Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Official numbers

I've posted before that I usually gain 36-44 lbs. when I'm pregnant. This time around I officially gained 40 on my scale. Right in the middle. So far I've lost exactly 20. Most of the non-baby portion of that was the easy to lose edema. How do I know this? Because my feet are skinny again. My feet and ankles are just about the only part of me that is skinny and it's so nice to have them back to their normal size even if the rest of me has a long way to go. So, exactly how far do I have to go? Well, I started out this pregnancy officially overweight (by a pound) and I'm not delusional enough to think that I'll ever get back to my thinnest but I'd be happy to get to 140, ecstatic if I could make it back down to 136. That adds up to anywhere from 35-39 lbs. to lose.

I was planning on joining a fitness center to help/encourage me to exercise more but don't know if that will work out in the near future since life will be so busy anyway. I have promised the kids to do this since if I join, I'd make it a family membership and pick up teaching the kids to swim where their swimming classes left off. A family membership would end up costing about $40 less than 8 30-40 min. swim classes for the three of them, so that's another big factor. Even making myself a swimsuit like I made for the girls would still end up costing less than the $40 savings and they could have much more pool time. DH has already said go for it, he has no problem watching H. and R. during "swim time" or all of them when I want to go workout. I'm just not sure how much energy I'll have to do it all. Maybe for now, I'll just exercise at home and sign up the fitness center in March or April. Either way, I really want to get back in shape. These last few years I've really let myself gain too much weight and it's just too easy to continue that trend into a very unhealthy situation.

Where did my week go?-Life with a new baby

I had forgotten just how time consuming a newborn's needs are. H. is not big on sleeping but LOVES to eat, and eat and eat. It seems most of my days are spent parked on my backside feeding him. And when I'm not doing that, I'm changing his diaper or his clothes since what goes in must come out. Much like his big brother, he eats far more than his little tummy can hold and so spits up a good bit. I know this will slow down over time but 4-5 clothes and blanket changes a day add up to lots of extra laundry. Things are going to get really busy when we restart our homeschooling year in a couple of weeks.

To add to the fun, R. has taken to soaking his diaper around 4 a.m. each morning. Since he sleeps on his tummy this usually means that he not only soaks his diaper but also at least the waistband of his pants if not the shirt and bed too. This is a new thing for him, he was staying dry all night, so I'm thinking this might be a reaction to having a new baby in the house. I'm really hoping to get past this little stage quickly. Other than this and a bit more rivalry with Z., he's being pretty good with H. Z. just can't seem to leave him alone and often acts as a "little mommy", jumping in to check on him every time he makes the slightest peep. Both she and S. often compete for who gets to hold him next when he's finished eating or getting changed. M. is much more reserved with him, only asking to hold him once or twice. I think he's more looking forward to the time they can actually play together.

In case you've forgotten just how little babies are, here are a few examples. His index finger is only about as long as the first joint on my index finger. His feet are only as long as my index finger. I was going to take pictures to illustrate but of course as soon as I got out the camera he got grouchy and wouldn't hold still. Oh well, I guess it's time to start the feeding/changing routine again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our newest member - H.

H. arrived at 1:10 p.m. Friday weighing in at 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 19 3/4 in. He's a tiny little guy compared to just about everyone else. S. is the only one that was smaller than he was at birth. He's definately a night baby. In the hospital he was up just about every hour starting in the early evening and going right on through the early morning hours. He's kept up the trend at home too. Sleeps well during the day but once night time rolls around he's ready to go.

The delivery was more challenging than my others. He decided to come face up which made for a much longer pushing stage than I'm used to. It probably would have been easier if we had just let him and my body set the timing rather than being inducted, but I did what I felt was best at the time. For only the second time I took medication for the pain or rather a sedative that makes you sleepy/ultra relaxed between contractions but you feel every one. The funny thing is that on the way to the hospital, dh and I were talking about it and I said I absolutely did not want to use that (stadol) again because if given too close to delivery, it can cause the baby to have decreased respirations and lower apgars as well as making them very sleepy, which is what happened with M. Both times the Stadol was given within 1 hr. of delivery but with very different results. M. slept for the first 6 hours; H. was awake almost the entire first 6 hours. Proof once again that every baby is different.

After the delivery, I felt great and repeatedly surprised the nurses and doctor by not needing any pain medication. I usually don't take much of anything but after R., I took one or two doses of Tylenol. This time around I just really didn't need it. I got to thinking about it and it seems that they make it such a norm to take something for the pain that new moms might almost feel a bit pressured to take something even if they don't really feel they need it. Maybe it's just me.

I do have to say that the nurses at the hospital were absolutely wonderful. I've found time and again that it's the nurses and other support staff that determine whether you have a positive or negative experience either in the hospital or at the doctor's office. My doctor's practice has two offices. The staff at the smaller office is just so friendly and efficient that I always looked forward to going to seeing them. They're so good that I intend the take them a batch of brownies as thanks.

Ok, well that's it for now. It's time to get breakfast for everyone before H. wakes up again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Strip twist quilt

This is the strip twist quilt I'm working on for M. It's a free pattern from Bonnie at Quiltville. M.'s room is a deep terra cotta (his choice) and lately he seems rather drawn to oranges so instead of going completely scappy like Bonnie's example I stuck to an orange-burgandy-brown/cream-tan color scheme. Amazingly enough, all of the oranges came from stash. It was the creams that I had to get more of. Fortunately, JoAnn's had fat quarters on sale last week. I was good though. I only bought a few to add some variety. I got the layout done this afternoon while R. was taking a nap, but couldn't get anymore sewing done on it so I just rolled up the batting I had laid them out on and put it in the closet for now. Before I did, I let M. see it (since it was supposed to be an Eid present) and he says he likes it.

I just hope I can get it finished in a reasonable amount of time after the baby is born. M. has been asking me for a new quilt for awhile now. His only other one is the little one I made when he was a baby. I'd like to finish this one as well as the other 3 during our month off from homeschooling but we'll just have to wait and see how that goes.

Speaking of going, it's time for me to sign off until sometime next week. Have a good week everyone.

What I've been working on

I'm due to go in for the induction in about 7 hours and have run out of time to finish all the projects that I've started. I was waiting to post the pictures until I could post finishes but that's just not going to happen right now. At least not for all of the projects.

What have I finished? 1- The first picture is a robe and pajama pants (dark blue inside the robe). This was the first time I've tried anything like the robe and felt very good about being able to manage it. 2-I've also finished knitting 3 scarves (4 if you count the one that I sent to Iran in Sep. for my husband's niece). I intended to just do 2 for the girls using yarn that I had gotten on clearance months ago but it was so much fun and I found a better color match for S.'s new winter coat on clearance at Micheal's about 3 weeks ago. The blue-yellow-purple is for her. The middle one is now extra for a charity donation probably. Both of these are knitted with Patons' Cha-cha yarn. The pink and purple one is for Z. This one is the Patons' Boa yarn. Casting on with both of these types of yarn was a bit challenging but they both hide mistakes really well which is probably why I enjoyed doing is so much, plus they're both quite soft and feel so nice. I included a close up to give you some idea of how the two yarns look. I used 2 skeins of yarn per scarf (probably would use 3 for an adult) but they were only $1 each on clearance.

What needs work? 1-R.'s blue and red firetruck/race car quilt top still needs borders, along with everything else. 2- I have 2 "I spy" tops that also need borders. I was really hoping to get those finished before the babies were born but time just got away from me. (I haven't been able to get in touch with my friend but the girls were likely born at the beginning of this week.) 3-Not pictured here but what I'll post in a minute, is M.'s quilt using Bonnie's Strip Twist design. I've only gotten the strips of half square triangles sewn together. The rest of the assembly will have to wait until after the baby is born.

Well, it's time to go grab a shower and some sleep before tomorrow.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Homeschooling and more

We only have about 5 more days for our homeschooling before the baby is born. The kids are almost done with all of their work and I'll be giving M. and S. grade level standardized tests next week to see if we move up a grade after H. is born or put in more time on what they've been working on. They both seem to be doing fairly well but the state requires "proof of progress" so this gives us something to present. M. was tickled yesterday when he saw one of the kids in his swim class (who is older) working on math problems that M. declared were "So Easy!"

This year, I bought the MacGuffey reader set for them to work with. This set was first published in 1879 and let me tell you, they expected so much more out of their kids than we do today! In the Fourth Grade Reader, M. is coming across vocabulary that most high school students would likely struggle with today. I'm not talking about words that are no longer used either, but words that kids just aren't being exposed to because of "dumbed down" vocabulary in the "literature" they are exposed to at school. It's also give us the opportunity to talk about how the standard meanings of words have changed over time as well as falling in and out of common usuage. On top of that, most of the stories are meant to be morally instructive and encourage improving your character.

This last bit leads me to a compliment my kids receive from a manager at the grocery store last week. The manager was working as a cashier that day and the kids each were helping put the bagged groceries back into the cart. When everything was finished, the manager thanked the kids for helping to which they all responded (without prompting) "you're welcome" and "Thank you". The manager then complimented me on raising them well and remarked that he couldn't remember how long it had been since he had heard kids say "Thank you" and "You're welcome." Now, this manager isn't some grouchy old man that remembers how things were "back in the day" but a late 20's/early 30's gen-Xer who was genuinely pleased to hear kids extending what I consider a common courtesy. Now, I don't think my kids noticed the compliment and I didn't relate it back to them. Why? Because I want them to continue believing that such courtesies are the expected norm rather than exceptional behavior. So many kids movies now show kids behaving in ways that would be completely unacceptable even a generation ago yet is now considered perfectly normal. It's amazing how our standards and expectations have changed. How is it that teen rebellion was virtually unknown prior to say the 1920's but is not just acceptable but expected today?

Ok, I've said my peace and will get off my soapbox for now.

Excuse me while I rant!

Why do companies put red dye in products that have no obvious connection to the color red?!? S. is very allergic to Red dye 40 and I'm usually very good at double or triple checking ingredient lists and/or keeping her away from anything red, pink, yellow, orange, purple and even some shades of blue, but there are a number of products on the market that are WHITE that have red dye! One of the challenges with this allergy is that it takes days after eating the offending food for the reaction to occur. Then she gets nasty itchy hives that start on her tummy or feet and spread all over her body. Last night at 2 am she wakes me up because she's started to get hives. Do you know how hard it is to try and figure out what your child may have eaten days before that could cause a reaction at 2 am? After I got her back to bed, I sat trying to piece back over the last week. She only had one food out of the ordinary that I hadn't thought to check because it didn't fit the color spectrum but it did have white cream filling. I checked the package and sure enough, Red 40 was in the ingredient list. ARGH! I was trying to give her a special treat and instead I gave her hives-80 hours after comsumption!

For anyone that suspects their child may have a food allergy, check everything. I've found Red 40 in most canned white frostings, these snack cakes and even some chocolate cookies.

She breaks out in hives but years ago I had heard that some kids were having behavioural problems associated with red dye. And don't count on your pediatrician to help with a diagnosis. Because of the nature of the reaction and the time it takes to appear, one of the pediatricians we see completely blew off my concerns and concentrated on a completely different problem instead. It took us about 4-5 reactions before I made the connection on my own. You really have to be your child's advocate here. Moms can spot something wrong with kids that a pediatrician will miss or misdiagnose. We've tried several different medications (topical and oral) to control the reactions which can last for 4 days but one wonderful nurse at the ped's office came up with the suggestion to try Claritin when what we were using wasn't working anymore. It works beautifully and quickly for S. and we can usually limit her to 2-3 doses per reaction depending on how bad it is and how long it lasts.

Thank you for listening to my rant. I will get back to my nice happy posts again. I have to take pictures of my WIP before I can post but hope to get around to that by Sat.