Monday, August 30, 2010

Talking helps

I just spent about 20 mins on the phone with my sister, crying about what happened when my daughter was born. It sounds so selfish, typing it out now... I am so fortunate to have a healthy baby girl and being healthy myself. There are so many people out there that can't even have children and here I am, 6 months post partum and I'm still hung up on what happened?

Sometimes I wonder if I should talk to someone... I feel like I burden my family with my talks... Either their eyes glaze over and it's "uh huh.. Yep" or "you should be happy that you have a healthy, beautiful daughter. That is really all that matters." Yes, it does matter and thank god for her good health. I just need someone to try to understand.

The neurologist told my husband that I had a much higher chance of post partum depression. My body was so in shock over the birth of my daughter that it would very likely stay that way for a while. I was lucky and I didn't get it... But I think that translates (to most people) to "you didn't get it, so it doesn't bother you."

Don't get me wrong, I am fine most of the time, but sometimes something stupid will set me off. The thing that got me started this time was talking to my sister about all the people I know that have recently had babies. It seems like there is a constant competition between all of us. I'll save this for a different post, though, because that will take a while! Haha.

I know it's dumb and selfish, but I think my biggest problem so far has been allowing myself to be sad about it. I try so hard to pretend it doesn't still hurt sometimes. Why? I really should give myself time to accept it. Maybe then I wouldn't end up crying to my poor sister who has no idea what to say except "I'm sorry." Talking does help, though. So thanks for listening :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010


And by illness, I don't mean my daughter, thankfully. I have a horrendous cold (thanks to my husband!) and my daughter is non-stop. She is sleeping right now, which is giving me some time to rest. My husband is "in the field" for training right now... So it's just me and her. It only makes sense that I would get sick now, right?

I am trying very hard to make sure she doesn't get sick too. She has never been sick before *knock on wood* and I really don't plan to change that now. I feel really terrible because I feel like she feels like mommy thinks she's a burden :( I don't, but it is nice when she naps!

Changing subjects here for a minute...
I am really scared about this upcoming deployment. My husband has been in this training for the last few weeks. Every.Single.Day. Before he went into the field, he was able to come home at night, so that was nice... But he had to be there very early and didn't get home till after my daughter was asleep for the night. Now that he is in the field we have absolutely 0 communication. Luckily for us, it is only 5 days. Then he will get out of this training and life will return to normal.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a quick update. Hopefully I will have better news later!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Mommies Network

I wanted to thank The Mommies Network for featuring one of my blogs on their blogger! You can see that here. And also making it possible to make friends in this town.

I am incredibly awkward when it comes to meeting new people. I wasn't in high school, but then again, I am not being forced to sit next to people for 180+ days at a time anymore... I tend to be quite judgmental and jump to conclusions. I also always assume people will not like me. The thought of introducing myself to someone makes me cringe.

I was very excited when I found Clarksville Mommies. (A part of the Mommies Network.) Here was a low-key way to meet women who share the same interests as you- your children. The site has a chat, forums and a monthly calendar- which, might I add, is always full! I have been a member of the site from almost the very beginning, but due to everything that happened with G's birth, I had not been to any events. I can finally drive again and I took G to our first playdate the other day.

I was very nervous, but the other women accepted me and my daughter with open arms. I was extremely relieved because, like I said, I am very awkward when I meet new people.

I cannot wait to go to my next event. I (and my daughter) need more friends and being stuck in the house is not a way to make them, lol.

If you are interested in learning more about the Mommies Network and/or seeing if you have one in your area see-

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


For a while there I didn't think G would sleep unless she was swaddled. She used it for nighttime sleeping and even naps during the day. She LOVED it.

At first we had this Swaddler, but I was never a fan. She could easily get out of it because it didn't get tight enough for her and they are very short(not good for my very tall girl.) Also, there aren't very many sizes. We had a choice, deal with the loose swaddler or scrunch up her legs. We choose loose swaddler... Which really means it is useless. She continued to work her way out of it (because it was so loose) and it was not doing its job!

I read some great reviews about The Woombie and I figured I would try it out. They are reasonably priced and, if your baby is anything like mine, it will help them sleep a lot better at night... And that is priceless!

She used a Woombie every time she went to sleep until she was almost 5 months old when she weaned herself of it. Like I said, there was a time there when I thought that we might have some problems... (Luckily, the woombie has a lot of sizes, so that wouldn't have been a problem for a while.)

The weaning process was so ridiculously simple. She was no longer soothed (instantly, might I add...) when she was put in it, and she fussed and tried to get out. She has picked up a new nighttime habit though- clinging to mommy. No one else is allowed to put her to bed. That's okay though because that is our cuddle time. :)

If your (younger) baby is having sleeping problems, I urge you to try swaddling. Like I said, I didn't like the swaddlemes, but a lot of people do. It really depends on the baby.

Screw you, teething!

Ugh, my poor baby. She has been teething for the past (almost) 3 months! I think and hope that the two teeth that have been trying to break through are finally at the surface. She is an absolute bear today.

Currently, she is taking a nap in her crib... But it wasn't easy to get her there. She was obviously tired, but in pain (poor thing!) She was screaming and pulling on her ear, so I finally broke down and gave her some Tylenol. I guess it helped because she is sleeping soundly... For the time being, anyway.

Teething has been a slooowwww process for us! I will be relieved when these ones pop. Like I told a friend yesterday- it isn't that I want her to have teeth, it's that I want the pain to stop.

The scary thing is after these ones break through, this will start all over again. Hopefully it wont take as long though. I hate to see her hurting. :(

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad,

I want you to know that it kills me that you have to see your only grandchild grow up over the computer. I know you hate it, and I'm sorry. I am (and will continue) trying so hard to make sure that she knows both of you and that you both love her very much.I also feel like I hurt you with my choice to marry a soldier. I know you both like him a lot though and that is very important to me. I'm sorry for leaving so soon.

Please know that I am happy. I have a wonderful life here. Besides missing our families, I love it. This is everything I ever wanted out of a marriage and family. Please, don't worry about me. Jason takes care of me. He loves me so much. I know you both know that, especially after everything that happened after G was born.

I'm sorry for all of the holidays I have missed. It sucks, I know. Jason leaves every other year... I know how it feels to have the holidays incomplete. It's part of the military life that I don't love.

You may never truly understand why I chose this life for myself (and continue to choose it for my family.) I am trying to help you understand. I hope that you do, someday... And if you do now, thank you for understanding. The Army has given my family more than I could ever ask for at 21. I know you know that. I want to continue to give G the best life possible... And I know you know that, too.

I can't wait to see you both again, but I hate to leave. It breaks my heart. All of these feelings come out again. I feel guilty for making these choices. I feel like I was selfish... I wanted to write this to you so that you know that even though I am far away I love you. I didn't mean to make this as sappy as it was, so I'm sorry for that... I started tearing up with the title.


PS- I wrote this letter here so that I have the option of not sending you the link. :P

To Other Readers- I realize how personal this is, but as I said, I wanted the option of NOT sending the link, but I needed to get my thoughts out, too. Thankfully, that's what blogs are for :)

Also, I wanted to show people what military families often go through. This is not the best way to do that, unfortunately, but you kind of get the idea.

Car seats...

I can't believe the time is already here, but we are starting to look for a new car seat for my girl. She doesn't need it yet, but Christmas is coming up. I know, it's kind of a lame gift, but she will probably need one by then and she wont remember it anyway.

The panic is setting in again. I feel like if I don't research the poor seats to death that I don't know enough. I need to know everything... Or at least I feel like I do. In fact, being the "researching family" that we are, my husband bought a month subscription to Consumer Reports just to research seats.

I had my heart set on the Safety 1st Air Convertible car seat but, I had to research to be doubly sure. (Note the sarcasm in my voice. Even I know my "research" can get ridiculous!) I got worried because a lot of reviews say that the seat is absolutely gigantic rear-facing. I have a midsized car, but it isn't that big!

I heard somewhere that Babies R Us lets you try the seat in your car before you buy it. (Though I am not sure if that is true or not...) If they do, I would like to try it in my backseat, if it is too large I have to have a backup.

I have started looking at Britax seats. I am most interested in the Britax Marathon, but lets be honest here, they are very expensive. I was very comfortable with the (approximately) $180 price range on the Safety 1st seat, but these look to be around $250+. I have said (and will say it again) that I am more than willing to pay for quality, but we do not have an unlimited budget. However, if I go with the cheaper one (assuming it even fits in the car...) I feel like I might as well tell my daughter "I love you, but you are only worth $180..."

I know how stupid that sounds, believe me, and I absolutely do not look down on anyone for the products they buy their children. I am a young mom, though... I guess it makes me feel like if I buy the Britax, I can show everyone who told me I was too young that I AM a good mom. Again, I realize I sound stupid... and I have completely veered off in the wrong direction of the original post, lol.

You know, sometime I feel like I have the hardest job in the world (as a stay at home mom) and other times I laugh at my "hard job." Stressing about car seats? I will let you guys know what seat I choose when I finally do.

Also, any suggestions are appreciated!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My birth story

I developed severe pre-eclampsia and then later eclampsia. I was induced at 37 weeks even though I really wanted a natural childbirth free of medical interventions and pain medication... Neither of those things happened. I like to think that I took the epidural because of all the pitocin I was on (and it was a lot) and the fact that they broke my water, but she is my first child, so I wouldn't know any differently.

I had a fever at birth, so they had to take my baby girl away and give her an IV of antibiotics, but other than that she was healthy and beautiful. She weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long. She was- and still is- absolutely perfect.

The reason pre-eclampsia is such a concern is because high blood pressure can cause a lot of problems... Most commonly seizures or stroke. I had two seizures after my daughter was born and I was in the ICU for 6 nights... Away from my daughter and my family. I was absolutely miserable. In fact, I would not be exaggerating if I told you that I have never experienced something more terrible in my life.

I can't know for sure, but I imagine that is what it feels like to be in a coma. I knew my family was with me (in the very short time they WERE allowed to be with me during the day) but I couldn't talk. I couldn't do anything. I wanted my daughter and I wanted my husband. I could feel emotion, but I couldn't express it. So, even though I was so happy when my husband and mom were able to see me, I couldn't show them... And they couldn't see me "cry" when they left, but honestly, I'm glad they didn't. I tried asking about my daughter, but I couldn't do that either. I missed her so much.

I barely remember anything from my stay in the ICU. I do remember being put on the stretcher in the ambulance, my emotions and feeling my second seizure coming on, though.

My husband helped me make all of my medical decisions for me, because I was incapable of doing so at that time. Thankfully, my husband is a researcher like I am and helped out a lot.

It still hurts sometimes, especially when people judge me for something minor, like not breastfeeding. Sometimes I tell them my story and sometimes I don't. It really isn't any of their business. I just feel so fortunate that my daughter and I (now, thankfully) are both healthy. Isn't that enough?

Once Upon a Child...

Call me cheap (I prefer frugal, though :P) but I LOVE Once Upon a child. It is a consignment store for babies. They sell name-brand, gently used clothes, gear and toys.

I don't need to shop there, but I want to! Why spend so much on clothes they will only wear for a little while? Heck, some of the stuff there still has tags! The best part? I can take in my daughter's old stuff and get money.

I think in the last 5 months, I have spent about $100 (total) on name-brand clothes for my daughter. Most of my purchases at this store are paid for because I always bring in new stuff. I'm sure you know what I mean... Babies grow faster than you can blink! I have heard a few people say that they would never do something like this. Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is, but to each their own. :P

The fact that it is down the street is both a blessing AND a curse, though because I want to go all the time! (My husband doesn't mind though because I get my shopping fix for cheap!) I like going often because their stock changes all the time. In fact, I am going to go today.

If you are interested in finding out more about Once Upon a Child, see
If you don't have one near you, try looking up "children's consignment stores." I know they are out there, but I don't know of any others. Good luck and happy shopping!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sophie is a Success!

I was a little weary about Sophie the Giraffe. I have heard mixed reviews about it online and it is quite expensive for a teether. I put it off thinking that if I ever saw it at Babies R Us I would have to get it... What could it hurt? Other than being out $20, of course. :P

Sophie is made in France. She was first created in 1961 by a man who had created a rubber toy molding system. He wanted to make a toy that was the perfect size and shape for a baby. Sophie is still made the same way today. She is also made from 100% natural rubber!

I started looking at Sophie because my daughter doesn't like normal teething toys. The only thing that has worked for any kind of teething relief is the teething tablets. (LOVE them!) I became interested when I heard how popular she has become. My biggest problem with trying this toy was the cost and the fact that they are hard to find! You can order them online, but I HATE waiting!

100% natural rubber
Easy for babies to hold and chew
Made with food paint

Hard to find in-store
Resembles a dog toy

For me, the pros outweigh the cons on this one. I don't really think it looks like a dog toy, but it is a common complaint I have heard. Also, as soon as my husband heard it squeak he said "it's a dog toy!" LOL! We are definitely willing to pay for something that my daughter will use and enjoy, so the cost is a non-issue for us. Like I said, I hate to order things because I am impatient. If you can wait, order it online. It's cheaper to do it that way anyway.

But, please keep in mind that just because MY daughter likes it, doesn't necessarily mean your child will. Remember, all children are different. :) If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask!

Cloth Diapering

When I thought of cloth diapers, this is what I saw- pins and flats... I was 100% against the idea. The diaper didn't look nearly absorbent enough and I was terrified of stabbing my daughter with my unsteady hands.

While this IS a way to do it, it is absolutely not the only way to cloth diaper. When I found out so many of my friends we using cloth diapers, I decided to do some research. Surely there is an easier way of doing it, if so many of my friends were, right?

Researching cloth diapers is like researching parenting styles. There are a million different opinions (and you know what they say about opinions... Everyone's got one!) many different kinds; and a ton of resources to help you. It can be a little overwhelming. Especially when you are like me and know nothing about it!

What I found about cloth diapers both surprised and excited me. I was not expecting to actually LIKE the idea! I cannot give you an accurate review on any of the diapers yet, because I have to order them, but I will let you know what I think when I do get them. (I will be getting one-size fits all, pocket diapers.)

I found so much great information and I can even "speak the lingo," so to speak. (Go me!) There is more to this list, if you are interested. :)

All-in-one- AKA- AIOs. Most like disposables. As the name states, they are "all-in-one," meaning they don't require stuffing. Just take them off and put a new one on. Considered the easiest cloth diapers.

AKA- AI2. Very much like AIOs, but the "soaker" (absorbent part) is not attached to the whole diaper. Usually, they snap in, but they can also be sewn in. The pros to this diaper over the AIO is that you can replace pieces as needed and not an entire diaper.

Diaper Covers- Made of waterproof matierals like PUL, windpro fleece and wool. Used over flats, prefolds, contours and fitted diapers to provide waterproof layer. Not every kind of cloth diaper will require covers.

Fitted- Not waterproof, need diaper cover. Have elastic on the legs to keep in messes (much like disposables.)

Flats- See picture above. Rectangular in shape, made of a few layers of "diaper gauze." You will need to use either pins or a snappi to fasten these diapers. Also, not waterproof, you will need a cover.

Inserts- Absorbent material in pocket diapers. Come in many shapes and styles.

Prefolds- Low cost system. Like "flats" but they have a more absorbent center. They need to be folded and fastened with either pins or snappi. Not waterproof, will require cover. Shown here with a snappi.

Pocket Diapers Requires "stuffing" with an insert. Is waterproof (no cover needed!) and usually has a stay-dry inner lining. A lot of people like this for night-time for the inner lining and the ability to put more than one insert if necessary. Inside and outside shown so you can see how it works.

Snappis- I know I have mentioned snappis more than once. They are plastic devices that fasten the diaper together with tiny teeth. Can be used in place of pins and will not poke baby. They do wear out over time, though, so check them before each use.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Having a Baby in the Military

My husband is a soldier. Every other year, my daughter will have to say goodbye to her daddy, and I to my husband for a year at a time.

My husband will be deploying around my daughter's first birthday. It hurts me that he will have to miss so much. I have no idea how he will take it. I will be okay, but I worry about them. All I can do is be strong for them. Is that nearly enough?

This really isn't just my husband's career. It is my family's life.

There are pros and cons to the Military, just like any career choice. We have some of the best health benefits I have ever seen and at 21, the Army has given me more than I could've ever hoped. The only con, really, is the fact that he leaves... But that's a pretty big one if you ask me. Communication has gotten better, though thankfully.

The truth is, I knew what I was getting into when I married my husband. MOST military spouses do. It isn't the super romantic relationship they show on tv and movies.

Some people go so far as to say that they are "single parents" when their spouse is deployed. I disagree (and feel like those people are exaggerating just a bit...) It is disrespectful. Just because your spouse is not home with you, does not mean they don't want to be.

I know this post is all over the place. Sorry. I will probably post more like this as the time gets closer. My thoughts are so jumbled about this whole thing. Thanks for listening!

Making Baby Food

When I started looking into baby food options for my daughter, I looked at it all. Jarred food, organic food, snack food, etc. I found one option I really liked though- making it myself. What a simple concept, right? Buy healthy, wholesome foods and MAKE it! If this idea sounds stupidly simple, forgive me. For the longest time I the only way to feed your baby was with formula and jarred baby food. The idea of making it myself opened my eyes... Not only to healthier foods for my daughter, but also for my myself.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to try it myself. I bought a butternut squash (3 lbs for $3.25) found a recipe, and went for it. The recipe had me roast the squash until the insides were very soft, put it in the food processor and blend until it became the consistency I wanted. It took a total of about an hour including cooking time.

The end product was perfect. The texture was the same as her Gerber foods! As I said earlier, I paid $3.25 for this squash. I now had over 50 servings (1 oz. each) for only $3.25! I will not try to guess the savings over the other foods, but the next time you go to the store, compare prices! It was so nice to see the cost savings AND know exactly what was in her food. I plan to continue to make her food.

If you would like more information about making baby food, see
(This is where I have gotten a lot of my information, including recipes.) Also, feel free to ask me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pets and Baby

Tomorrow is a sad day in my house. We are saying goodbye to our beloved dog, Roxy. Luckily for us, we know she is going to the best home possible. I could not think of better "parents" for her. This has been quite the process, though. Did you know that you need a vet's certificate to send an animal by plane? And, on top of that, did you know that the vet's certificate cannot be any older than 10 days prior to the flight? I didn't...

We will start with WHY we are getting rid of her, though... Since that is the REAL reason for this post.

We got Roxy when we moved into our house. I was afraid of going through the upcoming deployment alone, so I begged and begged until my husband gave in. She was (and is) the sweetest little thing. The only problem is that Roxy is a Jack Russell and can be very hyper. (I say "can be" because she is one of the calmest, most loving Jack Russell's I have ever seen.) She is wonderful around the baby, and my daughter loves her, but Roxy gets in her moods and cannot control herself. We have had some close encounters. I know Roxy would never hurt my daughter... Not on purpose anyway.

Roxy is still very young- only one. She (being true to the terrier name) likes to push our buttons on a daily basis. She might as well be a baby, she needs so much supervision. My house is an absolute mad-house some days.

Example- Lets play one of those "make your own ending" games!
Setting: I let my dog out to go to the bathroom.
"Roxy come here!"
*Baby crying*
(Roxy runs off)
"ROXY come here!"
*Baby screaming*
Now, this is where you come in :)

Do you:
a. Pick up the baby to get her to stop crying
b. Run after dog

If you chose A-
The dog sees that you are holding the baby. She knows you will not put the baby in danger and therefore, runs down the street. She will only come back when you put the baby down and run after her.
If you chose B-
You chose "correctly" in Roxy's eyes. Leave the baby to scream while you chase her. She comes back in.

Neither is a very good option in my opinion. Either way, I have to leave my daughter (who is obviously upset) because my dog wants attention. I thought maybe the jealousy would pass as Roxy got used to my daughter, but it has really only gotten worse. I didn't give birth to twins, but with Roxy here, it feels like it!

I feel bad. I love her, but when it comes down to it, I can't do it. Other people may be able to, but I am not other people. Ultimately, what you can handle is up to your family. Don't listen to anyone else.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Being a Parent Comes Naturally...

I always thought being a mom would come so naturally to me. I thought there would be nothing better than soothing my crying daughter and rocking her to sleep. *Sigh* Boy was I in for a big shock. Medication aside- I was terrified of my little girl. I had no idea what I was doing and all of a sudden I am in charge? When did this happen!?

I had people asking me what I wanted them to do and I didn't know what to tell them! My mom flew here when my daughter was born. I remember her asking me what I wanted her to do when my daughter was crying. (I was immobile at the time and could not get her myself.) I looked at her with wide eyes and said "I don't know mom! You are the experienced one here!" I look back laughing, but then I really didn't find it funny at the time. I felt like a terrible mommy. How can I not know what my daughter needs?

All parents ever talk about how wonderful having children is. It seems that people are afraid to talk about the not-so-fun side of parenting, in fear that someone might have "expert advice" on their situation. (We will save the experts for another blog post!) Parenting is by the hardest thing I have ever done.

I can't speak for all new parents, of course, but for me, coming home from the hospital was very overwhelming. All of a sudden I have a screaming "bundle of joy" who doesn't want to sleep longer than two hours and has her days and nights mixed up. The truth is parenting is something I had to learn how to do.

I am now confident in my parenting abilities, but it took me a little while to get to this point. When you do reach that point though, it seems like it HAS always come naturally to you. Don't feel bad if you are overwhelmed/scared or just plain don't know why your child is crying. Until I learned my daughter's cries, I went through a list- check the diaper, is she cold/hot, does she want to be held, is she hungry? (And not necessarily in that order!) It may sound dumb, but it worked for me. I wanted to make sure I always had all of my bases covered... I ended up changing a lot more diapers than was probably necessary, though. LOL!

Friday, August 13, 2010

My "Plans"

When I was pregnant, my daughter consumed my life. I researched everything. I knew what stuff I wanted in her nursery; I knew how I wanted to give birth; I knew how I wanted to feed her and worst of all- I looked down on people who didn't feel the same.

I just KNEW I would be the perfect mom. Never would that processed crap (aka: formula) touch my daughter's lips. I hired a doula (birth coach) to help me give birth naturally. I had a plan!

HA! I have honestly never heard anything so comical.....

At seven months pregnant my blood pressure started going up. Nothing that was a huge problem, but the doctor wanted to watch it. The doctors kept mentioned inducing labor at around 39 weeks to make sure nothing went wrong. I kept my doula up to date, just in case I would actually need drugs.

My blood pressure continued to climb, slowly and my poor body was so swollen. My toes looked like fat little sausages! The doctors started to get concerned and ordered bi-weekly NSTs (tests that determine how the baby is doing.) At 37 weeks my blood pressure was higher than it had ever been and nothing they did could bring it down. They decided that they would induce me that day. I was induced and my daughter was fine... But I wasn't.I was in the ICU for a week after my daughter was born. I had two seizures because my blood pressure could not get under control.

After that, I couldn't breastfeed. Hell, I couldn't even comprehend what was happening. I had to have 24 hour supervision for two months! I could not care for myself, let alone a newborn child. Alas, I had to feed my daughter that "processed crap" and I had a very medicated birth.

That just goes to show, you really can't make plans. Especially with kids. Moms and mommas-to-be, take it from me! Don't stress about the little details. Make a plan, but be flexible too.