Dec 21, 2008

This is so pretty...

I love Anthropologie, but everything is so expensive - even their sale items! I'm a pretty darn good crocheter (did I just make up that word?). Anyway, I'm going to try to find a similar pattern and make one instead.

Dec 18, 2008

What up, freak?

I answered the phone this morning and this is how my sister greeted me.

Dec 16, 2008

Hot damn!

I went into our supply cabinet at work to get myself a new pen, and to my surprise, I found an entire box of my favorite pens... and the box had my name on it! A whole box of pens just for little 'ol me.

Feeding frenzy

Griffin started baby cereal last weekend. Here's how it all went down...

Dec 15, 2008

Another one...

I started a new blog. I'm still using this one for everyday things, but the new one is more specific.

Dec 10, 2008

How you swoon me like no other

This has got to be one of the most beautiful lyrics ever written. It also reminds me of how long it has been since I've swooned...or made someone else swoon, for that matter.


Dec 8, 2008

It happens every year...

Christmas music either makes me want to strangle someone or it makes me cry. Rarely is there an in between. The other day Patrick was listening to it on one of those radio stations that plays it 24-hours-a-day from even before Thanksgiving. I wanted to scream, kick in the stereo, and then squeeze the life out of someone. If I hear Jingle Bell Rock one more time...

The problem is that I like Christmas. It has never been my favorite holiday (OK, maybe it was when I was a kid and all I wanted was Atari and a puppy). It's stressful and expensive. It brings out the worst in a lot of people. There's too much competition. I like getting together with my family and I like baking cookies. I like decorating the tree and even wrapping gifts. The music, though. It can really get to me.

Today, however, I'm having the other reaction. I hear the music and I want to cry (the only reason I'm not is that I'm at work and I don't feel like explaining myself to any of my coworkers). Certain songs make me cry more than others - Silent Night makes me think of the year my parents bought me an inexpensive keyboard for Christmas. I desperately wanted to learn how to play the piano and they got me this before they invested in lessons. It was cheap, but a wonderful gift. Silent Night was the first song I learned how to play...and I played it all day underneath our Christmas tree. Little Drummer Boy makes me miss my mom. We spent every Christmas Eve with my aunt and uncle just about a mile from my parents' house. One year on the drive home, I was so sleepy that my mom put me in the front seat with her and my head on her lap. Through sleepy eyes, I stared at the green lights coming from the stereo and listened to this song as my mom rubbed my head. O Holy Night makes me cry and I'm not sure why. I end up thinking about family members I've lost...especially my aunt, who hosted Christmas Eve every year, even after she lost her house in a fire, and after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was her holiday, and her home was the only place we wanted to be.

I hate that everything has changed so much. The year after the fire, we celebrated in her tiny apartment and tried to ignore the fact that my uncle was gone. After her diagnosis, we celebrated in her rebuilt home, trying to ignore how different she looked and how the chemo affected her stamina and strength. After she passed away, we didn't have Christmas at her home anymore. My sister started hosting it. It was fun, but different. Too different and I didn't like it at all.

We're trying something new this year - a new way of celebrating that I hope will make me less sad (and less angry at all the holiday music). I just need to find that happy medium. I know it exists in me...somewhere.


Griffin had his 4-month check-up this morning. He's actually well over 4 months right now, but we had to reschedule his appointment because his doctor was sick last week.

Griffin now weighs 15 lbs 4oz and I think he's 25 inches (I'll have to double check later). Everything looked good - he's meeting all the important developmental markers and we got the green light to start baby cereal when we feel ready. I remember bringing him home from the hospital and he was only eating 1 and 1/2 ounces at each feeding. Now he scarfs down 6oz at each feeding and the other day I swear he tried to snatch a crab rangoon from my hand!

Dec 4, 2008

Won't you be my neighbor?

Last night after picking up Griffin and running an errand, I pulled into our driveway and saw that Patrick had shoveled the snow while I was gone. Ahh! What a wonderful feeling to drive into the garage without crunching over the snow and packing it down so that it's still there in March. We never have a completely clean driveway, so this made my day.

Once inside, Patrick and I are milling around the kitchen trying to stay out of each other's way while he makes coffee and I take some more cold medicine. He turned to me and said, "Thanks so much for shoveling the driveway." When I told him that I thought he had shoveled, we both looked at each other and began to wonder who actual shoveled it for us. We don't really know many of our neighbors. I know it's not the people across the street because they have three young boys and while the dad is really nice and friendly, he's got his own set of problems, including the fact that in the four years we've lived in this house, we've only ever seen his wife outside twice - she literally pulls into the garage and the door closes before she gets out. It's seriously like the Batmobile. I've spent many early mornings ironing in the spare bedroom just trying to catch a glimpse of her. But I digress. Our next door neighbors are nice, but we don't really chat. They've got a bunch of grandkids and I just don't see them as the "shovelers." The only other people we speak to are sort of our next door neighbors (on the other side). The husband is super OCD about his yard and anything related to landscaping, decorations, etc. The only problem is that he would have had to make a HUGE effort to walk over to shovel (they're not really next door to us - their backyard faces the right side of our house). I could see them doing it because they're so nice to us, but were they the ones? We'll never know.

It was a really nice surprise for me and Patrick, and a very kind gesture by one of our neighbors - kind of renews my faith that the world is filled with good people. Now we just need to find a way to do our own random act of kindness.

Dec 3, 2008

He's like a drunk on a bus

This is a phrase my mom likes to use. When she was a young girl living on the west side of Chicago, she would take a series of buses (city, not school buses) to get to school. Sometimes people would ride the bus early in the morning who were still drunk from the night before. Occasionally they would lean up against whoever was unfortunate enough to sit next to them. After a few of these encounters, my mom tried to avoid them if at all possible.

So, here's Griffin doing his best impersonation of a drunk on a bus (OK, he's really just sleeping, but try to use your imagination)...

It would have been nice if you'd left us a note

The City of Bettendorf's garbage truck ran into our mailbox and completely pulled it out of the ground. They didn't leave a note, but propped the mailbox (still attached to the post) against our garbage can.

Oh yeah...I'm calling the City later today.

Dec 2, 2008

Something Different

This has been a crappy week. We had a death in our family on Sunday morning (how does a 64-year old die from Alzheimer's? Doesn't that seem too young?). I'm sick again (although that pales in comparison to the death), and we're in a shitload of money problems (I'm not even sure I want to talk about that one). So, I found this great idea from one of my favorite blogs:

The Things I've Done (the ones I've done are bolded):

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (does the Eisenhower Junior High School Band count?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (been to Disneyworld)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (but I’ve been on TV...twice!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day.

Nov 26, 2008

Seriously...where's George Clooney?

Another post, another trip to the ER. Things with Griffin got really bad on Monday. We received a call from his day care that he had been screaming for a couple of hours. He didn't have a temp, but his cough was sounding a lot worse. Patrick picked him up and when I got home from work, I just knew that things were going downhill...quickly. After a quick discussion (and a phone call to his doctor), we decided that the best thing would be to take him to the ER.

The poor little guy was put through the ringer - he got an RSV swab (think throat culture but this one is done up the nose), two separate breathing treatments, and a chest x-ray (they had to strap him into some weird contraption so he wouldn't squirm). They were able to eliminate some of the wheezing and bring the oxygen level in his blood almost back to 100%. It broke my heart to watch him fall asleep from pure exhaustion while the respiratory therapist held the tiny oxygen mask to his face.

No RSV. No Pneumonia. That was definitely good news, but he's still pretty sick. I stayed home with him yesterday because he was feeling pretty miserable, although he perked up a bit at night.

It has been a long couple of days and we're all tired. I'm looking forward to the extended holiday and I hope we still are able to make it to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. It all depends on how Griffin is doing today.

Nov 21, 2008


Just a few examples from the past couple of weeks:

(teething and cranky)

(chewing on anything and everything)

(he can almost fit his entire fist in his mouth)

(fingers are his new best friends)

(a happy drooler)

Where's George Clooney when you need him?

We ended up taking Griffin to the ER last night. He developed a raspy cough early on Monday morning, but by the end of the day yesterday it was pretty bad and he was wheezing quite a bit. When the doctor listened to him breathe, he said that Griffin was wheezing so bad that he couldn't even hear if he had pneumonia. So, we had to give him a breathing treatment - a difficult feat with a 4-month old. He moved his head around so much that I could barely keep the mask up to his face. The doctor listened to him again and said that there was no pneumonia, but he was having an asthmatic reaction to a respiratory infection. Now we're giving him breathing treatments twice a day for a week plus oral steroids and antibiotics. Good times.

Looks like the little guy wasn't so lucky having asthmatic parents...

Nov 19, 2008


I'm dreading today's 5-hour management meeting. Is a 5-hour meeting really necessary? Probably not, but we're having it anyway. I developed a headache last night in anticipation of sitting in this ultra-warm room with a bunch of my co-workers who talk entirely too much (hence the need for a 5-hour meeting).

At least we're getting compensated with lunch...and apparently some good baklava.

Nov 17, 2008

I'm a Bad Mother

Hello. My name is Tracy and I'm a bad mother. No, not a "bad mutha" like Shaft...because that would actually be pretty awesome. I'm talking about a bad mother. A bad parent. The kind of bad mother who actually tells her screaming 3-month old baby to "shut up." I didn't just tell him, I yelled at him, and I didn't just yell it once. I yelled it over and over and over.

We're not sure what's wrong right now. He started to teethe a couple of weeks ago and he fights sleep like crazy. He can be completely asleep and then you put him in his crib and it's like someone lit his hair on fire. By the end of the night, I lose my patience. Last night, I was with him for an hour - changed his diaper, fed him a bottle, rocked him, rubbed his back, talked to him softly. He fell asleep. And then the wheels fell off - his and mine.

I can't believe that I did it. I can't believe that I yelled at him. I know he can't help it - he cries because that's one of the only ways he can communicate. I remember looking at him while he was screaming and he looked scared and exhausted. I should have hugged him. I should have kissed him. But I didn't. I chose to yell at him. Patrick finally came to relieve me and I went downstairs.

Griffin woke up at about 4:30 AM to be changed and fed. He looked up at me while he ate and he smiled. He didn't remember what I had said to him just a few hours earlier. All he knew was that I was there to comfort and feed him - I wasn't that horrible person who yelled.

After he fell back asleep, I just stood there and watched him...and I sobbed. I whispered over and over how sorry I was and how much I loved him.

I just hope he heard me.

Nov 14, 2008

Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club is don't talk about Fight Club.

The first rule of parenting is don't talk about how absolutely crappy the previous night was...

Me and Patrick on Friday morning

Nov 13, 2008

The "Write" Place

If I had this room in my house, I would sit and write all day - no more excuses. Well...I guess I'd still have to take care of the kids and cook dinner and mop the floors and pay bills and...

Oh well, I still love the room. It's nice to have a dream, right?

Nov 5, 2008

I couldn't have said it better myself...

"There was perhaps no more profound way to slam the door on eight years of the Bush administration than to elect the first African-American to replace him. The symbolism is powerful; the history is breathtaking. We changed a lot more than our political orientation last night. The country finally grew up.

Something stirred us in a profound way. The disillusionment and disappointment of failed polices everywhere you look were the catalysts. Barack Obama was the spark. Watching him in Grant Park last night, it occurred to me that just like Hemingway was born to write and Tiger Woods to hit a golf ball, this man, Obama, was born to do this, to lead."

~Jack Cafferty~

Mr. President


Nov 4, 2008



I left the house extra early this morning with Griffin so I could vote. First, the information I pulled from the County web site sent me to the wrong precinct. When I finally got to the correct precinct, it was completely disorganized and there was a long line. I waited it out and finally sat down to vote. I looked at Griffin, who was right next to me, sleeping peacefully. He has no idea how historic this election could be. I took a deep breath and filled in the bubble next to Barack Obama's name (no computerized voting where I live!).

It felt good.

And now we wait...

Oct 27, 2008

I'm a bad blogger

I know, I know...all I've been doing lately is posting pictures of Griffin. I swore I wouldn't do that. I just haven't had time for much else. I'm swamped at work - too many grants to event count. Plus, I'm in the midst of redesigning our agency web site. I'm finally getting over my cold and I wake up this morning to a sick baby...again. Apparently, the cold he got 3 weeks that he gave me 2 weeks ago is back...and he's got it. So in between work, trying to maintain a somewhat clean home, cooking dinners, and attempting to mail our birth announcements, I have zero time to do anything but post pictures. I promise that it will soon cease and I will be back to writing "real" posts. In the meantime, here's another couple of pictures...

Oct 23, 2008

Reasons To Be Cranky...

1) I'm still fighting this cold. Sneezing. Stuffy nose. Headache. Plus I've become a mouth-breather, which I hate...
2) I've got a TON of grants to write that all are due at about the same time.
3) I had a flat tire today.
4) I had to drive the truck to work this morning because of the flat tire.
5) The World Series is totally boring because I don't care which team wins.
6) My house is a disaster.
7) Despite the fact that Griffin is sleeping much better during the night (just one late-night feeding!), I can't sleep because of my stupid cold. Arrrgh!
8) I took a bunch of great pictures last weekend, but am having trouble transferring them to the computer. Our computer sucks.

Oct 16, 2008

12 Weeks

Technically, this picture was taken when Griffin was 10 weeks old, but he doesn't look that different. This was from his first day at day care. Obviously, he's made the transition just fine...


Oct 14, 2008

At Least He Likes to Share

Griffin gave me his cold. The cough. The sore throat. The stuffy nose. The only difference is that he found a way to smile and giggle through it all. Not me...I'm grumpy.

Oct 9, 2008

The Best Intentions

I've been wanting to post something more than the usual complaints about fatigue, migraines, and the stress of being back at work. However, I've been too tired, had too many headaches, and have been too swamped with work to sit down and write...

Some of the topics I've wanted to write about include:

  • Catching the "writing bug" I had so long ago, but put aside when I was getting close to having Griffin (Patrick and I had a long discussion about this a couple of weeks ago and he's urging me to get back to writing)
  • Comparing the differences (both physically and emotionally) between taking Griffin on walks all those weeks ago in the middle of summer and now, with the season changing. {I know this probably sounds stupid/strange, but it really does feel like a different experience now - he's different, I'm different, and it honestly makes me a bit sad}.
  • How I have no idea how /if I will ever live in an uncluttered house ever again - I can barely keep up with washing bottles and sanitizing the counters.

I want to post about these things...I really do. One of these days I'll find some time.

Oct 2, 2008

The First of Many

Griffin has his first cold. He woke up this morning with lots of coughing and sneezing. I worry about him because both Patrick and I have asthma and are really susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia. He's at day care today because, despite his symptoms, he had no fever and was a very happy and silly baby this morning.

I'm just chalking this up to another new experience in parenthood.

Sep 28, 2008

The Things I'll Miss Most...

I go back to work tomorrow morning. Part of me is excited - it will be nice to have more adult conversations and to be in a social environment. I kind of miss the excitement of meeting grant deadlines and really using my brain. On the other hand, I will miss Griffin terribly. I'll miss our early morning walks through the neighborhood. I'll miss our "conversations" about life - whether or not I should still try writing that book I've always wanted to write, how I want him to grow up and not let fear rule his life like it did mine, and how he should always be an understanding and compassionate human being. I'll miss taking him all over town with me to Target and the grocery store and the library. We had the whole day to ourselves and each morning we'd make a list of the places we needed to go. I'll miss his smile, which each day gets bigger and bigger. I'll miss his almost-giggle...and I dread not being the first to actually hear it. I'll miss him holding my hand when I feed him in the middle of the day. I'll miss making up silly songs while I try quieting him during one of his fussy/colicky episodes. I'll miss him knowing the exact moment I sit down for lunch (he inevitably wakes up at this time and starts crying). I'll miss watching him discover the world. I'll miss...well, I'll just miss Griffin.

I had a long talk with him last night. I know he doesn't understand my words, but I told him how much I will miss him. I told him that if we could afford it, I would stay home with him. I know it sounds silly, but I don't ever want him to think I chose work ahead of him.

I'm dreading tomorrow morning. I know that I will cry when I get to work. I hate this. I really hate this...

Sep 26, 2008

Shots and Stats

Griffin had his 2-month check-up this morning. This meant that he needed to endure his first round of vaccinations. One was oral and he took that like a champ (I think he thought it was a snack or something). Then he had three shots. He screamed as expected, but he calmed down pretty quickly. Maybe it was those super cool blue Crayola crayon band-aids they gave him. I wasn't too upset by the process because when he screamed, he sounded just like he does during a colicky episode...

He now is a whopping 12 lbs 10 oz and 23 and 1/2 inches long. We can kiss those 0-3 month clothes goodbye!

Oh...and yesterday Patrick and I celebrated 4 years of marriage. We went to dinner at Granite City and we stuffed ourselves with food...and ate the most decadent dessert ever. And we did this all in silence (Griffin was with his grandparents). Ahh...a meal without interruptions.

Sep 24, 2008

All the Way

Jason - Don't even bother watching this because it will only fuel your dislike of the Cubs and Cubs fans :-) Don't worry, your beloved White Sox will be in the post season. Let's just unite and rejoice that the Yankees' season ends this week...

Sep 16, 2008

Griffin at 8 Weeks

Yay...another smile! I'm hoping that soon the smiles outnumber the screams...

Sep 11, 2008

A Desperate Deal

I would sell my soul to the devil himself to make the screaming stop.

And the Worst Night Turns Into the Worst Day

I can't do this anymore...

I'll Try Anything

Griffin and I listened to the following song for about 30 minutes straight very early this morning. I just kept hitting "replay":

Sep 10, 2008

The Worst Night EVER

In a follow-up to the colic still sucks.

We don't know what to do anymore. Everything that used to work isn't working tonight. Since 12:30 PM, when it all started, I/we have done the following:

- Taken Griffin on a walk in his stroller
- Walked throughout the neighborhood with him in his Baby Bjorn
- Fed him
- Burped him
- Changed him
- Placed him in his bouncy seat
- Read to him
- Sat outside on the porch with him
- Sang to him
- Took him for a 90-minute drive around Bettendorf
- Rocked him
- Bounced him
- Took him for another stroller walk
- Fed him in his stroller
- Walked up and down the driveway with him
- Swaddled him and rocked him
- Took him for another car ride

Right now Patrick has him in the car and is driving around. I think he might go to his parents' house for a bit. We are completely frazzled. I don't know what to do anymore, but I'm freaking out because Patrick has meetings all day tomorrow, and I just don't know if I can handle another day of this. It sounds so dramatic, but I am so anxious just thinking about tomorrow. The mere thought of another day of crying and screaming and helplessness makes me feel so overwhelmed and trapped. It's like I can't breathe.

I can't do this. I can't do another day of this.

Colic Sucks!

Enough said.

{This is a horrible follow-up to my last post of those smiling pictures, but seriously, I'm losing my mind.}

Aug 25, 2008

Another Visit to the Doctor

We weren't scheduled to have another doctor's appointment until the end of September, but due to some frustrating (and heartbreaking - for me) symptoms, we brought Griffin in this morning. Diagnosis: Colic. Ugh. It's difficult to watch him in so much discomfort and it honestly breaks my heart to watch him scream and tense up his entire body the way he does. These "fits" come at various times of the day and have lasted for as long as 2 hours at a time. I hate it. I'm sure he does, too. The good news is that colic usually only lasts for a few months. The really good news is that he's thriving and growing each day. He's now up to 10 lbs 4 oz and is 22 inches long.

He's also super cute :-)

Aug 20, 2008


I'm experiencing horrible migraines on an almost daily basis. Yesterday was a blur - lots of narcotic painkillers and very little sleep. I'm in the midst of a vicious cycle. I'm sleep deprived (or even if I do get 6 hours of sleep, it's not consecutive due to my shift of the early morning feedings). So between the post-partum hormones swirling around my body and the disrupted sleep, I'm getting migraine after migraine. The medication only makes me more tired, so I nap when I can, but I feel like I will never catch up. Each day brings the same cycle - disrupted sleep, migraine, medication, more fatigue, etc. It's like the movie Groundhog Day...

Aug 15, 2008

No Rest for the Weary

I have never been so tired in my entire freaking life. In fact, tired doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. And you know...I'm too whatever-the-right-word-is to even try to describe it. This morning Griffin was up at 4 AM for a feeding. No problem, right? Wrong. He then decided that he didn't want to go back to sleep, so we've been up ever since. I took him downstairs where I could at least distract myself with the television (thank goodness for those Olympics!). I held him close to me and wrapped us both in an afghan that I crocheted last year. He fell asleep immediately and I was left to watch volleyball or handball or some other sport - It's all a blur and I don't remember what I even watched.

So I'm totally sleep-deprived, which I must say is a million times worse than getting no sleep at all. I didn't sleep for almost 48 hours when I was in labor and after I delivered the baby, but it was so much easier than sleeping in little increments. I've discovered that Griffin is the boss of me these days (and weeks) and I just need to deal with it. Here he is doing what he does best (and doing what I want to do so badly):

Aug 9, 2008

The Blues

I guess you could say the baby blues have come for a visit. It started last week and I've been on an emotional rollercoaster since. It's a combination of things - fluctuating hormones, raging migraines, major sleep deprivation, residual pain from the delivery, etc. Just one of those things is enough to push me over the emotional edge, but the fact that I'm dealing with them all at once, well...what can I say?

I cry. A lot. I wish I was crying over silly things like the fact that the wheat bread was moldy, or that I didn't get the outgoing mail into the mailbox in time. But I'm crying for bigger reasons. I'm so exhausted from getting up for feedings every two hours. I've had migraines for I don't know how many days in a row. I feel like a bad mom because I get frustrated at 3 AM when Griffin falls asleep halfway through a feeding, or when he cries as soon as I get him in his crib (even though he spent the previous 10 minutes asleep in my arms). Right now I feel like a bad mom because he's wearing a onesie with formula and antibiotic stains on the front of it. I'm just too tired to take him upstairs and change it.

I look at him sleeping (and even eating) and I feel so much love for him, but then I dip into the emotions of inadequacy, fear of failure, guilty for wanting one night of solid sleep (even just 5 straight hours).

I was prepared for some of the postpartum issues, but in no way was prepared for the emotional rollercoaster. No one told me that I might feel so overwhelmed and exhausted and inadequate. I'm doing my best. I've talked to some of my friends, and my mom has been such a great support system. Patrick hugs me during my crying spells and tells me that it will be OK. Deep down, I know it will be, but sometimes it feels so good to hear it.

Aug 3, 2008

A Whale of a Tale (umm...make that tailbone)

I found out on Friday that I fractured my tailbone during delivery. I never knew you could do that, but then again, what do you expect when pushing a 7+ pound human being out of your body?

I did hear and feel a pop during those last 45 minutes of pushing, but I wasn't really focused on it at that time. still hurts. A lot. My doctor said to expect it to take 6-8 weeks before it heals. Good times.

Jul 27, 2008

How It All Happened...

I hope this long post doesn't bore anyone, but I'm partly writing it for my own benefit. I highly doubt I could ever forget the events surrounding Griffin's birth, but I know that the details can get a bit foggy. So here's how it all happened:

Monday, July 22
Due to a major storm that knocked out power to most of the Quad Cities, I was at home (lots of damage and no power at work). I planned on using my time at home to get a few more things ready for the baby. However, I was feeling really tired and had the start of a migraine. I decided to take a nap around 3 PM, and when I woke up, my headache was even worse. At 4 PM, I got up to get some more medication, when I felt this strange sensation. It sort of felt like I peed my pants - not much, but enough to make me think, "Oh great, just another lovely side effect of being 9 months pregnant." I did find it a bit curious as I hadn't had any of these issues previously, but there's always a first. Pretty soon I realized that I wasn't wetting myself, but that my water broke.

I called the doctor's office thinking they'd tell me to chill at home for a little while as I wasn't feeling any contractions, but they told me to grab my bags and check into labor and delivery. Holy crap! I wasn't ready for this. Just then, Patrick came home. I told him what was happening and we grabbed our stuff and left for the hospital.

By about 6 PM we had been checked in and were getting settled in our room. I was in my hospital gown and was hooked up to the fetal monitor. Pretty soon, we could hear his heartbeat, which sounded a lot like galloping horses. Eventually the nurse turned down the volume because it was quite distracting. The doctor came in and we developed a plan - I would labor until midnight without any intervention and see how I progressed. If I dilated more (I was only at 1 CM, but 70% effaced), great. If not, they would start the dreaded Pitocin drip.

Patrick and I watched the Cubs game and chatted. I walked to the bathroom numerous times (still had that pregnancy bladder) and dragged my IV with me, while the cords from the fetal monitor were wrapped around my neck. Let me tell you...this wasn't easy!

Tuesday, July 22
Finally, it was 12 AM. No progress. They started the Pitocin drip a bit after midnight, and within 30 minutes, I started to actually feel some contractions (I'd been having them consistently since 6 PM, but they just weren't strong enough to make any real progress). By about 1 AM, they were strong enough for me to pull out the old breathing techniques. They were quite helpful until about 1:30 AM, when the contractions didn't deem to ever break. I decided to forgo the breathing and went straight into a plaintive moan. By this time, I also had rolled onto my side and gripped the bed rails with the wave of each contraction, moaning through them and waiting for them to peak and then subside...but they never subsided. The nurse came in around 2 AM and I told her that they didn't feel like they were letting up. She said, "That's because they're not."

It was at this point when every fear I ever had about getting an epidural went right out the window. She must have read my mind, because she asked me if I wanted one. She checked me again, and I was still stuck at 1 CM, but was 100% effaced and the baby had dropped. I didn't think they would give me an epidural because I had always been told that you needed to be at least 4 CM dilated. Thankfully, I was wrong. The 15 minutes it took the anesthesiologist to get to my room felt like an eternity. Patrick was strangely quiet during this time - I know it must have been hard for him to watch me like that. He was wonderful, though, and kept bringing me cold, wet washcloths for my face and neck.

All of a sudden, I could hear a man's voice coming down the hall. Relief was in sight! The epidural was painless and very quick. For some reason, I was able to sit still during my contractions for him to complete the procedure. I was motivated to feel better, so I was willing to do just about anything. Within 10 minutes, I started to feel some relief. I was numb from my thighs up to my mid-back, but I didn't care. I felt like a human being again - I could speak and breathe and actually listen to what others were saying to me.

I started experiencing some weird sensations - a definite pressure in my pelvis. The nurse checked me again, and was in complete shock when she told me that in the previous hour, I had dilated from 1 CM all the way to 10 CM! I was ready to push. I turned to Patrick and said, "Did you hear what she said?" He just nodded his head and smiled.

It's now 4:30AM and I'm starting to push. It's a strange sensation because your body is all crunched up and people are holding your feet and you're curling up in a tight ball while gripping some handle bars. Very primal. I made a lot of progress for the first hour, but then I kind of stalled. I pushed...and pushed...and pushed for 2 straight hours. I pushed on my back and on my side. I pushed while performing a tug-of-war with the nurse while we both pulled on a bed sheet. Nothing. Finally, the doctor said that we might need to think about a vacuum-assisted birth, and if that didn't work, we needed to do a c-section. She let me push some more and all of a sudden I was overcome with an insane amount of pressure. It was non-stop and I couldn't stop myself from pushing. They'd count to 10 and I would keep pushing to 11, 12, 13. My body was doing it on its own. I was so scared because they had turned off the epidural not long after I got it, so the numbness was wearing off and I could feel so much pressure and burning. I was so scared because the more I pushed, it felt like my body was going to break. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it's the truth. They told me that the best way to deal with the pain is to do the opposite of what your instinct is - instead of holding back and not pushing, I needed to push right through the pain. So I did. My nice, controlled pushes that I started out with were replaced with stronger pushes, heavy breathing in between (did I mention I had on an oxygen mask?), and I believe some occasional grunting. And you know what? It worked. A little before 7 AM, the doctor got on her gown and gloves. The nurses set up the cart with all the necessary medical supplies and instruments, and I was told it would be over very soon.

After his head was out, they suctioned his mouth and had me push very lightly. Out came his shoulders and my work was done - they pulled him out and out him on my chest. The rest is a blur - he was crying, Patrick was taking pictures, I was thrilled it was over, etc.

I don't think there is anyway someone could truly explain exactly how it feels to give birth. First of all, every woman's experience is different. Second, we all have our own issues to deal with. What I mean is that I am a highly anxious person who worries about everything. For me, labor and birth was the ultimate unknown. There were so many things out of my control. I tried to remain open minded about everything and go with the flow as much as possible. Overall, I think I did a great job...and for the first time in my 35 years, I am in awe of myself. This was me facing the ultimate fear. This was me going beyond any physical limitations I had ever put on myself. If I can do this, I don't know what I can't do. It feels like just about anything is within my reach.

Jul 24, 2008

The Bambino Has Arrived!

Griffin Delaney Moore was born on Tuesday, July 22nd at 7:04 AM. He weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz and was 21 inches long.

There's so much I want to say about what happened - the details of the whole experience. I do plan on posting them, but right now I'm just too tired. We just got home about an hour ago and we're all exhausted. For now, I'll just post a couple of pictures:

Jul 20, 2008

This Is Perfect For Me...

I am slightly OCD when it comes to cleaning and organizing. OK, I'm a lot OCD about it. I can get a high from cleaning the kitchen and finding the perfect place for things. It's such a rush (and no, this isn't pregnancy-related). So imagine how happy I was to find Unclutterer...

Jul 16, 2008


- I'm still dilated to 1 cm
- My cervix has "considerably thinned"
- My blood pressure was still high
- The Bambino is "definitely head down"
- My blood pressure returned to normal after being on my side for 10 minutes
- The Bambino passed his third non-stress test
- I had two contractions between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM today and then they stopped

Sorry for the short and medically-themed post, but I wanted to be sure to make note of my 37 week appointment. I don't want to forget any of these details.

I go back to the doctor on July 22nd, so we'll see if I continue to make progress...

Jul 10, 2008

One Down...Nine To Go

I was planning on writing this yesterday, but never got around to it. Work is just crazy and they've had to put a temporary hold on one of the grants I'm writing due to some budget issues at the state level.

Anyway, I had my 36 week appointment on Tuesday and everything was fine - my blood pressure was up again, but I attribute that to my fear over having my first internal exam. Let's just say that I had a right to be nervous. Yowza! I figured it would be like having a yearly internal exam, but it wasn't. I was wondering how long she was going to be up there...and why the heck they have to go so far. For a second, I thought about asking her to just pull him out while she had her hand so far inside me. After all of that, I find out that I am dilated to 1 cm, but not effaced at all. As I said before, this doesn't mean that much. I could have the baby tomorrow, or I could walk around like this for the next few weeks.

I went up to labor and delivery for my weekly non-stress test. My blood pressure was almost back to normal by the time I got there, so I was relieved. Towards the end of the test, the nurse came in and asked me when I had seen the doctor. I told her that I came straight from my appointment to the test. She then took the printout from the test and left the room saying, "I need to call your doctor." I freaked out! What was wrong? Was the baby not moving enough? Are they going to have to admit me immediately? She finally came back and told me that the baby was doing just fine (we passed again!), but that I was having a lot of contractions. Who knew? I felt nothing aside from a dull ache that I figured was just from having been violated in my doctor's office. Obviously no one was too concerned because they unhooked me from the monitors and sent me on my way.

Now other things are happening. My body is showing signs that it is getting ready for the big day. The frustrating thing is that it could be tomorrow or it could be three weeks from now. After today's issues I've decided that I really need to get my hospital bag packed and have the baby's stuff packed. That makes it seem all too real. I'm starting to panic. What if I don't handle the pain well? What if I freak out? What if I'm really not strong enough to get through this?

I try to be funny about the exams and the tests, but the truth is that I'm really, really scared.

Jul 7, 2008

Progress - Part 2

The Bambino definitely has dropped a bit. First of all, my belly looks different. Second, I have to pee, like, every 15 minutes and I'm having a ton of pressure on my bladder - I feel it every time I stand up and I've been getting these sharp "jolts" when the baby moves around. Actually, I can feel him in every part of my belly (he moves a lot!), but I definitely feel them a lot lower than I used to.

I go to the doctor tomorrow for my first internal exam to see if I'm dilated or effaced. I hear these exams can be uncomfortable at this point in pregnancy, but I'm so curious about my progress. And, yes, I know that it doesn't really mean squat. I could walk around dilated to 3 for weeks, and I also could not be dilated at all and go into labor tomorrow.

It's all a big mystery...

Jul 2, 2008


I think the Bambino has started to drop. Over the past couple of days I can feel some things changing in how I sit, sleep, etc. I used to be incredibly uncomfortable while sitting at work or at home. I'd get these awful aches in my ribs and I would try to lean back as far as I could to alleviate them - not an easy thing to do when you sit all day at work. Now when I sit, it feels like he is resting on my lap a bit more. Relief! Also, when I bend down or reach over to pick up something, I don't gasp for breath. I feel like I can take a deep breath again and I don't feel full after a few bites of food. I was beginning to wonder where my appetite had gone...I think it has returned now that he's sitting a bit lower these days.

Of course, this means absolutely nothing. Well, not nothing. Obviously, he's positioning himself, but I still have about 4 weeks left, so I'm trying not to get too excited.

In other news...I found out on Monday that if I do make it to my due date, the Bambino could be around 9 lbs. Last week, he was estimated at about 6 lbs 8 oz with another 5 weeks to go. No wonder it's hard to roll out of bed! I also had my first non-stress test up in labor & delivery at the hospital. They are monitoring me closely due to the diabetes. His heart rate was great and he passed with flying colors. I will get these every week until I deliver just to make sure he's doing OK. If they notice anything wrong, then we move into a whole different set of decisions.

I can't believe he'll actually be here in a month. It seems like just yesterday when we found out I was pregnant. It really has gone by so quickly.

As for names, we've got some ideas but we're not sharing. Too many people feel like it's their job to inform you that they used to live next door to some kid with the same name and he was a real jerk, or that their least favorite relative has that name. We're avoiding all of that and keeping our names to ourselves. In fact, we haven't even settled on anything. We're going in with a few first and middle names and plan on waiting to see what he looks like.

Jun 26, 2008

The Basement

With all the recent rain and flooding in Iowa, our basement took a big hit. We're very lucky that we did not get as much damage as some other people, but for never having a drop of water in our basement in the 4 years we've lived here, it's still pretty bad.

Patrick noticed the water seeping in the night we got approximately 4 inches of rain in a couple of hours. And it soaked through...and soaked through...and just kept going. Our basement is (was?) finished with nice carpeting. We were in the process of organizing down there in preparation of my parents staying with us for about a week after the baby arrives.

Well, the carpet had to be pulled back, the padding removed, and the foundation dried. It smelled like dead bodies (I've never smelled one before, but I'm taking a guess). Patrick had to pull out cabinets from the wall and everything is just piled up and a huge freakin' mess. Just take a look: