February 26, 2010 - To Wake or Be Late?

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In my small world right now, there is not much more beautiful and right than watching my baby sleep. It's the best kind of peace imaginable full of the occasional sleepy sigh, sound asleep smiles, her lips nursing as if she's dreaming of milk, the sudden jumping and flailing of arms and/or legs followed by deep sleep once more. I could sit and get lost in Georgia's sleep-filled face for hours. Her peace gives me peace.

Many days though, like this one, I face a dilemma as the clock strikes 12:50 p.m. Do I break this spell of peace and wake my angel up or do I let her continue to dream of milk and succumb to the fact that I will be late for work. 12:50 p.m. is my on-time out-the-door time to get Georgia dropped off at daycare and make my commute into downtown Omaha with enough time to slide into my desk chair around 1:30. It's a battle with myself I lose all too often, including today. Georgia and I left the house at 1:10.


February 25, 2010 - Frozen Gold

Sometimes I open my freezer just to stare at its contents, make sure it's still all there and just smile. And can you believe it's something other than a rockin' Ben & Jerry's stash that's making me grin? Actually it's what I like to call liquid gold, and now many mommies have knowing smiles creeping across their faces too. Oh yes, the joy frozen breast milk can bring to a nursing mother. While I was pregnant I was diligent in the last month of my maternity leave to start building this icy supply of nutrition. I agonized over whether I had enough to carry my little one through the bottle feedings that were to come when I officially became a working mom. And things might have flowed smoothly (yeah, stupid pun) if it had not been for the Mt. Everest in the road, a.k.a. Mastitis. That assured every last vial and bag of gold were melted and fed to Georgia. And I had not an ounce to spare to replenish.

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But oh look at my golden stash now! On the mend, that diligence has returned again out of necessity, and I have returned my freezer to its former glory. Oh the things that will thrill me these days. If you would have asked me a year ago if I'd ever get excited over breast milk, frozen breast milk at that, I would have called you crazy. Well, now which one of us is smiling at her freezer?


February 24, 2010 - Bought But Never Seen

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It's probably a lesson most new parents learn - babies wear a lot fewer clothes than what's been lovingly bought, washed and hung in their closet. And with that lesson comes another, that saying time flies is really true. As Georgia prepares to fly into size 3-6 months, and leave 0-3 months behind and forever forgotten, I'll shed a few tears for a time I will never feel, see, smell or hear again. Three months that witnessed so many monumental changes on an infant scale, our little girl hatched into a little human with a big personality. Three months in my life that truly did go by too quickly. As if I needed glaring, bright pink proof hanging defiant before me, there in Georgia's closet hang 0-3 sized outfits she never even had time to wear, price tags still blowing in those winds of change that seem to blow through our home daily these days.


February 23, 2010 - The Language of Mommy

It's theme week at Georgia's daycare and today is mix and match day. What the heck does that mean? I feel like a mommy failure as I scratch and dig through Georgia's closet looking for the correct combination of mixing and matching. What combination of socks, pants and shirts can bake up the perfect dish for today? Thank God she won't remember these days and by the time she does, hopefully I'll be talking this new language like my tongue was never without it.

No one ever tells you parenting comes with its own set of nouns and verbs and acronyms that only others who have created young know and understand. I should have known when I first got on the pregnancy chat boards and saw things like DD,DS,BM and pedi that it would only get worse once my little one was here and my world of parenting expanded like my belly was at the time. A year ago, I would have thought pedi was something to do with feet, not slang for pediatrician. DD is not like AA, it actually stands for darling daughter and knowing that one, guess what DS stands for? Yep, those darling sons. Now BM can get a little tricky and could make for some interesting conversations if you confuse its dual meanings with the wrong crowd. On the chat boards, BM is breast milk. However, at Georgia's daycare is bowel movement. See what I mean, we don't want to feed the baby the wrong BM.

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The language will come in time, too bad they don't make a Rosetta Stone for this one. I did know what to do for crazy hair day this week. It's just too bad Georgia doesn't have any hair. In case you were wondering, my lame attempt at mix and match day was a striped onsie with polka dot pants and green socks that look like sneakers. I know, not great but I'm building my vocabulary as we go.


February 22, 2010 - It Started with a Sweater

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Today's picture started out being all about a sweater and not so much about the little girl in that sweater. A sweater, given as a gift, which I found beautiful and which Georgia is quickly outgrowing. I wanted to capture the pattern of the knitting, the blush of the pink and the delicate design of the flowers before the sweater was forgotten in some box buried in the back of a closet.

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It started out with a sweater, but it didn't take much to get sucked into that doe-eyed look that holds the innocence of a babe...

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... and find it adorable how the weight of her head can be cause for a much needed rest on the bed...

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... or wish life was simple enough again to find fascination in the texture of a blanket.

It started with a sweater, but the shoot today ended with a mother once again in awe of the beauty of and so much in love with her perfect little girl.


February 21, 2010 - Music for His Baby

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Before I was even pregnant, I had this vision - this very happy and peaceful vision - in my head. I knew it would come one day. Even as I rubbed my rotund, baby-filled belly, I could already hear the music floating all around me. So to finally watch my husband pull out his beloved guitar, settle into a familiar, comfortable position near our daughter and begin to play - the world felt it was just as it should be. Georgia will grow up surrounded by his music. I can already see her singing and clapping along one day in the very near future, little girl words only her parents can understand coming from her lips. She'll dance little circles on wobbly legs still finding their balance. And her daddy's music will make her happy. I know too that day will come, and it already makes me smile.


February 19, 2010 - View in the Rearview

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This was a great invention for parents everywhere - the car mirror to keep an eye on your backwards baby. Who doesn't want to look in their rearview and see those big baby browns staring back at you? Georgia loves to watch her reflection as we drive around town or to daycare each day. And I swear sometimes she's figured out the whole reflection thing and she's staring right at me, keeping an eye on my driving skills. The only negative I've found so far to this mirror is it's so hard not to stare at her as I drive, I'm an addict. I'm going to have an accident one day because I just can't get enough of my little darling and those baby browns.


February 20, 2010 - Last Look

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This is my parting memory I take with me as I head out the door each Saturday - my two favorites together as I leave. Saturday is the hardest day of the week to head out the door for work because my husband is home with Georgia, and I so want to stay and be a family that day. That cohesive fairytale I wanted and waited for so long. I want to cuddle with them and laugh with them and just be part of every moment of their day. I pride myself in my work and do enjoy my job, but Georgia has really taught me the enjoyment of life and the pride in just living, and I just want to soak in it with her every second.


February 17, 2010 - She'll Get You

Grab the toy, grab the hair, grab the necklace, grab the sleeve, grab the shirt, grab the blanket, grab the cup... repeat... and then repeat again and again. Georgia is at that point in life where everything has a feel and is new and she is going to sense it all as quickly as her chubby, little fingers can grasp. Many times what she's grabbing for is in one way or another attached to me, like my shirt sleeve or my finger.

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I can't imagine how wonderful it must be for every thing's texture - the blanket's fuzziness, the cup's hard, plastic edge, the necklace's smooth, cool pearls - to feel completely new and exciting. Life through the eyes, or in the case hands, of a babe must be wondrous.

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February 18, 2010 - The Spikes!

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Georgia's hair (or baby fuzz as I call it) started doing something funky this week. Her daycare teachers noticed it, one of my co-workers pointed it out and her daddy and I have been catching a few giggles because of it. Georgia's hair just won't lay down flat! It's constantly sticking up and is just adorable. Maybe it's a comical sign of good things to come - like real hair. I have a drawer full of cute barrettes with no baby hair to put them in. For now though, I'll just keep being hit with a smile every time I look at Georgia's do.


February 16, 2010 - I Can't Hear You...

There were those three monkeys: hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil. When I think of Georgia eating a meal, I envision "hear no evil." Why? It has nothing to do with evil, just stop and envision what that monkey looked like - both hands covering both ears.

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That is Georgia when she eats - both tiny hands clamped firmly over her tiny ears. Even the ladies at her daycare get a quick chuckle from the sight. I don't know where she gets it from, but Georgia likes to eat surrounded by a bubble of silence.


February 15, 2010 - Pump it Up!

Moooo, pump up the milk supply that is. Georgia and I (ok, mostly me) made Lactation Cookies on my day off today. She was in the Baby Bjorn watching me very closely though.

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So what you might ask are Lactation Cookies? It's said the ingredients in them will help increase a nursing mother's milk supply. Hey, I'll try anything once and since we're still having to supplement Georgia with about four ounces of formula a day, I'll really try anything. Yes, I still don't like my daughter drinking formula. It's a lifetime of conditioning which one bout of Mastitis won't change. And hey, eating cookies for a good reason can never be bad, right? If they don't work, at least it was a sweet treat for my efforts.


February 14, 2010 - Give it a Turn

That new exersaucer found a friend today. I was afraid I would be more excited about the new toy than Georgia would be, as has been the case thus far with most of her play things. But alas, another sign she is racing through life - she loves it. It only took mere seconds before she was investigating with her hands and mouth. I wonder just what flavor she has determined plastic animals to be. Those animals took a few hearty slaps too.

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But one sign I can breath a little easier, and perhaps slower for now, my little girl is still little enough that her feet barely stretch enough to reach the bottom. My "big girl" still has plenty of little left in her.

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She loved her new exersaucer so much that when I rushed over to see why all the noise and conversations with plastic animals suddenly stopped, I found this. My sweet baby all tuckered out and off dreaming of a world full of her new toy friends.

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By the way it's Valentine's Day, so here are 14 things I love:
- the sound Georiga makes right after she sneezes
- her long little fingers and long little toes
- the baby fuzz on her head that refuses to let real hair grow
- the way Georgia studies me and watches everything I do
- watching the peace of Georgia sleeping
- on that note, Georgia laughing in her sleep
- Georgia's pure joy of simply kicking her legs while in the bathtub
- her smile when I get home from work late at night
- lying beside Georgia on my bed as we watch the ceiling fan turn
- Georgia's laughter
- having a conversation with Georgia (yes, we have them)
- the little dimple on Georgia's left ear
- that Georgia has my eyes
- the way my husband loves Georgia... and me
Happy Valentine's Day!


February 13, 2010 - Jump & Twist & Turn

Georgia turned four months old today! I can't believe four months has disappeared behind us so quickly in this run through life. The pace has sped up so much since Georgia was born. I do my best to slow to a walk and take in all in, but life still keeps flying by in a sprint. My little girl is already growing up.

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In honor of her being more of a "big girl" than she was yesterday, today we went out and bought an exersaucer. Between sanitizing it and putting it together, we didn't get her in it just yet, but I thought a quick snapshot of it was a must. Next thing I know she'll be racing life and racing through it as well.


February 12, 2010 - Goodie Bags

I'm making Valentine's Day cookie bags for Georgia's teachers at daycare! OK, I'm sort of making them. OK, I'm assembling them. I bought the cookies at the bakery and I bought the bags. Yes, I even bought the Valentine's Day cards. Who has time to make things from scratch?

But I've always looked forward to the day I could take things to my daughter's class. Even though it's only for her teachers, this is as close as I get right now and it's a first! It was fun, even without the homemade aspect of it all. I hope Georgia's teachers enjoy it (and maybe it will earn her some brownie points with them. Come on, you know all moms hope that).


February 11, 2010 - The Best and Worst Collided

There is a very special place on Georgia's dresser bookshelves. It's a place where sometimes I see my heart sitting up on that shelf, in pieces. It's a place where sometimes my mind can go back and live for a moment in memories, in a place where things are as they always have been, a place where people don't die. I hope it's a place where Georgia one day finds understanding of what took place just days before she changed and brightened my life forever with her birth. I hope it's a place that she looks to with love and acceptance of a wonderful woman she'll never meet.

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On that shelf sits a picture of Georgia's Oma, my mother, holding me when I was a baby. It's a picture surrounded by pieces of the love Oma felt for Georgia before she ever had the chance to meet her. Little knick-knacks a grandmother buys a granddaughter, reminding her how much she'll always be loved. Georgia lost her Oma to cancer two days before she was born, gone four months to this day. But I have no doubt that day Georgia gained the most loving guardian angel who has ever existed. We miss you Oma.


February 10, 2010 - Everywhere I Look

One of the last times I saw my mother before she passed away, she told me lately she'd been seeing butterflies everywhere she looked. With a crack in her voice, she haltingly said my late grandmother had loved butterflies. My mother also liked them. She'd worn a butterfly necklace since before I had memories. Now the lithe and lacy-winged creatures filled the air and gardens all around her. Maybe it was a sign she said, but her voice trailed off before she could explain the meaning. But I knew what was flying through her mind - a sign it was time to come home.

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Today as Georgia rocked back and forth in her swing, mesmerized by its rhythmic lull, I looked above her and there were butterflies on the swing's mobile. I looked below her and noticed the butterflies on the swing's seat. I looked on her and there were butterflies on her onsie. She was surrounded by butterflies, they were everywhere I looked. Her nursery is filled with them too. Butterflies fill Georgia's home and surround her with winged memories of a woman she never met, but a woman whose spirit I will do my best to fill Georgia's life with every day.


February 9, 2010 - My Little Monkey

I loved my pregnant belly during those nine months of pregnancy. I loved the way maternity clothes fell across my ever protruding girth. I loved the feel of my tightening skin as I wondered if it could stretch anymore. I even loved to watch my belly button getting smaller and smaller as if one day I would wake up and it would just be gone. My pregnant belly, to me, was a delicate picture of womanhood.

The little Georgia in that pregnant belly seemed to envision it a little differently. To her, I imagine it was more like an ever shrinking, pitch black playground. I swear she was dreaming of a future as a gymnast as she twisted and turned and did back flips. Or maybe it was a future as a karate champion as she chopped and batted and kicked.

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To me though, she was just my little monkey. It was the name I endeared to her while I housed her within me. Her daddy even scoured much of Omaha to find the perfect stuffed monkey before our little primate swung into the world. Even now when I watch her squirm and kick and throw her arms about, I can't help but think how my little monkey is growing up.


February 8, 2010 - Comfort

Georgia and I love to play on the bed together after we wake up from a night full of dreams (and sleep thanks to such an awesome baby). We watch the ceiling fan together, we tickle her belly and feet while she fills the entire house with a joyous laugh, we practice sitting up against the pillows and sometimes we just cuddle in the comfort of a mommy and daughter. She seems to love the softness of a bed she just sinks down into - it's like another womb. So I couldn't resist some pictures today.

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February 7, 2010 - Little Baby Feet

Remember the card game "Go Fish" where the goal was to match up the cards that looked alike? When a baby is born, there is an inevitable game that is reminiscent of that card game as parents and other family members try to match up the baby's features. Whose nose does she have? Whose eyes do hers look like? Where did she get that chin?

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Well, when it comes to Georgia's feet, and even more so her toes, my husband and I quickly matched those up. Like father, like daughter - Georgia has Ben's very long toes (I call them monkey toes). Hers just have a little more growing to do. As for most of Georgia's other features, we have our guesses but we're still fishing.


February 6, 2010 - I'm FINALLY in the Club!!!

I remember watching with sheer envy from my front window as minivan after SUV pulled up in front of my neighbor's house across the street. Women would get out carrying home baked wonders or a package of goodies carefully picked out from a bakery. Sometimes they would pull up at the same time and greet each other in the driveway with smiles and small talk, other times they'd pull up one by one and be treated to a similar reception at the front door. I always wished I would get an invite to join this group I was sure was full of laughter, giggles, war stories, advice, sarcasm and warmth. But for me at the time that invite was unattainable because I was missing something, the one definite thing that would include me. I was not a mother. The "mommy club" doors required a child for passage through them.

Fast forward a few years to my beautiful daughter - and my first mommy brunch.

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The waters parted and that clad iron door I once feared would stay stubbornly shut in my childless face creaked loudly and swung wide open. I sat down today to some coffee, pastries and good conversation with some wonderful moms I know. And it was a great morning.


February 5, 2010 - Round and Round

What might you ask could put such a look of fascination and wonder upon the face of my darling baby girl? What could transfix her gaze so? What could make her spontaneously break into fits of giggles and laughter? What could make her talk and talk and talk?

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It's none other than Mr. Fan. Yes, that what we now call the ceiling fan in our bedroom. It seems to be Georgia's best friend. At first, I thought maybe we should put her college fund into a good therapist fund instead. Thankfully though, I'm finding out from many other parents that she is certainly not the only baby that talks to fans and I'll enjoy the free babysitter while I can.


February 4, 2010 - The "M" Word

There are so many reasons why any woman who is "pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant" should know all about the dreaded "M" word -at least it's very dreaded in my world. And no, it's not mother-in-law. But this bill that came in the mail the other day reminded me of another reason to know the ins-and-outs of Mastitis. Something I never, ever knew about it is that it can get so bad you must have surgery to fix it. Not just the numb-you-up kind of surgery in the doc's office. I'm talking about the show up to the hospital in the morning and get knocked completely out kind of surgery. Hence the very large hospital bill for all of my seven hours in the hospital. So not only is the price painful, but if you haven't heard, Mastitis is P-A-I-N-F-U-L!! And if you are committed to feeding your baby only breast milk, it can interrupt that process too. Check out my previous blogs on the process on January 8th, 14th and 15th.

But here's what I think needs to be said the most and what I wish I would have known. If you think you have a blocked duct, or worse that it has become Mastitis, call your doctor and after that DON'T let it go more than 24-48 hours if it doesn't get better. My doctor's office just kept telling me to take the antibiotics and do the massages for SEVEN days before finally getting me into the office. They didn't even put me on a stronger antibiotic until a lactation consultant told them that's what was needed. And if you're not clear, make sure someone explains just how to do the massages and warm compresses. (by the way, a diaper works great for the warm compresses.) I realize now I could have been doing a better job at all of that from the start if I had asked more questions or better yet, gotten in to see my doctor earlier and had things explained to me. Maybe I would not have gotten to the point of needing surgery.

More than a month later, I am still dealing with some lingering problems but luckily the pain is gone. I still must feed my daughter eight ounces of formula a day to supplement and that infuriates me because I never intended for her to have formula. But life happens, right? The best news is my daughter seems none worse for the wear. She took right to the formula and hasn't complained. :) And her daily dose of sunshine makes me able to bear anything I have to go through for her.


February 3, 2010 - Georgia's Giggle

My, my can Georgia giggle! She's had the smiling thing down for more than a month, but now the giggling is really starting to pick up. That and the outright hysterical laughter that comes from this little, tiny being. I know every parent thinks it, but it's just the most adorable moment ever! And talk about contagious laughter - my husband and I can't help but catch it from Georgia. Who ever knew one little girl could bring so much sunshine into my world - even on my darkest days. Oh yeah, this is take two of the bonnet pictures after the earlier vomit episode. This one obviously went much better.


February 2, 2010 - She Didn't Get It From Me!

Most mornings, I am awakened by the most beautiful alarm clock imaginable. The coos and gurglings of Georgia and her gigantic grin. She is a morning person, something I most definitely am not. I don't know where she gets it from but I can tell you where she doesn't. But you know what, if she keeps up her morning routine, I might just become a morning person. How can you not want to be awake when you have this to greet you as you open your eyes. By the way, it also makes it much harder for me to even think about having her sleep in her crib in the next room. I love having her next to me. Of course, if she didn't sleep through the night I might have different thoughts on the subject.


February 1, 2010 - The Art of Projectile Vomit

Today is Monday, my day off, so I thought I'd use the extra time to take some studio-like pictures of Georgia. Her grandmother recently knitted her a cute pink bonnet that would look adorable in the pictures. So I sent up the black backdrop, put the Bumbo seat underneath it, dressed Georgia in a onsie that would match the bonnet, got the camera ready and then put Georgia in the chair. Not two seconds later - BLAH!!!

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Lovely, white, sour milk vomit flew from Georgia's precious little mouth. I still can't understand how so many vile substances can come out of such a sweet baby. And what you can't see in this picture is that the vomit got some distance - at least a foot! I don't know if that's a talent that she can use later in life, but if it is, let me tell you Georgia is set. We'll go for round 2 on the bonnet pictures another day.


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