been as great during this training cycle as I was for others, particularly my first. But it's going to be okay, I would tell you, because my A goal is just to finish and not die from the effort. I just want the finisher's medal. I want to turn all of my race medals into Christmas ornaments.

Inevitable, you'd ask about upcoming trips, because that's what we do: we travel. Is tell you that Tim has a business trip to Philadelphia, but if he thinks he's going without me and Katelyn, he's in for a surprise. And then we're going to Hawaii pretty late in the year. We're really anxious and excited about flying with the Munchkin. Diapers and strollers and everything else - this could be interesting.

So... What would YOU talk about over lunch?
Also: where are we going? You have to pick, because I drove.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29th, 2014: 5 months and a day old

Hi, everyone; Katelyn here. I really meant to do this MONTHS ago, but you know... it's hard, busy times, growing up and everything. Plus, sleep is super time-consuming. So there's that. Anyway, here's a slice of life for you. It's not really a typical day, but it's a glimpse. That's what these things are, right? Take it as that. So here it is:
I squirm. Nobody comes running. I reach out for help. All I get - the only one coming to my aid (who ends up being absolutely no help at all, try as he might) - is CPSM. I continue squirming, but increase the whimpering and squeaking.

Finally, an eternity later, Momma to the rescue... just in time to find me passed out in a small puddle of my own drool. She picks me up, and comments that I feel warm. Whatever, Mom - just get me downstairs, out of my crib.

Downstairs on the changing table, she does what she does every day: off with the sleeper, off with the diaper... but then things take a turn for the worse when I hear a beep and feel a little something being shoved in THERE. She tells Daddy, "99.7," and they agree it's nothing to worry about. I'm lost in all of this conversation. My butt is okay? Weird.

Eventually, I wind up in the onesie they bought in Tahoe after I had three explosive poops that one day. The onesie has a drawing of snow-capped mountains with the caption, "I love big dumps." Cute, guys. Very funny. Poop jokes.

Momma opens the fridge and says, "Oh crap. No bottles." I like my bottles chilled, and shaken, not stirred. Just like the guy in a movie I saw last week. Or was it the week before that? No matter - I saw it.

She did it - she made a bottle all by herself. Way to go. Now gimme. She's says it's warm, but I don't care - I have to at least try it. Sure enough, just one sip, and I'm head over heels. I need more, but after just two sips, Momma takes it away, saying something about a bib.

Now, I'm okay with these outfits they doll me up in and all that, but you know? I don't understand the bib. It covers up the cuteness. What's the point of that? Whatever; I'm not in a position to ask. I JUST WANT MY MILK!!

Practically an eternity later, she returns with the outfit killer. I finish in 13 minutes. Not a record by any means, but I was hungry, and the warmth kinda felt good. I might have to try the warm thing again.
I'm in the mood to talk! I love talking. I can go for twenty or thirty minutes at a time. I love to hear myself. It's amazing! I can't wait until these people can understand me - it's so frustrating.

Momma had what she called a "great idea," but honestly I don't think it's so great. She wants to go for a run, and take me with her. To lure her away from this plan, I snuggle her.

...which of course she took a picture of. She's got this thing about that. Always whipping out the little thing in her pocket. The thing with the screen that takes pictures (I'm pretty sure that's all it does - that, plus look at other pictures). I don't know why she does it - I just know she does it, and doesn't give me the option of saying no.

"Lucy" comes downstairs... Something about Lucy: I love her (I think I'm supposed to, anyway... it's just that I don't know her very well). I think she just came down for the coffee.

I'm feeling a little funky today, so I let Momma cuddle me on Daddy's cuddly rocking chair. It feels good, and I snuggle closer. I hope she enjoys it, because it probably won't happen again for a WHILE! I'm really careful about letting her get too used to snuggling, because then she won't expect it too often. Honestly, I'm more of a mover... usually.

I'm vaguely aware that "Jeff" has come downstairs. Right now, I do not care. I'm snuggling. The lights keep going on and off, but nobody else seems to notice. Could it be just me? They keep talking in muddled, garbled, Charlie Brown voices (who's Charlie Brown?). Whatever - like I said, I don't care. I don't care about much right now. And then, the lights go out for a long time.

Holy crap - what am I doing in the office, in my car seat? Where's Momma? Where's Daddy? WHERE'S CPSM? I start to cry, but then I remember that I kinda like doing my own thing for a while, plus I get this weird feeling that I'm on camera.
I like the attention, but honestly, sometimes I'm okay with being alone. Frequently, I'll use my alone time to talk to myself or play with a stray toy (or, best of all, CPSM), but not today. Today, I just sit there, staring at the walls... and the little black bubbly thing.

Momma came in to get me. And promptly put me on the changing table to change my diaper and suck out my boogers. I'm probably the chillest baby around, because I really like it when she gets the boogers. I'm not the hugest fan of the process of getting it/them out, but when they're gone, I can breathe, and that's a really good thing. I like breathing.

Yay! No more boogers. For now.

So I'm not exactly sure what happened while the lights were out, but when I came back into the entertainment room (the room where they entertain me - I'm pretty sure that's why they call it that), ALL of the furniture was GONE. No couch. No squishy Daddy rocker/recliner. No white recliner. NOTHING. It was gone, I tell you - GONE! And just like there was nothing wrong, Daddy was vacuuming, all calm and everything.

What was I supposed to do? Dad's calm. Mom's calm. Lucy and Jeff were calm. So I sat there. On my own. Then Momma with the camera, and squealing to Daddy, "LOOK! SHE'S SITTING UP ON HER OWN!" I ask you: what was I supposed to do? So I fell over, like babies do. Momma didn't want to freak me out (I guess), so she tried to convince me that I was okay, but I cried anyway, just so she would pick me up. And it worked. As fast as I started crying, I stopped. I'm not a big cry-er. #wasteoftime

Back into the world of baby, I pooped. This is big news that requires announcing, according to Mom. Crazy lady. It's okay, though: I kinda like her.

Aaaaand... once again, I feel a little something THERE yet again, and Momma announce to Daddy, "100.5." Dude, seriously? Oh well, at least I got to have more of that grape-flavored miracle elixir. YUM! Honestly, if they want to put something THERE every day, I'm okay with that, as long as I get more and more grape stuff.

The doorbell rings. It seems to be something that Momma and especially Daddy are excited about. I don't get it, though. I hang out with Momma, Jeff and Lucy in the front room, then Daddy and Momma and a weird guy in the entertainment room. Weird guy is working on something. I still don't get it. But then... it all comes together. Daddy starts dancing a jig. Or he would, if he knew how. He's happy. Now THAT, I understand. He's over the moon for this:
Truth be told, I kinda like it, too. I like that there's a spot that's pretty much made for me. Because I'm special like that. I bet this is the part Daddy was most excited about.
Oh, look: Daddy has a place that fits him, too. It's a good thing. I'll never be sure, but I think he likes it.
If I was a boy, this next part would be called "the bachelor's afternoon" or something equally dumb and demeaning. But whatever you call it, Daddy and I had the house - and the new couch - to ourselves. What did we decide to do? How did we choose to have fun? (I use the word "we" here to give Daddy the benefit of the doubt, as if what WE did was in any part MY decision. It wasn't.) I got food, but it wasn't my favorite (frosting). It was veggies, with a few scoops of rice cereal mixed in. "Yummy!" said Daddy. I kept saying he could have it if he liked it that much, but no - he didn't even try it. Party pooper.
And then the lights went out again. Daddy didn't even notice.
The next thing I knew, I was in my car seat in a restaurant, with Sophie the giraffe on my chest (I like Sophie and all, but it's just weird waking up in strange locations with random squeaking toys on my chest). It was just weird. Anyway, I got to try Momma's pizza sauce (don't tell my pediatrician), and I really liked it! I kept licking my lips and opening my mouth, but she only let me try it a few times. Party. Pooper. Geez, my parents are NO FUN!

Out of the restaurant and walking down the street, we stopped to say goodbye to Lucy and Jeff. Naturally (as everyone else does), they both said I'm the cutest, calmest, easiest baby EVER, and threatened to kidnap me. Whatever. It's an almost-daily thing now.

I think we got back to the car, but I can't be sure. If Scotty built the beamer, I'd say that's what happened. All I know is that the lights went out yet again. Usually, they don't go off for extended periods this many times a day. But whatever. Without control, I just go with it. Whatever happens, happens.

Oookay, I guess we're shopping now. Whatever. Sophie's still there, but no pizza this time. Just ties, dresses, shirts... where am I now? Baby life might have some striking similarities to drunk life: you wake up in random places, with random people, and also there's a squeaky giraffe on your chest. And you puke every so often. Or wake up in a pile of your own drool. Tell me I'm wrong. Just try.

Oh my gosh. I started to fuss, and Momma whipped out a bottle. I was soooo hungry, I couldn't even think straight! I was SO hungry. I can't even describe it, except... #bestbottleever

In a new store, and I was just trying to chew off Sophie's feet, when all of a sudden, I wanted to scream from the pain! Then I farted, and everything was okay. Note to self: I might need a second Sophie before all is said and done. Eventually, I WILL chew her feet off. It's going to happen.
Yay - we're going home, and it's one of the happier times of my day.
It's not exactly what I would call a "long way" home, but somehow the lights went out on our way there. Seriously don't know how or why that happened.

Momma and Daddy can be so mean sometimes, like when they wake me up and it wasn't even my fault that I was sleeping, because they put me in the car, and after a day of much less sleep than I'm used to getting, can you even blame me? Honestly - RUDE!

Finally, I get to eat baby food (and not just milk) again. Night time is when I get some sort of fruit, mixed with apple peach oatmeal. It's the best. I've always loved my fruit.

Oh, good. Today's one of my favorite types of days: BATH DAY! Today, Daddy filled my tub (the first time without the tiny baby hammock thing) while Momma undressed me and carried me in to the bathroom. Oh, I love my bath time. Warm water all around me, then Daddy pours a blue bowl of it over my chest and tummy and legs and arms. I never want to outgrow this, because bath time is absolute heaven.

So there's this stuff. It's in a purple bottle, and it smells SO good - I can't even describe. It's like flowers and sunset and spring air and love and frosting all mixed together, and believe me - the finished product is more than the sum of its parts. It's amazing. Anyway, Momma and Daddy rub it all over me (except where my diaper covers, even though I think that area might benefit, too - like I said, I'm not yet in a position to argue, but once I can, I will). It makes me feel happy all over, and like there's no such thing as 'sad' ever.

My parents are so silly, the way they fight over me all the time.
Momma: It's MY turn to put her to bed, right?
Daddy: No way - it's MY turn! You put her to bed last night!
Momma: Aww, man! Total bummer.

Every night, one of them reads me a book and then rocks me to sleep in the glider next to my crib. It's so wonderful, but if they try to talk or sing, it really ticks me off, and I can't go to sleep. Also, I always have to have something covering my eyes so I can't see ANY light. Then, when the lights finally go all the way out, they put me on my side in my crib, and - this is a new trick - I flip right onto my tummy. I can't help it, and nobody can stop me, so whatcha gonna do?

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my life as a five-month-old. Life is pretty good, I think. I love daycare (four days a week, so I get three days alone with Daddy and Momma - SCORE). My parents are super cool, too... even if they are total dorks. I kinda like 'em, and I'm pretty sure they kinda like me.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Let's talk about "resilient"

So there's a new person living in my house. She's just three and a half months old, a couple of feet tall, less than 15 pounds, and she rules our world. Her name is Katelyn, and she has us wrapped around her little finger! She's been through a lot, even in such a short amount of time. They say kids are resilient.

She's been to restaurants.
She's been passed around like a hot potato at Tim's workplace, and my workplace. And my workplace again. And again. And again.
She's endured hours of loud movies when she was awake. And when she was trying to sleep.
She started eating baby food.
She's been in a car for five hours when we drove to my parents' house (the drive usually only takes 3.5-4 hours).
She's slept in a playpen. And in a bassinet. And in a car seat. At home. And at my parents' house. And at daycare. And in the car.
She started daycare.
She had Momma all to herself for ...14 weeks?

Tonight is the first night that she is sleeping upstairs, in her own bedroom, in her own bed (well, it's a crib that converts to a bed). And she seems to be doing just as fine as she was doing in her playpen in the office in our bedroom. But me? And Tim? I don't think we're quite as resilient.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stealing the perfect compilation tape

I've loved reading the perfect compilation tape ('s posts for a while now, and I was doubly excited when I found out we were pregnant within a few months of each other. We could be friends! Miserable pregnant friend! But there were just a couple thousand minor issues, like for example, each mile that separates central California from suburban Chicago. Oh well - let's follow each other on Instagram instead! It was perfect. I had my own make-believe friend!

Anyway, she did this post the other day about how a baby has changed her marriage. She said (in very short summary):
1) She and her husband argue more;
2) They struggle to find time for the two of them as a couple;
3) They've become a stronger team;
4) They've learned more about/from each other;
5) Their love has intensified; and
6) Her husband has no complaints about certain side effects of having a breastfeeding baby.

I wanted to add in my take on this, because that's what I do sometimes: I steal other people's ideas and make them my own.

Honestly, I don't think Tim and I argue any more or less than we did pre-baby (PB), but when we DO argue, it's usually because one or both of us has been driven to madness, probably a side effect of sleep deprivation. It's amazing (in a totally horrible way) how sleep affects a person. I'm not the same person when I'm sleep deprived and exhausted. Anyway, should those really even count as "arguments"? I think not.

Finding time for just us isn't as easy as it was PB, but it's okay - definitely doable. Of course, we have tons of friends who are just crazy about Katelyn, so that helps. Our Thursday night dinner (date night at home) has gone through some modifications, but overall, I think it'll be fine, and we'll get back to normal... before the next upheaval and rearrangement.

Now that I think about it, that's probably my biggest struggle: the constant change and readjusting to a new schedule. Nothing is ever the same. New formula. New challenges (teething! sleeping! solid foods! poop!). Diapers that work. Diapers that don't work. It's frustrating beyond belief, but it's also kinda thrilling, in a sick sort of way. Does that make any sense?

We've definitely learned more about each other, as well as from each other; we constantly bounce ideas off of each other, and we figure stuff out together. We've learned what works for her, and what works for us when it comes to her. And we've learned how we react to insufficient amounts of food, sleep, and personal time and space. We've learned about what drives us nuts, and what makes us squishy softies inside. Yeah, you could say we've learned a lot.

Speaking of learning, it's funny, isn't it? The way you expect things to happen isn't always how they happen. And how you thought you wanted things - you might not want them like that anymore. But how can you be sure of what you really want? Hasn't everything kind of gone wonky and out the window crazy anyway?

Tim and I always thought we wanted two kids. They can be friends. And then we had Katelyn, and we both kinda wondered. Right now, I'm 60/40 in favor of NOT having a second one, but Tim (I think) is on the side of having a second one, but waiting for a little bit. So... "we'll see" (that's my theme song, "we'll see"). If we do have a second kid, I'll have a lot more crap to go through, so I would very much like to dispense with the breast feeding, and just go straight for the bottle. It's too much crap to deal with, and yeah yeah, there are positive things that breast feeding does, but for me, I think the benefits of bottle feeding are greater. For me. Oh well... "we'll see."

Monday, June 30, 2014

I love it, but I don't, but I do

I think that one of the more important things in life is to remain in the moment. To always be present. To not get distracted by the mundane, the tedious, the run-of-the-mill. To not get bogged down by trivialities.

But, I also believe that life is all about learning; I have a lot to learn. I sometimes learn lessons over and over and over again, like not to expect anything too specific from anyone or anything. In certain situations, I'm more likely to expect things, but like I said, I'm learning.

Add another lesson to the list: remaining present and in the moment. I love this kid

Awake, asleep; happy, sad; hungry or satisfied; she's mine, and she's my favorite. She's the only one I want, and she's the only one I'll ever have (assuming everything goes according to my master plan). I love her sooo super much, and yet I find myself on my phone... watching movies... trying to distract myself from the moment, because the days are long when it's just the two of us.

I hate wishing away this short time that she's so little, but I am excited for the future. It's not even that I think it'll be BETTER, just DIFFERENT. She gets frustrated, and so do I, when she needs or wants something, and she can't communicate it, and I can't understand her message. I think she enjoys certain things, but perhaps she just endures them; maybe those things bore her. I don't know, so I'm excited for her to talk.

I love it when she sleeps in my arms, and when she cuddles me. I love that she needs me. But I'm excited for her to crawl and walk and run; I enjoy my independence so much, and I think she'll enjoy hers as well.

I love it when she's asleep. It's quiet, and peaceful, and just heavenly. But when she's awake, there's nothing better than when she smiles or laughs! It's true, what they say: parenting is the best and worst job ever! It's filled with the best and worst moments. It's the most happy and the most sad you'll ever be. Isn't that kind of the definition of bipolar? manic? what?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Expectations are killers.

I'm impervious to guilt... from certain people. I came to this realization this morning on my run, staring at my babe and thinking that I could never do this again. Well, I guess technically I COULD, but I would never want to. It might kill me.

Don't get me wrong: I love the stuffin' out of her, and we have some pretty great times together

...But there will be no repeat performance. I always tell her I love her - I'm over the moon for her - she's the cutest thing I've ever seen - but this isn't happening again; this baby thing was a one-time-only deal.

Just like during pregnancy where everyone who's ever been or has ever known anyone or seen anyone that was at one point pregnant - they all give their opinions, solicited or (usually) not. It's the same with babyhood: everyone provides their own opinions, whether you like it or not. Like how you'll always regret not having at least two.

See that face? That's an adorable face, right there. I really think she'll survive without a sibling. I really believe that she'll get along just fine. She can have sleep-overs. She can have friends. Maybe she won't be the best at sharing toys because she'll lack a sibling, but I think we can cross those kinds of bridges when we come to them.

Besides, I don't really want to have to divide my time between my Love, my babe, AND one more. Undivided attention - that's where it's at (for me). Tim and I won't have to split up and each go to one activity ("you go to his soccer gave, and I'll go to her ballet"...or whatever).

So I don't really feel the need to explain myself. I am allowing myself to not feel guilty about what other people say that might make me feel bad. Now, I need to work on me - how do I not guilty myself? Stupid expectations; that gets me every time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's all about the guilt, baby

I'm convinced that parenthood is a lesson in guilt.

I feel guilty for NOT wanting to stay at home with my absolutely adorable babe all day, every day; I feel guilty for wanting to work.

I feel guilty for letting her cry sometimes; I feel guilty for needing (and wanting) to take care of myself sometimes.

I feel guilty for not holding her (and not wanting to hold her) every time she wants me to hold her; I feel guilty for wanting time to myself, and time for just me and Tim to spend together.

I feel guilty for letting her watch so many movies recently. I feel guilty for focusing more on my (hopefully) upcoming job interview than I do on thinking of exciting new things we can do together before I go back to work next week (speaking of which, I can't believe it's next week).

I DON'T feel guilty for waiting seven years after we got married to finally get pregnant. I DON'T feel guilty for being ourselves, and getting to know each other so well, before we had a baby. At least now that we know each other so well, we're able to focus more on her; rather than trying to figure out, "what do you mean by that?," we discuss our next plan of attack.

We have theories and strategies. Sometimes, those just feel like doing pre-algebra, using the guess-and-check method. Remember that? It was never the fastest method, but it felt like it was the easiest way to go... at first... until you figured out how to manipulate variables. And then there were multiple variables at once. 3D planes. Ellipses. Multiple solutions. Infinite solutions. Everything in quadrant A, B, C, or D. Maybe the solution was imaginary.

And that's what it feels like now: I'm trying to solve for X, Y, and Z simultaneously. One of the solutions is imaginary, and one of them has multiple solutions... And to top it off, I'm using the guess-and-check method. How can you figure anything out with that? It's kind of frustrating.

And that's just what's going on with this precious little thing that currently resides in our office, and cries when she's sleepy and hungry. What about getting together with friends and having any semblance of the social life we once had? It seems impossible! Sometimes, it feels like maybe we should just give up on MOST of it. I say most because there are things that I couldn't face living without (certain friends, certain recreational activities, etc.). But I hear that it gets easier, if only in some ways. I'm looking forward to seeing it get easier.

And I feel guilty for that, too. I feel guilty for wanting it to be easier. How horrible is that? Can't I feel NOT guilty about something?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Exiting the fog to find a 5K

Somewhere in the midst of the fog that is infanthood - in between feedings and play time, walks and trips to Target, I lost something that was really important to me: running.

Hi. My name is Betsy, and I get high off of signing up for, training for, and running races.

I know I'm not the only one out there, and I've never been the most dedicated or fastest or passionate runner out there, but you know what? It made me feel good, getting somewhere on just my two feet. Using power only I can generate. It's mine and mine alone.

A little over two months ago, something happened that changed me in a big way: I had a baby. Twenty-two hours of labor, a C-section, some sciatic nerve damage, and maybe a touch of plantar fasciitis later, I finally fell ready to jump back into races. I never RACE races - I think my top speed is 9:00 mile, but that's when I've TRAINED!

So I think I'm ready. I found a Couch-to-5K app that I love, and I'm excited to sign up for my first post-baby 5K. Now, the question is: which one?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Two months

My babe is over two months old now; here she is on her two-month birthday.

I'm not one of those people that makes some huge fuss every single month, but I did want to take some cute pictures every month - just a little fun dress-up time. Gotta get her used to paying dress-up with me pretty early!

My return-to-work date gets closer and closer every day, and every day passes more quickly than the one before (with few, very recent exceptions).

I want to remember some notable moments; here are a few:

Here is possibly the last picture of me pregnant. It may be the last one pregnant with Katelyn, or it could be the last picture where I'm pregnant EVER. "We'll see" (this phrase encapsulates my life now).

Life in the hospital was horrible, just as I expected. Home life is much better. Especially bath time. Especially after she lost her umbilical cord (which she hadn't yet in this picture).

I love this picture, but it really shows how small she got. When she was born, she weighed 7 lbs., 12.5 oz. (as of her last doctor's appointment, she weighed 11 lbs., 4 oz.), but lost weight. She got all the way down to 7 lbs., 2 oz. - NOT GOOD!

Sadly, she doesn't make this face very often anymore, but she would always make it when she was DONE eating. She'd be eating, eating, eating, then close her mouth, spit out the nipple, and be DONE. That's it. No more. The cutest freaking thing!

Here's something: when we showed her around Tim's work, everyone said she looked just like him, but when I showed her around my work, everyone said she looked just like me. Funny, weird stuff.

Katelyn makes some pretty cute expressions, and she looks so cute in her outfits, with sunglasses, and... you know what? She just looks cute every time. Every second of every day. Awake. Sleep. Happy. Sad. Every emotion and expression is absolutely adorable!

We love our walks. And runs. And just hanging out on the grass at the park. If only it would rain more often!

If her first word is 'selfie,' I'll have to apologize to her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What I'm feeling

I don't feel good today.
I didn't feel good yesterday.
Or the day before that.
Or the day before that.

It feels like recently, my only conversations are with a 1.5-month old, but it's so one-sided. Besides, we talk about what lofty goals we have for the day: go to Target; go to Costco; go for a walk or even a run!

It feels like I can't handle anything in more than 30-minute increments. I feel weak, physically unable to do the things I once loved (hello, running). My arms are tired and sore; will holding my babe give me any sort of definition there? I'm pessimistic about that.

It feels like my life is filled with pills. How many? Which ones? What time was it when I took them? How does that one make me feel? They all make me feel like a lab rat - every one, that is, except one, abd that's the one I try to avoid.

I feel like this phase is interminable. I know that there are a lot of people - family, friends, frenemies, acquaintances, perfect strangers that think they have a right to comment on my life - who say I SHOULD do this or that (mainly that I SHOULD stay home full-time). Guess what? I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my most precious babe that I love so much will be better off without me while I'm at work. Why? Because I'll have a chance to miss her.

I feel like I'm going crazy right now. Or maybe I'm just crazy already. Let's go with that one.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Feeling lost

I'm feeling a little defeated tonight. I feel like the perfect thing for me that I wanted - the thing that I thought I was a shoe-in for - the thing I was born to do... it all just kind of slipped away tonight.

I don't quite know what to do now. I can't keep doing what I'm doing right now, because that would make for a lifetime of misery and regret, not to mention a ton of resentment.

But I guess in a way, this new challenge leaves things more open than they've been in a long time. I have more options now. It's just that I'm not sure which - if any of those options - might be what's right for me. Because with any big decision like this, there are life-long repercussions.

I don't want to do something just for the sake of having something to do, but by the same token, I don't want to have nothing to do because the perfect thing just slipped out of my reach.

I guess I feel more than a little bit lost at the moment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A morning in the life

Hi. Katelyn here. I wanted to show everyone what my day was like today, because I know it must be very interesting to everyone else. Plus, you get to see inside my sometimes devious, sometimes cranky, sometimes food-coma mind. So, without further ado, here you go.

1:58 a.m.
Good morning. I pooped! First feeding of the day (3 oz, thank you), in the entertainment room with Momma. Back to bed at 2:12, when Momma takes her first Norco of the day so that she can go back to sleep. And not want to cry from pain. I was so tired I even let Momma swaddle with both arms pinned.

5:05 a.m.
Good morning again. Time for another feeding (3 or 4 oz - who can keep track?), this time with Daddy. I love snuggling with him. I just hate that he has to go to work all day long while it's just me and Momma at home. Daddy's more productive than Momma, but Momma can handle my body heat better than he can. But I've got Daddy wrapped around my little finger - he would snuggle me all day if I wasn't such a little furnace, he says.

This is me in Daddy's arms, but it was taken last night as he was trying to fool me into falling asleep so he and Momma could have some alone time. Hahaha - I laugh in the face of "alone time"!

5:55 a.m.
Success! I effectively screwed Momma out of any alone time with Daddy. Total score. Obviously, the world stops when I sleep, so they never get a chance to talk or anything.

Momma's note: isn't Daddy amazingly handsome in his new suit? Answer: yes. Also, she didn't screw me out of anything. We got to talk... a little...

6:33 a.m.
Katelyn: 2
Parents: 0
Score again! Momma was just about to turn on the shower when I started my absolutely adorable morning cooing to signal that I'm awake and all attention should turn to me now. It looks like no shower for Momma yet. Don't worry: I'll pretend to sleep or at least play by myself in my play pen crib if she gets too stinky for me to handle.

6:50 a.m.
I'm still not officially AWAKE awake, which makes Momma a sucker! She could've taken a shower, except she didn't want to have to jump out of it the minute she jumped in. Oh yeah, this is the life. I'm surrounded by people I have wrapped around my little finger. And they're all suckers for me. Mwahahahaha!

6:52 a.m.
Dang it! Hiccups again. Why do I always get hiccups?

7:05 a.m.
I'm awake for the day now, and starving! Seriously, people - what are you trying to do, starve me to death? Honestly! It feels like I haven't eaten in days! Feed me feed me feed me feed me! Oh yeah, diaper first, that's good - just as long as I don't have to wait for Momma to get her food ready, too - that throws off my groove, and you do NOT want to throw off my groove.

That darned Momma - always taking pictures of me. As if nobody's ever seen a baby eat (3 oz) before - am I right?

7:54 a.m.
I'm fed (3 oz) and burped - what now? Time to snuggle with mom, of course! This time, I tried to lick her neck. We laughed, because I'm so freaking cute!

Momma proposed her idea that she takes a shower. I laughed.

8:05 a.m.
Momma's first breakfast - it's like she's a hobbit or something, the way she has to eat every 12 hours or so. Geez! And what a breakfast it was, too: chocolate milk! I guess she decided NOT to take that crazy doctor's advice about cutting out all dairy (good thing, too - I don't want to become lactose intolerant)!

8:08 a.m.
I was just put in my bassinet very unceremoniously and dragged into the bathroom to watch Momma take a shower. Nobody asked MY opinion about this, but it's okay, because I kinda wanted some time to myself, just to relax for a few minutes anyway.

After she got out of the shower, a couple of funny things happened:
1) She stood on something for a few seconds, then smiled really big and said something about losing two more pounds. Let me get this straight: she's trying to LOSE pounds, while she's trying to make me GAIN pounds. What - am I Snow White and she's the evil queen? Is this a beauty contest? I'm gonna break that stupid mirror mirror on the wall thing!
2) She flipped her head up and down like she was at a rock concert or something, and POOF! All of a sudden, it wasn't Momma there - it was MEDUSA, with snakes coming out of her head! Seriously crazy hairdo, Mom. I hope we're not going out in public with you looking all crazy and me looking absolutely adorable again.
NOTE TO SELF: Maybe she's not the evil queen with the mirror mirror on the wall thing, if she's willing to go out like that, and me like this. Maybe.

9:00 a.m.
Momma's second breakfast. She's a creature of habit, that woman. Plain Greek yogurt, mixed with a little vanilla and some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Every morning, it's the same thing. Finally, after being practically ignored for what feels like my entire life, I get picked up and cuddled again while Momma turns on what I'm sure will be another crappy tv show just until I fall asleep. Today, she's determined to force me into taking a couple of naps.
Also among her list of goals for today:
1) Go to Target
2) Go to this salon place (not for her, duh)
3) Pump pump pump
4) Drink lots of water
5) Clean kitchen

9:15 a.m.
Sleeping on Momma. Ahh... this is the life!

9:47 a.m.
Minor meltdown in my sleep, just to keep Momma on her toes. The big joke is that I make her think something's actually wrong, but really, I just don't want her to get too comfortable. Sometimes it's gas, or I'm just trying to poop, but more often than not, it's nothing - I'm just a squirmy worm.

11:02 a.m.
I was awakened once again by my own gas. Real cute. My favorite part of being a baby? The interminable gas. Sheesh. Haha - it made Momma think I had a massive poop, though, so that made for an interesting diaper change (mwahaha)!

Mom didn't seem to think I needed to be fed again, though - she took her sweet time warming up my bottle. And then she had to eat again. How many times can she eat? Those two pounds she lost this morning? She's gonna find those again soon. Heifer!

11:25 a.m.
That Momma - what a crackup! She actually thinks we can get these errands taken care of today. Target AND that salon/spa place? Psh. We'll see about that. Wish us luck.

11:43 a.m.
Momma's running around trying to get ready to go, and wouldn't you know it? I got the hiccups again. Ugh!

Well, I guess that's it for my morning. Tune in... sometime soon... for the next installment: "An afternoon in the life." There will be laughter, tears, smiles, gas, and probably poop, too. There's always poop.

I bet your morning wasn't as eventful as mine was today! What was the most exciting part of your morning? Did you poop too?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ugh... breastfeeding

I'm tired of trying and failing. I think there's no way I can win at this. It's not working, and I'm tired of being told that any woman can do it. That there's nothing wrong with me. That it's not my fault. But I can't do it.

I feel guilty for even thinking about quitting, because I'm not a quitter. I'm one of those crazies that can't just let something go. But it seems pointless. Inevitable. I have to quit.

Doctors say... well, what does it matter what they say? It doesn't work. I'm a faulty model, or so it appears. My body doesn't work like that.

It's such a cycle, though: I can't produce, so I don't try as hard, which makes me produce even less, which makes me more frustrated. So I produce even less.

I'm mad because I just want to be back to normal, and I am, for the most part. Well, actually, that's not true. I have some serious pain from damage to my sciatic nerve. I have ten to fifteen pounds left to lose (not a big deal, but my activity could be restricted based on my MRI results). I haven't run in MONTHS. I interact with great - but very limited number of - people outside of my house.

So that's how I'm feeling right now. Just this minute. Tomorrow is a new day, though, and I'll try again. You know the saying about the true definition of insanity is someone who keeps trying the same thing but expecting different results? That's me.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Five random things

1. We took a family trip yesterday to the doctors offices. Each of us had to be seen. Baby got weighed (she's up by five ounces, which is a very good thing). Daddy saw his new doctor (who he thinks will work out nicely). And I saw my Ob/Gyn about some pretty serious pain in my left leg. Yadda yadda, a few hours later and my leg was unsound-ed to check for blood clots. I don't think it's blog clots; I think I injured my sciatic nerve during labor/delivery. It really sucks, though - super painful almost all the time, with no relief whatsoever. (Follow-up appt on Tuesday; "we'll see.")

2. There's so much I need to do! Birth announcements, career-related junk, reading and researching, sleeping... I'm so freaking busy!

3. My brother and his family leave for Taiwan in the morning, and one or both of my parents are going to drive them from the Sacramento area to SFO. I always get nervous when my parents have to drive in big scary cities; I think that THEY get nervous, too, because they aren't used to it.

4. My Love bought me "The Little Mermaid," because I've wanted it for so long and he was afraid that it would go back into the stupid Disney vault. I can't wait to watch it!

5. We've lived in this house for over two years, and just yesterday, we finally got around to buying fans for the upstairs bedrooms. Tim is installing them today, because summer is upon us, and we're hoping that Katelyn will sleep in her upstairs bedroom sometime this summer.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

These things


...makes me feel so guilty for not holding her every second of every day. But then I watch her soothe herself to sleep, and I feel glad that we're so intent on not doing that.

And this!

I don't think I could love it any more. She lives gnawing on my pinky knuckle. Except that it frustrates her to no end. Nothing comes out of it. It's hard, not very chewy. She takes all of her frustration out on my knuckle, biting down as hard as she can, and in so doing, she makes all of these awesome, cute, and heart-breaking expressions.

This one of my favorite things. A video baby monitor. It works in well-lit areas and the dark of night. Although I must say: the night-vision mode makes baby look a little creepy.

This picture one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite. Doesn't she have the cutest smile? I certainly think so. I think I agree with my cousin's wife, though: I don't think it's gas. Do you smile when you have gas? How is that a thing? Gas = smile? I don't think so.

She so expressive! I love all of her unique expressions. I love getting to know and understand her expressions and cries. Each one is unique and precious. I kinda don't want to miss a single one of them, but at the same time, I know it's best for both - actually all three - of us that I eventually go back to work.

I'm not looking forward to it, but then again, I am. I love this, my babe, so much. But it's better this way. My mental stability and hers. Her growth and mine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Delayed entry... I'm a failure!

I originally wrote this on April 1st, over a week ago, but haven't had the guts to hit publish since then. But I figure, it's part of Katelyn's Story. I need to remember this. If you choose to read it, please note my use of language, especially "I FEEL" because I don't generally feel those things anymore. I was emotional when I wrote this, but I'm not anymore. I felt a certain way then, but I don't now. With those things said, and nothing further ado...

Well, label me incredibly freaking disappointed! I really did NOT want a c-section. When the doctor mentioned it around 7:00, I think I was in shock - I mean, talk about surreal! I was so mad at myself, and really let down. When the doctor left the room so Tim and I could talk, I completely broke down. I felt like I was such a disappointment. My body would be forever altered now - probably because my pain threshold is so low - because I didn't move around enough in early labor, because I didn't do those exercises they tell you about to get baby in the right position, because I was already so worn out. If I couldn't even give birth the right way, how was I going to handle everything else? Maybe I couldn't. Maybe I'm a failure. A faker. When they put her in my arms that first time, my first thoughts were how/why did someone (a) decide not to keep this absolutely beautiful baby, and (b) choose Tim and me to keep her?

Wow, that was a moment. An HONEST moment, but a real one. A dramatic moment.

Looking back, I wish I had waited a while to get the epidural, and I wish I'd moved around more, so she might have been in a better position. I wish I had done more to help myself have the experience I'd envisioned, so I wouldn't have felt like such a failure. But that's not how it worked out. And now I have a scar (and some mental trauma) to remind myself that I need to work on my pain tolerance and doing what I can to help myself have better experiences.

But scars aren't necessarily bad things. Scars are lessons. At least for me, they're reminders of experiences I've had, and lessons I've learned, so that maybe I won't need to repeat those lessons again. (This is speaking in general, not necessarily about the birth and c-section specifically.)

I have smaller scars and bigger scars, more prominently displayed and hidden ones. Each one is so personal. It's my body. Nobody else has the same scars as I do. Nobody else has the same stories as I do. And that's what a scar is, for me. It's a story. The time I rode in a recycling bin on top of my skateboard down the driveway, and landed splayed across the road, scraping my foot and knee. The time my nephew getting so mad at me that he clawed my hand. The time I made a difficult decision about the method that brought my daughter into the world.

At first, I thought that this newest scar would tell the story that I'm a failure. I didn't do what I could to avoid it, and so I'd have this mark forever proving my inadequacies. I feared it would show that I'm a failure. That I lack the mettle that makes "just some chick" worthy of the title of "mother." That I'm weak.

But I don't think that now. My scar shows that I did what needed to be done (tough decision and a ton of pain included) to bring our little girl into the world. It says that I can roll with the punches. I can make tough decisions. I can sacrifice myself and my body for someone I love. I'm tough. I'm strong. Or at least, I can be.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Time for pictures!

My last pregnant-with-Katelyn picture:

[This image censored at the request of the OTHER subject in the picture, but rest assured that Tim and I aren't the ONLY ones that held her in those first few hours and days]

He wasn't really asleep here - I promise!

Ready to go home!

The time we spent in the hospital sucked. Like, a LOT. I hate staying in the hospital. Still, there are parts of it that I want to remember, so I'll save that for next time. There are a few highlights, for sure.