Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Drive Home

On work days, I leave about 7:15ish to drive home.  Having arrived at the hospital around 6:30am, I am BEYOND ready to leave by 7:15pm.  Gathering up my lunch bag, pumping supplies and whatever milk I've pumped that day, I head out the door in search of my car in the somewhat distant parking lot.  My car is a 2002 basic model vehicle.  There is no keyless entry or key fob.  There's just a key.  If I forget where I parked, which does happen on occasion, my car will not chirp at me at the press of a button.  It will sit in solitary silence until I find it.

I throw my stuff in the passenger seat and start the drive home.  This drive begins by negotiating my way through the parking lot where lots of my coworkers are walking to their cars.  This requires slow, careful parking lot driving.  At least it SHOULD.  Some people don't get that.  Moments before they were pedestrians, just like me, but as soon as they get in their cars, they have no problem practically running me down.  Strange how that works.  How they forget so quickly how unnerving it is to be on foot and have someone speed by dangerously close.

Anyhoo...back to the drive.  Having successfully navigated the parking lot treachery, I'm on my way home.  Lots of thoughts run through my head at this point.  Thoughts about how my day went, how hungry I am, how I hope the day went for my baby and my mom who watches him and my husband who picks him up from my mom's.  I hope to walk into the house and all be well.  But I just never know what it will be like.  Sometimes I can hear the baby crying while I'm still on the stairs climbing my way up to the 3rd floor apartment in which we live.

Again...back to the drive.  Traffic at 7:15pm is usually non-existent.  That's a perk.  Both coming and going from work are non-peak times for the rest of the world.  No traffic is nice.  My "commute" takes approximately 12 minutes.  I love that.

While sitting at one of the stoplights, I glance over at the grassy median.  The grass is overgrown.  I wonder whose job it is to mow that grass and how frequently it gets down.  Then I wonder if there are any snakes in that grass.  Why do I care?  I don't have to walk through that grass.  Still, it bothers me to think there MAY be a snake within 15 feet of me.  Even though I'm in a car, totally protected from unprovoked snake attacks.

Why am I thinking about snakes?  I hate snakes.  I'd rather think about my baby.  James is WAY more fun to think about.  I think about how being a working mom is a tricky beast.  I enjoy having some time away from James.  I like the adult interaction at my job.  Funny thing, though, because besides the other adults I work with, the patients I work with are babies.  I enjoy time away from taking care of baby James, so I go to work and take care of other peoples' babies.  Whatever.  It works for me.  I don't enjoy time away from James when I come home and hear he's had a rough day.  I speculate "If I was home with him today, he wouldn't have had a bad day."  There's no guarantee of that, but that's usually how I it goes in my head.

When I get close to my house, I roll down my window.  The weather isn't so oven-like hot anymore.  Especially in the evenings.  I enjoy the breeze briefly.  I turn into my apartment complex.  Almost home. That is one of the greatest feelings.  Being almost home.  A couple turns later, over three speed bumps and I'm pulling into a parking spot.  I gather my stuff from the passenger seat and crawl out of the car.  It will take most of my remaining energy to climb the two flights of stairs standing between me and my front door.  My legs never feel heavier than at that moment, trying to get up those stairs.  From the waist up, I can't WAIT to be home.  From the waist down, my body is in no hurry to get anywhere.

I put the key in the lock and open the door.  I hear no crying.  From Scott or the baby. :)  When I open the door, I see James asleep in his bouncy seat.  Scott says dinner is on the stove.  I breathe a sigh of relief.  I have a window of time to change clothes and eat dinner before James wakes up.

It's good to be home.

I'm linking up with Heather from The Extraordinary Ordinary for her Just Write exercise!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That Darn Cat

Sleep, for a family with a newborn, is very. very. important.  I'm so grateful that we are sleeping a lot more than we used to.  You can understand my frustration, then, when something OTHER than the baby wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Enter Otto the Orange.

Sometimes he just gets bored in the middle of the night.  That's my best guess anyway for why he does what he does.

The other night:

It's 2:46am.  I'm sleeping.  I'm cozy under the covers.  The fan I use as a sound machine is whirring in the corner.  I awake to the sound of a plastic bottle scooch-scooch-scooching across the top of my dresser, followed quickly by said bottle hitting the carpeted floor.  I decide not to open my eyes just yet.  "Give it a minute," I tell myself.  The next bottle begins to scooch-scooch-scooch across the dresser.  I sit straight up in the bed and loudly whisper "OTTO!!!  CUT IT OUT!"  His paw is outreached, still touching the bottle that he's slowly pushing off the dresser.  There's no denying he is guilty as charged.  Just for good measure, he pushes the second bottle onto the floor.  Thankfully these are plastic bottles (lotions) and they are landing on carpet, so no breakage involved.  He meows at me as if to say "What?!  I'm bored."  I twiddle my fingers together to beckon him onto the bed.  He makes a glorious leap from the dresser to the bed, landing with precision, as he always does.  I pat the bedspread in his favorite sleep spot.  He circles a couple of times and then strategically lies down.  I pet his head for a second then I lie back down.  The whole incident felt like an exercise in futility to me, but whatever.  He's going back to sleep.  I'm going back to sleep.  Hooray.

I'm linking up with Heather today for her "Just Write" adventure:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cat Tales and Tails

Once upon a time there were two kiddens named Otto The Orange and Nestle The Stupid.

One day, Otto The Orange was crunching the numbers and he discovered that if he and Nestle The Stupid didn't do something quick,

they'd be forced to live in a box.

When living in boxes, the food supply is not quite as abundant.

Vacations and travel are non-existent.

Nestle The Stupid suggested she could take up a less than honorable  career as a lady of the night to earn a few bucks.

After all, she did possess some bedroom skills (sleeping).

Otto The Orange texted a few of his sketchy contacts, but came up with no "clients" for Nestle The Stupid.

He opted instead for the superhero route.  Surely superheroes get paid well, right?

He rescued damsels in distress.

With his superhero-brains, he learned to turn energy he soaked up from the sun into a marketable product.

Although time consuming, it was a profitable business.

Otto The Orange earned a LOT of money.  He and Nestle The Stupid lived like Kings.

And Queens.

And most importantly, they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Monday, September 12, 2011


My Peepaw.  I miss him.  "Betty Boop".  That's what he called me.  If anybody else called me that, I'd kill 'em.

Peepaw was a kind-hearted old man.  Always looking to help out others.

If something broke, he was the fix-it man.  He wasn't too much into aesthetics, so his "fix" may be an eye-sore, but the formerly broken thing would at least be functional again.

He loved camping.  He and Granny were my "camping" grandparents.  Granny and Peepaw had this cute little blue and white Scotty trailer.  They camped in that thing all over the U.S.  When our family would join them, we'd usually bring a pop-up trailer with us.  Maybe a tent, too.  Sometimes we'd take turns eating in the Scotty trailer with Granny and Peepaw, since it wasn't big enough to hold all of us at once.
Peepaw, far left

He used to ask me how school was going.  "School" could be kindergarten, high school, or college.  School was school.  Education was pretty important to him.  I'm guessing it's because he didn't go to college.  I don't know though...we never had that conversation.

There are lots of conversations we never had that now I wish I had the opportunity.  I wish he could meet his great-grandchildren.  I'm sad that James doesn't get to go camping with him.  Sure, Scott and I can take James camping, but it'll be different.  Peepaw never met a stranger in a campground before.  He talked to everybody.  Found out where they were from, how many kids they had, how long they'd been married, what they were having for dinner that night...  He was a friendly kinda guy.

In the past year, I've missed my Peepaw more than usual.  I think it's because I'm a parent now and I realize how MUCH I don't know.  How much I need the input and experience of those that have gone before me in this adventure.  I'm so grateful to have my parents and my in-laws involved in my life.  Lots of wisdom there.  Grandparents are a whole 'nother level of wisdom, though.  I wish I still had access to all that they had to teach.  I guess this is just how it goes, though.  When you're a punk kid and have plenty of time with your grandparents, you don't care as much what they have to say.  As an adult, as a parent, when you want their input more than ever, they are no longer around. <sigh>  Hindsight is 20-20.  Now my parents are the grandparents.  I wonder if that scares them as much as it scares me.  Before, I was two generations away from being the "older, wiser generation".  Now I'm only one generation away.  If something happened to my parents, me and my siblings would be the "older, wiser generation".  That is SCARY.  We don't know enough!  I don't know enough...

Back to Peepaw.  He was bald.  He said things like "God only made a few perfect heads...the rest He covered with hair..."  He had a "Bald is Beautiful" bumper sticker on his pick-up truck.  He also had a "Virginia is for Lovers" bumper sticker.  Now that I think about that, it grosses me out a little bit...

Peepaw always went on walks with a walking stick.  He was not dependent on a cane or walker to move around.  Quite the contrary. But for some reason, he always had a walking stick, whether we were walking around a neighborhood or hiking in the woods on a camping trip.  I thought it was the thing to do...pick out a good walking stick at the beginning of a hike.  Pretty sure I was doing it wrong, though, because early on I'd get tired of lugging it around and I'd toss it by the wayside.
Peepaw, far right, WITH walking stick

One time we were all eating dinner around at his house and his brother, Uncle Sam, pulled into the driveway in his HUGE RV.  Pretty sure Peepaw didn't consider camping in a HUGE RV "real camping".  How he displayed his displeasure at the pretentiousness of the monstrous vehicle was by shaking his head and saying "Good Gosh!"  We all laughed and laughed when he said that.

Oh Peepaw.  I wish you were here to live life with us now.  With your grown up grandchildren.  With your children who are now grandparents.  With your great-grandchildren who don't even know they need a walking stick to go hiking...  You are missed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

3 Months!

-Time has FLOWN by.  Everyone said it would.  They didn't lie.  3 months old already.  Wow.

Self portraits always turn out so well...

-James is cuter than ever.  Still holding on to those blue eyes!

-He is sleeping through the night most nights*.  If he doesn't sleep straight through, he wakes up once and cries and then goes back to sleep without any assistance.  Words cannot express how ecstatic I am about this. (*n=10 days, perhaps not statistically significant, but it matters to ME)
-He's experimenting a lot with sounds.  At various times he sounds like an owl "hooo...hooo...hooo" or sometimes a pterodactyl (think high pitched squeals).  Just for fun, I think you should pronounce "pterodactyl" like this: puh-terr-oh-DACK-tull.  Go ahead.  Say it out loud.  Right now.  Good job!! *patpat
-James really enjoys being on his play mat and batting at the dangling toys above him.  He spends a lot of time there because it makes him so happy!  I'm sure this is contributing to the flatness of his head, but whatever. A happy, flat-headed baby...that's what we'll have.

-For now, James is still breastfeeding or bottle feeding my milk when I'm at work.  I wondered how he would do when I went back to work, but so far, so good.  He doesn't seem to mind going back and forth between bottles and nursing.  We're taking this week by week as far as how long I'll continue nursing him...
-I am in the middle of switching out his clothes from the 0-3 months size to 3-6 months.  Most of the 0-3 months stuff is too short.  The onesies still fit width-wise, but he's too long for them.
-Daycare:  Having my mom watching him when I'm at work is going well.  At least I think so.  Maybe we should ask her??  We are very fortunate that she's willing to do this for us! 
-Weight loss:  I've lost most of my "baby" weight.  However, the "Betty Anne" weight that is left is...different.  Squishier.  Saggier.  That's fun.  
-My hair is falling out!  A lot.  I know it's normal.  It happened last time, too.  And this article says its fine.  We all know the internet NEVER lies.  But still...it's kinda weird and a lot annoying to always have several hairs on my shirt, on James, on my pillow, etc.  James has been experiencing some hair loss as well.  But we've already talked about that.
-Scott and I are adjusting to the working life.  We're still tweaking my hours at work to figure out what works best for us.  I haven't officially cut back hours, but I have been volunteering to stay home pretty frequently, on days when we're overstaffed (called "flexing" at my job).
-Now that we've added work back into the mix and almost have a routine down for that, we're going to add another huge time commitment:  FOOTBALL.  Yes, folks, 'tis that time of year again.  The time of year when Saturdays (college games), Sundays and Mondays (NFL games) and some Thursdays and Fridays (misc. games) are consumed by the viewing of enormous amounts of football.  Go Gamecocks!  Go Wolfpack! Go Dolphins!  Go every-person-on-Scott's-two-fantasy-football-teams!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Looking Back...

Excerpt from my journal three weeks after Chloe was born:

"Another challenging day...  I saw Chloe for the first time since the hospital.  I knew from talking to Melissa last night that they were bringing Chloe [to church] today.  I didn't know how it would work out or how I would respond.  As it turns out, it was extremely painful to see her.  I was thinking I would see her after church, not so much during church.  There was an altar call for those wanting prayer at the end of the service.  Before I knew it, Melissa and Alvin were down front to be prayed for and Alvin was holding precious baby Chloe.  I saw them walk up and then I saw this teeny little head full of hair cradled in Alvin's arms.  My first thought was "That's my baby girl!"  I just started sobbing, as did mom who was sitting beside me.  It was SO SO great to see her and SO SO hard at the same time.  Very much a double-edged sword.  Physically, something in my core ached when I saw her.  My hands got all shaky.  I felt for a minute that I was going to pass out.  I did end up sitting down just in case.  It was not as painful as, but reminiscent of, leaving the hospital.  I feel that adoption was the right decision and I have peace about that, but it still HURTS.  Does it make me a sadomasochist that I want to see her again?!

After church I figured I would gather up all the composure I could muster and go say hello to them and hopefully get to hold her.  But I didn't exactly rush around looking for them after church and I think they headed out fairly quickly.  It's totally fine that I didn't see them again or hold her.  Probably for the best.  I don't know how to explain the dichotomy I'm experiencing.  I busted out sobbing when I saw just her cute little head resting quietly in Alvin's arms, but I want to see her again as soon as I can.  I want to hold her so badly.  I want to tell her I love her and miss her terribly.  But, not yet...

...This is such a difficult situation.  I know one day it won't hurt so bad.  But for now, only by God's grace, I must walk through this.  Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy.  Thank you that you truly don't give me more than I can handle IN YOU.  Thank you that through the pain, I have HOPE.  You have a plan for me and a plan for Chloe.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of bringing Chloe into this world.  I count it a privilege and an honor..."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baby Baldness

There are a few of you that noticed James' lack of hair on his head.  The bath picture in particular makes him look totally bald!  I thought I'd post some more pictures that prove he has at least a few hairs, although not arranged in any sort of sensical manner. :)

Look carefully...there's some peach fuzz!  Don't get distracted by the BLUE EYES.

He's got a nice bald spot in the middle of the back of his head...

...right above what appears to be a mullet-in-progress. :)

Don't forget about the long wispy hairs on the top!

And full body cuteness, just for fun. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011



There is much improvement in this department in the Davidson household...at least over the course of the past three nights.  Three nights makes a TREND, right??  Three nights ago:  James ate between 7-8pm and woke up around 2:30am.  I went in, changed a diaper, but him in his bouncy seat with his pacifier, and left the room. I hoped and prayed he would go back to sleep.  If he was starving, this trick wouldn't work.  Apparently he wasn't all that hungry because he went back to sleep and slept until around 5am.  Woohoo!! Two nights ago:  Same story.  Ate between 7-8pm, slept until 12:30am.  Diaper changed, moved to bouncy seat with pacifier, went back to sleep until 5am.  Last night---this is where it gets good---he ate at the normal evening time and then slept until 5am!!  No diaper change or bouncy seat or pacifier required!  I'd like to say that I slept that whole time, too, but I didn't.  I went to bed about 9:30pm and then woke up at 4am in an absolute panic because I hadn't heard him all night long.  I tip-toed into his room and put my hand on his chest to feel him breathing.  He was sound asleep, sucking on his thumb.

I do believe his new-found love of sucking his thumb may be the key to him sleeping through the night.  We shall see...  For now, though, I'm so well rested today I don't know WHAT to do!  I haven't slept 6.5 consecutive hours since long before James was born.  Sleep most definitely is not overrated. :)  You people have just been saying that to me to make me feel better about missing out!

Belly Button:

I give you James' new and improved belly button!

Hopefully it is all healed up now.  There's no more oozing or weirdness to it, just a small pinkish part where it is finishing healing (she said hopefully).  

So, you know what that means...


He doesn't look very thrilled with bath time here, but believe me, he loved it.  I'm going to have to master the art of giving him a bath in the tub versus on the counter top.  It's so much trickier in the tub!  Just getting him out of the tub into a dry towel is a test of coordination.  He's so slippery!  Or "slickery", as one of my nieces used to say.


As expected, things are slowly improving on the work-front.  Scott and I are getting into more of a routine on mornings that we both work.  I have taken a couple of days off to help get our feet under us.  We're getting there.  If James really does start sleeping through the night, the quality of our lives will improve drastically. :)  Figuring how and when to pump at work is still tricky.  Some days it's no problem.  Other days are extremely busy and it's difficult to find 15 minutes to leave the unit.  I'm not sure that will get better with time.  I will have to find time to pump when I can!  So far James doesn't seem to mind going back and forth between bottles and nursing.  I'm really glad about that.  Before I went back to work, I thought if he gave up nursing and preferred bottles, I would just pump and bottle feed him for a while.  Now that I realize what a PITA it is to pump and bottle feed and wash pump parts and bottle parts, my story is changing.  We would switch to formula pretty quick-like if he stopped nursing.  I don't know how women pump and bottle feed for months and months.  Kudos to you ladies.  That is a challenging task, to say the least.  

I have enjoyed NOT being pregnant at work.  As you can see from this picture, my belly was LARGE.  It got in the way a lot.  If I dropped something on the floor, I could hardly reach it (and breathe) to pick it up.  I could only get so close to the isolettes, where the majority of our babies are.  Now I can reach behind the isolettes, pick up stuff off of the floor, walk quickly without waddling and all sorts of other fun things!

These are all the updates I can think of at the moment.  Is there a category I missed?

Friday, September 2, 2011


This motherhood thing is no joke.  And I'm only three months into it!  One of the challenges I've experienced already is the comparison game.  It starts even in pregnancy.

Somebody else didn't drink caffeine while they were pregnant, but I did.

I feel like a bad mom already.  I worry my kid will have three heads.

Now that the one-headed kid has arrived, the comparisons go through the roof.  So-and-so's kid can hold his head up already.  My kid can't quite do it yet.  OH NO!  HE'S BEHIND!!  James doesn't sleep through the night yet.  Johnny-sleeps-a-lot does.  ACK!  MY KID IS DEVELOPMENTALLY DELAYED!  I read books to James about once a week, if I had to guess a frequency.  It just happens when it happens.  Other people have an established bed time routine including story time and such (so I'm told).  Somehow I feel like not-as-good-of-a-mom because we don't have our routine all figured out just yet.  Also, since we don't read books every day, I'm pretty sure he's not getting into Harvard.

In my head, I should be an expert at everything I do, including motherhood, the very first time I do it.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

A dear friend described one of her family members like this:  Her plate gets full very quickly.  What that means to me is that it doesn't take a whole lot to overwhelm her.  As soon as I heard her say that I realized that I'm the same way.  My plate fills up pretty fast, too.  If I have a doctor's appointment and a lunch date, I consider it a full day.  My dear friend (MDF for short) is nothing shy of Superwoman, in my opinion.  She's a wife, mother of grown children, full time employee, active church member (including small group once/week), elderly caregiver and entrepreneur.  Yet MDF always makes time for lunch with me.  If I have an appointment on the same day that she wants to do lunch, I'm not sure I can make it.  MDF, however, will have ten different scheduled things on the day we do lunch.  Somehow she still makes me feel like she has all the time in the world.  I find myself comparing me to her. Why can't I juggle things like she can?   This week I finally became aware of the fact that I am comparing me to her.  Passing judgment on myself because I'm not MDF.  I'm struggling with balancing going back to work and caring for a child.  Just one child, mind you.  (Mrs. Duggar would laugh at me.)  MDF wouldn't have trouble juggling one child and work.  But then it hit me:  I'm NOT MDF.  I'm me.  And as such, I'm not an expert yet at the motherhood thing.  Definitely not an expert at the working mom thing.  It's cruelty to compare myself to anyone else, so I need to stop doing it.  Just because lots of other people have more complicated lives, it doesn't make my life a cake walk.  This is hard TO ME.  And that's okay.  Acknowledge and move forward.  I'm choosing to quit spinning my wheels in the "but other people can juggle more things than I can" mud.

So today I'm breathing a bit easier, allowing myself a little grace.  My house is messy.  The toilet is some kind of color that it hasn't been in my whole married life.  The pile of mail on the table has stuff from June in it.   But I do have a very happy, healthy baby boy.  I have a husband that is in the trenches with me, not behind enemy lines hurling accusations at me.  I have a gracious mother who is providing childcare for us so I can work.  I have two fuzz-butts (what my dad calls my cats) that don't really pitch in and help around the house, but they do improve the quality of my life.  There's much for which to be grateful.  With all this new-found free time since I'm not wasting time comparing myself to others, who KNOWS what I can accomplish!

ps.-- This article on babycenter.com addresses some of what I was talking about.  Apparently I'm like a lot of other moms in my comparison-tendencies.  Good to know...