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Thursday, March 31, 2011

My sweet friend's maternity photos

Jessica, you are gorgeous and make the most beautiful pregnant woman. Thanks for the fun!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Excitement!! and an update

It happened. It finally happened. I could hardly believe it. My excitement was beyond belief.
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I saw.....THE FIRST ICE CREAM TRUCK OF THE SEASON!!!!!!

I had to resist the urge to run my barefoot butt down the street to flag him down. My inner child was let loose immediately. I found myself planning summers for years to come involving Cole and any future siblings. Days where we wait outside, chalk in hand, while we wait for that twinkling ragtime music to come rolling down our street. I love it!

I'm eagerly awaiting the date where I can dye Easter eggs without judging myself. My basement is buried in boxes right now or I'd already have my Easter decorations up. I'm ready to immerse my house in pastels and to revel in the fact that it is incontestably spring! Unfortunately, that has to be put off for a few days due to the freak snow that rolled in. I should have expected it. Two years ago, almost to the day, we got a freak snow. I remember this particularly because it was our wedding day. That snow almost ruined our get-away car plans. I'll delve into that story on my anniversary post.

Speaking of weddings, our event planning business has hit the ground running! We successfully pulled off our first wedding last weekend! It was amazing. Our bride was very Type-A so we thought it would be a breeze going into it. It just goes to show that, no matter how well you have planned it, it will inevitably go wrong in some way or another; much like a birth plan (I am still working on my birth story BTW...I will get it up here). There were so many mishaps that came up that she hadn't planned for. Enter Valerie and Debbie (my mom). We smoothed out so many situations and fixed problem after problem that weren't forseen by the bride. We were so good she never even knew anything went wrong. This particular event was a "day-of only event".  We weren't a part of the stuff leading up to it so we kinda go into it blind and have to wing it. We so did. It was a huge success!! Now I'm itching to dive into another event. I've got big plans for Cole's 1st bday party but that is still 3 months away. I want more! I'm addicted. I'm going through the boring details of starting a business. We're going to get our name figured out and registered and get some cards ordered. I'm still doing that same stuff for the photography business too. Its going so well. I'm getting a lot of calls and have several things booked. I've also donating a session for an upcoming high school booster fund-raiser. I'm really looking forward to that as my skills are perfect for senior portraits.

Cole is doing so great! I'll go into more details in his 9 month post on the 3rd. He is so cute though. He is about to cut his top left tooth. He is a bundle of energy and personality. He eats like crazy but he is still so lean. He's 3rd percentile for weight. I can touch my two middle fingers together and my two thumbs together around his ribs. He's that tiny. He's got plenty of pudge but he's a little bare over his ribs. I'm wanting to fatten this kid up a bit.

Anyway, I'm gonna go join him in la-la land. I've got a newborn shoot in the morning and my birthday party in the afternoon. Big day!! I can't wait to snuggle into little Rosie's neck and smell that newborn smell again. Yes...you caught me. I'm already broody!


TTFN

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring....BRING IT!!!!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You know how excited you get when you first hear you’re going to Disneyland or when you’re getting ready to go on a first date with someone you have crushed on for years? That is how I feel most days. All of the time. It takes the tiniest things to throw me into that static state of excitement. I’ve always attributed this quality to the fact that my parents named me Joy as my middle name. It has always been the key descriptor of my personality. It is my favorite thing about myself.

Now for some family history. My whole family, excepting my dad, suffers from diagnosed depression. It is a chemical thing passed down through my mom’s family’s genes. All 3 of my siblings have suffered and tried various remedy forms. I was the lucky one. I got my dad’s genes 100%. The price was that I inherited the crooked nose from his family but it is worth it to not have to suffer from depression. My dad and I are both buoyant personalities and it takes a lot to bring us down.

Well, I’ve come to the harsh realization that I am suffering from depression. For many months now, I haven’t felt like myself at all. I feel lethargic and sad so much of the time. The word that comes to mind to best describe how I feel is drowning. Its hard to get out of bed and even harder to want to participate in the world outside of my home. I knew I was feeling time with my baby slipping by too quickly and that it wasn’t normal. Now, looking back, I have spent so much time being depressed that I have been fuzzy through most of his life. I’m here with him but I’m not all of myself. My usual personality makes me be the “seize-the-moment” and soak up every second type of person but it has been a long time since I have felt that way. I have fuzzed through so many days without having control over it. After doing some reading and talking to other new moms, this is normal. It is called post-partum depression. I am relieved that I am not suffering from usual depression that goes on and on throughout life. I have hope that mine will end here soon. The information on PPD shows that it can last up through a year and, often, the last part of that year can be the worst. It is so true in my case. I have a lot on my emotional plate and have had to relive some painful scars during the last month so its particularly worse right now. I have developed insomnia during the last month which only serves to intensify the depression. Sleeplessness, nightmares and PPD. That has been the path I have been drowning under.
I AM DONE WITH IT.

Now that I realize what is going on, I am taking the steps to cure myself of it. I’m pretty sure I won’t have to fight it once he turns one and I wean him but until then, I have a game plan. I spoke with my sister who said she felt horrible and depressed (even more and different than she ever felt before she had her baby) all of the way up through one year post-birth. So, I have 4 more months to fight.

This plan is going to start with battling everything that comes naturally to me but for the better. I am a laid-back type of person who likes eating junk food and sleep way too much. However, these two things and a big part of my problem.

Due to the insomnia in the last month, I have justified sleeping later into the day. Cole usually wakes around 8-9am but if I nurse him in the dark and keep the fan on, he falls asleep cuddled up next to me until about noon. I have been using that time to go back to sleep since the insomnia started because I don’t function well with less than 8 hours of sleep. That is step number one I have to correct. If I don’t sleep well, I will still force us to get up at that first nursing session and just try to take a cat nap during one of his naps later in the day. Some of our problem is that, when you wake up that late, the day is half over. You miss many crucial hours of daylight that are needed for good serotonin production. Couple that with the shortened winter daylight hours and the winter blues that we’re currently under, it’s a disaster in the making. Another negative aspect of going back to sleep is that I’m sluggish for the rest of the day. By the time we emerge out of our cave of a bedroom with my blackout curtains, it is so hard to get motivated to do any house work or exercise. So then, by the time you realize it, its 8 pm, you haven’t made dinner for your husband and the house is still a wreck. You have nothing to show for an entire day which makes me feel horrible, adding to the depression. I’m a stay at home mom right now so that I can care properly for the baby which I am doing but I also need to be keeping up with housework and cooking to support my bacon-bringing man. It may be a little “June Cleaver” but I love the idea of having a clean house, dinner on the table, happy children and vacuuming with pearls on when my husband walks in the door with his briefcase. I may be setting back the feminist movement but I can’t care. That is who I want to be. That is who I would love to be. Accordingly, I have to make an effort to make myself presentable. When I leave my cave at 1 or 2, I never even get out of my jammies because I will just be getting back into them soon. I have to change this. I know that if I get up, put on real clothes and throw some make-up on, I will approach the day with more purpose than if I stay in lounge wear. Lounge wear is meant for lounging so its only natural I wasn’t getting anything done.

Another factor in my current depression is my lack of exercise. By the time we’re out of bed and done with breakfast, its 2pm. I never seem to get any exercise as I can barely make myself do any housework. I love exercise. I love yoga and playing outdoors until I crash into bed at night exhausted from my day. Before I busted my knee 3 years ago, I danced professionally. I spent over 20 hours a week in the ballet studio for most of my life. I thrive best with some exercise in my day. I haven’t done any in months other than my basic house work. I justified it with my c-section pain which, 8 months later, I still feel acutely some days. If I move wrong, I feel like the incision site has been ripped open and end up doubled in pain. Between that and the constant pain in my knee, I couldn’t bring myself to exercise. My knee is worse than ever before due to the additional 30 lbs of post-baby weight I gained. I struggled with supply in the beginning and ate way more than the recommended 500 calories that are to be added to a breastfeeding mom’s diet. I know that isn’t the rule but it helped my supply. If I only added 500 calories, I wouldn’t make enough. I was drinking an Ensure shake in the middle of the night every night for the first 2 months. Next time around, I won’t be making that mistake. I will just continually breastfeed, regardless of the pain, until my supply responds to the demand. If I have to supplement with formula, so be it. I can’t carry around this much weight next time. It is only adding to my depression. I hate how I look and feel and my knee is much more painful due to the added weight bearing down on it every day. Now, I realize I just have to suck it up and go with it. The warming spring weather and occasional sunshine days are helping with my motivation to get moving. I love gardening and tinkering around in my flower bed and found myself digging in it yesterday while the dogs were using the restroom. That shows me that my new game plan is working.

Now we get to the diet part of my new game plan. I have to eat better. With my added weight, my hypoglycemia is worsened causing me to crave sugar more often and having frequent blood-sugar level crashes. It is amazing how much my mood is affected by my blood-sugar levels. Greg used to know when I was about to have a crash because I would get moody. Without fail, he would bring me a snickers bar or a glass of OJ and I would be myself again within 5 minutes. The more I weigh, the more I have crashes. I am constantly in a state of pre-crash. So, I have to get my eating under control. I have to resist my sugar cravings. I have to limit my carbohydrate intake and I have to get more protein in my diet. If for no other reason than I need to be getting better things into my baby’s tummy. I have been entirely too irresponsible in that department. I plan on doing the HCG diet as soon as I am done breastfeeding. I have at least 30 people in my close circle who have done it and not even one of them has suffered the occasional side effects. Even Dr. Oz recommended doing it after you consult a doctor. He doesn’t recommend sticking to the 500 calorie rule but I wouldn’t be able to do that part anyway. With my hypoglycemia, I will have to take in a higher calorie amount than the other people who do the diet so I won’t be able to lose as quickly but it will still be faster than I could do on my own. All I need is a jump-start. I know myself well enough to know that as soon as I start to see results, I run with it. I will be in the peak of summer when I wean him and do this diet. My pool will be open, my dogs will be itching to get outside and play and Cole will be mobile by then so I will be a runnin’ fool. So, lose the weight, knee gets better, life resumes!

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I have to deal with my past ghosts. This last month has dredged up so many painful scars in my past. Some harsh truths have been revealed to me that I wasn’t ready to handle. Every single night I have been having nightmares remembering things better left forgotten and dreading the future of situations I can’t control. That is not normal for me at all. I have much more vivid dreams than the normal person due to my out-of-control creative imagination. I am one of those people that, if I could draw, I could give a visual image to any place in a book. I see it in my head. My imagination is so vivid that I become the character in books. I cry, laugh, hurt and experience every other emotion that characters go through to the extreme. If I get interrupted during a sad chapter, I suffer from the emotions the character is suffering from until I can get back to the book and get to the happy ending. Its pretty extreme. If I wake from a nightmare, I suffer from those emotions all day long. Even last night, I had a nightmare that my husband didn’t want to be my husband anymore. I woke up having a hard time breathing and with soaked cheeks. I sat in bed for hours unable to stem the flow of emotions. I found myself planning retaliatory strikes without control. I know this is a terrible quality and I know I’m going to regret admitting this later but it is who I am. Obviously, I know in reality that he isn’t going anywhere because we’re blissfully in love. We’re that sappy couple that people like my sister can’t stand to be around. I don’t have anything to worry about but those emotions are still so real. I have to work and crank myself up to conquer those emotions. Eventually, I’m able to control it or forget about it but it takes some time. Its horrible. Rape is a very touchy subject with me and, as I can put myself into any character, I am so affected by stupid episodes of CSI. I have to leave the room when they are on because every single one I stumble across by accident scars me for years. Two nights ago, I had a nightmare about one I saw 3 years ago and woke up in a cold sweat and having to fight the urge to scream. The only way to describe it is absolute horror. These things aren’t normal to suffer with. A normal person doesn’t carry around pain from a TV episode seen years ago. A normal person can differentiate between reality and fantasy. A normal person can be comforted by the fact that they always catch the bad guy in the end. That isn’t what happens with me. What I find myself thinking about is that those scenarios came out of someone’s head. The fact that someone was able to create these horrific circumstances and bring them to life and call it entertainment is the scariest thing for me. I am terrified that stuff like that is happening out in the world every day. I can admit that I am living in fear. I want to move my family to Antarctica and hide. Extremely unhealthy and only intensified by my current state of depression. I now know that I have to take control over it. I am a Christian and my God can cover me, protect me and remove my fears. I have nothing to be afraid of and I am having to force myself to accept that. No matter what happens on earth, I am loved and protected. I need to stop reliving my own scarring memories because it does no good. It is only Satan trying to take hold of me. Sorry to get all preachy for those of you who aren’t of my faith but it is part of my game plan. I have to surround myself with the truth.
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 This is what I have to live by. I am putting this verse up all around my life; on my fridge, on my bathroom mirror, in my car. I will conquer this which can only make me a happier person. I’m going to do some devotionals with my wise big sister to help get myself on the right track.

So, now that I have highlighted my game plan and all of its factors, I am going to take hold of my life. I am going to soak up every moment with my son and sun. I’m going to use the body God gave me and be responsible with it. I’m going to fuel it correctly and use these muscles to see the world. And, I am going to take comfort in my God who covered every fear I may have with his love and sacrifice.

So, for my birthday, I got sidewalk chalk to recapture some childhood joy with my baby boy. I got more camera equipment to dive more into my hobby and aspiring profession. I have a long list of crafts including tons for Cole’s first birthday party that I’m going to take some time out of each day to work on. I’m a crafter and I need to take 30 minutes or so each day to do something for myself like sewing or working in my garden. I am taking the bull by the horns and am going to live my life. Screw post-partum depression. I’m kickin’ this thing! Summer, bring it!

The sun is rising on the new me!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

8 Months Old

Cole's 8 month on this earth was nothing short of adorable. He has learned so much. He oozes personality and, biased or not, charm. Absolute Perfection!!

We have us a standing man. He's got the sitting unassisted thing down. He's got the rolling over thing down. I think he decided to skip the crawling and will go straight to walking. Although, when on his stomach, he loves to dig his toes in and stick that but up into the air. I'm in no hurry for this kid to get mobil because he's a mover already. I can't imagine how much that will increase when he uses his legs to move in addition to his other extremeties.
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i love his little jammied body with the massive cloth diaper

On Valentine's day, he learned how to clap. Now he does it a lot. He hasn't quite figured out how to make the loud sound but he has the motions down. During this last week, he has mastered the wave. Now, he waves at everything and everyone. He attracted so many people to my dad's booth at the home show because he was waving them down. Who wouldn't stop? I think we should have been charging a commission. His true love is still the ceiling fan so he spends much of his time smiling and waving at the various ceiling fans throughout our house. He now gets that the remote to the fans is what makes them move. Everytime we walk through the door to our bedroom, he does a mad struggle to reach around us and snag the remote from its holder on the wall as we walk by. He often gets it. Then, he lays there in absolute bliss turning the lights on and off, dimming them and turning the fan on. It is his favorite pasttime. Who woulda thought?
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Eating is going really well. He still nurses often which, at this point, is still supposed to make up the main part of his diet. He usually nurses upon waking at 9-10ish followed by oatmeal and apples or pears, again when he wakes up from his nap around 3, again at 7 followed by two types of vegetables and a few bites of apples or bananas for dessert and nurses one more time as we are going to bed between 11 and 12. He is pudging up quite nicely. We tried the baby meats 3 different times. Each time, he would keep it down for about 5 minutes then end up violently throwing up. He turns purple each time and throws up so much that he can't get a breath in for a long time. Obviously, after 3 attempts, we can rule out any other factors so we're probably not going to do those baby meats. Many people wait to do the meats until the child can actually chew pieces of meat so it looks like will be our path. The kid is a fickle meat eater...just like me. Genetics are weird.
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He finally cut in those tiny little teeth. We only have the two bottom guys so far but he is not afraid to use them. He's got it down and it hurts. Its okay though. He has only done it a few times and my reactions seem to be getting through to him. He always looks sorry and he's getting better about keeping them away.
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We're still cloth diapering. Many thought we wouldn't stick with it but I love it so far. I just do a load of laundry every few days to get them smelling squeaky clean. Its so worth it when I think about the money we're saving...not to mention the landfills. They're really easy to clean too. I was once on cold with detergent, once hot with detergent, 2 rinse cycles on cold and put in dryer on the air only setting for an hour. If the sun is shining, I prefer to let them hang outside as the sun kills yeast and bacteria and bleaches out any stains as well as removing any residual odors. It may sound like a lot but its really not. I have this cute pop-up rack that they hang on. Not sure what the neighbors think about it as it stands on my front porch but who cares.
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he wound up in the laundry basket which he thought was hilarious


My cogs are working constantly on cute ideas for his first birthday party. I already have dozens of crafts to do and more ideas than my brain can handle. I'm forcing myself not to work on it until I can get our stinkin taxes done. We just got the last document we needed but I have to get together all hospital paperwork and the 3 inches of bills since as we may qualify for some deductions. I pray that we do. We're still drowning in hospital bills here.
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Greg and I had our first tiff about schooling types. I honestly have no idea how we stumbled on this subject but it got entirely too heated as we are still several years away. My first choice is a montessori school and my second is homeschooling. His first is Catholic school and his second is any other kind of private school. We both agree that public school is our last choice but, the way finances are going, it may be our only choice. I was homeschooled and, as a result, got to be exposed to so many experiences that no one else I know did. On any given day, we would take a picnic basket and go do schoolwork in Forest Park. We learned economics by doing entirely too much shopping. I got to do way more sports and activities due to my ample free time not listening to a teacher drone on. I taught myself mostly. My mom mapped out what I had to have done at the end of each week. Often times, I'd get it all done in one day and spend the others exploring nature or reading books. My brain works best late at night so I was free to do my learning when I was most able to absorb it. As a result, I was completely done with all high school classes by the age of 15 and a half. I started college classes then and completely held my own. I realize that not all personality types can learn this way so I'm open to other options for him but I absolutely loved being home schooled. The important thing is to keep the child socialized. Home schooling has such a bad rap because kids become socially awkward in the absence of constant peer contact. My mom did it just right. I did any sports or, in my case, as many ballet classes as I wanted. I danced 15-20 hours a week at my studio. We were constantly involved in youth group activities with our church as well as two others. I could go on and on....so I won't. This is a post about Cole.
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I can't figure out exactly what his eyes are doing. Greg has baby blue eyes that can sometimes turn green in the right lighting or if he is in the right mood. I have dark brown eyes. My mom always called me M'n'M eyes. Cole's turned brown shortly into his precious little life. They have since turned into a slate type of gray with brown around the inside. They really couldn't be any darker. Some days the brown takes over and sometimes the black takes over. I keep trying to get good photos of it but do you realize how hard it is to get an upclose photo of an infant's eye?
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he does this backbend thing all the time. I can't lay him flat without him doing it within seconds. he digs his heels in and goes to town over and over again. I'm worried about his poor little neck.


We had his 8 month check up yesterday. He weighed 16pounds even. That puts him in the 3rd percentile for weight but our doc isn't concerned. Cole is steadily gaining and his fat little wrists and ankles aren't lacking. He hasn't grown in length much since our last appointment. He was 28 inches which puts in in the 45th percentile which is down from the 85th that he was last time. His head circumference percentile has remained unchanged. 97th. Greg and I both had large heads as babies and we have passed it on to our little man. Hats will be a challenge but it is just more room for the brains. Its odd but I get compliments on the shape of Cole's head often. It is perfectly round but when I look at a stranger's baby, I don't look for head shape. But, apparently, plenty of other people do.
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He got the second half of the DTaP shot. Its so mean and leaves me broken hearted. He looks at me with those precious eyes and his expression turns to pure horror as that evil nurse jabs him with that needle. Its all I can do not to deck her. I realize it is for the best but I have impulse-control issues. He hasn't gotten any HIB shots yet which he should have had two based on the vaccination schedule we planned before he was born. So, we talked to doc and the only way to get that shot was in a combo with the DTaP and Polio. I have a beef with so many viruses being put into little man at once so we're doing as few shots as possible and spacing them out over double the time of the normal vaccination schedule. Anyway, it was either the DTaP alone or combined with HIB and Polio. I got the brand name and looked up the ingredients before we did it in my reference book and on the packaging. The combo shot has aluminum, formaldehyde and cow serum which the reference book says is simply cow blood. None of those ingredients were in the single DTaP shot so we went with that. Vaccines are a tricky subject with me. There are well over three times as many shots being given now than I was ever given as a child. After speaking in length with our baby doctor, we have eliminated many of the ones with a higher risk of side effects for a virus that hasn't been seen in the US in 50 years and the like. To each his own. A big part of me wishes I wasn't such a nervous nilly about this but I can't help it. I will not be one of those parents who's child gets a horrible disease and passes it along because I refused to get him vaccinated. We are doing all vaccinations our doctor feels important in even the smallest way but we are spreading them out so it is not these huge strains of potentially fatal viruses coursing through his system before he can even communicate what he is feeling as a result. He will have all shots that a child on a normal vaccination schedule has by the age of 2 by the age of 4. We're basically going half-time which we're able to do as we don't have to do a daycare or anything else that requires current vaccinations. After reading and reading, we both felt strongly about this. P.S. I love my husband!
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Cole is still obsessed with the closing credits theme song on "How I Met Your Mother" but the closing song on "Glee" is a close second. We don't watch much tv around here but those always catch his attention. He is still obsessed with the Baby Einstein's Baby Mozart dvd for 3 month olds. I've tried the other dvd's that are more for his age but he couldn't care less. I honestly don't get it but it keeps him highly entertained and allows me to make dinner while I know he is watching something educational. Only once through though. I will not allow the term "electronic babysitter" ever to be used regarding us or in our parenting descriptions.
Sorry. I know this was a long post. We have had nothing but slushy, freezing weather causing me to get cabin fever and the winter blues for over a month now. I haven't written a word on here since his last month birthday. I will be better about it this month...as long as the sun holds up his end of the deal. Its almost spring. I just hope he got the memo.

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Dear Cole,

 You are my buddy. I've called you that for a while but it truly didn't apply until recently. You have so much life and personality. You choose me for more than just your basic instinct of hunger. You see me and light up. You reach for me anytime I'm in sight of you but not holding you. We chill and watch an occasional tv show but mostly we play play play. You are learning and changing so fast. My favorite times are in the morning after you have eaten but we're still cuddled up in bed. You're so affectionate and cuddly. You play with my face and nuzzle your face up next to mine for some quality snuggles. You love your daddy but I'm selfish enough to admit that you and I have that special bond thing going on and I don't care that you are always wanting me. My theory is that you're going to want your dad for most things in life so I'm going to steal these times while I can.
   We spend 99.9% of our time together. So much so that when someone takes you around the corner from where I am standing, I feel an elastic pulling me closer to you. I'm happiest when I'm around you because your joy and light are infectious. I can't get enough of you. Right now, I know you're sleeping and that you need that sleep to grow but I just want to pick you up and snuggle you because I miss you. You've only been asleep for an hour but I miss you. I know its crazy but you're that addicting.
   You truly are exceptional. I love you so much and can't wait to play in the sun and roll around in the grass with you. We're going to have so much fun together! I love love love you!

Always yours,
Mommy

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About Me

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I'm a new wife and an even newer mom. I have a secret dream to be super-mom. I love to craft, cook, dance and fill my life with as many adventures as possible. I'm slightly crunchy granola but enjoy a good steak. I'm right brained and type B (with some type A tendencies). I thrive best when I get to use my creative juices. I dabble in photography and party planning. I play piano and have a dream to learn the cello. I want to make the most of this one, short life I find myself living.

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About This Blog

This blog was originally intended to be a personal journal of my pregnancy journey and all that that entails--shared with only a few close family members. It was a way for me to keep them posted on all things baby and occasionally post a picture of my growing torso so they could see the progress. After several posts, I started to get hooked on other blogs and became motivated to attempt to do more with mine. We'll see how it goes....







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