I had a 10 Pound Baby… and other thoughts on motherhood

Hi! I  hope you’re having the best summer.  Our summer has been pretty life changing so far.

Three weeks ago, I gave birth to a 10 pound baby.  Honestly, she was only 9 pounds and 13 ounces.  But, when you have a 9 pound 13 ounce baby, I think you can round up.

I spent a few hours last week writing my birth story, but I never finished it.  Here’s a recap: it was dramatic, it included an emergency C-section, 13 hours of labor, 4 days in the NICU, and finally, a beautiful, healthy baby girl

Here’s her 2-week-old picture.  She just figured out the meaning of life.  It’s milk, of course!

2 week vera

Even though I haven’t finished my birth story, here are my 20 initial thoughts about motherhood.

1.  I have a new boss.  She is a tiny lady with a receding hair line who screams at me a lot.  But, when she holds my hand or smiles at me, all is forgiven.

2.  My coworker (husband) is pretty terrific, and we make fun of our boss lady sometimes.

3.  I’m up all night.  It’s like college, except there are no parties, drinks, or fun clothes involved.  Unless you count baby parties– which oddly enough– I do.

4.  Breastfeeding is harrrrrd.  It feels like a tiny person is attacking you.

5.  I’m covered in spit up and milk most of the day.

6.  I tried to leave the house yesterday, and I couldn’t because my baby wouldn’t let me put her in her car seat.

7.  If we do make it out of the house, it takes HOURS to get ready.

8.  You come up with tons of nicknames for your baby.  Currently, we call the baby: Milk Monster, Little Bird, V Baby, Boss Lady, and Baby Bear.

9.  You can’t trust your own thoughts, especially at night.  My husband found me trying to nurse a pillow the first week we were home.

10.  Explosive poop is a very real thing.  Watch out!

11.  Babies are kind of like drugs.  You’re addicted before you know it.

12.  I thought dressing her would be fun, like dressing a doll.  Turns out, it’s like dressing a screaming, angry bear.

13.  She makes weird noises.  Sometimes, she sounds like a dinosaur.

14.  I cry when I look at her.

15.  I cry when I watch my husband holding her.

16.  Even thought I’m 29, it still feels like I’m on an episode of Teen Mom.

17.  I have no idea how my mom raised 3 kids.  I’m pretty sure Baby V is going to be an only child.

18.  I feel like a grizzly bear.  The thought of anything or anyone hurting her makes me want to turn into a wild animal.

19.  I love her.

20.  She’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I hope I’ve had more thoughts since we brought our baby home, but I can’t remember anything these days.  Any more thoughts on motherhood/fatherhood/baby raising/summer that you’d like to share?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Baby Is A Girl!

Hello Winter Dwellers,

Can you believe how cold it is?  I would like to take a minute and send a lot of warm thoughts and prayers to everyone who works out in the cold everyday– especially my Dad who is a train engineer.  He spends 12 hours day outside building trains in the freezing temps.  Go Dad and others!

In other warm news: our baby is a girl!

Finding out

From the beginning of my pregnancy, I was dying to have a baby girl.  I know you’re not supposed to have a preference, but I did.  I wanted a girl soooooo bad, I could taste it.  It tasted like bows and ruffles.

However, I thought I was having a baby boy.  It’s not that I don’t want a boy someday, but for this pregnancy, I just really wanted a girl.  Hormones, anyone?

Finally, the day arrived and we walked into the doctor’s office.  We were both really nervous.  When the ultrasound tech walked in the room said, “what do you think the baby is?”

I said “Boy,” and my husband said, “Girl.”

It took her a minute or two to get in the right position, but she finally said, “are you ready?”

Then, she slowly typed three words on the screen.  “It’s a … GIRL.”

And I cried.  Not just one tear. A bunch of them.  I cried so much that the tech asked my husband to get me some Kleenex.

I would say that the tears mean it must have been the most beautiful moment of my life.  But, I cried last week watching a Taylor Swift video.  I cried yesterday at work.  I could cry right now.  I’m not sure I can trust my tear ducts anymore.

The name game

After we found out we were having a girl, we got on the baby name bus.  We drove the bus all around town.  We stopped at names like Annie, Sophie, Cora, and Adaline.  But, none of them felt quite right for our baby.  So, drumroll, please… our sweet baby name is Vera Faye Fannon.  I think it’s the most beautiful name ever.

We picked this name because it represents some very special ladies in our lives.  My two grandmothers were named Vera and Versa.  Their names are so similar, I think naming her Vera will honor them both.  My husband’s grandmother’s middle name is Faye, and his other grandmother is a “Fannon.”  So, we were able to hit all four grandmothers– even though the road is a little curvy.

While our grandmothers were the main reason we chose our baby name, I also really like the meanings behind her name.  Vera means “Faith.”  And Faye means “Fairy.”  I LURVE the juxtaposition of being grounded in beliefs but also realizing there is more to this world than what you can see and understand.  A little bit country a little bit rock and roll?

Nursery

I totally have pink eye.  Not the contagious kind.

A very sweet/super talented lady at work volunteered to make the bedding and curtains.  In celebration of our girly future (and our dog/blog’s name), I’ve decide to pink it out!  Why, not?  I may never be able to see this much pink in my house again.

Here’s what the bedding and curtains will look like (with a few custom alterations of course):

pink

Well, that’s all I can think about telling you about our baby.  Let me know what you think!  Mostly, I need to know how much pink is too much?  Also, I’m finalizing our next big financial goal, so stay tuned for that next week.

Until then, stay warm!

 

Why Humans Aren’t Made of Metal

My husband’s grandfather died last week.  We spent the week crying and laughing.  I didn’t know his grandfather very well, but watching my husband and his family grieve, made me cry.  Then, hearing the amazing stories they told about him, made me laugh.  Here are four things I learned about Jared’s grandfather:

1.  He is part of the last generation to know the great depression.  When he was little, he rode to California in a bob-truck with six other families to find work.

2.  He was one of 13 brothers and sisters.  Two of his sisters came to the funeral, and they were the most energetic 80 year olds I’ve ever met.  They totally stayed up later than me.

3.  He was called “Sonny Boy” his whole life.  Since we live in the South and I call older people Mr. and Mrs, I called him, “Mr. Sonny Boy.”  This always made me smile.

4.  He was loved.  By many.

Mr Sonny Boy and Jared

I cried watching how his death affected my husband and his family.  They cried, and because they were hurting, I cried.  This year has been rough for us.  I’ve thought about pain a lot.  As humans, we feel pain.  Not just ‘I cut myself, and it hurts’ pain.  But, we also feel ‘something terrible happened, and it hurts my heart’ pain.  When we emotionally hurt, we feel it physically.  Your heart feels heavier, your shoulders slump, your eyes start to water, your breath gets shorter– eventually all these come together and you start weeping and shaking.  As your entire body sobs it also releases the hurt you are physically feeling.  You sob until slowly your body stops shaking, your breathing evens out, and your eyes dry up.  Then — eventually– you stand up and you go forward.

All this pain made me wish one thing: we were made of metal.

Wouldn’t that be great? Our human skin is pretty week.  It tears and rips.  If we were made of metal, we wouldn’t physically have to feel anything.  Instead of flimsy skin and watery eyes, we could be made of a sheet of thin metal.  Nothing could get past our shell.  Nothing would make us cry.  Nothing could hurt us.  We wouldn’t have scraped knees, or broken bones.  When we started to rust, we could just go to a mechanic and get a tune up.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Instead of doctors and nurses our world would be filled with welders and machinists.  We would go get our car’s oil changed, and we could oil up our squeaky joints at the same time.  It would be wonderful not to have to feel pain– emotional or physical.

I was thinking about this at the funeral.  I was picturing everyone around me as indestructible tin people.  My mind wanders to stuff like this constantly.

After the service, I saw tears in my husband’s eyes.  He was crying for his grandfather– Mr. Sonny Boy– who helped raise him.  The man who took him to his farm, and taught him to love plants, soil, and — candy.  The man who picked him up from the bus after school and walked him to his house.  The man who loved him.

Hoping to comort my husband, I hugged him.  It was the only thing I could think of that would help.  As I hugged him, I realized I couldn’t do that if we were made of metal.  It would be cold. It would be noisy– sounding like two cars crashing into each other.   So, I guess I’m glad we’re not made of metal, because we can feel hugs, and warmth, and love– but some days we have to feel pain too.

 

28 Great Things About Getting Older

I have a confession to make.  I don’t like birthdays.  I’ve never liked them.  My mom says I cried when I turned 10 because I was going to be “double digits.”  I was a bizarre– yet super fun– child.

Well, I turned 28 this week.  Since, having a birthday is waaayyyy better than the opposite (ahem dying), I’m officially turning off my birthday hatred.  This week, I’m one year older.  So, here’s my list of great things about getting older.

1.  You get more candles on your birthday cake.  Who doesn’t like more fire?!

2.  You still have a few years before you’re considered an “adult.”  “Adult” is a moving target.  I used to think people who were 18 were ancient.  Now, I don’t think I have to be an “adult” until I’m 30.  However, when I turn 30, I’m planning on saying I’m not an “adult” until I’m 40.  I plan to repeat this process until I’m 90.  When I’m 100 I will officially HAVE to consider myself and adult.

3.  You have so much to look forward to!  And, so many embarrassing memories to forget.

4.  For four months I’m older than my husband, so I get to say things like, “you’ll understand when you’re older.”

5.  I have conquered 27, also know as your “Rockstar Year.”  Also known as the year many rock and rollers die suddenly.  Whew, I’m glad that’s over.

6.  You are no longer the person at work who “just graduated college.”  Now you’re a full fleged employee.  Feel free to spew great, innovative ideas everywhere!

7.  You’re finally figuring out how *not* to overdraft your bank account.  Full disclosure, my husband and I took “overdraft protection” off our checking account.  Now we just get denied if we run out of money.  Take that crazy fees!

8.  You’re figuring out what you want to do with your life, but you’re not quite there yet.  Maybe next year?

9.  You’ve figured out what you want in a partner– even if you haven’t found it yet.

10.  You run into college students, and you say, “they look like babies, little drunken babies!”

11.   You have a after work routine– and you like it.  Netflix night, anyone?

12.  You’ve stopped shopping at Forever 21 (is that just me?).

13.  You’re only watching stuff on MTV that you know from high school.  Real World is okay.  Everything else, you think, “what is this?”  Except for Teen Mom, which trumps all.

14.  Coffee isn’t just a delicious drink.  It is a necessity.  Like water.  Except better.

15.  You used to have a million friends, but by now you’ve started weeding out the weaklings.  It’s like The Hunger Games– but for friends– may the odds be ever in your favor.

16.  Your surrounded by babies.  “Making it rain,” has nothing to do with throwing money around in a club.  It’s about baby showers.  They’re everywhere, and they’re the best reunions ever.

17.  You realize making a list of 28 things great things about getting older is taking a while… a long while.

18.  You get to try out a bunch of new hobbies, because the ones you were interested in during your early 20s make you want to vomit.  No, I don’t want to “go out” tonight.  Yes, I do want to make crafts and have a glass of wine!

19.  Your parents become cool!  It’s like they’re your older, fun friends.  (you’re welcome mom!)

20.  Your family has completely transformed.  Who are all these new in-law people?  Let’s party!  Wait, didn’t you read #18?  Let’s just make crafts together!

21.  You depend on your high school/college family members to learn about new social media apps.  Luckily, you’re not too old to jump on!  Anyone want to Snap Chat?!

22.  You’ve probably gone through something hard by now.  Death of a close family member?  Failure at work?  Lost love?  Complete breakdown?  Now you know you can handle anything!  Bring it on.

23.  You actually have money to take vacations!  You don’t even have to share a hotel room with 100 other people!

24.  You realize dogs get better with age.  Way better!

25.  You’re friends start getting new jobs and spread out across the country, so you have tons of excuses to go visit them.  You’re just being a good friend, right?!

26.  You finally have a little control over your hair.  Not every day, but some days.

27.  You might not know what your “dream job” is yet, but you know what your “dream job” isn’t.

28.  You’re finally embracing your birthday.  Now you can make really cool lists about how great it is!

Do you agree with any of these?  Did I leave anything out?

Paying Off Our House + Space Dogs

We’re nine months into paying off our house.  Three months ago we got distracted by buying a foreclosure.  So, now we’re back to boring: paying off our mortgage.  I want to update you on the progress.

Update 1.  It sucks.  No one says this.  Everyone always says, “have big goals!  Reach for the stars!”  No one says, “big goals suck, they are only fun when you finish.”  Sometimes I just need to say it.

Update 2.  To be fair, it’s also addicting.  It’s energizing.  The thought of never paying another house payment is incredible.

Update 3.  During the last update, I said we’d paid off $11,000 since January.  As of this month, we’ve paid off $26,000 since January.  This would be incredible, but we took out a loan of $10,000 to do it.  Why are we paying the loan shuffle?

Update 4.  We got messed up with the foreclosure nasty business (or biznasty as I like to call it).   During the foreclosure biznasty, we took out a $10,000 loan from a local bank to help us make some repairs that needed to be done before we moved in.  When we lost the foreclosure we didn’t need the loan.  We put the loan toward paying off our house. That’s why we’re down so much.

Why did we decide go through with this weird lender square dance?

Update 5.   I really wanted to see the balance on our home drastically decrease.  I know, it’s silly, but our loan balance looks amazing.  And sometimes, you just need some good news.  Even if it’s not accurate.

Update 6.  Also, we don’t have to pay the smaller loan back for 2 years.  We calculated the interest owed on the smaller loan, and it was about the same as paying on our mortgage.  It’s a wash for us.  We’re going to ignore it for now and tackle it later.

So, now we have $44,000 left on our home loan.  I feel weird putting all this out there.  I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to, but we talked about it and want to document the process–and maybe help someone.  So, there it is.  I’m not sure what etiquette is for blogging about paying off your house, but Emily Post would probably say this whole blog is inappropriate, anyway.

That’s where we are.  And we’re forging ahead.  Our goal is to finish in March of next year–1.5 years into the process.  This is super unrealistic.  When I crunch the numbers they never say we will be done in March.  But, it’s always been our goal, so we’re keeping it for now.

Maybe, we will be done in March 2099 and say, “we met our goal, we finished in March!”   Pink and Rick will dominate some doggie space suites in March 2099.

IMG_3395

Ricky Bobby dreams of being a Dog-stronaut

 Feel free to post your own update below…

pssst… If you like this post, please follow!  Just go to the top right hand of the page and put your email address in.  You’ll get the latest posts to your email box.  Pink and Rick want to be the most followed dogs in the park, so you could help make dreams come true.  It’s like Disney World, but bloggier.

 

 

Blogging for a Year: Was it Successful?

Happy one year anniversary to PinkandRick. com!

The blog has changed a lot from the beginning.  I started it as a way to complain about my dogs.  Check out my first post here.

It’s kind of morphed into a goals and finances and house blog, but it will always be a crazy dog blog.

I really didn’t start this blog because of my crazy dogs.  I started it because I love to write.  I love to write like Pink and Rick love to eat poison.  I love to write like this cowboy loves to dance.

Everyone has something they love to do.  It’s a quiet calling in each of our hearts/souls/gooey places.  However, sometimes the goal feels too big.  Sometimes our callings are too scary, so we ignore them.  Truth is, the only way I could even begin to get past my fear of public writing is to write about something else.  By writing about my dogs, I was able to take the pressure off myself.  That way, if my blog sucked, I could blame it on my crazy dogs, not that I just wasn’t good enough.

But here’s what I think: there is no success and there is no failure.  Everyone defines it differently.  So, today I’m declaring Pinkandrick.com as a success.  I got 190 views in one day with this post, which means more people than my mom read this blog.  Or, my mom just clicked on it a lot that day.  Either way, success.

You deserve success in your life, too.  Declare it.  Are you great at your job?  Do you have a wonderful relationship?  Do you have great kid(s)?  Did you make someone smile today?  Then you’re a success.

We’ve all made it.  So today, celebrate.  You deserve to feel successful.

Pink and Rick feel successful every day.  Here’s proof.

photo food search