Wednesday, July 30, 2008

School Days

I've been having some warm fuzzy feelings lately (perhaps some extra hormones running around? maybe?) about my alma mater and my fellow college alumni. It's been almost 10 years (!!!) since I graduated, and we've remainded very close with a few friends, which is a huge blessing in our lives. We use any extra penny to save up and visit them in other states. However, there were many other friends--and some aquaintances--outside of this closeknit circle that I really enjoyed, but didn't keep in contact with very well. In the last several months, the blog world and Facebook have opened doors to reconnect to some wonderful people.
One especially fun aspect of this is finding out how many of my former dorm-mates are enduring the trials and joys of motherhood at the same time as me. You have no idea what a guilty relief it was today to read Shoobs and Sarah bemoaning the post-baby body and it's the havoc it wreaks on one's self-esteem, because they are both dealing with infants as well. Some of the girls were a little older than me, like Lisa and Edie, and were established students when I started school. (Lisa was my first RA!) I looked up to them and it is so cool that we are now friends. Jen W. was one of my first friends at college--she met me during orientation and convinced me to join the fledgling volleyball team and stuck by me through a rough year, even though our coach was Viola Swamp and I was not near as good as the rest of the team. I don't have time to mention all of them...just go check out their pages!
On my list of links, the following are college buds: Angie, CT, Dionne, Dr. Don (actually a prof, director of Ekklesia and kind of dad-away-from-home), Edie, Jen W, JJ, Johnsons, Julie, Kristi, Lisa P, Lyons, Ms. Di, Stephie Shoobs and Townes. Also, for all of you who know them, we had Christi and Seth over for dinner last night, b/c we were thrilled to find out they live about 20 minutes from us! (I wish I had taken a picture, because they both look fantastic and have 2 cute kids.) It's so fun to reconnect with people that we liked, but just never spent a lot of time with during school. So, someone tell Rheada, Kellianne, Wendy and Carolina to get with the program and start blogging! Fellow alumns, are there any blogs I'm missing?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Where are my navy flip-flops?

That was how it started. In a room that had already been searched, but was, admittedly, quite messy. So I went to check the closet for the flip-flops. For some reason, the messiness of the closet really got to me (even though it's been chaotic for some time) so I started straightening up a bit, hoping to come across the blue flips. As I grabbed one of Trent's dress shoes, I felt something clunk inside. Hello, camera battery! Hallelujah! I've started to feel quite panicked, thinking it got into the garbage and was taken out and gone forever. What's funny is: I'm pretty sure Michelle had jokingly told me it was inside a shoe in the closet. Did YOU put it there, Michelle?

These days, my mental to-do list is so long, I can wander around the house starting about a dozen projects all day long, and never finish any of them. Plus, usually I try to be productive while children (esp. almost-3-year-olds) are awake, so that I can sleep when they are sleeping. But "productive" and "almost-3-year-old" and "newborn" are NOT words that go together well. Thus, the dozens of unfinished chores. But I did take a stab at decorating Sydney's room a bit this weekend. I've had my eye on a wall design for a few months; finally purchased it and put it up. Please also remember my warning about the pepto-pink wall color:

This design is from Uppercase Living, a newish company that has independent consultants who do parties in homes. My friend Kristen sells it. Their designs are so cool! I had to restrain myself and buy just this one last time. And I'm not even paid to say that! I'm going to host a party soon--in my house, but maybe I'll advertise on the blog so people can buy online if you want. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recent Carsonisms

"Woody isn't a bad guy. He's a happy guy."
"I wanna play games on the pooter."
In the bathtub:"Whoa, Mom. I have a funny pee-pee. It's like a hot dog!"
Almost every night at dinner, spoken like a grown-up:"So, how was your work, Dad?"
"You always say 'shhh' and I don't like it."
Two weeks before Sydney was born: "Why you always going potty?"
Carson: Dad, are you a grown up?
Dad: Yep.
C: Mom, are you a grown up?
Mom: Yep.
C: No, you're just a big girl.
Mom: No, I'm a grown up!
Carson, Well, do you mow the lawn?
Mom: [stumped for words]
"Mom, you're legs are too scratchy."
Mom: You need to go potty, then you can have a popsicle.
Carson: Yeah......I don't think that's gonna work.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gonna have to take a detour from the routine post & pics because my precious firstborn has, in these troubled times, used his master hiding skills to find new homes for the camera battery AND our TV remote control. The remote has nothing to do with the blog, just another minor inconvenience in my life. Yes, I won't go into TOO much detail (I mean, I'm still ME), but I will say that when recalling the transition to his new sis, I believe I will usually begin the story with "Carson had a rough time...." He LOVES his sis, don't get me wrong. In fact, he LOVES her so hard sometimes that I think he is going to squeeze the life out of her, or as he's giving her so many kisses he then sneezes in her face. Just like all the parenting experts warn, he's regressed in a few areas, like sleeping through the night, potty training, and general socially acceptable behavior. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, and today Grandma has taken him for some fun time and attention, and we'll all be thrilled to be back together this evening.
On another note, I am totally and madly in love with my little girl! I wish I had new pics to post, just in case you like looking at her as much as I do. My friend Rheada told me that the Lord blessed her with a mellow baby girl after blessing her with a wild child big brother, and SO FAR it seems I've received a similar gracioius gift. Sydney is a baby, so she does cry and fuss, but she is primarily a really easy baby. Usually when she's fussy (it's rarely a full-on cry) she just wants to be held or is hungry. And she spends lots of time each day just looking around at the world, content. CONTENT! It's a totally new concept for me as a parent.
So as not to seem like I'm dissing on my boy, I did want to share a really cute thing that has happened this last week. I don't know where he came up with it, but Carson made up a little nickname for Sydney. He calls her Booboo. (Pronounced booBOO.) It is usually said while his chubby little palms are squeezing her cheeks and he is gritting his teeth in intense adoration, raising his voice at least an octave. "HI BooBOO! HI! HI!" Can't help but love these two!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Making a conscious effort

It is already painfully obvious to me how the old stereotype of firstborn children receiving more attention (especially as babies) has become so prevalent in our society. There's just no denying it...parents will never be able to give as much undivided time and attention to their other kids as babies as they did to their first. In my own life, twisted as it may be, sometimes love and attention is evident through photos. I have HUNDREDS of photos of Carson from birth through the present. I had a scrapbook almost entirely completed for him BEFORE HE WAS BORN! I know. I'm a dork. And it turned out I didn't like that method anyway, because some of the pages didn't fit with any of my pictures. So, Sydney has an empty scrapbook. BUT, all of that to say, I'm making a conscioius effort to take lots of pictures of Sydney as a baby, and take plenty that don't necessarily have Carson IN them.

Here are some pictures of Sydney's first real non-sponge bath. The fact that she is over 2 weeks old before she GOT her first bath is another sign that she has a time-consuming sibling around. But at least we got her cleaned up and documented it!
She tends to have her head tilted to the right a lot of the time, so Dr. Trent has asked me to be doing some neck stretches with her at every diaper change. I'm not kidding.

I used the "blur" tool on this one to make it blog-appropriate.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Starting tomorrow...

Starting tomorrow, the honeymoon is over and I officially have to begin learning how to be a mommy of 2 kids with a husband who works. Trent's 2 week baby-break is over and he's going back to work. He has been such a huge help, so I'm kind of nervous. The biggest issue is when I'm feeding Sydney, Carson turns into a total needy, whiny baby. Also, he is not content unless is in LITERALLY on top of us. Both of us. I'd been warned about this common toddler problem, so we are taking steps to counteract, like we are renting new movies for him from Netflix that he can only watch when Sydney's eating. We are planning to get him a new toy (or box of old toys?) that he can only play with when I'm feeding her. (Someone suggested a Mr. Potato head.)
Also, as I've mentioned many times, I'm nervous about the sleep thing. Already the kids have coordinated their subconscious evil little inner-sleep-clocks to totally sabotage me. For instance, Sydney is awake from 4-5:45 am, Carson wakes up at 6:05. Or, the day I thought for SURE I would get a nap, Carson decided to have a total and complete naptime meltdown, and after an hour of getting him to go down, Sydney woke up hungry.
However, this weekend I got sick and it put things into perspective. I had a bad cold and then on Saturday night I had a high fever, chills, shakes and body aches. I could barely hold Sydney. It was miserable! It reminded me that things can always get worse! I may be tired, but at least I'm usually healthy.
I'll probably have some fun stories to share about my new life adventure, but who knows if I'll have time to sit down and blog about them!?! Here's some pictures of Sydney this weekend in a cute outfit borrowed from Abby.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Daddy Time

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that after Sydney was born, Trent and Carson went ahead and joined his family for a short camping trip at Diamond Lake. It sounds like they had a great time camping and fishing and hanging out together. I can tell it was also some special time between father and son. Here's some pics of the boys (in their OSU gear), courtesy of Aunt Michelle. Carson was helping Bryan build a fire.

Fishing with his new pole and new life jacket!
Safety first--thank you, Auntie.
Then on the 4th of July they went down to Harrisburg for the parade and lunch with the fam. The highlight was that Trent and Carson got to ride (and kind of drive) a BIG TRACTOR!

Here's a video of the two getting their ride. I'm not sure who had more fun---Carson or Trent! The quality of the video doesn't come across very well on the blog, but Carson is steering and he had a huge grin on his face.

Monday, July 07, 2008

11 days old

So, of COURSE I jinxed myself after my last post. The last 2 nights Trent and I had to take turns trying to get Sydney to go back to sleep! So much for the dream sleeper. BUT, she still is more mellow in her refusal to sleep. She grunts and fusses and sometimes cries, but she very rarely is a screamer, which is shockingly kinder to a parent's nervous system than the alternative. Hmmmm. Deep in thought. Probably wondering when that fast, hyper thing with blonde hair is going to come back and attack.
I'm not sure why her little chin is all red, but if you look closely, we think there's some red in her hair too.
So, usually a blog is for posting opinions, thoughts, stream of consciousness type things: events of one's life at the current time; stories and anecdotes, etc. Well, the thing is, many of the events and details about the end of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and being a postpartum mother are not exactly appropriate fodder for a public blog. After going through this a second time, I've decided that this process is one of the most vulnerable times in a woman's life. So, although I am now issuing a disclaimer that some semi-private issues are going to be discussed, I will attempt to avoid total disclosure and embarassment of blogger and reader by avoiding certain taboo topics. However, there are some things that are fair game.
And one of those things is the post-baby belly. What the HECK!? I remember the first time around, I couldn't believe no one told me that you leave the hospital still looking 6 months pregnant. It was a shocker. The baby is gone, along with all that amniotic fluid, and quite a bit of blood. What is left to make it still protrude so stubbornly? But worse than the size is the substance. Seriously, it's like bread dough. Not the firm, thumpable watermelon that you entered with. Actually, when I lay on my back, it all but disappears, which is awesome--just to be able to lay on my back at all is great. But stand back up and you've got an big lump of dough hanging on your abdomen. Obviously, nature takes over and it starts to shrink eventually. The thing is, from my own personal experience, I cannot for the life of me remember how quickly that happened. Last time, it was a chilly autumn when this happened, so I was able to hide behind zip up sweatshirts for weeks. This time we've had temps in the 80's nad 90's and all I want to wear are tank tops, which are NOT forgiving to size large muffin top tummies. I'm trying to be patient and I'm certainly not ready to start dieting, but I am anxious for the day when I don't feel the need to take my newborn everywhere in order to prevent the dreaded question: When is your baby due? Oh, you know--she's ALREADY BORN! Sigh.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Life so far...

Wow. So, getting used to 2 kids has been fun and challenging and interesting. Carson has been doing pretty well. We have good moments and bad moments. The good moments are when he wants to hold her, kiss her gently, bring her toys, play peek-a-boo. The bad moments are when he comes up and slaps her on the stomach, shakes her pack 'n play violently (while she's inside), tries to pry her eyes open b/c he's decided she's done sleeping, literally crawls all over both Sydney and me while she's eating, and generally disobeying and pushing the limits in many ways.

As previously posted, I, personally, have kind of been dreading the logistical side of having a newborn. For me, it is all about the sleep people. I am tired and cranky if I get 7.5 hours instead of 8-9, so you can imagine how I do on 4-5 in short spurts. However, Sydney's personality and sleeping pattern, like her entrance into this world, have been the opposite of her big brother. She sleeps a LOT. The doc thinks it is partly due to the fact that she is a little early. This sounds like a dream, but I've spent much of the past 9 days in a building frustration, trying to wake this limp, peaceful child so she will eat and gain weight. (Carson didn't gain his birthweight back until almost 6 weeks. It was a kind of a dangerous thing, and I am not willing to risk that with Sydney.) So we are pretty consistent about getting food into her. As with many newborns, she didn't get the memo about OUR sleeping schedule and wanted to party and eat all night and sleep all day; but the last few nights, she's done pretty well. In fact, I've had to wake her a few times at night too.

One really nice thing is that when she is awake, she has lots of times when she is awake and content. Those two adjectives didn't go together with newborn Carson--probably because he was starving! When she does get worked up, she's fairly easy to calm down so far too. I'm just crossing my fingers that the mellow Sydney we've met this last week is the Sydney that is here to stay. I know these things can change in a day.

Here's a great video of a "good" moment between C-dog and Syd. Here he is telling her a story. Just a little background: each night Trent or I tell Carson a story with the main character(s) of his choosing. Lately he's been asking for the 4 main characters he uses here. Also, he calls the swingset in the back yard the "play park." We've found ourselves here many mornings lately...all of us lounging around in a tired stupor on the unmade bed, enjoying the cool air before it gets warm. Even though Sydney was dead to the world, it didn't stop Carson from wanting to be on camera.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some of the details...

So, as previously posted, my labor and delivery with Sydney was much faster than with Carson. With Carson I had strong contractions less than 5 minutes apart starting on Tuesday night at midnight. He was born a short 36 hours later. In the meantime, my body was refusing to dilate, I missed 5 meals, Carson's heartrate kept plummeting, and I was running a high fever. With Sydney, the contractions started strong around 4am, and we made some calls to grandparents around 5:30. The contractions this time were more painful and came a LOT faster--hardly time to catch my breath in between. I got an epidural and soon after measured at 9cm. Even as the epi was kicking in, I could feel the pressure that said it was TIME! I pushed for about 20 minutes, rather than 2 hours. The whole thing took 6 hours. It was still painful and exhausting, but about 1/6 the time! I think the fact that it all went quickly has already given me a head start on the sleep deprivation that is to come. After Carson was born, I felt like I had been run over by a truck and didn't start feeling better or even a little rested for about 6 weeks. This time I'm still tired, but my body is not near as beat up as last time.

The timing was kind of interesting, because Trent's family had a big extended-family camping trip planned for this weekend. After much debate, we decided to send Trent and Carson on the trip from Saturday to Monday. They offered to take just Carson, but he was already getting a little homesick, and so we thought it would be best if he had at least one parent with him. It actually worked out well, b/c my mom came to stay with me for the weekend, and she took care of me and Sydney like only your mom can. AND she cleaned my house, which was incredible. The boys had a great time and were excited to get home.

Now we're down to the business of learning how to live with a 2 year old and a newborn. It has been interesting, to say the least! I will surely be posting more soon, but now I need to take advantage of toddler sleep time!