Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Low Point of the Day

Being asked if I had gotten pregnant again.

Granted, it was by a 13-year old boy, but still. Ick.

Reminder: Calphalon Giveaway!

Just a reminder that there are still two and a half more days to comment and win two pans from Calphalon. Here is the link to my review blog. Please leave a comment there to enter! Also, there was one anonymous comment on the post here with no name. You do not need a google username to enter or comment, but I do need you to at least put your name in the comment! If that was you, please look back and let me know so you can be entered!

Tuesday Confession (Wednesday Edition)

I have been too busy to really blog since my parents left! Eek. But here's the post I thought about writing yesterday.

Tuesday's confession: I love Tuesdays.

And Thursdays really, because those are the two days that Sawyer goes to school. I feel so guilty writing and saying that out loud. I do miss him terribly when he goes and am happy to see him when he gets home and love my time with him in the morning before, but the quiet house is so peaceful and restores me so much that I just savor that time. It makes me feel like a bad mother, though I know so many of you will understand what I'm talking about. It's not that I don't want my child; only that the brief breaks help me re-charge so that I am able to be better when he's around. Especially now that I'm exhausted with the no sleep (which is a combination of Sawyer AND Lincoln) and adjusting to two and since Sawyer has been so defiant and melt-down-y lately.

I love both my little men, and I appreciate my time with them. But I also savor the quiet moments when Mommy gets alone time.

Photo of the Day

The Smallest Loser

Okay, I need to start this post by saying that I am really fine, so don't feel like you have to leave me a lot of chipper comments, please! I mean, you can, but this is just all a part of pregnancy and recovery.

The "this" I'm referring to is the fact that I went shopping for transition clothing yesterday and it did not go well. First of all, Lincoln decided he did not like riding in the stroller at all, so I found myself shopping while pushing a stroller and carrying a baby. That was great compared to the horror of looking in a dressing-room mirror. I think there's something about looking in your own mirrors at home that gives you a false sense of security. You're used to seeing yourself and whatever size you are. I have felt pretty good lately, because I know in my mirrors how big I used to be, and how much of me has gone away.

However.

There is still a lot more of me than there used to be, and I think I just hadn't really looked in a full length mirror in the past four weeks, so I wasn't aware of the icky, flabby, larger body that was awaiting me. I really did feel like I looked like a Biggest Loser contestant. Not because I felt THAT big (as they usually start at over 200 pounds on the light side), but just compared to the normal me, I'm huge. And since I really underestimated that, nothing in the sizes I chose worked, and then mentally, I couldn't handle going up in size, so I just came home with one shirt I sort of am okay with.

See why I started out by saying I don't need chipper comments? I KNOW that it's harder to lose weight after a c-section. I KNOW that once I can really get moving again it will help. I KNOW that I'm still going down in weight and that my body is still adjusting. I KNOW it's only been four weeks. I'm okay with this, and I know in a few months we'll be looking better. It's natural; it's normal. But it's not the most fun time. You can just look forward to a post in a few months where I'll say, "I'm finally happy with how I look! Well, as happy as women EVER are with how they look..." :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lincoln Learns to Smize

Yesterday, my friend Marianne came over and snapped some baby portraits of Lincoln, who may just have a future in modeling. He was cracking me up as we stuffed him into baskets and moved him around blankets. He only pooped on one blanket (consider it christened now, Laurie!) and peed on me, so that's pretty good. If you want to see a preview, check out the blog for Marianne'sCharade Photography. Thanks again!

PS- You do all know what "smize" means...right??

Dirty, Dirty Boy

Well, it's about time Lincoln had a bath. He was beginning to get a bit gamey, as my dad would say. In any case, Rob and I were both finally at home to give him a bath together, and here's how it went. What, exactly, is being done here?


Just for kicks, here's a link to Sawyer's first bath post. :)

Photo of the Day


Rivaling only Buster Bluth for incorrect application of army uniform.

Caphalon Giveaway!

It's been too long since the last giveaway! I am super excited to announce that I have a set of Calphalon omelet pans (10 and 12 inch) for one lucky. We don't just deal in diapers and cribs here, people! I'm all about the food.

To enter, please follow this link to my review blog, Hate Pickles Love This Stuff. If you've already left a comment here, you will be entered, but if you haven't and want to enter, DO NOT LEAVE A COMMENT HERE. Please follow the link! Sorry for the confusion.

Monday, March 29, 2010

MOPS Easter Egg Hunt

Sawyer had a lot more fun just playing on the playground, but he did find a few eggs. Mostly in other kids' baskets. Thanks, Lynn, for helping me keep track of the boy!

Lincoln Meets More Cousins

Lincoln got to meet his Beaumont cousins on Sunday, and they were super sweet with him! It's fun to have a huge family of cousins for the boys. Cousin Connor.
Cousin Ila.

Transition Clothing--Ugh

I always hate this time after pregnancy. (I say "always" like I've done this more than twice.) This is the time when none of your clothes from pre-pregnancy fit, but you're super sick of your maternity clothes, which don't really fit either. Last time, I bought very few things for the transition, mostly because I lost all but 15 pounds within the first six weeks. Amazing! This time, the weight is slower, though I have lost a lot. Apparently, this is common in C-sections. You can't exercise, and I guess the body just has a different recovery. I feel a lot smaller until I try on the clothes I'd like to wear. Sigh. I mean, it's a good reminder that you still want to lose weight when you try on the old clothes, but it can either spur you on or make you feel depressed. I'm choosing to give myself some time and be spurred on, but in a realistic way. I'll get there. But not by tomorrow.

So tomorrow while Saw is in school, I'm going to hit my favorite cheap-o places, and maybe even the new Goodwill Select (for you, Lauren!!), and find some transition clothes. I'm getting tired of washing the same three shirts. And my favorite jeans may or may not have gotten peed on today...

Which Disney Princess Are You?

It's been a long time since I've watched the Disney princess movies, and I don't really tend to think of myself as a princess. I would probably have to identify with Ariel, mostly because I think that Rob secretly harbors a cartoon crush on her. (Good thing I can sing or I'd never be able to compete.) She's got some of my favorite songs and also gets to experience both worlds: under the sea and up where they walk around on those--what are they called? Oh, yeah. Feet. Here's the princess that I fail consistently at being: Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Wanna know why? I'm a bad guest.

My best friend Ginny pointed this out to me years ago, and she's right. I tend to not be good at accepting help and being gracious about other people serving me. I think I've gotten a little better, but I still struggle with this, which has been pretty obvious the last weeks while my parents have been here helping with the boys.

They've been my guests, technically, but because of the whole having a baby and C-section thing, they've been basically taking care of most things around the house and being Sawyer's primary care-takers. I have SO appreciated all the help, but I find that my natural reaction to being dependent on other people's service is a sort of brattiness. I want to do it myself, and since I can't do it and others have to help me, I fight. I'm not gracious and simply thankful. I'm prickly and grumpy and difficult. Knowing is half the battle, but it didn't stop me from struggling with this while my parents were here, which probably means I didn't thank or appreciate them enough.

THANK YOU, Mom and Dad, for all your hard work and love and service. I know that you enjoyed it, but are also exhausted and in need of a serious vacation. Sorry for being a pill--which I know I was at least a good portion of the time--but I really do appreciate all that you did for us!

Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who has everything?

That New Baby Smell

One thing I remember missing when Sawyer grew older was the disappearance of that new baby smell. I don't know how to describe it exactly, but it's something you'll recognize immediately if you've ever smelled it. A little baby powder, a little warm skin, some kind of sweetness and newness. It's lovely. If I could bottle it, I'd be a billionaire--women would buy it not for wearing, but for cracking open whenever they needed a new baby fix.

It doesn't last long, so I'm spending as much time as possible enjoying Lincoln's new baby scent. Mmmm....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fun Time Review: Monkey Joe's

Yesterday we took Sawyer for a fun outing to Monkey Joe's, a new kid's place nearby. Basically, it's a giant facility filled with inflatables for kids to jump on. Nothing wrong with that! If you have children under 3, there are specific areas of inflatables that parents can join in on to keep an eye on the little ones. If you're there on a slow day, like we were (Sawyer was the only kid in the place), the little ones can play on the big kid inflatables, which of course Sawyer did. His favorite was a 20-foot slide. The guy working there said, "Babies don't go on that" and my dad said, "This one did!"

As for pricing, under 2 are $6, everyone else is $8.99 Monday through Thursday, and $10.99 Friday through Sunday. It's located at Westheimer and Dairy Ashford. Kind of pricey, but super fun for little active people! I can't wait til I'll be able to jump with him! :)

Here, Mom got into the action!
Dad had to help Saw climb up this giant non-baby slide.
Going down the slide!
Again, Mom getting into the kid things. Sawyer didn't finish his game, so she gladly drove his car!
Riding a dragon!

Knives Make Good Toys

At least, that's what Sawyer thought when he pulled a knife, blade first, from the counter last night. Not a huge or deep cut, but lots of blood and crying (mostly from the adults). I guess it's time for us to realize that Sawyer can actually reach the countertops now, or at least the edge of them. Scary stuff! One more thing to think about child-proofing...

Maybe Lincoln Should Teach Saw How to Sleep

In a lot of ways, Lincoln seems very much like Saw at this age: he doesn't cry a lot, he's definitely trying to move past at least the physical things he should be doing like lifting his head and using his legs like a jackrabbit. He's very, very easy. But easier than Saw, because Sawyer got up to eat every two hours for the first eight months. Lincoln is already doing 3-4 hour shifts at minimum and sometimes, at night, 5-6 hours. It's great! So I feel pretty rested.

Except.

Sawyer has now suddenly decided not to sleep. The night before last, Rob (the Sawyer sleep expert) tried for three hours to get him to sleep in the middle of the night with him just SCREAMING. He's been taking naps that are short--20 minutes to maybe an hour. And yesterday was an hour and a half battle getting him to sleep for his nap. Last night he woke up at 1:30 and my mom was up with him until 4:30. This is just not working, and we can't figure out what is causing the waking or the battle back to sleep. It's nuts and it's not going to work, and it means that even though the baby is sleeping, no one else in the house is.

Mommy and Me Time

Over the past two years, I've always enjoyed my time with Sawyer alone, especially when we went out and did some fun Mom-and-Me date, like heading out to the Kemah boardwalk or the zoo. Lincoln and me time is a lot more chill right now, since he mostly sleeps, but I got the privilege of having Mommy and Me time with MY Mommy the other day. Some friends had given me a pedicure gift certificate (thanks Kelly and Hannah!) and so Mom and I made appointments together and got our feet taken care of. I'd never actually had pedicure, and had no idea that it was 90% massage and foot care and 10% nail painting. It was LOVELY. In addition, it was nice for Mom and I to get out of the house and away from the laundry and dishes and diapers and just relax. I could get used to that--if it wasn't $25 a pop. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Days I Just Feel Cursed

I know that God isn't cursing me. There are days where it kinda feels that way, and I just have to try and remember and cling to the promises of the Bible rather than how it feels. Today is definitely one of those days.

It started with a rough night. Lincoln slept wonderfully, but Sawyer was up screaming for a full three hours. It's that thing again where you wonder as a parent. Is he sick? Is something wrong? Is he just adjusting to new baby? And you mostly never know. I have no clue why, but my dad, Rob and I were all basically up that whole time. (Rob and my Dad actually got up with him; I just couldn't sleep wondering what the heck was going on.) Then a fun morning with my parents and the little boys at Monkey Joes--pictures to follow.

I figured getting Saw down for a nap would be no problem since he HAD to be exhausted. Not so much. He threw a complete tantrum about going to sleep, screaming and kicking and flinging his body around for over two hours, before finally going to sleep for like 40 minutes. Really? If that wasn't tear-your-hair-out enough, then suddenly we discovered there are some kinds of ant things (hopefully not termites) that are dropping down out of our ceiling vents. Our room is totally infested and they are starting to drop down in the nursery and other rooms.

I had this one experience in junior high that I remember vividly: I was sitting in my bedroom floor with a blanket over me, watching my favorite show, Saturday Night Live. It was back in the great Chris Farley, Dana Carvey, Mike Meyers days. I noticed an ant on my arm and squished it. Then I saw another on the blanket. When I looked around, I realized that there were literally HUNDREDS of little ants swarming all over me. It was nightmare-ish. (And I think that I went to battle with them using a bottle of aerosol hairspray. Did the trick.) Since then, massive amount of bugs in the house make me feel like I'm going to lose it.

So today was not the best. There are a few things that I cling to on days like this. The first and most important is knowing that God is NOT cursing me, no matter how it feels. He is actually the only one I can really turn to for real comfort who will always be there. The second is knowing that I am not alone--I am in a partnership with Robbie, and he is an amazing support. Having my parents around to help is also a great comfort, though I hate for them to have to deal with the tough things we're dealing with right now regarding Sawyer. But still--having support around me is fantastic.

The other little blessing is Lincoln, who is so easy and peaceful right now. I had a few minutes in the house alone with him a little bit ago, and holding him was like a respite from all the chaos that's currently tearing through my house. I'm trying to remember these things and cling to them in the midst of stormy days, and the reality is, no matter WHAT your life looks like, there are a lot of stormy days.

Explain This to Me

My three week old has been asleep for almost six hours. My not-quite-two-year old has been awake for the past three hours. I'm a little confused.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Have You Grouponed?

If you haven't heard of Groupon, you need to sign up! It's a daily email with deals local to you for things like eating out, spa treatments, outings, etc. Today I bought my first one: $40 for either a mani/pedi, facial, or microdermabrasion. It's fun to see the different deals and can help you find things to do on the cheap in your area! Here's Houston's link for today.

Photo of the Day

Look at my littlest man using those neck muscles! I'd have included more of my face, but we're still working on that post-baby double-chin thing...

B-Squared: Brothers and Buddies

Let's hope these are a sign of things to come.

Ow, My Skin!

Lately I've been finding a lot of things besides non-hospital-ordered underwear uncomfortable, and realized that it's not my incision that's irritated--it's a band of skin just below my belly button. It's not red, it doesn't LOOK irritated, but it's very sensitive and often uncomfortable when things touch it or rub against it. Is this a normal C-section thing or am I a freak with ouchy skin? (Or both...)

Here's a video of Teen Girl Squad from Homestar Runner from which I stole this post title. Just to make your day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kissaluvs at Young and Restless Tomorrow!

Young and Restless Boutique in Houston is having a cloth diaper chat tomorrow morning from 10-12 at their new location, 3468 Ella BLVD, 77018. There will be refreshments and you can get a chance to see Kissaluvs newest product, an all-in-one diaper. Plus you can peruse the new and consigned items at YnRs new place!

The Power of Brands

Sawyer has been recognizing more and more things lately on his own. When we ride to school, a lot of times, I'll ask him to tell me what he sees out the window. Usually this is followed by him shrieking things like "BUS! TRASH TRUCK! BICYCLE!!!!" Every now and then we'll get a weird one. We passed a gas station recently and he pointed to it and said, "gas!" which impressed me. But yesterday on the (horrific) ride home from school, I was floored when he pointed to a McDonald's near his school (that I had never taken him to nor talked about) and said, " 'donald's!" He's been to the one with the giant playground near our house, but it has a totally different look to the building, so I know the only thing in common was the golden arches. And my less-than-two year old already recognizes them.

If I hadn't just had a baby, maybe I'd write more about symbols and brands and the power that they have and the significance in our world. But my brain is still mush, so I'll pull a coffee talk and say, talk amongst yourselves.

Silly Rabbit, Lettuce Is for Kids

I've written before about the challenges of feeding Sawyer. He's a kid who barely sits still for any period of time. Often I'm just kind of throwing food at him as he zooms by. He eats a wide variety of foods, some very odd (like hummus with a spoon), but you never know what he's in the mood for. If he's NOT in the mood, he will not go near it. Every now and then, I'm just shocked by either how much he eats, or by what weird food he likes.

Last night, I fixed him a plate of spaghetti, garlic bread, avocados, a chicken and broccoli casserole, and strawberries. He nibbled on a few things before abandoning the plate to sit on the couch next to me. I was eating a caesar salad with homemade (not by me) dressing with anchovies. Sawyer started with my favorite part: a crouton. Then another. Then he started reaching into my bowl and picking out pieces of lettuce. Soon, my whole bowl was gone and he was asking for more. I refilled the salad bowl TWICE and watched in disbelief as Sawyer downing two bowls of lettuce. Today for lunch, he ate a little of his food, then chased down my mom and started chowing down on her garden salad. Let me be clear: he chose salad over chicken fingers. I'll never understand my child.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

THAT'S Not a Dutch Baby...

Today I tried making a Dutch Baby, a la Amber. Don't ask me why, but I thought it was like a quiche. It was more like a popover, which tasted great, but boy was it weird. I think that I did it wrong, which is tough when there are only four ingredients. Amber, was it supposed to look like THIS? I'm calling it a Dutch Beast.

Why Am I Avoiding My Birth Story?

Yes, I know. For those of you nerdy birth people who like reading birth stories, you have probably noticed I still haven't posted mine. I've been thinking about it. And also thinking about writing this post, about why I'm NOT writing out my story.

There's a lot to process. I'm happy completely with the outcome and, for the most part, feel like I did with Sawyer: things didn't go the way I'd hoped, but I feel like I made the decisions I needed to make. But still there are aspects of guilt, and parts that I wonder about, and things that I find myself thinking "if only..."

In some ways, I've made peace with it. But in others, I'm still finding myself questioning. Doubting. Sad. Confused. I will write it, but in a lot of ways I feel like I need to know how I feel about it before I can write about it. So keep looking--it will come.

Tuesday Confession

Today's confession: Despite all doctor's warnings, sometimes I pick up Sawyer.

The biggest challenge since having Lincoln is the fact that I am physically unable to do the things that I normally can--notably picking up Sawyer. Combine that with his recent rebellious spirit and I sometimes face quite the challenge. Today I took Lincoln and went to pick up Saw from his school. He was excited to come home, but when I got him outside of the building and told him to hold my hand on the way to the parking lot (something we'd been working on before Lincoln), Sawyer threw himself down on the ground, kicking and screaming NO. Loudly enough that someone from inside the building came out to see if everything was okay. For about five minutes I tried my best at reasoning and commanding, and finally had to choose between picking him up or dragging him. What's a girl to do?

It was quite the maneuver to carry both Sawyer and Lincoln, who was in the sling, to the car, but I managed. Sawyer was still screaming and fighting me as I tried to buckle his seatbelt. And then as soon as he was in, Lincoln began crying because he was hungry. On the drive home I definitely had a moment (or a few) of wondering why motherhood sounded appealing to me. Especially when Sawyer started mimicking Lincoln's crying.

When we got back to the house, I handed Linc off to Rob and sat down with Sawyer to work out this bad attitude. He definitely understood that what he did was disobedient, and we ended our talk with a kiss. Hopefully the next time I ask him to hold my hand we won't have this issue. But just in case, I asked Rob to be the school-taker and picker-upper until my six weeks is up. I just can't risk having that situation again and carrying both boys at the same time. I do need to keep my intestines on my insides and not undo all the hard work the doctor did on my stitches.

Car Seat Safety: Easier and More Complicated Than You'd Think

Today I went to the Harris County Police Precinct to get our car seats inspected. I've had this nagging feeling they were in wrong, as they seemed too loose. Plus our car is older, so I feared that without the newer models that kind of build things in for safety, we needed extra help. The officer spent an hour with me, took out my car seats, explained everything, and installed them properly. Here are some things that I learned:

-Always send in your registration when you buy a car seat so that you will be alerted if there are recalls. It's also preferable to buy new so you know the history.
-White lines in the plastic show stress marks, from wear or from an accident. When your car seat starts to show these (or if you are looking at buying a used one that has these), you want to get a new one. Also, if you are in an accident, toss the car seat and get a new one. Sometimes your insurance may cover this.
-You do NOT need to spell out for a car seat. Car seats all must be built to regulation, so whether you buy a new $100 or $300 car seat, you are essentially getting the same safety. As a bargain shopper, I always like to hear this. :)
-You don't need to use both the latching buckles sometimes found in newer model cars AND the seatbelt to secure a seat. It's better to use one method rather than two.
-The passenger side is the safer side, so the younger child should be on that side of the car.
-Secure any loose straps you are not using so that they will not become projectiles whipping or striking baby in case of an accident.
-If your seat is rear-facing, the shoulder straps should emerge from the back of the seat AT or BELOW the baby's shoulders.
-If your seat is forward-facing, the shoulder straps should emerge AT or ABOVE the child's shoulders.
-When the child is secured, you should not be able to pinch more than an inch of the strap between your fingers. If you are able to, then your straps need to be tightened.
-As you are fastening your child, start with that middle clip in the lowest position by the lower buckle, then pull whatever strap tightens the straps. If you start with that middle clip in the correct position (at baby's nipple level) and THEN tighten, the buckle may rise and be too high.
-In the case of one of those bucket travel systems where there is a base and removable seat, the carrying bar should be lowered behind the seat itself, not upright in the carry position.
-If you keep any toys in the car for your children, run this test first. If you would throw that toy in your child's face from three feet away, then it's good in the car. If not, realize that it could become a projectile in the case of an accident and move it inside for play in the house rather than the car.

The main problem we had was that we did not have the seat belts tightened all the way. Basically you have to pull the shoulder harness all the way out until it clicks, meaning that it will tighten. Then you put as much pressure as you can on the seat while pulling the straps tightly through the belt path on the seat, feeding the belt back up into that shoulder hole. This is probably the most obvious thing, but somehow we did not do this. I didn't realize that the belt would work that way! Now our seats don't budge and I feel safer. There are a lot of little things, but basically, having your seats installed correctly amounts to making sure the belt is secure and the straps harnessing in baby are tight enough. I feel pretty confident now that I could move our seats around, change cars, etc, and get everything in correctly. Thanks, HPD!
-

Monday, March 22, 2010

Funny Faces

A very close second to the photo of the day. Sometimes it's not just the cute photos that are great.

Need Car Seat Help?

Tomorrow we are FINALLY going to one of the free check-points for car seat safety in Houston. We have our seats installed according to their directions, but we have an older car (1997) and so we don't have some of the newer features that help, like the buckles built into the car. We have locking clips, but I don't think they're in the right place. My neighbor had a wreck with her two daughter a little over a year ago and found out the hard way that just installing according to the directions may not be enough. Her infant seat came detached from the base and flew across the car. Yikes! I've been meaning to do this forever, so feel good about finally getting it done. I'll post about how it goes! If you're in Houston and need a car seat inspection station, here is a link for Safe Kids Greater Houston!

I Can Has Bellybutton?

Finally! I never thought that thing would fall off. But Lincoln did lose his umbilical cord finally and now has a cute little bellybutton. Tex didn't eat this one like he did Sawyer's and, gross as it is, I think it's going in the baby book. If you have a little one (or are planning to) did you (would you) save or toss the stump?

Photo of the Day

Mesh Underpants Aren't Always Sexy

TMI Warning: This post is about ladies' underwear.

If you've had a baby in a hospital (or at home with a midwife for that matter), you may be familiar with the creepy gauze/mesh granny panties that you end up in post-baby. If you are not familiar, they are white, large, high-waisted, and made of some kind of what seems to be gauze. In short: not hot. They are beneficial in that they are very lightweight and stay in place while not adding any undue pressure to parts of your body that need some breathing room. At least, I think that's why you wear them. With Sawyer, I used them for probably two days. Maybe three. As soon as I was home from the hospital, I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to my regular kind of underwear.

As I was leaving the hospital this time, I went to get dressed and tried putting on my normal underwear. Surprise! The band hits exactly where my incision is. So, back to the mesh panties. Here we are almost three weeks later, and I am still in the mesh. It's pretty frustrating, but I find any other kind of underwear irritates my incision. I even went and bought higher waisted underwear, but somehow, the band of any normal underwear I try is uncomfortable and hits me in a way that feels awkward. It may be a little thing, but I am dreaming of the day when I can wear normal underwear again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Product Review: The Snuggin' Go

I wrote about this product briefly when I came across it in a magazine last year, and remembered it the first time Lincoln rode in our car. We arrived at our destination to find him all slumped in the car seat. This was a problem we had with Sawyer as well, even though the car seat is at the correct angle. We tried those little next pillows that are supposed to correct the slump, but they never helped. (Funny story: they're shaped like the Boppy pillow, only smaller, but Sawyer keeps trying to put the Boppy around his neck now in the house.) After our second or third car ride where I became increasingly worried by the slump, knowing that this can restrict airways and result in suffocation, I went online and ordered the Snuggin Go.

Basically, it fits into the car seat and keeps your baby in the correct position. If you click on their site and look at the before and after pictures, that is exactly what we observed with Lincoln. It totally keeps him in the position he needs to be in for breathing--no more slumping! And I'm excited to know that it can go in strollers or other seats for the same effect. Super easy to install, soft and comfy, and now I can drive without worrying about reaching back to straighten up my child. If you're having trouble with this same issue, I would HIGHLY recommend the Snuggin Go. You can find retailers online or in your town through their website.

Lincoln Goes Back to His Roots

Last night, Rob and I left Sawyer with my parents and headed out to the season opener for Houston Roller Derby. If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that in my last games in June, I was unknowingly several weeks pregnant with Lincoln. So that wasn't really his first bout, but it was the first one he actually got to SEE. I have missed this age with Sawyer, my super active boy, since right now as long as the milk source (ie, me) is present, Lincoln is pretty portable. Whereas I really have to think about whether or not I want to take Sawyer places since he's so wild. Linc slept through most of the loud music and the skating, but was awake enough to win over the crowd sitting near us. He got to wear Sawyer's old shirt that I made for HIS first bout. (Another plus to having two boys--hand-me-downs!) Rob and I loved our first date post-Lincoln, and I think that Lincoln had a good time. I mean, he slept, didn't cry while awake, and didn't seem to get over-stimulated, since he went right to sleep when we got home. Way to go, little man!

Here are a few photos from last season, since I won't be reliving my derby days anytime soon. Sigh.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Photo of the Day


"Have it? Have it?" says Saw.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lincoln's First Playdate Photo

What I have to say about this picture is this: I cannot believe I let Sawyer hold Lincoln on concrete. Thanks, Natalie for saving his life at least once! :)

The Bank of Kiki

I'm thinking of opening a bank. A milk bank.

With Sawyer, I never had to wear breast pads and never (other than one or two times in the beginning) leaked. Supposedly, your milk production goes down with each baby, but somehow mine has exploded. We're talking: waking up in the morning completely soaked through my pjs and Lincoln's. Nursing him on one side while the other side totally leaks through three shirts and a breast pad. I mean, come on! I feel like such a waste. I posted a while ago about Milkies, which will catch the leaking milk from one side while you're nursing on the other, and while I'm not going to pay for that, it would certainly come in handy right now!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Product Review: The Belly Bandit

Ever read about some kind of celebrity-endorsed product that sounded too good to be true and thought, yeah right? I feel that way about most of those kinds of products, especially ones related to weight loss. MOST especially pregnancy weight loss. During my pregnancy with Sawyer, I heard Brooke Burke talk about using a belly wrap after having her babies and how it magically made her stomach flat again. I had two thoughts about this: one, that she had a flat stomach before, so she'd probably return to that normal size anyway, and two, that many celebrities who claim breastfeeding or wraps or whatever helped them get back to skinny really just had their tummy tuck tacked onto their C-section surgery.

A few months ago, I went to a maternity store that was closing its doors and having a huge clearance and found a bunch of belly wraps called the Belly Bandit. These kinds of products almost never go on sale, so as a bargain shopper, I was immediately interested. It claimed to help with weight loss, stretch marks, the shrinking of the uterus, back support. And also women have been using belly wraps post-partum for centuries, apparently. But would this product really shrink my stomach? Would it really help my uterus get back to its normal size? Does it actually help with stretch marks? I doubted it. But it was on sale! And I thought of you, readers, and how I could try it and write a review, probably talking about how it was a bunch of hooey.

The hospital sent me home with a big wrap that they fastened on sometime after the C-section when I was in a morphine haze. I thought about asking what was the reason they were giving this to me, but again: morphine haze. I came home with their thing and switched to my Belly Bandit. It was kind of nice, since for the first few days or weeks after baby you have that squishy stomach feeling that I hate. I felt supported and firm and nice. You're supposed to wear the Bandit all day, every day, and though I did take it off every now and then for a little break, I actually prefer how I feel with it on.

But the question remains: does it do what it promises to do??

It's hard to say if it really is responsible for making my stomach smaller. My stomach has been shrinking by the day, but I know last pregnancy I lost weight pretty quickly too since I gain so much fluid weight. When I saw Cathy last week, she had a few interesting things to say. The first is that my uterus is noticeably smaller than normal for post-C-section. I told her about the Bandit and she said that probably was the reason, since it was highly unusual for me to have such a big reduction. The second was that weight loss is typically a bit slower with a C-section and so my drop may also have the Bandit to thank. I was pleasantly surprised!

Here is the site if you want to check it out for yourself. Normally I don't shell out for products like this--I'm just too cheap. But when you think about the fact that you wear it every day for about six weeks, it's a better bargain. Plus, weight loss aside, getting your uterus back down to normal size is a great thing for your body's recovery, so to know that it really seems to be helping is benefit enough. Their customer service people have also been very helpful in answering my emails and giving me information. This is a product I expected to poo-poo, but after trying, I am actually giving it the thumbs up.

Saw's New Vocab: NO. MINE.

I'm glad that everyone is rejoicing with me at my recovery and Lincoln's adjustment, but things are a little more challenging with Sawyer. By "a little," what I mean is that we are dealing with kicking and screaming tantrums. His new favorite words are NO and MINE. Everyone assures me this is normal, whether it's about the baby coming home or the fact that he's almost two, but it's so strange and difficult for me to feel like his entire personality has changed. That's how it seems to me, and I hate it.

Parenthood has been challenging in terms of having to give up so much of my independence and selfishness, but other than Sawyer being super active, he has been easy. He's been a joy. He's been my buddy. And now everything seems to be a battle. He's making up for how little he cried as a baby by crying multiple times a day when he doesn't get his way or, as today when he woke up from his nap, for no reason we can figure out.

This would be hard if it were happening in isolation, but combine that with new baby and C-section recovery, and I'm just feeling overwhelmed. Even with my parents here to help, watching someone else struggle with your son's tantrums and will is just as hard as doing it yourself. I hate it. I feel like someone stole my Sawyer and stuck a new personality chip in there. Please, if you've been through this, tell me it ends, or is a phase, or is normal. Give me hope! Because I'm really sad about these new development.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lincoln (and Me) at Two Weeks

I feel like we've been doing nothing but doctor visits for the last few weeks, but hey. This morning we saw my midwife for our follow-up and the second round of the newborn screening. Lincoln, the little giant, now weighs TEN POUNDS, FIVE OUNCES. The other day at the doctor, they got a lower weight with a diaper still on and after he ate. Today was totally nude and before eating. So--he's huge. (And, for the record, my midwife has a scale that is as or more accurate than the one at the doctor's.) I'm stoked to have him gain so much in the first two weeks! Way to go little man. He is awake for maybe four hours every 24-hour period, sometimes two of them being in the middle of the night, but I'm working with him on that. When he's awake, he's very aware and loves looking around and being carried around to see things and look at people. I know babies aren't supposed to smile this young but I SWEAR he smiled at me twice yesterday while fully awake. He eats around every three hours and at night has at least one four or maybe five hour stretch, so I feel very rested. He only cries if he's hungry and I don't feed him quickly enough. A good baby, just like Sawyer was!

As far as my recovery, Cathy said that my incision looks fantastic and is healing beautifully. My uterus has shrunk a surprising amount for this soon after a C-section (and I have a theory as to why that I'll share in a post soon). I have some serious separation in my ab muscles that I need to be working on, so she said to do very VERY light crunches with few reps and as many sets as I can to help engage them. The bleeding that I've been having indicates I've been doing a bit too much, which does not surprise me, as I KNOW I'm doing too much. I had to ask my parents to stay since she reminded me that I really CANNOT pick Sawyer up for a full six weeks post-op. Rob's mom can help after next week, so my parents will be here for another week and a half, for which I am very grateful! I've also lost a bunch of weight and, funny enough, according to the weights Cathy had recorded, gained EXACTLY the same amount this time as I did last time. Apparently, gaining a lot of weight is just how I roll. :)

I feel very good and positive, have not cried before bed in at least a week, and so my hormones are settling out. My incision and that whole area is a bit tender, but I can actually forget about it most of the time and barely take advil once a day. I would say overall that we are doing very well!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lincoln Meets (Some of) the Cousins!

Here are a few sweet pictures from the visit today Lincoln had with his cousins! I would say Lincoln enjoyed it, but he slept through it. Sawyer DEFINITELY enjoyed it. :)



Eeek! Reality.

Today I had two ten minute or so periods with the two boys alone in the house...and it was scary. I am very spoiled and thankful to have my parents here to help me--kind of a necessity when I have a very active boy that I'm not allowed to pick up for a few weeks. But still, I know that some people aren't as lucky to have the help that I have. I appreciate that so much!

I know people do it all the time, but I am scared of next Monday when I will officially be a boy mom on my own...eeek!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baby Announcements for Next-to-Nothing

I just placed an order for baby announcements, and found the cheapest company with announcements I liked was Vistaprint. I paid under $30 including shipping and envelopes and got 50 photo announcements. Can you beat that? I'll be sad if so, but please post if you have found somewhere that's cheaper! If you need any printed items, head over to Vistaprint for a good deal on great invitations.

Here's the photo we used. So cute! I really regret not printing some with Sawyer. It just somehow didn't get done.

Barefoot But Not Pregnant

A small detail from my birth that I remember: in the rush of trying to transfer to the hospital when Lincoln's heart rate dipped, no one could find matching shoes for me. I think someone ended up putting Rob's shoes on me. Since we got home, my shoes mostly didn't fit because of swelling, so I continued wearing Rob's shoes, but when I went to find my own, I found four right flip flops. Four. No lefts. How I have so many missing left shoes, I don't know. Where they are, I definitely don't know.

After misplacing the shoes of Rob's I'd been wearing, I ventured into an area I hadn't seen in months--my closet. I found ONE left flip flop, so now I actually have a pair of shoes. Hurray! It might be time to go shopping.

Lincoln at (Almost) Two Weeks

We saw the pediatrician today for Linc's new baby well visit, and got some fun stats. I thought that he was looking bigger than his hospital pics, and if the numbers are to be believed, he's grown a full inch in length and gained four ounces (9 pounds, 8 oz). His head has also grown an inch and a fourth--now 15! I was hoping he'd gained more, as I don't want to worry because he's sleeping for 4-5 hours stretches at night. But at least being above birth weight at this point is a good thing, and I'll just keep on feeding him like a champ during the day. Speaking of...I hear the noises of a hungry baby in the next room.

Grandparents Are Underrated

I love this one of my parents with the boys. Also, it's fitting because Dad has a bowl of Blue Bell.

Photo of the Day

Linc, 11 days old.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lincoln Was the Second Person to Pass Out at the Party

Last night, Rob and I took Lincoln to his first party. Some of my derby friends who moved in nearby had a housewarming party with tons of great food and lots of derby friends. It was nice to get out, though after about an hour I needed to go home and lie down. Lincoln was awake for about five minutes of people fawning over him, and then conked out in the sling. It's fun at this age if you have an easy baby, because you can take them almost anywhere if you have a sling. He was happy and sleepy, and I got to eat and be social and leave my house for a little bit. And I think that this counts for something: Lincoln wasn't the first one to pass out at the party. :)

Lincoln's First Playdate

We all headed out to Kelly's on Friday morning for a playdate, which was a nice excuse to get out of the house. It wasn't our full group and I didn't even get any pictures of Mackenzie, but here are a few pictures from our time!

Noah and Sawyer had the best time in this tunnel. Hudson thinks he's big enough, but the other boys don't. Yet.
Lincoln stayed awake almost the whole time!
Kelly enjoying Linc.
Buddies! I don't know how Noah feels, but I know that Sawyer sees him as his best friend.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sweet Sleeper

Thoughtful, even in sleep. I've found that Linc sleeps the best when on his side. Reminds me of so many pictures of Saw sleeping...except he doesn't have Sawyer's amazing eyelashes, courtesy of Rob. Sadly, I think he got mine.

Grandpa Turkey Is Here!

Grandpa Turkey arrived this morning. Here's a first look at the proud grandpa with the newest addition!

Coupon Class Tomorrow!

This is last minute, but if you are wanting to go to the coupon class I blogged about a while back, there is one tomorrow (Sunday) from 1-4pm. To sign up, click here!

PLEASE READ: Sling Safety

I have received several emails and been asked several times even just today about the safety of slings. Apparently, this is big news. I am unaware of big news at the moment since I am in the new baby fog of wonder (and no sleep) or I probably would have heard of this myself and posted already. But here is some really important info and a context regarding slings in case you are also hearing the scare reports and warnings on the news. There is more to the story!!

Here is an article from msnbc about the warnings being issued. I've searched through a few of these articles, and though they don't name brand names, the main carriers under fire for suffocating infants are "bag-style carriers," not actual slings. There is a difference!! If you want more information about this, please click through the Nurtured Family links on my sidebars, or click here for details about slings. Non-adjustable pouch and bag-style carriers basically leave you with one option for carrying, maybe two depending on the baby's age. For infants, the only real position to be carried in these types of carriers is on the back, and will often leave the baby in what is known as a C position, where their back curves into a C, which can leave baby's chin resting on his chest, thus constricting the airways.

Real slings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but what they do have in common is the ability to adjust to your size and the position of baby, and the option for carrying baby in a way that mimics how you yourself would hold baby if you were carrying him in your arms. As I write this, Lincoln is snuggled up in my sling with his head just inches from my face, upright in what is commonly called the snuggle hold. We always referred to this with Sawyer as the froggy, since he would curl his feet up like a tree frog. Linc is fast asleep, warm and cozy next to my body, and I can see and hear his breathing, which is as regular as it would be if I were carrying him in the same position. I have the top rail (the top, padded edge of the sling) loose enough for him to have movement, but snug enough that if he lifts his head, it has support and does not flop around. It feels great on my back and in no ways stresses out my C-section incision.

Please realize that, as with all safety warnings on baby products, there is a context. There are differences between slings and carriers, and even from what different manufacturers label as slings. There are so many benefits to wearing baby in an adjustable ring sling or a soft carrier like the Ergo, which has been designed to keep baby's back aligned and the weight on baby's bottom instead of crotch like some other carriers. It doesn't take long to see the differences when you look, and I would again recommend Nurtured Family as a great source for information on sling benefits and sling information. Let's not toss out the baby with the bathwater! Please spread the word about this as well so that the fantastic sling companies don't suffer as a result of a broadly-focused government warning with no context.

C-Section Dreams

I dreamed last night that I was in the hospital for a C-section. The funny thing was that the nurses in the hospital put me in a gown and then gave me directions to the operating room and I was wandering around the hospital trying to find it. It wasn't a nightmare exactly, but as I was walking, I kept trying to stop people to ask if I REALLY needed a C-section.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy the Bear

Sawyer snuggling with his new bear from Uncle Peter. Sawyer named him Happy.

What Did You Do with My Sawyer?

I thought getting the prescription for his ears would help Sawyer, but he has been in meltdown city. Today he threw his first real tantrum--kicking and screaming on the floor. I know that he's about to be two, so there's that. Plus we have a new baby. Plus he had that ear thing. But seriously, he went overnight from happy, wonderful, amazing little buddy to complete monster. I don't use the term monster lightly, but honestly, about every five minutes, he is screaming no, fighting and throwing a complete fit over things like diaper changes, putting on clothes, letting us help him AFTER he's asked for help, etc. He's just not himself. Or--maybe this is the new Sawyer? I hope not.

We are trying to deal, but it's very difficult when I'm not supposed to lift him and can't be super mobile and he doesn't obey my Mom. She has been wonderful to come here and help selflessly, and it's not a great thanks to have Sawyer be awful to her. There are sweet moments, such as the boys together, and when Mom reads him to sleep. But for the most part, today was all about the tantrums. I'm not a baby person, really, but it makes me so appreciative for Lincoln, who only sleeps, eats, and poops. And sometimes looks around for a few hours at the world. He doesn't cry. He doesn't fight. He's just a cute, sweet, quiet boy. Like Sawyer used to be. Please, please tell me this is either a phase or his meds aren't working.

Photo of the Day

I was holding Lincoln and Saw reached for him and said, "Have it?" So, for the first time, he got to hold his little brother. The sweetness in these photos totally doesn't represent the horrible day we had with Sawyer, but we'll try to savor these memories instead...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Post-Partum Must-Haves for Mom

I'm sure after Sawyer I posted about my favorite things to have, but that was almost two years ago! Here is an updated list of some new and old things that are still my faves. The names will link you to the product.

Lansinoh Breast Creme: This is fabulous for those first few sometimes painful weeks of nursing. I especially love to use it right before a shower, which can be pretty uncomfortable otherwise. It's a nice protective shield and does NOT need to be washed off before baby nurses.

Soothies: Another breastfeeding product, these great little gel pads can work to keep leakage from showing, but also are designed to help healing and boost comfort. As a bonus, if you're really in pain, you can put them in the fridge and they'll be extra cool. I can't do without these!! Again, very beneficial in the first few weeks.

Gilligan and O'Malley PJ's: This link takes you to a sleep dress I have that worked both as a maternity pj top and now as a great nursing top or full dress. The fabric of their pj's makes them a step above everything else--it's stretchy and really soft and very cool. I have three or so tops plus a pair of pants, and managed to find a great robe that was the same material but different brand at TJ Maxx. Since after baby you should be taking it easy at home, I am happy to take it easy in super comfy and cute pj's. I also wore these at the hospital after the gown they gave me prompted an extreme itch attack.

Maidenform Nursing Tanks: I got these the first go-around with Sawyer and am still wearing them (when I'm not in my Gilligan and O'Malley's). They're basically shelf-bra tanks and work well as tops to wear out (though if you really have the milk coming in they might be just a little indecent) and sleeping tops. Super comfortable and easy to operate, these are a great basic nursing top.

I have a few other products I'm trying out that I'll keep you updated on, but those are my favorite things, most especially for nursing moms!

Lincoln, Day 8

Here are some beautiful pics of my now-eight-day-old boy #2!!

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