T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh but it's cold (and snowy) outside...

What do you do when it's cold and snowy outside?

If you're T Rex -

You're sorting letters and flash cards while cozy warm inside but still able to admire the loveliness of winter.

If you're Little Girl -

You're staying cozy warm inside remembering the really cozy warm days inside Mom (only two weeks ago).

If you're T Rex Mom -

You're finishing up a school assignment during the precious nap time hours when both (yes, both) kids are sleeping.

If you're T Rex Dad -

You're napping after managing both kids while T Rex Mom studied.

If you're Anya -

You're waiting impatiently at the door scratching to come in (she's been such the beast since Little Girl was born - she did not have this much adjustment difficulty when T Rex was born - I think she's upset that there's another "princess" in the house).

What are you doing this winter day?

Friday, January 29, 2010


A couple of updates:

After losing 4 oz in the hospital and coming home weighing 6lb, 2 oz, Little Girl (who does have a name but continues to be called Little Girl or Baby Sister) had her well check yesterday at 11 days old.

She weighed 7 lb, 2 oz - up an entire pound - she is a good eater and nurser and I must be providing good milk. I've been doing single sided feedings - meaning emptying one entire breast at one feeding. It's a suggestion I read in the Baby Whisperer's book. It did take a little getting used to but it means she gets all three milk types and not just the foremilk. Not issues latching on and still no breast tenderness. I have been using the Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter - it is awesome. I highly recommend it. (I have also been utilizing the same brand's bottom balm and bottom spray - without going into much detail I also highly recommend those products as well.)

We have introduced the pacifier - I know the company line is you are supposed to wait until 4 weeks when breastfeeding is well established. We did this with T Rex and he would never take a pacifier and never take a bottle. We are waiting on the bottle (which will have breast milk in it), but I'm not going to pass up our opportunity to have one more soother. Funny I would use that term as it is the "Soothie" brand that is most definitely her pacifier of choice.

She is a really good baby. She wakes twice a night to feed and generally goes right back to sleep. Rarely does she cry and when she does it generally means she's wet or hungry. I firmly believe God gives you as much as you can handle. T Rex was a really tough baby and continues to be a fitful sleeper as a toddler. How grateful we are to be given an angel baby. Although, T Rex did tell his dad (not me yet) "I love you" - that keeps us going on those long nights. They are only tiny once - someday we will miss this. And it has to be easier than the teen years, right?!?

At day 8, Little Girl's umbilical cord stump fell off - T Rex Dad was so sweet - he was changing her diaper and when I walked into the room he seemed so concerned that it had fallen off - as it seemed to fall off sooner than T Rex's. Hence, he saved it for me to see - I did not need to see it but I still thought it was a cute father moment.

Since that happened I felt it appropriate to give her first bath. Here are some photos - none of the actual bath to preserve the little one's modesty.

Modeling one of the types of chlorine free diapers we are trying - these are Seventh Generation brand - not our most favorite. We'll keep you posted as to which ones we like best. She's still too tiny to fit into her cloth diapers.

Continuing my obsession with baby feet - I can't get enough! Both she and T Rex have their dad's feet. Looking at her toes I can see good ballet potential - can't you just see pointe shoes on those feet?!? (My niece already sent her a tutu and my mom already got her some ballet slippers!)

Long fingers - like her mom and brother - can you say piano player anyone? (Franz Liszt was known for his amazingly long fingers.)

"Clean, Clean Baby!" - from our bath song we sing around here. Note the amazingly soft, fluffy blanket she is on - I've never seen such a luxurious baby blanket (my first ever package from Land of Nod - Thank you, Karen, we love it).

T Rex Dad is currently on his two weeks of paternity leave so we are loving having him home. Yes, his project at work is completed and most of the kinks have been worked out. He was due for a much needed break if you could call this a "break".

And school is cruising right along. Speaking of which, I have to get back to my assignment - I'm struggling with the difference between "operationally defining a concept and providing an operational definition of a key term" - I can only surmise it's like the difference between a paint horse and a pinto horse - all paint horses are pintos but not all pintos are paint horses - confusing much?!?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snap Shots from Our Afternoon...

Several folks have asked about how we're juggling having two small children and me being in school. It has been interesting the past few days but we're starting to get a handle on things.

Luckily, T Rex Dad will be home with us the next couple weeks - he had a big project roll out last week so he had to work all week including the weekend. However, now he can officially begin his paternity leave. And T Rex is just loving having his dad home.

This was our afternoon...

Can you find the kids?

T Rex enjoying the tent - a much welcome distraction so I could do some reading.

T Rex in the tunnel to the tent working his letters.

Little Girl snoozing on the couch next to me while I read - so far she's just been the best baby - we're really hoping it continues! I've also found breastfeeding to be good for studying as I can listen to my lectures while I nurse her! Time management!

There you have it - a snap shot of how I've been studying...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blissful Happiness...

Thank you, Kim, for the award - I am to list ten things that make me blissfully happy. Since I'm a new mom (for the second time), I thought I would list ten things I like about being a new mom - again...

(not in any particular order)

1. New baby smell - what is it about that new baby smell? I can't get enough.

2. Those tiny baby features - T Rex has been obsessed with counting Baby Sister's toes and fingers - and I just love seeing those tiny feet - I LOVE baby feet!

3. Baby snuggles - our new little one is just the snuggliest little thing - she likes to nuzzle right in under my neck. And then I can feel her soft breath on my skin.

4. Baby breath - I used to be so charmed by puppy breath but baby breath is so much sweeter and then there's the milk mustache that goes along with it.

5. Breastfeeding - I know that sounds weird to some folks but I actually really enjoy nursing my babes - although, when they are at this "noodle head" stage it is more challenging than I remembered but I enjoy the quiet contemplative time bonding with my youngling. I was so sad when I weaned T Rex about 6 months ago. And I think having nursed so recently has made things so much easier - my milk came in only 2 days after Little Girl was born and I've had very minimal sensitivity. Plus, there is the added bonus of enjoying some feminine curves as I am normally not so well endowed!

6. Not being pregnant any more - I have to admit, it is strange (and at times sad) no longer having the little one inside. I have to remind myself I can once again tie my shoes and bend at the waist. And T Rex is so happy to once again be able to sit in my lap for close snuggles. Additionally, it's amazing what kind of appetite I've developed since the nausea of pregnancy is gone and I'm making milk - can you say eat-a-thon?!? Thankfully, so many wonderful friends and family have brought over meals - we have been eating SO good around here!

7. Instant weight loss - I gained about 25 lbs total this pregnancy compared to 40 lbs with T Rex. In the past week I've dropped 15 lbs and am hoping to drop a few more in the forthcoming weeks. Always exciting to check the scale daily to see the pounds melt away.

8. Seeing my oldest interact with my youngest - T Rex is just the best big brother - he so loves "Baby Sister". If she is not in the room he inquires about her and has to see that she is alright. And he is my little helper - taking diapers to the trash.

9. Seeing my husband change diapers and snuggle the baby. My father was never really all that involved in my life when I was young, and especially not when I was a young child. I'm certain he never changed a diaper. Maybe that's why I am so grateful to be married to a man that insists on being so involved in the care of our children. (He's tucking T Rex in bed as I type.) He has, by far, changed more #2 diapers than I have.

10. Just thinking about being a mom - I'm a mom and a mom of kids. No longer can I say I have a child. No, I have kids - with an "s" - gosh, does this mean I'm a grown-up now?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Better the Second Time Around...

As today is our official due date for Little Girl to be born, I thought it appropriate to share our birth story.

Friday, January 15th, 2010
- In the evening I noticed I was having regular contractions about every 10 minutes - not painful just some predictable tightness. These continued throughout the night and into the next morning.

Saturday, January 16th, 2010
- That morning contractions had eased and were only coming about every 15 minutes. Our day continued as normal although, I had thought to cancel our lunch and dinner dates that day. And I put Ms. Caitlin, who would be taking T Rex for us, on standby.

1:00 pm
- Same kind of contractions but every 5 minutes - I started thinking something might actually be happening. I continued sitting on the birthing ball and started a new knitting project and checked a few blogs.

2:15 pm
- Contractions continued but now every 3 minutes - some are pretty intense but still not painful

3:15 pm
- I wake T Rex Dad (he and T Rex were napping) to tell him we should take T Rex to Ms. Caitlin's just in case.

4:15 pm
- Dropped off T Rex - contractions every 2 1/2 minutes - still not painful. We did not stay too long as we had never left T Rex overnight anywhere and I knew if I thought about it too much I would burst into tears. As we left we debated whether we needed to go back home or if we should go directly to the hospital. As we drove away my stomach started to get upset. We opted to go directly to the hospital. They could always send us home.

5:15 pm
- Arrived at hospital and hooked up to monintors - indeed, contractions were every 2 1/2 minutes. I did not start feeling too uncomfortable until I had to sit in the bed while the nurse did a 20 minute recording of contractions and baby's heart rate. After this the nurse did a cervical check - nearly 3 cm and 50% effaced. The nurse unhooked the monitor and suggested I walk for an hour to see if anything changed.

7:45 pm
- After an hour of walking the nurse did another check - no change. The nursing staff did a change of shift so we picked up a new nurse. She suggested I get into the hot tub for an hour to see if that would make any changes. As I sat in the hot tub I prayed that somehow things would work out for us to have our baby that night and that everything would go smoothly. It was actually a very zenful experience. The contractions continued at about every 2 minutes but still not too painful. However, occasionally I would have trouble breathing during a contraction just because the tightness seemed to make breathing difficult.

8:45 pm
- Another cervical check - no change. We were pretty sure we would be heading home to wait things out. The nurse was not sure what to suggest. My question was how to know when to come back to the hospital - with contractions coming so close together and lasting nearly a minute how would I know. T Rex Dad and I decided we would go home and stay there until things got too painful or I could not walk. The nurse said she had to call the doctor to get a discharge order so I was to wait until she came back. We started to gather our belongings to head home.

9:00 pm
- Telephone in our room rings - it's our OB/GYN, Dr. C. I speak with him. He says he can give me something to help me sleep and send me home but he is concerned I'll just end up back at the hospital a couple hours later. Our L&D nurse told him she thought all I needed was a "little push" to get things started. Therefore, if I wanted he could break my water and see if that jump started things. I was great with that plan and immediately agreed. As I hung up the phone I realized I did not ask T Rex Dad what he thought but he smiled and said that, of course, he was fine with whatever I wanted to do.

9:30 pm
- I started to get horrible shakes.

10:30 pm
- Nurse comes in and we start signing papers and she proceeds to start an IV. Poor dear, after 2 attempts she could not get a line started so she called in another nurse. She was successful but it took 45 minutes. (I'm a nurse and have had this happen to me many times.)

11:15 pm
- Nurse anesthetist (CRNA) comes in to put in epidural - three attempts later it was in. The first attempt resulted in hitting an epidural vein. The next, I was getting horrible flank pain. Finally the last was successful. It was so hard to stay scrunched in a ball that long. And it really was quite uncomfortable - more so than the contractions I continued to have.

- Dr. C comes in and breaks my water after which the CRNA starts the epidural drip. As the drip starts I started to feel really light-headed. I think my exact words were, "Is it a concern that I feel so lightheaded?" I was immediately given ephedrine and that woke me right up - now even more shaking. The monitor is still showing regular contractions every 2 minutes but even when Dr. C broke my water there still had been no cervical changes so he suggested we give things a boost with a bit of pitocin - I believe they started with about 10mL/hour. Dr. C said he was going to go down the hall and get some rest and the nurse would call him when he was needed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1:00 am
- The epidural is starting to kick in - I am numb everywhere I need to be, even a little in my hands. It was actually a little surreal. I could not even sense a contraction. Talk about pain management! (Well worth the ordeal to get it in. Until I was numb I had not realized how much pain I really was having.) Still more ephedrine being given. Pitocin increased to 16mL/hour. Continued shakes - nurse wraps me in warm blankets as there is a lot of cold fluid going into me. T Rex Dad lays down to get some rest. I lay in bed, immobile, and just contemplate the last few hours of being pregnant with Little Girl.

1:45 am
- Another cervical check - 5 cm/70% effaced. I pull out my knitting and attempt to keep busy as the ephedrine has me wired. However, the pulse oxometer on my finger keeps alarming when I bend my finger so no more knitting. I opt instead to say a few prayers and meditate.

2:45 am
- I start to have intense bottom pressure and the sensation that I might need to push. I call the nurse and she comes in - 10cm and fully effaced. She asks if I would like to try pushing. T Rex Dad and nurse assist me to attempt a few pushes to see what happens.

3:00 am
- I push twice and nurse immediately says "STOP! We have to get doctor, you're going to have this baby!" I pant every time I feel the need to push.

3:10 am
- Dr. C comes in and starts to prep - I think it took longer for him to dress than to push the baby out!

3:25 am
- Little Girl is born after 2 more sets of three pushes. I never felt any pain and am completely surprised by how fast it went!

6 lbs, 6 oz - 20 1/2 inches

Dr. C and Nurse C

With my new babe

T Rex Mom, T Rex Dad, and Little Girl

In our labor room there was only the doctor, nurse, T Rex Dad, and me. It was so intimate. It made for a beautiful birth experience - especially since everything went so quickly and smoothly and entirely pain free.

(I am sure that it helps she was so tiny. How grateful I am to not have to go 42 weeks and have an 8 1/2 lb baby this time! But it's all balanced out by the 9 months of nausea! But it is all SO worth it!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Project...

This is what I did for my three day weekend...

"Little Girl"
Born: 1-17-2010 at 3:25 am
6lb 6 oz, 20 1/2 inches long

Align Center

We are thrilled beyond belief!!!

(More to come when we're back home.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Experiment...

During the holidays we had some friends over who wanted to run an experiment on T Rex. Of course, the first thing we said was "NO!" However, upon hearing more about it, we agreed.

Back story...

These family friends of ours have a grandson about 2 months younger than T Rex. He is a sweet little guy living between two parents. He lives predominantly with his mother who is fairly young and who works many hours per week. Thus, the television tends to be turned on a great deal at their house for his entertainment.

On Christmas, said little guy got to spend the day with his Dad and his family (our family friends). The Dad gave his little boy a toy machine gun as a gift. Upon opening the gift, the young child proceeded immediately to point the toy gun systematically at each person while making shooting noises as he pointed it at each person. Now, this might be considered fairly normal behavior if he were a little older (and perhaps also ill behaved, but that's a side issue). However, in a child barely 2 years old, the event was disconcerting.
He didn't know better, but he knew what a machine gun did (and how it sounded!).

Fast forward
week or so.

These family friends come over for a visit. They tell T Rex Dad and myself of this event and we agreed
to run "the experiment". T Rex has never seen TV; he has only watched select Baby Einstein and Sesame Street DVDs. He has never even seen a TV commercial. And, on average, he only watches these shows three or four hours a week. Since he no longer needs asthma breathing treatments, his show watching time has declined significantly.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids should not watch any TV, including age appropriate shows, until the age of 2. This is because of a variety of factors, one of which is a predisposition to autism. However, following this was not possible for us. T Rex had to start taking breathing treatments at age 6 months and the only way to get him to sit still for the 30 minutes was to put on a Baby Einstein show. We tried other methods before trying shows, including holding T Rex down. For those of you who do not know, it is physically impossible to hold a mask on a child for 30 minutes when they do not wish you to. It was our pediatrician who recommended we try the DVD watching as a calming aid. I personally, do not have a problem with children watching age appropriate shows in moderation.

Thus, T Rex is the control in this experiment; no TV exposure. Therefore, the question: Is it innate knowledge for kids to know what to do with a gun (i.e. point and shoot) or is it learned behavior?
The little guy in the beginning of this story had been exposed to many hours of TV and knew exactly what to do with the toy gun. What would T Rex, having never seen such things, do?

Disclaimer: This is not an anti-gun posting. If you know me personally, you know my opinions on guns and gun control. Rather this is a posting about age inappropriate television viewing by children.

The Experiment:

T Rex Dad had a couple of toy squirt guns from his youth that he dug out. They were placed in the toy area where T Rex could find them. One was a AR-15 style machine gun (for those of you know know what this looks like) and the other a miniature sized MP-5 style (but pistol sized) gun. T Rex immediately saw them and went right for them. The pistol sized gun he turned upside down and drove around like it was a car along the counter making "vroom, vroom" noises. The 'sights' on this gun are rounded and look sort of like wheels. The AR-15 style "machine gun" he picked up and carried around shaking
(it rattled a bit) to hear its rattling noise, for about 10 seconds, then dropped it as it was not very interesting to him. He then picked up a handful of foam letters to show off. And that was it. No pointing or shooting - nothing. Only shaking, rattling, and driving. He did not return to play with or touch the toy guns again all evening. Total play time with them was about 60 seconds.

Of course, this "experiment" lacks actual scientific validity because there are not the necessary numbers to make it statistically significant. However, I believe if it were repeated with a larger population base, findings would be similar. The question is, what does this mean for the future of these two kids? Will there be any difference in the way they turn out because one had early inappropriate TV exposure versus the one who did not? Who knows, but I'd rather have T Rex playing such games when he's a bit older. Two years old just seems so young to have such knowledge.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A B C's...

Yes, you're probably thinking this posting has something to do with my little one's current obsession with letters.

Yep - we pretty much do something letter associated multiple times during our day here. Even bath/shower time has turned to "ABC" or letter time. And T Rex can do a mean version of the ABC song.

However, this is not the purpose of this posting. Rather, I've been tagged by multiple people to do an "ABCs of Me" posting.

So, I'll see if I can do this justice. I'm not entirely sure what the rules are and if you want to play along feel free to post your own ABCs.

A - Actually one of my favorite letters - my maiden name begins with this letter and it's my favorite grade in school!

B - Balls - one of T Rex's most favorite things.

C - "C is for Cookie" - one of the current favorite tunes playing in our home on a daily basis - sung, of course, by Cookie Monster himself!

D - "Duck" - one of T Rex's early favorite words. And another favorite obsession but finally starting to wane. If I ask him what "D" stands for he will say "Duck" and "Daddy". I know T Rex Dad is happy to be somewhere on that list!

E - Elvis - my mom's all time favorite man! A close second is Tom Selleck - I happen to agree with her choices!

F - I never got one of these in school - I still shutter to think of the thought of doing so - bad nightmare!

G - Grover - My son's preferred Sesame Street character today (usually it's Elmo or Cookie) - maybe has something to do with the Grover sweatshirt he wore this morning to play group.

H - Home - my favorite place to be - I love being home with my family.

I - Ice cream - one of my most favorite foods! Poor T Rex Dad, I've been insisting on DQ chocolate ice cream cones as of late - usually at 8:00 at night! What a guy!

J - Most of our family members names start with J - there are a lot of us with the nickname of "J". Plus, I think it's a cool looking letter!

K - Kitchen - one of my favorite places to be at home!

L - Love - lots of love fills our home - there is not a shortage of hugs and kisses in this place. T Rex grabbed his friend today and gave him a really aggressive hug - sometimes his hugs are a little bit painful but the intent of kindness is there.

M - Momma - I never get tired of hearing T Rex's sweet little voice say "Momma" - especially when he says, "Momma, snuggles" - melts my heart!

N - Neil Armstrong - first man on the moon! Although, I think the last man on the moon - Eugene Cernan was much cooler. We're big into space travel around here. Check out T Rex's room if you haven't seen it yet.

O - Odd - I cannot think of anything O related except the shape reminds me of a ring and that makes me think of Stargate SG-1 - my most favorite TV of all time.

P - Planet Mars - I'm going there someday!

Q - Queen - I used to pretend I was a queen. I would sit in my most fancy dress with a homemade crown on my head delegating to my subjects (usually a variety of stuffed animals).

R - "Rome, by all means Rome" - a favorite place T Rex Dad and I visited about 5 years ago - I hope we can do it again some day.

S - South - I lived there for a time when I was a kid. When the other kids heard I had moved from Las Vegas they asked if I had ever played a slot machine, if there were slots in the schools, and if they taught gambling in school. I was 7! NO!

T - Target - my favorite store! Is there anything one can't find there?!?

U - Uterus - I'm not sure mine can stretch any bigger at the moment!

V - The most popular formation the geese fly in when flying over my house every morning and every evening. I love to spot and count the geese! As of late, there are too many to count - somewhere in the thousands! Awesome sight!

W - West - Oh so happy to live in the West! We might be a little too laid back here but I'm fine with that!

X - I've had more than my share of x-rays! T Rex Dad has never had a broken bone. Me, I've broken ribs, facial bones, my right arm, my left foot. Yep - I take a lot of calcium as I'm already paranoid that I'll get osteoporosis and end up breaking a hip later on in life.

Y - Yoda - I still think he's totally cool in Star Wars Episode II - he reminds me of the Looney Tunes Tazmanian Devil when he fights - always makes me smile!

Z - Zebra - a favorite animal at the zoo - I think they are hysterical looking - God seriously has a sense of humor. Giraffes are evidence of this as well!

There you have it! And, no - no baby yet! I have an OB appointment tomorrow so we'll see if I'm even getting close!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Last Day of Freedom Before School Starts Again...

Oh, and not to forget squeezing in or should I say squeezing out a baby sometime soon too...

So what's been occupying my free days???

Well, a couple a small projects, finishing a book (The Host - has anyone else read it?), assembling baby equipment (swing, bassinet, etc.), hosting play dates as well as attending play dates, and lots and lots of organizing and cleaning. The instinct to nest is unbelievably powerful!

Yesterday, I hosted a rather large play group here at the house. I was actually a little giddy when everyone left knowing I would get to clean up and organize - I sound a little like "Monica" from "Friends," don't I? But it's true. I love to clean up an organize. My New Years resolution, which is much the same as last year's, is GASO - Get And Stay Organized. And we are off to a good start thanks to that whole nesting instinct.

By the way, it has also totally gotten to T Rex Dad, too. He is SO pregnant - emotional, teary, tired, back achy. I think it's because he is so in tune with me. Although, he does admit that if our childbearing needs were left to him we would be adopting so at least he does not feel jilted that he doesn't get to experience the wonder of carrying a child inside or pushing said child out. And, he, too, has the compulsive need to clean these days.

Unfortunately, T Rex Dad is rolling out a big work project this week. We spoke with our daughter about making sure she did not make her appearance this week so he could finish up. Thus, he has been working long and late hours to be ready in case anything happens soon.

Therefore, I enlisted the "other man of the house" to help set up the baby swing. All I can say is good thing it has a 30 lb weight limit and our little T Rex is only 28 lbs. This is what I found him doing earlier today...

I wonder if he remembers being in this swing. Probably not but he knew exactly how to work it. This was a life saver when T Rex was a baby - I used to get some of the best naps out of him while he was in this swing. Although, it always had to be set to the highest setting.

So there you have the latest happenings. I will try to keep posting regularly as well as let you all know when Little Girl makes her entrance into the world. I am still taking suggestions as to her blog name. We won't be sharing her real name on the blog. However, with school starting and a new baby arriving I am not certain how good my time management skills will be so I might not be posting as often. In the mean time, be well...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Projects with "My Helper"

I've been finishing up a few projects before Little Girl arrives. And to maximize my time I've had to enlist the help of a certain "helpful" toddler.

First, the Stocking Giveaway prize:

T Rex sitting on the sewing machine cover helping sew the burp cloths.

The finished products: changing pad cover with pad inside (made from same fabric) and four matching burp clothes.

I did make another one of these sets for our daughter in lilac - I don't have any "girly" burp cloths so I wanted to have something feminine for us to use for her. And I also finished a pair of toddler pants for T Rex. Both of these are not pictured.

Next, project completed with the assistance of "my helper" was a knitted blanket for Little Girl. This blanket actually took about 25 hours to complete. Very involved.

He loved to sort all the colors and name them.

Again, we don't really have any "girly" warm blankets for her so I put this together.

I think it looks like a giant pot holder but at least it will be warm and she will have something special I made for her - even if it does look like a giant pot holder.

Thank you, T Rex, for all your help!