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Sunday, May 29, 2011

VBAC, I would consider it

Amazingly,7 out of 10 of my friends have had c-sections within the last year. Thats not including me.

I guess given what I went through during my c-section I would like to avoid another c-section and the risk it could happen again.

I am not saying I would risk my baby's health just so I could have a simpler delivery, no way.

But I guess I have been thinking alot about it lately. Actually, the events around Isabel's birth keep coming back to me in the last few days.

It could be because my last 3 friends that had babies delivered via c-section and knowing what I know now about the risks, I am concerned for them and their recovery.

Its not like they are handing out c-sections like its the soup du jour. Nor do I think it reflects on the mama delivering (they are a mama no matter how the baby is born in my book). I think today, there is alot more doctors know about the baby's health leading up to delivery and there is less chance of risk to the baby during delivery because c-sections can be done.

In the end its about their health as much as the mom's. Its nice to think that all births end in a vaginal delivery and yet no matter how hard all 7 of us tried it just wasn't going to happen. Does that mean in the 'olden days' these babies/mommas would have died in childbirth?

Possibly...scary thought.

Are doctors more like to take the c-section risk over the loss of baby and a law suit


Replaying the events in my head, I would lying if I didn't feel alot of 'if onlys'. Like if only I didn't get chorioamnitis when I was in labor or 'if only I waited in the epidural so I could stand up and make her descend faster' or 'if only I pushed harder in the 25m they gave me (now I know its a dream to think I would have pushed her out sunny side up and all but still).

Is it worth looking back and wishing it were different? Probably not.

Why does my brain keep replaying my experience even when the c-sections aren't happening to me?

I have been told its because my subconscience doesn't know fact from fiction and thinks its still happening to me.

Ugh, I say, Ugh.

I feel like if I could have a second baby, a v-bac would be my first choice. However, I know even if I want to have it, it may not work a second time.

Isabel was sunny side up so even if I didn't have the infection she was getting stuck on my pelvis. Also, she wasn't huge (8lbs) but if she were smaller she may have fit through faster...who knows.

I am a candidate at my hospital if there is at least 9mo. between births (there definelty will be because I am not pregnant now ;)

I mean it would be harder if I went through labor and still had a c-section like with Isabel but at least I would get the chance to try it again without the infection(s).

I guess it helps to know I have options at least.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Down time with the H

Its hard to come by these days, not gonna lie.

Balancing, work, home, and baby is harder than I think other couples let on. But most 2nd and 3rd time parents give the knowing nod when I say its hard to get 'us' time anymore.

Its not that I lived in a bubble fantasy land thinking that the baby would sleep for hours and we would have tons of uninterupted cuddle time but here is how our beautiful daughter has changed things.

One of us usually goes to bed when she does, mostly do to the long work day/baby care all day tiredness. On the rare night we both stay up, I am usually on my computer in front of the TV working or catching up on life via Facebook, my blog, email etc. And J, is usually passed out within 30-45m on the couch.

Its ok because, thats sort of my 'me' time most days and just having J up and not in bed is nice. There are some nights (we can't plan it usually but we do get to stay up and watch a movie or something together which is nice and I wish we could do this more often).

Dinners...heck meals together are a challenge to eat solo....although with Isabel taking solids, I can stick her in her high chair and she will most of the time eat with us, unless its after 7pm and then she's winding down for bed.

Working in the yard was one of our favorite things to do together and now one of us juggles her, she's either napping so one of us is inside or she needs to be played with, which now that its nice out she can sit on a blanket and play while one of us works.

Mornings are different too, we used to get up and get going, now one of us usually J, gets up with her and plays with her while I catch a few more zzz's or have my COFFEE, which is needed desperatly! On the weekends they usually take her nap together which is sweet and frees me up to get stuff done.

Its amazing what I can do in 30m around the house when its all the free time I get! I can clean the kitchen, do a load of laundry, feed the dogs and or make a meal...go me ;)

This may sound complainy, its not mean to. Actually, its just amazing how a little girl can change our lives so completely, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

I do wish we got more us time where J wasn't so tired and we could actually maybe go out...*gasp* when was the last time I was out at night especially without Isabel? Ummmmm not since her birth ;)

Anyway, I think I need to hit up the Aunties for some babysitting...just wish sometimes we didn't live just that far away such that night baby sitting is too hard.

Ah yes, I hear my 'children' stirring from their nap so I am off to check on them and hop in the shower before its too late!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What shall we do with the baby-o?

This little song is stuck in my head as it is Isabel's new favorite song we sing. We are fortunate that we were able to do two sessions of Kindermusik starting in January with a wonderful and talented woman, Miss Jody.

At first, I will be honest, I was thinking music for a 4 month old? Really? How much can she absorb from this?

It was at 9am in a town 25m away in January?!

Well, my gung ho group of mom friends were up for it and they lived further away than me so we all gave it a go.

At first, I thought that it wasn't going to be all that exciting for Isabel and we were given the CD with the music so it felt like alot of money for a CD I could just use at home.

Well, I was wrong.

The best parts of class were this:
-Continuity, we went every Wednesday and it soon became routine
-We played the CD in the car and I would pick songs (there were like 32+ songs so I thankfully had choices) and sing to her in the car, at home, to distract her from crying.
-Soon she would recognize the songs and light up and when J would start singing them she would light up and it was like she was thinking 'Hey he knows them too?!'
-Miss Jody introduced signing in class, she has been introduced to 'more', 'thank you', 'music', 'ball' 'all done','mommy', and 'daddy'.

-After class we started a tradition of going to Panera, which has evolved from us mom getting coffee and chatting while the babies Bf'd or slept to us putting them in high chairs with solids and us trying to get a bit in for ourselves ;) (still fun)

Of course there were drawbacks:
- She's missed class from being sick and she's likely been exposed to germs through class (I know we are lucky with only 2 big illnesses so far)
-Sometimes class felt repetitive or Isabel was tired because for a while she was in a napping at 9am phase

Over all though I am amazed at how much she absorbed from the class. Just how much she has developed from not being able to sit to sitting and reaching and almost crawling now!

She would listen with rapt attention (as do the other babies) to Miss Jody. Isabel would anticipate the music and learned to roll a ball, tap two objects together, pat the floor and play peekaboo.

Today, music class ended for the school year and there is a summer session I think we will do it will be in 2 months so we are done for a while. I felt alittle sad we were done today. Isabel has absorbed so much. I can see it at home. The way she lights up when we sing the songs from class, or she will clap, tap or roll the ball. Its just amazing! She is copy catting now too and it makes everything more fun.

I am so glad we did this class even though at first it was hard dragging a sometimes fussy, 4 month old out in the middle of winter in the morning no less to class. It was always better once we were out anyway.

Plus, I had my mom friends to help me out. I also got over breastfeeding in public through this too, pumping was too hard in the morning so we just nursed on the go. It was quite liberating.

Anyway, I am glad we go to have this experience because I feel like I learned alot about how to interact with her in an age approriate way. I have learned what she is capable of and I have watched her develop and grow!

So fun! I am just loving these moments. Precious moments in time. I can't help but gush!

One other funny story: This week I was pumping gas (something I usually avoid with her b/c she hates being the car for long anyway). Well, I guess I hit it just right because I played peekaboo with her in her car seat. The windows were up because of the rain but I could see her little body bouncing as she giggled with glee as we played. What a fun interaction, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

So here's to you my FINALLY sleeping baby!

"What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o if she won't go to sleepy-o?

Wrap her up in calico, Wrap her up in calico, Wrap her up in calico and send her to her daddy-o.

"What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o if she won't go to sleepy-o?

'Wiggle her chin and tickle her toes, 'Wiggle her chin and tickle her toes,'Wiggle her chin and tickle her toes, Dress her up in silly clothes.

"What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o if she won't go to sleepy-o?

"Fold her up in a tableclothe, "Fold her up in a tableclothe, "Fold her up in a tableclothe, Send her up to the old hay loft.

"What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o? What shall we do with the baby-o if she won't go to sleepy-o?

"Swing her north and swing her south, "Swing her north and swing her south, "Swing her north and swing her south, Put alittle honey in her mouth!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I miss her

This morning I woke up to a smiling little face, it was if her double ear infection dissappeared...not only did she wake up in a good mood but she woke up late AND is now down for a nap! Woof, its a relief thats she's feeling so much better!

Today marks two years since my Nonna passed away. That day is seared in my mind forever, getting the news from my sister while I sat on the front steps of my house and cried. Shortly after it sank in I rushed to write a blog post that would capture my Nonna . I wasn't trying to capture my feelings of grief but of the love and cherished memories of her. While they were fresh in case they faded.

I am glad I wrote that post as we used part of it for her eulogy. But the memories and cherished moments have not dulled or faded.

She lives in my hear everyday.

One tangible way is by her name. Isabel or Isabella or 'sabella as those close to her would call her.

We chose the name Isabel as a tribute to her and though I wish she could have known when she was alive I was planning to do this, I know she is honored just the same.

Every time I look at my Isabel, I see my Nonna. Not just because her name reminds me of her but she has my Nonna's lips.

I know it sounds crazy but my dad pointed this out. She has a little white 'divit' I am not sure what its called but its on her bottom lip and its the same as Nonna's.

No one else in my family has it but now Isabel does. How special is that?

THis time last year I was feeling so sad that Isabel wasn't born sooner so that Nonna could meet her. But now that Isabel is here, I feel like Nonna is living on through her and in our hearts.

I know she would be so proud of her, she would call her 'booba bella' or however its spelled. She would sing to her in Italian and have fun feeding her noodles with sauce and pinching her cheeks.

She made not be here to do it in person but we all are. Its been so amazing to see how my family have picked up these little things and do them. Especially my dad. Its the sweetest and makes my heart melt to see how much he loves her.

No one can replace my Nonna and yet alittle bit of her is living inside all that knew and loved her.

We will carry on her legacy, her traditions and her loving ways. I can still hear her voice, see her face and feel her love in my heart.

She was a loving, kind, wise and talented lady that had a big heart and lots of love. She wouldn't want us to be sad for her and mourn so long but its hard not to when she was just such a special lady we all feel that deep sense of loss still.

So, I know I will always miss her and wish she were here I know that she still is.
I am honoring her memory in little ways:
Sowing basil seeds in the spring
Teaching Isabel how to make sauce, meatballs and pizza
Feeding her these things too ;)
I sing little songs to her
I tell her all about Nonna and show her pictures

These are little things but its special just the same. If I look around at all the people that loved her especially my dad and sisters, I can see how she affected them and how she influenced each of them.

She would always say 'I am just a lil' old lady' and I would say 'But you are the best, you are my Nonna' and she would smile that warm smile that even shown in her eyes.

We love you Nonna, we miss you and your 'lil Isabel' will grow up knowing all about you, I promise!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eight Months

Wow, I have an eight month old.

For some reason that sounds old to me!

Too bad we spent her 8 month birthday sickie and miserable!

However, it makes me reflect on just how far was have come and just what she can do now!

How has she changed?
Her hair is turning blonder and thicker and curls at the ends!
Her eyes are turning hazel...maybe brown in the end?

What can she do?
She can copycat: she watches and mimics, sucking noises, tsk tsk and she can pat her mouth with her hand and make noise like oh-oh-oh its hilarious! Gonna try to catch that on the Flip! She also babbles constantly and says mamamamama, rararara (dadada-ish) and uhoh!

She can:
roll over and over in each direction
scoot her body in a circle
push up to rock on all 4s but no crawling yet
jumps like a pro in her jumperoo
push backward in her walker

What does she eat?
Anything in her teether bag and she loves to self feed
peaches, apples, pears, squash, sweet potato, oatmeal are her faves
rice cereal, chicken, turkey, yogurt, peas and green beans make her gag! And I thought I wouldn't have a picky baby!

Really doesn't seem possible that 8 months have gone by! But seeing the flowering trees budded and grass turning grean and the lilacs about to bloom I guess it is spring. In a way it is hard for me to deal with this season change. Mostly because it reminds me of the fall and how hard that time was.

So even though Isabel is thriving and I am physically healed, I am still healing emotionally. Each month that goes by it gets easier and I am thankful for me life, my baby, my husband and my loving family.

Now if we can just kick Isabel's double ear infection, that would be great because a sickie baby is no fun at all!

So, on to another fun month of watching you grow and change we go! Onward I say! I love you my dear one, just don't grow up too fast! I will be right there though, taking in each moment and loving you. What a special honor it is to be a mama, your mama! Its the best!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten minutes at a time

So yesterday I hit a low point while in the doctor's office. Isabel was feverish and miserable, I had to wake her up from a nap to get to my apt. and I just felt horrible too.

My doctor was trying to give me a nebulizer treatment for my bronchitis and I was holding Isabel, who was screaming her head off because the noise was scaring her.

I turned off the machine and stepped out into the hall and just said I needed to go. My doctor was sweet about it but seriously, I felt like a terrible mom. I know I wasn't and I needed to take care of myself but seriously, it felt like a scene.

We get home after stopping at the drug store for meds and her eyes are goopy and green, she's gagging on mucus, I am coughing my head off and I am alone.

I manage to get meds into her, lay her down to nurse and call the on-call dr. to make sure the gagging is ok.

J is at work which feels like a zillion miles away, he is sick as a dog too. I am not sure why I thought him being home would help because all Isabel wanted was her mama. Her mama albeit sick just wanted to help her baby.

In the middle of it all, I call my mom who reminds me of this one good point:
"Take it 10 minutes at a time, if you can get through 10 minutes, you can get through it all."

It sounded simple but as we talked and I watched Isabel drifting off to sleep, 10 minutes passed and it felt more doable.

The nurse called back and said the gagging was mucus related and warned she might throw up if she hadn't already.

Glad she warned me because J walked in the door shortly thereafter to see me with a rosy cheeked, goopey eye'd, snotty nosed, sickie baby that gagged as he walked in the door and puked milk projectile over my shoulder.

I shrugged and just bent down and wiped it up.

J, was probably a bit shocked at the scene he was walking into.

When he left in the morning, Isabel was just feverish with sniffles.

Now she had morphed into a barely recognizable version of herself and I don't think he realized what I had been through all day.

Anyway, we gave her a bath, got her to bed and tried to catch our breath.

Usually, when she is sick I say I wish it were me, but now we are both sick and its not a winning combo. In fact, we are all sick and its kicking our butts!

God is good, He doesn't give us more than we can handle and we will come through it. He is giving me strength that is NOT my own. Somehow I am muddling through without sleep, sick myself and still making milk and caring for Isabel as usual.


If it was pre-baby I would probably be home on the couch feeling sorry and sick but instead I am sucking it up and taking care of the lil one like its just another day.

God definetly gives moms 'super strength' when we need it thats for sure.

I am not a SUPER mom but with God, I can do anything, even if its just 10 minutes at a time.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Savoring the moments

I could spent this whole blog complaining about the fact that in addition to being tired from work and taking care of Isabel I have bronchitis and a sinus infection but I won't.

Colds and sickness this case NOT sharing would be caring ;) Its funny how J and I seem to get sick at the same time like we never have before. I sometimes refer to Isabel as our 'lil vector'! Tee hee some Bio humor!

Lately, I have been noticing just how much Isabel is changing. She will be 8 months this week! Wow.

She can pick up food with a pincer grip, she takes a paci to nap and nighttime, she babbles so much, her babbles sounds like a real conversation she is trying to have with me. She can rock on hands and knees and pull herself up and she's a rolling machine wonder how long it will be till she's truly mobile?

It seems like yesterday I was rocking her in the recliner day and night. Nursing and shhhhing and swaddling and nuzzling.

She is growing so fast and I feel like I can barely absorb it all.

One regret I do not have is that I put chores and errands on hold and was able to give her my undivided attention. As hard as it was NOT to do the dishes, cook, clean and run around, she needed me. Demanded me and only me most times.

Precious little else mattered.

Now she is becoming more independent, sitting and playing, jumping in her jumperoo, scooting in her walker and feeding herself little morsels of food in her high chair.

All of these milestones are so important albeit bittersweet. I want her to grow up healthy and strong and not held back at all. So I keep my 'mommy wants her baby to stay little forever' feelings aside and watch her blossom.

I came across this poem and it rang true for me:

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo

But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!

I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Balancing work and being a mom....its been a long week

So I have been working everyday with the goal of getting 2h of work done a day, be it during Isabel's nap or after she goes to bed.

It sounds easy right? I worked a second job for many years of college and after so no problem right?!

Ugh.... it wouldn't be if my first job, my darling Isabel wasn't a 24h a day job!

I am glad to be making progress but I have been so tired trying to get this all done.

I am giving myself the next 4 months to write my dissertation and I am just in the stats analysis phase. But so far so good so I remain optimistic.

That's not to say that its not gonna suck! I know what I have to do, I just have to do it.

I have been feeling alot of pressure to finish so I am doing my best to make progress.

Its a challenge though because Isabel isn't exactly reliable with naps and bedtime.

What I am trying hard not to do is resent her when she doesn't nap, its not her fault! But the way I look at it is spending time working alittle while she sleeps is better than not being home with her. So, I am doing what I have to do, even if *yawn* its tiring!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Is it wrong to encourage a paci now?

So Friday I got inspired to try slipping a paci in right after Isabel dropped off to sleep to see if I could get her to 'comfort suck' with it instead of me.

Don't get me wrong I love the bonding that comfort nursing provides but its nice to get away while she naps.

Which by the way has come along way. I am now putting her down around 9am and 1pm (trying to be home then or around then because she seemed to just start this napping pattern on her own). She's having trouble napping while we are out even on me. She will sometimes nap in her stroller or car if the timing is right and otherwise she won't at all. She likes to fall asleep sidelying with me next to her with her in her crib and me on the bed.

There are pros and cons to a baby that wants to nap regularly (something I never had until now) and one that will sleep on the go. On one had the routine is nice and I get me time as opposed to being out and about because she wasn't regular with naps. Socialization with friends is going to change but that means my Phd. could get worked on during the day so thats great!

Ok, so back to the paci. We have EVERY.KIND.INVENTED. She liked soothies in the beginning but gave it up when her first teeth came in and won't take one till now. So it was just a fluke I guess that the one I tried worked. Figures I only have 1 or 2 of this kind. Might have to buy a couple more if this keeps up! ;)

So, its probably bad she's taking one for nap and night time but at the same time she was using me so its kind of the same right? I feel like she won't need this forever but if it works for now so be it!

She doesn't just suck on it during the day and thats fine. I feel like its getting her over the hump and helping her sleep. I am thankful!

She looks more like a baby with one though! Love her and love that she is sleeping better for her mama ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reflecting on what it means to be a mom on Mother's Day

This morning I woke up at 8am to a cheerful smiling sweet baby girl. What a joy! The sun was shining, J was smiling and it was such a sweet and poingant moment.

This time last year, it was a sticky hot Sunday, we were trying out new churches and we enjoyed the service with some friends even though we knew this wasn't the church for us. I remember feeling, hot, out of my comfort zone and big...little did I know I would be getting MUCH MUCH bigger ;)

Even though at the time I thought of myself as a mom, I didn't have the baby in my arms yet. Some folks wished me a happy mother's day (I do believe this counts if you are pregnant or adopting-in-progress).

This year its real, I have a sweet baby girl that I love to the moon and back in my arms.

Its been years in the making.

I have been yearning to be a mom for about 8 years and to have this precious baby makes nothing else matter.

Did I get showered with gifts? Pampered with pedicures, breakfast in bed?


I got up made chocolate chip pancakes for me and my hunny while he played with Isabel. I got a nice warm hot pedi though and two sweet cards, one from Isabel and one from J. We went to church, I made homeade pizza for lunch and currently Isababe is napping.


For me, Mother's day isn't about the gifts, spending money or bragging about my loot.

I have the most precious gift anyone could ask for and she is sleeping peacefully a few feet away.

That is all I wanted.

After all that we went through to get her here, the pregnancy, gestational diabetes, my life threatening infection. It was worth it. I would do it 10,000x more times.

She's a strong, resilient, determined, sweet, funny, curious and lovable little girl.

I am thankful for my mom, her sacrifice to get me well, her dedication to me and Isabel and the example that's she's been all my life.

I am thankful for my 'mom away from moms' that I have had while in college, grad school and here. They have shaped me, nurtured me and loved me.

I am thankful for my mom friends, the ones on the frontline of motherhood, they are wise, full of advice and 'in the know' when it comes to breastfeeding, new gadgets and pedi recommendations.

But now its my turn, to be the mom, to make the call and to mother my daughter. Such an awesome responsibility.

But I am ready, look at the guidance and support and love I have! I wanna share all that with my Isabel Ann.

I know I was blogging about her being high needs, but it doesn't matter, I am not complaining. She is who she is and I would not change any of it!

I do feel like I had a little practice mothering with the addition of my kitties and pups. Especially true this week with Liam and Ladybug getting into it with a porcupine.

Anyway, I am relishing motherhood every minute and thankful for the gift God gave me more than any flowers, candy, spa treatment or gadget could ever do!

xoxoxo Mom, Grandma and my Nonna, you all shaped me and made me the mom I am becoming today!

Friday, May 6, 2011


I say this all the time but its never more true than now that a good attitude is just as contagious as a bad attitude but MUCH harder to adopt.

In any social interaction whether its work, church, mom's groups, family its easy to get sucked into gossip, begrudging your s/o or husband, negative attitude about life and to be judgemental.

I struggle with all of this as I am a people pleaser. I find myself adopting an attitude similar to my peer group sometimes as a way to fit in. Terrible right? But I think we all do this to a degree to assimilate.

I think its the most challenging right now for me because I am out of my normal work life. Isabel is my job and (well my PhD. is too but I don't interact with people when I am writing ;) Anyway, when I get out and about with friends that are moms that's my social interaction on most days. Its a nice break and fun to spend time with familiar faces and watch our kids grow up. We share tips, woes and lots of fun with music group, story time, play dates, walks and even shopping trips to the mall.

However, I find myself adopting the moods of others, if one of us is having a bad day I find I start to get into a bad mood. I think its only natural especially because emotions are so tied to our sleep status...most of us run on E when it comes to sleep (we don't get alot). So, its easy for me to start complaining about Isabel's sleeplessness, J's job and how long his hours are and lack of fun me time. I should note I do this with family and church friends too.

Usually, this kind of stuff doesn't get to me, its part and parcel of being a mom and I signed on knowing the pros and the cons. Most of the time the pros way out weigh the cons and I can shrug this petty stuff off.

Lately, I have been challenging myself to be a good attitude friend, trying to see the positive in my friend's situations, be empathetic but not feed into negative talk. Its hard. There are days all I want to do is gripe, sometimes I do.

However, like my therapist has said with my PTSD when I get down: 'you can have a pity party every day if you want but parties have a start and end time so you must end your pity party and move on each day'. Good advice I think.

I have been applying this to my everyday life. Would I love to have a textbook easy baby? Maybe in some ways but I wouldn't trade Isabel for nights of sleep, fussiless days or anything else she does thats trying because she has an awesome personality, full of zest, curiousity and love. She can't help she is alittle more needy.

I have a great life, I get to raise my daughter with J, we have a terrific little family with the cats and dogs. We have a cute little house, lovely neighborhood and family that love us and Isabel.

This is what matters right?!

So let your attitude be positive, it rubs off! I feel like this a way I can let my Light shine through for Christ. He calls us to be a light not to be hidden:

Matthew 5:14-16“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

So if I can let my light shine through a positive attitude then I know my light is shining through for our Lord and I am choosing to be a good witness. I never really feel better when I succoumb to the griping. Never have. Actually I usually feel worse after and brood the rest of the day. It doesn't matter if its now or when I was working the effect was the same. So that's my challenge!

Adopt a good attitude and see how it changes you! And maybe others around you ;)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I think I have a high needs baby

Ok so most babies are needy right? Every baby is unique right? So what makes me think Isabel is 'high needs'?

First, what does it mean to be high needs? Dr. Sears defines it as having these characteristics:
1. IntenseMake their needs known in a very loud, definitive way. Are passionate about what they want and don’t want, and if you’re not quick to meet their needs, they’ll let you have it. They cry loudly, but the flip side is that they also voice their pleasure loudly.
We call Isabel a 0 to 60 baby because she can go from happy to sad or vice versa in 60 seconds! From day one when she was hungry we all knew it and had to respond quickly or hysterics would ensue...and if I let that happen it might snow ball into 2-3h of misery.

2. HyperactiveIn constant motion, may have stiff or tense muscles, seldom quiet or still, and may even resist being held or cuddled(this doesn't apply to me but does if someone is holdering her that she doesn't want hold her is trying to hold her).

3. DrainingHigh needs babies wear you down! They definitely keep you on your toes, and may leave little time for you to recharge your batteries. Because they often don't sleep well, there is no consistent or predictable down time for you, the parent. This can be extremely tiring and frustrating.
Isabel is always in motion and I thought all babies were this way until I started having playdates with other babies her age to see that she was the only one up when all the other babies were napping!

4. Feeds frequentlyHigh needs babies may desire to nurse or bottle feed more frequently. And you may also wish to feed more frequently to pacify your baby. I have heard from many parents that their high needs baby was in the top percentile for weight due to the high frequency of feedings.
We call her the snacky baby

5. DemandingThis is the child that lets you know, very loudly, what she needs. If you don't get to her right away, she is quick to voice her displeasure. She feels her needs very strongly and knows how to get them met.
See #1! She knows what she wants and she wants it now!

6.Awakens frequentlySleeps in short stretches and may also have trouble falling asleep. she's generally a cat napper and once in a while surprises me with a 2h stretch once in a while

7.UnsatisfiedNo matter what you do, your baby may still be grumpy, unhappy, or discontent, even if you've tried every calming technique you can think of. Dr. Sears encourages parents to realize when they've done all they can, and that the rest is up to their baby. This was her from 0-3.5 months and they she got alot better and easier to please and predict! Months 4-7 have been so much better as far as this goes!

8.UnpredictableOne day she falls asleep when you rock her, the next she doesn't. You're able to calm her by feeding her one night, but the next night she shrieks when you try to feed her. He sleeps through the night for a few days, and then is up 3+ times the next few nights. We jokingly call our little guy manic depressive because he can go from calm and content and smiling one second to red-faced screaming the next. Yea she is pretty much like this all her life so far!

9. Super-sensitive
Extremely sensitive to their environment and external stimuli. They are constantly observing the world around them, and prefer to be at home, or in a calm and familiar environment. They may startle easily, and are very sensitive to pain or discomfort. DOESN'T APPLY TO HER

10. Can’t put baby downThese babies prefer to be held and in constant motion. They may resist sleeping alone, or being relegated to their stroller or bouncy chair. They prefer human touch and movement. High Needs babies tend to do very well when being 'worn' in slings or baby carriers. The Moby, Bjorn and Ergo are my friends and she does like her jumperoo and walker and swing but hated to be alone for long and still doesn't love being put down. In the beginning she napped on me and did best when worn!

11.Not a self-sootherThese are the babies that need help to fall asleep. While other babies may be able to drift peacefully off to sleep in their cribs, some babies need to be gently taught how to relax and fall asleep on their own. This may not come until a little later in infancy. This is the biggest struggles we have, she has a tough time at night and staying asleep for naps. Car rides are tough too because she can't soothe herself. But its starting to get b etter.

12. Separation sensitiveSome babies definitely prefer the company of their primary caregivers. It may be difficult to leave them with babysitters or even have someone else hold them. They are deeply attached to their parents as they know that these are the people who meet their needs. She is my cling-on and though that's the sweetest feeling in the world she has a tough time going to J and other close family members easily. I know that its hard for them and for me because I would love a break and a chance for them to spend time with her. It fluctuates though and some days she is fine other days all she wants is momma all day/night long.

14. Outgoing:Loves to be around people, noise and activity
While some high need babies do best in quiet, calm environments, what I hear from many, many parents is that their baby actually prefers being in crowds, surrounded by people and activity. They may cry and fuss significantly more in the quiet of their own homes. The activity and drone of crowds or traffic seem to soothe them, and they may even fall asleep. Friends and family may not believe your stories of crying and fussing because these babies appear so easy-going and content when in public. She loves to be out and about if she is close to me so we do have a playdate/outing planned for everyday of the week. I think she is very well adapted to being out and does great when we are out most of the time! This is a saving Grace

I am not complaing about my darling Isabel but I feel like after looking back at the last 7 months I feel like I am starting to figure her out. I see how very different she is from her cohort but what makes her different is what makes her special. She is vivacious, out going, developing early and so expresssive. She is full of zest, love and curiousity. For the struggles I have with leaving her, the sleep issues and her attachment to me its all worth it. I am thankful I can stay home with her. Many mom friends tell me she would adjust BUT I am just not sure how she would do and what it would do to her. In a while I could see her in pre-school but right now being with me seems best.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Appreciating what you have

This morning at 5am Liam and Ladybug were quilled by a porcupine...not a great way to wake up when you see your beloved puppies with so many quills in their faces they look like they have goatees. Only to see that there were more were sticking out of their chests and legs like accupuncture needles.

I have to say I am getting better at the 'not panicking' thing. I think J and I both have. We reacted calmly, getting the dogs to settle down, calling the e-vet and I ran and got J's clothes and off he went all in about 5 minutes. Thinking back, maybe we should have waited for our vet to open but it would have been a long 3 hrs till it opened.

Of course, the baby woke up and I had to put her back down and just hope and pray they would be ok.

They were put under anesthesia and de-quilled and seemed ok even though Liam was limping around after he came home.

It figures that today, I was running around with two Dr. apts. I came home in the afternoon to find Liam in the same spot I left him. Ladybug was sprinting about but Liam was not himself. Ugh. I called and got pain meds and antibiotics for him.

But by 4pm he just wasn't himself and limped all the way upstairs to me. I was in Isabel's room playing her and a friend with her baby and he just looked so pathetic I decided to take him back into the vet.

Sure enough, he has more quills in his leg that needed to come out. I managed to carry him to the car but the vet carried him in. I had a sinking feeling.

I think it was that moment when I felt like life was getting away from me a bit.

My family started off when I adopted Chloe and Zoe my kitties who I moved heaven and earth for to bring them home for holidays.

Next came Ladybug once J and I got married. I fretted over how my girls would accept a dog and if they would feel snubbed? Would I have enough time for them all to get the same amount of attention?

Sure, it was an adjustment but soon the cats found a way to co-exist with the dog and Ladybug became my world. We walked 2x a day, took her to training and I just loved her to bits.

Our love multiplied when we adopted Liam less than a year later. He was our puppy boy and our fur family was complete.

You know how much I just love my furkids, they fill me with joy and have been great company, loyal companions and full of mischief.

When we decided to have a baby, I concerned about how the puppies and cats would adjust. I knew that they would....but would I?

I hated the thought of not having my furkids come first anymore.

Once Isabel arrived I feel like they just knew that things had changed and there was no hard feelings, they have been really gentle and so sweet. they just accepted the new pack order and I really can't complain.

So things had been chugging along with our little family and then today my world got turned around. Just the thought that something was wrong with my dogs my heart just broke.

I feel like in the busy go go days, its hard for me to give my dogs and even my cats all the attention they deserve.

I don't take them for granted but sometimes I am scared they think I do....yes I may be humanizing a bit here. But you get what I mean.

I feel like my love had multiplied instead of dividing. BUT, I also feel like with each new family member we add, there is less attention for each one.

Sure, I know that they love having each other as company and having me home is better than at work but I still miss my one on one time.

It gets me thinking if I feel torn about having another baby.

*YIKES* Did I even write that?!

Ummmmmmmm I am not saying I am ready to have another but I certainly think about having another baby someday.

My fear?

Not being able to give each 'kid', human or other the attention they deserve. Is that the natural progression? Does the attention get diluted?

I am not sure...I don't think so. But I think it take paying attention and appreciating what I have everyday.

So that is my goal, to give each 'kid' my love and attention each day and appreciate what I have.

Sounds simple but when you have a needy baby taking up alot of time it takes extra effort!

I am writing this as I stroke Liam's ear as he is lounging on the couch and recovering from his second surgery. I wish it could have been me and not him today.

I hate to see any one in my family suffer! Prayhing that tomorrow is a better day and taking a moment to appreciate all that I have.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just for fun

I was downloading pix from my phone and thought it would be fun to do a throwback to my pregnancy days.

Can't believe how much my body changed and how fast time has gone since Isabel was born! Seems like the months leading up went so slow!!