The Latest

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I wrote on Christmas Day that we were having a great day. And we did!

(Christmas socks from our sweet nurse Ashlee)

Around three in the afternoon, we were told that Juliette had made enough progress in her breathing that she was ready to go without the ventilator. She would still have to have oxygen through her nose, but she was strong enough to take breaths on her own. They stopped all her medicine drips (except an antibiotic), so she'd start to wake up. We would stay in the ICU until they were sure that she wouldn't have to get intubated again.


Around 6:30 on Christmas Night, the tube came out and we got to really see our precious little baby's face again, and what a wonderful sight it was! It was the best Christmas present we could have asked for.

She spent a little while reacquainting herself with air...sticking out her tongue a lot and moving her little head around, just taking it in and testing out making sounds. We each got to hold her, and told her over and over how much we love her and how well she did fighting that nasty old virus.

We went to sleep thankful and tired, but a good tired. She had worked hard over the past 8 days, and was finally reaping some reward.


(Tiny Toms from Aunt Martha...let's see how many photos of Juliette's feet I can post)

Monday, late morning, we were told to prepare to move upstairs to a "regular" room (a regular room includes a BATHROOM, the ability to have food, and more than three visitors at a time).

There are two things she has to do before we can blow this popsicle stand: breathe well on her own and eat on her own. By the end of today (Tuesday) she has almost accomplished item #1, which is amazing. We have item #2 yet to go.

We continue to appreciate your prayers for total healing of Juliette's body (and mind and spirit as well), and that she is able to get good rest over the next several days.

While it was definitely a different sort of Christmas than I envisioned (in every possible way), we still were able to spend time with our families...eating delicious food they prepared and brought up, and giving thanks for Juliette's progress.

Also, if you didn't know, Santa visits the ICU at LeBonheur!


So sweet!

Thank you for all of the messages, texts, good thoughts and prayers you've sent our way. They have definitely helped carry us through this whole ordeal.

We look forward to a very healthy and restful new year, Lord willing. Here's to hoping my next post will be from HOME!

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Post #2
Post #3 (Christmas card)


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Juliette is having a great day today! Praise God!


Merry Christmas to you, wherever you are!

Be back later with a more detailed update...I want to wait and see how today unfolds. Thank you so much for the prayers and good wishes to our little pumpkin girl.  Have a wonderful holiday!

*Addendum; Mr. Jerkins wants to make it known that this photo was NOT photoshopped. We had a random snowy morning in early December, and he took this wonderful photo himself (with his iPhone, no less). Please make note.

Christmas Eve Eve Update

Friday, December 23, 2011

After finishing Wednesday night's post, Jonathan & I tucked ourselves into our little hospital fold-out couches and tried to go to sleep like we had each night we'd been here, counting on Juliette to have a peaceful night with improvement by the morning.


But apparently, Juliette wasn't interested in our agenda. She struggled to keep her numbers up all night. We were awake for a lot of it, trying to help our nurse as we could but mostly worrying. By the morning, her numbers weren't looking that great, and the doctor had to turn up the settings on the ventilator way up past all of the progress we'd made the past few days.

It's like when you train train train for months for a race...you finally get to race day, finish it, but then take the next couple of weeks off. If you tried to run that race again, your endurance wouldn't be nearly what it was several weeks before...despite all the months of training, your endurance/all your hard work would've vanished just like that! So went all that progress we'd made toward getting off the ventilator quickly.

There were some pretty scary moments for us yesterday morning...through my blinding tears, I kept thinking, "I just wrote about trusting the Lord, and now I'm having to really do it. This is so hard. Lord, please don't take my baby. Please heal her from this virus." Push came to shove and I saw the limitations in medicine...the training, the drugs, the vast knowledge of doctors & nurses, the medical equipment. They can only do so much. They have no control over life. They are not God. Faced with this, I realized we already have the answer to the where-can-we-turn-to question. But it  isn't the easy road, trying to let go of the {imagined} control you have over tough situations.


We were told this morning to settle in...it could take a while before her little lungs are ready to do the work of breathing on their own. She had a good day today staying steady and we are going to sleep tonight more reassured. We have all the time in the world if it means she'll get well.

Over and over I think, if there was any way in this world I could switch places with Juliette, I would do it in a second!  I can see a little more clearly the picture of God's love for us--we were sick with sin, and he interceded! Praise Him!


Tonight, the Jerkins family sends our love to you as the world rejoices at Christ's coming. What a precious gift the Lord gave us--this intercession for us through his own Son!

We appreciate and crave your continued prayers. Thank you so much for all the love and prayers that have been offered on Jules' behalf already.

Obviously, this isn't exactly the Baby's First Christmas that I had pictured. But we are so glad and thankful to be here with her where she can get the best care possible during her fight against RSV.

Merry Christmas to you!


***UPDATE (12/24 10:30 am)  Juliette had a great night last night! Her numbers right now look beautiful and her ventilator settings have been turned down (meaning her little lungs are able to do more work on their own). Praise God!


Before I forget: I was randomly interviewed by the New York Times for an article about how video conferencing is shaping family dynamics. The article is here--go to the 2nd page to see our little paragraph. (The writer originally found me from this post, where we revealed baby's gender via mass family skype/facetime/google chat get-together).

Where We Are

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

At this moment, we are sitting in Juliette's room in the ICU at LeBonheur Children's Hospital.

Here's the scoop:

Last week, Juliette started having a bad cough. Hunching her shoulders into her chest and really looking bothered. To the pediatrician we went (we'd just been there for her 4-month check-up and shots on Monday). She had no fever or ear problems, so he sent us home and said to just watch her...because if it was a virus it was going to take its course no matter what we did. She was still sleeping normally and smiling and acting like herself, just coughing bad.


Thursday she still had no fever, no fussing, just coughing. Around 3 pm, I got a call from the teacher that Juliette now had a fever a little over 101. I went to pick her up and took her home...gave her some Tylenol that night and put her to bed early. She only woke up once to eat (she had a little catching up to do) and had no fever. Friday, she went to her Nana's house for the day. She was still feeling puny but didn't have a fever. By the time I got home at 4 that afternoon, she was a bottle behind her normal consumption...just eating slowly and not interested. I thought maybe it'd easier for her to nurse instead, so we just thought we'd forgo all of our weekend plans and settle in to get her feeling better.

Friday night was pretty awful. She woke up every 2.5 hours or so, with coughing and fever, Tylenol or no. By Saturday morning she was pretty much refusing to eat. Dr. Bubba (our SUPER WONDERFUL pediatrician and friend) had told me earlier that week if I needed anything that he'd be around over the weekend and to let him know. So I did. She napped some Saturday morning, but by the time he came to see her around 10:45, she'd not eaten anything for a long time and was completely drained of energy. Her eyes were open but sort of blank, her arms were pretty limp and she was wheezing pretty good. Dr. Bubba measured her pulse-oxygen rate, and it was very low. Very gently and calmly, he explained that this virus was going to have to run its course over the next few days, and he thought maybe we'd all feel better and less worried if we went ahead and went on to the hospital to get Jules some oxygen and monitoring. He said pack your toothbrush but don't drive too fast down there. He was so calm and reassuring that I really didn't have the chance to freak out. The man definitely knows what he's doing. He even stayed and chatted with us for a few minutes about his dog.

So I packed Juliette a diaper bag (full of stuff she wouldn't need at all), and nothing for us, thinking if we really had to stay that my mom would probably be able to bring something up to us and surely we weren't really going to stay overnight. Our doc called ahead to let them know we were coming, so when we walked into the ER they were expecting us. We got back to triage and they measured her pulse-ox level again and it was even lower. So low that we skipped the rest of the triage business and got straight back into a room to get Jules some oxygen. This is when things got scary. From what I can remember out of the chaos, they started giving her oxygen (and some sort of medicine maybe?) and then let me hold her for a while. It seemed like she was almost asleep when she woke up and started completely freaking out--beginning probably the worst 20 minutes of my life. She was screaming and wiggling so uncontrollably that I couldn't hold her anymore, even with Jonathan's help. Jonathan's dad (who is a doc and operates at the children's hospital where we are) was there by that time, along with J's brother Michael (they're in the same med school class).

Time really seemed frantic but somehow slow at the same time as we all endured watching Juliette struggle. It was a complete and total nightmare. The nurse came in a few times to help me but I felt totally helpless and had no idea what was going on or going to happen.


After the 20 minutes from h-e-double hockey sticks, the ER doc came in and explained that Juliette was wearing herself out trying to breathe and if they intubated her (put in a breathing tube), she could rest and have an easier time recovering. Since Jules hadn't eaten that morning, I had last pumped during her nap (about 8:30 am). It was 2:30ish by this time, and I was about to explode. I am SO thankful for this...because in that moment, instead of seeing the intubation as an opportunity to freak out, I saw it as an opportunity to go pump. In retrospect, I guess that was God's hand calming me in an unexpected way. I didn't really understand or give myself a chance to see how big of a deal it was...I was just thinking about needing to pump.

After the intubation was done (I was finished by this time), Jonathan and I got to see her and were told that she'd be intubated in ICU until she could breathe on her own more easily. Once we got to the ICU, the doctor there explained that Juliette has RSV which is a virus that has to run its course...all they can really do is be there to support her as she fights the virus. And that there isn't really a predictable or set time frame in which this can happen. It can be days or weeks...no one knows.



So here we are...it is Wednesday night and we are still here. Jules has improved each day we've been here... but she hasn't been ready yet to go without the tube. Once she gets off the ventilator, we will probably be here another couple of days for observation.

They are telling us there is a possibility that the tube could come out tomorrow. Obviously, we can be patient. Whatever she has to do to get better is what we're going to do.

I've been utterly punched in the gut to how powerless humans can be. All the bravado and hoopla surrounding man's innovation is trivial compared to God's overwhelming power and sovereignty. When you have a revered and trained doctor tell you, "we can't make this virus leave your child; we can only support her as she fights it herself," you realize how futile our own plans and efforts can really be.

Jonathan and I walked down to the chapel tonight. There was a basket with colorful sheets of paper, printed at the top, "Share a wish, a hope, or a prayer."

Written in child's handwriting, the top one read, "Lord, healing Aiden's brain is a piece of cake for you."

God is in control.


ps thank you for all the prayers, texts, calls, emails, and offers for help. We are extremely thankful for the support and love.

Writing from the Blogger App & Instagram Wall

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We are still rolling sans computer. It's the pits, honestly. I'm trying NOT to obsess over the photos chronicling the first 3 months of Juliette's life stored within that are potentially lost forever, since we hadn't gotten around to backing up yet. I know, I know, they make these automated back-up devices now. You better believe one of those contraptions is on our Christmas List.

Despite my husband's teasing, I'm glad to be such an insane phone pic hoarder, even on this slow 3GS (who knew sev years ago that this phone would one day be considered "clunky"?). At least these grainy pics exist somewhere (ie, the palm of my hand only, atm...scary).

(many thanks to our computer magician, Robert, who is currently running hard drive intervention/witchcraft in an attempt to forage photos and other electronic treasures. Say a prayer for us.)

I have no idea what photos will look like coming from this blogger app but here goes nothing (can't size them or even place them, maybe). These pics were taken as a quick visual update, so accept my apologies for the obvious desk-messiness and poor lighting.

I saw a post from Little Green Notebook via babble about stuff you can do with your instagram photos. We Jerkins love us some instagram. This is a loose interpretation of one of the inspiration photos, which I'll link to later.

The start of something good:




Round two (after our computer went to the doctor):

I'm so excited! Our first round was sort of baby-heavy (acc to DH), so we tried to include more inanimate artsy stuff in this next round. I love the possibilities here! We're using these 3M removable wall stick things so I'm not worried about messing up the paint, and the photos can be changed around easily.

We Have a Piano

Monday, December 05, 2011

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of my Uncle Gregg, we now have a 1952 Wurlitzer piano.

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I'm so excited! It fits nicely in our 1954 house.

You may or may not know this, but I took piano lessons for 14 years growing up, culminating in a solo senior recital with a set list of probably 12 songs. I'm not the most naturally talented musician (I can't hear a song and just sit down and play it)...but I do enjoy playing and look forward to hearing little Jerkins children play it one day too!

In other news, Sister and I completed the 5K Goal this past Saturday!

It turned out to be really really fun. I couldn't run the whole time, but we ran mostly 8-10 minute stretches with 2-3 mins walking in between. We have tenatively decided to try to do one 5K every month! and perhaps by next year, I'll be in good enough shape to train for the St Jude Half Marathon again.

Also, I wanted to publicly thank Leslie P for her post about having-things-on-your-plate (how else to term it?). Go over and give it a read, if you haven't.

Les, what most impressed me was that you know what size your plate is. I really have no idea. I think I'm somewhere in between a dinner plate and a platter, even before this working-mom stuff... but with the countless things in my life that NEVER get done, part of me suspects I just have a very full and cute little salad plate. Who knows?

Please Note

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I screwed up our home computer. Had it plugged into the wall next to a perfectly good power strip. Why am I such a dummy? There were some power outages at our house last week and our computer was a victim. So here I type, on the blogger iPhone app, just to let you know I'm still here, just without my mode de communication.

And of course being computerless has made me more prone to thinking of more blog post ideas. Though, write them through this iPhone app, I will not.

Meanwhile, I am in search of a failsafe navy nail polish color. Any recommendations?

3 Months Old (9 days later)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Baby Jules... (this is a long one)

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You are so much fun!

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We are having more and more fun with you every day. Your sweet little spirit has really shown itself to us this past month. You are doing more "talking"...laughing, cooing, and interacting with us through your little voice. We just can't get enough!

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{Toppling over turns into glam pose}

Since you started school on your 2-month birthday, this entire month you've been in day care and you have just done great. Miss Sandra, Miss Carolyn, and Miss Sherrill have all been wonderful and you've done a good job adjusting (faster than Mommy did). {Sidebar: the going-back-to-work topic probably deserves its own post.}

Your teachers have helped you learn to go 3 hours between eating (great job!). You take 5 oz bottles at school and now eat on a very regular schedule (5 times/day total). I'm very thankful that you still are nursing great, too.

We're still working on getting your naps to become more regular, but you're sleeping well at night so I'm not too concerned. You usually go to sleep between 7:30-8 and sleep until I wake you up about 6:30. We take a bath every night (you love your whale tub) and we read a book before I swaddle you up.

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You are really noticing things more, which has opened up a whole new world of playing with toys and looking at books. You like playing with your rings, watching the mobile on your friend Emery's swing, and Sophie the giraffe. But mostly, "playing" is laughing and talking with people.

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You've also turned a corner and now take your paci pretty well. The world doesn't end without it, but you do now like it and it does its job of soothing you, especially before bed. You still love chewing on your fist most of the time.

We have so much fun taking you out and about! You're very agreeable and offer smiles to everyone.

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This month we celebrated your first Halloween! Your daddy finally got his wish and had his very own turtle:

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Your dad ordered your turtle costume (on ebay) when you were just a few weeks old, and had been trying it on you every couple of weeks until Halloween came. We just could NOT stop giggling when you were wearing it, you looked so cute.

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The day before you turned 3 months old, you rolled over for the first time! You did it first at school, but again for Mommy and Aunt Martha that night. Even though your effort comes from frustration at being on your belly, I appreciate your concentration and strength in this new skill.

This past week, you and your daddy skipped school and watched your first (of many) Tigers games.

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You weigh 14 lb 1 oz, and I don't know how long you are. (We need to get out the tape measure, Daddy). Also this month, we had to wave the white flag and officially call it quits on the cloth diapers (I'm planning a separate post addressing this). You're wearing size 2 diapers still and mostly in 3-6 months clothes.

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I'll probably remember this as the month things became more real-life and less Twilight Zone.


We love you, precious Juliette. You are a joyful gift from God!

One month post
Two months post

Some Stuff on a Wednesday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1. I'm good at eating leftovers. I get satisfaction from cooking something and eating all of it. This could be either lazy (b/c I don't want to cook every night) or green (can't have food go to waste)...call it what you will.

2. Parenthood is such a freaking good show. Just...yes. Every single week. And every single week, they get me with the tearing-up. On the other hand is Glee, which has been spiraling downward into the Land of I-Don't-Get-It. (Circle of Life, I guess. This time last year, I would've thought that show could do no wrong.)

3. This baby. Killing us with cuteness, one day at a time. I love this photo (posted it on Instagram the other day), because it looks like she has really defined deltoids. Hee hee.

deltoids

4. My dear husband took the above photo with his new iPhone 4S. I'm on the one-month-eligibility-countdown for this puppy. CAN'T WAIT (mainly for that camera.. and my 2.5 yr old 3Gs is moving slower than Christmas).

5. Speaking of Christmas...thanks for the input on Christmas stockings. I'll let you know what ends up happening.

6. In Couch to 5K news...I've been actually doing the workouts (at the gym, at night, after Jules is asleep). Can't say the lbs are just melting off yet...but at least there is some regular physical exertion occurring. Something.

7. This Penn State thing is just beyond. I can't even wrap my mind around the layers of evil involved. Lord help us.

Pretzels and A First-World Problem

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here's a quickie snack for youz. I got this concoction via Martha via her sister-in-law, Katy. YUM! They're going to be handy to make at the holidays especially. (The batch I made several nights ago is already gone!)

Thavory Prethzelsth (Savory Pretzels)

1 lb pretzels
1/2 c veg oil
1 t garlic salt
1 t cayenne pepper (I used Emeril's Essence so they wouldn't be as spicy, in which case maybe use garlic powder instead of garlic salt?)
1 package Ranch dressing mix

Stir all the ingredients together in a big bowl (I added the pretzels last), then spread out on cookie sheets and bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. THE END.

pretzels

Easy, eh? So delish!

I gave you these pretzels so you'll give me consult on the "issue" below.

I realize this is totally a not-real-life-issue-and-doesn't-even-matter-but-I-don't-know-what-to-do problem (and need to use some more hyphens): Christmas stockings. What do you do for your first kid?

Our stockings (me, Jonathan, and Red the Cat's) are classic ticking stripe from Pottery Barn, which I picked several years ago knowing that they'd have the same, if not coordinating stockings at PB forever and ever.

Here's an old pic from our condo (when we had to hang our stockings on the mirror above our dining table, nice!):



Alert: the 2011 Pottery Barn holiday catalog is not complete with ye classic ticking stripe Christmas stockings. There are of course, the solid red with white tops and the red/green ones, as well as some tapestry-looking ones with a snow man and a tree maybe.

The question is this: what in the heck do people do? Are you supposed to buy multiple stockings for how many kids you want to have from the get-go? Because that is SO MUCH PRESSURE to let Christmas stockings decide how many children you have (obvi). Or should I just [pretend to] play it cool, wait and then hope they'll have the matching one whenever that time comes? Or, go for mismatched kids' stockings and be all easy-going and "eclectic" (such a hot word right now)? Does anyone else think about this?

Heeeeeelp


p.s. Juliette is 3 months old today but I'll obviously wait a while to write that post, so it'll be nice and late. :)

Baby Paper

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Been wanting to share these for a while.

My talented friend Laura H/"Eve" (some of her calligraphic talents shown here previously) is just the best at interpreting my harebrained ideas and transforming them into works of art (which exceed my initial mental concepts every time).

Here's Juliette's birth announcement up on the fridge:

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(photo by Stephen Jerkins) Many thanks to Sister who loaned her Photoshop skillz in transforming the watercolor piece and the lettering into this card. I got the photos printed at mpix, on their pretty metallic paper.

And here is the stationery I've been using for thank yous:

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Even after many months of using these cards, I am just still in love.

{Embarrassingly, I've still got a pretty good list of thank-you notes left to go. Please know, we are indeed thankful! It's slow going sometimes.}


Thank you so much, Eve, for sharing your talents with me once again.

Two Months Old (late)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not surprisingly, I’ve been only mentally writing this post, ie procrastinating, over the past couple of weeks. That poor baby. Since the self-inflicted pressure to write the most profound two-month-old post ever has lifted, I’m going to pen this as if was written two weeks ago.

Dear Baby,

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We are trying to call you by your name more often… but most of the time we still refer to you as “Baby.” ☺

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The big super huge number one main thing that’s happened this month is that you started sleeping all night. (Readers: please don’t send me hate mail. It’s all her own doing.) You have always been a good sleeper, able to sleep 4-5 hour stretches from around a week old (since you were back up to your birth weight quickly). You even slept a freakish 8 hour stretch at 2 weeks old. But something clicked for you right at 5 weeks old, and you’ve been pretty consistently going to sleep between 10-11 pm and waking up at 6 or 7.

The night your BFF Elliot Burke was born (September 20th…yay Baby Elliot!), you slept 10 HOURS in her honor! It was amazing. I often tell your daddy that your sleeping habits have made me a little scared about what we’ll get with your future siblings… kharma and all that.

Here you are, meeting Elliot for the first time! (You girls were both really into it. hee hee)

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Also this month, you met your cousins, Kendall and Kailyn, for the first time! Don’t worry, Kendall has already taught you the Pledge of Allegiance. You’re going to be all set!

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You are a good eater, and nurse pretty consistently every 2.5 hours during the day. I do my best to “load you up,” as we say, so you’ll sleep well at night, but we haven’t been stressing too much about a daily schedule yet (since you’re going to “school” exactly on your two-month birthday). You usually get at least one bottle every day to practice for day care, and you do a great job taking them.

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You wear mostly 0-3 month size clothes, but you’re very long, so you can already wear some 3-6 month stuff. At your doctor’s visit, you were 11 lb 14 oz and 23.5 inches long, 90th percentile in both. Wowee! Head circumference: 50th. Watching you get your shots was NOT fun, but you did just fine. Thankfully your daddy was there with us to comfort us both.

{falling over, once again...}

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We’ve been having some trouble with diaper rash, and thus have been in and out of the cloth diapers this month (we started on those when you were 4 weeks old). Alas, these issues are still in the process of being resolved. (More on that later.) But in disposables, you’re wearing size 1 (again, pretending like this is two weeks ago).

{cheering on Mommy's alma mater, on TX/OU game day. Thanks for making me the onesie, Aunt Martha!}

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Your pacifier usage has plummeted. You spit it out immediately and often it makes you mad when we try to give it to you. You’ve started trying to chew on your knuckles instead, and just will not let me convince you that I’m offering you something better.

Besides your new sleeping skills, our favorite thing you’ve been doing this month is smiling. Yep, it’s pretty much the best thing ever. Your best smiles are during diaper changes and sometimes when I’m un-swaddling you and getting you out of your crib.

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I have absolutely LOVED our time at home together, Baby! Especially this second month as we’ve gotten out more, and as things have calmed down a bit with your sleeping / I’ve felt a bit more physically “normal.”

You are the absolute joy of our lives!

Our little “jewel” -- Baby Jules.



one month post (also late)

IN THE NAME OF ACCOUNTABILITY

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sorry for the all-caps, really. But I need the emphasis, for extra accountability.

Before Juliette was born, probably early on in the summer, I decided that I'd set a goal of running the Grizzlies 5K on December 3rd. That seemed like a reasonable amount of months to work back up to running 3 miles.

A mere year ago, this goal would not have seemed so daunting. I've run several half-marathons and a full marathon before (see this post). But you see, I got fairly large and unwieldy during my pregnancy, and perhaps a little earlier on than some(/most?).

I'd been going to spinning 3 times/week (which I love) in the mornings before work for several months before I got pregnant, and my doctor said it would be a great exercise to continue into the pregnancy. Had to take a brief hiatus because of alldaylong sickness at the beginning of pregnancy, but then kept pretty faithfully going until I was 6 months pregnant and couldn't balance on the bike very easily anymore. After that? Sort-of regular walks around the neighborhood was my sole source of exercise. I do wish I'd done more (like busted out that prenatal yoga DVD we bought at Target, whoops), but what can I say? It was hot and I felt as big as a cruise ship.

ANYWAY...right after sweet Juliette was born, I started wondering why I'd set this 5K goal. Although there is a cute baby to show for it, I'm horribly out of shape, and haven't been feeling the whole running thing (especially since presently, there's more of me to carry around).

When Sister told me about this Couch to 5K program, and I was intrigued. Tonight, I went on the first walk/run while Jonny was home with Baby. It was surprisingly feasible. Of course there was plenty of huffing and puffing, but the 20 minutes went by quickly.

To work full-time and have a baby and find time to exercise is supremely challenging. I've been really trying to give myself grace right now, and to not freak out that this is how I'll look (and feel) forever. It's totally humbling...you have this new precious baby you adore and wouldn't trade anything for, but your body has been completely put through the ringer. {Yes, I've heard from plenty of mommies that you look up after 6 months-year (please more like 6 mos) and feel more like yourself again.}

Any tips for sneaking in exercise between work and baby?
(It's our second week with me back to work, btw, so we're def still settling in). Thankfully, Aunt Martha committed to running the race with me.

Here's hoping I'll be back in 6 months-to-a-year with a report on being back to "myself" (but who is she anymore, anyway? another post for another time).

But in the meantime, I'll be Couchto5King it for December 3rd. Fingers crossed!

TGFNM (thank goodness for new music)

Monday, October 17, 2011

I’ve been in a musical rut for a while, seems like. Worn out all the ole standbys... even the "new" stuff.

It’s been my experience over the last several years as a bona fide adult that I have to go out of my way to find new/good music. Probably added to this is that I don’t want to spend much time listening to music I don’t really love.

Added to this: my home/work/home commutes are blessedly short, so plugging in the ipod and then start/stopping for a 5-minute car trip seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Oftentimes, this results in just listening to the radio (don't you hate finding yourself so zoned that you’ve just listened to an entire segment of commercials without changing the channel?).

Thus, when some of my favorite musical acts release new music, all within a short span of one other, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot, 'cause I didn't have to forage too hard for it at all (ie, previewing and then trying to decide if it's purchase-worthy…arf).

Feist

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The lovely Leslie Feist has released this gem, which I’ve been enjoying immensely. Thank you, thank you madame, for giving us more.


Wilco

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Never enough Wilco. Haven’t listened to this enough to actually chronicle an opinion about it, but I look forward to listening.


Ryan Adams

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I love his sound. A lot. A whole lot.


The Nobility

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Jonathan’s talented brother Stephen (somewhat unfairly talented if you ask me) and his band have recorded a new full-length album. I am waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail, but we definitely enjoyed streaming it on their facebook page before its release. Way to go, Uncle Stephen!



Speaking of arriving in the mail—I’ll admit it. I still like hard copies of CDs. Is this strange? Despite the "cloud" security, I like owning the tangible recording. And reading the little booklet. Then popping the CD into my car (which, for the aforementioned short drive time making this a much more efficient way to listen). I can't seem to let go of it. In fact, for albums that we do purchase electronically, I still like to make a hard copy on a blank CD. Is this weird?

Obviously, I’d like for Juliette to grow up listening to good music, not only for fun/enjoyment purposes, but also in the name of her being well-informed (and for cool points, naturally). It would be a tragedy if she didn’t know of Michael Jackson’s significant contribution to music (don’t worry, her dad has already made sure she’s become acquainted with Kurt Cobain). Maybe I should make a list of music she should know. Has anyone done this? What would you put on it?

As for new music...anything that I am totally missing out on? Fill me in. There's got to be lots.

Around the House

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

And for something not-baby (finally! some of you may say).

Here are two projects in our room that we got finished before the baby came.

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Got some curtains hung behind our bed. You can barely see on the left of the window there, but there are two windows that we're disguising with these curtains (black ticking stripe from Premier Prints). Therefore, the right panel is just hung over the wall.

This is really the only wall of this bedroom where the bed can go (besides the wall the door is on; but I like being able to see the bed as you walk in the room, so that wasn't an option). So, we centered the bed over the right-side window (and had it like that for over a year, might I add, until we got around to these curtains).

They make all the difference in this room, seriously! I love walking in here now.

The quilt is one I bought in late spring from Target, in the name of something lighter for summertime and we've loved it...love the weight and the change of the pattern. Our normal duvet is white matelasse (sp?) and matches those shams. It's getting close to duvet cover time (yay cool weather!).

You can also see the ikea hack night stands we made, inspired by this post.

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We followed it pretty much to the T, including her hardware source. I don't know the total we spent on these, but I'm almost positive they ended up being less than $50/piece.

All that's left is recovering the cushion (and maybe painting?) the chair to the right of Jonathan's night stand, and getting some stuff hung on the walls. Oh, and a rug. I guess a rug is a pretty major item... but it's not on the near-future list.

And as much of an eyesore as that fan is...I'm so thankful for it. Especially this summer! I have a new found appreciation and love for ceiling fans, despite their aesthetic drawbacks (and even with our house sporting a new a/c unit).

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As both of these projects were completed while I was very pregnant, I can only take credit for vision.

Thanks to Martha & Dudley for once again bringing their mad skills and helping hang the curtain rod (yall, they are amazing at this). And to my Granny for sewing the curtain panels (with blackout liner), and my friend Laura R for getting the border added to them. For the side tables: thanks to brother Michael for painting the drawer fronts. And my dearest love, Jonathan, of course, for doing the whole rest of the project.

One-Month Reflections

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

As usual, I'm a couple of weeks late on this one. I sat down to write this post the exact day she was one-month old (September 10), but the pressure of writing something profound and poignant about motherhood was too much, especially given the small window of time I had that day. I was then going to scrap this whole post because I missed the date, and she's even changed so much since then. BUT I thought these photos were too cute and hopefully will be able to post them every month on this here blog.

Juliette with her yet-unnamed bear:

1 month

Some things I've learned:

1) I had no idea. Just no idea. About what, you may ask? Um, everything. Those first several "bootcamp" weeks with a new baby are unlike anything I'd been through. It actually made the last weeks of pregnancy seem like summer camp (rash and all). Through the hazy 24-hour days (a "day" that became midnight to midnight instead of waking to sleeping), I wondered if life would ever be any kind of "normal" again. I'd go to sleep and have no clue when I'd wake up...my human alarm clock came through the monitor. Also the constant scariness that I was going to "mess this up" ...thankfully, that suffocating feeling has passed (for the most part). Also? Those hormones right afterward? Man, they're something else.

{always looking to her left!}

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2. Our family is awesome. They have been beyond supportive...but my favorite part is seeing how much they all love Juliette! With Jonathan's crazy school schedule, I have been completely thankful for the support and the company.

3. I didn't know I could love a tiny little human so much. There really aren't words to describe it. I guess the only thing that can scratch the surface of an illustration is this: no matter what time it is, no matter how tired I am, whenever I go in the nursery to rescue a crying Juliette, and I see her tiny sweet and helpless self looking up at me, I just cannot believe she's mine. My heart completely explodes with love for this little person and through sleepy eyes I just have to smile down at her needy little face.


{whooooooooooop}

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{no thank you, Mommy, I'm done}

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This whole thing is such a miracle. I really feel like I've done nothing but be a vehicle for God's graciousness to us.

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Bye bye!
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