Friday, December 17, 2010

For Your Enjoyment

I have seen bits and pieces of this new NBC show, "The Sing Off." It's an all vocal show - no music tracks or instruments behind the singing groups. So they're all acapella. This video is of a group of guys from the University of Oregon. Of course I was pre-disposed to hate them. But this performance is so much fun, and they're so talented, that I can't help myself - I love them. Enjoy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Smug much?

I haven't posted in a while, mostly because there's a lot going on. Ha, listen to me - complaining about how busy I am even before the Holidays start. I'll be eating my words (and a whole lot of turkey) a week from now!

Things have been really fun around our house, since Isaac has started to:
- Crawl. He's still pretty slow, but gets around really well. It's fun to sit across the room and watch him crawl his way over to me.
- "Talk." He says "mama," although I'm fairly certain he has no idea what it means. It mostly happens when he's frustrated, so maybe he is trying to communicate something.
- Pull up to standing. I'm amazed at how good he is at this! I would have a picture, but the only time we've taken a photo of him pulling up, he was buck naked pulling up on the bathtub, to see the water running into it. I'm sure 15-year-old Isaac will appreciate my not posting a naked picture on public Internet domain.

It is really strange and unusual to feel so incredibly proud of my little man for achieving these things. They are of course totally normal baby developments. It would be an issue if he was not starting to do these things. But I have this complete sense of pride and joy when I see him do them, or demonstrate them for other people, or when I tell people what he's up to and learning. I'm sure this is just the beginning (wait until he WALKS and TALKS and BECOMES THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES), but I'm very smug about my super strong, genius baby.

From the Totally Unrelated Items category, here's a good post on parenthood:

I did #13 yesterday. Gross.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Family Fun

1. Reeeelaaaaaaxed on Friday night.

2. Moscow Farmer's Market with a friend on Saturday morning. It's definitely "late Fall" now, because it was COLD and RAINY and the wares for sale have started to dwindle. Mostly gourds, apples, root veggies, and potatoes. But even the rain couldn't damper the fun and enthusiasm I feel about going to the market on Saturday mornings. This time we got to go with my friend Kathy.

3. Back home for a nap and some chores.

4. Idaho Vandal Football at the Kibbie Dome. They trounced New Mexico State and Isaac made it all the way to the 4th quarter before "losing it."

5. Jeremy gets home from working the game and I take off for Craft Night with the girls. I stayed out until 11:00 - which is scandalously late for me!

6. Church on Sunday morning - a huge blessing hearing about a mission trip to Ghana.

7. Back home for a nap and some laundry.

8. Coffee date with a girlfriend at Starbucks.

9. Went with above girlfriend to see the Eugene Ballet's performance of Cinderella. It was very good, but we had some distracting 4-year-old girls directly in front of us who could NOT sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. Ah well. They were pretty cute, decked out in princess Halloween costumes!

I'm loving this Fall so far.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I heart fall

It's been a long time since I posted here. But I'm at peace with that, because my five readers know that I'm busy. But I really enjoy documenting our little life, so here are some bullets about what's been going on with us lately:

* Isaac is so fun. Exhausting, stretching, character growing hard work, but SO FUN. Here is a fabulous post on motherhood written by These Little Moments. I think she sums up life with a little baby really well.

* Isaac wakes us up every day with a chorus of grunting and moaning combined with babbling. We always say "there's that gremlin again." This morning he was in his crib chatting to his stuffed gray kitty.

* Early fall has been glorious here on the Palouse. So pretty, with cool mornings, and warm, sunny afternoons. The leaves in our front yard are falling like crazy, just like every year, but the sweet neighbor girl raked them up yesterday for a nominal fee. She's very industrious.

* Jeremy got a new phone - an HTC Evo, and I'm quite jealous. (drama-queen warning) Also he's still trying to figure it out so I don't really talk to him anymore.

* Isaac has begun army-crawling. (see how I'm breaking up the baby talk with other things? I'm so well-rounded. ha.)

* The new job is good. My favorite thing about it is that at 4:30 every day, I just forget about it completely until 8:00 the next morning.

* Isaac had his first fever (brought on by teething, along with a nasty diaper rash. Thank you, Internet, for helping me stay calm and explaining symptoms) of 101.6, which only lasted a couple hours. Poor thing, but he seems to be all better now. I did enjoy the extra snuggling while it lasted!

* The Phillies are down 3-2 in the NLCS, which makes for extra-tense evenings in our house. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Little Man

Today I found myself thinking - "Man, I sure wish my friends would update their blogs more often. I want to know what's going on with them." And then I realized how hypocritical that was, since I haven't posted in two weeks. Ah well.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be posting more later, but I've started my new job (it's challenging and a really good fit for me), Isaac has started daycare (had a rough first week but is doing much better now) and life is chugging right along. Being a stay-at-home mom is tough, but so is being a working mom! Confirmed: motherhood in general is tough.

That being said, Isaac is an absolute doll. He has turned out to be a picky eater, but he's reluctantly eating pureed veggies, banana, avocado, sweet potato, and even a bite of cornbread. He's also very close to sitting up on his own, and can get on his hands and knees, and rock back and forth, like he'syearning to crawl. He absolutely adores Reggie, and laughs his head off when someone who wasn't paying attention to him looks at him real fast and smiles (including the dog).

Here is a video of Isaac sitting up and playing with blocks, like a bona-fide little boy. The video (which I'm sure will be excruciatingly boring to anyone who's not related to Isaac), is also starring Reggie the Rogue Beagle.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Feeling Domestic

Last week I had a day where I was feeling very domestic, so I was motivated to make couch pillow covers and cinnamon-swirl bread in one day. The result was some nice new pillows but I am now totally burnt out on being domestic, for at least a month. :)

So, first, the cinnamon bread. I wanted to make this recipe, and I did, but of course it didn't turn out as well as it did on the Pioneer Woman's website. It was yummy, and we made french toast with it the next day (yum). But it took a total of about SIX hours to make. I'm sorry, but no matter how good it was, I don't think I'll spend six hours on it again. Ah well.

I also decided that my couch pillows were in need of some attention since I have a (very sweet, cuddly, loving) Rogue Beagle who drools on them constantly. Gross, right? I even took a picture of the drool-covered maroon pillow to post on here, but decided it was too gross for public consumption. So I deleted it. You can thank me later.

I wanted some pillows that coordinated with the room's color scheme, had a pattern, and a light color. So off I went to the Joann Fabrics home decor section. I found this pattern and loved it, and bought 2.5 yards, which turned out to be exactly the right amount to cover four pillows. (How often does that happen??) I decided to make the covers removable, so I can take them off and wash them when they get covered in drool, instead of raking out the dough for a whole new set of couch pillows every 4-6 months. So I bought three buttons for each pillow. About four hours of sewing and stitching on buttons later, this is the result. I love them!

It's safe to say that Reggie likes them too.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Abundant Harvest

This year we planted 21 tomato plants. And when I say "we," I mean Jeremy, because all I did was to go crazy and buy too many tomato plants. Our garden is only about 5 ft by 15 ft, so the plants are inevitably planted too close together. Because of that, our soil has been stripped of its nutrients, so while we have tons of tomatoes growing and ripening, only about half of them are edible. The others are either rotten or have white sponge-like texture just inside the skin. Anyway, I LOVE homegrown tomatoes, so I am quite excited about this:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beagle as Body Pillow

Since I renamed this blog after our Rogue Beagle, I figured I should take a break from all the baby pictures and feature Reggie for once.
A perfect Sunday afternoon - everybody napping except Jeremy (who doesn't believe in naps).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't quit your day job (oh wait...)

So the baby's hair had started to get ridiculously long, and adding that to the huge bald patches he has on the sides and back of his head, he was just looking goofy. Like a half-hearted punk rocker with a faux mohawk. And a rat tail. So I decided to get over the emotionality of the FIRST HAIRCUT and just do it. Like my mom said "It doesn't have to be some big emotional thing." She's right. Document it, and move on. Moms are so wise.

I figured out a few things after this first haircut episode. 1) I am a terrible hairstylist (it's easy to cut too much) and 2) We should cut the baby's hair when he's sleeping, not when he's wide awake, screaming and squirming.

The BEFORE picture. His hair was wet, but that helps you see how long (and mohawk-ish) it was.
The AFTER picture. You can see the huge alligator tear running down his cheek. Why are mom and dad so MEAN???
The remains. Sad little baby hairs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cows in the road.

The other day a friend from church told me about driving from Pullman to Seattle along Hwy 26, and lo and behold, there was a cow in the road. They had to slam on their brakes, and narrowly avoided hitting the cow. Then they had to wait while the cow (slowly) moved out of their way, so they could continue driving.

This doesn't surprise me much, since there are multitudes of grazing cattle along that highway, and it seems natural that occasionally one would escape to try and cross the road. But it did get me thinking about cows in the road - how they are surprising, inconvenient, and unplanned. Prepare yourself for some semi-coherent bumbling.

The Lord puts cows in our road sometimes. If we're not paying attention, plowing along at 65 miles per hour (maybe distracted by clutter, not keeping our eyes on the prize), a cow in our road can really throw us for a loop - literally it could mean rolling your car. Imagine if you were texting while driving and you didn't see that cow until it was too late? I think that could happen in life too. If we're distracted by, well, a distraction, something other than the Glory of God, maybe that cow in our road will really cause problems.

If we're driving defensively, expecting the cow in the road, we're able to keep a cool head when we fly around a corner and see that cow standing there. We can control our vessel, slow down, and wait with grace for the cow that has interrupted our life path. If we keep our eyes on the bigger picture, 1/2 mile down the road, we can more clearly see what's coming and avoid devastation and catastrophe.

Now, I realize I'm speaking as someone blessed enough to never have dealt with a true "cow in the road." I've had a happy, healthy life. My cows have lingered more on the shoulder of the road, causing me to swerve, but not come to a complete screeching halt. I thank the Lord for this every time I remember. But I do trust him, and while it may be easy to say now, I know His plan for me is better than my plan.

The best part is: even if I may not see the cow until it's too late, I will still be held lovingly, to heal, in the palm of the hand of the One.

James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Hebrews 4:16 - Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 - "I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD. "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My favorite things - Baby edition

I have already done "My favorite things" posts for summer and winter, so I thought it would be appropriate if I did a baby version. Of course, Isaac is only 4 1/2 months old, so there will surely be lots of things to love in the coming months. But having passed the newborn stage and having starting to get things "figured out," here's some stuff I love. These are things I would advocate to any new mom friends, for sure.

1. Gerber Flannel Burp Cloths - These are by far the most absorbent, best burp cloths we have used. And Isaac is such a spitter, they are an absolute necessity. They also wash really well, and come in boy, girl, and neutral colors.
2. Evenflo Exersaucer - We bought ours used off of Craigslist, which worked out great. When Isaac was about 10 weeks old, he started to get really bored being on his back all the time, and he didn't tolerate tummy time. So even though the Exersaucer is only recommended for babies 4 months and older, we let him use it because he was so strong and had great head control. It was amazing. For the first time, he allowed us to put him down. It was a huge relief for us.
3. Water-filled teething ring - Since Isaac teethed so early (had 2 teeth by 3 1/2 months) it was hard for him to hold onto and control teething toys, because he was still working on hand-to-mouth coordination. So for us, we had to find a small, easy-to-grab teething ring. We used the butterly-shaped one above quite a bit.
4. Baby Einstein Take-Along Tunes - Isaac is obsessed with digital lights. For example, he can see the printer power button from the chair I feed him in. I can't let him see it, though, until he's done eating, because he gets so distracted by it! Sometimes when he sees lights he just SMILES like "This is what I have been waiting all day for!" It's hilarious. This toy not only plays music and lights up, but it plays classical music instead of some obnoxious kiddy song, so it's tolerable for adults too. It's also small enough that he can chew on it to his heart's content. This is my "Go-To" toy that I keep in the diaper bag for when Isaac is fussy in public and I really need to calm
him down fast.

5. Nuby Flip N Sip Cup - Isaac is still working on learning to drink from the sippy cup. But this is the one that was recommended by other moms I know, and I really like it so far. It can close, which is great for the diaper bag. It also has a straw, so baby doesn't have to figure out the mechanics of how to tip the cup upside down to get a drink. I also love the rubber grips on the two handles; they make it very easy to hold.
6. Safety 1st Recline and Grow Feeding Seat - We have a very small house. To add a high chair to our dining room really was not an option. Instead we bought this booster/space saver high chair. It hooks onto a seat, and I adore it. It's easy to clean (the tray can go in the dishwasher) and Isaac likes to sit in it while we eat dinner, even if he's not eating.
7. Graco Snugride 32 Car Seat - I never would have bought a car seat this expensive, except that in order for it to be compatible with the BOB stroller (see #8), we needed to get a specific car seat. The upside to this one is that most infant car seats only go up to 22 lbs. Isaac is about 17 already, and his 8-month old friend is passing the 22 lb marker. The Snugride 32 goes up to 32 lbs. Which means, that I can keep him rear-facing (much safer) and in this seat until he reaches 32 lbs. Here's to not buying a new car seat until Isaac is a year and a half!
8. BOB Revolution Stroller - This was a gift from my mom (thanks, mom!). We had heard that this was the best stroller on the market and worth the extra dough. It's true. This stroller handles like a dream, is easy to pack up, and is comfy for baby. We used the car seat attachment until Isaac was almost 4 months (I believe manufacturer recommendation is 6 months), when he was strong and stable enough to stay supported in just the straps - which are great, by the way. The downside to this stroller is that I had to buy attachments (I got the car seat adapter [$60] and the handlebar console [$30]) but both were worth the money. One mom stopped me on the street the other day and said "Good for you, getting the good gear with your first baby. We
bought the cheap stuff with our first and had to replace it all for babies #2 and 3!"
9. Bumgenius One Size Pocket Diapers - I have loved cloth diapering Isaac. Disposable diapers seem like a waste to me. A waste of money, a waste of landfill space, etc. That being said, I can understand how someone who hates laundry would hate the idea of cloth diapering. Luckily, laundry is my favorite chore. The one-size BG's fit from 7-35 lbs, so they are supposed to fit for the whole time your babies are in diapers, all the way up to potty training. We'll see about that! The elastic and velcro also make these easy as pie for dads and babysitters/nursery/daycare workers etc. I have a stash of 28 diapers, some of which I bought new, some second-hand from EBay or the BG site, and some are called "Haute Pockets," which are a lower-quality (read: cheaper) brand. My goal is to use these for a 2nd baby, so while they were an investment at
first, in the long run they will save gobs of money. *HA! As I sit here typing this, Isaac is in the bouncer next to me pooping into a BG - grunting and all. I'm confident, though, because we have WAY fewer blowouts in the cloth diapers than in the disposables. :)
10. Carter's Sleep Sacks - I like that these are long sleeved so when it's warm out, I can just put Isaac down to bed in this and a diaper. Also, Carter's has been my very favorite brand of baby clothes. Very cute and durable.

The bottom line is that babies are expensive. There's no getting around that. But the market is full of wonderful things that make being a mom smoother and easier. Every baby is different, and like my friend Jessi said, babies don't need too much stuff!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Foray into the world of "food"

Isaac turned 4 months today (Happy Birthday, baby!), and we got the green-light from the doctor to try infant cereals. These are really thin grain cereals mixed with breast milk, providing a little extra iron to baby, and teaching him "how to eat." Today we tried rice cereal, which is usually the first to try, because it's really easy to digest.

Here's a little photo essay of our attempt.

This is how I knew he was ready to try eating - total fascination when mom and dad eat:
Step 1 - So excited to be in the new high chair and ready to eat!!!
Step 2 - First bite - no idea what's going on, but open to a new experience.
Step 3 - A couple bites in - "Hmmm, okay, this is yummy. Gimme that spoon!!"
Step 4 - "Mommy I am DONE with this. I gave it my best, but I am NOT hungry anymore."

I call the whole experiment a success (for the first try). He definitely needs more practice with this eating thing, but I'm proud of him for trying! I think I should try eating cereal before he gets his bottle - he had just finished eating 5 oz of breast milk when we tried today. I guess it's a learning process for both of us! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just had to share

This is by far the cutest thing on the Internet. This woman is on maternity leave, and doing the blog as her project. She imagines what her baby girl is dreaming about while she naps, and then creates that scene around her. I could never be this creative or motivated!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brutal Honesty

The last four months have been humbling for me. Becoming a mother is humbling - you learn that you don't know everything, can't do everything, and that your baby will be different from the babies in the books and your friends' babies.
I've learned I am a limited person. There's only so much I can handle. Example: the other day, in the afternoon Isaac was on his third or fourth hour of fussing, with very little napping (20
minutes tops?) and I was changing his diaper, and he was just screaming, and I had to take a second to just close my eyes and breathe. I'm working on "resiliency."

Additionally, being laid off (or I guess more accurately, "fired") is quite humbling. And then, being unemployed and job hunting is its own kind of humbling: "Do I meet the minimum requirements?" "Could I handle this job if I were to be hired?" It's difficult to sell myself effectively through countless cover letters.

Fortunately, while I have been humbled (which, I think, was exactly what I needed), I really don't think I'm in a crisis, and I feel very secure in the Lord. I know He will provide! If I'm being honest with myself, I know I never would have quit my old job on my own. So I'm excited to see what His new plan is for me. I also know He won't give me more than I can handle with Isaac.

This sweet, punkin boy. I am so incredibly grateful for my time at home with him. He certainly has challenging days, but he's so snuggly and has the sweetest little giggle. He is almost four months old and is changing so quickly! He has two teeth already (so we've been dealing with the joys of teething) and he's been trying so hard to roll over! Soon I will be buying fleece to protect the new crib from the beaver baby (when he can sit and pull himself up to chew on crib rails)!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

If that's not love, folks, I don't know what is

I love being a mom. I have this fun little guy to hang out with every day. He needs me, and I think I need him too! He has been such a blessing to us, and he's so strong and healthy, I really feel lucky. He's also a trooper - he has been all over the place with us, spending just about as much time away from home lately as at home. First we went to Phoenix for eight days, then we spent a week out at my parents' lake cabin with my sister. This last weekend we were in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene to see family and watch the Ironman race. Isaac has handled most of this extremely well. He adapts really well to new environments, and charms everyone he sees.

BUT (there's always a but, right?) he's in a phase right now where he HATES the car. He'll scream when we get him in his car seat until he runs out of voice or energy. Sometimes this means 10 minutes, other times it means 45. I read in a magazine that when you have a crying infant in your car, your driving skills diminish by 50%. The article suggested that when your baby starts to cry, find a safe place to pull over and attend to him. Well, since Isaac doesn't really "need" anything (he's always freshly fed and diapered), attending to him really wouldn't be much help at all. Plus, we'd never get anywhere. So, I guess the poor little guy will just have to learn to deal with the car.

So on Sunday as we were headed back to Pullman from Spokane, Isaac cried for a few minutes, fell asleep, and slept most of the way in the car, which is wonderful. But then he woke up hungry just as we arrived home. I took him inside and he just started screaming. I mean, full-on, out-and-out, hysterical, I HATE BEING ALIVE screaming. So I changed his diaper. He proceeded to scream, and pee all over me and the nursery. Got the new diaper on, and picked him up to comfort him. More SCREAMING. Then he projectile-vomited, managing to cover himself, me, the dresser, and the carpet in puke. Finally he calmed down with his bottle, and all was right in his world again, but it was one of those 10-minute parenting snapshots that you wish you could videotape and show to high school kids as teen pregnancy prevention education.

I would not endure 45-minute car crying sessions or being covered in bodily fluid for everyone. But I will, gladly, for this little punkin. Here he is in his life jacket at the lake, looking particularly chunky.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Turning Points

We've come to several turning points in our lives, I think.
1) Jeremy's brother Andrew got married last Saturday. It was a stunning, Godly wedding and we are SO happy for them! I hope they are having a safe, glorious time in Taiwan. We had an incredible time vacationing in Arizona, although traveling with a baby is high stress! The bridal party:
Us at the Grand Canyon:
2) My sister is getting married, exactly one month from today. How exciting! Wedding craziness begins on Saturday with her Bridal Shower.
3) Isaac has had his own turning point, just becoming such a fun little guy! He smiles (almost laughs) at me every day, has really started STARING at things, and is developing a little personality. I love seeing him hang out in his Exer-saucer, because he LOVES being upright and checking out those toys! Here he is swimming in AZ:
4) I find myself abruptly and unexpectedly unemployed. I found out a few weeks ago that my contract is not being renewed for next year, so I am contemplating what to do next. Of course Isaac is so little that it would be nice to stay home with him for a little while, so I'm not job-hunting real aggressively yet. I was disappointed to see my job come to an end, but I know God has a plan and I know it will be a good one. Because of that, I'm actually kindof excited to see what comes next!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Intro to Summer

Ugh, I can't believe I haven't done a post since the labor story a month ago. I hear moms say it all the time, but time FLIES with a little baby. We are having so much fun with Isaac, learning a lot, and doing a lot of snuggling. He's a great baby - a little fussy sometimes because of his reflux, but just loves to snuggle and sleeps really well at night! He's sleeping 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours straight every night now, ever since he turned seven weeks old. It was like a switch flipped for him, and he could sleep really well all of a sudden. I know we're lucky in that regard. Jeremy and I are both people who LOVE sleep, so we're feeling very blessed with a baby who likes to sleep too.

Isaac has reflux (as mentioned above). Like father like son, I guess. Jeremy is on Prilosec and Isaac is on infant Zantac. Also it turns out we were overfeeding him (he's 12 lbs 10 oz already!), so we've cut down on his amount of food, which makes him want to eat more often (every two hours!). But I've come to the conclusion that he is just a hungry baby.

A week from today we are heading down to Arizona to spend a week with family before Jeremy's brother gets married down there. It should be a really fun vacation and I am excited for the heat and the time spent with family. A family wedding is such a great way to kick off summer! Then, we get to do it all over again when my sister gets married in July.

This summer will be so fun! Now, if it would heat up to more than 45 degrees during the day in Pullman!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The labor story

Going into my labor, I had a few goals: 1) Try and labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. 2) Try to give birth without pain meds – I would take them if I thought it was necessary, but wanted to try it without. 3) Breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery. The Lord teaches us lessons. Mine was that things don’t go along with my plan, but His.

Being two days past my due date felt like I had gone two weeks past. J I know that’s silly to say, but because the doctors had been telling me I’d “most likely deliver early” due to the gestational diabetes, I thought for sure I would have had a baby by my due date! Of course most first time moms go past their due dates, so two days was really no big deal, but I honestly felt like I couldn’t possibly be pregnant one second longer. And Jeremy was itching to become a dad, so I was doing all I could to stimulate labor contractions! I’d gone on long walks, eaten spicy food, and yes, we’d tried having sex, too, which is an accomplishment at 40+ weeks pregnant!! Saturday night (3/27) I read on the Internet that pineapple can stimulate labor. So I ate half a pineapple before bed.

At four o’clock in the morning, I started having contractions. They were about 15 minutes apart, so I tried to sleep in between and lasted for about 2 hours before I woke Jeremy up and told him I was in labor. I took a 6:00 a.m. shower, because I wanted to be clean if this was the day the baby was coming, and I couldn’t sleep any more. Afterward I ate breakfast, called the parents and siblings, and finished packing the hospital bag. (P.S. It’s hard to do those things while in active labor!) At 8:45, I called the hospital to let them know I would be coming in soon, because my contractions were 7-10 minutes apart, and lasting 45-90 seconds. They said I’d probably be okay if I wanted to stay home and labor for another hour or so, that would be fine, but then to come in.

At 9:15, things really started moving quickly. I told Jeremy I didn’t want to wait any more for his mom (my doula) and that it was REALLY time to go to the hospital. Now. So off we went, and we’re probably lucky we live in a small town, and it’s only five minutes to Pullman Regional, because I had a contraction in the car and another at the reception desk. The nurses got me into my room and my gown very quickly, and checked my cervix. I was 8 centimeters dilated and in transition! Since I was Strep B positive, they threw an IV in my arm (for antibiotics) and called the doc, saying “Get here right away – baby’s coming!” At this point, the nurses expected the baby to come within the hour.

Hearing that, two thoughts crossed my mind: 1) I’m not ready to push – this is going way too fast, and 2) If I’ve come this far without pain meds, I can certainly last another hour. So the doctor arrives, and confirms that I’m 8 cm along, and he breaks my water, thinking it will stimulate the last two centimeters of dilation. Pretty soon after this, I start feeling the urge to push, and the nurses and my doula are encouraging me to do whatever my body says (which is nice). The doctor came in and watched me push for a while, and told me that the baby was “sunnyside-up,” meaning instead of coming out facing the floor, he wanted to come out facing the ceiling, which is a problem because that means I would have to push out the widest part of his head. The doc says if I continue to push, and try different positions, the baby could turn as he descends down the birth canal. So I spent the next 2 ½ hours pushing in different positions. I tried a reclining position, the birthing ball, squatting, right side, left side, hands and knees, and worst of all, the “Texas Roll,” which is a modern form of torture where my head was lowered below my hips, and I was pushing upward. Two words to sum it up: excruciating and exhausting.

In the end, the baby’s heart rate stopped recovering after each contraction and attempt at pushing. The doc told me I’d probably have to have a cesarean section, which of course I didn’t want, but after my ordeal, I was just ready for it all to END, so I was happy to sign the release form (in a very shaky hand, by the way) and start prepping for surgery.

Now, as I mentioned before, Pullman is a very small hospital. And this was a Sunday. On Sundays Pullman Regional only staffs one anesthesiology team, and they were already tied up in a surgery they couldn’t leave. I was told that we were waiting on a team to come over from Moscow, ID (8 miles away). All in all, it took an hour from the point when the doc said a C-section was necessary until I was wheeled into the OR. The nurses had tried to give me some medication to stop my contractions, but they were going so strong at that point that it only served to slow them down some (every 5 minutes instead of every 2). I was very grouchy that this medicine didn’t work all the way! The nurses were VISIBLY worried about the baby, crowding around the monitor and pressing the Doppler into my belly quite hard, to get accurate readings.

The following are the things that were happening at this point that I was not aware of (thank goodness): 1) The anesthesiologist from Idaho was in question because nobody knew if he was licensed to practice in Washington. 2) There was talk of moving me to Moscow via ambulance or to Spokane via helicopter if the team did not work out VERY SOON. 3) The doctor was quite upset, arguing with people on the phone and not speaking to my family about what was going on, because of his concern for the baby.

In the end, it all worked out. The Idaho anesthesiologist was licensed to practice in Washington. He got there in time. The surgery prep team was wonderful and kept me calm. They gave me a spinal, and from the moment the pain was gone, I was a happy camper. Jeremy said when he came into the OR I had a goofy smile on my face. They delivered Isaac within minutes, I heard him scream and got to kiss him before he went to the nursery with dad, then had a nice chat with the docs and the anesthesiologist while they stitched me up. Isaac was able to come into the recovery room while they monitored me, so that we could breastfeed as soon as possible after the surgery.

As it turned out, Isaac was wrapped twice with his umbilical cord, once around his neck and once around his abdomen. So, try as I might, every time I tried to push him out, the cord would bungee him back up. There would have been no way I could have delivered him vaginally. Thank God for modern medicine - I'm scared to think what might have happened if a C-section wasn't an option. The postpartum hospital stay (3 nights post-cesarean) was wonderful, from the nurses to the pediatricians to the food, it was all great! Next time, I know I have the option to do another C-section or try and deliver vaginally. If I do try, one word – EPIDURAL. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I tried it once without meds, and the pain was most certainly worth it. I just don’t see any reason to do it again!! One last note - Jeremy would have made a good doctor. He's very cute in scrubs! I know someone got a picture of him - I'll have to find it. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Okay, so I probably won't hit ALL the ways, but quite a few! For my baby, Isaac Raymond Wang, born at 2:55 p.m. on March 28th, 2010, the reason I haven't done a blog post in almost a month.
1. I love that you are put here to challenge your parents, and make your mom a stronger person! From your very entrance to the world (labor story coming soon) you were big on the drama and suspense!
2. I love that you baffle nurses. You baffled them when you would NOT come out of mom. You baffled them when you were so BIG (8 lbs 12 oz, 21 inches long). You baffled them when your blood sugar kept spiking and dropping that first night. You baffled them when you SCREAMED a lot in the hospital (they said you must have quite a temper). You baffled them when you kept testing positive for jaundice but they didn't think you looked yellow at all. You baffled them when you gained a full POUND in five days. "Average" is not in your vocabulary.
3. I love that when you're nursing you can go from content to OUTRAGED in 2 seconds. You can also go from "screaming bloody murder" to "sleeping" in 2 seconds.
4. I love your newborn smiles, even if they just mean that you're peeing.
5. Speaking of bodily functions, I love that I can hear you fart/poop from across our entire house.
6. I love that you were born with a full head of hair (and a widow's peak like your daddy) and blue eyes. I'm excited to see what color they become permanently.
7. I love the way you smell - even when you're poopy.
8. I love that you're not a screamer. Please oh please, stay that way, for mommy and daddy's sanity.
9. I love that even though you're not very good at nursing, you go at it FULL FORCE, so you still get enough nourishment and we don't have to supplement with formula. We're team, and we'll get better over time!
10. I love that you sleep with your arms up over your head, and you wiggle them out of the swaddle! The nurses said this is because you did a 9-month handstand on my bladder. Sounds about right!
11. I love that you could hold your head up (for short periods of time) at 2 days old.
12. I love the bond you and your daddy have, already. I know you guys will be best buds.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3 days and counting

I realized yesterday that I hadn't taken a belly picture since I was 36 weeks along, and since that's almost a month ago, I figured I'd regret not taking an "end of pregnancy pic." However, it was a stretch, because I feel about as photogenic as a cow lately. So here I am, in all my 39 weeks and 4 days of pregnant glory.

Anyway, I have no news, nothing exciting happening besides waiting (patiently?) for baby to make his appearance. I have an ultrasound tomorrow to see exactly how big this kid is... My guess is he'll be born at 9 lbs 4 oz. A whopper of a kid! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The countdown

There's a song that's always played at Cougar Basketball games. In fact, it's really overplayed at Cougar sports - I think we play it at volleyball and football too. The pep band plays it after player introductions, right before tipoff. They play it over the sound system when there are only minutes (or seconds) to go in the game, and somebody calls a timeout. You guessed it: it's The Final Countdown. (link is to some goofy college guys with their air band in a dorm room - pretty funny)

Anyway, in my line of work, I hear this song a lot. And right now, I think it applies to the baby I'm hefting around all over town. It's the Final Countdown, alright. That noise you hear? That's the timer going off on this bun in the oven! On Friday I (the baby?) will officially be "full term."

Jeremy took this photo of me last Friday night, before he took me to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival concert. The music was AMAZING. But I was sitting on a hard bleacher for 3 1/2 hours and got pretty uncomfortable. We got home at 12:30 a.m. I haven't seen 12:30 a.m. in MONTHS. Maybe a year. I feel so old.
So anyway, since the baby could technically come any time, the nursery is about done. I took some pics. Here ya go!
The blue accent wall:
I'd say this is my favorite thing in the nursery right now - we found a BEAGLE nightlight, in the exact colors that we decorated the nursery. I felt so releived we could include Reggie in the baby's room! Don't mind the poorly painted outlet - we didn't do it. :)