Friday, December 28, 2012

I know him! I know him!

Santa Claus lives in my hometown.  No one should be surprised.  I've been saying for sometime that it's one of the best places to live.  This is just more evidence that I'm right.  You may think that Santa lives at the North Pole - He probably has a home there too, but I know that he spends most of his time in Georgia.

I've pretty much known him my whole life.  His family and mine attend the same church.  He is a father and a husband and now a grandfather.  He has a passion for his community.  I've watched him lead many charges that touched lives in ways that we'll never even know.  He was even my Sunday School teacher once upon a time.  He shows love to everyone that he meets, even when he's feeling less than 100%.  I'm not sure if he always knew that he was Santa Claus or not, but most children in this neck of the woods (including mine!) know that he is.

Last night, I took Bo to sit in his lap.  Unlike the phony Santas that you may see from Thanksgiving until December 25th, the real Santa - our Santa - takes his job very seriously year round.  Much like another man from a long long time ago, he is always ready to let the little children come to him.  He listens to them.  He sees them.  He cares for them.  Santa is jolly, but he's also joyful.  It radiates from him.  It is infectious.  It is the joy of someone who knows what the Christmas season is about.  It is the joy of a man who is celebrating the birth of Christ.  I hope to have photos of Bo sitting on his lap for many, many years to come.  

We love you, Santa, and we can't wait until the suit comes out again next year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things I am Thankful For Before 7AM

  1. Good friends who take great pictures of my little family that I can use as my desktop background.
  2. Leaving 3 sleeping kiddos at home and knowing that they get to stay home today and play with their Moma.
  3. Doughnuts brought by Moma that made a deeeelicious breakfast on the way out the door.
  4. Paying less than $3 per gallon of gas + free coffee!
  5. Having a job to go to before 7AM.
  6. Knowing that I get to hang out with my Journey Group tonight.

If I can find 6 things to be thankful for before 7AM, then I'm sure to lose count of all my blessings by lunchtime or sooner.  God is good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Christmas Card

I really really really really thought I was gonna make it happen this year.

Oh, well.

Life goes on.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.  From me and mine.

Feel free to print it out and stick it on your fridge.  :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

The only thing I'll say.

I spent the weekend avoiding the news.  Except to post exceptionally cute photos of my little family, I stayed away from social media.  I know that people want to talk about tragedy.  They reach out to one another for comfort and to try to make sense of it all.  I don't blame anyone for coping in whatever way they need to.  I, for one, don't want to see the photos.  I don't want to rehash it and know every detail.

If I start down that rabbit hole, I don't know where I'll come out.  If I began to indulge in the "what if's", there is a very real chance that I wouldn't drag myself out of bed for a week.  I'm kind of sensitive that way.  I use humor and avoidance to deflect the realness of situations that have the potential to cripple me.

When I was in 11th grade, I heard about a school shooting.  It happened in Georgia, and it came on the heels of another shooting that happened farther away.  The school in Georgia was Heritage High School, and I knew a kid there.  The shooting happened in the morning, and because we lived in a time before every high school student had a cell phone, I had to wait.  I waited all day long.  I wondered.  I had NO details, and I was terrified.

It was later in the evening when I finally got to talk to him - to hear his voice.  I broke down and cried for the first time that day.  I never watched any of the news from that day.  I never wanted any more information about that awful day.  This morning as I prayed for the victims and their families in Connecticut, I thanked God again for protecting my friend all those years ago.  I can't bring myself to think about where I'd be if it had gone differently because 12 years after it happened, I finally got around to marrying that guy.

My prayers today are not just for the families in Connecticut, but for everyone who had to send a child to school today.  My prayers are for the teachers who will be on edge all day today.  My prayers are for all the children who are too young to have to know exactly how much evil is in this world.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I win.

Today had a few bumps, but I would like to officially say that looking back, it was a complete and total win.

1.  I put together Pioneer Woman's baked french toast last night.  I used up an aging loaf of sourdough bread that was in danger of going moldy.  This morning, I popped it in the oven for an hour.  It smelled delicious and tasted divine.  I think heaven must smell of cream cheese vanilla bean glaze.

2.  I successfully curled my hair with a flat iron.  Thank you, Pinterest.

3.  I got all 5 of us dressed in coordinating colors and out the door on time for church.

4.  After church, when it was pouring rain, I declared that if we were soaking wet in our Christmas card photo, it would be cute anyway and GOSHDARNIT we are taking this photo.   And we did.  But not in the rain.  

5.  I updated the blog.

6.  I'm going to bed - now.

That's what I call a good day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A little something different today.

More than I'm a blogger, I'm a blog reader.  I put words here on a (semi) regular basis.  This is my place to record the things that I want to remember until I get around to putting together that baby book... *ahem*

Sometimes I read things that are just so awesome that I feel like I need to share.  These are things that touched me or affected me.  These are things that I hope will help or touch one other person as much as they touched me.  So here you go.  Click one, click all, or click none.  It's totally up to you, but these are things that I felt were worth sharing.

Advice for moms about raising boys from the GoodMenProject: Batman lives forever.

Something that has been on my heart recently:  Sharing brokenness with one another is a gift.

Oh - also... How to stop your lipstick from fading: Happy kissing everyone! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A belated 3 month letter...

Dear Bowen,

Last week, your daddy reminded me what we were doing a year ago at this time.  We were praying for you.  We were praying that God would see fit to bless us with you.  We wanted you with us so badly.  We still pray for you now – and we always will.

You’re 3 months old now.  I think you look more and more like your Papa Jerry every day.  Your hair is starting to poke up, and on the top of your head, it looks like duckling fuzz.  It’s so soft.

Your clothes are size 3 months – except footed stuff.  It’s too short and so we have to put you in 3-6 month footie pajamas.  You’re a long guy.  You’ll be taller than me before I know it.

You still love baths.  You have a couple of duckies that you like to kick against the side of the tub.  You've started splashing around more, and water in your face doesn't faze you at all.

You’ve started talking more and more.  You mimic my facial expressions and when I stick my tongue out, sometimes you stick yours out too.  I’m teaching you bad habits, I know, but these first interactions are the most amazing thing that I’ve ever experienced.  You still have a very serious and pensive expression most of the time, but your smile can light up a room. 

You’re still an excellent eater, and I love the time that we’ve spent together nursing. 

You love to wiggle, and this week, you rolled over from your belly to your back – and you meant to.  You worked and worked at it and you almost gave up once you made it to your side, but we cheered and cheered and you finally made it all the way over.

You've started sleeping pretty well.  You usually go to bed between 7PM and 8PM and don’t wake up until 4AM or 5AM.  We still have a couple of middle of the night feedings every week, but it’s really just a good excuse to steal extra snuggles.  I miss you so much while I’m at work!

You finally moved into your room and out of ours.  You're sleeping in your crib now, and even though it took a couple of nights to get used to, you transitioned like a champ. 

You’ve started grabbing for things and holding on so tight!  You love to hold your hands!  Mostly it’s people that you grab onto, but there are a few toys that you seem to like.

You were Yoda for Halloween.  We trick or treated at Nene’s house and at Ben and Rebecca’s.  Then we went home to give out candy.

You mostly slept through Thanksgiving, but you’re not exactly into turkey yet anyway.  

You're getting so big so fast.  You're growing up in front of our eyes.  Every day, I watch a new leaf of your personality unfurl.  I pray that you will inherit our best traits, and that you will forgive us our shortcomings.  I hope you grow up knowing that no one is perfect, but you should still do your personal best.  People all have different strengths and talents, but no one will ever be better or worse than you because we are all children of the same loving God.  You have a world of opportunity in front of you.

You are loved.  You are loved by me and by many.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Relationships in the South

Last night, I read on Facebook that a friend (my BDB!) was at the Georgia Dome to watch the Falcons remind the Saints of their place in the world.  She mentioned that she and her husband's first date had been 5 years ago to watch the same two teams meet on the gridiron.

I laughed, because this weekend, the hubs and I had planned to have a night of chicken wings and Yuengling while we watch the SEC championship game and pull for our #1 team.
Go Dawgs!

It's a special night, because it was almost 3 years ago now - 12/05/09 - that he and I came face to face for the first time after somewhere around 9 years of separation.  We met at an uber classy restaurant to watch Alabama play Florida for the SEC title and began the journey that we've been on ever since.

I love you, Cameron.  Now and always.

I wonder how many other people down South have relationship milestones that revolve around football.  I'd guess a lot.  And that, my friends, explains why the SEC dominates.  Because it's all about heart.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Thanksgiving of Try

This year, I give Thanksgiving 2 A's.  One for "Attempted", and one for "Awesome."

The week leading up to Thanksgiving was full of hustle and bustle as 7 people and one dog coexisted under our tiny roof.  I'm still recovering - and already looking forward to Christmas.  Nothing says holidays like NOPERSONALSPACE and CHAOS. 

I didn't take a lot of photos - so I'm stealing some from Aunt Juliet to give you all an idea of how the weekend went.

Attempt #1 
We tried to make junk food turkeys.
Nailed it.
Notice how the one on the left looks optimistic and happy.  The one on the right, however, appears beaten down and as if he knows he's going to be eaten.  Or that his face is going to melt off.

Oh... yeah.
 The turkeys were then abandoned.  As were the mountains of junk food.  I'm not saying that I've eaten jelly beans for lunch every day this week at work, but...

Attempt #2

We planned to have Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's house at 2:30 on Thursday.  This turned into 4:30-5 when it became obvious that the heating element in the oven was dying a slow, painful, and cold death.  We gorged on appetizers and the outside edges of casseroles and cranberry sauce and cold desserts.  

Attempt #3

While we were waiting to eat, we attempted to take family photos.

Yeah... that worked.

The next day, I recooked the turkey at my house.  I was afraid of drying it out.  So I covered it in (fake) butter.

Paula Deen would be proud, y'all.
Sidenote: Why can't I reference Paula Deen without saying "y'all"?

Sidenote #2: this turkey was buttery and crispy and delicious.  VICTORY!

I also made what I considered to be a pretty awesome turkey fettuccine but where's the fun in taking photos of your successes?

Friday night, the extended family got together for fun and leftovers.  This was probably the most successful part of Thanksgiving as the food was good and the games were AWESOME.  

The kids had "Minute to Win It" type challenges. 

And then the adults played Catchphrase.  It was my first time, but I am positive that it WILL NOT be my last.  I laughed until I cried.

My childhood memories are full of loud, crowded, bustling holidays full of laughter, successes, and failures.  It's been several years since I have felt like a holiday lived up to what it should be, but this year - we nailed it.  Regardless of how many things went completely and totally off-the-rails wrong, we got this holiday right.  Back in the farmhouse that sits at the center of all my childhood memories, my whole family came together with spouses and children and love.  I'm confident that the ones who have gone before us watched it all and celebrated along with us as we reclaimed what it means to be the Bennett clan that we were raised to be.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I've said it before...

I guess I'll say it again.  My husband is my biggest fan. 

Every day, he asks if I'm going to write something here.  Lately, the answer is just no.

I'm tired - but more than that, I'm just overwhelmed.  There is so much to say.  We've had multiple weekend visits from Aunt Juliet and Uncle Jonathan.  Cows have been born.  Babies have found their hands.  There have been birthday parties and sleepovers. 

I get caught up in thinking that I have to "catch up". 

I'm not going to do anything unless I'm doing it right.  Unfortunately, that usually means that I end up doing nothing at all.  Anyone else suffer from this??

So here it is.  Stuff that I didn't write about and probably never will: a couple of pinterest success stories, Bo's first couple of trips to the church nursery, Tyler's birthday party, my return to PreView, the night I fell in love with my Journey group, Ben's birthday party, Bo's first night with a babysitter, and a multitude of gurgles, coos, smiles, kicking things, and hand finding goodness.

So there you go.  I've purged it all.  So let's start fresh, shall we? 

Oh - and here's a video of some of Bo's first giggles.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Open Letter to My 2 Month Old

Dear Bo,

Your 2 month photo shoot!
It sounds so cliche, but I can't believe how fast the last two months has gone.  All week at work, I wish for the weekend so we can spend a whole day together.  When Saturday finally rolls around, I can't believe that you're already a whole week older.

The picture makes me squishy still!

Your latest discovery is smiling.  The first night you smiled at me, we were sitting on the bed.  I was talking to you about who-knows-what.  (Honestly, I was probably talking to you about how handsome you are.  You and I talk about that a lot.)  And then you smiled.  It was a huge open mouthed grin.  My insides went squishy.  Obviously, I went for the camera.  

Then I took about 15 videos like this one:

You're smiling more and more now.  It still melts me every time.  You're also learning that when you smile at just about anyone, they'll want to pick you up.  There's a sucker born every minute.  

You still love baths.  Just a couple of nights ago, I swear you figured out how to push the ducks around with your feet.  I'm not sure you really know yet that those feet belong to you, but we'll get there.  

You still sleep with your nose against the side of the bassinet.  I still think it's ridiculously cute.

Car rides and being outside make you a happy boy.  You get still and quiet.  You seem to be a thinker.  You love to be held, but when you're over it, you make that known too.  We put you in the bassinet and you grin and coo at the dangling moon and star and cow.  And you coo!  You gurgle and goo and coo and make all sorts of noises.  I know you want to talk to us.  It's a big change from just a month ago when it was screaming or nothing.

You LOVE your brother and sister.  They LOVE you right back.  They talk to you and dance for you and you smile and giggle and wiggle for them.  Because you are (and will always be!) my first baby, I worry and fuss a lot.  I was very nervous whenever your sister wanted to hold you.  I'm over it now because she can always calm you down.  

They'd probably sit like this all day.
She always wants to be the one to take care of you, and she even bosses Daddy and me around when we're taking care of you!  

This will forever be one of my favorite pictures of all time.

You've slept through the night a couple of times lately.  I'm so proud of you, and as much as I love my sleep, I do miss our times together in the wee hours of the morning.  The pediatrician told me at one of our first visits that if you are sleeping, I should NOT pick you up.  I should let you sleep.  I was good about it for a while, but now that you're getting bigger and it's happening so fast, I just can't help it.  Sometimes I have to scoop you up out of your bassinet when you're sleeping just to snuggle you.  I hope you'll forgive me one day just because you'll know that you were my biggest and best adventure, and I was learning as I went.  I am not perfect by any means, but you have taught me more about love in your first 2 months of life than I ever knew before.  I love you more and more every day.

As the book says, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

All my love,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I didn't do the dishes last night.

If you knew me as a teenager – or even in college – or even for a while post college – or really anytime before I got pregnant, you’ll know that cleaning has never been high on my priority list.  It was not until I realized that I’d be responsible for a tiny person who would crawl on my floors, put things in his mouth, and learn from my example that I really decided to shape up.

I found FLYLady online.  It resonated with me.  I started working through her baby steps.  I shined my kitchen sink.  I started running my dishwasher every night and cleaning it out every morning.  (I actually race the coffee pot in the mornings… it’s never won.)  It’s shocking what having a clean sink in the morning does for the rest of my day.  It makes me feel calm and in control.  I could go on and on about the value of this program, but if you need it, you know and you’ll go check it out.

Last night, after dinner, I fed Bo and we had a 2 month old photo shoot. 

He's totally adored.

Then, I gave him a bath.    
Well - WE gave him a bath.

Then Des went to bed.

No shame in my game.
And then?  Instead of putting Bo in his bassinet and cleaning out the sink, I sat and snuggled him while Cam and I watched Doctor Who.  Gone are the days when we’d have nightly LOST or Battlestar Galactica marathons.  Gone are the days when we had no one to worry about but ourselves.  And soon, the days of having a tiny snuggly baby in an adorable sleeper will be gone too.  And I want to enjoy them.  I cursed the dishes in the sink this morning, but I know that I’ll do them tonight.  In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter that those dishes sat in the sink for 24 hours.  What matters is that I spent quality time with Cameron and Bo last night. (And treated myself to an early night in bed!)

There’s a balance here somewhere.  I’m still figuring that out, but for now – I’ll err on the side of spending time with my family, thank you very much.  You can excuse the mess, or you can excuse yourself.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Yesterday was a big day - Bo finally met his (once removed) grandparents.

It made my heart happy.
And then...


And if you like the photo - you should see the behind the scenes footage.  :)

He's such a lucky boy. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How much could possibly happen in a week?

Mommy Thoughts
There are things that you can not possibly prepare for when you cross the threshold into parenthood.  You hear all the time about what you'll learn: a new kind of love, a new level of exhaustion, a new sense of responsibility, a new outlook on the world.  It's all true.  A sister-friend (totally different from a sister-wife!) made an observation on Facebook recently about a conversation she overheard between some suburban moms.  She wondered if there was anything else in the world that they found interesting or substantial.  She was concerned.  I can say, almost confidently, that they do have other interests.  I'm still just as interested now as I was in politics, television, my social life, and my husband as I was pre-baby.  It's just that a person was introduced into my life who depends on me completely.  When you pair his dependence with this newly unlocked maternal love, everything else fades into the background.  (Don't let me forget to mention that I'm also one of those working moms.  I leave my house when it's still dark outside, and I get precious little time to sit and snuggle.  I feel like I only see him on weekends, so I spend a lot of time missing him, thinking of him, wishing I was with him.)  If I seem to have a one track mind, it's because I do.  He's growing so fast.  Almost 2 months have flown by.  The people who understand me best are the women who are living with their little ones - savoring moments as they slip away.  Put us together, and I'm sure we'd seem boring to almost anyone without kids.

Side note to SB: When it's you, people will wonder the same thing about you.  You'll smile, look at the tiny face that you formed and shrug it off, knowing that there will be plenty of time to catch up on news, sports, pop culture, or whatever it is that you're missing.  You're going to be awesome when it's your turn.  <3!

State of the Bebe
Bo will be 8 weeks old tomorrow.  He's holding his head up like a champ.  He's working up some facial expressions - I've seen fleeting smiles, and I'm waiting breathlessly for an honest to goodness big toothless grin.  I feel like we've passed a milestone with nursing.  He was slow to latch a couple of days this week, but we soldiered on and prevailed.  We're working up a bedtime routine - last feeding, lotion/massage, swaddle, singing, book, prayer, and bed.  Tonight was the second night.  He went down pretty quickly, and I felt vindicated.  He's still waking up between 11PM and 1AM and then sometime between 4AM and 6AM.  We're scheduled for the first round of vaccinations next week.  I'm already stressed about it. 

((ETA: He's still wobbly with the head holding... but definitely starting to get the hang of it.))

Family Plans
Cameron is going to pick up Tyler and Des tomorrow.  He'll finally get to meet their teachers for this year.  Des will be staying for a whole week - Tyler for the weekend only.  I'm excited for some girl time, and I know how much she wants to help take care of the baby.  My second set of parents are coming up on Saturday to meet the Bebe.  I can't wait for him to meet them!

Aunt Juliet and Uncle Jonathan will be here next weekend, and we have tentative plans for a pumpkin patch / haunted corn maze trip.   I'll probably definitely be sitting out anything described as haunted.  Someone has to keep watch for the Great Pumpkin after all.  :)  My guess is that Daredevil Des will be beside herself with excitement.

It's our second week back on the FlyLady program.  The house looks great.  The routines are starting to set in.  My filing cabinet is in better shape that it has been in at least a year.  The dreaded Tupperware cabinet has been organized.  The laundry is caught up, and I even gave myself a manicure.  I've built a family binder that keeps me organized and on track.  (I'm really geeking out about it - it may get it's own post.  Don't judge me.)  We can have a guiltfree restful and snuggle filled weekend.  I may even break out a fun kid activity or two from Pinterest.

I'm learning about the sales world.  It's an interesting creature.  This week I overcame my fear of cold calling.  I drove to an industrial park, drove around, and talked to people.  I have to remind myself that people are, for the most part, nice.  The worst that anyone can say is no.  I even had one very nice man give me a tour of his warehouse. 

It was incredibly sad to see how many plants and factories have closed their doors.  Empty parking lots form desolate and dusty perimeters around sad buildings with dark windows.  It's a world that I've never seen before.  I'm relieved and terrified that there is an election around the corner.  I pray that in the near future, cars will fill the parking lots again and send the weeds that have set up residence in cracks in the pavement packing.

I'm reading a book about attachment parenting.  It's an interesting take, and while I'm not exactly soliciting advice, I'd like to hear opinions that you might have on it.  Comment, shoot me an email, or give me a call.  We'll chat.  :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Who needs sleep? Bring me coffee.

I realized that in order to be a successful as a full time employee and breastfeeder, I'd have to go to bed earlier than I had been.  This week, I've been in bed between 9 and 10 every night.  I even begrudgingly gave up watching The Soup on Wednesday.  

Last night, I stayed up to watch the debate and blog.

Today, there is not enough coffee in this office.

I need a refill.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Words FTW!

Mommy Thoughts
We've been walking after dinner for the last couple of weeks.  We strap Bo into his carseat and drop it into the stroller frame and push him around the neighborhood.  He blows bubbles at the sky while Cam and I talk about how handsome he is.  He enjoys the fresh air, and the gentle bumpity bump of the stoller soothes him.  It's good for us, and it's a lot cheaper than driving him around.

I want Bo to see us staying active.  I want exercise to be a part of his life.  I don't want him parked in front of a computer or a TV screen.  I'm guilty of it, but he makes me want to be a better person.  He's watching us.  He's learning from us.  He'll pick up our habits - good or bad.  No pressure there, eh?

State of the Bebe
Bo will be 7 weeks old tomorrow.  He tracks Cameron and me as we walk around a room.  He turns towards our voices.  He's curious.  He likes to lift his head off my shoulder and look around.  He's not completely sturdy yet, but he can definitely hold his head up for brief stretches.  He likes to watch shadows on the wall.  He's a waterbug, and a bath always calms him.  He doesn't mind water on his face.  He shows the most interest in the blue cow rattle - or maybe he likes to hear me moo.  He's drooling.  A LOT.  Teething?  This soon?  I hope not.

This week, I've really gotten back on the FlyLady bandwagon.  I've successfully completed a morning and evening routine 3 days this week.  It's Thursday, and we're heading into the weekend with the laundry done and the house clean.  That means that I can spend Saturday and Sunday snuggling and napping unapologetically with Bo.  Not only is the house in good order, but I managed to finish writing thank you notes for baby gifts. 

I thought that I was sleep deprived in college.  I pulled all-nighters, and attended the occasional late party.  Having a newborn takes it to a new level.  I haven't slept through the night since somewhere around my second trimester.  Bo is only waking up twice a night now, and I think Cam and I may survive infant induced sleep deprivation without deep emotional scarring.

Baby Bo is still primarily a boobie baby.  I always feed him when I'm not at work, and I'm allowed 2 lactation breaks during the work day.  We supplement with formula when it's necessary, and I don't feel guilty about it.  There are a couple of things that I didn't anticipate about breast feeding. 

Firstly, people seem to feel awkward about it.  I'm not even talking about being in the presence of a breastfeeding baby.  I'm talking about TALKING about it.  I don't know if they get mental images that make them uncomfortable or what.  I think it's beautiful.  I've taken photos so I'll always remember.  (I promise not to share.)

Secondly, I had no idea how much work breastfeeding is.  It seemed to me to be the most natural thing in the world, and to me anything natural should be easy.  I suppose that not having to mix formula or wash bottles does make life easier, but knowing that a tiny person depends on you completely is exhausting.  We've made it this far.  I'll keep it up for as long as I can.  I'm in awe of women who breastfeed for a year or more.  Someone has to explain to me how that works with teeth. 

I made an appointment this week with a new dentist.  There was a fancy coffee machine in the waiting room.  One of those Keurig type things that make one cup of yummy coffee at a time.  I didn't examine it closely, but I swear that I saw a Milky Way variety.  YUM.  I didn't feel right coating my mouth with creamy, sugary coffee before some poor hygenist poked around in there.  I didn't want to drink coffee right after my cleaning.  I feel that I'm entitled to a cup of their complimentary coffee though.  Think they'd notice if I strolled in before work tomorrow?  Think anyone would care?  Mmmm... coffee.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's ONLY Tuesday??

Things to be excited about:
Bo rolled over this week.
New episode of Big Bang Theory on Thursday night.
I no longer have to answer to a boss who *hates* me.
My house is getting back in order.
My Polly is going to come visit soon.
Guilt-free caffeine.

State of the Mama:
Refreshed.  Revived.  Renewed.  Attended Mellow's birthday party this weekend and got to spend time with two of my all-time favorite people.

For the first time ever, we were together.  Our sons were all there.  Why, oh, why did we not take a picture???  Oh, well.  Life goes on.

Since January, I've been working under a generally miserable fellow whose only delight in this world seems to be bullying me.  No joke.  I'm not being whiny.  This happened.  As of yesterday, he's no longer supervising me.  I swear that I felt my blood pressure go down.

Still sleep-deprived.  Adjusting.  I think.

State of the Bo:
Two BIG milestones this week!

 He also had his first road trip to Milledgeville.  This boy loves car rides.  He slept the whole way there.  He slept most of the way back.  I'm pretty sure he handled the time in the car better than I did.

I was texting family yesterday about a pumpkin patch visit.  I've never been a pumpkin carver, but I want to do ALLTHEFUNTHINGS for Bo.  It occurred to me that we're about to hit that Holiday vortex of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  The year is about to be over.  I've gotta stay off of Pinterest.

Monday, September 24, 2012

1 Month Ago Today: The (Abridged) Birth Story

Exactly a month ago now, I was being prepped for surgery.  I had never had surgery.  I was trying to be brave, but I was terrified.  I was about to meet my son.  Things were getting real, and it was happening fast.

It was a Friday night, and we had been at the hospital since Wednesday.  Cameron had driven me to the hospital to return a 24 hour lab.  Call me naive, but it never occurred to me that we wouldn't leave.  They hooked me up to a machine to monitor my blood pressure and Bo's heartbeat.  We sat and listened to his heart beat.  I had blood drawn for labs.

We played Words with Friends.

We waited.

Cameron went to get fried chicken and a sausage biscuit.  We ate in triage.  A nurse told us that we weren't leaving.  When a room opened up in labor and delivery, we'd be heading there.  After she left, another nurse came in and told us that she had our discharge papers, and that I should get dressed - so I did.  We walked out, and were met by our original nurse who looked incredibly confused.  We probably looked confused too. 

We stayed.

We waited. 

We played more Words with Friends.

Cameron left to get our hospital bag, and I was moved to L & D.  A nurse tried to put an IV in the back of my hand.  It was excruciating... and it didn't work.  She took it out, and I broke down.  I cried because my hand was on fire and I knew she'd have to do it again.  I cried because it was dark out and Cameron was not back.  I cried because I was terrified of giving birth.

We waited for Cameron to get back.  I just needed him.  I couldn't have done any of this without him.

For the next 2 days, a slew of doctors and nurses tried to induce labor. 

By Friday night, they recommended that we have a cesarean section.  I had fought it.  I had prayed.  I did not want someone cutting into me.   That was not in my plan.

I was shocked at how quickly it happened - everything else had happened at a snail's pace.  I was prepped for surgery and had another visit from the anesthesiologist. 

And then my bed broke.  I wanted someone to let my head down, but when the button was pushed, nothing happened.  I cried some more.

I was wheeled to surgery.  They took me in and left Cameron outside.  The anesthesiologist came to give me the spinal block and discovered that my epidural had fallen out. 

They strapped me to a table.  I cried.  I told Cameron I was going to be sick.  I told him I was going to pass out.  I told him that my arms were numb and that I wasn't going to be able to hold my baby.  He told me that I'd be fine.  I believed him. 

I felt some pressure, and then I felt lighter.  I heard gurgling.  I panicked.  Turns out it was normal.  He was perfectly normal. 

Bo was born at 10:56 PM on August 24th.  So much happened in that 2 days, but I've already started to forget.  I know it was worth it.  I know I'd do it again.  I'm one month in, and I can't imagine life without him.

Time flies.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's a small world after all!

I know that I'm getting old because I have days where I wonder where the last decade or so went.  I marvel at the passage of time.  1998 was 14 years ago.  (I won't tell you how many times I just double checked that math.  It's early.   I haven't had enough coffee.  I might still be wrong.  Don't judge me.)

In 1998, I was in 10th grade.  If memory serves me right, I was taking World History from Ms. Flanagan, Biology from Mrs. Rhymer, and English from Mrs. Jacobs.  I was also getting to know a beautiful and vivacious Brazilian named Karen Lillian Roggia Butland.  We played at the theater together.  We had a class together.  We ate warm cookies after lunch together.  (Probably a fundraiser that would no longer be sanctioned by the school.)

She's back in Rockmart for a short visit, and I'm thrilled to say that I was able to introduce her to my son yesterday.

Like no time had passed at all.
She is the reason that I know for a fact that one day I will attend Carnival.  She is the reason that I (at one time) knew how to sing Happy Birthday in Portuguese.  She taught me how to make Brigadeiro.  

This is me - obviously waaaay too excited.
She even brought Bo a Brasil jersey to wear during the World Cup in 2014.  It's a little big now - but will fit soon enough.

We love you, Karen!  Come back and visit again soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

No Titles Today

Post Op Appointment:
DONE.  No more visits to NWGA Medical Clinic until February.  My iron levels are now officially normal.  You may know that I had some real problems just after Bo's birth with my iron levels.  I was so anemic that breathing was difficult.  It was so difficult that I ended up back at the hospital.  I was told that my iron level was at a 7 - only just barely above you'regettingatransfusionNOW levels.  Today, I was at 13.1.  Normal is 12-15.  WIN.  I'm a healthy mama.  Not only is my iron good, but I officially weigh less now than I did when I got pregnant.  Breast feeding is amazing, y'all.  

State of the Mama:
Hanging in there.  I've only cried 3 or 4 times today - and it wasn't sobbing this time... just tearing up when I think about my boy. Without me.  The upside is that he's with family.  He's with people who love him.  And I'm sure that he's bonding with his cousin Aubrey.  :)

State of the Bo:
Missing his mama - I'm sure.  ;)  Also - 4 days away from being a month old!  WHOA.

Weekend o' Fun:
September is a fun fun fun month.  It's the month of my hubby's birth.  It's the month of my wedding anniversary.  It is also the month of Mellow's birth!  I look forward to September because Mellow's birthday means that even if it has been months or a year since I've seen him and his awesome mother, I know that I'll be seeing them.  It'll be Bo's first road trip - 6 hours total.  Cross your fingers for us.  This is gonna be madness.

State of the Blog:
Suddenly, all the blogs that I was following have disappeared.  There are no blogs showing in my reading list.  Anyone else having an issue there?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yep - Still at home.

It's a Wednesday.

My Return to Work:
I never got a call back from the doctor's office about sending in the documentation so that I could return to work.  I called three times this morning, finally got someone, and was told that they'd get the information in.  I provided them the correct fax number and asked them to send it ASAP.

They called back in a couple of hours to say that no one could find the letter and that it would be tomorrow morning before the doctor was back in.

State of the Mama:
Stressed about not being able to go to work.  Worrying about finances and my current lack of a paycheck.  Trying to stay positive and use my extra day to explore my wardrobe now that I'm no longer wider than I am tall.

State of the Bo:
Sleeping.  Finally.  Thank goodness.  In the last 2 days, he's discovered that crying makes people come to his aid.  Everytime he stirs, he cries.  Every time he cries, he wakes himself up.  Everytime he wakes himself up, he refuses to go back to sleep unless he's being held.  I was trying so hard to avoid this.  Maybe it's unavoidable.

Short Term Goals:
Write about the BIRTH OF BO. 
Establish a new evening routine to make mornings less stressful.
Figure out what wardrobe items fit me now.
Return phone calls.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The day I had been dreading.

Today was the day - my return to work day.

It turned out to be incredibly anti-climactic, because HR had not received the letter from my doctor stating that I could return to work.  I called the doctor's office at 0830 and left a message, but by 1000, I had received no response.  My supervisor told me to leave.  I know that you must be thinking that I gleefully packed up and ran out the door.  Actually, though, I told him that I had been cleared and there was a mixup - I asked to stay and told him that if it turned out I wasn't actually okayed by the doctor that he could not pay me for the day.  I didn't get up, get dressed, and drive 30 minutes to work to be sent home 2 hours later... but he wasn't having it.

I had a gift card in my purse, so I stopped at the Target by work before I came home.  I needed a few things for pumping and a couple of groceries.  I also treated myself to a small treat from Starbucks.  I was intrigued by their new salted caramel drink, but I'm not adventurous, so I stuck with tried and true - a toffee nut latte.  It did not disappoint.

I never got a call back from the doctor's office - I'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's out there... and it's coming.

I'm going back to work on Tuesday.  I'm rejoining the real world.  I can't talk about it without crying.  I can't even think about it without crying.

These last few weeks have been the happiest of my life.  I'm just not ready for these weeks of spit up, diapers, and being screamed at multiple times a day to end.  I'm just starting to get to know him - even though I've known him longer than anyone else.  We haven't been seperated... ever.  How am I going to leave him behind for 9 hours?

He's growing - and changing - daily.  He's learning.  He's getting stronger.  He's developing.

We've got a good thing going.

Monday, September 3, 2012

He's perfect for me.

Today, my best friend told me that she'd stop calling me every other day if I'd just update this blog.  {I'm not entirely sure how to take that.}

I also received a text from my husband.  It said, "Btw... Would love to do some peeking... :D"  {Sounds sexy, but no.}

It's official.  I'm a mother - and a proud one.  Bowen Westley Anderson was born on August 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM.  He was 19 inches long and he weighed 6 pounds and 15.5 ounces. 

Daddy, Bo, and Mama
Daddy's favorite picture.
The whole family.
Love like I've never known.