Saturday, November 14, 2009

Harper Jo Clark's home birth story 11/09/09

I better write this down before the details become soft and out of focus. If you like to read birth stories, this is a good one because it's an encouraging swift delivery... the kind we all want to have. I feel lucky to have experienced two perfect home birth deliveries. It will be very sad to ever leave this house since both my babies were born here.

Stand and Deliver
Nov. 9, 2009 | Harper Jo Clark's birth story

So, around 3:45AM on early Monday morning, I felt it. The first contraction.
"oh," I thought.
"what a coincidence," Owen's birth story started around 3AM." I'll just go back to sleep and wake up and get ready for this birth.
One problem. I couldn't sleep. Not because I was anxious but because the contractions were a minute long and every 10 minutes with alarming consistency. I didn't wake Matt up, but at 6AM I told him, "I'm having contractions," to which he replied,
"The real ones?"
And so it began. I got up, got dressed and began the day with Owen, Matt and Sarah (Matt's mom flew into town Sunday night). The contractions this time were a lot more painful and longer and more consistent throughout the morning than my early labor with Owen. I had to stop what I was doing while I was having one just to breathe and focus. I couldn't be sitting, either, it hurt too much.

I called Womancare Midwifery at 8AM just to let them know that today was likely the day unless things just progressed really really slow. Mary Ann reminded me that I should call back when contractions were consistently coming 5 minutes apart or much much harder and longer. Matt and I went for a walk sometime around 9 and they were coming every 4-5 minutes and a little harder. I called Mary Ann back at 10AM. She said they would come, set up, check my progress and vitals and we'd go from there.

The midwives showed up at 10:45-11AM and set up all their gear...which took awhile. You see, they carry LOTS of stuff for delivery including oxygen infant resuscitation. As soon as they walked through the door, my contractions slowed down to 10 minutes apart and not as 'heavy.' Kindra checked me and I was 4-5cm and 90% effaced. Just before noon, Kindra said she felt comfortable leaving me so long as I called back if the contractions got harder and closer together.Mary Ann made the comment she had seen women go from 4cm to 10cm in 20 minutes so don't be afraid to call. My sister Kate also left and was going to come back around 2PM.

Everything seemed under control. I felt fine. Matt wasn't even counting my contractions for me at this point. I ate some lunch and went upstairs to read. Gran was hanging out with Owen and putting him down for his noon nap. All was well. I finally called Matt in to start counting the contractions so we'd have a better idea of where I stood with everything. it was about 12:10PM.

OUCH. That one hurt. I started breathing a lot heavier during the contractions, which were now coming about seven minutes apart but much harder.

OUCH. THAT one hurt.

OWWWWWWEEE. That ONE really hurt.

Plus I started getting really annoyed at environmental things.. ex: Kaibee, our dog, was "stinking," I told Matt to get her out of the room and Owen was talking up a storm with Gran, which was distracting and annoying to me. I told Matt to shut the door. I remembered being annoyed at dumb stuff last time when things got serious.
So I labored from about noon-12:45 and told Matt, "call Kate, Call the midwives, we need them back." I knew it was time to call the midwives when I recognized the "emotional signpost" (Bradley Method) of doubt/self-doubt. I was thinking secretly to myself,


Kindra arrived first shortly before 1PM, and Mary Ann not long after that. I was lying on the bed "laboring" and then realized, I'm having way too much pain in this position, I need to get up. So I got up. Moving while in active labor was with both births extremely uncomfortable. I stood at the edge of the bed and held on to the bed post between contractions, which were getting confusing... was that a contraction or was I supposed to push there?

am I through transition?
I knew it was getting close because the midwives didn't seem too worried about checking my dilation status...

I was getting this feeling of something LARGE (think baby head) STUCK right around my anus. Sorry. It felt like I had to poop a large watermelon. There I said it. I didn't remember this feeling from Owen's birth until it was ALMOST over, so I said to the midwives,

"What am I doing here, am I pushing? I'm feeling a lot of pressure"

Kindra (calmly) "Oh, yes, Cameron this baby is coming, the head is right there, and we are seeing more and more of it."

me thinking: THE HEAD?? WHAT?

but I'm STANDING up!!!. I had not pictured a standing delivery. This is almost over? I felt like it just started, but FINE BY ME.

Kate, my sister, had rushed back to the house at some point after 1PM and I noticed her watching me, felt bad for her, and wanted to give her a little smile, like "it's okay, I'm fine," but I couldn't really open my eyes, even for a second to be my *old* self. I was in serious *la la* labor land. All I could manage were some primal grunts, groans --your typical Hollywood labor noises.

PUSH. GRUNT. PUSH. Insert primal noises and a very scared, "your doing great, Cameron" from my sister.

Water broke.

I'm thinking "oh wow, this is happening NOW."

I don't know, really, it wasn't the same type of pushing as the first labor, which was textbook-- One two three, here's a contraction and PUUSSHHHHH... Harper was more like. Ouch, ouch ouch, and feeling the uterus doing lots of it's own work and then I'm giving it a little push here and there when I felt like it.

Kindra: "Okay the head is out."

me thinking: WHAT? THE HEAD is OUT?--

okay calm yourself, now all I have to do is push the body out, so here goes...

...and next thing I knew there was a baby on a towel being handed up to me. I'm told Matt knelt down and "caught" the baby as it came out. It was pretty amazing. I went and took a seat on the bed with the new baby and lifted her leg,

"It's a girl!!" I said. Everyone laughed. I thought it would be a boy.

So my active labor was less than an hour an a half. PRAISE JESUS. I went from 4-5cm to 10cm in less than an hour. I really liked delivering during the day because then you don't have to stay up all night and never recover that sleep.

The midwives service was great, as usual, and they took care of everything, including changing and washing the sheets and linens When they leave, your house looks like they were never there (Mary Ann even brought over some homemade hummus and crackers)! They do a standard follow up visit at home one day later, and three days later. I can't say enough about how nice it is to have the baby in the comfort of your own home, sleep beside your husband that night and receive follow-up home care and lactation consulting. To me, that is the way it should be. You shouldn't have a question about nursing your baby that doesn't get answered in person by an expert. One HUGE bonus is that if it's your second child, you don't have to worry about what will happen with your first born while you go to the hospital (or your dogs) Who will watch him? How will he nap or sleep? How will you call someone at 3AM to come over? Will he be safe and happy? Those are definitely concerns I didn't have or think of until a friend pointed it out to me. A pregnant woman has enough to worry about, the last thing you need is more anxiety. Owen was able to see the baby within a half an hour of her being born (I woke him from his nap with my primal sounds **I have a video of his first reaction, which I'll post soon). Additionally, it seems like when I go to any doctor's office, I can never remember what I was going to ask them, but when the midwives come to visit me at home, the dialog begins and when they leave all my questions are answered. If they're not, of course, I can reach them on their cell phone. Prenatal and postnatal care with great customer service, Why? Because you deserve it.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

39 weeks pregnant photo

39 weeks pregnant. Photo ©2009 John Running

I am lucky to count Running as one of my friends and he really wanted to make some photos of me pregnant. I elected to do it LATE in the pregnancy so I'd be REALLY big. There are some other great artistic photos but they reveal more than I'm comfortable with for the internet and this blog (I love them, though).

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Owen's developmental psychology at 20 months

I thought I'd take some notes on Owen's behavior at this age, now 20 months today because I know I'll forget. This is really for myself so that later with the second child we'll find ourselves saying, "when did Owen do that?" Also I think the grandparents like to read stuff like this. All of his behaviors are perfectly normal and age appropriate according to what I've read online. We think he's pretty smart and lots of fun! I should organize these by category, but it's more fun this way.
  • talks/ jabbers constantly, mostly understandable, occasionally hard to know what he's saying.
  • makes 2-3 word sentences and combines two of them to make longer sentences: "night, night Mommy," "See you in the morning." -- "cement mixer." "pours concrete."
  • Yesterday he said "BAA TEET" and we had no idea what he said. It took us until today he said, "want it." "BAA TEET," in the kitchen and then pointed towards the cabinet. I then translated, OH, "special treat" and he repeated, "want it." "BAA Teet." and then added with enthusiasm, "OKAY!!" and nodded his head as if to say, yes, I'll take that now.
  • would sit for hours to listen to stories with anyone who would read to him anytime of the day.
  • very good at self-play with trucks, books and matchbox cars for 30 minutes.
  • knows the difference between a Porsche and a Mustang and can name 10-12 different matchbox cars correctly (Matt taught him).
  • knows colors: blue, purple, red, green, yellow, brown, black, pink, orange
  • can tell you 15 opposites from a book we have and learned them in one day! We were surprised. You can say one of the word (even without the book ) and he'll tell you the opposite word: ex: "neat, MESSY" and "clean, DIRTY" -- not sure if the concepts are there, but I'll test that this week.
  • fake cries when he wants a Popsicle "pop" and can't have one.
  • stops fake crying when you tell him "big boys don't cry" or "remember big brother's don't cry, they tell Mommy what they want" He says, "YEAH" and stops crying.
  • puts toys away in the bath singing, "Bye Bye ____ " fill in the blank with a toy. Sings it to a tune we learned in Music Together class.
  • loves his music together class. Loves *real* music and *kid* music.
  • prefers to do things himself, never has been big on holding my hand to do anything, unless he is really nervous.
  • in a new place, you can put him down and he'll either observe or run around and be social.
  • can tell you the difference between a front-end loader and a bulldozer. LOVES road building vehicles and book about them.
  • adores all trucks and most things with wheels will say "I love Trucks" because we have a book of that same title.
  • doesn't cry when I leave him, instead says, "see ya later, Mommy."
  • is addicted to yogurt raisins. I think he would eat the whole bag.
  • knows his African and other animals: giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers, zebra, gazelles, deer, bears, snakes, birds... many more. Loves to name them during story time.
  • He is extremely attached to a $5.00 orange matchbox garbage truck
  • loves to help Daddy fix anything with tools and toolbox. Gets out the tools and attempts to use them on the object.
  • enjoys the park and thinks he's 4 years old and can climb anything like the big boys.
  • dances and loves music. Can sing songs in tune, woke up one morning and while Matt opened the blind sang, "Good Day Sunshine."
  • Can tell you where we are going when in the car: if we pass where his music class is located he'll say, "music class, music class."
  • goes to bed very easily for nap and bedtime in his crib for anyone who does his routine.
  • Talks to himself more these days as he's falling asleep, maybe thirty minutes at night and 10 minutes at nap time.
  • talks to Kaibee, our dog, when he's alone with her.
  • really loves Kate, my sister, and her husband, Norm. Anytime you ask him who is coming over he replies, "Tía" with great enthusiasm.
  • can take his jacket off himself and put or remove his arms in the arm holes when you are dressing or undressing him.
  • sat without squirming for a haircut for 10 minutes (this surprised Mommy)!
  • fed a giraffe a "cookie" at the African Safari zoo in Cottonwood
  • not scared of Halloween objects or much in general
  • not a big fan of Kaibee barking when he doesn't expect it
  • loves other kids and plays well with them, sharing not really a concept he likes but he seems to tolerate it.
  • doesn't throw tantrums too bad, mostly we can change the topic and he'll stop crying
  • He is obsessed with that orange garbage truck and will FIXATE on it, if we can't find it or if a part pops off it. He sleeps with it most nights these days (dang thing can be pulled apart in two ways, we fix it 100 times a day).
  • starting to run a little faster, doesn't really walk backwards yet
  • can't jump yet
  • wakes up happy and talking, usually about his garbage truck
  • points to things outside the car and identifies them (knows what to expect from certain trips in the car ie: will tell you what's coming up)
  • when at computer asks to see "photos" or play songs from iTunes that he likes, "raindrops" or "yee haw"
  • interesting in potty topics, but not sure if he wants to try it himself.
  • has a limited diet, doesn't love to try new things, but occasionally he will in a setting that is not his usual high chair
  • if you asked him if he pooped, he might say "yes" or "no" and either could be correct, but if you ask him while he's pooping, if he's pooping, he gives you the right answer.
  • seems to understand that there is a baby in my belly. Loves to pull up my shirt and say "baby" or "belly button." Pretty sure he has no idea a real live baby is going to pop out any day now.
  • Will sit and listen to a 10 minute *paper* story, like Babar with lots of words. Used to get anxious while reading these but now prefers longer stories with a plot.
  • Also enjoys simple board books. Can fill in the blanks with most of these books.
  • loves the "Awe shucks" part of the Runaway Bunny book. Repeats that a lot.
  • Yesterday I said, "Daddy is a cowboy" and he replied, "Yee HAW" (I have no idea how he knew that went together- must be in a book?)
  • learning about please and thank you. Says "Thank you, Daddy" sometimes if you give him something.
  • Still uses some Baby Signs for emphasis ex: "MORE MORE" and makes the sign for more or "All done" -- Other signs he still likes, moon, helicopter, airplane, thank you, please.
  • speaking of moon: loves to point out the moon when it's dark outside and talks a lot about the moon when he sees it in stories.
  • loves anything my Mom "performs" for him and always asks for "more more" when she is singing and dancing for him.
  • can pick out family members in photographs.
  • doesn't watch TV or have interest in it much, although with help, I'm sure we could train him to like it. He has a Thomas the Train video that he likes but doesn't really watch it for long. Prefers books, just like Mommy and Daddy.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Owen photos 19 months

Some recent photos of Owen. The yellow leaves shots are from today 10/24/09, the backyard shots are from Sept. 30. All 19 months (He turned 19 months on Oct. 1).
I am 37 weeks, due very soon.


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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sleep schedule 19 months and having a sitter put the baby down

So I created this category "sleep problems" and updated it from time to time with the issues I was having with Owen early on. I didn't realize HOW difficult newborn/infant/toddler sleep can be for MOST parents. Matt and I had a really hard time for the first 6-9 months and then it seemed to improve from there. I'm hoping I can help shape the sleep of my new baby (I'm 35 weeks now) faster but I'm open to the idea that ALL babies have a mind of their own and one can only do so much.

Last time I wrote about sleep was April and Owen was consolidating from two to one naps. I'll address that briefly. Owen moved smoothly from two naps to one. Once I decided to make the switch, I followed my instinct which was to allow him to sleep at 10AM, instead of 9AM for a week or so, then slowly move that nap further and further towards my goal time of 1PM. We were at 11AM for a month but he was still sleeping through the night, and Kim West, The Sleep Lady was weary about us getting 'stuck' in this mid-morning nap routine. It does throw off your lunch schedule. I keep creeping it forward until finally I was able to push him to around noon and that's where's he's been since 15 months or so. He almost never needed the occasional morning nap while making the transition and I was able to be really consistent with the time.

So from 15-18 months he slept from noon until 3PM almost everyday and went to bed around 7:30PM (in-bed asleep, routine starting at 6:45PM) and slept through the night until at least 6AM but usually more like 6:30AM (and when we get lucky 7AM). There were some day naps that only lasted 2 hours but for the majority of days it was closer to 3 hours than 2. As he approached 18 months I began to see more 2 hour naps and now at 19 months he has made the switch to sleeping AT LEAST 2 hours but only once a week pulls the 3 hour nap.

Also, I will add that Owen will go down to nap or to bed for literally ANYONE. I don't know if this is just his personality or because we have always had other people put him down for naps and bedtime since he was 7-8 months. Our routine is easy and consistent. We can leave him at 6:45PM with a sitter and he's asleep for the night by 7:30PM. As I talked to more and more parents, I'm finding out that this is NOT the norm, which surprises me.

It was a true goal of mine to be able to leave my baby at night and be able to go out and enjoy dinner with Matt or my own friends (AND NOT WORRY). I remember feeling really trapped the first 7 months while I nursed Owen to bed every single night and Matt had the freedom to do whatever he wanted. I knew I needed to end that or I would go crazy. I also knew I was stuck and HAD to put him down or else we'd be in a world of hurt. I thought I'd talk about how I made this work for us and how if you are struggling you might be able to implement this yourself (I'm thinking you have a baby that is 10+ months here)

1) I'm betting it's way easier to get out and about when your baby sleeps through the night so tackle that first. (which means tackling daytime naps before that too). Obviously if you are co-sleeping it makes this a lot harder.
2) make sure your nighttime routine doesn't include something that only you can do: ie NURSING. Or else, guess what? Only you can do it.
3) Even if your baby is nursing before going to bed, move the final nursing earlier and make an appointment you HAVE to keep (I had weddings to be at) to go out for the duration of 6-10PM and have your husband put that baby down one a week, then twice a week, then more often? If you are always taking care of bedtime, how will it ever change?
4) Trust your husband and your baby. They will make it without you, I promise.
5) If your husband is incapable of dealing with it, (and I know they are out there) get a good friend, sister, babysitter and try that.
4) If nighttime is too hard, try the daytime naps first with a sitter on the weekends or weekday but I really think it's critical to start getting someone else introduced to baby at nap/bed time.
5) keep your routine simple. For naps we go to his room, pull the shades, change diaper, put the white noise on low and get in the same chair and read 3-4 stories with his blanket in lap, then he gets set it his crib and we say "night night." We do the same thing at night except add in a bath before changing the diaper.
6) keep your routine consistent. If you want to achieve success you are going to have to TRY really hard to have the same bedtime and nap time(s) EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day. Every day. Did I say everyday? You can vary the nap time by 15-30 minutes but I'm betting you'll have more success if you nail the times more exactly. I know this one sucks, but folks, you are ALMOST there. I truly believe that babies need to set their biorhythm clocks to a schedule and once they do, it's so predictable. If this seems outrageous to you because you tote your toddler around with you to various appointments and maybe you have another baby or child to pick up at school, then DO THE BEST you can but TRY really hard to be consistent and of course, try to shape the schedule so that it fits for YOUR life and baby's life. I would encourage you to keep a log and try it for 2 weeks and see what happens. ** I cannot stress how much I hated coming home every morning when Owen slept two naps, one at 9AM and one at 1PM, IT SUCKED. I never got any errands done, I was always at home, I could never join the library story time at 9:30AM, etc. HOWEVER, it was predictable as hell and guess what? I could get a babysitter to put Owen down and then I could go out and do errands if I really needed to. I hired a nanny to come in 2-3 days a week and watch him while I worked AND I was FREE on weekends ALL day if I wanted to leave him.
7) only make changes to your routine or life if you are ready and have support, otherwise if won't work and you'll be a wreck. All in good time but eventually you will have to LET GO. Maybe it's not right for you until your baby is 3 or 4 or 5? That decision is up to you.

I've heard it all from friends and parents and I know it's not easy when your husband travels or works late, etc. etc. I know it's not easy to "make an appointment" for yourself if you are a stay-at-home mom BUT DO IT. GET OUT without that baby. I know it seems easier just to put that baby down yourself BUT really, in the long run, it's a great bonding time for your baby and your husband and it's a great thing to feel that your child is safe with someone else.

Maybe I've just got a super independent little fellow, maybe I helped him get there? Maybe it's just his personality? -- I don't know, but what I do know is that at a certain point, all children need some time away from their parents -- it's healthy and good for them to be exposed to some different people besides Mommy. Frankly, I think this Mommy gets a little boring sometimes and Owen actually goes down BETTER for someone else.

Just this week while family was in town for my sister's wedding: my Dad put him down with 10+ adults and kids eating dinner and being loud downstairs, a new babysitter put him down the next night, my husband put him down, we left him to go to my sister's daytime wedding and another new babysitter put him down for his nap. I'll admit, I was prepared that none of this would work with the chaos of family and cousins running around in our home all week, but Owen's routine was more powerful than I anticipated.

Good luck!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Poop: 18-24 months, Joys of a Diaper Sprayer and Fuzzi Bunz

Poop. It happens.

Yes, I've been elbow deep in baby poop now for 18 months. Technically I also pick up dog poop everyday as well, just for the record. Most recently the baby poop has started to change enough (READ: sticking to diaper) to begin to disgust me and think of new strategies...

1) a diaper sprayer for the toilet ??
2) researching the dreaded potty training ??
3) disposables? (HA HA, as if)

I choose the sprayer as I don't think Owen is quite ready to potty train yet, but we will be laying a foundation soon. Heck, he's already obsessed with talking about pooping if you even LOOK at the bathroom or step near it... exhibit A:

(upon stepping into the bathroom yesterday)
"Mommy Pooping, pee pee potty?"

(while Tia Kate tried to have some privacy a couple weeks ago, foiled by the fact that Owen can open the doors in our house)
"Tia Poops? Potty? Pooping?"

(while in living room hearing Daddy peeing in the bathroom -- through a closed door)
"Daddy pee pee potty"

So, potty talk has started. Here it begins. More on this topic later. Let's get back to #1, (no pun intended)

DIAPER SPRAYER: every cloth diapering parent needs one!
So this thing rocks. I got mine at Fuzzi Bunz It's the one approved by Fuzzi Bunz, with microban (whatever that is) It basically turns your toilet into a bidet. You get a hose sprayer right by the toilet (with good pressure that is adjustable) and for just $45. If you have a hose that connects from the toilet tank to your end stop valve (where you turn the water off to the toilet) that you can easily disconnect, installing this puppy is a cinch. Leave me a comment if you have something else, I did and I got a $10 part at the hardware store and fixed it easily.

It was getting a little dicey trying to get the poop off the diapers at this point. We did go through the "it just pops off as a log" stage, and then by some unknown food force, the poop starting sticking to the diapers. Don't kid yourself, thrashing your cloth diaper around in the toilet water as you flush IS fairly effective, but it IS beginning to disgust you, no?? Don't fret, EVEN I considered disposables for a split second... but NOT long enough to give up my precious Fuzzi Bunz. I still love them.

Speaking of Fuzzi Bunz... did you know they have a Petite Toddler sizes? Yup! It's for those skinny little babies like Owen who have skinny thighs but are still getting taller and the size large will never fit. He's almost outgrowing his size mediums (15 months of use and going strong). I did have to purchase new inserts for my mediums recently as they were starting to smell slightly urine sented. Yuk. It only cost me $24, though.

Happy pooping.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Buy a plane seat for your toddler, really, you want one.

Traveling. Ah the joys with a toddler. Owen was 16.5 months on this trip. Since we live in Arizona and Matt's whole family lives in the Southeast, we took a trip back there this summer for 10 days because lord knows we won't be traveling with two babies for awhile.

Believe me one is enough. So we got the GO GO KIDZ travel mate because I knew we'd be traveling by car from Charlotte, NC to Greenville, SC, and Greenville to Athens, GA and Athens to Atlanta, GA. Plus silly me thought that if we toted that car seat with us, maybe, just maybe, there would be an extra seat on the plane and we could use the car seat to corral him.

Nope. No extra seats these days on planes-- EVEN on Tuesdays or Saturday. Sorry, if the plane isn't full, they get a smaller one and pack you into that one, oversold.

I have to say the GoGo Kidz hookup for the car seat was GREAT for transporting Owen through the airport easily and we were able to take our car seat and gate check it with no problem. I give it two thumbs up. I did find it in SkyMiles magazine for $10.00 cheaper than in One Step Ahead.

Q: So, what is it like traveling with a 16-month-old on a four hour plane ride?

A: A three ring circus in a two foot space. You become the personal entertainment and it's exhausting.

Here are some things I would recommend:
  • plan trip strategically around the nap schedule. Even if they don't sleep their full nap, at least PART of the flight they will be sleeping. Ex: Owen sleeps at noon, so we got on planes around 10:30-11AM so that he'd get settled and sleep. Also don't forget "blanket" or whatever lovey your child uses to signal it's time for sleep. (remember Owen is not an "on the go" sleeper. He doesn't sleep on us at all at this point and is pretty dependent on his routine and his crib to sleep.
  • bring new toys they've never seen before. We got some "invisible markers" and Crayola Color Wonder paper. Owen thought the markers were fun to open and close and toss on the floor. Hey, who cares if he didn't draw? It bought us 30 minutes.
  • bring books that take a long time to read. I brought Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever. It takes FOREVER to go through every page and name all the stuff. Owen loves it. We also brought some new books and those captivated him.
  • videos? We brought videos like construction trucks videos and Thomas the train videos, but Owen isn't into TV or videos yet so that was a bust.
  • come up with some fun games - like peek-a-boo or hiding the truck, or dumping "trash" from the truck.
  • buy the kid a real plane seat - in retrospect, I would've gotten him a plane seat and set up his car seat in there and I bet he would've slept 2-3 hours on the plane with all that white noise. I'm serious. It's worth it. Get your parents to chip in if they want to see their grandkids.
  • bring the child and yourself a backup outfit on board and a plastic bag. Last leg of the flight and Owen threw-up warm milk and pizza all over Matt about 5 minutes before we landed. Matt had to walk off the plane without a shirt on and Owen in his diaper. We got some looks. Better him than me. Also when Owen was 5 months he pooped something fierce and blew out his diaper, outfit and it was just nasty. I was glad I had a change of clothes and zip lock bag.
  • split the difference between the time zone change the first night and get a full nights rest the night prior to the trip. We got to Charlotte, NC at 5PM EST and 2PM our time. We kept him up until 8:45-9PM EST 6PM our time and he slept 12 hours. His usual bedtime is 7:30PM. The next day we switched to regular nap schedule and regular bedtime. We did his normal routine when we could or he would nap in his car seat if we were not at home for his nap. He did REALLY well and slept through the night almost every night in his pack n' play and took naps very well --EVEN at three different locations over 10 days. BIG difference between 5 months, 9 months (VW trip from hell) and now at 17 months. As a general rule I've read that if the child sleeps well at home, they will sleep well on vacation once they've adjusted. Owen did. :) THANK GOD.
  • bring the drugs, if you must (we did not) but Dr. Ron told me to try out Benadryl on Owen prior to the trip because it can make some kids HYPER.
As a side note, holding him to sleep and then laying him on our laps during the flight was challenging (not to mention uncomfortable, hard to eat lunch, and hotter than hell) especially considering the absolutely bitchy (sorry) flight attendant we had who got on the speaker while standing about 3 feet from me and made the announcement **with no one else up except me walking in the aisle**
"women with children should not be up in the aisle walking with their children. The captain has the seatbelt sign on"

I promptly told her, "I don't really care about the seatbelt sign right now, and if we want a happy non-screaming toddler, I'll walk him to sleep, thanks."

It wasn't even turbulent. She was just power-tripping. "And your pregnant," she added. I could've ripped the microphone from her. Obviously that woman had never had children on a plane.

Photos from this trip to follow in another photo post soon.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

7 months pregnant

photo taken July 11, 2009

Somehow I'm seven months pregnant next week. ?????

If this pregnancy is any indicator, I won't be paying any attention to this new child.

People ask me, "how are you feeling?"
me: why are they asking me how I'm feeling?, oh oh yeah, I'm huge and pregnant

To answer that for all you blog-readers (ah hem, my devoted mother-in-law), I feel great, and haven't thought twice about being pregnant so far, except for my lovely swollen feet. I haven't been riding my bike as much as I'd like or hiking because mostly I just can't carry Owen in a pack so we have to do the stroller walk thing, which is fine, it's just not hiking in the woods like last pregnancy. Strangely enough I am not putting on the kind of pounds that I was the first go round, and I'm on day 5 of a Dairy-Queen-a-day-for-a-week-kick. Yes, I know what's in the DQ and I still love it. Fact is, I'm just smaller this time. Let's not speak too soon, though, after all, I've got 13 weeks to go.

13 weeks until the newborn. REALLY? FINAL TRIMESTER HERE I COME!! I am ready to get my body back FOR GOOD.

Oh, oh, there will be no THIRD baby, I can assure you, permanent measures will take place, promptly.

I haven't had any ultrasounds since the first one at 11 weeks to determine the maturity of the pregnancy. I just didn't want to do them this time since they are not really necessary. This baby moves a lot and at this point there is not any earth shattering news I'm going to find out in an ultrasound that I can't wait for. Needless to say, we are not finding out the sex. I still believe that there are very few REAL surprises in life and this is one of those moments I look forward to, "It's a BOY." Plus I hate planning and decisions so I'll procrastinate on the naming and purchasing baby stuff until I HAVE to do it.

Come back soon, I'm posting some new photos of Owen at 17 months and discussing his AMAZING trip to the east coast in July. We almost made it back without incident. ALMOST... stay tuned.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Words, speach and my favorite age: HINT NOT NEWBORNS

So, admittedly, I'm not a "newborn" type of gal.


Yup, you got it. I really don't like newborns. Not even my own. We'll see about #2, s/he could surprise me and be some angel baby who sleeps and doesn't cry and takes a bottle and likes his/her car seat, and can be toted to restaurants and grocery stores-- BUT even still... NEWBORNS. EEEKS! Let's just put it this way, I wasn't one of those "Love at first sight" ladies. I just didn't. I was too busy being happy it was over-- the pregnancy, the delivery, the fat thighs. I mean of course you *love* them but I was more like, okay kid, start growing, let's get this show on the road.

16 months--this age, I can dig. I just love cute little Owen right now. He is technically 16.5 months now. He is just so expressive and fun and learning so much every day. Just this week he started to talk more than just the first syllables of words. He has a few distinct words that even the mailman can understand.

I'm going to catalog this stuff now because I will forget later.

"Oh no" being his real first word. He expresses this when things fall on the floor, he repeats it if you say it or if he is disappointed.
"mama" -- personal favorites, of course
"DaDa and Daddy"
"garbage" -- he finally got it. He loves garbage trucks and now when he wakes up it's all about talking about garbage.
"baby" -- what can I say? He loves books with babies in them and babies in real life, he'll even get one of his own soon.

He also somehow learned animal sounds (I guess he listens when we read stories) and he knows what they are when you ask him "Owen, what does the ____ say." He knows:
lion (hilarious ROAR)
fire truck
donkey (this one is equally hilarious: HEE HAW

He is working on new words everyday. "BEE" is currently our dog: Kaibee. I MUST get some video of his animal sounds. It's so dang cute.

Sleep update 16.5 months: A week ago we moved his bedtime to 7:30PM because he was talking to himself from 7PM-7:45 for about a week and getting fussy in the crib. It was time. He sleeps from 7:30PM until 6:00-7:15AM everyday. He hasn't been bothered by the 6 teeth he has coming in over the last 6-8 weeks. He only has 2 lower teeth to go. All molars are in, and he's chomping away (although still refuses meat). He naps from noon-2PM every day, several times a week he sleeps until 3:00-3:15. I love the afternoon nap. Mommy gets one too. I am 5.5 months pregnant now, but who has time to think about me?

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Owen and the garbage truck

Monday and Thursday mornings are special at our house. The "Gaa" comes to pick up the trash. "Gaa" is Owen speak for garbage truck and like any good little boy, Owen is obsessed with them. He holds his mini garbage truck and makes the noises and dumps the trash into the container. You can see him making noises in these photos and take a look at those eyelashes! Also he's been really cute in the bath lately and I just had to throw in the full frontal shot. All photos by me, Cameron. He is 15.5 months in these photos. More on my pregnancy soon. I'm 21 weeks and feeling great.

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