Friday, June 30, 2006

Let's go to the movies...


Wednesday (6-28-06) night was Cassandra's first big screen movie adventure. If you couldn't have guessed it, we took her to see Superman Returns. RD and I rated it as AWESOME! You SO have to see it. Of course, we're pretty into the Super Hero thing so we may carry a biased opinion. No sex, very little (if any) foul language. Cassandra was a trooper. We went to the 10:30pm showing in Kokomo. Other than her one major blow-out (which included an entire wardrobe change), she did great. People probably thought we were crazy bringing an infant to the theatre, but she was wonderful. She even watched the movie at a few points... most the other time, she was "eating munchies" under the nursing blanket. :-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

seriously weird

You guys have SO gotta check this out. A cell phone ring that only young people can hear. Read it and see if you can hear it on this article. I can still hear it- apparently 27 still qualifies me as young! :-)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

To sling or not to sling, that is the question

Here's a topic I'm interested in getting feedback on. I am currently a Baby Bjorn user and have used it for all three of my kids. Then I get to reading up on this thing called a sling. One of my girlfriends in Michigan swears by them but I myself have never used one. Was wondering if anyone out there has tried one or is currently using one. What do you think? I signed up here for a chance to win a free one. You never know. Maybe I'll be lucky this one time in my life. :-) They seem sort of pricey so I don't think RD and I will be purchasing one anytime soon. But I'm definately interested in hearing what you other women think about slings. Also read an interesting article on that Choosing Home webpage that talked about baby-wearing that was quite interesting.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Miscellaneous


We put Cassandra in Benjamin's crib one day and Benjamin started loving on her. He got pretty affectionate, as you can see.


This swimsuit cracked me up. He looked like he had dynamite strapped to his waist.


Taken on 6/22.


Me and Cassandra out by the kiddy pool the other day.

I'm singing in the rain



Here are a few pics of my "all boy" son playing heartily in the rain last Sunday. While visiting "uncle" Kris and "aunt" Rebekah's house after church, we experienced some really heavy rainfall. What started out as a "hey kids, let's watch the rain from the front porch" turned into an all-out play fest in the rain. Arianna played in the rain, too, but didn't get nearly as soaked. She'd run out in spurts and scamper back to the safe/dry porch. She showed more interest in the draining water from the roof. Benjamin, though, went for the gusto and loved every minute of it. There wasn't a dry inch on his body when the rain stopped. Glad we brought a change of clothes in his diaper bag!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Milk Banks

Was checking out one of my new most favorite websites called breastfeeding.com and came across this article. For some reason it caught my eye. Followed the link to the National Milk Bank. Donating excess human breastmilk to milk banks in the US to feed premature/ill babies... Hmmm. Not to say I'd do it, but I'm curious to see what y'all think about such a prospect. Never even crossed my mind to donate. Now, I have thought about selling mine on e-bay for a profit. -wink- I can hear it now... "Oh, me?... What do I do for a living? Oh. I'm a stay-at-home mom. But I also work out of the home part-time selling my breastmilk on-line. We've already saved up enough to purchase our first home." har-har.

But seriously, I know the concept is strange, but what do you think about milk banks?

My 1 month old

Taken 6-4-06

Milk-tongued


It's been a month (from today) since our precious baby girl was born. In one regard, it seems like it was a lifetime ago... and yet in another, it seems the month has flown by. I think we're finally adjusting to having a third child in the home, too. Praise God we were given another good sleeper, too. She only gets up 1, maybe 2 times during the night and that's mostly because she's still battling a cold. She is such a joy. I absolutely LOVE this newborn/infant stage! She's growing like a weed, too. The midwife weighed her at our 3-wk. check-up and she'd already gained 1 pound and grew 2 inches! Go mommy-milk. It's the breast, I mean, the best.

Thanks for all of you that have been praying for our family during this time. Adjusting to three kids under three is no small feat. Benjamin and Arianna have come to adore their little sister and are so gentle with her. They bring her toys, they try to play with her, they talk to her (ok, Arianna talks; Benjamin grunts)... And Bejamin's misbehavior and Arianna's excessive whining have slowly been waning, too. Mommy and daddy are getting their precious sleep. A new daytime routine is starting to form. It's really going well and I know it's largely due to everyone's prayers. Thanks SO much.




Here's the three of them "tenting". They thought it was great
fun that Cassandra was with them.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Life with Toddlers

Not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure. My lastest prayer has been for the Lord to give me a sense of humor through the day. There's never a dull moment.

Take this morning for example. I just have to laugh... it's either that or cry. I'm just glad no one was videotaping my saga. For my birthday present, I decided to treat myself to a clean vehicle. It's been a long time since the minivan's had a thorough cleaning (ok, since we purchased it 2 years ago) and the Cheerios decor on the floor was quite unfashionable (and stale). It was time. I loaded up my three kids, a blanket, some books and toy trucks, and my trusty Rainbow and headed out to the drive-way. That's when I discovered that the garage door had to be opened manually as it is currently "out of order" (the garage housed the only wall outlet available). So, I told the kids to "stay" (yeah right) while I ran back downstairs to get RD (who was busy getting dressed and taking a business call on his cell) to help. He said he'd be right there (which really means "give me ten more minutes"). After distracting the kids for those ten minutes, I finally got my vacuum plugged in and I was ready to go. That's when Cassandra started throwing a fit because she didn't want to be sitting in her carseat anymore. I pick up Cassandra and headed for the car, lying her down in the passenger seat while I vacuumed around her. As she finally calmed down, that's when I noticed that Benjamin had meandered all the way down to the pole barn where RD's office is. So then I had to run and round up Toddler #2 and bring him back to where I was working. He sat on the blanket with Arianna to read a book. Two seconds later, a fight broke out because Arianna didn't want to share. After breaking up the fight, I finally decided to let the kids sit in the car while I vacuumed around them, too. This idea worked great until Benjamin discovered how to put the car into Neutral. Not only was the car slowly moving down the driveway, but the Hazard lights were blinking to boot (thanks to Arianna). So, I chased the car down the driveway and threw it into park. After moving the car back to the garage and explaining (as calmly as I could) that what they did was a no-no, I strapped Benjamin to his carseat and was actually able to finish vacuuming my car!!! Yeah! Then, my father-in-law had to get out of the garage and I had to move my van since I had him blocked in. No problem. Grandpa watched the kids as I hopped into the car. "We're almost to the finish line", I thought to myself patting myself on the back for a job well done. Then, I turned the car on... Here's what happened: blaring radio on a country station (yuck), air conditioning blowing every which way because the registers were cocked in every way possible, headlights on, left turn signal blinking, only one overhead light on, and the windshield wipers going full speed... It was as if there was a short in my car and it was going psycho on me.

Oh, how I love toddlers. :-)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Pros we experienced with homebirth

Like I said in the last blog, homebirthing isn't for everyone, but RD and I (now having experienced both hospital and home births) would chose homebirthing hands-down (unless there was some sort of medical problem that needed medical attention). We are what is considered "low-risk" when it comes to pregnancy and delivery so that helped in our decision to birth at home. Sometimes though, what makes a woman "moderate" to "high risk" is sometimes actually doctor induced by preventative measures. If any of you are at all considering homebirth, may I take as moment and highly recommend you reading a book entitled "The Thinking Woman's Guide To a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. Excellent and very informative. Another thing that sealed the deal for us was our initial consultation with our midwife. She was incredible. RD and I met with her for 2 hours! And every prenatal appointment then on was about 1 hour each (and we met just as much as I did with the OB/GYN). She was a stickler on nutrition (which helped keep me "low risk" throughout the pregnancy) and monitored me very closely during the pregnancy. Midwives are trained to know what is "normal"... so the instant something looks abnormal, they either fix it before it becomes a problem or they refer to a doctor. Our midwife has delivered over 700 babies so she's seen just about everything. She knew what she was doing.

Here's a list of other pros RD and I experienced with homebirthing:

1) quicker birth- now I realize that this was our third child and that my body knew what it was doing (my chiropractor was joking today about how with #4 all I'll have to do is cough and I'll have the baby- ha ha) but I truly believe that since I was at home and I was extremely comfortable it helped speed things along. With the past two pregnancies, my labor slowed down (nearly stopping) when I got to the hospital. But this time I was in my natural surroundings, everything was familiar... I was comfortable and at ease.

2) privacy and modesty- I only had one internal exam by one person... and that was right before the baby was born. When I had Arianna and Benjamin, I can't even tell you how many times I had people sticking their fingers, well, you know where. And when I was in labor at the hospital, there were even complete strangers coming in and giving me internals to check on my progress. With all that finger prodding a woman's risk for infection is much higher.

3) less infection- since we're on the subject of infection... people are immune to the bacteria and germs in their own homes. Who knows what's going around at the hospital! I know they take a ton of measures to steralize, but still, the risk is there.

4) clothing- I got to wear what I wanted to wear. No backless dresses for me!

5) overnight stays- the only bag we packed was an overnight one for the kids. Everything I needed was right with me, totally accessible. Food, clothing, toothbrush, contact solution, my beloved La-Z-Boy rocking chair, etc. Nothing had to be packed but a few kids clothes and diapers.

6) cost- we ended up paying nearly $5000 per child at the hospital. Unless you have excellent maternity coverage on your insurance plan, you'll end up paying out the rear for your child. Since RD owns his own business and has private insurance, maternity coverage was unbearably expensive and it didn't cover a whole lot. With inflation, we paid just as much for Benjamin's birth (no drugs- not even Tylenol, no IV, 1 day stay, brought all our own baby stuff from home) as we did for Arianna's (Nubain, epidural, full 2-1/2 day stay, IV, catheter). Have you ever asked the hospital to give you an itemized list of everything you paid for? You'd be amazed at how much you paid for that nose sucker, the stretchy underpants, the incontinency pads, etc. The cost for our midwife (including pre and post-natal care): $1800.

7) non-invasive- no poking, prodding, needles, IV's, invasive procedues (like internal fetal monitoring, artifitial sac ruptures, episiotomies, etc.), fetal monitoring (that keeps you confined to a bed), etc.

8) lighting- we kept the lights dim. For some reason I felt more comfortable with very little lighting. When Cassandra was born, she didn't scream or fuss. She was so quiet and alert. I've never had a baby born like that. My kids immediately pitched a fit at the hospital under all those flourescent lights.

9) breastfeeding- my milk came in in a record 36 hours! Cassandra nursed nearly constantly that first day and night after birth. That, and the birth kit we ordered had some sort of herbal mother's milk tea in it that I drank those first few days. Tea mixed with constant nursing and my milk came in super quick. Most hospitals will allow mom and baby to "room-in" but they also don't encourage it since "mommy needs her rest". With both Arianna and Benjamin, the nurses were constantly encouraging me to let them take my babies to the nursery (or the nurses station), especially at night, so I could get some sleep. I enjoyed the sleep, but, with only seeing my babies every 2-3 hours, it took a lot longer for my milk to come in.

10) attachment- on the subject of nursing, I mentioned that Cassandra and I were nearly inseperable that first day and night... I can't begin to tell you how precious that time together has been. Yes, I got to bond with my other two kids immediately after birth, but the bonding was cut short as the nurses brisked them away to clean them, give them their first shot(s), give them those goopy eye drops, dress them, etc. It was so completely different with Cassandra. I got to bond with her like I've never been able to before. We were nearly inseperable from birth. In fact, the only way to get her to sleep that first night was to let her nurse nearly all night. And if she wasn't nursing, she was sleeping right up against my bare skin. I can't quite describe it, but my relationship with her is different... closer. My midwife told me things will probably be different as she grows up too because we bonded differently. She recommended this book. I'm definately interested in reading up on this topic since my experience with Cassandra.

Ok, I think that's pretty much it. We totally enjoyed our homebirth experience and plan on doing it again if/when #4 comes along. It's not for everyone, but it was perfect for RD, Cassandra, and I.