Saturday night we headed out to dinner using a gift card Chris's mom sent us for V-Day (thanks!). And you know what? Carly slept through that too. We didn't even know what to do with ourselves.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday night we headed out to dinner using a gift card Chris's mom sent us for V-Day (thanks!). And you know what? Carly slept through that too. We didn't even know what to do with ourselves.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Chris is writing his thesis full-time this semester. And when I say full-time, I mean full-time. These past few weeks have been especially hectic. It seems like if you have a whole semester to write one paper, it should be easy. But turns out it’s a really big, really hard paper. He works so hard staring at a computer for 10 hours and then comes home and I tell him to do a million things. He is our superhero. And guess what? He got accepted to Michigan State this week. Its one of the best programs in the nation in his field, thank you very much. We are waiting to hear back on an assistantship to make our final decision. But hooray for getting in!! How come Michigan State isn’t in . . . Hawaii? Chris also got called into the Young Men’s Presidency. We thought it would be fun to both be working with the youth, but turns out it’s very hectic. Mutual night isn’t the daddy-daughter time/mommy’s escape that it once was. But we are blessed to be able to serve, and we have a fantastic bishop who tells us we can do whatever we need to to make it work. Chris will be great with the Young Men, though he said he is used to working with missionaries as Ward Mission leader and from his time at the MTC, so he will have to adjust to being surrounded by teenagers instead.
Carly has a thing for hats. Look at those long arms. We always say she is like "go go gadget arms!".
I am still always two steps behind Carly, it seems, but she’s cute so it’s ok. My current biggest test of patience is trying to get her to eat solids. We are on week three and she still fights to the death. I have to pin both of her arms down and sing “I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas!” really loud in order to distract her enough to shove food in her mouth. Oh, man, it causes me to lose my patience so quickly. The other day I gave up and said “Fine, but you’re the one who is going to be embarrassed when you have to take a bottle of formula to prom.” Other than that we have fun together. I looked at my list of goals the other day and realized the Spiritual ones were the only ones I have kept up with. That’s good I suppose. Haha. But I went to the doctor last week and am 2 lbs shy of reaching my pre-pregnancy weight. Maybe if I actually start working out I can reach my ideal weight.
Trying to simultaneously suck her thumb and eat.
Speaking of weight, Carly had her 6 month check-up last week. She came in at a petite 14 lbs 10 oz (21%) and 25 inches long (30-something%). She got immunized, which is what caused our fever all-nighter. The next day she was taking a nap and I heard her whining through the monitor. I was asleep too, so I waited hoping she would fall back asleep. She didn’t and when I went in to get her I found her covered in vomit (not spit-up) and shivering from being wet. She started to heave right then and I picked her up and turned her over so she could puke all over her mattress without it going down her throat. I was terrified. I called the nurse and she said it was probably caused by the fever, but to call if it happened again. I gave her a bath and miraculously her fever broke by the time I took her temperature after the bath. It still hurts my heart to think about her heaving and throwing up all over herself and her crib all by herself. Why didn’t I just get up and go check on her? I should have been holding her and kissing her forehead while she went through that. I want to cry whenever I think of it. Anyway . . . we have had a healthy baby for about a week now, and I’m a big fan.
And I wanted to say thanks for sharing your stories. My mom texted me and said she wished she had the same networking we do as a young mom. In a strange twist of events, Carly started nursing again on Monday after a nearly 3-week strike. I’ll take it as long as it will last, even though now I’m struggling because I was emotionally prepared and even excited to stop. The grass is always greener, right?
We have started reading a lot of books. Carly mostly likes to play with them.
That’s it for our little C family of three.
All that jumping is hard work. Yes, she is asleep.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I can't get over this last picture.
Its so Carly.
Its her "this is fun but also weird and scary" face.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
tip 2. cheap supplies. Remember how a sewing machine isn't in our budget? Well, neither are craft supplies. So I went looking around what we already had. Carly had this headband, but whenever I put it on her she looked like Olivia Newton John singing "Let's Get Physical" so she didn't get much use out of it. I then journeyed to JoAnn's and found fake flowers on sale, so I got some pink daisies for a dollar. I just popped the back off and had layers of petals.
tip 3. strategize. I was making it up as I went along, so I decided to hot glue the petals together and then sew the flower onto the headband. mistake #1.
tip 4. don't be afraid to learn new things. I found out that dried hot glue is very hard to push a needle through. After many holes in my finger tips and a bent needle, I finally got TWO stitches through. I called it good.
tip 5. know your materials. The final cute accent was to be a white button in the middle of the flower. So I once again manned my hot-glue gun and fired. Turns out hot glue is hotter and runnier and stickier than I prepared for. My punctured fingers were soon covered in a layer of burning glue. And the button meant for the headband ended up glued to my finger instead.
tip 6. have extra supplies. That was my only button. And it was now covered with unremovable dried hot glue. I went searching through my random messy storage containers and found some fake pearls that I used at New Beginning last year. Perfect.
tip 7. take pride in your work. Consider finding a better place to show off the final product than your husband's Aaronic Priesthood manual.tip 8. the customer is always right. Comfy adorable headband without petals that hang in her face? Yes, indeed.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Disclaimer: I do not care how you feed your child. I know every parent does what is best for their situation, and that is great. I am also fully aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. If I wasn’t, Carly would have been formula fed after about 3 days. This is just my view, my experience. I’d love to hear yours.
I can’t believe its taken me six whole months to write a post on something that has been a bit consuming for me since Carly was born. Oh, the adventure of breastfeeding. And the girl who cried wean? That’s definitely me.
I once thought everyone breastfed. I thought it was stages: breastfeed, formula, baby food, real food. I also thought breastfeeding was easy. Pop the baby on, she eats for a bit, and then is good for several hours. Then I got pregnant and started reading all sorts of stuff on how very wrong I was. But I also read about the extraordinary benefits of breast milk. I never really considered not breastfeeding. I knew it was good for mom and for baby. I heard it was hard, but I knew that having a baby would be hard.
I seriously can’t remember if I breastfed Carly right away after birth. I mean, I know I didn’t when she was all slimy. But I can’t remember if I did before they took her away to get checked out. Seemed like she would have been hungry, right? And I told them no bottles and no pacifiers. So maybe I did.
The first few times I remember breastfeeding Carly were no easy task. Her first day she was not interested in food. She wanted to sleep (sounds like her mother). The nurse would bring her in and Carly would latch on and take a few drinks and fall asleep. I could not get her to stay awake. The nurse would jab her in the ribs and she would eat a bit more then fall asleep. I was so freaked out that she would starve to death. They have all these rules about how brand new newborns need to eat, and I’m sure they are important, but in hindsight babies cry when they are hungry. They don’t sleep. Babies demand what they need. So next time around I won’t be so worried about the rules.
I remember when we took Carly to the doctor for the first time when she was two days old. We were late and she of course wanted to eat. I was in pain and having a hard time adjusting to breastfeeding, so it was something I just couldn’t face. I had a little pumped milk that I had pumped to relieve pressure (oh, when the milk comes in. Isn’t that wonderful?) so I heated it up and poured it down her throat using a medicine spoon. Can you believe that? I was desperate and I had been told if I introduced a bottle too early she wouldn’t nurse. But she fell right to sleep. Should have used that trick more often.
I was told to try to avoid offering a bottle until she was three weeks old. I remember the night before her three week mark I was exhausted and she wouldn’t eat and we were both crying and it was like 4 am. Chris finally convinced me to give her a bottle of breast milk and I was terrified she would never nurse again. She took it. And slept. And nursed the next morning. Guess that one day didn’t make a difference.
Carly was a good breast feeder early though. I was lucky. I mean it was painful for a good 6 weeks, but that’s normal (whoever says 2 weeks is setting new moms up for disappointment). There was never chewing or colic or reflux or gas or any other of the million problems babies can have. She just wanted to eat ALL the time. Like 20 minutes to an hour apart. I was going insane. The situation was worsened by the fact that she started to sleep through the night at 4 weeks old. A blessing, for sure, but she had to make up for lost eating time. It was hard to get used to. I just sat on the couch for two months feeding her. Every day I texted Chris with something like “I can’t do this anymore. Lets just switch to formula” or “I’m going insane. Why is she always eating?”. Chris was very supportive and said he knew I could do it, but was fine if I wanted to stop. He is a great support. What kept me going at first? My pediatrician. She would tell me how great it was I was breastfeeding and how much Carly would benefit from it. But she never said it like I would be a loser if I stopped. I don’t know what it was. She was just gifted about subtly cheering me on, and after every visit I was like “Yeah, I can keep going!” But I’m pretty sure there was not a day in four months that I didn’t consider switching to formula.
But somewhere around 3 months I realized things were evening out and calming down. She was still a frequent eater, but I was learning how to handle it. We were in a groove.
At 5 ½ months in I was loving the breastfeeding life. No bottles to wash, no pain, she was a pro, no preparation. We were good, she was sleeping through the night, and we were soon to incorporate solids.
Then it struck. The RSV.
Carly would not nurse for one second when she was sick. Complete nursing strike. I was pumping to keep things going and keep Carly on breast milk. There are few things in this world I hate more than pumping. To make matters worse, my electric pump gave out right then and I was hand pumping. Fabulous. (Medela sent us a new one for free. Isn’t that nice?) Anyway, with the hand pump it was impossible to keep up and she was getting about 50/50 breast milk and formula. She did not nurse for 8 days. By then, she had learned there were much easier ways to get milk. When she got better I tried nursing her again with decreasing luck. At first she wouldn’t nurse for more than a few minutes, and now she won’t nurse for more than a few seconds. Awesome. So at this time I’m pumping full time, and giving her one maybe two bottles of formula a day. I’m not sure how long it will last. Remember how much I hate pumping?
I haven’t yet started to miss nursing. We had an enjoyable 6 months, but when it comes to a baby eating or not eating, I choose eating. I think she is at a stage where we can snuggle and play and have lots of other experiences together so that the closeness you feel when you nurse isn’t quite as integral, though it is something I cherished when she was tiny. I do HATE having a bunch of bottles to clean every day. As if I don’t have a hard enough time keeping up with dishes. And I hate having to heat breast milk or mix formula. Seriously love the ready-made meals of breastfeeding. At this point I’m debating whether to just switch to formula instead of pumping. But if I can’t nurse her, I still like knowing I am giving her nutrition she can’t get anywhere else. I still try to get her to latch on a few times a day. Maybe she will snap out of if and start nursing again? Not sure I’m that lucky.
~Things I do like? I feel a bit freer. Not worried about if what I’m wearing is breastfeeding-friendly. I went wedding dress shopping and to lunch with some friends from Chris’s program today. I left Carly with Chris for FOUR hours. That is seriously the longest I’ve been away from her. It was a fabulous afternoon. Something I really needed. Minus the pumping, feeding her with a bottle is WAY faster than breastfeeding her. It only takes like 10 minutes to put her to bed now when it once took almost an hour! And she has been sleeping longer. Ten to twelve hours! And I’ve actually been getting her to take naps. Goodness, maybe I should have been pumping this whole time!
Well that is my adventure. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to nurse Carly. It really is a gift only a mother can give. And I think next time around I’ll be more prepared for what to expect, though I have no idea how I’ll manage nursing with little-girl Carly running around!
Now a request for advice. 1) We use Dr Brown bottles and really love them. We received a set as a gift so we only have a few and I’m constantly washing bottles, so we need more. But they are SO expensive. Do you think if Carly shows no signs of gasiness then an regular old bottle would work fine, or do you think its best to stick with what we know works? 2) Any tips for make bottle/formula feeding quicker/easier? Like if Carly wakes up in the night, how do I quickly feed her before she wakes up too much. I used to go in and pop her on the breast before she got too alert. At this point I prefer giving her a warm bottle, though that may change if I switch to formula.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I’m not sure at what point Brady became old enough to get a mission call. It seems that even though I’m getting older everyone else should be frozen in time. Such is not the case.
Guess where he is going? Indiana Indianapolis. Isn’t that crazy? Chris’s hometown is in that mission. His parents live in that mission. We visit that mission a few times a year. And if we move to Michigan, we’ll just be a few hours away from that mission. Crazy. Brady is going to be a fabulous missionary though. We love him and are very proud of him and grateful for his willingness to devote two years of his life to the Lord. It is no easy task, I’ve been told.
Brady is quite the athlete. When he was a little boy he used to play football with himself. He would throw the ball down our yard and run and catch it himself. Pretty amazing, huh? And really cute to watch. Since then he became a baseball all-star. He played from t-ball up through his senior year. I loved spending summer days and evenings at the ballpark watching him play. That is something I have really missed since leaving home. Nothing says summer like a baseball diamond. Brady and I had a few years of being at home just the two of us after our two older brothers went to college and missions of their own. They are years I cherish. I remember being across the hall from him. He was a hip middle schooler and I was a less-than-hip high schooler. He would blast his cool music and I would blast some combination of Backstreet Boys and Tim McGraw. The hall always smelled like some sort of manly smell, Axe or Hollister or whatever the kids are wearing these days. It still does outside his bathroom whenever we go home. I love that. That’s home.Brady and I had quite the little experience together when it was time for me to leave home and head to BYU. We packing my little car up and my parents little car up and we started caravanning to Provo. Brady was with me, my parents following behind us. I had undiagnosed Celiac disease at this point, and wheat made me sleepy. After staying up until 2 the night before and a large wheaty breakfast, we headed down I-15. Brady was asleep and shortly after we entered Utah Kenny Chesney lulled me to sleep as well. The car veered down into the median set on cruise control at 86 (yes, fast, I know). That’s not what woke me up. What woke me up was Brady yelling “Erin!”. I wish I had slammed on my breaks. Instead I tried to get back on the road. The car over corrected, turned 180 degrees and rolled off the freeway, flipped, and landed right-side up on the dirt. Kenny was still singing. There were sparkles everywhere . . . shattered glass. I remember that as soon as I realized I was conscious I was terrified to look over at Brady. What if I had hurt him? How would I ever forgive myself? I looked over and he looked back at me, a bit stunned. I’ve never been so grateful. We were both wearing seatbelts. Brady wasn’t much of a seatbelt wearer at the time. I’m so grateful he was that day.Brady is a loving uncle. It’s cute because he is so cool. I was never that cool. But he is cool and he still loves Carly snuggles. And she loves him. She took to him with such ease over Christmas. And she isn’t a big fan of people she isn’t familiar with.
I’m not a super expressive person. I have a hard some expressing myself speaking out loud (which is why I’m a fan of writing). It’s a hazard of growing up with boys I suppose. But, Brady, I love you and I’m grateful for you. You are a wonderful brother and I miss seeing you and living across the hall from you;-). I’m so excited for you and this next wonderful step in your life. You’ll be so great. Chris, Carly, and I will be cheering for you and praying for you every step of the way.
Yay for missionaries.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
miss shmarly with a high temperature.
yes, I believe I'm about to pull my first all-nighter with a fevered child.
immunization side effects are lame.
we pulled the computer open to find some tips on helping fevered babies.
but I wanted to remember this.
I wanted to remember how I spent the first half of the night grumpy.
How I kept going in to sooth her for a few minutes or seconds and hoping she would fall asleep on her own. That's how it usually works.
I wanted to remember how I prayed a little prayer of patience and went in and picked her up.
How her hot little hands felt on my cheeks.
How she pressed her fiery forehead to my neck and whimpered.
I wanted to remember how we snuggled in bed (since I forced Chris to get some sleep on the couch around 3) and how she held my hand and smiled. She takes sickness so well. Always smiling.
I wanted to remember how her warm cheeks melted my hard heart.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
“Much is said about the drudgery and the confinement of the woman’s role in the home. In the perspective of the gospel it is not so. There is divinity in each new life. There is challenge in creating the environment in which a child can grow and develop. There is partnership between the man and woman in building a family which can last throughout the eternities” (“Privileges and Responsibilities of Sisters,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, pp. 105–6).
Monday, February 15, 2010
The Polo horse is a little massive for my taste, but I'm in love with the moose hats and must have one some day.
Now if you'll excuse me, snowboarding just started.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Carly is so very lucky to have him as her daddy.
And I am so very lucky to have him as my husband.
Happy Valentine's Day.