Friday, December 28, 2007

Kid stats

I just weighed and measured the girls and here's where they stand:

Lacy: 30 pounds, 39.5 inches tall (26th percentile for weight, 78th percentile for height, BMI right around the 5th percentile about 13.5, which indicates she may be slightly underweight )

Rose: 26 pounds, 33.5 inches tall (66th percentile for weight, 84th percentile for height)

The Story of Stuff

One thing that I'm going to be blogging on here soon is my goals for 2008. One thing I'd like to do is live a more sustainable lifestyle. I found this fact sheet (PDF) from The Story of Stuff website that I'd like to share with you guys. The information is quite alarming. I'm going to be watching the movie Annie Leonard made "The Story of Stuff" hopefully this evening. I'm sure I will be shocked and appalled, and I will go into action. Hopefully some of you guys will also be appalled at what is happening in the world and will join me in living more sustainably.

• In the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s natural
resources base have been consumed.
• In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original
forests left.
• Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable.
• The U.S.has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of
the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
• If everybody consumed at U.S. rates, we would need 3 to 5
• There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today.
• Only a handful of synthetic chemicals have even been tested for
human health impacts and NONE have been tested for synergistic
health impacts.
• In the U.S., industry admits to releasing over 4 billion pounds of
toxic chemicals a year.
• The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they
did 50 years ago.
• We each see more advertisements in one year than a people 50
years ago saw in a lifetime.
• In the U.S. our national happiness peaked sometime in the
• In the U.S., we spend 3–4 times as many hours shopping as our
counterparts in Europe do.
• Average U.S. house size has doubled since the 1970s.
• Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage
a day. That is twice what we each made thirty years ago.
• For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70
garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk
in that one garbage can you put out on the curb

Christmas Morning at our house, part 2: Opening family gifts

We enjoyed exchanging family gifts. We did it really quickly because we wanted to get over to my folk's house before breakfast was over! Fortunately we didn't have a ton of gifts to open. I've featured a photograph of each of our family members: Dad helping Rose opening one of her pairs of jammies:Lacy opening what probably ended up being a pair of jammies:

Dave admiring his new WSU jacket: (GO COUGARS!!!)
Flexible chopping mats! Just what I've always wanted! Thanks, honey!

Family gifts: Rose received-- two pairs of pink jammies, one new outfit, and a pack of underwear. Lacy received-- two pairs of purple jammies, one new outfit, and a pack of Princess underwear (they're days of the week panties-- how awesome is that?). I got-- a new microwave (installed well before Christmas), flexible chopping mats, a new grater that is really nice, and I Am America: And So Can You! by Stephen Colbert. Dave got-- WSU jacket, nice new casual/dress shirt with a t-shirt that goes with it, IPod docking station, tie bar, massager, and handkerchiefs. Each of the girls unwrapped 4 gifts each, Dave unwrapped 6, and I unwrapped 3. I tried keeping it low key this year, and I think I did a pretty good job.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Morning at our house, part 1: The Set-up and Santa

This was the girls' big Christmas present. And boy, it was a whole lot bigger than what I expected when I picked it out from the Toys R Us ad! It barely fit in the living room. When the girls are playing with it in their room, it doesn't fit, and actually bends on one side from a chair in the way. But they make do, and put their tiny toy kitchen on the chair (there's a window so they can reach into it!) and call it their kitchen! OK, maybe their 7 year old friend Hannah, who came over today, taught them that, but it sure was cleaver. Anyway, this is our living room, all ready for the girls. Santa doesn't wrap presents in our house. It was fun to just have them run into the living room and immediately start playing with all their new toys! They didn't get a ton, and I got a lot of great deals, so I think we did pretty good this Christmas. The inside of the tent. Lacy got a magnentic paper doll set (Cinderella of course), binoculars, a jewelry box, and a few other things in her stocking. Rose got the animal sets, toy cars, and some books. They both got an Ariel night light.
Lacy was sound asleep, and I needed her to wake up so we could get started with our day. She would not move. But once I said, "I think Santa came!" she popped right up, and started running down the hall! I had to stop her so I could take a picture!
Our Christmas tree with all the presents under it. I only added them the night of Christmas Eve because Rose would try to open them all! But they were in the closet and Lacy saw them for about a week before they were under the tree. I would frequently find her hiding in the closet, just admiring the presents. She's such a silly girl! Anyway, even though she knew they were there for a while, she still thinks all the presents she got were from Santa!
The girls playing with their new toys. They loved what they got!

Look, Mom! Santa brought a banana! Of course Santa can't be you guys, because Dad's allergic to bananas!

More to come later! I will be adding pictures from our family opening presents, opening presents with the Abersolds, opening funny gifts, and Christmas dinner!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

This is what we saw out of my parent's window this evening:

And we got home to this:

I can't believe we actually had a white Christmas this year! Not the magical Christmas morning snow, but golly, snow on the ground at all is a miracle! We were so excited to have snow. I could hardly get the girls to come inside. Rose especially wanted to play in the snow. Hopefully it will stick around so they can play outside tomorrow morning. And hopefully Dave's commute isn't terrible. He may take the truck. It is 4 wheel drive plus we have chains for it. We could barely get the car up the driveway when we got home! In fact, we had to sweep the snow out of the way, and Dave had to get a running start just to get up the tiny little hill we have!

We had a great Christmas. I'll post in a little bit about our Christmas day. Just had to share the white Christmas photos first!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve! Or, the Giant Playtent (oh no!)

We bought a play tent for the girls for their big gift from Santa this year. I thought it was going to be smallish to medium sized. It is huge. We opened it and it took up the entire space in the living room between the couches and chairs. Shoot. I have no idea where it will fit when they play with it. It will be an outside toy this summer, for sure. And maybe on nice days this winter and spring, too! They're going to like it, but Mom would like it a heckuva lot more if it was smaller!

Last night I was having trouble sleeping because I heard a lot of noise outside. I was a little scared so I decided to do the smart thing and walk into the living room, barefoot in my jammies. I looked out to the back porch and saw this:

Yikes! There were actually two of them at one point. I woke Dave up and we watched these guys for about 10 minutes. Dave opened the door a crack and the first one tried coming in! I was ready to run out and get a gun, 'cause it scared the bejeezers out of me! Then Dave had to go feed them (it is the holidays, after all) and I complained that we might have more frequent visitors due to his feeding them!

I guess Lacy is still not well completely. She had a fever last night and was super crabby tonight at Dave's dad's house. But at least she looked cute!

At one point she was crying and whining so much (I think someone told her no and it shattered her!) that the only person that could console her was Jeremy's girlfriend Melissa. Who gave her a french braid.

Rose was really cute with her cousin Allison. They played together as best as two one-year-olds can. Rose liked to give her hugs and was really sweet, most of the time.

We opened some presents over there and the girls each got a book and an outfit, Rose got a puzzle and a Kelly doll, and Lacy got a lap desk and some body wash. We left there around 7 with the girls in jammies, did spiritual time in the car, and it's a good thing we did. They were just tuckered out after Christmas Eve!

Unfortunately only one of these girls stayed asleep (Lacy). The other is finally back to sleep and I'm considering putting her in bed in a minute so I can start setting up for tomorrow. I think Dave is wrapping some of my presents so I'll wait a few more minutes first.

I'm looking forward to Christmas morning! The girls should love their gifts. We will hurry up and get out of here, bring the ginormous princess castle tent thing with us, have breakfast at the Abersold's, and exchange gifts! I still have to finish up a couple details with Dixon's funny gift, but we're ready to go, otherwise. We got Kurt an awesome gift that I won't divulge on the off chance that he actually reads my blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cute Cousins

My sister babysat my girls today so I could do a little holiday shopping, sans kiddos. After I got back, they were playing in an upstairs bedroom. Lacy said, "I'm Mary." I thought she said "married," so I responded as such, to which she said, "No. MARY." And then Regan, her 4 year old cousin, said, "And I'm the ANGEL!" And apparently Turner (2) was Joseph. A penguin was baby Jesus. Awwww, how cute, cousins playing Nativity!

And while I was away, Leslie (my sister) was holding Rose, her back to Leslie's chest, and Cooper (almost 3 months) was also being held by Leslie, in front of Rose. Rose couldn't get enough of him. She kept hugging him. She would reach around and squeeze for about 10 seconds, let off for a few seconds, and become overwhelmed with love for Cooper and hug him again. This lasted until Cooper decided he was overstimulated and needed some space! My Roo is a little sweetie and adores her baby cousin.

And I got the gift of counterspace for Christmas! Dave installed an over-the-range microwave for me yesterday. I was able to clear off two counter sections completely bare and I only have the one by the fridge occupied with unstoreable stuff, such as big canisters of grans and my Kitchenaid.

Funny story while the microwave was being installed... Dave the other day told me to try some jerkey his buddy Bill made. He told me he brined it in some applesauce and some other weird things. He said, "He put a lot of heart into it." Well, I took that to mean it didn't taste so good, but it was a nice effort. I took a bite and Dave told me that I just ate beef heart. I was so mad at him! I hate being duped! While I set the heart jerkey down so I could recover from the deception, he said, "You're not going to be one of THOSE are you? One who likes it until they find out what it is and then won't eat it anymore?" I grumbled but I ate it and even liked it (but don't tell Dave).

Yesterday I couldn't use the stove or oven, since Dave and Beef Heart Bill were installing the microwave. So I got out the ol' Microwave cooking cookbook and made, from scratch, a meatloaf, in the microwave. It called for an apricot glaze. He said, "you're not putting THAT in the meatloaf are you?" I replied, "No, of course not! This goes on top!" "Gross! I am NOT eating that!" I told him this is what's for dinner, and I'm not making anything else, and he'd better eat it AND like it! Bill told Dave, "She does have a point there." I called him a big old hypocrite and said he had better eat the loaf or he'd be one of those guys who has a total double standard and I won't put up with that!

He ate half the loaf. Bow down to the master microwave chef.

Friday, December 14, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Tonight we went to the local Christmas tree farm and picked out a fine Christmas tree! We had lots of fun wandering around the farm, looking at all the trees, and finally deciding on a very lovely tree. Not too big, smells lovely, fairly full and even. And the top is nice and straight. We haven't set it up yet, but I think we'll do that tomorrow night. I'd like to put some lights out tomorrow, too, but Dave is taking advantage of his last day of elk season. He thought he had given that up when he went to help out in Chehalis, but they extended archery elk season until tomorrow. I guess that's what you call good karma!

Anyway, here is our tree, and our cute little decorations. OK, so you can barely see it. It was dusk. I'll have better pictures of it after it's all decorated.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Items of importance, from a 3-year-old's perspective

I'm really mad tonight. I'm having issues with a couple doctor's offices that aren't my fault. And instead of ranting and raving about them and making myself more angry, when I can't even do anything about them until tomorrow when they're open again, I'm going to post something very light and fun, to put me (and you!) in a good mood!

Today I found two purses of Lacy's that she packed with Important Items for some quick trips. I went through them and was going to put the purses and everything in them away, but I thought you'd get a kick out of what she finds important enough to pack up for a trip.

Purse #1-- white satin with pearl handle:
*sparkley purple sunglasses
*cloth baby wipe
*frilly ponytail holder
*pair of plastic Disney princess clip-on earrings
*tiny rubber snake (appears to be a cobra)

Purse #2-- furry purple with "Princess" embroidered on it:
*a toothbrush for both Lacy AND Rose
*wooden block ("L" and "Y" on the sides)
*broken blue beaded bracelet
*giant plastic toy fishing treble hook
*plastic heart-shaped clip-on earrings
*incredibly gaudy plastic "fancy" necklace

Do I have a girly-girl, or what?

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's the Christmas Season!

We're finally starting to feel somewhat better after more than TWO WEEKS of illness in our home. Somehow Dave got out of being sick. That is a first for him! But I'm extremely grateful because he never had to go to work feeling very ill. The girls both had a day of the pukes, and two weeks of coughs and runny noses, with Lacy's case being worse off than Rose's. Of course this is Lacy's first cold and flu season without the extra boost of Mama Milk to keep her going! I almost feel guilty about weaning her for that reason. Almost.

Many of you may have heard of the floods and devastation that has occurred in Lewis County, Washington. Tonight there was apparently a news story about all the Mormons who helped out in the area. All the volunteers from our church wore yellow shirts and were doing everything they could to help out in this extreme time of need. Dave decided to blow off the very last day of elk season in order to go down to Chehalis to help out in some of the hardest hit areas. I only wish I could go as well, but having a nursing toddler means an all-day excursion is not an option for me. It's been 7 months since I quit my job, and I doubt she will fall asleep for anyone else at this point at nap time!

Tonight while driving home, Dave had a strong prompting to go visit a family that lives nearby. He tried to ignore the prompting but it was so strong that he could not. When he arrived at this family's home, the wife answered the door, "what brings you here?" Dave told her, "I'm not sure. I just felt like I really needed to be here." This wonderful sister broke down into sobs and started telling Dave that her grandson was just rushed back to the hospital after being released recently from a four-day stay, for RSV and pneumonia. I was very touched to hear of a situation where the spirit prompted someone to help someone else who needed a shoulder to cry on.

OK, I'm getting close to the end now! If you're still with me, you will be rewarded for coming to the end of this post! We had our ward Christmas party tonight, and I got to dress up my little angels in their Christmas dresses. I must say that my cuties were the best dressed of all the children there. We left the party just after 8 (which is after their bedtime!) and headed home, and both girls were in bed by 9. A late night, but they had a good time, and were sure cute tonight! And I have photographic evidence! Keep in mind that this is after the party (this airheaded blogger remembered to bring our camera but forgot a memory card! D'oh!) and both girls were up past their bedtime. I still think they turned out pretty cute!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Let it snow!

We got really excited Saturday night. It started snowing! This was good for two reasons: 1. Snow is fun, and it's fun to watch little kids play in the snow. 2. Dave didn't have to work the next day, so he didn't have to worry about driving to Seattle in bad weather! (OK, so those of us in Washington know about the downpour and flooding that happened on Monday, so I guess he did have to drive to Seattle in bad weather after all, just not in the snow. And I just discovered that my favorite BBQ joint was destroyed due to the weather! Boo hoo!) We ended up getting at least 4 inches of snow Sunday night. It was really fun watching it dump down on us. I think we got closer to 5 or 6 inches, but the rain had already started by the time we got up Sunday morning.

So Sunday we missed church because we were still sick. But we're not so sick that we can't still have a good time! Mostly we're just contagious, and we don't want to infect the whole ward with this miserable cold that has lasted since Thanksgiving. We bundled up the girls and played in the snow just long enough to build a snowman. That was plenty long for me! Oh yeah, and I took a few pictures!

Friday, November 23, 2007


I wanted to blog this yesterday, but I was so tired last night when I got home I went to bed!!!

Yesterday, Dave took out our nephews Hayden and Porter to go salmon fishing. They weren't having much luck at one area, so they went to another (very muddy) area. As they were going down, Dave realized he had his polarized prescription sunglasses in the truck, so he quickly ran back up to trade them out. After a while, they got home, and Dave realized he couldn't find his glasses anywhere. He cleaned out the entire truck and still could not find them. We said a prayer, and Dave asked Heavenly Father to have Lacy help us find his glasses.

We drove out to the area that Dave went fishing and he looked on the ground for about 10 minutes and no luck. We got out of there, disappointed we didn't find his glasses, and Lacy said, "There are your glasses, Dad!" and she pointed over in Dave's general direction. "Honey, these aren't the glasses I was looking for." "No, Dad, up there!" Oh, the visor! Dave checked, and sure enough there were the glasses! We couldn't believe it! Heavenly Father allowed our 3 year old to find Dave's glasses. We gave a prayer of thanks and went off to dinner.

At my mom's house, Rose said "play" to Kurt's girlfriend Jackie. Then later, one of the girls was crying (Marilyn? Regan? Not Lacy is all I know) and Rose walked out of the living room and said, "She's crying." !!!!!!!!! Her first sentence! That I know of anyway.

My sister Leslie was negotiating on the phone yesterday for a house. In the middle of all this, my friend Emily gives me a call, saying that they're heading in to the hospital soon to have a baby. She was almost 41 weeks, so she was relieved to finally be in labor. I needed to take her daughter Wynnie for the night. After about 15 minutes, we packed up the kids and met them at the hospital. She was very clearly in labor, probably transition. We got Wynnie and left, put three kids to bed, and got a phone call around 9:20, letting us know she had the baby! She was checked when she got there and was 7 cm already, so she decided to go without an epidural. At 8:54, Esme made her way into the world weighing 8 lb on the nose and was 21 inches long. I haven't talked to Emily yet, but mother and baby apparently are just fine. I'll probably take the kids to the hospital sometime today, see if I can drop of Wynnie if someone else is there. I'm very excited for Emily, and for Leslie who made a deal on her new house! YEA!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sick Kids

Both girls are sick. It started late Saturday night (I blogged about it earlier this week) and it's still going on. I'm just glad I didn't take the girls to storytime today! Lacy projectile vomited in the kitchen last night at dinner, and tonight Rose projectile vomited on me, the floor, and herself, requiring an immediate and unpleasant cleanup, including a bathtub sentence of 10 minutes while I cleaned up the living room. Unfortunately Dave was not home as he is working swing shift this week, so I was all by my lonesome cleaning up her mess.

I am just glad I had ice cream on hand. Tonight, I definitely deserved it. I found a half eaten banana (from today, I swear!) and made myself a banana split.

With all this vomit talk, I need to post something pleasant. So here are the girls' fall pictures. I already posted them on the Abersold family blog, so my dear readers who also read that blog will have seen these already.

This next one look familiar? Yes, I replaced last year's cute fall photo with this new and improved cute fall photo. I need to photoshop those peple out of the background and then I think this one will go on the wall.

Sweet! I, like, totally know what happens in the Bible.

My BibleDudes Quiz Score: 11 our of 10

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Go figure

For the past couple of weeks, I have been subbing in Relief Society as the pianist. Today was supposed to be my last day. Well, I did an okay job the last two weeks so I decided this week I was going to get my rear in gear and practice, practice, practice! So Sunday, I picked out three hymns that went along with the upcoming week's lesson, and played those hymns every single day this week. I also prepared myself for the hymns I would lead in Sacrament Meeting.

Last night, we woke up to a puking Lacy at 12:45 am. Which wouldn't have been a big deal had Dave not been scheduled to work Sunday, so he couldn't stay home with the girls. Lacy woke up twice more puking, and Rose ended up getting sick the next day. Dave got it, too. The thing that made me feel the worst about it was that I visited my girlfriend Emily yesterday. She is due with her fourth baby on Saturday. I really, really, really hope she doesn't get sick, and that her kids don't get sick, right before her baby is going to come! I can't imagine trying to labor while sick. Yuck.

But I do have good news! My sister Leslie and her family are going to move up from Arizona! I'm so excited to have them in town again! Lacy is very excited to get to play with Regan and Turner all the time. This will be so fun! Anyway, Dix got the job offer Friday, returned this morning, they'll be packing all week long, loading the U-Haul and truck on Saturday, leaving first thing Sunday morning. They will drive from Phoenix to St. George the first day, St. George to probably Orem the second day, and the third day they will either drive straight through or they will make a stop off in Idaho somewhere. They will arrive Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, either really early in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on if they can drive a 14 hour stretch with a 2 month old, engorgement, 5 crazy kids, and only two drivers (and two vehicles that need to be driven!). They are renting the largest U-Haul truck, the largest U-Haul trailer, which will be towed behind the U-Haul truck. Then they will have their Suburban, and they will get a tow dolly to tow their truck (which will also be loaded with stuff). I seriously don't know how they will be able to swing driving from Orem to Olympia in one day. That is hardcore driving, when you're talking about that many kids including a toddler and a very young nursing infant. My Rose couldn't even handle 10 hours when she was 14 months! Good luck to them! Please keep them in your prayers this week and next week, they have a lot going on.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Well, she's weaned.

After 39 months of nursing, Lacy is officially weaned. I got a lot of help from my great husband through this process, which started around her third birthday. That was when we started our bedtime routines, which included nursing for 5 minutes right before bed. Once Dave got put on the swing shift and wasn't there for bedtime anymore, I changed it to 5 minutes before she brushed her teeth, on the couch. Then, a couple of weeks later, Dave was back on the day shift and was home at bedtime. He started reading her the bedtime stories and tucking her in, and we haven't nursed in about a week now. I thought I would miss nursing more than this, but I guess since I had so much time with her, it is easier to let go. I loved our nursing relationship and am glad that we went for more than three years. It is much, much longer than average, at least in the US. But nursing her as long as I did, I feel comfortable knowing that I provided her with as much protection as I possibly could. I wanted to post a few pictures memorializing our nursing relationship, but for some reason my scanner isn't working (my first picture of us nursing is on film, not digital), so I'm going to have to wait on some of them.

I do know that by providing this for my daughters, they will grow up thinking of nursing as the normal way to feed a baby, and hopefully they will nurse their own children. Hopefully, by the time they are mothers, the world will be more accepting of breastfeeding mothers and doctors will understand more about it. It seems like lately there are studies that have come out that for some reason are trying to prove that breastfeeding isn't all it's cracked up to be. In the last couple of months, I've seen studies and/or articles that have come out disputing the diabetes/obesity link, increased IQ, asthma/allergies, and more (I'll try to link the rest of the articles when I find them). But IMO there are problems with all the studies that I have seen, or the news reports are taking one tiny portion of the study out of context. For example the asthma thing-- they didn't compare exclusively BF for 6 months infants with infants who were exclusively fed formula, supplemented with formula, or fed early solids (Dave has asthma, and so did his mom, and though he was exclusively breastfed, he was fed solids at 2 months old which has been shown to increase risk of allergies/asthma). But there have been positive studies, as well-- including a study that shows breastfeeding does not cause saggy breasts!

OK, I'm off to find some pictures of Miss Lacy-bug nursing, and I'll post them when I find them. There is a Blogger maintenance tonight at 11 so I'm posting now and I'll add the pictures when Blogger is back up again.

But as a teaser... here is a picture of a brand new Lacy right after our first nursing session (the other pictures of us actually nursing taken from this camera are completely blurry). TTFN!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Nightweaning bites.

Rose has some cavities. And I'm sure it is "baby bottle rot" type cavities. She doesn't take a bottle, but she does nurse to sleep. And studies have shown that breastmilk does not cause cavities, for some reason my little munchkins get the cavities right in the typical spot for bottle rot. I suppose it could be from all the wet kisses we give those girls! So here is the plan: baby #3 will not get kissed.

OK, maybe that won't fly. But here's what I'm doing for my Rosey-Roo: Tonight, Rose got about 10 minutes nursey time and then she was rocked to sleep, after I wiped her teeth with a cloth. Usually she just nurses to sleep. Unfortunately, she woke up about a half hour later and was inconsolable, except by breast. So after about 10 minutes of torturous cries, all the while rocking my sweet screaming Roo in my arms, I gave in and nursed her to sleep. This time, it took a half hour to get her to settle down and fall asleep.

Last night, I remember Rose waking up 6 times. My kids are terrible sleepers, if you can't tell! Anyway, I was able to successfully get her back to sleep without nursing three times, but she woke up about a half hour after that each time.

I guess I need to take some babysteps here. I think I will focus on getting her to fall asleep without nursing, and every other wakeful period I will attempt to get her back to sleep without nursing. In a couple of weeks I want to focus on not nursing her back to sleep until it is after midnight, and then (to preserve what little bit of sleep I may be able to get!) I will allow her to nurse back to sleep.

I keep telling myself that this phase will be over soon. But it's so hard! I would like to have another baby in the near future, but I have to have my Roo sleeping better at night before I start trying for another one. So I guess we'll have an 18 year spacing between Rose and the next child. *sigh*

I'm calling the dentist on Monday. I am horrified at the state of her teeth. Lacy's were bad, but Rose's are much worse, and at a younger age. I have no idea why. I brush her teeth every day, despite kicking and screaming throughout, and I give her fluoride, xylitol, and I've even started brushing her teeth1-2 times more per day. Darn my kids' oral fixation that cannot be satisfied with anything but the real deal!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm a Hallo-Weiner!

Tonight was our ward's Trunk Or Treat party. We had lots of fun. I was originally intending on having both girls dressed as fairy princesses, but in the end Lacy wanted to be Little... I mean BIG Red Riding Hood. Dave went as the woodsman/hunter and I went as a frazzled mom who was just glad to have the kids dressed, much less in costume!

The girls together:

Rose hamming it up at the cakewalk:

Lacy fishing for prizes:

Lacy made out like a bandit:

And Rose spent her time quietly eating everything she could get her sticky little paws on:

We had a GRATE time. We left just after 8, and when we got home we allowed the girls 15 minutes of free candy eating time, had spiritual time and went to bed, and everyone was in bed asleep by 9, which isn't too bad considering. I think we're going to skip trick or treating tomorrow and just go to bed. We got plenty of candy tonight, that's for sure!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another entry for the baby book

Rose learned how to spit. Yes, I know that spitting is something that most babies are very good at. Of course Rose has spit in the past. But this week she learned how to really gather up the phlegm and hock a loogie. She does it all. the. time. It is so gross! She just spits wherever she feels like spitting. On the floor? Great! Her sister's lap? Even better! Oh life with a one year old is fun.

I also have her in panties now. She's only had two accidents in the last two days, both of which were at the end of the day, during dinner prep hour. I kind of expect her to do that then. The more remarkable thing about it is, she (and all the rest of us) has been sick.

We all got it yesterday, except Dave who got it this afternoon. The girls didn't really show symptoms until this morning. I ended up letting Lacy watch TV all day long in our bed. I think she still has an elevated temperature but nothing big-- maybe 100 or 101 tops. Dave is very upset about being sick as he gets no sick leave. I sent him off tonight (for school) with some daytime cold/flu medicine and hopefully that got him through it. He can take some Airborne when he gets home. It feels like a 24 hour bug, so hopefully by tomorrow I'll be better and Dave can suffer through one day of work. The only thing that stinks is that this is a really sweaty illness. Hopefully this is the only one we get this winter.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My kids are cute, and some rants about overly managed birthing

I love my kids. I love that randomly in the middle of other activities Lacy will say, "Mom, I love you." I love that she plays so well with her sister, and is so protective of her. She is so smart, too (humor me here if these are typical for a 39 month girl, and smile and nod). She can spell her name (sort of, sometimes she says L-A-Y-S instead of L-A-C-Y, and occasionally she starts naming off random letters). She knows her birthday. She knows all the colors in the rainbow, can count to 20, recognizes numbers on paper at least through 6 and counts items well, through 5. She knows many of her letters and always gets the ABC song right, and some of her older friends do not. She can draw recognizable people now if instructed, and can break eggs without causing too much damage (when we're cooking of course).

Rose is also a joy. She says a lot of words and uses many signs now, though the sign for "eat" means a lot of things, as does "all done." She can say Lacy, now, though it comes out more like "eee-see." She is also very proficient with the word "hot" and says it all the time! Probably because I say it all the time to her! She likes to help me cook, you see. Today she went to nursery for about a half hour and she DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE I LEFT. She is SOOOOOO ready! Only 4 more Sundays to endure before she is nursery aged! YEA!!!!

And the birth rant. OK, I am a huge advocate of normal birth. I don't put much trust into the birthing industry in general, though I do trust my midwife (she is a licensed midwife but not a nurse midwife). I do generally trust the medical community, after all my life was saved by a great Uriologist (shout out to Dr. Ellen!). But birth is not a disease. Generally speaking, it should not be managed by surgeons. While I don't dismiss the need for surgery in childbirth (it is very necessary and lifesaving, and I know many, many mothers and babies have been saved by this surgery, including my own husband), I feel it is overused. Currently the rate of cesarean rate is about 30%. The World Health Organizations says that once the rate goes above 15%, it is costing more lives than it is saving. *Disclaimer-- I do support full choice in birth for ALL women, whether it be elective primary cesarean with a tummy tuck or unassisted homebirth in the forest. Mostly I want women to know their options and to be fully informed of all their birth choices, not just the ones their birth attendant gives them with risks glossed over.

OK, there is one situation in particular that I want to address. A woman in Relief Society today excitedly announced the birth of her newest granddaughter, born Wednesday. Baby was stubborn and didn't want to come out (mother was 41 or 42 weeks I think) so they induced the mother at 6 AM. Mother stalled out at 8 cm in the early afternoon. After several hours of being at 8 cm with no cervical changes, the doctor gave her a time of 6PM that she needed give birth by, otherwise she would need a cesarean. OK, to me that seems so suspicious. 6 PM? So he can get home in time for dinner? There is nothing wrong with stalling out at 8 cm, especially for a mom who had previously given birth vaginally, as this mother had at least two other times. I personally stalled out myself for about 4 or 5 hours, in transition the entire time, with no drugs I might add (not that this makes me special in any way shape or form, it's merely a fact to point out how horribly painful this 4 hours was-- I was actually asking for drugs at the end but didn't get them which I am glad for since I've had a bad epidural experience with my kidney surgery in 1997). Nobody said a single word about surgery to me, not once. And I certainly would have been open to it at one point in my labor! It's the 6PM thing that really bugs me. If mother and baby are fine, just not progressing, why have a c-section? Sometimes labor just stalls for no apparent reason and starts back up again after some time. I've always heard 24 hours after your water is broken (which I personally think shouldn't be a hard and fast rule in every situation), and this was only 12 hours, and I'm not even sure her water was broken at the beginning of the induction anyway. The good part of the story is that mother did give birth vaginally at about 10 minutes after 6. YEA!

Another woman in my ward had a grandbaby born this week, too. This one WAS by cesarean and a necessary one at that. Baby was transverse, which makes it impossible to birth vaginally. Mother had a bicornuate uterus (same problem my mother-in-law had) and baby wasn't able to get enough room to turn vertex. In the end, it turns out there probably WAS enough room to turn vertex, but because he was so frequently transverse there was a high risk of cord prolapse. So he was a c-section. While I guess technically because he was born vertex (albeit by cesarean) he could have been born vagnially, he did like to move to that transverse position a lot, and the risk of a prolapsed cord is too high to justify waiting until the onset of labor to decide whether to try for vaginal or not. It seems like many women begin labor with their first with spontaneous rupture of the membranes, so this would have been irresponsible on the physician's part not to recommend a cesarean in this case. And thankfully, this mother got a low transverse scar, which means her risk of uterine rupture is less than half of one percent (0.4%) in future labors, the majority of which are not fatal (3 out of 10,000 perinatal deaths, same perinatal death rate as planned repeat cesarean), so if she chooses to try for a VBAC (assuming her labor is unaugmented which increases the rupture risk, especialy if cytotec is used) her risk of rupture is about equal or lower than the risks of side effects from a cesarean.

OK, that's enough birth talk for now. Can you tell I'm obsessed? I really want to have another baby but I know now is not the right time. I want Rose to be closer to 3 when we have another baby. Which means only 6 months until we can discuss taking out my IUD! I know, TMI. For now, I'll live vicariously through my friend Emily, for whom I am throwing a baby shower on November 1st. It should be fun! We're filling her freezer with all sorts of goodies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cute Kid Stuff

This morning I took Rose potty and she peed. She stood up, looked at what she had produced, and said, "Peeeeeee! Peeeeeee!" in a very loud and high pitched voice. And later, Lacy was climbing the piano and I told her, "Get down!" Rose started repeating me: "Ge dow! Ge dow!" She's really going through a language explosion. She knows probably a dozen signs (maybe not quite but it's close) and she's learning new words every day.

And we only have 5 more Sundays with Rose in class with me at church! She goes to nursery in 6 weeks!!!!! I can't wait!

Last night tucking Lacy into bed, I asked her who she wanted with her to cuddle (as in a doll or bear). She asked for her baby Bella. I gave her a doll and she said, "That doll's naked. That's not Bella!" I tried giving it to her again, when she informed me that Bella is actually a pair of Dave's black socks. This totally reminded me of Little House in the Big Woods where Laura Ingalls has a corn cob as her doll!

Lacy's baby in her tummy is also named Bella, who is a purple baby. Her friend Wynnie's baby is a green baby. And when Bella comes out of her tummy, she will nurse her squishy boobies that are full of juice. I love 3 year olds! They're so fun!

Today is anti-procrastination day so I need to get busy!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Testimony Builder

I just started fasting again after a 4 year hiatus due to pregnancy and nursing. Well, obviously I'm still nursing, but now that Rose is 16 months old she's not needing as much out of me as she has needed previously. So this last fast Sunday I decided to really fast and pray about Dave's work situation. He's not particularly happy doing what he's doing but he wants to keep me home with the girls, so he keeps plugging along. Except that recently, he's been in kind of a slump. He was working a flagging job recently, which pays significantly less than asbestos abatement. We were barely creeping by on what he was bringing home, and we had seriously considered going to the bishopric for help. Fortunately, we paid our tithing and were able to barely squeak by for two months like this. Dave's weekly paychecks for the past two months were never over $600, and considering our mortgage is over $1200 and we have several other bills to pay besides, it was really tight. Somehow we got through. So that has helped me with my testimony about tithing.

And fasting... I really and truly fasted this month. I never have before. Sure, I've gone through the motions, but fasting is something that is difficult to understand for yourself, and it takes a while to develop a true understanding of it. I decided I would do it and pay the fast offering and everything (something I've never done before). I could only make it to 3 o'clock before I had to brake my fast and eat something. But considering I had a light dinner the night before at Women's Conference, I think I did pretty good. Well, the very next day Dave was approached with TWO new job opportunities (one of them we may still pursue) and yesterday Dave was talking with a guy about another opportunity that may come in the future that sounds really awesome. Dave right now is basically turning toxic waste into harmless recycled building materials, which will be a huge help in overcrowded countries that need to rebuild buildings (for example Japan). Dave would be installing the equipment all around the world for a very lucrative salary. I don't foresee it happening in the very near future, but if Dave plays his cards right I may soon be moving in to the yurt of my dreams!

So I have been spiritually fed recently and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm holding my own testimony-wise. We have been doing a lot more to stay close to Heavenly Father and it is showing. Some things that we've been doing include spiritual time every single day with the kids (we haven't missed a day since we started in June!) which entails reading scriptures (usually 5 verses or so), singing a hymn, and saying a family prayer. Family Home Evening is now a regular weekly occurrence. We've been paying a full tithe all year long, which is another difficult thing for me. Since July I've been including personal prayer in Lacy's bedtime routine. Personally, I've been diligent with reading the scriptures. I know I need to get better with my own personal prayers. Babysteps! We're hoping to be able to get to the temple once a month from now on, now that the kids are bigger. We've put forth the effort and we have been blessed. I am now a stay at home mom. Dave has opportunities set before him. Of course we still have a long way to go. But now I'm definitely feeling the hand of the Lord in my life.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cheese, signs, and weaning

Rose is saying so many words lately! Today we were taking some pictures and Rose kept saying, "Cheese!" with the biggest cheesy grin on her face each time we took a picture. What a cutie! She also says "hot" "Lacy" "Ama" "Mama" "Dada" and a lot of other words that I can't think of at the moment. Probably in the area of 30-50 words already!

She is also doing great learning sign language. She knows "eat" and "finished" and we're working on "more" and "toilet," and maybe we'll do "drink" as well. And maybe "nurse" too, but she is pretty clear about that without having to sign it to me!

Lacy is officially weaning. Dave started a new shift with a new company this week. It's swing shift so I am in charge of bedtime by myself each and every night from here on out. So it's tough to put two kids to bed who both nurse. I rewrote Lacy's bedtime routine so that nursing is #3 on the list (before it was #6) and it is in the living room, not in bed. After nursing, she brushes her teeth, reads 2 stories, says her prayers, and gets tucked in bed with or without music (her choice, but lately she wants to listen to the rain instead). I'm hoping before she starts Sunbeams she's totally weaned. I'll probably write a new bedtime routine poster in a couple months to exclude nursing from it completely and take it from there. Hopefully it all goes well! We also have "How Weaning Happens" on hold from the library.

I forgot to blog that my parents got their mission call! Woo hoo! Frankfurt, Germany, leaving January 7th. Also, it is very possible that my sister will be moving up here next month around Thanksgiving. She's going through a bankruptcy and home foreclosure right now and her hubby has a great opportunity up here with a company he used to work for. He has a face-to-face interview early next month so I'll keep you posted! It's got to be stressful thinking about a big move across the country with 6 little ones including a frequently-nursing colicky newborn! Yikes!

Dave is doing well at his new job. I have a lot to say about this but my baby is being quite the monkey nursing right now so I'll get back to this topic later. It has solidified my testimony on fasting and prayer though

Carolyn and Monkey OUT!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A girlfriend day

Dave is at elk camp currently, and I ended up not watching Cooper today, so this morning we headed out to my friend Emily's house and spent the day with her. We came home with about 40 pounds of garden veggies and pears from her tree. It was a really nice visit.

I've also discovered that Rose is signing "all done" when she is through eating and wants out of the high chair. She also is a southpaw I think!

Oh, and Lacy wants to marry me in the temple when I have broken boobies. The temple is in my laundry room, FYI. When we get married, we hold hands and then dance.

I like wheat 'cause wheat is neat

I just bought two 45 pound buckets of white wheat. YEA!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Weights and measures

Lacy had an appointment today with her allergist. While I was there I took the liberty of weighing and measuring the girls. Granted this is not a real accurate reading, especially since Rose is so squirmy and the weight measurement was different each time. So I'm going by averages with her. So anyway, here's the stats:

Rose is my average girl. She weighed about 23 pounds (50th percentile for weight) and was 31 inches tall (62nd percentile). Perfect size!

Lacy on the other hand... she weighed (get ready for this!) 25 pounds (!!!!!) that, my friends, is less than the 3rd percentile for weight. She's actually gone down in weight, I'm not sure how since she is eating like a horse. I just chalk it up to different clothes on different days. And she was 40 inches long-- 95th percentile for length. Yowza!

New Lacy stuff: Lacy is now able to draw faces. She draws a circle and adds eyes, mouth, and nose, and sometimes hair (if I prompt her to draw those things, that is). She will scribble a body and the arms come out of the head. Pretty typical, I think. But exciting, nonetheless, as she has never drawn something besides circles, triangles, and lines until yesterday.

New Rose stuff: Rose probably has a vocabulary of 30 words by now. It's amazing. Today, Dave was looking at pictures on the camera, and was watching a video of Rose learning to walk, and Rose pointed to it and said, "Me!" She also pretended to call her dad on the phone and said, "I call my dada" or something that sounded exactly like it!

Both the girls are growing like weeds and I'm so excited to see them get bigger. They're both still nursing, though Lacy only once a day usually, and Rose won't nurse the right side. So because Rose nurses about 20-30 times a day sometimes (usually for 2 minutes here and there with about 5 or 6 big nursing sessions a day) so that means that I'm lopsided. Majorly. Like, DD on the left and A on the right. It is comical, actually. So I dusted off the ol' pump and am trying to increase supply on my right side in order to even myself out!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


My new nephew Cooper was born at about 7:45 this evening after a long induction (11 hours... which is more than twice as long as her last two I think). 8 lb 7 oz 20 1/2 inches with very little hair. More to come as I get info!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Who does she look like???

Weird. Everyone says Rose looks like me and Lacy looks like her dad. Rose has my eye and hair color, and Lacy has her dad's coloring. They both have their dad's eye shape and my hair texture. Maybe if my computer weren't such a clunker I could have found a better picture of Dave and of Lacy! But all of Dave's pictures had him with sunglasses or a baseball cap, so I chose the best of what I could find without having to dig through a bunch of photos. And most of Lacy's seem to be action shots!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


At dinner time, when we say "it's time to say a prayer" Rose will fold her hands and talk in gibberish in the same intonation as one would say a prayer. She did this at my parent's house this evening and it was very cute.

Also Lacy has a baby in her tummy named Bella. She has pink eyes, pink hair, and pink clothes. Just thought you should all know.

And more progress on Dave's genealogy lines: I found his great grandparent's names. Now I just need to find her maiden name so I can do a little more research. I have found one generation more than I had yesterday, though. I also found the first name of his great great grandmother, and her approximate birth year and place, and the birthplaces of her parents. But again no maiden name, so I'm kind of hitting dead ends with the women. I am trying to find marriage records to get maiden names, and have contacted a volunteer from the US Gen Web Project for assistance with this. Hopefully he'll be in touch with me in a day or two and I can find out what is gg's maiden name was!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Potty Progress

We've made some progress with both girls and their potty time! Lacy is fully potty trained except for at night. But a couple nights last week she woke up to pee in the middle of the night. I helped her go, and she fell back asleep literally as soon as she was done. Once she fell asleep on the potty. She rarely has accidents now, though yesterday she had one, but I blame it on 9 hours of sleep. She usually gets 12 1/2.

Rose also has been making strides. She is almost 15 months now, and the other morning when she woke up I put her on the potty, as usual. She didn't want to go so she got off. Then about 5 minutes later she backed herself onto the potty by herself. I had to help her get her nightgown out of the way, but seconds later she got up with a deposit in the pot. She did the same thing again 15 minutes later, but unfortunately I didn't move her nightgown in time. I may have a potty trained 18 month old because of all the work I've done until now! I'm so excited to see the concepts click in her mind. She's gone through a huge developmental spurt in the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Surprise oral surgery

This morning's dental appointment was for a consult. Dave was so upset to have given up potentially 15 hours of overtime for a consult. Especially when he thought it was for a root canal. All was not lost-- the surgon had an opening at 1 o'clock, which is pretty good considering usually it takes months to get an appointment! So we made sure my mom could watch the girls, went back to Olympia for a few hours and then went back up to the surgon in Tacoma. Five hundered dollars later, I mean one hour later, Dave came out of surgery with three fewer teeth. Well, they weren't really teeth. Just the roots in 2 cases, and only a small chunk of a tooth in the other case. We will be getting some vicodin and antibiotics tonight for the pain and infection.

Dave only has one molar on the bottom of his mouth now. We will have to get him fitted with some partials for the time being, though he really wants some implants back there instead. He also has a couple of root canals to get done and some cavities to fill. But the most important part is done-- the bad teeth are gone.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm so lame

I haven't posted in so long. I'm just trying to keep the house clean and the kids fed! But the girls have been up to so much lately. Lacy is growing like crazy and is so grown up now. She has been asking to go to Sunbeams, less than 5 months till she goes. Yikes! Rose now has 14 teeth as of this week, and is learning new words all the time. The other day she said penguin, and she is saying many other words and almost all the names of people in her life. She also is getting into all sorts of trouble by climbing on everything. I actually broke down the other day and put a latch on the kitchen cabinet below the sink because she kept getting into it. Sometimes, if I can't find her in the house, I just have to look in the back yard and I will surely find her in the sandbox. She can get the lid off by herself. She is definitely a second child-- very independent and plays well by herself. Lacy is also independent, but she has to play with someone all the time. I really wish we had friends who lived very close so that I could have her play with someone all day long. I find myself sitting her in front of the TV all the time lately, and that is something I swore I would never do, ever. Fortunately, in two weeks I will be watching a 4 year old named Cooper, so hopefully she'll be entertained enough by him that she won't want to watch TV at all!

I also solved bedtime! Lacy now goes to bed so well every night. The trick is our routine poster. Thanks to Emily for suggesting it! Anyway, she has 8 things on her poster, all of them represented by a picture. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish to do her bedtime routine. We're also doing it with Rose, but going to bed easily probably won't kick in for another few months. Anyway, our routine is: 1. Spiritual time (scriptures, hymn, prayer) 2. Pajamas 3. Brush teeth and wash up 4. TWO books 5. Personal prayers (she usually blesses the food while she is at it) 6. Nurse for 5 minutes 7. Play music (Cinderella is the only option she will take right now) 8. STAY IN BED AND GO TO SLEEP. For the past two weeks, this routine has only not worked once. She has gone to bed easily by herself from the first night we started it. I think in another two weeks we will start a morning routine as well. We actually initiated the routine posters by having a FHE lesson about it, and ever since she has been a dream to put to sleep. I wish I had thought of this two years ago! Oh well. At least things are easier now.

Dave has an abcessed tooth. He has a dentist appointment tomorrow morning at 7 am. Hopefully the dentist will fix it, even though he is going in for a root canal. I just want him to be comfortable. I know he needs a lot of work done. I worry about his mouth quite often. He already has a genetic propensity to have poor oral health, but he also was struck by lightning nearly 10 years ago, further weakening his teeth and destroying much of his dental work, and it also irritated his stomach problems causing ulcers from all the scar tissue and such. So he throws up almost daily, making his teeth that much worse. I just don't want him in dentures when he's 40!

And more good news-- I've traced one of Dave's lines back 17 generations when two weeks ago we had information on his great grandparents and that was where it stopped. I've found about 200 names, most of whom haven't had temple work done for them. Yippee! Now I'm stuck on some of his other lines and one of my mom's lines as well, but apparently a cousin of mine is doing some work on that line so I'll have to be in touch with her. I do think that my mother in law is up in heaven helping me find the information to take to the temple. It makes me feel a lot less guilty about not being able to go as often as I should.

Anyway, that's the update for now. I had better start my own bedtime routine-- I have to be out the door before 6 tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A mother needs our help!

I've been given permission by the mother to post this information to my blog. Here is portions of a letter she wrote to her senator, Florance Shapiro, that explains the whole story:

y son was removed from my home first thing in the morning on the 18th of July. The charge was "medical neglect", prompted by a doctor who had never seen my son, on the word of a nurse who seemed to resent my desire to continue to breastfeed him. While we acknowledge that he was underweight, we dispute that there was neglect. My son Erick had a very rough entry into this world (high risk pregnancy, difficult labor and deliver, nicu stay in two separate hospitals), and we were trying to find out why, despite a proper amount of diapers and meeting milestones he wouldn't gain. I can provide paperwork, log books and statements to back this up. We were NOT ignoring him, which is what seems to be implied. Despite the claims of Martha Strong, the nurse (she claims that he was at "death's door", and only immediate removal would save him), we have video of him taken two days prior to his removal that shows him smiling (at 5 weeks), tracking and then getting annoyed with the dog, who licked him on his head! He was not acting weak or lethargic.

We were offered NO services, NO investigation and NO options. They just came and took him. We weren't even allowed to put him in the car seat that took him away.

Fast forward to today, and we are informed that he is being released from the hospital and into foster care. Our 2nd court date (apparently there was one held already that we weren't allowed to attend) is supposed to be (according to CPS's own rules) WITHIN 14 days of removal. They have offered us one on the 13th of August, almost a full month later! Supposedly, there is something going on at the courthouse during the time when we were supposed to have our hearing. When I asked Jamie Specht, the case worker, why things couldn't be speeded up instead of delayed (since family reunification is supposed to be CPS's top priority), she said "Mrs. Vinton, if you argue with me, this call is over". We have found her to be very combative through out the entire process, and do not believe she is acting in our or our child's best interests.

CPS has violated a number of their own policies, according to the handbooks they gave us and online research we’ve done:

1) An investigation of some sort is supposed to be done before removal. Removal of a child from his home is supposed to be a LAST resort.
2) She came to my door without a court order, though she claimed they had already been in front of a judge.
3) When they did get in front of a judge, we weren’t allowed to be there to defend ourselves or our son.
4) We haven’t gotten to visit him yet, supervised or otherwise. We are supposed to have a visit coming up on Wednesday, but the case worker has canceled interviews with my other children 3 times already, so I have no reason to believe this will actually happen until we are there and he is in my arms (for the first time in two weeks).
5) She has stated that she will not allow a lawyer to be present during the interview with my other children.
6) The case is supposed to be heard in 14 days, but we won’t be heard until almost a month after the fact (a very long time in the life of a newborn!).
7) A family member is supposed to be offered before foster care. We weren’t given this option, despite a large, loving family who would be willing to take him.

Ms. Shapiro, we have done nothing wrong but get on the bad side of a nurse that we went to in an attempt to help him. If they felt he was at such risk, at the very least they could have removed my medical rights, leaving my other parental rights in tact, and restoring them when they felt his heath was more stable. I have three other children at home, ages 9, 5 and 3. The older two wake up with nightmares that someone’s going to take them too. My 3 year old thought we “got rid of him” because we “didn’t like him anymore”. Can you imagine the damage being done to them as well? How am I supposed to convince my other children that they are safe, when quite frankly, I’m not so sure myself?? This seems a horrific abuse of power by a state agency that has no one to keep them in check. Please, I beg you… I am not a rich or powerful woman, but I love my children deeply and can’t believe that this action is right or moral. I need my son back. And what’s more, he needs me. Please help us.

(Carolyn again) if you are able to help, especially if you live in Texas, you can contact this mother by responding to her post in the Mothering forums, or by sending her a private message. Or you can send a message to your state representative if you are in Texas, or to Rep Shapiro if you don't. Please, if you can spare 5 minutes, this mother is being pushed around by a way too powerful organization. She needs help. Thanks for doing whatever you can!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday Lacy

I've been busy de-junking my house and playing with kids, so no blog posts lately. I'll try to be back on next week or so after I feel a little better about my house!

Anyway, three years ago this time I was holding my not-yet hour old daughter. My sweet Lacy just turned 3. She was so excited to help me make a pink and purple birthday cake today. She got lots of presents from friends and family (thanks, everyone!) and we got visits from my parents, Dave's grandpa, Emily and her kids Tuckerby, Danner and Wynnie, and Jay and Tuana came by, too. Lacy's presents include: A 3 wheeled scooter complete with head and knee protection, two tiara sets, several dress ups and dancing outfits, a princess backpack and lunchbox, a pink umbrella, some books and a CD. I think there was more but this is off the top of my head.

Anyway, just wanted to post a quick blog and hopefully I'll upload some pictures in the next few days to share.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

We're Back! And wedding bells are in the future!

We just got back earlier this week from a trip to Utah for a family reunion and to Arizona to visit my sister, Leslie. While I was gone, I found out that Dave's brother Tim proposed to his girlfriend April. They will be getting married in the Seattle Temple (I believe) on August 25th. I have offered to help them in any way I can since it is such short notice. In other good news for Tim, he is starting up with the plumbers' union tomorrow as an apprentice. go Tim! Tim will be staying with us until he gets an apartment around the time of his wedding next month, since he now works in Olympia. (((Update: This wedding was later called off and Tim now has a girlfriend named Julie)))

Dave isn't faring as well as his brother, unfortunately. Last week was a scorcher (for Washington) and Dave was working on a roof where the temps got to 115. The first day of a new job, they have to wear just their containment suits for safety reasons, and despite wearing sunblock, Dave burned through his containment suit, and the next day he burned through his suit and his garment top. He's completely blistered and painfully red right now, but he's slowly but surely getting better. I wish he had 2 more days off to recover, though. But in good news, his company has given him keys to the shop and he gets a lot of "window time" which means time spent next to the window of a vehicle! He's doing extremely well at his current job and enjoying it. Hopefully he can keep it up for a couple years until he's ready to go to school for taxidermy.

In Rose news, we have 12 teeth now! Yea! And in Lacy news, she is recovered from bronchitis now and has stopped napping, and goes to bed at 8. She really still needs a nap, but it makes bedtime miserable for us so I decided to cut it prematurely. We'll see how that goes. Anyway, here are some pictures from the trip:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

New things

Well, Rose is officially walking. She took a few steps here and there, but on Sunday she really took off. She is now walking 3-5 steps at a time before she falls, and she practices several times a day.

Did I mention that she also has a molar?

Also, I started reading a wonderful book Sleepless in America. Using the author's techniques, I had Lacy sleeping in her own bed, in her own room, without crying, and without me nursing her to sleep, the first night we tried it. So tonight is night three, and she complained and wants to be back in our bed, but it's too difficult now that she has trouble nursing to sleep and now that Rose is getting so much bigger and waking a lot at night due to a growth spurt and teething.

Tomorrow is another big day-- we are finding out the results of Lacy's allergy testing. I'm so nervous! Hopefully it's things that are easily controllable.

And, we're going on vacation this month! Woo hoo! I'm so excited! I'll be getting out of the heat here and enjoying myself in nice, temperate Utah and Arizona! LOL! I've got to finish buying some gDiaper inserts (because I couldn't possibly use disposables while I'm gone because I'm too much of a hippie for that) and in 2 weeks I'll be flying high! With two toddlers! By myself! Yikes!

In other news, check out my new food blog: Mama, I'm Hungry!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

First birthday

So I guess I'll admit it now.... Rose is one. She even took two steps in the bathtub on her birthday, a feat not equaled until yesterday when she took one step. She is now standing up on her own from the middle of the room and I expect she'll be walking for real in another week or so. I guess my baby isn't a baby anymore.

And man am I baby hungry. But no babies for me this year, or next. I'm just not ready to have another baby! Not until I can get both kids to bed easily without spending a lot of time and effort, both kids are weaned and in their own beds, Dave is through school, and we have a minivan. Okay, so maybe we'll never have another one!

Rose's one year old stats are as follows, as taken by her pediatrician's office on the 23rd: weight, 21 lbs 11 oz; length 29 3/4 inches; head size: 18.5 inches

And pictures of my birthday girl:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Birth of Rose Marie N.

My sweet Rosie (whom we swore we would never, ever call Rosie, but Lacy calls her that, and it suits her) is coming up on her first birthday later this week. Now that it's been a year, it is time for me to heal from her birth and write out her birth story. Rose's birth did not go how I envisioned, though it was still an unmedicated vaginal birth, with very little tearing, and I felt great immediately afterward. I was going to wait until Rose's birthday to publish this, but I've written it out now and I just want to get it out there now. It's really long, so don't start unless you have a little time on your hands! There are a few photos at the end, from May of last year. Enjoy!

Rose was supposed to be born at home, like Lacy was. I planned for a homebirth, seeing the same midwife and setting everything up at home for a homebirth. The only difference was, this time we weren't using a birthing tub. That was okay with me, because I had done it once and I could do it again, and supposedly it is faster and easier the second time around. On Tuesday afternoon, I had an appointment with Constance, the same midwife who helped with Lacy's birth. She asked me if I was ready to have a baby tomorrow, and I said I was more than ready, since tomorrow was my due date and I had a feeling this babe was huge. Since my last iron levels were borderline, we did a quick iron test and had to wait until 7 for it to come back. The three of us (Dave, Lacy and I) went to dinner at Sizzler which was nearby. We came back and Constance checked me. This was my first internal exam of my pregnancy. I was about 1-2 cm at this point, I think, and not much effaced yet, which is common for a second pregnancy. She vigorously stripped my membranes and by the time I left, I was 4-5 cm dilated. Now we just had to wait it out, and labor would soon start.

The next day, I wasn't feeling too well so I decided to call in to work and maybe go in the afternoon if I was feeling a little better. I decided to give myself some time to get ready for the birth should it happen that day, so I took Lacy over to the babysitter's as usual. Dave and I spent the morning picking up the house. We ended up going to the chiropractor for one last adjustment, and then went to lunch to El Nopal with our chiropractor Burt, his wife Jainnine (who was at Lacy's birth and did Rose's belly cast), and his office manager. I started feeling some contractions during lunch, so I just ordered a salad, beans, rice and tortillas, knowing that I wouldn't want anything heavy. Before we were finished with lunch, I was sure I was in labor so I paged the midwife and Dave and I went home. Constance called me back and said that the birth assistant would come over soon to set up, and she'd be there in a while if I felt like I needed her. So the assistant came over and we chatted, I felt like I had some time to go still after she set up, so she left and let Constance know. I called my mom and the babysitter and a few other people, letting them know there would be a baby today, but it was going to take a little more time. Dave and I decided to watch a movie early in the afternoon. We only made it halfway through the movie when I started hard labor. Constance returned at 3:30. Before she returned, my mom arrived with food for everyone to much on as the labor progressed, and a couple of my friends who were going to support me had arrived (Jainnine and Bethany), and my dad and Dave's dad and fiancee I believe were also outside. I spent some of my labor walking around the streets moaning and frightening small children, and a lot of time was spent in the bathtub. This was an especially hard labor and the water was very relaxing for me, and really helped me cope with the tremendous back labor.

While I was in the tub, Constance came to check on me several times, and some various girlfriends and my mom would come in and out to help me by pouring water over my belly, which helped sooth me. At some points I was alone, and my late mother-in-law, who was at Lacy's birth, was definitely with me. It was only at those times when I was alone that she was with me in the bathroom. She was pouring water over my belly. I could literally feel it being poured over my belly. It was a really neat experience that I will always remember. I know Kathleen was with me and with Rose the whole time I was in labor. Constance felt like she was intruding when I told her that I felt the presence of my mother-in-law, and she told Dave with a tear in her eye that she knew she was with me, too.

Things did not progress as easily as they did with Lacy's labor. In fact, several things happened that made Constance start thinking that a hospital transfer would be in our best interest. 1) baby's heartrate was in the 190 range, which is too high. We weren't sure why it was so high, and changing positions did not do much for the heartrate. 2) the baby had at one point descended into my pelvis, but she had floated up again. Because my membranes were still intact, there was a slight chance of cord prolapse if they ruptured at that point. Cord prolapse is extremely dangerous and requires an immediate c-section. Because of the high heart rate that wasn't coming down, we couldn't just wait around to see if the baby would descend again. We needed to get the baby out sooner. 3) I developed a slight fever, so there was a small worry of infection. If I had just one of those things without the others, we would have been able to continue at home. With the high HR, but with baby in the pelvis, she would have ruptured my membranes and baby would have been born shortly thereafter. With the baby high in the pelvis with intact membranes and a normal HR, we would have waited it out. The fever was probably the smallest concern of all three, but because it was there we had another thing to worry about. So she said we needed to go to the hospital, I had a good cry, and we loaded up in her car, with the midwife assistant driving, Dave riding shotgun, and the midwife in the back with me on my hands and knees driving down the freeway during rush hour. Hands and knees seemed to be the position that Rose tolerated best at this point.

We arrived at the hospital around 6 or 6:30 (everything's kind of blurry at this point, since I was deep in laborland). Constance instructed Dave to run into the emergency room entrance and tell them that his wife was READY TO PUSH which wasn't exactly true since I was still 7-8 cm dilated with intact membranes and a high baby. So they brought out the wheelchair and the lady who pushed it sternly told me to sit back in the wheelchair. I yelled at her, no I wouldn't because "I'm in labor, dammit!" I don't swear, even in hard labor, but this lady really struck a nerve in me. She looked like she was 20 years old and probably hadn't ever been pregnant, so it irritated me that she was bossing me around when she had NO CLUE what it felt like to be in transition! I had been a 7-8 for a few hours so I had quite a long transition already and wasn't going to be bossed around by someone who was just pushing me to L&D!

The L&D nurse we were given was great and shooed everyone who wasn't necessary out of the delivery room. She was fully supportive of natural childbirth, and I think had several NCB's herself, and the on call OB was very supportive and wonderful, as well. I had been terrified of a "cascade of interventions" once I stepped into the hospital, but the support I got from these two ladies was great and helped me through it. For some reason labor got a lot more painful once I got to the hospital (probably due to my fear of being in the hospital!) but Dave was really supportive and somehow I got through it without drugs. I kept telling everyone, "I can't do this anymore! I need something!" I wasn't going to ask straight out for drugs, I wanted them to suggest it so it would be okay for me to get some. But nobody ever suggested anything, they just kept supporting me and saying that I could do it, and I was doing it, and that I was doing a great job. Dave and I were in the bathroom alone at one point and I told him that I really needed drugs. He told me, "you made me promise that I wouldn't let you get drugs when you were in labor. So you can't have any or you will be mad at me." I realized that he was right, and that it wasn't going to be much longer. I was just discouraged because I had been at 7-8 cm for about 3 hours at this point.

When I got out, the general consensus was that I should have my water broken because the baby's heartrate wasn't recovering so this would speed up the process. I looked to my midwife who said she agreed that this needed to be done. They broke my water pretty soon after I got there which helped me progress the rest of the way, and also for some reason brought Rose's heart rate down to a more normal range (140-150). As they were breaking the water, the nurse pressed on the top of my belly to help the baby descend quickly to hopefully prevent a cord prolapse situation. It only took about a half hour or so before I was completely dilated, with just a lip left that the OB thought I could push away. I gave a push, and the lip was gone.

I wasn't feeling much like pushing yet, but I felt like this was a huge emergency so I needed to push to get her out as quickly as possible. So despite my instincts to just let labor continue for a while longer, I started pushing in a semi sitting position, not the most effective position for pushing out a baby because it can compress your pelvis causing less room for the baby to fit through. But I only needed to push for 12 minutes and she came out (I pushed for 22 minutes with Lacy) Rose was born "sunny side up" with her chin sticking out, which is a fairly difficult position for babies to be born, because you're not starting out with the smallest spot on the head going through the birth canal first (actually my posterior baby is one reason why my labor was so tough-- back labor hurts!). Even though it seemed like this huge emergency, the OB let Dave catch his baby, and he passed her to me after she was born, still attached to the placenta. I was expecting her, with her long brown hair! I knew she was my daughter. looked just like me when I was born! Even huge, like I was. Everyone was guessing at her weight, and I was sure she was over 9 pounds. I held my baby and cuddled her for a while, and then they said they were going to cut the cord, so Dave got to cut his first umbilical cord (he didn't cut Lacy's because it was wrapped tightly around her neck several times so it needed to be cut right away). Eventually, they took her away briefly to weigh and measure her (21 inches and 9lb 6 oz!!!) and gave her a vitamin K shot. We were able to get out of the eye goop and they didn't give her a bath. She was only gone out of our sight for seconds.

I had considered going home, but I thought I needed to stay at least a few hours to recover, and since she was born at 8:18 pm and we didn't have a car there, we decided to stay overnight. Big mistake.

My post partum nurse was really mean and kept disturbing me all night long. One of the reasons we decided to stay was because we wanted to get a little sleep. Yeah, right! She kept wanting to prick Rose's heel and take my blood at 4 am. Why can't my blood work wait until the next morning after I get some sleep? I just had a baby, darn it! Let me be! The meanest thing she did was not let me nurse Rose for an hour so she could check her glucose levels. Since she was so big, there was a worry of low blood sugars, and they had "forgotten" to check her levels after birth. So now it was 5 hours later and baby is nursing well, and they ask me to stop nursing her so they can check her levels? I did this, and Rose screamed and screamed to nurse, but I wasn't supposed to. I almost cheated and let her nurse, but I just wanted to get the heel prick over with. So we stuck it out. Her levels were well within the normal levels, but the nurse informed me that we would need to perform this test twice more that morning. The thing that really made me mad was that Rose then got tired and didn't nurse well for the next 12 or so hours. She just nibbled and slept for a while. When the nurse came again for the next heel poke, I informed her that because the glucose levels were so good (I think they were 42, and the low normal level is 30, so pretty good), I was going to decline the next two tests. I wanted out of there! The next morning, I pretty much said I wanted to go home ASAP, but it seemed like whenever we were ready to get going, another road block was put in our path. We actually fell asleep around 1 or 2 when they were doing the hearing exam, which took a loooooooong time (and since I am a conspiracy theorist, I think they did this on purpose to keep me there longer!). So we waited a little while longer and then I decided I was going to go now, so get me the discharge papers, darn it. They started the ball rolling on this, the lactation nurse visited with me, I got my free bag of goodies from the formula company, but the lactation nurse had taken the formula out already. She told me she always takes the formula out of the bags (I wonder what she does with all that formula?). It actually had a couple really cool things in it, including a nice board book that I still read to my kids a lot.

Finally at 5, rush hour again, my mom came by with Lacy to take us home. We got settled in, I nursed both the girls together for the first (but definitely not the last) time, and then mom took Lacy with her so we could have one last night of just the three of us before we brought Lacy back home.

One more thing to add, that wasn't part of my birth, but is important to Rose's story. Many people who were there were worried about the hospital transfer, because it wasn't clearly articulated to everyone why we were there. We transferred to the same hospital that Dave's mom had died in less than a year before. Dave's dad was sitting outside on the steps contemplating everything that was going on, and he saw Kathleen rocking a baby. She looked at him, and turned the baby around so he could get a good look at her. He wasn't sure why she did this, and was afraid that this would be the only time he would know what she looked like (remember, he wasn't clear on why we transferred!). A little while later, he saw her again, this time there was no baby, and she got up and left. A few minutes later, it was announced that the baby was born. Dave said, "she has a lot of dark hair, doesn't she?" Just an amazing part of this birth story that I love!

Rose's birth was a very healing experience for me and our family. Dave knew from the beginning that this baby wouldn't be born at home, but in the hospital, and now we know that it was so we could all heal from the death of Kathleen which took place in the same hospital Rose was born at. The birth wasn't really that bad overall, and wasn't as bad as I had envisioned a hospital transfer to be. In fact the birth part was great! My only interventions were an IV and AROM (artificial rupture of the membranes). Not too shabby! It was just the post birth stuff that I disliked. Another interesting thing-- Rose was over a pound bigger, presented poorly, and I pushed in a worse position than with Lacy's birth, yet she was born after 12 minutes of pushing (10 minutes less than her sister's birth) with less tearing than her sister and I felt better sooner than I did with Lacy. However, this labor was 9 hours from start to finish (11am-8pm approximately) whereas Lacy's was only 4.5 hours (7-11pm)

While I'm not eager to add another person to our family just yet, I am looking forward to someday having another child (in probably 3 or 4 years, we'll see!) to hopefully have a smoother birth... this time at home! And next time, I will definitely be spending the $200 on the birthing tub... it is worth every penny!

Little did Lacy know at the time, there was a baby in that belly! Today, Lacy can't remember a day without her sister! Lacy and Rose are best friends now. I love that they're so close!

My first look at Rose. Look at all that lovely vernex!
My first attempt at tandem nursing, the day Lacy came to visit at home. She didn't come home for good until the next day. She was spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's.
The girls together, Rose is about 6 days old, Lacy 22 months.