Tag Archives: mom blog

8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Bri

Standard

Remember back in high school when you would email your friends or post to MySpace those random questionnaires? I loved those things. I loved learning random facts about my friends and sharing things about myself. I thought about finding an old one and posting it here, but lets be real, those things were long and I don’t have time to fill one out and you don’t have time to read it. So instead, I’ll just share 8 fun facts you might not know about me. And if you want to share some fun facts about yourself in the comments, I’d love to hear them.

  1. Tree roots freak me out.
  2. I have a fascination with space. When I was in 2nd grade my table won some contest and every one got Skittles. I hated Skittles so my teacher gave me a book about space instead. As a kid I was interested in the science of space, ie learning what the planets are made of, how many miles between here and the son, etc. As I got older, I became more interested in the history of space, specifically the space race. I’m currently watching a documentary about it called When We Left Earth. It’s fascinating
  3. I cannot drink coffee. It makes my stomach hurt. But I love a good cup of tea.
  4. I’ve never traveled outside of North America. Actually, I’ve been to Hawaii, so I guess a more accurate statement would be “I’ve never traveled outside of North America to a place that wasn’t part of the US.” I really hope to go to Kenya and Australia and I think Joe and I could actually make that happen some day. The UK, Ireland and Greece would also be cool, but I’m not sure we’d ever be able to save up for all that.
  5. I hate cilantro. Most people think this is super weird, because most people don’t think cilantro has a strong taste. But if there is even a tiny bit of cilantro in my salsa or on a burrito I can taste it and its nasty.
  6. I’ve always loved writing. My mom read to me and my siblings a lot as kids, and she encouraged us to write in journals and write stories and poems. My siblings aren’t big fans of writing today, but with me it stuck. I was in third grade when I realized that I loved writing. I wrote a poem about my teacher and she gave me so many compliments. I loved that something I had written made someone else feel good. I entered that same poem in a contest and got it published in a book. I would later find out that all poems submitted to that contest got published, but at the time I was so proud of myself. Nothing I’ve ever done has given me such a thrill as writing does.
  7. My favorite Christmas movie is “Home Alone.” It’s followed closely by “Elf” and “A Christmas Story.”
  8. My favorite book series is Anne of Green Gables. I read the entire thing about once every 3 years.

Catching up with the Xander House

Standard

I cannot believe how long it has been since I have blogged. I had planned on being this awesome, witty mom blogger who wrote 2-3 blogs a week, networked with other mom bloggers and got paid to advertise products on my sidebar. Now look at me. Its been months since my last post and I don’t even have a custom URL yet. Where did I go wrong?

Well let me tell you.

First of all, this working mom gig is so much harder than I thought it would be. I’m lucky enough to be able to bring AJ to work with me three days a week. This is fantastic for mother/baby bonding. Not so fantastic for work productivity. But somewhere inbetween the daily struggle that is nap time, diaper changes, nursing every 2-3 hours and rotating him to various play things every 20 minutes, I’ve managed to find time to blog for work, maintain our Facebook page, manage the building of another web site (I thought those days were behind me but I just can’t get away from it), complete numerous copy writing projects AND make sure my favorite 11 year old gets her homework done, kindly tell her when her when she needs to wear a bra with certain tops, and coach her on how to deal with her first boyfriend. Yay me!

Just as I was figuring all that out, the Mr and I decided to buy a condo. Because really, life just isn’t exciting enough with two full time jobs, an infant and the daily struggle to keep your marriage sane. So why not throw a condo in there. Not just any condo, but a condo that needs a lot of work. All new floors, new counters in the kitchen, a completely revamped bathroom and paint in every room. And that’s just the stuff that has to get done before we move in. There’s a whole list of things we’ll need to be upgrading over the next two years. It’s insane to buy a fixer upper at this point in our lives, but Joe’s dad blessed us with an offer we absolutely could not refuse. So here we are, in the middle of an escrow that keeps getting pushed back, working on every single spare minute and hoping that we get everything done in time to host our annual Easter celebration in our new place!

Plus, would you believe that even in the midst of all this craziness laundry keeps piling up? And my and the Mr’s stomachs still demand three square meals a day? And that damn bathroom keeps getting dirty. And don’t even get me started on the dog. Luckily we’ve got my parents to help out with a lot of these things, but the fact is that life doesn’t stop just because we are raising a baby and fixing up a condo.

So why haven’t I been blogging? Because I can barely find time to sleep, much less type out a coherent thought. But I took Facebook off my phone, which will free up an embarrassing amount of time, so lets see if I can’t get back into the swing of this blogging thing. Because honestly, mama wants a new washer and dryer and could really use some side bar advertisers to help pay for it 😉

Just An Extra Hour of Bodily Fluids

Standard

It’s 6 am. I’ve been up since 2:30 am. This is my story.

Yesterday was the end of daylight savings, which for parents is pretty much the worst day of the year. Not only does it mess with your kids sleeping schedule, but it adds an extra hour to the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, I love spending time with him and I love every second of every 24 hours of every day with him. But 24 hours is enough. I don’t need 25. Because for me, it wasn’t an extra hour of sleep, it was an extra hour of spit up, poop and very demanding yells to be  held. Mama don’t need that.

Okay so daylight savings was rough. And to top it all off my usually fantastic sleeper of a baby has been regressing in his sleep patterns and that night was one of the worst. So I woke up with him at 6 and started counting down the hours till naptime. We went to church, picked up lunch, and by 1:30 it was time for us to hit the hay.

My glorious hour and a half nap came to an abrupt end when the dog decided that the nursery floor was the perfect place for her to throw up. Seriously!?! As if I don’t have enough bodily fluids to deal with, now I have to deal with this? Again I repeat, momma don’t need that. The baby was still asleep so I dozed for a few more minutes. When I got up with him I couldn’t find the barf, so I’m assuming the dog ate it, which is so gross but at least I don’t have to touch it so whatever. That dog is honestly at the bottom of my priority list and is the most annoying aspect of my life right now. But that’s a story for another day.

Not 10 minutes later I’m changing AJ’s diaper and he pees all over his face and then poops all over the changing table. Its at this point I start looking for this kid’s parents because I am done. Then I remember that I am the parent, and the other parent is at work, which means I’ve just got to buckle down and deal. So then we start the long stretch until bedtime, which involved copious amounts of spit up. Not projectile spit up, thank goodness, but the kind of spit up that just dribbles onto everything including the purple pants I was going to wear to work tomorrow and don’t have time to wash between now and then. Oh ya, did I mention that maternity leave is over? So this Sunday Funday is occurring before reality check Monday. Awesome.

So the baby goes down at 9:30 which is perfect I’m ready for bed myself so after talking with the hubs for a bit I settle in for what should be a 4-5 sleep stretch. NOPE! That blessed baby wakes up at 12:30. So we move to the nursery futon so that for the rest of the night he can sleep beside me and eat with minimal amounts of effort on my part because I really need some sleep at this point. Things are going quite nicely until 2:30. Now to truly understand the horror of this next part of the story, you need to know two things. First, the wall that the futon is against has the bathroom on the other side. You can hear everything that goes on there. Second, you need to understand that I abhor vomit. I would rather have any other temporary illness other than vomiting. And I HATE it when others throw up. Having said that, what sound do you think I woke up to at 2:30? Nursing brain (aka my sister) was THROWING UP! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? OF course I wasn’t made at her, poor thing can’t help contracting whatever weird illnesses the hospital gives her, but I was definitely angry at the events of the day. Dog vomit, baby vomit and now this? Stupid.

So I move baby and myself back into me and Joe’s room, because there is no way in hell I’m going to risk hearing dear sister expel more demons. But I know, even then, that my chances of sleep are slim to none. The baby has another three hour stretch, during which i dose off but don’t really sleep because I’m to afraid of waking up to the awful sound of vomit. At 6 he was super fussy and wouldn’t go back in the bassinet, so we ventured back to the nursery where I’m currently sitting with headphones cranked up because, seriously, I can’t handle the vomit. In fact, I’m so paranoid that even though I’ve had to pee since midnight, I refuse to use the bathroom. I’ll wait until 7 when my parents wake up and I can use there’s.

So there you have it folks. I’ll need a crap ton of chocolate and tea to get through this day. And I’ll be praying that this sickness of nursing brain’s is only a 24 hour bug, or else Joe and I are getting a hotel tonight. Now, if only I could find a night sitter….

10 Tips for Birthing a Giant

Standard

Those of you who know me know that having a huge baby was always a fear of mine. My husband was 12 lbs when he was born and I would regularly tell people that we were adopting so that I didn’t have to birth his giant spawn. When I actually did get pregnant, his siblings assured me that all their babies were normal size, so mine probably would be too. It was a nice thought, but it was wrong. My perfect, wonderful, amazing giant of a son was born 1 oz shy of 10 lbs and was a whopping 22 inches in length. Granted, its not as big as 12 lbs, but I’m smaller than his mom so I think proportion wise it evens out. Anyways, I wanted to share the story of birthing my giant and instead of doing it in a boring long narrative (which STFU Parents has informed me is not cool) I’ll simply share with you a few tips I learned during the birthing process. I don’t get graphic, but I do mention the V-word a couple times so if that makes you uncomfortable, you should probably skip this post (I’m talking to you, dad.)

Tip #1- Don’t ask how big the baby is. Knowing that will just freak you out. If the baby’s size is a concern, the doctor will tell you. If you’re still concerned, simply ask if the baby’s size is measuring healthy. Under no circumstances should you ask for a specific size estimate at any time, not even during labor.  About halfway through my pushing process the midwife pushed on my stomach and realized that my son’s feet were much higher than normal, indicating that he was, in fact, a giant. My sweet husband saw her face and said “It’s a big baby, isn’t it?” She answered with a look that said “We’re gonna need a bigger vagina.” Thankfully, though, I was unaware of all of this until after the fact. Had I known, I probably would have just given up and demanded a c section. When it comes to baby’s size, ignorance is bliss.

Tip # 2- Eat. They don’t let you eat in the hospital until after the baby is born, so before you go in eat, eat some more, and then eat one more time. Giant baby’s don’t just slip out of your lady hole. They are a long time coming and you need your fuel. Of course if you’re like me you’ll barf it all up within the first 9 hours of labor, but I’m pretty sure some nutrients still get to you.

Tip #3- Get in the tub. If I had to birth my giant over again I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get to the hospital and would have spent at least another hour in my tub at home. I was having contractions 4 minutes apart for two hours before I went in, but I still would have waited longer. When I got to the hospital they were worried about my blood pressure so they made me stay in the bed. I would have much rather been at home in my bathtub, which was the greatest natural pain reliever.

Tip #4- Get a good partner. Birthing a giant is definitely not something to do alone. Get a good birthing partner, or in my case, a birthing team. Joe was awesome. He was super encouraging, always telling me how awesome I was, and the whole day he asked what he could do to help me (and sometimes he didn’t have to ask he just knew what to do.) He was always calm and positive. He was my rock in every sense of the word. My mom and my sister in law where also awesome. Towards the end they had to physically lift my shoulders off the bed for every contraction.  And of course, all my nurses and my midwife were absolutely the best.

Tip #5- Ask for more meds. If you decide to go without drugs, more power to you. But if you ask for the drugs, don’t be afraid to ask for more. When my epidural started wearing off I thought I was just going to have to tough it out the rest of the time. But my sweet angel of a nurse came in, saw that I was a wreck, and immediately called the anesthesiologist to up my dosage. Since I was only 7 cm at the time, the extra meds helped me get some more sleep before the big show.

Tip #6- Find a focus point. Again, this goes back to the point that birthing a giant takes freaking forever. I wouldn’t have gotten through three hours of pushing if I didn’t have something to focus on. I had brought visuals just like our lamaze instructor recommended, but what ended up being my focus point was AJ’s health. They were concerned about his heart rate as it was elevated during the entire pushing process, and I used that as my motivation to keep going. Every time I wanted to give up I just told myself  “you have to keep going. You have to get him out so his heart rate will go down.”

Tip #7- Yell. In your labor or lamaze class, they are going to tell you to be as calm as possible. They are going to tell you that yelling will only deplete your oxygen and make things worse. This is probably true, but there will definitely be times in the birthing process when yelling will be worth the wasted oxygen. For example, if your very smart and capable midwife somehow forgets to use numbing cream before she cuts your lady bits. That’s a true story folks and that was definitely a yelling moment.

Tip #8- Speaking of oxygen…get the oxygen mask. Have you ever been doing an intense workout and realized you weren’t breathing? That was me the entire three hours of pushing. Luckily sometime during hour 2 the nurses gave me an oxygen mask and it was a lifesaver. It not only reminded me to breath but it helped me relax in between contractions, since I wasn’t one of those lucky people who fall asleep in between contractions.

Tip #9- LImit the visitors, increase the icepacks. After you birth your giant, you’ll be exhausted and in indescribable amounts of pain for days. Seriously, sitting, standing, lying down….it all sucks. Don’t torture yourself by entertaining guests. Those moms you see with a room full of family, hair all combed and their makeup done? Trust me, they just sneezed out a 6 pounder. Your lady bits, on the other hand, just went through freaking Vietnam so don’t push yourself post partum. Don’t be afraid to tell people to postpone their visits. Don’t be afraid to ask for more ice packs. And be sure you take home a ton of ice packs, numbing spray, pads and whatever else the nurses offer you. You’re gonna need it.

Tip #10-  If at all possible, avoid having a giant. While genetics would have prevented me from having a tiny baby, I’m pretty sure he would have just been a normal 8 lbs if I hadn’t gorged myself on watermelon the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my son and would go through that whole process all over again for him. He’s healthy, happy, a good sleeper…I really couldn’t ask for a better baby. But if we are crazy enough to ever forget the condoms again, you can bet your booty I’ll be restricting the sugar intake towards the end because birthing a 2nd giant would be just plain insanity.

 

Things Strangers Should Not Say to Pregnant Women

Standard

I’m 40 weeks 5 days and feeling sassy, this should be a good read for you all.

Dear manager at the local bagel shop,

This morning you told me my son hasn’t dropped yet. No shit, Sherlock. Do you think that after carrying this child around for 40+ weeks, I’m still not in tune enough with my body to know when a 7lbs human drops into my pelvis? Trust me, I’ll know. Also, I don’t appreciate your implication that because he hasn’t dropped, it will still be quite a while until I go into labor. Are you a medical professional? No, you aren’t because if you were, you would know what my midwife, an ACTUAL medical professional, knows and that is that babies drop differently. Some weeks before, some days and some don’t drop until labor actually starts. I come to you for delicious bagels after my dr appt (during which a medical professional informed me that I was making progress and could see a baby this week) and all you do is rain on my parade? Not cool, man, not cool. 

Dear Carls Jr Manager,

You really shouldn’t guess the gender of your customers babies. You’re much better off just asking. And if you do guess wrong, don’t try to prove yourself right! Yes I’m carrying high, but that doesn’t automatically mean that I’m having a girl. I’ve had an ultrasound tech, radiologist and midwife all look at my ultrasounds and confirm that my baby is a boy. Do you honestly think that your 10 second assessment of my belly is more reliable than that? I don’t care that you’ve correctly guessed the gender of 100 pregnant women’s babies. In fact, that kind of creeps me out. But anyways, its not even that impressive because each time you have a 50% chance of getting it right. But this time you got it wrong. If you want to be in obstetrics so bad, go team up with bagel guy and head to medical school, otherwise give me my Santa Fe chicken sandwich, congratulate me on having a boy, and walk away.    

Dear fellow customer at the grocery store,

Generally, it’s not a good idea to comment on the size of babies or pregnant moms that you don’t know. See, you thought you were just making conversation by telling me that my baby “looks big.” What you don’t know is that my husband was 12lbs when he was born and my biggest fear this whole pregnancy is that I will birth a toddler. So now you’ve just freaked me out AND made me feel like a whale. Seriously, you’re like 60, how do you not know that the best thing to say about a pregnant woman’s looks is simply “you’re glowing”? 

Dear everyone in the world,

Please stop telling me to sleep get in all the sleep i can before the baby comes. Do you think I’ve suddenly decided that this is the time in my life to pull all nighters? Do you think I’m lugging this belly out to the clubs at all sorts of ungodly hours?  Let me put your mind at ease…I’m sleeping. Is it good sleep? No, because I have to get up to pee every two hours and my hips hurt like a mo fo. But I’m doing the best that I can. Also, its not like I can store that stuff up and use to give myself extra energy when the baby comes. No matter how much I sleep now, I will be exhausted when the baby comes. Even the dumbest parents know that. I’m definitely open to advice, but please please please stop with the sleep concerns. 

Three Boxes of Nerds is One Box Too Many

Standard

The following conversation happened at about 2:30 am a few mornings ago, when Husband came home from his closing shift. I found it humorous and thought it would bring some laughter to your Monday.

Me: Did you bring home food?

Husband (hesitantly, because he knows what that question means): Yes

Me: Can I have some fries?

Husband: I didn’t get fries.

Me: What? Who gets fast food without fries?

Husband: Well I went to Del Taco and I never get their fries.

Me: Oh (and I look at him with my saddest puppy dog eyes)

Husband (now slightly annoyed): Do you want one of my tacos?

Me: YES!

Husband (as he hands me the taco): Why are your fingers so red?

Me: Because I ate three boxes of nerds before bed.

Husband: What?

Me: Hey, they were apple watermelon flavored, the perfect combination of sweet and sour. I couldn’t help myself! Although, I’ll admit, the third one was definitely a mistake. I didn’t feel so hot after that.

Husband: Do you still want the taco?

Me: Duh! Hand it over. With some hot sauce too.

Husband later complained that he had a taco sized hole in his stomach. I just blamed it on the baby, rolled over and went to sleep. That poor man, pregnancy has not been nice to him.

I wish I’d gotten a degree in common sense

Standard

What I’m about to tell you will make you loose a little respect for me. Maybe a lot. But here it goes.

I have been pregnant for 17 weeks. 13 of those weeks have been pure nausea. I’ve tried peppermint candies, paid a lot of unnecessary money for Preggie Pops, cut out dairy and most breads, drank tea and tried a number of other natural remedies for nausea. But do you know what I haven’t tried?

TUMS!!!!!

13 weeks and I didn’t pop a freakin Tums. Apparently getting a college degree does not mean you can properly take care of yourself, use common sense or logically think through problems. Awesome.

Tonight, however, I pulled my head out of my fat pregnant butt and took a Tums. It didn’t cure all my issues, but it turned me from a blubbering mess curled up in the fetal position to a normal human who was able to eat an entire bowl of oatmeal. So tomorrow I’m heading to Target to find the biggest bottle of Tums available and it will be by my side 24/7.

That is all.

A Letter to Babies R Us

Standard

Dear Babies R Us,

This is a formal complaint about your use of 1 ply toilet paper. You are a company that caters almost exclusively to mothers, a people group known for frequent urination and hemorrhoids. Your use of 1 ply is disappointing and painful. I appreciate you trying to keep costs down so that we can afford hundreds of unnecessary baby items, but honestly, I would gladly pay an extra 20 cents for every item if that meant a healthy supply of 2 ply in the restrooms. Just sayin’,

Sincerely,

Bri

Well Hello There

Standard

So for the past few weeks people have been assuring me that I’m not showing yet. I felt like I was, but since I’m the only person who has spend the past 20 ish years meticulously analyzing my stomach everyday, it made sense that I was the only one who had noticed. Even though I could tell I was getting bigger, it still just looked like I ate a large Thanksgiving meal…everyday…for 14 weeks.

But today, something changed. I looked in the mirror and was like “oh hello there, belly.” What had once looked like a flabby inter tube keeping me a float on the crazy Life River, now looks distinctly like a round, child holding melon. I definitely look pregnant. Which, of course, calls for a freak out! My first thought was:

“It seems way to early to be this big. Damn you, Joe! Your mammoth seed is going to make me HUGE! I’ll be like one of those big Russian dolls where tons of smaller dolls keep popping out of it.”

And then I was like

“Holy Crap, its real. This baby is real. I’ve known for a while it was real. But now its really making its presence known. This is happening. O gosh. I need to sit down.”

As I recovered from my mini breakdown, I suddenly sympathized with every pregnant woman who has ever walked the earth. I never understood why pregnant women worried about their weight or felt bad about being “fat.” I always thought “Hey, your growing a kid in there. Everybody knows it and nobody is judging you, so cheer up.” And of course, I vowed never to be like those women. But today I realized that isn’t really about the size, and it isn’t about what other people are thinking. Its about the fact that your body is no longer your own and no matter what you do that stomach is going to continue to bulge to sizes you have never seen in your life. It’s about the fact every day you have a very physical reminder of what has, and will continue, to change your life forever. And, lets be real, a little bit of the worry really is about your actual size. Society has embedded those skinny girl dreams pretty deep in our minds, and two pink lines on a pregnancy test won’t instantly flush them out.

My freak out is now over, and its time to look at the bright side. First, I get some new clothes which, maternity or not, is always exciting. Second, I have a Dr. appt next week and when she confirms that my uterus is a normal size I can stop having horrific visions of Russian dolls. Third, it a few more weeks it will become obvious to everyone that I am pregnant and the Thanksgiving dinner phase will officially be over. And lastly, I am thankful that I’m this big because of a baby and not because of an actual Thanksgiving dinner. Because that would be gross.

PS I hate baby bump pictures but since I’m talking about it, I figured I show you. The one in the white shirt was taking on Monday. The one in the pink shirt was taken today. Do you see what I mean? It has definitely rounded out in the past few days.

baby bump

I never know what face to make in these pictures. Gah, so awkward

mom blog

I think I need to start wearing make up for these bump photo shoots.

And Baby Makes Three

Standard

I’m about to make an announcement I honestly thought I would never make. I’m pregnant. With child. Bun in the oven. Got a doodle that can’t be undid. However you phrase it, the reality is that in 6 months a small human will be joining our little family of two. We’ve told a lot of people already and I notice that we tend to get asked the same questions, so for this announcement post I’m answering those questions in black and white.

Also, I feel obligated to inform you that this blog will slowly be transforming into a mom blog. I promise not to clog your Facebook newsfeeds with annoying anecdotes of my pregnancy and the small human that comes after, but I make no such guarantees with this blog. I’ll still talk about other stuff too, like my job, books I’m reading, good restaurants, etc. But from what I understand these little bundles take up a lot of time, energy and brain power so chances are most of my posts will at least mention the tiny human. All that to say, if you aren’t into the mom blog thing, I understand and won’t be offended if you unsubscribe.

And now, without further ado, answers to the pregnancy questions.

1) Was this planned?

Hells to the no. This was a jaw dropping, kick to the nuts, humdinger of a surprise. I thought that if Joe and I had kids, it wouldn’t be for another 2-5 years and they would be adopted, not biological. And it was something I prayed about and legit thought that God and I were on the same page. Guess I better tune my Holy Spirit antenna a little better.

2) Will you find out the gender?

Yes, I can’t handle any more major life surprises. We find out in late March.

3) When is the baby due?

August 8, which is awesome because 8 is my lucky number!

4) How are you feeling?

Right now? Like crap. I have a headache and some weird phlegm issues going on. But overall as I head into the second trimester I am starting to feel better physically. Emotionally…well that changes with the day as well. I’m definitely not upset or angry or dreading the baby coming. But I’m also not excited. A lot of that stems from the fact that Joe and I don’t have our own place right now and our money situation is super strained. I know what you’re thinking, “As long as you give the baby lots of love that’s good enough.” True, but they also need diapers which, BTW, are CRAZY expensive! And they need wipes, and a stroller, and a car seat and at least a couple onesies. In short, they cost a lot of money that we don’t have. But we just keep saving our pennies, paying off our debt and praying and trusting that God will work it out. Right now, I find it comforting to focus on the present. Although I don’t know how we’ll pay for a crib in 6 months, today I know that I can eat healthy, exercise and get lots of rest and all those things will help the baby. When I focus on that, I feel a lot better.

5) How is Joe handling all this?

In typical Joe fashion, and I mean that in a good way. He was more against having kids than I was but he is being super supportive and encouraging. He cooks a lot and even got a special cookbook on how to cook for pregnancy. He is currently looking for a new job so we can move out of the parentals, so if you’re of the praying persuasion you can add that to your list.

6) Any names picked out?

Yes, but we are going to be smug and not tell you yet 😉

7) Any crazy cravings?

Not crazy ones, no. The other day I had a huge craving for a bear claw. I know they are super unhealthy so I made myself wait three days before caving. And oh my, it was glorious. I’ve also been craving pickles, which isn’t too weird because I’ve always loved pickles, but I have been wanting them more than usual. I think its the salt?

To sum it up, we are very happy about the baby, but also very freaked out and we have no idea what the next six months hold. But I guess that’s part of the fun, uh? We’ll keep you posted