Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Anna and the Stolen Gym Shoe

I had the rather unique experience last night of scouring my house (and yard and car) for a gym shoe that I KNEW made the trip home from the gym with me. My desperate cry of "Have you seen my shoe?" was met with a muffled "Yeah, Anna had it in the living room" from the hubby upstairs. Great. Anna had it. The culprit can't even tell me where she's hidden it.

Let me take a quick second to explain something crucial here. I am NOT a morning person. If I don't have all my stuff lined up the night before, I forget things. For example, if my gym bag isn't packed and waiting for me by the back door in the morning, then I don't go to the gym that day. Counter-productive to my weight-loss goal. So I pack my gym bag every evening and put it by the back door.

I'm not even sure where to start searching, as my first scan of the living room yielded nothing. She has developed a weird fascination with the laundry chute lately, but I don't think she could have fit the shoe down there. Even so, down to the basement to check. Sippy cup cover, old newspaper, and duplo block, but no gym shoe. OK...maybe Anna didn't take it and it fell out in my car. Outside to comb the floor of my backseat. Cheerio, baby doll, another, I should vacuum in here. No gym shoe. Back to the living room - under the coffee table, behind all the curtains, in the coat closet (THERE'S where that puzzle piece went!). No gym shoe. "Anna! Where did you put my shoe?!?!" "Ayahyahyah!!" (which I take to mean "Suck it, mom, I'll never talk!").

I search high and low, mostly low, in her bedroom and ours, the bathroom (the tub is another favorite hiding spot and frequent residence for her pajamas, baby doll and sippy cup) but all to no avail. I enlist hubby's help. At this point, a good 15 minutes has gone by and I'm starting to laugh maniacally at the idea that a toddler could take something as large as a sneaker and find such a good hiding space for it. Anna follows us from room to room, playing a bizarre little baby game of "warmer/colder" without actually offering any real hints as to where she's stored her loot.

On a whim, I open my closet door. Usually I hear her when she digs in here because she's not terribly subtle when she's up to no good. But, what do we have here? Gym shoe! Anna looks at us with a bored look and offers one more "Bah!" as if to say "I can't believe it took you monkeys so long to find a lousy shoe!" Neither can I, kid. I'm going to have to lock my stuff up from here on out or I'm doomed to walk the halls searching, in vain, for gym shoes from now until eternity...or at least until she leaves for college.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lesson Learned

We went to a wedding this past weekend. Hubby was the photographer so I was on single parent duty - and had been since Wednesday since he'd been traveling on business since Anna and I returned home from vacation. I learned a valuable lesson at this wedding: Always, and I mean ALWAYS, get a babysitter for your toddler when attending an adult function. Always.

The weekend started off with a bang - me texting the hubby who was already in Appleton for the rehearsal dinner that I was this close to finding a truck stop and leaving Anna there, would he mind if we just swung through to see if she was still there on our way home Saturday afternoon? She started screaming from the moment I strapped her into the car seat after daycare to the moment we stopped for dinner an hour later, pause for delicious chicken nuggets and dirty, but exciting to explore public restrooms, resume screaming upon reentry into the car seat and finally stopped when we pulled into the hotel parking lot another hour later. Suffice to say, I didn't have a shred of patience left in me at that point. The only thing that would lower the volume of her screaming even a fraction was me scream-singing Jesus Loves Me....After about 15 times through, my voice cracking with effort and volume, Jesus Loves Me lost all melody and meaning. And she was STILL screaming.

We got to the hotel, got settled in, implemented my genius setup for secluding Anna's bed enough that she should have been able to go to sleep in the same room as us without much trouble and we headed down to the pool - the high point of my weekend. Anna had a great time splashing, chasing her ball around, watching us swim underwater, etc. We played for about 45 minutes then took Anna up for a bath. Got her ready for bed, read stories, sang the goodnight song, and then the screaming began again. My genius setup idea had a rather monumental hole (as most of my "genius" ideas usually do) - Anna could pull back the curtain I had draped over her pack'n play and see the entire room reflected in the mirror that was on the wall across from where I'd set up her bed. At least she goes to bed at 8:30 and her screaming couldn't have been waking up too many people. The hubby and I cowered in the bathroom in fear, taking turns peeking out the door to see if she was still glaring angrily from her cage like the angry wildebeest that she is. After about 15 - 20 minutes she settled down and went to sleep. We tiptoed around the room the rest of the night, and then enjoyed a somewhat peaceful night of sleep in a king-sized bed (nice!).

On wedding day, I knew I'd be facing a challenge, as the wedding started at 10, Anna's usual morning naptime, and we'd have to check out of the hotel before the ceremony so I'd have no place to take her in between ceremony and reception. I'm not going to go into details here, suffice to say that I saw exactly 4 minutes of the ceremony and spent a good chunk of time before the reception fighting off tears of frustration at missing out on spending time with my friends and feeling excluded from the fun. Anna and I wound up leaving as soon as brunch was over (she made it through the meal with minimal food throwing - keep in mind, I said MINIMAL), thankfully she managed to nap for a good chunk of the drive home and screaming was kept to a minimum. And my dear, dear hubby, who realized, possibly from me telling him with my hands clutching my hair, down on my knees, head thrown back in my very best "why! God, why?!" stance that I could. not. take. anymore. screaming. - gave me Sunday off. Let me sleep in, took Anna to the airport to pick up his parents, fed her dinner, even came with us to the grocery store.

Lesson learned. Even though it's fun spending time with Anna, it's easier at adult functions to actually spend time with other adults rather than pushing a very crabby, overtired child up and down a riverwalk for an hour plus while begging God for the courage and patience to take her in to be a part of a group meal where she's expected to sit politely for more than an hour waiting for her lunch...not bloody likely. Babysitters from here on out!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dads Get All The Love

When Anna first started saying "dada" with a purpose I, of course, started trying to get a "mama" out of here. For the longest time my pleas for her to "say mama!" were met with a sneaky grin and exuberant "Dada!!" No matter what...daggers, kid. Daggers in my heart. She has since mastered a decent "mama" upon request, or if I have something tasty-looking on my plate that she would like to sample.

Well, we've got a new one. A few weeks back my heart was melted by Anna repeating in her little baby voice "I love you, daddy" or at least some approximation of that statement. Yesterday our conversation went like this:
Me - "Say I love you!"
Anna - "Dada!"

Ugh! Kid, don't you know who carried you? Birthed you? Fed you every hour on the hour for months?! Dads get all the love.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Travel Tips

Anna and I flew home yesterday, sans Daddy - quite an adventure! Anna was on her very best behavior, especially for being cooped up in her car seat for a half hour on the way to the airport, stuck in her stroller for nearly an hour going through security and getting to the gate, shoved back into her car seat for a 3 hour and 40 minute flight, back into the stroller for 40 minutes to get our bag from baggage claim and then into the car seat AGAIN for the half hour drive home. That poor kiddo did a lot of sitting around yesterday. And I did my best to keep her entertained. I learned a few things about traveling with a toddler that I'd like to share with you here.

1. Snacks, snacks and more snacks! We had cheerios, yogurt melts, cookies, muffins, crackers...and Anna ate many of them. The rest she had great fun throwing around the airplane. I'm STILL apologizing to the flight attendants for the mess that I'm sure they're STILL cleaning up!

2. Travel magnadoodle serves multiple functions - fun for sticking stickers to the screen, figuring out how to draw, and oh, yes, the "pen" is great for getting at those hard-to-reach toddler-sized boogers. I handed the magnadoodle over to Anna and she was enjoying it so I leaned my head back and rested for 30 seconds. When I realized just how quiet it was in the seat next to me, I became suspicious. My investigation revealed an inquistive Anna sticking the magnadoodle pen up each nostril of her cute little button nose. Don't fault me for this, but I actually paused to weigh my options at this point: "She's quiet. It's entertaining her. Do I REALLY need to stop her from sticking that thing up her nose? How much damage could it really do?" In the end I decided that a carefully placed bounce of the plane could leave us with skewered brain so I kindly requested that Anna remove said wand from her nose. My request was met with many ear-shattering screams.

3. Stickers, while sometimes frightening for their super-sticking power, are a GREAT time-waster. Again, apologies to the flight attendants - I'm sure Strawberry Shortcake and Cookie Monster are still hanging around on the walls, windows and cracks of seat cushions in 4 aisles surrounding our seats. Anna discovered that sticking stickers on places other than on her fingers (which freaks her out) is great fun! Mommy's back, mommy's face, Anna's face, Anna's pants, the laptop, the stranger next to us, any part of the airplane that will accept stickable stickers...My laptop is still covered with Big Bird, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch. I kind of want to leave them there as my badge of "way to go, Kerry, figuring out how to keep that munchkin occupied for more than an hour with self-adhesing paper!"
Just a note - if you decide to go this route - make sure to remove said stickers from your face prior to disembarking the aircraft. Strangers have a tendency to look at you a little, well, strangely, when your forehead is sporting a giant strawberry sticker. Whatever, dude. My one-year-old thinks it's hilarious.

4. Don't force ANY issues. Don't want to drink your water? Fine. Don't want to wear your left shoe? Fine. HAVE to keep the right one on? Whatever. Need to stick your thumb up mommy's nose? If it makes you happy, kid, that's cool. Within reason, the word No should just be gone from the vocabulary during the flight. You know, except when you need to perform magnadoodle wand nasal extractions. And even then...make sure she thinks it's her idea.

All in all, flying with a toddler - even by myself - wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Once I got over the "everyone will be mad if she cries" thing and adopted the "it's 3 hours of your life, whiny 20-something brat - suck it up!" attitude, things were great. Not something I plan to do again anytime soon, but I think I'd be more inclined after this experience to drive someplace farther away with her. That way we can take some running around breaks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Excuse Me, Sir, But Do You Have a Tranq Dart?

We made it, with minimal carnage...but we made it nonetheless. Here's a brief overview of my Saturday:

5:00 a.m. wake up to get ready to leave for airport
6:15 a.m. depart for airport
7:00 a.m. unload car - my God, whose stuff IS this? Do we really need 5 bags, a purse, a stroller, a carseat AND a baby? Let's leave the baby...
7:30 a.m. arrive at security - again, do we REALLY need all this crap? Hubby gets an extra pat-down after his camera equipment sets off an alarm during the scan.
7:40 a.m. arrive at gate. Where the hell did the baby wander off to? Oh, there she is, giving her baby doll to that crazy looking dude by the newspaper stand....we are AWESOME parents.
8:15 a.m. board plane amid glares that truly say "Your kid better sleep through this flight or we're going to have a hit out on you when we reach our destination."
8:30 a.m. Take off - hey, this isn't so bad. Flying...Flying...bribery with cheerios, muffins, dolls, books, finger puppets, kids videos, etc. This really isn't as bad as I expected.
10:30 a.m. Oh wait, Yes, this IS as bad as I expected.
10:45 a.m. Kind, young flight attendant stops and asks if there's anything he can do to help with the baby, I resist the urge to ask for a tranquilizer dart or parachute.
11:21 a.m. Anna falls asleep nine minutes before tires hit tarmac.
11:30 a.m. We arrive at our destination nearly an hour EARLIER than anticipated - SCORE!!!

I shudder to think what that flight would have been like without my husband. I shudder to think what our return flight WILL BE LIKE without him....Oy.

Ok, really it wasn't that bad. She was fussy, but consolable for the first two hours. We managed to keep her entertained with the various items we had in our arsenal of baby gear. The problem really started when we began our descent. We are all still battling colds and our sinuses and ears were throbbing .

However, as Anna fell asleep, the guy across the aisle started to laugh at the face I must have made. I struck up a small conversation with him which ended with him saying, "You guys are really doing a great job keeping her happy during the flight." Which immediately alleviated any stress I was feeling about her 45 minute screaming fit.

I'm SO drinking wine on the return flight.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Grass Isn't Greener in Previously Visited Pastures

I was wiping Anna's nose the other day, asking if she had pooped yet, when it struck me: The romance has been killed good and dead around here, replaced with shrieks of indignation during diaper changes (from baby AND mom) and 3 a.m. feedings and splotches of flung yogurt on the kitchen curtains and endless streams of "don't touch that, don't eat that, don't stick that your/the cat's nose/ear/eye/hind end"...Having a baby changes EVERYTHING. I don't mean this in a bad way. Believe me, I find a lot of the above very amusing and the hubby and I make it work. We have fun with it. We tease Anna (just a little-it's good for her!) and we laugh (mostly) at the frustrating moments. But there are definitely some things that I miss from our childless days:

1. SLEEP. I hope you note the emphasis on this one.
2. The ability to pick up and go - to the movies, out to dinner, on a road trip - and not A) need to arrange a babysitter or B) feel anxious about spending yet MORE time away from her
3. Going to work without feeling absolutely wrong about being there. I love my job. I love my baby. I've lost my sanity.

You know, I started this post thinking "there are so many things from my kid-free days that I miss! I'll make a post about them!" But now that I actually sit and think about it, there aren't that many things that I miss. Yes, our relationship has shifted, but we've shifted together. Grown together. Sure, we talk about another person's bowel movements like the most recent football scores. You think that's strange? You should witness the bargaining and arguing over whose turn it is to change her! Maybe we tip-toe around and speak only in whispers after 8 p.m., and maybe nap time has turned into a choice between nap while she naps, or see how much laundry you can fold in two hours. But I like these things. And that sweet little girl who toddled into the kitchen this morning and exuberantly said, "Hi, Dad!" makes any parental sacrifice look like no sacrifice at all.

(We'll see how much I agree with that last statement after our flight tomorrow! Wish me luck!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Can I Take a Sick Day?

I am taking a half a sick day from work today. I feel like crap, but enough about that. Why is it, now that I'm at home, trying to relax and rest in order to get better, that I can't stop thinking of all the stuff I could/should be doing?

I could organize Anna's closet! I could pack for our trip! I could get dinner started for tonight! I could pick up Anna early from daycare and spend the afternoon with her! Alas, even though I'm taking a sick day, I'm not REALLY taking a sick day.

Apparently this comes with motherhood, the inability to just sit and relax. Even if I manage to find an hour to sit down in front of the tv at night, I can't just sit there and watch tv. I have to be folding laundry, flipping through a magazine, catching up on Facebook. God forbid I ever just sit and relax for 60 minutes.

Argh! It's so frustrating! I want to nap and just rest and get over this stupid cold, but my to do list is haunting me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Signs of a Good Communicator

Anna knows two understandable signs. I think she may know more, but I don't understand them, so...I suppose more accurately, Anna knows signs, but I only understand two of them.

The first sign she knows is "all done." And when she signs it, she means it. Especially at the dinner table. If you don't remove her tray of food from in front of her within 5 seconds after she signs "all done" with her look of "remove this food from my sight immediately or I shall strew it about the room with great force!" she, well, strews it about the room with great force. If I didn't have to clean it up, I'd find it extremely funny to watch. Who am I kidding? I find it extremely funny, regardless of the fact that I spend most of my evenings chiseling chunks of chicken, dried mac 'n cheese and globs of coagulated yogurt off our kitchen floor and walls. The food flinging is always very purposeful. She grabs handfuls of food and flings HARD in all directions until the tray is emptied. Then commences screaming at ear-shattering pitches and volumes until she is removed from her high chair.

She also signs "all done" the moment we lay her on the changing table. This is also (usually) accompanied by ear-shattering screams, unless I can get her interested in a rousing rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" or "Shake It Up Baby" by the Beatles. She's got good taste, that baby.

The second sign she knows is "more." She signs this, so far, only when I say the word more, and ALWAYS when I say the word more...even if she doesn't actually want more of the item(s) in question. That's how she started with "all done" too so I'm hopeful that soon she will calmly and politely request more juice or milk by gently placing her cup on the tray and signing "More, please" instead of thrusting her cup at me and emulating a teenager with the attitude on her face accompanying her nod that, yes, indeed, she would like some juice. On the double.

She is becoming a better and better communicator and it's fun to watch. As much as these posts might sound like me cowering in fear of Anna's screaming (which I do spend a LOT of time doing...), I hope that it's clear how much I truly enjoy being her mom, strong will and all. It's so amazing to watch this person emerging from what just a year ago was this eating, sleeping, pooping, crying little bit of a human.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On a Scale of 1 to 10...

Hubby and I have been home-bound (ish) since Anna was born last summer. Usually we take a few road trips during the year, but having a child who DETESTS the car...well, detests isn't quite the word...more loathes with the fire of a thousand suns...makes traveling a bit difficult.

In a moment of true "mommy amnesia" or just downright insanity, we decided to book a trip this fall. We leave on Saturday. Via airplane.

How I thought this was a good idea, I'm not entirely sure. Anna can't even make it through five minutes of church, much less an hour car ride without needing a break. And yet, I thought we could make it work for a four hour flight.

But, wait! It gets better! I will only have the comfort of suffering through this torture with my husband on one leg of the trip. For, dear friends, I am handling the return leg of the the trip solo. I can hear Anna clicking her fingers together maniacally and whispering "excellent" a-la Smithers from The Simpsons now.

Last night I asked hubby, on a scale of 1 to 10, one being "this flying with toddler thing - no problem, let's book our trip to Rio today!" and ten being "dear God. Please let this aircraft have parachutes. And please let them be toddler sized..." where did he think we stand. He replied "8." Which I took to mean something between "Thank God the other passengers also had to pass through security and very likely do not have weapons on them" and "That's it, we're jumping. That's all there is to it. Oh, what? We're still on the runway?!"

So how about it, folks? Send me your best traveling with toddler tips or worst horror story!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I JUST Had a Baby...Like a Year Ago

About a month and a half ago, Anna turned one. Around that same time my "I just had a baby so you can't judge my humongous and gross body" excuse card expired...I know, bummer. So I joined a gym.

If you know me, you know I hate exercise. If you don't know me, well, I HATE exercise. I hate it because it's tedious and takes up time that I feel I should be spending on the piles of dishes and laundry, balancing my checkbook, chasing my kid, etc. I hate it because it's BO-RING! I hate it because sweating is gross, and sitting on/touching machines that other people have sweat on is even grosser.

However, after nearly two and a half months of religiously hitting the gym after work every day (or at least 4 days a week) and adjusting my eating habits - it's not a diet because I will NOT deny myself my Cheetos or an occasional taste of chocolate - but adjusting my snacking habits and making sure to stock lots of fresh produce and lean meats, healthy snacks, yadda yadda yadda, the weight has finally started to come off.

I didn't gain too much baby weight in the first place. Thank you, God! With all that guacamole and cake I ate, I certainly should have come out of that experience the "two ton walrus" that I was calling myself throughout my third trimester! But thanks to a lot of stress eating when I lost my job in January - that would be a whole different post...I gained a good chunk of the "baby weight" back. When I joined the gym in July I had 14 pounds to lose to get back to pre-baby weight. And let's be honest here, I was no slim, slender lady then either, so I'd surely like to lose more. But more than anything, I want to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes!!

As of yesterday, I have only 8 pounds to go to pre-baby weight! My first goal is to reach that before my doctor's appointment in October. My second goal, as I told my husband when I first joined the gym, is to "get smokin' hot and then get myself knocked up again." He told me he's on board with 50% of that goal....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Anna, Where's Your Bellybutton?

Anna's developing an understanding of body parts. It's really exciting to watch, but sometimes a little painful to experience.

As I'm sure you inferred from my first post, Anna LOVES bellybuttons. She loves to stick her little fingers in there and poke and prod and see what might be residing at the bottom of that little crevice. Mommy's is especially fun because it's all stretched out from pregnancy and scarred from an old piercing. Daddy's is weird because there's hair on it. When it comes to bellybuttons, Anna abides by the "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" philosophy. If you ask "Anna, where's your bellybutton?" sometimes she'll come over and lift up my shirt, then lift up hers. Or if she sees one of us changing after a shower or the other occasional bellybutton flash (You know, our usual form of greeting each other at home), she'll whip her shirt up as if to respond "hey, man, I got one-a those too!" If you really want to tick her off - ask her to show you her bellybutton when she's wearing a onesie - hee! :)

She also has quite the fondness for teeth. If you even MENTION the word teeth - or anything sounding remotely close to the word teeth - her finger is in your mouth scratching with her talons at your gums as if to say "Ah, yes, teeth. I like yours. Gimme." Gentle touch is still a concept that we're working on in our house! However, after she shreds your gums to pieces, she'll stick her finger in her own mouth to show you where her teeth are too. It's quite cute, and usually worth the pain.

We discovered last week that if you ask Anna if she bumped her head she'll run both her hands through her rockin' baby mullet.

I'm sure her understanding of body parts won't stop here (I really hope it doesn't!), but I think that's pretty darn good for a one-year old! Bellybutton, teeth and head...We need to teach her feet or legs or her first drawings of "people" are going to look REALLY strange.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where'd you get that Cheerio??

Anna hordes cheerios like a squirrel. Ok, so a squirrel hordes acorns, but the behavior is similar.

Every parent knows, cheerios are a staple in a toddler diet - and a parent's sanity! Our pastors refer to the back rows of the church, where the families with small children sit, as Cheerio Row. And it's accurate. If you take a look back there on Sundays, several parents have busted out their Tupperware containers to bribe their toddlers with that oat-y-o goodness.

We not only rely on cheerios at church, but also at home. Anna munches on (or flings wildly around the room, depending on her mood) cheerios in her high chair while we get ready in the mornings. We bribe her with them on the living room floor when she arises at some ungodly hour of pre-sunrise o'clock. She likes them and they're a healthy(ish) snack in a pinch.

Apparently, Anna likes cheerios so much, though, that she's decided she'd better save stashes of them in various areas of our house. I swear, every time I look at her she's pulling a cheerio out of somewhere: under the couch, behind the bathroom door, in her toy bins, wait...what's that behind your ear, mom? Oh, it's a cheerio!

You know me, mother of the year, I just let her eat those "under the couch" cheerios, justifying it by telling myself that she's strengthening her immune system. The real reason: I just don't have the energy to battle her expert tantrum throwing every time she decides to tap into her stash. The feisty little beasty has taught me early to choose my battles. So what if she likes a little cat hair and dust with her cheerios? Maybe to her they're like ketchup and mustard.

(Bah! I have two great photos of her absconding with the cheerio box this morning but for some reason they will not upload. I'll try to put them on my facebook page.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mommy Amnesia

"Remember those good old days, when I was pregnant?" I have been saying this to my husband, my mom, my friends, that strange dude who keeps trying to sell me a single sock out in front of the bus station...

Amazing what a little sleep deprivation and tiny hormone imbalance can do to your mind!

All I remember of pregnancy is the adorable belly that rippled with moving baby appendages inside, actually feeling good in a bathing suit for the first time in my life (amazing how great it feels NOT to have to suck it in!), being excited and just in general, loving the feeling of growing a human being in my belly.

Apparently I'm forgetting some rather outstanding details that aren't so easy for others to let go of -
The unstoppable nausea (Used to hold my breath when I'd open the refrigerator because the smell of all that food was AWFUL)
The unbearable fatigue
The swollen ankles (I was so shocked to see that I actually HAD ankles after the baby was born - I forgot they were there!)
The back spasms
The mood swings (This is the hubby's addition. I remember no such side affect!)

This crazy amnesia I am "suffering" from has even gone so far as to make me think I ENJOYED labor and delivery (well, as much as one can enjoy squeezing a bowling ball through a tube of toothpaste!). It was exciting. I knew it was the biggest thing I will ever do in my life - bringing another human being into the world. I had a strong, supportive partner who, even when he didn't know what to do, SEEMED to know exactly what to do to keep me calm and comfortable.

When I brought this up to the hubby the other day, he said he remembers the birthing experience very differently. When I asked why he thinks that is he replied, "you were on drugs!"

As soon as the "Daddy Amnesia" kicks in, maybe we can start talking about number two...Until then, I'll have to reminisce about my experience with the rose-colored glasses that mommy amnesia has so kindly placed on my memories of that time!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's Not You, It's 3 A.M.

Let me start by saying this: I am NO MAN'S friend at 3:00 a.m. (just ask my husband!).

I don't require beauty sleep (please, have you seen this mug I'm working with? ;) ), but I require a certain amount of sanity sleep. If I don't reach my quota for sanity sleep each night...well, the results are not a lot of fun, mostly for the people around me (again, just ask the poor hubby).

In the beginning of Anna's life, when the post-pregnancy hormones were coursing through my veins like crack, I thought I was lucky to have the extra time in the middle of the night to admire her sweet baby face, while she fed for hours on end at intervals varying from every hour to every two hours - and that's from start to start, my friends. She would regularly eat for 40 minutes at a time. If you do the math there, that left me roughly 20 minutes to an hour without a child attached to my chest to get any kind of sleep. NOT COOL.

Please note that I am a HUGE supporter of breast feeding. However, after going through it with my first child I have some ideas of what to expect and what to do differently if/when baby #2 comes along. Specifically mastering nursing in bed and purchasing one of those co-sleepers that hooks up to the side of the bed.

I'm not even sure the term Super-"B" would cover my moods during those days. Between the lack of sleep, the swelling from the pitocin, my saggy-ballooned out body now deflated after expelling that little creature, and EXTREME sleep deprivation, even I didn't want to be around me! I would take out my frustration on the only poor target around, who definitely didn't deserve it - the hubster. Poor guy must have listened me to snip and snap at him in the wee hours more times than he can count. It's not like he was (always) sleeping through these middle of the night scream-fests, so I know he was just as tired.

But the ever-patient, understanding, and loving guy that he is, just kept offering to help in any way that he could. And just kept letting my exhaustion-fueld rants slide off of him without ever biting back, as I'm sure he really wanted to.

My point is this - being a new parent is freaking rough. Nobody can prepare you for that. But what makes it better is having a partner who is supportive and loving, even when you don't deserve it. To my husband, dude - I'm glad it's you with me in this first-time parent foxhole. I only hope I can make up for my post-baby crazies through lots of delicious dinners and back massages, because, man, you put up with a lot this past year! And it just makes me love you even more that you were as wonderful as you were about it all.