Wednesday, December 29, 2010

if i wasn't so sick, i might have something better to say

i have nothing interesting to say, it seems. 

i have been sick as sick gets and doped up on nyquil for the last 5 days. which pretty much ruined christmas for me, but not for bella! so here are some pictures from christmas. that's all i've got.

a laptop and a headlamp. now i am JUST like daddy!


going camping. see you guys later!

i much prefer these awesome things to my lame gifts. remember that next year, santa!
that's all for now. hopefully some sleep will do me good and i will have something worth while to say in the morning.

merry christmas and happy new year! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

getting rid of my jiggly booty

i've started running. i know, perfect time to start, right?

i've always been somewhat active (more or less at different times in my life. most recently? less. much, much less.), but i have never, i repeat NEVER been much of a runner. not even when i played sports. i have big feet and short legs and bad knees and am a little top heavy. nope, those puppies didn't make their appearance just for the baby.

and i have excuses. because, really? who LIKES to run?

no you don't. no way. not possible. don't lie to me.

i'm starting out pretty slowly. i don't really enjoy running. so i don't want to burn myself out. i have been running 1.5 miles, then walking the last .5 mile. i know, to all you hard core runners, that is a warm up. but you have to remember, i. don't. run. unless i'm being chased. by a rabid dog. down a hill.

it takes 21 days to form a habit. i am on day 3. lame. i know. but i'm setting small goals.

goal #1-run 1.5 miles, every day, for one month.
goal #2-starting in february, run 2.5 miles, every day, for one month.
goal #3-run 5k every day.

that's it. i just want to be able to run a 5k, without walking, by the spring. maybe then, i will reevaluate, and try to make new goals for time.

this isn't about losing weight though, obviously, i am hoping it leads to that. this is about making myself stronger. making goals and reaching them. being a better me.

and making my jiggly butt, a little less jiggly.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

i am not the mom i want to be.

the mom i want to be, is up before the sun.

the mom i want to be, bakes cookies and cakes, but never gains a pound.

the mom i want to be, is always put together perfectly.

she is productive and motivated and gets stuff done.

the mom i am? the mom i am, tries to milk every last second of sleep before the baby gets up.

the mom i am doesn't keep any sugar in the house (except for at christmastime. because christmas and sugar? go hand in hand), because guaranteed i will gain 20 pounds if i do. 

the mom i am looks disheveled and kind of smells funny. like a mixture of sleep and dog and slobber. most of the time.

i am tired, and overwhelmed, and i am lucky to check one thing off my list per day.

i am not the mom i want to be. clearly.

but i am the mom that i am. i forgo showering sometimes, so i can play chase with my little runner. i let the dishes pile so i can push bella around the house in her car, "drifting" through the door ways. and i still sometimes nap when she naps.

martha stewart, i am not. i'm not perfect. i don't have picture perfect moments. and i guarantee, if you took pictures of most of my day? it might strike fear in the hearts of engaged boys everywhere.

i am not the mom i wanted to be. but i am the mom that i am. and i am the best mom that i can be. and i think my kid is alright with that.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

ask, and you shall receive.

first. go check out my friend. she writes a food blog and shares some great recipes. and some good advice. like, don't cut off your finger. awe inspiring, my friend. her food? de. lic. ious. so check her out. you won't be sorry.


y'all? my christmas list? almost fulfilled. i mean, "someone" must have sent my letter to joel santa because the next day? i got a tree. and it is half decorated. so, that's a bonus, because decorations? weren't on the list.

plus also? we went to atlanta this weekend and last night? full. nights. sleep. no, joel didn't get up with the baby, or anything. BUT she did sleep all night, and in a pack n play, no less.

so, i'm all giddy that things are happening for me. i should put what i want in print more often. and then beg bribe ask someone to send it to joel. because we all know he doesn't read this without a little prodding (he is supportive of my writing, he just doesn't like hearing stories twice).

as i said before, we went to atlanta this weekend. we went to a carolina/atlanta hockey game thursday night. it was a first for the whole family and i had NO CLUE what was going on. but it was a really exciting game and went into a "slap off", as i called it.....wrongly. of course. like i said, no clue. bella loved it and rocked back and forth when the charge song played (i thought that was for basketball?) or when people were yelling. carolina won, which was pretty exciting. even though we were in the wrong house, we still cheered for them. at first? i thought i might get in a fight. because hockey fans are crazy. but when the guy in front of us tried to fist bump (every single person in the arena) me and i said no? he didn't beat me up. (he was cheering for the wrong team!) so, i actually started to clap when we scored. and when we won? i jumped up. much to the dismay of the drunk group behind me. but, i didn't get throat punched. so. there we go.

the next day, we spent the day exploring the city. we are from charlotte originally, and came to atlanta probably once a year, so we are pretty familiar with all the major tourist landmarks. but this weekend we went to the children's museum with bella. i'm pretty sure that was the most fun day of her little life. it was fun to see her enjoying all of the exhibits. and of course we enjoyed ourselves.....we are two big children. it made me wish we lived closer to the city to be closer to things like that. the macon children's museum was reminiscent of a middle school science fair project. and i have found few places to go for structured classes for the baby (or unstructured classes).

after that, we headed through centennial park for lunch at googey burger. it wasn't too expensive and the veg out burger was PERFECT for bella and me. of course, joel ordered the cheesy chilli fries, you know, to warm up.

we probably only totaled about 6 miles of walking that day, but i love seeing the city as a tourist.

while we were at breakfast friday, bella started signing "milk". i almost didn't recognize it, but i had bought her one of those milk boxes-the horizons ones with the straws, and she drank a little of it, then ate some and then started to open and close her hand. and she did it the rest of the morning. so her repertoire includes "more", "food", "please" and "milk". which is more than i ever thought she would sign.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

my christmas list

i don't want a lot for christmas. i really don't. and truth be told, i don't need a dime spent on me for most of it. but, for the benefit of my hubby (who has read my blog...maybe twice) i will put it all out there.

so here goes. my christmas list:

1. a full nights sleep. just one would suffice, but i'll take as much as i can get. and by that, i mean, going to sleep around 9:30pm and not waking up until, oh, say....9:00am. is that asking for too much? maybe. but i haven't slept one whole night through since before bella was born.

2. a clean house that i had no part in cleaning. i think that bears no explanation.

3. this.  with this. in red.. because lola chewed the stuffing out of our current bedding.

4. a day without bella. i love her. with every atom that forms my being. but, with the exception of maybe 2 days, i have been glued to her 24/7/365. there was that one day..... and that was alright, but the guilt i felt for leaving her with my friend for so long, unexpectedly, kind of made it hard to enjoy. and there was the sunburn. and the banjo. ::shudders:: what would i do? find a quiet corner in barnes and noble and camp out. all. day. long.

5. a christmas tree. no. i still don't have one. we decided to wait until after bella's birthday. then my husband worked 15 12-hour days with no day off. so, like, a christmas tree was the LAST thing he wanted to get into. and then? i lost my keys. so. i'm being punished, i think. and there are 11 days til christmas and i still have no tree.

honestly? i think that's it. i don't ask for much. i want joy and cheer and jingle bells and merriment. and a tree. and a break. i'm a simple gal.

so, someone, please, drop a hint to my hubby. because he needs a clue, lord help him. (love ya, babe!)

Monday, December 13, 2010


today, at 7:31pm, bella is turning one. i know everyone says it. but i can't believe how fast it went. really. seriously. fast. 

we celebrated over the weekend with a bird themed birthday party.

we asked guests to, instead of bringing bella gifts, bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to toys for tots. of course, some people still brought bella gifts. but we collected an entire box to donate in bella's name. my hope is that we continue to do this for years to come and that bella will embrace it as well when she is old enough to make the decision. 

all of bella's grandparents were here. mommy and daddy's friends all came, and bella's buddy, logan was her most favorite guest. she hugged him and kissed him and fought over the car with him. she loves him. 

and without further ado, here is her one year letter:
dear bella,

one year ago, this moment, i didn't know what you looked like. i didn't know what your voice sounded like. i didn't know what color hair or eyes you had. but i knew that in a few short hours, i would learn all of that. and so much more. 

you started out wide awake and aware, taking in the world around you with as much enthusiasm as a tiny human can. you seemed beyond your time and, even at the ripe old age of two days, you were already able to hold your head up and were constantly looking at things with great focus.

as you grew, your personality began to shine through even more. you had an undeniable ability to make people smile and laugh. everywhere you went, people were enamored with you and would constantly stop mommy to tell me how beautiful you were. they still do. and you bat your eyelashes, and smile. 

at 2 months, mommy, yaya and aunt brooke took you to disney world. you loved the rides and especially lit up at the three caballeros at epcot's mexico in the world showcase. that was one of mommy's favorite cartoons when she was little, and it made me excited to see you enjoying it. 

at 4 months, you started to sit up on your own. daddy had just gotten back from haiti, and you were eager to show off your new talents. you could scoot around and already were getting into trouble.     

you started crawling right around 5 months, on mommy's birthday. 

the next few months were full of mommy chasing you around. over the summer, you spent most of your time in your bathing suit because you loved the pool. which pleases mommy more than you will know. 

at 9 months, 3 days, you took your first steps. and by 9 1/2 weeks, you were walking on your own. 

now, you are one year old. you smile and laugh, you talk and babble, and dance. you are a bright light. you are your daddy's girl. when he comes into the room, you run, full speed ahead, into his arms. 

you know your mind and you are determined. you go for exactly what you want and only ask for help when you are sure you can't do it on your own. you play without fear. and you see no reason why you can't do anything. 

bella, my hope for you is that you keep that independence, unhindered by insecurity or inability, for the rest of your life. 

so many people will try to tell you that you can't do something, for one reason or another. but you can. you can do anything. i hope that i can be an example for you, and that daddy will be an encourager throughout your life, empowering you to make decisions and stand up for what is right. 

i also hope you are a compassionate person. that, no matter what state you are in, you know that you have something to give, and that you give it, freely. 

but mostly, more than anything, i hope that you are happy. that you find joy, true joy. and that it is a joy that is lasting and is good. 


for posterity, we'll go through the obligatory list of "tricks":
-you say "tuck tuck" when it's bed time, "momma", "dadda", "yaya", "doo" (duke), "lala" (lola), "up", "duwn" (down), "yay me!" (yaya taught you this, this weekend), and you say "pee" (please) and "day doo" (thank you) when mommy says it first. 
-you sign "more" and "food" and are getting close to signing "milk" and "done". we are working on "please" and "thank you".
-you do "touch down" and give high fives, and your newest "trick" is hugging and kissing. you even pucker up your lips. 
-you sleep almost completely through the night, waking once usually with a wet diaper. sometimes, you still wake up twice, and mommy likes to think it's because you miss me. 
-you LOVE your lola. you run up to her and lay on top of her, hug her, kiss her and wrestle with her. and she loves you and just lets you flop around on top of her. 
-you share your food and your toys, though, usually after you take it out of your mouth......still, you are a sweet girl. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

i was bitter before. but now, it's thursday.

today? i am thankful.

i really am. i know i have been sour lately. it has showed in all of my relationships, and i am sorry for that. because i'm not usually snippy. usually i'm bright and cheery. usually? usually, i am encouraging and helpful. but lately? i have been irritated, tired and cranky.

so today, i am thankful for oh so much.

i am thankful that i have friends who forgive me on my cranky days.

i am thankful for a husband who doesn't just love my cheery disposition, but who also loves me because i make beautiful babies, wash his clothes, and can sometimes crack his scroogey exterior and make him giggle (that's right folks, he giggles. and it makes me smile)

i am thankful, that in spite of being "broken", i made a human baby who is stunning.

i am thankful that said baby is strong and determined and talented, even if it makes me very, very tired.

i am thankful for my husbands job that,  may leave me sleeping alone many nights, but, provides a pretty comfortable life for us.

i am thankful for two big dumb dogs who rest their heads in my lap, who wag their tails when i look at them and who snoop around the closets like 5 years olds trying to find their christmas presents. (duke has found them twice......)

and lastly? i am thankful for the flurries that fell last night. because i like snow. and i like unexpected things. like snow. in georgia. it's like an early christmas present.

McGlothin Family Nest

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a bitter, old hag

we have been busy. 

not really. but i have an almost one year old. so every day feels like it's been a long one. lately, our schedule has made me very, very tired. 

i'm really surprised that i haven't lost weight. so, to all you skinny moms who, when asked how you look so great, say "oh, i chase a toddler around"? you're lying. you were skinny before. that's why you are skinny now. 

because i was fat before. and i'm fat now. i chase a very hyperactive one year old who doesn't sit still for two seconds and i don't eat, and i am not skinny. 

i don't know where i was going with that. except to say that i have become a bitter old hag. i'm hating on all kinds of people lately. and that isn't usually how i roll. 

i'm hating, obviously, on the skinny mommas out there. because i hardly eat and i'm constantly moving, yet i am not getting rock hard ab's nor do i look svelte in my skinny jeans. (i don't really hate you, just to be clear. i'm just jealous.)

i'm hating on people who sleep all night. because, yes, my one year old still wakes up at night. sometimes twice. OCCASIONALLY, three times. but we don't talk about those times. those are very dark times. 

i'm hating on people who have a christmas tree. because december is almost half way through and i still have no tree. actually, not much around here resembles christmas. we have stockings up, and an advent santa. there are lights on the back porch, but they are always there. and there is a wreath on the door, but, again....always there. christmas was so much more fun/easy when i didn't have to plan anything. 

pretty much, i am sleepy and cranky and uninspired. 

and this weekend is bella's first birthday. which might be adding to my crankiness. my baby is turning one. and it makes me sad. 

is that not one beautiful one year old?

baby, it's cold outside

one happy little elf

after scrolling through those, my mood has started to lift a little. 

be sure to check the "bella dines in paradise" tab for new recipes! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

letter to a celebrity. or in this case, a "not quite" celebrity.

i have been really busy the last month with moving, travelling and simply not having any internet connection, and so i have been absent. i have neglected my beloved blog. sometimes i felt bad about it. sometimes? notsomuch. because the truth is, even if we hadn't been moving and travelling, i probably still wouldn't have had much time to write. bella is 11 months old and is into EVERYTHING. she has been walking for about 2 months now, and she has gotten pretty good at it. which means now, i don't get to sit down. because she leaves a trail of destruction everywhere she goes. and it usually consists of things that are hazardous to her health.

now that we are settled, what better way to make my comeback, than to participate in mama kat's writers workshop? so here, for your reading pleasure is my "open letter to a celebrity":

dear football wives "stars":

ok, i know you aren't truly celebrity. the only thing you have done that makes you famous is marry an athlete. and then get a reality show. but in our mixed up, backwards world, that apparently constitutes as hard work and is deemed worthy of our attention. i don't get it. but i get sucked in.

i don't actually watch your show. because it kind of makes me sick that we glorify your existence. i don't like the real housewives either, but they are so dumb and drama-centric that it kind of makes me feel good about my life. but i digress. i was a victim of bella changing the channels again, and it landed on your show.

three of you ladies were sitting in pedicure chairs, having your nails done, and talking about how even though you like what your husbands do (aka, you like that you get to spend seemingly limitless amount of money and live in a big nice house, while your nanny raises your kids and your maids keep your palace livable), you fear every moment that he steps on the field because he "puts his life on the line everyday".

spoiled-rich-woman-with-too-much-time-and-not-enough-responsibility say WHAT?!

honey, let me tell you something. MY husband (along with the husbands and wives of most of my friends) puts his life on the line. so that you can make asinine comments like that one. so that you can live in your fancy house, and spend your fancy money. so that you can sit in that chair, and get that pedicure, by some woman who probably gave up a lot so she could scrub your calloused feet, which got that way, not by walking long distances in combat boots, but by treading around the mall in too-high heels, carrying too heavy shopping bags.

let me get one thing straight. i am not upset by the fact that you are complaining that you worry about your husbands physical health. or that you are afraid he might get seriously injured. i think that is a sentiment shared by every wife in the world. and i don't mean to make light of your pain. not being around your husband as much as you would like, sucks. but my sympathy does not extend much past that.

but let me shed some light on your comment. your husband risks his body for the sake of a game. for entertainment. my husband (and the other people of service like him) risks his life for the sake of the people of this country. he sacrifices holidays, weekends, dinners with the family and seeing milestones in his children's lives for the sake of national security. and he is not compensated nearly as well.

do you have a right to complain? absolutely. and people like my husband gave their lives so you could have it.


my tirade is done.

Mama's Losin' It

Friday, October 22, 2010

thanksful on a thursday

i've realized that i am incapable of typing "thank" without an s at the end. so thank you becomes thanks you and thankful turns out like thanksful. and it's all just a little awkward.

so, without further ado.......

i am thanksful, on a thursday, for

1. being blessed with friends who are strong and giving of their time and resources. with the help of my friend and her sons, we have been able to move (almost) my entire apartment in one day.

2. family members who love me and make long trips to see me, just to watch my baby all day so i can move. with the help of aforementioned friends.

3. peppermint swiss cake rolls. seriously, how could the maker of my favorite childhood frozen treat know me any better!? what, you didn't freeze your swiss cake rolls?

4. when the things i forgot to pack at my almost empty apartment (that i am spending the night in), just happen to be the very things i need at 9pm, when my baby is fast asleep.

5. my husband being in the military in the 21st century. so that when he is a world away, i still get to talk to him every day. i can't imagine what it was like to only be able to correspond through letters.

6. since both of our tv's are already in the new house. where there is no power.

7. belly laughs. about bodily functions. and calling people bad names on accident. yeah, guess you had to be there.

8. that my baby is soundly sleeping, in her pack 'n play, no less.

9. the pumpkin spice latte that jump started my morning today. does my world revolve around food? yes. don't judge.

10. this queen sized, double stacked air mattress that self inflates, that i am laying on right now. because without it, i would be on the floor.

good night!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

a note to brand new mommas......

it will get easier. 

then it will get hard again. 

it will be something different. when babies are teeny, it's hard because it's new. sitting here, while my 10 month old is sound asleep, i can remember, when she was small, sleeping on the couch for close to 2 months. i just couldn't quite figure out how i could sleep in my bed. my baby WOULD. NOT. SLEEP. in anything except her swing. and only for an hour or two at a time, if that. my boobies hurt. my back hurt. my head hurt. other places hurt. and in ways i never imagined. and my heart hurt. which i didn't expect. 

those first few weeks were so hard emotionally. i wanted to just sit and hold my little child, but i also wanted to hold my husband. and snuggle with him in the morning. and i wanted to snuggle with my pup, who, up until then, had been our baby. i wanted to spend every moment looking at bella. because it was amazing that she even existed. but the more time i spent with her, the less time i had to spend with joel. when bella was about 4 weeks old, i cried for the first time. i was so sorry that i wasn't being a good wife. a good friend. but it was a new dimension to our relationship and i didn't know how to function.

things have settled tremendously now. i feel normal again. things aren't easy. but they feel right. 

some days, i long for those early moments again. when i would be wide awake at 2 in the morning, feeling like i was the only one in the world who was awake. then waking again at 6, and watching the sun rise as i nursed my newborn. it was so peaceful and beautiful. 

every day was an adventure. every thing was new and exciting. now, things are routine and comfortable. we have fallen into a routine of stumble out of bed, play all morning, nap (sometimes both of us) and then around 12, my day actually starts. some most days i get overwhelmed. i throw my keys away, i leave cars unlocked (which leads to things being stolen from us), i lose things, i break things, and most days i feel like a bit of a failure. then bella walks over to me, puts her head in my lap and makes kissy mouths at me. and i feel like super mom. 

it's all pretty fantastic. and i don't know why i am so blessed. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10 months

a year ago, i sat in the lab, getting an ultrasound. when i saw the picture, i thought.....


my baby is the joker.

everything was kind of blurry, but her mouth was VERY pronounced. and very joker-esque. it may have been the hormones, but i started crying. my mom was with me and i turned to her and said, "i don't want my baby to be ugly!"

yes, i know. how terrible. how vain. but the fuzzy glimpse i just got of my child was not a pretty sight. all i could imagine was this petite little face with a great big joker mouth.

scary, no? picture it on a teeny little baby and you can see why i was crying.

bella is 10 months today, and not once in her little life have i thought for a minute that she wasn't the most beautiful baby ever. of course, if she was, i would never know. because she is my baby.

she does have a big smiley mouth. and she is constantly showing it off. she smiles all the time, big and mouthy. 

so she is 10 months. she is a proficient walker, and has even started running (aka waddling quickly). she says mama, dada, "doo" and "yoya" which i SWEAR is duke and lola. maybe not, but it sounds like it. she pushes things with her head and when they won't get out of her way she screams and tries again. 

she has 7 teeth. she chews on EVERYTHING. she has been eating a lot more stuff lately.

and recently, she has decided that sleep is for losers. and since she is no loser, she has quit sleeping. which means.....i have quit sleeping. 

this past week has been harder than when she was a newborn. but for some reason, i still feel like this has been my favorite age. maybe it's because she has more personality. she is like a little person, toddling around after me, talking to me with conviction, like what she is saying is important. yesterday, at target, she "read" to me all throughout the store. she is becoming a small person, instead of a baby. she is insanely expressive. 

it's exhausting. but it's so fun. and in 2 short months, she will be one. year. old.

where has the time gone?


Monday, October 11, 2010

i am le tired

i haven't been around much lately. probably because bella has adopted a new wake up time of 5am. and that is becoming increasingly earlier, each day. this morning, she was up at 4. while i appreciate her desire to spend more time with her mommy, i could really use more than a few hours of sleep.

sure, part of the problem is that i'm not going to sleep until midnight. but really, i blame joel for that. i never can sleep when he is travelling.

so instead of blogging (or cleaning, or packing, or organizing, or eating) while she takes her naps, i sleep. and then wake up groggy, and let her nurse while i catch a few more minutes. and then let her play in her room, while i lay on the floor, half awake.

i feel like she is a newborn again, only worse, because while i am laying there on the ground she is walking on me, screaming and pulling my hair.

i HAVE stuff to say. but i am too tired to get on the computer to say what i want. so i slowly start feeling like i'm mildly schizophrenic, listening to the rambling "mom"ologue in my head.

even more, i don't have time to READ my favorite blogs. unless i get them in e-mail, because then i can read them laying in bed, with one eye open, off of my phone, when i am trying to fall back asleep after futilely convincing my almost 10 month old that playing in her room at 4am is NOT appropriate.

even after all of that complaining, i look at her, waddling around the living room, "tra-la-la"ing with her little sing songy voice, and i can't help but be overwhelmed by how blessed i am.

either she is that adorable, or i am slowly losing my mind.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

bella wants to be a model

i am not above pimping out my blog to get my baby votes. not. one. bit.

i need your help. bella has been entered into a baby modelling contest at a boutique in town. PLEASE help her win by voting for her!

How to Vote
First, you need to “Like” the Facebook fan pages of Butterfly Kisses, Lindley’s Photography and Alicia McDonald Photography.
Then, beginning October 7th, click on the “Photos” tab on each fan page to find the Butterfly Kisses Model Search gallery. Find the photo you want to vote for, and click the “Like” button under that picture. That’s it!
You can vote THREE TIMES for each picture – once on the Butterfly Kisses fan page, once on Lindley’s Photography fan page, and once on Alicia McDonald Photography’s fan page.

(bella is #42 in each album, or you can click the links above to go directly to her picture!)
The photos with the most “Likes” (combined total of all three fan pages) by the end of the contest will be our finalists!

that's it! now go vote people!! bvella wants to be a model so bad she is throwing a fit! 
seriously......i gotta go. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

communication is key

bella made her first sign tonight at dinner. sure, it was for cinnamon butter that joel slipped her when i wasn't looking. but she signed, all the same. she put her two little hands together making the sign for more.

the i gave her a mushroom, and she made the sign again. then she did it for broccoli. and a mum mum. it was all pretty exciting.

we have been working with her for about a month so far. at each meal, about half way through, i ask if she wants more, and do the accompanying sign, then give her more.

we've also been signing "milk", "done", "up", "down" and "please", though "more" has been the one we focused on the most.

i have to be honest. i thought i was wasting my time. i've read about all the benefits of signing, about how it helps curb tantrums by giving them a way to communicate before they can talk. i saw her recognizing the signs when i would do them, but would she really do them? i just couldn't see it. even when she learned "high five" in a matter of about 10 minutes. but that was fun and got an immediate reaction, on OVER reaction, of me jumping up and down and hooting and yelling, "YYAAAAAYYYY!!!!" in a silly high pitched voice. signing, well, the only reward so far has been food........

oh, how she takes after her mother............
want to sign with your baby? here is a great reference to get started!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


my kid likes dirt. 

and leaves.

and being outside. 

my baby likes camping, and being outdoors, and campfires, and dogs. big, stinky, dogs. 

we took her on her THIRD camping trip last weekend and she LOVED it. she is pretty freaking awesome. 

{sitting with daddy, by the campfire. joel didn't get the memo, apparently, that it was cold out.} 

{let me walk daddy! i need to get that dirt!}

{camping is hard work}

i don't even know who this kid IS anymore........

Thursday, September 30, 2010

now, i am a big girl.

she was running all around, back and forth. taunting me. i was holding on as tight as i could, just knowing that if i let go, i would fall. my legs were too wobbly. the ground, hard and cold under my nearly bare feet.

but she moved so fast and free. i wanted to run like her. how was she so sure. so able?

she ran past me again, this time, brushing my shoulder with her hair. she turned around and laughed at me, waving at me to follow her.

i let go.

so far, so good.

one foot out, in front of the other. steady.

another step. and another. another. faster now.

....10, 11, 12, 13........18, 19......right up to the edge........

and now, that girl, that little girl, she's gone. now. now i am a big girl. now i can walk.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

in the ghetTO (the ghettooooo)

i hate stealers (not THE stealers. people who are stealers. otherwise known as thief's.). i know, mamaw, hate IS a strong word. in this case, it isn't strong enough.

there is something about knowing that someone has been in your car, touching your things, TAKING the things that your hard earned money bought, violating your personal space, that really boils my blood.

if you are in need of something, i have no problem helping you out. my husband and i have been richly blessed and we like to help others as much as we can. 

this morning, we were on our way out to go deliver meals through meals on wheels. we were making room in the trunk, moving the baby's stroller over to our explorer when we noticed the dash had been RIPPED OUT. 

there were wires sticking out all over the place, shoddily snipped. the stereo was missing and the facade of the dash was hanging on by one screw. the doors had been locked, but the windows cracked since it gets as hot as hades here. this was undoubtedly the thiefs point of entry. jerks.

it's not the radio. that is a material thing that can be replaced. it's my ruined faith in man kind. and now i believe that i live in the ghetto. i always thought that, but now, i believe it. i blame joel. he picked this place. for 1/3 the price and double the space of our condo in hawaii, he saw this place as the taj mahal. his vision was skewed. i guess i can forgive him.

really, this is a blessing in disguise. because that means I will be making all of the big decisions for the foreseeable future.

now, when do we leave this arm pit? (ok, that was harsh. i'll regret that when i'm not mad anymore. maybe. probably not. i just don't want to offend anyone. well.......when do we leave again?) 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

how it all happened, the final installment

the road to motherhood, was long. i am not going to pretend that i have had the toughest struggle. the reality is, a LOT of women go through what i have been through and worse. miscarriage is INCREDIBLY common, as is infertility. the unfortunate thing is that many women feel ashamed or embarrassed and don't talk about it much, until long after they have gone through the experience. so, while i was going through everything, i felt so incredibly alone. absolutely isolated. remember, we weren't talking about it. so i didn't know how common my issues really were. and of course, now that bella is here, i can freely talk about everything i went through. 

my pregnancy wasn't terrible. but i was sick for most of it. i would wake up early to take joel in to work, with every intention of working out. i was determined to stay healthy through my pregnancy and keep my weight gain under control. i would drop joel off at PT (physical training, not physical therapy, for all you non-military readers), drive to the gym, and then.....sleep. in the car. in the parking lot. for an hour. then joel would call me to pick him up and i would groggily rouse and drive over. 

joel: "you fell asleep again, didn't you"

me: "yup. don't judge me. i'm creating life"

one morning, i was driving joel to work and was overwhelmed by a nauseas feeling. driving down the street (on base, so like 15 mph) i opened the door, stuck my head out and puked all over the road. then kept on going. this was very common for about the first 18 weeks. i hated it, because, like, who really enjoys throwing up? i lost 10 pounds, i slept a lot, and i felt all sick and vommy most of the time. my kitchen was full of ginger snaps, ginger ale, candied ginger, raw ginger. none of it helped. and i felt miserable.

but i was pregnant.  i was having a baby. so i complained and felt incredibly guilty. this was what i wanted, after all. 

for most of the first trimester, if you mentioned anything that had anything to do with meat, i would be sick for the rest of the day. joel got on a "homemade beef jerky" kick right around week 8. which meant our house constantly smelled like......meat. 

then we moved and i felt great, swollen ankles aside. even in the middle of a southern summer, carrying around an extra 15 pounds, i felt amazing. 

my morning sickness was gone, i could eat meat again (hallelujah!!), and i hadn't gained much weight. actually i was back at my pre pregnancy weight after dropping about 15 pounds from the first trimester. life was good. 

bella's birth was amazing. i was induced at 7 am and she was born at 7:31 pm. the worst part was that i hadn't eaten in over 24 hours, threw up about 32 oz of fluid (no one warned me about that......from all the fluids and the adrenaline, as i was pushing i was puking. it was very lovely) and it was sunday, so the chick-fil-a combo i was so excited about gobbling down was disappointingly absent (i lost track of the days and didn't realize until around 5:30 that is was sunday). so i settled for a big bacon classic combo (which is called something else, but i like calling it that) from wendy's. and when i say settled, i mean i scarfed it down with reckless abandon. 

bella latched on with no problem, and nursed right after her birth. and a couple of times after. then she stopped.

the night after she was born, she hadn't eaten for 12 hours. my nurse had been in and out, trying to help me about every hour. i was frustrated and the baby was frustrated, so they took her to the nursery to give us both a break. at around 3am, the nursery nurse came in and started to yell at me. 

nurse meanie: "why haven't you fed her!?"

me: "i've been trying to. every hour. for 12 hours."

nm: "well, obviously not hard enough. she needs to eat. i am going to take her into the nursery and give her a bottle"

me: "please don't. i really want to nurse her and i am afraid if she takes a bottle she won't nurse"

nm: "then keep trying. but don't let her fall asleep, because if she does, she won't wake back up"

me: stunned silence............

was this medical professional seriously suggesting that my child would DIE if she fell asleep before i could feed her? i started sobbing and told her to get out of my room and not come back. 

my nurse came in and i blubbered what had just happened. she told me to keep trying, but not to worry about her. then when she left, i heard nurse meanie yelling at my nurse about how i told her i hadn't tried nursing her all day and that the baby couldn't latch. which wasn't true. and my nurse knew it. 

around 7am, bella finally gave in and nursed for 45 minutes. while she was eating, the lactation consultant came in. i recounted the last few hours for her.

lc: "i am so PROUD of you! good job standing up for your baby. welcome to motherhood"

(by the way, this isn't a statement 
about nursing vs bottle feeding.
 it's a statement about ignorant,
 pushy night nurses who are on
 power trips and trying to take 
advantage of tired, new mommies)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

how it all happened, part 2

i started having this reoccurring dream. i live on the beach (in a house. a house on the beach) and the wall facing the ocean is all windows. i'm standing in the living room, looking out at the water and the waves start building, and getting bigger and bigger. then i'm outside, standing in a huge crowd of people, in the grass where it meets the sand, and i'm screaming, yelling at everyone to run as the waves reach over the height of the building. that's usually all i remember. 

some interpretations of this dream are:

"Tidal waves or tsunamis suggest that you may be in a period of 
emotional upheaval. Anxiety,stress, and unconscious materials may be 
coming to the surface and affecting your daily moods."


 "Dreams of impending disaster generally indicate that the dreamer 
is feeling out of control. In the case of the tidal wave, this out-of-control
 feeling is often combined with the need to make a fresh start.."

which seems about right. emotional upheaval. feeling out of control. something that is supposed to be natural, that all women are supposed to be able to do, and i can't. i have no control. and it's a very emotional thing. have you ever seen a baby? have you ever seen MY baby?! 

of course, at the time, i just thought, never. i will never ever be able to have a baby. in a world where people strung out on drugs, living in squalor, rife with disease and no personal responsibility, are able to procreate (sometimes several times), and i, fiscally and  socially responsible, healthy and who WANTS a child more than anything in the world, can't. it just didn't seem right. it didn't seem fair. and of course, if you have ever been waiting to have a baby, you know that there is a lost murphy's law that says 

if you want a baby,
every woman in the world 
will be pregnant.

it's true. everyone around me was getting pregnant. but not me. 

we got accepted into the program at the hospital. that's where we pick up. so i go in for my first appointment. 

i tell them, "PCOS. we already know. we had tests."

do they care? probably not. because the office lady didn't know how to use a computer, remember? and there is no lab work.

so after some very awkward, and sometimes painful, tests, the verdict iiiiiis...........

"unexplained infertility"

whatever that means. i think they're saying, "we don't know what the hell is wrong with you and are processing WAY too many people today to REALLY care. we'll just pump you full of drugs and hope that something catches." 

so we get started. drugs, blood samples, etc. at this point, i was so desperate, that the idea of taking medication didn't seem like a bad idea. looking back, it might not have been the BEST decision, but it resulted in the best possible scenario, so i won't lose sleep over it. 

my first "cycle" was late. by 2 weeks. so naturally, we start thinking i'm pregnant. then one morning, aunt flow knocks on the door. and i welcome her in, with a little disappointment, but also a little hope, because that means we have something to track. until 8 am, when i have bled all over everything and am starting to feel light headed. i call the hospital, and they tell me to come in immediately. but not to drive myself. and hurry. so joel comes home and takes me in. 

i have to say, i kept telling him it was no big deal, i just needed to lay down. he INSISTED i call, and then that he come and take me in. i was in a little pain, but i was in "suffering for the cause" mode. stupid ::palm to forehead::

turns out, i had some ruptured cysts. and after a day in the hospital, and an interaction with an ignorant doctor (he said, "i got in military med so i could do cool stuff in the field, and i get stuck in OB. all military wives do is get knocked up." yes. military wives are the only ones who get knocked up. and creating life is SO not cool), i'm sent home feeling a little blue, both in the face and in the heart. 

more drugs. and failed ovulation tests.

we pass the "cycle starts here" mark on the calendar, again, and head in to get more drugs. i get the standard blood test and go to work.

the doctor (not the ignorant one. a really nice one. who has seen me cry no less than 3 times) says, "wait until tonight, if i don't call, take it (you're not pregnant), if i do call.......well. we probably won't have to worry about that"

i go about my business, spending the next 4 hours in a pool with other people's blessings, laughing and playing, when i want to huddle in a corner and sob. after work, i avoid my co-workers, because they don't know what i am going through and all they want to talk about is their latest unprotected romp, resulting in a possible "scare". and that hurts. 

i shower and get dressed, and hear my phone beeping. joel, probably, calling to tell me he's ready to go home. i check my message.

"hi justine, it's dr. sympathetic-shoulder-who-thinks-this-is-futile. um.....well.....i don't know how this happened (uh duh. you are in the medical field. you don't know how this happened?) but....well......congratulations. YOU'RE PREGNANT!" 

stunned silence.......................................................................


i crumple to the floor, in disbelief. but i am hesitant to get excited. it could be false. i've already had so many scares-a chemical pregnancy, ruptured cysts, lots and lots of drugs.....i can't start thinking now after all that, that this could possibly be real. 

i tell joel when i pick him up. and he doesn't believe it either. so we don't talk about it. we don't tell friends. we don't buy baby stuff. we don't even talk names. can you imagine? almost 2 years of waiting, we're finally there, i am SO excited, but i have to keep my lips sealed. for almost 6 weeks! 

at 10 weeks, we're sitting in the bowling alley on base, during a squadron function. my BFF who has the most precious little babies ever, comes over and says, "we need to talk".

you know how the story goes (if not, read that post i just linked to). we're pregnant too! and due on the same day. 

we slowly start telling people on mother's day. "happy mother's day!! you're going to be a grandma/great grandma!" 

at 12 weeks, we feel "safe enough" to tell all of our closest friends. and then the rest of the world. 

bring on the vom. because the first 18 weeks is full of morning sickness. that lasts all day. but i welcome it. because........


birth story, coming soon! don't worry, it will be the disney channel version.