Monday, March 31, 2014

the day my ovaries burst

Saturday Grahm and I decided to take our now two-month-old (whale face) nugget out for her very own photo shoot. (Never mind that her new favorite thing is blowing spit bubbles.) Grahm's latest obsession is photography, so we thought it'd be wise to finally use all that expensive fabulous camera gear we have around the house. I mean, we only have 3,000 pictures of Sawyer Marie. Obviously, we need more.

Now there's not much this born-and-raised Okie gal likes about living in the land of burnt orange, longhorns, and cowboy boots. But Texas, I've got to hand it to your beautiful fields of bluebonnets. You win. They're more lovely than a dozen jelly-filled donuts.

We found a little church near our house that had lots and lots of bluebonnets. Sawyer was an angel baby and worked the camera like a pro. (I tried to tell her that she has little chance of making it past her mamma's 5-foot stature, so not to get visions of runways in her head.)
Sometimes I can't believe she's really mine.
As my friend Kaysie puts it, my ovaries just burst.
"Boob. Stat."
I'm sure I said something truly hilarious.
The best a tripod and a self-timer could do to capture our little family. I'll take it.
She has my whole heart. Every stinkin' piece.
Oh hey there, blue eyes.
Her little toes just kill me. Kill me dead.
I think Grahm did a phenomenal job taking these photographs. It's kind of annoying, actually. One of these days I'll find something I can beat him at besides pounding a gallon of ice cream. Until then I'm stuck trying to figure out what in the world aperture means.
 photo PicMonkeyCollagepng_zps709febcc.png

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Madness

Don't worry. This post isn't about college basketball or brackets. Ick. (Sorry, Dad. I know you tried.)
If you know me at all, you know I love to clean. I'm a bit of a freak about deep scrubbing, throwing crap away, and Swiffering to my heart's content. So, as you can imagine, spring cleaning is my own little version of March madness....I just (unfortunately) won't ever win a pool at work for it. Travesty, I know.

With this year's round of spring cleaning well under way, I got to thinking about some things I do throughout the year to prevent a germ infestation in my home and bodwod. When we first got married, Grahm thought I was the weirdest gal ever for constantly replacing things we already had. "Umm, babe? We already have all this stuff."

Like my husband, you may think replacing these items in your home is a waste of money, but I assure you that a few bucks here and there are well worth it. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness... or something like that.
via
1. Toothbrushes: If you're not replacing this one, I have no words for you. Remind me not to kiss you any time soon. I buy Grahm and I new toothbrushes once a month, and really, I would switch to every other week but the husband struggles with remembering which color is his with the constant change ups. The germs in your mouth and on the brush are too numerous to count, even if you think you've thoroughly rinsed it out. Your basically brushing with last week's cheeseburger remains. And if your toothbrush is anywhere near your toilet, you're essentially brushing with what you're dropping in the pot. Read about it. You'll be forever changed. Put those things in a drawer, and replace them frequently.t

2. Toilet Brushes: I replace these once a month as well. When I clean our toilets once a week, I try to use the brush as little as possible, but there are some places that it's a tad unavoidable. I'm assuming I don't need to tell you what you're dropping in the bowl; and if your house is anything like ours, then your royal throne is getting plenty of action. In other words, that brush is seeing some hard time and you don't exactly want those "hard times" to be passed on to each and every cleaning. At least I don't. I'll throw my cheap brushes in a bucket of bleach a few times prior to buying new ones, but there are some things even bleach can't eliminate. Yikes.
via
3. Dish Scrubbers: Grahm doesn't really understand this one, but I stand by my obsession with changing out our dish scrubbers and sponges every other month. These get disgusting just sitting in your sink and getting unwanted food off your plates and pans. Bacteria, baby, and it ain't pretty. Throw these in the dishwish a few times before you buy new ones. But seriously, replace these frequently. You eat off those plates, people.

4. Dish Towels: These I don't exactly replace, but I wash more than fat fanny. I'm a huge advocate for having one zillion rolls of paper towels (pipe down, you environmentalists) and lots of wipes everywhere around the house. If you're not washing these after just a couple of uses, I'd reconsider. I mean, wouldn't it be nice to dry your clean dishes with a, oh I don't know, clean towel?
via
5. Shower Liners: This one seems a bit obvious to me, but I know people who have moved with their shower liners from house to house. Crazy cheapwads. I clean these every time I clean the shower (once a week), and I replace them every few months. They're more expensive and a bit of a pain to put back on, however, I prefer to scrub my bodwod without being stared down by the gunk that's accumulated over every wash. Not to mention I shed like a corgi in heat.
So moral of the story?


 photo PicMonkeyCollagepng_zps709febcc.png

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Believe I Can Fly


This year thus far has been chock-full of firsts. First baby. First round of sleepless nights. First time cleaning poop off of my bedspread. And if you follow me on Instagram, you already know we just experienced our first flight as a family of three to visit my family in Nashville. What you don't know, however, is the sheer mayhem behind our trip home yesterday. I'm still in recovery mode aka napping and eating copious amounts of ice cream like a champ.

As a self-proclaimed control freak with a winning A-type personality, punctuality and organization are especially important to me. When I married Grahm (the very definition of aloof), I knew I would no longer be able to arrive 15 minutes early to events like I prefer. (High school parties were rough.) Not a big deal, as long as we're still on time....

Now I'm realizing that having a child puts us way way way past the hard-and-fast line of tardiness.                                        
Babies seem to be a part of a strange time-space continuum, where time goes to die and you're not even aware of it.

Our flight was at six a.m. (First mistake.) We got up at four, or as I like to call it the boobing hour. Sawyer always seems to be especially ravenous around this time. I had already packed us up the night before, so all we needed to do was change her, feed her, and say our goodbyes to my mom and sister before my dad took us to the airport.

Forty-five minutes later (The nugget has been chowing down on the boob buffet for how many weeks now? And every time I'm still amazed at how long second breakfast takes.), we were finally headed to the airport. Another thirty minutes go by, and we're finally arriving. We now have forty minutes to check our bags, go through security, and board. Oh, and everyone and their guitar happened to be in Nashville that morning. Making our flight seemed about as impossible as resisting that fifth strip of bacon.

Panic mode started to set in as we waited in the grueling line for bag check.

We tangoed with thoughts of desperation ("Oh god, we're gonna be stuck on standby all day with a newborn!") and total ignorance ("Psh. We have plenty of time. In fact, let's get breakfast burritos before we board.")

Fifteen minutes later, our bags were checked and we frantically made our way toward the TSA line. I half expected the airport to part like the Red Sea. "Lady with a newborn, running late! Make way!" But all we saw were disgruntled Nashvillians thrilled to be awake at the ungodly hour.

Another huge line awaited us. We began to pray to the security gods that people wouldn't be as slow as molasses getting their belts and shoes off. (Yes, I'm talking about you, lady, who decided it was a good idea to wear her hooker heels to the airport.)

By some miracle, we made it through the line with four minutes to spare. Grahm grabbed the diaper bag and mumbled something about running ahead to the gate. Before I knew it, I was alone with Sawyer in my arms trying to sprint toward our gate while I watched my barefoot husband several yards ahead dodging the swarm of people.

Running through the airport in flip-flops while carrying an infant who has yet to master neck control is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Forget the four marathons I've completed, this was the race of my lifetime. R. Kelley's "I Believe I Can Fly" was stuck in my head... I did. I believed I could fly.

An excruciating three minutes later, I rounded the corner to our empty gate where Grahm was waiting. We did it. We made it. I could've cried I was so happy. We were the very last to board, and (thanks, Southwest) there only middle seats available. But we ignored the "Oh my god, they're so late AND they have a baby" stares of the people in the plane and considered ourselves victorious. Hallelujah.

The real miracle is that Sawyer not only slept through the whole ordeal, but she didn't make her mamma whip her boobs out while sitting between two large businessmen who were just thrilled to have us at their sides.

 photo PicMonkeyCollagepng_zps709febcc.png

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Day in the Life

Okay. I can do this. We. Can. Do. This. We WILL do this.
That's right, Jena. Pretend like you have any kind of control over this situation.

I mean, it's just one meal. People with babies eat at restaurants all the time. It can't be that hard. You're eating food... just with a baby. Hopefully not a crying baby. We don't want to be those guys. But sometimes she just needs to cry. Or fart. Or poop. Or something. Maybe we should pick a loud restaurant or go to McDonald's so we'll still feel superior to everyone else even if our baby is screaming her head off.

Okay, okay. Getting off topic here.
Do I have everything? 8 extra outfits? 4 blankets? An entire box of diapers? Check, check, definite check. Damn, forgot the pacifier. Lord knows we're gonna need that. Unless we don't. Does she even like this thing? She's smart. Too smart. It's like she knows we're just placating her and cruelly holding off the tap. She'll learn, right? I mean, this boob buffet line has to have some points in the day where it's no longer open for business. Speaking of which, did I grab my nipple shield and hooter hider? Yes. Okay. I think we're set. Glad I just wasted ten minutes to get our crap in the car.

Man, she sure is adorable. Good job, loins. That headband. Kill me, it's so cute! Is it acceptable to not be as well dressed as your six-week-old? No? Well, I put on deodorant today to mask the crusty milk smell I've been rocking lately. Winner, winner.

Okay, we're leaving now. I've got her, our million bags, if only I could find my keys... Are they in my purse or diaper bag? Ugh, I got set everything down to search. Why do I keep switching between bags? Your purse is now going to hold diapers instead of unreasonable amounts of lipgloss. Just deal with it, Jena. Alright, found them. How did they end up in her diaper caddy? Sheesh.

This is great. Nothing can go wro... Oh noooo. Is that... is that...? Please Lord, do me this solid and tell me there isn't a solid sitting pretty in my daughter's new outfit... Hoooooly Toledo. How in the world? I set you down for two seconds! Even I can't poop that fast, and Grahm calls me the phantom pooper. Okay nobody panic. She's crying, but understandably so since World War II just happened in her drawers.

I'll just set her on the ground and change her real fast. Ahhh. It's all over everything. The Niagara Falls of poopy diapers. Oh crap. Crap just got all over our cream-colored rug. Not good, not good. Some people's dogs poop on their rugs, abut not us. Nope. Just our children.... Poor baby. She's going crazy. It's all over her outfit. And my hands. And her back...

Oh screw it, let's just order a pizza.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

a new job

I have a new boss, a new little lady that I'll be answering to every day. 
She's a bit demanding at times. I mean, she eats a lot. She needs my help getting anywhere. She even needs me to wipe her fanny... but she sure looks cute in a headband. And her snuggles are like a warm slice of heaven that I can't seem to get enough of.

I'm officially a stay-at-home mom now, which (unless you have a really weird relationship with your boss) you probably guessed.

Since Grahm and I made this decision last week, it's amazing how much my eyes have been opened to the negativity surrounding it. It's obviously not something that our culture necessary applauds. What? You want to stay home all day and change diapers? You want to give up adult interactions? You want to abandon your career for something so seemingly trivial? What a waste.

This attitude is even dominant with stay-at-home moms themselves, who constantly talk about how difficult, exhausting, and lonely it is to raise children "for a living." And I get that. I've only been with Sawyer for 6 weeks, and I already understand the hardships of the job. No one is denying the challenges. In fact, I think there is something to be said of being honest about them: "Hey I don't have it all together. My house is a wreck. I don't get to shower until my husband gets home, and that's if I get one. When Sawyer cries, I don't always know what to do. And sometimes my greatest accomplishment of the day is brushing my teeth and taking a nap with my daughter." 

There's power in dropping the pretenses.
But sometimes I wonder if, in the desire to be transparent, we aren't focusing on the wrong things. 

I think of my own mother who stayed at home with three little ones, three and under. I have no idea how that worked. Can you imagine what a trip to the grocery store would have been like? Remaining sane, let alone happy, sounds like a challenge. But she didn't complain about how hard it was... she just did it, and she was truly overjoyed to do so. Even today she tells me those were the best years of her life.

Being a stay-at-home mom is not something I have to do, it's something I get to do. I already know it's going to be hard, so why let that be my only focus each day? It'll be difficult, but it'll be worth it and I want to focus on the "worth it" part of motherhood. I want to enjoy the days I'm blessed to spend snuggling with my sweet baby girl, not concentrate on the challenges.

There are enough stay-at-home moms complaining; the world doesn't need another one.