Saturday, December 14, 2013

Oh hi!

Hi blog. Yes, once again you are being neglected. Thankfully you are not a pet or a child. But I have an excuse!

I thought I was fatigued in the first trimester of my first pregnancy because I started being able to sleep places besides in bed. Ha! I am now a regular nap-taker ... And thanks to Ferber, Shelby is too. But I'm well into the second trimester now and feeling a little better. Some days I even do other things when she naps, like clean or write.

Yes, I am pregnant again; we are so blessed! They did something called a Panorama test because I am over 35 so we already know we are having another little girl. Victoria Grace. So far so good ... Blood pressure is great though I could stand to slow down on the weight gain. It isn't awful but it isn't terrific either. I lost 30+ lbs with weight watchers right before getting pregnant and it is really hard to go from tracking everything to not wanting to think about what you just ate, but wanting to eat to keep the nausea away. Especially carbs. Nice healthy things like grapes nearly made me vomit. Though to be fair, the worst sickness I had was in HEB in front of everyone who was waiting for some kind of sample, and I had just eaten a very unhealthy lunch of Long John Silvers clam strips and hush puppies. Thats one way to cure a craving ... Now if only I could do something about this nagging desire for a Mexican pizza from Taco Bell...

Tim is back working nights. I miss him being home at night, though he usually gets off on time now and that's nice. And I don't really miss eating dinner at 8 ... 9 ...10 at night. I don't really miss feeling like he is the first one out on the road either ... One hog incident was enough.

We are loving the church God lead us too. I could never have imagined a group of more genuine and caring people. We are so very blessed. In so many ways, but this one impacts everything.

Our barndominium is started! The slab is probably being poured next week, then the metal building should go up really quickly. Tim will be doing most of the inside himself so right now I'm not going to try to predict when that will be done ... But when it is, it is going to be wonderful. Simple and wonderful. Except my bathtub ... That is a going to be ornate and girly. But still very wonderful. We will see if I ever get to use it before the girls go to college ...

I've not been doing as much homemade stuff with the morning sickness and fatigue ... Our poor tree is up, and has lights on it, but I haven't gone further than that because Shelby has been doing a great job of leaving it alone! All the excuse I needed! Plus, I'm not sure what we were thinking when we bought GLASS ornaments. Really?

I don't have anything particularly profound or funny to say. We're just very blessed and I'm feeling joyful and content. Now if I could just act like it ... I really look more like a chicken with my head cut off most of the time (at least, I feel like I do) but Shelby's asleep so there is a hush of peace over the house that's including me. Too bad Tim usually misses this time!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rest Time

Alas. The glorious nap I wrote about, thinking all my problems, perhaps the world's problems [not really, that answer is Jesus] could be solved with paper blackout shades.

It turns out, Shelby was coming down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (not to be confused with Hoof & Mouth, which is very different and only affects livestock, or Foot IN Mouth, which only affects talkers) and was beginning to run a fever. So of course she napped, she didn't feel very good.

Since then, I have gotten her to nap on one other occasion ... a strange 17:30 (that's 5:30 ... P!M!) to 20:30 nap one afternoon that I actually didn't really want to happen at all. It was practically bed time when she woke up I went in and noisily put away clothes till she woke up.

She has her routines, and it is just taking a while to get out of the habit of nursing to sleep in mommy's lap and just lounging there all afternoon.

Due to her increased interest in climbing:

I have decided to have naps on the trundle bed. I know some advice says "always put baby in the crib to sleep" but I :-P at advice books several months ago. You can find one to agree with anything you want which kinda negates them all to me. I do like hearing what other people did/do with their own kiddos though ... as long as it doesn't come with the caveat that I must do exactly the same or I'm a bad mommy.

Anyways - I have a feeling just like she ended up in her crib sooner than we thought she would, she might end up OUT of the crib for safety reasons sooner than we though. Or at least with the toddler rail up. But really, if we're going to do that why not just switch to the big girl bed?

So the last couple of weeks I've been nursing her when she asks for it (that's a whole 'nother story I'll tell you another time) and trying to convince her to come lay down with me on the trundle bed (GASP! Yes cosleeping if you will). Mostly this turns into "playing in the dark, slightly more quietly than normal." Meh, oh well. She's safe, I get a little rest ... she's no more or less grouchy than normal.

Well, today we missed her 11am "I'm tired and wanna nurse" time because daddy was home (Yay daddy! A great reason to clap, which she did this morning when she found him at home). We ate lunch, and then after he went to the farm she actually sat down and watched part of Monster's Inc with me. Definitely tired. We tried to lay down, and only then did she realize she wanted "bop" (also known now as "boom boom boom") and I was able to not only lay down with her after, but sneak away. Woo hoo!

I wasn't much of a napper myself growing up. In fact, the only times I actually remember sleeping at nap time I was in fact sick. Mostly it was playing quietly and hoping I didn't get caught, or coming up with reasons to get out of bed and eventually being spanked. My mom told me recently she wished she had just let it be "play quietly" time.

Instead of reinventing the wheel ... I've started referring to "resting" instead of napping. Especially once Shelby is older and can understand (but we gotta get mommy in the habit starting now). If resting means sleep, awesome! But if we just have some down time where she isn't go-go-going like she is the rest of the time, I think that's healthy too. Sleep book with your charts ... shut up. I'm not listening to you right now.

But for the moment, she is resting with her eyes closed, breathing deeply, and cuddling Sulley.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Nap

Yes, it deserves capitalization. Any daytime sleep in this household does.

The other day, Shelby took her first "real nap." Sure, it was only 30 minutes, but it was in her crib.

As much as I loved sitting down with her and watching her sleep ... I know that the time for that was coming to a close. After she took a 2 hour nap in a crib at a friend's house, I knew she was capable.

So I bought "Redi Shade" paper blackout shades, because we live in a rental. There are six windows and a windowed exterior door in her room. I love the natural light ... but not at nap time. It took some finagling (and 3M command strips - love those things) but I got the room reasonably dark.

Part of the problem with her naps is we are often away from the house. I'm sorry - but I'm not tying this little socialite to the house just because of nap time. Even with her poor naps (in my lap or in the carseat) she is a very happy girl so we just go with it.

Our first attempt just resulted in her playing in her crib for nearly an hour. Doh!

This nap happened at her "later afternoon" sleepy time, which isn't normally a long nap to start with. She started signing "milk" and saying "Bop!" (for Boppy) which meant she wanted to nurse. I took her to her room, let down what shades were up, turned on the sound machine AND fan, made sure her diaper was dry, and sat down to nurse her.

She nursed alright. Eyes wide open. Humming to herself. When she was done, instead of turning away and drooling in satiated slumber ... she slid off my lap and proceeded to play.

Fine, play in the dark! I pulled out the trundle bed, grabbed her Sulley monster, and laid down. I needed some rest even if she didn't, and her room is very baby proof.

She played for about an hour, coming by from time to time to climb up and see me. Finally she came and earnestly repeated "Bop! Bop!" right in my ear. So I nursed her again, and wallah - she was groggy. I laid her down in her crib and she slept for about half an hour. Then the wind picked up ahead of a thunder shower, and the shade AND curtains were blowing and banging. I imagine that's part of what woke her.

But it was progress!

Today! Today! At her normal "long nap" start time of around 11am ... she nursed, and got sleepy, and now she's been asleep, IN HER CRIB, for almost three hours!

I cleaned the top of the fridge for the first time since we moved in!

I wrapped her birthday presents! With creative homemade bows!


I made and ate my lunch!

I made her lunch, ready to be gobbled up when she wakes!

I wrote this blog!

I gave myself a week of trying before I would give up and go back to lap naps. Its a bittersweet feeling knowing this could be the start of a new era.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


This mid-morning was much like any other ... I was wrapping up washing the dishes that need the tender touch of hand washing in mild soap. In fact, I was getting ready to tackle the last item ... my cast iron skillet had been soaking overnight to soften the very stuck pieces of dinner. I was lamenting the fact that this cleaning would likely remove some of the pan's precious seasoning ...

Then I smelled it. Poop! Right on time! After several days of stools loose and frequent enough that Tim and I agreed Pedialyte was in order, Shelby appears to be back on her "regular" schedule.

I turned to ask if she needed a new diaper, and there, next to the pan she was happily drumming on, standing out mustard yellow as all else faded to sepia like a filtered photo ... Poop! A streak of it on the kitchen floor. The kitchen floor! *shudder*

I scooped her up, noting as I walked that we indeed had our first Thirsties blowout (not due to user error) at the gusset around one leg. "Maybe it was how she was sitting?" I pondered, "Or the fact that at 18 pounds she's precisely on the line between size 1 and size 2 covers?"

Attempting to hold her still as she complained on the changing table I prepped three wipes ... usually I can wrangle a poopie bottom with two, but it WAS a blowout. I was underprepared for what was hidden by the thin layer of pink PUL...

I don't know who coined the term "Holy" crap but they obviously didn't have a toddler. It had only been 24 hours since her last poo, which had resembled her previous meal of sweet potatoes. The meals between simply could not explain the contents of her diaper. Grape skins??? It had been at least three days since she had grapes? Other meals had come and gone since grapes?

I sprayed and wiped as quickly as I could ... I'd been planning on a bath this evening but now was good! Despite my efforts she managed to get at least one hand dirty. My mind began tallying a list of "contaminated" things: baby, kitchen floor, changing table/pad/cover ...

I set her on the potty, hoping anything else that needed released would come out now before her bath. She sat for only a moment then took off ... unencumbered by clothing she's much faster. Deciding a few minutes of "naked baby" might be good for her, I gently picked up both diaper and liner between two fingers and went to spray them off.

Pride is an ugly thing. I have prided myself in my ability to use the diaper sprayer without it becoming what "Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures" refers to as a "poop laser." I don't know if I was rushing or if it was a result of the consistency and sheer quantity of this particular diaper ... but poop laser happened and my list of contaminated surfaces grew: scale, toilet, bathroom rug, bathroom floor, side of tub...

Once the diaper was as good as it was going to get, I decided I had a limited window of opportunity. The bathroom door was firmly closed and the naked toddler was not trying to break in. Better to clean now than try to take the diaper and return for cleaning. Desperate and not wanting further contamination, I flushed the toilet and dropped the offensive diaper and cover into the bowl (hey, that's how they rinsed them before diaper sprayers!). I folded up the mat to take to the wash and set about using up too many Clorox wipes; better safe than sorry.

A noise in the hallway tells me my time is up. As if to confirm this thought, I hear Shelby fall and begin to cry ... a stumble is just too much when you have just realized you've been locked out of the very room mommy is in.

Opening the door, I'm greeted with further "contamination"  ... She fell because her little feet slipped in the puddle of her own making spreading across the hardwood. *sigh*

I scooped her up with the hand that wasn't holding a very wet and very contaminated diaper on the verge of dripping and flew to the diaper pail. Re-decontaminated toddler with yet more wipes. On the return trip I soaked up the mess with a former spit up cloth and yanked two Clorox wipes out of the container ... one for the mess in the hall, one for the mess in the kitchen.

Finally ahead of the contamination, Shelby had a lovely bath and I started a load of laundry, surprisingly none of which had poop on it. Today is going to be a "no-pants" kind of day I think.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Watching her sleep ...

Shelby doesn't nap.

Actually ... She does. In my lap. Nearly 11 months old and at about 11 and 3 every day I let her sleep in my lap.

Sometimes I feel like a failure for this ... shouldn't she be in her crib? Shouldn't she be putting herself to sleep and sleeping through the night and on a schedule? Alone? But it works for us. It might not always, but it does right now. It forces this mommy to sit and rest. And honestly the cleanliness of our home and homemade dinners have not suffered for it. Yet.

So almost every day I sit and watch the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. I watch her once-tiny fingers curl as she dreams. In fact, this is when I clip the fast-growing nails she got from her momma. It's much less traumatic this way for both of us.

I wonder at the soft curls of spun honey by her ears and notice that new fuzz seems to appear before my eyes as her hair thickens. I wonder if she'll go to prom and how she will wear it and I pray over those teenage years.

Her mouth puckers and then breaks into a smile as she laughs in her sleep and I wonder what her dreams will be. I say a prayer over those too and beg for God to guide them.

Sometimes I write grocery lists and to-do lists, or even watch a little Netflix and catch up on a book.

I have come to find myself looking forward to this time...

I have tried putting her down to nap, but it never has worked out. I've read bits and pieces of sleep books ... but in the end, our family is well rested and happy. The only reason, at this time, I can think of to try to force a change is others' opinions ... and I think that's a pretty poor reason.

My advice on sleep? Do what works for you and your family, whatever that may be.

Now back to my bonbons ... cause don't you know that's what I do ... Sit around with her in my lap eating bonbons. (If anyone figures out what those are, tell me ... and are they any good?).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Baby killer

I can't hold back what I'm dying to say anymore.

I've seen a lot posted about the trial of "Dr" Kermit Gosnell lately - about how it isn't big news. I'm not going to post any links because I can't find any unbiased (one way or the other) coverage.

Basically - Kermit Gosnell was an abortion doctor who is currently on trial for the death of one patient and alleged killing of seven babies who were born alive.

You don't have to agree with me. You don't have to disagree with me. I do not care for open debate on the internet due to the mask of anonymity. Heck, I don't care for open debate in "real life" either. I have yet to see a heated argument win over anyone's mind on an issue. And I can't speak dispassionately about abortion. I can't. I won't try and I won't apologize.

Before I go any further, this is not a judgement on anyone for their views. You are entitled to those. I won't be high fiving you if you agree, and I won't be disowning you if you don't. And it certainly isn't a judgement on anyone who has had an abortion (though if it pricks your conscience I don't know that I'm sorry). I have very dear friends who had abortions because it was what seemed best for them and the unborn child at the time. I can't imagine making such a decision and I was not in their shoes. Please do not read this and think I do not love you, care about you, or that this devalues our friendship. If you know me you know that to me ... sin is sin, and I'm no better than you. God stands waiting to forgive us all and Christ had to die for me no more than He had to die for you.

While the things Gosnell is accused of are horrifying ... (I will not repeat the details) ... I find it no less horrifying than abortion in general. The legality of abortion holds no bearing on my feelings.

I find it horrifying that at their most vulnerable, babies are at the whim of their mother's decision on whether she wants to share her womb or not. Or whether she feels their life will be worthwhile or not.

That in that place where most of us were safe, warm, fed ... their fragile lives are in so much danger. Deeming a baby "viable" because they are able to survive with assistance makes little sense to me. A womb is assistance!!! How selfish are we not to lend a few months and some stretch marks to a new life.

And as a mother whose life was endangered because of the placenta supporting my daughter, I am not going to say that I think abortion is ok in those instances that the mother's life is in danger. We take chances every day. You could also get hit by a bus, as the saying goes. You may not have intended to get pregnant, and it has gone beyond an inconvenience to become a danger ... but I feel so strongly about not killing babies (BABIES, not fetuses/embryos - those are just steps along the path of being a baby) that I don't like those exceptions. I'll admit it is a very gray line.

While I am not setting out to write this to try to sway anyone one way or another ... I DO urge you to be educated about something if you are going to take a side. Even if it is only her first hand account of an abortion, I think unPLANNED is a good place to start. If the rest is too opiniony for you that's fine. But understand WHAT an abortion is and WHAT it does before you take such a strong stance about it. Please.

If it makes you uncomfortable ... dig deeper. Why would you want to bury your head in the sand on something that is impacting the life and death of a baby, and the emotional and physical health of a mother?

In the arguments about why abortion is OK and legal, I feel like we've done a great disservice to those mothers who have made that choice or are making that choice. We've tried to make light of something that is still horrifying. It still has consequences. While abortion is legal, and some of the physical danger has been improved (except, of course, in cases like Gosnell's practice) there is not the emotional support needed. It is a big decision. It is not like choosing what outfit you will wear in the morning.

But if we admitted that, we'd be back to admitting that killing babies is horrifying.

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Husband Loves Me

Sometimes, the silverware is "upside down" from how I prefer to put it in the basket. I could get irked, and think how I don't believe they get as clean that way. But instead, I realize it means my husband loves me.

Which one is "right" anyways? - they're both in the dishwasher!

It means he loves me, because they reason they are upside down is that he put them that way. He put them that way loading the dishwasher for me so I could get in a shower while Shelby was sleeping away in her first and longest sleep of the night. He knows a shower is important and relaxing to me, and that if I do that while he does the dishes we get more time together. He knows me, he loves me, and he wants to spend time with me. So I don't care if the silverware is "upside down." Each one is like a love-note from my husband.

Sometimes, the area by the back door fills with shoes. My husband's boots ... dress boots, everyday boots, work boots ... I could think of them as in the way. But instead, I realize they mean that I have a husband.

Minus the work boots ... they're still at work tonight
Not only that! I have a husband who leaves his boots by the door instead of traipsing dirt, mud, and things-I-don't-want-to-think-about (ya know, on a paramedic's boots) through the house he knows I work hard to keep relatively clean. The boots are there because he loves me. He loves me enough to not only come home, but to try to help keep our home clean. And I get to spend a little more time playing with Shelby rather than wiping up things I'd rather her not eat.

Sometimes, I am up with Shelby and I hear my husband snoring. I am tempted to become resentful, because he is sleeping and I am not. But he is sleeping because he is getting up early in the morning to be at work. He is going to work so that we can have a roof over our heads, food on the table, gas in our cars, and so I can stay home with Shelby.

I'm really getting the better end of the deal aren't I? I don't have to get up early in the morning ... and I get to spend those special moments with Shelby and God while the rest of the world is sleeping. It feels like we're the only ones awake.

My husband loves me, and the evidence is all around me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to Take a Walk With a Baby

How to Take a Walk With a Baby (based on my walking experiences with Shelby).

1. Get a good stroller. You don't want to add frustrating variables like trying to push an umbrella stroller with one hand over uneven terrain. (See step 4). Better yet, get a cup holder and take water. You'll need it if step 6 occurs.

2. Get a baby. Preferably one with the attention span of a butterfly. Who doesn't nap and views safety straps as torture devices.

3. Feed baby and change diaper. This will help assuage the guilt you feel when baby acts hungry and/or poops (see step 8).

4. Don't walk further from the house than you are a) willing to push a crying and pouting baby ... past other people's houses or b) willing to push a stroller with one hand (see step 1) and carry said baby (this does not guarantee baby will stop crying).

5. Please pick an interesting route. The cushy track is not interesting (see step 2). Baby's enjoyment of the walk will undoubtably end at the furthest point on the track from the gate.

6. If baby falls asleep [insert flashy invincibility star music from Super Mario Brothers] you've just won some cardio! Keep walking! Remember step 2 and no matter how tired you get, keep going! This totally counts as a nap! Hope you listened to step 1, sweaty mom!

7. In your elation over achieving step 6, don't forget step 4! Passing outside of your comfort radius is like going outside a forcefield and baby will wake up unhappy.

8. "They see me rollin..." Fresh air will release any poop that's been holding out since your last walk. See step 3. Once this happens baby is officially ridin dirty, and you will get "that song" stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Go to step 9 if your baby has a sensitive bottom or if you worry about blowouts.

9. If baby starts crying, immediately start walking towards home as if it is a flashing beacon and you're in enemy territory. If she stops, consider continuing your walk but tighten your radius from step 4.

You CAN have good walks with your baby. It just takes some practice, avoiding crossing paths with Murphy, and not getting cocky and trying to cheat the steps listed above. After a few successful walks you may even find yourself thinking you might run again someday after all. Or not.

*steps are subject to change based on variables such as: the weather, baby's age, baby's mood, how many bumps you hit, how many dogs bark at you, how many cars drive by, how fast the cars drive by, spiders on your stroller, securely attached toys becoming mysteriously detached and ejected from stroller, dropped burp cloths, high volumes of spit-up ...