Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sawyer Telling How It Is

Rob and I took this tonight. Sawyer had a lot to say. He got a little camera shy, but he gets into it toward the end. Talking is one of his new things. So is eating his hand.

Breastfeeding Faves

I know several friends who are just about to or have just started breastfeeding and I thought I'd share my must-haves or really-appreciates for nursing. I hope they can be helpful for you! Probably one of the best things I did was hire a lactation consultant, so I would highly recommend that as well.

Lansinoh Breast Pump According to the Baby Bargains book, this pump works just as well as the Medela and costs $100 less. I found this in the Supertarget near me, and though I don't pump that often, it works very well and is comfortable and efficient.
Lansinoh Lanolin This is great for soreness. In the hospital, they gave me Lanolin, but it had a warning label that said very clearly, Do NOT Ingest. Now, why would I want to put something you shouldn't eat on the place where my baby is going to latch on to eat?? You definitely don't want to have to wash something off before nursing when you have soreness. Doesn't help. This Lansinhoh brand is safe and does not need to be wiped off. It's also great if your baby gets nursing blisters on his or her lips.
Soothies Kelly and Beth recommended these to me when I first had Sawyer. They are gel pads that you can use when you're not nursing and they really help with soreness! They also kept me from leaking through my clothes, which was nice. You can even put them in the freezer if you really want to be iced down! I used these for probably the first month. They can get icky because stuff sticks to the gel part, but I only went through two pair. Kind of pricey, but very worth it!
Bestfeeding This was the best book I read on breastfeeding, and I stil remember things that I learned from it. It also has very helpful diagrams. Definitely worth having on hand!

Lilypadz These were a gift from Stephanie G, who used them with her son Caleb. They are reusable breast pads that don't just absorb leaks, but prevent you from leaking. Like the Soothies, they have an almost sticky backside, so they can get gunky, but they work well and you can't see strange and bulky shapes under your clothes. And when I had to go bra-less in a dress I have, I didn't need to worry!

Swimming Playdate!!

We got the playdate gang together for a swim, along with my neighbor Tara and her daughter Campbell, who us three weeks younger than Sawyer. Needless to say, the pool was a hit!

I had to capture the cuteness of Hayley's suit!

The ladies (and boy): Kelly with Noah, Hannah with Hayley, Tara with Campbell, and Natalie with McKenzie!

Rob came out and took group shots--so fun!

It's 8:30am...Do You Know Where Your Boys Are??

Sawyer has become a marathon sleeper! More on that later...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Your Dog Is Fat.

Warning: this post may contain side affects. And it has nothing to do with babies.

I saw an ad today in a magazine for Slentrol, a medication for overweight dogs. It totally cracked me up. It basically reads like one of those ads for the purple pill or one of those other human pills they sell with like one billion side affects. But for a dog? Really?? And yes, just like those pills, it has its list of side affects. Oh man, we are a strange society.


So, today I had the horrible experience of hurting my son for the first time. I was cutting his fingernails, which I've done several times before with no problem. He was wiggly, but I thought I could handle it. But when I went to cut his thumbnail, somehow I managed to get a piece of his finger in the clippers. He screamed, and I felt completely terrible. It was a shallow cut, and within a few moments he was happily nursing the pain away, but it was a really awful feeling to know I had hurt him. You can't explain to a baby that it was an accident or that it will be okay in a few moments.

And then this thought hit me (which at the time, seemed like a particularly poignant one)-- there was a time in all of our lives before we had known the feeling of pain. Sawyer has had tummyaches and been unhappy before, but as far as I know, this was the first real PAIN he has experienced. It seemed like some kind of milestone to me, like the first smile or first word. I'm probably attaching way too much meaning to this (maybe based on guilt for cutting his finger in the first place?), but it seemed like the end of innocence or something. And it also made me think about this as the beginning of many more years where as a parent, I will watch my child suffer. Physical pain, heartache, loss--this cut finger is just the beginning. Such is life in a fallen world...


My Mom left yesterday, and I woke up missing our morning routine of coffee and hanging out with Sawyer while doing the diapers and such. To keep busy, here are the things I did today:

-fed Sawyer
-washed cloth diapers
-walked Tex
-hung cloth diapers
-made and ate breakfast
-fed Sawyer
-washed two loads of laundry
-folded laundry
-cleaned my house
-fed Sawyer
-went grocery shopping
-fed Sawyer
-made and ate lunch
-fed Sawyer
-fed Sawyer
-fed Sawyer
-fed Sawyer
-had a pool party with cousins and neighbors
-took dinner to the neighbors

Okay, so maybe he didn't eat THAT much. But it was a lot. I felt like overall, we did a bunch today. And it was very fun! But I miss my Mom and Sawyer misses his Grammy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Does Your Bottle Come with BPA?

So, a lot of times I ignore things I hear people saying if I don't want to hear it, like the fact that the new X-Files movie stinks. Or that plastics are trying to kill you.

Butsometimes I have to pull my head out of the sand. I was reading in American Baby about BPA--Bisphenol A, a chemical shown to alter brain development in animals and with the potential to cause cancer. BPA is found in many clear plastic bottles and sippy cups--things your baby or child may use on a daily basis. I still don't really want to hear this, but I guess since legislation is pending to remove any products containing BPA, I should maybe start listening.

Glass bottles are making a comeback, but I'm not particularly excited to use them with a little one. So, if you're interested in finding out which plastic brnads are BPA-free, here is a link that talks about that and has more info on BPA.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Somebody Bought It Once, Why Not Buy It Again?

I've been checking out the local resale shops that specialize in children's items. Here are a few I like, mostly on the west side of Houston. Click the name to visit each store's website!

15969 Westheimer Road/FM 1093 281-556-9086
(located just a mile and a half west of West Oaks Mall)

This store is very large and clean, with a great diversity of items. They have a huge toy section and a ton of clothes, as well as larger items like strollers and exersaucers. Items are priced very reasonably and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. My Mom got a great deal on some cute toys for Sawyer and a onesie that reads, "I Love Mommy." I also saw some fantastic shoes that had never been worn for under ten dollars. Overall, I think I'll be frequenting this store a lot!

Young and Restless
2505 Ella Boulevard Houston, Texas 77008 713-861-7647
(Located in a blue metal building just off of 610 North)

Bethany M sent me to this store, the largest storefront in Houston that sells cloth diapers. In addition, they have clothing and larger items like strollers, cribs, and outdoor play yards. What I like about the store is that it's very mom-friendly and hands-on. The staff know what they are talking about and once a month or so they hold diaper chats where they talk about cloth diapers, or have a rep from one of the companies they work with come in to discuss what works. They sell lots of diaper brands new and have a large collection of consignment. The first time I went there with Kelly C, I was feeling overwhelmed and confused by the cloth diapers, but other moms who were shopping stopped to give Kelly and me and crash course. It's a very child-friendly store as well, with a play room and enough space for children to move about without feeling crowded. They have an e-mailing list that you can sign up for to receive information about their (great!) sales and promotions, and their website has great cloth diaper info! My only complaints are that the store seems a little dingier than some, and the far location in a not-so-great area means I won't be trekking out there much.

Saturday's Child 829 S. Mason Rd Suite 255 Katy, TX 77450 (281) 578-9425
(in the back of the Cici's Pizza shopping center!)

I was happy to discover this store in Katy, as it's only the second I know of in Houston that sells cloth diapers. (There will be a third in September when Nurtured Family opens its storefront!) They sell Swaddlebees, Bummis, and Fuzzi Buns new and have a decent selection of consignment. The owner is VERY supportive of cloth diapering and babywearing, which is great. While the store does sell larger ticket items and clothing, the space is so crowded that it can feel claustrophobic. Aside from strollers and cribs, larger play items are stowed under clothing racks, which makes them harder to see. But they do have a TON of strollers, pack and plays and exersaucer-type toys, especially for their size. The prices are fairly decent, but did not seem as competitive as Crayons.

Clothes for Kids
14520 Memorial Drive Suite 20 Houston, TX 77079 (281) 558 - 1793
(two blocks east of Dairy Ashford)

This store focuses almost primarily on clothing and has a vast selection. It's in the Memorial area, so the kinds of clothes they consign are a little higher end, but the prices are still great. The owner has been there for seventeen years and is very friendly. It's a little cramped, but with clothing only, that means you simply have a lot of racks in a little space, not additional toys and things to trip over. I would definitely shop there again and know that it would be especially great if I need something a little nicer.

Resale and consignment stores are a great place to find deals. Also, my friend Theresa and I were talking recently about earth-friendly things and how people are all about recycling, but often forget the first two of the three Rs: reduce and reuse. So if you're concerned about environmental things, buy less and buy used!

Oh, Yeah, and Sawyer Also Likes...

Licking everything he can get near his mouth. Here, he's got my hand, but he'll take blankets, shirts, toys, or basically anything that comes in range of his mouth or that he can grab and pull towards it. Things get wet a lot around here. Good thing I don't really worry about germs...

Sawyer at Eleven Weeks!

Here is Sawyer's eleven week update! He's grown so much--I think he's 24 inches long now. Mostly body and not legs, though I read that babies tend to grow more in the trunk than the legs and arms. He now not only sees toys and things you put in front of them, but he likes to reach out for them, watch them, and touch them. (Though many times it seems like an accident when he touches them...) He is a total chatterbox and if he's in the mood, he will talk and squeal your ear off, the whole time looking like he knows what he's saying. His eyes are still blue and I really think that they're going to stay that way, even though they can change until he's about a year old. I am really sad about this, but I think his hair is starting to fall out. I've been finding it in his brush and on the bed after he's been sleeping. Sigh. I know it will grow back, but I LOVE his hair!! Even though he's too young really, he's loving the exersaucer and makes lots of happy noise in it. He would rather be standing than sitting, but now kind of likes lying on his back and talking up to you. He's sleeping pretty well--normal bedtime around 11pm and then sleeping until 8 or 9am, waking once or maybe twice to feed.

He's still a happy baby, and in this video you can see some of this with his great noises. The best part of the video might be the bizarre conversation that Mom and I have. :)


Just for the record, Mom's teeth are fine. She was saying that she wakes up feeling like she has "gum trauma" from sleeping at night, as though her molars are too large.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Yummy and Cheap!

So, apparently, the Cheesecake Factory has lost its mind. They will be offering every slice of cheesecake for $1.50 on July 30th to celebrate National Cheesecake Day and their 30th anniversary. Do they not realize the mob that will be waiting outside their doors?? I, for one, will be there. Check this link for more info.



I've been going through the painstaking process of attaching labels to my posts so that if you want to read everything I've written on cloth diapers, you can just click on cloth diapers in the label column to the right, and all those posts will appear together. It's a long process, but fun to glance at all my old posts. I can't believe how much Sawyer has changed since he first came home from the hospital! Or how different my life was a few months ago--wow.

The Baby Who Couldn't Wait to Grow Up

Here are some photos of my strong little boy. He started trying to sit up by himself on our trip (the fact that he can't actually sit up on his own doesn't stop him from trying when you lay him down) and really loves standing. If I sit cross-legged in the floor with him in my lap, he scoots to the edge, puts his feet on the floor and (holding onto my hands) pulls up to stand. He's wild. In Virginia, we found that he really liked this pillow of my dad's. It was perfect for standing and pushing. I thought he was going to either make it all the way across our den or flip over it...

Tattoo Your Child

That got your attention, didn't it? Here's an interesting idea: temporary tattoos for your kiddos when you go places like amusement parks, etc. You custom order your Safety Tats with your phone number, so if you happen to lose a child, the person who finds them can ring up your cell. (Hopefully not for ransom money...yeah, I'm a cynic. And I watch too many horror movies.) The ideal is not to lose your child, but this is kind of a neat idea, and I'm sure kids love it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chicken Arms--Gross.

Since having Sawyer, my body has just felt wrecked. Partly it's the weight, which is coming off steadily and slowly, and then other bizarre things that you'd never think about. Like my arms, for example. I have found that I have a mess of bumps all over the backsides of my upper arms. Imagine my surprise when I came across this post on Lil Sugar this morning. The bumps on my arms is a condition called Keratosis Pilaris, and often strikes pregnant and nursing mothers. Lil Sugar had some expensive creams they suggest, but I'll go ahead and stick to my Burt's Bees, which was a gift from the G'boro peeps. I guess I'm glad to know that there is an actual reason that I have strange bumps, and now I have hope that they'll go away. Check one more post-pregnancy body issue off the list...

Paddling in Schools??

As recently as when Rob was in high school, Texas used corporal punishment for certain offenses. Rob was paddled for leaving out some track equiptment or something like that. (If I'd lived in Texas, I would have gotten paddled for much worse things, like sneaking out of class and bringing mice to school...) As I was driving Robbie to the airport this morning, I heard a radio show saying that schools may reinstate the policy. Here is an article talking about this decision.

It's hard for me to believe that corporal punishment will make a comeback. But since Rob has recently been in the public school system, I am very aware of the need for more discipline. I think the problem is compounded by the fact that parents don't support the teachers or administration, but rather take the side of their child when issues arise.

When I taught just before getting married, I had an interesting experience. I wrote a letter home to every parent from one class where the students were almost across-the-board terrible. The next day, I had two parents come to school with their children. The first was the mother of the most well-behaved student. She came in and said, "My son has something to say to you." And he proceeded to apologize for his behavior and said he would never do it again. Before leaving, she left me her cell number and told me to call her immediately if he ever acted up again. The second mother came in with her daughter, who often would stand up and walk around the room in the middle of me teaching--on a GOOD day. Her mother denied that her daughter had behavioral problems, criticized me for not being a good teacher, and questioned anything I told her about her daughter. Meanwhile, her daughter watched this exchange, smiling at me as if to say, "Ha--thought you could get me in trouble?!"

Discipline starts at home, and I don't think it's happening there. That's the first problem. Schools fear the parents and fear lawsuits, so there is little they can actually do to enforce policy. And the students have no accountability at home or at school, so they run wild! But would paddling change that? And would I trust someone at a school to paddle my child, even if I did spank my kids at home? Uh, I don't think so...

What about you? Do you feel comfortable with paddling in schools??

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Date Nights

Ah, a photo of our little family of three, pre-Sawyer. This was taken as we were moving from our place in Greensboro back to Texas, and just over a month later, I would find out I was pregnant. It's been a year and some-odd days since we've been in our house, and almost eleven weeks since Sawyer joined us. Thinking about all the changes in our lives is really wild--both in the past year that we've lived here, and especially since Sawyer was born. The first few weeks of having him home really made Rob and me feel closer, as we were in awe of the amazing new little life. We still are in awe, but now he's returned to work, and I'm figuring out what my days are like with Sawyer at home. Add to that several major trips that have separated Robbie and me for three or more weeks and you have some potentially issue-causing circumstances. It can be hard to figure out how your relationship works together, especially with a wee baby that is totally helpless and needs constant care.

With my mom here and Buck and Lynn up the road, we have had a few date nights, but even those are different. Last night we went to see The Dark Night while Mom stayed home with Sawyer, and though I really enjoyed the movie, I felt sort of distracted by thinking about Sawyer at home. So when we got a call from my mother that things were not going well and he'd been crying since we left, we hopped out of the theater, missing the last twenty minutes of the movie we'd paid more than twelve dollars to see.

Would Sawyer have been fine if we stayed to see the end? Probably. Mom told us he'd be fine and that we should stay for the end of the movie. In fact, by the time we got home, whatever had been bothering him had stopped and he had fallen asleep. Would I have been able to enjoy (or even pay attention to) the rest of the movie had we stayed? Definitely not. It was frustrating, but choosing to stay seemed like choosing a movie over our son. I was reminded once again that while having a baby doesn't have to mean changing who you are, it certainily impacts every area of your life. For Robbie and I, this will mean that we continually have to figure out how to maintain our relationship in the midst of these changes.

Is it a challenge? Oh, yeah. But is it worth it? OF COURSE.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sawyer Stats

In the past few weeks, it seems that Sawyer has been developing in leaps and bounds. My little boy is growing up! He's now 24 inches, and sadly, like me, he's mostly torso with short little legs. Sigh. I'm not sure of his weight, but he's gaining well, I think, and all over, not looking too chunky--just healthy.

As far as activities, he's now smiling all the time and likes to talk to you a lot with all kinds of sounds and a look on his face like he knows JUST what he's saying to you. He can really see toys now, and is starting to respond to them by trying to reach and grab them. Many times this is accidental, but he's learning to touch them on purpose. Mostly he grabs them and tries to shove them in his mouth, because EVERYTHING needs to go in his mouth now. He is so oral! He is constantly licking things. Today in Target he drenched my sling by just licking it for an hour. He needs a full-time bib. The craziest thing he's doing now is the whole standing thing. He likes to stand while you support him, which is normal, but he now wants to sit up on his own. If he's sitting in my lap and we're in the floor, he'll scoot to the edge of my lap, put his feet on the floor, and stand. While holding my hands, of course, but it's wild to watch him do it.

We bought his first exersaucer type thing today from Target, and though it doesn't adjust well enough for his feed to touch (it's supposed to be four months plus), we put a box underneath and he loves to stand and play with the toys and bounce up and down on his own. I think he wants to be like his Daddy, or maybe his namesake Uncle Tim, who has been kicking butt on American Gladiators. Either way, we think he has the precociousness that I had as a kid, and the crazy athletic ability that Rob has. He's growing up way too fast!!

My little man standing on Settlers of Catan. Strong legs!!
Staring at his new toy.

Breastfeeding Nightmare

I guess because I wrote that post about being sick and nursing just before bed, I had this funny (or scary?) dream where this woman was conspiring to keep me from breastfeeding. I don't know why or how, but basically, she was saying I was unfit and that "they" were going to switch Sawyer to formula. Stacy would be proud of me, because I told this woman that no one could take away my legal rights to breastfeed my son, and that's what I was going to do. :)


Slowly I'm adding labels to my old posts so that you can check to the right for topics and click on a label to see all the posts about a particular subject such as cloth diapering, or roller derby. It may take me a while, but I'm excited about the organization factor! If only it were that easy to organize my whole life...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Breastfeeding While Sick as a Dog

Breastfeeding while traveling was a challenge in and of itself, but once I got sick, the question was more of CAN I keep feeding Sawyer?? This cute photo was taken at our hotel pool before Friday night, when everything I ate began running straight through me, and I had such severe stomach pains that eating period was impossible. (Of course, I did eat some wedding cake Saturday night--if it's going to run through me no matter what, I might as well eat cake, right??) We were in the middle of nowhere, Tennessee, about an hour outside of Knoxville, and the closest thing they had to chicken soup at the local gas station was chicken-flavored ramen noodles. Not good for the tummy. I spoke with my midwife Cathy, my great friend Stacy who works with La Leche League, and my lactation consultant Connie, and all said to keep feeding Sawyer. Something amazing about breastfeeding, which I also read about in The Vaccine Book, is that it passes on a great number of immunities. Whatever antibodies my body was making to fight this sickeness passed to Sawyer through my milk, rather than the sickness itself passing to him, which is what I was worried about. The second concern I had was whether or not my milk would dry up. They all encouraged me to keep going and that Sawyer might need to eat more frequently, as my milk might struggle, but it would not stop.

I definitely noticed him eating more often, but he seemed to be fine and we were able to make it through the sickness without resorting to formula. And a few days later when I was eating again, my milk came in like it did in the beginning, which was wild. Now things are getting back to normal, thankfully. It's great to see how God programmed our bodies to function on their own! Here's a quote from The Vaccine Book about breastfeeding and diseases: "If your baby is breastfeeding, his chance of catching any of these illnesses is greatly reduced. Breast milk has antibodies that coat the lining of the nose, lungs, and intestines, so most germs that get inhaled or swallowed are killed." (p20) How amazing is that!? Though at times I was too weak to even lift Sawyer to feed him (thanks to Mom for handing him to me!!), my body was still able to pass on valuable food and protection for my little man.

Yay, Tim!

In case you missed it, Tim beat his record tonight on American Gladiators!! Three cheers for the InTIMidator!!

Where I Spent Most of the Road Trip...

So, my mother and I set out on a road trip from Texas to Knoxville, TN for my best friend's wedding and then through Greensboro to see some great friends and then on to Virginia to see family and more friends, driving back through Atlanta to visit more family. We knew setting out that it would be an adventure, but we expected Sawyer to be the one having issues with such a long car trip. Instead, I was the one with the issues. At first, I just thought my stomach was upset from the stuff we were eating on the road. By Friday night, I realized that I had a full-blown stomach virus. This is a picture of the hotel bathroom where I spent many hours in Knoxville. Not pretty. Or fun.

I did get to attend Ginny's wedding, though I was too weak to stand at her side and be the matron of honor, which was disappointing beyond belief. Here is a picture of us, where she looks beautiful as a bride and I'm trying not to look as sick as I felt.

Overall, the trip was better than expected as far as Sawyer goes, but difficult because of my illness. We had to skip out on seeing lots of the Greensboro people, which made me really sad, and I felt pretty horrible. But many people got to meet Sawyer, I was able to survive stomach flu and continue breastfeeding, I saw Ginny's big day, and my Mom and I made it through--sounds like a mostly success to me!

Don't Forget to Tune in Tonight!!

Sawyer's uncle Tim will be back on American Gladiators tonight in the semifinals! He's leading the pack right now, having set a new time record. It will be on NBC tonight at 8pm EST, 7pm Texas time. And if you're in the Houston area, come watch with a big crowd at Christ EPC on the Katy Freeway!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

...And We're Back!

We are finally back from our extended road trip, and boy did it provide lots of material to blog about! Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, my camera will only upload pictures to Rob's work computer, which he needs for, well, work. So there may be a slight wait on the fun pictures of everything. But here are some things to look forward to reading about as soon as I can get my act together:

-breastfeeding on a car trip
-breastfeeding while you're sick as a dog
-Sawyer's new feats of strength
-updates on sleeping habits
-the great pacifier debate
-taking a huge trip with a two-month old

So, keep checking back and I promise to be back with a vengeance this week. Also, congrats to Blair C from The Quest for Rainbow Sprinkles on the birth of her son, Wheaton!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Long Journey Home...

Wow, it's been a while. This is a record, I think! Mom and I are leaving VA tomorrow for the trek back to Houston, and there have been many adventures! I'm excited to post pictures and talk about our trip, which was altogether...wild. We are EXHAUSTED. But it's been fun. And not so fun. More details to come, probably Saturday or so. Hope everyone is doing well!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What I'll Be Reading on Our Trip

I found this at a consignment store today, and after last night's up-til-five-a.m. adventure, it seemed like a good buy! It's an alternative to the cry-it-out approach, which seems way too harsh for my taste, at least for a two-month-old! (Happy two months, Sawyer!!) I'll give a review when I get done and a sleep update for Sawyer as well! Tonight has been good--we're only up at three a.m. because of a VERY wet diaper, and I think he'll be back asleep in no time. At least, I hope...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mini Update...

I have been light on posts and will be light for a little while, so here is what we have going on in our little world. This week, my best friend in the world is getting married! So I'm rushing around getting presents finished and getting things done before my Mommy and I head off to Knoxville in the car. We are taking quite a trip--stopping in New Orleans to stay with our old next-door-neighbors and then on to Knoxville for the wedding. Afterwards, we'll head on to Greensboro and then to Richmond, hitting Atlanta on the way back to Texas. I'm sure we will have INSANE stories along the way, so get excited for that!

In our week so far, I've been humbled by going to roller derby practice and realizing how completely out of shape I am. I mean, I'm in okay shape for having had a baby two months ago, but totally not where I want to be in terms of speed or anything else. Sigh. I guess that means I have goals.

I've been exhausted by my son, who stayed awake for SEVEN WHOLE HOURS last night, finally falling asleep at 5am this morning. Seriously, what baby can stay awake that long?? He's insane. Our trip will be very short if he keeps that up.

I've been excited by the fact that Kinkos now has an option where you can order your print job from home, including binding and covers and all that. You have fewer options, but I'd rather pick from a limited number of paper colors than have to go to Kinkos to place my order and then go back to pick it up. So at 2am, when Sawyer was still up, I ordered something and just received a call that it's ready. How cool is that?

And I'm also ecstatic that Tim broke the eliminator record on American Gladiators! If you missed it, you really missed out! He'll be back on in two weeks for the semi-finals, and you can watch last night's episode online. Tim did a fantastic job!

So, on to waking up baby. Then maybe taking a nap. Two hours of sleep a night is not quite enough for me...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tonight! American Gladiators! Sawyer's Uncle Tim!

Tonight Rob's brother Tim will be featured as a contestant on American Gladiators! The show comes on NBC tonight at 8pm EST, 7pm here in Texas. Check out his profile here on the NBC site. In an article for the Springfield News-Leader, executive producer David A. Hurwitz compares Tim to the energizer bunny. Tim is 147 pounds going up against 250+ pound gladiators--should be great fun to watch! Drop whatever you're doing tonight and root for the uncle that Sawyer Timothy was named after!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Priorities Make Me Sad

It was just a few short months ago that I adopted Ollie the hedgehog. I'd been wanting a hedgehog since high school, and was really happy to find Ollie. I did wonder about the timing, since it was the month before I was due, but thought I could work it out. Of course, now that Sawyer is eight weeks old, I found that taking care of my husband and baby, my dog, my house, and my hedgehog were too overwhelming. Gone were the days when Ollie got to come play in the kitchen or backyard, or even crawl in my lap while I watched a movie. He'd been replaced by another, more wonderful family addition! So, sadly, today I said goodbye to Ollie and sent him on to a new and wonderful home where he can get the care he needs. I was definitely sad, but would have been worse if I didn't think it was the right thing to do. Sigh. Priorities.

Even Grandmas Can Wear Babies!

Looks pretty good, huh?

Bonding with Daddy

I was reading in a book that talks about baby development that by sometime in the seventh week, a baby can recognize his father's face and voice from that of a stranger. I thought to myself, Seven weeks??!?! Maybe some Dads, but I'm pretty sure my little guy has known his Daddy from the first week with as much time as Robbie has spent with him. Here are some looks at Daddy bonding from today.

Learning to play the Wii with Daddy.
Learning to play Suduko with Daddy. He's going to be a math genius.

Friday, July 4, 2008

First Swim!

Sawyer had his first swim today!! Obviously no one expects eight-week olds to swim because the smallest swim diapers were too big. He slept through the first part, even when Robbie supported him as he floated on his back. Seriously, what kid sleeps through that??? Anyway, he eventually woke up and enjoyed being in the pool a lot! Especially the warm hot tub. I loved watching Robbie play with him in the water! Check for more photos on our photo blog!

I promise--he was sleeping here.


I've been trying to catch Sawyer smiling on camera for days. Here, I've captured the struggle.
What? You think I'm going to smile for you? No way.
Well, maybe...
Okay, fine. Fine. One smile!
Or two...
Alright, alright--you got me!! (This is me thinking my flash is too strong. Without it, I guess we have darkness.)


You may notice a change this morning, as I enabled comment moderation. That means that I get to read and approve comments before they are posted. I had a comment that made me really sad this morning on my circumcision post from a fifteen year old boy who said that he has very little feeling because of circumcision and that the gp who did it made an uneven cut, which is visible. (If you happen to be reading this, I'm sorry for what happened!! Hearing your story made me glad that I chose a moil who only performs circumcisions, rather than just a gp.) I deleted the comment because of the language used, not to squelch the opinion. So, in comment moderation, I'm not going to choose the comments I like or the ones that agree with me about things, but just keep an eye on appropriateness.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know about the change. Happy July 4th! Look for pictures of Sawyer's first swim later!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

Yes, I know. These posts have been rare and there's a reason: I haven't been reading. Unless you count Mrs. Dalloway, which I am reading at a rate of five pages a week. (Which means that I will finish Clarissa's one day in about 300 of mine.) But I finally got Dr. Robert Sears' The Vaccine Book this week and have been reading voraciously, as Sawyer's two-month appointment is coming up and I have some decisions to make!

I love the way that book is set up--breaking each shot into a separate chapter, talking about the disease it protects from, the way the vaccine is made, the ingredients, the pros and cons, and then Dr. Sears' final evaluation of how important he sees the shots. I knew from the video that I would appreciate his point of view, and here are a few quotes from the introduction that affirmed that:

"I don't ever tell you, 'You must absolutely get this shot!' and I don't ever say, 'You're crazy to give this vaccine to your child!' But I do offer you some insight about the relative importance of each shot. I also share my professional experience (if any) with each disease." (xiv)

"I've spent the last thirteen years learning everything I could about vaccines and the diseases they are designed to prevent, and I've put it all together in one place so you can get all your questions answered." (xv)

"Even though vaccines are important, you as a parent are entitled to know what you are giving your child. You have a responsibility (and a desire) to make informed health care decisions for your family...That's what this book is all about--imformation." (xvi)

What caution I would give is that if you are a worrier, this book will disturb you. It's no fun thinking about either what so-and-so disease could do to your child if they happen to catch it OR what possible side affect a vaccine against that disease might affect your child. But I think it is important to have information. Did you know, for example, that some vaccines contain formaldehyde? Something you wouldn't eat or drink, but somehow is okay to put directly into your body?? Or that some vaccines have been linked to cancer in adults because they used monkey tissue infected with a virus? There is a lot to know and a lot to think about, but I would highly recommend this book for a fair and very detailed look into the different vaccines you may give your child!

The Measure of Success

So, here I am at almost 3am, being philosophical. Or maybe just tired and delirious. But earlier today I was thinking about the whole idea of being "successful" and what that means for me. And you. And pretty much everyone on the planet. Because I think we'd all like to be successful. At least, I don't know anyone whose aim is to be a failure.

My husband's job got me thinking about this. He works as a youth director for Christ EPC here in Houston. If any job is difficult to evaluate, it's a job in ministry. Where do you measure success for a youth director? You could base it on numbers or growth, but I'm not sure what exactly that says about your ministry. Numbers might mean lots of width, so to speak, but no depth. (Ahem. Joel Osteen.) You could base it on number of converts, but how do you really know that? And if there are converts but they don't grow, then you've missed out. After being in full-time ministry myself, I really came out feeling like every now and then you see some life changed and know you had a hand in God's work, but for the most part, you're just scattering seeds and don't get to really see what grows.

Parenting is also kind of ministry--a totally relational thing--and the same struggle applies. I know that many people look to how children turn out when judging the "success" of a parent. But I know plenty of parents who did everything they knew to do and still their children went their own way, found trouble, or generally fell apart. And there are certainly a number of people who grow up in hard family situations and go on to do amazing things. (This really also brings up the idea of what we think means a child turned out well, but that's another discussion...)

It's 3am and I'm standing at my kitchen counter because the only way I could get Sawyer to sleep was by walking and standing while wearing him in the sling. Not a good night for us--very gassy. (That would be Sawyer, not me.) I am wondering if I will ever feel like a success. Not because I feel like a failure, but I'm wondering because I'm up and my brain is moving. Will I ever think of myself as a parent and say, "I'm a success! I did well!" Maybe. I hope so. But what would it take for me to feel that way? Does that mean that Sawyer has to grow up and be what I want him to be? Or be somehow successful himself in his life? Or does that just mean I tried my best??

I feel like so many of the really important things in life can't be measured in numbers or dollar signs or the approval of other people. Can anyone measure how well I've loved? I don't think so. (Willy Wonka just came to mind--the part with Veruca Salt and the good egg/bad egg scale. I know--it's late.) Someone once told me that God calls us to faithfulness, not to results. What that meant to me was that we are to be faithful to God's calling, but we have to realize that we aren't always (or ever!) in control of the results. Being faithful doesn't mean that we always seem successful or happy or that we get the big house or the big car. (Joel Osteen, I'm talking to you.) Rob being faithful in his ministry doesn't mean that every kid walking through the doors will become a christian, or have their life changed, or even like youth group. Me being faithful to Sawyer as a mother doesn't mean that he's going to grow up and be happy. Or good. Or have the life that I would like for him to have.

What is the measure of success? I don't know. And that's what makes parenthood so hard. And not just parenthood--all relationships whether you're being a daughter or a sister or a friend or a husband or wife. There is no way to qualify (or quantify) how well you love. You probably will see some fruit when you scatter seeds. But it may not be the kind you want to see, or you may not live to see it, or it may never grow at all.

You don't know what you will get back or what will come when you love. I don't know what will happen in Sawyer's future, or what kind of man he will grow to be. I don't know what impact my love will have on those things, and I will probably never know. And yet, here I am standing in the kitchen at 3am, loving him to sleep in his sling. Because I think with these really important things in life, you find that you can't worry about success--you have to find contentment in faithfulness, no matter what the outcome.

I do hope to love well. Not just Sawyer, but all the people in my life. I know that I really don't most of the time. But I want to. I'll never do it perfectly, and no historian looking at my life might ever think much of me, but at the very end, if I hear that voice saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant," then I will know that I truly was a success.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My First BIP!

Tonight I had my first BIP, which stands for Breastfeeding in Public. (I'm not counting the numerous parking lots or girlfriends' houses, by the way.) It was a memorable experience at the Houston Roller Derby league practice. I went to Rec League last night and didn't feel ready for big league yet, but wanted to bring Sawyer out again so he can get used to girls on skates. He loved it! In fact, when I turned him around to look at me rather than the track, he had a hissy fit. Scarlet O'Hurtya nicknamed him Mini Mojo, since my skating name is Kiki Mojo. In any case, we both had fun, and when he got hungry, I slung him across my lap and used my sling as a nursing cover.

That makes it sound much smoother than it actually was--I was fumbling and dropping the sling (I need to practice with it at home!) and couldn't get myself out of my shirt and was holding Sawyer all crooked--but the point is, WE DID IT! It was a little harrowing, even when surrounded mostly by derby girls who could care less about me breastfeeding on the sidelines, but I'm happy that we survived! :)

BTW--HRD has some great bouts coming up! Head out to Jopa or Verizon and check them out!!!

He Has the Look of....???

Everyone always loves guessing who babies look like--their mother or father. (Or, the postman, apparently.) Here are some photos of Sawyer (as if there aren't enough on here) from his earliest days, followed by some baby photos of Robbie and me. You decide: whom does Sawyer resemble??

Robbie with (I think) his great grandmom.
This one is when he's older, but there's something about his eyes that remind me of Sawyer.
More of little baby Robbie!

This is me with my Mommy at one week old. It's obvious where the hair comes from!!
I'm not sure how old I am here, but here I am with my Daddy!
Okay, this one to me looks JUST like Sawyer.



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