Being a Parent: The Truth

It is hard to believe it has been 5 whole months since little G arrived in the world. It’s cliche to say “it goes by so fast” – but it really does. I think in an effort to survive each day between feedings/changings/naps, you truly forget how fast that day passed.

 

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This weekend I visited a very dear friend of mine and her absolutely perfect newborn. I can’t even remember when G was that little. They are so helpless and so absolutely dependent on you. 

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I know I take a lot of pictures. I post a ton of them for others to see because 1. I like to share and 2. because I just really love taking pictures. I am not going to lie and say it doesn’t make me sad when I get made fun of for my “millions of baby pictures” online, but then Kyle reminds me it’s my page and if I want to fill it up, then fill it up I shall. It makes me happy. The funny thing about pictures is it makes everything look like perfection 100% of time – as if G never cries, always sleeps through the night, and never ever has a messy diaper.

I LIED.

That kid cries all the time. He has never slept through the night – not once. (Which means I have not slept through the night in 5 months either). And his Grammy can confirm, the boy has some DISGUSTING-clothes-ruining diapers. That’s the thing about being a mom. It’s easy to overlook and forget those parts for that 2 second giggle and ear to ear grin. All worth it.

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Mommyhood really goes like this: Wake up at least 3 times a night (sometimes to feed, most times he just wants to say hi), CONSTANTLY be thinking about feeding (whether actually doing it or making bottles for later), changing diapers almost every 5 minutes it seems, work a full time job, keep a clean house (unsuccessfully), somehow shower, lose your mind and yell about something….sleep for 3 hours until it’s time for midnight feedings.

Not that I am complaining – because I love every minute of it. But, I can’t read anything on the internet anymore because moms are brutal on each other and try to paint every day/second as you should be doing x,y,z or you are a terrible mom. Luckily, I have a close group of mom friends that I ask questions about just about anything.

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Breastfeeding is a full time job in and of itself. Seriously. You are CONSTANTLY thinking about it. Your life becomes 3-4 hour blocks and you plan your day accordingly. You bring coolers/pumps with you everywhere you go. You keep privacy covers in your bag at all time. ITS. ALL. YOU. THINK. ABOUT. It’s worth it.

And if all that is not enough (the sleep deprivation, pressure from internet moms, raising a happy healthy baby, working a full time job, etc) you also have to make sure you are putting enough time in your relationships. Whether with your spouse, family, friends, etc. Poor Kyle has had it the worst. I’ll yell at him because I’m tired, or because I misunderstood something and yes, sometimes when he deserves it. (But in all truthfulness, he is an EXCELLENT father. And I am a tired mama. And he makes time/patience for both the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde versions of his wife.) A baby will definitely change the dynamic of a marriage and it’s like relearning your spouse all over again and falling in love with them in a new way. Seeing the man you married be a dad is the most incredible thing. I also try to find time for all the other roles and people in my life because they are all so incredibly important to me. Sometimes I fail. Believe me, nothing crushes my spirit more than if I let someone down.

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And I do cry. Sometimes ugly ugly UGLY cry. And that’s ok. Because if internet moms were more honest, they would admit they cry to.

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But…

…I also make time to dance every afternoon because it makes my spirit happy. And I take daily bubble baths because I deserve it. And Kyle and I play and laugh and lay in the grass and look at the trees with Gavin because he loves it. 

Life is exhausting. Life is good. Life is blessed. Life is worth every second.

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He’s Here.

Hello sweet readers,

A LOT has changed since I last wrote. For one, baby Gavin is HERE! What a crazy journey it was to get him here too. I think I am finally ready to actually write down what that day was like.

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The night before, Kyle and I dropped Piper off at Camp Grandma. Clearly, I was ready to pop. I mean there is a reason I was SO uncomfortable the last few days. I looked like I swallowed a pumpkin! We went in the night before to get the party started BRIGHT AND EARLY the next day. Look at Kyle’s face. Terror.

We moved in – literally – we had bags on bags. I packed a picnic. (By picnic, I mean a giant bag full of candy/chips/assorted other elf foods). In addition, we packed individual entertainment bags, overnight bags, and a pallet for Kyle to sleep on. So, yes, we moved in.

Got all hooked up, turned on the TV, and waited for the next day. From this moment on, everything is kind of a blur for me. I have scattered memories and feelings, so I’ll try my best to sum it all up. Lights out, Night 1.

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Things got started really early Day 2. We woke up, took showers, and I put on full makeup and even did my hair. It was important to me to look my best when I met my baby for the first time.

Then the shirts. I had Team Gavin shirts printed for our families because 1. I am in marketing, of course I branded the event 2. I wanted this enormous occasion to not just be about me and Kyle, but about our families that were becoming grandparents/aunts/uncles. As you know, I love my family more than anything (as you can tell by my frequent odes to

Imagemy mother) and I was blessed to have In-laws who I love so much, as well. This day was obviously huge for me – but it was big for them too. The shirts were probably the best part of the day because EVERY nurse/doctor/random person who would come in my room would say “Oh YOU are team Gavin! We have seen the shirts

everywhere!” Uncle Nick – Nick is as close to a brother for Kyle as humanly possible – then took Team Gavin and made it a hashtag and hence, the #teamgavin facebook/twitter event

happened! (Side note, when I woke up at 2:30am the next morning and looked at my phone I was SO OVERWHELMED with love for all of you. Thank you for cheering me on and being so excited about my little love.)

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At this point, everything was still happy go lucky. I was still facebookin’ (as I do) and emailing my peeps at work. (Sidenote 2: You know why I love my job? They took a group preggo photo and sent it to me and wore fairy wings that day for me. I’m emotional thinking about it, actually.)

labor pains

Hey-Girl

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Funny thing about contractions. People say things like “It’s the second worst pain a human can feel aside from being burned.” I mean that just sounds like a fact, right? Something random and distant and no biggie. I mean I get cavities filled with no novocaine. I’m a trooper. I got this. Uh. No. Heck no. That is literally the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. Ever. Let me put it on record that whoever invented the epidural should be given some sort of medal or a statue. They should have their statue in every maternity ward in every hospital in every state in every country. Because they are heroes. I mean, I have a ridiculous amount of respect for ladies that go all natural. I am no warrior. Neither was my body.

Fast forward what seemed like an eternity. Actually, let’s pause here for a second and acknowledge that Price is Right that day was the pregnant special. That’s right – all pregnant contestants. All baby related prizes. That’s bananas. And awesome. And God bless my mama and Kyle who stayed beside my bed for hours upon hours and stroked my hair and said sweet things to me when I was in full on panic attack mode. So, after 14 hours of labor – this is where things get really hazy and really scary.

I tried for about an hour before we made the call to have an emergency C section. So remember when I said I had a panic attack before during contractions? That was like a warm up for the full-on-freak-out-body-in-full-shaking-convulsions party that happened in that operating room. I don’t remember much of any of it. Kyle does. Not something he likes to look back on. Then I heard Gavin’s voice. The most surreal sounding little voice I had ever heard.

“But I do remember the first time I heard the sweetest voice in the wide world.” – Forrest Gump

Apparently, I asked if I could kiss him and did. That’s when I started blacking out and asked to be knocked out. I don’t really remember anything past that. I apparently wouldn’t wake up out of my twilight stage for a few hours which really scared my mom/dad/Kyle. Finally, at 2:30am, I snapped out of it and asked for 1. my baby 2. a coke. I was back!

The best moment of my entire existence: ImageApparently, while I was out of it, a lot of wonderful things happened. Like this:

ImageAnd this:

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When Kyle was walking to the nursery, no one recognized him except for Nick. When they did, that’s when that beautiful photo of the girls happened. I can’t even imagine how overwhelmed my sweet Kyle must have been at that moment.

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He was here. My darling Gavin – all 7 pounds 6.9 ounces of him – was finally here. The next three days were a blur of sleep/not sleep, learning to change his diaper, endless television and ehhh hospital food.

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Then we got to go home. And big brother Piper finally got to meet him. It was not love at first sight. It took many weeks of love and understanding, but Piper now loves and worries about Gavin just like he does for me and Kyle. In fact, when I come home, he greets Gavin in his car seat before me. I mean dang. First I got replaced by Kyle and now by Gavin too? Have you no loyalty Piper?? Just Kidding. Kind of.

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by. How has it already been 11 weeks? How is my little baby not squishy anymore? He’s enormous now. When did halloween and thanksgiving and Christmas happen? I mean, I know I was there, but how did it happen so fast? How did a girl who could not function on less than 8 hours of sleep become a girl who was at her best on 3 hours of sleep? How can we have already gone through something like 6 cases of diapers?? Babies poop a lot. A LOT. All that AND we got robbed 3 weeks after he was born. Man – my emotions have been on a roller coaster.

It is crazy how much your life changes. People tell you that, but like contractions, you don’t realize it until it happens. My heart is so full of love. I worry all the time. Seriously – all the time. Nothing makes me happier than at night when he and I turn on our sides and have our nightly conversations. It’s more goos and giggles right now. But I know what he’s trying to say. 🙂 Kyle plays video games with a sleeping baby on his chest and a yorkie by his side. I take walks with a baby bjorn attached to me. I feel like the ding dang incredible hulk lifting that car seat everywhere.

Thank you, dear readers, for loving my family and me. Your support and notes and gifts have meant so much to me. If it takes a village to raise a child, then dang – my child was born in the best village imaginable.

It’s a…

So after going back and forth for a while, Kyle and I decided that we are going to wait to find out if it is a boy or girl until he/she arrives on Halloween…

…jk. You seriously think I would wait? I google the end of books before I finish reading them because I can’t handle suspense.

WE ARE HAVING A BOY!!! World, meet Gavin 🙂

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He is just like his mama. If he isn’t sleeping, he is moving so fast that the ultrasound tech can’t get a picture! Also, he is very modest and decided to cover his privates with both hands. That’s my boy – don’t flaunt what the Lord gave you, mister. This is Columbia, not New Orleans. Keeps your parts private. Kyle says he has fantastic video game controller hands. Can you even imagine the thought of Kyle and Gavin sitting in a chair reading comic books together? My heart might explode.

Our awesome tech tickled him until finally he moved and we have a glorious picture of his…parts. I am not going to post that picture because I feel like he will hate me for it later. But…his daddy was very proud.

The best thing I have ever seen in my entire life is Kyle’s face when she said “IT’S A BOY!” I have never seen so much love and excitement and pride before. Gavin, you have such a good daddy.

BRING ON THE DINOSAURS!!

I suppose I’ll need to edit the name of this site soon…

Hooray! If you are here, it’s because you are interested in hearing more about Blue! (Also known as Baby Senn.) In which case, thank you so much. To say we are excited is an understatement. To say I am terrified….is an understatement.

Here is how we found out. Kyle and I had been trying for a few months. 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom make babies look like they fall out of the sky. In actuality, it’s a long process of waiting and hoping and being disappointed. But then ONE DAY….

It was the night of the Oscars. Kyle was downstairs playing video games (imagine that). I was upstairs and decided to take the test. That’s when I started SCREAMING!! It said positive! Just to be safe, I took two more tests. Then decided we needed another brand. (HELLO you aren’t preggo until EPT tells you just like you aren’t in a relationship unless it is Facebook official.) We drove to CVS. Well, I got pulled over for speeding on the way. Got out of that ticket. THEN we drove to CVS. Got home – 2 more tests later. All beautiful positives!

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It’s been exciting watching things change. I remember reading a Hilary Duff quote (don’t judge me) about how she didn’t really care for pregnancy, but really was amazed at watching how her body just knew what to do. Amen sister. No thank you to the morning sickness, but watching my body create a HUMAN is just too insane for words.

Wondering where the nickname Blue came from? When we first found out, Blue was roughly the size of a blueberry. I have asked Kyle if, boy or girl, Blue can be their middle name and he said lovingly “Meg – you are not Beyonce.” Touche, Mr. Senn. Touche.

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Above was how we were first thinking to tell the grandparents. We couldn’t wait for the t shirt to be printed. That’s a whole separate blog post. 🙂 I may have the grandparents guest write that one and then they can write about feelings too. I like things to be emotional.

Fast forward to now. We have our names picked out, nursery design picked out, and plan for maternity leave ready to go. Now all I have to do is sit here and create some sweet chubby legs and arms and also tell some friends they will be helping me paint soon 🙂 And tell some other friends to get some flights scheduled for HALLOWEEN!

What am I most worried about? Delivery. If you know me, you know I am super tiny. How lil’ Meg is going to deliver a 6-8 pound baby boggles my mind. My awesome Doc tells me to stop worrying and that I will be fine. Thank the lord for epidurals. (TMI?)

Today, I had my 12 week ultrasound. WHOA. Homie was just hanging out napping (just like his mama would) and living his life. He totally has Kyle perfect nose. Lucky. BTW, I call it a he because that is what I feel like he is. If that changes in the future, well….LOL! Kyle couldn’t be there today because of a conference, so my mom (SuSu) came with. She had never seen an ultrasound before! Apparently back in her day, you just got what you got when they were delivered. She loved watching Blue’s heart beat and looking at his awesome huge head. Sidebar – can we all agree this kid is going to be a nerd? Between my weird love of animals and science and Kyle’s well….where do we begin with Kyle….this kid is doomed for a lifetime of conversations involving comics and dinosaurs. Kyle and I often worry – what if this kid wants to play basketball or worse SOCCER? We will have no idea how to relate. I mean, I am still going to be decked out in team colors with goldfish crackers and juice boxes like the awesome mom I am, but I’ll be like YAY! You hit the ball with the thingy! We will see how that one goes. Though, if Blue wants to be an NFL quarterback like sweet Tebow, I’ll allow it.

Here are some pics from today. Thanks for reading guys. Love you all 🙂

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I’m Too Old. (m)

Recently, Kyle and I have started to realize how not-that-young we are. (I know plenty of you are going to say “Oh please!”) Hear me out.

When you are in your early 20s, you feel like you have all the time in the world. And for most, time seems to slowly roll by. Your days are pocked with memories of evenings out, weekends away, and parties of epic proportions. Then one day, you wake up and you are two weeks away from your 28th birthday. Suddenly the girl who COULDN’T gain weight, now weighs more than she ever has before. Suddenly we are worried about eating vegetables and getting more exercise. We WANT to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. We WORRY about the value of homes in our neighborhood depreciating.

Remember the days of eating terrible foods late at night and staying up until 3am? Man. Kyle and I are LUCKY if we make it to midnight. Most days I am perusing (okay, facebook stalking) the internet until around 11pm and Kyle has been asleep on the couch for about an hour already. I’m not going to lie though. I still eat like a pig no matter what time of night.

Isn’t it funny that as your body seems to get slower time seems to go faster?

Not a day goes by now that we aren’t asked when we want to have children. We used to laugh at it because we haven’t even been married a year yet! Then a few weeks ago that lofty vague goal of “yeah yeah we’ll have a kid before we are 30” meant – IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS. Wait – whoa whoa whoa. We didn’t expect to all of a sudden be this old yet! 30 seemed decades away! Time to readjust that goal.

I never thought I would spend a weekend day vacuuming and mopping and dusting – and feel GOOD about it? Listen I like the smell of flowers and cookies. But I  LOVE the smell of a pine fresh kitchen. WHO AM I?? Who would have ever thought Kyle would put down the xbox controller to spend his Saturdays mowing the lawn, picking weeds, and blowing off the driveway and BE PROUD OF IT?! It’s all so strange and jarring. The fight to stay young and crazy eventually just subsides to the pride of having a nicely manicured lawn.

And now, in the epitome of adult-ness, Kyle and I have committed to doing a 5k in December. I’m on a 9 week program to train me for it. Here are my thoughts on it. Running sucks. Seriously. It hurts. It isn’t glamorous. I feel like I am going to pass out or puke at any given second. I hate it. But now I am all concerned with blood pressure and cholesterol so I want to be sure to keep my body fit before I get to the point where I say “Why didn’t I start exercising before I got this unhealthy??” Kyle – my champion – can already run a 5k and is doing it just to support me. Man I picked a winner.

As a quick side note – Am I a cat lady now? I have 4 ferals that I have tamed. And I am keeping them. All of them. I get really excited to see them everyday. Kyle says I am. I can’t let that happen! Although, I have started to get back into cross stitching lately….oh no.

What about you? How young/old do you feel?

 

Sights and Bites with Meg!

Today I was reminded that I travel…a lot. And I eat…a lot. Seeing that I have been up and down the east coast, I thought perhaps I would share some of my favorite eateries, bakeries, etc. so that if you happen to be in that part of the country, you can stop in and taste a little piece of delicious.

Are you a fellow traveler? Share your favorite East Coast/Southern eateries in the comments below!

-Asheville, NC-

Place: Tupelo Honey Cafe. http://www.tupelohoneycafe.com/

Order this: Get the downtown grill. A mix of havarti and pimento cheese on texas toast. I always opt for the sweet potato fries. Yum.

Second place: Acropolis Pizza. CALZONES!

-Charlotte, NC-

Place: Arooji’s. http://www.aroojis.com/southpark#!__southpark

Order this: The fettucini is not on the menu anymore but, try the Parmagiana Di Melanzane (I love everything on their menu.)

Second place: Yes it’s a chain – but MAGGIANOS has the BEST ravioli of all time!

-Raleigh, NC-

Place: GOODBERRYS! http://goodberrys.com/

Order this: My FAVORITE ice cream spot of all time. These guys make concretes with a frozen custard base. My family likes the vanilla with blueberries and wet walnuts. I love chocolate with chocolate shavings and malt powder. ANYTHING is good there.

-Charleston, SC-

Place: Mustard Seed http://www.dinewithsal.com/mustard

Order this: THIS is one of my favorite restaurants of all time. My sweet friend Jenny would recommend the risotto. I LOVE the pecan crusted goat cheese salad. (Side note, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.)

-Columbia, SC-

Place: My hometown and too many to name. Burgers? Try Rockaways. Pimento Cheese? DiPrato’s. Lunch? Gourmet Shop. Salad? Copper River

-Greenville, SC-

Place: Trio. http://www.triocafe.com/

Order this: The calzones are the size of your head and fresh fresh fresh!

-Rock Hill, SC-

Place: Nishi G’s http://www.nishiegs.com/

Order this: You want gyro’s? They got the best. You want popcorn shrimp? They got that too!

-Athens, GA-

Place: DePalmas http://depalmasitaliancafe.com/downtown.html

Order this: I love the pan fried mascarpone ravioli and this place DOES NOT disappoint. Watch out for parking. It’s a nightmare downtown.

-Augusta, GA-

Place: New Moon Cafe

Order this: This place has the most amazing butternut squash soup ever. PLUS they serve local coffee too!

-Johnson City, TN-

Place: Jane’s Lunchbox http://www.janeslunchbox.com/

Order this:  A favorite of everyone I travel with, this place is HOME COOKING at its best. The dessert portions are enormous and delicious. (You might also meet the mayor there. She owns the place!)

-Chattanooga, TN-

Place: Chattanooga Market http://chattanoogamarket.com/

Order this: This huge pavilion hosts hundreds of vendors, community events, delicious foods and the best people you could possibly meet. Try Lanny’s salsa (Daylilly’s.) Tell her Meg sent you.

-Auburn/Montgomery, AL-

Place: Mama Goldberg’s Deli http://www.mommagoldbergs.com/

Order this: Turkey Reuben. Made fresh to order with a heaping helping of sauerkraut. Get the thousand island dressing – not the spicy mayo. You’re welcome.

-Huntsville, AL-

Place: Cantina Laredo http://www.cantinalaredo.com/

Order this: Enchiladas De Avocado. I’ll let the description do the talking: avocado and artichoke enchiladas topped with tomatillo sauce on a bed of spinach. Plus this restaurant is nestled in a cool area called Bridge Street. After dinner you can take a gondola ride or take in a movie with premium concessions and cocktails at the Monaco theatre!

-Tallahassee, FL-

Place: Genghis Grill http://www.genghisgrill.com/

Order this:  It may be a chain, but Tallahassee is the only place I’ve ever seen one. This is a make your own meal kind of place. You get a bowl when you arrive and you go to the prep area where you can fill the bowl with various meats, veggies, eggs, and sauces. Take your bowl to the giant grill and tell him what to lay it on (pasta, rice, etc.) Next thing you know, you have a customized stir fry just the way you like it. (Don’t leave without getting the cheesecake.)

Another Favorite:  Lucy and Leo’s Cupcakes. http://lucyandleos.squarespace.com/

Order this: Affectionately named after their pooches, these homemade cupcakes are mouthwatering. I load up when I am in town on the cookies and cream. Chocolate cookies are BAKED INTO THE ACTUAL CUPCAKE. Try it. In fact, try a dozen.

-Fairlawn, OH-

Place: Bricco http://www.briccodowntown.com/home/

Order this: You really can’t go wrong on this menu – everything looks amazing. I like the turkey sandwich. Comes on a croissant with shaved turkey and even caramelized onions. It’s like thanksgiving on a bun. I hear the pasta is delicious, as well.

Another favorite:  Crave http://www.eatdrinkcrave.com/flash/index.htm

Order this: Smoked gouda orecchiette and cheese with blackened chicken and roasted garlic butter (also known to me as big kid mac and cheese.) The portions are huge! Plus I have a glowing recommendation that the catfish po’boy is fantastic. 🙂

So….anyone else starving??

-Meg