Our first pediatrician visit this afternoon proved our suspicions: Elliot weighs a full pound more than he did at birth. 9 pounds, 6.5 ounces- 21 inches long. He's already graduated into size 1 diapers. He got his first vaccine (Hep B) then we got our flu shots during the visit. We're going to seeking advice from a doctor referral at the Scottish Rite Hospital regarding one set of his webbed toes.

The key to managing a house of children as a team is having a healthy, strong and even fun pre-baby relationship. For us, we had nine years together before taking on the responsibility of parenthood. In that time, we did what other young couples do: clubbing, movies, parties, doing stupid things. These memories give us something to smile about when the weight of a stressful day- or week or month or year- drags on our spirits. More than that, these memories remind us that we had our time. The new chapter on our relationship starts with Joshua and on the next page we introduce Elliot. Over the next 18 years or so we'll be writing the next chapter in our relationship. And as we do, we won't forget the original nine years. To make sure of it, we listed the top 50 pre-baby moments. No, I won't list it all here. But here is a sample I don't mind sharing:

  1. The scavenger hunt that sent Rusty looking through huge water fountains in downtown Dallas
  2. Sitting through the scariest damn movie ever played at the Magnolia Theater from the AFFD
  3. Taking kung fu classes together
  4. Seeing The Cardigans in concert with Matt Musselman
  5. Seeing Meat Beat Manifesto in concert, then hearing how people got diarrhea from the bass
  6. Seeing The Polyphonic Spree at the last Fry Street Fair held on Fry Street
  7. Our trip to San Francisco
  8. Skydiving- twice
  9. Shaving Matt Peck's head drunk
  10. Upon entering our honeymoon suite: “Where’s the bed?”
I'm not sure what we'll do with our complete list. Print it and scrapbook it some day, keep it on the server as a file, add a printed copy to our wedding album. Having our list is a start. And an end in some ways.

I'm eating the worst PB & J I think I've ever had. The bread, the jam and the peanut butter are all wrong. Rusty tried to guess my preferences during the last grocery run. He got lite wheat bread (the first ingredient is water and I can believe it), sugar free jam sweetened with Splenda, and Smucker's Natural peanut butter. Smucker's isn't so bad in of itself, I just have to add my own sugar and keep the oil stirred around before refrigerating. Next week I'll defend my palate by listing a specific brand, one I know I like to take the guessing game out of shopping for me.

Josh is driving me up the walls. He's testing the boundaries of what power he has over us. For example, he'll ask for a cracker in the middle of dinner then flip out when we suggest he eats his dinner first. After dinner, after he begs and whines relentlessly for that cracker, I hand him a cracker to hear him whine "No want a cracker!" A pause then, "Juice?" He doesn't really want a cracker or juice or cheese or banana or whatever, he just wants to know if we'll give in to his request. The other thing driving me up the walls is his persistent whiny voice screeching "no want it no want it no want it..." He says this for EVERYTHING. No want it bath. No want it shoes. No want it bed. No want it head. Yes, he actually said he didn't want his head once. Ask him what he does want? "No want it."

SUCCESS!! I got Elliot latched on correctly on one side this evening and successfully breastfed him. The other side, the one healing from mastitis and damaged nipple, isn't ready for him to breastfeed on so I'm still pumping. No more fever, minimal soreness and it's slowly gaining milk supply on that side. For a few days he may be alternating between breast and bottle until the other side is fully healed again. This whole experience has reaffirmed my desire to only have two children- no more.

Today was the first day I ventured out of the house for non-medical reasons. Our little monkey (one of my nicknames for Elliot*) has already outgrown the newborn size diapers so we went to the store for a few things. Elliot slept in the sling the whole time we were in the store. Rusty was the one with the sling.

*Names of endearment for Elliot: little monkey, little Elliot, fuss nuts, newb, and Moe. Rusty calls him Moe, I don't.

Ah Shalom.

Elliot is sleeping in the sling, Josh is going to bed and the house is at peace again. For now.

Since the blockage in my milk supply, I've been taking it easy. Elliot wasn't latching on correctly- or he was insufficiently sucking- which caused some damaged to my nipples. After talking to a lactation consultant, we decided I needed to heal so I'm pumping every 2-3 hours then feeding Elliot breast milk with a bottle. I'm hoping things will be healed by Monday and we can try breastfeeding again. My midwife isn't keen on my using a bottle but at this point I don't care about anyone's opinion. When the most sensitive area of the body hurts repeatedly and never gets a chance to heal, criticism falls on deaf ears.

In other news, Josh continues to be an angel around his brother. I can't wait to see how different- or similar- these boys will be when Elliot gets older. So far, they are both very different babies...

Josh as a newborn vs. Elliot:

Swaddling- Josh loved it, Elliot loathes it
Sling- Josh hated being in a sling, we can hardly calm Elliot without it
Pacifier- Josh was addicted, Elliot rejects them
Bottles- Josh did fine the first time I bottle fed him, Elliot needs some coaxing
Spit up- Josh was a prolific spitter-upper, Elliot rarely has spit up- so far
Back sleeping- Josh never had problems laying on his back to sleep, Elliot hates it

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am most grateful for family. Rusty's parents came to our house for the big meal. In addition to playing with Josh- who was so wound up over grandparents that he refused to nap- they cooked a traditional meal in the kitchen and helped clean up. They also helped with my drama de jour.

Oh drama. I feel like a drama queen lately. Today it was a clogged duct in my breast. It started this morning as a mild sore spot. I fed Elliot but the soreness didn't go away, it intensified. It got worse over the course of a couple hours preventing me from lifting my arm, bending over, doing anything. I started to get the chills even though I was wearing a double layer shirt and a jacket. The house was in the 70s, but I was shaking like a penguin. A call to the midwife and a lactation consultant got us good advice and prescription antibiotics. I breast fed Elliot on the sore breast only in hopes of unblocking the duct. It's still sore but I'm not running a fever and it's better. Long story short, because I need to feed Elliot again, I was miserable for the majority of the day. It was so great to have family here to help out.

peace out until later

the power to blog compels me... but I don't have time or two hands to type with. :-(

I forgot a couple details:

He weighed in at 8 lbs., 6 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Overall, a bigger babe than Josh who was 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 inches long.

It's time. Wish us luck!

Why
Am
I
Taking
thIs
loNG?

I had my midwife appointment this afternoon. I'm still healthy and still pregnant. For those interested: weight 172, blood pressure 110/64, baby has dropped into -1 station still at 3cm dilated, cervix is very ripe. We decided to check again for any progress (none to report) and during the check we decided a cervical massage might help speed things along without being too invasive. We'll see.

Josh has picked up whining. He's also begun dramatic displays of disappointment by tossing his head on the sofa or edge of the counter. This morning he asked for a banana with breakfast. I explained we have no bananas left, "Do you want some toast instead?" He grabs the counter and buries his head on his heads chanting "no want toast, no want toast..." in a high pitched almost cry-like sound. Of course he's not all that upset. He's just protesting our lack of bananas.

I spent yesterday and a little of today hand sewing the top edge of the curtains for the nursery. They are up and functional, but not complete. The sides and bottom need to be hemmed but that can wait for some other day. They're hung and I'm finished worrying about them. yay!

After tonight, I'll be nearly out of projects to do around the house. I've nested, cleaned, fixed, unpacked, organized, shuffled, saved and prepped as much as I can. The last project I can do in my spare time while waiting is to organize the mp3 files on the server. I started that earlier this week and have another day's worth of work I can invest into it.

uh-oh. I hear a thump upstairs. I think Josh is awake.

Starting yesterday I've slowly begun to discharge the mucus plug. It's a different experience than the first birth. The first time, I was already well into early labor when the whole mucus plug came out at once. This time, totally different timing, totally different consistency. Sadly, it doesn't mean much in regards to timing of when I'll go into labor. Could be tonight. Could a week from now.

No baby today.

It's interesting how people respond when I tell them the due date was nearly a week ago. Here's a sample of recent responses:

Lady at Wal-Mart- "Really!!?? And the doctor says it's ok? ... Usually they don't let you go so long."
Mom at park- "You're stronger than me. I couldn't wait to get Connor out when he was due."
Server at Peter Piper Pizza- "Wow. And you're here?"
Friend- "How long will you let it go?"
Friend's mother- "I can't believe you're still getting around so well."

In a time of inductions and schedules, many people can't understand why I would want to let Nature run the course. It just makes sense to me. Women are designed for this and we each have a different rhythm. Some are early, some are on time, and some are late. I guess I don't see the need to rush things if I'm not in pain and am healthy.

Now, having said all this... I am getting impatient.

But hey, I'm human. :-)

Still waiting...

We were supposed to have rain today. For nearly a week the forecasters have rain clouds pictured for today. At minimum a 30% chance. I did not see rain! There is no rain! Where is my rain!? It's a lovely day otherwise. Nearly 80 degrees, clear skies, breezy and no rain.

*sigh*

Josh is in school starting today instead of tomorrow. Rusty's new bet for when Newby II will be born is Thursday. He feels pretty confident about Thursday. I was hoping for today or tomorrow, but my confidence in those days are waning. To pass the time, I'm going through the mp3 music folder and cleaning up tags (artists, song title, album, etc.) It's something stupid we want to do but it takes time. Which I have.

No baby.

Saw "No Country for Old Men". Didn't care for it. I like Cohen brothers movies, but this one missed. It wasn't the gore. It just felt flat. The story wasn't complex, the characters didn't have depth and weren't unusual, it lacked the humor, wit and dialog I expected. But it was a date with Rusty that didn't cost us any cash (yay gift certificates!), perhaps our last for a while.

Nope. No baby today.

We saw Matt & Samantha's new home in McKinney this evening. Dang it's far away! But they're close to family and have the house layout they wanted. It's a nice mostly one-story home. I say mostly because the upstairs is one big entertainment room with a half bath. Well, it will be an entertainment room when they move stuff in. All the bedrooms are downstairs. It's a nice little development all sparkly brand new. I'm sure the area will flesh out nicely once businesses move closer and Hwy. 121 is completed.

On the way home from our visit, we entertained a bored Josh in the backseat by singing. Here's the song we adapted for the journey:

The wheels on the car go 'round and 'round... all the way home!
The wipers on the car go swish swish swish...
The windows in the car go up and down...
The speed detector goes errgp, errgp, errgp...
The radio in the car goes [we made up music sounds]...
The brakes on the car go [Rusty: eek, eek, eek]... me: The bat in the car goes eek, eek, eek, all the way home. (That cracked us up so we kept going with it-)
The monkey in the car goes oooh, oooh, oooh...
The elephant in the car goes errrrrrrvvv!...
The wombat in the car goes- [what the hell does a wombat sound like!?]...
The doggie in the car goes arf, arf, arf...
The parrot in the car goes braa, braa, braa...
...and so on.

We finally set up a college fund for the boys' future. Yay! Our financial dude came over to help with questions even though we didn't sign anything with him that would give him a commission. I thought that was way cool of him. He could have just walked us through it on the phone or by email, but I appreciated the personal touch of the home visit. So it's set up and we'll soon add funds to it.

Still no baby.

Feeling big and heavy. And hungry. It's time for ice-cream and more honeydew melon.

Still no baby.

Oh yeah, new pictures on Gallery. w00t.

(Last 2 pages of Joshua's folder plus last page of Newby II.)

No baby yet. The midwife checked me on my request. I'm nearly 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. No contractions, no cramping in days, no further signs of anything happening. So we continue to wait. It could be hours or it could be more than a week. Rain is in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. My bet is on one of those days. Rusty's hoping late this week. Dinah is hoping for Sunday morning. If you'd like to take a guess on the day, click the comment link below and place your bet.

I spent much of today shopping. I got all sorts of things I've been looking for: socks for Josh, bath towel for Newby II, relaxing classical guitar music (to help put Josh and his brother to sleep), lamp for nursery, Big Brother/Little Brother outfits, a small basket for the bathroom, and most importantly a lovey (well, 2 actually) for Newby II. Josh's lovey is Puppy. He's had Puppy at his side since he began sleeping in his crib his first week. His brother has a Tigger doll waiting. I also got a honeydew melon per Preethi's suggestion that it's what sent her into labor when she was late. I'll slice it open Friday.

Other than making curtains for the nursery (I hate sewing!), I'm done with all the big projects and ready for this baby. But I'm also patient. I enjoy the peace, the freedom, the sleep, the time with Josh and Rusty. I'm not going to rush things until he's really late. I need to enjoy these last few days lest I forget how difficult the first few weeks are with a newborn.

Here's a cow picture I put on Josh's shirt before he went to school this morning. He hasn't noticed that his usual milk is switched to soymilk. It's a reminder to his teachers (and us) that he's on a lactose free diet this week.

No baby yet. No signs of pre-labor either. He's just chillin' in there taking his time.

After eating lunch with Rusty today, I got a sever case of no-motivation-to-do-anything. I started out string this morning knocking out things on my to-do list: take Josh to school, drop off stool samples to pediatrician (more on that later), grab caffeine free latte, talk to Bank of America about their 529 college fund, take Soymilk to Josh's school, start prepping fabric for sewing curtains...
...then I had a yummy sandwich and chocolate malt...
...and took a nap...
...and that's about it.

About the stool. Josh has had loose stools for about 6 weeks. It ranges in consistency from kinda-firm to oatmeal to soupy. I called the pediatrician about this a few weeks ago and the nurse practitioner recommended removing dairy from his diet and increasing fiber foods. I reduced dairy and upped the fiber to no significant change. So we took a visit to the doctor's yesterday and she requested stool samples to send off to a lab. Normally Josh has a couple BMs a day. But in 24 hours, he gave us an amazing FIVE poopy diapers. Enough to fill every sample container required for the lab test. So we'll find out if he has virus, bacteria, lactose intolerance, or just chronic toddler diarrhea. (Which does exist and goes away on its own between three and five years!)

Tomorrow morning I attend a market research group for a cool $65. The topic is about grocery shopping. I originally wanted to take the cash straight to a massage therapist on Thursday for some lower back and foot attention. But we're low on cash this paycheck thanks to the timing of a number of bills. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that grocery shopping is more expensive these days? Seems like we're spending more on food each week than we budgeted for back in the summer. Anyway, I'm undecided whether to use my cash for myself or deposit it. I want to treat myself but I feel a little guilty not giving back to the household. After all, $65 is roughly half of our weekly grocery bill- on average.

Time to pick up and prep for dinner.


Not to get anyone's hopes up too high, but I think my body is preparing for labor. I have two signs of pre-labor this weekend. We're still waiting and promise to get the word out when the time comes. The official due date is Wednesday (Nov. 7th).


Our monster house! raaaaarrrrrrr!!

Made of card board, painted w/ interior latex paint, held up by hooks on top and string on bottom. We had TONS of trick or treaters yesterday. We ran out of candy after 2 hours despite our full bucket of $30 in treats. Next year we'll have more candy and will probably add something to the Monster look.


Joshua was an adorable puppy. He had a great time collecting candy in his dog bone candy pail (made of an oatmeal box w/ construction paper bones) and handing out candy to other kids. His favorite treat: suckers.

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