Friday, February 24, 2012


I'm a firm believer that life has seasons just the same as nature.  It can't always be a pleasant spring day.  That's not a reasonable expectation.  Besides, every season comes with its own unique set of joys and challenges.  Even the unassuming spring.  Parenthood, being a path I've chosen in life, is no exception to this rule.  Savannah is on the brink of turning two...just a short 3 months away...and despite nature's season of spring being right around the corner, I feel like I'm walking blindly through a trecherous winter forest when it comes to being a mom.

I have no clue what I'm doing.

I've said this before, but looking back, I'm not sure I really meant it.  Maybe it was just something I was saying because I thought it was the right thing to say...that admitting I had a fair amount of confidence about what to do would in some way jinx the easy-breezy mom season I was experiencing at the time.  In the grand scheme of things, I think Savannah has been a very easy child to raise.  She started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks, has rarely been sick, has a smile that could replace the sun itself, and (for the most part) is laid back and very go-with-the-flow.  She learns things quickly and is a great listener when I instruct her about her behavior. 

Lately, though, she has entered this new phase...I suppose it's the terrible-twos, but hey, what do I really know.  Cory and I are baffled by it.  We follow our gut instincts when we have to make decisions about how to handle what she's doing, but we have no idea if we're doing the right thing.  Lately, the biggest challenge has been her sleep pattern.  She's always gone to bed around 7 or 7:30, and 99% of the time, she goes down without incident.  This part hasn't changed.  What has is that she's now waking up in complete hysterics around 9 or 10 every night.  Every.night.  It's not the type of crying that I hear and think, "Oh, she's just being a brat and wants attention."  It's the type of crying that rips my heart out because she sounds so utterly distraught.  When we go get her and bring her out to the living room with us, she doesn't calm down easily...which affirms to me that she wasn't just seeking attention...but once she does calm down, she thinks it's playtime.  We put her back to bed and start the cycle all over.

Until today, this has been a purely nighttime habit.  But, as I write this, she's standing in her crib...screaming...refusing to take a nap.  She should be waking up by this time, but instead, she has yet to go to sleep.  Or even lay down for that matter.  I question myself constantly.  Is there something really wrong with her that requires my attention?  Is this a matter of willpower and I just have to outlast her to teach her who's boss?  What if has an ear infection {or any other impossible-to-really-know-without-going-to-the-pediatrician type of ailment}?  Am I damaging her in any way by the parenting choices I'm making?  What can I do to end the madness? 

I honestly feel like I'm just flying by the seat of my pants now, and I haven't really truly felt like that over the past 20+ months since she joined our family.  Or if I did, I don't recall it.  When she was smaller, despite how fragile she seemed, there were only a handful of possibilities to explain a given "struggle", and by simple process of elimination, it was relatively easy to solve the problem.  But she's so complex now.  She understands far more than she's capable of communicating.  The list of possible concerns seems endless, but she can't tell me what's wrong and I don't have very many tricks to figure it out on my own. 

Don't get me wrong, it's not all terrible.  She can still be happy and playful, but those times are fewer and farther between than what we've ever experienced before.  I'm trying not to wish this time away...I know I'd regret that somewhere down the road...but I don't know how to cope with this season.  I'm not alone am I?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can I bleach my brain?

Seems like a weird question, right?  But after the nightmare I had last night, I have never more sincerely wanted to clean my mind out and erase all traces of the memories associated with the terrible scenario that played out in it overnight. 

The beginning is fuzzy.  There are just glimpses of images that would be difficult to describe and probably wouldn't add any significance to the story if I went to the trouble of writing them.  So I'll leave it at I was somewhere with some people at some time.  It was reminiscent of White Deer in some ways.  The only really identifiable person with me was Savannah, but trust me, I'd have preferred for her not to have been there.  See, the entire dream nightmare involved me searching for her because she had been kidnapped or was otherwise missing in some fashion.  I remember calling the police to report her missing after we'd searched everywhere we knew to search.  They followed obscure leads here and there, but to no avail.  The most vivid details involve me being on the phone with authorities at one point describing something suspicious I'd seen that might help the investigation.  A strange man kept passing by pretending not to be listening to what I was saying, but I couldn't shake the feeling that he was interested in what I was relaying to the police so that he could, and I'm speculating here (in the dream), make his next if he was involved in my daughter's disappearance.

Jump ahead a little bit now, as whatever followed that scene got fuzzy again.  I very clearly remember being in a house and that it was getting late in the day.  The sun was going down and we'd yet to find Savannah.  I couldn't just sit idly by anymore waiting for her to turn up on her own, so I decided to go looking for her.  I didn't have a plan, I just walked out the door and started screaming her name.  A person, presumably a neighbor, was walking by and looked at me like I had completely lost my mind.  I didn't like the looks of him, but quickly lost focus of that vibe when, out of the corner of my eye, my daughter came stumbling out of a bushy area looking totally exhausted and disoriented...wearing her famed devil horns.  I ran over and practically tackled her to the ground in an embrace I wasn't likely to end on my own. 

But that's when I woke up.  Not just the regular kind of up out of a bad dream.  I'm talking I bolted upright and tears were streaming down my face.  I couldn't catch my breath which sent me into a coughing fit, and I immediately reached for my phone to call Cory.  It was the only course of action I could think of at the time. 

This was the most awful and realistic dream I think I've ever had.  It shook me to the core because the emotions I woke up with were what I imagine to be as close to the real thing as possible.  Thankfully I can only imagine since clearly my daughter has never been missing.  Talking to Cory helped settle me down and surprisingly I was able to doze back off for a short time before Savannah got up for the day.  When I went to get her, she was extra snuggly with me...maybe she sensed what I was feeling...and I was happy to oblige.  Let's hope that was an isolated dream incident.  I don't think I could handle the stress of waking up like that very often.

Lifting the world's weight

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had been experiencing some emotions, not fun ones at that, and almost had a meltdown toward the end of last week.  Well, meltdown might be too strong, but I was a little teary-eyed and found it difficult to really put what I was feeling into words.  I managed to do it eventually, though, while Cory and I were out and about after my baby check-up appointment this past Friday.  Basically it boiled down to the fact that reality was sinking in that we'd soon have a newborn to add to our lives.  But a little bit of background information might help lay the foundation for why I was, for lack of better terms, freaking out on the inside.

A few weeks ago, things had been particularly hectic and tiring.  Cory had been sickly.  Things at his work were stressful and frustrating.  I'm sure I had one struggle or another with Savannah (as all mothers of toddlers do from time to time, be it major or minor).  I entered my third trimester of this pregnancy, which is a fancy way of saying I'm flat worn out all the time.  And our communication, mine and Cory's, was  You know what I mean, we were regularly misunderstanding each other, taking things personally that weren't meant to be offensive in any way, getting annoyed by each other's quirks, etc.  Things were just "off". 

At one point, Cory initiated a conversation about it all in an effort to figure out why we were in such a funk and correct any correctable behaviors or patterns.  Admittedly, it wasn't the most productive conversation we've ever had, by no fault of our own individually.  I'm sure I took away from it a number of things that weren't intended, one of which left me asking myself "How am I supposed to be everything to everyone?  I'm only one person."  So from there, when thoughts of a new baby were mixed in, I more or less felt like I had the weight of not just the world, but the entire universe sitting on my shoulders.

That weight had taken its toll on me, and by the time I had 50 grams of glucose coursing through my veins...which is enough to make a crazy person insane...I wasn't capable of hiding my fears anymore.  As coherently and simply as possible, I explained to Cory that I was worried about successfully being able to do all the things I do now AND take care of a new baby.  Looking back on it, it's easy to still hear what was coming out of my mouth.  It was a lot of phrases that started with "I".  But what I was saying and what I was really feeling and thinking didn't exactly match up.  "I already have so many responsibilities..."  "I have to be the perfect wife am a wife."  "I have to be the perfect mom am a mom to Savannah."  "I am about to have to be the perfect mom be a mom to another child."  "I have to keep a perfect house take care of the house." You get the picture.

Almsot instantly though, Cory settled my worries with one simple explanation.  "We're gonna get through it.  We're gonna adjust.  We've got each other.  We'll work together."  We, as opposed to me.  What a novel concept, right?  He reminded me that a little flexibility would be necessary....which was his gentle way of saying that the house doesn't always have to be spick-and-span, that getting some rest might have to take precedence over washing dishes or sweeping the floor, and that spending some quality time together wasn't contingent on having all of the chores marked off the to-do list.  As much as I hate to say it, I know that will be a struggle for me.  There are some things that don't bother me a whole lot...unfolded laundry and some other random stuff.  But there's plenty that irks me to no end...muddy dog paws on the tile, dishes in the sink, carpet in need of vacuuming...this is a much longer list.  You'd think the mother of a toddler would get used to be more accepting of messes, but that day hasn't come for me yet.  Maybe it'll take this second child to push me over the threshold.  We'll see.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am vowing to work on it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family outing to the Dallas Zoo

Ok, let me preface this post with a couple of facts. 

1. The Dallas Zoo is awful compared to the Fort Worth Zoo.  Truly, it is.
2. We only went because I got adult passes for a dollar each with a Google Daily Deals offer.

Now, I can continue.  We'd been planning to take our cheap little trip this past Friday after my appointment, but sadly the weather didn't cooperate, so we went yesterday (Sunday) instead.  Savannah had a good time for the most part, but the animals were totally docile so she wasn't too excited about hanging out at one exhibit for any length of time.  Her favorites were the reptiles. 

This fella here, can't remember what he is, was particularly friendly.  The two of them, yes, the lizard and Savannah, would run back and forth along the length of his enclosure, stopping at the ends so he could try to climb up the glass.  Maybe he was trying to escape.  I can't be sure.  It looked like they were dancing together.  She got a kick out of it.

A big icky snake smiling for the camera.  He could likely swallow my kid whole.  He was gigantic!

Posing quickly in front of the flamingos.  Momma's looking a bit weary after hiking around for so long.  Hauling 20ish extra pounds around can do that to a person.

"What's that?"  Such a curious little squirt.

She was totally pooped and zonked out after about 3 minutes in the car. 

It really wasn't that memorable of an outing, but Cory and I agreed it was just nice to get out of the house and do something different.  We look forward to going back ( the zoo in general, not this particular zoo, of course...) when the weather is a little warmer and the animals are {hopefully} more playful.  By that time, we'll be a family of four!  Daddy will be pulling Savvy in the wagon and Momma will have little sister tethered to her with the Moby wrap.  Can't wait!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Baby Baker #2 update

Well, I’m a little over 29 weeks along (wow!), and we had an appointment Friday for a sonogram. This pregnancy has been so different from the last in a number of ways, one of which is how many sonograms I’ve not had. Seems like I had one at almost every appointment with Savannah. Never for anything other than “just to take a look” as penance for not seeing the doctor in a reasonable amount of time. But this was only my third for baby sister. The last was at 16 weeks when the sonographer typed “I’m probably a baby sister” on one of the images she printed out for me. Since then I’ve had nightmares wondered if she was right or wrong about the gender. Not that I wouldn’t be happy with either, but part of me is stoked about having two girls. Sisters. :-)

So, anyway, back to this last appointment. As suspected, she is still a she. There was no question about that. And everything else they check at this point looked great. Here’s a profile view and a shot of her little foot. Looks like she’s got Mommy’s feet. That’s a good thing.

Her approximate weight is just under 3 lbs............but somehow I've managed to gain 23.  I think it's safe to say I'm doing better in the weight-gain department now than I did with Savvy.  I'd have to gain 20 lbs in the next 9 weeks to match my achievement from last time.  Let's hope that doesn't happen.  Let's do hope I passed my glucose tolerance test, though.  I should hear about those results sometime this week. 

In general, I’m getting more and more anxious for the next 10ish weeks to pass so we can meet her. February has been a busy birthing month in my circle. I think so far there have been 5 new babies and another one is in the process of joining the world right now. I’m also ready to settle on a name, but that’s proving to be a more difficult process this go-round. Hopefully we’ll have one picked before the eleventh hour.

There have been some other different emotions and feelings that I didn't experience in the time leading up to Savannah's birth (probably cause I had no clue what to expect) that were really sitting heavily until the other day when I was finally able to verbalize them in a conversation with Cory.  He gave me a pretty awesome pep talk though, so for the time being, I'm feeling much more confident.  I plan on covering that in a different post when I've got a little more time.  For now, however, a bubble bath and back rub are calling my name!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day happenings

Since I haven't blogged in a while, I thought yesterday's events were worthy of a post. Cory and I aren't really that big on Valentine's Day, but still, we like to do a little something special to celebrate.  I'm definitely not into flowers so I was not sad at all when I wasn't among the Facebook peeps posting pictures of their pretty bouquets. But there were plenty of other things to be happy about, that's for sure. 

First of all, Cory left work early (at the cost of having to stay a little later every other day this week to make up for it) so that we could hit Texas Roadhouse before it got too crazy.  Besides the fact that my steak was absolutely delicious ... not to mention the rolls and honey cinnamon butter ... it was nice to have a break from cooking dinner.  :-)  Here's our special little dinner companion wearing the new headband Daddy got her:

Hopefully the devil horns she normally dons will be forgotten for this more tasteful option.
Before we went to dinner, we exchanged some special things.  I made Savannah a little basket of goodies complete with some of the things Gamma (my mom) sent her:

I got Cory several things, but didn't take a picture.  Mostly cause it wasn't pink and pretty like Savannah's. :-)

I was pretty stoked that Cory surprised me with these:

I've heard nothing but praise about them from other people who've got a pair so I have no doubt I'll be motivated to get back in shape after the baby's born (in a short 11 weeks or less)! 

And rewinding back a couple of days, I've got to share this adorable pic of my Valentine from Monday:

She was dressed up for her party at school.  Precious, no?!  I can't believe how big she's getting.

So back to the actual day of Valentine, after the kiddo went to bed, Cory and I splurged on some brownie pops I made while watching The Biggest Loser.  Ironic, I know.  But it was a Valentine's Day to remember...lots of giggles and special memories with our girl who's about to be a big sister.  I'm doing my best to cherish the time I have left with just her before she's launched into a world of sharing Mommy and Daddy with a sibling.  That said, we're very anxious and excited to meet our other sweet girl.  Won't be much longer!!