Wednesday, March 31, 2010

sometimes a kid just needs some daddy


One of the nights that Jude was running a high fever, he decided to be particularly adorable. We put him down at his normal bed time of 8:00ish. As opposed to the other fevered nights, he actually fell asleep, but woke up at 9:00 mad. Shawn went back to his room, rocked him, fed him, etc. and nothing worked. He laid him back down and we let him cry for about fifteen minutes. Then I went back and tried to rock Jude to calm him down. As soon as I sat down in the chair in his room, he wiggled out of my arms and walked towards the door. He pulled open the door, walked down the hallway, and stood in front of Shawn's chair where he was working on his laptop.

The kid was wide awake.

So Shawn scooped him up, and Jude got some Daddy cuddles. Shawn put his headphones on Jude, loaded up some Sid the Science Kid on his computer, and Shawn and Jude hung out for about twenty minutes just like that. It was so cute and sweet that I couldn't help but snap a picture.

After his Daddy cuddle time, we put Jude back down for the night where he went down without a fight.

And now Jude loves those headphones. He doesn't actually listen to anything, but he loves trying to figure out how to get them on my head. And when he does figure it out, they squish his fat little cheeks in a way that makes it impossible to not kiss them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

babbles

Jude's still not saying a lot of coherent words, but he does talk pretty much all the time. Jude and I were waiting in the car the other day while Shawn ran into the church. He started getting a little fussy (Jude, not Shawn), so I gave him my sunglasses, pulled out the camera, and let him babble away. My favorite thing about this video is Jude's face when he realizes his Daddy is coming. Seriously, I've played that little clip over and over because I just love it.

Before we get to the video, I just wanted to ask that you keep Shawn's Nan in your thoughts and prayers. She had a stroke, and from what I understand is doing well but is still recovering. Shawn drove up to be with his Mom and see his Nan today, so I'll probably know more when he gets back tonight.


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

randoms

1. A co-worker of mine introduced me to Pandora this week, and I think I might be in love. I've been looking for a way to listen to music and/or podcasts in our dining room/living room (which is where Jude and I spend most of our time, and where the bulk of my Serwa Chic stuff is done). Pandora is absolutely perfect - especially for while Jude's napping. I just type in "Norah Jones," and get to listen to all kinds of soothing music by her and that sounds like her while I sew (or in today's case, press snaps). My mind can get the best of me when left to its own devices, and the obnoxiousness of the TV only angers me. I'm thinking Jude's nap times will quickly become my time to hang out with Norah Jones and sew.

And also, I know that Pandora is years old and most of you probably already know how wonderful it is. I thought it was something you paid a subscription to, so I steered clear. But free music?! Heck yeah!

2. Shawn, Jude, and I drove to Welcome, NC to watch one of our students get his black belt. Those ceremonies are for real, my friend. Everyone is very quiet and reverent, and they can last up to three hours. Three hours of quiet reverence isn't really Jude's thang, it turns out. He and I ducked in a side room where he "helped" a maintenance man unload chairs for awhile. Soon another Mom with a seven month old daughter joined us, and I got to see Jude's first interaction with a "baby." My heart is still melting. He crouched down as low as he could get, got close to the little girl's face, and started babbling to her and pointing around the room. When her Mom laid her on her belly for some tummy time, Jude laid down on his belly with their two heads almost touching. He'd talk to her, get up and run around, and then come back to do "tummy time" with her. It was all very sweet and very endearing, and gave me hope that maybe he won't try to throw this baby across the room.

3. The weather here has remained beautiful, though it's cooled off a little. I'm amazed by how much nice weather makes a difference in my mood. Jude and I usually go outside a couple of times a day if it's nice, and I am continuing to love the change of pace for him. We got him some sidewalk chalk and one of those swings that you install into a tree for him for Easter, and I'm having such a hard time waiting to bust it out! Not that you guys asked, but I think we'll handle the Easter Bunny the same way we handled Santa Claus, which is to say that we'll tell our kiddos that he's a really fun character that we pretend hides eggs at Easter. The Easter basket will be from Mommy and Daddy and we celebrate on Easter because we're celebrating the awesomeness of the Resurrection. We'll definitely decorate eggs, and I think it'd be fun to hide the kids' Easter baskets and play "hot and cold" with them to find it on Easter morning. Hmmm...or maybe Easter afternoon since Shawn won't be here in the mornings.

4. I honestly thought I had more than this to write about when I started this post, but it turns out that I don't. Either that, or the beautiful weather is calling my name and I'm skipping out on writing the rest of this post because I want to be out there. Maybe.

Friday, March 26, 2010

outside

I'm so thankful for the nice weather here lately. It's been awesome to take Jude out a couple of times a day, and sickness isn't nearly so yucky when you can open the windows and at least feel like you're getting rid of the germs. It took him a few days, but Jude seems to have rebounded nicely.

...Now it's just a matter of trying to catch up on everything I had to put aside to give my little man some cuddles.

The launch of Pinedale's new service- SOMA is on Sunday, which is very, very exciting!

I know this post is a little all over the place, but I'm trying to juggle taking care of three or four different things so well...I'm kind of all over the place. Here are a couple of videos from mine and Jude's adventures outside. They're a little long, but we all know you don't have enough Judeabug in your life!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

flashbacks of infanthood

Our last couple of nights have been...eventful. Jude is still running a fever (though we're able to keep in under control with a steady diet of medicine) and is definitely still feeling the effects of this sickness. We took him to the doctor yesterday, and were told that it's definitely something viral. The doctor said he could tell there was some inflammation of his throat, and threw out all sorts of things this sickness could be - including mono. The thought that it could be mono had actually crossed my mind since Jude was acting a lot like I felt when I got it in college, and I thought it was strange that I wouldn't have gotten whatever Jude has by now.

Anyway, so Jude's not been sleeping or playing very well, though he is steadily getting better with each day. The worst part of this sickness is the screaming jags it seems to cause. And this isn't just, "I'm not happy, poor pitiful me," screaming. It's 'did-my-child-swallow-a-demon?!' screaming. Seriously, Jude is hoarse today from all the screaming he did last night. It is at the top of his lungs, guttural, and lasts for forty-five minutes up to two hours. Straight. No stopping.

These screaming fits aren't fun in the middle of the day, but they're torture at night. He refuses to be held, but screams harder when you put him down. He doesn't want to eat or drink, and changing his diaper does nothing. No amount of speaking softly and soothingly or firmly and strongly changes his disposition. You just have to wait until he exhausts himself, and try not to have a nervous breakdown in the process.

Shawn and I put him down for his normal bed time last night, and waited anxiously to see if he'd wake back up. He did. He screamed. On and off for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Just when we thought he was going down, he started up again with a vengence. We went to bed last night fairly certain we were going to be up in the middle of the night, and thinking we heard baby cries in every blow of the wind or creak of the door. Jude did end up waking up around 1:30 and screaming until 3:00, during which Shawn and I took turns trying to pacify. He finally went down between 3:00 and 3:30 and slept until 8:50 this morning, which was a blessing straight from heaven. Last night was definitely the best of the three rough nights we've had, but it was also the worst because Shawn and I were trying to handle it with two previous nights' lack of sleep.

Today has been significantly better, and while Jude has had a couple of screaming jags, they're only lasting half an hour and he's having far fewer. Throughout the evening yesterday, Shawn and I kept saying how much all of this reminded us of when Jude was an infant, and I realized something kind of earth shattering (to me, anyway) today.

I wasn't crazy.

With (relatively) balanced hormones and quite a bit more perspective, I'm able to look at this disposition of Jude's and wonder how I handled it even as well as I did. You would have to have nerves of steel to handle that kind of crying for several hours every night without knowing the cause or remedy. I'm able to look back on my postpartum self, and say, "You actually did really well, and I'm kind of amazed at your strength and patience. How did you handle that every night for five months?! You amaze me, postpartum Jen - I didn't know you had it in you."

So this whole sickness has me looking back on those months with fresh eyes that no longer see a weak, emotional, exhausted and unworthy Jen. I see a Jen who is stronger than I knew, whose love proved to be unconditional, and who handled herself with tenacity and perseverance every night.

I'm praying we've weathered the worst of this sickness - it's nice to see glimpses of Jude's happy self. And while I'm at it, I'm praying our next son 1) Doesn't have reflux, 2) Is able to eat at night and then fall back to sleep peacefully, and 3) Sleeps through the night by the time he's 4 weeks old.

I know my third prayer might be stretching it a bit, but hey - just making sure God knows how much I'd like that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

another round

It came on all of a sudden. Jude seemed to be perfectly fine Saturday morning, but then as soon as Shawn left for a student ministry event - bam! He spiked a fever of 102. I gave Jude infant Tylenol, lots of cuddles, a tepid bath, and some cold milk. The fever eventually subsided to 100 degrees, but he woke up again at 3:45am and felt like he was on fire. The poor kiddo fought the fever all day yesterday (getting as high as 104), and was quite the pitiful sight to behold. Thankfully Shawn was able to stay home from church Sunday night, because I was most definitely at the end of my rope. We called the off duty nurse at our pediatrician's office, who said it sounded like Jude was just fighting a virus, and to keep treating the fever. If it got higher than 105, then to call back and get an appointment.

Thank God it stayed in the 101-102 range - he was on fire as it was and I'm not sure I could've handled handled seeing him with a fever of 105.

We had another rough night last night, but found that infant ibuprofen works so much better on Jude than infant Tylenol, so that's been keeping the fever down. He's not sleeping or napping great, but he is getting up to play with his toys, so it looks like he's slowly on the mend.

At the moment, he's laughing at me as I yell, "We're gonna kick that old fever to the curb," and throw a toy to emphasize my point. It's nice to see him smiling again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

goodbye, coletrane




We said our goodbyes to Coletrane today. I've been thinking about how to write about it, what to say, how to put into words everything that's going through my mind. Everything I type either feels like it comes up short, or over dramatizes my emotions about a dog.

Firstly though, I want to say that the family who took him is awesome. You know how you can tell how some people are dog people and some people are very much not dog people? These people were definitely dog people, but more importantly - they're dog people who love big dogs. Cole jumped all over them and smothered their four year daughter with kisses within two minutes of the family coming through the door - and they loved it!

It was a match made in heaven.

We hadn't expected them to be ready to take him after only spending about forty-five minutes with Cole, but we gave them the good, the bad, and the ugly, and hadn't scared them off yet. The family said they'd love to officially make Cole a part of their family today. So....we packed all of Cole's stuff, said a quick goodbye, and off he went.

This is the first time in three years that Cole didn't greet us at the door when we came back home from running errands. It's the first time he didn't sit outside the door and guard our family while we gave Jude a bath, and the first time he didn't try to sneak outside when I was bringing in the line dried cloth diapers.

Shawn and I are both heavy hearted to see a friend leave, but we're 100% sure that it's what is best for him. We're going to miss a lot about that dog, but I won't miss him getting the brunt of my frustrations and the lack of my attention. I won't miss Jude trying to climb into Cole's water dish, I won't miss cleaning up his "accidents" in our carpet, I won't miss getting pet hair on my fabrics, and I won't miss his barking needlessly at our neighbors.

There's no doubt that Cole will not be our last dog - we're both just dog people through and through. There will come a day again when we have the time and energy to love a dog the way it needs. There won't ever be another dog like Cole, though. We've been through a lot together. While giving him away was the necessary thing to do, it was kind of like giving away a piece of our history, a part of ourselves.

I have to be honest and admit that I've been thinking of a way to end this post for about ten minutes now. There's nothing succinct and expressive enough to well enough convey my thoughts, so I'll just say, "Goodbye Cole. We love you very much, and we feel like you've been the best dog we could've imagined. Thank you for being such a good friend to us, and our prayer is that you are as good to your new family as you have been to us. "

Friday, March 19, 2010

do you know where our remote is?

It's missing and Jude is most certainly the culprit. This isn't the first time our remote control has been missing, but we're usually able to find it quickly (most often in the basket of his high chair or mixed in amongst his toys). The fact that we can't change the channel without getting up isn't a huge deal - Shawn and I haven't watched much TV in the past couple of days, and when we have we've talked to each other through most of the shows. It's the mere fact that something is missing, I can't find it, and it's driving my nutso. So nutso that I spent the other evening crawling around our house on my hands and knees, trying to see where Jude's tiny little self might've put that remote. You and I both know that we'll find it right after we go out and buy another one.

Other than the case of the disappearing remote, the Maurers are doing pretty well. I got to have dinner last night with some good friends for a Girls' Night (yes, it needs capitalized), and things are definitely rolling for Shawn and SOMA.

I wish I had something more exciting about which to post, but I'm afraid (what with the missing remote control and all) that I don't want to overwhelm you with Maurer fun and excitement. I know, I know, the blogger world can only handle so much.

:)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

no more monitor!

We officially don't use a monitor for Jude any longer - he's turning into such a big boy! We stopped using a monitor for nap times several months ago, and we were really only using it so we would hear when he woke up in the morning, or if he woke up in the middle of the night. I started noticing that I wasn't sleeping as well at night because every move or sound he'd make woke me up (even with the monitor turned low), so we made the move. We turned off the monitors. We leave our bedroom door cracked so we can hear him in the morning, and one of us always wake up within a minute or two of hearing him. We're both sleeping better, and it's just nice to not have the constant hum of that monitor! Of course, I do fully realize that our monitor-free days are destined to only last a few months. And then...we start all over again.

Jude's babbling has only gotten cuter, as he's now starting to make faces when he's talking - as if he's really earnest about the "conversation" we're having.

I'm starting to think about what changes will happen in Jude's life when this baby gets here and trying to do what I can to transition him now. For instance, I won't be able to carry two kiddos in and out of the car every time we go somewhere, so we've been working on teaching Jude to walk to the car door (in the garage), and even climb in. We've also been working on having him walk (holding our hand) into stores, church, etc. so I can carry the baby and Jude can walk beside me.

I'm concerned about my ability to nurse the baby AND keep Jude from sky diving off of furniture, so I've been working on getting him to listen to me without me getting up and physically removing him from the situation. That's not going as well as I'd like, but we're working on it!

When I finish up my full time job at the end of May, I plan on taking a month or two and working on potty training. I know Jude may not be ready, and that's fine - bit I figure I'll give it a shot before the baby gets here at a time when I'm able to fully concentrate on being consistent. How great would it be to have him potty trained by 20 months? (Not likely, I know, but I am holding out hope).

The problem with this is - I've never had two kids, and certainly not two kids so close in age. SO...help me out here. What are things I can help Jude adjust to now? What are some of the biggest challenges with having two young ones? What am I missing? Seriously - help me! I know I won't be able to completely prepare Jude, but I'd like to do what I can so that his little world is rocked as little as possible.

Monday, March 15, 2010

just another manic monday

I've been working on treasuring Jude's milestones and cuddles right now, knowing that in a few months I won't have the ability to focus as much of my attention on him as I do right now. It actually seems like his development has kind of exploded recently. He's talking pretty much all the time, though most of it is incoherent. He answers our questions with a "huh?" or "yuh?" He's getting better at signing "more" and occasionally "milk" and "all done." We're working on "Mommy" and "Daddy" in sign language, but he just thinks those are funny (and really, they ARE a little funny looking). When I ask him, "Where's the baby?" he lifts up my shirt and plays with my belly button, and will usually even cuddle with my belly for a second. Last night I had a lot of fun watching him give his little brother raspberries through my belly. :)

He's clapping, waving bye-bye, dancing (we call it the Booty Bop), running in place, climbing, and falling with skillz. He's developing quite the sense of humor and enjoys both making us laugh and laughing at silly things we do.

I feel the need to give you a few caveats about this video before you watch. 1) This was taken when Jude was still recovering from the stomach bug, so he's a bit more whiny than usual 2)My Serwa Chic workspace is currently our dining room, so that stack of fabric you might see in the background is actually intentional and organized, and 3) I've learned that I need to pick my battles carefully with Jude. As such, he is allowed to climb on the coffee table but is not allowed to stand up on it. Believe it or not, he's never fallen off the coffee table, and often likes to climb up there, sit in the middle, and read a book.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010

old school sunday

The evening before my BFF's wedding. My BFF is the second from the left in the blue dress, and I'm the third in the front row from the right in the red dress.

Shawn and I were actually engaged at this point, but he was still in North Carolina and I was spending the summer in northern Ohio working at a Children's Home. I remember missing him quite a bit this day:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

what should i blog about today?

I just asked Shawn, and he answered, "Spring. And how happy you are." That seems like it'd be pretty boring for you to read about, but here goes...

Our doors are open, our heat is turned off, the house is being aired out, and Jude and I are going on walks. I've never thought I was a person who was affected by weather, but I think being cooped up in a house with a toddler can get to a Mommy. Jude loves the backyard- I mean madly and passionately loves it. He likes to run around, trip on tree roots, play with grass, pat our bushes (I don't know what that's about, but it's funny), and pull off the tree bark. He likes to talk to our neighbor dogs, and if they're out, he likes to share his toys with our neighbors. And I love that we get a change of scenery, and he can run free without me worrying that he'll break something!

My last day of work is officially May 28th, and I'm already thinking up all sorts of plans of how Jude and I will spend our summer together. I foresee a lot of swimming in our future since Jude LOVES the water, and being in a pool is about the only time a pregnant woman feels anything other than whale-ish. I'm also looking forward to checking out some local (and free) kids' playgroups - especially at the library or our local organic baby shop. If anyone else has ideas for how to keep a toddler busy and cool in the summer (that is free or very inexpensive), I'd LOVE to hear them!

I feel like my general level of stress has improved in the last two weeks or so. I got through the busiest season of my full time job, and while Serwa Chic has taken off even more, I genuinely love doing it and can set my own schedule and work around life. Shawn's life is probably just as stressful as it was last month, but I now have the time and emotional capacity to help him carry some of that. The SOMA (click HERE to find out more information about it) service starts here in a couple of weeks, but I'm honestly not sure if life will get simpler or busier after the launch. Jude's replaced his two forty-five minute naps with two hour to hour and a half long naps! The first nap is usually an hour and a half, and the second an hour. We switched him to soy milk as I've always had the sneaking suspicion that milk was the culprit of some of his fussiness, and within a day he started napping longer and having a more joyful demeanor. We may try whole milk one more time in a couple of weeks just to make sure it wasn't a coincidence, but we're not sure at this point.

So all of that to say that with the changing of the seasons, it seems like I feel happier and healthier than I have in a few months. Well, I have lots of laundry, sewing, playing, walking, and cuddling to do. I hope you enjoy your Saturday, and don't forget to enter the newest long sleeve bib giveaway!

Friday, March 12, 2010

you're gonna want to get in on this...

See this adorable long sleeve bib? I'm giving it away. It's a brand new fabric availability, and I was SO excited about the cuteness of those dang owls that I decided I needed a special way to announce its arrival.

If you happen to have a self-feeder, know a self-feeder, watch a self-feeder, or are in any remote way around a self-feeder, this thing is awesome. And I promise, I'm not just saying that because I make it. The other day Shawn gave Jude a bowl of spaghetti o's, a bowl of applesauce, and a spoon (which was tossed on the ground in preference of bare hands), and let him go at it. Once the food and high chair try had been thoroughly demolished, Shawn took the bib off, and voila - clean kid! A little wipe of the face and hands, and you'd never have known Jude just got into a fist fight with spaghetti o's and applesauce.

So if you'd like to win this bib, just head on over to Stephanie's blog (just click on the words "Stephanie's blog") to find out how to win. She's given several ways to have several entries, so go have a field day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

jonah's birthday party

I wanted to wait to put up pictures of Jonah's birthday party until Patrice had a chance to blog about it (seemed only fair for her readers to hear about the party from her first), and Blogger is being kind of a butt - so I've been working on trying to get these stinkin' pictures uploaded for about four days now.

Unfortunately, we didn't actually get to see a whole lot of Matt, Patrice, and Jonah at his party. Jude and I were getting over colds and didn't want to risk getting too close to anyone, most especially sweet Jonah. Thankfully Patrice had set up huge pump things of antibacterial hand sanitizer which really - is my idea of the perfect party favor too.

Jude had a lot of fun walking around and watching all of the ongoing action. Yes, that's a donkey with a giant bullseye on his butt.

We went outside to see the petting zoo, which was probably Jude's favorite part. He's taken to laughing at animals a lot lately. This llama was hilarious to him. I guess if I'd never seen a llama before, I'd crack up too.
Not that this has anything to do with Jonah's party, but Shawn gave up coffee for lent. For those of you who know him well, you may now pick up your dropped jaw from the floor. He's replaced it with tea, which has much less caffeine and is generally better (and cheaper!) for you. So that'd be a ginormo cup of tea in his hand.

Jude was a little young to understand the concepts of the games, but that didn't stop him from making up his own rules.


One of my favorite pictures of Jude ever was taken by my friend Jenn. I tried to figure out how to upload the link so that you could see the actual photo here, but it's not working for me. So, I'll just include the links and you guys can check them out yourselves. The photos of Jude are actually part of a much larger set of Jenn's party pictures. Check them out - I promise, there were other guests there besides Jude.

Photo One: Patrice had a really cute photo booth set up. Jude's face is precious.
Photos Two and Three: The animals balloons were a big hit!

Monday, March 8, 2010

and the award

for best cooperative baby in showing us whatcha got in a uterus and/or womb goes to....

Our little baby BOY!!

Oh gosh, I don't even know what to say. I'm so glad my Mommy drank a cup of coffee this morning to give me energy to show off my sweet moves to them. I'm so excited to have a big brother with whom to make forts, to play cars, and to call girls booger brains. He's already told me he's going to show me how to get around Mommy's and Daddy's baby proofing, and the best way to climb on top of things and fall. Being brothers will be the best!

Okay, so I know I was wanting a girl, but when the ultrasound tech told us we were having a boy ("oh, it's definitely a boy," were her exact words), and I saw his sweet mouth open and close and watched him play with the umbilical cord, my heart swelled at the thought of raising two little men. We're probably in store for a few trips to the ER, a few (more) calls to poison control, and a few more ridiculous statements like, "Jude, please quit growling at strangers," but we're also in store for the chance to teach two boys that women are to be protected and cherished instead of hurt and ogled, for the chance to raise two men of God, and for the chance to rough house, have dirty fingernails, and learn all about creepy crawlies.

And even more important than finding out our baby's gender, we also found out that he's growing just perfectly. He's within two days of our due date, shows no signs of down syndrome, club foot, or a cleft palate, and has the most adorable fingers and toes you've ever seen.

Looks like the world better start getting ready now. There's another Maurer boy comin' your way!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

any guesses?

We get to see the first pictures of our little one on Monday! This ultrasound kind of snuck up on the both of us, so I thankfully haven't had a lot of time to think or obsess about it. We had originally planned not to tell anyone Jude's gender (or name) until he was born, but that lasted about...three days. I was so excited, I just couldn't help but spilling! This time though, I have no illusions that I'll be able to keep the secret. If I have the chance, you can bet that I'll be letting you guys know! (We most likely will still keep the name a secret, but that's mostly because we don't care to have people's opinions influence our decision.)

So to give you some background so that you can hazard the best guess possible: I don't think I'm carrying this child any differently, but I'm only 5"2 and am not sure how many different ways there are for my body to carry a child. I've had some slightly different craving this time around, but also have a few that were the same with Jude. The morning sickness was different this time around too - much more intense - but I did still have morning sickness the first time. My gut says it's a girl, and I can't seem to stop referring to the baby as "she," and "her." The same thing happened early on with Jude (except my gut said he was a boy), but I don't put a whole lot of stock into guts about gender - you have a 50% chance of being right either way.

So there you have it - what do YOU think this baby's gender is?

Friday, March 5, 2010

labor

I've been thinking a lot about labor lately. I think it's in part because my good friend Krista just had her second baby, and I've been following what's going on with her. And then The Office episode of Jim and Pam having their baby aired last night. As a slight aside, I was pretty impressed with how (relatively) real they portrayed labor, childbirth, and recovery. Shawn and I actually identified with the emotions, confusion, and sometimes panic that's inevitable.

So the topic of labor seems to be forefront on my mind lately. Maybe it's too early for me to declare this definitively, but at this moment in my pregnancy - I'm not scared of labor. I mean, I'm not an idiot, I know it hurts. I'm not far enough removed from Jude's birth to have any illusions of it being magical and wonderful. It hurt. A lot. I cried and vomited a ton. I begged for an epidural, and if I could have this kid while I was taking a nap with no pain, I totally would.

I think I'm not scared of labor because while I'm toying with the idea of trying it naturally, I happen to know about the wonderfulness that we call an epidural. And with labor, there's a beginning and an end, and at the end of that really difficult work your reward is a brand spankin' new baby. And when you hold that baby, and nurse that baby, and watch it's little yawns and stretches, you know that it's totally worth it.

What does scare me (and is honestly the primary reason why we wanted to wait awhile before having another) is the postpartum recovery. Guys, this part may be a little more descriptive than you'd like. Feel free to skip down to the next paragraph. I mean, your body has just gone through the massive trauma of giving birth, and you're exhausted. Your hoo-ha feels like it's on fire, but you have to wake up every two to three hours only to experience daggers flying from your chest while you try to nurse. You can't walk for weeks (or at least I couldn't), and anytime you DO have a few minutes to rest, you have to spend it taking those stupid sitz baths. And did you know that there is a brand of pads out there (I can't remember the brand, but you can bet I'll be researching it before giving birth) that uses tiny pieces of glass in their construction?! Tiny pieces of GLASS! And yes, those are the pads I used postpartum, and yes, that probably extended my recovery at least an extra week, and yes, that's most likely why it was so painful for me to walk. Because I had glass in my traumatized hoo-ha!

Ahem. Anyway. So when you take that cocktail of physical recovery, mix it with severe lack of sleep and some seriously whacked out hormones, and you get one of the most difficult things I've ever gone through. If I could guarantee that it'd only take a couple of days for my body to recover, that breastfeeding wouldn't be painful, that I'd get a decent amount of sleep, and that my emotions would be stable - I'd pop out three hundred kids. Well, that's a lot of college tuition. Maybe three. But if all those things happened, I understand that it wouldn't be motherhood.

So...I understand that labor will be no fun, but I'm really dreading the weeks and maybe even months that follow labor. I'm hoping to be smarter this time around and be more willing to ask for help when I need it, to give myself time to recover, and to allow myself to be selfish when I need rest, but I'm still finding that I have a lot of anxiety about that postpartum period.

On the flip side, I have a much better perspective this time around. When we were in the throes of infanthood with Jude, I assumed this was my new life as a mother. I assumed I'd never get more than four hours of sleep a night, I'd always be exhausted and in pain, and I would never again have the ability to deal with being overwhelmed. I can see now that even that craziness is a season, and that it'll pass. And then...

And then, my friends, you get the sweet reward of getting your sleep, your body, and your sanity back. And daggone it if that kid doesn't get cuter and cuter every day.

Case in point? Jude and I watching the snow falling the other day. I can't lie - every labor pain, every sitz bath, every painful nursing session, every penguin walk, every tear, every night without sleep - all of it was undoubtedly worth this sweetness:


video

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

catapults

Shawn decided to teach Jude how to catapult his food - thank goodness Jude hasn't tried it since!
video

Giveaway!

In all of the hubub here lately, I completely forgot to let you guys know about the newest Serwa Chic Giveaway! A local Mommy blogger contacted me recently about giving away one of my Long Sleeve Bibs on her blog - about which I was very excited! So if you're the parent of a toddler or a soon-to-be-toddler OR if you know a toddler OR if you're looking for a baby shower gift, I'd definitely recommend you enter the giveaway - and keep reading until the bottom - there's a Serwa Chic coupon code as well!

CLICK HERE for the giveaway!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

haircut




It was time. Jude's hair was getting out of control. Out. Of. Control. No matter what we did, he ended up looking like a mad scientist. A darn cute mad scientist, but mad scientist nonetheless. It was starting to look like Jude was unkempt most of the time, and his poor bangs were always down in his eyes. After asking for recommendations of a child hair cutter, I decided to bite the bullet and try it on my own. I trimmed his hair in three phases because 1)I was very afraid of cutting too much off and it looking ridiculous, and 2)He'd sit still for about a minute and a half before demanding that he have the scissors. The first time I cut it while he was on my lap on the couch, the second while he was taking a bath, and the third while he was in his highchair watching a cartoon (thanks to Nancy's suggestion!), which was by far the best way to go!


I cut it about a week and a half ago, and wouldn't you know it - that crazy mad scientist is already starting to make a comeback. Guess I'll need to break out the scissors again!

And PS...it's snowing. AGAIN. And we're not talking wimpy snowflakes. We're talking big-fatty-perfect-for-catching-with-your-tongue flakes. I'm starting to suspect that the state of North Carolina is in on a big conspiracy to make me very, very happy this winter.