Thursday, December 9, 2010

Down So Long

The laptop died shortly before George's birth.  I was reduced to webbing on an iPhone which, sadly, did not get along all too well with blogger. Things that have taken place since my last post:

Dave's game released
I returned to work from maternity leave
The breastfeeding thing seemed to work itself out....considering my son, at 3 months old, was in the 50th percentile...for 9 month olds.
I lost my job.

Yep. That about sums it up.

Now that the laptop is back up and running I have lots of things to catch up with.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun Stuff

I want to share this opportunity to help out an important cause and get your ears on some awesome family-friendly music at the same time. I've been following Ryan's blog for nearly two years now and really love his family. He's an incredibly talented photographer, an awesomely devoted husband, and a super dad. He's the parent of a little boy with special needs & dreamed up this album to raise money for research that might some day help families like his. And then he made it happen. And I want to help him spread the word. So buy the album & then give some love to the artists who donated their time and talents to the cause. (Oh, and I want to draw your attention to the 'make a donation' button in the bottom right-hand case you want to do more.)  Feel free to make all kinds of virtual noise about this using your preferred social networking tool!  And buy the album. :o)

Sunday, August 29, 2010


David and I finally had a minute...or a few hours, sit down together and hammer out George's birth announcement! 

The inspiration came from an actual circus ticket for the "Loomis Bros. Circus."  They performed in Okeechobee, FL a few years ago and my dad snagged an extra child's ticket to send me. I had this idea to mat and frame it for 'the kids' room' some day.   When George arrived, I realized it could easily be translated into a birth announcement.
I had this image in my head and no way to get it on 'paper.' And David, well, he's a photoshop genius. The way the ticket was laid out made it perfect to swap out the show info for birth stats.  I wanted to avoid the over-used 'welcome' or 'announcing' headline.  I figured the announcement would speak for itself in that respect.  So we came up with 'Admit One Child,' since that's, in effect, what we were doing! The original ticket actually said 'great family fun' at the bottom so we left that part alone.  When all was seemingly said and done, David pointed out that the year was nowhere on the ticket and he worked it in.
Now to have them printed & send them out...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Sucky Baby

George is a sucky baby.  From day one, he's been pretty fussy.  Always nursing, never satisfied.  And I've been exhausted!!  We supplemented with formula (GASP! - don't tell LLLI), which I'm sure has 1) reduced his patience for nursing and 2) reduced my milk supply.  Vicious cycle, I know.  But my baby is hungry and momma's gonna fill that belly!

Originally, I blamed myself; I didn't nurse often enough early on, I wasn't getting him latched on right, I wasn't producing an adequate supply of milk because of a surgery I had 10 years ago, I just plain suck...

So I started to research what might be causing his inefficient feeding behaviors....
 - falling asleep after only a couple minutes of nursing
 - not releasing his latch even though he's asleep
 - not emptying the breast (I HATE that word, by the way.  They may say 'breast is best,' but I say 'boob is better.')
 - rooting and fussing immediately after being taken off the....boob
In addition - VERY sore nipples.  VERY.  Cringe worthy.  That kind of pain that makes you get dizzy and vomit...or at least feel like you're going to vomit.  Where other mothers might experience a surge of feel-good hormones when nursing their babies, I was experiencing an adrenaline rush.  An honest-to-goodness fight-or-flight response.  And sweat.  It was making me sweat profusely...which I do when I'm nervous.  I do, however, refrain from sticking my hands in my armpits and smelling them, like thisssssss...
What did I find?  Low milk flow.  
Ok, why is it low, and how do I fix it.  Then I remembered:
I said it shortly after he was born, but never actually thought that it might be related, "I think George is tongue-tied."  And why wouldn't he be?  His father is.  George's tongue looks just like David's. I forgot to mention it to Dr. Loghry at his 2-week well-check.  I didn't think it was causing any problems.  Now that I've looked in to it, it's likely causing ALL of the problems!!

It's fitting this is my first post-partum post; it's the first time I'm not stuck in the recliner with a hungry baby nuzzled in my bosom!

No clippy.  The ENT said he's not tongue-tied. intended.  No quick fix.  I am historically better with quick fixes than long processes.  I didn't even stick with physical therapy after I broke my elbow.  I'd love to learn Spanish, but it would require long-term effort.  You see what I'm getting at.
Anyway, next up: herbal supplements to boost milk supply and a lactation consult on Friday.  A chat with the local LLL leader, of course, resulted in the suggestion that giving a bottle has made for an apathetic nurser.  But that doesn't really concern me, since 1) he started getting a bottle AFTER becoming 'apathetic' about nursing and 2) I'm going back to work in 1.5 weeks, after which he'll have to take a bottle regularly anyway.  I just want to have milk to put in it!  (And I would prefer that he can drink directly from the source when I'm home so that we don't have to plan ahead and pack and keep milk on hand when we're not at home.
I'm sure I'll return to this topic again... 

Monday, July 26, 2010


I had the baby. I'll post the story before long, promise. For now, we all need some rest.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tornado of Cleanliness and Organization

I'm still pregnant.  According to my midwife, today is my due date (my 40-week estimate is not until Tuesday).  It's also my last day at the office before my much-anticipated maternity leave.
My sister arrived yesterday afternoon to help 'prep' and to be here for the big day.  In one day, with me at work, she has accomplished more in the way of cleaning and organizing than I could have done in a week month.  She is one of the most amazing women I know and one more reason my blog is titled the way it is!

I love you, little sister!  And I promise I'll help as soon as I get home from work!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Tiniest of Dancers

Aine's very first Dance Concert was this weekend!  She did a great job, had a great time, and just might continue taking dance classes in the Fall.  I wasn't sure that was how it was going to go...
I had to wake her up from her nap Saturday evening to get her ready to leave the house.  Putting tights on a still-sleeping, combative three-year-old is not an easy task, especially for a tired momma who is 8.5 months pregnant!  But we managed.  She kept telling me to leave her alone.  I kept reminding her that she had her dance show that Tia, Uncle B, and Miss Kathleen were all coming to see.  I had to promise to let her bring a blanket in the car as incentive to get out the door.  I told her she didn't ever have to dance again, but she had to dance that night.
As we pulled in to the parking lot by the amphitheare where they performed, I pointed to the bandshell and showed her all of her class in their pink leotards on the stage (we were, of course, a few minutes late...and they must have started rehearsal a couple minutes early).  "Is that MY stage?!" she asked, ever so enthusiastically.  "Yep, that's your stage," I told her.

So here is her big debut.  She was quite the hit among the parents in the audience.  I feel a little bad that some families might not have been watching their own kids because they were too busy watching mine instead.  (She's the littlest one, first one in on the right)

Daddy had a bit of a difficult time keeping the camera steady for laughing.

After the concert, I asked her again if she wanted to take more dance classes again and she was a little more enthusiastic about it.  Fall session starts in August, so we'll see if she asks about it at all in the interim.  She was just so cute, I hate to see her quit!

Tick, Tick, Tick...

David and I have made every effort to not anticipate an early arrival of this baby.  You might say we went a little over-board in refusing to accept the idea that he might even be here the week of his 'due date' - something Daddy has been better at refusing than Mommy....

So, you can possibly imagine the wrench in things that resulted from the midwife's declaration, "1-2cm and about 60% effaced" at my "38" week check (remember, according to my estimate, I was only 37 weeks and 2 days.).  She then suggested that it just might be a good weekend to have a baby.  UGH.  People can stay minimally dilated and effaced for weeks, right?!  But it is also common for second and later pregnancies to not stay 'partial' for long and things progress a lot more quickly once they start, right?!  Anyone have any experience with this?!  If I thought I felt like a time bomb last time around...

I hope he hangs in there.

We made it through the weekend.  I am determined to hang in there for my '39 week' midwife visit on Wednesday, and even more so, I am hoping he'll hold out until my sister gets here!  I still have to pack my bag.  I am VERY uncomfortable today.  Did I relax too much over the weekend and the return to work is a bit much?  Are things continuing to progress toward the big day?  Is it just gas?  Perhaps a very unsupportive office chair?  The baby is wrigling more than I am used to.  No topsy-turvy acrobatics or anything, just a constant pushy-pushy stretching that results in pressure against nearly every corner of my innards simultaneously.  I bet he refuses to be swaddled like Aine did. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Radio Silence

When I'm in town, or not too far outside, I typically listen to the Christian station that broadcasts out of Nashville when I'm in my car.  I have noticed that, periodically, there will be a burst of radio silence between pieces.  At first, I thought, "man, these guys need to get their act together, everybody knows silence is the worst thing for a radio station."  But then I thought better of it.  I don't know if this is their intention, but I decided to use those 'moments of silence' for prayer and reflection.  I should send an inquiry...and note of thanks.

On another note, there's been a good bit of 'radio silence' on my end.  Not for any major reason other than, oh, the fact that I am within the month of the anticipated arrival of my second child and spending nearly every moment that I am not at my job working dilligently to prepare my nest, paying attention to the big sister, and trying to rest. 

This weekend I have a dear friend coming to town to provide me with a prenatal massage.  Aine's (outdoor!) dance recital is Saturday evening.  And I'm hoping to see my brother and his lady, since they're going to try to make it to the dance show.
Do you have summer weekend plans?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Waiting, on a Soapbox

Warning:  If you find this post offensive.....well, I do too.

I have approximately 5 weeks to go until this baby is expected to arrive.  At 36 weeks, that does not mean I failed math.  It means I am not expecting him to arrive until some time around week 41.  That's right, I don't expect him to arrive at week 38, 39, or even 40.  I don't expect him to arrive on the midwife's estimated due date, which assumes he will arrive at 40 weeks past some guesstimated ovulation date based on a 28-day menstrual cycle.  And based on prior experience, I also don't really expect him to arrive at 40 weeks after what I guess to be my ovulation date based on my actual cycle.
My daughter was born 41 weeks and 5 days after the assumed 28-day cycle ovulation date.  I talked to my OB about an induction at 41 weeks and 4 days for two reasons.  First, I was getting nervous about meconium.  Second, my family had been sitting in my living room staring at me, trying to break my water with their mind powers for two weeks and time was running short on their visit.
I was admitted that night to the hospital so that at 5AM the following morning, they could start pitocin and force my ever-so-cramped-but-obviously-comfy baby out.  At 5:30 AM, I awoke needing to use the facilities.  They had not been in to 'check' me yet, so I was excited that I could sneak a snack before the whole process got started and they had to deprive me of nourishment for their convenience.  No sooner than I sat back down on the bed did I feel a kind of snapish pop followed by a gush of warm fluid.  The mere threat of being forced out, and she decided she was ready to come on her own.  She was born 15 hours later, sans induction.  She weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces.

Where am I going with this?
People don't wait for babies to be born anymore.  I didn't really wait last time either, I just got lucky; and not just because my water broke on a hospital bed covered in chux pads and not at home one my unprotected brand-new pillow-top mattress...
Did you know the NORMAL human gestational period is between 37 and 42 weeks?  That's right, 42 weeks of gestation is normal.  It's not typical, but it's not pathological.  People get so stuck on "due dates." And then, when they get close to 'the day,'  the thoughts start creeping in that maybe the baby will come closer to the 38-week end of 'normal.'  Next thing you know, you have someone who is 39.5 weeks pregnant but thinks the baby is a week and a half overdue.  Add to that the ridiculous impulse to 'estimate baby's weight' based on some cranial and abdominal circumference, biparietal diameter, and femural length measurements made via ultrasound.  Are parents ever given the disclaimer that 'these are estimates and can be off by as much as 2 lbs?'
I don't know if it's regional, or practitioner-specific, but with Aine, they did an ultrasound at ~20 weeks to check for normal development.  That's the infamous 'gender discovery' ultrasound.  We also had one at about 36 weeks because at 20 weeks I had a low-lying placenta and they were worried about placenta previa.  So was I - considering my spinal fusion, a c-section would mean going under general anesthesia and missing the whole thing.  Not appealing.  So at 36 weeks, everything looked a-ok.  I then had a third ultrasound at 41 weeks, just to make sure baby was not in distress and the placenta was still functioning properly.  Nothing looked 'old,' so my OB saw no medical indication for induction.  At no point during any of these ultrasounds was I told an estimate of the baby's size, nor was my due date 'adjusted' based ultrasound findings.  This time has been fairly similar.  Ultrasound at ~20 weeks - it's a boy - and everything looks normal.  At about 33 weeks, they did another ultrasound to measure fluid levels, as well as a non-stress test, because he wasn't as active as he had been in the weeks before and we needed to check on all the little fetus vitals.  Everything checked out ok.  There are no plans for another ultrasound before delivery.  If something raises concern there will be another, of course, but for 'standard procedure,' it's just the one at 20 weeks, unless we get as far as 41.  My midwife told me they make no attempt to estimate a weight, nor do they change the delivery plan based on some estimated weight because it can be so far off from the baby's actual size.
I hear stories from people about being induced 3 and 4 weeks early because of the baby's size.  I hear expectant moms talk about their plans to have an induction at 39 weeks, despite a healthy pregnancy, just because they don't want to wait anymore.  Where have we gotten it in our heads that a baby needs to be born before the 'due date?'  It's not a term paper.  You don't get extra credit for turning it in early.  In fact, it's becoming apparent that quite the opposite is true.

Two things that I have come across in the past 6 months:
1) Studies are showing that IQ is relative to gestational length.  Don't get me wrong, IQ is but a number and I know plenty of people with ridiculously high IQs who cannot function in normal society.  At some point, a high IQ becomes a definite hurdle.  But if a baby's intelligence for the rest of their life might be impacted by (or at least correlated to) their being permitted to fully develop before exiting their creation chamber, what else might be impacted?  We know that babies born prior to term (37 weeks or earlier) can have life-long health complications.  But now it appears as though, even amongst 'full term' babies, gestational length can make a difference.  I'm talking differences in babies born at 39, 40, and 41 weeks.  If we considered things like this, would we be so eager to have our babies at 38 weeks?
2) Inductions can, and often do, result in a snowball of other medical interventions that would have been otherwise unnecessary.  Don't get me wrong, the ability to perform a surgical delivery in cases where a medical emergency is present is a wonderful, wonderful thing.  It can truly be a life-saving procedure.  But what about emergencies that arise because prior medical interventions have placed mom and/or baby in danger?  I read once that, 'a failed induction is just the body doing what it was meant to do.'  In other words, our bodies are made to house, nourish, and protect a growing human baby until that baby is capable of thriving outside the womb.  When we artificially induce labor prior to this point of preparedness of the baby, the mother's body fights it.  It refuses to allow labor to progress so that the baby doesn't come out.  Usually, in the medical arena, this 'failure to progress' results in greater attempts to push the labor along, which can, in turn, push mom and/or baby into distress.  Now an emergency is on hand and surgery is necessary to remove the premature baby from it's life-source.  If we considered things like this, would we be so eager to have our babies at 38 weeks?

Where is all of this coming from?
I have reached the point in my pregnancy where perfect strangers think they need to tell me that my estimated delivery time must be wrong and inquire as to whether I think I'll 'make it that far.'  They seem shocked when I calmly tell them that I still have ____ time to go and don't expect him early.  They get frustrated when I don't give them a precise date on which my child will arrive.
I have watched friends become antsy about the impending arrival of their babies as early as 30 weeks.  I have seen babies end up in the NICU when their conveniently induced deliveries were actually too soon and they weren't ready for life on the outside.
I have been there, the expectant mother, feeling like a ticking time-bomb, being 'stalked' by friends and family who think, "surely, I should have heard something by now."
I want to give my child the best life possible.  And I do believe that life begins at conception.  And I believe that every decision I make, including those about his birth, can and will impact him for the rest of his life.  And they will impact me. Don't get me wrong.  My daughter has eaten candy.  She's been awake at midnight more than once.  She watched her first bit of TV before the age of one.  Sometimes, she even sips on a soda.  But there is moderation, and I try to make decisions based on what is best for her.
How do I determine what is the 'best' when it comes to birth?  I believe in God.  I believe God created us and designed us as we are.  I don't think he made every other creature (as well as women in every other geographical location on the planet) capable of delivering healthy babies without medical assistance, and then got it wrong with Americans.
I trusted in His timing with the conception of this child.  I will trust in it with the birth as well!  It's almost (or maybe it IS) offensive to me that people are so callous about tampering with something that was designed to work so perfectly.  Especially when the stakes are so high.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Finished Project

I am pretty certain I have ADD.  I start a project and rarely ever finish it.  I make plans to do great things and never even get started.  This is one of the places the 'sucky' stems from.  One time (almost exactly a year ago), I actually finished something I started and here's how it went (this post was mostly pulled from a facebook 'note' I posted about the garment at the time):

I completed my first garment EVER! I hope it looks as good on Aine as it does on the hanger.

I made this dress out of an old button-down shirt that Dave hasn't worn in years. The trim is simply store-bought yellow ruffle trim. As I have *just* started sewing, I will take all the help I can get. And I think I have ADD, so the faster from start to finish, the better. I plan to get a longer piece of trim for the hem eventually, but I wanted a finished dress, so I went ahead and just hemmed the bottom without trim for now.

The instructions for the dress were really easy to follow.

I have three other shirts I'm already planning to try this with. I am also thinking of how I can adapt it for tee-shirts to make more of a play-dress.
I think this one will make a sweet outfit for church on Fathers' Day.

Update: I added the yellow ruffle trim in time for Fathers' Day last summer.  And she got to wear it again THIS Fathers' Day, as it still fit!  We took pictures with her IN the dress, I'll post one soon.  

On another note, I started a Hawaiian print shirt-to-halter dress based off of this same concept that I intended for her to wear at her second birthday party.  As you may have noticed, we just celebrated her third.  I have the front and back panels of the dress completed, but they're not attached and the halter strap is holding me back, as I am NOT a seamstress.  I'm sure my work will never come close to that of this re-purposer of clothing I came across via design mom.

One of these days I'll post about all of my unfinished endeavors!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I don't think the 'nesting' phenomenon is so much based on a burst of energy as a burst of panic.

With Aine, I kept waiting for this month or two of energy and motivation that I'd read about where I would make amazing, unprecedented strides in the way of organization and cleanliness.  
It never happened. 

This time, I think I've been 'nesting' since I peed on the stick.  It is 100% panic-driven.  I have been driving David and Aine nuts with my demands for cleanliness (which apparently still aren't quite strong enough).  I have channeled my little sister as list-maker extraordinaire.  I can see one-day-old dust under the kitchen table and it haunts me like a thick blanket of ash has infiltrated my living space.  I took a shower yesterday and didn't get out until I'd scrubbed the entire inside of the stall with bathroom cleaner.  I am buying washcloths, sponges, and scouring pads like an NRA member stocking-piling ammo.  I graze the 'storage solutions' aisles at the home stores dreaming up uses for all the stacking bins and rolling drawer towers.  Nearly every door in my house has some sort of organization device hanging behind it.  I think the guest bathroom and Aine's bedroom closet are the only ones left-out thus far. I glare at my sofa, wanting to take it outside and give it what-for with a pressure washer.  

This morning, I managed to wash dishes, scrub counter tops, make french toast, clean up from that, freshen the water jugs for the chickens, hang shoe bags from Aine's bedroom and guest room closet doors, fill said bags with random hard-to-find-a-place-for things, model and instruct Aine regarding their use, make a hairbow/barrette organizer from a hanger and some ribbons, organize Aine's hairbows/barrettes using her new hanger, and make a new barrette to match her dress since I couldn't find the one she already had that matches - all in the midst of getting out the door for church.

This is an obsession.  And it has not, I repeat, has NOT been accompanied by any extra energy.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tiny Dancer

I did it. 

I enrolled Aine in ballet & tap classes this summer.  The summer session is only 4 weeks long, but I intend to re-enroll her in the fall.  She's had her first class and seemed to enjoy it.  David said she was just really mellow afterward when he asked how it was.  But she isn't begging me to not go back and she has seemed pretty excited about getting her tap shoes at her next lesson.

Reasons I'd hesitated: 
1) Cost! - I didn't know how much it would be, but it's not terrible and it's certainly cheaper than paying for full-time daycare and then having her too sick to go 75% of the time.
2) Although I got my start in ballet and tap as a young'n, I transitioned into Irish dance and would prefer her to learn it as well.  But the closest school is in Nashville and that means an hour commute each way....for a toddler.  No thank you.
3) The only 'dance' school that I knew had toddler classes was more of a gym.  While I think gymnastics would be great for her to at least try, I'm not a fan of the 'dance' style of the know, a group of teeny girls in teenier midriffs shaking their booties to pepped-up versions of the crap you hear on the 'pop' radio stations.  Pass.
4) I was nervous she'd be totally smitten and I'd just started her on a path to self-destruction in an attempt to maintain a particular image/figure/stature etc.

Why I jumped in:
1) I found a studio that's a real, classical ballet studio.  Bring on the technique and discipline!
2) Browsing the studio's website, I read a lot that I liked about their approach - Christian foundation, modesty, age-appropriate costuming and accompaniment.
3) One of the links on the website was to an article called, "Perfect Pointe," which I haven't read yet but browsed and was happy to have been directed to.

Her first recital is in just a few weeks and I am so excited to see it.  Mostly because I don't get to take her to practices and it's old news by the time I get home from work.  But also because I'm curious to see if she's the kid who looks like she actually went to class and is enjoying herself, or if she's the one that stands deer-in-headlights still on the stage and pees herself.
There will be another post with pictures, either way!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Birthday Girl

My little girl turned 3.  Correction, my BIG girl turned 3.  She asks me sometimes, "Why did you call me 'baby'?  I'm a big girl."  For the longest time she would tell me she wasn't a big girl, she was a little girl. 

You'll always be my baby.

The cake was a 4-layer strawberry cake with chocolate frosting.  And I made the mistake of decorating it with spray-can frosting.  Next time I'm sticking with the piping bag!  I called the cake a 'chocolate-covered strawberry cake.'  It's entirely from a box. 
Incredibly simple decor:
~ Home-made banner
~ Helium balloons
~ Some pictures of the guest of honor displayed around the piano, which served as a present table
~ Potted gerbera daisy that vaguely matched the color scheme & will be relocated to the flower bed this weekend
The color scheme was inspired by the cake.
We 'feasted' on grilled pork tenderloin with fruit & veggie kabobs.  The pork spent a day soaking in a mustard-ginger-lime-pineapple-garlic marinade.  The kabobs had cherry tomato, onion, pineapple, and banana.  I also grilled up some drumsticks.  I must have been incredibly hungry by the time everything was ready because even the simple salad (romaine, spinach, tomato, cucumber) tasted amazing!

I was in charge of the food, while Dad provided the entertainment.  Here he is, leading a "canjo" sing-along.  Other activities included:
~ Chicken wrangling
~ WiiSports tournament
~ Snake handling

Don't you wish you'd been there?!


I've been toying with the idea of blogging. I don't think I have all that much that all that many people will care to read/see. But sometimes I think I should document an event for posterity or humor's sake, and well, this would be a good way to do it. Besides that, there are several blogs that I follow and I feel like I'm spying to not have one of my own. We'll see how this goes.