Sunday, August 30, 2009

things I can't get enough of

1. Diet Dr Pepper
Seriously, I’m pretty sure there’s a clause somewhere that mentions something about Diet Dr Pepper and motherhood going hand in hand. I consider it a major accomplishment to make it through a day only consuming one can.

2. The Colony

So this show is on Discovery. And when Jess started to explain that it was a bunch of people thrown in a simulated apocalyptic world, and the show was an experiment on how they would survive, I thought it sounded as though reality television was getting desperate. Then I watched an episode. Now I’m obsessed. It is so fascinating to watch as these people, in an artificial environment, slowly lose their minds. I think that each of them somewhat believe that the world has ended, that they have to fend for themselves. They raid for food and supplies, fight off terrorists and invaders with weapons they’ve crafted out of sticks and poles, create tools and other necessities (shower, generator, solar panels, etc.) out of found objects. It blows my mind.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be much of an asset in this world. They’d return from a raid, and after observing their findings I’d be like, “Great, great. So we’ve got Band-Aids, Aspirin, water, flour…soooo…any Diet Dr Pepper?”

3. This

Of course.

You’d think that spending all day every day with a single person would get old. But it doesn’t. Yes, I get tired. And sometimes I’m like, seriously? You JUST ATE. But then I realize that she is my child after all. I love that she eats like a pig, just like me. I’m pretty sure that when she discovers chocolate and Diet Dr Pepper, it will blow. Her. Mind. I love that she overheats easily, just like her mom. Unlike me, she has the benefit of being able to run around naked when it gets really bad. I love that she smiles and giggles, that her voice is starting to coo through her many (many, many, seriously) grunts (she really is the loudest two month old I have ever heard).

I love that she is my little sidekick, my friend that never gets sick of me. I simply love her guts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the best present ever

So today's my birthday. And in my twenty eight years on this earth,
I'm pretty sure this is my most favorite gift I've ever received.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

cupcake diet

So we arrived safely in Durham. (Which means that Miss Annabelle survived her first cross country journey. And Mom learned that traveling will never be the same, although the Little Miss did travel like a champ.)

When we walked into our apartment I began hugging every surface - the walls, the couch, my bed. I'd missed them so much. When I left Durham, I was 30 weeks pregnant and suffering from ridiculous pelvic pain. So when I packed, I think I truly believed I'd be pregnant forever. I packed mostly maternity clothes - large tents for shirts, pants with stretchy waistbands, my husband's t-shirts. So after Annabelle was born, I was left with just a few shirts I'd tossed in on the off chance that I would actually give birth at some point. Arriving home to my closet was like Christmas. I wanted to drown myself in my clothes. And who knew I had more than flip flops for shoes? And that my feet would actually fit in them?

It was seriously the best day ever. And then I tried to wear some of those clothes.

Looks like my cupcake diet is not conducive to pre-pregnancy clothing.

Dang. It.

Monday, August 17, 2009

no photos allowed

So some of you may have noticed that I haven't appeared in a picture for oh, the second half of my pregnancy, plus the first six weeks of Annabelle's life. Let me ask you a question. If someone grabbed forty plus pounds and inserted it in your stomach, then dumped several quarts of water into your face and appendages, would you feel like posing? Let's just say that I didn't.

My sister's friend saw a photo of me (they were taken, just not shared) taken at the hospital, just before we checked in. She asked if I was having twins. Yes. They were in MY FACE. Annabelle and her toy bouncy ball were in my stomach. When I went to Annabelle's two week check up, the pediatrician walked in and said, "Shauntel, you look so GREAT!!!!" That's how much water had drained out of my face. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was wondering why my eyeliner didn't work. But when I first put makeup on after having Belle and it worked perfectly, I realized it wasn't the eyeliner. It was the fact that there was water bubbling under my eyes making it difficult to create a straight line. Then today, at my six week check up, my doctor walks in, looks up from her chart, steps back and exclaims: "Shauntel! You don't even look like the same person!"

Let's just say that pregnancy doesn't suit me. And I know it will come again, but it sure is nice to be on this side of the water retention (and/or weight gain). Now if only someone could do something about the fancy new tire I've acquired around my waist...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

off to college

She's six weeks old today. She's so big. Ginormous really. When I look at her, I see an adult. If I look long enough, she's all of the sudden off to college. Her thighs are thick ("Thunder thighs!!" according to Dad), her cheeks chubby. I miss my little, tiny, fresh from the hospital baby, those incredibly quiet, tender days of wonderment, but at the same time, I continue to love every day. I love that her big eyes are learning to follow my voice, her neck turning from one side to the other in an effort to move her face next to mine when I burp her. She still loves to eat all day (every 2-3 hours), but she's starting to go for 5-7 hours at night, leaving me somewhat uncoordinated at odd hours of the night wondering where my baby is and why I haven't heard from her yet. Her little hands are getting more coordinated - she avoids her face and reaches at mine instead. She giggles and smiles, especially when her belly is full.

So as my little newborn grows into her 0-3 months clothes, part of me is sad, sad that she can't stay miniature forever. But another part of me cherishes every new day. I feel so grateful to be a part of her growth, to watch her learn and grow. I cherish every grunt (she goes by Grunts Alot these days), every sweet little sigh as she sleeps. I know that someday these grunts will turn to groans, her sighs to screams at the injustices of her teenage life, but for now, she is small. And her growth is beautiful.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

my get rich quick scheme

So if I could clone her
and sell her copies on ebay,
I'm pretty sure I'd be rich. :)

Yes, these purple goodies were also crocheted by Grandma Christensen (plus booties).
It's possible that she crocheted an entire closet for this child.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

same chair, different mommy

I had been in labor for several hours, with contractions every two minutes at 100% strength. Luckily, I had re-claimed my sanity early on and asked for an epidural, so for the most part, I just watched my contractions peaking on the screen. I didn't so much feel them. However, as the afternoon progressed, I suddenly began to feel pain. Lots of it. It seems that Miss Annabelle was ready to get out (and oh how I was ready for her to come out), but I wasn't dilated enough. To hasten the process, she wedged her feet in my ribs and pushed with all her might. And the pain of her pushing was as excruciating as the contractions, only the epidural didn't numb this pain.

I screamed and I cried. The pain was awful. Just as I did when the contractions began, I clung to the plastic side rails of my bed, the bed shaking with my body. I thought I would surely crush the rails. At about this time, the nurse came in, saw my pain, and began shifting my body in a way that the baby couldn't kick me so hard. And as I laid there on my side, I opened my eyes long enough to see my mom, standing at the foot of my bed, eyes wide with concern and love. I knew that if she could have, she would've traded me places. I knew she was worried, and I knew that she just wanted to make my pain go away. As the pain subsided, I took comfort in knowing she was there. The epidural made me sleepy, but even in my drug-induced haze, I knew she was there and for that reason, I wasn't afraid. I knew I could do it. I knew I could do the most important thing I had ever done. Because she had done it for me.

A few hours later, Annabelle was born. And in an instant, a single moment that will be forever frozen in my mind, I knew exactly what she felt. A wave of love crashed down on me. It was almost tangible, the force of this love, these emotions, and I knew that my life was changed forever, that from this moment on, I would live for her. I would do anything for her.

My mom is one of the only people who I trust implicitly with my baby. I don't mean to be so choosy, but I think that I trust her because I know that I am so much like her. We do things the same way. I've become my mom. I'm sure that I prefer holding my baby in my left arm (as opposed to the right as most right-handed people would prefer) because she does. I wrap my baby in her blanket the way my mom wraps her because I learned how as I watched her bundle my sisters. I'm still learning, but as I do, I realize that the way I love, the decisions I make, I do so because of her, because she taught me.

The firstborn has given birth to her firstborn. And in this beautiful circle of life, someday my firstborn will do the same. With all my heart, I hope that I can be the kind of mom for her that mine has been for me, that when she is in the depths of labor, reaching into the deepest parts of her soul for strength to bring new life into this world, that she will know I'm there. That she will open her eyes and see me there, that she will know that she can do what I did for her, what my mom did for me.

When my mom gave me life, she gave me the chance to do the same. And only now am I realizing that among her many gifts to me, the most valuable one she gave was the first.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

handmade doll

headband by Aunt Marissa
sweater and blanket by Grandma Christensen
dress by Aunt Whitney (without a pattern, by the way)
baby by Shauntel (with a little help from Jess, I suppose) :)


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