The Pursuit of More

I subscribe to way too many blogs than I care to mention, but one of my favorites is from Simple Mom. The most recent feed I received was in regard to always wanting wanting wanting. We always want more. I think she hits the nail on the head with her post: http://simplemom.net/the-pursuit-of-more/.


Believing in the Magic

Found this online, and I thought it perfectly summarized my thoughts on Santa Claus: http://betterthingsahead.com/my-stance-on-the-man-in-red/.


Peas, Please

Greta tried peas for the first time today. She was indifferent.


When Daddy's in the Doghouse

I've noticed that I'm always blogging about how good life is. Fluffy talk, we'll call it. And life is good, but anyone who knows me, knows that I tell it like it is and don't beat around the bush. If things are good, you'll hear me jabbering about it. But just the same if things are bad -- if something is bad, you're sure to hear me bitching about it and putting in my two cents.

What I write on here is always authentic and completely from the most tender part of my heart. Writing about Greta always gets the best of me, and I start talking the fluffy talk in two seconds flat. Get me talking about other things, though, and I'll start throwing out the f-bomb and other expletives. Sometimes the lady in me has to take a rest.

The below photos are from an e-mail that Eric just sent me. The man gets an "A" for effort, that's for sure. Here's a little background on what inspired him to send the e-mail...

Lately, Eric has been getting under my skin. Just annoying me with little things. He is an amazing man, and I love him, but ARGHHHH. Leave me the fuck alone already. It's not just one thing; it's the culmination of this and that. A little poke here and a little jab there. Like the incessant nighttime snoring and yelling at me when I ask him to roll over onto his tummy so he doesn't snore so loudly and wake up the baby. And yesterday's incident where he was piddling around, working on his chore list when I told him the baby was ready to be fed LAST YEAR. And setting dirty dishes three centimeters from the clean breast pump parts and baby bottles when, one, he knows I am quite particular about keeping the bottle parts away from dirty food dishes; two, he hears me calmly ask him NOT TO SET SAID DIRTY DISH NEXT TO SAID BOTTLE AND PUMP PARTS. It's never, oh, Dre, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that. Instead, it's always the 11 year-old boy response of, "What's wrong with that?" or something similar. Basically, I get frustrated because his natural response isn't to correct his behavior but to instead question my requests. That's the lawyer in him, I suppose.

It's not like I'm asking him to just jump however high when I say jump. I'm just asking for a little respect and appreciation. Obviously, if I've taken the energy to have an opinion on something and the will to state that opinion, then it's probably, more than likely, something that matters to me, so JUST DO IT.

Call me a rag. Might be appropriate given I'm showing signs of having my first post-pregnancy period. Sorry for the TMI, but that might explain my sensitivity.

What Eric's excuse is, I cannot say.


Family Time

I'll be frank. Lately, I've sucked with blogging. What have we been up to, you ask? Just trying to enjoy the calm before the storm (aka Christmas). I've been loving every bit of it.

Will write more soon. Promise.


Cool Mist Humidifier

We're on the hunt to purchase a cool mist humidifier for Greta's room. The first one I bought sent Eric's head spinning after reading about how-to and how-not-to clean the damn thing.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a cool mist humidifier that they've had luck with, one that does not involve 26 cleaning steps prior to its first use?


Paper Back Swap

I love to read. I love it when I find a book that I can get so lost in that I have trouble putting it down. I love it when I actually look forward to middle-of-the-night nursing sessions just so I can keep on reading the story and see what happens next!

Back in the day, I used to buy books from Borders. And sometimes I still do. But I've become a big fan of getting books from the library or purchasing them off Amazon.com, where you can get them shipped to you for free if you spend over $25.00.

My new favorite way to get books, though is http://www.paperbackswap.com/. Just as the name suggests, you trade books. So tonight, someone requested one of my books. I just printed off a mailing labeling from my computer, and I'll drop it in my mailbox for tomorrow's mail pick-up. I am then credited for the book I've sent, and I then have a credit to choose a book from someone else. I'm not a collector, and I'm very anti-clutter, so naturally, I'm not a fan of needless books (other than classics and all-time favorites) setting on a shelf collecting dust. Paperback Swap keeps my books rotating so I've always got something new to read.

I'm currently reading "Nineteen Minutes," by Jodi Picoult. It's not one of my favorites by her, but I'm a third of the way through so I'm making myself finish it. If you're an avid book-reader, another great site is http://www.goodreads.com/. You can keep track of books you've read, books you'd like to read and you can also review and read reviews of books. I like it because I often don't have time to go hunt down what book I want to read next, so I just go to my "to read" list and pick a book.

I'm off to read a little before bed now. G'night!


Ice Cream, You Scream!

I'm trying my best at keeping up with my little version of Oprah's Favorite things, but I've been so busy the last few days trying to get all the Christmas stuff up. The tree is now decorated. I need to take a photo of it. It looks like metallic gold Christmas fairy sneezed all over our living room. Eric assures me it's pretty; I think he just said that so I wouldn't start pulling off ornaments. It's over-decorated. I'll admit that. But I've got it in my head that this is the last Christmas in a while that we'll be decorating with heavy, hand-blown glass ornaments. Next year, we'll have a little girl who will be quite interested in -- and very-much capable of -- exploring the holiday decor. In other words, she'll be getting into everything, including the big green shrub we'll bring into the house at the start of December.

Last night, while decorating the tree, Eric went to Dairy Queen and got us Blizzards. I'm addicted to these things lately. Here's the exciting part -- if you join Dairy Queen's Blizzard Fan Club (**WARNING -- THIS WEB SITE MAKES LOUD NOISE, IN CASE YOU'RE CHECKING THIS AT WORK, which I doubt you are because I'm sure you're busy, um, working...), you can get a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free. Actually, you can get multiple coupons, because just this past week, they sent me one to try their newest flavor, and then they sent me one for my birthday, which is this Saturday, and I also got one just for signing up. And then I had Eric sign up, too. Nope, no shame in whoring out your husband's e-mail address in the spirit of love for some free ice cream.

What's your favorite flavor? Mine is turtle pecan cluster. Makes me want one now...


Tomorrow's Another Day...

Today has been an excruciatingly long day. I stupidly did not go to bed until 2 a.m., and I was then up every other hour with Greta either because she was hungry or because I didn't swaddle her well and her flailing arms woke her up.

I woke up in the morning with chills and felt achy all over and just hoped for the time to quickly pass so that it would be Greta's nap time. I ended up laying the baby in bed with me while I slept on and off and tried to nurse her when she seemed hungry. Eric came home early in the afternoon so that I could go to a couple doctor's appointments. I was thrilled when my "relief" showed up, but unfortunately, there was no rest for the weary -- I was then off to the dermatologist to have some moles cut off. Ouch.

Then on the way home, I ran over a wheel barrow while driving 65 mph on 55 South. My CRV was drivable, but it's banged up underneath. I drove home, started feeling a bad headache coming on, and am now going to call it a day just hoping that tomorrow is better.

My favorite thing(s) for today? Hmmm... Sleep. Tylenol.


The FURminator

Providing you don't live under a rock, I'm sure you're well aware that each year, Oprah does a "Favorite Things" show. She picks multiple products and labels them as things she loves and can't live without, and each lucky audience member gets one of those things. For free.

There are so many times that I think, "Love this product, couldn't live without it," and it's usually something to do with baby crap or something that makes my life easier and less complicated (which probably means it is something baby-related because that's what it's all about for me these days). And since I don't have that exciting of a life outside the home right now, I get to thinking, "I must tell so-and-so that she needs one of these," or "My friend what's-her-name would love this."

So, I've decided, for the days leading up to Christmas, I'm going to do a favorite things list. Maybe no one cares what my favorite things are. If you don't, then don't read what I write. :-)

Yesterday, I was at a baby shower, where every one was sipping on wine in pretty glasses and engaging in adult conversation; there I was -- recently showered, hair blown out and flat-ironed, face spruced up with makeup, donning clean, pressed clothes... What's the saying? Something about a fish out of water? Anyway, like my lack of spit-up-covered attire suggested; I was out of my element. And when I'm out of my element, I think I forget the socially appropriate ways to communicate. Evidence of this? My conversation starter to a friend, "Hey, Stephanie? Do beagles shed? Because let me tell you about my favorite product, the Furminator."

I digress. Forget about my social ineptness. Let's get back to my favorite things.

The FURminator. If you have a cat or dog that sheds, and you don't have a FURminator, get off your couch and drive yourself to Petsmart YESTERDAY. This item is amazing. If you go check out the web site, you'll see a photo of a dog that was recently FURminated (if that's a verb/word), and the dog is surrounded by enough hair to make you think she had a litter of 12 puppies. When I first saw this photo, I thought for sure that was an advertising gimmick. It's not. I use the FURminator on Payton (my 5 year-old black Lab who sheds like crazy), and this thing is a Godsend. It gets all the undercoat and loose hair. It's amazing.

I think I paid $50 for this thing, but it was soooo money well-spent. I bought it at a Petsmart a couple years ago, thinking that if I didn't like it, I'd just return it and get my money back (Petsmart has a very friendly, liberal return policy). I figured I had nothing to lose. The product ended up working so well that I kept it. You can also purchase FURminator products at Groomingdale's on Watson in St. Louis. By the way, the company is locally-based, which I always think is pretty nifty.


For Sale!

From December 1-7, I am selling my t-shirts for $15 each. That's $10 less than their usual price of $25!
These shirts would make a great gift for the lady who likes to scrapbook, stamp or make cards and other paper crafts!
If you're interested, please e-mail me at i.am.creatively.crazy@gmail.com.


Gobble Gobble

Yum. Yum. Greta tried rice cereal for the first time a few days ago. Our little girl is growing up! Check out how tiny she is in her big ol' high chair!

Greta visited her pediatrician last week for her four-month check-up and vaccinations, and she now weighs 11 pounds, 13 ounces.

Not as big as a turkey, but getting there!

Sweeter Than Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eric and I were laying in bed last night, reminiscing about where we were in our lives just a year ago. Wow, what a difference a year makes!

Last year at this time was when it all started... Sorry for the TMI, but Thanksgiving weekend is the weekend when little girl's story began. So, we're in bed, and I say to Eric, "A year ago my little egg was starting its travels..." It was dark, so I couldn't see his face, but I'm sure Eric was rolling his eyes.

If you stop and think, though, it does make you awe at the miracle of it all. A year ago? Just we. Now? Our we is three.
Parenthood brings a new meaning to gratitude, and it makes this the best Thanksgiving ever. Thank you, Greta.

One Reason I'm Glad I Breastfeed...


Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch... :-) I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU ARE A BAD MOM IF YOU FORMULA FEED YOUR BABY.


Cute Little Stuff

... This morning... It's 5 a.m., and Greta wakes up to eat. Generally, during any middle-of-the-night or early-morning feeding, I keep quiet so that Greta will just eat, not be stimulated, stay halfway sleeping and then easily doze off back into slumber land. This morning, though, she was so stinkin' happy and kept smiling at me. When I went to go pick her up out of her crib -- big gummy smile. When I was changing her diaper, big ol' grin. Now, again, I try to limit interaction so that she doesn't get too awake, but how can you NOT offer back a big smile when she's just throwing 'em at you!?!


Little by Little

Last night, Greta received her first of five injections of the Synagis medication. For those of you who aren't familiar -- Synagis is a shot that helps protects a baby's lungs; specifically, it is to protect a baby from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is the number one cause for hospitalization for babies under a year. SCARY. According to the Synagis web site, Preemies and babies born with a heart or lung condition are at higher risk for severe RSV disease, which could lead to serious lung infections like pneumonia and bronchiolitis. It is estimated that the annual infant death rate due to RSV is 10 times greater than that of the flu, with up to 400 infant deaths from RSV each year in the U.S.

We've gotten some flack from friends because we don't take Greta to football Sundays, BBQs or other casual soirees. We don't parade her around town. She doesn't shop at the grocery store or Target, and the mall is also off limits. I run errands when she is with her grandma or Daddy so that I don't have to tote her around and expose her to needless germs.
We limited visitors when we first got home but have since opened our doors to those who aren't sick or haven't been around sick people/children. We don't take her to parties or get-togethers with friends. We wash our hands. A LOT.

Really, we're not crazy. We're just following doctors' orders.

Back in the day, when Eric and I had conflicting viewpoints on things, we decided that the determining factor would be the advice of our pediatrician. We figured the neonatologists and pediatrician had more experience than we, and, after all, we didn't spend all that time and energy choosing a pediatrician just to throw his advice out the window. And here's the dealio, folks. Greta was born 7 weeks early at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. When you bake your holiday cookies in a couple weeks, check out that bag of unopened sugar. Greta was smaller than that. (Side note -- she is now 11 pounds, 2 ounces!)

Preemies have compromised immune systems, and therefore have a higher likelihood of getting sick. Yes, she needs to build up immunity to germs, but right now during RSV-season (October - April), it's not worth chancing it. Greta, fortunately, has not gotten sick since being home from the hospital. If there is anything we can do to keep it that way, we're going to.

The Synagis injection is one of the pre-cautions we've chosen to ward off nasty RSV. Our insurance company first denied us coverage, but many a phone call later, and thanks to our incredible pediatrician who appealed the denial, we were finally approved for the injection. Thank God. Otherwise, the injection costs about $1k per month.

You do the math. Five months of the shot. A thousand bucks a pop. That's $5,000. So... A little hand washing, keeping the little chica out of public places, limiting her exposure to unnecessary germs? SO WORTH IT.


Four Months

Dear Greta,

Today you are four-months old. Happy third-of-a-year to you! This past month was a very busy one for you and our little family.

On October 26, you were baptized at the same church that your daddy was baptized. You wore the same dress that your Aunt Karen wore as a little baby, and you were beautiful. You were quite the little lady, too -- no crying except when the water was poured over your head, but that did not last long.

One of the presents that you received in honor of your baptism was a scale. And we've been using the thing like crazy because you are G.R.O.W.I.N.G. For so long, you were so little and fragile, but we're now proud to report that you're catching up with mama, as you now have chubby cheeks, a double chin and rolls on your thighs. Weighing in at about 11 pounds, you're starting to almost outgrow your 0-3 month wardrobe. Just last week, your newborn-sized clothes retired to storage, and I couldn't help but get a little teary-eyed thinking that you'd never wear these little clothes again and in no time, you'd be dressing up your baby dolls in them.

We can no longer swaddle you in plain ol' receiving blankets because you're too long, and plus, you bust out of them because you MUST have your arms out and about. You love looking at yourself in the mirror when we're changing your diaper. You like watching the ceiling fan but not as much as you love looking at me or your daddy when we talk to you. You have grown more generous in coughing up the smiles, and it's so fun to see you do it! Sometimes you'll wake up from a cat nap, and you'll just look at me and smile, like, "Thanks, mama, I'm glad you're still here." A lot of times, you'll smile and do a little shrug, as if to say, "This smile? This old thing? I've been doing it for a LONG time." You're so proud of your little smiles, and it's precious.

Just in the past 4-5 days you've started talking. A goo. A coo. That's what you like to say. It's the sweetest sound I've ever heard, and I could listen to you all day.

While three-months old, you celebrated your first Halloween, where we dressed you as a pea in the pod. You were pretty darn cute and impressively tolerant of the silly Jolly Green Giant contraption of a hat. I thank you for your patience, because you're slowly learning that sometimes, for your scrapbooking-obsessed Mama, it's ALL about the photo opportunity.
Your daddy and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary just a few days ago. Unlike years past, there were no trips to Mexico or Florida this year. Simple cards replaced presents, and you know what? It was the best anniversary ever because our present was YOU.

So, in Greta's world, you've been making quite a way for yourself, with all the talking and growing and looking sweet and cute all the time! The bigger picture of life has also been making its own way. On November 4, we had the most important presidential election in history. The Republican ticket featured a woman vice-presidential candidate while the Democratic ticket included an African-American presidential candidate, Barack Obama. The Democrats won the election, and Barack Obama was elected the next President of the United States.

I've never been one to show much interest in politics, but I must admit that I could not help but become captivated by watching this election unfold. It's no longer just my future I'm wishing for, but it's yours. I went to vote, for you.


** A little disclaimer...
The first photograph (the really good one, the one that screams that it was not taken by me) was taken by Michelle Ross of Under Grace Photography.


Said Perfectly

While looking through my domino magazine, I found this quote in a Motrin ad:

"Sometimes I secretly wish I could trade places with my baby. Instead of lugging around my 30 lb.-stroller, it'd be cool, for just an hour, if someone pushed me around while I chill inside, all bundled up having a poop. That would be awesome."


Greta's Baptism

We had a great weekend! Greta got baptized, and it was a beautiful day.

Will post more later, but I've come down with a nasty cold and feel like crap. Now excuse me while I go deal with the after-effects of Mucinex. Bleh.


What's up with us...

Haven't blogged much lately... I guess you can chalk it up to less time on the computer and just enjoying the beautiful weather and the baby!

Greta is now three-months old, and slowly but surely, she is growing. I took her to her pediatrician this past Friday, and she now weighs 9 lbs., 14 oz. That is huge considering she was born at 4 lbs., 12 oz.! She is still pretty tiny, but her doctor said he is fine with that because she is growing and gradually catching up with the curve of other babies her age.

She loves holding up her head and checking out her surroundings. Her neck muscles are super-strong, and it's amazing how well she holds up her little noggin.

She's having a blast smiling and laughing, and they're coming more frequently more and more. It's great! Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Charles Dickens... "It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us." Am I egotistic to say that there's not much that tops the feelings you get from a little baby who thinks you rule the world?

Today, Michelle Ross from Under Grace Photography came to the house to photograph Greta. Greta was a trooper -- two hours of Mama and Michelle making her play model. She showed us what she thought, though, as evidenced in the photos at the beginning of this post.


Growing Greta

Today we had a Parents As Teachers lady come visit Greta. Greta followed the ball with her eyes, responded to voices, cooed and did everything else the nice lady wanted her to do. She even pooped two diapers-full and insisted on eating during the visit. We were quite busy.

The lady left satisfied, saying that Greta is right on target for a baby her age (in consideration that with her prematurity she's technically just 6 weeks old and not 3 months old). She said this just BEFORE we did tummy time, where we placed Greta on her tummy and she proceeded to roll over. How's THAT for on target!?


Three Months

Dear Greta,

Three months ago today, we welcomed you into this world. Two scared-as-hell 30-somethings having a baby 7 weeks early; needless to say, we had no clue what to expect! I'm still amazed that you are here, that I am a mom. I'm even more amazed that you're my daughter. There's not a day that goes by, that I don't feel lucky to have you, and I've lost count of my prayers that have thanked God for blessing me with such a sweet little girl.
Now, I think everyone refers to their child/children as "sweet," and "cute," and so forth. But no kidding, kiddo, you are sweet. You've got a great little personality in the sense that you're chilled out and aren't high-maintenance. You don't look a thing like your daddy, but thank God you've got his laid-back personality. You really only cry when you're hungry, and that's just about every three hours. You're like clock-work with your feedings and sleep schedule, although I've got to admit you've recently thrown me for a small loop by eating a little more frequently. I don't mind it though! I welcome any sort of growth spurt, Miss Bitsy!

Speaking of feeding, I'm finally to the point where I think we've got this nursing thing figured out. It freaked me out at first just because I had not a clue as to what I was doing. Thanks, little bug, for showing me the way! I never thought I'd be saying this, but breastfeeding has become like second-nature just these past few weeks. It's a nice feeling to not feel so clueless.

Everyone asks if you're sleeping through the night, and, no, you're not. But I don't expect you to. Your tummy is tiny and you need to be refueled often. I get that! Plus, you only wake up about once during the night, and when you do, you eat and get back to bed. I'm just recently starting to no longer dread the nighttimes. I used to have this fear that you'd scream all night long. After three months, I've finally realized that you have yet to be a non-stop screamer and that it's probably safe to say that I can stop and actually enjoy these quiet mid-slumber feedings. I watch you as you lay up against me, and there is something so serene and precious about you and about the moment, and those times are what make me want to get up in the middle of the night.

For the months leading up unto the past few days, you HAD to be swaddled tightly in order to sleep soundly. Just the other day, you fell asleep with your arms up above your head for the first time ever. The next day, I walked in to check on you while you were napping, and there you were again, all stretched out. Oh, the life!

In other Greta news, you're starting to show more and more signs of alertness. Just today, I was eating Tostitos, and you were entranced by the loud, vibrant, bright-colored bag. You kept following it with your eyes, even when I moved it to the opposite side of you. Maybe you were just jonesin' for some chips and salsa, but nonetheless, you showed some cognition, and it was so neat to see things clicking in your little head.

You smiled at me for the first time just the other day, and yesterday you laughed out loud! This morning, as I was changing you, you were looking at yourself in the mirror, and I said, "Who's the pretty girl?" and you laughed out loud again. Maybe I'm encouraging vanity, but of course I couldn't keep myself from telling you a gazillion times how pretty you were.

I'm not the only one who thinks you're pretty. Do you hear what your Poppy says to you every time he sees you!?! He always calls you his pretty girl. It warms my heart like I can't explain. You might not have your Grandpa Tom here on earth, but Poppy definitely makes up for that. He loves you so much, and it makes me feel so fortunate to know that you are so loved, little girl.

It's not just Poppy who thinks the world of you. It's all of us. It's me and your dad, and it's Mimi and your other grandma and your aunts and uncles, too. Every one is so gosh darn happy when they're around you, and it feels so good to have everyone come together and just enjoy you. You bring out the best in our little family.

Just the other night, I was at a wedding, and it brought back memories of three years ago, when your Daddy and I married. I was a bossy bitch back then and insisted on everything being just so. It's funny -- I wanted everything to be so perfect on our wedding day; I focused on all the wrong things, and to be honest with you, I had a real hard time enjoying that day. Here I am now, and I expect nothing. I don't expect perfection. I've learned to accept each day for whatever happens and in whatever order. I don't expect you to be perfect now, nor will I ever. Funny thing is, now that I don't purposefully seek perfection, it seems to show itself a little more frequently. Strange how things work sometimes.

Greta, you keep me excited about each day, and I love that. You've brought out the best in our family, and you've brought out the best in me. If I had to sum up the past month in a word, I would say confidence. Try and follow me here -- you see, when you were first born, you dad and I were scared to death of everything -- whether you'd survive, how to hold you, how to feed you, how to change your diaper. When we brought you home, we were still scared. Gradually, we've learned how to be parents. It was YOU who taught us how to be parents.

You no longer seem so fragile and breakable, and taking care of you is no longer so intimidating. You've given me the confidence to believe that I can do this. And I'm doing it! Thanks to you.





Early in my pregnancy, I made friends with a girl who I met while scrapbooking. She was just as cranky of an ol' biddy as I was, and she, too, was pregnant! (Note how I didn't say we were cranky because we were pregnant! We're just cranky gals by nature! Ha!) I was due August 18, and she was due August 28. I had Greta on July 6, and she had Molly on August 7. Greta's a little tinier than 10-pound Molly, but she's slowly catching up!

Molly and her mama came out to meet Miss Greta this past week, and the girls seemed to like one another. Greta shared her zebra print blanket with Molly, and Molly was kind enough to share her stylish baby sunglasses with Greta.



I keep a little list that I've titled, "Things I Love About You," and one day, when I get around to getting back to scrapbooking, I plan to incorporate this list. My most recent favorite thing that Greta has done?

The other evening, we were driving home from Mimi and Poppy's house, and Greta was tired. She was fighting sleep, and she started crying at a stoplight. I reached my arm back so that I could plug her binky back in her little mouth, and she grabbed onto my hand and held it tightly. It was too sweet, and I couldn't help but drive the next two miles home with my left arm steering the wheel and my right arm extended to the car seat behind me.

Oh, how I love love love this little girl.



I quit my job this week. Went and cleared out my office on Thursday. It felt good. I didn't like the job anyway (sorry to any co-workers reading this!), but I'm too smart and talented to sit at a desk and put labels on file folders all day long. Needless to say, it was not difficult to walk away. Sure, there are people who I will miss seeing on a daily basis, but that's what e-mail and phones are for.

I like my new boss a lot better.

She's demanding. Sometimes a little bossy.

Never is she afraid to let you know that she is unhappy with your work.

But she encourages nap time, story hours and grazing throughout the day.
And she's open to suggestions, like if I think we should watch Clean House while nursing instead of Oprah or maybe we should try out Huggies diapers instead of Pampers.
She's game for trying new things.

The best thing about my new boss is that she keeps thing fresh. Never is there a dull day. Just the other day, she smiled at me for the first time, and although I can't recall where we were at the time or what we were doing, I cannot escape the amazing feeling I felt when she looked me in the eye and offered me her little Elvis-lip.

Despite my claims that no two moments are alike, Greta seems to enjoy sticking to a set routine. She eats, changes clothes, and then she is up for a bit for playtime, reading or singing, and then she fusses momentarily to voice that she's tired, and then she snoozes. And then we do it all over again, multiple times a day.
I guess some might be bored by such a schedule, but I must admit that I really enjoy it. She is a very good baby. She really only cries when something is wrong, and she stops as soon as the problem is remedied. She sleeps well throughout the night, only waking up every 3-4 hours to eat.
And when she does wake up, she doesn't screw around. It's eat, burp, go back to sleep. I especially appreciate that no-nonsense, let's-get-down-to-business attitude at 4 a.m. A little wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am gets me every time.


Poppy Love


Thank You, Matt Damon

Not only are you handsome as hell, but you are intelligent and insightful, too. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head.


Stop the Pedophiles

The other day, Oprah did a show on pedophiles. Did you see it? I didn't. The previews looked too disturbing to watch. Yes, call me chicken. I'll call myself chicken. I'm embarassed to admit that I turned my head.

Shortly after the show aired, I received an e-mail from an old friend, urging her friends to write their senators to do something about the lack of funding to lock up these awful nutjobs. I figured I turned my head once by choosing not to watch the show, all in the name of trying to save my own anxiety, but I felt bad for that and realized I need to be a big girl and not ignore an issue. An extremely important issue. Especially now that I have a child to watch out for. I can turn away from things that effect me, fine, but to ignore things for Greta... I just feel like I owe it to her, as her mother, to try to play my small part in doing what I can.

So, here's the scoop: go to http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20080911_tows_predators and write your sentator. Oprah's web site provides a sample letter that you can use, so it's basically all done for you. A few copies and pastes, and voila, you'll be done.

Bright-eyed & Bushy-tailed

Until I find a few moments to give a more detailed update...


Hot Mama

I just checked my answering machine, and there was a message from some dude I didn't know. But he knew my name, and he was all, "Hey, do you wanna meet up? ... I was just calling to check in to see how you're doing."

Then the next message was the same dude saying he'd accidentally called the wrong Andrea Walter.


Payton Update

For those of you wondering about our "first baby," Miss Payton... She is doing well. She is no longer wearing a lampshade collar, and she had her staples removed from her leg two days ago.

Over the weekend, she somehow wriggled her way back into the Walter mix; with no invitation from Eric or me, she was laying in the great room next to our feet, like she never missed a beat.

I'm not sure if she is feeling better because her wound has healed or if because she no longer feels so isolated from confinement to the basement and laundry room. I suppose it is a combination of the two.

She now follows me around everywhere, which is funny in comparison to when I was pregnant, and she really felt no need to listen to me. I think she knows now that I'm the one who is home all day with her and her fate of being fed and let out to potty is all in my hands. She's learned that beggers can't be choosers because being pet on the tummy with my foot is better than not being pet at all.

Feeling Guilty

... for eating chocolate and peanut butter cup ice cream while nursing the baby.

Scratch that.

Feeling guilty for getting chocolate and peanut butter cup ice cream ON the baby while nursing the baby.



Happy First Birthday, Ella Grace!

Hard to believe, my little niece is one-year old today! Here's a photo from a year ago.

And here's a photo of the little cutie pie now!

All's Well That Ends Well

Or something like that.

Wow, this past week and half has been the week from hell. It's been like final exam week. Or sorority rush. Initiation week. Or let's-see-how much-Dre-can-handle-before-she-calls-the-shrink-begging-for-a-sedative. Seriously. When I was at the vet today, I asked if they had any meds I could take. The workers at the front desk did not think I was funny. I was not joking, kids. Hand over the doggie painkillers pronto.

So, for a little over a week, we've been working on exclusively breastfeeding. We as in me and Greta. Eric, God bless him, has been plugging away at the office working on a project that is due tomorrow. For the past two weeks, he has been working until past midnight. Our only in-person conversations have been in the middle of the night when I've gotten up to feed Greta. The majority of those conversations go something like this, "Roll over on your tummy. NOW." And then Eric grumbles, and then I have to tell him that he is snoring like a bear and he must roll onto his tummy.

Back to the topic of breastfeeding... When I was pregnant, I wasn't sure if I would breastfeed. I'll be honest; I didn't know how I'd feel about it, if I would be comfortable or uncomfortable with it. I was afraid I'd see it as weird, as in another living being sucking on my boob. It's not like that at all. But since I didn't really think I'd end up breastfeeding, I never really learned much about it, so I'm going about this with no clue. I freak out every other day about whether Greta is getting enough nourishment, if she's gaining enough weight, if I'm starving her, if she is dehydrated. You'd think that I secretly like to torture myself by stressing myself out.

So, breastfeeding -- stressor numero uno.

And then the hubby is MIA. Off makin' the bacon but MIA.

And then to top it off, we've got the dog situation. And, boy was it a SITUATION. Egh. Payton had a lump on her hind leg that we had removed last week. I guess we never gave it much thought as to how bad it would be. Dog ended up having a huge chunk taken out of her hind leg, eight staples holding the suture together and two rubber drains dangling from her leg. And the blood, oh the blood! We had to put her in the basement because the bloody mess was out of control. The first night Eric brought her home from the vet, she cried in pain. It broke my heart. For anyone who knows me, they know that I love that dog like a person. I felt so helpless, especially because in the past, pre-child, I could go down and devote all my time and attention to her and her situation.

Not this time. There I was, kid eating from the boob, husband at work, dog intermittently crying and banging her lampshade Elizabethan collar against the basement support beams and dripping blood all over the place.

There's no point to this entry. I think I'm too exhausted to mesh all these thoughts together. The long and short of it is that I took Payton to the vet this afternoon to have her drains removed. She busted out of her lampshade collar on the way there, and thank God the vet said she could do without the collar. Payton has now graduated to the laundry room where we've moved her cozy dog corduroy dog bed and food and water accommodations. I can now get to her more easily and don't feel like I'm keeping a prisoner in my basement. And Eric is now finished with his work stuff, and we had dinner together at 8 o'clock.

And Greta and me? We're still working on this breastfeeding concept, but we don't have a crying dog to deal with, and we've got Eric by our side. THAT, my friends, is Xanax in the most natural form. Ahhhh.


The Beginning

Welcome to my blog! I created this blog a while back with the intentions of posting my paper crafts, but I didn't get too far.

I've decided to start blogging a bit about my life as a new mama, or as our doula called it, "domestic engineer." I have no clue what I'm doing as far as design or anything goes, so I'm winging it here, but I hope you enjoy...

I'll try to keep everyone updated on Miss Greta, the sunshine of my life. In a nutshell, here's a little bit about her:

Greta was born on July 6, 2008, seven weeks early. She was 4 lbs., 12 oz., and she was 18.5 inches long. I had pre-eclampsia and had been on bedrest in the hospital, but my blood pressure skyrocketed, and I had to deliver Greta sooner than we'd expected. The emergency c-section sucked. Having a baby in the NICU sucked. Becoming a mother has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined.

Wow. All I have to say is that no one ever told me that I'd love her this much. I think I said that to Eric for the first two weeks we had Greta. It's true -- no one could have ever said anything to prepare me for the overwhelming love I have for my daughter.

Greta has since been home for a month. It's been a crash course in baby-raising, but we're having a ball. Stay tuned.


Dear Greta,

Today marks one month since we brought you home. It's been the most fulfilling month of my entire life! I never imagined that someone so small could bring about such big emotions. You make my heart melt a million times a day. Each day I think to myself that I will get used to that feeling, but I haven't yet -- each tomorrow leads me to wanting more of you. I wake up each morning excited to spend my day with you.

As I was driving home last night, there was a country song on the radio called, "I Saw God Today," and in that moment I realized how the title of that song sums up everything you are and everything I feel when I look at your beautiful face.

You truly are a miracle. You were born seven weeks early, and in your two weeks in the NICU, you fought like a champ. You stayed on room air (no supplemental oxygen) the entire time and never required a feeding tube. You were such a trooper the entire time. I left the hospital a little over a week after having you, and it was so hard leaving without you. I knew you were in good hands, yes. But you were a part of me for 8 months, and I felt so incomplete without you.

You came home on July 20. We were so happy to have you home with us but so scared and nervous, too! Daddy and I had no clue as to how to take care of a baby! That first night, I slept with my ear on your bed, listening to every single peep and squeak you made. I watched the clock, waiting for the time to feed you. We'd left the hospital on a strict feeding schedule of every three hours, and I was so nervous about "messing up" and not feeding you on time! At the time, you didn't always wake up when you were hungry. Oh how you've changed in a month. You now let us know when you're hungry, and you've also since discovered your voice. You are my child, for sure -- you love to make sure you're heard.

Life has changed so much since you came along. Our days are now measured in soiled diapers and wet burp cloths. Each day starts off with the feeling of Christmas Day because I get so excited to see you. I look forward to constantly discovering something new about you. Just today, I decided I love to kiss the back of your neck. About a hundred times a day, I have to keep myself from gobbling you up whole. You're just so scrumptious. I cannot get enough of you.

I worried that I wouldn't feel that instant bond with you. I worried about hitting bottom really quickly and being numbed with postpartum depression. The fear from those worries kept me from ever imagining how wonderful you would be and what it would feel like to be so in love. But the truth is, I never could have, in my wildest dreams, imagined how wonderful you would be.

When I was pregnant with you, my prayers consisted of pleas for your health and well-being. And while I still pray for your good health, my prayers now are those of praise. I've never felt so blessed.

I thank God, but I thank you.



Paper Slut T-Shirts

They're here!!! For months, I've been wearing my black paper slut t-shirt to various crops. People have been asking about it, so I decided to sell them! These shirts are black and are embellished with crystals that read "paper slut." (Obviously, see adjacent picture. haha)

Are you addicted to buying paper, like I am? We've all got our "thing" when it comes to the scrapbooking and cardmaking hobby. Mine has always been paper. I love the textures, the designs, the variety of colors. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I'm checking out scrapbooking paper!

These shirts are fitted and run a tad small, so my recommendation is to go up a size. I currently have sizes M-3X. Most people fit comfortably in a 2X.

The shirts are $25.00 each, but if you buy more than one of my shirts, they are $20.00 each. Contact me @ i.am.creatively.crazy@gmail.com if you're interested!

Crop Crazy T-Shirts

T-shirts! T-shirts! T-shirts! Nothing screams fun at a crop than wearing a fun scrapbooking t-shirt!!! And this one fits the bill, don't ya think? I'm selling these shirts for $25 each. Buy more than one, and they're $20 each.

I have these shirts in both black and dark pink.

They run fairly true to size and are pre-shrunk. Available in sizes XL and 2XL.

Super cute and super comfy!!! Contact me at i.am.creatively.crazy@gmail.com if you're interested!


My blog!

Stay tuned! More to come soon!