Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I can help Little Man go potty, pull Baby Girl off things and all sorts of good/normal stuff ;) And the best thing? When I carry him around all day in the sling, he is less fussy at night! It takes less to get him calm and happy and sleeping. I just pop him back in the sling and start walking around and within a few minutes he's happily dozing!
Of course all 3 of the slings I've now made are various shades of purple! ;) Need to make one of a more masculine color. I'm thinking I may hit up the fabric store and see about getting a denim and lining it with something boyish. It just so happened that all the remnant fleece I had was either lavender or this dark purple (which actually looks blue in the pics!), and the jersey sheet was purple ;) The jersey just didn't work well for this type of sling. I really prefer the fleece, and now it's gotten cold here, so the warmth is nice!
I attempted once again to go to my one and only local fabric store (which is still a 30mile drive) only to be met with snobbery yet again. So screw it, they won't be getting any of my money (not that I have much to spend there anyway!). I'll drive the extra 15 miles (45 total) or more to buy from a fabric store that may actually be helpful. I think the local store only sells quilting fabrics for all the uppity people around here anyway. They are the only store I've seen that does not sell remnants. They take all their remnants and make them into pre-cut quilting squares.
Anyway, since I rarely post pictures here.... I'll leave you with a couple of my favorites from the past week or so (I take pictures like a maniac!). Lazy Baby has this little tuft of hair that will not stay down, no matter how many times I comb or brush it down! ;) He looks like Ed Grimley from SNL ;)
And Baby Girl is so sweet with Lazy Baby! She will come over and pat or kiss his head and say "poor baby [his name] don cwy" She is such a sweetheart! She's also started saying "I wub you," but she says that mostly to her Dora dolls ;)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I had been trying to make a wrap for Lazy Baby, so I could carry him around and actually be able to do something. I had a jersey sheet (the one and only fabric store here does not carry jersey or any other suitable fabric for a wrap! Imagine that. And the guy was completely rude to boot! [because it was all too apparent that I have no knowledge about fabrics and sewing!]). Anyway, so I really liked the Moby wrap idea, he would be close and tight. The front carrier I have (like a backpack) just doesn't work very well. So back to the jersey sheet... how hard could it be to cut it in half lengthwise and sew the two pieces together to make a wrap? Ugh! Have you ever tried to work with jersey? It just does not cooperate very well. And given the monstrous size of the sheet, just getting it laid out to half it was a feat in itself. Then it just wanted to stick to itself. I tried about 5 times to get it going. No luck.
So I looked up some different slings and patterns for them. I used to have your basic sling, a Peanut Shell, but they just did not seem to work very well with baby girl, and she really didn't require to be held constantly, so I ended up selling them (yes I had 2!) on Ebay. Major regret here now! ;) But it turns out that those types of slings are really quite simple to make!! I had a couple yards of remnant fleece, so I measured myself and made one! And OMG!!! HE LOVES IT!!! YIPPEEEEEE!!!! And I can do things!!! Like now, I'm totally typing with two hands!! I haven't been able to do that in soooo long! The only thing is that this is regular fleece and it's hotter than you know what! Which will be awesome in the winter, but after a while he just gets too sweaty.
Back to the jersey sheet. Nice thin material. Two nights ago I was able to cut out the piece I needed. Then yesterday, when I was getting ready to sew it all hell broke loose!!
Here's the thing, I'm very much a novice seamstress. My sewing machine was in it's box for a year before it came out to do something. That day I spent hours figuring out how to thread it and do the whole bobbin thing. So whenever I have something to sew I just leave in the thread ;) who really cares whether it matches or not. I'll be damned if I'm going to mess with something that's working.
Back to yesterday. I sat down to sew the jersey sling. 2 seconds into sewing, the main thread got all tangled in the bobbin! Of course I couldn't get it out by merely taking out the bobbin, I had to take all the casing crap out too!! UGH!! It took me at least an hour of swearing my butt off to get it all back in there correctly. There was *nothing* in the manual about how to get those pieces back in there right!!! Of course once I got it and closed the door- there it was on the outside of the door!!! And in the middle of that fiasco, Little Man knocked a glass of water off the table, which shattered all over my kitchen floor! So I had to stop everything and sweep the floor. Needless to say, it needed it anyway - I probably should have been sweeping and mopping instead of sewing! But just when I was about to fill the mop bucket my SIL called and was on her way over to look up some directions online... so decided to wait until she left to mop. In the meantime, I realized that I was still in the same PJs that I was in two days ago when she stopped over, and the same dishes were still sitting on the counter... well, I couldn't do much about myself, so figured I would at least do something with the dishes. I managed to get the dishwasher unloaded before the baby was up again...
So yesterday, I got my jersey sling halfway done, got the floor swept but not mopped and got the dishwasher unloaded but not reloaded. We totally had frozen pizza for dinner! ;)
Friday, September 18, 2009
I have been busy reading and researching. A BIG thank you to Helene, who recommended The Happiest Baby on the Block. I really hadn't thought of looking into any books. And the funny thing was that when she recommended it, after I went and read the description, my mother had also been recommending what she had heard about the 5 S's in getting your baby calm... (where she heard it I have no idea!) But the 5 S's are: Swaddling, Side (or Stomach), Shhhing, Swinging and Sucking. I almost didn't buy it because I WAS doing all of those things instinctively. But I went ahead and ordered it thinking that maybe I wasn't doing them right. And I was so glad that I ordered it. I'm not going to say it's been a miracle worker, but it has certainly helped. For colicky babies you need to do all 5 S's in a pretty specific way. I just haven't had the frame of mind to actually go all the way there. And really, I think I need to get the DVD, I need a visual ;) But I have most of them right and working for me.
I am still spending most of my days waxing and waning from complete and utter frustration to exhaustion and defeat. It seems the baby will have one good day and then 4 bad ones where I can't put him down at all during the day or night. Now he's been non-stop since Tuesday. I haven't gotten anything done. My arms are killing me! And I horribly need a break. I was contemplating asking my SIL to come and hold the baby and sit with the other two for a couple of hours on her next day off so that I can at least sweep and mop the kitchen! It's reaching the point of disgusting. OK, who am I kidding? It's been there for a while. The little breaks I've been getting I've had to use to catch up on the dishes and laundry.
But I did actually vacuum yesterday! And it was a thing of beauty ;) Here's how it went: I was totally at my breaking point, Lazy Baby had been screaming in my ear for almost an hour, Little Man had been non-stop for about as long, and Baby Girl had been busy breaking out all the wipes and diapers and climbing the gate which keeps our entertainment center safe... I had completely had it. Then Little man rolled up the big living room rug, and tugged a string out of the small one - as he had the string in his hand he said "I didn't do nothing. I didn't do this." I laid the baby down long enough to put him in time out, which made him start throwing a huge tantrum and the baby get completely hysterical... I just said "screw it, I'd been meaning to roll up that rug and vacuum." So I plopped screamy baby into the swing and broke out the vacuum cleaner. As soon as I started the vacuum cleaner Lazy Baby quit crying and went to sleep!!! Every time I shut the vacuum off he'd wake back up and start crying again. So I vacuumed REALLY good!!! I'm going to have to find a way to tape that sound and make a CD! Maybe I will just vacuum the kitchen floor today ;)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
At 8:30am this morning my husband made his first call home for the day (he calls me constantly, because I have nothing better to do). He asked how things were going. At that point all was good. Things were going smoothly. Lazy Baby was sleeping and Little Man and Baby Girl were occupied with PBS. I was catching up with emails (OK I lie, I was stalking facebook and living vicariously through my friends with social lives). We had not yet entered into the breakfast phase of the morning.
Ten minutes later it was breakfast time. Which went a little like this:
Lazy Baby, sensing it was breakfast time, started pitching a screaming fit. Got Little Man and Baby Girl's plates ready amidst major cry-fest. Baby screaming as I got the other two into their booster seats as quickly as I could so I could get to calming the baby.
Immediately Little Man starts demanding crackers for breakfast. Won't eat his banana, won't eat his cereal, won't eat his donuts. He's cold and needs his jacket. He's jumping up and down on the bench saying he will take a bite of his banana for some crackers. We argue over the crying baby. But I'm not giving him his cheese crackers for breakfast.
Baby Girl decides her bananas look better in her hair and lined up on the back of the chair next to her. And her donuts look better smushed to the table and crumbled on the floor.
The baby is not calming down this morning. Some days are like that. Some days are better and he's calm for most of the day.
But today is not turning out to be one of those better days. And yesterday?? Not one of those better days either.
Yesterday I decided to take all 3 little ones to Little Man's 4-year well child appointment by myself.
It all started with getting 3 kids ready at 7am to drive dad the 20 miles to work so we could have the car. Then getting all 3 back into the house, feeding and changing Lazy Baby, cleaning out the bathtub and bathing Little Man and Baby Girl while Lazy Baby cried. Then getting everyone ready and out the door by 9:45am. Amazingly, I made my deadline without any major hitches. Except...I realized 5 minutes after we left, even though I reminded myself 20 times while getting ready, I failed to brush my own teeth.
I thought a lot about how I would mitigate getting all of us into the office safely. At first I thought maybe Little Man was big enough to walk the short distance holding my hand as I was one-handed pushing the double stroller full of Baby Girl and Lazy Baby. On second thought, the safest option seemed to be Little Man and Baby Girl in the stroller and Lazy Baby in the front pack. He seems to last longer in the front pack than in the carseat.
Lazy Baby lasted all of the walk into the clinic in the front pack. Luckily they got us into the room quickly. That was when all hell broke loose.
Of course I had to let Little Man and Baby Girl out of the stroller to play with the toys. Damn the basket of toys ;) Within seconds Little Man had *all* the toys strewn out across the room. And in between the baby crying and the tripping over toys I had to ask Little Man to do things such as balance on one foot, make a fist and wiggle his thumb, jump over a piece of paper... etc... and fill out his answers to questions on the form to make sure he is developmentally at his age.
And Baby Girl? Not so much fascinated by the toys. But was having loads of fun taking all the brochures and pamphlets off the rack on the wall. And she thought it was really fun to open the door and try to run out. She climbed in and out of the stroller, behind the examination bed and got tangled in cords, onto the Dr's stool and tried to get at the computer, opened all the drawers, threw a couple of things into the garbage...
All this and the baby having a major crying fit while trying to talk to the Doctor about Little Man. And then helping the Dr examine Little Man. I had coached him before the appointment.
"Now the Doctor is going to look in your eyes, in your ears, in your nose and in your mouth. Can you say Ahhh for me?"
He got it, he understood it and seemed to be fine with it. He did great with that portion of the examination. But I failed to mention the dreaded stethoscope. And the laying down and having the doctor feel his belly and check out his privates. Those things were challenging at the very least. Getting him to lay down was the hard part. He would not. lay. down. We got him on his back on his elbows and he would not lay his head down (she was trying to recheck the measurement of his height because for the 20th time her nurses got some measurement wrong and she had to re-do it!). The baby was still crying of course, but then Little Man was crying because he didn't want to lay down and we were trying to force him the rest of the way down. I kept my patience - only because there was the audience of the Dr. (I would have been yelling at this point if we were at home - I can only handle so much before the big yelling voice comes out)... finally I got him to lay down by laying the screaming baby down next to him and telling him to lay down next to baby brother.
As the Doctor was making her way out of the toy maze room, I started getting prepared for the shots coming... I put Baby Girl in the stroller and strapped her in, she started crying so I gave her Little Man's milk because he had lost interest in it, but as soon as I gave it to her, he started crying because he wanted it. So as the doctor was walking out the door I had all 3 crying!!
By the time the 4 nurses came in I had things calmed down (secretly I think they waited until I had everything calm to come in). Amazingly I had Lazy Baby settled too! Thankfully my doctor sent in an extra nurse to hold the baby so I could hold Little Man while he got his 3 shots. I thought I was just going to have to lay him down and let him get all worked up again.
We made it through the shots by some miracle. When the nurse returned with the baby and he heard me say something, he realized it wasn't me holding him and started his screaming anew... so I exited the building one-handed pushing the double stroller carrying a completely undone baby. Surely quite the spectacle. And felt guilty when an extremely elderly lady held the door for me.
Then it was back home to spend the afternoon cleaning up the messes made in the wake of rushing to get out the door on time!
By the time we loaded up to pick dad up at 4:30, I declared an "eat out" night even though we really couldn't afford it.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I'm a lazy potty-trainer. That and I really don't want to push it and make it a miserable experience for him. We've been working on it for probably about a year now in a casual sort of way. In January or February I decided to step it up a notch and started offering him treats for going. It worked remarkably well for a week or so. Especially if he really wanted some candy! For several days he would keep a dry pull-up. But I couldn't get him to try big-boy underwear. In my mind I thought the big-boy underwear would do the trick. I thought once he pees in those he will hate how it feels and will be miraculously trained!
Not so much.
I should have known that he goes in his "cool alert" pull ups all the time and it doesn't bother him a bit. If I didn't smell or check for poopies he would certainly run around with a poopy butt as long as I would let him.
He's been off and on, had his good days where he keeps his pull up dry all day, bad days where he is not at all interested in going in the potty.
A couple (few?) weeks ago he had two or three really good days in a row where he was pretty much keeping a dry and clean pull up all day! I coaxed him into his big-boy underwear. He did a great job all day. Then after dinner I checked with him to see if he had to go. He said nope. I talked to him and explained to him for the millionth time that day that he had big boy underwear on and *had* to use the potty every time he had to pee or poop. He understood.
Not two minutes later he was behind the rocking chair, eyes watering.
"You are not going poop are you???"
"Nope. I just peed. And pooped."
Let me just say that cleaning up the underwear isn't as big of a deal as getting those underwear down without any accidents. They should totally make big boy underwear that velcro on the sides for just such an occasion.
**Skip this paragraph if you get grossed out easily!!** Here I am desperately trying to keep those turds safely in his underwear while trying to get them off... of course two little ones fell out... I'm screaming at my daughter to get a wipe while holding my son and trying to hold the dog back... thought disaster was averted and proceed to get his underwear the rest of the way off when I noticed there was one other very small turn that fell out, and before I could even tell my daughter to get another wipe the dog swiftly snatched it up!! We both screamed! Tweenie said she was definitely NOT going to be kissing the dog that night!
I am totally going to make my own velcro-sided big boy underwear!!
On a completely different topic, I just re-discovered CafeMom. I signed up and browsed the message boards once about 2 years ago when I was just starting my first blog and then quickly forgot all about it. It seems to be like most other social media sites, (ie: trying to be like facebook in some way!) but I started a group there for Colic support. So if you or someone you know has a colicky baby, send them to my group here.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I was totally surprised when a mere 2 mos after we gave up the birth control I got pregnant.
It's just amazing how things never go quite as planned, or at least not the way you imagine them. Especially with your first baby. No matter what anyone tells you, you just really have no clue about the whole labor thing and how much it really hurts. You see all these women screaming their heads off in the movies, but you think Well, I have a high tolerance for pain... haha!! And you go into the labor process all idealistic with all these romantic notions of how it's going to go.
My sister in law had hers all planned out (with our first babies she was due 2mos after us). She had everything completely planned out... she would get the shot when she was 3cm and get the epidural when she was 5... and it would all go smoothly. She ended up not progressing and having an emergency C section.
With my first one, everyone had convinced me that I was going to go early. So I was pretty much counting on that. And the Dr had estimated the baby to weigh around 8lbs if I carried to term. I got hung up on that and the fact that I had bought a bunch of newborn clothes that only went up to 8lbs! I thought I HAD to have that baby early!! Towards the end of that pregnancy my blood pressure shot up. The Dr sent me in for an ultrasound, and found that my fluid level was pretty low. At my last Dr's appointment before my due date my blood pressure was still up there so I went in that night for a prostiglandin gel insert, which was supposed to help the progress. If I didn't go into labor that night I was to go in the next morning. Of course the next morning the prostiglandin insert had done nothing and I was given the choice of either going home and waiting to go into labor on my own or being induced. I was bound and determined to have that baby so I chose to be induced. (Later I was assured by several Dr's that I had made the right decision with the blood pressure issue and the fluid level). But afterwards, when I heard from other people that when you are induced it is a much harder labor, I swore that I would never be induced again.
My first labor was 23 hours of living hell ;) Most of it was spent in hard labor. There were several complications. My blood pressure went way up, the baby monitor (the kind they stick to the baby's head) was malfunctioning, which scared the crap out of us for a little while. They had me getting into all these crazy positions and every time I would have a contraction we would lose the baby's heartbeat. But once they got the monitor on good everything was fine with the baby. But by that point I was begging for a c-section under the pretense of the issues with baby, but it was also due to the unbearable pain. I had the shot probably early on, and after a short while it had completely worn off. I sat in a warm bath, sat on the ball, and did all sorts of things to try to make things more bearable, but of course there is pretty much nothing that really helps much. I had been completely unprepared for how much it would really hurt. And I probably did one of the worst things - I tried to control that pain. If I would have been able to relax I'm sure that things probably would have progressed faster, but instead I fought it with everything I had.
I begged for the epidural when I was probably 4 or 5cm dilated. My husband and I fought about it. His first wife got an epidural with their baby and it slowed down the labor and she ended up in emergency C-section, so my husband was completely against my getting one. So under much duress I decided against it.
The next complication was when they couldn't get any urine out with a catheter. I think I was dangerously close to having my bladder burst. They kept putting the catheter in and taking it out... that was pretty awful...
Then came the biggest complication. A lip of my cervix was not dilating all the way. My Dr called in a bunch of other Dr's to check it out and see what they thought. This went on for at least a couple of hours if not more. That's when my Dr recommended an epidural. And luckily my husband agreed. They decided to go ahead and push that lip of my cervix over the baby's head. Thank God I had the epidural for that. (The same thing happened with Lazy Baby - luckily my Dr (different one) decided to just push that lip over right away, but this time I had no meds. Let me just say it was some wicked pain.)
Unfortunately the epidural slowed down my contractions too much and they had to give me some pitocin... and by that point I was pretty done and the epidural had already worn off - regardless I pushed for almost 2 hours before I said I just couldn't anymore.
That was when they tried the forceps. Oh my holy hell, I think that was the worst pain I have ever experienced. It was awful to say the least. The worst thing was that they couldn't seem to get a good grip and tried two or three times!
By this time there were at least 20 Doctors, interns, nurses etc...in the room. It was at a big University (teaching) hospital. It was the home of one of the big 10 football teams and this was all happening on the brink of the season opener game! So all the Dr's and nurses had to leave at different points to go move their cars. The stadium was right across the street from the hospital.
The forceps weren't working, so they tried the vacuum, which after a couple of tries worked and my first baby boy was finally out!
The best thing about labor is the relief you feel when it is finally over and your baby is there :)
It's really one of the most emotional and physical things that a woman goes through. At the end of it I was flooded with emotions. In a way I felt humiliated and felt like I didn't handle it very well. It was not at all what I expected.
But on the other hand, there was my beautiful baby. I had romanticized and idealised that moment forever. The one thing I never expected was that it would be so much better than I had imagined. I was so completely and totally in love with him from the moment saw him and held him in my arms. I wasn't prepared for how taken I would be with him.
Over the past 4 years I have found myself in moments looking at him, reminded of that moment, and still am completely taken with him. I couldn't have imagined anything better than what he was and still is. He's mine, and he's beautiful. He's one of my life's most miraculous accomplishments.
Little Man turned 4 yesterday!! It's hard to believe that 4 years have passed. It seems like just yesterday he was my little baby boy.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
That is one of the many reasons I've been stepping up the potty training with Little Man. With 3 in diapers I am changing diapers all day.
Time is a precious commodity for mothers. And there just never seems to be enough of it to go around.
Before I had children, I was having a discussion with one of my co-workers who had two small children. She was confiding in me what a tough job parenting was. She felt it was really hard to resist that urge to baby your children and do everything for them, because really your job as a parent is to help them become independent. There's a fine line there. That discussion has always stuck with me because I knew it was the truth.
But I had no real concept of how hard it would really be.
My biggest issue is time. It takes a lot of time and patience to help your little ones become able to do things for themselves. For me, it is just so much faster to do everything for them. But it is also doing them a disservice.
The other issue that plays a minor role is the idea that in your mind they are still babies. Your image of them is that they are too small and too young to do things for themselves. Which is probably just your mind making excuses for all the time you will save picking their toys up yourself (taking 5 minutes) instead of asking them repeatedly to do it and helping them do it (maybe taking more like 15-20 minutes).
What really made me think of this was watching Tweenie help them do things over the past couple of weeks. Especially while we have been working on potty training Little Man.
Time is not an issue for Tweenie. She has all the time in the world. Her motivations are not to save time. Her motivations are to do as little as possible. Her motivations are having them do things for themselves because she doesn't want to do them. And it's worth it to her for the task to take 30 mintues instead of 5 if it means that SHE doesn't have to do it.
The amazing thing in all this is that SHE is the one that is on the right track.
Last night I heard her in the bathroom telling Little Man to wipe his own butt. My first instinct was to tell her that she needed to wipe his butt. He's just too young and incapable. But yet, a couple of weeks ago when I was thinking about sending him to pre-school I was thinking that he was going to have to learn how to wipe himself. Instead of telling her to do it, I listened while she patiently instructed him on how to do it himself. I was impressed, and also feeling a little guilty. Of course he's capable, of course he NEEDS to learn to do that on his own. But I haven't taken the time with him. It always seems that when he has to go potty I am in a hurry. I pull his pants down quick, set him on the potty and then quickly wipe him and get his pants back on because the baby is crying or because I was in the middle of something else...
A week or so ago I did realize the value of having him pull down his own pants and get himself on the potty as well as getting his pants back on. Probably because I was holding a crying baby at the time :) But also because when he goes to pre-school he is going to have to do all that by himself.
Time. Isn't it sad how sometimes everything boils down to time. The thing is, in the long run, by teaching him to do things on his own, I WILL be saving time! While it will take time and patience now to show him and teach him how to do things for himself... the more he can do for himself, the less time I have to spend doing those things for him.
And I just need to suck it up and claim him no longer a baby! How I hate to let that go :( My first baby boy is getting all grown up on me. He is going to be 4 in 2 days! He IS a big boy!