Finding her voice

Guess no one is surprised that I birthed a talkative baby, huh? (By the way, that thing on her foot is a toy, not a cast; you know I would have blogged about it if she had a cast!)


You know how there are those moments when you can’t find your sunglasses? Your eyes dart around for them; then, a split second later, you realize they are on your head? That’s what today feels like.

This morning, we dropped Suzianne off with Nanny D, the FABULOUS nanny we are sharing with an equally fabulous family near Dave’s work. We are doing this part-time for the next two weeks to break us both in gently before I go back to work.

I was teary-eyed from the moment I woke Suzianne up this morning. Yes, you read that correctly. She was still asleep at 7 a.m. {squeal!} {high five!} 

When we pulled up at the house, I got teary again; Suzianne was completely chill and was all, “Sup, ya’ll. I’m here. I’m sorry my mom is acting like a weirdo.”

And as I’m showing Nanny D how to swaddle Suzianne with one arm out, I realize that she’s resting happily and quite comfortably in Nanny D’s arms. Not a care in the world and cute as button.

I took a deep breath and followed Dave out to the car. And then cried. I got on the Metro and kept crying.

Although the first two hours without Suzianne were sad–as my fellow Metro riders will attest-since then, my time alone has just been bizarre. For the first time in 14 weeks, I’m not with her.

Back to the sunglasses: I keep feeling like I’ve forgotten Suzianne; like I’ve left her somewhere. For a split second, I look around for her in a panic, only to realize she’s with Nanny D.

When I got home this morning, I went for a run. In the middle of the run, I freaked out because it was–I was sure–close to Suzianne’s feeding time and I was not home. I quickly remembered she was not at home either.

It’s odd being in this apartment without her. When I got back from my run, I just sat on the floor and stared at her toys while noshing on a brunch of savory quinoa (thanks, Dave!) and Gatorade.

When I went to take a shower–during the day; with the door closed!–I took the monitor with me, then realized I was monitoring an empty nursery. New habits die hard:

As the day goes on, I am feeling more guilty about all this than sad. But just when I was starting to lose my mind a bit, I got the most wonderful text from Nanny D. Suzianne is doing great, of course. Her activities this morning have included eating, napping and “smiling at trees.”

If she’s happy, I’m happy. But this day feels like she’s taking one long nap. So, I can’t promise I won’t run back to her room in 30 minutes to check her breathing.


Hey, preggers! Read this.

Dear Momma-to-be,

Hey, sister. How are you feeling? You look amazing today. I know you’re all glowing and double fisting BBQ chips right now, but I want to talk a bit about labor and delivery.

Wait. Where are you going? Look, if you listen to me for just a few minutes, I’ll bring you a jar of Nutella. 

Now, then. Let’s cut the chase. Here’s how it’s going to go down:

You will be strong and powerful* 

Why are you blinking at me like that? Have another chip or 10 and hear me out.

I’m sure you were hoping I’d say “you’ll be great!” or “just get an epidural and it will be a piece of cake!”

But this is serious business, this human-creating thing. Labor and delivery is work. It’s exhausting, intense, miraculous work. It is work your body was made to do. And–you Type-A’s will appreciate this–your body does it so well

Your job is to breathe, focus and allow your body to work its magic. I don’t mean to belittle your fears. They are valid. The thought of going into labor is scary; the unknown always is. But you will rock this, lady. I promise.

By the way, it does’t matter whether you deliver vaginally or via c-section:

  • your body will produce a life; 
  • you will witness a miracle; 
  • you will be strong and powerful. 

However, if you deliver vaginally, you will poop on the table in front of your spouse. He/she will not mind because the baby’s-head-is-coming-out-of-your va-jay-jay-and-OMG-that-is-SO-COOL-honey-you-have-to-see-this-bring-in-the-mirror!  

Sister, please don’t over-think this. Prepare by going to a good Lamaze class and having your spouse read The Birth Partner, but don’t over-think it. There’s no need to; your body knows what to do and it will do it when the time is right.

One last thing: I am so proud of you. For nine months, you will have sacrificed beer, wine, brie, hotdogs, roller-coasters and sushi. You’ve peed 27 times a day; and by the time your ninth month rolls around, you’ll not be able to tie your shoes–or see your own lady parts. Know this: you are a ridiculously impressive, beautiful vessel of life. A vessel that will very soon be able to drink again. Hang in there.

In the meantime, rest up, read this book, schedule a mani/pedi, and get ready to have your world rocked by this tiny, beautiful creature that love, your uterus and God made.




Week 14: victory is mine.

This week, I was kind of a big deal.


I wore a belt nearly every day this week–and that belt does not belong to my husband: On Mother’s Day, I walked out of the bedroom and made Dave watch as I was about to put a belt around my waist for the first time in nearly a year. “Watch this!” I squealed. And then…um, Dave watched as my belt came no where near buckling.

Sweet Dave then handed me HIS belt to wear. Although it was a sweet gesture, it was quite a bruise for my ego. BUT! This week, my hips must have come back in a bit because I was able to wear my old belt again! It’s the little things in life that make a difference, ya know?

I wore an infant to a public place–and we are both still alive: frequent readers of this blog know I’ve not had the best luck in the baby wearing department. BUT thanks to Rakelle and her K’Tan suggestion, we’ve found an infant carrier that Suzianne doesn’t hate with a fiery, vocal passion. See. Not angry:

I even wore her to an evening barefoot running seminar at REI that Dave signed us up for. Yes. A seminar where everyone is supposed to be quite and attentive. Suzianne rocked that, yo:

I completed Week 3/Day 3 of my Ease into 5k training–while pushing a stroller…with a wide-wake infant inside it: I was more than a little ecstatic about this one:

So thrilled was I that I made a random man take my picture right after I completed the run. As he was taking it, I asked, “Do I look athletic?!” He handed me back my phone and said, “Not when you do that leg kick thing, so I cut that out of the picture”:

We somehow reversed this week’s trend of no sleep with a Friday night, no-wake, no-nightfeeding, 8 hour stretch of awesomeness! I had a partial breakdown this week because Suzianne sort of decided to quit sleeping at night and napping in the day. As a result, she was cranky all week. You know, because she’s EXHAUSTED MOMMA. WHY MUST YOU KEEP ME AWAKE ALL THE TIME? WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Of course, the more public the location, the more vocal she got. Take Rock Bottom Brewery, for example:

The problem seemed to be that no matter how much breast milk I fed her, she was still hungry. Then, when she’d try to sleep, she suddenly HATED the swaddle and would fight it all night. And when I say “fight it,” I mean she’d flop over on her stomach and nurse the mattress. There’s no milk in there, by the way. When the mattress refused to feed her, she’d be all: WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! WHY ARE YOU KEEPING THE MATTRESS FROM FEEDING ME MOMMA!?

It sucked.

I took my desperation to Facebook. Friends advised we give her more formula than we had been and swaddle her with one arm out.

AND IT WORKED! On Friday night, my girl slept from 9:40 p.m. to 6 a.m..


{virtual high five}

Yes, friend. That DOES mean no night feeding for the first time since Suzianne shot out into the world on March 5. Miracles do happen!


Week 14 also marks my last full week at home with Suzianne. Starting Tuesday, we’ll take Suzianne to an awesome nanny-share family down the street from Dave’s work. We are so excited about this; I’m hoping a routine and playing with another infant will help her sleep better at night. We’ll start her part time until I go back to work at the end of this month. More on that later!

How to get rid of cradle cap

My girl has had a stubborn case of cradle cap. Folks said it would go away on it’s own, but it just seemed to get worse each week. And you know I’m not one to sit around and wait.

Yesterday, I’d had enough, so I asked a few folks and the Internet what I should do about it. The overwhelming consensus: olive oil and a toothbrush.

I dabbled some oil on her head and eyebrows, waited a few minutes and began rubbing the problem areas with an extra soft toothbrush:

The scales started to pull away from her little head! Added benefit: she smelled like dinner:

After a couple of minutes, I wiped the scales away with a warm washcloth. And what do you know? Her head was virtually scale-free:

Of course, I have no clue if this stuff comes back after a while or what. But this method seems to be working for now!*

*Always consult your pediatrician before attempting to remove cradle cap from your infant with a method you read about on some random gal’s blog. I’m kind of a big deal, but I’m no doctor.



Favorite Things: Month 3

It’s time for the third edition of Team Newman’s Favorite Things! Many of you are reporting that you, too, are finding success in ordering and using the products we are mentioning. The mobile and ugly pacifier seem to be your favorite of our favorites. We are thrilled these posts are helpful!

Suzianne’s Favorite

The Woombie: our friend Andrea suggested we try this right after I posted about the likelihood of Suzianne busting out Month Two’s favorite, the Miracle Blanket. And bust out she did–the night I published that post. Suzianne loved the Woombie during month three. Dave and I like it because it’s fool proof. And when I say “fool proof,” I mean you can’t do it wrong when you are too tired or slightly tipsy.

Margie and Dave’s Favorites:

Diaper Genie: you either love or hate this thing, apparently. We currently are loving it, though the lid does get a little out of sorts every now and then. We’ll see how long it holds up.

Dresses: if you know me, you know I’m fashion-challenged. I have no sense of style, or knack for what is trendy. Dave, on the other hand, has an eye for these things. And I love that if he is the one to get Suzianne up in the morning, he will always put her in a dress:

He’s always done this, even when Suzianne was fresh out of the oven and fancy clothes with buttons scared us to death:

Infant leg warmers: I think teeny tiny leg warmers are cutest things I’ve ever seen, though they are a bit too Flash Dance for Dave. They make diaper changes easy and keep the sun off your baby’s legs when you’re out and about. This is an old picture, but the only one I have of her in my favorite pair that Abby gave us:

Tune Band: since I’m sticking with my 5k training, I’ve got to have the perfect iPhone arm band. I believe I’ve found it in the Tune Band. Its design allows for it to fit securely around my nonexistent biceps, which is an important quality in an arm band. I’m still in love with my YurBuds, too.


It takes a (virtual) village

I realize folks once parented without Facebook, but I’m glad I don’t have to.

So grateful to the 14+ folks who took the time to give me thoughtful advice and encouragement tonight…