Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas...

Happy Thanksgiving...

and Happy Halloween, too, since I missed them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

You might be a SAHM if...


So, it's been awhile, huh? No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. If you are reading this, you either... a) Were shocked to receive an e-mail alert saying that I had posted something new, b) had tremendous faith that I would someday return and update the blog again or c) haven't visited in so long that "Bailey is 4 weeks old" is news to you.

Regardless, here goes my first blog post in a few months, a brief reflection on one of my life's biggest changes.

You might be a stay-at-home mom if...

10. Your last blog post was 3 months ago. Neither your e-mail nor Facebook account is getting much attention, either.

9. A stroller is your new exercise machine.

8. Going "to town" will be your biggest challenge of the week.

7. You've traded your listening device from MP3 player to baby monitor.

6. "Naptime" used to mean a Sunday afternoon siesta, but now it means get as much done as possible.

5. You wear slobber in your hair more often than hairspray.

4. Singsong is your normal tone of voice.

3. You cannot determine what the strange liquid is on your pants or how long it's been there. You don't bother changing clothes.

2. You put on lounge pants, a T-shirt and a hoodie, and your husband asks, "Where are you going?"

1. You now know what it means to have a full-time job.

And yes, I am loving it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bailey is 4 weeks old!

Yes, I realize I’ve only blogged once in a month. Hopefully, this is not a new trend. I’ve just been sort of tied up taking care of a little person 24/7. And oh, the things we’ve learned!

Taking a shower and brushing my teeth have become big accomplishments. I am proud to say I’ve managed to do both every day. Makeup is icing on the cake. Can’t say I haven’t missed a day of that.

In a shocking twist of events, I am no longer the boss. One clear example: Yesterday, Bailey was lying on her play mat when she decided to take a nap. Of course, no nap is complete without her purple pacifier. The pesky thing won’t stay in her mouth long, so she recruits a willing adult to hold it in for her until she falls asleep. So there I was, lying on the floor still in my pajamas having had no shower or even breakfast, holding a pacifier. Bailey, on the other hand, was well fed, clean and dressed. Yep, we see who now rules our roost.

I have become familiar and have fallen in love with this baby’s sounds and facial expressions. It’s funny how that attachment grows. …Even the little things, like how she holds one of her legs out straight when she eats. One of my favorites is when her eyes are open wide and her lips make an “O” shape. I enjoy hearing her voice, even when she cries. In the past few days, she has begun to coo a little. I’ve been amazed at how much my world changes in the space between a cry and a smile on this tiny face.

When Bailey is asleep, she’s knocked out, but when she’s awake, she’s very alert. In the past few days, she’s seeing a lot more. She watches people and can follow you across the room with her eyes. She’s noticed a few of her toys for the first time, like the ones hanging from her Pack ‘N Play and these above her play mat.

Homegirl canNOT keep a sock on. We have baby socks strewn all over the house where she’s kicked them off somehow, usually 2 seconds after I’ve put them back on for the 14th time.

Her bouncy seat (courtesy of Auntie Lola) is one of Bailey’s most used possessions. Many, many naps have come as a result of this jewel.

On the other hand, her world would be a much happier place if there were no diaper changes. She’ll never let you know she has a dirty diaper because she is so adamant about avoiding this process. Changing clothes is even more terrible. I have learned that if you don’t strap on the diaper just right, it leaks. And leaks. And leaks.

Baths are okay, except when it comes to having her back washed.

Daddy gave Bailey her first bottle on Wednesday, and she drank the whole thing. She had another 5 ounces or so last night when her GG kept her. I think she’ll just take anything she can get.

For several nights in a row, she fell asleep around 11, waking up at 2 or 3 a.m. to stay up 3 or 4 hours. Thank goodness, that trend has ceased for now. She’s done better the last couple of nights. She sleeps most of the day, too. I guess young babies sleep a lot.

Yep, just as soon as you think you’ve learned a baby, everything changes.

Bailey and I are going to try to go to church for the first time tomorrow morning. We’ll see how that goes. She’s been to the church building a few times already to visit Daddy at work and to take her stroller (a.k.a., the Cadillac) for a spin.

Other outings include two checkups at her pediatrician (Dr. Barron and Dr. Benak, the same ones I saw growing up); an early supper at Old Mexico; Anna, Abby and Jacub’s house; grandparents’ houses; the park; and a trip to Target to pick out a sling (the jury is still out on whether she hates it or loves it). Bailey seems to be okay with trips out of the house – she sleeps the entire time – but they still make Mama a little nervous. I guess I fear she’ll have a meltdown away from the security blanket of home and I won’t be able to handle it.

I’m definitely ready for the weather to cool off a little so we can spend more time outside.

On a different note, Gunter’s liver biopsy yielded good results, though the experience itself was not the most pleasant. Dr. A said the liver scarring was minimal and could be reversed with healthy diet and exercise. We’ll go back to see him in December.

I guess that’s enough recapping for the month. Thanks for hanging in there for the long post and for not giving up on the blog! I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Say hello to our new addition!

Hello from motherhood and my brand new way of life! I'm pleased to announce that Bailey Lynn Akridge was born on August 25 at 10:06 p.m., the most beautiful 8 pounds and 3 ounces of baby you've ever seen.

It's been a long couple of weeks, and I purposely waited to blog until after the vicious "baby blues" had subsided. My tear ducts are still a little leaky, but I'm 100 times better than I was just a few days ago. Seriously, I have never lived through such emotional turmoil before.

I think we're all well now. Gunter and I are doing our best to learn how to understand Bailey's needs and meet them. She is such a good baby. We're actually getting some sleep at night, and she seems to be eating well, though every day is different. I love her more all the time, and I'm slowly getting adjusted to taking care of a baby 24/7. I don't know what I would have done without some very helpful new grandparents, prayer from friends and one amazing husband.

So here she is, the baby we waited so long to meet. You're going to be seeing a lot more of this darling face.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Almost check-in time

Hello from this side of labor! If all goes as planned (when does that ever happen?), today is my last full day of this pregnancy. 40 weeks is a long time.

Gunter and I have enjoyed the past few days. Highlights include our family all coming to see us one more time while I’m still pregnant, a movie date, trying a Japanese restaurant in town with a couple of friends, watching two Tyler Perry plays on DVD and tying up loose ends. We split a big Diet Coke at the movies, the first I’ve had in I can’t remember when. Bailey didn’t seem to mind. The weather has taken on a tinge of fall, and it’s beautiful, though now both of us have sinus trouble. Gunter has done very well with his new healthy diet. We’ve become quite educated on the fat content of various foods. Some restaurants’ nutrition facts have shocked us. We discovered that fat free milk is not bad after all, even for me, the milkaholic. We started work on our choir Christmas cantata, “All Bow Down” by Travis Cottrell. I read Baby Wise, but I don’t think I’ll understand it until I know what caring for a baby is actually like. Gunter finished stripping the paint from a dresser for the nursery. Lots of getting up during the night and lots of feet-propping. Lots of “You haven’t had that baby yet?!” I realized this morning that if I were pregnant one more day, there’s no way I could paint my toenails myself. Having TV in the hospital will be kind of like vacation for us. We haven’t had cable since we got married, and we’ve had no TV since we moved to Brockton.

It’s strange to think that Gunter and I are about to go through such an experience together. He mentioned last night that it’s even more special to him because it hasn’t been so long ago that we went through other life-changing experiences that weren’t so happy. Sometimes I still think of us as those little kids who met in third grade or those high school friends who cut up together. Life is such an adventure.

I’ve had moments of nervousness about the next couple of days, but I’m not nervous right now. Last night, I worried about all the swine flu talk going around since I’m about to spend a few days in a hospital and bring a baby into this germy world, but I’m over it for now. I can’t miss enjoying this because of something over which God already has control.

We’re still hoping I’ll go into labor before tomorrow morning, but if not, I’m okay with that. No, I’m not going to jog, ride a dirt road or take castor oil. Walking is painful, but I do what I can, my front yard is a bumpy enough ride, and I’ve heard the castor oil horror stories.

So, I guess I’ll see you on the flip side. I’ll post pictures as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A liver story

I know I’ve been talking about cooking more than usual lately, but I have a new challenge, one I shouldn’t be so overwhelmed by, but I sort of am. Just as I’ve gotten back into cooking on a regular basis (well, regular for me), now I have to learn to do it healthy.

Not that my cooking is that unhealthy. We’re not talking Paula Dean good and fattening. We from South Alabama start out well. We cook with chicken, fish, fresh vegetables and lean meat. But then, we like to make it taste good.

Gunter got some good news and some bad news Tuesday. The good news is there was no recurrence of cancer on his CT scans. The bad news is that he has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Basically, his body doesn't break down fat well and it ends up in his liver. Fatty liver disease can be reversed with a healthy diet, but if left untreated for some time, it can cause cirrhosis and liver failure.

So, he’s supposed to be careful about what he eats, cutting way down on all the things we’ve always been told are bad – fats, margarines, carbs that turn into sugar (like bread and pasta), artificial sweeteners, etc. – and eat more fresh (raw) fruits and vegetables, along with some high-quality protein.

This is sad, but as we were reading about this kind of diet, one of my first questions was, “How do you cook without margarine? Is butter better?”

Obviously, I’m in need of some ideas of things to cook that follow these guidelines as closely as possible and still be something he’ll eat. Between the two of us, I’m the one who likes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. He’s more of a meat, potatoes and bread kind of guy. Hopefully, he can learn to adapt his tastes, kind of like when you’ve weaned yourself off soft drinks and sweet tea for a while and you actually want water.

Really, if we’d just eat food the way God provides it for us – as is – we wouldn’t have so many health problems.

Any advice from all you health-conscious cooks out there?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Countdown to D-Day: 5 days or less

We just got back from the doctor, and he says if Bailey is not born by Monday, we'll spend the night in the hospital and induce Tuesday morning...on her due date.

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm excited that we should have a baby within a week (WHAT?!), but I'd still rather she come on her own. Makes me feel like we're forcing or rushing, even though she's probably been ready for weeks. But, inducing means my doctor would be there to deliver, and I like that. I would say I like the predictability of inducing, but I know that birth is anything but predictable, no matter how it happens.

Funny, I'm still not nervous. Maybe I'm in denial?

We'll see what happens between now and Monday. It's still all in God's hands. ...And maybe is influenced by that lady who works at Chick-Fil-A in Montgomery. She predicted Bailey would be born this weekend, and then rubbed a blessing on my stomach.

Everything else still looks good with the baby, except her head is a little high. My blood pressure, weight gain, etc., is still normal, though "everything looks good" would probably not be the most appropriate phrase to describe me right now.