Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Things I don't get...

Happy Tuesday!  Today's post is about things I don't "get" or fully understand.
Lady Gaga
O.k. I know she is an "artist" but I really do not get Lady Gaga.  From her wearing a dress made out of meat to her alter ego Jo Calderone character she's created I just think she's strange.  Of course I know part of the reason for her antics is to keep and create buzz about her (which of course obviously is working since she is included in this blog).  I don't want to offend any of her "little monsters" out there so maybe it's just me getting old and uncool but if she's ("he" when she is her Jo character) is your cup of tea then that's definitely your perogative but I just don't get it.

The next thing I don't "get" is how there is so much pressure put on new mothers that are planning to go back to work.  Several people have made comments to me about going back to work.  Everything from kind of criticizing how much maternity leave I am taking or the fact that I am even going back to work at all and putting Brody in daycare. What I find really ironic is Bill took one week off work and no one ever commented or said anything like "wow you're only taking one week off work" and NEVER did anyone ever question whether or not he intended to go back to work after the baby was born.  I've always planned to go back to work after having the nugget.  I've worked really hard to get where I am in my career and I'm just not ready to give that up.  Plus the last time I checked my bank account I hadn't won the lottery so even though we would be o.k. financially I'm not willing to make the lifestyle adjustment to living on just one income.  I don't feel guilty about going back to work or putting my child in daycare (I know that may change when I drop him off) but with all of comments it's almost like I am starting to feel guilty about not feeling more guilty.  I don't want anyone to misinterpret what my opinion is on the subject. If you want to go back to work after having a child then I think that's GREAT...if you decide not to then that's also GREAT. Basically I feel that you should do what is best for YOU and YOUR family. To each his own right? 

The last thing I don't get is the insane media attention surrounding Beyonce's pregnancy announcement.  Don't get me wrong I like Beyonce and I LOVE me some Jay-Z and I definitely enjoy my share of entertainment news.  I completely understand media outlets like E! devoting a majority of their broadcasts to such an announcement but is it really national news worthy?  I'm not saying it shouldn't be a blip on the news but certain news organizations had it as their lead news story.  Really?  I just don't get it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodbye weekend - hello Monday!

Is it Monday already?  Even though I am on maternity leave I still really enjoy the weekends because Bill is home and we're both able to spend time with the mini-human.  I also get the chance to have a bit more freedom to get out and about.  This weekend was especially good because we celebrated a couple milestones:

Brody turned 1 month on Saturday! 
He partied like a rock star, drinking bottle...after bottle...after bottle...after bottle  haha
Baby Daddy (aka Bill) celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday.  We went out to dinner (minus baby) with our friends Andrew and Ashley on Saturday night.  It was the first time I had been to a restaraunt with Bill in 6 weeks!  Then Sunday morning we started the day off by making our first very succesful trip as a family to Wal-Mart.  I know at first it may not really sound like an exciting time but when you haven't been in over a month and you're toting a baby completing the errand was actually quite thrilling.  We celebrated our accomplishment by picking up Perkin's mega-muffins for breakfast (of course I ate oatmeal instead damn diet).  The day ended with us going to Bill's parent's home to eat dinner and cake (I said no to chocolate cake double-damn diet).
Sunday I also recieved the proofs for Brody's newborn pictures! 
We were really pleased with how they turned out.  If you've ever had the experience of taking newborn pictures with an 11 day old baby then you'll understand how stressful the process can be.  During the session I kept joking with the photographer I'd be pleased if we got just one picture.  She was great in working with Brody and calming him down and we definitely got more than one picture.  :) Thankfully the photographer narrows down the proofs so you aren't sifting thru hundreds of pics.  It's still going to be difficult to decide on which ones and how much to order...Brody doesn't really need a college fund does he? 
Click Here if you'd like to check out our photographer's website.   

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Well another week has passed which means it's time for another addition of What I'm Loving Wednesday (please try to contain your excitement)  haha
Flipping Out
If you've never watched this show you should check it out.  It airs on Bravo and follows house-flipper turned interior designer Jeff Lewis.  From over the top clients to Jeff's demanding no-nonsense persona it's one of my favorite shows.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste (The Original)
Got a diaper rash that seems to never end?  Then rub some of this on your bum.  O.k. I know if you're reading this odds are you don't have diaper rash but if you have a mini-human (aka baby) GET THIS PRODUCT!  It works wonders. 
iPod on my iPhone
Over the past few weeks I've been reminded on how much I love my iPod.   It makes exercising or a screaming baby much more bearable.  What's on my play list?  A huge variety of music:  everything from Pink, Randy Travis to T.I. 
Family coming to visit
I love that my dad made another trip to visit Brody.  He brought my step-mom and aunt also.  He lives almost 3 hours away so I appreciate him making trip.

  That little grin!
I absolutely love that Brody is starting to smile.  It doesn't happen to often but when it does it is super cute!  I have a feeling if I'm not careful this could be a tool used against me in the future to get what he wants...how can you say no to those pearly whites I mean gums? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Operation Slim-Down...

Time to rally the weight loss troops!  Operation slim down mommy's rear has commenced!!! 

While pregnant I gained 45 pounds (insert sigh).  10 of those pounds were during the last month when I was eating nachos and ice cream practically every night trying to get the baby's weight up (thanks Brody).  When I returned home from the hospital I went to weigh hoping I would be one of those lucky women that lost nearly half their pregnancy weight in the hospital...ummm not so much.  I had only lost 4 pounds!  WTH!!!  I gave birth to over a 6 pound baby so it was mathematically impossible that I only lost 4 pounds (I later realized I was pretty swollen from all the fluids they pump you with).  So here we are almost a month since delivery and I've lost 20 pounds which means I have 25 more to go (insert another sigh).  Dieting and exercising to me are alot like pregnancy:  sucks while you're doing it but the end result is worth it.  So for the past three days I've been back on my walking routine and eating healthy.  It's not been bad at all in fact I sort of missed my daily routine.  I think when you have a husband forcing you to stuff your face with snickers ice cream bars and chips and cheese the idea of indulging in junk food becomes less appealing.  I don't believe in fad or crash dieting because it seems your normally will always gain the weight (and then some) back.  How do I plan to lose the extra junk in my trunk?  Simple method of calories in versus calories out:  walking every day like I did pre-pregnancy, eating really well and cutting down (not out) on my carbs.

So here we go...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I got this idea from my friend Sarah.  Each Wednesday she blogs abouts things that have caught her eye and that she is currently interested in, hence the title "What I'm Loving Wednesday."  I realize that today is Thursday but I started writing this yesterday so just give me a pass on this one.  Below is my list of things that I heart right now.  The majority are things I avoided during pregnancy.  Hope you enjoy..

Diet Coke! 
I didn't have one...NOT ONE diet coke the entire time I was pregnant.  I did occassionally have a regular soda but I avoided the diet drinks entirely.  It's something about the artificial sweetner (aka the addictive crack as I like to think) that is not recommended for preggar women.  Before I began to push while in labor and delivery the one thing I asked to be ready for me when he popped out was an ice cold can of Diet Coke.  I could see a can waiting for me across the room and I think that might have added to the motivation (don't worry the thought of seeing my son was obviously my main driving force) .  When I finally was handed the can I realized it was a Diet CAFFEINE FREE Coke.  What the hell?...Not the same!  But alas I have since been reunited with my favorite carbonated can of goodness. 
The Rainbow Roll - SUSHI
Another no-no when I was pregnant:  raw fish.  I love the Rainbow Roll which is a california roll topped with an assortment of raw fish.  I get salmon and tuna on mine.  I missed sushi so much that I somewhat envisioned myself like the scene in the Lord of the Rings in which Gollum rips the fish out of the water and devours it while it's still flopping about.  I could seriously eat sushi EVERY single day. 
Oh how I missed these little magical orange-redish colored pain killers.  You can have tylenol when you are pregnant but it just doesn't really do the trick. 
Red Wine
Yes I went the entire pregnancy and never cheated.  I avoided all types of alcohol; I even used alcohol-free Listerine (maybe in my cold-turkey quitting combined with massive sleep loss I was scared one morning I might turn up the bottle of regular Listerine for a little enjoyment).  The good thing about going 9 months without having alcohol:  you have NO tolerance.  Seriously I am such the cheap date now.  I have one glass of Pinot Noir and I am set. 

O.k. this is a bit of a wild card because I was actually able to watch television while pregnant BUT while on maternity leave I get to endugle in one of my favorite all time t.v. shows because it airs on Soapnet during the day.  I love all things 90210, the ORIGINAL 90210 not the bullshit copycat show that is currently on the air.  I have seen every episode countless times and can recite some lines by heart.  Some of my favorite 90210 episodes / story lines include:  the Brenda / Kelly / Dillon drama (for the record I still say Brenda and Dylan were soul mates), Dylan's dad getting blown up, Scott accidentally shooting himself, Kelly on cocaine, Donna finally giving it up to David, and Dylan's wife Antonia getting murdered (I still hear Dylan screaming "look what they did to her Brandon!").

O.k. that is my list of What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baby Boot Camp

We are almost 3 weeks into this whole parenting thing and people have been asking me how things are going, are we getting sleep, is the baby crying alot, etc.  The best way I can describe the situation at Casa de Parnell is a little like Baby Boot Camp and our little bundle of joy is the drill sergeant.
"I said to feed me NOW stupid!!!"

Sometimes when Brody is dictating his orders you could close your eyes and possibly envision R Lee Ermey.

O.k. maybe that was a stretch and of course it's nothing like the first scene of Full Metal Jacket but let me explain the comparison.  Basically like the military enforces a strict daily schedule on its recruits during boot camp so does our 7 lb mini human on his new "recruits" (aka parents).  It is an ongoing learning project with plenty of cause and effect or actions and consequences.  Here is an example...
Cause:  A military recruit is late to formation or roll call. 
Effect:  The drill sergeant makes him do push ups. 
Cause:  Laying a just fed baby with the hiccups flat in the bassinet.  
Effect:  You get to clean projectile spit up off of the baby and bassinet.    
In boot camp there is no such thing as an alarm clock to wake you instead the drill sergeant takes care of that by making loud noises such as banging a trash can beside your head.  Same goes for us, since becoming parents Bill and I have not used out alarm clock.  Instead Brody will alert us when it is time to rise and shine and jump into action.  Now before you start to think I am complaining, I'm actually doing the opposite and am really pleased with how things have been going.  Brody is eating on a schedule...every 3 hours during the day and then every 4 hours at night.  Bill and I are a team in this endeavor and seem to have developed a pretty good system.  During the day I run this ship (i.e. make sure the house chores are done, get showered, dressed and put on make up, keep the baby alive, etc) and then at night Bill comes home and takes the reigns so I can get a little reprieve.  Don't get me wrong - we've had our moments of frustration especially in the midst of one of Brody's massive meltdowns but for the majority of time we have been really good.  I have a theory that people sometimes expect way to much from a newborn and in turn are disappointed or start to doubt their parenting abilities.   Right now Brody has three modes:  sleeping, eating, crying and understanding that has helped keep sanity in the forefront.  To sum it up we may have a little live in drill sergeant but we're both really happy that we decided to enlist in the parenting branch of service. Because even though you may hear this often at loud decibels:
to change me, feed me, swaddle me...

The dictating person actually looks like this:

And how could you not want to do whatever this little guy orders?   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Damn you Fisher-Price!

Ok let me explain what has sparked my little bit of outrage toward a company known for products geared to enhance and brighten the lives of little rugrats across the globe.  This is the culprit:

This is the Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Infant Seat.  It is my new nemesis and best friend combined.  I seriously have a love-hate relationship with this contraption.  My affection for it comes because Brody freaking loves this thing.  It is a vibrating seat that is super soft.  My hatred of it is because it will only run for 15 minutes at a time before it automatically shuts off.  There is no way to change the setting to have extended power life.  15 minutes is not really not a long time when you are trying to get things accomplished around the house and it's almost become a challenge/competition for me.   Set the stopwatch on the iPhone and see how much you can cross off the to-do list within 15 minutes.  I understand the point is to "conserve" the battery life and as much as I'm impressed with my lighting fast chore abilities; I'd gladly spend a portion of Brody's college fund replacing the batteries more often to have the seat run longer.  I think the idea to only have it run for 15 minutes at a time must have been from a tree-hugging hippie executive trying to save the planet and drive new moms nuts at the same time. 

So for now My Little Lamb Infant Seat you have won the battle but as soon as your soothing voodoo power stops working on my son there is a baseball bat calling your name. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Girls (minus two) meeting Brody

If you read my blog often you have heard me refer to "the girls".  If you are new to the blog "the girls" are 5 girls:  Abigail, Kristy, Natalie, Sarah and me.  We started our friendship while attending UTM and joining the same sorority.  After graduation we all moved to different places:  Abigail to Atlanta then to Africa and now back to ATL, Kristy to Franklin, Natalie to Knoxville and Sarah to Memphis.  Even though we aren't in close proximity and only see each other a handful of times each year we have been able to keep our strong bond with one another.  The thing that I love about our friendship is that on paper we are all different.  In fact if there was a website like match.com that paired up friends I don't know that they would've put our group together but to me that is what makes it so special.  We are each strong opinionated individuals and sometimes we can get on each other's nerves but underneath it all there is this strong bond that no matter what especially when one of us needs something we are there no questions asked.  We have seen each other through some of life's best and worst moments:  marriages, birth of children, loss of parents, etc.  They have helped to fill a void in my life and that's why I often don't refer to them as "like family" but "my family".  I don't think I will ever be able to tell them how much their friendship has mean to me in my life.  This week half of "the girls" came to visit and meet Mr. Man this week.  I can't wait for Abigail and Natalie to meet Brody this fall.  Here are some pictures from Sarah and Kristy's visit:

Sarah and Brody (Sarah is preggar with a little Moskette)

Kristy is definitely a natural.  She has lots of baby experience.

Cuddling the new addition to our group

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wow! That's Really Weird...

"Wow! That's really weird" the first thing I said when seeing my child as he entered the world. Throughout my pregnancy I wondered what I would say the moment I saw my son - surely it would be something profound and dramatic like in the movies....nope not me. As I saw the doctor lifting him from my body all I could say was "Wow! That's really weird" followed by "Look at that cone head!" As you can imagine the statements got a quite a laugh from everyone in the room. Leave it to me to take a perfectly good potentially mushy sappy moment and turn it into a joke. Any who, it has been one week since I delivered my son but it seems so much longer.  I'm not going to go into too much detail about the labor but here is a very brief synopsis.  Bill and I checked in to the hospital to begin my induction on the morning of Tuesday, July 26. We were supposed to be there at 6 a.m. but in true Bill and Beth fashion we were running late arriving about 6:15 a.m. We settled into the room, started IV but didn't start the induction process until 9:00 a.m. The labor clock officially began but we were cognisant that induction can be a really long process and potentially could take 2 days before I delivered.  I just remember how the entire day I was extremely calm and at peace. Even with a few moments where things weren't going as planned; I never got nervous or anxious about what was occurring. Fast forward from 9 a.m. to midnight. My good friend Ashley was visiting, typical me was freshening up my makeup (Bill has video of me taking off my oxygen mask to put on more mascara - pretty funny to watch). After Ashley left I told Bill to turn out the lights because he needed to rest and there was no telling how long it was going to take. One hour later when the nurse checked me she said I was complete - dilated to 10 and fully effaced. She said she would go ahead and start to get everything ready in the room. I woke Bill up and told him it was time and to tell his parents who were in the waiting room that there had been good progress but not to tell them I was going to begin pushing (I had several friends that had to push 2-3 hours and didn't want them worrying on pins and needles for that long). At around 1:30 I began to push and at 2:39 my baby boy had arrived.

Pictures taken right after delivery

Morning after delivery - we were so happy to finally meet Mr. Man.
Our little boy

It's no secret how much I hated being pregnant.  You really have no control over what is occurring with your body and there are so many restrictions on what you can or can not do.  For those of you that know me well, I am quite the control freak so I think that fact combined with all of the bad symptoms made pregnancy even harder.  Maybe because of this I just didn't consider labor to be that bad.  The main thing that I think helped me is to just listen - listen to your body and listen to the medical staff because their goal is for you to have a safe delivery.  
Things that surprised me about labor and delivery: 
  • How amazing the medical personnel was.  Don't get me wrong I didn't expect them to be bad but I seriously had the BEST doctor, day and night nurse.  They really tried to make sure I was as comfortable as possible, were so supportive and did a great job at explaining things.   
  • How much of a cone head babies have right out of the womb - really I had never seen a "fresh" newborn and as Mike Myers would say in his best Irish accent "That cone head was freakin' huge man"!
  • How gruesome things can be.  No matter how many books or experts tell you until you see some of the things that occur "down there" there's just no way to fully prepare yourself.  For some reason the movie SAW pops into my head.  (Sorry to be graphic but this is a post about Labor and Delivery).
  • How your body kicks into gear and can function without sleep.  After Wednesday night when our last visitor left I realized I had not slept in 48 hours and I wasn't even that tired.
  • How great staying in the hospital can be - really I don't understand why some are so eager to leave quick.  I had someone come and take my food order for the day each morning and they delivered snacks throughout the day.  If I was in pain a nurse would bring medication.  When I needed something or needed someone to watch Mr. Man all I had to do was call the nursery to come pick him up.  Speaking of the shower - it was bigger than any I had at my house!   
But alas all good things often come to an end..so after 48 hours in the hospital we were finally released to come home and begin adjusting to our new life.  How are things going?  Surprisingly really well.  I think partly because I have always been a "glass half empty" kind of person so since I was expecting the worst I've been pleasantly surprised.  Don't get me wrong - we've definitely had our share of nerve rattling moments during massive meltdowns but so far neither of us have packed our bags and jumped shipped.  We even survived the first bathing experience:

Motherhood for me may have started with a typical quirky Beth comment but it has definitely evolved into each day being filled with plenty of amazing moments. Stay tuned...