Category Archives: t-shirt baby


BC: Go walk Daddy and Rowie?
ME: Oh, not right now. Daddy has to go to work.
BC: Rowie go work right now?
ME: No, Daddy has to go to work.
BC [with, I promise you, a skeptical look on her face]: Daddy sit on da couch.

around the house

Random stuff:

Buttercup has this creepy serial killer look that she gives people. She also loves snacking on cereal. So one day she gave me the look.
ME: Hey, stop with your serial killer look.
HER: May I have cereal please?

Whenever she wants to be held, she says, “Mommy, I wanna pick you up?” When she wants one of us to rock her, she says, “I want Daddy to rock you.” And when she’s trying to avoid her bed, she says, “Rock you a little more one more song.” She may have us trained.

When she wakes up from her nap, or first thing in the morning, she says, “Mooooommmmmmmmyyyyyy! Cup-Cup all done in the bed!” Only bed sounds like “bay-ud”. Pretty sure she’s getting my Texas accent. Anyway, it’s cute when she does it, except one night when she was awake from about 1 until 5, and at around 3:30, I heard, “Mommy! I turn on da light. Cup-Cup all done in da bay-ud.” That wasn’t so cute.

For two weeks every two years, I watch every minute of the Olympics I can. I weep for most of it. Frank mostly says, “Huh?” and pauses his video game every time I say, “Did you SEE that??” I’m a good patriot but a bad wife, so I make him watch things like McKayla Maroney’s perfect vault (near-perfect my pinkytoe) and perfectly synchronized dives.

This morning, BC asked for more “do do do”, which is what she calls Brahm’s Lullaby. So I told her it’s called Brahm’s Lullaby, and she started saying, “May I have mo’ luddaby, pease?” She kills me at least once a day. She picks up everything so fast. She’s a little regurgitating sponge.

We’re doing gymnastics classes now (her, not me). She, of course, wants to do the scariest things, like walk all the way down the high balance beam with mom hovering and spotting and having panic attacks. But she’s pretty good at walking in a straight line, so I’m getting used to it. She hasn’t yet done a successful somersault and can’t yet jump, but it’s hilarious and adorable watching her try.

I’m learning to sew. Last week, I made a t-shirt. I’ve also made a skirt and pajama pants. It’s nice being able to wear clothes that fit. Next I’m making myself a dress, and I’m so excited about the prospect of wearing a dress that fits on top and bottom. And t-shirts and tank tops that are long enough.

big girl

My little Buttercup is getting so big. She’s 19 months old now and does the following:

*Sings entire songs on key. Her toddler songs, her Bible class songs, the lullabies I sing her at night. She is really good at the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Brahm’s Lullaby, Moon Moon Moon, The B-I-B-L-E, and Ally Bally. She has the sweetest little voice.

*Counts to 10, though she often skips 4 and 5.

*Knows most of her colors – wed, yewwow, bwown, peek, geen, bue, gay, aw-en (orange), pupple, and white.

*Speaks in sentences. That’s a new one this week. Today when Frank left for work, she fussed a little, and when he walked out the door, she said, “I no want Daddy go.” She recently learned “I no want to”, and now she says “I no want _____.” Hooray. She also says things like “All done nuh-see [nursing]” and “All gone no-mee [oatmeal]“. “I Mommy’s water” [I have Mommy's water], “Daddy’s shoes!”, “Mommy, medewede cracker, please?” [Mommy, may I have a cracker, please?], and “Daddy pee-pee ah poddy?” are current faves. Also, “Hat on!” and “Shoes on!” which sound like “hadon!” and “shooson!”

*Constantly cracks us up. I give Buttercup countdowns to nap time. “Buttercup, you have ten minutes till nappy time.” “Five minutes till nappy time.” Two minutes, one minute, you get the picture. So today, I said, “Buttercup, you have two minutes till nappy time.” Then “Buttercup, you have one minute till nappy time.” And she looked at me and said, “Two minutes.” Hahahahahaha. I didn’t even know she could say “minutes”. But she says pretty much all the words, tries to repeat everything you say. Shows you things and either says, “Es dat?” or identifies them and nods her head confidently, looking for your agreement that she has identified them correctly.

*Loves spicy food and anything pickled. She gets that from me.

*Makes me smile.

18 months

baby book day

Today seems to be a whole day for the baby book. Buttercup and I are both sick, but she’s still my hilarious, happy girl, with far too much energy for a sick baby with a sick mama. We watched The Sound of Music all morning, because she loves the music from it, so I thought it would be nice to show her where it came from. It was fun to watch her watch the movie. We don’t let her watch much TV (and never cartoons), so this was a treat for us. She still played with her toys (our living room is basically set up as her playroom, with toy bins and a big foam play mat) while the movie was on, but during songs, she would look up at the screen and watch. When Maria twirled, Buttercup twirled. When Maria ran through the hills, Buttercup yelled, “Go go go!” When she heard the songs she knows, she sang bits and pieces. My favorite is “Do Re Mi”, because when we get to “mi”, Buttercup points at herself and says, “Me!” (on key). And during “So Long, Farewell”, Buttercup sings, “Cuckoo! Cuckoo!”

During a break from the movie, I folded a basket of baby laundry that’s been sitting in my bedroom for a few days. Buttercup “helped” until she came across a mattress pad for her bed. It’s white and fluffy, so naturally, she wanted me to put it around her shoulders like a shawl. And then… she said, “Muh!” I didn’t know what that meant until she walked over to my closet mirror and said, “Preee!” Yep, she already has a word for “mirror” and thinks she’s pretty. I have no idea where she got that.

After she bored of being pretty, she noticed two baby books on my floor. It’s starting to sound like my bedroom floor is a dumping ground for lots of things, isn’t it? Hmm. She brought me a book called Hush, Little Baby. She said, “Huh,” and handed it to me and turned the pages while I read it to her. Then she handed me Goodnight Moon and said, “Nigh-nigh.” I was amazed! She’s learning the names of the books we read her. Probably because we read to her a lot, and Frank always reads the title page to her, including author name.

When we were getting ready for lunch, Buttercup sat on the kitchen floor and entertained herself. Eventually she stood up, and I thought she would run off to find a new toy. Instead she held her hand out to me. “Dere go!” This means “there you go”, so I knew she wanted to give me something. Indeed she did. She was giving me an ant she found marching around the floor. I guess spring is on the way.

I’m going a little stir crazy being stuck inside all day, but I could have worse company.

Me & You & We

Warning: You may die when you see this.

Buttercup likes to sing.

Moo Moo Moo

I was nursing Buttercup this morning, and she suddenly stopped, looked up at me, and actually sang, in key, “Moo, moo, moo.” So I started singing “Moon, Moon, Moon” to her. When I got to the end of the song, she again stopped and sang to me. “Moo, moo, moo.” I sang some more, adding new kinds of pies for the moon to resemble. Over and over, when I would stop, she would urge me to continue. “Moo, moo, moo.”

I can’t think of a better way to start my day.


That’s when Buttercup does her cutest things.

Last night, Buttercup was at her grandparents’ house playing with her cousin for a few hours while I put Frank to work cleaning bathrooms and I took on the living room. Frank went to pick her up while I vacuumed, and when he got her home, she was sleeping. She still doesn’t weigh enough for her convertible car seat, so Frank just brought her inside in her infant seat and put her in her room. I went in to transfer her to her crib, and when I picked her up out of the seat, she lifted her head, looked at my face, threw her arms around my neck, squeezed tightly, and said, “Awwwww.” I about died. She’s been awwing recently, because any time she hugs a person or a stuffed animal, I aww, and she picked up on it. After that, she stuck her face in my cleavage to signal that she wanted to nurse.

I nursed her and changed her diaper and put on her jam-jams, and then Frank came in so we could both say goodnight. When we put her in her crib, we usually sing Laurie Berkner’s “Moon Moon Moon” before leaving the room. So last night, I laid her down, and before either of us could start, she sang, “Moo moo moo. Moo moo moo. Moo moo moo.” And she was still singing it after we finished and left the room. “Moo moo moo. Moo moo moo.”

She’s squeezable.

Ah, but she makes it all better

I don’t feel well. It’s day 7 of my sore throat, and I feel like I was up all night, probably because I was. Buttercup’s nose got runny yesterday, and by bedtime last night she was all sneezy and snotty. Also, she’s teething molars right now, and she does not handle teething very well. So she was up quite a bit, which means I have a sleep-deprivation headache.

Combine that with last night’s idiocy at Penn State (I’m speaking of the students rioting over the firing of someone who covered up child rape, NOT the firing), and it could all make a mom a little cranky.

But I’m not.

Because my little munchkin has been entertaining me.

When she woke up from her morning nap, I drilled her on her animal sounds (that sounds a little harsh, but all I did was say, “Buttercup, what does a cow say?” etc.). She got an A+ on cow, kitty, doggie, duck, horsey, sheep, and monkey (“Ah! Ah! Ah!”).

We snuggled on the couch, me wiping her relentless nose over and over, her trying to eat toilet paper and feed me peanut butter crackers (“cack-caws”, if you ask her). Occasionally she would lay her head down on my chest for a few minutes. It’s sad but very, very sweet when my baby is sick.

Then, out of the blue, while smearing peanut butter all over her face with one hand, she raised the other arm straight in the air and said, “Daaaaaaaaahhhhh!” I raised both of my arms. “Touchdown!” She raised her one again. “Dah-daaaah!” Later, she raised them both. “Dah-daaaaah!” She kills me.

She chased various balls around the living room, all the while exclaiming, “Baw! Baw! Baw!” She stopped by to put a couple of puzzle pieces in their places (correctly), and continued her chase. “Baw! Baw!”

Then she got distracted and sat down with a book (“Boo!”) in her lap. A few minutes later, she sounded like she was whining, and I looked down to see what was up. She wasn’t whining, she was pretending to read the book.

She grabbed her stuffed lemur out of my arms, hugged him, and said, “Awwww.” This cracked me up. Because she does the hugging thing, yes, but I’m usually the one who says, “Aww, that’s so sweet.” She went ahead and awwwed for me.

And now she’s napping again, but only on and off. Now and then she wakes up and practices singing or says, “Rowie!” Then drifts off again.

She’s the most wonderful little thing.

Cheer up, Rangers fans: Here’s a picture of Buttercup!

Buttercup, 1 year old

1 year old

Observant little monkey

In music class, our teacher plays the flute near the end of class, during lullaby time. Buttercup is always mesmerized by the flute. It’s the only time during class that I know she will sit still and focus on one thing. She usually crawls up in front of the teacher and sits and stares at her. At the very least, she sits in my lap and stares. We had class yesterday morning.

So last night after dinner, we were playing on her mat, rolling balls around and drumming on things. She has this little Melissa & Doug harmonica that’s black and chrome, I guess. The chrome-ish part is shiny and metal-looking, like a flute. Normally, she picks up the harmonica, tries to blow into it, doesn’t get any sound, and then hands it to me or Frank with the expectation that we can coax some sound out of it.

When we were playing last night, she picked up the little harmonica and put it up to her mouth. But she held it wrong. I was just about to reach over and show her how to hold it when I realized how she held it. Her mouth was at the very end of it, and she was blowing on it, trying to make sound. She held it very gently, with her left hand cupped under the harmonica, fingers spread out a little. Her right hand came over the top and held it near the end.

She was trying to play it like a flute.

Somewhere in her wonderful little fascinating brain, she made the connection that the harmonica is something you blow in to make music, just like the flute that teacher plays during class.

She is a most amazing little creature.

Walk-a walk-a

Buttercup took her first two steps on her birthday. And now she’s walking a little. Sniff sniff.


1 year since this.

brand new

1st yell. She had to be suctioned first by the NICU team.

1st cuddle

It was 10 minutes before I got to hold my burrito baby. Well worth the wait. Yes, I'm tweeting.

daddy cuddle

Proud daddy.

Brand new family. Brand new adventure.

Brand new family. Brand new adventure.

Big girl.

Now she's my big girl.

Happy birthday, Buttercup.

p.s. Here’s the highlight reel.


I just did the whole comfort-baby-then-go-laugh-in-the-other-room thing. Buttercup does pretty well drinking out of a cup without a lid on it. But with recent travel and house guests and such, we hadn’t tried it in a while. So this morning, while I was making the oatmeal, I put her in her high chair and gave her half a cup of water, without the lid.

She threw it back SO fast. Got a face full of water, coughed, sputtered, cried.

It was so funny. So I hugged her and said I was sorry and then went into the kitchen and laughed silently while I finished the oatmeal.


It’s been a month since I last posted here. I know it looks like my blog is dead, but it’s really just in a coma. Babies will do that, I guess.

So Buttercup is 10.5 months old now. That’s crazy. I don’t know how she got to be so old without my permission. She does have a little mind of her own.

My little princess is 17 pounds, 2 ounces now, and 27.5 inches long. She crawls everywhere, cruise walks a little, stands up on everything, and sometimes forgets and lets go. Then falls promptly on her tush-tush.

She can still only sleep if she’s in her car seat or being held or sleeping next to me.

Thank God for that car seat, which at least allows me to use the bathroom now and then. I still don’t get to shower much, but that’s life.

Buttercup is an inquisitive little monkey. Seriously, she has to know how everything works, what everything sounds like, what everything tastes like. People are constantly freaking out when they see that I let her chew on my shoes, but she’s never been sick, as I’ve realized that her 2 ear infections were actually teeth coming in. She’s an aficionado of both patty-cake and peekaboo.

Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

Where's Buttercup?

She has 4 teeth.

Teething makes me sad.

And high heels.

And the best disposition. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many friends and random strangers have told us that she seems like the happiest baby they’ve ever seen.

Either she was born that way, or she just really likes how her parents aren’t afraid of being extremely dorky and goofy to make her laugh (not pictured).

She tries to climb everything now. Everything. She spends most of her time with one foot on the ground and the other up in the air, trying to find something to put it on.

Her hair is starting to grow, and she’s getting teeny curls. Makes my heart all full and melty.

Anyway, she’s the best gift.


Our family.

Buttercup starts stepping…

Mom starts freaking OUT.


Buttercup has this horrible grunt-yell that she’s done pretty much since she was born, so I hardly notice it as special when she does it. I just tell her that it’s so prim and ladylike and laugh at her.

Meanwhile, I went to a baby sign language mini-class about 5 months ago or so, and occasionally I’ll try to teach her the few signs that I learned. I haven’t been very persistent with it, but there’s one sign that I’ve repeated more than any of the others.

Tonight, Frank was standing near the dog, who was splayed out on the ground. Buttercup was there, too, gently patting the dog on the head (read: using the dog as a drum and a climbing perch). Frank pulled Buttercup off the dog and kind of held her as she stood on her little baby feet. Then she caught sight of me in the kitchen and let out her ladylike grunt. I raised my eyebrows and looked at her and noticed she was clenching and unclenching her fists as she yelled at me. She looked like she really had something to say, so I said, “Is that so?” Again, she yelled, clenching and unclenching her little fists. Then it hit me.

“Buttercup, are you saying ‘milk’? Do you want milk??” The sign for milk is hilarious–you act like you’re milking a cow. And this is something I’ve done sporadically over the last several months. Ask her if she wants milk, act like I’m milking a cow. Repeat. I realized this was what she was doing clenching and releasing her fists. We had laughed a month or so ago when she started doing this, yelling while making little fists (the fist thing was new). We thought it was something to do with teething, which makes her a little crazy.

She looked so excited, grinning hugely and raising her arms in the air.

“Milk? You want milk?” She kept grinning and looking expectantly at me.

I picked her up and offered her the boob. Sure enough, she wanted to eat!

Now I just have to teach her to to that in public.

burrito baby and the cat in the hat

frank reads to buttercup
Frank reading to Buttercup at our hotel in Utah on the way home from Thanksgiving in TX. Buttercup was 2 months old. Frank was 31.

little monkey

When I was pregnant, I wore a t-shirt with a monkey on it and “little monkey” written across the belly. Had I but known.

This morning, we went to the park for my workout, and afterwards, I sat and talked to my friend L while we both fed our babies. We talked for a while, and Buttercup, who just learned to crawl properly on Saturday, grabbed her stroller wheel and pulled herself up on it. She’s been pulling up and sitting on her knees for a while and does occasionally pull up onto her feet, but she’s always seemed pretty unsure of herself. So this morning while I was talking, she just stood up with her hands on the stroller wheel (it’s a jogger, so tall wheels), and boy did it seem like the most natural thing in the world. I’m not ready for this!

So later we walked back to our cars and kept talking. For the short walk back, I sat Buttercup in her stroller but didn’t strap her in. Ah, how the laziness teaches us things. I stood chatting for quite a while, and the Cup happily played in her stroller. I wasn’t watching her; she was in front of me, and L was to the side several yards away, and I was looking at her. After a few minutes, I heard a noise that sounded like Buttercup kicking the tray on her stroller.

L said, “Um, Buttercup just scooted out of her stroller.” I looked over, and my child was on the ground, on her butt. I rushed the 2 feet over and picked up my baby, who was still quite happy. I asked L if she fell. Nope, she kind of scooted under the bar and climbed down, landed on her butt on the ground.

I am in so much trouble.


Buttercup thinks the Japanese number six is high-larious.

baby’s first easter

And baby’s first easter dress…

Can you even stand it? I can’t. She just kills me.
Read more »

so it begins

We were in Seattle this past weekend, and you know what Seattle has that Boise doesn’t? Chipotle. Chipotle Chipotle Chipotle Chipotle. Why, yes, I did eat there twice, why do you ask?

Anyway, the first time we were there, I had a little bit of guacamole that I hadn’t yet mixed into my burrito bol, so I smeared a little on my fingertip and offered it to the Cup-Cup. She didn’t mind it or anything, and when I offered her some more, she took that too.

We’ve been waiting to get back from Seattle before starting solid foods. Mainly because I’ve had this vision of her happily throwing food everywhere, and we were having new laminate floors put in the dining room last week, so I wanted to wait until the easy-to-clean floors were in before the food throwing started. Of course, now I realize that she won’t be feeding herself at six months old, so I didn’t really need to wait. I’m sometimes super-smart.

I think we’ll start with avocado tonight. Why avocado? Well, that’s pretty much the only fruit or vegetable I have on hand, because I seriously need to go grocery shopping.

In other news, we have to start having boring dinners at the dining table so Buttercup understands that’s where normal people eat. When she’s older, we can teach her to eat at TV trays and to pretend when she goes to other kids’ houses that she knows how to properly eat at a dining table.

It should be interesting. Every food she tries will help me adjust how much I love her. I mean, I’d have to love her a little less if she’s a fennel fan.

Baby Day Part 4: Projectile

After the doctor left, my next contraction was bigger. So much bigger. And for some reason, I was no longer wearing the oxygen, and since I’d totally given up on working through anything, I refused when Frank tried to start breathing exercises with me. I just breathed deeply through it, and it wasn’t so bad. Then every contraction seemed to be stronger than the one before, by a lot. But I kept just doing my deep breathing and didn’t accept Frank’s help. I did let him massage my hands, but I did not want to do patterned breathing. I think it’s because in childbirth class, I had a tendency to hyperventilate a little if I tried patterned breathing because I did it too fast, so I resisted the thought of going there.

I tried to focus on listening to the music and breathing. And then this giant contraction hit me, my whole body shook, and I threw up all over myself. I’d like to take this opportunity to again recommend that you not eat anything, and most especially 2nd Degree Burn Doritos, when you’re in early labor. Even when you’re almost 30 hours into labor, this will come back to bite you in the… esophagus.

That’s when I decided I was over it. I gave up on natural childbirth.

The look on Frank’s face was very deer-in-headlights when the projectile vomiting started. He quickly recovered and frantically looked around the room for something. We’d had a nursing shift change at 7, but neither the new nurse (K) nor her trainee (R) was in the room at the time, so he ran out to find them, and they gave him a bowl for me to puke in. I put it to good use.

I started crying. “I want the epidural,” I told him. He didn’t argue, of course. Whatever I wanted was what he wanted me to have. When the nurses came in, I told K that I wanted the drugs.

I didn’t know it at the time, but Frank knew I was in transition. He remembered that projectile vomiting was one of the indicators of transition. Had I realized that’s where I was, I would never have asked for the drugs–just knowing that my cervix was making any kind of progress would have given me new energy and resolve. I assumed I was still sitting at 4 cm, because nothing had changed all day long before the doc broke my water. Frank regrets not telling me that he recognized transition, but he didn’t want to say, “Hey, let’s have the nurses check your cervix, because I think you’re in transition,” and then have me checked only to find out that I’d made no progress. He didn’t want to prolong my pain since he wasn’t sure. Also, he thought he was wrong about it being transition, because K said, “Yeah, there’s no reason to check you, because you haven’t made any progress all day.” He figured they would have recognized it and offered to check me.

Now we know for next time. Something else we know for next time: Epidurals don’t always work.

To be continued…

No one told me there would be a growth spurt at 4.5 months

Ay yi yi. Or is it ay ay ay? Anyway, shazam. The baby normally eats for 6 to 9 minutes before going to bed (which probably gets her a good 6 or so ounces, as she’s very efficient, and my boobs are over-productive). And since I wasn’t expecting another growth spurt until she’s 6 months old, I was not prepared for last night.

I was already exhausted, because we’ve had a rough/busy week this week. We even missed our exercise all but one morning, but it’s just been that kind of week. It seems like she’s sleeping fine and napping better, but by yesterday afternoon, I was totally zapped. When we got home last night, we gave her a bath right away, and then I tried to feed her. Not interested.

So Frank started the bedtime ritual (he puts her to bed every night after I feed her), and then, of course, she was staaaaaarving. She ate for 37 minutes! She’s only gone that long two other times, once the night before she slept through the night, and once during a growth spurt. So I was thinking she’d sleep through the night, needing no more food for the belly.

Wrong. I had to feed her 3 more times from the time she went to bed until 7 this morning. This totally feels like a growth spurt. Here’s hoping it lasts only a day or two. Her 3-month growth spurt lasted 4 days, during which I rarely was allowed to be anything other than a dairy cow.

The truth about Kegels

When you’re pregnant, all the books tell you to make sure to do your Kegels every day. They’re the exercises you do to strengthen your pelvic floor. You basically flex and hold the muscles that you use to stop the flow of urine. You do these in sets until you work your way up to three sets of ten Kegels each day, holding ten seconds on each Kegel. Or something, I could be wrong on the frequency. You do them to prepare for childbirth and then after childbirth, you do them for the rest of your life.

Anyway, they tell you that Kegels serve a couple of purposes. First, they strengthen the pelvic floor so you don’t tear, or don’t tear as much, during childbirth. They also help that whole area get back, um, in shape after delivery. And you’re reminded to do them in the months after childbirth, not by books or doctors, but every time you cough and then have to run to the bathroom with your thighs tightly clamped together so you don’t pee on yourself. And they supposedly help ensure that you don’t become incontinent in your old ladyhood. There may be more benefits that the experts cite, I don’t know.

But the real reason Kegels are important isn’t listed in the books. The real reason is that one day you’ll sit down on the couch and start feeding the baby, and at the precise moment that you start feeding her, you’ll realize that you need to pee. And you drink 60 plus ounces of water per day, and you’ve just downed 24. So you’ll hold it while you feed the baby. And then the baby will fall asleep eating, and since she doesn’t nap enough during the day and because she’s unbearably adorable when she sleeps, you won’t want to wake her. And you’ll sit there for two hours while the baby naps for that long for the first time in ages. That’s when your Kegels will come in handy. When you’re trying not to pee on yourself, and you can’t even do the pee-pee dance (clinically proven to keep the pee in!) because the baby sleeps so peacefully on your lap, completely unaware of your dire situation.

4 months!

My baby girl is 4 months old today! I can’t believe it. I seriously do not know how she got to be this old. She had her 4 month checkup today. Now see, at her 2 month checkup, Dr. Superfantastico was a little worried about her weight because she hadn’t gained as much as Dr. S was expecting. So she had her come back in at 3 months for weight and height checks.

Fast forward to last week, when I was at my breastfeeding group and weighed Buttercup. I became a little worried (and worried off and on this past week), because I remembered that she was 12 pounds 1 ounce at her 3 month checkup, and when I weighed her last week, she was 12 pounds 3 ounces. Which meant she gained only 2 ounces in 3 weeks. I had to get major reassurance from the lactation specialist that it’s okay if she doesn’t gain very well every month and that breastfed babies don’t grow at the same rate as formula-fed babies. She’s happy, she pees and poos very well (she’s a champ!), smiles and laughs all the time, rolls from her tummy to her back, and continues to develop new things every week. So I knew I shouldn’t be *too* worried, but she’s also started just snacking during the day. She eats great at night and in the wee hours of the morning and when she first gets up for the day, but she isn’t very interested in food during the day, because she just has better things to do. There are puppies to watch and lights to look at and sounds to follow. So I’m lucky if I get her to eat for 3 minutes during a feeding. She’ll eat every 2 or 3 hours, but she’s mainly just power snacking. Just enough to get by until night time. For reference, though, we’ve weighed her before and after a feeding, and the girl can chow down 3 ounces in 4 minutes. So she’s like me–wolfs her food as fast as she can.

Still, with the erratic eating, I was worried that Dr. S was going to suggest I supplement with or switch to formula–though she’s never even come close to suggesting that before.

So today at her appointment, she was 12 pounds 7 ounces. I felt a little better about that, but not much. 6 ounces in a month isn’t a whole lot of weight gain. Dr. S didn’t say anything about Buttercup’s weight, so as she was finishing up, I asked if she was okay with Buttercup’s weight. And she was *very* happy with it, because she gained 22 ounces in 30 days. “Wait, what?” Yeah, so it turns out that last month she was 11 pounds, 1 ounce. Not 12. So I guess her meal plan is working for her, and I’m just going to stop fretting when she only eats for 2 minutes.

She’s now 23 3/4 inches. She’s a small baby–18th or 19th percentile for length and 25th for weight. But 59th for head size! She has a giant brain, just like her mom.

Man, I just assumed it would be Frank

Because he’s the man. But no. I was the first person to drop the baby.

I should have known that it would be me, since I’m the one with horrible balance and even worse coordination, and the hubby has the balance of a gold medalist curler. But I just thought he’d have to choose one day between saving the iPad and saving the baby, and, well… But nope.

Thankfully, she was in her car seat. I tripped over a curb on the way to my new moms’ group (of course!), and I went down. My arm was hooked under the car seat handle, so she kind of came down on top of me. I think the car seat landed half on my leg or foot and half on the ground, on its side. She grunted a little until I turned her right side up again, then she smiled. She wasn’t hurt. But I was right across the street from the hospital, so I almost walked to the emergency room, just in case. Then I decided that since she wasn’t crying, she was okay. Chicco makes a pretty good car seat, I guess.

I’m fine, too. And really glad that I tripped *out* of the street instead of into it. Also glad that my first instinct was to try to elevate her as much as possible so she wouldn’t hit the ground hard.

But man, I’m bummed I dropped her before Frank did, because now he’ll always have that. “You dropped the baby! I’m the best parent ever!” Oh well. I guess I’ll always have this: “You made the baby pee in her own face! I’m the best parent ever!”

Baby Day Part 3: Meconium

I didn’t do a whole lot after I got confined to bed. Well, when Frank got back with the labor bags, I tweeted, but not much. I tweeted about the oxygen and asked how the Texas Rangers were doing in the playoffs (I didn’t find out until late that night, after I’d had Buttercup).

I switched positions a couple of times, but I was so uncomfortable leaning over the end of the bed and leaning over the head of the bed that I immediately went back to just sitting up in bed. I’d forgotten to tell Frank that I would need to stay in any new position for at least 2 contractions to see if they worked–so I didn’t really give them a shot. If I’d told him that ahead of time, he would have reminded me.

Frank tried to do breathing exercises with me, but I was feeling okay, other than feeling like I had really bad gas. That’s what the big labor contractions felt like to me–the worst gas ever. In fact, any time I have gas now, it makes me think of labor. Since I felt okay, just really uncomfortable every 2 minutes, I didn’t want to do the breathing exercises. I just went straight to deep breathing during contractions. I know I should have done the patterned breathing, but at the time, I felt fine just breathing deeply, especially having that sweet, sweet oxygen on my face.

I would get up to go to the bathroom when I needed it, but any time I sat on the toilet, I would get a huge contraction, always exacerbated by the fact that I had to stare at the lovely huge jacuzzi tub full of the water I couldn’t get into. So I stopped drinking much water. Frank kept offering it, but I would only take ice chips. This would come up later.

Frank gave me hand massages and foot massages while I labored–those were nice. He kept offering to breathe with me, but I waved him off.

I had told M early in the day that I wanted my labor to progress naturally, no inducements if I could avoid them. I’d heard that Pitocin is the worst thing ever EVER (eh, it’s not), so I didn’t want that, and I kind of didn’t want the doctor to break my water unless labor dragged on or got too hard. I told her I’d think about that part, and she said she’d ask me later, when the doctor was done with his patients in the office. She asked around 6 p.m. if I had decided whether I wanted him to break my water. By that point, I was ready for him to do anything to speed things up. My contractions were still spaced the same and hadn’t changed in six and a half hours. So I said yes. He had a couple more patients at the office, and then he’d be over to break the water.

I was dozing when he came in at 6:45. He showed me the little tool that he would use to break the bag–it looked like a little finger condom with a point on the end. I didn’t care what it looked like, I just wanted to know what my cervix looked like. Well, not what it looked like, but how it was progressing. I just *knew* the doctor was going to tell me that I was 8 cm and fully effaced.

“Well? How’s my cervix?”

“Well, you’re still at a 4…” DEFEAT. DEFEAT. DEFEAT. When he said I was at 4 cm, I just felt completely deflated and defeated. “…but you’re paper thin.” Fully effaced. Now, in the back of my mind, I knew this was wonderful news. I’d read several times that most first-timers fully efface before they start dilating at all. I knew this. And I was fully thinned out. But I also knew that not *every* first-timer goes that way, and since I’d been dilating for almost a month, I assumed I was one of the exceptions.

Paper thin just didn’t do it for me mentally. I was tired and thought I’d been making major progress, and I was still 4 cm! A little voice niggled, “Paper thin! This means you’ll start dilating for REAL now!” But the rest of me punched the little voice in the face and told it that I was never ever going to dilate to 10 cm.

The doc broke my water, and I felt the warm gush of fluid. I thanked him, and he told me that there was meconium in the water (for any of you who don’t know, that means Buttercup had her first bowel movement in the womb). I immediately tensed. The only other person I knew who had told me that she had meconium when her water broke had ended up with an emergency C-section, so I was afraid he was going to bring that up. “Okay. So now what?” My doc immediately put me at ease and told me that it just meant that a NICU team would have to be on hand when Buttercup was born to make sure she didn’t aspirate the meconium, because that would be really bad.

He told me he’d see me later that evening and left. Then things got crazy.

Baby Day Part 2: My Little Drama Queen

Part 1.

We walked over to the hospital and got checked in. I listened to my music and shifted around to get comfortable while we waited for our room. Then the nurse came and got us, took us to our room (room 6, other Sarah), and gave me my gown. I got dressed and crawled into bed so the nurse (M) could hook me up and check out the baby and my contractions. She wanted to monitor me for 15 minutes before I got out of bed. Before she left the room, she ran my bath water, because that was all I wanted to do. I just wanted to get in the bathtub. They have these super-nice jacuzzi tubs in all the labor and delivery rooms, and I’d been looking forward to it all morning–well, really ever since we’d done the hospital tour.

We gave the nurse my labor plan, and I made sure to tell her that it sounded grouchy but that it didn’t sound grouchy in my head when I wrote it, so please don’t take it that way. M was very nice, looked over the plan, and said she didn’t see any problems. She was on board with natural childbirth, and per my birth plan, she never once asked if I wanted pain meds.

So I was excited. This was it! I was having a baby. While I was hooked up to the monitors, Frank went over to our car, still parked at the doctor’s office, and got the labor bags. iPod speakers, food, reading materials, computers, all that. He came back and hooked the iPod up so I could have my music. Meanwhile, M dimmed the lights and closed the blinds for me. Then she left.

When she came back, I asked when I could get into the tub. She said she didn’t want me to get into the tub yet, because she didn’t like how the baby’s heartbeat looked. She showed me how Buttercup’s heart rate was steady at 150 bpm and explained that even though it’s a good heart rate, they expect the heart rate to fidget and jump around, so it would jump back and forth all around the 150 mark–but Buttercup’s heart wasn’t jumping around, it was just a straight line. She wanted to monitor me for another 15 minutes before I got out of bed.

The next time she came back, I asked about the bathtub, and she said she couldn’t let me out of bed yet. Then she put me on oxygen and told me that she wanted to see how the baby did with oxygen. If baby improved and did well, then she’d try me off oxygen again in hopes that baby would continue to do well off oxygen. Within 5 seconds of oxygen breathing, her heart rate perked right up and started jumping around like it was supposed to. So I continued to breathe deeply, and let me tell you–if I have another baby, I will be asking for oxygen during labor, or maybe I’ll bring my own just in case they say no. That was the best part. The oxygen saturation was so good that I went into a little trance between contractions. It almost felt like I was on laughing gas, except that last time I was on laughing gas, I was enduring much worse torture than labor and childbirth–I was having a 4-hour root canal.

After 15 minutes, M took me off the oxygen, and Buttercup flattened out again. That’s when M told me I couldn’t get in the tub, because I would have to be hooked up to the monitors and oxygen for my entire labor. I could only get out of bed to go to the bathroom.


worse than childbirth

I’ve heard my whole life (not from my mom, but from TV, friends, relatives, other random women) that childbirth is the worst thing a woman can ever go through. I wholeheartedly disagree. I mean, it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows, but I’ve been through many things worse than childbirth. Such as:

*4-hour root canal where the dentist had to use, for the first time ever, his longest picks and had to sand a pulp stone for a good 2 hours. I had that horrible rubber dam across my mouth for 3 hours. And I cried the whole time.
*3 years of near-constant migraines
*teeth cleanings (I am the world’s worst dental patient)
*having my cervix stretched
*round ligament pain
*church split
*reading Wuthering Heights
*double dry sockets

Yeah, childbirth hurts. Yeah, there are times when you just want it to be over. But no, it’s not the worst thing ever. A lot of it is beautiful and fantastic. I can’t wait to do it again–and I can’t say that about the root canal.

UPDATE: I forgot gallbladder attacks.

Crazy Baby!

Here’s better video of the baby laughing. Well, better of her. Not better video. I was playing with the light on the phone camera and also discovering where my thumbs are.

Baby Day Part 1: If you ever get a chance to have your cervix stretched… yeah, don’t

When Frank got up Thursday morning, October 7, I told him I was pretty sure we were having a baby that day, so he went ahead and called in to work. The bags were still packed, so we piddled around until it was time for my appointment. I wore my green and white sleeveless maternity dress, because I’d gotten in the habit of wearing that dress to all of my checkups so I was always weighed in the same clothes. This time, I think I wore socks and tennis shoes. Or my brown sandals. I already don’t remember.

We got in the car, and I put on the iPod with my labor & delivery mix. I started with “Heavy In Your Arms” by Florence & the Machines. Frank expressed (not for the first time) his amazement that a woman would sing about being heavy. I thought it was appropriate for someone with a giant baby belly.

We got to my appointment, and I weighed in at 171 on the doctor’s scale. I’d been 158 on his scale at the beginning of my pregnancy, so my final weight gain was 13 pounds.

The nurse took my stats (BP was good), and then the doctor came in. He smiled and said, “Thank you for not having your baby yesterday.” He told me a little about his daughter’s birthday and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was pretty sure the baby was coming and that my contractions were different and I’d been laboring all night. He checked my cervix. While his fingers were still probing, I asked how it was. See, I just knew he was going to say, “Oh, wow, you’re an 8, get over to the hospital quick!” However… “About two and a half… and 90%.” My response was my now-standard, “You have GOT to be kidding me.” I know I should have seen the progress in the effacement, because I knew that most first-timers efface fully before dilating at all. But since I’d been dilating for weeks, I just figured I was in the minority.

Now, I love my doctor, but sometimes he does stuff to me without asking or warning me first. He didn’t ask before the first time he stripped my membranes, and he didn’t ask before what he did next. He just said, “Apologies in advance for what I’m about to do…” I assumed he was stripping my membranes again, so I was like, “Yeah, go ahead.”

Then he did something way worse. I didn’t know what, but I knew it hurt. Hurt hurt hurt. Now that I’ve gone through the whole labor process, I can tell you that it hurt worse than labor. “OW!” “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” “What’d you do, break my water?” “I stretched your cervix. Now you’re a 4. You can go over to the hospital and check in. I’ll send you with paperwork so you can go right to your room. Get the epidural if you want it, get settled in. I’ll come over later and break your water, and we’ll have a baby today.” “Okay, thanks,” I said. He left the room, and I jumped down off the table and just lost it. Started bawling hard. Frank grabbed my glasses, which were falling off of my face, bowed in pain. I sobbed. Frank rubbed my back. “That hurt so bad. So bad. So bad.”

Thus ended my 19 hours of early labor.