Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rocking the Boat

I was going to follow up on my last post yesterday but then I didn't get around to it and Heath was working from home today (mostly so I could get lab work done at 7 am without kids) so I am now following up. How's that for a major run on sentence!

The story behind Insomnia: I had the brilliant idea of having Gwen sleep in her crib without her car seat. More and more often she is sliding out of it when she starts to wake up. One night/morning she had slid out and her legs were going through the slats in the crib! I think that's when the idea came to me.

Well, I told Heath my plan and we went for it. Gwen didn't sleep long before she was awake and crying for us to take care of her. Now I don't even remember if I went in a couple of times before I put her in her swing. Eventually she ended up in her swing in her room. But she didn't stay asleep.

Heath was busy and when I had asked him what to do about Gwen he said he didn't know. Of course I took it the wrong way. Since Gwen kept waking up I decided I would just sleep in her room on the futon. Heath came in and asked if I was mad at him. So I picked a fight. I finally got Gwen back to sleep. I felt bad about fighting with Heath because he really is very helpful. So I went to bed where I belonged.

Gwen woke up again several more times. I tried to feed her around midnightish since it had been 4 hours since her last feeding. She wasn't hungry but she was overtired. Heath took her for a drive (when I wrote the blog post). She was awake for the whole drive. I tried feeding her again and she finally ate. Sometime after 2 am she finally went to sleep. I think she slept in our bed but I don't remember.

But my blog post wasn't just about Gwen and that night. We had bought the boys a magnetic responsibility chart. I had come up with a new daily routine that included no TV or movies until late afternoon/early evening. They also were supposed to have their toys cleaned up before Heath got home from work. So far so good, by the way. We did decide today that we need to buy another one since one will do the work and the other not so much so it's hard to decide if they deserve a smiley face on the board or not. Anyway, I think I was rocking the boat a little too hard with all the changes I was trying to make. I should have just let sleeping dogs lie. (I'm so full of these ridiculous cliches lately!)

So that may have been too much information. Sorry. But today I got a lot done. I had my blood drawn, I talked to my endocrinologist's nurse (something I was supposed to do a couple of weeks ago), I went to park day and after I got home I realized why nobody showed up (I had gone to the wrong park. I forgot this was the 5th Wednesday!) I bought Gwen a scrapbook for the layouts I am making (I have some Florida stickers for you Deanna), I talked to my mom, started laundry, and we went for a walk after dinner. It's been a good day.

And Gavin says he wants a surprise birthday party! He even told us what to do for his surprise party. Silly kid!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Insomnia

Have you ever tried to solve one problem but instead created a million more???

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brotherly Love

This picture was taken at Sears Portrait Studio in November 2006. (We bought the CD of all the pics taken that day.) Gavin was 3, Parker was 16 months. Sears wanted us to buy the print with the Brotherly Love in the middle. I didn't like it for portraits but on the blog I like it!

When I found out Parker was a boy I was surprised because I thought for sure I was carrying a girl. But the more I thought about it the more I was excited to have 2 boys 2 years apart. I really hoped I didn't have my head in the clouds when I imagined them growing up best friends. It could happen. All I could think of was my cousins Jeremy and Nick. They were such good friends. I wanted my boys to be the same way.

Gavin was in love with Parker from the very beginning. And to this day Gavin can't wait for Parker to wake up from his nap. Gavin will say things like, "Parker, you wake up? Do you want out?" Then he says to me, "Mom, I hear Parker waking up!" Meanwhile Parker is snoring.

These boys wrestle for fun, tickle each other, chase each other, and fight like crazy. But no matter what they love each other with a love only brothers can understand. I was a little surprised to see that just yesterday Gavin gave Parker a kiss on his cheek. When do kids outgrow kissing siblings? They hug each other all the time and often they will say they love each other.

Gavin even introduces Parker (to anyone who will listen) as "My best friend Parker." I love hearing Parker's little voice say Gayeah throughout the day.

It was super hot today. Upper 80's for a high. The boys' room was sweltering hot and smelled like little boy sweat cooking. So I opened their window before they went to bed. Because the overnight low was supposed to be 49 degrees we decided we better close their window after they fell asleep.

While I closed the window I kept staring at Parker's bed. He wasn't laying on his pillow. I thought maybe he was at the foot of the bed or something. Granted the only light I had was a fairly dim nightlight, but I didn't see Parker. So I felt all over his bed for his little body. No Parker. I could hear him snoring. (I think only mothers can distinguish their children's snoring.) I looked under the bed. No Parker.

I walked out of their room and said to Heath, "This may sound weird but where's Parker?" Heath grabbed his maglite. I asked if it was possible that Parker was in Gavin's bed. Heath shined the light behind the door. No Parker. He shined the light on Gavin's bed and shook his head yes. Parker was sleeping with Gavin. The interesting thing was I never heard them playing tonight. I shut the door after our routine and never heard from either one again. I love how my dream came true. My boys are best friends.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Out of the Blue

Parker: It's a pig!
Me: It's a pig? (there are no pigs in sight during this conversation)
Parker: Yeah.
Me: Ok, what's a pig?
Parker: A pig say oink, oink!

I haven't laughed that hard in a while!

I let the boys use squirt bottles outside today. They thought that was really cool. Gavin had this excited look on his face as he walked around the backyard looking for different things to squirt. I loved how Gavin kept squirting water in the hose and Parker would squirt water into a sprinkler head.

At one point Parker randomly said, "Don't drink the water." Maybe 10 minutes later Gavin had the spray bottle in his mouth and he was sucking on it pretty hard. So Parker started doing it. I decided not to say anything. I remember spraying water in my mouth from the spray bottle when I was a kid. I also remember my mom giving us plastic bottles and showing us how to write our names with water. I thought it was fun then and the boys certainly thought the spray bottles were fun.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Do you know what day it is?

Me: Gavin, do you want sour cream?
Gavin: Yes.
Me: Oh, wait. Heath, this has expired.
Heath: Really, what's the date on it?
Me: May 24, 2008
Heath: That's not bad.
Me: Yes it is.
Heath: It's April.
Me: I know.
Heath: It's not even the end of April yet.
Me: Yeah, but it's like the 20 something of April.
Heath: May is next month.
Me: Ohhhh!
Heath: That's ok. We're both tired.
Me: I totally thought May came before April!!!

When Gavin was finished eating he said: Is today Sunday?
Heath: No, it's . . . Thursday.
Me: You had to think about that one!
Heath: You don't know your months! (he said it in a playful way)

I quickly checked the date on the orange juice. It also expires in May. Earlier today my blood sugar was low and I thought orange juice would be great. I looked at the date and honestly thought it had expired. I figured I would throw it and the extra carton out later.

Do you remember the drug commercials that said, "This is your brain . . . (picture of egg) This is your brain on drugs . . . (picture of egg frying in pan) Well, this is my brain on baby! I promise that I am normally much smarter than this. I do know the months of the year . . . and I know what order they come in too!

Cliches

"If you've seen one you've seen them all!" That's how I feel when I get to the end of each day. I feel like I live on the movie Groundhog Day. There are few variations to each day! However just because I think the majority of my readers find my blog boring now that I have had a baby, I know there are a lot of readers that want to know about my "mediocre" life with 3 young children.

Things that stand out from all the sameness:

Gwen has been sleeping through the night for a little while now. I don't know how long it has been going on because seriously, the days and nights run together and I only know what day of the week it is by whether or not Heath is home! Some nights she fights sleep and some nights she sleep eats (drinking a bottle while almost completely asleep). Either way, once she's asleep she's out for about 7 or 8 hours. Nice.

She also smiles a lot more now. Yesterday I held her up in front of a mirror and she gave me a great big smile! Complete with dimples in both cheeks and the tip of her tongue sticking out between her gums. So cute.

She used to like tummy time. Now she's like most babies and hates it. The way she prefers to play is by standing up (supported by Mom and Dad of course). Nothing makes her happier than to stand and bounce. I think she's going to love the jumper that hangs in the dooway. That and the exersaucer.

Heath once told the boys to act out their favorite movies instead of watch it yet again. The boys are really cute when they act out different scenes. It's kind of alarming how much they have memorized! But if you give me a minute I probably could still quote Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Clueless.

Projects I have actually finished:

Yesterday I washed, dried, and folded laundry for all 3 kids. I also washed and dried our laundry. Today I folded it. This is very important because there is nothing more annoying than sifting through clean laundry for underwear! I know people who dump their clean laundry on their bed so they have to take care of it before going to sleep. Not me. I guess I don't have a problem with laundry piles on the floor or dumping it back in the basket!

I made the boys organize all their toys. Of course now all the toys are scattered all over the hallway again. My OCD is screaming but they are kids so I will try to be ok with it!!!

And that's the key, THEY ARE KIDS! I have heard the cliche "boys will be boys" one too many times lately. I respectfully and strongly disagree. Boys can be taught to be more than whatever the cliche believes they are only capable of. Kids spill, have a tendency for violence, and make messes. It's not just boys. I have seen a 2 year old girl repeatedly push down a baby boy just learning to walk for no reason other than to be mean. It's not just boys. I know girls who can put boys to shame when it comes to making messes. It's not just boys.

I believe parents can be very wise in dealing with children and parents can also be very naive when it comes to what their children are capable of. I know I'm guilty of that in my own way. But I hope one of my greatest faults as a parent is believing in my kids more than society does and not throwing up my hands or pigeon holing (is that even a word?) them for their gender. And I have two boys that already have gone above and beyond what society would think they are capable of because society believes "boys will be boys."

I also have a little girl. Maybe Heath and I are completely naive for dreaming that she will one day be a rockin volleyball or basketball player while still being feminine enough to be stylish in every way. Maybe she will be a pansy girl like me or maybe she will be a tomboy. I hope she will be herself. I hope she never puts limitations on herself because society says she's "just a girl."

In our house Heath, a man, does most of the cooking. I was cooking dinner the other night and Parker asked if he could help. He asked if I needed to use the microwave! I was only slightly offended for a millisecond! He sees me use the microwave to cook more than the stove. And despite what some of the Young Women leaders I worked with thought about me, my mom did teach me how to cook and otherwise prepare me for the real world. I just don't care to cook. For the majority of the time she doesn't either anymore. But it doesn't mean she is incapable of cooking.

I will step off my soap box about the ills of society now. Wow I have missed blogging! I have really missed typing so fast the keyboard clicks so fast I think it may catch on fire! My life may be pretty boring some days but my opinions will still burn a hole in my head if I don't try to diplomatically get them out. I hope that's what I have done today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2 Month Stats

Gwen had her 2 month well baby check up today. I didn't try too hard to get a babysitter for the boys so when I couldn't get one I brought the boys with me. I was all in a panic thinking that Parker would destroy the room we would be seen in. Given Parker's history for destruction I don't think I was crazy for worrying about that!

The boys were awesome! My theory is that if I really stress out over something it will end up being better than I imagined! I have been using this theory since I was very young and had to have my blood drawn for A1c testing. So far it hasn't let me down. Well, and it doesn't hurt that my boys are actually really good kids, especially in public, and especially when I bribe them with food and movies! The nurse brought them suckers and stickers right away. That also helped.

Gwen weighs 12 lbs. 14 oz. (95th percentile) and she is 24 inches tall (also 95th percentile). Dr. Smith kept saying that Gwen looked like a 4 month old. She kind of does. Dr. Smith was also very impressed with Gwen's head development. Gwen not only holds her head up well, she can lift part of her chest while lying on her tummy. Apparently that's pretty advanced for a 2 month old. Dr. Smith kept saying I was going to be busy because Gwen was going to be moving around soon. It's exciting but it also fills me with dread because Parker is still into everything and he's almost 3 years old!

The nurse gave us a powder sample of Similac and a "ready to go" bottle of liquid Similac. Dr. Smith gave us 3 or 4 more "ready to go" bottles! She also gave us like 6 boxes of Axid samples! Nice. I guess the office used to have samples of Tylenol but for some reason the drug reps weren't bringing more Tylenol. They had one sample. Dr. Smith told the nurse that I was a nice mom so my baby needed to have a dose of Tylenol before her immunizations. That was nice because I totally forgot about that and even though I told the doctor we probably had Tylenol at home I don't think we had any for infants. You would think that since this is my third baby I would know what I'm doing. But I feel like I'm as prepared for things as if this was my first!

Dr. Smith said that most babies outgrow acid reflux by the time they are 6-9 months old. By that age they are sitting up on their own really well. She predicted Gwen would be sitting well by the time she was 5 months old.

What's the next milestone? I'm ready for it!
I love that Gavin can help me more than he could help when Parker was a baby. He sure had fun feeding Gwen on Sunday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Please feel free to leave a comment with your own caption to this picture.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Here's the video

video

It may not be a very effective way to water the garden but since our hose doesn't even reach the garden, it's a pretty creative way to help Mom and Dad with our family project!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Little Moments

One of the speakers in the LDS General Conference we just had a few weeks ago talked about what it's like to be a parent. He said something to the effect of it being hard work and sometimes it can be frustrating but the joy comes in little moments. That is very true. Here are some of my little moments of joy.

Yesterday was very warm again so I set up the caterpillar sprinkler for the boys. Heath was working from home. After the boys had been outside for a little bit playing we looked out the window to check on them. They were filling their sand buckets with water from the caterpillar sprinkler. Then they would run the buckets of water to the garden and dump the water on the dirt. It was the cutest thing I had seen in a long time. Heath videotaped it. I don't know the password on his Google Flip Video so I can't put it on the blog right now. I will try to do it later though.

Gavin saw a commercial last night with mini hamburgers. Since the burgers were so small there was a toothpick in each one. Gavin got all excited and said, "That's my favorite recipe! Hamburgers with a stick!"

Parker was sent to the naughty stair for some reason that I don't even remember. He got up while I was setting the timer. So I told him to get back on the naughty stair. He grumbled all the way up to the top step on the second set of stairs. I stood in the front entryway with a stern look on my face watching to make sure he didn't get up again. Parker grumpily stared back at me. Maybe 5 seconds into our staring contest he started to smile at me. My boys know how to turn on the charm when they are in trouble! I had a hard time not laughing or smiling out loud!!! I was glad when the 2 minutes on the timer were up!

Yesterday we were coming home from Costco and Gwen was crying her little eyes out. Parker had diarrhea of the mouth. Being in a confined space like that with that much going on at the end of a long day would test anyone's nerves. So Heath asked Parker to sit quietly until we got home. Heath said something like "Gwen is talking enough for all of us right now!" Parker asked if he could watch a Wiggle movie when we got home. Heath said, "Yes, but you guys have to be quiet first." Just then Gwen went silent for a few seconds. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Parker: Cows drink milk.
Me: Cows drink milk?
Parker: Yes, cows like milk.
Gavin: Mama, cows like milk and grass.
Parker: Pigs like chocolate.
Me: Pigs like chocolate?
Parker: Yes. And cows like milk and people like milk.
Me: What do little boys like?
Parker: Milk.
Me: What do little girls like?
Parker: Binkies.
Gavin: Is Gwen a little girl?
Me: Yes.
Gavin: And she likes binkies.
Me: Am I a girl?
Gavin: Yes.
Parker: No, you Mommy!

I just got done playing with Play-Dough with Gavin. That was fun. And Gwen smiles at us a lot. She has a cute smile. It looks like she has some dimples.

All day today our computer has been cycling through our pictures as a screen saver. It's been fun to watch throughout the day. At some point the pictures changed to black and white. There was such a timeless feel to them that way. The pictures already brought back so many memories of little moments but the black and white pictures really did.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

8.5 hours

That's how long Gwen went between feedings last night! She ate at 9 pm. It took some effort to get her to stay asleep afterwards. No crying though. Then she woke up around 3 am. She was all turned around in her carseat. She was burying her face in it. I adjusted her and she immediately went back to sleep so I did too. Then she woke up at 5:30 am and was happy to eat!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Details with a whole bunch of pictures

Grandma and Grandpa came to see Gwen for the first time. They arrived Thursday afternoon.
This is Grandpa holding Gwen for the first time. He quickly finished his lunch so he could hold her before Grandma! Barry is awesome. I love watching this man with his grandkids. He is so tender and loving. I think this picture illustrates that the best.

Grandpa held Gwen as we walked around Downtown Pleasanton. He said there were more looks than comments. People were fascinated with Gwen. So many people told him how cute she was. What a proud Grandpa.

Finally Grandma was able to hold her newest granddaughter. She is one of those Grandma's that loves to make things. When they visited in December she would lie in Gwen's room mentally decorating! I love all that she makes for us. She is very talented. For Gwen's room she made a changing pad cover and curtains. The curtains included a valance with fairies and butterflies. She made a roman shade for the first time. It looks great. Plus, it makes the room super dark. That was what I wanted for nap time. (Not that Gwen has slept in her room very much yet whether it's night or nap time.) She made the curtains for the boys' room when we lived in Utah. I loved how dark it was in there. They slept better and longer as a result.
This is Gwen's first real smile captured on camera. It has nothing to do with our weekend with Grandma and Grandpa!

So Thursday afternoon we sat outside in the grass talking. It was so nice to just be out relaxing. Then we went to The Red Tractor for dinner. I love that place. They have the best cob salads! I think I blogged about it last June. After dinner we went to Cold Stone Creamery. I finally satisfied my craving for a smoothie. Good stuff. Then we went to the park for a walk. We watched some of the baseball games that were going on. The boys had fun playing at the playground. I love living so close to such a great park.

Friday we went into San Francisco to see Heath's co-workers since they didn't get a chance to see the boys when Heath was on paternity leave. So lucky them they got to see the whole family. Everyone was most interested in Gwen so it was lucky things worked out the way they did.

There is a small playground area just across the street from Heath's building. We decided to let the boys play there before trying to find lunch somewhere along Fisherman's Wharf.

This lady was nice enough to talk to the boys and play along with them. She was there with her darling daughter. At one point Gavin announced quite loudly to the little girl that he was wearing SpongeBob underwear and wouldn't she like to see!!! Heath was there in record time to stop him. I don't know why after being in big kid underwear for as long as he has Gavin is now starting to be proudly obsessed with it! He talks about it daily with Parker. I have been trying to explain to him that his underwear is cool but it should be kept a secret from other people. Nobody needs to see it or even hear about it. The boys have always thought these boat ties are the coolest playground equipment ever! This one was near the playground. There were lots of them near the playground we went to when we lived in San Francisco.
Parker is chasing a pigeon. Amazingly enough the bird was heading the same direction we were! I'm not a seafood eater but when Dawn said she wanted shrimp (seafood I like) I thought that sounded really good. So we went to Bubba Gump for lunch. It was really good. The kid's meals were in paper boats like the boat in Forrest Gump. The whole restaurant was themed after the movie. This statement will make me unpopular but I hated that movie! Strangely enough though I thought the restaurant was cute.

On the way home from San Fran we went to IKEA. I had never been there before. One opened in Draper, Utah around the same time we were moving last year. So we didn't get a chance to go.

I liked it. We bought some things but not as much as I wanted to. There wasn't enough room so Heath will have to go back later without kids so he can put the backseat down. I can't remember what we had for dinner but we went to the playground again that evening. Then Heath and I went to the grocery store together. Just the two of us. I loved the "date."

This was a face we saw all too often throughout the weekend.
Now she looks happy! We had a blast spending time outside. It was so hot. Mid to upper 80's every day. Nice. Although Dawn said something about not visiting us in Utah during the summer anymore because it was too hot and now she was visiting us in California in the spring and it was just as hot! Sorry Dawn!


Saturday was spent mostly at home. Grandma took the boys outside to play while I finished getting ready for the day and Heath and Grandpa went to Home Depot for a few things. The boys were mad at Grandma at first but they eventually got used to being outside. I don't know why but it's like pulling teeth to get those boys to stay outside for any length of time.

Barry helped Heath with our garden that we want to plant this year. I hope we can make it successful.

We had a picnic lunch outside which the boys just loved. They wanted to play with their caterpillar sprinkler Grandma Clarke got them last summer. So after lunch I set it up and got them ready. They played out there for hours.

I got my hair cut. It was cut differently than I'm used to so I think I'm figuring it out now. And Heath, Dawn, and Barry put curtains up in Gwen's room.

We decided to watch a movie before dinner. As you can see not many of us actually saw the movie! When we woke up we went to Round Table Pizza for dinner and then a walk around Downtown Pleasanton.
Unfortunately, the toy store was closed. Heath wanted to go into a cooking store. I saw this darling chef hat that I made Heath buy for the boys. Gavin has been pretending to cook like his Dad for years now. The boys had fun pretending to cook for Grandma and Grandpa.
Chef Gavin baking cookies.

After the boys went to bed Heath and I had another "date" at the grocery store. We bought some food in case people came for our open house after Gwen's blessing. I knew that since we were buying stuff nobody would come. But I also knew that if we didn't buy anything people would come and I would feel dumb for not being prepared. Nobody came. We didn't expect anyone to though. That's what happens when you don't live near any family.

We taught the boys how to eat steamed artichokes. Gavin loved it. Parker didn't understand how to scrape off the bottom of the leaves in his mouth. He kept trying to eat the whole leaf. We haven't had artichokes forever. It was good and then we had our party chips and dip.

We watched The Singles 2nd Ward before Grandma and Grandpa had to go to the airport. It was so sad to see them go. The trip was too short. We will see them in September though and watch BYU play UW. That will be fun.

Monday, April 14, 2008

For Grandma (Clarke, Holmes, and Westover)

Lots of grandmas are waiting for these pictures of Miss Gwen. I will add more details later, including the fun weekend we had with Grandma and Grandpa Westover. For now, enjoy the pictures. FYI: My mom made Gwen's blessing gown out of my wedding dress. She also made the boys' blessing outfit out of my wedding dress.

This is my favorite picture of Gwen.
Every day Gavin says, "I love you Miss Gwen. You are the best sister ever." And then he gives her a kiss!
The blanket Gwen is laying on was made by my grandma when Gavin was born. It has appeared in all 3 of their blessing pictures!
The beginnings of a smile?



Especially for Grandma Holmes who loves generation pictures. This one is a 3 generation picture of Grandpa, Dad, and Gwen.

I love this picture of Parker and Gwen even though Parker stood up as the picture was taken.
Parker is so in love with his baby sister.
Too bad this picture turned out so fuzzy. The boys move too quickly and are hard to capture in portrait mode. But I love this picture of Gavin and Parker doting on Gwen.







Gwen Update

People keep asking how Gwen is doing. She's fine is probably the answer I should be giving. My long explanations don't make much sense especially with all the contradictory statements I end up making.

This is how I feel about things right now. I believe she does have acid reflux and that the medicine is helping. I'm less convinced about the colic thing. Honestly sometimes it feels like the pediatrician was blowing me off with that "diagnosis." But to contradict myself, sometimes Gwen does seem to cry at night for no reason other than colic. I really wish I could have seen the same pediatrician I saw who prescribed Axid. Oh well.

Gwen has had a couple of nights where she cries unconsolably. Poor Grandma and Grandpa have gotten an earful and then some from this little girl! Once she calms down and falls asleep she will sleep until 5 or 5:30 am. Then she eats again (calmly) and falls asleep for a couple more hours.

Last night Gwen was crying again and freaking out on the bottle. I wished that Dawn and Barry were still here. They have unlimited patience for our kids. And they seem to know just how to hold Gwen until she relaxes again. Anyway, Gwen was obviously uncomfortable with gas. She would scream and cry, pass gas, then calm down for about 2 seconds before starting it all over again. We gave her Mylicon which really didn't help even though it has sort of helped similar situations in the past.

I was telling Heath that I didn't think the formula we were using to help resolve these issues was helping. From Wednesday to Friday she used Similac Advance. It's a soy based formula that is supposed to help babies with fussiness and gas. There was nothing magic about it. She didn't seem to be any different other than the fact that she smelled like stinky soy. She vomited Friday night. We needed to buy more formula anyway. We looked at all the options and finally settled on another specialty Similac formula. This one was a milk based formula and was supposed to help babies with fussiness and gas "due to lactose intolerance." Those words bothered me since milk is not the issue with her. (the pediatrician said we would know because she would have bloody stools and she would vomit every time she ate) That $15 sample size can not only didn't help her, I think she was worse on that formula than before we started regular formula and Axid.

I wondered if we needed to call the pediatrician and switch brands. On Wednesday my obstetrician's nurse told me that her youngest was diagnosed with acid reflux and prescribed Zantac. She hated the taste and after a while she refused to take her medicine anymore. So they put her on Nestle Goodstart, with the comfort proteins. She never had anymore problems and she never took medicine again. So I thought based on that anecdote and the claims made in the commercials, Nestle Goodstart would be something worth trying. We did still have the Enfamil sample of formula for babies bothered by fussiness and gas. The can said something about partially broken down proteins. Nestle Goodstart has broken down proteins that are easier for babies to digest. So we tried the Enfamil.

She only had a little bit last night before falling asleep. Then she woke up at 5:30 this morning and had 4 ounces. We'll see how she does on this formula. Hopefully it actually helps her fussiness and gas. I'm sure we will find the right combination to keep her from being uncomfortable. But I don't believe everything will be solved by the time she is 3 months old. Because I don't believe the whole night time problem is colic.

As a mother it kills me to watch her suffer. I'll admit that sometimes my reasons for wanting her to be comfortable are selfish reasons like wanting to sleep instead of dealing with screaming baby. But most of the time I can't stand watching her be so unhappy and uncomfortable and there isn't a dang thing I can do about it! And for as much as I complain on this blog, I realize how blessed we are that acid reflux, possibly colic, and fussiness and gas are her only problems.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's True

Off and on I have been wondering if Gwen had colic. It's true, she does! I may just lose my mind from all of this. I'm such a baby about everything!

Today I went to see my obstetrician for my 6 week check-up. Since I was across the hall from the pediatrician's office I took Gwen in after my appointment. The Axid seemed to be helping for a couple of days but lately Gwen has been just as fussy and unhappy as she was before we found out she had acid reflux. I had to wait 45 minutes for her appointment and then when I saw the doctor I realized I was more or less wasting her time with an appointment. I could have just called and heard the same thing. Oh well. The doctor wasn't rude or anything. I just felt dumb because the receptionist told me I could have Gwen seen today or a doctor could call me and I chose to have her seen.

The doctor told me that she didn't recommend we try a different medication. She said Axid and Zantac are what they prescribe for babies this young with acid reflux. She said they are basically the same thing. I wasn't necessarily asking to try a different medication. The doctor I saw who prescribed the Axid said to let them know if Gwen's symptoms didn't improve in a week. It's been a week and Heath and I still stay up all night with Gwen as she acts hungry then fusses like crazy on the bottle. We burp her every minute it feels like yet she doesn't calm down to eat. She arches her back and cries as if she's in pain. I told the doctor all of this and she said that she believes that on top of the acid reflux Gwen has colic.

That was not really what I wanted to hear because there is virtually nothing you can do about colic except patiently wait it out and hope you come out of the experience with your hair and sanity. Good news is Gwen is two months old next week so there's only a month left of this insanity!!! The doctor did recommend trying to feed Gwen formula specific to gassy, fussy, and colicky babies. I already had a Similac sample of that at home and the doctor gave me an Enfamil sample. She said the formulas were similar enough but to only use one can until we decided whether or not that works for Gwen.

I'm not a baby person at all. I chose to have babies because that is the only way to have your own children! Gavin was a difficult baby. He was the angriest infant I have ever known. Plus, the whole nursing thing was very challenging. We learned together and luckily we made it through his babyhood. The first 3 months were the hardest though. I think I had some serious postpartum depression without realizing it. Then Parker came along all snuggly cuddly. He nursed so easily and he was so content. I was spoiled with him. Then Miss Gwen was born with more issues than I think one baby should have in such a short amount of time. We will get through this. She is so sweet and cute and I love her so much. That helps.

I shouldn't whine and complain so much. I have heard stories about babies with acid reflux that are much worse than anything we are going through. We lived through the hospital with her low blood sugar. Now that I have talked to another pediatrician, I think the Axid is helping her acid reflux but she is also a colicky baby so we just have to get through this new trial.

Gwen was weighed again today. 12 pounds 5.5 ounces. She gained 3/4 of a pound in one week! The doctor said it wasn't bad but it was a little fast. I think it's because Gwen ate so much in the last week. Since she was drinking breastmilk and formula I let her eat as often as she wanted to. (Usually every 2 hours but sometimes as often as every hour and a half) It seemed easier than hearing her cry for too long. In the last couple of days she has been off of breastmilk completely. One of the perks of formula is the predictable timing of feedings. Formula fed babies should be fed every 3-4 hours. So much nicer than (pardon my frankness but . . .)lifting my shirt every 20 minutes to 2 hours. I tried to make Gwen wait for 3 hours between feedings but the longest she would wait before I couldn't take her screaming anymore was 2 and a half hours.

I agree with the doctor that she needs to wait longer and learn that she really is full. I have a hard enough time hearing the comments of how big a baby she was when she was born. The last thing I want is some fat baby that can't roll over, crawl, or walk when she's supposed to because she won't stop eating! I have seen babies that are like that.

The interesting thing that happened while I was at the pediatrician's office was I saw a police officer pull into the Emergency parking lot with his lights and siren on. He stopped his car, got out, and walked to the back of his car while about 5 hospital employees came to his car with a wheelchair. The officer opened the back door and helped out some person with their hands handcuffed. The person looked like a teenager but anyway he/she/it (I couldn't tell gender since long hair was covering their face) was wheeled into the ER. I'm sure it happens every day but I've never seen it before.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scrapping Fool

So I have been scrapbooking lately. I love to do it so it's been nice to rediscover my hobby after so much time off. Ironic that when I have the time to scrapbook while pregnant I am too uncomfortable to do it. Now that I feel good it's hard to find the time.

Dawn thinks my scrapbooks are awesome (direct quote from her!). I don't know how good I am at it and I'm certainly not very fast. But I enjoy the challenge. It's weird that I can sit down and blog whenever and that is easier than trying to put together colors and page designs for a scrapbook layout. Blogging is easy but scrapbooking is challenging. Both are fun for me.

Today I was very grateful for the time to scrapbook. It was therapeutic at a time when I needed it. I even listened to a few CD's on our computer. We still haven't figured out why our stereo doesn't play CD's. I listened to some Jack Johnson. It flooded my mind with memories of why we bought it (for our day trip to the Westover family reunion in Idaho the day before Parker's blessing), listening to it in Heath's car on the way to my mom's house when I needed a break from it all (very satisfying cry), listening to it on repeat for several hours the day after I was released from my Young Women's calling (the soothing music calmed me that day more than anything else I did). His songs aren't sad. They're pretty happy actually without being too happy. Just what I need sometimes to keep my mind where it should be while I mourn whatever drama is going on at the time.

The Lord loves us. I like to believe He had a hand in me finding the time to scrapbook today. And because I am superstitious (which has nothing to do with my religious beliefs) I think it was more than a coincidence I was working on the page I was. It kept me from getting out of control angry at someone for something. Is that vague enough? One thing I know was no superstitious happening was an e-mail I got tonight from Erin. She will never know just how timely that was. It was about another someone, who is sleeping soundly right now. (But the timing and the message was an anwer to a prayer) Now I will end all this, that I wrote for my own benefit, and sleep soundly too.

Monday, April 7, 2008

One Eyed Girl

We totally need to get a picture of Gwen falling asleep. This is a girl who loves to be held. She hates to be put down to nap or sleep at night. As we rock her to sleep she will close her eyes and then open her right eye halfway just to be sure we are still there with her! A lot of times we'll risk it and put her down anyway. We'll feel successful for maybe five minutes before we hear her cry. Then the process starts all over.

The Diaper Diaries suggests putting a picture of yourself on the baby's crib. The reason is she will see your smiling face and fall asleep content that she is keeping you awake.

Friday, April 4, 2008

it's all relative

i'm typing "hunt and peck" fashion since i'm holding gwen. speaking of gwen, her medication seems to be helping. she still fusses on the bottle like she did nursing. it's just not as often anymore. she is starting to sleep a little better at night. (although last night she did scream and cry for about 3 hours before falling asleep.) i'm sure that it won't be long before she's out of our room completely.

today the temperature was supposed to be a little cooler. it's currently 61 degrees. since i was meeting friends at the playground i dressed gwen in a new outfit. it's size 6 months but gwen is only about a pound lighter than the smallest weight listed on the tag. so it looks pretty good on her. i'm glad because she has a couple of long sleeved shirts and long pants. i was afraid that she wuold never be able to wear them with the warmer weather coming.

my friends sympathized with the whole acid reflux thing. but later one friend shared a story that got the other one talking about a problem she is dealing with. her son is struggling in school. she talked about the aggravating process of trying to get him tested to receive help. finally the school is interested in helping this family.

i felt horrible since i should have answers for her, having been a special educator. maybe i didn't know or understand enough of the story to help. i have never felt so bad for someone and so helpless even though i should have all the answers. i should have been able to explain the system better at least. but it sounds like a complicated situation - no clear diagnosis or disability but a combination of things. right now i feel like all my time and effort to get my degree was just to say i did something with my life. i know that's not true. there are several students who i have made a positive impact on their lives. it rarely had much to do with education. so at least i have that knowledge. i just feel bad for my friend.

as we were all leaving i told her i hoped things would get better. she said something to the effect of it not being acid reflux but we all have our trials. i know she wasn't discounting our situation with gwen. this acid reflux thing isn't even the worst thing i've had to go through as a mother. but it reminded me that we are all at different levels in life. right now young kids are my life. onr day i will deal with all the trials of older kids too. i know that heavenly father helps us grow with these trials. gwen will get over this physical trial one day but then she will have a new trial. the lessons she learned from the first will fortify her for the next and so on and so forth. and hopefully i will learn from my numb arm to not type as much while holding a baby!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

His Work is Never Done!

This is my very busy 2 year old, Parker. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep he is on with no off switch. His smile is irresistable, his laugh is infectious.

He tends to run and not walk. To Parker there is so much to do and so little time.

I love how creative he can be. Today he was sitting on his monkey pretending it was a horse. Then he ran upstairs saying something about needing a hat. He came down with the BYU cap the boys have been playing with for years. He told me it was his cowboy hat. He got back on the monkey/horse and yelled out, "Yeehaw!"

He is very bright especially with problem solving. If he sees the toilet paper roll close to empty he will get another out. (He has been known to open more than one roll of toilet paper just to replace the empty one!) If his nose is runny he will tear off 6 feet of toilet paper to wipe it! Genius! He asks for paper towels to clean up anything he has spilled while eating. His short stature never gets in the way of things he wants. He will just climb on something else to get it.

I could go on and on. The problem is his maturity and self control have not caught up with his growing body. We are running out of spaces to put things higher, especially when Parker can reach most of our higher hiding places. The boys' toothbrushes are in the hall cupboard on a high shelf because Parker won't stop playing with them. They no longer have a cup in their bathroom because Parker squished it so much the plastic cracked.

Curious Parker entices Gavin to do things he would have never thought of to do otherwise. I recently caught them climbing in and out of the dryer. They sidewalk chalked the van. They found and emptied an emergency first aid kit from the garage and used the tape on the handle of their wagon.

Heath and I are exhausted from the tornado that is Parker. Here are some pictures I took of the aftermath from Hurricane Parker in our house. (Which we are renting by the way!)


SpongeBob SquarePants graces their bedroom door to keep Parker from scratching the door with toys and then picking off the paint. Unfortunately, we noticed the blanket was backwards too late into the stapling project!











Somehow our kitchen chairs scratched the wall. So Parker picked the paint. Picture #1 in this series. The second picture is paint flecks on the floor after Parker's nap. We had vacuumed the night before. The next picture is the back of the door with more paint flecks. This is why SpongeBob is now on the door.



I spent about a month on these kitchen chairs. The wicker was old and broken so I tore it out and sanded the wood outside while listening to a baby monitor as Gavin napped. Then I repainted the wood to match our bannister we painted. My mom helped me shop for fabric. Of course my taste was very expensive! Now look how hammered the chairs are. Thanks boys!

Ok, I had a couple more pictures here. But somehow they disappeared! Oops. It was my new bench that I got for my birthday and Christmas from my mom and husband. Parker had one of the cabinet doors open and leaned on it so it's broken now! He also took the handles off of the vanity under the bathroom sink. Yep, this is a boy whose work is never done. Good thing we love him!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It Makes Sense

This is a picture of the big black birds that live in the ravine behind our house. I don't know that I have blogged about them but Heath and I have both told our moms about them.

For months we would watch them out the back windows and wonder what they were. Then Heath grabbed his camera and took some pictures. We zoomed in and found out they are turkey buzzards.

We started reading about turkey buzzards or turkey vultures on Wickipedia. Like most birds they give their young regurgitated food. What was interesting to me was the fact that they also use regurgitation as a defense mechanism! I wonder if that really works. Heath says it sounds like they are very hospitable to their enemies. They offer them the same dinner they offer their babies! "Here, you want some cake too?"

Speaking of regurgitation . . . Don't stop reading! I'm going to talk about Gwen now. Yesterday Gwen suddenly started vomiting. A lot. She did it 3 times within a half hour I would say. It really freaked me out. She has always spit up a lot after eating but this was not spit up. This was forceful and it was everywhere.

I called Heath after I gave her a bath really wishing he was home so I had an extra set of hands and someone with better nerves than me. He suggested I call the pediatrician. I hate calling doctors and would so much rather take care of my kids on my own. But I gave in because I didn't know what to do with her and I was worried about what it all could mean.

Yesterday I had made the decision to stop breastfeeding because she is too fussy. She screams and cries the whole time and doesn't stay latched on long enough to effectively eat. I have been pumping for her more than I have been feeding her directly. So I was slowly going to transition her back to the same formula she started life on in the hospital. I gave her a 2 ounce bottle which she was only momentarily satisfied with. She later nursed for maybe a total of 3 minutes. Then later had an ounce of pumped milk. This all occured over an hour and a half. Then she threw it all up.

I didn't know if she had a milk allergy (because that is the only thing in my diet I consistently have every day and she spits up a lot after and during every feeding) or if she had acid reflux or what. I took her in to the doctor imagining the worst but hoping for the best. She was diagnosed with acid reflux.

Suddenly it all made sense. She had trouble with gas in the hospital plus she didn't nurse well. I was ready to give up on nursing in the hospital but I thought she was fussy because she had learned to eat from a bottle first. But in the 5 weeks I had valiantly tried to nurse she acted the same way. She would act hungry so I would try nursing. She would frantically latch on and off, scream her head off, arch her back when I tried to burp her, and spit it all up. She was very uncomfortable and gassy at night. Milicon only helped a little. As the doctor asked specific questions about her symptoms and symptoms of acid reflux it all made sense.

Poor thing. I feel bad because I have had heartburn and it's a terrible feeling. I had some with my pregnancy with Gavin, a lot with Parker, and hardly any with Gwen. The old wives tale is that if you have a lot of heartburn during pregnancy your baby will be born with lots of hair. The opposite was true in my case. Unless Gwen got all the heartburn and the hair!

It shouldn't have made a difference but just knowing why she was behaving the way she was made both Heath and me have a lot more patience with her last night. I hadn't slept much the night before so I was literally falling asleep trying to feed her from a bottle but her incessant, anxious screams in my ear didn't bother me anymore.

The pharmacy doesn't usually carry Axid (the infant form of Prevacid) so they had to special order it. It will be available this afternoon. The doctor said it may take a few days to a week for it to really take effect on her. After a week or so if her symptoms don't improve the doctor will tell us about other interventions we can try in addition to the Axid. Based on that information I decided to continue my plan of switching to formula. I can't endure another week of "the fight" to get her to eat knowing that it may take longer to finally get things under control. I feel guilty periodically for giving up on breasfeeding but it was starting to take over our lives. I think as a family we will all be much happier if I'm no longer nursing. So that's where we are right now and I'm just happy she is napping this morning. I better get in the shower before it's time to feed her again.