Blog Button

I figured out how to make my first blog button. Not sure what to do with it yet, but everyone else has one… and I wanted to have one too.
Here it is…

You can grab it here:

♥Sharon the Love♥
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Blog Slacking

I know, I know…I’ve been a slackaholic when it comes to the blog lately.  I’ve been having some computer issues with my Dell, thus hindering me from blogging lately.  I’ve been on my ipad a lot lately, but unfortunately it’s not very blog update friendly.  So… fear not my loyal blog readers! Updates really soon!!

…and then there were Two.

When you’re a teeny bopper and approaching college age you’re bothered by questions like “So, what do you want to major in when you go to college…” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Then once you get that figured out, and you move on and meet someone very special in your life and it’s “So, when are you both planning  to get married?” Then after you get married of course the inevitable question “So, when are you guys planning to have kids?” you wait until the time is right and have your very first child and then the questions continue “So, when are you planning for number Two?”

Of course, me being the “planner” that I am, I have already thought about this.  We have both always wanted our kids close together, but now that I see how much work goes into one baby, the thought of having two excitingly terrifies me.  Confused?  Me too.  Let me break it down for ya.

Pros of Parker having a little sis or bro close in age…

-Parker will have a friend to play with that is close in age.  My brother and I are 18 months apart and we were very close growing up.  We had some of the same friends in highschool and I even borrowed some of his Quicksilver t-shirts.  We were pals and having a big bro close in age was ‘da bomb.

-When our kids are school age, they’ll be school age around the same time.  I won’t have to worry about taking care of an infant and missing out on chaperoning a school field trip or getting involved in the T-ball team.

-Once they’re out of the infant stage  and potty trained, I can put away the exersaucers and diapers and never have to see them again.  I won’t have to break them back out  a few years later when we decide to have number two.  Having them closer together could mean that they’re interested in the same things (ie Sesame Street) around the same time.

-When we’re on family vacations, having the kids close in age will allow us to enjoy activities sooner without having to wait for the youngest to be “old enough” to be out of infant stage and able to go to theme parks or rides.

-The price of health care keeps going up, so why not take advantage of the lower rates soon before we loose our shirts on the increase in rates in the years to come?

-You’ll be younger if you hurry up and have your kids together.  You don’t have a big gap when the second one moves out and goes to college.  You can begin to plan retirement sooner.

Cons of having a little sis or bro close in age…

-Life will be pretty chaotic during infancy and will I possibly be able to give them BOTH enough of love and attention if they’re both so close in age? Will I be taking something away from Parker by doing this?

-Being pregnant can do a number on your figure.  Having babies close together can make it harder to lose the baby weight in time for baby number two, and even harder to shed the LB’s after the baby comes.

-Dan travels a lot during the week, which will basically mean that I’ll be by myself with two babies under the age of two.  Is that doable or will I literally go insane?  What about when Dan is home?  Will he ever be able to be on a conference call without having to lock himself into his car inside the garage?

-When they’re close in age, they may like the same things, but they also may fight over them too.  I know my brother and I had a fair share of giving each other wet willies and backseat fights.  We were constantly trying to push each other’s buttons and trying to drive our parents insane.

-Of course there are the financial implications of having them close together.  There just isn’t as much time to save money for nursery furniture, baby wardrobe (especially if its a girl) and all the other baby essentials.

-Having them close together would mean having two kids in this small townhouse (I say small, but I guess 2,2oo sqft isn’t TOO bad) without a real yard to play in.  I’m not sure if waiting would mean that we would be in a different home though. With the housing market the way it is, we could be here forever!

-I’ve heard that its not fun having two kids under two and having to run errands where you have to bring them along.  Actually, I’ve heard it sucks really bad.

Wait a minute… how did the Cons get so long?  We’re praying about it to see when the best time for us will be.  We were thinking about starting to try around Summertime or Fall, but we’re  not sure yet.  We shall see.

Sunday Slim-Down & Sleepy Low-Down

Sunday Slim-Down

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my slim-down goals.  So here I am.    Fortunately the weather has been nice this week and Parker and I, along with the dog have been able to get out and enjoy son nice walks around the loop.  Dan is back to traveling throughout the week, so I haven’t been able to visit the gym in a while.  Over the last month I’ve been able to loose about 4-5 lbs (four on a bad day, five on a good) and squeeze myself back into my old jeans! Yay! That was a great accomplishment, although far from my goals I have set.  However, I’m still happy that at least I’ve made some progress.  I’ve found that I can burn quite a few calories just doing housework.  Which, I never got too much into while I was working full time since we had the help of a cleaning crew.  In fact, I’m seeing just how much I can work up a sweat by scrubbing the shower and moping the floors and pushing the vac.  Ahhh…the life of a stay at home mama. Who knew?  All those peeps that thought we just watched our soaps and did carpool….Puleeez.  Just wait until little Parker becomes mobile and is crawling all over the place.  That’ll be a workout in itself.

I’ve been looking into some things that Parker and I can do together that would be fun, and started looking into the Oh Baby Fitness to see about enrolling in a few of their classes.  They’re not cheap, but it may be fun to do a few times just to change up the week a little bit.  Since it’s wintertime and the weather isn’t always nice, we have to come up with some new ideas.  I’ve also found that the more I stay busy with either chores or activities outside the home, the less I’m “snacking” and making poor diet choices.  I also have more chance  of walking more throughout the day and being active instead of staying indoors and playing on the playmat with Parker.  I’ve also heard that Gymboree has Play and Learn classes.  Has anyone been to any of these?  They sound like a lot of fun.  I’m so excited about the days ahead with my little boy!

Sleepy Low-Down

With holidays and family visiting I have to say that the sleepy low down is that he wouldn’t go down. Well, let me rephrase by saying, he refused to go down for naps.  Fighting them to be exact.  Among all of the excitement of Christmas, family visiting, unfamiliar places, and throw in a three month growth spurt and low milk supply and you have a baby on sleep boycott!  I think after things calmed down a bit, I had real high expectations that things would get back to normal in no time, but sadly they didn’t.  The naps are back to normal.  He’s taking two 1hr45min naps and one catnap in the evening.  He’s been doing great with them, but he’s been going through the typical four month sleep regression at night.  It’s crazy to think that after about a month and a half of sleeping through the night, that he would start to wake several times a night for no apparent reason.  The first thing that went through my mind is “what did I do wrong?”  “Is he hungry? Newly aware of surroundings? Teething? Ear ache? Separation anxiety? Is he off his schedule? Too attached to his paci?”  I went down the list, and did quite a few trial and errors to see if we could get him to sleep longer.  We’re still working through some of those now.  Right now I’m trying to focus on the things that I can control.  I can control his feedings, when he goes to bed, and how I respond to him when he cries.  Lately I’ve been feeding him about 8x a day.  That way, when he does wake up at night…I know, it’s not because he’s hungry (unless he’s going through another growth spurt!).  We adjusted his bedtime to earlier so that he’s not overtired and gets only two hours of awake time from his last nap to his bedtime.  We also are implementing the Ferber method, letting him fuss for 6-7 mins, listening to his cry to make sure it’s a mantra cry and not a “I really need you” cry.  I use to cringe at the thought of the Ferber method but the more I read about it, I find that he doesn’t advocate letting the baby cry for hours.  Also, this is the method that a lot of pediatricians recommend once the child is old enough (between 4-6 months) to self soothe.  We also have the benefit of watching the video monitor to make sure that everything is okay.  We originally thought he was becoming too paci dependant, but after letting him fuss a few nights when he woke up, after less than three mins of fussing he fell back to sleep without his paci, so there goes that theory.  He likes to have it to fall asleep, but he has proven to us numerous times that he will do just fine without it.  I stumbled upon this site and found it reassuring when I find myself kicking myself for things not going perfectly:

The perfectionist in me wants everything to just fall into place so I can have the perfect little sleeping baby who is attentive, happy and playful when awake, and sleeps long and well during bedtime, but when I examine it a little closer I start to realize that just like anything, it’s not going to be perfect.  I don’t sleep well every night.  I’m not always happy and attentive during my awake times.  I have my “days”… and in no way does this reflect what kind of Mom I am either.  I need to trust that God will work this out… and learn to relax and let it go and take it one day at a time.  Hopefully through the trials and errors, we will ease into something that works just right for us.

Nightlife with a four month old

Life has been super crazy lately.  My milk supply has gone down, which has made nursing my little guy extremely exhausting.  I’m trying to listen more to his cues instead of going by a schedule since my supply is so low.  Once it gets back up, we’ll be back on a routine of sorts. We are also weaning him from swaddling since he has learned to roll quite a bit.  Here is a glimpse of our night life.

This is Parker’s point of view:

8pm- Hi daddy, sure I’m ready for bath time

8:05-Oooh, warm tub.  Daddy makes the tub water just right.  Wow, daddy is a horrible singer, but I love how he scrubs my belly.

8:15-Hi Mommy, dry me off please…agooooo, goo goooooh, thank you. Nice and dry.  Ooohh, cold lotion, oh, belly time. Yay…goooh..eeeek…EKKKKK! gooo.  I love my baby massage…ooooo EEEK!

8:20-Be gentle when you dress me Mommy…Wahhhh!!!…I said gentle..suck suck, ooh, passie…thank you mom.  Oohh.. you sing much better than daddy…suck suck…*grunt” grunt…hungry…grunt grunt.  fuss…

8:25- Reading Winnie the pooh again mommy?  When will this novel end? …Grunt grunt…I hope she’s feeding me soon…maybe if I cry she’ll stop reading and feed me….Waaaah!!

8:30-Oh, big bottle.  Yum,Gulp! Oh, what is this new stuff I taste? Not mommy’s milk…gross…ooh, getting sleepy.., Oh, yeah, bottle…suck, suck, gulp…

8:38-That’s it?  That’s the end of the bottle?  Wahhh!..oh, pacie, thanks Mom.  Mommy, you forgot to swaddle me!  Waaaah!…Waahhh…Oh, mommy hand on belly…nice rock.  Who is this Jesus person she speaks of while I’m trying to sleep?  Why is she asking him to help me sleep through the night?  Aw, Mommy is leaving…Heavy eyes…deep breath…feeling very tired…zzzzzzz

12am-What was that sound?  Where’s my paci? Wahh..Wahhh!!!! Oh Hi daddy…thanks for giving me my paci…zzzzzz

2am-*grunt grunt* I’m hungry…and wet! Wahhh!  Oh, my sholder is wet too…I must’ve spit up all over myself…Waaah!

2:02- I’m REALLY hungry!! Wahhhhh!  Oh, Hi Mommy! I’m hungry! Why are you changing my diaper first?  You have to change my clothes too? I said I’m hungry!…fuss fuss..

2:05- Oooohh…boobie!  *Gulp, gulp* finally!

2:10-Feeling tired….zzzz…Why did you tickle me? Oh yeah, boobie…gulp…zzzzzzz

3am- Where am I?  I thought I was with Mommy? Waahh!!  Ooo…paci…thanks daddy! zzzzzzz

4am- I can’t sleep…it’s dark in here…Waaaaaaahhh!!!  *suck, suck* thanks for the paci daddy! zzzzzz

4:10- Did Daddy leave?  Waaaaaaaaah!!….Oh, Hi Mommy!  Is it time for milk?  Oh, paci..

4:15- Wait…I want milk…I’m hungry…Wahh!!!

4:16- Hi Mom, I’m hungry.  Oohh…Thank  you…gulp…gulp…zzzzzzzzz

5:30- Agooo…*giggle* time to play.  Agooo….Can they hear me?  Waahhh!

5:32- Hi Daddy…I don’t want paci….waaaahh!  I said I don’t want it…

5:35- Hi Mommy…Where are you taking me?  Oh, nice big bed.  There’s daddy too.  Oh, maybe I will go to sleep….zzzzzz

7am-Where am I?  I’m hungry…oh, Hi mommy. Gulp…gulp…

7:15- time to play!  Oooh, mommy doesn’t look very good.

7:20- I love my play mat…Gooooo! Eekk gooo!  Ahhh gooo!  Good Morning to me!

8am-Is it time to eat again???? Oh, Good Morning Lizzie…Yuck, cold wet tongue on my face!

Mystery solved

I know I seem obsessed with nursing by this point, but just wanted to make one more follow-up post on the one below.  I found out through the forums on La Leche League website that the reason why feeding is so painful is because I have thrush.  This is a self diagnosis, but I really believe I do because I fit all of the symptoms.  I would’ve noticed it earlier had Parker had symptoms of this (white tongue and/or white spots int he mouth), but apparently the baby can by asymptomatic.

Here are the risk factors:

  • Antibiotics administered to the mother during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or shortly before or during the time that yeast symptoms occur. Please note that antiobiotics are always administered when a cesearean section is performed or when GB Strep is diagnosed or is being treated preventatively prior to delivery. A history of long-term or frequent antibiotic use in the mother is also a predisposing factor for yeast.
  • Antibiotics administered to the baby
  • Long term or frequent use of steroids in either mother or baby
  • Nipple trauma such as cracks. The breakdown of the skin allows for the entrance of yeast as well as bacteria. Cracking is not normal. This type of nipple trauma should be addressed quickly by a lactation consultant.
  • Maternal use of oral contraceptives containing estrogen
  • Allowing damp nursing pads or bras to stay up against nipple tissue for long periods of time
  • Using plastic lined nursing pads which prevent good air flow to the nipple area
  • Pacifier use in the baby
  • Excessive consumption of dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or sweets in the mother
  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Anemia in the mother
  • Vaginal yeast infection in the mother either during pregnancy or shortly before or during time that other yeast symptoms occur. Mothers who have a history of frequent vaginal yeast infections are also more vulnerable.

Here are the symptoms:

In the Mother

  • intense nipple or breast pain that occurs from birth, lasts throughout the feeding, or is not improved with better latch-on and positioning
  • sudden onset of nipple pain after a period of pain-free nursing
  • cracked nipples
  • nipples that are itchy and/or burning and that may appear pink or red, shiny, or flaky and/or have a rash and tiny blisters; nipples may also appear normal
  • shooting pains in the breast during or after a feeding if the yeast has invaded the milk ducts
  • nipple or breast pain with correct use of an automatic electric breastpump
  • a vaginal yeast infection

In the Baby:

  • diaper rash that does not respond to typical rash ointments
  • creamy white patches that cannot be wiped off on the inside of the mouth, along the inside of the gums, inside of the cheeks, roof of mouth, throat, or tongue
  • a shiny or “mother of pearl” look on the inside of the mouth
  • breast refusal, pulling off breast, or a reluctance to nurse due to mouth soreness
  • repeated clicking during nursing
  • excessive gassiness due to the yeast’s invasion of the gut

Let’s just say that I have several of the risk factors and symptoms, so I’m pretty sure this is what it is.  Thank you Danielle for showing me the La Leche website because I may have gone on a few more weeks thinking that I had “normal” breastfeeding pain.  I hope this helps others out there wondering about persistent breastfeeding pain.  Even if you’re prepared with reading all the books and talking to several lactation consultants, there still could be more answers out there if you dig for it.

Painting for Parker

We got two things crossed off our before baby “To Do” list!  It was a team effort with help from our friends Kristin, Scott, Jason, Leslie and Michelle.  Lizzie (our dog) tried to help too, but we all agreed that that probably would not be a good idea.  Everyone did such a great job and we had a great time painting, eating a  delicious pizza lunch and enjoying frozen push up icy pops!

The second thing we got to crossed off our task list was power washing our back patio.  Scott brought over his power washer and the back patio and front driveway looks as good as new!  It was so gross too, especially the back.

The baby’s room looks great.  We are so thankful for great friends.  The bedroom was painted with love and everyone added their own special touch!  Dan and I moved the furniture back and added our wall decal above Parker’s Crib.  It looks really cute.  We’re going to wait to snap pictures when the room is done completely.

Last week I started on the window treatments for Parker’s room.  It was pretty challenging in the beginning, but I finally finished one panel and I’m hoping to finish the second one before the end of next week.  It’s a cute pattern with a white background and little blue owls.

More updates to come!