Monday, September 29, 2008

our meal ticket

Thought I'd let you all know that Sydney is a semi-finalist in a photo contest!  While photo contests are certainly not my objective for baby girl, I'm still a proud mama!  We had her 6 month pictures taken at Proex and they automatically enrolled her in their national photo contest.  As a semi-finalist we get a commemorative plaque and her picture will be on display at a local studio (ok, so "meal ticket" was an exaggeration of her prize.  LOL.)  Tad's not a big fan of this picture (way too girly for his taste) but I think it's super cute.  Hopefully she won't be too embarrassed when she's older.  We won't know if she's a finalist until next month.  Good luck Ms. Sydney, win mama that vacation! ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

these are a few of his favorite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?  Nope.  Samuel's favorite things are much more unique.  He has a collection of items he must carry everywhere with him and they each have their own reason, as follows:

His neon yellow froggy swim goggles:  "to protect him from smoke" (he's a fireman, don'tchya know?)

His watch:  Warn ON HIS LEG just above his knee is to protect him from "falling in space".  Who doesn't need that?
A toy egg:  This is his spaceship and he refers to it as such.

A large band:  This is kind of a multi-purpose tool.  Today he used it to cover my eyes to protect them from dust when his dump trucks were driving by.

Occasionally some other "things" (as he calls them) fall into the mix:  My cell phone car-charger (it drives me crazy how he has to have that thing all the time!), his fireman hat, toy hammer, toy screwdriver, and his little rubber bunny.

It's a lot of work to keep track of these things near and dear to Samuel's heart and he'd love to take them everywhere.  Luckily I've been able to avoid taking them on errands because I tell him we certainly don't want to lose his things in the store.  That works like a charm!  The swim goggles and the watch pretty much go everywhere with us but I don't mind since he can wear them.

By the way, did you notice the red discoloration on the pics above.  Well, that awesome new camera I was bragging about had to be returned.  And we suspect we may have been sold a "refurbished" one actually.  I look forward to the new one I'm hoping will arrive soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

i will not ever brag again

Remember my bragging on baby girl sleeping through the night again?  And remember how I said I was hesitant to say anything because every time I bragged she reverted.  Well, I should have listened to myself.  Sydney is back to waking at night every 2-3 hours.  W..T..H.

Thank goodness this baby girl is C-U-T-E because I see a lot of her, day and night! :)

Anyway, I'm back to reconsidering the extra testing regarding her reflux that the doctor recommended since my feeding plans don't seem to be helping much.  I'm also starting a food diary.  But in the end, my gut tells me this is something she is just going to have to outgrow in time.  *sigh*

Friday, September 26, 2008

yeah! vbac success!

Recently I told you I was posting VBAC info for a friend who was about to try it.  WELL, just 2 days later she had her healthy baby and she had a successful VBAC!  YEAH!  Congrats Phaedra and welcome to the world Scarlett!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

everyone needs a magic green button

The other day I was singing when Sam blurted out, "STOP!".  I proceeded to sing when suddenly I see him point his index finger quickly in the air as if pushing something.  He then yells out, "STOP!  I pushed the green button!  STOP!"

Apparently the "green button" is the mute button for Mommy.  My boy is already muting Mom.  So sad.

But this button does more than you could ever imagine.  

I've since seen him use it to "turn you back into a human!" (I'm not sure what I was before Sam turned me back but thank God he helped me out).

I've seen him push the button to "blast off into space" (chasing after his imaginary pig friends by the way - who I've been told live on "red planet" with him).  Before Sam "blasts off" he has started saying to me, "I'm sorry I can't stay here with you Mommy.  But I have to go into space.  I'm sorry, Mommy."  I tell him I'll miss him if he leaves and he's kind enough to invite me along.

And, I've seen him turn to the button to stop things he doesn't like.  

Which got me thinking, where can I find me one of these magic green buttons?????! 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

sometimes dad knows best too

Well, I'm a bit hesitant to post this because I've jinxed myself before.  But we have so far had 4 nights of Sydney sleeping through the night!  I've gone 3 months with her waking 2-5x/night and me averaging 4 hours of sleep a night.  I had glimmers of hope along the way with little fixes here and there.  Each "fix" I'd post about all happy that my sleeper was about to  But she's sleeping 7:30pm - 5am.  I call that SUCCESS.  Yes, 5am is early.  But I'll take it!

So, how did it happen?  Some great insight on my part maybe?  No.  Daddy dearest had the key to success.

Tad commented that he noticed Sydney seemed to do better the later she went to bed.  I never made this correlation.  Heck, I've been too tired to notice when I need to brush my own hair.  Anyway, I wasn't convinced this insight meant she needed a later bed time because she is always rubbin' her eyes before I finally get her down.  So I started thinking and I began to wonder if maybe the later bed time was doing the trick only because it gave her more time to digest her dinner and thus causing less aggravation for her reflux.  So I decided to start feeding her dinner early at 4:30 pm, 3 hours before bed time.  Guess what, THAT NIGHT she started sleeping through the night!  HALLELUJAH!  

While it stinks she has to eat so early and later watch us while we eat dinner as a family at 6, I'm happy we have a key to help her sleep.  I'm also happy to know I finally have an understanding of her problem.  I should have suspected that this was entirely food related because our problems began when she started solids at 6 mo.  But she also started teething at that time so I just wasn't sure.  And then I started to wonder if we had a habit on our hands.  And then I got REALLY tired, making it impossible for me to really evaluate the situation well at all.  Poor baby girl has been given many doses of motrin in hopes that she'd sleep through the night in case it was her teeth bothering her.  Well, her doctor informed me last week that motrin has been known to aggravate reflux.  Lovely.  I can't believe how long it took me to figure this situation out and here I only made it worse along the way.  I suppose hindsight is always 20/20.

The great news is the Doctor ok'd the cancellation of some additional testing he ordered for Sydney.  He feels that this is a good solution to her problems and hopefully she'll outgrow the reflux and not always have to suck on teethers and avoid dairy while we indulge in front of her.

Friday, September 19, 2008

VBAC support

The following is not meant to replace the advice from your medical doctor. :)

For anyone who doesn't know, a VBAC is a "Vaginal Birth after Cesarean".  I had a cesarean with Samuel due to fetal distress.  I had hoped for a VBAC with Sydney but unfortunately she was showing signs of distress before birth so my Dr., and the second Dr. whom I sought an opinion from, both highly recommended a repeat c-section the next morning.  They said they'd allow for labor if it occurred naturally by the next morning but if it wouldn't they felt a c-section was required to get baby girl out quickly and ensure she continued to thrive (they didn't see induction as an option for me due to increased chance of uterine rupture given the fact that I had a previous cesarean, and I agreed with them).

Anyway, a friend of mine is about to attempt a VBAC and I promised her I'd put up some great information that was sent to me by a local hospital.  This information supports VBACS, something that can be hard to find these days in our lawsuit-happy world.  

I believe that doctors and patients need to make it a priority to attempt the most natural birth possible, including VBAC attempts (provided both mother and baby are healthy).  (When I say natural, that doesn't mean I'm opposed to some help with the pain along the way ladies!  Though I admire anyone who does a medication-free delivery and I do see that as an ideal birth plan.).  Baby and Mom experience many physical benefits from a vaginal birth that I think are often overlooked.  Likewise, I think risks to cesarean (which is a major surgery), and the recovery effort from them, are often underestimated.  There are risks to cesareans too.  I had a friend who contracted an infection from her c-section and was in and out of the hospital for 3 months and was not able to care for her newborn baby.  I have another friend who had to have a transfusion after delivery.  And while my c-sections didn't have any complications, my second section was very difficult for me to recover from and my incision kept showing signs of the beginnings of potential opening (though luckily I was able to mitigate with some intense rest).

I do want to make it clear that I'm thankful the Doctors were able to help ensure I delivered 2 healthy babies, regardless of their route to the world and I do believe most often c-sections are warranted.  In the end, the goal of any birth plan should be the health of mom and baby.  My point is that for women who have had a cesarean, I want them to know that the 2nd time around they do have a choice.  They can choose VBAC.  Yes, there are risks to VBACs, and yes this risk has a small potential to be catastrophic.  However, their are catastrophic risks to any birth and the increase in catastrophic risk from VBAC is quite small.  Mostly I want people to be aware that there are risks to c-section too.  Whether you choose a repeat-C (which I also support as long as it's what the mother and her doctor feel is best for her and baby), or a VBAC, the point is:  Get informed.  Do your research.  Their are risks to both and you need to weigh the pros and cons against your own situation and beliefs.

For the power point on benefits/risks of VBACs click here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

it's getting crowded here

We have some visitors at home and it sure is getting crowded.  And the problem is, the only one who can see them is Sam.  Lately I'm hearing all about little pigs named Geryl, Boo Boo, Po Po and Tierko (yes, Tierko.  I have no idea where he comes up with these names).  I also hear about a big bear named Paw Paw and a little bear named Po Po (yes, we have both a bear and a pig here named Po Po - popular name I guess).  And we also have bunnies, though I'm not sure of their names yet.

Sam speaks of these animals as if they are right next to him engaging with him all day.  For instance, yesterday he broke out in a dance and when I asked what he was doing he said, "I'm dancing with the bunnies!"  I asked him who was the best dancer and he said Paw Paw the bear.  So then I said, "What about the pigs, are they dancing with you too?"  And that's when he told me pigs aren't good dancers.  Good to know.

Little piggies Geryl and Boo Boo hang out with Sam the most and have become a bit of a problem for me because apparently I'm always setting things on top of them (they are very little I'm told) or worse, I inadvertently sit on them!  Luckily Sam is pretty patient with my accidental cruelty; though he's quick to point out when I do it.

Every night before bed we now have to build a gate out of pillows to corral all of his new friends so that they stay in bed with him.  As far as I know, no animals have escaped yet so we must have been successful.

Sam assures me these are all nice friends.  Though occasionally he tells me there is a ghost here and it is not nice.  I try to rush through that conversation because it freaks me out.

In case it isn't already obvious what a crazy imagination this little guy has, I'll tell you one other funny story.  The other day I asked him not to jump on the bed.  In typical Sam fashion he responded as follows:  "Actually, I wasn't jumping on the bed.  I was a rocket and I blasted off!  And fire came out of my bum!  See!  Here I go again, BLAST OFF!"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

the great syd update

Sydney is 9 months today! It's time to do a little bragging over baby girl!

She may not be a great night sleeper but she still sleeps "on the go" really well. Good news, she's starting to take better naps at home lately too.

A woman of the cloth. Yup, she wears cloth diapers. Yup, I wash cloth diapers. And YUP, Tad changes cloth diapers. She has VERY sensitive skin so I was hoping this would help. I'm not certain it's helping the sensitive skin like I had hoped, but I do feel good about the 6,000 diapers I won't throw away and the $1500 I'll save. Besides, doesn't she look CUTE?
Her first virus, complete with rash and all. Poor kiddo.

She discovered she loves our Jenny dog.

Ms. Independent skipped baby food and went right to finger food at 8 months. Here I thought she didn't like food. Turns out she just didn't want me feeding her! She's doing great with a sippy cup too.
Still nursing full time (though I have had Tad give her formula a couple times during the middle of the night to give myself a break). I have to pump at work but that's going well.

Sydney is SUCH a happy girl. When she's with Mom , Dad and Sam, she's all smiles and brings serious joy to us all with her big slobbery baby kisses.
Started crawling at 7.5 months

And is pulling to a stand too (8 months)!
And is even trying to use her walking toy (look out world!)
This girl loves her fashion. She's infatuated with shoes (I'm a proud mama!)
And she knows how to show off for the camera.
She still LOVES the Baby Bjorn (any time when Mom is holding her is a great thing)
Now that she's on the move she's discovered Sam's toys, which makes her VERY happy and makes Sam not so happy. She also chases us down to tackle us with her big kisses or to insist on being held as she crawls up your leg.
She's teething like crazy. She has 4 teeth and at least 3 more ready to pop any time. Poor girl!

We're still working on getting sleep around here as I feel like I'm as close to seriously sleep deprived as I hope I will ever have to experience. Never a good sign when you fall asleep in a parking ramp (with the car off thankfully!). The "wrap" that keeps her inclined in her crib, as well as new medication, seems to have helped improve her sleep, though we still have quite a ways to go. I'm hoping sleep will return after these teeth that have been trying to surface come.

We went to a specialist (pediatric gastroenterologist) for her blood in her stools and her reflux and I feel that we have a great game plan ahead of us. Luckily, the doctor is not concerned about the blood at this point.

Her separation anxiety has improved dramatically and she's doing great with the nanny. Coming home from work is the greatest because she starts bouncing up and down. She just learned to clap too!

Thanks for your interest! We love our sweet baby girl. Time is going entirely too fast yet I'm excited for her on all the fun things ahead.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

speaking of birthdays...

...we went to an annual birthday party for my friend's son Jake and his cousins.  Jake's grandparents put this on every year for their grandchildren.  To call it a birthday party is an understatement.  It's really the carnival of the year.  All gifts go to charity.  

I've told Samuel it's a "summer party".  I don't want to give him any ideas of what his birthday party should be.  On second thought, maybe I should have told him that the "summer party" was for his birthday!  LOL!  Borrow a party - now there is a concept!  We recently went to another friend's house and Sam asked if a pony would be there - no Samuel, we don't get pony rides at all parties!  LOL!

Happy Birthday Jake!

The big blow-up slide.  This was Sam's favorite!

The magic show
Sam happy as a clam slurping his icee & eating his popcorn during the show
1 of 3 moon-walks (& the other ones were HUGE!)
Pony rides!
The blow-up water-slide.  Also the site where a little girl fell on the ground and sprayed mud ALL OVER ME - everywhere.
A petting zoo!  Yes, that's a llama in their front yard!
A karate demonstration
Sydney with good friends M & L!

Not pictured:  A kid's band, popcorn stand, BBQ, cotton candy, dunk tank, water balloon game, and more I'm sure!!