Baby Talk: Introduction

I want Life as Louise to reflect my day to day life, but right now that’s primarily work or M, and I don’t want LaL to become a full-fledged baby blog. So today I’m rolling out Baby Talk.

Once a month or so I’m going to put on the mom blogger hat & write about something baby for this series. At 12 weeks a mom I’m not an expert, but we’ve found some things that really work for us & I want to share. I don’t plan to focus on M in this series, but on life as a mom.

A small sampling of topics I’ll cover include ppd, formula feeding, M’s nursery reveal (finally), items that have saved our life these first few weeks, & more.

Nothing groundbreaking, just my little contribution to the mom world. We’ll see where this goes in the future.

Introducing Madelyn Louise

HI! I am alive and also a (human) mom now. My, how quickly things change. This won’t ever be a mommy blog, but there are baby related things I want to record and write down so my next few post might be mom-heavy. But also some book posts. (LOL because I have any time to read… #dillusional)

Most longtime readers know that my husband’s name is Kyle, but I typically shorten it to K when I blog because a) ease and b) semi-privacy. That said, Maddie is getting shortened to M once this post is done and over with.

I want to share about her birth and about our first few days at home. I want to talk about the pressures of motherhood (which have thus far only existed in my own head- the family and friends we surround ourselves with are incredible and supportive). I want to talk about how our family looks now and about all the wonderful people who have helped us these past two weeks…. and I will. But today I’m introducing our newest little love to my blog family and giving you a quick update on the rest of us.

going home outfit

Madelyn arrived on Dec. 4th at 8:36pm weighing 8 pounds 2.3 ounces. I am¬†well aware things with a baby can change daily, but as I write this she is darn near perfect… She loves to sleep & eat. She doesn’t mind being laid down or held by “strangers” (to her). Nights are still a little rough. She’s cool with noise or silence, light or darkness, pacifier or no pacifier. She’s completely unphased by dog barking. We are counting our blessings for her temperament during this stage. (We imagine karma has something good cooked up for those toddler years- lol.)

The dogs are perfect. The initial meet-and-greet was Enzo gently sniffing M and Bristol barking/growling at her ūüėā¬†Bristol is a husky mix who does husky-talk & based on her physical cues, it was not an aggressive growl- she just wanted the new human to play with her.

first meeting with fur sibs

Since that first meeting, Enzo is loving but indifferent to M. (He still love his mama and his sleep most of all.) Bristol is glued to her freaking side. She keeps her eye on M all day long and checks out every visitor who holds the baby. She checks on her throughout the day and usually lays near me while I feed her. Maddie has essential become Bristol’s baby.

*(We’re not irresponsible- we never leave the dogs and baby alone together.)

Moving on…

Kyle is the best human in the world. The dad life looks so good on him but the husband life is even better. He’s been so supportive, patient, attentive, loving, focused… with both Maddie & myself. I handle most nighttime duties and I change most diapers, but he is willing to do whatever I ask and is wonderful at entertaining, cuddling, comforting, and loving on baby. And spoiling the pups, too.

I love this picture

After the hospital I was hit HARD with emotions. They started on the car ride home. I spent 5 days in a complete fog. I cried off and on daily, felt awful about the present and the future, and moved through the current hour dreading the next. Baby blues/PPD/hormones at its finest. Finally on day 5 Kyle and I made some big decisions regarding life and the fog lifted. We’re still keeping an eye on my mental healthy, but those were some dense, dark woods and I am grateful to be out of them. Again, thank God for Kyle slogging through those days with me. He is a workaholic and he put everything on the back burner to make sure I was ok and Maddie was doing alright. Obviously that’s the job of a husband and partner and I’m not surprised by his attentiveness, but I know not all partners can/would do that.

running on 2 hours of broken sleep in this one… lol

I’m going to dive into that fog more in another post- I promise. This is already longer than I intended. Haha.

We’re doing well. We’re starting to kind of slip into a routine. Every day Maddie gives us something new- whether it’s a schedule shift or gas smile or physical development. I will say more about her, my postpartum experience, and our life soon (for those interested).

Before I go, a HUGE THANK YOU to my blog friends for the well wishes, gifts, advice, and friendship. Your love has been overwhelming- esp in those first few days. I have utilized some blog friends as resources for parenting and I really, really appreciate the time and energy they’ve given me. This community is incredible and I’m so grateful for all of you ‚ô• You all helped carry me through those first few days.

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday. My mom hates the internet & social media, so I’ll keep this brief.

Lisa's Bday

Energetic. (She’s a first grade teacher- I’m tired just thinking about keeping up with +20 kids.)

Loving.

International. (She’s lived in & traveled to so many places!)

Selfless.

Educational.

.

Loyal.

Ornery.

Understanding. (She doesn’t take angry words & actions personally.)

Inclusive.

Suspicious. (Planning her surprise birthday treat was almost impossible.)

Entertaining.

On Saturday K and I met up with Fred & Christina and my mom & dad to played Key Quest at a local laser tag warehouse. We had 45 minutes to solve the puzzle and escape the “serial killer’s cellar.” Yeah, we totally died. Between the six of us we had 4 college degrees, an engineer, a teacher, three business owners, a writer, and puzzle game aficionado¬†(my mom). I still can’t believe we lost. I was SO mad. I hate losing.

Afterward we had a delicious dinner at Bonefish Grill and then ice cream cake back at my parents’ house. Fred & Christina put off their trip home¬†to Columbus until Sunday morning & Kyle postponed his business travels that night, too. We’d presented my mom with her birthday gift on Easter (a piano!) but I think she was happiest about us¬†being together for an evening.

My grandma & mom on her 9th birthday
My grandma & my mom on her 9th birthday

We wouldn’t be who, or what, we are today without my mom. Happy Birthday, Mom ‚̧Գé

audielou.com_signature

Dear Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

MOM
Prof. Trelawney (a.k.a. my mom)

I was a difficult pre-teen/teenager. I wasn’t into anything bad or harmful, but my attitude stunk like rotten eggs blending with sour milk. Like, it was bad.

No one took a harsher beating than my mother. She should’ve had my mouth surgically sewn shut- but she didn’t. We bickered and snapped and yelled and forced my dad to take shelter in his bedroom on more than one occasion.

We certainly didn’t like each other most of the time… but my mom has always loved me. And in hindsight, I love her even more for that. (Seriously, I was a little sh*t.) Of course, my mother is no saint- she’s as volatile as me with a hankering for nagging- but she taught me all the important stuff and made me who I am. Now, as a grown, married, 24-year old daughter, we get along pretty well.

. . .

Dear Mom,

When I was younger I thought you told me “no” a lot. No, you can’t go out with your friends at 10pm. No, we’re not going to let you drink alcohol at home with us. No, you can’t take a trip with your friends. No, you don’t need a new car. No, you can’t sleep in- we’re going to church. No, no, no.

Sometimes you didn’t say anything, even though you wanted to say “no.” You didn’t say anything about my insane first boyfriend. You didn’t say anything about my questionable friends. You didn’t say anything about the college I should attend or the instrument I should play or the color I dyed my hair… even though you definitely had opinions on all that.

But sometimes you said “yes.” And those “yes”s changed my life.

Yes, you may go get ice cream with your friend Kyle. (That was April 16, 2007. That was our first date because you said yes, even though it was a school night and it was already 8pm.)

Yes, you can bring that dog home. (Lylee will never know how much she owes to you. Thank you for letting us bring home our fur baby.)

Yes, we will pay for your college education. (I don’t even need to explain how lucky I am to have you (and dad) financially supporting my education.)

Yes, yes, yes.

Now I call you on a Friday night to see if you want to hang out. Now I think about what a fabulous grandma you’ll make someday. Now I look back and think that the best gift you gave me was my baby brother. Now I can’t imagine being raised by another other woman.

Thank God for Mom. Happy Mother’s Day, Elsie! I love you.

. . .

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and my mother-in-law.

Happy Mother’s Day to my grandmothers and the great-grandmothers out there.

Happy Mother’s Day to foster moms, step-moms, and “moms.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the new moms I know- especially my best friend, Erica!

Happy Mother’s Day to moms that have lost a child or are fighting to have a child.

Happy Mother’s Day to the dads that fill the role of “mom.”

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all.

-Louise

My Best Friend Had a Baby

When I see this quote it reminds me of my best friends, Erica & Nic:

Elliot 1

Erica and Nic planned for their baby. Erica has Type 1 diabetes, so they knew the path might be a little bumpy, but they were ready to be parents.

Click the picture for my post on the baby shower!
Click the picture for my post on the baby shower!

Yesterday, at 11:36 am, I received a text from Erica:
Her water had broken and she was settled in at the hospital. She told me not to rush- it would probably be a while until baby arrived- but K and I were welcome to drive up whenever we wanted.

I think it’s safe to say I freaked out.
Actually… that’s an understatement. I called K and told him that I was unavailable all day and I would be making one last baby-related shopping trip and then booking it to the hospital. Then I called my mom because I always call my mom when I’m excited.
Mom told me to cool it. This was actually good advice. I was ready to jump out a window and run to the hospital.

Enzo and I SnapChat-ed Erica!
Enzo and I SnapChatted Erica

K and I decided to run the errands that we had planned and then we’d head to the hospital. I might have annoyed him a bit because the only thing I could talk about all day was babies. Oops!

We finished our jobs and I stopped by Nic and Erica’s house to feed their three kitties. FINALLY it was time for us to join the family at the hospital. (Still no baby!)

We arrive around 5:45pm. Erica’s mom and dad, brother and brother’s girlfriend, and aunt and three cousins were waiting in the hall. Nic’s brother and sister-in-law were also there. We joined everyone and waited (un)patiently to hear a cry (and/or kidnap a nurse for information). Just after 6pm some of the equipment came out of the room and we were told there was a baby. (The messenger was smiling, so we weren’t fearful about complications.)

Just after 6:30 “DAD” emerged from the delivery room and delivered (get it?) the news.

image(9)
GRANDPA is in the light blue, GRANDMA is in pink, and UNCLE is in red…

Elliot Rose arrived at 6:05 pm. Six pounds, eight ounces. Eighteen inches and a full head of hair.
We also learned that Erica’s sugar was normal and had been under control the whole time, so she was feelin’ great!

Yay! A healthy, happy, baby!
Yay! A healthy, happy baby (& mom)!

Then it was back to the waiting room until visitors were permitted in.

Of course grandma, grandpa, and uncle went in first!
Eventually we all made our way in to see Erica and Elliot.

image(12)

image(11)

I have a very cute picture of DAD and MOM as Elliot is being passed around, but I swore I wouldn’t put up any pictures of Erica… kinda.

image(15)

image(16)

I’m about to break the rules because I LOVE this picture…

image(14)
MOM watches as DAD helps GRANDMA with Ellie’s hat

By 9:30 pm we all had gotten a chance to see Elliot and talk with Nic and Erica. The family started to say their goodbyes and K went to get some pizza for the new parents.

Once Ellie had been fed a second time (successfully! – Go, Erica!) it was finally my turn to cuddle the little peanut. When K got back he took a turn with her, too.

image(17)

Is there anything cuter than a grown man cuddling a baby? (The answer is “no.”)

I can’t explain the joy that Elliot has already brought to Nic and Erica’s family. The love between DAD and MOM is so strong and the indescribable joy on Grandma and Grandpa’s faces was almost more than I could handle. This baby is a very, very loved and wanted baby.

Personally, the happiness that flooded my body when I cuddled the little lady was incredible. It’s crazy to know that K and I will get to watch her grow and learn and struggle and succeed. I’m so honored to be an honorary “aunt.”

Congratulations, Nic and Erica! You guys are so lucky and definitely in for a lifetime of happiness!

-Louise