25 July, 2012

Evie: Eight Months

Measurements:
Weight: My Dad and I both weighed in with her at 22lbs
Length/Height: 28+ (guessing)
Eats: about the same as last month
Diapers: Size 3 disposables, unsnapped in all cloth
Clothes: a solid 12 months in everything



Firsts for Evie
new foods: mangos, avocados peaches, plums, chicken, egg yolks, puffs, cheerios
June 10 - New Carseat, though she can technically still fit in her old one
June 12 - laughed at someone without being tickled
June 13 - started experimenting with going from sitting to laying
June 17 - Father's Day
June 23 - first bike ride 
June 29 - first sleepover with Grandma & Grandpa B (aka G. Daddy)
June 30 - met the last of my cousins on my mom's side
July 4 - First Fourth of July! and first Waffle House!
July 6 - crawled off our bed *sad face*

Milestones
This girl has a pincer grasp like no other. And can self feed a variety of solids.
 Puts together syllables of things, like "jajajaja" or "mamamama". Okay, I lied, it's "dadadada"
She is curious as to what I do, watches carefully, and sometimes will mimic it.
On to the top level of the Exersaucer.
Loves sitting and playing with toys.
We packed up her baby swing, lowered her crib, and installed her new car seat. She's growing up!
Sleeps on her belly.
Flips over back-to-belly in no time. (Still can't roll from belly to back)
Finds her way around on the floor, though not very fast and usually backwards.
Looks around when we ask her, "Where's Mommy?" or "Where's Daddy?"
Sits in the bath tub (finally!) and in the splash pool.



Likes/Dislikes
Likes:
New foods, especially peaches and mangos
Splashing in the pool or tub
Playing "dog party" with Connor
Hanging with the big cousins

Dislikes:
Afternoon naps
Sun in her eyes
Sitting in a wet diaper

Other
Evie went through a rough 5-6 weeks where she didn't like her afternoon nap.  Many days I'd wear her on my back for about 2 hours.  I finally discovered that she likes to sleep on her stomach now.  Once that was sorted out, and we installed black out curtains in her room, the afternoon nap was restored.

Her routines, feedings, etc have been very similar to last months, only more fine tuned.

Her bed time is now a firm 8pm unless we're out, and she's getting a bath 2-4 times a week instead of 1 or 2.


What they say...
Anyone who has seen my baby pictures or knew me when I was little knows that Evie is the spitting image of my infancy, and comments on it with much enthusiasm.


"She's so well behaved"
"What a good baby"
"Is she always like this"
"No, seriously, they're not all this good"
"A bad day for Evie is most babies good days"


(I popped the camera card in the computer to make sure I had a good photo for her montly collage and turned around to find her eating her "Eight" sticker. So much for more photos!)

We are...
Loving how much we can interact with her - tickle, toss, peek-a-boo, etc.
Wondering when she's going to crawl.
Tickled with how well she feeds her self.
Finally starting to really enjoy partent hood and easing back into a more active lifestyle.
Still in denial that we are parents!

24 July, 2012

A Brand New Day

Some of you  know that after I had Evie I had terrible post partum depression and anxiety.  I took my medicine for the prescribed 5 months and took the sixth month to ween off of it.  As anyone who truly has depression will tell you, the medicine just helps you get back to life, not be euphoric or on a high all the time.  It certainly did it's job.  I was back to exercising, enjoying work, out and about, and focused on getting things done around the house.  I had even stopped having the horrible nightmares about epic tragedies.


The weening process was rough, and I did it the same time I stopped pumping.  I am still not sure why I did that at the same time. Talk about a horrible chemical / hormonal mess.  It was.  There were some days I was so dizzy I couldn't get out of bed.


Anyway, that was three months ago.  Things were fine, or so I thought.  


All of the sudden I got on the scale and I had gained about 8 pounds.  A few days later, another 2 or 3. And after three months a total of 15 pounds.


The mood swings were back. I couldn't get myself out of the house.  My body ached.  And forget exercising...it was enough to get chores done before I wanted to crawl back in bed after sleeping 8 hours a night.

I finally mustered up the courage to call my midwife to get things checked out.  My wonderful, amazing, can't say enough great things about her midwife is suddenly no longer in practice. (This is another whole story which I won't share here).  Desperate for answers, I called my primary care physicians assistant.  He's been great with helping me through some other problems over the years, and with a young wife and kids, I figured he'd be in touch with what my daily reality is.

We talked a lot two weeks ago.  Went through my whole pregnancy history, and all the ups and downs of the last 8 months.  We talked about when I stopped nursing and my go with the last around of anti-depressants.

His first guess was my thyroid, since it would explain all these things and more, but thought there might be some other things going on too.  He ran two pages of blood tests.

I went back yesterday to get the results.

Well, all my levels checked out: vitamins, iron, all my hormones, etc.  The only thing that was still elevated was my prolactin, which explains why I still haven't had a visit from Aunt Flo.  We're going to test that again soon.

So, we talked some more.  I told him about my insomnia, lack of motivation, body aches, and general blah feeling.  And how I gained another 2 pounds in two weeks.  And then I started crying sobbing in his office... about how I just can't go on like this.

His new theory is that the depression is back (or never went away).  I wouldn't have suspected it until I reread my blog post from the other day...and how I lacked motivation to blog or plan my trip to Ireland...both things that I love and should be excited about.  And then over the weekend we had a teen leader retreat.  Again, something that I love and would normally be excited about but all weekend  I kept doing laps by my bed because all I wanted to do was curl up and hide.  I went to give my talk on service, something I LOVE doing, and the passion just didn't come.

So when the PA suggested a new course of anti-depressants I knew he was on to something.  He hopes this new regimen will help me get off the couch, get back in the world, get motivated to exercise, and sleep better.  All of these things will help weight loss.  He said that I have to continue tracking my food intake, boost my exercise as much as I feel comfortable, and also not to sleep so much...just 7-8 hours, not 10.  We need to break my cycle of insomnia/oversleeping/binge eating/crying/depression/not exercising.  Everything needs to work together to break the cycle.

I got home and did tons of research on this type of anti-depressant.  I talked through everything with Eric and my mom.  And I decided to go for it.  The PA wants me to give it a run for two months and then to see him again.  If it's not working then we'll try another theory / course of action.

Today is my brand new day.  I started the medicine this morning.  It'll take 3-4 weeks before it really kicks in, but it's a start of something new (I hope!).


It's a brand new dayThe sun is shinningIt's a brand new dayFor the first timeIn such a long long timeI knowI'll be okay

A special thank you to Meghan and Cassi for their emailing and texting me the last few months to check in on me.  Your encouragement and care means the world to me. 

17 July, 2012

My First Photoshoot!

A mom in my playgroup occasionally reads my blog, or sees pictures on Facebook or something.  Her sister was looking for something a little better than point-and-shoot pictures of her two month old, her fourth boy.  Somehow they thought of me.

I was both scared and excited at the opportunity.

I decided to jump on the chance. Practice makes perfect, right?

Baby T. was adorable, though two month olds are particularly challenging to photograph.  They aren't the scrunchy, soft, brand-new newborns, and they're not full of smiles like a four month old.  But I did my best.

The mom's simple request: photos for the birth announcement, Facebook, and the baby book.  Nothing too fancy.

Here are a few of my favorites. What do you think?

















16 July, 2012

Miscellany Monday {11}

So, Hi.

It's been a while. Like two weeks I think?

I had debated about purposefully take the month of July off from blogging to I could enjoy my last month of "freedom" before my hectic Fall begins, but then thought I'd miss it too much.

Yet, I have still only blogged once.

In a sense, I have a lot going on.  

I have a needy child right now.  She's going through an intense growth spurt, trying to crawl, and almost teething.  She needs a lot from me and I am glad I can give it to her without the stress from work.

My husband's company has been on the rocks - again - and it's created a little underlying worry for him.  We will make it through, but he's been daydreaming and it's forced us to have a lot of money conversations lately.

Then there is me.  I don't know what's going on with me.  I had lost 41 of the 45 pounds I gained with Evie.  Everyone swore once I went off Zoloft and stopped nursing I'd drop the last few pounds without a blink of an eye.  Well, instead, I gained 16 in less than 10 weeks, even with diet and exercise.  My body hurts. My fingers wrinkle. My feet are dry.  My hair is STILL falling out in massive clumps. I have zero energy even after several nights of 8 hours of sleep.  And I still haven't seen Aunt Flo and I stopped "nursing" over three months ago.

I went to the doctor on Monday.  He suspects my thyroid is having trouble gearing up.  He ran two pages of blood work tests and gave me a steroid and B-vitamin shot in the mean time.  I felt a little better this week, but this weekend I am crashing hard.  It's awful.  Absolutely awful.

I get my test results back in a week.  Part of me wants something to be wrong so we can put a label on it and find a solution, but part of me is scared about what is wrong.  I mean, it could be something terrible.

In more exciting news, we are supposed to be planning a trip to Ireland.  We've been saving up for this trip for two years, yet we can't find the motivation to sort out the details.  Maybe it's because I am not planning a trip for 180 teens, or with my entire extended family.  It's just me and Eric for 6 of the 10 days.

See something is wrong? Or maybe something is so right?  Is this what it's like to be relaxed?

I don't know.

I feel like the last few weeks, I just don't know.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

06 July, 2012

Up!

Remember when my brother won Fantasy Five a few years ago?  He gave us each a little spending cash to blow on something fun.  Eric and I decided to save ours until the right adventure came our way.

And it did.

In the form of a buy-one-get-one-free hot air balloon rides Groupon in Asheville, North Carolina!  I have wanted to go on a balloon ride since I was little and they used to take off in our back yard.

Well, the Groupon buy was really exciting until we read the fine print....no pregnant ladies allowed.  Boo!  So we had to wait over a year to take our balloon trip, but it was worth the wait.  Eric and I were craving a long weekend get away and my in-laws were gracious to keep Evie for us.

Friday night we had dinner at LAB and walked over to the drum circle.







It was so nice to have a quiet dinner, with an appetizer! and drinks! and dessert! Even better, just to stroll hand in hand.  Don't get me wrong, we love our Little Bit, but it was nice to have some time alone without a stroller, diaper bag, bottles or hair pulling.

Katie and Sam rolled into town around 10pm and we all fell asleep to some Friends reruns. (Even with "free" cable, we still watch Friends)

Saturday morning we woke up at 5am...which seemed so early, so Eric and Katie demanded we wake up and yell "Hot Air Balloon, Bitches!" when the alarm clock went off.  We did.

The hotel packed brown paper bag to-go breakfasts for us (Hooray, Hampton Inns!) and we drove downtown to meet the bus to catch the balloon.





Our balloon was the largest in the state of North Carolina, piloted by a third generation commercial balloon pilot!  Twelve of us plus the pilot were supposed to miraculous float above the earth in this.

Admittedly, I was terrified of the take off and landing....and birds popping our balloon.  (I can thank my dad for my myriad of irrational fears...haha).  But honestly, after knowing two couples who died in freak accidents, I was honestly nervous about leaving Evie an orphan.

Okay, on to a lighter note.  Once we got in the air and things were smooth (and there were no birds near by), all the nerves left and I could enjoy the duration of our flight.


 Yes, Eric and Sam are wearing the same shirt in different colors. Aren't they cute?





It was so beautiful and peaceful 1500 feet above the air.  The sun was rising and the mist was breaking.


 We landed in someone's back yard.  As in, they came out to talk to us.  So did all the neighbors. We were an instant sensation.

 The crew worked hard to navigate our precise landing, to avoid a backyard garden. They stayed late to pack up the balloon while we caught the bus back downtown Asheville.




 After our balloon ride we went back to the hotel for a real breakfast, shower, and to pack.  Then we headed to the Biltmore Estate for a quick house tour.  Sam had never been.  Eric and I like to go every year or so to see any new rooms they've restored.

Let's talk about how much cooler the Estate is after watching Downton Abbey.  It's 10x cooler.  Even though they're about 20 years different in their prime, it's still fun to visualize the lifestyle of Downton alive at Biltmore.


We had lunch together in downtown Asheville before parting ways for the afternoon.  Eric and I stopped at Asheville Brewing Company to pick up some growlers and to Brusin' Ales to stock up on beers not distributed in Georgia.

After a long day we drove back to Highlands to spend Saturday night at my grandparent's cabin.  My aunt and uncle and their twins were in town from Houstin-soon-to-be-Chicago.  I hadn't seen the twins since our wedding, if that even counts, so it was great to spend the night with them.



My in laws were gracious to drive Evie up to the cabin for us so they could spend time with my family. Evie had too much fun with them.  She came home with a sack full of new clothes, shoes, and hats!  Nothing like a weekend with the grandparents for a little spoiling :)

Thank you to Alex for a great weekend - the treat money was much appreciated - dinner, hotel, and hot air balloon ride!!!

And yay!! I can cross something off my 30x30 list...which opportunity to finish is rapidly dwindling.