Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

A while back I was tagged by Vick for a meme. I am supposed to post 7 weird things about myself.

Mercy, only 7?

Actually, I have been thinking about it for a while and I am not sure if the problem is narrowing it down, or coming up with 7 things to share.

I mean, I don't want you all to stop reading!

Because I am so completely normal.

eh hem.

Anyway.... I think I may be able to finally possibly participate and list out my silly little quirks. I mean really, they are not even worth mentioning. Simple and small and not even really that weird. Absurdly normal if you ask me.

So here they are in no particular order.

  1. I have a jukebox in my head. No, not a juice box, a JUKEBOX. As in music? No seriously. I do. There is a song playing in my head 24/7. Many times I will hold on to a song for days - D A Y S!!! until I am absolutely, positively sick and tired of the song and have absolutely no clue as to why it is playing over and over and over in my head. It drives me insane at times. Currently the song is this: I think I have posted that one before, but the incredibly fabulous musicians at our church performed it last Sunday and I have been replaying it constantly ever since. It is a strange thing to wake up at 3 AM to a baby crying and a gospel chorus singing "It makes me want to SHOUT! Hallelujah, thank you Jesus..." :) Of course it is much better than what was playing for days on end before Sunday...ACK! I can't remember it now, but it was Willie Nelson singing about bourbon - and no, it wasn't Whisky River.... anyway, music in my head. Always.


  2. I am basically a chronic hand washer. I am constantly washing my hands throughout the day and it is especially bad when I am cooking.


  3. I am fairly superstitious. Not in a step-on-a-crack sort of way, but more in a words spoken may come to fruition sort of way. There are certain things I simply won't talk about and certain common expressions I won't say. I don't like it when others talk about certain things. I would get more specific, but the fact that I am typing this out, however cryptic, is freaking me out a little.


  4. I am also a bit of a germaphobe (thus the hand washing). You would think this would make me a better housekeeper - but sadly for some reason it doesn't work that way. I am particularly peculiar about shoes and floors. I don't often sit on people's floors and in my house, shoes are rarely ever allowed to be anywhere but on the floor. Case in point, it drives me absolutely batty that we keep Kiddo's shoes on top of his dresser. That dresser top is forever tainted in my eyes. I will never set anything other than shoes on it again. Hubby committed the most heinous of foul moves a while back when he set his shoes ON MY KITCHEN COUNTER!!! I was so completely grossed out that even after cleaning it several times over (and by several I mean about 20 or 30 times) with bleach, I still wouldn't use that part of the counter for a few weeks. I just couldn't do it. I am ok with it now, but for a while there I thought we might have to replace the counter top.


  5. I do not eat or drink anything with artificial sweetener in it (if I know it's there). I think aspartame and sucrolose are the absolute worst things you can put in your body. I can taste them almost every time. I bought a box of cereal when I was pregnant that had sucrolose and I had to throw the whole box away. I refuse to give my child anything "lite" or diet. I would rather him have the sugar than the chemicals. This puts me in a tough spot sometimes because people think that when something is "diet" or sugar free that it is better for you. I just don't believe that and I would rather eat full fat and sugared things in moderation than put all sorts of unknown chemicals in my body. I am sure that there is someone out there that will try to convince me otherwise, but I'm not changing my mind on this one. Likewise, when I cook, I use real butter. So shoot me.

  6. Hubby says I should include in this that one of my favorite dishes to make is Spinach and Eggs. It is a dish my mom used to make and has always been one of my favorites. Basically you put a can of spinach (drained) and four slightly beaten eggs in a skillet and mix it all up. Cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping the pan until it scrambles like scrambled eggs. Season with Lawry's Seasoned Salt. This is a wonderful finger food for small children as well. I don't know how this makes me weird, but Hubby said to include it so there you have it.

  7. I don't know what to put for the last one. I could tell you that I learned how to play pool (billiards) at 3 years old, I pick my kids noses, that I am very particular about what one can put in my kitchen sink (no glasses please) or that it completely irks me when someone isn't kind enough to hold a door open for a mom with a stroller...those things don't make me weird I think. [except maybe the nose picking]

  8. Here's one. A bonus for you... When Hubby and I lived in Phoenix I did a modeling gig for an ad that was published in a very obscure magazine. In the ad I am holding a sign up in front of me and it kind of looks like I might be um, ah, well, nekkid behind the sign. I assure you, I was not. I was wearing a strapless top and a skirt. Funny thing about that shoot - it happened on a day that Hubby was back in Texas visiting family. After the shoot I met up with an old professor of mine and we attended a concert on the ASU campus that was premiering one of his compositions. We went out to eat after and I didn't get home until very, very late that night. My cell phone had died (unknown to me) and apparently Hubby was trying to get a hold of me the entire time to make sure I was ok after the shoot. (It was at some guy's house, and though I knew the photographer [a woman I worked with] it was still kind of a weird situation and Hubby just wanted to make sure I was ok.) So Hubby had been calling me and leaving messages every 10 minutes or so all night and I had no clue until I came in at 2 or 3 AM. Hubby was a wreck; ready to hop on a plane back to Phoenix and find me - poor guy, I scared him to death. Another funny thing about that shoot - I had a makeup artist do my hair and makeup and I was really, really made up. In order to meet up with my old prof in time I couldn't go home and clean up. So I was in my street clothes with this big bouffant hair-do and 4 pounds of makeup on my face. I looked like a $2 - well, you know. Anyway, I think my old prof got a kick out of it. That whole experience was weird, so I guess it qualifies.

Ok, so there are my 7 - er, rather 8 things. I am also supposed to include a self portrait. Since these days I look like doggy doo - I will leave you with this instead.


And look it's in pewter!! ;)

I officially tag anyone who wants to participate.

Until,

D :)

We Love to Read

As you may or may not know, I read a lot of blogs. A Lot. I am online in one way or another for most of every day, and the majority of what I do is read. Some people read books, I read blogs, online news and message boards.

I think the reason I like blogs so much is because I just don't have the time to sit down for hours at a time and read something. And I love to read - so when I pick up a book I hate to put it down until I finish it. Suffice it to say I don't read books very often. But I can get into a blog because, like a good book, most of them have a "story". But blogs are broken down into manageable snippets; I guess like short stories. When I finish an entry I feel complete until the next "chapter". And, blogs being mostly personal, hold my interest much better than a typical novel.

My blog roll in the sidebar is pretty long, and I typically visit about 80% of what's listed there every day. Others I read about once a week and a few about once a month (all based on how often the author posts). I love blogs that post every day - I tend to go to those first thing in the morning and then cruise through the rest of the list throughout the day.

Lately I have come across some brilliant and touching posts, like the one I linked to in my Saturday entry. I need to share a couple more with you.

Jenni over at One Thing (check out her new blog home!) posted this entry a couple of days ago. I read it this afternoon and about bawled my eyes out. She just gave birth to her 12th child (a few days after Port was born) and is in true baby bliss right now.

One of my favorite blogs that I tend to forget about is Mental Tesserae, authored by Julie. I say I tend to forget about it because she kind of posts in spurts. I love, love her writing and her insight and she often inspires me. She guest posted on another blog last week and I ventured over to take a peek. As usual, she wrote so eloquently that I just had to share.

I know that my grammar is atrocious and that my writing style is poor, but I hope that when people read my blog, they get as much out of it as I get out of my daily reads.

I hope you enjoy the links. More to come later.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Talk

What a beautiful post. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing the link.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Started on Saturday, Finished on Monday:


So what can I say? I am at a loss with Kiddo right now. He is just, well, at a stage that is so very frustrating for both of us. He can communicate, but he still doesn't understand some things that really make it difficult to have conversations with him.

Prime example: today (Monday), well actually for the past few days he has been asking me for an Incredibles book for his LeapPad system. His way of asking is "Mommy can I play my Incredibles book for my LeapPad?" He doesn't have the Incredibles book, so I have to translate that into him asking me to purchase it for him. I told him we would have to look for it at the store, so now he is asking me over and over if we can go to WalMart - so we can look for his Incredibles book. *sigh*

Getting out anywhere these days usually takes me a day or two - so though I was planning on going to WalMart today, it just didn't happen. I decided to look online for the book, just to see if it was even in stores like WM or Target, and from what I can tell it is not. Kiddo caught me looking online and when I found the book on the LeapFrog website (on clearance) he got all excited. I also found it on Amazon, and decided it was such a good price that I should order it. So Kiddo was asking me why I was looking at it and I told him that I couldn't find it in the stores and that most likely we would have to order it on the computer.

That really didn't register with him, so I said if I ordered it on the computer it would come in the mail.

I should really learn to keep my mouth shut.

He ran into his room and put on his shoes. You know where this is going don't you?

"Mommy let's go check the mail and get my Incredibles book!" (all smiles and excitement)

Oh dear Lord. What have I done?

Now, try explaining to the 3 year old that you haven't actually ordered the book yet, and even if you did it would take a few days to come in the mail and then try not to lose your temper while listening to said 3 year old whine and fake cry and also pitifully real cry for the next couple of hours about a book that you are really regretting ever laying eyes on, and kicking yourself for ever mentioning the possibility of ordering it on line.

And part of you wants to go ahead and order it because you know this will be an ongoing thing for the next month and then the other part of you wants to never order it just out of spite.

Geeze I am a fabulous parent, aren't I?

Now he is stuck on Tuesday for some reason - I NEVER said it would be here Tuesday; where does he dream up this stuff???

So much for the silly post I wanted to make today.

Until,
D :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Something To Talk About

It's Milestone Friday!


What, you didn't get the memo?


Well, let me tell you what's going on here today. Today, Port SMILED! Kiddo, Port and I were all sitting on my bed and I was holding Port up where he was facing Kiddo. We were talking about migrating to the front of the house and fixing lunch and my stomach growled. I asked Kiddo if he heard it and then I said "my tummy said ggrrraooowwwwwww!". Kiddo started to giggle hysterically and I looked down and Port was looking at Kiddo with this huge smile on his face!

Ok, I am a bit disappointed that his first smile wasn't directed at me, but oh well...


Also today....

He SPOKE!


I put him down on a play mat and he stared at this picture of a rabbit for the longest time. The next thing I knew, these sweet little coos started coming out of his mouth! He talked to that rabbit for 5 minutes! Kiddo and I just stared at him and giggled. It was adorable!


He is growing up so fast. I can't believe it.


In other news, we had a lovely sleepless night last night. Today hasn't been very nap filled either. I certainly hope he is saving it all up for tonight. Thank goodness it is Friday, because I have a suspicion that Hubby is going to get an early morning rib poking while he's handed a bottle of milk and told to get out of the room! I am a mess today.


I do believe Port is having a growth spurt. Suddenly I cannot keep up with the milk production.


And speaking of milk production...


Parents of mine and Hubby's - you may want to stop here. I am about to talk about my bOobIeS. I am so sorry for any embarrassment this may cause you. :)


What I have learned from pumping 6+ times a day:

  1. I hate pumping

  2. Boobies are a miraculous creation

  3. Boobies hate it when you attach machines to them and extract their contents (at least mine do)

  4. I have a new respect for moms that work outside the home and have to pump at work. I simply cannot imagine doing this anywhere other than my house

  5. Just when I think I simply cannot pump any more out in a session, all I have to do is mash on certain parts of my breast and I can get another half ounce out (at least). If I were actually breastfeeding, I never would have known this.

  6. Just when I think I simply cannot pump any more out in a session, all I have to do is pretend I am going to stop and suddenly they (the boobies) start producing again.

  7. Just when I think I am done, I realize it is time to pump again.

  8. Hooking up the pump has magical power - suddenly everyone else in the house needs something.

  9. Just when I think I am too sore to pump, I somehow manage to do it anyway.

  10. After all is said and done, I may have to consider buying myself a new pair (if you know what I mean. lol!). [sing with me now, swing low, sweet cha-ri-o-ot!]

I know there is more, but I just had to get that out. It is a love/hate relationship I have with my breasts right now. I love the fact that I am feeding my child 90% of his nourishment, but at the same time I hate the time, pain and inconvenience of it all. I was hoping it would get easier, but so far I am not seeing it. Maybe someone who has BTDT can enlighten and encourage me. Do you ever get used to it? Does it ever get easier? Do I need a different pump?


Sorry that last question was kind of out there. I ask it though, because the pump I have is kind of, well, ancient by pump standards and I am only able to pump one side at a time (it simply isn't strong enough to do both at the same time). I am thinking that things would go much smoother and much more quickly if I could pump both sides at once. Perhaps I should look into getting a hospital grade pump or something. It might be worth it for my sanity.

Anyway, that is it for today. Stay tuned for more milestones - I am sure that now that the ball is rolling, they will be coming far to quickly for my liking. ;)

Until,
D :)

3 Weeks

Three Weeks Old
...and just because it was Thursday, Mr. Incredible stopped by.

What? You don't do Costume Thursday at your house??

Until,

D ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All By Myself

I'm here! I really am - sorry to leave you all while I was in such a pitiful state. Thank you for the concern. Really, I am just going through the typical ups and downs that come with a new baby; and I know many of you out there can relate.

Thankfully I have wonderful friends that check up on me and offer to help. And well, there is always Hubby here that I can abuse. ;)

I think Saturday's all day wakefulness was a fluke. Actually, I think Port is on a sort of 36 hour schedule, rather than the 24 hour schedule the rest of us follow. We kind of have an every other day/night thing going on here. Sunday night he went down around 11:30 and slept till 4:30, then was up for about 30 minutes before going back down for another 3 1/2 hour stretch. I didn't have to put him in bed with me at all, which was so nice. Last night however, he was down at 11:30, up at 1:30 for a while, in he bed with me for a couple of hours, up again for a while, in the bed, in the bassinet, etc. etc. He slept all day yesterday though, so I was not too surprised. Today he has been awake more often than not, so I am hoping that we all sleep well tonight.

So I am right now just getting by. Those of you with kids know what I mean, I am not doing anything extra; we are purely on survival mode. I cannot say I am getting a shower every day, I cannot say we are really eating well because cooking is quite the chore, and I can say that it has been days since I have left the house. Kiddo has watched far too much tv and eaten far too much junk - but that is just what we are having to do to survive right now. About the only thing I am keeping up on, again out of pure survival, is the laundry.

Mercy, I'd forgotten how much laundry one little 10 pound person can produce! And of course, little Port has that perfect baby timing - having a blow out, bomb everything within a 3 foot radius poopy diaper immediately after I have washed all his diapers, clothes and blankets; peeing on me immediately after a very rare, very precious shower. *sigh*

I am doing more laundry now than I thought possible for a family of 3 1/2, and the "1/2" is the one producing the most!

Anyway, my mental state fluctuates, but over all I am ok.

I think I would actually be doing better if I had something else I had to do - for instance, when Port has a doctor's appointment, it is much easier to get everyone ready and out of the house than if I just need to go to the grocery store. When there is a time obligation I am more likely to have it together.

I am looking forward to getting back into doing photo shoots. Call me! ;)

Port is still wonderful; he is still relatively quiet, but has found his scream when he feels he needs it. He is good about sleeping most anywhere, and during awake times does a lot of staring out the windows of the house. He is still getting hiccups 4 or 5 times a day (as he did in the womb). We haven't had much eye contact yet, he looks around us quite a bit and since feeding isn't always that held in the arms gazing into one another's eyes kind of experience, I eagerly anticipate the time that he starts to smile. I think Kiddo smiled pretty early on, but he and I had a lot more "face time". Poor Port unfortunately is subjected to being laid down on a pillow and having his bottle held by one hand while my other hand is doing something else; holding my own food, holding a pump, etc.

I have developed some sort of weird rash on my chest and neck. Not sure what that is all about. Nothing has changed, but there it is.

Kiddo is challenging at best. He has his sweet moments, but for the most part he is pushing the limits on everything, arguing at everything that comes out of our mouths (whether good or bad) and just being awnry in general. I am too tired to fight him, so he gets a lot of time outs throughout the day. I am having to rethink everything I do with him; most of the time what I need to do goes against every reaction I have. Sunday morning, he came into our room and Port was in the bed with us. Kiddo wanted to "lay next to baby brother" so I scooted us all over a bit to make room. When Kiddo climbed in the bed, he laid down kind of high up on the pillow, and was dangerously close to Port so that I was fearful that he would get hit in the head with an elbow or knee. I was trying to get Kiddo to scoot down a bit and sure enough he whacked Port in the head. My reaction was to get upset, which I sort of did, but it was an accident and Kiddo really was just trying to be sweet and cuddly with his brother. As with every time we say anything to him about being gentle with Port, Kiddo got his feelings hurt at my reaction and started to shrink out of the room, rejected. Thankfully I thought fast and jumped out of bed, scooped Kiddo up and carried him out to the living room. He and I sat on the couch and cuddled for a long time, just like we used to do every day before Port was born. It was such a nice moment for us - I miss those morning cuddles soooooo much.

Kiddo used to greet me every morning with "Good morning Mommy!". This morning was the first time I've heard those sweet words since Port was born. Most mornings now are begun with crying or whining.

My back has been bothering me again. Time to do some yoga I guess.

Well, I think my brain is fried. Hubby is going to be out late, late tonight so I have a lot to do on my own before we can all call it a day. Wish me luck getting Kiddo's bath and whatnot coordinated by myself. ugh.

If I regenerate a brain cell I'll write more later.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bounce

Oh Boy...

I hope this isn't the start of something. Please say it's a fluke, or the result of something I ate. Please tell me that is what it is.

Port has been awake pretty much all day today. He woke up at 9:30 and has only slept for 10 minutes here and there ever since. He is acting like he has a tummy ache - lots of squirming and red, contorted faces, but I am starting to remember exactly what his big brother did to me at this age.

Oh Lordy, I don't know if I can do this again.

With Kiddo - sometimes the only way to get him settled down was to do this ridiculous exaggerated bouncy dance, complete with deep knee bends and squats. He could sleep on my chest while I did that dance for as long as my legs would hold out. It was a great workout; toned my legs up quick - but well, it was not exactly how I wanted to spend my hours.

I found myself doing that dance a minute ago. And when I realized it, I promptly put Port in his bassinet. He slept for about 3 minutes.

*sigh*

This cannot be happening again.

Until,
D :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm Sensitive

Sleep deprived ramblings...



I think a lot (not all I realize) of new mommies must get PPD simply due to sleep deprivation. I am so sad today. Not sad in the "I'm gonna jump out the window" kind of way, but sad in the "I really just want to close my eyes and sleep for a long, long time because I have been sitting here for hours waiting for the baby to wake up so we can go to the store but I don't even know how I am going to get two kids in and out of the car without someone getting run over and by the time to baby wakes up to eat again it will be time to pump but we are out of vital stuff and I desperately need bananas and why on earth do I need bananas when we are out of formula and the baby needs a sun hat but it isn't really important because we never get out of the house anyway because I can't figure out how to get 2 kids in and out of the car without someone getting run over or left behind, oh my gosh what if I forget one of them because I am really sleepy but I won't have any opportunity to get a nap because every time I lay down someone needs something and it is time to pump anyway......."



It's enough to drive someone insane.



My eyes are so tired; the lids are heavy. I just want to cry because it will make them feel better. But if I do that I can't pump any breast milk. Why is that? Is my hydration at such a fine balance that a few tears suck the fluid out of my breasts? Because I haven't had the opportunity to wash my makeup off each night, I now also have a lovely stye on my right eye. It is all puffy and itchy and painful. Joy.



The baby has been asleep in the car seat since noon. It is 3:45 now. Cripes, I am never going to get anywhere. By the time Hubby gets home it is too late and I can't go tomorrow either unless I want to take both kids along. Sunday is probably out too. It never ends around here.



******************************************



And on a totally unrelated, totally TMI note, why is my dog suddenly obsessed with mating with the neighbor dog?? First of all, my dog is FEMALE, and second, she's been fixed for over 4 years now. Why is she assuming the position on the neighbor dog today? I have broken them up twice. She tried to have a go at the cat the other day. Seriously.



Too many hormones in this house I think. Anyone need some? I'll divvy them up for you.



I have been yelling at everyone today. The dog, poor Kiddo (why can he not just pick something up without arguing with me or playing with every piece for 40 minutes before it goes in the bucket?), myself too [wake up you lunatic!] - I don't like yelling. It's not my thing.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



In response to some of the questions from yesterday:



Kiddo is handling things pretty well. He was super helpful at the beginning, but now has pretty much grown indifferent to being a helper when it comes to Port. He does seem to genuinely like him though, and likes to wrap his arms around him and tell him he loves him. When Port is awake, Kiddo laughs hysterically at the faces he makes and the things he does. On occasion Kiddo will get down and "be sad" for no obvious reason, and one time he told me he was mad at Port, but he didn't seem to know why. Kiddo has been taking a lot of his aggression out on me though, which just adds to my already ginormous guilt. Sometimes I feel like our bond is completely gone. He answers every question I ask with "no" and rebuffs every attempt I make at being fun or nice or sweet or cuddly or just normal. I can't have a conversation with him anymore without him yelling at me at some point or snapping back at me for no reason. It is hard for me to deal with. I feel like he blames me completely for disrupting his life. I have to say it has gotten somewhat better though now that we don't have visitors here giving him lots of extra attention. He has been much more pleasant the past few days. And I realize that all of this may not be because of Port, but also because Kiddo is three and that is just the phase of life that he is in. Too bad they are piled on top of each other.



We are using Enfamil formula. Thank you to those that asked. I really want to use the generic like we did with Kiddo, but the one time we tried it with Port he was miserable for several hours with gas and burping. Poor guy.



And yes, I have heard of and used breast shields. They were my nemesis when I tried to breastfeed Kiddo. They lowered my supply and Kiddo was so dependant on them that it was insane. I remember a few times we went out and I forgot the dang thing and I couldn't feed Kiddo because of it. I hated them. This time, I tried using it once or twice (even though I didn't want to) and Port couldn't latch to it either. I think it was too big for his little mouth. He really doesn't like opening up to take anything. I even have trouble sometimes getting the bottle to work. He will suck on the tip of the nipple until he gets good and hungry and then he will take it properly. I don't think natural breast feeding is in the cards for us. So I pump. and pump. and pump...



This is getting long. Time for pictures... this is nine days. He discovered side sleeping and took a 4 hour nap.
and this is 2 weeks old. He was not happy about being put in a sunny window. :)


I'm still working on the birth story when I can. I will get it on here soon.

Until,

D :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Everyday

Everyday I sit down to write a post and everyday I get sidetracked or distracted or called away.... I have decided that if I don't just do it, it will never get done. So, this may take me all day, but one handed, one fingered or one brain-celled I will get it done!

"Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go..."

That, my friends, is what my breast pump says to me. Over. And over. And over. For 30 minutes, about 6 times a day.

It haunts my dreams.

Sometimes, it makes me zone out to the point that I'm not sure if I fell asleep or was in a hypnotic trance. I am guessing the latter, because if I was actually getting naps 6 times a day I wouldn't have such an aversion to pumping.

Port will not latch, and our financial situation and my desire to provide him with breast milk have forced me to pull double duty with regard to feedings. I must sit to pump and then sit again to feed. We are supplementing 1-2 bottles a day with formula, but that usually happens at night when I have given myself permission to not pump. Of course, waking up each morning wet and engorged are no fun either, but at least I am sleeping for one, sometimes two 3-4 hour stretches a night. If I had to add pumping to that, I wouldn't be sleeping at all.

But, suffice it to say, I feel like a dairy cow in a big milking plant. I have strong desires to stick my head in a big trough and graze for an hour or so while hooked up to the talking, suck machine.

I don't know how long I can keep this up. With Kiddo, I pumped as well, but it was only a couple of times a day. My supply was much less with him than it is this time. This time, I have to pump every two hours or so, or I am in pain. The good and the bad, all in one. It makes for short outings though, so you all might have to wait a little while longer for thank you cards and birthday gifts. Thank goodness for the internet and online bill pay - otherwise we might not have any communication with the outside world. Or electricity...

Port is doing great! His 2 week check was today, and he is already up to 9 pounds, 11 ounces. He is really starting to fill out in the face and arms. His legs are still long and lean though - not sure where he is hiding all that chunk. Though, those cheeks and that double chin tell no tales...

Yeah, my brain is fried. I'm not sure I'm making any sense.

He sleeps so well - 3-4 hour stretches at a time, and every day he is getting more alert and aware. He is so quiet; he just takes it all in and then fades off to sleep. When he gets in that good sleep, he sleeps hard. At night though, I have to get him really swaddled tight or really warm and toasty before he'll sleep in his bassinet. If I don't, he will grunt and squeak every 30 seconds or so, and keep me up listening to him. I am getting better about letting him work it out some; usually the grunting will stop after a few minutes with no help from me. I remember with Kiddo I was shooting out of bed with every noise; putting my hand on his chest every 5 minutes to check for breathing and to comfort his restlessness. Port doesn't require such diligence (or perhaps I am just not as paranoid this time around).

Port will still sleep on his back part of the night, but is really starting to prefer side sleeping. During the day he is an equal opportunity guy for sleep locations, spending just as much time in the swing as the car seat, the bassinet or my arms. I don't hold him near as much as I held Kiddo at this age, but again the situation is so different now. Plus, I am finding that if I don't utilize the long sleeps that I won't get anything done. The dishes, the laundry, going to the bathroom...

and pumping.

"Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go, Let us go..."

It is the cry of my poor, poor breasts. Sorry parents reading this. But the truth must be told!

The other day I was finishing up a pump session, and I mentioned something about my "poor boobies" to Hubby. [yes, I was whining, and yes, I say boobies] Kiddo was in the kitchen, riding his tricycle in circles and I really didn't think he was listening.

[never underestimate the hearing powers of a 3 year old]

I quietly said to Hubby (who consequently wasn't listening to me) that we needed to say a prayer for my boobies.

And this is what I heard come from the kitchen...

"Dear God, thank you for Mommy's boobies. She has to pump again. In Jesus name we pray, Amen."

Well, I did ask for prayer... ;)

Until,
D :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Where Have You Gone

*crickets*

I know, I know. I've been absent lately. Really, it's not my intention, I have just not been able to sit at the computer for very long for about the past week. I bet you all think it's because of the baby - but au contraire, it has been because of the visitors! lol!

We have had lots of people here; my parents, G&H, and Aunt A and Uncle W. I am so thankful for all the help and company they have provided. Because of the full house I really haven't had the opportunity to sit at the computer - much less blog. And by the time everyone is gone for the day I am too darn tired to string more than 2 or 3 words together.

But I am sure you can all forgive me, right?

Things have been great. Little Port is just the most wonderful baby. He has been quiet and easy and oh so sleepy. I know all of that can and probably will change, but for now he is a total dream. I know I haven't posted his birth story yet, but I can tell you that I have been working on it. It will be epically long - I am so sorry for that - but I want to remember every little detail. Forgive me for all the nonsense in between the action.

Port had his well baby check last Monday and he was already back up to his birth weight (well, shy one ounce). I had to stifle a laugh when the doctor told me I could stop waking him to eat every two hours.

Ahhh hahahahahahaaaaa! [ahhhhh, that feels better]

Honestly, unless there is a medical/health reason that a baby needs to eat every two hours on the clock, (for instance with Kiddo - his condition made his blood sugars all wonky for the first few days) then I am a total "feed on demand" kind of momma. We had to wake Kiddo up to feed in the NICU for 4 days and by the time we got him home he was basically trained to wake exactly by the clock. I believe that had a lot to do with his sleep issues. So this time, I have been determined to let sleeping babies sleep - and it seems to be working out well. So far Port has slept at least one 4-5 hour stretch per night, and it has made me a very happy momma.

He cluster feeds a lot. Usually several times a day for an hour or two; taking cat naps in between. Then he will settle into the swing or the bassinet for a 2-3 hour snooze. If I swaddle him tight at night he will sleep peacefully on his back in the bassinet - something Kiddo never did. I am so amazed. Kiddo ended up being a tummy sleeper and worried me for a long time.

Port is a super quiet guy, only getting riled up when he is cold or unhappy about a diaper change. He makes the same cooing noises Kiddo made when taking a bottle, and the more I look at him the more I realize that he and Kiddo are almost spitting images of each other. I will have to dig up some early Kiddo pictures for you all to compare.

If you looked at the pictures I posted, I'm sure you noticed the spots on Port's face. He was, in fact, born with Neonatal Lupus, just like his brother. Thankfully unlike his brother though, Port is in much better condition and has nothing more than the spots on his face. Those will heal and be barely visible as he grows up. We are so thankful that God spared this little one all the trauma that we and the Kiddo had to suffer through this condition. I know that if I hadn't had Port when I did, he may have been the same if not worse off than Kiddo was.

There is so much more to talk about, but once again it is now late in the evening and my body and mind are beginning to close up shop for the night. I must get back to the cuddly squishiness that is my baby and call it a night. I will post more when I can.

Until,
D :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

In Pictures

Just a few moments old and not too happy! A minute later - my new baby burrito.
G&H with the new guy.
The longest, narrowest baby foot I've ever seen.
Old lady fingers!My helpful guy.Awwwww!
Proud big brother!Story to come...
Until,
D:)




Saturday, April 05, 2008

About a Boy

Ok, where was I?



Heh, I guess my body has a thing for Thursdays. Both my children were born on Thursday.



My children. Wow, that sounds strange. I can't believe I have more than one child.



So after a very disappointing doctor's visit Wednesday morning (no change after having pretty steady contractions for about 8 hours), I stopped at Jack-n-the Box on the way home. A big, greasy cheeseburger and a chocolate shake seemed like the perfect thing to cure my frustration, at least for a little while (thanks Julia!;)). I was sitting in the drive thru line on the phone with a friend telling her that my contractions had all but stopped when I was hit with a big one. I had several more in line that were about 2 minutes apart. Then nothing.


I made it home and tried to take a nap, but Kiddo wasn’t letting me do it. He was more interested in bouncing on my belly. I pulled out my blessings book and read through each one slowly, letting the words absorb into my head. It was so neat seeing each person’s entry; the handwriting or the special paper or the decoration really brought special meaning to each blessing. I held the necklace in my hands, ran my fingers over the beads and placed a face and name to each one. It was a calming influence. I packed the necklace and the book in my hospital bag and made sure again that I had everything I needed.




By evening, my tolerable contractions turned into pretty uncomfortable stuff. They were random though - sometimes 10 minutes apart, sometimes 20. I managed to go to Walmart and the grocery store to pick up some last minute things though. Suddenly at about 9:30 the contractions started coming one on top of the other. I couldn't even catch my breath! We discussed going to the hospital, and the longer we talked about it, the further apart the contractions became. I spent a good bit of the evening talking to Mollie on IM – I think I was freaking her out a little! Lol! When the contractions evened out at about 3-5 minutes apart, I called the after hours service at the hospital and asked them to page the on call doctor. The girl said if he didn't call back in 20 minutes to call again. 30 minutes later, with no call we decided to go ahead and drop Kiddo off with Mollie for the night and just go. I called the service again from the car and the doctor called me back about 10 minutes later. He asked how far apart the contractions were and I told him, then he asked me if this was my first child and I said no. His reply was, "so you are on your way to the hospital right?". I told him yes and he said "good, I'll let them know you are coming" and that was that. We got there shortly after midnight.


When we got to the ER to check in, I had to sit in the car for a minute and breathe through a big contraction. I had experienced a few big ones on the way and I knew things were only going to progress. I checked in at the counter (thankfully they got my name in the system right this time – unlike with Kiddo) and we started the walk down the long hallway to the other side of the hospital. I had to stop and lean on Hubby in the hallway through a contraction, and the next thing I knew a security guard was putting me in a wheelchair. She insisted I ride to the room; she said she had seen too many babies born in odd places in the hospital and if I had to stop and lean on something during a contraction then it was time for me to ride. She was very sweet, and in a great humor for so late at night.


I was so afraid of getting there and not having any progress again, but thankfully I was dilated to a 4. I thought they were going to send me home, but because the contractions were coming so fast they admitted me. The nurses were really great and didn't even flinch when I refused any pain meds. They were all very encouraging, telling me how great I was doing when I had a contraction. I felt like I was handling everything pretty well, so I asked for a birthing ball, got out my mp3 player and settled in on the ball next to the bed. After all of my planning and shuffling songs to get just the right mix of music on there, the only thing I wanted to listen to was the Patti Griffin album, 1000 Kisses. The songs were perfect; not too sappy and not to up beat either. The nurse told me that I should progress about a cm per hour, so they would check me in a couple of hours to see how I was doing.


By then, Hubby was about to pass out so he pulled out the cot and tried to sleep. I sat there leaning on a stack of pillows on the bed, immersing myself in the music. The contractions were coming about every 2-3 minutes at that point and I was feeling ok. When one would come on, I would sing into it. At it’s peak all I could do was breathe and repeat to myself “baby down, body open. Baby down, body open”. Then I would sing it away. A couple of times I really had to concentrate on what was going on, or something else, or the music, or how much I resented my husband over there sleeping, etc. but I managed to do pretty good. I thought of all of my friends and family who were supporting me, and my energy would be renewed each time. Despite wanting to whack Hubby on the head for sleeping, I was in a very good mood. When a couple of hours passed they came to check and I was at a 7 already. The contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and I was still doing well. By the time I got to an 8 I was getting really irritated with Hubby - still across the room sleeping, so I made him get up and sit by me. It was hard telling him what I needed because I really couldn't talk while having the contractions and they were coming so fast, but he managed to hold my hand when necessary and put a cold rag on my head when I needed it. The birth ball was a lifesaver – and honestly I couldn’t bounce on it (which is what I thought I would do). The shape of it was what made me more comfortable for some reason; I guess because my hips could drop and my back stayed straight.


At one point I asked if I could get some help to the bathroom because I needed to pee, and the nurse asked me if I had any pressure. I laughed it off and said no, but as soon as I sat on the toilet it was obvious I had been in denial. I came out of there quickly and was helped into bed. They checked me and I was at 9 so they started to set things up. Then nurse said that my water was probably going to break soon and to be prepared - it totally didn't! lol! She even tried to pierce it by pinching the edges (and I could completely feel everything - it felt like she was trying to pop it with a fingernail). I had another contraction and I felt a little trickle so I told them I thought my water broke. They (the nurses) thought so too. At that point I was feeling pressure with the contractions, so they told me I could push on the next one if I wanted to. I still had a little bit of cervix hanging around, but they thought if I pushed it would finally go away. The first time I pushed there was a huge pop and my water went everywhere! I pushed 2 more times in the first contraction and they ran to get the doctor because his head was right there. I wanted to keep pushing, but he told me not to. I was screaming at him, "but his head is right there, I can feel it!!!". By the time the next contraction came along the baby had gone back up a bit so I had to bring him back down again. I pushed three times and he was right there. The doc told me to take a breath in and when I did, the baby's head popped out! lol! I pushed 3 times through the next contraction and on the 4th contraction I was able to deliver his body - it was so hard to get my legs to stay back; with one hand I was pulling my right leg back and with the other I was pushing it forward. I had no idea I was doing that and when the nurse pointed it out I was able to focus and get the baby's body out. It was so strange and awesome because I could feel everything and really work with my body on pushing out the baby efficiently. I could feel the energy in the room. It really was magical.


The doctor and nurses joked that I had no tearing at all, merely a “skid mark” as they put it, and that I really did great. I felt amazing! Truly, truly amazing. It was such a rush and not having that drugged haze was so nice. I hadn’t any sleep in the past 24 hours or so and I felt great.


Anyway, Port came out screaming and clawing at my gown! They put him on my belly and he was just perfect and gooey! I couldn't believe I was actually holding him and touching him. He was pink and squirmy and wide eyed. Hubby cut the cord (he didn’t get to with Kiddo) and I noticed he looked a little grossed out. They took him over to weigh and he immediately peed all over the nurse! She screamed and everyone laughed – she had apparently been peed on several times that day already. They shouted out his apgars were 9/9 and everyone was so excited. Port was screaming and crying and it was the most beautiful sound ever.


I delivered the placenta – and when it came out I shouted “ahh, that felt so good!!!” Once the words were out of my mouth of course I was completely embarrassed. The energy in the room was one of joy and laughter and happiness. It was so different from my last experience. There was no tension, just excitement; no worries or fear, just anticipation and joy. Everyone was smiling, laughing, talking excitedly…


The doctor put one stitch in (just to tighten things up a bit) and I was good as new. Soon enough Port was back in my arms and so beautiful and tiny and perfect.


Then I noticed the rash on his face. He has neonatal lupus too - but this time no one was really concerned because he was obviously so alert and healthy. The odds – what are the odds? My miracle child had neonatal lupus but was healthy. Praise God!


The birth was almost the complete opposite of Kiddo’s birth. It was amazing - and I am so glad I made the choice to do it without drugs. I really feel it made all the difference in the world. I could concentrate on myself and all of the powerful energy my amazing friends and family were sending. I felt it in the room; I felt it in my soul and my body. The natural high lasted for hours. I stayed awake and felt wonderful for most of the next day. Even through visitors and nurses and room changes I was energized and filled with so much joy. People commented on how wonderful I looked – so much different from last time. And what was amazing too was I was not sore or uncomfortable in any way. I could move around, get up and down and do all the things I needed to do (within reason). Even though I was ready to go home on Friday, they made me stay till Saturday. We brought him home in our now full-of-car-seats car and are blissfully happy to have him with us.

Thanks for reading.
Until,
D :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Joy To The World

Well wouldn't you know that just when I thought I was down and out, my little man decided to come into the world after all!!

My new baby boy was born this morning at 4:51 AM. He came screaming into the world, clawing at my clothing and peeing on nurses!! He is amazing, wonderful, beautiful and such a fighter. At 8 pounds, 15 oz, my big boy is not as big as we thought he would be, but no light weight either.

Since I have been awake pretty much since 3:30 AM on Wednesday morning, I am about to turn out the light and try to get some sleep before they wake me for vitals at 2AM. I will try to get the whole story in bloggy form tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for the thoughts and prayers. I truly felt all of your positive energy with me throughout the labor and delivery. I was a magical experience!

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Here You Come Again

In Recent News

Last night I started having contractions. I had a couple around 6:00 and then a couple more around 8:00. I decided to go ahead and pack everything up just in case and after putting Kiddo to bed and taking a shower I finally dozed off sometime after midnight. I had lots of contractions throughout the night, though only a few were actually strong enough to wake me up. I did have some interesting dreams though! It's funny how the brain incorporates things like that into dreams.

From about 3:30 AM to about 7 AM the contractions were steady every 12 minutes, though not very strong. When I got up at 7:30 I realized that (TMI ALERT) I had lost a lot of plug and had bloody show. It kind of shocked me because I never had that with Kiddo - so I got pretty excited.

With Kiddo, once labor and contractions began, everything steadily advanced up to delivery.

This morning, after I got up, the contractions pretty much stopped. I was still having them every now and then, but nothing was regular. I was a bit worried though about my blood pressure because with every pump of my heart I could feel the blood surging through my veins. I decided to try to go in for my weekly appointment a bit early, but after fielding calls all morning and trying to get last minute stuff put together I only managed to leave 45 minutes early.

I dropped Kiddo off at my friend's house and headed in to the doctor. Upon arrival I was informed that he was running 45 minutes behind, and of course being 45 minutes early for my appointment I was looking at a long wait. I told the receptionist I was concerned about my blood pressure and asked her if I could just get someone to take a reading. The next thing I know they were taking me back, and I got a room right away. I didn't have to wait long and they checked my blood pressure, which was a bit elevated but not to dangerous levels. The doctor was in shortly after that and after hunting a bit to find the heartbeat he did the check.

No change.

As a matter of fact, I began to feel like a cow as the doctor practically shoved his entire arm up in me to find the baby's head and my cervix.

He told me that the head was down, but the body was still high and lying sort of cross ways. The contractions I had been experiencing had done nothing.

I really was shocked and so very disappointed, so I had to keep from crying as we discussed our options. He went ahead and scheduled an induction for next Wednesday, but I seriously doubt I'll go that long. Never say never, I know.

I asked him if he could sweep the membranes, and he said he was going to try but the position of the baby made it too difficult so that was out.

They hooked me up to the NST monitors and made me sit there for 30 minutes or so. The first 20 minutes the baby didn't move at all. I ate a cereal bar and after a few minutes he was squirming all over the place. Everything checked out just fine.

One the way home I stopped off for a gigantic cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake.

This afternoon I tried to nap a little, but Kiddo was having none of that. This evening I went shopping at Walmart and the grocery store.

Ever since the doctor's visit my contractions have been about 10x stronger than before. A few have really stopped me in my tracks. I am hoping it is the beginning of progress and that the baby will come tomorrow.

We shall see.

I am pretty bummed because I thought I could trust my body to perform similar to the last time, but man, this is totally different.

The night is catching up with me so I will close. I just wanted to update everyone.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Go to Sleep

Mmmm, fresh coffee, fresh bottle of creamer, quiet house, these are the moments... :)

Every night when I put Kiddo to bed I tuck him in the covers, put his Lightning McQueen pillow and his Mater pillow wedged between him and the wall and I ask him how his day went. We talk about what he did that day and if it was fun; and sometimes the conversation is long and detailed, sometimes it is short and sweet, but one thing is always the same. No matter if we ran around all day and had lots of fun, or stayed in and did absolutely nothing, he says the day was good.

Sunday night, I was pulling up his covers and stuffing the pillows behind him and before I could even ask he says, "Mommy I have a sad day".

[my heart just shattered into a million little pieces]

I knew his day was not the greatest, but for him to view it as completely sad just wrecked me. I said "you did?" and he said,
"Mommy I cried all through the [church] service. I cried all down the hall to the playground. I cried to my teacher."

I asked him why he cried.
"Cuz that's what I do."

I asked him if he was hurt or mad or sad....why would he cry so much?
"I was sad. Cuz I was"

We talked about it some more. Again I asked him why and if there was anything that I did or Daddy did or if he was hurt. He said no to most of my questions, and stated again that he was just sad.

He did tell me later though that his knees and legs hurt. I'm not sure what to think of that. Just from being on the birth board that I frequent on Babycenter, I know that a lot of the kids are going through "growing pains" right now and complaining of leg pain. And Kiddo is most definitely growing taller (he has absolutely no pants that are long enough right now). BUT, he also sometimes takes on other's pain - if I stub my toe or something he will pretend that he stubbed his toe too. And a couple of days ago he had me on the floor playing tic-tac-toe with him and I complained that my knees and legs hurt from sitting on the floor. So I am not sure that was an actual legitimate complaint from him or a sympathetic reflection of my own aches and pains.

Either way, it was extremely difficult for me to get through his nightly prayer and story without crying. I felt so bad for him. When we prayed, I added into our usual dialogue a request for God to help us have a better day the next day. Kiddo protested at first because in his mind we have to say the exact same thing every night, but for whatever reason suddenly he kind of understood that we can pray different things to God and he settled down and let me finish.

And he fell sound asleep very shortly into the nightly story.

When he goes to sleep, he lays on his side and tucks his little hands, prayer style, under his cheek and chin. He looks just like every storybook child you see illustrated in a sleeping pose. It is the sweetest thing - and some nights I lie there in the dark staring at his sweet cherub face in the glow of the night light. I pray I never forget that sight. I want it burned in my brain forever.

Until,
D :)
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