Wednesday, April 10, 2013


They have an understanding about what happens at meal time.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Like Turtles

Lately Olivia has not been taking good naps.  It's frustrating, but now that the weather is warming up (and I'm medicated), I use the time she should be napping to take her for long walks.  It's actually been really relaxing, because it gives me a chance to walk through the neighborhood and check out other home's landscaping, giving me ideas for our yard.  More importantly, it gives me the chance to take a long, slow walk around the pond and look for turtles.  I cannot stress enough how much I love turtles.
It's actually like, a weird amount, how much I like turtles.  So anyway, when Olivia woke up after a 25 minute nap on Thursday, I figured we might as well take a leisurely stroll around the pond to check out the turtles.  Since she had been down for such a short period of time, I had only enough time to wash my face, brush my teeth and get dressed.  I wasn't quite sure what the temperature was outside, but it was really cool in the house, and since I have very poor circulation (thank you, Mother) I had on my warmest wool socks and some velour sweatpants.   When I went to get Olivia out of her crib, she was so excited that I was rescuing her from her dreaded naptime that she did her default excited move.  That is, she came at me with both hands, grabbing my hair with all her might, ripping some roots from my head and completely eviscerating my ponytail.   Even though it was probably only 11 am at this point, I had already redone my ponytail at least 10 times thanks to her grubby little grabby hands, so I figured I would just leave it.  After I strapped her in the stroller, I grabbed a couple of graham crackers to snack on and we headed out.
We spent about an hour walking around the pond.  While she grabbed her toes and tried to pull her socks off, I excitedly yelled to every turtle I came across.  Here's the thing.  The pond is FULL of turtles.  It's not even a large pond, and the turtle population is kind of insane.  I don't claim to know much about ecology, but I feel like the turtle population has gotten a bit out of hand.  Not that I'm complaining.  ANYWAYS, what I'm saying is that it's not unusual to walk around the pond and see a lot of turtles.  In fact, today, while on a run with Oscar, I spotted SIXTY turtles sunning themselves.  It's pretty awesome.  So as I was walking Olivia around last Thursday, I wasn't surprised to see a ton of turtles, but was excited nevertheless.  So excited that I repeatedly (probably 10 times) got so wrapped up in watching them that I would forget I was pushing the stroller, hitting it with my toes and tripping.  I pretty much couldn't walk in a straight line because I was so jazzed about the turtles.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm only hurt me, because every loud and excited utterance scared my precious turtles away, causing them to dive into the water away from me.  You'd think I would've learned my lesson, but it was a mistake I made for the entire walk; see turtle, scream in joy, look on dejectedly as the turtle swims for safety. 
The only thing that was killing my turtle buzz was the crazy amount of gnats around the pond.  I haven't gotten the mosquito netting I ordered for Olivia's stroller yet, so every time we'd walk through a swarm of gnats, I'd freak out, yelling and swatting them away with vigor.  It's bad enough when I feel like I'm walking through a big swarm of gnats, but the thought of them getting on Olivia when she can't swat them away freaks me out so much.  I just can't deal with the idea of them flying into her mouth.
Once we came home, I put Olivia in her exersaucer so I could go to the bathroom.  Sitting there, I noticed that at some point my pant leg had gotten stuck in my socks.  Huh, embarrassing, but oh well.  Then, as I was washing my hands, I noticed in the mirror that I had eaten my graham crackers with the grace of a 3 year old.  The front of my shirt was covered in crumbs.
So lemme paint the picture for you.  Here's what my neighbors saw of me--messy, disgusting hair, pulled halfway out of my ponytail.  One leg of my sweatpants tucked into my thick, brightly colored (and completely unnecessary) wool socks.  My sweatshirt covered in cracker crumbs.  Randomly flailing my arms wildly, screaming things like "STAY AWAY FROM MY BABY!"  And I'm so distracted by the presence of TURTLES BEING STILL that I'm tripping over myself, nearly impaling myself on the stroller handle and shrieking inane things like

I really must've looked like I was slow.  Like, I bet the people whose houses back up to the pond were watching me and PRAYING that there was just a Tickle Me Elmo doll or a cantaloupe in the stroller rather than a real baby.

So yeah.  I guess I'm really the crazy lady in the neighborhood. 
 My goal is to be a little more normal the next time I go for a walk.  I'm getting better, though I failed at that yesterday.  I had taken Olivia for a walk, and as we were getting close to home, I spotted this cat lying in the street.  I called to her and she started meowing and purring, which I took to mean she wanted to come home and live with me.  I tried to go pet her, but she got spooked and ran into some bushes.  I stood there for probably a minute, calling out "Oh Miss Kitty!  Come back and play with me!".  When that didn't work, I just started meowing as loud as I could.  Normally that works!  After a minute or two, I gave up and turned back to the stroller, only to see the lady who's house I had stopped in front of was in her driveway, watching the whole thing.  She seemed scared and concerned, so I said a very uncomfortable "oh.  hello." and was on my way.  I guess I just need to work harder at my goal

 Images Via RealityTvGifs

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, from this generation's Grace Kelly. Hope everyone had a great day!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Getting Better

As I said in my last post, Olivia is now 5 months old.  It seems like things change every week with her and her behavior, but one thing has remained pretty constant--my stress level.  Amidst a pretty awful week last week, I hit a low point and was extremely emotional.  Extremely emotional for most people may be
For me, it's more like
basically all the time.  So after a lot of tears and advice from my sisters and Olivia's pediatrician, my doctor and I ultimately decided I needed to start taking something for postpartum depression.  It was a conversation I'd known for a while I needed to have, but couldn't bring myself to do it.  It's strange, because if anyone else told me they were struggling with postpartum and were going to start taking something for it, I would encourage them to do so.  In theory, I know it's the right thing to do.  I know it's no reflection on that person as a mother or a woman.  I know it's just a matter or hormones and chemicals in the brain and there's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.  But that didn't stop me from being disappointed in myself.  From feeling like I was less of a mother because I needed pills to feel more connected to my child and my husband.  Once I got beyond the disappointment and just accepted that the medication was the best choice for me, I started to really get anxious.  What if it didn't help?  What if I just kept feeling the way I was feeling until Olivia got older?  What if this was just my personality, to be angry and frustrated and depressed and stressed out ALL THE TIME.  What if I'm like Lucille Bluth and I'm really just a selfish, horrible mother?

Well I've been on the medicine for almost a week now and, aside from the constant, sometimes crippling nausea, I'm feeling much better.  The pharmacist didn't think I'd really start to feel better for 2-4 weeks, so maybe by then I'll really be feeling good and they'll have to adjust my dosage.
Until then, I'm relieved with the results I've gotten from the medicine.  I feel like myself, rather than the raging emotional monster I'd become.  AND, since I've started taking the meds, I don't think I've cried once, which is the longest I've gone since I was probably six months pregnant.  So...that's success, in my mind.

The point in saying all of this is not to be a ridiculous oversharer (though I realize that's in my nature).  The point is to say that anybody out there that's had postpartum, I get you.  It doesn't have to be miserable.  The sound of your baby crying doesn't have to make you feel sick to your stomach.  Don't let Tom Cruise make you feel like you're crazy.  If it can happen to Brooke Shields, it can happen to any of us.  So take that for what it's worth.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Five Months Old and a Look Back

As of today, Olivia is five months old.  I'd love to say that I've got everything pretty much figured out and parenting is a breeze, but that's certainly not the case.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes she's amazing and adorable
and sometimes she's less than that.
The past few days have been especially challenging, since she's opted to not take her afternoon nap.  If there's one thing worse than a cranky baby, it's a cranky mom.  It's just been really frustrating with her not sleeping well lately when she's exhausted but can't fall asleep.  Out of frustration, she grabs onto anything near her and pulls as hard as she can.  Unfortunately for me, this means that many clumps of my hair have become victims of her sleepiness, as well as my neck, which is covered in bruises from her grabbing and squeezing.  You'd be shocked how hard a 5 month old can pinch.  I think she may be part crab.
My mom's been out of town for the last week and doesn't come home until Sunday, which seems like an ETERNITY from now.  It's just really hard during the day when Olivia's melting down and not sleeping and taking out her fatigue on me and I have no outlet to vent to.  I know Olivia is the way she is because she got my personality, but HO BOY is that awful to be on the receiving end of.   To be honest, I'm not sure how Jacob deals with me all the time.  GOD HELP US if Olivia and I ever end up on the same period cycle because that will be the absolute worst.  FOR EVERYONE.

So after all that complaining about my baby, I have to say that in spite of all her challenges, I'm super thankful for her and how healthy she is.  A year ago yesterday, Jacob and I experienced one of the biggest scares we've ever had.  I alluded to it in this post, but never went much into detail since it wasn't public knowledge yet that I was pregnant.  Just a warning, what I'm about to describe isn't so much graphic as it is descriptive.  But still, if blood makes you squeamish, this may not be the post for you.
Like I said, it was a year ago yesterday, a seriously beautiful day in North Dakota.  Jacob had made plans to drive to Bismarck (1 1/2 hours away from DikDak) with a couple of his friends who were also looking to build decks for their new homes.  Their plan was to go to Lowe's to pick out the supplies.  Since Lowe's is right next to Kohl's, Old Navy, and David's Bridal, one of the guys (Chris) had his fiancee (Ashli) come so she could do some shopping.  Since the fiancee was coming, Jacob and I decided I should go with her, to keep her company and get some shopping done.  So we all loaded up in Chris's truck, picked up another friend (Jared), and were on our way.  The day was going really well.   Ashli and I were having a good time shopping; while she looked for wedding shoes at David's Bridal, I sent pictures of wedding gowns to Dana that I secretly wanted to try on.  The guys were clearly unprepared for the ridiculous amount of lumber they needed to buy, and the trip started to drag on.  Ashli and I tried to busy ourselves at other stores, even driving across town to Hobby Lobby, but ultimately we ended up back at Lowe's, sitting on the floor, waiting on them.  I believe they spent 5 hours picking out their supplies.  5 hours and $5,000....So at this point, I was really starting to feel exhausted.  I was about 9, maybe 10 weeks pregnant.  And for the last five hours, I'd been on my feet, walking, and even helping pick out lumber and supplies.  I also hadn't eaten anything since we left Dickinson at 1:30pm, and I'm pretty sure we were checking out at Lowe's at like 8pm.  Once we checked out, we loaded up the HORSE TRAILER that we'd hauled.  Somehow, we bought so much lumber that the trailer was full, and stuff had to get returned.  Once everything got sorted out, and we returned enough stuff so that the trailer wasn't dragging on the ground, we went across the street to eat at Five Guys Burgers & Fries.  I was starving, so for a few moments, that burger was the greatest thing I'd ever eaten.  I was just so happy to be done with Lowe's and start heading home to see the dogs.  As we were sitting there, I distinctly remember feeling what I knew was blood.  At first, I thought it was just a drop, and since I was pregnant, I didn't have any tampons or pads, so I wasn't going to bother going to the bathroom.  I figured I'd just check it out once we got home later that night.  After a few minutes of sitting there, I could feel my stomach sink because the blood had not stopped.  I vividly remember getting up and walking towards the bathroom, feeling self conscious because I was sure you could see the blood on the back of my yoga pants.  When I got in the bathroom, my worry was more than confirmed.  I hadn't just had a little spotting, I was bleeding.  It was bad.  Really, really bad.  I tried to clean up as best as I could, then went back to our table and asked Ashli if she had anything.  I was already starting to cry when I asked her, and I remember the look of pity on her face as she handed me the tampon.  I didn't have to tell her I was pregnant.  She could tell something was wrong. Once she gave me the tampon, I had Jacob come with me into the bathroom.  They just have single toilet stalls, so I pulled him in with me and burst out in hysterical crying.  When I pulled my pants down to show him what was happening, the bleeding had gotten worse.  It looked like something out of a scary movie, honestly.  Maybe that's weird that I showed him, but I felt like he had to see it.  I wanted him to understand how serious this was.  In this moment, I just knew we were losing our baby.  I needed him to see what was happening so I didn't have to explain it to him.  He was so calm and so reassuring.  He went back to the table to get my phone so I could call my mom.  While getting the phone, he told our friends what they'd already figured out; we were pregnant but something was seriously wrong.  When he brought me my phone, I called my mom, who somehow made sense of my hysteria and told me to call my doctor.  When I called the hospital, they said I needed to go to the ER.  I explained that I was in Bismarck, asking if I needed to go to the ER right away, or should I drive back to Dickinson to go to the hospital my doctor worked at.  She said it was up to me.  I went back to the table, and even though it was late, maybe 8:30, 8:45, our friends insisted on taking us to the ER in Bismarck.  Jared's mom actually worked in the ER, and Chris had family in Bismarck, so they dropped us off and went to hang out with family while we got checked out.
It was SUCH a long night.  I just remember praying and holding Jacob's hand and feeling so scared.  After awhile, they did an ultrasound and when they found a heartbeat, I remember feeling such joy and such shock.  The baby was still alive!  I just couldn't believe it.  I remember just looking at Jacob and crying.  I don't think either of us could believe that the baby had survived all that blood loss.  The technician did say that there was still some blood showing on the ultrasound, so it was possible that I might have another big blood loss at some point if the baby moved.   The ER doctor didn't have much to tell us.  She wasn't an OB, and she wasn't sure what caused the bleeding.  I remember her talking about what she thought happened, describing it as an "almost spontaneous abortion".  Essentially, she said that if there's too much blood, it can fill the uterus and basically push the baby out, causing a miscarriage.  She told me to see my doctor first thing Monday and to take it easy until then.  It was still pretty scary because even though the baby was fine, according to the ultrasound, there was still more blood that could interfere with the baby.
We were finally discharged sometime after midnight, but since I had bled so much, I didn't want to put bloody underwear back on, so in my exhaustion, I threw them away at the hospital.  Obviously risky, but what can I say?  I was completely drained physically and mentally.  Our friends picked us up, and we headed back to Dickinson.  Unfortunately, since we were so loaded down with lumber, the trip took even longer than normal and we didn't end up getting back to Dickinson until 2 am.  Everything was starting to look up, I even got a little sleep on the way home.  About 7 miles outside of town, however, I knew I was bleeding.  It's such a strange feeling when fear combines with humiliation.  I was TERRIFIED of what the bleeding meant for the baby, but also mortified at the possibility of bleeding through my pants.  When Chris pulled up to our house, I climbed out of the truck and looked back at the seat.  I felt so deflated and awful when I saw the huge stain left behind.  I didn't even have the chance to process it as Jacob closed the door.  I stood on our sidewalk, at 2 am, crying as I watched them drive off.  I had Jacob text Chris right away, telling him we promised to clean his truck if we could just wait until the morning.  I was just SO exhausted.  I went inside and proceeded to have a similar bathroom experience as I did at Five Guys.  But at least we knew the rest of the blood that we'd seen on the ultrasound had come out!  The next day, Jacob asked Chris when we could come over and clean the truck and Chris was so sweet about it.  Ashli had already cleaned the spot and they were so gracious about it.  I'm not sure if they were able to get the stain out.  He was really nice about it, but also kind of vague, and every time I think about it, I'm sure that the stain never totally came out.  I don't embarrass easily, but the idea that my blood stain is in someone's truck forever is humiliating.  Like I said, Chris and Ashli were SO sweet about it, and it's not like I was just dumb and was like "whoopsie!  On my period and forgot a tampon, LOL", but still.  It's awful.
When I went to the doctor the following Monday, he told me I'd had a subchorionic hemorrhage, a pretty common cause of bleeding during pregnancy.  I had to rest and relax for awhile, but the rest of the pregnancy was smooth sailing.  When I think about that night, it's just so surreal.  It was such a scary, heartbreaking experience, but in the end, God gave us a beautiful, healthy, happy baby.  I know I complain about her a lot, but I'm truly so so grateful that my gut instinct and reaction in that bathroom of Five Guys was wrong.  That wasn't the moment I lost my baby.  It was a scary moment.  A horrible one I'll never forget.  But God was in that bathroom with me, and He had his hands on Olivia the whole time.  He kept her safe and protected and I'm so thankful for that.
I have not, however, moved past the experience enough to eat at Five Guys since then.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Potential Oscar Gowns--UPDATED

Because I use my time wisely, I've spent several hours this week combing through designers' collections to find gowns I really want to see tomorrow.  I did this last year, and what I came to realize is that all the stylists in Hollywood are a bunch of loonies.  I mean, I don't want to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but there were LOTS of amazing gowns I picked out last year that didn't get worn.  Clearly Rachel Zoe and I have different taste.

So here's what I'm thinking.  Since I know the gowns I'M crazy about won't get worn, I'm going to do a list of the top ten I think will get worn tomorrow, and then another list of ten that I'm desperate to see.  {EDIT:  I couldn't get my list down to just ten}  Basically the second list is just all dresses I'd like to have mailed to me.  If you're reading this, Elie Saab, Carolina Herrera or Naeem Khan, please send me a message and I'll gladly message you back with my address.

Alright, let's get to it.

Top 15 Possible Gowns--with 1 bonus!

Badgley Mischka.  Because you know Hollywood loves a shoulder pad.
Elie Saab.  I'm so crazy about this dress, I can't even tell you.
Elie Saab.  I originally loved this for Viola Davis, but as Dana pointed out, it's pretty much made for Julianne Moore.  Good call, Dana.
Carolina Herrera.  I want Renee Zellweger to show up in this and be like "Oh hey, Bradley Cooper.  I didn't even see you standing there."  Get it?  Because she's so squinty.
Monique Lhuillier.  You can't hear me, but I'm chanting "Jessica Chastain" over and over.  And that's not really a name conducive to chanting.
  Jenny Packham.  Yeah, I guess it's kinda boring.
Jason Wu.  Someone will wear this with red lipstick and loose waves and Guiliana will spend 30 minutes talking about how they're so beautiful with their old Hollywood glamor.
J. Mendel.  Someone HAS to wear this, right?!?!?!
L'Wren Scott.  Nicole Kidman should wear this.  Then the light can reflect off her dress AND her frozen face.
Christian Dior.  I'm pretty sure Jennifer Lawrence is contractually obligated to wear something like this.
 Marchesa.  Because we all know there will be some Marchesa. 
Oscar de la Renta.  This may have already been worn to something?  I don't know, it feels familiar.
Zac Posen.  Someone HAS to wear this, but holy cow I am so scared of Coco Rocha. 
Alexander McQueen.  I have to see this dress.  And if it's gotta be on Anne Hathaway, then so be it.
Alexander McQueen.  What if Tilda Swinton showed up and was like "So I heard they're looking for a new Pope..."
BONUS:  Versace.  Because there's a tacky one in every bunch.

Top 10 13 I'm DYING to See

Atelier Versace.  Because sometimes I like tacky things too.  Mostly I just love the color.
Reem Acra.  Maybe it's the lack of sleep, but I feel like this could really look good on somebody tall and skinny, like Stacy Kiebler.
 Monique Lhullier.  It'd be tough to pull off, but I'd love to see someone try.
 Badgley Mischka.  I love this dress, but I have a hard time focusing on anything other than the model's dark armpits.
Jason Wu.  Two words: Naomi Watts
Naeem Khan.  The more I look at this, the more I love it.
Jenny Packham
Naeem Khan
 Reem Acra.  Dana, if I was a really rich person, I'd buy this for you
Monique Lhuillier.  No one wore this last year and I nearly went bananas.
Carolina Herrera.  I ADORE this dress.
Armani Prive.  If I had a chance to wear this dress, but only if I wore the face cage, I'd totally do it.
Carolina Herrera.  I have a confession to make, and I'll only say this once.  I love big, bold print.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crazy Girl

My baby over dramatic? Well I do declare....

Four Month Update

Well this may be pretty quick, since my baby typically takes the shortest naps when I'm trying to get something done.  Overall, things have been sort of calming down here.  We're starting to get more into a rhythm (which most definitely means we will have a terrible night tonight) and I feel like I'm slowly becoming a real person again.

Olivia is 4 months old now.  She's 16 1/2 pounds, which puts her in the 97 percentile for weight.  She's also in the 95th percentile for her height.  Unfortunately, my little pin head is in the 1 percentile for her head....
So here's what we're dealing with these days:

Up until last week, Olivia had been eating every three hours during the day, and she was being really inconsistent about her sleeping at night.  Some nights she would easily sleep from 10 pm until 8:30 am.  Other nights she was waking up sometime between 1 and 4 am.  It was getting to be pretty frustrating, and I knew she wasn't doing it because she was hungry because she really wasn't that interested in eating during the day.  We decided to experiment with trying to stretch her feedings out to 4 hours.  It's made a huge difference.  She's eating much better now at each feeding, and she's slept through the night ever since (JINX).  One thing that she's started doing since we've stretched the feedings out is communicating her frustration at not being fed right away.  She acts like she's STARVING, which I promise you, she is not.  As soon as it gets close to the four hour mark, she becomes a piranha and comes at me with her mouth wide open.  She starts sucking on or biting anything nearby.  Her hands, my face, my collarbone, whatever.  So if anyone has noticed all the hickeys I have now, it's not because my romantic life has picked up any.  It's because my daughter is impatient.

One downside to stretching Olivia's feedings out is that my body is still trying to adjust.  At the end of those 4 hours, I look like someone straight out of the plastic surgeon's office with some new, hard breast implants that haven't settled yet.  It's kind of a nice change of pace from my normal body until Olivia kicks me hard in the chest while I'm changing her diaper.  Then I feel like dying.  

At the suggestion of Olivia's doctor, I've started giving her rice cereal once a day, during her dinner feeding.  The first day, she thought it was great fun and a hilarious experiment.  She has since soured on the idea.  I'm really hoping her interest in it will return because I've started to dread dinner time.  It's really exhausting spoon feeding a baby who's angry and trying to kick the spoon out of your hand.

I know it's unlikely because it's so early, but I'm convinced Olivia has to be teething.  She is constantly drooling and chewing on anything she can.  Sometimes when she's especially fussy, I'll just rub her gums with my finger and she quiets down.  Her whole body goes limp with relaxation, just like I do when I'm getting my back scratched.  Jacob, if you're reading this, I WANT A BACK SCRATCH.

My hair has finally started falling out, which SUCKS.  I knew it was going to happen, and everyone warned me it would be gross and disturbing, but seriously, it's awful.  It's shocking, the amount of hair I brush out before and after every shower.  Between the hair loss and my acne (that I'm blaming on hormones but is more likely stress-related), I looked like I signed up to test an experimental drug.  Side effects: acne, hair loss, weight gain, crazy hormone swings.  Maybe I should get a weave or a Kim Zolciak-style wig.
In addition to losing my hair due to hormones, I have lost a considerable amount to my daughter's grubby little fingers.  She's really figured out how to grab onto things and pull, and the right side of my head has taken the brunt of that new skill.  She pulled my hair so hard the other day I expected to see brain matter attached to the clump of hair I pulled out of her fist.  I'm not even SLIGHTLY tender-headed and she's made me cry like six times.  I'm ready for this phase to be over.  Also, if you're ever around my daughter and choose to hold her, PLEASE don't wear earrings.  Twice now I've seen her grab onto someone's earrings and I was positive she was going to rip them clean through their earlobes.  I'm telling you now, if I see this happen, I will barf.

Okay I'm off to check on sleeping beauty.  But I have BIG PLANS to do a Pre-Oscar fashion post in the next couple of days.  THERE ARE GOWNS WE NEED TO SEE. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Photo Booth is like a million times funnier with a baby.