Monday, August 30, 2010

How does it feel to have the cutest baby in the ward, the perfect Gerber Baby?

So, someone asked me that yesterday... just a month after that person had a baby. I thought that was kind of an awkward question around other people... but I hadn't seen her baby yet... so I didn't know what to say. So, I said, "Thanks."
But I hadn't looked at the Gerber baby in awhile and decided to take a look.
As you can see... there are a few features in common... but also some that aren't. Eliza Lane has much bigger cheeks... but their chins are about the same size. Their lips are pretty similar... but the noses aren't. Their hair is actually quite similar... but the Gerber baby's eyes are shaped a little differently. Anyway... kind of amusing!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eliza Lane in AZ

Eliza Lane got to sleep on her daddy's teenage mutant ninja turtle sheets and with mommy's travel pillow... she seemed to enjoy them...

It was nice to be out of the city congestion and take a break a little closer to nature.

We went to the outlets in Anthem for Skyler school shopping. Dockers was a hit! The Carter's outlet was pretty great too! Eliza Lane was wearing one of the outfits that they were selling... she should be a poster child! They had a splash zone in the center of the outlets and Eliza Lane really loved it! She loves water!

Eliza Lane was a good helper when Daddy was packing everything up! When we're helping we're happy... I think she was singing it in her head!

Being the only grandchild for a couple more weeks... and from the only family that lives out of state... Eliza Lane got A LOT of attention!

If you look closely, Eliza Lane's hair that is sticking straight up is crimped from being in a braid!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 for 3

You might remember our previous post entitled 2 for 2
in which we explained that we had had 2 family roadtrips, been pulled over at both, and received no tickets. Well... we have been on 4 more since then. And on our first family roadtrip with a baby... we were again pulled-over, Skyler smiled politely at the police officer and we did not get a ticket. He just has one of those faces!
Don't you think?

Two of J Skyler's Favorite Things

1. Audiobooks:

2. Prevention Magazine:

Two of Rachel's Favorite Things

1. Computers: I don't know what anyone did before computer! We have had a few glitches with computers recently, such as: the laptop dying and taking a few precious files with it, and the desktop beginning to die... but I love computers! They are amazing! Even old ones can save information, connect you to the internet, watch movies... etc! Basically they are AWESOME! And I am very excited that we just bought a new computer off Ebay for $140! It will save me from the current computer that I am using at this very moment, who likes to freeze up a lot! I hope it works... Skyler is going to set it up tonight... well maybe tomorrow!!!

2. Rocking chairs: I don't know how to be a mom without a rocking chair! The beautiful green one to the left has been with us for almost 2 years! I love it!! We made sure to have our crib set match because I wanted it to be the rocking chair in the nursery (that is not a picture of our nursery)... and it conveniently matches the bedspread that I made in college.

Part of the beauty of this chair is that it rocks and reclines! And it is a beautiful green!

When we set off to find the rocking chair that would be our wedding present from my Grandpa Mabey... we didn't know exactly what we wanted. I thought maybe solid wood... so we looked for a solid wood rocking chair that would work and last. We found one and ordered it. Well, it was on "backorder" for about 8 months. At this point, we decided that we needed something else. We looked and looked and decided that we wanted another rocker recliner. We wanted something that would work with the family room stuff that we have now and would adjust with our style. We decided on black leather. The first picture is the one that was accidently given to us by the warehouse. After setting it up in the room we realized it was the wrong one. The warehouse also realized about that time when the people who ordered that rocking chair came to pick it up. They had to drive to our house, pick up the wrong one, and deliver the right one...
We are happy to have it and it is so comfortable. The real charm of this one is that it coordinates with our sectional and that the arms are situated perfectly for holding Eliza Lane !

Two of Eliza Lane's Favorite Things

1. Rachel Coleman: Wow! Eliza could watch Rachel Coleman for hours and not get bored! Her favorite video is the original VHS "My first signs"... and Rachel Coleman is wearing a red shirt. She will just sit and watch and smile and laugh with her! I think she thinks they are really best friends!

2. Water bottles: She decided that she LOVES to drink water! Well... only if it is not in her bottle. When we went on our trip she was pretty fussy on the way to Arizona and she really was playing with the water bottle and trying to suck on the lid. Well, I thought I would give her a sip of the water... well the sip went down the front of her and she begged for more. This continued over and over and she tried so hard to get more and more water out with her tongue even though that isn't how this kind of water bottle works... but she tried nonetheless. As soon as I took it away she just cried and cried and cried. Poor girl. I tried to give her the water in her bottle and she was really upset... it wasn't the same. Since then, she has even had water out of a glass with the same response... Love! I will say that she is getting much better at actually drinking sips of water instead of just letting it run down the front of her!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Anniversary Trip to Arizona :)

Our 2-year anniversary is actually next month... but we had time off and took it early!!!

We ended up exploring Flagstaff and Sedona! It has been really fun and Eliza Lane has been lucky enough to be around for most of it... :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Skyler is right!

So, when Skyler and I were engaged were trying to figure out life stuff and we started talking about fast offerings. He is a firm believer that it isn't a sacrifice if it doesn't make you uncomfortable. So, when we got married, I paid more fast offerings than I was used to... and that was while I didn't have a job. I knew it was a good idea... and eventually I got a job! We were definitely blessed. Before Eliza was born, Skyler mentioned that we were really blessed and needed to increase our fast offering amount. He was right again. But it definitely made me feel pinched as we increased our fast offerings during an unpaid maternity leave. They seem to increase when we don't have any money. But he was right again! We have been incredibly blessed temporally and spiritually. My laptop crashed but not until I didn't absolutely need it. When something went wrong with the car, we had friends available to help us jump it and Skyler was able to fix the part himself... which saved a lot of money! Our dvd player broke after I wasn't using it for 2 hours a day to watch General Conference while I nursed. The dvd drive broke on our desktop computer after Skyler was able to finish his independent study class, basically. I was able to nurse until 4 1/2 months. My hives went away. Eliza Lane is really healthy and I am doing pretty well too. We have been blessed with jobs. Our jobs don't conflict and we have only needed a babysitter for like 2 hours of work so far. Life is just really good. I was just thinking about it a couple days ago and laughing that things are "falling apart", like my laptop and dvd player and computer... but really it doesn't even feel like. It has been at the most convenient times. So... Skyler was and is right... again!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So if you are taller than the 95 percentile... does that mean you are tall?

Our baby is growing up! Eliza Lane had her 4-month vaccinations and got her measurements. We are still about 2 weeks late on appointments... so it was really her 4 1/2 measurements... well actually almost 5 months... but anyway!

Height: 26 1/2 inches (>95%)
Weight: 14 lbs 15.5 oz (75%)
Head: 42 cm (80%)

So, she is growing well! She was a trooper for her vaccinations. She seemed to do a little better this round than last, maybe because she is big enough to get .8 of Tylenol instead of .4. We have spoiled her a bit and let her watch TV much more than usual. She has seemed to really enjoy it. But now that it has been 2 days she seems to be happier to interact and move around. So, we didn't create a TV addict! But it was pretty funny to watch her watch TV. Either she was giddy whenever Rachel Coleman from Signing Time came on and laughed and moved around, or she was just laying back and staring at the TV because she was just tired and wasted. I tried to make her roll around last night and she was not happy. She was tired and all she could really exert energy doing was... well TV! But I am glad she is happier and livelier now. She will probably be back to normal tomorrow!

I will post pics once I find a way to download our pics. Our laptop crashed and that was our means of downloading... so we need to get a memory card reader...

Bytheway, Eliza Lane started sitting up on her own... she is getting much more stable and balancing herself when she almost falls over.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Breastfeeding: The Final Installment

Sorry about the lapse in time, but I was waiting to see how everything was going. If you are curious about where we left off...

Glitch #4: As I was rocking her I realized that it was gas. I told Skyler that we needed the baby gas drops. This coincided with when he had to go to work. So, we went to run to work to open the door and then go shopping, except he forgot his keys. So, he had to come back home, get his key, then go back to work, go to the store, drop the Mylicon drops off, and then go back to work for the 3rd time. I felt awful because I knew that she was miserable from something I had taken. The gas drops seemed to help a little and she fell asleep. Then we had to wait for the Benadryl to get out of my system and then out of her system. It took about 48 hours. Once the Benadryl started wearing off, my hives started really acting up again. I was pretty miserable but I didn’t know what to do. I talked to my sister’s friend who had had the same problem and she said that she discovered that hers was related to a food allergy and the hormones exacerbated it. So, we tried to figure out if eliminating a food might help. I decided that I would be able to try to figure it out for 2 weeks and then we would reevaluate our decision to breastfeed. So, I went completely off dairy first because I already know that I am allergic to it. It didn’t seem to help really. In the mean time we finally got an appointment at the lactation clinic. They went through the process of undressing Eliza Lane and weighing her as protocol even through we weren’t having logistical issues with breastfeeding. As we waiting for the lactation specialist, Eliza Lane was hungry so we started to breastfeed. When the specialist walked in she seemed surprised that we were doing so well with logistics so I began to explain the “real issue”. She had never heard of it in 17 years as a lactation specialist. So, she asked what the author of the book suggested because she was familiar with the book. When I told her that they had just suggested using an antihistamine she proceeded to look at drugs. So, I explained that Eliza Lane couldn’t have Benadryl. So she suggested Claritin and maybe Zyrtec. I really don’t like the side effects of Claritin and Zyrtec is what my sister’s friend used and felt like it negatively affected her baby boy… so I wasn’t going to use it either. The specialist said that my body might just get used to the hormones. It seemed unlikely but I said, ok. She said that if anything worked, to just call her because she wanted to have better suggestions the next time someone came in with this obscure problem. I agreed. Then she left and checked the internet. It was funny because she came in and said, “There really are more people that have this problem. I was just looking it up online.” I just laughed to myself. She decided that since she didn’t go over logistics with us, she would only charge us for a follow-up and not a consultation. That was nice because it was ½ the price. We walked out with no additional information but I felt good that we really had tried everyone and that the specialist was concerned but just didn’t have answers.

The next step: For the next couple weeks we would give Eliza Lane one bottle which would help a little with my hives. I honestly didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to be miserable but I really felt like I wasn’t done with breastfeeding yet. So, the only thing left to do was to pray harder. So, we did. Very gradually, they seemed to get better. I didn’t find a food to eliminate, even though we tried a few, but they just seemed to fade.

Glitch #5: A couple weeks later I had my first period. This was abnormally fast for someone breastfeeding. But I think that we were blessed with a sort of compromise. My hormone levels were dropped enough that I didn’t have hives anymore, which meant that they were low enough to start having periods again. Besides the normal side effects of having a period, the new was a dramatic drop in my milk supply. My sister had had a similar drop with her last baby and as I looked online I realized that it is a very common side effect because of changes in hormone levels. The first period was hard because Eliza Lane was so fussy and hungry. This last about 2 weeks because it started a few days before my period and ended a few days after my period ended. The week after my period ended she was pretty clingy and would breastfeed for extended periods of time and would cry when I would take her off. I think she was having a hard time getting what she needed physically and trying to nurse while she could since she had had a lot more of the bottle while my milk was low. I tried not to complain about having a period because well… it is way better than hives!!! So, we geared emotionally for the next period. This one was worse. My supply dropped even more and Eliza Lane was really frustrated and hungry. She would clamp down on my nipple with her gums and I couldn’t get her off a couple of times. It hurt. While I was nursing her one night, I said, “ouch!” and Skyler asked what was wrong. I just said, “The usual issues with low milk supply.” But that next morning, I looked and I was cracked, bleeding, and scabbed over. She was trying and losing patience and so was I. Luckily, it finally ended and my milk began to slowly increase. Once again, I told myself, “This is totally better than hives!” And it really was. As my next period approached, I vented to Skyler that I felt like I was really only breastfeeding for 2 weeks a month and then just trying to breastfeed for the other 2. The next one came and my milk dropped even more than the last time. I got a bad migraine during it and couldn’t breastfeed while I had the Excedrin in my system. And then the milk just didn’t really ever come back. A week after my period ended, I would pump and only get about 2 ounces after pumping for 40 minutes. Eliza Lane would just cry when I tried to breastfeed and I could only really get her to do it if she was swaddled up tight or when she woke up in the middle of the night and still sort of out of it. She would stay on forever and just not really get satisfied, so I would have to supplement with a bottle even when I was breastfeeding. I just told myself that it would come back. I would try pumping when she wouldn’t breastfeed, and I could watch my supply just getting drier. I prayed that my supply would come back and that I could at least provide Eliza Lane with what she needed for the two weeks until it went down again. But I didn’t seem to increase.

The decision: I decided that I couldn’t keep trying to fight with Eliza Lane about breastfeeding. While I supply was down it was just a struggle for both of us and we were both frustrated and cried. When my supply was ok, we were fine. So, we decided that we would just try pumping so that she could still have the breast milk but the emotional struggle would be as bad. So, I decided to try breastfeeding once or twice a day and then pump the rest of the feedings. That seemed to work for like a ½ day but I realized that I was just never full. I couldn’t ever get my milk up, even if I was pumping and trying to stimulate the milk production. As I kept praying for an increase, I got a really calm peaceful feeling that it wasn’t coming back. I felt for the first time that I was done. Shannon and I used to call it the creepy good feeling, when you know something that you don’t want to know and feel so calm. So, that is where we are at. Yesterday, I pumped for about 1 ½ hours total and got about 4 ounces… about 1 feeding. I am sad, but I feel blessed that I was able to breastfeed for 4 ½ months. Eliza Lane seems to have slight withdrawals but overall she seems to be happier without the struggle. On the upside, I guess we don’t have to worry about when and how to wean.

Final thoughts: Breastfeeding is hard but I really enjoyed the experience. There is a feeling of satisfaction from breastfeeding. Partly this results for the hormones, which actually help you bond with your baby. But I think it also results from feeling like I am "nurturing" or "providing" for my baby. I think that my adjustment to not breastfeeding will probably be more dramatic for me than for Eliza Lane. I am really grateful for the feeling that I am "done". I didn't feel that way during this whole process until now. I am sure that Eliza Lane will continue to develop quite normally and our budget will probably survive as well. My favorite moments are: 1. cuddling up together and dozing while she eats in the early morning. 2. rocking her as she eats and falls asleep contented for the night. My funniest moments: 1. forgetting breastpads when I am full enough to leak and trying to make impromptu solutions! I have no regrets because I feel like I have done EVERYTHING. I have consulted experts, changed my diet, itched, took cold showers (which is a really really big deal for me!), tried not to scratch, soaked in oatmeal, rubbed Emprizone all over my body, tried to do migraines without medication (that didn't work), lived with constant constipation and the resulting hemorrhoids, tried to figure out what I ate that upset Eliza Lane's stomach, didn't eat any peppers for 2 months, cracked, bled and scabbed, applied and reapplied Newmans ointment, hung out in really cramped mothers' lounges, missed 1/2 of church most weeks, stuck my head under blankets to get "things figured out" in public, cuddled, cried, prayed, pumped, laughed, blogged, sang, swaddled, bounced, rocked, and now let go.

So to go back to the original question: What aspect of Motherhood am I good at? If you guessed breastfeeding... you are WRONG.

Next installment will probably be part 4: Delivery! So... stay tuned! :)

P.S. Lansinoh helps a little, but Newmans ointment (prescription) is AMAZING!!! It helps with cracking, soreness, and even helps prevent yeast issues!