Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Healey 6:52

Ack! Look at that baby smile!!!
 
How is she already a month and a half old?!? On one hand, it makes me sad that she's growing so quickly. On the other hand, it means we are just that much closer to my all-time favorite baby milestone... being able to hold up her head on her own! It just makes things that much easier... she can be held differently and most importantly, she can sit in the Bumbo!!! Which, btw, is my all-time fave baby product.
 
This past week has really shown a drastic difference to me. She is much more alert and loves to be walked around, even more than before, so she can check things out. She has a nice, sweet, awake stretch late morning these days and is getting in some tummy time and some time on her mat on the floor to just wiggle and kick. She has definitely smiled at me a few times when I'm using my baby voice and begging her to smile at me. Yes, it made me tear up the first time it happened. I just know that it will be happening a lot more frequently in the coming weeks. Puff is starting to like her more now too because of these things. I am loving that she is chill in either her swing or on her mat so that I can interact with her for awhile and then let her flail around and coo while I get things done... like clean up the living room, or read blogs. Ya know, important things.
 
Last night? She had a bottle at 9:20pm and then didn't wake up again after that until 4am!!!! I'm not delusional - I know it won't last. And I was holding her, so of course that isn't ideal. But yay! Never mind that she was then up for an hour after that ready to play. I just laid her in the bed next to me and let her wiggle about. I may or may not have dozed in and out!
 
My favorite thing I've noticed this week though? How much she is paying attention to Bimmer. I can hold Healey or lay her on the bed and Bimmer will sing or jump around or do whatever crazy things a 3 year old does, and Healey is content to watch her. I just wish I knew what was going through her head when she was watching her!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Marching

You know what really makes your overwhelmed life even more awesome?

ANTS.

 
 
It started right after Healey was born. We noticed a handful of ants coming in from around our kitchen window. Nothing a little Raid couldn't handle. Case closed.
 
Or so we thought.
 
Early last week, I noticed a few more. More Raid. Case seemingly closed. Again. Thursday night, I noticed more. Friday morning, even a few more. So I texted Puff early Friday morning that we needed to get pest control to come out and handle it. At this point, the ants were only around the window and above the sink, so no harm done. Pest control couldn't come until Monday.
 
Cue 7:30am on Saturday morning when we had all gotten up early to get ready to head to Bimmer's haircut appointment. The ants were no longer coming in at the bottom of the window frame (where they had been all along) but now there was a trail from the top... straight over into the first kitchen cabinet.
 
SHOOT ME NOW.
 
Puff made it extra special by feeling the need to point out that he never had ants before I moved in.
 
SHOOT HIM NOW.
 
Thankfully, that first cabinet is just plates and sippy cups. Killed ants. Moved along. I was opening each cabinet door like there was going to be a giant blood-thirsty rat ready to pounce on me. Yup... more ants in the next cabinet. The cabinet with the baby bottles, formula, and baking stuff like sugar and random things like peanut butter. Thankfully, everything was sealed. Killed ants. Sprayed Raid. Moved along. Last cabinet before the stove? Only a few ants on the bottom shelf with the spices. Only a few on the second shelf with the pastas. (Even though one box wasn't closed all the way.) Not many on the top shelf with the medications. Thank goodness.
 
BUT WAIT.
 
I shifted the medicines around and then a flood of ants came pouring out of a bottle of Puff's old cough medicine.
 
Remember when he insinuated that it was my fault we had ants???
 
The rest of Saturday, just one or two here and there. We were fine. Sunday, all day, pretty much fine. Cue 1:30am last night. There was now a trail coming from the OTHER side of the cabinets toward our cabinet with glasses in it. I didn't think too much of it, because I knew there wasn't any food in there.
 
But do you know what was in there???
 
A travel coffee mug that Puff thought was "clean" just because he ran water through it. Never mind the leftover coffee remnants that were around the edges and in the lid.
 
Do we know how many times I have told my husband that "cleaning" things without soap is not really cleaning? I believe I had told him at least twice YESTERDAY.
 
But what do I know???
 
The bug guy was supposed to be here at 9am. It's now past 9am. I have a screaming baby and a kitchen that is covered by things outside the cabinet. Oh yeah, and I haven't had time to shower yet either. So I stink.
 
Fucking ants.
 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Healey 5:52

 
 
Mean ol' Mommy has decided that this is the week we are going to try to get Healey to sleep outside of someone's arms. I got with one of my good friends about something called "Moms on Call" that provides a schedule of eating/sleeping/bathing that is supposed to get babies as young as 4 weeks to sleep through the night with only one feeding. While I love me a good schedule, I am not quite ready, nor comfortable, with something quite that rigid. (As evidenced by the fact that we still lay with Bimmer each night for her to fall asleep.) I was, however, interested in some of the logic and the recommendations for crying it out, etc. We aren't following any of it to a "T" but we are working in baby steps toward Healy being a more independent sleeper. She has done stretches in her swing, in her Boppy next to me on the couch, and yes, even here and there in her bed. Baby steps are fine by me... she is still a baby!!!
 
She has increased her feedings to 4 ounces with every feeding now. She's doing better with holding her head up. I'm still bad about actual tummy time. Thankfully time on our shoulder is something she enjoys and she likes to practice lifting her head when she's up there. I keep wondering at what age I need to give her some sort of toy to hold and play with. I am really having the worst amnesia when it comes to this baby stage. Yes, I'm a second time parent, but no, that doesn't mean I know what I'm doing! She did much better in her car seat this past week, which is a positive for us!
 
Healey had her one month check-up and she is a growing girl! She has gained 2 inches in length and is now 11 lbs. 7.5 ounces. That puts here in the 90% for weight and she is in the 95th for height. The doc said she's the size of an average 2 1/2 month old. Yup - I still grow chunky babies!!! The doc also said she was pretty strong and that she has good head control and she expects her to be able to roll over if her arms are in the right spot. (Yup - she was totally right. She's done it a few times!) She did still hear her heart murmur and is glad we are checking it out next month with the pediatric cardiologist. Otherwise. she's great!
 
I realized today that I only have 6 more weeks of maternity leave. It seems like forever, yet not, at the same time. Just 6 more weeks to snuggle this sweet growing girl!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Tunes Tuesday

One of my all-time favorite bands is Lifehouse. Ever since their first album came out that senior year of high school/freshman year of college timeframe, I've been pretty hooked. (Although I'll have to overlook their last venture, Almeria, because I just didn't care for it all that much.) That last album didn't do them any favors, so they took a break and I was kinda sorta heartbroken for awhile.
 
However, a few months back, I realized they were scheduled to tour this summer with Nickelback! Woo to the hoo! Call me crazy, but I definitely plopped down the ridiculous Nickelback prices for a concert ticket, just so I can see Lifehouse. (Yes, I'm a not-so-closeted Nickelback fan as well, just not as much as Lifehouse.) But with that good news also came the news of a new album, Out of the Wasteland.
 
 
 
The week it came out, I ventured to Target for their extended edition and kept my fingers crossed. Immediately, off the bat, there were two songs that I really did enjoy... "Hurricane" and "Yesterday's Son." After that, well, I was skeptical. I just needed to listen a few more times. And a few more times I did... in fact, I went back into vintage Gail and played that CD and only that CD on repeat for at least 2 weeks in the car. And I definitely started to appreciate and like a lot more of the songs. Lifehouse was back... they were back in my good graces with some good, solid, music that reminded me of the reason I liked them so much in the first place.
 
So, do yourself a favor, if you have liked them in the past, and make sure you grab this CD. (Or download it or whatever you kids are doing these days in the techie world!) I'm so excited to see them later this summer live. I haven't been to a concert in seemingly forever, and I've only ever seen them once. But they were amazing... one of the few bands who actually sounds like themselves when you see them live! Just perfect singing - that's all I need!
 
Happy listening!
 
Update: Since I pre-wrote this prior to Healey's arrival, Nickelback has announced they are cancelling their summer tour, which means, no Lifehouse. I am super bummed! Here's hoping I'll have an opportunity to see them again sometime!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Best Big Sis

Being an only child, I had no idea what to expect with the sibling bond between Bimmer and Healey. I was just hopeful that it would be there from the beginning. I was hopeful through my pregnancy since Bimmer was so excited about being a big sister. She would tell anyone and everyone about it and then insisted on getting matching t-shirts for big sister/little sister with zebra print on them.
 
 
 
Even though Bimmer seemed psyched to help get everything ready for the baby, I definitely worried that the minute Healey arrived, her mood would shift.
 
But it didn't.
 
 
 
And it hasn't since.
 
 
 
It's an ever evolving situation, the whole having two children. There are days Bimmer gets enough attention from both parents, and there are days that Healey demands a little bit more of us, and we are emotionally spent, and Bimmer acts out. But in all, Bimmer is so excited every day to come home from school and see her little sister. She asks sweetly, all the time, if she can touch the baby. She likes to rub the baby's head, kiss her feet, and if she is crying, she tries to sing to her or give her toys or cover her with a blanket.
 
 
 
It is my greatest hope that these two girls grow up to love one another and be the best of friends. I never had any siblings, and Puff's brother is 9 years older than he is, so there will be a learning curve for us to see the dynamic between our two girls. I hope Healey constantly feels the love of her big sister, and that Bimmer is always the protector and looks after her. I never thought I would love being the mom of two daughters so much, but there is nothing that could make me happier. I hope my relationship with both girls continues to blossom and grow and that I can be the mother to them that I always dreamed of being.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Healey 4:52

 
Oh, my spoiled spoiled baby!!!!
 
I'm not sure if it was the long holiday weekend, or if just by coincidence a growth spurt happened at the end of 3 weeks, but gosh darnit this kid has become super spoiled. Like, more so than the having to be held to sleeps type of spoiled she was previously. Puff carried her around all that weekend, whenever she was awake and fussy, and lo and behold, now she expects to be carried around all the time when she is awake. It was like immediately at the end of 3 weeks, she decided she was not going to go down in her bed anymore and she was not going to be content to be in her swing or Boppy or anything. I've been researching some "cry it out" techniques (which we all know we didn't have much luck with for Bimmer) but they just all sorta break my heart. Yes, I would love to be able to put her down to get something accomplished during the day. She's lucky she's cute.
 
I've taken to calling her "Princess" or "Diva" a lot. I suppose that's better than Bimmer's nickname of "Sugar Butt."
 
Thanks to "Sugar Butt," Healey had a bit of congestion this week. Nothing major, but enough to be noticeable and to make her a little more fussy too. Just had to suck snot out a few times. And pick a dried booger or two with my fingernail. Nothing I couldn't handle. ::gag::
 
This past week, I've been more anxious to get out of the house, so that has meant Healey has been venturing out a lot more as well. We've hit up some parks, some restaurants, the grocery, and some stores in town as well. I've noticed that she is not super keen on being in her car seat. And that is super worrisome to this travel-nut over here. Here's hoping she'll start to get more used to it the more often it happens.
 
One night, I went into the bathroom while Puff was giving Bimmer a bath and I was holding Healey. Bimmer asked if we could take Healey back. If she hadn't been smiling when she said it, it probably would have broken my heart. Instead, we asked her where we should take Healey. Bimmer's response? "Everest." How does that 3 year old even know about that??? Probably because she's my child! A few days later though, she changed her tune. Out of the blue, she was snuggling Healey and said "I love you, Healey." Then she looked at me and said, "Let's keep Healey. Let's not take her to Goodwill." Sounds like a plan, kid. Sounds like a plan!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pesto Chicken

It's been awhile (probably more than a year) since I shared any sort of cooking on this blog. We all know that's not my strong point. In fact, I may have actually already shared this recipe before, but if I don't remember it, you probably don't either, so let's dive into some Pesto Chicken, shall we???
 
Start by pre-heating the oven to 350.
 
 
 
Spray your glass pan with some cooking spray and then spread out some pesto. (Make your own if you feel ambitious. I buy the kind already made!) Then put down the chicken... I buy the thin sliced breasts and then cut them in half long ways to make more of chicken finger shaped pieces. I've found it cooks better this way. Then put some pepper on top and more pesto.
 
 
 
Cover with foil!
 
Cook them for about 30 minutes. When you pull them out, remove the foil, and cover it with shredded mozzarella. Pop it back in the oven, uncovered, for another 5ish minutes.
 
 
 
We like to eat it with a side of pasta. If I was any sort of decent cook, it would probably also have a salad or something else healthy alongside it!
 
 
 
Happy eating!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Healey 3:52

Bimmer was screaming in her 3 week photos too. Must be a rough age.
 
My growing girl is slowly becoming more alert and stays awake for longer periods of time. I think one day this week, she was actually up for about 2 hours! That's definitely a record for her. She is becoming more inquisitive too... preferring to be walked around the house and outside, and trying to hold her head for longer if she's laying on your chest. She is eating 3 ounces at every feeding, and has kept pretty strong to an eating every 3 hour schedule. Except once a day there's always a 2 to 2 1/2 hour window, for whatever reason. It's never at the same time either. Oh well... as long as my girl is getting what she needs!
 
We are still working on the sleeping in her bassinet. She seems to do really well for me in it during the day for naps, sleeping at least half the time in it, but at night? Forget it. She must sense that Mommy is right there next to her and she knows it's better to sleep in Mommy's arms. I do always have the best of intentions with those nighttime feedings... hold her for a few minutes after she finishes her bottle and then put her down. But I always fall asleep. Or she doesn't fall asleep. For the most part, she isn't awake too terribly long in the middle of the night (never more than about 45 minutes, including the feeding) and if you're holding her, she's content to be quiet and just stare at you... or wiggle around and smack you in the face. For as sleepy as she has been, whenever she is awake, she loves to be laid down and just to wiggle. She flails all around both her legs and arms. She hates to have a blanket over her legs and always kicks it off. (Just like her sister, neither of them liked to be swaddled ever after leaving the hospital. Maybe I'm doing it wrong???)
 
She is very clear that she doesn't like to sit in a dirty diaper (whereas her sister never seemed bothered) and she is also very intent on finding her fingers and sucking on them. I can't decide if I prefer her to stick with a pacifier or her fingers. I suppose the pacifier, since I can ultimately get rid of it! I definitely think at this rate, she's going to be one to want to keep that security for longer than Bimmer ever did. We hadn't taken Healey out in public much the first two weeks of life (just because of logistics, more than anything, with Puff's work schedule, my surgery recovery, and the added factor of having to chase Bimmer) but we finally started to venture out more this week. She went to multiple restaurants (including a local Mexican restaurant, McAlister's, and then Hooter's on 4th of July) and she did excellent. Even if I did have to change a poopy diaper in Red Lobster right as my food came. I definitely am not anywhere near ready to take both girls out by myself! That is very evident. I don't think I will even attempt that until after I feel physically back to normal.
 
Her umbilical cord fell off, but not all of it. So we are monitoring that, which means she still can't get a "real" bath. Girlfriend loves to get her hair washed though. She goes into a bath coma when you run her head under the running water. And I'm not sure I mentioned this previously, because it took us a few days to notice, but she does have the slightest little dimple on her right cheek. Just one. Just like her big sister. Just like her great-grandmother.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Rock to Sleep

My poor, neglected second child, Healey doesn't have a nursery. She doesn't have a room. I am changing diapers on our spare dining room table and a lot of nights, she just sleeps snuggled on my chest in my bed. Puff and Bimmer have essentially become roommates across the hall from us. I knew The Bungalow wasn't going to be conducive to a second child. Not at first anyway, when having the girls share a room wouldn't be an option. So the entire time I was pregnant, the one and only new contraption that I was set on getting for Healey that Bimmer never had was a Rock 'n Play.
 
 
 
Puff assembled it just in time before Healey's early arrival, and I was sure the snuggly shape of it would be the perfect place for Healey to sleep in our room for the first few months. Especially after so many moms I know swore by it. (Despite a recent rash of articles I saw that said it wasn't the safest product.) But then we got home from the hospital, and that first day, I went to set Healey down in it. And I realized the problems.
 
First off, it was too low for me to even reach to put her into it without assistance after my C-section. I couldn't bend that far south without excruciating pain, so off to snuggle in bed with me she went. When we were finally able to get her into it, I noticed immediately that the angle she was laying was not one I was comfortable with. She felt folded in half, and I was worried she wouldn't be able to breathe properly. Or if she spit up, that she could choke on it. From that minute, I knew that it was definitely not the product for us.
 
But what then? We had just dropped $80 on this thing (with no receipt to be found, of course) and now we needed another option. With no space whatsoever in our room to accommodate going straight to a crib, I was faced with a stressful situation on top of a stressful situation. Not what a new mom wants to have to deal with!
 
Thankfully, my dad came to the rescue and offered to help us out with a bassinet. So we trudged to the baby store with a 5 day old and a 3 year old on a quest to find the right bed for us. After taking several options down off the shelf to test the heights, sturdiness, and big sister accessibility, we settled on a Chicco travel bassinet. Of course it only came in the most hideous of green colors, but at that point, we didn't care. I needed a safe and secure place for my baby girl to sleep... it could have been pink and orange striped for all I cared.
 
 
 
Healey did great in it for a few days, then regressed and only wanted to sleep in my arms. We've had a bit of a battle back and forth with her in it at nighttime (which would be easier if she was in her own room, but that's just not going to happen right now) but she is doing a lot better with napping in it contently. Baby steps... I'm OK with that.
 
So, bed disaster averted. It was definitely the right decision for us. Here's hoping they'll at least give us some store credit for the Rock 'n Play when we return it. If not, I suppose it doesn't matter. I can rest easier at night and hopefully soon, Healey will rest through the night in it too.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Man Candy Monday

I'm certain over the years I've written this blog, I've mentioned casually my interest in serial killers. Namely Hannibal Lecter. (So much so, in fact, that if we ever get a dog, his name will be Hannibal - non negotiable.) Anyway.... I have been watching the NBC television show, Hannibal, since its inception. This third season? Eh... it is all kinda hurting my head. But I'm devoted, because, well, it feels strange not to be.
 
Anyway... while I definitely think the show is one of the most beautifully shot TV shows I have ever seen (motion picture perfection in some of the imagery, especially when showing the food... or dripping blood) there is something equally as beautiful on this show... Hugh Dancy.
 
I'm branching out a little bit in the "what Gail typically finds sexy" realm for today's Man Candy Monday. But there is NO mistaking his gorgeousness. You're welcome.
 


 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Healey 2:52

 
 
I will probably repeat myself nearly every week when I express this sentiment... but how is this baby already this old?!? I know I was rushing the end of my pregnancy, because I was so uncomfortable and ready to have Healey on the outside. But now that she's here? Even though I don't love the newborn stage, I find myself wanting to just soak up every single second of it. I want to snuggle her through every nap and whiff up every tiny little scent. While I am excited about the future and all the things we'll be able to do more easily with her once she's older, I am also trying to relish in the fact that each of her firsts are going to be the last of those firsts for our family. Since she is our last baby, I'll never hold my own 10 day old daughter ever again. So I want to make the most of these fleeting moments, because I know all too well with Bimmer, that before I know it, she'll be a little person.
 
At 9 days old, we had our photographer in town from The Fort to do her newborn photos. She was a champ! I cannot wait to share them with you once we get them back. The few I saw straight from the camera were amazing and capture her just how I know her to be at this stage... asleep. Ha! Yes, she is still sleeping like crazy, but I've found the flaw in mine and Puff's parenting... we prefer to snuggle the babies to sleep and hold them all night long if we have to (which I've done multiple nights in a row) than have them cry. I'm assuming that's how we ended up co-sleeping with Bimmer. I have been trying to put her down more for naps, which sometimes works out and sometimes doesn't. (My general overall post-partum weepiness doesn't help... Again, I want to pocket all these sweet tiny moments, so if Healey prefers to nap on my chest on the couch for 2 hours, then that's what we're going to do.)
 
At 10 days old, we had a follow up doctor's appointment. Her jaundice hadn't gotten any worse, so they were pretty confident it had plateaued. I could tell a difference just in looking at her that it was getting better, but they tell us it could take a few more weeks before it goes away all together. As for her heart murmur, we saw a different doc this time, and it took him a long time to be able to even hear it. But he finally did. I had hoped it was something she would grow out of in a few days, but apparently not. It was reassuring though to hear the doctor tell us that they rate murmurs on a scale of 1 to 6 and hers is barely even a 1. He is referring us to a pediatric cardiologist who should be in touch soon to schedule an appointment and possibly an ECHO. I'm hoping it is probably nothing and the doc told us that if he was in Vegas, he'd put his money on her being 100% fine. But again... I'm her mama, so to hear anything like that is just plain scary.
 
We have had more visitors lately, which Healey loves since she gets to be all snuggled and cuddled. She is eating like a champ, fighting some occasional stomach discomfort, and is sleeping like a rockstar. She's a light in our lives! What more can I say???

Thursday, July 2, 2015

3 Month Vacation

I try to make a point not to air too much of my dirty laundry on this blog. But an argument between Puff and I that happened yesterday morning was so raw and real that I figured we can't be the only couple going through this.

The long and short of it is that Bimmer woke me and Healey before 7am, after we had had a pretty rough night. I put Healey in her bed and went to help Puff get Bimmer ready for school. I'm not exactly sure how or why the screaming began, but it ultimately led to Puff telling me that I should be doing more to help with the girls and that I am on a "3 month vacation" from work and that he "has responsibilities" at work that he needs to take care of.

Because your daughters and wife aren't more important responsibilities at home???

And a 3 month vacation? Seriously? Because having to hold a baby to sleep, be knee-deep in poopy diapers, not being able to shower until 1pm, and not having time to even eat is a vacation? Suckiest vacation EVER.

I know that Healey's arrival came at a bad time for Puff with regards to his job. He has a major project due this week to a major international company. I can't help that. I also can't help the fact that I had major surgery a mere two weeks ago and that I'm not able to lift things (like Healey in her carrier or Bimmer to get her into the car) and that I wasn't supposed to drive until sometime this week. I have real, honest, physical limitations right now that I cannot rush to heal. It's not worth the possible compromise to my recovery to drive too soon, even if Bimmer's school is right down the street.

It hurt my heart so much to hear Puff say those things. It left me bawling, Bimmer crying, and Healey screaming from her bed. I cried off and on all day yesterday. The words he said stung to the core.

One of my biggest fears in getting pregnant again was going through the newborn stage with Puff. It's not that he's a bad father, but he doesn't like that stage and he's not so good at it. I've tried so hard to take the bulk of the responsibility for the new baby... including not asking him to take her in the middle of the night when he has to work the next day. I am doing anything and everything I can to keep the house running, keep Bimmer happy and healthy, and tend to every need of the new baby without inconveniencing him. It's not a 50/50 split on the parenting right now. And I'm OK with that... as long as he can acknowledge that fact.

From the minute Bimmer was born, I have put her as my top priority in life. I know this has hindered my marriage. I read all the time that you should put your spouse first, over the children, but that is the most faulty logic I could ever imagine. I just cannot grasp that concept, nor will I ever. My girls will always 100% be at the top of my list for everything. We knew having a newborn would stifle anything we had rebuilt in the last year or so after going through the baby stage with Bimmer. And to me, it's all worth it. We'll argue, we'll have bad days, but if at the end of it all, my girls are happy and healthy, and I'm still married by Healey's first birthday, I will consider it a victory.

I know many other fathers and husbands are a lot better at this game than Puff is. I have had to accept that, even though I don't like it. I don't like that he is not the father I had in my head for my young children. But I don't know what else to do. We are muddling through this phase in our lives and I hope we come out OK on the other side, if not stronger for it. I know that Puff loves us all, just as we all love him.

Kids are hard. Fuck, life is hard.