Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back to the Grind

Well its official...I'm back to work.

Back to reality.

I can honestly say that it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  No tears were shed although the guilt sinks in every time I walk out the door in the morning. 

While I started back off to work, my little man began attending nursery school.  We spent the week before making visits to the nursery school to make sure all of us were as comfortable as possible. 

Bennett, being the social baby he is, absolutely loved playing with all the other babies and all the toys!  We also got Benny comfortable being around other babies by setting up a play date with my friend Dolores and her baby Landon. This was the second time we had a play date with Dolores and Landon, but the last time the boys were a wee 8 weeks old, so they really had no idea what was going on.

Dolores and I were so excited when we noticed how interested and happy the little guys were when we sat them next each other...I mean come on, look at that smile!  It was the cutest thing to watch them laugh and touch each other. It's so amazing to see how big and interactive they are becoming.  I love it.

Being back to work now has made me appreciate my little guy on a whole new level.  Don't get me wrong, I wish on every star in the sky that I could spend all day, every day with Benny, but now that I can't, I literally race home from work and snuggle my little man all night. 

It's so amazing when Bennett gets home and is so chatty and happy - telling me all about his day with all his new friends like Declan and Haylie.  I swear on some level he literally is telling me all about his adventures...its so sweet!  It's even more fulfilling when his nursery school teachers ask us if he's always so good and so smiley.  My heart is so happy that he is adjusting so incredibly well.

Our little monster is literally growing before our eyes.  Within the past week, Mr. Bennett began rolling over from his back to his belly, started holding his bottle on his own (for a couple seconds anyway) and learned to flash us his yummy, munchable belly button.

Such a silly guy!

I can't believe how quickly time is flying by.  I feel like before I know it, especially now that I'm back to work, Bennett is going to be walking and talking and keeping us on our toes more than ever.

As scary as that sounds...I literally cannot wait!

P.S. Tomorrow is Halloween...(squeal)!! We can't wait to dress up little Benny in his costume! Stay tuned for photos!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

He's Back!!!

My happy little guy is back in action today!

Not sure if the poor thing is just used to the pain now (which is just so sad to think about), or the little numbing gel and Tylenol is starting to work...

Don't know.
Don't care.

He's back!

We started off our morning a little rough (as per usual lately with these pesky teeth), but I was hopeful that my little man would pull through!  His morning nap was broken and let just say tears were shed but I got a good hour out of him nonetheless.  After Benny's mid-morning feed, I took him on our usual jog and dressed him up in probably one of the first things I bought when we found out we were having a little Adidas track suit!

I was so excited to learn that his cute little running suit actually fit him now!  I guess that's what happens when your baby finally is normal sized right?

Bennett and I jogged for about an hour and the weather was perfect!  Foggy and brisk just how we like it! Towards the end of our run I noticed Benny was beginning to doze off.  I raced home before I risked getting him too overtired...because I was not about to have one of those days again!

I got home and quickly put Benny down for his mid-morning nap.  Of course, there was some revolt but I stood there and patted his back until he calmed down enough to let him doze off.  I stood at his door waiting for the screaming to erupt like he's been doing the past week, but much to my surprise, the little angel knocked out!!

My heart leaped when almost 1:00 pm rolled around and I went in to wake Bennett up for lunch.   

He was back! 

My little sleeper gave me almost three good hours of a decent nap...sighhhh just like the old days!  Take that stupid teeth!  I was so proud I could have cried! 

After lunch, it was like my little guy was back to normal. So happy and spirited...playing with all of his toys and talking up a storm to his monkey Maxwell that he desperately tries to pull down from his play cute to watch by the way. 

After a good hour and a 1/2 of play time, I could tell the little guy was getting tuckered out again.  Could I possibly get him back to normal?  Could I possibly get two good naps out of him today?!?  Could he literally be back to his regular sleeping/eating schedule? 

You bet your bottom dollar he could! 

I'm proud to report that Bennett went down for his afternoon nap without a fight and has been out like a light ever since.

Thank. God.

It just goes to show that no matter what curve balls life, or in this case, your baby throws you...with determination, hope and a little prayer, you ALWAYS can bounce back from anything!

Way to go little man...way to go!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weathering the Storm

I'm just going to say it.

...teething sucks.

I say it all the time but literally, without fail, the second I feel as though I have a handle on Bennett and being a mommy...stuff like dumb teething comes along.

Since we discovered the root of Bennett's recent napping/irritability problems Chad and I literally feel like we are some crazy Floridians waiting out this intense hurricane of storm or something.  Our poor little man is just so restless and uncomfortable.  I actually was so desperate to get the crying to subside that I showed up at the doctors demanding they fix him.  Dramatic...yes.  Necessary...very!

His doctor assured me that I was doing all that I could.  Giving him Tylenol when he seemed uncomfortable and tryyyyyyying to get him to nap as much as possible.  Easier said then done.  I left the doctors office feeling so empty and defeated while Bennett cried the whole way home.

I feel you buddy...I feel you.

Chad and I have been trying all we can to soothe our sweet little man.  Taking him on walks and even to the pumpkin patch to distract him.  We even bravely took him to church this past Sunday for the second time, and thank Jesus it was a success!  Benny clung onto me like a little koala bear the whole time without making a peep. 

Can we live at church please?

As much as the days of teething and growing pains make me want to metaphorically drive off a cliff, I had a realization that really put this past week into perspective.  I laid in bed with Bennett this morning and we both had a good cry - clearly for very different reasons.  I realized that with all the crying and fussing and wanting to be held 24/7, I'm still going back to work next week.  I won't get to be around the moments of wanting to be held all day because I simply won't be here. 

The thought of not being around for my kiddo when he's feeling so crummy and sad breaks my heart.  So for now my to-do lists can wait.  Working out isn't that important.  The dishes and laundry mean nothing to me. 

I'll hold you little long as you need me to.


Saturday, October 15, 2011



Yesterday was a little rough.

Let me start off by saying that Bennett is probably one of the easiest babies around. He's such a social, smiley, content baby...and I thank God for that all day. Everyday.

I mean, one time he kind of whined at a family function and Chad's Grandma was so shocked. "Oh my goodness, is he actually fussing?"

Well as Bennett's momma, I'll be the first to assure you that although little Benny is such a mild tempered baby...he in fact does cry. He does throw fits.  And does, dare I say it, just wants mom sometimes.

One of my biggest fears as a new mom, and I'm sure I can vouch for all the other new mommies out there as well, is failure.  The feeling that you are failing as a mom and failing your baby.  I made the big mistake early in Bennett's life of comparing him to other babies his age and more importantly, comparing him to the "norm" that the forums of Google and What to Expect teach you.  I remember feeling so defeated when I would read that certain milestones should be reached or when I would attempt suggestions that quite frankly, just didn't work.  I would beat myself up about Bennett's refusal to nap in his crib or his days where all he wanted to do was be held.

"You are NOT going to be that spoiled, coddled baby," I reminded him over and over again.

My mom is such a huge support system and bless her heart for always answering my never-ending phone calls of questions and complaints.  I'm actually still surprised she does after all the snappiness and don't tell me how to raise my baby comments.  She really is so great at putting things into perspective for me or telling me when I'm being just too hard on Benny.  That's what mom's are for right?

Mom: Maybe he isn't hungry Catie.  Are you always hungry at the exact same time everyday?
Me: Well, no.

Me:  Ugh, why is he so cranky?!?
Mom:  Would you like it if someone woke you up from napping?
Me: Good point.

Having a baby and more importantly, being a mom is not an exact science.  And I think in my mind, and again, this is the controlling Catie...I wanted it to be.  I wanted to be able to have a handle on Bennett and motherhood.  I wanted to be able to breeze through everyday knowing exactly how it would all play out.  I wanted Bennett to be perfect...but what I was missing out on was realizing that he was pretty darn close.

Yesterday was a BIG lesson in realizing just how good I do have it with Benny.  He was having a bad day...yes, one of those days.  The kind where I worry our neighbors think I'm murdering our baby.  Or the kind where God forbid if I leave the room...the world is over.

Yes...he was having himself a full fledged, blockbuster day of a meltdown.

At 2:00 pm, after all morning and afternoon of fussing and clawing and hair pulling, my mom and I took Bennett to the doctor for his 3 month check-up.  I intended on drilling his pediatrician about his behavior lately.

I wanted answers.
I needed answers.

Little Benny's check up went well, aside from his shots which always pull at my heart strings.  Seriously, nothing can prepare you for the shriek of your baby when they realize pain.  At 3 months old, our little guy is literally growing like a weed.  He checked out at 13lbs 10oz and 23 3/4 inches long.  Since being born, he's gone from the 4th percentile in weight to the 55th!!! So amazing!

His doctor asked how his sleeping was and I literally couldn't get my gripes and complaints out fast enough.  I informed her that he has no problem whatsoever sleeping through the night.  I mean, he literally hardly makes a peep.  But informed her of my immense struggle with naps and how Bennett will just NOT have it.  She began asking me a lot of questions to try and pin point why this was happening, because clearly a baby that can sleep 9+ hours at night can surely take an hour and a half nap right??

Dr:  Is he drooling a lot?
Me: YES!!! Like puddles!
Dr:  What about his hands and arms...does he stick them in his mouth a lot?
Me: YES!! Every time he does tummy time, I find himself gnawing on his arm as if it were a thanksgiving drumstick
Dr:...and this just started like a week and 1/2 ago.
Me: Yes.
Dr:  You know, he may be teething.

WHAT?! Teething?!? Already?!?!

After a quick check of Bennett's gums, our suspicions were confirmed when she felt two little lumps on the upper chompers.

I was stunned.  I couldn't believe he was teething already!  He just started rolling over and grabbing things, I really was NOT ready for this.

Bennett's doctor visit was a big wake up call.  I realized that I really need to knock it off with my overreacting.  I need to stop thinking I suck at being a mom just because he has a bad day, because clearly it was not ME that was making him so was pesky, painful baby teeth.  I think we tend to so easily forget that we aren't always the problem...moreover, usually we never are.  Mommies are definitely the solution and my little angel proved that that very evening.

After a very rough day, my little guy was just so tuckered out.  He had been poked at the doctor, didn't have one decent nap, had swollen eyes from sobbing all day...and now teeth.  Poor thing!

As Bennett's bedtime was quickly approaching, the anxiety of a rough night ahead flooded my mind.  I was preparing myself for the absolute worst because after the day he had, I didn't expect much less.  I reminded myself to be patient and repeated over and over again this too shall passthis too shall pass.

I wasn't going to simply put him down for bed like we usually do...I knew better than that tonight.  Rather I snuggled my little angel to sleep in my arms trying to squeeze all the stress and dismay he was feeling out of him - as any good momma would want to do.  It was in that moment, while Bennett was clinched onto my hand falling fast asleep that I realized the beauty in such breakdowns...the magic in these so-called meltdowns;  the amazing moment that we so often overlook...the moment where a baby just wants his mommy.  His mommy and nothing else.

I know as he gets older, these moments will become more and more sporadic and I quickly thanked God for allowing me to realize the lessons Bennett was teaching me today.

The lesson on patience.
The lesson on humility.
The lesson on being a better momma.

And that night, my amazing little man...slept like the rock that he is.

Thank you sweet baby...thank you.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 Month Milestone

My sweet angel turns 3 months old today and our little overachiever celebrated his 3 month birthday a day early by rolling over!!! I swear this kid is so advanced!

At first I thought it was a fluke but then quickly realized that the crazy mover kept turning himself over every time I would look back over at him on his play mat.  I was lucky enough to catch this special moment on video.

As happy as I am that Bennett is becoming such a little person and not my little baby anymore, I do get incredibly sad. People tell you that you should really cherish every moment and ain't that the truth?  They are little for such a limited time.  I go back to work in little over a week and my heart aches at the thought of missing such special occasions as this - but I know that in the long run we will benefit immensely from our efforts as hardworking parents.  Bennett will have the life we hoped for and the future he deserves.

I love you more than anything baby, please don't ever forget that.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


One of the fastest/hardest things I had to learn and continue to struggle with after having a baby is compromise. I made the mistake of going into motherhood, again this is the control freak in me, thinking I'd be able to, for lack of a better word, hack it. What I mean by that is simply women are made to be mothers. Its our destiny.  I could handle problem.  I remember telling Chad during my pregnancy that I didn't think I needed classes because I'd just know what to do.

Boy was I wrong.

I remember some of the first few nights home finding myself sobbing crying while feeding my sweet little man.
10:00 PM Feed
11:30 PM Feed
1:00 AM get the picture.

I felt like I was being thrown to the wolves.  I was so exhausted and so overwhelmed. I immediately told myself that after a few weeks of feeding little Benny on demand that I just had to get him on a schedule...not only for my sanity and for the sake of my baby as well....this was not at all healthy!

This was my big first lesson in compromise.  I had quickly learned that no matter how tired I was, Bennett didn't care.  In his mind, he was hungry and that was that.  He literally was the center of our universe and everything had been revolving around him - Which is fine for those that can tolerate that, but me...not so much.  After confiding in other new moms and reaching out to anyone I knew that could help, I began putting Benny on a rigid eating and napping schedule.

...Let's just say, the center of the universe had a little issue with that.

It was as though Bennett was onto me.  He napped when he was supposed to be awake and he was hungry when it wasn't time to eat.  What is wrong with him???  I repeated over and over again.  Why did I suck so bad at being a mom???

Looking back now three months into motherhood, I wish I could go back in time and erase all the days and nights of killing myself trying to force Bennett to do what I wanted.  I know now that to a baby, especially ones so little, that they truly do believe the world revolves around them.  And then there was me, who was trying endlessly to get my baby to fit into my schedule...not the best equation really.

I started to pin point my flaws and I took notes on what worked and what just had to go.  I was compromising with my baby, which just seems so silly saying, but hey, it worked.  I began realizing how easy it was and how happy Bennett was without all the pressure of a crazy, rigid schedule.  I started doing what felt right and not what any book or person had told me to do.  If he wanted to nap on the couch in his boppy, I was fine with that.  A nap is a nap right?  If he wanted to stay awake longer than usual during his playtime...I was fine with that too.  But Benny now knows the second he becomes cranky and overtired...playtime is over.

Life was starting to feel normal again and Bennett began doing everything I originally tried to force on him on his own.  He naps when he's supposed to nap (well, most of the time) and he eats when he should be eating.  He even blessed our tired heads by sleeping through the night at 10 weeks old.  Go Benny!  I now know that so much of my exhaustion and frustration was brought on not by Bennett or anyone else - but rather myself.  I had put so much pressure on this tiny little person to conform to my lifestyle that it was as though he was rebelling.  He wasn't ready and he was letting me know that...BIG TIME.

Should I have known that with patience and compromise, my little man would eventually get there.

Tomorrow Bennett will be exactly 3 months old and I cannot believe at what a little person he is becoming.  He's such a smiley and happy baby it literally melts my heart.


Happy 3 months Bennett my truly have made me such a better person and I'm so proud to be your mommy.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I admit it...I have this problem.  Well, I'm not sure if its a problem but more of a personality trait...scratch that. Yes, it is a problem.

You see, I've always been (and there's no nicer or easier way to phrase it) a control freak.  I live in a world, the world according to Catie, where organization and uniformity take precedence over chaos and the unfamiliar.  Want to know how to metaphorically rock a control freak's world?...have a baby.

On July 13, 2011 my world, my life, my everything was changed.  I gave birth to the most amazing little man Bennett. Here's his story:

I'm not going to gloat that my pregnancy was easy, but I do consider myself incredibly lucky. Never once did I get sick or lose my dinner - That would have just been so unfortunate considering how much I love food.  Anyways, I digress.

"You're soooooo tiny," would be the best way to describe it I suppose.  One would think that being called tiny while pregnant is what every woman would hope for.  True, but not in my case.  I quickly learned that while pregnant, my little peanut was having some issues with growing - which was odd because I didn't seem to have any problem getting bigger and bigger.  Every check up was like a broken record.  "You're still measuring small."

When I became 20 weeks pregnant, we began seeing a growth specialist which basically was a doctor with a fancy schmancy ultrasound that could determine if everything was okay with my little man - and thankfully he always checked out fine.  He's just going to be small was all they would repeat over and over again.  I could handle big deal.  Then, soon after we also learned our little guy had become breeched and made his situation even worse.   

Thanks kid.

Every doctor visit after that became more and more baby had put himself into a position so awkward that not only was there no hope in turning him, he also wasn't getting enough nutrients to grow since his stomach was so confined.  Bennett was deemed frank breech, as in quite frankly, he's not moving. 

...quite frankly, he needed to come out.

When I hit 37 weeks, we made our usual trip to the growth specialist who threw us the biggest curve ball yet.  "You're baby is coming out today."  I remember it like it was yesterday, and my OB did warn us that this was probably going to be the circumstance, but I just didn't realized that they would actually just take him out at the drop of a hat.  We were told to head straight to the hospital, which we did.  My heart raced the whole way there and I remember calling my mom and sister telling them to let everyone know because I was going to turn my phone off.  I knew I wouldn't be able to handle the mass amounts of phone calls and texts (my husband and I both come from incredibly large families), I mean I could barely keep my hands from shaking as I hung up with my mom.

We got to the hospital and were told that around 1:00 pm we'd be having our baby. 

It was 11:00 am.  

What?!? 2 hours?  That's it.?!?!  

I know it may seem like two hours is quite a bit of time to collect your thoughts and gain composure...pshhh, hardly.  We checked in, met our nurse, changed into gowns and scrubs and before we knew it I was being walked into the operating room.  My mom and sister had just made it to give me hugs before I was taken in.  Thank God for that.

My c-section was such an unreal experience.  I don't think anyone can prepare you for having a baby, no matter how it takes place.  I remember walking in feeling like I was in a movie or something.  The operating room was so big and so bright.  It was pristine white, almost blinding, and all the nurses and doctors were scurrying around like a well oiled machine.  

Was this really happening??  

I was given my spinal and quickly lost all sensation from my neck down to my little toes.  It felt like my whole body had gone to sleep.  The sensation of tiny little tingles all down my limbs.  My head was spinning.  It was all happening so fast.  I remember the anesthesiologist asking me what pandora station I wanted to listen to.

It made me laugh.  

"I don't care..." I said with a smile as tears began to creep out of my eyes.  He was so sweet and blotted them away for me.  

"Colbie Caillat??" he asked.

"Sure..." I said as I soaked in the last moments of unmotherhood if that's even a word.  Whatever, you get me.  

Chad came in shortly after and the operation began.  He thought it was literally the coolest thing.  He watched the whole time.  Surgery is an art, according to him - which is fine, but he really didn't need to inform me that my insides were now on the outside...but he did.  Bless his sweet heart.

I remember the doctor giving me a two minute warning, and what seemed like seconds later they pulled Bennett out.  Two minutes...yea right!

He was perfect.  Little, but perfect.

They quickly checked his breathing, being three weeks early and all, but quickly learned that our little guy was such a champ and was totally fine breathing and crying on his own. 

Thank Jesus.

Its still unreal to think that all happened a mere 3 months ago because it really does feel like yesterday.  People always tell you that after you have a baby, you won't be able to remember your life without them - which is true, yes.  But for me, I absolutely remember my life before Bennett.  So controlled and structured.  So neat and clean.  So selfish really.  But I don't miss it at all.

Bennett has blessed our lives in a way that is almost unexplainable.  He has taught us the true definition of selfless love and also strengthened us as both parents and a family.  Our life today isn't perfect.  It isn't controlled.  It isn't remotely structured.  It's messy and chaotic.  Its hard and ever-changing...but so incredibly beautiful.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

...and a big thank you to God Momma Liz and Rich for capturing Bennett's first day.  It truly is such a special gift to be able to remember the little moments we had with him...they really are so easy to forget!