Caveat Emptor

I apologize in advance if I offend those of you to whom I am related or close friends. Writing this is my catharsis and has been keeping me (moderately) sane of late.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama Is the President Elect; I Am Humbled and Awed

I am so heartened that Jem, my 9 month old son, will grow up in a world with the good sense to have elected Barack Obama the forty-fourth president of The United States of America. My cynicism has turned to optimism. A new day has dawned and I am excited and honored to be a part of this historic time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sadly, So F$%KING Sadly, I Stand Corrected

That is all that I have to say about that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cubs Clinch N.L. Central!!!

It is my belief that Jem is the key to reversing the Cubs curse. Jem was born on January 14, 2008, which makes his astrological sign a goat. Jem's middle name is Dov, which means bear; Jem is a baby and a baby bear is a...Cub. Dov is for Jem's great-grandpa Don, who was a die hard Cubs fan, as was his other great-grandpa Waller. A baby as awesome as Jem only comes along every 100 years; the last time the Cubs won a world series was...100 years ago. See how that works?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

To Clip or Not to Clip

When Jem was an itty bitty baby I tried clipping his nails, but it did not turn out well. I clipped two nails and drew blood on BOTH fingers. I was horrified beyond words and never used nail clippers again. I have been filing Jem's nails ever since...until today! I clipped all ten nails and nary a drop of blood was shed. Yeah!!! A mommy milestone to be sure.

Have I mentioned how awesome my kid is???

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Almost 8 Months, Two Teeth, Back at Work and Still Breastfeeding

Before Jem was born people would ask me if I was going to breastfeed and I would say that I was going to try and was planning to make it to 3 months. After Jem was born there were times that I did not think that I would make it to one month let alone three months. When I got to the three month mark I decided that it was important to breastfeed until Jem was six months. Now I am at nearly 8 months and I am so glad that I never gave up. It got much easier as time went on.

Sometimes breastfeeding is the only thing that comforts Jem when he is super tired and cannot fall asleep on his own. I will cherish this time for the rest of my life and I am honored that I alone can provide this for him. This is not to say that it is easy, especially now that I am back at work, but that makes it even more important. While Jem is at day care and I am at work it comforts me to know that he has my breast milk.

I would rather be with him, but he is really happy at day care. If he wasn't I would be living in a cardboard box under Lakeshore Drive because I would stay home with him regardless if I lost my house. It would have to be a pretty big cardboard box though because we would need enough space for the 5 kitties and doggie too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jem Rolled Over!

Picture from 5-20-08.

On Friday night June 6, 2008 at approximately 9:45 pm Jem rolled from his back to his front, then back to his back. My jaw hit the floor and I was speechless for some moments. I am so proud!

Then today at approximately 4:55 pm, Jem rolled over TWO more times from back to front! The first time he had some trouble getting his arm out from under his body, so mom helped a bit. The second time he did it himself. This tired him out soooooo much that he needed a snack and a nap.

The thing is, when my babe wants to do something and can't (getting his arm out from under him, putting, x, y, or z in his mouth, etc.) he gets SUPER frustrated. This is no passive child; he wants to do what he wants when he wants and if he can't, watch out! He gets this from his mother. I just hope he doesn't grow up and stomp off the field or take his ball and go home. I am not really worried about this, I know he will have tenacity; he already does!!

I cannot express how much I love Jem. There are simply no words....

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Out for a Walk

Jem looking lovingly at his momma . He melts my heart with that smile!
(Picture taken at the start of our walk.)

The Mega Millions lottery is up to $100 million, so I decide to take my boys and my dog on a walk to buy the winning ticket. It was drizzling slightly, but the store is only a block and a half away, so off we go. After we get halfway there I notice a dark cloud above us, which I mention to Mike; he is unconcerned. After a few more steps I announce my growing concern about the possibility of a sudden downpour. Jem is a very fussy baby and the mere thought of getting stuck in the rain with him and my dog is enough to throw me into a panic. I mean, if I am holding Jem and I stop moving for a millisecond, he voices his discontent. He only tolerates his bath if he is not actually in the water, so I kind of thought we should not take any chances and turn back, but Mike seemed a little annoyed and we were already halfway there, so on we went.

I get my three lottery tickets (three because Jem is three months old) and we head home. Two steps out of the gas station and the drizzle turns to rain, then BOOM...torrential downpour. I am wearing flip flops, but I try my best to run. Mike is running with the stroller, and I am running with the dog. Jem is in his travel system, which has two canopy's, one on the infant seat and one on the stroller, so he should be totally protected, but there is no way to check because then he would definitely get soaked, so I try to get home ASAP without freaking out about how Jem is handling this.

We get in the house and Mike, Sugar, and I are completely soaked, with my heart seizing with panic, I check on Jem and he is not only totally dry, but happy as can be!

What an awesome memory!

Friday, March 14, 2008

First Real Bath, Finally

Jem finally had his first real bath today. I know, I am an awful parent; how could Jem's first bath be on his 2 month birthday? Well, for one, I am not nearly as good a parent as I thought I would be and second, when we went to give him a bath awhile ago, he screamed his head off and I just could not do it! We put him in one of those plastic tubs and he just looked so freakin' uncomfortable. His poor fragile head on this uncomfortable plastic; it just ripped my heart out. Honestly, that padding is a joke. Plus, he was so wobbly, I just could not do it.

Mike and I have been washing him periodically with these Johnson's wipes, but I have been riddled with guilt over not bathing my child the right way, you know, with water and soap, so today I did it! By myself, in the real bathtub with Jem in the Mother's Touch Large Comfort Bather, and it was okay. Jem was, of course, screaming, but I worked fast and at the end I think he kind liked it...though he probably would not admit this.

I hope that I am a better parent than I feel like I am. I really feel like a bad parent quite a bit. Jem hates tummy time, so he hardly does it. Am I hurting my child irreparably by being less of a parent than I should be? I hope he loves me! When he falls asleep during the day, I put him in his crib and I feel like I am not doing enough for him, like I should be bouncing him and holding him all day. I know he needs to sleep, but I just have this feeling of inadequacy a lot. I just have so much guilt and anxiety at times that I did not anticipate. I hope it is the hormone shift and that this will pass. My husband tells me that I am the most selfless person that he knows, but I do not feel like it. I feel so disorganized and I want to have better systems in place for us as a family. I feel so lazy sometimes, like I should do more, be less tired, be a better wife and mother.

Is Jem eating enough? Is Jem eating too much? Why does Jem "ask" to be fed, then arch his back and scream? Is is the gas? Is it reflux? Is it that my milk is bad? Is it the supplemental formula he gets occasionally? So many questions that I cannot answer? I just have to get more comfortable with not having answers and not being as perfect as I wish I were.

I just hope that Jem is happy now and always.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One Month Doctor Appointment

Weight: 10 lbs. 5 oz.

Length: 21 1/4

Head Circumference: 15 1/8

Temperature: 96.5 (He was naked. Mike asked if the temp was okay and the doc said yes.)

Jem Dancing (Then Crying)

We had Jem's one month appointment on Thursday, Feb. 21st. It was supposed to be on the 14th, but we were late and had to reschedule; the doctor was gone already (supposedly). The reason we were late, aside from trying to get myself and a newborn ready, was that a cab was stalled in the middle lane of the expressway.

Jem is a little one, in terms of percentages, which is fine with me as he doesn't like to be out of my arms for any length of time. He has been up all night and crying (screaming bloody murder) recently and if you saw me you would know this to be true as I am unshowered, have bags under my eyes, and my wrinkles are more pronounced than ever. I will spare you how many days of unshowered I am. Suffice it to say, it is more than one, but less than a baker's dozen.

Jem is hungry all of the time! My brother has two boys and he was shocked by how often our little guy wants to eat. He could be attached to my boob 24/7 and be happy. The doctor cautioned against overfeeding and told us how babies like to suck and are not necessarily hungry. Most of the time I can tell when he is hungry because he tries to eat his hand and moves his head like a turtle trying to find a breast. I started calling him a turtle in the hospital because of this and I think this nickname will stick!

I love my baby boy so much!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Our little prince will be one month old tomorrow. My how the time flies and how fat the baby gets! My little hungry hungry hippo eats 24/7!

One would think that delivering a 6 pound 10 ounce baby would be a veritable piece of cake, but he or she would be wrong in my case.

My labor started off just as I had hoped, with my water breaking. This made me happy because I did not want to sit around counting and timing contractions. I wanted to know when I was for sure in labor and that I could go straight to the hospital, which is exactly what we did!

The truth is that I was in "very early labor" starting the night of Wednesday January 9. We called the OB's office that night because I was having very painful contractions. Our doctor was not on call, but the doctor who was on call asked how far apart my contractions were and how long they lasted. I told her that so far this one had lasted about 45 minutes because as far as I could tell, I was in continuous pain; there was no start or stop. Well, she told us to come in. Long story short, after 3 or 4 hours they sent us home and I had contractions on and off until the 14th when my water broke at 4:20 am. The only relief from the pain was a bath, which I took 2 or 3 times each day. I also was taking multiple baths a day because I had PUPPS, which caused such horrendous itching that I thought I would lose my mind.

So, back to the 14th of January, My water has broken and we head to the hospital. I live in Chicago and my hospital is in the suburbs, which in January could translate into serious traffic problems. We got to the hospital in no time! By the time we get into a labor and delivery room I am 4 cm dilated. They ask if I plan to have an epidural...yes! When would I like it? As soon as I can have it! Well, I get my epidural in a matter of minutes. Wow, this is going GREAT!! They keep checking my progress and everything is textbook; a little help from pitocin and I continue to dilate beautifully. The doctors expect that we will have a baby by around 1:00 that afternoon. Cool!

Well, 1:00 comes and goes and so does 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00. I am stuck at 9 cm for at least 4 hours. My little babe starts having an irregular heartbeat, fast, then slow. On with the oxygen mask, and the internal heart monitor (screwed into my baby's little head), and the internal contraction monitor. My perfect labor has taken an alarming turn.

I have no more amniotic fluid and this is not okay. The doctor does an amniofusion to put some fluid back around the baby in the hopes to keep him safe and help me to dilate to 10 cm. This did not work and off to have a cesarean we went. My birth plan said that when in doubt as to my baby's health do a c-section! They did not waste time and for that I am so thankful.

Now, all through my pregnancy I had said that I would prefer a C-section to a vaginal delivery. I thought a C-section would be less painful and traumatic than a vaginal delivery. What an idiot I was! C-sections hurt, and they leave a scar to boot! I was so swollen afterward that I could not bend my legs at the knee or foot because my skin was so tight. I looked like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, minus the purple skin. Really, it wasn't that bad, but be careful what you wish for because it may just come true!!

I would do it all again in a heartbeat for my little miracle.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

May You


May you learn to touch joy
in each moment,
May you dance to your song
in each day.
May you find your own music
within you,
May you follow your heart
all the way.

May you learn through your
daily endeavors,
May you learn to feel
deeply with love.
May you grow to feel
conscience forever,
May you grow wonderfully
dear Jem Ruben Dov.

Poppa Waller
1 / 20 / 08

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

He's Here!

I love being in my daddy's arms.

Monday, January 14, 2008
7:06 PM
19 inches
6 lbs, 10 oz.

We are all home and doing well!

I miss this stage of J's life already and it has just begun; he is only 9 days old.

The love that I feel for J is indescribable; greater than words can fully express.

I hope to update again soon .

Our precious prince thanks you for visiting!

P.S. Happy 2nd birthday cousin R! I cannot wait to meet you!