Friday, October 29, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

C-O-L-I-C.

Well, folks, apparently it is colic we're dealing with. We think.

I know, right? I can imagine half of you are rolling your eyes, muttering that colic is the ultimate scapegoat for any sort of baby fussiness, while the other half of you are nodding your heads ferociously while holding a screaming baby in your lap with a valium in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

Here are the reasons we think it might be colic:
-Her fits occur at roughly the same time daily
-The fits come out of nowhere with no apparent trigger
-She is inconsolable and the fits leave as oddly as they came

Here are the reasons I do not believe it is a GI issue:
-She is not vomiting
-Her diapers are normal
-She is not spitting up excessively
-She is gaining weight
-She is not failing to thrive

Apparently, I had forgotten to mention the teensy-weensy little fact that Naomi's fits occur once a day, as if on a timer, to our pediatrician. I suppose that would have made all of this a little easier to figure out. However, we both believe she still has a sensitive stomach, as cutting out dairy did ease her fussiness and the special formula does the same. So. I've done a little research on colic and it actually really makes sense. I wouldn't describe Naomi as "colicky", as she is really and truly fine 85% of the time, whereas severe cases last for hours and hours on end with no relief. Oi vey. I can't imagine.

We have some drops we can give her when the fits begin and so far they've helped. We're going to try them for a week, and if I feel there is more to it than colic, we'll go the GI route and start testing. However, I'm hesitant to do that, as she's still just so young, and, as I mentioned above, there really aren't glaring indications that her stomach is upset.

So, what is colic? Well, after discussing it with our pediatrician and doing a little research on my own (i.e., the Internet, so trustworthy, ha ha), I've realized that it appears to be a bit psychosomatic, that babies who are tested in the midst of a colicky fit do not appear to have any sort of pain. The fits can lead to pain as it builds, as screaming makes you gulp air, but there is no apparent trigger to cause the fits. It's as if the baby's brain decides that *poof* it's time to freak out. And the baby freaks out. Apparently, as the baby gets older and further develops, these glitches work themselves out and the fits dissipate. Crazy.

I feel good about this because, for as nebulous as it seems, it actually makes some sense.

And I'm trying to figure out how in the world to end this post, because it's late and my brain hurts, so here is a picture of ...

1) Cub smiling (Look! Kind of! A smile!)

and

2) My unwarranted fear of the baby catching pneumonia.


Have a lovely day.

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Patch.







Monday, October 25, 2010

Next Step.

The screaming fits have continued.

I didn't expect the weaning to stop them, I just knew that the weaning would prevent me from beating up on myself every time she had them. The fits are usually once a day for around fifteen to twenty minutes. Yesterday there were more than one and today she had the longest one yet--forty-five minutes.

Ironically, I had taken pictures of her earlier in the day, because Mousie is just so cute and requires lots of picture-taking. Here she is around 2:15pm, on the kitchen floor, happy as can be. She laid there, playing with her feet and cooing for thirty minutes while Cub and I made and ate lunch (Cub had a middle-of-the-day nap, hence, late lunch). I think it's safe to say she's pretty content.


At about 4:00pm, she started getting fussy. This is normal. She usually has her fits between 3:30 and 5:30 and I've found that putting her in her sling helps to calm her down. While I'm not a huge advocate of keeping your child strapped to you at all times, I do think a once-a-day sling ride is good for Naomi, since she is typically content and independent (notice the above picture).


At about 5:00, I put her down for her evening nap. This is always a tricky one, because she still needs it, but she typically fusses for a bit before falling asleep. This is usually no big deal and the fussing is very much a tired fuss. I checked the monitor at 5:15 and noticed that she was becoming increasingly loud. I realized a gassy fit was on the horizon, so I went in and picked her up. Within minutes she was inconsolable. She sobbed, she screamed, she lost her breath, she clawed at my neck (resulting in a few scratches) and she kicked and stiffened. No matter how much I rocked her, gave her a paci, sang to her, walked her, nothing helped. She would calm down and suddenly scream again in pain. I carried her into my bedroom and grabbed my phone and began recording her. I knew it was time to schedule an appointment with our doctor again, and I wanted him to know how she sounded. After she finally calmed down (around 6:00), I wanted to get a picture of her asleep, to show her red and tired face. The nursery was almost pitch black so I couldn't see what I was snapping, and instead I got a picture of my face.


Red nose and smeary make-up. I hadn't started crying until she fell asleep.

I understand that so many parents have it so much worse than I do and I don't want this to sound like a pity-party at all. I know I have it good. I am honestly blessed with two wonderful children. What's hard for me to swallow is the not knowing. I don't know what's wrong with Naomi, and that is extremely frustrating. Watching my sweet baby girl go from happy to helpless within a matter of minutes is heart-wrenching. I know it's her stomach, because she releases so much gas during the fits, I just don't know if these kinds of fits fall into the realm of "normal" or not. I'm hoping the doctor can tell us what the next step should be. Cub was a champ through the whole thing and played with his trains in the living room while Naomi cried.

So, that's where we are right now. Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Love (Of the New Bottle Drying Rack Variety).


Before ...
... After.

Love, indeed. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Day.

When I was a child, my parents taught me to start every prayer with, "Dear Lord, Thank you for this day." From then on, we were to thank Him for some other things, confess things we knew were wrong, and wrap it up by making our requests.

I've always prayed that way, thanking God first for this day above all else. Of course, as is true with many repetitious things, the first part of my prayers became habit while more thought went into the rest, following conviction to confess and bringing to mind others for whom I felt compelled to pray. I was saying that I was thankful for the day, but I didn't always mean it, truthfully.

After a restless night with Naomi followed by a tiring morning of bad napping, I found myself exclaiming, "THIS DAY!!" in frustration. I've done it before, bemoaning "this day" and all of the things that come with it. But it never dawned on me that "this day" was the very day for which I had said I was thankful. I had not thanked Him for any day, for yesterday, or for tomorrow, it was this precise day, this specific day, for which I had given Him thanks. Spoken with the knowledge that this day was one that was never promised to me, that when I opened my eyes and took a breath, it was a gift. This day. It's an unconditional acknowledgement--I don't pray, "Dear Lord, Thank you for this day ... if everything goes right. I mean, You're great and all, but I'm really only going to be thankful if my plans go perfectly and if my babies are angels and if my house is immaculate. Thanks." And yet, I find my attitude being just that--this day, this gift of today, can so easily become a burden, based solely on circumstance.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism asserts, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." I had a long post written about the weaning process and formula and my inability to discern proper bottle usage, but I was reminded today that these are all things that are simply circumstantial. They are big things, yes, but they all exist within this day, a day that exists within the life God has given to me. Today it is weaning. Tomorrow it may be teething. The day after that I may catch my hair on fire. But my sole purpose, my chief end, is to glorify God despite those things ... and to enjoy Him. Forever. Regardless of circumstance.

Today I was reminded of the release that comes with finding joy in Him. And I was encouraged that throughout my day, throughout this day, God has given me opportunities to glorify Him. The laundry can be glorifying. Rocking a cranky baby can be glorifying. Taking charge of His gracious gift of children is glorifying. And if I can see it that way, if I can make each seemingly menial task and elevate it to the wonderful responsibility that it truly is, I can enjoy it. And I can therefore enjoy glorifying Him.

And I can enjoy this day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby Blues.


(I'll take this view any day.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trying.


Just as I sat down to type this, both of the kids started crying. Oh my!

For an update. We went to the Pediatrician and are in the process of possibly weaning Naomi. I say "possibly" because I started the process on Friday and yet, since then, she has stopped sleeping through the night and has shown very little difference during the day. To back track, going off of dairy helped, but periodic screaming fits returned, and the choice to wean came from the standpoint that my guilt, frustration, and worry over every tiny bite of food that entered my mouth could potentially make my child sick was a burden that was causing me to cry every day. It's difficult for me to reconcile giving my baby formula. I now have a can of something who's primary ingredient is MALTODEXTRIN wedged between my organic spaghetti sauce and couscous. I love breast feeding so much. I receive emails, Facebook messages, and texts from people asking for breast feeding advice. It's so much of who I am, in a way, that the thought of not doing it is almost causing a bit of an identity crisis, which is odd when you think about it. It's difficult for me to imagine that, at this point, formula might be the better option (how prideful of me, I know). But, mentally, for me, it might be. I can stay off of dairy. But I can't stand to hear my baby scream.

(And please, if you have always used formula and don't breast feed, please do not take this that I am judging you at all. I'm not. Lots of the advice in those breast feeding phone calls and emails I receive are me telling people to go to formula. It's more important for Mama to be sane and okay, in my opinion, as breast feeding can be stressful ... obviously.)

The changes I was hoping to see in Naomi physically since changing to formula are not coming yet, but it's only been a few days. This is not a post where I am seeking advice or wanting help, and I definitely do not need anyone telling me that breast milk is best. If I didn't believe that myself, I would not have gone through such great lengths in modifying my diet to make it safe for Naomi. People have told me that what I eat doesn't make a difference. They are fine to believe that. Experience has shown me differently.

This is just a post so you know where I am. This blog is about honesty and the honest truth is that I am wading into waters that are the toughest since Naomi has been born. I will expound on the details later, but weaning has been emotionally and physically difficult and there are so many factors playing into it. And yet, deep down, I know it is the right thing to do, for not only her well-being, but for my emotional and mental health as a Mom.

Perspective tells me that this is a small stage that will be a tiny blip on the radar later in life. But momentarily I'm kind of immersed in it, struggling to see outside of it. In a few days, life might be grand and easy and perfect and yay! But since Saturday, it's been tough and I'm preparing myself for a tough week ahead.

This is just tough. But thanks for listening.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where I'm At.

Last week I felt incredibly disoriented. I woke up every morning not knowing what to do and spent the day in my pajamas, taking care of the kids but not being able to see beyond that to accomplish anything else. It was awkward, and frustrating, and hauntingly reminiscent of the period of time after Cub was born.

This past weekend, my husband went on a men's retreat with our church and I went to my parents' house to take some quiet time for myself, to figure out what was going on. And I realized through some soul-searching that, right now, life is crazy. It's crazy awesome, but crazy just the same. Which means that, in order for my little corner of the world to function correctly, I need to be on my game. And staying up late (in order to write blogs, for example) and therefore feeling exhausted through the day, not meditating on Scripture daily and feeling directionless, and not creating my to-do list every day (I'm a list person, I can't help it) and feeling frustrated were all hindering my ability to be my best, and my family and myself were paying for it.

In order to make all of this work, I need to stay focused. Focused on the Lord, focused on my husband, focused on my kids, and focused on my home. I know what I need to do and how I need to live in order to make things work.

So, if you see fewer blog posts, I'm not gone. I haven't sworn away all things Internet. I just need to settle into a new kind of normal when it comes to blogging. I love to blog and will keep it up, just not as frequently. I hope that make sense.

SO! On Friday, I will take my kids in for their twenty-four month and four month appointments respectively, which is itself an indication of the crazy (wonderful crazy) stage that I'm in. My husband and I talked about how life can be hard right now but it is also good, and we want to relish in these moments. It's a tough phase, per se, but it is also a fleeting one.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sticking with me. I've got a little boy wanting to play with his new alphabet train puzzle (thanks, Alyson!) so I need to go. Letters, here we come!

Have a lovely day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Eleventh.

Two years ago today


I held you in my arms


and what happened next


were the greatest days of my life.


I know it will just keep getting better.


And I can't wait.



Happy Birthday, Cubbie.

(A letter is coming, as soon as I can burrow out from beneath my piles of Kleenex.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

On Writing.

When I was in the sixth grade, I won the "Best Creative Writer" award, the perks of which included a brief mentioning in the yearbook and a paper certificate that is no doubt stuffed between my long-lost collection of Breyer horses and an old prom dress. I was surprised when I received the award because, truly, I rarely received awards for anything. I don't mean that to sound as though I feel sorry for myself, it's just the honest truth. I did not play sports (volleyball came later) so there were no trophies on my shelf. I didn't show horses or grow flowers and my bout with ballet ended up with a less-than-graceful performance as a rat in the Nutcracker, after which my parents agreed that perhaps I should take up something else. Like reading. I could play the piano with the best of them, but I was too shy and lacked the confidence to participate in any sort of recital or competition.

So, I won the award.

I remember staring at it in the midst of its obvious nerdiness, treasuring its implication that I was possibly good at something. My classmates and I had voted on all of these awards (which also included "Best Athlete" and "Best Eyes" and "Best Whatever Else We Can Think Of That Will Hopefully Cause Every Student To Win Something") which meant that someone else thought I was possibly good at something as well. I did enjoy writing. My classmates thought my stories were funny ("Best Sense of Humor" came in eighth grade) and I have always excelled in self-deprecation, which is always funny. I decided then that perhaps my future should be in English. I always did well in English and continued to do well in English all through the rest of middle school and high school. Unfortunately, during college registration, when I sat with the rest of the potential English majors, I found myself sinking lower in my chair as I heard conversations of vague authors and eccentric poetry swirl around me, of which I knew none. I could cleverly tell you what I ate for breakfast, but I could not tell you the difference between postmodern and modern writing. And, frankly, I didn't care. So, I switched majors that afternoon.

Thankfully, my new major required lots of paper writing and very little math, and I did well. I also journaled. I wrote the best faux grant proposal in one of my classes and beat out the smartest girl in my class, which was exciting, as my GPA was not even cum laude worthy (a C- in Economics my freshman year and a subsequent C in Biology stunted my GPA, making my only academic recognition in college a spot on the Dean's List). In the far recesses of my mind I envisioned myself writing something that might someday be published, even though I was not quite sure what that would be. My degree required research papers that had the potential for publication, but those types of papers were not my forte. Research methods, meh. I wanted to write stories.

So, tonight, I find it ironic that I can't seem to find anything to write about. My blog is my primary venue for creative outlet, and yet I sit here in my jammies with a towel on my head from a shower I took thirty minutes ago, struggling to find a topic about which to write. And somehow, I started typing, and the result was a post about my love of writing. How ironic. I guess I do have a story to tell. It typically involves Chuck Trucks and baby jeggings and what I made for dinner, but it is my story.

And I'm glad you don't mind reading it.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Food pour le Bebe.

A good friend of mine sent me a text today, asking how I made Cub's baby food and if I planned on doing it again for Naomi. I knew I had written a blog post about it back in the day and sure enough, after lots of digging around on the old bliggity-blog, I found my entry. I was excited, thinking that Yes! I can just copy and paste! So, I did. And then I realized that, as is true to form with myself, I did not have very many exact measurements. Nor references. Sigh, so typical.

But, what I do have, is the blog post! Here it is! Written during an ice storm.

My Mom made mine when I was a baby, with a blender, so I think that has inspired me. Since we have been sequestered to the house, I've taken it upon myself to brew up some food to store in the freezer. It took some time to get used to it, but once I did, I was on a roll. I would steam the veggies or fruit and then scoop some into my electric food mill (it was a gift, purchased at Pottery Barn Kids). Then I would remove the steamer from the pot and ladle some of the water into the food mill as well (the water is nutrient-rich from the veggies/fruit and helps thin them out). Then I would place the covered steamer back on the pot, to keep the veggies/fruit warm, and would proceed to blend the veggies/fruit in the food mill. After they were the right consistency, I poured 2-3 tablespoons into little plastic Gladware containers (they were on sale) and stuck a label on them before putting them in the freezer. After much peeling, chopping, steaming, and ladling, I have a good portion of green beans, peas, spinach, pears, and sweet potatoes in the freezer.

(I saved the sweet potatoes for last, just in case there were, you know, leftovers. That I would need to eat. Which I am eating right now.)

I loved doing this. It felt so empowering to do all of this work for Cubbie, knowing that I was giving him something that was healthy, that I made myself. I know I won't always be this industrious and that there may be days when he is older where his lunch will consist of goldfish crackers and Kool-Aid. And I'm sure someone will tell me that Gladware is made of some sort of toxic plastic. But, tonight this all felt really good. I feel like I did something really good for Cub.

I feel like ... well, a Mom.

An industrious one at that.

IMG_2878.jpg



I know I started Cub on green veggies first and worked my way up to sweet potatoes and pears and applesauce (you know, the good stuff). I've heard that www.wholesomebabyfood.com is a great resource (I checked it out and it looks good). When it came to correct measurements of veggies and water (some people suggest using juice to blend the veggies--I always preferred the water), I just started with a little of the steamed water and added it until the fruit or veggie was the consistency I wanted. Cub always preferred his food thicker rather than thin. In fact, I remember the first time I bought packaged baby food, I was amazed at how soupy it was! So, it just depends on how your baby rolls. Cub liked his rice cereal thick, so I knew he'd like his "solid" foods to be thick as well.


I know you can buy containers specifically designed for baby food. I liked the Gladware just fine, but anything works. Also, I steamed EVERYTHING. I never microwaved any of the fruit or veggies (unless they came in a steam-ready bag). Steaming on the stovetop was just easier for me!


And yes, I definitely plan on making Naomi's food in a few months. It was incredibly cost-efficient, plus I enjoyed doing it!


I hope that answers your questions, friend!


Have a lovely day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sitting. Waiting. Relaxing.


This is me. Sitting. Sitting with some Starbucks. Sitting with some Starbucks in Ann Taylor at the Galleria, waiting on my friend who was trying on clothes, relaxing in the moment.

Sitting. Waiting. Relaxing.

This weekend, my husband and I went to Dallas with friends, sans kids, to recharge. And recharge, we did. My friend and I shopped while our husbands golfed, and over and over again we remarked at the difference of shopping without kids. Taking our time. Revisiting stores. Not looking at the clock.

Sitting. Waiting. Relaxing.

Amazing the many definitions of "recharging".

Coming home, scooping up my kids, covering them in kisses, feeling refreshed and ready and stronger. Looking at my husband, loving how we still love to laugh, feeling closer.

Refreshed. Ready. Recharged.

I'm so glad we took this trip. The kids should be glad, too ... they definitely benefited the most from our shopping!

Mark this item off the list.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, October 1, 2010