April 29, 2010


Last night, M was preparing Joycelen for bed. He asked me to select a sleeper for her to wear. I immediately chose one of my favorites – a pink sleeper with the words “Mommy’s Snuggle Bunny” on the front, and adorable bunny faces on the feet. This cherished sleeper is almost too small.

This morning as I changed Joycelen’s diaper … I used the last newborn sized one. It was an extremely snug fit. It is now time to move up to size 1 diapers.

Both of these incidents left me with watery eyes – both cementing the reality that the tiny infant I brought home a mere two months ago is truly growing. While I am eager to see the changes that the coming months will bring, part of me wants to hit the pause button, to keep her tiny for just a little bit longer. I have a feeling that this will not be the last time that I feel this type of internal conflict. Is motherhood always so bittersweet?

April 20, 2010

She likes me, She really likes me

Joycelen has been smiling since she was 3 weeks old. However, those smiles have been reserved for sleeping, her silly cousins, and occasional for Daddy or Nana. Up to this point, my baby girl has not smiled at me. That all changed yesterday afternoon.

Around 6:00 p.m., I picked Joycelen up from my parents house (Side note: I am so blessed to have retired parents who are more than willing to act as babysitters so that Joycelen does not have to daycare until she is a bit older). My Mama told me that it had been nearly 3 hours since her last feeding. I knew that my window for getting a few chores done around the house was rapidly closing, so I made a beeline for home.

Upon arrival, Joycelen’s eyes popped open and she began to stir. I looked at the overflowing laundry basket – full of clothes that needed to be folded – and got creative. I placed Joycelen into her carrier, set the carrier onto the kitchen table, and began singnig and dancing around the kitchen while I folded the laundry. Not only did my antics keep her from crying, but she got the biggest grin on her face. Her smile literally took my breath away.

That gummy smile made me feel more accomplished than any of my degrees or life achievements. And I know it is the first of many smiles to come.

April 19, 2010

Snapshots of Life These Days

Joycelen loves to cuddle in the bed with M and I before she goes to her crib. I snapped this picture the other night.
M and I have made it a Sunday afternoon tradition to take Joycelen out for a walk in the lovely spring weather. Last week, we graduated her from her carrier to just the stroller.

1 Month Old and nearly as long as her stuffed rabbit from her Aunt Jessica.

Easter Morning!

April 13, 2010

Another Endeavor

I have been an advocate of healthy living and developing a positive body image ever since I began working towards overcoming my eating disorder. Some of my friends joked that my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle was my “great passion”. When I found out I was preganant, I was determined to continue my healthy habits not falling victim to the “I am eating for two” mentality. I was successful in my goal. However, my “great passion” took on even more urgency when I found out that M and I would be welcoming home a baby girl.

I know first hand the images that our society thrusts at young girls. Images that teach too many of them that the beauty ideal is super skinny – not healthy, not strong – just skinny. I spent many hours discussing with M, planning out the ways we would teach Joycelen that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. And over and over again, I realized that the best way to teach my daughter to love her body is to model the behavior for her.

Therefore, I am recommitting myself to a healthy lifestyle. And to document my journey, I have created a new blog . Won’t you join me?

** Not to worry, I will still be posting here. After all, I know you are all dying for more cute baby pictures

April 09, 2010

Is Motherhood a Competition?

As 4:25 this afternoon, I will have been a mother for five weeks. In that short amount of time, I have learned a lot of things about myself, my daughter, my husband, and how our lives are going to work with this new addition.

Some of those lessons have come, almost, instinctively – like learning that my baby girl loves having her head rubbed while rocking or that her short tiny cry means she’s wet – and the loud nearly ear piercing cry means “I’m hungry….FEED ME NOW!”. Others did not come so easily…..it took me sobbing in the floor from exhaustion before I realized that it was impractical for me to believe that I could handle all the nighttime feedings, diaper changes, and take care of Joycelen all day long.

The most surprising lesson of all is the sheer number of women who view motherhood as a competition. Two weeks ago, while discussing my daughter’s feeding schedule and my inability to breastfeed – an acquaintance interrupted the conversation to tell me how she was able to breastfeed her daughter for the first year of her life. While I was happy that this woman was able to nourish her daughter that way, I could not and it was not for a lack of effort on my part. I had a deep desire to breastfeed; my body simply would not cooperate. Does that make me less of a mother? I don’t think so. But this woman seemed to think so.

Then when I returned to work this week, I had woman to tell me that I should have stayed home longer with my child, that I would regret not spending an additional two weeks with her. I love my daughter, I love that I am her mother, and I feel so blessed to have been able to be her primary caretaker for the first four weeks of her life. However, I yearned to return to work, to once again embrace the daily challenges that accompany my job. Has working outside the home changed my daughter’s love for me? No, she still knows that she can depend on me to meet her needs – it is evident in the way she smiles at me and gets all doe-eyed when I pick her up after work. Has my love for her changed? Not even close, if anything, it has deepened. I appreciate the hours that I can spend with her even more.

Lastly, some fellow mothers in my life have attempted to make me feel guilty that I take an extra 30 minutes (3 times a week) to go to the gym. One went so far as to accuse me of being selfish. SELFISH…..seriously? I work a mentally demanding job which often requires me to spend hours in front of a computer screen. By day’s end I feel fatigued, sore, and often mentally drained. However, a quick run on the treadmill, a sweaty session on the elliptical, or time with the free weights leaves me feeling rejuvenated, revived, and full of energy. When I leave the gym, my daughter gets a Mommy who has energy to play with her, dance with her, and handle those pesky nighttime feedings – she is able to have all of me, not just a shell version. Moreover, I am laying the foundation for a healthy life – something I hope she will embrace as she grows.

Motherhood is hard. It demands all of heart, mind, body and soul. Therefore, one would think that mothers would unite to support one another thru the trials and struggles. All too often, as of I have found, that is simply not the case. Instead woman play games of one-up – telling anyone who will lesson their accomplishments as a mother, making others feel inadequate. It is pointless. Last time I checked, they weren’t giving out medals for motherhood at the Olympics (although I think they should). Instead, I measure my success as a mother by my daughter. And at this stage she is happy, healthy, loved and cared for…..and I considered that a huge success. Perhaps my methods are not like yours, but again we are individuals. While I may not make the same decisions as you, I will never attempt to elevate myself in order to demean you. I can only hope that more women will choose to do the same.

April 08, 2010

Joycelen - 1 Month Old

Joycelen you are now 1 Month Old!

Since you changing so much with each passing day, I wanted to capture as much of this journey as possible. Like many other bloggers, I will document in pictures and words your milestones each month. Without further adieu, here’s what you’ve accomplished in just 4 short weeks.

· You weigh 8 lbs, and 13 ounces. Your weight gain started off slow, with you gaining a mere 2 ounces in the first 19 days of life. But since then you have added another pound.

· You are measuring 21 and ¼ inches long.

· In spite of this recent growth spurt, you remain quite “dainty” and are still wearing newborn diapers and clothing. Although, you length will soon push you in 0-3 month clothing.

· Nana Becki attributes your growth to your appetite, while you started out eating just 2 ounces every 2 hours, you are now eating 5-6 ounces every 3 hours.

· You are a terrific sleeper. During the day you tend to sleep 2.5 hours at a time. And a night, you are nice enough to let Mama and Daddy sleep for 4-5 hour stretches.

· You started smiling at 3 weeks old. When you get really excited or agitated, you like to blow spit bubbles.

  • Now that Mama is back at work, you have started spending your days with Nana Nancy and Papa Babo. I am not sure who is happier about the arrangement – you or them. But you have adjusted to the transition quite well.

Daddy and I knew that our lives would forever change with your birth….but we never imagined just how much joy you would bring to our lives. We can honestly say that you are the best thing that has ever happened to us, and we can not wait to see what the 2nd month of your life holds for all 3 of us.