Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Morning 2008

We woke up early so Hubby could pick up my mom at her hotel before Fritter got up. We sat by the lighted Christmas tree and drank coffee and had Christmas cookies for breakfast. When Fritter woke, he had a yucky cold. My poor son seems to get sick on holidays. :-( He came out and was presented with a new tricycle from Santa.

Fritter admiring his new bike

After gift opening, my dear husband made us all breakfast. He is the breakfast cook in the family, and has scrambled eggs down to a science. Unlike me who can just as well ruin an egg.

We had planned on going to Midnight Mass, but decided that a sick toddler, a newborn, and a mommy that doesn't do so good on only a few hours sleep did not mix well with a late night Mass. So we went to Mass that morning. Here are some pics of the kiddos all dressed up.

Fritter was not happy, but he sure looked cute.
I realize now that no matter how cute the dress, it's so much easier holding on to a newborn in a sleeper.
After Mass, we came home and watched Christmas movies and enjoyed all the cookies I've been forbidding my family to eat until then. We had our feast on Christmas Eve, so we relaxed and ate the wonderful leftovers that sirloin tip roast will make.
BTW, the cutest Christmas cookies are pfeffernuesse. I found the recipe in a cook book, and decided to try them, even though the recipe looked fairly involved. It was, but the cookies are so cute and have a really mild taste and a great aftertaste. I highly recommend adding these to your cookie list for next year! Because I can't find a link to the recipe, and it isn't mine, if you email me, I will gladly share it with you. Just click the link on my sidebar to email me.


I've started exercising a little before my doctors go-ahead, but really, I had to. I'm going crazy with only one pair of pants to wear, and even those should really not leave the house. I only have a week before my 6 week appointment and the official approval anyway, so what's one week?

So this morning, I put on my old trusty workout video. It's Weight Watchers Getting Started, and though I've never done Weight Watchers, my aunt gave me this video and I love it. The moves are easy for a girl with two left feet, and it's really fun too. Anyway, I'm getting into the video, and Fritter comes over and begins to do it with me. He was standing a little in front of me, so while I was moving, I could watch him. So entertaining! On one part of the video, we are supposed to grab our hand-weights and hold them by our shoulders and do little plie's. Fritter grabbed a Duplo and bounced up and down, all the while concentrating really hard on keeping his "weight" by his shoulders.

When he would look back at me, I had to keep a straight face and only give him a small smile before forcing all my attention on the video. You see, Fritter is not shy at all, unless he's dancing. There have been several occasions where we would be dancing together and I would look too long at him, and he'd run and hug my leg. Cutie patootie.

Speaking of the length of a week, guess who turns 5 weeks tomorrow?

I can't believe it. I'm already seeing some of her personality. She seems to be much more laid back, and she definitely cries less than Fritter did. Then again, with both grandma's here and a doting father, she hasn't really had the chance. ;-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Case For Humility

I've mentioned before that I am a very prideful person, and unfortunately it affects every aspect of my life. It seems that right now, God is really wanting me to learn some humility.

Case #1: It started when my MIL was here. She was so helpful, and wanted to do everything she could to help me. When she asked what she could do, my brain would run through the list I wanted to get done and say to myself, "Well, the laundry needs folded, but it would be strange to have someone else fold my laundry. The dishwasher needs loaded/unloaded, but I can do that myself, ect. ect." I had a hard time just letting someone help me, even when I needed it.

Case #2: On Wednesday, my doula came over for our postpartum visit. Part of her package is that during this visit she'll do some light housework. This is part of what we paid for, but when she asked what she could do, my automatic response was nothing, that I had it all under control. It was obvious that I did not, and had barely managed to get dressed that morning. But she persisted and asked if vacuuming would help. I said a quick prayer and told her it would. She told me to just relax while she took care of it. Well, that didn't happen, "What will she think of how dirty my floor is, just look at that piece of lint there!" But I did get a vacuumed floor out of it.

Case #3: After being up most of the night with a grunty Ladybug, I was extremely grumpy the next morning. I don't function very well without sleep and unfortunately, my family suffers as well. When my dh asked why I didn't ask for his help, and told him that since he had to get up and work the next morning, he needed his sleep. "Besides, what kind of a wife and mother would I be if I can't even do this?"

I realized just how prideful I've been when I received an email from my hubby that morning, reading in part: I know how badly you want to be able to cope with this on your own, but we need to work together at night. I got about 3 hours of sleep last night, but I would have gladly helped you in the process. I don't care about missing some sleep at night if it can get Maggie and/or you to sleep longer. You operate so much better off quality sleep that it is in everyone's best interest to make sure you get that. So true.

So last night, I humbly accepted help. While I laid down to go to sleep for the night after nursing Ladybug, my Dh stayed up a short while longer to burp her and keep her upright. It took me some time to actually fall asleep, though. Feelings of irrational guilt kept me awake. But I eventually did sleep, and the night went so well that I really didn't have a need to wake my hubby. The whole house actually got some much needed sleep. I'm learning that things actually run smoother when I take offered help that I need.

I'm sure there will be more opportunities to practice this form of humility. I think God knows that I'm a slow learner. ;-)

Another Update

Has it really been a week since I last blogged? Am I beginning to sound like a broken record?

Saturday the 13th we celebrated my birthday. We had a Christmas party to go to that evening, so after looking through my closet I realized that this two-and-a-half-week postpartum mommy had nothing to wear. So we decided that since Mervyn's is going out of business and was sure to have great deals, and that Dh was in need of some new work clothes, we would all go and see what we could add to our wardrobe. I should have known better than to try on clothes this soon after having a baby. Can you say, "depressing"? I managed to find three shirts that I just couldn't pass up, but a skirt or even reasonably dressy pants? Nada. So I went next door to TJ Maxx, and after another depressing stint around the store, my wonderful dear husband found a skirt for me that actually fit (although I'm praying it doesn't for too long ;-) ). He's a keeper!

This past week was my first week home by myself. I was feeling adventurous and picked Monday as the day to take both babies out by myself to run some errands. I was hoping I could get everything done on my list within an hour-and-a-half and be home in time for lunch. That was plenty of time, I reasoned, to run to Hallmark and get Christmas cards, drop off paperwork for Ladybug's baptism at the parish office, and do a small amount of grocery shopping at Walmart. I was wrong. Between loading the toddler in and out of his carseat and stroller, to loading the baby in and out of her carseat and sling, it took me twice as long. I was so exhausted by the time I got home that I swore I'd never go out by myself with the kiddos again. ;-)

I mentioned before that Ladybug was a grunter, and Monday night proved to be a difficult one with this. My hubby told me to make her an appointment the next morning, because he felt something was not right. So I broke my promise to myself in less than 24 hours. I took both babies to the doctor's office. How fun! (Sorry, I couldn't resist a little sarcasm). Once in the room, Fritter took it upon himself to rearrange the chairs and stools in as many ways as he could imagine, as the poor doctor tried to explain to me what was happening with Ladybug.

Apparently she is having a hard time digesting my breast milk, so she is extremely gassy. Besides trying gas drops, and keeping her elevated, the doctor recommended that I eliminate all milk products and eggs from my diet. I tried this for a couple of days, and it didn't seem to help at all. In fact, because I get the majority of my "fatty" nutrition from milk products, my milk quality seemed to suffer and Ladybug wanted to nurse constantly. So last night, I decided the milk wasn't the problem. I did some light research and read that some newborn's digestive systems are just a little immature, and with a little time they will begin to digest properly. Until then, the extra burping, along with keeping her upright (including elevating the head of her crib) seems to be helping.

So there you have it. The update on what we've been doing. On Monday my mother comes into town. She will be here until Saturday, so that should be fun!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Back In The Saddle

Wow! A whole week without a post. I'm neglecting you. I do have good reason though. ;-)

My MIL just left this morning, and my hubby is back to work, so today is really my first day all by myself. It's going good. I am busier as I anticipated, but it's the good kind of busy. Ladybug nurses every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, but she is such a sleepy girl (so was Fritter) that it takes close to an hour for her to finish. If I didn't work to keep her up so she can eat a full meal, I think I'd be nursing every hour or so. But she is doing good, and at her 2 week check-up, she already weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. It's amazing how in love with her I am.

One funny thing about her. When Fritter was her age, he grunted. A lot. At one point we were even worried that he was having some sort of digestive problem, because he grunted all the time. The doctor said he was fine, and was just a grunter. My SIL said her three boys all were grunters, but her two girls were not. She thought it was just a boy thing. Now that we have Ladybug, we know that is not true. I didn't think it was possible, but she grunts more than Fritter did! She's finding her voice more now, but at first that was how she complained. She even succeeded in grunting for two hours straight one night. I think I'd prefer crying. ;-)

Fritter is still very sweet to Ladybug, and two days ago said I love you to her for the first time. When she wakes up crying in the daytime, he will point to our bedroom door and say, "Baby cryin' ". His tantrums are still in full force, but are becoming less frequent, and he is loving with his mamma again. I'm glad, because I missed his hugs.

I'm taking this next week to get back into a routine, and focus on my husband and children (how fun is that to say?!) And then my mom will be here on the 22nd to celebrate Christmas with us. Our first one not in Wyoming. While I'm sad that I won't get to see snow over Christmas (not to mention my family) it will be nice to start a little of our own tradition.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ladybug Pictures

Proud daddy

Could a hospital bed get any cozier?

Beautiful girl.

Fritter's first gift to Ladybug.
Big brother.

She already has his heart.
Dad and big boy fun.

Ladybug's Birth

Warning: Men and impressionable children will probably not want to read any further.

After having quite a few strong contractions, but nothing really regular, I went in for my normal doctor's appointment on November 25 (Tuesday) thinking I would be even more dilated than I had been before. I was actually hoping the doctor would say that I was 7 cm and almost ready to deliver. ;-) In reality, I was still at 2 cm and 50% effaced. My doctor told me it could really be anytime, but it could also be another week.

I was very disappointed, and not only very sick of being pregnant, I wanted to hold my new baby. When I got back to the car, I called my dh to let him know and then cried in the parking lot for a few minutes. As I was driving home, however, I resolved to try to forget about being pregnant and go about my day. It was hard, and the only way I could do it was to stay busy. I made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, cleaned the house, and went for a walk. I avoided taking a nap, because I knew I would start to think about having my baby. When I sat, I sat on the birth ball.

By that evening, I was fairly tired, so I went to bed early. I woke at around 11 with some strong contractions, but again, they weren't regular so I went back to bed. I woke at 1 am with more contractions and this time they were timeable at about 10 minutes apart. I got my hubby up at 2 and told him that I was pretty sure it was the real thing this time. We called our doula who got here about 3:30ish and also tried to call our friend (Mrs. G) who was supposed to take care of Fritter. Unfortunately, she wasn't answering her phone, and after trying 4 times, I gave up and called another friend. This one said she had to go to work, but to let her know if we couldn't get a hold of Mrs. G. Right after hanging up, Mrs. G called and said she slept through the rings, and would be here soon. She got here about 4:30 to take Fritter. I had been a little nervous about how he would react, but he did fine and didn't even cry. We were told he had not only Mrs. G's 4 kids to play with, but also her 4 nephews who were in town for Thanksgiving.

I continued laboring, and my husband timed the contractions using this nifty timer. They were very strong and regular. When the sun came up, it started to rain. This was the first rain we had in 80+ days, and so my hubby opened the window so I could listen to and smell it. At one point, I looked out the window, and a small bird was taking shelter on the rail of our balcony.

Around 11 am, the contractions were very strong and about 2-3 minutes apart, so our doula said it was probably time to leave for the hospital. As we were getting ready, she encouraged me to eat, because once I got there, the nurses wouldn't let me have anything more than ice chips.

We got to the hospital around 11:30 and got checked in. Things really started getting hard then. I think at that point I was more interested in running from the pain instead of working with it and so exhausted that I just wanted to sleep. I remember at one point begging for a C-section so I could just be done. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep and I was sick of being in pain. I don't think it was too long after that that our doctor recommended that we break my water. I was at 8 cm and 95% effaced. My husband later told me that my bag of water was bulging and making it hard for the baby to descend any farther. I was afraid that if we broke my water, the baby would go into distress, so I waited.

My husband and doula were very encouraging, and talked me into breaking my water. Right afterwards, I remember looking down and thinking how gross it was. I made the nurse throw away my socks. Really quickly, the contractions came one on top of the next, and about a half hour later I got the urge to push. After 20 minutes, at 4:01 pm, little Ladybug was born and laid on my belly. She was just a tiny thing at 6 lbs. 11 oz. but had a nice strong cry.

It's amazing the difference between having a C-section and having a vaginal birth. While the pain is no joke (I told my hubby at one point we were never having kids again ;-) ), the recovery is so much easier. I was able to hold my beautiful girl right away, and nurse her immediately. I was able to get up that same day, and didn't have to bug the nurses to help me get Ladybug out of her bassinet so I could nurse her. We came home the next night, Thanksgiving, and I was able to sleep in my own bed.

We had our Thanksgiving meal on Friday evening. We simplified it, but it wasn't the food that was the main thing this year. We were so thankful for a natural labor and delivery, and for the health of our Ladybug. We are very blessed. I'm so grateful that my son has a sibling. I was able to give him something that I never had.

Fritter is very sweet with his little sister, and is always trying to show her his toys and giving her kisses on the head. He has been going through an adjustment though, and has been more fussy and temperamental towards his dad and I. Thankfully, my dh has had some paternity leave to help him through this, and they have been heading out to the park and everywhere else together.

My MIL comes into town tonight, so I'm not sure if I'll be blogging much while she's here, but I'll post some pictures soon.