Stories and thoughts from day to day life in the Bullard Family

Consumed October 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — parentsong @ 12:26 am
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Here’s just a quicky post from my phone. I have so many posts up my sleeve, but absolutely zero time to sit down, upload photos and write about it. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the breathing in and out of being completely consumed with life.

We are busy putting in a mini- library (a.k.a. bookshelves), trying to put some kind of order in our house, I’m almost finished making my sister’s baby gift (after many many hours, didn’t make it for the shower in time), and keeping the children alive and well (job number one).


The weather has been fantastic (finally stopped raining), so we have been outside every chance we get. I drew B a little play ground in our parking lot. Our neighbors especially like the hopscotch. We’ve been to the farm and nature walks often.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to sit down and share soon!



Parenting Without a Voice (Literally) May 28, 2011

Filed under: Parenting,Self-care — parentsong @ 10:26 pm
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As much as singers rely on their voice to accomplish what they set out to do everyday, so do parents. This is the second time since Gabriel was born (so that was three months ago) that I have lost my voice. Right now I am on day five. It makes things a bit more challenging.

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Here are some features of parenting without a voice:

No singing. This is very difficult because I use songs to cue so many things during the day (getting ready to eat, blessing the food, washing hands, tummy time, and basically entertaining my children). I can still whistle, though! It’s amazing that just whistling works for some of these transitional times.

Minimal story time. By the end of even the shortest stories, my voice is so labored, I can barely get the words out. And forget making different voices for characters, they all sound like Patty and Selma Bouvier, the chain-smoking sisters of Marge Simpson.

No gentle directions. I sound like I am barking commands because when I try to tell my 2-year-old what to do, she can’t hear me (or she has engaged in selective hearing, which my raspy voice is powerless against).

No cooing cute baby sounds. I hope I have not traumatized our son by growling and roaring at him instead of speaking to him sweetly in my upper register. He seems to have a good sense of humor about it, though.

What’s a Mom to do?

And self care? I just read a post by a fellow music therapist who was recovering from laryngitis and blogged about how she accommodated her sessions to use less vocal-based activity. Believe me, I have relied on recorded material more this week than usual (we even allowed Briony to watch an entire Disney movie!) Of course, resting the voice is the best thing one can do. I try. But is there anything else?

I have given story time and bedtime over to my husband several times this week because he can still talk and sing. Thankfully he is happy to step in whenever I need it.

Of course, trying to stay hydrated helps, which I should be doing anyway, but the day can really get away from you! And in these days when sleep is but a blink of the eyes, it is difficult to make full recovery quickly.

So, for now we all must deal with Patty keeping us company until Erin returns.


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Gabriel’s First Five Days March 2, 2011

Filed under: Gabriel Stories — parentsong @ 9:56 pm
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As with many new additions, the first few days are always the most surreal. This thing is here that wasn’t before and everything has been a little different since then. I mean, life goes on and we try to keep things as normal as possible, but things are different. And exciting!

When Briony was born, it was my favorite story to tell. We were invited back to our Bradley class to share the story of her birth with the next class. It was so nice to share the story. Now we have Gabriel’s story. Hardly a typical birth story; and certainly one that Nick was not expecting (at least I don’t recall him brushing up on how to deliver a baby prior to the birth). It has taken me a few days just to process what happened. It was so fast and unexpected. During labor, I thought about getting the music out and filling the diffuser with my essential oils, but all I could do was tell Nick to keep talking to me. And then suddenly the baby was born.

Day One

At first he was so calm and sleepy; completely the opposite of Briony when she was first born. He nursed wonderfully and everything seemed way too easy. I was still feeling pretty good after such a short labor, and still pretty high on hormones. Poor guy was pretty beat-up from the fast birth. That must have also made him pretty exhausted.


Day Two

By day two he had caught the Bullard fever: strong-willed, vocal and not afraid to tell us how he was feeling. It became a non-stop nursing marathon and suddenly I felt very exhausted. Having not slept much was also starting to wear on us. We still didn’t have a name, so I wasn’t calling him anything.

Day Three

Day three was more of the same, except that we got news at the doctor visit that he had very high levels of bilirubin and would have to be tested. You can catch that exciting story on another post, William Rubin.

Day Four

On day four, we finally decided on a name, which was such a relief. I could finally call him something that was going to stick!  I was finally getting into the nursing schedule (being non-stop), though now that I had milk, it was a constant dance between nursing and changing these itty bitty diapers and little time for sleep. For some reason, it wasn’t all that stressful. Perhaps because we had already been through it before and when sleep deprivation and exhaustion is expected, it is easier to cope with.

Day Five

Day five leaves me in a state of complete happiness. First of all, I have been able to rest, which has been key. Nick has really taken over running the house and looking after Briony. He offers full service meals in bed and special treats like fresh, toasty bread smothered in Nutella. Briony pops in frequently, excited to see “brother baby.” She’s still working on his name, which usually comes out like “Gagabul” or  “Bowaga.” It is so fun to see how she has really welcomed him.