Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Coma?

Sorry for the lack of posts...I still feel like I'm recovering from Thanksgiving. I'll have some new pics and posts up soon. Mommy's tired.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Grumpy Hour

No, I don't mean the hour(s) before dinner and bedtime when kids tend to get cranky. I mean the hour(s) when Mommy gets grumpy and just needs a few minutes to herself without Sawyer. That sounds pretty awful, but I will be honest when I say that there are I have a few moments, maybe not every day but definitely ever week, where I grow a really short fuse and just need a tiny break. Typically these occur when I'm hungry and need to eat. There is probably not other time when I get so cranky (I'll partially blame my low blood sugar) and find myself really close to snapping at my wonderful and sweet little guy who just happens to want attention when I want to eat some food.

I had one of those grumpy hours tonight when I was heating up dinner and also trying to fold laundry, and Sawyer somehow managed to unfold my laundry and also try and find his way to my lap right as I set my plate down. Oh, man. It's such a small thing that I want--just a moment of rest and quiet and aloneness and eatingness. And of course it's at that time when Sawyer tends to get needy and try to pull me over to his play area or climb in my lap or get into the pantry and start pulling things off the shelves. I hate to see myself lose it, even if my losing it is pretty tame. Do you have a moment of the day where you find your fuse shorter, whether with your husband, kids, or other people in general? Or is it just me that has a few monstrous moments?

Tantrum City

Tantrums are just beginning to rear their ugly heads around our house. And every now and then in public. Raise your hand if you HAVEN'T seen a kid throwing a tantrum and thought, "Man, I'm glad that's not MY kid." Or, if you're sometimes small inside like me: "They are really handling that wrong!"

Sawyer has been throwing mini tantrums almost daily, mostly related to the fact that he wants to ride his bike every time we open the door to go outside. And if we say no (which I usually do because I can't keep up with him at this stage in pregnancy), he stands by the door and just wails. We're figuring out how to handle this at home, but in public, it's such a different thing. Why? Because it's embarrassing. It's hard in a public space with eyes on you to wrangle your kid--that's just how it is. Often at home, you can diffuse the situation, but when you're out, you're out, and that often means you are, to a degree, stuck in that situation for a little while.

I'd love to hear how you guys handle public (and private) tantrums as we're figuring it out, and if you want to hear some women's voices on this subject, check out this Momversation!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Hannibal Lecter Thanksgiving

Another title for this post could be "Pregnancy Hazards: Thanksgiving Edition." I've already blogged about how I keep injuring and burning myself during pregnancy (especially burns) and yesterday I added a new high (low?) to the injury ward. While cutting up apples for my apple-pecan-sausage stuffing (which ended up being just apple-pecan after this), I cut off a chunk of my pinky. It's kind of medium bad: much worse than just a cut, but not bad enough to need stitches or to reattach anything. In fact, I think I found the piece of skin, but am not sure. So it may have gone into the stuffing. (Which didn't turn out anyway. Hannibal Lecter actually would have been disappointed.)

Otherwise we had fun and food and family for Thanksgiving, but I felt less thankful and more stressed. It's really hard to watch Sawyer and eat, and I was so hungry that by dinner, all I wanted to do was eat, not be rescuing him from eating shampoo out of a bottle or destroying Lynn's floral arrangements or eating mashed potatoes from his unhappy cousin's plate. Sometimes I deal better than others and yetserday, sadly, was not my best day. Oh, and I also backed over the new (albeit cheap) umbrella stroller that I recently bought. I'm not even going to see if it's working yet--we'll save that for a non-holiday.

Now, if you want to see something gross, I (off course) added a picture of my finger.

And another really gross one of holiday poo.

I know that some of you (Mom, Dad, Peter) are disgusted that I might put a picture of poop on here.

But I had to! (You'll see why if you look.)

And I'm doing all these nice breaks to try and help you not see the photos if you don't want to.

Isn't that nice of me?

So, please, stop looking and scroll if you don't want to see a bloody finger and poop.

Are you scrolling?


Because here it comes!

(And now it's going to be anti-climactic.)

See? Not so bad. But nice little hole. Just enough to flavor the stuffing. (Maybe--we still can't prove it either way.)

And see? Holiday poo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Evidence of Said Nesting

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm in nesting overdrive. Here are some photos of our new paint color in the TV room. I love it. Feels like a coffee house or something.


Here's a cute pic of my parents with newborn Sawyer to give you an idea what it kinda looked like before in here, at least the color. And aw! Saw was so little!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

St. Nick Comes Early

Yeah, I know I'm not supposed to talk about Christmas until after tomorrow. Too bad! Somehow Sawyer already recognizes Santa (thankfully not as a gift-giver of epic proportions, just as the guy with the beard in red), whom he calls something that sounds like "Dada." That just goes to show how much Christmas is already out there right now. In any case, I was wanting to know how to explain Santa to him now that he's getting to the age where he's taking things in. We definitely don't want Christmas to be just about presents (or focused on them at all really), and don't want Sawyer to believe in Santa as a real person. But I'm okay with having the Santa tradition be a part of this season, the same way I like a lot of traditions that may or may not actually have to do with Jesus' birth.

In any case, as I was struggling to figure out how to explain Santa to Saw, I remembered that Jenna posted something great on St. Nick last year on her blog, so I thought I'd post the link. She also has a link to a site with even more St. Nick and Santa stuff in case you're interested and, like me, thinking Christmas even before Thanksgiving turkey. :)

The Little Things

Since I've become a mom, huge changes have taken place. People talk about those all the time. But there are smaller, odd changes that no one talks about. So of course I thought I'd take those on today.

Parking: You'd think with a kid, you'd want those nice, prime spots by the front of stores that are reserved for pregnant mothers or mothers with toddlers. But if returning a cart is involved, such as in the grocery store, my prime spot is one next to the cart return. Because here's the dilemma: when you've unpacked your groceries in your car, do you then unpack your child as well and leave him or her while walking away to the cart return? Or do you take your child with you to the cart return and then lug them back to the car in your arms? I'm going to go ahead and assume that none of you are the types to just set your cart free in the middle of the parking lot.

Eating out: While I still love the opportunity to eat food that I don't make, or to go on a date with Rob at a restaurant. But in general, the idea of eating out turns my stomach. Sawyer has a limited time span for sitting in a high chair, and it's usually ended just about the time my food has arrived. Meaning that I eat in a huge rush, not enjoying anything, and spend most of dinner stressing over the full-time job of keeping him contained and quite. No fun. So now I'd much rather stay home and cook, or have someone deliver take out to me.

Schedule: This one is pretty obvious, but it's crazy how I have to plan around things like nap time, or when the gym has child care, or what time Sawyer goes to bed. My first thought when a plan comes up is not "Am I free?" but "What is Sawyer doing at that time?". And, "Could we get back home in time that Sawyer won't fall asleep in the car and ruin his nap?".

Invitations: Kind of along the same lines, now when I'm invited to plans, instead of thinking about whether or not I want to go, I have to think about what Sawyer would do in that space. Example: I'm invited to a cookout at the home of a family with kids in high school. The old me would think: free food. Yes! The new me thinks: high school kids--no childproof cabinets. No baby gates. Lots of electronic things for Sawyer to get into. If it's a two story house--stairs. Me chasing Sawyer around for two hours while wishing I was able to sit down and eat. I think not.

So you see, it's not just the huge things like your attitude, your sense of self, your identity, your level of selfishness that are affected by having a baby. It's where you park your car at the grocery store.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Discipline--Always Easier When It's Someone Else's Kid

Admit it--you've watched parents dealing with kids in public spaces and thought to yourself, they're doing it wrong. Jenna and I were talking about discipline today as our boys, who are about six months apart, are definitely in that stage of pushing limits. It's so tempting in the grocery store to shake your head at that mom who gives in and gives the screaming kid candy to shut him up, but when it's your kid who's screaming and you just want to check out--what do YOU do?

Always tougher when it's you and your kid. Here is a great link I found today on Baby Center with some ideas and tips for dealing with discipline issues at different ages. One thing that impressed me was that they made sure to distinguish that crying babies (they define this as under a year) need to be responded to because that response teaches trust. You will not be spoiling your baby by responding, but rather giving him or her confidence in your relationship that sets a great stage for obedience later. Anyway, check it out for some great ideas!

Tuesday Confessions

Tuesday used to be my hardest day of the week, every week. Now that Sawyer's in school Tuesday, there are fewer disasters and struggles. Not that they were all related to him, but having whatever happened PLUS him, PLUS Rob having a long work day meant yuck. In any case, I'm starting a new Tuesday blogging tradition: the Tuesday confession. It might be silly, might be serious, but definitely will be true. Feel free to comment or share your own Tuesday confession in the comments if you have something you need to get off your chest. And be looking for this every Tuesday!

Today's confession: I actually kind of like fruit cake. Especially those red and green parts that are supposed to be (but in no way are) fruit. I usually keep this to myself, as fruit cake seems to be a running joke in the world, but I really do like it. Yum!

Ham Face

Now it seems that whenever I pull out the camera, I get The Face. Sawyer is a real ham, and I love it. I also kinda like eyepatches.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Comes Early

If you noticed, Christmas decor started going up in September. I swear--a whole section of the Walmart near us was selling stockings and tree stuff and lights right after labor day. Now it's a total frenzy. Even though I think it's silly, I love the Christmas season (except for the mad rush of empty consumerism part) and can't help but get excited when I hear "Silent Night" playing while I'm buying groceries. Seeing the pink singing fake Christmas trees--not so much.

In any case, Rob went out today and bought a Christmas present for Sawyer. His parents let everyone choose gifts for the grandkids, and Rob decided to buy something really fun that I know he and I will use: a bike seat for Saw. As soon as Sawyer got up from his three hour nap today (!!!!), the boys set out for a long bike ride. I went for about a block until my butt started aching. Here are some cute pics of Rob and Saw trying out the Christmas gift. Thanks, Buck and Lynn! The face, bike-riding style.
My cute boys!
I'm still not sure...do you think he likes it?? :)

Nesting Overdrive

I know that they (whoever "they" are) say right before you go into labor, you get a surge of nesting, scrubbing down every surface, cleaning things you'd never cleaned before. For me, that nesting starts way before. Lately it's been on organizing and rearranging. I'm doing little bits at a time, so it will be a while before things look better (ie, for a little while, they look worse), but it's keeping me excited and motivated.

We're repainting three rooms--switching the current nursery to make it Sawyer's big boy room and making our current computer room the nursery. While we're at it, why not paint the TV room? I get kind of crazy with paint and changing things up. I've also been stocking up on great containers from Garden Ridge for $1.99 to help organize my pantry, which is huge, but a lot of wasted space because there's just stuff everywhere.

I also have on the back burner to finish up our bedroom, which I painted some time ago. We bought a comforter set and have Rob's mom on the prowl for matching fabric to make curtains and pillows. Oh, and I'm working on an oil painting for above our bed.

I wish I could say my energy is going toward cleaning, but my nesting leans toward the creative side of things. I do remember scrubbing all my kitchen cabinets and baseboards in the weeks before Saw was born, so I'm sure I'll get to that point eventually, but for now we'll stick to the fun projects.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Swimming in Jello

I just realized while sitting here that my post title is really what it feels like sometimes when The Beast moves. People talk about babies kicking, and The Beast does kick, but more often than not, s/he is doing some kind of weird movement in there. Honestly, there was just something like a shuddering earthquake. What is s/he doing? Making up new dance moves? Tae Bo? The hokey pokey?

It really is, quite literally, an awesome feeling to have another person inside you, making his or her presence known by movement. And even though there are times it's painful (enough that I now refer to this baby as The Beast), I really do love it. It is the wildest thing to think about another living being in your body, and quite wilder still to experience that being doing a riverdance in your belly.

Toddler Insomnia?

So, we had two nights in a row of all-night sleeping, and then we had last night. Saw woke up at 3:30, and Rob took duty. I didn't really fall back asleep and could hear things not going as well as they normally do. Around 4:15, Rob came back to our bed, with Sawyer and a bottle in tow. We both figured this would get him back to sleep, but when he finished the bottle, he sat up and started talking and playing with the covers and just generally doing awake things. I took him back to his room and tried to put him down. Screaming ensued. I followed this with some serious prayer and tight-hold rocking. After what seemed like hours, I felt that he was asleep enough to transfer...and I was right. At this point it was 5:30. And yes, he still got up at 7am.

I still feel like we're recovering from taking a trip and getting him out of his comfort and routine. What complicates things is that, while we are not cry-it-outers by any means, there comes a point in the bed or nap process when Sawyer might throw an angry fit to get his way (ie, to get up) and we both feel that he needs to know he doesn't get his way. However, since we've been back, he's had a bit of a cough, and this I think affects his gag reflex, so if he really cries, he throws up. Which means cleaning him up, cleaning the floor up, cleaning the bed sheets and blankets...Plus, a sad little boy, because who likes throwing up??

So we're stuck in this hard place of really having to respond even at times where we would normally let him work it out a bit on his own. Which means that, other than the few nights he's gone down easily and slept all night, we're all getting great practice in for the new baby.

Placental Hair

Ew, that post title sounded grosser than I intended. But I kind of like it... My friend Laurie sent me this picture, which she took in an Ingles grocery store in Asheville, NC. It does "something" to your hair, and yes, does contain placental extract. And it's only $1.50!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big Boys!

Reflections on Sawyer's Birth: Initial Bonding

When I look back on Sawyer's birth, one thing really blows my mind: I probably spent a total of thirty minutes to an hour with him in the first 24 hours. I know, right? That's crazy. There are a few reasons for this, as I think about it, and overall, I'm hoping for a different first start this time around.

He was in the NICU, hooked up to IV's, and though they encouraged me to come in and try to nurse him, the whole thing was really awkward and strange. The first time, the nurses practically shoved him on there, and he was totally not interested, partially due to the fact that he was full of fluids already, I'm sure. I appreciate that they wanted to help, but it was very unnatural. It was also really hard to hold him with all the wires to the different things they had hooked up. Later, I came back and tried to nurse again, and they actually unhooked him this time, but it was so busy and crowded, they put me and Rob and Sawyer in a broom closet. Not the, um, best place for beginnings. I felt more comfortable pumping in the room and sending it along with the nurses.

What was really strange to me to think about was why I didn't spend every waking moment either in there holding him or staring through the glass at my new little man. Because I definitely didn't. Other than those two times, and maybe one other, I stayed in my hospital room in bed. Now that's kind of inconceivable to me. Combine the artificialness of trying to bond with baby with the trauma I was feeling from a difficult birth, the pain from episiotomy stitches, and maybe even the effects of the drugs in my system (there's a proven link between lack of bonding and use of drugs in labor), and it makes a little more sense.

I think that I was in need of rest, and felt like since Sawyer was being taken care of 24-7, even if not by me, and was unable to really move because of all the monitoring stuff they had him wired to, it was okay for me to recover alone. It was also overwhelming to me to suddenly be a mother and not know what to do, and having to figure it out in front of overzealous NICU nurses freaked me out a bit.

If all of this sounds like justifying, it's really not. I'm not wracked with guilt about my seeming lack of interest or even sort of selfish self-preservation those first hours. This reflection is more trying to understand my initial reaction, which seems so foreign to me now that Sawyer and I are so tight. Like much of my birth, things didn't go as planned, and I definitely want something different for next baby's first hours.

Two Nights in a Row...

...of Saw going down easily and staying down all night. :) Thankful for the little things!

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Daddy Time

I will always remember a finding from a study that Buck (Rob's Dad) mentioned in a sermon once: that children's grades went up when they played with their fathers. Interesting, huh? I know how special the times were that I had with my Dad--notably our time in Indian Princesses when we'd camp and do fun outdoor things. Time with both parents is special and essential, but I think it's easier for working Dads to lose out on great time with their kids. It's just hard!

Like most dads, Rob has a job that keeps him busy. Youth ministers have weird hours, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not. But whenever Rob has a chance to spend time with Saw, he makes the most of it!

Here's a new tradition we're starting in the mornings. I like to start the day by reading the Bible, so we're kind of instilling that to Saw, reading to him from the Bible storybook my Mom gave him. Today I met Rob after work and we had some fun indoor time since it was wet out. He even shelled out for the carousel! Saw loved it.
So did Rob. :)
And what's an afternoon at the mall in Texas without a fire?
I think I've already mentioned it this week, but I'm thankful for having such a great husband who is also a great Daddy!

My Kid Did Paint That

Rob and I recently watched My Kid Could Paint That, a documentary I discussed on here before. It was just as intriguing to me this time, and I think Rob even enjoyed it, despite his protests. It definitely reminded me that I want to encourage and allow my kids to have some fun with art if they like it, whether they are particularly gifted or not. If they want to do it, by golly, we're going to do it.

So today I got a drop cloth, stripped Saw down to a diaper and gave him some paint and canvas. Since he was savvy to the documentary, Rob asked if I helped or directed. Only a little. I didn't ever take the brush from him, but I did give him some instructions, like: put the brush in the paint, then on the canvas. Or use your hand. No, DON'T EAT THE PAINT. I also gave him some parameters in that I only picked three colors, two blues and a green, so we wouldn't end up with any muddy colors. So, yeah--I helped. But I think at this age, parameters and a little instruction are okay. Plus, we're not selling his paintings for $80,000, so I feel okay about it. Enjoy the photos!

He began by sitting on the canvas.
Then started off slowly.
He soon figured out that he could paint his hand with the brush, then use his hand on the canvas.

"I just blue myself." (Name the show! This is an easy one...)
And, finally, let's get our whole body involved. Why not?
I would highly suggest giving your kids the freedom to be creative, not just with the normal crayons and what not. Craft paints are like 50 cents--buy a few and let them really have at it. Drop cloths are a good idea ($1.50) and have an exit strategy to the nearest hose or shower. One thing I forgot to plan for is the fact that I would be carrying this paint-covered child to the shower--so you may want to wear your paint clothes too. What a great idea for Christmas presents!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mary in Tortillas, Michael Jackson in Ultrasounds?

Ultrasounds kind of look strange sometimes, but did you ever see a famous person in your baby's? One couple found, to their surprise, the late King of Pop in their baby's ultrasound. Huh? Yeah, I know. Click here to see the photo and read about it.

Daddy Saves the Day

Rob is always a great dad, but I have really been thankful for his help this week with Sawyer. With the bedtime difficulties as we adjust, somehow Rob is the only one who can really get him back down when he wakes up during the night, and just to sleep in general. Tonight I had a really easy time, but we'll see. Last night he woke up twice and pitched a complete fit when I tried to get him back down. Rob has the magic in him. I, apparently, don't. So, thanks, Rob for all the wonderful help this week!

Already?

Today I noticed my first Braxton-Hicks. It seems a little early, but all of the sudden, today they were happening. Stronger than last time, but I guess that's how things go the second time--I show earlier, notice kicks earlier, have contractions earlier... It's freaking me out a little and making me realize how much more ready I want to be before baby. Better get on that birth-planning!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Midwife Visit: 26 Weeks

I can't believe how fast the time is flying! Now I'll see Cathy every two weeks instead of once a month. That really made me realize just how close we are to the end. I'm so excited to meet baby, but freaked out that the lovely little world we have now will change. Oh, Sawyer--you can't imagine!

Everything looked great today from my blood pressure to the urine tests which show if there's protein in my urine and even if I'm drinking enough water. The one thing that was not so good was that my weight really jumped up. I told Cathy that I really ate my feelings this month, and it's so true! Lots of stress with travel and such and one thing makes that better for me: ice cream!

The baby's heartrate was between 150-162, and the whole time that Cathy's assistant was using the doppler, The Beast was kicking away at it. Just like The Beast.

According to the ultrasound information (which I finally got to Cathy after conveniently hiding it from myself in case it told the sex of the baby), my placenta is posterior, which is good because often that helps the baby NOT be posterior. Yay for that!

Otherwise, we're just moving along. I feel blessed to have such easy pregnancies. My one curse is that I just feel like I get huge. I was measuring about a week ahead: 27.5 cm. Usually it corresponds to the week you're at, so I'm a little up. Again, the ice cream. I can't complain though, as I feel mostly fantastic, and am just so glad not to have had headaches this time, and still no morning sickness. Now we'll just hope for a great labor and healthy delivery...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My "Brilliant" Placebo

Okay, so I was going to write in this morning about how I was a genius and how I had solved a problem we were having with Sawyer. Since we went to VA, I've had the hardest time because he wants to go to sleep with a bottle, I think for comfort more than anything. He's never been a pacifier kid, and has no special animal or anything else he's attached to, so the bottle has become his thing. (And as a side note, yes, I know that they say to stop giving bottles after one. I'll post sometime about why I'm okay that we didn't.)

My main problem is his teeth. We've been so good about brushing for him and don't give him lots of sugary stuff or juice, so we're doing pretty well, but bottles of milk in bed are definitely not good. Before our trip, I had gotten him down and weaned the bottle away to only pre-bedtime, but we're still recovering from the trip, so that went out the window. My brilliant idea was that if he just needed comfort, I could put water in the bottle for his post-tooth-brush and then that would provide comfort and not jack up his teeth. It worked! He drank milk before bed, got his teeth brushed, and then went happily to bed with a bottle of water. I'm a genius!

Except for the one thing...the enormously drenched and heavy diaper that had completely soaked through by midnight. Shoot. Mom had gotten up with him and said, "I need to change your diaper." And Sawyer said, "Yes!" I guess I'm almost a genius. Or we just need to get back to weaning him off the bottle before bed again. Dang.

Monday, November 16, 2009

93%

Okay, I still haven't figured out what to do with my blog, and I'm running out of room. 93% used and counting daily. So if anyone knows of someone who can help me with my layout so I can switch to wordpress or anyone who wants free permanent ad on my blog, let me know! It's not going to take me long to use up that last 7%. :(

Notes from a Pediatrician

Today at MOPs, we had a pediatrician from Blue Fish Pediatrics come in and share with us. She was very no-nonsense and had some great information and broke down some common myths for us. The next few posts are directly from her. You can check her practice's website if you want to find answers to your common medical questions. Overall, I left feeling like we all need to be a little less worried and a little more relaxed about our health. Keep in mind that these are views from one practice, and if you have any specific questions, you should contact your pediatrician.

Common Health Misconceptions

Here is a reality check about certain old wives tales (or just rumors) you may have heard. Get ready for surprised.

Going out in cold weather with wet hair, no shoes, or no coat will result in getting sick. False! This doesn't mean you have to tell your child this, of course, but unless your child is in frigid weather for an extended period of time to the point they're getting blue lips or other freezing symptoms, their immune system will not be compromised.

If your child has a fever, avoid giving them milk. Nope! This probably got its origin from the reality that milk can be a little harsher for the stomach when your child has vomiting or diarrhea. With a fever, it's totally fine and may even be better if your child is too sick to eat, because milk has calories, fat and protein that won't be found in drinks like gatorade or pedialyte. If there is a lot of mucous going on, milk does thicken (but not increase) the mucous, so if you know your child has a really quick gag reflex, you may consider keeping the milk to a minimum. But don't avoid milk simply because of fever.

Fevers can cause seizures or brain damage. Not so much. Flu can cause fevers of up to 104 and 105, but even at that high temperature, the brain is not being harmed, your child will just be super uncomfortable and feel awful. When you get to 106 and 107, you need to make sure you're seeking medical attention, as it means something else is going on that you'll want to take care of. Seizures associated with fevers come when your child is prone to or genetically inclined for febrile seizures. If so, fevers will and can cause the seizures, but that does not mean fevers result in seizure for every child. Height of a fever is not as worrisome as the duration.

Your child needs vitamins to boost their immune system. Need is a very strong word here. Your body better absorbs vitamins and minerals through food, and even if your child is not the best eater, if they are getting a fairly well-balanced diet (even over a course of a day or two) they are more than likely getting all their vitamins naturally, and in the way your body best absorbs them. Often the cry for more of a certain vitamin (vitamins D & C for example) can be the result of a marketing ploy. Vitamin C is readily available in many foods and you're probably getting more than enough Vitamin D if you're spending something like 10 total minutes in the sun per day.

Life Cycle of a Cold

Here are a few facts about colds. They will usually last a total of 14 days with some symptoms. 99% of colds are caused by some kind of virus. If your child is moving along this track, then you're pretty normal and don't really need to head to the doctor. This was pretty encouraging to me and made me feel less worried about the common stuff. Keep in mind that this is info from one pediatrician--if you have any questions, call your own to be safe!

Day 1 & 2: fever, possibly runny nose and cough. (Fever is really 104 and above; anything below is pretty mild.) Don't go to the doctor yet! If something like an ear infection is coming, it won't be here yet and you'll have to go back.

Day 3 &4: the fever should be cleared, but runny nose and cough might peak and worsen here. That's normal! This is probably the most contagious time, simply because of the coughing and mucous.

Day 5: the beginning of the turning point. May not be a huge improvement, but should see some perking up, and then better each day after.

When to go to the doctor's office:
1. if fever lasts longer than 3 days
2. if you have the runny nose and cough first and THEN get the fever
3. if your child looks like they feel really awful (or is acting like they feel awful) even when the fever is DOWN.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Latest New Sleep Thing

Because parenthood seems to really consist of one phase of bad sleep to the next until your kids go to college (at least this is my latest theory), here is what Sawyer's doing now.

We had two bad nights readjusting from our trip where Rob was the hero and got Saw back down to try and help break the bad habits I'd started out of desperation--mainly drinking milk in the middle of the night and sleeping in bed with me. The third night--slept all night. Then he got sick. Not bad, but enough to screw him up. So we had a few wake-ups, but mostly okay. But we still had to go in there to get him back down, and he did often need a bottle to go back to sleep.

The last two nights he's been doing this thing where he'll fall asleep or be almost asleep, and yet when I put him down in the crib, he utterly freaks out. Which is weird considering that as soon as a week ago, he'd wiggle in my arms to be put down. Now he doesn't want to go. Last night he pitched a huge fit, and when I left him to cry for a few minutes (what I do when he's protesting and throwing and angry tantrum), he threw up everywhere. Which was...fun. He woke up in the middle of the night and did the same protest, so I had to get Rob to go in. Somehow he doesn't take anything from Rob.

Today at nap time we had the same battle. He's totally out, but the second I put him down: major meltdown. I tried several times to calm him and re-try, but he just went bananas and got really mad and then woke himself up and wanted to get up. I'm all for making sleepy time a comfortable time, but I also know when Sawyer is just being angry and wants his way and is throwing a tantrum to get it. Which was today, exactly. So I left him to cry, and after not so long (and thankfully no throwing up in protest), he went down and had a great nap and woke up in a great mood.

Tonight I got him down without too much protest, throwing up, or tantrums, but I just feel exhausted and, again, like I never want to go out of town again. It ruins all of our patterns! And, man, do I see how fragile they are when the littlest thing can break them.

So I Missed the Football Game

Sawyer and I went to watch Rob play in a football tournament yesterday, only we missed the first game and then the next got delayed too long for Sawyer to last. We did have a great time playing around on the fields, and Saw got some always-loved Daddy time. Even if we missed seeing any actual games.
I LOVE this one. Feats of strength from the little man.
To the moon...and beyond.

His first motorcycle ride.

And my favorite one.

A Little Too Enthusiastic

"Sawyer, are you pooping?"

"Yes."

(insert the voice of the Arrested Development narrator, aka Ron Howard) He wasn't.

Jumping Bean

I don't know what this baby is doing in there right now, but it's leaping around like the ten lords a' leaping. Or jumping like a jumping bean. Not kicking--but having its own dance party. Wish I was invited, instead of just being the dance floor.

Refelctions on Sawyer's Birth: Was I a Wimp?

In thinking back to how Sawyer's birth went, I've often wondered if I really could have pushed through labor to give birth at home instead of going to the hospital for the epidural. I mean, all labor is tough, right? Why could other people hack it and I couldn't?

For one, you can't really measure your pain and stack it up to someone else's. Personal experiences can't really be measured or compared. But while reading birth books, I came across some things that made me kind of look back and realize why my labor felt so difficult.

Here is what I was reading in The Christian Childbirth Handbook about the stages of labor. In early labor, you'll be dilated less than 5cm, have contractions that last 30-45 seconds and are less than 10 minutes apart. In what they call active labor, you'll be dilated between 5-8cm, will have contractions more than 60 seconds long and 5 minutes apart or less, and turn more inward to deal with the strong contractions. Transition (the period just before pushing) may be accompanied by contractions that double-peak (no rest between them) and vomiting and will usually push you to the full 10cm for pushing.

Every labor is different, so this is just a guideline, but in reading it, I realized why my labor felt so difficult. I went from wondering if I was maybe in labor with contractions only mildly stronger than the Braxton-Hicks to the description of transition. My contractions were all less than five minutes, many of them double-peaking with no breaks. I was throwing up and totally unaware of my surroundings, uncaring about modesty or anything else. Yet when my water broke on its own after twelve hours of this, I was only dilated to three.

So, my pain levels and contraction intensity matched the description here of transition, and yet according to my dilation, I was still in early labor. That made me feel a little more justified in saying that my labor was not the norm or really difficult. Part of this was probably that Saw was posterior (the back of his skull against my spine) until just before birth. Who really knows why, and I have been praying to have a labor that tracks more like the "normal" labor. But I've also been praying that if not, I can relax, give in and go along for the ride to still deliver a healthy baby at home.

Just a few more months and we'll see how it goes...

Great Christmas Giving Idea!

For years now, I have really wanted to start a new Christmas tradition of not giving lavish gifts to ourselves, but giving to those who really NEED. The many things I enjoy about Christmas have more to do with the feel of Christmas morning, spending time with family, eating together, listening to music and smelling the tree. I love having things and getting things at Christmas, but never feel like it's something I need. And I'm not the kind of person that needs to be shown love by gift-giving. Now that we're starting to have little ones, I want to make sure we miss out on the Christmas crazy of going into debt buying the best and newest and latest that every other kid has. We do NOT want to go there.

So...this year, Rob and I are looking at our budget to see how we can cut back on ourselves to really give important gifts. I just got a great catalog in the mail that I wanted to share. It's the World Vision Gift Catalog, which you can click through to access. You can buy things like a goat, a share of a cow, chickens, fruit trees, mosquito nets, a well or share of a well, medicine, clothes and shoes, Bibles translated into other languages, and school supplies. You can also donate money that will go to specific things like helping sexually exploited girls or women who are starting small businesses to support their families.

World Vision is a very reputable organization, so you don't have to worry that your money is really going somewhere else. And with so many affordable options (two chickens are $25), even if you don't want to go all out, you can still give a little of what you have to make a large impact on what someone needs!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pregnancy Confession #503

Sometimes while I'm eating, I become short of breath.

Playdate at Our House

This morning we hosted a playdate, which was really fun! Natalie couldn't make it, but a friend I met through Downhere named Dana came with her daughter Laurie. A good time was had by all, except maybe Sawyer, who was probably just tired from a bad night. He seemed very somber and often would just stand there watching everyone playing. Or would grab my hand so that I could play. I love that he likes playing with me, but doesn't he know that the reason we have his friends over is for him to play with THEM while I get to play with their Mommies? Anyway. A fun morning!



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Discovering the Limits of Prego

I discovered today some of my limits while being prego. After yesterday's two-plus-hour zoo trip and todays three-hour Nutcracker Market shoppig excursion, I had a grumpy meltdown. I was exhausted, and then, while trying to get dinner ready at home, there was dog barking and parmasean cheese tossing, and then a Sawyer Incident.

I looked over to see Saw on his chill area by the fireplace, with something on his hands, going, "Gross! Gross!" Remembering suddenly an incident a few months back, I said, "Mom? That's not poop is it?" Sure enough. Poop.

Thankfully this time he wasn't eating it and understood that it was gross. How he got it from his diaper to his hand, I'm not quite sure, but it was sort of the cherry on top of a tired day. I need to realize that I have limits. I may not need a nap every day (or ever), but I do need to have some chill time where I'm not walking for hours or out of the house for so long. The Beast is in there, and The Beast needs Mommy to rest.

Proof: Monkeys Are Evil

Here are a few photos from our zoo trip yesterday. While we were at the orangutang exhibit, this giant one came and sat down right in front of Sawyer. He was eating seeds or something, but I know he wanted to eat my kid. Check out these faces, and don't tell me you think they're cute. Bloodthirsty. Evil. That's what they are. I hate monkeys, by the way.

This picture may look cute and innocent, but it's just moments before the big Daddy monkey pimp-slapped the baby several feet across the enclosure. Mom's response: "Where's child services when you need them?" Zoom in. Look at these eyes: EVIL.
Inappropriate shirt of the day. At the zoo? Really??
Thankfully, Sawyer lived to wave from the piranha tunnel.

Nutcracker Market Madness!

If you've never been to the Nutcracker Market in Houston, you still have three days left! Mom took me today and it was wild. There are so many unique gifts, and so many free food samples! I basically went from free food sample to free food sample, and I don't think I want to taste another jelly again.

One of the fun parts to things like this is checking out Texas fashion, and I'm so sad I didn't bring my camera! If you want to get a general idea, you can look up my rodeo post from last year. There's this great Texas look--big hair (but not 80s big), fancy jeans, boots, and bling. Not the usual bling. Think Southwest style: turquoise, chunky, sparkly. Belt buckles, sparkly shirts, huge necklaces. The tacky award went to a woman in a mu mu (not kidding) who wore a headband with its own mistle toe hanging in front of her face. It rocked.

You have three days--tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday at the Reliant Center. Tickets are $11 at the door, and $10 if you buy them at Randalls. Parking is a nice $8, and I'd suggest walking and not waiting for the trolley. My favorite booth is the one with the fancy chocolate and caramel apples. YUM! Oh, and my favorite thing: all the men's bathrooms have been turned into women's bathrooms. :)

Headbanging

Sawyer's latest escapade (cue Janet Jackson music) is headbanging. When you pick him up, he throws his head into your face. With a giant grin, of course. He also likes to pick up various toys and objects and hit himself in the face or head while saying, "Ow." But he doesn't stop. Yesterday he tried banging his head into the coffee table. Weird phase, huh? I tell him, "Don't do that! It hurts." And he just says "ow" and keeps going. I guess what can you expect from the child of a crazy athlete and a derby girl? He loves pain.

Appropriate 80s movie quote--name the movie.
"What do we love?"
"PAIN!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daddy and Saw Outing

I always love to see Rob and Sawyer doing fun things. Rob's great about spending time with Saw, but since I'm home more than he is, I feel like sometimes I get dibs on all the adventures. Rob sent me photos from his iphone of an adventure just the two of them had yesterday. This is the water wall near the Galleria. What great shots, and Rob said they had a ton of fun.



God Bless You?

Anyone else watch the sad story of the little girl who can't stop sneezing? I feel badly for her, but while watching it, Sawyer started fake sneezing in an absolutely spot-on imitation of that little girl. Sorry, little girl, but this was hilarious. My little parrot!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Cheap Phone Got Swiped

So, exciting day! I did a boatload of stuff: painted a room, wrote ten pages, did lots of gardening. Then I got my phone stolen by a door-to-door solicitor. Thankfully, our neighborhood has a good constable service and they promptly came, found the group of solicitors, and somehow returned my phone. We decided not to press charges and Rob and I both prayed that this would somehow be a moment that would turn this guy to a different direction.

I feel kind of weird about it. I mean, I'm glad I had my phone back, but what the constable said about why the guy took my phone made me sad. I had left the phone on our front porch and forgot after gardening. The constable said the kid was poor and wanted a phone. I mean, if you've seen my phone, it's worth less than like $5. It's a go-phone, basically. For someone to want a phone badly enough to steal MY phone...yeah.

It was also disturbing that this happened in the middle of the day, while our neighbors were outside, just a few feet away, and with Tex barking his head off just inside. That didn't make me feel very safe. You'd think that those things would deter...but no. I'm not the type to worry much, but it did make me re-think the kind of lazy attitude I have about keeping our house locked and things put away. Not that I want to change a lot of things about the way we live, but I do think it made me see things a little differently. Just a weird day. Glad to have my phone back, and hope that kid is okay.

It Would Have Been Cute If Not at 3am...

So Sawyer has stopped with "yeah!" and become Mr. Manners with a nice, polite "yes." (Which sounds a little like "yeth" right now.) In any case, he did not sleep well last night to my dismay, but when I went in at 3am, he was being so cute it was hard to be tired and grumpy.

I walked in and he's going, "Bottle?" (Which he says with a kind of cockney accent--bah-uhl.) This is pretty normal for early morning or even middle of the night. But he must have sensed my hesitation it quickly transformed into this gem: "Bottle? YES. Bottle? YES."

I love it. More now that it's actually day time, but it was a little cute then.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sleep and Stuffing

Sawyer has been sort of semi-sick this week--runny nose and light cough. Not bad, except for the night before last, when he was up a ton during the night, and then yesterday when he seemed to have a mild fever. Last night he slept all night--yay!--and today was much perkier and ate a lot. He also coughed so hard that he threw up once, which was a low point. But overall, better day.

The rest of us are as stuffy as we could be. I used half a box of Kleenex today. Mom just got it, and so she's feeling blah. It's nothing but a head cold, but I really miss breathing when I can't do it. I also sound a lot like a man--if you have my number, you should call me for a laugh. It's a cross between 900-number Kiki and Mr. Kiki. Pretty awesome. In any case, I'm thankful that in all our sickness, we're never THAT sick.

Prenatal Testing: Would You?

There are so many things that you can get screened and tested for when you're pregnant. I actually don't know most of them because we are not so big into the prenatal screening. Here are some of the things you can test for: spina bifida, cleft palate, downs syndrome, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia. Our main reason is that no matter what we found out about baby, it would not make a difference--we would not consider abortion. In some ways, knowing that baby might have different or special needs might be good for mental preparation, but then again, many of the tests have false positives. Also, many require amniocentesis, which has a number of risks. Rob and I feel comfortable waiting and trusting that the baby we get is the baby God is giving us, and he'll give us what we need to care for him or her.

What about you? Have you, are you, or would you undergo the various prenatal tests that are available now?

The Best Pumpkin Cake EVER

It's fall holiday season! I want to eat nothing but pumpkin. Okay, maybe pumpkin plus some other things. In any case, here is one of my favorite desserts to make in the fall. I wish I could totally take credit for this recipe, but the basis of it came from some random internet site. I definitely made it better, but only by small bits: chocolate chips and some spices that make it perfection. It's so moist that it's deadly, and I'll thank Laura Y and Maxie B's in Greensboro for the inspiration to add chocolate. Chocolate and pumpkin really go well together. Don't believe me? Try this cake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, spices and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into two round pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool.

Frosting
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons milk
Chocolate shavings

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar; mix well. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cake. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Eat until you're sick.

Want a Free Nursing Cover?

I got an email (thanks, Krista!) with this promotional code for a free nursing cover from Udder Covers. This offer is from What to Expect, and all you need is the code "thanks" when you check out. This will cover the price of the cover, but not shipping. It's a great deal, whether you're buying for yourself, or buying a gift for someone else!

Watch Me Give Birth Live on the Internet!

No, I'm not really going there. But a Minnesota school teacher is. Viewing the experience as a teaching opportunity for people. Yeah...it is a teaching opportunity. Among other things. Click here if you want to read a little more or find out how you can watch.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

80s Prom, Pregnant Style

It's always fun to dress up, but a little more challenging when you're almost 6 months pregnant. Thankfully, I found a perfect dress and shoes at Value Village for $8 total, and with the help of my Mom, transformed the back into a corset style so I could head out to the end-of-the-season roller derby party. So fun! I'd always dreamed before doing derby of being rookie of the year, but there was no way with the great talent from this year. (Speed-o, you totally deserved it!) I was super excited to win two awards--Miss Congeniality and the Mommy Dearest Award. And my team mates took away a TON of awards, so all in all, it was a good night!

I think the ruffles and big hair definitely minimize The Beast. Maybe I should dress 80s all the time... Some serious 80s hotness.
Me and Babyface workin' it.

A Word on Birthdays...

I've been asked about what I did on my birthday yesterday, so I'm adding a few pictures. I really hate birthdays--that's the truth. It's one of those days I kind of dread, and then wait for it to be over. I'm not sure why, exactly--maybe it's all the expectation (though I usually have pretty low expectations about things), or just that growing older, birthdays just aren't as fun.

My birthday blues aside, I had a great time with Rob and was glad my Mom was here as well, since I usually don't get to see my fam. Rob made us all crepes for breakfast, then he and I went to see Katy High School (last year's state champs) take on Cinco Ranch. For dinner, Rob took me to Texas Land and Cattle, and then we came back for an ice cream cake with my Mommy.

This crepe kind of fell apart, but Rob still flips like a champ. (Oh, and pay no attention to the mustache...it will be gone tomorrow. Rob, it WILL BE GONE TOMORROW.) This is Texas football pride. Check that out!
We hadn't done a shadow pic in a while, and we look pretty funny in this one.

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