Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Who knew hands were so delicious?

I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Every night I'm just exhausted by the time I put Audrey to bed. That or else I feel like I have some energy but then as soon as I lie down to nurse her, I'm practically passed out. Ever since I figured out how to nurse laying down, I've found it's so easy to just fall asleep with her. Every now and then I wake up a few hours later with my boob hanging out (how attractive), usuallly after being slapped in the face by Audrey. Her arms flail around like crazy. She's really quite dangerous with those things, but it's interesting, she is starting to gain more control of them. I love seeing her notice her hands. She just kind of looks at them like, "What in the world are those things and how do I get them in my mouth?!" Nowadays she usually succeeds at that. And jeesh, she CHOWS DOWN. No lie. I mean, she sucks on them so loudly. As soon as that hand (or many times, it's both of 'em) gets to her mouth, this sense of relief sweeps over her face. It makes me think maybe I should try it sometimes because she makes it look so fun and relaxing. But I've found that if I try to help her get her fists in her mouth she just gets pissed off. I guess the whole "I CAN DO IT" thing starts at a very young age.

Other times, she misses her mouth and ends up looking a little something like this:

And I mean, that's cool, too.

Since I've been in and out of the hospital every day to visit my mom, some of our friends have been watching Audrey more. There have been a few times that she's gone in with me; I know my mom misses her and I think it helps to lift her spirits sometimes. However, it is a hospital, so I don't want her spending too much time there. Other times she'll hang out with Spencer (Dad), too, which is probably my first choice. I always feel bad leaving her, even though I know that everyone who has babysat her will take good care of her and is totally pumped to do it. Her and I have spent extra time snuggling and everything lately, just in case. I think she has been picking up on some of the stress going on in this house right now. I feel like babies are more perceptive than we give them credit for. I get nervous that she'll feel like I'm ditching her. But then I remember that she's only 3 months old (as of today! how crazy!) and probably doesn't think of that. Plus it's good for her to spend some time with other people in my opinion. It's crazy, after becoming a parent I feel like everything I do will ruin her. We used to always tell my mom that she worried too much, and she'd always say, "Just wait until you're a parent...then you'll understand!" Yet again, my mom was right! However, I'm slowly beginning to realize that where my baby sleeps or how much time she's held or how many onesies she has or how long she sits in a poopy diaper that I didn't know about etc. etc. etc. is not going to determine what kind of kid she is; my parenting, discipline, and love will handle that.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fuck Cancer

Ugh ugh ugh. This past week has just been insane. To make a long story short, my mom ended up in the hospital on Sunday and in just the past few days we've found out that she has stage four cancer. It's in her lungs, neck, bones, liver, lymphnodes, and scalp right now, and it's spreading pretty rapidly. It's just insane; it's all been such a blur. Just about a month ago she started having back pain, and then a cough developed, and it's all been downhill since then. She's always such a strong, healthy, active woman so it's just so hard to see her like this. It came out of nowhere. They are still uncertian as to where the cancer started, though they are thinking the lungs. It's important to know that to figure that out so they can figure out which chemotherapy and radiation treatments are best for her. Plus, the abnormality on her neck is in such a bad place (between the C1 and C2 vertebrea, which is right around where your skull meets your spine) that she is currently in a brace because she could possibly become paralyzed. It's just all terrifying. Today, the oncologist referred to it as being "incurable but treatable." The treatable part is good, and that's what we're trying to focus on, but the whole, "incurable" part hit us like brick. We just can't accept that. I have talked to one of my mom's friend who has cancer and has apparantly been considered "incurable" for 29 years, so that's a bit reassuring, but still. It's just never something you can be ready to hear.

I am emotionally drained.

I've been trying to stay strong in front of her, and she's been SO amazingly positive it's not even funny. It makes me sad to think of when she's alone in the hospital at night. It's got to be terrifying. Being a mother now, I understand how much she's trying to stay strong for us, just as much as we're trying to stay strong for her and I'm trying to stay strong for Audrey. Falling apart is just not an option. I can be upset. I can cry. But I just cannot let everything fall apart.

We have just been inundated with phone calls from concerned friends and family. A lot of people had no idea. Heck WE had no idea until just about 2 days ago. We're so lucky to have everyone's love and support, but I do feel like I've constantly been on the phone explaining everything over and over. It's so painful to rehash again and again. I know that people mean well, and I want everyone to know what's going on. There's a nice website that I may use to keep everyone updated. Hopefully that'll cut down on some of the repetitiveness.

Needless to say, with more important things occupying every inch of my brain, this blog may slow down. However, it is very nice for venting, that's for sure.

I love you, mom. Fight like hell.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy Week

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week since I got to update this thing! It has just been sooo busy lately considering it was my first week back at work, my mom has been sick and in and out of the hospital getting different procedures done, and Audrey has had a tough week. Well, I don't know, she's just been a little extra fussy some days and for some reason she basically refuses to sleep in her bassinet. The other night she slept in her little bouncy chair for 7 hours overnight, which was great, but odd. Wow, and I woke up when she was crying a little in the morning and I groggily looked in her bassinet because I forgot that she was on the other side of my bed in her chair. I FREAKED out and thought, "OH MY GOD SHE FELL OUT! WHERE IS SHE?!" which doesn't make any sense considering the girl can't even roll over yet. How the hell was she going to climb out of her bassinet. Butttt then I saw her in her chair and was flooded with relief. It is times like these that have slowly made me understand why my own mom is such a worrywart. She always said, "Just wait till you're a parent; then you'll understand." Man, she was right.

Besides that night of solid sleep, she has been up a few times each night. Not that I can complain. For being less than 3 months old and being breastfed, she sleeps really well. And she has never had a problem sleeping in her bassinet before. I'm hoping that she's just getting like uncomfortable in it since she's getting bigger and there isn't much of a mattress, but I get nervouse since I'm about to spend a few hundred bucks on a crib that I obviously want her to use. She's either ended up in her bouncy chair or in my bed the past few nights, and I don't want her to get used to that, but with work and everything else, we've NEEDED the sleep. I've tried to put her down. I've tried to let her cry for a few minutes. I've tried to give her the pacifier while she lays there and reassure her. I've tried to play music. I've tried making sure she is fast asleep before I put her down. But each and every time, she ends up waking up or else insisting on getting up. She keeps startling herself. I just feel bad, and it's hard when you can't tell what's wrong because she can't tell you what's wrong.

Hopefully it'll just be a phase that will pass as quickly as it started.

[pictures by Caitlin Weigel]

Other than that, we did meet up with some friends, Jimmy and Caitlin at Neato Burrito this week which was lots of fun. Audrey slept the whole time :) Other than that, we went out to breakfast with Spencer at Juice and Java before taking him to work on Wednesday. Yeah, she slept that time, too. Oh, and today we went out to lunch with my dad and stepmom and she also slept then! I mean, when I talk about all that, it seems like all she does is sleep, but I promise, it's not. She's been "chatting" a lot more lately too, which is SO much fun. I feel like we're having conversations, and I think she thinks we are, too.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bath Time is the Best Time... or Not?

As mean as this may sound, I absolutley LOVE when Audrey frowns. She's so good at it! Just take a look at that face. I can't make the corners of my mouth curl down like that into a legitimately frown, but she can. Now that's talent.

After this, she started bawling.

Usually Audrey absolutely looooves getting a bath, but tonight, that was just not the case at all. However, today (and the past few days in general) she has been a little extra fussy and needy than usual. I'm sure it's just a phase. She just seems unsettled. Growth spurt perhaps? Or maybe she's just not having a good day. We're all entitled to that every now and then, right?

For some reason, she got unusually fussy during bath time. She always seems to like bath time, so I felt kind of bad for her. She has these little Baby Einstein bath books, and when I read them to her, she gets so excited and arches her back and flails her arms and pushes off her legs. She practically goes under; I have to keep a strong hold on her! She loves reading books it seems. Granted, tonight I was taking pictures of her, so maybe that pissed her off. I know I wouldn't want someone taking pictures of me in the bath tub, especially if I had farted/pooped a little the past two baths. I mean, I always courteously crop out her lady parts. But come on, she just looked so damn cute. She always does, especially when lounging in her little pink bath tub. I can't help it.

Before her umbilical cord fell off, we had to give Audrey sponge baths which she absolutely despised. It must have been so freezing. I would suck to be wiped down with a wash cloth while being completley naked on a countertop while your entire family looks on. It usually went something like this:

Uggh those umbilical cords are pretty nasty looking. I didn't know that babies went home wiht those things until, like, a month or two before I had her. I guess it's one of those things that no one tells you about having a baby. Jeesh, I should make a list of all those things.

Anyway, I must admit, after it fell off (some of it came off on Easter as my Grandma was cuddling with her...awkwaaaard), I stored it in a little Zip-Loc bag. Is that weird? As a mother, I find the need to keep the most ridiculous things (umbilical cord bits) and write down the most random details (the first time Audrey had an explosive poop while getting her diaper changed). It's weird. But so much fun.

However, after her sponge baths, she was always greatly relieved and ended up looking more like this:

Now it's like the opposite. She loooves hanging out in her spa-like bath tub, but she hates getting out, even if she is wrapped and cuddled in a hooded towel. Usually when I get her out of the tub she screams and screams. It's the most crying she does in a day. Other than that, she's usually relatively calm.
This picture is from her first ever "real" bath. I love it because my mom and I made sure to cover her little lady stuff with that rubber duck, but only after the fact did I realize that she covered up her boobs!!! She's so modest. She's got everything covered. It's hilarious.

On the topic of baths, those hooded towels are soo freaking cute. I want a towel like that! I'm not gonna lie, the duck towel (below) totally fit on my head while I was trying to entertain her. I cracked myself up while she more or less looked at me like, "Mom, you're crazy."

I'm sure I'll get that look more and more as the years pass by. And I love it :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Somebody's got a case of the Mondayyyyssss

Today my mom, Audrey and I dropped off our sheltie Dia at the groomers, had a lovely lunch at a little bakery nearby, and did some crib shopping--or I guess it was more of investigating than shopping--at Target. I never knew there were so many different shades of wood. There's cherry, espresso, cognac, oak, honey, black, white...the list goes on and on. Audrey slept most of the time. Well first of all, she slept all night until about 6 AM, ate, and fell back asleep until about 11 AM. Then, as usual, she fell asleep once we got in the car and stayed asleep for a majority of our running around. Lazzzyyy bum. She did momentarily wake up at Target when some obnoxious girl felt the need to walk over and answer her phone rather loudly RIGHT next to Audrey's stroller. Her eye's shot open, she looked around like "Where the hell am I?" and she fell back asleep.

I love taking goofy pictures of her while she's asleep. Ok, acutally I love taking pictures of her in general. Butttt, here's some funny sleeping pictures. Actually, these can be categorized even further as sleeping pictures that include a pacifier. God, I'm pathetic.

It's funny how the pacifier always ends up falling out of her mouth. Sometimes it just gradually makes its way out of her mouth and on to her chest and other times it comes shooting out pretty forcefully.

However, she did more than simply sleep the day away (well, kind of). My boyfriend (aka "Dad") came by to hang out for a while today. It's so cute to watch her stare him down, and I love watching him interact with her, too. There's obviously a lot of love there :) He cracks me up, though. Spencer has accumulated a good deal of tattoos (which I have no problem with, by the way; in fact, I quite like them), and I remember he asked me, "What's Audrey going to think of her father having all these tattoos?" I told him she wouldn't know any different because he's the only father she'll ever have haha. Plus, she'll probably wonder why Dad's skin is so much cooler and more colorful than Mom's skin.I love that picture for some reason. I just love how she's lounging on him. A friend of mine tie-dyed Audrey 5 onesies, and I have to say, I think that's one of the cutest, most creative gifts I've gotten. So cute and comfy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Party Tiiiiime

What a busy little weekend! As summer creeps up on us, graduation season is in full swing, and with it comes parties, parties, parties. This weekend Audrey and I attended 2 graduation parties and 1 baby shower! It was all lots of fun, and it was nice seeing people. Audrey was sooo well behaved, and as usual, she was a hit everywhere we went. She just always seems so curious. Needless to say, she spent a decent amount of her time like this:

Hahaha I just love that face!! It's things like that that make me jealous of babies. They can get away with just about anything. She burps and farts like a trucker (as my mom so eloquently describes). She has two chins and countless rolls. She snores like the guy in the Breathe Right commercials before he came up with his handy invention. She can usually be found with a trail of drool connected to her onesie. She has had poop all the way up to her shoulder blades and all the way down to her ankles. TO HER SHOULDER BLADES AND ANKLES FOR CHRIST'S SAKE. It must be nice. I mean, I'm not saying that it would be fun to have poop smeared up my back, but the fact that babies can do all that and STILL have everyone "Ohhh"-ing and "Ahhh"-ing over them sure says a lot.

Here's a prime example of the drooling thing:
You know, she'll probably kill me if she ever sees this blog. Looking through my photo gallery, I certainly have some blackmail for down the road. That's what mothers are for though, right? To embarrass their children. My mom always said that her mother embarrassed her and she fully intends to embarrass us. And she has succeeded. I mean, in my brother's baby calendar, she marked down the day he found his penis in the bathtub. Nice Chris. But, I have to say, I definitely plan on continuing the tradition down to the next generation of our family. Lucky Audrey :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Battle Wounds

Audrey had her 2 month checkup today. She did really well, but I felt sooo bad when he gave her the vaccinations. She got 3 in her thighs and then one was just oral. Since she loves eating or having anything in her mouth, she didnt' mind the oral one. However, the other ones weren't so good. She cried so hard that she wasn't even making any noise when he got her in the thighs. I had tears in my eyes.

Here's a picture of the thigh that she got stabbed twice in:

Poor thing. But she's a little trooper. For a two month old, she did great. Just look at that pudgey little thigh and her little arm rolls.

Speaking of pudgey-ness, she now weighs 12 pounds 1 ounce and is 23 inches long. This puts her in the 75 percentile for weight and the 77 percentile for height. The nurse commented on how tall she is which I found a bit funny since she's being measured in inches. But for a two month old, that is rather "tall" I suppose (since I know anything about two month old height). Oh, and her head circumference is 15 1/4 inches. That's a fun measurement. Hey, good to know.

Today she rocked her head to toe Polo gear :) So cute. However, she wasn't really in a picture taking mood apparantly.

She seemed pretty exhausted tonight and completely passed out pretty early. I guess we did have a busy day. We stopped in to see Uncle Chris at work, stopped at HACC so that I could sell my books back (a little over $100 for 3 books = boooyyaaaa) and get a new password for their website, and stopped at the Harrisburg Neato for a delicious Cowboy Crunch. Soo yummy, especially with chili instead of refried beans. I mean, she slept most of the time, but still, it was a lot of running around. My arms are killllllling me from lugging around that car seat. Good God, I'll certainly have some toned arms, that's for sure.