Wednesday, December 15, 2010


amelia will NOT take a bottle. 

i could use a break from her every once in a while, so my parents and i have been trying to get her to take a bottle of my expressed milk.  i know she's capable of it b/c we had to use (expressed milk) bottles to augment her feedings when she had jaundice.  she had nipple confusion after that, so i've held off on bottles until now.

she WILL take her pacifier with no trouble, but won't even take the same brand of bottle.

here is what we have tried so far:
  • changing temperatures
  • changing personnel (me, mom, dad)
  • changing rooms
  • changing positions
  • changing type of milk (freshly tapped, refrigerated & bottle warmer, frozen)
  • changing when she gets it (hungry, 1/2 full, full, when playing, when sleepy)
  • changing types of bottles
    • medela, playtex (slow & fast), breastflow, soothie
she will scream like we are cutting her arms off.  she'll take the breast with no issues.
i've heard to try nuk bottles. 

it's ridiculous that people have to rush out and purchase all these types of bottles to try and find the one that works.  they should have a system (similar to ones with cloth diapers) where you can pay to try out 10 different bottle types, then get some partial store credit back when you return them.

12 wks

bebe amelia,

today, you are 12 wks old.  next week, you will be THREE MONTHS old.  it's hard to understand what people mean when they say it will go fast, but it truly does.  the days are long, but the weeks are short.

this week, you have really found your hands.  you love sucking on them and looking at them cross-eyed.  at nighttime, you are breaking out of your swaddle, so during night feedings, i put your frigid hands between my chest to warm them. 

you are talking a LOT more.  you will follow us as we say a-e-i-o-u or la-la-la with your own baby sounds.  you still haven't laughed yet, but i hope it's close.

you have been a little sick this week.  you threw up SEVEN times on mommy on monday.  thankfully, your poop is back to normal and you seem to be doing better.  last week was a very hard week.  we stayed in the house all week because it was so cold and because i wasn't motivated to get out.  this is not a good idea for us, especially as you decided to stop napping and began waking up 2-3 times per night.  i hope that is behind us b/c i didn't function well with no sleep/breaks from tues-sun.

we hope to take you to see santa this week.  i dressed you up in your bear suit to get some pictures outside, which you didn't like too much.  this morning, it's only 9 degrees, so it may be another inside day.

you still haven't given daddy a smile over skype.  we might have to skype him in our house once he gets back b/c seeing him in person may rock your world.  he loves talking to you in the mornings and calls you milkface.

this week, we got a travel swing, baby scale, umbrella stroller, toys, and a high chair from the carter's.  they were donating them and we happened upon them.  according to the scale, you now weigh over 15 lbs!  this means you are in 3-6 month clothes and are almost out of your size 1 thirsties covers (which are SUPPOSED to last 0-9 months).  what will we do with you!?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 wks

today, Amelia is 10 weeks old.  a blog i read posts letters to their baby and i would like to try to start the same.

dear amelia,
today is your 10 wk birthday.  although it's been rough in the beginning, especially when all the visitors left colorado, our bond has grown stronger in the last few weeks.  you weren't sure about all these new strangers in lexington, but i think you're starting to warm up to them now.

you are currently trying to find/control your arms and hands.  you also LOVE kicking your feet.  sometimes, you are able to get your thumb knuckle into your mouth.  your favorite games are "ah-boo" and playing in your bouncer.  you love having your diaper changed and taking a bath.  you still have the yeast diaper rash, which we are trying to combat with tea tree oil, nystatin, and (soon) yogurt.  recently, you've started lifting your butt up in your bathtub and the ensuing bump causes a tidal wave over the edge of the tub.  we might have to start putting the tub in the tub soon.

you love skyping with daddy and follow his voice and video.  i always wrap you in his t-shirt during your morning naps on your boppy pillow.

you generally start getting sleepy around 930-10.  we have our final feeding, swaddle you, and i rock you to sleep before going down.  the last two nights, though, you've stayed up later.  i think you just want me to rock you some more...but mommy is missing her full night's sleep.  you generally wake at 4 to eat and then around 7-8 for the day.  two big naps and smaller cat naps round out your sleeping schedule.

you are a very good eater.  you will feed 5-7 mins on each side (and sometimes go back for more immediately).  you spit up about once a day and exorcist-style throw up about once a week.  it scares me when that happens because it comes up so fast and gets all over your face and - well - all over everything.

you don't like being in one place too long.  and when you're hungry, you are hungry.  today, we tried on your christmas dress, sleeper, and new outfit from grandma.  you will be so pretty on christmas eve!

less than 4 months until you get to re-meet your dad.  and let me tell you, he's a keeper.

love, me

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Le bebe

Here she is!
Born at 1:18 am on Sept 22 - Amelia Jean.
There are so many stories I want to write on this blog and I hope to get around to them all eventually.

Funniest story from the week:
I have an overactive letdown, so I have to be careful about keeping her stomach lower than her head (otherwise, she throws up).  I was burping her over my shoulder and she spit up in my hair, down my shoulder, and onto the couch.  I moved her onto her back so I could clean us up and her head fell to the side and she threw up exorcist-style.  My reflex was to stick my foot out to catch (?) it and it splashed all down my jeans, in between my toes, and all over the carpet.  She had the proudest look on her face and I could not stop laughing.  Definitely a "oh wow I'm a mom" moment.

Here is a list of topics I hope to cover:
Chris' journey here
The birth story
Staying in the hospital for 5 days
Hospital food and supplies
Coming home
Jaundice - Bili checks, under the lights
Settling in
Cloth diapering
Chris leaving
My parents' visit
Going it alone
First car meltdown
Pacifier use
Skyping with daddy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

dear king soopers

i do not normally shop at your establishment, but dang if you aren't my new best friend. i literally shed a tear when i found out this was available just a few miles from my freezer.

(this kroger-linked company distributes pints of my favorite [and really the only] ice cream in every c.springs and denver store.  drool)

39 wk update

How far along: 38w, 5d

Best of the week: being homebound
Worst of the week: being homebound
Symptoms:  headache, lower back pains, cramping, swelling, sore hands, leaking, reflux

All About Amelia
Movement: active after meals, but lots of sleeping
Position: head down, +1 or +2 station
Last weight: 6lbs, 12 oz! (taken 9/2)
Growth developments: putting on fat.
Last heart rate: baseline 145, accels to 160s

Mamacita's Details
Weight: -2.5 from pre-pregnancy weight (lost 2.5 lbs!  sigh) (taken 9/15)
Cravings: water, cold things
Fundal height: 33 cm (taken 9/15)
What I Miss: Chris, sleeping a full night
Sleep: 2-3 hrs at night - no fun!
Been researching: recipes
What I purchased this week: didn't leave the house
Big news this week: Chris coming home

Coming Soon...
What I'm looking forward to: Chris coming home!
Next on the medical horizon: non stress tests 2x/wk
Dates: Chris home: ~9/18, Induction: 9/21, Due date: 9/24

Today, I saw Dr Silver again.  My BP was still the highest it's been all pregnancy (as it has been for the past week), but I am not spilling protein.  This is important because it means I have not developed pre-eclampsia.  If I were to spill protein, they would induce me rather quickly.  I have lost 2.5 lbs this week, which is surprising because I haven't left the house and have been eating Graeter's ice cream each day.

The pelvic exam revealed I was 50-60% effaced and between a 1 & 2 station, but still only dilated to 1cm.  This was welcome news because Chris isn't scheduled to get in until early Saturday.  Dr Silver was very surprised at how low Amelia is sitting - he poked her in the head again. 

The biggest news is that, due to my continued high BP, ripened cervix, and other factors, I will be induced this coming Tuesday, September 21, if I have not gone yet.  Yes - no later than Tuesday night, there will be a baby!

I cannot believe it is coming to the end of my first pregnancy.  While I have enjoyed the new experiences, I wish Chris would've been here to go through it all with me.  I am forever grateful to the inventor of Skype and to Basra's MWR & USO, as we have been able to talk daily.  However, we are 99.9999999% sure this is just the beginning of our family and hope to plan the next one a little better (or really plan it to begin with...wink).
Once Chris arrives, we plan to try all the wives tales out there to get Amelia to come out.  For the time being, I am still on house arrest except for dr visits.  However, I'm starting to crave a salad, which is problematic when you have no ingredients...

Chris Travel Update: Chris will be leaving post late Thursday morning, America time.  He will travel via Kuwait, Germany, Dallas, then C.Springs.  He hopes to get here late Friday night, but will likely be here Saturday morning.  Dear Lord, please let him get here in time!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

38 wk update

How far along: 37w, 5d

Best of the week: the gorgeous CO weather
Worst of the week:
Symptoms: severe headache, lower back pains, cramping, LOTS of swelling, sore hands, leaking, reflux

All About Amelia
Movement: active after meals, but lots of sleeping
Position: head down, +1 station
Last weight: 6lbs, 12 oz! (taken 9/2)
Growth developments: she has dropped!
Last heart rate: baseline 144, accels to 160s

Mamacita's Details
Weight: +0 from pre-pregnancy weight (gained 0.5 lbs!) (taken 9/8)
Cravings: water, cinnamon, chocolate
Fundal height: 34 cm (taken 9/8)
What I Miss: Chris
Sleep: 1-6 hrs at night with one 1 hr nap.  
Been researching: early labor stages
What I purchased this week: fall decorations, nursing tank
Big news this week: Balloon Classic in C.Springs, some of my wonderful friends got us baby stuff

Coming Soon...
What I'm looking forward to: Chris coming home!
Next on the medical horizon: non stress tests 2x/wk, regular (to me) urine/bloodwork
Dates: Dr appt: 9/15, Chris home: ~9/18, Due date: 9/24

Today, I went in for my 38 wk appt.  I saw Dr Silver, who will be my doctor for the duration.  He was very nice, asked lots of questions, and was calm.  Vitals are good (although BP still up at 134/95).  I am positive for Group B Strep, which means I will receive IV antibiotics when admitted.

I had my first pelvic check and whoa was I unprepared for it.  Let's just say that area has been closed for business for awhile and I hadn't mentally prepared myself.  He laughed and asked if I realized I'd be giving birth soon.  Afterwards, I had some mild cramping, but nothing too bad.

Turns out, I am 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and at a +1 station.  He couldn't quit remarking how low she was and he felt the top of her head.  Apparently, she's dropped (as both Chris and my dad had suggested), but I haven't noticed.  This would explain the sharp, shooting pains I've been feeling in my cervix - she's a headbutter.  I could stay like this for weeks or she could come today.  Due to my vitals and high-risk status, I will be induced b/t 39-40 wks if I haven't given birth yet.  Dr Silver does not want me to develop pre-eclampsia (and frankly, can't believe I haven't yet with all the symptoms I have).

So now, we wait.  

Chris is due to leave in 8 I really hope to cook til then. 
Until then, I will continue to putter around the house, watch the West Wing (on loan from a friend and I LOVE it), and cheer for the Reds from afar.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

freezer meals

using the apple peeler on 10 lbs of potatoes
upon doing some research, i decided to make some freezer meals for when chris is here/my parents are here/when i'm tired out of my skull and don't want to make dinner.  little did i know what a large community there is for this type of cooking.

i started slow, making 2 entrees and a side, but plan to do more as time allows.  my logical/mathematical mind LOVED creating lists for this project, including a protein list, ingredient list, and shopping list.

i made kerry's baked spaghetti, hashbrown casserole, and (10 lbs of) mashed potatoes.  it didn't take much longer than regular baking and it's comforting to know i've got several dinner options.  i still plan to make bleu cheese burgers, jerk chicken, cheesy rice, and some muffins.

here are some of the best links i've found.

i hope to continue this process in the future, including with baby food.
anyone have any other good recipes/links for freezer meals?

Aug 2010 Pictures

36 wks - SkySox game
Lilah, Amelia, and I watching Chris' video
Making freezer mashed potatoes

Drying prefolds on my clothesline


37 wk update

How far along: 36w, 6d

Best of the week: relaxing
Worst of the week: BP scare
Symptoms: severe headache, nighttime contractions, cramping, LOTS of swelling, sore hands, leaking, reflux

All About Amelia
Movement: decreased
Position: head down
Last weight: 6lbs, 12 oz! (taken 9/2)
Growth developments: considered full term
Last heart rate: baseline 150, accels to 180

Mamacita's Details
Weight: -1 from pre-pregnancy weight (GAINED 3 lbs!) (taken 9/1)
Cravings: water, cinnamon, chocolate
Fundal height: 35 cm (taken 9/1)
What I Miss: Chris
Sleep: 4 hrs at night with one 1 hr nap.  
Been researching: how to keep baby in until your husband comes back
What I purchased this week: stuff for freezer meals, dresser
Big news this week: Reds take huge lead in NL Central

Coming Soon...
What I'm looking forward to: Chris coming home, fall shows starting
Next on the medical horizon: NSTs, regular (to me) urine/bloodwork
Dates: Dr appt: 9/8 & 9/15, Chris home: ~9/18, Due date: 9/24

It's been an eventful few days.  I have been having some cramping and, at night, lower back pain.  I went in for my 36ish appt on Weds with a different doctor.  I had gained 3 lbs in 3 wks, baby's heart rate was good, and the nurse administered the routine Strep B test.  All good news, except my BP was 149/101 and 152/101!  (It has been baselining around 135/90).  The nurse was kinda freaking and, after a quick vitals check, went to get the dr.

I mentioned my new symptoms to the dr: increased swelling, headache lasting for 29 days, cramping, etc. and he asked "Are you just trying to get yourself induced?"  I informed him it was quite the opposite...that I was trying to NOT give birth for two more wks.  He was worried about my headaches and hypothesized it could be cranial hypertension.  He sent me over to the head of ophthalmology to be checked.  Thankfully, I passed all his tests and ruled that out.

I was sent straight to antepartum testing for a non-stress test a day early.  After sitting for an hour, my pressures came down to my baseline and Amelia didn't seem to be in any distress.   Like Monday, though, she did not want to wake up.  (The nurses establish a baseline and the baby's heartrate is to accelerate at least twice and she is to move at least twice within the time frame.)  We tried moving me, eating, and drinking, before the nurse buzzed her awake.  She wasn't too fond of that.  I also had blood/urine labs done - which all came back normal.  I'm doing another 24 hr pee test (my fave!) currently.

The doctors are watching very closely.  I had to start preparing my brain yesterday for the potential of giving birth without Chris.  Even typing those words brings tears to my eyes.  Hopefully, my pressures continue to stabilize and Amelia simmers for two more wks. 

Today, I had a biophysical profile (aka: big fancy ultrasound) to check her growth.  She is head down, with a head circumference of ~32 cm, a femur length of ~7cm, normal amniotic fluid levels, and is still a girl.  Her bottom lip was pouting out and she had a full bladder.  Her knees were pulled up to her chest and her hand was resting on my placenta.  Her estimated gestational age was 36w6d, which is a rare perfect "score".

All in all, some good news and some kind of eh news.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

being thrifty

I have always prided myself on being a bit of a tightwad.  Having managed my money very well growing up and in my early 20s, I am able to do so much more than many people my age -- without the debt.  Thankfully, Chris also bought into my financial philosophies.  I have also gone through Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" and listen to his broadcast when tooling around in the mornings.  His teachings reinforced my practices.

I hate paying full price for things.  My neighbor gets the Sunday paper, but never uses the ads.  Each week, I jack her ads for weekly plundering.  This week, Walgreens was having coupon days, so I decided to stock up and refurbish our household office supplies.  In addition to the ad coupons, they have a 15% military discount on Tuesdays!  Score!

Original Price
My Price
Bubble mailers (3)
1.59 x 3 = 4.77
0.39 x 3 = 1.17
Scotch tape
10 Ballpoint pens
Wooden ruler
70 Index cards
Composition book
50 sheet protectors
Posterboard (3)
0.89 x 3 = 2.67
0.39 x 3 = 1.17
60 Ziplock bags
200 Kleenex
Plastic wrap
Candy corn
2 Pink erasers
Rubber gloves
In-store savings





While many people may begrudge the "annoyance" of waiting for deals, using coupons, and delaying gratification, but I find it to be a sign of maturity and discipline.  In addition, Chris and I are able to do things like paying cash for our basement finish.  Another example: Instead of buying wall art for the nursery,  I researched DIY projects.  Not only did I save a TON of money, but I satisfied nesting urges.

I have several thrifty blogs on my Google Reader and enjoy finding new ways to repurpose, save, and DIY.

Where do you go for your deals?

Friday, August 20, 2010

35 wk update

**Got a new camera.  Once I figure out how to use it, I will post copious belly and nursery pics!**
How far along: 35w

Best of the week: getting an subscription from Eric (only the best thing ever for a 9 months pregnant baseball fan who normally only gets the Rockies games!)
Worst of the week: continued headache
Symptoms: severe headache, gastro "issues", fatigue, leaking, reflux, swelling

All About Amelia
Movement: has a routine: early morning, after every mealtime, at bedtime; hiccups after every mealtime
Position: head down for 10 days now
Last weight: 4lbs, 6 oz (taken 7/29) - should be over 5 lbs according to growth charts
Growth developments: liver producing waste, all parts developed - now just growing
Last heart rate: ranging from 140s-155 bpm (taken 8/19)

Mamacita's Details
Weight: -4 from pre-pregnancy weight (GAINED 2.5 lbs!) (taken 8/11)
Cravings: water, cinnamon, chocolate
Fundal height: 34 cm (taken 8/11)
What I Miss: Chris
Sleep: 6-7 hrs at night with one 1 hr nap.  
Been researching: breastfeeding tips
What I purchased this week: diaper bag, cloth diapers from online swapsBig news this week: egg recall, war "over"*, Brett heading to college

Coming Soon...
What I'm looking forward to: watching the Reds in the pennant race, getting my clothesline set up
Next on the medical horizon: NSTs, regular (to me) urine/bloodwork
Dates: Dr appt: 9/2, Thorough ultrasound: 9/2, Chris home: ~9/18, Due date: 9/24

My blood pressure remains high, but routinely high.  I get regular urine/bloodwork to make sure I have not developed preeclampsia.  I'm finding it's harder to get around these days.  Whereas I used to be able to run 5-6 errands in a row, now I am only able to hit 1-2 stores before I come home to nap.

The headache is still there - 17 days now.  In the last two weeks, a new dr has put me on a tylenol/caffeine/barbiturate pill and percocet.  I only took the percocet for 24 hrs because I did NOT like how I felt on it.  So I've been self-medicating with sleep, sweet tea, and 120 oz of water per day.

I recently switched from the North Clinic back down to the main hospital.  It was fun getting out of the house at first, but the 40 min drive got to be too much.  However, that meant I had to leave my wonderful doctor.  The doctor I've been seeing now is the one who has put me on all these different medications and I am not fond of him.  He never sits down during appts, makes too many jokes, and isn't very thorough.  I was used to my old dr asking about new symptoms, talking about what was coming up, etc.  Yesterday, this dr didn't even weigh or measure me.  Needless to say, I'm switching doctors.  I doubt if he'll notice.

I continue to get non-stress tests (NST) every Mon & Thurs and an ultrasound to look at amniotic fluid levels every Thurs.  I am hooked up to a fetal monitor and contraction monitor, as well as blood pressure cuff.  I get a Jeopardy button to push whenever she moves.  They monitor Amelia's heart rate vs her movement vs my heart rate to see if she's being affected by my blood pressure.  So far, so good.  

Other than that, I am in a lull phase.  I hope to be like that until Chris gets home.  Although, the thought of being in this state for another month seems just...*whew*

*Many this week saw the proclamation that the last combat brigade has left Iraq.  This caused many to falsely believe this meant the war in Iraq was over.  This is not true.  The "drawdown" is less than half of the total troops in Iraq and there are still 50,000 there now.  Many brigades have been simply relabeled as non-combat, which is misleading.  Those left are not paper-pushers, weak, or out of harm's way.  This is not a partisan issue, but rather, an Army PR issue.  Please do your research before believing the media.