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For The Upcoming New Baby Mama

There are two lovely young women that I know that are both expecting miracle babies. Both did not really believe this was going to happen and probably are still holding their breath on occasion. But it’s real, one’s expecting a boy and the other a girl, and I thought I’d do a baby round-up sorta post for them to share some of the tidbits of wisdom I’d posted for the miracle baby expecting and having.kitty and bunny baby girl clothing on Shalavee.com

When my friend Claudia was having her first of two miracle babies, I wrote this article entitled A Few More Baby Tips. This was a follow-up to one called The Irk Is In the Details. These contain all the good stuff. From your yucky body stuff to what the heck they’re doing when they do that. It’s all so scary and confusing and you need to know that someone’s got your back either to keep your baby alive while you take a walk out of earshot. Or to dole out hardcore good advice when you are sleep deprived and out of ideas.baby shoes on Shalavee.com

Before the baby was born, we signed up for something called Mealbaby. Here’s my Mealbaby post on this marvelous concept where people can sign up to come visit you and bring you food when you most need the support right before and right after the baby is born. You deserve the help and the support and I was so happy I did it as you can read and feel from this post.

This was me freaking out and fussing about the last Minute Baby Tasks.

Bellies are enormous in those last few days on Shalavee.com

And in case you want to see the post I wrote after we brought Fiona home from the hospital, here’s that one called Ooh Baby Baby.

As you get into the swing of things (aka trial by baby fire) you’ll forget to take a shower here and there or snip off your jagged fingernail. Or brush your teeth. Or eat well. And this bit below is my way of offering a reminder to you that you still matter. Alot !

Baby Fiona on Shalavee.com

An Excerpt from ‘For Me: After the Baby Part Two

Returning From the Trenches

When you have a baby, there is a sucking vortex that drags you into a gauntlet of physical and emotional challenges much worse than those Japanese obstacle course shows. Seen those? Where they’re jumping onto giant bobbing floats in huge pools of water dressed in costumes and you know there’s no possible way they can gain enough speed to jump and land on them and actually stay on top. But they’re trying so hard because there’s a huge prize. And they will fall and make you cringe every time.

In Momland, the huge prize is just keeping the baby alive. Aspire to nothing else and you are still an overachiever. You do this at all costs and eventually you have completely forgotten that you are a person who needs sleep or showers or a day off. No one can understand why you are so weepy or jumpy or crazed except other Mothers or people who’ve been on the front line and in the trenches. And people’s pity only helps so much and then you’re alone again.

I am not a victim or a martyr of my circumstances.

So many people have stories of coming out of this with a realization that to be the happy present Mommy you want to be, you have to take care of yourself and your basic needs at least. After being in the trenches, a pedicure may seem fluffy and frivolous but it is necessary. Since Fiona was born, I have gotten more of those than ever before. I just treated myself to one this week. But it’s also taking care of your body in the serious ways too.

And in taking care of myself, my alone time needs, my exercise needs, and my mental and physical “indulgences”, I am not a victim or a martyr of my circumstances. I do not ask anyone to take care of me. It is up to me.Brother and baby sister on Shalavee.com

And for a laugh, this post entitled Zombie Baby will bring back the levity you lost when you had this creature erupt forth from your body and forever alter the bliss and peace you knew as your life.

Ok, so this is some of what I’ve got. I hope that it helps you out and that if you need any more, you’ll text or call. You never need to be alone with your fearful thoughts as long as a friend is on the other end of a phone. You’ll do fine keeping that baby alive and that’s all that matters. She’ll want to sit on your head constantly and be your baby accessory, but that’s par to that baby putt putt course.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The New Puppy, I Mean Baby, Was Your Idea

On many a given morning, since the birth of our daughter, I’m in the kitchen trying to make breakfast, simultaneously managing lunch making and both children’s immediate needs. Sometimes I’m succeeding. And sometimes I’m overwhelmed as the baby is in the high chair lets me know very loudly she’s in need of something else. Right Now. And where’s my husband? He’s upstairs “freshening up”.

The New Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea from Shalavee.com

The disparity lies between how much help he thinks I need and how much help I’d like to be offered. My thought this morning, as Fiona cried at me from the high chair and I hoped I hadn’t missed an ingredient in the waffle batter this time, was that he either thinks I really do have it under control or he really likes his free time much more than he thinks I like mine.

I suspect that it’s one of those “the new puppy was your idea so you get to walk him” situations. It shouldn’t affect his life’s routines. She’s cute and all but I had the big idea to go and have another baby when he was about to turn 50 so I get all the fun upkeep. He’ll be the other guy. Like a Grandpappy, because isn’t he getting his AARP card in the mail any day now anyway?

The New Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea from Shalavee.com

As a baby, he was so afraid of her. I think she was at the least 6 months before he would take her for a chunk of time alone. It would play out like this. He would panic then she felt his panic and then she cried at him. He got to say ‘I told you so, I can’t take the baby because I’ll break her’ and so, I never had a break. It was a long long winter.

I love that women can be so darn concerned for each other. We are the best possible codependents. Ready to chip in and ease the pressure for others because we know the suffering. Never thought I’d say it but the husband is not codependent enough. Not enough jumping to make sure I’m OK or need help or if he can take the baby for this day or that day. I have to ask. And we all know how difficult that is. Makes me feel a little like a loser to ask. Super Mom’s don’t ask for help.

Crazy Baby From the Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea on Shalavee.com

So he gets to freshen up while I make breakfast with the children screaming and me feeling like I’ve got hornets angrily buzzing in my head. I’m about to re-school myself now. Welcome to Motherhood 101. My baby, my rules. Everyone either starts getting more “helpful” or Mommy’s going on strike. No more hot breakfasts. No more clean clothes. Wanna book read to you, get it done before 8 pm when Mommy’s off the clock. Hot breakfasts are now a weekend event only. Toast your own bagel pal.

Let me step in and bust myself here too by saying, remember lesson #153, what you do for your bosses, children, and husbands, they’ll expect. Creating expectations and not gently reminding everyone I’m not a super-mom earlier was my bad.

The New Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea from Shalavee.com

 I’ll be smiling as I lighten my load and take my own chosen break from chores. I’m calling the babysitter now and booking that massage for Tuesday. Because I had forgotten the number one Mom rule; Mom is always driving. Nod and smile at them in the back seat and continue on with your planned route. As long as everyone is still alive, Mom’s allowed to be happy too.

Baby Primeval

I’m watching her swagger across the room, her hands up, hips swinging in that self-conscious “I’m just learning how to put it all together” kind of way. A crash course in evolution is happening right before our eyes. The baby primeval is a living fossil. A blueprint of man and womankind.

her broom from Shalavee.com

We don’t remember our own development (or being kept alive) but we get ringside seats to watch evolution firsthand when we have children. As they grow, we can see the sparks igniting in their brains. Their daily realizations of their body’s capabilities and limitations.

If you blink, the moment’s gone. So I stare at her. I marvel in her reasoning process as she learns baby physics. Things go down. Water is wet. In and out and ouch.

Fiona Marie from Shalavee.com

I wonder at the biology in action as she masters and strengthens each muscle group, each brain hurdle cleared for the next daring bodily feat like climbing and standing from a squat. Everything we take for granted we can do. Biological imperatives are driving her. We are just here to keep her between the lines and on the road. Her ancient body programming is doing the rest.

Baby Accessory

I’d love to say I got my stuff accomplished today. I’d love to say I felt that surge of productivity, that high you get when you got a little creative time in for you on the side. But the week writing this, I was about cleaning up after the party, laundry, and baby.

Fiona reading from Shalavee.com

Mostly, It feels like I’m biding my time. Waiting for relief from someone to be free enough to finish the projects I owe other people.

It can feel like I’m a computer desktop with a dozen tabs and programs open and running. And I’m chugging to finish all the tasks simultaneously. It’s slow going and inefficient and yet is all that can be done on this old computer.

Fiona reading from Shalavee.com

Some days I say, Fiona just wants to sit on my head. She wants to be my lovely baby accessory. One that drools and shrieks and sits on my head.

The job of being a parent is an extraordinarily hard one and not for the faint of heart. Our humanity comes in to trip us up, it’s often a miracle we get anything accomplished or create functional families. But we do. And we do. Thank goodness for miracles.

Fiona reading a book on Shalavee.com

She’s eying up my head. How much of me will she need in the next minute, hour, or day. And is that a sneeze? Oh not a cold. She’ll be in permanent hat mode until weeks end. Sigh. And I’ll end up with it too.

Fiona’s Coming Out Party

Originally published in May, I thought this post pretty enough and relevant to how my pictorial story is unfolding to republish. Enjoy

We celebrated Fiona’s arrival last weekend with a few close friends.
An opportunity to share her and entertain. I’d forgotten how much we enjoy throwing a party. And I wanted to prove that I still have it. Even with the wee Fi hanging off me, I managed to make most of the food ahead of time. And decorate enough to make myself happy.

  Terry, Fiona, and meTerry, Fiona, and Me

Mark and Aunt BarbaraMark and his Aunt Barbara Aunt Annette and Uncle Paul with Fiona

Aunt Annette and Uncle PaulDSC00627

Eamon got some presents too while Fiona was a hot potatoThe party girl

Fiona was the Belle of this PartyEamon reading to Carolina

Eamon read to little Carolina from Super Diaper BabyPegeen and Caitlin

Pegeen and CaitlinGinny, Shelly, and Gayle

Shelly with her daughter Ginny and Gayle. Red headed babies!!Lambchop

Lamb chop puppet from Lisa. Eamon grabbed her up and eventually made her annoying.Daisies, stock, and soldago

Daisies, Stock, Solidago, and Waxflowers were the base for my arrangements.Daisy and stock close upI made the ceiling treatment from the darling paper lantern I got at Bella Luna in Rehoboth and the vintage lanterns which hung in a tree for our wedding.

Paper lantern love for Fiona's party

DSC00684

stock and waxflower in vase on mantel

Baby card displaySo Many beautiful pink cards to add to the decorating. They are everywhere.

Guitar and baby cards

Pegeen's best baby outfitAnd Miss Pegeen got THE outfit. So now I have to stage the photo shoot.

THE Christmas ornamentAnd the perfect Christmas ornament from Miss Amanda.

ribbonsStolen idea from Decor8, ribbons on the light fixture.

The livingroom party ceilingAnd a last swag of this thrifted fabric that screams girl

pink floral fabric swagWe are so grateful to the powers that be to have given us both a beautiful daughter and a charming handsome son. And that we have so many to count us as dear friends and we them. And happy to have our house looking so dapper. Because there’s no surer way to get to all those tasks done than have a party. And to get some leftovers. And your kid clothed. And a fence built. And… Mark’s 50th is in October! Party Girl is back and she’s got a protegé.

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