Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thank goodness for dimly lit dressing rooms

I've pretty much spent the last 2 months trying to avoid looking at myself in the mirror. The pregnancy stretch marks all showed up overnight at 36 weeks, and I was horrified to see my reflection from that point on. And once I'd had my c-section, I certainly didn't want to see what I looked like. Two pregnancies and two c-sections in two years does not equal a happy, pretty abdominal area.

Unfortunately, I am seriously lacking in clothes that fit me, so shopping was becoming increasingly inevitable. Particularly for jeans. I'm back to my pre-Vivian-pregnancy weight and shape, more or less (do not be impressed, my pre-Vivian-pregnancy weight and size was still WAY larger than I should be for my height). However, pre-Vivian, I only had one pair of jeans that really fit, and when I put them on last week, I discovered that they had a very large hole in an area where you really don't want a hole in your jeans. So I had to go jeans shopping. 3.5 weeks after having a baby. Yeah, that's not depressing.

As I've mentioned before, I'm ridiculously cheap, so I headed up to Ross to find some jeans. I grabbed three pairs off the rack and went to the dressing room to try them on. The dimly lit dressing room, thank goodness. Let me just tell you, low rise jeans are NOT a good idea when a large portion of your body weight is concentrated in a post-baby pooch. I eventually found a pair that I feel I can wear without crowds of people pointing at me and laughing/running away while shielding their eye in horror. And they were cheap, which is also essential when buying clothes in a size that you never wanted to wear again (I'm at the same weight/size that I was 4 years ago, pre-weight watchers).

After the trauma of the jeans shopping, I came home and we went for a walk in the gorgeous weather. We did manage to get Vivian's passport picture taken. Taking a newborn's passport photo is not easy, but fortunately the photographer was patient and we did eventually manage to get something that will work.

Tomorrow is church and (weather-permitting) our first trip of the year to the wading pool. Hoping for sunshine!

And before I go- here's a picture of Vivian and her post-bath afro!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Naptime=happiness

I have to say, even though I love my kids, I thank God every day for the wonder that is naptime. It gives me a chance to take part in those little luxuries of life, like going to the bathroom or combing my hair or eating. Thankfully the kids have been napping at the same time most of this week. It's pretty much the only thing that's saved my sanity.

Oddly enough, I'm already having a hard time believing that we didn't always have Vivian around. By no means have I figured out this whole two-kid thing, but having two kids around already seems normal to me. Definitely a different normal though, one in which my house is a disaster zone and I look so scary that I'm surprised Daniel doesn't scream in horror when he walks through the front door.

We've almost made it through the first week. We had friends come over and bring food yesterday (thank you again- and I finished off the cookies this morning!) and hang out with us, which was so much fun. Vivian and Ethan and I haven't actually set foot outside our condo door since we returned from church on Sunday, so it was nice to have visitors from the outside world. Tomorrow my best friend is coming over and I think I'll be up for venturing out for a walk, with her help. I'll let you know how it goes.

So I do have one new goal on my to-do list. Other than "figure out how to find time to fix hair and put on makeup every day". I have been so utterly humbled by the outpouring of love and friendship shown to us through the pregnancy with Vivian and after her birth. I have been blessed with visitors and food and prayers and fabulous friendship. And it's sort of shone a spotlight on my own life and my actions to others. I like to think that I'm a caring person, but I also know that I am very clueless as to the hands-on logistics of helping others out. When some one is sick, it just doesn't occur to me to offer to bring food (mainly because I dont cook and hate to inflict my cooking on them), and offering other forms of help usually also doesn't pop into my mind. I'm very self-centered that way, I tend to focus more on the upheaval it's going to bring to my life rather than what it would mean to someone else. I'm not sure exactly what my version of helping out would look like, given the no car situation and poor cooking skills. But I'm sure there is something that I could do to help others out, and I really want to try to find that.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Naptime is quickly ticking away, and I need to go clean/organize something!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The days are long, but the years are short

I've had several people recite that saying to me lately "the days are long, but the years are short." I'm already seeing the truth in that. It's so hard to believe that Ethan is not my tiny baby anymore- that he's almost two years old and I have a new tiny baby. And she is practically growing before my eyes. As of last Friday, she'd grown 2.5 inches in height and gained 6 ounces since birth.

I hope you all still like me, even though I haven't been blogging much. Truthfully, I'm a little off kilter lately and kind of grouchy. Today is day 2 of being home alone with the kids- my parents left Sunday night. I had a hard time not begging them to stay. Yesterday went okay, but Ethan is in this horrible whiny stage, and Vivian is a baby, so they're not the world's best conversationalists. Cute and sweet and funny, yes, but fairly boring. So that makes the days long and kind of lonely. Daniel's been insanely busy at work- too busy to call all day, then coming home and working until midnight most nights. So he's kind of out of the picture for entertaining me at the moment. Hopefully we'll be able to get out and about by next week, and start developing a new routine/activities, and that should help a lot.

Apparently there's something in the air today, because both Maggie and Lindsay were blogging today about purpose in life. I can so relate. I was telling Daniel that this time is particularly challenging for me because I'm not sure what's next in terms of life goals and things to hope/wait for. I spent most of my life focusing on things like school and career, while hoping for a family someday. Then I met Daniel and was waiting for engagement, then planning the wedding, then quickly trying to have a baby, then waiting for Ethan, then planning for the next baby, then waiting for Vivian... and now I have the degree and the career (if I want it) and the husband and the two kids and two cats and own a home... PLEASE don't think I'm complaining- I know I am so unbelievably blessed and have so many things that are incredibly wonderful. And I appreciate those things. But I'm a very goal-oriented, to-do list making, planning type of person, and now there's none of that in my life. So I need to work on figuring out what's next for me and where God's leading me. Fortunately for me, the church summer bible study is a Beth Moore study about being a woman, and I think it'll really help me as I try to readjust my perspective on my life.

In other news, I made the horrible realization last night that Vivian's stomach seems to get upset whenever I eat something with a lot of dairy in it. Like ice cream. So I'm going to need to give that up for a while. Talk about life not having any meaning in it! I have two containers of yummy ice cream in my freezer- if you're in the area, please come visit me and eat my ice cream! I need to have it gone!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pictures!

Since I have no life, I will spare you my ramblings and post photos of my cute kids.

















































Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mooooooo.....

Yes, it's another post centered around breastfeeding! I would blog about something else, but nursing the baby is pretty much my entire world these days!

Vivian went in for her 2 week checkup on Monday, and the doctor was unhappy with her weight gain. Seriously, I have been overweight for 99.9% of my life, how did I end up with two skinny kids who don't like to eat and can't gain weight? Actually, I know the answer to that question- they had to inherit something from their 125 pound daddy! So we're going back to the doctor again tomorrow to check and see how she's doing now. Seriously, I am so utterly tired of going to doctors' appointments. Enough already!

I also ended up with appointments on Monday- I went in for my incision check at the OB and when the nurse checked my blood pressure, it was so high that they wanted me to go see my regular doctor about it. Fortunately, my doctor is also Vivian's doctor, so we just tacked on a visit for me at the same time I was taking her in. Can't imagine why my blood pressure is high- adjusting to having two kids under the age of 2 while recovering from surgery and not getting much sleep isn't at all stressful :)

Hopefully Vivian's weight will be up tomorrow and she wont have to go through any further testing. I'd hate for her to have to go through that. She is nursing 12-14 times/day (I told you it was my whole life!), so I can't imagine that she hasn't gained weight!

In other news, my husband is a saint. He's been mainly sleeping in Ethan's room so he can get some sleep and be rested for work, but several nights this week I've fallen asleep and woken up in the middle of the night to find him walking around with Vivian, trying to get her to fall back asleep. The other nights this week he's ended up working until midnight, so he's definitely not getting much rest at all. I know he's glad to have our kids, but I'm sure he's wishing he'd done all this new baby stuff in his 20s instead of in his 40s.

So that's the recap from here. Doing well, enjoying the sunshine coming through the windows and trying to soak up all the grandparent time we can, before they go home on Sunday. I'm going to have to actually take care of my kids myself! Many interesting blog posts to come soon, I'm sure!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bowling balls of pain

Yes, we're still alive and kicking here. Haven't been crushed by falling piles of diapers or anything :)

My parents showed up Monday afternoon and have been very busy entertaining Ethan since then. He's having the best time, especially with my dad. I think my dad was completely worn out by the end of their first day here though- a 22-month-old definitely has more energy than a 61-year-old! It's fun to watch them running around and having a great time though.

Vivian is still pretty much the same- sleeping 23.9 hours out of the day. Her jaundice is doing better though, and she hadn't lost any more weight at the last appointment. Feeding has still been quite a challenge- she still doesn't want to wake up to eat during the day, and when she does eat, she cluster feeds for an hour and a half or more. Then goes back to sleep for 4 hours. Of course, this does not apply at night, when she likes to be awake and eating all the time. Since my body is still trying to figure out this milk supply thing, the long feedings followed by the long pauses between feedings are leading to what I have decided to call "bowling balls of pain" attached to my chest. Hopefully we'll get this all figured out soon as she gets older and more able to stay awake and eat better.

So that's my life. Feeding the baby, trying to spend time with Ethan so he doesn't completely forget about me while he basks in the glory of spending time with his grandfather. Ethan's been doing well so far with Vivian in that he seems to have decided that she does not exist. He just completely ignores her. He doesn't get upset when someone is holding her- that person just gets included in Vivian's cloak of invisibility until he/she puts Vivian down. It's really funny to watch, and far preferable to crying/throwing things at her, so we'll take it!

Other than that, just trying to deal with the tiredness/baby blues/recovering from the c-section. Trying to remind myself that someday I will get to leave the house again and that Vivian's feeding will regulate and be less complicated soon(ish). Remembering that one day I will get to see friends and have an actual conversation again. Trying to not get discouraged, but that's easier said than done some days. Trying to hold on to the good things in my day and remembering that I'm incredibly blessed with this family and these adorable, healthy children. I'm definitely having a rough time right now, but I know it's mainly hormonal and I will get past this. until then, I think I need to eat more chocolate or something.



Check out her hair- it sticks straight up- too cute!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday morning

I wrote this post back in August of 2007 when Ethan was a newborn. Pretty much everything I said then is true again now. But that's not going to stop me from whining about it anyway.

How thankful are we that Vivian stayed put until 39 weeks! We're having so much trouble feeding her at this stage- I cannot imagine how hellish it would have been if she had been premature.

So the frustrating thing these days is that Vivian does not want to wake up to eat. Ever. Certainly not every 2 hours. The jaundice is making her very very sleepy, and she's pretty much out cold 23.8 hours out of the day. Makes for easy days between feedings, but very frustrating feedings. She also will not latch on to me for the majority of the feedings, so we're still pretty much pumping and feeding her a bottle. She'll nurse for 1 or 2 feedings out of the day, but not the rest of the time. When she does decide to nurse, she doesn't latch on well, so I'm in quite a bit of pain.

Last night was one of our worst yet. I got behind on my pain medications, so was fighting with a terrible headache, aching breasts, and this random pain in my side that feels like someone is stabbing me whenever I bend over or move too quickly in general. So when Vivian refused to eat at 2:30 AM, I just totally lost it. Daniel sent me to bed to sleep until the next feeding time and dealt with giving Vivian her bottle. Things are a little better this morning- especially since I've now had some coffee.

It's such a funny situation- I never really liked breast feeding Ethan, even when it did go well. But despite my not enjoying it, I'm not willing to give up on it so soon. The doctor was hopeful that once she gains some weight and gets rid of the jaundice she'll start eating better, so I guess we just have to stick it out until then.

Daniel heads back to work tomorrow and my parents arrive in the afternoon. Hopefully we'll get caught up on our rest a little then- he's going to start sleeping in Ethan's room and I'm going to try to sleep during the day while Mom and Dad entertain Ethan. Praise God for grandparents!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

How quickly we forget

You know what's amazing? We just had our first child ~22 months ago. Which is like no time at all. Yet we remember almost NOTHING about what to do with a newborn. It's like my brain is a book and a whole chapter was just ripped out. We're definitely more comfortable with a tiny little baby this time, but we still spend a ridiculous amount of time looking at each other in confusion and saying "what on earth do we do now?". The other amazing thing is that, in the space of a week, Ethan went from being what we considered a fairly high-maintenance toddler to being SO easy to deal with. He can walk on his own! And tell us what he needs (some of the time)! And when we put him to bed at 7:30, he stays there for 12 hours and doesn't cry or wake up randomly!

It's all about perspective :)

I'm downing my first cup of coffee of the morning. More will follow soon. I'm so thankful that God gave us caffeine. Thanks to coffee I only fall asleep about half of the times that I sit down somewhere.

We took Vivi in for her first doctor's appointment yesterday. Her weight has dropped a bit more, but nothing to be overly concerned about. However, her borderline jaundice seems to be getting worse (we've reached the yellow eyeball stage) and she was dehydrated a little, so we're back to feeding every 2 hours. Since Vivian sleeps ALL day and will not wake up to eat, feeding her every two hours consists of 1) me trying to breastfeed her for a while, 2) me giving up on that and going to pump and 3) Daniel spending 45 minutes sitting on the couch trying to keep her awake long enough to drink a couple of ounces of milk or formula. Repeat process every 2 hours. So this is producing some pretty tired parents. Hopefully she'll start eating better soon and we will all be able to get some rest. I'm too old for this!

Lots of visitors on the schedule for this weekend, then my parents arrive Monday. So busy, busy for us! I'll blog more later, if I can get my brain functional enough to be interesting.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Birth story

Umm, so part of the great thing about being done with pregnancy at the end of May/beginning of June was supposed to be the avoidance of pregnancy during any random heatwaves we might have in summer in Seattle. Because summer doesn't start here until mid- July, and it's rarely hot before that. So, of course, we're having record-breaking heat here. It's insanely hot inside and out. Daniel and Ethan have gone to the Seattle Center to play in the air conditioned Children's Museum and possibly in the International Fountain as well. Somewhere cool, at least.

Vivian and I are hanging out in the living room, trying to stay close to the portable a/c. It's not super effective, but way better than nothing! She's currently asleep in her Graco SweetPeace Comfort Center, which is about the coolest baby accessory I have ever seen. I want one in my size! Thanks to the PBS Supersisters for hosting the giveaway where I won it- I can't imagine dealing with a newborn without it!

Anyway. Birth story. Daniel's parents arrived Sunday night and came over Monday morning to take over Ethan-care. Daniel and I left at lunchtime, with Ethan crying many tears over our departure. That was pretty hard for me to take, so I sniffled a little in the hallway and elevator and car ride over to the hospital. But once we got to the hospital, things all went so fast that there was no time for sadness. We got checked in pretty much immediately, two nurses went through all the pre-op stuff with me, my OB and the anesthesiologists stopped by, and right at 4 PM, I walked down the hall to the operating room.

As I anticipated, the hardest part was the spinal anesthesia. The doctors were great, but the numbing shot hurt quite a bit, and it's just a hard thing to mentally accept- a needle being stuck in your spine. Without the distraction of horrendous labor pains, it's especially strange! The spinal went in pretty smoothly though, and soon I was being laid down on the table and prepared for surgery. Which is when I TOTALLY FREAKED. I'm 1) a control freak and 2) claustrophobic, so when I 1) couldn't move anything below my nipple line and 2) couldn't really take a deep breath and 3) there were drapes and blankets and oxygen masks up by my face... I totally freaked out. It took a few minutes for me to get used to the feeling and to calm myself down, and things went well after that.

Daniel sat and held my hand, and after what seemed like a very brief period of time, we were hearing our baby's first cries. I also started crying, which surprised me, as I'm not usually very emotional, but it's been such a long, complicated pregnancy that I just lost it. Daniel went over to take pictures and watch them clean Vivian up while I watched from a distance. Fortunately I could see pretty well from my spot, so didn't feel left out. Surgery took another hour after Vivian's delivery, as the tubal ligation took longer than planned. Daniel sat by my head and held Vivi while she cried- poor thing was hungry! Finally everything was done (yes, I reminded every doctor and nurse that I saw that the tubal ligation was to be done) and were wheeled back to our room for further testing for Vivian and a bunch of post-operation stuff for me.














I ended up not responding well to the IV pain medication that they gave me, so I don't remember much about the first night other than trying not to get sick. We finally got the medication situation resolved on Tuesday morning and things started improving rapidly after that. Vivian has been doing a pretty good job with the eating- although she likes to eat well sometimes and then pretend like she has no idea at all how to latch on at other times. Never a dull moment.

We were in the hospital just over 48 hours and had fun hosting friends and family visitors while we were there. Ethan's still not exactly enthusiastic about Vivian, but he's been treating her pretty well so far and has been much more interested in her than we thought he would be. We've had a few incidences of synchronized screaming since we came home yesterday- I think they're competing to see who can be louder!





















































It's still hard to believe that she's really ours and that we're really a family of 4. It seems like such a grown-up thing- to not just be married with kids, but to be married with kids and have your family be complete. We are blessed indeed.

It looks like the little one is waking up, which means Mommy needs to stop blogging and go serve her main purpose in life- lunch bar! :)

Thanks all for your nice comments and prayers- we appreciate them!



















Patron sainthood

**Disclaimer- I am not Catholic, so know little about patron saints and things like that. This info was a result of my googling Vivian's name one day a few weeks ago. All info here from Wikipedia.**

So, I will post the birth story soon- I need to get it all written out before I forget. Hopefully I'll get to it soon, but things are (as you can imagine) a little busy around here. Vivian is sweet, but way fussier than Ethan was as a newborn, so Daniel and I are a little overwhelmed trying to figure that out. So far Ethan's handling all the screaming pretty well- I'm impressed.

Anyway, I promised to give you the list of things that Saint Vivian (also known as Saint Bibiana) is the patron saint of. Here goes: epilepsy, epileptics, hangovers, headaches, insanity, mental illness, mentally ill people, single laywomen, torture victims, cross dressers. Now you can see why Daniel didn't react very well when I gave him this info! :)