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Life with Charlotte: Three Months 

When I was a kid it used to feel like Christmas, vacations and my birthday would take 475 million years to arrive. Now that I have a baby it feels like every month is going by in the blink of an eye.  I completely forget I was ever even pregnant (didn’t forget the birth though, the hemorrhoids are always there to remind me) and now Charlotte is already 3 months old. WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. I only have one month one week and 5 days left of maternity leave (WHYYYYYY) and my baby is getting bigger every second of every day and it’s just going too fast!  Like my brother says, I’m gonna close my eyes and she’s going to be 40. 
After the second month Charlotte really started to get a personality. And by personality I mean temper. When she doesn’t get her way she looks you straight in the eye and screams. It’s pretty amazing how I’m able to discern her cries now, and what I like to call her “bitch scream” is the easiest one to notice. One day she was hungry and my brother was holding her and she latched onto his nose. She sucked so hard she ended up leaving a mark, but when she realized nothing was coming out of his nose she looked at him and screamed like a banshee as if it was his fault. She is really good at the bitch scream! 

She is really such a happy girl. Every morning she wakes up with a smile and it makes my heart explode. We have the same routine every morning, she sits on her lounger on the kitchen counter while I pump and she just squeals and squawks with a smile on her face while I get milked by a machine like a cow. When I go back to work I hope we can still do this after our first feeding, even if I have to wake up at 5 am to do it!

Her sleeping is really amazing. I was afraid since she is breastfed and I read way too much shit on the internet that she would be waking up to eat 4 times a night, but that is not the case!  She’s been going to sleep around 9 PM pretty consistently, and she would wake up around 3-3:30 to eat for a little (she dream eats, which is stupid baby talk for she eats while she’s asleep and it’s adorable) and then she wakes up at 6:30. Last night she slept from 9-4:50 and then woke up at 7:45 for good which is just fantastic in my book.  I had a good sleep too because I chugged 5 ounces of wine right after she fell asleep and went to bed a little buzzed. 

She loves to hold anything and everything, and she is always shoving her hands in her mouth. Yesterday she was holding her dress and shoving that into her mouth, belly out and everything.  Then she put 4 fingers in her mouth and gagged herself and got mad and screamed. It’s so funny to me when she gets mad at something she does to herself. 
She’s still vomiting all over everything. Her favorite things to vomit on are her father and her nonna. Yesterday Eric had to change his shirt twice and the day before my mom had to change her shirt 3 times.  Spit happens. 
Three months postpartum and I feel better than ever. I still have some weight to lose but WHATEVER. I walk every day and exercise when I can, even if it’s just a 10 minute arm workout or doing squats while holding the baby.  I feel confident with her every day, and I’m just so happy!  I feel like I know what she wants when she wants it and I don’t consult Google anymore, which probably wasn’t the smartest place to get information to begin with.  I’m starting to get a lot of anxiety about going back to work, but I’ll write about that another time. I hope all you working moms out there will be able to talk me off the ledge. I know there are a lot of you and I’m counting on you all to be a support system! No pressure or anything. 
Even if there are just a few of you reading this every day, being able to write about motherhood is such a release for me and I’m so glad I have some of you to bounce off my thoughts and feelings.  Every day isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and having a place to vent or cry and have other people to talk to is much easier than googling “why do I have to go back to work will my baby hate me and forget me.”  Not that I’ve done that… 

Pampers, I Love You but…

So the diaper choice of the Schwartz household is Pampers for sure.  Charlotte started out wearing the Swaddlers type and then when her explosive ass ruined 475 onesies I realized that the Baby Dry worked better for her tush and my sanity. This is riveting conversation. I can see all the non parents reading this and quickly thanking their lucky stars that they don’t worry about silly things like diaper brands. GOOD FOR YOU NON PARENTS. NOW GO SLEEP 8 HOURS FOR ME.  Anyway, while I love Pampers, their commercials really get to me in more ways than one. For example, have any of you seen the recent commercial?  It’s the one that says “no matter what wakes them at night, a wet diaper shouldn’t be one of them.”  Then there are all these beautiful babies yawning and the words on the screen say they wake up because they miss you and I start to cry because the baby yawning is a newborn and Charlotte is already big and then it’s just a mess of me rocking the baby sobbing WHY ARE YOU GETTING OLD?!  BUT THEN!!! This is when the commercial stops the tears from flowing instantly and just fills me with rage. They show a mother putting a diaper on the baby and she does it so fucking delicately as if she’s icing a damn cake for the Queen of England! Her fingers are all delicate and she slowly fastens the diaper and the baby is still and all is well. HAS ANYONE AT PAMPERS DIAPERED A BABY?!  Even if the child is asleep they are still moving, I swear it!  This is where Pampers makes non parents think “oh yes I can do this!” and then when they become a parent and their daughter is shoving her foot in her own shit every time it’s diaper change time on a daily basis they wonder why they were lied to so terribly. Unless this is just me this happens to?  Please tell me this isn’t just me. 

5 things I want my daughter to know 

Charlotte is only two and a half (okay, closer to three…) months old but there are already so many things I want her to know for when she gets older, so I’ve done the normal thing and compiled a list on the Internet for everyone to read. 

1.  My sweet Charlie girl, as you grow I want you to know that you may be tempted to play around with your makeup. Your mama used to play around with her makeup too, and really it’s okay to experiment and find what works for you. But I promise if you experiment with white eyeliner like I did, your Uncle Nicky will make fun of you just like he still makes fun of me. But I still want you to feel free to make your own choices in life, so if you must try the white eyeliner, I will let you make your own mistakes.  And I will take photographs of it so I can show you how silly it looks. 
2. There are only two people you should shave your legs for. You should shave your legs for yourself in the summer time, and you should shave your legs for the woman who will be giving you a pedicure. Never shave your legs for a man. If you want hairy legs then you just go ahead and keep them hairy, but always shave for the pedicure lady.  If a man demands you shave your legs for him, take out the razor and run it down the middle of his head. Bow down to no man!
3. No matter what job you have, make your own money and be independent. Your mama is dreading going back to work in July, but only because I have to leave you. I really like my job and having my own money to make my own choices. Your daddy and I split all of the household bills and to take care of you, but if I want to buy myself a new bag and your dad wants to buy himself a ridiculous pull up bar that he drilled into the doorway of our home, we both have our own money to do such things. Find whatever job you enjoy and keep that money for yourself.  All the women who independent, throw your hands up at me!  That can be our anthem baby girl. 
4. Dating will eventually happen in your life even though right now you’re sucking on your own fist and trying to roll over. When dating begins, never order the salad. Unless you want the salad! But seriously, by the time you begin dating you will be well aware of how much I love to eat so you’ll realize that I was never one to order a salad on a date. The first night I went out with your daddy I ate a giant hot dog and two beers.  On our second date I ate a large fries from Wendy’s dipped into a large chocolate frosty. I’ve been eating your father out of house and home ever since we’ve been together, and you should do the same!  If a boy takes you out and you want the steak, order that steak and eat it with pride. Let there be no shame in your eating game! 
5. Music is important. You already love to watch me sing and dance to Disney songs. But there will come a time in your life when you need to make difficult choices that will define your life. If your dad tries to force NSYNC upon you I want you to run away. You know what? I’ll buy you a referee whistle and if he tries to make you listen to them you can just blow the shit out of that whistle and I will come rescue you with the true gift of boy band music that is the Backstreet Boys.  Now let me show you the shape of my heart!!! 

A Momentous Occasion!

I am certainly 100% jinxing this right now, but last night Charlotte slept from 9:30 to 5:45 in the morning. WHATTTTTTT.  I never thought this would happen! For the past week or two we would go to sleep at 9:30 (and I say we because lord knows I’m not staying up late ever again) and she would wake up between 3 and 3:30 and then again at 6:30 and I just assumed it would be that way forever. Then last night she whipped that magic sleep out of her ass and my first thought when I saw the clock was HOLY SHIT SHE IS DEAD.  And then after I saw that she was very much alive my second thought was HOLY SHIT I AM DEAD because my boobs had transformed into rock hard boulders from the lack of feeding. After she ate I had to go pump a little bit because my nipple was legit sideways. It was like my boob was so full it was trying to invert and eat my nipple. That was DEFINITELY too much TMI for you all. I am so very sorry but I’m losing the ability to not bring up my nipples in every conversation. Forgive me.
The only different thing I did yesterday was that I took Charlotte to church, and she got a blessing from the Pastor. So now I’m thinking that blessing actually brought the good Lord into her little head and told her to sleep, so thanks for that God! Let’s keep this an every day routine, yea? 

Girls Day Out!

I had big plans today. Girls day out, mommy and Charlie style. I went to Babies R Us for an hour to buy some things for Charlotte and had no problem. Hopped in the car to head over to Target to buy some things for me! 

We made it inside and down the aisle that contained the yogurt before her shrieks got so loud they started to echo throughout the store.  She’s only 11 weeks old and she already knows how to get what she wants and take from me. NO TARGET FOR YOU MOTHER. 

Random Thoughts

Why is it that when babies are tired they don’t just close their eyes and go to sleep?  Why do they decide that the best way to voice their exhaustion is to scream and cry?  When Charlotte does this (usually when she needs a nap and not at night, thank GOD) I just stare at her in utter confusion.  Could you imagine if adults acted this way?  Imagine we all went to work on Monday and then around the 3 PM crash of exhaustion we all just started to scream and cry and wave our fists around.  Riding the subway home after a hard day?  Just stand there and scream.  It would make for an interesting commute at least.

Also, why do I need to deal with things like clogged milk ducts?  Why do I need to get clogged to begin with?  I am not a toilet.  I am not a sink.  Why does this need to happen at all?  Yesterday I had my first plugged up duct.  It was a tender lump in my boob and every time the piranha that is my daughter ate from that side it hurt like a bitch.  I had to do warm compresses before I fed her, and then I had to feed her on all fours.  Like A DOG.  I hovered over my child to feed her from my painful, clogged boob and gravity could work its magic and help release the milk.  I literally never thought I would do anything like this in my lifetime, but yet there I was straddling a two month old praying for the clog to dissolve.  I’m sorry I even put this image out into the universe.  I’m all better now!  Clog free boobs over here!

I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day and got what you deserved/gave what your mom deserved.  Although we all deserve a castle and millions of dollars, so I think Kate Middleton is the only one who actually got what she wanted for Mother’s Day.  After she stole my baby’s name, that is.

This One is for the Mothers

“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness.  When you become a mother you are no longer the center of your own universe.  You relinquish that position to your children.” – Jessica Lange
I really didn’t grasp the fact how true this quote was until I became a mother.  It’s only been 10 weeks, and yet I feel like I can truly understand what mothers go through and how Ms. Lange hits the nail on the head.  With Mother’s Day right around the corner, this post isn’t about my own experiences in motherhood, but a toast to all of the mothers out there – my family, my friends, and most importantly, my own mother.
This one is for the mothers.  The women who go through the most physically demanding and exhausting ordeal of their lives to give life to this tiny human who will forever change us.  This one is for those women who take home the brand new love of their life with absolutely no idea what to do yet.  For those women who now have the most important job they will ever have.  This one is for the women who endure the cracked nipples or bleary eyed formula feedings, the ones who will wake and give up sleep for even the slightest cry.  This one is for the women who feel completely lost, because I promise you the road will get much easier and more beautiful with each passing day.  This one is for the women covered in more bodily fluids than they ever thought possible and to surviving 3 AM diaper changes (and whole outfit changes).  This one is for every mother out there, no matter how young or old, no matter if you have little babies or bigger babies.  You all deserve to be told how absolutely amazing you are.  You all define selflessness and I really understand that now.  Being a mother isn’t about forgetting who you are as a person, it’s about becoming a different person entirely.  Giving yourself to another person for the rest of your life is easier said than done, but mothers do this every single day.  Saying you would die for your children seems like such an exaggerated monumental statement, but mothers know it to be completely true.  Of course there are bad days, like when your baby will cry and cry for no reason and you want to tear your eyes out because you are so tired, or when your teenager thinks she knows better than you do about everything (sorry mom), but the love mothers have for their children is so all consuming that the good days will always outweigh the bad.  This is why you all deserve to be celebrated and to be told how special you are.  I’d buy you all a very large alcoholic beverage if I could. because Lord knows we could all use one at one time or another!
And to my mom – being a mother to Charlotte has made me see you in a new light.  I have never loved or appreciated you more than I do now, and if Charlotte looks to me like I look to you, I’ll know I have done a good job.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my child has her fist shoved very far into her mouth and I know she is about to make herself vomit.

Life with Charlotte – Two Months 

Charlotte Shea is two months and one week old. I don’t even know how that happened. One week she was a tiny little chicken who made me cry 24 hours a day and now she is a chubby little monkey who makes my heart so full of joy that I am certain I will spontaneously combust.  At two months our lives are still pretty much the same as they were at one month, except everything is SO. MUCH. BETTER.  She sleeps 5 hours straight for her first stretch of the night and then sleeps another 3 or so after eating, so I’m consistently getting some good sleep and not looking like Elvira the Witch Princess every day.  She doesn’t really like to nap during the day, but that’s really fine by me if it means she sleeps better at night. She enjoys her $40 bouncy seat over her $250 mamaroo right now, so she’s already learning how to waste money on shit we didn’t need. I’m hoping she starts to like it again when she gets a little bigger, but if not I’m selling that baby spaceship on eBay.  She’s starting to take a pacifier occasionally which means my boobs get to be put away for longer periods of time.  Hip hip hooray!

Oh the smiling.  The smiling KILLS ME. I can’t even take it. She is the happiest around 8 am when she wakes up for the day and everything makes her smile and coo and I just want to die. I can’t even explain how much I love it when she smiles at me. I would literally stand on my head and shoot glitter out of my ass if it made Charlotte smile.  I am one of those moms now…
She has a fussy period every night around 7 when she hates every single person on earth except for me. She screams bloody ass murder unless I’m holding her and I usually need to feed her until she calms down. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more, so thank God I’ve figured out how to nurse laying down.  I love that she finds comfort in me and looks for me to make her feel better, but some nights I really just want to take a shower and relax. I’m sure when she’s older and no longer has these melt downs I will miss them terribly though. 
She’s still spitting up like a vomit geyser and I still can’t eat any dairy (I accidentally ate something with butter in it and that was a nightmare) but now that I know vomit is officially a part of my life it’s easier to deal with.  I really miss cheese though. I want a grilled cheese so bad that sometimes I feel like I’m in a mirage. You know how people die of thirst in the desert and before they die they see pools of imaginary water?  That’s what I’m going through. I sit here and see pools of imaginary grilled cheese sandwiches.  And chicken parm sandwiches. And nachos. And really just sheets of melted cheese that I can lie in like a hammock.  One day we shall meet again. 
I absolutely adore my life as Charlotte’s mama. I still have two more months until I go back to work (that’s another post for another day) and I plan on enjoying every hour of every day that I spend with her.  She is really just the best little girl I could have ever asked for. Vomit queen and all. 

The Hunger Games 

Breastfeeding was a decision I made long before I got pregnant with Charlotte. In truth, I wanted to breastfeed because I’ve always wanted bigger boobs and the ability to lose pregnancy weight faster, but the health benefits were also an added plus.  Other than labor and delivery, the beginning of my nursing relationship with Charlie was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I got bigger boobs alright, and they felt like rocks strapped to my chest and hurt something awful. Every time the baby had to eat I would cringe inside (okay, I also sobbed on the outside too..) because it was so hard to get her to latch and then when she did finally latch it was equivalent to 10 million tiny needles stabbing my nipples.  (Side note: I just realized I hate the word nipples.)  I don’t know about any of you, but I wasn’t used to someone gnawing on my boobs 10-12 times a day.  The first two weeks were really just the worst, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. My husband and and my mom were so supportive and every time I wanted to quit they would reassure me, and now Charlie and I are old pros. I can feed her in public  without batting an eye now, which is good because Charlotte’s hunger screams are like actual murder screams.  If I don’t feed the child fast enough she claws at her face and wails like I am sticking bamboo under her fingernails and she starts sweating like a beast.  So she basically acts just like me when I’m hungry. I’m usually really good about feeding her as quickly as possible so we can avoid this scenario. Except for yesterday, when the LIE was bumper to bumper and Charlotte woke up with 35 minutes remaining of the journey.  And so the screams began. I could see her face in the mirror turning shades of magenta that would make a nice nail polish color. We could call it “Hunger Screams” by Essie. I had to make the decision of whether or not to get off the highway or to test out my theory that a child could actually kill themselves by crying. With a mile to go to an exit, I endured the screaming just long enough for her to start gagging herself, pulled over and fed my sweaty, screaming baby on the side of the road where a chinese man kept skating by my car on his skateboard for his afternoon entertainment. File that under things I’d never thought I’d do. 


Is it weird that sometimes I find myself just staring at Charlotte when she sleeps? Like not just looking at her but full on, not wanting to blink staring. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a sleeping child, and that’s not just because they are quiet and not screaming, puking or crapping all over, but because they are literally perfect when they sleep.  Charlotte has the longest eyelashes that curl in a way I only wish mine could. She has the prettiest blue eyes that sometimes look gray and I pray they stay this color. Her nose is like a little whoville nose that curves up when you look at her profile and her lips are to die for. I want to kiss her face until I burst because she is just so beautiful!  I really can’t even take the love I have for her sometimes.  I sound like a mushy fool, I know, but I can’t help it!
In other news, she’s been sleeping longer stretches at night (except for Saturday night when she decided to stay awake with me and Eric for 3 hours) and last night I actually slept from 11:30-7:30. SAY WHAT. I’m so refreshed I could run a marathon. And by marathon I actually mean sit on the couch and watch TV without nodding off. Woohoo!!
Charlotte is two months old today which is just ridiculous to me because seriously where the hell is the time going?  I don’t want her to grow so fast! This is bullshit. She also has to go to her 2 month checkup today and get lord knows how many needles. I AM NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. Everyone told me to just nurse her the second the shots are over so I plan on standing there with my boobs out. Would it be too much to hover over her and shove it into her mouth as she gets the needles?  I really hate this part.  My poor little chunky monkey.  Here’s hoping the appointment is as painless as possible for Charlie and her neurotic mother!