Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My worries have changed.

Last night while I was laying in the bed, going over every important detail that HAS to been attended too – to make the following day go off without a hitch, the thought “look at me now” came over me.  How my world has changed over the past several years, and I laughed at how my “worries” have now changed. 

I used to lay in the bed worrying about work…did I remember to check on an order, reschedule an ad, or remind myself to not forget something (haha I used to text/call my voicemail as a reminder).  I would worry as to when the new JCrew magazine would arrive in the mail in hopes of new outfit ideas.  I’d worry about upcoming social events, should I go – should I not go, when the next football game is, when can I go shopping…

My worry list last night consisted of the following:
Did I remember to re-pack Crew’s book bag with extra socks?
Did Crew eat enough protein today?
How can I manage to get a trip to Asheville in on Friday…should I go before or after nap time?
School shootings
Teenagers that can drive

Really Callie.

How am I going to ever make it!?!?!  One day at a time.  (repeat to myself over and over).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's how you look at it.

During the craziest of daily life, the craziest of the sometimes scary world we live in, a moment of good – big or small – can ground you.  It can ground your mind, setting you mentally back to “how wonderful life truly is”.  It can also bring you back to a sense of well being…that your purpose in this world is to love and love every minute you are given. 

After a “discouraging” to say the least last week battling with what I’m calling the “terrible two’s”, the little things have refocused me.  Temper tantrums, whale cries, crocodile tears, fish flops on the floor were totally forgotten after last night’s quiet time with my Crew.  My baby’s head on my chest and kisses on my lips was all I needed.  Pulling over multiple times this morning to “pee pee”, with no performance I might add, after my tardiness grew and grew, my patience dwindled and dwindled, my drive to work ended in a smile.  A smile because somewhere in between the fuss, a true conversation with my toddler occurred.  As we were talking about going to school and getting to see all of his friends, Crew began to list all of them, by name.  My mouth dropped…he totally understood me, totally answered me, TOTALLY unrehearsed.    

And after getting to work, late to my Rotary meeting,  busy emails, voicemails, deadlines, I was in a full dash to make my 10 am meeting.  It was an interview with a heart transplant patient.  Not knowing the significance of my upcoming encounter and with intentions to hurry, get the story, get the photo, do my best, get back to work and get back to those deadlines..one hour later I was still sitting with my interviewee, both of us in tears, celebrating life. 

The world is still a good place, there are still good people.  Every minute matters, the good ones, the bad ones.  Every minute should be cherished. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Modern day scrapbooking

I have always loved looking through my baby book, re-visiting photos from my childhood, and hearing my mom/dad re-tell me stories of my youth.  As I became a parent, I promised myself I too would keep track of all the special moments for my babies.  With my already hectic life I decided to stray from the norm, revising the “paper” scrapbook to one on the world wide web.  I opened up Gmail accounts for both Crew and Essie.  As the days past quick, it’s a wonderful way for me to keep up with all the changes, a wonderful way to track life’s memorable moments.  Whether its stats from a recent doctor visit, a video capturing a reached milestone, or just a silly face photo, one day my babies will be able to look back and see their childhood.  I email them everything I want them to remember.  I email them everything what I want to remember about them and MANY MANY words of I love you.  I’ve emailed them song lyrics, photos of their first friends/doggies, photos of their bumps and bruises, words from family and friends, and many others.  All of which are encouraging, positivesent with love. 

Different this morning though.  After reading horrible news via Facebook (and yes, I emailed both Crew and Essie the article), it’s changed my mindset of subjects suitable for emailing.  For all the years my momma preached and preached, “don’t to that, you better not”, “something bad could to happen”, “there are crazy people in this world”, I am truly appreciative.  I only wish those words stuck with me when I was young, before I became a parent.  They all ring SO TRUE.  All those times my I walked home in the dark with friends,  drove way too fast in hopes to make it somewhere on time, jumped off too high of cliffs in to unknown waters, I was just lucky.  Lucky that nothing bad happened. 

So I will continue my previous trend of “happy” emails…along with “warning” ones…both sent with love.  Stories of real life. Stories of how scary this world really is.  All of this in hopes that my babies will think of consequences; learn to be careful, responsible and value the freedom of normalcy.  That and among the thousands of times I will say those “warning” phrases…I can only hope it will stick.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nursing bad advice

With recent mommy-nursing-events, I have discovered some not so fabulous facts.  Facts that once I read, saw for myself, I felt horrible; horribly misinformed and totally naive to the mass medical advice given via the world wide web.  About a month ago, I began taking a herbal supplement, fenugreek, to increase my milk supply (nursing baby number 2:))  I wasn't as to concerned that my supply was low, but as my pumping production while at work was.  Instead of listening to my body, calming down and NOT working while I pumped, I started googling and decided I would try an over the counter supplement.  I even contacted the Le Leche League for assistance.  EVERYTHING I read encouraged the use of fenugreek, going as far as recommended daily dosage amounts.  All legit websites.

Fast forward to now, and after taking my seriously sick, vomiting baby back and forth to the doctor, I was told fenugreek was NOT ADVISED to take with lactation.  Surprised, I argued back and explained the literature I read/was given, backing up its safety, positive effects on milk production.  My sweet doctor decided to show me what her medical factual read.  "fenugreek adverse effects:  allergic reaction, asthma, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, wheezing and loss of consciousness in peds."  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!  I was shocked!  Shocked that I had been taking it for several weeks, shocked of the side effects and shocked that the world, well the ones who rely heavily on internet medical knowledge  are TOTALLY mislead...hell the International Breastfeeding Association advised fenugreek.

Needless to say, I stopped taking it.  And I hope all that read this, that are taking it or have mommy friends that take it, STOP!  A HUGE breastfeeding advocate, I was completely bothered by my findings.  Breastfeeding has so many benefits for momma and baby; my heart hurt that misinformed mommies and myself, could be passing along harmful additives without even knowing it!

I shared this with one of my best friends, who at the time was taking it.  Her baby was also having extreme belly issues.  As a mom of two, nurse and breastfeeding pro, she was just as floored!  (she has now stopped!)

From what I have learned and what I believe, even more now, a mommy's body makes exactly what your baby needs...no need to intervene.  I'm leaving tonight with a fabulous article I found on one of my favorite blogs.  Nursing mommies, this will make you proud:)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Calloway family update

It’s been a while since my last post…particularly because my days just fly bye WAY to quick and by the time I have a free minute, I realize that my sight’s only focus is the back of my eye lids!  I totally…and always have…brought on my busyness.  I have always thrived on a constant go thrived with a busy schedule.  My husband used to joke that I never sat down…I didn’t then….and I for sure do not now.  The last year or so I have filled my cup to the brim and at the end of the day, even with utter exhaustion, its worth every second.  The newest addition to our family, 13 week old Essie, has brought a new meaning to busy.  I was warned and like my mom says “You wanted them”; I can’t help to think I have created my madness.  I say this knowing it’s a “blessing, most valuable, priceless, and loved” madness.  I have been tested every day since she has been born.  Newborns have no schedules, nursing occurs around the clock, my husband travels for weeks at a time, sicknesses are brought home from babies at daycare, sickness sprouts from other sicknesses, my ten month old puppy has grown to the size of a horse (yeah…another addition to the family that probably would have been a better decision at a later date, but who could tell me that), maternity leave comes to an end, the sun still sets and the world still turns.  There have been days of excitement and days I’ve cried till my whole face is puffy.  But guess what…I’M STILL HERE…I MADEIT!!.  The first week my husband traveled for work, I high tailed it to my Momma’s house for help.  I thought it was going to be impossible to handle a 17 month old and a newborn alone.  It wasn’t, and in fact, my first week back to work my husband had another work trip and I survived.  I anticipated that week for weeks.  At the end, when my husband returned, I felt on top of the world.  I felt like supermom.   As if my life wasn’t crazy enough, I myself, have battled sickness after sickness (mastitis, migraines from the raging hormones and sinus infection after sinus infection). 

With all the chaos I have learned (well I still have to remind myself daily) to take in these moments…remember this is what I wanted and thank the lord for what he has given me.  One minute I’m thinking… “is it time to put the babies to sleep yet?” and the next I’m thinking…”sitting in the floor, playing with trains can last all night…I’m having too much fun”.  My emotions are all over the place.  Pregnant with Essie, I thought this is it, no more babies for this girl…and at my post baby check-up I left somewhat sad thinking it was probably the last time I would make that type of visit.

Life is busy…here’s what we have been up to!
1.        As a family (including my mom and dad), celebrated my very best friend’s wedding in Greenville, SC.  Another “best day of my life”.
2.       Watched my 19 month learn new words (my favorite lately is “pretty”), say two word sentences, new tasks (jumping on the trampoline, going to the potty, and acting out songs like “the itsy bitsy spider”) and bounce off every wall possible.  Totally the wildest child…just like his momma!
3.       Watched our sweet Essie roll over, smile and SLEEP!  Extremely thankful that I have a child who likes sleep:) Crew still doesn’t!
4.       Waved farewell to Daddy (Jarret) as he has travelled to California, Florida, South Carolina and Michigan over the past two months.
5.       Enjoyed our first “picture day” at school.  This was a hoot…they took individual photos of both and a “siblings” shot.  The photos were beautiful…as well as hilarious! 
6.       Potty trained Crew.  A HUGE SUCCESS and couldn’t be more proud of my baby. 
7.       Experienced the first time I have honestly felt like a woman!  Funny, but while driving to work one day, both babies in tote, the feeling just came over me…I felt mature; I felt as if I arrived. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Welcoming Baby Essie

Essie Caroline came into this world Tuesday, April 23rd at 2:29pm with much anticipation and awaited love. As much as you try and prepare for the experience it is one that takes its own, happens not when or how you choose.  A few weeks ago I shared the birth story of my first baby, Crew, and as I expected, Miss Essie had her own plan.  Through out the pregnancy I never imagined I would make it to my due date, go past my due date and even be induced.  Crew came early, on his own and so smoothly.  After a few days of back and forth driving to Asheville, cancelled and rescheduled inductions, I was admitted to the labor and delivery unit that Monday evening.  I was given Cervidil and Pitocin was started the following morning.  By 11am I had progressed to 6cm and at 12 noon I got my epidural.  12:30pm my OB broke my water and soon after labor really kicked in.  Essie was FINALLY ready to make her appearance ..toward the end of my pregnancy I began to think she would never decide to make a show:)  With just a few pushes, Essie was born and placed on my chest...THE MOST WONDERFUL feeling in the world.  Going into this, I was kinda bummed about the situation, sad I didn't go into labor on my own, sad that it didn't happen as I originally thought.  But afterwards, it couldn't been more special, more perfect.  This labor, at least the last part, was pain free.  I was able to take in every second of every moment.  With Crew, its much a blur due to the pain.  Not only did Essie literally fly out but she also came out head and arm...another reason why I happy I went the pain free route.  Regardless how babies come, the only thing that matters is holding them in your arms afterwards.

Jarret was once again my support, holding my hand through everything.  I will never forget the look on his face when he saw Essie for the first time, the same face he made when he first looked at Crew...it's indescribable,  full of love and sweetness.  My momma was on my other side...and there's nothing better, more comforting than having her with me in the delivery room.  This time, unlike last, she was able to video the birth.  I think I screamed afterwards when she told me she got the whole thing on camera!  I never thought I would be the type to want to watch my own L and D but after having Crew and not being able to actually see it, I was hoping this time I would get the chance.  I was so proud of my mom, for holding it together (something I probably wouldn't) and holding that camera still.  Watching your little girl give birth has got to be one of the most emotional experiences one could go through.  And one day I will be able to show my little girl how she came into this world.  

Almost two weeks into baby #2...life is more hectic than ever and also filled with more love than ever.  I'm completely in love with my little family of four.  It's hard to fathom how blessed we are...I will forever be thankful.

My first look at her!

Crew meets his sissy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Preparing for number two

 It’s hard to say those words.  With those words, come so many different emotions; excitement, the unknown, and the over whelming sense of “sharing love”.  How am I going to share my heart that’s already taken by the most precious little man in the world?  My husband and I talk about it all the time and I know I will love her with every stitch of my soul, but it’s hard to fathom the world not revolving around my Crew.  I also know that the day she arrives will be another “best day of my entire life”. 

I don’t know if I can mentally prepare for all the things that come with having two, having two in diapers, so the story goes, but there are MANY things that I am looking forward too.  Seeing what she looks like, who she looks like, when she will hit her milestones, her firsts, her ability NOT to move for several months (haha…that’s when things get hard), Crew’s inability to use my stomach as a stair step, pleasant smelling diapers for the first 6 months, her likes, her dislikes, how much Crew loves her, so and so on. 

Being this close to actually meeting her also stirs memories of how Crew came into this world and the indescribable experience of having a baby.  I want to share my birth story with Crew…also knowing that my next will for sure be different but wonderful in its own way.  I had THE BEST pregnancy and delivery, well from what I know.  Other than morning sickness during the first trimester, I felt better than I had in my life and ABSOLUTELY loved being pregnant.  I embraced every minute of it. Tuesday, December 13th (one day shy of 39 weeks and my adored best friend’s birthday) my water broke at home around 8:30pm.  I panicked, stood in the bathroom screaming for Jarret.  I do believe this was the first time during all of this that I absorbed I was really having a baby.  I remember crying on the phone to my momma and another close girl friend…and not knowing why I was crying either.  After phoning my OB and realizing I didn’t have to rush, I showered and packed the car to head to Asheville’s Mission Hospital.  We arrived at Mission around 12:30am.  After initial triage, I was only 1cm dilated and 80% effaced.  Nurses and Doctors both advised me that I would probably deliver that following evening, same time.  Soon after we were settled into our Labor and Delivery room, my contractions quickly became painful, I was in and out of the bathroom sick; I decided to get some relief!!  Epidural was in around 3am…freaking awesome…and I was soon asleep.  My nurse woke me around 6am to check my progress, and as I was progressing smoothly, my epidural had moved high in my chest and the feeling in my legs and abdomen had returned.  Scared…the weirdest feeling in the world to have your chest numb, I had the epidural removed.  From there it’s a blur.  Pain was intense and my memories are minimal.  At 9:16am on December 14th, Crew Aubrey was born!  20 minutes of pushing and that baby was out.  I really don’t remember those last 3 hours, pushing…but after the minute I saw him, every memory is forever stitched in my brain.  I remember how his skin felt when they put him on my chest, the sounds, the smells.  My first memory was thinking “I can’t believe how big he is”.  He only weighed in at 7 lbs 3oz but he felt so big those first moments on my chest.  He was just prefect…minus his squished nose from being tightly held in my belly:).

This pregnancy has not gone as smoothly (and eventually i'll blog the truth;) but I'm determined to stay positive).  As I think back to that day, I can only hope this pending labor and delivery happens much the same.  Regardless of how it happens I just want to have my sweet Essie Caroline.   

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fashion Ekk!

Ekkkkkk here comes Spring Fashion Week!! One of my favorite times of the year…and I CAN NOT wait to see all the new trends, read the new buzz and screen shot all of the outfits I want to try and dup. To top it all off this year, JCrew’s former head women’s wear designer is debuting her new line; the anticipation is going to kill me. (I’ve found the best info about this year’s goodies, like always, on Harper’s Bazaar website and photos have already started showing up on Pinterest). This year, like last, I have to frown a bit because I can’t shop for “regular” clothes yet being that I’ll still be in the maternity department BUT I can still drool over the goods. We all also know that the new trends won’t reach our stores for at least a year, if we are lucky. H&M will come close..but I’ve found one to beat it. ASOS, a UK department like store, always carries the latest and greatest when it comes to current trends…and I’m not talking about North Carolina clothing/accessory trends. It’s so funny to me that trends are so regionally specific. “What’s in” in Asheville is not the case in Charlotte nor “what’s in” now in stores is “in” in the fashion current cities across the ocean. That being said…I’m gearing up to celebrate one of my favorite weeks of the year! Toasting to new looks and new do’s….and patiently awaiting the time when I can shop in the women’s department again. In the meantime I will start a collection in my basket at ASOS.

Here are some sneak peakers…I love the street fashion shots!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Drive dancing counts as prenatal exercise

For the entertainment value of my son and also for my enjoyment, I have to admit I still jam out to my favorite songs while driving down the road. It brings back so many memories of college, friends, and moments in my life (funny how songs/certain music can do that). I almost can always think back to where I was when the song was popular and experiences I shared during that time period. I will also admit that it’s still one of my favorite things to do.  But yesterday, something happened. While Crew and I were jamming out to a Justin Bieber song (yes…I like him…the word love might apply), I realized I was out of breath. 1. Pathetic 2. That’s pregnancy for ya and 3. Really…who gets out of breath dancing/singing while only using arm and torso movements?!?! Instead of feeling bad about myself, I’ve decided that drive dancing is a form of exercise…for me, prenatal exercise. And since I haven’t walked/ran, done ANYTHING related to aerobic activity during this pregnancy; I began to smile. I’m getting a work out…it’s fun, my child laughs at me and the little one is my belly will appreciate the musical ride! Yesterdays play list is as follows:

Mariah Carey’s You’ll Always Be My Baby

Little Big Town’s Tornado

The Band Perry’s Better Dig Two

Blues Traveler’s Run Around

Cee Lo Green’s Forget You (yes, it’s the edited one)

Reba McEntire’s Why Haven’t I Heard From You

Justin Bieber’s Baby

Sunday, February 10, 2013

big boy changes!

After the horrific, first time baby fall scare of this week*, post traumatic stress disorder (hah) and frustration of trying to feed a toddler a semi-liquid diet, I figured I would share some positives.  

*My wild, climbing, dare devil, almost 14 month old, fell (while justing walking...ironically) and hit his mouth on the corner of our coffee table.  Gushing blood and momma's panic, we rushed to the emergency room.  As I look back on my reaction, I have to laugh.  I totally freaked, drove with him on my lap while flashing my hazards.  What was I thinking?  He wasn't dying, he just knocked his tooth out.  It was probably worse that I drove, speeding, with a baby on my lap.  That aside, we made it to the ER, and were quickly seen by the doctor.  I'm almost thankful for all the blood because I do think that was the reason we were seen so quickly.  The doctor numbed his mouth, set his tooth back and we were discharged.  All that panic and it was over.  Now, he's on antibiotics to help avoid infection and he will almost surely loose that tooth, but my child is ok.  No permanent damage...it's just a tooth (that's what I keep telling myself, I know it could of been way worse).  That's it.  That night Crew sleep all night, woke up the next morning as if nothing happened and hasn't ever since.  Babies/kids are sure resilient.  Much more than their mommies.   

Back stepping a few days, Crew, at daycare, was officially moved to the toddler room. If you have kids and they are in daycare you already know what this involves but if not, the toddler room brings new tasks and new routines.  When daycare told me Crew would be eating breakfast and lunch at a table and napping in a cot on the floor I thought they had lost their mind.  There's no way he would corporate.  I can't get him to sit still for more and five min., nor does he sleep, stay sleeping, in  a spot not confined with bumpers or bars. 

Well he did and all week long.  I was thrilled and so impressed he made the transition was easily. And even with the major fall occurring mid week.  Ok so here's when the bragging comes in...as if I wasn't bragging that he transitioned so well.  My toddler is now sleeping at night in his toddler bed.  Wahoooo!  For something I anticipated with much grief, it was nothing.  And even better, he's in "big boy" bed/room, before she baby has arrived.  

So here's to decorating a baby girl nursery.  God is so good.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby

Here’s to the most wonderful, beautiful, smart, clever, amusing, giving, and sexy husband, daddy, caretaker and friend. Happy Birthday, 32nd at that, to Jarret Calloway.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Year, New Look

Every year around this time I find myself weighing in on this year’s new year resolution.  I had decided, much like last years, that mine would involve a new look.  I vowed last year to wear make-up on a daily basis (and not just concealer to cover an annoying blemish) but eye make-up and lipstick.  I’m almost 29, and I believe it time the “no make-up” look is put away and saved for rainy days. I believe the no make-up days began in college when getting ready consisted of showering and throwing your hair on top of your head wet.  I guess my habit carried on too many years.  Unfortunately my vow lasted only a few days lasted year so this January 1st I re-vowed to wear make-up every day. 

It’s now January 26th and I’ve failed again…wearing make-up only a few days to work or special appointments.  It’s not that I think I need to wear it to impress anyone or that I look horrible when not wearing it but when I do, I feel more put together…put together to take on my day.  Also wearing it consistently will help deter the silly comments I do get when I wear it.  Just last week, some older lady I have known for a few years now asked if I had lost weight; that my eyes looked big and bright.  Obviously I have not lost weight, I’m 28 weeks pregnant haha, I had just applied eye liner and mascara that day. 

Although I haven’t kept good on my resolution, I will try harder to put my face together in the mornings, I’m going to be realistic and say it won’t happen every day.  I’ve decided to tailor my resolution to a new outlook instead of a new look.  Hoping it will be easier to abide by,and considering it’s a mind frame, I’m going to focus my life to living in every moment (I know its cliché..but bear with me).  I’m the queen of planning and looking forward to things.  I plan events months out and on purpose so I may have things to daydream about…all in the future.  I find myself wishing for days to come sooner; wishing for certain times to get here, pushing for life’s milestones to hit, instead of enjoying what’s happening right now.  I need to breath, stop rushing, and take in every second.  I am extremely blessed and although I thank the lord every day, I’m still missing the little things while longing for the next.  I officially vow to calm down (somewhat), laugh through the rough stages and soak in each second of the life I love so much. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Changes bring so much joy

Oh how my life has changed.  No complaints here but the Holidays sure put things in perspective.  Celebrating a first birthday, Christmas and New Years all within a month was tiresome…and worth every minute.  Last year, having an eleven day old, at Christmas, was only a sneak peak at what my life has evolved to.  This year was filled with birthday gifts, Christmas gifts (WAY to many plastic toys for this girl to handle hah), sweets, traveling, and a New Years spent calming a screaming baby while the ball dropped at a beloved friends house.  Wrapping and re-wrapping gifts because Crew tore into the boxes, moving most of my Christmas tree ornaments to the top half of the tree so Crew couldn’t reach them, and being “Santa” for the first time are just a few priceless happenings that indicate life’s changes.

Which brings me to this…If someone would have told me that I, at 28 almost 29, would have a toddler and one on the way, I would have called bluffs; told them they were crazy.   It was not a dream or at least not a dream I had that I knew existed. I never said I didn’t want to have children as I never day dreamed about onezies and baby kisses.  Now it’s all I wake up for.  

About a year before Crew was born, actually on Jarret’s 30th birthday, I found out I was pregnant.  I remember every aspect of that day, that week…the panic, the confusion, the unknown.  We were not trying to conceive and in no way did I think I was ready to have kids.  I probably cried every day the first week.  Just as I had accepted that I was going to have a baby, I was going to be a Mom, I received horrible news.  I miscarried at 6 weeks.  My first thoughts were “ok, so I’m not having a baby in October, Ok I can deal with this”.  I was upset but not devastated.  I viewed it as a missed chance.  I thought I was just fine until several weeks passed.  New thoughts of parenthood crossed my mind and that panic I once felt with the possibility of being a mom turned to panic that I would never be a mom.  The fear grew and grew.  I began to think I would die if I couldn’t have babies.  (I cry every time I think about this and where I am today).  As my doctor suggested, we waited one month after my cycle resumed to start trying again.  God’s blessing; I was pregnant again that next month.  And I too can remember every aspect of that day and the exciting weeks to come.  The urge to have a baby was so great; I couldn’t wait to find out.  It was a Friday, I was at work, and I knew the following Monday I should either start or miss my period.  I cornered my family physician in the hallway (a perk when working at a hospital) and begged him to run an HCG blood level test on me.  My office phone rang an hour or two later.  It was the lab calling…my HCG level was 37.  To those who don’t know, HCG is the pregnancy hormone indicator in blood/urine, >25 is positive for pregnancy.  It was VERY early on, but I was pregnant!!! 

Fast forward to now…I have my sweet, wild Crew and my “she baby” (that’s what we have been calling her…the name game has played us both) due in April.  The miscarriage was a blessing in disguise.  I often think about where I would be now, and the blessings I would have missed, if it wasn’t for that shortcoming.  It was a kick start of the best dream I’ve ever had come true.