Friday, August 27, 2010

The Weight of a Mother's Love

Today I officially have gained the understanding of what it is to be a mom. While out shopping this afternoon Elle choked on one of her crackers. I have to tell the whole story, just to get it out, so that I can process and move on. It was probably the scariest moment of my life.
Bryan, Elle, and I were in the dressing room. We had been giving Elle her puffs and some small crackers to munch on while we got dressed. I walked out to look in the mirror and she began to cry, wanting to walk out with me. Bryan held her in the room, I came back, she began to walk towards me and then started to cough. I patted her back and let her cough but she kept coughing. The cough began to get worse, turning into more of a gagging, and that's when I panicked. I picked her up, when to Bryan and said, she's choking. He took her and knew exactly what to do. Mouth sweeps, put her on her belly at a downward angle, etc. I, on the other hand, began to have a meltdown. I started to shake, cry, I was telling him we needed to call 911 (she was still crying/coughing) and, on top of dealing with the baby, Bryan kept assuring me that she was ok because she was making noise. He then did another sweep, really stuck his finger down her throat, felt the cracker, and was able to push it down. She made a gagging sound, and then, once he was sure it was through, he sat her up. I was still not ok. I began to cry even harder. The sense of not being able to help her was too much. The feeling of complete and utter helplessness was too heavy. How do mothers who have lost children do it? How do mothers who have sick babies do it? The strength they have is amazing.
After it was over with, I became very disappointed in myself. What would have happened if Bryan wasn't there? Would I have known what to do? I knew to do mouth sweeps, but that was it. I pretty much grazed over the rest of the information we learned regarding infant CPR.

I looked up infant choking procedure on WebMDs website. It's not as thorough as I'd like, but I now have a better understanding and handle on how to deal with this situation if I am ever faced with it again.

Phew. I am exhausted.

Hug your babies.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Terrible Twos?

All I have to say is HOLY CRAP for the past week or so I could of sworn that I had a 2 year old and not a 10 month old! Elleanor is amazing AMAZING at throwing temper tantrums! And, since she's my first, I asked Bryan if maybe she has some sort of an anger issue?
Example: She's trying to stand up from a crawl position and is standing on her dress, making it hard for her to stand up, she screams, SCREAMS! and grunts in frustration until she figures out why the H she can't stand up.
Example 2: Changing her diaper. Nope. No can do. In her head she hears: the most horrible thing EVER. And lets you know she doesn't want to cooperate. Multiple other examples. But it was becoming a little annoying/exhausting. She also wasn't eating. Still nursing, but not eating. And then, yesterday, it all stopped. She regained her title as "The Happiest Baby in the World". Thank goodness! I honestly had a sit down conversation with Bryan the night before she returned to the normal Elleanor about only having one baby. "It's too much" I said. "I cannot deal with this behavior, what happens when she turns two, I heard it's the two's that are bad!" But, now that she's back to her old self, eating, and smiling, and laughing, and hugging and kissing mommy the option of more babies is back on the table. Just not for a looong looong looong time. :-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Con? No...

So, Elle looks like my dad.

The song from The Little Mermaid is playing in my head " poor unfortunate soul..."

The resemblance is uncanny in these pictures. This is exactly how Con looks when he wakes up in the morning. Pink onsie and all. The only difference is the highchair.

10 Months

Elle turned 10 months old on Tuesday!
What happened to my baby?!?

Nursery Update and a Cry for Help!

Very little, ok, no progress has been made on the nursery. Not for lack of trying, but more due to the fact that I have a mobile 10 month old who dislikes sleeping. That's my life in a nutshell, the end. Thanks for coming by.


So, I need your help. Remember when I talked about the complete lack of taste that the previous inhabitants of this house had? Tacky paint colors. Tacky wall paper. Well, my friends, behold, this magnificent, wonderful, beautiful piece of ceiling fan decor.

Yup. Someone spent actual money on this thing. And, it does not come off. And, as I stated, I have a very small budget. One that cannot accommodate a new ceiling fan. Here's where you come in... what suggestions/tips/advice to you have on how to cover this? I'm thinking of some form of a fabric billowy/hippy-ish thing. I don't know. Obviously I am not a decorator. But I do know one thing. This ceiling fan is NOT OK.

Here are a few other items I have for the nursery:

Cute basket matching the colors of bedding and painting. I love me some baskets.

I picked this painting up at a home decor store. What do you think of it? Is it suitable for a nursery? Too 'old person'-ish? (Sorry Con).

I thought the flowers worked with the bedding. No? Yes?

I'll post pictures of my frames later.

And just to make you smile. Here's a cute picture. A fashion statement that only Elleanor can pull off.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Makings of a Nursery

Just thought I'd greet you - it felt right.

So - since August of 2002 (when I moved away for college) I've moved a total of 846 times. Not really. But it feels that way. From 2002 - 2006 I moved to and from college, into my first apartment, to Ohio, to a different house in Ohio, to Wisconsin, back to Ohio, and now, in a different house in Ohio. We are staying in this one for a while. Trust me. Because honestly, moving sucks. And you know what sucks even more than moving? Moving with a baby. Yup. Double suck.
So I'll keep this post light hearted, but it will start out sad. Well, me feeling sorry for myself. Elleanor was born in Wisconsin, we already had a feeling that we'd be moving so she didn't have a nursery. In fact, she didn't even have a crib, dresser, changing table, nothing. (And really, in hindsight we didn't need any of that). It was depressing though, to bring her home, and be like "this is home... maybe, and this might be your room, sorry it's not painted, or cute, and sorry everything is in boxes, etc" but, she didn't care. She had two parents who loved her very much, and, she slept in our bed so who needs a crib?!? (I'll reference this again, later). When Elle was 8 weeks old, we moved to Ohio. The house was nice, small, but it worked for Bryan, Elle, and me. Her room was grey, small, but since it was already painted it gave me a little bit more leeway to spend money on decorations. We moved into that house in late November and in March we found out that the person we were renting the house from wasn't paying the mortgage thus throwing the house into foreclosure. I hadn't really done a tone of decorating in Elle's room mostly because, well, let's be honest, she's never slept in there. She doesn't sleep in her crib. My quadriplegic friends could count on their fingers and toes the amount of times Elleanor has slept in her crib. Oh wait, quadriplegic's don't have fingers or toes? Good - because the answer is 0. Zilch. None. Nada. Doesn't sleep in there.
Here's a picture of her sitting in her crib in the old house with the grey walls.

So, I show you this picture because, well, it's one of my favs, but also to showcase the crib(ish) and Elle's bedding. Because now I stop throwing a "Poor Courtney Her Baby Doesn't Have A Nursery Party" and start a super fabulous nursery decorating party.

I don't like the bedding in Elle's crib. I really didn't like it when I bought it. But, I put a ton of energy and effort into finding bedding I liked and really couldn't find anything that didn't cost way too much money. If I had my way, I'd have ordered some off of Etsy. Buuut $500 for crib bedding, especially bedding that doesn't get slept in/on (?), seems like a waste. So, I'll make this work. Maybe buy a different bed-skirt? Different pad... I dunno, I'll cross that bridge.

We now have a total blank slate - no really, the owners of this house paint their walls 3 shades, either dark dark dark green (living room) tacky tacky tacky turquoise green with even tackier wall paper (master bedroom) or white. Not off white. Not egg shell white. But white white white white white. Like hurts your eyes white. Which is what Elle's room is. So we're thinking a light yellow for the walls.
I bought some old vintage looking frames that I plan on painting, a bright pink? turquoise? As of right now I have two small frames and one large one. The large one will hold a pic of Elle, the two small ones are for Bryan and I. We each are writing a message to/wish for Elle and framing it. Cool right?
Why did I begin this post without adding pictures? I'll add pictures later.
I have baskets, a painted picture, shelving, lots of ideas, a small budget, teeny tiny, but it's gonna be cute! This is the only room of the house that I get to spend money on decorating. The rest of us have to suffer with tacky walls. But that's ok, I just finally get to have a nursery for my baby girl! Yahoo!
Stay tuned for lots of cute updates

Friday, August 13, 2010


Elle can now sign "more" for when she want's less, hahaha, I mean more food. It really only took a few days for me to teach it to her - probably because she is the smartest baby ever. duh.
I'd upload a picture of it but my camera just isn't fast enough to catch it.
Hi Dad! Hi Bryan! Major hint about getting me a new camera!!!

On an even more exciting note, she is also learning mandarin Chinese.

Here's a picture of her sleeping on the couch last night. She's got some thighs on her, right?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I remember reading an article about Madonna (I know... pre baby, when I had lots of time on my hands...). In the article she called her daughter "the greatest thing I've ever done." And, while I am not nearly as accomplished or talented as Madonna, I could not agree with that statement any more.
Elleanor Briseis Donati is the greatest thing I've ever done. Bar none.
On days when I'm feeling crappy about myself. About my job. About my weight. About my crappy car (sorry dad), I look at her and realize that none of that matters because I have her. And she is amazing. She teaches me new things everyday. I learn something more about myself, about life, about my purpose, about God, about my family, about my husband, all in her smile and goofy laugh.
Here's Elle hamming it up for the camera this afternoon, and then, the inner hillbilly/farmer in her found a piece of grass and began talking with a thick southern accent. I made a conscious decision to stop calling her sweet potatoes "sweet potatoers" because obviously, it's wearing off on her.

Why Hello There

I'm justa loungin' being cute and enjoyin' life. How 'bout you?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A few of my favorites

This was taken a few weekends ago at The Greene. It was one of those nights where the weather was perfect there was a band playing and they were awesome, and Elle was being the cutest baby ever. Duh.
The order of my pictures is a little off - this was last weekend on our way to go visit Grandpa Con who took a nasty spill and broke his hip. Like a 90 year old woman. Only he's not 90 and not a woman. But frail like one.
Elle with Grandpa Con.
Everyone says she looks like him. Minus the mustache.
Poor Elle. :-)
I wish Bryan didn't look like he's completely miserable to be sitting outside. Although, I've concluded that he could very well be part vampire because he does, in fact, hate sitting outside.
Elle and mommy. I love sitting outside. Thankyouverymuch.
This was taken last night. We finally broke down and bought a highchair. I don't know why we waited so long! The one we bought is by Peg Perego, it's the Tatamia. We also have the PegPerego carseat, and, Bryan will kill me for saying this, but I honestly don't feel like it's work the money. Let's just say that the cost of the carseat and the highchair total almost as much as the cost of my first car. If you throw in our UppaBaby stroller then you definitely trump the cost of my first car.
Ok, I should go back to work now and stop updating my blog.
Enjoy the pictures!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bad Mom/Bad Wife

Today was not a good day. Bryan is gone again, he left Friday and won't be back until next Monday. So, that means it's just Elleanor and I. Which is totally fine. I love my one on one time with her. I actually look forward to our alone time, especially since Haley and Chandler have been here, I sometimes feel like she doesn't get enough 'mommy time' when there are lots of people around. But, with that said, holy shit did I need a break today. She wasn't horrible. Not a lot of crying but not a lot of sleeping either. She slept horribly last night. I lost track after about 5x of her waking up. So, when she woke up this morning, I told myself that she's tired and will be taking a nap soon. She did, about 90 min after waking up, but only slept for about 30 min. Whaaat???? Ok, we are going to play this game. So now it's 11. I have a crabby/sleepy baby on my hands. Finally at 1:30 we got into the car for a drive, an hour later, she was asleep. I got home, put the dogs out so that they wouldn't bark/jump when I brought her in, got everything all set up, brought her in and BAM she woke up. Are you kidding me with this?!? Tried getting her back to sleep. Nothing. Finally 4 pm, I take her in the bedroom, shut the door, and tell her we are not leaving this room until 6 pm. You will sleep. And, she did. After lots of tears, songs, shushing, etc. It was 4:30 by the time she fell asleep, and was up at 5:40, but, I'll take that. She's asleep now. For how long? Who the heck knows.
Oh look she's awake. I can see her on our monitor. Awesome. (Fell back asleep... phew!)
So what makes me a bad mom? I have not taught Elle how to fall asleep. She has to, has to, has to, be rocked, sung to, nursed, snuggled with, and any or all combination of these things in order to fall asleep. So, on a day when that cannot be done, no naps are taken (this rarely happens, except at daycare). And on those days I feel like such a horrible mother. Why didn't I put her to sleep in her bassinets when she was little? Why have I not ever not once had her sleep in her crib? Ugh! The mistakes us first time moms make.
So what did I do to deal with my frustration today? I called my husband. Numerous times. And yelled at him. It was all his fault. Why did he have to leave? Why is he gone so much? Doesn't he know that he's the only one who can get her to sleep?!?! (It's true - he holds the power). And then I hung up on him and haven't talked to him since. This was around 3? It's almost 9:30, we never do this. He's obviously mad and I'm not budging. What a great relationship example I am for my daughter, right?
Seriously. How do single mom's do it? How do mom's with more than one child do it?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


While I am more than thrilled with the thought of my daughter being, quite possibly, the smartest baby ever, since she's been walking for almost a month now (she'll be 10 months old on August 17th) I am finding that having a child that can walk to be quite a challenge.
Below is a list of her favorite toys, in no particular order:

1. Dog Food
2. The cupboards, specifically the cupboard that houses all the cleaning products (baby proofing is on the way, for now, a hair-band is holding the doors shut)
3. The vent covers - she pulls them off, I'm afraid she'll fall and be trapped Baby Jessica style.
4. The bottom of the curtains that cover our patio doors.
You're probably wondering if we even have any baby toys for her aren't you? Yes, we do.
5. The lotion/hairspray bottles that are in a basket below my sink.
6. Electrical cords
7. My cell phone
8. My ipod
9. TV Remotes
She has both her own 'fake' cell phone and remotes, but she's a smart cookie, and knows that these devices are frauds.

Ahhh the joys of a walking baby.

Daily? Elle

Ok, so here it goes. This blog is designed to keep my family up to date on the exciting little creature that is Elleanor. My plan is to post updates daily. Hence the name. Buuuut, let's just go ahead and plan to be forgiving on the daily part.
I will post this link on facebook, so if you are a friend of mine on facebook, most of the pictures, stories, etc will probably be a repeat. But since Con can't figure out, I mean, doesn't have facebook, this should be an easier way to stay updated.