Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Is Coming!

I should probably be doing dishes or at least unloading the dishwasher. But I am washing diapers, so that's a start :)

I'm excited about the upcoming holiday. Fall is my favorite and I am occasionally a Turkey Day baby, so I love the holiday. We have hosted Thanksgiving here since we moved in 2001 but this year we are not hosting, which is nice. I am hoping everyone stays healthy here with the rampant stomach flu that is flying through our area schools and homes. Tomorrow is our last school day before break, and the kids are excited and thinking about all kinds of things they can do when they don't have to go to school. It should be fun, but I bet I'm ready to strangle them before too long! Hopefully we don't get TOO far off schedule.

We have a parent/child project (Gingerbread house) that we have to make for Marek's preschool homework. I am sure we will work on the Christmas Tree, which means putting away Thanksgiving Decorations and rearranging the living room. If everyone stays healthy, I am hoping we can get somewhere fun like Monkey Joe's or the YMCA Splash Zone. We shall see. We may just bum around home too :)

Copyright Meagan Johnson 2012. Do Not Use.
This past weekend was fun with Family Reading night at Ardyn's School followed by her Holiday Dance Recital. She did great per usual, big smiles on stage. I love seeing how much she loves to dance. That's why we keep on taking her. She has so much fun! She got beautiful flowers from one grandma and a really cool Christmas Ornament of Clara and the Nutcracker from another grandma. She has asked me every day since the recital when she gets to hang it on the tree.

Ewyn is really doing well with working towards two good naps a day. He has a hard time staying asleep but it's getting better with each nap. This afternoon and yesterday I napped with him, which resulted in two hour naps for both of us (score!) He woke once last night that was a little off his schedule and I successfully got him back to sleep without nursing him, since I was exhausted and knew he couldn't realy be hungry so soon. That was nice. Especially because I expected he would wake again around 4:30 am and he woke up at 6:30 instead! yay!

Well, I guess I can't altogether avoid dishes because I need to wash breastpump parts to I can do my late night pumping session for milk to freeze. I scheduled myself for another scope (upper only this time) in January since Dr wants to check on the Barret's Esophogus and make sure it hasn't gotten worse (especially since pregnancy.) The Nurse Practitioner told me that I would need to pump and dump milk for 12 hours after sedation but my research had already told me that this was not true but that this was exactly what they would tell me. I need to gather up the courage to find out exactly what medication they are planning on using to sedate so that I can check with infantrisk or Kellymom and find some supporting evidence so they don't shout at me when I come to and ask for the baby to nurse. Oy. Sometimes fighting for what you know is "right" can be exhausting. Most practitioners give you blanket statements like "stop nursing to take this medication" or "you need to pump and dump" in order to cover their asses in the case of a lawsuit, or because they aren't knowledgeable about medications and mom's milk. Luckily I have a reference book that I take with me to Doctor appointments when it comes to medications and the two times I have been told that I need to stop breastfeeding to take a medication I have showed them the information in the book and they have been surprised. It's frustrating but if you're serious about breastfeeding you have to be your own advocate! Now I am just hoping that grandparents can keep the big kids overnight and get them to school on the morning of my scope. That way Evan and I can take the baby to the hospital with us so I can nurse him right before and right after.

There's crazy stuff on MeTV tonight, like the Bob Newhart Show. LOL. Oh well, off to wash a few pump parts and dry diapers.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And Then There Were Three...

Copyright Meagan Johnson 2012
Hello! It's been so long! I haven't had the time or the keyboard to blog! We have not had internet at home for a long time, MONTHS in fact. I have unlimited internet on my phone, but without a keyboard who wants to compose an entire blog post? :) We are currently testing out Illinois Valley Cellular's Wireless 3G Internet, and making a decision as to whether or not we want to go with them or back to the evil hateful Comcast. I despise comcast. I don't want their service. But it's really difficult to find something fast enough in Wyanet, because the cell service isn't necessarily as good as it should be in this area.

It's 11 am and we just finished picking up Marek from Preschool. By we I mean my newest sidekick, Baby Johnson #3, Ewyn Padrick Johnson :) He arrived October 9th and has been with me ever since. He's a good little baby, but certainly has his fussy moments and wants to be held. Since we plan on him being our last baby, I am trying to comply with holding him as often as I can. He was born at home, and while I would traditionally share my entire birth story, I don't feel like it today, so I guess we will suffice it to say that I am happy he was born at home and that I had a wonderful midwife. And that afterwards I passed out in the bathroom and Evan had to lift me back to bed. I began to lose a LOT of blood and had to have a pitocin shot in each hip... And I am still anemic (7 hemoglobin) five weeks later.

Bernice and Evan weighing Ewyn at Birth...  
Marek is watching Batman, which is his favorite... but he has been without Batman for an entire week. He got into trouble last week and was told no batman for 4-5 days... and then our TV blew up and we had to get a new one... so he had to wait another two days. So today when I picked him up from school he went right into asking for Batman. Since the baby is finally napping (after an entire morning of fussy cluster feeding and crying) I decided to do a little testing out of the internet connection. I am finding that general browsing is quick enough for me, but uploading photos is really slacking and it's not as quick as I want and need it to be.  I will keep testing.

Ewyn got newborn photos done by Nicole Isaacson Photography and of course they are beautiful and perfect. I am so fortunate to have such a great photographer and friend to capture moments like this!

Copyright Nicole Isaacson Photography
It's been both a struggle and a success to keep the house in order these days. With Ardyn in Kindergarten all day and Marek in preschool for a few hours a day, I have mostly been able to keep up on laundry and dishes. But sometimes (especially lately) It's more difficult to do that when we have so many places to run around to. It seems like we barely get home and settled and we have to run again. And that's not really a small feat when breastfeeding and diapering a newborn at each stop and then back into the seat we go. Ewyn has proved to be an excellent traveler and ALMOST never cries on the go unless he is hungry. He sleeps well in his carseat and seems to like to be going. Sometimes it's easier to just keep going and run errands during the day because otherwise just when you start to get involved in something, or comfortable at home, it's time to go again. Sometimes Marek gets really frustrated when I tell him we have to go get his sister, because he would rather stay in one place. It would be a crazy blessing to live in the country and have bus service for both kids. I never thought of bus service as the big bonus that it is. I can't imagine just opening the door and sending the kids out to the bus each morning and having them delivered back to me when school's out. That would revolutionize our lives. :)

Copyright Nicole Isaacson Photography
Right now I just try to keep running the dishwasher and doing laundry. The hardest part is getting all that laundry put away, and mostly that is because we are absolutely overcrowded in our house. Three kids in one bedroom and five people with two closets. It isn't pretty. But I am doing my best and finding solutions that make the best of our situation.

The big kids really love their little brother. They are also really learning to be self sufficient and get themselves dressed each morning once mom sets out their clothes. Before Ewyn was born they were slightly more cooperative with getting themselves dressed, but they are getting back to the point they were before temporarily regressing. Marek puts his own shoes on and even socks most of the time. Ardyn picks her snack from the snack bin and packs it in her backpack with her water bottle and her BEE Binder. She does a good job of taking care of what is asked of her. We are also working very hard on putting our coats and shoes and backpacks on our designated hooks and in our pockets each day when we get home, so that it's easier to get going in the morning. For the most part the baby has gotten on our schedule as far as bedtimes and waking times go. He usually wakes to eat for the last time around 5:30 or 6am and then by 6:30 or 6:45 I have him fed and changed and am ready to help the big kids. He is also different than the other kids were in the way of bedtime, he is ready for bed around 7:30-8:30 and wants to be swaddled and fed and then he will put himself to sleep. He actually gets to sleep much easier when he is able to put himself to sleep. Otherwise he will cry for much longer when he knows someone is listening, and will try to constantly nurse to soothe himself.... but keeps waking up and nursing over and over again. He can smell his mom a mile away :)

Copyright Meagan Johnson 2012
I am also really happy to be back in cloth diapers again. Because of the anemia and being completely under the weather after the birth, I didn't start them right away. I wasn't even supposed to go up and down the stairs for the first couple of weeks and was really lightheaded, so I didn't think diaper laundry in the basement was something that needed to be added to my to do list. It's making me happy to see little fluff around again and  I love the ease of EBF newborn diaper laundry. SO much simpler than toddler diapers! It's hard to tell in the turquoise newborn pics above, but under that "Daddy's Rockstar" onesie, Ewyn is wearing a fender guitar diaper with a cool turquoise minky inner :) It's those things that make me smile.

I've been learning to schedule me time way way way ahead of time. With Evan working several nights a week it's hard for me to participate in things like my BUNCO group, my mom's group, or The Junior Women's Club. And then I wanted to start going back to the breastfeeding mom's group and there are often church activities that happen on weeknights too. And with the holidays approaching there are holiday gatherings too. I am fortunate that many of my activities can accommodate kids. It's hard for me because I not only have to be able to afford the $5 an hour babysitter but I also have to be able to have meals ready for them to make and the house in some sort of order so they can find the things they need. That can be stressful, especially amongst a week that already consists of school, violin lessons once a week, and dance class once a week. Then there are weeks like this one with violin, dance class, dance dress rehearsal, family reading night at school, and dance recital. Something every single night and lots of running around. I am fortunate to have grandparent nearby but I don't want to be asking them to babysit all the time and sometimes they say no :) And add in things that I have to do during the day with no kids or with only one kid, and I need grandma for those occasions too. Doctor appointments, WIC Appointments, etc for myself or baby or Marek. I don't do anything without looking at the calendar. EVERYTHING goes on the calendar. If it's not there it doesn't happen.

Well, that's all I've got. Random and pointless perhaps, but my brain is emptied. Soon it will be time for another round of breastfeeding and diaper changing. And then I attack laundry and dishes again. AGAIN.

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