29 March 2012

not quite a lullaby

Every morning, I nurse baby Cora in the glider in her nursery. In lieu of a uni-tasking white noise machine, I put a CD player in there that also has radio.  I figured if she needed white noise, we could just tune it to static or burn a CD of it.  So far, she's only needed the static once, but I've been enjoying listening to the radio during those 9am(ish) feedings.  When this song comes on, it makes my day a lot better!

Doesn't it make you just want to dance around your living room?

By the way, are boy bands making a comeback?  These guys look so YOUNG!

Link up your song with Goodnight Moon


25 March 2012

weekly family meetings re-visited

A year ago, I posted about our Weekly Family Meetings. I wanted to give you an update about how this is going. You can read about it in detail here, but the basic premise is that every Monday night after dinner, we have a family meeting inspired by the Mormons' Family Home Evenings (but with our own Catholic spin, of course).

We have been doing really good in regard to consistency.  The only ones we've missed are when B has been out of town or when we decided to go out for dinner on a Monday night.  I just called the latter "date nights" and let them substitute for it, since it rarely happens--even before we had a baby, it was rare.  

I'll just go one-by-one through the agenda and give a progress report.
  1. Weekly highs and lows.  B still hates this part and still refuses to participate.  Sometimes now, he'll give Cora's highs and lows as a joke.  To work around his refusal, I'll often just ask him about something we did together and say something like, "You enjoyed that, right?"  This occasionally leads into a nice discussion about whatever.
  2. Schedules.  This is still nice to re-hash every week so I know we're on the same page.
  3. Issues/Conflict Resolution.  Most of the time, neither of us have conflicts since we seem to resolve them sooner, but there have been some persistent issues that get brought back up.  That's when you know they're important!
  4. Bible Study/Lesson.  We're still picking a book of the bible and reading it.  I wish I had written down which ones we have done.  I remember doing Proverbs, Revelation, Job, Jonah,  We can usually do about 6-7 chapters in one meeting and then just do that each week until it's done.
  5. Rosary and/or Prayers and Praises. We have essentially combined this with #4.  We either do the bible OR a rosary now.  Neither of us are huge rosary devotees (working on that!), but at least we're getting more comfortable with it.  During Advent, each week we did a different rosary (different set of mysteries) and read the full scripture that went with each mystery.  I really liked that.
  6. Words of Affirmation.  Probably my favorite part.  And now we each give words of affirmation to baby Cora, too!
  7. Treats!  Sometimes this is just ice cream from the freezer, but it's still a good way to end a meeting!
The other day I decided to add something each week to our meeting.  I guess it will go before #4 because I don't think B would be interested at all after the Bible stuff.  Basically, I want to do a small prayer using the ACTS form that I learned a few years back.  Thanks to this acronym, it has stuck with me!
A - Adoration.  Tell God how much you love him!
C - Contrition.  Ask for forgiveness from your sins.
T - Thanksgiving.  Say what you're thankful for.
S - Supplication.  Ask God for help for you or a friend (or an enemy).

My only beef with this form is that I often flow from Adoration to Thanksgiving because they seem intertwined to me.  I find it really hard to tell God how much I love him without thanking him at the same time.  So I'll make the Thanksgiving part 3 earthly things that I'm thankful for.  I hopefully can get B on board with contributing at least something to this prayer, but I know it will take time.  Neither of us grew up in a house that did anything more than pray before meals and go to mass together, so I can understand his hesitation.  But at least we're trying!


14 March 2012

conquering my fears

If there's one thing I've taken from my whole pregnancy/birth/new mommy experiences, it's how much I've worked through some of my fears.  I usually don't have many fears, but for some reason, the thought of labor and delivery freaked me out.  Here are a few things I was scared of and how they played out:
  • The IV.  Although I'd been stuck by needles in my inner elbow a lot, I'd never had an IV before.  I knew I had to get one regardless of my pain meds because I was GBS positive, and I knew they would stick it in the back of my hand.  Yes, it HURT, but I managed.  When I came close to passing out the first time I used the bathroom after delivery, I was so glad that lock was in there because then they just pumped me with some more fluids.
  • The epidural.  Holy cow, I was so scared of this.  I was crying when the anesthesiologist first came in, and she had to give me a few minutes to calm down before she could even do anything.  It ended up being not bad at all, and I will definitely do it that way again for the next baby.
So happy with the epidural!
  • A catheter.  I think I only feared this because of another friend's birth story where they put the thing in before the epidural.  But for me, they waited until after it had me mostly numb so it wasn't a big deal.  The idea of it still kinda grossed me out, but overall, it was fine.
  • Post-partum depression.  Yes, during my pregnancy, I just had this feeling that this would probably happen to me, even though I've never had any history of depression or other mental health issues.  Well, I don't have full depression, but I did have some pretty bad "baby blues" the first two weeks and talked to a counselor at the hospital a few weeks ago about it.  I had a hunch it was mostly due to sleep deprivation and the hormonal issues, and she called it on that as well.  It's mostly subsided, but I'm seeing a counselor again soon for a check-up.  But I've learned that the depression happens to a lot of moms and getting medicated is quite alright and nothing to be frowned upon.
  • Tearing.  You know what?  It happened, and there's nothing I could do about it.  I had a lovely 2nd degree one, and I'm still recovering.  I was hoping by 6 weeks the pain would be gone, but my baby will be 7 weeks tomorrow and it still comes and goes.  I have my lady appointment tomorrow and am dreading it!  Luckily it seems that Tylenol still helps.  I really want to get back into working out (at least doing some elliptical and some ab exercises to firm up the tummy), but this is basically the only thing stopping me.
It seemed that initially a lot of people were more excited about my pregnancy and birth of baby than I was.  I was not "over the moon in love" those first few weeks.  I was exhausted and sad and sometimes regretted it (newborns are boring, by the way!).  Breastfeeding was still painful and my baby hadn't regained her birth weight (more on my ups and downs with those issues in another post).  I remember my sister calling and asking, "Are you enjoying it?"  I love that I could just tell her, "No."  I probably couldn't have been that honest with anyone else other than my mom.  And she told me that my "no" was perfectly okay, and a lot of moms don't enjoy it at first but won't admit it.  I felt so much better and less guilty after that.  If you're wondering, I am starting to enjoy it now!
See??  I look like I'm enjoying mommyhood finally!

07 March 2012

miscellaneous thoughts

Here are just some updates and thoughts from the recesses of my mind right now.

I have taken a shower every single day since coming home from the hospital.  Granted, that's the only consistent thing I've done every day, but it's something.

Breastfeeding has been a HUGE trial for us, to the point where my baby was actually losing weight.  This all started the day after Ash Wednesday, and I decided that weekend that I would stick it out until Easter.  I had to go on an herbal supplement to get my supply up, but I'm happy to report that Cora has gained and finally clocked in at 8 pounds last Friday.  We go tomorrow for another weight check.  I'm glad I've stuck it out because it's definitely getting better.

I can't believe how quickly I lost the baby weight.  I lost about 20 pounds in the first two weeks (this had to be because of breastfeeding, right??).  I had only gained 30 total.  I only have 7 pounds to go now, but if I stall out a bit higher, I won't care.  My goal is to just firm up the tummy and fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans (they won't button--ugh!).

B is going out of town next week again, and I am dreading it!  He is such a big help at night when I'm just completely OVER being a mom!  We still don't have a routine down, and I feel like all she wants to do is nurse constantly from noon until 8pm.  I need a break!

I haven't taken a nap in over 2 weeks.  I know I should sleep when she sleeps, but sometimes that's the only chance I get to do something on my to-do list (which is getting lengthy).

My parents are coming this weekend, so that my dad can meet his newest grandchild.  They're also going to babysit so B and I can have our first date night!  We still aren't sure what we're going to do, but bowling and the shooting range have both been mentioned.  I'm pretty sure the shooting range is on my 101 list.  If it isn't, it should be, since I've never shot a gun and would like to cross that off.

Speaking of my list, I'm going parasailing!  I don't know when exactly, but I bought a Groupon for it, so I have to!  I actually bought 2 of them, since it was for tandem parasailing, but B doesn't seem too interested.  I'm hoping if his siblings come down and visit, one of them will join me.

I am officially changing the name of my blog with the re-design I won.  We put the project on hold for a bit while I adjusted to baby, so be on the lookout for a new design and a new name soon!

I hate posts without pictures, so here ya go:
My rings on Cora's big toe!

02 March 2012

milspouse friday fill-in

I haven't done one of these in a while, and since I only have a few more months left of milspouse-dom, I might as well go for it.
Go link up with Wife of a Sailor
1. What is your favorite/most unique anniversary/birthday gift from your spouse? suggested by Bel at Being a Better Me
The favorite and most unique gift wasn't for a birthday or anniversary (we're terrible at forced gift-giving in this household), but it was one B sent to me in 2008 while he was deployed the first time and we were still dating.  It was a custom puzzle!  And the best part was that I had no idea what it looked like until I put it together.  I had a really awesome time doing this and have put it together a few more times since.

2. What’s your first thought when you see it’s snowing (or what would you say if you don’t live somewhere with snow? suggested by Poekitten from Many Waters
"Oh great, they're gonna shut everything down and cancel all my plans."  I've only lived in places that typically get less than an inch of snow a year, so everyone freaks out.

3. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?  suggested by Erika from Chambanachik
I wish my baby wasn't such a lazy eater!  We've been having tons of ups and downs with her weight, and it hasn't made adjusting to breastfeeding  and motherhood easy at all.  Actually, this whole month has been really stressful.  I'm going back to the hospital for yet another weight check this afternoon, which will make it 3 times this week.  I need my own reserved parking spot there!  (Seriously, I had to park in the freakin' grass the other day.)

4. What was your favorite thing that happened in February?
Honestly?  It's mostly a big haze.  I guess when we went to visit the office where I volunteer to show off Cora, and one of the ladies gave us this adorable elephant with her name and birth date and stats on the ears.
5. What are you looking forward to in March?
Just watching my little one grow (oh please gain weight!), and both of my parents are coming down next weekend so my dad can meet his newest grandkid.  I also look forward to starting working out again and maybe getting into some sort of routine.  Yeah, that would be nice.