Monday, November 30, 2009

today's giggles

These are just a few things that happened today that I wanted to put into words with a date for posterity. Things that Linus did today that just cracked me up.

  1. Linus doesn't like to have his diaper changed and I didn't want to fight with him about it so, I let him run around bottomless for a little bit. He went into the bathroom and hung out there for a little while, so I went in and jokingly asked him if he needed to go potty. I guess he has picked up the "potty" sign and showed it to me. I put him on the toilet and he proceeded to toot. We were both pretty proud of that.
  2. I've been trying to get him to give me 5 for a while now and he just won't do it anymore. So I decided to try knuckles and on the first attempt, he bumped knuckles with me. Where the heck did he learn that?
  3. We were doing the signing flash cards cause he enjoys showing off what he knows. So we were going through them. He has been actually saying Dada for a while now and just a couple days has been saying Mama. We got to the Mom card and he said "Mama." We got to the Grandpa card and he said "Papa." That is the first time hearing that. How stinking cute.
  4. We were still going through the cards and we got to "diaper" and he grabbed his diaper a la Michael Jackson. It is official, he DOES know what his diaper is and just pretends to not know and ignores me when I try to get him to let me change his diaper or go get a clean one.
  5. The last card we did that made me giggle was "hurt". I said, "Can you sign hurt?" and he just made a cry face and did a fake cry. It wasn't a "I don't know what you want so I'm going to pout." He did it 3 more times on that particular card. He's really getting this signing thing. It's pretty cool to be able to communicate with him.
  6. Last but not least today... I have a TON of laundry to put away and I have been trying to sort to make the putting away easier. He has managed to take over the laundry basket and put everything in it that I have sorted in the last 10 minutes and has just spent a half hour putting the clothes in, taking them out, putting them in, taking them out... etc. I wonder where he gets his hyperfocusing from? LOL

Here's to the cows...

So breastfeeding... it's not an easy natural thing for me. It sounds more and more that it isn't easy and natural for most women. I hear more and more that women have a hard time with it. Why? What the heck did women do back before there was formula, pumps, and the Le Leche League? Growing up, there was a small farm that had a hundred or so cows. Every year, I would hear the awful mooing of the cows that were having their calves weaned. It was a nonstop "moo,moo,moo,moo,moo" for about 3 days to a week. It would drive me crazy!! Kind of like someone was outside my window with 20 cars honking nonstop for a week. I didn't understand until I had the same sensation.

With Linus, it was sheer naivete to how the whole thing worked. I figured that first of all, it's natural, we'll figure it out. Second of all, it's supposed to hurt. Everyone says it hurts. The nurses even said it'll hurt till they callous up. Third of all, I don't want some random lady looking at and touching my boobs to help us out. Again, it'll come naturally.

It didn't. At two weeks when we went in for our first visit to the doctor, I was very shocked to find out he was still jaundiced and had lost a lot of weight. I didn't know. When we left the hospital, they said that he was jaundiced, but to pay attention and if it goes to his legs to get his levels checked. I am pretty sure it never went to his legs so I never thought to get it checked. They also never mentioned bililights or to go in a couple days to have them look him over at his pediatrician. Things I wouldn't have just known what with coming home with my first baby. The nurse and the doctor both seemed to give me the "what's wrong with you!?" look. I had to explain that not only do babies not come with manuals, the hospital didn't really explain what was going on.

I ended up having to supplement him with formula just to get rid of the jaundice and get him to grow. I had heard that it was ok for babies not to poop every day, so I didn't sweat it when he wasn't. All of the little hints that he was getting enough to eat, I didn't know weren't happening. So, nurse Linus, then bottle feed. He soon started growing.

I remember becoming engorged almost a week after having Linus and I later found out that was late. That meant he wasn't getting enough and my body wasn't emptying enough I guess. Then, I just want to say, I decided that being engorged might just be the most awful part of postpartum. The experience was very much akin to what I imagine having your chest cavity filled past capacity with marbles of varying size. Each connected to a few nerve endings. I was able to finally nurse him to try to release the engorgement in the restroom of a fast food restaurant. Yes, It came on that fast and no, it wasn't easy. It then lasted a week. Yes, a week. The books say it lasts 24 to 72 hours. Mine lasted a week.

We finally got me a breast pump to try to alleviate the marbles effect and that was fine, but since I was tender already, it hurt to pump. It was time consuming. And it was a pain to keep everything clean and sterile for the next pumping so I could feed the expressed milk to Linus. The time consuming part was due to the fact that I was trying to nurse him every two hours like I was told, he would nurse and nurse and nurse and it was so hard to keep him awake that by the time he finished, it would be time to nurse him again. We pretty much were connected even after the birth.

By 3 weeks, it got so painful that I was done. I didn't want to do it anymore. Matt's mom suggested that I talk to Heidi, her sister. Heidi has had a few kids (4 I believe) and had trouble with all of them. And not the same trouble, it was different trouble with each. So, I happened to have gotten a boppy pillow that day, we were in Brigham, and she came over to Matt's mom's house to help me out. She suggested a great book for me (Mother's guide to Breastfeeding) and what she showed me was amazing. It didn't really hurt the whole time. It still did a little due to them being damaged by poor latch.

I found out pretty quick that bottle feeding was very easy when we were in public and late at night. Not only that, but we were having some work done on the house to put in vents for a heating and air conditioning system being put in. Because it hurt so bad to latch him on and it was such a chore to do, I had to bare all and work at getting him latched and then I could cover up until we switched sides. It never failed, every stinking time I got my boob exposed, one of the HVAC guys would come bebopping through the door. It made for some very uncomfortable times for all. I got to where I would just put him on the bottle more and more without nursing. But that was also, again, just because it hurt so freaking bad!! I would latch him on and I would get pain that radiated all the way around my back and made my toes curl. I would make an involuntary owie face and it was so hard to relax.

So, it eventually got to where I didn't feel real full and would go a whole day and realize I didn't nurse him all day. So, there ended my first nursing experience.

This time with Bea started much better. She latched on better, quicker, and since I remembered what to do last time, it was less painful than last time. At Ogden Regional, they had lactation consultants at the hospital 7 days a week who would come in without you asking. And they didn't care if you were already nursing, they would have you take the baby off and then watch them latch. I even had a nurse ask me how things were going and I told her I was having some problems and she went and got the lactation consultant without me asking. I didn't even think to ask. It was great. She showed me some things and gave me some glucose water with a plastic tipped syringe to keep Bea interested.

My milk started to come in by the time we left the hospital and I didn't stay engorged for very long this time. I thought for sure this was to be a successful journey. I was wrong. She wasn't gaining any weight and was actually losing weight. More than Linus did. Are you freaking kidding me?!?

So. We started the supplementing again. This time I am trying really hard to nurse her before she takes a bottle. And after watching her drink from a bottle, no wonder she was losing weight. She drinks WAY more than I am producing. Linus only drank 2 oz. at a time. She is taking in 4 to 6 oz. at a time. My little porker.

After I had surgery for my gallbladder, I had totally compromised my milk supply. I was frustrated and bugged that things hadn't picked up. I love facebook. I was able to post my question on what people did to bring up their supply and got some great responses. Fenugreek, mother's milk tea, lots of fluids, and pumping every hour, that is some of the good advice I got. I was able to get it back to where it was before the surgery but still, not enough to keep her satiated. Then I got a cold. I was taking a sudafed to breathe and pumping and dumping but the sudafed started to dry me up. I didn't know it did that. Thank heavens my sister told me it did. I was able to stop it but I'm still not producing very much.

Going back over my nursing guidebook, I realized what some of my problem is. I have Reynaud's Syndrome. It's a circulation disorder that causes capillaries to spasm. It affects my fingers and toes and so my digits will go from white to blue to red. I am supposed to stay away from caffeine and cold. Which, is hard for me what with the late nights, night feedings, and early mornings. I need a kick to keep going. The Reynaud's affects my nursing by affecting the blood flow to my breasts. To be effective, I'd have to live in a perpetually warm climate and no caffeine. So, I guess my lot right now is to do what I can and continue to use formula. *edit* I just read a little more about it and I guess there is a good response to using a calcium blocker called nipidrine. I think it's along the same lines of medications as the blood pressure medicine my doctor has me on to treat my symptoms. I didn't realize it was actually safe to use while nursing and so I will start it and see how it goes. I also didn't realize that the pain I was feeling was due to this. It's a deep radiating pain in my breasts. It hurts after I nurse and is frustrating to be in pain all of the time.*

On a side note, do animals have postpartum depression? I understand the biology behind morning sickness and the mama bear response with your newborn, but I don't understand why humans get the blues after babies are born. I would think that before medication it would cause a lot of women to abandon their children or cause harm to themselves or children. It isn't very good for the continuation of our species.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Better late than never

I am mighty late getting a post up. The last 8 weeks or so have been so hectic and busy that I haven't taken the time to upload pictures from my camera and written about it. So, here it is, the mother of all posts. I hope you are up for it.

Of course, Beatrice Grace was born, I have posted about that and put pictures up so I don't have to do anything with that story. She is growing like a weed. She is already about 10 pounds and is starting to finally outgrow her newborn clothes. I think tomorrow while Matt is home I will set up an area and sit down and take pictures of her in some of my favorite outfits before she can't wear them anymore. Wish me luck, I am not known for my photography skills.

I figured I'd start off with some of my favorite family pictures. These first 3 are funny to me. These are Mikayla, Gavin, and Linus showing off their "pretty" faces. I love that all 3 of these kids have created the same face when asked to show us their pretty face. It's so stinking cute. I am still trying to get the cheesy smile Linus will give me when I ask him. I just can't because as soon as he sees the camera he tries to bat his eyelashes.

I just loved this picture of Linus. If you click on it, I think it'll enlarge and you can see how pretty his eyes are. Even though they have a little red in them, they are still a very beautiful blue.This is a common occurrence at our house. This is Linus after he throws himself on the floor for one of his temper tantrums. I decided not to kill you with a video. The screaming will burst your eardrums.
I peeked in on Linus one day during one of his naps and found him like this. I giggled to myself and had to take a picture of it. Like mother and father, like son. Matt's butt is always hanging out of his pants and unfortunately I can't find pants that fit my body right so mine is too when I bend down.
Linus with his beloved Grandpa's glasses on. Kirk would put them on him and Linus would freeze and not move. I was in lying down when they were doing this and could hear them all laughing at him. I'm so glad they got pictures of it.
This is my sweet boy with his sweet smile. I just love love love it when he looks at me and smiles at me. This is the view of him I have so you can all see what I see. I sure think he's the bee's knees.
Grandpa Kirk holding the babies. You sure can tell the Grandma and Grandpa think grandkids are great. I love seeing them with the kids and can't wait for the other 2 grandkids to come to Utah for the holidays to see them all together.
This is my very favorite picture of Matt and our kids. This shows not only how little Bea is, but it shows her smile. She smiles so much it's crazy. Linus didn't smile near this much. Especially not just by us talking to him or looking at him. He'd be staring off in the distance at his angels and smile. She wants to be talked to and sat upright and she'll smile and giggle. I love it. Daddy obviously loves it too.

We brought home our new puppy the Sunday after Bea was born. We either call her Babe or Blue, but her official AKC name is, are you ready for this, Babe the Big Blue Dane. That is my cute husband's name for her. I would have named her something else, but let's admit it, she really is his puppy. Who would have ever thought he would have bought a puppy? He isn't really known for his love of dogs, but he sure is cute with these Danes. It's hard not to be cute with these lovable giants. They really are like kids. And it really helps that they are so laid back and easy going.

Sorry the pictures aren't very good, it's hard when the puppies cuddle on the couch and they blend right in. =)

Blue is such a good puppy. The potty training is coming along. It's been a little difficult because of the cold though. She knows exactly what she is supposed to do, and when the weather is good, she goes out the doggy door and is perfect. When it's cold out though, I have to be very diligent and keep an eye on her when she isn't in her kennel to make sure she doesn't squat by the door. She is NOT interested in going outside to potty. The play? Yes, but not to potty.

She is also WAY too freaking smart for her own good. I am used to Moxie who either is just kind of dumb or just doesn't care. Blue has already figured out how doors work and how to figure out if they are open or not and to nose the door open if it isn't latched. Moxie is just NOW figuring it out after watching this little puppy do it. We have had a fence that has been open and Moxie could easily get out but never did. Never even tried. The first time a family member came in through the back, Blue immediately bolted out the fence to greet them. Sigh. Too freaking smart.

Matt did good though, she is beautiful. We got her from a breeder of blues in Clearfield. She is the result of a breeding of a 1/2 European 1/2 American female and a full European male. So far, she seems to have the blocky head of a European but her skin is pretty tight on her face so it hopefully won't be too droolly. She has very little white on her, just a few hairs on her chest and white patches on her feet above the pads. We are excited to show her and see how she does.

She's been pretty good with the kids. It's been hard because Moxie is very protective of the kids and she keeps "herding" Blue away from all of us. Then they end up playing and they get a little rough. It's been pretty hard with the little kids around while they roughhouse. The other day Blue bit Linus and that was my bad. She was in her kennel chewing on a bully stick and Linus likes to crawl into the kennel. Well, they are both at the same place developmentally so neither shares particularly well right now. Linus tried to take the bully stick and Blue was having none of it. So she gave him a growl and then a warning bite. It was enough to scratch him because of her sharp puppy teeth, but not near as bad as if she were really biting him. I just have to keep a better eye on them. And luckily, Linus is not worse for the wear. He likes the dogs just as much as ever. =)

Linus has had a runny nose and infections since 9 months old. It's been awful to listen to him try to breathe at night. I have given him Claritin, Benadryl, saline nose drops, Afrin, everything the pediatrician has recommended. Nothing gave him any relief. He ended up with an ear infection and the antibiotics cleared it up, but the runny nose persisted. I guess it has something to do with teething, but it was REALLY bad. Finally, we went in to the doctor and he heard how congested he was. When he would talk he was nasal sounding and so the doctor decided he had a sinus infection. We got another round of antibiotics and this is what we got. A great big allergic reaction. It started out looking like a couple of bug bites on his side. Then got bigger and bigger. It exploded into this after his 2nd dose of these showing up. It was weird because he'd been on the antibiotics for 8 days before this happened. I thought he had the chicken pox at first or measles or something. When I called the doctor, his nurse warned me that it would get worse before it got better. She wasn't kidding. His whole entire body was covered in these welts. He was more red than white before it started to go away. When it started to go away, each red spot was tinged with purple. He looked so awful! Luckily, he didn't itch to bad and the benedryl really helped.
On October 24th, I had people over for a "meet 'n' greet" with Bea. I didn't get a chance to have a baby shower. It's really hard when I don't have a church congregation, no relief society, no work girls, none of my friends really even know each other, etc. so I threw my own party. Unfortunately, not many people were able to show up due to sickness and Halloween parties or what ever else was going on. Those that showed had a great time just sitting around visiting and eating my favorite thing in the world... the best chili ever. I have this recipe that I love and make it when I can. This picture below is my good friend Stacy's daughter Emma. She is such a good momma in the making and just loves Linus. She played with him and he enjoyed sitting in her lap while watching TV. I just lover her, she is so cute with him.
This is Tyne and Chase. I took this picture not only because I thought it was cute, but because I wanted to be able to remember and remind myself how she gets down and plays with her kids. It reminds me how to be a better mom. I haven't had a chance to get down on Linus's level since I had been big and pregnant and then had surgery. I want to be a good mom with my kids while they are little like she is and to remember to play with them even if I am tired and sore.

This is the start of our newest house project. We used to have a 3 bedroom upper house. Matt has a much better insight to how things will look after doing something like painting or tearing down walls. He had the great idea to tear down the wall in the hallway to turn that bedroom into a large family room. It's been an awful lot of work and a huge mess, but I am excited about the end result.
This is what it looks like now that most of it is torn down. We just have to finish up the trimming and then we'll put carpet in. I am so excited for it to be done. We will have room for a Christmas tree!!

And if my life wasn't hectic enough, I had surgery to have my gallbladder removed. At the beginning of November, I had an attack. I thought I was dying. I thought it was a heart attack. I have a lot of aches and pains and migraines and I usually just tough it out. I won't go the the ER if I can help it. I was a very hard decision for me to go. It started out that I thought I was having indigestion and that I was also very hungry. So I ate a banana and went back upstairs to nurse Bea. The pain got worse and worse and so I went and took a couple of antacids. Well, the pain got even worse and it got hard to breath. I couldn't hold Bea anymore and by then, my gasping for breath and crying had woken Matt up. He look the baby and burped her while I tried to get into a different position thinking it was a muscle spasm or maybe if I moved better my heart attack would go away and I could breathe. It just got worse and worse and I thought I was going to suffocate. It was excruciating and scary. Matt finally asked if I needed to go to the ER and I conceded that yes I did. Ok, now, my only concern is do I drive myself or do we get Linus up and get Bea and take them both to the ER with us? What the heck to people do when they have kids and are by themselves? Tell the ambulance drivers where the carseats are? Luckily Mike was home in the basement and was able to come up and listen for Linus while he slept and we took off. By the time we got to the ER, the pain had let up some and I was able to talk and breathe somewhat. It got even better once they got the IV going and got some pain meds in. We ended up staying at the hospital until 4am or so. They took blood for labs and did an ultrasound on my gallbladder, gave me another dose of morphine and a prescription to take home and a referral to a surgeon.

So, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I had surgery to remove the stupid organ that was failing. My gallstones weren't very big, they were small and fit into the bile ducts. I guess that's bad since they can plug up the bile ducts and cause pancreatitis and sometimes death. I'm glad we got it fixed. Even though the recovery was really painful for about 3 days, in the end it has been pretty ok. I am so glad that Matt and our moms were so great. My mom came and watched the kids while I was in for surgery and for some of the day. Matt's mom came the next day and watched the kids while I slept and Matt went to work. I can't thank you guys enough!! I could barely get out of bed and walk around, there is no way I could be a functional parent. Then, unbenounced to me, Jeri had planned on taking Linus home with her and Kirk for the weekend. How did I get so lucky?! Matt took amazing care of Little Bea while I was out of commission and it gave me a chance to recover a little bit before he went back to work on Monday.

This is a picture of my handsome hubs at Bethany's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't get many pictures as I felt under the weather with a cold I am fighting.

Uh, Oh. I should have expected this sooner or later. Bethany tried to secretly put a ponytail in Bea's hair to surprise me. Cute huh? I think she looks like a sumo wrestler and Matt said she looks like a troll doll. Nice. This is what she did all day on Thanksgiving. She slept all day long.

You can kind of see the little ponytail better in this one. I think if you click it you can see it better. I sure love my sisters. Just wanted to put that out there. =)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Random Memories

Since I don't have a fancy iphone nor can I remember to charge my ipod nor do I have a cd player anymore, while I do mundane chores outside instead of listening to music to make the day go faster I end up thinking about things. Sometimes, I think about dreams I have had and remembering one dream will lead to another and another and so on. I can spend all day revisiting old dreams in my head.

The other day though, while raking leaves to prevent last year's rotting leaf disaster, I was remembering things of my childhood.

  • One day during recess, while still young enough to be in the little kid playground, I was by the tires that are buried upright in the sand and found a praying mantis. I spent my whole recess period watching the praying mantis laying it's eggs on the inside of that tire.
  • I used to spend all day walking up and down rows of trees, on my dad's fruit farm where I grew up, looking up in the branches looking for nests. My favorite thing was to climb the trees and watch the contents of the nests turn from eggs to hatchlings to birds ready to leave the nest.
  • I also used to take the BB gun and ride around on the 3 wheeler or walk and try to shoot these birds that had now gone from being cute little baby birds to evil, fruit eating birds.
  • My youngest sister was born while I was in the 1st grade. I took the pamphlets the doctor gave my mom about babies, how they are made, how they grow, and how they are born and tried to teach my 1st grade class the mechanics of baby making and birthing. Needless to say, it didn't go over well and my mom was called.
  • I got my first bloody nose from my Uncle Geoff. He and the two older boy cousins were playing in my Grandparent's loft, I wanted to join in and play, they didn't, so Geoff threw a keychain and it hit the bridge of my nose. I had never seen a bloody nose before, so the scream was literally "bloody murder". Oh, the lungs I have on me!
  • My first use of the "f" word was in the lunch line in elementary school. We were singing the "banana fana" song and the name Chuck was given to me and I had NO IDEA that would be the result. Not to mention my immense humiliation when I belted out song and word in front of the secretary of the school and then had to sit on the stage till the end of lunch so I didn't get recess.
  • My sister and I were walking home from school one day. I found one half of a ripped dollar bill. My sister found the other half and we spent the next week arguing over who got the dollar whole.
  • My favorite program of all time was the Book-It program at school. My best friend, Kristen, and I would go to the Pizza Hut by her house and get our personal pan pizzas.
  • I remember the day we got our trampoline. We were the first kids I knew to have one and I couldn't stand having to wait for my mom and uncle to put it together and then my mom let my uncle jump on it first. The nerve!! There are kids waiting here! =)
  • Later, beating up the neighbor boy on the trampoline. We played kung fu and I kicked his little boy butt.
  • We used to flood our front yard when we had irrigation. I think it was more fun than sprinklers any day. I also remember getting bitten by the ants the water drove out of their homes.
  • My dad used to have these rods that stuck in the ground and they looked like long ice picks that were connected to electrical wires. We would stick them in the ground, plug them in, and then grab the night crawlers that would come up when the electricity would drive them to the surface of the lawn. We always did that right before we went fishing. Tyne and I would compete to see who could touch the ground the closest to the rods.
  • Tyne and I would get water balloons and fill them up and then borrow my mom's bras and dresses and put the water balloons in the bras so we could "fit" into mom's dresses. What a mess when they'd pop. Which they did. A lot.
  • We used to put flour in our mouths and then blow it out like it was smoke and pretend to be dragons. How the heck did my mom survive us?
  • My mom roasted pumpkin seeds once. Tyne and I sneaked downstairs all night long taking a small handful here and there. We ended up eating the whole thing and I'm pretty sure that was enough fiber to keep us regular for 3 years. Ya, we were in trouble.
  • My mom used to make nachos in the oven. A baking sheet with tortilla chips covered in cheddar cheese and one half had jalapenos on them for my dad.
  • Watching sports every weekend during the winter with my dad and the fireplace going. It was so warm and cozy.
  • Playing Uno on my parents bed when we were really little.
  • Popping popcorn and melting the butter and then shaking it all up in a paper bag and going out the the drive in movies.
  • My Granny had a really tall, prickly cactus at her house. I was mad at Tyne one day when we were about 6 and 4, I pushed her into it, and she got stickers in her bum. I had to sit on the bed with my mom and her while the stickers were picked out. I had to sit there, even if I had to pee or get a drink.
  • We used to have a player piano and Tyne and I would sit and play them and belt out the tunes. Most of the old songs I know, I know because of the player piano.
  • Tyne and I used to run around our farm neckid. Back before there were houses built down by our house. While running around the fields, we'd practice peeing like a boy cause we hated having to go all the way up to the house to pee and we figured dad could pee standing up, we should be able to also.
  • We used to put pennies on the railroad tracks and walk up and down the tracks looking for asparagus.