Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Much Better.

Thank you for all the well wishes! Karl is doing much better. His fever broke yesterday afternoon and has so far kept it normal for today. He is still acting a tad bit cranky, but he's back to playing instead of snuggling. While I loved the snugglebunny I had, I'd rather him feel better.

We have an appointment with the ENT tomorrow morning to talk tubes for Mr Karl. I hope to get his surgery scheduled asap so we can get him as comfortable as possible as soon as possible. I'd like to say I'm not nervous, since I've been through 2 sets of tubes with Allison, but I'm still very anxious.

I remember back to when Allison got her first set of tubes and they let me hold her while she went under anesthesia. When they then took her from me and told me to go wait in the waiting room, I couldn't hold it together. I started bawling. I went to the waiting room, grabbed a tissue, picked a magazine and sat down. By the time I opened the first page, the surgeon was already back in the waiting room telling me she did wonderful. So I know it's a simple process and I know it's quick as can be, but I find myself pretty nervous about it all.

On a cute note, Karl is ALL ABOUT giving kisses right now. He started giving kisses months ago, but it was very hit and miss - way more missing than hits. Now, when you look at him and ask "kisses?" - he immediately comes at you with an open mouth. I absolutely adore it. Oh, and he'll also respond to "love?" with laying his head down on your chest while he lets you cuddle him. I just love this stage of development!

Monday, December 28, 2009

You will understand my being away, but I have a very sick little baby. See?




Ear infections than a cough so bad last week I was having to do breathing treatments with him. Now it's a high temped fever (103's) and I'm dealing the best I can. He's in good hands and I'm doing all I can to keep him comfortable, but this is where I've been and where I will be for another day or so.

If my baby wants nothing more than to lay on my chest and cuddle away his sicky feelings, I'm doing just that.

Luckily, the girls stayed with grandma and grandpa this week and are having a full christmas WEEK with them. This is what I saw when I left them yesterday ...




So please don't mind the small break in blogging, but I must care for my little man.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"You put ice cubes in and get a snocone out ..."

" ... Yum yum fun is what it's all about!"

I actually don't know if those are the exact words, but it's how I sing the "snoopy snocone machine" jingle. I just made 6 snocones. Mmmmmm.

The children had a wonderful christmas. Lots of presents. Lots of excitement. Lots of everything. "They" say Christmas isn't about getting, it's about giving - but in our case, it's about both. I loved giving presents to my kids and I'm glad they got a lot of getting.

Come to think of it - the people who say "christmas isn't about getting presents" piss me off. For everything you give, someone is getting so whatever. It's about getting. Without giving, there'd be no getting. So there.

I won't bore you with the breakdown of all the details. I'll just leave it as it was (and still is) a good day. Hope you all are having just as good of a day. And that you GOT a lot. ~wink~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

milestones, milestones, milestones.

Karl can walk on anything he can pull himself up on. If the thing moves (like a walker he can push behind) he will walk with it. He won't let go to even stand on his own, but if he can stand up on it, he can walk around or with it.

Allison is hitting her stride from being "alone" during the day without Ella. At first she would just sit around bored, but now she's taken up a lot of pretend play or she'll play with her little brother.

And now for the biggie. Ella can READ. She's got about 50 "sight words" (words she knows by sight) in her back pocket and can do a damned good job at sounding out words she doesn't know. This AMAZES me. I mean, I knew she'd learn how to read, but already? She's amazing. (I'm sure all other mommies of kindergartners say the same thing, but still.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Over a week has gone by

and my mommy blog is struggling.

I guess I don't have much going on. I'm on the verge of a breakdown because I have 3 kids under 5, but then again, 2 minutes later, I'm over the moon with them. It's bizarre how quickly I can go from thanking my lucky stars and say, oh, selling them to gypsies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One more present and I'm DONE!

~gloat~gloat~gloat~

I'm almost done shopping. I have 1 more blanket to make, 1 more present for the girls (which I already know what it is, I just have to go buy it) and 5 stockings to stuff (which is easy).

Okay, that seems like a lot now. Especially since I haven't wrapped anything. Nor put up any decorations yet.

See? Instant karma for my gloating. I have a lot to get done!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

family of five = endless loads of laundry.

I just don't understand why I have so much laundry to do. It's literally NEVER all done. How can a family of five make so many loads of dirty clothes? I mean, kids clothes are TINY. Shouldn't that mean their loads should be smaller too?

ugh.

I'm about to fold the upteenth load and there is still more to do. It never ends.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The zoo!

We go to the zoo more than any other family in the city. I'm sure of it. These pictures were from the week before thanksgiving. We didn't go this weekend because the ground is still covered with snow and it's freaking COLD outside. Think anywhere between 6-35 degrees. Last night when we got in the car to go home (tom and I went out to dinner) it was ONE degree. Holy moly.

Here is a picture of miss Allison riding a pony ...




This is in the bird exhibit where you can feed the birds using little seed covered sticks. This one is Allison ...




And Ella ...




Here is photo evidence that I'm a bad mother. Can you make out what is in Karl's hand? That's right boys and girls - a tootsie roll pop.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whew.

What a day so far. I just spent the morning cleaning and then went grocery shopping for almost 2 hours. Jeez.

Karl was SO GOOD at the store. Since he's my climber, I use my shopping car cover thing (what is those things called?) and strap him in. All I need to do is give him something crinkly to hold (this time it was a bag of chocolate chips) and he keep himself busy, smiling at anyone who walks by. I still can't believe how lucky I got in the good baby department.

How are your kids when you go shopping?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some more parenting randomness

I flipped through the latest issue of Parenting magazine and commented on a few things in my other blog, but these were really children related, so I thought I'd continue my comments here ...

~ I found the "4 reasons why your baby is different from your husband" list hilarious:
1. the only mobile device she's addicted to has tiny stuffed animals hanging from it.
2. the baldness is merely temporary.
3. you don't mind when your 3 month old hits the bottle 8 times a day.
4. you can change a baby.

~ Have you heard of "child sense"? It's the study showing kids have a dominant sense that determines how they experience and relate to the world. For more information, it's a book by author and behavior researcher Priscilla Dunstan:
1. The Tactile child: these little ones love to be held all the time, but they're also soothed by movement.
2. The Auditory child: This child startles easily and will listen intently to music, but don't play it at bedtime, it will distract her so much she won't be able to go to sleep. (this is Ella)
3. The Visual child: Visual infants often get labeled "good babies" because it's easy to meet their needs. All these babies need to feel secure and comforted is to be able to see their parent nearby. (this is Karl)
4. The Taste and Smell child: These little ones like to be cuddled, but they're not calmed simply by being held. If you're nervous or fearful, they're likely to be agitated too. (I think this is Allie)

~ There is an article about babies sleeping in other places besides home. It's entitled "Sleeping Around". Okay, isn't that a little off color? I mean, even for ME, it's a bit much.


Not much going on with the kids besides lots of playing and cuddling from a nice long thanksgiving weekend. If I ever need something to be thankful for, all I have to do is look into one of these sets of eyes. I hope all of your weekends were just as wonderful.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Did you hear the explosion?

Karl exploded this morning. It was the worst it's ever been. He called to us to let us know he was awake this morning and he was covered head to toe. Literally.

Before I go on, I will admit I slept through the whole thing. It was my morning to get up but my wonderful inlaws took care of the kids this morning and let us sleep in. Yay.

Anywho, about the poop. He was wearing footed pajamas and he filled the legs (yes, it was down to his feet) and got up to his armpits. Yuck. All over the blanket and the sheet too. It was one of those that needed a load of laundry done and a bath for the baby before it was cleaned up.

Heh. I can't believe I'm blogging about poop.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mr karl is no longer a baby.



He's just getting so damned big. I swear, I'm not going to blink anymore.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We are losing our pediatrician.

We have the best pediatrician in the world. Problem is, he is in his mid to upper 60s or even 70s. And we were just waiting for him to retire.

We got the letter today. While he's not retiring, he accepted a part time job up in Denver. Which, I'm assuming, is just his first step in retiring. He has a very successful practice in which he's had through generations. (seriously, I meet mommies in the waiting room whom had him as their own pediatrician as a baby). I couldn't see him just retiring all at once, so step one in the process of learning not to be such a busy doctor.

He took care of us and got us another pediatrician already, but, oh man, I'm going to miss him terribly. I literally cried when I read the letter today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I hate being right.

Karl's right ear is a 4 out of 4 on the bad ear infection scale.

My poor baby.

Another ear infection.

~grumble~

I think baby karl has another ear infection. This will be infection #3. He's pulling at his ear and not eating, which is his telltale signs. Ugh. And he's not AS happy as he usually is. Mind you, he's still happy as hell, he just actually has a few grumpy sessions now.

Right now he's sitting in his high chair in the living room (this is where I have my computer) and eating a biter biscuit. It's the first thing, besides a bottle, I've been able to have him interested in for the past 2 days. He's not even really eating it - more like bashing it on the tray like a drum stick. Allison is playing peek-a-boo with him and he's laughing big belly laughs. Love it.

Appointment at 11:30a today for an ear check. I wonder how many ear infections warrant tube placement. Allison had ear infection after ear infection, and she's had two sets of tubes placed. But she never responded to the antibiotics, I always had to get her those terrible set of three antibiotic shots. Karl has responded to the oral antibiotics. I'd rather not give him those though - I don't want him to build up a tolerance at such a young age.

Ah, he's chewing on his biscuit now. Awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I just typed up a big post about Jenn's visit, which included the kids, on my other blog. But I wanted to do an update of each child here too, so I'll remember what is exactly going on in their lives right now.

Ella - She's lost 2 teeth and is trying to grow up before my eyes. Everday she is less little girl to me. Oh god, it just breaks my heart that she's growing up. I'm waiting for the day she doesn't let me kiss her in public. I know it's coming and I just don't want it to get here.

She's doing great in kindergarten and trying very hard to stay "on green" everyday. When I pick her up, I can tell my her little face she lost her green. Awww, she tries so hard! But she's too much like me and I know how hard it is to keep our mouths shut.

Today is a skate city party, which Tom is hopefully going to take off of work and take her to. I wish I could be there too, but with so many kids skating, it'd be unfair to take Allison and not let her skate.

Allison - I'm watching her personality change and develop everyday. Now she's home with me during the day sans Ella, she's a different little girl. It was hard to play alone and first, but she's getting the hang of it.

I have noticed some strong separation anxiety with her when I take her to daycare now. She only goes twice a week and instead of just dropping her off like I used to, she'll cry and hold onto me. I'm sure it's because I'm home with her everyday and it worries me about her going into kindergarten. Hopefully when we're there, she'll get used to the daily drop off and tears will be a thing of the past.

Karl - He's just amazing. All my kids are amazing, but in Karl's case, he is an amazing mover. You sit him down and he's immediately on his knees, crawling somewhere full speed. I can't believe how fast he can be. You take your eyes off him for a moment and he's already down the entire hallway and into a room. I actually have to be all "where's Karl?" and go searching for him.

He's also big on cruising now. He'll stand up on practically anything and he'll walk around it as much as he can. He'll even reach out and go from toy to toy now, which is new. I bet he'll be walking around a year old. Another month and a half. Whoa.

I seriously don't understand where the time went. Seriously. He's over 10 months old. Ella is more than 5 1/2. Allison is almost 4 1/2. How did all of that happen? I swear, all I did was blink.

Friday, November 13, 2009

An awesome gift

Check out this sweater and hat Jenn ~hand crocheted~ for Karl! It fits him and is so freaking adorable too.



What a great guest she is. Not only does she fly across the country to come visit me, she brings all kinds of gifts! (I collect shot glasses and magnets, so she brought me two shot glasses and magnets AND she got me ~two~ over the knee socks! Yay!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

I've got a smart kid on my hands.

Now I have the proof Ella is a smarty pants.

I got her first report card along with the results of her first Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Her results are as follows:

Word Analysis: 96th percentile
Language: 88th percentile
Mathematics: 99th percentile

CORE Total: 93rd percentile (which means she scored higher than 93 percent of kindergarten students nationally.)


She's just like her mommy. ~wink~

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No cruising allowed.

Karl is starting to cruise around the furniture. Not much yet, but he'll take some small sideways steps before sitting down and crawling to where he wants to go. My guess is he'll be walking by the 1 year mark. He'll be 10 months old next Tuesday, so he's got 2 months to learn it. And he seems to be on the same time frame both girls were on.

I can already see one major difference between him and his sisters. This boy is a climber. I ~have~ to strap him the grocery cart when we go shopping because if he can stand up, he will. I have images of him falling out of the cart when my back is turned for 2 seconds.

I wonder if this is a difference between boys and girls or just the normal differences between babies. Only time will tell.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

15% off coupon for gymboree

It's in today's newspaper, in the "P&G Brand Saver". It's right underneath the coupon for those tide stain boosters (which TOTALLY work, by the way).

It's valid through 12/24/09 so it's a good coupon to clip out and keep in your wallet for the next trip to gymboree.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mother bird? (updated)

How many of you "mother bird" it for your baby? Do you know what I'm talking about? Chewing up food and then taking it from your mouth and letting your baby eat it. (okay, so mother birds actually regurgitate it first)

Am I the only one who does this? When Karl wants something I'm eating, but it's too hard for a baby with only 2 teeth to eat, I'll chew it up first and then take it out with my finger and let Karl eat it. When thinking about it, it sounds so gross and I can't believe I do it. But Karl doesn't mind it at all and he gets to try something new.

update - I reread this and it sounded way worse than what I actually do. I don't chew it up like ready-to-swallow food. I just bite it a few times with my front teeth until the pieces are small enough for karl to eat. I don't chew it all up with my molars or anything!

Poor kid. He'll probably gag at the thought if I told him about it when he's older, but for now, he's my little baby bird and he likes it. Today, he got to try caramel bugles. And he loves them!

Another new food for him today was strawberries. I know we aren't supposed to give strawberries until a year old and I looked it up. Here is what I learned ...

  • 1. Children under 1 yr of age are more susceptible to develop allergies when introduced to certain foods too early. Strawberries are just one of the more likely foods to develop food allergies.
  • 2. All children are different, but up until 4-6 months of age their digestive system is not developed enough to handle any kind of foods other then formula or breast milk. Strawberries and citrus fruits are extremely hard on their sensitive tummies and will make a very irritable baby as they work out the natural acids in these fruits.
So the second thing shouldn't be a problem since he's almost 10 months old. But the first one may be a valid thought. None of my other kids have food allergies, so hopefully karl won't have any either.

I didn't baby bird the strawberries though. I gave it to him through his mesh feeder and he chowed down on it. He absolutely loved it!

Regardless of my disregard for the rules, I'll never give him honey though. That rule is definitely something I'll adhere too! (Honey may contain bacterial spores that can cause infant botulism.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love and Understanding

I just got done watching Schindler's List and I want to run to Ella's school, pull her out and just hug her.

The horrors of what happened during the Holocaust is not new information to me, but everytime I see anything of what happened - movies, print, pictures - I'm just horrified. It's not just the Holocaust, it's racism (against ~any~ race), treatment of native americans, everything. My heart just hurts there were (and still are) people in this world who can hate a person based on their race or hell, anything at all. There is still so much hatred in the world and my heart weighs so heavy at times.

I hear ~a lot~ that people can't stand to bring babies into such a world. But what I think, is we need to bring MORE babies into this world (I know my audience, I know we're all trying!) and raise them to be better people. The more children we raise with love and understanding, the smaller the percentage of people raised with hate in their veins.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

3rd child = things I would never do with my first.

Poor Karl.

With Ella, my first baby, I was one of "those" mothers - doing everything by the book and even overdoing it.

No sugar. No chocolate. Staying away from all the no-no's like eggs and cheese and hell, anything that you aren't supposed to give them before a year. I carried a diaper bag that was stocked to the hilt. I read the baby books like Baby Wise and spoke Holier-than-thou to others. I thought my child sleeping through the night was due to my super duper parenting. I read reviews of toys before buying them. I refused things like pacifiers.

And now with Karl, all that is out the door.

~ If I am eating something and he seems interested in it, I give it to him (unless dangerous, ie: honey, of course). He's licked my ice cream. I've given him chocolate. I've given him sips of diet coke, coffee, ice tea.

~ I actually tried to get Karl to take a pacifier. And while he did a few times, he was pretty much a non-paci baby.

~ My diaper bag is often my back pocket. I simply stick a diaper in my pocket and go. When I do bring a diaper bag, it contains less than my own handbag.

~ All the baby books are collecting dust on my shelf, trusting in my instincts instead of expert advice. (of course I remember a lot, I'm not saying those books didn't help).

~ When I give advice to other mommies, I keep in mind if it worked for me, it doesn't necessarily mean it'll work for them.

~ Karl sleeping through the night is due to Karl's ability to sleep through the night, not my parenting. (I do, however, think me letting my babies sleep in their crib instead of co-sleeping, sleeping in a bassinet in my room, etc, did help each one turn into great crib sleepers.) It's all due to each baby's personality. For sleep, I did the exact same thing with all three kids and had 3 different sleepers. Ella slept through the night by 11 weeks. I could put her down wide awake and she'd just go to sleep without even a hint of a cry. Allison, while going to sleep quietly was her strong point, she didn't sleep through the night until the day she turned two years old. Karl slept through the night by, um, hell, I don't even know. Maybe 12 weeks? And he's slept through the night since. But when I put him down, I get a few minutes of crying with him before he falls asleep.

~ Toys? He gets the hand me downs from the girls but when I go to the store to buy a toy, I just let him pick what he's interested in. I don't first go online to make sure other people liked it too or how educational it is. (although I still stay away from toys that play themselves, if you know what I mean. I like toys the kids have to play WITH. Not be entertained by.)

Here is some evidence of what I'm talking about. I was trying to get a picture of Karl doing "so big!" so I could get a shot of his cute little shirt (daddy is a sports nut and he loves any sport like clothing). But Karl wouldn't raise both hands because he didn't want to mess with the hand that was holding his cheeto. Yes. I let Karl eat cheetos. Oy vey.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Free Gift Giveaway

Have you guys seen the promotion over at kodak? They are GIVING AWAY $15 gift codes to their site and there are no strings attached. I signed up, got my code and picked an ornament for $12.99 and the gift code took off the entire $12.99. I did have to pay $2.99 for shipping (that's the string I guess) but there are LOTS of things to get for $15 or under.

TRY IT!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Cometh

Look what happened at school yesterday! She was freaking ~thrilled~ when I picked her up. She came running up to me with this little missed tooth smile...



Awhile ago, I purchased little tooth fairy dolls from The Land Of Nod. It's a little doll holding a little bag to put the tooth in, so the tooth fairy can find it easily. She wanted the tooth fairy to let her keep her first tooth, so Tom wrote this little note and pinned it to the doll:

"Dear Tooth Fairy, This is my first tooth. Can we please keep it? You can have the next one. ♥ Love, Ella"

Seriously. How cute is that?

Late last night, I snuck in the room and took the note and rolled up two dollar bills and put it in the bag. I left her tooth. About 3am, she came into my room just sobbing - half asleep, she said the tooth fairy left her money but didn't leave the tooth. I showed her that her little tooth was still in the bag and she grinned and went right back to sleep.

This morning, she was so happy she got "paper moneys", as she calls it. I know some people leave a lot more than $2 (seriously - a friend of mine gives $20 per tooth!), but in this house, we decided two bucks was the going rate.

My little girl is growing up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today I am grateful.

If any of you saw my post on my main blog, you'll know an acquaintance of mine suffered a stillbirth at 36-38 weeks. I am simply heartbroken for her and at the same time, I'm overwhelmed over my own little miracles asleep in their beds right now.

Today I got up at 7am to make breakfast for my girls.

Today I dressed my oldest daughter for kindergarten.

Today I kissed my daughter when she left with her daddy to go to school.

Today I spoon fed my son.

Today I kissed my son and daughter before they took their naps.

Today I snuggled with my son and daughter when they woke from their naps.

Today I made dinner for my three children, husband and my mom and dad.

Today I brushed my kids' teeth.

Today I gave three baths.

Today I got my children in snuggly warm pajamas.

Today I kissed my children goodnight.

Today I sit comfortably knowing my three children are all asleep in the rooms just down the hall.

Today was a good day and today I am grateful.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Total 100% Freak Outs

Today was a triple appointment with the pediatrician. Karl's 9 month well baby appointment, coupled with all three of them getting their flu shots. The girls were nervous, but we had been talking about it a lot, using the whole "knowledge is power" thing.

Karl went first. His stats were:
head: 18" - 65th %tile
height: 29.5" - 90th %tile
weight: 18 lbs 8.5 ozs - 25th %tile

Everything checked out great. He still has the remnants of a yeast infection (he took antibiotics a few weeks ago for another double ear infection and developed a terrible rash from it. It was so angry red and prickly, but didn't seem to bother him at all) but it is definitely getting better.

Then he got his flu shot. He cried for half a second and promptly stopped as soon as I picked him up.

Allison was all excited to go next. Whenever one of the girls gets to be "first" before the other one, it's a big thing. So Allison holds up her hand and says "I'M NEXT!" and jumps up on the table. And then the panic set in. She suddenly realized what exactly was about to happen and she starts shaking and crying. She is so tensed up that when the needle went in, it hurt and she SCREAMED. I mean on the top of her lungs scream. Which, in turn, panicked Ella.

Ella decided she was NOT going to get it done and totally flipped the hell out. She started screaming "NO! NO! NO!" and I had to physically pick her up and hold her down. She was screaming and kicking and as soon as it began, it was over.

I was mortified. Now, I understand that shots are scary, but my children do ~not~ act like this in public. Ever. I've never had to remove my children from anywhere due to their behavior, as they mind their manners when with me. I couldn't believe it. Once the nurse left, I let them know their behavior was ~not~ acceptable. I also was sure to give them lots of love because I know the situation was scary and shots are a big deal.

Well, that was my morning so far. Do I dare say "what's next?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pickle sandwiches.

I just let Allison pick out and make her own lunch. What does she pick? She had me cut up a bunch of little pickles and put them on bread. Nothing else. Just pickles and bread.

It's funny to see what kids come up with when they have no idea what sandwiches "should" be. To her, pickles sounded good and she made it. And ate the whole damned thing. Heh.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mother of the Year!

Karl ate cat food. I rule.

But jeez, this boy ~moves~. Up, over, under everything. I didn't have a "climber" with either of my girls and I suspect I'm going to get it with Karl.

So. Remember the story I just told a few weeks ago about "uncle" glenn letting Allison eat cat food? I got it handed right back to me.

Oh yeah, and to add more to my Mother of the Year award, I also picked Karl up quickly while he was sitting next to the coffee table and I didn't realize, until too late, his little leg was under the table. So I pulled up while his poor little knee took the brunt of it.

Ugh. There is something sweet about holding one of your children when they get hurt. But when ~you~ are the one who causes the hurt, it's just heartbreaking!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Clap

heh.

Add Clapping to that last post. He figured it out while grocery shopping and that's pretty much all he does now.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Newest Milestones

Really for my records ...

Pulling up to standing in crib - Oct 1st
Crawling 99% on all fours - Oct 6th
Sitting up from crawling position - Oct 8th
Pulling up to standing on pretty much anything - Oct 9th
Saying "mama" and thinking he means it - Oct 9th

Wow. He's not going to be my baby for long.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I forgot about this.

Obviously all you out there with little babies have already gone through this, since Karl is so "behind" in milestones ~wink~, but I'm just now dealing with this again and I completely forgot about it. I went through it with both girls and now it's Karl's turn.

It's when they learn to stand up, but have NO IDEA how to sit back down.

My kids have all been good crib sleepers. There's been exceptions: I had a hard time transitioning Ella from swing to crib for daytime naps; Allison woke up every night 3-11 times until the night of her 2nd birthday; Karl cries when I put him down when I could just put the girls in their crib when it was time for bed, even if they weren't ready to go down, and they'd just go to sleep. But all in all, I'd say they were (and are) all awesome.

When they learned to pull themselves to the standing position, they would do it a lot in their cribs. They'd be tired and needing sleep, but standing was such a great new thing that they would immediately stand up. Then they'd realize they had no clue how to get back down. The bending of the legs to sit down was (and is) always a mystery. So there I am, hearing Karl cry cause he's standing, and I have to go back in the room to lay him down, only to have him stand up again seconds later.

I don't know any other solution than to continue to go back in the room and lay him down until he stays down. Is there anything else to do?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Do I wake them?

First of all, I wanted to thank each of my guest bloggers. If you haven't read the last 3 yet, take a quick gander and afford a comment. You'll read from Robin about her letter to her unborn baby about what a great time in history to be born, Lisa's post about raising twins and Hollie's post about the things she's found out while being a new mommy.

Now to my post.

When I come out from out of town, I hate when I come home when the kids are already asleep. I always wake up my girls, all blurry eyed from being woken up from a deep sleep. They usually have no recollection of my saying hi, but ~I~ am the one who remembers, which is what counts. I just want to hug them and kiss them.

But do I wake the baby? If I wake him up, it's a little harder to get him back down, as he'll see me and think it's time to eat or get up. So I tiptoe into his room and just look at him as he sleeps. He is now an official stomach sleeper. He gets his knees under himself so he sleeps with his butt sticking up in the air and his little arms curled underneath his chest.

And that's where it all goes wrong for me.

He sleeps in such a cute position and I can't ~not~ touch him. So I carefully stroke his back and pat his little bum. Within a millisecond, he's moving around and lets out a cry. Then I figure I can totally pick him up now. Which is mistake numbers two. Within minutes, his head is off my shoulder and he's smiling at me, going in for baby kisses.

But it's all SO worth it.

In the 3 days I was gone, he has perfected his crawling. Now it's on both knees 85% of the time. It used to be 85% army crawling, but I guess it just took a weekend to realize he can get around MUCH faster if he doesn't have to drag his body.

Spending some time away from my kids is wonderful. But nothing beats coming back home and seeing them. Nothing.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday's Guest Blogger ... Hollie!

The Joys of Motherhood

Hi everybody! My name is Hollie, and I blog on Everything Changes. I am honored that Nancy is allowing me to guest blog for her. I met Nancy on the TTC Infertility Conditions message board. We went through IVF together, and our sons were born 1 day apart! So I do feel a special connection to Nancy. Nancy was also my inspiration to start a blog. I enjoy writing about being a mommy, my family, my life, and whatever strikes me for that day.

Today I bring you… some of the little joys of being a mommy to a little boy. Note – my son is 8 months old.
  1. Bringing a little screaming crying bundle of joy into the world.
  2. The first time your child smiles at you.
  3. The first time your child smiles at you after they smear poop everywhere.
  4. Having said little bundle kick you, slap you, bite you, and scream in your ear… all at the same time! And you don’t mind!
  5. Being peed on, pooped on, puked on, and you don’t mind. Well maybe you mind a little bit.
  6. Pumping your breasts at work with the door locked, still hoping no one barges in.
  7. Taking your child out in public and always being told how cute he is. I think he’s the cutest kid in the world of course.
  8. Spending all of your money on the child.
  9. Wanting to sell our house, sell half of what we own, all so I can stay at home with my son. He has really changed me!
  10. Finally, looking at his sweet angel face when he is sleeping.

There really is nothing greater than being a mommy! I’m sending love to all of the mommies out there!

Keep up the good work!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday's Guest Blogger ... Lisa!

First of all I wanted to take a second to thank Nancy for allowing me to guest blog. She is a wonderful mother and a remarkable and strong woman who cares so much about other people. She has also been quite the educator. I met her on the TTC boards and she helped me through to my BFP. She taught me so much about TTC and then afterwards about infertility. I knew nothing about it and through her struggles and her willingness to share, she has enlightened me. Never would I say that I can understand what women who have infertility go through, but at least now I feel like I know what not to say or do.

I am the mother of twin 17 month old boys and I blog at Our Janidlo Clan. They were conceived naturally and I consider them to be the greatest gift from my maternal grandmother (she had two sets of fraternal twins). It can be challenging at times to raise twins but I must say that my boys make it relatively easy. They are wonderful little men and I could not imagine my life without them. I decided I would talk a little bit about two different aspects of being a mother of twins.

We can no longer be in a hurry to do anything. Whenever we are out in public we are constantly stopped to be asked questions about the boys. These conversations generally start out the exact same way... "Are they twins???". Sometimes it is very hard for me not to respond with all the ridiculous answers I have formulated in my head over the last 17 months. This question is not quite so bad now that they are toddlers, but when they were newborns I couldn't believe how anyone could think otherwise. The next question is usually... "Are they identical?" This one is a little more understandable since their differences are a little less noticeable to someone who does not know them. But come on... they have different eye colours! I know that all these people are just curious and trying to make conversation so I try not to be rude. But sometimes I would just like to be able to go to the grocery store without being stopped. I guess that's what happens when you not only have one cute baby but two!

I find it difficult when I am asked by a singleton mother "How do you do it? I can barely keep it together with one baby/child." This to me is such a loaded question. Everyone has their struggles and different levels of what they can handle. I truly believe that we are only given what we can handle and I guess my genes were meant to have twins. I have a hard time when people try to compare battle scars and mine are not deeper than someone else's just because I had twins. My boys were not premature, they did not spend any time in the NICU, they were not colicky, etc... and they are HEALTHY!

I find it the most difficult with my friends because they feel like they can't talk to me about their parenting issues. They are always saying, "well, I can't complain to you about this because you have two of them to deal with. You must think I have it so easy." When in reality I think that in some ways I have it much easier. My boys always have someone to play with. That defintely takes a load off of me. I can leave them to play together while I go off and get something done. I also think I have been thrown in automatic second time parent mode. Mothers out there that have more than one child understands what I am referring to. You learn so much from the first baby, that things run much more smoothly the second time around (barring any kind of extremely difficult second child). I had to react as if I was a second time parent the first time around. It was hard at the beginning but now I am reaping the benfits.Well, there it is a little insight on my little life.

Please feel free to head over to my blog and check it out. I am not nearly as interesting as Nancy but really... who is???

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday's Guest Blogger ... Robin!

(In Robin's words ...)

I wrote this when I was in my last trimester of my first (and only) pregnancy. My son is now 10 months old. I regularly wrote letters to him in my personal journal, but most of them are pretty mundane. This one is a little more universal. Maybe other moms who were bringing babies into the world this year can relate.

A little background, just to avoid confusion—my son has two mommies. ;)

Dear Baby,

What a time for you to be born. The Phillies just won the World Series and Barack Obama was just elected president. Everyone seems to be feeling this incredible sense of hope and ease. We have a long road to hoe, baby, but I feel confident that we can do it. It's an amazing feeling--hope.

Your mommy and I had been on edge, worrying about the outcome of the election. Worrying about what kind of a world we were bringing you into. While I was pregnant with you, our country was in the middle of a war that looked like it would never end (it's still not over, but i hope by the time you are reading this, it is) and gas prices had shot up to almost $5/gallon, making it really difficult to justify going anywhere that wasn't absolutely necessary by car. While I was pregnant with you and the presidential candidates were duking it out on television in debates, it started to look like John McCain (the guy who ran against President Obama) was going to win the election. People really started to rally behind him and we all felt so worried and we thought, how can we bring a sweet new life into this tainted, terrible world with no promise of it getting better?

But then, in just the past two weeks, everything changed. Living in Philadelphia as our baseball team experienced its first championship in something like 20 years -- the city was so celebratory. There was a huge parade; it was all you could hear about on the news. We saved the front page of the newspaper for you to have. And then, a week later, the election. Your mommy and I were taking a tour of the hospital as the election results were coming in. In fact, I was standing in front of the hospital nursery, looking at a baby born the day before and thinking about how you were on your way and you would be just as tiny and reliant and amazing and your mom came over and told me she had seen some early election results coming in and they looked promising and my heart swelled with hope. This tiny baby in the nursery, these other expectant parents standing around me, these moms about to give birth in the rooms up and down the hallway, you inside me, me, your mom, your grandparents, your cousins and the friends you haven't even made yet--all of us are going to be ok.

What a time for you to be born.

I can't wait to see your sweet face (just a few more weeks now!)

--Love,Mama

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Guest mommy blogger?

(this is a cut/paste from my other blog, but I'm also looking for 3 mommy bloggers who would want to blog about mommy stuff.)

First off, I was a guest blogger on Poltzie's blog last week while she was in Vegas. I wrote a post called "Victims of Infertility" and I would appreciate if you read it. If you head over there, don't forget to check out her other posts. She's got some really cute pictures up from her trip to Vegas!

So. I'm going to be out of town tomorrow - sunday. And I'm looking for 3 guest bloggers. If you want to be a guest blogger for me, please comment on this post. I'll need your posts by tonight, let's see, by 11pm MT, and I'll set them all up to auto post on your day.

Please will you be my guest blogger? (I'll take the first three volunteers. That's if I even ~get~ any volunteers!) If I would have thought of this sooner, I would have asked you individually, but I don't have the time now. But I would still LOVE it if anyone would like to post on my blog. Please? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Boys and girls.

It's weird having a boy. I feel completely different about Karl than how I feel about my girls. I don't love any of them any less than one another, but ugh, I just can't explain it.

My mom had 3 boys before having a girl. When she had my sister, she noticed change in my dad. She said "Any man can be a father, but it takes a little girl to be a daddy".

And that's how I feel. When I tried to explain it to Tom, he just said that's how he feels about the girls.

It's funny actually. All men seem to want sons and all women seem to want daughters. And getting the opposite is really an eye opener. I thank God everyday to thank him for having a boy this time. I'd of never known if I had another girl.

Please don't be offended by this. If you only have girls or if you only have boys, I just can't explain the difference. And by NO means do I think women don't love their girls or Men don't love their boys any less. For ~me~, it's just different.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I applied for WIC today.

When I lost my job, we figured out our budget using unemployment as part of our pay. Due to that, we used quite a bit of my severance to pay off all of our debt. Since then, we found out, too late, that I don't qualify for unemployment until the end of our severance period. Everyone told me I could get it, so I really booked on using it. I still have a chunk of my severance pay, but its a lot less than I need. Ugh.

So I swallowed my pride and went down to the WIC office to apply. For a family of five, we are well in the qualification limits. Both Karl and Allison are covered. Getting help with formula, baby food, fruits, veggies, cheese, bread and cereal is really going to help. We're going to have to tighten our belts big time right now and I can genuinely say I need help financially. I shouldn't be on it longer than 3 months, but I'm going to take what I can get.

Has anyone else out there gone down for WIC? They really grilled me in questioning how I was feeding my children! Yet after all the questions, she complimented me and said I was doing everything right.

What a lifestyle change for me. I went from buying $500 handbags whenever I wanted to applying for WIC. Being jobless sucks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

7 things you don't know about me

I was nominated for the "Kreativ Award" from the beautiful Lisa. She is the mommy of two gorgeous little boys, twins Zachary and Nicolas and blogs at "Our Janidlo Clan".



Rules:

1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each


Hrm. Seven things you don't know about me. This is going to be hard.

1. I was a competitive gymnast for 9 years. I used to practice before school and after school, along with every weekend. Thank goodness I went through a growth spurt and got too lanky for gymnastics and could no longer stay a good gymnast. I got my childhood back!

2. I know every word to the movie "The Breakfast Club".

3. In 5th grade, I went to a school assembly for "DARE" and actually took mental notes of what drugs I wanted to try because they sounded fun. (yeah, that program totally didn't work for me!)

4. I played violin for 3 years in elementary school and was in the advanced group. I had NO IDEA how to read music and I faked every single concert. I would just watch the person in front of me and would copy their bow movements.

5. I was a good kid in Jr High and never ditched a class ever. The first time I ditched in high school, I took the side streets because I really thought there was truant officers out on the lookout for kids ditching class. I would hide whenever a car came down the road.

6. Once in high school, I was the bad girl. I was the one who would sneak in wine coolers to slumber parties. They'd always be warm because I would hide them under my bed. I would steal one or two from my parents and collect them to take with me to the next slumber party I went to. Then we would all take sips from the 2 or 3 I had collected and we'd pretend to get drunk.

7. I didn't get my period until I was 16 years old. Talk about late bloomer!


I'm nominating the following people for the Kreativ Blogger award (Why is it spelled Kreativ? I guess it ~is~ a creative way of spelling the word!) because I would love to see 7 things I don't know about them!

1. Shayna
2. Jenn
3. Laurel (aka Bay)
4. Jen
5. Jen
6. Jewels (private blog so I'm not linking to her, but I do want to see her answers!)
7. Julie (aka Jules)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Amazing.

Each and every one of you are amazing. I can't be luckier to have you all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I must talk about something.

I am no longer breastfeeding. (this is ~not~ what this post is about. keep reading.)

Writing that sentance was the hardest thing I have ever written.

Due to all my surgeries post baby, Karl had more formula than my girls from the get go. I pumped and dumped a lot of milk and when I knew I was meds free, karl would still nurse like a champ. But due to pain meds from the 4 surgeries I had, I just didn't want him to injest too much of it and gave him enfamil formula.

I think breastfeeding is best. But I've always said I am not anti formula. I would say Karl got 85% breastmilk for the first 7 months. For my girls, they got 99.99% breastmilk until the one year mark. I was always so proud of it. And now, at 8 months old, Karl is 100% formula fed.

I haven't mentioned this because it's so private and although I don't hide much, there are some things I keep private, such as my marriage. That's just something for me and my husband - our personal thing I like to keep sacred. But maybe talking about it may help me deal with what's been going on.

About 5 weeks ago, I started taking anti depression medication. I've never had depression before in my life and I really didn't know I had it until my husband confronted me about it. It started around the time we got in the thick of things when trying to conceive Karl. I was depressed and I chalked it up to the ttc failures - all my surgeries, failures and disappointments. Once I got pregnant though, I didn't change much. Sure, I was thrilled to be pregnant, but I wasn't myself. I assumed it was because of all the scariness with having placenta accreta and the velamentous cord insertion. I figured knowing I could lose the baby at any moment was enough to make me sad and scared. Then I had Karl and all the trials of having a newborn were there. Karl was a great baby too, yet I still didn't "snap out of it". And due to the fact I felt this way long before I gave birth, it obviously wasn't post partum depression.

Many of you noticed the change in me. There were times I simply didn't post for days and days. And when I did post, it wasn't anything happy. I tried to fake it and I did a good job faking it to my friends, but I couldn't hide it from my family. All I wanted to do was sleep and even after sleeping hours on end, I would be exhausted. I didn't want anything to do with my husband other than the day to day stuff. I just couldn't be a good mom, instead, I was just going through the motions. When I woke up, I literally counted the hours until I could sleep again. I was a terrible employee (and probably led to the reason I was picked to be laid off). I felt guilty. I felt guilty I wasn't being the type of mother you'd see on tv. I felt guilty I wasn't being a good wife. The house was a mess. The laundry wasn't getting done. I simply laid on the couch and passed the time, doing the minimal amount of things, until I could go to sleep again. I would daydream about dying and suicide. I would NEVER leave my children, but I thought how much easier it would be if I was no longer around.

About 2 months ago, Tom confronted me. He asked me if I still loved him. I burst out in tears. I finally opened up about how I was feeling and he sat and listened. He held me. He told me he loved me and he would support me anyway he could. I asked him if he thought I should go see a psychiatrist. He said if I wanted to, then yes, I should go. It was a bad night, all my guilt gushing out at once. I was puffy eyed from crying by the time it was over, but he understood.

It took a few weeks to get the referral and to get in for the initial consult, but I did it. I took a test and it showed in black and white that I was clincally depressed. Her diagnosis was really a form of PPD, brought on by hormones, but what probably happened in my case was my depression was triggered by the fertility medication. Looking back at it now seems so clear! It all added up. I did have PPD but it was from the hormones of the IF treatments themselves, not the hormones from having a baby. It's like a lightbulb went off and it all made sense.

I was put on the lowest dose of an anti depressent. The problem was I couldn't breastfeed. At 7 months, I weighed the aspect of getting better with the aspect of stopping breastfeeding early. I picked getting better. The medication is a class C of drugs and this is what it said about breastfeeding: "Excreted into milk can cause toxic effects on newborn such as vomiting, watery stool, irritability and decreased sleep. Unknown long-term effects on neurobehavior or development of infants exposed to drug." That's something I couldn't chance and I stopped breastfeeding for the time being, simply pumping and dumping until we knew if I would continue the medication long term.

Two to three weeks after I started the med, my life changed. Drastically. I'm back to my old self. My house is clean. I'm keeping on top of laundry and the cooking. I'm back being a wonderful mommy, doing the extra things like art projects and reading books, instead of just doing the minimum. I'm back to being interested in my husband. I'm back. It's amazing that such a little pill can help me be a better person, but it has. I could be the fucking poster child for the medication.

So. That leaves me no longer breastfeeding. And while that breaks my heart to a zillion pieces, being Nancy, Mommy, Wife and Friend is more important.

This picture was taken before I knew I'd have to stop breastfeeding and I'm so glad it was taken. It's one of the last nursing sessions I had with Karl. It makes me cry to know it's over, but I'm not torn up over wondering if I made the right decision or not. I know I did.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The mesh chew feeder

Does any mommies of babies use the mesh feeder?

Karl LOVES his. I stuff it with things like cantaloupe, watermelon, banana - really any kind of fruit. He gets DOWN with his, chewing and sucking all of the fruit out of it.

The girls never got into theirs but it's a big hit with Karl. Just thought I'd share in case you wanted to try it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm in love.

My heart ACHES from the love I have from Mr Karl. Literally aches. I love him so very much, I can't even imagine my life without him.

Oh boy, I'm in for it, aren't I?

A little bit on the last post ...

The thing I was bitching about yesterday (silently) had nothing to do with my other rant today. In fact, comparitively speaking, the thing about yesterday was teeny tiny compared to today's (again, on my other blog).

So, yeah. Just didn't want to get anyone confused there. I was just annoyed about something I do (and did) all the time. No biggie!

But thanks to eden who DID call me a motherfucking arsehole. :) That cracked me up.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Call me any name you wish.

I am a hypocrite. Plain and simple. A schnarky, bitchy hypocrite.

I've even too embarrassed to tell you what I am talking about. So just call me a name in my comments. Please. I deserve it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Babyproofing. Or lack thereof.

I mentioned to Jenn the other day I needed to get on the ball for babyproofing. Then I realized, I don't babyproof. Sure, I don't have things out which could hurt my children if they got into it (glass, poisons, medicine), but other than that, I don't change anything in my house. I simply teach my children what they can and cannot touch.

The thing I like about not babyproofing is I can take my children to anyone's house or anyplace and I don't have to worry about them getting into things. I've seen some of my friends remove everything in reach of a child and I just think that's begging for future trouble, if not just a huge annoyance for their friends when they come for a visit.

My big issue now is teaching my girls to not have any small items (ie: barbie accessories) in the common area where Karl is allowed to roam free. I've decided to make their room off limits to Karl, allowing the girls to play freely without worry of a choking incident. I'm going to put a gate up in their doorway and that's the only gate I'll have in the house. I do have some locks on cabinets (my bathroom, the kitchen) but that's about it. Karl will just learn what he's allowed to get into and what he's not allowed to touch.

What about you? Do you babyproof?

Monday, September 14, 2009

We have movement!

Yes, yes. I'm going to call it. The boy can crawl.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's so cool, I almost feel crafty.

I'm not crafty of course, but this made it easy.

You seriously have to check it out. At the crayola website, you can make your own "coloring book" using your own pictures. SO COOL.

You need a code, which is found inside of specially marked crayons, but I have a code that will work to print out the pages for the first 24 hours after you sign up.
~ Go to crayola.com/colorme
~ sign up and enter code PR24QCHT (I got it from parenting magazine.)

I uploaded TONS of pictures and the program "drained" all the color from them. Then I printed them so my girls can have their own coloring pages of themselves to color!

Seriously, I don't post many things like this because, well, I just don't. But this was too cool to not share. Let me know if you do it and tell me how you liked it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' (part 2)

My immobile baby boy has spontaneously found he doesn't need to ~crawl~ to get somewhere, he just needs to ROLL! Heck, crawling is for sissies!

Heh. Over the past 6+ years (~gasp~!) on the ttc/preg/parenting boards and blogs, I have heard the stories of many babies who will roll to get places, but my girls never did it. They both crawled by/at 8 months and walked by 12 months. But Karl, oh my dear little karl, wanted to show me how the old adage "every baby is different", still holds true.

He is also starting a bit of the army crawl, but can't make it more than just a few inches until he gets frustrated and simply rolls to where he wants get. He can, however, spin on his belly in full circles.

I'm getting a bit sad on him growing up. I was carrying him this morning and realized that he is freaking HEAVY. Per the home scale, he's 18.5 lbs!!! Woot!

(during the weigh-in, it hit me just how much extra weight we moms gain really is. I gained 50 lbs with the each girl and what? Jeez, I can't remember now. 25-30 pounds I think. Well, my gosh. That's ~a lot~ of weight. I can't believe that I had a few "karls" in extra pounds on me. In fact, with the girls, I had an Allison ~and~ a karl in extra fat/fluids on me! Wow. Really puts extra weight in perspective.)

Anywho, back to what I was saying. Karl is growing up. He turned 8 months old yesterday. And just for my own records (will be boring for anyone else to read), here is a little list of things he does right now and has been doing ...

~ Rolls to get places.
~ Army crawls a few inches.
~ Spins on his belly.
~ Says the constanants dddaaadddaaadddaa and maaammaammaa (but not saying any of those actual words) and he "sings" to himself.
~ Puts his arms up to be picked up.
~ He's starting to want mommy over anyone else. He used to put his arms out for anyone, but if I am holding him, he sometimes won't want to go to someone else, actually holding onto me tighter. I'm sure this is due to me being a SAHM and having me most of the time as his sole caretaker.
~ Graduated to the big bathtub using his bath ring. He's been using it for awhile, but I can simply sit in the bathroom now without holding him at all.
~ Will NOT lay still for diaper changes.
~ Pulls himself up to his knees in his crib. Has not pulled himself up to his feet yet on any stationary object (but will do so holding onto mommy or daddy)
~ Eats biter biscuits, wagon wheels and yogurt melts. Starting to make his food chunkier too. LOVES carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and all fruits. He also his enjoying his mesh feeder, cantaloupe and grapes are among his favorite foods to chew on.
~ Sleeps 11-12 hours straight at night still. 7:30p-7a seems to be his most common pattern. Will sometimes wake up early (5-6a) to nurse, but he'll go right back down.
~ As like his sisters, he also goes to bed very easily (knock on wood) in his crib. When it's bedtime, I can simply lay him down in his crib, wide awake. He'll cry sometimes, but it doesn't last more than a few minutes.
~ Loves his excersaucer, jumper and walker. He can MOVE in the walker!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

They wear you down.

My husband just said that to me in reference to the girls. "It's like they are giving you body blows all day, just wearing you down. Until nighttime comes and you just give up."

And that's how I feel too.

Having these two girls so close together was certainly a blessing. And a curse. Maybe it's the give and take. I was able to conceive both of them within 16 months of eachother and that was the give. The take is I get to deal with two little girls 16 months apart.

Is it just ~my~ girls who fight tooth and nail? Julie, what about E & C? Do they fight constantly?

Now, don't get me wrong, my kids are well behaved children in public. But at home when they are playing together, I have to break it up ALL the time. Ella's got the mouth and Allie's got the brute force. One of these days Allie is going to straight punch ella in the face. (And I won't blame her!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Do you all need to knock on wood?

Or am I just the worst mother on the planet who allows her little ones to choke on random things? Or is there going to be at least one of you who says "Damn it. I shouldn't of said 'it doesn't happen to us' when I commented on Nancy's blog right after your own scarier then hell choking? So lets all just knock on wood and make the karma gods happy.

(Jenn, thanks for sharing your story about what your husband allowed to happen, it wasn't your fault. Or was it your fault for letting him have full power? Heh. ~wink~)

Which leads me into a story about Uncle Glenn. Uncle Glenn is a friend of mine and I once tried to get him to blog. He's SO fucking funny, but maybe just not funny to everyone. I'm part of the small minority whom things he's funny, but I hope I'm not the only member. I liked to his haven't-blogged-since-january blog anyway so you can get a feel for the guy if you choose to check him out.

So he visits at a time I'm pregnant with Allie and Ella is learning to crawl. I need to get something done so I ask glenn if he can watch the baby for a moment. "Sure!" he says which taking another bite of his cereal as he's standing in front of the tv watching The Wiggles.

I come back in less than 2 minutes and. Glenn is still watching wiggles and eating cereal in standing position. "Where is she?" I ask. And he says, "She couldn't of gotten far!"

I find her within second, in the back room, eating cat food. Yes, a 2 minute babysitting job turned into my child chowing down on some kitty nibble. Thanks Uncle Glenn, but your fired! (I have a sneaking suspicion that he just really tried to screw up if first "job" so he could guarantee never being asked for a second. Smart man.)

Here are some pictures of at least the last two (Ella being in school all day means missing out on all these pictures).

We go on walks with the little stroller and allie likes to play mommy.



Karl's mohawk. Everytime I brush his hair, I brush it to stick up. Oh yes, His hair will be trained to be a mohawk.



And this is what your already healing toe would look like if you kicked the hard little shoe of a little kid in front of you who decided to stop mid pace. It's awesome.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chewing and Choking.

With growing babies comes new foods to chew.

Karl has been eating biter biscuits for well over a month now, maybe two. I'm also starting to make his pureed fruits/veggies a little chunky. And he's been eating many of the Gerber brand 'graduates' foods like wagon wheels, puffs and melts. (have you seen the melts yet? omg, they rule for the new eater).

Well.

If you haven't experienced your new eater choking on something, you will. And when it happens, it scares the absolute crap out of you.

With Ella, it was when I was in the other room (of course) and hubby's mom decided that letting her chew on an eaten chicken leg bone would be okay. (I can't even give you a reason why she may have thought this nothing but a horrible idea.) And I suddenly hear hubby yell out "NANCY!".

I run to the kitchen to find my daughter blue and choking. I reach my finger in and feel something back there, but I didn't want to shove it down her throat, so I pick her up and smack her on the upper back. Out comes the grisle end of the chicken bone. Ella pinks up. Crisis adverted.

Allison ate her infamous penny a few months ago and we took the magical $300 ride in an ambulance.

Karl had his first real choking fit on Friday.

The weird thing is, I don't even know WTF he choked on. I took Allie and Karl on errands and we stopped for lunch. Karl was sitting in his car seat carrier next to me, chewing on ~his~ toys. Nothing was near him. I hear him choke and look at him - he's red and turning purple. I do the careful reach in and dislodge something in which he then swallows. As fast as it happens, it's over. He continues chewing on his teether.

I never want to feel that scared again.

Except I know I will. Lame.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What happened to my kid?

Staying at home has proven to be quite a task for me. And quite a task for Allison.

Being 16 months apart from her sister Ella, she's never been alone. She's been separated from Ella before, due to being in different classrooms at school, but never alone. Karl is here of course, but he's not quite the playmate yet.

I see a different person in Allison than I've been used to. What a difference. Usually she is doing everything possible to make Ella happy (Ella is a ~bossy~ little girl) and now I see her asserting her independence. It's a goood thing.

She's having a lot of difficulty in keeping herself busy though. I find she just tries to follow me around no matter what I'm doing. She simply doesn't know how to play by herself. While I'm trying to spend quality mommy/allie time, I also am allowing her free time to amuse herself. I hope she is able to figure it out.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I actually qualified.

Holy crap. We qualified for a social program. School lunches.

I've never ever qualified for anything free or discounted. We always were over the limit in our salary, even when we were broke as hell. WIC? Nah-uh. Help with daycare? No way. Sliding scale for gymnastics? Nope. But with me being out of a job, it changes things a lot.

Don't get me wrong, my husband still makes decent salary. And we probably still don't qualify for anything I already mentioned. But for Ella's school lunches, they go off of what we made in the last 30 days. I got paid my severance pay on July 24th, so on August 25th, I put in the application. I was officially and truthfully able to checkmark "no income" next to my name.

Today we got the approval for FREE school lunch. Not even the 40 cent reduced lunch fee. We got it FREE. I'm beyond excited. I was paying $1.95/day or making her lunch. I was hoping we'd qualify for the 40 cent lunch. But free? Yay! Sure, it's not that huge of a deal, but saving $42.25/month adds up.

Of course, as soon as my unemployment kicks in, I'll have to call and adjust my income, but I'm going to use it until the very last moment!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

WhatEVER, pampers.

I have been sticking the point stickers from the packs of diapers and wipes to the back of the nursery door since Karl was born. I finally put them all in. And I don't even qualify yet for the $10 starbucks card (which, by the way, is temporarily unavailable).

Whatever pampers. Sure, I'm taking part in ruining the world by using disposables and allowing them to profit from it, but damn it, doesn't 7 months worth of diapers and wipes earn me at least 2 cups of freaking coffee?

I said I would try cloth diapers. It's time for me to do that. AND, I need to start making my own wipes. I gotta find my recipe for that again. Take THAT, pampers.

don't you turn my brown eyes blue

I know that song lyric is about making someone with brown eyes sad, but I couldn't think of any other lyric about blue eyes.

Anywho, this picture shows why unconditional love rules. He's got no idea I did those things in the last post!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mother of the Year!!

I shouldn't even admit to this, but what a week I have had.

1. Yesterday I dropped Karl in the bathtub. He sits in his little bathseat to play, but to clean his underside, I pick him up, hold him across his chest in my left arm as I use my right hand to clean. Well, he got a hold of a barbie that was on the bottom shelf of a 4 shelved shower caddy I have in there. He was pulling her so hard, but her arm was stuck and he was about to bring the entire thing down, 100 bottles and whatnot, on top of us. I figure letting him go with my right hand would be better than the entire thing falling on us. So I let go, grab for the barbie and ~slip~. He slips out of my hands, conks his head on the side of the tub and goes underwater. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, his knees were on the bottom when I was holding him, so it's more like he just slipped to the side, but yeah, that's what happened. He only cried for 20 seconds thank goodness.

2. Today, he takes a dive off my bed. UGH. I swear, I have no idea how this fucking happens. EACH of my children have fallen off my bed. He was sitting there, just fine, I'm cleaning up Allie's foot which had a cut on it, and he just LAUNCHES himself forward, center of balance transfers to top of his body and he falls to the ground on his face. This time he falls pretty hard and he cried for a good 5 minutes. I felt terrible. We have new carpet and I got the added bonus thick carpet pad, so that was our saving grace. He's okay but I'm a little shaken. I've had to do with dropping my baby twice in two days. I rule.

3. Tonight, Ella was climbing up her ladder into the top bunk, slips a bit, catches herself and says "Jesus Christ!" out of exasperation. My husband says "ELLA! Where did you hear that??" to her little innocent voice "You, daddy". OMG. I had to walk out to not burst out laughing. It's not funny really, but I was more shocked. I curse like a sailor, but that one was all daddy. I had to throw in something that wasn't all my fault after the first two!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Suck it!

Karl would ~not~ nurse today. At all. So weird and it's left me all, ahem, full. I'm about to bust out my pump.

I wonder if I ate something he didn't like yesterday or something. Let's see. I had: oatmeal for breakfast; ham and cheese sandwich, baked doritos and string cheese for lunch; chicken breast, green beans and pasta for dinner.

do you say dinner or supper?

I don't like when he refuses to nurse. Funny, my girls were so much more boobie babies than my son is. I wonder why. He better be back on the boat in the morning though. We've got at least 4 1/2 months left of breastfeeding!

Brutal

I was not and am not cut out to be a stay at home mom. It sucks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Negative.

Negative on the Rotovirus test. He's still going, but it's tapering off.

Karl had his first "real" puking session today. He has spit up plenty of times, but I was parking my car and heard it. It was terrible.

I jump out of my car and ran around to open his door because of how horrible it sounded and saw poor little Karl sitting there. He was ~so~ scared. His eyes were red, milk coming out of his nose and absolutely COVERED. It sprayed the back of the seat and the entire door. I picked him up and he was soaked. There was a puddle of milk underneath him. I pulled out the carseat to dump it out and there was a huge puddle underneath the seat! I don't even know how that happened.

Poor baby. I feel so bad when little babies/kids puke because they have no idea what's happening. Imagine how scary it would be.

He is doing better now. Took a short nap and now he's bouncing in his excersaucer. He is a little cranky today, but damn, I would be too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Holy crap. Literally.

Baby + diarrhea = suckdom.

I'm literally changing a diaper every 15-20 minutes. (and no, it's not a lot, but I'm trying to keep him poor bum dry as I can, so the moment any, um, arrives, I change and lather him with cream.)

It's horrible in the stench department too. I remember there is some virus that causes it, but I don't really think that's it, since he's perfectly fine in every other way. But then again, he is my angel of a baby, so maybe he's just this well natured. (remember, I didn't know he had a double ear infection either!)

I'll have him checked out tomorrow at the pedi appointment for Miss Allison, which today, by the way, is her 4th BIRTHDAY! Yay! Happy Birthday. Sorry your birthday announcement was preceded about your brother's butt issues.

I'm so bloody tired.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Karl likes to grunt.

Heh. Just a quickie video of karl grunting and bouncing.

Did I say 14 pounds?

Jeez.

Karl weighs 17.5 lbs based on the kitchen scale (our bathrooms are way to small to keep a scale in there!). I don't know why I said 14 lbs the other day. I think I meant 17, as he was 16 lbs at his 6 month appointment.

Anywho, since I use this blog for my own record keeping, I needed to adjust it.

He's beginning to move himself places whilst on his belly. Just this inchworm kinda kicking movement, but he's getting himself places (within inches) when he sees something he wants (especially paper. Oh, how he loves paper.)

Ella's teacher has already had to talk to be about Ella's behavior in kindergarten. Yes. On the 3rd and 4th days of school. Apparently she gets up out of her seat all the time and likes to untie her shoelaces enough to where it becomes a distraction. Oh boy. I've got my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baby clothes advice from an experienced mommy (and compulsive shopper)

Miss JamieD asked me where I get my clothes for Karl. She mentioned she likes the high quality of baby gap and gymboree, but also wanted some advice where to get some original stuff.

I started to just answer her in a comment, but I thought this may be one of those helpful hint type answers, so I thoughts I'd just do a quick post about it.

First, to answer questions about "original" stuff. My favorite sites to get stuff for my kids are
~ BabyWit
~ Little Showoffs
~ Baby Rock Apparel

Second, I wanted to mention the aspect of the "high quality" of clothes and what you want to spend your money on.

It's true baby gap and gymboree have high quality. But it's also expensive, even on sale. In your baby's first 18~ish months, especially in the first 12, you go through clothes so quickly. Your baby grows so fast and clothes can only be worn for a few months. During this time, don't worry too much about "durability" as long as you buy things with nice and soft materials that are washable. Baby gap and gymboree fit the bill here of course, but not necessary. Places like old navy (the gap's little sister) are perfect. Soft clothes but much less expensive.

Having girls a little over a year apart, I have seen Ella destroy clothes and I have also seen clothes I can still give away / sell after two girls going through them. Toddlerhood is when you want to go for durability, especially if you are planning to have more kids or if you already know those clothes will be handed down.

My advice is:
A) go with materials. If it's soft to the touch, mostly cotton, you'll be fine. But if you buy much of the shit walmart and babiesRus sell (seriously, ~touch~ their clothes - it all is filled with nylons!), you are going to have 1) a baby whom is uncomfortable and 2) clothes that suck.
B) don't buy spendy things for anything smaller than 18-24 months. I learned the hard way and I have container after container full of clothes I totally wasted my money on. Sure, the people I give them to benefit, but I could have gotten away with spending ~thousands~ less. Invest in your toddler's clothes, but believe me, babies don't need "durable". They just need soft!

Anyone else have quick hints when it comes to baby clothes? Any cool places you like to go to?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"We just sat on the floor and listened to our Prisoner"

Ella started Kindergarten yesterday. Wow. School. Real school. 8am-3:30pm. SCHOOL. When she got home, she talked nonstop about it. When she mentioned she went to the gym and I asked her what she did there, that's where I got the phrase in the title. I guess "principal" is a new word for her!

Here is a picture of her before we left ...



Can you tell she's my child? Never in a million years would you know that, eh?

Here is her waiting for class to start ...




Allie is staying home with me without her sister. It's going to be fun watching her develop her own little personality sans Ella. We haven't gotten anything going on yet, but lots of things are in the works. Today, even though boring, she was quite happy (although undone) ...




Karl is SEVEN months old now! Yay! He's still not doing much in the case of physical milestones, but that's a-okay with me. I figure it's due to me not putting him on his belly for tummy time, but I never did that with the girls and I think they both were crawling by seven months. ~Shrug~. Of course I WANT him to be achieving things in leaps and bounds, but what can you do? I still love my funny little man. He ~loves~ his bouncy saucer thing-a-majig. I barely can get him to stop moving to take a quick picture ...




He's about 14 lbs now I'm assuming. I should do the official "bathroom scale method" and check on my estimations. And here is a picture of the back of his head. I don't know what it is, but I freaking LOVE the view of him while he's sitting on my lap. The back of my kids' giant noggins just make me smile. Maybe it's because they are bald. Maybe it's because their heads are huge. I don't know. But I freaking LOVE it. (please ignore the subway wrappers. I was hungry!) ...



Heh. Maybe it's something just their own mother could love!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What's the "worst" duty?

For those of you who are already mommies, what have you found to be the worst duty?

Diapers? A breeze. I can clean a blowout with my eyes closed.
Breast feeding? Pahlease.
Baths? Easy peezy.

You know what I hate? (okay, hate is a pretty tough word, but you get my drift hopefully).

Spoonfeeding.

Hell, any kind of hand feeding. Spoonfeeding is just where it starts. Then you gotta chop up their foods, clean up, etc, etc, etc.

And you can't just skip a meal now, can you?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The lazy days of summer.

That phrase couldn't be farther from the truth. We are so freaking crazy busy these days, it's insane. I blogged all about our last few days on my other blog, so I won't repeat it all here.

My kids are growing up. Here is photographic proof...




Let's see. Karl's 2nd tooth is still not popped through, but his first one is pretty far in. It's so cute. And he's bit me twice now. Rad. Biting isn't a big deal, but it does happen.

Karl's new trick is sitting up. Finally. This boy is ~slow~ with his milestones! But perfectly okay with me.

Ella and Allison are awesome big sisters.

Ella has the biggest smart mouth EVER. I'm filled with joy while it also drives me fucking insane.

Allison is still my little tough girl who will also fall to pieces if I ask Ella to get a diaper instead of her. A tough drama queen. What a combo.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Whoa. What the hell do we have there?

TEETH.

One is defiitely through, the second looks kinda through, but not full through yet. Bottom two teeth.

damn it.

I really, really, really love my babies toothless. They're just so damned cute! (no, it has nothing to do with nursing. Nursing babies with teeth is pretty much no difference than nursing babies without.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A short picture post ...

I'm trying to clean up my phone and I'm uploading tons of pictures. Here are a few of the newest ones ...


I remember when I was ~so~ excited with Ella to start solids, which I started at a little while after 4 months. And then I realized what a pain in the ass it is to do! So I waited until 6 months with Miss Allison. With Karl, we started very slowly, not really doing anything scheduled until just recently (he just turned 6 months). Anywho, here is Karl, very happy to eat anything orange. (actually, he eats absolutely everything with pleasure!)




For 4th of July, we stayed in Salida, which is a little town 2 hours from where I live. My in laws have a ginormous house there and this picture was taken in their front yard. From the left is Allison, Ella and then one of their cousins.




Ella. I just don't have words for this one. True, I agreed to buy this hat for her, but you have to understand, it's imperative she likes the hat we buy every year so she'll actually wear it when out in the sun. It's actually quite cute without the turned up brim and sunglasses.




This is Allison in the car driving up to Salida. She has a funky "camera smile", this one being the best I can usually get out of her without it looking crazy forced.




All karl want to do is stand. He locks his knees and as soon as he's standing, he's content. Of course there is no balance whatsoever, it's the same "baby stand" most babies have, but he loves it. It's hard to get a picture though. He holds himself completely under his own power, as he can stand with just holding onto my fingers, but this picture makes it look like I'm pulling his arm out of the socket. I'm not though, I promise!




And finally, here I am with no makeup and hair pulled up. Oh yeah, I'm super hot. I know. No need to even tell me. ~wink~




I've got lots of new pictures to post, but we'll just do a few each day. A few updates for each kid:
~ Karl. He's 6 months old. Already. No idea how time went so fast.
~ Allison. She's still total drama queen, being reduced to tears if I ask Ella to get me a kleenex instead of her. Oy vey.
~ Ella. She starts kindergarten on August 10th. Oh. My. God.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One picture

Here is a picture as my promised update. The news on my other blog has me, um, a bit freaked the fuck out right now.

But here's mr karl eating some 4th of july treats. Blurry, but you can see his blue eyes!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You'd think I'd have more time on my hands.

I will update later. Promise. ~wink~

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Confrimation" of Attendance.

As I have said before, I am sending Ella to a charter school. Today, I received an email with instructions to confirm her attendance of the next school year. With the subject line of "Confrimation of attendance".

Um, maybe I should think twice about this school?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Teething and the evils of oraj.el.

Teeth.

Evil, evil, little teeth.

I can see 2 white bumps and hope and pray they stay under the skin (I really, really, really love my babies toof-less).

As I have already mentioned, Ella had her full 'front' set (no molars) by the time she was 6 months old. And Allison stayed toothless, although there were a few times I saw those bumps, until she was a year old. Yup, a year old and a gumby. yay!

Karl is teething and then he's not. The poor boy. I just need his teeth to make up their minds. Until then, I'm making sure he's got something to chew on, a rag/cloth his chew thing of choice.

One thing I will ~not~ do for teething is or.ajel. I learned about the evils of o.rajel with Ella. My pediatrician explained how or.ajel, while helping for the moment, hardens the gums ever so slightly, causing the tooth that is trying to come through have an even harder time. So you use more or.ajel, causing it to become harder, more or.ajel, etc, etc, etc. It can be evil stuff if you use it on your teething baby. If you do use it, use it sparingly like right before they eat so they ~can~ eat (if the teething pain is making them refuse food), but just be careful. Don't fall into or.ajel's corporate ploy! heh. I totally sound like one of those conspiracy theorists! All I can say is it makes sense to me and I can feel how the gums feel harder after using it. Of course I can be totally incorrect on this, I'm just taking lead from my pediatrician.

Monday, June 22, 2009

~whew!~

We are back to breastfeeding.

I haven't talked much about breastfeeding lately, mostly because I'm so very disappointed with my abilities this time. Let me catch you up ...

Due to the surgeries and sicknesses, I wasn't able to keep up with karl's demand of breastmilk. I still was nursing everyday and night, I had to supplement with formula. Of course I would rather him have 100% breastmilk, but I do what I have to do to keep my son healthy. I pump at work and nurse him whenever I'm around him (and not on any medications). We were making due.

So this stepback in him wanting to nurse when I got back from my trip really freaked me out. No way would I be ready to stop breastfeeding at just 5 months. No. Fucking. Way.

But, as of last night and this morning, I'd say we are back at 100%. I think my milk supply is even in better than it was before I left. I'm eating a lot, drinking a lot and nursing a lot. It was frustrating him at first to suck without much of a reward, so I focused on letting him "sleep nurse" to stimulate my own milk supply, so there would be more milk, faster, the next time he'd nurse while awake.

~Whew~.

I still have at least 7 more months of breastfeeding left. I'd of been heartbroken if it just ended before I knew it.

I have a post brewing about breastfeeding into toddler-hood and beyond. I've spoken about it before, but I've got some new thoughts I'd like to share. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The newborn honeymoon

I have spoken about it before. The newborn honeymoon. Its the first few weeks after a baby is born, often tricking the first time mom.

It usually consists of the baby sleeping, only waking to eat or be changed. The only complaint tends to be the baby stays awake longer at night, parents determining the baby has his nights mixed up. Which I personally think the baby knows exactly what time of day is it, as most babies, in utero, sleep while mommy is awake, lulled to sleep my the movement, only to be active at night when mommy is trying to sleep. This is only compounded once born, being subjected to the same stimuli, being held, bounced, etc.

Anywho, it makes me laugh that in almost all first time mommy blogs, message boards or in simply talking to most brand new mommies, they will say "my baby is such a good baby..." only to be shown their true nature in a few weeks.

Now, I was also one of these mommies when ella was born. I'm totally not talking smack about anyone without also pointing the finger at myself.

Like I said, I have talked about this before. And each time, I'd always get the handful of comments saying "not ~my~ baby. ~My~ baby stayed a perfect baby." Each me I would see that, I would roll my eyes and say "bullshit". Babies all act like babies. I have seen babies with autism, literally never crying and being a very self content baby, but in general, the baby honeymoon ends.

And then I had karl. While the newborn honeymoon did end, him having a few weeks of crying fits, his temperment, in general, is fucking amazing. He is, what I have rolled my eyes at, a GOOD baby. Its incredible.

He doesn't sleep through the night the majority of the time. But its easy to get him back to sleep. And like the girls, when I see him getting sleepy, all I have to do is lay him in his crib wide awake and he will go to sleep. He doesn't cry much, and when he does cry, all it takes is a smile to get a big smile right back. Its amazing.

I guess the third time is a charm. I apologize for the blatant bragging, but its so amazing, I had to document it. And, of course, admit just how wrong I was when I called bullshit on those other mommies.

You know what it really does? It makes me want a 4th.

He is refusing to nurse.

Oh crap.

I'm gone for 5 days and the boy refuses to nurse. REFUSES.

I'm pumping to keep up supply, but this is horribly aggravating.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Still alive, I think

I am out of town on a business trip. Working my ass off and missing the children dearly.

I will won't be in my mommy shoes for five whole days. FIVE! Three more days to go.

I called to check in on kids yesterday and was met with "something is wrong with karl."

Heart stopped.

As he explains he thinks he maybe teething, I picked my heart up from ground and promptly rattled off med dosages. He seems better now.

Well, I am on my blackberry, so typing is a chore. Just wanted to drop a note to you all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why?

Ella (5 yrs) is starting to ask "Why?" to a variety of questions. And she really wants an answer, making my brainpower tested on a daily basis.

Today was "Why do we light off firecrackers on the 4th of July?"

Does anyone realize how hard it is to explain how firecrackers are representative of the explosions during the American Revolution which are set off on the anniversary of our Independence from England?

Yeah. It's tough.

I used the phrases "trying to be the boss of us" and other kid friendly terms, but I am ~very~ firm on the fact I will always explain any question in real ways, no matter what the question. I may explain in terms they can understand (ie: during my FET, we put 'baby eggs' in mommy's belly), but the truth is told.

I'm suddenly reminded of the X Files. "The Truth is Out There."

(is that even from the x files? and am I even right in my explanation of firecrackers?)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just one of the boys.

No, I don't know why I decided on that title, it's got nothing to do with what I wanted to blog about.

I am home alone tonight and got the girls to bed. Then cleaned up a bit and it was just me and the boy, hanging out. He started rubbing his eyes, I knew the end of his day was soon, so I lowered the lights and laid down with him on the couch for some cuddle time. Him, being a boy, decided my breast was too near him to ~not~ have in his mouth, so he rooted around. He just finished an entire jar of bananas (oh yeah, we started solids this past week) and I knew he wasn't hungry, but what the hell, I gave in.

There he is, half nursing and half playing. Then it got funny. He'd nurse like 3 mouthfuls, let go, yell in his new found baby scream, then grasp back on for some more milk. It went on and on like this.

You'd think that was the funny part. But after doing this for awhile, I wondered if I even had a good flow coming out so during one of his yells, I grabbed my nipple between my fingers, tugged and squeezed a little bit, and promptly squirted myself in the eye.

Awesome.