Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

So, I have a son now. It’s taken me the 7 weeks since he was born to find the right way to express how I feel about being a Mom again. I would like to write about the birth and all that, but it was really boring as births go. It was much easier than Charlotte and I really only pushed a couple of times before he slid out on his own. He was 9lbs 2oz — big, but still lighter than Charlotte was by 8oz. He’s beautiful, and sweet, and healthy.

I had these delusions of how having another baby would be — challenging, but totally do-able. I’d morph into super Mom and be able to keep my house clean and organized while still playing with Charlotte and breastfeeding my little boy on a perfect schedule. I’d go for walks with the kids and do projects with Charlotte. I’d be blissfully wrapped up in being a Mommy.

It’s not like that at all. I feel terrible for feeling like I miss having just one kid but some days, like yesterday, I feel so overwhelmed and fed up that I want to cry and punch something all at the same time.

Not getting a shower for 3-4 days
Picking up shitty diapers the dogs have chewed
Realizing that I can’t breastfeed because I’m too lazy/selfish/emotionally defective
Not knowing why Owen won’t stop crying and just SLEEP
Wanting a nice healthy breakfast but only drinking coffee and water until Abram gets home from work
Watching the laundry pile up
Watching the bills pile up
The stretch marks aren’t magically invisible
Missing the closeness with your husband


It’s just nothing like fantasy I had in my head. I know I probably built all this up while I was pregnant…how everything would just fall into place and I’d get it. “IT” — being this supermom. But I’m failing and it sucks.


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Good god my boobs are getting huge!  I’m talking Punkie Brewster getting reduction surgery huge.  Who knew they could be so unwieldy and annoying?!  All this before I even have the baby and get even bigger….lovely.

Bra shopping is super depressing when you’re in the DD category.  Everything is ugly and no bras come with straps less than an inch thick.  Ugh.  It’s like wearing a thick tank top under your clothes.  So far, this is one of my biggest pet peeves of being pregnant.  With Charlotte, I didn’t have this much….volume…to begin with.  Now, I’m longingly watching Abram do his workouts and actually chomping at the bit to have my postpartum time done so I can get back down to a reasonable weight and non-freakishly enormous boobs.

In other, unselfish and self-centered news, the baby is doing well.  I went to another check-up and everything looked good.  The doctor walked in (an OB in the practice I hadn’t seen before) and the first thing she said was “you’re daughter was how big?” and I told her “9lbs 10oz” and she blanched and said she thought it was a typo on my chart at first.  Then she told me that second babies are usually bigger and that if this little dude tops out past 11lbs she’ll have to do a c-section.  Um..yeah..I would hope so.  I’m not pushing that out.  Seriously?  We have to make it 11lbs?  I’d be fine with say, 10-10.5.  Really.  My lady parts cannot take another ravaging by a giant baby.

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Charlotte has been exhausting today!  Or maybe I’m just more easily exhausted at 29 weeks pregnant — either way it seems like every step forward I take in cleaning and organizing she comes behind me and pulls me three steps back.  She’s been increasingly needy, grabbing my skirt and whining to be picked up constantly (and with her at 25lbs and me with a sore back and bulging belly….ugh!).  She’s obsessed with watching me write her ABC’s for her.  I’m so proud of her for wanting to learn her letters at 19 months old, but every time she sees a pen in my hand or a crayon on the floor or ANY paper surface (a bill, a book, a magazine, etc.) she wants me to drop everything and write her ABC’s out for her.  It was cute the first ten million times, now it’s almost obsessive and certainly distracting.

She’s usually such a well behaved toddler, but on top of the neediness she colored all over some furniture today that had me gasping and sternly telling her “bad girl!” — to which she promptly started walking around saying “baa goo” in an adorable, heart melting little voice.  It was impossible to stay mad at her longer than it took me to clean it up.

Tomorrow I tackle the no-sew curtains al-la Young House Love for Charlotte’s bedroom.  I’m using the original fabric I bought for her nursery but never used because we moved in such a hurry so while it’s not what I want in her room permanently, it will do for a few months until I can get something else.  I suppose I can’t complain at having 8 yards of cute Alexander Henry fabric to work with….

I’m determined to have her room finished by the end of the month — sooner if she decides to stop clinging to my leg like a monkey every second of the day.  Those pictures of the progress are forthcoming as any photos I took now would just show a pretty much empty room….curtain pics tomorrow though.  Wish me luck!

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I never thought of myself as much of a control freak, but the older I get and the more “stuff” that gets piled onto the plate of my life, the more I feel the need to just CONTROL CONTROL CONTROL.  My husband will tell you I’ve been like this since he met me, and my Mom will probably tell you I’ve been this way since I was born and I’m pretty sure my best friend would just tell you stories about how bossy I was when we were growing up — the point is, I never saw myself as this in control person.  As a matter of fact, I never felt like I really had a plan, and my life took a completely random track right about the time I was allowed to start exerting some sort of control over my own destiny.  I was all over the map.  But in retrospect, I guess I did end up doing everything I set out to do and I did it on my own time table and without requesting permission for most of it.  So I guess even in being an out of control teen (who dropped out of high school and went straight to college), played around with a lot of people/things she shouldn’t have, moved from parent to parent, etc. I was still somehow in control of my own life.  I didn’t make a lot of compromises, and I’m pretty sure I got/get called selfish a lot.  But it’s worked out well for me.

Wow.  I guess that sounds a little self absorbed — but now that I’m older and have a family, I’m finding that being uncompromising and controlling can help in a lot of ways and be unnervingly infuriating in others.  Apparently I’m a planner.  I like lists.  I like to know the schedule of the day.  I like to know times.  I like punctuality.  I like accomplishing the things I set out to within the time I set to accomplish them.  It sounds so nurotic and crazy and very “who the hell wants to hang out with that person?!” when I see it in writing, but in reality, I only function that way on a really basic level.  High priority things get shoved to the “freak out and control” level of my brain.  Say, this whole having another baby thing and being completely unprepared and planning the room moves and what we have to buy and promising to visit people before the baby comes and holy shit that’s only like 2 months away!  That kind of stuff?  Way up there on Jessica’s code Red control panel.  Coincidentally, things like the laundry, the dishes, the toys scattered around my house, feeding the dogs, cleaning the car, planting my flowers, etc. are nowhere on my planning/control list.  They are the every day things that I know if I put my massively annoying control trait towards I could knock out every day and probably be a hell of a lot less bitchy.  But alas, my oh-shit meter only goes so high and the little things (daily chores) seem to fall away while my higher level brain function dwells on baby, finances, job, registering cars, travel planning, why my house smells like animal urine, why is this stretch mark here already (?!), did I give Charlotte lunch yet, and the like.

Actually, this whole post was prompted by the fact that I had PLANNED on leaving for South Carolina with Charlotte and my mother tomorrow morning and with that plan a lot of other little things had been planned (like registering the new car so Abram had a way to get to work while I was gone, lots of laundry to prep, packing/unpacking from our trip to Maryland this past weekend, coordinating other family members meeting us in South Carolina to see Charlotte) and then at the 11th hour my mother calls and tells me to unpack our bags because she has bronchitis and conjunctivitis and some other -itits and she can’t go.  So, while I’m sympathetic that she’s sick and damn glad she didn’t give it to me or my daughter, I’m silently fuming that my plans have fallen through.  I’m fuming, and feeling selfish for being mad that my mother is too miserable to go on a completely leisurely trip.  I’m just plain annoyed, and then self-analyzing what kind of selfish, controlling person feels that way in this situation.  Hence this post.  The end.

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image Why Me by rosiehardy via Flickr

Abram left on his business trip to Alabama yesterday and while I always know he’ll be back before I know it, this time I knew it would be different since I’m not out of the house at work (distracted) for 8 hours a day.  The first night always sucks the most.  Getting ready for bed after I lay Charlotte down kind of freaks me out a little when Abram isn’t here.  I go through locking up the house in a much more paranoid way, which is silly when I think about it since Abram isn’t bionic or anything and couldn’t do much more than I could if someone actually really broke in or something.  Of course, he could serve as the distraction for Charlotte and I to escape, but that’s morbid and I hate thinking of it like that…but yes…knowing my husband would sacrifice himself as cannon fodder for whatever crazed ax murderer that breaks in helps me sleep better at night. Sue me.

I shower faster, not liking that I can’t hear any noises out in the house, I make sure the dogs are in the bed with me, and even leave extra random lights on around the house.  Oh, and I swapped out the cheap-o alarm clock with one that has a radio so I could hear someone else alive and talking as I tried to fall asleep.  And the bathroom light stays on, door cracked, you know, so I don’t trip in the middle of the night.  Riiight.

I’m really not this much of a wuss normally.  It’s only since becoming a mom that I’ve gotten more and more cautious.  I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve laid awake, even with Abram next to me, thinking about the fastest escape route from a psycho or what I can easily reach for to use as a weapon in an emergency.  Can you tell I’ve watched too many horror movies?  Typing it out makes it seem more OCD than I realized, but I can’t help it.

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....except in my case it's 15 cupcakes...

At almost 23 weeks pregnant I’m now thinking I’m pretty much fully effected by the typical pregnancy stereotypes.  I don’t think I was this predictable when I was pregnant with Charlotte, but for some reason this one has me all out of whack.  My doctor keeps telling me every pregnancy is different and not to compare them or you’ll drive yourself crazy, but really, comparing them led me to think very early on that this was a boy I was carrying.  I had more morning sickness, nausea mostly with little vomiting, where I had pretty much no morning sickness at all with Charlotte.  I have been so sleepy all the way up until this point and never have really gotten that 2nd trimester 2nd wind that I got last time.  I’ve fluctuated in weight dramatically and was 12 pound underweight before I quit my soul-sucking job.  As of a month ago I was still 6lbs underweight but I’m sure I’ve packed that on in record time as another symptom has reared it’s ugly head — hunger.  I’m eating food like I know I’m being shipped away to sit with Tom Hanks and Wilson on some island never to taste McDonald’s, Sonic milkshakes, Fruit Loops, pasta, or oranges again.  I had very little appetite up until tha last month or so and I’ve been a disgusting train wreck of cravings and guilt since.

I gained about 50lbs when I was pregnant with Charlotte and lost a good amount before I got pregnant again, but this time I’m fighting to stay comfortable in my skin at all.  I know I shouldn’t be as self-conscious as I am, but it’s not easy when nothing fits and you feel yourself expanding every day.  Not to mention, we found out the baby is in the 95th percentile for growth which is insane at this point!  Charlotte was a big baby at 9lbs 10oz and a vaginal birth (ouch!) — but she was completely healthy.  No gestational diabetes or anything.  She was just big.  So it looks like I’m one of those women that makes big babies and this little guy isn’t going to be an exception. 

I thought this pregnancy would be a breeze both emotionally and physically since I’d been through it before, but it’s proving to be severely draining on both fronts.  I just want a happy, healthy baby boy and I want to be unselfish all through the remainder of the pregnancy, something I’m struggling with daily.  It helps that I have Charlotte to keep me laughing and active because if I could, I’d stay in bed eating and burning skinny jeans until I popped.

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I quit my job last month.  I felt empowered for all of about two days before I realized that I am quite pregnant, raising a 17 month old and 6 animals and now officially a single income family.   Scary stuff.  There are lots of families that do this, and I took some comfort in that fact, but now a month later I’m starting to freak out a bit.  However, my nesting instinct is also kicking in and I’m feeling that insane need to rearrange every room in my house,  repurpose anything that has been sitting in a closet for a year, and cheer my husband on as he takes on his new P90 workout routine. 

If I sit and think about all the stress that could come from our current situation, I know I’ll end up in a padded cell counting cracks in the walls.  The bottom line is that we really don’t have it bad at all and in fact, we’re even fortunate that I’m able to stay home with our daughter and make sure she’s getting all the Mommy time she needs before she’s out the door in big girl school forever.  I’ve only been married for a couple of years and we’re expecting our first son to be born in August.  We have two great dogs and four cats.  We have a house and a car and even a big screen TV.  On paper we’re no Trump family, but we make do with what we have and so far love and a lot of patience has been currency enough to get us through everything that’s been thrown at us.  Overall we have a pretty nice life — and that’s where this blog comes in. 

I feel like we’re just starting something great here that should be documented, if not with the world as a whole then certainly with our family and at the the very least the cosmos.  Our budding family, our young marriage, my personal desire to make my home a functional, beautiful space that we can enjoy, my love of photography (and I am purely an amateur, but I try my best), my floundering in learning to cook something other than frozen pizza and PBJs, and everything in between. 

There you have it.  I’m Jessica.  Welcome to my Pretty Nice Life.

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