Thursday, October 28, 2010

Must Scream TV

We didn't expect Madeline to share our tastes and interests in everything.  We know that as she grows up she will probably reject our music, (Especially Eric's) our fashion choices, (Especially mine) and our rules.  (What do you mean I can't get a cellphone?!  I'm six years old  Momma, everyone has a cellphone!)  

What we didn't expect was for all this rejection to start so soon.  

The only night of the week that we are truly interested in watching TV is on Thursdays.  Our DVR goes bananas on Thursdays. 

Eric and I are big fans of The Office. (Especially Eric. I mostly just wish that Jim and Pam were our neighbors so that our babies could play together and we could be friends.  I contemplated stealing Jim from Pam, but really, that's just wrong because they totally belong together.)  

Anyhow, Madeline has decided that she hates The Office.  Every single time Thursday night rolls around, she starts screaming around 8:30 (which means we also miss 30 Rock...Damn it, Lemon.) and continues straight through The Office.  Even back when she was a quiet baby who rarely made a peep, she would still cry during The Office.  She even cries through the reruns!    

I'm not quite sure what her objections are, but I suspect that it might have something to do with scenes like this.  Madeline is not amused by baby humor.  Babies should be taken seriously.   

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Incredibly Boring Baby Updates

After a five-hour crying jag last night, I decided we were definitely calling Maddie's pediatrician this morning just to make sure she wasn't sick or injured.

Madeline was a good girl and screamed bloody murder during the entire (almost) two hours we were there.  Normally I am not a fan of her crying, but I was happy that she provided proof that her Momma is not crazy.

The doctor looked her up and down and from side to side and found nothing wrong.  She decided that Madeline probably is experiencing colic with some acid reflux issues mixed in there.  She wrote us a prescription that I'm desperately hoping will bring Maddie some relief.  It's so hard watching her be sad all the time.  We'll see.

In other incredible baby news, Maddie weighs a whopping eleven pounds!  Last time we saw the doctors a month ago she weighed seven.  Pretty impressive.  They weighed her on two different scales just to make sure that she was indeed that chubby.  She's a hardy baby with cute fat rolls!  No wonder she has acid reflux with all the eating she's been doing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

6 Weeks

Madeline is six weeks old today.  Time is going by so fast.  Before I know it, there will be snow on the ground, and I will be heading back to work.  I need to keep reminding myself to appreciate every moment I have with her now because it will be very sad for Momma when I'm not with her during the day anymore.  Luckily, we found a daycare we trust.  Best part?  We don't have to keep her enrolled full-time during the summer when we're not working.  One less thing to worry about.  

Madeline is getting so big.  Her little cheeks are so, so chubby.  I remember when I could wrap my entire hand around her head.  Not any more.  
Zoned-Out Maddie
She's continuing to smile.  She's continuing to be more awake and alert throughout the day.  She's rolled over from her belly to her back several more times, and her neck is getting stronger.  Eric was carrying her around the living room last night, and she had her head way up off his shoulder as she looked around the room curiously for several minutes.  
Curious Maddie

She likes watching and listening to her rattle.  She started refusing to take her pacifier, but she really enjoys sucking on Momma's knuckles when she gets riled up.  Her hair is redder than ever, but she's kinda rocking a mullet.  It's really long and thick in the back, and she's basically bald in the front.  

Happy Maddie
Unfortunately, her sad mood has continued, and even gotten worse.  Almost every night she has a huge crying fit.  Last night she screamed her head off from 5:30 to around 10 pm.  Eric the wonder daddy tried everything in his bag of tricks to quiet her, but nothing worked.  

Unhappy Maddie
On the bright side, she tuckered herself out so much from crying that she slept like a champ during the night.  She slept for a record breaking six hours straight.  Then, after she ate, she slept for another four hours.  At least she has her crying fits in the late afternoon to early evenings so we can get some sleep.  Although on Saturday night it lasted until 3 am, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.  

Aww, cute baby toes!
 I just try to focus on the fact that the crying won't last forever.  Hopefully relief is around the corner.  We love you Maddie Bear, please be happy for Momma and Daddy.   

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Giving birth to a baby girl means two things:  One, you instantly start preparing for the day when you will have to endure the wrath of a fifteen-year-old female; and Two, in the meantime, your living space will start to look like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol has thrown up all over it.  We have pink things everywhere!  Pink balloons, pink envelopes, pink flowers, pink blankets, and her wardrobe?  Well, this girl is going to be wearing nothing but pink-footed pajamas until she gets a job at Market Basket and starts buying her own clothes.

In my experiences, I've found that are two kinds of people.  There are the people who love dressing baby girls in pink because it's adorable and sweet.  Then, there are the kind of people who reject everything pink because they feel it represents the subjection of the female species.

Luckily, I embrace pink girlishness hardcore.  Pink (as Shelby from Steel Magnolia's would say) is my signature color.   Growing up, people always told me that I couldn't wear pink because it would clash with my red hair.  Well, somewhere in my late teen years I finally stopped listening to this advice, and you know what?  I look damn good in pink.  It brings out the undertones in my otherwise transparent skin.

Now that I've spawned another redhead, thus doing my part to prevent the inevitable demise of our species, my girl will wear pink proudly!

For those of you who love pink as much as I do, a list of all things pink and lovely.
  1. Pink Sunsets
  2. Pink Roses
  3. Cotton Candy
  4. Pink Lemonade 
  5. Jem's Hair (It's truly, truly, truly outrageous!) 
  6. Bubblegum
  7. Glinda the Good Witch 
  8. The movie Pretty in Pink
  9. Shrimp Cocktail
  10. Cosmopolitans 
  11. Strawberry Ice Cream
  12. Barbie's Dream House and Corvette
  13. Dizzy's Tongue
  14. Piglet
  15. Pepto-Bismol (I realize that Pepto-Bismol may at first seem gross, but since it makes you feel better, it makes the good list.)  
  16. The Pink Ladies 

For those of you who reject pink, a list of all things pink and...not so lovely:

1. Undercooked chicken
2. Grapefruit juice
3. Rush Limbaugh's Face
4. The Energizer Bunny
5. The Pink Panther
6. Molly Reinwald's prom dress in Pretty in Pink (Seriously, she takes an awesome vintage 50's dress and turns it into some 80s monstrosity.)
7. Pink Eye
8. Pink Belly
9. Pink Poodles
10. Victoria's Secrets Pink  (Yea, just what we need V.S, a bunch of twelve-year-old tarts with the word PINK emblazoned across their rear ends.  Plus, now I have the added embarrassment of running into students while shopping for ridiculously large undergarments.)  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

5 Weeks-Maddie the Grouch

If I had to describe Madeline in two words this week, they would be: Fussy Pants.  If she's not busy sleeping or eating, she's busy being miserable.

Luckily, she's not the cry at the top of her lungs for hours type.  Instead, she is the cry in ear-piercing short bursts while grunting, groaning, and wiggling for hours kind.

She doesn't seem to know what to do with herself yet.  If she's awake, she thinks she should be eating, but then she eats too much and spits up bucket loads of curdled milk all over her Momma.  (Gross.) The poor girl also gets gassy and hiccup-y all the time...that would make me fussy too.  She just can't seem to get comfortable.  Sad.

In other news, she's developing by leaps and bounds.  In between bouts of crying, she's smiling now.  Not just gassy, was-that-really-a-smile? smiles.  I mean real smiles!  She likes it when I stand her up on my lap so that she can look around the room.  That usually makes her smile.  When I congratulate her with "Good girl!!  What a big girl!!" in an annoying, high-pitched momma voice she also likes to smile.  She opens her mouth wide and wrinkles her nose up like she's up to no good.  It's my favorite thing that she does.

She's extremely curious about the world around her, which is another reason I think she gets so fussy.  She seems frustrated by the fact that all she can do is slump around like a slug.  In her desperation to see the sights, she's learned some new tricks.  She can support herself on her forearms and hold her head up for a few seconds at a time.  AND, although it was probably a complete accident, she flipped herself over from her tummy to her back once.  I swear, homegirl is going to get up and walk across the room by the end of the month.  Then she's going to ask to borrow the car and break her curfew while she carouses with the bad baby from down the hall.

But first?  First, she needs to stop fussing because it drives her Momma bananas. It's hard watching your daughter be miserable without being able to do anything about it.  And when I get frustrated, I start to fuss.  (Like mother, like daughter, eh?) Which means that when Eric gets home from work, he has two fussing redheads to deal with.  That's a sad world for Daddy, but luckily he has lots of experience dealing with fussy redheads.  
I'm going to nervously chew on my hand because I'm very confused
as to why I'm on my tummy instead of my back.  
Okay, here we go.  Let's do this thing!  
Phew, this is hard work!
Almost there! 
I'm doing it!  I can see the Dizzy Cat!  
Okay, I give up! Too hard. Back to crying. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nap Time

We love it when Daddy gets home from work on Mondays!  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hello, My Name is Summer, and I Am Not an Alcoholic

I still remember the last drink I had before becoming pregnant.  It was the Mr. K's Perfect Martini with extra olives at Cobblestone's in Lowell.  In fact, I had two of them that night because they are that delicious.  It was sometime in January.

That means it had been almost ten months since I'd consumed an alcoholic beverage (until last night)...because, you know, I've been busy growing a human.  And it's generally a big no-no for people growing humans to hit the sauce... except, apparently it's not anymore??

Mere weeks after I gave birth, a study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that suggests that light drinking may not be harmful to an unborn child at all.  (More info.)

Which means I could have been drinking all along.  Sigh, all those bottles of wine wasted over the past few months...

EXCEPT, even if the study had been published before I gave birth, I still wouldn't have drank while pregnant. (I was an uptight pregnant lady.  Although maybe my sobriety was why I was so cranky all the time....)  

It's not that I disagree with the study.  I already believed that light drinking probably poses very little risk to your child.  After all, look at people in other parts of the world who continue to drink throughout their pregnancies.  They seem to be fine.  However, shielding my baby from the possible harmful effects of alcohol was one of the few things I felt I had control over while pregnant.  Giving up drinking wasn't a hard thing to do for was harder giving up tuna fish sandwiches and caffeine quite frankly.  Plus, the message to not drink has been so ingrained in our society that drinking while pregnant probably would have made me feel...well, a bit trashy maybe.

It will be interesting to see if the culture around drinking while pregnant changes, but I have a feeling it won't.  Most medical communities are not changing their position on drinking because of this study, and again, there's the social stigma as well.  Honestly, what would you think if you saw a big pregnant lady drinking in a bar?

But last night, last night, my friends, I broke down and had my first alcoholic beverage in a long, long while.  I had a small glass of red wine while we ate Chinese food.  I had forgotten the mysterious way wine dances in your nose.  Pure magic.

Apparently, while I have strong feelings against drinking while pregnant, I don't have strong feelings about drinking while nursing.  I don't know why that is, but it was nice to let loose, even just a tiny bit, for a change.  

Taken long ago and far away when "light drinking" meant only half a handle of
Poland Springs Vodka.  I wasn't actually drinking the Jack Daniel's...that would have been too classy.
P.S. Don't ever buy Poland Springs Vodka.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

That's One Good Lookin' Baby!

We spent a lot of time wondering what Madeline was going to look like before she was born. (Luckily she does not look like Chewy's baby.  She doesn't look much like Oprah's baby either, but I didn't expect her to.)  Now that she's here, we spend a lot of time talking about who she looks like.  

What do you think?  



Madeline at Birth 
Madeline Now

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

In honor of our daughter, Ellis Jane, as well as the thousands of other tragic losses, we'll be lighting a candle tonight at 7 pm to join the "Lights of Love" International Wave of Light.

Those wishing to participate should light a candle at 7 pm in your time zone and leave it burning for one hour.  Your candle will be part of a continuous wave of light that will cross the globe for a 24 hour period in remembrance of our lost children.

Our candle burning for Ellis.  
Much love, and thank you for your participation.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Madeline's First...


The Maddie Bear's umbilical cord is finally completely healed, so now we can give her real baths instead of just sponge baths.

I was worried she wouldn't like it, but she didn't seem to mind at all.  She just sat in the warm water and looked around curious as to what we were doing to her.  The only time she fussed was when I washed her hair because we weren't careful enough, and we got some water in her face.

Umm, excuse me Mumma, you got water in my face!!

After we got her squeaky clean, we swaddled her in her nice, warm sleep sack.  Her calm mood lasted the rest of the night, and all three of us got some nice snoozing in.  Hip-Hip-Hoo-ray!  Three cheers for bath time!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tea with Madeline Lee

Over the weekend, we celebrated the arrival of our little bundle of joy with a Meet Madeline Tea Party that my beautiful sisters threw for us.  Originally, it was supposed to be a traditional baby shower, but since Madeline insisted on coming early, the baby shower never happened.  So instead, the party was opened to the men folk as well, and it became an opportunity for everyone to see the baby.  
Beautiful Sisters

The party was so beautiful.  There were tea pots with flower arrangements on each table, and tiny little teacups with pink polka dots and stripes on them for guests to take.  They even made Madeline teabags that featured her face with the words, "A Teariffic Arrival."  

Everyone at the party had an opportunity to decorate a onesie for Madeline.  I now have a year's supply of adorable onesies with cute messages from family members and friends on them.  

And, of course, we played pass the baby.  

 I was so blown away by the party and am so thankful for our wonderful family and friends.  We are very lucky people.  

Week Four

 It's been an incredible four weeks!  

What We Now Know About Madeline:  

  1. She finally has eyelashes.  
  2. She has eyebrows too, but they are blonde so you have to look closely to see them.  
  3. If you try to move her hands from her face while she's eating, she will growl and grunt at you.  
  4. She likes the mall.  
  5. She likes tea parties!  
  6. She likes visits from Nana and Poppy.  
  7. She stares at our faces for longer periods of time.  
  8. She doesn't mind being bathed.  
  9. She's happiest when being rocked and held.  
  10. Her personality is starting to emerge.  I say it's easy-going with flashes of gremlin mixed in there when she loses her temper.  
  11. She spits up a lot. (By a lot, I mean in large volumes.)  
  12. She's happiest when being held and rocked.
  13. Her hair is still red, her eyes are still blue.
  14. She has stolen our hearts.   

Enjoying a lazy Columbus Day with Momma and Daddy on the couch.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bragging About My Baby: The Awesomest Baby in the World

Yesterday, Madeline took her first trip to the mall.  She was such a good baby the entire time!  Her momma had time to get her hair cut, eat a nice lunch with Grammy and Bob, and even do a little shopping.  When it was time to feed and change her, we brought her to a magical bathroom in the back of Lord and Taylor's where there were nice soft couches and lots of nursing mothers.  She drank her daily bottle and was good to go again.  

Now that I know Madeline can be such a good girl for such a long period of time, we will be taking lots of trips to the mall.  (Obviously the girl likes to shop.)  In fact, we were amused to see that about 60 percent of the shoppers there were women pushing baby strollers.  

Apparently the mall is the baby place to be on a Friday morning. Also, when you're a new mom apparently even a public restroom is a perfect photo op.   

To top it off, Maddie slept like a champ last night.  I was worried she wouldn't because she slept all day yesterday after being up a lot the night before.  It was as if she knew that her momma was absolutely exhausted and needed a solid three hours of sleep in a row.  Eric said I was even snoring last night.  That means that I was really sleeping instead of just cat napping.  

And that, my friends, is why The Maddie Bear is the awesomest baby in the world.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Madeline's First...


We gave Madeline her first bottle yesterday afternoon.  She seemed a bit confused as to why milk was coming from her daddy and a rubber tube instead of her momma, but she drank the milk right down.

It's interesting to see how much she actually does eat.  We gave her a little over two ounces, but she was still hungry when she finished the bottle.  We'll have to try giving her more today.  Our gal sure can eat!

FYI:  Using a breast pump is probably one of the weirdest things I've ever done.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Three Weeks

Madeline is three weeks old today.  Time is a funny thing.  On one hand, Eric and I feel like she could have been born yesterday.  On the other, it feels like she's been here forever already.  It's hard to imagine what life was like before her.

What We Now Know About Madeline:

  1. She gets the hiccoughs a lot.  
  2. She's awake for longer and longer periods a day.  
  3. She doesn't quite know what to do with herself when she's awake and spends most of her time hitting herself in the face with her own hands...which then makes her mad.  
  4. She has a very strong neck.  She likes to try to lift up her head and look around.  
  5. She has very long arms.  While her clothes are all still too big, the sleeves are too short.  
  6. If you feed her three times in an hour at night, she's out like a light!  
  7. She's generally a very mellow baby...just like her Daddy!    
  8. Although she does growl when frustrated...just like her Momma!  
  9. She still looks most like Eric, but she's starting to look more and more like a combination of the two of us.  
  10. She's getting so big!  

** P.S.  The photo at the top was taken by my parents.  They take great photos, which is good because my pictures usually turn out like this:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Confessions of a First-Time Momma

Recently, my blog has been all, "Isn't my baby the most adorable baby ever?!? Awww."  (Which she is, obviously.)  But, I also wanted to take a moment to reflect on the more realistic side of my current life as a parent.

I know this is going to come as a shock to you veteran mommas, but this parenting thing is H.A.R.D.  It's not like I didn't know it would be hard.  Of course I knew it was going to be hard. (That's what she said.) The thing is?  It's a different kind of hard than I thought it would be.  It's a kind of hard that you can't prepare's sink or swim time.

Don't get me wrong, I adore Madeline, and I'm sure my blog will soon return to showcasing adorable pictures.  I'm over the moon to be a Momma, but at the same time, the early days of parenthood can also be quite disturbing.  If I acted like I was blissfully sailing through all this, I would be lying.  I think there's a misconception that new moms should feel positively giddy with happiness all the time, which is why when things like the baby blues strike, it makes those new mothers feel so guilty.  So, here's what I've discovered so far.

1. The baby blues are real, yo.

Before having Maddie, I'd read about the baby blues.  Every parenting book out there mentions them.  But, for some reason, maybe because of what we'd been through with Ellis, I thought I would be immune.  In my pregnancy glow, I just couldn't imagine being depressed after the birth of my beautiful, healthy daughter.  As it turns out, I'm just as susceptible as everyone else.

The mood swings during pregnancy?  Ha, those weren't mood swings.  The baby blues?  Now, that's a mood swing!  I've had periods of uncontrollable crying for no at the grocery store.  I've had times where I've had to hand the baby over to Eric and just go sob in the other room.  I've had times times where I've just wanted to pull a bedspread over my head and stay there for a full 24 hours.

My life as I knew it is suddenly gone, and I don't think there's anything you can do to fully mentally prepare for that fact.  That doesn't mean that I don't have a new-and-improved wonderful life ahead of me, but it's very disconcerting to not recognize yourself anymore.  It takes time to wrap your mind around your new reality, and the hormones, body aches, and crying baby don't make it any easier.

As the weeks have gone on, the crying fits are much fewer and further in between, and I know I'm now on the other side of the baby blues.  Thank goodness because all that crying was distracting me from my adorable, perfect little baby.

2. Breastfeeding sucks

Here's a dirty little secret for you: I HATE breastfeeding.  Proponents of breastfeeding always talk about the amazing bonding experience you feel with your child, and how it's the most natural way to be a mother in the world.  Well, I say bologna.

 In the first few days, it was so stressful that I would burst into tears just thinking about feeding her.  First, it was painful.  Secondly, I was stressed about possibly starving my baby.  We met with a lactation consultant while we were in the hospital, and while she was there, she sprinkled her happy, hippie fairy dust, and it all seemed so easy and natural.  The thing is, the lactation consultant eventually had to leave, and I had to turn back into a pumpkin, Cinderella.  Once I was on my own, it continued to hurt, and I couldn't quite get her in the right position.

Almost three weeks later,  things are running much more smoothly.  It doesn't hurt like it did, and baby girl is definitely not starving. (She's getting huge.) It DOES get easier every day.  Still, I don't like it much.  It doesn't make me feel bonded with my daughter.  Holding her does, watching her smile does, letting her sleep on my chest does...but feeding her?  Not so much. In fact, if anything, it makes me feel a bit resentful.  I'm not just a human milk machine damn it!  It also makes me feel trapped.  (I'm not the whip-the-boob-out-in-public kind of gal despite my tendency to share too much information on the Internet.)

So why am I still doing it?  The guilt obviously.  While I don't like it, it's not like it's unbearable either.  I know it's better for Madeline.  (Another recall on formula the week we brought her home didn't help either.)  Plus, I'm stubborn.  I've come this far, I can't just give up now.  Giving up would be a tremendous failure.  Not acceptable for me at this point.  This week we're going to start giving Maddie one bottle of expressed milk a day.  By the time I go back to work, she's got to be fully on the bottle.  That goal makes everything more bearable because I know I won't be trapped forever.

3.  I didn't know what fear was till I became a mother 

The responsibility of caring and providing for such a helpless little being is frightening as hell.  What if she's not getting enough to eat?  What if she gets sick?  What if she doesn't sleep tonight?  What if I can't get her to stop crying?  Is she warm enough?  Is she too warm?  Is she still breathing?  Is it okay that we can't get her to stay on her back?  Am I holding her enough?  Am I holding her too much?  Where are we going to send her to school?  How are we going to pay for college?  What if the economy tanks forever and her only future is, "Do you want fries with that?"  Where's the cat?  What if I drop her?  What if someone tries to steal her?  What if I leave her in the elevator?  What if daycare is bad for her?  What if we get into a car accident?  Is her eyesight okay?  What's that bump on her lip?  Are we changing her diaper often enough?  Is she pooping enough?  Is her poop the right color?

See what I mean?  There's a lot of what-ifs!  Sometimes I worry that I'll never be able to relax again.  And, my guess is, that I probably won't.  Sigh....deep breaths.

There it is; what I've learned about parenting so far.  I hope this didn't come across as too whiny.  I'm loving my little munchkin more and more every day.  And, as I get into the swing of Momma-hood, I'm learning to swim instead of sink.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Three is a Magic Number

Our happy family of three. 
Today is October 3, which was supposed to be Madeline's due date.  Obviously, she inherited her mother's impatient gene, and she had plans of her own.  There is no way I can even imagine still being pregnant.  I would be sooo huge and sooo miserable.

So, three was not the magic number for Madeline's birth.

It is, however, according to SchoolHouse Rock, the magic number for a much better reason...

"A man and woman had a little baby.  Yes, they did.  They had three in the family, and that's the magic number."

Friday, October 1, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Madeline is lucky to have a daddy like Eric 

Because he clearly adores her.  

And I adore them.