The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: December 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Sometimes Exhaustion Is Funny…

In yet another installment of things that happen as a result of complete exhaustion…

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’m really tired right now. This sounds vaguely familiar, right…? Okay, right. So a couple of days ago (on the 23rd) I got an e-mail from a program called Enfamil Beginnings (which I joined to try to get some coupons to offset the exorbitant cost of Paige’s formula). Here is the relevant snippet:

Congratulations, Shannon!
You’ve made it through one of the roughest patches of parenthood, and you’ve passed with flying colors. As your baby continues to grow, you may soon notice some dramatic changes in her development and capabilities.

It came after a particularly rough day that followed a particularly rough patch that has been going on since, well, her birth.  As I often do, I forwarded it to Matt with a snarky comment attached.  In this case I said “I resent the implication that the hardest is supposed to be behind us.”

This method of blowing off steam has the added benefit of also being entertaining for me and for Matt.  It usually works very well.  This time worked out a bit differently…

Later in the day I asked Matt if he’d gotten my e-mail (since he usually responds with another snarky comment and I didn’t hear anything from him).  He had no idea what I was talking about.  This is when I realized that I hit “reply” instead of “forward.”

Oops.

Oh well, we figured that the e-mail was probably sent by an unmanned account.  No harm, no foul, right?

Wrong.

I didn’t think anything more about it as we entered our annual Christmas marathon, until this morning when I received the following message from the Enfamil Resource Center:

Shannon:

Thank you for your comments.  We have a strong commitment to our customers and comments help us to continue our tradition of providing high quality products and services.  I have forwarded your comment to the appropriate department.

Thank you, Shannon, for contacting us about our Enfamil Family Beginnings* program.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Kind regards,

Karen
Consumer Care Specialist
Enfamil Resource Center

Oops again.

Is it bad that my response was to laugh out loud and forward it to Matt?

Expectations

When we found out I was pregnant this past January I knew that the hardest part for me would be prolonged sleep deprivation.  Everything about me works better when I get enough sleep.  I’m a better parent.  I’m a (much) nicer person.  My metabolism begins functioning again (slower than I’d like, but at least it does something).  I have (much more) patience (with everyone).

In my head I set Christmas as my endpoint.  I told myself that if I could make it to Christmas we’d be sleeping through the night again.  I told myself that if we could make it through the Christmas celebrations and Liam’s birthday then we’d soon find our new normal.  We’d be (mostly) whole again.  We’d function as a family of four.

I’ve learned a few things about expectations since September 13th.  I’ll take a few minutes to share what I’ve learned with you before I head to my room to bang my head against the wall.

  • Every birth experience is different.  Sometimes you have a hellacious labor followed by an incredibly painful recovery.  Sometimes you have a very smooth induction followed by a life-threatening placental delivery.
  • Some people have small babies.  Some people have normal sized babies.  I only have ginormous babies.
  • Some babies don’t have acid reflux.  Some babies have mild acid reflux.  Some babies have bad acid reflux.  Some babies have severe acid reflux.  My babies only have reflux that’s bad enough to require medication.  The first one was merely bad.  This one has been truly awful.  I’m certainly not going to find out if the trend would continue.
  • Some babies are calm and sweet.  Some babies are smiley and screechy.  That’s all I have to say about that.
  • Some babies sleep through the night (and for me this means at least 8 consecutive hours that coincide with 8 consecutive hours of sleep for me and Matt) at 11 weeks.  Some babies are almost 15 weeks old and still won’t sleep through the night.
  • Some pregnancies don’t cause sleep deprivation.  Some pregnancies cause sleep deprivation that begins when you pee on the stick.  I’ve had both and I’m here to tell you that the second kind leads to complete insanity and total stupidity.  Also, did I mention I’m not very nice when I don’t get sleep?
  • Even lactation consultants who have been on the job for 30 years have a breaking point at which they say: “not that you need my blessing or permission but in case it matters, you have both of those things when I tell you that if you want to formula-feed this baby, it’s okay and that your mental health and the mental health of your whole family means more than colostrum.”
  • Some babies nurse easily.  Some women have no trouble producing milk.  My babies don’t nurse at all.  I don’t produce any milk.  This still makes me a little sad.
  • Some babies drink regular formula with no trouble.  Some babies can only drink liquid gold that causes blow-out diapers at least once a day (Every.  Day.) and costs three times what regular formula costs.  I’ve had both kinds of babies.  Take a guess at which one I prefer…
  • Some babies finish a bottle in 20-30 minutes.  Some babies take hours to finish a bottle.  Some babies take 20-30 minutes sometimes and hours other times with absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why.
  • Some babies are (mostly) predictable.  Some are not.  The baby who is unpredictable keeps you on your toes.  If you’re on your toes all the time your balance suffers and you fall on your face.  After you fall on your face you find yourself hoping that you need medical attention so that you can go to the hospital and get a good night’s sleep.  Because flying by the seat of your pants all the time is unbelievably stressful and doing it all day every day (and night) is crazymaking.
  • Some babies fall asleep easily and fall into a regular sleep schedule.  These babies nap 2-3 times per day and sleep 11-12 hours at night.  Some babies refuse to sleep and become so overtired that they don’t eat well and then wake up in the night because they’re hungry and overtired and then the cycle starts again.  Having this type of baby has actually caused me to daydream about building a soundproof master suite onto our house so that I have a safe-room to hang out in when I just can’t take it anymore.  I’ve thought about moving our bed into the treadmill room, removing the ceiling tiles and spraying foam insulation as a sound barrier into the remaining space.  I’ve thought about putting Paige in an insulated cage (kind of like a dog house only nicer) in the backyard.  I’ve thought about moving myself into an insulated cage in the backyard.  I’ve thought about running away (on a regular basis).

The only things I’ve learned for sure are that expectations will get you into trouble and sleep deprivation will make you fat, angry, and mean.  That and the confirmation beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not EVER have any more babies.

I never knew that anything could be this hard (and yes I know that it could be much worse, but it’s extremely hard to look at that side of the coin when you’re as wrecked as I am).  We got so lucky with our first child and I’m hoping against hope that things get better with the second in the very near future.

Something’s gotta give.  Soon.

I’m tired of feeling like this and I’m beyond tired of hearing myself talk about feeling like this.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my hopes high that the night goes well with the full understanding that it’s not likely.  One day at a time.

I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can…

Miscellaneous Roundup

Here are a few pictures (and by a few I mean a ton) that I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks.  Because I don’t feel that I’ve posted enough pictures over the last 24 hours…

Daddy & daughter:

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Liam’s top hat:

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The level of cuteness in this house right now is kind of hard to stand:

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Liam (excitedly) opens an early Christmas present from Mo & Pok:

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“It’s Mo & Pok reading to me!”

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A smile and a shiner:

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Brother & sister chat:

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Enamored:

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“Here Paige, let me show you how to play with the bears”

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“That’s good.  Just like that.”

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“No.  See — you’re supposed to keep playing with them.”

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“Let me just put your hand on this yellow one so you’ll see what I mean.”

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“Okay, fine.  If you’re not going to play with them, I’m not going to let them just sit there…”

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Why is it that the only time I can get Liam to look at the camera, Paige stops smiling?

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Brother-sister snuggles:

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“Here, Paige.  I understand that you don’t get the awesomeness of the bears, but what if I share this super-cool train with you?”

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I just can’t wait to see them grow up together.  Especially if ‘growing up’ means that everyone starts sleeping through the night…

I’m Ready For My Closeup

She may be a total pain in the backside a large majority of the time, but the camera definitely loves this kid!

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(and she loves her hands in her mouth these days, as you can tell…)

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Contemplative…

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Really going for the gusto…

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Trying out her new (to her) seat:

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“Oh Mama, check out this rattle!”

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“It’s amazing!”

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“Whatchoo lookin’ at, Mama?”

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Wow.  Just, wow.

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She even makes drool work for her somehow…

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Trouble:

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“Peace!”

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Nom, nom, nom…

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“Everything is so exciting when you’re 3.5 months old!”

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Baby laughs:

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Oh, the cuteness…

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(Just for the record, I do still take pictures of my adorable Liam, it’s just that he doesn’t really stay in one place for more than two seconds and has a tendency to never stop talking so it’s hard to get a shot of him before he’s running around in circles talking about something again.  That being said, I do have a few shots of him in the next batch of pictures.)

Bathtime

Luckily, Paige’s early bathing experiences were not a good indicator of her feelings about bathtime.  It’s now one of her favorite things to do and we actually use it as a tactic to interupt nighttime screaming fits before bed.  Here are some pictures I took of a recent bath.

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Spontaneous worry:

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Splashing is one of her favorite things.  I’ll be able to get more pictures of it when I’m not worried that she’s going to slip down and drown while doing it…

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Learning to appreciate letters like her brother:

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Little P:

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Little B:

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All smiles:

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Sheer concentration (on what, I have no idea…):

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Lounging:

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Who…Me?

“Oh, Mama it couldn’t possibly have been me who was up at 4am for no good reason…I’m far too precious for that, don’t you think?”

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Birthdays & Goodies & Fun With Gran, Oh My!

On the 11th we went to Gran and Granddaddy’s house to celebrate my birthday (the 10th) and Greatmama’s birthday (the 9th).  After the celebration it was time to get down to the business of Christmas goody making.  Liam had a fantastic time decorating cookies to give to his teachers and I am so grateful to my mom for letting us use her fantastic kitchen!  Here are pictures from the day.

Liam helped open presents:

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Greatmama, I wonder what can it be?

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Liam helps blow out the candles:

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Now it’s time to make goodies!

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Slinky break:

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He’ll find trains anywhere:

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Gran love:

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M&M apertif:

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Cookie chat:

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Cookie Cutter Contemplation (with a side of Chocolate Chewing):

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Let’s get this party started:

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I love this one:

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Bucket Head:

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Time to clean up:

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It was an exhausting but fabulous day!

Visit With PJ & Sylvie

I have tons of other pictures to post from all the birthday celebrations and day-to-day cuteness but I had to start with these from our recent visit with Sylvie & PJ.  As usual, I had a very hard time choosing which pictures to post so I’m just posting them all!

Sylvie models her lamb hat & booties:

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What a smile!

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Talking to Auntie PJ:

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This is what the difference between the 1st growth percentile and the 75th growth percentile looks like:

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Could she be any cuter?  (No, no she couldn’t.)

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Thick as thieves:

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Auntie PJ to the rescue:

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Sylvie is already giving me the look that my own children give me when I pull out the camera.  What can I say?  She’s a very quick learner.

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Paige smells something.  I can pretty much guarantee that it’s of her own making…

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Sylvie just got a whiff.  I still blame Paige.

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Lean on me, when you’re not strong…

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I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.

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I’m so looking forward to watching these two grow up together!

Dear Mama,

Happy Birthday!  I don’t have control of my hands yet so I couldn’t wrap your gifts, but here’s what I got you:

-Poop on your hand.

-Poop in your eye.

-Poop in your mouth.

-Poop in my mouth.

-An inability (or unwillingness, you’ll never know for sure) to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time.

I worked really hard to think of things that I knew you would enjoy the most for your birthday and I hope you like them!

Love,

Paige

P.S. I don’t know if Liam has given you his gifts yet, but I heard him trying to decide between pee all over the bathroom (and his clothes, and his body) and a refusal to nap.  I hope he gets you both because you deserve only the best!

The Unbearable Cuteness Of Being

This post requires no words.

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Man, we make cute babies, if I do say so myself!

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