This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

It has been a good year. It’s a true blessing to be able to say that because at this same time last year, it didn’t seem like things were going to be going in the right direction.

My first round of Clomid after months of testing had me wondering if the efforts were futile; I had a run-in, literally, with a stone post in my driveway that was pretty costly; money was tight due to a job change for Jason and the first check not coming ‘til after the first of the year; I learned that they were relocating my office and laying off a very dear co-worker and my mom and step-dad separated after 27 years of marriage. There wasn’t a lot of “Happy” in that particular holiday season. Somehow Jason and I managed to stick together and make the best of the situation, and we enjoyed the spirit of the season.

Our true gift arrived in the form of two little blue lines on a pee-stick on the morning of December 27, 2008. The test showed that we were going to finally have a family together. God bless Clomid. As far as the other stress that we were dealing with: the car was repaired rather quickly and the co-pay was generously paid by Jason’s mom; relocating to Folsom meant meeting new people and becoming even better friends with

November 25, 2009

I just have to say that I HEART my iPhone
for endless hours of productivity and entertainment
and of course an at-hand opportunity to snap
limitless photos of sweet baby! 
And now a FREE Photoshop App? 
How cool- it's very basic, but fun none-the-less. 
Here's some random photos to kick off a
wonderful holiday season:

Warhol-esqe Baby Kiera:

A totally handsome tech guy and a cute little girl: chalk art style:

Artsy Baby (Blur Vignette Saturation w/ Border)

The 23rd

23 is a memorable number for me-  the great Michael Jordan wore #23; the earth is on a 23 degree angle; "W" is the 23rd letter of the alphabet (our last name); we both contributed 23 chromosomes to our darling daughter; and one of the main reasons that I quite often play that number in roulette is that March 23rd is our wedding anniversary.  It has nothing to do with the crappy movie starring Jim Carrey- ugh- 95 minutes of my life I will never get back.  And the 23rd is now going to be remembered as the first day that I had to rejoin the working world and leave my sweet baby girl all day.  Yes, hundreds of thousands of people do it every day.

But I had no idea that it would suck so much.  Not my job, but having to not be with Kiera all day.  I tried my best to not make it harder and counted down the minutes (not usually a clockwatcher!) until I got to leave and rush home to pick her up.  I held out as long as I could (early afternoon) to call and check on her; Jason didn't- he called in the morning.  The morning exit strategy is as painless for me as I could hope as Jason is dropping Kiera off at his mom's house this week.  That means that I'm still too busy getting ready so the sendoff is quick and without much fanfare.  I still cried....

Don't get me wrong- I'm thrilled that little Kiera is in such great hands for daycare during the upcoming weeks by spending time with all of her grandparents- how lucky is that?  But still, I'm totally jealous as I WANT to be with her.  (Do you think I can sneak her into the office discreetly tucked into my favorite Coach bag???)   I know that it is much harder for me than it is for her.  As long as she is fed her moo-juice and is being pampered (literally!) she's a happy camper.  Me, on the other hand is at work, wishing that I could change the Pampers.  In the early weeks, I couldn't wait to go back to work; and in all honesty I have to say that it is nice to get up, get dressed and go to work and feel accomplished.  But I miss that angelic little face smiling at me all day- I miss feeling needed by this incredible little person.  Such conflict! 

I know that it will get better and the three of us will adapt to a little routine and our lives will settle into some pattern of normalcy.  I'm looking forward to seeing what those normal days look like, but that certainly won't be until after we get through the holidays, I'm sure!  Now I just look forward to 4 o'clock-  when I can go home and see my baby girl.  She is a great reason to work and to have the opportunity to spoil her to no end.  She is my reason for everything.

At least I had a nice little surprise waiting for me when I got back:

(Thanks Erika!!!)   ( :

November 20, 2009

Video Friday: Go, Baby Go!!!

The first time that she did this, I seriously thought she was having a seizure (Rookie Mommy!).... she had a funny look on her face and was wriggling on the changing pad... when she finally let out a great big giggle (well.. what I assume is one for a 3 month old!) I knew that she had found a delightful toy!  Our changing pads have soft fuzzy covers on them that she just adores and even better yet, it makes diaper changes extremely easy! She will spend hours on this new "toy" and has the time of her little life- actually so do we!  It's hard to believe how fast that those little arms and legs can work.... no wonder she gets so hungry! Enjoy watching little Kiera play our little game we call, "Go, Baby, GO!!!"
Happy Friday!

November 17, 2009

It's a Special Day

Ten years ago, we celebrated your first birthday together- we were both ‘starving’ college students and I couldn’t afford much of a birthday present for you: I think I gave you a Monopoly game, a shirt and a card and then I ‘cooked’ you a take & bake pizza. I’m not sure if we ever cracked open that Monopoly game (we still have it though!), but the pizza is long gone! A lot has changed since then: college graduations and successful careers, the Rams took a complete nose dive from Super Bowl champions (but I still love you!), we’ve now been happily married for nearly eight years, we’re in our second house together, I cook a lot more than take & bake pizza and one of the best changes is that we finally have a beautiful daughter we’ve dreamt about for so long. In as much has changed, just as much has stayed the same: you’re still a die hard Rams/ Lakers/ Dodgers fan, you can still eat pizza 24/ 7, we still have our ‘starter kids’- Shyner and Dusty (plus two more!), we love hanging out together doing absolutely nothing and you still are my favorite team mate.

I could say that my love for you hasn’t changed, but that actually isn’t true- I love you so much more than the day that we met at Starbuck’s for coffee (that you don’t drink!). We are just different enough to keep life interesting, yet we share so much that we naturally compliment each other. I could only hope that everyone else on the planet is lucky enough to meet someone like you; someone to stand on the sidelines and cheer them on; someone to pump them up before facing the challenging opponents, a team mate to block the tough tackles and someone to celebrate with after victories both large and small. It’s hard to imagine that I could love you more, but my heart fills with so much happiness and joy when I see you with Kiera. You are such a wonderful father to her even after just 13 short weeks; I so look forward to watching you enjoy her as she grows up. I’ve never seen you laugh so hard, smile so much or love so unconditionally as with your daughter and today on your birthday, it’s a gift that you give to me: memories that will never fade.

Thank you for being there for me through thick and thin these past 10 years, for making me a better person, for loving me, loving us and for just being Jason.   I hope that you enjoy your first birthday as a Daddy!  ( :

Go Team Waggoner!

Happy Birthday, honey!

November 15, 2009

Separation Anxiety

(The past week was so very, very busy…. I started writing a blog post on Monday and it still sits six days later. I’m not back to work yet, so I can only hope that this beloved blog doesn’t get too neglected.)

Monday marked a definite first for this new Mommy. I participated in a vendor fair for most of the day and left Baby Kiera to spend some quality time with Gramma Linda and Grampy Don. So, Mommy had the first taste of working and spent nearly eight whole hours without her baby. Separated for a lengthy amount of time- Traumatic, I say!

The event kept me busy all day so I didn’t really have time to think about anything but what I was doing at that particular moment. However, on the drive over to my Dad’s to pick up my daughter from her very first day of ‘daycare,’ I was so excited to see her and then it hit me how hard it is going to be when I return to the working world in just one short week. It will definitely be very hard but an unfortunate reality of the working mom.

I never had any interest in being a permanent ‘stay-at-home’ mom before having Kiera- I don’t know that I do even now. I’m not saying that either the working mom or stay-at-home mom is best or right. Every family has to do what is right for them both financially and emotionally. It’s only been a few weeks since I’ve started to really enjoy this ‘mom thing’ and I’ve been having a blast getting to know my precious little angel- especially the mornings as they are the best! (For any new mommies reading this- what you are experiencing this very moment is hard to comprehend, but savor the moment and enjoy it as much as you can. You’ll be like me and look back and think it wasn’t so bad- just very different.) So the thought of returning to work after 14 weeks is bittersweet. For me, the financial and emotional aren’t matching up at this exact time as we can’t afford to be a one-income family with our nice house payment! Not to mention, being a full-time stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is a very difficult job….. harder than my regular day job for sure. Anyone that thinks that SAHM’s sit around and watch TV all day has no idea that sitting generally isn’t part of the equation.

I’ve had the opportunity to not have to worry about the alarm clock while on leave, but any inkling of ‘sleeping in’ is based purely on Kiera’s time schedule and not mine- and also that is uninterrupted sleep thanks to early morning feedings. The TV is on more for background noise that for me to catch up on the steamy soap operas or afternoon talkshows. (There are so many hours of recordings of my fave programs baglogged on the DVR that it isn’t even funny.) Even catching up on laundry is challenging- did you know that a baby goes through a minimum of three outfits a day? Trust me- the cutest outfits are the perfect targets for a lava-like flow of moo-juice.

I’ve been a Project Manager at a major real estate company- a job that I love- for almost eight years. I am also very, very fortunate to have a job in today’s economy. It would be nice to have the best of both worlds and spend my mornings with Kiera and then go to work say around noonish! Conflicted for sure, but good in the long run. I don’t want to feel guilty for going to work every day- I’m good at what I do, enjoy it very much and want to be able to provide for my family. If we were in a situation where I didn't have to work I don’t even know if I would jump on the opportunity to stay home all of the time. I think that working families have great relationships- it just takes some juggling to ensure that life goes as smoothly as possible.

It will be good for me to get on a schedule and go back to work. A big emphasis on schedule. I kind of miss having a to-do list that has something else added to it besides 1) Change Diaper 2) Feed Baby 3) Rinse and Repeat. Especially now that I am starting to get the hang of all of the nuances of motherhood and can actually multi-task again! (I’m going to keep this in mind when I have one of those crazy-ass days at work!)

On Wednesday, I had to try to conform to a schedule as I had to work again for a few hours to teach a class. Fortunately it was a holiday for Jason so that we didn’t have to worry about daycare (which was also kind of a bummer- he was off and I had to work!) It was nice to get back to something that was very controllable and familiar (not like parenting- all bets are off). I was euphoric driving home, excited about a great day at work, but certainly looking forward to seeing my daughter that I missed so much. (And you bet that I took the opportunity to show her off during my class- what proud Mommy wouldn’t?) Being away made me appreciate her so much more; and you have no idea how wonderful that it was to have a two-way adult conversation. We’ll see what I think of this in a few weeks…. it will be interesting to see how well I can adjust to the challenge of being a working mom. Now I just get to add another title to my working one: Taxi-Driver/ Chief-Bottle-Washer/ Laundress/ Maid/ Pillow and of course, my favorite honor: Mommy!

November 6, 2009

Friday Bonus: Kiera Video

I treasure my mornings with Kiera (even though this particular Mommy is NOT a morning person!)  She is always in a good mood (read: after bottle) and loves to kick and play and now tell me all about her plans.  A picture doesn't do her sweet nature justice, but a video can certianly try!  Enjoy- I did!

(She is talking to her kitty Dusty)

They Call Me:

Imelda. Imelda Waggoner. For baby clothes that is. I must go now to a 12-step program to deal with my addiction. (Well… you could say as much for shoes too… I have 19 pairs of flip flops… the shoes? I’m not going there.) My obsession started early; back in late March before we had even confirmed the gender; I couldn’t pass up the “My First Chucks” onesie and pink Chuck Taylor Converse! (Which are still too big!) at a yard sale. I tried not to go too crazy with the purchases but this Mommy had good taste….and like I said- I just had that Mommy’s intuition that the baby was definitely a girl! But seriously, my lovely little daughter has a crazy wardrobe! I can’t help myself from buying clothes for her- even today- knowing full well that she probably really doesn’t need another sleep and play, but there are panda bears on the feet and it was on clearance. Mommy loves picking out her outfits (even matching socks!) and takes time selecting the perfect one. There’s such indecision knowing that the outfit should be presentable for daily photo ops!

Last week after spending far too much time trying to find something that fits, I actually organized the wardrobe by size and packed away anything that was 6 months or larger. That cuts down the selection time to only 15 minutes (as for me- I just grab something clean and somewhat presentable out of my closet!) and then trying to find ‘today’s favorite.’ I love so many of them and this is the problem….  

 I was further organizing the nursery (don’t look under the crib!) in preparation for my return to work in 17 days (but who’s counting) and trying to avoid becoming a character on an episode of Hoarders, that weeding out any Preemie and NB sizes would be a good idea. I’ve managed to sort the small clothes into two stacks- definitely going, and my favorites that I’ve yet to decide what to do with- take pictures/ make a quilt/ put them on the 126 stuffed animals? I’m open for suggestions! Aaaagh- I didn’t think that letting go of onesies would be so hard! (Um, you cried when you did the first load of baby laundry when you were pregnant- what do you expect!?!) I have to figure something out as this pile is going to grow as quickly as she does. (My absolute favorite onesies? I bought another set in the larger size… yeah- we’ll discuss this again when she outgrows those too!) You know how it is: there’s the outfit that she wore home from the hospital; or the one that she wore meeting the grandparents and event the outfit that she wore when she ate three whole ounces at a sitting- I’m sentimental what can I say? I’m sure as she gets older, I won’t have such a strong attachment to cute little pieces of fabric…. I shudder to think of what it will be like when it’s actually Kiera that will be moving along in about 6,570 days. Or maybe it’s just too much for this Rookie Mommy to process in one day…. Organizing AND trying to move her into the crib for naps (Day 2 and so far, so good!) That’s not saying too much though- she can sleep almost anywhere; anytime; with any amount of noise. They say babies are pretty resilient to change; of course- it’s the parents that have the hard time!

November 5, 2009

Worth 1,000 Words....

Aside from being Kiera’s 11 week birthday, today was what you could call an ordinary day. Nothing monumental happened; but it certainly wasn’t ordinary. (Wait, I take that back- I was looking for the last possible place that I thought my wedding ring might have disappeared to- behind or under the couch- and I found it! It was tucked under the arm and cushion of the couch… I knew it was somewhere in the house… I’m so relieved!) Nothing about life in our house has been ordinary since August 18th- technically since December 27th- since we brought our little miracle home from the hospital. We’ll say ordinary just for lack of a better word at this point. I’m trying to spend the last few weeks of maternity leave relishing every second that I get to spend with Kie. And I must say that every second is becoming more and more fun…. Especially since my days are filled with baby smiles.

The first few weeks of her life, the most exciting part of the day was when she had her eyes open…. As you well know, newborns sleep a ton and when they’re awake, it’s likely that they are eating and that’s about it. The relationship is extremely one-sided; not much give and pretty much all take. You wait impatiently for waking moments- make that daylight waking moments for your sole reward of getting to gaze into the little ones eyes for just a bit, or to listen to her “purr” during feedings as a small gesture of gratitude. The hope of seeing a smile was rare- unless of course, she was sleeping! The waking periods were unpredictable- she was eight weeks old before Jason’s mom actually got to see her awake; and the waiting can also be exhausting. I was certainly looking forward to when there would be much more joy in this particular bundle! And I haven’t been disappointed.

In stage two, we went from waiting for her to be awake to looking for that slightest hint of a smile….when she wasn’t sleeping! Here’s my joy- the first waking smiles were priceless, although elusive to catch on film! I would patiently hover over the poor child with camera in hand shooting picture after picture hoping to record one for posterity-- unfortunately she would also stare back wondering what the heck I was doing and not smile.  Jason thinks I'm wacky since I always have a camera at the ready to capture priceless moments.  I'm quite fanatical about capturing a perfect moment and I've been dubbed the "mom-arazzi."  (At least now Kiera is quite a ham for the camera and breaks into full-blown smile!)

Coincidentally, Kiera’s regular smiles began around the same time that she began holding her head up on her own at nearly eight weeks. Within the past week, she has started showering us with smiles so frequently that it doesn’t feel quite so much like an Easter Egg hunt- but it is still exciting and contagious. My particular favorite smile is during feeding time when she spits out the nipple and then smiles up at you- it’s just too darn cute for words and makes me laugh every time. You can’t help but also smile right on back when she flashes that ear-to-ear toothless grin! She has this adorable Elvis-esque smile- she squints an eye and lifts up one side of her lip and then breaks into a full-blown grin, usually with her whole body as she excitedly circles her arms in the air and kicks her feet. I can now tell when she is going to smile because the eyes smile first- she gets that from her Daddy! I hope that she also has her Daddy’s infectious laugh; waiting for that is going to be stage three and even more priceless than Kiera’s miles of smiles. These wonderful baby smiles… they’re so rewarding.

November 1, 2009

Day 75: Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween!!!! This is my absolute favorite holiday. Yes, I know that it doesn’t officially qualify as a “holiday” (but you tell me how much work you really do get done on Halloween??) but I still love it anyways. It possibly stems from my childhood and growing up in a community where I was one of just a handful of kids and my treat bag was usually filled with full size candy bars, homemade treats (I’m dating myself, surely, but this was in the time before you actually had to worried about packaged candy that needed to have your candy x-rayed) and occasionally money. Or maybe it’s because I just love October and it’s the first ‘official’ holiday that Jason and I celebrated together- we were a nurse and doctor!

I have to admit that I am fully in love with the complete commercialism of this day and not the secular origins. I love the Jack O Lanterns, bags of delightful candy in every flavor imaginable, carnivals, pumpkin patches, caramel apples and popcorn balls and décor, namely haunted houses. Where I grew up it was mostly just carved pumpkins, spider webs, toilet paper ghosts and paper cutouts of black cats and witches; today homes are quite extravagantly decorated. My dad usually gets in the spirit with his own little haunted house and spends hours working on it (Perhaps the Halloween obsession is genetic!). And his décor this year, although scaled down due to time constraints, was just enough to be enthusiastic but not scare off the little ones. (Kiera was fascinated by the blinking lights…. Let’s see how she does next year!)

My creative juices flow in deciding my annual disguise and my costumes have landed on all ends of the spectrum- odd but clever (Happy Camper, Raining Cats & Dogs, Cereal Killer) or fun couples costumes (Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth; Scooby & Shaggy) …. And of course the standard ghost (mom said that I was a ghost three years running…) or witch. I was thinking of being Octomom this year….. but remove seven kids from the equation and it’s not much of a costume- ha ha. Actually, I didn’t really make much of an effort for my costume this year because we were just so busy with Baby Kiera and all of my focus was on her. I know it’s not like she is going to remember her first Halloween but we certainly will!

I can’t remember the last time that Halloween fell on a Saturday- and it meant that it was even a more hectic day than usual! We followed our usual weekend rituals and piled family celebrations on top of it- which made for one tired baby and even more tired parents. (I’m hanging by a thread finishing this…. Thank goodness for the one extra hour of sleep tonight for Daylight Savings Time!). I never got around to a costume for us- which is a first (not counting Wednesday’s office party)! We also never got around to actually carving the six pumpkins sitting on the table, but oh well- we weren’t really home for trick-or-treaters anyways. What we did do was spend quality time with family and it was wonderful!

We went to the pumpkin patch with Jason’s side of the family- including Kiera’s two cousins and it made for some pretty great pictures! (I look forward to making this an annual tradition, along with the Halloween Eve pumpkin carving that was somehow also an afterthought.) Then it was off to dinner to celebrate Grandpa Ernie’s 91st birthday and then to my dad’s house. Kiera was a real trooper and put up with several wardrobe changes today- from her Halloween themed jammies, to the tutu and of course for the final curtain call- her Minnie Mouse costume. And despite my promises of a pony, she was a wee bit grumpy so it didn’t stay on too long. Jason and I were going to go as Mousketeers (“Mommy” and “Daddy”) but that never materialized. Oh well- I have a full year to plot out next year’s family costumes! I’m sure that’s also how long it will take us to eat all of the leftover candy; we had one trick-or-treater who didn’t make an effort to dress up (as strict as I usually am about my “no costume/ no candy” rule) so he got a huge handful of candy. I was thinking about going to drop off a ton to Grayson but I know Leah would do the same to Kie next year and we’ll be pulling her off the ceiling come Thanksgiving, so I guess I have to eat it. And that is why we buy candy that you actually like. (Screw the diet, that’s what winter sweaters are for!) With that I’m going to see how quietly I can enjoy this Reese’s PB Cup….. and try to figure out where to hide the rest from my dear-husband-who-has-no-willpower-for-treats! Hope you had a spook-tacular day!