Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gee, thanks

for nothing that is. I just need to vent a bit because the kids drove me insane today. Friday evening we had Thanksgiving leftovers with our neighbors, who have family visiting. Said family has a son almost my daughter's age. My daughter didn't want to leave because she wanted to play more with this boy. Boys mother proceeds to say perhaps they can play together tomorrow and asks me if she has a bike. I say she has a big wheel and this Mom tells my daughter that she and this boy can ride bikes together the next day.

So, Saturday comes... and I see them all pile in the car just before lunch. Okay, no big deal, they can play in the afternoon right? I call and leave a message. I have no idea when they finally came home that evening but I never got a call back. Same thing today - no call. So my daughter has been hounding me every time she sees this little boy outside because she was told they could play. And apparently it's not happening. In her mind it is my fault of course.

Today I spoke with another neighbor who asked how we were doing and if I needed a break. I told her we were doing pretty good, but that my daughter would sure love it if they would bring their daughter over to play for a bit. I'm told they have some plans, but when they got home after lunch we could all go to the park or something. Okay, cool. Thank God I didn't mention this to my daughter, because they never called me back either.

To top it all off, my son screamed his head off for the majority of the afternoon and evening. For apparently no reason. I swear I wanted to bang my head against the wall and knock myself out so I wouldn't have to listen to it anymore.

To sum it all up, I'm pissed off because twice this weekend I've expected a little help with entertaining my daughter and haven't gotten it. It's not easy being the only person who is here to do everything for both children, myself and the house. Yes, my husband and I knew what we were getting into with the mi1it@ry life and I have accepted the role of single mother for possibly the next 4 months and am okay with it. We generally do quite well by ourselves. But don't offer a playdate to my 4 year old and then not call. Please don't ask me if I need a break and then not follow through on our plans. It just serves to cause me more stress and unnecessarily upsets my daughter who is dying for more play time.

On the brighter side, both kids are in bed, the dishes are done, the laundry is almost all done, the cats are fed, litter boxes cleaned, and I am heading for a much needed hot shower. Probably followed by some De@dwood, on loan from the library. And some 0reos. Must have 0reos.

It's beginning to look...

... a lot like Christmas!

So I've been busting butt and I think I'm finally done with all the Christmas decorations. I still have lights left but I can't think of what to do with them since I can't get them in the windows inside the house. If I have a 'bright' idea at some point, I may add them.

So, here it is! I feel pretty good about what I managed to accomplish. Many other people in our neighborhood have put lights up this year too and we are really enjoying the decorations! It's great to see the holiday spirit!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

All work and no play...

... makes me a crabby Mama.

I've been trying to get the house in order since my husband left last Monday (he deployed to Q@t@r for 4 months). I've also been trying to get the Christmas decorations set up. The Christmas stuff is coming along, but the house cleaning is going very slow. I just can't seem to get much done during the day because of the kids and after they go to bed I just never seem to accomplish as much as I want to. Each task seems to take much longer than I had planned. It's stressing me out!

I'm also bummed because it has become clear to me that I can't even come close to what I want to do with the Christmas decorations. My husband and I go all out for Christmas and each year we add to our decorations. Last year the house looked pretty darned good and we had even bigger plans for this year. But I just can't figure out his share of the work. He was in charge of putting the rope lights around the posts on the porch, and getting all the lights along the eaves of the house hooked up right. I'm afraid of ladders (not heights, just ladders) so I can't do the eaves, and I can't seem to figure out how he does the rope lights. I also gave up trying to put the lights up in the window because my suction cups kept popping off and I was getting too stressed. I remember it being a royal pita last year and I'm not willing to kill myself over it this year.

I just really want to make this Christmas awesome for my daughter. She is a total Daddy's girl and she really misses him. She is loving the decorations I've put up so far, and I really wanted to wow her with the lights and all. I guess she won't really know the difference if I don't get everything right. To her it will be wonderful and exciting.

I have to go chase my cat out of the Christmas tree. I was hoping this year would be easier since the tree isn't real, but alas it has not proven so yet. The little rat keeps climbing it just like it's the real thing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Been a long time....

Sorry for the extremely long absence... I just really didn't feel I had much to write about that would be of interest to anyone. Not to mention the kiddos have been keeping me busy. We were also preparing for a possible 6 month deployment to Baghd@d beginning this month, which has thankfully just been canceled. And we are making some improvements to the house and yard in preparation for selling next summer! We've definitely had enough going on to keep us busy.

But, I really miss writing on here. So, I'm going to try to get back in to this. Of course it is no longer an infertility blog, but I'd still like it to be a place I can go to put my thoughts down or just 'talk' when I feel like it.

I've been trying to keep up with the blogs on my bloglines. As always, I may not comment often, but I keep you all in my thoughts.

My miracle girl is 4; she's in school; she's a beautiful, independent spirit who amazes us every day. My miracle boy is 10 months old now; he's walking already; he's beautiful and his smile brightens my day.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Too Young

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers on the loss of my brother-in-law. We finally found out the official cause of death last week. "Acute heart failure consistent with coronary artery disease." Remember, we are talking about a 38 year old man here. That is just unbelievable to me. They said he had high blood pressure, high cholesterol (common in the family) and that his arteries were quite clogged.

This has also put a bit of a scare into us. There is a strong history of heart problems in my husband's family. His father had his first heart attack at 35. Now he has a brother who died at 38 from heart failure. I've asked him to make an appointment with his doctor to discuss the possibility of running tests to check on his arteries. He is also overdue for a cholesterol check, because for some reason they didn't do one last year. He's already on blood pressure meds and I believe that has been under control for a while now. I'm thinking there has to be some sort of non-invasive way to check out his arteries. Maybe do a stress test on his heart or something. Anything they can do to put our minds at ease will help. He's 35 and we need him around for many many more years! My children need their Dada and I can't imagine life without my husband.

In case anyone was wondering, the family did end up getting together a couple weeks after the 'event'. There was no formal service, but my husband, his oldest brother, and my mother-in-law looked through photos together and reminisced. Our daughter got to play in the snow for the first time in her life and everyone got to meet our new son. So at least something good came out of it....

Monday, March 10, 2008

A blow to my ego.....

We have been working with my daughter on drawing. Really, she has been doing quite well, becoming quite the little artist - drawing portraits of us, herself, her cousins, grandmas, cats, etc. Today, she brought me a drawing and said,"Mama, this is you." Here is a picture of her drawing:

Does anyone else see what I see? I am quite sure it is unintentional, she is only 3 after all.... but I must say I am not feeling very thin or pretty right now!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When it rains, it pours....

Seems that my family is cursed. No sooner do we 'recover' from losing someone important to us, then it happens again. In 2000 it was my husband's dad. In 2002 it was my dad. In 2003 it was my husband's uncle. In 2005 it was my husband's Grandma. 2006, my Grandpa. 2008 is starting out no better. Yesterday we received news that my husband's brother was found dead in his apartment. He's only 38. As of right now they suspect he had a reaction to some medication he was taking, but until we receive the results of the autopsy we won't know for sure.

Please keep my husband and his family in your prayers. They are obviously very shocked and devastated right now. It doesn't help that they are all scattered in different areas so until more details are known arrangements to get together can't even be made.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I'm not the only one....

I did some research, basically just googling "How long should I let my baby cry to sleep", and it seems that the general public agrees that at this age he is too young to learn how to self soothe. That he needs to learn that his needs will be met, including cuddling and love, when he cries so that he will learn that he can trust us. That this will help him grow up to be a strong independent child and adult. That he is way too young to 'manipulate' me by crying, as the people on the other side of this topic feel babies are doing by crying to be picked up. His brain isn't mature enough to even know what manipulating is - he just knows that all he can do is cry to tell us that he needs something.

Certainly there are arguments for both sides of this topic, otherwise it wouldn't be such a 'hot' topic in the parenting world, one that there are many many books out there about and a ridiculous amount of 'methods' available to 'teach' your baby to sleep. And obviously all of the methods work, or there wouldn't be so much information out there and so many books sold, etc. I think it's just a matter of what the parents believe (ie I need to help my child become independent by learning to soothe himself versus I need to help my child become independent by letting him know I will always be there for him when he needs me, even if it means losing out on some sleep myself).

I'm sure I'm not phrasing these things very well, so please don't think I am criticizing those who choose other methods of raising their children. What I am trying to say is that I feel it is a very personal decision based on what you feel is best for everyone in your family, especially your baby. I agree that an older child can try to manipulate you by crying, but I don't think a baby this young is able to do it. I can't bring myself to leave him to scream himself into a sweat-soaked, shaking and choking frenzy when I can spend less time putting him to sleep myself than it will take him to 'tire himself out'. I don't have the heart for the whole cry-it-out method. I knew that when I tried it with my daughter, but I thought perhaps it would be different this time, especially being on new medication for the postpartum depression, another topic I need to write about. The meds never worked before but this time they are making a big difference. I thought perhaps I would be able to handle the crying better this time because of that. And I can - when it's just a matter of not being able to drop what I am doing at the moment to run to him so I can let him cry for short times.... even as much as 20 minutes while I'm showering. But it seems that the medication can't change what I feel deep inside, that I need to do everything I can to make my baby happy. If this means not getting more than 1-3 hours of sleep at a time at night, then I'm okay with that.

Honestly, I feel like my son is doing great compared to how my daughter did. She basically slept on me or my husband in the rocking chair all the time until she was 3-4 months old. She started sleeping completely through the night around 8 months old. I rocked her to sleep until she was almost 1 year old, then she starting putting herself to sleep. She never napped in her bed, always on me or in the car until she got to be a couple years old, then she would either not nap or would nap in bed with me. After I hurt my thumb this past July she gave up her naps because I couldn't 'force' her to sleep in bed with me. I couldn't cuddle her or anything because I was in so much pain. But, ever since she started sleeping through the night. Since she started sleeping through the night, she has been a great sleeper. We got her a big girl bed when she was almost 2 and a half and she slept straight through the night in it since the first day. She is one of the most strong-willed, independent children I've ever known. She has never once had a problem with separation anxiety or anything. I have to assume that this is as a result of the way she has been raised. So I apparently didn't harm her by 'spoiling' her all her life.

Perhaps if we are still having trouble when he is 6 months old or so, we will revisit this topic. But for now, I'm going to stick with what I know works for us. Though I will try to be more flexible on letting him cry during the day... not until he falls asleep, but while I'm showering or making lunch or something. Because he slept great last night. He was so exhausted that I got him to sleep really easily and he slept for 6 hours the first stretch. Apparently letting him scream for an hour yesterday did do some good as far as tiring him out, but I don't have the heart to do that again. Then again, it could just be that he is sick and seems to be getting worse so is exhausted from that. I hope that I didn't make him get worse by letting him scream himself into a sweat yesterday.

Sorry for the huge post on this.... like I said, I may revisit the topic later. But I would still love to hear from more people about what did or didn't work for you, specifically what age you did the methods at too please....


Friday, February 01, 2008

Am I the only one?

Am I the only mother in the world who doesn't practice the cry-it-out technique? Seems that nobody else rocks their babies to sleep. I keep getting asked if my son is sleeping through the night yet... um, no, he still gets up to eat about every 3 hours and I 'walk' him back to sleep. If I put him down before he's in a deep sleep he wakes up again and cries. I can't stand hearing my baby cry, it breaks my heart. To me, it's sort of cruel to let him scream when I know what to do to make him happy and get him the sleep he needs. But nowadays it seems I am the only one who feels this way. I guess we are supposed to 'train' our children to put themselves to sleep by letting them scream themselves into exhaustion assuming that eventually they will stop and start going to sleep easier. But what if it doesn't work? With my daughter everyone said "oh, she won't cry for more than 45 minutes or so." Yeah, an hour and a half later the poor child was choking on her own snot and soaked in sweat... as was I. I never could bring myself to try it again. Let me add that she eventually became a champion sleeper, putting herself to sleep by a year and sleeping for 12 hours. She still sleeps great and we never had a problem transitioning to the big girl bed or anything.

So here's my question... what do you all think? Am I doing it wrong by using the necessary means (ie swaddling and walking) to put my son to sleep? Am I doing him a disservice by not letting him cry? Do babies really need to 'learn' to self-soothe? After all I went through to get my little ones, I can't bring myself to let them cry when I can cuddle them and make it all better.

Please, comment and let me know your thoughts... and what did or didn't work for you.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Birth Story... Part 1

Ok, I've been meaning to do this... just sort of outline how everything went down when our little guy was born. So, here goes....

I called the hospital at 4:25AM to check that we were still on the schedule for that morning. Around 4:40AM my neighbor and friend P came over to stay with our daughter. We then left for the hospital. It took us a little longer than we thought it would so early in the morning so we got there just in time. We were supposed to be there by 5:30 and we got there around 5:25AM. I was aiming for a bit earlier.
Anyways, we got taken to a temporary room because they didn't have a postpartum room available yet (waiting for other women to be released that day). I got hooked up to the monitors and we took care of some paperwork. A nurse came in to put in my IVs... It took him 3 tries to get the IV in my left arm (I warned him I had lousy veins!). He tried once on my right arm and told me he would "do me a favor and let the next shift nurse try rather than poking me any more," because he was coming off a 12 hour shift and had a terrible headache. Yeah, he basically looked asleep on his feet. Didn't give me a whole lot of confidence in the nursing staff! After that I decided to request the anesthesiologist do my other IV because when my daughter was born we had the same problem and several pokes later they finally called anesthesia who got it on the first try. Yeah, this anesthesiologist was apparently not as skilled - it took him 4 tries, but at least he was nice enough to numb each spot before sticking the huge needle in. So, basically 7 pokes later I finally had both IVs in... in the most uncomfortable spot possible, my wrists/hands (sort of the side of the hand where it meets the wrist).

After all that, we were finally ready to go to the OR.... about 2 1/2 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy Birthday to me....

I turned 31 today. Still don't feel like a 30-something though, so I guess that's good!

Hubby is out of town so I'm having lots of fun (not!) handling the 2 little ones myself. Thankfully my 3 year old daughter has been very well behaved so far. With the exception of always seeming to need to go potty when I'm feeding the baby, she has been pretty easy. I learned pretty quick that it is possible to breastfeed using the football-hold while wiping a preschooler's behind with the other hand. Got a nice visual of that? ;)

Luckily some good friends took care of me today. They came over and kept me company, then one of them ordered us pizza for dinner and the other one went on a St@rbucks run for me and watched the kiddos while I took a long shower. Actually, her husband even came over and cleaned all 3 litter boxes before taking the garbage out for me! I am so thankful and lucky to have such great friends!

Well, it seems that the baby might actually stay asleep this time so I'm off to bed while I have the chance. Barely got any sleep last night so let's hope that all the talk about 'letting Mama get some sleep for her birthday' sunk in on a subconscious level today and he goes for a couple nice stretches tonight! Goodnight ya'll!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Just plain wrong

I am currently the only person in my house who is not taking a nap. My son has been down for almost 2 hours now and my husband and daughter have been crashed out in the living room for probably an hour or so. Me? I'm trying to get stuff done in the house that has been driving me crazy. Lots of clutter around and laundry piling up. Of course, I've barely made a dent in what I want to get done. What I should be doing is showering. I haven't washed my hair in 3 days. Yes, I'm feeling a bit gross. But, I'm unwilling to shower while everyone is asleep in case my son wakes up and nobody hears him. Especially since he could wake anytime needing to eat if it's been even just an hour since his last feeding start-time. And as I said in my last post, I just haven't had the opportunity to pump for bottle feedings.
I just had to drop in and comment on the unfairness (in my opinion) of the situation! ;)

Adjusting... or not

So far my son does not seem interested in a schedule. Though I've tried, it has been to no avail. There doesn't seem to be a pattern... unless you count that usually every other night he will sleep for about 3 hours from 9ish to 12ish. I live for those times. Unfortunately, it generally means I get about 2 hours of sleep. He'll go down, then we get my daughter ready for bed. Then I can grab a bite to eat, brush my teeth and head to bed. It seems that no sooner does my head hit the pillow then he is starting to fuss to eat again.

Speaking of eating, that is one thing I can't complain about - breastfeeding is going very well. I think it was a big help that I've done it before. He's feeding patterns are different, especially that he will only eat on one side at a time (talk about engorgement when he has a long nap!), but other than that it is going well. I have yet to find the time to pump though so I'm worried about that. In the beginning we had to supplement with formula so he was fine with taking a bottle, but the last time he had a bottle was Dec 16 so I'm worried that he won't take one when I finally find the time to pump.

So far I've been extremely lucky - my husband has been off work all but one day since our son was born. The timing was just right because he got 2 weeks off for family leave or whatever it's called, then it was Christmas and New Years and they had minimal manning for those weeks. His coworkers covered him on the schedule so he could stay home with us. He did work basically a full day yesterday and I was surprised at how well we did without him, but once evening came it started catching up with me. Next week he is going to be out of town and I'm terrified. How the hell am I supposed to take care of a 1 month old who only allows me an hour or two of sleep at a time, and a very rambunctious 3 year old who demands a lot of time during the day? Sleep when the baby sleeps? HA HA HA! Next week will be a true test on my sanity... Oh yeah, did I mention that I have 3 cats with colds who need antibiotics twice a day? That's going to make next week so much more fun! I'm lousy at giving the cats medicine.

J is doing great though... he had his check-up on Monday. He was 11.02 pounds and 21 1/2 inches long. 90th percentile for height and greater than 97th for weight. Definitely a big healthy boy! He had to get his umbilical cord cauterized, as happened also with our daughter. I think it's called an umbilicus granuoloma. Basically part of it didn't heal right. Hopefully that will take care of it - my daughter had to have hers cauterized twice before it healed right.

Well, J is waking up from his nap and my husband and daughter should be home with lunch soon. Hopefully I'll be able to write a bit about my birth experience next....

Happy New Year everyone!