Four Months

Dear Evelyn,

Well you did it, we all did it, made it to that three month mark. The so-called fourth trimester is finally over. Oh and while I was writing this somehow another month passed and we are now at four  months. It’s crazy, but already I can hardly remember those early days and nights, when you were such a tiny peanut and we were so nervous about your every move, checking to see if you were breathing all snuggled up in that little bassinet.

Today you are a chunk. You are a big, healthy, chubby baby and I love it. You are smiling and even laughing in delight at the most random things, usually the wall. You are talking, cooing and goo goo gagaing all over the place. I’m pretty sure your dad and I have an unspoken competition to see whether or not your first word will be mama or dada. Oh I know not to expect that for a while, but still. I can try. This is one battle I plan to win.

This month you started teething, which hasn’t been so bad yet, although I’m sure we haven’t gotten to the worst of it yet. Mostly it means your hands and toys are constantly in your mouth, oh and you are drooling everywhere. I myself am over trying to keep you looking clean and neat, but your dad and your aunt are constantly wiping you down so I really don’t have to worry about it. I’m the messy mom.

You also got your first cold this month, and it has been a doozie. We are two weeks in and finally getting better. We found out you actually had a double ear infection as part of this sucker, and that was a pretty sad moment for your parents. We felt pretty bad about not catching that. But you never had a fever, and you’ve been pretty dang happy despite not feeling good. You’re finally on antibiotics now and we are hoping you get better before we have to go back to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Speaking of Texas, you went on your first and second plane rides this past two months. One for a happy occasion, and one for a sad occasion. I will just say that I am so glad you got to meet your Bibba. She loved you very much.

We celebrated our first Halloween by dressing you up in a ridiculous outfit that you pretty much hated, but we thought was adorable.

Oh and you scratched the crap out of mom’s face. Ouch. Cutting your fingernails is your aunt’s job though. I’m not in charge of that.

You’ve got pretty much the best dad in the world. This was cemented when he went out of town for four days this past month, and I pretty much lost my damn mind. It was hard. Really hard. I have an entirely new respect for single parents now. We had a couple of really hard nights, I barely slept and neither did you, and then he came home and it was all better. I must say that parenting is definitely a team sport.

You are my world baby girl.



Goodbye Maternity Leave

My maternity leave is ending. I am so sad. I can hardly even talk about it. But I know it’s coming and I have to figure out real life, life with job and baby. How do you people do it? Mamas, I’m talking to you. How the heck is this possible? To leave my sweet baby girl and go worry about website hits and sales numbers? Argh.

Part of me is excited really, to get back to work. I like my job and I miss the thrill of success and the agony of defeat. Okay that’s a little dramatic, but you get what I’m saying. I miss the work. I miss the people. The adults, that actually talk back to me during the day. I miss having something to think about other than nap schedules and whether we have enough diapers and did I run the dishwasher.

I have to be honest though, I am having a seriously primal reaction to leaving my baby. Like, the hormones are going crazy I might have to fight off a lion I will kill anyone that looks at her reaction. And I know it’s normal and natural and mothers are programmed to react like this, but it’s really hard to reconcile my head and my heart. This is the plight of the working mother I guess, that thing that everyone goes through. We want to work, but we want to be with baby too. And we don’t get to do both.

You don’t get to do both.

And it sucks.

So yeah, Monday is the day. I go back and leave my little girl for the whole day. And I’m supposed to act like a grown up. Guessing that’s not going to happen. So any advice on how to handle it? Aside from bringing lots of tissues?


Two Months

Dear Evelyn,

Two months old already. I wanted to do a letter like this for your first month. I even started it when you were three weeks old. But here you are at two months already and that letter has one opening sentence. So I don’t have a letter for month one, but here I am at month two. I want to document your growth and have a spot to spew my special brand of mommy love. It is incredible how quickly the time passes. Days and nights, and suddenly we’re here and I don’t have a newborn anymore, I have a baby. A real baby girl. And you are everything. The only thing.

The past two months have been the most amazing time in my life. Every day you grow and change so much.  You started smiling around week six, just like those books said you might, and it has absolutely melted our hearts. Your dad and I can hardly stand it when we see that grin break out on your face. Oh you make us work for it, but we do. We tickle and squeak and giggle at you like there’s no tomorrow, just to see that smile. I’m sure we look absolutely ridiculous, but we don’t care.

You’ve also started talking more in the last week or so. Not real talking, just some coos and random noises here and there. But you’re starting to interact with us, to tell us what you want and what you need. You also do this adorable half sneeze half sigh thing that your dad just loves. It’s like you just missed a sneeze and have given in with a little sigh of resignation. You get the hiccups all the time still, and mostly it doesn’t seem to bother you, but sometimes you get angry about the whole thing. You do have your moments.

You’re sleeping a little bit more now, which is absolutely fantastic. You’ve even had a few six hour stretches, which is just luxurious after so many weeks of two and three hours at a time. We’re working on starting a bedtime routine and getting you to sleep a little earlier, but it is definitely a work in progress. Sleep is not yet your forte. You’re actually quite the diva when you wake up – all big stretches and yawns. I joke that you are just like your dad in that respect. A little on the dramatic side.

You also found your hand this week, which is kind of awesome and hilarious because you go crossed eyed just staring at it. I think you want to get it in your mouth, but you aren’t quite there yet. I hope you will, because despite our best efforts, you will not take a pacifier. Your dad has purchased approximately 8,000 different types of pacifiers, but to no avail. So maybe you’ll suck on the hand or the thumb someday soon.

You went to your 2 month doctor’s appointment last week and you did great, despite a few tears from me during your shots. It just hurts so much to see you in pain. You were a whopping 12 lbs and 8.5 ounces, and 22.5 inches long, putting you in the 93rd percentile for weight and the 70th percentile for height. We are thrilled you are growing so well – it means we’re doing something right at least. Everything else looked great and we probably asked a few stupid questions, but no one can blame us for having a bit of new parent neuroses. We just want you to be perfect. And of course you are.

I’ve got one more month left of maternity leave, and I think it’s going to be our best month yet. You’re starting to be so much more aware of your surroundings, so heading out of the house is a little more fun, but it can also be a little more scary. No more taking the tiny sleeping baby anywhere we want. Now we run the risk of having a crazy screaming little person at the dinner table. We’re still trying though.You quite enjoyed your dinner at Patzcuaro’s the other night.


It’s like you’ve finally woken up to the world, and you can’t wait to see what’s out there. And I can’t wait to show you. Love you baby.



Infant Essentials

Evie is almost six weeks old and I am emerging from a newborn haze. Actually I lie, I’m still in it. But, I’m trying to make my life a little more normal these days. Being a mom is pretty much the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. People tell you you know, when you have kids how things will change. How you’ll be different because you’ll experience this love that’s so big and enormous you think you’ll burst. But I don’t think I really ever got it. I know I never got it. But now I do. Now that I have this little girl I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.

But, as you know, having a baby is not without it’s challenges. Yes there have been a number of tear-filled, desperate moments at 3 a.m. And that’s not just the baby. So without further ado, some of my must-haves for the first few weeks of the little lady’s life.

Aden & Anais blankets for swaddling. This is a pretty standard one, but the swaddle is a must-have.

Halo Sleep Sacks. Perfect for making her feel all cozy, and easy for mom and dad.

 Gas drops. ‘Nuff said.

Petunia Picklebottom Onesies. Expensive, yes. But so soft, functional, and tre cute, no?

ETA: For all Evie, all the time, check out our Posterous blog.



In It

I am in it. This pregnancy. I am fully in it. Every day, every movement I make, she’s there. I can feel her. And it’s not just the tiny movements, the hiccups, kicks and punches and stretches. It’s so much more than that.

How can I explain what it’s like to be pregnant? It’s a little like being a walking science experiment. I’ve been thinking about updating here for so long, but I can’t find the words to describe it. I have immersed myself in the zillions of mommy blogs out there, and they all say something just a little different about this crazy thing that is pregnancy, and I just can’t get enough of it. I think my experience is just like everyone else’s, but also totally different. Makes sense right?

I’m 34 weeks and 1 day pregnant today. I can’t believe it but two months have passed since I’ve written here. I’ve been writing in my journal and thinking about starting another blog to be honest with you. Another nother blog. I know, I’ve done this one hundred times. But now all I’ve got is baby on my mind and that’s what I want to write about. So I may just keep doing it here, or I may start something new. We shall see. Honestly I feel like I can’t make up my mind about anything right now. They speak of pregnancy brain, and it is no lie.

What is pregnancy brain? I think it has to do with the fact that all of your blood is going to support the new life you are growing, so that means you aren’t getting enough blood to your brain. Meaning basically, I am getting stupider. I forget words. I can’t describe things. I can’t make decisions and I have melt downs about little things. I also have melt downs about big things. I run into people/the sink/the wall every single day. I don’t have a concept of what or whose body this is. I am afraid if I don’t read every single thing in the universe about breastfeeding I will be a FAILURE.

My life is no longer mine. It is this little girl’s. She owns me. I no longer make a decision without involving her.

I am not one of those miserable pregnant ladies who can’t do anything except lay around and complain. Sure, I have my days, but for the most part I’m good. I’m not one of those happy earth mama preggo ladies either. I’m just kind of in-between. I won’t lie and say I love being pregnant. I’m ready for this part to be over. I hate turning side to side all night long, and never feeling really comfortable when I’m sleeping. I miss things I used to be able to do, like bend over easily and go to my turbokick class. I get weirded out by the changes that are happening every day. But feeling her move and kick around inside me is pretty freaking awesome. Scary and weird, but awesome. I’m sure I’ll miss that part. The rest – meh. I think it might take some convincing for me to do this again anytime soon. Oh and the clothes. The people in the maternity clothing industry should be shot. Pretty much all of them.

For me, I can say this last part is going to be tough. I feel like I am just WAITING. That’s all I’m doing. Me – the girl who reads the end of the book first and always pre-opened her Christmas presents – I cannot stand to wait until this random day they’ve given me to meet this child. And who knows, it could even be AFTER that day that I get to meet her. I’ve got six weeks left, and I will be looking at the clock every single minute from now until I have this baby. It’s nice to at least have the doctor’s appointments to count down too, but still. How do people not die from the agony of waiting?

I know I have to steel myself and really prepare for the fact that she could be late, but man I just have this feeling she’ll be here early. I also had a feeling she was a boy, and she’s not. And I also thought she was head down, and she’s not, she’s breech. But she’s going to turn, I just know it, and she’s going to be early, I just know it. I need my brain back.

Arthritis During Pregnancy

So quite a few people have asked me how my arthritis is doing during my pregnancy, so I thought I’d go ahead and give an update here.Who knows, maybe some other poor preggo with arthritis will stumble on this blog and it’ll help her in some way or another.

Background info: I’ve had psoriasis on my hands and feet since I was about 19, so 11 years. When I was 28, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (warning: if you click on this link you will see a gross picture. And no I don’t have it that bad). Basically, about 20% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. It’s an immune system disorder and mimics rheumatoid arthritis, but is usually generalized to the hands and feet, and sometimes the spine. That’s a super brief synopsis of course, but you get the idea. It sucks.

When I was first diagnosed my toes were swollen up like sausages and I could hardly walk. I tried a couple of biologics, including Enbrel, and finally settled on Humira. Basically, I gave myself a shot once a week that acted as a TNF blocker, and it slowed the inflammation dramatically. I felt good on Humira. My toes weren’t swollen, things didn’t hurt, and I was pretty much able to forget I had arthritis (aside from sticking myself with a needle once a week).

When I decided to try to get pregnant, I stopped the Humira, knowing that it might cause some serious flare-ups, but not wanting to risk anything with the baby. Most of these drugs have been on the market for less than ten years, and they certainly haven’t been tested on pregnant women, so no one really knows what the effects might be.

Today I’m a little over 6 1/2 months pregnant (holy crap!), and I’ve been off of my meds for about 9 months. As the months have progressed, my symptoms have gotten worse and worse, but shockingly they aren’t as bad as I thought they would be. My doctor even told me that he thinks pregnancy has technically improved my symptoms, because if I went off the drugs without the counterbalance of the baby growing inside me and all the hormones that come with it, my symptoms would be much much worse.

That said, I don’t feel great every day. But I don’t feel terrible either. Most days I wake up and my feet ache and my fingers are swollen. No I’m not to the point where I can’t open a jar or button a button, but you know, it’s just something else to deal with. Pregnancy comes with a lot of aches and pains though, so I’m kind of just thinking of as another one of those. I also seem to have acquired plantar fasciitis in my left heel, in part due to this inflammation, according to my doc. In other part due to my “pretty shoes.” Whatever. They’re flats. I’m not wearing white sneakers to work. I’m just not doing it.

I guess what I’m more worried about is after I have this baby, and I don’t have all of these lovely hormones raging around inside me, but I still can’t go back on my meds because I’m breastfeeding. Then what? Do things get really bad? Do my toes bend and fuse? I don’t know. Hopefully not, but that remains to be seen. For now, I’m just counting down the days until I get to meet this little girl. And crossing my fingers I’m not passing this crappy immune system disorder on to her.



There’s this one scenario in my mind where everything is easy. Things are in place and moving along smoothly.

Then there’s this other scenario.

It’s called reality.

This past weekend was good really. There may have been a minor blowup about whether or not I was helpful in *Lowe’s, but aside from that, really fun.

*Short version:

Me: I was so being helpful!

John: You were the complete opposite of helpful! I will kill you.

Let’s just say we never really settled on a winner for that argument.

We did however, paint the nursery. And lament about how we’re spending too much money on everything but we’re powerless to stop it. Who knew a baby could be so expensive?

Everyone? Oh yeah I guess so.

I also got to the gym, got a massage, walked the dog a whole bunch, caught up on Thursday night TV, and got to see good friends. All in all a great weekend. Except for the Lowe’s part. I guess I feel fine about it though, because I’m pretty sure that at least one out of every two couples walking around Lowe’s or Home Depot is arguing about something or other.

Anyway, back to my scenarios. I do have these perfect scenarios of life in my mind, but it’s just not working that way somehow.

For instance, I want to write in this blog and have it be a place to chronicle my life and all my thoughts about the world. I can’t help but censor myself a little though, because I know the rents are reading. (Hi mom and dad – see, no F word anywhere in this post!)

I also want this not to become a mommy blog, but I’m kinda thinking it’s taking that turn. Sorry folks, that’s what’s going on in my life. I wish I could take beautiful photos of salted chocolate brownies, but I am too busy reading weird birthing stories from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.

I want to be one of those active pregnant ladies, the ones who are still going to kickboxing and running 10ks and what not, but it turns out that I need a giant sandwich after just 30 minutes on the elliptical, so that’s just going to have to do for now.

I want to not get annoyed at that person at work who is doing that thing that I’m not going to talk about, but man it is annoying me.

I want not to be cryptic but I am.

I want to read the New Yorker like I used to and be informed about my world and not just worry about what vanity will look good in our tiny bathroom.

I want a margarita. A big giant margarita. A good one too, no sweet and sour. All lime juice and salt and tequila.

Oh did this just turn into a list about all the things I want? I guess I could go on and on.

It’s fine though, it is it’s all good. I think thinking about all of the things I want to do really makes me a better person. It makes me strive to do better. Be better. Wanting a margarita makes you a better person right?


The other day I went to pre-natal yoga and the instructor asked us to describe our pregnancy in two words. I could only think of one.


I mean of course there are a million words I could use – you know the usual, miraculous and amazing and unreal, and then also the other side of the coin, the anxious and scared outta my mind (yes I know that’s more than one word) and worried and all of that.

But really, aren’t those all of the things that pregnancy is about? Oh and I guess I forgot food and tired and peeing all the time. Those things too.

Yeah those things, but busy is it really. This pregnancy has become a big part of my life, and prepping for this baby, both physically and mentally, is taking every single brain cell I have.

My mind is constantly whirring, constantly busy. I feel like I never have time to just stop and stay with my thoughts, to just let my mind relax.

For one thing there’s work, and work is wow. My job is amazing right now, I just passed my one year anniversary, and I’m loving it. But it is a BEAST.

My task list is a mile long, and every day something new and unexpected pops up. And yes, I still wake up in the middle of the night worrying about whether or not I sent a stupid email. Honestly I’m a little concerned about how I’m going to let all of this go when I go on maternity leave, but something tells me I’m going to be slightly preoccupied so in all likelihood it will all just disappear. But you know, I guarantee I’ll still be checking in on the Facebook page and reading the media coverage. I just can’t turn that off.

So there’s always work, but now there are so many other things. I am obsessed with designing the nursery. Well obsessed with thinking about it anyway. I haven’t actually done much more than purchase a crib, but it is taking over my mind. There are so many adorable design blogs out there to make a future mom feel inadequate. Lay Baby Lay is my favorite right now. So cute. I wish she could just come design my nursery for me.

Not to mention my mind is constantly busy with the whole labor thing. It hurts real bad. Real real bad. Oh god. Scary scared.

And what to name this child once she’s here anyway? And cloth diapers or regular? A bouncy seat or a swing? A baby carrier? The sling kind or the backpack kind? And what kind of baby shampoo? And stroller? And carseat? And I need to pick a pediatrician. And I don’t think I’m stretching enough. And I think I forgot my vitamins today. And And And.

There is Just. So. Much. It’s all so overwhelming.

So yeah, I feel busy. And I’m kind scared this isn’t going to go away.

The Girl

So, I’m having a little girl. We found out on Friday at our big halfway mark ultrasound/anatomy scan appointment. And I honestly couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I’m excited in a way that I wasn’t sure could happen. I am going to have a baby girl. A little baby girl with arms and legs and it’s all there! She’s healthy and she has all her parts!

It’s such a relief – I can’t tell you the pressure I feel as a pregnant woman. Do you know I am in charge of growing this life and if it gets messed up, I am to blame? I mean I know realistically that is probably definitely almost never the case, but god it sure does feel like it sometimes. It is so much pressure. So much. And to go to that ultrasound, and see the arms and legs and everything there and then on top of that to see the tech write “girl parts” on a picture which, frankly, looks like a whole lot of nothing to me, well it is just such a relief.

I had myself totally convinced I was having a boy, and I almost think it was because I was so secretly wanting a little girl. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would love a little boy, love him to death I’m sure, but I think I just really wanted a girl all along. Maybe it’s because I grew up with sisters, and I’m a girl, and I just don’t know anything different. Maybe it’s because I want her to be my BFF and love me and tell me all her secrets and I’m not sure a boy would ever do that. Who knows. Whatever it is, the idea of having little hairbrushes and tiny dresses and little tights just gives me a thrill.

Which is hilarious I’m sure, especially to my mom, who has told me multiple times that if my daughter is anything like I was growing up, I am in for it. I hated little hairbrushes and tiny dresses and tights. I wore baggy men’s pants I got from the thrift store and put my hair in little buns and blasted Bad Religion all day long. I was not a cutesy little girl.

And really, I don’t anticipate my daughter will be like that either, but it’ll be fun to see. I can’t wait to see what she can do. I’m imagining of course she’ll be incredibly intelligent, because isn’t that what all parents expect from their children? Of course she’ll be the first female president, bladdy bladdy blah. But maybe she will be or maybe she’ll be a badass roller derby chick. That would be cool too.

I really want to be a good parent – I don’t want my daughter to ever feel limited or constricted or have issues about who she is, how smart she is or how she looks. I have enough of those for both of us, and I absolutely do not want to pass those down to her. There’s so much more to worry about there, but right now I’m trying to push those thoughts out of my head. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I have a little baby girl happening right inside of me, and she wants me to bake cookies. She told me.

And who knows, there’s a slight possibility that this is a baby boy kicking me in the bladder right now, he was just hiding his parts when we had that ultrasound. And if that turns out to be the case, that’s okay too. He can still be president or you know, whatever he wants to be.

I sound totally ready to be a parent, right?