Friday, July 31, 2009

Bumpity Bump

So, I've been told that my placenta "remembers" being pregnant, and I will say that this is the reason that I suddenly exploded into bumpdom this week. How do I know? Let's just say that a bunch of people telling me that I suddenly have a bump makes it clear. I can also feel a difference. It's weird--a few days ago, it was just stomach. Now, when I place my hand there, I feel the firmness of a bump. I promise to get some pictures up here soon! I'm kind of scared to compare them to how I was looking the last time...

A First!

I just put Saw down for a nap without nursing him first. And he's asleep! This, like all things related to weaning, makes me happy and sad.

A Sphincter Said What?

That got you reading, didn't it? I'm all about the old movie quotes this week, but that title quote should be easy, though I really think it wasn't A sphincter, but A** sphincter. In any case, yes, I am actually going to write a post about sphincters. This is why you keep reading my blog, right???

In reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, my mind was blown by the chapter called Sphincter Law. I thought I'd recount a little of it here, because it wasn't something I'd heard, but made so much sense about childbirth and labor. If this sounds boring, just skip this post and go watch the video about the grandpa getting tasered.

Here is the basic gist. A sphincter is a circular muscle group that remains contracted until it needs to relax to let something pass through. Then it expands. We most commonly think of sphincters (if at all--I usually don't think about them) as the ones relating to peeing or pooping. But the cervix and vagina are also both sphincters. So knowing how they work really informs the physiological process of birth.

If you've ever tried to pee in the middle of a crowded room, or even just had a few seconds' pause in a public bathroom stall, you'll know that sometimes discomfort, embarrassment, or tenseness can affect the sphincter, making it harder to relax and go about your business. These muscle groups are affected by emotions and work best in an environment that is relaxed and comfortable. Sphincters can actually tense and close up when the person is suddenly startled or frightened. Female mammals have actually been known to regress in labor when startled by a predator.

Knowing this really gives weight to the idea that wherever a woman is laboring (home, hospital, birthing center), being comfortable, relaxed, and surrounded by people she trusts is so key in helping her labor. This also explains why fear (whether of pain, birth itself, or something else) can inhibit or slow labor, and why all the different childbirth techniques want you to relax. Relaxed mind, relaxed sphincters.

One really neat thing that Ina May Gaskin has discovered is that there is a correlation between the relaxation of the jaw and the relaxation of the sphincter. She noticed a release of tension in the sphincters when the laboring woman also relaxed her mouth and throat. Clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth keeps things tight. She suggests singing or chanting low notes (and many women have found on their own during labor that strange, low, animal noises tend to come out during the later moments of labor). Another method, which sounds weird and silly, is to make raspberries or horse lips--where you blow air through your lips so they flap. This significantly relaxes the mouth and throat. Many women would find this impossible, but laughter during labor is also a great relaxer.

That's a whole lot of talking about sphincters, but I thought that was really interesting to think about the mind/body connection, and even just the physiological parts of birth. The key point in the chapter was that our bottom parts mirror our tops parts--if we're relaxed in mind and in the mouth and jaw, relaxation will follow in our sphincter muscles, easing labor.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh, Yeah

I forgot to mention what happens the day AFTER Sawyer chows down on tons of broccoli: TONS of green poo. Yuck.

Fun with Cousins

Saw got to hang out with Rob's parents last night while I was at derby, but he got the added bonus of having two cousins as well: Jackson and Braden. What a fun bunch!

Big Boy Foods

Lately Sawyer has been trying to eat more adult foods. He doesn't want just eggs and cheese in the morning--he wants Mom's breakfast sandwich. He doesn't want pieces of things cut up--he wants a bite of Daddy's pizza. So, today I made him bean and cheese quesadillas. I wouldn't say he went bananas, but he really loved the fact that he could walk around holding these bite-sized pieces and just scarfed them down. I feel like our little man is getting to be so old! I know he's going to seem even more so when Olive emerges...

Intro to Sidewalk Chalk

I couldn't pass up the 50% off aisle of summer fun in Kroger yesterday, and so this morning Saw and I tried out the sidewalk chalk. And by tried out, I mean both on the sidewalk and in the mouth. By later in the afternoon (and a lot of hands sweeping chalk out of an unhappy boy's mouth) he figured out that it should ONLY go on the ground.
What? EAT it? No, I'd never do that... "I don't need to explain my art to you, Warren." (Movie quote, anyone??)

Let's see. Pink and blue makes...a mess.
Ta da!

Showers and Registries

One thing I've thought about now with Olive (sorry, Dad) is whether or not I really want to have a registry or shower. I almost didn't want a shower with the first, because I wanted to be simple and just have needs and not so much stuff. Then I realized that there were lots of things I wanted to have for baby, so I was thankful for the showers thrown by friends and the youth plus parents.

But now that I have so much stuff, what about showers and registries? I kind of don't want a shower, only because I already feel so blessed and really don't feel like there are needs we have. People have already been so nice and unless we have a girl and need girl clothes, we have everything. And then some.

And yet, I went on Nurtured Family and to Target and registered anyway. I guess my thinking was that those things would be more of a wish list, and if there happen to be people who want to give a gift, they'll at least have an idea of things we like. But I'm totally okay if we don't get any of them!

What are YOUR thoughts--should you have showers and things where people bring gifts for multiple babies? This isn't a critique if you have several kids and had multiple showers, but I think this is one of those topics people disagree on, so I thought I'd ask. Let me know what you think!

Things That Are Exciting to the Sauce

Sawyer has found a few things that he really likes. The first is skateboarding. Last weekend, while Rob was gone and Saw was making me crazy with a napless afternoon, I found a skateboarding championship on TV. Sawyer was hilarious. He would stand there, watching, then look at me to see if I was watching, then look back, and then look at me and make this noise that was somewhere between constipated and really impressed: "OOOOOOooooo!" This Saturday there is a skateboarding competition in Houston and I think I'm going to take him to watch!

The other thing also has to do with TV, which will make it sound like he watches a lot. He really doesn't. Last night, Buck and Lynn watched him with Braden and Jackson at our place, and they put in Over the Hedge. Saw has a few videos we've borrowed from Kelly, and they're basically music with some animals or babies in them. Computer animation completely blew his mind. He stood really close to the TV, staring up, pointing and laughing, shouting and stamping his feet. It was really funny. I left, so I'm not sure how long this went on, but needless to say, he was really impressed. Or maybe it was just that the animals could talk... Either way, it was fun to watch him watching.

Every Now and Again Battles Beat Every Day Battles...

Man. I am so thankful that for now (knocking heartily on wood) we don't have battles with Sawyer every day. I mean the major kind, like the one today about nap time. He was tired. It was time for nap. He started to fall asleep, and when I put him in his crib: total fit. The angry kind. Yelling and kicking and fighting me and just generally being mad about it. I let him cry for a while, then came back to offer comfort and see if he was ready to settle down into a nice, gentle sleep like usual. Nope.

I hate doing it, but I felt like there was no option other than leaving him to his devices. He needed to sleep and wasn't accepting help and comfort from me, so he made a choice. I honestly didn't think he'd give up, but he finally did and has been sleeping peacefully for almost two hours. I'm glad it's not this way every day, because little man has quite the strong will to resist if he's in the mood. And I have no idea what sparks the mood--it just happens. I know we'll have more and more of this kind of behavior as he gets older and starts asserting himself more when he wants something that we've said no about, or when he decides he knows better than we do. I've heard vague rumors about something called the terrible twos...but in any case, I guess for now I'll be thankful for my every-now-and-again battles.

Because a Baptism Isn't a Baptism Until Grandpa Gets Tasered

This is crazy. Hilarious if it were an episode of a sitcom. Not so much in real life. I think as a general rule, police should not taser pregnant women. Just a thought.


In weird news, Sawyer has started sucking his thumb. Not often or for long periods of time, but for the last week or more, I've caught him sucking one of his thumbs probably around five times a day. It's weird. I don't know if this is coming as nursing is drawing to a close, or just some random phase, like his several short-lived pacifier phases. My son is an enigma.

And as for the end of nursing, he is still very interested, but we are down to once or so in a 24-hour period, or sometimes even 36. It's still hard if I'm putting him down for a nap or bed, because that's his routine with me, but if other people put him down, he doesn't seem to miss it. I guess the most difficult part will be me learning how to change that routine to exclude nursing. We have a few weeks still before my parents watch him for four days, and I think we're making good progress.

Olive > Sammy

Just as an aside, I made the executive decision to go with the nickname Olive instead of Sammy for #2. Mostly because right now s/he is the size of an olive, and somehow that became a really cute nickname. Sorry, Sammy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Much Needed Beach Day!

Rob and Saw and I trekked to Galveston today (which only took an hour and ten minutes--yes!). It was a great family day! Sadly, I didn't realize that my camera was in my bag the whole time so the only pictures are of the inside of Joe's Crab Shack. (And yes, we ate there.) Still, there is some cuteness here! I wish I had pics of Saw riding a boogie board, digging in a hole with Daddy, jumping the waves, and even getting nakey in the ocean (just before we got in the car in order to get the sand off). It was a lovely day!

My boys!
Happy smile! (And super bright flash--ach, my camera.)
Watching the waitstaff dancing. (Owen, if you're reading this, they danced to that "Get raw with the fever on
the dance floor!" song. You know, the one with the big brown beeper on.)
Someone really likes broccoli.
No, I mean REALLY likes it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fertility Myths Quiz

I took (and failed) this quiz about fertility over at Lil Sugar today. I only got one right! Sheesh. If you want to test your knowledge, click here.

Sammy at 10 Weeks

I should start by telling where the name Sammy for #2 came from. Like Bo (Saw's fetal nickname), it came from my parents. My Dad, specifically, who suggested Bohicket as a name. Both have said this time that we should name #2 an S name and suggested Samuel or Samantha. Neither of those are really on our list (sorry Mom and Dad!) but when they said we should call #2 Sammy for now, that seemed like a good idea.

I'm about 10 weeks, which means that Sammy is about 8 weeks. Sammy is the size of a large olive, and weighs around half an ounce. S/he has a full four-chambered heart and all internal organs are formed. S/he has fully formed hands, fingers, feet, and toes. There are earlobes, and developing mouth, nose and nostrils. Sammy is moving around to the point that you could see movement on an ultrasound and, as I heard last week, there is an audible heartbeat.

Isn't that just amazing? My tiny olive Sammy is a little, mini-human! Pregnancy just astounds me, and makes me (again) realize the amazing power of God at work in his creation. While I'm going about my days like normal, there is a tiny person growing and forming inside my body. Crazy!

Cute Pics from the Weekend

I am still trying to catch up on photos, since I was devoid for a while due to camera issues. Here are some not-exciting-but-still-cute ones.

Saw sharing a clothespin through the window of the playhouse.
This is an impish little grin. Helping around the house while Rob is gone. He has a future in the custodial arts (movie quote, anyone??).
Trying to nab the camera.
Kitchen baths are still fun.
So are bubble beards. And they make you wise.

Sawyer No-Pants

Something really funny happened this morning. Sawyer had just gotten up, and I had not yet changed his diaper, which I suspected was poopy. He was running around happily when suddenly his pants and diaper fell off. He promptly stepped out of them, looked down at them for a sec, then decided, "I don't need those!" and ran off just as happily. There's a lesson to be had in there, I'm sure, but I found the whole thing hilarious.
The pants, as he left them.
Sawyer doesn't need pants to play with my breadmaker.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The No-Naps Are Killing Me

Ugh. Sawyer has been in nap protest two out of the last three days and it's killing me. The problem is that we've done things that got us coming home right at nap time, which meant trying desperately to keep him awake in the car. It used to be that if he fell alseep just for the last few minutes of the car ride, I could transfer him or maybe nurse him a little inside and he'd go to sleep, taking a normal length nap. But Friday and today, that five minutes in the car seemed enough to keep him out of the nap zone.

I tried everything to keep him awake in the car, including flicking cold water on him and tickling his feet, but to no avail. And once home, I tried everything to get him to sleep. I even left him to cry, thinking he'd eventually give up his protest. The problem--he just wasn't sleepy.

What makes it worse is that Rob's gone, so that is my only break of the day. Let me tell you, that makes the afternoons seem looooooong. All I want is to take a nap of my own! The good news is that he'll go to bed a little earlier, so I only have about four hours left. AAAAAHHHH! Four hours! I am not wishing away the time, but it's just hard for me to be so full-time with such an active little man.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bowling for Derby

Saw and I headed out to Palace Lanes today for a derby fundraiser. I am a terrible bowler and did not help with the funds part. I like to think that we offered great support, though. Sawyer, meet a bowling ball. He kept trying to dribble it like a soccer ball, which was hilarious. Also, I learned that 16 pound is, thankfully, too heavy for him to lift.
Starr Doom taught him to bowl. I will go ahead and say that the ball might or might not have gotten stuck halfway down in the gutter. This was when he was still content to watch bowling, and before he decided to run amuck in the place. He definitely wanted to bowl, but he also has developed a penchant for video games, thanks to a visit to Chuckie Cheese. Seriously, the kid is way too young to like video games!

Farmers Market...and Fries

Saw and I took an outing yesterday with a friend from derby that Sawyer refers to as Auntie Carmen. First up was lunch at Cedar Creek, where Sawyer decided to become a fry glutton. We also discovered how quickly I can run when he escapes the patio and heads for the street.
Next up was the farmer's market. Look at all that beautiful produce! There were some really weird fruits, and we also saw pigeons eating stuff right out of the barrels--we did not buy that stuff. I got some great dried fruit, fresh fruit, and wasabi peas. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Fave Thing

I got this for $18 at HEB after borrowing one from Kelly during our July 4th trip to Corpus. I found while travelling that it's hard to feed Saw in other people's homes. He won't sit still, and if you give him the food, he walks around with it, leaving trails and making messes. Sitting him in my lap, I became a mess. This was a great solution: a portable little chair with a tray that can sit in the floor, or attach to any chair. It even folds up and can be used in a restaurant instead of a high chair, which might help Saw since he can climb out of those, even when strapped in. Right now, he's using this more than his high chair, as it's easier to clean, and I think he likes that he can just go sit down when he's hungry to let me know it's meal-time. He also uses it just as a chair sometimes. I love it! Very handy and cheap. And buying it at HEB saved me around 10 bucks, as the ones at other stores were closer to $30. Yay for bargains!

Notes to Self

Though it's way early, I'm thinking about birth as I'm reading birth stories, and I decided to write notes to myself for labor. I put myself back there, back in the hot tub with Rob, contractions coming fast and furious, and thought about what I'd want to hear. Here are some of the notes I've written on notecards:

"Every contraction brings you closer. Every push and every pain means you are closer to meeting your baby. Soon you'll be on the other side."

"You are more powerful than you think. Do not be defeated. Do not be discouraged. Do not be afraid. Hope and trust."

"Give in and don't fight. Relax. Breathe. God is with you. Your child will be with you soon. BREATHE."

"Remember that you have done this before! You survived, and the end result was Sawyer! Stay focused!"

"Be calm. Breathe. Step back from the pain and let your body work. God designed your body for this."

I'm going to write more, and then during labor, have Rob read them to me, or read them myself, or have someone else read them out loud to me. I think these are the things that would have helped me then, so hopefully they will help me next time!

Hospital or Home Birth?

This is a question I've been thinking about since probably the week Sawyer was born. If you've been with me that long, you'll remember that I started out at home, and then transferred and had Saw in the hospital. He was in the ICU for a few days (low oxygen levels, broken clavicle, and concern about cloudiness in the lungs--he was fine!) and so we spent two days there. I wanted to start thinking about this question back then, so that I could have a lot of time to think about it. I have definitely decided to go for a home birth again, but here are some of my thoughts along the way.

About laboring at home
I loved the freedom of being at home for most (or half?) of labor with Sawyer. I was able to move around and labor however I wanted, which included being in our hot tub outdoors as well as lying in my bed. I had great care throughout, felt safe, loved, and surrounded only by people I knew and loved. They were all comfortable as they waited because they weren't just in a waiting room somewhere. It was so much more difficult than I had thought, but Rob was intimately close to me, and was the only voice I heard or needed to hear, other than Cathy updating me on my status or that of Saw. I trusted her words, advice, and counsel, and when we decided to go to the hospital (because of my exhaustion and fluctuations in Saw's heart rate), I felt comfortable, like it was MY decision.

About laboring in the hospital
I had almost all of the interventions that I did not want, from epidural to fetal monitoring, to pitocin, to an episiotomy. However, at the time, I also felt that I got to choose. I asked for the epidural, and was so tired that I didn't care what the hospital did to help Sawyer out. I even asked for the episiotomy when I felt two exhausted after two hours of pushing to push any more. I did not love my doctor, but was told by those who know him that he was having an off day, coming down from a 40-hour shift. I knew that Cathy was still there running interference, talking to the nurses and staff for me, and doing all she could to help with my labor, including laying hands on to help turn him from posterior to anterior (which worked!).

After Saw was born, he was placed right on my chest as I wanted. It was such an amazingly joyous moment! He was taken away way too quickly to be checked, and then immediately to the ICU. I had a strange sense of peace about the separation, though I had wanted to have him room in with me should I be in a hospital, and though I wanted to start nursing immediately. He needed their care, so I relaxed and trusted the doctors and let myself be taken care of. The nurses went above and beyond care for me, and I felt safe and comforted and peaceful having the time to rest, despite the fact that I was separated from Sawyer. (It seems selfish now, but I really did have a peace about him, and needed the rest.) The next few days I enjoyed being waited on any time I pushed a button, and did not have to feel bad that it was a friend or family member serving me--it was someone who was paid to do so. I hated the visits with Sawyer because they were so public and cramped (once they put Saw, me and Rob in a closet to try and nurse him because the ICU was too crowded). Overall, though, I was surprised to find that my experience was actually pleasant and good, despite the fact that my birth was almost the opposite of what I wanted.

Thoughts in general
After taking all this in, I feel peaceful knowing that if I have to transfer again for any reason, I am happy with the hospital and know it's only moments away. I had a birth with things going ways I didn't want, and it all turned out okay. That being said, I hope to finish birth at home, and know that if I made it through such and intense experience once, I can do it again with God's help and the support of my family and midwife team. I'm scared because I know how hard it was and remember thinking during labor (even AFTER the epidural) that I didn't want to ever do this again. But I also know the joy at the end of the struggle, and that there is an end. I can't wait to meet little #2!

Sleep...That's Where I'm a Viking

Can I just say how nice and weird it is to have Sawyer go to bed around 7-8pm and sleep until 7-8am without me having to get up with him at any point?? Yeah, it's nice. And kind of spooky. I admit sometimes that I go in and check for breathing still. :)

What I'm Reading Now

I've already started my regimen of birth-related reading, heading back to my fave, Creating Your Birth Plan. Every woman having a baby should read that book! It won't scare you like some of the home birth-y literature, but it is very fair and leaves you armed with information to make whatever choices you want to.

Right now I'm also reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I can't believe I didn't read any Ina May Gaskin in my first pregnancy, as she is kind of the mother of modern midwifery. The first part of the book (which is where I am) is birth stories, plain and simple. Her introduction says that many times, our expectations inform our experiences. If we expect birth to be excruciating and difficult and fraught with complications, we will probably find that. Not to say that you should not be prepared for the reality of its pain and struggle, but more that we should surround ourselves with positive stories of birth. More often than not, when women share stories, they are horror stories. Why is that? In any case, it's neat to read so many different kinds of experiences, and it has me thinking about Sawyer's birth. I think I'll probably do some reflecting on that later, but for now, I'm enjoying reading about other women's stories!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Midwife Appointment with #2!

I feel like I've known I'm pregnant forever now (okay, just a month), so it's weird to just now go see Cathy. There is not much to report, other than I've not really gained weight and am a few pounds shy of where I was with Saw at this time. We heard the heartbeat just for a few moments, as baby was swimming away from us, as Cathy says. Based on my lmp and when I think we might have conceived, my due date is probably a little later, more like the 21st or 24th of Feb--that second date I know is a special one for some people! (Ahem, Ginny and Lynn.) I can still hope for a March baby to spare the Oliphants another February birthday, though I'd prefer to NOT be late this time. In any case, not much to say, but all is well and going along as it should be right now. Yay!


When I went in this morning, Sawyer was sleeping in the cutest way ever, so I tried to take a picture (I had to get him up for our midwife appt). Of course he woke up right before. This is still pretty cute though. I wish I looked this good when I woke up.

How the Piggies Eat


So, in this video, I'm trying to get Saw to show his latest trick, which is his fake laugh. I have to say, it's pretty amazing. But of course he won't do it for the camera. Still, there is humor to be found. Or at least cuteness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Boy or Girl?

Once again, we're not going to find out the gender of our baby. Unless we are having twins, and then I've got a clause in there that says I can know to prepare. That'd be two many surprises. (Get it? Two??) All old bets are off, as the entire Oliphant family and everyone who knew Robbie thought he'd have all girls. I kind of have a feeling like this will be a girl, but I don't want to give into it, as with Sawyer, I thought girl the whole time until two weeks before when I was SURE he was a boy. Rob thinks girl this time.

BUT. A girl from derby does some thing with a pendulum (I don't have the details so I can't tell you what) and she said she tried it at home last week after seeing me, and it said boy. I asked how many times she'd been right, and she said six out of six so far.

We'll be blessed and super happy with boy or girl, but I have to say that every time I'm in a mall and see teen or pre-teen girls, I think to myself, "I want to have ALL boys. No way I'm dealing with THIS." According to the pendulum, no need to worry!

We also don't have great girl names, or at least not one we're set on. While for boy, we are definitely using Lincoln, which was our first choice with Sawyer, until he just looked like a Sawyer. And unfortunately for you, we may keep the girl name hush hush. Everyone already heard Lincoln, but after having so many comments last time about our name choices, I think we'll just spring it on people if it's a girl. Then we don't have to hear things like, "What? Is that a name?" I'm sure none of YOU would say such a thing...

So, guesses or bets--boy or girl?

Three Mouths to Feed

Here's the real reason I'm so tired. I finally figured it out--I'm feeding three people. The first is, of course, me. The second is #2, aka Sammy. And the third is Sawyer, who is still nursing. That explains everything! No wonder I could fall asleep at any moment in the middle of the floor.

Seriously, my body gets props for working overtime right now. I think Sawyer is just about out of nursing, which makes me happy and sad at the same time. Several times in the last week, he's nursed only once in a 24-hour period. At the most, he nurses twice. He still likes bottles, and is really into that Good Start stuff that is a bridge between nursing and milk. He's not so into cow's milk. I know people say that you should stop with bottles at age 1, but I think that he still definitely has that sucking need, and he can drink out of a sippy cup as well just fine, so I'm in no rush to ban the bottle. I think also they suggest this because people sometimes let baby fall asleep drinking a bottle of juice or milk or whatever, and that can be bad for teeth. Anyone else know why they say to cut out bottles at a year? I haven't read anything that makes me feel like we need to, and if it's helping with the slow wean, then I'm definitely keeping it.

It's going to be so weird the first day that Sawyer goes without nursing at all. I'm excited for it in some ways (especially as it's starting to get painful as my body's making way for Sammy) but it really is such a big stage of bonding to end. I guess I should just be happy to have a few months off before I start it again--oh, man...

Shout Out to My Readers, Commenters, and Followers

In other words, this goes out to you, blog stalkers! It is so nice to have this little place where I can write about our little lives and feel like there are people out there who care. It's great to have comments from you letting me know that you've had crappy days too (or that you'll be here soon to help, Mom & Dad!) or to share stories. I love getting emails now and then from those of you who read but don't like the public commenting. And I even love my secret blog stalkers--I know you're out there! :)

I mostly started this blog to keep a record of everything and to process what's happening in our lives, but I also write because I know there are people out there reading. Whether it's to check in on how the Sauce is growing, to be encouraged you're not alone in this mommy thing, or to read about weird things like cloth diapers and home births, I'm so glad you're here!

(Um, can you tell I'm having a better day??)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just Another Manic...Tuesday?

I forgot that Tuesdays are always my worst days. I should have realized that this morning and prepared mentally for the beast that was ahead. Not that it was that bad, but for some reason, it was just one of those days I was re-thinking this whole full-time Mom thing. Saw was a little clingy and just didn't want to do anything, especially anything that involved not clinging to me in some fashion. And for whatever reason, my patience and lovingkindness was just zero. By the time Rob got home a little after six, I was kind of in zombie mode, just going through the motions of my day.

I know everyone has days like this, or at least, I assume they do. I guess you just get through these days and enjoy the ones that are great? I get kind of defeatest and tend to think that I'm just not cut out for this motherhood thing. Which is bad, considering we're about to double up... But I know this is temporary, because on the days that are good, I think, How wonderful this life is! It's just hard to see the bad when you're in the good, and vice versa I think.

So, hence my light posting. I have all these things I want to write about baby #2 and what we're up to, but it's hard to do on days where there is a little one hanging on you like a tree frog. (A really cute tree frog, I should add!) Hopefully more tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

O.P.P.--Other People's Pregnancy

I had emailed a bunch of you that I know to ask for horror stories about pregnancy or pre-pregnancy relating to kiddos. I have a project going (more on that later), but thought I'd ask if any of you want to post your stories here in the comments. Whether you've emailed them to me or not, feel free to share and commisserate in the awful and strange things that people do and say when you are pregnant. I titled the post that because it seems that being pregnant somehow allows other people to connect with you in a way that is sometimes, well, just a little over the line. You know, like the people who touch your belly or the person in line at the grocery store that starts telling you horror stories of her birth. Or the person who asks if you're due any day now when you're really only six months along. Share your pain and we'll all groan along with you!

On the Plus Side...

It's been a tough week with the whole ear infection and accompanying fussiness. BUT. We have finally got Sawyer sleeping through the night! I mean, like 12 hours through the night. Yes! It was a transition--finally I realized that mostly when he woke up, he didn't need to be nursed, he just needed me to kind of lay him back down. (When he wakes, he stands up and holds onto the crib rail and has a hard time falling back asleep because he's on his feet.) So first, we cut out the nursing period and I would just help him lie back down. Then Rob suggested we let him cry just a bit longer to let him figure out how to lie back down himself. This was hard the first night, but we waited 15 minutes (about my limit) and he went to sleep. He woke once more and cried for like one minute.

Since then, he's woken up at most twice a night, crying for less than five minutes and falling back asleep. The past few nights, he didn't wake up at all. It's amazing! I am very happy we are finally at this point. Going to sleep has been easier too. I still usually nurse him, though he's been drinking bottles of Good Start, a transition between formula or breastmilk and cow's milk, and so he'll usually only nurse for like a second or two. I put him down in the crib awake, and he likes me to kind of stand there and sing or just be present until he's close to sleep or asleep. Then I can sneak out and he'll be done. Yay, Sawyer! Just in time, too, because this whole new baby thing has me exhausted.

What You've Been Missing

So I finally sprung for the universal card thingy that means I can upload pictures. Yay! I haven't been taking that many since I knew I couldn't upload them, but here are a few from the recent days.

We've been doing a lot of kitchen sink baths lately.
saw looks like such a big boy with all those teeth!
Rob and Bryce with Saw and his twin, Rowan. I don't think directly next to each other they look that similar, but when you see them, it's kind of freaky. They even make the same serious face.
Rob hanging out with the Sauce.
Saw doing a number on Robbie's head.
This picture took a lot of effort, though everyone looks quiet and happy.
The silly picture was much easier.
Wow--13 grandkids!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Want Some Chickies!

Ever have a great V-neck top, but find that it's just a bit too revealing? Then you need some Chickies. I saw these today and love them, pregnancy or not. It's basicaly a swatch of fabric that clips to your bra straps, making it look like a cami. Why not just buy a cami? you might ask. You could. But I personally have hated trying to find the perfect cami that falls at just the right place at the top without being too long, too short, or bunchy at the bottom. If this sounds good to you, check out Chickies!

The Day of All Days

Okay, so insert "worst" before that first day and then "bad" before days, and you'll have the full summary of my day. It didn't start off so badly--Sawyer was still a little whiney and clingy, but I figured he's teethin or a little sick since his nose is still running a bit. He did fine at the gym nursery, so I expected the afternoon to go as usual. As usual being a two-and-a-half hour nap starting around 12:30.

He went to sleep as usual, but woke up screaming a few minutes later. I got him back down again, but ten minutes later, again--screaming. When I picked him up, he was writhing around and just freaking out in general, so I brought him out of the bedroom, but nothing seemed to work. He wasn't happy with me holding him; he wasn't happy on the ground. He continued to scream and cry for the next few minutes. I even tried taking him outside, which is usually a failsafe. He calmed down a little, but still was just losing it. I don't think I've ever heard him scream like this.

So we got in the car, me hoping he'd fall asleep. Maybe he was just super tired and needed some driving time to knock him out. Twenty minutes later and still screaming, I called his doctor. I didn't have much to tell them, other than he was acting totally uncharacteristic. I guessed ear infection, and the doctor said one of them was slightly red. I don't know what that means, but he prescribed an anti-biotic and told me to use that and tylenol. So, I guess Sawyer has his first ear infection? Or at least, was beginning one and hopefully now we'll nip it in the bud.

Either way, a four hour screaming stretch was a little much for me. It made me question why we're having another kid and why I wanted to be a mother in the first place. I think I've said before that about 98% of motherhood is great. But man, when that other 2%'s not good.

How I Know I'm Pregnant

1. I've cried more times in the past three weeks than in the last year total.
2. I took a two-hour nap yesterday and left our back door wide open. (That explains our sudden spike in the electric bill, Rob.)
3. I got weepy seeing a commercial for Sixteen and Pregnant on MTV.

Oh, yeah. Pregnancy is setting in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Missing Memories

The first dog Rob and I got was hit by a car and killed the week after we got her. It was absolutely horrible to go through, and suddenly our apartment felt empty. (And not just because she had been a 100-pound great dane puppy.) Once you get used to the personality and the presence of a loved one in your daily life, there is a huge absence when they are gone. (I feel that same kind of absence when my parents leave after visiting with us!)

I was reminded of this when today I drove by a now-defunct place where Rob and I ate dinner once or twice when I was pregnant the first time. I was startled that in my head, these memories now felt weirdly empty. It was like looking back, that time felt lonely and had the absence of Sawyer. I know at the time we didn't feel lonely or empty, or like anything was missing, but it was just interesting to see how the change of having him added to our life colors my memories. Not that my memories are bad now, they just seem so...quiet. Like something was missing, similar to how I felt in my home the first few days after we lost our puppy.

If you have kids, do your memories or times pre-kid seem different in your head now? I wondered if this was some kind of weird pregnancy brain thing. :)

The Shrieking Eel

Lately, when he's either happy or sad about something, Sawyer's expression takes the form of a shriek. Super loud. It's kind of cute-ish when he's happy, and downright obnoxious when he's mad about something. Seriously, the kid is piercing. I wish I could somehow harness the sound, because I think that it could be made into a weaponized grade of sound.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Road Thus Far

So, here's what's been going on with me in the past few weeks. Right before my last derby bout, I was pretty grumpy and kept feeling like any minute I was going to get my period. Never did. Sometime the next week I thought, maybe I'm pregnant. Nah. But I took a test anyway, because those things are so fun to take. I got a faint positive, but didn't believe it. So I waited til the next morning (or 2am because I couldn't wait til the morning) and got another one. As I mentioned, these were Dollar Tree tests, so I thought maybe they were defective. Third time is the charm though, and I realized that I was, indeed pregnant.

I'm not sure why I was shocked, but I was. I think because I know so many people who struggle with infertility, I don't take it for granted that I could just get pregnant whenever. I really believe it's a God thing. We also had been thinking about waiting until my derby season was over--and oh, wait--that means I skated my last bout pregnant! Yikes. (And had a few rum and cokes at the afterparty--double yikes!)

Rob was out of town, so I had a few days of thinking about this all to myself and wondering if I should tell him on the phone and then tell my parents, who were staying with me, or waiting in person. I am not good at waiting, so I told him over the phone and told my parents before they left. Everyone was, of course, ecstatic.

The hardest people to tell were my Bosses--the team I skate with for HRD. We have the championship coming up and it's huge for us. I know that losing any player before a big game matters, and I felt like I was letting them down. Yes, babies outweigh derby, but at the same time, derby is important and it's a team sport so we depend on each other. I was definitely sad about missing out, and while they are sad to not skate with me, they were all pretty excited.

I've talked to my midwife, Cathy, and will be meeting with her next week. I am planning another home birth (probably a longer post about that decision later) and am excited but freaked out that I'm doing this whole birth thing again. For that matter, the whole pregnancy thing--eeek! I feel like I just got done being pregnant, even though it's been a year.

So far, I am tired and definitely more emotional (I've cried more in the past month than in the past year), and have felt vaguely nauseous for the last week. Food still sounds good, despite the nausea, but one of my many goals is to NOT gain 70 pounds this time around, so I'm still trying to be good and not go crazy. The nausea is new, though, as I really didn't have that with Sawyer. Does that mean a little girl? We are not finding out again, so we'll have that excitement to wait for. Any bets so far? Rob thinks girl. I think...I don't know.

Sawyer, while he doesn't really get what's happening (yet), has already learned to kiss the baby, which is really cute except when he tries to pull my shirt up and kiss my tummy when we have company. Especially mixed company.

I have so many things I want and need to do right now that I can't turn my brain off. I want to switch Saw's nursery and the bunk bed room in our house, paint and rearrange our bedroom, finish that dang novel, and a host of other things. But I'm so TIRED. Ugh. Anyone want to move in and help with all this stuff? That'd be great. Go ahead and put your resumes in with the comments.

Diaper Chat with FREE Diapers

Young and Restless Resale in Houston will be having a Diaper Chat tomorrow, Tuesday July 14, from 10-12. The owner of Kissaluvs cloth diapers will be there with new products and 15 FREE onesize diapers for people who RSVP. I don't know if it's a drawing or if this will be first 15 get a diaper. It's a good event if you're interested in cloth, and especially if you want a free diaper. Kissaluvs is not my favorite brand, but YnR sells new and used cloth, so it can be a good place to get started and try things out. Here is their site! To RSVP, call the number on their site and let them know you'll be attending Diaper Chat.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


In case you missed my subtle last post, I am, indeed, pregnant. Nine or so weeks. Due February 18th, at best guess. (I think after Sawyer, I will always see due dates as what they are: guesses.) For a few months, I will have two under two. Crazy! But wonderful, and I'm glad I am now free to post about all the ups and downs and thoughts I've had thus far. I just started buying new clothes again, for crying out loud! I guess I can go ahead and hang up those size 4s in the closet for another year. Sigh. Are we really doing this again?? Yes! It's still sinking in, if you can tell from this mini-conversation with myself. We can't wait to meet little #2! Who definitely needs a nickname like Sawyer's pre-birth nickname (Bo) because no one should be called #2, if you know what I mean. Suggestions??

The Great Thing about the Dollar Tree

I've discovered that the new Dollar Tree near me is a seriously great place for bargains. One of the big surprises was that it carries pregnancy tests and ovulation tests (which help you know when you're fertile for acheiving pregnancy), both of which carry much heftier price tags in other stores. I stocked up on both, as Rob and I have been thinking about expanding our family at some point.

As it turns out, I wasted a few dollars. I only needed ONE test. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

No More Nights Away!

In the same realm of the whole routine dilemma comes the issue of vacations. We just had a really nice one in Corpus, but it was only nice during the waking hours. Nights were NOT good for me or Sawyer. He wakes up, confused about where he is, and cries. Then, he doesn't want to go back in his pack and play, since it's not his bed. (This is me interpreting his actions--but I think I'm pretty close since this behavior is different than at home.) I end up trying to put him in bed with us, just desperate to go back to bed, and then he wants to nurse all night, which I do NOT want. But when you're sharing a room with baby, leaving him to scream in the pack and play two feet from your bed really is ineffective for sleep as a whole. In fact, our vacay to Louisiana, wonderful as it was, ended Sawyer's first week of sleeping through the night, and it has never resumed.

Last night Rob and I stayed at some church friends' house who were out of town. Rob wanted me to try their Temper Pedic mattress, which he thinks will save his back. Suffice to say that I don't remember how I liked the mattress because I barely slept. In fact, I had a middle of the night meltdown like never before, where I'm pretty sure I cussed and may or may not have thrown things, and where I dragged Sawyer's pack and play down the hall and left him screaming in it. Not my best moment.

Thankfully, there's Rob, who calmed Sawyer down (who was probably more freaked out by me freaking out than the strange hallway he was sleeping in at that point) and calmed me down. But still. I made a vow in the night not to travel anymore because I just can't handle Sawyer's inability to sleep in a strange environment right now. Especially after a long week, which began at the beach with no sleep for the same reasons. Next week, it's all routine, baby, all the way. I don't want to go anywhere unusual. I don't want to change one thing about Sawyer's routine. I want us both to sleep in peace.

So, I'm sure now that I've made this vow, a hundred things will go wrong, but don't take it away from me yet, okay? I'm still somewhat hopeful for a person running on four non-consecutive hours of sleep.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Your Best Birth Web-i-sodes

Ricki Lake is back, following up her documentary (The Business of Being Born) and her book (Your Best Birth) with a new documentary called My Best Birth. The website is airing mini-episodes that serve as teaser trailers, and feature celebs like Cindy Crawford, Kimberley Williams-Paisley, and Laila Ali. You can check it out here. Personally, I think the more women talk about birth experiences and birth choices, the better.

The Wheels Are Turning

Lately, Sawyer's mind is really turning on. Or, it's becoming more obvious to us that there is stuff going on in there. His talking is picking up, even though I don't have a lot of new words to add to his list. But he's gotten to be quite the imitator, patterning his voice and sounds after things we're saying. When we were at the beach and shouting for different kids to come out of the ocean, Sawyer would mimic our syllables and tone, shouting along with us. Super cute. He will also say "yeah!" sometimes when he ask him questions. A very enthusiastic yeah. His range of animal sounds now extends from dog to snake to peacock. (Yes, peacock. I know it's random. He's pretty good at it, though.)

The other thing that really scares me is how he is trying to figure things out. Like the car seat. He now watches very carefully as I strap him in, and will sometimes hand me the bottom buckle when it's time to use it. Now it's just a matter of time before he figures out how to get it off. Eek! He also spent several minutes yesterday trying to figure out how to attach the tray of his portable travel booster/high chair. He notices everything and definitely seems interested in how things work. He's a wild man, I tell you. A wild man.

When Sawyer Gets Mad, He _________

Fill in the blank. I'll give you a moment to think about it. (Cue Jeopardy music.)

Time's up! If you said, "When Sawyer gets mad, he STRIPS," you are correct sir! Yes, my funny child likes to take his clothes off in protest. Last night, he had a little trouble giving into sleep while Lynn and Sandi were watching him and I was at derby. During his protests, he took off his pajama pants and threw them in the floor. Then this morning when I cam in to get him, he had wrangled one arm out of his sleeve and through the neck of his shirt. He kind of looked like he was wearing one of those dresses with only one sleeve. It was pretty funny.

Thankfully he hasn't figured out how to take his diaper off...then we'll really be in trouble.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gnawing at the Store

Today I took Sawyer to the grocery store, and it's always a battle of trying to keep him occupied and in the cart. Kind of a race against time. I love HEB because they have all these great samples. Today he snacked on pineapple and cheese, but I couldn't quite keep him out of the other groceries. He took a giant bite out of an avocado, peel and all before I could stop him. I gave him the little net of Babybel cheese, which I thought was safe since it's a bunch of little cheeses inside wax shells, all inside a net. Nope. He chewed through the net, through the wax, and into the cheese. He's a gnawer, I tell you--a gnawer!

Corpus Christi Photos

Here are our beach photos! They don't really show the whole trip, as our camera pooped out. Technology hates us. (And also, the ocean.) You can see the salt air in the last few photos, literally. Overall, it was a great trip, and we had a fun family time. Thanks, Peter!!
Sawyer doing his part to help clean. Rob playing with a bunch o boys in the hot tub.
David caught and ate (okay, not really) a crab. Saw, the beach. Beach, Saw.

Rob needed some eye relaxation, and I needed to nibble some cucumbers.Puffy eyes! We think from salt water.Saw intently checking out the fireworks. Boys like fire.
Watching the mini-fireworks display.
Checking out the great fireworks, thanks to a neighbor who really shelled out.



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