Thursday, December 29, 2016

Polly Is Four and Other Adventures

My baby girl is 4. It's a little obnoxious that I'm going to be saying that every year for the rest of my life but it really is crazy how time flies. On one level I feel like she's always been around but on another level I feel like I'm still shocked that I'm a parent not of just one but TWO girls. I love their faces so, so much. Look at those arm rolls on Callie!

This month was insane. Here are some highlights:

  • Since I returned to work from maternity leave I've had a December work trip hanging over my head. I wanted to go but I also couldn't imagine leaving a four month old baby behind. Finally I decided that dammit, women CAN have it all and I'm going on my work trip and I'm taking the dang baby with me! So I convinced my mom to let me fly her to NY and stay in a boring conference center with a baby for four days. I was worried that it would be a huge mistake, that Callie would hate travel and I would have this moment where I realized mid-trip that I was a selfish mama for bringing a baby on a work trip.  That this was for me, not for her.  
  • When I stress I make lists and over prepare. 
  • I created a master to pack list, organized everything so I could pump in the airport (remember this baby never latched) and manage a baby all alone. As the trip drew nearer I was stressed so checked my list one thousand times, read blogs about traveling with babies, and worried some more. I also went down a dark internet hole where people scared me to death about flying with a baby on my lap and I worried that being cheap would leave my baby with a crazy head injury.   I love and hate the internet so much.
  • Finally travel time came. From my internet research I learned that if there is a free seat on the plane, they will let you use your carseat for free in the seat. All you have to do is make sure your carseat is approved for air travel which is printed right on the carseat. I even let them bump my flight to get on a flight with an empty seat. That meant I chilled in an airport for two hours before the actual travel began. I thought that would put a nail in this travel alone with a baby coffin but that didn't happen. She slept and I read a book, a book which I thought about not backing because who gets to read while traveling with a baby.  Then we boarded the plane. There was a baby seated behind us and I thought, great, our babies are both going to cry and we are going to get kicked off the plane but that didn't happen. The babies slept and I read a book.
  • Callie did great with my mom at the conference center not to mention the fact that all of my colleagues loved having a baby around during breaks. My mom got sick but she was a trooper and Callie loved her the entire time. There is something magical about watching your mom with your kids. That seemed worth all of the stress. 
  • Travel home time came and I thought I'd really pay for this decision on the way home but we scored TSA pre-check and boarded the plane, we scored another seat for Callie and guess what? She slept and I read a freaking book! I have no idea what I did to deserve this sweet good baby girl but she is the best baby.  I felt like I had conquered the world traveling with my little sidekick. It was expensive, it was exhausting but it was worth it. 
  • Then I paid for it. The entire house except for Ben got sick. Maybe from my mom, maybe from day care but the next week I was puked on more times then I can count and we had SO much dirty laundry.  SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY. These two kids both know how to aim so it goes right into my shirt and causes me to have to change all of my clothes down to the underwear. It was some sort of stomach/nasal congestion sickness. It was terrible. Polly at one point had a 105 degree fever which is incredibly stressful. She woke up from her high fever at one point and said, "I don't want to die" which just broke our hearts! She didn't eat much for a week and got so skinny. I did get a lot of baby and Polly cuddles that week though so it was a bonus. Everyone at the doctor's office knows us now. 
  • That sick week we watched a lot of movies including one of my childhood favorites An American Tale. It always made me cry as a little kid thinking about being separated from my family. That dang song! At one point during the movie Polly said, "this movie keeps making tears in my eyes." She is my kid for sure. 
  • Nap time and night time confuse Polly. Sometimes she wakes up from her nap and thinks it's morning but lately she started referring to night time as "dark nap". Makes sense I guess. 
  • Polly thinks steam off of warm things like coffee or soup looks like ghosts. This excites her.
  • No-one makes Callie laugh like Polly. It is the best. 
  • Callie starts daycare next week and it's giving me the feels. It's also giving me panic attacks because that daycare bill is no joke people. Yikes. But Ben needs to focus on his career and Callie will be in great hands with people that we have come to know and trust. Yes I'm typing those words out to make myself feel better. I'm also reminding myself that it's our job to grow independent kids and part of that is letting a village of people help you. I hated leaving Polly when I returned to work but I've also been so proud of how independent she has been and hopefully Callie will be the same way. 
  • All of that being said, women need at least 4-6 months maternity leave. Paid. Period. It's good for the mamas and it's good for the babies. 
  • It scares me how much I love this little family of mine. I am beyond grateful.  
Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for reading this year! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Smelling, Hearing, Seeing, Feeling and Licking!

Well this month was interesting. Thank goodness for these two kids to keep a smile on my face even when I've felt like not getting out of bed. I'm grateful that my girls are still young, too young to know what is going on in the world around them right now.  It's not lost on me how lucky we are to live a life where I can shelter them from certain things for now. I still can't believe that I'll spend the next four year sheltering them from the President of the United States because I don't trust what inappropriate thing will come out of his mouth. His horrible political beliefs aside, I certainly don't trust the way he talks about women and their bodies. I spend so much time as a parent trying to reinforce positive body image because I know how young girls can be when they start disliking who they are.

I'm heartbroken over this election but I do believe that the American people are good at their core and I believe that we will overcome this setback. I also believe that we are more alike then we are different. I for one am going to try to listen more, try to understand others more and try to raise two smart, confident girls who do the same. What I won't do is tolerate hate speak, bigotry, misogyny, or any form of discrimination, generalization, or tendency to want people to be just one way, one religion, a particular orientation, or expect everyone to follow socially constructed gender norms. Yikes, what a sentence. I am sure I'm missing some things in there but you get my point. I will challenge and face my own prejudices, my own fears, and my own assumptions about other people.  I will not do any of this perfectly but I will try with all my might and I have a lot of might.

Ok, stepping off my soapbox. Here are some highlights from this month:

  • As I was writing the above I hear Polly calling from her bed upstairs, "MOOOOOMMMMYYYYYY! MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY!" Ben goes up to see what she wants and she says sadly, "why do you always come when I call mommy?" See I'm usually washing bottles or working on something after their bedtime so I send him. I go up and she asks, "why don't daddy let you come up?" I laugh because I'm relieved that she doesn't think I'm neglecting her but instead Ben is keeping me away!  HA! I ask her why she wants me and she sweetly says, "because I love you." UGH. Sometimes she knows just what to say to melt me.  
  • Polly was learning about the 5 senses at school a few weeks ago and we were reviewing them on the way home.  She got through seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and she forgot the last.  I pointed to my mouth and she said, "LICKING!" Taste is forever known to me as licking now. I think she is part cat.
  • Callie loves her big sister so much and the feeling is mutual. Hearing Polly's already high pitched voice get even higher when she talks to her baby sister just gets me every time. Callie watches Polly's every move and Polly can usually cheer Callie when she rarely has a bad mood going on.
  • Callie is still (knocks on wood) the best baby. She wakes up smiling in the morning and that makes it easy to get up and start the day. I generally don't wake up well but that smiling little face looking up at me from her bed right next to mine is the best. 
  • This morning Polly was telling me that she wants a polar bear from Santa and I let her know that Santa doesn't get everything on the list that she wants.  I was also thinking that she has too many stuffed animals as it is. Polly then informed me that grown ups can get her presents too, not just Santa. I was thinking, okay smart little girl, I see what you are doing there and I'm both proud and worried about how cleaver you are.  
  • Callie is getting so chubby! I was worried with her only taking breastmilk by bottle that she might not be getting everything she needs (mom guilt is the worst). Over night it seems like she turned into a chubby baby who hides dirt and other general funk in her thigh rolls. I love it except when I realize it's been a few days since bath time and she's funky.  She also seems like a giant baby next to her newborn BFF that was born a week ago. I need time to slow down or I need to win the lottery so I can have 10 more babies.  
  • I still don't play the lottery.  
  • That's about all for now but take another look at the rolls on that baby up top! Her thighs are the best. I can't handle the way she's propped up in that chair like she's just relaxin' and we caught her there mid-laugh.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Callie and Polly

I'm a little late posting this month because this weekend I decided to tune into our lives as much as I could instead of write about it. My oldest friend Sarah brought her two daughters to visit for the weekend from South Carolina. Polly was SO excited and loved having two girls to play with. They are just old enough to find her cute and not mind that she told them what to do constantly. They seemed to think it was adorable and did exactly as she wanted. Yikes, this girl is a handful.  Here are some other high lights from the last month.
  • I feel like this month is sort of a blur because at the beginning of the month I was trying to really soak in my last few weeks of baby time before going back to work. I started back at the beginning of last week and it was a long and tiring week even though I worked from home two of the 5 days. 
  • I don't know what I'd do with out the opportunity to work from home a bit. Since I'm strictly pumping, it saves me from having to pack up and haul the pump everywhere even for a day or two. I can wash my parts and bottles a bit throughout the day instead of coming home every night and washing 13 bottles. It's insane.  
  • I'm still producing more milk than I need. We have officially filled the deep freezer and are about a week away from having to give some away. I want to make sure my supply doesn't diminish too much with my transition back to work but the first week back seemed to go well so I could still feed the entire neighborhood.
  • Polly is hilarious. She has her own little way of doing things and over the last few weeks it's hit me over the head that she is just her own little person. Watching her through Sarah's eyes this weekend made me see her in a new light too. It's so surreal watching your daughter play with the children of your childhood best friend.  I feel so lucky to still know her and get to watch her girls grow up even if it's from a distance.  
  • One night we were driving home and Polly said, "when you're driving in the car the moon is moving with you." We tried to explain to her how the moon moves but she wouldn't have it because she could see that it was moving with us! 
  • Polly after eating pizza said sadly, "The pizza burned my mouth and it made my life a hot day." That makes no sense but I also know exactly what she meant.
  • Our bedtime routine is out of control:
    • Step 1: 5 minute warning before bedtime
    • Step 2: Beg for a bedtime snack (thanks neighbors for introducing this idea, we love you anyways)  We refuse but give her a glass of milk.
    • Step 3: Negotiate which toys she can take up and put on her bookshelf while she sleeps
    • Step 4: Find bear who is usually with her always EXCEPT FOR WHEN IT'S BEDTIME!!!
    • Step 5: Use the potty
    • Step 6: Put on pull-up and pajamas
    • Step 7: S-L-O-W-L-Y  brush teeth. Somehow she's learned to delay by moving like a sloth. Watching her climb the stool to brush her teeth can literally take 10 minutes.
    • Step 8: Slowly walk, sometimes crawl like a cat to reading chair.
    • Step 9: Pick the longest book in the world to read.
    • Step 10: Demand the hall light is on.
    • Step 11: Snuggle in bed and talk about the day.
    • Step 12: Now tell her a story that you've made up.
    • Step 13: Now she wants to tell you a story but she's terrible at them and they take FOREVER. 
    • Step 14: Argue about how her story needs to end now to which she responds, "but mom it's my turn to talk."
    • Step 15: Do the kiss routine which involves a kiss on the lips, and Eskimo kiss, a butterfly kiss, an eyebrow kiss (where you hit your foreheads together) and the newly added hair kiss where I have to take my hair out of it's ponytail and dangle it to the side while she punches through it with her fist.
    • Step 16: (this list is like the stories she tells, it just keeps going) I leave the room and I have to say, "Good night, I love you, sweet dreams, see you in the morning." If I forget she says, "YOU DIDN'T SAY WORDS TO ME!"  
    • Step 17: about 10-15 minutes later she has to use the potty again.  
    • Step 18: Sings to herself for about an hour. 
  • I tolerate the above list because time is moving so fast and I love it and hate it so much.  
  • I am very bad at leaving work at work. I swore I wasn't going to let work stress me out but that didn't last more than one hour on my first day. This working thing with two babies is tough but I also know it will get easier with time so I'm trying to give myself a break.  I've definitely been having stress dreams about being a terrible mom though.  I know that's ridiculous but that doesn't stop my brain from stressing about it even when I'm sleeping.
  • Callie is the best baby ever. She only wakes up once a night and even then she doesn't cry. She just grunts a lot until I wake up and try to give her pacifier which she angry sucks until I give in and feed her. She wakes up that way in the morning too and as soon as I say good morning to her she smiles. Waking up to a smiley baby is amazing. I hope she keeps up her sleeping routine. I know it can change but PLEASE don't change.  
  • Polly finally landed on being Princess Leia for halloween after one year of brainstorming. She's already brainstorming for next year because she knows she can't change her mind again. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Girls

Okay, I thought time moved fast when Polly was a baby but add in another kid and it's moving even faster. Somehow I only have three weeks of maternity leave left and while I miss my work, I still need more time to figure this all out. Callie seems way too small to leave in three weeks but luckily she'll be home with daddy until the new year and I'll have time to figure out how to work and pump and mother two babes. While this month was quick, there's lots to tell.

  • As I mentioned last month, Callie did not latch so I've been pumping and bottle-feeding. I was miserable about this direction but we have settled into a groove and I feel like I can see this working fine. It's also helped to talk to other mamas about their experiences. It does keep me close to home since I haven't ventured into pumping in the car or while we are out but hopefully I'll feel bold enough to do that soon. My boobs finally feel happy instead of feeling like every nerve in my body is connected there. There is hope ladies! 
  • A recent conversation with Polly: 
    • Polly: Next time I want to wear my dress and I'll be even more beautiful.
    • Me: That's nice.  Do you know what makes you truly beautiful?
    • Polly: What?
    • Me: Being kind to people.
    • Polly (quickly and definitively): Nope!
  • We watched the new Jungle Book movie the other night and I realized that she thinks that Mowgli is a girl and I love that so much.
  • We decided to make a list of the ridiculous things we find ourselves saying to Polly. Here is a sample:
    • Please don't lick me.
    • Please don't bite my shoe.
    • Please don't lick the water off of the floor.
    • Don't rub dads toothbrush on the couch!
    • Don't lick the table.
    • Don't chew on the cup lid.
    • Don't lick the chair.
    • Don't put your feet on the table.
    • Don't wave your naked butt at house guests.
  • Polly while listening to "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, "This is a good shaking my butt song."
  • Polly still loves her little sister. 
  • Polly refers to her memories as living in her heart like, "Mom, I remember when we went to the zoo in my heart." It makes things seem so sweet that way.
  • Callie wakes up once a night to eat and it's beautiful. I'm actually getting rest and if this keeps up I may be a whole person when I go back to work. I survived on cuteness alone that first year with Polly. 
  • I really do love this new little lady so much. It's amazing how my heart grows and grows for both of them. It is exhausting with two particularly with Polly in the phase where she NEVER stops talking. It's like she runs on batteries. At night I think she literally falls asleep talking when her batteries run out and then wakes up talking when she's powered back up. 
  • I could have sworn that Callie hasn't grown that much in the last month but looking at her pictures side by side it's crazy to see her little personality emerging. SLOW DOWN TIME!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Callie and Polly

I guess this is the start of a new tradition of posting about both of my girls! I can't believe it's been a month already. I'm a little sensitive to the fact that we already know from experience that time flies. I've been trying to soak in the tiny baby time but somehow this month flew by despite my best efforts to make it slow down. The days disappear in a blur of naps, diapers, bottles, breast pump, and meals. I can't get over the fact that we have two girls and that it's already time to start using these monthly onesies made by my awesome friend Steph. Here are some highlights from this month.
  • The 1 month onesie was a little baggy on Polly but serves as a quarter length sleeve on Callie. I can't wait to see how much she weighs tomorrow at her doctor's appointment.  
  • Leading up to Callie's arrival, I was very sentimental about Polly losing her role as the only child with our full, undivided attention. It turns out I do have enough room in my heart for two girls and Polly isn't sort of attention. She actually been so spoiled by visitors and presents that I don't think she's thought for one second that she's getting less. She has been so well adjusted and sweet. She just thinks her little sister is the cutest thing she's ever seen. 
  • When I got home from the hospital, Polly was excited that my belly was smaller, she asked, "will you be able to sit on the floor and play with me?".  I guess my activity and mobility the last few weeks didn't go unnoticed by Polly. Nothing gets by her really. Nothing.
  • It's becoming apparent that Polly has a very dramatic side. When she says something funny I usually leave a note in my phone so I remember when it's time to write about the month. This month I did a terrible job and only had one note. I can't remember the circumstances but I do remember something happening to her and her response being, "That makes my life yuck!" I will use this from now on to describe so many things.  I have no idea where she gets this personality...sorry kid.  
  • Breastfeeding hurts dammit. All of the books and lactation consultants tell you, "it's not supposed to hurt" which is the least helpful thing to say to someone in extreme pain from trying to breastfeed.  I had a hard time latching Polly but we eventually got the hang of it after a few months of using a nipple shield and powering through. Callie didn't latch at all the first week and a half so I started exclusively pumping. Then my boobs were killing me so I quit trying to get her to latch after a visit with the lactation consultant who determined that she has a high palate and a slight tongue tie. The lactation consultant said it would be very difficult for her to latch so I gave the boobs a break. Don't tell women what their bodies should and shouldn't feel!!! 
  • These last four weeks I've really thought a lot about maternity leave in our country and it makes me more and more mad. I'm a lucky person that likes my job for the most part. I don't really have a desire to be a stay at home mom but I do want more time with my baby in this first year. I can see how many women are forced into being stay at home moms even when they might rather have their career. We just need more time to focus on our babies. I'm already aware that my leave is quickly ticking away and I'm having a hard time picturing balancing it all. I know I will figure it out but it makes me mad that I have to. Then there is the fact that the leave I have isn't paid!!! I want to figure out how to pave the way for the women coming up after me.  That's my new plan.  
  • I've been reading my posts about Polly along the way and it's still true that the world is a scarier place when you have kids and now it's twice as scary. Instead of focusing on that I instead try really hard to be grateful and aware of how lucky we are. 
  • Naming your baby the day they are born means that you may call them every name you ever considered or just refer to them as that baby when you are really tired during the first week or two. You don't love them any less though. 
  • I can't stop looking at these two pictures and I'm already sentimental about them graduating from high school. This is why most moms are crazy.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hello Calliope Mae Davis

She's here! It's amazing how quickly time passes between diapering, feeding, visitors and trying to sleep. I've been trying to get to this post for a few weeks now. We are slowly getting into a groove as a family of four.  For weeks leading up to her birthday I knew an ordinary day would slowly turn into the story of her arrival.  Here it is.

It started happening on Wednesday, July 27th in the middle of the night though I didn't really realize it at the time.  I didn't sleep well because I was having what I thought were braxton hicks contractions but every hour or so they would wake me up, that and having to use the restroom a billion times throughout the night. The next day I intended to go into the office to continue to get things in order but I decided to work from home with my swollen feet up in the recliner chair.  I'm so thankful for that flexibility!  I had an appointment with my doctor at 9 and I was 3-4 cm dilated at that point.  She offered to strip my membranes but I wanted to let things take their own course. She thought it could be any day now but didn't think I was in any risk of going into immediate labor or anything so back to my recliner chair to finish work.  

Around 11 a.m. I messaged Ben with a list of 25 or so names that I have compiled over the last several months and a note that said, "we have to name this baby!!!" Callie has been on my list from the beginning and he quickly wrote back and said, "how about Calliope but we call her Callie."  Polly is named after both of my grandmothers and Callie is the name of my great grandmother.  Mae is my mother's first name though she goes by Joanne. I was glad to have a family name for her that Ben liked but also a name that he had come up with since I had named Polly. After that I think my body said, "ok, she's named, let's do this."

As the day progressed, so did my contractions.  Between working, I was timing them and by 3 or 4 in the afternoon they were 7-8 minutes apart.  I still figured they could go away but they didn't.  I was supposed to pick up Polly from school but around 4:30 things were feeling more and more uncomfortable so I called Ben to tell him he should probably come home from the studio and pick up Polly on the way.  

I had a few work emergency calls around 5 or 5:30 which helped distract me as I talked through the issues and tried to pretend that I wasn't having contractions with my coworkers on the phone.  By the time Ben and Polly got home a little after 6 we called his mom to come just in case.  We finished packing our bags, fed Polly and things got more and more uncomfortable for me.  As the contractions got closer to 5-6 minutes apart Polly decided it was time to play the cymbals, the one musical instrument that she's NEVER touched until that day.  That's right the cymbals.  I have a distinct memory of me laying on the couch on my side trying to relieve the contractions and her playing them inches away from my face saying, "here mommy, give it a try!".  I did NOT want to give them a try.  I also didn't want to freak her out by what was going on with me so I tried to play along and encourage her to pick a different instrument.  She did not pick a different instrument.  

As 8 approached I decided to call the doctor. Since I was going to attempt a VBAC my doctor told me to call when contractions were 5-6 minutes apart so we did. I was getting a little more stressed out with my cymbal player, the increasing pain, and the realization that this was actually going to happen sooner than later.  Ben's mom arrived shortly after 8 or so.  I snapped one last picture of Polly and I before we hit the road to the hospital. I can't even get into how I felt about leaving my first baby to go welcome our new baby. It was tough and I worried about how she was going to take all of this change and what if I don't love this new baby as much?!?

It was a sunny, bright drive to the hospital that was sprinkled with normal conversation between contractions and then I'd turn into Hulk Hogan or something and tell poor Ben to shut up even if he was simply responding to a question that I had just asked. It's funny how you can go from normal conversation between contractions to I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING YOU ARE SAYING RIGHT NOW!!! 

We got to the hospital a little before 9. Ben offered to drop me off but I was too tough for that, I wanted to walk.  We had to pause for a contraction between the car and the door and Ben thought it was a good time for this selfie which made me laugh.  We accidentally dressed alike for the occasion.

They monitored me for an hour to make sure I wasn't in false labor. I felt like things were really speeding up but they said I was only at 4-5 cm dilated and suggested that I might want to labor at home since I wasn't progressing rapidly and I didn't want any interventions or medications. My gut told me this was not the right thing to do. If I'm supposed to call at when contractions are 5-6 minutes apart, how would I know when to come back. Plus there was the complications with saying bye to Polly again if she were to wake up. My gut said stay and Ben agreed so we stayed. Ladies, listen to your gut!

By the time we settled into our delivery room I was relieved we had decided to stay.  At this point it's around 11 and I naively thought I could try to sleep a little which didn't happen.  Around midnight I was 7 cm dilated and things just quickly progressed from there.  I walked, I kneeled, I tried to bounce on a damn ball but the baby monitor was too hard to deal with and it would lose contact with the baby and alarms would go off.  I hated this so much. I wish they would monitor the baby after it comes out and you stay awake all night watching them to make sure they are breathing not while I'm trying to labor here!  Around 1:00 things were feeling pretty serious.  As I labored in the bed for a bit I felt a burst and my water broke.  After that it was on!  Somewhere in these hours I sent an email to my coworkers telling them things were on and good luck!  

Around 1:30 the 12 year old nurse checked me and I could tell she was surprised that I was at 9 cm.  She all too calmly said that she was going to call the doctor.  I could tell that she was even a little nervous about how quickly we got to this point.  Before she left the room she said, "if you have to poop, don't poop!  It will be a baby." She was 12 but she was awesome.  

I had wondered when I would know to push and how to push despite reading so much about how to do all of this with no drugs. Around 1:50 I knew all too well what the urge felt like.  It's the craziest urge I've ever had in my life and I yelled at that poor, very helpful 12 year old nurse that I wanted to push. The doctor still wasn't there so they called in a resident that came with a team of other people which was great because this is when I thought I'd try to labor on all fours with my butt waving in the air.  They still wouldn't let me push because I wasn't at 10 cm yet.  The doctor walked in and my body was finally 100% ready and I 100% didn't know what I was supposed to do but the 12 year old nurse talked me through all of it as I wondered, "am I going to poop on the table?"

At this point I was so tired after not sleeping the night before and considering it was the middle of the night.  Ben and the nurse held my legs and I was surprised that Ben didn't faint and hung in there the entire time though I could tell he didn't know what to do with me and my yelling and breathing. Pushing took every ounce of willpower that I had and between contractions I closed my eyes and tried to focus on getting this little girl out of my body. I went between thinking, I CAN'T DO THIS and I CAN DO THIS!!!  There were a few times in there where I severely regretted no drugs but I also felt empowered and determined. The nurse was very encouraging and did an amazing job of talking me through it. I was afraid to ask how much longer they thought I had or how close she was to coming out.  They could see her head but that felt like forever. They kept telling me, soon your little girl will be here and I felt terrible because all I could think was I DON'T CARE, I WANT TO SLEEP.  I could tell they were getting out more equipment and suiting up for something so I figured it had to end sometime.  

Around 3:15 the doctor said, we have a head and an arm and the next thing I know they laid her on my chest.  I couldn't believe it went so quickly, I was in shock that she just slipped out after all that work to get the head and a surprising arm out.  As they placed her on my chest they all said, "that's a big baby." My vagina spoke up and said, "yeah, I know this."  At 3:18 am on July 29, 2016 we had another healthy baby girl on our hands.
When they weighed her the scale said 7 lbs 10 oz and I thought, "ha! you were all wrong" but the nurse determined the scale must be broken. Two scales later and she actually weighed around 9 lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long.  So sorry to my lady parts. She also missed my mom's birthday by 3 hours and 18 minutes.  

They said she was cute and later Ben and I both confessed that we both she and will that wrinkle in her forehead go away?  We were definitely spoiled by the perfect little face of a c-section baby. Poor Callie had to go through a lot to get out of there, we were an awesome team.  At this point I was so awake, I'd never felt so awake in my life. I felt like I could benchpress the entire hospital. I just couldn't believe that she was here and that I had done it.  I've never felt so invincible in my life. I was also relieved that I didn't have to feel another contraction.
I was done. I sat in that room for the next two hours waiting to move to our recovery room and looked at my new baby girl absorbing every tiny detail. Ben promptly fell asleep sitting up in the chair. I had worried that I couldn't possibly love another girl the way I love Polly but by the time the sun came up in our recovery room, I already wanted to eat her, a sure sign that my heart is big enough for these two girls of mine even if the deep wrinkle in her forehead was permanent.  

The wrinkle was temporary and faded slowly over the next day.  It was like ordering a mattress online that's compressed, it takes a full 24 hours for it to expand.  Callie expanded into a beauty!

She met her big sister which nearly made my heart explode. I was sad and excited for Polly.  She's so proud to be a big sister but I'm sad she has to share us and her days of our full, undivided attention are over.

Our family feels complete. I have two daughters and an awesome partner in crime.  Look at him...
People warned me that Polly would seem giant when the baby came but I thought, no not my little girl. They were wrong, she didn't seem giant, she seemed like Godzilla, giant and destructive. It's heart breaking how grown she seems. It's made me try to absorb these tiny sleepless baby days even more because before we know it we'll have two tiny bosses in the house.  Polly so far has been the best, most well adjusted big sister ever. I could just eat them up.

Welcome to the family Calliope Mae Davis.  We love you so much already. 
I have to say that compared to my c-section, I much preferred the natural birth experience.  As soon as it was over I said that to Ben immediately.  I barely remember holding Polly for the first time and I was so sick from the medication and surgery that the first few days were a blur with her.  I hated that.  I actually think the recovery was a little similar just the pain was in different places and I was a lot more mobile this time around.  I refused to take anything stronger than Motrin which helped keep me clear.  I didn't want to be all foggy when Polly met Callie and a zombie when my family visited.  I'm so glad this little girl was facing the right direction and let me have this experience. I'm also glad that we will probably not do this again. I keep thinking about the days when people had 9 kids! No thanks.

Side note: I'm definitely not one of those beautiful photogenic moms after birth. Yikes! There isn't a photo filter powerful enough to make me look anything but tired and in shock!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Your Belly is Getting So BIG!

This picture. This morning I told her that it was picture day and she picked up two pair of glasses and asked, "can I wear these?".  I'm wondering how that's going to work with her wearing two pair but I said sure. Of course one pair was for bear, of course.

This month felt long yet I didn't scribble as many funny Polly notes because I'm tired!  Here are some highlights:

  • I'm still pregnant. I was a little too hopeful last month thinking my last post could have been the last before the baby but this baby has her own plans.  My due date is still 4 days away but...
  • Polly is very quick to point out with wide eyes, "Your belly is getting so BIG!"
  • She asked who the baby got in there while we were at the store the other day. I simply said, "It grew in there." and that seemed to be enough.  Now I'm just waiting for her to ask how it gets out.  
  • Polly still hasn't mastered the potty.  She does pretty well but I think some of this is her choosing but it's hard to know.  I'm not really sure how many accidents are to be expected but we (I mean Ben) wash a lot of laundry.  I'm wondering if I'm going to end up with two stubborn girls. I guess I'm okay with that as long as that translates to stubbornly standing up for their values, stubbornly fighting against discrimination and hate, and stubbornly loving people who try to oppose them.  
  • Conversation between Ben and Polly while talking about rhyming words:
    • Polly: What rhymes with mommy?
    • Ben with no hesitation: Salami  (thanks dude)
  • At night when I tuck Polly into bed I lay down with her for a few minutes to talk about the day after reading a book. Tonight she was not a good listener before bedtime so we talked about that:
    • Me: Polly, daddy and I need you to try to be a better listener okay.  
    • Polly: Okay, mother.
    • Me: We don't like having to fuss at you and put you in timeout.  We'd rather play.
    • Polly: Okay.
    • Me: You know we both love you very much.
    • Polly: (sweetly) I know you do.  (this made my heart explode, she knows we do!)
  • Above she said, "okay mother" I'm not sure where that comes from but when I have to fuss at her or tell her to do something she switches from mom or mommy to mother.  It makes me laugh each time.  She can lay on the drama. 
  • I'm still pregnant.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Officially 3.5

Well look at that big kid! This picture is freaking me out. First of all she cooperated without a bribe and she has developed a slightly fake yet adorable "I'm having my picture taken" smile. This month was loooooooong to say the least so maybe there was enough time for her to turn into a big kid in one month. Here are some highlights from this month:

  • First of all Polly developed pneumonia at the beginning of the month after having a cough for a long time. I had a very busy week at work and super dad was there all the way staying home and taking her to the doctor but she wasn't getting better.  I was up all night with her many nights and dad had day duty as I dragged my giant pregnant self to work. Pure will power got me through the week.   As a pending out of town work trip across the country drew nearer, this mama was losing her mind with guilt and worry. We booked another doctor appointment and Ben dropped me at the airport. I felt TERRIBLE about leaving my sick baby. As I'm boarding the plane I get the word that she's allergic to amoxicillin. We've been poisoning our child all week, great.  So, turn your phone to airplane mode and don't freak out during the four hour flight. OK. Two days later she was back to her normal self and I couldn't have been more relieved.  
  • A conversation with Polly
          Polly: Mommy, can I watch a movie?
          Me: Not right now
          Polly: (angry) Mommy!  When I ask to watch a movie, you say yes!

  • I'm still feeling super sentimental about these last few weeks with just Polly and I think she's feeling it too. Today she was very cuddly and told me she loved me a lot which is just too much for this pregnant mama's heart. 
  • Public service announcement: after a certain point in pregnancy, don't talk to women about their bodies. Saying, "you look like you are going to go any day now" when they still have 5 weeks left isn't helpful or "are you sure there aren't two in there?" 
  • This could be the last Polly post before the baby comes. At least that's what I'm hoping. I'm so swollen and I'm a few pounds away from having to cut a head hole in a bed sheet and wear that to work. Just in case, we snapped this pic today.  As you can see, my sausage fingers and feet are out of control.  I definitely didn't swell like this with Polly but this heat is out of control and that isn't helped by all of the sitting in meetings I'm doing these days at work since it's planning season.  So, if I'm still pregnant when I post next month, know it is accompanied by lots of tears. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lonely Song by Polly

I'm definitely hitting a phase in this pregnancy where I'm really sentimental about the fact that my days with my one little sidekick are numbered.  I know we have enough room in our lives for two little girls but there is something bitter sweet about hitting this final stretch of pregnancy.  This last month seemed to go by at a normal pace aside from the fact that work is CRAZY for me right now.  Here's this month in review:

  • While eating breakfast the other day Polly breaks the silence with, "sometimes when you and daddy leave me at school I sing a lonely song."  Well thanks kid, that feels terrible.  I reassure you that she loves school and playing with her friends but she definitely loves her music too and to mess with our emotions.
  • She likes to request songs to hear in the car by basically telling you a playlist when you get in. If you don't play them all or play the wrong one she will notice.
  • You are NEVER allowed to end a song in the middle.
  • She got in trouble at school the other day for eating weeds on the playground.  When I asked her why she was eating weeds she said it's because she and her friend were pretending to be panda bears eating bamboo.  She actually says bamboos which made it sound even cuter.  I'm thinking this is how I trick her into eating salad.    
  • She's really into running around naked and shaking her naked butt in your face. Where does this come from? 
  • She had a lapse in potty training over the last few weeks just to keep us on our toes.  She's finally gotten back on board but our nerves are shot at this point.  
  • I'm definitely at an emotional point in this pregnancy.  On Monday I was working from home and I looked out the upstairs window to see Polly swinging on her glider in her Wonder Woman shirt with her cape blowing in the wind.  The sun and weather was perfect and the whole scene made me cry. Yikes.  
  • Polly is officially in a big kid twin bed which this emotional momma can barely handle. She's so proud of it.  We made sure she knows to sleep close to the wall and put a pillow between her and the edge of the bed along the side.  That didn't keep her from the foot of the bed and smacking her little face on the bookshelf. There were big tears and blood which is extremely stressful in the middle of the night. In the middle of the crying and the dabbing of her bloody lip she looked up at me seriously as I rocked her in her chair with big tears in her eyes and asked, "Is Marlin a clown fish?" I'm confused by this question in the middle of the drama, "Like from Nemo?", I ask.  She lets out a sad pathetic, "yeah." I assure her, "yes Marlin is a clown fish." She is satisfied with this and says, "ok, I'll tell my friends at school."  In my mind I'm thinking, OH OKAY, YOU ARE FINE?!?  I'M A LITTLE STRESSED HERE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW THIS SOONER!!!  It is terrible seeing your little kid get hurt but I was so proud of her too for getting back in bed without worry. 
  • There is a baby room with a crib waiting for a baby. No, I'M NOT FREAKING OUT A LITTLE OVER HERE! I'm freaking out a little over here.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Elephants Are...

So, so tired.  Having a toddler at 26 weeks pregnant is no joke.  Luckily she keeps me on my toes.  She was not interested in cooperating this morning but we did get this serious pic.  Even when she's driving me crazy, she is still the cutest person I've ever seen.  She's also at an age where you never know what is going to come out of her mouth.  Here are some highlights from this month:

  • Just tonight she was telling us about how elephants are vagitarians to which Ben and I both busted out laughing and corrected her, "we think you mean vegetarians".  Vagitarians are probably something completely different and it's perhaps a title that belongs in the adult film industry.  To afraid to google if this title exists out there but if it doesn't, you are welcome world, it's yours to use. 
  • The other night Polly was calling for me to come into her room but I sent daddy instead to which she said to him, "get out of here, I don't like your hair.  I don't want to look at it."  WHERE DOES THIS COME FROM?!?
  • Every thing good she learns is from us and everything bad she learns is from school.  That sounds about right, right?  Fact.  
  • She is making room in her mind for her little sister.  We bought a new rocking chair for her room this weekend that gives her room to sit next to me in the chair since I'm running out of lap space with the belly and frees up the old chair for the baby room.  We were reading the other night and she stopped and said the baby has room to sit on the other side of me.  I love that she's thinking of our routine and imagining her baby sister there.  She's going to be so loving.  This baby is going to have a second mommy for sure! 
  • She remembers everything. EVERYTHING!
  • She pretend reads and it's my favorite thing right now.  I love hearing her version of the stories that we read.  I'm always amazed by how much she remembers but she also just makes up her own stories too. It's crazy to see that transition. She's growing so fast. 
  • I'm feeling very ill prepared for #2.  By this point in my pregnancy with Polly her room was in process and we were reading everything.  We have time right? 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pizza Cake

It truly feels like I just posted the last Polly update.  Time is going so fast between work, stealing moments to enjoy spring, and chasing this crazy little lady around with a growing baby belly.  I usually have a note open on my phone that I write funny little things that she has said over the last month and there was only one thing that I have down:

She's really exploring her boundaries and experimenting with listening or better yet, not listening.  After a back and forth exchange with her about doing something she didn't want to do she yelled, "walk away, you're not in my life, this is closed!"  Again I find myself wondering what in the world will come out of her mouth in the teenage years.  Here are a few other highlights from the month:

  • The web of night time routine that she weaves is constantly evolving.  Right before bed she is hungry, thirsty and transforms into half sloth, half human.  She has developed a kiss routine that has grown to include a regular kiss, an eskimo kiss, a butterfly kiss.  Just added this week we have the forehead kiss which consists of her banging her forehead against mine and then the grand finale where we kiss one another on the nose.  Last night she tried to add me doing the routine with Bear before turning off the light but I declined.  I could hear her high pitched voice, which is her voice for Bear, fake crying as I went down stairs.  
  • When given the choice between most restaurants and Indian food, she will always pick Indian food.  The pizza option can throw her for a loop though.  
  • She has been talking a lot lately about wanting to make a pizza cake.  She describes it as having sauce on the inside and frosting, strawberries and cheese on the outside.  
  • She got me a bear for my birthday.  The bear I've slept with for the last 20+ years finally lost both of it's legs this month.  She named it Mommy Bear or Chris.  
  • All of this is cute and funny and sweet but this year so far has been hard.  Work has been a challenge and I feel tired a lot which is tough when you have an eager little lady ready to play all the time.  I'm so lucky and I know that but that doesn't make it easier or make me feel less guilty for wanting some quiet, alone time.  I try to remind myself that this time is passing so quickly and there will be a time in my future when the world is still and quiet around me and I will probably hate it.  I've been trying to focus more on appreciating the simplicity of one before there are two little ladies with hilarious bedtime routines.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Girl Parts - Part II

We are getting ready for another baby in our house and it's quite amazing how different the second time is and how guilty I feel about how little I've posted about this baby in comparison to our prep for Polly to arrive.  Today we found out that we are having another little girl and things are starting to settle in that our family of three is about to become four in 20 weeks.  Sisters!  That makes my heart melt.  My sister and I are so different but I love having a sister and I can't wait for my girls (MY GIRLS!) to have that too.  If the coming 20 weeks pass as fast as the past 20 weeks have then she will be here basically tomorrow.  I wonder how different they will be.  This baby girl is already facing the right way which Polly never did.  Maybe there is a natural childbirth in my future after all.

Polly couldn't be more excited about her baby sister.  She has said from day one that it was a girl.  She would never entertain the fact that it could be a boy.  She also wants to name her Aika.  I'm making up the spelling because I have NO idea where that comes from but she's insisted that's her name for months.

What will we name this little girl? How will she change our little family? We don't know but we can't wait to see what happens.  20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go!

Also, I feel huge already!!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Statue of Liberty

She is yelling, "I look like the Statue of Liberty!" in this photo.  She really loves that statue!  She is a handful and this month between a three year old, being pregnant, the February grey days and work kicking my butt, I have been one tired lady.  This year should be interesting.  Polly is definitely at an age where you never know what in the world is going to come out of her mouth.  I truly can't document it all but this first interaction sure does sum it up many of our interactions this month:

Polly: (angry voice) GO AWAY!
Me: (nice calm voice) Polly, be nice.
Polly: (louder angry voice) PLEASE GO AWAY.
Me: silently walking away to laugh in the other room

Other highlights:
  • I was leaving for work and then for a night away to attend the Midwest Craft Con, organized in part by my awesome business partner in Crafty Supermarket crime Grace, and feeling a lot of mommy guilt about working too much and going away for the night.  Earlier in the morning I told Polly that I wouldn't see her until tomorrow night and she was quite sad which doubled my guilt but as I was leaving out the door she stood up in her chair and yelled, "BYE MOMMY HAVE A GOOD TIME!"  It melted my heart.  She is such a perfect combination of salty and sweet.  It's terrifying.
  • Last night we were reading books before bed and she wanted to cuddle with the baby so she laid her head on my belly, rubbed it and said, "I love you baby".  I'm basically going to cry a lot between now and this time next year I think.  I can't handle the idea of my little Polly being a big sister.  It's too much for the tear ducts to handle.  
  • My insides still turn upside down when watching Polly and her dad.  He is such a great dad and it's my favorite thing to see.  
  • The other night we were at Skyline eating dinner and above our heads a TV had the news playing.  Polly looked at the television and said, "Look, it's Donald Trump".  I said yeah, we don't like Donald Trump.  Polly's face gets all sad and she says loudly, "BUT I LIKE DONALD TRUMP!"  Ben and I are both shaking our heads frantically saying no, no!  Hopefully we don't have an Alex P. Keaton on our hands here.  Donald Trump is like a cartoon character so I can see the appeal to a toddler.  No I can't.  This is terrible!  What have we done wrong?!?!  
  • I'm too sleepy for more bullets.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

She Has Things To Say...

This month this kid has made me laugh until I cried and she's made me have to put myself in time out because she's tested every ounce of patience that I have.  One day Ben texted me at 10:30 in the morning to say Polly hadn't stopped talking since I left for work.  That pretty much sums up this month.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Today she visited the preschool class in prep for starting preschool next week.  The change doesn't even phase her.  In this way, she is a very easy child.  When I picked her up today she introduced me to her teacher using my first name.  "My mommy's name is Chris."  My kid has better social skills than I do.
  • To Ben after his hair cut. Polly: Daddy your hair looks silly when you take haircuts.  Ben: You don't like it?  Polly: no, it's silly when you take haircuts.  
  • While driving her home from school one day I was trying to talk to her about her day but she instead asked me to turn the music up.  I've always hated the term threenager until Polly turned three and began acting like a teenager.  
  • We often have dance parties or pretend to be at dance class but sometimes she won't let us participate, she just wants us to sit on the couch and watch.  
  • I've been trying to explain pregnancy to Polly over the last several months pointing out pregnant women we know or pictures or women with babies in their bellies.  A few weeks ago she was studying my waistline and asked me out of the blue, "mommy, do you have a baby in your shirt."  Stunned into silence I didn't know what to say and she pressed on with an excited smile on her face, "do you?"  Lucky for me I do have a baby in my shirt but I thought I could get away with a few more weeks of not telling anyone.  Surely I wasn't fooling anyone at work if my three year old busts me out at 10 weeks.  The body isn't as forgiving with the second I've come to realize.  So there you have it, Polly is going to be a big sister.  She couldn't be more excited.  
  • The above new information has lead to SEVERAL hilarious things coming out of her mouth including her immediately asking if she could see it which she asked for several days in a row until she began to realize it is going to take a while.  13 weeks and counting!  
  • She also likes to talk about how it's going to POP out!  I have no idea where that comes from in her little mind.  I hope it pops out easily.  
  • She starts sentences about the baby with, "when MY baby gets here..."
  • She also said that when the baby pops out its mommy will come.  I had to explain that I'll be its mommy.  "But you're MY mommy," Polly says.  I thought we were in for it but after sleeping on it for a night, she was cool with it.  
  • Sometimes she'll be doing something like watching a short TV program and she'll say, "Maybe my baby can share my lean back chair (bean bag chair) with me."  That makes my heart explode.  We are all trying to imaging what this change will be like for us.  She even thinks she will finally learn to share when the baby comes.  Magic.  
  • While eating dinner the other day she said, "when you eat the baby gets dirty".  I nearly shot food out of my nose thinking about her thinking about the baby all mixed up in my belly with the food I'd just eaten.  We discussed anatomy for a bit.  
  • It's hard to imagine that I will feel this big love for another one but everyone says I will.  I'm going to trust them but for the next few months I'm going to try to really enjoy our family of three until we become four at the end of July.  
  • I'm so lucky to know Polly.