Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Videos

We have taken several new videos in the last week or two. Three of them have already made it to google. Lots of others are on the camcorder, including a really cute one of her laughing when we play peek-a-boo. Those will hopefully make it to google in the next week or two.

Check out Ardyn's Google Videos Here.

She's been teething, so we have been pretty busy and I have been doing lots of soothing and rocking and patting. This could go on for two years, but I will attempt to post something substantial this week.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Plastic Bags Blow. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags)

Christmas was good. We did a bit of running. We did a lot of packing and unpacking. The house is a disaster. But it was fun. Ardyn got one outfit, one new pair of pajamas, three new books, three stuffed bears, a stuffed dog, a September Snowman Ornament, a new Graco Comfort Sport Convertible Car Seat (nice one with cup holders) for when she hits 1 year, and a dog rattle... and a few other things.

I got some good stuff, About $200 in cash (gone) and the Jessica Seinfeld Cookbook, a book called "Play Unplugged", some kitchen towels, some other small stuff... a Targus Chill Pad for my laptop (mine quit working and needed to be replaced) and Evan and I together received a Shiatsu Heated Chair Massager which is completely awesome and I may be addicted to.

I also got a $30 gift certificate to Austin Parker Naturals and a Cookie Lee Butterfly Pin. Ardyn got a $20 Gift Card to Wal-Mart which I will probably use for diapers and wipes, and she got a $20 Gift Cart to Target from Josh and Lisa, which I used to buy 4 new pair of cotton pants and 6 pair of socks for her. Good daycare essentials. And Lisa also finished a crocheted blanket for Ardyn, which I am totally in love with, because back with I was pregnant, Lisa asked if I would like one and what colors, and I told her if it was a girl I wanted pink but not baby pink- hot pink and orange. And she SERIOUSLY did is justice. Ardyn used it Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I love love love it. Anya and Brad and Ava got Ardyn a Gund Boo-Boo Bear that has a little ice cube in his belly for boo-boo treatment. It's so cute!

I plan on using my Christmas Money to buy a shelf for Ardyn's room, that we can store toys on. I saw some modular stackable units at the Company Kids Store... I want them in white. A set of open dual bins for the bottom, and two stackable units with adjustable shelves above that. Which will run me about $300 and all of my Christmas money. But having her toys stacked on the floor is already driving me nuts and she is not even 4 months old yet! Plus with all my research, I decided these would be the best buy because they are modular and versatile and would grow with her. She could either take them to a big girl room or they could stay in the nursery for our next child. I like that the shelves adjust either vertically or horizontally. I expect that the quality must be pretty good for the price. Anyone ever order from Company Kids before?

I am pretty sure we are "officially" teething, based on the low grade fever and the rosy cheeks that she has had two nights this week, and the constant gnawing of hands and toys, and the out of control drooling and nighttime fussiness. AND the congestion that only seems to be there overnight.

I have been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. I have never been a big fan. I get so sick of the "lose weight, quit smoking, etc." Bullshit resolutions that everyone makes and never follows (although I lost 25 pounds in 2006, gained 12 while pregnant in 2007, and lost 40 after having the baby... so weight loss CAN work)

This year, my resolution is a real one. I am determined to make one positive lifestyle change that will affect the environment. Not one for the entire year. Oh no. One for every month of 2008. Yep. Lofty goal? Nope. Perfectly do-able. My first resolution? January= reusable grocery bags. As a matter of fact, I am ordering them today. And not just reusable bags. Reusable PRODUCE Bags too. Yeah. We don't mess around. I bought two of "these kits" from A totally cool website with a ticker across the top to determine how many plastic bags are being wasted. It freaks me out to just LOOK at the ticker.

Of course while I am there I start to want a Kleen Kanteen bottle with Insulator Sleeve but honestly one person can only own so many cups, mugs, and water bottles before it gets obsessive. Of course the reusable water bottle that I have is plastic, doesn't have a cool insulator sleeve, and doesn't fit in any cup holder, so in general it pisses me off royally. It's an eddie bauer with the ice cores but I almost never use it now because it doesn't really stay cold. Ice core or not. Doesn't work. The Kleen Kanteen would totally hang on the stroller or diaper bag handles and I could totally drink out of it. It would hold hot or cold liquid. It would be greatness. But It would be obsessive. It's not like I am going mountain climbing and would need a carabiner or anything.

Top Facts - Consumption

  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
  • According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person.
  • According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.

    Top Facts - Environmental Impact

  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
  • As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

    Top Facts - Solutions

  • In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures.
  • July 2003, goes live, advancing the mainstream adoption of reusable shopping bags.
  • Each high quality reusable shopping bag you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over its lifetime.
  • Wednesday, December 26, 2007

    September 2007 Moms

    So if you happen to belong to my September 2007 Mom's Group, and Happen to be roaming around visiting me here, I would love to invite you to join me in a new Flickr group to share photos of our babies with each other. It's a private group.

    I can't post about it on FF/PF or they will ban me.... so if you want to provide me with your email address and spread the word to anyone you know.... then that would be great!

    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Merry Christmas!

    My mind is going like a trillion miles an hour today. I keep thinking of things to blog about, but they keep being replaced by new thoughts.

    I am so happy that it is Christmas Eve! Christmas with a baby is so much more exciting! I don't know how to explain it, because she can't quite grasp the concept or open her own gifts or anything, but it's just the thought of being so blessed and of having people you love surrounding you. This morning I changed the song "O Christmas Tree" to "Oh Christmas Eve" and made up various verses to sing to Ardyn as we got dressed for school.

    We have two Christmases tonight and one tomorrow. I have some small books and toys packed for Ardyn and her pajamas and slippers... and of course we are taking my boobs. Ha. Since we have a lack of income (I have yet to get a paycheck since my return to work, yet we are still forking over $170 a week in daycare money) we are giving the grandparents disks full of professional pictures of Ardyn, so that they can make whatever size they wish. Since the disk itself cost about $120 from Sears, I figure it's a pretty decent gift. Hopefully they see it the same way. I forgot to make one for my sister, so I need to do that before tomorrow. I am making a list of things that I can't forget to take, like the camcorder, the digital camera, extra diapers and wipes, high chair, baby monitor, soup ladle, the crock pot lasagna, etc.

    Even though we have no gifts for each other, Evan and I are pretty excited about Christmas. My favorite time of Christmas is Christmas Day at my parents. It wouldn't be Christmas without it. It's even Evan's favorite part of Christmas. Appetizers and Great food, gifts, usually Christmas Music and a new movie to watch... It's just the best part of Christmas. And I love my family to death, so that's an added bonus!

    Ardyn's new thing is to do tummy time while "sitting up" on the boppy. She is technically more like kneeling, but she loves to watch the Sprout channel in the mornings while I get ready for work. Adding a few photos from Saturday. There are tons more new ones over on Flickr. I took a video too, you can see it here on Google Video.

    Well, since I am pretty blank today as far as blogging goes, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Friday, December 21, 2007

    When Hate Turns To Love...

    You know, as a kid, there were very few things that I hated. I didn't mind snakes or spiders, or salamanders or frogs. I didn't mind broccoli, I didn't mind getting muddy. I wasn't afraid of mice. But I hated three things. Celery, Green Beans, and Tea. I still hate celery. Now I like Green Beans. But that hatred for Tea... it's a strange thing. My mom was the queen of iced tea and sun tea. There was always a big glass jar out on the brick patio in the sun. Whenever we were outside playing, she had a big glass of iced tea filled with ice cubes. I remember being little and going over to get a drink from her glass, and smelling that it was tea, and putting that glass right back down. Sometimes it would just be ice cubes and I would want one to munch on, but nothing ruins a glass full of icy cool cubes like the taste of residual tea. Yuk! It got to the point where I had spit out enough ice cubes to learn to ask first "Was this tea?" and then when the answer was yes, I 'd change my mind entirely about wanting an ice cube.

    When in high school and college, I tried hot tea, specifically and first I tried hot tea at Chinese restraunts. Yuk. No thanks. I branched out. I tried flavored hot teas. Yuk. I added SPOONFULS of sugar. Yuk. Tea was just not for me!

    Then one day about two years ago, I ate Moroccan food made by Monika at the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield. She had hot tea... Moroccan mint tea. It was to die for. I started out on a search for a mint tea that I could make at home, and bought some Tazo. The only other tea that we had at our house was Lipton Ice Tea, and I used that to put in Vodka Slushes, where I couldn't taste it. After the Tazo mint tea, I thought I might be able to find some that I would like. My midwife recommended Chamomile Tea before bed when I was pregnant, to help me sleep. It was then that I decided that perhaps CHEAP tea was not the way to go, especially if you were picky about your tea. I had bought the Tazo Mint at Austin Parker Naturals in Princeton, so I went back to look for the Chamomille, and liked the Republic of Tea Brand because it came in a reusable tin, and the teabags were round, and without a string and tag, designed to sit in the bottom or your cup, under a spoon. I bought a tin of Chamomille and Lemon for $9.95 and was instantly pleased. I drank at least one cup a night. I loved tea! What had happened! Then when I was hoping to go into labor, my friend Trish and all the pregnancy message boards recommended Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, and Trish brought some over. So I drank that, even double strength like she suggested. No labor, but the tea did taste good! After the baby was born, I started drinking Yodi Brand Mother's Milk Tea, to help increase and maintain a healthy milk supply... and I bought it in Bulk from amazon. Something like 6 boxes of tea, 96 tea bags total. And I am on my third box of Mother's Milk Tea.

    Now I love to look at the Republic of Tea catalog and wish I had unlimited funds so I could try all kinds of tea. I wish someone would get me a gift certificate. I wish someone would buy me a cute little tea for one set like this one, and this one, or even this one. My mom makes fun of me because I have always wanted one of these, but never had a reason because I hate tea. She used to laugh at what I was going to use it for if I don't drink tea. Then I start to covet "special" teacups and mugs. I want one with a saucer. I want to feel special and I want tea time to be a special occasion. I saw this hand thrown mug and saucer and it about KILLS me not to buy it up and stand at the post office waiting for it to arrive. I drink tea at work, and when I remember, I drink tea at home.

    Isn't it strange when something you hate can become something you love? I guess it's easier for me to release a grudge I have against tea, even when I can't release a grudge I have against a person. Lucky tea.

    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Whirlwind Woman

    This morning I was like a freakin' whirlwind. Evan had been up until 4:30am, working on reports for work, and I woke up AT 4am when the Beeb decided that it was daytime playtime. I heard her in her room, in the dark, giggling and squealing, laughing, kicking her feet... just having an all over wonderful time. I got her up, fed her, changed her diaper, fed her some more, and she went to sleep with me in the glider in the nursery. I knew that I needed to go back to sleep, but I was feeling pretty awake then, I had about 4.5 hours of sleep already, and her little body was all curled up on me and she was so sweet and so cuddly... I just didn't want to put her down. I really wanted to just take her into bed with me, but I knew that I needed to put her back in the crib and foster her independence. Then Evan and I peeked at the mail, which he had just gotten, he had assembled the breast pump pieces from the sterilizer, and we went to bed. At about 4:45am the Beeb decided that she wanted to still be awake, and putting her pacifier in and patting her butt wouldn't do the trick, so Evan brought her into bed with us, and she lay all curled up between us, facing me and holding my hand. If I hold her hand, she will go to sleep so soundly, and stroke my knuckles with her fingers. So we both fell asleep holding hands, and this morning at 7:30 when the alarm went off, she barely even stirred. Instead of waking her with me as usual, I decided to let her and Evan sleep and I got myself ready. Around 8:30 she woke up on her own, and I fed her, changed her, dressed her, and then went out to start the vehicle and pack everything up.

    I finished cocoa cones last night and had about 15 left to deliver, so I packed those all up in the candy cane basket that I wove back in December of 2001 (see photo above!) I got the breast pump, cooler of bottles, my purse, the diaper bag, the cocoa cones, and my grocery and to-do lists all in the vehicle and then Evan helped me load Ardyn up and we were on our merry way. After dropping her at school, I decided to grab groceries before work... we needed toilet paper and toothpaste, bread and milk... and I had to get 5 more Christmas Cards because people who thought we were unworthy of cards as young adults seem to think that now that we have a child, we are worthy. So that increases my Christmas Card list from 52 to 57. That is even without sending cards to all those people who I sent them to in previous years and who ignored me, until about 5 years into it, I decided to stop sending, and now that we have the Beeb, they have suddenly started sending one. Uh. No. Sorry. Not happening. YOU are officially OFF the list!

    Of course when I got my entire cart FULL of groceries, and got to the checkout, the debit card wouldn't work. We deposited the paycheck yesterday but apparently it hasn't fully posted yet, to the debit card. So of course here I stand in line, with three people behind me, a cart loaded with groceries, and no way to pay for them. Ugh. So they suspended the transaction and I will have to go back later tonight and get them. Oh Yay! At least we will have toilet paper and bread.

    After work tonight the plan is to go to the video store and rent some movies, make a nice hot supper, and then all three of us cuddle up in bed and watch movies as a family. I am so super excited about that, it was Evan's brilliant idea, and I know it sounds insanely boring to some people, especially those without babies, but cuddling with her and making her laugh, squeal, and giggle, is our favorite pastime. Last night she was really talking up a storm with me, squealing and giggling and being so cute and funny. She is practically perfect in every way.

    We are both really looking forward to Christmas with her. This Saturday the 22nd is the "anniversary" of our Big Fat Positive Pregnancy Test. It was 12 days past ovulation and I can remember it like it was yesterday. It's a moment that we waited 17 months to have, and It will never leave my mind, the way I felt that day. To imagine that we now have the most perfect and wonderful daughter... it brings tears to your eyes... any mom knows that feeling. Most dads too!

    Last night I worked on daycare paperwork, although I know it's quite OCD, I am saving every single paper that they send home with her. Each day I get a report of what she ate and when, when her diapers were changed, etc. etc. And I can't possibly part with one of them. I am sure that will go away someday, but for now I have them organized by date in a accordion file. They even say who picked her up that night (dad or mom) and when I took in new diapers or wipes for the stash. It's crazy. I do also keep a photocopy of each statement and check that I write for daycare, so that I have proof for tax purposes. I need to get myself a sheet feeding scanner so that I can nix all this paper and go electronic with all my receipts. Mwaaahahaha! I also marked all my received Christmas Cards in my book last night. I keep a detailed list of who I sent/received cards from each year. It's in the same book that I store all my birthday/anniversary information, and It's like the bible. Okay, maybe it's more factual than the bible (Oh... Harsh!)

    Parents magazine somehow goofed my subscription a bit, I started to receive two issues at a time about three months ago. I had shopped somewhere online where I received a free subscription with a big purchase, and I was already a subscriber, so I thought it would just extend my subscription... but instead I started getting duplicate issues. Being the owner of a mommy brain, I would read the first one, then the second issue (the exact same) would come, and I would sit down to read it and be like "Wow this seems so familiar..." and then I finally figured it out! So I called and they straightened it out, which means that I am all paid up until May of 2012! Whoa! That seems so far from now, but in reality... it's almost 2008 Folks! Holy crap! Do you remember partying like it was 1999? Where is the time going? Sometimes when I think about it I get all upset. This IS the best time of my life so far, and even though I am not quite 30 yet, I often think about being old and dying and leaving my daughter and my husband and my family, and it freaks me out bad. So I really have to steer clear of that mental image and live in the here and now.

    On My iPod-
    Now Playing: Song For a Winter's Night
    Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Johnson Look-alike Meter

    MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

    Bad Music. Bad Breast Implants. Merry Christmas.

    Something that Every scrapbooker desires? The Making Memories Embellishment Center. Ahhh.

    On another note, this morning I heard a song on the radio. I don't think I have hated a song so much, so soon, ever. "Alcohaulin Ass" by Hell Yeah. Honestly. Will their next album have a song called "Pot and Pussy?" How inventive. It's like a song that a really bad local band would write. Like they play bars and do covers, and all their "own material" really sucks and when they play it, and you hear the lyrics, you are like "uh, Yeah. Sure to get somewhere singing that song." And I still can not figure out who thought that the song was a good one. I am a fan of Lil Kim and like Ludacris and 50 Cent, and generally "vulgar" things don't bother me. I'm down with the ho's. But this? Lame AND vulgar? Come on. What a joke. And I know from Evan who makes the band up, and I think he might even listen to them, but I have to tell you, totally lame. But if all you can think of to name your band is "Hell Yeah," then I guess that the whole situation is pretty self-explanatory. the only way that I can figure the song could be remotely "okay" would be if it were making fun of someone, which I think in a way it actually is.... whether it intends to or not. But as a new mom, I really don't think that my daughter needs to hear about some guy using alcohol to get his piece of ass. Of course it happens. But jeez. Really?

    Another thing that bothered me in the media today? Ugh. Lane Jensen is from Canada and from what I gather, he is a tattoo artist on a show that mirrors our very own "LA Ink" and "Miami Ink." If he isn't a tattoo artist on the show, then I might have it mixed up and he is a tattoo artist who went on another tattoo artist's TV show.... They are discussing everywhere how Lane has a tattoo of a woman on his leg, and he got SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS in his leg, to make it look like the tattoo actually has breasts. On his leg. Yeah. Another thing that I can't wait for my daughter to see. I'm cool with tattoos. Honestly. I am even semi-cool with breast implants for some people. But Christ on a Cracker, do we HAVE to combine the two? Does your tattoo chick need implants to make her feel better about herself? Doubtful. Is she recovering from a mastectomy and needs to regain her self-esteem? Probably not. Jeez.

    The Beeb was running a low grade fever last night, not for very long. It was going down on its own it seemed, but we gave her a bubble bath and I nursed her and she went to bed with a normal temp.

    My boss bought me "welcome back" flowers today, they are sparkly and glittery. And that makes my day.

    That's about all I know. For now. There's bound to be more at another time.

    Letter to Avent, Makers of the Avent Isis Duo and Uno Breast Pumps

    Avent Products I use: I use EVERYTHING by Avent. Isis IQ Uno, Isis IQ Duo, Avent Tempo Nursers, Avent bottles, Avent breastmilk storage system (for freezing), Avent Microsteam Sterilizer, Avent Pacifiers, Avent breast pads.

    Features I like: I love the pump bag for the Duo. I like the ability to change the suction rate to encourage letdown and make the pumping more like nursing my baby.

    Features I Dislike: I dislike how I have to lean forward to prevent milk from flowing backwards between the massage cushion and the pump horn. If you lean forward, you get backaches, and if you don't, you leak/lose milk.

    I HATE the fact that I can't purchase an extra set of horns/massage cushions. I think this is the most disappointing thing of all. Every other pump manufacturer offers this ability, and even different sized horns. I would love to have an extra set, right now I have to pump at 10:30pm before bed, and have to stay up an extra 20-30 minutes to wash the pump parts and sterilize them so that I can take them to work the next day. An extra set of pump parts would save me lots of time and get more sleep for me. This is very important as a working mom.

    I dislike that the Isis DUO seems to have higher suction on the side with the control handle, and this issue is discussed by many users of the pump in online forums, and everyone who calls the Avent 800 number is told that this is "not true" but when they attempt to troubleshoot they can't fix the issue. It is very easy to see that when many moms see the same issue, it isn't a fluke.

    I dislike that you can't see the power light when the pump is inside the pump bag. That is a bizarre design. I dislike that the pump horns are top-heavy and therefore empty bottles tip over if you try to set them upright. I dislike that the pump can't be used handsfree because the massage cushions prevent full on suction, and even with a handsfree bra, the suction isn't right or the angle of the pump horns causes the leakage back between the massage cushions as mentioned above.

    Suggestions for Improvement: I am not a huge fan of calling your support line. The people who answer your calls appear to have no breastfeeding or pumping experience, and that frustrates me to no end. They had never heard of boiling the silicone pump parts to shrink them back to "normal" and increase suction. This is something that is widespread information on the internet regarding the Avent pumps, and listed on Kellymom, but your staff knows nothing about it. These types of things frustrate me. It also frustrates me that when I call they can give me no information about when and if replacement parts might be available. From the three calls that I have made, I frequently felt that they were reading the troubleshooting from a script, and not stating anything from memory and experience, which leads me to believe that I have as much or more knowledge about the products than they do.... this is not a good feeling and prevents me from being confident in your support.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Need a Stocking Stuffer?

    Great Post Here

    Can it BE Tuesday already?

    Jeez! Time flies! Saturday night was my work Christmas Party, and all the photos are here. We had a nice time, but of course it was snowing and the roads were crappy and even though we had 4WD I practically drove Evan nuts with my white knuckles on the way there. I think I said "be careful" 627 times and I tried to stop but I just couldn't help but think that we are the Beeb's only parents and she needs us to be safe and to come home to her.

    Sunday we had Christmas at Evan's Aunt Patti's and the pictures are here. It was a nice time. We really just chilled by the fireplace and ate lots. I ate a ton. Some of Evan's family members are vegetarians (which I am totally cool with) but we had a veggie soup and I swear that I was mentally telling myself I was full but my body was dying for meat so I just kept eating and eating. There were meatballs, but you can only eat so many meatballs without OD'ing... so I was being careful.

    I finally got Ardyn (at 3 months 2 weeks old) to fit into a pair of 0-3 month jeans. Of course they are still big at the waist, so I quickly crocheted a tiny belt to match her outfit (see photo, lol) and she also wore a pair of size 1 shoes.... they are still a tiny bit big, but her newborn pair are getting too tight. She looks like such a big girl!

    Yesterday was a great day at work, I got tons accomplished. I also got lotsa milk when I pumped which made me feel good and confident that my supply has fully rebounded from the stress of starting back to work and leaving Ardyn, and my stomach bug last week that nearly killed us (Evan got it on Friday night too) and from the learning curve of pumping all day long instead of nursing.

    The beeb's new gig is to wake up at night. Since she never did it, when she was waking up crying, I would go in and check on her, then feed her and put her back to sleep. That worked. She was consistently waking at 6am so I just figured she was hungry and adjusting her waking time. Then she started doing it at 4:30 and I was like UGH. And she wouldn't go back to sleep in her crib, but would if she was snuggled with us. So then last night it moved to 3am and I was like "no way. You are totally not hungry" and I pumped while she cried it out for about 10 minutes and went right back to sleep. Then at 6am she was up again... so I got up, fed her, and took a 30 minute cat nap with her and Evan before we had to get up and get ready for the day.

    The weather has been nice yesterday and today, probably in the 30-33 degree range, but tomorrow night anther winter front comes through bringing snow, sleet, and whatever else our way. I got to drive my car today, but looks like it will be back to 4WD on Thursday.

    Everyone enjoy your week. Last night I was able to read the entire Redbook magazine after Ardyn went to bed, because I had all my bottles and pump parts washed and sterilized, as well as the entire house clean. Nice. I could have done laundry.... but.... nah! Stay Warm!

    Friday, December 14, 2007

    The Good, The Bad, and the Stomach Flu

    It’s been a few days… And I have plenty to catch you up on!

    This past weekend was quiet, fairly un-eventful. I wasn’t feeling the best, but chalked it up to my stomach being in knots about going back to work. Sunday we laid pretty low. They had told us at daycare that there was stomach flu going around there and that two kids in Ardyn’s class got sent home Friday.

    Monday we all got ourelves up early and stayed well on schedule. I wore a dress with tights and boots. When I was making myself some toast for breakfast, I took the toaster off the shelf and the crumb tray slid out and the crumbs went down my dress and into the cleavage. Ugh. Then when I was walking out the back door, I tested and it didn’t seem icy, and then about 4 steps later I slipped and landed on my ass, along with the diaper bag, breast pump and bag, breastmilk in cooler, and my purse. Fab. So I went inside, got the beeb, and we headed out for our first day at work/daycare. It all went well. My first day back to work was wonderful, pumping went well. No one disturbed me and I was able to get plenty of milk to sustain the beeb. After I picked her up and headed home, I was unpacking things and Evan was making supper. We started to eat, and suddenly, I started to not feel so good. It just got worse and worse, and I couldn’t finish supper.

    I ended up having massive and horrific back and stomach cramps and diahhrea. It was terrible. It was so bad that throughout nursing Ardyn and trying to put her to sleep, I had to keep calling for Evan to come take her so I could run to the bathroom. Pretty soon everything coming out was just water and I was soooo miserable and sick. My whole body was shaking for hours and I was cold yet sweating and soooo nauseous. Evan ended up having to take the beeb and put her to bed. I switched from a cool washcloth to a cool towel. Several times the emergency room crossed my mind as the best option. I was almost as uncomfortable and out of control as I had felt during labor and childbirth, and that was scary. About 2am I was finally able to sleep fitfully and make bathroom stops about every hour instead of every 5-15 minutes. I was completely enveloped and propped in pillows to relieve the pressure on my hips from lying in bed and shaking so violently, and to keep anything from touching my stomach. By 6am I felt better. Not good, but better. Then I tried to call daycare at 6:45 to let them know we wouldn’t be there and that I was sick, and there was no answer and no answering machine. I called work and then lay down again. Ardyn had been up around 4 and again around 5:30, when I was finally coherent enough to nurse her again, and I knew she would let me sleep till 8 or 9 with all that milk in here. Anya called and we found out that daycare was closed because of the ice storm. So we really hunkered down and were lazy. Ardyn ate when she woke up and then took a nap, and I got up and took a bath. I hung out in pajamas all day yesterday and played with Ardyn. She nursed exceptionally well and was so thrilled to be all cozied up to me all day… All I could stomach was baby food Applesauce and baby food Pears. Evan suggested toast or crackers but I told him they would be too “sharp.” Which made him laugh. I did eat a piece of dry toast towards the end of the day, and made a little rice pudding. For supper I had a small cup of baby food pears and some more tylenol and went to bed.

    Luckily Wednesday morning I woke up feeling about 100% recovered, and bounced back really well. We got ready to go, and had a nice morning. We even got to daycare so early, that I ended up at work 30 minutes early. Wow! I am so not an “on time” person so this was an amazing accomplishment. This week I started Physical Therapy. Hauling Ardyn around has really done a number on my back, and I have a thoracic back strain that we are working on repairing through therapy and exercise. The stretches and ab moves that they have me doing feel really good. My first day of therapy was Monday, and since I was sick that night, I really felt rough on Tuesday. My whole body ached and it was pretty intense.

    We also had a sewage/drain issue since last weekend where there was a plug in the drain that exits the house, somewhere out by the street. So I got totally backed up (no pun intended) on laundry. Ugh. Thursday the guy came and cleared the drain out, and I started laundry. Ardyn had TWO full loads (a full hamper!) of just her own clothes/blankets. But we take two new blankets to daycare each day (germphobic) and so that’s a lot of blankets by the end of the week. Pluys pajamas, blankets, burp rags, clothes, etc….

    After a week of “back to work” I am 100% confident that I made the best decision. I love my job. I love my co-workers. I love being able to have adult interaction, exercise more than my mommy brain, and have just a few hours a day to myself. I appreciate it so much! And really, considering that I am only away from Ardyn for about 6 hours a day, and considering that she usually takes 3-5 hours worth of naps at home each day, I am really only “not seeing” her for 1-3 hours total. That’s not so hard to handle!

    Physical Therapy is going well and I am working to strengthen my back and abs, and haven’t had any back pain since I started the excercises, if you can believe that! Whoa!

    This weekend is my work Christmas Party and I have a new dress to wear. A LARGE group of co-workers are going this year and I am happy about that. We also have a family Christmas celebration to attend this weekend. So hopefully my stomach can be 100% recouperated so that I can have some yummy food.

    Sorry, it’s been almost a full week since I posted, but with being sick, and back to work, things got hectic. I started writing this post on Tuesday but didn’t get it finished till Friday night!

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Suddenly Saturday

    What a Week! Sorry I didn't really post, but between the first two days of daycare, seeing santa, photos at Sears, a Doctor appointment, a chiropractor appointment, a Dentist appointment, moving all my things back into my office and arranging it, and putting up the Christmas Tree at work... and pumping or feeding her every two hours...I really haven't had much time. I also got 50 Christmas Cards sent, which included writing and printing 50 Holiday Letters and hand signing them (evan helped) and then folding the letters, adhering address and return labels to the envelopes, stuffing all the envelopes, and stamping them all.

    Most of my "online time" this week (which was small as it is) was spent reading articles at Kellymom about the variations of milk amounts that you get while pumping. I guess after all I read, nothing ever explained that while you might get 6 ounces in the morning, or 4 ounces at night, it is perfectly normal to get 2 ounces or even 3 ounces during the day. The first day I pumped I was in a panic because I only got 2 ounces for two of my pumping sessions, but I later figured out that those sessions happened during what would regularly be her naps. Aha! Isn't the body amazing? I can make 4 ounces every 2 hours, but my body knows when she takes a nap and only makes 2 ounces during those times so that I don't get engorged. It also makes just 6 ounces for the 11 hours that she's asleep... which is also a wonderful thing. When she wakes up she gets a nice big feeding, but I am not engorged or sore... as long as she doesn't sleep past 7 or 7:30, her usual wake up time.

    Ardyn is all about smiling and giggling at me this morning, since she hasn't seen me as much in the past three days. They can't seem to stop telling me how she is "such a good baby" and "the best baby they have had" and how she is just so happy and strong. That makes me happy, although I am thinking they probably tell all moms that. LOL. Although when we took her the first day, all the teachers were being so "careful" and always supporting her head, and while Evan was holding her, they kept acting like they wanted to support her head for him, which annoyed him a bit. She holds herself up so well, I think they were shocked at the way we hold her. I think it's just because she is still so small, that they assume she is weak. Nothing could be further from the truth! We got the Prince Lionheart Bebe Pod this week and she loves loves loves to sit up in that thing. We knew she could do it, and she really enjoys sitting and standing like a big girl, which is why the jumparoo is such a huge thing for her. I took her with to my Dr's appointment on Thursday and weighed her in at almost 12 pounds now.

    I start physical therapy on Monday, with an evaluation for my back. Diagnosis so far is "back strain" and I personally feel that it's an accumulation of pregnancy, delivery, and hauling around a bebe all day long. Going to daycare is much like being a pack mule. Diaper Bag, Car Seat with the Bebe inside, my little cooler of breastmilk bottles, my own purse and breastpump for work... no wonder my back hurts! That's like 50 pounds of gear. Almost. Maybe. Okay not quite.

    I was seeing the chiropractor, but after three weeks of visits twice a week, and a $140 bill, it's not getting better. I have insurance to cover the physical therapy, so I will try going that route. At work, we call physical therapy "Rehab" which is short for Medical Rehabilitation. When I got home from my Dr Appointment, Evan asked how it went, and I said "great, I start Rehab on Monday" and he looked at me with the strangest look. Later on I realized that I shouldn't go around telling anyone I started Rehab!

    This morning Ardyn hung out in her Jumparoo while I was washing bottles and breast pumps pieces. Last week I taught Evan how to assemble the pumps, which is totally awesome and helpful to me. Now we can share the duties of washing & sterilizing, and he can help me prepare the pump, which is excellent.

    I am actually pretty excited about going back to work. I am feeling confident in daycare, and my office is a pretty awesome place to be now that I am all moved back in, and it's all re-arranged... so I think it will be a most excellent first week back. I really miss SOME of my co-workers, and they have repeatedly expressed that they miss me and that they will be excited to have me back, which makes me feel better about the whole transitioning back to a working life. Being gone so long makes me worry that things will have changed so much and that I will have forgotten things, but it all comes back to me as soon as we have a discussion about it. I was pleasantly surprised when a friend/co-worker I'll call CB left me a little note as a welcome back, and it was a photo of Matthew McConaughey, on a surfboard, all washboard abs and unshaven wonderfulness. It was a sweet surprise. We share that love.

    Of course, the downside to daycare? Germs. Sickness. After Ardyn's first full day on Friday, I picked her up and they warned me that there was stomach flu going around. Apparently two kids in her class got sent home that day after vomiting. Ugh. I am really hoping that the breastfeeding immunities are coursing through her little body right now. Of course the only person feeling stomach-flu-ish this weekend has been ME so far. Hopefully that too will pass and Ardyn will continue to feel okay. The last thing I want is a sick baby, especially when I have to go back to work on Monday!

    Well, that's all for now. Have a great weekend!

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    So fed up with Amazon and Target Accounts!

    Talk about a royal pain in my ass mixup. It appears that Target and Amazon did something technically on their websites, that royally screwed up my logins, baby registries, and purchase history. It all happened when I tried to login to my Target account last week to order a new car seat for Ardyn, from my mom, for Christmas.

    My Target account said that I didn't exist! What!? I have a baby registry, tons of purchase history, reviews, etc... and I couldn't get in. When I called Target customer service, I was told that from this point forward I would need to use my Amazon account to login to Target. AND that when I did, I would have all my order history and my baby registry available because the two accounts would merge. They reset my "password" and then I was able to get into my "newly merged" Target and Amazon account at and I SPECIFICALLY asked if this would change my amazon password and I was told NO.

    Then after I ordered the car seat, and it arrived at my mom's house, I went online to Amazon to do some product reviews, and couldn't get into my account on! What?! So I tried my newest password that Target reset, and wouldn't you know, logged into to what appeared to be an OLD version of my Amazon account, from back in 2005... the same email address as my current Target account AND as my current Amazon account, but without all my profile information, wish list, gift lists, shopping lists, recommendations, reviews, and TWO YEARS of order history. What. The Hell.

    So for shits and giggles I login to my account, and now can't access my own baby registry anymore. It's no longer tied to my account.

    So I call Amazon customer service, the rep is currently totally confused, and he suggests that I just "create a new account." Um. No. I will not be losing two years of order history, my wish list, my shopping lists for other people, my reviews, my profile, and my recommendations that I have spent two years painfully building. And the last thing I need is THREE Amazon accounts and a Target account. This is ridiculous. So overall total I have spent about an HOUR on the phone with Target and Amazon as they try to decipher this. What a mess! Why do they DO these things? I work in IT and I know things can get screwed up, but I am a GOOD customer and "creating another account" is not an option and should never have been suggested to me.

    Stay tuned...

    Monday, December 03, 2007

    There's Just Nobody Cuter!

    Today Ardyn turned 3 months old. She got her pictures taken with Santa and also at Sears. Here's a few... the rest are on Flickr for you members/friends.

    Saturday, December 01, 2007


    I have been tagged by Christina


    1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
    2- Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
    3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
    4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

    7 Random things about me:

    1. I have horrible and embarrassing post-partum acne and if you want to see me get angry, take away my proactiv. I spent THOUSANDS of dollars in the past year at a dermatologist who told me that proactiv would never work and sold me his own product line, only to get me all pissed and desperate and have me try proactiv, which works well and ALMOST has my acne cleared.

    2. I am now officially a freak for sterilization and germ management. I sterilize everything I can get my hands on and use hand sanitizer or wash my hands a lot. You will NEVER catch me putting my child's pacifier in my mouth to clean it off. No way. I even got a flu shot for her! 5 years of working in healthcare and I never had a flu shot until she was born.

    3. I am addicted to the internet. Ask my husband. I do everything online. Bank. Shop. Research. Communicate. Check the Weather. Watch the News. Check Mom Message boards.

    4. I have spent the last 5 years of my life trying to get out of debt. About 5 years ago I lost a job that (at the time) I loved. It was unexpected, unfair, and very upsetting. The economy was horrible and there were no jobs to be had. I did odd jobs, but couldn't make payments on any credit cards, medical bills, or my car. I got in way over my head WAY fast and I am still not quite out of the woods. It was recommended that I file for bankruptcy but I don't believe in that and therefore I have almost taken care of it all myself. In the end, my car was over-collataralized and a $262 payment increased to a $400 payment each month. When I paid my car off before the baby was born, that was one of the happiest milestones for me. I have been out of college since 1998 but I still have student loans- AND I only went to a Junior College AND I had scholarships. But the cost of student loan interest is lower than any other debt, so it's easier to make minimum payments on student loans than credit cards! My credit score will be horrible but at least it won't say "Bankruptcy!"

    5. I am a letter writer. If a company sells me a sub-par product, I would like them to know about it. If a sales person treats me with disrespect... someone will probably hear about it. Usually these days I simply blog about it, but also in these instances, I find that the company usually has a marketing rep who checks out the internet and finds my post if I label or tag it correctly. This works for things that piss me off, and things that make me happy. I recently was able to get information on two products where the company came to me instead of me having to contact the company. I also had a situation where I contacted the company and was never responded to, and when I blogged about that I got free stuff. I use the internet for researching lots of products and companies, and I like to provide reviews to other people online also.

    6. My husband un-knowingly turns me into an insomniac. He can stay up all night long. I can not. But I try to, because this is when I see him the most. But I hate that I am still awake. But now that Ardyn sleeps at night, I am trying to accomplish everything I can while I have hands free. This also causes insomnia. But I am exhausted and should be in bed... hence number 7

    7. I was too tired to pump last night before bed, so I woke up with beach balls for boobs that were so hard it was unbelievable. And they actually woke me up. early. I am not sure if it was the soreness and pain or the milk leaking all over the sheets that woke me up, but I had DDDDD's instead of DD's. So if you've ever had a boob alarm clock... post me a comment.

    I plan on not tagging anyone... because I am way behind on checking out other people's blogs and I don't even know WHERE to begin with the tagging. But I followed most of the rules... so be proud!!

    About to get really BUSY!

    Well, not much has happened since our last meeting. Evan turned 28. We went out for supper on his birthday and took Ardyn. Ardyn and I made him cupcakes with blue sprinkles- his favorite color.

    Right now we are mostly pretty broke, since I don't start back to work for another week or so. And even when I do get back to work, I will have to work three full weeks before I see a paycheck. Yay. My first paycheck will have a TON of money taken out, as far as insurance goes for myself and the baby. Plus it will be smaller because I will be working fewer hours (my choice) and because I have a huge hospital bill that I need to make payment arrangements for, and that will also come out of my check. Tonight I spent about an hour budgeting and arranging when we would pay what and how. That intensified my headache so I chased that chore with some Tylenol, since breastfeeders can't take Alleve, which is my drug of choice.

    This upcoming week is super busy, so I take pleasure in holing up at home during the ice storm we are having this weekend. Many times we have thought that we were about to lose power and have to relocate, but so far we are sitting pretty with the heat cranked and afghans and slippers and hot cocoa with mini-marshmallows.

    This week Ardyn turns 3 months old, gets her photos taken and pictures with Santa, and has a follow up for the infant massage class we took when she was just days old. I have an appointment to get my hair colored before going back to work, and an appointment to hopefully get a referral for physical therapy for my back, which has been increasingly getting worse since delivery, and now is so bad that some mornings I can't hardly get out of bed. I am getting lots of those seriously intense nerve pinches all over my neck and shoulders, and even after about 3-4 weeks at the chiropractor, It's not getting better. My mid and lower back are super sore and I generally sleep in the heating pad.

    We also get to test out daycare this week and I get my teeth cleaned too. I know they will remind me that I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled, but they aren't bothering me, I don't have the money, I don't want to do it, and therefore I will use breastfeeding as an excuse to tell them to leave me alone. I also have a wireless router to install and secure for a friend.

    I need to clean the fridge out from Thanksgiving, finish up the last few Thank You cards that I did yesterday and today, Try on Ardyn's photo outfits, and put ornaments on the Christmas Tree. The dogs need baths. And food. And tonight I still have to pump before bed... so take care and I will hopefully squeeze in a post or two this next week... amidst all the hectic!
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