Category: Seton

Tag, Mary. You’re it.

Something happened last night I want to put down so that I remember it for years to come.

After what felt like sleeping for 5 minutes (half-in, half-out) I woke up to the sound of a loud, quick noise.

I paused to see if I would hear it again.

Seton started crying.

She stopped crying.

Silence.

She fell back to sleep, but she must have heard it, too, right? I wasn’t just dreaming?

I took a lap around the house. Nothing. Officially crazy town in my head. I could feel Davey rolling his eyes the way only a wife can feel the eye roll from her half asleep husband down the dark hallway.

Passing Seton’s door to get back to our room, I thought, “What if the noise was the sound of her head against the crib? What if she hit it in that fatal spot on the temple, and something terrible happened?” (just a normal fear, right? I don’t even know where I come up with these things.)

I decided to just peek in and check on her.

Seton awoke to the paranoid creak of her 1942 glass door handle turning ever so slowly, ever so loudly.

She was startled and began sobbing. I tried calming her, shushing her to sleep, and sending an eye roll RIGHT BACK ATCHA, DAVEY, THE NOT-SO PROTECTOR WHAT IF WE HAD AN INTRUDER OK FINE WE DONT AND I WOKE UP THE BABY BUT YOU DIDN’T DEFEND US.

Nothing worked to get Seton back to sleep. Books, songs, laying on the couch. I tried all my tricks, Davey tried all his tricks, and it seemed Seton was going to hyperventilate. I have never NOT been able to get her to stop crying. Usually just the sight of me calms her down. I was failing.

Davey turned on the light.

Seton’s sad, puffy eyes fixated on our little statue of Mary on the shelf in our room. She stopped crying.

“May-me,” she said. She pointed to Mary.

“You want Mary?” Davey said. He brought it to her. She touched her hands, her eyes, her veil. “Do you want to hold her?” Seton clutched her in her tiny hands and pulled her close to her chest. We sat there in silence for a few minutes.

I suggested to Seton to put Mary back on the shelf so Mary can go “night night.” Seton calmly placed her on the shelf and said through calmed sadness, “nigh nigh.”

I took her back in her room, changed her diaper, read a few books, then turned out her light. I felt myself tensing in fear that she would start crying again.

And she did.

WAILING.

The thought of starting the whole process over again was overwhelming. If there was a towel, I would have thrown it in. But there is no such thing as throwing in the towel on motherhood, is there?

I whispered to Seton–while simultaneously thinking she would never hear my whisper above the sound of her cries–“Mary.”

Seton stopped crying.

“Remember Mary? Hail Mary…”

Seton put her head on my shoulder, shuddered with a few deep breaths, and fell asleep.

I felt Mary’s presence reminding me that I will fail at motherhood. There will be times when I love my best, I give my all, and I still won’t be able to control my child’s joy. I won’t always be able to comfort her, stop her from crying, make her smile, calm her to sleep. I won’t be able to make everything ok.

Mary will step in where I fall short.

I feel so good about that.

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Friday Favorites | Baby Gear

When Davey and I went to Babies ‘R Us to set up a baby registry, I was hormonal and overwhelmed. We left as soon as I saw the carseat department and realized I AM ALREADY A TERRIBLE MOM BECAUSE I NEVER RESEARCHED WHICH CARSEAT IS THE BEST, AND I AM ALSO CRAVING A TACO RIGHT NOW. I felt like it would never be possible to research the best stroller, the best car seat, the best crib…you get the point. Davey still laughs about it.

I ended up completing the full registry online while snacking on Taco Bell. I allowed myself to look at ONE PAGE of options. Babies ‘R Us has 4 pages of carseats with 24 seats to a page! WAAAAAY too many choices.

Here’s where I share with you our favorite baby gear we have used over the past year.

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The stroller || They see me strollin’…they hatin’… Davey came home with this stroller from clearance at Babies ‘R Us when I was about 6 months pregnant. It was about 75% off–awesome deal–but I was worried because everyone told me I would want to fit my carseat right to the stroller. I wasn’t able to find a good adapter for our Chicco car seat we had already gotten. But, guess what? It never mattered. We live in a walkable town, so we rarely drive somewhere to walk. We just head out our front door. I have never really been in a situation where I wanted to transfer her from the car seat straight to the stroller. All in all, I am so happy with the stroller. It runs well, walks well, and even hikes well on uneven ground.

The car seat || Our little peanut still fits in this car seat. We have never had any issues. The base snaps easily into the car seat buckles in both our cars (we each have a base so either one can pick her up from day care).

The crib || If you know Davey, you know he likes a good deal. We found the best deal by ordering our crib from Walmart.com. It included a mattress and free shipping right to our doorstep. I wanted something fairly light (some cribs are so bulky), simple, and easily converted to a toddler bed. I was worried about the mattress, but so far so good. Seton isn’t complaining. 😉

The Baby Carrier || One of my coworkers gave me a hand-me-down Moby wrap that has worked quite nicely. I also used the K’tan which I really liked until Seton was around 8 weeks old, and it got too small for her. It’s a fixed amount of fabric (The Moby has loose ends you tie), so as Seton grew and the fabric stayed the same size, it no longer worked. If we have another baby, I might try the Ergo because I have heard good things. I imagine I will use a carrier more with the second since I will need my hands free for Seton.

The Swing || I am a huge advocate of not putting your baby in a “container” all the time (exersaucers, swings, jumpers, etc) but I am also a HUGE advocate of Happiest Baby on the Block (best thing EVER we will swear by it to everyone we know) where I learned that the swinging motion is calming and natural for babies. I used a swing similar to this one from 0-3 months (the ‘4th trimester’) to soothe Seton. I only let her in there for short periods and never let her sleep in it all night. It was a sanity life saver.

The pack ‘n play || This is our exact pack ‘n play that we have LOVED. The first few weeks of life, Seton slept next to our bed in the “newborn napper,” then transitioned to the “bassinet” around week 5, then to the crib (above) by week 8. With each transition, I would worry that she wouldn’t sleep well. She did fine! It also packs up easily for travel. Every baby is different though; this is just what ended up working for us.

The swaddle || One reason she transitioned so well was because swaddling was a sleep cue for her the first 3 months. We used this swaddle and followed the guidelines from Happiest Baby on the Block….and she was the happiest little baby on the block. We stopped swaddling at 3 months.

The diapers || Have I mentioned my husband loves good deals? He has compared the prices of Costco, diapers.com, Walmart, Target…and the cheapest diapers are….drum roll, please…Babies R Us brand diapers. Shocking, I know. I would have never thought. It’s not really “baby gear”, but just thought I would share.

What’s your favorite baby gear? Anything I am missing or should know about?

Monday Musings | On Motherhood

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As we approach Seton’s first birthday, I find myself reflecting on how motherhood has changed me.

The instant Seton was born, I didn’t feel the overwhelming sense of love that I had expected. I felt physical relief that labor was over. The doctor handed her to me and as she lay on my chest, I thought, “I can’t hold her.” I was shaking, slightly terrified at the experience of labor and numb to any emotion that may be deemed maternal.

Davey recognized I {didn’t want} to hold her –I feel so weird writing that — and he willingly scooped her up and walked around the hospital room with her.

I remember watching him thinking, “how is he already this good? How does he already love her?” I had never seen him hold a baby before. It looked as if he had been holding her his whole life. She fit perfectly into his arms. I was jealous of my husband who seemed to be feeling everything I wanted to feel.

The one emotion I remember strongly was the new sense of responsibility. I knew I had to keep her alive. A nurse told me that Seton had some fluid in her lungs because she was coughing it up. It was really not a big deal, but I became paranoid about watching to make sure she was breathing. So I didn’t take my eyes off of her that first day. Looking back, I guess I was thinking that the least I could do (if I couldn’t love her) was make sure she kept breathing.

Exhaustion has a weird power over a human, and the more I watched Seton’s small chest rise and fall as she lay in her bassinet, the more I felt pulled toward sleep. She was born at 3:21am and as the next night approached I felt I couldn’t even watch her to make sure she stay alive.

I asked them to keep her in the nursery that night.

I felt so ashamed.

I am a rational and loving person, I kept telling myself. I will grow to love her.

And I did.

After the first week at home, I told Davey, “I can’t believe it, but I love her.”

He thought it sounded funny because he giggled and said, “of course you do.”

And now, almost a year later, I am completely shocked by how much I love her. I’m even more shocked that the love does not stop growing.

My life used to be my life. Every decision I made was based on what would make me the happiest.

What job makes me happy? Which friends make me happy? Which TV show make me happy? What book should I read to make me happy?

Now, each and every decision I make, I make for Seton. If I seek happiness for myself, it’s because I want to radiate joy to her.

In many ways, I have matured. I imagine other people reach this maturity sooner in life than I did. I used to care so much about what other people think.

I used to get upset that old ladies in the grocery store would criticize me for not having socks on Seton.

But, now? I don’t care what they think. I know she pulls her socks off.

I used to care about upsetting people in church because Seton is a distraction.

But, now? I don’t care what they think. I know it’s more important for me to bring Seton to church than it is to worry about other people being distracted.

I used to feel so guilty about leaving work in time to pick Seton up from daycare.

But, now? I don’t care what anyone thinks. I know it’s more important that I spend one more waking hour with my daughter than finish discharge summaries or return a phone call from a patient I’ve already spoken to twice about confirming his appointment.

It took becoming a mother for me to fully dissociate myself from others’ concerns and criticisms.

It’s only been one year, and I feel like the person I am and the direction my life is going has completely changed.

And I love it.

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Friday Favorites | Parenting Resources

Who says there is no instruction manual for parenting!?

There’s Google!

Google has been my bff over the past year. An expert parent = an expert googler, right? (um, okay Kaylee)

I compiled some of my favorite parenting resources I have acquired over the past year and thought I would share. It may come as no surprise that the list includes websites by fellow therapists. Occupational, speech, and physical therapists are such incredible resources for pediatric development.

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Mama OT: a mom and occupational therapist who gives great play ideas, tummy time ideas, and offers a rough sketch of developmental milestones that should be encouraged in young children. I think I may have read all her posts directed toward babies 0-12 months and have used all her advice! I can’t wait to try out some of her ideas for older children one day.

Pink Oatmeal: I struck a gold mine when I stumbled upon Pink Oatmeal! A mother and physical therapist explores developmental milestones and offers advice as well as education about the importance of each milestone.

The Inspired Treehouse: Three therapists (therapy is where it’s at) with more play ideas for kids and babies!

Seton’s first few crawls:

You Kid’s Table: I go to this site once a month to check in on the next food/drinking thing to try with Seton. If it weren’t for this website, I would have never thought to start offering Seton a straw by 8 months (which she successfully uses now!) or finger foods at 7 months. I knew absolutely NOTHING about feeding a baby until I stumbled upon this website.

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Here are some of the best toys I have used with Seton over the past year that encouraged her development:

This ball helped Seton bring her hands to midline in the early months because she could easily grasp it. It also taught her about back and forth motions.

Seton first rolled to her side when she was in this play gym because she was looking at all the toys hanging off to the side. It encourages rolling, reaching, and hand-eye coordination.

A push toy encouraged both crawling and walking for Seton. For crawling development, Seton went from laying on her belly and reaching for the buttons/knobs to coming to all fours and reaching for the buttons/knobs. She learned how to be on all four and reach forward. Once she could pull to stand, she started pushing it around the house.

She loves to crash down the blocks. She hasn’t yet learned how to stack them, but she is slowly starting to understand. When we play with blocks, I always count them and say the colors out loud to help her make some associations.

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We used a boppy to help her learn to sit independently. We also used it a lot for tummy time since she could lay over it and look down at toys/books. Obviously, I use it for nursing, too. A must have!

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This toy house has been a favorite of Seton’s since she got it for Christmas. Each month, she discovers something new about it and has learned how to open/close the door, turn on the light, open the window, and spin the sun/moon.

Her favorite teether was this banana baby toothbrush we got from my brother and sister-in-law. Their daughter loved it, too. The first time Seton was quiet throughout the one hour church service was when she was gnawing on this teether.

But anyone who has had a kid can tell you THE KID’S favorite toys weren’t intended to be toys at all. 😉

The DVDs…

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The phone…

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The dirty laundry…

the glasses…

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the boxes..

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the stairs…

the cupboards…

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Anything is a toy to a child. :)

Please comment below and share YOUR favorite parenting resources! I love learning new things and feel so fortunate we have so much information available to us.

Where we have found peace

This is the first time I have sat down — alone, just to sit — since my last blog post.

Life has been cray to the zee.

But oh so wonderful.

April 7, we bought a house.

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Then we started packing…

On April 14, my mom came to town to stay for a week and watch Seton while Davey and I fixed up the house (when we weren’t working).

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We put her to work during Seton’s naps! (aren’t we great hosts?)

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Painting date nights are healthy for a marriage. 😉

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We spent a lot of time at Ikea.

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April 21, Grandma left, and Seton cried. I cried inside because omghowamigoingtofixthehousewithaninemonthold.

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But it was starting to come together…

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On April 24, Davey and I decided to not stress for 2 hours and watch a movie together because we wanted to enjoy the last night in our rental house. Nostalgia kicked in and it kicked hard. We regretted that immediately the next day when nothing was really packed. (but not really–I wouldn’t change that night for anything)

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April 25, we moved into the house (I also worked that day per dumb life decisions).

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April 28, Seton started at a new daycare!

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…and started wearing shoes

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…and taking steps

May 2, Seton and I took had an adventure to St. Louis.

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We also took a few/many/a million trips to Menards where Seton was mistaken for a boy day after day despite me adding more and more pink to her wardrobe each visit.

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On May 7, our front door *broke* (aka Davey played around with the locks and got them stuck), so Seton and I were locked out at the convenient hour of hunger, nap time, diaper change time, and a thunderstorm.

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On May 8, Davey went bowling with the fellas so I had a night to walk around the house and finish all the random projects he started.

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Last night, after living here 2 weeks, I unpacked our bedroom.

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And this morning, Grandpa stopped by the house during his layover!

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And here I am today. Sitting.

I’ve decided that I won’t ever respond to someone with a quick, “busy!” when asked how I am doing. Life is busy, and in our busy-ness, there is peace. The monotony of painting poured prayers on my heart of hope in the future. The lifting/carrying of boxes showed me how blessed I am for my physical abilities. The unpacking of things that have been packed for three weeks reminded me that what I really need cannot be packed in a box. It’s been an amazing month of personal growth and familial growth as Davey and I worked toward the common good of creating a home.

Seton’s Nursery

I never really understood what people meant when they asked me, “What’s the theme of your wedding?”

Um, marriage.

Or, “What’s the theme of your nursery?”

Um, baby.

Maybe it’s my dominant left hemisphere, but I am not one to put a lot of time into decorations and themes. And much to my dismay, I did not go through that nesting phase everyone talks about. I was hoping to accomplish a lot during that time.

So Seton’s nursery is really just bits and pieces of baby things. I wasn’t going to document it because it’s really nothing special. But as we get closer to buying a house, I realized I wanted to remember Seton’s first room and where I spent so much time nursing her, changing her, cuddling her.

So here is Seton’s baby themed nursery!

We went to Goodwill and picked up a copy of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We put the pages in $1 frames and voila. A decoration!

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I found her hamper on sale at a fabric store, and the diaper genie was a gift (thanks coworkers). Maaaaybe my favorite thing about her room is that fan that comes in handy when Davey lets out yelps or sings loudly from the kitchen (he does it a lot). That fan has saved Davey from some of my motherly rage.

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We found her dressers at Le Good de Will as well for the low price of $10. I took off the ugly orange knobs they came with and replaced them with new knobs from Ace. I wanted a short dresser that could double as a changing table.

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Seton’s piggy bank was a gift (thanks Chad and Keriann), and such a cute one. It says her name on the side.

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Her rocking chair that houses her furry friends was also a gift (thanks Nora!)–I can’t wait until she is older and sits on it to read!

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Her book basket is a sewing basket that was used by my great grandmother. The majority of her books were from my cousin (thanks Kara) who is a teacher! Such an awesome gift.

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Another amazing gift (thanks Joe and Kathi!) is this rocking bear (it’s a bear, right? I’m not good with animals). For a long time Seton would giggle from her changing station, and I couldn’t figure out what she was laughing at. She was looking at this bear! She gets a kick out of it every day.

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Her night light (thanks Megan!) has saved me from many stubbed toes in the wee hours of the morning. I love that it’s so cute and personalized!

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I was counting on the nesting phase for motivation to make a mobile for Seton, but since that never happened she stares at a blank wall and a crucifix which was a wedding gift (thanks Caris and Rob!). I love walking in after her naps and see her staring at our Lord.

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And since I am Mother Paranoia about SIDs, we never put cute bumper pads or pillows in the crib. Feel free to pin that to Pinterest.

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I also ignored everyone who told me a rocking chair was a must-have and kept Davey’s futon (that somehow managed to make it on the moving truck) for a nursing spot and guest bed. I can’t believe I am saying this, but…Davey, you were right. I am glad we kept it. It’s a great nursing spot. So great in fact, I have fallen asleep there myself.

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And the view that I have stared at countless times over the past 6 months…

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Maybe not Pinterest-worthy, but I love her room and will miss it when we move.

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On being a working {out of the home} mom

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I’ve been back to work for three weeks, and I still get asked everyday if I miss my daughter. The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is that yes, leaving my three month child for 8+ hours each day is the most unnatural feeling in the world. I went from having her literally feeding off my body to leaving her during her most awake and alert times of the day. She was beginning to see me as the person to calm her when she was sad, make her feel comfortable when she needed a diaper change, and feed her when she was hungry. I was just beginning to feel more like a mom and less like a lump of a postpartum zombie.

I miss her terribly every minute I am away from her, but there are a lot of good things about our “situation” (I guess we can call it that). Here are some pros and cons:

–CON: Every time I pick her up after work she is sitting in some kind of device. A swing, a rock ‘n play, a bumbo.

— PRO: She is constantly surrounded by other kids who have crawled up to her. They’re usually babbling, smiling, touching her toes. She loves it.

–CON: She smells like her daycare teacher every night. I guess this is somewhat of a pro, since her teacher smells good, but we don’t want our baby smelling like another woman, do we?

–CON: The cost. It’s insane.

–MAJOR CON: She is exhausted every evening. I bring her home, feed her, and she falls asleep for an hour. This equates to getting an hour of time each day with her when she is awake.

–MAJOR PRO: She is surrounded by toys toys toys. Her environment is so stimulating and mentally enriching.

–PRO: Her teacher does things with her I would never have thought to do, like put her foot prints on a keepsake paper in the colors of candy corn for Halloween.

–PRO: I’ve grown to LOVE breastfeeding. I actually look forward to waking up in the morning (gasp, I know. ME?) to feed her, and I get excited for sitting down with her every evening after our busy days. It’s one thing that only I can offer her. I think I appreciate it so much more now that we spend time apart.

And with being back at work:

–PRO: Three times a day I get to sit in a closet to pump breast milk…which means three times a day I get complete silence to do paperwork. This helps sooo much with time management. I get out of work closer to “on time” than ever before.

–CON: Three times a day, I sit in a closet.

–PRO: I LOVE my job. It’s great to be back with patients. It’s rewarding to make people feel better every day. I missed it when I was away, and it feels good using my skills again.

–CON: That guilty feeling I get from leaving my daughter every day and actually enjoying myself.

–PRO: Money.

So this is where our little family is right now, and it is good. As good as the “situation” can be.

Davey’s first diaper change

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While I was uploading videos onto my computer from this weekend (a process that has now taken over 24 hours…), I found this little gem….Davey’s first diaper change caught on camera just hours after Seton was born. At the time, we didn’t realize the diaper would have a blue line if it was wet. In my post labor exhaustion, I told Davey to “just touch it” to see if it was wet bahahahahaha

Our daughter was born

Seton

Our beautiful daughter was born on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 3:21am.

And just like that, our lives have changed.

Seton Grace Hiatt was named after St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint. Our precious girl has already been blessed with so many graces. There were candles lit for her in Rome during our pregnancy, my sister was saying the rosary for her during her birth, and Davey and I were able to attend mass just before going to the hospital. I was surprisingly able to pay attention to the homily through nine contractions. :) I loved that I could share the last Eucharist with her before her birth.

I’ll spare the gory details of laboring, but I can’t type this post without advising you to go hug your mothers. Seriously.

Here is our precious baby’s first day in the world: